My Top 10 Films of 2014

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love a Friday night in, watching a good film. Topped with a friend and some chocolate, and the best part is, I can wear my pyjamas whilst doing so! So I get a bit excited whenever I see a good film because I feel that the world needs to know how good it is, so we can talk/cry/laugh/debate about it and we can later on watch it over and over again! So, these are my Top 10 favourite films from 2014 (note – they definitely weren’t all made in 2014, I love discovering good old movies too).

Interstellar - from https://cdn0.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/hOJ7McacTpu0RzTlhG1SszXoI10=/assets.sbnation.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/2396034/interstellar_holy_shit_shot.0.png
Interstellar – from https://cdn0.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/hOJ7McacTpu0RzTlhG1SszXoI10=/assets.sbnation.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/2396034/interstellar_holy_shit_shot.0.png

1. Interstellar – A movie that will leave you questioning everything we know about life. It leaves you in awe of our Earth and inspired to look after our fragile planet. For hours afterwards, I had conversations with my boyfriend about love, life, destruction, society, time, space and the never ending question of the meaning of life. It is a thought provoking film that is truly spectacular.

2. Trainspotting – I first watched this Scottish film with my friends at college. I love anything Scottish and therefore instantly loved it. It also has Ewan McGregor in it, so I was pretty much sold on the film before I even knew what it was about. It’s a dark, grim, realistic view of the world and the effects of drugs on individuals, relationships and the mind (something I’ve always found fascinating). It left me pondering the possibilities of the mind and the strength we have yet fail to use as humans.

3. Before Sunrise – After a strong recommendation from my friend with a PhD in film, I had to check it out. I related to this film so much! This movie envisioned so many of my experiences whilst travelling… I laughed, cried and was so inspired by the beauty of taking a chance, meeting new people and finding adventure.

4. In to the wild – Based on a true story, this movie made me question society and our purpose on this earth. The stunning scenery and sense of adventure and drive is truly breathtaking.

5. Midnight in Paris – If you haven’t made it to this beautiful city yet, the first five minutes of this movie will give you a beautiful, lively and detailed introduction to Paris. The idea of going back in time to the 1920’s is incredible as I’ve always had an unhealthy obsession with the roaring twenties. Featuring iconic artists from throughout time with the romantic backdrop of Paris, it just makes me want to go back and explore the streets at midnight.

6. In Bruges – Very unexpectedly dark, hilarious and filled with action. Featuring two Irish assassins in the wonderful (but extremely boring) Belgian city of Bruges.

7. Her – I love the futuristic (yet scarily present) theme of this film. It got me thinking about love, what is it, who we can love, how we can love… Definitely got me thinking a lot! And it’s got the voice of Scarlette Johanson, what’s not to love?

8. Sex and the City – not just the movies, but EVERYTHING Carrie Bradshaw! So there’s two movies, but the TV series are AMAZING! After watching them all, laughing, crying and filling my heart with love. It’s awkward, funny, secretly or not so secretly relatable and all four women represent a tiny part of us, leaving you feeling strong, confident and sexy.

9. La Vita e Bella – A beautiful Italian movie about the holocaust. The title, Life is beautiful, says it all about the movie, it’s simple yet beautiful. Warning, you may want to purchase a whole box of tissues prior to watching it.

10. How to train a dragon- Is this not the best kids movie ever?! I love it! The animations are awesome, the characters are brilliant and they have Scottish accents! The only sad thing about this movie is that you wish that you had a pet dragon!

Let me know if there’s any movies I have to see in the comments below!

x A

UOW Skydiving Club – Tandem Event 4

The UOW Skydiving Club held their 4th tandem event yesterday (19th November 2014) at Sydney Skydivers Picton dropzone. There were 7 nervous yet eager students from across the globe, ready to face their fears, conquer new heights and experience the rush of free falling. We left Northfields Avenue at the University of Wollongong at 10am and arrived at the dropzone by 10:30. Luckily, there weren’t many other people at the dropzone so things moved very quickly and efficiently. After filling out all required documentation, the group was suiting up, getting their photos taken and jumping on the plane.

The group and their instructors about to jump on the plane
The group and their instructors about to jump on the plane

Charles (the president of the UOW Skydiving Club) and I prepared the complimentary BBQ whilst staring up at the sky in search of our group. Soon enough, brightly coloured parachutes were popping through the clouds. Their smiles reached from ear to ear! Two students even went again straight afterwards! Talk about an adrenaline rush!

Coming in to land! The clouds were a perfect backdrop!
Coming in to land! The clouds were a perfect backdrop!

We returned to the University of Wollongong at approximately 1:30pm, but I think the silence coming from the back of the bus said that these courageous students had had enough excitement for one day!

If you’d like to find out more about the UOW Sydiving Club, check out their Facebook page here. 

Some students after they landed!
Some students after they landed!

The Liebster Award: Nominated!

A Worldly Addiction: Nominated!
A Worldly Addiction: Nominated!

Leibster Award? What is a Leibster Award?! That is exactly what I asked myself when I was nominated. After some research, I discovered that LEIBSTER is German for ‘beloved.’ It’s a way for bloggers (professional or amateur like myself) to discover new blogs, get involved in the blogging community and be discovered by more people. How sweet! So you can imagine my surprise and excitement when I was nominated by Danika Maia- http://danikamaia.com/. Thank you so much Danika and I hope you enjoy this post as much as I enjoyed writing it! If you wish to know more about me, check out my post here! 

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Danika has asked me these wonderful questions;

1. Why did you decide to start a blog?

I started blogging last year about my travel and daily adventures of living in London. It was a new and exciting way for me to write regularly and also keep my friends and family up to date with my life. When I started university this year, some of my Communications and Media subjects required blogging as part of the course. I learnt simple things about blogging and really loved the unique experience. I then decided to make this blog mine, incorporating my studies, thoughts, travels, adventures and a little bit about myself into my blog. My goal is to be a writer/journalist and I figured blogging is a good way to start that off!

2. Where did you have your first kiss?

A lady never kisses and tells 😉

3. How many languages can you speak?

Je parle un petit peu français. I’m currently studying French and planning on going on exchange to a French speaking country to further my language skills.

4. What’s your favourite app?

To be honest, I don’t use that many apps because my phone is filled with music! However I do love Instagram! Oh and I also recently downloaded Minesweeper, remember the really old default game on PC’s? Yea, that’s occupied a lot of my time!

5. If your life was a movie who do you think would play the main characters?

I have an unhealthy obsession with Johnny Depp so he’d have to be in there somewhere (swoon). My brother would have to be played by the actor who plays Luke Dunphy from Modern Family. My sister, maybe Anne Hathaway because she has perfect teeth and is stunning. I don’t know if anyone else could play my parents, I’m sure that’d be a very demanding role. I think they’re the only ones who can pull of parenting me. And I think I’d like to have Emma Stone around for some laughs, Eddie Redmayne for some eye candy and Emma Watson for some motivation to change the world!

6. What do you want to accomplish with your blog?

I really admire World of Wanderlust and have been taking her tips for some time now. My ultimate dream would be to travel and live around the world, writing about my experiences and inspiring people to fulfil their dreams.

7. Are you in a relationship?

Like I said I don’t kiss and tell, however there is a very special and handsome French man in my life

8. What is your favourite thing to eat after a night out?

KEBABS!

9. What’s your favourite cocktail?

Strawberry Daiquiri! Anything that has pretty fruit on top of it!

10. How many countries have you visited and what’s the next one you need to see?

I’ve been everywhere man! (not really) But one day I want to say it and mean it! Here’s a list of the 16 countries I’ve been to. My favourites would have to be Scotland, Iceland and France!

***

Alright, so here’s the rules for the Leibster Award!

1. thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog.

2. display the award on your blog.

3. answer as many questions about yourself, which will be provided to you by the person who nominated you.

4. nominate 10 blogs that you feel deserve the award.

6. create a new list of questions for the blogger to answer.

7. list these rules in your post.

8. Inform the people/blogs that you nominated them.

***

So here’s my top 10 favourite blogs at the moment! And on a personal note… thank you for inspiring me each in your own lovely way x

1. Travel Chick Diaries – http://travelchickdiaries.com/

2. Dating Dilema- http://datingdilemma1.com/

3. Everyday Adventures – http://everydayadventures365.com/

4. Have You Heard the Latest – http://haveyouheardthelatest.com/

5. The Bella Travelista – http://thebellatravelista.com/

6. Hannah Gale – http://hannahgale.co.uk/

7. Erik Conover – http://erikconover.com/

8. Ali Does it Herself – http://alidoesit.wordpress.com/

9. Lady Lauren Hutch – http://ladylaurenhutch.wordpress.com/

10. World of Wanderlust – http://www.worldofwanderlust.com/ (A BIG inspiration of mine)

11. (I know you’re only supposed to do 10 but who ever follows the rules) Nat’s Nutritious Delicious- http://www.natsnutritiousdelicious.com/

***

If you accept and follow the rules, here are my questions to you!

1. Rock of Pop music? Favourite musician?

2. Favourite place you’ve ever been?

3. Coffee or Tea?

4. If you could have any animal as a pet, what would you want?

5. Why do you blog?

6. If you had one wish, what would it be? (you can’t wish for more wishes)

7. If you could have dinner with one famous person, who would it be?

8. What are you addicted to?

9. Chocolate cake or ice cream cake?

10. If you could become fluent in a language, what would it be?

***

I hope you accept my nomination and enjoy this post as much as I did whilst writing it!

Peace and Love to everyone

xxx

A

A WORLDLY ADDICTION

Climate Change and Media Reporting: Where fairness, isn’t fair at all

‘One issues that will define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other, and that is the urgent and growing threat of a changing climate’ – delivered by President Barack Obama at the 2014 Climate Summit where the Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, failed to attend. 

Climate Change not only affects Polar Bears, but us too. http://socialjournalism.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/climateChange.jpg
Climate Change not only affects Polar Bears, but us too.
http://socialjournalism.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/climateChange.jpg

Climate Change is an phenomenon which effects all of us here on Earth. We all know that the seas are rising, ice sheets are melting and glaciers are retreating. Climate Change is an issue that is bigger than one person or one country and therefore can be difficult to understand and tackle (Dreher, 2014). A problem affecting our ideas and knowledge about climate change and the facts behind it is the media, specifically the role of journalists. Without media coverage of these issues, the majority of the world would not not it was occurring. According to the US-based Society of Professional Journalism (SJP), Ward outlines that journalists ‘should be honest, fair and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information’ (Ward, 2009). The general public put a lot of trust and faith in journalists that they are abiding by these outlines, however, being ‘fair’ doesn’t always mean being fair towards the issue.

The video above illustrates the concept of ‘false balance’ in order to appear ‘fair.’ Dreher describes false balance as ‘equal space, time, weighting to views who are skeptical,’ where their views are amplified and thus appear legitimate to audiences. The end of this video demonstrates the reality of the number of scientists who believe and acknowledge climate change- 99% vs. 1 skeptic. If the media was reporting these numbers, perhaps more of the general public would acknowledge the effects of climate change and be more inspired to act and take responsibility. In this case, is it ok that journalists dismiss the outline to be ‘fair’ and instead, be fair towards the issue they’re reporting on? I believe it is justified.

Perhaps we as the audience could consider the value that blogs offer to our knowledge of an issue. Whilst there is debate about the credibility of bloggers, it doesn’t detract from some blogs excelling in their field of expertise. Top Climate Change Blogs like Real Climate are written by climate scientists and their information is backed by scientific research. Blogs provide a platform for scientists to express their knowledge, research and opinions, and maybe more and more scientists will take to blogging because news sources won’t publish or will mislead their voices and information.

Real Climate Blog http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/data-sources/
Real Climate Blog
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/data-sources/
Where Real Climate get their information/data from http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/data-sources/
Where Real Climate get their information/data from
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/data-sources/
They reference weather stations, independent research, models and centres with experience and expert knowledge. http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/data-sources/
They reference weather stations, independent research, models and centres with experience and expert knowledge.
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/data-sources/

The media is in a state of changing and the value of publishing online is becoming more and more prominent and respected. With climate change being an immediate and detrimental threat to our earth, it is crucial that we hear the truth about these issues and are not mislead by journalists or news companies, so that we can begin to act. I believe the debate about whether or not climate change is occurring should be well and truly over. Instead, we should be debating what and how we can combat it, so that future generations can enjoy the beauty our world has to offer.

References

Dreher, T 2014, BCM111 ‘Global Crises, Global News: Pacific Calling Partnership’, lecture notes, accessed 08/10/2014, University of Wollongong.

Romm, J 2007,  Climate Change Progress,Top 10 Climate Change Blogs’,  accessed 12 October 2014, http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2007/08/28/201810/top-ten-climate-change-blogs/

Ward, B 2009, Ethics and Environmental Politics ‘Journalism ethics and climate change reporting in a period of intense media uncertainty, Vol. 9: 13-15

Is this really news?

We see it in newspapers, magazines, Facebook, Twitter… News. It’s everywhere. According to the free dictionary, news is defined as, Information about noteworthy recent events or happenings, especially as reported by newspapers, periodicals, radio, or television’ (the free dictionary). Whilst this definition is widely accepted, there are flaws which should be addressed. News is not justified purely by the media, because the media have the ability to skew perspectives, filter information and have biased (especially towards politics). What is important to the media is not necessarily important to us. Secondly, what defines what the general public should and shouldn’t know? This can also be skewed by biased and personal views from the reporter or company which can heavily influence the audiences view. It also fails to recognise the importance of social media in the role of delivering news. News and it’s definition is constantly changing and the following video explains the difficulty in defining and with news. 

This video taken from HBO’s the Newsroom, identifies the change from NEEDING to know information to WANTING to know such as celebrity idolisation. For example, Facebook and news companies like the Sydney Morning Herald ‘reported’ on Kim Kardashian being tackled at Paris Fashion Week. Is this a type of ‘pseudo event?’ Sukhmani Khorana explains that this is where there is no visible news but audiences still expect news to be full (Khorana, 2014). I argue that it is. Whilst the video stresses how Kim Kardashian could’ve been harmed, it’s really just a practical joke.

News has different values which contribute to its newsworthiness.

  • Proximity
  • Relevance
  • Rarity or Continuity
  • Elite References
  • Negativity
  • Composition
  • Personalisation

The Kim Kardashian story plays on Elite References, Negativity and Composition yet hardly makes it newsworthy. It is obvious that this story is satisfying the audiences want and desire to relate and live the life on the one and only Kim Kardashian.

Whilst this story was being run, there are more important events unfolding in the world which can be lost in the pages of a newspaper or newsfeed. At the end of September, a young Al-Jazeera journalist, Abdullah Elshamy, was released from a prison in Egypt for apparently broadcasting false news of Egypt. A problem with these kinds of stories is the lack of follow ups, ‘it’s important that journalists who are serious about covering (stories), need to follow up, they can’t just cover the big moments. It’s important not to take a snapshot but to take a long video of what’s going on’ (Lee-Wright, pp. 1, 2012). Whilst this story did make the news, there are no follow up stories of Mr. Elshamy and his bid to fight for press freedom, where I’m sure we’ll continue to hear from the adventures of the Kardashians.

I believe it is important to question news and its newsworthiness. Also to look elsewhere from our morning paper or Facebook newsfeed and to actively engage in consuming the news to ensure we are finding out about events around the world that don’t necessarily involve Kim Kardashian.

References

Khorana, S. 2014, BCM111, ‘Who Counts in Global Media News Values’, lecture notes, accessed 24/09/2014, University of Wollongong.

Lee-Wright, P 2012, ‘News Values: An Assessment of News Priorities Through a Comparative Analysis of Arab Spring Anniversary Coverage’, JOMEC Journal, University of London

Loveluck, L 2014, The Telegraph, ‘Abdullah Elshamy: ‘Freedom can’t be comprimised’, accessed 03/10/14, http://Http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/egypt/11119275/Abdullah-Elshamy-Freedom-cant-be-compromised.html

The Sydney Morning Herald, 2014, The Sydney Morning Herald, ‘Kim Kardashian tackled by Ukranian prankster at Paris Fashion Week’, accessed 02/10/2014, http://Http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/celebrity/kim-kardashian-tackled-by-ukranian-prankster-at-paris-fashion-week-20140926-10masb.html

Skydiving Event 3 – My Experience

The worst thing about skydiving is coming down from an adrenaline high. And once you’ve completely crashed and falling asleep in the car on the way back home, you remember the thrill of falling from a plane and plummeting to the earth, and you get the urge to do it again.

However, that’s the only downside. The best part of it is easily when your legs are dangling outside the plane and you realize it’s too late to go back. That moment where your Dad screaming in the background fades away and everything else in the world disappears. You rock back and forth and then you’re falling through the air with the world screaming up at you.

That! That moment is where time stops. And it’s that moment which is the absolute high of skydiving.

The UOW Skydiving Club had our 3rd Tandem event today (1st October) and 11 people attended (including myself and my Dad). Strong winds caused long delays however we had our delicious BBQ and lazed around in the sun.

Today was a special event for me. I was supposed to go skydiving for my 17th birthday, however I ended up using that money towards my Euro-trip. Also, my Dad was meant to go skydiving 20 years ago for his 30th… so I can say this event was long overdue for both of us.

When the wind had finally settled down and we were called up…we (as Barney Stinson would say) suited up! And I can say that I don’t think skydiving jumpsuits were designed for attractiveness or hips. I now have a whole new appreciation for how ABBA pulled off their costumes.

Then I was partnered up with a jumper, strapped up in my harness, took some photos and were off to the plane! As the plane took off and we started climbing, my heart started racing and I realized exactly what I was about to do!

Which brings us to here. Legs dangling from the airplane, the world literally at your feet and then free falling. I had such a great day with my family and friends and I am thankful for Sydney Skydivers and the awesome experience I have to be apart of the UOW Skydiving Club!

Dad, me and the pro, Charles after our jump!
Dad, me and the pro, Charles after our jump!

Blue Skies!

xxx

A

It’s Elementary Darling

The video above is not how we would traditionally view the epitome of intelligence in the London crime scene since 1887,  Sherlock Holmes. This is a fan made video with nearly 60 000 views and there are hundreds more scattering the internet. You only need to search as far as fanfiction.net to see just how much audiences love Sherlock Holmes. You might think… ‘why does the fan base matter?’ Well according to Laurie Penny, ‘the significance of fan fiction is that it often spins the kind of stories that showrunners wouldn’t think to tell, because fanficcers often come from a different demographic,’ (Penny, 2014). So from this perspective, the fans are just as important as the show itself.

Fan Fiction http://images4.fanpop.com/image/photos/23500000/Oh-John-sherlock-fanfiction-23533607-1000-714.jpg
Fan Fiction
http://images4.fanpop.com/image/photos/23500000/Oh-John-sherlock-fanfiction-23533607-1000-714.jpg

Recently there have been two versions of Sherlock Holmes, Sherlockthe British version and Elementary, the American version. The fan fiction revolves around the British version, Sherlock. But why does Sherlock have so many die-hard fans where Elementary does not? BBC writer Toby Finlay says ‘Sherlock Holmes is the closest thing we have to an authentic home-grown superhero’ and therefore fans, especially British fans feel a sense of pride towards the character of Sherlock. ‘He represents an idealised image of Victorian manhood, someone bound by a code of honour; a chivalrous, loyal adventurer – the intellectual knight errant, (Riddell, 2014). Sherlock Holmes has always been English, even Elementary (whilst set in New York) features a British Sherlock Holmes, and fans will never be able to remove that vital aspect of him from the character. The immense amount of fan fiction is proof that people strongly feel for the story and characters, therefore the incorporation of fan voices into the show epitomises the beautiful relationship Britain have with Sherlock Holmes.  ‘The Americans have Superman, Batman, the canon of comic book folklore. Our legendary British hero is Sherlock Holmes’ (Riddell, 2014).

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Elementary on the other hand is set in modern day Manhattan and has turned the traditional aspects of Sherlock upside down. With Watson being a woman (Lucy Liu) and featuring a muscular ‘bad ass’ Sherlock (Jonny Lee Miller) who sticks to American detective narratives as the ‘hard-boiled hero’ (BCM111 lecure, 2014). Elementary contains much more sexual desire and drug usage, something American audiences have always wanted. Whilst Elementary features plot twists to the original Sherlock stories, Elementary strongly resembles any other murder mystery show on television (like NCIS). Creator, Stephen Moffat describes Sherlock as ‘a love letter to Britain’ (BCM111 lecture, 2014)

Which one is better? The traditionally British Sherlock or the new aged Elementary? Will tradition prevail or will it make way to new and modern themes? Regardless of your preference the 19th Century hero Sherlock Holmes smoothly crosses cultural borders and is loved (and sometimes hated) by all.

The classic Sherlock Holmes http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-dbKZPgKjQFU/TuphO4xBcOI/AAAAAAAACC8/DrYk5W89Gc4/s1600/zz+Sherlock-Holmes-profile+silhoutte+007.jpg

 

References

Frew, C 2014, BCM111, ‘Sherlock and Elementary: Representing Englishness in Television Drama’,  accessed 17/09/14, University of Wollongong.

Penny, L 2014, New Statesman, ‘Laurie Penny on Sherlock: The adventure of the overzealous fanbase’, accessed 27/09/14, http://Http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/2014/01/sherlock-and-adventure-overzealous-fanbase

Riddell, F 2014, Times Higher Education, ‘Sherlock Holmes: a very British superhero’, accessed 10 October 2014, http://Http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/features/culture/sherlock-holmes-a-very-british-superhero/2010108.article

Feminism is not Fallacious

‘For the record, feminism, by definition, is the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. It is the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes.’ – Emma Watson

Miss Emma Watson with General Ban-Ki moon
Miss Emma Watson with General Ban-Ki moon

Recently, there has been a big hype around the dreaded or welcomed word – FEMINISM. Especially after actress, Emma Watson, delivered a powerful speech to the UN this week. Whilst people in the 21st Century might have mixed feelings towards the word, it is by no means a new word or concept. Feminism started in the 1800’s, and we have authors such as the brilliant Mary Shelley (and her activist mother) to push for equality. Yet fast forward 200 years and inequality – not just towards women – is still a prominent issue.

I will admit, like Emma herself, I too have been absolutely privileged to be born healthy, into a kind and loving family, in Australia, one of the safest countries in the world and attend primary and high school, and now be at university. I am incredibly grateful and appreciative of what I have been given and as Emma says, I feel a sort of responsibility to help those who don’t or won’t have access to these things.

For a long time now, I have believed in EQUALITY of all kinds. Yet one thing I didn’t understand was why Feminism, supporting gender equality, was such a taboo topic. As soon as you mention the word, people roll their eyes and groan, assuming you’re a lesbian who doesn’t shave her legs or armpits and hates men. And this is why I’m thankful that someone as beautiful, intelligent and powerful as Emma has set the record straight.

I agree that equality requires EVERYONE. Men, women, boys and girls, from all countries, religions, races and beliefs… everyone. And by uniting together, we can conquer more than gender inequality, but maybe even hunger, access to clean water, deforestation, domestic violence… the opportunities are endless. On one condition… we unite together for a better world.

I feel that the most powerful part of her speech came down to these simple words. ‘If not me, who? If not now, when?’ We can apply this not only to social issues like gender inequality, but to every aspect of our lives. Personally, I’ll be sure to ask myself these questions when I am writing and trying to achieve anything I set my mind to.

I feel saddened that people have opposed her address, even with a Emma, You’re Next, website being launched, counting down the days, hours and minutes until her apparent nude photos are leaked. This is just highlighting the predatory nature some men possess over women, and I think it’s pathetic and I’m sure Emma does too. Regardless of whether or not nude photos exist is not the issue. The issue is sharing private explicit photos of women on the Internet. This is a form of sexual assault and harassment and shouldn’t be tolerated in our society. And to be honest, if it were the explicit nudes of the men behind this website, all it would do it prove that they must have small, unimpressive and disappointing dicks and personalities.

My name is Adelaide. I am a feminist because I believe in not only gender equality, but equality for all people.

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Television: Look at Moiye vs. Check it out y’all

Left - American version Right - Australian version (original) http://i.dlisted.com/files/kathandkimno.jpg
Left – American version
Right – Australian version (original)
http://i.dlisted.com/files/kathandkimno.jpg

What makes something funny? Is it someone slipping on a banana peel? Babies laughing? Or maybe the millions of cat videos on Youtube? Comedy and humour are heavily dependent on cultural references. The iconic Australian comedy T.V show, Kath & Kim, reflects Australian ideologies, ways of life and values, making the show relatable and understandable to Australian audiences. In order for something to appear funny, social rules must be broken according to Comedy Theory 1. And our beloved Kath and Kim break many!

The clip above illustrates the cultural ‘rules’ being broken in Australian culture which therefore make it funny. Australians love a good tan as well as saving money. We all know someone (or maybe have shamefully experienced) a bad tan thus when Kath tans just one arm to save money and suit her outfit, we can relate to Kath and laugh at the ‘rule’ of tanning gone wrong. Followed by Kim making the obvious suggestion of flipping the top, is greeted by her being a genius (where through her character, we know she is not). The final funny remark is where Kim is pulling at her pants asking if Kath had washed them incorrectly because they were too tight. The thing that makes us laugh is that we know it is not Kath’s washing skills but Kim’s tragic desire to wear sizes too small for her figure. Whilst these are lots of little instances where the Australian social ‘rules’ have been broken, the repetition of breaking the rules is what encourages us to laugh, thus making it funny.

Hornbags or scumbags? http://www.smh.com.au/ffximage/2004/10/15/kathkimblokes2_wideweb__430x334,1.jpg
Hornbags or scumbags? Australian version Brett (left) and Kel (right)
http://www.smh.com.au/ffximage/2004/10/15/kathkimblokes2_wideweb__430x334,1.jpg

In the Australian version, the funniest aspect of the show is the staggering difference between the way Kath and Kim view themselves, to how we (the audience) views them. They see themselves as some ‘foxy ladies’ and their respective men as ‘hunky spunks.’ Where in reality, Kim wears two sizes too small at all times and Kath has a blond afro, Kel is a middle aged man with a serious combover and dreadful fashion sense (the opposite to hunky) and Brett is frankly a bit of a pathetic loser. This is another aspect which adds to the shows comedy because of these distinct differences.

Something that is lost in the US version of Kath and Kim is this difference. The actors are actually quite attractive, thin and not that ‘cooky,’ you could almost say that they really are foxy! A quote which accurately defines the poor reception of the American version of Kath and Kim is summed up by Sue Turnbull saying “I would suggest that what has been ‘seriously lost in translation’ is the role and place of irony: in this case, the gap between how a character imagines him/herself to be and how the appear to the audience (Turnbull, 2008).

Despite NBC’s (not so) greatest efforts to make the American version of Kath and Kim a success, the video above highlights the awkwardness and the fact that the show simply ‘missed the point.’ I believe a combination of factors such as casting, costumes, ‘jokes’ and setting just didn’t hit home, supported by the San Fransico Chronicals article stating ‘it’s a contender for the worst remake ever’ (Goodman, 2008).

Maybe the US will get the delicate adaptation process right one day? Or maybe Kath and Kim should just keep to Fountain Lakes.

References

Turnbull, S 2008, ‘It’s like they threw a panther in the air and caught it in embroidery’: TELEVISION COMEDY IN TRANSLATION, The Australian Teachers of Media Inc, St Kilda.

Goodman, T 2008, ‘TV Reviews: Kath and Kim, Testees,’ SFGate,  http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/TV-reviews-Kath-Kim-Testees-3266718.php, accessed 21 September 2014,

Reaching New Heights – UOW Skydiving Club’s 2nd Tandem Event

On Friday the 12th of September, the UOW Skydiving Club held their second tandem skydiving event, with six brave individuals taking on the challenge. We met at 9:30am at Northfields Avenue where the Sydney Skydivers bus picked us up. Once we clarified numbers we were on our way. We chatted with students from across the globe, all with a nervous yet excited smile across their faces.

The girls all geared up
The girls all geared up

After filling out a few forms, the student were quickly suited up in the ever so glamorous jumpsuits! The boys jumped first with the rest of us searching up in the sky to see their parachutes emerge from the clouds.

The boys sailing down through the clouds
The boys sailing down through the clouds

Whilst visibility was quite low due to cloud coverage, they got to experience the wonder of falling through clouds. High above the clouds, they jumped from the plane, the sun shining and wind rushing up against their screaming faces, falling into what looks like an ocean of clouds. According to the UOW Skydiving Club’s President who has completed over 140 single jumps says ‘It’s like nothing you’ve ever experienced before.’

Adrenaline infused smiles
Adrenaline infused smiles
And the smiles and laughter continued
And the smiles and laughter continued

Once all the students were back down to earth, exchanging stories about flying through the clouds, we had a wonderful BBQ, included as part of the UOW Skydiving Club experience.

Can't beat a sausage sanga after a jump!
Can’t beat a sausage sanga after a jump!

After we filled our stomaches, our cheeks hurt from laughing and smiling, and we were coming down from the adrenaline rush, we were back on the bus and headed back to the university. It was a great day for everyone involved.

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FOR FUTURE EVENTS AND MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE UOW SKYDIVING CLUB, PLEASE CHECK OUT THEIR FACEBOOK PAGE https://www.facebook.com/UOWSkydive

AND CHECK OUT THIS EXCLUSIVE VIDEO OF WHAT IT’S LIKE TO FLY THROUGH CLOUDS!

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=681679941909858&set=vb.588704077874112&type=2&theater

Group 2 - 2nd Tandem Event
Group 2 – 2nd Tandem Event