The Wave Review

I recently watched a German film called ‘The Wave’. It is based on a real life experiment that happened. The concept fascinated me so I did a bit of research on the actual experiment!
The story is based on a real experiment that took place at Cubbereley High school in ‘Palo Alto’ California, on the first week of April 1967.

The experiment was undertaken by Ron Jones, a history teacher. Jones wanted to show his sophomore students how powerful the pressure to belong could be, and explain fascism to his class. Fascism is when a government tries to lead you and dictate the way you live, think and so on. A common example is the Nazis. Nazis were fascists and led by Hitler up to and during the WWII.

In the experiment Jones wanted the students to realise why people would see individuality as a drawback of Democracy. Jones articulated this main point by instilling the motto: “strength through discipline, strength through community, strength through action, strength through pride.” He felt that this would practically show them how susceptible people are to such ideologies.

Jones applied the fundamentals of autocratic government (Unity, Discipline, Equality, Community) and applied them in his class, he was glued to the fact that this would show his students how prone, or at risk people are to ideologies such as this one.
Jones started the first day of the experiment with simple exercises, such as good posture, proper seating, and he also had an arranged seating plan for the students. He made the students stand to ask or answer question and they were required to address Ron as ‘Mr Jones’ He thought this would make them a little more engaged in the experiment and feel the vibe of an orderly and disciplined community.

By the third day Jones had given the group a name, and had made up a salute which he ordered class members to use and salute each other even outside of the class.
The experiment attracted lots of students and there were over two hundred participants at the end of it. The ‘third wave’ members even showed dramatic improvements in their academic areas of work! Each of the students felt as if they belonged to the movement and Jones assigned them roles such as designing third wave banners, stopping non members from entering the class etc.

However by the fourth day of the experiment, Jones brought the movement to an end as it spiralled out of control.

Does this go to show how susceptible we are to autocratic ideas? Do we really need them? Or do we just think we do? Is the feeling to belong and fit in really that powerful? Are we that close to extremism that we don’t even know it? Is it really that easy to be susceptible? To get carried away?

Why were the students so engaged with the ideas? What might it tell us about people today? About our society?

"Why we Get Fat and What to do About it" By Gary Taubes (book review)

I have just finished reading “Why we Get Fat and What to do about it” by award-winning scientist, Gary Taubes.
Nowadays, many people are disillusioned with advice recommended by GPs to “eat less, move more” in order to lose weight and stay lean. But does it always work? Taubes, however, has a completely different approach to how people become obese, and its cause. He is not alone in his views, albeit at odds with those of the orthodox medical community. And his arguments suggest undereating and exercising may not be the answer to losing weight, to the dismay of medical doctors.

Taubes critiques the “eat less, move more” philosophy, and argues very fairly, with lots of evidence to back up his assumptions using tests from scientists and diet gurus across the world. He also discusses if being obese is a genetic disorder, why undereating only works for a few months, and the truth behind the success of dieting the way Weightwatchers® and other advertising brands promote it.

Taubes’ main argument is about the role hormone insulin plays in making people obese. He explains the cause of it and benefits of different food groups very clearly. Following Robert Atkins’ footsteps, Taubes offers us a more informative and cultivated approach to Atkins’ radical assumptions back in 1972.
Personally, I think what Taubes says in a hundred pages, could have been summed up in fifty. His argument is quite simple, but Taubes has a tendency to go on a bit. However, this was a very appealing and beneficial read that I would recommend to almost everyone. Its use of language and the way it is set out would probably make it one of the best non-fiction books I have read yet.

Girl, Missing Review

I was recently reading a book called Girl, Missing by Sophie McKenzie (on my Amazon Kindle Touch, which I have a review on I only finished it yesterday but decided to do a review on what I think of it.
The story is based in North London, and the main character is a girl called Lauren Mathews who was adopted at the age of 3 years old. However, Lauren’s adoptive parents have often talked to her about being adopted, particularly when she was younger. But they had never told her about her real mother or about the events before she had been adopted. They only mentioned that her real mother loved her very much, why did she give Lauren away for adoption then?
Lauren is more determined and keen to learn about what happened before she was 3 years old. And one day with her best mate Jam, they both stumble across a missing children website and sees a girl called Martha Lauren Purditt, who is the same age as her and has similar facial features. Lauren is sure it is her, but this girl went missing in America, this sets Laurens head buzzing and she constantly wants to know more.
Furthermore, after an enormous effort of persuading her parents to go on holiday to America (so she can find out more about this girl) Lauren encounters old enemies, meets new friends, and has the most bizarre experience of her life. She also is left stranded 20 miles from the closest city in the middle of no where, and finds out some information that could drastically change her life forever.
Overall, I found this book very gripping, and very hard to put down. Its use of language and the way it is written really brings you into the book. Also, the theme of the story is very unusual and you can relate it to real life. I would strongly recommend this book to anybody, particularly girls and boys around the age of 11 and upwards. On the other hand, there is another book which comes after it called Sister, Missing and I will be getting my hands on it shortly and hopefully doing a review on that too! But I hope you enjoy Girl, Missing as much as I did and Sophie McKenzie has many other books if you prefer a different type of read.

Amazon Kindle Touch Review

My new Amazon Kindle Touch arrived today! And I thought I’d do a quick review on what I think of it so far.

The Amazon Kindle allows you to read any books of your choice from the Amazon website, including audio books which are clearly read out to you on your Kindle. Also, it enables you to browse the Internet, but only if it is connected to a nearby wireless hub, or if it runs on 3g. But as well as its handy features, it is very straight forward to set up and its touch sensitive screen makes it even more interesting to use.

However, I found that the brightness of the screen is not very high, but overall it is quite clear to read and fun to use. The kindle has a USB cable included with it so you can download music to the mp3 file and, also of your choice such as sudokus, and the well known card game, solitaire, and many others. you can also change the size of the text, and make changes through ‘settings.’

I would highly recommend this to fellow readers, or anybody who isn’t to fond of books and reading as well, because it brings you straight into the read, as a book doesn’t have quite the same effect. But there’s always the audio files if you prefer to listen, rather than read.

Overall, I only purchased the Amazon Kindle today, and have already found it very helpful and pleasing to use. So I hope you enjoy using the Amazon Kindle Touch as much as I did.


I haven’t done a post in a while but i just wanted to do a quick book review on a book that I have read a number of times and still haven’t lost interest in it!

This book is called Holes by Louis Sachar. It is about a boy, Stanley Yelnats, who comes from quite a quirky, poor family and he soon finds himself being accused of stealing some trainers which belonged to a very famous athlete. In those days the Police weren’t very reasonable, so Stanley only has the choice of prison, or the juvenile detention centre and constantly strenuous ‘dig’ of Camp Green Lake…

I found this book very gripping and quite twisted, but most of all it kind of wakes you up and makes you realise there is hope and to keep going, and not to always blame your ‘no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing great-great-grandfather!’

Overall I would strongly recommend this book, along with its frequent flashbacks telling you about key events in Stanley’s past life. It is a brilliant read, and one of those books you’ll always love. It is the icing on the cake to a dull, rainy day, or rather the ‘Hole in the ground’ but I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Darren Shan was an ordinary boy, until he joined the “Cirque de Freak” which changed his life drastically; he would never be the same again. It all started when his best friend, Steve Leopard, got some tickets to a freak show. He recognised one of the characters, Mr Crepsley, from an act and realised he was the same vampire in one of his books. Steve asked him to turn him half vampire. Unfortunately Mr. Crepsley could not due to Steve having bad blood. Mr. Crespley knew this as he had tasted his blood. As the story unfolds Darren Shan is amazed by Mr.Crepsly’s spider as he can control it with mind power whilst playing the flute. Darren decides to steal the spider to see if he can do the same. He invites Steve over to show him. As a result of this the spider is disturbed by a loud shout coming from Darren younger sister, the spider leaps up and bites Steve on the neck with its deadly fangs.

The only way to save Steve is for Darren now to become a “half-vampire”!

By Khadija Posted in books

Kensuke’s Kingdom Review

Kensuke’s kingdom
Kensuke’s kingdom is about a boy called Michael who, while travelling with his family, is washed up on an island in the Pacific. The island is almost deserted except for some monkeys. Michael struggles to find food and water; every day he searches, along with his dog Stella Artois, until he finally gives up and is left to die…

Spiderwick sketches

I have sketched some drawings of the main creatures from Spiderwick by Tony Diterlizzi and Holly Black.

I have sketched some drawings of the main creatures from Spiderwick by Tony Diterlizzi and Holly Black.

The Call of The Wild

By Jack London

Buck struggles to adapt to his new life

The story is set in California during the Gold Rushes in 1897. People were selling sled dogs at very high prices. Buck, the protagonist, is a large dog who is kidnapped and sent to Canada to work as a husky dog. Prior to this Buck lead a comfortable life, after all the abduction Buck becomes wilder and free.

But Perrault and Francios Buck’s owners can’t look after the dogs anymore, so they sell them to two men who work for the Canadian Mail Company. The two men are very bad to the dogs; they don’t give them enough food and put to many things into the sledge. Eventually the dogs are too weak to pull the sledge, they are no use to the men anymore, so the men leave the dogs to suffer. Thornton a kind and generous man takes buck in and looks after him. Soon Buck is well enough to hunt and stay by himself.

I enjoyed this book because it is about a dog who adapts to his new life, and human beings can also do the same. I would recommend this book to someone else because it has a very good message the author is trying to tell you.
By Khadija Posted in books

A Series of Unfortunate Events

This is a summary of my favourite series of books. It is called A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket.

The Bad Beginning

This is about Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire. It all starts when they hear the miserable news that their parents perished in a fire. From then on they are put in the care of Count Olaf! Their “late uncle” as he says. Lots of terrible things happen to the Baudelaire orphans, such as impossible chores they are forced to do. Sunny gets dangled off a tower in a bird cage and Violet is forced to marry Count Olaf in a role play. But Count Olaf wants to marry her for real just to set his hands on the enormous fortune the Baudelaire parents left behind.

But there is one place where the Baudelaires just forget about the despair they are going through; that is at their next door neighbour’s house. Her name is Justice Strauss, a kind and helpful woman. The author repeatedly tells the reader not to read any more, but that’s just going to make you want to read more!