Category: Uncategorized

You Know You’re a Star Wars Fan When…

This week is the release of the long awaited release of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. And to pay tribute to all the nerds who love Star Wars, I have decided to list out what makes someone a fan of Star Wars.

  1. You still remember how much you loved watching the original trilogy the first time around. (Bonus points if you watched it when it came out in the 70s and 80s)
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  2. But you also had the misfortune to sit through and watch the inferior prequels because it’s still canon and technically expands on the universe.
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  3. You don’t just think it, you KNOW that Jar Jar Binks was the dumbest, most annoying and WORST character of all time!
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4. You can no longer take the month of May seriously any more.
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5. The term “what ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is especially true, when it comes to the re-edits Lucas made on the video, DVD, and Blu-Ray releases of the Star Wars films. AS IF FANS WANT TO SEE MORE CGI THAT SERVE NO PURPOSE TO THE FREAKING PLOT! Speaking of re-edits…

6. HAN SHOT FIRST! Nobody minds that he did, we still love him for it. Let it go, Lucas!
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7. You feel really proud when you get all the references when it’s featured on other media. Your particular favourites are the Family Guy and Robot Chicken specials.
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8. You get really annoyed when people assume Star Wars is either just for kids or just for boys. Star Wars is EVERYONE! Even Episode VII director J.J. Abrams wants to give girls and adults a chance to enjoy Star Wars! 

9. You’ve tried to make all the famous noises including the lightsaber swoosh and impersonating Chewbacca.

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10. You really want a Lightsaber and want to be in a lightsaber duel.

11. You were totally excited and worried at the same time when the Star Wars Episode 7 trailer first came out because you really want it to be good! Please don’t screw this up, Disney!keep-calm-and-be-cautiously-optimistic-1 

12. You have seen the weird and the wonderful in the Star Wars fandom both online and in real life. (Try watching Empire Strikes Back, and someone might mention something about ice-cream makers in Cloud City)
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13. You either have or want to dress up as a Star Wars character for Halloween/comic con/Star Wars screening. (And the amount of slave Leia jokes can get old, fast)
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14. The idea of sharing the enjoyment of Star Wars with your significant other/your kids sounds pretty damn amazing to you. It may even be one of the contributing factors of why you and your partner are together… 

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15. You know you will always love Star Wars no matter what and you are proud to be a Star Wars fan!

What I have learned from the Paris Attacks.

Earlier this month, Europe faced its biggest scale attack since 2005, when on 13th November 130 people were slaughtered in various locations in Paris by European national ISIS terrorists. This post will not specifically disclose names of killers for two reasons: some people want to glorify these vicious killers for some sick reason, and I cannot/don’t want to remember their names. Instead I will talk about what I have learned about this incident as it has put a big impact on the conciousness of millions almost to the same extent September 11th did almost 15 years before.

  1. Where you live and how old your are can differ your perspective: As someone like myself who lived in a little peaceful island like Ireland, the idea of suicide bombers in the emerald isle during the 21st century is unthinkable. At the time of the Paris bombing (and at the time of writing this post), I lived in England, only 50 miles from London and 170 miles from Paris. Even though a bombing in my local city is not entirely likely, it made me realize how close to danger I actually was. What if another London attack happens? Even worse, if I happened to be there at that time? With no relatives in that area how are they to know my condition if disaster strikes? I know getting caught in the crossfire is yet again unlikely, but it makes you think about what potential dangers there are nearby. Not only that, as I am now an adult, I have a better understanding of terrorism than I did when I was 8 years old wondering why Cardcaptors wasn’t being shown when there a weird plane crash instead (yes, that was me during 9/11. Don’t judge me.) I personally know Americans that were not only old enough to understand at that time, but are still scarred by 9/11 years later. With the Paris attacks happening recently, I now understand how the Americans felt during 9/11.
  2. You feel helpless in paying tribute: With unusually horrific events like these it is incredibly difficult to fully understand what the survivors and those mourning their loved ones lost in tragedy are experiencing. People begin to debate on what is appropriate and trying to figure out whether of not praying for a tragic event and yet not knowing other events at that time existed automatically makes you a racist. Case in point, the Facebook French flag debate. In the wake of the French attack, Facebook allowed an application to put the French flag colours over profile pictures to anyone who wished to do it. Obviously it was quite popular on social media. However, others took a cynical approach saying it does nothing to solve the issue of terrorism. But neither is it hurting people. The point is that if people simply voice out their solidarity with those who are suffering, it shows that people care. (Just don’t get started on the East vs Media debate here)
  3. Terrorism can make a lot people very racist: Bad guys did very bad things and you end up fearing and hating the enemy. Sure that makes sense. However what makes no sense is to tar people of the same brush due to race and/or religion. The revelation that one of the terrorists was a fake refugee added fuel to the xenophobic fire, making already reluctant right-wing nationalist racists even more racist. With insane and unrealistic solutions such as “kill the muslim fuckers”, “only let Christian refugees in”, and “close the national borders entirely until ISIS is defeated” (the last one I have personally had to unfriend someone on facebook over). The refugees in question are running AWAY from terrorism, not trying to be a part of it! Trying to be hateful towards refugees and settled Muslims is exactly what ISIS wants as it gives them a sense of justification to murder who they believe are “crusaders”. (look it up if you don’t understand what that means)
  4. The general public can be easily misled with false information: One of the biggest criticisms people made over this tragic event is that misinformation and skewing information is very common, especially on the internet. Many myths circulated online including the nationality of the terrorists, the reactions of Muslim citzens towards the attacks, and whether or not the attackers were known to authorities. The biggest issue on spreading misinformation is that many people will easily believe what they have read about, forming unjustified opinions and use it against innocent people, again giving ISIS a reason to continue attacking and recruiting new people.
  5. Stories about the victims prevents taking life for granted: One of the most horrifying and saddest aspects of the Paris attacks and terrorist attacks are the horrifying stories that are told in the aftermath. Eyewitness accounts of people being slaughtered in cold blood inches away from loved ones, stories of people who died alone and scared not being able to say goodbye to their loved ones or say that they loved ones. These stories are important to hear for everyone to hear as they humanise the victims and show that they were people just like everyone else, and they did not deserve to die. And for those who survived have to live with these memories for the rest of their lives in many ways.

I will finish this post with  personal message.

To those who were affected in the Paris Attacks: I am very sorry this happened to you, I am sorry for the loss of your loved ones, and I hope you will find justice and peace from your time of loss and hardship.

To everyone reading this: Be informed, be kind to one another even if they are Muslim, and tell your loved ones how much you love them.

To my loved ones: I love you all so much and I am so grateful that you have made my life happy and worth living.

The Refugee Sonnet

As a woman, Irish and white
With the free and safe choice to move
I realise I will always be alright
As the harrowing stories of refugees prove.

The drowned, dead child shed light
On the issue. The people’s shocked sadness had brewed.
But the rich and racist delay their plight
Since their political ideas are misconstrued.

The Syrians protested Assad in 2011.
Now thousands murdered, millions more in danger.
You big-wigs anticipate the next September or 7/7
You think they’re ISIS, since they’re darker skinned strangers.

Look Europe, these people are like you and me,
Only they know it’s better to die at sea.

Erasmus Diary Prologue Part 3: Getting to the Starting Point

Hello friends!

Sorry I haven’t spoke on here in while; there are two reasons for that: 1) Moving country is time consuming. 2) I couldn’t disclose I moved for 2 weeks as my parents went with me and the house was left with nobody there. So I will tell you what happened in the week leading up to me leaving Ireland.

From late August to early September my mother (mostly) and I figured out what to bring to England since the car would be packed with only leftover space for myself and my parents. My father made practical plans regarding how to put boxes and baggage into the car; even making simple diagrams in how to making it all possible. I made practical input into what clothes I wanted since a girl always ends up packing more (if clothes were practical and lovely, but no!).

Pretty much a week before leaving home, I printed off over a dozen pictures to put up on my wall in my flat. I was worried I’d have too many.

On Thursday September 3rd, I met two of my friends for lunch in my hometown. It was nice to see them since seeing secondary school friends is harder after leaving school. I also had the chance to see most of my secondary friends in late August at a 21st and it is always so fun to have a catch up as if we were never separated.

I had my going away party on September 4th at Captain Americas and The Porterhouse pub in Cork city. Twelve of my friends from UCC came to see me for the last time before I set off for England, including my boyfriend (he’s my best friend too obviously!) I gave gifts to those whose birthdays were around that time, an early graduation present, and a thank you/baby shower gifts to my friends who were expecting a baby while I was gone (and helped out my boyfriend in a time of need). It was great to catch up with my friends because many of them I hadn’t seen that whole summer for many reasons. I also received lovely gifts (including a free soy latte!) and cards which for some reason, I didn’t expect. I was thankful for them all. Saying goodbye to my friends was a very hard thing to do, I still remember all saying goodbye to me at once as I had to leave the pub. Saying goodbye to my boyfriend was even harder. He had to leave early, so I stood and stared on in the street as he was walking away until I could no longer see him. I almost cried but was surprised I could hold it together.

I want to thank everyone who wished me the best of luck in my year at University of Sussex and to those who gave me gifts. I am very grateful for all the help to get me to the staring point.

I will see you at the next post!

Louise.

Erasmus Diary Soundtrack Part 1: “We’ll Meet Again” – Vera Lynn and “Hit the Road Jack” – Ray Charles

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George Boole Bicentenary (Revised Version, Originally featured on Campus.ie)

Throughout 2015, University College Cork was celebrating 200 years since the birth of the famous mathematician, philosopher and professor George Boole. On November 2nd 2015 Google marked the occasion with a Google Doodle in his honour. After his death in 1864, his legacy grew as his way of mathematics known as Boolean algebra, paved the way for scientists such as Claude Shannon and Victor Shestakov to apply Boole’s work into digital electronic circuits, hence creating the Digital Age that we are familiar with today.

George Boole was born in November 2nd 1815 in Lincolnshire, England. Boole only had a basic primary education with no further formal and academic training. By the time he was 16 years old he was self-taught in several languages and in mathematics. For many years in his early adult life he taught in several schools, including a school he established himself in Lincoln at 19 years old. From 1838 onwards, Boole’s interest in mathematics developed as he started studying algebra and publishing research papers. Boole’s academic works caught the attention of fellow intellectuals as he was appointed the first professor of mathematics in Queen’s College Cork (now known as University College Cork) in 1849, only four years after the university was established. He was highly respected in the field of mathematics in his lifetime as he was awarded the Keith Medal by the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1855, elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1857, and received honorary degrees from Oxford University and the University of Dublin (a part of Trinity College Dublin). George Boole died in 1864 after contracting a severe fever from walking two miles from his home to the university in the rain.

George Boole’s legacy as a high-profiled professor largely remains in University College Cork with the library, the underground lecture theatre, and the Boole Centre for Research in Informatics (located at the Western Gateway Building) are named in his honour. In the scientific community a data type in computer programming and a crater on the moon are both named after George Boole.

Since the official launch of the George Boole Bicentenary Celebrations, University College Cork has become the host of many events throughout the year. From August 28th to 30th, the George Boole Bicentenary Celebration was held in University College Cork. The conference  provided an opportunity to celebrate George Boole and his legacy. The conference was free and is open to the public.

In February 2015 comedian Dara Ó’Briain was invited to University College Cork to pay homage to George Boole to share in the celebration of his legacy. All well as his talent in comedy, Ó’Briain has a strong connection to mathematics and science after studying theoretical physics and mathematics at University College Dublin and presenting shows over the years such as  Dara Ó Briain’s Science Club and Dara Ó Briain: School of Hard Sums on the BBC.

As well as that, there have been tours set up at the UCC Visitors’ Centre to bring the life and works of Goerge Boole to life known as “Being Boole”. A portrayal of George Boole to bring the 19th century to life and to guide visitors through the history of UCC, his own relationship with the college and his impact on not only the university but also on the worldwide scientific community. The Being Boole tours are running until December and are open six days a week. (Open at 3pm on Monday-Friday and 12pm on Saturday)

In an interview with The Irish Examiner in January 2015, UCC President Dr. Michael Murphy said of Boole: “At UCC we are hugely proud of George Boole and he serves as the ultimate ambassador to our long tradition of independent thinking – a trait he epitomised in his lifetime”.

Crimson Peak: A Review

Crimson Peak: A Review

The Buzz.ie

Louise Clancy, a UCC student spending a year on Erasmus in the University of Sussex, reviews Guillermo del Toro’s latest offering, Crimson Peak.

Crimson Peak is a gothic romance horror set in Victorian times starring Mia Wasikowska, Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain, Charlie Hunnam, and Jim Beaver; and directed by the critically acclamied Guillermo del Toro (who also directed Pan’s Labyrinth and Pacific Rim).

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Set in 1901, young aspiring author Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska) falls for the charming English mine owner Sir Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston) while on his travels to America to help gain capital for his mining machine. Much to the disapproval of her wealthy father Carter Cushing (Jim Beaver) and her childhood friend Dr Alan McMichael (Charlie Hunnam), Edith marries Sir Thomas and moves to England to live in his dilapidated family mansion, Allerdale Hall, with her new husband and his aloof sister Lady Lucille (Jessica Chastain)…

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College: Expectations vs. Reality

College: Expectations vs. Reality

The Buzz.ie

Sometimes college just isn’t what we thought it would be. Louise Clancy writes about some of the expectations and realities we all share when we begin our college lives.

When you first arrive to university, you are excited that you are finally finished with school but a little nervous. No matter how you felt about the situation you had many ideas in your head of what your life in college would be like. As the weeks go by, you realise that some of these ideas are not exactly what you had in mind. This article will list the most common situations in college where the expectations and reality often clash.

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Expectation

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You did the Leaving Cert last year which was absolute hell. But now you’re in college with less hours and all you have to do is show up to the lectures, read…

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