Kobe Bryant

Image result for kobe bryant"

“Everything negative – pressure, challenges – is all an opportunity for me to rise.” -Kobe Bryant

  Kobe Bean Bryant passed away on 26 January 2020 in a helicopter crash with his 13-year old daughter, Gianna, on the way to a Mambo League basketball tournament that he was coaching Gianna for. His and his daughter’s untimely deaths came as a shock to everyone, leaving countless people mourning for them.

  Kobe Bryant was an American professional basketball player. A shooting guard, he entered the National Basketball Association (NBA) directly from high school, and played his entire 20-season basketball career in the league with the Los Angeles Lakers.  Bryant was a skilled and accomplished top performer, with remarkable scoring capability. His work ethic and determination were unparalleled by any other player.Throughout his career, he has amazed countless people with his undeniable talent and commitment. He is also the youngest player in league history to reach 30,000 career points!

  Kobe Bryant was also a family man who always puts his kids first. He had 4 daughters, Natalia, Gianna, Bianka and Capri. Although many of his fans wanted him and his wife, Vanessa, to have a boy so as to carry on the family legacy and tradition, Bryant always supported his daughters and often voiced how much he loved being a father to his girls.I also admire him for keeping up with a rigorous training routine while still never compromising family time.

  “He was one of the most extraordinary players in the history of our game with accomplishments that are legendary. But he will be remembered most for inspiring people around the world to pick up a basketball and compete to the very best of their ability.”NBA Commissioner Adam Silver says in a statement. 

  I feel that this quote says a lot about him and how he inspires others to strive and get better. In hopes of following his footsteps, countless others are also influenced by him to never give up and reach their full potential. His success is not only an inspiration, but also an influence, compelling others to take the first step and improve themselves. 

References:

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/01/26/us/kobe-bryant-obituary/index.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kobe_Bryant

https://www.spiked-online.com/2020/01/27/how-kobe-bryants-greatness-inspired-the-world/

Talia Ann

2 Diligence

Jane Austen

Image result for jane austen"

“There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart”  – Jane Austen

  The famous, well-loved English novelist of the Victorian Era, who won many hearts with her astounding novels, Jane Austen truly is an idol for all of us who adore her classics. From her book with the most witty storyline, Emma, to the most charming and beloved, Pride and Prejudice, Austen just had it all! Austen is most definitely deserving of my writing about her, especially since her books are not as appreciated by the book community now than they were back in the 18th Century. So, dear readers, sit back and enjoy this article about her life–all the way from when she was born to when she had to sadly leave us; and hopefully, by the end of this, you will be interested in picking up one of her magnificent works!

  Born on December 16, 1775, Jane Austen had most certainly left an indelible mark on the literary world. Jane Austen, born to Reverend James Austen and Cassandra Leigh Austen, was one of eight Austen children. Although all of the children fared relatively well in writing, Jane was still the most inventive and impressive of them all. Jane Austen kick-started her career as an author early when she wrote stories, poems and plays as entertainment for her family.

  Jane Austen was, and still is, most well-known for her 6 best masterpieces, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Northanger Abbey, Mansfield Park and Persuasion. With that being said, Austen had more works that were either started, abandoned or published posthumously. In 1796, Austen began a second novel, titled First Impressions. She completed the first draft when she was 21 and the manuscript was offered to a publisher in London, but was unfortunately turned down. This novel later became Pride and Prejudice, and in 1813, when it was agreed to be published, it became an instant success, which should come as no surprise to anyone as this magnum opus is still talked about to this day and age. Pride and Prejudice is about Elizabeth Bennet and her aristocratic suitor, Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy. They were an unexpected pair of lovers who had to exterminate the pride and prejudice between them before love could bring them together. Her other books were released around the same time as Pride and Prejudice, and all of them were undeniably of enthralling quality.

  Jane Austen unfortunately passed away on 18 July 1817 due to Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in Winchester, United Kingdom. Sanditon was Austen’s last novel, bequeathed uncompleted to her niece. 

  Austen’s Persuasion was what got me into her works, capturing my attention to her literary works and rendering me unable to escape from the love I have for her novels. Jane Austen was indeed phenomenal, her flair for writing and her undeniable talent for composition truly mesmerizes me. Whenever I put down her books after finishing them, I am puzzled by how Jane Austen was capable of coming up with such complex and comical characters, how she was able to compose such unique plots and how she could string her words together to produce sentences that flow like honey, leaving me wanting for more of her stunning literature. Although her novels were written so many years ago, the domestic aspect and the classical atmosphere of them always makes me feel like I have a warm and welcoming doorway to walk in as and when I feel like escaping from reality for a while.

References:

 https://www.abebooks.com/books/authors/jane-austen.shtml

Htoo Myat Noe

3 Purity

 

Blackpink “Kills This Love”

Image result for blackpink golden disc award"

  Why is K-pop so popular? Probably because the members of K-pop bands have good looks, their songs are pleasing to the ears, and the videos are aesthetically amazing.

  Kill This Love is about the members of the band deciding to terminate the romantic relationships they are in. They acknowledge that wherever there is love, there will also be heartbreak. The song roughly describes their lovers’ feelings for them, but their love is not reciprocated by the girls.

  Personally, I feel that this song is quite inspirational and wise. The girls knew that if they did not end the relationship, someday things would spiral out of control and both them and their lovers would harbour anger and bitterness against each other. The better choice was to just end the relationship while it had not begun to make both parties unhappy. This reaches out to people who know that their lovers love them but they themselves do not care enough for their lovers for their relationship to continue. Hence, they are at a loss of what to do, being afraid that their lovers might discover that they do not care for them as much as they should, or even beginning an affair with someone else whom they think actually loves them. This song helped them to make the right choice and break up before everything morphs into a catastrophe, even though they may find it painful.

  In a nutshell, I think Kill This Love is a huge music favorite and I strongly recommend listening to its music or watching the music video.
References:

https://www.songmeaningsandfacts.com/meaning-of-kill-this-love-by-blackpink/

https://www.google.com/search?q=kill+this+love+number+of+views&rlz=1C1GCEA_enSG886SG886&oq=kill+this+love+number+of+views&aqs=chrome..69i57j0l2.8829j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

Marianne Low
1 loyalty

Uncle Wiggly Wings

Image result for uncle wiggly wings"

  During my history lesson, I learnt about the cold war and the events surrounding it, like The Berlin Airlift. The Berlin Airlift was a military operation in the late 1940s that brought food and other necessities into West Berlin by air after the government of East Germany, which at that time surrounded West Berlin, had cut off its supply routes. However, what truly intrigued me was in the midst of such hostility, “Uncle Wiggly Wings’ emerged, displaying the true essence of what it means to be charitable. 

  Colonel Gail Halvorsen, best known as the “Berlin Candy Bomber” or “Uncle Wiggly Wings” gained fame for dropping candy to German children during the Berlin Airlift from 1948 to 1949. Born October 10, 1920, he was a retired officer and command pilot in the United States Air Force. Halvorsen grew up in rural Utah but always had a desire to fly. He earned his private pilot’s license in 1941 and then joined the Patrol. He joined the United States Army Air Forces in 1942 and was assigned to Germany on July 10, 1948, to be a pilot for the Berlin Airlift.  During that time he founded “Operation Little Vittles”, an effort to raise morale in Berlin by dropping candy via miniature parachute to the city’s residents. Halvorsen began “Little Vittles” with no authorization from his superiors but over the next year became a national hero with support from all over the United States. Before long, people and companies were donating tremendous amounts of candy to be dropped during the ongoing airlift.

  Halvorsen received numerous awards for his role in “Operation Little Vittles”, including the Congressional Gold Medal. However, “Little Vittles” was not the end of Halvorsen’s military and humanitarian career. Over the next 25 years, Halvorsen advocated for and performed candy drops in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Albania, Japan, Guam, and Iraq. Halverson’s professional career included various notable positions. He helped to develop reusable manned spacecraft at the Directorate of Space and Technology and served as commander of Berlin Tempelhof Airport.

  I have high admiration towards him as he is very benevolent. Especially during the times when conflicting factions had high hostility towards each other, he persisted in showing the world what humanity was. He was a source of hope for the children in West Berlin who lacked contact with the outside world. I feel that people of this 21st century have much to learn from him. Research shows that people now are less compassionate compared to people from the past. In the fast-paced world that we live in, we often work tirelessly to reach higher advancements in life, forgetting to take a step back and look around to see if others need our help. We forget to even carry out simple gestures like giving someone a thoughtful gift, giving someone a heartfelt compliment, taking the time to listen to someone attentively rather than monopolize the conversation etc and turn a blind eye to the needy. We forget that everyone, like ourselves needs affection and care from others. Dalai Lama once said, “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” I hope that more people can look around with open eyes to see acts of kindness they can do every day.

 

 References: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gail_Halvorsen

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/sweet-story-berlin-candy-bomber-180965156/

 

Lynn Tan 

4 Justice

Liza Koshy

Elizabeth Shaila Koshy, better known as Liza Koshy, is an American actress, television host, comedian and YouTuber. She began her career on Vine in 2013, before starting a YouTube channel later on. Her career started when Liza started Vine and began growing more and more popular with every short video she uploaded. When she finally opened up another platform to connect with her fans, Liza began uploading comedic videos every week on YouTube.

Sure enough, Liza’s following started to increase rapidly on Youtube. Even though Vine shut down in 2016, she continued to thrive in her career because of her similarly hilarious videos on YouTube. Currently, she has over 17 million subscribers on YouTube and more than 17 million Instagram followers. Liza’s videos on youtube are undeniably funny and never fail to drag me into watching more and more. Even re-watching her videos again and again is entertaining, and you can never quite get sick of her humourous jokes and puns.

Ever since day one, she stood by her values to love herself and appreciate herself no matter what she looks like and what others think of her. In 2018, Liza herself went through a tough patch and took a break from youtube for the majority of the year. During that time, Liza posted a few videos updating her fans about how she was doing and explaining the long break from YouTube. She uploaded a compilation of the videos she attempted to film during this time and shared her true feelings and weaknesses with her audience. She re-assured everyone who was going through a similar experience as her, that it would all get better.

Ever since I began watching her videos on YouTube last year, and taking my time to watch all her older videos from start to end, it made me feel at ease and significantly happier when I watched her videos. It taught me that happiness is a choice, and that we need to learn to find it in our lives. Slowly, I gained respect for her, that she was able to share her real feelings and be open about her true self.

Adele Yeo

2 Charity

Taeyeon

taeyeon

Personally, I am not a kpop fan. Yet I know of the struggles kpop idols have: the pressure of being good looking, fit and fitting the social standards of the society. And I came to like Taeyeon, a kpop idol who deals with depression.

1) Her voice

She is consistent forward placement in the A4~D5 range, constant resonance in the A4~C5/C#5 range, occasional resonance up to D5 and forward masked placed sound in the chest voice. Most importantly, she has a stable pitch majority of the time for live shows, which is something hard for most kpop idols due to the strenuous dance moves.

2) Her personality.

During fan events and services, she can make ugly derp face but her reactions are yet so cute. She is always there for her fans, and despite having large number of fans during airport meetups, she tries her best to attend to each and every one of them.

3) Her laughter

Wow, her laughter sure is contagious. Many kpop idols try to cover up their laugh, but not her. She lets her laugh out and she doesn’t care who hears her. It’s so loud and something you wouldn’t have thought could come out of her, as such brightening up the entire variety show set.

4) Her relationship with her group members

Despite having her own set of problems to deal with, Taeyeon has a good relationship with every single member. You can tell that she loves them and they love her. She cares very deeply about them, and she is always worried about them. She wants to be a good leader for them and she does that by doing things with them. She also gives support by promoting her group member’s solo work.

5) Her bravery

She has difficulties with her weight with constant weight fluctuation, busy schedules (sleep and eating routines can be disrupted) and have been criticized for their bodies before (Tiffany, Yuri, etc.). However, in many of her interviews and Instagram post, she positively seeks a social support network and reach out to people like her. She also channel her misery into song lyrics to feel better. And despite her handling many scandals, she always try to spread positive messages and does what she can to deal with the depression she has and being strong for others who are in need of emotional support. There was one time fans inappropriately groped and molested Girls’ Generation Taeyeon during her visit to the Indonesian airport. Someone who faces such a situation will have an emotional turmoil yet the first thing she did was to apologise to the fans who were waiting and ensured that no one gets hurt. It takes a great deal of courage to look out for others when she herself was hurt too.

 

Lynn Tan

2 faith

Reference: https://aminoapps.com/c/k-pop/page/blog/why-i-love-taeyeon/02Ik_ujb8x52rNQmrVD57V7wmmLY3Q

 

Stephen Hawking- Bright Spark On Wheels

stephen hawking.png

Stephen Hawking was at a young age of only 21 years when he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a disease that was predicted to take his life in just two years. Recently, he had been focusing on a subject he held dear to his heart- Physics. However, after the tragic news, completing his doctorate was what some may reckon to be ‘undeniably improbable’.

Despite the devastating setback, Stephen paved his road to success through bravery, determination, perseverance, hard work and faith. Eventually, his efforts paid off and his hope did not end in vain, when he finally attained his long-awaited Ph.D. Notwithstanding Stephen’s victory and defiance of odds, his problems did not end there. The deadly disease continued to spread throughout Stephen’s body, weakening him and, in 1985, even robbing him of his ability to speak. Following the loss of his verbal communication ability, Cambridge created a speech-generating device which enabled him to substitute his voice with an electronic one.

Stephen Hawking proceeded to continue attending Cambridge following his successful graduation, and assisted in complex research. Stephen Hawking was even initiated into the Royal Society, an international fellowship of scientists, and deemed Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge. Regardless of Stephen’s recent passing, his ‘Black Hole Theory’, one of his most famous hypotheses, remains incredibly helpful to cosmologists’ research and studies. Moreover, Stephen has written numerous great reads, one of which inspired the release of a film inspired from his life of ups and downs.

In my opinion, Stephen Hawking is an excellent inspiration for the disabled with bursting dreams, and I’m sure a vast majority would agree with me. Stephen Hawking is a motivation for the young and old. He has encouraged, and even proved how an ailment, no matter how severe or life-threatening, should never be the barrier between one and their ambitions. Despite Stephen’s recent passing, his legacy will continue to be the flame leading generations through darkness, empowering the public to believe in themselves and endure obstacles.

Valerie Tan

1 Grace

 

Reference:

https://www.space.com/15923-stephen-hawking.html

Avicii: a legacy

a legacy.png

Tim Bergling was a Swedish 18-year-old DJ when he signed on to Dejfitts Plays Label, unbeknownst that his stage name ‘Avicii’ would be so widely known, all around the world. His true breakout into mainstream music was in 2011, when he released his song “Levels”. With “Levels” topping charts in many countries – including Austria, Belgium, Netherlands and Sweden  it was safe to say that Avicii was making his big debut as a legendary DJ.

In 2013, he released his album “True” that included the single “Wake Me Up”. The song is inspired by the happy feeling of “Life is a dream, wake me up when it’s all over”, which built the foundation of the song with the melody’s positive vibes and catchy tunes. The single also reached number one in 22 countries (to date), even to far ends of the globe in Australia and New Zealand!

Personally, it was “Wake Me Up” that made me notice Avicii. The encapsulating music video, which depicted a story about finding one’s self, resonated with me deeply. And thus, I am sure that Avicii’s music has touched many others’ hearts too.

From 2014 to 2015, Avicii worked on his new album “Stories”, which would receive double platinum certification in Sweden sometime after its release. It included songs such as “Waiting for love” and “For a better day”. Particularly, Avicii also released an animated lyrics video for “Waiting for love”, depicting a beautiful story about a dog’s love for its owner even going as far as to follow him into war. This video struck me with the awe of how music can relay such tender and sweet emotions in an extremely impactful way.

Unfortunately, Tim Bergling was experiencing acute pancreatitis due to over-drinking and many other health problems. According to his family, he was under extreme stress and had a surgery in 2014 to remove his gallbladder and appendix. He even had to halt touring in 2016.

On April 2018, Avicii decided to take his own life. It pained me to hear such heart-breaking news, and I empathised with his family and friends. But it was comforting to know that even with the life he had, he left a great legacy for years to come.

Jaime Ng

3 Truth

References:

https://consequenceofsound.net/2018/05/avicii-killed-himself-with-a-broken-wine-glass-report/

http://mcdaniel.hu/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/254331_avicii.jpg

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avicii

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/True_(Avicii_album)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wake_Me_Up_(Avicii_song)

Agatha Christie

Agatha Christine.png

Born in 1890 in Torquay, Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller- best known as Agatha Christie- was an English writer acclaimed to be one of the greatest authors of her time, and remains the best-selling novelist today with roughly 2 billion copies of her novels sold, behind only Shakespeare and the Bible.

Throughout her career, she published 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections, as well as the world’s longest running play, The Mousetrap. Notable works include And Then There None (1939), Murder on the Orient Express (1934), The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, as well as those revolving around her fictional detectives, Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple.

Home-schooled largely by her American father, Agatha was forbidden to read until she was eight, but nonetheless taught herself to read by the age of five and entertained herself with long hours spent flipping through works by Edith Nesbit and Louisa M Alcott. By the time she was eighteen, she was writing short stories and managed to get some published-though in a much revised form-and only started writing detective novels during WWI.

Agatha Christie’s Three Act Tragedy was what got me not only into her works, but also to seek out more thrillers which remains to be one of my favourite genres to this day. Written in 1934, Three Act Tragedy stars Hercule Poirot, and is about the murders of three different people, each believed to be poisoned, though no traces could be found in their respective glasses. Throughout the novel, Agatha Christie led me to believe that anyone could be the murderer, yet I was still surprised at the outcome, and marvelled at her ability to think of story after story like this.

Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agatha_Christie

https://www.agathachristie.com/

 

Chen Yu Yang

3T

 

People: Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey, a name so many of us have heard of before. When I hear the name, I think of a woman who inspired so many with her story. Oprah Winfrey was born in Kosciusko, Mississippi, to Vernita Lee and Vernon Winfrey in 1954. At six years old, Winfrey was sent North to join her mother and two half-brothers in a Milwaukee ghetto. When Oprah was nine she was raped by her nineteen-year-old cousin who was baby-sitting her. This would not be the only time she was sexually abused, she would then be sexually abused by her cousin, a family friend, her mother’s boyfriend, and her uncle during her stay in Milwaukee. Throughout these incidents, she did not tell anyone about what happened as her predators made her keep quiet. When she was older, Oprah Winfrey moved to Chicago, in January 1984 with little money in her pockets, she took over as an anchor on A.M. Chicago. A.M. Chicago was a morning talk show that was consistently lowest in the ratings.

I think the traumatic incidents that she experienced earlier in her life pushed her to fight for women’s rights and got the victims to speak up about their experiences. In one of her latest acceptance speech during the Golden Globes Awards, she says “I want tonight to express gratitude to all the women who have endured years of abuse and assault, because they, like my mother, had children to feed and bills to pay and dreams to pursue”. She was speaking about the trending #metoo movement that encouraged women to speak up about their sexual abuse predators.

Oprah Winfrey inspires me because she started with nothing and is now one of the most successful and influential people in the world. She came from a family with a poor background and suffered through years of abuse and neglect. Most people would have just given up, but Oprah Winfrey persevered and aimed high. She worked so hard and now she has her own talk show that remains the highest-rated talk show in American television history. She has even won many awards, like Emmys and The Best Talk Show award. She has taught me that it does not matter where I come from, as long as I work hard and be resilient, I can be successful.

12.png

Ashley Tung

3 Truth

References:

http://www.notablebiographies.com/We-Z/Winfrey-Oprah.

html#ixzz55keb6vXwhttp://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001856/bio

https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2018/01/golden-globes-2018-oprah-winfrey-cecil-b-demille-acceptance-speech