Never Let Me Go Reflection/Analysis

Never Let Me Go takes place in a dystopian version of late 1990s England, where the lives of ordinary citizens are lengthened through a functioned program of human cloning. The clones are referred to as students, who have grown up in special institutions away from the outside world. As young adults, they begin to donate their vital organs. All “donors” receive care from designated “carers,” clones who have not yet begun the donation process. The clones continue to donate organs until they “complete,” which is doublespeak for death after the donation of three or four organs. However, this is not immediately apparent to the reader. At the start of the novel, narrator Kathy H. merely introduces herself as a thirty-one-year-old carer. She has been a carer for nearly twelve years but will leave her role in a few months. Kathy explains that she wants to revisit her memories of Tommy and Ruth, two friends who grew up with her at the Hailsham school. Kathy does not explain the donation program or mention that Hailsham students are clones.


In the book, Never Let Me Go, there are several themes, the first being, the passage of time and the inevitability of loss. Although she is only thirty-one at the start of the novel, Kathy has almost reached the end of her life. She has lost almost everyone she knew from Hailsham, holding onto them only in her memories. While Kathy’s narration shows the inevitability of loss, many of her memories reflect a desire to slow the relentless march of time towards these losses. The deferral rumour clearly reflects this desire: in hoping for deferrals from donating organs, the students embody the deeply human wish for more time in the face of death. But even the idea of a deferral reinforces the inevitability of death and loss: a deferral is only a brief extension on life, a temporary hold that puts off the future instead of changing it. This same desire for more time ironically motivates the donation program, which depends on the students’ internal organs to extend the lives of people in the outside world. Another striking theme is the power of memory. Kathy copes with the losses in her life by turning to memories of the past. She preserves the memory of Hailsham long after it has closed, just as she preserves her memories of Tommy and Ruth long after their deaths. The novel’s title epitomizes this desire to hold on. Her narrative is a process of recovery and an attempt to make sense of her memories.


Additionally, there are a couple of themes in the book, for example, the open-plan offices and the porn magazines. The offices proved to show the closing off of ‘possibility’. It solidifies the impossibility of the characters’ dream future. The office itself has floor-to-ceiling glass windows, which emphasize the students’ relation to the “dream future” that it represents: they can observe it from the outside, but cannot actually participating in it. Due to this, the three characters attempt to link their personalities to objects that they find at the school. For example, Kathy finds the porn magazine and assumes that this is the job of her ‘possibility’ which affects her current actions. 


Some quotes (spoilers):


“And so we stood together like that, at the top of that field, for what seemed like ages, not saying anything, just holding each other, while the wind kept blowing and blowing at us, tugging our clothes, and for a moment, it seemed like we were holding onto each other because that was the only way to stop us being swept away into the night.”


This quotation occurs in Chapter 22, after Tommy and Kathy visit Madame’s house. As they are driving back to his recovery center, Tommy asks Kathy to pull the car over, walks into the woods at the side of the road, and starts screaming. Kathy finds him raging wildly in a muddy field, and embraces him. This scene recalls Tommy’s temper tantrum on the muddy Hailsham football field, when Kathy also approached him and attempted to calm him down. Just as Tommy expressed his childhood frustrations and anxieties through tantrums, he displays his devastation after their visit to Madame through a wild rage.


“The fantasy never got beyond that—I didn’t let it—and though the tears rolled down my face, I wasn’t sobbing or out of control. I just waited a bit, then turned back to the car, to drive off to wherever it was I was supposed to be.” 


These are the last lines of the novel, occurring at the end of Chapter 23. Kathy describes the aftermath of Tommy’s death, when she drove to a field in Norfolk and imagined him appearing on the horizon. Kathy’s return to Norfolk expresses her impossible desire to recover everyone and everything that she has lost.


Rupi Kuar: milk and honey review

Rupi Kaur: Milk and Honey


The New York Times bestseller, Milk and Honey is a collection of poetry and prose about survival. It is about the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity. The book is divided into four chapters, “the hurting”, “the loving”, “the breaking”, “the healing” and each chapter serves a different purpose. 

As Rupi Kaur’s book, Milk and Honey is split into four different chapters, personally, I feel that the most significant and most important chapters would be “the healing” and “the loving” mainly because they highlight self-love. The aim of the chapters is clearly to prove to her readers that self-love and self-appreciation/self-acceptance are what really matters the most in life – being comfortable in your own skin. I can relate to her poetry in these particular chapters as I myself have felt insecure and have felt that I am not good enough for our society which has high standards that constantly place me under pressure and self-doubt. I think that these chapters are indeed the best chapter in the book as they focus only on females which make it all the more intimate. Additionally, I feel as though it is important that poets and authors write books and stories about self-love because people in societies today tend to be segregated and labelled into specific groups which often causes anxiety and even depression. The groups could include gender, race, physical appearance or even the differently inclined in terms of sexual bias. All such groups are incessantly critiqued, sometimes positively and sometimes very harshly. Thus, writing books with such content could help raise people’s self-esteem. 

However, in my opinion, I feel as though a majority of her poems in the chapters “the hurting” and “the breaking” are almost milked beyond limit or at least the idea of people in pain, physically and emotionally is reiterated so often that it almost seems as though the words are not genuine. Personally, I think that self-confidence should be prioritised more than hate and pain mainly due to the fact that people tend to retain negative impressions over positive ones (also known as the negativity bias) which if anything, could provoke a person’s depression or anxiety. Perhaps, an event which could be mentioned in the book could affect the readers in a negative way (for instance the mentions of rape and abuse), which is obviously not the aim of the poet. Furthermore, I feel that the poems are almost too simplistic throughout the book. It seems as though every single poem is too easy to understand and that there are no subterranean for me to think about. There seems to be no challenge in comprehending the poems. 

Poems which are significant from the chapters “the loving” and “the healing”:


“I do not want to have you

to fill the empty parts of me I want to be full on my own

I want to be so complete 

I could light a whole city, 

and then

I want to have you

cause the two of us combined

could set it on fire”

Pg59 (the loving)


“I want to apologize to all the women

I have called pretty

 before I’ve called them intelligent or brave

I am sorry I made it sound as though

something as simple as what you’re born with

is the most you have to be proud of when your 

spirit has crushed mountains

from now on i will say things like

 you are resilient 


 you are extraordinary

not because I don’t think you’re pretty

 but because you are so much more than that”

Pg 179 (the healing)


“Loneliness is a sign you are in desperate need of yourself.”

Pg 153 (the healing)


“I didn’t leave because 

I stopped loving you, 

I left because the longer 

I stayed the less I loved myself.” 

Pg 95 (the breaking)


Perhaps, Rupi Kaur could have focused more on poems which are based on self-appreciation, particularly as the teenagers of today tend to easily slip into depression. Especially as they easily fall prey to the many triggers of the modern world, be it environmental problems like climate change and global warming or economic problems such as losing one’s job or simply fighting to find a foothold in a very competitive academic scene. 

Looking Into Hitler’s Biography

Recently, while I was travelling in the UK (Waterstone’s Library London), I came across a biography of Hitler ( written by Volker Ullrich). Personally, I was incredibly curious about the book as it seemed to highlight more of Hitler’s personal life, from his childhood to the eve of the Second World War. The author exposes the man behind the public facade. Instead of labelling Hitler as a tyrannical leader, Ullrich describes him as a master of seduction and craft, his charming and repulsive traits, talents and weaknesses along with his insecurities and murderous passions. This book caught my eye as I felt as though it was almost too often that the moment Hitler was mentioned, people would only take notice of his actions during World War II without taking into account, or even looking into his past. Personally, I think that the majority of Hitler’s actions were sparked by his childhood and the way he was treated by his parents. This book, Hitler: A Biography: Ascent 1889-1939, perfectly describes the events that take place in Adolf Hitler’s personal life, something I’ve been wanting to understand for a very long time.

The author Volker Ullrich studied history, literature, philosophy and education at the University of Hamburg. He has also published articles and books on 19th- and 20th-century history. Ullrich has not only published books on Hitler but he has also written a book about Bismark, the man who united Germany. So he is obviously a scholar who has thought extensively about the qualities of a leader.

In the first chapter of the book, The Young Hitler, Hitler’s family biography takes us to Waldviertel, an agricultural region of northern Austria that borders on Bohemia in what is now the Czech Republic. Hitler’s original family name was Schicklgruber. However, a member of the family who was raised by a man with the last name Hiedler later changed his name to be Hiittler. Thus making a member from the Schicklgruber family a Heidler/Hiittler. Hitler’s father Alois Schicklgruber had a remarkable professional career. In 1855, at the age of 19, he had decided to give up his trade and get a job in the financial administration of the Austrian monarchy. By 1875 he had become a customs official in the town of Braunau, a rank in the Austrian civil service normally reserved for people who had attended a university-track academy. But then, one year later, something strange happened. In early 1876, Alois realized that he himself was actually the biological son of his caretaker’s brother Johann Georg Hiedler, who had died nineteen years previously. Thus in the confusion, the name was later changed to “Hitler”.

Alois, after becoming a civil servant, married three times. His first marriage was in 1873, at the age of 36, when he wedded Anna Glasl, a civil servant’s daughter from Braunau who was fourteen years younger. However, they were divorced seven years later. He had then begun a fling with a 19-year-old barmaid named Franziska (“Fanni”) Matzelsberger and in May 1883, one month after the death of his first wife, Alois married his lover, who had borne him an illegitimate son, also named Alois, two years previously. Two weeks after their wedding ceremony, Fanni gave birth to their second child, a daughter named Angela. But the family’s fortunes took a downturn. That year, Fanni contracted tuberculosis, a very common disease at the time. While she was slowly wasting away, Alois had begun a relationship with Klara Polzl, a former housekeeper whom he hired to look after his two children. Born in 1860 in Spital, Klara was twenty-three years younger than Alois. She was the daughter of a small farmer named Johann Baptist Polzl and his wife Johanna, who was herself the daughter of Johann Nepomuk Hiittler. Which means that that Alois and Klara were second cousins and if Johann Nepomuk Hiittler was actually Alois’s true father, Alois would have been Klara’s half-uncle.

In August 1884, Fanni died at the age of 23, and as Klara was already carrying his child, Alois decided to forgo the customary year of mourning and to marry her immediately. Klara Hitler gave birth to three children, Gustav in 1885, Ida in 1886 and Otto in 1887. However they all died young. On 20 April 1889, Klara brought her fourth child into the world, Adolf when she was at the age of 28 and Alois at 51 years old. Personally, I think that it is important to take into account of what society may have been like in the 1800s. Hitler’s father was a civil servant who was of high status and was respected by many people. Additionally the reasons behind his multiple affairs could be due to needing an heir for his family name. Of course, in our current social standards, this would have been seen as unacceptable as this could be seen as incest and definitely infidelity.

Interestingly, after 1933, Hitler arranged for the confiscation of all private documents that might have revealed information about his childhood and youth. In April 1945, a few days before his suicide in his Berlin bunker, Hitler had his records destroyed.

If this kind of familial background was not enough to create an identity crisis, Hitler wrote in the first lines of Mein Kampf, his autobiography, “For this small town is located on the border between those two German states whose reunification must be, at least for those of us who are young, a lifelong goal to be achieved with any and all means.” This kind of a birth between borders could suggest that his insecurities and identity crisis were fuelled by being unable to understand his own familial roots.

To take the story forward, Braunau did not actually play much of a role in Hitler’s childhood as Alois was transferred to Passau on the German side of the border. Adolf Hitler liked to imply that he had grown up in humble circumstances, but this was far from the case. As a senior customs official Alois Hitler earned an annual salary of 2,600 crowns, the Hitlers were comfortably middle class. The household consisted of Alois, Klara and Alois’s two children from his second marriage, Alois Jr. and Angela, Adolf and his sister Paula, who was born in 1896.

Alois Hitler was a strict, short-tempered patriarch who demanded unquestioning respect and obedience from his children and used the switch whenever his expectations were not met. His oldest son Alois Jr. suffered particularly from his temper and left home at the age of 14. Adolf, who was seven years younger, also came in for the odd beating. The senior customs official was not all that concerned about his children. He devoted most of his free time to his hobby, beekeeping, and enjoyed going to taverns to drink a few glasses of beer. Hitler later also claimed that his father’s alcohol consumption was excessive which could have been the cause of Hitler’s anger. In contrast, Klara Hitler was a quiet, modest, obedient woman who patiently protected her children as best she could from his outbreaks of rage. The early death of her first three children was an enormous loss, and she became more determined to shower her fourth child Adolf with maternal care.

The book claimed that “Most psychologists assume that the first years of an individual’s life determine how his personality develops, and few historians (and even fewer psychological historians) have been able to withstand the temptation to find traces of the monster in the young Hitler. The violence he suffered at his father’s hand has often been cited as a source of the murderous policies he pursued as a dictator.” (Page, 28) Personally, I feel as though the author in this context is correct or at least his points are authentic as there is a substantial amount of evidence proving that Hitler’s actions in the future could be caused due to his father’s rage, mother’s extreme love and affection and perhaps even his convoluted family roots. I found this particularly interesting as well, as this isn’t the first case where parental care has affected a child’s actions. For example in the Columbine Shooting which took place in 1999, the young shooters’ parents took the blame for the incident as they realized that they were unaware and oblivious to their sons’ plans or even general thoughts. Parental care affects children the most as they look up to their parents as role models and if that image is corrupted or flawed, it tends to slip into the child’s personality. As they say, nurture affects nature.

Nevertheless, at school Hitler was known to be “definitely talented” but “not diligent”. With his teachers. Hitler was “rebellious, independent and hot-tempered,” often reacting to their corrections rudely. Perhaps this was Hitler emulating or just Hitler’s personal belief that at a young age he was almost too brilliant for school and that it was too easy for him. He wanted to be an artist, despite his father’s disapproval. As Alois Hitler died suddenly before the conversation about Hitler’s future could truly come to boil, Hitler dropped out and attempted towards admitting himself into an art school. During this time Klara Hitler was diagnosed with breast cancer by the family doctor who was ironically Jewish. Despite Hitler’s later hate for the Jewish minority groups, Adolf was thankful to the Jewish doctor for taking care of his mother before her eventual death in 1907 and allowed him to escape the fate of most Jews during World War II. His reaction to being rejected from the art academy of his dreams along with the ailment of his mother who was the anchor of his life could have been the true spark of his downward spiral of his future life.

Though it would be simplistic to assume that only childhood memories and experiences shape the future of man, facts like the above definitely point to certain gaps and lapses which could have effected Hitler’s eventual nature and career decisions. This brings me to my final thought about contemporary leaders who are often in the news for increasing their own power and extinguishing minority groups, do such decisions also have their roots far back in their childhood and in parental decisions taken about them?

Grade 5: Drowning Dreams Book Launch

Something that inspired me to start writing poetry was the Grade 5 exhibition. My mother, an author at the time (2013)  had recently published her book ‘A Gentleman’s Word’. Our family had always enjoyed reading and writing and basically studying literature not as a subject but more as a passionate hobby. As a child, I was constantly introduced to different genres of books and naturally, I tended to enjoy them.  The idea of poetry was introduced during the last unit in English class which coincidently happened to be at the same time as the exhibition. My friends (Hazel and Alex) and I were thinking of innovative ways to represent the issue of contaminated water as well as the social consequences. Hence, the idea of writing a poem from the viewpoint of a child suffering from the outcomes of the Haiti earthquake.

Personally, I think that poetry is a type of literature which tends to agitate and awaken the creator’s and the reader’s emotions as well as imagination.

Frankly, I feel that it helps to open my feelings and find what I am trying to maybe unconsciously hide, like my insecurities or terrible past experiences.  A reason as to why I continue to write poetry is because it helps me to express and reflect the conflicts that happen within family and friends. A specific event that triggered my interest in writing poetry was when my mesho (uncle) had passed away in 2010. At the time, I was seven years old and I remember sitting on the couch, facing the corpse and looking at everyone wailing and not feeling anything at all, though as I distinctly remember, he was very close to me. I was never able to comprehend what had happened at the moment and all I can remember now is the sound of obnoxious sobbing and screaming.  Yet, when we started the poetry unit, all the suppressed emotions of grief and shock seemed to have surrendered their defenses and had scattered themselves over the paper.

Note: My poetry from this period is up on my portfolio blog under Primary Poetry.

Images from the book launch:

Image result for drowning dreams ananya sengupta

My Paper Sail

This is the dock,

This is my paper sail,

And these, these are my hands,

Resting on the edge of the wooden planks


At a waterfront which harboured,

Souls and minds till time devoured

It was a place of remembrance,

A place of invitation


If you looked down,

You wouldn’t see the bottom

She was like a rippling spring,

So close, yet so shallow


The water was light against the moon,

And the stars veiled the sky and twinkled,

Like her eyes when she looked up at me,

With tears streaming down her face


I reached down and placed my sail,

Pushing them further into the waves,

The foam and the waves rose high,

And drowned her


So I followed her down,

Through the frigid blue,

Until I could see nothing,

Until the beating of my heart stopped


Darkness, was where I expected to be,

Where I belonged,

Stranded in a cage of frigid water,

Alone and desolate.


Still sinking further,

Into the fathomless spring,

Deeper and faster,

Till slowly does it creep towards me


The dim light of a sail slowly coming towards me,

Gradually flowing and weaving,

Through the icy water

Wisps of light wrapping me


Consuming me unconditionally,

And the stars come alive again,

Veiled and unleashed,

Through a galaxy of sparkling stars, I spun within


And then I recall,

Her screams echoing,

Through the walls

And the thundering crash of glass


As I collapse unto the river bed

The sick feeling of a sweaty fever devouring me,

As my hands tingled at the memory of blood

Which still stained my palms


And now I’ll lay here,

Listening to the endless howling

Of a woman whose soul was given

For me to keep


And if you looked down now,

You’ll see nothing

But a river of sin

Stained with tears.


This was the dock,

And she was my paper sail,

And these were my hands,

At the edge of the wooden planks

Where it all began.

Uncovering Switzerland’s Neutrality

A few days ago, I was studying history and I was focusing on World War One. A question that really struck  me was:
“What was Switzerland doing this whole time and how were they not involved?”
So I did some research and found out that Switzerland is in Central Europe and is home to several lakes, villages and the high peaks of the Alps. There happen to be four languages spoken in Switzerland aside from English. There is German, French, Italian and Romansh.
Now the real question is, how is Switzerland keeping away from wars?
It turns out that Switzerland is a ‘neutral country’ which is one of the central principles of Switzerland’s foreign policy. This policy indicates that Switzerland is ‘not to be involved in armed conflicts between other states’ This policy is known to be self-imposed and permanent and was created to guarantee external protection and favor peace. Switzerland has not participated in the foreign war as this policy was declared and established in the Treaty of Paris in 1815, post the Battle of Waterloo. The Battle of Waterloo was also the last war the Swiss participated in.
Despite their system of neutrality, Switzerland had military customs. In the 1500s, Swiss soldiers were most feared and sought after in Europe. The last country Switzerland had invaded was France in 1815, two weeks after the Battle of Waterloo! The last time the Swiss army fought was in 1847 during the Sonderbund (a brief civil war). Ever since the Swiss troops had mobilized twice again potential invasion when she was threatened in 1856-57 by Prussia during the Franco-Prussian War.
The reason as to why the Swiss refused to further participate in military events after the Battle of Waterloo is that during the several wars Switzerland engaged in, this region was used as a haven for refugees leading to overpopulation. Similarly, it was used to aid countries by providing military supplies. A reason why Switzerland was so sought after was that of their military tactics. The Swiss had found alternate and easy ways to carry equipment to their forts in the Alps. This constant use by other countries for their war purposes was a reason for Switzerland to wish for a neutral status.
At the start of the First World War, from a population of about 3.5 million the Swiss had some 220,000 front-line troops available, in addition to well over 200,000 reserves: a grand total of some 450,000 men. The main army comprised eight divisions, defending a country that was 180 by 300 kilometers (110 by 190 miles).
The remaining Swizz soldiers had become recruits after the Battle of Waterloo. Several of the men between the ages of 20-48 were recruits. Their training lasted for fifty days and the majority of the troops did 12 to 18 days of “refresher” training every alternate year. After 12 years of serving in the “Active Army” men served an additional 12 years in the Landwehr reserves. All men between seventeen and fifty were trained for service in the Landsturm militia. Every man was to keep his rifle at home to accelerate the process of mobilization. This is still done today. Officers had to first serve in the ranks which later allowed them to work as mercenaries.
Switzerland maintained its impartial position through World War I, when it mobilized its army and accepted refugees but also refused to take sides militarily. In 1920, meanwhile, the newly formed League of Nations officially recognized Swiss neutrality and established its headquarters in Geneva. A more significant challenge to Swiss neutrality came during World War II, when the country found itself encircled by the Axis powers. While Switzerland maintained its independence by promising retaliation in the event of an invasion, it continued to trade with Nazi Germany, a decision that later proved controversial after the war ended.
 Since World War II, Switzerland has taken a more active role in international affairs. It has never joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) or the European Union, and only joined the United Nations in 2002. Despite its neutrality, the country still maintains an army for defense purposes and requires part-time military service from all males between the ages of 18 and 34.

The Mysteries of the Bermuda Triangle

A few days ago I was doing a little snooping about youtube when I came across the Bermuda Triangle and I decided that I should write about it and the different theories that people have about it.

So the Bermuda Triangle is an area in the western part of the North Atlantic Ocean. It is also known as the Devil’s Triangle. The Bermuda triangle is a region where several ships and aircraft have been told to have disappeared due to inexplicable circumstances. This area is around 500,000 square miles of ocean, which adds up to a large region.

When Christopher Columbus has sailed through this area on his way to the Americas/New World, on his first voyage he apparently claimed that, “A great flame of fire crashed into the sea one night and that a stranger light had appeared in the great distance a few weeks later. “ He had apparently also written about aimless compass examinations.


I would think so.

To add to the mysteriousness of the region, William Shakespeare’s play “The Tempest” is claimed to be based on a real-life shipwreck which could have taken place in the Bermuda Triangle. However, what is questionable is if the play is based on a shipwreck in the Triangle, how did Shakespeare find out?

Nevertheless, these unexplained disappearances didn’t capture the attention of the public in the 20th century until the infamous tragedy of ‘The Cyclops’ in March 1918. ‘The Cyclops’ was a “542-foot-long Navy cargo ship with over 300 men and 10,000 tons of manganese ore onboard, sank somewhere between Barbados and the Chesapeake Bay.” Yet, the ship never sent an SOS call despite the fact that they were equipped to do so nor was there any wreckage.  “Only God and the sea know what happened to the great ship,” U.S. President Woodrow Wilson later said.” Strangely, ‘The Cyclops’ had 2 sisters which too had similarly vanished without a single trace through the identical course. Now a steady pattern appeared of crafts which crossed the Bermuda Triangle, would either disappear or be found abandoned.

Although all the stories about the Bermuda Triangle sound mysterious and convincing. The one which stood out to me the most was the story of Amelia Earhart. Amelia Earhart was an aviator and had gained a lot of publicity as she was one of the first female aviators. She was known as the first female to fly around and across the Atlantic. The flight was from Newfoundland. Canada to Wales, Great Britain. This bought her a lot of great fame. After a few successful flights in March, Earhart flew a plane to Miami (on June 1st) to attempt at flying around the world. Amelia and her companions made stops in South America, Africa, India, and Southeast Asia and they arrived in New Guinea, on June 29. Around 20,000 miles of their journey was completed however, 7000 miles was left over the Pacific Ocean to complete their expedition.

However, Earhart sent radio messages about her position (to Howland) which was around Lockheed, a ship nearby. But, Howland was unable to pinpoint their destination or the Lockheed’s. It could be possible that Amelia tried to land on water, but if she landed Earhart and Noonan (her partner) may have been able to escape the plane with a ‘life raft’. There was no physical evidence of the plane found by the Coast Guard or the U.S Navy. Several other searches failed to find any traces to Earhart and Noonan.

Was it because they were in the Bermuda Triangle that they were unable to contact Howland? Was there another force which took control of the Lockheed and later Amelia Earhart?

There are several theories which could possibly help to better the understanding of the activity in the Bermuda Triangle.

The first is the Methane Gas Theory. Large amounts of gas are known to exist under the ocean floor and be trapped in the form of ‘Methane hydrates’. If a gas like this can find its way out and rises through the water, then it can reduce the density of the water. Hence why ships can sink over time. Methane gas can also create explosions and the gas can cause planes to crash.

The second theory is of the Sargasso Sea. The Sargasso Sea is actually an area within the Bermuda Triangle. It apparently has no shores but is “bounded by the current of the ocean from all sides”. This could possibly be the trap for the several ships which pass through. This region of the sea is covered with dense seaweed which creates a thick mat on the surface. This seaweed is also known as Sargassum, hence the name. It has been said that “the Sargasso Sea remains calm with its surrounding currents, a subtropical gyre is formed here. As a result, the entire sea area with its mat like weeds slowly rotates clockwise.”

The third Theory is of the Hexagonal clouds which form Air Bombs. Scientist and meteorologists have confirmed that there is a formation of strange hexagonal shaped clouds which have straight edges in the Bermuda Triangle. It has been confirmed that these clouds are like air bombs. These air bombs can send out winds to the sea at speeds of 170mph which is dangerous for aircraft and ships. These bombs’ explosions can also create gigantic waves (45 feet) and create winds around 100mph which can similarly be extremely dangerous.

There are several other theories such as the Electronic one which states that there is an electronic fog which causes electronic instruments to malfunction and later cause ships to disintegrate. Another theory like the Treacherous Underwater reefs which could have possibly sunken the ships. There is always the possibility of Whirlpools and Blue Holes which can cause ships to get sucked into. Strange weather, hurricane and freak waves (as high as 30m) could also possibly be the cause.

The truth is that we will never really know what happens in the Bermuda Triangle, nor will we know what happened to the 50+ ships and 20+ planes which have disappeared in this incredibly dangerous region.

Like many other phenomenon of the universe, this remains unexplained.

Image result for bermuda triangle



Columbine High School Shooting

At Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, two teens went on a shooting spree on April 20, 1999, killing 13 people and wounding more than 20 others before turning their guns on themselves and committing suicide. The Columbine shooting was, at the time, the worst high school shooting in U.S. history and prompted a national debate on gun control and school safety, as well as a major investigation to determine what motivated the gunmen, Eric Harris, 18, and Dylan Klebold, 17.

The pair had killed 12 students and a teacher. 21 others were injured.

I was reading Columbine by Dave Cullen ( like twilight hahah) and I pretty much analysed it.

Dave Cullen in his book, had examined the aggressors and the reasons for their actions especially the causes and the effect. Personally I feel that Eric Harris is the culprit rather than his partner, Dylan Klebold.

I felt that Eric Harris already had what it required to be a little unstable. Between the boys he was the “Cool Brain”. He used to wear military hair, baggy cargo pants, black t’s and he used to break the rules at school. Eric was nicknamed “Reb”. However, despite his bad behaviour Harris got A’s and ‘chicks’… lots and lots of ‘chicks’.

In contrast, Dylan Klebold was extremely tall (6’3), smart and unreliable. He was extremely meek, self-conscious and shy.

Eric Harris had a “Sh*t List” – a folder he had created for despicable young girls. His one weakness seemed to be being rejected, especially by females.

“They moved on to reminiscing about a freshman they’d picked on. Eric impersonated a ‘special’ kid struggling to talk. A busty girl walked by, Eric waved her over and they hit on her.” Part 1, Female Down, Rebels

The attack was planned a few days after the prom. Eric himself had designed 7 highly explosive bombs. They were to be placed in the luch room as he wanted maximum killing radius which would allow him to wait for survivors. Eric had also designed another bomb which would kill everyone.

One of the names of the chapters is “Female Down”, I didn’t understand this at first but after researching I realised that the first victim was a female. Instead of being killed, she was paralysed. The bombs created by Eric had failed. However, the two boys had opened fire at 11:18 AM after the bombs had failed.

The event was all over the news, the boys were just shooting, not caring at who. Robyn Anderson, Dyan’s date and the person who provided the boys with the guns was scared as her date happened to be a mass murderer.

It turns out from their diaries that it was Eric who conducted majority of the planning of the shooting. A reason for Eric’s behaviour could that in the past he found it extremely easy to find a date but was rejected quite a few times during this period. Surprisingly, Dylan happened to have a date which frustrated Eric, especially because Eric felt that he was better looking.

The third chapter of the book (Springtime), explains the number of school shootings that have occured as well as how Dylan and Eric felt. Both boys were not enjoying their lives and were “going to leave anyways” (by committing suicide). However, they wanted to mark themselves and manage to exceed a higher score than of the last shooting. They beat 10 murders by 5 resulting in 15 murders including their own. The boys wanted people to feel their pain as well as any other emotions they felt.

In the “His Future” chapter (chp 6.), Dave Cullen describes the difference between the lives of Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris as well as their futures. Dylan seemed to have planned his whole future even though he was going to end his life. In contrast, Eric had no idea about what he wanted to do nor did he care.

Due to this shoot out, Susan Klebold (Dylan’s mother) has to face the blame for her son’s actions. As did Eric Harris’ parents.

Personally, I feel that this was the fault of the parents as well as Eric. I wouldn’t blame Dylan as Eric manipulated his mind to follow his plan. The parents of the shooters should have been aware of their suicidal thoughts, more importantly they should have realised the difference in attitude including keeping emotional distance and talking rudely. Eric’s parents should have realised that Eric had possession of lethal weapons and should have acted immediately. In fact, the parents should have acted previously when their children were charged and arrested several times for theft and trespassing.

This in a way reminds me of “Lets Talk About Kevin” which shows how Kevin is born with a mental problem and the mother is unable to address it. Instead of trying to understand her son, Eva (the mother) reacts harshly which further worsens Kevin’s condition, relationship and allows him to manipulate situations from a young age. This constant conflict between mother and son as well as other deep rooted issues cause Kevin to take the final plunge. Kevin being fantastic at archery, used this skill to his advantage as he later takes part in a school massacre and is eventually arrested.

Even though these boys (Dylan and Eric), do not necessarily have mental problems, it is evident that due to not-so-great relations with parents and involvement in petty criminal activity resulted in them taking such a drastic decision.

Carolus Linnaeus and the Classification of Living Organisms

So the other day, I was studying Biology – Characteristics of Living Things, when I came upon a Swedish Botanist, Carolus Linnaeus who devised a system of classification, which is still used today. Personally, I found this incredibly intriguing as the idea of classifying organisms in specific patterns and tables can help to explain the great diversity of life on Earth.

Image result for carolus linnaeus


In 1753, Carolus Linnaeus formulated a system which would help to classify these organisms.


In total, there are 5 Kingdoms,

1. Prokaryote – Bacteria

2. Protista – a collection of single-celled organisms and some simple multicellular ones such as seaweeds;

3. Fungi – mushrooms, toadstools, and molds;

4. Plantae – Green plants

5. Animalia – the animal kingdom (including us humans)Image result for 5 kingdoms of life


Within each Kingdom, the organisms are further classified into several phyla, also known as divisions for plants. A division/phyla are made up of different classes. Each class contains an order which includes a variety of families. The families are further classified into a number of genera or genus. Similarly, the genera comprise of its own species.  Thus, from simply analyzing the biological system of classification, it is evident that it is considerably complicated.


example of Linnaean classification


Kingdoms are the most basic classification of living things. Currently there are five kingdoms. Living things are placed into certain kingdoms based on how they obtain their food.



The phylum is the next level following kingdom in the classification of living things. It is an attempt to find some kind of physical similarities among organisms within a kingdom. Physical similarities suggest that there is a common heritage among those organisms in a particular phylum.



They are the way to further divide organisms of a phylum. Organisms of a class have even more in common than those in an entire phylum. Humans belong to the Mammal Class because we drink milk as a baby.



Organisms in each class are further broken down into orders. A ‘taxonomy key’ is used to determine to which order an organism belongs. A taxonomy key is nothing more than a checklist of characteristics that determines how organisms are grouped together.



Orders are divided into families. Organisms within a family have more in common than with organisms in any classification level above it. Because they share so much in common, organisms of a family are said to be related to each other. Humans are in the Hominidae Family.



Genus is a way to describe the generic name for an organism. The genus classification is very specific so there are fewer organisms within each one. For this reason there are a lot of different genera among both animals and plants. When using taxonomy to name an organism, the genus is used to determine the first part of its two-part name.



Species are as specific as you can get. It is the lowest and most strict level of classification of living things. The main criterion for an organism to be placed in a particular species is the ability to breed with other organisms of that same species. The species of an organism determines the second part of its two-part name.


A very common name given to an organism may vary in different parts of the world. This can cause confusion. Linnaeus used Latin to give 2 different names to organisms. This system of naming is called ‘Binomial system’

• The first name always refers to the genus to which the organism belongs to

• While the second name is the species name and it starts with a small letter

For example the ‘Domestic Cat’

First name: genus – Felis

Second name: species – domestica

Thus the scientific name for a domestic cat is ‘Felis domestica’

Another example: Ordinary house cats

Class: Mammalia

Order: Carnivora

Family: Felidae

Genus: Felis

Species: domestica


I think that this was very interesting as it was something different and it was the historical element of what we learn in school. I absolutely enjoyed researching on this.



Biology Matters Text Book