Photos of Cardiff – Part 1: University

Here are some photos I have been taking around Cardiff. They may be a bit rough, but I’m going to practice making my images appear nicer in the future. Any tips or advice would be much appreciated.

If you have any ideas of where you would like me to go and take photos let me know!

Alexander Jones

Things I’m looking forward to in 2015 

Hey so it’s 2015 now believe it not, go on, ask the Maya, it’s true. We all survived until the year 2015, congrats everyone well done. 

I thought I’d share a few things such as events and whatnot that I’m looking forward to in the amazing year of 2015.

 

Number 1: The freedom after January exams

Oh boy, January exams. The aftermath of Christmas, the Hyde of Jekyll, the unstoppable and inevitable destruction of the world… Am I exaggerating? No, this is what every student thinks. We go off to our lovely warm homes and families only to return 2 weeks later to the cold, damp jail cell that is our student room. Here you are sentenced to a month of tedious revision and stress that will accumulate to the point that you forget how to speak to other human beings. Your diet? 18p noodles from Lidl and some cheap, badly cooked frozen sausages, Bon appetite prison bait.

The moment of freedom after the last assignment or essay is a moment that should be captured on vine or something “sick” with the kids these days. The shackles are removed and we’re free to binge watch all those Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones box sets we’ve been saving up for.

Number 2: going out for the first time, in like, forever! 

Oh it’s been too long. I miss the fresher days where we used to go out every weekend to various clubs, testing them out as it were, getting excessively drunk (the proud British way) and dancing like a moron to some bassy tunes. We’d all meet up in one of the flats, play some drinking games, have a good laugh and then dance the night away. To top it off, it was more than likely that we’d swing round the local takeaway for some chips on the way back. Those were definitely the days.

Now we are all serious adults, we only drink on special occasions. Those peasants that call themselves first years can stick to their silly vodka shots and Jäger bombs, I’m on the brandy and champagne. Just kidding obviously. Soon we will venture out again, like pups leaving the safety of their home and mother, and we will own the night.

Number 3: The Avengers 2: Age of Ultron

I’m such a nerd when it comes to Marvel films. After watching Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and the all the other films that followed I’m totally ready for Age of Ultron. Sadly I haven’t got into the comic side of things as of yet but I’m really enjoying the series of films being thrown at us year in, year out. Some people complain, they suck. Yes there’s a lot, who cares, I just want to see Cap fling his shield at bad guys and watch Tony Stark be all sassy. It’s got it’s charm.

It’s old news but I’m also looking forward to the second Guardians of the Galaxy film. I mean the first one was such a surprise it shocked me how funny and great it truly was. I have a poster on my wall and everything. I’m not sure if Avengers can live up to it in all honesty, we’ll just have to wait and find out. It looks like The Avengers will return sometime in May and I’ll be one of the first to see it. Will you?

Number 4: journalism spring ball 

Last year I was a fool. I didn’t make the effort to turn off my Xbox…I mean put down a really sophisticated, academic, course-related book, and go outside to attend the journalism ball. This year I will not make the same mistake. The tickets are on sale now and are close to gone, so I’ll be making a move for mine soon. There’s two reasons that I really want to attend this years ball, number one is that I feel that I missed something special last year, and the second is that it’s taking place in my previous workplace: the Angel hotel. Oh does it delight me to hear that. It’ll be such a weirdly wonderful experience to see old friends and enjoy the hospitality rather than providing it. The hotel itself makes a great venue for events such as balls because of its grand staircase which I just love. This should be a night to remember!

Number 5: The Wombats and Imagine Dragons new album releases

Two of my favourite bands are releasing some brand new tunes this year. The Wombats are coming out with some fresh stuff which is nice because it feels like ages since I heard ‘Your Body is a Weapon’ for the first time. Imagine Dragons have their new album Smoke+Mirrors very soon. Possibly my favourite indie band out there, these guys just blast out some awesome songs which are so easy to listen to. Time to place my pre-orders…

Number 6: Game of Thrones season 5:

How could I of forgotten to add Game of Thrones? Someone fetch the hand of the king, I need a word. The last season of Game of Thrones last year I felt was possibly the best season so far in the series. So much happened; I mean so many people died, stories intensified and Tyrion continues to be a badass, what’s not to like? I won’t spoil anything on here in this post because that wouldn’t be fair to any readers who are yet to experience the thrilling and certainly, emotional, journey that is Game of Thrones. If you haven’t started watching it already then I’m going to assume you will in time for season 5 otherwise your head might end up on a spike!

FYI: Tyrion is my fave. Nothing beats a dwarf outwitting everyone twice his size.

Game-Thrones-Season-4-Reactions

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Alexander Jones

Charlie Hebdo and the sieges of Paris 

Days after the murders performed at the satirical cartoon magazine headquarters, the killings continue in France.

On the 7th of January the news story that two gunmen had attacked and murdered 12 members of staff from the Charlie Hebdo building became massively viral. Without live TV and access to regular news, word travelled swiftly about the dreadful events that had taken place in Paris.

The aftermath from the shootings at the Charlie Hebdo office.

If you have a look at any large news source at the moment you will see claims that the two gunmen are believed to be Islamic extremists; their names Said and Cherif Kouachi. The Kouachi brothers. What a great villain duo. Evidence such as Said’s ID card, was found in the getaway car which was abandoned after the shooting. This was used to lead the French police into investigation.

The world was quick to respond to the massacre: the people of France came together in the open squares, such as the Place Royale in Nantes as shown in the feature image, to display a form of solidarity and respect to those that had been killed. Social networking sites sprung with images and writing in support of the victims and united against the suspected men. The saying “JeSuisCharlie”, or “IAmCharlie”, is still trending strongly on Twitter.

An example image of protest.

Days after the main events at Charlie Hebdo the police continued their search for the Kouachi brothers, leading them into the rural areas surrounding Paris. French special forces, armed with black tactical gear and automatic rifles initiated searches door to door of every house they came across in the hopes of finding the terrorists. I may be called out for calling them terrorists, but that is what they are. They committed an act of terror, murdering 12 innocent people, therefore they are terrorists.

French special forces make door to door searches for the Kouachi brothers.

Sadly, as of today, two more people have been killed in a French siege believed to be taking place at a supermarket in Dammartin-en-Goele, North-East of Paris. The police are at a standoff with the suspected Kouachi brothers in a hostage situation. It appears that we may be coming close to the final act of this terrorist plot, or so we hope.

The events from the past days have shown us two things: that some humans can be unnecessarily violent and cruel, and that the rest of us can unite against these pointless acts made by lesser men and create solidarity. I believe that these men will see justice in the coming hours, or the coming days, and that their actions will of course leave us with something to mourn for many years, but most importantly we must remember that they didn’t get what they wanted.

Charlie Hebdo will continue to print its weekly satirical magazine and with the support of the government and Google it will release 1 million copies of its next edition. Take that extremists.

JeSuisCharlie

Alexander Jones

Rita Ora’s cleavage is not a problem 

So, it seems a lot of the press has been discussing Rita Ora’s choice of outfit for her interview and promotion of The Voice on BBC’s primetime The One Show.

Complaints piled up regarding Rita Ora’s cleavage being exposed on a family programme before the official watershed had begun.

People made outcries such as “Is Rita Ora’s outfit really suitable for this time of evening?” one message read. “Thankfully my 7-year-old boy is elsewhere. Come on BBC, make the woman put a vest on.”

Another message complained: “I don’t want to see her boobs hanging out on a family programme. I find it quite disgraceful.”

Is there really any need for this sort of censorship? In my honest opinion I don’t think so. There has been a number of times where celebrities have chosen to wear revealing outfits on TV, so why pick on Rita Ora? 

I’m not a fanboy of Rita Ora in any way, but I am a fan of anti-sexism. 

This whole situation has been blown out of proportion by the small majority of people that have found this pop stars taste in fashion “disgraceful”. 

It seems like a very old-fashioned complaint to ridicule a woman’s sense of dress for displaying too much cleavage. It’s not even like its out of place for Rita Ora to wear very little as shown in this photo: 

It’s not like she’s revealing any form of nudity, just a bit of skin, which I find to be sexually empowering for women. 

I know my opinion may be disregarded because I’m a man, but I have studied texts during my course that go into detail about sexism and female inequality and I truly believe that there is nothing wrong with what Rita Ora wore last night. 

Accompanied by Will.I.Am, Tom Jones and Ricky Wilson, the frontman of rock band Kaiser Chiefs, Rita Ora will be taking the place of former judge Kylie Minogue. 

On a final note, an official BBC spokesperson stated that the One Show “allows guests to choose their own attire and pop stars often opt for something glamorous or striking”. 

For a great blog by a fellow Cardiff student have a look at Vicky Chandler’s take: http://www.lotsofloveme.com

Alexander Jones