In a Heartbeat

Posted on YouTube in August, it’s now had over 30 million views, which isn’t bad for a student project.  The filmmakers, Beth David, 22, and Esteban Bravo, 24, made the short animation lasting about 4 minutes for their senior thesis while at Ringling College of Art and Design in Florida. It was a big project lasting 18 months, needing a Kickstarter campaign and a journey to Los Angeles, where they did a live recording of the score. They realised people were interested in the film’s concept when donations went past their $3,000 goal, eventually reaching $14,000 (£11,000). A large proportion of the amount was used to hire composer Arturo Cardelús. His soundtrack for the short film can now be found on Spotify. The animation has been a huge success and received a lot of praise.

in a heart beat

Dr. Sean Griffin says he believes it can be especially meaningful to teenagers who are figuring out their sexuality. “It turns a situation that is often fraught with extreme emotions – excitement, anxiety, fear, and potentially shame and embarrassment – into one that is ‘cartoony’ by literalising the runaway heart, thus making it a bit more amusing,” he says.

Not wanting to ruin the animation (make sure you watch it by clicking on the YouTube link above) the story is about Sherwin, a redhead who has a crush on Jonathan, “the most popular boy in school.” Sherwin is afraid to show his emotions, but his heart volunteers for the mission, literally jumping out of his chest and racing towards the boy who caught his eye. The heart wants what the heart wants.


Is Love Island harming the moral fabric of Britain?

If you haven’t stumbled upon the ITV2 TV series Love Island then I will leave it to the Independent to explain:

It’s essentially Big Brother – with contestants being slowly voted out of a house (in this case, a Mallorcan villa) by the public and the last pair standing winning £50,000 – only the road to victory is paved with Machiavellian gossiping and condom wrappers. Ostensibly, the ITV2 show is about finding love, but going far in it seems to require successfully walking the tightrope of being honourable without being boring. I should also note it’s quite meta in the sense that the rules literally don’t matter and are changed at the producers’ whim.


This year’s Love Island has proved hugely popular. The show has become must-see viewing amongst mainly female (67.4%) viewers and under 35s (63.6%). It’s already appeared on the wordpress this year for its discussion on feminism. Last week the a contestant from the show, Chris, was praised for openly showing his emotions and breaking the stereotype that men shouldn’t cry. Chris had been involved with fellow contestant Olivia Attwood whilst in the villa, and was left in tears when she decided to cool things off. In one scene Olivia told Chris not to cry again; which led many viewers to accuse her of being “cold-hearted” and “harsh”. In fact some people went so far as saying that if it had been the other way round she would have been seen as a victim of bullying.


On this Wednesday’s show the couples all became immediate parents with the show’s producers providing each couple with baby dolls. After just a short while Chris said,  “I think this morning he has already brought out an emotional side in me. With Olivia, we have stopped the mishaps we’ve had together and we’ve got to focus on the baby now, because ultimately he is our main responsibility.” I tell you this programme can be an interesting way to learn about life skills!

Laura Hamzic who works for Brook, a sexual health charity for young people, would agree with me, saying that shows like Love Island can provide young people with an entry point for discussion by reconciling sex with relationships.

“I think we’re still quite quick to judge young people as being sexually irresponsible and promiscuous and that’s something we would challenge,” she says. “They are starved of places to discuss sex and relationships in controlled environments like school, because sex education is very poor. Love Island isn’t exactly the best place to learn about sex and relationships, but it’s better than porn.”

Love Island’s commissioning editor Amanda Stavri agrees, pointing out that the key to the show’s success is relationships rather than sex. “Our feeling is if you’re inviting 12 singletons to live together in the sun, things are gonna get heated under the covers,” she says. “But it’s not salacious, it’s not grubby, it’s not explicit. We’re more interested in the story of the couple who have chosen to take their relationship to the next level.”

If you’re not down with the kids and their lingo then BBC Three have even provided a useful dictionary according Love Island so you can better understand the conversations.

If all this has whetted your appetite for Love Island you can catch up on episodes via the ITV Hub.

Better to be an atheist than a hypocritical Catholic

Hypocritical – behaving in a way that suggests one has higher standards or more noble beliefs than is the case.

The Pope who is the leader of the Catholic Church has today criticised Catholics who show off about attending Mass each week and being members of different Christian organisations but don’t “pay my employees proper salaries, I exploit people, I do dirty business, I launder money, [I lead] a double life’.”

This is not the first time the Pope has told Catholics to walk the walk as well as talk the talk of being a good Christian!

David Beckham praised as the Good Samaritan

You  may have read in a couple of newspapers over the weekend about how David Beckham, ex-Manchester United, LA Galaxy and England footballer, wife of the fashion designer and ex-Spice Girl Victoria Beckham, had helped an elderly lady who fell over and banged her head at the side of the pavement. The Daily Mail headline said that when he offered the bottle of water he was being a good Samaritan. Photographs showed him pulling over to the side of the road when he saw the emergency:

good-samaritanOther news websites who reported the story repeatedly referred to David being a Good Samaritan… A five minute YouTube video from the Mormon channel tells you the Parable of the Good Samaritan which you can find in the Bible in Luke 10: 25-37.

The parable can teach Christians to care for others and show agape love (unconditional love to others simply because they are human). This means that in GCSE exam questions about  Christians opinions on medical ethics such as euthanasia, abortion, IVF, genetic engineering, transplant surgery; or how to use natural resources and the environment when it impacts future generations; or whether to go to war or not; or whether punishment should bring reform and reparation; you might refer to the Parable of the Good Samaritan as making a Christian act in a way to help others and show agape.



Wedding Bells

The great thing about the first topic being studied by Year 10 this half-term is that examples of the nature and purpose of marriage are all around us to learn from. Next time there is an article about weddings and marriage in the news, or a scene which you read or watch, or a family wedding you’ve got to attend – concentrate – and mentally note down what happens, what gets said, who does what and why. Bingo you’ll be learning more for your RS GCSE!


Margot Robbie above with her new husband Tom Ackerley

Over the Christmas holidays Margot Robbie’s wedding to Tom Ackerley made the news pages: The Daily Telegraph reported how she fed the guests pizza and Coco Pops; The Sun explained how she’d tied the knot in Australia; BBC Three stuck to mostly photographs in their report; and the Daily Mail reckoned that all the guests received tattoos!

The plan to get married often starts with an engagement…


…yet how the marriage will look can vary tremendously. As our Year 10s have been planning possible weddings between celebrities, someone mentioned their love of this YouTube video of Jess and Gabriel’s wedding:


Is there a better video or film clip you’d recommend for us to watch to understand marriage and weddings?


Syria’s Banksy

A Syrian rebel fighter has been likened to Banksy for his politically motivated street art around Syria. The artist Abu Malik al-Shami has created some striking wall murals which send a strong political message.

This one made me remember talking about agape with Year 10 students…


What’s your interpretation?