Study Trip – Churchill War Rooms

In London we visited the Imperial War Museum, Churchill War Rooms which is a museum where one will find the underground complex where the British government had their command center, Cabinet War Rooms, during the second world war.

The Imperial War Museum has five branches, the Churchill War Rooms is one of them.

War Rooms is located in Westminster, and from August 1945 until the early 80s – only a limited number of people were allowed inside. In April 1984 the Cabinet War Rooms were opened to the public after the Imperial War Museum was tasked & asked to take over the site.

In 2005 Churchill War Rooms reopened after a major renovation.

The Command Rooms are interesting, it shows how the Englishmen worked and lived during the second world war. Strangely enough, when the war ended they just turned off the lights and went home – and the underground command center was not touched for decades.

The museum also features a giant timeline in the middle of the museum part. This is interesting, and you can choose different important dates throughout Churchill’s life.

The timeline

Picture source: http://cdn.ltstatic.com/2012/January/OY329739_942long.jpg

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Above is a picture of Churchill’s room

Picture source: Personal

Other sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Churchill_War_Rooms 22 january, 2015.

Study trip – British Museum

The British Museum is a really interesting museum. However most of it was not for me. Established in 1753, located in the center of London the museum houses approximately 8 million “works”. This is among the largest collection of human works is the world. The museum largely focuses on mummies, at least in the time-frame of our trip, another focus point is the roman empire, a third one is African history, none of which really tipped my curiosity.

One room really did, it was the money room. There you had the opportunity to see how money has changed over the years and what’s next.

For example I learned that the famous Nirvana cover (see below) really is a statement about how people are taught to seek and chase money from the day they’re born. The cover shows a little baby reaching for money without really knowing what it is.

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Nirvana cover

Picture: Private

Another interesting part of the room is the one about credit and debit cards. For me it’s easy to think that the world has had cards for hundreds of year, but really credit and debit cards really started in the 1950s, not really that long ago.

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Credit & debit cards

Photo: Private

Have you been to the British museum? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments below and as always; thanks for reading.

Study trip – Tate Modern

Tate Modern is a gallery featuring modern art. Tate Modern in London is only one of many gallery in the Tate series. You find other galleries in Liverpool, St Ives and a gallery online – good thing in these on-the-line days.

Tate collects and showcases British art, however not state owned its biggest sponsor is the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

Tate Modern was established in 2000 and is situated in the heart of London and is visited by nearly 5 million people each year.

For me the coolest thing was the Turbine Hall, which is basically a large hall with little filling. In other words, not many things are showcased there – it’s mostly “Blank Space”.

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The Turbine Hall

Photo: Personal

To be frank, this is not the most interesting place for a 18-year-old technology fan-boy. I’m sure there are people who love this place, but I’m not one of them.

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tate_Modern – Tate Modern Last Retrieved 22nd January 2015.

Study trip – Harry Potter Warner Bros. Studio Tour

Last Thursday we went on the Harry Potter Warner Bros. Studio Tour. Despite not seeing all of the movies I really enjoyed it. The attraction features a lot of behind the scenes information including how they made the effects and how they recorded a lot of the footage.

The Tour opened in March 2012 and was made possible after a 100 million pound investment. Warner Bros constructed two new houses to showcase the sets.

Props, costumes, sets and even Butterbeer are available to see and drink, the Butterbeer that is.

If you have the opportunity to check it out and you’ve seen if not all, some of the Harry Potter films, you should. You will not regret it!

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Butterbeer. Don’t worry, it’s not beer – it’s soda and cream. That is as disgusting as it sounds…

Photo: Personal

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The famous three-story bus.

Photo: Personal

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The house in which Harry Potter grew up.

Photo: Personal

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My school cantina. Nope, just kidding. This is the dining hall at Hogwarts.

Photo: Personal

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Harry’s room at Hogwarts.

Photo: Personal

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Potter – Last retrieved January 22nd, 2015.

Have you checked out the Studio Tour? If you have, what are your thoughts on the place?

Let me know in the comments below!

Study trip – BBC

Perhaps the biggest thing to see during my study trip to London was the BBC Broadcasting House. My teacher has some connections which got some of us the opportunity to get a private tour around the BBC Broadcasting House. Needless to say it was priceless.

BBC started using the old Broadcasting House in March 1932. In 2003 Broadcasting House started undergoing a major renovation. This has resulted in a new part of the Broadcasting House. Today most of the BBC are gathered under the same roof.

During our tour, we were allowed to go down to the Newsroom. That was perhaps the coolest thing to have been in. You can always see this in the background when BBC News is on.

We also had the opportunity visit Radio 1. We got to see the studio where they made the regular radio shows. One thing I found to be really cool was to be able to be in the same room in which one of my favorite artists has been in – Paolo Nutini.

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The BBC entrance.

Photo: Personal


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Where the magic happens.

Photo: Personal

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Overview of the Newsroom.

Photo: Personal

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Newsroom on ground floor.

Photo: Personal

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Better not disturb while on air.

Photo: Personal

Other sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broadcasting_House – Last retrieved January 22nd, 2015.

And as always thanks for reading!

Boyhood

In the movie Boyhood we follow a boy named Mason through his life, from a young child and all the way to his studies at University.

My thoughts on the movie:
After watching it I think it shows how life unfolds and how difficult it is to say how things will turn out. What one thinks is an easy ride is really not, quite on the contrary actually.

Another though I got is how great the movie is made. Following the same boy showcasing his life is a great idea – and through the movie it shows that it works great! The timetable for the making of the film however is rather long. And how does that affect the children`s lives? Is it ok to use children like actors this way?
Personally, I think that is a difficult question! There`s not really a correct answer.
What do you think? Is it ok to use young children like this for such a long period of time?

Answer from Alaska

Last week we had the opportunity to ask students from Alaska questions. Due to the time difference we asked them through a Google Document and they had the option to answer our questions.

We had many interesting answers on all of the questions we asked. I want to go through some of the answers given to my question: “Do you think that you (people in Alaska) are being “taken care of” in the same fashion as the rest of the 49 States?”

Brennan answered quite interestingly; “No because we are so secluded from the rest of the U.S. The only time we are really looked at is when we hold some kinda value”

This is interesting, and a real reflection of Alaska’s role for America from a student from Alaska.

Another answer, and on the other side of Brennan’s answer comes from Chi, who says “I would say Alaska is being treated the same as the rest of the state because we are part of the US.”

I’ve made a chart of my answers below:
Alaska pic

As you can see, the general assumption is that Alaska is being treated differently than the rest of the 49 States in the US.

Some of the other answers include:
“No, because though we are the largest state, we have a low population, therefore, little representation to Washington. To that degree, we care little importance the nation as a whole.” – Abigael

Another answer explores the option that Alaska can become its own state:
“From my two years of being in Alaska, I came to realize that Alaska could become an independent state. We are able to provide for the small population within our borders with our own resources. The downfall is that our military strength is dependent on other states are we are at risk of being attack by foreign power. Otherwise, Alaska could be its own small country. Political wise, representatives that we’ve elected have done an incredible job in getting funds from the government to help us.” -Nofo M.

From what I can gather the general consensus I get from students in Alaska is that the State of Alaska is not being taken care of in the same way as the 49 other states in the US.
Is this because Alaska is so far from mainland US? That’s hard to tell, but I think it’s a factor in the equation.
What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below!

Quick explanation of the health care reform

The health care reform has been up for debate for quite some time. Obamacare’s reform is focused to create and increase the quality, accessibility and affordability for American citizens. Most who can afford the insurance must obtain it by 2014. Another important point is that companies are not allowed to “drop” you when you are sick. The law also protects against discrimination of any sort. The government will also subsidize some of the cost that is associated with the health insurance.

One of the main concerns is regarding business owners and employees. Over 160 million Americans got health care from their employers before Obamacare. They may now face higher premiums and fewer providers.
Another problem is students – they often cannot afford more than food and clothing, and why should they budget for things they really cannot afford?

9/11 a day we will never forget

The 9/11 attacks were a series of four aircraft hijacks, which ended with all four planes going down. The New York Twin Towers were hit by two of them, AA Flight 11 crashed in the Northern tower while UA Flight 175 were crashed in the Southern tower. The third flight, AA Flight 77, crashed into the Pentagon, which lead to a partial destruction of the western part of the headquarters. UA Flight 93, the fourth plane, was targeted towards Washington DC, but the passengers managed to take some control of the plane – despite of this, the plane unfortunately crashed into a field near Diamond T. Mine in Stonycreek Township.

The result of these hijacks were that 2 996 people lost their lives and the crashes caused approximately $10 billion in property and infrastructure damages.

 

In our class last Thursday we saw the movie 9/11, which is a documentary about the Twin Tower attacks. The documentary was originally planned to be a documentary about a man joining a fire squad and going from “being a boy, to becoming a man”. The two French filmmakers wanted to create this to documentary to show their kids what being a firefighter really means. Their days at the fire hall seemed to be like any other normal fire hall. That changed on 11th of September 2001. They were caught in the middle of the attacks in NYC.

 

9/11 took their documentary on a whole different path; they managed to film what I consider to be the worst terrorist attack to this date. Not only did they film during the attacks, they also filmed the aftermath.

 

As I reflect over the movie, I have come to the conclusion that 9/11 is a day we will never forget. Our lives changed dramatically that day, and it will never be the same. This is not an incident that only affected the States; this is an incident that affected the whole world!