Monday, February 29, 2016

Review: The Sims 4

When it comes to the Sims 4, I am of two minds. On one hand, I absolutely love building and designing houses and creating people (sims), but on the other hand, I get really bored actually playing the sims. A couple of weeks ago, I spent up to around 25 hours creating a Vintage style mansion in the game based on houses I see on design shows. I got so lost in the landscaping, architecture and designing the interiors that before long, I had spent hours on end on a house I did not play in very long.

After having created the monstrosity of a house, I spent a few hours creating a family to go with it. This is where it started to go downhill O.o haha! I played the family for all of ten minutes and got bored! It was so anti-climatic and disappointing for me because I had wasted many hours on this house. That is when it hit me. I am not that into The Sims 4! Don't get me wrong, I love designing houses! I have even challenged myself to make the tiniest houses and the cheapest houses, but I do not enjoy playing the sims that I create.

To me, it is really tedious and repetitive, and before long all the days morph into one big long day! For those of you who want to get into the Sims 4 and have not played the previous ones, there is a lot more freedom in terms of the construction of houses. This being said though, at the moment you are still not able to alter the topography of the landscape around your house yet! One thing I really love about this game is the fact that you can have varying wall heights and angled walls. This makes designing so much more interesting as there are a thousand and one more possibilities!

Altogether, I would have to rate the Sims 4 a 3/5. The design aspect of the game is amazing, but I have found the game play a little bit boring! For me, I need more action and challenge. Some people I know really enjoy the game play side rather than the design side, but I think I am just going to stick to designing houses!

President's Guide to Fountain Gate

         So anyone who lives anywhere near Narre Warren has been to Fountain Gate at least 100,000 times, and me more than most because not only is it the closest shopping centre but I also work there, god save me. But I won’t talk much about my work beyond mentioning that if you like Coles, there’s one here.
         Fountain Gate has undergone a lot of renovations through the years, and the most recent has been one of the best, adding a much needed JB-HIFI, Myer, and my new favourite store, Zing. With the ABC shop now closed it’s the best place to get stupid pop culture merchandise, sorry Gamesworld.

          The food court isn’t the largest but it’s definitely big enough, with places to get Dumplings, Italian food, and Oporto (chicken burgers that are actually made of chicken) as well as the usual Maccas, KFC and Hungry Jack’s. Closer to the cinemas you can find more restaurants, Schnitz, Pancake Parlour and Nandos are some of the more popular ones.Speaking of the cinemas Fountain Gate boasts a sizable Village Cinemas with several V-max and Gold Class cinemas, even it is a tad expensive.

Outside of the main building there are several useful stores like Office Works and Bunnings, as well as Casey ARC, the swimming pool and gym. Casey ARC has some great swimming pools, a wave pool that also has several fountain-type things that go off at regular intervals, a toddler pool, and slightly-larger-but-still-small kid’s pool. And of course the regular big pool either for doing laps or seeing how far you can walk on your tip-toes in the deep end.

So no matter what you’re looking for I’m sure Fountain Gate has it, or something like it, hopefully. Well the only way to find out is to come down and check it out, it’s in Narre Warren next to Princes Highway


Stephen Wynton

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Week 1 Schedule

Ink dials it back a bit from now on as classes start we’ll all be busy, but we’ll make sure you don’t lack reading material, so long as you keep reading, so here’s our schedule for week 1:

·       Monday: This week Bec gives us all well-needed advice with “6 Tips to Help You Beat Procrastination.”

·       Tuesday: More well-needed advice as I show you around our local shopping centre in “President’s Guide to Fountain Gate.”

·       Wednesday: Bec’s reviews cover the often zany game “Sims 4.”

·       Thursday: In Aimee’s regular segment: “Aimee’s Book Corner” she will be review the book that started a movie series: the Maze Runner.

·       Friday: Nothing but week 2’s schedule unless somebody else has a new piece they’d like to share.

Beyond that we will be uploading any photo’s we take, or any you submit if you want to, and we’re always looking for more writers so feel free to volunteer.

And if you want to see anything different, or have any questions about our segments feel free to ask.


Party Review: O'week Beach Party by Jack Taylor

2016’s beach party started in the usual fashion, with plenty of pre-party stress and it seeming like nothing was going to plan. The weather forecast wasn’t looking promising, the spas were nowhere to be seen, and of course the inflatable pool had holes in it. Regardless of this through sheer will of the team everything came together in the end, the drinks were ready, the spas and jelly wrestling pool were in place and we were all ready to party!

This year’s party drew roughly 80 people, slightly smaller than previous years but nonetheless the atmosphere was positive with plenty of new students in the mix. This year we went with a new food, hiring the Burglary food truck to cater for the event, which was a resounding success with their Heisenburger being a hit. The favourite drink of the night was the frozen margaritas from our good looking bartender Jill, which were particularly potent in tequila.

When it came to 10:30 it was time to roll out the star attraction of every beach party, the jelly wrestling. The involvement in this year’s wrestling was phenomenal with old favourites joining in, as well as new students. The showdown began with favourites Tom Morrall and Ollie Dolbey, with Ollie emerging victorious and going on to win many more matches. One of the favourite moves seen in the night was between myself and Tom, with a classic legs around the neck and a body slam, with the both of us walking away with our necks unbroken. 

The spas got a good workout throughout the night with both being consistently full of party-goers, keen for a soak while drinking a cool beverage. The party started to die off around midnight before finally wrapping up around 12:30. Stay tuned for announcements for the next one!

Jack Taylor

BS: Top 6 Tips To Help You Beat Procrastination

Procrastination: The act of doing anything but what you actually need to do.
I feel like in this technological day and age, teenagers and young adults here this word all to often, especially aimed at them. Procrastination is something I really succumbed to during high school, but over the past couple of years I have slowly been trying to do it less. Don't get me wrong, for the most part procrastination is not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes, you really do need a break instead of trying to get things done. Other times, procrastination can be your mortal enemy. Here are my top six tips that will hopefully help you in your quest to beat procrastination.

5 Minutes

The most effective thing I have done to get me in the mindset to do something I really need to do, is to make myself do it for five minutes. Most of the time, it is the thinking before you actually start something that puts you off. Do whatever you need to do for five minutes! Only five minutes! Majority of the time (for me at least) I end up thinking "this isn't so bad!" and I keep going. This simple step can have the biggest effect!

Why you should do it!

Sometimes, we just can't be bothered doing whatever it is we need to do. Something I do if I have enough time is to create a list. On one side of the page, write down all the reasons you should do whatever it is that needs to be done. On the other page, write down all the possible cons of not doing it. Most of the time, there are no disadvantages and going through with what needs to be done actually lowers your stress. Just think, it is one thing you have gotten out of the way. This is something that I have found really effective with uni assignments, especially...essays! 

The Buddy System

One thing I am trying to teach myself is that you do not have to do things alone. It is okay to ask for help! Maybe, try asking a friend if they will do it with you. This is especially helpful for working out and trying to get active. If you find yourself sitting at home putting off the assignment that is due in two days, call a friend! Tell him or her to come over and you can study together. Even if you are at different unis or studying complete opposite subjects, it is a win win for the both of you! Be each others' motivators!

Have breaks!

Many people when they have things they need to do, tell themselves things like "I will not go on my phone until I have written 15,000 words, even if it takes me all night!" Honestly, this is not the way to go! If you feel restricted you are not going to be motivated to go through with it. Think of it like when you are trying to eat healthy. Most people when they 'diet' say "I will not each junk food for a week!" or something similar. As soon as a restriction is added you instantly want to do what you have said you 'don't want to do'. Do you know why? Because, you actually WANT to do it! Instead, change your mind set. Saying something as simple as "I will eat healthy for the most part and IF I feel like something 'naughty' I will have it every second day". This can be applied to studying as well as many other tasks. Tell yourself you will have a break every 40 minutes or so. This will ensure that you know it is not forever and you will look forward to something!

Set goals 

Setting yourself goals on a regular basis can be really helpful as it creates purpose. One thing I do every day is I create a list of things I want to get done. I try to get them done as quick and efficiently as I can so I can spend the rest of the day doing whatever! Be realistic though. Don't create a list of a ba-zillion things that is physically impossible to fit in 24 hours. This will just stress you out and make you feel down as you would have not completed every single one of them!

Reward yourself

Sometimes, doing things that are important that you do not particularly want to do, can seem pointless if you do not feel like you get anything out of it. For example, cleaning your room. Obviously, after cleaning your room a benefit would be you can finally see the floor you haven't seen in years, but what do you really get out of it? Reward yourself for completing the tasks you set for yourself. This could be as simple as going out and getting yourself a coffee or even just watching the latest episode of your favourite show. Remember, be your own cheer leader! Praise yourself for your achievements, as little or insignificant as you deem them!

I hope this has helped some of you. When I first started my first year in uni I had very high expectations of myself. Even though this can be a good thing, it can also be harmful if taken to the extreme. Cut yourself some slack and have fun! 

You can do it! Remember, you already have two people on your side cheering you on; yourself and me! :)     

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Aimee's Book Corner: Between The Lives

Books of the Week

“Your lives will be extraordinary. You certainly made mine feel that way.” Jessica Shirvington, Between the Lives.

I am a big reader. I love fantasy, and mythical creatures.b ut for my first ever book of the week, I’m choosing one of my favourite books of all time. ‘Between the Lives’ by Jessica Shirvington follows the life of Sabine, an average teenage girl with the seemingly perfect life; except every night at midnight she becomes another person, living the exact same day. Nothing has ever crossed over in these lives; until, one day, something does.

I can not praise this book enough. It has just a hint of the magical/fantasy, but is fully immersed in real life; real connections, real friendships and real emotions. Now; I want to tell you something dear reader; I do not cry at books. Books do not make me cry. Between the Lives made me ball my eyes out like a small child. I literally threw the book across the room. This is the only book to date to make me do that.

Between the Lives is an easy read that will take you by the hand and throw you into the deep end. You will follow Sabine on her journey trying to figure out what the hell is going on in her life. You will fall deeply in love, and you will have your heart shattered into a million pieces.

If you love Between The Lives (which you will, trust.) then you should also check out Jessica Shirvington’s other series; The Violet Eden Chapters. These five books delve into the fantastical world of the grigori; a human/angel race that protects human beings from angels of darkness (and light). You follow the story of Violet, a grigori of special significance, who must come to terms with her power or the world as we know it will end.

Another heartbreakingly beautiful story told with such real tenderness and emotion you can’t help but fall into Violet’s world.

Do find these books, and do read them. You will not be disappointed.

My rating: ★★★★★

Until next week; when we’ll be discussing James Dashner’s series The Maze Runner.


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Creator's Corner: "A World Now Gone" By Stephen Wynton

This is a story about how the whole world changed, and I changed with it. My name is Will Sandren, and I am one the last surviving people, that I know of anyway. Im 21 and I am, was I guess, a university student, I was going to be a teacher. If you had asked me how well my friends and I would survive in an apocalypse type situation a few weeks ago I would have said we had no chance, but now I think we had exactly what the situation required. We were nerds you see, big fans of sci-fi shows and horror movies, less big fans of physical exercise, except for a few of us. One of my best friends Todd loves zombie films and as a science geek we are constantly discussing whether its possible, what we would do and how it would happen. Turns out it was through a flu vaccination, or at least thats what we think, and we’ve had a lot of time to think about it.

But those things are not important, what’s important is how we survived those first few days of the end of the world as we knew it, and what happened afterward. This is my story.

I hate being sick, but wanting to work with children means Im going to have a lot of exposure to illnesses, thats why I usually keep up to date with my vaccinations. My sister, Sophie, does the same, she teaches swimming. But when I got an email saying the latest flu vaccination was available I just ignored it, I wasn’t a teacher yet. I worked part-time at a child care centre but they were on holidays at the time so I didnt have much worry about catching anything. So that’s why I ignored the new vaccination, it wasnt mandatory for anything and I had until the end of the holidays until I have to return to the petri dish that is my workplace. My sister however, got the vaccination. She was one of the first victims.

And thats how I made the decision that saved my life. A decision I will either regret forever, or feel grateful for, I still haven’t decided. The day after my sister got the injection she got sick, really sick, she was coughing a lot and looked really pale, she stayed in bed the whole day. I didn’t take much notice; I was just excited that I got sole control of the television for a few hours, I’m now regretting I didn’t take better care of her, or at least said hello. I was chatting with my friend Nicole, you’ll hear more about her later, arranging to meet up the next day when my sister came downstairs. She had coughed up blood and my dad had to take her to the hospital. At this point I was concerned, we’d had illnesses in the family before but only the more common stuff like Dad’s pneumonia or Grandpa’s heart problems. This seemed different. When I woke up the next day it was noon, my parents were with my sister at the hospital so I was alone in the house, and it seemed unnaturally silent.

I got dressed as usual and started to walk downstairs, thinking about maybe going to the hospital today when I heard a scream from outside. We lived in a small south-east suburb of Melbourne and although one side of our house faced a busy road there wasn’t really any crime or anything to scream about. I had never even heard a scream so chilling and scared before, not even on TV. I looked through the window, it was glazed so I could see much, but what I did see had me frozen in place. The woman who had screamed was now running past our house until she tripped, she wasnt exactly wearing clothes for running, a business suit and skirt I guessed, she fell, hard. Another figure appeared, walking strangely as if he had hurt his leg, but that did nothing to hinder his speed. I wondered at what could be happening, maybe he saw her fall and ran to help her I reasoned. But his purpose I couldn’t have predicted, or even considered with any rational thought, but rational thought had no part to play in what was happening.

As the limping, creature, reached the fallen woman she struggled to get up, but just as she found her footing the other figure reached her. And bent down to rip into the flesh of her calf, with its teeth.

I ducked down from the window in sudden, horrifying fear that he would see me, it was all I could do to stop myself from screaming just as the woman had. I quickly called the police, even with my hands shaking uncontrollably, but the phone simply answered: All lines are currently busy.I almost screamed at the phone, but my sense caught me and I slapped my hand across my mouth.

I panicked, I felt like the whole world had dropped away and I was in a place completely alien to my home, nothing felt familiar or calming, all my eyes saw was what that thing had done, and what it could be doing now. Maybe it was still biting into her, maybe she had managed to get away and it was chasing her down the street. Or maybe it had left her and had come to investigate the house next to them. I scrambled up and ran downstairs, keeping low as if that would help, and grabbed a large knife, I dont know why but I felt like any moment the man would enter my house and try and kill me too. I must have sat there, quivering, for at least an hour until I had the courage to call 000 again. I got the same unhelpful and distressing message as before and almost threw my phone across the room until I remembered Mum and Dad. And my sister.

I called Dad, for some reason I thought he might know what was going on. I had no idea of the repercussions of my actions.

He was in a store room in the hospital, he too was shaking, curled up against the wall. He hadnt turned on the light so it was still very dark. He was barely breathing he was so afraid to make a sound. He swore quietly when his phone in his pocket went off, he cursed himself that he did not turn it off when he entered the hospital. But there was a greater danger now than disturbing some patients or doctors. He thought to turn it off but when he saw the caller ID he had to answer out of hope. Hello?He whispered
Dad?I sobbed over the phone, I hadnt even noticed I was crying, is that you?
“Will! You’re alive!” he was so relieved he forgot his situation for a moment and allowed himself to speak louder, “are you alright”
“A women outside our house was attacked, I saw it happen,” images of those events kept repeating themselves in my mind
“Stay inside Will! Okay? Just stay inside!” the hope and joy inside of my father had been replaced with fear. “What happened Dad, are you okay?” I had never heard my father like this before
“Will, Sophie died an hour ago,” my father moaned
“What?” I was crying again, “how? What happened?”
I dont know but a few seconds after she woke up,my father was speaking faster and louder as fear took control, but she wasnt the same, she didn’t speak, she didn’t even seem to recognise her. Your mother, oh god your mother hugged her but sh-she just bit into her neck. The blood it.... oh godAll I could do was listen as my father went on, I called for help but all I heard was screaming, I ran outside and everyone was running past me,” he just kept talking, the memories flooding his mind, “I tried to grab one for help but another patient came up behind me and bit my arm, oh god there were so many of them
Dad are you alright? Where are you?my horror now came second to my concern, what was happening, the truth hadn’t appeared to me yet regardless of the evidence
I ran, oh god I left your mother there and I just ran with the others, but the people in front just closed the father was talking loudly now and crying, We tried to open it but they locked it! They locked us in with those, those THINGS! I hid in here because people were- his voice was cut off by a scream as the door to the store room was knocked down by two patients, both covered in blood, some their own, most was not. My father clung to his phone, his one connection to the world now rapidly disappearing before his eyes, Will they’re coming, dont leave the house Will! All the people that were sick they- but he never got to finish the sentence as the patients torn into him. All he could do was scream. And all I could do was listen. 

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 Review
Hi guys! This is Bec. I will be writing reviews on games, TV shows and movies every week so if you have anything you want me to play or to look into, feel free to let me know! I thought for the first one, I would start out with a game that is really recent; Call of Duty: Black Ops 3. 

In the past when I have played various games, I have found it difficult finishing them or getting through them as I get bored easy and end up playing something else. This has not been a problem with the latest CoD game. Seeing as I have an Xbox 360, there is actually no campaign mode on the game and so there is a lot of multiplayer and zombie action! This is perfect for me as I usually do not pay attention to the cut scenes and I do not become invested in the story lines.

For those of you who are not familiar with the Call of Duty franchise, they are first-person shooter (FPS) games made byTreyarch and published by Activision that are set both in the past and in the future during times of global war and conflict. 

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 is set in 2065 in a world of bio-technology where in which both men and women are fighting in response to the drone assaults in Black Ops 2. There is a very obvious evolution of the multiplayer component of the game that was trialed in CoD: Advanced Warfare. Rather than limiting the fighting to the ground, players can now take to the air. Thruster packs have been introduced in the latest game, where in which, players can perform higher jumps onto roofs, wall runs and sliding. This has so far really captivated many people, including myself, as, not only is there more freedom in the game, but it also challenges a lot of the more experienced players. It is 100% more engaging and exciting!

Now, by no means am I a 'great' player! I have only been playing the Call of Duty games for about two years. Over this time period, I stopped playing the games for a while as I became bored. Black Ops 3 brought my passion back for the game and I have been playing heaps of Black Ops 2 to become a better player! 

Although the game itself is amazing, the one criticism I have for it is that some of the maps are a lot better. I cannot critique this too much as I like big maps but many people have complained about one of the new maps called 'Gauntlet' from the new DLC pack: Awakening that was released on 2 February. 'Gauntlet' is made up of three different habitats (arctic, forest and urban) and is very large. This is both a good and a bad thing! Although it is breathtaking, it takes a really long time to run the vicinity of it!

Below, I will Ali-A's youtube channel. Ali-A is known as the world's most subscribed and most viewed Call of Duty youtuber in the world!


Thanks for reading! Let me what other games you would like me to review! As I mentioned above, I will also be reviewing TV shows and movies so feel free to suggest anything under those categories!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Bec's Six (BS): Top 6 Study Apps

Ok, let's be real. Long gone are the days where we all spend countless hours writing up hundreds of revision flashcards and making fancy mind maps. Starting uni last year, I was like "I got this! I will type up all my lecture notes to OneNote every week and then transfer them to my notebook, and then I will also create flashcards of all the definitions every week!". This went well for the first four-ish weeks but then life got in the way. Honestly, (for myself at least) this was not sustainable in the long run!

For those of you who know me, you would know that I am great at organising revision (right at the end of the year). Last year during second semester though, I changed things up a bit and just created a massive book of notes that I printed out. $108.00 later and I thought I was ready for my exams! The biggest problem with this though, is if you are doing practice questions for subjects, say psychology, you will spend countless minutes (or hours in my case) trying to find the information. 

One thing I want to try to do this year is to make use of technology and is it a lot quicker and much more simpler! Although, I still think flashcards are one of the best ways of studying on the go, you can spend hours, or even days, writing them out and making them look 'pretty'. Below are my top 6 apps that I have been testing and think are great for studying, both throughout the year and before your exams!

Flashcards are one of the most popular ways of revising for uni students. The downside is that many people do not keep up with them throughout the year! The positive though, is that they offer on the go revisal of key terms in a shorter and more succinct way. Research also shows that the act of writing out information helps to transfer it to your long-term memory, making the retrieval process easier later on! Rather than overloading your brain with numerous paragraphs of information, you summarise and chunk pieces of information, meaning there is actually less to remember! This builds connections in your brain whereby, you can later expand on the information during exams and assignments.

1.Smart Study Cards

'Smart Study Cards' is really good as it does not only all of the above, but soooo much more! This app allows you to type in information and questions on lined cards that you can also import to other applications such as Quizlet and Google Docs. The really handy thing about this app is instead of carrying hundreds of flashcards around with you, you have them all right there on one device!

2. Quizlet

This app/website is great as it allows you to type in key terms and their definitions so as it revise them in a variety of ways. There is the option of turning them into flashcards, learning the key terms through their definitions and also matching the key terms with their definitions. This is a very effective app, especially for tablets and phones as it provides different ways of revising key pieces of information. The bonus to this app is that it is also very engaging and really user-friendly. You can also join classes on Quizlet and even create folders for different study sets!

3. Study

'Study' is quite similar to Smart Study Cards except for the fact that it is much more organised and you can also add images to your flashcards! This is really effective as you can import diagrams and visual representations of key information to aid in your consolidation and retrieval of key information. There are also visual ways of tracking your progress using the app that calculates your daily averages and total hours spent studying. Efficiency, correct responses and most studied topics are also calculated and recorded. On this app there is also a 'Study Timer' option that you can use which times the time spent studying specific topics. You can also preset an allocated amount of time you want to spend studying!

 4. Duolingo

'Duolingo' is great for those of you who want to keep up with languages you are learning! The app is made up of short courses in more than 25 languages that you can do anytime, anywhere. The amazing this about this app is that it involves, speech, writing, spelling, recognition and listening, all things that are extremely important when developing one's fluency! It is a really fun app that is made up of levels of categories where in which you repeat a few times to increase your proficiency and experience. There are cute cartoons that are engaging and imagery is used to symbolise different words! An exciting feature of 'Duolingo' is that you can invite friends to compete with and can compare your scores with them, and there is a store where you can purchase additional outfis, power-ups and bonus skills with money you earn through getting through the different levels.

5. Flashcards+

Similar to ‘Smart Study Cards’, ‘Flashcards+ allows you to create decks of flashcards made up of key information. You can type a question or key term on one side of the card and then on the other you can type in the answer or the definition. This is really effective as it provides on the go revisal of study material, without having to lug around hundreds of heavy flashcards that take up a lot of space! A voice also reads out the cards and you can set this to the pronunciation speed that you prefer.

6. OneNote

OneNote is by far my ‘go-to’ app when it comes to studying. It is a free application that you can download on just about any device! I used to be heavy Microsoft Word user but that was until I saw someone in one of my psych lectures using OneNote. The great thing about OneNote  is that you can create as many notebooks as you like that sync to your Microsoft account. This means you are able to access them from anywhere! You can also add images, different background styles, video links and different bullet points to help you in your revisal. I found this especially helpful as it is very customisable and it saves more time than hand-writing all your notes. There is also no need to worry about remembering to save documents as it automatically saves everything to your computer as you go!

I hope this has helped any of you who are stuck on different ways to study that also save time and that you will use consistently! Feel free to email me with any questions and to comment down below with any other apps or programs you find helpful!