The Quickie

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Archive for the ‘Laura James’ Category

Jamie Oliver fights for a “Minister of Food”

Posted by lsjlaura on November 6, 2008

The obesity and related health problems in Britain has been surfaced again by Jamie Oliver, but this time he wants a solution that will make a difference.

During a 90 minute parliamentary inquiry he powered his way through questions to describe the “bloody emergency” he says Britain is in, according to the Independent newspaper.

He told MPs that he would be happy to find a suitable “minister for food” to tackle the unhealthy eating that has swept across the country.

It was added a Food Minister would need approximately £6.5bn to make an impact.

Oliver emphasised that the current health crisis and the decisions to be made over the next 10 years is incredibly profound

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Jamie Oliver wants everyone eating nutritious meals.

Star Insight 

His views followed with:

There is a new poverty I have never seen before. This isn’t about fresh trainers or mobile phones or Sky dishes or plasma TV screens – they’ve got all that. It is a poverty of being able to nourish their family – in any class.” 

He also added that the country lacked cooking skills and the economic downturn could make it worse. The reasoning being that many people lack the knowledge to prepare healthy and nutritious meals for less money. 

Enthusiastic

In the TV shows Jamie’s School Dinners and Jamie’s Return to School Dinners in 2006 and 2007 respectively, Oliver campaigned for healthier meals in schools. However, despite these major shows and new government nutritional standards in schools, figures have since shown a decline in the take up of school dinners, the Independent newspaper finds.

However, according to the Metro newspaper Jamie Oliver told the Commons Health Committee that he remained optimistic with: “I believe radical change is quite easy”.

As said by the BBC , some of the cross –party group were unhappy about the famous chef coming to visit. However Mr. Barron, the MP for Rother Valley, who invited the celebrity, said:

“As we have seen, Jamie Oliver has had quite a powerful impact on this agenda. I think it was important to find out about his perspective.”

The TV chef’s efforts continues from the four part series of a campaign that was televised and called, “Jamie’s Ministry of Food”. It was broadcast recently and aimed to make Rotherham in South Yorkshire the “culinary capital of the United Kingdom”.

By Laura James – laura.james@my.westminster.ac.uk

Click here for background piece.

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Eat Healthily and Save Pounds in Money and Weight: Is it Possible?

Posted by lsjlaura on November 6, 2008

During difficult financial times, we have to find ways of cutting down on expenses. One huge expense is the food we eat. Is it possible to keep it to a minimum cost and stay healthy?

Jamie Oliver has not released a book of cheap recipes yet, however there appears to be some tips already worth taking.

·     Protein to build muscle eg. mince meat

·     Carbohydrates for energy eg. rice, pasta, potatoes, beans

·     Fruit and vegetables for vitamins and minerals eg. broccoli, peas

·     Healthy fats to promote fat loss eg. fish oils, flax seeds, mixed nuts

·     Water for rehydration and recovery 

One theory is as long as this balance is kept, you can find cheap foods, which still fit the categories. For example, mince meats, such as ground beef can be made into different dishes. Jamie Oliver gives on example in the video below.

 

Cottage cheese, eggs (which are also high in vitamins) and tins of tuna are other cheap and healthy protein filled options.

Top Tips 

One “Get Rich Slowly” website promotes drinking tap water as an alternative to the other ways of rehydration. Bottled mineral water is not necessarily cleaner  and whether it tastes better is just a matter of opinion and adaptation.

Frozen fruit and vegetables, such as berries, beans and broccoli are a great way to save money, as they can be bought it bulk, stored for longer periods of time and are nutrient dense. In addition they take minutes to cook and don’t need to be peeled or chopped in preparation.

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Nutritious and cheap

Buy all the food in one place, as traveling can add to the bill and so can time. And when it comes to buying the food it’s best to try not to impulse buy when walking past the bakery and sweets aisle by writing a list and sticking to it.

Then there is the obvious one. Eat less. Saves pounds in money and weight.

It is difficult sometimes to stick to new routines and get out of old habits, but with the determination, it could all be possible.

By Laura James – laura.james@my.westminster.ac.uk

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Mystery of the Giant Lego Man

Posted by lsjlaura on November 1, 2008

Last Friday, life guards would have been surprised to find a giant Lego man swept in by the tide onto a Brighton beach. It was in fact children, playing in the area, who first spotted the 6 ft red, green and yellow plastic figure. A phrase, “No Real Than You Are”, is painted on its front.

With its head turned at an angle and a large beaming smile across its face, the cheerful character gives little away as to where it’s from.

Some believe that the giant item fell off a ship. Others have said that it may have floated in all the way from Holland, as there is a large Lego park there.

Mr. McNiven who works for a digital marketing company took the surprise as a photo opportunity and told the BBC:

“I just happened to stumble across it …There’s a lot of talk about him coming over from Holland to here, but there’s no tide marks on him.”

Not Lego

However, a Lego spokesperson on the night it appeared said: “We’re bemused. He has nothing to do with us.”

A similar occurrence in August last year happened at Zandvoort beach in the Netherlands.

Then, a giant lego man with a blue rather than green top, but with the same slogan across it’s front was washed up onto the beach. It was welcomed by many Dutch holiday-makers as it brightened up people’s visits to the sea.

The smiley faced figures have brought interest and speculation as to who the man behind it all is.

…But Ego

Ego Leonard” was the name written on it’s back in the Netherlands. The man of this name appears to be a Dutch artist, who has created a “relation” of his first large beach toy.

Following the Lego spokeswoman’s previous statement of initial surprise about the 2 metre figure in Brighton, it has been updated with:

“We understand the person behind this is a Dutch artist called Ego Leonard who will be exhibiting in London in the coming weeks.”

His art show is actually taking place at current on Brick Lane amongst 20 other street artists. It is called “Outside in” and runs up until the 6th November.

By Laura James- laura.james@my.westminster.ac.uk

Click here for background piece.

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Brick Lane: Brick art

Posted by lsjlaura on November 1, 2008

Brick Lane is not just famous for its numerous curry houses and Indian cuisine, but it has also become a student hot spot for music, fashion and art.

Street and contemporary art is exhibited inside and out, along and around the Lane. Indoor places include:

  • The Brick Lane Gallery: includes British and international artists. They have many exhibitions including “Art in Mind”. This particular exhibit allows for emerging artists of all artistic backgrounds to display their works. The next one is 13-24th November.
  • Trolley Gallery: has a gallery of innovative and daring photography as well as having a collection of art books. The current exhibition is “Bull in a china shop” by Stephanie Quayle displaying expressive clay animal sculptures. This includes a sculpture of a life size Indian bull elephant.
  • F-art: is full of photography, sculpture, drawings, paintings and furniture. All with a quirky and original look and items can be bought online. At current they are showing the works of sculptors, Robert Race, who sculpts toys out of driftwood and Oliver Chavatte who uses rescued pieces of metal and materials.

Graffiti

As for outside, street art can be seen all around you as you walk along Brick Lane. It is constantly changing as wall faces are re-sprayed. Sometimes it’s for the better, with vibrant, skilful and coulourful art. But sometimes for the worse, with the average white letter scribbling.

The spray can contents of Banksy and D*Face are amongst famous artists whose works have appeared and has been a reason for the lance to become a popular place for bands to film their music videos.

Psychedelic

Often there will be psychedelic and crazy scenes pictured on walls. One included an image of a monkey jumping from clouds of lightening wearing what looks like a “Burberry” hat and the other chopping down a huge flower wrapped in barbed wire.

Another is of two back to back crocodile heads trapped inside a pair of dentures.

Criminal Damage

Mesmorisingly colourful, they do add character to the place. However, graffiti is illegal in the UK and anyone caught in the act can be arrested under the Criminal Damage Act 1971 and offenders can be charged up to £5000. Therefore many of these street artists will stay hidden in the shadows.

By Laura James – laura.james@my.westminster.ac.uk

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Dr. von Hagen’s new bodies in Mirror of Time

Posted by lsjlaura on October 28, 2008

The latest Body Worlds exhibition now displays 200 corpses to interest and educate the public about the ageing process of human life. 

Dr. Gunther von Hagens often has mixed reactions for his work and has previously gained praise but has also been dubbed Dr Death for his controversial use of the dead to create art and lessons in anatomy.

In his new “Mirror of Time Show”, he has used the bodies of all ages including babies and the elderly. This time he explores the results of time and poor health on the human body.

He uses the unique technique of revealing the muscles and organs of the bodies and injecting them with plastic known as “plastinisation”. The idea for another technique he uses comes from 3D MRI scans, where von Hagen cuts cross sections of the body into wafer thin pieces.

Dr. Gunther reveals the show’s purpose:

 “The exhibition is all about the cycle of life, from the spark of conception to the development of a mature body”. 

“People will learn about their bodies. They will see how fragile and how strong the body is. They will learn to take care of their bodies – eat less food, smoke less and refrain from drugs.”

Upsetting?

However some may find the show distasteful or disrespectful. For example, one part of the exhibit displays a woman whose stomach has been opened to reveal an unborn baby.

Perhaps this is one of the more emotionally stinging displays as it presents two bodies, which we would not usually associate with being dead. Has the sensationalist approach over stepped the mark? However Dr. Gunther also remarks that:

“Of course, to bring people in and ignite their curiosity, their body interest and health consciousness, I have to be sensationalist, but that must never overshadow the educational aim.”

 Powerful messages

Whether thought to be beautiful or gruesome, the exhibition can portray powerful messages. There is an example in the exhibition of a damaged pair of lungs from a previous smoker.

 One man Kevin Walsh, told the times, “I took my 8 year old son to the previous Bodyworlds, and let him handle the two lungs. He still remembers 5 years later, and will never smoke.”

The Body Worlds exhibition is the second of its kind to be shown in London and is thought to be less sensationalist than the last one which opened in 2002. His shows have been shown across the world. The Mirror of Time show is now displayed at the O2 bubble in Greenwich.

By Laura James- laura.james@my.westminster.ac.uk

Click here for background piece.

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Where in the world?: Body Worlds

Posted by lsjlaura on October 28, 2008

Tokyo was the first city to surprise the world when they hosted the original Body Worlds exhibition in 1995. Skin stripped away with muscles and ligaments exposed bare, the show sparked off fascination and debate for education and the literal meaning of “body art”. 

Since then 50 museums have followed suit in North America, Europe and Asia. Dr. Gunther von Hagen has five laboratories in four countries with 340 people working on corpses to preserve and “plastinate” the bodies.

Controversy has arisen for a number of reasons, one of them being the origin of the bodies: 

Due to the involvement with the dead and what may be viewed as goriness of the exhibitions, the ways in which the bodies were obtained and prepared have been under much scrutiny. 

Where from?

The Body Worlds website states that: “exhibitions rely on the generosity of body donors; individuals who bequeathed that, on their death, their bodies can be used for educational purposes in the exhibition.” However some of the bodies were thought to be of Chinese prisoners of war or executed people. The claims were made by the German publication Der Spiegel. 

Dr. von Hagens was unsure of the origin of the bodies and therefore had some of them cremated and he later made an injunction against the German publication for making the claims. Some of the replica Chinese exhibits have also been under suspicion that the body techniques had been carried out without informed written consent. 

In 2003 von Hagens wrote a report named “No skeletons in the Closet – Facts, Background and Conclusions, a response to the alleged corpse scandals in Novosibirsk, Russia, and Bishkek, Kyrgizstan, associated with the BODY WORLDS exhibition.”

He signs it off with “vouching for accuracy”. 

Despite this uneasiness and suspicion surrounding his work, many have been inspired and learnt from his exhibits from around the world. Over 25 million people have visited one of his exhibits.

Laura James – laura.james@my.westminster.ac.uk

 

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Will the real Banksy please stand up

Posted by therealquickie on October 15, 2008

Banksy is a semi-anonymous artist known as a guerrilla artist due to the anti political nature of his work.

His persona and name remains secret and rumour has it that even his parents believe that he earns a living from being a painter and decorator.

Many of his early works of graffiti or street art began in Bristol, where it is thought he is originally from. However he has gone much farther a field to carry out his art in Germany, the USA and Israel.

A spokeswoman for Banksy said that while he was spray painting one of the large walls in Israel, “The Israeli security forces did shoot in the air threateningly and there were quite a few guns pointed at him.”

However Banksy does not appear to be afraid of authorities or establishments. He managed to smuggle his own work into the British Museum, where video footage showed him heavily disguised pinning up a mock cave painting with a trolley on it.

Embarrassingly for the museum committee, the piece stayed up for several days unnoticed. Tate Britain has also received Banksy’s work without invite.

His art often sends out a message, which is political in nature, questioning the ethics and lifestyles of the world we live in. Despite this, his messages are always created in a fun and appealing way. In a poll of 18 to 25-year-olds, Banksy was ranked young adults’ third favourite “art hero” after Walt Disney and Peter Kay.

Policemen, children, the elderly, animals and especially rats regularly appear in his street work. A tape recording of “his voice”, which was sent in return to an interviewer’s questions said:

“I love rats, they’ve invaded everywhere from the lowest place in the city to the highest…so maybe they represent the triumph of the little people and the unloved over everything else.”

Banksy’s art work is now worth a considerable amount of money considering eight years ago a student spent £300 on a piece of art work, but in February this year, one piece sold for over $1.8 the equivalent of £921 000.

Laura James – laura.james@my.westminster.ac.uk

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Little pet shop of horrors

Posted by therealquickie on October 15, 2008

The British guerrilla artist, Banksy, has revealed his latest piece, but this time his artistic talent takes the form of a pet shop – with a twist. 

Last Friday the pet shop named “the village pet store and charcoal grill”, opened in New York, which perhaps looked like a regular business from the street. However after gazing through the window some noticed the small space in which a monkey and a cheater were restricted.

In outrage a few walked in to complain, but soon discovered that these animals were neither real nor for sale.

The pets displayed are in fact chicken nuggets with legs in the form of those of chicks, pecking at tomato ketchup. There is a CCTV camera leaning over smaller versions of its self, as though it is caring for its young, fish fingers swimming in a fish bowl and hot dogs writhing around with some appearing to be mating.

Animatronics are used too. There is a robotic rabbit wearing pearls and looking into a mirror, as well as a pretend monkey listening to headphones, watching a monkey documentary and making unnerving facial expressions

Banksy beliefs

Banksy said in written form that, “New Yorkers don’t care about art, they care about pets. So I’m exhibiting them instead.”

“I wanted to make art that questioned our relationship with animals and the ethics and sustainability of factory farming but it ended up as chicken nuggets singing.”

The New York Times expresses that, “Banksy’s statements, like much of his pranksterish oeuvre, should be taken with a grain of salt. But there’s no denying the show’s attention to comically pointed detail.” 

Where as in contrast the Independent says there is “a serious, philosophical aspect to the work”, in response to the street artist’s comments. 

Another of Banksy’s creatures appears to be a cheater flicking its tail when looked at from behind. However, when observing from the front, it is evident you were looking at a fur coat, shaped cleverly into the back of a cheater.

The exhibition has shortly followed a mural believed to be Banksy’s work also in New York. However, his identity remains secret from the media. He has employed a man to allow customers to view the shop as a free exhibition, which is open until the 31st October.

by Laura James- laura.james@my.westminster.ac.uk 

Click here for background piece.

 

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