Is your favorite soda a Nazi? (No, but this is pretty interesting!)

The current global climate is one of outrage and public shaming, with some of our favorite celebrities and our least favorite presidents being involved in and accused of shocking scandals. But at least sipping your favourite soft drink provides an innocent retreat from the harsh realities of the real world, right? Wrong!

(I am being facetious, please read the rest of the article before you decide to boycott the Coca Cola company.)

Coca-Cola was invented by a confederate civil war veteran in 1886. Dr S John Pemberton created the coca leaf infused drink as an alternative to the morphine he had become addicted to. In respect to the popular myth about the drink, the coca leaf is used in making cocaine but the drink itself never contained actual cocaine. The drink spread across the US and by the 1920s the drink been popularised in many European countries, including Germany.

A Coca-Cola subsidiary was run in Germany by Max Keith and the drink had been popular prior to Nazi rule in the country. Throughout the Nazi campaign Coca-Cola retained German business by associating itself with aspects of German life, including the anti-Semitic aspects. Coca-Cola was one of the three main sponsors of the 1936 Berlin Olympics where banners were flown featuring the company logo alongside a swastika. And more shockingly Keith ordered a mass Seig-Heil in honor of Adolf Hitler’s 50th birthday at Coca-Cola Germany’s 10th anniversary.

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When the US entered World War II in 1941 all American companies were required to stop business with Germany, while on the other side of the pond the German government threatened to capture any enemy owned businesses. Due to this and difficulties contacting the main Coca-Cola branch in Georgia, the US based Coca-Cola company was forced to cut ties with Keith and stop supplying the German factory with supplies including the secret 7X Coca-Cola flavoring.

Unable to produce Coca-Cola itself Keith needed a new alternative beverage to market to the German people that could be produced in Germany itself. Thus Fanta (derived from the German word fantasie) was created. It quickly became well-liked, by 1943 sales had reached nearly 3 million cases per year. It was especially popular due to the lack of other choices at the time. Fanta was drunk by itself but it was also used as a sweetener in cooking and baking due to severe sugar rationing.

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Fanta production stopped at the end of WWII but the drink was reintroduced in 1955 in Italy. They made this Fanta with a completely new recipe and Fanta today is largely different to its Nazi namesake. Due to limitations from wartime rationing the drink had to be made out of leftovers from other food industries, namely fruit shaving, apple fibers, beet sugar and whey from cheese making. In 2015 for its 75th anniversary Coca-Cola released a classic wartime version of the drink but facing backlash hastily pulled it from the shelves and put out a statement saying Fanta “Has no association with Hitler or the Nazi Party”. I’m sure Fanta Klassik tasted nothing like the orange flavored drink you can find behind the bar in central.

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I don’t mean to make this sound like Fanta and Coca-Cola are a menace because of their history. Indeed, other companies have had similar war time deals and in the 1990s Pepsi used to trade with the USSR. Given that the soviet rubles were practically worthless outside of the USSR they bartered with the US using vodka or Soviet war ships in return for soda. The pepsi company briefly owned a fairly large navy including 17 submarines and three warships. Surprisingly, the company never used these ships to declare war on Coca-Cola instead selling them for scrap.

As the pepsi company worked with the USSR, Keith must have worked with the Nazis to create, produce and sell Fanta as “You could not do business inside of Nazi Germany unless you collaborated with them”. However, Keith was never an official member of the Nazi party and his allegiances lied solely with Coca-Cola and not with Hitler. He was simply doing what he could to keep his business alive. So dedicated was Keith, it is rumored that when American troops liberated Germany from the Nazi reign Keith was found in a half-bombed factory still bottling Fanta.

TL;DR Fanta was invented in Nazi Germany but not by Nazi’s and even if it had been, today’s has been completely recreated and only shares the same name so there is no need to fret about racist soda.

5 TV Shows To Keep You Laughing Through Summative Season

As we enter the most painful time of the year (a.k.a summative season), I thought everyone needs a way to relax and my way is to watch a good episode of a TV show that is not about a complicated story and just gives me a reason to laugh. And today is your lucky day folks cause I am about share my favorites with you!

Broad City

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The show is about two girls trying to make it in New York. Each episode is about a new adventure in their “regular” life. It just shows every 20 somethings’ daily struggles in a REALLY funny way. I personally love these two girls and it is the best possible break you can take while you are writing a boring essay because every episode is only 20-25 minutes. Broad City is definitely my personal favorite at the moment and I hope you like it too!

Lovesick

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Lovesick is about a guy learning that he has chlamydia and so he has to call all his sexual partners to tell them about the sickness. The show has a lot of flashbacks so you get to see how he met these partners and what went wrong in those relationships. It is not necessarily a comedy show but it makes me laugh and it gives great lessons about love, relationships and friendships. Each episode should be like 20 minutes again so it would not stop you from doing your work if you don’t binge.

Gilmore Girls

 Gilmore Girls

Gilmore Girls is about a single Mum, Lorelei, and her daughter, Rory, who attends a very prestigious and expensive high school. Struggling to fund this school, she goes on to ask for monetary help from her parents whom she hasn’t been keeping a close relationship with. I think the story is beautiful, the mother and daughter relationship is portrayed in a very different way than what we are all used to and it has funny elements but very deep storylines as well. I find it very enjoyable to watch whenever I do because you kind of develop a bond with the characters.

Sex and the City

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I mean… If you still haven’t watched Sex and the City, you have to watch it now!!! It is just such an iconic show, I think it changed the perception about women a lot when it first came out in the 90s. It is about 4 strong, independent women, each of them are unique in their own way, and the show tells the story of how they are trying to find love or for some characters how they are trying not to! I think it is a must watch and it is the best romantic comedy television show ever made.

Parks and Recreation

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I think Parks and Recreation is amazing for many reasons. Every episode is funny and I struggle to not laugh. I don’t think you’ll have an issue in finding this funny and the casting makes the show funnier in my opinion. Everyone just clicks with their characters. If you are feeling down and have no motivation to do anything then just watch Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope and she will give you all the motivation you need!

So there you have it, my favorite TV shows to watch when I need to just relax and have a little laugh. I hope you become as obsessed as I am with these shows but don’t let them stop you getting your grades – TV can always wait remember. I wish you the best of luck with your essays and other responsibilities you have.

12 Great Habits To Kick Start The New Term

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Since we’re kicking off the new year with a brand new term this could be the perfect opportunity for you to start some new habits to make your life easier for 2018. Research suggests it only takes 21 days to form a habit so it’s best to start them A.S.A.P!

  1. Start your work in plenty of time before the deadline: I know leaving assignments until the last minute is something a lot of us are guilty of and it’s definitely something that I need to work on but procrastinating is only going to make your life harder. For most of us it’s usually the case that we get an assignment and think we have plenty of time but before we know it we have a pile of work that’s due in a couple of days. This term you will be getting a lot more summatives so start them in plenty of time to balance your workload and get the best mark possible since these actually count towards your overall grade.
  2. Plan your day / Set goals: Most people can get a lot more done in a day if they already have a clear plan of what they’re going to achieve from the outset. It can feel really rewarding to tick things off your to do list throughout the day so make a plan the night before so you can get your day off to a great start as soon as you wake up.
  3. Make better use of your time: Productivity is key to achieving everything on your to do list so set yourself realistic time limits and try to plan how long you’re going to spend on Instagram or watching Netflix (I know this can be difficult!!).
  4. Keep up with your course requirements: The longer you leave your reading and notes to pile up, the more daunting it becomes and harder it is when revising for exams so keep up on top of it on a weekly basis for less stress over the Easter break.
  5. Drink enough water: The NHS advises we should be drinking around 1-2 litres of water a day. When your brain is functioning on a full reserve of water, you will be able to think faster, be more focused, and experience greater creativity. If your brain drops 2 percent in body water, you may suffer from fuzzy short-term memory, experience problems with focusing, and have trouble with math computations which could all affect your work.
  6. Eat healthy: It doesn’t have to be expensive to get your five a day, a few cheap ideas are frozen fruits and vegetables, lentils, canned fruits and even try eating locally and seasonally will help to cut the price. It’ll probably cheaper than eating a takeaway every night anyway as well containing much less calories and much more vitamins.
  7. Exercise: As well as improving your general fitness, exercising releases endorphins which can massively help to reduce stress and improve your ability to sleep, although I know some people may not need a lot of help with that.
  8. Clean your room: Keeping your room clean and tidy can reduce mental and physical stressors. It has been shown that creating habits like making your bed improves happiness and productivity levels because it helps you to feel on top of things.
  9. Join a society/sport: If you haven’t already joined a sport or society or a mixture of the two then broaden your horizons in 2018 and try something new.
  10. Get enough sleep: Getting an adequate amount of sleep will not only make you perkier and more easy to concentrate throughout the day but help to consolidate memories when you sleep therefore helping you to retain more of your revision.
  11. Budget your money: Student loans don’t go very far when you’re spending it all on new clothes and nights out so set budgets for the basics and the fun stuff as soon as your money comes in so you’re not left eating pot noodles for the last few weeks of term.
  12. Don’t to be too hard on yourself: Anyone would struggle to do these perfectly so just give it your best effort, remember how amazing you are and who knows what you might achieve in 2018!

Netflix Shines Bright

 

Netflix Originals really are starting to become more and more high profile and there is no doubt that it was a real coup to pin down Will Smith for their latest offering, Bright. But this one does not just boast the Omni-brilliant Smith in its casting ranks, as star of the Milenium trilogy’s big screen adaptation, Noomi Rapace, also stars. Add to this, and you’d be forgiven for missing these after the make-up department’s incredible transformation, Brad William Henke (or Piscatella in Orange is the New Black) and Joel Edgerton (or Tom Buchanan in Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby remake) and you could be excused for thinking that this Netflix Original is much more than just a straight to DVD (or streaming service) quality flick. And you’d be right!

Set in world where mythical creatures and humans co-exist, Director David Ayer (Suicide Squad) borrows elements from classics such as Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings to immerse the viewer into a whole new world.

Back on his beat in Los Angeles after being shot, Officer Ward (Smith) is partnered once again with Officer Jakoby (Edgerton), much to his dismay. As the only Orc, the notorious criminals in this universe, in the police force, Jakoby is the hated by Orcs and distrusted by Police Officers alike. Friendship is something with which Jakoby is unfamiliar despite devoting his life to protecting those who meet him with hostility at every turn. Nevertheless, Jakoby and Ward are set to embark on an experience that will ultimately alter many perceptions. I don’t want to give too much away at this point as I’m hoping that by reading this article I have done enough to whet your appetite. Expect explosions, magic and some expert shooting!

However, whilst the main focus of the film is the magic and the action for which many will enjoy it, the notion of belonging offers an intriguing sub-plot to the ‘Suicide Squad esque’ action extravaganza. Indeed, Jakoby is, in the truest sense of the word, an outsider. Outcast by Orcs and distasteful to his fellow officers he offers to the viewer a character that they can sympathise with. He really is a good guy who loves his job and the prejudice that exists towards ‘his kind’ in the movie is not as far as we’d like to think from our own reality. As you might have guessed, I am a fan of this creation as I feel that Ayer has taken something so clearly mythical and yet made a real life story from it.

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Critics have not raved about David Ayer’s creation and opinion is divided, but I personally agree with this tweet.

It is my belief that the IMDb rating of 6.5 is somewhat harsh, especially when you consider that The Phantom Menace received the same rating! Nevertheless, with company such as Now You See Me 2 (honestly just watch both of these films on Netflix straight away if you haven’t seen them) and Gone in Sixty Seconds this film, despite its rating, seems to be one that is well worth watching. Indeed, Netflix has already confirmed a sequel will be gracing our screens and this is in no doubt due to the response.

If you’re stuck without anything to watch this week before summatives and formatives restart I think I’ve just given you an answer! (Don’t worry if you haven’t got Netflix because the Xbox in Central does and you can borrow the controllers from the Porter in exchange for the deposit of your campus card).

Top 5 Unmissable Holiday Destinations in 2018!

It goes without saying that nowadays students are facing an increasingly diverse and widespread list of pressures in their lives and numerous studies have shown that in the long run these exact pressures can be heavily detrimental to their mental health .  Having said that, perhaps the best remedy to re-energise yourself would be to start planning your next holiday – it’s the perfect motivation! I believe there’s no time like the present.  You can forever keep looking back at your past experiences wishing you’d been somewhere, as opposed to actually seizing the moment and going for it.  In 2018 we live in exciting times so you have to appreciate that the world is your oyster and experience all that life has to offer:

Istanbul, Turkey

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So of course being half-Turkish myself, I felt it was only right that we kicked things off with the beautiful and vibrant city of Istanbul. Let’s say you’re the type of person who craves the hustle and bustle of a major culture-rich city. If so, I predict some of the very best value for 2018 will be Istanbul.

Last year the average price paid for a room in a five-star hotel in the city was only £87 (remember, that’s the average; it will be even cheaper at quiet times). Other major landmarks include the Blue Mosque, Dolmabahce Palace, Kadıköy, Ortaköy and the (undoubtedly) breath-taking views over-looking the Bosphorus.

Phuket, Thailand

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Quite possibly one of the most naturally picturesque areas of the world. If gorgeous untouched beaches, nightlife and scenery is what you’re after, look no further. Explore Phang Nga Bay where you’ll be greeted by sheer limestone cliffs that jut vertically out of the emerald-green waters.

In a recent study conducted by Travelex, Thailand as a whole was proven to be one of the cheapest holiday destinations in the world. On average it took over 22 days to spend £250.

Copenhagen, Denmark

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Probably one of the most famous areas in the heart of Copenhagen showcases the serenity of Nyhavn as seen in the photo. Also well-known for delicious pastries and confectionary, you can never go wrong with a cheeky trip to Copenhagen. Other noteworthy sites include the Rosenborg Castle and the Opera House.

Verbier, Switzerland

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An attractive, modern resort built in traditional chalet style, Verbier is home to some of the most challenging and varied skiing in the Alps. With world-renowned après-ski, facilities, scenery and outstanding weather, Verbier continues to be one of the most popular ski resorts in Europe. The Swiss village is set in the gorgeous canton of Valais and there are plenty of outstanding attractions to enjoy within the area.

Santorini, Greece

 

Santorini

If you’ve ever been on Instagram, you’ll most likely have been inundated with stunning snapshots of the Greek Island of Santorini. With some of highest relative concentration of hotels and resorts on this Island, there’s something for everyone. Scuba Diving and Snorkeling in abundance, the coastline attracts thousands of students every year. The capital of the Island, Fira, hosts a number of excellent resorts such as Kamari where the nightlife of the Island really comes out!

 

So there you have it. My guide of where to jet off to over the summer. Nevertheless, whether you go to one of these locations or somewhere completely different, the fundamental point we must remember is the value of living in the moment. In and amongst all the great challenges and achievements we shall face during our University Careers, we simply must give ourselves some down time to de-stress. For that precise reason, this post was aimed at highlighting some of the wonderful ways in which you could spend your Easter or Summer holidays relaxing and regenerating before you start the new year or work.

15 Reasons Why Being A Vegetarian Is The Best!

I wasn’t born a vegetarian and yes that means I choose not to eat meat. That’s not to say I’m offended by you eating meat in front of me, however just like you may love bacon or fried chicken, I love vegetables: especially when they’re turned into guacamole or hummus. As with everything there are certain negatives to living in a majority meat eating world such as limited options at McDonalds and having no choice other than to order a cheeseburger without the burger happy meal after a night out. Nevertheless, being a vegetarian is probably the best choice I made. There isn’t the suffering that people expect and I’ve managed to summarise 15 main reasons as to why being a vegetarian is the best. No hate for this please, I’m not trying to convert you all to vegetarianism, just giving you some friendly food for thought.

Now, before you start throwing Big Macs at me, just know that with this article I aim not to coerce you into any change in diet and the reading I have done to summarise these points is something you all should do before you consider becoming vegetarian.

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  1. You save the lives of innocent animals: This is a no brainer. Obviously being a vegetarian means I’m not contributing to the 6 million cattle, 10 million pigs, 14.5 million sheep and lambs, 80 million fish and 950 million birds that are slaughtered for human consumption (from which large proportions of the meat are disregarded for not being of a high enough quality).
  2. It can be healthier: Vegetarianism can have many health benefits, as it may provide a healthy diet that can lead to a longer lifespan. Vegetables are healthy, duh!
  3. Improved endurance: Eating more vegetables can also improve energy and endurance levels, due to the natural sugars and vitamins, which can further improve concentration – just ask Mo!Mo Farah blog
  4. Making friends: Another great thing about being a vegetarian is the instant bond you have when meeting other vegetarians who share your lifestyle and understand the importance of quorn scotch eggs and cocktail sausages…which is the next best thing.
  5. As a vegetarian you have an insight into how good quorn scotch eggs are, which is something our carnivore friends just don’t understand (I recommend you all try them).
  6. Reducing world hunger: On a more serious note, being a vegetarian could potentially be the first step to reducing world hunger, with around 40,000 children starving to death daily. Statistics from the Department of Agriculture have shown that 1 acre of fertile land can produce 20,000lb of potatoes; when this land is used to produce cattle feed it produces less than 165lb of edible cow flesh.
  7. Cooking is safer: If your cooking ability is anything like mine then cooking meat is potentially dangerous. At least if I’m vegetarian I don’t have to worry about any form of food poisoning or cross-contamination from raw or undercooked meat.
  8. Fresh restaurant food: Whilst most restaurants are well catered for vegetarians, the food often takes more time to prepare and can’t be botched up like many meat based meals are – trust me burgers and steaks from pubs are not as fresh as they seem and are sometimes cooked in microwave convectors for convenience.
  9. Becoming a better cook: Your culinary skills are forced to improve when you’re a vegetarian as making meals isn’t as easy as it used to be. So, even though your diet may begin with cheesy bean pasta, you are opened up to new foods and before you know it you’re creating spinach and wensleydale stuffed sweet jacket potatoes, with caramelised onion and falafel topping.
  10. You know all the best places to eat: We do. We know all the quirky places by us that sell our favourite foods and they are so so so good. If any tofu lover finds themselves in Birmingham go to Not Dogs without the meat in the Bullring, you will not regret it.

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  1. More ups: Apparently eating red meat could lead to a lower blood flow, which could be a minute contributing factor to some cases of erectile dysfunction. I must admit that even I find this correlation to be a bit over simplified.
  2. Avoid toxic food contaminants: I’m just putting it out there, but I didn’t have to worry about my mouldy turkey tasting of bleach.
  3. Lower carbon footprint: The United Nations said in its 2006 report that livestock generate more greenhouse gases than all the cars and trucks in the world combined. So if a vegetarian diet can reduce this, surely it’s worth it.
  4. Washing up: Meat often releases lots of grease onto plates and pots so by avoiding them you make washing up easier.
  5. The best thing about being a vegetarian is saying that you’re a vegetarian: what better way to start a conversation.

Feel Good Friday: A Smorgasbord Of Events To Look Forward To In 2018

Winter Olympics and Paralympics

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Pyeongchang, South Korea, will bear the brunt of the world’s stares in February and March for the 23rd Winter Olympics and with recent events in this part of the world the hosting of such an illustrious event will provide a welcome distraction. Indeed, the ability of South Korea to host a major sporting event has already been demonstrated in my lifetime with the 2002 World Cup taking place in a shared event with neighbours Japan. Another reason to watch is for Halifax hopeful (I’m not Yorkshire biased I promise) Katie Ormerod who may provide GB’s greatest medal opportunity! Expect big jumps, breathtaking landings and excessive amounts of snow!

Summer Ball

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Stephenson’s premiere event of the academic year heads to our, as yet, unrevealed venue and with limited spaces available this really isn’t an event to miss out on. Ticket sales will follow the same pattern as last time with deposits going on sale first and then full tickets going on sale later. The only way to secure your place at the event in May is to buy a deposit before we reach capacity so keep an eye out for Joe’s emails and Emma’s posts on Facebook to find out just how you can book the hottest ticket in Stevo this year!

Royal Wedding

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I think I surprised myself back in 2011 when I sat and actually watched the Royal Wedding and with another on the horizon I think we are set to be gripped, once again, by Royal fever. A celebrity in her own right, Meghan Markle seems set to become a phenomenon just like her Sister-in-law to be, Kate, did in 2011 and there’s little doubt that the a-listers present will be enough to make everyone’s head turn as both parts of this Royal power couple have famous friends. Leading up to the event there will be much talk about the dress, the suits and guestlist and the event itself is sure to be a blockbuster so tune in on Saturday 19th May to catch everything!

New Films

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Every New Year brings the certainty that there will be at least some films to look forward to in the upcoming calendar and 2018 definitely doesn’t deviate from the norm. This year has many incredible titles set to be released and I’m sure they’ll keep you entertained whatever genre you prefer. Here are some of the ones I’m looking forward to:

Avengers: Infinity War (releases 27th April)

Deadpool 2 (releases 1st June)

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (releases 7th June)

Incredibles 2 (releases 15th June)

Ocean’s 8 (releases 22nd June)

What a month June is turning out to be!

The World Cup (Russia)

As if June wasn’t giving enough with all of those fantastic films!

Need I say more? Football, pretty much constantly, for an entire month. Check out the image below for an indication of the amount of football you can sink your teeth into! (England are G4!)

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Handover Dinner and Stevo Day

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Tied 3rd and 4th (in whichever order you choose) as the flagship events on lots of Stevo Rangers’ calendars are these two treats which happen on consecutive days. The Handover Dinner kicks things off on the Friday night and as well as being a way for the current Exec to pass their roles over to their successors the evening is also an opportunity for sports teams to come together and complete their handovers for the upcoming year. Additionally, the event allows both the JCR and College to hand out their annual honours which recognise students for all manner of feats including sporting success, success within a society or sustained personal development. After all of this celebration at our formal dinner you’d think we’d be done for the year, however the very next day from midday we get back at it and host our very own mini-festival ‘Stevo Day’. Expect live music, free food and lots more!

Now I’m sure some of you are screaming at the screen saying I’ve missed events out but that’s the beauty of 2018 – there’s just so many great things going on so make sure you find time to do what you enjoy!

P.S. As I fear harassment for constantly talking about golf I thought I would add this as a footnote – there’s also a Ryder Cup this year!