Sunday, 22 January 2017

Terrorism First-Aid Initiative: Interview with Brigadier Tim Hodgetts CBE

by Thomas Locke

Damage to the the London Underground train
involved in the terrorist attack at Aldgate tube station (Photo: PA)
“We give people skills that can save lives” Brigadier Tim Hodgetts has told The Portsmouth Point.

citizenAID™, developed by experienced UK civilian and military clinicians, Tim Hodgetts, Keith Porter, Andrew Thurgood and Peter Mahoney, consists of an app, handbook and website that help the general public to save lives in a bombing, stabbing or shooting incident.

The reason that this training is so vital is due to the “therapeutic vacuum” between when you call 999 and when the emergency services arrive. Tim told us that “Although we have fabulous emergency services, we need to be able to do something to keep people alive or to save lives before the emergency services can arrive”

He says that first-aid is a “really important life skill because you never know when an incident is going to happen” and that “we need a critical mass of the public who are able to do something useful if they are the bystander when an incident happens”

He has said that “I think that we have pitched the level right with citizenAID in terms of making sure they understand safety messages to keep themselves safe” and “we give them [the public] skills that can save lives but can be relatively simply understood by all levels of literacy and education.”

The initiative has been supported by the counter-terrorism police. He has said that “while general first aid training prepare you for everyday emergencies, what citizenAID™ is designed for is to help the public in a shooting, stabbing or bombing incident” . These incidents are “unusual but not impossible to be involved in.”

He continued to say that “Because of recent events in Europe over the last eighteen months or so, together with colleagues, we decided that now is the time” citizenAID™ wants to generate a “critical mass of people who will have some basic understanding of what to do in these specific situations.”

Brigadier Tim Hodgetts spent “25 years developing systems that have spread around the world for professionals in how to manage multiple casualties after a bombing, a train crash, a plane crash, any kind of incident.”

“By providing free materials that people can download, such as the app, it means that it is accessible to anybody who wants to make themselves prepared.”

“The #1 Trending App”
Since its launch, Tim has told us that “it is already growing faster than we have ever anticipated” On the day of the launch, the citizenAID™ website received over 1,000,000 hits, their FaceBook Live video received 400,000 views and their app was the #1 trending app across Google Play and iTunes. Tim said that “We have identified something that the public is interested in”.

Build Up to the Super Bowl: Conference Championship Matches

by Henry Percival

Today is quite an important day for our cousins across the pond. It is today that we find out who will play for the chance to win the Super Bowl, later on this year.

In the AFC conference game, we have the New England Patriots hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers. This promises to be an interesting matchup, with the most successful team in NFL history (the Steelers) coming up against the most successful team since the turn of the millennia (the Patriots). Both sides have had fantastic seasons, particularly the Patriots, who started the first 4 matches without their star quarterback (and greatest of all time in my opinion) Tom Brady. Since his return, Brady has led his team to becoming favourites to life the Vince Lombardi Trophy. However, they mustn’t get complacent with their favourable odds. The Steelers offer dangerous offensive capabilities with wider receiver Antonio Brown and running back Le’Veon Bell. However, I think the Patriots defence will be more than up to the challenge of containing the Steelers. From a slightly biased point of view, I place the Patriots as favourites to win the contest and go on to the Super Bowl.

Colour Psychology

by Eleanor Barber

Le Chat Aux Poissons Rouges by Henri Matisse
Colours can affect the way we think and feel. This is why certain colours are used to show different things - red often implies danger, blue represents calmness. Banks often use blue to calm the people and signs are often red to warn people of potential dangers.

Our reaction to colours stems from our primitive instincts. Some people may think that colour is subjective which means that the accuracy would change for each person. However colour is not subjective, it is the response that is subjective. You could view blue as a colour that calming and soothing, where as others may view it as a cold and harsh colour. However, as humans we rely on the combination of colours to tell us about possible dangers. We can see dangers through the combination; for example if you saw a grey sky over a predominantly white and blue landscape you would be more tempted to stay inside compared to if you saw a blue sky over a colourful, flower filled landscape  you would be more tempted to go outside.  Blue is also predominantly associated with blue skies, which evolutionarily we associate with no storms arriving. This is why blue is often seen as a colour of stability and calmness.

Why You Should Listen to a Voice from the Clouds

by Tom Fairman

Our latest inset day was based on the topic of Mental Health, with an emphasis on helping to develop resilience to deal with mental health issues. The topic was well chosen as it coincided with Theresa May’s announcement on the same issue.There is nothing like being told to pay attention by the Prime Minister to keep you focused and engaged during inset!
During the course of the presentation, we were shown a short video of Andrew Curran, a paediatric neurologist, describing how to listen to student’s problems. Paraphrasing slightly, he described how being understood increases one’s self esteem which increases their self confidence and, through the lymbic systems release of dopamine, allows them to learn more effectively and deal with their problems with more resilience. Andrew summed it up by saying if a student felt loved for the individual they are, they will be able to learn.
This strikes a chord right at the heart of each one of us. Too often we are defined not by who we are, but by what we have achieved. We seek affirmation of our actions as a way of evaluating our self worth, counting our value by the number of clicks or likes we have had on our latest post. We can be trapped by seeing what we do as a replacement for who we are. As a parent, it is a trait we can easily build into our children. How often do we praise our son or daughter for something good they have done rather than for the fact that they are our son or daughter? Praise and worth are easily woven together at a young age.
There has been a lot of work done in this area and there have been many wonderful poems and self-help memes designed to counteract this. They speak of how you are special and unique, that no-one is allowed to define you and no-one else can be you. The emphasis is that you are not defined by the opinions of others and you are the one in control of how you see yourself. It is wonderfully liberating to not be at the mercy of the next criticism designed to knock you down or waiting for the next piece of praise to pick you up. However I find there to be a flaw in this logic: me.
To know you are special is completely incredible, but I know who I truly am. I know the light and dark that is inside of me; the mistakes I have made. I know no-one is perfect and somedays I can believe that I set the bar and I am a unique creation, but there are days when the mistakes seem to loom larger than the good deeds and the balance sheet is tilted significantly away from special. Self-criticism can be more damaging and last longer than anything that comes from outside. What happens in those moments? Where is my resilience then?

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Live-blogging the Trump Inauguration

by Katie Sharp

Like a lot of people, I’m currently preparing for Trump’s inauguration. I’m waiting for the events to begin, with a notebook in hand, and to be quite honest I’m not sure what I’m expecting. Will Trump reveal himself to be an impostor, will the The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse arrive, or will it be a genuinely normal inauguration, I don’t know. I have a bingo square that I made from common Trump phrases and actions at the ready, including some phrases that the bookies have identified as likely. If you bet for “Make America Great Again” to appear in Trump’s speech, you would make almost no profit- it is almost guaranteed that he’ll say this.

16:15- thinking about how great Michelle Obama was over these past 8 years. And Joe Biden. And Barack Obama, of course. I can’t believe that they’re actually leaving so that Trump could take the presidency. I guess they have no choice though, but I think that Obama would have been being sworn in for his third Term right now if it was possible.
16.24- Obama and Michelle have left the White House for the last time. I’m going to miss Obama’s jokes, like the video of his birth (aka, the Lion King) that he played at the White House Conference.
16:27- Trump looks remarkably miserable for a man who is about to become the most powerful man in the world. He definitely doesn’t have a face as friendly-looking as Obama.
16:28- Pence’s hair is as white as the new Cabinet. The cheering for him isn’t as loud as I had thought it would be. One solitary wolf-whistle.
16:31- Trump looks grumpy and gave the camera an awkward thumbs up
16:32- Obama has been civil to Trump and I don’t know how he is managing it. To be the first Black president, only to be followed by Trump- it must be sad for him.
16:33- The inauguration begins…
16:39- Just remembered that the American public successfully allowed George W. Bush to be president for two terms. Hopefully there isn’t a repeat of that.
16:53- Pence to take his oath. In some angles, Pence doesn’t look quite human.
16:54- I can’t believe that Pence replaced Joe Biden. Does that mean that right now, Pence is Obama’s VP?
16:55- More patriotic choir singing. I know that for some, this is a great and emotional occasion that should last as long as possible, but I personally would like this to be over as soon as possible.
16:58- I’ve changed my mind, I wish this choir would sing forever if it meant that Trump was never sworn in as president.
16:59- God help us all.
I can’t believe he’s actually taking the presidential oath.

(from The New Yorker)

17:00- Well, Donald J. Trump is officially the US president, Obama is the former president.
17:01- the BBC voiceover just cheerfully reminded me that Trump now has the nuclear codes. Thanks, BBC.

Friday, 20 January 2017

Review: La La Land

by Ananthi Parekh

I can honestly say when I walked into the theatre to watch La La Land I had no idea what I was about to watch. I'd like to say I had no opinion of the film prior to watching it, and that this review will be completely objective, but much of my reasoning for going to see the film was due to the fact Emma Stone is one of my favourite actresses for numerous reasons. However apart of my pre-love for Emma Stone, a fondness for Ryan Gosling and a love for musicals I really did go into the cinema with nothing more than high expectations and a blind hope that the film would reach them. La La Land without a doubt met and exceeded every expectation I had for it.

Directed by Damien Chazelle, La La Land tells a story of an actress named Mia, played by Emma Stone, and a jazz pianist called Sebastian, played by Ryan Gosling. The two characters are both passionate and talented in their own right. After a series of coincidences that bring the two characters together, they begin to be torn between their careers and each other. After the film won a record-breaking 7 Golden Globes, my expectations for the film were exceedingly high; furthermore with a Dad who has worked on a number of films, I can't help but judge films for their production value as well as general enjoyment. However when the credits finally rolled down the blackened screen I'd be lying if I said I wasn’t welling up.

The story itself was textbook, cliched even, and on reflection Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling really did carry the whole film, with there being very few, if any other significant characters; however, despite the story being nothing unique, the execution, production and writing of the film was breathtaking. The cinematography alone was something even my dad considered art work, but one of the most beautiful aspects of the film was the music.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

How Social Media Has Influenced the Youth of Today.

by Harry Leggett

Technology can be a blessing and also a curse. Time wasting or time saving. Increase productivity or profoundly hinder productivity. All of these questions are ones that we can ask ourselves when analysing the modern day and the impact technology has on it. 

Communication has become so simple, easy and accessible but has it become too easy? Are we substituting social interaction for “group calls” or such things. Recently my sister visited Australia for six months, 30 years ago this would mean that I would potentially have zero contact with her over that period of time, however thanks to the power of WhatsApp, Facebook and FaceTime my family and I were able to stay in contact with her on a daily basis. The concept of time space compression, suggests that technology has made communication across the planet so easy.

This can be a real gift, however what are the cons to this. There is a phrase used which goes like this “what goes on the internet, stays on the internet.” When applying for a job or any application, the interviewer will often use Facebook or twitter or other social profiles to see what the person applying gets up to. This means that if there is even a slight relation between the interviewee and an inappropriate post of sorts onto the internet, this can significantly hinder there chances of getting that job or place. This means for todays youth who are creating profiles on social media sites from the age as young as 11, there decisions as a pre-teen can have repercussions on their later life. Is it the job of the parents to restrict their Childs use of social media and use privacy settings provided, or is the job of schools to educate children in the world of social media. 

Another issue which has only become an issue in the last 15-20 years is cyber bullying. A survey was done during 2016 which produced these results. Over half adolescents and teens have been bullied at some point online. More than 1 in 3 young people have experienced threats over the Internet. Over 25% of adolescents and teens have been bullied repeatedly through their mobile phones or on the internet, however we must remember when analysing all the dangers of social media, that it is not always social media which is the problem, it is how we use it and what we use it for. From these statistics it is very easy to conclude that the issue is social media, should we ban it, is it having a positive influence on children and young people? However I believe it is not social media which is the issue. Much like many morale issues and other issues we have to understand the problem and how to combat it. I feel like the misuse of social media should not go unpunished, and we can see in front of our own eyes the ever changing law and seeing the prosecution of misuse of social media starting to gain momentum in its charges. 

The Importance of Appreciating the Ordinary

by Libby Young

For the youth of today, aspirations for the future are never far from our minds. A popular aspiration is to become successful- but what does this entail? In today’s society, where constant glimpses of celebrities’ lives repeatedly show almost parallel worlds of lavish ostentation, the indications of true success are commonly perceived to include excessive wealth and power. However, not everybody is able to achieve these standards. Indeed, the ideas of wealth and power could hardly exist if they were achieved by everybody due to their comparative nature. Yet the millions of people who do not reach these levels are not and should not be considered “unsuccessful”- indeed they may be better off than those at the top.

Due to our tendency to equate wealth with success, many stumble into the trap of attempting to work themselves to the bone in order to satisfy their goals. Whilst drive is certainly an important attribute, too much can be detrimental. Bronnie Ware, a palliative nurse who counsels the dying in their last days, compiled a list of the most common deathbed regrets. According to her study, the second most common regret was working too hard, with many expressing the wish to have instead spent more time with close family and friends. Out of the top five, there were no references to wishes for more wealth or more power, only desires to have been truer to oneself and to have maintained social interaction. One thought provoking regret was the simple wish to have let oneself be happier.

Moreover, whilst it appears that wealth ceases to become important in life’s final days, it may also be true that only a certain amount is necessary to feel content throughout the majority of a lifetime. Many people idolise the extravagant lifestyles of the few, and daydream about a life spent without difficulty. However, research has suggested that although households with higher incomes were considered “happier” (happiness being difficult to quantify) than those with lower ones, there does exist what is known as the “comfortable standard”. Once this level of wealth has been achieved, earning additional income did not lead to additional levels of happiness.

In addition to this, there are the challenges that a life spent saturated with every desire presents. Many are familiar with the tale of the sword of Damocles: a wealthy and powerful king offers a man the opportunity to live his luxurious lifestyle, on the condition that a sword is suspended above the man's head by a single horsetail hair. Eventually, the unrelenting danger causes the man to beg to be released. Although a classical tale, the truth of it still remains poignant today- that great power often dangles on the edge of a great downfall. Indeed, many classical authors seemed to agree with the sentiment: Euripides wrote in his play Medea: “Excess brings no benefit to us, only greater disasters on a house, when God is angry”.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Review: 'We The Animals' by Justin Torres

by Fenella Johnson

There is a type of summer that exists in books like these; it hangs at the very top of the year, quivers with tension and an undercurrent of violence, making the prose strange and breathless.It is that kind of summer that the boy narrator of We,The Animals finds himself in, at the start and the end of the novella.

In We,The Animals a secret and a family unravel via elegant chapters that serve as vivid screenshots for the growing up-and coming of age-of three poor immigrant boys in New York in what we presume to be the late 80s.We never forget their immigrant status because the characters never let us-they are too poor, too Puerto Rican, too white, their father can't hold a job-and just as we can't forget their foreign ideals and values,Torres doesn't let us forget their gender.Their boyhood and brotherhood is entwined: they speak with one voice, operate with three bodies, they fancy themselves to be akin to the Three Musketeers, and as they grow older, they grow apart.These  biracial children must endure the role of the “other” throughout the book, within their family, their heritage. (“Mutts,you ain’t white and you ain’t Puerto Rican.”)They don’t belong anywhere but with and to each other, until the end when even the comfort of brotherhood is removed: after a secret revealed, the narrator says ,'everything easy between me and my brothers and my mother and my father was lost.'

The novella concerns itself primarily with these three boys who roam the streets in woozy half light, learning themselves and each other-the backdrop of their parents troubled marriage is present throughout and when explicitly referenced it is accepted with a childish recounting of their relationship, which the narrator and his brothers clearly perceive as normal which makes it even more troubling( as Torres no doubt intends).The vignette-like chapters allow Torres to display his story as a montage: mambo dancing-'as if we could wear Spanish in our movements'-the lake where the family attempt to swim, men who look at girls on street corners like cats after a drought ,the intricate displays of their parents affection and hatred for one another, and the narrator's drive with his father through crippled old towns in the west as his brothers skip school.While the style of writing can often falter-some chapters last for too long, others are irritatingly short-it is mostly effective, especially when it is revealed that the parents have read the boy's journal while he was out and discovered not only his contempt for them and their poverty but his homosexuality, after which the chapters become disjointed as he is removed from the chaos of the family; excluded as he is by his most private desires being made public.

Monday, 16 January 2017

Review: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

by Julian Davis

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time garden was a brilliant play, deploying an imaginative use of set, lighting and sound to successfully portray a boy’s battle with Asperger's and the strenuous effect it had on his family and the people around him, depicting an unequipped father trying to care for a mentally handicapped son.  Joseph Ayre's superb performance as Christopher, a boy with intense Asperger's, simply makes the show and is crucial to its success.

The play starts by immediately hitting the audience with an impressive wave of sound, before unveiling a dazzling light show, displaying powerful imagery of a dog dying. The impending tussle with the policeman immediately introduces the audience to Christopher’s problems; his groaning and assault of the police officer shows the depth of the problem facing his family; the father's then haggard appearance accentuates this.                        

Speaking of the father, Nicholas Tenant's performance was another strong point to this excellent play and his chemistry with Christopher, specifically their first argument, left the audience riveted. As well as the drama and the conflict, the space scene, where the audience is given a view into Christopher's mind is a beautiful moment which is symbolic and representative of the entire production, using lights and set to show the galaxy as Christopher sees it, drawing the audience and the world into Christopher's mind and showing the potential wonder that he is capable of, revealing that there is more to him.