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Boris and Carrie Johnson are expecting their second child

Boris and Carrie Johnson are expecting their second child
Aug 1 2021 Share

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s wife Carrie revealed that the couple are expecting a second child. Also revealing that she had a miscarriage at the beginning of 2021, the couple had married in secret at Westminster Cathedral in May, having had their first son Wilfred in April 2020. Announcing the expectation on her Instagram page, Carrie Johnson expressed her heartbreak at the miscarriage stating that despite feeling blessed to be pregnant again, fertility issues can be really hard for many people. 

The 33-year-old is expecting to give birth in December, ‘hoping for [their] rainbow baby this Christmas. Their first son was born just weeks after the Prime Minister himself left intensive care where he was treated for COVID-19. One of Wilfred’s middle names, Nicholas, pays tribute to a doctor who treated Johnson. Johnson himself however is known to father multiple children with different women, having had four children with ex-wife Marina Wheeler and a daughter with Helen Macintyre, an art consultant back in 2009. 

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Photo Source: Telegraph, Unsplash

Nerdcore; when geeks and hip hop merge together

Nerdcore; when geeks and hip hop merge together
Aug 1 2021 Share

Hip Hop music and culture in general bring to mind certain connotations – urban, cool, often represented by African American or POC. And despite the understanding of Hip Hop being quite flexible even within those bounds, there exists a sub-genre of Hip Hop called nerd core which deals exclusively with trials and tribulations of being a nerd/geek.

MC Frontalot has the earliest known recorded use of the term, originating in 2000 song ‘Nerdcore Hiphop’. Somewhat coining the term, the music is usually released online for free, with a history of self-publishing and self-production. The topics of rap include everything from the current political climates to science fiction, role-playing games, computers and high school hierarchies. 

There is no specific sound for Nerdcore Hip Hop. Rather, it is the lyrics that set it apart from old school and mainstream Hip Hop. MC Frontalot stated he was inspired by Beastie Boys who, despite having the traditional Hip Hop sounds, experimented with topics dealt with in Nerdcore. In fact, one of Beastie Boys’ album Hello Nasty (1998) was centred around sci-fi and video games. 

In 2005, a new subgenera called ‘geeksta rap’ (a spin on ‘gangsta’ rap) gained public attention.  In 2008, ‘Nerdcore Rising’, a feature-length documentary following pioneer MC Frontalot’s as he toured the US in 2006. It should also be noted that many Nerdcore rappers are college-educated, holding at least one graduate degree.

MC Frontalot himself double majored in English and electronic music at Wesleyan University. Another connection between all Nerdcore rappers apart from subject matter is their own marginalisation and isolation. Professional academic editor Amanda Sewell quotes one email shared with her by a Nerdcore rapper which states that;

‘Nerds end up in a lot of sub-categories, often based on what kinds of escapist media they consume or what professional talents they’ve developed. […] I think in every nerd there is a genesis story, an early period of perceived inadequacy, failures of athleticism and charisma, social exclusion and then isolation.

Or as Nerdcore rapper MC Chris explains; ‘If you try to act like you’re a tough rapper when you’re really just a skinny white guy who knows how to play video games, then no one’s really going to buy it.’ What Nerdcore Hip Hop shows is the immense openness Hip Hop as a UNESCO recognised culture provides. It gives a voice to the marginalised, empowering them by giving them power over their labels, their talents and creativity. 

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Obscure feelings you did not know had names Part II

Obscure feelings you did not know had names part II
Jul 31 2021 Share

Occhiolism 

Have you ever looked at the night sky, painted with stars, and wondered how small your perspective is? This is exactly what occhiolism refers to – the feeling that, despite your life being a unique event in history, it is still minuscule when compared to the vast size of existence. 

Nodus Tollens

Sometimes, what we planned out doesn’t always work out in that way. Maybe we’ve constructed a specific future but you’ve suddenly found yourself down a completely different road. And you have no idea how you got here. It is as if you planned your life according to a specific genre, only to later realise you might belong in another. 

Kairosclerosis

The brief realisation that you are currently happy – a thrill you get unexpectedly. These happen abruptly as often we do not notice our blessings. Sometimes, however, our consciousness picks up on it. We try to lock it in our memories as it slowly fades, with only the aftertaste reminding us of how joyful we were.

Vellichor 

For the book lovers out there, vellichor is the strange feeling one gets in used bookstores – the smell of paper, the aura of knowledge spanning hundreds of years. The digitalisation of information boosts this feeling tenfold, as finding an antique book store feels like stumbling across a time machine. 

Nighthawk 

The name for this feeling is insanely appropriate as it refers to recurring thoughts that only seem to click late at night – ‘did I finish my chores?’, ‘what is my future going to be like?’, ‘why did I say A instead of B?’. The presence of these thoughts, like a bird of prey gliding over its next victim, peck at your comfort exactly when it is time to settle down. 

Adronitis 

Why does it take so long to get to know someone? Why can’t we just get to the good parts and laugh alongside them? Adronitis refers to the frustration of how long it takes to get to know someone. Some might enjoy the encounters, but often its dry conversations galore up until a moment that sparks a deeper connection. 

Gnossienne 

Keep this one in mind for when you meet your closest friends. Gnossienne is a moment of awareness in which you realise that the person you’ve known for years has a mysterious inner life. Its similar to sonder, in which you realise everyone else has a private life. But gnossienne reminds you that even your closest connections lead an inaccessible experience you can never access. 

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8 ways of helping yourself with anxiety | by Ed’s Common Sense

8 ways of helping yourself with anxiety | by Ed's Common Sense
Jul 31 2021 Share

1. Remind yourself that the world isn’t as dangerous as your anxiety is trying to make it to be.

2. Don’t fall in the trap of living for your anxiety as it will control your life.

3. Stop feeling shameful about your anxiety, it’s ok to talk about anxiety with your close friends.

4. Learn to be a student of panic and see what it can teach you through its uncertainty.

5. Never forget to breathe properly when you are feeling anxious, it definitely helps.

6. Don’t underestimate the power of exercise to de-stress your muscles and anxious thoughts

7. Live the present moment and focus on what is rather than what was or what will become.

8. Anxiety is not the enemy. Accepting it is part of what will help you deal with it.

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