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Enviro Blog Post 3: The Food Industry Paradox

24 Apr

Here are some paradoxes that constitute the basis of the food crisis:

  1. Agriculture is entirely dependent on fresh water for its subsistence. Yet, agriculture wastes 60% or 1,500 trillion liters, of the 2,500 trillion liters of water it uses each year.
  1. 805 million people struggle with hunger everyday around the world, 1.2 billion people are undernourished and live in extreme poverty and yet 33% of all the food produced on the planet is wasted.
  1. The cost of wasted food amounts to $750 billion every year. The cost of ending world hunger has been estimated by the United Nations to be $30 billion every year.
  1. 28% of farmland grows food that will be thrown away due to them not meeting the standards of perfection that make them desirable to consumers according to supermarket chains. This quest for perfection apparently does not apply to making the world a better place for everyone.

The more I think about it, the more ridiculous our food system seems to me. I wonder, “how does any of this make sense?” and then I remember, the goal of Industrial Agriculture is not to feed the world, it is to maximize profit and that is probably the biggest paradox of all and the root of all the other problematic paradoxes of that industry.We are talking of an industry who spends more money and energy on perpetuating unrealistic expectations of fruits and vegetables than on actually feeding the hungry. It is fundamentally wrong.

profit

Fortunately, some people are fighting back the trend of food waste: a French supermarket chain, Intermarché, has launched the Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables initiative- selling “ugly” fruits and vegetables with a 30% discount- in an attempt to fight food waste; similarly Jamie Oliver working with Asda, a UK-based supermarket chain, have introduced oddly-shaped fruits and vegetables at a discounted price in the retailer’s aisles. This practice might be new among big retail chains, but it is already a common one for locally based, smaller organic retailers like Real Food Connections in Fredericton, to sell vegetables rejected by big chains at a discounted price. Honestly, I don’t understand where this obsession with the physical perfection of food comes from. 65% of Asda customers who answered a poll were in favor of buying unconventionally shaped food for a cheaper price. A weird potato can still make a good mash, a crooked carrot can make delicious soup, a bruised orange will not make bruised juice. By now we should all know that what counts is inner beauty not outer beauty, especially when inner beauty is delicious and just as nutritious. 

weird apple

As for me, this chapter turned out to be a motivation to be smarter when it comes to food, and not just in the healthy way. Wasting food contributes considerably to global warming so I believe it is important that everybody takes a minute to think about how their personal food habits impacts the planet. It would not be very hard to buy just what we need from sources that care about the environment and to eat what we buy without trashing unspoiled food.

However, would we make a difference if we all changed our ways? Possibly. But the biggest change would have to come from the industry of paradoxes. After all, most of the food wasted in countries like India and Bangladesh, are lost before it even reaches the customers due to poor stocking capacity. That does not mean we should just give up on changing our ways because we have the numbers on our side, we can make a difference just through the laws of demand and supply simply by shopping wiser. If we buy less, they won’t have to produce as much and hopefully there will be some new balance in this world.

WOE_155WastedFood1

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Enviro Blog Post 2: Weather Gone Wild: Mauritian edition

24 Apr

Among the material and concepts we went over when we were going over Module 2 in class, we went over humanity’s carbon footprint and we watched documentaries such as “Weather Gone Wild” and “Do the Math”. The films explored issues like recent extreme weather conditions, expectations of future natural disasters, requirements for the survival of our society, the carbon cycle and the huge negative impact of fossil fuel companies on the planet’s equilibrium. As much as they tried to be global, the documentaries’ main focus was on North America but I could not help but apply all this information to my country, Mauritius.

mauritius aaaaaa

Mauritius is an island nation in the Indian Ocean. With 2040 km² area of land and a population of approximately 1.3 million, Mauritius is my home. Many may not know about my country but we rank 1st in Africa for Economic Freedom, Global Economic Competitiveness, Global Innovation, Peace, Democracy, ICT Development, Environmental Performance and Social Progress among others. Mauritius is one of the most successful stories among the developing countries, yet I am worried about its future. Despite our general success, we have been classified as ‘Highly Vulnerable’ by the South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission and the United Nations Environment Program. The latter program has added that the island is vulnerable to “considerable economic loss, humanitarian stresses and environmental degradation as a result of climate change impacts.”

There is no denying that Mauritius has recently been experiencing extreme weather. The events of March 30, 2013 got us featured on international news: in less than 2 hours, over 150mm of rain fell on the capital, that is more than half of the average expected rainfall for the whole month of March. These torrential rains caused flash floods that killed 11 people, injured around a hundred and caused thousands of dollars of damage.

MyCollage_2

Who was to blame for this disaster? The Ministry of Public Infrastructure for the poorly designed drains and roads? The Meteorological station for failing to predict the intensity and destructiveness of the rain? The population for the insane littering that blocked the drains? The Government for failing to create a recycling campaign to prevent the littering in the first place? None of them are responsible for the weather itself, that would be the effect of climate change on the weather patterns of the island. However, the disaster is not the flood. The real disaster is the deaths and all the damage that could- and should- have been avoided. This is the real cost of climate change and the Government as well as the people are equally responsible and simultaneously, the ones coping with most of the cost. It would be logical to assume that after two years of ‘March Torrential Rain Madness’ the population and the authorities would be better prepared, yet it happened again this year, once again exposing the limitations of the infrastructure and of the Disaster Management Committee. Once again, thousands of dollars worth of damage was caused.

MyCollage_1

The United Nations Development Program has predicted that the direct climate change impacts likely to adversely affect Mauritius include an increase in the frequency of intense rainfall episodes, sea level rise of 18 to 59 centimeters by 2100 and an increase in intensity of tropical cyclones. Mauritius knows how to deal with cyclones, it is one of the best-prepared countries in the world when it comes to cyclones but the same cannot be said when it comes to floods and landslides, our recent threats. No, we cannot stop the rain from falling but we can change how we deal with the rain just like we learnt how to deal with cyclones before. Adaptation is the key issue we share with the rest of the world. It is the only way to protect the Mauritian people and property from the devastating effect of climate change. Most of our population are still ignorant about the phenomenon of climate change and its related impacts and issues. An ignorant population makes us more vulnerable to climate change and ignorant stubborn leaders who refuse to face the inevitable makes us the most vulnerable. Climate change is an issue of national security, people’s lives are at stake, it is time for real actions to be taken. The waning sewage, drain, land transport and electrical systems are becoming obsolete and have to be upgraded- and not simply repaired- to ensure a safer future for Mauritians. Mauritians, themselves, have to become more self-aware of the consequences of their actions, such as littering.

dirty mauritius

I’ve had enough of seeing this after every big flood.

Adaptation is not the only key to rising up to the challenge of climate change for Mauritius. As a developing country, we barely have a say in international climate change debates and we are not big contributors to the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, however that does not exempt us from advancing in the direction of mitigation. In Mauritius, thermal plants fueled by diesel oil are responsible for more than 80% of electrical power generation, while hydroelectric power and bagasse generates the remaining 20%. However, in a developing country, the demand for energy keeps increasing and in the recent years some private investors have designed and have been trying to implement the CT Power project- a coal based energy generating system. It is a well known scientific fact that coal is the dirtiest fossil fuel, yet the promoters of this project assured Mauritians that coal could be as clean as it is cheap and that there was no real threat to the environment. The ignorant, greedy and debt-ridden Government of the country had no choice but to give the project the green light. Fortunately, the population’s indignation and a change in Government this year, spelt the end of CT power and I could not be prouder. This is a huge step in mitigation for Mauritius. It harmonizes perfectly with the construction and design of all new buildings to be self-providing in electricity through solar panels. Yet, despite our efforts, Mauritius will suffer more from climate change than bigger countries simply because we are a developing country and an island nation.

Vulnerable_Countries_1024

Yes it’s unfair and that is why the people of Mauritius, my people, have to strive exceptionally hard in respect to mitigation and adaptation so that we can become resilient to most of the impacts of climate change. We are a small nation, it is easier to take decisions and to work for the good of the whole population and sustain everyone; we could be an example of resilience. To achieve this we have to make changes now, before climate change catches up on us entirely and brings about the end of our paradise.

Enviro Blog Post 1: THE SIXTH GREAT EXTINCTION or the cumulative effect of humans taking up more and more of the Earth’s bio-capacity and probably ruining everything

24 Apr

As someone who usually tunes in to Wildlife Conversation networks, I knew that we had been losing more and more species, just recently the Western black rhinoceros was officially declared extinct. It breaks my heart every time it happens. Therefore, getting to see the facts and statistics behind the sixth great extinction in class was not just appalling, it was frightening. Frightening because we, humans, have been taking up more and more of the Earth’s bio-capacity leaving less and less for other species, we, humans, have the kind of power for our actions to become the main driver of global environmental change- we have literally created a new geological epoch- and yet, frighteningly enough, this power is just being invested in destruction.

The sixth great extinction is happening now. The WWF reports show that the Earth has lost half its wildlife in the last 40 years. This alarming rate can be put further into perspective when compared to the great extinction of the dinosaurs, which it exceeds. In class, we have read and assessed the “Living Planet Report”. This compilation of the biodiversity of the planet, which is assembled by the WWF every two years, comprises the evaluation of over 10,000 populations of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish. Analyzing this index has showed that the total populations has dropped by 52% since 1970. In more details, it shows a percentage loss of 39% in terrestrial animals, 76% loss in freshwater animals, and 39% in marine animals between 1970 and 2010.

I am outraged. In a world that dreams of reviving dinosaurs, the focus should be on saving what we still have now. 41,415 species are on the IUCN Red List of endangered animals. Adopting a panda or a tiger is a noble initiative but to make a significant, and this time positive, change what needs to be done is a switch in lifestyle and mind-set. Our current mind-set rejects a change in lifestyle. We have adapted to this life of comfort and abundance. We have locked ourselves in this bubble where everything but us and our comfort can be sacrificed or modified to fit the demands of our lifestyle.

Our actions, the so called “progress” of the human race, has lead to the loss of biocapacity and carrying capacity of the Earth: fisheries are collapsing, natural habitats are being converted to urban and agricultural areas and fresh water supplies are being contaminated. We are driving thousands of species to extinction. We are disturbing ecosystems. The reason? It appears to me to be some underlying selfish motive: indifference for species who do not directly sustain our progress.

earth

Progress. Population growth. Production growth. Economic growth. All priorities in our society, priorities that are the major drivers of the environmental crisis. The rate of the environmental degradation puts life on Earth at risk, and not just for whales, pandas, salmon or monarch butterflies, for us humans too. The Earth is moving to a warmer state, a state where large mammals like humans cannot survive. Maybe we assumed that a few species lost was worth the rise of the superior human race, maybe our world leaders calculated that our economy deserved the sacrifice. However all our lifestyle has really done is doomed ourselves. A series of conservation short films, called “Nature is Speaking,” that I have watched recently has confirmed this theory. As Julia Roberts, who voices Nature in one of the films said as she addressed humans, “I Don’t Really Need People. I’ve been here for eons. I’ve fed species greater than you. And I’ve starved greater species than you. My oceans, my soil, my flowing streams, my forests: They all can take you—or leave you… Your actions will determine your fate. Not mine. I am Nature. I will go on. I am prepared to evolve. Are you?”

The answer is no, humans cannot evolve in time to survive in the unsustainable future we are building but the Earth has adapted to greater catastrophes before and it will adapt again, without us. It is time we understand that we are responsible for our impending doom. We have to understand that planet Earth does not need saving, we do. Similarly to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, on planet Earth, everything that lives or that lived is connected. Unsettling a seemingly unimportant part of this ecosystem brings about a domino effect that will end up hitting us hard. It is essential to our survival that we play a bigger part in conservation and sustainable development, we cannot go on living our lives as the parasites of planet Earth. No, that was not a mistake and I honestly don’t think it is an exaggeration: humans are parasites to the Earth. We exploit everything the Earth has to offer and give nothing in return, we multiply our ranks at the expense of other species who never wronged us. We are ruthless and abusive. If the Earth was one big apartment and all the different species were roommates, the human race would be that domineering and extremely messy roommate who always eats all the breakfast cereals, drinks all the milk and uses all the shampoo and never replaces anything. Nobody wants that kind of roommate, then why are we forcing this behavior upon our fellow Earthlings?

blaming

We are terrified of sharks, of pitbulls and even of vampires and zombies but the real monsters are all human. I said earlier that we needed saving but sometimes when I think of what we have been doing to Nature, I wonder if we deserve to be saved. Okay, that may be a little harsh. Granted, a lot of the damage done has been caused by big industries, corporations and governments and not by regular individuals but really, we all implemented this system. There is no nice way of saying this: humans are the only animals on this planet who found a way to work against nature and mess up with the circle of life. Simba would not be proud. 

museum-human-atrocities2_600

Myths about girls that we have to stop preaching

20 Jul

You may think you know everything about your body..or your girlfriend’s body or your wife’s body or your friend with benefits’ body. Maybe in your head you are an ultimate sex god. Maybe you think you are a total noob. Thing is, there are a few things that you really have to know, be it for yourself, for a friend or your future daughter or anyone that could ask you questions and that you won’t want to mislead. Today, we are debunking myths.

Please note that I was gonna put a warning sign at the top of this article but then realised that everyone should know about what I am addressing and that I have not been vulgar in any way. If you disagree, we can talk about it.

Let's get down to business.

Now, let’s get down to business.

 

Myth no.1: Shaving causes hair to grow back thicker or fuller.

This is one of the biggest myths that have ever been passed on from generations to generations. However, it is just a myth that science easily makes do of. Shaving simply cuts the hair. Hair growth is controlled by hair follicles found just underneath the skin.  There is no way that shaving can affect the follicles deep under the skin since only the outer part of your hair that is already dead is getting cut.   The follicles underneath that determine thickness and growth rate remain completely unaffected by your shaving or not shaving or waxing for that matter. The only factors that could affect the follicles are genetics and hormones.

The shorter hair is just stuck at an angle that makes it look coarse and thick. It is an illusion. It is also just a ‘feeling’ that the hair is stronger and broader when it is shorter, but the actual thickness is exactly the same as when it was when longer.

Myth no.2: You have to shave or wax to enjoy life- or sex.

no no no no samuel l jackson

It is easy to feel pressurised to shave or wax with all the commercials of beautiful women shaving or waxing their already hair-less long and sexy legs. Maybe all your friends wax and maybe all the women in your family have always shaved but in all honesty, none of this means you have to do so too. You do not have an obligation to do something to your body that you don’t want to do. If you don’t feel like waxing your legs then don’t. If you don’t feel like shaving, fine. It is your body, it is your choice. You don’t have to do it if your boyfriend asks you to. You don’t have to do it if your grandmother thinks it would look prettier. This also works in the other direction: your best friend telling you not to shave is not good reason enough to not do it if you feel like shaving.

Also, this myth concerns pubic hair as well. It is not because clean-shaven pussy is a trend in the porn industry that you have to shave yours, or pressurise your girlfriend into shaving hers. Shaving the pubic area has become very common, even desirable, among teenagers and young adults. And although it may be becoming the social norm, that does not mean you should do it. Again, your body, your choice. However it is important to note that pubic hair exists for a reason and removing it may not be the best idea ever. Some research should be done before your take a razor to your bush.

Fun fact: the average woman is estimated to spend an average of $10,000 on hair removal and shaving products in her entire life. That’s approximately Rs 308,000. Personally, I’d rather spend that on travelling or buying books than on the smoothness of my legs. Ultimately the choice is yours- and yours only- whether you decide to shave/wax or not.

idowatiwant

Myth no.3: The hymen breaks the first time you have sex.

mourinho finger wag no

I’m gonna be honest with you, the first time I heard of the hymen, how it breaks when you have sex for the first time and how after that you are no more a virgin, I was eleven and I did not even understand where the hell the hymen is. I think you are supposed to see it or feel it and it is not even supposed to be complicated. But really, I was at a loss and I was glad to read that many scientists can’t really agree on where the hymen is supposed to be either.

Anyways, let’s talk about hymens. Girls are often led to believe that the hymen is a flat piece of tissue covering the vagina, which is punctured during intercourse. False. “Usually, the hymen looks like a fringe of tissue around the vaginal opening,” says Carol Roye, a nursing professor at Hunter College and a nurse practitioner who specializes in adolescent primary and reproductive health care.. “It is not an intact piece of tissue draped across it. Some girls are born without a hymen, others have only a scanty fringe of tissue. Despite all the mystery around it, we can agree that the hymen is just a body part.” Oh and for your information, hymens don’t “break”. They can get torn during sex or any other physical activity ranging from horse riding to falling off a trampoline but they don’t break. You can’t tear through the hymen the way you could poke a hole in saran wrapper with your fingers. The thing about hymens is that, like any other part of a person’s body, it changes with time. Cleaning, self-exploration, sports and even walking all contribute to thin and widen the hymenal tissue and by the time a girl reaches adulthood, there is little to no tissue remaining around the vaginal opening and it is really not a big deal because your hymen is NOT the sign of your virginity.

 The concept of virginity has an emotional connotation. It is more than just the physical disruption of hymenal tissue.

If a young woman has had a sexual relationship with her partner, and she feels that she has lost her virginity, then she has, regardless of what actually happened to her hymen during the encounter. There are ancillary issues that each woman must answer for herself.

That also means you cannot ‘restore your virginity’ through hymenal reconstructive surgery or with fake hymens. Virginity is in your head.

Myth no.4: Your first time will absolutely hurt.

wrong-gif

I can already hear you from here. “But my first time did hurt! A lot!” Okay, maybe it did hurt but thing is it should not have to hurt. The fact that it is the first time is not the reason behind the pain, correlation is not causation. The pain actually comes from increased muscle tensions due to nervousness. “But I did bleed!” Yes well, that is most likely due to tissues breaking because of lack of lubricating. That in itself would be the result of not enough foreplay and inexperience. “Tissue breaking? You mean my hymen, right?” No. No I do not mean your hymen. What I mean though, is that the main reason girls experience pain the first time they have sex is because they expect to feel pain. This expectation is what causes the nervousness that causes the extra tightness, the lack of natural lubricant, the pain and the bleeding. Forget the hymen. The pain you experience is not the hymen breaking simply because the hymen does not break. Okay? Okay.

Long conclusion: If we stopped telling girls to expect horrible pain on their first times, things would be a lot less painful for them and a lot less troublesome for everyone.

Short conclusion: It is kinda all in your head.

Myth no.5: A tight vagina is a sign of sexual arousal.

whaaat

whaaaaat?

If you thought this was so, I have bad news for you: your life is a lie. Maybe you’ve seen countless of comments and erotic stories and fanfictions mention how “wet tight pussies” are the shit, I’ve seen them too and they are as wrong as can be. A tight vagina is actually a sign of not being sexually stimulated enough. If your girlfriend is really tight it is not an epic win. She is either too nervous or has a medical condition or you are just doing a terrible job at turning her on. Sorry, not sorry. Know that It can take sometimes 20 minutes or more of foreplay for a woman’s vaginal muscles to relax enough to be truly ready for penetrative sex. So take your time and relax.

Myth no.6: Small, petite or even virgin girls have tighter vaginas.

bsBeing small, petite or a virgin is not the reason why a vagina is tighter than usual. Anxiety is the only thing that makes the vaginal musculature clench even tighter. Size, age and sexual experience of a person does not physically affect the vagina. Some tall and huge women can be tight if they’re anxious and some small, young virgins who are relaxed and turned on can be stretched just the right way. Vaginas are elastic and will stretch and expand – sometimes to almost twice their size – during sex, regardless of how big or small you are, if they are rubbed the right way.
However, someone who has sex often may be less anxious that someone who has never had sex before. That is why it is often believed that virgins have tighter vaginas, thing is they are probably just more stressed about the sex.

P.s: This does not refer to children. Children should not be having sex.

Myth no.7: You need to clean your vagina regularly.

britney whaaatYou may be genuinely confused about this one. Maybe all your life you’ve been told to wash your private parts carefully with water and soap or even douche or other cleansing products. But there’s something you have to know: the vagina is a self-cleaning organ. It produces its own vagina-made  protective substances that gets rid of any unwanted bacteria and fluids. “But douche has been specially designed to clean vaginas, right?” Well, yes and no. Most of the time all these feminine cleansing products can do more harm than good by unbalancing the vaginas natural pH and causing irritations. Water should do just the trick. The only time a vagina might need extra help cleaning-wise is if you notice a stronger than usual smell down there. Healthy vaginas should not smell like fish, if yours constantly has this problem you should definitely see a doctor. Yeast infections, dehydration or an excess intake of vitamin supplements could be the problem. In any case, no need to panic. No need to take huge risks either, so just go see a doctor.

Myth no.8: Sex and childbirth will loosen your vagina forever.

Nononono emma stone

Right, and your girlfriend feeling looser down there is not proof she is cheating on you. Look, as I said above, vaginas are elastic and they most usually always naturally tighten again after sex. The vagina is like an elastic band and unless you have sex 5 times a day every single day, there should not be any visible effect on your vagina. Intercourse does not permanently loosen your vagina.

Similarly, childbirth will not stretch your vagina to the point of no return. Of course, the stretching is not comparable to the one that happens during sex but give it a few months and your ‘va jay jay’ should be back to new. However, age and frequency are important factors and studies have shown that often, the vaginas of young women after multiple births may not snap back entirely back as they were and older women who have give birth more than once in their later days tend to experience “persistent looseness.”

I addressed only 8 myths in this article but there are actually many many more things that people are very wrong about when it comes to the female body so maybe I will write a ‘Part II’ someday. Concerning this article, if you already knew all this, good for you and if you just learned about all this, good for you too. However, if you choose to not believe me and the studies and other articles I used to back this up, it’s your choice I guess but please don’t spread your ignorance and wrongness. Don’t refuse to advise your sisters and girlfriends well. Don’t teach your daughters wrong. Don’t be shy or embarrassed, we are in the 21st century, there’s no more time for this childishness when it comes to the human body.

If you persist, however, to go on perpetuating lies, I have one last gif for you:

be wrong

and please be wrong alone.

To the rest of you, have fun and stay safe!

 

p.s: I am not a top-notch vagina expert but I happen to have one and I’ve researched a lot about it since I’ve known how to use the Internet- and that’s been a while really- and I can tell you I would never ever mislead anyone intentionally about vaginas, hygiene, the human body and freedom of choice and I assure you I have not done so in this piece of writing above.

16 reasons why wearing glasses suck

16 Jul

I’ve been wearing glasses ever since I was 9 years old. That means I’ve been wearing glasses for over half of my life. You might think I should have gotten used to it by now, but let me tell you something, there are things you just cannot get used to.

#1. Not finding them

One thing about being really badly short-sighted- everything 10 cm onward away from my face is blurry to me – is that when you lose your glasses, you can’t see them, you can’t see the two thin coloured sticks and the two transparent little panes. It is mission impossible and you have two choices: 1. be weak and ask for help or 2. rely on your other senses and hope you can recognise your glasses cry. Oh yeah, wait, glasses don’t make a noise, so yeah, you can only rely on your sense of touch and start touching everything around you. Every. Single. Surface. Has. To. Be. Covered. Good luck.

me neither, Velma, me neither...

me neither, Velma, me neither…

#2. Rain

Now don’t get me mistaken, I like rain. It’s just that I would probably enjoy rain 100% more if I was not as blind as a bat.

 

speaks for itself

speaks for itself

See what I mean?

#3. Smudges

Smudges are a bit like rain except there’s no way one can enjoy smudges. No way. They are like the nemesis of the myopic.

smudge

 

#4. The tan lines

Those will happen. When you live in a tropical country, like me, it’s just a teeny bit worse. When you are darker-skinned, like my sister, it may get a little bit more than “a teeny bit” worse. She has a lighter line crossing her nose, you know, where the glasses stand and block the sun. My tan lines are a bit different; all the area behind my glasses- I mean even behind the actual glass part- is lighter. If you look at me you will barely notice, but then maybe that’s because I wear an equaliser facial cream. *wink wink*

#5. Idiots

Idiots, meaning those people who find it absolutely hilarious to take your glasses from your face and ask you dumb questions like “how many fingers am I holding up?” or dumber questions like “what colour am I?” I am not even kidding you here. I have been asked those questions, the former more often and even the first time it was not funny. Actually, it is as funny as taking away someone’s wheelchair just to see to what extent they cannot walk. It is not funny.

And for those who legitimately wonder, it’s just blurry. Fingers don’t double and colours don’t change. It’s blurry and we don’t see all the little details, like those old YouTube videos that you can’t switch to HD.

hd

#6. Other idiots

You know, those people who have perfect vision and want to wear glasses. Some of them are ready to ruin their eyesight to be able to accessorise their eyes. Others just wear glasses with no lenses..or fake glasses that do nothing to improve eyesight but supposedly improve style. If you wear glasses, you know you hate those people. No, just kidding, maybe they are your friends and you don’t “hate hate” them, but you still want to push them off a cliff every time they tell you how lucky you are to wear glasses.

*pushes you off a cliff*

*pushes you off a cliff*

#7. Sunglasses

Because I can’t. All those who do not wear glasses have such a hard time choosing their sunglasses, right? If you go to the mall, for sure there will be sunglasses in all retail stores, clothes stores, make-up stores… The mall I’m most used to is the Bagatelle one and I can tell you there are sunglasses in stores ranging from Aldo. Jennyfer, Ibiza, Woolworth, Sweet Sugar, Truworths, to Mr. Price, Manjoo, Réserve Naturelle and all the supermarkets. Pretty sunglasses can also be found in the markets and even sold by hawkers on the road. And their prices won’t even get you crying, unlike those at actual glasses stores. Those very stores where people who actually wear glasses have to buy theirs because they need to have them adjusted to their crappy eyesight.

#8. 3D glasses at the cinema

I know many people have already complained about the weight of 3D glasses, now imagine what it is like when you have to balance two pairs of glasses on your nose. I can say my nose, and my ears for that matter, enjoy this activity as much as I do. There’s only so much space for one pair, but I cannot say blurry 3D tempts me.

It is annoying, but to watch a good movie I can bear with it. Two hours is not that long, huh?

#9. The pre-kiss anxiety

The big question that people who wears glasses cannot help turning over and over again in their head when they start liking someone who wears glasses too is “will they clash?” They most likely will sometimes and honestly it is not such a big deal when it happens but pre-kiss will always still be a moment doused in apprehension, at least to me.

#10. I can’t hear without my glasses

Well actually, I can. But not as good as with them. I’m not sure if this applies to people other than me, but since it applies to someone it’s on this list. I don’t know if it is because I part lip-read unconsciously or if the glasses’ temples stimulate my ears but I just understand what people say better when I have my glasses on. Which is kinda ridiculous when you think about it, but I’m not thinking about it that much.

#11. Knowing you are most certainly a reject of evolution

We cannot see. Maybe it is in our genes. Maybe it is the result of too much T.V or too much reading books from too near in the dark with just a tiny lamp(guilty!). But if a zombie apocalypse broke out and we lost our glasses while running, we’d be doomed. Because a blurry zombie looks just like a normal person and when we get near enough to notice it IS a zombie we’re doomed. Seeing underwater without glasses is near impossible too. Now imagine losing your glasses in the sea, finding them would be mission impossible upgraded to level 100.

#12. It’s expensive to see

Glasses, more the lenses actually, are expensive. When you start seeing the world blur around you when you have your glasses on, you know it’s time for a check-up, an upgrade and, well, an expense. Again. I’m nearly 19 and I must have changed glasses 10 times. I wonder when my eyesight will stop getting worse. No actually, I wonder if my eyesight will stop getting worse one day.

#13. I don’t know what I look like without glasses

I don’t know, I have a vague idea- more like a blurred idea, haha very punny- of what I look like without glasses. However, that idea is a mix between the completely blurry face I see in the mirror when I do normal stuff like brushing my teeth (and by completely blurry I mean I barely see my eyes and lips and nose) and the very accurate details I see when I put my face inches away from the mirror. That image is not flattering at all. Anyway, this brings up the next problem.

#14. Taking glasses-less selfies is a challenge

Taking pictures of something you cannot see is always a challenge. In the actual case of selfies, I have a method: you just pull a few faces, hope for the best, put on your glasses to check the pictures, delete the pictures, start over 57 more times. Next time someone who wears glasses sends you a selfie of them, say in a bathtub or a pool, with glasses on, do not point out that it is weird. They know. They can’t really help it.

#15. Wearing them when you shave

No matter how bad the eyesight, you don’t really really need them to shave- say, your legs- but you know it is a lot more practical to actually see what you are shaving: less chances to miss something and less chances to cut yourself and not see the blood because it is just a tiny drop. But if you do wear the glasses, chances are they will fog up..or get drops on them, thus re-enacting the ‘rain’ problem.

#16. Peripheral vision and visual distortion

Peripheral vision, meaning if I look at the side without moving my head, the world is blurry. Visual distortion, meaning my eyes look smaller than they actually are because the glass is thick like that.

You know what else? That sexy thing that women(some men do it too though) who wear glasses usually do on T.V or stuff…

THAT thing.

THAT thing.

If I did THAT thing, I would not see you. Maybe it would still be somewhat sexy to you, but I would not see you see me being sexy.

By now, I bet there is only one thing you want to tell me: “JUST GET CONTACT LENSES!!”

Maybe I should. I most probably should. This way I could go scuba diving and play sports with more ease and less glasses slipping down my nose. I would not have that rain problem, or that 3D glasses problem, or that sunglasses problem or any other problem. Thing is, I’m a wimp. When you say “contact lenses” there is only one thing I think about and nothing you say will convince me.

contacts

I’m guessing removing them is tricky too. Falling asleep with them is a ‘no-no’ so no, maybe later when I’ll hate my glasses more. This is probably not gonna happen though since you cannot hate what lets you see. I think.

 

So long my fellow Velmas 😉

Take care.

Let’s talk Marvel.

17 Jun

Hi. Again, it’s been a while since I have not written. Stuff happens.

Anyways, if I am writing today it’s for a very specific purpose: clearing some issues concerning Marvel comics and its various characters TV and movie rights. Because, in my opinion, if you watched the Wolverine, X-Men, Avengers, Thor, Fantastic Four, Ghost Rider, etc.. movies, there are stuff you should know. Especially if you have a thing for crossovers and pray to whoever god you pray to every night for Wolverine or Spider-man in the Avengers movie, read on. Even if you don’t pray for that every night, read on.

marvel-logo-o (1)

There was a time, quite a while ago, when Marvel Entertainment Studios- then called Atlas and then again Timely- sold the movie rights of some of its comic book characters to some other movie studios like Sony and 20th Century Fox. At around that time, Marvel’s main focus was, naturally, comic books and they had probably not well anticipated the success that movie adaptations of the comics could have. Ensued the not very very wise decision of selling the movie rights to Spider-man, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men and the like to the movie studios mentioned above. Anywho, after the raging success of the Spider-man trilogy movies and the X-Men movies at the box office, Marvel Entertainment realised that the future of their studios was in the movies. Movies attract a larger audience, movies awe and dazzle in a way only movies can, movies are the closest we can feel to the superheroes of our childhood, they bring these heroes closer to reality, mais je m’emporte je m’emporte. So, where was I? Yes, Marvel Entertainment comes to the conclusion that they need their movie character rights back. They have to re-create the comic books universe and transform it into their cinematic universe. That is when they get back the rights to Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor from Artisan and the rights to Hulk and Namor from Universal Studios. Now, the big adventure can start. They invested big money and even bigger time to create the Avengers project. It may not seem obvious to everybody but this was a risky venture and it cannot be denied that they played it well, introducing characters like Iron Man, Thor and Captain America in their own movies. Introducing minor characters in those said movies, minor characters who would end up playing huge roles in the movies that would follow.

Okay, this may get complicated so let’s focus on the movie character rights first, then get into, what I like to call, what Marvel did.

I found a very practical and clear image on the web that will definitely clear all the doubts one could have and all the questions one could ask about the characters. Here it is:

There. Doesn't get clearer.

There. Doesn’t get clearer.

So, basically, if Disney/Marvel wanted to include Spider-Man in say the Avengers 2, they’d get sued because he belongs to Sony. Same goes for Wolverine. See, Marvel could not buy back the cinematic rights to all its comics characters, and that is simply because it would be insane(and a teeny bit selfish in my opinion) to let go of a movie franchise that earns them billions.

Let’s talk about the exception in teal. Yes, the colour of the set where Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver are in is called teal. Anyway. This is the big exception. Since Fox has the rights to all the characters who appear regularly in the X-Men comics, it seems logical that they would belong to Fox- all with being Magneto’s children and stuff- However, they have been with the Avengers for years also, and thus can rightfully be used in the Avengers franchise. It all looks fantastic, getting the best of both worlds, huh? There are some rules though: In the Avengers franchise they are not allowed to mention Magneto or even “mutants” and in the X-Men they are not allowed to discuss Avengers or Hulk and the like.

For those of us who still nurture the hope of crossovers and Marvel/Disney getting to buy back all their characters rights and create a grandiose universe, it is not time to give up yet. It is important to note that, the contracts of, for example, The Fantastic Four states that if Fox makes no movie including them for so many years, the rights goes back to Marvel Entertainment..erm Disney. However, it makes sense that knowing how much cash can be made from superhero movies, Fox would never let go that easily, and that is why, ladies and gentlemen, a reboot is on its way. There is still hope though, that if Sony, Fox and Disney sat at a table together and discussed how to make the most of it, we may get to see Spider-man and Iron Man high-fiving or Wolverine and Thor grunting together someday. It all depends on the offer.

There is hope!

There is hope!

Okay, now let’s go down to business and check out what Marvel did.

First let’s establish the timeline of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Movie chronology

20th Century

21st Century

And of course, everything is connected. It all started with Phase 1, also known as, Avengers Assembled. The movies in phase 1 are all those that preceded The Avengers and The Avengers itself. The movies and their after-credits scenes all link to each other and add up to create Marvel’s Cinematic Universe little by little. Marvel has literally made after-credits scenes an art. The first one, after Iron Man, dropped a tease-bomb on all the viewers; we will never forget the “I’m here to talk to you about The Avengers Initiative.” and as Nick Fury announced that “Mr. Stark, you’ve become part of a bigger universe. You just don’t know it yet.” we did not know it yet either, we were not prepared for what was to come. What came was huge. From the wink to Captain America after the Incredible Hulk to finding Mjolnir after Iron Man 2, we all saw it coming, The Avengers initiative. Then comes phase 2, the post-Avengers phase. At this point, the tension builds up considerably and we realise something bigger is coming our way. Even the after-credits scenes are darker, no more hinting at the hope of an incredible team, they tease-threaten. Thanos remains a threat, Loki remains a threat-now he is king of Asgard and nobody knows, Hydra also remains a huge threat- they have Loki’s sceptre, that means they are still within S.H.I.E.L.D’s facilities and they are testing Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. Threats, threats, threats! This time what awaits us is still shrouded in mystery.

Also, a big development in that universe, that I grew to appreciate, is Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, the TV show. We literally got an insight inside S.H.I.E.L.D, got to know some agents, started to understand and love them, and now I realise it was all building up to the events in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the fall of S.H.I.E.L.D. It kind of created a bigger dramatic event to watch everything connected in chronological order. Not watching everything also means you are missing out, not watching Captain America will probably ensure you don’t understand everything in the coming movies and TV shows connected and not watching Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D also hides key events from you. I won’t tell you what, I have probably spoiled you enough already. I hope I haven’t. Sincerely.

shield

You may think this is all already a lot, but Marvel is not done with us. In fact, it just got started. They already have a phase 3, consisting at the moment of Ant-Man the movie and the third Captain America movie, in pre-production. And there is more, a second season of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D has been confirmed, together with the new TV show Marvel’s Agent Carter. You think that’s it? You’re wrong, more TV shows are coming your way! Disney-Marvel and Netflix have joined forces to create four drama series based on Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Luke Cage, leading up to a miniseries revolving around the Defenders team. The Defenders, a bit like The Guardians of the Galaxy, are not very ‘mainstream’ to movie-goers. They are definitely not Superman, they are not very well-known, have a well-known story and a fan-base beyond comics lovers, and yet people are getting excited about them. People who may not have known who the Guardians of the Galaxy were a few months ago, are now feeling the hype, they are impatient to meet the characters, they want to travel deeper into the Marvel Universe. And that, that is beautiful. Marvel is winning its bet; creating a cinematic universe worth being branded Marvel.

And in case you want some more insight into Marvel and its novel idea of ‘shared universe’- something ‘unheard in Hollywood’ according to Tom Russo from Boston.com, you might want to check out the TV special titled Marvel Studios: Assembling a Universe. It is a documentary on the history of Marvel Studios and the making of its cinematic universe. I linked it just here 😉

Until next time, I wish you all well. If you want to discuss, do it in the comments section 🙂