Saturday, 6 March 2010


Search on twitter "Socotra" and you will see people describe its beauty and how much they want to go there. Search on google images and you will see the rare beauty this island in between Somalia and Yemen holds. It has wildlife on the island found nowhere else in the world. It is a World Natural Heritage Site under Yemen control.

However, these people who adore its natural beauty and prehistoric looking landscape will be in for a shock, it is soon to be the location of an army base. Any takers on whose army base it will be, yeah you got it the good old USA.

Nobody will really read this blog but i hoope for Socotra they do. The island is key to both security and shipping in the region the US feels.

With regards to security Socotra has always been in the eyes of the Americans. In 1999 they wished to build an signal intelligence system o the island. When the Socotra airport was built to attract tourism it is reported that it was built in accordance with the US military.

Also through the obtainment of Socotra and its waterways the USA goes all the way in patrolling the Indian ocean. The most vital ocean with regards to trade. Their other base in the ocean on the Chagos Archipelago means they have a strong grip of the ocean.

The talks to agree this military base on Socotra were held behind closed doors after the failed attempt to bomb the Detroit bound plane on Christmas Day. Supposedly the bomber was linked to Al Qaeda in Yemen. The talks were not to do with the failed bombing but US links on Socotra.

It would also mean the US could oversee the movement of vessels around the gulf of Aden including war ships.

I'm not saying i don't agree with the patrolling of the waters where pirate and terrorist activity is in action but the US only wants to ruin Socotra's beauty for economical gains.

Which brings us on to shipping, the Indian ocean links east with west. If you can control it you control ships into europe via the suez canal and ships to and from plaes like India and the Phillipines.

Of course we all know the big baby that the US will care about around Socotra. Oil

We are there again with that black gold. The Indian Ocean is a major sea lane that connects the world. It has four crucial access waterways facilitating international maritime trade, that is the Suez Canal in Egypt, Bab-el-Mandeb (bordering Djibouti and Yemen), Straits of Hormuz (bordering Iran and Oman), and Straits of Malacca (bordering Indonesia and Malaysia). These checkpoints are critical to world oil trade as huge amounts of oil pass through them.

Any disruption in traffic flow through these checkpoints can have disastrous consequences.
Who cares vehrently about oil?
Who will soon have a naval base surrounding the three big checkpoints?

So if you want to visit the beautiful island of Socotra then scrap that idea because the military is coming to town and will no doubt pollute the exotic archipeligo.

Friday, 5 March 2010

I've had a lot on recently but still can't believe the last time i was on here was November.

A couple of weeks back i intervied an instructor from Pendle ski club called Lindsey. She had been at the club from when David Ryding a downhill skier had trained there that was the topic of the interview. David competed at the winter olympics but wasn't fortunate to win a medal. On the day of the interview it was snowing which really made the footage look even better as the people skiing in the background of the interview weren't just on boring green plastic.

The other day i went to a guest lecture by Stephen Mitchell who is the Deputy Director of BBC News and Head of Mulitmedia Programmes. He talked about the BBC's role in the future, it was quite interesting.

Also i'm still writing for Pluto. March is set to be a busy month for the paper. There is Preston town takeover. Basically a protest through the city over tuition fees. With flash protests set to take place. Also there are the UCLan student union elections.

I have also set up a blog about my university development. Well i say i set up we were ordered to but i suppose its useful. Check it out

Monday, 30 November 2009

climate change

Picked up a booklet about climate change and deforestation by the Prince's Charities actually the Prince's Rainforest Project. It's a really fascinating an insightful read for example 15 million hectares of tropical forest are lost a year to deforestation thats about the size of England. It's not just a book of facts though.
It can be noted that the book tends to lay into Brazil a lot. However it does make up over half of the Amazon rainforest and is a main culprit in deforestation. Yet it is one of the poorest countries in the world therefore, the economic gains outstrip the ethical ones regarding climate change. A Brazilian farmer can make $3000 per hectare by changing it to the production of soybean.

However, what usually gets over looked is Brazil's climate change work. Brazil is considered the worlds leading bio fuel industry and the first country in the world to have a sustainable bio fuel economy. Brazil's renewable saviour for the planet is ethanol. It is used to power machinery and more often and importantly vehicles. It is used across the world but mainly in Brazil and the USA.
The ethanol is produced from sugar cane of which Brazil has over 500 varieties. It can then be used as fuel. This has been happening in Brazil since the 1920's. Last year Brazil produced 24.5 billion litres of ethanol fuel.
Although obviously this process can only take place in certain climates where sugar production can take place it is a step to reducing climate change. With Brazil the biggest exporter of ethanol, Europe should take a look at converting its vehicles to be able to use it. If not fully then 50/50 which has already worked in Brazil.

Deforestation which this was initially about affects climate change and takes place mainly in Brazil yet at least they are doing something about it opposed to sitting back like Europe and setting targets which no nations attempt to meet. Hopefully something productive and constructive can come from the Copenhagen conference.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Uni cuts

Many universities are planning to cut staff and have done already here is the article i wrote for Pluto.

Many universities are planning to axe thousands of jobs in order to recover from the effects of the recession.
The University and Colleges Union (UCU) estimates that 1,300 jobs have already been lost at top institutions and a further 5,000 are to follow. Matt Waddup UCU’s head of campaigns said: “the scale of this is unprecedented.”
London Metropolitan University plans to cut a quarter of its workforce and Leeds University has announced it is set to make cuts of 10% - 20% in all departments, in order to save £35 million.
The UCU estimates that up to 100,000 students will be caught up in the changes. They will be affected through having to work in larger groups and a drop in contact time with lecturers. It is also said that these cuts will have a devastating impact on the quality of teaching delivered.
Demonstrations have been planned by some universities. The UCU has given its backing to any university that wishes to campaign. Sally Hunt UCU general secretary said: “they have the full support of the national union.”
The recession has been labeled the main factor as to why job losses are taking place. Yet, Matt Waddup and others alike have commented that the state of the economy is just an “excuse”. He suggests that some institutions are using the economic climate as an excuse to restructure the way they operate.
As for Uclan, when asked how it was coping with the recession they commented: “Uclan is financially stable and is still able to invest in both academic developments and student support facilities.

This is not gd in my opinion.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Quite literally lights camera action

Went to see the christmas lights being turned on in Preston city centre this evening. It was quite good as there was performances from the likes of Alphabeat and X factor's Jamie Archer who is actually really good.

Also did a bit of camera work the other day at uni learning techniques such as white balance and iris check.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Hello people havent posted for a while as ive had no internet, finally got the problem sorted though.
Still writing for the student newspaper theres an online version at check it out.
An issue in the news that is set to annoy myself and other students in preston in fact students everywhere even future ones, is the plan to raise tuition fees.

Tuition fees are set to rise after the next general election under a Labour or Conservative Government.
The Conservative Party believe an increase in tuition fees is necessary. If they are elected in the next general election, which must take place before June, they plan to increase fees up to a staggering £7,000 a year. This is more than double the £3,225 a year cap a university can currently charge.
Labour has also adopted a similar policy. Business Secretary Lord Mandelson hinted that the Government is set to raise the cost of university fees. Speaking at the Confederation of British Industry conference, Lord Mandelson said: “An increase in fees would encourage universities to improve courses and tailor teaching to individual students.” He did not state what the new costs should be, yet his comments indicated that the current cap was set to rise.
However, the Liberal Democrats and in particular Mark Jewell the Lib Dem candidate for Preston, are completely against these suggestions. Part of the Liberal Democrats’ manifesto is to scrap tuition fees.
Speaking after the Conservatives’ suggestions, Mr Jewell said: “I look around Preston and more and more I see young people returning from University with no job and a bank balance tens of thousands of pounds in the red. What sort of future is that?”He added: “Labour and the Tories are showing their true colours. They don't care about young people - they just want to saddle them with staggering amounts of debt.”
Mr Jewell’s points about debt are indeed very true. The National Union of Students (NUS) estimates that the average graduate will have incurred nearly £20,000 of debt by the end of a three year course.
If Labour or the Conservatives are elected to form the next government it could lead to much higher amounts of debt for graduates. However, some proposals would limit who could even attend university.
Many top universities are already pressing ministers to impose the fee rise amid fears British institutions are falling further behind those in the United States. In the US, leading Ivy League universities can charge as much as £20,000-a-year. Other universities have called for the existing cap to be removed altogether. Some fear these proposals would lead to only a select set of people being able to attend university. Mr Jewell said: “everyone who has the ability, should be able to go - and not put off by the cost.”
Wes Streeting, president of the NUS said: “We are not faced with a simple choice between charging students even higher fees or allowing our universities to fall behind those of other countries.”
The NUS has created graduate tax proposals, which they claim would give universities double the amount of funding they currently receive from fees, while allowing the children of poorer families to go to university without the fear of debt.
A review of university funding is due to begin later this year, but will not conclude until after the General Election.

My advice would be to vote Lib Dem they also have very valid policies on other issues

Tuesday, 29 September 2009


Chose my elective today for uni. Incase u dont know what it is neither do i really lol. But its basically an additional module yet compulsary in order to give you the correct amount of module points to pass the year.

I was torn between choosing a language; french or spanish, or politics. In the end i opted for politics although debating politics which looks quite interesting and is described as the following.

The issues discussed in this module will vary from year to year according to the topical issues of the day. An indication of topics for discussion are: Should smoking be banned (or my body my problem)? Same sex marriages/ adoption etc. Should we be free to make fun of/satirise religion? Should voting be compulsory? Should Britain join the Euro? Should the monarchy be abolished? Immigration/ asylum seekers - multiculturalism or integration? Terrorism vs. national security: an excuse for eroding human rights? Should the UK have invaded Iraq? Compare and contrast coverage of a political issue by the BBC and C4. Compare and contrast coverage of a political issue by the Guardian and the independent or times or telegraph. What role does political satire play in modern politics?

So ye im looking forward to that starting in semester two.