Saturday, 31 March 2012

March Round-up: The Hunger Games, Basil plants and Chinese cakes

I know... It's been a bit too long. In fact, I have not written a post for an entire week, which is the longest blogging hiatus I have had since the birth of this blog. It seems to be the same story, but I have been beyond stressed and busy with attempting to complete coursework and other silly shenanigens. Its not that I haven't had ideas for what to write about, I have just had no time to write! But fear not, since it is another school holiday, its time for Blog Every Day In Easter (BEDIE). To commence, I am just going to quickly summerise everything that I was planning to write a post on, and also do a round up of everything that happened in March. Click here for my February round-up.

In retrospect, March has actually been a pretty good month. Very busy and stressful, but good, nonetheless. I feel like now until the end of June, I will be saying this about every month.

In March I have:
  • FINALLY FINISHED MY MUSIC COMPOSITIONS!
    • If you do not do music GCSE at our school, you probably don't realise the significance and the sheer achievement of doing this. After spending a year and a half on my first composition, then a week on my second, I can finally say I will never have to compose ever again in my life. Hallelujah!
  • Had the school "Magic" concert
    • This was probably causing the most stress for me during the first half of the month. I had gotten to a stage where I would literally not have a single lunch or break time free, and it was quite overwhelming. In the end, I was in 6 items in the concert, and they all seemed to go pretty well. I am so proud of our Glee Club! I am thinking of uploading our performance onto Youtube and posting it on this blog - you guys want to see it? 
  • Ace of Herts concert
    • We sung in front of a few Mayors of local towns to raise money for homeless people. It was okay.
  • Been to the Big Bang Science Fair
    • This was actually one of the most suprisingly enjoyable outings that I have had in a long time. I doubt anyone is actually interested, but my basil plant is doing really quite well. It managed to germinate in a few days, and the first leaves sprouted after 5-6 days. Now after 2 weeks, the plants are around 3mm tall. Yipee! 
    Is it sad that I'm really proud of this photo?
  • Gotten back my exam results 
  • Hype for prom, yearbook and after prom parties have started
    • Even though there are still 4 months till the summer holidays, plans and pressure for the end of compulsory education are already commencing, with prom, yearbook and after prom celebrations. I hope they live up to the hype. 
  • Went to Bicester Village 
    • Last Sunday, I went with my mum to Bicester Village, which is an outlet shopping "village", selling marked down designer goods, that are still beyond ridiculously priced - in other words, the worse place on earth ever for me. If you know me, you probably realise that I detest designer/branded clothes and that I rarely ever spend more than £1 for jewellery, £10 for a top, £15 for some bottoms and £20 for a coat/shoes. Here in Bicester, the most you could buy for a tenner is a keyring. It honestly makes me pity all the people who simply throw hundreds of Pounds towards these greedy multi-billion Pound businesses simply for a tiny emblem which is barely visible, on the corner of a shirt. If you have so much money, that you can afford to use it as toilet roll to wipe your arse, then go for it. But it's those people who work so hard for their money and save up so much to just blow it on something they view as being of such prestige and social significance, when I see it as such a waste, who I feel the most sorry for. As you can probably imagine, I stuck out like a sore thumb in this horrible place. 
    What I wore that day (also what I wore for Mufti, though I doubt people care): Denim shirt £15 - vintage shop, Tie-dye top £0 DIY, Shorts £5 Indian shop, Necklace £0 sister's present, Docs £lots
  • Seen "The Hunger Games"
    • Last Wednesday, I went to see "The Hunger Games" with MP and my, oh my, it was so ridiculously good. Here are my thoughts on the movie compared to the book (in the last 3 days I have managed to read the first book) :
      • I feel like the movie did have to chop out quite a few aspects of the book out, since it's already around 2.5 hours long. I don't they they had to compromise too much, but at some points, it was slightly confusing/ hard to understand what was occurring without Katniss' narrative. For example, I watched the movie before I read the book, and I did not get how the magic burn cream from the sponsors managed to miraculously heal her wounds, but then after reading it, I had a far clearer understanding. Same goes with the constant flash backs of Peeta throwing the burnt bread at Katniss - I highly doubt people who don't read the books would have understood the significance of it.
      • The book is written in a 1st person narrative from Katniss' perspective so obviously we get to understand alot about her, and her emotions and feelings are strongly felt in the book. Of course a movie is always very much from a 3rd person perspective, which in some ways was an advantage, as it was possible to see the gamemakers controlling the game and reactions from around Panem of the games, which was quite interesting.  I also thought it adds another interesting layer to the underlying message of the story - the book criticises reality tv, and televising the torture of other human beings for the entertainment of others, when in fact, the very reason we are watching the movie is for entertainment. I obviously understand that it is a fictional story, but it just goes to show that seeing the suffering of others is something that humans do find entertaining, regardless of whether it is just fiction or not. 
      • Since we don't know what Katniss' inner feelings really are, unlike in the novel. I do think Jennifer Lawrence's acting was satisfactory, but obviously she cannot telepathically convey her thoughts and feelings to the audience, so some of the pure emotion and her strength of character is lost.
      • I thought the portrayal of the Capitol's pompous fashion sense and superficiality was excellently executed. The outlandish costumes designs, hair and make up were all spot on to what I would imagine the Capitol to be like, and it really highlighted just how disconnected they are to the rest of Panem.
      • One criticism I have is that they should have made it more gory and bloody. I acknowledge that they wanted it to be a 12A, but in the novel, by the end, Katniss and Peeta are battered and beaten to a pulp with a multitude of wounds, scars and gashes. In the film, they look far to pristine and clean for two people who have been burnt by fireballs, stung by tracker jackers, and been close to death on numerous occasions
    • Overall, I think it is a fantastic movie/book and everyone should go read/see it! I like the book because the story line is just so fast, exciting with so many turns of events. It's definitely one of those books that are really hard to put down. Also, the language used is not too complex, so I can read it leisurely without having to think to hard to process the storyline. I have also worked out why so many girls love "The Hunger Games" - it has a love triange involving 2 guys. 
  • Made my mother an awesome birthday cake
  • I do realise it looks kinda rubbish as I had no good fruit apart from kiwi. I could not be bothered to make the orange segments look more aesthetically pleasing.
    • Yesterday was my mum's birthday and I made an awesome Chinese style chiffon cake. We haven't even eaten it yet, but I'm sure it's going to be delish. I got the recipe from here.
Okay, I was going to do targets for next month, but I cannot be bothered as I've been writing for over an hour now! 

See you tomorrow!


Rebecca x
P.S. My mum is probably the funniest/most annoying person to ever sit next to whilst watching a film, due to her running commentary. Today, Avatar was on telly, and some quotes include:
  • "Why do they have a long pony tail, they're like Chinese people!" <- speaking about the Na'avi.
  • "Omg they have bamboo forests too, that's really messed up." <- regarding Pandora.
  • 15 minutes into the movie...
    • Mum: "Wow, that was quick! it's already finished!"
    • Me: "It's just an ad break mum..."

Saturday, 24 March 2012

New acoustic/folky/indie live music

I have recently just been getting way more into my music, since I have just started using Spotify again. Despite being thoroughly annoyed about the fact that they have put a 5 times play limit on every song, I have been exploring some new artists.

I usually listen to the radio most often, but currently I am really liking Youtube channels that do sessions with artists. Two that I have been thoroughly enjoying are the Mahogany Sessions and the Black Cab Sessions. There is something about these sessions that are so raw, intimate and awesome, as the artists are pretty much stripped back to just voice and an accompanying instrument. They are also mostly folky/indie bands/artists. I still do like a good electro/house/drum and bass track, but as of lately, I have been on a folk kick. This is not all the folky artists that I like by any means, but here are just some I have discovered/rediscovered over the last week and some live songs that they have performed.

New artists I have discovered within the last week
These are some artists that are new on the scene, or just new to me.
  • I have been slightly obsessing over Johnny Flynn over the last week. Favourites so far include Barnacled Worship and Tickle Me Pink. He is probably the most stereotypically English boy you could ever come across. Below is a really old video of him playing "Wayne Rooney" to two very lucky girls in a Black Cab Session. 
  •  I heard of Oh Land a few weeks ago from the same person who introduced me to Johnny Flynn and I am so glad I have come across her in my life. This Danish girl's music reminds me of twinkling lights and so charming.
  • Lianna La Havas was shortlisted in the BBC Sound of 2012 list and I think she is delightful. I love her fashion sense and her performance on Later Live by Jools Holland was honestly stellar. 
 
  •  I discovered Marques Toliver from simply clicking on a random Mahogany session video. He has so much soul in his voice and he is also an awesome violinist, with that as his sole accompanying instrument.
  • I must admit I only just discovered Kyla la Grange earlier today, but I think she is really beautiful and local - sort of! She's from Watford that is quite exciting. I need to listen to some more of her music.
Old favourites
  • I think you guys probably all know I am pretty much in love Lykke Li since she is one of my favourite artists ever. Here is her in a cab singing I'm Good, "I'm Gone", with her backing accordian player and sleigh bells. 
  • I know I shouldn't really mention Jamie N Commons and "The Preacher" again, as I've already mentioned this song in a post before, but this live Mahogany Session version of it is mental. He has a beast of a voice.
  • Coco Sumner is my girl crush. I really hope I Blame Coco come back sometime soon, and make some more awesome tunes like "Self Machine" 
Talk to you later,


Rebecca x

P.S. I know that very few people are interested in my music related posts, but I find them really enjoyable to compile, and it's something I am really passionate about.
P.P.S. I mention this in every post, but I'm sorry for slacking on the posts. I've been terrible, but it's soon Easter meaning more time to write.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

I am so hipster like - Nebulae

As you can probably tell from the header above this post, I am a huge fan of nebula print things. However, this is soon becoming associated with the youth sub-culture, that is being a "hipster". A few years ago it would be used to describe shorts/pants that sit low on your pelvis, but "today, the term is predominantly used as a pejorative label to describe someone who outwardly seeks nonconformity through niche consumerism and boycott against mainstream culture.", according to knowyourmeme.com.

This subculture is not to be confused with other mainstream-loathing, artistic elitist stereotypes, such as being "indie" or "scene", but they are much the same. They say they are against following trends and feel that they are above the norm by expressing their "individuality", when in reality, ironically, they all seem to dress/act in a same fashion. For example for hipsters, they to all seem to coincidentally have a soft spot for, triangles, galaxy print, messy hair, moustaches and Rayban Wayfarer glasses.
This post is going to be focused on galaxy print, and more specifically: nebulae.
A nebula is a cloud interstellar gas and dust. Some nebulae are the remnants of a supernova explosion, when in other cases are gravity-induced condensations of gases, which may lead to the formation of a star.

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE LIFE AND DEATH OF A STAR? 
Pretty cool video eh? We made it in Physics.

Anyway, back to what we were talking about, there are 5 main types of nebulae:
  1. Cold clouds that reflect light from nearby stars are reflection nebulae.
  2. The Trifid Nebula is an example of a reflection nebulae.
  3. Hot, ionising clouds that glow their own light are known as emission nebulae
  4. The Orion Nebula is an example of an emission nebula
  5. Cold clouds that absorb passing light from background stars are known as dark nebulae.
  6. The Horsehead Nebula is an example of a dark nebula.
  7. Shells of gas produced by a star near the end of its life cycle is known as a planetary nebulae.
  8. The Cat's Eye Nebula is an example of a planetary nebula.
  9. When a supernova at the end of a star's life and a large amount of matter is blown into space, this matter glows with the remains of the star, and is know as a supernova remnant.
  10. The Crab Nebula is an example of a supernova remnant
The main reason why I think they are so beautiful is because of the glowing colours produced by different gases: nitrogen (red), hydrogen (green), oxygen (blue), and helium (violet). It is also quite extraordinary to even start to comprehend just the vast scale of these interstellar clouds, and just the fact that these amazing images actually exist in space.

Nebula Print in Clothing
After Christopher Kane's 2011 Spring/Summer pre-collection with a variety of space printed garments, this has been a popular trend among fashion blogs and of course, in the infamous tumblr. I am obviously a huge fan of this trend because if it is done well, it can look amazing, but it can easily end up looking really tacky and cheap.
The awesome Alexa Chung rocking two Christopher Kane dresses
 
Left to right:
  • Jeffery Campbell - Cosmic Litas
  • Romwe - Mysterious Universe Assymetrical skirt
  • DIY black wedges
  • DIY black Vans
  • Christopher Kane chiffon shirt
  • Black Milk - Galaxy Blue leggings
Auf Wiedersehen,


Rebecca x
P.S. I am seriously falling behind with my write a blog post every other day commitment. I am trying but it takes me so long to write and edit a post - one hour minimum! Sorry guys, but I have GCSEs. :( 

Sunday, 18 March 2012

The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineering Fair 2012

Yesterday was phase two of "Outings with FC" - to the The Big Bang Science fair at the NEC Birmingham, for a spot of being nerdy and being awesome. Click here to see phase one: "Camden"! Here are some images from the fair, courtesy of my dad. The fair was basically an exhibition with various science and engineering companies showcasing what they do, with some hands on activities so that you can experience it yourself.

The fair was broken down into these main sections: Making Trax led by Jaguar Land Rover, Go Global led by Siemens, Farm to Fork, The Next Factor led by BAE Systems, Body Talk, Energise led by Shell. It is obvious that there is quite a prominent engineering focus to the fair, but that is probably because they have the money to sponsor these sorts of events.

Unfortunately, we didn't get to see any famous people (I was hoping to see Prof Brian Cox!) but that is probably because the best shows had to be book way in advance and I was not that speedy. However, we managed to talk to various people from lots of different science and engineering based industries. Some where more knowledgeable than others, but it was really interesting being able find out about the assortment of different branches of science.

One of the best stands was one where we got to make our own ice cream by putting milk, sugar and flavouring into a bag, which was then placed into another bag filled with ice and salt. Because ice requires energy to melt, it absorbs heat energy from the milk mixture and the environment. The salt lowers the melting point of ice, so even more heat energy is needed to be absorbed to melt the ice, thus, speeding up the ice cream making process. In the end, the ice cream that we made was quite convincing and did taste okay, for the first few mouth fulls, but after a while, it became rather sickly and the milk started tasting dodgy too.

Other activities included making peanut butter, making a giant blood clot, staring at a spinning wheel until you fall over and going up and down ramps in a land rover. Some more activities are shown below in these pictures.
This contraption was previously used to prepare astronauts during early space exploration missions. Unsurprisingly, I did not have a go on it as it looked absolutely terrifying. The guy in the picture had a "I'm about to soil my pants" expression on his face whilst being spun round in every direction.
On this stand, you could create a vortex and blast a doughnut of smoke towards some tin cans to score points. Well done to my dad for capturing this awesome picture - the girl's expression is hilarious.
At the fair, there were also informative shows/presentations by various people. We managed to catch this guy (Dr Ken - although I think he's far too imbecilic to have a doctorate). His presentation was "How to save the Planet in 60 seconds" although it was so stupid as the title is completely misleading. Here, a girl is spinning a basketball on a hand held drill. This is when my hate for this guy started manifesting- he started making sexist jokes about girls and their incompetence with power tools. I understand that it was only a joke, but I didn't - nor did the rest of the audience- find it very funny. I obviously can't speak for the entire female population, but I think I am pretty capable at handling tools, and I thought it was absolutely shocking that he was making these jokes, 1) at a science and engineering fair - the whole point of them is to encourage women into these industries rather than deter them- and 2) in front of a young girl and a mostly family audience. Pretty soon after this picture was taken, we swiftly left as I could not stand him for much long and I think quite alot of other people did too. This second time this month I have experienced gender inequality regarding science and engineering. Sad times.
This was probably one of the coolest aspects of the science fair. These little remote controlled, helium filled dolphins/planes/blimps elegantly flew around the fair - I want one.
This bubbly experiment is used in construction to find the strongest structures.
Us on fire. Standard.
In the NEC in another hall, there was an Alpaca exhibition by the British Alpaca Futurity. Unfortunately, we couldn't get in as it required to by tickets, but we had a quick peak from outside and they looked pretty cool. The smell they produced, on the other hand, was not so cool.
Here is some of random freebies that I acquired from the fair.They are quite a nice bonus, and at last I have some working pens! Though one thing that I regret is that I didn't take a stress ball freebie from one of the companies and now I regret it! There was also this super cool red blood cell stress ball that I saw one person had, but alas, I could not find it :(.
 Here is a close up of "The game that is really infectious" - happy families featuring infectious diseases. Some of the cartoons that they drew for each disease are quite funny. I might donate this to the biology department at school.
However, my favourite freebie of them all is my "Plantarium - Growing Gel". It is pretty much some agar jelly in a tube, and you get some seeds to grow a plant. Apparently this "patented technology" has even been used by NASA in space. I have already put some basil seeds in the gel, so I hope they germinate soon and I will have a lovely basil plant. It says that it is "fool-proof", but although, knowing my luck with growing plants (the air plant that I featured in this post is pretty much dying as the leaves are falling out!), they probably won't germinate and I'll just end up with a tube of growing mould.

I got this cool plant growing kit from Saudi Aramco, the world's largest oil company and is also the most valuable company in the world. This shows a clear trend that occurred at the fair - the largest companies (such as oil companies) all had the best freebies, as they are obviously wealthy beyond belief. They can afford to throw their money all across the place!

I think I probably sound so stingey talking about all the freebies that I got, but I am most grateful for simply being able to attend such a worthwhile event, especially since the tickets were free. It can't start to imagine how much it would've cost to put on a fair of such a vast scale, so I am so glad that I have been able to be part of it and I do think I have learnt something. Hopefully I can go again next year in 2013!

Time for phase three of "Outings with FC"!


Rebecca x
P.S. I have been majorly slacking with the volume of posts that I have been getting out on this blog - will try and be better in the future!
P.P.S I have just found out that my 8 year old friend has a blog, and he's been posting since he was 6 years old... I feel so old now - I didn't even have an email at that age!

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Coffee Obsession

How do you start a day? For many, it is with a cup of coffee - each morning commences with the routine ritual cup. Whether you prefer it dark, white, a latte or a mocha, coffee is far more than just a warming beverage - it is has a crucial role in today's society. Even in a country where it has been historically classified as more of a tea-drinking nation, the prevalence of coffee is still widespread and deeply felt. The whole persona of being a swanky, high-earning business man with an overpriced bitter coffee match suit their personality, in one hand, and the "Financial Times" in the other, is very much glamourised and stereotyped by the media. In many restaurants, a meal is never complete without a cup of it. Look around your hometown, and I bet there are more coffee shops than you can count on one hand. 
King Coffee
The most obvious reason of why it is one of the most beverage in the world is because of it's stimulating effect on humans due to caffeine content. Moderate caffeine consumption equates to increased attention, memory and physical performance. Many people find themselves reliant on the drink to combat the hardships of modern every day life.

Ye Olde Days of Coffee 
However, its energising effects have been documented ever since the 15th Century and even lead Johann Sebastian Bach to pen the miniature comic opera: "Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht" meaning "Be still, stop chattering" and is commonly known as the "The Coffee Cantata". the cantata amusingly tells of an addiction to coffee, a pressing social problem in eighteenth century Leipzig, where this work was premiered - and it appears not much has changed since then! It features lines such as "If I can't drink my bowl of coffee three times daily, then in my torment, I will shrivel up like a piece of roast goat" - a problem I am sure many people can empathise with. Moreover, in East Africa and Yemen it was previous used for religious ceremonies, but it appears that nowadays, it is drunk religiously ever day.

Why is it so precious?
Perhaps it is because I haven't reached the age to fully appreciate the wonders of caffeine, but I personally think that coffee bought from coffee shops is beyond extortionate and do not comprehend how so many people can justify regularly buying coffee which costs £4 a pop. However, something I am beginning to understand is many people do not go to cafes simply to buy a coffee and leave, but instead see it as a place where you can socialise, work on laptops or tablets or simply relax for a few minutes or even hours for some whilst slowly sipping the calories and listening to the terrible mood music that they play. The worse offender in the market is most obviously Starbucks.

The Power of Starbucks 
Coffee is the world's second most traded commodity behind oil, with 7 million metric tons traded annually. A kilogramme bag of coffee beans sells from the farmer for $0.23, but in a Starbucks coffee shop, it would be worth a staggering $230. Of course there are various middlemen involved, but the profits that are made in that one cup is absolutely humongous, and considering the sheer quantity of coffee sold by the chain - they have a total of 19,435 stores in 58 countries. Some may say the amount of profit made is unjust to the extent of being exploitative, but there is no denying the founders are entrepreneurial geniuses. Last year during my holiday to China I experienced how social power that a mega brand such as Starbucks can have.

China and Coffee
China and tea go hand in hand, like salt and pepper. Tea drinking is deeply routed in Chinese culture, as it has been part of it since 3000BC. It is considered one of the seven necessities of Chinese life, along with firewood, rice, oil, salt, soy sauce and vinegar. Yet this is all being shaken up by globalisation and in particular, the growing increase of coffee houses. The young Chinese (especially in the cities) are seeing the Westerners drinking their coffee, and of course, are trying to emulate this as drinking coffee is "cool", "modern" and "fashionable", when drinking tea is only for the old generation. Starbucks (or 星巴克- pronounced xinbake) cafes are spreading like some sort of pandemic disease, but this time the government can't simply isolate it away in a quarantine.
Here is a Starbucks in Kuan-zhai Lane, Chengdu that I walked past last year on holiday. Kuan-zhai lane is a conservation of old architectural buildings, which has been converted to tourist hotspot with the housing being converted into restaurants, pubs, tea houses, coffee shops, stores selling souvenirs and crafts, etc. Of course, there is the obligatory Starbucks, which I think sticks out like a sore thumb amidst the Qing Dynasty architecture.
 What I found the most surprisingly though was that in the UK I think Starbucks is expensive, but in China - even though retail prices are soon catching up with the Western world - a standard beverage from Starbucks is in some cases, more than 10x more expensive than anything else sold in any similar calibre Chinese cafes. Yet, many young people are willing to waste away their money, spending large amounts of money at Starbucks when, then could have the same thing for far less, simply because they see being able to drink at 星巴克 as almost a status symbol. If you are seen sipping a drink from Starbucks, you must be cool, young, on trend and rich. This can be seen similar to the Chinese obsession with  Burberry and Nike- the young and incredibly wealthy generation that has grown up in newly industrialised China have no idea how to spend such vast amounts of money, so they simply do what they see portrayed in the media to the extent of becoming almost obsessive over branding and consumerism - one of the many problems of modern day China.

Of course, when something like Starbucks comes to China, there will always be a counterfeit version of it. In this case, when we passed a "Teabucks" it certainly made me chuckle. Lots of Chinese business fusing the relaxing and socialising atmosphere with the traditional tea house, to create a hybrid store which combines both aspects of coffee and tea houses with some harmless plagiarism - true Chinese style.

So yes, that was my long rambly post about coffee; it slightly segwayed into a few of my views on modern day China, but oh well. I was going to write a gripping and enthralling ending to this blog, but I'm tired now so...

Goodbye and drink good coffee,


Rebecca x
P.S. So glad to have finally have completed this post - it has taken me a long, long time. 
P.P.S. I like to listen to classical music whilst watching "University Challenge" to kid myself that I am well cultured and sophisticated. Here is some coffee related music:

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

ScatterrBrained-isms

Today, I wanted to write a post, but I had no idea what to base it on. I looked back at my prevous posts and realised just how many I have done now! I have a total of 40 posts now, and if you are a regular reader of my blog, you may have notices some common aspects of each of my posts.

Sign offs:

In every single post, I attempt to use a different sign off, just to make it a bit more interesting and switch it up. However, I somehow have managed to use "Ciao for now" a total of four times, and repeated some other ones various times too. Below, I have listed all the ones I have used, and also hyperlinked them to the post they were featured in, so go check them out! Underneath all the sign offs, for some I have also put alternative titles for each of the posts, so if you think you a true ScatterrBrained fan, try and work out which post each of the alternative titles are.
  1. Onwards and Upwards! 
    1. The naked running man
  2. Toodle-loo! 
    1. What I would do if I had boy parts.
  3. So long! 
    1.  Pretty dresses
  4. Tah-tah for now,
    1. Wiggly lips
  5. Sayonara.
  6. Toodle-loo
  7. Night night, 
    1. Check out my cock.
  8. Ciao for now
  9. Signing off!
    1.  How to wack someone with a rubber chicken
  10. See you tomorrow, 
    1. Origami Elephant
  11. Hasta la vista, 
    1. Umad?
  12. Unhello 
    1. Explosive tastes in your mouth
  13. Adieu 
    1. *Click at your own peril*
  14. Farewell!
    1. I love gingers
  15. Buh-bye! 
    1. The best boots ever
  16. Tah-tah for now. 
    1. Some of the coolest people I know
  17. Cheerio!
  18. Good bye, 
    1. Scaredy cat girls
  19. Good speed,  
    1. Fish-feeding device
    1.  I think it's time to retire Madonna
  20. Cool tings
  21. Yours, 
    1. I crave
  22. Ciao for now,
  23. Ciao for now,
  24. Toodle pip, 
    1. Buckley, Lykke Li and tattoos
  25. Peace, 
    1. Blue hair
  26. 再 见  
    1. How to have cool hair
  27. “F”anks for reading! 
    1. Brap! Brap! 
  28. Thanks for your support! 
  29. Have fun with life then,
  30. See you later, alligator, 
    1. Think you know me? Albert Feleinstein Returns  
  31. So I guess I’ll see you there! 
    1. The best club in the world
  32. Keep calm and have good hair, 
    1. A hairy situation
  33. Tally-ho pumpkins, 
    1. Albert Feleinstein's debut
  34. Ciao for now!
  35. Cool. Speak to you guys tomorrow. 
    1. Hit me with your rhythm stick
  36. See you tomorrow, 
    1. Pretty girls and some others
  37. Cheers big ears, 
    1. Food, glorious food 
  38. See you suckers. 
    1.  Brainz
  39. Lots of virtual love, 
    1. ZOMG lyk ma 1st post eva!
Postscript: 
In almost every post, I also have a P.S of some sort.

~BONUS NUGGET OF KNOWLEDGE~
Did you know that postscript is writing added after the main body of a letter (or other body of writing). The term comes from the Latin post scriptum, an expression meaning "written after".
Sometimes, when additional points are made after the first postscript, abbreviations such as PPS (post-post-scriptum, or postquam-post-scriptum) and PPPS (post-post-post-scriptum, and so on, ad infinitum) are used, though only PPS has somewhat common usage - but not on this blog muahaha!
So that's all for today,

Pip, pip!


Rebecca x

P.S. I know this is a slightly pointless post, so here is a awesome video of Jamie Woon.
P.P.S. And here is possibly one of my favourite songs ever.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Arkwright Scholarship Failure and GCSEs

Recently, I have been feeling quite down about life and just where I am heading towards. I have been a slight emotional wreck the past few days, and since haven't done a really personal post in quite a while, so I thought might as well write one now. Please note that this post is not to evoke sympathy for myself, and I also know that this post is probably going to be completely meaningless and boring for an outsider to read (and probably include many lexicon and syntax errors as my brain works faster than my fingers!) , but it is quite therapeutic to just let your thoughts spontaneously flow and just get out all of your emotions by filling up a blank word with absolutely everything that is bothering you, rather than let them manifest in the human psyche and let them affect what is truly important at the moment.

GCSE Results

I am sure that most of you are aware of the fact that yesterday, the nation's 14-18 year olds have received their results from the January unit exams. As for myself, I got back the results from my 3 science units: biology unit 2, physics unit 2, and chemistry unit 2 and I suppose I did alright. I know I may annoy many by me saying this, but I am not jumping off the roof top in ecstasy, proclaiming it to the world for a variety of reasons.
  •  Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, so to one person a B may be absolutely fantastic, but to others, it may equate to failure. So long as you have done your personal best, it shouldn't matter what your friends around have achieved as we are all individuals. 
Don't compare yourself to others! 
  • These are my best subjects, so for myself, this is what I honestly had expected, as I had done lots of past papers and managed to achieve similar results. I personally feel like science exams are not challenging to any degree, simply because I revise from the specification points. Every exam board publishes this to the public, so if you learn every single point on this list, you have covered absolutely everything that could ever come up. Don't believe me? Well, the exam boards HAVE TO to produce exam papers that comply to their specifications and they are checked vigorously many times to make sure that they meet the guidelines. There are also various independent groups (such as Ofqual) that are paid to do tediously monotonous jobs to ensure that regulations are met. Some may argue that the B2 exam this year did stray away from the syllabus, and I do agree to  certain extent. There was a question on protein synthesis, which is not expected to be known in extent at this level, but many people became got really stuck on it, when in fact I think that, yes, it was a poorly worded question, but I reckon that too many people were overcomplicating it. With the sciences, there is always either a right or wrong answer and is purely factual, unlike languages and arts which is more opinion based. This means that if you can memorise the entire specification back to front, you will technically be able to answer every question possible. Obviously, this is easier said than done and exam technique is a huge contributing factor in exams, but I feel like this is something I managed to succeed with this for unit 2, thus ended up with some good results. 
Don't rely on revision guides!
Arkwright Scholarship 

So yes, yesterday was going pretty well until I found out the news that I have not made it through to the next stage of the application process - i.e. the interviews. Here is a diagram outlining my roller coaster of emotions regarding it. I made it an actual roller coaster/graph thingy as I am a nerd.

a) This is was the time between doing the aptitude paper and finding out the results, with the tension building.
b) Here is when I found out the I hadn't gotten a place - pretty much a downwards drop.
c) Due to the shock of finding out I was not successful, I went into this weird hysterical mood where I was in denial and thinking, "Wait, was I just dreaming that I didn't get it?" and "Perhaps they accidentally wrote down the wrong names?!".
d) This is when I was I was an emotional wreck: one minute I was feeling alright, next I would burst into tears. Darn emotions/hormones.
e) This is the stage that I am at: I have accepted that I have not got through, and have now moved on.

As you can probably tell, I am pretty annoyed about it for a variety of reasons:
    • Why, why why?: 
      •  I am extremely gutted, not because of the fact that I didn't get a place, but instead because I cannot imagine how I would've improved my application, or what I would've done better next time if I hypothetically could. I have pretty much flawless grades and I spent so much time making sure each section was filled to the brim with extra-curricular activities, volunteering and achievements (this is why I waste so much time in my life doing all this extra shizz.). As for the exam, I personally didn't feel like I did too badly regarding the designs, but of course, I don't not know how the entire cohort of the country did. 
    • Statistics:  
      • This may sound really bitter and like I can't take a loss with stride, but I completely perplexed as to why some people who on paper had a far weaker applications and designs than me got an interview, when I didn't. I sound really bitchy, but even my DT teacher said to me that I had the strongest application. However, then again, past statistics were going against me as :
        • 28% of scholarships goes to private school students, when they in fact only educate 7% of students in the UK. I go to a state school myself.
        • Only 20% of scholarships go to girls. I don't know about you, but I think these statistics are absolutely shocking even if it is a more "male-orientated" industry. They are attempting to encourage more women to work in these industries, but how are they going to achieve this if even from this early stage, there are clear inequalities. However, I do realised that I suppose I can't blame them for my failure - only myself.
    • No Feedback?: 
      • On the rejection letter,  they state that "With so many applications to assess, we are unable to provide specific feedback on any individual application". That I do understand, they have 1106 applications, so obviously cannot write back with a report about what they did wrong, but surely they could have at least given us a number out of 50, showing how we scored on the aptitude test. This couldn't have been that much of a hassle, and I would've felt like it would have made things so much clear as whether it was my application or my exam that let me down. However, OBVIOUSLY, they have so little time, that they can't even do that, if they can't even spell my name correctly...
    •  Excuse Me?!:
      • ...On my rejection letter, they also stated that my names was "Rebacca" not Rebecca. I do not understand how they could make such an idiotic mistake, I mean, it's hardly a hard name to spell and it could not have because they mis-read my hand writing as I wrote it on Microsoft Word. I am not a type of tobacco, nor am I a character from Star Wars!!! 

You may think I am a sore loser, but I suppose I am - I don't respond well to failure, especially when I have no idea why I did fail. I suppose the lesson I have learnt from this traumatic episode is that you cannot rely on anyone else for the future; if you want something to happen, you have to grasp it with your our hands and make it happen yourself. For example, in this case, the outcome of this scholarship was very much dependent on that one horrible marker. Yes, I am still distraught that this will not be something that I can add onto my CV in a few years time, but I feel like I now have a sudden epiphany - there is no point in trying to depend on these little things, and simply waiting for these opportunities to arise - and I am so grateful that I have had it at this stage, rather than have a nervous breakdown down  You should try to make them occur yourself, and let nothing be in the way of your goals or control the outcome. YES I am a control freak, but I'm proud of it.

I hope this is the last rendezvous I have with Arkwright, but time to say sayonara, move on and do something way better with my life. I hope that one day, I can look back at this moment of my life, and laugh about how worked up I got about not getting the scholarship as I am the CEO of a huge multi-million company, or future world leader. Muahaha.

~RANDOM BONUS NUGGET OF KNOWLEDGE~ 
(Because I feel like it, even though it has nothing to do with this post- sort of physics related?) 

Eureka!  
Did you know that the intejection usually associated with celebrating discovery is derived from the Ancient Greek "εὕρηκα heúrēka" meaning "I have found (it)"? This exclamation is most famously attributed to the ancient Greek scholar Archimedes. He reportedly proclaimed "Eureka!" when he stepped into a bath and noticed that the water level rose—he suddenly understood that the volume of water displaced must be equal to the volume of the part of his body he had submerged. This relation is known as Archimedes' principle and he was so eager to share his discovery, that jumped out his bath and streaked through the streets of Syrucuse naked.
Onwards and Upwards!


Rebecca x
P.S. As you can probably tell, my academics do mean an awful lot to me, and I am extremely self-motivated to do well in life, hence why I can write so much about it, but I apologise if this has been boring.
P.S.S I know I have said that I was going to finish my Chronicle of Ombre hair series, but I thought it would be way more meaningful and easier to understand if I actually recorded/ photographed the process of me dying my hair, instead of just describing it, so I'm going to postpone that until I dye my hair again. Truly sorry to anyone who wanted to see that!
P.P.P.S I love being in my weird essay writing mood. 
P.P.P.P.S If you have managed to read to the end of this waffly post, I commend you! You're a cool bean.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

What I would do if I was a guy with boy parts

This is the eagerly anticipated response to my post on Sunday asking you guys for some random questions for me to answer. Surprisingly, I managed to have 3 questions asked, which is 3 more than I expected therefore I am very happy! Thank you to all my regular readers - you know who you are! You're awesome.

Question 1:
 Hello there Andy! And that is a good question - I have put alot of thought into this and there would probably be so many things that I would do if I was a boy. You hear alot of talk about gender equality but to be honest, having an XY chromosome makes a huge difference to if you have an XX chromosome, simply because we biologically built differently, so it would be stupid if we were all treated 100% the same.

All of that aside, the first thing I would do if I miraculously turned into a guy, I would put my hands down my pants. BEFORE you all judge me for being crude and disgusting, this is not to do what I can imagine what you are thinking that I would do!
Yes it's the return of Dwayne, the common chav. Fo'shizzle. Check him out in my previous post!
Many of my male friends have told me on various occasions that it is quite warm down there, hence why they always seem to have their hands down their pants, NOT doing what may be commonly assumed. I'm not too sure if I 100% believe this, so if I had the opportunity, I would like to experiment and see for myself!

Question 2:
 Hi "Anonymous" commenter! How are you today? Now, this is a tricky question, but if I had to pick someone in the whole world it would obviously be...

...FIONA, Princess Fiona from Shrek!
I worship thee.
Honestly, she is just such an inspirational fictional character, with such a big heart! She gives up her delicate, feminine beauty to become a grotesque green ogre for all eternity, simply because she is in love with one herself, and willing to make that selfless sacrifice. Also she is an expert in hand-to-hand combat with knowledge of Japanese martial arts, so she could also woop your arse. All in all, I think she is such a positive role model for everyone out there, and I love her so much. To show my dedication towards her, I am even forcing my Glee Club to sing a Shrek medley to celebrate her sheer godly-ness.

Question 3: 
 Yo MP! Oooh, good question, and to be honest, I don't think I have a straight answer. If you think back to what civilisation was like back in 1012, it is so completely different to what it was like now, so I cannot even imagine what it would be like in 3012. I doubt what happened in Wall.E would ever happen in reality, although I can imagine natural disasters exacerbated by global warming causing severe devastation to the planet - perhaps even a supervolcanic eruption? And as for Star Wars? I'm going to embarrass myself and say that I have never watched it before, but if we all end up with light-sabres, that would be cool. One of my favourite TV shows - Futurama - is set in the 3000s, and if the world ends up anything like it did in the television series, I would be happy.
Toodle-loo!


Rebecca x
P.S. I might make this a monthly feature on my blog, so if you want me to answer anymore questions, post them below in the comments section, and I'll most probably feature them in a future post. :)

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Prom dresses and such

Even though prom is less than 5 months away, the hype for it is already quickly escalating and is becoming the main topic of much discussion (and arguments!) in our year group. 
Naturally, the girls have all pretty much already started planning their outfits, to the extend of many already ordering dresses. We have a Facebook group regarding Prom, where girls are all posting their dresses to prevent anyone awkwardly showing up wearing the same dress as another girl - we hope. Being a girl and quite fashion-conscious, I have also put in some thought into what I am going to wear, although I am no where near making a decision, but I hope I will be by the end of this post!

The Guidelines:
  1. I am not spending over £50 for my entire outfit.
    1. This is mainly because the prom is only 4 hours long anyway, and I am not wasting £50 on something that I am seldom going to wear. I know some girls are planning on spending over the £100, with tailor made dresses and other luxuries. I, on the other hand, aim to spend as little as possible, and try to wear as many that I already own. However, I do realise that could easily spiral out of control, as there are literally so many little things that you need to buy such as the dress, heels, clutch, jewellery and of course, a strapless bra if you got a strapless dress. 
  2. I am not buying it on line. 
    1. This is mainly because you don't know the quality of what you are buying, nor the fit. Also, alot of the time, the colour of dresses can appear completely different to what you anticipate, due to every computer screen's colour balance is slightly different. I know you can send it back and get a refund, but I personally think that is too much faff. 
Here comes a brain storm of all my ideas for prom. 
 Inspirations: 
Random Internet finds
From left to right:
  1. Olivia from Lust for Life: She is looking hot in this image - I like the flowing white chiffon, plus it's almost Grecian style to it. 
  2. Not too sure where this imagine is from, but it's so amazingly poofy. It's not something that I would particularly where, but I just thought it looked cool.
  3. Dollskill dress: This is not a prom dress by any means, but I love the rainbow pattern to it, since every one's dresses that they seem to be posting are all plain/ one coloured
  4. Tutu/bustle fro eBay : Okay, this may be a bit too out there for conservation Buckinghamshire, but I have this crazy idea in my head of wearing this tutu thing over a simple black dress.
Fictional Inspirations
  1. Alice, from Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland": I absolutely loved the visuals for this movie and Alice's ruffley costumes.
  2. Moriticia Addams, from "The Addams Family": Wearing something long, dark and slinky would be awesome. I've always loved the Addams family. 
Ideas:
Dresses from T.K.Maxx.


I know that it may seem a bit rubbish, but T.K.Maxx has some awesome dresses. Below are some of the ones I have picked out as being extra nice, but of course, stock is completely different in each store due to the nature of the shop, so I really do think it's worth checking out, since the prices are so reasonable.

~BONUS NUGGET OF KNOWLEDGE~ 
Did you know that T.K.Maxx's American parent company decided to adopt the name T.K.Maxx, instead of T.J.Maxx as it is commonly know in the States, to avoid confusion with the already existing chain - T.J. Hughes?

Left to right: Debenhams, ASOS, Christopher Kane, ASOS, Dolls Kill, Miss Selfridge
Here are some dresses that I would genuinely wear to prom if I had an no budget limit - the pink foil Christopher Kane dress would be up in the thousands! Apart from that one though, the rest are from the high street, and aren't too badly priced compared to others on the internet. I do realise that they are all quite casual, but I think if I got a bridesmaid-esque dress, it just wouldn't be my style.

The Decision...
From this blog post I want...
Length:
  • A maxi dress
  • A midi dress
  • A short dress
  • An assymetrical waterfall hem dress
Fit: 
  • Something long and slinky
  • A strapless dress
  • A poofy dress
Fabric: 
  • Something with lots of layers of floaty/sheer chiffon
  • Something made of leather
  • Something made of velvet
  • Something shiny or metallic
  • Something made of lace
  • Something rainbow coloured or crazily patterned
In other words - I have decided on NOTHING!  
Looks like I'm going to need to do plenty of shopping, as I could find a dress that fits none of the above criterion, by may look lovely on. Yay! Another opportunity to go to Camden. 

So long!

Rebecca x
P.S. I was going to write my Question and Answer post today from my last blog post (it's not too late to post some more questions for me, go on!), but I have had a request from some of my friends saying that they want to see this post (that's you OW ;)), so voila.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

To the left, then to the right

Handband - Topshop, Shirt - Vintage, T-shirt - Primark
I now realise why there  are so many GIFs on tumblr, it's because they are honestly so fun to make! Here's one I made quickly on my phone - I was originally taking pictures just to show off my hair as I thought it looked cool, but then I decided to put on the negative setting. It kind of makes me look like some kind of freaky albino lady - I like it. I'm not too sure what exactly I am doing with my lips, but I thought it looked funny so hey, why not!? Try doing what I am doing in the picture, in time with the picture, with your own lips. Go on, try it, it's quite fun.

Anyway, I do acknowledge that this is a rather pointless post -they really have done downhill recently. I just haven't been that inspired by anything, apart from clothes, but I know not everyone is that interested those kinds of post. My life has be dreary and uneventful at the moment, so I don't have anything exciting to blog about. All I seem to do is waste time on my laptop, doing nothing productive when I have mounds of homework that require completing - exactly what I am doing at the moment. This is were I would like some help from you...

I've decided that I'm doing to do a questions and answers post, where you can ask me any sort of question you like, below this post in the comments section, and I will hopefully compile them together into one post next week. You can send them in anonymously too if you wish, so I suppose in that aspect, it'll be like Formspring, but on Blogger, so get asking! The more risque and thought-provoking the better! I bet this is going to be a flop and I am going to look thoroughly loser-ish if no one comments with anything, but oh well.

Tah-tah for now,

Rebecca x

Christopher Kane is a Genius

I must admit, I know very little about runways/ catwalks/designers/ textiles etc. However, as I was researching into Christopher Kane for an up and coming blog post, I came across all his designs and oh my, they are so wondrous. Regardless of the fact that he is the only designer that I have looked into, but I have decided from this point forward that he is my favourite designer!

The vast majority of his clothes are surprisingly wearable, and it's quite fascinating as many of his designs have then been replicated on the high street and can be seen on various street style blogs as trends. They all seem to have one major theme running through each design, supplemented and supported by a minor theme too. He seems to focus mostly more on the actual fabric and/or pattern of the garment and embellishments, rather than the actual structure and silhouette of the piece. I also really like all the shoes in outfits too, especially the wedges in the PC 10. Basically, they are amazing and really inspiring.

Below are some of my favourites from some of his collections. I haven't included every collection, but these are my favourites. I've spent the last 2 hours print screening then cropping each of the outfits and lastly complied them together in a row, so I hope you enjoy them!
Pre Collection SS 12 - Rainbows and Foil
Spring Summer 09 - Scallops and Gorillas

Pre Collection 10 - Nuke Clouds
Autumn Winter 10 - Leather and Embroidery
Pre Collection Spring Summer 11 - Cosmic Nebulae (!!!!!)
Autumn Winter 07 - Leather and Velvet (my favourite collection hence why there are so many images)

My favourites from all the collections
Words cannot describe the epicness of all these images

Sayonara.


Rebecca x
P.S. Yes, I have been a crap blogger - I apologise.
P.P.S Yes, I know I said I was going to start another blog for these kind of posts, but then I realised, if I can't even blog regularly on one blog, what's the point of having two if I won't be able to update regularly?!
P.P.P.S I am going to attempt to write two posts tomorrow. Yes a tall order, but I have been lacking recently!
P.P.P.P.S Okay it's turned 0.00am, so I think I'm going to end up posting 3 posts today!
P. P.P.P.P.S. Must curb my use of exclamation marks - they lose their effectiveness if you scatter them everywhere.
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