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The Restaurant that Burns Off Calories: Helpful or Harmful?

Well, it’s about time a company did something controversial that annoyed people, isn’t it? It’s been a while since I’ve had something OTHER than a pandemic to write about. So, cheers, BBC.

BBC Two recently aired a new TV show, which you might’ve heard of, but probably haven’t because I hadn’t a clue it was a thing, either. It’s called ‘The Restaurant that Burns Off Calories’. How Intriguing! How can a restaurant burn off calories? Gee, I wonder. Let’s watch!

The Restaurant That Burns Off Calories will have you sweating over ...

In case you couldn’t be bothered to click the link and watch a minute long video (I have an attention span of like 8 seconds so I wouldn’t blame you), here’s a lil summary:

Basically, people go into this fancy restaurant and order what they want to eat (no, I don’t know if they have to pay). Fred from First Dates is there, too, presumably to make the restaurant seem even fancier and to encourage people to actually watch the show. The diners then eat their food (spoiler alert) and then at some point a big reveal comes that there’s a room full of people behind them working out. No, that doesn’t sound uncomfortable at all. And that the exercisers are burning off every calorie that the diners consume.

So, if someone orders a burger that’s like 2,000 calories, some poor man has to run on a treadmill until he burns 2,000 calories to ‘make a point’. They pretty much want to make the diners (and viewers) more aware of the calorie-cost of food and to make more sensible, healthy eating choices.

Education Secretary: I can't give you a date for when schools will ...

So, what’s the problem with it? Apart from the fact that because the diners don’t actually have to exercise or burn the calories themselves, it doesn’t really show them the calorie cost of food, it more shows the exercisers ? Like, why are they being punished because someone ordered an extra portion of chips ?

But no, not that. SHOCKINGLY, people picked up on the fact that it’s basically promoting that for every calorie you consume, you should burn it off. Which isn’t okay, or true. It’s pretty much saying, “if you want a pizza, TOUGH LUCK babe, you’ve to run 5k to compensate”. And that is HELLA dangerous for obvious reasons.

Last December, there was talk of introducing some new labelling thing where food products print how much exercise you’d need to do to burn it off on the packaging. There was, as expected, a lot of backlash from people and eating disorder charities saying that this was a dangerous idea, especially to people who are vulnerable to eating disorders.

Sound familiar? Maybe you read about it in the news. Because BBC WROTE ABOUT IT. They even included quotes from someone at Beat, an eating disorder charity, explaining how and why this could be dangerous for some people. The same charity who have come out and said how ‘The Restaurant that Burns Off Calories’ is problematic for the exact same reason and their services have been in “high demand” ever since it aired. Like ??? Did they even read their own article ??

Now, I get what the BBC was trying to do with this show. Like, everyone knows that obesity is a big problem these days, and people do eat more than they need without really thinking about the health implications or nutritional value. But, they also need to consider the impact it has on other people.

Being realistic, if someone never gave two thoughts to ordering an extra large 4-cheese pizza or the calories in it, printing that they’d need to run to Spain probably wouldn’t make them stop. They mightn’t even take notice. And they mightn’t even watch this show.

On the other hand, someone who has or currently is experiencing an eating disorder or already does monitor every calorie they consume and how much they burn through exercise, would notice. They probably would think twice about buying or eating that food. They might not eat it, or exercise more to compensate. And they’re a lot more likely to watch this TV show.

I know they promoted throughout the official government calorie intake guidelines and said not to consume less than this or restrict your calorie intake, but to be honest, I don’t think that evens it out.

I think that the BBC should’ve weighed up the chances of the people who could really benefit from this awareness and this show watching this show and taking it on board (probably low), versus the chances of people who could be really negatively impacted by watching it and taking it on board (probably a lot higher).

Eating disorder charity slams The Restaurant That Burns off ...

Who needs to and should be watching your show, isn’t necessarily who will be. And I think it’s really important for broadcasters to think about the bigger picture and impact on more than just their ‘target audience’. Especially when you report on why a similar idea is controversial and problematic 4 months before. Just saying.

If anyone has been affected by any of issues raised in “The Restaurant that Burns Off Calories” or this blog post, Beat’s Helpline is available on 0808 801 0677.

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Why We Need “Naked Attraction”

Well, you’ve probably heard of or watched (go on, admit it) the Channel 4 classic, Naked Attraction. What a show.

If you haven’t a notion what I’m on about (or are pretending not to), it’s basically the weirdest dating show ever. Basically, someone single chooses a date based purely on what they look like naked. There’s 6 singles in coloured pods to choose from to start with, and each round sees a different part of their bodies revealed. The dater has to choose to eliminate someone every round until they’re left with 2 daters to choose to take on a date. The 6 people in the pods don’t get to see who’s choosing them until they either get sent home or if they make it to the stage where the faces are revealed.

Yeah, it’s that weird.

PSA: If you’re considering watching it, please don’t watch it with your parents or kids.

Image result for go away mom gif

To be fair, the success rate is pretty bad, like the couples normally end up having a one night stand after the date and never see each other again. Because they ALWAYS choose the one who you can tell by looking at them is a player over the nice, decent person. But O WELL. Serves them right for not listening to me, pfft.

Now, choosing to date someone based purely off looks and their bodies is pretty shallow, so encouraging people to do this isn’t great. But, in the age of online “dating” apps, that’s just how people roll these days. Plus, this show actually does another thing which cancels this superficialness (? – well it’s a word now) out.

You’d expect only the slim, typically “pretty” people to be picked, which they are to be honest (see above). But, they make up maybe 1 or 2 of the 6 singletons. The rest come in every shape, form and size. The thing with Naked Attraction is that it features every age (above 18, just to clarify), gender, race, sexuality and body type. There’s people with loads of hair, no hair, completely covered in tattoos, with no tattoos and medical conditions/ disabilities. So, it’s pretty different to Love Island, as you can imagine.

Image result for love island cast
Ah, diversity at its finest.

We’re so used to seeing the same type of people as models, actresses and influencers. So we normally only see a few body types in the media, clothed, naked or in ridiculously overpriced underwear. But, Naked Attraction shows everything that the media normally doesn’t.

It’s reassuring to people that there are other people out there like them. Similar body types, shapes and features. No two bodies are the same on the show, because no two bodies are the same in real life (less you’re an identical twin, but like WHAT are the chances).

Image result for what are the chances gif

Naked Attraction probably isn’t great to show teenagers, but, it could also be pretty good, too. It could help their self esteem and stop them feeling like they’re weird and answers the “is it meant to look like that?” “Do other people have …?” Just make sure you don’t watch it with them, not a fun time.

It also helps men people see that there is more than one attractive ‘type’ of person. The ‘type’ that we’re so used to seeing constantly online, on TV, in magazines and ads. The ‘type’ that, because we see it so much, we think that it must be normal, because, why else would you see it so much?

Image result for body type diversity

Naked Attraction normalises difference. It shows what a “normal” body and person is. Which is ANYONE AND EVERYONE. There is no “normal” or “standard” for appearances or beauty. So it’s about time advertisers, film makers and the media in general stops acting like there is. As us Belfast ones say, catch yourselves on, like.

So, cheers Channel 4. Keep making your trashy and not-very-successful “dating” show. We need it.

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Why Students Should Skip Uni

Not that you need a reason, do you?

Well lads, big day on the 12th of December – yes it marks a week since the glorious day that is my birthday, but less more importantly, it’s vote day. Yes “vote day” is the political term, I believe. But aye, they called a general election for some reason, which is really random because they’re never normally this time of year. “General election” doesn’t normally fall into my countdown to Christmas.

The 12th of December is also the second last day of uni – yepa.

What have the two got to do with each other? Well, you can’t vote in Armagh if you’re sitting in the Holylands, can you? Most people (hopefully) are registered to vote back in their local area (or “constituency” if you want to be fancy). But chances are, a lot of students won’t be back home on the 12th because they’re living elsewhere for uni.

I know, it’s tempting to just give it a miss and stay in your nice freezing student house rather than go back home to vote, but you really should consider it.

Yeah, you could always register to vote in your student house area but let’s be real, chances of that happening aren’t great, are they? “While lot of effort la.”

Cheesy cliché but you have a voice, so make it count. What other chance do you have to actually make a difference and help decide something? It’s like the one thing normal people can actually play a part in. We’re not trusted to make decisions and and have our thoughts and ideas listened to normally, so this is our yearly shot.

Before you say, “It doesn’t make a difference, it’s only one vote”. Well yes, but one vote times the thousands of people saying that slightly adds up now, doesn’t it?

Let’s not forget the lil 3-year nightmare we’ve been living in. If only more people had’ve voted, maybe things would’ve turned out differently, eh? Eh?

No harm, but you can’t complain about the results of the elections or about decisions that are made if you didn’t vote. True, we can’t do anything about what politicians decide, but we can do something about who gets to make those decisions.

Voting is especially important for students, because we’re the youngest. We have the longest to live with decisions that are made. There isn’t much representation for us young ‘uns, and what we want doesn’t always get much attention. Not voting gives the impression you don’t really care what happens and you trust those bloons in parliament to make the right choices. But if we vote, we can have our chance to show that we actually are important and do care what happens about our future.

Why do I vote?
Because it’s literally the one thing I can do to try to make a difference (apart from recycle). It’s the only control I have. I sign petitions, yes. I go to rallies, yes. But I mightn’t need to if the right people are making the best decisions for me.

I vote because I’m a girl. Because I can. Women couldn’t always vote. Women fought for years for the right to something men got granted onto them simply for having a Y chromosome. People protested, fought and worked for years, not so they could vote, but so we could. I don’t want that to be in vain.

So go home, be warm, number a few wee boxes and be satisfied that hey, you might have actually made a wee difference to the future, how rewarding.

“Please explain your absence in today’s lecture and tutorial.” “Sorry miss, was too busy changing the future.” Sounds kinda badass, doesn’t it?

I mean you could always go to uni then go home and vote because they’re open until like 10pm, but ure don’t pretend you weren’t looking an excuse to miss that lecture anyway.

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But What REALLY Happened?

Before we get into anything, I’m gonna have to ask you to pop your wee tin foil hat on for me there, cheers. *Cue X Files theme tune*

Right, I don’t know if I just never really noticed or wasn’t aware of them, but have you noticed that conspiracy theories have become really popular recently? There’s documentaries, forums, websites and a LOT of YouTube videos about them. 

You have your standard “Bush did 9/11”, “the Kennedy’s had Marilyn Monroe killed”, “the royals had Diana killed” ones which have been around for years – although I don’t know if they count as conspiracy theories if they’re true ¿  

But nowadays, for every incident that happens in the world, there seems to be an “alternative theory” to explain it -and put the blame on powerful people, departments and organisations. Basically, “When all else fails, blame the government”. Not that they would ever, EVER do such scandalous things. Pffft.

Side note: does the big bang theory count as a conspiracy theory to creationists?

Now, for all you non-believers, prepare to have your world SHOOK with some of my personal favourite conspiracy theories explanations. Disclaimer: I’m not saying these are true, just saying they’re possible OKAY? So save your eye rolls and judgements and just play along for me. Cheers.

1. The earth could be flat – I know, I know, TYPICAL MILLENNIAL what are we LIKE. Of course the earth isn’t flat, a big floating ball in the sky makes a lot more sense. Seriously though, maybe it’s spherical, maybe it’s flat. Yes there’s “evidence” that it isn’t, like photos from very reliable sources like NASA. Who also share reports following Santa’s journey on Christmas Eve. Just saying.

– I’m not saying it’s actually flat don’t worry, I’m just saying we only know it’s a sphere because we’ve been told it’s one. How do you know that everything you’ve ever seen or been told about isn’t actually 100% dead on?  Think about it. T h i n k  a b o u t  i t .

If you’re still reading and haven’t given up on me based off that first one, another good wee one is:

2. The lottery is fake. No one actually wins the jackpot. People get paid a large amount (but still smaller than the jackpot) to go public and say that they won. Quick knock on the door, “Wanna make half a mill? All you’ve to do is go on TV saying you won 3 million” job. I’d do it, HINT HINT. Someone gets a nice wee paycheque and the lottery people save like 2.5 million. Win, win. And those mysterious people who win and don’t want to reveal their identities, maybe that’s because they don’t exist? Dun dun.  

3. Modern art is a front for international money laundering. This one’s a pretty run of the mill, can’t really question it kind of one. Ever wonder why people pay millions for a squiggly line on a canvas? All those mad paintings that are just splodges and cost a bomb? Basically, art collectors (criminals, cartels, other rich people who make their fortune illegally) buy paintings (transfer illicit money) off dealers (to whoever they’re paying). Payments go under the radar and unnoticed; the only attention they receive is “Who in the right mind paid money for that?” There’s a more complicated explanation here.

Anyway, clearly I do love a good wee conspiracy theory as much as the next person (but not enough to watch videos and all on them like), but that’s it – why do we love them?

Are we just cynical? To be fair, we’ve been lied to about so much before that we’re bound to have some trust issues like. “Watching TV makes your eyes go square”, “Eating crusts makes your hair go curly”, and let’s not forget the whole Santa situation. We don’t know what or who to believe anymore, so we just take everything with a pinch of salt – and honestly like, can you blame us?

Maybe we’re just being contrary. Maybe we’re all big attention seekers who want to be different and go against the grain. A wee bit of non-conforming, “You can’t tell me what to think or believe, I’ll decide for myself” carry on.

Or maybe, it’s because we love to make the baddies badder. We don’t like certain groups or organisations and they’ve already done a hell of a lot of damage to the world, so what’s the harm in another lil cover up to add to their impressive collection? Standard anti-corporation, “stick it to the man” kinda vibes.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I do think that sometimes, SOMETIMES when something happens, it actually does just happen. But I think it’s good to consider the alternatives. I think we should question what we’re told and figure out for ourselves what we really believe.

The thing is, we’ll never know. No one can ever prove whether or not the story we’re told, or our own mad conspiracy theory version is actually the right one. The government can’t exactly be like “no lads here’s proof that Neil Armstrong actually did walk on the moon” (which he didn’t, by the way) because everyone will just be like “OK great ANOTHER lie, when will it end??” And trigger a conspiracy-theory-style catch 22 situation.

Plus, it’s more interesting to come up with alien-related explanations anyway, what else would we do during lectures?

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Reasons I’m Excited to Go Back to Uni

Well, here I am. 9 months into placement. I could’ve had a BABY in that time, like a literal human. Isn’t that scary? Anyway, people always ask me if I’m looking forward to going back to uni next year, so here’s a lil list for you of why I kinda am:

*This is in no particular order, but this first one is the main reason

Clements in Jordanstown:
Low and behold, there is now a Clements in my uni campus. Rejoice and be glad. I reckon UUJ did it on purpose to lure us all back, I’m telling you now the attendance is going to go right up. Pre-lecture coffee date? Post-lecture coffee date? Instead-of-lecture coffee date? Thankin you.

The uni bubble:
Uni is this magical place where the real world doesn’t exist. Adulthood isn’t really a thing until you’re 40, your biggest responsibility is topping up the gas, and the ‘future’ is nothing more than a cheat liar rapper. When you’re in uni, nothing else matters. You get to forget about actually having to figure out what you want to do in life. You can postpone making actual life decisions for a whole other year. How fabulous.

Seeing friends:
I miss seeing my wee group of friends every day (well, three days a week but still). At the minute we’re all spread around the place (shoutout to Rachel for ditching to ENGLAND – and not consulting us first??). I can’t wait to see their lil faces and have a geg with them in the comfy purple seats on campus. And I’m sure they feel the exact same way about me. Deffo do.

Writing notes:
I’m one of those sad people that LOVES pens. My wee 4 coloured bic pen (the pink and green one, not the normal boring one) hasn’t been used all year and I can’t WAIT to do nice pretty coloured writing on notes I’ll keep forever and probably never read 🙂

Opportunities:
My uni is actually really good about emailing us out relevant opportunities, like volunteering, different programmes and talks by industry professionals. Yeah, placement is a great way to get work and actually acting-like-an-adult experience, but there’s loads of things like the PANI programme and societies that you can’t actually do once you go out in the scary real world. It’s a good way to build up your CV before you graduate and compete with 8000 other people with similar degrees and work experience. Can’t wait.

Lunch dates:
As I’ve mentioned in several posts, ya girl misses going for lunch. It really makes you feel like a lady of leisure, wee post lecture lunch date before you all split off and pretend to do seminar work. I know fine rightly the people at West are concerned and miss me dearly. So it’s not just for my sake that I want to go out for lunch, think of the economy. Think of it.

Actually learning stuff:
Call me sad (please don’t, I’m fragile) but I actually like feeling like I’ve learnt something, you know that lil “a-ha” moment when you feel all smart because you learnt a long word or can show off to your ma when you’re home?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not so much a fan of reading textbooks, journal articles, but learning from those wee powerpoints and “relevant” videos in class? Oof.

Obviously, I know from the past 2 years and siblings who’ve gone through final year that uni isn’t a holiday. So there are of course reasons I’m scared to go back -besides graduating and having to leave uni, although I could always do a master’s to postpone being a grown up…

Reasons I’m not excited to go back to uni:
1. Dissertation
2. Finals
3. Twenty grand of debt

But oh well, that’s September’s problem.

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The “C” Word

Culture. Well, what other word would I be talking about? Tut TUT. Anyway, if you’ve been on social media recently (or Buzzfeed in particular), you can’t seem to scroll far without coming across the word. It seems that every time a song, music video, or fashion photography is released, it comes into play. All this talk of culture and appropriation got me thinking, what actually is culture? Well, let’s ask boy George, shall we?

What a man

Culture is: “the ideas, customs, and social behaviour of a particular people or society.”

These “people” include races, religions, nationalities and ages – just because two people are from the same place, doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll have the same culture. A Parisien Islamic pensioner and Parisien Catholic teenager will obviously have cultural differences (duh).

So, culture includes what we do, think, eat, wear and how we act and behave. But where does it end? Is burning other nationalities’ flags “culture”? What about shooting people? Colonisation? Fast food? Not saying thanks to the bus driver? (Eugh, imagine) Is this “culture”?

How big do these “people, groups and societies” have to be for their behaviour to qualify as “culture”? Can any behaviour done by these groups by classified as culture?

A group of a certain race, religion, nationality and who support a certain soccer team shout sectarian and racist songs and abuse at matches (hypothetically of course, this would never happen). This is a group which share views and attitudes, and this is a social behaviour after all, so does that make it culture?

People seem all too quick to excuse a behaviour by saying it’s their culture. It eliminates their responsibility and shifts the blame. It’s not them choosing to act that way, it’s out of their control – it’s instilled in them, it’s how they were raised. Headers.

We need to stop using “culture” as a justification. Not only does this skew what people think is “okay”, it also undermines actual culture. If anything can be classified as a cultural behaviour, then it loses its definition. We lose the ability to distinguish and tell the difference between what we should deem unacceptable and acceptable.

As well as this, a group of people behaving a certain way and branding it “culture” creates a stigma and association attached the wider group they’re a part of. This results in stereotypes of nations, races and religions, having them branded and labeled as a whole. Spoiler alert: not all Irish people are alcoholics and drunks, despite what films repeatedly portray. Very badly, and usually with a Scottish accent, might I add (@ Gerard Butler- you brought our country shame).

Good.

Anyway, recently there seems to a rise in people defending and wanting to “protect” their culture. Even if said culture involves discrimination or abusive behaviour. So, why the desire now more than ever to retain it?

Well, we live in a world where cultures seem to be blending into one – shoutout to multinational corporations !! No matter where you are in the world, you can most likely eat the same things and buy the same brands. Globalisation means that sadly, small and local firms are being put out of business by the big dogs.

Don’t get me wrong, these companies allow us to pay less for products, order food despite not speaking the language, and make things more accessible. But what don’t they do? Pay tax, yes. But offer a sense of “home”. They offer it to visitors, but not natives of the country. Nothing screams ‘traditional’ like a Bershka or H&M. That’s the real reason I go on holiday.

Beautiful

You can go abroad, walk down the city’s main street, and feel like you’re home. Same shops, same language (shoutout to English speaking countries for apparently being the only ones not to learn another language !!) and thanks to global warming, the same weather. How FAB.

In a time where everything’s blurring to become more similar, of course it’s important to preserve traditions and culture (ones that don’t harm others, just to clarify). Things that make us unique, things you can’t get or do just anywhere. But first, we have to stop using it as a scapegoat for acting like eejits.

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Toddler to Teen (with Nothing in Between)

Okay, I may be having a concerned middle aged mother moment here, but what’s happening to children? Why do they seem to go from nursery to nightclubs, avoiding the whole phase called, you know, childhood?

When I was a child (still am according to the Translink bus drivers, half price fare thankU), I came home from school, played with my cheap knockoff Tamagotchi, went outside and played the ultimate sport that is Kirby and rang my mates on their landline. We all knew each other’s home numbers off by heart and would sit and talk until our fish fingers were ready, or our ma needed to use the internet – shoutout to dial-up.

These bad boys were the OG Nintendogs

I used to call for my friends, “is Sarah coming out?”; “The street’s playing rounders do you wanna come?” and we’d run about, play ‘rap a door run away’, ride Flickrs and be home by 9 o’clock. We went out in the street nearly every day, except when we weren’t allowed out because we had to do our homework, or were grounded. Yeah, grounding was still a thing.

We’d go into town on a Saturday. That was literally the outing. We’d go in, paddle about, go to New Look to try on high heels, take photos in clothes we were never gonna buy, do peace signs non-ironically and go to KFC.

Us getting our photos taken in River Island

But now, things are so different. Children don’t seem to act like children anymore. Primary school children are using iPhones and social media – 8 year olds are following me on Instagram. 8 YEAR OLDS. Children don’t go through horrible fringe, “nobody understands me” or experimental eyeliner phases anymore. They do makeup better than I do (not that that’s hard), have actual relationships – not fake boyfriends you met on Omegle – and go to playgrounds to drink, rather than “play“. Rather than children and teenagers, it seems to be teenagers and like, shorter teenagers.

This is why I’m so glad I grew up when I did, had the childhood that I had and acted my age. Looking back at my behaviour until I was about 15 actually makes me cringe and question why I had friends. I was a weirdo. But we were all ‘weirdos’. Us being weird was us acting normal. We have scundering photographic evidence that we use for blackmail, and sit laughing and shuddering at the way we got on. Do I regret the way I was? Yeah. Would I do it again if I had a do-over? Definitely.

Me after receiving said blackmail material

I wouldn’t want to look back as an adult and not be able to identify when I actually became one. 13 year olds shouldn’t be acting 18. They shouldn’t want to. Being an adult isn’t fun – we have to pay tax. TAX. (Unless you’re rich of course, and then apparently you don’t have to). And pay twice as much for transport and cinema tickets. Ew.

Yes, I always wanted to be 18, and to be honest, I still do – if I could stop aging that would be GREAT. But I always failed (and still do) to act and look like an 18 year old. But now, 12 year olds actually do pull off being 18. They look older than me, are taller than me (there’s definitely something in the water) and are more active online than me.

But I’m glad I didn’t grow up in a time when smartphones, likes and appearance were my priorities. They weren’t even in my radar. I ran about with friends, literally ran about. Outside. The only social media I had was Bebo and I wasn’t even allowed it so had to make it on my friend’s laptop and could only use it at her house. I joined the school computer club purely so I could use MSN to talk to my friends. We literally emailed each other. But in pink text. That was the extent of my online activity – that and a weird internal school “social media” called SuperClubs which NOBODY ELSE seems to remember but I definitely didn’t make up. Someone please back me up on this.

The OG Facebook messenger

I had 0 cares or worries, besides that boy finding out I fancied him or how my side fringe looked. I lived in a bubble, with no exposure to the scary thing that is the real world. Children these days are able to see so much online, stuff they shouldn’t be seeing – stuff no one should really be seeing. The internet’s full of harmful and dangerous things that children can easily stumble upon. Things that are affecting how they see themselves and the “real” world. They’re comparing themselves to Instagram lifestyles and models, because that’s what they see. So that must be what life’s meant to be like, right? But it’s filtered, fake and 90% of the time, it’s paid for.

Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s not children’s fault, they can’t help it. It’s the world they’re growing up in. What are they meant to do, stop using their phones and isolate themselves from their friends? Play outside alone? Rebirth themselves 10 years earlier? Ugh, imagine.

I don’t know if it’ll change. I don’t really see how it could. And that’s sad. We seem to be living in a world with just babies, adults and the elderly. More and more people are born every year, but we seem to have less and less children with each of them.

Children should be children. They should want to be children. Childhood is the best experience of your life. And it’s not fair if they don’t get to experience it.

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Cavemen Vs Robots – Who Would Win?

Now that, I would pay to see.

Sorry to disappoint but this isn’t a poll about some weird edition of “Robot Wars” or MMA fighting.  I’m simply asking if humans today are any smarter than our predecessors. Okay don’t pull that face at me, buster. Hear a gal out first, sheesh.

caveman
You really can find anything on Google Images

We’ve all seen and heard comparisons of those considered less intelligent to cavemen. Humans today are considered to be smarter, more educated and superior in general to our ancestors. Yes, we do know things that they didn’t, like that the Earth isn’t flat (although the jury’s still out on that one, Youtube conspiracy theories are very convincing); and we’ve made massive advancements in regards to medicine and technology. But, could we build the Roman Colloseum? Or the pyramids?

Hmm, maybe. But could we do it without modern equipment or machinery? Yeah, thought not.

Our predessors knew how to do things. We know how to use technology to do things for us. Nowadays, people aren’t even bothering to stand up and turn off their lights, they need ‘Alexa’ to do it for them. Why do things yourself when you can have a creepy machine do it for you, while giving it access to control your electricity? How fun.

alexa

Anyway, my point is, early humans and ‘cavemen’ were able to live self-sustainably. They found their own food, hunted animals, made their own clothes (not as nice as Missguided’s but they did the best they could) and built houses with their bare hands. They were able to do so much more with so much less. And they were able to survive without depending on technology and the internet.

They didn’t have Google *gasps* to figure out the answer to everything (or to tell them that headache might actually be sign that they’re dying), so they worked things out for themselves. Instead of Googling if a berry was poisonous, they just waited until someone else ate it and died, then added it to the “avoid” list; or gave it to their neighbours’ really annoying Dodo -or whatever they kept as pets, idk. They knew what they knew because they learned things. We know a lot of what we know because we’re told things. And because we learned from their mistakes. Shout out to the guy who wanted a pet shark.

CavemanShark1

Nowadays, people laugh at the “stupidity” of our ancestors. Like how they thought ice cube lobotamies could cure depression or that babies didn’t feel pain. But how do we know they were wrong? Because we checked the internet? Got a machine to do it differently? Waited until someone’s baby cried when they dropped it and thought “Oh. Maybe it does feel things? Hmm, noted.” I admit, they weren’t the best examples to prove my case but to be fair remember when everyone thought the world was going to end in 2000? And then again -oh but FOR REAL this time- in 2012? I mean come on we even made a (terrible) film about it. Nobody’s perfect.

Now I’m not saying that those that came before us were smarter than us, I’m just saying that I don’t think it’s fair to say that we’re smarter than them. Maybe they didn’t know that pi was 3.14 and then a BAZILLION other numbers, but they didn’t need to. People used to learn and know the things that they needed to know, like “what berries are poisonous?”, “will that lion try to eat me if I pet it?”, “what happens if you stand in the fire?” – all valid questions, sort of. Modern humans just seem to know stuff purely for the sake of knowing it. I know so much irrelevant information that I’ll probably never use or get to say unless I’m at a pub quiz or in an uncomfortable silence on a date. Did you know a group of pandas is called an ’embarrassment’? I did. Why? I have NO IDEA.

index

We do know a hell of a lot, and we are pretty ‘smart’, but I think earlier humans deserve a bit more credit. They discovered that other continents existed, knew the time without clocks and were able to preserve people who had died (a bit creepy in my opinion, but still, kudos to them). They discovered the most random things like how to procreate, give birth and then feed the child breastmilk. Like how did they even go about finding this stuff out? How did they even come about milking cows? Like they must have been really bored. And a bit weird.

Well, there you go. There’s some food for thought the next time you buy a bottle of milk. Or see a fire and choose not to stand in it. You can now return to your life of letting your creepy robot control your home. Tell the government I said hi.

 

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Placement Uncategorized

The “P” Word

“Placement”.

The nine letter word that instils instant fear and dread in university students.

The “if we don’t talk about it, it doesn’t exist” topic.

It’s scary isn’t it? One minute you’re catching up with friends, preparing for fresher’s week and celebrating the return of the student loan; the next you’re being forced to ~god forbid~ start thinking about your future and what you actually want to do with your life.

You’ll start having placement students, members of companies and placement co-ordinators making appearances in lectures, and start receiving emails in your university email account that you only ever really use to activate your UniDays discount.

Well, don’t worry – here are some do’s and don’ts to help prepare you for one of the scariest things about second year (second to the fact that this year actually counts towards your degree classification).

Take it from a current placement student who has learned some of these the hard way. And no, I did not follow all of these, which is precisely why I am advising you to.

 

DO:

Start early.

Give yourself a head start and the best chance you can. The last thing you need when you have assignments to write and exams to revise for is to worry about actually starting to write a CV and figure out what a cover letter even is.

 

DON’T:

Feel as though you have to go on a traditional placement. You have options, consider them. Yes, you can go on placement, but you can also take part in programmes such as Study USA or Intern China, or go straight into final year. Everyone is different and wants different things. It’s your degree, your choice and a year of your life at the end of the day. Placement isn’t for everyone, and you know what? That’s totally fine.

 

DO:

Proof read.

Stop rolling your eyes. Yes it’s one of those “duh” points, but it has to be said. After writing around 20 cover letters and application forms, you might discover a shortcut of “I’ll just write the same thing and change the company name and job title”; well, that’s all well and good until you submit a cover letter stating how much you would love to be a marketing intern at one of the leading car retailers to a milk company looking for a web developer.

Which leads to my second point.

 

DON’T:

Make every application/cover letter the same.

Companies can see right through you and know exactly when you’re using generic applications. Every application should be tailored to suit the company and job you’re applying for. State why to want to work there, and why you would be ~perfect~ for that role. The more specific and relevant your application is, the more likely the reader is to consider you.

Take it from someone who did the whole “copy and paste” approach, and got rejections for not being ‘enthusiastic’ or ‘passionate’ enough about the job or business.

 

DO:

What’s best for you. Friends are such a big part of our lives, and it’s nearly impossible not to be influenced by them; but don’t feel pressured to do something just because they are. Don’t apply for a job you don’t want just because “all of my friends have”, don’t choose jobs based in a certain country because you want to be near them, don’t decide not to do a placement even though you want to just because your best friend hasn’t and you want to “graduate together”.

I mean, “if your friends jumped off a cliff” and all that.

 

DON’T:

Be afraid to be different. Oh, you think writing 30 cover letters, applications and CVs is boring? Try reading 100s of them. Make the employer interested. This is your chance to show your potential and why you deserve the job. Yes, of course that’s what the interview is for- but what if you don’t get that far? Give the employer no choice but to want to meet and learn more about you and what you can bring to the company.

 

DO:

Practise.

Do you know what a psychometric test is? Yeah, one of those “what shape’s next and mathsy sort of test things”. Well, whenever you’re about to complete one, you might get a ‘guide’ which includes what sort of questions will be asked, how much time you have and practise questions. READ IT. I was one of those “I’d rather get it over and done with” so skipped the guide and practise questions. Well, joke was on me when, approximately 12 minutes later I was sitting at the computer trying not to cry and swearing I would boycott a certain brand for life because of the emotional trauma they had caused me. I mean, who cares how many yen 500 US dollars is worth? Well, for some unknown reason, that company does.

 

DON’T:

Panic apply.

If you haven’t got a placement sorted yet but some or all of your friends have, it can be tempting to start applying for every single placement opportunity you get told about. It’s important that you only apply to jobs you actually want. Would you rather wait a few weeks or months and get your ideal job, or be the first one to get a placement but end up not even liking the sound of it?  It can be frustrating getting nothing but rejections or ignored for months, but it’s worth waiting for that one real “YES” moment.  I found myself relieved to get some rejections because I didn’t even really want a job or what it was, but I mightn’t have been as lucky and ended up having to take one and spend a year doing something I hated and wasn’t suited for.

 

And now for my final gem of advice:

 

DO:

Enjoy second year.

There’s nothing you appreciate more than 9 hour weeks and being able to go for LUNCH DATES than working 8 hours a day and having to pack lunches like you’re back in school. Second year was such an amazing year for me, and yes, it’s hard work and a step up from first year; but it’s still a great time to socialise, learn, think about what you actually want, and go out on a weeknight?? Imagine.

 

Well there you go folks, that’s a wrap. Hopefully you learned something reading this, and if you didn’t – US $500 will get you around 56,698 Japanese yen. Ha – now you have learned something *pats self on back*.

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Uncategorized

About Mise

0

My name’s Niamh Murray, I’m 21 and from the very small “big smoke” that is Belfast in Ireland. I’m currently studying Communication, Advertising and Marketing at university, but I’m on my placement year which has launched me into the big scary world of full-time work, pensions and tax *gentle sobbing*.

I’m a Sagittarius -and yes that is important because horoscopes are VERY real (well, until they tell me something I don’t want to hear), my favourite colour’s pink and I LOVE pineapple.

No pets- although I do have 7 cacti which I do look after very well, unlike my Bonsai tree (R.I.P), and my hobbies include reading, colouring in (I’m very good at staying in the lines you know) and going for coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.

That’s pretty much all you need to know about me, well, it’s probably a good bit more than you need to know or care about but there you go, I’m a sharer.

You can find me on LinkedIn (Niamh Murray), Facebook (Niamh Ní Mhuirí) or in the nearest Clements coffee shop.