Music Favourites: Adele

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I believe this name isn’t new to everyone, in fact, practically everyone knows this British singer and songwriter. Adele is one of my favourite singers of all times and I have never got tired and “annoyed” with her songs even after a long time, which I usually will with other songs. Her songs are not too complicated to understand and it resonates in my mind each time I listen to it. The rhythm, dynamics and the meaning of the lyrics of each song are unique and they are not the typical love ballads and sad love songs, which make me like the songs even more! Moreover, Adele’s songs are mostly in the lower voice range, allowing people to sing her songs with ease and comfort.

My favourite songs by Adele will definitely have to be “Someone like You” and “Rolling in the deep”, which are coincidentally two of her more popular songs. “Someone like You” was one of the first songs that I came across and it definitely touched me as it was full of feelings and emotions. The song speaks about a broken relationship, and lyrically it speaks of Adele coming to terms with it.  Adele said that she “was struggling emotionally when she composed it” and felt “pretty miserable and pretty lonely” but she felt “so freed” after composing the song. I guess it was because of the feelings that she had inside her that made the song so touching and relatable to the world even if it was a different scenario.

Contradicting to “Someone like you”, “Rolling in the deep” conveys a totally different story of being abandoned and lonely but a story of “a scorned lover, who is finally able to see the light, but despite regretful sentiments, reconciliation is not an option” which is sort of shows a more rebellious side of her towards the relationship. The song lyrically also conveys her thoughts of “being told that my life was going to be boring and lonely and rubbish, and that I was a weak person if I didn’t stay in the relationship”, which made her feel very insulted, hence showing her strong repulsion towards the relationship. Although the thoughts and feelings in this song is more on the rebellious side but through her voice, it can be felt that she is actually faking her strong side and being so tough in front of everyone but she actually is collapsing and breaking down inside.

I guess this is what makes me like the songs very much as there is a lot to tell throughout the songs and not only lyrics-wise which is typical of most love ballads nowadays. I hope you will also enjoy her songs and be sure to check out her new album 25 which will be releasing any time this year!

Rachael Fong (1L)

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Buglicious!

Creepy crawlies such as beetles, crickets, ants, worms… do they sound familiar to you? I know most of you know them as pests and dislike them, but have you ever thought of eating these little bugs as… food?

Yes! These little bugs can be eaten as food! In countries such as Thailand, they either eat these insects when they are still alive, or they deep-fry these insects as a delicacy. Believe it or not, these insects may be inside your everyday food or drink. For example, canned fruit juices are allowed up to 1 maggot per 250 ml, curry powder is allowed up to 100 insect fragments (head, body, legs) per 25 grams and chopped dates are allowed up to 10 whole dead insects. The list goes on and on.

Are you turning green and feeling like vomiting as you read this? Well you shouldn’t, because you’ve been consuming them for years and you’re not the slightest bit bothered about it!

These little insects are actually very nutritious and contain around the same or even more nutrients than a slice of beef or chicken could offer! I had a first-hand experience with eating one of these creepy crawlies. On Wednesday, during our Cultural Intelligence module, the teacher made us try some deep fried worms! The worm actually tasted better than I thought!

But you may ask, why eat bugs? Fact: It is up to 20 times more efficient to raise insect protein than beef. That’s per pound. This is mainly because bugs don’t ‘waste’ food energy on things like raising their body temperature, or making bones, fur, feathers, and other stuff we can’t eat. Also, insects are a great, inexpensive, green source of the protein desperately needed by starving peoples. If we can help create a market and funding for it, there is the potential to help spread nourishment throughout the planet.

Since there are so many great reasons to try these creepy crawlies, why not have a once in a lifetime experience? Maggots ,anyone?

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Germaine Ong (1L)

Music Favourites!

Here are 2 of my favourite songs that I enjoy listening to during my free time 🙂

  1. Loser by Big Bang

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Loser is a Korean song by big bang that came out around the end of April. The song takes an overall slow, pop beat which is what I enjoyed most about it. The members of Big Bang also slayed the chorus with their amazing vocals and did a good job in delivering the emotions of the song. The only thing I didn’t like about the song were the lyrics which mainly talks about putting on a facade to fit into society and I felt that it had a little too much negativity in it. The song also has quite a lot of rap so if you’re interested, do check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CTced9CMMk

2. Bad by Infinite

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The second song I chose is bad by infinite which came out just a few days ago. The song starts off with an instrumental which slowly and dramatically builds up into the first verse. The good use of the violin at the start also caught my attention. The verse kept the beat up while the pre-chorus slowed things down a little and served its purpose as a change of pace before the chorus hit. Another interesting thing about this song is that there were two videos being released with one of them being a 360ver. I personally found the 360ver very unique. You can watch it here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1oTSAhdzNQ (Normal Ver)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNqW6uE-Q_o (360Ver)

Fiona (3F)

People: Harper Lee

I’m sure we’re all familiar with the writer Harper Lee, having studied her novel ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ in Literature classes. Her name, already globally recognised, has recently risen to fame again, but this time for her newest (and more controversial) novel, ‘Go Set a Watchman’.

In conjunction with her newest novel, here is a short biography on the famed author Harper Lee.

Harper Lee (full name Nelle Harper Lee) was born on April 28, 1926 (89 years old this year). The youngest of four children, she grew up as a tomboy in a small town. Her father was a lawyer, a member of Alabama state legislature and also owned a part of the local newspaper. She had a close childhood friend, named Truman Capote, who was often bullied for being sensitive and wearing fancy clothes. Truman lived with his mother’s relatives in town, due to his being abandoned by his parents. Truman, like Harper Lee, eventually became a writer and wrote a nonfiction book called ‘In Cold Blood’, based on a murder case.

As you can see, Harper Lee’s childhood life is actually very similar to her character Scout’s life as seen in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’.

In July 1960, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ was published. The following year, it won the prestigious Pulitzer Prize award and other literary awards. In 1962, Horton Foote wrote a screenplay based on the book and adapted it into a movie. The movie went on to receive eight Academy Award nominations, including Best Actor for Gregory Peck’s portrayal of Atticus Finch.

‘Go Set a Watchman’ is actually based on the later lives of the characters in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’. It was sent to a publisher in 1957, but he rejected it and asked her to revise the story and make the main character, Scout, a child. Harper Lee worked on it for two years and it eventually became ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’. ‘Go Set a Watchman’ was thought to be lost, until it was discovered by Harper Lee’s lawyer in a safe. Later, it was announced in February this year that HarperCollins would be publishing ‘Go Set a Watchman’, to general excitement of the public (myself included).

However, not everyone enjoyed the revival of Harper Lee’s writing career.

‘Go Set a Watchman’ was met with shocked reactions from almost everyone – and for good reason too, because it featured a racist Atticus Finch, among other unexpected character changes. The global community, who have mostly grown up admiring Atticus as an ideal father figure, has now balked at Atticus version 2.0 showing racist attitudes, lobbying for segregation and even joining the Ku Klux Klan.

Some have tried to justify Atticus’s change of heart. According to the New York Times, ‘In “Mockingbird”, Atticus was a role model for his children, Scout and Jem – their North Star, their hero, the most potent moral force in their lives. In “Watchman”, he becomes the source of grievous pain and disillusionment for the 26-year-old Scout’.

So what do you think? Is ‘Go Set a Watchman’ an insightful and relevant novel? Or should Harper Lee have left Atticus, Scout and Jem’s famed story alone?

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/jul/17/go-set-a-watchman-harper-lee-review-novel

http://www.biography.com/people/harper-lee-9377021#later-years

Soh Wen Shuen (3S)

One Direction

One Direction. Love them or hate them, you’ve definitely heard of this British-Irish boyband, more commonly known as ‘1D’. The group, made up of Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne and Niall Horan, signed with Simon Cowell’s record label Syco Records forming and finishing third in the seventh series of the British televised singing competition The X Factor in 2010. Propelled to international success by social media, and their fanbase, every single one of their albums have smashed records and topped charts in most major markets. After the release of FOUR, their most recent album, they became the first band in US Billboard 200 history to have their first four albums debut at number one. The previously five-piece band now carry on as a quartet after Zayn Malik left the band due to personal issues on 25th March 2015.

They have released four albums in four years, but each one differs greatly from the others. The first album, Up All Night (2011), is predominantly a pop music album which orientates into elements of the dance-pop, teen pop, pop rock and power pop genres, with electropop and rock music influences.The catchy tunes and slickly written lyrics, accompanied with the huge fan base, caused 4.5 million copies of the album worldwide. It became the best selling album of a group and the third best selling debut album of 2012. Although the two subsequent albums were whooping the music scene, the tie breaker was their latest album.

Fast forward to just last year, they released FOUR (2014), which topped the iTunes charts in more than a 100 countries.Their songwriting showed signs of maturity, yet was still cheery, uplifting and high spirited.The tracks, saturated with retro vibes, big, splashy Eighties pop rock influences and more elegant Seventies flavors, are easy to sing along to and are catchy as well, with the ability to get stuck in your head for hours.

If you still haven’t heard their albums, what are you waiting for!

Jocelyn (2T)

Headlines: Woman ‘swallowed’ by faulty escalator in China

A 30 year old mother and her son were on an escalator going up in a shopping mall when the floor plate at the top of the escalator collapsed. The mother managed to push her three year-old son to safety, but she did not manage to save herself as she was being ‘swallowed’ by the escalator in the blink of an eye.

Two female sales assistants at the top of the escalator, apparently waiting for the mother and son, tried to save Ms Xiang by pulling on her arms, but failed to do so.

Her body was found hours later after the firefighters spent more than 4 hours to cut open the escalator steps to retrieve her body, however, her body was beyond recognition.

Wuhan Evening Daily said that maintenance had just been carried out on the escalator, and workers had forgotten to screw the plate back into place.

Ke Qingjie, a relative of the victim, told The Paper that Ms Xiang was warned that the escalator was faulty by the sales assistants only when she was halfway up.

I personally think that there should be signs at the top and bottom of the escalator to state that the escalator was under repair, so that shoppers would not take the escalator and realise when it’s too late. Hopefully, everyone would be more cautious to prevent such tragedies from happening again.

The link below is the CCTV footage of the incident:

http://video.sina.com.cn/view/249692297.html

Chevonne (3J)

Late Nights

It’s 12am in the night.

I am lying at the much lighted corner of the wooden desk. Everyone’s asleep except Edna, my friends and I. Under that lonely light that shines awkwardly in the darkness, my friends and I are scattered all over, papers that were scribbled all over seemed nothing like their original self. Edna is in front of the computer, rushing her geography report, which was due tomorrow. She is rushing her work again.  We are all lying around, with her picking us up anytime and scribbling notes which were almost invisible on the already-full paper. We are all lying near the computer, with the hot air blowing at us from time to time.

It’s 3am in the morning.

Edna’s finally done. The whirling sound of the ceiling fan suddenly stops and the next moment, we were shoved into the dark black pencil case, fast asleep.

It’s 7am in the morning.

The only sounds we can hear is just the shuffling of feet and worried murmurs of “I am late”. Yes. Edna’s late, again.  It’s all the late nights and long accumulated stress. We are still on the wooden desk, resting on top of the printed geography report. The next moment, all we heard was a shout of “Bye!” and the loud banging of the gate that followed after.

We were still on the desk. Nowhere in Edna’s bag. Yes, by that I mean not even the report.

It’s going to be a bad day. No doubt. A very bad one.

Rachael Fong (1L)

Music Favourites

Not too long ago, the school was shaken by a visit from United Record’s Scarlet Avenue. Comprising 2 Singaporean brothers, the duo has been composing and performing songs since 2005. Their works revolve around the acoustic genre, and the strumming of their guitars creates not only perfect harmony but also calming instrumentals. The brothers thank their childhood experience in France for exposing them to a culture of arts, which they used to their advantage to create a name for themselves. Since Amos and Adam are both aged 23 and 19 respectively, their lyrics resonate especially with the younger generation, which is no wonder why even though not many recognised them when they first came up on stage, more and more people gradually clapped to the rhythm of their beat, becoming instant fans. The three songs they performed were Paper Planes, their latest single Lighthouse and the SG50 Capitaland song entitled ‘You & Me’. Each song was a joy to listen to and ended in thunderous applause from the audience. After their electrifying performance, the audience was invited for a photo-taking session with the suave duo and queues snaked all around the spiral staircase.

-Trina (3U)

My Hot Air Balloon

green grass waved goodbye in the wind

to a gondola based on cane

high above the heavens grinned

upon a bulging envelope rising up this lane

silently it left behind

the plateau of buildings trembling

roaring, crackling the fire reminds

of the subsequential  landing

committing the sin of defying gravity

it forms a family among the clouds

scaling the mountains in all their majesty

erasing every trace of doubt

so it seems to leave a legacy

in the reflection staring back

far beyond its childhood enemy

seizing what it lacks

blinded by the golden mist

tempted by the winds

every ambition, every promise, every wish

made true with broad grins

however the mist disperses

to reveal a shared sky

all this while it was immersed

in a world infinitely high

now at the other colours’ chases

its fire loses confidence

forgetting all the places

waiting for the consequence

the fire retires silent

while the balloon turns weary

prepare for the landing of this deflated giant

who leaves in such a hurry

the roughest days start out great

I miss the thrill of the flight

my quarrel with fate

ended with the tunnel at the end of light

This poem is about disappointment. In this poem, I used the metaphor of a hot air balloon which rises because of the energy generated by the fire within and once the fire is completely consumed, it will inevitably fall to the ground. As students, we need inspiration or motivation in order to sustain us when school becomes tiring, hence I hope that the ‘fire’ I am referring to would not be hard to relate to.  Because it was based on an event that recently happened to me, I decided to call the hot air balloon my own and hence the title “My Hot Air Balloon” despite the fact that the poem is written from the third person point of view for the most part.

Trina (3U)