Sunday, 23 February 2014

UN Security Council Website

Okay so it's after midnight, my laptop has 7% battery and I really should be sleeping, but I just made the most amazing discovery. After flicking through my 'The Week' magazine (which I would definitely recommend by the way) I decided to find out more about the UN's report on North Korea. Quite honestly, I did not except to find any sort of report or anything- I would have thought the UN would be relatively secretive about most of their documents etc and understandably so. But no! If you go on their website you can find letters, reports, minutes from their meetings- it's amazing!

There's just so much there and it's definitely worth looking through for information etc. Wow. Just wow. Whether or not they ever intervene in North Korea, there's at least one thing that the UN have done right. ED

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Edward Tudor

Instead of going out with friends or doing my homework, today I decided to be very productive and stay in my onesie all day watching the 1977 adaptation of ‘The Prince and The Pauper’ from the historical novel by Mark Twain. It was actually pretty good and educational (wink, wink). I mean, apart from the fact Edward Tudor was nineteen years old instead of nine. But, as I am not a qualified historian, that didn’t bother me... well not too much anyway.

And I bet you can all guess what this blog is going to be about! Yes, Edward Tudor. 

So now you lucky people are going to get five (hopefully interesting) facts about him:

  1. He was made King of England when he was nine (considering that I can barely make up my mind about what I want to eat and I’m six years older than him, I find that prospect very frightening, even if he did have advisors).
  2. He died when he was 15 (there’s not really any way to sugar coat this one, it’s sad but true).
  3. Despite the fact that his sisters were disowned for a short period, they were still quite close to him- Elizabeth gave Edward a “shirt of her own working” and I thought that was quite cute. 
  4. He liked his step-mother, Catherine Parr, whom he referred to as his “most dear mother” (see, not all step-mothers are evil like in Cinderella).
  5. He could play the lute (for all of the musically inept like me, this is a string instrument that looks like either a small guitar or a big violin. You can see it below).

Overall, I feel that this shortish entry on Edward Tudor can be interpreted as something productive, so now I can just watch another film and eat Ben & Jerry’s Ice-cream instead of starting half term homework. All of Edward’s responsibilities have been stressing me out too much. 


Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Belgium Trip Information

 The History Department's trip to the First World War battlefields of Belgium will soon be taking place again, and we are particularly looking forward to it this year as it is the 100th Anniversary of the outbreak of the conflict.

Here is a link to the powerpoint used at the information evening last night which contains details on what to bring and what will take place on the trip. If you have any further queries do please get in touch with the History Department.

Keep an eye on the blog for further posts related to the trip and the centenary commemorations.

PS: Please note that the issues regarding ParentPay should now have been resolved. We apologise for any inconvenience that was caused.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Why I am boycotting the Winter Olympics....

                 Now, I know it comes as a devastating shock to most of you, but I am not the sportiest of people. And I don't mind saying that the previous statement is almost as big of an understatement as 'Hitler wasn't among the greatest of leaders'. I hate sport with a passion, probably because I have only really tried the girly sports, and I’m not exactly the most feminine of girls... So it may seem odd that I’m choosing to write an article on a sporting event, or even that an event that involves movement has evoked some passion in me. After all, my best memory of the Olympics was being in a 5,000 strong crowd at Hyde Park, repeatedly chanting 'Boris! Boris!'.
  So why am I feeling so strongly about the Winter Olympics? I can tell you now, that it’s not excitement I feel towards events in Sochi. It's a very British annoyance (if I was to get 'angry', there’s a possibility of some tea-spillage. The thought gives me goose bumps.). Because, to be honest with you, I’m not a big fan of the Russian political environment right now. So here's a (not-so-short) list of the main reasons the 2014 Winter Olympics are annoying me like a wasp buzzing around your picnic on the only sunny day of the year.

 1) Human Rights Issues
      Basically, Putin has put in a series of laws that seem to undermine  the right to freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom of association in the run up to the Olympics - which are three of the Human Rights laws I hold most dear.

2) Economy 
    In short, property prices around Sochi have skyrocketed, not to mention the fact that these Olympics seem to be costing a lot of money that seems to go less into the Olympics, and more into the pockets of high-up Russian Officials

3) LGBT Rights Issues 
   Okay. So right or wrong, this is the issue that gets the most up my nose. The stance of the Russian Government on homosexuals, is that they are allowed to be gay (which is a right, not a privilege), as long as they don’t 'advertise their lifestyle'. You know, in case people suddenly get 'converted' to being gay, and then what would society do?! I also watched a really interesting programme on the Winter Olympics, in which the mayor of Sochi insisted that 'there were no gays in Sochi', before being informed of several Gay Clubs in the capital of Sochi.

What I find the most interesting about the Winter Olympics is that the corruption and blatant Human Rights abuses are as 'out there' as Louis Spence at a Gay Pride convention. Yet nobody seems to really be doing anything. So although one less television tuned into events in Sochi won't really make any difference, maybe it will inspire others to do the same. Because we have to do something...