Thursday, 26 October 2017

Why People Travel The World

Traveling is good for the soul. It not only lets you enjoy a new place, culture, food, and attractions but is refreshing to the soul. You get to experience many new firsts in your life while enjoying some well-deserved rest and relaxation – far away from the daily grind of life and the stressors you face each day back home.

While money is definitely an issue when it comes to traveling – especially international travels – there are different ways to make up for your lack of funds without totally eliminating the chance of going somewhere new.

“When you leave your hometown, your country you are not just experiencing something different abroad,” Hsu said. “You are not just learning something about somewhere else, but you are also learning a lot about where you came from. That is the part that people forget — that when you leave your comfort zone you’re the one who’s undergoing a change.”


And it couldn’t be any truer. Traveling opens up your eyes to the natural beauty and wonder of this world and the differences in culture from one place to another.

We all have busy lives now with classes and jobs, but when we graduate, life is only going to get more chaotic. We think traveling for college students is crucial because it allows us to gain more cultural and practical knowledge and first hand experience.

Traveling also allows everyone in general to become more empathetic for other people. We are extremely privileged to live in the United States, but sometimes we forget that some people in other parts of the world are not as privileged as we are.

There are also some cities and states within the U.S. that are not as privileged as others, and by traveling, you can gain some insight into how other people live. t’s always good to see points of view that are different from your own.

We also believe that, we as individuals who are in a state of growing, learn empathy from traveling. Through travel, we get to meet different kinds of people and we learn how differently expressive but how similar we all are. It is enriching to travel.


Meanwhile, there isn’t much travel going on in mainland US and the answer is pretty obvious. The various travel bans recently issued has put the US tourism in a major slump and it’s not good news for any business relying on tourists in making money.

The U.S. travel industry is worried that a slew of travel restrictions proposed by the Trump administration will damage foreign tourism and deal a blow to the economy. 

The White House’s ban on visitors from six majority-Muslim countries, now on hold due to litigation, is just one of several Trump policies that could affect the $250 billion travel sector. Travel groups are also concerned about tougher vetting of travel visas, increased airport detentions and new restrictions on fliers using electronic devices.

Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, said that while the nation’s security is a top priority, Trump’s new travel protocols could discourage or turn away the millions of legitimate U.S.-bound tourists who pour money into the economy every year. 

“Our message to the president is very simple: We support security because it’s job No. 1,” Dow said. 

“The easy message is to say America is closed to terrorism, but we’re wide open to legitimate travelers and we welcome them,” he said. “We want them.”


Most people dream of traveling to far away places. While it remains to be a dream for some, there are people who strive to make their dreams happen. By visiting one place at a time, you’d be able to go see the places on your bucket list in time. Traveling is truly a gift and you should go explore as many places as you can while you're still young.

For an average American, you don’t have to go far because there are 49 states in the mainland you can visit aside from those outlying U.S. territories. If money is not an issue, then the world is your oyster. Just make sure you are a legally documented American citizen or you might have a hard time going back home when your vacation is over.

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Thursday, 19 October 2017

Art Collections No More

All of us have a collection of sorts over the years. As a young child, you likely have collected various knick knacks that you found nice and fancy enough to show off to your friends. And your collection often reflects your interests during those periods of growing up. These collections may be considered as rubbish by others because most of them often lack in monetary value. However, they are the beginning of an obsession that the person will carry in his lifetime.

Among the most sought after is an art collection. This is an expensive and classy collection you can be proud of and even pass on to your children. Their value increases over time which makes owning one even better. Regardless of the style you like, there is something that will appeal to your senses and earn your thumbs up.

Every company wants to stand out in their industry. To make your company an original, you need to apply some artistic creativity to the decisions you make. The simplest way to tap into that innovative spirit may be to start learning about and collecting art. Although more and more tech moguls are breaking into the art-collecting world, that doesn’t mean it’s confined to the elite.

Even young entrepreneurs can get into the game if they play it right. In the 1960s, Herb and Dorothy Vogel, a postal service worker and a librarian, began collecting minimal and conceptual art. Despite financial limitations, they allotted a certain percentage of their salary to buying art. Over time, they collected more than 4,000 works of art, which could’ve netted the couple millions of dollars if that was their interest. Instead, the Vogels donated their collection to 50 institutions across 50 states.

The process of creating your art collection is an art form in its own right. When you’re passionate about the arts, you can commit to the long journey of collecting without worrying about what you’ll get out of it. And by supporting art institutions and artists, both you and your company can experience a wide range of benefits.


Art collections are such eye candies. You can spend a great deal of time immersed in each painting and witness how talent comes to life. But while we try to look at art and art collections as an artistic expression, we can’t help but notice that many art pieces also have political meanings.

Art has always been political, because art is part of the culture. Culture is based on shared values, and those are the result of group decisions. Group decision-making is the definition of politics.

Additionally, because patrons are important for artists, art has always commented on wealth or influence. Whether praising it, or critiquing it, art is inherently concerned with power. At its best, this includes patrons like the Medicis of Florence backing the works of the Renaissance giants. In our own era, this usually takes the form of the public funding creative work through direct purchase. When we buy a ticket to a Scorsese movie, we don’t think of ourselves as playing the role of a Rockefeller funding a filmmaker, but in effect, that’s what we’re doing. Bernini had Pope Urban VIII as his patron; The Pixies had the American consumer.

And we Americans are lucky enough to be the cradle of such a grand display of talent. The question now is, do the arts get the support it needs?

Nowhere is power and influence so concentrated as in New York City, and, unsurprisingly, the world of art resides there as well. It would be interesting to draw a map of the creative ley lines running between Manhattan, home of private art grants, and Washington, D.C., home of government art grants. Indeed, it is within these two cities that our story lies.


We can’t help but inject some political tone here because the culture and the arts are under some major political attack in the form of budget cuts.

As the Trump administration releases its first federal budget plan, it’s clear that weapons companies and wall builders make out spectacularly. While they plan to increase defense spending, pave a way for the border wall and increase school vouchers, everything else of importance to the American people gets cut or eliminated—like job training programs for seniors and disadvantaged youth, Meals on Wheels and medical research, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (which provides revenue for PBS and National Public Radio) just to name a few. 

Other programs proposed for elimination are the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Because who needs any kind of culture anyway, right?


President Trump is probably one of the biggest hurdles the world of the arts (in America) has ever faced in recent years. The threat is real and people’s lives will be affected by this lack of funding. President Trump does not consider the arts as important as national defense, hence it is one of the first ones to go in his administration. A country devoid of the arts lacks an identity that a certain place exudes. Only a miracle can save the industry from the challenges it is now facing.

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Thursday, 12 October 2017

The Performing Arts Go Digital

If everything was set in black and white, the world would surely be such a boring and drab place to live in. The arts gave a new meaning to the world – allowing people to express their raw talent and inner creativity and bring some color and life to the world. We often associate the arts with artworks and art pieces but they are not the only form of artistic expression there is.

The performing arts are the fluid display of artistic talents in the form of music, dance, acting, and poetry among others. Their performances not only take your breath away but benefit you as well – whether you are the performer or the audience sitting in the crowd. Performers not only learn and enhance their skill set but get to mingle with people in their field who appreciates their talent or help grow their professional connection.

The site,, gives members space to advertise to the public and each other, connecting tutors with schools, as well as providing a place for parents and students to find individual teachers.

Launched by Laura Harwood, who has run performing arts schools in the past, the site is also a forum and resource library providing news, features and research for members.

Membership of the site costs £35 for an individual 12-month membership or £50 for a school or group for a year.

Harwood said independent training providers had traditionally been underrepresented professionally.

“These schools and individuals are the feeders for the next stage of professional training, which is well represented, and they want to ensure that their practice is relevant and meets the demands of the industry. The idea was to provide as much tried and tested support as possible in one place as well as information on the latest industry trends and research,” she told The Stage.


And since almost everything has gone digital these days, it makes perfect sense why the performing arts should also take advantage of the advancing technology to stay relevant in an increasingly globally competitive world. Many actually look down on artists and don’t take their contribution to society seriously but the truth is, the performing arts have helped shaped the world we live in for a long time now.

The daylong expo united art, science and engineering and showcased exhibitions, performances and panel discussions from faculty, guest artists and technologists, and students of all disciplines.  New technologies, prototypes and virtual environments were on display in nearly all corners of the institute.

“Every gallery is curated by a group of students.  Students submit work from all over the school and curators fight over what they want in their space,” said Ajay Kapur, associate dean for research and development in digital arts and Digital Arts Expo director.  “The staff are not involved… the students all bring it together.”

Kapur began the Digital Arts Expo six years ago as a “renegade show” in a CalArts hallway to showcase the work his students were doing in the classroom.

“It kept growing over the years,” he said.  “This gives them a venue to showcase the work of all disciplines.”

The Expo also showcased how art-fueled technologies can move across disciplines, as artists collaborate with one another and look for new ways to approach art, communication, engineering and design.


Artists can also make the most of the technology to bring their artistry to the next level. For instance, the Digital Arts Expo serves as a platform to showcasing the works of art of these artists in this digital day and age. It’s actually normal for artists to make use of the technology they have around them in their artistic expression. Throughout history, you’ll see artworks and performances depicting major issues faced in that period of history. We also use it now to understand ancient civilizations by studying artifacts they left behind in this world.

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Thursday, 5 October 2017

A Festival That’s No Longer On Fire

Diversity defines our planet. From the various fauna and flora that abounds us, there are also countless breathing and living species inhabiting the earth. Humans have long since claimed superiority above everything else and made sure to put their mark all over the world – be it up in the skies, under the sea, or smack right in the middle on land. We may argue and disagree on a lot of things because of cultural diversity, language barriers, religious differences and much more but there are other ways on how we rectify our differences.

Festivals are a great way for people to come together and celebrate whatever needs celebrating. Whether it is a local festival celebrated in your hometown, a generic holiday celebrated by almost everyone all over the world like Christmas and New Year, an exotic celebration somewhere in the Pacific, or an event for a specific cause, going to festivals is a great way to learn more about the world and other cultures of people living in faraway places. You may also have the time of your life while you are at it.

Fyre Festival founders Ja Rule and Billy McFarland have reportedly been "barred" from holding another festival in the Bahamas next year. 

According to Complex, the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism will not allow Fyre Festival to return in 2018, and plans to enforce a "stricter vetting system" for future music festivals. 

McFarland, a tech entrepreneur, had previously revealed that he plans on hosting another edition of Fyre Festival next year. 

Speaking to Rolling Stone, he said: "We were a little naive in thinking for the first time we could do this ourselves. Next year, we will definitely start earlier. The reality is, we weren't experienced enough to keep up."

Fyre Festival's first ever event was launched last weekend, and was billed as a "cultural moment created from an alchemic blend of music, art and food", promoted by a wealth of "social influencers" including Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid and Hailey Baldwin. 


This is one example, though, of a festival that went all wrong. It had the formula of a sure hit. The festival was endorsed by the biggest names in Hollywood and social media and the perfect island to accommodate them with an outrageous theme alongside an equally outrageous price tag. Unfortunately, the organizers failed to deliver what they promised and everyone is beyond upset about the whole thing.

The ticketing vendor Tablelist has filed the latest lawsuit against the organizers of Fyre Festival, Billboard reports. The Boston-based start-up is seeking $3.5 million to refund its customers, claiming the promoters of the disastrous event in the Bahamas have yet to repay "a penny" to clients.

The suit was filed in Suffolk County Superior Court in Boston and names Fyre organizers Billy McFarland and Jeffrey "Ja Rule" Atkins, marketing director Grant Margolin and financial backer Carola Jain as defendants. They are accused of breach of contract and fraudulently deceiving Tablelist and ticket purchasers.

"We filed suit only after it became apparent to us that those behind Fyre Festival weren’t being square with us or our customers," Tableist CEO Julian Jung tells Rolling Stone in a statement. "I understand the anger that so many ticket purchasers feel. In fact, we share their anger and outrage. We are convinced that McFarland and the Fyre team weren't simply incompetent in hosting the event. We believe that they went into this project with intent to defraud us, the ticket purchasers and countless other vendors. 


The extent of the damage caused by this massive festival mishap is becoming more apparent to everyone as the days go by. People want their money back – that is without a question. Even ticketing vendors are upset about the whole fiasco, sharing the sentiments of everyone who paid for the festival regardless if they got to the island or not. They now believe that the organizers of the said event, namely Ja Rule and Billy MacFarland, intended on duping everyone right from the beginning.

This is just a perfect example of a festival gone badly before it even ignited. However, let’s all hope this won’t dampen the spirit of festival-goers all over the world, so we can all still be merry and have fun while immersing in different cultures and traditions while wiggling to the beat.

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