Hello, greetings and welcome to this week's edition of Well, that happened… The hip and cool younger sibling of News of the Week.
I'd like to start by firstly thanking Bhavesh for producing the news in my absence last week. He described himself as a shadow but that's simply not true, he did a great job. Would be great to show him some love in the comments!
Last week was spent finishing up my coursework for my MA (now submitted!) which means, subject to marking, these columns are now written by a bona fide qualified journalist! Nothing will change, but I want to tell everyone, given how expensive the whole process was.
This week though, we say Goodbye to Ska legend Prince Buster. Whine and Grine in peace, Mr Buster.
Apple announces new iPhones and Watch
The world's largest and perhaps the most influential culture and technology company announced their new range of iPhones and Apple Watches this week. The headline changes you've probably already read about is the removal of the headphone port. No more 3.5mm headphone usage for you, unless you want to carry around the included Lightning-to-3.5mm adaptor. Alternatively you could spend £159 and get the new AirPods, which are wireless headphones that use.... Bluetooth. I personally cannot imagine what would possess a person to purchase these, but let's be honest, they'll sell like hotcakes regardless. What IS exciting though is that Apple have FINALLY got rid of the 16GB starting memory, and only 3 years later.
Sia releases new single "The Greatest" tribute to the victims of the Orlando shooting
The simultaneously released video racked up an eye-watering 10 million views on YouTube in just 2 days. I may have had a part to play in that contribution. Songwriting wonder Sia Furler released the single "The Greatest" featuring Kendrick Lamar this week to instantly positive reviews. It was the music video, however, that caused most of the hype - the video presents the now-famous dancer Maddie Ziegler performing with 48 other dancers in a wacky, quirky style in order to represent the 2016 Orlando Shootings: 49 dancers = 49 victims killed, showing the happiness that was before it was tragically taken away. It's certainly a moving message. A song from the only artist of significant profile about this kind of ordeal deserves to have a listen.
New music from Lady Gaga, Kings of Leon, and Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Bastille, and MIA
A new, slightly too repetitive single from Lady Gaga called Perfect Illusion about love that turns out badly has already sparked rumours around being about the recent 'break' taken between her and her fiance, Taylor Kinney. Kings of Leon's new single is called Waste A Moment and is classically uplifting, well written and well played though unremarkably structured with no key change or anything discernibly unique. Nick Cave's group's new album, Skeleton Tree has garnered incredibly flattering reviews from critics and fellow musicians alike. It is available to stream on BBC Radio 6 ahead of its release. The album is the first following Cave's son, Arthur's death last year aged 15. Will from Coldplay called it "So sad, so beautiful" on Facebook. Next comes the new album from Bastille, Wild World. It comes after their second album, while it had a successful lead single, was only an average success considering the size of their debut. It makes for a good listen, uplifting in places and darker in others. Finally, MIA has released her album, AIM, hot on the trail of an experimental track featuring Zayn, Freedun.
Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart bring No Man's Land to London
The British acting powerhouse of McKellen and Stewart are back, bringing Pinter's absurdist play to Wyndham's Theatre in the West End. The duo are renowned for their close friendship, and have previously shared the stage in 2013 for Waiting for Godot. Culture Whisper writes that this run is particularly poignant, because it also ran in Wyndham's in 1975 where Patrick Stewart first saw it - three times in one week! The play is directed by Sean Mathias.
Source: Culture Whisper
Sadiq Khan tells a joke - Internet loves it
Yes, we are perpetuating the retelling of the joke, but I love it so I don't care.
Talking to TimeOut, the freshly appointed Mayor of London Sadiq Khan confessed to having previously been a comedian, and then proceeded to tell a particularly brutal joke at the expense of Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt. The joke come at a particularly tense time, as the stand-off between junior doctors and the Department of Health continues, with a new wave of one and five day strikes announced by the BMA. The contention revolves around the imposition of a new contract, deemed unsafe and unfair by junior doctors, but countered as necessary to deliver a seven-day NHS, a Conservative manifesto pledge. I shalln't ruin the joke for you, but visit the link below to enjoy it!
Source: Huffington Post
Stanford Professor puts his digital photography course online - for FREE!
Marc Levoy is a pretty big name in digital imagery, contributing to many of the advances in imagery that we use today. From 2009 - 2014 he taught digital photography at Stanford University. He then completely revised the course and taught it at Google, and now they are all online and available to view for free. There is no prior knowledge required, so if you have wanted to get into photography but have been put off by the seemingly steep learning curve, this will probably great for you!
Source: Lectures of Digital Photography
Sony lift the covers on the new PS4 Slim and PS4 Pro
The traditional console lifecycle is dead. Both Sony and Microsoft have announced upgrades to their latest consoles, and this week Sony gave the details on theirs. The Slim is becoming the defacto PS4 - It is the same in every way as the OG PS4, except it weighs just 4.5 pounds while the original weighed in at a beefy 6 pounds. The more interesting console is the PS4 Pro, which was previously reported on as PS4 Neo. This Pro version of the PS4 will launch in November of this year, and has a faster processor, 4K streaming capabilities, and is reported to maintain 60 frames per second at 1080p. It weighs a whopping 7 pounds, but realistically how often will you be lifting it! What is interesting though, is that Xbox have been quick out of the gate to remind everyone that Project Scorpio has superior power and actually plays 4K Blu-rays.
Daniel Day-Lewis announces return to acting with a second film with Paul Thomas Anderson
They are an important duo because Daniel Day-Lewis is considered one of the greatest actors ever for being the most awarded actor in history with three Leading Actor Oscars including one from his first film with Anderson, There Will Be Blood. He comes back with this announcement after four years since starring in Steven Spielberg's Lincoln - for which he obviously won another Oscar, BAFTA, and Golden Globe. The untitled film will be a 1950s fashion drama and that's pretty much all we know about it but it's worth taking bets already. With the two talents that are at the helm, it'll no doubt be a fair success.
Facebook row over Phan Thị Kim Phúc intensifies
This famous picture was taken in Vietnam by Nick Ut, and shocked the world over for revealing the true horrors of the Vietnam War. Norwegian author Tom Egeland posted this with six others to Facebook, in a series of images he says "changed the history of warfare". Facebook subsequently suspended Egeland's account. He then went to Norwegian paper Aftenposten, who subsequently used the same image, and was put under pressure by Facebook to remove it or pixilate it. Now Facebook has deleted a post by Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, who posted the image in support of both the paper and author, stating that it was an image that "shaped world history". A Facebook spokeswoman said: "While we recognise that this photo is iconic, it's difficult to create a distinction between allowing a photograph of a nude child in one instance and not others. We try to find the right balance between enabling people to express themselves while maintaining a safe and respectful experience for our global community.
UPDATE: Facebook backs down