For the Love of Amy

After hearing about the beautifully artistic mural that the artist, Bareface, had produced of the late music legend, Amy Winehouse, who sadly passed away at the age of 27 on the 23rd July 2011, on the Croydon Advertiser, I just could not resist seizing the opportunity to photograph the mural.

Artistically and eloquently visual as it is, Bareface made sure that his mural spoke volumes. This mural he has produced sure did speak volumes as it is not just powerful, is not just colourful, but is very musical considering that the mural is inspired on Amy Winehouse’s record, Tears Dry On Their Own, taken from her second and last album before her death on the 23rd July 2011, Back to Black, with the third and final posthumous album that was released shortly after Amy Winehouse passed away, titled Lioness: Hidden Treasures.

You have to admire Bareface’s hard work, effort and time as he has stuck to Croydon’s roots and produced such a fantastic piece of art work that connects to the BRIT School & Sylvia Young Theatre School, both schools of which Amy Winehouse was alumni for.

It’s such a beautiful and wonderful tribute to the late musician and I can honestly say that this mural is worth preserving for anyone who wants to visit and see this beautiful mural.

To see the mural in full, I have provided below three photographs of Bareface’s own take on the late music legend, Amy Winehouse.

 

Scratch that, it’s not just beautiful, it’s exquisite as Bareface’s take on the late music legend stands out from the crowd.

If you live in Croydon or you are looking to visit Croydon to see this mural, please seize the opportunity to see this artistic and eloquently beautiful mural of Amy Winehouse, produced by Bareface in accordance with the RISE Gallery.

Alex Smithson

If you want to follow and be kept up to date on Bareface’s exquisite and powerful art work, please follow him on these Social Media Accounts shown below.

Instagram: @bareface_art
Twitter: @BarefaceTee

© Amy Winehouse Art Work Mural Copyright of Bareface, commissioned by the RISE Gallery. Full Copyright goes to the respective owners.

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)

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

Autism & Mental Health are the types of things no-one, and I mean no-one should be laughing at, and I know that for a fact considering I have friends that were born with Autism and have suffered from Mental Health.

You may be wondering why I am writing this. Well there’s a perfectly valid reason. In the last few weeks, a guy and an organisation, both of who I can’t name for legal reasons because I don’t know their names, believe that Autism can be cured, when actually it isn’t curable.

This comes after a man was secretly filmed who believed that Autism can be cured. Well I can say in my defence that the footage that has been doing the rounds on the internet and on TV is disgusting.

For that guy and the organisation involved to think it’s funny and for them to think that Autism can be cured is disgraceful. Why should I have to hide how I feel about these disgusting excuses for people who think it’s okay to create a mockery of those who were born with Autism and suffer from Mental Health? I’m not hiding what I really think of this whole situation.

OOOOH it makes me so cross! You seriously haven’t the faintest idea how I really feel about this headline. I’m sorry if what I’ve just said came across rude but I am seriously fucked off big time about it. I hate those who think it’s okay to judge someone because they have Autism. I also hate those who think it’s okay to judge someone because they suffer from Mental Health.

Mental Health and Autism have always been known to be very misunderstood, and they have always been the kind of mentions that often get left out in the cold.

I have friends that suffer from Mental Health and friends that were also born with Autism, and I give them full respect all the time, because they deserve my full respect regardless. I wholeheartedly respect everyone with Mental Health and Autism and I respect everyone regardless, but I cannot stand the judgemental types that think it’s okay to make a mockery of someone who was born with Mental Health Problems and Autism.

I recently vented my words of fury on social media after this news headline went out and I did not even for a single second hold back, I made sure to let everyone know how I really felt about the clip and the guy and the organisation that believed that Autism and Mental Health is curable. F.Y.I to the guy and the organisation who claimed that Autism and Mental Health Problems can be cured, SHAME ON YOU!!!

Oli Regan, the famous actor from the upcoming film, GIANTLAND, sent his messages of praise to me on Wednesday 28th September 2016 after I vented my words of fury on social media, and he said himself that: “Mental Health is so overlooked!” and I agree. Mental Health and Autism are overlooked and are always left out in the cold with no consideration attached to it and it’s about time that both were recognised and it’s about time that we all do everything we can to give those who were born with Autism or Mental Health all the support, love and care that they really need 100%.

Oli Regan also suffers from bipolar and mental health, and I couldn’t agree more with why he felt so disgusted with this whole situation regarding Autism and Mental Health being overlooked. I am furious, and I will be honest, I am not prepared, nor will my voice be silenced for the benefit of those that are judgemental.

It is an absolute honour to collaborate with Oli Regan, as he knows what Mental Health is like and how it affects millions of people, but you have to give full respect to him. He knows exactly what he’s talking about as he has suffered from bipolar and mental health his entire life. I will provide links down below that will benefit and help those of you who may be autistic and may suffer from mental health, as I want to do my bit to help out and to do something good.

Below is the short film trailer, Mental Health Awareness, by Oli Regan. It’s worth watching, you don’t want to miss this! His film trailer delivers a powerful message of its own that should never be ignored let alone be forgotten about.

I can honestly say, aside from the controversial clip of that guy and the organisation who made a mockery of those with Autism and Mental Health, it’s an absolute honour to collaborate with the famous actor, Oli Regan, from GIANTLAND, on this topic of discussion, as he has raised awareness of Mental Health on top of Autism, and even though Autism may not be something mentioned or shown in this short trailer, it does send a powerful message that even those who are different to you go through different experiences in life as well as your own.

If you want to see more of Oli Regan’s work, search #DONTMANUP on YouTube and use the same hashtag and spread the word on Twitter. We need to raise awareness for both Mental Health & Autism and now is the time! Also, if you want to raise awareness further, spread the word with the hashtag above and also the hashtag #UOKM8, including the hashtags #MentalHealthAwarenessDay, #IAMWHOLE #WorldMentalHealthDay, #Depression, #Anxiety, #MentalHealthAwareness, #GIANTLAND, #Bipolar, #Pnd and #PTSD.

If you are someone who has Mental Health or Autism, please comment below and I can say this. Never be afraid to speak up on Mental Health and Autism, it’s about time you got your voices heard. Never suffer in silence. Now is the time to really prove a point and to take a stand to end the stigmas of all stigmas that go against Mental Health and Autism. Please raise awareness for Mental Health & Autism.

Alex Smithson

Mental Health & Autism Links

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk

http://www.sane.org.uk/what_we_do/young_sane/oli_regan

http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/a-z-mental-health/

http://www.nhs.uk/livewell/mentalhealth/Pages/Mentalhealthhome.aspx

http://citymha.org.uk

http://www.wlmht.nhs.uk

http://www.centreformentalhealth.org.uk

https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/services/health-and-wellbeing/Pages/mental-health.aspx

http://www.autism.org.uk/autism

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/autistic-spectrum-disorder/pages/introduction.aspx

http://researchautism.net

https://www.autism-anglia.org.uk

https://www.ambitiousaboutautism.org.uk/talk-about-autism

Welcome! Let me tell you a little bit about us and what we do

https://www.autismresearchcentre.com

http://www.autismeducationtrust.org.uk

http://www.bb88.co.uk/

http://www.theladbible.com/mental-health/uk-lad-opens-up-about-his-attempted-suicide-20160929#

Rio 2016: Day #14

Kicking off Day #14 to a fantastic start, Team GB‘s Nick Skelton won Gold in the Men’s individual Showjumping event. Team GB’s Muhammad has made it into the -80kg semi-final, which takes place at 9:15 PM. Team GB’s Joyce has made it into Sunday’s Boxing Super-Heavyweight Final, with Canada beating Brazil 2-1 to win the women’s football bronze.

Team GB’s Tom Daley is to compete in the 10m platform preliminaries at 8:00 PM, while Team GB’s Women’s Hockey team are in a gold medal clash with the Netherlands at 9:00 PM.

So far, the United States are in first place with 107 overall medals (36 Gold, 34 Silver & 32 Bronze), Great Britain are second in the medal table with 57 overall medals (23 Gold, 21 Silver & 13 Bronze), while China are third in the medal table with 61 overall medals (21 Gold, 17 Silver & 23 Bronze).

Today has been great so far, so let’s hope today is something fantastic to remember.

Luke Reddy (BBC Sport in Rio de Janeiro): “The show jumping round is underway but I can confirm Harry Potter, the ride of a Turkish athlete, just got a little lost on the course and wiped out an entire fence. Four bars from the fence clattered onto the floor. Harry Potter and the wreckage of Deodoro. Only three athletes have gone so far, about another 17 before British interest is in action. It’s seven points lost for every fence knocked down, 10 for a refusal. Samantha Murray has around 50 points to make up so she needs to be as clean as the laundry. Encouragingly, the horse she will ride – Up Class Girl – has just gone around error free under a Russian rider. The first calm horse we’ve seen.

Aimee Lewis (BBC Sport in Rio de Janeiro): “Glorious conditions for diving: a clear pool, the sun’s glare easing on a balmy afternoon. Who wouldn’t want to jump off a 10m platform on a day like today? It is incredible watching these athletes close up, twist, tuck, thud.

Team GB’s Showjumping Gold Medallist, Nick Skelton: “It is unbelievable. I am speechless for once. Big Star was amazing today, justice has been done for him today. He deserved it. It has been a hard road, hasn’t been sound. The last competition he won was in 2013 so today was a good day to win. Everyone has worked hard to get this horse back on the road, it is amazing. It has been tough. The last three years I knew if we got him right he was capable of doing it. He is the best horse I have ever seen. He’s an incredible horse, he knows what’s gong on and knows when it is important. I prefer to go first. He is a fast horse and I went quick enough but not stupid. It went my way.

Will he take part in the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games? Nick Skelton’s response: “I don’t think so. I think when he retires I’ll stop too. He’ll be 17 then and I’ll be too old.

Aimee Lewis: “It’s a little odd watching a man in speedos jog on the spot in his flip-flops, but divers have to keep warm somehow before walking up those steps for a knee-knocking dive. Tom Daley is in action in these preliminaries and should reach the 10m final with ease, with the top 18 of the 27 progressing. He’s currently third after the first round of dives.

Mel Clewlow (Ex-Team GB Hockey Player): “There is no fear in this GB team. This is their best opportunity to beat the Dutch. I can see it being a physical encounter and certainly a lot of these girls have got in the mindset of the game. It is going to be really good and hopefully everyone will be tuning in back home.

France’s Estelle Mossely has won Gold in the Women’s Boxing Lightweight Event, after narrowly claiming victory against China’s Yin Junhua.

Simon Mason (Ex-Team GB Olympic Hockey Player): “This match is huge. This could have an impact across so many sports. It could give the belief that groups of people can come together in these team sports and the investment is wholly worthwhile. The Dutch team have such a wealth of experience.

Mel Clewlow: “This is set up to be something really special.

Former British Hockey Player, Sally Walton: “You want to get that first touch out of the way and get yourself into the game. It is clear to see the Dutch are trying to press immediately.

Mel Clewlow: “The fascinating match up for me tonight is that the Dutch backline do not have a lot of pace. They are going to be up against the likes of Alex Danson and Sophie Bray who do. Sam Quek went to ground, she didn’t take the ball and as a result she takes the player. It is the absolute right decision. It was a great save but from a world class player it was a poor penalty stroke. It goes to show what pressure does.

Sara Orchard (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra): “Maddie Hinch read that like a pamphlet that drops through the door you don’t want to read. Unbelievable stuff.

Mel Clewlow: “That is exactly what we wanted to see. Fantastic skills from Sophie Bray and the Owsley was first to react. Fantastic start from Great Britain.

Sara Orchard: “Wow. Absolutely incredible. Even coach Danny Kerry manages to have a little fist pump. He is normally quite calm but in an Olympic final anything goes.

Mel Clewlow: “One thing Britain have been excellent at has been their defence in this competition.

Simon Mason: “It is turnover, turnover, because of the pace the game is being played at. Whether they can sustain this pace for the next three quarters I am not sure. It will be impressive if they do.

Mel Clewlow: “That is gutting from a British perspective because a mistake has led to that goal.

Luke Reddy: “What about it? The Dutch haven’t lost at an Olympics since 2004. Their fans are all over the success, outnumbering the Brits here by perhaps 10 to 1 but when Lily Owsley tapped in, the British flag appeared from everywhere. Kudos to Maddie Hinch in goal. Many here have said she’s the best goalkeeper in the women’s game and that save fits the billing. She saved three penalties when GB beat the Dutch in the European final last year. They must be sick of her. Nothing she could do about that equaliser though, the Dutch bench erupts and there’s relief on faces.

Mel Clewlow: “This is what the Dutch do. They swarm around and that is why they are one of the best teams in the world. When get the opportunities the British have to take them. These are the moments you can’t afford to give to the Dutch. They don’t miss very often.

Former British Hockey Player, Sally Walton: “I can’t believe what I have just seen! Phenomenal save. This will need all the players having the game of their lives and that starts with Maddie Hinch.

Mel Clewlow: “I don’t think she’ll have hit one better that on the backhand that hasn’t gone in.

Sally Walton: “We can’t say this was not coming. The Dutch have been rolling up the pressure. GB really need half time to come and regroup. They need to take better care of the ball when they get it.

Mel Clewlow: “You don’t get many chances against the Dutch but when you do you have got to take them. Cullen was in acres of space and she slaps it first time. It was shocker from the Netherlands but GB aren’t going to care.

Luke Reddy: “They went split screen in the stadium for that goal line replay. Is it in? Is it not? All eyes transfixed on one thing but Great Britain survive. Compelling stuff. A roar from the Britons sandwiched within a pack of a few thousand Dutch. It’s soon drowned out as Paumen drills the Dutch ahead. Oddly, ‘Let it Be’ by the Beatles plays out. Maybe that’s her favourite song? What have you got Britain? You find yourselves in times of trouble. Bang… Cullen 2-2. Thriller.

Sally Walton: “It’s like her right pad got caught in the floor. She should have saved that but they all count. Game on. Hopefully that will open the floodgates for Cullen.

Mel Clewlow: “It has been such an absorbing half of hockey it is hard to belief it is almost half-time.

Simon Mason: “The Dutch are swarming the ball carrier and then attacking as a unit. It creates the overload and then for their goal it was an incredible finish.

Sally Walton: “I would say to them at half-time to keep patient. We are getting caught up with the tempo the Dutch are trying to play but we need to play our game. That is what has got us to the final of this tournament.

Simon Mason: “The equaliser was not a moment that Joyce Sombroek will have in her personal highlight diary.

Luke Reddy: “A man with a ‘Holland cheese’ on his head. I don’t think any more words are needed.

Mel Clewlow: “I would like GB to try and put the pressure on a little more and win the ball further up the field so they haven’t got as far to run to get to the Dutch circle.

Luke Reddy: “How many British flags can you fit in one photograph? I’ve left the fever of the media tribunes to mix it up over here with fans. They are gripped and the only seat you can get in this stand is in the aisle. “We love you GB, we do,” comes the cry.

Mel Clewlow: “It is just wave after wave of pressure from the Dutch.

Sally Walton: “I have not seen the Dutch do that at this tournament. Maddie Hinch unfortunately was not able to get to that and in the end a great goal you have to say.

Mel Clewlow: “You had a feeling the Dutch would have to do some kind of manoeuvre. They shaped for the flick and rolled the ball to Male who doesn’t have to move, just swing her stick at the ball.

Aimee Lewis: “The sun has set in these parts, the temperature has dropped. The floodlights are on which can only mean one thing – giant moths. It’s a decent-sized crowd in the opposite stand for this 10m preliminary and they’ve been treated to a cracking dive by one of the favourites, Qiu Bo, but It still isn’t enough to overtake halfway leader Tom Daley. There’s a Brazilian competing  – Hugo Parisi – so the decibels rise significantly whenever he and Daley step on the platform. A nice atmosphere.

BBC Sport’s Ollie Williams: “I am just above the technical area in the heart of Dutch territory. It is a very happy place at the moment, a man with a hat made from cheese just walked past me. The British fans, meanwhile, are looking a little glum.

Luke Reddy: “You sensed that was coming and again the British women will have to find something. Is it meant to be? Remember this is Kate Richardson-Walsh’s last ever international after over 350 outings. Written in the stars? The Dutch fans are now boisterous. Worryingly they are winning over locals. The guy in front of me is about as Dutch as a dog chewing on Yorkshire pudding but he’s been converted. Brazil turns orange. He’s singing away merrily.

Simon Mason: “Maddie Hinch is putting up valiant rear guard action but it finally came good for the Dutch. There isn’t an obvious outlet for GB. They know they can do it, there is not an obvious way to do it but they will have confidence, they can.

Sally Walton: “What you won’t see is GB players going AWOL. They will stick together as a team. This is actually a good position for GB. They can really get into this at the start of the fourth quarter and get a couple of goals.

Luke Reddy: “So this is it. Just 15 minutes of one’s life. Forever a winner or forever the one who got close? Great Britain trailed Netherlands late in the European final last year and won in a shootout. It’s still on but the Dutch look dominant. Hassling errors deep in GB territory for fun.

Mel Clewlow: “I just think GB need to play without fear. They are 3-2 down in the Olympic final, they need to go for it.

Luke Reddy: ““GB till I die, I’m GB till I die…” Never a great chant that one. Very much a tune sung when things aren’t going to plan.

Sara Orchard (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra): “GB are calm as custard at the moment. They are saying this job is not done. Score, get back and get this job done. It’s still on.

Mel Clewlow: “Against all of the odds and against all of the pressure, it doesn’t matter. Right place, right time. There is an intensity about Britain at the moment.

Luke Reddy: “Dear me. People are losing their minds. A Dutchman next to me just shakes his head and says “unbelievable.” It’s like the British are multiplying here. Growing. “We’ve got five minutes, COME ON!” Shouts the boyfriend of Sam Quek.

Mel Clewlow: “I personally don’t think it is a penalty corner. That was brave from Hinch. The Dutch dominated. They had so much possession. But Great Britain have been successful because of their defence and ability of Maddie Hinch which is unreal.

Luke Reddy: “A reminder Maddie Hinch saved three against Netherlands in a shootout last year.

Sara Orchard: “What will happen is you nominate your first five players and the goalkeeper goes back into the goal but instead of it being from a still position they start from 23m line and the clock starts from eight seconds. It is about getting it in the goal as quickly as possible.

Mel Clewlow: “Don’t get cautious. Don’t change your mind, Stick with what you know. That wasn’t the best from Helen Richardson-Walsh. Hinch is really clever. She changes where she starts her run up every time.

Luke Reddy: “Quite the scene. Quite the scene indeed.

Mel Clewlow: “That is what you call calmness under pressure.

Team GB’s Women’s Hockey Team have won Gold in the Hockey Final, and this, for them, is a first Olympic women’s hockey gold medal. They have beaten the Netherlands, who were previously the champions of Beijing 2008 and London 2012. Team GB are the Olympic Champions.

Sara Orchard: “Sixteen heroines out there on the park. They have rewritten hockey history. Unbelievable. I cannot believe what we have just witnessed. In the words of the great Barry Davies ‘where were the Dutch? Who cares!

Mel Clewlow: “Absolutely unbelievable. Look what it means. That is something else. Eight from eight in the biggest tournament in the world. It is absolutely incredible. Maddie Hinch is going to love playing in the Netherlands next year!

Simon Mason: “I am genuinely struggling to put that into words. GB were under pressure for huge chunks but we thought if it goes to penalties they could win. Fair play Maddie Hinch. Just incredible. That will change the face of British hockey.

Mel Clewlow: “The moment it went to a penalty shootout it was in the Dutch minds. Maddie Hinch is just phenomenal. Danny Kerry is probably the best technical coach I have worked with. Kate Richardson-Walsh is the most humble hockey player ever. She no idea the impact she has had on the sport at all.

Simon Mason: “This is a moment they will savour forever. It is hard to believe but if we take it in the cold light of day, it is years in the making. The girls believed they could do it, they knew they could deliver this.

Australia’s Chloe Esposito has won Gold in the Women’s Modern Pentathlon Final.

Simon Mason: “The girls have no idea what they are going back to. There are thousands of players who will have been inspired by that. Maddie Hinch is the best goalkeeper in the world. She made some key saves. That set the bar for Great Britain. It was a lesson for any goalkeepers watching tonight.

Luke Reddy: “That was insane. Mums, dads, brothers, sisters and partners in tears. I hope you were as gripped as everyone here. Some things are just meant to be perhaps.

Germany have won Gold in the Women’s football final, beating Sweden 2-1.

Luke Reddy: “When they finished fifth of six at the Champions Trophy just a couple of months ago, I doubt many in the Team GB squad thought they’d be stood there. Eight games, eight wins, 16 heroes.

Luke Reddy: “I’ve just had a chat with Sam Quek and she said her emotions are all over the place. The Liverpudlian said she cried when she first looked down at her medal. She’s quick to say that final had everything and can’t wait to go for drinks and food with friends and family. Life will never quite be the same again.

Team GB’s Helen Richardson-Walsh: “It is difficult to put into words what this means. I am struggling to believe it. 17 years ago when I started my career we were so far off. We have put in so much hard work, grown and grown over the last eight years. We have got an incredible group of players and staff and we had the belief. It just means absolutely everything to get this gold medal. It is pretty special. To get an Olympic medal is special but to share with Kate is truly amazing.

Denise Lewis (Olympic Heptathlon Gold Medallist): “Tonight is the night they can come of age because I think they could get a medal.

Luke Reddy: “When you meet your family for the first time after winning a gold medal….Crista Cullen resembled a child being set free at the end of a school day there. Lovely to see, a proper hug. Full commitment.

Kate Richardson-Walsh: “It is very special. To see Helen go through double back surgery, the strength and resilience she has shown resonates through the whole squad. It honestly and truly comes from every single person in this squad. Everyone who touches this squad has it and it is infectious. We wanted to be the difference, create history and inspire the future and we have done it. This is it, 100 per cent. We are going to retire as reigning Olympic champions and it is a good way to go out.

Tom Fordyce: “The Estadio Olimpico has the air this evening of a party that no-one wants to end. It will be the last time we see Usain Bolt at an Olympics, and while the night has a celebratory air, it will be tinged with a little inevitable sadness too.

Emily Diamond: “I found myself more nervous today than in my individual race because I didn’t want to let the girls down.

Anyika Onuora: “I’ve been watching the rest of the team perform and was waiting for my time to step out into the Olympic stadium. It was great.

Kelly Massey: “I have a lot of experience of running the relay and was determined to hand over in second place.

Christine Ohuruogu: “We have a strong medal chance but we are trying not to get too excited.

Steve Cram (BBC Athletics Commentator): “That’s better guys! Much better. That means they have put themselves in the medal zone with that run. Martyn Rooney ran 43.8 – why can’t he do that in the individual?

Tom Fordyce: “Unmissable determination from Martyn Rooney – an anchor leg of 43.8 secs, a word with his three team-mates afterwards, a desire to make great amends for an individual performance that was nowhere near what he wanted.

Bad news! Team GB has been disqualified from the Men’s 4 x 400m heats.

Michael Johnson (Four-Time Olympic Gold Medallist): “It has to have been a judge that decided he saw something somewhere that they decided was an infringement, but I just can’t think what that could be.

Martyn Rooney: “I want to celebrate this. I am so proud how we preformed. We had a tough draw, but the guys rose to the occasion. My last interview was terrible so I don’t want to swear in this one. I think all our training is paying off.

Martyn Rooney’s interview was done before the disqualification was given to Team GB in the 4 x 400m heats.

Steve Cram: “We have been told it is a rule where you cannot start running outside of the zone. Martyn Rooney had one foot outside of the line. Whether the judges had decided he had started running because of that, it would be incredibly harsh.

Martyn Rooney on Team GB’s disqualification from the 4 x 400m heats: “The guys were incredible I was so proud of how they ran but to then somehow get DQ’d with a world lead…I don’t know. In the first change over you have to be between two red lines which are about 20m apart. You have to stay within those red lines. From then on there is a solid red line across the track which is about 10m before the finish line and 10m afterwards you have to exchange within the zones. I haven’t seen it, but I can’t see how any of us went outside those zones.

Kenya’s Vivian Cheruyiot has won Gold in the Women’s 5,000m event, clocking up a finishing time of 14:26.17.

Steve Cram: “We all expected Ayana to win it but her 10,000m race took more out of her than we thought. It obviously hurt her.

Michael Johnson (Four Time Olympic Gold Medallist in Athletics): “There will be an appeal. I haven’t been involved in so much speculation as I have in the next 20 minutes. We need to wait to find out what happened.

Nick Hope (BBC Sport in Rio de Janeiro): “Lutalo is a very confident character. he’s proud to represent Great Britain, and he wants to put on a performance to get the crowd on his side. He’s come through some tough fights already but this is on another level but he’ll love fighting in this atmosphere.

The United States won Gold in the Women’s 4 x 100m relay final.

Team GB take Bronze in the Women’s 4 x 100m relay final.

Tom Fordyce: “Fabulous from the GB quartet. Having spent the day with them as they trained at Loughborough, there was no missing that this is the tightest of teams – true friends, proper racers. Philip in the mother role, Asher-Smith as head girl, Henry the loud one, Neita the kid. Together history makers.

Cheick Sallah Cisse has landed a reverse turn and kick in the last second, ultimately snatching four points and also the Gold Medal in the Men’s -80kg Taekwondo against Lutalo Muhammad. Lutalo Muhammad takes Silver.

Ekaterini Stefanidi of Greece has won Gold in the Women’s Pole Vault Final.

Steve Cram: “The triple triple beckons for Usain Bolt – the end of his Olympic career and what a career, but can someone come and spoil the party? This has all the hallmarks of a classic.

Usain Bolt has won his ninth Gold Medal in the Men’s 4 x 100m Final.

Tom Fordyce: “The triple Triple, the perfect ending for a peerless sprinter. Bolt signs off in the style that has defined him over these past unstoppable eight years.

Steve Cram: “He has done it. History, history, history. Usain Bolt – the greatest ever. We are all privileged to have been here throughout his career and watched his Olympic performances.

Colin Jackson (Two Time World 110m Hurdles Champion): “Usain Bolt is just too good. Once he got that baton he had to ease himself past Japan and once he got in his stride nobody was going to catch him. An incredible man, a wonderful athlete and we are all incredibly pleased you have done what you have done.

Michael Johnson: “This was an incredible race. USA were in it. Japan were in it. Jamaica just had to get it round to Usain Bolt. Nobody expected this. He had to chase the Japanese team but Bolt – flawless. All gold. No silvers. No bronze. A fantastic performance at these championships.

Steve Cram: “They should proclaim him the eighth wonder of the world.

Richard Kilty: “We ran our hearts out. We all have trust in each other, we are proud of each other and there is not much more I can say.

Harry Aikines-Aryeetey: “What you saw were four guys putting their heart on the line.

James Ellington: “We know we were in great shape. We can talk about lanes or whatever but we have not shown our potential. It is disappointing we had the capability of winning it.

Adam Gemili: “They are a great team. It is a real shame especially for me after yesterday. I got back in the village at 1:30am and everyone was up waiting for me, we have such a great team and team spirit. We are disappointed not to win a medal, we know we are capable of it.

Lutalo Muhammad after losing out on his fight for the Gold Medal at the last second: “I was so close to becoming Olympic champion and making my dream. I am so distraught. I don’t want to cry but I am so sorry to the people that stayed up to watch. I let them down at the last second. This is so hard. I was so close to being Olympic champion. The emotions are so raw. It’s hard to say how disappointed I am. It should have been gold. I am so upset i can’t speak clearly. I am absolutely gutted to blow it like that. I’ll have to wait four years for another chance. It’s one of the low points of my life.

The United States team have been disqualified from the Men’s 4 x 100m event despite coming third.

Steve Cram: “I think the US team are the only people in the stadium that don’t know they are disqualified. They have just done their lap of honour, but it is up on the big screens.

Asafa Powell: “It was never in doubt. We went out there very confident. We are a team and we love competing on the track. I love running with these guys. We are here to relax, we are very confident we just want to get the stick in that man’s hands.

Nickel Ashmeade: “We went out there and executed it and did well.

Yohan Blake: “That was all of us. Usain need to be immortal and he is immortal. I will encourage him to come back for 2020.

Usain Bolt: “I am proud of myself and I have to say thanks to the guys. The pressure is real. I look at it as accomplishment. I live for these moments, it is beautiful and I came through. I’ll go home, stay up late tonight talking and having fun. It is not real. It is a brilliant feeling. I told the guys if it didn’t happen tonight I would beat them up. I am the greatest.

Asha Philip: “We came here to get a medal and we delivered. We had a lot of pressure to get this, but we had so much trust and faith in these girls. I have been with the senior team since 2011. We didn’t even make it four years ago and I have to thank all the girls from 2012 because it has helped us so much. I am so happy. Thanks to these girls and those at home.

Desiree Henry: “I cannot believe it. This was my first Olympics I wanted to go out and enjoy it but also to get a medal. To do it I had tears in my eyes. Thank you to everyone who has made this happen.

Dina Asher-Smith: “I am so proud of these girls. We have worked unbelievably hard. Out of all the teams I think we worked the hardest. We have worked so hard and this for the entire nation.

Darryl Nieta: “I am speechless. I am so proud of our team. I am happy we have this faith and trust in this team. We absolutely smashed it.

Lutalo Muhammad: “It was a roller coaster of emotions today, but hey I still won three fights. Unfortunately I literally just came up short at the last second in the final. Obviously it’s disappointing for me. I wanted to be the Olympic champion today, but I just have to settle for silver. I’m very happy to be here, second-time Olympian, second-time Olympic medallist- bronze, silver, so we know what’s next.

Here are the final medal table listings for Day #14:

Country
1

United States
38 35 32 105
2

Great Britain
24 22 14 60
3

China
22 18 25 65
4

Germany
14 8 13 35
5

Russia
13 16 19 48
6

Japan
12 8 21 41
7

France
9 14 14 37
8

Australia
8 11 10 29
9

Italy
8 11 6 25
10

Netherlands
8 6 4 18
11

South Korea
8 3 8 19
12

Hungary
7 3 4 14
13

Spain
6 2 3 11
14

Jamaica
6 1 2 9
15

Brazil
5 5 5 15
16

Kenya
5 5 0 10
17

Croatia
5 2 1 8
18

New Zealand
4 8 4 16
19

Canada
4 3 14 21
20

Kazakhstan
3 5 9 17
21

Cuba
3 2 4 9
22

Colombia
3 2 3 8
23

Greece
3 1 2 6
24

Argentina
3 1 0 4
25

Iran
3 0 4 7
26

Ukraine
2 4 2 8
27

North Korea
2 3 2 7
28

Poland
2 2 6 10
29

Belgium
2 2 2 6
29

Thailand
2 2 2 6
31

Uzbekistan
2 1 5 8
32

Georgia
2 1 3 6
33

Switzerland
2 1 2 5
34

Slovakia
2 1 0 3
35

Denmark
1 6 6 13
36

Sweden
1 6 3 10
37

South Africa
1 6 2 9
38

Belarus
1 4 2 7
39

Armenia
1 3 0 4
40

Slovenia
1 2 1 4
40

Serbia
1 2 1 4
42

Indonesia
1 2 0 3
43

Czech Republic
1 1 6 8
44

Ethiopia
1 1 4 6
45

Romania
1 1 2 4
46

Bahrain
1 1 0 2
46

Vietnam
1 1 0 2
48

Chinese Taipei
1 0 2 3
49

Côte d’Ivoire
1 0 1 2
49

Independent Olympic Athletes
1 0 1 2
51

Bahamas
1 0 0 1
51

Fiji
1 0 0 1
51

Jordan
1 0 0 1
51

Kosovo
1 0 0 1
51

Puerto Rico
1 0 0 1
51

Singapore
1 0 0 1
51

Tajikistan
1 0 0 1
58

Azerbaijan
0 4 9 13
59

Malaysia
0 3 1 4
60

Turkey
0 2 4 6
61

Ireland
0 2 0 2
62

Lithuania
0 1 3 4
63

Venezuela
0 1 2 3
64

India
0 1 1 2
64

Mexico
0 1 1 2
64

Mongolia
0 1 1 2
67

Algeria
0 1 0 1
67

Grenada
0 1 0 1
67

Philippines
0 1 0 1
67

Qatar
0 1 0 1
71

Egypt
0 0 3 3
71

Norway
0 0 3 3
71

Tunisia
0 0 3 3
74

Israel
0 0 2 2
75

Austria
0 0 1 1
75

Bulgaria
0 0 1 1
75

Dominican Republic
0 0 1 1
75

Estonia
0 0 1 1
75

Finland
0 0 1 1
75

Morocco
0 0 1 1
75

Moldova
0 0 1 1
75

Portugal
0 0 1 1
75

United Arab Emirates
0 0 1 1

Afghanistan
0 0 0 0

Albania
0 0 0 0

American Samoa
0 0 0 0

Andorra
0 0 0 0

Angola
0 0 0 0

Antigua & Barbuda
0 0 0 0

Aruba
0 0 0 0

Bangladesh
0 0 0 0

Barbados
0 0 0 0

Belize
0 0 0 0

Benin
0 0 0 0

Bermuda
0 0 0 0

Bhutan
0 0 0 0

Bolivia
0 0 0 0

Bosnia & Herzegovina
0 0 0 0

Botswana
0 0 0 0

British Virgin Islands
0 0 0 0

Brunei
0 0 0 0

Burkina Faso
0 0 0 0

Burundi
0 0 0 0

Cambodia
0 0 0 0

Cameroon
0 0 0 0

Cape Verde
0 0 0 0

Cayman Islands
0 0 0 0

Central African Republic
0 0 0 0

Chad
0 0 0 0

Chile
0 0 0 0

Comoros
0 0 0 0

Congo
0 0 0 0

Cook Islands
0 0 0 0

Costa Rica
0 0 0 0

Cyprus
0 0 0 0

Djibouti
0 0 0 0

Dominica
0 0 0 0

DR Congo
0 0 0 0

Ecuador
0 0 0 0

El Salvador
0 0 0 0

Equatorial Guinea
0 0 0 0

Eritrea
0 0 0 0

FYR Macedonia
0 0 0 0

Gabon
0 0 0 0

Gambia
0 0 0 0

Ghana
0 0 0 0

Guam
0 0 0 0

Guatemala
0 0 0 0

Guinea
0 0 0 0

Guinea-Bissau
0 0 0 0

Guyana
0 0 0 0

Haiti
0 0 0 0

Honduras
0 0 0 0

Hong Kong, China
0 0 0 0

Iceland
0 0 0 0

Iraq
0 0 0 0

Kiribati
0 0 0 0

Kyrgyzstan
0 0 0 0

Laos
0 0 0 0

Latvia
0 0 0 0

Lebanon
0 0 0 0

Lesotho
0 0 0 0

Liberia
0 0 0 0

Libya
0 0 0 0

Liechtenstein
0 0 0 0

Luxembourg
0 0 0 0

Madagascar
0 0 0 0

Malawi
0 0 0 0

Maldives
0 0 0 0

Mali
0 0 0 0

Malta
0 0 0 0

Marshall Islands
0 0 0 0

Mauritania
0 0 0 0

Mauritius
0 0 0 0

Micronesia
0 0 0 0

Monaco
0 0 0 0

Montenegro
0 0 0 0

Mozambique
0 0 0 0

Myanmar
0 0 0 0

Namibia
0 0 0 0

Nauru
0 0 0 0

Nepal
0 0 0 0

Nicaragua
0 0 0 0

Niger
0 0 0 0

Nigeria
0 0 0 0

Oman
0 0 0 0

Pakistan
0 0 0 0

Palau
0 0 0 0

Palestine
0 0 0 0

Panama
0 0 0 0

Papua New Guinea
0 0 0 0

Paraguay
0 0 0 0

Peru
0 0 0 0

Refugee Olympic Athletes
0 0 0 0

Rwanda
0 0 0 0

Saint Kitts & Nevis
0 0 0 0

Saint Lucia
0 0 0 0

Samoa
0 0 0 0

San Marino
0 0 0 0

Sao Tome & Principe
0 0 0 0

Saudi Arabia
0 0 0 0

Senegal
0 0 0 0

Seychelles
0 0 0 0

Sierra Leone
0 0 0 0

Solomon Islands
0 0 0 0

Somalia
0 0 0 0

South Sudan
0 0 0 0

Sri Lanka
0 0 0 0

St Vincent & the Grenadines
0 0 0 0

Sudan
0 0 0 0

Suriname
0 0 0 0

Swaziland
0 0 0 0

Syria
0 0 0 0

Tanzania
0 0 0 0

Timor-Leste
0 0 0 0

Togo
0 0 0 0

Tonga
0 0 0 0

Trinidad & Tobago
0 0 0 0

Turkmenistan
0 0 0 0

Tuvalu
0 0 0 0

Uganda
0 0 0 0

Uruguay
0 0 0 0

US Virgin Islands
0 0 0 0

Vanuatu
0 0 0 0

Yemen
0 0 0 0

Zambia
0 0 0 0

Zimbabwe
0 0 0 0

Day #14’s events have officially come to a close. Please make sure to check back soon for Day #15 of the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games. Thanks to all of you for such a great fourteenth day and I hope and wish all of you a very good night.

Alex Smithson

“This is Worth Every Penny!”: Hilarious Woman Breaks the Internet!

A hilarious Facebook Live video has broken the internet in the last few days after Candace Payne, who purchased a Chewbacca Star Wars mask for her birthday left herself in stitches due to the mask making a funny noise, which left the internet amused and in stitches of laughter.

Having broken the record for the most views on the Facebook Live video with over 130+ million views, Candace Payne’s video has left me in stitches of laughter, because with her laughing, her laughter is contagious which is what left me in stitches of laughter :D.

Below is the video of Candace Payne’s hilariously infectious video that went viral on the internet after breaking the Facebook Live record for the most views.

NOTE: HILARIOUSLY INFECTIOUS LAUGHTER INCLUDED! PREPARE TO LAUGH UNTIL YOUR FACE ACHES WITH AGONY 😀 !!!!!!!!!!


Thanks to Candace Payne, sales for the Chewbacca Star Wars mask have soared through the roof and everyone is literally flocking to online retailers and stores to get their hands on the Chewbacca mask. This funny video, which went viral has resulted in the Chewbacca Star Wars mask being sold out almost everywhere.

I wanted to share this with all of you and to those of you who might not be aware of this hilarious video and I hope this video brightens your day and also puts a smile on your face for the week ahead, as this video of Candace Payne cracking up with laughter as a result of the Star Wars Chewbacca mask brought a smile to my face.

Here’s to a happy and bright week ahead, and thank you to Candace Payne for gracing the internet with your hilarious Chewbacca Star Wars Mask video, it brought a smile to my face and everyone’s faces and I take my hat off to you wholeheartedly for bringing me and everyone around the whole world 4 minutes and 4 seconds of happiness, joy and humour. Thank you :-).

Alex Smithson

Hailstones Bring Showering Flows

What a belter! After an unexpected flow of hailstones, this weather certainly takes the biscuit, quite literally.

When the hailstones impacted Croydon a few hours ago, it came down so fast that it felt like a torrential downpour during a thunderstorm. It was like the beat of a drum given just how quick it came down.

To be honest, I didn’t expect that we would have this kind of weather today, but it was one way of saying that we should have all expected the unexpected given that the hailstones and rain came belting down like a shot in the Borough of Croydon.

Did it belt down with hailstones where you are? Please feel free to submit feedback if you were hit by the sudden change in today’s weather. All feedback is much appreciated.

Alex Smithson

It’s Finally Time to Set Your Creative Side Free!

We all have our own ways of being creative, but just how do we set that creativity of ours free? Well, it’s pretty easy to do so nowadays, as a lot of artists record time-lapse clips which are often uploaded to Instagram, Vine, Twitter and even Facebook, but it’s being able to document the process that is often the most crucial key factor of drawing.

Recently, I published two artistic interpretation articles which were based on the Queen of Pop Songstress, Madonna, with possibly a third on the way (still thinking about it), as I did the first one based on a photograph taken during the Ray of Light era, while the second artistic interpretation, which I published most recently, was of Madonna during the 1986 True Blue Era, based on the iconic photograph that Herb Ritts took of her 30 years ago.

I love the thought of drawing, because it helps me to set my creativity free, as well as the kind of ideas that I’ve had in mind beforehand. I always believe that setting your creativity free is good, as this can help you to really produce something that no-one else will be able to produce, even if they tried.

Of course, being creative can be difficult because it’s how you design something, whether it would be to do with designing something on a computer, or putting those ideas or concepts onto paper, and yes, at times I have had the occasional creativity block, and it can be annoying at times, but it’s when we let our sub-conscious minds wander when drawing that often makes us produce the best pieces of work that we didn’t think we could produce.

You might remember 3 years ago I went to Kelsey Park during the 6-week Summer Break that I was on when I finished Year 10. Well I didn’t realise this, but when I took that photograph of the Canada Goose, which all of you have seen, I actually didn’t realise that the photograph of the Canada Goose would be the most iconic photograph I had taken.

The year after I took that iconic photograph, I revisited Kelsey Park again, but this time took a photo of a Squirrel which had clenched both its little hands together, like as if it was fist bumping itself. That, to me was also iconic because it’s something that caught my eye.

The third photo I remember which was also iconic, which I included on Book #2: “A Year in Photography” was of the Tom Aytch graffiti wall in Shirley Hills, in Croydon, when a photographer was standing at the wall taking photos of the panoramic view, and that was an iconic photo of mine as I had also used a filter on that photograph to make it look and appear more professional.

In terms of drawing, however, I didn’t always do drawing after I finished my time for good at Oasis Academy: Shirley Park, but that changed when I enrolled onto the UAL Level 2 Art & Design Course at Croydon College back in 2014. I have noticed my drawing skills have rapidly improved over the course of the past two years, and I feel absolutely pleased that I’ve used my drawing skills wisely with drawing Madonna, and it’s an absolute relief that I’ve managed to showcase what I’ve worked on. Drawing Madonna was the best choice I had in mind, and I feel absolutely pleased that I’ve used her as an example for ideas based on the artistic interpretation drawings I did of her.

In terms of creativity, I know it’s always about being original, but it’s also about being able to express yourself in your work, as well as how you produce your work, and not just that, but whether it comes to drawing or taking photos, or even if it comes to designing something, you’ll be able to say that you had made sure to do something creative with your time, and that you chose to set your creativity free.

To end, I would like to say: It’s Finally Time to Set Your Creativity Free!”

If you enjoyed reading this article, please feel free to submit feedback. All feedback is much appreciated :-).

Alex Smithson

Topic: Does Technology Throw Your Maturity & Communication Skills Out of the Window?

In modern-day life, technology is a major key factor that plays a role in our lives, but at the same time, can be the leading course for maturity and communication skills being thrown out of the windows. Why do you ask? Because technology has been the cause for some having their eyes pasted to the screens of a mobile phone, computer, TV or a handheld console, which leaves anyone in the position of not being able to communicate properly as a result, with maturity being another main issue in the process as well, given that a lack of maturity is shown when technology is around.

In this topic, I will make sure to give my views on whether technology throws your maturity and communication skills out of the window, and I will also be giving my reasons for why I believe that it is taking away our chances of maturing properly, as well as how our communication skills can be affected severely as a result.

How is Maturity Thrown Out of the Window?

Maturity can be thrown out of the window very easily when the wide-range uses of technology is around, as the digital world is like an alternate version of the real world, only with a lack of social interaction, which, when you see things from this view, is sad, because our generation, where maturity is concerned, lacks pretty much almost all forms of it, as there are people constantly texting and looking at the screen of a mobile phone or tablet, who, at certain stages, like to shut themselves off from the people around them.

With people shutting themselves off from the people around them, including the real world, it’s like they are in a world of their own, and when they are, they don’t listen or take note of what is said, let alone what is being done, and it proves that maturity is something our generation reacts, especially when it comes to respect as well, because respect plays a huge part in our lives, and with a lack of maturity in my generation, is it any wonder why there are so many gun crimes, knife crimes and even hit-and-run crimes being committed?

In the last few days, I had quite the sudden outburst on the social networking site, Facebook, as I saw inappropriate statuses coming up on my News Feed with comments that left little to the imagination. Why? Because the comments that followed what those statuses said came across as being vile, amoral, misogynistic, volatile and disgusting, and if you ask me, I was annoyed at it, because usually I rise above it and refresh my News Feed, but on some days when I open the Facebook app on my iPod touch, or even when I log on to Facebook on my laptop, I am sometimes, if not almost on a regular occasion, greeted with rude statuses on my News Feed that follow with some prolific comments underneath too.

Below is the first status I posted up on Facebook, in which I expressed my anger to these statuses and comments that were coming up on my News Feed, with a second status that quickly followed.

“Honestly, with some of the rude statuses and comments that come up on my Facebook, it’s not normal behaviour at all, and is very immature, amoral and disgusting.

I would appreciate it if there was more respect on this social network because at the moment, the comments and messages I’m seeing are not wise and are either misogynistic and distasteful. So from me. Please stop.

By all means I’ll be continuing to use Facebook, but I would appreciate it if everyone in this world can just get on.

Forgive me if I’m annoyed at it all, but if any of you don’t like jumping at each other’s throats at the opportunity of an argument, or even a little squabble that isn’t necessary, then the simplest thing is don’t use Facebook and any social networks at all, and maybe, just maybe, the whole world would be a lot better.

So what if you think I’m rambling on, talking a load of complete bull from your perspective, I couldn’t care less, but if I want to speak up about anything, then I will, and I won’t hide my feelings or pander to do what I’m told to do. I will do things by my own book on my terms as and when I see fit.

I am my own being and I am also being myself. If you don’t like it, then that’s fine, but after all, it’s your loss and my gain.

I’m sorry if I’m annoyed but it’s about time I spoke up, so please, stop all these horrific comments, statuses and vice versa.

If you stop using social networking altogether, and realise just how technology and social media is throwing your communication skills and respect away, then maybe you would see things in a different light 😡.” – Alex Smithson

After I put the first status up (shown above), I quickly apologised for my sudden outburst, but still kept to what I said, as this is what I meant when it came to a lack of maturity and communication skills:

“I’m sorry for the sudden outburst, but at this stage, I just want for all of us to respect and love one another. Don’t take those around you for granted, because you’ll soon regret it if you do.

Show respect, love, care and your undivided attention to all of those around you, and you’ll be surprised and also realise how much you will all need one another.

Also, make the most of the time you have and appreciate all the time you have in this world, because it’s never coming around again.” – Alex Smithson

At the end of the day, maturity and respect is key no matter what the situation or outcome, and only we can do the good work and respect others and have a grown-up and mature attitude that is acceptable towards everyone.

How are Communication Skills Thrown Out of the Window?

Communication skills can be thrown out of the window very easily, especially where technology is involved, as my generation nowadays have their eyes pasted to their phones/tablets/computers, which invites a lack of communication to someone face-to-face.

I’m sorry to be taking a dig at my generation, but it has to be said, about half of my generation is mature and have a grown-up attitude and know exactly right from wrong and know what to do in life, but the other half of my generation are either going out on the streets, causing trouble for those around them, or they are just sitting around or walking around with their eyes pasted to the screens of anything technology-related, which anti-socialises them from being around the people who care about them the most.

In day-to-day life, because of the use of technology where communication skills are involved, a large number of people are losing the art of conversation face-to-face because mobile phones, laptops, and even tablets are taking away the communication skills that everyone needs to develop, and it’s not just that, but with the lack of communication skills, technology, from certain core areas and perspectives, is to blame, and if it all carries on, eventually, technology will be the primary and secondary killer that will kill us all.

Like I said though in the first status I put up on Facebook within the last few days, if we stopped using social networking altogether, and realised just how technology and social media is throwing our communication skills and respect away, then maybe we would see things in a different light.

As you can imagine, when I wrote those statuses and posted them to Facebook, I was absolutely furious, and I had made sure to make my feelings clear about it because the lack of maturity and communication skills bother me when it comes to talking to someone. Now I know it shouldn’t be something that should bother me, but I would rather keep in contact through technology, but also speak to that person face-to-face and communicate with them in more of a mature way than not at all, because at the end of the day, it all boils down to one thing.

RESPECT.

To conclude, I personally believe that technology is throwing our maturity and communication skills out of the window, and I personally believe also that it’s killing the art of communication in the real world, and technology is to blame in certain aspects, but will also be the main reason why maturity becomes worse for those at a young age, because those at a young age are going to end up growing up with a lack of maturity, including a lack of good communication skills, both of which are the two most important key factors of our lives that make us the person we should become, unless we act now.

If we act now by stopping ourselves and everyone else from using any form of technology for some time, maybe, just maybe, we will not only see things in a better light, but we will all see the better person in ourselves if we work hard now to really bring back the art of communication, and give those a better chance of growing up properly.

If you feel that technology is throwing maturity and communication skills out of the window, then please feel free to sound off in the comments below. Your feedback is much appreciated.

Alex Smithson

Censorship: Do You Think it Should Be Made Law in all Jurisdictions?

As censorship is often the most-talked about controversial issue that is still going on today, I wanted to express my own views, and why I think that censorship is a very good idea, and how it could help all of us to put an end to abuse, forms of bullying, including cyber-bullying.

Why should censorship be used on all social networks?

I feel that censorship should be used on all social networks in question, as there have been a large number of abuse and bullying cases that have surfaced among a lot of networks, which have, in turn, either resulted in a person or a number of people being treated for injuries, or even worse, death.

Censorship is a very useful option that should be used on a regular basis, as this can help block any potential problems from occurring, whether it would be to do with defamation of character, a misuse of information that focuses on something more extreme, or even that, verbal abuse and possible cases of cyber-bullying.

If you have a look at The Daily Dot’s news article about censorship, Turkey had censored Facebook, YouTube & Twitter after it emerged that a court order was imposed in April which was designed to stop people sharing a terrorist photo over many of the Turkish Internet Service Providers. To go further in detail, the details of this terrorist photo emerged after it was depicted to be showing a member pressing his gun against the prosecutor, Mehmet Selim Kiraz’s temple, which started to go viral, prompting an immediate backlash which resulted in the Turkish government issuing an immediate gag order on the news of the incident.

What uses would censorship have on all social networks in question?

Censorship does have a lot of uses when it comes to all social networks, as Facebook, Twitter and many of the social networks around are nothing new at all when it comes to censorship, especially on certain things that may affect how we all use them.

Most notably, censorship has been used quite a lot in the past year as Facebook and Twitter have censored graphic videos and pictures from sources, some of which have been known to leave little to the imagination, with cases of graphic videos and pictures eventually being taken down as a result of a large variety of complaints.

Although this may not possibly be a social network, given that this website I’m talking about is an Internet Service Provider, TalkTalk, as you know, was recently hacked between the 19th and the 23rd October 2015, which saw personal data, bank details and accounts being stolen. Now you might not call this a social network, but in a way, it is, because TalkTalk has its own webmail service, which allows you to send and receive emails socially. They also have censorship as well, which prevents any harmful content from being shown to the world.

Do I feel that censorship has a use on all social networks and also in this world? I do oppose the idea a little bit, considering that privacy and personal data are major concerns that need to be taken into consideration, but with the correct procedures and with the right people available, I would most definitely agree with the idea of censorship being used for social networks and everything else in that matter in general.

How is censorship important on all social networks?

Censorship is important on all social networks, as this is useful for if any graphic content is seen by users. It’s also a beneficial tool that can be used wisely to report any disturbing and graphic content that could potentially have a lot of abuse and bullying behind it.

On Vicky Beeching’s blog, she went quite in-depth about Social Media Censorship, as there was a furore of clashes between tribes in Assam, which is the “…north-eastern state of India”. After the clashes occurred, it was revealed that messages were “…apparently sent using social media…” which would threaten the migrant workers “that further attacks were in store”.

Censorship, in general, is extremely important in this day and age, and if it’s not used at all, computers and technology will kill the human race in the future if we don’t do something about it, so yes, I personally feel that censorship should be used altogether.

Will censorship help to prevent abuse, bullying and even cyber-bullying on all social networks?

Censorship will most certainly help to prevent abuse and bullying on all social networks, as long as it is used carefully and is not abused at all.

Will it help to prevent abuse and bullying on all social networks? Yes it will, because censorship is key when it comes to all social networks, and all social networks have to have censorship in order to put an end to any forms of bullying or abuse that may be considered as potentially life threatening to human life.

Censorship can help to put an end to any abuse or bullying online, and can also prevent anyone from becoming a victim of cyber-bullying, physical and verbal abuse, and can also prevent anyone from being bullied into silence.

How can we make sure that censorship is made law, not just on all social networks, but everything else in general that stops abuse, bullying and cyber-bullying?

We can make sure that censorship is made law by creating a petition that, if successful, can be taken to the government to express our feelings on this statement, and why we agree that censorship should be made law, given that it is something that should be taken into full consideration 24/7.

If censorship is made law, this could help to bring the gun and knife crime rates down, including social crime in general down as well. The government and the Mayor of London have to crack down on the crime rates and not make these figures up in order to attempt to brainwash us with inaccurate information. Censorship, in my opinion is a serious measure that has to be implemented, and if not, ignorance will kill and the only way we can prevent that from happening is if censorship is made law in all jurisdictions where possible.

My Three Questions to You:

  1. Do you think that censorship should be made law in all jurisdictions, to help crack down on abuse, bullying and cyber-bullying?
  2. Do you feel that censorship is fair or unfair in certain core areas?
  3. Do you believe that with the right people available, censorship can help to prevent gun & knife crime?

Please feel free to feedback your answers based on what you think of censorship.

Alex Smithson

ADELE | Hello | Special Music Feature | 25 out on the 20th November!!!!!!!!!

After sending Facebook & Twitter into a frenzy with her 30-second advert of Hello, Adele has, after four years, come back with a bang.

After the advert aired, Adele announced shortly after that this record would be available by the week’s end, and just like clockwork, the record was released, along with a comeback video for the new record, and during the course of the week, Adele announced her comeback album, 25, which hits all retail and digital stores on the 20th November.

In just 48 hours alone, Adele’s official music video for Hello was viewed more than 50,000,000+ times, which is one of the quickest music videos to achieve that many views in just less than a week.

Below is the official comeback music video, Hello, by Adele. Enjoy!!!!!!!!!

What do I think of the record Adele has released? I absolutely love it, and it’s a fantastic comeback for her, because this record gives me goosebumps every time I listen to it. This is a faultless record that took an awfully long time, and I won’t lie to you, but I absolutely know for sure this will be Adele’s year, as she releases her third album next month, and I can also tell you that I believe highly that this album will be on the charts for a very, very long time.

© Official Single Cover - ADELE & XL Recordings 2015
© Official Single Cover – ADELE & XL Recordings 2015
© Official Album Cover - ADELE & XL Recordings 2015
© Official Album Cover – ADELE & XL Recordings 2015

If Adele keeps this up with this record, she could have over 100,000,000+ views before Friday, because if her comeback music video has had almost 60,000,000 views in just a little over 48 hours, then this week will most certainly skyrocket the popularity of this video to over 100,000,000+ views and if not, more than 130,000,000+ views.

Before recording had even begun on this album, which is due out on the 20th November, Amazon took 100,000 requests for this album from many of the fans of Adele’s fanbase, which just proves that although she may have been off the music scene for the best part of three to four years, she is still very well thought of and everyone is still eager to hear any new music she intends to release in the future.

Before I conclude, I will leave you with two questions:

  1. Were you over the moon to hear that Adele was making a comeback to the music industry?
  2. Did the song give you goosebumps?

My final thought is that this is such a fantastic comeback for Adele, and that I wish her all of the best for her for the future, she is going to be around for a very, very long time, and there is absolutely no shadow of a doubt that she will be receiving so many awards for many, many years to come.

Alex Smithson

© ADELE 2015

© XL Recordings 2015

© The Adele Logo, the Hello track name, the 25 Logo, the 25 Album Artwork, the Official Single Cover and the wide-scale full single image have all been used courtesy of the record labels and the artist. No Copyright Infringement Intended.