Author - Sabrina Gonzalez

If I'm happy, you should be too! I love seeing happiness going around!

Entertainment

Ladybug as a Lucky Charm

Even though they come in a variety of colors, ladybugs are usually recognized as red, tiny animals with black spots. They are popular in many cultures and various superstitions are associated with them.

Ladybug, a symbol of protection

During the Middle Age, ladybugs were believed to be the symbol of protection.
Stories were connected with farmers, and their problems with aphids ruining their crops. Desperate farmers prayed to the Virgin Mary, asking for help. The Virgin Mary sent help to distressed farmers, in form of thousands of ladybugs which were able to annihilate the aphids and to eventually save the crops. Farmers first called them “Beetles of Our Lady”, eventually evolving into their today’s name, referencing still to the Virgin Mary.
Today, a ladybug is still used as a lucky charm, for safety and protection, against harms of all type.
They are also believed to keep a person safe and healthy, and thus often found on baby and child clothes.
A gift with including ladybug image on it is believed to bring to receive love, happiness, and prosperity. If a ladybug lands on you, you will receive good news. It is believed that if a ladybug lands on an object, you will receive a newer and better version of it.

Ladybug and Love

It is a common belief that if a ladybug lands on the hand of an unmarried woman, she will get married within a year. This is pictured in a poem:
This lady-fly I take from the grass
Whose spotted back might scarlet red surpass?
Fly, lady-bird; north, south, or east or west
Fly where the man is found that I love best.
John Gay, The Shepherd’s Week – 1714

Symbolism of a ladybug for the Newborn Babies

Besides the fact they are considered carriers of fortune and security, there are additional reasons why ladybug symbols should be associated with newborn babies.
They are considered to be lucky for babies as they bring auspicious blessings to them.
Italian nickname for ladybugs “commaruccia” can be translated as “little midwives”, once again indicating their importance.
This symbolism of plentiful blessings made the clothing and other various stuff with ladybugs very popular for both kids and adults.

Self-confidence of a ladybug

Ladybugs are really small creatures, yet, they are capable of protecting themselves from larger opponents.
And really, when ladybug feels endangered, it will release an unpleasant odor, repulsive for the predator, chasing him away in his search for food.
This is often noted by people, commenting that a ladybug is an excellent example how a small and self-reliant a creature can be at the same time.
Association with Virgin Mary
The folklore legends say that this was the favorite of Virgin Mary. Mother of Jesus has been associated with ladybugs for centuries.
It is also believed that seven spots on this tiny animal represent the Seven Joys of Mary, others claim those are the Seven Sorrows of Mary.

Do not kill a ladybug!

To kill a ladybug is considered an extremely bad luck. If you, unfortunately, do so, you will be on the list of Virgin Mary for nine days.
Ladybug images are placed sometimes on tiles on the street of Netherland. It is believed they represent a protest against the violence of irrational kind.

Even though they come in a variety of colors, ladybugs are usually recognized as red, tiny animals with black spots. They are popular in many cultures and various superstitions are associated with them.

Ladybug, a symbol of protection
During the Middle Age...

Entertainment Lifestyle

The Story of Turquoise Gem

One of the world’s oldest and most famous gems is turquoise. Archaeologists have confirmed that the pharaohs of Ancient Egypt have worn a lot of jewelry with turquoise, and that Chinese artist used these stones for carving arts as back as 3,000 years ago. Today, this is the national gem of Tibet, and there is a belief that this stone brings health, fortune and protection from evil forces.

The name is derived back in the 13th century from french word „pierre tourques“, translated „Turkish stone“. This is an indicator that the material probably appeared in Europe at this time, from Turkish traders.

The stone is often called gemstone of life, and throughout history, it has been used as a holy stone, captivating power, health, and fortune. In ancient cultures, it was given to riders as a talisman, to protect them and their horses from accidental falls.

This gem is found in many cultures- Ancient Egypt, Persian Empire, Ancient China and up to Native Americans. It can be found in some important relics such as King Tutankhamun’s golden mask or sword of Goujian. Grave furnishing with turquoise was discovered in Ancient Egypt, dating around 3,000 B.C. Even older relic (dating 3,700 years B.C.) was found in China, in a form of dragon made of 2,000 pieces of turquoise. Turquoise became popular with the decline of church’s influence, allowing the use of gem in various purposes. In Persia, the gem was worn around the neck or wrist, with the purpose of protection against death. Stone was also used for interior and exterior decoration of important objects. During centuries, Persian turquoise is believed to be the most valuable. Native American tribes, including Navajo, Apache and Zuni, used this stone extensively in jewelry. Once again, it is used for it alleged healing properties and protection. Warriors placed gems at the end of arrows, in order to assure accurate shots.

Turquoise is formed when water passes through stones containing copper and aluminum. Various and complex conditions are needed in order to make possible a chemical reaction where deposits of turquoise are formed. The blue color is stronger when there is copper. Likewise, aluminum presence makes shades of turquoise more greenish. If mineral zinc is present, the gem attains yellow-green color, as it is seen rarely and only in few areas. In some cases, there are dark marks, in forms of drops or veins. This is usually associated with the presence of various iron stones. Today’s term „Persian turquoise“ is used for stones without these dark traces.

Turquoise jewelry usually has hardness 5-6 on the Mohs scale. The hardest gems are the ones found on surface sources, having the chance to dry. Softer gems resemble chalk. Natural gems are cut and polished, but no changes are made.

It can change color as it absorbs body oil and moisture. Jewelry can easily be scratched, so handle it gently. It should be kept away from harder stones, or another object. Oils, perfumes or commercial cleaners can damage even modified turquoise. Warm water with mild soap is powerful enough for cleaning.

Turquoise is considered to be a birthstone for December, besides zircon and it is stone recommended for Aquarius, Taurus and Sagittarius.

One of the world’s oldest and most famous gems is turquoise. Archaeologists have confirmed that the pharaohs of Ancient Egypt have worn a lot of jewelry with turquoise, and that Chinese artist used these stones for carving arts as back as 3,000 years...

Entertainment Health

Weirdest Medical Conditions Known to Man

The title of this article speaks for itself so we`ll cut to the chase and start with our list leaving out the medical mumbo-jumbo and Latin terms.

Walking corpse syndrome

Dmytro Konstantynov | Dreamstime.com - Zombie soldier

This is a very rare mental disorder where the person affected with this disorder actually believes he or she is missing a body part or even dead. People who suffer from this disorder usually don’t take baths, don’t eat and tend to deny their existence. Some people with this disorder go to the graveyard to be with their own kind (talk about stiffs). The first brain scan done on a patient with this disorder showed extremely low brain activity in areas which are connected with motor function, memory and sensory information, almost the same as to someone who is in a vegetative state.

Vampire syndrome

Arman Zhenikeyev | Dreamstime.com - Vampire nation

This is also a very rare disorder and only one in a million people have it. No, it`s not about people sucking blood from other humans with their fangs and turning into bats when necessary. Actually, people who have the vampire syndrome are extremely sensitive to UV rays. Even a short exposure to sunlight can cause extreme skin burns, and eventually cancer. There are some available treatments for this disorder but the best way to stay safe is to completely avoid sunlight, just like a vampire would.

Foreign accent syndrome

Mark Hayes | Dreamstime.com - Speak no evil

If this syndrome wasn’t real, it would make everyone around the people who have it laugh their eyes out. This syndrome is, in fact, real and makes the people who have it talk in foreign accents even if they never visited that region in their life. It`s not unusual for people who have it to mix several accents in one sentence. This disorder is usually a side effect of stroke or other severe brain injuries. There is no cure for this syndrome, but people can have extensive speech therapy to reduce the severity of this disorder.

Congenital insensitivity to pain

Elnur | Dreamstime.com - Badly beaten businessman

Imagine if you didn’t feel any physical pain at all. Well, some people can`t feel pain from their birth. This might seem like a cool superpower but it`s actually really dangerous. People with this condition can`t feel any pain which can lead to serious injuries. They can feel the difference between hot and cold, sharp and dull but not enough to warn affected people they are being injured at the time. Broken bones, wounds and other physical injuries can go undetected for some time which can make things more serious than they originally were.

Alien hand syndrome

Joseph Dilag | Dreamstime.com - Self choking

This is a very weird syndrome where people can`t control one of their limbs. It`s like a hand has a mind of its own, grabbing random things, unbuttoning a shirt or even hitting the person it`s attached to. Picture that you see someone choking himself, while trying to stop his own arm from doing that. This scene may look like a cheesy horror movie but in fact, it is fairly rare but a real medical condition. People who have this condition suffer mostly mentally. Well, imagine something really embarrassing you can do with one hand when you`re on the street or in a crowded place.

The title of this article speaks for itself so we`ll cut to the chase and start with our list leaving out the medical mumbo-jumbo and Latin terms.
Walking corpse syndrome

This is a very rare mental disorder where the person affected with this disorder...

Entertainment

Art Is Going to The Freezing South

The 1st Antarctic Biennale, an original concept with the idea of gathering artists, scientists and researchers all around the world, has sat sails to the “Last Continent” on 17th of March.

Under the motto from Jules Verne’s novel “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea”, the motto of captain Nemo and his Nautilus, which is ”Mobilis in mobile”, this group of contemporary artists is about the step on the pure and white plains of Antarctica and push the boundaries of modern concepts of artistic creation.

The first ships began their journey from the port of Ushuaia in Argentina on 17th of March and are heading towards the cold ice through the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the Passage of Drake when the expedition will arrive at the promised land. The expedition consists of 50 to 100 members. Artists and scientists are joined by the organization who came up with the idea, as well as the technical support group, reporters and critics. There will also be a small filming crew who will document this unique event.

The main quest for the people involved in the project is to create objects, installations, stage actions and all kind of performances. The idea is that their creations are portable, able to resist all unpredictable and heavy weather conditions and not to cause any damage to the environment they are populating. After the Biennale, several exhibitions will be staged in museums around Europe and Russia, where people will have the chance to admire the imagination and inventiveness of this daring group.

The idea for the Antarctic Biennale originally came from a Russian sailor, but also an artist and philosopher Alexander Ponomarev all the way back in 2011. Three years later, in 2014, he established the Antarctic Pavilion, as a foundation to the Biennale. The Pavilion, drawing inspiration from Ponomarev’s past nautical and sailing experience, is about exploring the unexplored, a concept which wants to investigate the difference between reality and illusions, as well as how a

personal and cultural history of humans entwine. Ponomarev wanted to utilize the cultural potential of Antarctica, where he has already realized numerous projects.

 

 

On January 24th, the Biennale got UNESCO’s patronage, who recognized the good will of promoting the continent and the idea of global cultural and scientific exchange. The expedition was funded and got support from many different organizations, including Eugene Kaspersky, the Chairman of Kaspersky Lab, who was fascinated by the endeavor and the passion from the people involved with it. The project was also supported by Anna Somers Cocks, CEO of the Art Newspaper Group, and Nic Iljine, who is the advisor to the General Director of the State Heritage Museum.

The Antarctic Biennale will last from 12 to 15 days, depending on the weather conditions and the time it will take them to reach their goals. But it will not end there, because, as the organization behind it emphasized, this is “biennale in process”, a process of constantly building the space for productive and meaningful creations. On this plain and white sheet of paper on the map, artists from different countries will try to write their own rules, expanding the borders and identity.

The 1st Antarctic Biennale, an original concept with the idea of gathering artists, scientists and researchers all around the world, has sat sails to the “Last Continent” on 17th of March.
Under the motto from Jules Verne’s novel “Twenty Thousand...

Entertainment

Interesting Facts About The Walking Dead

We bring you interesting facts about one of the most popular TV shows nowadays – The Walking Dead, AMC’s zombie show lasting for 7 seasons.

  1. Too violent for HBO?

Originally, the creators of the show first offered their idea to HBO, as they believed it would be the best fit. After all, this is the production house behind Game of Throne and many shocking scenes, including murders, nudity and incest. Yet, they demanded a significant reduction of violence.

Fortunately, AMC accepted The Walking Dead, under other condition- no swearing.

  1. The opening logo is decaying over time

Although opening credits of the show are often fast-forwarded, even a non-regular viewer will notice the change in the main title sequence. The logo has gotten darker, filthier and worn-out since season one.

The logo is show runners idea of depicting deterioration of both zombie corpses and human behavior. The only question remaining- what will be left at the end of the series?

  1. Networks wanted to leave out the zombie

Another production house, NBC wanted to accept the apocalyptic show of people surviving the epidemic of human eating zombies, but under condition- to exclude the zombies.

After this idea fell off, another suggestion was to turn the show into a zombie version of Law& Order or CSI, where would Rick and others solve a “zombie crime” each week in order to understand the human nature better. Frank Darabont, the original show runner – ran away.

  1. The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad might exist in the same universe

Although this is just another speculation, there is a possible connection of AMC’s most famous shows.

First, the car Glenn stole in Season 1, red Dodge Challenger, is the same vehicle Walter White returned to a car store managed by a man called Glenn. Merle Dixon had a stash of drugs with some Blue Sky meth, Walter White’s trademark product. Also, Daryl told to Beth about Merle’s dealer “junky little white guy” often using the word “bitch.” Resembling Jesse Pinkman, perhaps?

  1. Dale wanted to be killed off

Even though this is a show where you can never guess who will be next, even the writers have to improvise sometimes. Jeffrey DeMunn wanted to be killed off, because the actor was unsatisfied with his friend Frank Darabon being fired in Season 2.

So, instead of Hershel being killed by Carl’s pet walker, Dale was killed. Luckily, one old bearded guy easily changed the place of another, especially as the moral center of the group.

  1. Character of Daryl Dixon was created for the show

Interestingly, this character does not exist in the comic books. Yet, he is possibly the most popular survivor of the show.

Actor Norman Reedus originally auditioned for the role of Merle, who also does not exist in comics. Writer Robert Kirkman was so fascinated by Reedus’ performance that he created another character so he could be on the show.

  1. 16mm films are used for series’ shooting

In the age of modern technology, most of the series or movies are shot with digitally, as it is easier, more colorful and cheaper. Yet, zombies look cooler on film.

The show is shot on Kodak’s Super 16mm, since the first day. The show runners insisted that grainy look achieved this way matches perfectly with the show. Also, zombie makeup appears a lot more disgusting this way.

We bring you interesting facts about one of the most popular TV shows nowadays – The Walking Dead, AMC’s zombie show lasting for 7 seasons.

Too violent for HBO?

Originally, the creators of the show first offered their idea to HBO, as they believed...

Uncategorized

Exit Is Getting Bigger and Bigger

Exit Festival, this year celebrating 50 years of the formation of the hippie movement and culture with the Summer of Love, might just be the biggest one yet, in quantity and diversity.

The festival that takes place in Novi Sad, Serbia entered its 17th birthday announcing a new festival under its peace and happiness banner in Umag, Croatia and as it stands it has three festivals around the Balkan region under his sponsorship. The already mentioned Sea Star in Croatia, as well as Revolution Festival in Romania and Sea Dance in Montenegro. Sea Star has already attracted many famous foreign acts, such as The Prodigy and Fat Boy Slim, and well-recognized bands from Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia.

The Petrovaradin Fortress in Novi Sad, where this award-winning spectacle will take place from 6th to 9th July, will host some of the most wanted artists from past, present and future. Liam Gallagher, a true rockstar and frontman of the former British brit-pop band Oasis, was one of the first acts announced, together with a young indie-folk solo artist Jake Bugg. They will try to light up the Main Stage with their roaring performances and heartfelt lyrics. As for the Dance Arena, one of the unique venues out there in Europe, the crowd will be given the time of their life by some of the best hitmakers in Duke Dumont, Alan Walker and Robin Schulz, who couldn’t perform last year due to his illness. Of course, the old school of electronica and techno wave will have its representatives in Paul Kalkbrenner, Faithless and Solomun.

There were all sorts of rumors going around recently when a surprising information started circulating the social media. Even an event on Facebook was created and a date for a special conference in the capital, Belgrade, where the team behind the festival will announce a huge act describing it as “the most wanted American rock band right now”. There was a huge debate on, because several obscure pieces of the puzzle came out, specifically concerning the band’s demands and those of Exit’s team not coming to a compromise. But the band was so special and important to them that they even put an X on the calendar and adding Day 0 on the 5th of July. The band that will play their gig is The Killers, a group that marked the last decade in rock music industry, spawning hits like Human, Somebody Told Me, Mr. Brightside and so on.

Their announcement got fans on their feet, but it was not alone. Soon The Killers were joined by a British trio Years & Years, as well as one of the best breakthrough artists Rag ‘n’ Bone Man and Lost Frequencies, who played a show in Montenegro last year, who will all try to leave their mark and conquer the fortress.

The tickets are available at a very low price, but if you plan on enjoying The Killers, you will have to pay a bit extra. Prepare your backpack, your friends and take a ride to the greatest party of the summer.

Exit Festival, this year celebrating 50 years of the formation of the hippie movement and culture with the Summer of Love, might just be the biggest one yet, in quantity and diversity.
The festival that takes place in Novi Sad, Serbia entered its 17th...

Humans Are Awesome

Moon Hooch – A Band Playing Safety Cones

All of us have had a chance to hear a lot of different music genres and enjoy all kinds of remakes and remixes, blending together various sounds. Browsing the web, you can come across plenty of remixes of classical compositions, hits from you parents’ youth with a modern techno beat, or a punk version of Fergie’s old hit London Bridge. Now, you can think that you have already heard it all, but think again. These artists manage to surprise us even when we think there’s nothing left to discover.

Wandering around through the crowd on the Street Musicians Festival which took place in the fortress of a suburban place in Novi Sad, Serbia, I had trouble finding a stage with a performance that would really catch my attention. But then, I heard a funky dance beat, similar to the music you would usually hear at a party on the beach at a summer night, but there was something different about the sound. I realized that I can’t identify the instruments I hear, so I came closer to the stage in order to see what the music was played on. When I was finally able to see the stage, I couldn’t see the musicians, because all I was able to see from the crowd dancing in front of the stage was a big safety cone, like the ones you would see on the road warning you that there is a hole on the way, or at the construction site.

Since it was moving in the rhythm of the music, I assumed it was used as an instrument, but I still couldn’t figure out exactly what’s going on. Then I realized that there were two guys playing saxophones with big safety cones taped to their instruments, changing the sound that’s coming out of the instrument’s bell. The people in the audience were full of energy, dancing their hearts out like they were on the best party of their lives. The third member of the band was playing drums, making the music sound modern and energetic, but still odd in comparison to what all of us have got used to hearing in the clubs or on the radio. The transitions between the songs and different rhythms were sudden, but completely smooth, leaving the listeners surprised and amazed with this experimental musical expression.

Later I found out that Moon Hooch is a band trio from Brooklyn, New York, and their music is often described as dance-oriented fusion jazz which is highly influenced by electronic music. The members of the band, Wenzl McGowen, Mike Wilbur and James Muschler started playing music in the subway and they claim that paying attention to the things happening around you and people passing by while integrating everything that’s happening around you into your musical expression makes a unique sound full of feeling.

All in all, you can’t even imagine what Moon Hooch’s music sounds like until you hear it. So, you can either try to make music using objects from the construction site or just let the band do it for you and search their music on the Internet – it’s up to you.

All of us have had a chance to hear a lot of different music genres and enjoy all kinds of remakes and remixes, blending together various sounds. Browsing the web, you can come across plenty of remixes of classical compositions, hits from you parents’...

Entertainment

Vaporwave – the Art of Nostalgic ’90s Kids

All of us have already got used to seeing new things on the Internet every day, from the latest news, to the newest version of those annoying old memes. But, what about music? Do you even stop to listen some of the songs your friends post online, or do you just keep scrolling, and sometimes hit a like button if it happens that you know the song? If you pay attention to what music is posted online lately, you have probably noticed a big burst of the vaporwave music among the young adults, more precisely – the ’90s kids. But, what is vaporwave, and where did it come from?

 

First of all, what does the name vaporwave even mean? It’s an allusion to the word “vaporware“, which is used in the computer industry, referring to a product which has never been released to the public, nor has it been canceled, despite being announced. It is not unusual that the vaporwave community chose a name so closely related to the computer industry, since the kids from the ’90s are overly nostalgic about the sound of dial-up internet, huge monitors, Windows 98 and low-resolution photographs. The music is usually made using audio editing software, digital audio workstations and samplers.

The nostalgia about the ’90s can be noticed in the vaporwave music, through the repetitive beats and simple, but dream-like sounds inspired by the music, the entertainment and advertising program during the ’80s and ’90s, when technology just began to spread around the globe. You could say that vaporwave sounds like a slow-motion nostalgic version of the dance music of the ’90s.

Vaporwave is also considered to be a critique of today’s society and modern music scene, as well as the whole idea of capitalism along with its empty promises to the people, raising awareness about consumerism and brainwashing media. This subgenre is suggesting a different approach to today’s technology, and you may agree that we could use all the amazing things we have plugged in for better purposes than scrolling through our news feed and clicking on pop-up ads, buying things we don’t need just because a few pictures and perhaps a video were enough to convince us that we don’t know how we lived without all those pointless objects so far.

Vaporwave and its idea are not spread just through music. Visual art is also a big part of the whole idea, and you can notice some patterns in the half-sarcastic photographs of vaporwave artists. Pale pink, violet and blue colors in the background, Windows 95 or 98 logos and motives, Japanese symbols and Roman busts and often combined into graphics that make you take a look at today’s technology from a completely different perspective. Since a lot of attention is paid to aesthetics in the vaporwave art, expect to see trippy and dreamlike ambient in music videos with distortion effects resembling the ones you would see when you play an old VHS tape.

Finally, if you searched a bit and liked the sound and the concept of vaporwave, make sure to check out the closely related subgenres, such as synthwave, seapunk, cloud rap, simpsonwave.

All of us have already got used to seeing new things on the Internet every day, from the latest news, to the newest version of those annoying old memes. But, what about music? Do you even stop to listen some of the songs your friends post online, or do you...

Entertainment

Hip Hop Battles – How Do They Work?

If you have watched Step Up, Stomp the Yard, Streetdance, Honey or any other movie about the hip hop dancers, their work and struggles, you might be a bit confused about what it’s all about.  All of us have heard about hip-hop dance battles, but how do they really work? Who dances and what determines who has won the battle? Can people only dance alone against one person, or is it possible for more people to battle together as a team? And, if America’s Best Dance Crew crossed your mind, you should know that, even though the show is based on a competition between many different hip hop crews, it has nothing to do with battles. The dance crews in that show compete against each other like in every other competition – a lot of them perform, and then the judges decide which were the best ones. Battles work a bit differently, and if you want to find out how – keep reading.

Who battles?

Basically anyone can participate in a hip-hop battle, but, of course, it is expected that the person is a good dancer. If we’re talking about spontaneous battles that happen right in the middle of the street, all you need to do is be in the right place in the right time. But, if the battle is organized ahead, you should probably apply yourself or your crew for the battle just by putting your name on the list, for the purposes of the easier organization. Of course, another way for you to participate in a battle is to get called-out by another dancer or a crew, which usually means the one who called you out is testing your dance skills and think they can beat you. You can battle either alone or with your crew, depending on the type of the battle. The number of people on each side is always determined, because it would be unfair for one person to battle against, for example, three people. When talking about battles, people often mention the number of people battling, so there are battles “1 on 1“, “3 on 3“, “5 on 5“ and so on.

Who dances first?

The order of the dancers quite differs in different battles and depends on the organizers of the battle. Sometimes, if the battle is 1 on 1, the dances will be randomly divided into pairs, and only one person from every pair can win, and therefore proceed to the next round, where they are battling another randomly assigned opponent who got to the next round the same way they did, and so on, depending on the number of dancers battling. In the final battle, there are only two dancers left in the round and whoever wins the round has won the whole battle. The order of dancers is usually determined by spinning the bottle on the floor, between the dancers who are participating in the round. When the bottle stops spinning, the direction where it’s pointed determines which dancer (or a crew) dances first. But, this is not always the rule. Sometimes the order is fixed and randomly assigned while forming pairs of dancers.

Who wins?

Of course, the person (or a crew) with the best dance moves, who managed to demonstrate the music through their movement is supposed to win the round or the battle. Some battles have judges, usually 3 to 5 respected dancers of different styles, who have to give their vote to one of the sides at the end of the round, or they can vote a tie. Since every judge votes for themselves, a dancer who got more votes in the round wins. In a battle with no judges, the audience decides who wins the round by the loudness of their cheering, or sometimes holding up a card of a certain color for each side.

So, now that you’re a bit more familiar with the way things work in the world of hip hop battles, grab some popcorns and start a Step Up marathon. Or maybe organize a battle to show off your moves? It’s up to you.

If you have watched Step Up, Stomp the Yard, Streetdance, Honey or any other movie about the hip hop dancers, their work and struggles, you might be a bit confused about what it’s all about.  All of us have heard about hip-hop dance battles, but how do...

Entertainment

Is Ed Sheeran’s New Album a Game-changer?

There was a time when we didn’t know what 2017 could bring to us. Will there be more pop cultural horrors or delights in the New Year? One thing is certain. Ed Sheeran will have a game changer and the news is that he will release some new music.

Sheeran tweeted that the name of his next record will be ÷, and that there will be lyrics like “The club isn’t the best place to find a lover” and “When I was 6 years old I broke my leg.” This tells us that he is not listening much of Usher, but also brings the question: Where does he fit in now?

There was a social media break from Sheeran’s career back in December 2015. The explanation was that he needs a break to travel and regroup a little. But, in the art world, 2015 was 100 years ago. When he decided to step aside for a while, his nice guy love songs had an established niche in the Top 20. In the “Hotline Bling” video, Drake was wearing a sweater, not one of the former One Direction member had branched out on their own and The Weeknd was having his first year as a for-real pop star. Also, there are some game-changing releases like Blondie by Frank Ocean and Coloring Book by Chance the Rapper. They provided a new dimension and depth to the male and young experience.

Throughout the time when Ed was on his break, some of the biggest stars released their personal, earnest work and we had one of the most dramatically shifting years when it comes to pop music. Some of the greatest male stars were busy and we witnessed carefully crafted honesty from them. Zayn went public with his eating and anxiety problems and Justin Bieber opened up about his frustration with the realities of his day to day life. Also, Shawn Mendes explained in his “Treat You Better”, why being passed over sucks.

Long story short, 2016 was the year that young male pop stars used to show a new kind of depth and nuance or just to be explicit as much as they can. And that was possible especially since we have begun to respond to messiness and flaws. We have seen that throughout 2016. Everything around us is bad, and sometimes we feel bad, so it is good to know that stars that we like also feel the same way from time to time.

We hope that Sheeran has evolved as an artist, despite the two lyrics that are not that promising. We all know that his earlier songs were “nice guy” type and maybe he will manage to go beyond that. Taylor Swift and Ed went to the same school and maybe his new album will bring him the same thing the “1989” brought to her. When 2016 got to its end, we all forgot that Taylor sang about short skirts and princesses. Sheeran can become a man who has something smart to say and hi will fit into 2017, just if he could break from the safety net of his guitar and “I love you, please love me back” rhetoric.

There was a time when we didn’t know what 2017 could bring to us. Will there be more pop cultural horrors or delights in the New Year? One thing is certain. Ed Sheeran will have a game changer and the news is that he will release some new music.
Sheeran...

Fashion Lifestyle

The Creepy and Cute Style of Pastel Goth

In today’s world there are so many different fashion styles that it’s practically impossible to keep up with all of them. All the styles that were around decades ago, while your parents were partying teenagers, now have dozens of their sub-styles which have their own sub-styles, which have their own sub-styles…and so on, you get the the point. With today’s accessibility off mass media, especially the Internet, it’s much easier to come across different fashion styles on social networks, online magazines and even websites with clothing catalogues. Since we already mentioned the generation of your parents, do you remember the fashion of the gothic subculture? Well, today it’s much different from what it used to be back than, and it has so many different variations, from Victorian goth, hippie goth, cyber and tribal goth to the newest goth styles that just recently gained popularity due to the social media (especially Tumblr), such as nu goth and pastel goth. If you use Tumblr, there’s a strong chance you have already had a chance to see what pastel goth fashion looks like on your dashboard. If not, we are here to introduce you to this fashionable combination of creepy and cute.

Hair

Pastel, pastel and more pastel! This style is all about light and dreamlike exotic hair colours, such as baby pink or green, lavender, peach, mint blue ivory, and even grey and white. It is not unusual to mix a few different colours and get a unique sky-like hair. Hair accessories with flowers, spikes, or creepy details such as bows with eyeballs or skeleton hands are a must! And this applies to both guys and girls.

Clothes

Leg garters combined with cute skirts and dresses, usually black or in any pastel colour, leggings with prints of crosses, bats, yin yang symbols, cats or dripping colours are widely used in pastel goth fashion. Of course, you can’t be wrong with ripped black skinny jeans either. Upper parts of clothing are often sweaters or shirts with text written in thick dripping fonts, which are usually sarcastic or offensive statements about you, as the person watching their outfit, or statements about the person wearing the top. Also, it could be just a low-pixel clip art of a cheesebruger. Wearing a shirt with a studded collar under the sweater really emphasises the edginess of these creepy-cute followers.

Other than dripping texts, pastel goths are really into colourful and low-pixel pictures and clip arts of animals, bows, food, cats, symbols, accessories or pretty much anything. The use of customised fonts on pink or backgrounds with nebulas, along with glitter and cartoon characters and rainbow is also quite common.

Shoes

Pastel goths are usually seen in creepers and other shoes with high platforms, but heels with platforms, Dr. Martens and even your old Converse shoes can work! Just make sure to have some pastel or flower detail, and you’re good to go.

Accessories

Studs, bows, flowers, glitter, half-moon symbols, pills, crosses wings and skeletons come in all shapes and sizes in this fun style. Another relevant part of the culture are big toy-like backpacks, often in shapes of bats, cats, already mentioned cheeseburgers or even unicorns. Chokers are long necklaces with simple symbols are a necessity.

In today’s world there are so many different fashion styles that it’s practically impossible to keep up with all of them. All the styles that were around decades ago, while your parents were partying teenagers, now have dozens of their sub-styles...

Entertainment

Being a Music Producer

Do you ever wonder how the music is made? What is sound? And how can we transform analog wave to digital form?  This article is for anyone who wants to become a music producer.

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Over the past 20 years, music production has become more accessible. 20 years ago, a music producer needed expensive analog gear (mixing board, analog compressors, analog EQ’s, gate, everything) and in 80’s everything was recorded on tape. Nowadays you don’t need all of that, everything can be made in high quality on your laptop or desktop computer. Now, I’m not saying that it’s going to be exactly the same sound like mixing on analog gear; but big award-winning companies such as Wave Audio are using professional digital audio signal processing technologies and audio effects, used in recording, mixing, mastering, post-production, broadcast, and live sound. They are making something we today know as digital plug-ins. So, the job of a music producer is basically to oversee, manage and guide the process of producing and recording a song. If you are a problem-solving person with many ideas and good ear and music knowledge, you are probably producing quality music from your bedroom, which is a common thing today (I’m not saying you are producing literally from your bedroom, but you don’t have expensive hardware and massive studio). Many great albums are produced in bedroom studios and artists are aiming for that. And this is why:

1) It’s way cheaper than professional recording studios

2) They still have high-quality sound of the song

3) They still have fresh new ideas from you

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And these three things are your arsenal in this business. It’s always good to update your sound by buying new sets of plug-ins or software. If you are new to this, you can start by buying software like Steinberg Cubase, if you are more into alternative music like Rock, Pop, Metal, Punk, etc. and then upgrade to Pro Tools or Logic Pro (if you are using Mac PC’s). Steinberg Cubase is cheaper than Pro Tools, maybe using experience is a bit lower-level, but it cuts it. It’s great if you are a beginner, you get the whole Steinberg pack of Plug-ins and you can find it for free online (but than you may be experiencing some of the software bugs. It’s always better to buy this kind of software). If you are more into electronic music like Drum ‘n Bass, Techno, Liquid, Dubstep, etc. you can start with FL Studio (Fruity Loops Studio) and then upgrade to Ableton Live. FL Studio is more classic, but you get everything you need, and with Ableton Live you get more options and it’s great for live shows. Okay, here are few Plug-ins to get you started in producing alternative music:

1) CLA plug-ins by Waves is legendary Chris Lord-Alge Signature Series of plug-ins. Here you get the whole pack (CLA Bass, CLA Drums, CLA Effects, CLA Guitars, CLA Unplugged and CLA Vocals) for only $129 (it’s on the sale at the moment), regular price is $399. It’s bit expensive, but it’s the first plug-in I would buy.

2) Easy Drummer 2 is basically the easiest beat making drum machine today and you can get it for free. It’s something you need to have.

3) FabFilter Pro is the series of signal processing plug-ins which includes (EQ, Compressor, Multiband Compressor/Expander, De-esser, Limiter and Noise Gate). Very handy, easy to use and you can find it for free.

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Here are some free plug-ins you can add to you arsenal:

https://music.tutsplus.com/articles/over-90-free-vst-effects-plugins–audio-3834

http://bedroomproducersblog.com/free-vst-plugins/

http://www.waves.com/downloads/free

Also, pay attention to speakers you use, a cheap set of speakers are not going to cut it. You’ll need a set of studio monitor speakers and this is the golden rule – if you want a good mix, you will need a good set of speakers.

I hope you’ll find your way in this business of the music production.

Do you ever wonder how the music is made? What is sound? And how can we transform analog wave to digital form?  This article is for anyone who wants to become a music producer.

Over the past 20 years, music production has become more accessible. 20 years...