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A photo of the City Watch force, featuring (from the left) Cheery, Angua, Sybil, Vimes, Detritus, and Carrot. Via BBC America

Sir Terry Pratchett’s City Watch series is one of his most successful, within the larger Discworld universe. The series revolves around the city of Ankh-Morpok, Discworld’s largest city, and the small police force within. The City Watch is comprised of an ex-alcoholic captain, a starry-eyed constable, a sergeant who’s a werewolf, and a forensic scientist who’s a dwarf, but different from the rest. This colorful medley is the reason why I love this series and its characters, particularly Captain Sam Vimes.

City Watch’s popularity also garnered a BBC adaptation, one that’s taken inspiration from the characters, rather than creating a series that closely matches the books. This is a stark contrast to the earlier Discworld adaptations that stayed true to the source text. The first season — releasing today — introduces the City Watch — including Captain Vimes (played by Game of Thrones’s Richard Dormer), a surly, goofy alcoholic, as well as Sergeant Angua Von Uberwald (Marama Corlett), a rough, tough woman who hides a chilling secret, Sergeant Detritus (voiced by Ralph Ineson) who is a literal troll, and Constable Cheery (Jo Eaton-Kent), a nonbinary forensics expert. …


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An illustration of the City Watch during a revolution in Ankh-Morpok, in the novel ‘Night Watch’. Illustration was done by Paul Kidby.

The series by Sir Terry Pratchett is pretty old; it started in 1983, ended in 2015, and has over 40 novels. The popular comedy fantasy takes place in a world that’s flat and rests on the backs of four elephants that stand on a giant turtle’s shell, as the turtle swims through space. It’s amazing.

The series breaks off into mini-series that cover various facets. Discworld includes the series that looks at the city’s police force, the series on wizards, the self-explanatory series, and a series on (its personification). …


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The posters for the ‘Star Wars’ sequel trilogy. Via IMDb.

I fell in love with the universe a few years ago; my brother introduced me to the series. The original trilogy made me fall in love with space and with technology. I dove into the hype around that universe; the animated series and the LEGO games were particularly memorable. I made fun of the prequels and is one of my favourite movies ever.

When the sequel trilogy was announced, I was honestly excited — a female Jedi, with a whole trilogy to herself? It sounded incredible, and I was glad that Disney took steps to make diverse. It’s been a year since the final part of the trilogy released. …


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By Mahmud Ridwan on Toptal

One of the overriding principles here at Lock&Stock is pretty straightforward — it’s to ‘better student lives’. Though this can mean a number of different things, Lock&Stock defines this with a down-to-earth response that can significantly change a student’s future.

Higher education has become saturated with colleges and universities, each one offering a wide range of courses to choose from. With many options available, choosing the right university is one of the toughest decisions faced by a student and one that impacts their future:

“This is a big decision, right? Where am I going to study for the next four years? We have to be able to support the user and help them out through this journey,” Mustafa Ahmed, CTO, explains. …


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Cover of Black Canary: Breaking Silence, by Alexandra Monir. Via Amazon.

Picture a world where women just don’t have a voice. It’s disheartening to realize that it’s not too much of a stretch from reality, but just picture it. Take your childhood heroes, make them young again, throw them into a dystopia set in Gotham City, and you have the heady recipe for Alexandra Monir’s newest novel, Black Canary: Breaking Silence.

Black Canary is an age-old superhero, first introduced to DC comics in 1947. Originally, Dinah Lance is the first Black Canary, and her daughter, Dinah Laurel, is cursed with a ‘sonic scream’. Later on, when Dinah is on her deathbed, Superman and Thunderbolt transfer her memories to her daughter, resulting in the Black Canary being reborn. There’s another reboot in 2011 where she becomes the founder of Birds of Prey and gets with The Green Arrow. …


The cover of the novel ‘Goat Days’ be Benyamin.
The cover of the novel ‘Goat Days’ be Benyamin.
A cover of ‘Goat Days’ by Benyamin. Via Amazon.

Migration from Kerala to the Gulf is a decades-old phenomenon, beginning in the 1960s when the Persian Gulf called for labour for its oil wells (Sasandakumar, 2015). Beginning with travelling by boats and dhows, the mass waves of migration have resulted in multiple international airports being built in Kerala to facilitate immigration between the Gulf and the state. The Gulf includes countries like Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, and Bahrain.

It’s not far-fetched to claim that migration has helped boost Kerala’s economy and that the state benefited greatly from the source of labour. According to Irudaya Rajan, Kerala would have been a more literate, more explosive version of Bihar — with low industrialisation, higher unemployment, and political radicalisation, the high unemployment and poverty would have made Kerala a “hotbed of terrorism, communalism, and social tensions.” …


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A portrait of Pocahontas by Simon van de Passe. Via National Portrait Gallery.

Pocahontas seems to be immortalized thanks to the rendition and to countless history books. We know Pocahontas to be a young woman who fell in love with a European settler and eventually dove off the cliffs of Virginia. That’s just a story. Her true history is very different, and much darker.

Tales have been spun about her rescuing John Smith, an English adventurer, from certain execution. This idea, that Pocahontas turned allies with the English, is one that captured the public’s imagination for centuries. Maybe because stories of star-crossed lovers are bound to fascinate humanity. However, the idea that Pocahontas turned her back on her own people to single-handedly help ‘bridge’ two cultures is not historically true. …


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The promotional poster for season 15 of ‘Supernatural’

Well, this is surprising to discuss, but ‘Destiel’ is trending, and it shot me into the past. It sounds impossible, but the long-lived CW show Supernatural is ending after 15 seasons, running from 2005 to 2020. The decision taken by the show’s writers to address the growing relationship between Dean and Castiel left some fans elated, while others walked away with a bitter taste in their mouth.

For the uninitiated, Supernatural is a fantasy show about two brothers, Sam and Dean Winchester, trained by their father to hunt monsters, demons, werewolves, and other fantastic creatures. In season 4, we see the introduction of a new character — Castiel, an angel. Dean is sent to Hell, and season 4 begins with Castiel pulled Dean out of Hell, and saving him. The friendship between Dean and Castiel develops into a ‘profound bond’, as mentioned by Castiel . …


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Photo by freestocks.org from Pexels

Television played an interesting role in my life. Of course, as a toddler I had my favorite shows — I even had a ‘Barney’ doll that I would sit with any time came on. However, as I got older, I stopped watching TV as much. With a dad and an older brother who didn’t share my television tastes, I preferred to read books instead or watch the odd movie with them. As the Internet got more extensive, streaming movies and TV shows became easy. It opened a world of viewing without Barney and Friends commercial breaks, and I loved it.

In , Netflix became an online streaming service, launching ‘Watch Now’, tying online streaming with their DVD subscriptions. Though Netflix may not have been the first one to enter the game, they are definitely the first ones to be globally successful. Netflix is now a $100-billion company with thousands of titles and is a global phenomenon. …


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Photo by Jesse Orrico on Unsplash

The philosophy of the mind has puzzled thinkers of all ages, from all streams — from biochemists to neuroscientists to philosophers, each one providing varied answers on how the mind works, and why it does what it does. So far, all of our answers have fallen incomplete, or leave gaping holes in our understanding, proving that, though we have many answers for the universe, we are not very good at understanding ourselves. …

About

Natalia Nazeem Ahmed

A young English graduate who’s trying to share her thoughts with the world. Still a work in progress. For short fiction, visit https://medium.com/@natalianahmed

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