Monthly Roundup: November 2017

The time sure did fly this month! It’s almost the end of 2017 and it only felt like it was yesterday we just started 2017 and now we’re almost ready to close 2017, and what a fantastic year it has been. I won’t lie, 2017 has been so much more of a better year and I cannot wait to venture into 2018 with fresh opportunities for my photography work, as I will be looking to expand my horizons in the world of photography whilst I work full-time, but I will be prioritising much of my time over next year on full-time work than I will on this website as I want to make sure I can gain all the skills I need and want to gain whilst I work full-time, as this will help me to be more confident in what I write, but next year onwards will be about photography, full-time work and raising awareness for Mental Health.

Without further ado, I shall now take a quick look back over the articles published over the course of this month.

1.11.2017 – Welcoming you all to November, I mentioned that November was set to get a whole lot busier for me considering I was about to embark on my first ever full-time job considering I finished my education for good in July, which meant I wouldn’t be free mostly as I would be putting myself first to earn from my full-time job whilst I learn and re-take Maths.

Also, on this day, ahead of the 3rd November release of Apple’s hotly anticipated tenth anniversary iPhone, the iPhone X (officially pronounced 10), I published a wallpaper pack that would consist of some wallpapers with Mother Nature’s cube, with a further set of wallpapers that would all be the same colours, just without Mother Nature’s cube.

2.11.2017 – As I use this product on a regular basis to make sure the style of my hair always stays as trendy as possible, I wrote a review on L’Oréal’s Matt & Messy Putty and I recommended this hair product to all of you considering it would give your hair that roughed up natural look, which would make your hair look as natural as possible whilst keeping the hairstyle you have in check.

6.11.2017 – Fireworks are used now and then when it comes to a special occasion; a party, or even during Bonfire Night and on New Year’s Day, but why is firework safety important? Well, the article I wrote: “Firework Safety: Why it’s Important” would allow me to air my views and reasons for why I believe that firework safety is important. I also highlighted considering I take your health and safety seriously and wanted you to stay as protected as possible by asking you to stay safe and wrap up warm, and that your health and safety are both important, and that no one, and I mean no one, is allowed to compromise that.

Thanks for such a good month everyone. I acknowledge I haven’t published as much, but I will try and find time over the last few weeks of 2017 to publish some articles, but I will definitely be publishing my photography set from my trip up to London that I produced towards the end of September before we finish 2017, I can assure you on that.

Again…thanks so much for a good month everyone, and I shall see you all in December!

Alex Smithson

Firework Safety: Why it’s Important

Fireworks are used now and then when it comes to a special occasion; a party, or even during bonfire night and on New Year’s Day, but why is firework safety important?

Firework safety is important considering the health risks they can pose if used incorrectly or used in such a dangerous way that doesn’t involve them being set off to go bang in the sky but used to aim at the public.

Ignorance is the ultimate killer, as there have been cases where school kids and even some adults have been using fireworks and setting them off and aiming them at people, which is disgraceful.

Recently, you may have heard in the news about a man who has been left fighting for his life after someone ignited some fireworks and pushed it through his letterbox, which, in effect, torched his house from top to bottom, leaving him for dead. I won’t name the man who was the victim of this horrific attack but all I hope for is that he pulls through and that he survives.

What is disgraceful is how some people can be so callous by putting other people’s lives in serious danger, and I shan’t be the least bit ashamed to say this, but those who hurt others around them intentionally with explosives should be taken off the streets of London and everywhere else, because this behaviour cannot go on any longer.

If you are going to a firework display over the coming weeks leading up to New Year’s Day 2018, please stay safe and wrap up warm. Your health and safety are both important and no one is allowed to compromise that.

Alex Smithson

Need a Quick Hair Fix? Try L’Oreal’s Matt & Messy Putty!

As I use this hair product on a regular basis to make sure the style of my hair stays as trendy as possible, I wanted to recommend L’Oreal‘s Matt & Messy Hair Putty to all of you.

Whether you’re someone who likes to style your hair in a certain way, no matter what the occasion, L’Oreal’s Matt & Messy Putty will leave your hair feeling refreshed and not only that but when you put the putty in your hair and style your hair the way you want it to look, the putty isn’t noticeable and you’ll feel like you didn’t put any putty in, which goes to prove how good this product really is.

I use this product on a regular basis as I always love to make sure first impressions count, and even after the first impression, I still love to use L’Oreal’s Matt & Messy Putty as I can still look the part even if I do or don’t choose to go out.

The benefits you’ll get from this hair product is that it doesn’t leave visible clumps of putty in your hair at all, as it’s not clumpy in any shape or form. This hair product will really benefit you for any occasion and this product is so easily workable in your hair, no matter what hairstyle you choose to have and because L’Oreal’s Matt & Messy Putty gives your hair that roughed up natural look, it makes your hair look as natural as possible whilst keeping the hairstyle you have in check.

L’Oreal make sure to deliver, and if that doesn’t convince you, then I know this will. L’Oreal’s Matt & Messy Putty can be washed out easily and doesn’t leave any clumps of putty in your hair, and it doesn’t even create clumps of putty in your hair when you apply the Matt & Messy Putty to it.

I use this hair product on a daily basis and it has always delivered the best results each time.

If you are in need of a quick hair fix, I recommend L’Oreal’s Matt & Messy Putty.

Alex Smithson

iPhone X Wallpaper Pack #1

Ahead of Friday’s release of the hotly anticipated tenth anniversary iPhone, the iPhone X (officially pronounced 10), I have created some new wallpapers, some with the logo’s cube on and some without, depending on the wallpaper and colour choice you may have for your choice of wallpaper.

They are sized exactly to the wallpaper specifications of the iPhone X, as noted in the tech specs on Apple’s website, though if you want to create your own iPhone X wallpapers, here are the width and height dimensions of the iPhone X screen:

Width: 1125

Height: 2436.

Mother Nature Cube

Plain

Please feel free to download these wallpapers. To save these wallpapers to your iPhone X on release day, press and hold the image and then press ‘Save Image‘.

Are you excited for the iPhone X? I sure am. Please let me know in the comments below your thoughts on the iPhone X. All comments welcome.

Alex Smithson

Welcome to November!

Welcome to November on Mother Nature! As this month is set to get a whole lot busier for me considering I am about to embark on my first ever full-time job following finishing my education, it’s safe to say I’ll be trying to keep to a schedule of when I can publish articles, which means I won’t be free mostly as I am putting myself first to earn from my full-time job whilst I learn and re-take GCSE Maths, but at the same time, I will try and publish a few articles here and there when I can find the time.

The next few weeks are set to get much colder as we near the Christmas period, so it’s now the time to wrap up warm and don the scarves and woolly hats as we are set for a breezy and frosty winter. I too find it hard to believe it’s almost the end of 2017, and it only felt like the start of 2017 yesterday! My my! How time flies!

In terms of the photography work I have produced in recent months which still need to be published, I will try and find the time to publish my photography work for the photography series: “The Concept of Expression”, whilst also trying to get my photography work I produced of my recent trip up to London published soon.

Until then, Welcome to November!

Alex Smithson

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

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

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

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.

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)