Top 10 Inventions of 2017 | Eeman Y and Olivia R

“New year, new me!” This is the usual cringeworthy saying to explain and show the beginning of a new era, a fresh start, the turning over of a new leaf, the next chapter of a book or, in this case, the latest technologies. We have what, we think, are the Top Ten Inventions of 2017! Let’s go…

10. Nintendo Switch

First off on our list we have as Number 10 the Nintendo Switch. This gadget would likely be more popular with the younger generations, although anyone is free to use it. Originally the device was made to be used as an easily transportable video game, complete with two consoles able to allow multi-player games. It’s extremely handy and entertaining on long, dull car rides or for just relaxing at home on your couch.

9. DJI Spark

Next, at Number 9 is the DJI Spark, which definitely will be lesser known to the public, but is just the company’s name for an airborne drone. It’s mostly used for taking artistic photos and images, but could similarly be used for making maps of a landscape; or, more seriously, for search and rescue missions. This clever design would help the authorities in scanning a large surface area more easily, more quickly and more efficiently as well! So, as well as being an ordinary tool for future photographers or filmmakers, it saves lives on a daily basis too.

8. Tasty One Top

For Number 8, we thought that the Tasty One Top was a pretty good fit! The Tasty One Top is a beneficial, smart device which can change its temperature when you are cooking so you can avoid getting things wrong when you guess. It will even tell you when your meal is ready or if you need to give it a stir, for example. As a nation, we are obsessed with finding new ways to create meals that are both edible, delicious and really healthy and good for you! Maybe more devices will follow after this one that will help us to be original with dishes that are low in fat.

7. Molekule

Coming up is our Number 7 … Molekule. The device purifies the air and can help those who have breathing difficulties or just want to breathe clean and fresh air. It can be particularly beneficial for people who live in larger cities such as London or New York, especially when pollution is a more significant and a bigger problem in these more populated cities. Perhaps this device could help combat our difficult situation with global warming?

6. Nike Pro Hijab

At Number 6 we have the Nike Pro Hijab. This specific sportswear encourages and helps women who choose to wear a hijab to participate in more sports and feel comfortable enough when they are doing sport, making sure it is appropriate for the religion. It is all one piece and made out of a wicking fabric. It isn’t overly expensive or hard to find and it could assist women that enjoy sports activities to proudly join in those games.

5. Bempu

Now, as Number 5, there is…Bempu! This neat device helps new mothers and fathers in developing countries to tell when their newborn is getting too cold to prevent them from getting hypothermia and can also warn of overheating. We find it mind-blowing that a small, simple device can stop death rates from increasing every year. Bempu uses an improved thermometer to monitor the baby’s temperature and, when they get too hot or cold, the wrist band flashes, alerting the parents to it straight away. This means that in developing countries, more children will live to adulthood.

4. NASA Mars Insight

On the slightly more technical side for Number 4 we have chosen the NASA Mars Insight. This module is made to help us find out if there really is life on Mars by taking important readings and scans of the planet. Other NASA modules have always brought back detailed and stunning photos, maybe this one will bring us one step closer to answering the question: is there life out there?

3. iPhone X

The Number 3 is, of course, the iPhone X! This device is packed full of tech, you can even turn yourself into a talking emoji. It was officially released on 3 November 2017, around two months after the previous iPhone 8 came out. Although expensive, the iPhone X has lived up to all the expectations that the other phones had brought with them. It’s handy for simple everyday tasks and can be quite entertaining to discover all the new tools.

2. Fenty Beauty

And second to last in Number 2 is … Fenty Beauty. The inventor of this cosmetics line – Robyn Rihanna Fenty, a singer, songwriter and actress – created this company to enable women of colour to buy makeup products that match and complements their skin tone perfectly. Because everyone knows that when you don’t have a foundation that matches your skin … then the whole look is basically ruined!

1. Fidget Spinner

To end this list we have chosen the FIDGET SPINNER as Number 1! We thought it should especially be here as it was a massive craze in 2017. Although it was not actually invented that year (it was originally created by Catherine Hettinger in the 1980s) it was brought back by Scott McCoskery. The fidget spinner was originally used to allow children to fidget or do something with their hands, helping with autism and ADHD.

Image Link: https://9to5mac.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2018/03/iphone-x-plus-concept-video.jpg?quality=82&strip=all (05/03/21)

The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith | Florence G

Tom Ripley is far from a hero. In fact he’s probably more of a psychopath.

Thomas Ripley is struggling to stay one step ahead of his creditors and the law, when an unexpected acquaintance offers him a free trip to Europe and a chance to start over. Ripley wants money, success and the good life so much so he’s willing to kill for it. When his new-found happiness is threatened, his response is as swift as it is shocking.

His innate ability to charm, impersonate and subvert make him one of the most confusingly amazing and lovingly hated characters in modern writing. The constant threat and danger to everything he’s worked for make it near impossible not to root for him. Yet not to like him; not to want him to win, which is certainly unusual. Patricia Highsmith does an excellent job of ensuring he wheedles his way into our sympathies. It’s a classic story of someone who starts off with bad luck and is disregarded by society, but who, through force of personality, hard work and sheer determination, manages to make something of himself. He’s had a hard upbringing; he lost his parents and was brought up by an aunt who called him a “sissy”. And yet, he came out the other end polite, self-effacing and hard-working. He is endearingly shy in company and worried about the impression he makes on others. Not to mention always assessing himself, always trying to improve. In all aspects, Tom Ripley is a multi-faceted character that comes to life within the first few pages.

“He liked the fact that Venice had no cars. It made the city human. The streets were like veins, he thought, and the people were the blood, circulating everywhere.”

You can’t ever quite tell what’s going to happen. Patricia Highsmith balances the calm beauty of Italy with the violence of murder in such a way that you feel constantly on edge even though you’re enjoying yourself. It’s definitely one of the most interesting books you’ll ever read.

Thomas Ripley is struggling to stay one step ahead of his creditors and the law, when an unexpected acquaintance offers him a free trip to Europe and a chance to start over. Ripley wants money, success and the good life so much so he’s willing to kill for it. When his new-found happiness is threatened, his response is as swift as it is shocking. His innate ability to charm, impersonate and subvert make him one of the most confusingly amazing and lovingly hated characters in modern writing. The constant threat and danger to everything he’s worked for make it near impossible not to root for him. Yet not to like him; not to want him to win, which is certainly unusual. Patricia Highsmith does an excellent job of ensuring he wheedles his way into our sympathies. It’s a classic story of someone who starts off with bad luck and is disregarded by society, but who, through force of personality, hard work and sheer determination, manages to make something of himself. He’s had a hard upbringing; he lost his parents and was brought up by an aunt who called him a “sissy”. And yet, he came out the other end polite, self-effacing and hard-working. He is endearingly shy in company and worried about the impression he makes on others. Not to mention always assessing himself, always trying to improve. In all aspects, Tom Ripley is a multi-faceted character that comes to life within the first few pages.

You can’t ever quite tell what’s going to happen. Patricia Highsmith balances the calm beauty of Italy with the violence of murder in such a way that you feel constantly on edge even though you’re enjoying yourself. It’s definitely one of the most interesting books you’ll ever read.

Image Link: https://i.grassets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1540771547i/7853133.UY1520_SS1520.jpg (26/02/21)

The Crown Series 3 : A Review | Freya T

After discovering the recasting of the Crown on Netflix, many fans, including myself, were either delighted or anxious about how the brand new set of actors would portray the Royal Family. The answer: brilliantly. The fact that it now stars two GDST alumnae was a minor thought as I binged through 10 episodes, and became so engrossed I finished the series wondering what it would take to become a royal (for those interested: quite a lot), and became lost in the labyrinth that is YouTube, watching interviews with Olivia Coleman and Tobias Menzies, as well as Josh O’Connor and Erin Doherty, ending somehow with a five-minute crafts video (not so important for your viewing of the Crown).

One huge success of this season would be the likeness between Claire Foy and Olivia Coleman’s voice, when they portray Her Majesty. The similarity was incredible and for a split second I did wonder whether the recasting had been a very well executed reddit-ruse. Season 3 starts with Queen Elizabeth, now in the mid-sixties, looking at two stamps, one of herself as a young Queen (Foy) and as her current self (Coleman). I felt it was a nice bridge between the two casts and a quick, yet somehow in-depth scene, exploring new ideas of how the Queen had changed over the small amount of time that we had missed, other than, of course, physically.

Another triumph from Season 3 would be the chemistry between the cast. Focusing less on the relationship between Prince Philip and the Queen as a married couple, we now see development of the connection between Princess Margaret and the Queen instead. Helena Bonham-Carter and Olivia Coleman’s chemistry was immense, and the tension between the two sisters was portrayed wonderfully. We see Princess Margaret feeling overlooked and neglected, as she lacks royal duties. A holiday to America quickly changes to a political mission (not a spoiler) and we see the relationship between the sisters develop.

Throughout the series as ever, we see how the Royal Family, and the Prime Minister, deal with issues that happened in that era. I found interest in Episode 3 in the disaster of a mining slag heap collapsing on the small,Welsh village of Aberfan. Personally, I have always found that this show enlightens the viewers to the feelings of the Queen and her family, and I enjoyed seeing her response to this disaster in particular, as well as learning more about Aberfan itself.

Fear not, however, as this season has a bit of everything in there: love triangles (or in some cases squares), but also a variety of drama, with an underlying sincerity as the audience see deeper into the functioning of the Royal Family, following them through the swinging sixties. It is probable that many people find it difficult to relate to the Royals as they are in such a unique position, but I think a mention to the actors playing the newer royals is very much needed, as they seemed to create a relatability to the Windsor family.

I first came across Josh O’Connor as Larry in ITV’s the Durrells and found his portrayal very funny and was desperate to see this up and coming actor in more films. As a result, I watched the Riot Club, another of O’Connor’s projects, and quickly became a fan, as I watched his appearance in the TV version of Les Misérables, as well. Upon hearing about his new role in Season 3 of the Crown, I became excited to see his acting skills flourish in the role of the Prince of Wales. Many a heartfelt scene in Season 3, the audience grow to sympathise with Charles, especially in his inauguration speech, and I think this is due to excellent writing but also O’Connor’s excellent portrayal, as he captures all the supposed traits of Prince Charles. Adding to this, another actress who deserves a mention would be Erin Doherty as Princess Anne. The last two seasons of the Crown had never properly focused on the Queen’s children, let alone the young princess, but Season 3 was the time for a change, which was executed perfectly. Doherty’s performance as the private and defiant princess was superb, and she quickly became my favourite character. The chemistry between her and O’Connor as siblings, but also friends, was terrific, and their combined roles have caused much anticipation among many families, especially mine, as we wait to see what will happen next between the two siblings.

If you take nothing from this review but a desire to watch the trailers for the show, my job will be done, as I think you will instantly be hooked. This brilliant show deserves many a positive review, but whilst watching it, it is important to remember that it is a dramatization, and not everything is quite as it seems, as with most docu-dramas. A quick disclaimer, if you’re in Upper Five and are wanting to start your viewing of all three seasons of the Crown, maybe wait until after mocks, because I can assure you it will be difficult to get any revision done.

Image Link: https://tommygirard.files.wordpress.com/2019/11/the-crown-season-3-poster.jpg (20/02/21)

Her Blank Canvas | Katie N

A painter creates her life upon her canvas  
she has no secrets, for they are all laid out  
in swirls of arching colours  
gracefully blossoming across the paper 
Untouchable beauty  
and scenes of happiness 
Preserved within paper  
That complete her 
Through paintbrush she feels  
Laughter and tears  
And all in-between  
Created, built and left to dry 
Each day she feels  
Filling her life with meaning 
Paint and memories 
A life fulfilled 
And she is finished  
Paintbrushes banished  
locked in their boxes  
For creating life- another day 
But the picture will stand there  
Years on untouched  
Fading at the corners  
alone gathering dust  
A painter leaves her life upon her canvas  
she has no secrets left to lay out-  
Turns her back on the colours  
Thoughtlessly floating back to her life
of grey

Image Link: https://i.pinimg.com/originals/1b/57/98/1b5798ab8dd89ac7883a3da10df1e3cb.png (20/02/21)

Musings of a Wide Open Space | Ruby H

These moments are now laced with a longing  
For more of the same old. And in these barren winds sway, 
The wild grasses of a month without sun. 
Over the moors lay your absence, 
Rolling under horizon after horizon. 
With these hands I could christen you, 
But the sunsets churn out shadows, 
And each one holds me and asks for a dance. 
Until my hands bear the mark 
Of arching waltzes dissolved in rain, 
Because I’m dancing around the sun rays, 
Chasing these soulful nights.
Over the hill stands a flower. 
Dropping hours through its hourglass.
And gently, the winds pluck it away, 
Slip away petal by petal. 
Sway through the sun. 
Dance into the grasses. 
Pull apart the seconds.

Help me weave these moments, 
Into reeds by a lake. 
And watch me as I wade through shallows, 
Towards the emptiness of the sky’s flaws. 
Watch the petals cry into the water. 
Lean away from this echoed longing.  

Watch the grasses linger in sorrow.

Image Link: https://i.pinimg.com/474x/9e/f9/f1/9ef9f1dc4d56a15e398cef1804a779b8.jpg (13/02/21)

 

Eco Info | Charlotte F-S

The Amazon rainforest stretches over 7,000,000 km ² of land. It has unparalleled levels of biodiversity. One in 10 species on the planet can be found in the Amazon rainforest. To date, at least 40,000 plants, 2,200 fish, 1,294 birds, 427 mammals, 428 amphibians, and 378 reptile species have been specifically classified in the region. However, the Amazon is being destroyed at a rate of 150 acres a minute every minute every day. This is to make space for farm land, more specifically cattle farming, which not only decreases biodiversity due to loss of habitat, and potentially extinction, but increases methane emissions.

Ecologist Tip: Try to reduce eating red meat, more specifically beef. But if you are eating beef, make sure it comes from sustainably-run British beef farms.

Ecologist Tip: Have a go at making an eco brick. Fill a plastic water bottle with any plastic litter and use it for craft projects, or as a way of measuring how much litter you produce, or donate them to projects using eco bricks for construction.

Image Link: https://i.pinimg.com/originals/b1/48/f0/b148f049b24d142d5fa082771d74352e.jpg (13/02/21)

Scrapped | Lottie H

It could only have been a mere matter of hours before a human entered the area. Scanning them, they were scrawny and hunched, a teenager perhaps, loosely carrying an unidentifiable metal object in one hand, and absent-mindedly swinging a spanner in the other. They were kicking around in the rubble, looking for nothing in particular, when their foot connected with a head. The machine whirred on, emitting some concerning beeping noises before his eyes sprung to life. He jolted upright, and turned his head at an unnatural angle, looking at the intruder again. At the sudden movement, a screw slid out and his chest panel fell loose. The boy, as he’d guessed, was pretty young. There were fly-like goggles awkwardly strapped over his glasses with a grimy orange mane growing around them. His face was stained by a mixture of dirt, sweat and grease, and several strands of hair were plastered to his forehead. The thing he was carrying appeared to be a rusting tool box. The paint was chipping off and it seemed as unkempt as the boy holding it.

“That doesn’t look healthy,” the boy said, gesturing the machine’s front. A red light had been revealed through the crack the wonky panel had created, flashing furiously.

He tucked his spanner somewhere in his jacket and began to dig through his toolbox, shaking his shoulders and humming in time with the flashing.

“You’re a pretty new model, right? I don’t have much experience with the fancy-schmancy androids, but I’ll probably have a couple of parts that I could substitute. If you’re willing to try them, that is.”

He paused for a moment, waiting for a response. He moved on after a couple of seconds, realising he wasn’t going to get one, and approached with a screwdriver. As soon as he was close enough to do anything, he shrugged, threw the screwdriver over his shoulder, and tugged at the metal. That was all it took for the framework to fall off.

“Alright, let’s see what we’re working with here… You’re gonna need a little fixing up.” As he spoke, an important-looking something fell out. “A lot,” he corrected himself. “A lot of fixing up.” The boy clicked and held out a hand, and a small drone revealed itself from the tool box, carrying a few cogs. It placed them in his hand and immediately went back to its place, making a low grumbling as it did so.

“Sorry, she’s not much of a talker. Neither are you, really. I removed a couple of her more dangerous features a while back, and she’s still pretty mad at me.”

As he worked, the boy continued his pointless blabber for quite some time, periodically letting out a few frustrated groans and calling his drone out again, who seemed equally irritated. “You know, whoever made you really didn’t want anyone to be able to help you. I don’t even recognise your base design. I have a couple of things you might be compatible with.” He reached into one of his many pockets and grasped around a little, eventually pulling out a part that looked pretty similar to all the others. “I picked it up this morning. Pretty neat, right? I was gonna save it for a special occasion, but…” He trailed off, a mischievous look on his face. Without warning, he shoved it into place. And the world went dark.

Almost an entire minute later, the android woke up again, feeling absolutely nothing different. Everything was exactly the same.

The boy was still there, satisfaction painted across his face.

“And now, you’re not flashing!” He exclaimed with triumph. “I’m not entirely sure what that actually means, but hopefully it’s positive.”

“I didn’t ask for your help, and you didn’t do anything. Nothing’s changed,” the robot spoke up for the first time, already irritated.

The boy looked up in surprise, which quickly faded into a matched annoyance. He let out an exasperated sigh before continuing. “Great, you too. Why does everything I fix have some kind of personality bug.” It was much more a statement than a question. “Did you want me to leave you to waste?”

“Yes,” the android deadpanned.

“You’ll get along with A347 just fine. Speaking of, where has she gotten to?”

The drone revealed herself once again, this time from a pocket on the outside of his coat. She let off an almost-grunt, and started hovering over the boy’s shoulder. “Much like you, she doesn’t know how to appreciate someone saving her.” He shot the drone a pointed look, before laughing it off and pulling his tool box under his arm.

“I’m headed back to the shed. Follow if you like, or if you don’t. There aren’t many options, no one except me comes this far out.”

And with that, he turned and started over the pile of junk from whence he came, resuming the tune he had started humming earlier.

Imitating a sigh, the newly-fixed robot hesitantly followed after. The boy, nuisance though he was, at least had some kind of hope in the world. A rare find in times like these.

If left ignored, neither of them would stand a chance.

Image link: https://i.pinimg.com/236x/d7/1f/23/d71f23e81ad53995632b33123c012e24–edward-scissorhands-aesthetic-inventor-aesthetic.jpg (05/02/21)

Femsock’s Personal Space Planets

Top Tips from the femsock team for meantal health and personal space:

  • If you go to hug a friend, check how well you know them… they may not feel comfortable.
  • Only put yourself in places and locations that you know to be safe or sensible for you
  • As soon as you feel uncomfortable, actively try to remove yourself from the situation​
  • Recognize signs that someone doesn’t want to talk e.g. headphones in or reading
  • A person may be happy with you in their personal space one day, but it may change. Be mindful their ideals may be different on a different occasion or day
  • Try not to invade someone’s personal space
  • Be confident enough to say ‘no’ or ‘please don’t touch me’​
  • Try and advocate for others and if someone looks uncomfortable ask them if they are okay

Image Link: https://wallpaperaccess.com/full/17927.jpg (05/02/21)

The End | Ruby H

Can you let me hold your hand,

as I step over this threshold?

And will you promise to walk beside me

while I knit apart my skin from these scraps of thought?

When the only memory that this world has of me is stone,

will you wash the moss from my grave?

And if I return someday,

will you be there?

Will you still sing my song to the birds,

still water my sunflowers,

still sew my horizons to the night?

If I am blind and weak,

would you carry me through the pain,

would you carry me until I can breathe?

Once my bones have scattered in circles,

do I have your word that you’ll rescue my soul from the ashes?

Do I have your word that you’ll stand as the last pillar,

the last smile in the flames,

the last beat of time,

and hold me?

Remember me?

Image Link: https://i.pinimg.com/originals/69/c1/fc/69c1fcb5103ea5500476232ee995fbe9.jpg (21/01/21)

The Reflection | Anonymous

Every morning. Every single morning. The girl would stand before the mirror, from Monday to Friday she spent this time combing her hair or straightening her tie, she would tuck in her shirt and make sure her uniform looked presentable. On the weekends she may have admired the outfit she had on, or maybe she just sat there, anxiously checking the dark circles under her eyes after getting little to no sleep the night before. The girl spent a lot of her time in front of the mirror; it was where she tried out the makeup tutorials she saw online, it was where she got ready in the morning, and tried on different outfits after a shopping spree. Of course, the reflection loved these times; she loved it whenever the girl came to visit her, and she always greeted the girl with a smile and a wave. However the girl never greeted the reflection, she simply stood there with a blank expression on her face, and then continued with her day as if the reflection didn’t exist at all. Of course this hurt the reflection, and eventually, she grew sour. The reflection started to only greet the girl with a scowl, however the girl still refused to acknowledge her.

After some days, weeks, months of this, in a moment of anger, the reflection broke the mirror. The shards of broken glass stung her hands, and the reflection stared at the girl, maybe hoping for some subtle sign of recognition. But there wasn’t one. The girl simply stared straight through the reflection, at the broken mirror where so many of her days had been spent. It was then that the reflection knew that there would be consequences to her actions. Ever since that day, whenever you were near the girl you could sometimes briefly see the reflection. In puddles and in windows. Trapped. Forced to mimic the actions of this girl she’d grown to hate so much. With an appearance to match that of her worst enemy, even looking at herself made her sick. As the years passed by she found more permanent residences; fragmented glimpses in the diamond ring the girl wore as a symbol of her marriage, or a faint silhouette in the glasses of the girl’s eldest daughter. Then finally in the eyes of those who gathered around the girl’s body at her funeral, right before the coffin closed, when both the girl and the reflection were seen for the last time.

Image Link: https://64.media.tumblr.com/47d655623c95c28efc0d7edcf46956f8/tumblr_poh6e8dEVZ1vehqeko1_1280.jpg (29/01/21)