fredag 31. mars 2017

Hidden Figures

The American drama film Hidden Figures (2016) is based on a true story. The story of how afro-American women in the United States of America were able to succeed in the 1960's. We meet the mathematician Katherine Goble (played by Taraji P. Henson), her colleague Mary Jackson (played by Janelle Monáe) and her supervisor Dorothy Vaughan (played by Octavia Spencer) in the year 1961. While the movie mainly revolves around Katherine Gobles contribution to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration during the space race, the movie portrays a more important topic; equality, both by gender and race. We also meet Glen Powell as John Glenn, an American astronaut. He was the first American to orbit Earth, circling it three times in 1962.

Sources:
Wikipedia. (2017, March 30). Hidden Figures. Retrieved March 31, 2017 from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hidden_Figures
Wikipedia. (2017, March 30). John Glenn. Retrieved March 31, 2017 from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Glenn


fredag 17. mars 2017

The global challenge of inequality

All over the world inequality exists. Whether it be by race, gender or any other reason, it is a well-known issue that has improved throughout the years. Currently, the most relevant kind of inequality is gender-based and we have not seen many steps in the right direction recently. Women and men are paid different salaries. Women and men do not have the same chances applying for a job. Women and men are treated differently in society.

New Zealand became the first country to implement women's rights to vote in 1893. A major step in the right direction. But, today's focus when talking about inequality is often the workplace. Most people are aware of how women often earn a less substantial sum of money than men. Women and men receiving a different paycheck for the same amount of work. Studies show that for every dollar a man earns, a woman earns 79 cents. And in addition to this, the regular women receives a substantially lesser amount of respect in the workplace. Women get sexually harassed, pursued and disrespected.

More known to me, women experience inequality in the social life. Women get approached by men in fashions that are unacceptable. They face the daily opposition of not having the right to what they want with their bodies. They become "whores" or "sluts" for doing things that every man has done. They are shamed for what is "natural" for a man to do. It should be natural for both man and woman. Social inequality is the issue that I can relate to the most. Because I live side by side with it. I know that young people do not really pay attention to it because it comes naturally to us. Some treat women like objects. Which does not mean we should say everyone does, but recognize how big of an issue it is.

fredag 3. februar 2017

Who speaks English

All around the world, people learn the language that we know as The Global Language and a secondary or main language for most people. Although we all speak and write the same language, many countries have their own version of the languages that sounds or seems different from others. More commonly called accents. It’s like we’ve created endless languages by changing simple things like grammar or pronunciation.

Chinglish is a spoken or written language that is influenced by the Chinese language. The language is characterized by ungrammatical or nonsensical  sentences with a Chinese accent. Even though China’s inhabitants represents 19% of the world’s population, there is a surprisingly large amount of the people who does not speak english. One of the reasons to why the chinese people struggle to learn english, might be because of the big differences in the alphabet. Most of the chinese population writes in chinese signs, which can not even be compared to the latin alphabet. But some of the people and especially the younger generation are taught the written language “pinyin” in school as well, which resembles the latin alphabet and makes the english reading process easier.

Franglais, also called frenglish, is the name of the mixture between french and english that the frenchmen tend to speak. The oral language comes from lacking english knowledges and native features. An example of typical franglais is to say “le week-end”  in stead of “the weekend”.  The french people also tend to add “-ing” at the ending of different english words, and use a variety french words in their sentences while they try to make it sound like english.


In South Asia languages they speak the version of english that is known as Hinglish. Hinglish is a combination of Hindi and English, therefore Hinglish. The language is more commonly used in India with English words blending with Punjabi and Hindi.



Sources: 

mandag 30. januar 2017

Gran Torino

Walt is a strange man some would say. He cares for his family in a different way than most people do. It seems he has a lack of love while demanding respect. Why is that? With his history from the war we can assume that Walt is a traditional man that has a different picture of what respect means. Which may be why he bonds so well with the Hmong family. The Hmong people preaches respect, discipline and love, which is seemingly the same priorities as Walt has. With his own family it is different. We can assume that Walt's deceased wife was the one to pass on her main values. Throughout the film, we often receive signals that Walt's wife was a person that caring and understanding and unlike Walt she might have been visibly fond of her family. Although we do not get a visible picture of Walts love for his family we are aware that he does love them. How come?-you might ask. Well, when receiving the bad news from his doctor.

Project remains unfinished - to be continued.

fredag 20. januar 2017

Fake news

Fake news is a problem. It's an issue that has recently become more relevant than ever. And today we've read a few articles about today's and formerly well-known fake news. We have talked about how easy it is to be fooled and how immensely it spreads.

Today we got feedback on our thoughts about fake news. After reading a few of the comments it seemed obvious that this was a subject that brought up a lot of frustration. However, it looks like most people know how to deal with it. The majority of the comments had the same basic ideas on how to deal with it, and that this was a serious problem today. Some of the suggestions on how to spot the fake news were; “Check both sides of the argument, make sure the sources are reliable and check the language used and the spelling of words.” They also seemed to have the same point of view on Donald Trump’s campaign and the manipulation. Although most of the comments were very similar, there was one that stuck out with a completely different view on the story. Cayden T. Lewis, being one of the responding readers stated “Fake News isn’t the real problem that hits society. Its society itself. How can people be so naive to believe things Hillary Clinton having a child pornography ring in pizzerias”.

Google, the innovative company that we all know and love has recently come out with some information about how they are going to revolutionize the world of fake news. Most people know how to use the search engine, most people use it, but what people do not know is how it works. “Fact-checking and preventing fake news from appearing in search results will remain a big priority for search engines in 2017” Ian Bowden states on SearchEngingeLand. Going for an achievement like categorizing fake and real news could be a real struggle. However, we have an idea of how they will receive such results. The site mentioned above, being one of our key informants, have listed how Google can deal (or already is dealing) with the issue currently. Mr. Bowden writes:
“1. Manually reviewing websites
 2. Algorithmically demoting fake news
 3. Removing incentives to create fake news
 4. Signaling when content has been fact-checked
 5. Funding fact-checking organizations”
Personally I believe this all is a step in the right direction, but there’s always room for improvement. Manual labor for checking every site seems unlikely, but with algorithms they are able to single out insignificant news outlets.


From the 3rd of March:
Today we have spoken to South African students over Skype. We questioned them about how their society performs and how they are affected by fake news. The South African media is currently promoting a story about how students and teachers of specific schools are being recruited by the Illuminati. Illuminati being 'an organization that controls the world, and always has'. It originates from conspiracy theories of how the government and societies work. The story revolves around recruiters giving students cocktails of rasberry and blood.



torsdag 15. desember 2016

KIVA

What is Kiva
Kiva allows people to lend out money via the Internet to low-income people in over 80 countries. Microfinance institutions, social businesses, schools and nonprofit organizations around the world are allowed to post profiles of qualified local entrepreneurs on its website. Kiva’s mission is to connect people through lending to ease poverty. The voluntary organization was founded in October 2005 by Matt Flannery and Jessica Jackley. After its first anniversary in October 2006, Kiva reached $1 million in facilitated. Kiva has continued to grow and expand.
We started this project with Kiva because we care about these people in the developing countries, and want to contribute and help them, by lending them 25$. Hopefully, this will make their (or his, in our case) food production rates higher, and in the end – more income for him. 
José Arístides
We chose to lend money to José Arístides because we believe in his work with coffee, corn, and bean crops. The risk rating is at 4*, which we consider safe. His main objective is to feed his family, but hopefully, he will grow even more food. Arístides has a wife and nine children. Five of them live away from home. Arístides has worked in agriculture since he was 14 years old, and his inspiration and teacher was his father. He needs the loan to collect coffee, corn and bean crops. We think it’s possible for Arístides to grow even more food with his total loan on 350$, and are looking positive about his future. 
His investment plan is to hire someone to help him harvest his crops and expand his business. Regardless if we get our money back, this is an investment we support, because it supports a good cause.
El Salvador
It is the smallest country in Central America. It is also the most densely populated country in central America. It has a population of approximately 6.4 million, consisting largely of Mestizos (person combined of European and American descent) of European and indigenous American descent.
It was populated by the Lencaand Maya and was conquered by the Spanish Empire. The country achieved independence from Spain in 1821 and became a part of the first Mexican empire. Became a part of the Federal Republic of Central America in 1823. El Salvador became independent in 1898, following a decade of coups and revolts. The economic inequality resulted in a terrible war (1972-1992) between the military-led government and left-wing guerrilla groups.
El Salvador’s economy is historically dominated by agriculture, beginning with the indigo plant, followed by coffee. By the early 20th century, this accounted for 90 percent of export earnings. In later years, they’ve worked on diversifying the economy by opening trade and financial links and expanding the manufacturing sector. The official currency of El Salvador became the U.S. dollar in 2001, replacing the colon currency. As of 2010, El Salvador ranks 12th among Latin American countries in terms of the Human Development Index and fourth in Central America. The country has an ongoing struggle with high rates of poverty, inequality, and crime.
Written with Marthe and Henrik.

fredag 18. november 2016

Dear President-elect Donald Trump...

Dear President-elect Donald Trump, have you seen the movie Before the Flood? It’s a documentary featuring Leonardo Dicaprio, and it’s about the dangers of global warming and what we need to do in order to stop it. In the movie, Leonardo Dicaprio travels the world and shows us how far global warming has gone. In the movie, we learn that 97% of scientist believe that climate change is real and that it is caused by humans. Even though such a large number of scientists agree on this issue, over half of congress say they believe that climate change is a hoax. The US is one of the biggest emitters of fossil fuels and greenhouse gasses in the world. The US needs to set an example, and reduce the amount of fossil fuel spendings and lean towards renewable resources. This is why it is so important that the president-elect takes global warming seriously, and we urge you to look away from your political interests and focus on the importance of preserving the earth for future generations.

Dear President-elect Donald trump, according to New York times, global warming may indeed be the sharpest example of how policy in Washington will change under your administration.
-You have called human-caused climate change a “hoax”. Here is one of you tweets: “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” On December 30, 2015, you told the crowd at a rally in Hilton Head, S.C., "Obama's talking about all of this with the global warming and … a lot of it's a hoax. It's a hoax. I mean, it's a money-making industry, okay? It's a hoax, a lot of it."
-You have also already vowed to “cancel” last year's Paris climate agreement, which commits more than 190 countries to reduce their releases of planet-warming carbon dioxide pollution, and to dismantle the Clean Power Plan, Mr. Obama’s domestic climate change regulations.  
Dear President-elect Donald Trump, we are aware of your plans. Withdrawing the laws that ensure some safety. Removing to-be-former President Barrack Hussein Obama’s start of improvements, CO2 cuts. With a force of nature as our opposition, we need to act accordingly. Simple measures won’t be enough, slight differences won’t help and worst of all; you’re plan will be disastrous. Not only will it affect the Americans that you will be responsible for when you enter the White House, but also us, the people of the world. Acknowledge the fact that you were wrong. Acknowledge the fact that your changes might lead us into a direction where our blood will be on your hands.


Dear President-elect Donald Trump, if you’re not planning on watching Before the Flood, which I suspect you won’t, at least read this from the European premiere in London October 2016, where DiCaprio introduced the film as follows: "Before The Flood is the product of an incredible three-year journey that took place with my co-creator and director Fisher Stevens. We went to every corner of the globe to document the devastating impacts of climate change and questioned humanity's ability to reverse what may be the most catastrophic problem mankind has ever faced. There was a lot to take on. ll that we witnessed on this journey shows us that our world's climate is incredibly interconnected and that it is at urgent breaking point.(...)


This was written by Ingrid, Simon and I.