Bollywood into Hollywood

 
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Often you see people making the connection between Bollywood and Hollywood movies by talking about the influence Hollywood has on Bollywood. However, people are reluctant to notice the effect and influence Bollywood has on Hollywood as well. The music of Bollywood is often looked at with American influence in not only the videos but within the lyrics and instrumental sound as well, similarly Bollywood movies are often compared to Hollywood movies and seen as a “knock off” of many. For example the movie ‘Hey Baby’ in Bollywood is often compared to the movie “Three Men and a Baby”, Hollywood movie ‘Hitch’ is often compared to ‘Partner’ and ‘Anger Management is often compared to Bollywood movie ‘Mujhse Shaadi Karoge’. Below is a comparison of Bollywood and Hollywood movies.

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While people are quick to point out the influence Hollywood has on Bollywood many fail to notice the influences Bollywood has on Hollywood. According to CNN, many Hollywood films also have been influenced by Bollywood. The 2001 musical “Moulin Rouge”, which depicts a tragic love story is known to have been heavily influenced by Bollywood. Other films that are notably known to have borrowed from Bollywood are Hollywood’s ‘The Love Guru’ and ‘The 40- Year-Old Virgin’.

What made me think of the influences however, was not Hollywood vs Bollywood but instead the recent trending and very popular post of a teenager named Meghan Koushik on Tumblr, who compares the ending of the popular American show ‘How I Met Your Mother’ to prominent and classic Bollywood 90s movie ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai.’ The post became so popular it was even covered by and mentioned in The Times of India. It goes through the series finale and compares it to scenes from the Bollywood movie. Aside from this many others posted on twitter how they felt as though the series was a longated version of the Bollywood movie. The comparison depicts how while many are quick to point out the relevance of Hollywood influences in Bollywood, they fail to realize there are many Bollywood influences in Hollywood as well, but only those who keep up with Bollywood usually see the impact.

Tumblr Post:
http://meghantravelsturkey.tumblr.com/post/81411703887/how-the-himym-finale-was-basically-a-bollywood-movie

Times of India Article:
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/english/tv/Fans-say-HIMYM-finale-like-Kuch-Kuch-Hota-Hai/articleshow/33243145.cms

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The World is Our Lab Photo Competition

Three months ago IBM launched a photo competition with the intent of learning more about the continent of Africa. The company realized that in order to innovate the continent they had to hear from the people who lived there. Anyone with a camera device was invited to contribute images that highlighted the continent’s grand challenges, city systems and examples of innovation. After receiving 1,200 submissions they chose one winner in the categories of challenges, city systems, and examples of innovation. The judges were impressed and surprised by the submissions because it opened their eyes to an Africa that the average person does not know exists

The importance of technology has been neglected by the continent of Africa for many years and IBM hopes to shed light on the importance of innovations.

Kenyan TV producer Frank Odwesso won in the City System category. This image featured a woman on the back of a “boda boda” or a bicycle taxi. The judges felt that the image illustrated an unreliable public transportation system.

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Imole “Tobbie” Balogun won the Grand Challenges category with his image illustrating the harsh realities of babysitting. This image featured a young female child baby sitting two small children.

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Lawrence “Shabu” Mwangi won the innovation category. The winning image in this category highlighted children playing with scrap in Nairobi’s Mukuru slum.

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The photo competition is a part of IBM’s $100 million Project Lucy campaign which will employ cognitive computing technologies to advance development such as award winning Watson. The initiative will create business opportunities in Africa within the next 10 years. Photography has become a voice for Africa and photography has only captured some of the stories IBM hopes to provide the continent with the opportunity to capture more.

http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/25/world/africa/stunning-photos-africa-ibm/index.html?hpt=wo_t2

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How Russian neo-Nazis use social media to carry out anti-LGBT attacks

An anti-LGBT protester in Russia (Courtesy of The Guardian)

Much has been discussed over Russia’s recent “gay propaganda” laws, essentially making it a criminal offense to be a member of the LGBT community or show support for LGBT causes. The most shocking and angering aspect of these laws is how the legislation has essentially allowed neo-Nazis to “hunt gay people for sport.” (Pinknews, 2/7/14) The anti-LGBT group, Occupy Pedophilia, has used Russian social media sites such as VKontakte to lure unsuspecting LGBT Russians into their clutches, and then upload the atrocities committed against the victims online. According to a February 2014 report by the Guardian, “Occupy Pedophilia use the site to connect with gay men, posing as potential love interests, before luring them into situations where they will be attacked, a process they refer to as ‘safaris’ using ‘bait’…Uploaded regularly to the site, films show victims being violently attacked and humilliated. This is content that is easily available to view, and is ‘liked’, passed around, and shared on the site, seemingly without impediment.” (The Guardian, 2/11/14) The group uploads videos of their victims being humiliated, beaten, raped, and tortured, not only onto VKontakte, but also onto American-based websites like YouTube. The group claims to not have any political leanings, but they often post neo-Nazi propaganda from Russian fascist parties that not only speak out against members of the LGBT communities, but also against Russia’s Jewish and Romani populations.

A screencap of one of the countless attack videos posted online. (Courtesy of New York Daily News)

According to the New York Daily News, “In one case members of Occupy Pedophilia lured a man into an arranged encounter where they then punched him, breaking his jaw in two places. They then robbed him of $1,450, according to Human Rights Watch.” (New York Daily News, 2/4/14) This conduct is continuing to draw the attention of American media, and pro-LGBT advocacy groups from around the world. When the Winter Olympics were held in the Russian city of Sochi in February, much was made of these attacks by supporters of equal rights. Tanya Cooper, a researcher for Human Rights Watch told Yahoo News: “By turning a blind eye to hateful homophobic rhetoric and violence, Russian authorities are sending a dangerous message as the world is about to arrive on its doorstep for the Olympics that there is nothing wrong with attacks on gay people…Russian officials have long denied that discrimination against LGBT people exists, including to the International Olympic Committee, yet the hostility and violence clearly have been intensifying.” (Yahoo, 2/4/14)

In spite of the increased prejudice against LGBT Russians, there are those who are taking a stance against the draconian laws and the humiliation videos that go unpunished by Russian authorities. LGBT Russians are now taking to Twitter to plead for help from the west. Kiryll Martin, an openly gay Russian teenager, runs the Twitter account, @RU_LGBT_Teen. He told The Guardian in February: “I wanted people who live abroad to hear the true story of life for LGBT teenagers from Russia…Gays have become targets of crimes and human rights violations. The Russian state uses LGBT as a shorthand for ‘internal enemies’. Homophobia is very much prevalent in our society.” (The Guardian, 2/11/14)

As Russia continues to exert its military power in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine, the world is watching as human rights atrocities against countless marginalized minorities in Russia continue to increase.

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Twitter Jihad

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http://www.quilliamfoundation.org/about/staff/jonathan-russell/

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/twitter-terrorists-young-britons-being-3434275

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-24179084

http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/syrian-jihadist-selfies-tell-us-a-lot-about-their-war

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Social Media in the Developing World

There has been a recent surge in social media use in many developing countries. In fact, a recent study found that more and more Twitter users are coming from developing countries than developed countries. Of the five countries with the most active Twitter members, only two, UK and US, are developed. Social media acts as an important aid in the development of these countries, and many are already using sites like Twitter to report on crime, organize protests, and benefit citizens from all economic backgrounds.

The sudden surge in usage can mostly be attributed to cell phones. In the cities of like Mexico and Brazil, at home internet is unaffordable to a large percentage of the urban population. Thus, the shift from mostly accessing sites like Facebook or Twitter from home computers to accessing them through applications on cell phones has really helped these countries establish themselves as social media savvy.

The fact that most of the population in countries like Mexico, Kenya, and Brazil are accessing the internet on their mobile phones calls for easy access to officials. In order to keep up with the citizens of Mexico City, mayor Miguel Mancera operates a Twitter page in which he post breaking updates that may impact his followers. He is also quick to answer complaints, questions, or suggestions the people of Mexico City may have directly through a Twitter reply. For example, Mancera will post screenshots of traffic cameras, urging commuters to seek other ways to travel, ultimately easing problems as soon as he catches wind of them.

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In Kenya, 99% of Internet users are accessing through a mobile device. Village chief Francis Kariuki utilizes this information, and tailors his Twitter account to report current crimes to his followers. Though many people in his village do not own smartphones, they subscribe to Kariuki’s Twitter feed through text message notifications, and it gets forwarded through SMS as well as through Twitter. Often, Kariuki will tweet about farmers’ missing livestock, giving people of lower economic status a chance to benefit from social media even if they do not have internet access.

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Young citizens of Kenya also use hashtags like #KOT, which stands for Kenyans on Twitter to participate in important discussions, or simply just to reach one another under urgent circumstances.

 

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Twitter has also helped spread the word about revolutions in countries like Egypt and Tunisia. In December 2011, a revolution against a repressing government broke out in the city of Sidi Bouzid. At the time, many citizens of Tunisia did not have access to the internet because of government censorship, but that didn’t stop them from recording protests and police violence on mobile phones. For the activists, journalists, and citizens who did have internet access, Twitter was one of the only platforms they could get on that would inform people of what was going on. Because the government blocked access to YouTube, A Netherlands based blog, Nawaat, would obtain these videos and create an archive under the same hashtag as Tunisian tweets, #sidibouzid, to share globally. 

Social media gives citizens and officials of the developing world the opportunity to communicate both within their communities, and to insert themselves into global conversations. Mobile phones, SMS alerts, and global media sources allow even lower economic classes and communities with strict internet access to get their issues addressed and stay informed.

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Now days even though I still read the news, I usually get my trending updates from social media and my friends posts. Recently I came across one of the most interesting yet weird articles regarding flight MH370.

After all the conspiracy theories and mystery about the disappearance of Malaysian airlines 370, there is one that is stuck out the most to me. Although this theory sounds extremely bizarre at first it makes somewhat logical sense. Some evidence suggests that passenger Phillip Wood, sent a message before the plane went down into the United States military base. The message was sent from an iphone before Phillip placed it in his anus to hide it from the hijackers. The strangest part about this whole theory is that the coordinates given off in the message somehow give the coordinates pertaining to a United States base, Diego Garcia close to the Maldives. I researched further and found that the main guy claiming this evidence is a big conspirator and believes in exposing government faults. The fact that the plane still has not been found, and the fact that the black box recordings expire within five more days places major pressure on the parties looking for this plane. These conspiracy theories are absurd but somewhat relevant and I have noticed are very rarely discussed in international news media. I narrowed my research to observe the media of Indonesia. There are some articles regarding the theories, but no direct conspiracy links are made. In addition, I found it interesting that the last update regarding MH370 was roughly one week ago on the Jakarta Post Online, (Popular Indonesian news outlet). I then looked at more media in Malaysia to compare and contrast. I found that Malaysian news outlets do not mention anything about it being a government conspiracy, rather they instead just report facts and have a separate section just for Mh370 coverage on “The Star”, a popular Malaysian news site. I think the most interesting part about this whole ordeal is how different media is interpreted and presented in different countries. For example, the United States station CNN, was comparing this flight incident to the situation in the show “Lost”. Where as no other place in the world made this comparison on television.

 

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Flight MH370 & Media Representation

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Sony’s and Nintendo’s Transition

For decades Sony and Nintendo have been on top of their game in business for exactly that.. Games! and of course other technological advances. Both companies are from Japan, they have originated from Japan grew into a massive fandom and make their way into the USA’s cultural lives but the question is how and why? What do these companies do in order to influence and maintain such a strong hold above us. It’s easy to say as we all grew up we knew about Mario right? How is that? How is it that something from across the world has entered our childhood. So to above confusion to begin is Nintendo. This company began just by making paper cards and from there slowly advanced into toys and eventually video creating one of the most iconic gaming characters ever Mario. And the thing about Mario is that it is integrated into our childhoods and our lives. If you ask anyone anywhere there is a high percent chance that they know about Mario. Here is a good clip about an example of how Americans integrated American Culture to Japan Cultural where they fuse two completely different games into as a fan made film.

Another Company that has made a huge impact in a global scale is Sony. Sony started off as a radio repair company but after years of hard work now transitioned into one of the best technological companies in the world. Almost everything is some how linked with Sony. And it isn’t just Technology but also gaming as well. Sony also creates one of the most popular gaming systems the PlayStation and once again this is another Japanese company that has influence all over the world. So the question is how does a small time radio repair company became an empire in so many different fields?

Here is a film of the PlayStation 4’s press release and you can just see the massive support for that system. It is insane.

PlayStation 4 Press Release

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