Middle East and North African Dubstep, Metal, Two-Step and Ambient

Koudede by Alice Mutasa Photograph: Alice Mutasa/koudede.net/photos

Essential listening and passionate writing from The Quietus, on The Guardian for the Playlist series.

Learning a lot, and definitely getting my head-nod on to this.




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Google Maps – You’re a Wreck!!!

Google Maps UnderwaterGoogle Maps still has the ability to surprise and reward those who are prepared to explore – above ground or underwater. That’s great web-design, content and conversation strategy. A literal “deep dive” for the seriously engaged.

See what (and who!) you can find by clicking this link


Posted in Architecture, Art, Design, Interiors, photography, Technology, WTF? | Leave a comment

Hungry? In Shanghai? Read this!

Chinese, Russian and Ethiopian restaurants have been reviewed by me on another site that I write for, The Trainee Chef. More to come from this new venture!

Read my review below of the best “Chinese” restaurants in Shanghai, or click the link

Read More »

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Hungry? Read this! (Samarqand)

Chinese, Russian and Ethiopian restaurants have been reviewed by me on another site that I write for, The Trainee Chef. More to come from this new venture!

Read them below, or click the link for Samarqand.

Read More »

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Youth Subcultures: What Are They Now?

Seapunks, Psychobillies, Haul Girls, Chav Hipster, Bronies, Normcore, and more. Today’s youth movements are a little more blurred, surprising, fast-changing, knowing and irony-fuelled than they were yesterday.

Alexis Petridis at The Guardian has a go at trying to label the unlabellable. Read below, or click here.

Read More »

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Generation whY. As in: Why Can’t I Have It All, Now?

From The Guardian’s Pass Notes series:

In a nutshell, baby boomers are wealthy and selfish. Generation Xers are disappointed and cynical. And millennials – that’s you – are whiny and entitled.

You want the latest phone and you want the best job, even if you haven’t earned it. You think you’re special, even though it’s painfully obvious to the rest of the world that you’re just as mediocre as everyone else. Your life is a mess of unrealistic expectations.

…And The University of New Hampshire did a study and found that all your impossible expectations make you horrible employees.


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Best Actress Ever

Matthew Frost has directed a series of knowing, funny, observational and in some places insightful films, for Vogue and others. About celebrity, beauty, fashion, fragility, absurdity, irony and the arts.

Here are some of them:

FASHION FILM from Matthew Frost on Vimeo.

BEST ACTRESS OF ALL TIME from Matthew Frost on Vimeo.

SLOW MOTION from Matthew Frost on Vimeo.

EDIT: Relatedly, you should also watch Vogue’s 73 Questions for Sarah Jessica Parker - don’t judge before you’ve seen it. You might be surprised!

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Physical Retail Matters More Than E-Commerce, in a Digital World

Business of Fashion published an Op Ed by Ari Bloom of A2B Ventures on the importance of physical retail vs e-commerce, despite us being in a digital age.

…While Emarketer predicts that e-commerce in the apparel and accessories market will grow at an astounding 17.2 percent annually between now and 2017, one would be hard-pressed to find reliable projections that show offline sales accounting for less than 75 percent of total apparel and accessories sales for the foreseeable future.

Fashion, especially at a higher price point and in its broadest sense, is an industry that relies on brand experience and “value for money” (not actual cost, but the value exchange). Brands are more than just the products they sell, they are the reason people are prepared to pay more for one than another, to collect and covet, to spend time and money. And though e-tail and digital presence have improved significantly over recent years (slower than in other industries, I hasten to add) the experience in store still offers the ultimate experience of the brand and emotional sell necessary.  That’s the “value”, rather than the actual amount of money being spent - not to mention the immediate gratification.

But considering any of your marketing and sales channels in isolation from each other is a mistake – immediate store sales and branded bags prompt other purchasers to act, being an advertising medium in themselves. And digital is increasingly part of the sales experience in store, as much as brands are seeing retail as experiential spaces not just sales locations. Hence emergence of stores like Burberry and their interactive changing rooms and music venue, 10 Corso Como and their bookshop and cafe spaces, or Louis Vuitton and their exhibitions and collections of modern art.

Ultimately, fashion brands, whether they are born online or offline, should harness and integrate the strengths of both channels to create a better consumer experience and build more effective businesses.

Read more at Business of Fashion.

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What does the Future Hold? The BBC Knows!


Timeline of the Far Future, by iibStudio for BBC Future.

The Future

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A True Map of China According to Chinese Google, “Baidu”

Mapping China according to Chinese stereotype, as reported by Baidu – China’s most used search engine, highlights some really interesting points of view (Taiwan being “unwilling to return” seems both confrontational and resigned to the fact; Guangdong “eats monkeys” shows that local racism still abounds; Tibet “no results” is of course indicative of the political situation)

Foreign Policy has published the map, following on from The Atlantic’s one of America according to Google’s Autocomplete, for China – a country with 22 provinces, 5 autonomous regions, and countless deeply held and unhealthy schisms and regional stereotyping.

Of course, the results will change over time, and the above map reflect recent violent attacks and natural disasters.

Read more at Foreign Policy


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