Invertebrates: just creatures without skeletons?

StockSnap_SLQQ4XD1BZWhen you ask someone to name an animal, most people will say a type of furry mammal, feathery bird or scaly reptile. However, did you know that most of the animals that live on Earth are actually invertebrates. But what are invertebrates?

What are invertebrates? Continue reading

Will you be switching off your lights for WWF’s Earth Hour?

sky earth galaxy universe

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

On 30 March every year, millions of people around the world switch off their lights for an hour at 8:30pm in a pledge to help save our planet. Some of the globe’s biggest landmarks get involved in the movement too, with Australia’s Sydney Opera House, France’s Eiffel Tower and Scotland’s Edinburgh Castle all going dark for the event.

Continue reading

Today is World Water Day

Every year, on 22 March, people around the world mark World Water Day. This year’s theme is “Leaving no one behind” inspired by Sustainable Development Goal 6 – a promise that everyone shall have access to clean, safe water by 2030.

StockSnap_J3ZGHIF8XTOn our planet, at this very moment in time as you read this article, billions of people are living without the safe water they need to survive. By definition, safe water doesn’t just refer to whether it is clean or dirty; safe water is water that would be suitable for consumption, free from contamination and readily available on premises such as homes, schools and workplaces.

Continue reading

Taking a global stand against climate change: my guest post

arid-climate-change-clouds-60013On 18 March, my article on last week’s climate change strikes went live on Rev. Rebecca Writes.

Both Rebecca and I have a passion for animals and the world we share with them, and it seems that thousands of others also share our enthusiasm in working to protect and conserve our planet for future generations. More than 2,000 protests took place around the world, stretching from North America to Asia. This landmark global movement was inspired by a 16-year-old’s passion and determination to take a stand and make her government listen.

Continue reading

What is climate change?

Throughout my career in magazines, I have specialised in providing hundreds and hundreds of stories on the topics I am most passionate about – animals and the planet we share with them. Within the last couple of years, I’ve noticed that climate change stories have become more frequent and I would often find myself writing about them almost every single week.

climate-cold-glacier-2969

Jaymantri.com

Now, most people know that climate change is an issue because it’s unfortunately taking a negative turn. But what is climate change?

As previously mentioned, I would frequently write about the latest climate change news, often needing to include a clear and succinct definition that was easy for eight to ten-year-olds to understand.

I recently came across this helpful BBC Radio video, which explains exactly what climate change and our carbon footprint is in 90 seconds so thought I’d share it.

On 15 February, thousands of young people across the UK ditched school to take part in a climate change strike demanding that the government take immediate action in tackling the issue. Demonstrations took place in 30 towns and cities, stretching from Cornwall all the way to the Scottish Highlands. The campaign was inspired by the actions of a 15-year-old student from Sweden, called Greta Thunberg, who misses lessons every Friday to protest outside the Swedish parliament.

arid-climate-change-clouds-60013

Pixabay.com

Tomorrowland: A World Beyond – My Review

tomorrowland-a-world-beyond

A few days before it was released in UK cinemas nationwide, I was invited to Disney’s FDA Multimedia Screening of the hotly anticipated Tomorrowland: A World Beyond, in London’s Leicester Square Empire IMAX!

If you haven’t heard of this film yet, you must have been stuck under a rock somewhere. Not only is it brimming with star quality performances but it’s got amazing special effects, the creative design of the future world is super cool and most importantly, this film carries a couple of very important messages. I’m just not too sure it’s going to be powerful enough to reach everyone…

Photos from Tomorrowland 2

When I arrived, I was greeted by a red carpet and hordes of fans packed around the cinemas entrance. Bemused, I double checked my ticket to make sure I’d gotten the correct venue and indeed the correct day… but I hadn’t been mistaken. I knew it couldn’t have been the Tomorrowland European premiere as this had already taken place the previous Sunday, so I decided to wait around… to see who went in, of course! A couple of glammed up women went in first, who unfortunately I didn’t recognise (sorry!) but then I spotted motorbike enthusiast, world explorer and presenter of the Long Way Round programmes, Charley Boorman. My family and I are huge fans and thoroughly enjoyed watching all of the crazy adventures he’s been on with Scottish actor Ewan McGregor, so that was quite cool to see him. 

And then I could hear a cluster of cheers and screams to my left. Randomly (or so I originally thought) it was Baywatch and Knight Rider actor, David Hasselhoff shuffling down the red carpet. It looked like he was really taking the time to stop and talk to as many people as he possibly could, which was nice to see. I thought at first that maybe he might have had a cameo role in some sort of futuristic getup but alas, this was not the case. I have only recently found out that he was actually there for the premiere of his own TV show, Hoff The Record, which airs on Dave later this month. 

Photos from Tomorrowland 1

But anywho, back to the film I’m actually reviewing! I went in and nabbed the best possible seat that would provide me with the greatest experience. But before the film began, we were treated to two exclusive new trailers for Marvel’s Ant Man (due to hit UK cinemas 17th July) and the one that everyone’s been raving about, Star Wars: The Force Awakens (due to hit UK cinemas 18th December). Don’t hate me, but I wasn’t that fussed by either of them – that said, I’d still like to see Ant Man just incase the trailers haven’t been doing the film justice.

So without giving away too many spoilers, this film begins with a really detailed flash back to Disney’s 1964 Tomorrowland; a recreation of the original Tomorrowland found in Walt Disney World Florida’s Magic Kingdom, which opened back in 1955. This is where we meet young Frank Walker (played by 12-year-old Thomas Robinson) and his awesome gadget, that he wishes to submit for the New York World Fair. From this point onwards you are treated to an action-packed two-hour special-effect extravaganza, with inspiring designs of what a futuristic world could look like (as you’d expect, with jet packs and the like), and, yet more unfortunately, quite a bit of sciencey tech-like jargon – some of which flew right over my head!

One of the things I loved, and it’s a pretty simple one really, is that they designed Tomorrowland to look like a futuristic, space-aged Cinderella’s castle! Another concept of the film that I liked and was fairly comical, were the robots that were constantly chasing George Clooney (aka older Frank), Britt Robertson (who plays Casey Newton) and Raffey Cassidy (who at the young age of 12, gives a stellar performance as Athena), in an attempt to stop the trio from reaching Tomorrowland… they of course failed!

Hugh Laurie, Brit Robertson, Raffey Cassidy and George Clooney attend the European premiere of Disney's “Tomorrowland: A World Beyond” in Leicester Square on May 17, 2015 in London, UK

Hugh Laurie, Britt Robertson, Raffey Cassidy and George Clooney at the European premiere.

One of the things I most liked about the film, is the constant underlying messages that are subconsciously emphasised throughout, telling us (mostly) that we need to look after our planet, as it’s not going to last forever the way it’s currently being used. Young Frank Walker says wisely during his (unfortunately unsuccessful) World Fair pitch, something along the lines of “Inspiring people makes the world a better place. I’d feel anything’s possible if I saw people flying with a jet pack over me” and I felt that it was a great way to show kids to be optimistic, believing that they can achieve anything if they put their mind, and heart, into it. But I think the character who was given the most poignant messages to deliver was Hugh Laurie’s character, as towards the end he (in my opinion) spoke some home truths that some people prefer not to accept or even acknowledge. He was explaining how we as a human race create so many fictional books and films that feature the “end of the world theme” but even then, we fail to realise that this is a very possible future for our planet and not just fantasy. As he references in the film we are shown so many warning signs, such as the glaciers and ice caps melting, species becoming extinct, the changes in the climate, drought etc, but we continue to turn a blind eye. We see it as the future is far in the future… as if there’s nothing we can do about it now. There’s everything we can do about it now! A very poignant line that resonated with me is “how is it possible that we have an obesity crisis and starving people around the world at the same time?!” And I quite frankly (pardon the pun) couldn’t agree more! It’s the same with poverty and people without money, yet we have football players receiving an obscene amount of money to play a game?! Consider my mind well and truly boggled.

FullSizeRender (1)

I’d say the only downside (which of course I’d need to watch again for verification), is that I think I spotted a continuity error in the film. If you don’t want to know any spoilers before you see it, then stop reading… right now… stop! But, in the famous scene regularly featured in the official Tomorrowland trailers, where Franks house is under attack by the crazy cyborgs we see Frank clamber into the bath tub first to sit on the left and Casey squeeze in after him, now sitting/laying squished in the tub on the right. However, after the bath tub/capsule/newly-formed-rocket-ship is catapulted from the house, it lands in the river. As the roof comes off, we see Frank climb out of the bath from the righthand side and Casey is lying in the left side of the now-boat. They’d somehow managed to switch sides in the space of 30 seconds… and in the small confinement of a one person bath tub!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my review and I’d just like to leave you with this last thought, as I feel that we really need to ask ourselves this every now and again – “What if there is a place; a secret place where nothing is impossible. A miraculous place where you could actually change the world. You’d wanna go?”. Think about it… I mean really think about it. Don’t you feel like this place is now? As we have the ability to change the future of the world. Right here. Right now. So what are you going to choose?

Images: Tomorrowland logo – staytuned.co.in/; Main cast at European premiere in London’s Odeon Leicester Square 17/05/15 – theupcoming.co.uk/; All others – my own.

I was here

#359: You are the first astronaut to arrive on a new, uncharted planet. Write the note that you leave to those who come after you.

Howdee fellow being!

Congratulations on reaching planet Zzod – unfortunately though, you’re not the first one!

I have to be quick, so I can only give you one small piece of advice – don’t feed the fish!

Enjoy your stay!

Interplanet Janet

#356: You get to design your own planet: tell us all about it — the weather, the seasons, the inhabitants. Go.

Planet theatre 😀 it would have a mixture of weathers but would be predominantly sunny. It would be mostly autumn as I love the crispness of the season. The inhabitants… all who love the fabulousness of the theatre!