MINI MAYOR: Ilford boy becomes London’s first ‘children’s mayor’

Ilford – VIJAY SHAH via ELLENA CRUSE and Ilford Recorder

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan beware, there’s a new kid on the block, and yes, he is actually a child. In a first for the city, London has witnessed the swearing into office (unofficially) of its first ‘children’s mayor’ – as part of a promotional campaign by a new kid-friendly theme park. Kishan Shah (no relation to the reporter), aged nine, and hailing from the upmarket Ilford suburb of Chigwell, has been elected mayor for youngsters with the help of children’s activity centre KidZania, his local newspaper the Ilford Recorder reported this past Thursday.

 

Shah beat off thousands of other entries and amazed judges at KidZania with his manifesto of improvements he would make to his city if he won. Among his manifesto pledges, Kishan suggested that people waiting in queues should be offered free fruit while they wait, the introduction of new clear signage for public water fountains, and helping children to interact with their new mayor via a suggestion box.

Kishan’s election was the result of a nationwide search by KidZania, an indoor theme park for children in west London, for a ‘KidZania London city mayor’ as part of their launch of a new annual pass that gives children unlimited access to their activity centre for twelve months. To celebrate Shah’s new ambassadorial role, KidZania will be giving his entire class a trip to their centre, a gold birthday party package for the new mayor himself, and even his own set of mayoral robes and keys to the KidZania City. Shah will also be the first recipient of the new KidZania yearly pass.

Kishan’s new job will be largely promoting KidZania activities, including the official opening of new attractions by the activity centre. The youngster was said to be thrilled at being chosen to be mayor, telling the Recorder: “I would make an excellent mayor as I am calm, friendly and approachable.

“I am also prepared to put in the hard work that being mayor would involve.”

Kishan’s mother Brijal added that the family were proud of their son winning the competition. She said: “He is an incredible boy with so much to give and I know he’ll do a brilliant job for KidZania”

The chief executive officer of KidZania London, Eddie Kemsley, also commented on the new mayor: “We received so many wonderful applications for the mayor position and we thank everyone for their efforts.

“However, there can only be one mayor and we are so happy for Kishan to come on board the KidZania London team.

“His personality really shone through in his application and we loved his ideas about introducing a mayor’s comment box in the city.

“We know he’ll be an enthusiastic voice for the people and we can’t wait for him to get started.”

SOURCES:

Ilford Recorder, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/IlfordRecorder/

“Chigwell boy with manifesto becomes newest children’s mayor in London” – Ellena Cruse, Ilford Recorder/Archant Community Media Ltd (30 May 2018) http://www.ilfordrecorder.co.uk/news/chigwell-boy-with-manifesto-becomes-newest-children-s-mayor-in-london-1-5541137

IMAGE CREDIT:

“File:KidZania pilots thumbs up while playing in a cockpit simulator.jpg” – KidZania Mumbai, Wikimedia Commons (9 October 2017) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:KidZania_pilots_thumbs_up_while_playing_in_a_cockpit_simulator.jpg

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IJNET: Mentoring clinic for MENA media startups launched

Amman – VIJAY SHAH via IFCJ

 

The International Journalists’ Network (IJNet)’s Arabic division has launched a new service from its mentoring centre designed to help journalists in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region set up or further develop their media startups, the International Center for Journalists has reported.

The year-long programme, aimed at entrepreneurs developing the next generation of technologically-rich Arabic media, aims to help develop new startups in the regional news economy by providing face-to-face and virtual training which culminates in a conference and media ‘boot camp’ hosted in Jordan. IJNet Arabic is also offering a lump sum seed fund of USD 4,000 (GBP 3,002) to startups with the most promising projects to jumpstart.

IJNet’s Mentoring Centre has run for several years, boosting the presence of independent media and entrepreneurship in a part of the world where most major media outlets are tightly controlled government mouthpieces and freedom of speech is often a luxury. In previous years, the Centre has helped support the development of a digital museum for women in Egypt, an independent Iraqi news agency site and a Moroccan podcast service. 

The media startup mentoring service is accepting applications from journalists from or located in the MENA region up until the end of this month, with the first round of project selections scheduled for June, followed in November by the ARIJ conference and boot camp in Amman in Jordan. The seed funding will be awarded at the end of the programme in March 2019.

SOURCES:

HEM Journalism Portal, HEM News Agency, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/halfeatenmind/lists/hem-journalism-portal

ICFJ, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/ICFJ

“IJNet Arabic’s Mentoring Center for MENA Media Startups” – International Center for Journalists https://www.icfj.org/our-work/ijnet-arabic%E2%80%99s-mentoring-center-mena-media-startups

PAPERLESS POST: Experiencing a new breed of e-card

 

They say that life is full of surprises and great things. And, indeed, you’ve just run into a whole bunch of them. Your sister has just had a baby boy, your friend has got his wedding date finally confirmed and the tinpot dictator of a manager at the office you have had to force yourself to be rictus grin nice to is leaving for a new position. Card buying season is making its presence felt but that same life of surprises usually consists of working all the hours thrown your way while juggling gym, hobbies, family time and all that jazz. You haven’t bought a greeting card since Take That split and running from pillar (box) to post (office) to buy stamps and envelopes just seems, well, tedious.

Even if you manage to get time to go out and actually do some shopping around, you will inevitably find yourself either stuck at the supermarket looking for an off-the-shelf card with a generic printed message and a pen that hopefully will not run out of ink halfway through writing in the blasted thing, or you’re at a stuffy printer’s shop trying to haggle a discount on a thousand wedding invites to be delivered ASAP. Because you procrastinated. And procrastination is a thing. You really need something more instant and fuss-free.

 

So send an E-card they said, it’ll be novel, cute and quick as a flash they said. But aren’t e-cards a bit tacky and cheap-looking? Surely good old card and paper seems like, well, you are actually even slightly bothered about this momentous and life-changing special occasion. Not forgetting that actual invitations and cards you can hold in your hand, keep and read at your leisure has a great permanency and intimacy that a few hundred pixels on a screen just cannot achieve. Well think again.

While in days gone by, e-cards were the height of gawdy electro-kitsch with their eye-bruising colours, goofy Clipart images and cat memes galore, a company based in the design capital of New York made the very smart decision a few years back to drag the much-maligned e-greetings industry kicking and screaming to the drawing board for a makeover fit for the 2010s.

Paperless Post is an online company that offers a wide selection of online invitations, ‘save-the-dates’, greetings e-cards and flyers to suit every occasion. Their stated ambition is to produce customisable online stationery that enables customers to create well-designed and personal items for that extra-special touch.

With their contemporary and inspiring creations worthy of a design gallery, not to mention their cute pigeon logo harking back to the days of carrier pigeon post and Yankee Doodle cartoons on a  Saturday morning, Paperless Post have become well-established enough to have scored collaborations with leading designers and lifestyle brands in the U.S., including Kate Spade New York, Oscar de la Renta, Jonathan Adler, and Rifle Paper Co. The company has generated more than 85 million cards to date, both in virtual and printed format, so even traditionalists and people who simply don’t have a computer or an internet connection that ever moved past dial-up can still receive an invite or card via Paperless.

I was invited by Paperless Post to try out their services for myself and had a go making a greetings card for the Hindu festival of Diwali – one of my favourite occasions, which you can see at the beginning of this review. The first thing that struck me about their website was just how amazingly appealing it was to my ‘inner designer’ ‘s eyes. With heaps of prominent imagery framed in soft pastels on just the home page, the site alone could win a design award or two.

While many websites that invest heavily in aesthetics end up neglecting the basics of good navigation, Paperless Post strikes a happy balance between the two. All of the company’s categories of offerings, such as graduation, birthday and festivals, are in a clear, minimalist and straightforward menu up top, so no need to go on an Livingstonian expedition around the site to find what you are looking for.

Like pretty much every e-tailer, you first need to sign up and create an account. You can go for the usual option of registering via an email address, but for the social-media-savvy, you can also sign up via Facebook or Google accounts too. Once done, it’s just the small matter of choosing a design and stationery item. Paperless offers both pre-designed customisable templates and an ‘upload your own’ option that enables you to upload photos and create something truly personal.

I chose to create a Diwali card. I was pleasantly surprised to find lots of designs which were culturally appropriate as well as gorgeous. I selected the ‘Under the Toran’ design with its array of flowers in a garland suspended on a luxurious white heavy paper background.

 

Once you have chosen your preferred style, it’s time to customise. There is a lot of flexibility in the choices, and you can adapt nearly everything from the typeface, colour and size of the card text, to the background behind the card when it’s opened and the colour and feel of the cyber-envelope to put your card in. The attention to detail offered by Paperless Post is such that you can add a vintage letterpress effect to your text and add the finishing touches of a cute little stamp and postmark to the front of the envelope upon completion. There’s the possibility too of choosing the pattern you prefer for the inside of the envelope, which Paperless Post dubs the ‘liner’ – very posh!

I found the user interface intuitive and offering a lot of wiggle room, although manipulating the text for the inside of the card was quite fiddly at first, but I soon got the hang of it, aided by the fact I had some experience designing graphics online using third-party websites. Although you don’t have to be a design expert, some technological prowess is helpful, although those who really struggle can get guidance from the ‘Help’ page.

 

To move between different stages you can click the ‘next’ and ‘back’ arrows (as seen in the image above) or on the menu to the left. The menu is also where you can find the patterns you need and you can play around with different combinations of design to see what fits and what looks great before you finalise everything.

Once the card or invite is complete, you can type in the recipients’ names and emails, and save them into a handy ‘address book’ for future use. The site also offers the option of reviewing the finished product by sending a test copy to yourself, as well as an RSVP facility for your loved ones to respond with messages or other details. You can also track the progress of your item once it’s sent, and even see if it has been opened yet, so no more barely believable claims about ‘the invitation must have got lost in the post’.

Paperless Post uses its own in-house virtual currency, simply called coins, which you will need to purchase before using the site. Coins can be spent on design elements and mailing out to recipients and it’s said to cost less to send an e-card en masse to, say, a hundred people, than if you went out to the local printers and ordered a bulk lot. You also save a bundle on postage and stationery costs too. Prices are not immediately clear when you choose designs, but you can see how many coins you have in your account via your dashboard.

The website was quite clear and helpful in leading me on my journey from template to sent email, with a varied range of different contemporary designs and styles to choose from. I really liked the concept of a card without the paper (and paper cuts). It is a cool and personal touch, and ideal for the environmentally conscious and those who like the instant nature and realistic feel of sending a Paperless Post e-card. It’s also money-saving (as in not having to go out and buy a card, envelope, stamps and all that malarkey) so making Paperless Post ideal for much convenience and less headaches. The sort of inner peace that you just can’t obtain from running around trying to get cards printed and posted before the party plans go up in ink and smoke.

The card I designed was so realistic and detailed, right down to the texture of the ‘paper’, that I had to honestly remind myself not to try and peel it off my laptop screen. The animation of the envelope appearing onscreen and opening to reveal the card emerging is a nice little gesture too, another sign of the attention to detail Paperless Post is famous for.

I guess the supermarket card display won’t miss me too much now I can get my cards straight from a cute website and its little pigeon.

Paperless Post

paperlesspost.com

 

DISCLOSURE: The author was sponsored by the company mentioned in this review and received an incentive in order to fully utilise the product, but opinions and experiences mentioned in the post are the author’s own.

SOURCES:

Helen Chuchak, Anagram Interactive

Paperless Post.

 

 

 

NATHAN’S PIES AND EELS: Legendary East London cafe to close after 80 years

London – VIJAY SHAH and TOM HORTON via Newham Recorder

East London is to lose another long-time landmark after a business that specialises in selling the area’s traditional delicacy of jellied eels alongside hot football match snacks announced it would be calling time after eighty years in business, according to a report by the local newspaper, the Newham Recorder.

 

Nathan’s Pies and Eels, based in Barking Road, Upton Park, near the former Boleyn Stadium of the football club West Ham United, is a ‘pie and mash’ shop, a restaurant selling traditional London food such as steak and kidney pies and mashed potato It has been run by the Nathan family since it first opened eighty years ago, with forty of those years spent at the same Barking Road site. The shop was very popular with football fans travelling in to watch West Ham play, with its traditional East London fare a highly sought after introduction to local cuisine.

The shop was opened by the great-grandfather of current owner Richard Nathan. However, since West Ham United moved to the former Olympic Stadium in nearby Stratford in 2016, Nathan’s steadily lost business and, in addition to many of its staff nearing retirement age, forcing the shop to reconsider its future. Richard plans to keep it business as usual until the 26th of May this year when Nathan’s will serve its last pie. In its heyday, the small shop was frequented by even the giants of the West Ham locker room, such as Rio Ferdinand and Julian Dicks, during the glory days of the 1990s and 2000s

Speaking with the Newham Recorder, Nathan said the closure of the café would be a ‘sad day’ for the Nathan family, the shop staff and fans of it’s hunger-busting pies and mash, and that the closure was ‘the end of an era’.

“It’s a bit cheesy, but we are like a big family”, Nathan said of his close-knit staff, many of whom have worked at the café for years.

The owner of Nathan’s Pies and Eels himself plans to retrain as a handyman after the shop ceases trading in less than two weeks, the Recorder said. The café has been inundated with condolences and cards from well-wishers.

SOURCES:

Newham Recorder, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/Newham.Recorder/

“Iconic family-run Upton Park pie and mash shop to close after 80 years in business” – Tom Horton, Newham Recorder/Archant (10 May 2018) http://www.newhamrecorder.co.uk/news/iconic-family-run-upton-park-pie-and-mash-shop-to-close-after-80-years-in-business-1-5513152

IMAGE CREDIT:

Google Maps.

DENVER POST NEWSPAPER: Three senior staff walk out over staff and budget cuts

Denver – VIJAY SHAH via AP

In a sign of the decline of print journalism in the face of the digital age, the Associated Press (AP) news agency reports that three senior executives of an American paper, the Denver Post, have left their positions in protest at recent cuts in staff and finances at the struggling local outlet. One is reported to have been a former owner of the newspaper, AP reports.

The trimming of operational costs, along with the controversial reduction in staff numbers, was ordered by the Post’s New York-based owners, a hedge fund named Alden Global Capital. As part of the cost-cutting measures, thirty members of staff were let go, substantially reducing the newspaper’s workforce and causing tension among the remaining employees.

 

Reporters still working at the paper tweeted this past Friday that chairman and member of the editorial board, Dean Singleton, had renounced both positions that day. Singleton owned the Denver Post, which has been publishing since 1892 and has a weekly circulation of more than 134,000, from 1987 to 2013, helping steer the paper through difficult economic periods and an intense rivalry with another local news outlet. The Post is run by a media company named Digital First Media, of which the hedge fund has a controlling stake.

Singleton was joined in resigning by the Post’s senior editors, named by AP as Dana Coffield and Larry Ryckman.

“I’m sad to leave, but it was time to go. I will be rooting for those still fighting the good fight,” Ryckman tweeted.

The advent of digital news and the internet has seen advertising and revenue figures for print newspapers in a steady decline, forcing many papers, whether local, regional or national to shed staff and departments, merge with other titles, or in some cases, go online only and cease distributing their printed versions, as British newspaper The Independent did in 2016.

SOURCES:

HEM Journalism Portal, HEM News Agency, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/halfeatenmind/lists/hem-journalism-portal

WAN-IFRA, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/NewspaperWorld

“3 top figures at Denver Post, including former owner, quit” – AP/Associated Press (5 May 2018) https://www.apnews.com/cae12ecbd3cf4a3185edad7171d600ce

IMAGE CREDIT:

“Coffee cups and a Denver Post newspaper” – George Kelly, Flickr (22 July 2011) https://www.flickr.com/photos/allaboutgeorge/5975059129

CAR CRASH IN CHULA VISTA: Illegal U-turn injures four

Chula Vista – VIJAY SHAH via KAREN KUCHER and San Diego Union-Tribune

 

Four people are now recovering in hospital after a three-car pile-up in the U.S. city of Chula Vista began when a driver executed an illegal U-turn on a highway there, The San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper reported yesterday.

The accident occurred on Friday morning when the driver of a white Honda vehicle was going westbound on Telegraph Canyon Road in the Californian city. The male driver then made a prohibited turn at the junction with Apache Drive, causing a fellow road user in a Camaro to crash into him, according to local police lieutenant Christopher Kelley. The Camaro was found to have been unlicensed and surprisingly, was been driven by a fifteen-year-old boy.

Police said the Honda was then pushed back by the impact into an oncoming car, also said to be a Honda vehicle, grey in colour. That crashed into the first car, causing serious injuries to the driver of the second Honda. The U-turn driver, who was travelling with his two children, also suffered injuries, though much less severe, and all three, plus the second Honda driver were taken to local hospitals, the Union-Tribune said.

Chula Vista lies just south of the San Diego metropolitan area in southern California and is popular with tourists and families.

SOURCES:

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

Twistools, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/twistools_en

“Illegal U-turn causes 3-car crash in Chula Vista that sends 4 to hospital” – OverNewser http://route.overnewser.com/twistools_en/?url=http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/public-safety/sd-me-chula-crash-20180504-story.html&utm_source=OverNewser&utm_medium=twistools_en&utm_campaign=article

“Illegal U-turn causes 3-car crash in Chula Vista that sends 4 to hospital” – Karen Kucher, The San Diego Union-Tribune (4 May 2018) http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/public-safety/sd-me-chula-crash-20180504-story.html

IMAGE CREDIT:

“File:Chula Vista, CA, USA – panoramio (1).jpg” – Roman Eugeniusz, Panoramio via Wikimedia Commons (5 September 2015) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Chula_Vista,_CA,_USA_-_panoramio_(1).jpg

‘LITTLE SCRATCHERS NURSERY’ – Parents complain after toddler son kicked from preschool for scratching classmates

Hull – VIJAY SHAH via ADAM SMITH and Metro

The family of a 2-year-old boy in the United Kingdom has lodged a formal protest after his nursery had him booted out for attacking other preschoolers, claiming that the suspension would ‘ruin his future’, tabloid news site and paper Metro reports.

Danny McKenzie-Love previously attended the Panda Nursery daycare centre in the east Yorkshire city of Hull, but he found himself without a place after nursery staff claimed he was assaulting other children by scratching their faces. He was suspended, although Panda Nursery have promised to let Danny back in if his behaviour improved.

 

According to Danny’s grandmother, Sharon Love, the trouble started soon after her grandson began attending the preschool. She told Metro: “He has only just turned two and we took him for half-an-hour over the Easter holidays and within that half an hour he scratched a bairn (child).

‘After the Easter break, he went back again and scratched another little girl’s face so her mother took her out of the nursery altogether. The day after he scratched another little girl and they suspended him for a week.”

After complaints from other parents about the little kid’s reign of scratchy terror, Panda Nursery’s directors ordered a meeting and told Sharon and Danny’s mother Charley that their child would no longer be allowed to attend as his behaviour was a threat to the other children. The grandmother however complained about the decision, stating that Danny had not been given a ‘fair chance’ and that the nursery was warned about his ‘tendencies’ to scratch the faces of other toddlers.

Sharon said: “He doesn’t swear or throw things – he is a really good bairn but now and then he will go for another child.’

She added: “Sometimes in the street we have got to watch him with other children. We haven’t got to the bottom of it and we don’t know what the problem is yet. ‘He has got challenging behaviour but they haven’t given him a chance. They haven’t worked with him and I am so disgusted. He has only just turned two and is only a baby but they have pretty much expelled him.”

A spokesman for the nursery, based at Marvell House in Cranbourne Street, said: “We take the safety and care of all the children in our nursery extremely seriously.

‘As a result of a number of incidents involving this child we were unfortunately left with no option but to suspend him until his behaviour improved, he has not been expelled and we said that once the behaviour issues had been addressed we would welcome him back to the nursery. ‘We explained that the risk of further incidents meant that we had to act formally to ensure we could continue to provide a safe and caring environment for all the children attending the nursery.”

SOURCES:

Metro, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/MetroUK/

“Nursery kicks out boy, 2, for scratching other kids and his family is livid” – Adam Smith, Metro/Associated Newspapers Limited (28 April 2018) http://metro.co.uk/2018/04/28/nursery-kicks-out-boy-2-for-scratching-other-kids-and-his-family-is-livid-7506132/?ito=social

IMAGE CREDIT:

“Stand Child Red Looking Look Girl Naughty Little” – Max Pixel https://www.maxpixel.net/Stand-Child-Red-Looking-Look-Girl-Naughty-Little-474126

 

MURDERS IN LONDON: Newham had highest rate of killings in 2017-2018

London – VIJAY SHAH via JON KING and Newham Recorder

The east London borough of Newham had the highest number of homicides in the last year, with thirteen taking place there, more than in any other borough in the city, according to figures seen and reported in local newspaper, the Newham Recorder, it is said.

The borough tops the league for the murder rate according to figures released by the Metropolitan Police, the police force which deals with crime in the Greater London area, which is made up of thirty-two boroughs.

 

Between the period from April 2017 to March 2018, thirteen killings in the borough were investigated by the police, many involving young people in their teen and twenties. Recent tragedies included that of 18-year-old Sami Sidhom in Chestnut Avenue, Forest Gate, Beniamin Pieknyi, 21, in the Stratford Centre and Promise Nkenda, 17, in Canning Town. Sidhom was stabbed to death by a group of youths while returning from a football match at the new West Ham Stadium in Stratford, north Newham.

Newham’s murder crime rate is triple the rate of neighbouring boroughs, with Redbridge reporting five homicides, Barking and Dagenham reporting four, with Tower Hamlets being the highest at six murders, according to the figures.

On the numbers the Met’s assistant commissioner Martin Hewitt said: “We continue to experience a very busy and challenging time against the backdrop of significant cuts (to police funding).”

“I am very concerned about crime rises, particularly of murder, violent and knife crime.”

Despite a slash in police officer numbers and funding brought about by central government austerity measures, the Met Police has said it is doubling up on tackling knife crime with increased ‘stop-and-searches’ and extra officers on the beat in affected communities.

“There are complex reasons why more young people carry knives. Knife crime cannot be solved only by the police. We need the help of agencies and communities who we know are behind us,” the assistant commissioner said.

The police figures also reported increases in violent crime, robberies, sexual assaults/attacks and burglaries, with 2,082 incidents reported between April 2017-March 2018, according to the Recorder paper.

“Despite the challenges ahead, we continue to focus on bringing offenders to justice, making streets hostile territory for criminals, supporting victims and working with communities,” Hewitt said.

SOURCES:

Newham Recorder, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/Newham.Recorder/

“More Newham murders than in any other London borough, Met figures show” – Jon King, Newham Recorder/Archant (27 April 2018) http://www.newhamrecorder.co.uk/news/crime-court/murders-newham-london-borough-met-police-figures-1-5495065

IMAGE CREDIT:

“Police Crime Scene Blue Light · Free image on Pixabay” – geralt, Pixabay (29 July 2015) https://pixabay.com/en/police-crime-scene-blue-light-862341/

 

POKEMON GO: International Community Day next month

Tokyo – VIJAY SHAH via RENE RITCHIE and iMore

While the hype around the celebrated Nintendo augmented reality game Pokémon Go has long since died down, perhaps because everyone decided to twaddle with fidget spinners instead, the game still draws a loyal support base. For the uninitiated, Pokémon Go is an interactive game, downloadable to your mobile phone, where you catch animals from the Pokémon kids’ cartoon series in real-life locations, raise them and use them to fight opponents. In 2016, the game’s popularity reached endemic proportions, with people crowding in parks to catch rare and elusive Pokemon, and state authorities such as police, giving out warnings for people to pay attention to their surroundings when immersed in the highly addictive game.

 

Pokémon Go lovers will soon be able to bond and exchange their little friends in a special Community Day event, scheduled for the 17th May 2018 across the world. The Community Day offers game players, known as ‘trainers’ a chance to go out and catch Pokémon together as teams in a special and social bonding experience.The creators of Pokémon Go, in a bid to counteract the perception of gaming as an anti-social hobby, created the events, held monthly, to encourage players to get out, discover new places, and meet new people.

There are many game bonuses being released for the day, according to online magazine iMore. These include extra XP, Stardust, faster egg hatching, lure modules that last three hours, and a special Pokémon with an exclusive move. The featured Pokémon for May’s event (the Community Day occurs for just three hours on one day per month) is Charmander, a small orange fire-breathing cross between a dinosaur and a dragon.

While the event is scheduled for just three hours, start and finish times will vary according to your location. Gamers in the Asia-Pacific region, including Japan, can start hunting at 12 pm to 3 pm JST (Japanese Standard Time). Participants in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and India will have their regional event from 10 am-1 pm UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) and those in the Americas (including Greenland) can play from 11 am to 2 pm EST (Eastern Standard Time).

SOURCES:

interactive storytelling, ICIDS, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/icids/lists/interactive-storytelling

Louz Wate, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/LouzWate/

“Pokémon Go Events for April 2018” – Rene Ritchie, iMore/Mobile Nations (22 April 2018) https://www.imore.com/pokemon-go-events

“Pokémon Go Community Day Guide for May 2018” – Rene Ritchie, iMore/Mobile Nations (15 April 2018) https://www.imore.com/pokemon-go-community-day

IMAGE CREDIT:

“Abington Pokemon GO” – Penn State, Flickr (20 July 2016) https://www.flickr.com/photos/pennstatelive/28170409310

AMBIGUOUS OBJECT ILLUSION: An incredible new design by Kokichi Sugihara

For centuries, optical illusions have fascinated people with their visual tricks, appearing as something and then something else, only to be something else entirely. From the ‘rabbit duck’ illusion that appeared in the US magazine Harper’s Weekly in 1892 (said to be the world’s oldest) to the Magic Eye three-dimensional cacophonies of colour that were the rage twenty years ago, optical illusions have mesmerised and shocked.

Now the deception has really gone 3D. The advent of 3D printing technology for plastics has opened up a new stream of possibilities for artists of groundbreaking optical illusions. One artist who has embraced this is Japanese academic, Kokichi Sugihara, who has released an incredible new design, titled ‘Ambiguous Object Illusion’.

 

The artwork consists simply of a blue plastic toy with holes. When turned around ninety degrees, the objects holes change from diamonds to circles without any alteration to the fabric of the design. Turn it around again and the holes suddenly increase in size as well as changing shape to triangles and a diamond with curved sides. Introduce a mirror into the mix and things get more surreal, with the object’s reflection completely different to how the real deal appears to our eyes. A closer inspection of the little plastic thingie reveals it has wavy edges, which affect how the object is perceived depending on the angle.

Sugihara’s ambiguous art projects have been a hit online and in 2016 they helped him become a finalist at the Best Illusion of the Year Contest, as well as taking first place in the same competition in earlier years. A mathematician on the faculty of Japan’s renowned Meiji University, his mathematical engineering skills, combined with a love of art, has already produced novelties such as an artwork where a marble appears to be rolling uphill, and another where a circular pipe appears rectangular. Of particular note is his artwork ‘Ambiguous Garage Roof’. His interest in illusions stems from his research in the 1980s on automating the analysis of perspective drawings, including computer programmes that examined the objects featured in the designs of famous optical illusionist M.C. Escher.

The optical illusion works because the holes or cylinders are based on a shape which is halfway between a circle and a square, with the side edges formed as waves. Two sides dip up, and two sides dip down. When combined, the shape is ‘corrected’ depending on which shape is projected into the mirror. Your eyes and brain’s visual cortex do the rest. It is complicated physics and not something this poor author can adequately explain. Nevertheless this mind-frying trick is very confounding.

SOURCES:

PhysicsFun.

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

RΛMIN NΛSIBOV, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/RaminNasibov

“Kokichi Sugihara” – Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kokichi_Sugihara

“How Does The Ambiguous Cylinder Illusion Work? This Mystery Has The Internet Stumped — VIDEO” – Maddy Foley, Bustle (5 July 2016) https://www.bustle.com/articles/170704-how-does-the-ambiguous-cylinder-illusion-work-this-mystery-has-the-internet-stumped-video