Here we go, guys. Trump is in. Obama is out. Out with the new, in with the old.
With him goes eight years of progress, acceptance and tolerance.
Replacing Obama is a rich white dude, who has appointed a load of his rich dude friends. The US ambassador to the UK is the owner of an American football team. A pretty awful team at that.
One thing that did amuse me was the absolute grilling that was given to Trump's choice for the position of education secretary, Betsy DeVos. Senator Elizabeth Warren grilled DeVos over her experience, or lack thereof. DeVos came from a wealthy family so she never had to borrow money from the Government to go to college (University in the UK), and her children have equally been "fortunate" to not have to. She has no experience running a bank, or overseen a trillion dollar programme, or even a billion dollars. While I have no personal objection to people being wealthy - I myself spend several years in a private school - but to appoint someone who has absolutely no experience in a program that will oversee the education of the next generation of Americans is… a bold move to say the least. Watch the full grilling in the video below, it is BRUTAL.
His speech suggested a more protectionist and isolationist America. What this will translate to, we don't yet know. Pulling back from NATO? Less intervention internationally? No trade deal for the UK?
Trump's presidency, much like the leadup to his eventual election, is going to be fraught with questions, anomalies, and uncertainties.
At this point, all we can do is sit, watch, and hope we all seriously overestimated his ineptitude and danger.
Trump is President
Better batten down the hatches, it's finally happened. Donald John Trump has officially been inaugurated and is officially the 45th President of the United States of America. President Trump laid out his vision for America during his inauguration, stating that there should be two simple rules: two simple rules": "buy American and hire American." He also stated that "when America is united, America is totally unstoppable," no doubt in an effort try and repair the many, many cracks opened across America during the election campaign. His speech was perhaps the most nationalist, isolationist speech of any Western leader, definitely prioritising America's interests first. This could in turn throw a spanner in the works for Theresa May, who was hoping to forge a special bond, and crucially, a trade agreement. We will have to see what happens.
So long, Obama, it's been swell.
Jeremy Corbyn to order MP's to vote to trigger Article 50
With the ruling from the Supreme Court expected back next week, many are anticipating that they will rule against the Government and insist that Parliament vote in order to trigger Article 50. With that comes an opportunity to block the formal process of leaving the European Union, and members of the Shadow Cabinet appear to be deliberating over whether or not to vote against Brexit. Corbyn appears to be willing to enforce a three-line whip on his MP's in order to force them to vote through Article 50. However, Theresa May has stated that Parliament will get to vote on the final Brexit deal, so it is at that point that MP's should voice concern.
The genderless nipple Instagram account challenges sexist standards
A new Instagram account - Genderless Nipples - is posting pictures of nipples in an effort to fight the sexist standards set by the social media account. Instagram will ban Photos that show sexual intercourse, genitals, or close-ups of fully-nude buttocks. However, male nipples are permitted but female nips are removed. The account was set up by students Morgan-Lee Wagner, Evelyne Wyss, and Marco Russo, who want to challenge the idea that female bodies are inherently sexual. Instead, they want to show that nipples are simply nipples, and are basically genderless.
Source: Huffington Post
Apple set to increase App store prices by 25%
After the increase in hardware prices late last year, Apple has announced that they will also be increasing the price of apps purchased on their app store. Prices will be increasing by as much as 25%. For example, to unlock the full version of Super Mario Run it was £7.99, but once the price increases are implemented it will jump up to £9.99. Apple is but one of many companies in recent months to raise their prices after the value of the pound plummeted following the UK's decision to leave the European Union.
Startup launches chatbot to help renters
A few weeks back we reported about the Babylon health app, which used artificial intelligence to provide help to those suffering from medical ailments. Now a new startup is launching an AI chatbot to help London renters with questions about their housing agreements. The company, Renters Union, hopes that their service will eventually eliminate the need for expensive housing lawyers. At current, you are able to upload any tenancy agreement, and the bot will pull out salient information - allowing you to find out about any fees you might be liable to pay. You can also get it to generate letters on your behalf, and adjust the tone in terms of forcefulness depending on necessity. It can in theory work with any English tenancy agreement, but it is focused on London renters at this time.
Unicode Committee to meet to discuss introducing redhead emoji
It would appear that we could soon be getting ginger emoji, if a report from Emojipedia is correct. The Unicode Committee are meeting at Apple's campus in Cupertino next week to discuss how to implement the red haired emojis in upcoming Unicode standards. Emojipedia comment that since only 2% of the world's population has red hair, making customisable options for all emoji seems unlikely, but at least some emoji could be ginge-fied in the future.
Source: The Verge
BBC Writersroom Scotland launches
Did you know the BBC has a wealth of resources for writers on their website? Or that you can send scripts to them, download BBC TV radio and film scripts, and watch interviews and receive top tips from established writers? Well, now you do, and you can find it all on the BBC Writersroom website. Are you in Scotland, then you have cause for further celebration, as from yesterday, there is now a specific portal for Scottish residents. "Writersroom Scotland will feed into all the pan-UK Writersroom schemes but will also create bespoke opportunities for writers from or living within Scotland." All next week (w/c 23 January) the Writersroom blog will be featuring Scottish production and scripts to celebrate all the work that has come from Scotland.
Netflix reports skyrocketing subscriptions after investing in original content
Throughout 2016, Netflix dropped hundreds of films from its catalogue in order to re-direct its investments into creating their own content. As a result, 2016 became the year that took Netflix to the top of the televisual food chain with shows that demonstrated that they could do no wrong: The Get Down, The Crown, Marvel's Luke Cage, Brazilian sci-fi drama, 3% and, of course, Stranger Things are but a few. With what must be a stellar development department, the programmes have quickly created the stereotype that every Netflix original series is worth a watch. They produced 600 hours of original programming in 2016 on a $5 billion budget with plans to raise that to a $6 billion budget for 1,000 hours of content in 2017. Last week, the company's value rose by 9% when it was announced that they welcome 7.05 new subscription from October 2016 to the New Year - this can only mean that Netflix is well on its way to cementing itself as the king of media services.
Source: BBC News
This week we have had trailers drop for Better Call Saul, Power Rangers, Logan and xXx: Return of Xander Cage. Those looking for a dose of nostalgia with Power Rangers might want to skip watching the trailer, as I legitimately think you're going to have a bad time. Saban appear to have gone down the Michael Bay Transformers route of gritty, biomechanical Megazords, and casted a troop of 'pretty' actors to play the titular heroes. I want to believe it's just a bad trailer, but I'm not hopeful. Better Call Saul looks amazing as always, and builds on the fantastic cliffhanger that ended season two. xXx: Return of Xander Cage looks as loud and dumb as the franchise has always been, but i think that's what makes it appealing. Logan is the most interesting of the trailers, given that it takes an existing franchise and gores it up, aiming for an 18 certification. This will be Hugh Jackman's last run as Wolverine, so let's hope he goes out with a bang!
Enjoy this catchy tune
For absolutely no reason whatsoever, I've found myself repeatedly humming this tune all week, and now I want to infect your minds with it too.
THAT'S GREAT IT STARTS WITH AN EARTHQUAKE!
Bhavesh Jadva contributed to this report
Header image: Karl-Ludwig G. Poggemann