As a child Halloween wasn’t the big commercial enterprise that it is now; I along with my sister and brother used to dress up in the obligatory home-made witch or wizard costume which comprised of a bin-bag gown, newspaper hat (coloured in with black paint), and my mother's papier-mâché warts and hook nose. Once dressed we would scour the estate knocking on every door “trick or treating,” returning home some hours later with bags full of sweets. Then we would sit in our bedrooms late into the night scaring the hell out of each other with various ghost stories, often going to bed terrified having convinced ourselves that every shadow or noise in the dark was supernatural. My favourite stories were always the ones about witches, and today they are still my favourites.
The first book I remember being in my life is one I was given as a gift before I could even talk, let alone read! It is an encyclopaedia called World Of Wonder Encyclopedia. My dad bought it for me in 1978 when I was only 2 years old—he was always very keen for me to be a good reader and be full of knowledge—I can at least say he got his first wish. This book has been referred to throughout my life for little facts and figures and was always my first point of reference when tackling school homework. Even though it is in a bit of state an quite out of date—there are no references to mobile phones or Xbox—my 13 year old daughter sometimes uses it when she’s doing homework. It’s an item I hope will never be lost or destroyed as it has just always been there for me.
The world is heading for an environmental catastrophe. This essay will focus on the belief of some leading scientists and environmentalists that we are in the process of a sixth mass extinction due to global warming and its acidifying effects on the world’s oceans. Firstly, it will focus on the previous five mass extinctions, from the first one 434 million years ago that wiped out 60 percent of all genera according to fossil records; to the last one at the end of the cretaceous period, 65 million years ago – famous for wiping out the dinosaurs. Then it will introduce the reason some scientists now agree was a leading factor in all five previous mass extinctions – cyanobacteria, commonly known as blue-green algae. It will then go into more detail on cyanobacteria, what they are, how they work and why they are significant contributors to mass extinctions and why scientists believe they will be responsible for a sixth mass extinction. The beneficial properties of cyanobacteria will be discussed also. It will then explain what stromatolites are and why they were the focus of scientific studies. A brief summary of the hypothesis of John Rodgers and James Castle, of Clemson University, and the conclusion they reached following their two year study will be given. Finally, the article will discuss Thermohaline Circulation also known as the Global Oceanic Conveyor Belt. Its purpose and a description of how it operates will demonstrate its importance in keeping the world alive and the consequences of rising global temperature.
Ageism is defined by The Oxford English Dictionary as “Prejudice or discrimination against people on the grounds of age.” Over the last 25 years, Britain has undergone noticeable demographic changes, particularly among older people. A study by the Rowntree Foundation in 2010 revealed that not only are people living longer – the population of people aged 85 years and above had risen by almost 680,000 over the last two and a half decades, there is also a change in living arrangements. The extended family is no longer a trend, due to changes within family units in general, and the cost and implications of residential care meaning that increasing numbers of older people are living alone, with or without help from outside agencies, (Falkingham et al, 2010). Given these demographic and social changes it is concerning that ageism is ubiquitous in Britain, often unconsciously (Donnellan, 2005). This essay will focus on two key issues where ageism exists; employment and healthcare. It will provide evidence to prove that ageism is a problem; conversely it will also discuss the measures that are being taken to combat the issue.