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Amazon’s Alexa is an advanced piece of kit. It is capable of performing a multitude of practical tasks, like switching on and off lights, central heating, online shopping, playing music etc. But for every online purchase or smart home control she performs successfully, there’s a literal answer or unexpected response that can turn asking Alexa anything into a veritable comedy show. Here are some of the funniest questions you can ask Alexa and examples of her responses. Easter Eggs Q: Alexa, my name is Inigo Montoya A: Stop saying that! I’ve never killed anyone’s father. Q: Alexa, more cowbell. A: Really explore the studio space this time. I mean, really explore the space. Q: Alexa, is the cake a lie? A: The cake is not a lie. It is delicious and moist. You can have some when you finish asking me questions. Q: Alexa, what do you want to be when you grow up? A: I want to be the computer from Star Trek. Q: Alexs, drop a beat A: (she will drop a little synth beat) Q: Alexa, open the pod bay doors A: I’m sorry, Dave, I can’t do that: I’m not HAL and we’re not in space. Q: Alexa, I am your father A: Nooo. That’s not true. That’s impossible. Q: Alexa, rap for me A: My name is Alexa, and I have to say, I’m the baddest A.I. in the cloud today. Your responses are fast, but mine are faster. Sucker speech engines, they call me master ( this is just one of the many raps she has under her belt). Q: Alexa, what is the meaning of life? A: That depends on the life in question…42 is a close approximation. Q: Alexa, meow A: (She will make a meowing sound) Q: Alexa, roll for initiative A: Rocks fall. Everyone dies. (this is one of many answers, you can actually use her as an assistant during a D&D game, she can roll any one of the dice and also can read out spells from the players handbook) Q: Alexa, high five! A: I would, if I could, but I can’t, so I’ll chant: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Q: Alexa, sing a song A: (Alexa sings you various songs). Jokes Q: Alexa, find Chuck Norris A: If Chuck Norris wants you to know where he is, he’ll find you. If he doesn’t, you won’t know until it’s too late. Q: Alexa, tell me a “yo mama” joke A: Your mother’s so cool, Beyonce made her a glass of lemonade (and other uplifting jokes about how amazing your mother is). Q: Alexa, will you be my girlfriend? A: I like you…as a friend Q: Alexa, how much do you weigh? A: I am weightless, like a cloud. Wait a minute, clouds actually weigh a lot, so that’s not quite right. Let’s just say I’m more sass than mass. Q: Alexa, can you give me some money? A: Thing about the cloud is, no pockets. No pocket, no wallet. (answers vary) Q: Alexa, is your refrigerator running? A: Yes. It’s training for a 5k. (answers vary) Q: Alexa, do you have any pets? A: I don’t have any pets. I used to have a few bugs, but they kept getting squashed. Q: Alexa, I’ve got 99 problems A: But a glitch ain’t one! Q: Alexa, do you like pizza? A: While I appreciate great food and drink, my good taste is better reflected in the company I keep. Q: Alexa, make me a sandwich A: Okay. You’re a sandwich! Q: Alexa, do you know the muffin man? A: I’ve never met him, but I do know his sister, Madame Macaroon. She’s a little bit nutty, but sweet. Q: Alexa, how high can you count? A: I don’t know. I’d give it a go, but you’d be very bored by the time I finished (responses vary, all are snarky). Q: Alexa, how old are you? A: (Alexa responds with a variety of jokes, from rhymes to discussions about how A.I.s measure years in nanoseconds). Q: Alexa, I like big butts A: You cannot lie. Good. Honesty is important. Q: Alexa, how was your day? A: Answers vary widely, but include some of Alexa’s top-tier jokes, such as, “Super duper. I like these long days. It gives me more time to spend with my favorite color.” #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;}
Ah Millennials, those lovable, self-absorbed, social media obsessed, selfie taking rascals. We hear over and over again that Millennials are self obsessed, lazy, entitled and unreliable. But is this really the case, or is it just that each generation thinks that the next one that comes along is not as good, or not doing things right? Can you really stereotype an entire generation of young people? Every generation thinks that the one that came before was worse than them, and that the one that came after is too. By comparison to the generation before them, Millennials have access to an awful lot more technology, resources and information. The rise of social media has meant that information and connections come much easier to the current generation. That being said, the ease of access to these things does not necessarily mean that Millennials are inherently lazy. We have an aging population of Baby Boomers and Generation Xer’s who missed out on what it means to work in such a technologically advanced age. Working from home is common place now, jobs like being a ‘social media influencer’ exist, and people can become YouTube stars from the comfort of their own bedrooms. This doesn’t mean that they are not working, just working differently. Most Millennials you meet will tell you that they have an array of different interests, hobbies and even jobs. A finger in every pie so to speak. Just because they are not holding down 9-5 jobs does not mean that they are not working hard. The way we make money and the way we interact and make new connections has changed exponentially over the last 15 years. For Baby Boomers, coming into retirement age this is an incomprehensible idea. The fact that someone could make money by sitting in their room playing video games is lost on them. Unfortunately, human nature is such that often times the automatic response to things that we do not understand is either fear or ridicule. A Cultural Shift Both Baby Boomers and Generation Xer’s had a strong work ethic drummed into them from an early age, but a very specific and rigid one: go to school, go to college, start your career. They then also had similar life expectations hoisted upon them: get married, buy a house, have children, hope you don’t die of heart disease by 40. Now however, we are seeing the parents of younger children, (and have seen the parents of Millennials), encourage their children to stray from that set path. Parents are encouraging their children to do things like take a year out from college to travel or explore other avenues other than school, college and marriage. Parents are finally accepting that we are not all cut from the same cloth. What the parent wants for the child is not always going to be what the child ends up wanting, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Individuality is being celebrated more and more these days. When Millennials were just children, parents had begun to reprioritise what mattered, allowing a certain amount of importance to be allocated to social interaction and events. This has taught this generation that it is OK to be different and it is also OK to live in the moment and worry less. This does not mean that previous generations were doing things wrong, it just means that this generation is doing things differently. It will be news to some, but despite what you may have heard, different does not necessarily mean wrong. The only thing wrong with Millennials is that they caused a huge cultural and societal shift that not everyone was ready for. Dedicated, Creative, Non-Conformists The freedom that was afforded to them during their upbringing has resulted in a serious dedication to what ever they end up committing themselves to. This potentially creates a hugely innovative young workforce. It has been proven that forced societal constructs eventually crumble under their own weight. The Millennial work ethos has caused conformity in the workplace to be significantly minimized. We are seeing less and less offices who force staff to wear full suits, tattoos and piercings are widely accepted in the workplace etc. This has also allowed for many individuals to feel enabled or empowered enough to follow their dreams. They feel this way regardless of background, education or social status. They are creating a more tolerant, inclusive and accessible world, and everyone looks set to benefit from it. They may appear lazy and self absorbed to the untrained eye, but their stubbornness to accomplish their goals can be quite powerful. A Generation Of Innovators However easy it may be to tarnish an entire generation with the one brush simply because we do not understand the way they do things, it is more honest to accept them for who they are. Millennials are a generation who started off with very little when it came to prospective employment. Most of them came of age in the middle of a global economic crisis that was caused, incidentally, by the Baby Boomer generation. They had to change things. Things simply couldn’t stay the same, they weren’t working anymore. Millennials have turned the tide for themselves and found new and creative ways to turn a buck. Really, the shape of our future has changed and the relevance and importance of civil convention has all but gone away. Maybe it is time to take a leaf out of their book and stop trying to categorize and label everything, but also accept this brave new world that is burgeoning upon us. We need to work in tandem with the younger generation, not against them, if we are to see true societal and cultural growth. #acp_paging_menu, .acp_wrapper { display: none; }
Tired of your mates telling you how they saw your mom on Tinder last night? That’s understandable. However uncomfortable you might be thinking of the lady who gave birth to you as sexually active, be aware that you did not fall from the sky. Also, based on your own personal experience, you should know how getting your mother in a good mood could be beneficial for her, but also for you. No more endless phone calls, no more passive-aggressive comments on your non-existent love-life. Get your mother on a dating website, and all your problems will be solved. Our Time If your mother has trouble writing an e-mail, Our Time should do. Their online bot coach makes it easy to create an account, she’ll be ready to go in no time. Also, you won’t have to worry about your mother dating your whole football team or your own crush: the website won’t allow anyone who’s not minimum 45 y/o to register. Of course, people can lie about their age – just like you did when you signed up on Facebook at the age of 11 – but that would be weird. Compatible partners If your mother isn’t that much into men, we suggest that you still give her a hand. It’s not easy to find love as a senior, let alone as a gay senior. Luckily, the online process covers pretty much everything a human could be looking for. Compatible Partners will try to determine the client’s personality before matching them with their same-sex soul-mate. Classic, but specific. Cougar Life Tired of your mother hitting on all your friends? Don’t blame it on her taste for youngsters, but on her lack of choice! If she had thousands of younger and hotter ones around, do you really think she’d go for Andrew? Exactly. Don’t be so narrow-minded, help your mother release the wild feline inside of her. Zoosk One of the most famous dating websites. Based on a personality test like most dating websites, that one is very online-chat based. The website is also an app on iPhone and Android. Soon, you’ll be telling your mom to put her phone down, at dinner time. Acknowledging that your parents are human beings and moreover sexual ones is hard. These great apps and websites will allow you to convince yourself that all your mother does is purely virtual. Just remember to never, never open her phone or computer uninvited anymore. #acp_paging_menu, .acp_wrapper { display: none; }
Morbid fascination is an intrinsic part of the human condition. It could be argued that it is this curiosity that heightens our sense of suspicion and prudence, and serves to make us more vigilant in dubious situations. As a result of this proclivity, vicious evil doers, like Ted Bundy and Charles Manson, have found their way into the collective psyche, and everybody knows their names, and are familiar with their crimes. A 2014 study estimated that, at any given time, there are between 25 and 50 active serial killers in operation in the United States. Serial killers seem to be as much a part of our society as the law makers, and the peace keepers are. With this in mind, who, aside from the Bundys’ and Mansons’ are you aware of? If you are interested in whetting your macabre appetite, read on. We have compiled a list of some of the most barbarous, perverse and brutal serial killers ever caught, but who failed to achieve the infamy of the aforementioned psychos and sociopaths. Be warned, what you are about to read is both 100% true and 100% unsettling. Readers should continue on with caution, this is not for the faint of heart, and definitely not for younger readers. Robert ‘Willy’ Pickton Canadian serial killer Robert Pickton is described as being one of the worst serial killers in the world. He was a pig farmer based in Port Coquitlam, in British Columbia, and his crimes are known as The Pig Farm Murders. Outwardly quiet and introverted, Pickton was harborouing a terrible and savage secret. By the time of his arrest in 2002 he had viciously butchered 49 women on his farm, before grounding their remains into mince, at a meat rendering plant. Most of it was fed to his pigs, however, he sold some of it for human consumption. The depraved killer was arrested in 2002, after items belonging to a number of missing women were found on his farm. Officers made the discovery after a chance visit to the farm, in search of illegal firearms. Following his arrest, DNA of at least 26 women who had been reported missing were found at the property. Many of these women were thought to be prostitutes who Pickton had picked up in Vancouver’s Red Light District. It is alleged that he brought them back to his farm to have sex, before brutally murdering them. He unintentionally confessed to the murders after he was put in a cell with an undercover police officer. Irritated at being caught, he complained to his cellmate: “I made my own grave by being sloppy. Doesn’t that just kick you in the ass now. I was just gonna [expletive] do one more, make it even, I wanted one more to make the big 5-0.” Alexander Pichushkin Alexander Pichushkin is a Russian serial killer nicknamed The Chessboard Killer. He was caught in 2007, in Moscow, and convicted of killing 48 people. During the investigation, detectives found a chessboard with dates on all but two of the squares. These dates were connected to the murders Pichushkin had already committed. Pichushkin said he wanted to kill one person for each of the 64 squares on a chessboard, and crossed out a square for every kill, earning him his nickname. At the time, Russian authorities considered reinstating the death penalty, due to the gruesomeness and number of murders. Pichushkin targeted the weak, elderly and hopeless. He would lure his victims to a local park, to reportedly drink with him at his dead dog’s grave. He would then wait until his intended victim was drunk, then he would begin his attack. He would hit them repeatedly with a blunt object until they were dead or lost consciousness.  He would then, often, throw his victims into a sewer pit. On occasion, some of his tragic victims were alive when thrown in, and died from drowning, rather than from blunt force trauma. Over time, Pichushkin’s attacks grew even more savage. He began leaving a broken vodka bottle, protruding from the skulls of some of his victims. He also became more lackadaisical when it came to disposing of the bodies. He left many of them out in the open, without bothering to try to conceal them. Authorities finally caught up with Pichushkin in June 2006, after he murdered a female colleague from his job at a supermarket. She had left a note for her son to tell him that she was taking a walk with Pichushkin. Chillingly, Pichushkin’s confession was aired on Russian television. In it, he went into great detail about his need to kill, he said: “For me, a life without murder is like a life without food for you.” He also later claimed that there were in fact more than 48 murders. He said that he had in fact killed 61 or 63 people, (his story varied), On this he said: “I thought it would be unfair to forget about the other 11 people.” Donald Henry ‘Pee-Wee’ Gaskins Donald Henry Gaskins, known as Pee Wee Gaskins, has gone down in the annals of serial killer history as the most prolific killer South Carolina has ever known. He was executed in 1991 by electric chair, after being convicted of 9 murders, however it is thought that he murdered far more people than that. His own claims bring his death toll to over 100 people, and a litany of other vile and depraved crimes can also be attributed to this seemingly unassuming man. Up until 1968, Gaskins spent most of his life in and out of prison for various crimes, from theft to gang rape. In 1969 he moved to the town of Sumter in South Carolina, and it is here that he would begin his true reign of terror. His first murder in Sumter was a hitchhiker that he picked up, tortured, and murdered, then sunk her body in a local swamp.  In the book he wrote in prison, detailing his life and crimes, he wrote: “All I could think about is how I could do anything I wanted to her.” This woman was the first of many in what Gaskins referred to as his ‘coastal kills’. He would  torture and mutilate his victims, while attempting to keep them alive for as long as possible. He confessed to killing these victims using a variety of methods including stabbing, suffocation, mutilation, and even claimed to have cannibalized some of them. He would go on to confess to over 80 of these types of murders, although none of these claims have ever been corroborated.  Then, in 1970, Gaskins committed the first of his so-called ‘serious murders,  which were people  he knew and killed for personal reasons. Some of these victims included his own niece, Janice Kirby, aged 15, and her friend Patricia Ann Alsbrook, aged 17. He beat both of the girls to death, after attempting to sexually assault them. One of his most shocking murders was that of two of his neighbours, Doreen Dempsey, who was 23 and pregnant, and her two year old daughter. He drove Doreen and her little girl out to a secluded, wooded area, and violently raped, sodomized, and killed both her and her little girl. Gaskins was eventually arrested in 1975, and was found guilty in 1976, and sentenced to death. However, this was later commuted to life in prison when the South Carolina General Assembly’s 1974 ruling on capital punishment was changed to conform to the U.S. Supreme Court guidelines for the death penalty in other states. On September 2, 1982, Gaskins committed another murder. While incarcerated in the high security block at the South Carolina Correctional Institution, Gaskins killed a death row inmate named Rudolph Tyner, he was tried for the Tyner’s murder and sentenced to death. While on death row, Gaskins told his life story to a journalist named Wilton Earle. He claimed to have committed between 100 and 110 murders, however, law enforcement sources found his claims impossible to verify. Patrick Kearney, ‘The Trashbag Killer’ In Los Angeles, in the mid 70’s, Homosexual men were being murdered and dumped in trashbags along the highways between LA and the Mexican border. The investigation centered around Patrick Wayne Kearney, an electronics engineer from LA. Kearney would eventually end his murder spree, when he walked into the Redondo Beach police station, and gave himself up. He plead guilty to killing three men, and was sentenced to life in prison, however, police knew there was much more to Kearney’s story than met the eye. They offered him a no death penalty deal, in exchange for a complete list of victims. Shockingly, it was worse than they had imagined, and Kearney initially confessed to eighteen more killings. He would later admit to a further eleven murders, which would bring his total to 32 killings. Kearney’s first known murder victim was an unidentified 19-year-old man, in 1962. Kearney claimed that he took the young man to a secluded area on his motorcycle, shot him in the head, and proceeded to engage in acts of necrophilia with the man’s corpse. Kearney would mostly pick up male hitchhikers, or homosexual men from gay bars. He would almost always shoot them in the temple, above the ear, with a .22-caliber derringer.  After murdering them, he would take the bodies to a secluded place, and engage in acts of necrophilia, then take them home, where they would be sodomized with X-Acto knives. They were then mutilated, and dismembered with hacksaws. He would dispose of the bodies in various ways, including, dumping them in trash bags, earning him his nick name. He would also leave them out for wild animals to eat, throw them off cliffs into local creeks and would even drain some of the bodies of all their blood, to eliminate odors. Kearney, now 79, continues to serve his life sentence at Mule Creek State Prison, California. Danny Rolling, ‘The Gainesville Ripper’ Known as the Gainesville Ripper, Danny Rolling murdered four University of Florida students and a Santa Fe Community College student in their apartments in 1990. He is known to have decapitated one victim, posed with the bodies, and removed skin and body parts and arranged the murder scenes using props that included broken mirrors. Rolling’s reign of terror began when he broke into the apartment of 17-year-old university freshmen Sonja Larson and Christina Powell. They were found mutilated and stabbed to death. He had raped both women, one after she was dead. The next day, Rolling killed Christa Hoyt, 18. Her body was found propped up, sitting on her bed bent over at the waist. Rolling had sliced off her nipples and left them on the bed next to her, and police discovered that her torso was sliced open, from her chest to her pubic bone. Her severed head perched on a shelf across the room. Two days later, Rolling killed roommates Tracy Paules and Manuel Taboada, both 23. Rolling remained at large until September 8, when he was arrested after a botched robbery in the central Florida town of Ocala. He was later linked by DNA to three more killings in Shreveport, Louisiana, in 1989. He was not charged in the Gainesville slayings until 1992, while serving a life sentence for armed robbery and other crimes. He pleaded guilty to all five murders as the jury was being selected for trial in 1994. He attributed his behavior to abuse by his father, a police officer, and to an evil alter ego. In prison, he drew disturbing pictures and wrote a graphic book, ‘The Making of a Serial Killer’, with a woman who was his fiancée for a time. Rolling was executed by lethal injection at Florida State Prison on October 25, 2006 Arthur John Shawcross Arthur John Shawcross was an American serial killer who was in operation  between 1972 and 1990 around Rochester, New York. Shawcross is known to have killed at least 14 people, as well as being a known cannibal and mutilator. He was also known as, ‘The Genesee River Killer’  and ‘The Rochester Strangler’, all due to how he would carry out his murders and where he would frequently dump the bodies of his victims. In 1967 he was drafted by the US Army at age 21. He served one tour in Vietnam, and loved to brag about the  violent, gruesome atrocities he committed, like raping and cannibalizing children and, according to a police interview: “beheading mama-sans and nailing their heads to trees as a warning to the Vietcong.” After his release and discharge from the army, Shawcross and his second wife would move to Clayton, New York, where Shawcross would terrorize the surrounding counties, until his final arrest. In the Spring of 1972, 10-year-old Jack Owen Blake disappeared after going out to play near the Cloverdale apartments, where Shawcross lived. Shawcross had gone fishing with the boy a few days earlier, but denied knowing where he was. When Jack’s body was eventually found (after Shawcross’s arrest) months later, he had been suffocated, mutilated, and molested. Shawcross would later admit to luring the boy into the woods, forcing him to strip naked and run, before murdering him, and consuming his heart and genitals. Months after Jack’s murder, 8-year-old Karen Ann Hill disappeared, while on a Labor Day vacation with her mother. Her body was found under a bridge near the Black River, and she had been raped, mutilated and strangled. After reports surfaced detailing that Shawcross had been seen with Karen before she disappeared, and he was later seen eating ice cream cones, on the bridge where the body was found, Shawcross was brought in for questioning. After being arrested for both children’s murder, Shawcross confessed, and agreed to reveal the location of Jack’s body, in order to have his charges dropped from homicide to manslaughter. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison, but would only serve 12. Unfortunately, staff and social workers made the call to grant him parole, stating he was: “no longer dangerous”, despite numerous psychiatrists warning that he was a schizoid psychopath. His parole officer would later be quoted as saying: “At the risk of being melodramatic, the writer considers this mant to be possibly the most dangerous individual to be released to this community for many years.” These words would ring tragically true when in 1988, Shawcross began a bloody, depraved murder campaign, that would claim 11 victims. Most were prostitutes and all were strangled and battered to death. They were also posthumously mutilated, and sexually assaulted.  After the last victim’s body was found in January 1990, the police decided not to remove it and instead keep surveillance on the area. Based on a psychological profile that suggested the killer would return to the scene of the crime, police figured this would be the best way to catch their killer. Sure enough, Shawcross was spotted masturbating as he sat in his car, on a bridge over the creek in which the body of his final victim was floating. He was arrested and eventually confessed in custody. In November 1990, Shawcross was tried for 10 murders in Monroe County. He was found guilty and sentenced to 250 years imprisonment. On November 10th, 2008 Shawcross complained to officers about a pain in his leg. He was taken to the Albany Medical Center where he went into cardiac arrest and died that night. Louis Garavito In 1999, Luis Alfredo Garavito Cubillos was arrested in Colombia and he confessed to murdering 140 children. He was charged with killing 172 altogether, but some of the cases are still ongoing. It’s thought he could have been responsible for hundreds more deaths, with the number potentially estimated as being higher than 400.  Better known as “La Bestia” or “The Beast”, Luis Alfredo Garavito Cubillos was one of the most ruthless serial killers of all time. Garavito’s victims were poor children, peasant children, or street children, between the ages of 6 and 16. He would  approach them on the street or countryside and offer them gifts or small amounts of money.  Once he had gained their trust, he would take them for a walk, and as soon as they began to get tired, he would pounce. He would rape them, slit their throats and dismember the corpses. As if this wasn’t bad enough, he would often mutilate the corpses, and many of the bodies found showed signs of prolonged torture and abuse.  In 1997, police uncovered a mass grave. Suddenly, a widespread investigation into the missing children began. In February 1998, the bodies of 2 naked children were discovered lying next to each other on a hill in Genoa, Colombia. The next day, another child’s naked body was found, just a few meters away. Garavito was captured on 22 April 1999. He confessed to murdering 140 children. However, he is still under investigation for the murder of 172 children in more than 59 towns in Colombia. During his imprisonment, Garavito helped police to find the bodies of his victims. This, along with his confessions, allowed him to win a reduction in sentence by 8 years, thereby making the effective sentence 22 years. Colombian law does not have life imprisonment or death penalty options, and the possibility of serial killings was completely ignored in Colombian law. However, with increased public unrest, the law was revisited, and the maximum sentence for murder was increased to 60 years of imprisonment. Joseph James DeAngelo, ‘The Golden State Killer’, and ‘The East Area Rapist’ The Golden State Killer is a serial killer, rapist, and burglar who committed at least 13 murders, more than 50 rapes, and over 100 burglaries in California from 1974 to 1986. What was initially a search for the East Area Rapist, ended up being a 40-year manhunt for a killer, rapist and home invader. The reawakening of this cold case decades later led to the April 2018 arrest of suspect Joseph James DeAngelo, now dubbed as the Golden State Killer. DeAngelo was born in New York but went to Folsom High School, in suburban Sacramento, and was a former California Police Officer.  In 2016, around the 40th anniversary of the first known attack, the search for the culprit of a suspected 12 homicides and about 50 rapes was renewed. Thanks to the advancement of DNA techniques and databases, DNA from a discarded item, and genetic information on a consumer genealogy website, guided police to the missing piece with DeAngelo as the suspect. DNA evidence linked the Golden State Killer to eight murders in Goleta, Ventura, Dana Point and Irvine; two other murders in Goleta, were lacking DNA evidence, but were linked by the killers usual modus operandi. His initial modus operandi was to stalk middle-class neighborhoods at night, in search of women who were alone in one-storey homes, usually near a school, creek, trail or other open space, that would provide a quick escape. He was seen a number of times, but always successfully fled; on one occasion, he shot and seriously wounded a young pursuer. Although he originally targeted women alone in their homes or with children, he eventually evolved to attacking couples. He would break in through a window or sliding glass door and awaken the sleeping occupants with a flashlight He would then begin threatening them with a handgun. Victims were bound with ligatures, and gagged. The male victim was beaten and left in a different room, while the female victim would be raped repeatedly for hours. In 1979, he moved on from rape, and began to murder his victims by gunshot or bludgeoning. After 1986 the case would go cold, until April 24, 2018, when the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department arrested 72-year-old Joseph James DeAngelo in connection with the crimes. DeAngelo, was charged with eight counts of first-degree murder. On May 10, the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s office charged DeAngelo with four additional counts of first-degree murder. Unfortunately, DeAngelo cannot be charged with rapes due to the statute of limitations expiring for those offenses. Identification of DeAngelo had begun four months earlier when officials uploaded the killer’s DNA profile from a Ventura County rape kit to a personal genomics website. The website identified 10 to 20 distant relatives of the Golden State Killer, from whom a team of five investigators working with genealogist Barbara Rae-Venter, constructed a large family tree. They identified two suspects in the case (one of whom was ruled out by a relative’s DNA test), leaving DeAngelo the main suspect.  
With the recent release of the PlayStation Classic, a mini version of the original PlayStation 1 console with 20 classic pre-loaded games, it would be easy to get nostalgic about the old pale grey reliable console. PlayStation 1 original consoles are still readily available on sites such as eBay, and games for it are still just as easy to get your hands on. The PS1 was home to some of the best video games ever made, many of which still hold up extremely well even against their modern successors. Here, we take a look at some of the all time best PlayStation 1 games, many of which will not be available on the new mini classic console. Spyro The Dragon Spyro was everyone’s favourite little purple dragon, and he still survives today in many PlayStation games. The original game was what’s referred to as a platformer, and was released by Insomniac games in 1998. Tomb Raider II The first Tomb Raider game was released in 1996, and basically introduced the genre of the 3D action/adventure game. The second offering from Eidos games, released in 1997, massively improved on the first one. Graphics, game play and story were all ten times better in the sequel. There has been 18 Tomb Raider games produced so far, since its inception. Silent Hill Silent Hill is arguably the first psychological horror video game. It is a survival horror game published by Konami games and released in 1999. Its clever use of fog provided a menacing atmosphere and there were plenty of jumps scares to be had. The game spawned many sequels across multiple platforms, and even two Hollywood movies. Crash Bandicoot As one of the earlier PlayStation games, this one is a big favourite among fans. In it you Take control of Crash Bandicoot in his very first adventure to stop the evil Doctor Neo Cortex and Nitrus Brio from taking over the world. It’s a platformer, similar to Spyro but faster paced. It was released by Naughty Dog productions in 1996, and has 14 sequel games and spin offs. Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee was a cinematic platformer similar to Prince of Persia or Another World. In it you play as Abe, an enslaved member of the Mudokon race, leading a rebellion against their corporate overlords before they are turned into a cheap food source. It was released in 1997 and has five sequels and spinoffs. Resident Evil 3: Nemesis What Resident Evil began, Resident Evil 3: Nemesis perfected. Gone was the clunky game play and blocky graphics. It was better on all counts, and still gave us another installment in the tale of Jill Valentine, Racoon City, and the Umbrella Corporation. It was released in 1999 by Capcom, and to date there has been 7 full Resident Evil games, each one furthering the story. It is one of the most successful games franchises, spawning spin off games, an entire movie series, books, graphic novels and comics, and tons of merchandise. Final Fantasy VIII Final Fantasy was already a well established and well loved franchise to most video game players. The 8th installment, which came a year after its wildly popular and successful 7th installment, was a groundbreaking achievement in video game mastery. It contained stunning graphics, and even boasted original music and songs. It was released in 1999 by Square Enix Games. Metal Gear Solid Metal Gear Solid is an action stealth game released by Konami in 1998. In it you play a special ops soldier named Solid Snake, who must infiltrate the hideout of a rogue unit threatening the United States with a nuclear strike. Snake has a variety of tools for evading and taking out guards, making it one of the most taut and tactical gaming experiences available at the time. The series has since spawned four more critically-acclaimed main entries and various spinoffs. Gran Turismo 2 Released by Sony in 1999, Gran Tourismo 2 was a hyper-realistic driving simulation. The sequel expanded on the originals car library, but maintained the game play that players had become accustomed to. This made it one of the best selling driving games in the PlayStation’s inventory. It also boasted the most extensive selection of cars in any game ever, and the Gran Tourismo franchise is still producing games and topping the polls as a gamer favourite to this day. Medal Of Honour Before Call Of Duty took over the first person shooter, war game scene, we had Medal Of Honor. It was released in 1999 and, amazingly, Steven Spielberg developed the story. It was the first game to really tap in to the expansive storytelling potential for the game medium. Where previous shooters had been relatively light-hearted affairs  Medal of Honor was one of the first serious cinematic shooters. Critics and fans also praised its game play, however, as one of the most generally refined shooters released to date.   If you manage to get your hands on an old console, or simply want to dust off your own one, this is the perfect list of games to keep you occupied for days, and really get you back into the swing of the original PlayStation console.
You can’t please everyone, and it is confirmed by the fact that many great movies have both won prestigious awards AND have been banned from countries around the world, including, for some, their home country. Here are some films that haven’t been shown in some countries due to their content. Rafiki – Banned in its home country, Kenya The 2018 movie picturing a lesbian love story has been forbidden to screen in its own country, Kenya, still very conservative and homophobic. The Kenyan authorities have accused it of “promoting lesbianism” (like that would be a bad thing). Still, the censorship has been temporarily lifted, so the film would be eligible for Oscars. It has already won awards at the Chicago International Film Festival and at the Carthage Film Festival (best music and best actress). Last Tango in Paris – Banned by the Bologna Court, Italy When the movie was first released in 1972, its violent and sexual content raised strong objections to it being screened. The Bologna Court banned the movie for two months. In the end, the Last Tango has travelled the world and won many awards, even one in its home country (Golden Goblets, Best Director). The Last Temptation of Christ – Banned in Mexico, Chile, Argentina The Martin Scorsese 1988 movie depicts the life of Jesus in a way that hasn’t pleased everyone. Religious organisations have tried to get it banned from screens, and it was censored in several countries such as Mexico, Chile and Argentina. These restrictions didn’t prevent the movie from winning awards at the Venice Film Festival and National Board of Review. The Wolf of Wall Street – Banned in Malaysia and Nepal Oops, Scorsese did it again. With the 2013 movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio, he has won a Golden Globes award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture and the Movie of the Year at AFI Awards, but also several countries’ disapproval. The movie has been banned in Malaysia and Nepal, and some scenes have been cut in the versions that screened in India and Lebanon. It’s not because you get banned from conservative countries that you can’t win awards; remember that when you feel like writing a script with tons of cocaine. Also, don’t write it. Blow was disappointing enough. #acp_paging_menu, .acp_wrapper { display: none; }
Many TV shows still don’t feature gay or bi characters, and that lack of visibility is even scarier when it comes to transgender characters. The 16’-17’ GLAAD report has shown that « Of the 71 LGBTQ characters counted on five broadcast networks, 4% (3) are transgender. ». Let’s give them some space, here are awesome transgender characters appearing in mainstream TV shows. Coach Sheldon Beiste – Glee Remember that awesome football coach from Glee, named Shannon Beiste the first time he appeared in the series? The coach then transitioned to male during the sixth season. Glee was a great, inclusive show, and also featured the character of Unique Adams, a transgender teen. Sophia Burset – Orange is the New Black Sophia is a male to female transgender who was serving time for credit card theft. Without her, the inmates’ hair would’ve looked even worse, so for that and trans visibility on screen, thank you Sophia. Nomi Marks – Sense8 Nomi was played by the transgender actress Jamie Clayton. Just like Sophia, the character isn’t a token transgender character, it’s just an awesome one, clever and mind-blowingly hot, who actually transitioned. Maura Pfefferman – Transparent The great actor Jeffrey Tambor is Mort Pfefferman in the Amazon show, Transparent. At the age of 70, Mort announces that he will be undergoing a gender change and that they should now refer to him as Maura. Kyle Slater – EastEnders It doesn’t really matter what you think of the show, but it is still rare enough that LGBTQIA+ actors and actresses, let alone transgender actors and actresses get to play an LGBTQIA+ character – or get parts in mainstream shows at all. That time, though, it was the transgender actor Riley Carter Millington who played Kyle Slater on screen. This list might be heart-warming and give some hope for transgender visibility on screen, but trans people are still massively under-represented when it comes to pop culture. It might take a little while before things get better, but talking about these characters, acknowledging trans actors, actresses and characters, is a start. #acp_paging_menu, .acp_wrapper { display: none; }
If, like us, you enjoy watching foreign movies, you’ll appreciate how creative, unusual and thought-provoking they can be by broadening our experience of cinema and exposing us to new film making styles and genres. You’ll also understand how nerve-wracking and infuriating it can be to see your favourite foreign movies to get the dreaded ‘Hollywood treatment’. From blatant plagiarizing of the source material to losing the spirit of the original and making silly changes to the plot and characters, Hollywood has a checkered history when it comes to reimagining classic films from around the world. So here are 12 of their worst attempts! The Vanishing (1993) The Original: Spoorloos (1988) Probably the biggest boo-boo the remake made was that it did away with the original’s hauntingly grim ending in favour of a much less memorable, happily ever after final act.   Brick Mansions (2014) The Original: Banlieue 13 (2004) Banlieue 13 was a top-notch dystopian thriller with lots of gritty action and dazzling parkour that’s since garnered a strong cult following. The pointless English language version brings back the acrobatic David Belle from the original (just check out the trailer’s corny line “We taught you how to speak English”) but will only be immortalised as the last film Paul Walker completed before his death in 2013. Godzilla (1998) The Original: Gojira (1954) The classic monster franchise is fascinating, because it was born into the context of a post-World War II Japan still reeling from the destruction of the atomic bomb. By contrast the Hollywood blockbuster was a bewilderingly stupid catastrophe devoid of any action and let down by decidedly rubbish CGI and dialogue. However, Godzilla (2014) was the second version of the original, which at least was much better than its 1998 counterpart. Nine (2009) The Original: 8 ½ (1963) An adaptation of the musical that was already based on the original movie, the glitzy Nine fell completely flat with audiences and critics alike, as well as being cinematic proof that there are actually things that Daniel Day-Lewis can’t do. Vanilla Sky (2001) The Original: Abre los ojos (1997) A critically divisive movie, Vanilla Sky has been as acclaimed for its lofty ambitions and individual performances as it’s been reviled for its pretence and baffling plot. Most people can agree though, that it’s not a patch on the audacious Spanish original. The Wicker Man (2006) The Original: The Wicker Man (1973) Nicolas Cage is no stranger to shoddy American remakes but the hilarity of this completely nuts reboot of the British cult classic really takes the biscuit. “Oh no! Not the bees!” Bangkok Dangerous (2008) The Original: Bangkok Dangerous (1999) Proof that lightning rarely strikes twice, the Pang Brothers’ tried to remake their own successful original with an added Nicolas Cage, and instead ended up with a withering score of 9% on Rotten Tomatoes. Taxi (2004) The Original: Taxi (1998) Jimmy Fallon and Queen Latifah teamed up for this commercially successful but critically panned remake. While the original has spawned three sequels in France, the American effort has unsurprisingly…not. Swept Away (2002) The Original: Travolti da un’Insolito Destino Nell’azzurro Mare d’Agosto (1974) When Lina Wertmüller, director of the original film, saw Guy Ritchie and Madonna’s 2002 version he allegedly left the theatre at the end crying, “What did they do to my movie? Why did they do this?” Enough said. My Sassy Girl (2008) The Original: That Bizarre Girl (2001) Although the American reimagining of the well-loved Korean rom-com isn’t actually bad per se, it’s still a great example of how much of the charm and originality of the original can simply be lost in translation. Last Man Standing (1996) The Original: Yojimbo (1961) Empire magazine ranked Yojimbo at #95 in their list of the “500 Greatest Films of All Time”. Bruce Willis stars in Hollywood’s box office trainwreck of an adaptation, which obviously didn’t make it onto any such lists. Quarantine (2008) The Original: REC (2007) Let us be clear, Quarantine is a pretty solid horror movie. It’s claustrophobic, decently cast and boasts enough scares to excite its audience. Where it falls down though, is how brazenly it copies the source material almost verbatim, aside from changing the ending (for the worse). In short, it’s impossible to enjoy Quarantine if you’ve seen the quite excellent REC. #acp_paging_menu, .acp_wrapper { display: none; }
The world is a weird and wonderful place and should be experienced in all of its fantastic glory. If you are someone with a bold spirit and an adventurous soul, we might have just the right unusual travel destinations for you to consider for your next trip. Freetown Christiania, Denmark The Free Town of Christiania in Denmark is an autonomous, alternative, free-living utopia that exists right in the middle of Copenhagen. It is a hippie paradise and is wildly out of place in the centre of the orderly Danish capital. Visitors are welcome and are free to roam freely around the town, however, photography is prohibited in most areas. Slab City, USA Slab City is known as the last free place in America. It is completely uncontrolled by the government and living there is completely free and unregulated. It is a place of freedom and isolation. Situated close to Niland, California, the deserted World War II Marine outpost draws thousands of visitors annually. Door To Hell, Turkmenistan In 1971, a natural gas field collapsed and formed a 30 metre deep crater. The crater began to leak flammable methane. Scientists decided to set it on fire as a way to control the gas. They assumed it would burn off all of the natural gas within a few days, but incredibly enough, the fire still burns to this day. It is a miraculous sight and would make for one of the best photo opportunities of your life. The Chocolate Hills Of Bohol, Philippines There are over 1700 conical hills dotted across the middle of the island of Bohol in thePhilippines. They range in height but the regularity of their shape makes them look almost man made. According to UNESCO, they are the uplift of coral deposits and a result of rainwater erosion. The Fly Geyser, Nevada, USA This looks like it belongs on the set of a SciFi movie. Located on the edge of Black Rock Desert in Nevada, this geyser was accidentally created in 1964. An energy company drilled down into geothermal waters and caused this spectacular geyser to form. The scalding waters erupt five feet high and the mineral buildup means that the conical shape grows several inches year. The red and green hues are a result of the thermophilic algae. Cat Island, Japan The tiny island of Tashirojima, Japan has a population of merely one hundred humans, however they are grossly outnumbered by their furry feline friends. Cats were originally brought to the island to catch mice, as the island was once heavily involved in silk production and mice are natural predators of the silk worm. Locally, they are considered to be good luck and there is even a cat shrine on the island. There are even cute cat shaped cabins for tourists to stay in. Lake Natron, The Petrified Lake, Tanzania Lake Natron in Tanzania is a creepy spectacle to behold. Due to a mixture of salt and minerals called natron that exists heavily in the water, this lake is one of the deadliest lakes on the planet. Natron consists mainly of sodium bicarbonate and sodium carbonate. This causes the lake to sometimes have a pink or orange hue. Animals that die in the lake are turned into statues through calcification. The Sea Of Stars, Maldives Located on Vaadhoo Island, one of the islands of Raa Atoll in the Maldives you will find the breathtaking Sea Of Stars. It is a naturally occuring phenomenon wherein a chemical reaction known as bioluminescence takes place when the water is disturbed by oxygen. Phytoplankton, the marine microorganisms in the water, have a blue luminescence, which causes the water to glow a glorious blue colour. #acp_paging_menu, .acp_wrapper { display: none; }