Archive for the ‘Lifestyle’ Category:

Playing Adult: The Big Draw Festival, Barcelona

Why is it that adults hide behind the pretense of teaching children to allow themselves to get creative?

Last Sunday was Barcelona’s festival of mark-making The Big Draw, with free artist’s workshops at 25 venues across the city. The primary coloured posters and silly faces suggest the target audience was surely families looking to distract their kiddiewinks, but I can assure you having explored some of the sites that a significant number of the participants  – who seemed to be enjoying themselves immensely – were ‘grown-ups’.

Big Draw Fest kids

As a child your senses are relentlessly stimulated: new faces, new smells, and new tastes, everyday a new encounter as your world expands. But as adults our lives become more repetitive, we work the same job daily, frequent the same bars, eat the same food and are less likely to make new friends.

Our brains, bored numb by this repetition of information start making shortcuts and cease to form new memories – so if you can’t remember what you had for dinner on Monday night, it was probably the same as Tuesday…

Photo by Gabi Marsh

Photo by Gabi Marsh

There seems to be a certain stigma attached to adults enjoying themselves. As if the very notion that we may be having fun – when we should be earning, paying taxes, saving for our hip operations – is unthinkable. It frustrates me to see people reading the monochrome ‘grown-up’ editions of books like Harry Potter and The Hunger Games; attempting to disguise your interests is for the acne ridden years of DIY piercings and pretending to listen to bands you don’t like, and only reinforces the taboo! Reading ‘Harry Potter’ doesn’t mean you’re not capable of ‘War and Peace’, it means you don’t want go to work with a headache, in any case surely by now you shouldn’t give a shit what someone along the tube carriage thinks.

The organisers of the The Big Draw seem to have got the balance right. Yes there was the arbitrary mask making and decorate your own skateboard deck, hey you have to cater for the hipsters of Barcelona somehow, but also artist talks and live art.

Photo by Gabi Marsh

Photo by Gabi Marsh

My personal favourite was Toni Batllori’s workshop ‘Potatoes and Plans: You don’t need to know how to draw to be able to explain things’ which focused on the idea that everyone has known how to draw a potato (it’s a wonky circle) thus if you can explain what a potato is in a drawing why not other ideas?

Batllori is a satirical cartoonist for El Noticiero Universal, Avui, El País and Diari de Barcelona and so it was not only intriguing to see how he uses drawing as a way of thinking but pretty encouraging to note that his drawings weren’t perfect or even beautiful – but his thoughts were big.

This emphasis on ideas over image was clear from the start of the festival. ‘Drawing’ means thinking, ‘creating’ means exploring those ideas, sticking it up on the wall is when the discussion begins…

It’s time to start playing again, lest our braincells wither and die, so go find a child and steal her toys.

Words by Gabriella Marsh.

The Big Draw:

Photo by Gabi Marsh

Photo by Gabi Marsh

Big Draw Fest 4

Photo by Gabi Marsh

Big Draw Fest kids art

Big Draw Fest 2014

The Big Draw is an international campaign with drawing events also taking place now in the UK until November 2, you can find out more here.

Nike x Pedro Lourenço: Functional & Feminine Workout Gear

Sao Paolo native Pedro Lourenço has collaborated on his first women’s training apparel collection with Nike, blending functionality and femininity together to create an incredibly desirable array of sportswear.

Opting for a clean monochrome aesthetic, the designer combines a looser fitting tank top and 60s shorts with bold running tights and figure hugging long-sleeved training shirt. These basics take on the brunt of intense physical exercise while still giving of a polished, fashion-forward vibe.

Nike x Pedro 6

Along with the basic training apparel the collection also include a pearl coloured hooded outerwear jacket, a spider-webbed black training jacket and grey/silver trainers. The transitional quality of the collection means that you could easily throw on most of the pieces and head out on the street without feeling like you’re wearing ratty gym gear, again emphasising the leaps sportswear brands have been making into combining fitness and fashion to please their customers in recent years.

The Brazilian designer’ collection, worn by the lithe Karlie Kloss, will no doubt be a big seller when it comes out online on November 13 as it’s colour-scheme and style is perfect for winter exercise. You can preview the collection on the US NikeLab site here.

Nike x Pedro Lourenço

Nike x Pedro 7

Nike x Pedro 4

Nike x Pedro 5

Nike x Pedro 3

Nike x Pedro 2

Nike x Pedro 1

Spike Jonze Turns 45 And We Still Don’t Really Know Who He Is


Courtesy of Variety Magazine

Ever the enigma, American director, producer, screenwriter, actor and Oscar winner Spike Jonze is one of the most prominent and well loved voices in modern filmmaking. Today Jonze turns 45 and can look back on an eclectic career filled with a litany of interesting and exciting projects.

Whether he is working on music videos, shooting commercials, directing short films or just hanging around in a car park, Spike is that rare breed of artist intent on challenging his audience with fresh, innovative content.

But who is the man behind the movies? What makes Spike so distinctive? Why do his films stand apart from the rest of Hollywood today and why does he take so damn long to finish them?

Skater, Turned Stuntman, Turned Filmmaker

Born Adam Spiegel he earned the nickname of Spike Jonze as a young man from a community store owner who gave him it in reference to 1930s entertainer Spike Jones. Spike was a skateboarder from a young age and even an occasional stuntman before making the transition to becoming a video director.

Like many skaters Spike has a tenacity and boisterousness which leads him to repeat different techniques over and over until he gets them right. Perhaps that’s why many of his films seem so flawless in the edit. In a recent Reddit AMA, promoting his movie Her, he gave a candid response to one user about how skating changed his life:


That’s such a hard thing to put into words. Because it’s been such a big part of my life. I think that skateboarding always attracted individual thinkers, and being a skater growing up, they had a big influence on me.


The Definitive “Auteur” Director

As if his track record wasn’t enough proof that he is the sensitive artistic type, earlier this year Spike gave what can only be described as an “awkward” interview to BBC’s Newsnight. During the brief chat streamed live from Los Angeles he decided to switch it up and interview the interviewer instead of answering her bland questions.

Spike is to our generation what Stanley Kubrick was to the past generation. Like Kubrick, who only picked up 16 director credits during his entire career, Jonze is slow genius ; he takes a long time to make each film, injecting a small piece of his soul into every new project. This style leaves the audience with the distinct feeling that we know him personally. However, he remains a pretty aloof and mysterious bloke.

Because of this his stories appear especially vivid. Spike puts a great deal of himself into his films, so much so that we wonder if he isn’t the real life inspiration for the character of Theodore Twobley in the movie ‘Her’. Today, he continues to draw on personal experience from his own life which gives his pictures a deeply intimate overtone:


I think I tried to write about what I was thinking about. [I was] writing about, you know, the questions we were talking about in terms of the way we live with technology right now, but more so writing about trying to understand relationships and myself in relationships. Trying to make sense of it all.


Today Spike Jonze remains much of a mystery. We all know that his films explore the themes of love, fidelity, technology and art but few people can tell you much about the man himself.

And you know what? That’s a good thing. He should stay as elusive as ever because his mystery is integral to his charm. Happy berfday, Spike.

Fish Apparently Invented Sex 385 Million Years Ago In Scotland

An international team of scientists have confirmed that the origins of copulation arise from fish named Microbrachius Dickiis; believed to be the first-known animal to trade-in conventional methods of reproduction though spawning and instead mating through sex.

An audience gathers as Microbrachius Dickiis enjoy sideways copulation. Artist impression: Brian Choo/Flinders University

An audience gathers as Microbrachius Dickiis enjoy sideways copulation. Artist impression: Brian Choo/Flinders University

The research – published in the International Weekly Journal of Science (IWJS) – concluded that the randy school of Antiarch Placoderms were the founders of modern sexual intercourse.

These primitive fish; small in stature (about 8cm long); lived amid some ancient lakes about 385 million years ago in – what is now known as – Scotland.

Despite their suspiciously-suggestive title and anti-christian morals, these fish indeed mark a pinnacle juncture in history. Professor John Long, from Flinders University in Australia and lead author of the study explains how their research defines the “very point in evolution where the origin of internal fertilisation in all animals began.”

Origin: Illustration by artist Daniel Lee

Origin: Illustration by artist Daniel Lee

Professor Long had made this discovery after delving into a huge box of ancient fish fossils; noticing that one of the M. dicki specimens had an odd L-shaped appendage; and upon further inspection this would be revealed as the male fish’s genitals; or penis. The female fish compose a small bony structure at their rear which locked the male organ into place.

Inline with his research, Professor Long also adds some colourful quotes and analogies to explain his findings to the immature-masses; first of all highlighting that ”They couldn’t have done it in a ‘missionary position’,” confirming “The very first act of copulation was done sideways, square-dance style.”

Expressing a remedial sense of sentiment, Long also explains how the fish romantically lock into position using their small arm-like fins, so that the male can dock his hook dick into the females genital plates, which the professor also says is “very rough like cheese graters,” acting like ”Velcro, locking the male organ into position to transfer sperm.”

Copulation using this method did not stay around for long however; fish reverted back to spawning - presumably after an awkward sexual encounter. It took another few million years for copulation to make a resurgence, reappearing in ancestors of sharks and rays. So now you know.

Always On The Road: A Film On Portugal’s Surf Paradise

In the collective unconscious, surf is more practiced in the US and Australia. Yet surfing has disciples all across the world. In Europe, the best spots are without contest in Portugal.


This observation makes German blogger Oliver Nermerich want to do something about it. Directed with Red Bull filmmaker Karsten Boysen Always on the road, is a film about the increasingly popular surf destination of the Algarve.

Nermerich told us: “When you think about surfing, everyone thinks about Hawaii, California or Australia. But well, Europe got world class waves as well. ” To prove this statement, Oliver added the Rip Curl ASP event is happening right now in Peniche, Portugal.

However, there is something special about the Algarve. Nermerich said: “The purpose of the movie was to show the lifestyle of a region which is special. The Algarve is considered the end of Europe!”

An always romantic thought, already well covered by National poet Fernando Pessoa. If Pessoa was all about watching Europe end in the river Tagus in Lisbon, Nermerich and Boysen have done something even more poetic by filming surfers at the edge of the old Continent. Oliver said: “ from there you go to Sagres which is the southwestern point of Europe. you only see the Atlantic ocean and then from there the US.”


The directors were also accompanied by pro surfers like Marlon Lipke, Alex Botelho and surf photographer Joao Bracourt. In the movie, you can see them talking about how this spot is so unique.
Among the main reasons, you find: “Mother nature has equipped this region with two different coasts, the west and the south coast, which provide surfers with multiple wave opportunities.

Whether you are looking for big, small, long or short waves – the Algarve and its 22-listed surf beaches offer waves for any level – excluding all the secret spots. Throughout the whole year this area has summerlike temperatures, even during spring and autumn the temperature rarely drops below 20 °C. ”

For Oliver Nermerich, surfing in Europe can be as great as in the US. It even presents some advantages the other continents do not have: “As a European you don’t have to travel around the continent. From Germany, three hours and you are in Portugal. 1,5 hours you are in France, or north of Spain! We have waves too.”

Your Brain On MDMA: Party Drug Explained to Children

Your brain on MDMA is a marvelous thing. It makes you love everybody, feel everything like a tiny orgasm and see purple rain. “Woah, I love the rain so much.” You might enjoy the effect of this empathogenic drug first synthesised by German chemist Anton Köllisch.

However, we guess that most of you have absolutely no idea about how the science behind the drug works. If you are taking drugs, which by the way is totally illegal and really bad for your health, at least you can learn something. Pay MDMA some respect.

Thanks to YouTube channel AsapScience, you’ll finally be able to know the reasons for your night time happiness. And also why you feel so shit the next day. However, if your mother is asking you what MDMA is after reading about it in The Sunday Times, forget you’ve watched this. It would be slightly suspicious.

#FutureHype: ‘Drone Racing’ Could Be The Next Step In Gaming And Gambling

We are living in the “information age”, whatever that means. Between the birth of humanity and the year 2003 five exabytes of information were recorded by humans. Now, in 2014, we humans record more than five exabytes of new information every two days.

What we think we know today may not be at all certain tomorrow, but one thing is for sure: we’re living in the future. So that you can be ready for whatever the future holds, each week we’ll search high and low online to bring you the best futuristic content from the worlds of science, art & design, architecture, computing and robotics.

Welcome, to #Futurehype. This week, Drone Racing.

Stars Wars-Style Drone Racing By 2025?

There has been no shortage of interest in unmanned aerial vehicles over the past few years, though perhaps for the wrong reasons.

Traditional media is focused on the weaponisation of drones for use in combat theaters like Iraq and Syria or on the “drones for delivery” that are being touted as the next step for retail companies like Ebay and Amazon. Very few people however, are talking about the dramatic implications that drones could have on entertainment.


Drone technology is impressive enough on its own without the added allure of virtual reality or remote display viewing but the drone racing practiced in the video above goes a long way to showing us what the future of this fledgling motorsport might look like.

The group of men wearing goggle-mounted monitors race the radio-controlled machines at up to 70mph near their homes in the French Alps.

This amateurish attempt is just the start, imagine stadiums filled with thousands of drone enthusiasts and quad-copters covered in the latest Coca Cola advertising. You’ll begin to get a picture of where this tech might be going in the future.


Of course a new sport means new gambling habits. Ladbrokes, Britain’s most popular gambling franchise already delegates half of its races to virtual robot horses. Why not drones? Imagine the interactivity of betting on a drone race, or even participating under that kind of pressure.

While horse racing is fraught with the loud complaining of animal rights activists, drones don’t have any rights. You can’t repair a horse after a race but you can fix a drone. Horses are not rechargeable and don’t reach top speeds of up to 100mph, enough said.

The race was organized by Airgonay, a quadcopter racing fanatic association.

Meet The Hackers Targeting Skyscraper Billboards In Hong Kong

Vitaliy Raskalov and Vadim Makhorov are two Russian adrenaline junkies who recently scaled the 659 feet to the tip of the China Online Center in downtown Hong Kong.

The two have garnered attention online before for their skyscraper scaling antics. This time however, they did something a little different. Instead of simply climbing a tower and taking aerial photographs the team decided to hack into an electronic billboard on top of the tower and broadcast a message of “WHAT’S UP HONG KONG?” for all to see.


Together, the duo go by the name of On The Roofs. Every month they upload several videos or photos to their site showing them scaling the sides of various buildings around the world. So far they have climbed the highest structures in Israel, Dubai, Egypt, China, Berlin, Singapore and their hometown of Moscow. There are, of course, still plenty of tall things left to conquer.

The video is predictably titled ‘What’s Up Hong Kong?‘ It’s success and the success of similar On The Roof projects has lead the boys to get sponsored by big name skate and fashion brands like Vans: Off The Wall and The North Face.

The footage in the video below shows the pair climbing to the summit, pulling out a laptop and hacking the billboard’s computer system before climbing back down and changing clothes. They then sneak out undetected and run away through the streets.


What’s Up Hong Kong?: On The Roofs

While trying to understand the bizarre motivations and extraordinary ability of these acrobatic men of mystery we called the ominous looking Russian phone number on their website and lo and behold, one of them actually answered – the following are some excepts from our brief chat with Vitaliy Raskalov:

K | Hey Vitaliy, how long have you been doing this for?

VR | About five years ago, when I started we were only climbing abandoned buildings in our local area. Now we’ll climb pretty much anything. Vadim started a year or so before me I think. It evolved naturally from urban exploration to actually saying “Hey! We could climb this building or that building!”

K | An obvious but essential question: Do you ever get scared?

VR | Haha, no. I used to. But that was back when I was starting out. I actually get more scared that I will drop something now than that I will fall. I’m scared of cops, I’m scared of getting caught but I can honestly say I’m not scared of falling. I’ve never fallen. How often do people just randomly fall over? It’s all in your head. The only difference is that I’m 500 feet up in the air.


K | Was this a protest about what’s currently happening in Hong Kong?

VR | Not a protest, no. A peaceful message. We’re not hurting anyone just by asking ‘What’s up?’ but it raises some deeper questions like, “What is actually happening in Hong Kong?” We do this all over the world and we don’t usually use computers or mess with signs but this time it just seemed right.

K | What’s the tallest building you’ve ever climbed?

VR | The Shanghai Tower, it’s more than 650ft tall.

K | Damn. What’s your inspiration for climbing and what do you hope to achieve?

VR | We never set out to achieve anything we are just doing this for fun. Inspiration? I would have to say other people inspire me the most. That’s how we got into this in the first place – by seeing videos of other climbers and thinking “OK, I could do that” or even “I could climb higher and faster than that”. I would encourage anyone do it. It opens your mind and gives you a fresh perspective when you see things from a new angle.




Read More >>> Yellow Ribbon & Umbrellas: Meet The Hong Kong Students Resisting China

In Pictures: The California Town Overrun By Mysterious Clowns

For a week, Wasco, a city in California has gradually become invaded by clowns. An Instagram account has been recording their terrifying appearances.

Wasco, California is a quiet town of 25,000 inhabitants in the San Joaquin Valley. In recent days, its composure was challenged by men stalking the streets at night dressed as clowns. These sightings begun to take place in the city center from October 7.

This is the photo which started it all, via an Instagram account titled “Wasco Clown”. Here we see a clown, scary, with five balls in his left hand and a hammer in the right hand, placed next to the welcome sign to the city. One question was on the mysterious clown first Instagram post: “Where should I go tonight? Bakersfield, Delano [two towns near Wasco], Wasco? “.

Wearing a red nose, white wig, colorful outfit: everything is done to scare. 14 more pictures of clowns feature on the account planted in parking lots, on park benches, in the windows of cars or playing under lampposts. The haunting images were enough to terrorize the residents, according to The Independent. The pictures remind us of the new season of American Horror Story and the film It – He returned (1990).

As the British newspaper said:


So far, there have been no incidents – no law prohibits the act of dressing up as a clown.


Local media in America have seized upon this strange gathering. On the WRTV network, a presenter announced that “strange clowns were seen in the streets of Wasco [...]. Nobody knows who they are or what they want.”

A Photo Project That Has Attracted Imitators

The images in this Instagram account seem to come from a couple feeding a photographic project for over a year, reports the website of local television station Kern Golden Empire Television. The horrific but fun initiative has given ideas to city dwellers in areas around Wasco, like Bakersfield. Authorities have since received reports of 16 clowns walking the streets on Friday, October 10.

A rumor that a clown was armed with an axe in front of a school was quickly denied by local media. The only “incident” to be notified: a clown (who was hiding behind a 14 year old) was arrested because he was chasing teenagers, one of whom was quite “shocked” after the “meeting”. For the police, this is no laughing matter. Local police officer Sergeant Joseph Grubbs has said officially that “all this must stop.”


Like I said there's more than one of us were all over

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Just thought you all should know I'm not the only one out there

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Will Tony Abbott Fight Vladimir Putin At November’s G20 Summit?

In what could be considered the new plot-line from Rocky VI: Australian prime minister Tony Abbott has effectively vowed to ‘strike’ Russian president Vladimir Putin this November at the G20 conference in Brisbane, Queensland.

Putin received an obligatory invitation to the G20 summit earlier this month, after it was agreed by a global consensus; although, the Russian president – much like the naughty kid at school – hasn’t been cordially invited; instead being offered a seat only as a matter of fairness.

In response, Abbott ‘effectively’ pledged to attack the macho president; casting aspersions that Putin was responsible for the downing of MH17.

I am going to shirtfront Mr Putin – you bet I am – I am going to be saying to Mr Putin Australians were murdered, they were murdered by Russian backed rebels. – Abbott said.

The Australian Football League (AFL) states that the term ‘shirtfront‘ refers to an aggressive charge and subsequent collision between two players; one player is hit ‘front-on’ by another and oftentimes hits the ground with substantial force. Apparently if a football is involved in this debacle then it would only be considered as incidental and certainly not necessary.

Abbott has been quite hasty with his advances on the president, while opposition leader Bill Shorten approaches the situation with a reduced animosity; stating his discomfort with the ordeal, but begrudgingly admits that the decision to welcome Putin to this years summit wasn’t the will of Australia.

It’s an international conference, not a conference run by Australia, so if Putin has the arrogance to turn up to visit a nation whose nationals died in this plane crash, he can. – Shorten said.

It is alleged that the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 had been shot down over eastern Ukraine in July by Russian-backed rebels; killing all 298 passengers and crew, which included 38 Australian citizens and residents.

Meanwhile, Putin fails to respond to these mild-mannered threats; so it’s hard to say whether these events will inspire an all-out brawl this November. But with a history of nonchalance, I doubt Mr. Putin is worried.

Vladimir Putin plays with his dogs Yume, an Akito-Inu, and Buffy, a Bulgarian Shepherd in Moscow region. Photo credit: AP Photo/RIA Novosti

Vladimir Putin plays with his dogs Yume, an Akito-Inu, and Buffy, a Bulgarian Shepherd in Moscow region. Photo credit: AP Photo/RIA Novosti