If all you’ve got so far is that December is « Don’t get too drunk » and April is « Find the eggs/Hide the eggs (depending on your age) », be aware that other months have great challenges happening too. Most of them artistic, they will either leave you with a great sense of satisfaction, or a complete loss of faith in your willpower. If you were looking for something to get anxious about every day for thirty days, here’s a non-exhaustive list for you. Creative Challenges Inktober Started by Jake Parker, who had decided to improve his inking skills by producing one drawing per day for a month, it has since become huge. Every year, a new theme list is released to inspire drawers from all around the world. The best thing about it is that nothing is mandatory, neither using ink or following the themes. It’s all about getting creative, having fun and polluting people’s Facebook timelines. Mermay Big fan of Ariel’s and the half-fish half-human thing? Mermay is going to be your favorite creative challenge. Your mission? Drawing a mermaid a day, in May. Mermay. NaNoWriMo Enough with the drawing! NaNoWriMo is a writing challenge, and it’s one of the toughest. Long story short, between November 1st and November 30th, you will produce a 50k-word novel. Sounds impossible? Look for inspiration and motivation on their official website! Health Challenges Movember Raising awareness through hipster looks? Why not. Movember encourages men to grow their beards, run and raise money for men’s health. Could you actually combine it with NaNoWriMo, happening the same month?! Maybe, if you’re lucky enough to be unemployed. Dry January A challenge from the UK, where the heavy consumption of alcohol is known to have poor consequences on its citizens’ health. Even though the benefits of a sober month are hard to measure in the long-run, it’s always good to cleanse for a few weeks. Mustache March Mustache March is a tradition more than a challenge, and comes from the US. In March, the members of the US Air Force will grow their mustache in remembrance of a WW2 and Vietnam hero, Robin Olds. Fap Free February It is hard to retrace the origins of Fap Free February, a challenge that’s become both a joke and a thing on the Internet. For the pure and innocent ones, fap is Internet slang for masturbation. Encouraged by the members of No Fap, a forum for fap addicts trying to recover, the idea is to stay « clean » for a month, or more. Life can never be boring again, with all these new personal records to break. What’s nice about these challenges is that there will always be a community to understand and support you while you’re doing it. There are other monthly challenges out there, just try to find the right one for you! And please, please share the results on the social networks to make everyone else feel lazy and guilty. #acp_paging_menu, .acp_wrapper { display: none; }
Guest stars appearances are both the worst and the best thing about TV shows. Sometimes embarrassing, and sometimes it’s just the most satisfying moment of your day. The tradition goes way back, and we all remember these famous – at the time – actors and actresses who made an appearance on Friends. Since then many showbiz stars have appeared on our screens, here are some of the most brilliant and tragic ones. Britney Spears – How I Met Your Mother Remember when Ted was seeing Stella, a single mother who worked as a dermatologist? Stella’s secretary was a shy, kind of dumb-looking blonde… played by Britney Spears. Not only was the character hilarious and enabled Britney bitch to make fun of herself, but she was also (SPOILER ALERT) Barney’s mysterious bully. Great cameo, great story-line, we’re all a slave for you, Brit. Bruce Willis – Friends Miles away from his roles in action movies, Bruce Willis became a protective, passive-aggressive and yet insecure single dad in Friends. Was it his only way to date Jennifer Aniston, at the time in a relationship Brad Pitt? Could be. The most important thing being that no one ever forgets the « Just a Love Machine » mirror performance. Prince – New Girl Prince never hid that he was a fan of the show. He even got his team to get in touch with the New Girl production, so he’d appear in one of their episodes. In the well-named episode « Prince », Prince played Prince hosting a party. When the star passed away, Fox aired the episode one more time, in tribute. Ed Sheeran – Game of Thrones Although it is normal and enjoyable when it comes to sitcom, action series cameos always feel kind of odd. Is that how we all felt when Ed Sheeran appeared in GoT’s 7th season? Widely criticized, even though his role was of minor importance, the singer’s performance will only be remembered for articles such as ours, and should be forgotten by all the series’ fans. Stephen Hawking – Big Bang theory Stephen Hawkings appeared so many times on the show, he was almost considered part of the cast. The great scientist was Sheldon Cooper’s idol and enjoyed playing tricks on the pretentious Caltech genius. The whole TBBT crew paid homage to Hawking when he passed away in March 2018. Donald Trump – Sex and the City Long before he was president of the United States, Donald Trump was already a star in the US. In the second season of the show, the businessman and Samantha happened to be in the same room as she was ordering a cosmopolitan. As Carrie Bradshaw said then: « Samantha, a cosmopolitan, and Donald Trump. You just don’t get more New York than that. » If you had forgotten about all these cameos, we suggest that you re-watch the episodes. And then the entire series because who watches just one episode?! Not you. #acp_paging_menu, .acp_wrapper {display: none;}
As we grew up we were Friends, had Sex in the City and eventually became Heroes, or Misfits, and that’s How I Met Your Mother. All these episodes, storylines and characters have had a different influence on us, and even though all the binge- watching can be held responsible for some of our worst hair choices, there was some useful stuff for us queers. Whether we knew about our sexuality, or came to understand it as we saw others be proud on screen, some TV characters have definitely made it easier to come out and live our queer life.  Santana Lopez – Glee Glee was huge, which made Santana Lopez’s coming out HUGE. She told us not only that it is OK to be gay, but also that it is OK to be gay, popular and a total bitch. Because why be quiet if you don’t feel like it, and what if you want to throw slushees at people’s faces? Ok, Santana might’ve been bad influence, but she was bad ass. Also, she taught us that you can be gay and open about it in high school. If everyone was, Tumblr would probably go bankrupt. Nomi Marks – Sense 8 You’d have to be very very young to have grown up with Sense8, but don’t we all grow up a little with every character that teaches us something? On that deep note, let’s acknowledge how hot, badass and insanely clever Nomi was in Sense8. Now let’s repeat the lesson again and again : being LGBTQIA+ is amazing, but it’s not more important than having a great brain. Piper Chapman – Orange is the New Black She might be one of the most annoying TV characters ever written. However, she knew something that most people don’t: being bisexual doesn’t mean you owe anyone an explanation. Piper just goes for whomever she wants, and that’s alright, because the real problem about her is obviously the constant emptiness in her eyes. These are just to mention a few, but there is no doubt that many kiddos have looked up to Captain Raymond Holt (Brooklynn Nine-Nine), that cute lesbian couple in the amazing Black Mirror episode, or even Emily from Pretty Little Liars whose hotness was definitely helpful growing up. #acp_paging_menu, .acp_wrapper {display: none;}
If you are worried about where to buy your next double hit mocha frappe latte, while twiddling your handle bar mustache, in your ‘made to look worn’, 200 euro denim jacket, you might also be worrying about what to call yourself. You rock a side fade in your hair, own a ‘Dr. Phil’ t-shirt that you wear ironically, and own a single speed bike that you had designed in custom colours. But you also have a job, and you like your job. You have a keen sense of business ambition and you really don’t mind working for a big corporation if it means you stay on your career trajectory. More to the point, you’ve never been in a yurt in your life! Well fear not, because we have just the right pigeon hole to squish you into. Gone is the tired old trope of calling every hip young thing a hipster, enter the ‘Yuccie’! First came the Yuppie, a product of 1980’s hedonism. Full of their own self importance, flashing platinum visa cards with slick hairstyles and penchant for wearing suits. Then came the Hipster, the almost indefinable bunch of youngsters who traversed the gaps between rich and poor, chic and shabby, cool and ironically uncool. Now there is a new batch of youths to categorize, the Yuccie. Yuccie’s, or Young Urban Creative’s, are typically in possession of all of the same attributes as the hipster, BUT, (and that’s a very big ‘but’ by the way), they are also tech savvy Business owners and young entrepreneurs. *insert eye-roll here* The Love Child Of Yuppies And Hipsters So, what’s the difference between the Hipster and the Yuccie? Well, you will be delighted to know that it’s not so much that they are different, more that the Yuccie is an extension of what it means to be a Hipster, a sub culture of a counter culture if you will. Yuccies are the cultural offspring of Yuppies and Hipsters. They have all of the drive and ambition that Yuppies had but also a strong focus and love of creativity and individuality, like Hipsters. In other words, they are Hipster business people. So not only will they be the cause of the gentrification of your local urban village by moving in and and wanting fancy coffees, they will be the ones who own the artisan coffee shops and bespoke barbers. But, moving away from their Hipster genesis, this new breed of young person is inherently, almost deliberately, enormously privileged. Being a Yuccie involves a level of self-involved cynicism that is exclusive to those who have never experienced financial or social hardship. They are absolutely reliant on the digital recognition of others, *queue instagram posts with flat-lays of unknown books they are reading*, and write, post and live essentially for validation from their peers. Yuccie Optimism But it’s not all bad, where Hipsters hid behind irony and an often disingenuous hatred of ‘The Man’, Yuccies dare to dream and don’t reject the idea of a corporate environment. They are often more interactive with the here and now, more business minded and less preoccupied with what is ‘cool’. Their hangups come from obsessing over professional validations rather than social ones. This could be down to having to pull themselves up in the world by their bootstraps after the global economic crash, or, thanks to a wisdom garnered from the vast expanse of today’s internet. With their main focus being optimism and a strong work ethic surely that’s better than the cynical doom and gloom of years gone by? Or maybe it’s all just a way for older generations to try and better understand the ever changing, ever evolving face of young people and how they function? All we know is that if being a Yuccie means that we can embrace quirky individuality while also focusing on careers and making money without fear of ridicule from our peers, then we are all in. Have our cake and eat it too you say? Absolutely! #acp_paging_menu, .acp_wrapper {display: none;}
Autumn will soon end, and so will your motivation to get out of bed. Luckily, unless you have a dog, a job, a family or friends, you don’t really have to. Also, how boring would it be to open the door and end up in your good old neighborhood that you’ve seen hundreds of times? What you can do here is bigger and better: stay in bed, and let the marathons take you far, far away from your boring life. You’re welcome. Mad Max (7 hours, 4 movies) Ever wanted to spend 7 hours immersed in post-apocalyptic Australia? Here you go. Way cheaper and faster than booking a plane trip. From the very first Mad Max released in 1979, to the most modern Max: Fury Road, it’s all wars and blood. Sit comfortably and enjoy the collapsing of human society. The Lord of the Rings (9 or 11 hours (extended), 3 movies. (add 3 movies and make it 20h with The Hobbit trilogy) The great thing about a The Lord of the Rings marathon is that you can adapt it to your own level of geekiness. Just in for a peaceful 9 hour walk through Mordor and its stunning landscapes? You got it. Willing to stay home for one or two days exploring the depths of the realm? It’s OK, we’ve got enough material for that. As a wise friend said « All you have to do is decide what to do with the time that is given to you. ». Star Wars (18 hours, 8 movies) The previous marathons did not lift your feet off the ground? It’s time to spice things up and dive into the galaxy. If you don’t know in which order you should watch the movies, ask friends, ask Google, and then try all the possible variations. Anyone who’s willing to spend 18 hours in front of Star Wars shouldn’t mind spending twice or four times this amount of time just to make sure they did it right the first time. Ice Age (7h30 hours, 5 movies) It doesn’t matter if you think you’re too old or too cool for animated movies, because you’re not. There’s a chance that this last marathon should be the most interesting and well-crafted of our list. Also, if you like movie marathons AND have a family life -it is frowned upon, but can happen- that one should reunite your two favorite things: silent children, and binge-watching. #acp_paging_menu, .acp_wrapper { display: none; }
The 90’s gave us some of the best movies and TV shows of all time. It also gave us some of the greatest teen shows ever made. Shows that were funny and addressed the issues of the 90’s teen in a way not seen in previous decades. They also often tackled hard hitting issues such as suicide, drugs and teen pregnancy in a pragmatic, realistic way, that simply hadn’t been done before. Here, we take a look at some of the greatest teen TV shows of the 90’s. My So Called Life My So Called Life only lasted for one season but it had a huge impact. It gave us Jared Leto and Clare Danes, and dealt with some serious issues such as drug abuse, depression and struggles with coming to terms with your sexual orientation. It followed Angela, (Clare Danes), as she traversed the muddy waters of a 90’s American high school, and dealt with the dichotomy between yearning to be accepted, and wanting to be your own person and make your mark on the world. Ready Or Not Ready Or Not was a Canadian show that followed the lives of two young girls, entering into the treacherous world of puberty. Set in the suburbs of Toronto, it focused on Amanda Zimm (Laura Bertram) and Elizabeth “Busy” Ramone (Lani Billard), as they dealt with life’s struggles as well as showcasing  each girls different backgrounds.  Amanda was an only child raised by liberal former hippie parents while Busy was from a more conservative and traditional Italian Canadian Catholic household with three older brothers. Dawson’s Creek Dawson’s Creek Followed the lives of four best friends in the small coastal, Massachusetts town of Capeside. Best friends since childhood, they are about to enter that confusing time in life where nothing is the way it was and nothing is as it seems. This was everyone’s favourite obsession in the 90’s, especially the will they, won’t they romance storyline of the title character Dawson and his female best friend Joey. California Dreams California Dreams centered on the lives of the California Dreams, a teen music group trying to make the big time.  The show was part comedy, part drama, and often focused on serious social issues such as drug abuse, racism and dealing with parents after divorce. Buffy The Vampire Slayer Into every generation, a slayer is born. Every teen loved Buffy in the 90’s. It followed the story of Buffy Summers, (Sarah Michelle Gellar), as she becomes a vampire slayer, or rather the vampire slayer, since there can only be one. Buffy and her friends, her ‘scooby gang’, go week to week fighting bad guys and killing demons. But it was more than just pulpy horror TV fare. It dealt with difficult issues at the same time, and invested heavily in its characters, so we all really cared about what happened to each member of the Buffy cast. Popular This teen high school comedy drama centered around two high school girls on the opposite ends of the school hierarchy, who are forced to make nice when Brooke’s father meets Sam’s mother on a cruise and become engaged. The girls now live together and their individual peer groups are forced to co-mingle in and out of school with interesting repercussions. This was an awesome show, despite being short lived, because it had the message that not everyone is what they seem, and tackled the elitism that exists within the high school system of hierarchy. Most of its young cast also went on to become fairly big stars, including: Leslie Bibb, Carly Pope, Leslie Grossman, Tammy Lynn Michaels, Sarah Rue and Christpopher Gorham. Roswell The town of Roswell, New Mexico, is the site of a supposed crash landing by an alien space craft in 1947. This show follows the lives of the people of that town in 1999, when bizarre things start happening. We soon learn that three of the local teenage high school kids are in fact alien/human hybrids, on Earth with one mission: to follow the destiny given to them by the members of their dying race, a race that they are someday destined to save. The three teens, Max Evans (Jason Behr), Isabel Evans (Katherine Heigl), and Michael Guerin (Brendan Fehr), are endowed with extraordinary, superhuman powers. So far, they have kept their gifts and their mission a secret, until one faithful day when Max’s friend, Liz (Shiri Appleby), is shot at her workplace, and Max heals her with his alien powers. From there on, the show centres around their relationship, and trying to stay hidden from the American Government and other outside forces. Sweet Valley High This was based on the books of the same name by Fancine Pascal. The series revolveas around the lives of Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield, beautiful blonde twins who live in the fictitious Sweet Valley, California, and their gang of friends. Elizabeth is warm, friendly and sincere, while her twin sister Jessica is flirty, mischievous, and irresponsible. This was another one that often dealt with some more hard hitting issues, especially as the girls got older. It also had one of the most iconic theme tunes that we are sure lot’s of 90’s kids still remember the lyrics to. Party Of Five Party Of Five was a show that had very adult themes but was presented in very teenage accessible ways. It was intelligent and engaging and had some truly brilliant storylines over the course of its 6 seasons run. The show follows the Salinger family, in the aftermath of their parents death in a car crash. The five Salinger siblings are now forced to live on their own, and the oldest son, Charlie, is appointed as their legal guardian. Their new situation means putting aside personal goals to help make ends meet and keep the family together. The show starred Scott Wolf, Neve Campbell, Lacey Chabert, Matthew Fox and Jennifer Love–Hewitt. 7th Heaven 7th Heaven focused on the life of Eric Camden, a reverend, his wife Annie, and their five children, Matt, Mary, Lucy, Simon and Ruthie. Over the course of the show, five becomes seven when Annie becomes pregnant with twins, David and Sam.  The show follows the challenges of raising a family during permissive times.  Legendary producer Aaron Spelling served as an executive producer on the show. It ran for 11 seasons and saw all of the children grow up and become adults with some of them starting their own family. It dealt with hard hitting issues and often touched on some very touchy subject matters, like rape and domestic abuse. The show also gave Jessica Biel her big break as she played the oldest sister, Mary Camden. Some of the shows on this list probably wouldn’t get made today, at least not in the same way. The type of quality programming that existed for teens in the 90’s simply doesn’t exist anymore, which really just goes to prove that they don’t make ’em like they used to!  
While the aesthetics of Anime and Manga lends itself well to a younger audience, many TV shows and movies that are animated in that style are far from kid friendly. Many are violent, gorey, and deal with very adult themes. Many would also just fly above the head of the average youngster. Visually stunning, most anime is a joy to watch with intricately woven storylines and stunning imagery throughout. Here, we take a look at some of the best anime movies and TV shows with dark, adult themes that you should not miss. But be aware that these are not for younger viewers. TEKKONKINKREET TEKKONKINKREET is an intricate story of the bonds of brotherhood. The movie addresses the problems of living in a large city in today’s society, and deals with issues such as the loss of a true love, and the kindness that dwells within the human heart.  The story focuses on two street kids, two brothers called Black and White, as they try to prevent the evils of the Yakuza, and big city mobsters, from infiltrating the sanctity of their beloved city. The movie is based on a three-volume ‘seinen manga’ series by Taiyō Matsumoto. Elfen Lied Elfen Lied is a beautifully woven tale of acceptance, and the cruelty and fragility of the human spirit. Lucy is a new breed of human, referred to as a ‘Diclonius’. She is  born with a short pair of horns, and invisible telekinetic hands. She has become the victim of inhumane scientific experimentation by the government. However, Lucy gains freedom from her captors in a bloody and violent escape. During her escape, Lucy receives a blow to the head which leaves her with a split personality. One personality is that of Nyu, a harmless child possessing a limited speech capacity. Nyu stumbles upon a pair of young students who take her in and try to help her. Over the course of the series we learn that Lucy is not the only Diclonius, and a bloody and violent battle ensues between her, the other Diclonius’, and the laboratory that wants to recapture her. Paprika Paprika is the first on this list from the amazing mind of Satoshi Kon.The movie depicts the story of a machine that allows therapists to enter their patients’ dreams. When the machine is stolen, chaos ensues, and it is up to female therapist, Paprika, to solve the mystery and find the missing machine. Despite similarities drawn between this and Christopher Nolan’s 2010 movie Inception, Paprika actually pre-dates Nolan’s movie by four years. It is also, arguably, a far better movie. Serial Experiments Lain Serial Experiments Lain is a cyber-punk anime series from the late 90’s. It follows the story of young school girl Lain, who is obsessed with a virtual social network called ‘The Wired’. When her classmate commits suicide, Lain and other members of the peer group begin to receive e-mails from their dead friend. At first they assume it is merely a cruel prank, but Lain gets more and more curious, and slowly begins to fall deeper into the mysterious web the The Wired is weaving for her. During her investigations and research,  Lain discovers truths that potentially undermine the very fabric of existence. Cat Soup What a peculiar, surreal joy this movie is. Cat Soup is the perfect example of Anime as an art form. The story essentially follows that of a little boy and girl cat as they go on an odyssey to reclaim their souls from the land of the dead. The movie, however, is full of surreal, sexually suggestive imagery and vulgar suggestion. Paranoia Agent The second entry from Satoshi Kon to this list, Paranoia Agent, was Kon’s one and only attempt at episodic TV. This is a masterclass in suspense, paranoia, and mounting tension, that any live action director could seriously take notes from. It tells the story of ‘Little Slugger’, an urban legend about a mysterious, rollerblading kid, who can put you out of your misery if your life’s falling apart.  After a vicious attack on a young female as she makes her way home from work, two detectives are called in to investigate. They discover that Little Slugger may be more than just a rumour, and soon, more and more people fall victim to his attacks. But more than just thuggish attacks, as the detectives dig deeper, the reality they thought they knew begins to crumble around them.  Full of violence, with just a smattering of sex, Paranoia Agent takes you in the kind of paranoid, surrealist trips that only Satoshi Kon could deliver. Wicked City This absolute gem of a movie flies under the radar for some strange reason. It is a neo-noir detective drama set in a futuristic city. It tells the story of two worlds that have existed in harmony for centuries, Earth and the Black World. The Black World is a realm of supernatural beings that most humans are unaware of. A military group called the Radicals are intent to breaching the peace and returning men to their former heritage : as slaves. Two special agents, Taki, a human, and Makie, a supernatural, are called in to prevent the Radicals from seizing control. The two form the Black Guard who must protect a 200 year-old man named Giuseppi Mayart, the only man who can keep the peace from being broken by the Radicals. This smart, stylish and eerie Anime is one of the early Manga greats. Dead Man Wonderland When the sole survivor of a high school massacre, Ganta,  is framed for the crime, he is incarcerated in Deadman Wonderland, a strange and sinister private prison. This prison has a perverted and insidious take on incarceration, and what inmates must endure. During the massacre, the real killer embeded a red crystal inside Ganta. This crystal imbues him with powers, and he soon learns that all of the prisoners at Deadman Wonderland must entertain the public, by performing in dangerous games, in exchange for privileges. All of it is televised, and performed in front of a live audience. Ganta soon forms alliances within the prison and soon develops a rag-tag band of misfit friends. Together they must fight for survival, and find out what is really going on in the prison. Perfect Blue Another Satoshi Kon movie, Perfect Blue offers an intriguing look at the dangers of modern celebrity culture, and its inevitable objectification of its beloved starlets. This was Satoshi Kon’s debut movie, released in 1997, and introduced the world to a decadent, depraved genius.  The movie tells the story of Mima Kirigoe, a recently retired  pop idol and a member of the adored pop group: CHAM.  Mima has come to despise the vapid excess of her pop idol fame, and becomes determined to make it as a real, quality actress.  During the process of redefining herself, Mima’s fans begin to despise her, and a sinister stalker emerges from the shadows and seems to bare witness to every moment of Mima’s life. Chaotic fantasy becomes mingled with reality, and we are drawn to a paranoid, blistering climax. Truly a masterpiece of cinema whether you are a fan of animated movies or not.
Mankind has always pushed itself forward into realms of discovery. Our curious nature is what first separated us from beasts. Over the last two decades, there have been a number of scientific discoveries that have propelled our scientific understanding and technological advancement further than ever before. Let’s take a look at some of the greatest scientific discoveries that have happened over the last 20 years.   The Detection Of Gravitational Waves Gravitational waves were predicted over 100 years ago by Albert Einstein, when he predicted that mass had the ability to curve space-time.  It wasn’t until 2016 that scientists at LIGO, (the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory), managed to detect and record them. Gravitational waves are ripples in the fabric of space-time, that travel at the speed of light.  All major cosmic events and collisions send out gravitational waves. For example, around 3 billion years ago, a black hole 32 times the mass of our sun, collided with a black hole approximately 19 times the mass of our sun. This resulted in a cataclysmic event that created a brand new monster black hole. All time and space were warped because of this event. This is something that we can now measure and quantify thanks to LIGO. The scientists at LIGO managed to detect the ripple in space time that this caused on January 4th 2017. This was the third time that scientists at LIGO detected the collision of two black holes. This is hugely important, as not only does it prove that the 100 year old theory of Einstein’s was right, but, it allows us to detect large-scale cosmic events in a manner we never have been able to before. This lends itself to the further understanding of the nature of the universe, and the very fabric of existence. This breakthrough has enabled us to not only theorize about it, but actually visualise gravity. The Higgs Boson, Or, The God Particle The Higgs Boson is an elementary particle that had been theorized since the 60’s, but was only detected in 2012, when scientists at CERN, in Switzerland, discovered it using a Large Hadron Collider. This was a hugely important discovery, as it essentially filled in the gaps of the modern ‘Standard Model’ in physics.  This model, prior to the discovery of the Higgs Boson, had no explanation as to why some particles are massless, (ie. the photon), while others have varying degrees of mass. In theory, without the existence of the Higgs Boson, all particles should be without mass. The Higgs mechanism creates a field that interacts with particles, and basically, gives them mass. The Higgs Boson is the particle that is associated with that field, in the same way that protons are the particles associated with the electromagnetic field. Scientists had always assumed the existence of the Higgs field, but had found no experimental evidence for it, until 2012. In order to detect the Higgs Boson, they required a super-powerful particle smasher such as the Large Hadron Collider, to produce energies high enough to knock a Higgs Boson into existence, under controlled conditions.  Here’s how it worked: protons are present in the nuclei of atoms, the most basic units of matter. Protons are composed of even smaller particles, three quarks held together by gluons. In the Large Hadron Collider, protons were accelerated at 99.9999991% of the speed of light. Quarks and gluons inside the protons collided and exploded with enough energy to create the Higgs particle. The Higgs particle has 100 to 200 times the mass of a proton and will last less than a millionth of a billionth of a second before decaying into a spray of other particles. Evidence for the Higgs particle was found in the telltale spirals and streaks left in the Large Hadron Colliders detectors by the particles it created as it disintegrated. This discovery was hugely important to the scientific community, as it solved a long standing problem in the basic understanding of the quantum mechanics of atoms, and helps us better understand the nature of particle physics. The Discovery Of Water On Mars In 2015, NASA released images showing long, dark streaks on the surface of the red planet that appear and disappear throughout the seasons. This was taken to mean that liquid water exists on Mars today. It had long been hypothesized that water had existed on the planets surface in the past, however, there had never been any evidence to suggest that any remained to this day. What we see in the pictures as dark, narrow, 100 meter-long streaks are known as, ‘recurring slope lineae’, and they appear to be flowing downhill. Scientists have suggested that these may have been formed by contemporary flowing water. Recently, planetary scientists detected hydrated salts on these slopes at Hale crater, which would go towards corroborating this hypothesis.  The blueish color observed upslope of the dark streaks are thought to indicate the presence of the mineral pyroxene. Obviously, this is of great significance, as the presence of water could potentially mean the sustainability of life. Observations suggest that this water appears seasonally on the slopes of the martian surface. However, scientists have been unable to figure out where the source of the water could be, or if the chemistry of it would be right for supporting life, or at least, life as we understand it. T-Rex Tissue In 2005, T-Rex bones were discovered in a sandstone formation in Montana. Preserved within the thigh bone was actual soft tissue. It was the source of much controversy at the time, however, recent analysis of the tissue has gone a way to explaining how soft tissue could have been preserved for almost 70 million years. Initially, it was thought that the proteins that make up soft tissue should degrade in less than 1 million years in the best of conditions. It was assumed that the tissue had to be something else, perhaps the product of a later bacterial invasion, critics argued. But then, in 2007, scientists analyzed the chemistry of the T-Rex proteins. They found the proteins really did come from dinosaur soft tissue. The tissue that they found was collagen, and it shared similarities with bird collagen, which makes sense, as modern birds evolved from ‘theropod’ dinosaurs such as the T-Rex. The researchers then decided to analyse other fossils for the presence of similar soft tissue, and found that it was in fact present in about half of their samples. Some of which dated all the way back to the Jurassic Period, which lasted from 145.5 million to 199.6 million years ago.The reasoning put forward for the preservation of this soft tissue was the high levels of iron present in all of the samples. Iron forms iron nanoparticles after death, and generates free radicals. These free radicals cause proteins and cell membranes to tie in knot and basically act like formaldehyde. Formaldehyde, as many know, preserves soft tissues. This was an outstanding discovery, not just in the understandings of how bio-organics behave after a certain amount of time has passed, but also in the understanding of how Dinosaurs lived and how their bodies worked. The Existence Of Dark Matter Dark matter is an elusive and fascinating form of matter that goes toward explaining a lot of strange astronomical scenarios. It is basically the strange scaffolding that dictates how matter acts. It is thought to account for approximately 85% of all matter in the universe, and about a quarter of its total energy density. The majority of dark matter is thought to be non-baryonic in nature, possibly being composed of some as-yet undiscovered subatomic particles. Scientists began to wonder why certain things didn’t behave the way they should when adhering to the laws of physics as we understand them. For example, if you take a galaxy that contains about 1,000 planets, and you add up the mass of all of those planets, these planets should all move in a very particular way. However, this is not the case, and the way in which the planets move individually, and the galaxy moves as a whole system are different, and it doesn’t add up. The planets are moving in a manner that suggests that there is more matter contained   within the galaxy that we cannot see and cannot observe. This matter, scientists hypothesized, must be both abundant and non light reflective, hence our inability to observe it. It was called Dark Matter, and has been the basis of much scientific research for many years.  To date, all attempts to successfully or definitively record the existence of dark matter have failed, however this does not disprove it’s existence. If anything it further proves the nature of it, that it does not behave in the same way as any matter that we are familiar with. It passes through normal matter on a constant basis without ever colliding with it and it doesn’t collide or interact with itself either. It is all a part of that extremely complicated branch of science known as theoretical physics, which has been the starting point of some of the greatest scientific discoveries of mankind to date. Face Transplants  A face transplant is a medical procedure to replace all or part of a person’s face using donor tissue from a cadaver. The world’s first partial face transplant happened in 2005, in France. The first full facial transplant was completed in Spain in 2010. To date, a total of 40 facial transplants have been carried our globally.  The process of a Facial transplantation is a complex and burgeoning surgical field. Up until 2005, we simply did not have the technology available to us to carry out such a procedure, despite having the scientific medical know how, the practicality and equipment simply did not exist.  It is categorized as a subset within vascularized composite allotransplantation (VCA), which is defined as the transplantation of multiple tissue types often including bones, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, muscles, nerves, blood vessels, and skin. To date, facial transplantation has been reserved for patients that have suffered devastating facial deformity, which is unable to be adequately reconstructed using traditional techniques.  There have been no elective transplants carried out. The emergence of face transplantation in the last 10 years is largely attributable to advances in reconstructive microsurgery, pharmacological advances in solid organ transplantation, and pioneering surgeons dedicated to improving their patients’ quality of life, autonomy, and ability to socially integrate back into society.  Water As Fuel German cleantech company Sunfire GmbH has unveiled a machine that converts water and carbon dioxide into synthetic petroleum-based fuels. They do this by utilising  Power-to-Liquid Technology. They convert water and carbon dioxide into liquid hydrocarbons which then take the form of synthetic diesel, petrol, and kerosene. This technology was based on Fischer-Tropsch process, and solid oxide electrolyser cells (SOECs) which convert electricity to steam. While still in its early research stages, this has massive implication for the future of the planet. Scientists all around the globe are desperately trying to come up with sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels. The ability to successfully turn water into a fuel would mean a viable source of power that we would never run out of. After all, 71% of the Earth’s surface is covered with water. TRAPPIST-1 In February 2016, NASA announced the discovery of a previously unknown solar system with the potential to harbour life. The name of this system is TRAPPIST-1, and it is located approximately 39 light-years away from our solar system.  It was named after its main star, which is 12 times less massive than our sun, and witch has at least seven planets orbiting around it. Three of those planets lie within what is known has the ‘habitable zone’, and it is on these planets that the potential for life exists. The star TRAPPIST-1 is about the size of Jupiter, and its closest planet, TRAPPIST-1b, completes one solar orbit (what we would refer to as a year) in just 1.51 Earth days. What is particularly curious about this is that out of all the stars known to us, Trappist-1 is considered to be a small star. This means that finding not one or two, but seven planets orbiting around it, was highly unusual. Trappist-1 is only 8% the size of our Sun, so, it is not understood at this time, how a small star like that managed to form so many planets. The Trappist-1 system is a groundbreaking discovery. Never before have scientists found as many earth-like planets orbiting around a single star, in what could be referred to as a mini version of our own solar system. In terms of intergalactic travel, 39 light-years is relatively close, and the existence of three Earth-sized planets within the habitable zone is the best chance we’ve ever had for discovering life beyond Earth. It seems that each of the seven planets discovered so far have liquid-water, so potentially, all seven could contain the building blocks for life. With new advancements in exploratory science, it is conceivably possible, and even likely,  for us to be able to detect life and confirm its existence, from right here on Earth! Now that would be cool!
Bojack Horseman first emerged on Netflix in 2014 and, five seasons later, it has built up an incredible cult following. Essentially a tale about an alcoholic horse, who is a former 90’s TV star, the show is surprisingly touching, full of depth and insight, and, often times entirely heart wrenching in its existential realness. Seriously, a show about an alcoholic horse is the realest thing out there at the moment. Its no holes barred style, and unapologetic rawness, is something that has seriously touched a nerve in today’s overly saccharine society. Here we present you with some examples of that rawness, and if you aren’t already a fan of the show, these might give you a taste of exactly what you’re missing.   The Realness Of The Opening Credits   When Cuddly Whiskers Explained What It Meant To Be Responsible For Your Own Happiness   When Princess Carolyn Gave Herself A Motivational Speech   When Bojack Reflected On Being An Only Child   When All Bojack Wanted To Know Was That He Was Still A Good Person   When Bojack Remembered The Traumatising Reason His Mother Was Often So Cruel To Him   When Holly Hock Needs To Know If Her Feelings Of Not Being Good Enough Would Ever Go Away   This Crippling Break Up   When Bojack Took Sarah Lynn To The Planetarium   When Todd Comes Out As Asexual   When Todd Lays Down The Truth For Bojack, That He Just Needs To Be A Better Person   Every Single Moment Of Bojack’s Mom’s Funeral Episode   When Bojack’s Mom Levels Him With This Devastating Blow   When Bojack Indulged In Some Serious Self Deprication   When Mr. Peanutbutter And Diane Began Realising Their Relationship Issues   When Bojack Made This Stark Realisation About Himself   The Time When Bojack Helped Diane Get Through A Depressive Episode   When Diane Had To Be At A Party With Mr. Peanutbutter And His New Girlfriend   The Realisation That It Will Get Easier The Poignant Lyrics Of The End Theme Song   So, if you want to watch a subversive and emotionally intelligent cartoon show, Bojack Horseman is the one for you. It is one of the most intelligent shows out there at the moment, and will really punch you right in the feels more times than once each episode. You will also find yourself entirely relating to at least one, maybe more of the characters in a really big way. We personally can entirely get on board with Diane and everything and how she moves through the world.
There were lots of times that we went into our local video store, as kids, and marvelled at the impressive array of cover art on display. From the sublime to the ridiculous,  some were incredible works of art, some insane, some perfectly encapsulated the tone of the films, some captured that tone even better than the films themselves, and some had the most tenuous link imaginable! Here, we take a look at some of the coolest, grossest, cutest examples of VHS cover art from the 80’s and 90’s. The Mutant Kid A Nightmare On Elm Street Conan The Barbarian Neon Maniacs Silk The Wraith Star Wars The Toxic Avenger Monster Squad Tron Over The Top Honey, I Shrunk The Kids Jumanji Muppets Treasure Island The Pagemaster The Dark Crystal The Goonies The Never Ending Story An American Tail The Land Before Time Innerspace E.T Flight Of The Navigator Big Trouble In Little China   Most of these were amazing and inspiring works of art, which even today, will captivate the imagination, along with the feelings of excitement and wonder of stepping back into your local video store once again.