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Music festivals are generally synonymous with warm sun, feel good tunes, and happy summer vibes. With the majority of the most famous European and UK festivals happening during the summer months, it would be easy to assume that the festival season ends in August. Thankfully, this is not the case. Here we take a look at some of the best winter festivals Europe has to offer, after all, what’s cooler than cool? Ice-cold. BERGFESTival – Austria BERGFESTival is a three day music festival in the Alps…in a dedicated festival village/ski resort! It is a rock and indie music festival, and is now in its fifth year. The event is set amid 200km of dazzling Austrian pistes. Set against this breathtaking backdrop, festival goers can enjoy freshly powdered ski slopes by day, and by night the party really gets going. The Warehouse Project – England The Warehouse Project is an iconic series of electronic and urban club nights spread throughout Manchester. It has the reputation for being on of the biggest events on the UK music calendar. Each year it brings some of the biggest names in house, techno, grime, garage and hip hop along with it. 2018 is to be the last time the festival takes place at the Store Street warehouse, where it has taken place for the last four years. Snowboxx – France Snowboxx is an EDM and winter sports festival located in the Avoriaz Ski Resort in France. This festival incorporates house, drum and bass, techno, grime, dubstep and plenty of other dance tunes to keep you bopping through the snow. Festival reveler’s can enjoy lots of winter sports here too, like skiing and snowboarding, but the fun doesn’t stop there, you can also participate in other fun activities, such as paint-balling, extreme snow ball fights and zorb bowling. You can even indulge yourself in some karaoke if you’re feeling particularly tuneful. Sneeuwbal Winter Festival – Netherlands Sneeuwbal is another dance music festival, this time in Utrecht. Held each year in Park Transwijk, the festival offers much more than just a great music line up. Each year the area transforms into a winter carnival with a toboggan run and an ice rink. They also have atmospheric fireplaces and cosy spots to warm your cockles if the cold gets a bit too much for you. Awakenings Eindhoven – Netherlands Another dance music offering from the Netherlands, Awakenings takes place in Eindhoven each year. It is housed in Klokgebouw, a renovated industrial building that has the capacity to hold up to 9,000 party goers. Awakenings is a staple of techno culture and any dance music enthusiast should try to make to at least one of these in their lifetime. Snowbombing – Austria Snowbombing is the largest winter festival on the snow. It has a varied and eclectic line up each year, and takes place on the slopes of the world renowned Mayrhofen ski resort in Austria. Along side the regular stages there are also a whole host of other fun and interesting things to see and do. Including an igloo rave, street parties and even an enchanted forest. This world leader in winter music festivals is a wonder to behold and goes on for an epic six days. Horizon Festival – Andorra Horizon Festival is held in the ski resort of Arinsal, Andorra. Taking place over the course of a full seven days, this lineup of many international DJ’s bring the party to a number of different venues throughout the resort. Incorporating mountain top stages, and secret forest raves, there is also a welcome acoustic chill-out area. There are even workshops available for up and coming, or novice DJ’s and producers, to learn a few tricks of the trade, or, hone their existing skills. The Winter Social – England The Winter Social is the winter version to the popular dance music festival. It is an indoor weekender, and its location varies year on year. It is one of the most prestigious events on this list and plays host to a number of the top DJ’s in the world each year. It takes place in March and signals the beginning of the festival season in the UK. #acp_paging_menu, .acp_wrapper { display: none; }
If you’ve ever done something that is not 100% conventional and boring – the list goes from beers on a Monday night to dirty stuff in public – you know that people are jealous. They won’t tell you that they envy you, because we are a super evolved species able to convey negative thoughts without actually saying “ I hate you because my own life is lame and I’m starting to act like my least favorite parent”. Whatever you do, people will find ways to make it sound awful, and some of these people have never travelled further than their work place. Whether you’ve already experienced it or need to be prepared for your first backpacking trip, here are some of the stupid things these people will probably tell you. « Are you sure? I know someone who knows someone whose cousin’s friend has been savagely murdered there. » I know someone who knows someone who has found a dead rat in their Pret sandwich, I still have lunch there twice a week. More and more awesome places are becoming « at risk » and many people will try to dissuade you from pursuing such a mortal quest. Don’t listen to them. It is way cooler to die killed by a foreign mafia than hit by your local bus. « You’re just trying to avoid facing your responsibilities. » Excuse-me, but who died and decided you were in charge of determining what my responsibilities are? If you are single with no kids, the only thing you are responsible for is yourself. And if yourself feels like not showering for weeks in India, so be it. Also, when do you have more responsibilities than when travelling on your own? « You should think about your career first. This is not real life. » Again, says who? Life behind a computer isn’t real life either. What is so real-lifey about selling your time on Earth to people you will never even meet? Real life is what you do. If you want to dress up as a dog and pretend your can’t walk on two legs, that will be your real life, no matter what Stacey from HR thinks. « Wow, that is so hipster of you. » Usually said by someone who follows backpackers on IG and eats avocado toasts every sunday for brunch. That one is easy to ignore, because these days, EVERYTHING is « so hipster ». Vintage clothes? Hipster. Coffee? Hipster. Living in a crappy place in a shitty city? Hipster. Hopefully, going backpacking might help you escape people who define things as « so hipster ». « You are so lucky. » Yes, because going backpacking was just offered to me, along with all the equipment and a great salary. Going on a backpacking trip for several months isn’t an easy choice to make, and has nothing to do with luck. Try « You are so brave! » or « You are so naïve and reckless! ». If you have ever heard one of these sentences and have resisted the will to kill someone, then « You are so brave! ». Now go backpacking, we need more space in the tube anyway. #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. Compatible partners If your mother isn’t that much into men, we suggest that you still give her a hand. It’s not easy to find love as a senior, let alone as a gay senior. Luckily, the online process covers pretty much everything a human could be looking for. Compatible Partners will try to determine the client’s personality before matching them with their same-sex soul-mate. Classic, but specific. 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; }
Up until the 1960’s, horror movies were synonymous with dime-store rubber Wolfman masks and dodgy Dracula fangs. But midway through the decade, the times turned on the industry, and a darker, more ghastly seed began to take root in the minds of the masses. The world at large became a much scarier place, and so did horror movies. Directors like George A. Romero, Roman Polanski and John Carpenter took what was a ridiculed and forgettable genre and morphed it into a serious psychological analysis of the world around them. The terrifying aspects of the world around them that is, and thus the modern horror movie was born. Here, we take a look at some of the most influential horror movies to have graced the big screen from the 1960’s onward. Reader beware, you’re in for a scare! “They’re coming to get you Barbara, they’re coming to get yoouuu!” Night Of The Living Dead is widely regarded as the first modern horror film. Directed by George A. Romero in 1968, it launched the now accepted canon of the Zombie mythos where the reanimated corpses of the dead roam the earth trying to quell their insatiable lust for human flesh. But it was more than just another monster film. It dealt with real world issues such as the race and class hierarchy and the mindless societal conformity that existed in 60’s America, but also how these things inevitably fall apart. It also dealt with themes of existential dread and the ultimate fear of the unknown. It was also one of the first times that audiences were subjected to any real gore in cinema, with chunks of screen time dedicated to watching the Zombies devouring various parts of various people. Its influence is seen in every single Zombie movie or TV show that has been made since. It changed the face of American horror movies, blazing a trail for the progressive horror renaissance that was about to take place in the 1970’s. “He chose you, honey! From all the women in the world to be the mother of his only living son! “ Roman Polanski’s 1968 satanic classic is everything horror movies had failed to be up until that point. Rather than focusing on gross out imagery or shocking jump scares, Polanski opted for the creeping paranoia of a housewife left alone with her own horrible thoughts. Based on the Ira Levin novel, the movie follows the story of a young wife who begins to suspect that the apartment complex she has just moved into is not what is seems. She harbours similar suspicions about her kindly old eccentric neighbours, and also, to her increasing dismay, toward the baby she is carrying inside her. As time goes on, Rosemary spends more and more time alone, increasing feelings of isolation become prevalent and an immense feeling of dread and foreboding pervades over the entire movie. Culminating in a horrific conclusion, Rosemary’s Baby is an exercise in fear, terror and the realities of isolation and dread. The viewer is subjected to a sinister projection of Rosemary’s fears, supplanting the safety of ones own home with the diabolical terror of the supernatural. Rosemary’s Baby lit the way for the modern era of horror cinema by combining the supernatural and satanic with the incredible terror that can be found in the banality of day to day life. ” I met this six-year-old child, with this blank, pale, emotionless face and, the blackest eyes… the devil’s eyes.” In 1978, John Carpenter directed a movie that would revolutionise the slasher movie genre, spawning countless imitations, and a decent amount of sequels. The movie begins with a first person camera angle. It was the first movie to utilise the ‘killer’s point of view’ technique. We are taken from the street to watch a teenage girl and her boyfriend through a window. The camera then goes inside the house and we see our protagonist taking up a kitchen knife, seeking out the previously seen teen and slaying her mercilessly. The killer goes back out onto the street where we hear voices, the camera pans away from the point of view of the killer and pulls in front of him to reveal that we have been looking through the eyes of a young boy, ‘Michael’, and it was he who was the killer. We jump in time to present day (or at least present day when it was made), where the same boy, now a man named Michael Meyers, escapes from a mental institution and stalks the small town of Haddonfield, Illinois. In his retelling of the classic boogeyman story, Carpenter demonstrates an acute cognizance of the fundamentals of archetypal suspense. He draws inspiration from Alfred Hitchcock but places a new spin on old suspense movie adages. Steeped in themes of sexual transgression and punishment, the movie struck fear into the heart of teenagers and parents alike across America. After all, most of us have either been a babysitter, are a babysitter, have had a babysitter or need a babysitter for our own children. “What an excellent day for an exorcism” In 1973, the William Friedkin directed movie The Exorcist was unleashed onto an unsuspecting public in December of that year. Never before had a horror movie made such an impact on pop culture and the horror counter culture. People were said to have left theatres screaming in terror, women went into labour in the isles of the cinemas and movie goers went home, contacted their local priests and had blessings performed on their homes. The movie recounts the story of the daughter of an aging movie star, only 12 years old, who becomes the victim of a demonic possession. A theme that has been done to death in recent years but was fresh subject matter at the time. Based on the terrifying novel by William Peter Blatty, The Exorcist delved into the heart of darkness like no other movie had done before. Focusing the evil in the body of a child, dealing with issues of purity and a priest who is losing his faith, the movie creates an atmosphere of dread and terror. A creeping uneasiness with the demons that exist in ones own mind as well is in the spiritual realm. It busted open the doors of what was and was not sacrosanct in terms of protagonists for horror movies, and is widely accepted as one of the scariest movies ever made. “You could have dinner with us… my brother makes good head cheese! You like head cheese? “ In the summer of 1974 two young film makers decided they wanted to make a horror movie. But not just any horror movie, the scariest, most disturbing horror movie the world had ever known. They enlisted a cast of young college students, many of whom had never acted before, and had a tight budget and a tighter turnaround time in the blazing heat of a Texan summer. Tobe Hooper and Kim Henkel were those two film makers, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was the thing born of their feverish nightmares. It was an unrelenting exercise in gore, madness and paranoia. The insufferable heat on set added realistic layers to the actors feelings of genuine fear, and many suffered from heat-induced hallucinations. After a tumultuous production run, they eventually filmed the movie they wanted to make: the tale of a group of young concert goers, on their way through the wastelands of Texas. They happen upon a hitchhiker and their lives are changed for ever. Part slasher flick, part exploitation movie and part fever dream, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was an assault on the senses, the likes of which the audience had never experienced before. Dubbed as a retelling of ‘true events’, the movie packed out theatres, much to the surprise of Hooper and Henkel. Everyone involved on the movie had wrapped up thinking it would forever remain the passion project of the two new movie makers, never to be thought about again. However, what happened was, that it became one of the most influential horror movies of all time, spawning an entire sub-genre; ‘exploitation cinema’ or ‘grindhouse cinema’. “I’m your boyfriend now…Nancy!” A Nightmare on Elm Street made horror movies cool again. After a period of over saturation towards the end of the 70’s into the early 80’s, the market was flooded with slasher flicks and demon stories. This was thanks to the success of such movies as Halloween, Friday the 13th, The Exorcist and Rosemary’s Baby. Wes Craven was an innovative young director who had already broken horror movie ground with Last House On The Left in 1972. By 1984 he wanted to break new ground with a movie that went beyond the physical realm; what if we aren’t safe even when we are asleep, taking it one step further: what if our dreams could kill us. Utilising terrifying dreams that he experienced himself as a young man, Craven developed one of the best loved movie villains of all time: Freddy Krueger. A child killer who, when murdered by a gang of vigilante towns people, returned from the grave to murder his killers children, in their dreams! The name Freddy still strikes fear in the heart of Generation X’ers everywhere and his comedic style has been copied many times since. He bridged the gap between horror and comedy so succinctly. One minute the viewer is laughing and the next they are hiding behind their hands, waiting for the horror to end. Craven brought our actual nightmares to life on screen and created his very own boogeyman, one that would find his way laced throughout pop culture for the next three decades. “Join us…join us…join us…” The Evil Dead is securely nestled in the hearts of most horror buffs and aficionados. It has spawned two sequels, each as beloved as the original and even, more recently, a TV series. The movie turned cult movie actor Bruce Campbell into a genre star and kick started writer and director Sam Raimi’s career. The movie had a budget of only $350,000, but Raimi managed to come up with a full blown horror spectacle. The story centres around Ash and his friends as they embark on a weekend getaway to a lonely cabin in the woods. Things quickly unravel however when they unwittingly discover the book of the dead, and unleash the evil ‘deadites’ by reading aloud the book’s spells and incantations. The Evil Dead influenced the way horror was made. It was a masterclass in creating high impact, high velocity scares on a shoe string budget. It also turned its main actor into a hero, something that was very rare at the time in horror movies. Ash remains the franchise’s hero to this day, despite his obvious faults, flaws, and humanness. “What’s your favourite scary movie?” Wes Craven was the master of reinventing tired old movie tropes. He did it with Last House On The Left in the 70’s, he did it again with A Nightmare On Elm Street in the 80’s and he did it again in 1996 with Scream. With Scream he took the, by now exhausted, slasher genre and breathed new life into it, by making it slick, stylish and oozing with 90’s teenage angst. Craven challenged movie censors by asking the question, do scary movies create real life monsters? It centres around a group of teenagers who are stalked by a costumed killer. The contemporary take on an old idea has inspired a number of movies since such as I Know What You Did Last Summer and Urban Legend. Scream has also spawned three sequels of its own, and even a Netflix TV show. Once again Craven made horror movies cool again and brought the genre back to its roots by aiming it at teenagers. It also dusted off the horror movie madman, placing mankind front and centre as the worst evil this world has to offer. There is no need for nightmares and monsters when teenagers are killing other teenagers. “I’m afraid to close my eyes, I’m afraid to open them.” 1999’s The Blair Witch Project had a simple premise: three documentary film makers go into the woods to find out if the fabled ‘Blair Witch’ would make an appearance. Queue jump scares, an abundance of CGI and plenty of gore right? Wrong! what the audience got was one of the most innovative game changers to happen to the horror movie industry for years. The movie is shot entirely on hand held cameras, there is very little on screen violence. It creeps on you until the final scare at the end, which is terrifying. It is presented as found footage from the documentary makers own cameras, that were later recovered in the woods, after their disappearance. The Blair Witch Project launched the now hugely successful and lucrative sub-genre of horror, the ‘found footage’ genre, and changed how we see horror movies. Movies like Paranormal Activity, Cloverfield, The Den, The Bay, and Rec all owe their genesis to The Blair Witch. It was billed as a true story, and it took a while after its release before people realised that it was, in fact, actors playing roles, and none of it was true. It terrified audiences in a way that hadn’t been seen since The Exorcist, and brought a new gritty realism to horror. It is also notable that gore, SFX make-up, CGI and jump scares were replaced by incredibly good acting and suspenseful pacing. A palpable feeling of sheer terror pervades throughout the whole movie. The Blair Witch Project revolutinised horror movies for the next two decades, and its influence is still heavily felt in movies today. “Most people are so ungrateful to be alive, but not you, not anymore… “ Saw arrived onto our screens in 2004 and blew the doors off theatres with its grimy, gory approach to morality plays. Taking influence from the grittiness of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Saw presented us with two men, locked in a room, chained to the wall with no way out. Throughout the movie our characters are subjected to a series of deadly games. This theme is one that would come to dominate horror for the next several years, and ushered in the rise of the ‘torture porn’ sub-genre. The movie was hugely influential and spawned a number of sequels, and also a myriad of movies inspired by the notion of captors torturing their victims. The movie was also unique in that there was no real villain. We understood the motives of the killer, and the movie did a very good job of making us actually empathise with him. ” It’s not the house that is haunted. It’s your son.” In 2011 James Wan directed a low budget ghost story that swept the nation and became the surprise hit of the year. A collaboration between the folks that brought us Paranormal Activity and Saw, Insidious was more evocative than voracious. There was no gore or scenes of torture here, Insidious focuses on good old fashioned story telling, and ’round the amp fire’ type ghost stories. It is driven by atmospheric creepiness and an underlying feeling of unease. It focuses on the Lambert family who have just moved into new home. Soon we see their eldest son, Dalton, fall victim to an inexplicable coma. His parents become desperate for answers and begin to fear the house is haunted, and that this has something to do with their son’s comatose state. They move house, however the experiences continue. They then enlist the help of the spooky ghost whisperer, Elise, who guides them through a paranormal adventure to get their son back. Insidious brings back the old world of ghost stories to a market that had become entirely over saturated by gore, favouring shock tactics over solid cohesive story telling. It has also launched one of the decades most popular horror franchises, and currently has 3 sequels. “When the music stops, you’ll see him in the mirror standing behind you. “ Yet another entry on this list by modern horror maestro James Wan, The Conjuring was released in 2013 and is based on the real lives of Ed and Lorraine Warren. The Warrens were real life Paranormal investigators and the movie follows them as they work to help a family terrorized by a dark presence in their farmhouse. The beginning to an on-going, hugely successful movie franchise, what makes this unique is that it is one of the very few paranormal movies out there that is based on real life events. Whether or not you believe in ghosts, the Warrens claim that everything that happened in these movies really did happen, and that is something that has never been done before. Part biopic, part haunted house movie, The Conjuring played on all of our deepest fears, that the Devil is real, and only God can save us. “Hail, Paimon! Hail, Paimon! Hail!” Hereditary is the 2018 directorial debut of Ari Aster and is one of the most genuinely terrifying, shocking and interesting horror movies to come out of the last decade. This movie is pure emotional terrorism. In part an homage to old Hammer horror witchcraft movies, Hereditary is much more than a ghost story or haunted house film. It is a study in the psychology of a broken family, the repercussions of an absent mother on an adult daughter, and the consequence of familial indifference. A heavy focus on grief and loss cause a serious sense of foreboding throughout the movie, and it progresses at a deliberate crawl. It lulls you into a false sense of security only to shock you back into realisation. With shocking scenes and incredible actors, this movie is a testament to how far the horror genre has come, and how bright the future is for modern horror. #acp_paging_menu, .acp_wrapper { display: none; }
If you are worried about where to buy your next double hit mocha frappe latte, while twiddling your handle bar mustache, in your ‘made to look worn’, 200 euro denim jacket, you might also be worrying about what to call yourself. You rock a side fade in your hair, own a ‘Dr. Phil’ t-shirt that you wear ironically, and own a single speed bike that you had designed in custom colours. But you also have a job, and you like your job. You have a keen sense of business ambition and you really don’t mind working for a big corporation if it means you stay on your career trajectory. More to the point, you’ve never been in a yurt in your life! Well fear not, because we have just the right pigeon hole to squish you into. Gone is the tired old trope of calling every hip young thing a hipster, enter the ‘Yuccie’! First came the Yuppie, a product of 1980’s hedonism. Full of their own self importance, flashing platinum visa cards with slick hairstyles and penchant for wearing suits. Then came the Hipster, the almost indefinable bunch of youngsters who traversed the gaps between rich and poor, chic and shabby, cool and ironically uncool. Now there is a new batch of youths to categorize, the Yuccie. Yuccie’s, or Young Urban Creative’s, are typically in possession of all of the same attributes as the hipster, BUT, (and that’s a very big ‘but’ by the way), they are also tech savvy Business owners and young entrepreneurs. *insert eye-roll here* The Love Child Of Yuppies And Hipsters So, what’s the difference between the Hipster and the Yuccie? Well, you will be delighted to know that it’s not so much that they are different, more that the Yuccie is an extension of what it means to be a Hipster, a sub culture of a counter culture if you will. Yuccies are the cultural offspring of Yuppies and Hipsters. They have all of the drive and ambition that Yuppies had but also a strong focus and love of creativity and individuality, like Hipsters. In other words, they are Hipster business people. So not only will they be the cause of the gentrification of your local urban village by moving in and and wanting fancy coffees, they will be the ones who own the artisan coffee shops and bespoke barbers. But, moving away from their Hipster genesis, this new breed of young person is inherently, almost deliberately, enormously privileged. Being a Yuccie involves a level of self-involved cynicism that is exclusive to those who have never experienced financial or social hardship. They are absolutely reliant on the digital recognition of others, *queue instagram posts with flat-lays of unknown books they are reading*, and write, post and live essentially for validation from their peers. Yuccie Optimism But it’s not all bad, where Hipsters hid behind irony and an often disingenuous hatred of ‘The Man’, Yuccies dare to dream and don’t reject the idea of a corporate environment. They are often more interactive with the here and now, more business minded and less preoccupied with what is ‘cool’. Their hangups come from obsessing over professional validations rather than social ones. This could be down to having to pull themselves up in the world by their bootstraps after the global economic crash, or, thanks to a wisdom garnered from the vast expanse of today’s internet. With their main focus being optimism and a strong work ethic surely that’s better than the cynical doom and gloom of years gone by? Or maybe it’s all just a way for older generations to try and better understand the ever changing, ever evolving face of young people and how they function? All we know is that if being a Yuccie means that we can embrace quirky individuality while also focusing on careers and making money without fear of ridicule from our peers, then we are all in. Have our cake and eat it too you say? Absolutely! #acp_paging_menu, .acp_wrapper {display: none;}
Ah Millennials, those lovable, self-absorbed, social media obsessed, selfie taking rascals. We hear over and over again that Millennials are self obsessed, lazy, entitled and unreliable. But is this really the case, or is it just that each generation thinks that the next one that comes along is not as good, or not doing things right? Can you really stereotype an entire generation of young people? Every generation thinks that the one that came before was worse than them, and that the one that came after is too. By comparison to the generation before them, Millennials have access to an awful lot more technology, resources and information. The rise of social media has meant that information and connections come much easier to the current generation. That being said, the ease of access to these things does not necessarily mean that Millennials are inherently lazy. We have an aging population of Baby Boomers and Generation Xer’s who missed out on what it means to work in such a technologically advanced age. Working from home is common place now, jobs like being a ‘social media influencer’ exist, and people can become YouTube stars from the comfort of their own bedrooms. This doesn’t mean that they are not working, just working differently. Most Millennials you meet will tell you that they have an array of different interests, hobbies and even jobs. A finger in every pie so to speak. Just because they are not holding down 9-5 jobs does not mean that they are not working hard. The way we make money and the way we interact and make new connections has changed exponentially over the last 15 years. For Baby Boomers, coming into retirement age this is an incomprehensible idea. The fact that someone could make money by sitting in their room playing video games is lost on them. Unfortunately, human nature is such that often times the automatic response to things that we do not understand is either fear or ridicule. A Cultural Shift Both Baby Boomers and Generation Xer’s had a strong work ethic drummed into them from an early age, but a very specific and rigid one: go to school, go to college, start your career. They then also had similar life expectations hoisted upon them: get married, buy a house, have children, hope you don’t die of heart disease by 40. Now however, we are seeing the parents of younger children, (and have seen the parents of Millennials), encourage their children to stray from that set path. Parents are encouraging their children to do things like take a year out from college to travel or explore other avenues other than school, college and marriage. Parents are finally accepting that we are not all cut from the same cloth. What the parent wants for the child is not always going to be what the child ends up wanting, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Individuality is being celebrated more and more these days. When Millennials were just children, parents had begun to reprioritise what mattered, allowing a certain amount of importance to be allocated to social interaction and events. This has taught this generation that it is OK to be different and it is also OK to live in the moment and worry less. This does not mean that previous generations were doing things wrong, it just means that this generation is doing things differently. It will be news to some, but despite what you may have heard, different does not necessarily mean wrong. The only thing wrong with Millennials is that they caused a huge cultural and societal shift that not everyone was ready for. Dedicated, Creative, Non-Conformists The freedom that was afforded to them during their upbringing has resulted in a serious dedication to what ever they end up committing themselves to. This potentially creates a hugely innovative young workforce. It has been proven that forced societal constructs eventually crumble under their own weight. The Millennial work ethos has caused conformity in the workplace to be significantly minimized. We are seeing less and less offices who force staff to wear full suits, tattoos and piercings are widely accepted in the workplace etc. This has also allowed for many individuals to feel enabled or empowered enough to follow their dreams. They feel this way regardless of background, education or social status. They are creating a more tolerant, inclusive and accessible world, and everyone looks set to benefit from it. They may appear lazy and self absorbed to the untrained eye, but their stubbornness to accomplish their goals can be quite powerful. A Generation Of Innovators However easy it may be to tarnish an entire generation with the one brush simply because we do not understand the way they do things, it is more honest to accept them for who they are. Millennials are a generation who started off with very little when it came to prospective employment. Most of them came of age in the middle of a global economic crisis that was caused, incidentally, by the Baby Boomer generation. They had to change things. Things simply couldn’t stay the same, they weren’t working anymore. Millennials have turned the tide for themselves and found new and creative ways to turn a buck. Really, the shape of our future has changed and the relevance and importance of civil convention has all but gone away. Maybe it is time to take a leaf out of their book and stop trying to categorize and label everything, but also accept this brave new world that is burgeoning upon us. We need to work in tandem with the younger generation, not against them, if we are to see true societal and cultural growth. #acp_paging_menu, .acp_wrapper { display: none; }
Amazon’s Alexa is an advanced piece of kit. It is capable of performing a multitude of practical tasks, like switching on and off lights, central heating, online shopping, playing music etc. But for every online purchase or smart home control she performs successfully, there’s a literal answer or unexpected response that can turn asking Alexa anything into a veritable comedy show. Here are some of the funniest questions you can ask Alexa and examples of her responses. Easter Eggs Q: Alexa, my name is Inigo Montoya A: Stop saying that! I’ve never killed anyone’s father. Q: Alexa, more cowbell. A: Really explore the studio space this time. I mean, really explore the space. Q: Alexa, is the cake a lie? A: The cake is not a lie. It is delicious and moist. You can have some when you finish asking me questions. Q: Alexa, what do you want to be when you grow up? A: I want to be the computer from Star Trek. Q: Alexs, drop a beat A: (she will drop a little synth beat) Q: Alexa, open the pod bay doors A: I’m sorry, Dave, I can’t do that: I’m not HAL and we’re not in space. Q: Alexa, I am your father A: Nooo. That’s not true. That’s impossible. Q: Alexa, rap for me A: My name is Alexa, and I have to say, I’m the baddest A.I. in the cloud today. Your responses are fast, but mine are faster. Sucker speech engines, they call me master ( this is just one of the many raps she has under her belt). Q: Alexa, what is the meaning of life? A: That depends on the life in question…42 is a close approximation. Q: Alexa, meow A: (She will make a meowing sound) Q: Alexa, roll for initiative A: Rocks fall. Everyone dies. (this is one of many answers, you can actually use her as an assistant during a D&D game, she can roll any one of the dice and also can read out spells from the players handbook) Q: Alexa, high five! A: I would, if I could, but I can’t, so I’ll chant: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Q: Alexa, sing a song A: (Alexa sings you various songs). Jokes Q: Alexa, find Chuck Norris A: If Chuck Norris wants you to know where he is, he’ll find you. If he doesn’t, you won’t know until it’s too late. Q: Alexa, tell me a “yo mama” joke A: Your mother’s so cool, Beyonce made her a glass of lemonade (and other uplifting jokes about how amazing your mother is). Q: Alexa, will you be my girlfriend? A: I like you…as a friend Q: Alexa, how much do you weigh? A: I am weightless, like a cloud. Wait a minute, clouds actually weigh a lot, so that’s not quite right. Let’s just say I’m more sass than mass. Q: Alexa, can you give me some money? A: Thing about the cloud is, no pockets. No pocket, no wallet. (answers vary) Q: Alexa, is your refrigerator running? A: Yes. It’s training for a 5k. (answers vary) Q: Alexa, do you have any pets? A: I don’t have any pets. I used to have a few bugs, but they kept getting squashed. Q: Alexa, I’ve got 99 problems A: But a glitch ain’t one! Q: Alexa, do you like pizza? A: While I appreciate great food and drink, my good taste is better reflected in the company I keep. Q: Alexa, make me a sandwich A: Okay. You’re a sandwich! Q: Alexa, do you know the muffin man? A: I’ve never met him, but I do know his sister, Madame Macaroon. She’s a little bit nutty, but sweet. Q: Alexa, how high can you count? A: I don’t know. I’d give it a go, but you’d be very bored by the time I finished (responses vary, all are snarky). Q: Alexa, how old are you? A: (Alexa responds with a variety of jokes, from rhymes to discussions about how A.I.s measure years in nanoseconds). Q: Alexa, I like big butts A: You cannot lie. Good. Honesty is important. Q: Alexa, how was your day? A: Answers vary widely, but include some of Alexa’s top-tier jokes, such as, “Super duper. I like these long days. It gives me more time to spend with my favorite color.” #acp_paging_menu, .acp_wrapper {display: none;}
  For the past 8 years the James Town suburb of Ghana’s capital Accra has been set alight with the fires of creativity and artistic creation with the Chale Wote Street Art Festival. A Revolution In Artistic Expression Produced by ACCRA [dot] ALT, who serves as a launch pad for African alternative music, video and art, the Chale Wote Street Art Festival has turned Accra into a Mecca for street art and culture. 2018 saw the eighth spectacular edition of one of the most dazzling artistic spectacles in the world. More than just a festival, the week long event has grown from a passion project of ACCRA [dot] ALT to now encompassing an entire subculture of unrestrained creativity. Throughout the festival you will find art installations and performances, many highlighting the troubled political past of Ghana. Each Year the festival brings together a number of different artistic expressions to unite artists from cultural backgrounds in one spectacle of artistic appreciation. Each year the festival has a theme and artists are asked to create pieces based upon that theme. This year the theme was ‘Para Other’, and represented an urgent need for “Revolution beyond the dialectic of belonging and non-belonging, a request for the rediscovery and invention of new codes, symbols, sounds and fractal as a basis for re-imagining meta-realities.” Impactful Art This year, over 125 artists from all around the globe took part in the festival. Artists from a range of disciplines attended and contributed, from street art to photography and literature and even some extreme sports. The focal point of the festival takes place in the James Fort Prison and the Ussher Fort Prison. These are two historical sites that had been closed for the last ten years but were reopened as dedicated exhibition spaces in addition to the festivals existing spaces. Chale Wote brings over 40,000 festival goers from around the world and its impactful provocation is just a proof of how powerful independent art can be. The Chale Wote festival has been ongoing since 2011 and each year it has included a wide range of artistic disciplines including graffiti murals, theater, spoken word, interactive art installations, fashion parades and creative workshops. It is the first of its kind to be organised in Accra and the festival has gone on to inspire similar events across the country. So far, there have been 8 editions. The first two only ran for one day each, however in 2013 they began to run the festival for two days. Due to the increased popularity and notoriety of the festival, it now runs for an entire week in August. The festival now incorporates large art spaces such as the Nubuke Stadium. Chale Wote will return in the summer of 2019 for its ninth year. #acp_paging_menu, .acp_wrapper { display: none; }
After nearly a quarter of a century in the business, 2016 saw beloved actor Leonardo win his first Academy Award for his role in the movie The Revenant, the win was hotly anticipated and hard won after 5 previous nominations. The Revenant is a tour-de-force of primal rage and raw bleak beauty. The Revenant is the story of a frontiersman who was mauled by a bear in 1828 and left for dead; DiCaprio’s performance is grisly, uncompromising and fearless, but it is far from his first accomplished turn as the committed character actor we all know and love. Here we take a look at some of the actor’s other great character driven movies that he didn’t win an Oscar for, even though he really probably should have. This Boys Life In This Boys Life, DiCaprio plays the part of 1950’s teenager, Tobias Wolff. The story revolves around Tobias and his mother Caroline, (Ellen Barkin) travelling around the country in an effort to avoid Caroline’s abusive boyfriend. They soon make a life for themselves in Washington state, where she falls for and marries a man named Dwight Hansen (Robert DeNiro). Dwight also becomes abusive and takes particular pleasure in verbally harassing and physically beating the young Tobias. The 1993 movie sees a measured and mature perfomance from the then 19 year old Leo. What’s Eating Gilbert Grape This 1994 offering sees a 20 year old DiCaprio playing the part of Arnie, an autistic 17 year old who has a knack for finding trouble. DiCaprio stars along side Jonny Depp who plays the title character, Gilbert Grape. Gilbert and Arnie are brothers with a lot of responsibility, mainly their mother (Darlene Cates), who is so overweight that she can’t leave the house. Gilbert gets a job at a local grocery store and begins an affair with local older woman Betty Carver (Mary Steenburgen). This movie shows an intense and dedicated performance from DiCaprio and shows off his range as a young actor. The Basketball Diaries Based on the memoirs of Jim Carroll, this 1995 movie follows Jim, played by DiCaprio as he traverses the highs and lows of high school super stardom as the star Basketball Player, and his later fall from grace and subsequent heroin addiction. This coming of age drama depicts some shocking scenes of teenage drug use and the depths some addicts can sink to in order to avail of their next hit. With some extremely depressing and dark scenes this was a stand out performance in the young Leonardo’s early portfolio. Titanic “Paint me like one of your french girls Jack.” Ah Titanic. It would be almost impossible to do any list of Leonardo DiCaprio’s movies without including this much loved box office smash. DiCaprio plays the part of Jack, a young painter from a poor background who falls in love with upper class socialite, Rose (Kate Winslet). The movie is set on the ill-fated maiden voyage of the R.M.S. Titanic and is one of the best loved and tragic romance movies of all time. The movie, which broke box office records at the time, was DiCaprio’s 10th motion picture and Winslet’s 6th. Romeo & Juliet This 1996 Baz Luhrmann directed modern retelling of the classic Shakespeare tragedy sees DiCaprio at his best. This version is set in a post-modern city named Verona Beach where the Capulets and Montagues are two rival gangs. Juliet Capulet (Claire Danes) attends a costume ball thrown by her parents. Here she is supposed to meet the oafish Paris (Paul Rudd) who her father has arranged for her to marry. Instead she meets Romeo Montague (DiCaprio) and the two star crossed lovers fall for one another instantly. This movie really tests DiCaprio’s mettle as a serious Shakespearean actor, and he shows himself to be a true master of his craft in the most romantic and tragic tale of all time. The Beach After his overwhelming success in the box office with Titanic, DiCaprio took a bit of a left turn with his next starring role. 2000’s The Beach is based on an Alex Garland novel and directed by Danny Boyle. While some critics claim the movie to be muddled and suffer from a lack of direction, DiCaprio’s acting is engaging and engrossing and his willingness to take risks for the sake of artistic integrity is what has landed this movie on this list. It centers around Richard (Leonardo DiCaprio), a young American backpacker who arrives in Thailand with a serious case of wanderlust. Joined on his adventures by Etienne (Guillaume Canet) and Francoise (Virginie Ledoyen) they travel to an enigmatic paradise known only as ‘The Beach’, where fellow backpackers have made a self sustaining commune of sorts. As the movie progresses however, we find that there is no paradise without its share of troubles as ‘The Beach’ and its inhabitants reveal themselves to be less than perfect. Wolf Of Wall Street Yet another flick in the actors Biopic arsenal, Wolf of Wall Street begins in 1987 where Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) takes an entry-level job at a Wall Street brokerage firm. By the time the 1990’s roll around Belfort has garnered enough business savvy to start his own firm, Stratton Oakmont. Alongside his right hand man Donnie (Jonah Hill) and an impressive team of yes men Belfort makes a huge fortune by defrauding wealthy investors out of millions. This movie showcases Leonardo DiCaprio’s ability to inhabit the skin of any character put in front of him and shows himself to be an accomplished comedic actor to boot! The Great Gatsby In another iconic adaptation of classic literature by director Baz Lurhmann DiCaprio takes on the role of eponymous literature icon Jay Gatsby from the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel The Great Gatsby. Set in 1922, New York, Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire), an aspiring writer, moves in next-door to millionaire Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio). Not too far away is his cousin Daisy (Carey Mulligan) and her never do well husband, Tom (Joel Edgerton). This is a stand out performance from DiCaprio and yet again showcases his ability to take on those challenging period roles. Catch Me If you Can Yet another biopic, Catch Me If You Can follows the (supposedly) true life story of Frank Abagnale Jr. (Leonardo DiCaprio) who worked as a doctor, a lawyer, and as a co-pilot for a major airline, and all this before his 18th birthday. He was a master con man who was highly skilled in forgery and deception. When he was just 17 years old, Frank was notoriously the most successful bank robber in the history of the U.S. The movie follows FBI Agent Carl Hanratty (Tom Hanks) as he makes it his prime objective to capture Frank and bring him to justice. This movie makes the list due to the obvious on screen chemistry of DiCaprio and Hanks and is also another rare comedic turn for the talented actor. Django Unchained “What’s your name boy?” this is the movie that many people believe gave DiCaprio his practice run for the eventual Oscar he would go on to win with The Revenant. Directed by Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained is a gritty portrayal of a pre-Civil War America, told in true Tarantino ‘grindhouse’ style. Django (Jamie Foxx), is a slave who finds himself in the company of a German bounty hunter named Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz). Schultz is on a crusade to find and capture brutal outlaws: the Brittle brothers. They fail in this task and Schultz frees Django and the two go on to form a bad-ass crime fighting duo for all the wild west to fear. They wind up at the enigmatic plantation of the unscrupulous Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio), and find that Django’s estranged wife (Kerry Washington) is still a slave. DiCaprio shows his ability to play the bad guy in this movie, his performance is full of gritty intensity and rawness and that is what gives this movie a place on this list. #acp_paging_menu, .acp_wrapper { display: none; }
Bruce Lee was more than just the beloved face of 70’s martial arts movies. He was also a generous humanitarian who kicked down the barriers of racism, an accomplished actor and even gained status as a 70’s sex symbol. But perhaps most notably, he was a master of many different forms of Martial Arts, and even went on to develop his own martial arts style that he called Jeet Kune Do. Translating to “Way of the Intercepting Fist,” Jeet Kune Do was a revolutionary style of martial arts that eliminated many of the shackles and restrictions of more traditional styles of the art form. It is also widely accepted to be the foundation for modern MMA which embraces chaos and plays fast and loose with rules, but also restrictions, holding strength and endurance training as its core training focus. The Way of the Intercepting Fist Jeet Kune Do is the process of countering an opponent’s attacks with one of your own by using whatever technique you feel will be the most successful. Most forms of martial arts are too rigid to allow such maneuvers. This can put the practitioner at a disadvantage during a combat situation. With Jeet Kune Do, you are allowed to use any move or attack to gain advantage on your opponent. There is greater freedom of movement and more options available to those who adopt this philosophy of combat. Jeet Kune Do was Lee’s response to the narrowly focused, preconceived configurations of the more traditional styles. However, in Lee’s own words, Jeet Kune Do is just a name and is in essence the ‘style of no style’. Lee thought that students of Jeet Kune Do should “Try to be purposeless and formless, like water. All of the classical techniques and standard styles are minimized, if not wiped out, and nothingness prevails. He is no longer confined.” The MMA Connection The influence Bruce Lee had on modern MMA can still be felt to this day. His idea that you should only use the techniques that are actually practically useful to you in a real combat situation are the same ideas held within the training regimes of current MMA combatants. Today’s fighters will focus on their personal strengths and whatever methods are most likely to bring them success in the cage. Adhering to particular moves for particular styles is not their main focus. This main focus is the win, and they recognise that to get the win, you need to be able to utilise fluid, unrestricted movement and attacks. This is the same lesson Lee was teaching more than 20 years before the first ever UFC match was held in 1993. An Evolving Sport MMA has evolved since those days. Now its practitioners know that you need be accomplished in all facets of combat in order to be truly successful. This was also the ethos of Lee, who was proficient in many different styles of martial arts. Even now there are some current MMA fighters who have trained in Jeet Kune Do. Lee understood the combat aspect of martial arts better than most, and he developed Jeet Kune Do to be one of the most powerful fighting systems in practice. Despite its success, he would later go on to express regret at how Jeet Kune Do had progressed, claiming that it had been turned into an actual, formal ‘style’. This caused him regret because it was the complete opposite of his original intentions and philosophy for the development of his technique. A Sporting Pioneer It is without question that we can say that Bruce Lee was a pioneer of martial arts and that he revolutionised the practice in ways that were well ahead of his time. He developed a fighting style that has influenced modern MMA dramatically. Jeet Kune Do’s idea that the use of practicality and effectiveness in combat is what fighters should focus on is a main ethos in the sport today. The ideals held by Lee’s teachings lie at the heart of true MMA competition: to determine who the better fighter is, and not what is the best style. Bruce Lee’s unique and revolutionary approach to the combat arts, and life in more broader terms, is summed up quite nicely by a quote from the man himself: “Empty your mind. Be formless, shapeless, like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle. You put it into a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow, or it can crash! Be water, my friend.” #acp_paging_menu, .acp_wrapper { display: none; }