student blogger

Erik's picture

The 21st Century Canterbury Tales

People in the Middle Ages were of the same nature as people today; only the form of life was different.

In Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, all the characters are common people. The tales are the same escapades people tell each other in pubs or at parties nowadays. Sometimes, they share their experiences or the experiences of their friends in order to point out to an injustice in the society ("the old man was lying on the street for two hours, but no one would help him, some kids stole his watch and wallet though, of course").

Sometimes they ponder over money and ways to cash in. In the Middle Ages, people were obsessed with gold, as clear in the story about an alchemist. It reminds me of bitcoin - open source electronic money. Modern alchemists spend their days behind computers, trying to discover the secret formula.

Amr's picture

Babble Before Sunrise

Very few things are worse than having to wake up early, very few. I wish I had never seen a sunrise in my life ever, involuntarily. But now that I have, many times, seen it, I hope to never see it again. That's how much I hate having to rise prematurely.

When I wake up early, round my region I always hear the unique call of one distinct bird, a distinct kind of bird, not a specific one. I hope it goes extinct, soon. These words are of course being spat out shortly before dawn, when I always feel entirely alone in the struggle.

I think I'd prefer it if all work would start not before 10am, so that most people wouldn't have to leave bed much earlier than 8am. Or if that's not workable, everyone could wake up whenever...except ME.

I forgot how it felt to have to wake up so early that it was still dark outside, before even the sun had a chance to slowly drag its head up in the sky. Nonsense, to have to start my day when my day hasn't yet started itself.

Probably if my body could talk, without orders from me, it would shout obscenities at me, from first sunlight and two hours following. I wouldn't protest. Oddly enough, since I was a boy, I always knew what I definitely did not want to be when I grow up. I always had a deep instinct that the worst job on earth must undoubtedly and unquestionably be:

Erik's picture

Photo Special: Jarmok- A Traditional Slovakian Festival

Jarmok is a kind of festival mixed with amusement park attractions. Unlike Oktoberfest or other famous festivals, jarmok does not focus exclusively on beer promotion. In fact, nowadays jarmok does not have any special purpose, but there are strong traditions rooted in the past.

The people would gather from time to time to exchange, and later unfortunately trade, their goods and enjoy themselves whilst doing it. Such market meetings took part in the early Autumn, after the end of the harvest season when the farmers looked to sell their crops and buy what they would need for the winter. The farmers and craftsmen were gradually replaced by supermarket suppliers and businessmen, but the idea of jarmok, or city market, remained.

Jarmoks take place over the whole year in different cities and towns, often connected by some kind of holiday- for example the city's anniversary or a Christian holiday. The jarmok in Levice (where I went) used to take place on St Martins day (11 November), but was brought forward to the middle of October for the better weather. My grandparents remember the traditional jarmoks, when the people used to sell real animals. Now, the poor horses serve as an attraction for the kids who consider them unicorns with broken horns.

Ludovica's picture

Do You Want to Make a Change? Write to Your MP

MPs (members of parliament who are elected representatives for a constituency) can be of great help if you want to make some changes in your local area, or indeed in any other part of the world.

London is divided into 73 parliamentary constituencies- to find your MP and their contact details you can visit the UK Parliament website or call the House of Commons information office at 0207 219 4272.

When you write to your MP, remember to include your contact details and do not forget to mention that you are a constituent: MPS are more keen to reply and help people who belong to their constituency.

Make your letter to the MP personal and don't be afraid to state your beliefs and principles. However, remember to keep it short & write clearly, and make sure you have suggestions & explain why you need your MP's help.

Erik's picture

Should Military Service Be Introduced?

Military service should be reintroduced because it is the only way to teach young people discipline and improve their fitness.

At times when a war is around the corner it is important for every human to know how to save their own life. Three to six months should be enough to learn the basics of weapon handling - though Counter-Strike players will have an advantage.

Fitness would be a tougher task, but an efficiently planned routine and regime can do wonders. Plus, I reckon that most of the men will preserve some of the habits into their later life. In Slovakia, our fathers still fold their clothes into stacks.

Military Discipline

But the textbook characteristic of a soldier is the discipline. Throughout history, the economic prosperity and cultural development of many nations has been rooted in their pristine military past. Just take the Roman Empire, Ancient Greeks, Vikings, the cultures of the Middle East - yes, those whom we often blame for wars without bothering to read a line about their history that would open our eyes.

Syndicate content