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Ludovica's picture

Turkey Protests: On the footsteps of Syria?

The battle to save the green hid much deeper reasons of the malcontent of Turkish civilians. It was the 31st of May when dozens of people gathered in Gezi Park, Istanbul, and protested against the government’s plan to demolish the park in order to build up a shopping centre.

However, the protests soon revealed a population which is highly disappointed by the government’s actions and the PM Tayyip Erdogan’s attempt to impose Muslim-orientated values on the secular state.

The Turkish citizen İnsanlik Hali - who addressed a letter to the world in which he explains the reasons of the protests and provides the account of the ongoing situation (widely ignored by the media in the first stage of its developments) – explains:

“They [the protesters] all gathered to prevent the demolition of something bigger than the park: The right to live as honorable citizens of this country. People who are marching to the center of Istanbul are demanding their right to live freely and receive justice, protection and respect from the State. They demand to be involved in the decision-making processes about the city they live in.”

Erik's picture

Cardiff: Cheap Travel & Rugby

I decided to visit Cardiff - the capital and the political, financial, industrial and sporting centre of Wales.

I had never been to Wales before, but knew a bit of its history and culture, as Welsh and Scottish nationalism was the topic of my Master's thesis. And it really is a bit different to England compared to the commuter's jungle of London where I live.

The weather was hot- enough to wear just a t-shirt. In London, a hoodie or an umbrella always comes handy. First up, I took a public transport bus to the Cardiff Bay (pictured above) to see the sea. An all day ticket was just £3.40. In London, this gets you just one peak-time journey on the Tube.

I know, I should not compare the incomparable, because there are reasons for the differences (maintenance costs, amortisation and replacement of the material abused by millions of travellers a day), but I cannot help it.

My trip continued in Cardiff Bay with the Wales Millennium Centre, Senedd (the Welsh National Assembly) and the Doctor Who Experience.

Erik's picture

Usain Bolt: The Power of Advertising Gone Wrong!

Good marketing is essential for any business, however a very attractive advertisement can distract people’s attention from the product itself.

Samsung introduced the new Galaxy S4 Smartphone and also formed a partnership with Usain Bolt. There was a big promotional event in Westfield, Stratford where the visitors could try out the phone.

However, there was also a banner depicting Usain Bolt in full length. I asked a lady walking along with two children to take a picture of me and Usain. It really looks like I was posing with Usain Bolt himself, and Mickey Mouse on my t-shirt only adds originality and a little bit of American culture.

In return, I offered the lady to take a picture of her and her children. One smile and I walked on. Suddenly, I realised that I hardly know what Bolt was actually advertising. Well, the ad was stronger than the product itself. Many people were so excited to have a photo with the world’s fastest man that they did not take notice of the free trial of one of the World’s fastest phones.

Similar on Saturday. The UEFA Champions League festival was going on in Stratford for several days. Fans, especially the kids, could participate in a myriad of activities which included taking a picture with the trophy.

Manuela's picture

London: More than an Experience?

Ever wonder what it feels like to wake up in a completely different universe?
You could find out if you're not too scared to leave your family, friends, pets and house behind.

I knew from the start that moving to London would be difficult, I knew I would experience homesickness being far from my hometown. I also knew that the English culture was somewhat different and that the food would completely disgust me. However, as I have mentioned in previous posts I don't regret this experience at all.

For example, I have learnt how the English educational system works. I did not know that some people here go to Sixth-Form college before they actually go to university. In France you can go to university straight after high school.

Talking about university, I have started to use the library and university facilities and, to be honest with you, it is really helpful when you live on campus, as it tends to be noisy most of the time. So if you, like me, need a ‘silent' environment to study, the library is a must-have on a campus or nearby.

Erik's picture

Why Kindles are Like a Low Fat Lunch

I had just finished my shift and was looking for some quick lunch in the shopping centre. Walking past the grocery stalls, I spotted fresh strawberries. Having a pot of Greek-style yogurt in my bag, it would be a perfect match. What's more, the low calorie fruit allayed all my concerns about the healthy, but fatty Greek yogurt. Plus, strawberries remind me of my parent's garden in Slovakia.

All around me were people feeding on fast-food or overpriced sandwiches. Reading a paper newspaper did not help my image of the rebel against the establishment.

It got me thinking. We have sugar-free sweets, caffeine-free coffee, fat-free yogurt...why shouldn't we have bookless libraries. Although books should be cherished because they conserve the wisdom of the previous generation, they take up too much space in the modern lifestyle.

Maybe it is the devil of commercial culture, to have everything digital, but it is much more convenient to have the service at the library done from a desk computer. Less storage space will be reflected in lower costs.

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