Category Archives: News

The best way to curb climate change: have one less child

In a world with 7.7 billion people, water is scarce, food is no longer abundant (despite over production), and affordable shelter is becoming rapidly more difficult to find, is our population truly sustainable?

Every year the world’s population grows by another 83 million people. With an upward trend in population size leveling out at an annual 1.4% increase, it is no question that the size of our population is slowly, but surely becoming a clear issue.

In 2017, the Guardian brought the topic of overpopulation to light.

Now more than ever, environmentalists are posing if more feet equals more heat and if having one less child is actually the best way to help correct climate change.

The silent killer of our oceans: everything you need to know about ocean acidification

For thousands and thousands of years, oceans have been a critical part of people’s lives. The oceans have been our grocery stores, highways, pharmacies, and source of entertainment.

Due to our ocean’s vastness, we see them as infinitely bountiful, infinitely abundant, infinitely ample. Now, more than ever we are seeing beaches that are so polluted people can’t swim. We are seeing an increase in bleached coral reefs. We are seeing shellfish unable to reproduce. We are seeing massively overfished areas.

Ocean acidification, osteoporosis of the sea, the silent killer of our oceans. Whatever your preference it all means the same thing. Over the last 250 years, the average concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has made an unbelievable increase from 280 parts per million to 390 parts per million. That’s a 30 percent increase. Half of which was made between 1980 and today. To most people, this just seems like numbers, but when you realize that in the past, humans have only lived in concentrations of 190-330 it is easier to comprehend the problem at hand.

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Illustrations by: Lucie Brunellière are available here

In long-term ocean acidification is likely to have the most significant impact on the coral reef ecosystems. Marine organisms that provide up to 50 percent of the oxygen that we breathe, such as Plankton and other small organisms, are abundant in coral reefs and will decrease dramatically. These small organisms not only affect us but other marine organisms as well. With pH levels dropping at this rate, current estimates reveal that we will lose 50 percent of our coral reefs over the next 40 years. That means that the quarter of marine species that rely on coral reefs to provide them home will face extinction unless able to adapt. At a pH level of 8.2, our seas are already acidic enough to dissolve shells. This is evident due to the 85 percent of oyster reefs gone because of the acidification of our oceans.

Not only does it threaten 25 percent of marine organisms, but ocean acidification also affects the estimated 500 million people who depend on coral reefs for their daily food and income. Finding jobs, I’m sure you all know, is hard enough in this economy, nonetheless it will become harder. Travel agencies workers, fishers, ecologists, chefs, food manufacturers and marine biologists will all be affected by ocean acidification. Areas such as Cairns, Australia, will no longer be generating over 6.5 billion dollars in tourism revenue due to the death of the Great Barrier Reef. As a result, 63,000 people would lose jobs in the area.

Although research is underway to improve the conditions of our oceans, not much is being done at the local or global level. Seeing that this is a reasonably recently discovered problem, scientists are still researching ocean acidification and its effects on the environment. Even so, scientific research has already saved species such as the Pacific Oyster from extinction.

Scientists do know one thing: irreversible damage will occur around 2060. Even if all carbon emissions stopped today, the pH of the ocean would still drop 0.1-0.2 pH units and it would take thousands of years for the world’s oceans to recover. Nonetheless, that is still better than the 0.5 units the pH was expected to fall by 2100, a 320 percent increase in acidity.

Our highways, our entertainment, our medicines. Our food, our stress reliever, our memories. Our expansion, our destruction, our mess. Ocean acidification will be a problem for centuries to come. Environmental problems have become apart of our society. Although some are discussed until the point of no longer caring, others are worth listening to.

Are Skateboarders Happy with the Olympics?

As you can read in the piece of information above, on the interview with Larry King, Tony Hawk spoke in favour of skateboarding in the Olympics, even though his discipline, vert ramp, which consist on a half-pipe, it is not currently included in the Olympic programme.

But Hawk is not the only one that has spoken its mind about this topic. Nyjah Huston, Nike sponsored professional skateboarder who won several of the stops in the Street League from the year 2011 to 2019, stated on a Forbes interview that: “Now, everyone is working on getting [skateboarding] in the Olympics for 2020, which I hope happens. I want to see more kids out there getting good at skating, having fun with skating. It’s growing so much and people realize you can make a living off of skateboarding”.

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KTown cruisin

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On his side, we can find more skaters who share the same view. This is the case of Evan Smith. Professional rider for DC shoes who also competes in the Street League, explained on the Grey Skate Magazine that: “I think it’s cool. I mean what would you do if someone asked you to go to the fucking Olympics and you felt like you could do it? You’d probably say yes. You’d probably push yourself, if you were smart”.

On the other hand, there are also prominent skaters that have a different vision about skateboarding in the Olympics. For instance, Tristan Funkhouser, a young professional skater for DC Shoes, who explained on a video for Ollie Shit that: “It is not natural. I personally don’t think it would be cool. That’s not what skating is, skating is an expression of yourself. You can’t just put points on that”.

Another professional skater which is against the Olympics but for different reasons is Boo Johnson. The Diamond Footwear skateboarder said on an interview for elpatin.com that: “If they ask me to go to the Olympics I wouldn’t men, like, they are definitely drug testing and you know me. So… that’s not gonna happen”.

The last statement shows a different perspective in the world of skateboarding, drugs. Drugs have always been linked to the skateboarding community. This affirmation can be checked on the Mockmouth article in which they talk about skateboarding legends having troubles with drug addiction.

Another example which connects skateboarding with the consumption of drugs is the case of Pedro Barros. The professional skateboarder chosen for the Brazilian Olympic team, went through a drug test in 2018. According to the ABDC (Autoridade Brasileira Controle de Dopagem), the authority in charge of anti-doping in Brazil, the results of this test confirmed that Barros consumed THC (Marihuana).

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🛑

A post shared by Pedro Barros (@pedrobarrossk8) on

Talking about national Olympic teams, Brazil together with Norway are the only ones that have released their official lists. The Scandinavian nation has chosen a humbler team with skaters who are unknown for the skating community. Except for one of them, Karsten Kleppan, who rides for Nike and has participated in the Street League and also in the X Games in 2016 and 2018 respectively.

On the Brazilian side, apart from Barros, which could be disqualified for the 2020 Olympics, Brazil has other big names such as: Luan Oliveira, Felipe Gustavo and Tiago Lemos, skating for Nike, Adidas and DC Shoes respectively. On the female category they have one of the biggest stars, Leticia Bufoni who skates for Nike. All these Brazilians currently skate on the Street League, so it could be said that Brazil is going to be a big opponent to defeat.

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CBSK ANUNCIA SELEÇÃO BRASILEIRA DE SKATE PARK E STREET DE 2018 Um outro passo inédito foi dado pela Confederação Brasileira de Skate – CBSK para fortalecer e dar ainda mais representatividade ao Skate brasileiro como esporte olímpico. Bob Burnquist, um dos maiores ícones do Skate mundial e atual Presidente da Confederação, anunciou junto com Sandro Dias, outro grande nome mundial do esporte e atual Diretor da CBSK, a formação da 1a Seleção Brasileira de Skate nas modalidades olímpicas Park e Street. A formação Em 2018, os nomes dos atletas que integrarão a Seleção Brasileira de Skate Park e Street, foram escolhidos através de um comitê técnico. A partir de agora, a convocação é anual e a partir de 2019, a Seleção será sempre formada através do Calendário Brasileiro de Skate da CBSK do ano anterior, onde os 3 primeiros skatistas do ranking estarão automaticamente convocados. Além disso, a CBSK, através do seu comitê técnico, indicará o atleta para a vaga restante. O suporte A CBSK dará aos atletas integrantes da Seleção Brasileira, suporte e recursos para o desenvolvimento e aperfeiçoamento da prática do skate de alto rendimento. Ajuda financeira, recursos humanos, departamento médico exclusivo, centros de treinamento, viagens e participações em eventos internacionais, estão entre as ações de suporte ao desenvolvimento esportivo dos atletas da Seleção Brasileira de Skate. A estréia O Skate será um dos esportes estreantes em Olimpíadas, mas o planejamento da CBSK é que o skate brasileiro tenha um desempenho parecido com o dos esportes tradicionais, lutando por algumas medalhas, já na 1a participação. É com esse foco na preparação dos atletas, que a CBSK pretende seguir rumo ao projeto olímpico de Toquio em 2020. @timebrasil #somostodosCBSK #somosselecaoCBSK #timebrasil @bobburnquist @diassandro

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It’s time to go plastic-free: these are London’s plastic free stores

Plastic pollution is arguably one of the most prominent issues of the 21st century. The words themselves have slowly become buzzwords in mainstream society – so it should be no surprise that people around the world are taking a stand against the issue.

What is plastic pollution?

According to PlasticOceans.org, almost 300 tons of plastic is produced annually around the world and half of this is for single use. Single use plastics include plastic bags, plastic cutlery, plastic bottles and plastic straws.

Every year, over eight million tons of plastic ends up in the world’s oceans and this causes a number of environmental issues. Not only do single use plastics make up 49% of beach litter, but they can also cause serious harm to wildlife. It’s easy for marine species to become entangled in pieces of plastic – plastic bags, for example – and it’s fairly common for animals to mistake plastic for food. Research from Greenpeace shows that up to 9 in 10 seabirds, 1 in 3 sea turtles and over half of whale and dolphin species have ingested plastic.

But it’s not just marine species that suffer from the amount of plastic we’re putting into our oceans: the entire food chain does – meaning that, if marine species such as fish are consuming high levels of plastic, humans are too, when they eat fish, for example. Not only are we eating plastic we’ve thrown away, but there’s also potential for this plastic to enter the tissues of our bodies – just as it does in sea animals.

How can we make a change?

Luckily, over the last few years, people have begun to wake up to the issues surrounding plastic pollution. The United Nations ‘declared war’ on plastic in February 2017, and media coverage has helped to raise awareness of these issues – perhaps the most famous example would be the BBC series Blue Planet II.

Things are looking up; the UK’s plastic bag pollution has decreased by 86% since the introduction of the 5p carrier bag charge in 2015. However, there’s still a long way to go – but there are some changes we can make. The key is switching to reusable products rather than disposable – using glass or metal water bottles instead of plastic bottles, buying reusable cups for hot drinks, saying no to plastic straws and so on.

Conveniently, there are a number of plastic-free shops popping up around the country. These stores aim to be as close to zero-waste as possible and minimise the amount of plastic used in everyday life. Shoppers can buy loose products in any quantity they wish – from cereal to washing powder and fruit and vegetables to salt – all without the unnecessary plastic.

Where are London’s plastic-free stores?  

Currently there are nine plastic free stores in London.

Re:Store (Hackney’s most recent plastic-free opening):

Hackney Downs Studios, 17 Amhurst Terrace, London, E8 2BT

Unpackaged (found in Planet Organic stores):

Islington branch: 64 Essex Road, Islington, London, N1 8LR

Muswell Hill branch: 111/117 Muswell Hill Road, Muswell Hill, London, N10 3HS

Torrington Place branch: 22 Torrington Place, London, WC1E 7HJ

Westbourne Grove branch: 42 Westbourne Grove, London, W2 5SH

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Planet Organic Westbourne Grove

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Unpackaged in Planet Organic Westbourne Grove

Hetu (Clapham Junction):

201 St. Johns Hill, London SW11 1TH

The Source

Battersea branch: 99 St John’s Rd, London, SW11 1QY

Chiswick branch: 24 Turnham Green Terrace, Chiswick, London, W4 1QP

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The Source Chiswick

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The Source Chiswick

Bulk Market (Hackney):

6 Bohemia Place, Hackney, London, E8 1DU

Harmless Store (Wood Green):

Blue House Yard, 5 River Park Rd, Wood Green, London, N22 7TB

Get Loose (Hackney):

Hackney City Farm E2 8QA, United Kingdom

The Refill Larder (Teddington):

122 High Street,Teddington TW11 8JB

BYO (Tooting):

21-23 Tooting High St, Tooting, London,SW17 0SN

 

Despite supermarkets also beginning to make changes, and the introduction of these plastic-free stores, there is still a long way to go. And although these stores aren’t accessible or practical for everyone, the increasing number of them gives us hope that things are going to change and, hopefully, we can collectively reduce the damage that plastic pollution is causing our planet.

 

Men and women in sport: can they be equal?

Team GB recently announced they are likely to have more female athletes than male participants at next year’s Olympics in Tokyo, which will be a historic moment for women in sport.

But as much as this reflects their participation in a wide range of events, it doesn’t explain if there are differences in rules.

For some sports, it is argued women are not biologically able to produce the same power as men, and are given their own event. This is most commonly seen in sports like athletics and swimming, where the differences in speed between both genders is represented by world, Olympic and championship records, which men hold the fastest times for.

But most of the events in both sports are the same. In athletics, the only differences in Olympic events are the hurdles – where men compete over 110m and women over 100m – the men’s decathlon and the women’s heptathlon, and women not having a 50k race walk.

And it’s even better news for swimming, where the only event women don’t compete in is the 1500m freestyle. But this is set to change in Tokyo, as the IOC announced its addition to the women’s competition.

It seems physical differences can mean unfair competitions if men and women participated against each other, but this is not always the case.

Along with mixed events becoming increasingly popular in sports including swimming, athletics and diving, there are mental sports where women could compete with the men, but don’t.

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Mixed relay events have been added competitions in the last few years, and have been popular among fans and athletes (image courtesy of Pexels)

In snooker, women have their own tournaments, but for many years people have questioned why they cannot compete against men. Reanne Evans, an 11-time world champion in the women’s event, was invited to the main world championships in 2017, and historically won her first round qualifying match, before losing in the next round. Despite this, many female players are yet to appear in the main draw of a ranking tournament.

Sport has come a long way in representing both genders equally, but many sportsmen are asking for even more change. If they receive enough support from governing bodies, more events will be added in future competitions.

 

Animation by Alysia Georgiades

Video Sources:
https:www.reuters.com/article/us-tennis-wimbledon-anderson-isner-factb/factbox-longest-mens-singles-matches-at-wimbledon-idUSKBN1K32PE
https://www.elitedaily.com/sports/difference-womens-gymnastics-vs-mens-gymnastics/1582261
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/diving/30298816
https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-olympics-tokyo/ioc-approves-mixed-athletics-swimming-relays-for-2020-idUKKBN19028N
Music:
https:www.bensound.com

What is St. Patrick’s Day?

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Background- Who was Patrick? 

Maewyn Succat, also known as St. Patrick, was born in Britain around 385 AD.

Until he was sixteen-years-old, he considered himself to be an atheist, or in those days, the proper term would’ve been pagan.

It wasn’t until when a group of Irish raiders took hold of his village and kidnapped Maewyn to Ireland that he was exposed to Christianity. 

According to legend, Patrick had an epiphany in the middle of the night that told him to board a ship that then took him back to Britain where he joined a monastery.

He ended up staying there for twelve years after realising his calling was to convert pagans to Christianity. 

After he was appointed as bishop, Patrick returned to Ireland. While he was in Ireland, Patrick established monasteries, churches and schools. Utilising the shamrock to teach people about the holy trinity, hence the three leaf clover.

He even returned to buy his freedom from his former master but the man decided to burn himself in his house with all his possessions instead of coming face-to-face with his former slave. 

Patrick stayed in Ireland for thirty years until he retired. He then remained in Ireland and died on March 17th AD 461, the date we now celebrate as St. Patricks Day. 

Patrick was never canonised by a Pope but his name appears on the list of Saints. 

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St. Patricks Day

The day of feast was originally included on the Catholic church’s liturgical calendar in the early 1600s.

From then on it has been considered a holy day for Catholics who are required to attend mass on the 17th of March.

St. Patrick’s Day didn’t become an official holiday until 1903 when the Bank Holiday Act of 1903 was introduced in Ireland, which initially, required all pubs to be closed.

Since the day is during the lenten prohibition, the ban from eating meat was lifted. Mass was attended in the morning and feasts carried on into the afternoon that included singing and dancing. 

The St. Patrick’s Day that we know of today is an Irish-American construct with the first St. Patrick’s Day parade taking place in 1762.

Irish soldiers serving with the English military marched through Manhattan to a local tavern.

The first official parade took place in 1848 and became the largest in the United States. 

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Why do we wear green? 

The tradition of wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day began in the 7th century.

The original colour associated with St. Patrick’s Day was blue but green effectively replaced it.

This is most likely because of Ireland’s nickname, the Emerald Isle. The green stripe in the Irish glad also played a role, as well as the fact that most people associate Ireland with the colour green.

photo-1519009620163-043a4492d8b8 

Where did green beer come from?

In 1914 an Irish-American Doctor called Thomas Hayes Curtin revealed his one-of-a-kind invention of ‘green beer’.

Similar inventions had been linked to green beer before but this is the inventor that most historians site.

However, his green beer wasn’t very safe to drink as it allegedly contained an iron powder solution that was used to whiten clothes. This was used to turn the beer into the iconic green colour.

Nowadays, bar keeps have taken to changing the colour of beer with a little help from food dye. 

Green beer is still a term used today to describe beer that’s too young.

Green beer still contains acetaldehyde, which can make the beer taste bad because it’s not yet fully fermented.

However, what you’ll be drinking on St. Patrick’s Day will most likely be normal beer with food colouring- but at your own risk. 

st partricks infographic

Who is the U.K Student Climate Network?

 

On March 15th, students from more than 112 countries took to the streets in one of the biggest climate protests since.

 

Who started the young activist climate change movement?

 

This demand for climate change jump-started last year, when Swedish, 16-year-old, Greta Thunberg, influenced tens of thousands of young climate change activists in countries such as the United Kingdom. Australia, France, Uganda, Colombia and Thailand.

 

When is the next strike?

 

The next strike to this cause will be held, Friday, 12th  April, 2019.

 

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Image by: School Strike

 

Does the U.K have its own young activists climate change society?

 

In the United Kingdom, these activists have created their own network called the ‘UK Student Climate Network’.

This network is made up of under 18s who go against the government in hopes that they can protect their future.

Currently, the network has a target of £50,000 to help in their fight for climate change.

This infographic gives us the mission and demands of the UK Student Climate Network for the government that will help tackle the climate crisis and help he younger generation towards a better future.

 

U.K. Student climate network (2)

Images from: School Strike

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