Archive for the ‘London’ Category

More and More Plays!

Monday, February 11th, 2013

Last week I saw two more plays! The first one was for my London Theatre in Performance class and it was called One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show. 

The theatre was really small and intimate. Every week we’ve been going to a different type of theatre. The first week we went to a commercial theatre (where I saw Woman in Black), the next week we went to a fully subsidized theatre (where I saw Metamorphosis), then I saw this play at a partially subsidized theatre. This week I’m going to be going to a fringe theatre in my local area!! It is so interesting. This theatre (shown above) did not have allocated seats, so you just bought your ticket and showed up early enough to get a good seat, which we did! 🙂 The show was really good; it was a comedy about a black middle-class family living in London and how they deal with social and class differences when fronted with them. It was a lot like the Cosby Show. 

The second play that I saw last week was Billy Elliot!!

I saw it as apart of the Social Programme that I’m enrolled in here. It is a very commercial play so it was over in the West End in it’s own big decorated theatre. Very different from the shows I’ve been seeing for class. When we got there we were handed our tickets and went in…we had really good seats, I was surprised! The show was kind of long (about 3 hours) but Oh My Gosh I ABSOLUTELY LOVED it! It was probably one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. The young boy who was playing Billy Elliot was from Salt Lake City and had been in 50+ shows on Broadway but it was his premier in London and his mom was there..he was amazing! He got about three or four encores! I do not understand how at 13 you can do a perfect british accent, act, sing and dance…I just don’t get it haha. 

ALSO! Before the show, my flatmate and I went to this little burger place she had heard of that’s on a back street by Bond Street. It’s called P&B (Patty and Bun) and we got there JUST in time because we got one of the last tables before a LONG wait formed…it’s definitely well known amoung the locals and VERY small..only seats about 50 people. YUMO! 

Here are some more pictures from the British Museum. They have…

Monday, February 4th, 2013

Here are some more pictures from the British Museum. They have portions of the Parthenon! WHAT?! I was not expecting that…guess I didn’t do my research but the surprise was awesome since I’ve studied this so much having taken Latin for two years and having taken Greek and Roman Mythology. Amazing! They have many of the sculptures that were in the pediment (that upper triangular portion). 

And you can NOT miss their Egyptian section, they have more mummies than you can count. One here has not been opened but they have scanned it to show you what it looks like inside..creepy! The darker photo is open and you can see the mummy lying inside. It is all real! 

I had gone to the British Museum with my Art and Society class a…

Monday, February 4th, 2013

I had gone to the British Museum with my Art and Society class a couple weeks ago but I didn’t get to see much with my guide so I went back last week with my flatmate, Tracie. If you’re in London you can not miss the British Museum it is reportedly one of the best museums in the world and they have a rare collection of things…its just remarkable! The most iconic is the Rosetta Stone! WOW! 

Another performer in front of the National Gallery! so funny

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

Another performer in front of the National Gallery! so funny

Even the drinks are better! This was so good! And cute!!

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

Even the drinks are better! This was so good! And cute!!

They have the BEST snacks here!! How will I ever live without…

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

They have the BEST snacks here!! How will I ever live without this stuff?!


Monday, January 2nd, 2012

My trip is coming up fast! I catch my plane on Friday so it’s about time I start packing and getting all my travel plans down to a T. I’ve registered for my student oyster card (a discounted card for their tube/metro) and I’ve figured out my plane details as well as how to get to my dorm once I land. Plan plan plan. NOW FOR PACKING:


I’m going to be taking one large suitcase, my backpack and my vera bradley duffel and to my surprise, I have more than enough room.

ALSO: as you can probably imagine…my Christmas was London themed:

some london themed gifts             new ornament


East London

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

Have you ever stood inside an underground tunnel? Not the run of the mill driving-to-Philly tunnel, I mean a legit cold, damp and incredibly eerie underground tunnel? How about one filled with coffins? How about one filled with coffins that are broken open? I can now say I have.

My “Ghosts and the Gothic: The Literature of Terror” class went on a study trip to East London this weekend, notably to go on a Jack the Ripper tour and visit the aforementioned Highgate Cemetery, where Karl Marx and George Eliot are buried, along with a slew of other upperclass Victorian families. The catacombs were the highlight of the cemetery trip, some people were understandably uncomfortable. We weren’t allowed to take pictures, either. There was something tangible in the air, something that set my teeth on edge and I couldn’t quite place what it was. All I know is that I would not want to be trapped in there! Some coffins had been vandalized and torn apart, in various states of disrepair. Alas, I didn’t see any bodies, because they had filled in the coffins with cement to spare people’s delicate sensibilities.

Cue the creepy music

Karl Marx. How humble, right?

The Jack the Ripper tour wasn’t eerie or strange in the least. In case you haven’t heard, a freak heat wave has hit the UK the past week, sending temperatures as high as 80 degrees! For this area, in October, it’s unheard of (All y’all back in Virginia are used to this, no doubt). So the weather was incredibly sunny and cheerful, setting up irony in all sorts of funny ways. The tour guide first directed our attention to this, a thousand year old wall (no Jack affiliation, just something amazing!)

      The tour began with our chipper guide giving us a background into the speculations of the Jack the Ripper case and walking us through East London. As it went on, we learned specific details of the murders (one thing is for sure, Jack was a messed up boy). The prostitutes are conventionally portrayed in movies as being young, pretty ladies who step out into a foggy night and are savagely torn apart. In reality, the prostitutes were all in their 40s, homeless so they wore all their clothes, and looking to earn enough money to just get a bed for the night. Apparently, the cheapest accommodation you could get for the night was sleeping slumped over in a bench with a rope tied to keep you upright. You’d get a lovely wake up call in the morning when the landlord pulled the rope away (shown in the Johnny Depp movie From Hell).

Since London has obviously changed a lot since the late 19th century, we only know the true location of three facets of the case:

Where Catherine Eddows' body was found, barely a block from the police station


(Yellow door/shutters) Where the chalk message was found, inside the building


The Ten Bells pub, where they tried to forget their sorrows


After the tour, we had Indian food in the infamous Brick Lane district. I caught glimpses of Big Ben, Buckingham and the Tower  and we got to drive over Tower Bridge! I need to go back to London ASAP and see all the fun touristy things. On an academic front, mid-term essays are due this week and next week. Since my professors are from Oxford, they expect a lot from you. My “Ghosts and the Gothic” essay is on the Miltonic concept of the Devil/God/Satan complex in Matthew Lewis’ The Monk and Shelley’s Frankenstein. Pretty interesting stuff! My “Fantasies of Youth” paper is on the construction of the orphan trope in Peter Pan and The Secret Garden. Basically, it’s all about mommy issues, and Peter Pan has a lot. I (ahem) haven’t started the other two….

Ah, and this was my view on the way back from London. :)


The Drive and Boston

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

A quick summary of the drive up to Boston. It was semi-stressful (yay flash rainstorms on the New Jersey Turnpike!) and long. It was not interesting save for the flash rainstorm on the New Jersey Turnpike. Mom and I made it to Boston in one piece with only a minimal amount of getting lost (tricksy Boston roads are tricksy). I was more stressed out by unpacking and moving everything in than by the drive to be honest. And moving in and unpacking was incredibly stressful because I have no organizational skills or sense of space. Thankfully the major things (furniture, huge boxes) were taken care of by a moving company and Mom was there to help unpack a bit before leaving. Her leaving was incredibly difficult but was made up for in spades by the arrival of roommate from Buffalo (Melissa)’s friend arriving. This made getting to know Melissa ever so much easier in a weird way. Melissa is very cool and kind of reminds me of another friend of mine who’s hung on despite my tendencies to not communicate with people since high school.
Boston. Boston has confusing roads and tiny tram cars. However I feel that by the end of this school year I’m going to like Boston at least as much as I like DC (though not as much as I love London.) There are more Dunkin’ Donuts in this city than there are Starbucks in any other city which is kind of awesome. The law school is right across the way from a Dunkin’ Donuts and there is one across the street from the T stop I get off of to get to school. That’s how popular Dunkin’ Donuts is in Boston. However they do have Trader Joe’s in Boston and I have mastered the bus system well enough to get to the Trader Joe’s close to me. And just past that Trader Joe’s is the nearest Jewish neighborhood which means there is a fantastic bagel place I can go to for breakfast before I go grocery shopping. That and many other reasons is why I think I’m going to like Boston come the end of the year.
Both of my roommates are awesome. One actually enjoys cleaning the dishes and the other says what she thinks and doesn’t give a damn (though really that’s true for both of them.) They’re mature and smart and don’t believe in petty drama. They are, basically, the perfect antidote to last year’s roommate situation. I hope everything continues to go as well as it has been for the past few days, but I have high hopes that they will. Tomorrow I find out if the rest of my section are as awesome as my roommates.
That is all for now. I have my second day of orientation tomorrow which hopefully will be less dull than the first day. Quickly though one last thing: I love how cold Boston is or at least how much colder it is here than in Virginia. Bless the North.

Nore’s Legal Series – Sampling

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

I haven’t been blogging. However that doesn’t mean I haven’t been writing or doing things. In fact I’ve been writing about various legal cases having to do with various legal ideas and issues pertaining to copyright. It’s hella fun and I thought some of you might enjoy it. I’ve only written about three topics, but they’re fairly lengthy, so that makes up for the sparsity. If you get confused by a term or want more details, there’s Wikipedia and Enjoy!*
The practice of sampling within the rap and hip-hop music communities has been around since the late 1980s and since that point the issue of copyright and sampling has been something that has largely been avoided by the courts, at least when compared to the output of music created through the use of sampling. Since the advent of sampling those few cases that are either pursued by the original artist or manage to make it to court have been dealt with in a variety of ways by judges. Up until 2005 with the Bridgeport Music v. Dimension Films case judges could take one of the two different methods or combine those methods to reach a ruling. The first method would be to use the substantial similarity test where the song that was created with the use of sampling would be compared to the original song from which the samples were taken. In comparing the two songs the judge would use the criteria of whether or not the songs were similar in message, tone, and audience to find whether or not the songs are substantially similar. The other method in trying cases of infringement through sampling would be to use a de minimis analysis. This would involve the judge looking at the particular sample and determining whether the sampled used constituted a qualitative and quantitative part of the original song. If the sample did not, and would not be recognizable to an ordinary listener, then the case would be dismissed. Normally judges would use a combination of the two methods, as can be seen in the case Newton v. Diamond where the judge used a combination of the substantial similarity test and the de minimis analysis to determine that no infringement had occurred. However Bridgeport Music v. Dimension Films created a new bright-line rule which aimed to simplify the issue of whether or not sampling constituted copyright infringement.
In Bridgeport Music v. Dimension Films the judge ruled that in cases where the artists admit the sampling has occurred that “no substantial similarity or de minimis [inquiries] should be undertaken.” This rule would only apply to digital sampling, which makes up the majority of sampling done within the rap and hip-hop communities. The judge also stated that simply an artist should “get a license or do not sample.” In this case the judge was implying that any kind of sampling, no matter how small or even potentially unrecognizable, goes against copyright law and should be considered infringement (“even when a small part of a sound recording is sampled, the part taken is something of value. No further proof of that is necessary…”). Again, this rule would only apply to digital sampling.
In light of this case, as well as Newton v. Diamond which was decided in the same year as Bridgeport Music v. Dimension Films, a number of scholarly articles have been published discussing the merits of this bright-line rule and the way copyright law in general deals with digital sampling. While all scholars agree that the law needs to better incorporate the idea of digital sampling, the exact method of dealing with sampling is not as widely agreed upon. Some scholars support the Bridgeport Music v. Dimension Films others, including Nimmer, believe that the judges were wrong in many of their conclusions namely the dismissal of the use of de minimis analysis and substantial similarity. In another article written by John Schietinger in the Fall 2005 issue of the DePaul Law review, the author vehemently disagreed with the judges dismissal of de minimis and substantial similarity analysis instead stating that a de minimis analysis should be conducted for issues of sampling. In doing so the author stated that it should be found whether the sample constitutes a trivial portion of the original song, and whether the sample is quantitatively recognizable within the context of the alleged infringing song and whether the two songs are qualitatively similar. Ultimately though, as the judges noted in their decision for Bridgeport Music v. Dimension Films “where one stands [on this issue] depends on where one sits” and it is unlikely that the issue will be fully resolved any time soon.
Finally it should be noted that even with the 6th Circuit bright-line rule, most cases of sampling are settled out of court or “ignored” by artists within the community, particularly if the artist sampling isn’t well known or the song itself is not terribly popular.

*I feel I should point out that this is not legal advice, more a summary of how sampling and other ideas have been treated in court along with a little bit of analysis by yours truly. As with anything I write about the law, don’t take it as authoritative more the thoughts of a pre-law student. Basically: I don’t have a degree, so hire a real lawyer if you need real legal advice.