Brandon Mull

Brandon Mull

Brandon Mull is an American author who lives with his family in Utah. Hearing this sentence, remove all conclusions you have thought of him and replace it with one word, “awesome”.

Although his books are more for 10-12 year olds, he is still my favourite author. Brandon Mull is the minds behind the Beyonders series and the Falling Kingdoms series. His clever storytelling not only makes me feel like I’m in the story but I feel like reading it over and over again. As a result, I have read the Beyonders trilogy at least 2 times.

In order to make sense of why I am so obsessed with Beyonders, the answer is simple: Fantasy. Fantasy is one of my favourite genres. The main storyline is about this boy named Jason. He lives a simple life when he is transported to this magical land called LYRIAN. He meets a girl from his world called Rachel (hehe) and they go on a quest to defeat the evil ruler, Maldor. To defeat him, they must say a simple word. However, they have to find out what the word is by collecting the missing letters all around Lyrian. There are amazing characters like a blind warrior or a man who can detach and attach his body parts at will.

However, all this amazing writing did not come just from his head. He has stated that some of his greatest inspirations for his stories include some very famous writers, including J.R.R Tolkien and J.K.Rowling, whose books you may or may not know. He has been writing books since 2006 and he still has big plans for the future. One funny thing about him is that at the end of his books, he would always put in funny jokes and punch-lines to make it seem like he was actually talking to all his readers. He would also keep the content of the next book or story very mysterious. One funny fact about him is that before he became a writer, he worked as a comedian, a movie promoter, a filing clerk and even a chicken stacker.

Above all, Brandon Mull is my inspiration for writing and whenever I have run out of ideas for writing, I always turn to his books. With his magical tales and wacky characters, I get inspired and I know my creativity can run wild and write its own stories if it wants to.

Sources:

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700228277/Mull-converted-daydreaming-into-dream-job.html

https://web.archive.org/web/20061119074706/http://www.teensreadtoo.com/InterviewMull.html

Rachel Lie

1 Purity

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Goh Keng Swee

Mr. Goh Keng Swee was born into a middle-income family in Malacca but little did he know that he would grow up to become an important figure in Singapore’s history. He was one of Singapore’s pioneer ministers. In fact, he was Singapore’s first Minister of Defence. He helped to establish the strong foundation in today’s Singapore Armed Forces (SAF).

In 1967, Mr. Goh made it compulsory for all 18-year-old male Singaporeans to serve in the army as he felt that this would establish a credible defence force and help with nation-building. NS was also seen as the best way to quickly build up Singapore’s defence forces without placing a heavy burden on the country’s financial and manpower resources.

Mr Goh, with his vision to build strong and credible defence force, believed that air defence should be Singapore’s top priority in terms of security. In 1968, when the Singapore Air Force was set up, he saw a need to recruit pilots who could defend our skies. However, instead of setting up a recruitment drive, he set up the Junior Flying Club in 1971 to promote flying among secondary school and tertiary students, and nurtured potential pilots for the Air Force. Today, it is known as the Singapore Youth Flying Club (SYFC). This initiative was both innovative and successful.  This program is still used today. In 2016, 46 members of SYFC received their Wings and Certificates after completing the Private Pilot’s Licence Course at the SYFC and all of them applied to SAF as pilot trainees after their studies.

Mr Goh was Minister of Finance twice and Chairman of Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). Mr Goh was often referred to as the ‘economic architect’ of Singapore for his great contributions to the transformation of Singapore into a prosperous nation during his terms as Minister for Finance and defence.  As Minister of Finance, Mr Goh spearheaded many of the most impressive public policy achievements in Singapore: Economic Development Board (EDB) (lead government agency for planning and executing strategies to enhance Singapore’s position as a global business centre. We dream, design and deliver solutions that create value for investors and companies in Singapore), the Development Bank of Singapore (DBS)(  leading financial services group in Asia), the Jurong Industrial Estate(key-manufacturing sector that provided jobs for thousands of Singaporeans, all while creating a brand new housing estate altogether) .

Mr Goh’s contribution to Singapore can never be understated. Like the rest of his pioneer colleagues his work and commitment set the foundation for the prosperous, peaceful and strong Singapore.

Reference:

www.nlb.gov.sg

www.wikipedia.com

www.pinterest.com

Elizabeth Leong

1 Truth

EXO

exo.png

Exo is a South Korean-Chinese boy group based in Seoul. They were formed by S.M. Entertainment in 2011, and the group debuted in 2012 with twelve members, also known to their fans as OT12, separated into two subunits, Exo-K and Exo-M, performing music in Korean and Mandarin respectively.

Exo’s first album XOXO (2013), which contained the breakthrough hit “Growl”, was a critical and commercial success, winning both Disk Daesang at the 28th Golden Disk Awards and Album of the Year at the 15th Mnet Asian Music Awards. It sold over one million copies, making Exo the best-selling Korean artist in twelve years. Subsequent albums and EPs continued with strong sales, and Exo were ranked the most influential celebrity by Forbes Korea for the year 2014 and 2015.

They have been named “the biggest boyband in the world” by media outlets, saying that “EXO are at the forefront of pop domination, with knife-point choreography seamlessly gelled to songs crafted by some of the world’s most gifted writers and producers, honed by their myriad of personalities and talents.” During their first tour, tickets sold out within 1.47 seconds!

In May 2014, Wu Yifan (Kris), a member of Exo and its subunit Exo-M, filed a lawsuit against S.M. Entertainment to be removed from the group because he wanted to pursue his acting career. Luhan, also a member of Exo and its subunit Exo-M, followed suit in October 2014 due to the same reason as Kris. In April 2015, Huang Zitao (Tao), also a member of Exo and its subunit Exo-M, suspended his activities due to a leg injury and subsequently followed suit in August 2015. Following their departures, Exo carried on with nine members, also known to their fans as OT9. In July 2016, it was announced that the lawsuit between Luhan, Kris, and S.M. Entertainment had been settled: the two idols will maintain their contract with SM until 2022, S.M. Entertainment will contract out their work outside of Korea and Japan to their current Chinese agencies—and they will “share related revenues with S.M. Entertainment.”

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Although Exo is now a nine piece band, they still continue to work hard and release good songs and albums. In fact, Exo recently won ‘Album Of The Year’ at the Gold Disk Awards for the fouth year in a row.

Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exo_(band)

Desiree Lim (1G)

Makoto Shinkai

Makoto Shinkai, born on February 9, 1973 in Nagano, Japan as Makoto Niitsu, is a famous Japanese director, writer, producer, animator, voice actor, manga artist and former graphic designer.

pic

Shinkai has been hailed by some as being the next “Hayao Miyazaki”, whose name is almost synonymous with anime and has been credited with bringing Japanese animation to a global audience. His most famous works, notably, Kumo no Mukou, Yakusoku no Basho (The Place Promised in Our Early Days) (2004), Byousoku 5 Centimeters Per Second (2007), and, most recently, Kimi no Na wa. (Your Name.) (2016).

 

Out of all his movies, my favorite is Kimi no Na wa., currently one of the most famous animated movies.

pic

Released in Japan on August 26th 2016, Kimi no Na wa. received critical acclaim and was praised worldwide for its animation   The tear-jerking film was praised for its beautiful animation and emotional impact, The film received critical acclaim and was praised for its animation and beautiful animation.

 

With its wonderfully animated scenery bound to blow you away, Kimi no Na wa. is a story about a boy and girl who exchanges bodies as a comet is about to hit the Earth. The bizarre occurrence builds a connection between them, and they communicate by leaving notes on each other’s smartphones, distance seems to be the only thing keeping them apart…or is something It is a stunning masterpiece about time and the hearts of two souls intertwined with the red thread of fate. As of January 16th 2017, Kimi no Na wa. became the highest-grossing anime film of all time, overtaking animation genius Hayao Miyazaki’s 2001 classic ‘Spirited Away’. Similar to Freaky Friday, this brilliantly plotted supernatural love story is certainly a movie that absolutely cannot be missed!

 

I am definitely a fan of Makoto Shinkai’s movies and I strongly recommend you to watch them!

 

Laura Zheng (4U)

The Lady Who Lead By Example: Michelle Obama

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She loves her country. She commands authority with her every word, embodies elegance with her every step, and sets a standard for us all to meet with her never-ending acts of kindness. She has the air of a woman who could balance a cheque book, and who knows a good deal when she sees one, and who will tell off whoever needs telling off. She is Michelle Obama.

 

Michelle Obama was the First Lady of the United States from 2009-2017. She is married to the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama. What makes her special is that she was the first African-American First Lady.

 

When it comes to her contributions, she has done more than what we can imagine. During her first few months as First Lady, she visited homeless shelters and also hosted a White House reception for women’s rights advocates. Some of her initiatives include advocating on behalf of military families. Michelle Obama has made supporting military families and spouses a personal mission because listening to stories of the sacrifice these families made move her to tears.

 

She is also very different from other First Ladies. She jumped rope with children on the White House grounds as part of her initiative to combat childhood obesity. She grew a vegetable garden and campaigned for healthier food in schools. She reached across borders and cast her light on the education of girls all over the world. She danced on television shows. She hugged more people than any first lady ever has, and she made ‘first lady’ mean a person who is warmly accessible, a person who is both normal and inspirational.

 

Below is a part of Michelle Obama’s last speech as First Lady:

“I want our young people to know that they matter, that they belong,” Obama said. “So don’t be afraid. You hear me? Young people, don’t be afraid. Be focused. Be determined. Be hopeful. Be empowered. Empower yourselves with a good education. Then get out there and use that education to build a country worthy of your boundless promise. Lead by example with hope, never fear. And know that I will be with you, rooting for you and working to support you for the rest of my life.”

 

Thank you Michelle Obama, for all that you have done, you will always be a legacy in our hearts.

 

Sources: https://www.nytimes.com/topic/person/michelle-obama

http://www.biography.com/people/michelle-obama-307592

Ming Ting (3U)

Winnie Harlo

hhhhh.jpgWith 1.6 million followers on Instagram, Winnie Harlo has famous photographers from all over the world wanting to work with her, and also models for famous brands like Desigual. Who would’ve thought that someone as popular and successful as her had been bullied when she was younger? However, she did not give up and persevered, and got to where she is right now.

Her skin condition, vitiligo, only developed when she was 4. Vitiligo happens when patches of the skin lose their pigment, and it is more noticeable in people with dark skin. There is no known cure for vitiligo, so there was nothing she could do about patches of her skin losing their colour. When she was 4, her skin started to change drastically. She had never even paid any attention to her skin condition till when she went third grade, and all of her friends started to avoid her, because their mothers told them to stay away from her so that they would not catch her skin condition. Her mother had to explain to her class about her skin condition, and that it was not contagious. Even so, students would continue to avoid her just because of how she looked. Her classmates would moo at her and call her a cow.

When she was in middle school, the bullying wasn’t just verbal anymore — physical bullying got involved. She would try to get through each day, without telling her mother about the bullies, wishing her skin condition would go away. In high school, the bullying got worse, and had to change schools. Her new school turned out to be a blessing, as she did not need to worry about socialising anymore, causing her grades to improve. She also got a job at a calling center, and soon she dropped out of school because she did not have time for both of them.

Soon after, a journalist in Toronto named Shannon Boodram saw her Facebook page and told her that she was “strikingly beautiful”. Shannon then shot a video of her which grabbed thousands of views on YouTube. Shannon told her that the camera loved her, and she should be a model. After all that happened in school, Winnie has obviously never even thought about becoming a model. She decided to give it a try after that small encouragement, and contacted an agent. As she expected, the agent rejected her. She wasn’t surprised at all, as this was the kind of attitude she had been dealing with her whole life, being told that, directly or indirectly, she was not good enough. This did not weaken her resolve, and she did not give up, posting pictures on her Instagram and sending them to modelling agents whose answers were all the same, “no”.

Her efforts paid off, and a casting director from America’s Next Top Model contacted her through a fanpage on Facebook that her little sister created for her. After going on the show, lots of photographers wanted to work with her, and one of them stood out among the rest, as he had shot many celebrities like Lady Gaga. He invited her to star in a shoot for his fashion website. She gained popularity slowly, and many brands started offering her jobs to model for their products. Her motto is: Live it for yourself, not for anyone else. She has gone back to her middle school, and talked to students about having confidence in themselves.

She is only successful because she did not give up after people told her she was not good enough, and instead believed in herself and persevered. This is what most people should be doing, and not give up after just one or two negative comments from the people around them.

Sources:

http://people.com/celebrity/models-who-were-told-they-werent-pretty-enough/winnie-harlow

http://www.cosmopolitan.com/style-beauty/fashion/a43312/winnie-chantelle-vitiligo-essay/

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

 

Jing Rung (3F)

 

People: Makoto Shinkai

makaoMakoto Shinkai, born on February 9, 1973 in Nagano, Japan as Makoto Niitsu, is a famous Japanese director, writer, producer, animator, voice actor, manga artist and former graphic designer.

Shinkai has been hailed by some as being the next “Hayao Miyazaki”, whose name is almost synonymous with anime and has been credited with bringing Japanese animation to a global audience. His most famous works, notably, Kumo no Mukou, Yakusoku no Basho (The Place Promised in Our Early Days) (2004), Byousoku 5 Centimeters Per Second (2007), and, most recently, Kimi no Na wa. (Your Name.) (2016).

Out of all his movies, my favorite would have to be Kimi no Na wa., currently one of the most famous animated movies.

grd

Released in Japan on August 26th 2016, Kimi no Na wa. received critical acclaim and was praised worldwide for its animation   The tear-jerking film was praised for its beautiful animation and emotional impact, The film received critical acclaim and was praised for its animation and beautiful animation.

With its wonderfully animated scenery bound to blow you away, Kimi no Na wa. is a story about a boy and girl who exchanges bodies as a comet is about to hit the Earth. The bizarre occurrence builds a connection between them, and they communicate by leaving notes on each other’s smartphones, distance seems to be the only thing keeping them apart…or is something It is a stunning masterpiece about time and the hearts of two souls intertwined with the red thread of fate. As of January 16th 2017, Kimi no Na wa. became the highest-grossing anime film of all time, overtaking animation genius Hayao Miyazaki’s 2001 classic ‘Spirited Away’. Similar to Freaky Friday, this brilliantly plotted supernatural love story is certainly a movie that absolutely cannot be missed!

I am definitely a fan of Makoto Shinkai’s movies and I strongly recommend you to watch them!

 

Laura Zheng (4U)

Image credits:

https://myanimelist.cdn-dena.com/images/anime/7/79999.jpg

https://myanimelist.net/people/1117/Makoto_Shinkai

 

People

tmTim Burton

Director and producer Tim Burton, known for films such as The Nightmare Before Christmas, Edward Scissorhands and Beetlejuice, was born on August 25, 1958, in Burbank, California.

Famous for his dark, eccentric fantasy films, it did not come as a surprise to find out that he was obsessed with watching classic horror movies growing up, one of his heroes being quintessential screen villain Vincent Price. Developing a passion for painting and drawing films, he attended the California Institute of the Arts. As a student he made shorts, one of which is Stalk of the Celery Monster and would later attract the attention of Disney, scoring him an offer of being an animator’s apprentice.

There, he worked on his first short, Vincent, an award-winning, six minute black and white film paying homage to Burton’s childhood idol, and was narrated by none other than Vincent Price himself.

He made a few other short films, including his first live-action film, Frankenweenie. However, Disney fired him soon after, under the pretext that his films were too dark for children.

Not long after, Paul Reubens, having seen Frankenweenie, believed that Burton would be the right director for his first full-length feature film, Pee-wee’s Big Adventure. A surprise success, it shot Burton to instant popularity. His next big project, a supernatural comedy horror Beetlejuice, was a huge success, solidifying his name in Hollywood.

Warner Bros then entrusted him with Batman, but the production was plagued with problems, as he clashed with the film’s producers multiple times.  However, the film went on to be the one of the biggest box office hits of all time.

Later on, he would later countless other films, some of which he would later be known for, such as Edward Scissorhands, casting Johnny Depp and Vincent Price, and The Nightmare Before Christmas, a box office success that brought back stop motion.

Although his dark, striking style was what separated him from the rest, it also caused him many problems in his careers and the companies he worked with. Despite that, he continued with what he wanted to do, becoming who he is today.

 

Chen Yu Yang

2T

Sources: http://www.biography.com/people/tim-burton-9542431#early-films

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

 

 

PEOPLE: CHRISTOPER ROBERT EVANS

chris.jpgChris Evans is an American actor and is well known for his superhero roles as the Marvel Comics characters, Captain America in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the Human Torch in Fantastic Four and its 2007 sequel. However, not many people would know that he had initially turned down the offer to be Captain America as he was afraid of the sudden fame and what it would do to his private life. But after persuasion from both the Marvel cast and Robert Downey Jr., he accepted the role and signed a contract for 9 movies. Here are some facts about Chris Evans that you may not know.

1) He used to be a vegetarian.

2) Even though he is acting as Captain America, he is not a huge comic fan.

3) His love for acting was inspired by both his older sister and the 1975 movie “One         Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”.

4) He is among the very few actors who’ve played two different superheroes.

5) He is best friends with Scarlett Johansson and they have acted in 6 different movies together.

6) He occasionally tap dances when he has anxiety.

7) He has 5 tattoos on his body and he claims that each tattoo has a specific meaning in his life.

8) In Captain America: The First Avenger, Steve and Bucky are portrayed as best friends. Not surprisingly, Chris Evans and Sebastian Stan are great friends outside the movie set.

I would strongly recommend watching some of his movies as he is really committed to his work and the end result is just flawless! (or maybe it’s just because I’m a huge fan of Chris Evans)

Rachel Tay

2H

Zhang Yi Xing 张艺兴 (EXO’s Lay)

Other than possessing extremely stunning looks and a beautiful dance, what makes Zhang Yi Xing, EXO’s Lay, so unique and loveable? A singer, dancer, composer, actor and comedian, is there anything this man is incapable of? Since his appearance on the viral Chinese game show, Go Fighting (极限挑战), he has been receiving much love from the people of China but what truly made his fans fall for him is definitely a mystery. Today, I shall offer the top three possible reasons why his fans (Xingfan) fall heads over heels for this man.

  1. He never missed a bow

Despite being one of Asia’s most influential figures in the entertainment industry, he is always grateful to his fans for their never ending love and can be seen bowing 5 times to express his gratitude. When EXO, the group he debuted with, was done bowing and had returned backstage, he would give a deep bow once again before flashing a killer smile.

“其实鞠躬它是对于大家的一种恭敬和感谢,你(想)像这么多粉丝我没办法一一跟每一个粉丝去共同说话,但我能知道他们每一位粉丝来到这里看我们EXO都是特别地不容易。希望以这个鞠躬代表我对大家的感谢而已。”- 张艺兴,2014年

Translation:

“Bowing represents my respect and gratefulness towards everyone. With so many fans I can’t interact and talk with every fan but I know it is not easy for the fans to come here and watch us so I hope that my bows will express my thanks to everyone.” Zhang Yi Xing, Lay, 2014.

https://youtu.be/9OGCWby-NOs

(Start at 12:21 to see video evidence)

  1. He gives his all to everything he does

During the four years he trained under the famous entertainment company, SM Entertainment, he diligently learnt Korean, singing and continued pursuing his passion in dancing. For a Chinese living in Korea without a single clue about their culture and language, he practised resilience and showed determination and quickly adapted to the Korean’s lifestyle. His strong will in pursuing his dreams definitely makes him a lot more attractive.

In the recent months, he revealed that he has been having a bad back as he used to tie sandbags to his body for two years while learning how to dance so that his dancing could improve more rapidly. In the third year, his waist was badly injured and after hiding the pain for weeks, he eventually collapsed and was sent to the hospital where the doctors advised him never to dance again. Putting his health on the line, he continued to dance, going for treatments even till today, all for his dreams of performing on stage.

https://youtu.be/e_t24thmlvQ

(start at 6:57 to see video evidence)

  1. He is an inspiration

His is a very inspiring person when you really know him. He may have lived for less than three decades but the challenges he overcame and the things he is still fighting for makes him one of the most inspirational idol. Other than encouraging youths to give their all to the things they like and believe in, his smile is contagious and his optimism his hard to fight.

At a young age of 20, he fell into severe depression but after winning the psychological war, his quotes about smiling and self-confidence became never-ending. One of the quotes the fans love is “I don’t date ugly girls because I don’t believe they exist”— talk about a sweet mouth.

“大家不是说我们是青春的代表吗?那我希望能告诉比我们更年轻的人努力努力再努力。你今天的努力决定你未来站立的高度…“- 张艺兴,2016年

“Didn’t everyone say we (EXO) are the representatives of youth? I wish to tell those younger than us to work harder, harder and harder. The hard work you put in today will determine the height of your achievements in the future.” Zhang Yi Xing, Lay, 2016.

Do you understand why his fans love him so much now? Who knows, with his great personality and great looks, you might just fall for him in seconds! With that, the mystery of Zhang Yi Xing’s booming popularity is uncovered!

 

Ang Yen Chi (1U)