Listening to Your Favourite Beats Under Outdoor Lights

While hip hop music may have originated in the urban environments of New York City, it is enjoyed today by people from all walks of life. Every day and night all over the world, people can be found listening to their favourite hip hop beats; at home, in clubs, and during specialised outdoor concerts and events.

Attending outside events has become a very popular activity for hip hop music fans in recent years, and whether it is a small garden at a bar or an entire music festival, outdoor lights a crucial part of outdoor event management. Outdoor lighting is created through environmental or garden lights, which are installed both as a way to enhance audience safety and to create a pleasing atmosphere for the concert audience. Hip hop has evolved a lot during its long and diverse 30 year history, and it is just as much at home today under garden lighting as it is in the back streets of the Bronx.

garden lighting

Hip hop is more than a musical genre, and also incorporates a number of other cultural activities that are well integrated into wider hip hop culture. Hip hop fans often talk of the 4 elements of hip hop: B-boying or breakdancing, graffiti writing, DJing, and MCeeing or rap. This wide range of different activities associated with hip hop culture, together with its strong, vibrant, and global personality, have helped to make it one of the biggest and most commercially popular musical genres in the entire world. From its birth as an underground music genre in a small part of New York City, it is now an entire culture that has spurned countless music artists, sub-genres, fashions, and entire industries.

Hip hop music sounds great during the night time hours, and is often enjoyed under garden lights either at home or during concert events. Outdoor lighting has to be able to provide adequate illumination for the safety of a concert audience, while also having an aesthetically pleasing effect that enhances both the music and the general event location. Ambience is one of the keys to the design and placement of garden lights, and an important consideration for event managers putting on night time events. Luckily for event managers, there are a number of companies dealing with the installation of entire lighting systems, for use as both a security product and an atmosphere creation system. While it may be a log way from the dark and dank surroundings of a New York club, many people from all over the world are listening to their favourite hip hop beats under the ambience and protection of outdoor lighting.

5 Things to Never Buy Used

Everyone loves a bargain. Today, the easiest way to find great deals on certain items is by cruising through online directories, garage sales and other sources of used items. It is not impossible to find items that are as good as new for no more than 10% of their original prices if you are willing to spend some extra time. Even with so many great deals on the market, there are still items that are better new than used. Which items are they?

Shoes

It is always best to avoid buying used shoes. Shoes conform to the shape of the user’s feet when worn. After a while, a comfortable pair of shoes for one may not be so comfortable when worn by others. This is exactly the problem with used shoes.

Even if you can save 50-60% on the pair of shoes you want, it is much better to buy it new. Instead of going for used shoes, find discounts and special offers on new shoes or shop for the best deals online.

Mattresses

The biggest problem with buying a used mattress is that you don’t know what’s in it. After a few months of use, a mattress may have germs, bed bugs, dead skins and other unwanted substances on and in it. These substances are not only hazardous but also very difficult to remove.

Similar to buying pairs of shoes, it is always best to find deals on new mattresses than going for used ones. Thanks to the internet, you can find amazing bargains in just a few minutes.

bargain deals

Medicines

Never – and I seriously mean NEVER – buy used drugs, no matter how much you can save on them. There are countless potential problems with buying used drugs and they are certainly not worth the savings.

Makeups

Makeups and beauty products can be found at almost every garage sale and websites specializing in used items. The main reason why they aren’t worth the savings is because there are quite a lot of bacteria and health risks associated with using someone else’s cosmetics.

Hats

The problem with used hats is that they often contain sediment of dead skin, hair or even lice. Even worse, the sediment may not be visible. Why risk dealing with health issues in the future when you can still save a lot of money buying new hats? Buy hats during seasonal sales and avoid these potential problems.

Teenage Revision Habits

Andrew Buck is a lead practitioner of Design at Hastingsbury College Bedford and the inventor of the student exams app ‘Exam Pal’. He talks about his current perception of teenage revision methods and the use of digital technology against traditional methods of revision.

As a teacher of 20 years and the inventor of the smartphone app ‘Exam Pal’ I am constantly reminded of the importance of quality revision methods not only for my own students but also for our own app content.

As a company that scows the social media system hourly for potential customers a clear pattern is beginning to emerge.

Revision Habits

So what are the revision habits of your average teenager?

Students will turn to Twitter to state to the world that they have started revising or to vent their frustration at having to start revision. This is usually followed by another tweet of disgust having just received their exam timetable. Sharing their exam woes with others is a must. Through Instagram we see snippets of how students are revising. Many will be armed with the revision essentials such as numerous revision guides, highlighters and postcards. Many will be very pleased of their revision set up in their bedroom and proudly post a picture. Some will surround themselves with items of comfort for those long days ahead such as sweets, chocolate and a recent hot drink brought up by the parents.

Traditional methods are still the best and by far the most popular. Analytical note taking by working through their exercise book or revision guide onto a fresh A4 pad seems to be the order of the day. Flash cards in their hundreds beautifully presented and brandished with highlighters. Post-it notes in every wall space conceivable including the fridge and back of the bathroom door creating a skyline of yellow. The common use of a revision buddy seems to add company even though at times that maybe the loyal family pet.

All seems pretty normal, however there are a few trends that for us educational practitioners we may find slightly concerning. Procrastination is a common hashtagged(#) word. The boredom selfie, the revision pain selfie, the sleeping selfie, getting started for some is a huge battle to overcome. When to start and where to start can often be a problem especially when students can be sitting up to 23 exams this summer.

Distractions of any kind are a relief from revision boredom. We very rarely see students studying without some kind of device in the background whether it’s a tablet with a movie, a music media player or games console. It appears that today’s teenagers cannot sit in silence and purely study for long periods, a detriment to the times. Last minute cramming before the exam, studying into the early hours of the morning, the appearance of endless energy drinks and poor diets. It does seem that many students are unprepared for the hours of revision ahead and have a lack of knowledge for best practice.

However there are many ingenious ways to revise that we have come across. Leaving a favourite sweet after each page or paragraph of revision often gives you motivation to complete. Revising in the bath with a wipe board to recall earlier revision is a common occurrence. Students revising on the go in their local café and revising in the car by using the multiple revision apps that are now widely available. The beautifully presented mind maps and flash cards that actually take longer than the revision itself, and of course the revision ‘onesie’. Telling your friends that you have locked your gadgets away in a safe or have deleted you social media apps will help progression. Posting a song or dance, without shame, to your revision notes and key terms you need to learn seems to be one of the strangest techniques we have come across. Recording revisions notes onto a media player and then listening to them whilst at the gym.

Maybe these revision habits have been going on for some time and maybe due to social media we are just more exposed to what is going on behind closed doors.

Here are the Top Twelve Do’s and Don’ts’s for revision to help you get started and avoid the dreaded pitfalls of #procrastination.

Do’s

  1. Start revising 5-6 weeks before your first exam starts. Use the Exam Pal app to access and schedule your exam dates. Continue reading →

Ideal Figure: Secrets to achieve perfect measurement

Women always try their best to look perfect but reducing fat, working toward your ideal figure and keeping the weight off require some adjustments in lifestyle. You can not expect different results by doing same thing.

Losing weight or regaining a perfect figure does not mean using some dangerous pills or extended trips to gym. Here are some secrets to achieve perfect figure easily:

Diet: You should have a balanced diet. Ideally one should have 6 short meals in the day and no 2 major meals and also that too on time.

Exercise: Do the required exercise regularly to tone those portions of the body where you actually require it. Yoga & meditation are the best option to go for.

Ideal Figure

Move More: Avoid the use of elevator as much as possible. Play with the kids as it will help you to burn out extra calories. Running is not the only way to burn extra calories.

Avoid alcohol and smoking as they pace up the aging process and add up to weight. Replace all chemical oriented diet supplements with the natural & herbal options.

The Sizing Struggle

The perfect pair of jeans seems to be like gold dust – precious and near impossible to come across. Famously being the hardest fashion item to find in the right size, the right fit or even in the right place, denim sizes have baffled shoppers since their inception. But now many shoppers are struggling to find any items of clothing in their size, due to inconsistency in size measurements across different retailers and the phenomenon of ‘vanity sizing’ causing consumer confusion. According to a study conducted by SizeUK over three years, 60 per cent of women admit they are unsure of their dress size due to variations in retailer sizing. So in a country where high streets are homogeneous, dominated by the same fashion retailers, who can we rely on for the perfect fit?

Vanity sizing is a relatively new fashion scandal, which refers to the practice of assigning clothing sizes to garments bigger or smaller than norm for that size, making the wearer feel skinnier or fatter than they actually are. Although many consider it a myth, there’s no doubt that inconsistency in clothing sizes can have a psychological effect and cause frustration.

Launching a ‘name and shame’ appeal on Twitter revealed a list of companies people felt were the worst for inconsistent sizing, in particular two major fashion retailers. “I love H&M but there’s definitely inconsistency,” said freelance journalist, blogger and Twitter user Lor_witters_on. “It drives me crazy, especially when buying things without trying them on only to find it doesn’t fit.”

George launches the Wonderfit Jean - the magical jean where one size fits all

Primark also received a slight bashing. “I can buy a shirt in one size and need a t-shirt in another in Primark,” professed arts and crafts blogger and Tweeter c_brookes. “Their jeans are the same – one style in one size and another style in another.”

The best way to confirm any variance was by visiting stores and going about testing sizes the old fashion way – with a tape measure. First up is H&M, a Swedish retail giant who made around £446 billion in the last quarter according to Business Week, and were heavily mentioned in the Twitter appeal. Their in-store sizing chart suggests a size 14 will fit someone with a 36.25 inch chest, but when measured, a new cat print tea dress measures 35 inches, coming up smaller than the suggested measurement. In contrast, a pair of their slim leg, regular waist jeans, listed as a 30 inch waist on the tag measure at 32 inches, coming up wider than expected.

However, H&M maintain their sizes are tried and tested worldwide. Chloe Bowers, press officer at H&M, said: “H&M uses the same body measurements and sizes for all its 38 markets and they are based on Swedish body measurement lists. We do not work with ‘vanity sizing’. All departments within H&M work with the same body measurements and all garments are tried on mannequins or fitting models, so as a customer you should be able to buy the same size regardless of which department you are shopping within.”

Despite saying their clothing sizes are standardised across all departments, Chloe added: “A garment can feel different in size depending on style and fit, for example our young department ‘Divided’ might work with a more close fit fabric than, for example, our ladies department.”

H&M currently work with around 700 suppliers worldwide, who in turn use subcontractors, adding up to around 2,700 production units used in the manufacture of their clothes. With such a high number of links in the supply chain, inconsistency from supplier to supplier is showing through in their products. But they’re not the only ones. Continue reading →

How to survive a uni beauty crisis…

Here you are at the beginning of your university life or returning to lectures after a summer of re-sits and relaxation. Time for a fresh start and a new you, so here are a few tips to help you cope on your way, no matter what London Met may throw at you…

Hungover from freshers’ week?

To recover quickly from the night before, set your alarm for an hour before you are due to get up for lectures. When the dreaded alarm rings, take a paracetamol with a glass of water containing a vitamin tablet to replenishing any lost vitamins and minerals (Berocca, £4.99, is a hangover favourite). Go back to sleep for an hour, but don’t forget to reset your alarm! For breakfast have bread, butter and golden syrup – this replenishes potassium, sodium and fructose in your body, speeding up recovery. Avoid coffee as it’s a diuretic and will cause further dehydration. Also avoid aspirin and fizzy drinks as they may upset the stomach.

Running late with bed head?

For quick and easy, clean-looking hair, spray it with a dry shampoo (Batiste, £3.04, is a cult favourite which caters for all hair colours and ensures no white partings). Part your hair, apply some volumising powder to your roots and massage it into your scalp with your fingertips to give automatic lift (GOT2B Schwarzkopf, £4.07, is effective and affordable). Now give your hair a good brush out and if more volume is needed, back-comb the roots and give it a quick squirt of hairspray (Silvikrin, £1.01, is handy and cheap). If your ends are looking a little dry, rub a dab of straightening serum (Pantene Pro-V ice shine serum, £4.51) into your palms and run it through the ends of your hair.

beauty crisis

Looking pale and tired?

The eyes are the main focal point of the face, so if they look sore and puffy your whole demeanour will look tired and run down. So start by placing either a cold slice of cucumber or a cold camomile teabag to the eyelids for 10 – 15 minutes. This will brighten the whites of the eyes and help clam any puffiness. Now cleanse your skin by mashing up a cucumber and brushing it onto your face.  Leave it on for 10 minutes to cleanse and close pores, then rinse it off. Finally, smother your face with a daily moisturiser (Oil of Olay complete care, £7.65, is a good all-round cream, which contains SPF 15 to protect your skin from the sun).

Want to hide behind makeup?

Sometimes when we look tired it is easy to pile on the makeup, but this can make you look worse. Simply apply some liquid foundation to your face and some concealer under your eyes and across your cheek bones to make your face look brighter (Bourjois brush concealer, £7.49, is perfect). Next, lightly brush a bronzing powder on top and finish off with a lick of mascara and lipstick. If you don’t have time to apply a whole face of makeup, just pop on a red lipstick.  This will pull the attention to the lips and make you look sassy and natural. Finally, to keep your makeup on all day, give your face a quick squirt of hairspray.

Handbag essentials!

A few items can help you get through those hard days. First of all, a small tin of Vaseline (Lip therapy with Aloe Vera, £1.39) always comes in handy in the winter to combat chapped dry hands and lips, and in the summer it protects the skin. It will also stop frizzy hair if you pull a little through the ends with your palms.  Secondly, clear nail varnish not only helps with chipped nails but also stops a run in your tights. It can also stop you losing a loose button by applying it to the breaking thread. Lastly, plasters are a must-have in any bag. They can help with minor accidents as well as stopping an unravelling hem and, if your shoes are flopping on and off, you can stick a plaster or two in the heel.

Is it worse to be the ‘cheater’ or the ‘cheatee’?

A guy’s view by Thomas Gibson

In any relationship there is always the dominant and the submissive partner. Connotations aside, it seems one half of a couple appears to have a tighter grip on the reins, while the other tends to exist in the background, blinded by love and rationalising away any red flags that may appear. Meet the ‘cheatee’ – the unfortunate ‘yang’ segment to the relationship who will do nothing but deliver love and affection, only to be rewarded with a broken heart and a significant hole that will take a substantial period of time to fill.

According to a UK online survey, it is estimated that almost fifty percent of participants in a serious relationship will cheat on their partner at some point. As an individual who has been cheated on in the past, it seems a daunting prospect that when looking for my perfect person – a mission in itself – I am shadowed by a fifty-fifty chance of heading into a union that will end in deception, followed by a hefty platter of heartbreak, hurt and misery. Is it worse to be the ‘cheater’ or the ‘cheatee’? In my opinion, it’s a no-brainer – the cheatee.

cheater

Whilst talking with friends I have been unpleasantly surprised by the ease in which people approach being unfaithful in a relationship. When questioned why, I have received vacant and inane answers like “he would have deserved it” or “he wouldn’t have cared”. Is there any real justification behind dishonesty and callousness? In a society that sees more people holding mobile phones than another’s hand, I think we should question what has happened to the twentieth century’s outlook on real love and relationships.

It doesn’t matter what your perception is on being a good samaritan; when somebody gives you their heart, I’m pretty sure they are doing so under the acknowledgment that you’re not going to break it. It’s true that the ‘cheater’ may not be able to hold their head up with shame, and I’m sure there will never be a valid reason behind cheating, but for anyone that has been deceived by a partner they will comprehend that it’s one of the worst feelings possible and that you hurt in ways that you didn’t even know were possible. Incurring sleepless nights, constant failed endeavours to make yourself feel significant again, often aided by heavy shopping or drinking, you blame yourself and wonder where you went wrong or how you may have pushed him or her away. For these reasons, I will adhere to my initial conclusion – the cheater may have lost their pride, but the cheatee will have lost their trust, self-esteem and faith in relationships.

Leopards can’t change their spots and neither can cheaters. Continue reading →

Want to leave university with a degree?

At some time of your university life, there will be the awful, looming sensation of a deadline creeping closer. Procrastination often comes in the form of unnecessary laundry runs, spring-cleaning in the summer and organising your CDs in alphabetical order: anything to get away from the deadline that is hovering on the horizon. In today’s world, there is a new danger, and it comes in the form of infamous white writing on a blue background: Facebook.

The social networking site is both mind- bogglingly genius and soul-crushingly addictive. It serves to connect you with your friends and family around the world for free, whilst leaving you constantly plugged in to the lives of people you don’t really know or care about. While I don’t make a habit of adding total strangers, I do have people on my Facebook I would pass by in the street, but on Facebook I can see their photos, wall posts, location updates and even phone numbers.

But the worst thing about it is that it is constantly there. It’s hard to switch off. It’s like a parallel universe co-existing with real life. And because of that, I sit glued to my Facebook page, waiting for a couple to break up or an equally lost soul to ‘like’ the status I posted six hours previously.

leave university with a degree

Whilst Facebook is excellent for stopping you from watching Loose Women on a lazy afternoon, it’s your worst enemy when you’re actually trying to do something productive, e.g. that important coursework that’s due in next week. The “quick look” always turns in to ten minutes worth of stalking. But worst thing is that it is no longer just on computers – it’s on our phones too. If there’s any activity on my page, my iPhone instantly sends me a notification. Resisting the urge to look is like trying not to sneeze: you’re inevitably going to snot everywhere and see what somebody has said about that drunken photo of you.

Everything that we do nowadays is linked with Facebook. If something interesting happens to us, we put it on Facebook. Our friends do the same and because of this, trying to do anything productive whilst being logged in is like trying to write a dissertation whilst sitting in a large room with all your friends talking over one another. It’s practically impossible.

Although Mark Zuckerberg’s monster is by far the biggest danger to my degree, it is not the only demon. Twitter is also to blame. It’s a bit like diet-Facebook – it doesn’t allow me to plunge into people’s photos and private lives as much, but it does bombard me with updates from musicians, journalists and celebrities. I find myself using Twitter as a break from Facebook, and that really is bad.

What’s more, it’s not even that easy to get off Facebook. It allows you to ‘deactivate’ your account without actually deleting it, meaning that all you have to do to get it back is log in with the same credentials.

So what’s the solution? My advice to you is to change your password to something long and unmemorable, write it down, seal it in an envelope and give it to a trustworthy friend to look after until your work is done. And be strong – the panic attacks will subside after a while.

The Impossible – Movie Review

“Close your eyes and think of something nice,” says Maria to her son.

I doubt that the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 would come to mind. Nine years ago near the west coast of Sumatra the fate of millions changed forever due to one of the deadliest natural disasters humanity has faced. Quarter of a million people were dead or missing, and millions were left homeless. But an incredible real-life story of survival, and what’s truly important, unfolds among the ruins.

The Impossible is the first re-enactment of the 2004 tsunami directed by Juan Antonio Bayona (The Orphanage) and features Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor as parents Maria and Henry.

Maria and Henry enjoy an idyllic Christmas holiday in Thai holiday with their three sons. On Boxing Day morning, the tsunami hits their resort and separates the family. “Is it over?” Lucas asks his mother. Though we know it has not started yet.

The movie is an interchanging play of highs and lows – a wake-up call for the true value of human bonds and realising that you are not alone.

The Impossible does not spare us the grim depiction of nature’s brutality, human suffering and death. However, bearing in mind that the family’s story of hope, love, survival and courage among the ruins is a true one, it is also an exception. And for many that are left homeless, injured or even worse, the story does not have a happy ending.

The Impossible is now available to but on DVD and Blu-Ray

Article written by Ellie de Rose.

London Fire Brigade Demonstrate Against Cuts

A demonstration took place outside the meeting by the LFEPA (London Fire and Emergency planning authority) on Monday 21st January, opposing the recent Fire brigade cut proposals. The meeting resulted in the rejection of these cuts but the consultation will still be going ahead.

The crowds gathered outside Brigade HQ opposing the £45 million cuts proposed by The Mayor, Boris Johnson and the London fire commissioner, Ron Dobson. The FBU (Fire brigade union) organized the demonstration and speakers that took to the stage on Union Street in Southbank.

Hundreds of fire fighters, union workers and representatives and members of the public came to show their support. London Labour MP’s Kate Hoey and John Cryer spoke, as well as Labour fire authority member Andrew Dismore amongst others. They took to the stage to support the campaign against the cuts that may happen to the LFEPA budget.

Fire Brigade Demonstrate

The latest proposal suggests closing 12 fire stations within the city including Clapham who responded to the recent helicopter accident in Vauxhall. Also, around 520 fire fighters would lose their jobs.

Luke Bell, fire fighter at Whitechapel station, said, “We will be losing a pump at our station, and also another station in our borough, so two appliances which means Tower Hamlets will be getting hit really hard. Response times will go up. We were on the list to be closed so we have been very vocal about it signing petitions and starting campaigns over the last few months.

“Voluntary retirement letters were handing out a few months ago. “They offered a nice sum of money, but no one is going to take it out.”

According to the London fire brigade figures, the number of fires in the city have dropped significantly in the past ten years. However, many boroughs across London have many highly populated high rise blocks of flats, and these are a big concern for many as they are often the most challenging fires to control.” Tower Hamlets is one of the poorest boroughs and it seems madness. There are such a large amount of high rise buildings and risks in the area where loads of people are crammed together. Everyone saw what happened with the Larks estate fire in Camberwell – that’s how people lose their lives.” Luke continued.

Dave Lewis of the Sceaux Gardens Tenants’ and residents Association, whose estate includes Lakanal House was present and also said a few words. The Lakanal house fire, in Southwark, happened on the 3rd July in 2009 and cost six people their lives and 20 were injured. Fire fighters came to the scene of the twelve floor building within five minutes. Continue reading →