Culture

Google Timelapse Reveals How The Earth Is Changing

Culture, Technology

Worried about global warming? Not even sure if it’s a real thing? One thing we can be sure of is how much earth has changed over the last 30 or so years, and Google is here to show you just how much.

In a short amount of time this generation has seen a technological growth spurt that’s now at a point where we can literally do everything from a tiny screen.

Google Earth has given us the ability to look at pretty much every area of the world, at the touch of a button. It’s something you can spend hours doing already, but they’ve now enhanced our awareness of how much the earth has changed visually with the launch of Google Timelapse.

You can now see how things have changed in the last 32 years by searching, zooming and panning videos from over five million satellite images that were taken from five satellites between 1984 and 2016. Be careful though, it’ll blow your mind.

California’s giant metal desert sculptures

Culture, Travel

Something more than desert wildflowers and the spectacular Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is attracting visitors to the Borrego Valley in Southern California.

People are coming from around the United States and internationally to see the amazing 130 full-sized metal sculptures here that are inspired by creatures that roamed this same desert millions of years ago.

The artworks range from prehistoric mammals to historical characters, fanciful dinosaurs, and a 350-foot-long fanciful serpent.

As you drive through the roads that weave through the area you’ll see sculptures of wild horses in a nearby field, sabertooth tigers in pursuit, and desert tortoises that seem as if they’re crawling through the brush.

The artist, Ricardo Breceda, brings life to his sculptures by capturing each creature in motion. They are so still, yet all you see is movement.

The late Dennis Avery, land owner of Galleta Meadows Estates in Borrego Springs envisioned the idea of adding ‘free standing art’ to his property with original steel welded sculptures created by ‘Perris Jurassic Park’ owner/artist/welder Ricardo Breceda based in Perris, California.

There are over 130 metal sculptures located in Borrego Springs.

Watch the artist create giant metal sculptures in California desert in the player below:

This post is sponsored by Air New Zealand & Visit California, however the opinions are of the author.

Brexit’s potential impact on the music industry

Culture

If you’re confused and overwhelmed with all the EU referendum stuff at the moment, you’re not alone. There’s so much information to take in and consider. It could have a huge impact on pretty much everything here in the UK, including the music industry. One company has just revealed research into how Brexit could affect the music industry in the UK, and it’s pretty scary, not just for the artists, but for us too.

If we left the EU, major aspects of the industry will be affected, including working visas, tax paid on records and merchandise, the touring ability of smaller acts, travel costs, and British fans being able to attend concerts in Europe.

Artists travelling to the UK do require a work permit, however UK band’s don’t need a working visa to perform in an EU country. If we left, they would need one, which could potentially place a huge barrier up for many artists during their touring schedule, meaning less gigs and some of your favourite artists not playing the usual venues.

Records and merchandise purchased online could increase in cost, as you currently don’t have to pay VAT or customs duty on imports and exports within the EU. If we left, that’d change. Even digital downloads would require the VAT registration for the artists in every EU country.

Smaller bands will be affected the most as the majority of their money is made during tours, selling merchandise and gaining exposure to hundreds of thousands of potential new fans during European festivals. Promoters from around the world will be less inclined to book acts as there’s additional costs, paperwork and general work involved.

Non-EU artists will have to purchase a Schengen visa that costs between £45-50 depending on the current exchange rate. This may not seem like a massive amount, but if you factor in the driver, tour manager, sound engineer or however many different people involved in the tour, the end result is a massive cost that just wasn’t there prior to Brexit.

For all the fans, it’s sad news as the costs of pretty much everything involved in seeing an artist abroad will increase in so many different ways. Flights for example are currently cheaper and more regular due to our EU-US open skies regulations, as well as free health care access, financial protection, caps on mobile phone charges and compensation for delayed flights that are included within the EU membership.

This is a brief overview of what impact Brexit could have on the music industry, and it doesn’t look like a positive one. Do you think we should leave? And what further knock-on effects do you think this may have on travelling artists and fans? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

If you’re still getting to grips with the whole thing then check out the BBC’s easy-to-follow breakdown of the referendum here.

The biggest birthday celebration on earth

Culture

What if you could celebrate your birthday alongside your best mate or partner in one of the coolest cities in the world. Not only that, but be treated like royalty, flown to another country, party on a boat, given free booze and have a live DJ performance on the top of a tower, just for you. An amazing prospect right? Well that’s exactly what happened when KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Heineken arranged for four lucky people to take part in The Orange Experience 2016.

This isn’t the first time these two companies have joined forces to create a once-in-a-lifetime experience for a group of lucky people. Last year they gave five people an epic experience after they answered yes to a random question once they had ordered at the bar. Sometimes it’s good to take yourself out of your comfort zone and say yes to things you normally wouldn’t, which in this case, ended very well for them!

The Orange Experience KLM Heineken Sponsored Amsterdam Birthday

This time though, the unassuming adventurers were nominated by a friend or partner to go and celebrate their birthday in Holland for King’s Day, just as long as they shared the same birthday as the Dutch King, which is the 27th of April. These guys had the luck of the draw since the day they were born, literally.

King’s Day is one of Holland’s best kept secrets, and is one of the most amazing national events of the year. It’s the celebration of the King’s birthday and is a huge celebration and display of national pride in the Netherlands. Also known as Oranjegekte or Orange Madness, everyone involved dresses up in orange, and has endless amounts of fun throughout the day and well into the night. Canal boats, streets and pretty much everything in sight is covered in orange – it’s truly an eye-opening spectacle to behold and the perfect event to create the biggest birthday celebration on earth.

The biggest birthday celebration on earth

The winners were handpicked by KLM and Heineken, and then visited in their cities of Beijing, Rio, San Francisco and London much to their surprise with an invitation to celebrate their birthday with VIP access to one of the biggest events in Holland. They were then whisked away to the airport with the announcement of their destination, stopping by just once to pick up a bag!

Arriving in Amsterdam with King’s Day celebrations in full swing, the winners enjoyed a Royal Experience in Soestdijk Palace and traditional Dutch King’s Day games before boarding a boat for a Royal Birthday party.

To finish an amazing experience they were taken to The A’dam tower for an exclusive party with world famous DJ Martin Garrix. Not a bad birthday right? Watch the video below and see all the events unfold as four lucky winners get a birthday experience like no other:

With its combination of world class culture, entertainment and history, Amsterdam is an absolute must for travellers everywhere. And, as KLM and Heineken proved, there’s no better time to visit than King’s Day.

This post is sponsored by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Heineken.

Eden Hazard’s perfect kick

Culture, Sport

Lotus Bakeries challenges Eden Hazard to demonstrate the perfect kick, by hitting a target surrounded by thousands of coffee cups. The goal is to hit the target, after which a Lotus Biscoff will fall onto a saucer next to a fresh cup of coffee.

The talented Belgian football player currently plays for Chelsea, and the Belgium national team as an attacking midfielder and a winger, so he has no problem performing under similar pressures with hundreds of thousands of fans waiting for him to kick the ball accurately, every single time.

Eden Hazard The Perfect Kick Looking

Hazard is well known for his technical ability and accuracy with the ball, so giving him the daunting task of hitting the smallest target in front of a whole camera crew, and an intense wall of 10,000 cups just waiting to be smashed is a tense, but expected and exciting outcome. Can he do it, or will he smash all the cups? Watch the video in the player below to find out:

What did you think? Was it what you expected? And even more so, do you think you could do better? Why not show your perfect kick, and give yourself the incredible opportunity for you and a friend to meet Eden Hazard in London! Get creative, and think of any scenario where you can hit the target and display your perfect kick. Whether it be cracking the crossbar from the halfway line, or floating the ball into a basketball hoop with your exceptional left foot – it’s all to play for and we can’t wait to see what you can do!

Twice per month, Eden shares his favourite tricks you submit on his Facebook and Twitter page too, so your perfect kick will be shown around the world, to hundreds of thousands of people. To upload your video, simply go to the official website and click on the ‘Upload’ tab. From there you will be given the relevant instructions to enter.

Sponsored Video: Eden Hazard demonstrates the perfect kick

If you win the Perfect Kick competition, you and your mate will be sent to London to meet Eden Hazard in the flesh, and he’ll sign your favourite football shirt. You’ll also get to stay in a central London hotel and capture this once-in-a-lifetime event and share it with all your friends if you take a camera with you.

The event will be in August 2016, so make sure you’re available if you do win as you wouldn’t want to miss out! When talking about the competition and the perfect kick, Eden said: “Now I want to see your perfect kick. It doesn’t even have to be on a football field … Just make it fun, and then maybe I’ll see you in London…”

Sponsored Video: Eden Hazard demonstrates the perfect kick

Make sure you read the rules before entering this amazing competition, and please take care when performing your perfect kick!

Lotus Bakeries focuses on authentic specialities from the biscuit and cake world and specialise in the world famous Lotus Biscoff. They create caramelized biscuits, gingerbread, cake specialties, waffles and pepparkakor biscuits that’ll tease your tastebuds.

For more information on Lotus Bakeries, and the range of lotus biscuits available, please go their official website here.

This post is sponsored by Lotus Bakeries, however the opinions are of the author.

7 Ways To Free The Joy With Cadbury

Culture, Lifestyle

It’s still the start of the new year and you really are sticking to your New Year’s resolutions.

The hours of work you’ve put in the gym and in the kitchen are really starting to show their metal in the areas that matter, so why would I write this article to promote chocolate. Well, you have to treat yourself every now and again.

You need to be rewarded for all the hard work you’ve put in, and there’s only one life to live, so work hard, and enjoy it. However, as with all goodness, there is badness, so enjoy a balanced diet on top of a treat once or twice a week.

Treat yourself to one of seven Cadbury Dairy Milk flavours and experience the joy! There’s some amazing moments in store for your tastebuds, so prepare yourself.

You can enjoy a crunchy wholenut for an extra bite to your treat, or divulge in a mouthwatering Cadbury Dairy Milk Turkish Delight Bar, chow down on Oreo or Daim filled chocolate and keep it classy with a smooth caramel bar.

For those of you that like to keep it simple and classic, there’s always the standard Cadbury Dairy Milk Bar – this is a personal favourite of mine as I like to keep things simple.

To celebrate these fantastic choices, YouTube star Anthony Vincent takes on the “Yes sir, I can boogie” tune in this awesome video.

Unfortunately, the video has now been set to private, which sucks ass.

Reeperbahn Festival 2011

Culture, Featured

The Reeperbahn Festival is one of Europe’s most intriguing festival to date. There are so many things to pack into just a few days, at times, you can feel quite overwhelmed. Budding musicians, festival goers and artists alike will feel right at home in Hamburg, as there is so much influence around every corner for you to pick and choose from. It’s catnip for the musical/artistic population of the world. I mean this place has World War 2 bunkers as nightclubs for Christ sake, now where else in the world can you experience that as well as a festival. Try and apply for a gig night somewhere in England with the same caliber as that then. As a band, playing in something like that would really take your breath away and give you a real boost as an artist. Mind you, it’s even a privilege to experience a venue like that as a journalist. With such an array of different venues to explore and experience it’s a wonder you have any brain capacity left to even consider looking at the art invading-cluster-fuck that encapsulates what Hamburg is all about.

What a way to close off the end of a long hard summer too, the festival drops right towards the end of September and is pretty much the perfect way to end your summer. Providing the weather plays along side the festival you can experience a large range of outdoor gigs, street musicians and whole array of creative sections to Hamburg. Believe it or not but the festival organizers have managed to pack in more than 200 events at 40 different locations along the legend that is the Reeperbahn. No wonder the festival had a record breaking 17.500 attendants and 1.900 professionals and journalists from 31 nations attending the festival this year. Even some chap came all the way from Rio De Rio de Janeiro – now that’s dedication for you. You could definitely see that guy traveling all the way to give it some “crunk” on the open-air silent disco till all hours in the morning – showing us how it is done in Rio.

Some of you may have a view of the Reeperbahn as a seedy place for gangs of Stag Dos and youngsters looking for sexy time, but the Red Light tag that comes with this part of Germany is totally drowned by clubs, bars, restaurants, theaters, art galleries, cabarets and much, much more. This transformation has taken a while but has now come to a point where Hamburg is becoming an unstoppable force. However if you’re looking for that sort of thing then the Herbertstrasse is definitely for you: the street consists of brothels that is off limits for juveniles and females. Yet this just shows you how much of a small part of Hamburg that this scene is today.

Dominating the festival is the newly revamped Spielbudenplatz which offers the public a chance to watch bands play live on two mobile platforms. These open-air gigs give the festival a real “festival” vibe, without all the muddy fields. This area is the hub of the Reeperbahn Festival featuring a whole heap of venues within one strip of tarmac. You can probably spend the whole three days jumping from venue to venue taking in the sights and smells of the Spielbudenplatz – however this is not recommended as outside of this hub are some absolute gems to Hamburg.

As a journalist covering the festival by your lonesome it’s extremely hard to focus on what you’re actually going to be able to physically cover within three days, without passing out from lack of sleep. The three main sections to the festivals: Music, Campus and Arts provide more than enough entertainment for you and a crew of 100 journos. So how does one choose what the hell they are going to cover? Being a music journalist – thoughts are swung towards covering music, which would be ideal. So, that’s what one accomplished. Yet a lot was still untouched, so apologies to all the bands, the artwork, the exhibition areas we missed.

A few hotly tipped bands for the weekend seemed to be the best option, but kind of didn’t work out as planned, nor should don the title “Hotly Tipped”. French electro stagesters Yelle provided what sounded like the ending to an N64 game for the duration of their set. She’s got the look, but the music don’t got no naffink. The venue was astonishingly packed and for the first time since the festival started – a cue seemed to be forming on the door. If only this writer had German linguistic skills to stand near the door and “Yelle” the words – don’t come in, or something to that effect. The girls got the looks, and the stage presence to boot but the two Topman catalog boys banging drums and stabbing keys makes you wonder why everyone in the room is jumping up and down like Kangaroos on crack. Oh yeah, that’s it, a generic drum beat, sly build-ups and a fit bird singing French = A recipe for the “scene” kids to nosh on. Gypsy and The Cat seemed to provide some Australian ear pleasing relief with their melodic Bee Gee tunes. A somewhat more enjoyable performance, and probably a relief on their half as this show was their final tour date. What better place to finish up than Hamburg.

Flicking through the very German schedules gave a glimpse as to how many bands were actually playing the Festival, sometimes its worth just closing your eyes and pointing at the schedule to see who is next on your list. Even if the music isn’t pleasing you, then just look around at the venues as they have such an authentic, rustic, individual, unique and crazy look to them. Toilets covered in Graffiti, with couches just outside the door, kind of like a waiting room for taking a piss – they even had magazines there to read.

Unfortunately The Duke Spirit couldn’t take the lead with their performance as their soundman must be on some kind of Otex suppository as the sound was WAY too gainy. You literally couldn’t hear anything other than the Guitar, the odd yell from the blonde bombshell at the front and the clapping at the end. Disappointing is the only words to describe this performance, especially after the long walk to the venue.

Finding the venues can get a little difficult (especially after a few pints of the old German ale) and sometimes drained quite a bit of time if you don’t know where everything is. Yet once you find the venue, it’s a strong sigh of relief and excitement to see the next band. The War On Drugs failed to do any justice with their sound within the small venue on the other side of the Reeperbahn. This was no war on any kind of drug – a very disappointing boring sound from their set.