A TOWN NAMED ROTTENEGG: Monarch Airlines encourages people to visit unfairly named locations

London – VIJAY SHAH via SWNS digital

You are probably right now in the midst of booking your summer break to somewhere in Europe. Perhaps it is somewhere well-known, cultural, fun and touristy. Some place like Barcelona, London, Venice, Valletta or even Belgrade. However, maybe you want to sample a different, new and off-the-beaten-track destination this time round. How about Hell, in Norway, Piles in Spain, or God forbid, the simple hamlet of Twatt in the Orkney Islands, off Scotland. While visiting destinations with giggle-inducing names might give Instagram bragging rights to some teens, most families would baulk at the idea of visiting a place name that sounds like an intimate body part. Step forward, flight company Monarch, has launched a campaign as part of their ‘Year of Nice’ to encourage people to get over their misgivings and give places like Windpassing (there are four of them in Austria’s Niederoesterreich region) a chance, as they are often locales with beautiful scenery and attractions to discover.

One in six British holidaymakers would be put off going to a place if it had an unsavoury name. Yet they are missing out on some truly unique places. Why not take a seat in Piles, in Spain’s sunny Valencia region, not too far from the Costas of the Catalan coast and the arty metropolis of Barcelona. Despite it’s name’s awkward resemblance to a painful condition, Piles is very comfortable, with its own clean and flat beach. Also in Spain, you can head over to Andalusia and visit the traditional town of El Moron, a decision that will not make you look like an idiot. Ironically, El Moron has produced one of Spain’s most eminent archaeologists, so it is clearly not a town of tanned hicks.

For staycations closer to home, try the hamlet of Nasty in Hertfordshire, an hour’s or so drive from London. This picturesque and quintessentially English cluster of twenty or so buildings is anything but nasty, and many Londoners have in fact moved there to take advantage of the fresh rural air and bucolic countryside, even if they are reluctant to tell their friends in the big city where exactly they have upped sticks too.

For more oddly-named villages and towns to inspire you, take a look at the video below, featuring presenter Laura Hamilton.

 

SOURCES/VIDEO CREDIT:

SWNS digital/72Point http://www.swnsdigital.com/

 

APPLE IPHONE 7: People caught out by headphone jack drilling hoax video

gb

London, UNITED KINGDOM
VIJAY SHAH via SIMON ROBB and Metro

Technology company Apple recently launched the latest iteration of its best selling and fashionable iPhone series. However many Apple fans have been left frustrated as the iPhone 7 comes with one less feature, a headphone jack. While Apple have been encouraging consumers to spend a bit extra to purchase their equally new music accessory, the wireless Airpods, some users, not keen on splashing out on little white things for their ears, have resorted to drilling holes into their handsets thanks to a hoax video doing the rounds, with disastrous consequences.

YouTube star TechRax, whose channel shows him exposing iPhones to all kinds of mishaps, including getting them run over by a train, and soaking them in liquid nitrogen, put out a video showing him drilling a hole into a iPhone. While clearly intended as a joke, some viewers have taken TechRax’s tips a bit too much to heart, leaving a trail of ruined expensive phones in their wake.

 

 

The short tutorial, entitled “Secret Hack To Get Headphone Jack on the iPhone 7”, shows the producer clamping down an iPhone in a vice before applying a drill to the top of the device. Once the new ‘jack’ is in place, TechRax removes the phone, puts in some headphones and plays music, which comes loud and clear from the speakers. Despite this obvious flaw, people have been reportedly copying TechRax, assuming that there is a hidden jack buried deep within the iPhone.

Several comments below the video were from people who tried it out for themselves, only to find their handsets have stopped functioning. Ste Richards wrote I’ve just done this but there is no sound coming from the headphones. I used an exact 3.5mm drill bit but the connector doesn’t sit flush in the hole for some reason. The phone doesn’t even detect the headphones are in.” ImperioMagno complained Thanks bro, I destroy my iPhone 7, 700 dollars at trash, thanks (sic)”. Commenter ‘lol atu’ wrote Dude are you serious?! I just paid $800 dollars for this thing and now it turns on but the screen just had a few dots on it. I think my phone’s dead! **** my mom’s going to be so p****d! I hope insurance covers this”. Several commenters were so angry at being tricked that they hurled insults at TechRax and told him they hoped his channel is taken off YouTube.

For anyone reading this who is vexed at having a jack-less iPhone, please refrain from drilling holes in it. There is no hidden jack and your warranty will be voided.

SOURCES:
Metro, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/MetroUK/?hc_ref=NEWSFEED&fref=nf
“You should NOT drill a hole in your iPhone 7 to make a headphone jack” – Simon Robb, Metro/Associated Newspapers Limited (24 September 2016) http://metro.co.uk/2016/09/24/you-should-not-drill-a-hole-in-your-iphone-7-to-make-a-headphone-jack-6150353/
“Secret Hack To Get Headphone Jack on the iPhone 7” – TechRax, YouTube GB (17 September 2016) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tqH-Un9SFU
IMAGE CREDIT:
“Apple iPhone 7, Pro, SE?” – Martin Hajek, Flickr (17 March 2016) https://www.flickr.com/photos/nepaltibet2005/25842583096

SULLEE J: The Proposition

Sullee J, Baltimore’s dopest MC and rapper, returns with his latest single, “The Proposition” from his Victory mixtape, produced by JustChris, a fellow MC based out of Tremont, Illinois, USA. The artist’s latest track is all about his style on the microphone, his unmistakable delivery in tune to the ticking of a clock. He speaks on current issues and the ideology behind the system. A solid track that both inspires and makes you think.

“This is geometry over a beat, calculated with a high dose of truth and equal to nothing but dopeness! Sullee J is not playing! “

“The Proposition” is fresh for viewing on YouTube and you can download the track for free on the SoundCloud link below.

 

http://officialsulleej.com/

SOURCES/IMAGE CREDIT:
Sullee J Management.
Just Chris, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/just_chris309

DEAL GURU’S DANCING SAGE: Indian retail advert accused of defamation towards Hindus

Indian online retailer AskMeBazaar.com has been condemned for religious insensitivity by Hindu groups after it recently broadcast a video advertisement on YouTube that depicts a Hindu sage (clergyman) dancing with a scantily-clad woman.

The thirty-second advert depicts an actor dressed as the sage, wearing sacred rudraksha beads and saffron coloured garments associated with religious figureheads of India’s largest faith, levitating over a CGI building buried mostly in the ground while Bollywood actress and ‘item girl Kangana Ranaut is perched on the edge of the building dressed in modern Western clothes, including a short red skirt. As the clip begins, the sage seated in a traditional meditational posture floats towards Ms. Ranaut and asks her why she is so busy. As she peers at the screen of her mobile phone, the actress, who plays the role of a ‘shopping queen’, begins to excitedly talk about the cheap shopping she can do on the AskMeBazaar.com site. The building rises from the ground to show the figure ‘70%’ – an allusion to the savings the company is offering. The clip ends with the sage and Kangana dancing in a comical carefree manner. The bilingual English and Hindi advert, entitled “Kangana Ranaut shops at Deal Guru” was made to promote the Deal Guru service, which aims to help the site’s buyers and sellers maximise their savings.

AskMeBazaar.com is an online shop selling a wide variety of goods for the Indian market, ranging from fashion accessories and jewellery to medicines and footwear, at often heavily discounted prices. Like eBay, the site enables sellers to set up shop and offer customers popular good and designer brands in one centralised location. The site’s information page describes AskMeBazaar.com as “an effort to recreate the great Indian shopping experience online“.

The AskMeBazaar advert has attracted numerous complaints over its portrayal of a Hindu priest.

While many have seen the advert as light-hearted fun, harmlessly exploiting Indian consumers’ passion for shopping and Bollywood movies, religious Hindus have registered complaints with AskMeBazaar’s owner, Noida-based Getit Stores Pvt. Ltd., for offending their religious sentiments in what they perceive as a disrespectful portrayal of a sacred figurehead, and in particular his accompanying a character wearing what many regard as inappropriate clothing. Many Hindu sages are married, but some take vows of austerity and celibacy in order to maintain a close relationship with God and to steer their souls away from earthly illusions and temptations. Many women in India‘s cities have taken to adopting Western-influenced fashions, including the wearing of miniskirts and other ‘revealing’ attire. Many argue that these new modern women are exercising their freedom to wear what they want in an increasingly globalised environment, but opponents say such clothing, often inspired by the raunchy costumes of Bollywood actresses such as Rangana Kanaut, is an affront to general Indian culture, with its emphasis on modesty in dress and actions. The resultant culture clash of two very different cultures in India’s big cities, or ‘metros’ such as Mumbai and Delhi, have seen tensions between secular and religious groups and societies – which have occasionally turned violent.

The protests are being spearheaded by the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, an organisation campaigning for worldwide Hindu rights. The Samiti also registered a complaint with Getit Stores, who have so far refused to pull the advert offline. A spokesperson for the company denied that any intentional denigration of the Hindu faith was intended, and the advert is still available for viewing, on both the AskMeBazaar site and on their YouTube channel. HJS however insists that the advert is clearly disrespectful of Hindu religion and of its saints and sages, who are held in high esteem by Hindus globally. They pointed out the irony of AskMeBazaar using Hindu religious personalities as figures of comical fun, yet they had no history of using clergy from other religions in India in the same manner. In addition to criticising the company’s perceived intentions in using the dancing sage, the HJS also warned the company that they stood to lose valuable business and customers due to the video.

An HJS activist, Shivaji Vatkar, wrote to the Noida offices of Getit Stores on the 15th August, which is India’s Independence Day. He also called in; where an office worker there denied that the advert was insulting. Vatkar’s letter has yet to be replied to by Getit Stores.

Getit Stores Pvt. Ltd. GYS Heights, Plot 10 and 11, 2nd and 3rd floor, C tower, Sector 125, Noida (Gautam Buddha Nagar), Uttar Pradesh – 201301

Dear Sirs,
Sub:Request to stop the advertisement of Kangana Ranaut shops at Deal Guru- askme bazaar denigratiing Hindu Saint/Saadhu
Hindu Janajagruti Samiti is an NGO doing social, religious and Nation building work. For details please refer our website http://www.hindujagruti.org where we have successfully campaigned and stopped denigrating advertisements.
Thousands of Hindus are customers of askmebazaar.com. We appreciate and buy your quality products. However we have received lot of complaints against you for hurting religious sentiments as you are showing Hindu Sadhu/Saint dancing and singing with a lady for advertising your shopping. Ref Link : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYupvWgnDVA&feature=youtu.be
As per Hindu religion we should worship and get blessings from Sadhus-Saints. There spiritual teachings and knowledge is highest gift to the world. Due to their culture, sacrifice and Chaitanya millions of people have changed their lives to lead a blissful life. Walmiki, Vashisht, Naarad are some of the examples whom we respect and worship. However you have shown a Hindu Sadhu/Saint in saffron dress & a Kamandlu in hand dancing with a lady with jokes.
Thus there is insult and denigration of our Saints. This is hurting religious sentiments of Hindus which is an offense as per Indian Penal Code section 295A.
Further please note that you will not dare to show Jesus, Mohammad Paigambr, a Moulavi or Father dancing with a lady in your advertisement. You are purposely and intentionally denigrating Hindu Dharma with malafide intentions for which millions of Hindus will protest against you. Many Hindus will boycott your shopping products.
In view of above we earnestly request you to stop the advertisement and give unconditional apology for hurting religious sentiments of Hindus.
Yours faithfully,
( Shivaji Vatkar , Tel : [redacted])
For Hindu Janajagruti Samiti

A reproduction of the protest letter sent by Mr. Vatkar to Getit Stores. The retail company has not yet furnished a reply, according to Hindu religious rights group HJS.

Several companies, big and small, Indian and international, have been condemned by Hindu religious organisations in recent years for producing goods and advertisements that use Hindu symbols in a controversial manner. An American clothes and furnishing retailer was twice complained against after selling clothing items depicting Hindu deities. Several Indian advertisers and Bollywood movies have also been slated for their depiction of gods and goddesses for commercial gain.

SOURCES/VIDEO CREDIT:
Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/
“Ask me bazaar.com remains adamant against HJS’ appeal to stop Hindu sage’s denigration !” – Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (21 August 2014) http://www.hindujagruti.org/news/20389.html
askmebazaar.com, AskMeBazaar http://www.askmebazaar.com/
“ABOUT US” – askmebazaar.com, AskMeBazaar http://www.askmebazaar.com/about.php

 

 

VIDEO MOMENT : Dancing Indian horse

A quick video of a horse rhythmically trotting to the beat of a dhol drum.
This was shared on Whatsapp by my sister Alia and is also my first post via the WordPress app on my mobile.

Enjoy!!!!!

SOURCE:
“Horse Dancing On Drum Beat!!” – Christine Trowbridge, YouTube GB (11 December 2013) LINK
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LOWKEY: Tracks from a political rapper

Vijay Shah (editor)

Azzy (article idea & contributor)

Yesterday I took a quick bus ride down to my sister’s flat to hang out with her and two of my brothers who also came visiting for the day. My niece has been sent off  to a family friend’s place round the corner to hang out with her 3-year-old best friend. Once I got through the front door, I heard the bass pummeling my eardrums from upstairs. One of my brothers, nicknamed Azzy, had rigged up the sister’s laptop to a widescreen television and was playing some music videos on the YouTube website in glorious technicolor and stereo sound.  While I made myself comfortable, and engaged in the small talk, I was getting ready to step into a musical world, which is the inspiration for today’s feature. The videos you will see here are exactly the same ones I saw yesterday afternoon.

We weren’t on the video DJ thing very long as after that we decided to watch a film as well on YouTube (killing time is hard, but we have our methods!!). The music session more or less went through a selection of old school UK bhangra videos along with rap from a little known urban artist who goes by the street name of Lowkey. I had heard of Lowkey before, but had no familiarity with him or his back catalogue, though I had lived for two years in Forest Gate where there was an active grime scene, listening to local legends like Mobb Deep and Double D. Azzy has got into grime in a big way and introduced me to the work of a lot of local grime artists. We had friends come round who were forging their own careers in grime music and freestyle rapping as a sideline after school lessons and football training. As Azzy narrated to me the story of Lowkey and his work, I became more fascinated by this character, who has a strong physical resemblance to my brother and was tearing his way through our living room’s soundwaves with a skilled sucker punch of intelligent yet streetwise lyrical flow.

(c) Luna17

Lowkey, also known by his birth name Kareem Dennis, was born in 1986 in London. Two years younger than me, he is a rapper and political activist of mixed English and Iraqi origins. He began his career as many of his contemporaries have by releasing mixtapes from the age of 18, before a self-imposed break. Lowkey then returned bigger and better, showcasing his heavy rapping style on BBC Radio stations and scheduled appearances at several outdoor music festivals including Glastonbury, T in the Park and the Electric Proms.  A supporter of the Palestinian cause, Lowkey is notoriously outspoken, too much perhaps for mainstream audiences and commercial rap, but despite the naysayers he still carries a substantial following in places like the grime heartlands of east London. He has had world tours as a solo artist, taking in the United States, Lebanon, Australia, and the West Bank area of Palestine, where he is involved in some charity work and activism.

With an Iraqi mother and English father, Lowkey once described himself as “an Englishman amongst Arabs and an Arab amongst Englishmen“. He first commenced serious rapping at the tender age of 12 by copying American rappers he saw on television. Though influenced by the rap lords of the West and East Coasts, Lowkey moved away from the American style, adopting a home-grown style of rap, which was at that time helping influence the grime scene in London. He started calling himself Lowkey after testing out his skills in rap battles, only to find there was already a rapper there with that name. They battled with ‘bars’ (rap lyrics) to decide who would get to keep the moniker. Kareem won the match, and so began an influential and controversial career. He survived a stabbing at the age of fifteen and three years later, his older brother, who had mental health condition, tragically took his own life by jumping from a car park or a high building. Lowkey is vehemently opposed to Zionism, which he considers to be in the same league as anti-Semitism and freely speaks out about oppression against Palestinians. He also has verbally challenged UK-US foreign policy, most notably the invasion of Iraq by the West in 2003, the same year his rap career started taking off. He was allegedly pressurised into giving up his music career after the U.K. government, which was disturbed by his hard-hitting political messages against their actions abroad, threatened his family.

Whether or not you agree with his politics, Lowkey has more than proved himself as an adequate rap artist, eschewing the moneymaking element of artists outside the world of grime, which has enabled him to steer clear of the ‘guns, hoes and drugs’ themes commercial artists always lean on. He possesses amazing delivery skills, strong vocabulary and an able self-confidence in putting the message across. He is quite underrated it seems, because as in a lot of music genres, it is those with the most marketing clout that get the biggest record sales and largest number of YouTube views.

The first video we are featuring is his seminal dedication to his deceased older brother. It’s a truly deep rap raw with emotion from the tragedy of a sudden loss. In this track “Bars to My Brother“, Lowkey is torn between the good memories of his family and the aftermath of his sibling’s suicide. Played over a soft instrumental backing track of choir music and drums, the rap is Lowkey’s search for understanding why his brother did what he did, the pain and the loss. He dedicates his whole career to his brother’s memory, yet at the same time hates him for making their parents cry. This is a song that makes you realise what family really means and the devastation wrought when the peaceful harmony of blood relations is shattered by an unpreventable tragedy. When I heard “Bars for My Brother”, it made me experience the strongest emotional roller-coaster ride I had ever felt listening to any rap song in a long time. I challenge anyone to listen to this and not feel their eyes welling up. Incredibly powerful and emotive and it leaves behind a lasting impression of thought of why we should treasure those closest to us.

LOWKEY – Bars for My Brother

The second track featured is “Who Said I Can’t Do Grime” was released as a response to critics who claimed that Lowkey did not fit the mould of a grime rapper and was purely about the politics. His retort very much shut up their mouths as he came in hard with an eloquent and gritty rap, littered with cusses, acronyms and fast flow that would pose a serious challenge to the world’s fastest rapper Twista. In this video, presented by Grime Daily (no less) and released under Lock Down Records on Youtube, Lowkey slams his word against the critics through 120 bars in a video filmed on a London housing estate while chilling with friends, therefore keeping  faithfully to the conventions of a fiercely independent grime scene. “Who Said I Can’t Do Grime” is a diss track against Lowkey’s detractors, insulting them for questioning his talent while they are useless at the ‘spitting game’ themselves. Fast and furious a retaliation gets delivered, and Lowkey really proves himself more than capable of lyrically standing up for himself. Be warned, this rap is gritty, with expletives, so avoid if you find this sort of thing offensive.

LOWKEY – Who Said I Can’t Do Grime

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SOURCES/IMAGE & VIDEO CREDITS:
“Lowkey” – Wikipedia/Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. LINK
“Lowkey – Bars for My Brother (With Lyrics) ᴴᴰ” – Hash Animations, YouTube GB (9 December 2010) LINK
“LOWKEY – WHO SAID I CAN’T DO GRIME – AMAZING 120 BARS” – iNtEnZTunez, YouTube GB (22 April 2011) LINK
“Lowkey, Yvonne Ridley, Jody McIntyre – in Newcastle!” – Luna17 (22 April 2011) LINK

PHOTO MOMENT: Is Putin giving Van Damme a stunt-run for his (Volvo) money?

Vijay Shah

A recent advert by Swedish motor vehicle manufacturer Volvo has practically set the internet alight, being shared countless times across social platforms and becoming the talk of cyber town. One of the best attempts at both standard TV advertising and viral marketing in recent years has already clocked up nearly 50 million views on YouTube alone.  The slickly-made advertisement, made to showcase the stability and precision of Volvo’s new “Dynamic Steering”element, features Belgian action man Jean-Claude Van Damme. With his arms firmly crossed and his mouth delivering a monologue to camera in that unmistakable Flemish accent, Van Damme fearlessly does the splits between two reversing trucks bracing at a comfortable speed down a closed-off desert road.

Jaws drop as wide as Van Damme’s legs stretch apart, and those same legs are eventually completely horizontal as he is perched precariously on the lorries’ wing mirrors, while the viewers’ astonishment is accompanied by the melodious soundtrack of Enya’s “Only Time“.

But it’s a competitive world out there in adland. Whenever someone gets a over-stuffed suitcase of money from an ad agency to push the televised stunt bar to stratospheric heights, there’s always someone else who has to jump in and push the bar even higher…literally.

Step aside Van Damme. Meet Vladimir Putin. President of Russia, quintessential macho man, keen hunter, dictator-in-the-making, West’s bogeyman of the month (since 2000)…and now…super stuntsman and future father of a thousand internet memes. A picture has begun showing up on Twitter showing Putin straddling the wings of two military fighter jets high above over what appears to be Moscow. If this doesn’t put the wind up Washington, then nothing will.

Here is the Russian Federation’s answer to the Van Damme commercial (as shared by @yamphoto and @DaliaEzzat_ ) :-

(c)9GAG.com

The picture was sourced from 9GAG.com, an online gallery of funny pictures and content, so we can safely assume that despite Putin’s self-described awesomeness, this stunt was more of the Photoshop variety than the “I am the Man!!!” at 10,000 feet variety.

Death-defying sky-warrior he probably isn’t, but Russia’s leader has proved his mettle in more ground-based pursuits (with the help of a well-oiled PR machine and sympathetically doe-eyed news editors). He landed in the war-torn capital of Chechnya, Grozny’, in 2000 flying in a Su-27 fighter jet, despite risk of assassination by Chechen separatists; he has created a tough, outdoorsy, hard man image in the media and takes frequent trips to the harsh tundra of Siberia to angle for fish; he is said to be adept at martial arts, driving racing cars and scuba-diving. Russia’s superman is not without his controversies however. Vladimir Putin has also come under fire for dominating the political sphere in Russia, dragging the country back to Soviet-style rule;  and is considered responsible, or at least taking a blind eye to, the persecution of political opponents, religious minorities and most recently, LGBT Russians.

Looks like JC’s claim to stuntmanship fame is safe for now.

The Volvo ad with Jean-Claude Van Damme and two heavily-built Globetrotters:

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SOURCES/IMAGE CREDITS:
Vijay Shah { विजय } on Twitter LINK
Marcus Yam on Twitter LINK
Dalia Ezzat on Twitter LINK
“Volvo Trucks – The Epic Split feat. Van Damme (Live Test 6)” – Volvo Trucks, YouTube GB LINK
“About 9GAG” – 9GAG LINK
“Vladimir Putin” – Wikipedia/Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. LINK