THE GAZETTE

Politics in the Age of Obama, Twitter and Trump – Dan Pfeiffer – Review

A Brilliant book that links together two vastly different and contrasting presidential campaigns, something that has not been found aplenty ever since Trump became President. Pfeiffer clearly explains Obama’s philosophies and viewpoints and then works on how the nation grew both economically and socially under him, he then uses thwse points to create a context to explain Trump and the faults in his ideals.

Also, the book focuses on politics in the modern world with new, dynamics factors such as twitter, fake news and the internet. These factors are now competing with existing factors such as the media and campaign speeches to become perhaps the things around which campaigns are built and the things that can turn a campaign on its head.

Communications has evolved, and has moved steadily from newspapers to media briefings, then to live media and now to Twitter. Millions of people see articles and news updates the minute after they are published, which means that there is no room for error in the information given to the public. Pfeiffer also explains some abstract factors, such as TV shows and how they may influence thousands of voters simply because they cannot view a candidate/president’s speeches and talks.

Essentially, Pfeiffer recognizes Trump’s rise to power as a symptom of a disease in US

Politics and he outlines a plan for democrats to follow in order to cure this disease.


Deception Point – Dan Brown – Review

This book has a decent story and there is a twist around every corner, but in some ways, the events that occur in it are mundane and very similar to that of Digital Fortress at their core. This book has a very slow start, very slow indeed and till around the midway point, the reader just wants to chuck it outta the window.

Also, some things that happen in this book are so unreal and fictitious that the reader can’t help but wonder how the author, a.k.a Dan Brown even wrote them down. A PRIME example of this is the ending, in which Ashe mysteriously prevents Senator Sexton from revealing the truth about the meteorite to the world by swapping his reports in a way that seems nothing but magical. Then comes the fact that three citizens actually overpower the director of the NRO and three US delta soldiers, HOW? Those men are at the top for a reason and no, they’re not foolish enough to get their feet ripped off by giant fishing spears.

Deception point in itself is a disappointment and as compared to the Da Vinci Code or Inferno, is an embarrassment for Brown.

There’s a reason people talk about the Da Vinci code and not Deception Point, that is PRETTY evident.


Digital Fortress – Dan Brown – Review

A Book which would’ve been considered brilliant had people not know about the Robert Langdon series. ‘Digital Fortress’ is an exhilarating read, and it keeps the reader on his toes but it is isn’t even close to the mastery of inferno or the Da Vinci code which actually force the reader to read all night long and stay completely attached to the story. At certain points, the reader can easily predict what is going to happen next in digital fortress, something that Dan Brown has avoided in the rest of his books. Nevertheless, this book is a fantastic read and has a good plot and story which certainly does appeal to the average reader. Once again, the rest of Brown’s works are full of suspense, with doubt and deceit around every corner and digital fortress certainly can’t be up there with The Da Vinci Code.

If you analyze this book without keeping the Robert Langdon series in mind, you will certainly find it eye-catching but then again, it is a book that would’ve looked better had Dan Brown not been written by the cover. It raises expectations to a level that this book certainly doesn’t reach.

 


The Catalonian referendum, and its impacts

Spain in turmoil, not heard of that one in a long time, have you? Catalonia, the biggest of the 18 districts of Spain has been demanding independence since  2010 but its demands have accelerated since the start of 2017. Today, a referendum has been held by the state government, which has been deemed illegal by the central government. This referendum goes against multiple clauses of the constitution and is rebellious in nature according to the Spanish government.

This referendum. if successful will have multiple consequences immense in magnitude.

There have been reports by local news agencies and eyewitnesses that police have started firing rubber bullets at crowds after things went out of hand, 38 injured.

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To the Batcave, one last time…

Adam West, a legendary actor and a star who played the role of Batman in the 1960s passed away on 9th June. A star has gone out from the black canvas of our skies, R.I.P Adam West. He passed away at the age of 88, his career spanned seven decades and was very illustrious and awe-inspiring. To learn more about this epic personality, head to http://adamwest.com/.

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How did I not find out about Firebase earlier???

The greatest shock of the day for me today was finding out about firebase, a platform for developers made by Google which permits you to make your dream website and not only that but Firebase(a.k.a google) manages your servers, advertising, monetization and also prevents your system from crashing due to too much traffic or other reasons. Another great resource and yet another unknown resource. This also highlights the misery suffered by brilliant songs by wonderful artists lying unused on youtube(chariots by paper route).

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Why the Game of Thrones novels appeal so much to me

I am totally obsessed with empires(and the novel ‘dark matter’ too), in fact, it is the main reason behind my interest towards Game of Thrones, Star Wars, The Lord of The Rings and Bahubali(Yes Bahubali!). The idea of multiple states with different strategies, tactics and regulations battling each other to the death, not just for their pride but to gain territory, prosperity and dominance appeals heavily to me. Also, the fact that human evolution and nature funds this ‘competition’ and not some evil deity with mind control powers further attracts me towards empires, I am assured that, yes, this is perfectly human and a result of evolution and the thirst for dominance. The contrasting thoughts and personalities add suspense too(of which Martin is a master). The only thing I hate about movies and books based on empires is their rather common ability to leave the whole plot suddenly in a cliffhanger. For example, the end of Bahubali 1 had the whole nation of India on the edge of their seats for more than one year, in wait for the second part. In the end, the wait is essential(but not mandatory), it indirectly is a cause for more profits and more people going bonkers for that particular book/movie. Bahubali 1 had such a dramatic ending that it was the main reason for the record-breaking earnings of the second installation in the franchise. One thing is certain, a book/movie related to empires and kingdoms is the hardest thing one can do, for even one action, you have to have consequences in multiple areas(Martin again is a master in this). What I particularly like about Game of Thrones is Martin’s unique ability to write about a host of characters from dead people who are alive to men sitting all day long on a throne made of iron swords, from lands that are always covered in snow to shadowlands teeming with fantasy creatures like manticores and at the same time make all of that seem realistic and engaging. A fiction book cannot be good if it can’t engage the reader. Martin also has the ability to create more than two sides and move from the natural ‘good vs evil’ to ‘partly good vs partly evil vs evil vs good vs pure evil vs the unknown.’ If you look at the Lannisters as a person who knows nothing about GOT, they are a money loving, ‘the’ rich family with two cities to their name and thousands of soldiers too, they have enough wit to stay in power and install themselves as rulers. Sometimes, they are a bit overly ambitious but that’s okay(if you have three-four more empires threatening you). Now, don’t the Lannisters look good, but when you read the book, you start to dislike them the moment the plot begins to develop. Believe it or not, Martin uses ‘in media res,’ narrative hook, plot twist, poetic justice, a ticking clock scenario and the unreliable narrator technique. Sounds impossible, right?

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Another great resource(in the making)

Welcome to https://www.rimtim.com/, a brilliant resource currently restricted to only India. This website provides an interactive platform to review and locate places such as fitness centres, sports shops, restaurants etc. Little dots of creativity are clearly visible here and there, primarily in the superheroes button. The superheroes button can be used to locate charity foundations, special organisations, school and other places that heavily contribute to the society and act as a ‘superhero.’ Another highly creative and innovative idea is present in the RimTim video review system. Everyone quickly writes a review and posts it, but RimTim has changed that, now wherever you are, take a short video and post it as a review on RimTim. Another brilliant idea by RimTim is, http://www.rimtimblog.com/, which is another interactive to advertise locations and at the same time write articles which satisfy customer wants and ensure brilliant experience and total satisfaction

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Sachin: A Billion Dreams Review

Better than MS Dhoni: The untold story? My answer would be no. This doesn’t mean that I don’t like this epic documentary film on the greatest player cricket has ever known. This movie did not fit into what I would call a ‘movie,’ it was more like a documentary. Despite that, I had goosebumps when the “Sachin. Sachin…” chants started to fill the theatre. The movie also combines his downs and ups really well and generates a perfect flow between different scenes. Sachin’s passion and determination inspire us to do something great and change the world, as soon as the movie gets over, one begins to think about how he/she too is standing before a humongous crowd, all of them cheering wildly before them. This movie is heaven for cricket lovers!


A great resource

Ever wanted free photos with no copyrights on them? Welcome to https://unsplash.com/, not only a brilliant resource but a wonderful website as well. You can create collections here (Google drive allows that too), follow photographers and explore an ocean of high-resolution images. This website provides free of cost, high-resolution images with no copyright laws binding them. Yes, you can do whatever you want with these photos! unsplash even permits re-selling these photos, although it is disgraceful and is highly disregarded. Download the photos, edit them and do something creative and then selling them is encouraged by unsplash although it makes no sense to sell something that is free of cost. Unsplash also has a website,  https://madewith.unsplash.com/ which promotes edited photos available on unsplash. I hope you enjoy using this resource, it has been a great experience for me as of yet. You can also use these images in your programming projects!

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Finally!!! The summer vacations!!!

Every student’s dream, the summer vacations, the magnificent summer vacations. A time to do swimming, nurture your hidden talents, travel all you like, meet relatives you had never known, watch movies and to have the best time of your life. Here in India, the summer vacations are hot, sunny and sweaty. Activities such as swimming and ice-cream eating distract us from the scorching sun. Most of the time, one is at home, not studying but chatting with their friends, watching movies, eating like a buffalo and playing PlayStation all day. In the morning and evening, you can go for running or head to a nearby academy to fine-tune your sports. These 42 days also ignite sadness in us for the first week or so. How can someone cope with life without their best friend all of a sudden? Where is the fun without a gang of students behind you? How can I not talk about FIFA 17 with anyone? In the end, the summer vacations are a time for you to relax and enjoy to the fullest before school opens again.


Samsung getting ready to compete with the likes of Alexa and Siri

In order to recover from last year’s embarrassing note 7 debacle, Samsung is launching Bixby, a digital assistant like Siri which has been fuelled by the tech company’s recent desire to emerge into the artificial intelligence setup. Bixby will compete with Alexa, Siri, Google Voice assistant and Cortana. The only difference is that Samsung claims “Bixby is fundamentally different from other voice agents or assistant’s.” Samsung has quoted that Bixby will not be used like any other voice assistant but will be used in almost all Samsung appliances, even televisions. Samsung wants to change the world of virtual digital assistants and grow the market for it. One question is that how will Samsung, a company more towards hardware and product quality compete with software giants like Google.


Neuralink – Elon Musk continues to amaze

Just when we thought that Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk had his hands full with making smart cars and planning for a trip to Mars, he comes out with another venture. Neuralink is a brain-computer interface venture still in the early stages of existence, although it shows high promise, the same promise which was once displayed by both Tesla and SpaceX when they were being termed as mere ‘fantasies.’ Musk recently told a crowd in Dubai “Over time I think we will probably see a closer merge of biological intelligence and digital intelligence.” There already exists a company, kernel which is based in Ukraine and mirrors Neuralink in its aims.


Transition – moving into 9th grade

Finally, the crossroads have arrived. Every student now has to take decisions that will eventually influence and shape their life and future career. The choosing of the subjects is a big part of a school. Some dread it, some relish it, some are prepared and some are clueless. Every class has those students who act like our gurus and help and try to influence our choices. Sometimes, due to peer pressure, the faint hearted give way and let other dictate their choice. In the end, you should listen to your heart and instincts and try not to get influenced too much. Take extra subjects too if you want, although you should be wary of other people teasing you and feeling overly envious about your choice. 9th grade as some people say will leave you under a massive burden. The shift from six subjects in the eighth grade to eight-ten subjects in 9th grade increases your educational burden by leaps and bounds and also leaves you hopelessly crushed under the weight of studies. If possible, do find a way to relax and stretch your muscles. Work out in the gym every evening, play video games or hang out with your friends, it’s all up to you. Stay relaxed and have conversations with your parents, they too passed through this crucial stage.