We all love a blockbuster. We have all queued up for the cinema to see the latest big budget fantasy epic, or the newest addition to a super popular franchise. But what about those movies that fly under the radar for seemingly no reason? Many of them have big stars, or were directed by acclaimed directors, some have a cast of unknowns and are directed by new comers, but the one thing that every film on this list has in common is that they are all good. But not just good, really good, and they each deserve much more attention than they currently get. So have a look at our list of totally underrated movies, they will really knock your socks off, and provide you with a wonderful viewing experience. All Over Me This is a 90’s coming of age lesbian drama that boasts an impressive sound track, and embodies 90’s teen angst perfectly. It was released in 1997 and written and directed by sisters, Alex and Sylvia Sichel. The movie follows Claude (Alison Folland), a disenfranchised young girl about to graduate from high school. She is besotted by her beautiful friend Ellen (Tara Subkoff). Ellen has a troubled new boyfriend, and has less time for their previous intimacy. Claude has a part-time job at a pizza joint in her multiracial neighborhood in New York City, and makes lots of new friends there. Due to meeting a wide range of people from across the spectrum of society, Claude slowly comes to the realisation that her feelings for Ellen are lesbian in nature. Realising that Ellen does not share her affections, Claude, along with her new gay friend Luke, go to a lesbian bar. Here, she meets Lucy (Leisha Hailey), an older woman who opens her mind and her heart and completely rocks Claude’s world. The movie perfectly encapsulates the raw, emotion fueled landscape, that each young girl must traverse on the way to her burgeoning womanhood. It is far more than just a typical coming of age movie though, and is laced with a grit and realism that transcends typical ‘teen movie’ fare. Sublimely portrayed by a cast of immensely talented actors, this movie is one of the most personally affecting films anyone who has ever been a teenage girl will ever see. Ken Park As with all of Larry Clark’s movies, Ken Park is seriously good, seriously intense and seriously bleak for the most part. It was released in 2002 and was written by Harmony Korine, who based it on Larry Clark’s personal journals and stories. For starters, this movie is raw, disturbing and honestly not one for the younger members of the audience. Strictly over 18’s and with good reason. There are many depictions of graphic sex, graphic violence and even touches on the unsavoury area of incest. The sex that is featured in the movie is real and not simulated, so this is definitely one for the adults. Now, once you get past the gratuitous sex and the shocking violence, what you are left with is a bleak and unrelenting look at modern day youth culture. It follows the lives of a group of Californian teens, skaters, stoners, rockers and misfits. The title character, Ken Park, is a ginger, freckled kid, who performs an act of violence, right after the opening credits. We don’t really hear about him again until the end, when we find out what drove him to it. The rest of the movie is concerned with the kids who knew Ken: Shawn (James Bullard), who’s sleeping with his girlfriend’s mother; Peaches (Tiffany Limos), who lives with her devoutly Christian dad, a widower worshiping at the altar of his dead wife; Claude (Stephen Jasso), whose macho dad despises him; and Tate (James Ransone), a weirdo who lives with his grandparents and loudly berates them.  At it’s core, Ken Park is about people lost in a haze of contempt and despair, trying to wrest some love or relief out of their own desperate situations. The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things This movie was based on the book of the same name by JT Leroy, the controversial pen-name of Sarah Albert. It follows the life of a young boy called Jeremiah, (played by Jimmy Bennett, Cole Sprouse, and Dylan Sprouse), being brought up by a loving foster family. One day all of his safety and stability are ripped away from him, when his tear away, alcoholic, drug addled teenage mother, Sarah (Asia Argento), shows up, and whisks him away. The child is forced into a life of crime and debauchery, and subjected to a litany of abuse, at the hands of the string of men his mother invariably brings home. One such man is played by a hugely creepy Marilyn Manson, and another played by Jeremy Renner. Salvation comes in the form of the boy’s ultra-religious grandparents, but soon Jeremiah’s mother returns. Maternal love binds the pair together on the road, until Sarah’s desperate and depraved lifestyle finally consumes her, and threatens to do the same to the boy. There is no happy ending here, no feel good factor to ultimately take away with you at the movie’s end. It is a cheerless and despondent look at the harsh realities of the hell some children have to live, when their parents are slaves to one vice or another. The Cement Garden In this chilling adaptation of an Ian McEwan novel of the same name, director Andrew Birkin brings us on a depressing, creepy journey through the devastating ramifications of familial abandonment. The film takes place in a dreary grey house, located on the fringes of an English town. The father (Hanns Zischer) is a degenerate pervert, while the mother (Sinead Cusack), is the epitome of the angelic matriarch. After his garden is paved over with cement, the father has a heart attack and dies. Soon after, the mother wastes away and also dies. This leaves the four children to fend for themselves. The eldest sister and brother, Julie (Charlotte Gainsbourg), and Jack (Andrew Robertson), take over the responsibility of caring for the two younger children, Sue (Alice Coultard), and Tom (Ned Birkin). Without the supervision and guidance of a parental role model, each of the children gives themselves over to their secret desires and longings. Jack hides in corners, and becomes a chronic masturbater, while Julie uses her blossoming sexuality to lure Jack into an incestuous relationship. Even the younger children begin to behave in unusual ways. Sue barely speaks, and obsessively journals everything that happens to her, and Tom feels that deep inside himself, he is a girl trapped in a boy’s body. The children hide the mother’s remains in the basement, and live off her bank account. No one suspects a thing, until local sleaze ball Derek (Jochen Horst), shows up and tries to court Julie, which threatens to blow all of their secrets wide open. A darkly disturbing look at what unbridled eroticism, and unchecked sexual boundaries, can do to developing youth. It is also, at its heart, a tale of a family at odds with the world around them, and struggling to stay together as a unit. I Shot Andy Warhol Source: On June 3, 1968, radical feminist Valerie Solanas shot pop culture artist Andy Warhol in his Manhattan studio.This movie tells that story, but not through Andy Warhol’s version of events. Instead, the movie focuses on the extraordinarily skewed perspective of the deeply troubled Solanas. Valerie Solanas (Lili Taylor) is an aspiring young writer, in love with her craft. She moves to New York City and supports herself by entering into a life of prostitution. In her search for acceptance amoungst the New York elite,  Valerie encounters controversial artist Andy Warhol (Jared Harris), and various other colourful eccentrics of the New York art scene. Valerie becomes obsessed with the idea that Warhol should produce her play, ‘Up Your Ass’.  But when she realises she is, in fact, the butt of everyone’s joke, Valerie becomes enraged, and starts a violent feminist movement, and pens the ‘S.C.U.M Manifesto’, (S.C.U.M stands for the Society for Cutting Up Men).  Eventually, her rage reaches fever pitch. and Valerie shoots Andy Warhol. In this powerful portrayal of a snapshot of pop culture history, filmmaker/screenwriter Mary Harron attempts to shed some light on the troubled Solanas’ motivations. On record, it has been recorded that Solanas acted in retaliation, after Warhol banned her from his inner sanctum, however the real reasons for her bottomless rage soon become apparent. Solanas was sexually abused as a young girl, and turned to prostitution in  high school. She also struggled with her  sexuality as it became clear to her that she was a lesbian. By the time college rolled around, Solanas was an established man-hater. It was her dream that her Society for Cutting Up Men would become a major movement, but in the end, Solanas was the only member. An intense look at an equally intense woman, I Shot Andy Warhol is a cadenced gaze at a turbulent and chaotic crime. Threesome Andrew Fleming’s 1994 movie, Threesome, is a little less involved than most of the films on this list but no less enjoyable. The movie follows the story of three unlikely college roommates at a sizable public college. Eddy (Josh Charles), Stuart (Stephen Baldwin), and attractive co-ed Alex (Lara Flynn Boyle), are thrown together by happenstance. It is a modernist spin on the traditional love triangle story. Girl falls for guy, guy falls for other guy, wrong guy falls for girl. The complex situation leads to sexual experimentation and strained relationships. It is a well-constructed, hilarious, touching, and thought provoking ‘bizarre love triangle’. Each of the characters are instantly likeable and relatable, and the story is intelligently woven, and laced with idiosyncrasies, sewn together with a raw, emotional undercurrent. Eddy’s struggle with his own latent homosexuality is both edifyinga and heartwarming, but Lara Flynn Boyle steals the show as the blossoming ingenue. It’s a sweet story of love, friendship, and the struggle to find yourself in those formative college years. The Woodsman We are right back in with the heavy hitters with this one. This is a movie that should be on everyone’s ‘to watch’ list. It is an unbelievably good movie, and is honestly, one of Kevin Bacon’s absolute best performances. It follows the story of Walter (Kevin Bacon), who, after 12 years in prison for pedophilia, returns home. Very few people are aware of his conviction, and he is determined for it to stay that way. He finds an apartment where he’s regularly visited by his parole officer (Mos Def), and gets a job at a lumber mill. He meets, and starts a relationship with a coworker (Kyra Sedgwick) and forms the kind of human bond that he has been yearning for in order to normalise his existence. This relationship becomes too much for him to manage, though, and his new world begins to dissolve.  Slowly but surely, rumours begin to spread about Walter, and as his past crimes become common knowledge, he embarks on a reckless, high-risk friendship with a young girl. Also during this time, he notices a man loitering near a schoolyard, and recognises the grooming practices he himself once employed. He realises this man is a child molester, prowling for his next victim. Rather than approach the police about this, Walter decides to take matters into his own hands, and goes full vigilante on this insidious stranger. His life begins to steadily unravel, and we are led to an inevitable climax, that is brimming with poignancy and sadness. This is a lean and unapologetic tale about a particular faction of society, all too often rendered in simplistic, monochromatic, ‘right versus wrong’ colors. As you watch this movie, you will find yourself being dragged into an intense whirlwind of conflicting emotions. In equal parts disturbing, creepy, and moving, Bacon’s performance manages to pull sympathy from its reluctant viewers.  A bold and poignantly told tale, nestling into its characters to draw out raw and candidly revealing performances. The Woodsman is an amazing piece of cinema, both difficult and compelling to watch.   You could make a list of 100 underrated cinematic gems and not even scratch the surface of the library of glorious movies out there. These are just a few examples, but the next time you sit down to watch a movie, instead of going with the tried and true big blockbusters, why not take a moment and search for something  a little different? You might find something much more rewarding for your viewing pleasure.  
We all love a good photo opportunity. We have all lined up that perfect shot with our phones or with our cameras, waited for the light to hit just right, and then snap that perfect idyllic moment. But what if that perfect moment is spoiled by one of our furry little friends ruining the shot? Hilarious photobombs, that’s what! Here are some of the funniest, and best timed photobombs by our cheeky critter buddies, that we have ever seen. Source: I Hippose I Will Tastes Like… I Found A Nut In My Mouth, Wonder What He’ll Find In Hers? I Always Cry At Weddings, I Simply Can’t Bear Them I’d Smile Ore, But I’m Feeling A Little Horse Oh Lord, I Think Rex Got Into My Catnip Again… Ever Wonder Why I Always Look Guilty When I Poop And Nothing Happens? I’m Waiting For The Rainbow!   We wonder if these guys knew what they were doing, or are they all just happy little accidents? Whatever you think, there is no denying, animals really are the best little guys.  
Everyone is familiar with Drag Queens and what they do. Cultural phenomenons like RuPaul’s Drag Race have seen Drag Queens go from being the side show entertainment at the local, seedy, gay dive bar, to being super stars in their own right. But what about the Drag Kings? Those androgynous beauties that butch it up with exaggerated masculinity for pomp and spectacle? Drag as a performance art form dates back as far as the 1800’s, where women dressed as men, would swagger across the boards of the London halls, performing songs and comedy routines. But it was their Drag Queen counterparts that became the more culturally acceptable norm. Maybe it was because the imitation of maleness is just not considered as entertaining as affected femininity, or because masculinity is a currency that women are typically not welcome to trade in. Whatever the reason, despite some amazing talent existing out there on the fringes of the scene, Drag Kings are not as widely known, seen, or showcased as Drag Queens. So, with that in mind, we have compiled a list of some of the most talented and noteworthy Drag Kings in operation at the moment. Be they performance artists or social media stars, all have something unique to offer and all deserve their moment in the spotlight. Ivory Onyx Ivory Onyx is an American King who performs in bars and clubs around the world. He even won Mister USofA MI in 2013 and 2017. Murray Hill Murray Hill is a well-known New York City  drag king and entertainer. He is the entertainer persona of Busby Murray Gallagher, he maintains this persona even in his private life. Jean Genie Jean Genie is a Californian drag king who specialises in David Bowie impersonation. He even has the naturally different coloured eyes. Rain Dove Rain Dove Dubilewski  is an American model, actor, and activist. They prefer gender neutral pronouns and are best known for their subversive fashion work, by posing as both male and female models.They are also currently dating Rose McGowan. Spikey Van Dykey Spikey Van Dykey has been a leading Male Illusionist & Drag King entertainer for 10 years. He first hit the stage making his debut in Birmingham Alabama at The Quest Club in October of 2000.   So, if these gender bending male illusionists have whet your appetite for some gender-role defying entertainment, check your local gay bars, burlesque bars, and scene venues, Go and support your local drag kings!!  
Hammer Films is a British film production company founded in 1934 by William Hinds and James Carreras. It was made famous in the 1950’s for reimagining the gothic horror for a modern audience. It was one of the most prolific movie production companies right up until the 1970’s, and produced some of the most famous, classic horror movies of all time. It also dabbled in psychological horror and thrillers, and to this day, many of its movies are considered to be some of the best examples of classic cinema out there. They utilised big names, plenty of gore and and top directors, to bring tired old horror tropes, such as the mummy, Dracula, and Frankenstein, into the brave new world of cinema. In this article, we will take a look at just some of the greatest Hammer Horror movies ever made. The Horror Of Dracula This was the first in a series of movies produced by Hammer and focusing on the the story of Dracula. It was released in 1958 and was originally just titled ‘Dracula’, but was later changed to ‘The Horror Of Dracula’ so as not to be confused with the 1931 Universal Studios movie starring Bela Lugosi. The film stars Christopher Lee as Dracula and Peter Chusing as Van Helsing. Both Cushing and Lee were two of Hammer Horror’s major stars and would both go on to star in a huge number of their movies throughout the next few decades. The Hammer Studios version of the story is far closer to the original source material, the novel, Dracula, by Bram Stoker. The story follows the infamous count as he journeys from Transylvania to England. There, he ensconces himself entirely into the London night scene, and he begins to rack up victim after victim. During this time, Dracula runs afoul of his arch-nemesis, Van Helsing. This signals the beginning of a battle of wills between the two. The movie was heavily censored in Britain when it was first released, with all of the goriest moments cut out. However, in 2012, there was a definitive version of the movie released, which had all of the chopped scenes reestablished and remastered. The movie really put Lee and Cushing on the map, and paved the way for many sequels starring the two, and for many non-Dracula follow-ups with these actors as well. The Devil Rides Out The Devil Rides Out was released in 1968 and stars Christopher Lee as the aristocrat Duc de Richlea. This was one of the few roles where we get to see Christoper Lee play the good guy for Hammer, and it really pays off.  We are treated to a masterful performance by Lee that could be argued as his best.  The movie was directed by one of Hammer’s greatest, Terence Fisher, and it is an adaptation of the popular 1934 eponymous novel by Dennis Wheatley.  The story is concerned with not just a brief encounter with evil, but a full-fledged campaign against it. The audience is treated to depictions of séances, satanic orgies, summonings, and even car chases. A twisting, high octane tale of high-society satanism, this movie has secured itself deep within the hearts of many horror movie fans, and has proven to be a hugely popular cult classic. The Nanny This was one of Hammer’s rare attempts at Hitchcockian suspense, and it works surprisingly well. Mostly because of the stand out performance by Bette Davis as the titular ‘Nanny’. Wendy Craig also gives a stellar performance as the mother. It follows a London family as they collect their son from a psychiatric unit he has been staying at for the last two years. In the car, with the mother and father, is Bette Davis’ Nanny.  The young son, Joey, wants nothing to do with the Nanny, and when he arrives home, he wants to do everything for himself, and seems to have a deep hatred for the seemingly caring, sweet and quaint childhood Nanny. We soon learn that the family has a tragic past, namely, the death of their young daughter a couple of years previous, for which young Joey was blamed. We also learn that Bette Davis‘ character has been the family Nanny for two generations now, and is much beloved by everyone in the household. In a creeping tour de force of psychological terror, the movie draws slowly and menacingly to its horrifying climax. It is a lesson in fear of the ordinary. Helped along massively by one of Davis’ most nuanced performances, this movie really showed that Hammer was not just a playground for schlock horror and campy monster movies. It could also house some outstanding thrills and terrifying suspense movies. Straight On Till Morning This 1972 suspense thriller follows a young girl, Brenda, as she moves to London in search of a man to father a child for her. She immerses herself in London life, getting a job at a boutique and attending parties with her co-workers. Upon fleeing one of these parties, she encounters a dog off his leash. A man is shouting for the dog, however Brenda steals it in a clever ploy to meet the man. When she eventually returns the dog, Brenda is faced with a beautiful but troubled young man named Peter, who suggests she moves in with him. What Brenda doesn’t know, however, is that Peter is, in fact, a psychotic serial killer with a deep loathing for beauty and all of its trappings. He is completely controlling of her, and the movie closely follows her descent into a torrid and disturbing love affair, and Peter’s further decline into madness. Director Peter Collinson shows these characters’ fragmented grip on reality by having his editor, Alan Pattillo, slice up the film with syncopated shots, jump cuts and pronounced discontinuities of both space and time. The result is a heady incline towards Brenda and Peter’s individual and collective derangement. The film has less of a connection to Hammer’s characteristic ‘Castle Horror’ and more to the modern suspenseful, psychotic thrills, of a Dario Argento ‘Giallo movie’. Straight On Till Morning forgoes the usual Hammer gothic motifs, and sets itself up as a contemporary classic. Fear In The Night This 1972 offering from Hammer studios is one that leans quite heavily on ‘Gialloesque’ themes, and combines them with the drab insipidness of 70’s rural Britain, and the effect is really quite chilling. The story is that of Peggy, (Judy Geeson) a young woman who,  6 months earlier, suffered a breakdown and spent some time in hospital. Now that she is healthy and out of the hospital, she is set to move with her husband to the countryside, to the boarding school he works at. Before leaving, however, Peggy is attacked in her home by a black glove wearing assailant,  (queue Giallo influence). Despite her sincerity, the people around her are more inclined to believe she’s imagining things, based on her recent brush with mental instability.  They leave for the school however, and the young couple meet with the headmaster Michael (Peter Cushing),a cold and detached character. They also meet Michael’s wife, played by none other than Joan Collins.  Things continue to go wrong, more perceived attacks on Peggy’s life leave her husband believing that she is suffering from another breakdown.  Fear in the Night does not centre around the question of Peggy’s sanity, since we are led, from the offset, to believe her, and be resolutely on her side. What it does is paint a chilling tale of intrigue, begging the questions; who is attacking Peggy, why are they doing it, and what is up with the boarding school and its very creepy headmaster? It is a subtle and measured tale of deception, and the end still delivers, despite its predictability.   As previously stated, the company stopped producing movies in 1979, after a remake of Hitchcock’s 1938 thriller The Lady Vanishes, starring Elliott Gould and Cybill Shepherd. The company went into hibernation until 2007 when they made Beyond The Rave, a contemporary vampire story which premiered for free online via MySpace. Hammer would go on to begin shooting a new horror movie in Donegal in 2008, backed by the Irish Film Board. The film is titled Wake Wood  and stars Aiden Gillen and Eva Birthhistle, and was scheduled for release in the United Kingdom in the Autumn of 2009. However, the release date was delayed, and the movie wasn’t given a theatrical release in the UK until 2011. Despite the slightly rocky start of a long awaited revival, Hammer Horror movies are now back in production, with seven movies having been made in the last 10 years, and their latest offering, The Lodge, set to premier at the Sundance Film Festival, 2019.
Mankind has always pushed itself forward into realms of discovery. Our curious nature is what first separated us from beasts. Over the last two decades, there have been a number of scientific discoveries that have propelled our scientific understanding and technological advancement further than ever before. Let’s take a look at some of the greatest scientific discoveries that have happened over the last 20 years.   The Detection Of Gravitational Waves Gravitational waves were predicted over 100 years ago by Albert Einstein, when he predicted that mass had the ability to curve space-time.  It wasn’t until 2016 that scientists at LIGO, (the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory), managed to detect and record them. Gravitational waves are ripples in the fabric of space-time, that travel at the speed of light.  All major cosmic events and collisions send out gravitational waves. For example, around 3 billion years ago, a black hole 32 times the mass of our sun, collided with a black hole approximately 19 times the mass of our sun. This resulted in a cataclysmic event that created a brand new monster black hole. All time and space were warped because of this event. This is something that we can now measure and quantify thanks to LIGO. The scientists at LIGO managed to detect the ripple in space time that this caused on January 4th 2017. This was the third time that scientists at LIGO detected the collision of two black holes. This is hugely important, as not only does it prove that the 100 year old theory of Einstein’s was right, but, it allows us to detect large-scale cosmic events in a manner we never have been able to before. This lends itself to the further understanding of the nature of the universe, and the very fabric of existence. This breakthrough has enabled us to not only theorize about it, but actually visualise gravity. The Discovery Of Water On Mars In 2015, NASA released images showing long, dark streaks on the surface of the red planet that appear and disappear throughout the seasons. This was taken to mean that liquid water exists on Mars today. It had long been hypothesized that water had existed on the planets surface in the past, however, there had never been any evidence to suggest that any remained to this day. What we see in the pictures as dark, narrow, 100 meter-long streaks are known as, ‘recurring slope lineae’, and they appear to be flowing downhill. Scientists have suggested that these may have been formed by contemporary flowing water. Recently, planetary scientists detected hydrated salts on these slopes at Hale crater, which would go towards corroborating this hypothesis.  The blueish color observed upslope of the dark streaks are thought to indicate the presence of the mineral pyroxene. Obviously, this is of great significance, as the presence of water could potentially mean the sustainability of life. Observations suggest that this water appears seasonally on the slopes of the martian surface. However, scientists have been unable to figure out where the source of the water could be, or if the chemistry of it would be right for supporting life, or at least, life as we understand it. T-Rex Tissue In 2005, T-Rex bones were discovered in a sandstone formation in Montana. Preserved within the thigh bone was actual soft tissue. It was the source of much controversy at the time, however, recent analysis of the tissue has gone a way to explaining how soft tissue could have been preserved for almost 70 million years. Initially, it was thought that the proteins that make up soft tissue should degrade in less than 1 million years in the best of conditions. It was assumed that the tissue had to be something else, perhaps the product of a later bacterial invasion, critics argued. But then, in 2007, scientists analyzed the chemistry of the T-Rex proteins. They found the proteins really did come from dinosaur soft tissue. The tissue that they found was collagen, and it shared similarities with bird collagen, which makes sense, as modern birds evolved from ‘theropod’ dinosaurs such as the T-Rex. The researchers then decided to analyse other fossils for the presence of similar soft tissue, and found that it was in fact present in about half of their samples. Some of which dated all the way back to the Jurassic Period, which lasted from 145.5 million to 199.6 million years ago.The reasoning put forward for the preservation of this soft tissue was the high levels of iron present in all of the samples. Iron forms iron nanoparticles after death, and generates free radicals. These free radicals cause proteins and cell membranes to tie in knot and basically act like formaldehyde. Formaldehyde, as many know, preserves soft tissues. This was an outstanding discovery, not just in the understandings of how bio-organics behave after a certain amount of time has passed, but also in the understanding of how Dinosaurs lived and how their bodies worked. Face Transplants  A face transplant is a medical procedure to replace all or part of a person’s face using donor tissue from a cadaver. The world’s first partial face transplant happened in 2005, in France. The first full facial transplant was completed in Spain in 2010. To date, a total of 40 facial transplants have been carried our globally.  The process of a Facial transplantation is a complex and burgeoning surgical field. Up until 2005, we simply did not have the technology available to us to carry out such a procedure, despite having the scientific medical know how, the practicality and equipment simply did not exist.  It is categorized as a subset within vascularized composite allotransplantation (VCA), which is defined as the transplantation of multiple tissue types often including bones, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, muscles, nerves, blood vessels, and skin. To date, facial transplantation has been reserved for patients that have suffered devastating facial deformity, which is unable to be adequately reconstructed using traditional techniques.  There have been no elective transplants carried out. The emergence of face transplantation in the last 10 years is largely attributable to advances in reconstructive microsurgery, pharmacological advances in solid organ transplantation, and pioneering surgeons dedicated to improving their patients’ quality of life, autonomy, and ability to socially integrate back into society.  TRAPPIST-1 In February 2016, NASA announced the discovery of a previously unknown solar system with the potential to harbour life. The name of this system is TRAPPIST-1, and it is located approximately 39 light-years away from our solar system.  It was named after its main star, which is 12 times less massive than our sun, and witch has at least seven planets orbiting around it. Three of those planets lie within what is known has the ‘habitable zone’, and it is on these planets that the potential for life exists. The star TRAPPIST-1 is about the size of Jupiter, and its closest planet, TRAPPIST-1b, completes one solar orbit (what we would refer to as a year) in just 1.51 Earth days. What is particularly curious about this is that out of all the stars known to us, Trappist-1 is considered to be a small star. This means that finding not one or two, but seven planets orbiting around it, was highly unusual. Trappist-1 is only 8% the size of our Sun, so, it is not understood at this time, how a small star like that managed to form so many planets. The Trappist-1 system is a groundbreaking discovery. Never before have scientists found as many earth-like planets orbiting around a single star, in what could be referred to as a mini version of our own solar system. In terms of intergalactic travel, 39 light-years is relatively close, and the existence of three Earth-sized planets within the habitable zone is the best chance we’ve ever had for discovering life beyond Earth. It seems that each of the seven planets discovered so far have liquid-water, so potentially, all seven could contain the building blocks for life. With new advancements in exploratory science, it is conceivably possible, and even likely,  for us to be able to detect life and confirm its existence, from right here on Earth! Now that would be cool!
Whether or not you consider yourself to be an art aficionado, you have most likely heard of Banksy. The graffiti artist who made street art mainstream. He is also famous for being infamous. Despite being active since the 90’s, his identity remains a mystery to this day. Recently Banksy found himself the centre of media attention once again, when a piece of his artwork, ‘Girl With Balloon’, sold at auction for $1.4 million. As soon as the hammer had fallen on the sale, the piece began to shred itself, using a hidden shredder inside the frame. Over the years, many of his pieces have caused a great deal of controversy. Here, we take a look at some of his most controversial works to date.   Love Is In The Bin On October 5th 2018, at Sotheby’s Auction House, a crowd looked on in horror, as the Banksy piece ‘Girl With Balloon’, began to shred itself. The piece had just been sold for $1.4 million, and it is now thought, that the half shredded piece is now worth an awful lot more than that. Art critics have said that this was a commentary on the fact that that art is being chocked to death by money. The decadence and hedonism of the art world is completely contrary to what lies at the heart of street art. The Banality Of The Banality Of Evil   This piece of art was found in a thrift store in NYC during Banksy’s New York residency. Titled ‘The Banality of the Banality of Evil’, it is a piece that Banksy purchased from the same thrift store and vandalized, (Banksy’s own words) It depicts a Nazi sitting on a bench, gazing at an American landscape. It was then re-donated to the thrift store. The title of the piece suggests that this is a sardonic commentary on how evil often dwells in the mundane. Rage, Flower Thrower This piece is probably one of Banksy’s best known ones. It is located in Jerusalem and is now covered by a sheet of protective perspex. It is thought that the image is a response to an attack that happened in Jerusalem in 2005. During a gay pride parade, violent homophobic protestors stabbed three people to death, and injured many more. The vibrant colours of the flowers, in stark contrast to the monochromatic rioter, could possibly represent the gay pride colours. Pest Control – Bankus Militus Vandalus In 2004 an employee of the Natural History Museum in London noticed something strange as he was walking around the museum. This little taxidermy rat, complete with all of the tools of a graffiti artist, had been installed overnight without anyone’s knowledge. It remained in place for two hours before finally being removed. The piece has been shown at other exhibitions since, and has a small inscription underneath it which reads: “Recently discovered specimens of the common sewer rat have shown some remarkable new characteristics. Attributed to an increase in junk food waste, ambient radiation and hardcore urban rap music these creatures have evolved at an unprecedented rate. Termed the Banksus Militus Vandalus, they are impervious to all modern methods of pest control, and mark their territory with a series of elaborate signs. Professor B. Langford of University College London states: You can laugh now… but one day they may be in charge.” Dismaland – Banksy’s ‘Bemusement Park’ In one of his most controversial and verbose statements, Banksy opened his own theme park, or a ‘bemusement park’, as he refers to it. Dismaland is a dystopian version of Disneyland in Weston-super-Mare in the UK. Visitors to the park will find three art galleries and a number of interactive and mesmeric experiences. There are also a number of bizarre and insidious looking fairground rides. When asked about his inspiration in creating Dismaland, Banksy said: “It’s a theme park whose big theme is – theme parks should have bigger themes.” It is widely accepted that the whole experience is a critique on consumerism, one of Banksy’s well known bugbears.   #acp_paging_menu, .acp_wrapper { display: none; }
The 90’s gave us some of the best movies and TV shows of all time. It also gave us some of the greatest teen shows ever made. Shows that were funny and addressed the issues of the 90’s teen in a way not seen in previous decades. They also often tackled hard hitting issues such as suicide, drugs and teen pregnancy in a pragmatic, realistic way, that simply hadn’t been done before. Here, we take a look at some of the greatest teen TV shows of the 90’s. My So Called Life My So Called Life only lasted for one season but it had a huge impact. It gave us Jared Leto and Clare Danes, and dealt with some serious issues such as drug abuse, depression and struggles with coming to terms with your sexual orientation. It followed Angela, (Clare Danes), as she traversed the muddy waters of a 90’s American high school, and dealt with the dichotomy between yearning to be accepted, and wanting to be your own person and make your mark on the world. Ready Or Not Ready Or Not was a Canadian show that followed the lives of two young girls, entering into the treacherous world of puberty. Set in the suburbs of Toronto, it focused on Amanda Zimm (Laura Bertram) and Elizabeth “Busy” Ramone (Lani Billard), as they dealt with life’s struggles as well as showcasing  each girls different backgrounds.  Amanda was an only child raised by liberal former hippie parents while Busy was from a more conservative and traditional Italian Canadian Catholic household with three older brothers. Dawson’s Creek Dawson’s Creek Followed the lives of four best friends in the small coastal, Massachusetts town of Capeside. Best friends since childhood, they are about to enter that confusing time in life where nothing is the way it was and nothing is as it seems. This was everyone’s favourite obsession in the 90’s, especially the will they, won’t they romance storyline of the title character Dawson and his female best friend Joey. California Dreams California Dreams centered on the lives of the California Dreams, a teen music group trying to make the big time.  The show was part comedy, part drama, and often focused on serious social issues such as drug abuse, racism and dealing with parents after divorce. Buffy The Vampire Slayer Into every generation, a slayer is born. Every teen loved Buffy in the 90’s. It followed the story of Buffy Summers, (Sarah Michelle Gellar), as she becomes a vampire slayer, or rather the vampire slayer, since there can only be one. Buffy and her friends, her ‘scooby gang’, go week to week fighting bad guys and killing demons. But it was more than just pulpy horror TV fare. It dealt with difficult issues at the same time, and invested heavily in its characters, so we all really cared about what happened to each member of the Buffy cast. Popular This teen high school comedy drama centered around two high school girls on the opposite ends of the school hierarchy, who are forced to make nice when Brooke’s father meets Sam’s mother on a cruise and become engaged. The girls now live together and their individual peer groups are forced to co-mingle in and out of school with interesting repercussions. This was an awesome show, despite being short lived, because it had the message that not everyone is what they seem, and tackled the elitism that exists within the high school system of hierarchy. Most of its young cast also went on to become fairly big stars, including: Leslie Bibb, Carly Pope, Leslie Grossman, Tammy Lynn Michaels, Sarah Rue and Christpopher Gorham. Party Of Five Party Of Five was a show that had very adult themes but was presented in very teenage accessible ways. It was intelligent and engaging and had some truly brilliant storylines over the course of its 6 seasons run. The show follows the Salinger family, in the aftermath of their parents death in a car crash. The five Salinger siblings are now forced to live on their own, and the oldest son, Charlie, is appointed as their legal guardian. Their new situation means putting aside personal goals to help make ends meet and keep the family together. The show starred Scott Wolf, Neve Campbell, Lacey Chabert, Matthew Fox and Jennifer Love–Hewitt. 7th Heaven 7th Heaven focused on the life of Eric Camden, a reverend, his wife Annie, and their five children, Matt, Mary, Lucy, Simon and Ruthie. Over the course of the show, five becomes seven when Annie becomes pregnant with twins, David and Sam.  The show follows the challenges of raising a family during permissive times.  Legendary producer Aaron Spelling served as an executive producer on the show. It ran for 11 seasons and saw all of the children grow up and become adults with some of them starting their own family. It dealt with hard hitting issues and often touched on some very touchy subject matters, like rape and domestic abuse. The show also gave Jessica Biel her big break as she played the oldest sister, Mary Camden. Some of the shows on this list probably wouldn’t get made today, at least not in the same way. The type of quality programming that existed for teens in the 90’s simply doesn’t exist anymore, which really just goes to prove that they don’t make ’em like they used to!  
Have you been staring longingly at travel bloggers’ Instagram posts? Do you read Lonely Planet travel guides, and dream of big adventures? Do you suffer from a severe case of wanderlust? Is your bank balance seriously underwhelming? Well, turn that frown upside down, because we have great news for you! You don’t need money to travel. That’s right, you don’t need to turn into Ebeneezer Scrooge, squirreling away every last cent. There are plenty of ways that you can travel to far flung destinations, and have the time of your life, on a shoe-string budget. Here we break down some of the easiest ways to do that.   Work Overseas Teaching English There is a lot of money to be made by teaching overseas, and it is one of the best ways to make money to travel. Most countries only require that you speak English fluently to bag one of these jobs. However some countries do require a TOEFL degree. Globally, they are crying out for English teachers and many places in Asia will even pay for your flight! There are also some websites that will let you teach English remotely. All you need for this is half decent WiFi! Couchsurf Couchsurfing can really get you out of a jam and save you tons of money to boot! There are a lot of couchsurfing apps and services out there that connect travelers with host families, or individuals who are offering places to stay, absolutely free of charge. It is purely out of the goodness of their hearts. The length of stay can be anything from a night to a few months depending on the agreement. It could be a couch, a bed, a spare room, or a shared room but it will always be free and it will always be a place to lay your head. The Sharing Economy The sharing economy is a number of different websites and apps that allow you to find a number of cheaper services offered by ordinary people. Accomodation, rideshares, parking, even books and other goods. These apps can save you a ton of money, and also allow you to meet more local people, who may be able to help you on your journey in other ways by giving local advice. Free Walking Tours Most cities and large towns will have these available. All you need to do is find a tourist information point and ask about them. These can be a great way to view a city and learn more about the place you are visiting. You will also meet fellow tourists along the way and get to experience things you may not have found by yourself. House Sit There are a number of websites that allow you to sign up as a house sitter. People often don’t like leaving their homes unattended for long periods of time, so they employ a house sitter to stay in their home, free of charge while they are away. Everyone’s account is verified so you know you won’t get cheated. This is a terrific option for long term stays in the one place, and you often get asked to look after pets too which, if you’re an animal lover, is another bonus. You also have full access to a full kitchen too, this will save you heaps of money on food while you are away. #acp_paging_menu, .acp_wrapper { display: none; }
Tired of your mates telling you how they saw your mom on Tinder last night? That’s understandable. However uncomfortable you might be thinking of the lady who gave birth to you as sexually active, be aware that you did not fall from the sky. Also, based on your own personal experience, you should know how getting your mother in a good mood could be beneficial for her, but also for you. No more endless phone calls, no more passive-aggressive comments on your non-existent love-life. Get your mother on a dating website, and all your problems will be solved. Our Time If your mother has trouble writing an e-mail, Our Time should do. Their online bot coach makes it easy to create an account, she’ll be ready to go in no time. Also, you won’t have to worry about your mother dating your whole football team or your own crush: the website won’t allow anyone who’s not minimum 45 y/o to register. Of course, people can lie about their age – just like you did when you signed up on Facebook at the age of 11 – but that would be weird. eHarmony The website was created by a visionary marriage counselor, Neil Clark, in the late 90s. The fact that it still attracts senior singles is a good sign, however doesn’t guarantee the quality of their algorithm. Need to be reassured? Take a look at the testimonials available on the website. If your mother likes a good love story, read some to her, that’ll convince her. Cougar Life Tired of your mother hitting on all your friends? Don’t blame it on her taste for youngsters, but on her lack of choice! If she had thousands of younger and hotter ones around, do you really think she’d go for Andrew? Exactly. Don’t be so narrow-minded, help your mother release the wild feline inside of her. Zoosk One of the most famous dating websites. Based on a personality test like most dating websites, that one is very online-chat based. The website is also an app on iPhone and Android. Soon, you’ll be telling your mom to put her phone down, at dinner time. Acknowledging that your parents are human beings and moreover sexual ones is hard. These great apps and websites will allow you to convince yourself that all your mother does is purely virtual. Just remember to never, never open her phone or computer uninvited anymore. #acp_paging_menu, .acp_wrapper {display: none;}
We all have these stereotypes in mind: investing in real estate is only for wealthy people, not within the grasp of us middle class people. But think again! It is actually possible and can be a very profitable market for everybody, if you know where to start and what to target. Here are some (very expert) tips to get you started as an investor in real estate. Buy REITs REITs are Real Investment Trusts. Yes, but what is it exactly? They allow you to not invest in physical real estate because they’re actually companies who already invested in real estate and owns them, such as retail spaces or office buildings. These companies pay high dividends, so they’re a good investment. You need to be careful on the type of REIT you purchase though: some trade on a stock for example, but some don’t and are not easily sold as a result. Use an online real estate platform To help investors, companies known as real estate platforms help connect borrowers, real estate developers, to investors. By paying the platform and the real estate developers through debt or equity, investors hope to make their money grow. The only thing is that most of these platforms only accept accredited investors having an income superior to $200,000 and $300,000 with a spouse in each of the last two years, or having a net worth of $1 million or more! Invest in rental properties A smart solution is to invest in rental properties. You can either buy a house for example and live there if you need and rent the other rooms, or you can just buy a property and renting in fully. The good tip is to find a property for which the combined expenses are lower than what you are going to charge for the rent. Also, at some point, when you won’t want to deal with your tenants problems, you can always hire a property manager. Fix up and resell properties No this is not a reality TV show, it can actually be you! Fixing a house and selling it is actually a very good investment. To limit the expenses, you can even live in the house while you’re fixing it. It’s not as easy as what you can see on TV shows, but you can always ask the help of an expert as a partner to evaluate and plan your project. Rent out a room Airbnb is also real estate investment! If you’re afraid to become a proper real estate mogul, it’s the easiest solution as you’re protected by the company regarding renters and damages.