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Sunday, 21 November 2010

Should I Wear Contact Lenses?

To wear contacts or to not wear contacts?

It is an age-old question that glasses wearers, who have grown tired of their eyewear, have asked themselves for various reasons: the frames lack the comfort, a notable lack of improvement with their vision, or they take a look at the mirror and thought they were less attractive with the pair of glasses that they recently acquired. On the other hand, many would prefer the traditional option of wearing glasses just to avoid the discomforting feeling of putting a small object on a delicate eye, but the irritation and daunting feeling when you put on your first lens is only a fleeting sensation.

The decision to take up contact lenses straight away or as an alternative to wearing glasses is entirely dependant on personal preference and daily lifestyle. Convenient for a morning jog in the park or a night out partying with friends, wearing contact lenses would not just prove more advantageous for the active person, but for corrective purposes as well.

Contact Lenses: What and Why?

A contact lens is either a cosmetic, therapeutic, or corrective lens designed to be placed on the eye's cornea, and are versatile in their various uses. Some lenses are used to reduce UV damage to the eye's natural lens, others are used to sharpen and improve vision, and there are even tinted lenses set to alter one's natural eye appearance for the creative to compliment hair colour and stylish outfits. Available in different varieties suitable for daily, weekly, or extended wear, contact lenses are classified in many ways to fit one's prescription based on the eye specialist's advice and guidance.

Currently, there are an estimated 3 million people in the United Kingdom who have taken the option of wearing contact lenses or have decided to discard their glasses to opt for the more lightweight option due to its versatility and numerous advantages. Aside from being cosmetically superior to traditional spectacles, contact lenses provide the wearer with a natural and more wider field of vision, worn on the surface of the eye's cornea so there is nothing to obstruct one's peripheral viewing as glasses or frames may do. Resistant to damp weather from moisture and perspiration, contacts are the preferred choice of eyewear for the active sportsman or woman as the lenses allow oxygen to penetrate, allowing comfort throughout an exhausting gym workout or a distance marathon in hot weather, and are easy to handle and care.

Therapeutically, contact lenses provide a better solution for eye disorders and corrects conditions such as keratoconus, presbyopia, and irregular optical astigmatism; a major factor in the increasing number of lens wearers in the UK.

Picking the Right Contacts

Despite the ranges available, one has to take their eyes' needs into consideration when choosing according to brand, colour, and design. Consulting an ophthalmologist (an eye specialist) before purchasing a set of lenses is vital, as they will advise you on which contacts best suit your condition, comfort and budget.

There are a wealth of options available for selection. Popular brands such as Johnson & Johnson, CooperVision and CibaVision are the leading distributors of prescription contact lenses in the UK, with each manufacturer offering a range of daily to extended wear solutions to soothe and correct the vision of the eyes.

Purchasing lenses can also be as easy as online shopping as contacts are also available through the Internet. Much like that new dress you purchased on that fantastic clothing website, you can select each product that specifically tailors to your needs by outlining your eye size and prescription type that best meets your standards. Much less difficult than putting on a contact lens for the first time, but beneficial all the same.

For more information on contact lenses and availability, visit OneSpecs' contact lens page and take your pick.

Friday, 29 January 2010

Terry Exposed As Ruling Overturned By High Court

picture courtesy of:

John Terry was today named as the sportsman who was behind a gagging injunction involving an alleged "affair" with another footballer's girlfriend.

Chelsea star Terry's legal representatives had originally applied and won a High Court injunction in a private hearing last Friday after learning that a Sunday tabloid, thought to have been the News of the World, had planned to publish a story regarding his private life.

The controversial gagging order, also known in legal circles as a 'superinjunction', stops newspaper groups from revealing who had applied to prevent the story leaking, publication of details of the story, and any photographs related to the story.

However, Mr Justice Tugendhat lifted the injunction, commenting that "the information was in "wide circulation amongst those involved in the sport in question, including agents and others, and not just amongst those directly engaged in the sport".

Unsurprisingly, the majority of Britain's media outlets and experts see this landmark case as a victory for free press, who feel that the issuing of court injunctions takes away the British public's right to know.

In contrast, golfer Tiger Woods' affairs have been extensively covered by American news and media outlets across the pond, with stories such as these given the freedom of publication by United States law. However, two weeks after the allegations were first made public, Woods won an injunction in the UK much like Terry's, preventing the British media from publishing new details on his personal life, prompting fears that foreign litigants can soon take advantage of repressive British laws.

In light of these recent revelations, Terry is now expected to suffer an enormous amount of backlash from supporters fearing that this latest scandal will wreck England's preparations for the World Cup, and national team manager Fabio Capello, who will face pressure to replace Terry as England's captain. And like Woods, Terry must also face the prospect of several sponsorship contracts being terminated in this latest blow to his scandal-ridden career.

Justice Tugendhat's overturned decision is bound to cause a profound effect for the future of journalism and Britain's much-criticised privacy laws. John Terry's alleged infidelity is national headline news, such is his status in England, and this can only be good news for media circles across the country, as the principles of free press gained a vital victory.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

WINOL 30/11 - 04/12 Critical Reflection

Technical difficulties and complacency were the two key factors as after several weeks of ever-improving news bulletins, we took a step back with our latest live broadcast.

Over the last five weeks, we as a news desk have seen ourselves grow accustomed to our various roles and despite several technical issues in the past, we had learned to work through the faulty equipment.

However, our fortunes clearly took a turn for the worst this past Wednesday. Problems with sound, VTs, and the eternally-malfunctioning autocue were hindering our efforts, and although these problems were clearly out of our hands, it was still a pretty big step down for us and it is something we will look to improve on come our next bulletin.

As the designated Production Assistant for this week (a role which I have grown used to for the past four weeks), my job was to time the VTs so that the bulletin runs smoothly, letting Leanne (who was directing this week) know how many seconds were left with each VT so that she can prompt everyone in the studio floor, and harass Matt with printouts of the script and running order from time to time. As this was our first week implementing ENPS (The Essential News Production System), it took a few minutes getting used to the new-look script and running order as Matt had used Microsoft Office applications Word and Excel to compile everything. Nonetheless, we are looking to get used to the new system and improve on Wednesday's mistakes.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Obama Criticises Censorship in China

US President Barack Obama has called for 'universal rights and freedom' in his latest visit to China.

Speaking in front of an audience of 400 students at the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum and streamed live on the White House website, President Obama declared that freedom of expression, and worship, of access to information and political participation are "universal rights", saying that they "should be available to all people, including ethnic and religious minorities, whether they are in the United States, China or any nation".

Despite praising China's economic growth due to rapid industrialisation, calling it "unparalleled" in today's society, and insisting that the US is not looking to constrict China's rise as a world power, Obama's latest comments are sure to rile his hosts as he is set to meet Chinese President Hu Jintao in Beijing tomorrow to discuss matters such as climate change and nuclear programmes in Iran and North Korea.

In a country where media outlets and content on the internet are heavily censored, Obama's first visit to the People's Republic as President was a choreographed affair. The 400-strong student audience were carefully hand-picked by government officials, and two of the four students he called up on the platform were discovered to be members of the Communist Youth League, the university representatives of the party.

When asked for his opinion on the internet censorship program that is currently blocking websites such as Twitter known as the 'Great Firewall of China', Obama was also careful not to directly attack the Chinese government, declaring that he was a "firm believer in openness" and that criticism created through freedom of expression has helped him with certain decisions and also made him a better president.

Obama should know how much of a powerful tool the internet can be; after all, his 2008 Presidential campaign took advantage of YouTube and Twitter to gain support across the country. However, as he prepares to meet President Jintao for dinner in Beijing, his efforts to completely unify the United States and China have gained attention worldwide not because of the Presidential summit tomorrow, but for his indirect criticism of China's communist, authoritarian rule, something which has been under global scope for the best part of 20 years.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

An Early Christmas Gift for the BNP?

On Thursday, BBC's Question Time went ahead with the controversial decision to appoint the leader of the British National Party, Nick Griffin, as one of their guests. A decision which was sure to divide national opinion, a record eight million viewers watched the panel and the audience mercilessly attack Griffin and his policies with hostile questions and answers.

However, as Question Time is traditionally known for their discussions on a variety of subjects and debates, the show was a platform for the audience to jeer and shout verbal abuse at the BNP supremo, who handled the constant hostility and questions about his actions with an evasive nature. For about 85% of the programme's broadcast, the focus (inevitably) was on attacking Griffin and his party, a factor which he doubtless had expected and in some respects, probably hoped for.

Controversial and highly ignorant his beliefs may be, Griffin and the BNP are still a political party who should be given the airtime to express and state his policies just as much as the likes of the Labour and Conservative parties. Question Time has made a name for offering their guests the chance to express their views on television and as a medium for objective debates on a variety of topics. Thursday's edition was essentially a vitriolic hotbed for constant antagonism (albeit understandably) at the man who controversially stated that "if Winston Churchill was still alive, he would've been a member of the BNP", and because of this, Griffin has the chance to play the victim and attack the BBC, saying that he faced "a lynch mob" at the Beeb's headquarters and will lodge a complaint against the network about his treatment.

The aftermath of Griffin's appearance has sparked a rise in support for his far-right party, with a recent YouGov poll in the Daily Telegraph showing that 22% of the people questioned would consider voting for the BNP, and the party's claims that 3,000 people registered to join during and after the broadcast, supporting critics' fears that the BBC have given the BNP the massive publicity it wants.

I had supported the Beeb's decision to give Nick Griffin the chance to appear on television because I, like most of the nation, had wanted to see how he would handle himself amidst a cauldron of disdain and contempt at his beliefs and policies. However, I fear that Griffin and his supporters' cause has been greatly aided, and David Dimbleby aside, the BBC could and should have handled the whole situation better.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Spike Jonze & Kanye West - 'We Were Once A Fairytale'

The highly anticipated project between Hollywood director Spike Jonze and rapper/diva Kanye West was released over the weekend.

The ambitious 11-minute short film, entitled We Were Once A Fairytale, is a beautifully-shot video with a plethora of dark themes, symbolism, and, in an eerie fashion, is a case of life imitating art for the Louis Vuitton Don.

Shot in January and premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival during the summer, this is the second collaboration between Jonze, whose big-budget adaptation of Maurice Sendak's children's book Where the Wild Things Are premiered in American cinemas this weekend, and superstar rapper West. (Jonze directed the video for Kanye West's single 'Flashing Lights' in 2007)

Watch the short film in its entirety here.

Berlusconi Judge 'Secretly Filmed'

In the latest in a long line of headline scandals, Silvio Berlusconi has come under heavy criticism from all sides after a television channel he owns secretly filmed a judge who has ruled against him in a bribery case.

Canale 5, part of the Italian PM's television company Mediaset, unveiled footage of judge Raimondo Mesiano taking a walk, smoking a cigarette, and visiting a barber shop.

The footage, which aired on Italian television on Thursday, includes a voiceover ridiculing the judge, calling his behaviour "eccentric" and poking fun at his turquoise socks. The voiceover also points out to him smoking his "umpteenth" cigarette and that he "can only relax at the barber's", calling him "impatient".

This comes after judge Mesiano's October 5 ruling to order Berlusconi's holding company, Fininvest, to pay €750m (£685m) to a rival company after finding Berlusconi "co-responsible" for bribing a judge who was in favour of a takeover deal.

Naturally, lawyers and civil rights groups were incensed at judge Mesiano's invasion of privacy, calling the secret footage "an unprecendented violation of privacy of a member of the judiciary", akin to George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, where the inhabitants were constantly under the watch of a Big Brother-like totalitarian government.

The self-proclaimed "world's most persecuted person" has suffered a string of bad publicity in the last few months, after reports of him enjoying the services of call girls and paparazzi pictures of nude women at his villa in Sardinia.