LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION: Japan is giving away unwanted houses

Tokyo – VIJAY SHAH via LUCY DAYMAN and Culture Trip

While finding a home at even an average price is next to impossible in the big cities of much of the developed world (London, New York etc., I’m looking at you), Japan is making things a least a little bit easier for aspiring homeowners. Over there in the Far East, they are practically giving away abandoned houses for free, according to travel and culture site Culture Trip.

Some towns in Japan have started doling out residences for free, and in the very nature of town-hall bureaucracy, have divided the types of homes they are distributing into two categories.

 

The first category covers vacant homes, or akiya in Japanese. These are houses that have been abandoned, left vacant and are usually in dilapidated condition. Currently on the islands there are over eight million properties nationwide being abandoned to the elements, with concentrations of akiya predominant in large cities like Tokyo, according to a 2013 government report. About a quarter still have owner-landlords who do not bother to sell up or maintain their properties. Due to culture and superstitions, many of these properties have been left unwanted due to suicides, murders and other deaths occurring in them, which puts off local househunters uncomfortable with the lingering presence of an unfortunate soul’s passing. Demographics also play a part in the glut of unwanted homes Japan is facing, with the expensive cost of living putting off young families from moving away from their parents or rented accommodation and also Japan’s rapidly ageing population.

Unable to sell to locals, many town councils are now forced to give akiya away for free to stop them attracting drug addicts, squatters and wild animals, and to hold back urban decay. Some towns have started offering subsidies to attract potential homeowners. They now also offer online ‘akiya banks’, a sort of Gumtree for busted-up housing, with prices started from zero yen (yes that’s 0円! – bargain!!).

The second category of Japanese housing ‘on the house’ (well, technically heavily subsidised, but still very cheap) is found exclusively in the town of Okutama, on Tokyo’s western fringes. Okutama has unveiled a cheap rent to own housing scheme geared towards young families priced out of the Tokyo metropolitan market. For a monthly rent of 50,000 yen (£345), families can rent a whole house, which will pass to their ownership after a period of 22 years. There is no need to take out a mortgage or pricey housing loans, and the daily commute to Tokyo is only 1 hour and forty-five minutes (one-way). The Okutama houses are all brand-new, well-built and fully fitted, but you must be under the age of 43 and have junior school-age children.

If you do have money to splash, then fear not, you can buy an entire island off the coast of the Mie Prefecture, near Osaka, for less than the cost of an average 1-2 bedroom home in London. Now to learn Japanese, develop a taste for sushi and wave sayonara to your local overheated housing market!

SOURCES:

Sherrie Bachell/Facebook.

“Japan is Giving Away Abandoned Homes for Free” – Lucy Dayman, culture trip/The Culture Trip Ltd (8 November 2018) https://theculturetrip.com/asia/japan/articles/japan-is-giving-away-abandoned-homes-for-free/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=link_japanhomes&fbclid=IwAR3t9mf53U8TQHNsly6w5rPVXUa2oG2Wvl_xg3oOAledtuNURT34SzI_Udo

IMAGE CREDIT:

“Japanese architecture” – Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_architecture

 

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BLOGLOVIN’: HEM News Agency joins bloggers’ network

 

HEM News Agency is now an official member of the blogging networking site Bloglovin’. I signed up quickly last weekend and made my blog’s record there official.

Bloglovin’, established in a Swedish garage in 2007, is a platform that enables bloggers and non-bloggers alike to curate, follow and keep up with their favourite blogs, ranging from the postings of leading organisations such as the BBC (the first blog HEMNA has followed) through to small mummy blogs and personal online diaries. The site now has more than 16 million people signed up and has reached such heights that it is said to host its own blogging awards ceremony annually in New York.

Under its previous incarnation as ‘Half-Eaten Mind’, HEMNA has signed up with a select handful of blog platforms over the years, such as Blogarama and the now closed Technorati, but the returns from those websites were quite poor. I joined Bloglovin’ to give the blog more exposure and attract new followers, as well as give existing ones a new way to keep track of our news and other posts.

If you are a member of Bloglovin’ and wish to follow us there, please take a look at our official Bloglovin’ page: bloglovin.com/blogs/hem-news-agency-11295563/

You can show your appreciation of our posts by clicking the little white and blue heart button to give some love, and use the other buttons to share our articles via Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and email. There is also the option of saving articles for future reference at a time that suits you.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

 

ADDITIONAL SOURCE:

“Bloglovin'” – Wikipedia/Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloglovin’

IMAGE CREDITS:

Vijay Shah/Canva.

 

SULLEE J: New Music Submission – All I Know ft. Marka

Acclaimed Baltimore, US, rapper and lyrical master Sullee J has released a brand new single this past week, as the prolific artiste continues his rise to the forefront of modern East Coast rap. He released his latest track, “All I Know” featuring fellow rapper Marka on the 5th November. The song was produced by Anno Domini Beats.

All I Know speaks on the various scenarios which occurred on the come up of Sullee J, a story shared with many others of his genre. There is a distinctively retro feel both in the official video of the song plus the Eighties style hooks of the track’s beat. While lyrics flash up on the screen of an old TV set like we all had in our parents’ living room as children, Sullee J rhymes emphatically about the struggles, dealing with the haters, fake associates and hypocrites, while reaching for the top. Especially, it is a lesson for everyone not to let the two-faced bring them down and to chart their own success, and to understand who their true friends and supports are.

In the near future, Sullee J plans to release his new album, Spear, by the end of the year.

All I Know is available for free downloads and viewing via his YouTube channel, xxsulleexx, and through SoundCloud.

Youtube Video Link: https://youtu.be/h5J5bw0BF28

 

 

 

 

SOURCE:

Team Justice/Sullee J.

 

VIRTUAL TEACHERS: UK university to trial ‘hologram’ lecturers

London – VIJAY SHAH via LEO KELION and BBC News

A university in the United Kingdom will become the first in the world to introduce ‘holographic’ teaching staff for its students, according to a report by national broadcaster BBC News. 

Imperial College London is bringing in 3D projection technology that will emit ‘holograms’ of lecturers who are unable to attend their lectures in person. While the teacher will not be physically present, the futuristic technology will carry across their voice and body movements. Similar technology was used for a Tupac Shakur music concert at the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in 2010, and has also been adopted by airports and train stations.

 

The new technology, which was launched officially this past Thursday, will be at first used solely for students learning at Imperial’s Business School, but the university expects the technology to become more commonplace, perhaps eventually superseding video conferencing and Skype. The technology also means lecturers can broadcast to several halls, holding the same lecture simultaneously, which will cut down on teaching hours.

“The alternative is to use video-conferencing software but we believe these holograms have a much greater sense of presence,” Dr David Lefevre, director of Imperial’s Edtech Lab, told the BBC.

“The lecturers have a high-definition monitor in front of them which is calibrated so they can point at people and look them in the eye. They can really interact.”

Unlike previous such projections, more than one person can be included in Imperial’s ‘holograms’. Projected users also do not have to be even in the same country as the lecture hall for the technology to ‘beam’ their image in front of scholars.

The Imperial technology was developed with the Canadian firm, Arht Media. Lecturers using the technology must stand in a special ‘capture studio’ in front of a black background. The university will be able to make use of two such studios in Los Angeles, USA and Toronto in Canada, alongside a portable projection kit for visiting guest speakers.

SOURCES:

HEM News Agency, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/halfeatenmind

Nicolas Babin, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/Nicochan33

Simon Hewitt, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/shewitt_vp

“‘Hologram’ lecturers to teach students at Imperial College London” – Leo Kelion, BBC News/BBC (1 November 2018) https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/technology-46060381

IMAGE CREDIT:

“File:8oCongresoInnovacion05.JPG” – Thelmadatter, Wikimedia Commons (12 December 2013) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:8oCongresoInnovacion05.JPG

TULSA CHILD KILLING: Killer mother was ‘trying to save’ her children from abusive father

Tulsa – VIJAY SHAH via STEPHEN SORACE, Associated Press and Fox News

An American woman who shot dead her own son and tried to kill her two daughters claimed that she did it to free them from their abusive father, according to a report published in Fox News today.

Amy Leann Hall, from Tulsa, the capital of Oklahoma state, gunned down her son Kayson Toliver, aged 18. He was hit with a bullet to the head while he was sleeping at his mother’s home early on the morning of Thursday, 1st November, according to police statements. Hall also shot at her daughters in the same fashion, but they survived their injuries, with one managing to escape. Police came to the property thirty-five miles outside Tulsa, and found Toliver deceased. The mother was arrested, and claimed she carried out the shootings to protect her children from their violent father, according to an affidavit issued by the Okmulgee County Sheriff’s Office.

 

One of the two daughters, aged 16, is still in hospital in a critical condition, Fox News stated. The other daughter, aged 14, managed to escape her mother and hid crying in a bathroom, she later told her mother she was ‘okay’ before somehow managing to get the murder weapon, a pistol, from Hall, the article stated. Hall fled the scene and sped down local roads at 100 mph before police pulled her over, according to FOX 23 Tulsa, a local media outlet. She was arrested on the scene, and police are currently piecing together a motive for the killings.

Police stated that they had received callouts in the past to the family home over ‘domestic incidents’. Hall and the children’s father had separated two years ago and were engaged in a fierce custody battle over the children. She had applied to obtain sole custody of her family, but the father had attempted to overturn that application, stating that Hall was ‘mentally unstable’ and was ‘psychologically abusive’ to her offspring.

The deceased son was remembered as an excellent student and top level American football player for his school team at Beggs High School in Tulsa. “He was a very likeable young man,” head football coach David Tenison told the World. “He had a good heart, good spirit. His smile was infectious. It just infected everyone around him. He made you want to smile.”

Hall is now charged with a single count of first-degree murder, and two counts of shooting with an intention to kill and is currently on bail. She told police that after killing her children, she had intended to take her own life. The case continues.

SOURCES:

Vijay Shah { विजय }, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/VShah1984

Chris 🇺🇸, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/Chris_1791

Fox News, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/FoxNews

“Mom claims she fatally shot son, injured 2 daughters to ‘save’ them from abusive dad, authorities say” – Stephen Sorace & Associated Press, Fox News/FOX News Network, LLC. (3 November 2018) https://www.foxnews.com/us/mom-claims-she-fatally-shot-son-injured-2-daughters-to-save-them-from-abusive-dad-authorities-say?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

IMAGE CREDIT:

“File:Demo arrest, handcuffed.jpg” – Smallman12q and Oregon Department of Transportation, Wikimedia Commons (18 August 2009) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Demo_arrest,_handcuffed.jpg

CALLING ALL COLLABORATORS: HEM News Agency launches new media packs today

Ilford – VIJAY SHAH

In this exclusive report, Ilford-based news blog and website HEM News Agency has announced it will launch its first ever media packs today to help promote the blog to public relations professionals and companies looking to reach out to new audiences.

Media packs, also known as ‘media kits’, are promotional documents traditionally used in the printed and online media industries to attract advertisers to work with the publications. In an increasingly online world where many bloggers have become influencers, guiding their readers’ tastes in everything from fashion to parenting, brands are waking up to the potential of working with bloggers to advertise and promote. 

 

In fact the past five years has seen an explosion in both brand-blogging partnerships and bloggers producing their own media packs to bring in advertising revenue. Both of these factors have gone hand-in-hand with the emergence of blogging as an activity that can bring in money. Many well-established blogging personalities have sung the praises of the media pack, providing handy advice, tips and even ready-made templates to guide their peers in what was once something solely associated with the ‘mainstream media’.

A media pack is essentially a blog’s CV (resumé) which will often display short bios of the site and its blogger, as well as statistics such as reader demographics, pageviews and traffic figures drawn in via systems such as Google Analytics. They are made available to brands or their PR representatives who are looking for blogs targeted at particular audiences, for example dog owners might be sought out by a company that markets canine toys and chews.

HEM News Agency has had several successful tie-ins producing reviews and promotional features for a variety of companies across the globe. In 2018 alone, the blog has teamed up with the New Yorker online invitation firm Paperless Post, London-based cycling safety equipment startup CYCL, and just this month, an email management service, Campaign Monitor. The blog’s owner/editor/writer, Vijay Shah, had recently decided to develop promotional tools to distribute to current and future partners to help present a professional, business side to the blog. While the blog is mainly focused on disseminating news without commercial consideration, it also produces feature posts, which provide good opportunities for interested brands.

The media packs released today were designed in-house with online designing software and are branded with the blog’s name and livery. There are two versions, a short one-page document which summarises the blog and its achievements, and a longer multi-page version which explores the blog deeper from a commercial angle. The packs will be made available in PDF format as downloads via a dedicated page on HEM News Agency’s site.

The new packs can be downloaded from the Media Pack tab in the menu just above the header of the blog.

IMAGE CREDIT:

“A4 papers” – Tech&All, Vijay Shah and HEM News Agency, Smartmockups (28 October 2018) https://smartmockups.com/mockup/print_tech_4

 

MOVEMBER: UK charity launches annual moustache-growing drive to fight cancer

Ilford – VIJAY SHAH

British charity The Movember Foundation has launched its yearly Movember campaign to highlight its war on prostate cancer, which claims the lives of 11,000 men a year in the UK and will affect one in eight British males, according to figures by Prostate Cancer UK.

Every November, men are encouraged to grow moustaches in any style they choose to help raise money to help fight cancer, as well as partake in other fundraising activities. The Movember campaign has broadened its scope in recent years from prostate  cancer to increasing awareness in men’s general health, mental illness, testicular cancer and suicide prevention.

 

The Movember Foundation is also encouraging participants to commit to walking, running or jogging sixty kilometres in November 2018, with each kilometre representing one of the sixty men who take their lives every hour in the UK. The charity is also supporting Mo-ments, fundraising occasions that men and women can organise and host.

The charity aims to use the funds from Movember to support men recovering from cancers of the reproductive system, formulate new mental health approaches to prevent the high rate of suicides nationally among young men and healthcare campaigns for males to live longer and healthier lives.

Supporters of the campaign, informally known as Mo Bros and Mo Sistas, have become a distinctive presence in offices across the country, with the charity’s moustache logo now being highly recognised. This year’s November is being partnered with leading men’s products sellers Gillette and L’Oreal Men Expert alongside gym chain The Gym. The Movember campaign is also being supported by Prostate Cancer UK, the country’s leading research NGO into this dangerous form of the illness.

Movember is a worldwide movement, also taking place in the US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Spain. In 2014, 700,000 Mo Bros and Mo Sistas took part.

SOURCES:

Movember Foundation UK, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/MovemberUK/

“Movember United Kingdom – Home” – Movember Europe https://uk.movember.com/?utm_medium=social_paidl&utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=Global_Signup_2018&fbclid=IwAR2l0Y2smzUKwV_g4M0VlC45a16b5zc6BU2N571fJEiQO7wqeudOT6o42Xg

IMAGE CREDIT:

“File:Movember (8140182094).jpg” – Eva Rinaldi and Movember via Wikimedia Commons (31 October 2012) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Movember_(8140182094).jpg

B’TSELEM: Israeli politician calls for Gaza human rights group to be shut down

Jerusalem – VIJAY SHAH via the Jerusalem Post

An Israeli politician has called on the country’s most senior government lawyer to dismantle a human rights organisation in the country after its leader spoke up on the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip, the Jerusalem Post reports.

Nava Boker, a member of the Knesset (Israeli parliament) allied with the secular centre-right Likud party, issued a request to the Attorney General, Aluf Avichai Mandelblit, to order the closing down of human rights group B’Tselem after its director-general, Hagai El-Ad, spoke on the Palestinian crisis in front of the United Nations Security Council this past Thursday.

 

Boker also appealed to the Israeli Corporations Authority, which regulates businesses and non-profits in the country, to close down the charity run by El-Ad. The minister claimed that B’Tselem is anti-national and anti-democratic. After El-Ad made his speech, he was called a ‘wretched collaborator’ by the Israeli ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, the Post reported.

El-Ad responded to the mudslinging from the ambassador by stating: “I am not a traitor, nor am I a hero,”

“The heroes are the Palestinians who endure this occupation with courage and perseverance; who wake up in the middle of the night to find soldiers barging into their homes; who know that if a loved one is killed, impunity is all but guaranteed to the perpetrators; who stay on their land knowing that it is only a matter of time before the bulldozers arrive.”

The charity’s head also responded to the demands for his organisation’s shuttering by Boker. He said: “We would be happy to close B’Tselem and our initiative after the end of the occupation, not a minute earlier,”

“Until then, we invite members of Knesset and the general public to join us in the struggle to end it.”

B’Tselem, also known by its official English name of the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, was founded in 1989 to document violations of international law and human rights in the Palestinian Territories as well as foster the development of a human rights culture within Israel.

SOURCES:

HEM Businesses, HEM News Agency, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/halfeatenmind/lists/hem-businesses

Aaron Huber, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/kycisrael

“LIKUD MK CALLS ON ATTORNEY GENERAL TO DISMANTLE B’TSELEM” – KYC Israel, KYC Israel Research Services Ltd https://www.kycisrael.com/likud-mk-calls-on-attorney-general-to-dismantle-btselem/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

“LIKUD MK CALLS ON ATTORNEY GENERAL TO DISMANTLE B’TSELEM” – The Jerusalem Post/Jpost Inc. (21 October 2018) https://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Likud-MK-calls-on-attorney-general-to-dismantle-BTselem-569884

IMAGE CREDIT:

“Hagai El-Ad, Samer Badawi, and Leila Hilal” – New America, Flickr (17 September 2014) https://www.flickr.com/photos/newamerica/15267818722

CAMPAIGN MONITOR AND THE EMAIL MARKETER: 10 Email Marketing Do’s and Don’ts

VIJAY SHAH

Today’s special feature is brought to you in collaboration with Campaign Monitor, a global niche agency offering email marketing services to over 250,000 businesses including big names like HuffPost, UNICEF and Zumba. They specialise in building memorable and fun email campaigns to promote company products and engage and retain customer bases. This year alone, Campaign Monitor’s customers have sent over four million emails with the help of the company’s customisable services.

As email marketing becomes more nuanced and creative, marketers looking to build their organisation’s revenue know that they have to master the science behind successful campaigns. It takes just seconds for a potential customer to read an email in an inbox heaving with missives, and milliseconds to press delete. So an email that makes that customer stop and click the link has to make an impact. While you can now generate emails with all kinds of eye-catching headlines, banners and cool graphics, including embedded videos and GIFs, for a superlative visual and technological experience, behind the ‘bells and whistles’ you have got to take care of the basics. Today’s customer wants to be valued and understood by the companies they interface with, with dedicated and personalised experiences, and email marketing is the perfect opportunity to show them they matter.

As any marketer worth their salt can tell you, email market campaigns have long been a proven method of driving forward results and increasing company revenues. Sending out emails themselves is easy-peasy, but the groundwork to set up the foundations of a successful campaign is where the real hustle begins.

Alongside Campaign Monitor, we bring you a handy infographic covering the top 10 dos and don’ts of putting together a great email campaign, with that all-important need for customer engagement and retention. Print it out, frame it and mount it on your office wall, because it has all the secrets you need to know to make your campaign deliver after you hit the Send key.

10 Email Marketing Do’s and Don’ts - Infographic by Campaign Monitor

Source: 10 Email Marketing Do’s and Don’ts by Campaign Monitor

DISCLAIMER: This was a paid piece written as a commission on behalf of Campaign Monitor.

campaignmonitor.com

SOURCES/IMAGE CREDIT:

Helen Chuchak/Anagram Interactive.

“Infographics – 10 Email Marketing Do’s and Don’ts” – Campaign Monitor https://www.campaignmonitor.com/resources/infographics/10-email-marketing-dos-and-donts/

“Three products. One family.” – Campaign Monitor https://www.campaignmonitor.com/company/