Man Stranded In The Desert Records Heartbreaking Message On His Phone

If you end up stranded on a tropical island, you’d have endless amounts of deconstructed sushi and your plethora of Castaway and Lost knowledge to get you through the day. But lost in the desert? That’s a different story entirely.

This tragic experience plagued one man whose car broke down in the middle of the Arizona desert during a road trip. He needed to come up with a plan, and he needed to do it quickly. Death was near, and he was scratching to make it out alive.

Solitary trips into nature are a time to connect with the Earth and enjoy quality “me time.” But before heading out for a lonesome drive, we beg of you, notify someone where you’re going. Mick Ohman didn’t do that.

ABC News

At the tail end of Mick’s solo road trip to Crown King, located within the Bradshaw Mountains, he wistfully chose to take a different, more desolate route back home to Phoenix. This was a huge mistake.

While on his merry way home, Mick hit a bump in the road, quite literally. On July 27, 2017, while driving on a jagged, boulder-filled backroad, his car broke down in the middle of the Arizona desert at approximately 3:00 PM. He was stuck.

Warner Bros.

After trying to revive his vehicle, his fingers tightly crossed, he soon realized that all hope in driving home was long gone. Mick took his phone and hiked around for hours, desperate to find a cell signal. Sadly, nada.

ABC News

He looked at his cellphone, which was ultimately futile in terms of reaching help, and decided to record a somber, just-in-case video message. “If you find this phone and I didn’t do so well, please tell my sisters how much I love them,” Mick said.

Haxan Films

“Tell my niece and nephew how much I love them. I’ve been praying all night. I’m terrified. I’m terrified. I love you guys. I hope this isn’t the end. Goodbye,” the heartbreaking video continued. But he didn’t let the doom-and-gloom attitude consume him.

ABC News

Mick, now worried, left handwritten SOS notes on his SUV, which listed his cellphone number, home address, and the direction he walked off in. He hoped that while he hiked around for help, someone would stumble upon his car, which was essentially a useless hunk of metal.

ABC News

Mick endured the torturous Arizona heat with just a half-full water bottle, two beers, a spoiled sandwich, and some crackers. While he was lucky enough to have some goodies, he had no idea how long he’d be stranded for. A rancid sandwich could only last so long.

ABC News

After Mick consumed what he had, thirst overwhelmed him. “I’d really never felt that thirsty before. When I tried to swallow, I couldn’t. My throat stuck together,” Mick told ABC News. He was so parched that he resorted to drinking his own urine. Bottoms up!

His urine got him through the night. When day two arrived, he set out to find water. It felt like a miracle when he discovered a four-inch-wide stream. Mick could finally quench his undying thirst.

ABC News

But by nightfall, Mick was once again out of water. The Arizona heat was brutal, wearing down his body. But miracle number two arrived in the form of pouring rain. The gift of life was literally falling from the sky.

Paramount Pictures

But as time went on without a single person in sight, Mick made it his mission to find civilization on day three. On that third helpless day, he hiked for hours in the scorching sunlight, looking for anybody. He had one foot in the grave.

Nick Oza / USA TODAY

“I’m runnin’ out of gas,” Mick recalled of that merciless day. But as he kept trudging along, his body ready to break down, Mick witnessed a man on a dirt bike just over the horizon. It was a blessing.

Mick quickly flagged down the angel biker, Troy Haverland, who then took him for an hour-long ride to Lake Pleasant. “I’m screaming in his ear the whole way, ‘You know, today you can say you saved a life,’” Mick relayed.

Upon arrival, a weakened Mick spoke with Maricopa County officers, telling them that he’d been trapped in the desert, north of Lake Pleasant, for over 48 hours. They were shocked beyond belief.

@mcsoaz / Twitter

Deputies called the Peoria Fire Department to assess the state of Mick’s health. Though the trooper insisted he didn’t need serious medical treatment, he did need help getting home.

ABC News

Maricopa County officers promptly gave Mick a lift back to his Phoenix home sweet home, which was even sweeter than usual because he’d spent the last two-and-a-half days thinking he would die alone and recording farewell messages to his family. Too bleak?

The deputies proceeded to contact Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office to discuss Mick’s broken-down Honda SUV. Once Yavapai officers found Mick’s vehicle, they sent him the exact GPS coordinate so he could plan to have it towed to a mechanic.

NBC News

Though the odds were against Mick, his Bear-Grylls-esque survival instincts kicked in as he thought of reuniting with his family. Mick hopes his story will be a cautionary tale to people planning on exploring harsh environments alone. It wasn’t, really.

Because on May 8th, 2019, 35-year-old physical therapist and yoga instructor Amanda Eller decided to go on a brief walk through Hawaii’s massive Makawao Forest Reserve. It wasn’t exactly a hike for beginners.

Amanda Eller

Covering more than 2,000 acres, the Makawao Forest Reserve is full of arduous ravines, lava rocks, and interwoven ferns and vegetation that often need to be clobbered with machetes to pass through. In a nutshell, don’t take any wrong turns.

AllTrails

Despite these dangers, Amanda entered the forest solo, leaving her cellphone in her car parked directly outside the reserve. This was her first major mistake.

People

Because at one point during what was supposed to be a quick three-mile hike, Amanda walked off of the trail to rest. But when she recharged enough of her energy to continue, her gut instinct pulled her in an unfamiliar, and perilous, direction.

Maui Now

Well, her instincts unfortunately led her to the middle of the chaotic forest, without a phone, a sense of direction, or a viable path forward. Fear struck, as all she could do was desperately search for the way to her car.

ABC13 Houston

On that first day, Amanda hiked from 10:30 a.m. to about midnight. One day soon became two, and Amanda faced it with just the clothes on her back. Temperatures dipped to the low 60s. Humidity rose. Frequent rain loomed over the forest. She was in for it.

Giphy

During day three in the forest, Amanda actively searched for water, knowing her car could wait, but hydration could not. She didn’t know if anyone was searching for her — or if anyone even knew she was missing — so she was forced to try her hand at survival.

But just when Amanda thought things couldn’t get worse, the poor woman fell off of a 20-foot cliff in the midst of the forest. She fractured her leg and tore the meniscus in her knee in the process. Wounded, her situation looked even more grave.

Recoil OffGrid

She was losing weight fast, as, besides river water, all she ate were wild strawberry guavas, unidentifiable plants (which is super dangerous, kids), and moths. She was weakening as the days went on, resorting to crawling over walking.

The Reader and the Chef

During the bleak, brisk nights, Amanda kept warm with leaves, ferns, and anything else that could cover her body. She slept in the mud, and during one particular evening, she worked up the nerve to sleep in the den of a wild boar.

DeviantArt

What Amanda didn’t know, however, was that people were looking for her. As Amanda eluded the Grim Reaper, a brigade of volunteers searched relentlessly for her. Having found her car containing her phone and wallet, they worried she’d been abducted. Still, they searched on.

ABC Newss

In fact, the search team was so devoted to the mission that they killed wild boars to check their intestines for human remains. That’s dedication at its finest. Remains were not found inside any animals, which was promising news.

With rescue efforts going poorly, however, the yoga instructor’s family was so desperate to find her that they announced a $50,000 reward for information regarding Amanda’s whereabouts. Weeks had passed. It all seemed so hopeless.

Today

But less than an hour after her family announced an award, Amanda finally faced a positive development in her situation. On her 17th day in the thick of the forest, she was scavenging for “dinner” near a stream, when she saw a helicopter.

Of the many helicopters she had spotted, this was the only one that finally spotted her. Realizing she was about to be rescued from her own personal hell, Amanda started sobbing tears of relief and joy. She was in bad shape.

Hawaii News Now

Amanda was 15 pounds lighter, malnourished, filthy, and had leg injuries plus severe burns. But most importantly, she was alive. Calling the horrific experience a “spiritual journey,” she was then airlifted and taken to a hospital, unaware of how close she’d come to never being found.

ABC News

See, Javier Canetellops, the search coordinator who was in the helicopter, said that Amanda was shockingly found in a “treacherous area,” which was miles from where the team was searching. But he had extra motivation to find her.

Twitter

It turned out that Cantellops, who did tours of duty in Afghanistan and in Iraq, had known Amanda for three years, as she was his physical therapist. After Amanda had assisted with Cantellops’ broken foot, he felt that he owed her help this time.

Amanda E. Eller

“She has been my home,” he said, equating her to a place of comfort. “That is why when this happened, I got super emotional because she’s been my house and I said ‘I have to find her.’” And find her he did, along with the help of the many other gracious volunteers.

USA Today

Later, a grateful Amanda said “I am forever indebted and overwhelmed by the amount of people that came out to help me. It was pretty miraculous.” Still, she had a long road to recover ahead of her.

USA Today

Through it all, she always kept hope, and that’s likely what kept her alive during her unbelievable journey. When hope doesn’t get the job done, however, some lost travelers have turned to an unlikely source to get out of trouble.

Hawaii News Now

Four-year-old Karina Chikitova lived in a remote Siberian village. There, she shared a small home with her father, mother, grandmother, and her dog, Naida. She was about to get very lost.

Siberian Times

See, like most kids her age, Karina was energized by a youthful curiosity, that urge to explore and know and understand. Which was why, in July 2014, she followed her father, Rodion, on an expedition into a part of the Siberian wilderness also known as the taiga.

Now this decision was problematic for a few different reasons. The first reason being that the taiga is very much an animal kingdom, dominated by bears, tigers, and wolves with really sharp teeth and an appetite for people.

The second problem with Karina’s decision was that she had not told her grandmother — the person charged with watching her at the time — that she would be following her dad into the bear-infested wilderness.

In fact, she hadn’t even told her dad that she would be following him. So literally no one on the planet knew that this four-year-old girl was diving headstrong into the most dangerous territory on the planet. No person, at least.

Karina did have a companion at her side: Naida, the family dog. That, evidently, was all the comfort the little girl needed, but it was little comfort to her mother, Talina, when she realized her little girl and the dog were both missing.

At first, Talina figured her youngster and the dog followed Rodion to his native village, but Siberia wasn’t exactly flooded with quality LTE, so she couldn’t pull out a cellphone and check. Instead, she waited to hear from her husband.

In the meantime, Karina, followed her father until she somehow managed to lose his trail. Her dad disappeared from view leaving her very much stranded in Siberia with Naida. And the bears. And the wolves.

It took four days of waiting for mother Talina to learn that, no, her daughter was not with her husband in his home village. No stranger to Siberia, she understood this to be a very bad thing, so she alerted authorities.

Radio Free Europe

They deployed a 100-person rescue team to head out into Siberian wilds to find her. The team carried rifles to fend off bears (yeah, there were that many bears in the woods).

Siberian Times

Helicopters sliced the sky and rescue workers on foot combed through the trees and tall grass, but their search proved fruitless: Karina was nowhere to be seen. But then, nine days after she went missing, authorities found a clue.

Siberian Times

More specifically, a clue walked right up to the authorities and introduced herself. Naida returned to her home — but Karina was not with her! What should’ve been a hopeful moment only seemed to confirm Talina’s worst thoughts.

Huffington Post

“If she was to hug her puppy,” Talina said, “we thought, ‘this would have given her a chance to…survive.’ So when her dog came back we thought ‘that’s it.’ Even if she was alive — and chances were slim — now she would have definitely have lost all hope.”

Siberian Times

But Naida hadn’t just wandered absentmindedly home. She seemed eager to show the desperate family and the rescue crew something important. The dog headed the group of rescuers and led them into the wilderness…

Siberian Times

The dog led authorities to a spot in the wilderness, but none of them saw Karina there. Naida, it seemed, couldn’t find the exact area where she’d left the little girl! Authorities wondered if they were anywhere near her at all.

Siberian Times

But three days later — 12 days after Karina first went missing — rescue workers spotted a child-sized footprint on a river bed beside a dog’s paw print. The footprint revealed Karina was barefoot, a crucial detail for investigators.

This told rescue workers that Karina likely was not in the woods. Too many sharp sticks there would’ve been a nightmare on her feet. This narrowed their search down considerably, and the following morning, they executed that new search plan.

Siberian Times

And sure enough, just 20 meters from where they started searching, one rescue worker noticed a peculiar lump tucked away in a patch of tall grass. The whole crew rushed over.

Siberian Times

They found her nestled in the grass. She was starving, thirsty, exhausted, and covered in mosquito bites, but nevertheless alive. They brought her tea before carrying her to a car and whisking her away to the nearest hospital.

Siberian Times

The child spent some time in the hospital, but physicians determined there wouldn’t be any lasting damage. A psychologist examined her mental state and found, shockingly, her mind was in a good place. Talk about mental fortitude.

Siberian Times

So how did a four-year-old girl survive in the Siberian wilderness? The little girl told reporters and her family that she survived off wild berries and river water.

Then, of course, there was Naida, the lovable canine that gave her warmth at night and companionship in the daytime. The two reunited for the first time back at home when the hospital released Karina. The meeting did not go as expected.

When Karina first saw her dog, she looked her in the eyes and chided, “why did you leave me?” Those three days of solitude must’ve really affected the little girl. But eventually, she came to understand what the dog did for her.

Siberian Times

“It was Naida who rescued me,” Karina said sometime later. “I was really, really scared. But when we were going to sleep I hugged her, and together we were warm.”

Siberian Times

Karina’s story gripped everyone watching, and locals even erected a statue of the girl and her pooch to celebrate their strength and will to survive. Not bad for a four-year-old and her dog, huh?

Siberian Times

In the end, Karina made a full recovery, and by 2018, attended a ballet boarding school 350 miles away from the village she’d wandered away from all those years ago. Her teachers believed she had the talent to compete in Russia’s competitive ballet scene.

“When she just started her classes, Karina was very reserved,” a boarding school leader said. “She has changed so much and became a lot more open, sociable, friendly and independent. She made many friends who love her lots.”

Siberian Times

But even as she danced like an expert and earned friends with her exuberant personality, she would never forget the friend that made it all possible: Naida, the loyal canine.

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History’s Most Famous Ghost Ship Is More Real Than Most People Suspect

The crack of lightning, the roar of thunder. As heavy swells toss your ship like a ragdoll, you manage to wipe just enough rain from your face to take a momentary glimpse into the stormy darkness. In the distance, the ghostly image of a ship rests along the horizon… and disappears just as quickly as it came.

Now, had this all just been a hallucination, or were there more supernatural forces at play here? Believe it or not, this famous ghost ship has sailed the seas for centuries — and now, we finally know why.

It all began in the mid-17th century in the waters of Africa’s Cape of Good Hope. Though heavily trafficked as a trading route between Europe and Asia, the sea was angry the day one sailor decided to test his luck.

Pixabay

He was Hendrick van der Decken, a Dutch sea captain en route to Amsterdam from the East Indies. With a cargo hold loaded with silks, spices, and dyes, the Dutchman hoped this exotic bounty would bring him fame and fortune back in the Netherlands.

But as van der Decken’s ship rounded the Cape of Good Hope, the vessel found itself caught in the heart of a raging tempest. The crew begged their captain to turn back, to return to shore and wait the storm out. The Dutchman, however, wouldn’t be swayed.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Tim Kuklewski / U.S. Coast Guard

Whether drunk or mad, van der Decken plunged further into storm, intent on seeing himself a hero in his native land. Yet his men knew that sailing onward was suicide — and they weren’t about to take their fate lying down.

Walt Disney Studios

The crew mutinied, though the captain managed to overpower the leader of the coup d’état and kill him. But even in victory, van der Decken couldn’t prevent the inevitable: the waves rose, and the Dutchman and his entire crew were swallowed by the sea.

The story of van der Decken’s foolishness served as a cautionary tale to other savvy seamen, though it wasn’t until 1843 that the ill-fated journey became more than just history. Thanks to an opera written by Richard Wagner, below, the curse of the Flying Dutchman was born.

According to Wagner’s legend, van der Decken was damned for betraying his men and sailing through the storm. From then on, the spirits of the Dutchman and his crew were never permitted to return to shore, doomed to sail the seven seas for all eternity.

DizFeed

Over the years, however, this curse also came to be associated with Captain Bernard Fokke, a sailor for the Dutch East India Company. Having made a trip from Amesterdam to Indonesia in just three months, some believed Fokke had traded his soul to the devil in exchange for his sailing skill.

Jessie Pearl / Flickr

Yet these were just legends — or, at least, for a time they were. Beginning in the 18th century, various sightings were reported of ghostly ships sailing along the horizon only to disappear once approached.

Famously, King George V actually encountered the Dutchman while aboard the HMS Bacchante. As the ship sailed past Australia, the eerie red glow of a phantom vessel crossed the Bacchante‘s bow.

Wikimedia Commons

The night was clear, however, and as the crew raced to identify the strange apparition, the light vanished. Then, without warning, the crewman who’d first spotted the ship fell from his place on the topmast and plunged to his death.

WikiCommons

This gave rise to the popular identification of the Flying Dutchman as an omen of ill fate. Legend has it that if you stare into a storm brewing off the coast of the Cape of Good Hope, you’ll see van der Decken and his ghost crew looking right back at you.

And if that’s the case, you’re headed for the same grisly fate as the captain and his men. Many sailors claimed that sight of the Dutchmen would lead ships astray, causing them to crash into hidden rocks or reefs and sink themselves.

Since King George V’s fateful encounter, sightings of the ship have skyrocketed. In 1939, residents of Cape Town, South Africa spotted a ship flying full sail before disappearing, and during WWII, a German submarine crew claimed to see a ghostly vessel in the Suez Canal.

Wikimedia Commons

Yet were these “ghost ships” really all the Dutchman? And for that matter, could such a thing even exist? As it turns out, spotting “the Dutchman” actually has more to do with natural science than spirits from beyond the grave.

Known as fata morgana, this phenomenon occurs when rays of light bend through air layers of different temperatures. The end result is a kind of refracting lens that can produce both inverted and erect images of nearby objects and landscapes.

You may recognize this phenomenon from the sight of hot asphalt on a summer’s day. The heat lines radiating upward indicate the vast temperature difference between the pavement and the cooler air and result in visual distortion of the surrounding area.

David Gilkey / NPR

In regard to the Dutchman, fata morgana often presents the image of an object beyond the horizon due to light bending around the curves of the Earth. As a result, distant ships will appear closer, distorted, or even hovering in mid air.

thriol / Flickr

Therefore, these alleged ghost ship sightings were nothing more than the reflections of other vessels at sea — that’s why whenever other ships would approach them, they’d seemingly vanish.

And as for the ships sinking at the sight of “the Dutchman,” this was likely just the product of the poor weather often associated with the legend of the ghost vessel. Yet even with this mystery solved, there’s another phenomenon at sea that scientists just can’t seem to wrap their head around…

In the middle of the Atlantic Ocean lurks the Bermuda Triangle, a 500,000-square mile area that connects Bermuda, Miami, and Puerto Rico. It looks just like any other area of the ocean, but it has a pretty ominous reputation.

See, when vessels try to sail through this particular corner of the universe, something terrifying is known to happen: they completely disappear. That’s what fascinated people about the Bermuda Triangle for so long.

Interestingly, this mystery dates back to Christopher Columbus and his oceanic journeys. In his journal, Columbus wrote that, when he was in the area, his compasses went oddly askew and he saw strange lights. Then, hundreds of years later, a bizarrely inexplicable event happened.

In March of 1918, the USS Cyclops — a ship with a 309 people on board — set sail out of Barbados. The trip started off as planned, but while crossing through the triangle, the ship and crew vanished.

It gets even weirder. On December 5, 1945, five Avenger torpedo bombers took off into the sky and flew over the Atlantic Ocean through the triangle. None of them were ever seen again.

People assumed these bizarre Bermuda Triangle stories were actually based on The Tempest, a play written by William Shakespeare about an actual shipwreck he proposed was caused by a sorcerer.

But, there was one literary piece that really got people into the mystery. Vincent Gaddis, a magazine author, wrote a compelling article about the strange occurrences in the triangle, which got tons of people talking.

The craze about the triangle didn’t stop with that article. People suddenly demanded to know more about the three-sided shape that haunted the ocean, and author Charles Berlitz wrote an entire book about it.

Tons of theories formed as to what caused this eerie phenomenon. One theory stated that a massive sea creature was responsible for everything. But, of course, we now know that’s an absurd idea.

Another theory claimed alien spacecrafts might be responsible, and hundreds of feet below the surface of the water was an odd formation some scuba divers claimed was an extra-terrestrial ship.

Yet another guess was that the “lost” city of Atlantis was located underneath the triangle, and the advanced technology Atlanteans had were still operational and sucked planes and ships into the realm.

Other conspiracy theorists claim the triangle was the location of an actual wormhole where the space-time continuum had little relevance and objects were transported to other dimensions. Sounds crazy, right?

As intriguing as many of these theories are, the actual truth behind them isn’t anywhere near as thrilling as aliens or sea beasts. In fact, a team of researchers and scientists from England think they have an actual answer.

The minds at the University of Southampton, England, have studied the events in the Bermuda Triangle extensively. After much research, they actually think the answer has to do with the water itself.

They feel rogue waves were likely the cause of the disappearing ships over the years. These waves are tsunami-like and tower over everything in the ocean, making them impossible to avoid.

The rogue waves toppled the ships and sent them directly to the oceans’s bottom in pieces. Some loomed as high as 100 feet, and allegedly crashing down on vessels and leaving no remains.

Still, the United States Coast Guard says the area known as the Bermuda Triangle is completely safe to travel through. It’s still fun, however, to imagine paranormal happenings actually do occur! Earth’s waters, it seems, holds many strange secrets.

Located some 40 miles off the coast of Belize City, the Great Blue Hole has marveled those who’ve skirted its crystal-blue waters for over the last half-century. At over 1,000 feet across, this massive cavern was long considered the biggest of its kind.

Pinterest

The hole is at the center of the Lighthouse Reef, one of the many small atolls that make up the world’s second-largest coral reef system, the Belize Barrier Reef.

As such, the Great Blue Hole is protected as a World Heritage Site under the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Chabil Mar Villas

But although the hole itself has been known to researchers since the mid 20th century, it wasn’t until a famed marine explorer finally visited the site that anyone fully appreciated it.

When Jacques Cousteau visited the site in 1971, the world finally began to take notice of its magnificence. Using the mobile lab aboard his ship Calypso, Cousteau was the first to measure the depth of the hole — a remarkable 407 feet.

National Geographic Society

A 1991 expedition led by the Cambrian Foundation sought to confirm Cousteau’s original measurement, and to their surprise, they found that the French adventurer was nearly spot on.

Though the title of the world’s largest marine sinkhole now belongs to China’s Dragon Hole, the Great Blue Hole is still big enough to fit two Boeing 724 airplanes with room to spare.

Michael Wass / Flickr

Following Cousteau’s exploration, the site has since become a popular scuba spot among professional divers, with some citing it as one of the best in the world.

Palau Dive Adventures

But despite all the attention that the Great Blue Hole has gained over the years, little was truly known about the massive cavern and what it contained… until now.

Fueled by his adventurous spirit and fervent support for marine conservation, English entrepreneur and Virgin Group founder Richard Branson sought to unveil the mysteries of the Great Blue Hole once and for all.

WildAid

Yet even with years of adventures and discoveries to his credit, Branson needed the help of one important individual to truly make the expedition worthwhile.

That’s right: he enlisted the help of Fabien Cousteau, the grandson of the very same man that had put the Great Blue Hole on the map almost 50 years earlier. Together, the two explorers hoped to pick up right where Jacques had left off.

Deeper Blue

More specifically, the men wanted to use state-of-the-art 3D imaging technology to create a comprehensive map of the interior of the sinkhole. This would provide never-before-seen insight.

They were also looking to test the water quality and oxygen levels within the Great Blue Hole to get a sense of what kind of aquatic life could survive there.

Additionally, Branson and Cousteau were adamant about exploring what they believed to be an oxygen-depleted area at the base of the hole. Why the interest in this so-called dead zone?

Well, if their hunch was correct, this discovery could hold clues to the fall of the Mayan civilization between 800 and 1,000 AD! Yeah, who saw that one coming?

Interesting Engineering

“We’ve heard that in the Blue Hole there is an anoxic area [or dead zone] near the bottom,” said one of the expedition’s crew members. “This is really interesting because things don’t degrade in anoxic areas so we could find preserved life.”

But even as visions of this vast undersea adventure danced in their heads, the men still had one glaring issue to overcome before they could even think about venturing below the surface: how would they do it?

Being that most humans can’t dive more than 130 feet without being crushed by water pressure, scuba diving was completely out of the question. They needed to think outside the box.

Dive Training Magazine

Luckily, they found captain Erika Bergman. Aboard her high-tech STINGRAY 500, the team would be able to dive at depths of up to 500 feet while simultaneously capturing HD recordings of the entire adventure.

Cause of a Kind

And so, on December 2nd, Branson, Cousteau, and Bergman – along with a team of cinematographers from the Discovery Channel – made the journey to Lighthouse Reef to begin their exploration.

With their live stream being broadcast to viewers all over the world, the three adventurers submerged in the waters of the Great Blue Hole.

Virgin

Though the surface of the massive cavern looked almost clear blue from above, the depths below were anything but. Darkness met the team head on as they dove deeper and deeper into the hole, unaware of what treasures – or horrors – awaited them at its bottom.

Virgin

Along the way, a variety of fish kept pace alongside the team, ranging from common ocean dwellers to the likes of the exotic Midnight Parrotfish.

But for every unassuming fin or tail that flitted by, they couldn’t help but keep their eyes peeled for the hammerhead and aggressive bull sharks that were known to prowl the area.

Earth Touch

When the vessel arrived at the floor of the cavern the team immediately went to work mapping the dimensions of the hole. After only a few minutes of scanning, however, Branson and the others noticed a strange opening…

Virgin

Curious, the team approached the opening, and inside they found the real treasure of the exploration: stalactites! This discovery would’ve meant little if stumbled upon in a typical cave system, but the fact that the find was made at such a depth underwater was unprecedented.

Discovery / Twitter

According to tests run on the rock formations, these stalactites were an astonishing 150,000 years old. Usually, stalactites only form in dry caves!

That means that the Great Blue Hole was once part of a larger cave system that formed on dry land. As remarkable as this was, though, this discovery actually points to a much larger issue.

With the Great Blue Hole now completely submerged under hundreds of feet of water, it’s a clear indication that the gradual warming of the earth is directly responsible for rising sea levels. As global warming continues to affect our planet, could this be a sign of things to come?

Richard Branson and his team seem to think so, and he’s pledged to aid in the effort to protect at least 30% of world oceans by the year 2030. With sea life covering over two-thirds of the Earth’s surface, now seems as good a time as ever to make sure that it stays that way.

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Controversial Brain Disease Could Mark The End Of America’s Favorite Sport

American culture is steeped in sports to the point that the two are irreplaceable. Football in particular is the center of many families’ entire worlds. They dutifully tune into every Thanksgiving game, throw huge Super Bowl parties, and shell out hundreds of dollars annually to watch from the stands.

However, this beloved pastime is in serious trouble, as a recently discovered illness is spreading through the NFL ranks like wildfire. It’s difficult to diagnose and impossible to cure. Yet, most of its victims have no idea they’re sick at all.

In the United States, no sport draws more fans or more passion than football. Thirty-two professional teams go head-to-head each year for Super Bowl glory, with the willingness to push their bodies past every limit. Of course, the danger of football is part of what makes it so popular.

Lorie Shaull

Viewers and players alike understand that injuries are part of the game. NFL veterans rack up a laundry list of ailments over their careers: broken bones, torn ligaments, contusions. Tough as these athletes are, there’s a little-known condition that could be threatening all of their lives.

KA Sports Photos / Flickr

What’s really scary is that this disease endangers football players of all skill levels, not just the pros. Doctors are only beginning to scratch the surface of this pressing issue, which affects the one of the most vital parts of the human body.

Flickr / Japrap

It all comes down to the brain, according to Dr. Ann McKee. The Boston University professor is the world’s foremost expert on CTE, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Widespread as the condition is, the NFL has preferred to ignore the topic.

WBUR / Jesse Kosta

McKee presented Aaron Hernandez as the prime victim of CTE. A tight end for the mighty New England Patriots, he was primed for an impressive football career. But none of his family or teammates realized just how poisoned his mind was.

Jeffrey Beall

Though rumors about his emotional instability and violent tendencies followed him for years, it took a shocking arrest in 2013 to bring Hernandez’s struggle to light. Authorities brought the Patriot in for murder.

Blackfin

This wasn’t his first brush with homicide. In a crowded Boston nightclub in 2012, Daniel Jorge Correia and Safiro Teixeira Furtado made the mistake of spilling a drink on the football player. Hernandez, according to some accounts, overreacted in a lethal way.

Flickr / Zeitfixierer

Five bullets entered the partiers’ car later that night, killing both men. Hernandez was indicted and later acquitted of their deaths, but his likely involvement marked a point of no return. It turned out that not even his friends were safe.

CBS Boston

Odin Lloyd, a semi-pro football player and friend of Hernandez, was found dead in 2013. His body was riddled with bullets and ditched in an industrial park near the Patriots star’s home. The overwhelming evidence spelled out a guilty charge for Hernandez.

WHDH

However, Hernandez escaped any lengthy punishment for his crimes. While in prison, the athlete took his own life. This spelled a tragic end to a complicated saga, though Hernandez’s death shined a light on the neurological health of football players.

Flickr / Beth Hart

Post-mortem brain scans showed that Hernandez suffered from an extraordinary case of CTE. While not exonerating him, the condition could explain his more troubling behavior, according to some scientists. They probed deeper into the issue.

Boston University

Repeated head trauma causes CTE, which degenerated the brain and causes memory loss, increased aggression, and impaired judgment. Some physicians characterize it as similar to dementia. So why wasn’t this condition ever mentioned during Aaron Hernandez’s trial?

Flickr / University of the Fraser Valley

For one thing, the symptoms of CTE often take years to manifest themselves. An athlete, seemingly an Adonis in his prime, could contract the disease without knowing it. Then there’s the matter that doctors cannot diagnose CTE until after death.

But past generations of NFL stars reveal the shocking truth. A Boston University study found that nearly 90% of athletes dealt with CTE in some form. Many were legends, like Ken Stabler, who were plagued by health issues later in life.

The New York Times / Edmund D. Fountain

Pro football has been played for over a century, but there’s a good reason why modern players are dealing with more head trauma. It’s all in the helmet. In contrast to leather caps of the past, modern helmets actually seem far sturdier and better padded.

Der Spiegel

But this protection has only put their wearers at risk. Now, when making a tackle, football pros weaponize their heads, using them like lightning-fast battering rams. The padded areas also direct pressure to specific regions of the skull. Still, helmets are just a single cause.

The San Diego Union-Tribune / Charlie Neuman

Even a tackle aimed at the body causes the neck and head to whip back with traumatic results. “That’s a brain slap, and the extra weight is part of the equation. Nobody wants to talk about that stuff,” according to sports equipment manufacturer Nick Esayian.

The NFL, to their credit, enacted new safety rules to decrease head injuries, but these measures can only go so far. McKee’s research indicates that athletes’ risk of suffering from CTE doubles with every five years they spend playing. This could result in big changes down the road.

Boston University

Participation in youth football programs has plummeted across the U.S., putting the long-term success of the NFL in question. As beloved as the sport may be, many parents simply don’t want to expose their kids to such a great risk. Many former champions faced the devastating consequences.

Flickr / Steve Snodgrass

John Matuszak had his own complex relationship with sports and mental health. Born in Milwaukee in 1950, he wasn’t always a hulking bear of a man. In fact, Matsuzak was so scrawny during his youth that his classmates bullied him, referring to him as a “scrawny beanpole.”

IMDb

This ridicule motivated him to bulk up, and by the end of high school, Matuszak was the biggest and strongest in his class. He’d even go on to win the Wisconsin Class A championship in shot put, an accomplishment that quickly got the attention of a number of college football recruiters.

Matuszak made the leap to college football, though his prowess was soon overshadowed by a newfound love of drugs and alcohol. After losing his scholarship, Matuszak transferred to the University of Tampa where he became the star of the school’s football team.

A highly successful collegiate career coupled with his 6’8″, 280-pound frame led Matuszak to be selected first overall by the Houston Oilers in the 1973 NFL draft. This would’ve been a dream come true for any other kid from Milwaukee, but John Matuszak wasn’t satisfied.

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Unhappy with the contract the Oilers had offered him, Matuszak signed to play with the Houston Texans. But the Oilers issued Matuszak a restraining order mid-game that barred him from playing and subsequently traded him to the Kansas City Chiefs.

NASL Jerseys

Matuszak’s love for partying and women earned him the nickname “Tooz,” which he’d carry with him for the remainder of his career. Chiefs executives were able to overlook Matuszak’s antics for a time, but when a team coach found him unconscious after a wild night, it appeared the Tooz’s time in Missouri had come to an end.

Matuszak was shipped to the Washington Redskins in ’76, but coach George Allen was so put off by the Tooz’s behavior that the team cut him in the preseason. According to Allen, it was almost as if Matuszak survived solely on a diet of “vodka and Valium.”

Collectors.com

It came as a surprise to many when Matuszak signed with the Oakland Raiders, though his love for debauchery only continued to grow. The Tooz was once reprimanded for trying to sneak two women onto the team’s airplane, and once, drunk and naked, he ran rampant through a Cleveland hotel.

INFOBIT

But whether as a result of burnout or at the behest of Hall-of-Fame coach John Madden, the Tooz’s second season in Oakland saw him curtail his party lifestyle to become a core member of the Raiders’ formidable defense.

After leading the team to two Super Bowls it was safe to say that Oakland’s gamble on the troubled young Wisconsinite had paid off. It was also during this time that he gained a reputation for being one of the meanest players in the league, though this was only one face that the Tooz was known to wear.

bhos89 / Reddit

Off the field Matuszak was known for his softer side, dressing up as Santa on the holidays and even volunteering his time to coach youth football during the offseason. But even with things moving in the right direction for the Tooz, it was only a matter of time before his lifestyle caught up with him.

Following a series of injuries and his placement on injured reserve for the entire 1982 season, Matuszak decided to hang up his cleats for good. The Tooz’s football career had come to an unfortunate end, but the former gridiron star found a new passion that would come to define his life and legacy.

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With his enormous size and colorful personality, Matuszak seemed a natural fit for the big screen and soon began landing film and television roles left and right. By the end of 1985 – just three years removed from the NFL – he starred in nearly a dozen roles, including The Ice PiratesM.A.S.H., and The Dukes of Hazzard.

Matuszak’s massive success as an actor soon caught the attention of director Richard Donner, who, along with screenwriter Steven Spielberg, was having trouble casting a role for a certain adventure-comedy film he was working on. For Donner and Spielberg, the Tooz seemed the perfect fit.

And so, Matuszak was cast as Sloth, the lovable, deformed captive who had a major hand in making The Goonies the beloved cult classic it is today. But while the sight of a nearly seven-foot retired football player with a reputation for aggression would surely be an intimidating one, the Tooz’s time spent on set was nothing like you’d expect.

IMDb

According to Donner, Matuszak and the child actors would often play practical jokes on their fellow cast members, and no matter how stressful things got on set, Donner always referred to the hulking actor as “a saint.” But there was one aspect of his troubled past that he simply couldn’t escape.

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Despite his success in Hollywood Matuszak’s demons still lingered, with drugs and alcohol continuing to play a significant role in his life. The struggles of his addiction came to a head in 1987, when, after getting into a car accident, he mercilessly beat the other driver unconscious.

IMDb

Injuries sustained during his playing career also took a toll on Matuszak, and his continued use of the painkiller Darvocet only served to exacerbate his addiction. Sadly, it was one that he’d never come to beat.

WMKY

On June 17, 1989, John Matuszak was found dead at his home in Los Angeles. His cause of death was ruled as acute propoxyphene intoxication, which was caused by an accidental overdose of Darvocet. He was just 38 years old.

NASL Jerseys

The coroner’s report also listed an enlarged heart as a contributor to Matuszak’s death. After a life defined by vice, it’s tragic that the gentle giant that had too big of a heart. His Goonies co-stars wish they could’ve helped him, though one had personal demons of his own.

Yahoo Movies UK

The son of actress Patty Duke, Sean Astin knew he wanted to follow in his mother’s footsteps practically from birth. And thanks to Duke’s many Hollywood connections, it wasn’t long before young Sean was actually making it happen.

News.com

In 1981, he made his acting debut in the television movie Please Don’t Hit Me, Mom. Ten-year-old Sean’s portrayal of a child with an abusive mother drew praise from critics, and four years later, he parlayed his newfound fame into one of his most notable roles to date.

Entertainment Weekly

As Mikey Walsh, Sean made himself a household name in 1985’s The Goonies. Not only was his performance as the headstrong leader of the Goonies universally applauded, but it also established Sean as more than just the son of a widely popular actress.

SlashFilm

Sean remained in high demand for the rest of the ’80s and early ’90s, appearing in films like The War of the Roses (1989), Toy Soldiers (1991), and Encino Man (1992). His portrayal of Daniel Ruettiger in 1993’s Rudy also served to solidify Sean’s place as an actor with staying power.

Forbes

The late ’90s saw Sean step behind the camera to create the short film Kangaroo Court, which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film. He also appeared in several adult-oriented films, including Courage Under Fire (1996) and Bulworth (1998).

But it wasn’t until the turn of the century that Sean’s true prowess as an actor finally shone through. As Samwise Gamgee, loyal companion of Frodo Baggins in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Sean received both universal and critical acclaim.

In fact, Sean’s performance was so well-received that he earned seven award nominations, winning five of them. These wins included four Best Supporting Actor awards and one Outstanding Performance by a Male or Female in an Effects Film award from the Visual Effects Society.

Fandango

Post-Lord of the Rings, Sean returned to the big screen in the Adam Sandler comedies 50 First Dates (2004) and Click (2006) as well as 2005’s Smile. He also appeared in several notable television series, including 24, My Name is Earl, and Law & Order.

IMDb

The mid-200s saw Sean transition into a voice actor, lending his voice to notable projects such as Disney channel’s Special Agent Oso and the video game Kingdom Hearts, where he provided the voice of Hercules. He also voiced Raphael in Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Sean Astin: Hope Unquenchable

After several years under the radar, Sean burst back into the mainstream with a supporting role in the second season of Netflix’s Stranger Things. His character, the lovable Bob Newby, became one of the season’s breakout characters and helped introduce Sean to younger audiences.

Express

As such, it came as quite a surprise to many when the actor began trending on Twitter in August of 2019. Given that Sean hadn’t really made much noise since Stranger Things, many fans assumed the worst.

Thankfully, Sean was alive and well, though he wasn’t out of the water just yet. Apparently, a fan had posted some rather intimate photos of the actor to Twitter, and the online community just couldn’t get enough of them.

IMDb

The photos in question showed Sean cozying up with an adorable otter, which understandably made Twitter users go crazy. Eventually, word of the internet’s newest viral hit got back to the actor himself, and he decided to join in on the fun.

“Guys, what is going on here? I feel drunk with power!” Sean tweeted shortly after his name began trending. “Is this cuz of the #Otter kissing thing?” But the story didn’t end with Sean’s Tweet.

ET Canada

Because soon the discussion shifted from the otter photos to Sean’s storied acting career. Apparently, the user who shared the images had referred to the actor as “Sean Astin from Stranger Things,” which only served to rile up fans of his earlier work.

Business Insider

An outpouring of nostalgia flooded Twitter, with many users sharing their favorite films in the vein of a Sean Astin appreciation day. Even Sean’s appearances in less-notable films like Memphis Belle (1990) and Harrison Bergeron (1995) found themselves back in the public consciousness for a time.

Pinterest

Sean’s daughter Ali Astin also got in on the fun, sharing a photo of herself as a baby riding atop her father’s shoulders. Above it, she jokingly tweeted: “@SeanAstin didn’t change my diapers to be known as “Sean Astin From Stranger Things.”

Ali Astin / Twitter

Sean, of course, wasn’t shy about joining in on the nostalgia fest and began sharing his own photos of the past. He even posted photos of him cozying up with other animals, only serving to further melt the hearts of Twitter users.

@seanastin / Instagram

In the end, Sean decided to use all the positive attention to direct fans to his newest project No Good Nick. The Netflix comedy stars Sean and Melissa Joan Heart as the foster parents of young con artist looking to rob her new family.

CafeMom

But even if No Good Nick becomes Sean’s next breakout hit, most fans will always remember him as Sam. And although you may have seen the Lord of the Rings films more times than you’d care to admit, there’s more to this epic trilogy than meets the eye

1. Although the battle scenes were fake, The Lord of the Rings cast suffered a laundry list of real injuries. To name a few, Viggo Mortensen chipped his tooth, Orlando Bloom broke some ribs, and Sean Astin badly cut his foot and had to be airlifted to a hospital.

2. The nine cast members comprising the Fellowship of the Ring bonded so much that they got matching Elvish tattoos. Only John Rhys-Davies skipped out, though he did send his stunt double in his place!

3. The trilogy used 12.5 million plastic rings for chain mail costumes, and they were all made by two crew members! By the end of production, they had completely worn the fingerprints off their thumbs and index fingers.

4. Lord of the Rings is certainly not a rinky-dink school play. Still, it stole a trick or two from youth productions: In certain scenes, due to the difficulty of working with live animals, Bill the Pony was played by two humans in a horse suit.

5. In the middle of Gandalf’s visit to Bag End, Ian McKellen accidentally banged his head on a ceiling beam. He acted through the moment, and Peter Jackson enjoyed the surprise so much that the shot made the final cut.

6. Early in the scripting process, producer Bob Weinstein urged Peter Jackson to kill off a hobbit. He didn’t care which one; Bob simply thought it would add drama. Luckily, Peter stuck to the source material and kept Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin breathing.

New Line Cinema

7. Although Viggo Mortensen is iconic as Aragorn, another actor began shooting scenes for the role! The filmmakers originally cast Stuart Townsend, but later felt he came off as too young. They then nabbed Viggo, who accepted the part because his son was a huge Tolkien fan.

Digital Spy

8. During the climactic final battle at the Black Gate, Peter Jackson shot a scene where Aragorn duels Sauron. Ultimately, the Dark Lord’s presence “no longer felt right,” so the effects team superimposed a cave troll over him.

9. The finale of The Fellowship of the Ring was supposed to include a scene where orcs ambush the heroes as they navigate the Anduin River. The elaborate action sequence, unfortunately, never came to pass because a flood of biblical proportions washed away the entire set!

10. Eowyn isn’t the only lady in Middle Earth disguised as a male warrior. Filmmakers needed plenty of talented horse riders for battle scenes, and many women jockeys volunteered for the job. That was no problem. The makeup team applied fake beards, and voila!

11. Peter Jackson wasn’t the first to want to adapt Tolkien’s trilogy. As a matter of fact, The Beatles wanted to make a Lord of the Rings movie in the 1960s, but it fell through. John would’ve been Gollum, Ringo would’ve been Sam, George would’ve been Gandalf, and Paul would’ve been Frodo. They also wanted Stanley Kubrick to direct!

12. Christopher Lee became the first actor to join the cast. Not only was he perfect for Saruman the White, but he also knew J.R.R. Tolkien and was an expert on the Lord of the Rings. He re-read the entire series every year and consulted on many visual aspects of the films.

13. You can barely spot Gimli the dwarf between Aragorn and Legolas in this shot, but that’s only because of movie magic. At 6’2″, actor John Rhys-Davis was actually the tallest member of the main cast.

14. In order to properly portray the strange and scary Gollum, Peter Jackson’s team invented a completely new method of motion capture called combination sculpting. They mapped out 964 points on actor Andy Serkis’ face for ultra-realistic expressions.

15. An entire year before filming began, the crew built Hobbiton so that it felt like an actual town — not just a movie set. Even today, the hillside community remains an extremely popular tourist site in New Zealand.

16. Boromir’s speech at the Council of Elrond — where he explains one does not simply walk into Mordor — was compelling enough to become a meme. However, all those lines were last-minute additions. Actor Sean Bean actually had them taped to his lap during the shot!

17. Bret McKenzie, best known as half of musical comedy duo Flight of the Conchords, cameos as an elf in The Return of the King. Strangely enough, fans went crazy over his few seconds on camera. They dubbed him Figwit, an anagram for ‘Frodo Is Great…Who Is That?!!’

New Line Cinema

18. Ian Holm is more than a little familiar with the Baggins family. In addition to portraying Bilbo in Peter Jackson’s trilogy, he voiced Frodo in a 1981 radio adaptation. He’s such a hobbit, he probably even eats two breakfasts!

19. During the casting process, filmmakers offered the role of Gandalf to Sean Connery. However, the 007 star didn’t understand the script and declined. It’s hard to complain about this turn of events, as it allowed the masterful Ian McKellen to step in.

20. Believe it or not, all of Legolas’ arrows were added in digitally, and for good reason. Not even the world’s best archers can shoot that fast! If only Peter Jackson found a real elf, they could’ve saved a lot of money on special effects.

21. Lots of people get their 15 minutes of fame, but this bug got less. The moth that Gandalf sends a message to while imprisoned was born just hours before that day of filming. Tragically, it died right after the cameras stopped rolling.

22. A number of big-name actors turned down Middle Earth roles, but Jake Gyllenhaal notably got a big, fat rejection. He had a disastrous audition for Frodo, as he did not realize that the character was supposed to have a British accident.

23. Character actor Brad Dourif simmered as the slimy Grima Wormtongue in the later two films. He had to shave his eyebrows for the part, which covered two years of filming, meaning that he had to remove them on five separate occasions.

24. If you think it takes a long time to watch The Lord of the Rings films, count yourself lucky you didn’t have to write them. J.R.R. Tolkien spent countless hours behind the typewriter, in part because he pecked away at the keys using only two fingers.

25. Inspired by the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, George R.R. Martin started writing his critically acclaimed A Song of Ice and Fire series. Martin, in turn, has now inspired a new generation of fantasy writers — and a show with some neat facts of its own…

26. Before writing A Song of Fire and Ice, George R.R Martin had a very negative experience writing for TV. He wrote books thinking they would be impossible to turn into a TV series — boy, was he wrong.

image003-4Flickr

27. The primary war in Game of Thrones is known as The War of Five Kings. A big history buff, Martin was inspired by real events to create his own version. In the 15th century, two rivaling families in England fought for the throne in a conflict called the War of the Roses.

28. The Wall is a tremendously important location and set piece for the show. While the wall is known to be 700 feet tall, the real wall is only 17 feet tall! The special effects team usually uses CGI to make it appear taller.

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29. In 2015, Game of Thrones won a total of 12 Emmy awards. This was, at the time, the most awarded single season of any TV show ever…until 2016 came around and the show took home a record-breaking 38 awards, making it the most awarded show of all time.

30. Executive producers originally promised the show would contain no dreams or flashbacks. This promise didn’t last very long, as the character Bran dreams about a three-eyed raven as early as season one.

31. The TV show changed a few names from the books to avoid confusion. Yara Greyjoy is named Asha in the books, and Lysa Arryn’s son Robin was originally Robert. Writers altered the names because Asha sounded too much like Osha, while Robert could have been mistaken for Robert Baratheon.

32. Actor Thomas Brodie-Sangster was nearly 13 years older than his character Jojen Reed. The actor, who is most famous for his role in the romantic comedy Love Actually, was tapped to play the young Jojen Reed due to the simple fact that he looked rather young.

33. Daenerys Targaryen’s beautiful silver hair is achieved using wigs and makeup. The actress who plays the role (Emilia Clarke) is a natural brunette, and the show’s producers wanted to be sure they did not damage Clarke’s natural hair.

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34. During the first six seasons of the show, 45 main characters died. In addition, nearly every episode is filled with death, even if it’s just a nameless foot soldier. There have only been two episodes of the Game of Thrones series where no one met their demise.

35. In the world of Westeros, Valaryian steel is a highly prized metal because it’s as strong and powerful as it is light to carry. While this type of steel is fictional, Martin based it on Damascus steel, which shares some of those properties.

vayrian-steelHBO

36. Fans of the show have really come to love the dragons that are featured. How did the production team make them look so appealing? They modeled them after cats, bats, and even geese! Who knew that would be such a compelling combination?

37. Emilia Clarke, the actress who plays Daenerys Targaryen, was supposed to wear purple contact lenses to accurately portray her character’s violet-colored eyes. Ultimately, they proved to be too uncomfortable and production decided to let her go without them.

Reddit / BlackBritishJew

38. SPOILER ALERT: The show has killed off many characters who, in fact, are still alive and well (relatively speaking) in the books themselves. These characters include Stannis Baratheon, Hodor, Barristan Selmy, and Ramsay Bolton.

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39. Actress Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa Stark, developed a close bond with the Northern Inuit dog who played her direwolf, Lady. Later on, when the show killed Lady off, Turner adopted her.

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40. Producers hired linguist David J. Peterson to create a Dothraki language for the show. While only a handful of Dothraki words appear in Martin’s books, Peterson has written a full-language with thousands of words. There is even a dictionary available.

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41. Game of Thrones is very expensive to make. A huge part of that expense comes from shooting in isolated areas that are hard to travel to, and many of these spots are hundreds of miles apart. The show has filmed in Ireland, Iceland, Croatia, Malta, and America.

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42. Maisie Williams, who plays Arya Stark, shared that very often fans will approach her asking that she include their name in her infamous list of those she plans to kill. Some viewers can be a little intense, don’t you think?

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43. You might notice that two of the show’s biggest stars, Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister) and Jerome Flynn (Bronn), never appear on screen at the same time. That is because they dated and had a nasty breakup prior to being cast on the show. They avoid each other at all costs.

44. While the TV series Game of Thrones only began to air in 2011, the books have been around for a lot longer than that. In fact, the show began airing on the 15th anniversary of the first book, which has been thrilling readers since 1996.

45. While he has not approved of every single liberty the show has taken with his works, George R.R. Martin has said that the show improves on some characters from the books. In particular, he loves the work of Sibel Kekilli as Shae.

46. George R.R. Martin is now in his 70s and has a reputation as a writer who takes his time. In the event that he passes before finishing the series, he has shared his planned ending with producers so that they can continue telling the story on his behalf.

Wired

47. Game of Thrones, in addition to being very popular on HBO, is also the most popular show… to download illegally! More than 15 million people have illegally downloaded the show to date. What show is in second place? The Walking Dead with 7 million hits.

48. The House of Lannister is often associated with the motto “A Lannister always pays his debts.” However, the actual motto of the house is “Hear me roar.” The unofficial motto hints at the notoriously sinister Lannisters’ penchant for exacting revenge.

49. Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy), Richard Madden (Rob Stark), and Kit Harington (Jon Snow) all appeared shirtless in the premiere of the show looking unusually muscular. All three later admitted to doing push-ups and lifting weights prior to the scene to appear even more in shape.

50. Game of Thrones has one of the highest budgets of any TV show. In fact, it costs about $10 million just to make one episode! The more extravagant episodes, usually ones with big battles, have the budget of modest-sized movies!

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51. George R.R. Martin admitted a fan theory about the show is correct. The most popular one, “R+L = J,” postulates that Jon Snow’s real parents are Lyana Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen. Now that the show has confirmed it, this makes Jon a powerful contender for the throne.

Huffington Post

52. In the books, King Renly Baratheon’s calls his knights “Rainbow Guards,” a quiet nod to Renly’s homosexuality. This was changed in the series since there was nothing quiet about Renly’s sexual orientation as portrayed on the show.

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53. Kit Harington, who plays Jon Snow, was approached by a stranger in a bar who said he looked just like Jon Snow. When Harrington explained his identity, the stranger did not believe him. He claimed that Kit, who stands at 5’8″, was too short!

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54. Locked out of his home, Kit Harington broke his leg in 2012 trying to scale his apartment wall and get inside. The crew was forced to shoot around the injury, often hiring stand-ins to wear Jon Snow wigs for scenes shot at a distance.

55. There are a few characters in the show who are all rolled up to create one more major character on the show. One of the most notable composite characters is the prostitute Ros, who is based on the prostitutes Alayaya, Chataya, and Kyra, who also appear in the books.

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56. All of the women featured on the show typically wear some sort of jewelry that represents their house’s sigil. For Cersei, this is a massive lion-headed collar. Similarly, it’s fairly common to see a Stark wearing something with a direwolf on it.

57. The map shown during the opening credits features places that will be important in any given episode. So don’t skip the credits! It’s a fun way to keep up with where the characters are headed, especially since many names are hard to catch in the dialogue.

58. Jason Momoa knew that he needed to make it clear to executives just how passionate he was about the role of Khal Drogo during auditions. So, how did he make a big first impression? He ripped off his shirt and did a Samoan haka dance for the casting director.

59. The primary religion in Westeros is the Faith of The Seven. You might be surprised to learn that this fictional form of worship is actually based on Catholicism. The big difference is that the show’s faith is polytheistic, meaning that characters pray to multiple gods.

the-sevenHBO

60. Emilia Clarke refused to do any nude scenes after season one. However, she changed her mind once she read the script for an episode where she emerges naked and unscathed from a fire. “It was just a wonderful, strong moment I wanted to own, a really empowering, girl-power wow scene,” she explained.

61. Game of Thrones features a hugely international cast. There are only two American actors, and the rest of the cast speaks in their natural accents. These little touches really enrich the world of Game of Thrones.

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Mistakes American Tourists Can’t Stop Making That Make Them Stick Out

If you’re looking for a vacation packed with sensory delights, fascinating culture, and a never-ending list of things to experience, Japan is the answer. The tourism industry in Japan has skyrocketed over the past decade; however, tourists themselves are not known for being the most gracious guests.

While compiling a list of places to see and tours to book, it’s important to look at the key differences between everyday life in your home country to that of Japan. No one wants to be the person who makes an accidental faux pas. So before you step off the plane, brush up on the screw ups tourists in Japan repeatedly make.

1. Don’t Wait For A Waiter: The hovering waiter is taboo in Japan. It’s generally considered disruptive to the meal for a waiter to linger at the table, so the guest should politely say sumimasen, which means “excuse me” to signal to staff that they need help.

Japan Kuru

2. Eat Things As They Are: Vegans and vegetarians need to do their homework prior to touching down in Japan. Bigger cities offer some specialized restaurants for dietary restrictions. Most places do not. Asking for substitutions is deemed offensive.

YouTube / Mark Wiens

3. Keep It Down: Two major pillars of Japanese culture are respect and consideration. So when you’re riding the subway system, try to stay quiet. Many workers use their time on the train to catch a few winks.

New York Times / Ko Sasaki

4. Chopstick Etiquette: There’s more to using chopsticks than managing to grasp food. Keep in mind, your chopsticks shouldn’t be fully upright. Also, rest them on the holder, not on the plate or bowl of what you are consuming, uncrossed.

Medium / Unsplash

5. Tattoos” Some people think tattoos and immediately picture the intricate style of traditional Japanese skin art, but if you’re visiting Japan, you should respectfully cover up. Many places don’t allow entry for people with visible tattoos.

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Bathhouses, public pools, gyms, and sacred locations commonly ban visible tattoos. It’s a long historied cultural sensitivity that, while slowly shifting, still remains a universally held social stigma. Legally, only a doctor can tattoo in Japan.

Stars and Stripes / Aaron Kidd

6. Pointing: It’s natural to be super excited about spotting interesting locations, do not use that index finger to tell your buddy, “Hey look over there!” If you must gesture, use your full hand, and do so gently.

Rugby World Cup

7. No Paper Towels: The Japanese made serious strides to minimize their carbon footprint, and one key example was by nixing paper towels in restrooms. It’s generally accepted that if you prefer to dry off, you should carry your own handkerchief.

8. Speak the Language: If your passport includes mostly European country stamps, you should know that there’s very little catering to the English speaker in Japan. To navigate, order food, and generally interact with everyone, you should come prepared with some basic Japanese phrases.

Viator

9. Tips: Slapping a few thousand yen on the table for your waiter might make you chuckle about conversion rates, but it’s not viewed as generosity. Tipping does not exist in Japan and usually is considered rude.

Japan Times / Kyodo News

10. Slurp It Up: Face it, it’s practically impossible to eat ramen without getting your slurp on. In Japan, the sound of slurping patrons is better than a glowing Yelp review. It’s a nod to the chef that you’re a fan of what they’re serving.

Ramen Run Blog

11. Small Spaces Are Good Spaces: Try to separate from the American idea that bigger is better. You’re visiting a different country after all, and they have a whole other set of societal norms. Rooms are tinier and the walls might be thinner, so speak softly.

Business Insider / Won Kim

12. Bow Down: Screwing up a bow is akin to offering a weak flimsy handshake — not very cool. To bow correctly, keep your back and neck straight, feet together, with arms at your sides, and bend slightly at the hips.

The Ordinary Adventurer Blog

13. Pack Your Coolest Socks: Leave those shoes at the door. Remove your shoes before entering any home, no exception. Some public spaces are shoeless, too, and they indicate as much by providing slippers or cubbies to store them.

It’s Your Japan Blog

14. Step Up Your Style: Sweatpants and hoodies work just fine for the plane. Once you start your trip, attempt a more polished look. It’s a mutual sign of respect to dress well, or at least, err on the conservative side.

Jacaranda FM / Facebook / Elma Smit

15. Carry Your Trash: Looking around the streets of Japan, you’ll notice it’s super clean, though there’s rarely a trash can in sight. Public trash cans were removed as a safety measure following a terrorist attack. Still, citizens remain diligent recyclers who loathe litterbugs. 

Web Japan

16. Don’t Walk and Eat: Allow yourself to sit for a spell and enjoy that hot meal from the vending machine — really, they are delicious! Not only is it a better meal for you, but you also won’t annoy anyone!

Narratively / Alison Brockhouse

17. Know When To Snap Pictures: Keep your eyes peeled for signs indicating photo restrictions. We’re living in a selfie society, but in Japan, taking and posting pictures of the wrong thing can lead to legal ramifications.

G Adventures / Peter West Carey

18. No Nose Blowing: Unless it’s in private. Then, please, do your damage. Blasting away into a tissue, as well as spitting and burping, are all classified under the same umbrella of bodily functions: incredibly rude in public.

Flickr / Neil Ta

Armed with the tools to be a gracious visitor to Japan, you can start to focus on all the cool things the country has to offer. The food is a major draw, but there’s so much more, including some totally ingenious conveniences.

Quartz

1. There could be an entire list dedicated to the splendor that is 7-11 in Japan, but for now, you can drool over this brilliant innovation. Sealed cups of ice are available for purchase if you want to make iced coffee. How genius is that?

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2. Another amazing 7-11 innovation that is too cool not to mention here? Free-to-use hot water dispensers for hungry people who are purchasing instant noodle bowls! Why wait to get home to enjoy those tasty noodles when you can do it at the checkout counter?

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3. In Japan, you don’t need to join an expensive gym in order to get fit or stay healthy. Public exercise classes available for free happen all over the country. You can usually find them in public parks, schoolyards, and even inside offices!

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4. Public transit is the primary way people travel in the big cities. You don’t need to be able to read Japanese to use it, either. These color-coordinated subway maps come with numbers and descriptions to help guide tourists who might not speak the language.

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5. Going to the post office can be a real hassle, especially on those days when it seems like you have a neverending list of errands to complete. What to do? Well, in Japan, you can skip the post office and mail your packages and letters right at the grocery store!

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6. In Japan, there are countless walking and jogging paths set up adjacent to public parks. This makes it easy for people to change into their workout gear in a locker room, store their belongings, and go for a quick jog without any stress.

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7. Who doesn’t love a hard-boiled egg? It’s a great snack full of protein and it’s perfect for folks on the go. But who has time to boil a giant batch of eggs? In Japan, they’ve done it for you, selling individually packaged hard-boiled eggs for the swamped snacker.

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8. The Japanese have lots of ingenious ways to save valuable resources like water, too. Check out this sink built into the tank of a toilet. Not only does it look cool, but it saves water with every single flush.

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9. In Japan, you don’t have to dress up and go out to eat at a fancy restaurant if you’re in a rush. Rather, you can just use their vending machine option at the front of the restaurant and take your delicious meal home to eat in front of the TV in your boxers.

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10. Riding your bike is a great way to save energy and to stay healthy at the same time! In Japan, biking is made easier than ever—even in inclement weather. Most bikes come with built-in umbrella holders to help you stay nice and dry during your ride.

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11. Communal baths, called sento, are a great way to unwind after a long and stressful day at the office. They are exceptionally popular here, and a ticket to enjoy the facilities often costs less than the price of a single drink out at a bar.

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12. This idea is just total genius: butter graters! That’s right—rather than have to stress over spreading ice-cold butter on your toast, you can simply grate it for easy use. Need a hack to get the same effect at your home in the States? Try a cheese grater!

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13. In Japan, you might see boxes like this all over the place. These umbrella holders offer free umbrellas for people to use in case of unexpected rain. Just grab an umbrella when you need one, and when you’re done using it, just drop it another box someplace else!

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14. In some cities in the United States, it can be stressful to ride your bike around because parking is so scarce. Besides, someone could steal it! In Japan, they have an automated underground bike parking garage that keeps your ride safe until you come back to pick it up. Pretty cool, huh?

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15. You’ll see this blue stuff everywhere during hot days in Japan. It’s cooling spray that comes right out of a can; it also comes in a gel form. You simply spray it on your arm, wrist, neck, or any other place that is overheated and it feels like you’re applying an ice pack!

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16. Dispen Pak technology makes it beyond easy to access your condiments and sauces. The little packages open when cracked in the middle, making sure you get every single last drop of sauce without getting it all over your clothes. Plus, it looks cool, too!

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Dangerous Street Gang Went Undetected For Years Due To Their Unique Outfits

If movies are to be believed, then turn-of-the-century London was covered by cramped flats, a thick layer of fog, and rampant crime. A mischievous pickpocket or two always makes it into these movies, along with some violent gangs and questionable underground gambling. But what the movies don’t show is the truly fearsome criminals frequenting spots other than seedy nighttime bars.

Back in the early 1900s, London was terrorized by a brutal street gang known for their clever tactics and violent tendencies. Nowadays, hidden cameras would’ve stopped these criminals right in their tracks. In 1915, though, all you needed to get away with a crime was a tough poker face…and the perfect shade of lipstick.

When women entered through the huge gilded doors of Selfridges Department Store, all eyes went straight to them. Their immaculate fur coats and magnificent hats were so eye-catching, in fact, that no one ever thought to look at their hands…

These customers were considered “women of means” — rich ladies with money to burn. The taller a woman’s hat and the curlier her hair, the more wealthy she appeared to be. Don’t bother them, the salespeople were told. Let them shop in peace.

Gordon Grant/Wikimedia Commons

But they weren’t shopping in peace, and all it took was an hour for them to complete their task. The ladies left the store just as quickly as they’d entered, taking with them the store’s hope for a good profit…and pretty much everything else they could carry.

Ocean’s 8/Warner Bros. Pictures

Women were truly the most underestimated criminals in London, and no one knew this better than the devious ladies’ leader, Diamond Annie. She exuded wealth, even if she and her comrades didn’t exactly come from money.

Downton Abbey/ITV Studios

The name she was born with practically set her up for a life of crime: “Alice Diamond” became “Diamond Annie” because she covered her fingers in diamond rings. She was almost 6 feet tall, had a “punch to beware of,” and was the de facto leader of one of London’s most notorious gangs.

“The Forty Elephants” were clever, light on their feet, and almost always got away undetected. Despite their layers of petticoats, these women always appeared to be unbothered, even in the middle of a heist.

And heisting was where the Forty Elephants truly excelled. Armed with nothing but cleverness, these women walked into high-end stores and stole as much as they could. They soon became feared by pretty much everyone…even the police. 

Detective Ambrose Askew said that the Forty Elephants’ “methods were so remarkable that they had never been seen to take any goods and none of the…property had ever been recovered.” It was all thanks to Annie’s innovative ideas.

Diamond Annie’s crafty ways have gone down in history as singularly genius. The women disguised themselves as wealthy women so as to be respected in department stores, a simple tactic that brought them staggering success. They even developed their own techniques. 

When stealing jewelry, for example, the women would form a “crush,” or swarm the counter, quickly passing a piece of jewelry down the line of women until a disguised member of the gang pocketed it. As their success grew, Annie became more daring.

Ocean’s 8/Warner Bros. Pictures

And there was no technique more daring than “the decoy.” For this to work, Annie would walk into a store that knew her reputation and divert the clerk’s attention to herself while another woman stole as much as she could..and they stole a lot. 

James D. McCabe/Wikimedia Commons

When one 19-year-old member of the Forty Elephants was caught stealing, the police discovered that she was hiding 45 items under her skirts alone. And this woman was considered “green!” The more seasoned the “Elephant,” the more astounding the skill level.

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Two other members managed to steal a $775 fur coat, which would be worth almost $20,000 today. “It’s not a bad life,” one retired member of the Forty Elephants once said. “If you must be crooked.” And being “crooked” was Annie’s specialty.

She transformed the world of underground crime by coordinating simultaneous heists around London. They would sell whatever they stole to underground retailers and buy high-end outfits to maintain their disguise. Still, Annie’s plans weren’t always perfect. 

Ocean’s 8/Warner Bros. Pictures

Though the Elephants evaded significant police detection for years, they were occasionally caught red-handed. A member once grabbed a tray of 34 rings just to run into a police officer on her way out of the shop. But Annie was too slick to get caught, right?

Diamond Annie forced the members of the Forty Elephants to follow the “hoister’s code,” which included members staying loyal to the group. For the queen of crime, the worst thing a member could do was betray her trust…

It all went down in the 1920s. Marie Britten, a member of the Elephants, fell in love, but Annie forbade her from eloping and leaving the Elephants. When Marie didn’t listen, an enraged Annie forced her followers to find the newlyweds. 

Bonnie and Clyde/Warner Bros./Seven Arts

They did so with glee, and with bottles, stones, and pieces of concrete in tow. They broke into Marie’s home and beat her lover mercilessly, all under Annie’s watchful eye…and, as they soon learned, under the eye of someone else.

The police quickly arrived on the scene and arrested Diamond Annie. She spent 18 months in jail, and by the time she was released, the Forty Elephants had found themselves a new queen. Still, Diamond Annie’s unforgettable heists are the stuff of legends…

Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums/Wikimedia Commons

It’s possible that Diamond Annie and the Forty Elephants were the best crime ring in London’s history…unless, of course, an even more secretive group existed and still remains unknown — and undetected — to this day. Their work paved the way for similar gangs across the pond.

Good Girls/NBC

Not many people believe in fate, but forces were definitely at play when Bonnie Parker met Clyde Barrow way back in 1930. A mutual friend had broken their arm, and by chance the two just happened to be visiting them on the exact same day.

Their chemistry was instant, though this was no fairytale meeting. Clyde was already heavily involved in criminal activity by this point, and Bonnie (left) was actually married to another man at the time.

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To make matters worse, Clyde was arrested just three months later for a series of robberies he’d committed. He spent two years in the slammer and was released in 1932.

As soon as he stepped from the prison, Bonnie was there waiting for him. The 22-year-old Texas girl had no prior criminal history, though it was clear she was willing to go to hell and back for her lawbreaker love.

The couple’s gang — dubbed the “Barrow Gang” — started off small at first, their criminal activities centered on the small towns of north-central Texas. Together, Bonnie & Clyde robbed gas stations, stole guns, and even tried to bust their fellow gang members out of prison.

Just weeks into their crime spree, Bonnie was arrested while trying to rob guns from a hardware store. She only spent a few months in prison, however, and the criminal couple picked up right where they left off as soon as she got out.

The gang soon grew increasingly bold in their crimes, even going as far as murdering sheriffs and officers of the law. Bonnie hadn’t been a criminal to start, but by this point, she’d definitely acquired a taste for life on the lamb.

Along with their criminal activities, the gang’s area of operation expanded as well. They pushed beyond Texas, stirring up trouble in places like Missouri, Louisiana, and even as far north as Minnesota.

The gang soon grew so successful that even family members wanted in on the action. Clyde’s brother, Buck, and his wife Blanche joined the ranks, turning their robberies into one heck of a dangerous double date.

PBS

But their string of good fortune hit a snag when a police tip forced the gang to flee their Joplin, Missouri hideout in 1933, their possessions left scattered about the house — including two rolls of film.

The photos soon began making the rounds in papers across the country, serving to add fuel to the already raging fire surrounding the gang and their crimes. Yet not every image painted Bonnie and Clyde as ruthless, bloodthirsty outlaws.

In some, the gang’s youth and playfulness shone through, surprising many with how utterly normal they appeared to be. Bonnie and Clyde, of course, generated the most attention — who could resist a good-looking couple whose love for one another had carried over into their life of crime?

Bonnie was especially romanticized by the media, the recovered photos depicting her as a rough-and-tough southern gal who wasn’t afraid to run with the bad boys. This photo of her chomping a cigar remains one of her most iconic.

But as the tale of Bonnie and Clyde climbed its way up the headlines, so too did the Barrow Gang up the “Most Wanted” list. With all eyes peeled for the celebrity criminals’ next move, the gang soon discovered that fame comes at a high price.

Wikipedia

While laying low south of Platte City, Missouri, the Barrow Gang was ambushed by Highway Patrol officers in an armored car. Though Bonnie and Clyde managed to escape the assault, Buck was killed and Blanche (below) was captured.

PBS

Public opinion toward the outlaw couple also began to shift after one of the gang members murdered two patrolmen near Grapevine, Texas. It was falsely reported that Bonnie had maliciously carried out the “Grapevine killings,” leaving many demanding the gang’s execution.

Law enforcement officials managed to chart the gang’s regular movements around county lines, leading them to a rendezvous point that happened to be the home of one of the gang member’s family. Hidden along Louisiana State Highway 154, the posse of lawmen waited for Bonnie and Clyde to arrive.

PBS

On the morning of May 23, 1934, officers open fired on Clyde’s stolen Ford V8. After completely emptying their weapons on the fugitives, Bonnie and Clyde’s blood-spattered crime spree had finally come to an end.

Daily Mail

In the years that followed, the story of Bonnie and Clyde gradually faded into obscurity, becoming just another chapter of American outlaw history. But in 1967, the criminal couple burst back into the public consciousness — and it was all thanks to Hollywood.

Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway’s portrayal in Bonnie & Clyde cemented the dastardly duo as the romantic icons they are today. Still, they wouldn’t have reached spectacular — and terrible — heights without those who set the stage before them.

Martha Jane Cannary, as her parents named her, published her own tell-all memoir, The Autobiography of Calamity Jane, in 1896, though, according to historians, the truth to her claims leans closer to tall tales than they do to real life events.

Cowgirl Magazine

She pinpointed her birthdate to 1852, but even that small fact was inaccurate, as she was actually born in 1856. Her parents, Robert and Charlotte, started a family in Missouri, ignoring the mutterings of their neighbors. And they certainly had reason to mutter…

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It was said that Robert, a gambler and erstwhile former, found his wife in a brothel. Charlotte was a sex worker at the time, but Robert intended to end that chapter of her life and turn her into a traditional bride. Needless to say, they left for greener pastures.

Daily Mail

Gold was the answer to all their worries, so the Cannary family — Martha Jane, her two younger brothers, and three younger sisters — crammed into the back of a covered wagon with their parents and headed for Montana.

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Not everyone survived the quest for fortune. Charlotte succumbed to pneumonia once they reached Montana, so Robert was left scrambling to redraw a plan for their survival. He took his children onward to Salt Lake City, Utah.

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Less than a year after they arrived, Robert died, leaving his six children orphaned. The oldest of the lot, 14-year-old Martha Jane, sucked up her grief and assumed the role of head of household.

Living History Farms

Martha Jane followed her parent’s pattern, packing her siblings into a wagon and moving them to Wyoming. That’s where she boasted her wild stage officially fired off. “I was considered the most reckless and daring rider and one of the best shots in the western country,” she wrote.

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Beneath the hyperbole, the truth wasn’t so glamorous, but it paid the bills. Martha Jane did whatever job she could to support her brothers and sisters: washing dishes, doing laundry, and even two-stepping with lonely soldiers at a local boarding house.

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As Martha Jane told it, General Custer himself recruited her as a scout based in Fort Russell. It was with the US Army that she claimed to have run missions stretching as far as Arizona, but there are zero records to prove it. Also, Custer never stepped foot in Arizona.

History.com

Other narratives swirled that Martha Jane spent much of this chapter in the infamous hub of debauchery — Fort Laramie Three-Mile Hog Ranch. When times were tight, Martha Jane joined the ranks of the other ladies of the night. But she refused to let others write her story for her…

Pinterest

By day, Martha Jane was busy fashioning a brand new name. Her accounts of the early 1870s depict a woman flouting gender standards and mastering all aspects of the rough and tumble western lifestyle.

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By her own account, Jane earned her moniker in the noblest of ways. In 1872, while ambushing Native Americans in Goose Creek, Wyoming, the leader of the brigade, Captain Egan, took a bullet.

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Racing in to save him from tumbling off his horse, Martha Jane braved gunfire to pull Captian Egan safely onto her saddle. In awe of her nerve, the Captain croaked, “I name you Calamity Jane, the heroine of the plains.”

The Paris Review

Hard to beat an origin story that heroic, and that’s exactly why it’s taken with a grain of salt. Jane’s integrity wasn’t as well known as her ferocity. The other fitting explanation was a phrase that followed her: “to offend her was to court calamity.”

C.E. Finn

In 1876, Calamity took a break from her scouting duties in Fort Laramie, Wyoming, and met a wagon train headed for Deadwood, South Dakota. Jane hitched a ride in the wagon of the sharply dressed wild western figure Charlie Utter.

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Charlie’s claim to fame was as right-hand man to Wild Bill Hickok. A trigger happy, professional gambler who could put away several drinks, Wild Bill immediately found a friend in Calamity Jane as their caravan trekked across the plains.

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Where they just friends? Calamity couldn’t keep her story straight. In her biography, she labeled Bill a “friend,” however, in 1902, she verbally referred to him as her “affianced husband.” Something seems fishy about the change in tone after Hickok’s fame skyrocketed.

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Given that Wild Bill played his final hand of cards, the dead man’s hand of double aces and eights, just six weeks after he met Calamity, their romance was more than likely hot air.

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Nuttal & Mann Salon No. 1o was the setting of Wild Bill’s death by poker. After an embarrassing loss the day before, Jack McCall barged into the saloon and executed Wild Bill while he sat at the game table.

Historical Deadwood / Facebook

Calamity Jane, true to her name, didn’t take the murder lightly. She wrote that she chased Jack McCall with a meat cleaver since she left her guns at home. Ultimately, the justice system saw him hanged.

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Our heroine spent the remainder of her short life — she died at 51 — maintaining her foolhardy lifestyle. Drinking and roughhousing aside, Calamity was also remembered for her big tender heart.

Deadwood’s newspaper, the Black Hills Daily Times, printed, “It didn’t matter to her whether a person was rich, poor, white, or black, or what their circumstances were, Calamity Jane was just the same to all.”

Her stern exterior and sharp shooting prowess set Calamity apart. But her willingness to help others is how friends remembered her. It’s fitting that Doris Day depicted her onscreen because she, too, was a woman more complex than how she was perceived.

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Cookie cutter wouldn’t even begin to describe Doris Day’s reputation. The All American girl, a blonde haired, blue eyed non-threatening beauty, was born April 3, 1992, to a choirmaster father and a homemaker mother. But she had bigger dreams for herself.

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Her dream was to make it as a dancer. In her hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio, little Doris made a name for herself as part of a dance duo with her partner Jerry Doherty. But before she could break out of her home town, an accident halted her plans.

Financial Times

Her dreams were dashed before she ever had the chance to sashay across the stage. While cruising with friends, their car was struck twice by a train. Somehow escaping with her life, Doris suffered a lasting leg injury that snuffed out any dancing hopes.

American Rails

While in the hospital, Doris filled the dreary days confined to a bed singing along to the radio while waiting for her leg to mend. Turning what should’ve been a sad time into a period of beauty, she realized her pipes weren’t too shabby.

The Times

So, a 15-year-old Doris trudged onto the next thing: she joined the ranks of Barney Rapp’s band. While crooning in Cincinnati, Doris met a man that tried his utmost to win her heart.

Yahoo News

Several years later, in 1941, Doris tied the knot to a fellow musician, trombonist Al Jorden. Their marriage wasn’t as harmonious as the music they made. Two days after marrying, Jorden began physically abusing his wife, even during her pregnancy.

Twitter

Doris explained in her biography, “What had represented to me as love emerged as jealousy — pathologic jealousy.” The marriage ended after two years, and Doris, now a mother to her only child Terry, emerged post-divorce ready to break into the entertainment business.

Following her divorce, Doris started singing with a new band, helmed by Les Brown. Soon after, she scored the first massive hit that launched her into the spotlight. The song that captured the hearts of homesick soldiers was her first hit, “Sentimental Journey” 1945.

Twitter

From then on, her star continued to rise. While serenading a party full of well-connected Hollywood types, Doris’s hypnotizing rendition of “Embraceable You” made songwriter Jule Styne take notice. He invited Doris in for a screen test for a new film, Romance on the High Seas. Doris snagged the role.

The Blonde at the Film

But acting had never been on Doris’ radar. She confessed to the film’s director, Michael Curtiz, her total lack of experience. He appreciated her honesty. Still, Doris proved a capable actress, and her voice lent the film a smash hit with the song “It’s Magic.”

The Blonde At The FIlm

Now with a number of chart-topping hits, Doris received tons of film and musical offers. In a span of 5 years, she appeared in 13 films, carried several Oscar-nominated songs, and collectively won the hearts of Americans across the country.

Meanwhile, while her star rose, Doris gave love a chance once more, marrying film producer Martin Melcher. The two jointly formed Arwin Productions in 1952, which pumped out Doris Day films.

It wasn’t until 1953 that Doris put on her famed fringe jacket in her most well-known film. Playing, the western heroine Calamity Jane, Doris sealed her future as a Hollywood legend. Even her co-stars thought the world of her.

Belfast Film Festival

For instance, her costar for her first dramatic role in the film Love Me Or Leave Me, James Cagney characterized Doris as “the epitome of guilelessness.” Something about her was just likable, easy, and ultimately innocent. Other stars noticed this, too.

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Sparring opposite the most well regarded leading men in the Golden Age of Hollywood — Cary Grant, James Garner, Clarke Gable — Doris Day beamed as spirited, captivating star. Of all her onscreen beaus, her favorite was always Rock Hudson, who described their undeniable chemistry.

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“The two people have to truly like each other, as Doris and I did,” Rock said,” for that shines through, the sparkle, the twinkle in the eye as the two people look at each other.” Together the lifelong friends made 3 films and remained close until Rock’s life was sadly cut short.

Beguiling Hollywood

By the late ’60s, Doris’ particular brand of naivete had started to ebb into old fashion. Films were exploring grittier female characters, and Doris Day’s movies remained firmly in the PG territory. Worse, in 1968, a personal tragedy added to her already growing troubles.

Her husband, movie producer Martin Melcher suddenly died. As practicing Christian Scientists, the couple didn’t visit medical professionals, and Martin succumbed to an enlarged heart. The nightmare didn’t end there, though.

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Soon after his death, Doris was gutted to learn Martin and their lawyer Jerome Rosenthal had taken serious liberties with her finances. Unbeknownst to the actress, most of her earnings from film successes had been blown, leaving her buried in debt.

Footwear News

Worse yet, her late husband had done something Doris had always fiercely resisted; he’d signed her on to make a TV sitcom. No finagling could get her out of the deal, so, in the most Doris Day way, she made lemonade out of lemons.

Michael’s TV Tray

For 5  years, The Doris Day Show ran on CBS. As a trade-off for committing to a sitcom, Doris ensured full creative control of the program bearing her name — and this led to interesting opportunities.

Nostalgia Central

Each episode opened with Doris singing the optimistic tune “Que Sera, Sera,” which set the tone for the “throw away the handbook” mentality seen in the dramatic changes in cast and plot from season to season.

After the show ended, Doris retreated from the spotlight. The exception was her shortlived talk show, Doris Day’s Best Friends. One episode featured her dear friend Rock Hudson in one of his final onscreen appearances before succumbing to AIDS in October of 1985.

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In the same year, right as she grieved the loss one of her longest beloved friends, Doris’ talk show collapsed. Naturally, rather than dwell on her misfortunes, Doris examined her life and made a formative change.

Action News Jax

It was curtains on showbiz. Drawing on her past, when she founded the organization Actors and Others for Animals back in 1971, she refocused on animals. Her new life’s work became her two official nonprofits: the Doris Day Animal Foundation, and the citizen lobbying organization the Doris Day Animal League.

Ricky Gervais / Twitter

Doris’ chin-up spirit in response to unforeseen and often out of her control circumstances wasn’t limited to her film persona. When one thing went wrong, she dusted herself off and moved onto the next hurdle, a quality she prided herself on.

BBC

“I always said I was like those round-bottomed circus dolls,” she said. “You know, those dolls you could push down and they’d come back up? I’ve always been like that. I’ve always said, ‘No matter what happens, if I get pushed down, I’m going to come right back up.”

ABC News

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Newly Released Photos From Mars That Are Exposing Exciting Details About The Planet

Mars is an orange, desert-like expanse covered with rock and rubble, right? Not quite. There’s a group of scientists who would be the first to tell you that the planet is more exciting than you may think. After all, the earth changes every day, even every hour; Who’s to say the same isn’t so for Mars?

Since humans have caught their first glimpse of the Red Planet, scientists have found a way to see more of Mars than we ever thought possible: Rovers. These rovers have advanced to such an extent that they’re no longer just tools. What they show us has the potential to change not just one world, but two… 

Curiosity is what landed humans on the moon, and it’s what humans launched into the sky on November 26, 2011. NASA’s Curiosity rover was en route to Mars, and it was unlike any of the other rovers sent in previous years.

Since 1996, NASA has sent four rovers to Mars in hopes of learning more about the Red Planet: Sojourner was the first, and compared to Curiosity, it seems about as effective as a camcorder. 

NASA

Despite its meek size, Sojourner was essential to us learning more about our neighboring planet. As part of the Mars Pathfinder mission, Sojourner roved the Ares Vallis region for three months, and it took some history-making photos. 

NASA

The next rover to land on Mars was Spirit. It landed in the Gusev region and successfully collected data from 2004 to 2010. For many, Spirit was more than just a tool. Its very composition was made of something special.

NASA

Spirit’s abrasion tool was made up of aluminum that was recovered from the site of the World Trade Center towers. In this way, Spirit represented something other than scientific exploration: It was a symbol of hope.

NASA

Though Spirit met its “demise” in a sandy trap-like dune, hope wasn’t lost for those down on Earth. As anyone familiar with NASA’s various Mars missions knows, Spirit wasn’t alone on the Red Planet.

NASA

Three weeks after Spirit landed on Mars, its twin Opportunity followed suit. Though Opportunity couldn’t save its twin from the sand trap, it was able to further the research done by Spirit, and to an astounding degree.

NASA

In fact, Opportunity roamed Mars for over a decade, collecting soil samples, rocks, and taking endless pictures of the surrounding Martian expanse. It took the world’s first photo of a meteorite discovered on Mars, and drove the longest distance around the Red Planet. 

NASA

“Oppy” couldn’t roam Mars forever, though, and in February 2019, NASA concluded the rover’s 14-year mission. A journalist tweeted an English translation of Opportunity’s final transmission, and what he conveyed spread like fire across internet on fire.

NASA

Journalist Jacob Margolis wrote that Oppy’s last transmission roughly said “My battery is low and it’s getting dark,” a message that struck an emotional chord with everyone who read the misleading tweet.

NASA

Margolis later apologized for the misleading message — obviously, Opportunity didn’t write in English — but the world was moved nonetheless. Since the emotional farewell to Opportunity, everyone’s sights have been set on the rover’s nearby comrade…

NASA

Curiosity joined Opportunity in 2012, and it’s now the sole rover on Mars. It landed in Mars’ Gale crater on what was later known as the Bradbury Landing Site. Curiosity landed on Mars with the most ambitious mission yet.

NASA

Like its predecessors, Curiosity’s goals include investigating the planet’s climate and geology and assessing whether Gale has ever offered conditions favorable to life. But what makes its mission different from the others is its central purpose on Mars.

NASA

Scientists hope that Curiosity will surpass even Opportunity’s lifespan, and in that time determine whether or not Mars can support human life…and if it will ever be able to at all. In order to accomplish this, there’s one thing Curiosity needs to do.

NASA

Take photos! Since landing on Mars in 2012, the rover has taken some of the most spectacular photos to date of the Red Planet. What they reveal is truly breathtaking; the images are continuously giving scientists new information about the possibility of life.

NASA

Curiosity has taken the most high-definition photos of Mars on record, like this one of a wind-swept expanse of dunes. Previous rovers have picked up footage of dust storms and dust devils on the surface of Mars, and photos like this only exemplify their data.

NASA

The surface of Mars is mainly dry, cracked, and crumbling, which means Curiosity has picked up some incredible rock formations. The coolest part? Since there’s no known life on Mars, these grooves and slats are a natural phenomenon.

NASA

Some of these rock formations are strangely — or fittingly? — otherworldly, such as this rock that has since been named the Jake Matijevic Rock. This pyramidal formation was named after a NASA engineer who died shortly after Curiosity landed on Mars.

NASA

Just like its predecessor Opportunity, Curiosity snapped a meteorite photo. Folks at home examining the image were quick to point out the subject looked more like a statue head than space material.

NASA

Of the research Curiosity has conducted, some of the most impressive is the work done at Mount Sharp. Mount Sharp forms the peak of the Gale crater and is the site of many sampling holes like this one completed by Curiosity.

NASA

Mount Sharp is truly something to behold, and thankfully, Curiosity’s high-definition photos give us a stunning look at the ancient mountain. It looks like a stretch of desert the likes of which you’d find in the Midwest, not on an entirely different planet.

NASA

One of the most exciting and important discoveries picked up by Curiosity and other rovers is the phenomenon captured by this photo. It may not look like much, but what it tells scientists is huge: It shows remnants of a stream, proof that water once existed on Mars.

NASA

Many people — mainly sentimental internet users — have compared Curiosity to the fictional robot Wall-E because of its status as the only creature on Mars. It sounds lonely, but Curiosity isn’t really alone.

NASA

Following the rover on its daring expedition are the scientists and engineers at NASA. For now, the most they can see of the fascinating planet is what is transmitted through Curiosity. But the hope that the very first rover launched with remains intact…

NASA

As NASA prepares to send its next rover in the summer of 2020, it does so with the hope that what the ‘bot captures — and what Curiosity continues to discover — will lead astronauts closer to seeing the mysterious Red Planet in person.

NASA

In the meantime, engineers and scientists continue to scour the moon’s surface for clues about the universe. In 2019, China made space history as the first nation to land a probe on the far side of the moon. It turned out the Chinese had another space bombshell to drop, too.

NASA Space Flight

Wu Yanhua, the deputy director of the China National Space Administration, opened up about their big plan. Detailing the purpose of the Chang’e 4 Mission, he explained that his government was particularly interested about life on the moon.

The Observer

There weren’t any humans aboard the spacecraft, but the “scientific exploration phase” did concern every man, woman, and child on Earth. They sent several types of organisms up there — not just to survive, but to thrive.

Chongqing University

The animal kingdom was represented by a colony of fruit flies. Anyone who’s ever found these pests in their home knows how persistent they can be. Still, the more intriguing part of this experiment hinged on a very different creature.

Fruit Flies

The CSNA shot all kinds of plants up to the moon, except not in mature form. Instead, they focused on various types of seeds, ranging from potato to cotton plants, with the bold objective of growing crops on the moon.

Quartz

This decision raised immediate comparisons to the sci-fi flick The Martian. In one memorable sequence, Matt Damon’s stranded astronaut character cultivated potatoes using his own excrement as fertilizer. Minus that gross ingredient, the Chinese had very similar aims.

Reddit

With pollution and climate change jeopardizing the sustainability of life on Earth, this trial could provide a viable alternative. If we could grow food on the moon, then it suddenly wouldn’t be too hard to imagine settling there.

Conservation Institute

With the spacecraft hurtling toward the moon, the mission was officially underway. Of course, the CSNA didn’t just send a potted plant up into the airless vacuum of space. They had an arsenal of gadgets at their disposal.

SpaceTech Asia

The seeds wouldn’t enter the moon soil directly, but rather germinate in a biosphere. Inside, it would receive temperature-controlled air and a steady supply of water. It was a slam-dunk plan — on paper at least.

CGTN

Once the probe completed its lunar landing, it deployed the biosphere. Cameras and scanners would monitor every development of the fly eggs and seeds, though some skeptics doubted they would make any strides.

Were they right? The non-plant life — the fruit fly eggs and a yeast colony — fizzed almost immediately. From there, the Chinese scientists put all their hopes in their space garden.

Over a week passed with no results. Given the ambitious nature of the plan, a failure to cultivate crops wouldn’t be a huge loss, but still a disappointment. One detail, however, caught the entire agency by surprise after nine days.

CGTN

Though they’d planned it all along, the CSNA scientists still felt like they’d been struck by lightning when they saw the little sprout. The cottonseed was growing! They shared the news with the world right away.

News18

Their success wasn’t limited to a single leaf either. Multiple cotton seedlings popped up out of the soil, becoming the first plants to grow (in a specially-designed box) on the moon.

Would China soon have enough cotton to make t-shirts for all their future moon colonists? They were ecstatic about their accomplishment and envisioned a monstrous amount of vegetation spreading across the satellite. However, they failed to foresee one complication.

The Dissolve

Even with the constant heat the biosphere provided, the temperature fluctuated wildly. The unrelenting cold of outer space proved to be a bigger problem than the CSNA realized. All of the cotton withered away.

GIPHY

In the aftermath, the Chinese government diplomatically announced that this experiment had ended. The other objectives of Chang’e 4 went on. Still, experts around the world were energized by this fleeting success.

Simon Gilroy, a botanist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, recognized the experiment as a key step in sustaining life on the moon. “It’s fantastic to be able to sort of say, yeah, it’s a first tiny step down that path,” he said.

Phys.org

After all, no one expected a few cotton plants alone to make a lunar colony possible. But these sprouts represented one large step for mankind, and very well may have secured our future. The Earth is in more danger than most people realize.

Moon Bridge

We know NASA best for launching astronauts and satellites into orbit. So would it surprise you to learn that a team of their scientists is studying models of a doomsday-devastated New York City? This is no side project, either; they’re deadly serious.

The man behind this peculiar mission is Lindley Johnson. A 23-year veteran of the Air Force, he joined NASA’s ranks in 2003. Ever since, his mind has mostly been fixated on the end of the world.

Politico

But don’t worry — Lindley is no crackpot. He’s not urging on the apocalypse, but rather approaching it from an analytical standpoint. Lindley serves as NASA’s Planetary Defense Officer, so nobody is better equipped to take on doomsday than he.

While humanity does a pretty good job of endangering itself on a daily basis, Lindley doesn’t worry about terrestrial threats. He’s more concerned with space rocks. Granted, most meteorites that come down to Earth are pretty small, or even microscopic.

However, what if an asteroid — one multiple football fields in diameter — was hurtling toward our planet? Odds are pretty good that it would land in the middle of the ocean, but Lindley wants more than luck on his side.

That’s why his NASA team investigates (hypothetical) cases of giant asteroids hitting densely urban areas. Thousands of years typically pass between such catastrophic events, but Lindley intends to be ready at any point.

Video Blocks

After all, Earth’s geography proves just how destructive a collision can be. NASA certainly doesn’t wish to see Midtown Manhattan turned into a crater, but they are interested in exactly how far that damage would spread.

Route 66 Tours

Lindley’s team continually runs simulations to get a better idea of where asteroids are most likely to strike, plus what kind of damage we can expect. In some cases, a collision may be inevitable. But Earth isn’t totally helpless.

Purdue University

For years, Lindley and his colleagues were operating on a shoestring budget. Fortunately, a 2015 audit convinced Congress just how essential planetary defense could be. They immediately buffed up Lindley’s annual spending power from $5 million to $50 million.

Los Angeles Times

With more resources on his side than he ever imagined, Lindley has led the charge against galactic peril. His NASA team assembled an arsenal of data and cutting-edge technology to keep asteroids at bay.

Vice

NASA keeps this fact on the down-low, but they’ve cataloged over 2,000 asteroids in our solar system capable of obliterating an entire continent. Blowing up such a massive rock might cause too much fallout, so Lindley has other tricks up his sleeve.

The most promising method to redirect an asteroid is through the use of kinetic impactors. These unmanned spacecraft would crash into an asteroid at high speed, thus deflecting it away from our planet. Think of it as a game of high-stakes billiards.

With all due respect to fans of Armageddon, Lindley doesn’t believe that landing on an asteroid would be the most effective solution. Still, NASA hasn’t taken that option off the table.

The Independent

Astronauts have trained for complex asteroid landings, though nobody has ever attempted the feat. NASA foresees this operation more as a way to collect mineral samples, but there’s always the chance they’ll go full Michael Bay in an emergency.

NASA has a selection of hypothetical fixes to choose from, though they’re also ramping up their asteroid prevention in more concrete ways. For instance, they’ve installed more orbital telescopes to monitor any life-threatening space rocks in the solar system.

Harvard University

The capability to spot catastrophe coming could be the most important factor in the end. Most deflection techniques require months or years to mobilize, so a few days notice won’t help at all. The good news is that NASA isn’t alone in this fight.

NASA

Lindley’s team ran exercises with FEMA — the Federal Emergency Management Agency — to prepare for collateral damage from a collision. “They are a great way for us to learn how to work together and meet each other’s needs,” Lindley explained.

Twitter / Buzzfeed News

In 2019, Lindley also organized a conference with the European Space Agency and the International Asteroid Warning Network. Working together, they’ll have eyes on the sky all over the world.

While it seems unlikely that we’ll have to deal with an impending apocalypse, civilization is better prepared than ever. That news will only disappoint doomsday preppers, who may very well have stocked up their bunkers for nothing.

In spite of the life-or-death consequences of his job, Lindley says he sleeps just fine at night. It’s just another day at NASA. Besides, Lindley can name plenty of colleagues who have responsibilities that might be even more trying than his own.

Futurism

Lindley likely couldn’t handle George Aldrich’s job. When George’s teacher told him to “shoot for the stars” as a child, he took that advice pretty literally. Fast forward several decades, and he’s caught way more than just a whiff of success at NASA.

Reddit / inverse

Growing up in New Mexico, George watched his dad fly up the Navy ranks and join the coveted Blue Angels. He always dreamed of reaching such soaring heights, and so he looked for a heroic job as soon as he finished high school.

George started a bit smaller. He volunteered for the local fire department, and his recent chemistry and mathematics experience piqued the interest of the chief. He signed up George for a special task on the force.

While he didn’t extinguish many infernos, George stood out on the department’s odor panel. By training his sense of smell, he could sense problems like gas leaks before they had a chance to ignite. Soon, George realized he was meant for bigger and better things.

In 1974, his chief recommended that George take his talents to the next level. NASA had a firm presence in the area, so perhaps, George figured, he could secure a position there. At the same time, not just anybody could waltz in and apply to be an astronaut.

Reddit

After the Apollo 1 disaster — in which a technical function aboard a shuttle killed all three crew members aboard — NASA was taking safety seriously. They needed staff who could prevent disasters most people would never see coming.

NASA

After sending in his application, George had to take a strenuous exam to see if he was made of the right stuff. Hours later, he set his pencil down and headed home, waiting for a phone call that would make or break his dreams.

Then the good news came in: NASA told George to report to the White Sands Test Facility immediately, where he would begin his new role as a Chemical Specialist. But what exactly did that mean?

Well, if you asked George about his job, he would describe himself as a “Nasalnaut” or the “Chief Sniffer.” That’s because his real responsibilities boil down to smelling anything that NASA sends into space.

NASA

Odd as it sounds, George’s role makes sense. Astronauts go into space for long periods of time, stuck in close quarters, breathing in recirculated air. The last thing command wants is any harmful odors or substances traveling along with them, smelling up the shuttle.

NASA / Don Pettit

That’s precisely where George and his team come in. They personally inspect the smell of every piece of cargo and gear to make sure everything is ship-shape. Of course, nobody has been sniffing for longer than George.

He holds the NASA record for the most official sniffs, with his number approaching one thousand. Naturally, George’s system is more nuanced than just judging a scent as good or bad.

The odor panel blindly scrutinizes each object, so their everyday conceptions about the items won’t cloud their judgment. From there, the sniffers rank everything on a scale from 0-4. If something scores higher than 2.5, they suggest leaving it on Earth.

Between tests, George might cleanse his palate, so to speak, using a trick developed by perfumers. He simply resets his nostrils by smelling the back of his own hand, which is sometimes called “going home.” And his work has likely saved lives.

A manned space mission involves so many complex chemical reactions, that NASA cannot risk any toxic materials sneaking aboard. The astronauts themselves may not be able to detect it, so they require an expert nose to do it for them — and more.

Much of the time, the most problematic materials aren’t what you would expect. George has found that old-fashioned camera film, for example, can be surprisingly toxic. Meanwhile, other items can just get downright disgusting.

Something as basic as velcro can stink up an entire space shuttle. George once determined that while separate velcro straps have no real odor, together they can produce an unbearably pungent smell. But not every scent can be swept away.

George says that when it comes down to it, humans really stink, and there’s not much NASA can do about it. Because of basic functions like sweating and going to the bathroom, astronauts need to learn to live with a little odor.

After 44 years, George is still going strong. He estimates that he’s only ever missed two tests — due to sickness — over his entire career. You could say he wrote the book on odor testing, and he’s definitely smelled that book as well.

NASA

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Best New Tracks: Real Estate, Gorillaz, Lil Baby, ZeloopereZ & More

Welcome back to the latest installment of our Friday series Best New Tracks, an effort to combine some of HYPEBEAST’s favorite major releases of the week with some under-the-radar offerings that you need to listen to headed into the weekend.

Real Estate was one of the most defining and consistent bands of the 2010s with their often hypnotic summer-themed releases. Now the Brooklyn-based band grapples with growing older and the existential dread of whether they should keep moving forward (hint: they do, and it’s a must-listen). Detroit-based rapper Zelooperez has been dropping hastily-edited one-off videos since last year’s Earl Sweatshirt collaboration. Witty one-liners and enough cadence changes to ponder multiple personality syndrome, he’s also a king of the #Dripset on Instagram. Other favorites this week include Doja Cat‘s sunsoaked «So Say» video and Lil Baby‘s sophomore LP. More below.

Gorillaz — «Désolé»

Gorillaz‘ ongoing Song Machine churns out another hit with the lovesick apology letter «Désolé». The animated group takes a trip out to Lake Como, Italy to venture into a lonely and dreary lake joined by GRAMMY Nominated Malian singer-songwriter Fatoumata Diawara. The song and video perfectly encapsulate the recalibration and lost feeling after heartbreak, but at a pace that’s catchy enough to beg multiple replays even if you aren’t feeling the post-breakup blues.

ZelooperZ — «Tryna figure out where my phone at?»

ZelooperZ lost his phone, and we hope he doesn’t find it anytime soon if this is what the search for his mobile device sounds like. The Detroit Bruiser Brigade-affiliated rapper has managed to showcase his versatility on nearly every track he records dating back to last year’s Wild Card and Dyn-O-Mite. Spastic, energetic bars and quick one-liners are delivered with such ease and so fast, that they’re easy to miss; it’s easy to see why Danny Brown was so quick to collaborate with him in the past. His dance moves meanwhile are near Adult Swim-cartoonish and there are Hey Arnold and Moulin Rouge references here that are enough to cue laughter.

Elah Hale — «one star rating»

At just 20 years young, Elah Hale is set to debut her debut EP via Interscope Records in the near future, following her SXSW live debut. If the music video for her new track «one star rating» is any indication, she’s poised to have a major 2020. The Brooklyn-shot visual is as contemporary a love song as this year can provide with references to the anxiety of late-night behind schedule Ubers and text messages left on read. She started playing the guitar at just five-years-old. The track is, in her words about, «fuck ups, and making up for them. Love is really difficult, and unfair and sometimes completely out of your control. This is about making up for that.»

Doja Cat — «Say So»

Doja Cat is a full-blown superstar. Her immense growth over the past year is on full display with «Say So,» her viral TikTok craze turned pop anthem. Here she channels some serious Farrah Fawcett vibes and woos with her airy, falsetto singing that’s just as on-point as her bars. Her charisma benefits from the 70s-tinged visuals, too.

LIV.E — «Lazyeaterbetsonherlikeness»

Who are you loyal to, yourself or your significant other? Los Angeles-by-way-of-Dallas singer-songwriter Liv.e broke out with her Houston chopped and screwed-esque “SirLadyMakemFall” earlier this year and returns with the reflective «Lazyeaterbetsonherlikeness», calling out to a former flame to air out her regrets of putting too much faith on him. It’s smooth, emotive and honest, and the warm, vintage video is memorable thanks to an infomercial-like set-up from director Pink Siifu.

Real Estate — The Main Thing

Over a decade into the band’s inception, Real Estate thought collectively about why they kept doing what they were doing. After some serious pondering about growing older, becoming fathers, and a guilt-trip about life spent on the road, bandmates Martin Courtney, Alex Bleeker, Julian Lynch, Matt Kallman and Jackson Pollis turned in some of their most solid work to date. They veered left with the surreal and somewhat frightening «Paper Cup» visual which perfectly personified the tongue-in-cheek track about aging out of trends and feeling stuck. «Gone» is the perfect pensive road-trip record. You have a chance to see them live throughout Spring 2020 too, with a widespread tour all over North America and Europe.

Lil Baby — My Turn

Lil Baby‘s «Catch the Sun» could go down as the record that shows his transition from marquee rising Atlanta rapper full of hit records to an artist who can also manage to balance emotionality on the same album with true sincerely. That’s not to say that his sophomore record, My Turn, isn’t full of a who’s who of guest stars in Lil Uzi Vert, Future, Lil Wayne and Young Thug. After teaming up with Gunna and watching his collaborator own the early goings of 2019, My Turn is exactly that: Lil Baby taking center stage and proving he’s not just one of Atlanta’s best, but the game’s best for 2020 and beyond.

Sim from the Hill — «Mike Lowrey»

Harlem true and through, rising rapper Sim from the Hill knows the history of his neighborhood from Dipset and beyond. His latest effort, the infectious «Mike Lowrey» is a well-thought-out melodious less-is-more approach in an age where convoluted and overcomplicating things mar upcoming talent. The multi-talented artist has spent time collaborating with Billionaire Boys Club on official zines and has curated sparse but effective releases for the better part of a year now (revisit «LITE LOVE»). Here, a simple guitar loop is the perfect contrast to hard-hitting bass and energetic choruses that should be in anyone’s Friday night rotation. Look out more from Sim in the near future.

Matt Ford — LOVERBOY LOVERBOY

Philadelphia has readily churned out some of the most diverse musical talent in the hip-hop game for the past two-three decades now. Always transformative and adaptable, the city has set trends more-so than follow them. Mysterious rapper-producer Matt Ford dropped his lovelorn Valentine’s Day homage LOVERBOY LOVERBOY recently, and the self-produced project oozes with addicting synths and melodies, bravado and an original rasp in the vocal department that’ll leave you wanting more. «DIVINE DIVINE» features church organs and angelic vocals while he grapples with demons. «LOVERBOY» is the exact opposite of it’s namesake, hard-hitting, murky and confrontational. Listen now.

ShooterGang Kony — Red Paint Reverand

ShooterGang Kony is one of California’s most promising upcoming voices. His new Red Paint Reverand project shows some serious growth from past projects (that are very solid in their own right) through the new 14-tracks. His storytelling is incredibly on-point as showcased through the lead single «A Sinner’s Story» and the Mozzy-featuring «Dearly Departed.» He’s also kicking off his 20-date North American tour alongside another Bay Area rap group in SOB X RBE.

N7 & Pwap — Apply Pressure

It’s crazy how much a year can change things. Oklahoma City rap duo N7 & Pwap have been making waves via Worldstar exclusives like «Spazzin» since late-2018. What started as a side project between two high schoolers turned into a full fledged collaboration that has already garnered millions of views and replays on streaming services. Their Apply Pressure is 13 new tracks of sparse piano driven bangers, each not holding a single thing back. «We really be vibing and having fun on a beat. Feeding off each other’s energy is really what keeps us going in and out the booth.” N7 told HYPEBEAST. «Honestly the studio is a vibe all it’s own. It could be a good or bad day and once we get inside the studio it changes everything,» noted Pwap. Stream their full project below and stay tuned for what’s to come.

Bones — OFFLINE

Bones‘ influence in the hip-hop world since bursting onto the Soundcloud scene almost 10 years ago has been undeniable. He’s arguably responsible for the aesthetic of the wave of South Florida rappers that followed, caught the ear of A$AP Rocky and has since cultivated a wide-spanning fanbase thanks to his unique VHS-driven visuals and moody, self-reflective lyricism. His latest project, OFFLINE, taps one of his major influences Juicy J in a single that shows how everything’s come full circle in self-actualization. OFFLINE is as solid as ever. Spacey, echoing and moving, Bones continues to build up his ever-impressive résumé.

Click here to view full gallery at HYPEBEAST

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Advance Your Career with the CBAP Certification

Photo by Austin Chan on Unsplash

CBAP stands for Certified Business Analysis Professional. This is a Level 3 certification by the International Institute of Business Analysis or IIBA. The main goal of this certification is to recognize seasoned business analysis professionals who have at least five years of experience in the industry.

Are you interested in getting certified, but not sure where to begin? This article will give you an idea of where to go in terms of CBAP.

Professionals with the CBAP Certification Do Well in the Job Market

Professionals with a CBAP certification often find they are higher in demand in the job market. Moreover, they are more respected and they have a bigger voice in the industry. Obtaining this certification brings more value to your position, as well as to the industry you’re in.

For many business analysts, or BAs, earning a CBAP means that some can move on to better-paying jobs. Others become mentors, and some open their own consultancies. Whatever your goal may be, getting the right credentials from the world’s leading institute, the IIBA, is essential.

There Is No One True Way

There’s no hard and fast rule to follow when it comes to getting certified. The path you ultimately take depends on the amount you have to invest in learning and developing your skills. Plus you need to take into account your own career timeline, your budget, and the various phases of preparation that you’ll need to go through to pass the certification.

Not only that, the requirements and credentials you have at the moment will also be a big deciding factor to see if you’re eligible in sitting for the CBAP certification. Going through a boot camp type of class that some analysts take on means that this can happen within a week or two. However, for some, the process is spread out over their years of working, as individuals use their CBAP preparation time to become better business analysts.

RELATED ARTICLE: ONLINE EDUCATION TRENDS IN 2020

If you’re interested in getting certified, here’s a general guideline of the path you need to take:

Step 1: Validate Your Business Analysis Experience

To apply for a CBAP, you must meet the requirements of a minimum of five years of work experience as a business analyst, or 7,500 hours. You also need to demonstrate at least 900 hours of experience in four to six 6 assessment areas.

If you’re entering the field of business analysis and your aim is to get certified, then you need to ensure that your current and future roles include the responsibilities related to the assessment. Some BA professionals work for a few years, aiming to take the exam.

Then they find out their experiences include a mix of non-BA-related responsibilities. In other words, some have held the role of BA for plenty of years, but they learn they haven’t accumulated the right experience.

Therefore, to kick start the process of earning your CBAP, comb through your experiences. Identify these elements with the professional body of knowledge. Recount all your projects and document your work history. You’ll also become more self-aware as a BA professional.

Plus, documenting these experiences is a journey in itself. You might find that you do have a strong need and desire to get certified. However, for some, it could be a realization that they should venture into a new field of business.

Consider Other Certifications

If you find you lack the requirements, you may want to consider other certifications from the IIBA. These are:

  • IIBA® Certification of Competency in Business Analysis
  • (CCBA®) (Level 2 certification)
  • Entry Level Certificate in Business Analysis
  • (ECBA™) (Level 1 Certificate).
  • Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA) certification offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI)

Step 2: Achieve the Right Number of Professional Development Hours (PDs).

You must obtain at least 35 documented professional development hours to submit your CBAP application. Plenty of CBAP certification training courses, conferences, and workshops qualify as credits in professional development. You can take these either as online or offline courses, workshops, sessions, and such. Just make sure they qualify for CDUs or PDs.

Step 3:  Prepare and Submit Your CBAP Application

Once you have the minimum requirements, the hours, the years of experience, and all of those essentials, it’s time to submit your application to the IIBA. You will find an entire page dedicated to the CBAP® certification process on the IIBA site.

You’ll need to submit your application to the IIBA online. Then it will immediately be assessed. Once your online application shows that you’ve met all the requirements, you can then submit your application.

After that, you’ll receive an email stating whether your application has been approved or if it’s pending an audit. The email you receive will also contain information regarding exam fees.

Apart from professional development hours, as well as the required work experience, a potential candidate must also meet the minimum required education levels.

To this end, the IIBA has outlined precise rules to ensure the quality of the exams and certification meet the industry’s needs and demands. For the CBAP certification, you’d need to have a high school diploma or its equivalent.

Step 4:  Familiarize Yourself with the BABOK Guide

The BABOK guide is like the Bible for business analysts. When you’re a CBAP-certified analyst, this means you’re considered a senior professional. This term is defined in the IIBA’s outline in A Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge® (BABOK® Guide).

Part of your CBAP preparation involves understanding the contents of the BABOK Guide. Additionally, passing the exam includes demonstrating your understanding and knowledge of these guidelines, as well as the professional application of the materials in real-world scenarios.

What Is the BABOK Guide?

The BABOK Guide is a dense text that outlines a business analyst’s knowledge area, techniques, and framework, as well as the commonly used terminology. Some of these knowledge areas are:

  • Business Analysis Planning and Monitoring
  • Elicitation and Collaboration
  • Requirements Life Cycle Management
  • Strategy Analysis
  • Requirements Analysis and Design Definition
  • Solution Evaluation

You’d likely need to go through several readings to fully comprehend the information contained within the guide. However, another good way to master the information is to take part in study groups.

Therefore, find a study group that focuses on the reading and discussion of the BABOK Guide contents. You can also join groups that focus solely on exam preparation. These study groups are often hosted by BAs on their way to get certified. Other groups might be hosted by already-certified BAs wishing to share their knowledge and expertise, an employer, and even an IIBA chapter.

Exam simulations, mock tests, and practice sessions are also ideal ways to test your knowledge and know where your strengths and weaknesses are. The CBAP exam simulators are, to many CBAP candidates, a critical element in their preparations.

Step 5: Familiarize Yourself with the FAQ Section

Go through the FAQ section of the IIBA website to find out all you can about the CBAP certification. For example, you can learn about testing centers, fees, how to register, and so on.

This is a valuable resource for you. Here, you can learn about all the necessary preparation and understand your role in the exam. You can also find out what to do and who to contact in the event there are some issues concerning your application. Also, you can learn if your exam is online or at a physical space, and even find your testing center.

Step 6: Schedule and Pass Your CBAP Exam

Once your application has been assessed and approved, it’s time to schedule your exam.

Depending on your timeline, your availability, and convenience, you might want to schedule an exam at least two to three months out. You can always reschedule the exam. If you don’t pass on your first attempt, you can schedule to take it again, as long as it’s within one year of your application approval validity.

Keep in mind that scheduling an exam at your earliest convenience helps to keep you motivated.

Prepare for your exam, sit for it, and give it your best. You’ll get to know your exam results immediately the moment you submit your exam. Within two business days, you’ll also receive an email confirmation with your exam results from IIBA.

Final
Thoughts

For fresh graduates entering the field of business analysis, or even mid-level professionals, knowing the kind of job scope you are responsible for and the experiences you’ve obtained is essential in taking your career to the next level through CBAP certification.

The first requirement is relevant work experience. If you haven’t met this milestone, then you can’t take the CBAP. However, there are other certifications you can take first before the CBAP.

But if certification is your goal, make sure that whatever job you take on, as well as the projects you do, all meet the criteria for the application process.

The post Advance Your Career with the CBAP Certification appeared first on Business Opportunities.

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Justin Bieber! Lil Nas X! Maluma! Lay Zhang! Calvin Klein Spring ’20 Campaign

Justin Bieber Shirtless 2020 Calvin Klein Underwear CampaignCalvin Klein delivers a star-studded outing once more for its spring-summer 2020 campaign. The fashion house enlists entertainers with a global impact as it totes a confidence-building motto of “Deal With It.” Justin Bieber appears in the new advertisement. Bieber’s involvement follows Calvin Klein’s recent anniversary campaign, which he appeared alongside his wife. This time… [Read More]

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Asia Pacific Design No.15 by FUNDAMENTAL Studio

Asia Pacific Design No.15: booklet design by FUNDAMENTAL Studio.

Published by Sandu Publishing, “Asia Pacific Design” is the latest booklet design by FUNDAMENTAL Studio. “As the most authoritative professional design yearbook in the Asia-Pacific region, the theme of APD no.15 is “Explore New Design-led Boundaries”. We picked hot stamping laser for the booklet to highlight the overlapping between laser patch and black line, which not only creating a rich layer but also an imagination for readers to find the rainbow in darkness, leading them to explore the boundaries. We believed the message can be more long-lasting and in-depth by combining the concept with the printing effect.”

Have a look at the following images. For more, please visit the portfolio of FUNDAMENTAL Studio.

Asia Pacific Design No.15 by FUNDAMENTAL Studio.
Asia Pacific Design No.15 by FUNDAMENTAL Studio.
Asia Pacific Design No.15 by FUNDAMENTAL Studio.
Asia Pacific Design No.15 by FUNDAMENTAL Studio.
Asia Pacific Design No.15 by FUNDAMENTAL Studio.
Asia Pacific Design No.15 by FUNDAMENTAL Studio.
Asia Pacific Design No.15 by FUNDAMENTAL Studio.

All images © by FUNDAMENTAL Studio. Check out other inspiring work in our popular Graphic Design category.

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The post Asia Pacific Design No.15 by FUNDAMENTAL Studio appeared first on WE AND THE COLOR.

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Folded Paper Mockups

Create outstanding design presentations using this hyper-realistic collection of folded paper mockups!

The creative team of Mr.Mockup™ just published a new set of hyper-realistic mockups consisting of 20 folded and wrinkled papers (each paper goes with 3 different shadow depths to choose from), 18 tape mockups, 20 natural sunlights and shadows, 40 high-quality textures, and 6 premade scenes (ready to use). All images are based on professional photos that are fully separated from the background. The big resolution is well suited for close-ups and prints. Thanks to the use of smart objects, the templates are quite easy to edit. Just place your own designs and graphics and click save. All files are well organized with named layers and folders.

Please note, this collection of folded paper mockups requires Adobe Photoshop. You can get the latest version from the Adobe Creative Cloud website, just have a look here. Read more below or click on the following link for further information.

Download at Creative Market.

Folded Paper Mockups
Folded Paper Mockups
Folded Paper Mockups
Folded Paper Mockups
Folded Paper Mockups
Folded Paper Mockups

Download at Creative Market.

Feel free to find other graphics in our extensive Templates category. In addition, you can find a wide range of highly-inspiring projects in our Graphic Design category.

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The post Folded Paper Mockups appeared first on WE AND THE COLOR.

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Jordan Brand & Paris Saint-Germain Just Dropped Their First Women’s Collection

Jordan Brand Paris Saint-Germain Women's Collection

Visit the original post to see all 7 images from this gallery.

After releasing sneakers and multiple men’s kits and apparel styles, Jordan Brand and French football club Paris Saint-Germain have launched their debut women’s collection.

The inaugural women’s release from Jordan and PSG consists of six co-branded products including a hoodie, bomber jacket, fleece pants, leggings, and a dress. Arriving in a color palette of white, red, and blue, the collaborative collection pulls inspiration from the French flag. The garments are decorated with Paris Saint-Germain branding in addition to incorporating enlarged Jumpman logos.

You can get a feel for Jordan Brand and PSG’s first-ever women’s collection by swiping through the gallery above. After, be sure to hit up Nike.com to snag some styles, ranging from $90 for the leggings to $200 for the bomber.

Our designated Selects section features products that we love and want to share with you. Highsnobiety has affiliate marketing partnerships, which means we may receive a commission from your purchase.

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Prada’s ‘Hyper Leaves’ Gazebo Houses Awesome In-Store Exclusives

Visit the original post to see all 21 images from this gallery.

Earlier this year, Prada kicked off fashion season with “Hyper Leaves,” a bright neon installation characterized by verdant motifs of wood and macro leaves like Monstera, Fig, Fern, and Alocasia, housed in a neon gazebo designed by Rem Koolhaas and AMO, the forward-thinking arm of Koolhaas’ Office of Metropolitan Architecture (OMA). It’s another nice tie-in too Koolhaas and AMO’s current country-themed exhibit at the Guggeenheim.

Last week, the installation opened up in Prada’s SoHo flagship store, following a reveal in its Beverly Hills store and another at their Miami Design District location, opening this weekend. The installation also houses several exclusive items that are only available in-store. Which means if you want one, you’re going to have to make the trek.

For women, exclusives include tie-dye knitwear, bucket bags, basket bags, and embroidered skirts. The men’s collection exclusives include psychedelic printed poplin bowling shirts, eye-catching colorblocked nylon outerwear, and chunky-soled sneakers. Of course, Prada’s signature nylon accessories like pouches, digital cases, and bucket hats pretty much appeal to everyone, and there are several store-exclusive colors too.

Take a look at a few of the Prada Hyper Leaves exclusives below. They’re currently available at Prada’s Beverly Hills and SoHo NYC flagship stores,   and will release in the Miami Design District store on February 29.

tktktkt

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Normani Breaks Silence on Camila Cabello’s Racist Past: “It Was Devastating”

Normani performing

Normani recently got together with Rolling Stone for an interview to coincide with the magazine’s new “Women Shaping the Future” issue, of which she graces the cover alongside SZA and Megan Thee Stallion. During their conversation, the 23-year-old singer touched on dealing with racism as a member of American girl group, Fifth Harmony, including insensitive social media posts by former bandmate, Camila Cabello.

“I want to be very clear about what I’m going to say on this uncomfortable subject and figured it would be best to write out my thoughts to avoid being misconstrued, as I have been in the past,” she began in an email to the publication. “I struggled with talking about this because I didn’t want it to be a part of my narrative, but I am a black woman, who is a part of an entire generation that has a similar story.”

Normani then discussed derogatory comments from Fifth Harmony fans and the racist tweets and Tumblr posts by Cabello that were recently brought back to light. These posts featured anti-black remarks, some of which included the N-word.

“I face senseless attacks daily, as does the rest of my community. This represents a day in the life for us. I have been tolerating discrimination far before I could even comprehend what exactly was happening. Direct and subliminal hatred has been geared towards me for many years solely because of the color of my skin,” Normani stated.

“It would be dishonest if I said that this particular scenario didn’t hurt me. It was devastating that this came from a place that was supposed to be a safe haven and a sisterhood, because I knew that if the tables were turned I would defend each of them in a single heartbeat,” she added. “It took days for her to acknowledge what I was dealing with online and then years for her to take responsibility for the offensive tweets that recently resurfaced. Whether or not it was her intention, this made me feel like I was second to the relationship that she had with her fans.”

Cabello apologized for her racist comments after the posts resurfaced this past December, saying she was sorry for using “horrible and hurtful language.”

In continuing her statement to Rolling Stone, Normani concluded, “I don’t want to say that this situation leaves me hopeless because I believe that everyone deserves the opportunity for personal growth. I really hope that an important lesson was learned in this. I hope there is genuine understanding about why this was absolutely unacceptable.”

“I have spoken what is in my heart and pray this is transparent enough that I never have to speak on it again. To my brown men and women, we are like no other. Our power lies within our culture. We are descendants of an endless line of strong and resilient kings and queens. We have been and will continue to win in all that we do simply because of who we are. We deserve to be celebrated, I deserve to be celebrated and I’m just getting started,” she proclaimed.

Visit Rolling Stone for more from Normani on dealing with racism.

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Here Are All the Movies & TV Shows Coming to Netflix Next Month

Lil Peep performing

As we are just days away from a new month, Netflix shares the titles that are on the way for March 2020. The month will bring a slew of new content, ranging from comedies and family dramas, to classics and a variety of original programs.

Leading the way for Netflix’s March 2020 arrivals is the Lil Peep documentary, Lil Peep: Everybody’s Everything, releasing on the streaming platform March 4. The film provides viewers with an up close look at the life and career of the late rapper, who “attempted to be all things to all people,” per the synopsis.

Fans of classics can look forward to hits such as Donnie Brasco, Goodfellas, and The Shawshank Redemption coming to Netflix throughout the month, and if you’re in the mood for a lighter watch, you’ll be able to check out comedies like Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, He’s Just Not That Into You, and Semi-Pro.

Have a look below at all the movies and TV shows coming to Netflix in March 2020.

March 1

Go! Go! Cory Carson: Season 2
Always a Bridesmaid
Beyond the Mat
Cop Out
Corpse Bride
Donnie Brasco
Freedom Writers
Ghosts of Girlfriends Past
Goodfellas
Haywire
He’s Just Not That Into You
Hook
Hugo
Kung Fu Panda 2
Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events
Life as We Know It
Looney Tunes: Back in Action
Outbreak
Resident Evil: Apocalypse
Resident Evil: Extinction
Richie Rich
Semi-Pro
Sleepover
Space Jam
The Gift
The Interview
The Shawshank Redemption
The Story of God with Morgan Freeman: S3
There Will Be Blood
Tootsie
Valentine’s Day
Velvet Colección: Grand Finale
ZZ Top: That Little Ol’ Band from Texas

March 3

Taylor Tomlinson: Quarter-Life Crisis

March 4

Lil Peep: Everybody’s Everything

March 5

Castlevania: Season 3
Mighty Little Bheem: Festival of Colors

March 6

Guilty
I Am Jonas
Paradise PD: Part 2
The Protector: Season 3
Ugly Delicious: Season 2
Spenser Confidential
Twin Murders: The Silence of the White City

March 8

Sitara: Let Girls Dream

March 10

Carmen Sandiego: To Steal or Not to Steal
Marc Maron: End Times Fun

March 11

The Circle Brazil
Dirty Money: Season 2
Last Ferry
On My Block: Season 3
Summer Night
Dirty Money: Season 2

March 12

Hospital Playlist

March 13

100 Humans
BEASTARS
Bloodride
Go Karts
Lost Girls
Elite: Season 3
Kingdom: Season 2
The Valhalla Murders

March 15

Aftermath

March 16

The Boss Baby: Back in Business: Season 3
Search Party
Silver Linings Playbook
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
The Young Messiah

March 17

Bert Kreischer: Hey Big Boy
All American: Season 2
Black Lightning: Season 3
Shaun the Sheep: Adventures from Mossy Bottom

March 18

Lu Over the Wall

March 19

Altered Carbon: Resleeved
Feel Good Season: 1

March 20

Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker
A Life of Speed: The Juan Manuel Fangio Story
Archibald’s Next Big Thing: Season 2
Buddi
Greenhouse Academy: Season 4
Maska
The Platform
Dino Girl Gauko: Season 2
Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness
The Letter for the King
The English Game

March 25

Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution
The Occupant
Curtiz
YooHoo to the Rescue: Season 3

March 26

7SEEDS: Part 2
Blood Father
Unorthodox

March 27

Ozark Seasons: 3
Car Masters: Rust to Riches: Season 2
The Decline
Dragons: Rescue Riders: Hunt for the Golden Dragon
Il processo
Killing Them Softly
There’s Something in the Water
True: Wuzzle Wegg Day
Uncorked

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Watch Pete Davidson Give a Tour of His Apartment…Located in His Mom’s Basement

Pete Davidson apartment tour

Following the release of his new Netflix stand up special, Alive From New York, Pete Davidson rejoined the streaming service to offer fans a look inside his Staten Island apartment, which just so happens to be located in his mom’s basement.

Davidson begins the tour by letting everyone know that he moved into his mother’s house roughly a year ago to “stay away from fucking people.” After showing off a few pieces of clothing that he admittedly never wears, the actor/comedian opens the door to his “porno bathroom” that he says he rarely uses in that capacity, essentially because he lives with his mom.

Upon stepping out into the main living quarters of the basement, Davidson showcases some of his more prized possessions, ranging from a dust buster to family photos, a tie worn by Rodney Dangerfield, one of Shaq’s ridiculously large shoes, and a life-sized alien named Kevin.

Pete concludes the tour by thanking Netflix for stopping by, insisting they “come back again in four years when you pay me again to do another special.”

Press play below for a look inside Pete Davidson’s Staten Island apartment located in his mother’s basement, then follow here to watch his new Netflix special, Alive From New York.

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Heron Preston Releases Rubber-Wrapped «Protection» Sneakers

Heron Preston has shown hiking influences throughout his sneakers since he initially debuted the category, having first released his «Security» model just last summer. As the designer continues to experiment in the footwear space — he also houses collaborations with Nike and UGG in his vault — he’s continued his trail references, recently releasing his Protection Low-Top Sneakers for Spring/Summer 2020.

The shoes were first seen at the label’s runway show last June, and are defined by their multilayered design. A thick rubber overlay is placed across the upper (seen above in both black and white colorways), concealing the toe box and signature orange Heron Preston label. In alignment with the style name, the drawstring lacing system adds even more «protection» to the style by helping to ensure a snug closure. It’s then finished off with pull loops at the heel and a chunky rubber sole.

Priced at $300 USD, Heron Preston’s Protection Low Top Leather Sneakers in Black and White are available now at select retailers such as Browns.

For brighter footwear option, check out Converse’s recent pink-drenched Chuck Taylors.

Click here to view full gallery at HYPEBEAST

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How the Supply Chain Affects Business Success

Photo by Levi Saunders on Unsplash

Whether you’re the CEO of a rapidly expanding organization or the owner of a new startup, the fortunes of your business are subject to one undeniable fact: The success of your company is inextricably linked to the performance of your supply chain. If you want to achieve business success, you will need to ensure that your supply chain is successful, too.

According to a 2014 survey from Deloitte, 79% of companies with supply chains that perform at higher than average rates will achieve revenue growth that’s also above average within their industries.

On the other hand, a mere 8% of businesses with lower than average supply chains report above-average rates of growth. This is a figure that clearly highlights how absolutely crucial the interrelations are between an organization and its supply chain.

How the Supply Chain Affects Global Businesses

According to Logistics Bureau, “Companies with global supply chains may stand on a cost base of which 90% is attributed to supply chain expenditure.”

It’s easy to see how a business’s financial health might depend on the health of its supply chain. Similarly, it’s probable that supply chain costs can often be a large factor in the demise of many companies.

So, how can the
supply chain make or break an organization?

An Effective Supply Chain Strategy

A survey by Tompkins Consortium in 2014 delivered shocking results. More than half of the business owners and leaders who participated in the survey considered supply chain to be a stand-alone business operating function. They did not see the need for a close relationship between the supply chain and other general business strategies.

It demonstrated that many companies have still not grasped the fact that supply chain is the backbone, the life blood, and the heart and soul of a commercial enterprise.

If your company has not placed that much focus onto supply chain strategy, there’s no better time than the present to get started. This is true even if it means investing in some external assistance or improving your understanding with a degree in supply chain management. For example, such a degree is available from places like Kettering University: https://online.kettering.edu/programs/masters/masters-supply-chain-management-online.

The Importance of a Well-Designed Strategy

A well-designed supply chain strategy is key for achieving your commercial goals and ultimately reaching business success. Some examples of a well-designed strategy include:

  • Developing a process of excellence in supply chain collaboration
  • Removing unnecessary links from the supply chain
  • Building strategic relationships with vendors to drive prices down
  • Implementation of cross-docking to enable inventory reductions
  • Strategic technology use to gain greater efficiency

Supply Chain Service Performance

One undeniable, sure sign of business success is profitable revenue growth. Moreover, customer service and satisfaction are among the crucial factors driving profitable growth.

What’s more, customer satisfaction depends largely on the supply chain. If you want to achieve business success, then your company must keep this in mind. In short, the customer must be a priority focus when considering supply chain strategy, performance management, and network design.

A study conducted
by Gartner in 2014 revealed that 89% of companies expected to be competing on
the basis of customer experience alone. For any business not yet focusing on
supply chain excellence in terms of business success, this should come as
sobering news.

The overall performance of your supply chain will ultimately have an effect on the way customers perceive your business and the service that they receive from it.

Common Performance Issues

What common
supply chain performance issues tend to lead to customer satisfaction and
interfere with business success?

  • Slow time to market for new
    products or service
  • Delayed responses to customer
    service requests
  • Inventory shortages
  • Weak order fill and delivery performance
  • Long delivery lead times
  • Poor quality of product or service

If any of these problems appear familiar to you, then not all hope is lost. You need to identify the root causes as quickly as possible and begin to address them. You will then be on your way to a more successful supply chain and providing an excellent, enhanced customer experience.

What’s more, operational performance and business success will be under greater control when you focus on identifying and solving supply chain issues.

Supplier Performance

As the name suggests, the supply chain is only as strong as its weakest link. The bad news is that often, some of the links in your chain are not going to be under the direct control of your organization. To an extent, your suppliers have more control over your business’s success or lack of success.

This is why it is absolutely essential that you work in collaboration with primary suppliers to minimize any uncertainty.

Uncertainty in the supply chain can be expensive. Also, it has a negative effect on customer service. This is why it’s one of the most disruptive factors in terms of overall business performance.

Collaboration between your company and your key suppliers is essential in order to ensure protection against potential inventory shortages and supply bottlenecks. These will threaten to hinder business success.

But remember that from a customer perspective, there’s little to no distinction between the performance of your suppliers and that of your company. The best companies have recognized and understood this fact for a while now. What’s more, they have responded accordingly, which has led to positive results.

In other words, they have leveraged supplier management in order to ensure that they maintain exemplary service standards while achieving reductions in supply chain costs.

Inventory Management

The businesses that don’t rely on inventory are few and far between. Even if you’re primarily offering a service rather than a product, chances are there are still items you will need to move through a supply chain.

Whether it’s equipment, consumable items, spare parts, or something else, if you have something that needs to be stored and transported, it will require treating and managing as inventory.

Moreover, if your company is providing products to customers, the need to efficiently manage inventory is absolutely critical. Your business depends on it for success almost as much as it depends on your customers.

RELATED ARTICLE: THE BASICS OF EFFICIENT INVENTORY MANAGEMENT

Once inventory
passes from the hands of suppliers into yours, effective management will make a
huge difference to the success of your business as a whole.

Inventory management is so important because it can have a powerful effect on working capital and cash flow. In order to reduce working capital within your business, it’s important that you take the time to thoroughly investigate inventory management.

Some Important Questions

Here are some important questions to ask yourself:

  • Can you find a way to reduce inventory holding costs?
  • Can forecast accuracy be improved in order to reduce the need for holding extra stock?
  • Are you getting the shortest possible lead times from your suppliers?
  • Can customer delivery lead times be sped up?
  • Are you taking sufficient steps to prevent inventory obsolescence costs?
  • Has inventory shrinkage caused your business to lose money?

The answers you give to these and similar questions will provide you with a path to follow when it comes to improving your working capital situation and ultimately achieving business success. Moreover, improvements in these areas will also lead to increased customer service levels and additional profitability.

Corporate Responsibility and Ethical Procurement

Recently we have seen an increase in the number of commercial brands that have suffered from destroyed reputations and even loss of revenue due to unethical practices among their suppliers. Corporate responsibility issues can have a negative effect on any business. This is true even if unethical supplier practices are occurring further down the supply chain. 

If your organization is a startup or other young enterprise trying to make it, any public knowledge of any association with unethical suppliers could easily lead to quick financial failure and business demise. When it does, it will be because of customer reactions to what they perceive to be your wrongdoing.

Supplier Management

As far as supplier management is concerned, out of sight should never be out of mind. This is especially true if your supply chain operates internationally. Any performance management program you implement should have a heavy focus on the ethical responsibilities and integrity of your suppliers’ sources.

This is an area where particular knowledge and skills are required in order to ensure improvement. It can be worthwhile to invest in help from external experts to avoid supplier ethics scandals such as these:

  1. In 2016, Marks & Spencer, ASOS,
    and Uniqlo in Europe were all implicated in unsafe working practices and child
    labor scandals in their supply chains
  2. Then in 2015, Nestlé found that
    fish products they used in cat food brands were sourced from suppliers linked
    to slave labor
  3. In 2014, fast food chain
    McDonald’s saw a 7% drop in sales in Asia after a Chinese supplier was found to
    be selling expired meat
  4. And in 2016, Australian brands
    Woolworths and Coles were both identified as purchasers of fruit from farmers
    engaged in employing illegal overseas workers

Center Your Organization Around Its Supply Chain

Whatever its size or age, if you want to ensure that your business is thriving in the future, your supply chain should be at the very center of management attention.

The post How the Supply Chain Affects Business Success appeared first on Business Opportunities.

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J Balvin Reveals Takashi Murakami-Designed Album Cover for ‘Colores’

J Balvin performing

A few weeks back when J Balvin announced his new album, Colores, he revealed that Takashi Murakami designed the artwork for the project. Now as we are nearing the release of the LP, the Colombian musician shares the colorful artwork by the Japanese contemporary artist.

“This cover represents dreams because I always wanted to work with Takashi Murakami,” Balvin said in an Instagram post. “Five years ago I drew a flower and didn’t know he would end up collaborating with me. And what better way to show color than flowers? It was meant to be.”

As you can see below, the Colores album cover incorporates Murakami’s signature flower designs, perfectly adhering to the name of the project, which translates to “colors.”

J Balvin has yet to announce a specific release date for Colores, but we do know that it will be arriving in March. The LP is expected to feature singles “Blanco” and “Morado,” with several tracks produced by frequent collaborator Sky Rompiendo.

Leading up to the release of Colores, Balvin recently debuted his second collaboration with GUESS featuring a collection inspired by the album.

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Vampire Weekend Releases Three Bonus Tracks Off of ‘Father of the Bride’

Last year, Vampire Weekend launched their first album in more than half a decade with Father of the Bride. Effortlessly blending thematic lyricism with brightly orchestrated instruments, the 18-track project incorporates many of the same sonic traits that fans and audiences have been drawn to over the past decade. Today, Vampire Weekend revealed three bonus tracks from Father of the Bride that were previously only available in Japan.

Leading the release is Vampire Weekend’s folk-pop track titled «Houston Dubai.» In contrast, «I Don’t Think Much About Her No More» transforms Mickey Newbury’s 1969 mournful country ballad into an upbeat song that reflects on the wistful yet hopeful feelings that arise from moving on from a relationship. Lastly, «Lord Ullin’s Daughter» is a theatrical track in which Jude Law reads Thomas Campbell’s 200-year-old Scottish poem over an early vision of Vampire Weekend’s «Big Blue.»

Listen to all three bonus tracks below. Vampire Weekend is set to kick off their 2020 headlining tour at Florida’s Okeechoobee Music and Arts Festival next week.

In other music-related news, Real Estate released their fifth studio album, entitled The Main Thing, today via Domino Records.

Click here to view full gallery at HYPEBEAST

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Prada Celebrates the Unveiling of Hyper Leaves in New York

Last night, Prada unveiled the nature-inspired installation Hyper Leaves inside its New York Broadway boutique. To celebrate its debut, the brand hosted a panel discussion featuring legendary graffiti artist Mr. Stash, creative director of AMO Samir Bantal and director of the Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum Brett Littman, followed by a cocktail party.

Throughout the evening, guests sipped on cocktails as they discovered the installation and Prada’s SS20 collection. Among the attendees were rapper Aurora Anthony, podcast host Naomi Elizee and artist Mónica Hernández.  Inspired by the conceptual aesthetic of the installation, the panel conversation centered around experiential retail and how the integration of interactive elements marks a new era of how we shop in real life. At the forefront of this, Prada’s Hyper Leaves blends natural elements and neon lighting to completely transform the space beyond traditional retail.

As creative director of the research and design studio AMO — a frequent collaborator of Prada’s along with OMA — Bantal offered his insight on Hyper Leaves and how, in many ways, it overlaps with the current Guggenheim exhibition he co-curated with Rem Koolhaas. «Countryside, the Future» is the museum’s first non-art show and explores how the 98% of the world not occupied by cities holds the answers to many modern issues. «Research affects what we do as architects,» he said. «In order to see what’s next or where’s the new frontier, perhaps we should be looking beyond the cities.»

Graffiti artist Stash, an icon of the 80s street art scene in New York, brought his own point of view. As a pioneer of collaborations — something that has since become ubiquitous in fashion — he explained what made his work as both a store owner and collaborator authentic. «It’s simple,» he said. «I did what I felt was the best way to express our brand and I worked with the people I wanted to work with.» For his part, Littman tapped into what he’s learned as the director of the Noguchi Museum in Long Island City to offer insight into what present day creatives could learn from the legendary artist Isamu Noguchi. «So much of what Noguchi did revolved around how we interact with space and objects,» he explained. «In the retail space, that can be applied to using rooms to deliver a story and how it is that you move people between the space.»

Explore Hyper Leaves inside Prada’s New York Broadway and Beverly Hills boutiques followed by its Miami Design District debut on February 29. To learn more about Hyper Leaves and Prada’s SS20 collection, head to the brand’s website.

Click here to view full gallery at HYPEBEAST

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Crosby Studios Designs Vibrant Bubble Tea Café, Eat Me Milk Me

Crosby Studios founder Harry Nuriev just completed the design for a new concept store and bubble tea café in Chicago’s West Loop called Eat Me Milk Me. True to Crosby Studio’s vibrant, all-encompassing take on color, the entire space was realized in a hue similar to to Classic Blue, Pantone‘s Color of the year 2020, along with a grey checkerboard print.

The checkerboard print is inspired by Photoshop and is reminiscent of Nuriev’s apartment, which can be seen in the recent interview we did with the designer for HYPEBEAST Magazine Issue 28: The Ignition Issue. The blue is one of Nuriev’s favorite shades and was once a symbol of Russia, the designer’s country of origin.

The permanent 1230 square foot café and store is also outfitted with custom metal pieces, colored glass, custom circular lighting and luxe velvet details. Popular Crosby Studios pieces, such as its furry chairs and metal shelving, are positioned throughout the space. The concept store is anchored by two large circular seats surrounded by a series of stark white tables. Nuriev hopes the arrangement, along with the creative space’s offerings will inspire a relaxed eating and shopping experience for its visitors. Visit Eat Me Milk Me at the address below.

Eat Me Milk Me
1111 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60607

Elsewhere in design, Placeholder Crafts designed an innovative biodegradable bag out of bamboo.

Click here to view full gallery at HYPEBEAST

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Norway Orders Demolition of Building With Iconic Picasso Murals

This Wednesday, Norwegian government officials authorized the demolition of the Y-Block building located in the center of Oslo that features two murals by Pablo Picasso.

The Spanish master teamed up with Norwegian artist Carl Nejar to work on the designs for the outdoor compositions prior to the building’s completion in 1969. The more prominent piece is the duo’s The Fisherman artwork that portrays three minimalist subjects on a boat catching fish — BBC stated in a 2013 article that the project was “Picasso’s first attempts at concrete murals.”

The 51-year-old structure, which was designed by modernist architect Erling Viksjø, had suffered physical damages from a terrorist bombing in July 2011. Following the attack, the government had plans to relocate both murals and demolish the building as part of a massive reconstruction project with plans to use the space for government offices back in 2014. An adjacent building called “H Block,” which also featured three additional murals by the duo, was spared for demolition.

Although the government promised to preserve the murals, a number of preservationists, activists and even politicians decried the demolition of the Y-Block building because they believed the building was just as important as the murals to protect. Heritage organization Europa Nostra had also put the murals on a shortlist of the continent’s most endangered artworks, as per Hyperallergic. The New York Times also expressed in a 2017 article that “authorities were in the process of designating both buildings as protected heritage monuments.”

According to a report by AFP on Thursday, Statsbygg, Norway’s agency who oversees the country’s real estate assets, has been given the go-ahead for demolition. However, a date for the demolition hasn’t yet been announced. A petition to support the preservation of the building and the murals currently has over 28,000 signatures.

Last week, an NYC federal appeals court affirmed the whopping $6.8 million USD in monetary damages that 5Pointz developers must now pay to the group of graffiti artists whose works they whitewashed. This historic decision raises implications for the protection of public artworks that seemingly relate to what consequences will arise after the Y-Block demolition and the preservation of the Picasso murals.

Stay tuned for further developments on this story and let us know your thoughts below.

Y-Block
Akersgata 44
Oslo 0180
Norway

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Chrome Hearts Blends Vintage & Modern Elements in SS20 Eyewear Collection

Los Angeles-based Chrome Hearts has launched its eyewear collection for the Spring/Summer 2020 season. Gravitating towards vintage silhouettes with modern elements, Chrome Hearts has unveiled a range of titanium and acetate sunglasses that are designed for those with a penchant for retro appeal and an eye for luxe detailing.

Intricate gold accents and decorative metal side panels embellish the unique styles. Ranging from massively oversized hexagonal styles to dramatic wayfarer-esque frames, the collection experiments with colorways, shapes and materiality — showcasing Chrome Hearts’ dedication towards uncanny unions and playful design.

Highlights of the collection include the «Clapper,» a modern execution on the tiny, oval-lensed silhouettes, the «Whisker Biscuit» aviators with dark green lenses and bold «Honey Tunnel» frames with enamel-filled grooves along the end pieces and temples. For Spring/Summer 2020, two additional frames crafted from handmade Japanese and Italian acetate have been added to the collection, along with two half-rim optical styles.

Check out select SS20 styles in the images above. The entire collection will hit Chrome Hearts’ flagship stores in the coming months.

In case you missed it, Persol debuted its first collaboration in half a century with three pairs of sunglasses developed alongside A.P.C.

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StockX Expands Black Toe Lineup With Jordan 1 Retro High «Pine Green Black»

Once again, Jordan brand has reimagined a classic silhouette with the Jordan 1 Retro High OG «Pine Green Black» edition. Back in 2018, the brand built upon the «Black Toe» movement, releasing the Jordan 1 Retro High «Pine Green White» with a toe box and ankle inserts dressed in pine green hues. Following a similar two-tone color scheme, the entire upper of the newest style is coated in black and «Pine Green.» On StockX, there’s already been 1,647 sales of the shoe at an average price of $228 USD.

The «Pine Green» version comes along with a construction of premium tumbled leather, utilizing premium materials to set the silhouette apart. Green leather overlays, a gym red embroiled tongue tag and sail midsole provide an assortment of color palettes that make it a surefire wardrobe staple. Additional detailing includes special branding in the form of patent wing badges at the ankle and pure white midsoles paired with green rubber outsoles. Completing the design is contrasting bold green hues upon the swoosh and heel panels.

Head over to StockX to secure the Jordan 1 Retro High OG «Pine Green Black» now.

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HELIOT EMIL Presents Virtual FW20 Collection Experience

Copenhagen-based HELIOT EMIL has grown a global following keen on delving into the label’s moody, technical aesthetic, a motif carried over to the label’s new Fall/Winter 2020 range. Perhaps in homage to its techno-futurist inspirations or as a reaction to global illnesses, HELIOT EMIL’s new collection was premiered not on the runway, but with a virtual 3D presentation.

Encompassing both menswear and womenswear, plus genderless accessories, HELIOT EMIL’s FW20 designs hew closely to the brand’s signature blacked-out palette, occasionally interrupting the muted shades with grey and flashy metallic accessories. Intricate styling sees knitwear wrapped around the torso, trim leather blazers worn over bare skin and arms thrust through the detachable sleeves of puffer jackets. These suitably warm layering pieces are abetted by chunky leather duffles, backpacks and square shoulder bags, anchored by climbing gear-inspired hardware — like carabiners and buckles — and slouchy pants in various technical, leather and cargo-pocketed forms.

Experience the virtual Fall/Winter 2020 runway show on HELIOT EMIL’s website.

For a comparably conventional runway presentation, check out KENZO’s new look for Fall/Winter 2020.

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Awake NY Teams Up with 2 MONCLER 1952 for NYC-Inspired Collab

Visit the original post to see all 17 images from this gallery.

2 MONCLER 1952 is a lifestyle imprint of the French outerwear manufacturer that fully embraces subculture and its power to make hard-wearing coats and recognizable logos into quietly powerful objects of desire. Case in point? A collection inspired by 1980s Italian paninaros,  a group of clotheshorses equally obsessed with motorcycle horsepower and obscenely strong espresso.

For MONCLER 1952 menswear designer Sergio Zambon, ideas about layering and crossover made him think about the meta nature of street culture and Moncler’s place in it. He discovered Angelo Baque’s Awake NY label at Slam Jam, the famous Milanese showroom/boutique-turned label incubator founded by OG Stüssy tribe member Luca Benini.

Immediately  Zambon found himself drawn to Baque’s sense of color and use of prints, like the checkerboard trench coat featuring images of the Twin Towers and Taj Mahal from Awake NY’s Spring 2019 collection, or the wonderfully executed Awake NY x Asics GEL-Kayano 5 360 inspired by the Unisphere in Flushing Meadows.

“In a way we are both about realness, what people are wearing nowadays,” says Zambon. He reached out to Baque over a year ago to see if he’d be interested in participating in the program. Of course, Baque agreed. He saw it as a platform to further represent his city and in a way, his constituency of young kids who look up to him and his label.

“What I bring to the table is a NYC point of view and perspective,” says Baque. “When I was working on this collab, I was listening to A Boogie. I knew the kid that I wanted to see wearing this collab was the kid that lived in The Bronx, Brooklyn or Queens.”

That’s why one of the standout pieces in the collection is the teal puffy vest, a transitional style staple seen often on NYC’s eclectically stylish streets — many times accented with a Yankee cap and wheat 6-inch Timbs for full effect. Baque wanted to work on silhouettes that had their own timeless sensibility, and the perennially casual New York sportswear look lends itself well to Moncler’s archives. Zambon chose what he felt were “iconic pieces from both sides,” ultimately feeling like he and Baque’s tendencies met in the middle to create a new, mutual foundation for the two brands.

Further, Awake NY tapped some of NYC’s best, brightest, and most stylish to model the new collaboration, including photographer Mario Sorrenti, Ghetto Gastro’s Jon Gray, Ian Isiah, Richie Shazam, and Maluca Mala. The Awake NY x 2 MONCLER 1952 collaboration is available now at Moncler and Awake.

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Tom Holland Had Talks to Star in a ‘Back to the Future’ Remake

Tom Holland discussed the highly popular deepfake video of him and Robert Downey Jr. as the stars of Back to the Future in a recent interview with BBC Radio 1. In the video below, Holland admitted that although he believes a reboot is not necessary, he has had conversations to star as Marty McFly.

Holland spoke more about the potential project:

«I’d be lying if I said there hadn’t been conversations in the past about doing some sort of remake, but that film is the most perfect film — or one of the most perfect films, one that could never be made better. That said, if [Robert Downey Jr.] and I could just shoot that one scene that they remade for fun — he could pay for it cause he’s got loads of money — I would do it for my fee and we could remake that scene. I think we owe it to deep fake because they did such a good job. … I think I’m gonna speak to Robert and see if we can try to recreate something for deep fake.»

Deepfakes have become a trend for fan-casting and character assassinations alike, utilizing a process that allows someone’s face to be placed seamlessly over somebody else. Because the relationship Peter Parker and Tony Stark in Spider-Man: Homecoming was so reminiscent of the relationship between McFly and Doc Brown, an editor latched their faces into an iconic scene from Back to the Future that fans have remarked is highly fitting and organic of both actors.

Check out the video above, then check out our All-Star Weekend interview with Ninja.

Read more at HYPEBEAST

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Stone Island Helps END. Celebrate Its 15th Anniversary With Military-Inspired Collection

END. x Stone Island 15th Anniversary Collection

Visit the original post to see all 11 images from this gallery.

Menswear retailer END. has partnered with Stone Island for a capsule collection celebrating its 15th anniversary. Consisting of two pieces in an anorak and matching cargo trousers, the collaboration is scheduled to release in just a matter of days.

END. points out that the collaborative collection with Stone Island “encapsulates the Italian brand’s dedication to aesthetic values rooted in the history of practical design and their focus on pioneering technical advances in fabric development and dyeing methods.”

The pullover anorak is crafted from Membrana + Oxford 3L, a dual-layer fabric combining three-layered nylon and three-layered Oxford woven nylon, which makes the jacket both lightweight and water-resistant. The outerwear then boasts a three-dimensional effect unique to each piece as it has been subject to an intricate garment dyeing process using a dust color treatment. The back of the anorak is detailed with two military-inspired bellow pockets with magnetic closures, while Stone Island’s signature compass patch is applied on the arm to complete the design.

Complementing the anorak are the blue cargo trousers made from a combination of lightweight and Oxford woven nylon laminated with weather-resistant membranes and strengthened with polyester bases. Similar to the anorak, the pants boast a three-dimensional look that is unique to each piece. Furthermore, the bellow pockets at each leg secure using magnetic closures, as the trousers also incorporate a scaled-down version of the Stone Island compass.

You can enter for a chance to purchase the END. x Stone Island anorak here and the pants here, ahead of the online launch on March 6.

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Топ-20 лучших зарубежных партнёрских рекламных сетей 2020: CPA, CPS, PPC

Маркетинговое онлайн-издание «mThink» опубликовало 3 топа лучших партнёрских рекламных сетей 2020 года в рамках своего проекта «Blue Book». Это ежегодный международный рейтинг 20 крупнейших компаний в отрасли CPA и CPS, основанный на результатах четырёхмесячного общеотраслевого опроса, проводимого среди группы экспертов «Blue Ribbon», а также на иных взвешенных данных.

В 2017-м я уже публиковал подобный топ. Вот свежий список лучших в мире представителей сферы партнёрского маркетинга.

Лучшие CPA-сети 2020

Это топ-20 лучших рекламных сетей, работающих по модели с оплатой за действие, выбранных вебмастерами и рекламодателями международного маркетингового сообщества.

Сеть Комментарий
1 Perform[cb] – это Clickbooth после ребрендинга, вместе с бывшей мобильной сетью Adperio. На протяжении нескольких лет компания стабильно лидирует на рынке. Вебмастеры любят их инновационные инструменты оптимизации и управления рекламными кампаниями. Рекламодатели ценят их высококвалифицированных менеджеров.
2 MaxBounty является лидером в отрасли уже более десяти лет. Благодаря их новым инструментам отслеживания и высоким стандартам сервиса, они взяли первое место среди рекламодателей в этом году, но вебмастеры сдвинули их на общее второе.
3 W4, приобретённая компанией Digital Media Solutions в 2018 году, находится в процессе ребрендинга на DMS Performance Ad Market. В этом году DMS получила больше голосов, чем когда-либо. Собственная трекинг-платформа.
4 ClickDealer – международная сеть с офисами по всему миру, предлагающая теперь клиентам широкий спектр агентских услуг.
5 Базирующаяся в Квебеке (Канада), CrakRevenue является авторитетной сетью с растущей репутацией.
6   Above-All-Offers – это лучшая партнёрская сеть в Орегоне.
Круглосуточное обслуживание, отличный персонал и международный охват. И всё
это было, когда-то, пока компания не закрылась в прошлом году.
7 Mobidea – отмеченная наградами партнёрская сеть, специализирующаяся
на мобильных офферах для партнёров. В сетке более 130,000 вебмастеров.
8 Партнёрская сеть, базирующаяся в Майами, основанная Сонни Палтой. В
этом году впервые вошла в топ-20. За неё активно голосовали вебмастеры.
9 Фил Шапиро – одна из историй успеха в мире партнёрского маркетинга. И
его собственная CPA-сеть
– тому подтверждение. Вебмастеры её сильно любят.
10 Сеть A4D базируется в Сан-Диего. Агрессивно и хитро продвигается на
рынке. Имеет множество лояльных вебмастеров.
11 Небольшая развивающаяся испанская сеть Toro получила в этом году
сильную поддержку, как от рекламодателей, так и от вебмастеров.
12 Один из лидеров в области цифрового маркетинга, предоставляющий
первоклассные медиа-решения ведущим мировым брендам и агентствам.
13 AWM особенно сильны в блокираторах контента и работают на собственной платформе.
14   CPALead успешно работают в отрасли уже более десяти лет, и в этом году
достигли своего лучшего места в рейтинге Blue Book.
15   Базируясь в Оклахоме, RevenueAds ведут свою деятельность уже более
десяти лет. В топ-20 они попали в этом году впервые. Респонденты особо отметили
их email-рассылки и
возможности для лидгена.
16 Convert2Media, более известная, как C2M, базируется во Флориде и
существует с 2007 года. Опытная компания, стабильная команда преданных
вебмастеров. Они на протяжении нескольких лет занимали топовые места в
рейтингах и вот снова в двадцатке.
17 Голландская сеть, основанная в 2012 году, Advidi – воплощение того,
какой должна быть современная передовая партнёрская сеть, с акцентом на
надёжность, аналитику и дизайн. Это их первое участие в топ-20 Blue Book и,
судя по всему, не последнее.
18   Admitad считается ведущей европейской сетью и является по-настоящему международной компанией с обширным охватом. У них более 80,000 вебмастеров и 1,600 рекламодателей. Основана в 2010 году, со штаб-квартирой в Хайльбронне (Германия). 7 офисов по всему миру, принимает трафик из более чем 80 стран на 15 языках и в 15 категориях.
19 Основанная в 2014 году, AdCombo специализируется на гео второго
уровня, таких как Восточная Европа, Южная Азия и Латинская Америка. В этом
году они впервые попали в рейтинг, получив мощную поддержку иностранных (для
США) вебмастеров.
20 ValuLeads уже несколько лет входит в топ-20, ну или болтается около двадцатки. У них хороший агентский подход в работе с рекламодателями и вебмастеры о них положительно отзываются в опросах.

Лучшие CPS-сети 2020

А вот лучшие партнёрские сети, работающие по модели оплаты за продажи, по версии mThink Blue Book.

Сеть Комментарий
1 На протяжении 9 лет партнёрская сеть Rakuten, входящая в состав
Rakuten Marketing, не собирается отказываться от позиции №1 в рейтинге. Их
всегда приводят в пример по уровню обслуживания и технологиям.
2 Awin Group поддерживает позицию №2 в рейтинге аналогично Rakuten.
Стабильно высокие результаты им обеспечивают солидная репутация ShareASale в
комбинации с технологиями и сервисом Awin. 15,500+ рекламодателей, 200,000+ вебмастеров.
3 CJ прошли
долгий путь падений и взлётов, в результате которого их купила Publicis.
Однако их масштаб и накопленный опыт позволяют им по-прежнему держаться в
топе. Собственное pay-per-call ответвление и крупные инвестиции в технологии
делают их одной из сетей, за которыми стоит следить в 2020-м.
4 Партнёрская сеть eBay всегда в почёте у экспертов отрасли
аффилиат-маркетинга. Отличная, проверенная временем.
5 Ещё одна стабильно топовая сеть. Самая популярная партнёрка в нише
цифровых товаров. Запущенная в 2006 году, она шесть лед подряд получает
награду от mThink Blue Book, как лучшая сетка для инфотоваров.
6 Pepperjam вложили много времени и усилий в свою новую штуку под
названием «Ascend» – платформу партнёрского маркетинга полного цикла.
Соответственно, повысился уровень энтузиазма в среде вебмастеров и
рекламодателей. Давно зарекомендовавший себя бренд отрасли возвращается.
7 FlexOffers продолжает своё восхождение к вершине рейтинга, имея
отличную репутацию, благодаря прямолинейности, хорошей поддержке вебмастеров
и качественному трафику для рекламодателей.
8 Управляемая легендами отрасли, с первоклассными технологиями и
солидными результатами, это, скорее, платформа, нежели сеть. Её Blue Book
обещали включить в свой рейтинг трекинг-платформ, позже в 2020-м году.
9 LinkConnector имеет потрясающий ассортимент проверенных брендов. В сочетании с акцентом на запатентованные технологии, это последовательно двигает их всё выше в рейтингах.
10 Стабильная и профессионально управляемая сеть с отличной
бизнес-моделью.
11 Очень сильная европейская сеть, была основана ещё в 1999 году. 2,000+
рекламодателей, 180,000+ вебмастеров.
12 Базируясь в Великобритании, с действующим офисом в США, Webgains
обеспечивает обслуживание клиентов мирового класса и передовые технологии.
1,800 рекламодателей, 250,000 вебмастеров, 230 гео.
13 Ещё одна лондонская сеть с 16 офисами по всему миру, TradeTracker
предлагает широкий охват и качественную платформу. 5,000+ активных программ,
300,000,000+ показов в месяц.
14 Который год к ряду Amazon Associates остается отправной точкой для многих начинающих вебмастеров. Два главных преимущества партнёрки Амазона: простота в использовании и широкий ассортимент товаров.
15 Надёжная сеть, пользующаяся доверием в отрасли. Основана в 1999 году
в Лондоне. Принадлежит компании «Global Data». 600 рекламодателей и 300,000
вебмастеров.
16 Более 20 лет в отрасли продажи товаров клиентам по всему миру. Один
из крупнейших международных ритейлеров. Более 6 миллионов продуктов, 200
миллионов клиентов. Это ещё одна партнёрка, с которой начинают многие
новички.
17 Performance Horizon Group врывается в мир партнёрского маркетинга под
новым брендом и с другим подходом к ценообразованию. 300+ рекламодателей,
350,000+ вебмастеров.
18 Skimlinks – это платформа монетизации контента для онлайн-издателей,
которая специализируется на контекстной рекламе. Основанная в Лондоне в 2007
году, Skimlinks создала собственную нишу в отрасли и пользуется большим
уважением.
19 Хорошо известная канадская сеть, ориентированная на цифровую
коммерцию. Отличная репутация у рекламодателей. 100 офферов, 25,000+ вебмастеров.
20 Быстро растущая партнёрская сеть в нише путешествий. Более 200,000
вебмастеров. В топ-20 вошла впервые.

Лучшие PPC-сети 2020

Ну и в заключении предлагаю ознакомиться с небольшим топом партнёрских сетей, работающих по модели оплаты за звонки. Pay-Per-Call офферы предлагают практически безграничные возможности для генерации лидов через мобильные устройства и предоставляют вебмастерам высокие ставки.

Сеть Комментарий
1 Третий год подряд Aragon Advertising занимает первое место в топе Blue Book. У компании присутствует глубокое понимание данных и технологий, собственный алгоритм маршрутизации вызовов и ping-post решение для звонков. За них активно голосуют как вебмастеры, так и рекламодатели.
2 PALO является лидером в сфере звонков с 2010 года. Они предлагают лучшие в нише офферы и продуманный подход в области менеджмента. Высокую лояльность со стороны партнёров получают, благодаря сервису. Так же у них есть свой pay-per-call маркетплейс.
3 Компания RingPartner создала инновационную платформу для бидов в
режиме реального времени, которая управляет их обменом лидами с оплатой за
звонок. Это хороший пример умных инвестиций в технологии, которые принесли плоды,
благодаря грамотному руководству и анализу ниши.
4 По сути, это партнёрская сеть компании Ring Router – одного из
лидеров отрасли маршрутизации вызовов. Была. Что с ними случилось – х/з.
5 Компания HyperTarget Marketing, базирующаяся в Лос-Анджелесе,
предлагает широкий спектр маркетинговых услуг с оплатой за звонок, включая
колл-центр и PR, SEO и мобильную оптимизацию.
6 Ещё одна партнёрская сеть, входящая в список Inc.5000. Она владеет собственными крупными площадками, генерирующими лиды, в таких нишах, как: финансовые услуги, юриспруденция, образование и автомобили. А также предлагает платные услуги для рекламодателей.
7 Писал про них уже выше – в секции «CPS».
8 ReviMedia владеет и управляет широким спектром рекламных перформанс кампаний,
включая международные партнёрские кампании по различным направлениям. Помимо
лидов, компания покупает и продаёт звонки. 650 офферов, 134 гео, 10+ лет
опыта в лидогенерации.
9 Дженнин Рексон – давняя суперзвезда индустрии перформанс маркетинга.
Благодаря RexConnects,
её сеть Rex Direct CPA
заняла лидирующие позиции в секторе PPC.
10 Visiqua является частью инвестиционной группы Boulder Heavy
Industries, базирующейся в Колорадо. Опытная команда, запатентованные
технологии и хорошая финансовая поддержка (для обеспечения стабильности)
делают Visiqua одними из лучших в сфере оплаты за звонки.

Основные выводы: тренды партнёрского маркетинга 2020

Организаторы рейтинга пишут, что в этом году опрос был одним из самых успешных за всю историю. Среди ответов прослеживаются четыре основные идеи:

  1. Люди стали тщательнее подходить к выбору
    рекламных сетей.
  2. Ключевым конкурентным преимуществом являются
    инвестиции в технологии.
  3. Для активации роста используют слияния и
    поглощения.
  4. Рекламодателям нужен высокий уровень сервиса.

Рассмотрим их поподробнее.

Рекламодатели и вебмастеры проявляют осторожность при выборе сети

Партнёрский маркетинг является ключевой стратегией монетизации для многих стартапов и крупных издателей, в то время как для рекламодателей он становится стандартной частью маркетингового инструментария. Но по мере роста важности оплаты за результат, потенциальные клиенты и вебмастеры становятся более осторожными при выборе сетей, с которыми они могут начать сотрудничество. Новые сети ожесточённо борются за клиентов, поэтому на первый план выходят современные трекинг-платформы и способность быстро масштабироваться.

Деньги решают

Blue Book всегда старались подходить к составлению своего
рейтинга максимально непредвзято и распределять места, вне зависимости от размеров
CPA-сетей. Они часто
находили маленькие сетки бутикового размера, которые просто хорошо делали своё
дело, и не придерживались идеи, что, чем больше, тем лучше. Тем не менее, от
года к году укрепляется понимание того, что у компаний с «глубокими карманами» всё
равно больше денег и ресурсов для инвестиций в высокие технологии и инновации.
Соответственно, они отжимают солидную долю голосов CPA-сообщества. В результате маленькие
партнёрки оказываются под огромным давлением и зачастую не выдерживают
конкуренции. Это хорошо видно организаторам опроса по хвосту, который находится
за топ-20 (он становится всё меньше).

Активные поглощения и слияния для усиления роста

В совокупности с первым пунктом, эксперты прогнозируют
дальнейшее увеличение количества поглощений и слияний в отрасли. В лидирующие
сети вливаются крупные венчурные и частные инвестиции. По мере того, как информация
о клиентах становится всё более ценной, новые типы компаний будут находить
партнёрский маркетинг привлекательным путём к получению собственных данных. На
таком рынке, когда партнёрские сети переходят из рук в руки, ожидается не
только рост агрессивной конкуренции за бизнес, но также и большее количество
сетей, манипулирующих несколькими брендами одновременно.

Сервис побеждает

Особенно для рекламодателей качество обслуживания превосходит все остальные моменты. Конечно, рекламодатели хотят надёжного отслеживания конверсий и потрясающих отчётов, но что для них действительно имеет значение, так это знание того, что когда они звонят, их проблемы быстро решаются кем-то, кто знает, что делать. Взгляните, например, на Rakuten, где вся компания исповедует принцип «Омотэнаси» (японская философия гостеприимства и практика «душевного настроя» с целью предоставления «экстраординарного» сервиса). Или MaxBounty с их высококачественным обслуживанием клиентов и новым интерфейсом для рекламодателей. Конечно, рекламные сети должны предоставлять клиентам эффективные кампании, но это игра уже совсем другого уровня. Чтобы сражаться друг с другом в новой среде, партнёркам требуются высококвалифицированные специалисты для предоставления качественного обслуживания.

Индустрия растёт, профессионализируется и консолидируется. Это позитивные тенденции 2020 года.

Методология

Ежегодно mThink проводит крупнейшее исследование в области перформанс маркетинга, чтобы выявить лучшие партнёрские сети. Ответы респондентов объединяются с мнениями экспертов Blue Ribbon Panel и результатами отраслевых исследований компании. В итоге появляется топ-20 рекламных сетей, выбранных рекламодателями и вебмастерами международного маркетингового сообщества. Это лидеры отрасли, которые обеспечивают соответствующий уровень обслуживания клиентов, профессионализм и стабильную рентабельность инвестиций, что является признаками топовых сетей. Они также научились выживать и процветать в постоянно меняющейся и невероятно конкурентной среде, поэтому ими без исключения руководят умные, эффективные лидеры.

BLUE BOOK Top 20 – это не просто список крупнейших сетей. Здесь
учитывается репутация, влияние, клиентура, популярность и масштаб.

Важной частью процесса ранжирования является опрос более 25,000
отраслевых представителей, который проводится осенью. В ходе опроса первый
вопрос задаётся в открытой форме. Респонденты должны перечислить самостоятельно
свои любимые партнёрские сети и программы. Смысл открытого вопроса заключается
в том, чтобы избежать неточности получаемых данных. Ведь организаторы могут
умышленно или случайно не включить в исследование ту или иную компанию.

Затем исследователи предлагают список из 50 сетей. Здесь
нужно выбрать по 4 дополнительные партнёрки в каждой из категорий. Далее идёт
пустое поле для комментариев. Всего в исследовании принимает участие около 400
рекламных сеток.

В дополнение к опросу организаторы исследуют и агрегируют мнения экспертов, данные о трафике, показатели влияния в отрасли и как можно больше других данных, которые получается собрать. У них также есть группа уважаемых лидеров отрасли «Голубая лента» (ссылку давал выше), которая помогает обеспечить понимание и оценку.

Так что это самый объективный рейтинг из всех, которые я
видел.

Сообщение Топ-20 лучших зарубежных партнёрских рекламных сетей 2020: CPA, CPS, PPC появились сначала на Блог SEO-аспиранта.

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