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Welcome to December!

Welcome to December on Mother Nature! It’s hard to believe it’s the last month of the year, the time has gone so fast, it’s unbelievable how quick time flies nowadays. It felt like it was only yesterday that 2016 just opened its doors and now we are in the last month of 2016 and this year is set to close its doors. Winter is officially here and the freezing temperatures are here to stay which now means we all have to wrap up warm, but that’s a good thing as wrapping up warm feels so soothing and so relaxing.

Given that the last few weeks of college are going to be extremely busy due to coursework and also a mock exam, I can only apologise in advance if you don’t see some articles over the course of this week into next week and also on Monday 12th December.

However, there’s some fantastic news in store. Book #4, titled: “Life From My Own Perspective” is finished and all I need to do now is just add some photos, then finalise the back cover of the book and then the book is all ready to go.

Also, even more fantastic news! Shortly after my Maths Mock Exam on Thursday 8th December 2016, So Solid Crew, best known for their smash hit record, 21 Seconds, will be performing live at BOXPARK Croydon for the Christmas Light Switch On from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM, and as I am going along to the event next week, I will be able to use this fantastic opportunity wisely to get some film footage and possibly some photos of the event if it’s allowed. What a fantastic way to round off 2016!

You can expect after I have handed all of my coursework in on the 12th December that I may be able to publish a bit more frequently on here, and as my last day of college before the Christmas Holiday is on Friday 16th December, this will be fantastic for me as I will be able to publish the last amount of articles before 2016 finally closes its doors.

To make a change to the Christmas Tradition on Mother Nature, I have decided to keep the logo its usual colours, but have instead opted to change the colour of this website to Red, to ring in the festive Christmas season.

I can promise you that this Christmas is going to be the best Christmas on Mother Nature, and as soon as the book is finally ready to go, I will release it before the end of 2016. I can promise you that this book is massive and it contains more content that I guarantee will be worth the read.

Until then, Welcome to December on Mother Nature!

Alex Smithson

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Monthly Roundup: November 2016

After an eventful and busy month, I will be taking a look back on the short number of articles I have published over the course of November. I can only apologise for not being as productive recently. I have had quite a lot going on with coursework including things personal-based, but I will try to be as productive as I can over the course of December. Please keep in mind that on the 8th December, I will be doing a Mock Exam for GCSE Maths, so I will be revising for the duration of this week up until the day of my exam as I want to pass this mock exam. I can only apologise if, within this time, I don’t publish any articles.

1.11.2016 – As this month was set to be full of new challenges and full of productivity considering the large amount of coursework I’ve been doing recently, I welcomed you all to November on Mother Nature. Also, this month would be a month for remembrance considering that Remembrance Day (also known as Armistice Day) was just around the corner.

7.11.2016 – As a result of the devastating tram crash that killed 7 and injured more than 50 others, I published an article on this day to say that there would be no articles for the rest of the week as I wanted to pay my full respects to the victims and the victims’ families, including to those that were seriously injured. I also mentioned that this day and the previous day were not my days at all, as I received upsetting news the day before that my friend’s killers had pleaded not guilty, which is why I didn’t feel it was right at all to publish any articles for the rest of the week.

24.11.2016 – All around the world, everyone uses social media; it’s become the norm of the digital world, but on this day, I wrote an article on whether social media had a long-lasting impact on Mental Health. I gave my reasons for why I felt social media would have a long-lasting impact on Mental Health, given that in October, I had worked with the famous GIANTLAND actor, Oli Regan, and I mentioned that now was the time to stand up and fight to end the stigma against mental health, but that we should also raise awareness for mental health. I also mentioned that now was our time to really make the positive change and the best difference in this world and to take a stand for all of those suffering from Mental Health and to end the stigma against mental health.

26.11.2016 – As I share my love for SEGA‘s blue mascot, Sonic the Hedgehog, I wrote a review on the 1993 classic, Sonic CD, which went widescreen, thanks to Christian “Taxman” Whitehead, who is best known for porting SEGA’s iconic classic, Sonic the Hedgehog & Sonic the Hedgehog 2 to consoles, smartphones and even tablets. I mentioned how it was such a good game to play, given that it has the old-school retro appeal that can make you feel like as if you were in the 1990’s playing this game the moment it was released.

27.11.2016 – As I visited the Croydon Road Recreation Ground on Saturday 5th November 2016 to see the Firework Display, I knew I was going to be in for a great evening, as the recreation ground was packed and had a turnout of nearly 3,000 visitors. I published a huge photo collection from bonfire night including a video, but before the firework display kicked off, the organisers of the firework display paid tribute to David Bowie, who sadly passed away on the 10th January 2016 at the age of 69 from liver cancer, and as the 5th November marked Guy Fawkes Night, celebrations came in light of the failed Gunpowder Plot, in which Guy Fawkes committed treason, which saw him being hung, drawn and quartered. Also, as the firework display came to a remarkable close, the organisers asked for donations for the bandstand as it was named in David Bowie’s memory, given that he used to perform down in Beckenham.

28.11.2016 – Shortly after I went to see the firework display at the Croydon Road Recreation Ground on Saturday 5th November 2016, I was on my way home and whilst I waited for my bus, I saw two drivers who were using their phones or tablets behind the wheel whilst I waited. I didn’t make it obvious that I was looking at them, but they were being ignorant enough to use their phones behind the wheel even when there was heavy traffic present. I also described how there were major health and safety concerns after a group of people set fireworks off which they relentlessly aimed at secondary school students as they were on their way home down Shirley Road, something of which I was only made aware of the moment I got home from college. As you can imagine, I was cross and frustrated at the fact that fireworks were set off, and I vented my frustrations by giving an example of how someone would think if they set a firework off, with them potentially almost causing someone else untold harm.

29.11.2016 – With a futuristic and technological approach, Tron: Legacy created a concept that involved Sam Flynn going on a journey into the alternative world, where instead of the world being normal with some partial technology, the alternative world would be completely digital, as Sam would encounter a clone of his father, the clone of which would be the evil force that could have potentially sealed Sam’s fate. I wrote this review given that I had seen Tron: Legacy most recently as it was on BBC One just weeks before, and I genuinely thought it was such a good film and I would recommend it to anyone.

I can only apologise for not publishing frequently over the course of November. I had so much going on with my coursework and other things personal-based, but I will try my best to make more of an effort to publish articles over the course of December.

Thanks for a good month everyone, it really means so much to have your support and I don’t know what I’d do without all of you by my side. It has been an eventful and busy month, I know, but I got through it, but again, thank you for a good month and I’ll see you all in December.

Alex Smithson

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Tron: Legacy | Futurism at its Peak & How Technology Evolves

With a futuristic and technological approach, Tron: Legacy created a concept that involved Sam Flynn going on a journey into the alternative world, where instead of the world being normal with some partial technology, the alternative world would be completely digital, as Sam would encounter a clone of his father, the clone of which would be the evil force that could have potentially sealed Sam’s fate.

Sam Flynn meets his real father, who had years ago become stuck in the digital world, and for his father, his father (played by Jeff Bridges) would have to fight to survive, which was almost the same route that Sam took in order to enter the digital world.

In this film, Sam would have to fight to survive, but at the same time, he didn’t want for his dad to stay in the digital world, and did everything he could to make sure he could bring his father back to the real world, which unfortunately doesn’t happen as he wanted Sam to save himself including the girl who stood by his side.

In this film, futurism already reaches its peak as technology becomes over-advanced but can also prove to be dangerous at the same time, as Sam Flynn fought with his own life to save his father, but he had to learn to accept the fact that he would only get to see his father for one last time as that moment would never come around ever again.

In terms of futurism and technology, both have evolved so fast with the speed of time that it is almost impossible to keep up with the times, but at the same time, both can be dangerous and both will be the reason why the human race ceases to exist in the future.

However, after watching Tron: Legacy, I can honestly say it is such a good film and I would recommend the film to all of you. Trust me, I wasn’t sure whether I was going to like the film at first, but after watching it, I was actually interested and thought it was a good film. It’s like your eyes become glued to the TV screen as a result of watching this film. But again, Tron: Legacy is such a good film and I recommend it to anyone.

If you enjoyed my film review of Tron: Legacy, then please feel free to submit feedback below. All feedback is much appreciated.

Alex Smithson

ignorance

Ignorance

Shortly after I went to see the firework display at the Croydon Road Recreation Ground on Saturday 5th November 2016, I was on my way home and whilst I waited for my bus, I saw two drivers who were using their phones or tablets behind the wheel whilst I waited. I didn’t make it obvious that I was looking at them, but they were being ignorant enough to use their phones behind the wheel even when there was heavy traffic present.

The title says it all. Why is there so much of ignorance in this world? I’ll tell you, it’s because some people think they’re so clever thinking that they can do something that they are actually not supposed to be doing, to which they find out the hard way sooner rather than later.

Recently, there were major health and safety concerns after a group of people set fireworks off which they relentlessly aimed at secondary school students as they were on their way home down Shirley Road, something of which I was only made aware of the moment I got home from college.

Just imagine this, suppose you were someone who went to see a firework display and then all of a sudden, someone with not a brain in their head decides to set off and aim a firework at you, and you nearly didn’t see it coming, how are you going to feel if the firework explodes and you almost come close to suffering burns to your body? It’s going to be extremely painful for you and can have a life-changing impact on how you look. Straightaway, the first thing they will begin to think is: “Why did I set that firework off at them? They never did anything wrong and yet I have aimed that firework at them, not realising the horrific pain that they could have been going through as a result of my own ignorance of setting off the firework.

At the end of the day, ignorance kills and only we can prevent it.

If you feel that ignorance can kill, then please let me know by submitting feedback below. Your feedback is much appreciated.

Alex Smithson

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Bonfire Night / Croydon Road Recreation Ground / Saturday 5th November 2016

As I visited the Croydon Road Recreation Ground on Saturday 5th November 2016 to see the Firework Display, I was in for a great evening, as the recreation ground was packed and had a turnout of nearly 3,000 visitors. The firework display itself stood out for everyone including myself, as the organisers paid tribute to David Bowie, who sadly passed away on the 10th January 2016 at the age of 69 from liver cancer. As the 5th November marked Guy Fawkes Night, the celebrations came in light of the failed Gunpowder Plot in which Guy Fawkes attempted to commit treason, which saw him being hung, drawn and quartered as a result. Also, as the firework display came to a remarkable close, the organisers asked for donations for the bandstand as it was named in David Bowie’s memory, given that he used to perform down in Beckenham.

Below is the large collection of photographs that I took on my iPhone 5 from the firework display that took place at the Croydon Road Recreation Ground on Saturday 5th November 2016.

Below is the video containing the footage of the fireworks from Bonfire Night that I recorded when I was at the Croydon Road Recreation Ground on Saturday 5th November 2016.

If you enjoyed this photo and video collection, please feel free to submit feedback below. All feedback is much appreciated.

Alex Smithson

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Sonic CD: Old-School Retro Meets Modern Gaming

As I share my love for SEGA‘s blue mascot, Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic CD officially went widescreen, thanks to Christian “Taxman” Whitehead, who is best known for porting SEGA’s iconic classics, Sonic the Hedgehog & Sonic the Hedgehog 2 to consoles, smartphones and even tablets and as I was lucky to grab a copy of Sonic CD via iTunes, I started playing on the game and I can be honest, it is much better now compared to the 1993 SEGA CD release.

As Sonic CD was also re-released for the PlayStation 3, XBOX 360, Android, Steam and Windows Phone, it was safe to say that the Classic Sonic we all knew and loved was back and to be honest, playing the game in widescreen is so much better now than before as you can finally feel comfortable playing a treasured classic from the past without needing to go back to a certain area in each level that you play.

The 7 time stones, later known as the Chaos Emeralds in the future Sonic the Hedgehog games, were the crucial pieces of the puzzle that would come together once you claimed them through 7 Special Stages in the game. This, of course, would give Sonic the Hedgehog the ability to defeat Eggman once and for all, or Dr. Robotnik as Sonic’s arch nemesis is most famously known as.

I won’t lie to you, it’s such a good game to play and it has the old-school retro appeal that can make you feel like as if you were in the 1990’s playing this game the moment it was released. I love the game, as it is different in its own right, but at the same time, you can’t help but feel like you wished you played this game sooner.

It’s hard to believe it was 23 years ago that this game was released, it’s amazing how the time flies, but when you consider how much technology and gaming have evolved, it’s amazing to see old games becoming new again, and it’s also amazing to see old games being revived for the big screen. Sonic CD was remastered to be played in 16:9 widescreen and it is Full HD, so you’re getting the best from this game, even if you have or haven’t played it before.

But overall, Sonic CD is such a fantastic game and you cannot go wrong with such a fantastic old-school classic like this. Sonic CD’s old-school retro appeal has officially met the modern gaming world and it’s safe to say that this game is worth downloading and is worth playing. I wholeheartedly recommend playing the game, because the moment you start playing it, those seconds turn into minutes, and those minutes quickly turn into hours of gameplay.

If you enjoyed my review of SEGA’s Sonic CD, please feel free to submit feedback. All feedback is much appreciated.

Alex Smithson

© SEGA & Sonic Team 1993, 2016

© Any logos / promotional images used, such as the SONIC CD Trademark, including the promotional image of Metal Sonic & Sonic the Hedgehog side-to-side are all copyright of SEGA & Sonic Team. No Copyright Infringement Intended.

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Does Social Media Have a Long-Lasting Impact on Mental Health?

All around the world, everyone uses social media; it’s become the norm of the digital world, but just how much of a long-lasting impact can social media have on mental health?

Social media can have a profound and negative impact on mental health, because social networking websites, such as Facebook, Twitter, even Instagram, can be the source of body image problems. Why? Because these websites have been used to inadvertently make anyone feel insecure, and body image can be a crucial factor that can negatively impact and affect a person’s mental health.

As a user on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, I always watch the comments that come up on status updates, even the comments that come up on Instagram pictures and also on Twitter. Trust me, the comments I’ve read on these social networks are degrading, patronising and not only that, but some of those comments can be misogynistic. They can cause insecurities in anyone but more importantly, when body image comes into comments, it can have a negative impact on how someone looks and those comments can be very disgusting.

Body image where insecurities are concerned can be the root cause for someone to change their appearance because comments are made about how they look and what they look like, which is tantamount to bullying. With bullying, this can cause a lack of social interaction for those in the real world, as a person’s body image shouldn’t matter, let alone their insecurities, but a lack of social interaction means that that person cannot feel secure in themselves and that person cannot be themselves.

I read up on the English radio and television presenter, George Lamb (Larry Lamb’s son) just recently, and someone made a website on the photo-blogging platform, Blogger, in which the defamatory website was aimed at him in a hurtful and negative way. Obviously, I cannot write the name of the website here as the title of the website is extremely defamatory and offensive but it just goes to show that defamatory websites and abusive language on social media can cause anyone to feel insecure and uncomfortable in the real world.

Some of the abusive language I have seen on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram have led some people to self-harm, and self-harm is where you harm yourself to the point of almost committing suicide. I know a lot of friends of mine who have self-harmed in the past and it’s not a nice feeling to see a friend with marks on their arms. I have never self-harmed in my entire life but I know for my friends, it hurts for them, and it upsets me because I wouldn’t want them to be in a bad place at all, but even so, social media can have a negative impact on mental health, and it can also affect anyone’s lives.

I have noticed ever since social media came about that it has thrown face-to-face communication out of the window, because not a single day goes by where I don’t see someone on their smartphone or tablets, and I don’t mean no offence when I say this, but it annoys me, because I could be talking to someone about something that may benefit their life, and if their eyes are pasted to their smartphones or tablets, and they don’t pay attention to me or even acknowledge what I’ve said to them, it really gets my back up, because it’s like talking to a brick wall. Now I know I might sound like a fine one to talk as I use a tablet and smartphone, but I pay attention to what I’m told and if someone is speaking to me, I acknowledge them straightaway and listen to them.

Personally, I prefer talking face-to-face with someone as it really helps to get things done quicker and it also helps to prevent arguments and important information from being lost. Face-to-face communication matters in this world and that change can happen without using any technology.

In conclusion, social media and technology causes a lack of social interaction and a lack of face-to-face communication, and it can have a negative impact on mental health. Mental Health is often ignored because of the negative stigma, but only we can change that. Only you can change that and only you can help others in need, but more importantly, it’s time to end the stigma on mental health and it’s time to take a stand against social media and stand up and fight to end the stigma against mental health. Now is the time to raise awareness for mental health, but more importantly, now’s our time to really make the positive change and the best difference in this world.

If you feel that the stigma against mental health should end, and if you want to raise awareness for mental health, please feel free to submit feedback. Your feedback is much appreciated.

Plus, if you missed my collaborative article with the famous actor from GIANTLAND, Oli Regan, don’t worry, I will hyperlink the article below so you don’t miss out.

Alex Smithson

Are Autism & Mental Health Overlooked? (Parental Guidance is Advised)

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NO ARTICLES THIS WEEK

Due to the devastating tram crash that took place this morning down in Sandilands which killed 7 and injured more than 50 others, I will not be publishing any articles this week, as I will pay my full respects to the victims and the victims’ families, including to those that were seriously injured this morning.

This has come as a serious shock to me as I had only just found out this news as I had slept in late earlier and was only made aware of this news after my family told me, and to be honest, today and yesterday, which were my days off have been horrible as I received upsetting news yesterday that surrounded my friend who lost his life in August that his killers have pleaded not guilty, and to then find out today about this morning’s devastating tram crash, I just don’t feel it’s right at all to be publishing articles especially during this week.

My mind is made up and I will not publish any articles this week as I want to pay respects not just to my friend and everyone else, but also to the 7 that died in this morning’s tram crash, including all those injured in this morning’s tram crash.

I want to ask you if you can pay your respects below. Your tributes to my friend and everyone else, including to the 7 that died in this morning’s tram crash, including all those injured in this morning’s tram crash is wholeheartedly appreciated.

Alex Smithson

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Welcome to November!

Welcome to November on Mother Nature! As this month is set to be full of new challenges and full of productivity considering the large amount of coursework I’ve been doing recently, it is safe to say this month will not just be productive and very busy, but will also be a month for Remembrance, given that Remembrance Day (also known as Armistice Day) is just around the corner, with the Red Poppies officially being worn to remember our fallen soldiers who gave their lives during the First & Second World War.

I also bring good news on Book #4, titled: “Life From My Own Perspective”, and the good news is that the book is almost finished, which is a good sign as I will quite possibly be able to release Book #4 before 2016 officially closes its doors for good. It’s hard to think it only felt like yesterday we were all ringing in 2016 during the New Year’s Day Fireworks and Celebrations, but to think it’s almost that time, it just feels completely surreal.

Also, Saturday 5th November 2016 marks Bonfire Night, which is also known as Guy Fawkes Night, in which dozens upon dozens of fireworks will be set off to celebrate Bonfire Night, including the foiled Gunpowder Plot that saw Guy Fawkes being hung, drawn and quartered over 400 years ago.

As previously mentioned before regarding Book #4, Life From My Own Perspective is much bigger than originally planned, so this book will have tons upon tons of information to offer you. I can promise you that this book will be worth reading, considering it’s over 500 pages.

Until then, Welcome to November on Mother Nature!

Alex Smithson

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Monthly Roundup: October 2016

As Halloween draws October to a close, in a place where no one can hear you scream, I will make sure to round October off by taking a look back at the articles published over the course of this month. Happy Halloween!

1.10.2016 – Kicking off October, I welcomed all of you back to Mother Nature and I would announce that this month would be just as busy as September, considering it would be quite a productive and busy month given my Film & Photography Course.

3.10.2016 – On Friday 23rd September 2016, me and my class headed up to Dungeness as part of our course, and considering that the trip was an hour and a half via coach, I can honestly say that Dungeness is actually really peaceful and quiet. Despite the fact that I have heard it is a depressing place, to me, that is a complete understatement, as Dungeness is not a depressing place, even if the huge landscape around it suggests otherwise. I published my photo collection of The Trek to Dungeness on this day following the trip just around one or two weeks before.

5.10.2016 – On this day five years ago, the iconic and revolutionary technology figure, Steve Jobs, best known for shaping Apple into the company it is today, sadly passed away on the 5th October 2011 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

14.10.2016 – As I collaborated with the famous GIANTLAND actor, Oli Regan, on the article surrounding Autism & Mental Health Awareness, I published an article based on whether Autism & Mental Health were overlooked, to which they actually were, and the article came about after a video surfaced of a man and an organisation who believed that Autism and Mental Health were curable, which they’re not, and I used the sole intention to publicly shame them for their disgusting beliefs of what they think works and what doesn’t where Autism & Mental Health is concerned. It is and always will be an absolute honour to work with Oli Regan, because without his help on this topic of discussion, this article wouldn’t have come to fruition and I thank him wholeheartedly for collaborating with me on this article.

21.10.2016 – To celebrate the release of her fifth studio album, JOANNE, following her remarkable comeback to the music scene, which saw her record: “Perfect Illusion” go straight to Number 1 around the world, with a few other singles that followed shortly after, Lady Gaga‘s highly anticipated fifth studio album, JOANNE, was officially released worldwide. As I had listened to and purchased the deluxe edition of the album on this day, I can honestly say I love Lady Gaga’s fifth studio album, JOANNE.

25.10.2016 – As Winter is fast-approaching, the coats, scarves, gloves and headgear comes out as the temperatures are set to drop, despite the weather being warm on some days. I also mentioned that Daylight Saving Time would come to an end on Sunday 30th October 2016 at 2:00 AM, in which the clocks would go back 1 hour, with the daylight hours being considerably shorter, with an extra hour of sleep included.

29.10.2016 – I published an article that was of serious discussion based on whether you thought drones should be used in the public domain to which I immediately said: “I Don’t Think So!”

Also on this day, I asked you all if you were prepared as the clock would go back 1 hour at 2:00 AM on Sunday 30th October 2016, to which I mentioned that I’m prepared to get back the extra hour as I needed it, also because of the fact I tend to get more work done with an extra hour in hand.

31.10.2016 – It’s been a long time coming, and after a long wait, BOXPARK is officially open in Croydon! I used the opportunity today to snap a large collection of photos during my lunch break and also after I finished my first day back at college after the one-week holiday. It’s absolutely lovely and so peaceful in BOXPARK. This photo collection would consist of 56 photographs, including 1 edited photograph based on an original version of one of the photographs I took of BOXPARK.

Thanks to all of you for such a productive and busy month, and I will try my best to get as many articles published when the free time becomes available over certain times during next month. Again, thanks to all of you for such a productive and busy month, and I will see you all in November.

Alex Smithson