tirsdag 27. januar 2009

A bit on me and my local environment

It appears that I'm going to write a bit on myself, while trying to preserve a certain degree of anonymity, and the area I live in. As my readers might already know, I'm Norwegian. Yes, it's that long thing close to the icy-thing. Currently, I live close to the capitol, Oslo. Oslo has about half a million citizens. However, I live about twenty minutes away from the central parts of Oslo, if traveling by bus. As you now should guess, I live in a suburb. If you go to the Wikipedia article I linked up with Oslo and look at this map, I live in the tiny area left of it.

The suburb, called Baerum, has about 100,000 inhabitants. Mostly rich people live here, and they are quite conservative. My school is about five miles away from my house, I travel there by bicycle, except when there's snow or I don't have enough time. The school is located in a tiny city, perhaps more like a village. I have 9 or 10 different subjects, such as Norwegian, P.E., religion, history and so on. The picture is of the city-looking place, where my school is located.

Next year, I will go to a university, either in the southern-parts of Norway or up in the north, where it's colder and they have reindeer and polar bears roaming the streets. I looks like I'll be studying political science, and I want to specialize in human rights.

tirsdag 20. januar 2009

Speech by David Cameron on devolution

Welcome back to my blog, dear readers!

Today I'm going to write a bit on devolution and what the Conservative Party thinks about it. Cameron, leader of the Conservatives believes that the Union should be maintained, and that the Scottish (and presumably also the Welsh and Irish) should be governed as much as possible by the United Kingdom, rather than becoming independent.

In a speech he held in Edinburgh last autumn he spoke out for maintaining the union between England and Scotland, because they are one nation, as they share culture, language and history, in fact almost one people.

The union began in 1707 as an alliance against France and Spain, but was never resolved. Today England is largely dominating the union, because Scotland only has 59 MPs in London out of 646 MPs (House of Commons). This means that Scotland has little impact on national policies, although there are more than 5 million inhabitants in Scotland.

Cameron's reason for keeping the union could be influenced by Scotland's economy. There are oil and gas reserves in Scottish territory, the unemployment rate is low and they have a lot of heavy industry. Edinburgh is a great financial center. Scottish economy could be used to help England through a financial crisis, or be used at developing the economy in England rather than in Scotland.

Video hopefully related, as it's David Cameron's speech.

søndag 11. januar 2009

A bit more on 'Into the Wild'

Currently, I am done with the novel, so this will be my personal review of it. The plot of Into the Wild was summarized in the previous post, but in case my readers are too lazy to scroll, I will make another one.

The story is about a young man, called McCandless (see picture in previous post), who hitchhiked around in the US, from California to Mexico, to Alaska. The novel is based on a true story, and McCandless's corpse was found in Alaska, in the middle of nowhere. The author attempts to explore why he left home and how he managed to survive for so long, without any equipment or experience, apart from fictional novels on surviving the wild. The novel is very popular, and has even been made into a film, with the same title as the novel. The trailer for the film is below.

At first, I found the novel to be interesting, however it got incredibly boring. The entire plot is revealed at the beginning, so that you know what will happen throughout the book. This dramatically decreases the reader's motivation for reading it cover to cover. The motivation is further decreased by the structure of the novel. It recites the actions of McCandless; where he's going, how he's staying and surviving, and supports this by short interviews with the people he met.

All the people McCandless met, seemed to think of him as a saint. He was apparently amazing in every aspect of life, excepting the fact that he ran away from home and didn't contact his parents for ages. The novel is written in a documentary-like style, and this seems to be a style of reading that doesn't fit me at all. If the story had been written in an ordinary, exciting fiction-style, it may have been able to maintain my interest. It is way too repetitive, as McCandless is only going across the country meeting people.

As for the pseudo-psychological aspect of the novel, it isn't sufficient. The author is mainly showing the same sides of McCandless, through the eyes of the people that had met him on the road. All of them were equally dazzled by his awesomeness, and the author doesn't show the darker side, which is clearly there. McCandless ran away from home right after college, giving away all his money, ditching his car, changing his name and, most importantly, not having ANY contact with his family. This aspect, and how/if society is somehow causing this, is barely covered in the novel, and that is what is interesting to people who aren't into hitchhiking, mountaineering and so on.

The remains are a boring novel about a kid running around in the US.