Frozen Planet

Frozen Planet

This is truly a landmark series from the BBC about the two polar regions. The Arctic and the Antarctic are shown in amazing detail through the four seasons, with understated commentary and breathtaking cutting edge photography.

A truly magnificent series that gives you a mesmerizing view into life in the arctic regions, where harsh winters are followed by bountiful summers and life has developed so many novel strategies for survival. The underwater scenes are as fascinating as are the ones in the open waters, on the ice shelves and up in the skies.

You’ll see the most outstanding and rare footage of orcas, seals, owls, wolves and polar bears hunting, narvals and fish migrating, bison fighting, penguins marching, and a whole continent being transformed by planetary forces. There are many scenes beyond imagination, some have moved me to tears (especially the fight to the death of one wolf and one baby bison in episode 5!).

A truly outstanding experience that verges on the spiritual for me… and relays some ultimate truth about life, death and our amazing planet.

BBC’s page for Frozen Planet

Chris’ birthday :)

Chris' birthday :)

Chris and I celebrated his birthday right on the day, 15th Jan which fell on a Sunday. Similarly to last year’s we organised a picnic in the park with friends.

We had a gazebo, balloons, a unicorn pinata and I baked a Turkish cake which turned out to be very intense and yummy: halva, orange, chocolate and dates covered with chocolate, mint, rose petals and pomegranate seeds.

The weather didn’t quite behave but we had tarps coming down the gazebo and everyone stayed dry-ish 😛 The pinata got a good whacking and the cake was devoured.

More shots can be seen here on Facebook 🙂

Polyamory and the media

Polyamory and the media

I published an article on polyamory and the media late last year in the journal SCAN. I wanted to spread the word on polyamory amongst academic communities and to start my own research project on polyamory. But most of all I wanted to delve into the topic of how the media represents polyamory and uncover whether poly is still unacceptable or not.

Niko Antalffy: Polyamory and the Media

Polyamory is receiving more and more attention in the last decade or so. Popular interest in this way of life is increasing and there’s strong evidence that there’s a steady increase in the number of people who are ‘practicing’ it.

What I found, by doing media content analysis, is that the popular representation of polyamory bunches around three types.

The first one sees polyamory as a titillating choice but really fails to grasp what it is actually about. This type of representation speaks of monogamous anxieties and the desires of the masses, which is obviously not contained by their monogamous norms. In the end, titillation gives way to rejection of polyamory, in order to reassert compulsive monogamy and perhaps solve the cognitive dissonance caused by the readers’ desires to live a life they won’t allow themselves to live.

The second bunch clearly rejects polyamory as completely unacceptable. Conservative and Christian media outlets dominate this section and they see polyamory as the next stop on the slippery slope towards complete societal breakdown. For this segment polyamory is immoral and dangerous and there is more than a whiff of moral panic in the air.

And finally, the third bunch portrays polyamory on its own terms. Poly activists are often behind these positive representations. They do their best to show poly lives as prosaic/everyday as any other, and try to clear up confusions (poly does not equal cheating or polygamy).

Finally, I discuss how polyamory is/isn’t the ‘new gay’. Both the gay movement and the poly one strive to abolish discrimination and achieve societal acceptance. However, polyamory is not currently a legal sexual orientation (yet), it resists neat categorisation and challenges several social conventions at once. ‘Mainstreaming’ poses dilemmas for polyamorists… to find out what these are you might just have to check out the end of my article!

normal breasts

normal breasts

There is a lot of body negativity these days. We are bombarded with photoshopped images of idealised bodies that are biologically nearly impossible yet are held up as aspirational by the advertising industry, which is hoping to sell merchandise preying on our insecurities. Porn, with lots of cosmetic surgery and young bodies doesn’t exactly help either.

What’s more, everyday culture encourages us to associate nudity with sexuality, so most people find it difficult to get their hands on non-sexualised images of naked bodies where the whole spectrum of diversity can be observed without fear, judgment or an agenda to sell you something.

Breasts are both taboo and obsession yet most of us rarely connect with our own bodies in a harmonious way and rarely look at our own breasts as biological wonders. Most of us could do with some healing and nurturing in this area.

So this site comes as a lovely surprise and sign of hope: ‘007breasts’

It shows pictures of average female breasts in all their glory and diversity. No sexualisation, no photoshopping, no shame and shaming.. no insecurity.

If you are a woman, have a look at these and see how you feel about the images and then how you feel about your own body. Most people find that these images help them see their own bodies as completely normal, as opposed to ‘ready for surgery’ or something to be ashamed of.

If you have a young female friend or relative, please pass this on, could save someone’s sanity, sense of self-worth and confidence in themselves.