SULLEE J: Innovative Mind

Article by Sullee J (musician/contributor)

Foreword by Vijay Shah (blogger/editor)

Baltimore-based rap musician Sullee J has consistently wowwed hip-hop fans across the Atlantic and across the seven seas with his amazing musical style, eminent collaborations with the cream of national and local hip-hop talent, and of course, his powerful vocabulary and lyrical expression.

As befitting a blog with the name of ‘The Half-Eaten Mind’, Sullee J has penned a special article that will question your every move and mental conception. In this exclusive piece, Sullee J challenges us to look within ourselves. Do you ever wonder why we do the things we do? What reasons or intentions do we have behind them? Have you ever regretted anything? What is the source behind our justified facts we store in our minds?

This thought-provoking article is a valuable chance for our readers as in one way, it challenges who we are, our viewpoint of the world and also importantly, it is a life altering wake-up call to the mind, body and soul of everyone who imbibes the words of ‘Innovative Mind’. Written in Sullee J’s unmistakable brand of eloquent and catchy language, this is what is needed for us to take a long hard look at ourselves and how we regard and work with others around us.

(c) Sullee J Management

 

 *** “Innovative Mind” by Sullee J ***

 

How in tune is your mind with your soul? How much in doom is your heart from the times you’ve lost self-control? How much has the logic of your mind disregarded the truth from your heart, and afflicted you whole? If you were to rewind the times and paid attention to your blindness, how much would you need to prescribe to unwind the roles? Knots you have made, internal blocks, this whole time you were behind the mind that sewed. Am I wrong? Were you not addicted to your decisions? Do you question all that you dose daily; are you attentive to your prescriptions? Do you dwell on the consequence of your actions? Do you dare make a move in this universe and doubt the formation of a reaction. Have you become so obsessed with your habits, that you have justified your own silly truth? That’s a bit doltish! A fact does not need elaboration, the truth attacks with no emotion at high voltage. Once hit by the tip of its sphere, surely you can’t go back to old notions. Question yourself! Don’t think you’re moving right, just because what you know has kept you in motion.

 

Oh wise one, how wise can one be, for even when his wise peaks, he’s still unaware of what’s beyond his eyes, the unseen. Oh wise one, how wise can one be, when the wisest he has been, has still not allowed him to understand, why one dreams? What degree of truth do you provide, when the conviction you supply comes with an emotional rise? Why do you deny what you deny, and what makes you agree to the clever linguistics of only one side? What is so attracting about the exterior, when putrescent inside? Do you question your connection to all that you connect with? These are questions, and I suggest we keep on reflecting! Do you follow a crowd because of familiarity? Do you know what you know to be the truth, or bond with it just because of similarities? Pfft! Such hypnotherapy! Somnolence is the wrong fuel for clarity! Learn! Knowledge is the best form of charity! I would lead you astray not. I am only dilating the vessels which you have allowed to narrow over time, in order for you to conclude in temerity.

 

Oh sincere ones, from which artery have you pulled your intent out of? What has derived you to commit to such a selfless act? Have you bargained your time and expense for the account of a good deed or a shade of light? From which angle have you approached such presentation? In every journey which you find yourself, do you question your motive? Has it benefited you in any form? And if so, will you deny that all roses come with thorns? Or that all prizes come with surprises. Are you prepared to stay in solidarity with your deed, or is it a mere payment toward a fee from a previous greed? These are indeed questions for the inner self, from the very parts which have been sworn. What is your reason behind the very act you have sprung toward? Is it foolish to be aware of why we do things? What is so attractive about one who has to show less? What is so appealing about promoting the hopeless? What is so exciting about the negativity? Surely, this gossip is the way of the grotesque! Don’t just know what you know, it’s time for an internal protest!

 

Truth is clear, so why do we base it on color? For what reason do we create hate, when the emotion is not an innate trait, it’s a practiced sight. How many of our leaders claim to be magnanimous in character, but they’re the fractured type. This generation worships illusions and attractions, and then wonders why they’re mad at life. What good is your innovation, if it has no clear indication? Why slander another with imputation to justify your own equivocation? How is the tactics of instigating war over seas supposed to be mitigating? This is systematic slavery, this isn’t liberation! What good is your vision, when it contains not precision? What good is your ambition, if it remains with not persistence? How many times do we justify decisions and complain of our condition? Once we are capable of answering our own questions, we will then know the difference. This is the definition of our definite existence!

 

Not only do we seem to neglect the blessings we’ve been granted, we deny the fact that they even exist. Have you bewildered yourself? Have you forgotten the meaning of indigenous? Why has it become a trend to beautify artificial ligaments? Why do we have women running around with fake body parts, degrading their images? Men falling for superficial innocence. This is the face of wickedness. How do you claim to be a righteous king or queen? You don’t even respect your organs! What do I mean? Do you smoke? You’re killing your lungs slow. Do you drink? Your killing your liver, the alcohol allows it to harden and shrink. Do you eat excessively? You’re killing your heart’s entity. Do you engage in negative conversation? You’re killing your mind, beware of your congregations! Do you disregard prayer? You’re killing your soul, are you not aware?! Pick your poison wisely, oh wise ones. You know as much as you know, and you believe it is just enough to know, to make self-adjustable to what one loves, how dysfunctional! This is layman’s for the brains, which find it hard to devour truth and so they claim it strange, how deranged! Oh wise ones, search deep inside before you conclude your horizons. All I ask is to, consult with your results, reason with your reasons, look outside of your outlooks, so you have conviction when you’re speaking! 

 

http://www.officialsulleej.com/

MY JOURNEY THROUGH A LENS: New photography book by Alex Smithson

Alex Smithson, the blogger behind news, photography and music blog Mother Nature has now celebrated nearly a month since the successful launch of his latest published photography project, a book entitled “My Journey Through A Lens”. It is the third such book created by the Croydon College photography student, a firm supporter of the Half-Eaten Mind, and follows the success of his earlier works “My Journey Through Photography” and “A Year in Photography”.

Alex’s third book of his amazing nature and scenery photography had been many months in the making, combining both pictures and articles published on the Mother Nature site, as well as external projects Alex worked on in his free time and also as part of his photography and art course at Croydon College, a further education institute located just south of the UK capital, London.

By March 2015, Alex was already putting the final touches to My Journey Through A Lens, a book chronicling his career as a budding photographer and graphic designer. Like any author, Alex spent much time ironing out spelling and grammar mistakes as he sought to make his third book just ripe for the picking and reading, as well as tackling the inevitable umm and aahs of getting a suitable set of photographs prepared. He also spent considerable time designing the front and back covers of My Journey. He at first went for a simple and minimalistic, yet visually powerful format in design, with his favourite nature photo taking pride of place. Alex prepared two such designs, one featuring plants silhouetted in a sunset sky and the other depicting exploding fireworks taken over the New Year period of 2014-2015. Alex however decided to fire up his graphic design skills for the final choice of cover concept, dispensing with the photography altogether. Alex’s final design is a proud homage to his proficiency with the open source graphical software GIMP. Reflecting a recent re-haul of Mother Nature, Alex chose to adopt the blog’s new colour scheme for the final front and back covers, opting for bold squares of blue and bright orange bordering a white square with the book’s title in bold black capitals. The new cubed logo of Mother Nature, with its slogan ‘Life at the touch of a button’ neatly tucked into one side, also makes an appearance.

Slide1

By March 2015, Alex had crossed the 400-page barrier and was excited at getting the book up-and-running, offering it for free download via cloud service Dropbox. Not only would My Journey showcase Alex’s photography, but also case studies he wrote on key personalities in British history, such as the once prime minister Winston Churchill and notoriously oft married monarch Henry VIII, and musical tributes to Madonna, a favourite singer of Alex and to Ben Haenow, a fellow Croydon resident, who had won the final of UK musical talent show The X Factor in 2014.

By the beginning of this month (July 2015) and after nine months of groundwork and editing, My Journey was ready to hit the virtual bookshelves. In a blog article on Mother Nature, Alex narrates how he was ‘extremely pleased’ to be finally launching the book on July the 4th, American Independence Day. He had originally planned to launch his third book in May, but demands from college studies and exam revision for his GCSE finals put paid to that, forcing Alex to reschedule. By then, the young blogger had now included six historical case studies for educational purposes, detailing historical icons from the 1500s onwards, as well as additional information of Alex’s learning experiences as a fresh-faced A-Level student on his career journey to becoming a professional shutterbug.

On the 4th July, as our cousins across the Pond exploded fireworks, waved the red, white and blue, and generally made merry, My Journey Through A Lens was officially launched at 6:00 pm London time and made available completely free of charge on Alex’s website along with his previous editions. To celebrate the special occasion, Alex published an elated blogpost sharing the good news with subscribers and visitors. In this book, Alex celebrates historical icons such as Henry VIII, Queen Victoria, Guy Fawkes, Mary Queen of Scots, Winston Churchill and John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the assassinated US President. Alex also paid tribute to the late Nelson Mandela, former South African president, humanitarian icon and victor against government-sponsored racism and hatred, who tragically passed away from illness last year. Alex also penned tributes to Croydon lad Ben Haenow, along with musical legend Madonna, the Italian-American ‘Queen of Pop’ whose top slot career in the charts has been going strong since the 1980s and had recently released songs and albums, including ‘Rebel Heart’, ‘Living for Love’, ‘Ghosttown’ and ‘Bitch, I’m Madonna’.

Slide2

Alex certainly has not run out of steam with his sideline hobby of creating and marketing his work as a ‘indie author’ and aspiring professional photographer. On the day of his third book’s release, Alex also hinted that he will be working on a fourth title, although he has not yet revealed any further details at this early stage. While his third instalment will be made available as an e-book, Alex also teamed up with book printers DoxDirect to release a limited run of physical copies of My Journey, which he tweeted.

Alex dedicated his third book to some very special people in his life who have supported and influenced him along the way. The dedications, which appear on the back cover, include a tribute to Ajay Mody. Living in Mumbai, Mody was a passionate member of the WordPress community under the nickname ‘Ajaytao’. Like Alex, he also photographed the natural and bustling side of his hometown, India’s cultural and commercial capital, and was a keen blogger. He sadly passed away on the 10th August 2014, after a cardiac arrest and declining health. Tributes were also paid to actor and presenter Lynda Bellingham, the UK’s much beloved ‘OXO Mum’ who died in October of that year from colon cancer and to cricketer Philip Hughes who passed away after being struck by a ball during play on the 27th November 2014.

Alex also pens a dedication to this blog’s writer, a close friend and supporter, who in Alex’s own words, has “guided me along the way since I began my blogging journey”.

If you would like to obtain a copy of My Journey Through A Lens, or any of Alex Smithson’s previous titles, please visit https://asterisk15.wordpress.com/  and scroll down to the ‘Free Books’ section on the blog’s sidebar on your screen’s right, directly underneath the social media and contact buttons. You will see the title pages of the books and clicking on them will take you direct to the download site.

SOURCES:
“My Journey Through a Lens | Out Soon!!!” – Alex Smithson, Mother Nature (29 March 2015) https://asterisk15.wordpress.com/2015/03/29/my-journey-through-a-lens-out-soon/
“My Journey Through a Lens: Out Independence Day!!!” – Alex Smithson, Mother Nature (3 July 2015) https://asterisk15.wordpress.com/2015/07/03/my-journey-through-a-lens-out-independence-day/
“My Journey Through a Lens: Out Now!!!” – Alex Smithson, Mother Nature (4 July 2015) https://asterisk15.wordpress.com/2015/07/04/my-journey-through-a-lens-out-now/
IMAGE CREDITS:
Alex Smithson.

 

 

WELWYN GARDEN CITY: Cannabis plant seen growing in council flowerbed

British free tabloid newspaper Metro reports on a very unusual and illegal discovery spotted sprouting from a council-owned flowerbed in the Hertfordshire locality of Welwyn Garden City.

A member of a group called the Welwyn Garden City Cannabis Club took a photo of what appears to be a fully grown cannabis plant nestled among pink flowers in the flowerbed, located across Marsden Road from the Nisa Local Handside Lane convenience store, Metro reported yesterday.

(c) Welwyn Garden City Cannabis Club/Facebook via Metro.

According to Metro, the Cannabis Club were responsible for planting the marijuana, famed the world over for its relaxing and behaviour-altering properties which causes users to mellow out. Although several American states and the South American nation of Uruguay have legalised cannabis for medicinal and minor personal use, the United Kingdom classifies the herb as an illegal ‘Class B’ drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, alongside amphetamines and ketamine.

A spokesperson from the secretive group told local newspaper the Welwyn Hatfield Times that the impromptu appearance of ganja in the council flowerbed was a stunt aimed at promoting the benefits of the plant.

“We can confirm that the cannabis plants found in WGC town centre are not a one off their existence is no accident”, the group revealed to a journalist at the Times.

The club, which agitates for the legalisation of cannabis also said: “These plants are the work of local activists as part of a movement which believes cannabis should be available for medical and recreational use, that we utilise and legalise hemp and replace our polyplastics industry and fossil fuel dependency”

The group also claimed that hemp ‘has over 50,000 uses and benefits that most people are unaware of’.

“We are here to raise awareness of the medical benefits of cannabis and the dangers of legal and pharmaceutical drugs”, group member Luna Tokes said.

Unfortunately for local ‘potheads‘ looking for material to fill their next joint, the city’s govering body and owner of the doped-up flowerbeds, Welwyn Hatfield Council, had the plants uprooted to prevent any ‘further confusion’, Metro states.

It is not the first time illegal vegetation has been added to city flowerbeds. In May 2015, Astana city council in the capital of Kazakhstan mistakenly planted cannabis fields on Astana’s main roads, with drivers treated to several feet wide roadside fields of the drug. Locals were said to have joked that the exotic plants, placed at the junction between Auezova and Dzhangeldina streets, were an attempt to lure in local junkies for processing by the Astana police.

SOURCES:
Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/
Metro, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/MetroUK?fref=nf
“Someone’s going around planting cannabis in Britain’s flowerbeds” – Nicholas Reilly, Metro/Associated Newspapers Limited (18 July 2015) http://metro.co.uk/2015/07/18/someones-is-going-around-planting-cannabis-in-britains-flowerbeds-5302374/?ito=facebook
“Council ‘accidentally’ plants marijuana in city centre flowerbeds” – Harry Readhead, Metro/Associated Newspapers Limited (27 May 2015) http://metro.co.uk/2015/05/27/council-accidentally-plants-marijuana-in-city-centre-flowerbeds-5217650/
IMAGE CREDIT:
“Someone’s going around planting cannabis in Britain’s flowerbeds” – Nicholas Reilly, Metro/Associated Newspapers Limited (18 July 2015) http://metro.co.uk/2015/07/18/someones-is-going-around-planting-cannabis-in-britains-flowerbeds-5302374/?ito=facebook

GIFVILLE: New blog by Vijay Shah

One of the things that always fascinates me when it comes to the internet are GIFs. Little moving images, often quirky, hilarious and artistic, they always help to brighten up a boring internet search.

One of the members of the HEM Community is a professional at sharing GIFs on her blog. Dominique, of the blog GIFS Gratuits PJC, based in France, regularly shares galleries of animated images usually revolving around a theme, such as Bastille Day, Christmas, humour and animals.

Her work, plus the GIF Moments features I write up here for many major festivals in my life are what inspired me for my latest project.

Yesterday, while at my mother’s house in Seven Kings, just east of London city, I began the groundwork for this new project and today, I officially launch!

Introducing my new blog, dedicated to sharing my choice of cool, fun and interesting GIFs. It’s called Gifville (as in Farmville, Cityville etc), but without the unwanted game requests. The blog is still in development stage while I work out a few things but I will be begin posting on it now. I’ll aim to do a post every two days or so, and on Saturdays and Sundays. We’ll be covering all kinds of GIFs – from old-fashioned memes with cats to commentaries on pop culture

You can check out and follow the Gifville blog at: https://gifville.wordpress.com/.

If you wish to contribute a GIF to the blog, please let me know, and I’ll be happy to feature it with credit to you. If you didn’t create it, then simply also give me the link to the website you got it from.

GIFVILLE – The New Blog by Vijay

Capture - Gifville About Page

 

Gifville is a separate project from the Half-Eaten Mind, although there will be some overlapping, especially in the first few articles I’ll be doing. I look forward to seeing you all there!

 

PHOTO MOMENT: Eid Mubarak (SantaBanta)

Vijay Shah (editor)

Skselim Reja (contributor)

The Half-Eaten Mind and myself would like to wish all our Muslim fans, family, friends and followers a very happy Eid…..

 

EID MUBARAK!!

عيد مبارك

ঈদ মোবারক

عید مُبارک

Ciid wanaagsan

Iyi Bayramlar

Gëzuar Bajramin

Selamat Hari Raya Puasa

(c) SantaBanta via S. Reja/Facebook.

SOURCES:
“Eid Mubarak” – Wikipedia/Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eid_Mubarak
“Happy Eid! – Eid in different cultures/Languages” – Selcen Ozturk, Duolingo https://www.duolingo.com/comment/4858417#!
IMAGE CREDIT:
Skselim Reja via Facebook.

XBOX AVATARS: Change them with just your mobile phone

Owners of Microsoft Xbox consoles can now change their avatars (display pictures) while on the go with the help of their mobile phones. Mobile phone technology website phoneArena.com reported today that users of the popular console, second only in sales to Sony’s Playstation range, will be able to use a Windows 10 equipped mobile phone and a new app, Xbox Avatar App to change their avatar ‘on the fly’.

The avatar configuration for now only applies to phone users who download the Technical Preview of Windows 10 Mobile on their calling devices. With that in place, they can easily download Xbox Avatar and remotely change their gameface. The app however is a big one, the website warns. Weighing in at nearly 147 megabytes, the app will take up a lot of space.

Xbox Avatar will enable users to create or change avatars for their Xbox online lives, including changing clothes, accessories and features. The app also bridges the virtual with the real by allowing users to take a ‘selfie’ of themselves with their avatar and then save the image to another device. The app leads on from Microsoft’s development in April of this year where a similar app was rolled out for PC users only.

Snapshots of Xbox Avatar in action can be seen on the phoneArena.com report listed in the Sources section of this article.

SOURCES:
Half-Eaten Mind, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/halfeatenmind
Phone Crazy, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/phone_crazy
“Xbox users will be able to change their avatar on the fly by using a Windows 10 Mobile phone and this app” – Alan F., phoneArena.com – Home – News (12 July 2015) http://www.phonearena.com/news/Xbox-users-will-be-able-to-change-their-avatar-on-the-fly-by-using-a-Windows-10-Mobile-phone-and-this-app_id71436?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter
IMAGE CREDIT:
Getty Image via Zemanta.

PHOTO MOMENT: Together forever

(c) QuotesDump.com via ‏@April1_1989/@IQRTG

 

 “Forever is a long time. But, I wouldn’t mind spending it by your side <3

The best kind of love is the one that lasts forever. The kind where there is kindness, compassion, devotion, faith, and mutual respect and care. Because these are the kind of cherished ingredients that make the perfect relationship.

Long live forever love…..

Today’s Photo Moment was brought to you by QuotesDump.com courtesy of Inspirational Quotes and Huma.

IMAGE CREDITS:
Vijay Shah { विजय }, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/VShah1984
Inspirational Quotes, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/IQRTG
huma, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/April1_1989

MADELINE STUART: Australian Down Syndrome teen wins modelling contract

In a sign of the growing and long-awaited acceptance of modelling agencies of people with different abilities and conditions, an 18-year-old Australian woman with Down syndrome has been awarded an exclusive modelling contract.

Madeline Stuart has an ambition to change people’s understanding around her condition, and her ambition has taken a huge leap forward after securing a lucrative contract and her first advertisement campaign with Manifesta, a company that makes fitness clothes for women of all sizes. She celebrated her monumental achievement and victory for differently-abled people by sharing part of her photo-shoot on her Instagram account madelinesmodelling_ , Canadian newspaper The Toronto Star reported on their website.

My modelling gig with Manifesta. Love this brand.

A photo posted by Madeline Stuart (@madelinesmodelling_) on

“My modelling gig with Manifesta. Love this brand,” the Australian teen commented alongside a photo of her in a sky blue exercise tank top and floral leggings.

Madeline has over a year’s experience in modelling, including various fashion shoots and art photos. She started her journey into modelling after carrying out an intense workout programme which saw her drop 40 pounds (18.1 kilograms). It was only after losing the weight that modelling opportunities began coming her way.

“I am now a successful model,” the teen wrote on her Facebook page. “Modelling is changing (society’s) view of people with Down syndrome, exposure is creating acceptance in life and inclusion.”

For its part, Manifesta said it was “incredibly excited” by how Stuart is “changing the face of modelling.”

“For years Madeline has fought against the struggles, both internal and external, that go along with Down syndrome. Through dance, swimming, and cheerleading she has worked to strengthen her heart and body. And through her modelling career, she has forced many to reconsider the conventional standards of beauty,” Manifesta wrote in a release.

Stuart’s ambition and desire to break into the tough world of modelling has been lauded all over the world. Her success was covered by several media outlets and her social media following has exploded. She now has over 39,000 followers on Instagram and her Facebook page counts over 386,000 likes.

Her fans have been incredibly supportive. “So beautiful, and such an inspiration!” one commented on an Instagram photo from her Manifesta campaign. “A smile to die for! And those leggings are adorable!” another said.

One of her biggest supporters has been her proud mother, Roseanne. Her mother told Australia’s ABC broadcasting network in May this year that she hoped that her daughter can show “that people with Down syndrome can be sexy and beautiful and should be celebrated.”

“She is not insecure in the least bit,” Roseanne said, “but I have made a point of never letting anyone be critical of her and telling her every day how amazing, funny, smart, beautiful, wonderful she is.”

Madeline Stuart’s success follows that of trailblazer Shannon Murray in the United Kingdom, who became the first wheelchair using model to be booked for an ad campaign back in 2010, when she posed for a photo-shoot for the high street fashion store Debenhams.

SOURCES:
Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/
“Down Syndrome: Australian Model With Disorder Books 1st Ad Campaign With Clothing Company” – Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/topic/Down-Syndrome/107558015940611?source=whfrt&position=1&trqid=6169444695123937979
“Teen model with Down syndrome gets first ad campaign” – thestar.com World/Toronto Star Newspapers Ltd. (8 July 2015) http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2015/07/08/teen-model-with-down-syndrome-gets-first-ad-campaign.html
“Wheelchair-user becomes first disabled model to star in major High Street campaign” – Tamara Abraham, Mail Online Femail/Associated Newspapers Ltd (26 February 2010) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1253699/Wheelchair-user-set-disabled-model-star-major-High-Street-campaign-Debenhams.html

ASHES 2015: England and Australia to clash again from today

One of the most intense rivalries in the world of cricket is set to resume today as England face the Aussies for the Ashes. The Test series begins today (July 8) and will run until the 12th. The matches take place at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff, Wales – neutral territory for these two intense rivals and cricketing champions. Australia is the 2013-14 champion of the tournament, which began in 1883, and where these two teams vie to take the Ashes, a small urn from the 19th century said to contain the ashes of a wicket.

The Australia team, captained by Michael Clarke, is eager to reverse a bad run of fortune in the last few Test matches, and call a halt to a long 14-year stretch without a series win in England, while the home team have their sights set on taking back the prized urn and restoring English cricketing, and national, pride.

Australia won 5-0 at home in the last ashes two years previously. However, the Aussies’ series tally has been less impressive on UK soil. It won its last series in 2001, more than a decade ago, and crashed out of the record in 2005, 2009 and 2013, according to the International Cricket Council (ICC), making the 2015 series a highly anticipated and even contest.

(c) Alastair Cook/Facebook

The Australian captain Clarke was part of those three defeats and is eager to save face both for himself and the Aussies by securing the Ashes this time round. He has already a very established and successful leadership career, the ICC states.

England will be headed by accomplished captain Alastair Cook and will also be managed by new coach Trevor Bayliss. England made an exceptional performance in recent One-Day International and Test games against New Zealand, playing an aggressive brand of cricket that promised results and entertainment. Andrew Strauss, a former England captain and current director of cricket, was positive that England would be no pushover. “I think if Australia do win, they’ll have to play some outstanding cricket to do so,” he said.

The last Ashes to be held in England was a positive one for the Three Lions, who secured a comfortable 3-0 victory, although close performances on both sides made this a far from easy victory. Australia soon acquired a new leader, Darren Lehmann, who inspired the team from Down Under to a stirring victory against the motherland of cricket, and earned that spectacular 5-0 usurping that brought smiles on faces from Perth to Sydney and a drubbing for the beleaguered England outfit. Things have changed for the Aussies since that glorious match in 2013-2014. The team will be missing their sting in the attack. Ryan Harris recently retired from the international game, after wowing audiences with his ingenious bowling in the England series of 2013, as well as the return leg in Australia in that season’s Ashes. Australia’s pace attack now will be mainly reliant on remaining international team members Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood, who performed well in a series win against the West Indies. Starc, the Man of the Tournament during Australia’s ICC World Cup 2015 win, has been helping demolish wickets with that famed hard red ball, and he says that it was his consistency in play that helped him to that glory. “I have worked a long time for my stock delivery being at a left-hander,” said Starc. “The consistency is getting to where it needs to be and I’m starting to see results.”

England’s counter attack against a notoriously challenging team could well rest with County Durham ‘pacer’ Mark Wood. Fresh to the international pitches, Wood has already done well for himself and justified the selector’s pick for England. He recently picked up nine wickets in the two Tests against New Zealand in his debut series. The spinning contingent will be supported by Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid, both very meticulous in their department, and will be useful tools in England’s pace attack assault against Australia.

In other Ashes news, former captain of England, Kevin Pietersen has urged his old team to be like the Australians and go for more sledging, writing in The Telegraph that “this is sporting war” and that he did not want to see “people laughing and joking with each other”. England has won the toss to bat first today. Meanwhile, media giants Sky Sports are already offering up their predictions for the outcome of this year’s Ashes.

With both sides keyed up to win a series that has held a special place in the hearts of players and fans for more than a century, the action promises to be enthralling from start to finish.

Teams (from):

England: Alastair Cook (Captain), Adam Lyth, Gary Ballance, Ian Bell, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (wicket keeper), Moeen Ali, Stuart Broad, Mark Wood, James Anderson, Steven Finn, Adil Rashid.

Australia: David Warner, Chris Rogers, Steven Smith, Michael Clarke (Captain), Adam Voges, Shane Watson, Brad Haddin (wicket keeper), Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Fawad Ahmed, Peter Nevill.

SOURCES:
Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/
ICC – International Cricket Council, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/icc?fref=nf
“England, Australia set for Ashes battle” – International Cricket Council/ICC Development (International) Limited (7 July 2015) http://www.icc-cricket.com/news/2015/features-and-specials/88599/england-australia-set-for-ashes-battle
IMAGE CREDIT:
Alastair Cook, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/AlastairCookOfficial?fref=photo

TOMMIE WOODWARD: Man dies after jumping into alligator-infested river

A man allegedly screamed “f*** the alligators”  before jumping into a pool inhabited by the reptiles, who then savaged him to death, reports UK newspaper Metro.

Tommie Woodward, aged 28 and of Orange County, Texas, USA was visiting a private marina on the Sabine River in the same state, when he began mocking the creatures before jumping into the marina, where they immediately closed in on him.

Local county official Rodney Price said that Woodward disregarded signs posted at the marina warning visitors against swimming there. He said “He removed his shirt, removed his billfold…someone shouted a warning and he saidblank (expletive) the alligators and jumped into the water and almost immediately yelled for help”

Two American Alligators (Alligator mississippi...

Two American Alligators (Alligator mississippiensis), Florida, USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Marina employee Michelle Wright, in an interview with news station KFDM, told how she approached Woodward and warned him against entering the marina’s waters, but to no avail as he decided to take the fatal plunge. She later found his dismembered body floating in the water. “I saw his body floating face down,” she recollected.

“And then he’s out there for a couple of seconds and then he’s dragged back down. And then he come back up still face down and then he gets pulled down again. And then he just disappears.”

Alligators kill their prey by often clamping their jaws around the victim’s neck and dragging them below the waterline in an attempt to asphyxiate them.

Marina owner Allen Burkhart added: “He went under one time, then he hollered (shouted) at her to get out of the water.

‘Then he pulled him down the second time and that was it.

‘I’ve been here all my life and this is the first time something like this has happened. … I’m still in shock.”

Tommie Woodward had relocated to Orange County from St. Louis along with his twin brother and had found a job at a local shipyard. The reason for the plunge which killed him was not reported by Metro.

There are believed to be millions of alligators residing in the southern United States, with Louisiana and Florida states alone having 3.3 million. Most alligators avoid human contact and rarely feed on people, but can attack with often lethal consequences if they feel threatened or alarmed. They normally hunt turtles, fish, mammals and amphibians. In Florida, there are a dozen alligator attacks per year, but fatalities are rare. Only twenty people have been killed by the reptiles in that state in the past 40 years, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

SOURCES:
Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/
Metro, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/MetroUK?fref=nf
“Man screams ‘f*** the alligators’, jumps in water and is killed by alligators” – Nicholas Reilly, Metro/Associated Newspapers Limited (4 July 2015) http://metro.co.uk/2015/07/04/man-killed-after-ignoring-warning-signs-and-jumping-into-crocodile-infested-water-5280177/?ito=facebook
“Q&A: How many alligators and alligator attacks are there in the United States?” – Tampa Bay Times (14 August 2011) http://www.tampabay.com/news/humaninterest/qampa-how-many-alligators-and-alligator-attacks-are-there-in-the-united/1185694
IMAGE CREDITS:
“File:Two american alligators.jpg” – Matthew Field, Wikimedia Commons (26 October 2005) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Two_american_alligators.jpg
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,412 other followers