Feminism Tuesday…To Shave or not to Shave?

Dubbed the Hairy Legs Movement, many women are now choosing to forgo shaving in a bid to challenge the beauty standards brought about by the unrealistic expectations of how women ‘should’ look. At the end of the day, it is your body, so you should be allowed to wear or look after it, however you want. I see this as empowering, but men should also be put into the picture. Both men and women should not have to be told whether they can or cannot shave. If a dude wants to shave, then great, if it makes him feel good about himself. If a girl doesn’t want to shave, then awesome, if she can’t be bothered to live up to societal expectations. There are many reasons for shaving or not shaving, and no-one should be judged for any of them!

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In the past, many cultures have used shaving/waxing as a hygienic practice, rather than something to strive for, to be ”perfect”. In the early 1900s, shaving would have been unnecessary as arms and legs were seldom seen, but as soon as the short sleeved dress was invented, a popular fashion magazine deemed body hair as unattractive on women, and so women started to shave it off. Nowadays, this practice costs £9.34 every month, so £112.08 a year, an expensive habit!

http://hairylegsclub.tumblr.com/

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The above link is the site that has begun to empower women all over the world. Yet, there are still some people who are ignorant to the fact that no-on has the right to control what you do with your body. For example, one commenter says that her family are so disgusted by her not shaving, that they’ll sit as far away from her as possible, if her legs are uncovered. Another states that one person said to ”It’s not natural to change your hair colour all the time, so why don’t you shave?”. This needs to stop! People should be able to choose what they want to do with their body, regardless of what anyone else thinks!

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I know myself that my own main reason for not shaving sometimes, is that I’m too lazy, and would prefer a few extra minutes in bed, the same as you would if you used dry shampoo instead of washing your hair. So then, why is using this dry shampoo acceptable when you’re too lazy to wash your hair, and yet not shaving isn’t? Modern women’s magazines don’t help either, rather they hinder it, with ”how to make your legs as smooth as [insert celebrity name here]”, and ”ten ways to make your man fall in love with you” (which usually involves some form of shaving). But the thing is, if you’re partner, your family or your friends don’t accept you as your unshaven (or shaven!) self, then you know exactly who is right behind you.

Have a great Tuesday everyone!

Book Club Sunday…Inspiring Book Quotes!

I thought I’d do something a little different today instead of a complete review of a book… and so I thought I would collect together some quotes from books that may inspire you to make this week amazing!

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”It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that” – J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

”A purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved” – Kurt Vonnegut, The Sirens of Titan.

”You can’t stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes” – A. A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh.

”To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all” – Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man Under Socialism.

”We tell ourselves stories in order to live” – Joan Didion, The White Album.

”Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but – I hope – into a better shape” – Charles Dickens, Great Expectations.

”I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will” – Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre.

”Our lives are defined by oppourtunities, even the ones we miss” – F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…” – Dr. Seuss, Oh the Places You’ll Go.

Have a relaxing Sunday guys!

Film (TV!) Review Saturday [SPOILERS, PROBABLY]

Hey guys! Sorry I’ve been MIA for the past week, but I’ve been so busy with placement, I haven’t had a chance to properly relax until today! To make up for it. I’m going to make up all my blog posts for next week this weekend and set them to publish on the specific days. How’s that sound? Anyway, as I haven’t seen any relatively new films the past week, and have instead been binge watching Orphan Black, I thought I would do a review on it’s second series!

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One word can be used to describe this series: exhilarating! I utterly enjoyed it, and plus, there were a few more clones thrown into the mix. For example, Felix is dumbstruck to find out a trans-clone exists (which just shows how amazing this show is at showing diversity and equality!), called Tony, who surprisingly tries to hit on Fee, and he likes it! Rachel Duncan also becomes more of a central character throughout this series, interfering and meddling with both Sarah and Cosima, and trying to kidnap Kira relentlessly.

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Sarah becomes stronger and more resilient this series too, realising how to find freedom, and rekindling old flames – most significantly, Kira’s father. Cosima continues and strengthens her relationship with Delphine, but realises how quickly her health is degrading, all due to a intentional genetic sequence to prevent fertility (which failed with Sarah). So, both of them set together in DYAD’s labs to find the answer to her illness, and they find it lying in Kira, who they have to obtain bone marrow samples off.

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However, this brings more trouble than good, and Sarah goes in search of one of the original professors of Project Lida, a military led experiment. She finds him with Siobhan, her foster mother, and so Sarah begins to wonder what else she is hiding from her. But then after Mrs S supports her throughout the ordeals, trials and tribulations, she begins to trust her again. DYAD wants to take him in to find the genetic code, but after only unlocking Cosima’s, he commits suicide, saying that he has left the rest of the codes somewhere else for them to find. He has given it in a book to Kira, so again she is compromised.

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The series is as complex as it is interesting. And it largely relies on the science that is actually used in genetic coding and beyond, so it can be heavily backed up. I gobbled the show up in practically two weeks, but In probably would have done it in a day, if time actually permitted me to! I actually adore Tatiana Maslany, and it’s a crime that she hasn’t been nominated for an Emmy. She portrays so many of the different clones, each with foreign accents to each other, and different behaviours. What’s even more incredible is that each of the clones, at one point, impersonates another, so she is also pretending that she’s one clone impersonating another, impressive!

But when they’re not doing that, they’re all kicking ass in their different areas of life, and learning more about their heritage. And if the ending is anything to stand by, the third season is going to be explosive!

Have a great weekend!

 

Film Review Saturday…Maleficent! [SPOILERS]

This film is a re-imagined, live-action version of Sleeping Beauty, with twists and turns that nobody will see coming. I also love that it is actually by Disney, and that it focuses more around family and friendships, rather than any superficial love interest. It shows the villain, Maleficent, played fantastically by Angelina Jolie, in a lighter and more sympathetic light. It shows her transformation along the span of the film: from naive child, to betrayed and scorned woman, to a softened mother figure to Aurora.

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The Moors, Maleficent’s haunting place, also changes along with her: from lush CGI-generated magic, to a dense and darkly guarded fortress, to it’s original happy self. The action scenes are blockbuster worthy, with Jolie wearing the most intricate and badass costume I have ever seen.

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It starts off introducing Maleficent in The Moors (voiced by an older Aurora, so it is from her perspective), when a human intruder wanders in, Stefan, and steals her heart in the process. At first she is wary, as he is from the opposing realm, and there has been war between the two realms for centuries. But then she softens and opens up to him all of her secrets. However, the human way of life takes over Stefan, and they never see each other again.

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A few years down the line, when they are both fully grown, Stefan returns to The Moors, but is a changed man. He drugs her and then cuts her wings off, so that he can show them to the dying king and thus become the next king. She realises how she’s been tricked, and that true love must not exist, and goes on a riotous rampage, darkening her existence. When she hears of Stefan’s first born, she goes towards the castle and casts a curse upon the child (Aurora), that when she turns 16, she will prick her finger on a spinning wheel, and fall into a death like sleep from which she can only wake up from with true love’s kiss.

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Even though Stefan orders her to move into the country until the day after she is 16, Maleficent looks over her all of those years. Over that time period, she comes to care for her and they become close, so much so that she tries to revoke the curse with no success. When Aurora ventures to the castle after finding out the existence of her father, Maleficent and her crow try to reach the castle to stop her from pricking her finger, they even bring Aurora’s recent love interest to try to kiss her if it still happens.

Unfortunately, they are too late, and have to rely on plan B, after sneaking their way into the castle. Plan B does not work either, and so Maleficent gives up, but not before planting a final goodbye kiss on Aurora’s forehead. She turns away as Aurora’s eyes flash open, and she sees her ”fairy godmother”. Everything turns out happily ever after, as per usual with any fairytale or Disney movie!

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The film is altogether fantastic, with dark parts juxtaposed with the light and optimistic scenes. It highlights who you should really trust, and how the love you get from family is more important than any fleeting love you will get from a potential partner. It really deepens the original story, and for someone who isn’t fond of Disney, I fell in love with the film. If you haven’t seen this film, go see it now, you would be a fool to miss it!

Have a great Saturday!

Geek Round up Friday! (11/07/14)

It’s my favourite time of the week again! Where I round up all of the week’s geekiest (and most interesting!) news! The Emmy nominations have just come out (why no Tatiana Maslany?!), and there are heaps of teaser trailers floating around the internet…so let’s get to it!

1.) Second teaser trailer for Mockingjay, Part 1 released!

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Eeee! So much excitement! A second teaser trailer for the first installment of Mockingjay has been released (and still, no Katniss to be seen!). The video is interesting as it is the first Capitol propaganda that is hacked by District 13, so that they can get their message over to all districts that ”The Mockingjay lives”, which is Katniss of course! You can watch the video in the link below!

2.) Once Upon a Time recasts a familiar face!

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Giancarlo Esposito will be rejoining the cast as Sidney Glass (The Mirror on the Wall), and it is thought that his role will involve joining forces to ‘defeat’ Elsa. It’s also hoped that he will show a more calm temperament and lighter side seeing as though Regina has transformed into ‘one of the good guys’, slowly through the last 3 seasons.

3.) Orphan Black is renewed for a third season!

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BBC America has thankfully renewed for a third season, set to air in Spring 2015, with no specific date of release. So, the Clone Club will be back to work out more of their existence and how they can get and keep their freedom! Eeee excited!

4.) Chris Columbus joins the Gremlins reboot!

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The writer of the originals has hopped on board to be a producer for the rebooted films. Also, some of the original cast will be involved, and Steven Spielberg will be also (so you know that it’d gonna be good!).

5.) The Flash casts Robbie Amell

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Arrow has a spin off, and it’s containing his cousin (Robbie is Stephen Amell’s cousin). Robbie previously was in The Tomorrow People, which unfortunately got cancelled. Robbie will star as Ronnie Raymond, who with Martin Stein, were fused together to create Firestorm. The Flash (Barry Allen) will be played by Grant Gustin. The series premieres on CW in America on October 7th, with no release date yet announced for the UK.

Anyway, those are the main stories for this week. If you find anymore that you find interesting, leave them in comments below. Have a great weekend!

Scientific Discoveries (10/07/2014)

Another week, another bout of science has washed over the world, bringing with it new discoveries and challenges. Apologies for this being a day late but I am now up in Scotland, visiting my Dad and Step-mum. So, while I get used to eating copious amounts of haggis, let me briefly round-up this weeks science news!

1.) Plants can ”hear” their own bodies being eaten.

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More specifically, they can sense the vibrations triggered by insects chewing on their leaves. The discovery was found when they focused on Arabidopsis thaliana, which is a small flowering plant, which can also release a chemical response to the danger. Plants are already known to respond to wind, touch and even acoustic energy in it’s environment. In a trial with one set of plants pre-exposed to recorded acoustic energy of the caterpillars eating, and another set of plants just sat in silence, it was shown that the group which was pre-exposed gave off a stronger chemical response, and thus less was eaten.

Reference: http://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/plants-can-hear-themselves-being-eaten

2.) Brain power in Chimpanzees is intensely heritable.

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However intelligent a chimp is, is normally reflected in it’s parents, and thus in it’s offspring. This discovery could show whether certain genes for intelligence in chimpanzees will have a similar effect in their human counterparts. The previous view was that non-genetic factors were the cause of intelligence, but these findings now challenge that.

Reference: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn25875-chimpanzee-brain-power-is-strongly-heritable.html#.U7-aQvldXco

3.) Pesticide strongly affects the foraging ability of bees.

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Long term exposure to neonicotinoid pesticides has been shown to tamper with the bee’s ability to forage for pollen, after bumblebees were fitted with a radio frequency tag in a recent study. It also has been shown to affect which flowers the bees will end up visiting. Poor bees!

Reference: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn25875-chimpanzee-brain-power-is-strongly-heritable.html#.U7-aQvldXco

So that’s just a brief round up for this week on all the exciting things happening in the world of science! I hope you have a great Friday!