Sonic Rush: SEGA’s Iconic Handheld Classic

As it has been 11 years since this iconic handheld classic was released, Sonic Rush was the first Nintendo DS Game produced and released by Sega. With more than 30-40 levels in the game, Sonic Rush brought to the table the new and playable character, Blaze the Cat.

Breaking away from its old tradition of just being 7 Chaos Emeralds, the introduction of Blaze the Cat brought about the Sol Emeralds. As all the levels for both Sonic and Blaze were indefinitely the same, there was a twist to this game, as the music for every level was almost the same, but did change as you played either character. For instance, playing as Sonic the Hedgehog meant the music for the game would remain as is, but for Blaze the Cat, the music sounded more in your face, but was able to fit accordingly and also very well to the overall concept of the game.

For each level, there were obstacles that were almost impossible to get through, given that some levels were a lot more complicated than they first appeared to be, which proved just how much of a smash hit game Sonic Rush was when it was released.

I got this game the year after it was released when I went through hospital treatment from March to May 2006 after fracturing my wrist/arm and I was in pain, but this game kept me going through the pain and I’m pleased to say that for a game like this, it is absolutely worth every penny and also worth everything that comes with it.

I love games, but the type of games that peak my interest, and Sonic Rush and the Sonic series is the type of series of games I would always play.

In the game, you have not one, but two Eggman characters. Eggman and Eggman Nega.

For Sonic the Hedgehog to collect the seven Chaos Emeralds, you would need to find a spinning wheel of different colours in the level, and if your speed gauge is full enough, Sonic will be able to hang on to it and then speed around full circle on the spinning wheel, to which he will be thrown up but into a portal taking you to the secret part of the level where the Chaos Emeralds can be collected.

All seven Chaos Emeralds are separated accordingly over the entire game but throughout all the levels. All you need to do is collect them. In order to gain each Chaos Emerald as you progress through the game, you will be given a ring count target to reach and if you reach it the first time, you will then be given another ring count target to reach, and if you do reach the second ring target then you will earn the Chaos Emerald. If you don’t reach the required ring count target, you won’t receive the Chaos Emeralds, which in effect sets the difficulty to all-new heights.

As you continue to progress through the game, each boss gets harder to complete but the final boss that involves Sonic transforming into Super Sonic and Blaze transforming into Burning Blaze is one of the hardest final bosses you’ll complete, because just like the final boss in Sonic Heroes, you will be expected to keep collecting rings in order to save both Sonic and Blaze from losing their lives as they defeat Eggman and Eggman Nega. If the ring count hits zero for both Sonic & Blaze, both will die as a result so the final boss is the battle for survival.

Sonic Rush and all the other Sonic the Hedgehog games always send a message, reading out: “Survival of the Fittest“, which keeps the spirits of Sonic Rush and the other Sonic games alive.

With 2D & 3D graphics balancing the game’s concept, Sonic Rush couldn’t have come at a better time. Despite some thinking it didn’t live up to the hype of the previous Sonic titles, I can say that it’s an iconic title that does in fact live up to the hype and keeps the energy and spirit of a true Sonic the Hedgehog fan alive.

Also, the nostalgia of some of the levels remind me of some of the previous games, such as Sonic Advance, Sonic Advance 2 & Sonic Advance 3, as it feels like some of the ideas from those games were recycled and reused in this game, making Sonic Rush feel nostalgic, which I love, because it’s like the ideas from past games have been recycled and reused into something new, but something that is just as better as the past, present and future Sonic the Hedgehog games.

Overall, I love Sonic Rush because of the fact it doesn’t just live up to the hype of the previous Sonic games, but because it also has that nostalgic feeling that takes you back, especially if you’re someone like me who used to and even now, would still play the Sonic Advance series, especially where Sonic Rush is concerned. Sonic Rush is the best follow-up to the Sonic Advance Game Boy Advance titles in my opinion and is the type of game I would play any day.

Do you own a copy of Sonic Rush? Please let me know what you think of the game by submitting feedback below. All feedback is much appreciated.

Alex Smithson

Sonic Rush Nintendo DS Game Rating: 10/10

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

Ben Haenow | Second Hand Heart (feat. Kelly Clarkson) | Special Music Feature

He’s back!!! After being hard at work and being all-hands-on-deck on recording his own music for his upcoming debut album, including shooting his music video for Second Hand Heart, Ben Haenow is back with a bang!!! Second Hand Heart, which features the Piece by Piece American musician, Kelly Clarkson, has a vibrant, energetic beat and bass that will really give you goosebumps on its first listen.

In the last few weeks leading up to the release, Ben posted some 10-15 second previews of his Second Hand Heart song with Kelly Clarkson to Facebook, Instagram & Twitter, and with a high-octane, ultra powerful pop-rock sound, Ben has made sure to send your speakers’ shockwaves booming through the roof.

I recently gave Ben’s new record, Second Hand Heart, its first ever listen, and I absolutely love it, this song’s giving me goosebumps everytime I listen to it, and straightaway, just as the song came to an end, I instantly added it to my Spotify Playlist, as it will be the record I will absolutely, without a shadow of a doubt, listen to all the time.

Second Hand Heart follows up from Ben Haenow’s X Factor Winner’s Single, Something I Need (original version done by OneRepublic), which went straight in as the Christmas Number 1 for 2014, and was most recently certified Platinum by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), with the record also being certified Gold by the Recording Industry of South Africa (RISA).

This song will follow on with a music video, which will be premiered on Tuesday 20th October at 8:00 AM (British Summer Time) on VEVO and then YouTube. This is absolutely perfect timing as this will give me and all of you the chance to view Ben’s Second Hand Heart video with the booming pop-rock vocals and sound that he’s produced. Also, Ben’s self-titled debut album will be released officially to the world on the 13th November, just in time before the Christmas holidays and before 2016 opens its doors.

[UPDATE: The Official Music Video for Second Hand Heart (feat. Kelly Clarkson) by Ben Haenow is available to watch now. Enjoy!!!!!!!!!]

Below is the Official Single Cover for Ben Haenow’s Second Hand Heart (feat. Kelly Clarkson):

© Ben Haenow, SYCO Entertainment & RCA Records 2015 (Official Single Cover)

My final thoughts on Ben Haenow’s Second Hand Heart record? I absolutely love it and I won’t stop listening to it, because it’s the type of record where I can listen to it, and straightaway become hooked on it, and with his new album arriving in just under a month, it’s safe to say that I will most certainly be adding Ben Haenow’s self-titled album to my music collection. He’s got such a brilliant voice, and is naturally a homegrown, and talented young man, and I absolutely believe in him, because he has all of the determination in him to have a music career that will last a very, very long time. I can’t wait to hear the all-new music that Ben has got in store for all of us.

We love you Ben!!!!! You’re the light in the stars that shines down on the whole of Croydon, and we will always love you forever more. Croydon will absolutely be booming at the bass and speakers with your debut album, keep being you and always know that we all love you including myself for everything you’ve done. We love you Ben Haenow, and we’ll always be 100% behind you every step of the way :-).

Alex Smithson

© Ben Haenow 2015

© SYCO Entertainment & RCA Records 2015

© The Ben Haenow Logo, the Second Hand Heart (feat. Kelly Clarkson) title track name, 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.

Monthly Roundup: July 2015

To round off what has been an exciting, eventful, energetic and incredible month, I will now take a look back on the articles that have been published over the course of this month.

1.7.2015 – I welcomed you all back to Mother Nature for what would be a scorching hot July. This month was set to be an energetic and relaxing month, despite the hot weather. I also mentioned that my third book was finally reaching the completion stage, which was a fantastic sign, as I was itching to get the book finished and ready for release.

2.7.2015 – After a year of hard work, studying and revision, I was absolutely pleased to tell all of you that I had officially, as of this day, passed my UAL Level 2 Art & Design Course with a high Merit grade. This news came in light of the 8 units that I had completed and passed, with a Distinction on my research, which had resulted in me getting that high Merit grade for the whole course overall. I was also delighted to tell all of you that I had also received two certificate from Croydon College that day, one of which celebrates the outstanding achievement in terms of my exemplary attendance, while the other had celebrated my outstanding achievement I’ve made in terms of excellent achievement.

3.7.2015 – After 9 months of working on Book #3, I was absolutely pleased to tell you all that: “My Journey Through a Lens” would officially be out on Independence Day at 6:00 PM. The news of this book release finally came, as I had just finished up work on the book that day (and night), which had left me then to just prepare it so that it was officially ready for release the following day.

The book would contain over 400+ pages, and this book was indeed my largest book to date. It was originally going to be released towards the end of May, but because of the fact I had my college studies and revision to worry about, I had to hold off the released of the book to allow myself a lot more time to finish up the book and to also finalise it, so that it would give me a lot more time to work on it.

In terms of this book, some of the book would focus mainly around the photographical work that I have published on Mother Nature, and not only that, but most of the book itself would also focus around my own interests, as well as Croydon College.

4.7.2015 – After 9 months of hard work, effort and designing, My Journey Through a Lens finally became available as of this day. As the book was over 400+ pages long, this book was indeed the largest book I had ever made, which followed up from my previous book: “A Year in Photography”, which was released on the 1st September 2014. In this book, I talked about 6 historical icons, as well as musicians, from Ben Haenow to Madonna, and not only that, but I had also dedicated this book to a small number of people that I mentioned, including those that had passed away most recently. As of this day, you can now officially download my third book: “My Journey Through a Lens”, which is available now under “Free Books“.

9.7.2015 – Spinning back the clock to 1998, Crash Bandicoot: Warped was the 3rd, most popular installment in the series of Crash Bandicoot. Crash Bandicoot: Warped continues from where Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, left off. I wrote this review because I thought it would be good to relive the nostalgic days of gaming, when games were much better compared to some of the games that are around today. Some of the games that are around nowadays tend to leave little to the imagination, especially for those that are younger than the age that is given on the game’s PEGI (Pan-European Game Information) rating. Overall, I think the game is perfect, and it is one of the top-of-the-class games that you just can’t miss. To end this review, I gave the game an overall rating of 10/10.

13.7.2015 – On this day, the world lost a true gaming icon. Satoru Iwata of the worldwide gaming company, Nintendo, sadly passed away on Saturday 11th July 2015 at the age of 55 from cancer, following complications from a bile duct growth. On the same day, Nintendo had issued an official statement, which had documented the news of Satoru Iwata’s passing. To me, this was a massive shock, as I had only just found out the news of his death on the same day, and not only had his death shocked me, but his death had also been a massive shock to the gaming world. To pay tribute to Satoru Iwata, I would take a look back on his life as it unfolded, and the highlights of his career up until his death.

On that final note, thanks so much for an energetic, eventful, relaxing and perfect month, and I’ll see you all in August :-).

Alex Smithson

P.S. Here is the book in its physical glory :-).

0195b36fe57b959fb06841a1e76d12cc29020ff429

Monthly Roundup: May 2015

As May rounds off on a good note, I will take a look back on the articles I have published on Mother Nature over the course of this month.

1.5.2015 – I welcomed you all back to Mother Nature for a month that would begin on a relaxing and delightful note. As we have been getting a lot of good weather recently, which is a first in a while, the Whitsun holiday was just around the corner, despite the fact there was a bit of a chilly breeze, which I was fine with. I also announced that there would be a 6th Case Study included in my third book: “My Journey Through a Lens”, given the fact that this book had just recently crossed over the 300-page target mark.

Also on this day, I published an article that focuses on the YouTube Vlogger, Alfie Deyes. As I share my love for YouTube, I wanted to dedicate this article to Alfie Deyes who, over the past few years, has taken to YouTube to upload videos to his YouTube channels, one of which is a gaming channel, while the other two are based around his life, as well as a lot of the funniest things that he has done with his girlfriend, Zoe Sugg (a.k.a. Zoella), and their little pug, Nala, who is so cute.

7.5.2015 – On the 15th April, I took a trip up to the Victoria & Albert Museum (a.k.a. the V&A), as I went with my class to take some photos that I could use to stick into my A3 Sketchbook for my UAL Level 2 Art & Design Course, and because of the fact I took those photos, this gave me the chance to showcase my photos here, and as well as that, I had thought that this trip was a lot more interesting than the previous one, given the fact that this museum had a lot of interesting works, artefacts, and not only that, some, if not, a lot of model designs that focused on certain building elements, such as the Model of the Crystal Palace.

17.5.2015 – This day was an absolute honour for me to talk about the YouTuber, Joey Graceffa. On this day, I published a special music feature article about this YouTuber, as Joey released his music video: “Don’t Wait” to the world on the 16th May, which had instantly blown me away, given the fact that it had so much sentimental value, and also a lot of meaning to it. Just days before Joey Graceffa released his debut memoir: “In Real Life: My Journey to a Pixelated World“, he officially came out as gay to the world. After a few years of speculation from a lot of his fans, he officially announced he was gay before the release of his book. As I support him and everyone else entirely that are gay, bisexual, lesbian and transgender, I wrote this:

I support the LGBT Community entirely because for those who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, I believe in equality, LGBT equality and gender equality entirely, no matter what sexuality the person is. I respect all of those who have come out and expressed their sexualities to the world, because everyone in this world deserves to be treated equally, no matter what sexuality they are, and everyone should be respected for who they are and also be treated with the full respect that they deserve. – Alex Smithson

Joey Graceffa’s music video: “Don’t Wait” is available now to watch on YouTube, and if you want to buy the song, it is now available for purchase via the iTunes Store, Google Play, and any other major music outlets that offer the song for purchase. If you want to watch the music video, please make sure to head to the “Related Articles” section below to view the article, or, if you want to get to the video a lot quicker, it can be found on the sidebar under “YouTube Music Favourites“.

31.5.2015 – As it was almost a year since I left school for good, I wanted to take a look back on yesteryear, given that my nostalgia for yesteryear has been really strong. I chose the colours, Purple & Green, as they are how I sense nostalgia, as those two colours combined symbolise my own nostalgic views with reality.

Until then, thanks so much to all of you for a fantastic month, and I’ll see you all in June!!!

Alex Smithson

Don’t Wait / Joey Graceffa / Special Music Feature

It is an absolute honour to talk about Joey Graceffa’s new record, Don’t Wait.

Since Joey Graceffa released this record earlier this week, I was instantly hooked on it after I gave his record its first listen yesterday, and my god, it is absolutely fantastic.

Joey Graceffa uploaded the “Don’t Wait” Official Music Video to YouTube last night, and I was blown away, it’s that good, as it document’s some of his life struggles, with a friend of his being by his side to this day.

You may be wondering why I’ve used a wide range of colours on the image’s text. This is because I have made sure to celebrate Joey Graceffa for who he is, and for what he does. It has been revealed by Joey Graceffa himself that he has officially come out as gay, in the debut release of his first ever book: “In Real Life: My Journey to a Pixelated World“, which comes out and hits store shelves on Tuesday. I am absolutely proud of Joey Graceffa, because it takes a lot of guts for someone like him to come out and reveal their sexuality to the world, and I am absolutely proud of him for the fact he has chosen to reveal his sexuality in his own, and official style.

I support the LGBT Community entirely because for those who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, I believe in equality, LGBT equality and gender equality entirely, no matter what sexuality the person is. I respect all of those who have come out and expressed their sexualities to the world, because everyone in this world deserves to be treated equally, no matter what sexuality they are, and everyone should be respected for who they are and also be treated with the full respect that they deserve.

After watching the music video, I was blown away, it’s fantastic, it has a lot of personal, yet interesting values to it, and Joey has managed to create this video in a way where everyone can watch it, and also find out more about not just his personal life, but some of the bad and good parts of his life as well. This music video has a kind of video-game effect behind it, because some of the clothing that Joey Graceffa wore in this music video has a similar, yet realistic approach to the video-game character, Link, from Nintendo’s Gaming Series: “The Legend of Zelda“.

After being hooked on this song, I took to the iTunes Store to purchase Joey Graceffa’s “Don’t Wait” Single. The single’s artwork can be found in its full, High-Definition glory below.

Don't Wait - Single
© Don’t Wait – Single – Official Artwork – Joey Graceffa 2015

In its full glory, here is the Music Video of Joey Graceffa’s latest record: “Don’t Wait”, which is now available to watch below in Full HD.

I recommend that you go and buy Joey Graceffa’s single: “Don’t Wait” on iTunes, Google Play and any other music services that are selling this record now. It has a lot of sentimental value to it, and it is the type of record that you’ll want to keep on listening to. This record by Joey Graceffa has a personal, sentimental and bold value to it, and it is something that will most definitely tug at your heart-strings. You’ll love it instantly on its first listen. Go on, you know you want to buy it.

Alex Smithson

© Joey Graceffa 2015

Note: Homophobic and sexual comments will not be allowed, and if any homophobic and sexual comments are made, they will be deleted.

Alfie Deyes: The Most Famous YouTube Vlogger You’ve Probably Never Heard Of.

As I share my love for YouTube, I wanted to dedicate this article to the most famous YouTuber, Alfie Deyes. Also known under the name, PointlessBlog, Alfie is a YouTube Vlogger (video-blogger) who, over the past few years, has taken to YouTube to upload videos to his YouTube channels, one of which is a gaming channel, while the other two are based around his life, as well as a lot of the funniest things that he has done with his girlfriend, Zoe Sugg (a.k.a. Zoella), and their little pug, Nala, who is so cute.

With over 7,000,000+ subscribers (4,019,588 subscribers from PointlessBlog, 2,184,265 from PointlessBlogTv & 1,325,251 from PointlessBlogGames), Alfie has become one of the most popular YouTube icons in the whole world. As well as this, Alfie has also published two books, titled: “The Pointless Book” & “The Pointless Book 2“, which mainly focus around a set of games, as well as the ability to use the Augmented Reality book applications that allow you to transfer the designs that you’ve crafted in the books onto the two iPhone applications, which are: “The Pointless Book App” & “The Pointless Book 2 App“, and are both available for free download via the iTunes App Store.

Aside the vlogs that Alfie uploads to his YouTube channels, he is also featured in some other YouTuber’s videos, most notably in Zoe Sugg (a.k.a. Zoella) [Alfie’s Girlfriend], and in other YouTuber’s videos, such as Joe Sugg (a.k.a. ThatcherJoe), Jim Chapman, sometimes in Joey Graceffa’s videos, sometime’s in Tanya Burr‘s videos (Jim’s bride-to-be) and also in Louis Cole’s videos (a.k.a. FunForLouis).

And of course, Alfie & Zoe’s little Pug, Nala, most recently became a member of their family, and Nala is such a cute Pug, their dog melts my heart, because Nala is only a few months old, and every time I see a picture of Nala on Alfie’s or Zoe’s Instagram pages, I just end up going into cuteness overload, because most recently, Alfie put up a picture on Instagram of Nala dressed in a little doggy costume, and Nala is so cute, so flipping cute, and it melted my heart seeing Nala dressed in the little doggy costume, because she is so, so cute :-).

Alfie has been featured in the YouTuber Whispers video, which can be found on Joe Sugg’s channel, ThatcherJoe, and trust me, it’s really funny, but wait until you see the bloopers from this video, this is a daft and funny video that you will want to watch again and again :D.

Below are some pictures of Alfie Deyes and Zoe Sugg (a.k.a. Zalfie), including their Pug, Nala (WARNING: CUTENESS OVERLOAD ALERT!!!!!) :D. Also, some notable YouTubers and a musician are featured in this little gallery, along with Gabi Tozati’s lovely and beautiful drawing of Alfie & Zoe looking as happy as ever :-).

Most recently on Twitter, I was actually overjoyed with happiness because I tweeted to Alfie that I saw him on the Music Channel, 4Music, with a photo of him that I took, which he quickly favourited just minutes after I put the tweet up on Twitter. Also on Twitter, Alfie recently announced some iPhone cases for the iPhone 6, which had quickly sold out within 24 hours of them going on sale.

Alfie & Zoe (Zalfie) are one of the best couples around, because they both do everything together and enjoy themselves at the things that they love doing the most, and that is vlogging.

If you want to keep up-to-date on the latest videos that Alfie has uploaded to his YouTube channels, I will leave the links below this article for you all to subscribe to his YouTube channels. Trust me when I say this, you will not be disappointed at all, because Alfie’s videos are like a breath of fresh air, as you can watch them again and again, and even laugh at them as well for some or a lot of the funny things that he talks about, whilst Zoe is around :-).

Alex Smithson

Alfie Deyes’ YouTube Channels

© Alfie Deyes 2015.

© All images used in this article, including the featured image, have all been used courtesy of Alfie Deyes. No Copyright Infringement Intended.

© The YouTube Logo has been used courtesy of Google (Guidelines have been followed and taken into account. No image has been placed within the logotype, so the YouTube logo isn’t altered at all). No Copyright Infringement Intended.

© YouTube 2015

The Press, Social Media & The Internet: What makes us turn?

What it is about the News & Social Media that makes us turn? It is all about what the newspaper companies and social media write. If, for example, you look at social media websites, such as Facebook, this social network is often mentioned on some news websites, and especially on certain TV shows, such as Jeremy Kyle, and possibly Jerry Springer.

Now, you would think that in some instances that something like this may be rather sad, but, when you look at the news and social media combined, it is like as if they both connect, considering the fact that they are the two main sources, the two main sources of which are good, but at the same time, bad as well.

Although I use some or most of these social networks, I like to tread carefully with what I post, and especially with what I share as well, because I’ve seen what kind of effect some social networks can have on people, and sometimes, if not, a lot of the time, social media and also the news can have negative effects on many of us.

What do I think of the news and social media? I think that some of the news and social media is good, as long as they are used properly. It is only when these kind of things are abused, that is when things start to go wrong, which means that if the news and social media is abused, anything can happen.

Facebook is a good social network in certain ways, as you can create a Facebook page to promote your business, or even your blog or website, as well as the content that goes with it, but the bad side to Facebook? Sometimes, people can take offence to something that may be rather inappropriate, for example, if there are images that are obscene to the naked eye, then it’s images like that which should be taken down.

It is only when certain images or videos are not taken down, that is when the trouble starts, as there will be complaints, and then the possibilities that are faced is that the person can take whoever owns that page to court, in order to get the inappropriate or personal content removed.

Twitter is also a good social network if you are planning to promote your businesses and products, and is also a good service for those who want to follow their favourite musicians and other well known companies that are around the world. Also, Twitter’s video sharing service, Vine, is a good service to use as well, as you can share the happy moments of life, while businesses promote their products through both of these services.

The downsides to both? Sometimes, if not most of the time, there are often internet trolls on these services, as some people are known for publishing images and videos on the internet without the other person knowing. I make sure to only use Twitter instead of Vine, because Twitter gives me the chance to tweet the best things in life, and is also useful for me when it comes to publishing articles, as my three Twitter accounts automatically tweet the article after I hit the ‘Publish‘ button on every article.

I hate the thought of seeing tweets on my timeline that focus around certain stuff, as some Twitter users have been known for posting obscene and profane images and videos that are disgusting and amoral.

In many cases, it is advisable that all of us should be careful with what we choose to put up on the internet, because, the internet is not a safe place as we think it is. Anything can happen on the internet. I always make sure to stay secure on the internet, because the last thing I want is to deal with any problems that keep me from being secure on the internet.

Viruses can also create problems on the internet, and you often see the names of these viruses that are mentioned in articles on other websites across the whole of the internet. Even social networks have the same problem.

Sometimes, the news and social networks can brainwash us and make us believe some things that are, or may be completely untrue, as there have been certain times in the past where social media and the news have gone just a little bit too far with every bit of detail that they have found, for example, if you look at certain news sources, including social networks and other social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Vine, MySpace, Instagram, BBC, Sky News, ITV and any other news and social media sources, they may have reliable and possibly accurate information on hand, but sometimes, these services can be fooled, as some of the information might either be true, or false, but sometimes, some of the information isn’t entirely true.

My views on the news and social media? Be careful with what you put up on the internet, because all it takes now is to post something that is possibly crude or horrible, and it will go viral everywhere. It doesn’t matter what you do on the internet, just be careful, because the internet will never be a safe place, and it is always wise to choose any appropriate content that should go up, because the authorities often police the internet to make sure that some of the inappropriate content doesn’t go up, or if there is inappropriate content up on the internet, then the inappropriate content can be taken down ultimately over a matter of different reasons.

I believe that if you can keep yourself secure on the internet, whether it be through using the latest security software on your computer or laptop, then you are good to go, but, even with security, you are still at risk, no matter what.

All views on the chosen topics are my own, and my genuine and honest advice? Stay safe as much as you can, because we are not all secure. Prevent your security from being breached before it’s too late.

I have also written this as I feel that everyone is entitled to a freedom of speech.

If you enjoyed reading this article, please make sure to like it, and also leave a comment below what you think of the Press, Social Media & the Internet.

Alex Smithson

Monthly Roundup: March 2015

To round off what has been really good month, but mainly a stressful month for me, considering the large workload I’ve had, I will take a look back over the articles I have done this month by doing a quick monthly roundup.

1.3.2015 – I welcomed you all back to Mother Nature for what was expected to be the month when we start to see some nice weather, as well as the relaxing temperatures that would take away the cold, wintry weather from January & February. This month would also be the month where I would have a lot of hard work to complete, as well as the fact that I had my English & Maths exams to prepare and revise for.

6.3.2015 – As Spring has finally arrived, I used this day to cease the opportunity by taking some photos of the lovely weather, as I wanted to get back to using my Nikon D3300 DSLR after just a few weeks of using it previous. The photos I took gave me the opportunity to showcase them via the article that I wrote and published, which was titled: “A Bright & Breezy Spring!!!” This article would also showcase my videography skills, given the fact that I had recorded some video-clips, which I had put together and uploaded to YouTube via the video-editing software, ezvid.

20.3.2015 – To mark the special occasion, Madonna’s 13th Studio Album, Rebel Heart, was released to the world. I was delighted however, as the U.K. got the album the day before the U.S. did, and I was raring to go, as I wanted to hear her new album after listening to her song, Living for Love, on loop. I did a special music feature article on Madonna, because after 3 years, the Queen of Pop is finally back with a classical and perfected masterpiece, which is much better, and also continues, but focuses away from her 12th studio album, MDNA. Rebel Heart also went to number 1, which made the celebrations even better. Living for Love has most recently just surpassed 10,000,000 views on YouTube (now, not on the 20th March), which has made the longevity of this album get better and better.

29.3.2015 – As excited as I was, I was absolutely over the moon to have been nominated by Vijay Shah of the Half-Eaten Mind for the Real Neat Blog Award. This nomination would mean I would go on to answer the five questions that Kitty’s RNBA Award had set me. After I answered the questions, I would go on to nominate 10 other bloggers for all of the hard work that they had gone to into making their blog or website become known for what it is today.

Also on this day, I announced that my latest book: “My Journey Through a Lens”, would be out soon, as the book is almost nearing completion, given the fact that the contents page in this third book is almost full. This book would not only count as my 3rd installment, but it would also count to be one of the biggest books that I have ever produced.

31.3.2015 – The awards kept coming, as Chey had nominated me for the Liebster Award, which counts as the second award of 2015. This award would mean I would go on to answer 10 questions that were set by Chey, one of which I was unable to answer, considering just how much of a good, yet tricky question it was for me to answer. Overall, I did manage to answer almost all of the questions I was set, and I tried my best, so hopefully one question shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Other than that, after I answered the questions I could answer, I then nominated 10 bloggers that deserved the Liebster Award as well, but this time, I would set them 10 questions, as per the rules of the Liebster Award. After I did this, I congratulated them all in the article, but left a note underneath my name to say to those I nominated that they should get a pingback in their notification tab, as I thought that the blogs or websites I nominated would get a pingback automatically, just after this article went live.

Overall, I feel more than relaxed that the exams are out of the way, for now, and that I can get back to creating articles for the time being. This month has been a great month, despite having a week off sick earlier in the month due to a heavy head and chest cold, but, now that this month is finally at an end, I just want to say, have a happy end to your night and to the end of this month, and I’ll see you all in April :-).

Alex Smithson

HP Stream 11 | A Laptop Worth Every Penny.

This article comes hot on the heels of the HP Stream 11 laptop that I purchased a few weeks back, which is the HP Stream 11, which has recently been advertised alongside the HP Stream 13.

With a built-in 32GB Hard Drive and plenty of accessibility to ports, this laptop is perfect for college studies, and is compact and easy to use for everything else, even for parties and anything else that this computer best suits for you.

The ability to save and synchronise your documents with Microsoft’s OneDrive storage service is a bonus, because, if you use Microsoft Office 365 Home Premium, all the features are included, and as well as this, you get up to 10TB of OneDrive storage if you have signed up to their waiting list.

After a month of having this laptop, I am absolutely delighted with the fluidity of the HP Stream 11, as it is fast, and it also suits to my needs. The HP Stream 11 by Hewlett Packard packs a punch, as it comes with the relevant features needed for a small laptop.

The colour of laptop like the one you have seen in the featured image of the photo I took was of the Horizon Blue HP Stream 11. I picked Horizon Blue because Blue is my favourite colour, given the fact that this colour laptop has a tranquil, and relaxing appearance.

Since I purchased this laptop from PC World, I have optimised it to fit my own viewing comfort, and I’ve also adjusted it carefully to what I need to use for it. It’s always responsive, and because the HP Stream 11 comes with Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 with Bing, this gives me the chance to use the HP Stream 11 to my own advantage.

I use this computer mainly for my college studies, for listening to music via Spotify, to create images for this website using the free open-source software, GIMP, Steam for playing games, such as Pivvot by Whitaker Trebella, for watching videos on YouTube, for writing articles for Mother Nature and also for adding further information to my latest book: “My Journey Through a Lens”.

This computer alone also comes with a built-in HDMI port, which is perfect if you want to watch music videos or movies on the big screen in High Definition.

HP - Usable Ports

The HP Stream 11 comes packed with an Intel Inside Processor, which makes the usability and performance of this computer much, much faster than you could possibly imagine. I love using the HP Stream 11 because of the fact it’s compact, it’s the right size of computer for me, and it is also a handy computer that will keep me going for many years to come, should the main computer that I use goes wrong. Make sure to buy this laptop whilst you have the chance, because you won’t regret it, and you certainly won’t be disappointed.

HP - Intel Inside Processor

Packed with the HP Stream 11 is the SD Card port, which is perfect if you want to listen to some music that you have stored on those SD Cards that may be lying around somewhere in your house. SD Cards are also handy for those of you who are looking to upload your photos and videos to Microsoft’s OneDrive storage service. The SD Card function on the HP Stream 11 is perfect if you want to free up the storage space on those SD Cards you may have kept for a long time. By freeing up the storage on your SD Cards using Microsoft’s OneDrive storage service, this means that you won’t have to worry, as all your photos and videos will be available online via your OneDrive account storage, with peace of mind.

HP - Further Usability of Ports

A streamlined, yet smooth keyboard layout for the HP Stream 11 defines just how well this laptop performs overall. Packed with the usual controls needed to make the HP Stream 11 function, this makes accessibility and functionality ten times as easier to use.

HP - Keyboard Design - Close-Up

HP - Keyboard Design

The front-facing camera is perfect for the HP Stream 11, for example, if you intend on taking selfies to share with your friends, you can via the camera apps that are provided with this laptop, or, if you use Skype, this will be perfect for you to use if you want to keep in contact with your friends via message and via video and audio calls.

HP - Built-in Camera

To top it all off, what would this laptop be without a beautiful, streamlined design? The HP Stream 11 in Horizon Blue is absolutely beautiful, because the streamlined design makes and also defines how laptops and notebooks should be made. Hewlett Packard have absolutely served me well and fully with such a fantastic laptop. The HP Stream 11, with a £179.99 price tag, packs a punch, as it comes with all the things that you need to get yourself started. The HP Stream 11 also counts as my first ever laptop, and for the price of this laptop, it is absolutely worth every penny.

HP - Streamlined Design

Overall Rating for the HP Stream 11: 10/10

Overall Performance: 10/10

Reliability: 10/10

Screen Design: 10/10

Overall Design for the HP Stream 11: 10/10

Battery Life: 10/10

Please make sure to buy the HP Stream 11, as it will help you go further in your studies, and even for when you are doing your reports for work. I recommend the HP Stream 11 all the way.

Alex Smithson

© HP 2015 | All credit goes to Hewlett Packard

All photos present in this article were taken on the Nikon D3300 DSLR.