Jim Holt's "Code-Breaker" portrays the story of Alan Turing's life and his accomplishments. He also exceeds in emotionally engaging the audience to take a moment and to realize the difficulties Turing had to face being a homosexual at that time.
      Throughout his short lived life, Turing made two major accomplishments including "breaking the German Enigma code during the Second World War, and creating the blueprint for the modern computer."(Pg. 337) By breaking the code, Turing succeed in helping save many lives from the Nazi code in 1941. However, this great accomplishment went ignored and was not acknowledged until the nineteen-seventies. Then in the eighties came Turing's second accomplishment of the blueprint for the computer, which he got his fare and well deserved credit. For achieving such big accomplishments for the world, it is unfortunate that the Turing had to undergo such discrimination from humanity.
      In addition, Holt "emotionally engages the reader to think about what life was like for gay men at the time." Turing lived in a time where society would rather judge someone on their sexuality and their lifestyle, than to consider and be thankful of their achievements. Instead, Turing was unfairly charged of "'gross indecency' for having a homosexual affair" (Pg. 337). Seeing the unjust charges against Turing, it is not difficult for reads to image the unfair treatment gay men had to go through in the early to mid nineteen-hundreds.
    Overall, Holt manages to shed a some light on the unjust treatment that gay men received from society in that time of life, and the great achievements made by Turing. Besides the unfair treatment Turing received because of his sexuality, Holt succeeds in portraying and reminding the audience of Turing's achievements of "saving countless lives by defeating a Nazi code, conceived the computer, and rethought how mind arises the matter" (Pg. 346)


Jun. 9th, 2013 09:06 pm
      Thomas King's "Borders" has both physical and metaphorical borders to consider, when analyzing this story about a mother and her son trying to cross borders. Although King uses a physical border as the dividing line between Canada and the US, the main border is the metaphorical division between heritage and country of citizenship of the characters. The mother takes pride in her heritage and true identity and refuses to take the easy way out.
      The main characters, the mother, her son, and her daughter, are all of Blackfoot heritage. However, it is the mother specifically who maintains her pride for her land and culture. When asked at the border what citizenship they are, she replies "Blackfoot." (135) Rather than having been repeatedly asked the same question and replying with the same answer, as the son said, "It would have been easier if my mother had just said "Canadian" and been done with it." (135) The mother respects and sticks up for her beliefs and culture, maintaining her true identity. Another guard asks "Now, I know that we got Blackfeet on the American side and the Canadians got Blackfeet on their side. Just so we can keep our records straight, what side do you come from?" Even with the authority, the mother still doesn't give up her identity and simply replies "Blackfoot side." (136)

      As a result of the mothers stubbornness, she and her son get trapped between the physical border of Canada and the US; forced to have to spend the night in their car parked in the parking lot of the duty-free store. Being trapped between the two borders, they are also metaphorically trapped between their identity and heritage, and citizenship. It is only when the media gets involved, that the authority finally gives them their right to cross the border as Blackfoot and not as Canadian or as American. The guard allows them to cross with a simple "Thank you, have a pleasant trip." (144) This concludes the main point of the story, of never forgetting your culture and identity and never to let anyone take that away from you.

     Now a days, not as many people keep to their culture and true identity. King's story has done a great job of enlightening it's readers to never forget your true identity and beliefs, and never to allow another person to tell you other wise.


      Jennifer Turpin's "Women Confronting War," provides the readers with insight on the effect of war on women and the various ways they confront it. When thinking of war, the mind generally thinks of all the men who have left their friends and families to risk their lives. However, what we fail to realize, is all the women who participate or are civilians in the war. Turpin introduces the readers on how women are direct casualties, war refugees, victims of sexual violence, and victims of domestic violence.
      Turpin informs us that during the second World War, civilians were fifty percent of the casualties and by the year of 1990 that percentage was raised to ninety percent. She states that "Women and their children continue to be the vast majority of these civilian casualties (Hauchler and Kennedy 1994; Vickers 1993)" (Pg. 325), and provides evidence for her statement.  Women may have been effected by war given the factors that they had home society, economic status, and racial and ethnic identity. They were forced to leave their homelands, most likely resulting in experiencing war in developing countries.
      Unfortunately, women and young girls were four-fifths of the war refugees. Many of the refugee women were either widow's or separated from any other relations, leaving them to be the sole guardians for their children. In the midst of the wars, women would have to find food and shelter, get access to healthcare for their children and themselves, along with getting their children some sort of education.
      A major issue for women and young girls was the sexual violence they had to suffer. Turpin gives the readers an insight on how females were raped and forced into prostitution. It is quite disturbing knowing that "rape has been used as a weapon for ethnic cleansing, using attacks on women to humiliate and attempt to exterminate another ethnic group." (Pg. 326) Rape has been identified "as symptomatic of war's gendered nature." (Pg. 327) As if rape was not enough, women were also forced into prostitution. Women who had no man to support themselves and their families, had no other choice than to sell themselves. If they were not doing it for their families, they were forced into doing by the soldiers. Women and young girls had the unfortunate life of sexual violence through the wars.
     Another unpleasant issue for women was the domestic violence they endured. Turpin provides the audience with research stating "an increase in the number of sons who commit violence against their mothers in wartime;an increase in the number of assaults involving weapons, including pistols, grenades, and other weapons from war; an increase in violence in marriages where the husband and wife's ethnicity differ; an increase in alcohol consumption among men returning from combat; and a link between economic decline, especially refugee status, and wife battering and rape (Nikolic-Ristanovic, 1998)." Domestic violence has increase in the war times.
      Overall, Turpin has done a great job on giving her audience an insight on the effects of war on women. Although, she may have given more of feminist view on this, she has succeeded in spreading this knowledge. She has give us information on how the women were direct casualties, war refugees, victims of sexual violence, and victims of domestic violence.

           Never did anyone think that there would be good news on poverty in today's world. According to statistics, in the last thirteen years 8 million more patients with AIDS have been saved from receiving antiretroviral therapy drugs,  8 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa have decreased their death rates for malaria by 75%,  child mortality has decreased by 2.65 millions deaths, and thanks to the Global Fund, antiretroviral drugs are now offered to stop mothers from passing HIV AIDS down to their children. It is amazing how the number of people living in extreme poverty has now declined from 43%-33% (1990-2000) and to 21% from 2000-2010. Even though all these numbers are mind blowing changes, there is still much more to be done. Statistically, the poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa can come down to a zero by the year 2028. The U-report in Uganda is one hundred and fifty thousand millennials where youths SMS a social network which exposes the corruption the government is taking part in. As Bono mention "Once you have this knowledge you can't unknow it, you can't delete this data from your brain, but you can delete the cliched image of supplicant impoverished people's not taking control of they're own lives. You can erase that, because its not true anymore."

The Game

May. 13th, 2013 05:32 pm
       In The Game, Ken Dryden takes us into the life of a celebrity and the constant struggle they have to keep up their public image. Dryden points out how the image of a celebrity is portrayed as what the public wants it to be and not who they really are."So that's my image. Is it accurate? It doesn't matter. It's what people think, it presupposes how they'll react to me. And for the ad man and his client, how people will react is what matters." This is false, because it is not a true representation of who you really are. If celebrities put the same effort into being themselves and not what the public puts them out to be, I believe their life would be easier. If the public and the fans are not happy with the true image, then they are not truly their fans. Just be yourself and keep your true image,and not what others expect it to be.



June 2013



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