EXCERPT: The kids of today have it so good when it comes to the world of computing. When I was a kid we spent years, literally years, doing ‘very productive things’ such as trying to make a Sim City that didn’t suffer from constant brownouts or worse, a Godzilla attack that smashed your glorious civilization in one unjustified strike. In the early 1990s, the internet was ‘just too expensive’ to play around on so it had to be rationed in segments (and don’t forget to wash your hands before you touch the keyboard!). So kids, instead of immersing yourself in the glorious creation that was ‘DOS for Dummies‘, you get splendid creations such as ‘Coding Iphone Apps For Kids’, which my inner child has been relishing more than has any other computing text I’ve got into my over-sized hands. To continue reading, click here.
EXCERPT: An hour north of Athens lies the Ritsona Refugee Camp, housing Syrians in limbo after borders were sealed in March of 2016. Many of the residents are children, some born in the refugee camp, others taken there with their parents whose search for a safer country turned up fruitless. It’s hard to imagine how all of this could impact an individual’s well-being, not only physical but also mental; one charity has taken the initiative to do something about it. Flourish Foundation, founded by Art Psychotherapist Missy Regan, first entered the refugee camp in October 2016, providing 6 weeks of successful art therapy with a team of 4 art therapists running open art studio groups within the camp. In March of 2017, Flourish Foundation returned to the camp to continue to provide mental health services to all who reside there. To mark the camp’s one year anniversary and to highlight the ongoing needs of its residents, I talked to Missy about her work and what Flourish Foundation requires in order to continue to provide this service to people in need of a way to process their feelings, traumas, and the ongoing experience of being in limbo. To continue reading, click here.
SCIENCE / TECH
EXCERPT: Most people would be surprised to know that all of that data you load into your devices every single day just simply stays there – and is retrievable – even after the device has died and you’ve disposed of it. The amount of data waiting to be discovered on worn-out devices such as laptops, desktop PCs and smartphones is simply staggering. Looking at corporate devices alone, it is estimated that 80% of devices contain sensitive data. To continue reading, click here.
EXCERPT: Lia Chan, a LEGO builder, has created an amazing recreation of the Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39A. Featuring the Space Shuttle Atlantis and the crawler system, it is a very realistic-looking creation and a must-see for any NASA-lover. To continue reading, click here.
EXCERPT: My first dive, and all my subsequent dives, were along the Hikurangi Trench, in a place near the Kaikoura Canyon, a submarine canyon located 800 meters off the coast of Kaikoura, on the east coast of the South Island of New Zealand. The area has been compared to Africa’s Serengeti in terms of how much life is found in the water, so what did I do on my dive there? Not much. I was in awe of just being down there. I went to the bottom of the ocean and just sat, much like I would do on the shore. I watched the world below the water busy itself around me; just a passive observer. It was one of the most interesting experiences of my life and it got me thinking about the actual size of the ocean. To continue reading, click here.
EXCERPT: Water Quality. Skin Conditions. Could there be a link? A new study has been published this month that puts water quality and the skin of infants under the microscope. Dr. Carsten Flohr and his team at King’s College London presented the results of their population-based study in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Researchers involved about 1,300 three-month old babies from across the UK in this study. They looked specifically at the level of calcium carbonate in the water, which is a measure of water hardness. The level of chlorine in the family’s water supply was also taken into consideration, as was the use of bathing products, and how regularly the infants were bathed. To continue reading, click here.
EXCERPT: Science says, “Yes!” Have you ever wondered what happens inside an egg as a chick develops? A video has popped up on the internet recently, and it is a must watch for science-lovers. The video is entirely in Japanese, but it showcases Yutaka Tahara and Katsuya Obara’s technique used in their 2014 study ‘A Novel Shell-less Culture System for Chick Embryos Using a Plastic Film as Culture Vessels’. Here, I will show you exactly what it looks like when a chick is developed in a shell-less environment. To continue reading, click here.
EXCERPT: On May 23, Jiajing Wang of Stanford University reported in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that evidence has been found to suggest that beer has been brewed in China for at least 5000 years. I’m not sure how popular the beer would have been today, however. The researchers concluded that the beer would have had a sweet flavor, due to the plant minerals and grains detected in its remnants. The ancient recipe includes a combination of broomcorn millet, barley, Job’s tears and tubers. While it may not quite match our modern tastes, it is a remarkable find. To continue reading, click here.
EXCERPT: It sounds like a bad joke, doesn’t it? If you aren’t physically impaired in any way, then you probably haven’t given that possibility a second thought. Some people are in fact physically incapable of passing sobriety tests while sober. It is in fact possible to fail the test while being completely free of alcohol. According to Alcohol Problems and Solutions, failing a sobriety test means “you will be arrested for DWI or DUI. The arrest usually occurs before you can clear yourself with a breathalyzer test. Even when you’re cleared, you still have an arrest record for the rest of your life because of a failed sobriety test.” To continue reading, click here.
EXCERPT: Haunted houses and haunted hayrides are chilling activities for young and old alike. Have you ever wondered how much work it takes to create a truly terrifying experience? As Halloween approaches, let’s take a look at the gadgets and gizmos responsible for your favorite scares. To continue reading, click here.
POLITICS / BUSINESS / FINTECH
EXCERPT: The sun had set on a warm Saturday evening in Vientiane. For most, December 15 2012 was just another weekend, but for Sombath Somphone, it marked the last time he was seen. Shortly after 6pm, security camera footage captured the police stopping his vehicle a short distance away from the Australian Embassy Recreation Club. It is hard to see, but the footage shows Sombath being escorted into the Thadeua Police Post. His jeep is taken away by a motorcyclist, a truck appears outside the police post and Sombath is taken away. That was his last reported sighting. In 2015, fresh new evidence was unearthed by the family which shows Sombath’s jeep being driven south. The government of Laos has stalled at every possible opportunity to investigate the disappearance and deny any knowledge of it. How can that be possible when his last contact was with multiple members of authority; the police? To continue reading, click here. To continue reading, click here.
EXCERPT: The United Nations has specifically requested that Myanmar address its instances of religiously-motivated violence – but violence at the hands of whom? Buddhists make up approximately 80% of the nation, but the incidents of violence in question is fueled by a small clique their most extremist members. This must be a curious notion for a religion traditionally known for its teachings of non-violence. The acts of violence in question is directed towards minority religions active in the country, with the most anger being directed towards those who identify as Muslim. Interestingly, it has been reported that more than 200 Buddhists participated in the planned attack, yet not a single arrest was made. What does that say when the majority is able to attack the minority with absolute impunity? To continue reading, click here.
EXCERPT: In the age of social media the government of Laos has stepped up its controls further, causing many to wonder what exactly they have to hide. For if their hands were clean, surely there would be no problem with citizens voicing their opinions freely? When a government restricts what citizens can say, to the point of enacting legislation that provides the ability to sentence internet users to jail terms, you have to wonder exactly what they have to conceal. The press has no freedom in Laos and the media is tightly controlled by the governing People’s Revolutionary Party. In the 2016 Reporters Without Borders Index, Laos ranks atrociously, placed at 173 out of 180 countries. In fact, anyone who dares speak about the country (usually while on a trip overseas) asks to do so on the condition of anonymity in order to avoid any personal repercussions when they return home. To continue reading, click here.
EXCERPT: The verdict in the case of The Philippines v China is expected to be made public later this month. But what will this verdict mean in reality? What impact will it have in terms of the stability of the ongoing relations between the nations of the South China Sea? A ruling either way has the absolute potential to create hostile relations; a ruling in favor of the Philippines would result in the Philippines believing, and therefore acting, as though they are legally entitled to the Spratly Islands, as they so claim. However, the fact that China has not participated in the proceedings at all means they would likely not consider it the territory of the Philippines. China would continue to treat the South China Sea as their own land and waters. Because of the way both parties are treating this case, the verdict has the potential to send both nations on a collision course that could result in something catastrophic. To continue reading, click here.
EXCERPT: Flush with money, Brunei has the financial capacity to provide its citizens with an unbelievably comfortable lifestyle. Bruneians, the fourth wealthiest people in Asia, have been generously assisted through every step of their lives. With the glory days of abundant oil reserves a distant memory, the future economy of Brunei is now a topic of discussion. So what will the future hold, and most importantly, how will its citizens respond to a change in their lifestyle? We have all seen that with economic downturn, assistance to citizens is the first thing to be cut. As such, there has been much talk that the current spending level of Brunei is unsustainable. According to The Economist, Brunei’s economy expanded at the slowest rate in South-East Asia between 2004 and 2014. To continue reading, click here.
With President Duterte absorbed in his quest to rid the country of illicit drugs, it is no wonder another type of crime appears to be going under the radar: the commercialization of child sex abuse. The Philippines, fast gaining a reputation as the global hub for the sexual exploitation of children online, appears to be doing little to address this issue. Estimated to be a billion dollar industry, the live streaming of sex abuse in the Philippines is a vital source of income for those in small poverty-struck villages. The problem is that a large proportion of the children residing there are using the trade as a means to provide financial support to their families. To continue reading, click here.
EXCERPT: Jackie Yap set out to address a major problem facing the residents of the Philippines; the overgrowth of the water hyacinth which has been strangling the local waterways. The plants prolifically fill the Rio Grande de Mindanao, the country’s second largest river system, causing the river to flood surrounding areas after a period of heavy rain. The flowering plant was to blame for the devastating 2011 flood of Cotabato City, and other areas of southern Philippines, which displaced approximately 6,000 families. A number of people lost their lives in the rising waters. To continue reading, click here.
EXCERPT: Payments have long been dominated by two providers, Visa and MasterCard. Dominating with similarly high-priced rates, opened them up to allegations that they were in fact price-fixing. In 2005, this culminated in merchant and trade associations filing a class action lawsuit against both Visa and MasterCard. A $6 billion dollar settlement was finally reached in 2014. Thankfully, the current environment may be putting an end to their vice-like control over processing even further. To continue reading, click here.
EXCERPT: The banking experience is not tailored to the needs of consumers. This is clearly a problem for banking, as new providers are swooping in to provide a faster, cheaper, more flexible experience for customers dissatisfied with what traditional banking provides, yet also lacks. Tan Sri Azman Hashim, the chairman of Asian Institute of Chartered Bankers, has noted that “up to 10% to 40% of the banking revenue will disappear by 2025, as fintech is challenging the status quo of the financial industry”. To continue reading, click here.
EXCERPT: Rising to prominence as the current creative director of French fashion house Balmain, Olivier Rousteing is not only a fashion maven but also, and most notably, a perceptive businessman. Since taking over the Balmain throne at the tender age of 25, Olivier has successfully transformed the house into one exemplary of success in a time of rapid change; quite the achievement for a business which was not far from bankruptcy only a handful of years prior to his arrival. To continue reading, click here.
HEALTH & PARENTING
EXCERPT: StarJam provides workshops in all aspects of performance in four of the main centers of New Zealand. Members of StarJam are known as Jammers, and along with their friends, they are able to explore possibilities in a creative way. Jammers don’t just learn to perform, they also perform professionally at public and private events. The Jammers are talented people, full of passion and vibrancy. And after watching them perform, you’ll never believe a disabled person to be less capable again. Most importantly, neither will they. And that is a very important shift in mindset, indeed. To continue reading, click here.
EXCERPT: As a parent, you look at your glorious child and you can’t imagine how your life was before they entered your world. They complete and define it; giving you a renewed purpose. But for some mothers, they tragically have to get used to the idea of adjusting back to life without their baby. When you get the sad news that your friend has lost their infant, you are rightly shell-shocked. These kinds of things aren’t meant to happen to us, and they certainly aren’t meant to happen to people we know and the precious bundles they love. These incidents strike a little too close to home. To continue reading, click here.
EXCERPT: If your gut reaction is to look for someone else, then that is a sign you could benefit from training. Now that reaction isn’t a bad thing; it is a normal reaction to a life-threatening medical situation. Training puts the power back into your own hands so you know that if the worst does happen, no matter where you are or who you are with, you have confidence in your ability to deal with the situation. To continue reading, click here.
EXCERPT: The unpredictable nature of grief means that everyone responds to the loss of a loved one in their own unique way. There is no right and wrong when it comes to expressing grief, and there is no right and wrong in terms of the actions you do or do not take following the loss of someone you love so dearly. But one day, when you wake up you may feel inspired to create a positive memory; to do something to remember a loved one. When the time is right for you, here are five things you can consider doing to bring a bit of your loved one back into your daily life. To continue reading, click here.
EXCERPT: The sun filters down through your closed bedroom curtains and you wake. It is much too bright; this means it is late in the morning and you’ve overslept. You remember your baby usually would have eaten by the time that amount of sunshine streamed through, and so you panic thinking you have missed your child’s first meal of the day. For a few hazy seconds, you look for your child. The well-made yet empty cot decorated with toys is your reminder of what happened; of the life you now have ‘after’ the day your infant left. To continue reading, click here.
EXCERPT: Opposite you, an exhausted-looking man glances at his phone persistently. To your right, a woman glides a slender brush across her eyelids, creating two charcoal wings that flick out towards her temples. Next to her, a well-dressed man flaunts an expensive-looking watch as he negotiates with a caller on his iPhone. Two tattooed women behind you talk passionately in hushed voices, you can’t hear what they are saying, but it sounds significant. A young woman sitting nearby beams at a giggling baby girl. A man sits alone in silence, gazing vacantly at the space between his shoes. A couple looks agitated, they hold hands, but they are clearly eager to arrive at their destination. To continue reading, click here.
EXCERPT: With STEM the hottest educational topic of 2016, the big question in the minds of parents everywhere is ‘how can I make learning enjoyable?’ It’s a great question. Children do not really enjoy things that they find boring or they feel ‘forced’ to learn, and who can blame them? When we enjoy something, we are more likely to remember what we actually did and therefore, when we do things as we learn, we are more likely to retain the lesson. Traditional books are the perfect solution. But they aren’t written in a traditional way, they are more fun, more practical, and therefore, more relevant! Let me explain while we take a look at Electronics For Kids. To continue reading, click here.
EXCERPT: The robot I had wasn’t programmable, and all it could do was move in a variety of directions, switch direction after bumping off furniture, or flash its eyes; I loved it so much that I used to sneak it into family photos. The ReCon 6.0 Programmable Rover teaches kids basic programming, maths, and problem solving – kids can program their Rover to do simple tasks around the house. There is a recording function, which allows the Rover to play sound. It’s suitable for children over 8 years of age, or adults of any age. To continue reading, click here.
EXCERPT: As some schools gear up to offer computer science pilot programs in 2017, what options are out there for the kid who just wants to get ahead and learn? What choices can you offer a child whose passion is computers? Here are a few that stand out among the many online providers today. Which one would suit your child? TYNKER provides free coding activities for children, starting as low as grade K+. Children can learn as they play as they make their way through fun computer programming courses. With over 1000 coding activities in the form of self-paced courses, games, online creativity workshops, kids can even collect badges along the way. To continue reading, click here.
Tiny Lego Wonders is a simply beautiful book and a must-have piece for the bookshelf of any LEGO fans. It enables you to recreate the crawler-transporter and the Space Shuttle at home! And with July 8, 2016 being the 5th anniversary of the last shuttle launch – what could be better? The book covers 40 realistic-looking mini-models, which are so tiny they can be built with the most minimal of LEGO collections, making it a huge PLUS in my book. To continue reading, click here.
EXCERPT: Are you a parent or an educator looking for a new learning experience for your child or students? If your child is interested in science, why not expose them to the magic of life sciences! I’ve selected 4 of the best learning experiences for you to share with your child. All are well-priced, educational, and are focused on self-directed learning. Namoo is a newly-released application that provides an interactive learning experience for children. Its design means it is perfect for self-directed learning, yet it is also able to be used with a parent, or even by a teacher in the classroom. To continue reading, click here.
EXCERPT: If you have a kid who loves everything astronomy-related, you will know they have a ravenous appetite when it comes to their need for new learning experiences. I’ve rounded up four of the best astronomy kits available online today. The Mars Dig Kit gives children the opportunity to embark on their very own adventure on Mars. After putting together their own replica Mars Rover Curiosity, they can take out their hammer and chisel and work away at the rocks. The kit also features an educational poster, with in-depth information about the Curiosity Rover and the geology of Mars. To continue reading, click here.
EXCERPT: Teens, new to driving, have been identified as being at a greater risk of causing accidents than any other drivers. Statistics show teen drivers in the U.S. between the ages of 15 and 19 are more at risk of vehicle accidents than drivers in any other age group. Applications have emerged as a new hazard on the road. One app, Snapchat, has been accused of promoting bad driver behaviors. This week, a teenager has been accused of using Snapchat’s ‘speed filter’ to snap a picture of herself going over 100 miles per hour. Unsurprisingly, she crashed. The teen driver escaped relatively unscathed. However, the victim, now brain damaged, needs 24 hour care. It is an incredibly sad case and is a situation that could happen to any driver on the road. To continue reading, click here.
I Help Women Overcome the Pressure of External Expectations: Here’s What You Need To Do To Smash That Horcrux
EXCERPT: It’s a feeling that creeps on you all so quietly; am I enough? Do I need to change in some way to be seen as valuable by others? From feeling like you don’t measure up physically, to feeling like you have failed because you haven’t achieved some arbitrary life goal by whatever age you may be, societal expectations can blindside you and quite frankly, do little more than undermine your self-worth. So how can you overcome the feeling that you aren’t meeting some arbitrary standard? I talked to Michaela Lloyd of The True You Rising, a kick-ass, down-to-earth, inspirational tree-hugger, Authentic Confidence & Self-Empowerment Coach and expert on all things Harry Potter, to find out what she has to say on the subject of expectations. To continue reading, click here.
EXCERPT: An innocent conversation starter can effectively ruin a woman’s whole day. Asking a stranger whether she has given birth to a child or has the intention to do so, can hit a raw nerve. It is a commonly asked question, but the conversation almost never stops there. In fact, if the answer to the initial question was met with a negative response, the woman is then subjected to a series of probing questions asking her to explain herself further. It seems that no matter how far we have come, women still get judged no matter what they choose to do. Here, one amazing woman shares her feelings, experiences, and what she wishes people would understand. To continue reading, click here.
THE ARTS / FILM / BOOKS
EXCERPT: As a young boy growing up in Nelson, Welch could often be found in his primary school classroom forcing his classmates to perform works that he had both written and directed. Born in Upper Moutere, just out of Nelson, Welch has always been well ahead of his peers. After producing a number of short films, he went on to direct his first feature length film at the age of 15, an impressive accomplishment for someone so young. To continue reading, click here.
EXCERPT: His achievements are, quite frankly, astounding for someone of so young an age. Deep Patel is the author of A Paperboy’s Fable: The 11 Principles of Success, recently released on June 7. While most of his peers were focused on how to earn funds on a day-to-day basis, Patel at the age of sixteen was penning his debut novel and planning out the best way to structure a text that inspires many to look beyond the bottom line. A Paperboy’s Fable is a tale of entrepreneurial business success that uses an elegant and relatable situation that many have previously held as their first paying job: the paper route. The novel is an inspirational powerhouse; it’s elegantly written, the learnings are direct and it is an enjoyable read. To continue reading, click here.
EXCERPT: So, it’s 2017 and you ‘want’ a raise, but how do you actually get one? I spoke with Benedetto Tumminello, Personal Growth Advisor, about his novel strategy that will get you closer to your goal of a raise this year. Why is it so difficult to get a raise? “Asking for a raise from your boss is one of the trickiest situations to tackle in your working life; it’s so difficult that some people avoid it altogether, even when they know they definitely are providing value that would justify being paid more. It’s a difficult skill to master. You don’t want to sound too arrogant and tell your boss you deserve a raise because you are just awesome, but you also don’t want to sound insecure about it.” To continue reading, click here.
EXCERPT: You may have a freshly-printed degree tucked under your arm, but what can you do exactly? If you believe your abilities extend to the name of the major you have printed on your degree, you’re likely to be bumped out of the running by a candidate who has worked smarter, not harder, than you. First of all, it’s essential you take stock of the skills you have learned during your time as a college student. Ask yourself, where can you add real value as an employee? Are any of the skills you have learned valued in the workplace today? If you come up short, this is the time to be strategic. Which skills can you learn now in addition to your major, outside of your university, which put you head and shoulders above any graduates in your year? To continue reading, click here.
EXCERPT: ‘You can be anything’ is a potential-limiting phrase typically thrust upon sparkly-eyed youths as they dream about who they wish to be in the future. We wonder why the youth of today suffer so much with anxiety, indecision, and general inability to decide what to do with their lives. I believe the answer lies in how we talk to them about their potential futures. Have you ever approached an adult and told them they could be anything? Would you communicate the same level of enthusiasm to an adult as you would when expressing the same sentiment to a child? Of course not. And why not? Is it because an exchange between two older people, wise to the realities of the world, already know that it isn’t quite likely that they could actually do every possible thing and would be quite naive to even suggest it? To continue reading, click here.
Small towns have an unparalleled depth of soul. Attracting artists, creators, peacemakers, farmers, travelers, adventurers, craftspeople, and dreamers; New Zealand is dotted with such places. Hugging the coast, or further inland, you can find little spots on the map that evoke another era. A time when people connected on a human level, where places were built based on connections within communities. And those places, they still exist. The simple comfort of the roaring sea, the salty air, a simple meal shared, or a night rugged up in a blanket under the stars remind us that the simple life is truly the most fulfilling one indeed. To continue reading, click here.
I inspect the ledge as the instructor waits. “I’m first!” an impatient voice behind me orders. He places one foot on the ledge. He always has to be the first. I watch him swing. Shocked, his eyes glance up; the knot unravels. Gone in a second, he was the first. To view the original, click here.