Gran Torino

We recently watched the movie Gran Torino. It was directed by Clint Eastwood who also starred as the lead role in the movie. Gran Torino is about a disgruntled Korean war veteran who lives in a neighborhood with poor Asian immigrants. The neighborhood is troubled with gang violence . He develops a relationship with the son in the Hmong family and becomes good friends with the family he once hated and wanted nothing to do with. The movie raises a number of issues like gang violence, immigration and ethnic relations.

 

 

After we watched the movie, we choose 5 questions to answer about the movie and write about on our blog. The questions had to be important to the understanding of the movie. These are the 5 questions i chose to answer:

 

How would you describe Walt’s racial beliefs at the start of the movie? Do these beliefs change? Throughout the film he uses racial slurs. Does the meaning of the slurs change depending on the situation? Do you see where language/words can have different meanings depending on the situation? Is this right or wrong? Have you ever used racial slurs and not meant them as an insult?

In the beginning of the movie, Walt is portrayed as a disgruntled man with a racist vocabulary. His family is selfish, spoiled and very concerned about heritage and money. The way he talks about other cultures and his racial slurs makes it clear that he’s not very open to the families in his neighborhood and his racial beliefs are clearly affected by his time in the Korean war. You can hear him say a lot of different racial slurs like “barbarians, fish heads, swamp rats, chinks, zipper heads” and more. The meaning of the slurs will of course depend on the situation. For instance, Walt’s relationship with his hairdresser is based on racial slurs and remarks towards each other, but that is how their friendship works and their intentions are only good. Although, not everyone would be okay with that and i think that you have to be careful before you say racial slurs in public because not everyone thinks it’s funny. Walt’s racial beliefs definitely change through out the movie as he gets to know the Hmong family and develops a relationship with them. He gets more open to other cultures and learn to not judge people before he gets to know them .

 

Walt states that Thao and Sue will never get away from the gangs that are in the neighborhood. Do you think that is a true statement? Can situations like this change without extreme measures?

I think that Walt’s statement is kind of cruel. Thao never wanted to be a part of a gang and has hopes of working with construction. I think it’s hard to get away from the gangs and the pressure of joining them. It is probably hard to accomplish getting away from the gangs without extreme measures, because most of the time the gangs don’t accept rejection.

 

Walt spends his birthday with his family and then begrudgingly with Thao’s family. How were these situations different? Do you know of anyone that feels more comfortable or at home with friends or neighbors than family?

When Walt spends his birthday with his family, he receives gifts from his oldest son and his wife. These are gifts that his family think will make Walt’s life easier for example a suggestion to go to a retirement home. these suggestions and gift are completely out of touch with Walt’s values and wishes, and it shows that Walt’s relationship with his family is very stiff and impersonal. The girl next door, Sue, is a part of the Hmong family and invites Walt over to a barbecue with her family at his birthday. They show him love and tell him about their culture, which brings them closer. Their cultures are clearly different, for example when Walt touches the head of a child during the barbecue, he learns that you are not supposed to touch someones head because it will hurt their soul. The Hmong family also told walt that they were on the same side during the war. The situations between the two families were very different, and i got the impression that Walt liked the barbecue with the Hmong family better than the time he spent with his family. I don’t know anyone that feels more comfortable with friends and neighbors than their own family, but there are probably some people that feel that way.

 

How would you describe Walt’s relationship with his family?  At the start of the movie, Walt is seen at his wife’s funeral. What impression does he have of his son’s family from these scenes?

I would say that Walt’s relationship with his family is cold and not very good. there is no sign of empathy and respect from his son’s and grandchildren at the funeral, which I think troubles Walt a lot.

 

Walt locks Thao up. Why does he do this? Was locking him up the right thing to do? Have you ever tried to protect someone from themselves?

After Spider’s gang rape and kidnap Thao’s sister, Sue, both Walt and Thao look for revenge. Walt has experienced a lot of violence and the effect of killing someone after being in the Korean war. He does not want Thao to experience the same thing, therefore he locks up Thao in the basement to make sure that Thao doesn’t to anything bad and until the revenge is over. I think locking him up was the right thing and a very caring thing of Walt to do.

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-Christina

Fake news

 

Most people find their information and news on the internet through different websites.But how do you know if the news are reliable and true? How can you recognize fake news? It is important to know what to look for when you are reading an article so you will recognize it if the article adresses fake news. Fake news might mislead you into believing things that aren’t real, as well as it can affect you perspective on things like politics and democracy.

There are several different examples where fake news has effected us and our perspective. An example is how there was recently published a report about Trumps ties with Russia. Trump later stated that this wasn’t true, and accused CNN and Buzzfeed for being fake news in a press conference. Although his reaction was somewhat a little unprofessional it was still important to address that these news were fake. People who read this report was immediately lead to believing this, which probably changed their perspective on Trump and his election. Fake news are scary because it can make people more biased towards politics. When it comes to the election this year, two bad candidates came to power after being chosen because of all of the fake stories in media.

 

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So how do you know if you are reading fake or real news? First of all, you have to know if your sources are reliable. You can check other sources, preferably big newspapers. See if other big sited has covered the same topics.You can also use browser extensions or check if the article is fact based. Check for clickbait, and last but not least be critical! It is important to not believe everything you read.

You can also spot fake news by the help of different search engines, like Google. Google recently announced that they will be launching “fact check label”. Their purpose is to divide “fact from fiction” by adding a label next to the news stories that are real and fact checked. Google will be using the claim review technique to determine whether a fact check is needed for a news story or not. This will help you spot the fake news because you will know which stories are real and which aren’t. The fact check label is a good idea considering that fact checking is something that has become very popular the last couple of years.

When it comes to the election, Norway has not been very fond of Trump and his campaign. Trump has been portrayed as very unprofessional and as a bad candidate. I think this shows how much media influence us and our opinion. Most people believe what they read and doesn’t know how to check for fake news.

 

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In class today, we used a Padlet to write down information and everything we knew about spotting fake news. We worked with a class in the United States who also wrote down information and their thoughts on this topic. A lot of the students who wrote on the padlet agrees that fake news is a passing issue and that people believe what they want to believe, especially on social media. Fake news can easily effect peoples opinion so it is important to  do the things listed further up in this post to check if what you are reading is real or not. Although, I read a remark written by Cayden that stood out from the rest of the posts. The post said that it wasn’t the fake news that were the problem, it was society itself. It says “THE REAL PROBLEM IS NOT THE “FAKE NEWS” ITS THE PEOPLE THAT BELIEVE IN FAKE NEWS”. This is a little different from the rest, but it is very interesting and maybe even true.

 

Sources:

http://breakyourownnews.com/

http://www.zephoria.org/thoughts/archives/2017/01/09/did-media-literacy-backfire.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/01/11/donald-trump-kremlin-blast-fabricated-report-russian-ties-asfbi/

http://www.digitalpedagogylab.com/hybridped/truthy-lies-surreal-truths/

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-37657524

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Joy Luck Club and The White Tiger

In class today, we were given the task to choose between two books and read it. The books are written by two different authors with different backgrounds, Amy Tan and Aravind Adiga. We have written about the authors and their books, and chosen which one to read based on our research on both of them. Later, we will use the books for presentations and group projects with the rest of the class.  

Amy Tan is an American writer who base her books on mother-daughter relationships.     Tan is the daughter of two Chinese immigrants, which is an experience she has used a lot in her books. When she was fifteen, her father and brother both died of a brain tumor. Her family then decided to move to Switzerland, where Tan started to go to the school her mother had chosen for her. She later dropped out, and moved to California with her boyfriend who she later married. Tan started to study and received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English and linguistics, but finally decided to abandon her studies to work with disabled children. Tan has in several interviews explained that her childhood has been a useful source to her writing and that a lot of her experiences has been used in her books. Especially the absence of her father and the relationship with her mother.

 

 

Aravind Adiga seems like a very calm and reflective man. He was born in 1974 in India, and is both a journalist and writer. He has described himself as coming from a middle class background, with a dream of wanting to travel across the world and be a writer. His journalistic career started with interning in Financial Times and Money, where he interviewed, amongst others, Donald Trump and covered the stock marked. Later Adiga began working in TIME and became a freelance journalist, during this he began writing his first book.

 

In this video Aravind Adiga talks about his debut book The White Tiger, published in 2008, and what it is about, in its heart. Adiga mentions how it is about a man’s quest for freedom, set in a social and political context. He wished to write about someone different from himself, and bring India as a whole, including the poorest parts of the country, into the literary world, claiming that they are rarely represented in fiction and film. The White Tiger has received interest from both people in India and overseas.

One of Tan’s best known books is called The Joy Luck Club. The book was written in 1989, and later made into a movie in 1993 with Wayne Wang as the director. The Joy Luck Club is a book with different stories about conflicts between Chinese immigrant mothers and their American-raised daughter, just like Amy Tan and her mother. The book is divided into four sections, each of them containing separate narratives.

Based on our reasearch and what i have read about the books, i have chosen to read The Joy Luck Club. I think it sounds really interesting how the author has used her own experiences to write books, and how she has used her personal life as an influence. I look forward to reading it.

 

Written by

Julie and Christina

 

Sources:

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

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

https://no.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amy_Tan

http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/joyluck/summary.html

 

 

Kiva

Kiva was founded in 2005 and is an international nonprofit with a mission to connect people through lending to prevent poverty. Kiva is headquartered in San Francisco and has borrowers located in more than 80 countries and 5 continents. By lending $25 on Kiva, you can help a borrower start a business or go to school. The process starts when a borrower applies for a loan on Kiva’s website. The loan will then go through the underwriting and approval process. After that, the loan will be posted on the website for lenders to support. As a lender, you can enter Kiva’s website and look for projects you want to support. You can also choose a region, gender or a category for the type of business you would like to give money to.

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We chose to give a loan to Cosmas and his group from Kenya. Kenya is quite unstable at this time, but we still choose to donate our money to Cosmas. When you live in a country with so much uncertainty there is not much you can do, but to ask for help from the rest of the world. With our $25 Cosmas and his group are one step closer to fulfilling their dream. With our help, Cosmas can increase their food production.

 

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Here is a picture of the man we chose to support, Cosma and his group.

 

Sources:

https://www.kiva.org

http://www.knbs.or.ke/

 

Written by Thomas and Christina

Dear President Donald Trump

Dear President Donald Trump

The world today stands before a huge problem we all wish hadn’t been there in the first place but which is now so big that we can’t avoid it anymore. Climate change is now the single greatest threat to a sustainable future? Why is that?

Cities are being destroyed by industrial pollution, forests are being cut down and the impacts of sea levels rising is destroying villages all over the world. People have lost their homes in floods while others are struggling with living in places where the high temperatures are unbearable. These are consequences caused by human activity, and yet there are still people who believe climate change is the least of our problems. It’s bad enough that climate change is affecting the poor and those who can’t protect themselves from extreme weather, but when it is affecting all living things on earth, when are we going to realize that this is an urgent problem and that we need to do something about it immediately?

Carbon dioxide is one of the factors influencing global warming. If you look at the picture below, taken from NASA, you can see how much atmospheric CO2 has increased from the industrial revolution. Most of the carbon emissions that are man-made come from burning fossil fuels for energy. Burning fossils is the largest contribution to pollution.

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So what can we do to prevent the climate changes from evolving even more? We need to stop cutting down forests and leave the fossils fuels in the ground. The world needs a big change to be saved, and it cannot be done unless we all believe in it.

Media influence on the U.S election

The U.S. election is coming to an end and we are soon going to see who will  be the next president of the united states of america. In this blogpost, i am going to compare how the two candidates, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, has been portrayed in media. Has it affected the outcome of the election? Im starting off by comparing the networks Fox news and CNN, to see how they portray the candidates and their views on the election.

 

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Networks 

Fox news is a popular news channel founded in 1996. They currently have over 2 million viewers and are known for supporting Trump in the election. CNN on the other hand  has emerged as more neutral and are known for their debate programs where representatives from each candidate have an open discussion about the election. Even though CNN doesn’t have nearly as many viewers as Fox news, CNN is known as the first big news channel in the united states and has existed for around 36 years.

 

 

When i compare Fox news to CNN as well as other networks, it is obvious that fox news is much more positive to Trump than other channels. An example is their article from October, 2016 “Trump can win of he focuses on Big ideas, Big differences with Hillary Clinton”. Trump is portrayed in a nicer way on Fox news which makes it easy to conclude that they are leaning more towards Trump than Clinton.

 

Newspapers/Social media

Breitbart.com was created in 2007 as a conservative website. 9.1 million interactions on Facebook and Twitter a month, Breitbart creates larger engasjament than any other political site in the campaign. The site’s writers are strongly positive to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and negative to Hillary Clinton.

Politico was also created in 2007 by two journalists from The Washington Post. Politico has been accused for being both on the republican and democratic side, but in this years campaign, there is no doubt that Politico has been strongly critical of Donald Trump.

When i click in on Breitbart.com, the first thing I see is a commercial from “The official Breitbart Store”.

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As you can see, you can buy mugs that says “Caffeinated – Bold, Distinct” with a picture of Trump. And on the other one “Decaf – Weak, Bitter”. This shows very clear that the site is strongly positive to Trump. On the other hand there is the site Politico, that shows clearly that they are against Trump and his politic. Take a look at the picture below. As you can see, almost all f the articles on The Morning Report are about Trump, and his negative behavior.

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As you can see, all the news channels and news papers are different depending on if they are democrats, republican og neutral.

 

Written by Christina

 

 

IPN Conference

Sandvika High School is one of the best schools in the Bærum municipality, as also one of the most open for technology institutions. Block scheduled timetables, digital books and using laptops in class is nothing unusual for students here. Despite such a big role of high tech in our learning, Sandvika manages to be a very successful place, where international collaboration is, one can say, an everyday matter.

Therefore, my international english class is planning to attend the the International education business Partnership Network (IPN) in Lillestrøm, Norway. On Friday the 16th of September, some of my classmates are going to present how the global classroom works and what the idea of technology in school is. The point of this conference is to develop ICT as a tool for international Collaboration. Below, is a short description of the other speakers at the conference.

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Ellen Therese Rasmussen is one of the speakers joining us at the IPN conference. She is from a company called Union consult which is an engineering office working with counseling. Rasmussen is going to talk about something called Girls and Technology (GIT) which is a global non-profit focused on girls and women who are passionate about technology. GIT are working with getting more women into the technology industry and they have more than 50 000 members located around the world.

Evita Tasiopoulou has been working on Educational Projects since 2004 and she is a Project Manager at European Schoolnet. Evita has a big interest in schools pilot activities, schools-industry collaboration, space studies, gender issues and impact of remote laboratories. Evita is originally from Greece and she has a bachelor in Computer Systems Engineering from the University of Kent in Canterbury in the U.S. She has completed a 2 year course on Child Psychology as well.

Richard James Hieb is a former NASA astronaut and a veteran of three space shuttle missions. Rick Hieb is one of the most experienced astronauts in the USA. On one of his missions he set the world record in space walk. He was 8 hours and 29 minutes outside the spaceship. At the conference he will speak about: adventures in space, education and qualification program, exciting prospects for space exploration and space and civilian application.

NASA is short for National Aeronautics and Space Administration and is an independent agency of the United States Federal Government which is responsible for the civilian space program. Most US space exploration efforts have been led by NASA, including the Apollo moon-landing missions, the Skylab space station, and the Space Shuttle. NASA was established in 1958 by Dwight D. Eisenhower.

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Sue Lederer is a engineer and scientist at NASA, she has a M.S and Ph.D in Astronomy and a B.S in mathematics and physics. When she took her BS at University of Wisconsin Eau Claire her professor caught her looking at the stars in the Phillips planetarium, and he offered her a student assistantship in the planetarium. The school gave her many experiences that lead her to her career. After the finished her BS she went to take a Ph.D in astronomy and now she is a space scientist for NASA.

 

Global challenges

The issue of global warming and climate change is one of the biggest challenges the world is facing. We recently watched Al Gores ted talk about climate change from 2008, where he talks about how we need to take action and that it may even be worse than what we have predicted. He presents different types of evidence to show us that the temperatures are rising dramatically and that it is affecting the ice surrounding the north pole. In 1980 the north pole was roughly the same size as the united states of America. We can now see that the amount of ice that has disappeared since is equivalent to everything east of Mississippi.

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But global warming isn’t just affecting the north pole, it i also affecting countries with average high temperatures, especially in the middle east. Kuwait was one of the countries who recently experienced this, when a temperature of 54C was recorded which now is one of the highest temperatures ever being recorded on earth.

Al Gores also mentions that we don’t pay enough attention to the crisis we are facing and that the climate change is low on the list of things we need to focus on. The article we read in USA Today is about the presidential candidates and their view on this topic. It says “There’s never been a bigger contrast between the two candidates and the platforms. Clinton sees it as an urgent concern, while Trump dismisses it as a minor problem at the most”. I think it’s important to choose a candidate who takes this seriously considering that this is such a big challenge and a concern for a lot of people. When it comes to this, I think that Norway has come a long way and that we have several things that contribute to helping improve the environment. For example, a lot of the citizens in Norway use electric cars which means that air becomes less contaminated. We also use renewable resources like hydropower to produce energy. Although Norway has come a long way, there is still a lot more that can be done to improve the environment.