Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Avatar: human reality

By Martha Rincón & Anamaría Zambrano

Avatar was directed by James Cameron. It was produced in the United States in 2009. It last 162 minutes. The cast includes Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, MIchelle Rodríguez, and Giovanni Ribisi. It is an action, adventure and science fiction film that shows our reality as human beings.

Jake Sully is an ex-marine that is handicapped due to the war. A long time ago, he was trying to get better, or recover his mobility, and Sully is selected to participate in the Avatar program, taking the place of his deceased brother. So, Jake is transferred to Pandora, a moon which not only has a totally new atmosphere, but also an amazing biodiversity.

Avatar is a scientific program which pursues the creation of a new body, one of the community members of Pandora. They create this, by mixing both human and native DNA.

The main idea of the movie is the conflict between humans and the native species, because humans want to extract unobtainium, which is a very expensive mineral.

On the other hand, Avatar could be interpreted in various ways. From a political perspective, we can analyse the relationships of power and the desire to colonise and command.

Finally, we totally recommend this movie, because it makes people think about the reality of our planet and its environment. It's so thought-provoking.

How to lose weight

By Daniela Amaya & Ana Taborda

For the people who want to lose weight, there are two things that are important to do.

The first piece of advice is that you have to have a good diet. During the day people need to eat at least five different meals. The main meals like breakfast, lunch and dinner are important, and between these, you have to eat some snacks like yoghurt, fruit, or healthy cookies.

The main kind of food for your diet in the main meals needs to be protein, like meat or fish, etc., with one carb like potatoes, yucca, bread or other things. Also, it is healthy to add vegetables and water to drink. All of these need to be low in sugar and salt.

The second piece of advice is that it is important to have an active life, doing sports or exercise, because our bodies need to be active to help our muscles and cardiovascular capacity as well as your self-esteem. You have to consider that all of this is going to be achieved with discipline, because if you don't do this, it isn't going to work.

Healthy Diets for University Students

By Andrea Garzón Garzón & Juan Villalba Muriel

Nowadays university students have bad health routines, because stress, academic burdens, heavy traffic, and so on, are causing bad life habits. For this reason, many students suffer from illnesses related to the academic system that is implemented through bad time management.

As we mentioned before, this terrible practice is the cause of serious health problems, such as cancer, diabetes, stress, stomach flu, gastritis, headaches and mental health disorders.

For this reason, a good management of healthy life routines accompanied by exercise, calm, and frequent medical checks, guarantees a long life with a healthy and perfect daily routine.

Finally, it's important to implement this life habit in our daily lives to have good health and avoid future problems that could compromise your life.

Chinese: More than a language, a tool for business and life

By Andrés Ferrans

In recent years and since China has become one of the biggest commercial powers, Mandarin has become particularly important, primarily in the world of business. Because of this, many people who are interested in working in the area of trade have started learning this complex language, in order to have an advantage over their competitors.

Why Mandarin?

Even without this being planned, Mandarin – commonly known as Chinese – has become a fundamental tool for international trade: even more so than English. Carlos Aguirre, Strategic Planning Manager at INCAE Business School, suggests that due to China’s relevance, it is necessary for businesspeople to adapt and learn Chinese. In the same way, according to Universia Chile, learning this language opens many doors for people in the world of work and more and more national and international companies see the importance of job candidates working on this language in order to be able to create and formalise trade agreements with China.

Mandarin is not only used in traditional business, but it is also a truly useful tool when doing business via the Internet. There are businesses – and more than a few – which obtain the majority of their income through the Internet. This means that being able to communicate in Chinese guarantees access to a larger amount of potential customers, as well as giving these companies the opportunity to promote their products and services to a much wider population.

Bearing this in mind and due to growing demand, many universities, business schools and language institutes have opted to teach this language, with the aim of helping their students to be successful professionals. At the same time that these institutions give more and more importance to this activity, they are not the only ones. Many companies have also started to hire teachers who can teach Mandarin to their employees. We can also see that various schools have taken the initiative to start teaching this language to their pupils starting from primary school.

However, it’s also important to remember that as much as Chinese is a great tool for online business, English still is and will continue to be the most established language for both Internet-based and more traditional forms of business. Carlos Aguirre asserts that English is the international language for business, and points to how the majority of websites, including Chinese sites, have English translations. This shows that English is still the global language and that it would currently be difficult for Chinese to overtake it. All the same, Aguirre restates that Mandarin is important to learn.
Not just good for business

Even if you’re not interested in business, Mandarin can be very useful for anyone willing to learn it. One vital reason to learn it is that it’s a very effective way to stimulate and train your brain, given the amount of symbols that are part of the language and that studying it means that you are developing both hemispheres of your brain. It has also been shown that people who start to study Mandarin from an early age become skilled at mathematics, due to calculus being part of this language. Another positive effect of learning Mandarin is the possibility to learn more about Asian culture. Learning a new language means learning about its literature, philosophy, films and music. Starting to learn Chinese can be seen as a challenge, as for Spanish speakers this sort of language, with so many symbols and different interpretations, can be difficult to study, but with time and dedication it’s possible to master the language.

Finally, I’ll leave you with your first challenge to start to learn one of the world’s most important languages: 千  里  之  行 ,始  于  足  下

There is Hope behind ‘Colombia Humana’

By Cristhian Leonardo Moya Prieto

Most Colombian people have had enough. Corruption, injustice, terrible management and wrong governments have made this country an unhappy place that is currently getting worse. However, we have always chosen the same fake and dishonest politicians every year and then we complain about how they have destroyed our nation. In addition, we often judge what seems to be different and believe that alternatives will never bring something good. Nevertheless, one of those alternatives that is getting stronger this year is Gustavo Petro. I believe that his proposals promise a revolutionary change for Colombia. What he wants to do has never been done in our country before. He plans to improve the nation by having a full vision and is sure about what he will do for education, environment, transport, security and economy. He possesses a confidence that no other candidate has right now. 

Firstly, all of his ideas revolve around one objective, which is to fight against inequality. Colombia has historically been a place with lots of people whose needs are not covered and who have limited chances to advance through their lives. To achieve this goal, his government will prioritize the services for early childhood. These services will encompass health, education, and the most important, affection. I agree with the importance Petro has given to education in his plan. With Petro, education will not be a privilege anymore. He will make education a free right and will guarantee its access to everyone. In addition, education will start with giving teachers more job guaranties, and with giving students more spaces for sports, arts and culture. Furthermore, Petro believes health and access to it should not be a business, which is why he will make the health system free again. I strongly believe these ideas are enough to make Colombian people worthy. Education will make us reach freedom and wealth, and the access to health will improve our quality of life.

Secondly, he wants to reform the economic system that has ruled our nation and that evidently has not been good at all. However, this is a difficult challenge to implement. Firstly, because he is going to implement a productive economy, and the economy that currently exists is an extractive economy. I personally think this is a large step to recognise something that identifies Colombia, which is its agriculture. The deforestation and extractive model executed in the whole territory has affected our progress economically, industrially and environmentally. Making Colombia an agricultural nation will allow its industrialisation, the protection of ecosystems, the improvement of strategic sectors (such as the sector of services or the textile sector) and the importance to rural people who currently sustain millions of inhabitants. In conclusion, Colombia has not known how to take advantage of its almost unique natural and social resources to produce and be a strong economy, and this is what Petro wants to take advantage of.

Finally, one of the most important points that will make us live better together, is the recognition of diversity. Gustavo Petro will emphasize his government and his policies for those who have almost always been excluded from the rest of the nation. This diversity consists in giving power to women in all aspects of public life and in providing them the same opportunities men have. Children, teenagers, disabled people and older adults will also benefit from the proposals that Petro has made. Something that most of Colombians have not even recognized or given importance to is the impressing diversity in culture and origins this country has and what Petro specifically wants to achieve is to make them more visible and more participative. I can say that many people in this nation do not feel represented and are sadly quiet. Petro wants to remove this. He explains that diversity and pluralism are wealth, and I believe that making people own their values is going to be the first step to eradicate inequality, poverty and inequality.

Finally, these arguments show the real purpose of Gustavo Petro, and the goals he aspires to achieve. I believe he is the candidate with the most potential, and the most honest of all the campaigners. He has been specific and knows exactly what he is going to do, and how he will do it. Petro has seen the reality of the people. Traveling around his country has permitted him to become the candidate of the people.

What I most value from his plan is the interest he has in recovering the essence of Colombia, by reviving agriculture, industry and culture. Gustavo Petro will be a person who will fight for a better quality of life, will improve education and health and will try to recover the confidence people have lost in the state. I trust he will do it well and that he will be different. Colombia needs an urgent change today, more than ever. Colombia Humana gives us hope in dreaming of a much better country.

The greatest problem facing Colombia today is the destruction of the environment

By Laura Maria Zapata Burgos

The environment is the most important resource in Colombia and I believe that its devastation is the most serious threat to the country. Recently, pollution and extraction of resources have led to destruction. Illegal crops and illegal extraction of minerals are a big problem because they create contamination of water supplies. Natural areas have decreased consistently because pollution, illegal crops and illegal extraction of resources have all increased. The greatest damage that is being done to the environment is the destruction of natural resources and the contamination caused by the extraction of important minerals.

Firstly, Colombia is a country that depends on agriculture. In the year 2000, it accounted for roughly 19 percent of GDP, employing 30 percent of the population. This is a good reason to protect the environment. If we don’t protect the environment, it will be destroyed, along with the well-being and employment of Colombians. They depend on working the land to survive, feed and have a decent life.

Therefore, it is necessary to create employment in agriculture to supply the entire country and encourage people to return to rural areas. This is even more important now that we are going through a peace process that guarantees the security of the people to work in the countryside.

In addition, within precious ecosystems in Colombia, land is exploited or extracted by illegal mining companies or to grow illegal crops, which increases the damage or destruction of the environment. Illegal crops are sown, and when discovered these crops are burned by the government. This damages the soil for the next plantations. Furthermore, illegal crops affect the national economy because they are “enclave economies”, which is detrimental to the activation and proper functioning of the national financial and economic system.

Finally, Colombia has part of the Amazon Rainforest. The Amazon is considered the most important jungle in the world. This rainforest is one of the last large natural regions in the world that have still been largely unexplored and contains an immense diversity in flora and fauna. The Amazon not only provides us with water, plants and animals, but also absorbs carbon dioxide and provides us with oxygen.

In conclusion, I believe that the biggest problem in Colombia is environmental damage. I think Colombia should take care of its nature. If it does not, it will become economically depressed.

Women stereotypes

By Valeria de la Torre Monsalve

The word stereotype is defined as a belief about a group or class of people, which can be a positive or negative belief. When we think in stereotypes, we deduce that a person has a range of characteristics or abilities. Usually, when talking about a stereotype, people think of negative characteristics of a certain group, because sometimes it makes us ignore differences between individuals. That’s why we think things about people that might not be true.

Typically, stereotypes are based on illogical beliefs, often inherited from previous generations or imposed by public opinion.

For instance, women have been stereotyped, commonly by men, but also by other women, since many years ago. Beginning with the belief that women can not have good jobs or have a better position in an enterprise. Is that why people believe that the role of women is to stay at home, take care of the kids, cook, and wait for their husband when he arrives after a long day of work. This has been a constant struggle in which women have been “fighting” for many years to have a better position in society. Despite this continuous battle, nowadays there is still a worldwide gender gap due to differences in income, education, health and politics.

Only a small percentage of women around the world hold an important position in a company, represent a country or are considered as an important leader of a group. Maybe this will take some more years, but for now, for example in countries as Albania defenders of gender equality have allied with governments and parliaments to take positive measures, such as electoral quotas, that have been successful. Quotas have doubled the number of women in the Albanian parliament to more than 16 percent. This has been an important progress, but still, it is important to promote equality and equity so that it is no longer a matter of quotas within parliament, but rather that it be something fair and decided in an egalitarian way.

For things like this to continue to happen and for women to position themselves in society as equals and achieve the equity that should exist worldwide, there must be efforts in all institutions, governments, to be an effective measure. It is also important that women believe in their abilities, show them to the world and show that they have the same skills as any man, to gain the respect and position they deserve in society.