Pinch, punch, first of the month!
Welcome, intrepid explorer, to February. The month which appears determined to be colder than January. Hopefully winter will soon leave, and we can start to see the sun again. Providing there is no nuclear winter on the horizon...
#fakenews seems to be all the rage these days, what with Donald Trump deriding (while simultaneously getting elected off the back off) erroneous reports and spurious accusations. You may remember shortly after November, when Facebook got significant backlash due to its failure to appropriately tackle falsified stories.
I was looking through my feed today, and it while there seems to be a slightly less awful place than before, I couldn't help but realise just how samey everything was.
I think the issue of fake news distribution is only half the problem on Facebook and other such social media networks. I think what could, or possibly has, become the real issue is our ignorance to other people's arguments, due to the echochamber we now exist in.
I'm sure it has probably been commented on a lot in the past by many people more prominent and influential than I, but we as a society like to be comfortable, and prefer the company of those with similar interests and opinions to us.
While in the real world we are forced to deal with both those who we agree with AND those we don't, our online lives don't have to operate by the same rules. We can cherry-pick our way through social interactions, building up an environment whereby our every prejudice and belief can be affirmed by like minded individuals. It's known as confirmation bias, and I think those on the right and the 'lefties' are equally culpable of doing it.
It's a real problem, as it ends up making both sides look ignorant, out-of-touch, and results in both hurling insults as they lack the nuance and understanding of the alternative points of view to successfully challenge them.
Obviously your Facebook feed is yours to do with as you please, but maybe it would be worth exploring outside your comfort zone. Enter different forums, unblock your slightly racist granddad. Even, on rare occasions, don the hazmat suit, hold your breath and explore the Daily Mail. Not for too long, mind.
As an aside, am I the only one who, after the Who's Who of celebrity deaths last year, get a slight panic everytime they see a celebrity name in the Facebook trending section?
Have a good weekend!
Tate Modern to host 'once in a lifetime' Picasso exhibition
Picasso's greatest works are to be brought together for a "one in a lifetime" exhibition, thanks to a collaboration between London's Tate Modern and the Musée National-Picasso in Paris. More than 100 works are to be exhibited, taking visitors through a pivotal year in the renowned artist's career. The exhibition, named 'Picasso 1932' is the first solo Picasso exhibition to be held in Tate Modern, and the year 1932 was selected because it is known as Picasso's "years of wonders"
Picasso 1932 – Love, Fame, Tragedy will be at the Musée National-Picasso, Paris, 10 October 2017 to 11 February 2018 and Tate Modern, London, 8 March to 9 September 2018.
UK Museums and art galleries see 1.4m decline in visitors
Visitors to major British museums and galleries fell by nearly 1.4m last year, which is the first decline in almost a decade. A report published by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport found that there were 47.6m visitors to institutions that it sponsors, such as the British Museum, the Imperial War Museum and the V&A. The Museums Association has credited art for the decline of fears over terrorism, and a lack of big blockbuster exhibitions that generate interest. There was a 6.9% decline in under 18s visiting with schools and participating in workshops or educational activities.
Peter Capaldi to leave Doctor Who
In a shock announcement this week, Peter Capaldi has stated that he will be leaving Doctor Who after the 2017 Christmas special. The 12th Doctor made the announcement during an interview on Jo Whiley's BBC Radio 2 show. The ratings for Doctor Who sharply declined in the last season, something Capaldi attributed to poor scheduling on the part of the BBC. Capaldi's departure will coincide with writer and executive producer Steven Moffat. The 10th season will start in April, and run for 12 episodes.
Final trailer for Beauty and the Beast released
The final trailer for Beauty and the Beast was released this week and the internet is a little excited!
More characters make their appearance this time round, with a glimpse of Belle's father Maurice (Kevin Kline) and a narcissistic moment with Gaston (Luke Evans). Cogsworth (played by Ian McKellan), Lumiere (Ewan McGregor) and Mrs. Potts (Emma Thompson) all make appearances in the magical castle before the iconic ballroom scene flashes on the screen. As Ariana Grande and John Legend belt out the famous Tale As Old As Time, the redesigned film title slowly appears on screen reminding us all that the wait is almost over. With reports of all original songs included in the remake and two new compositions by Alan Menken, 17 March is a date to mark on your calendar.
Sebastian Barry wins Costa Book of the Year - again!
Novelist Sebastian Barry has been awarded the Costa Book of the Year prize for a record second time. His latest novel Days Without End tells the story of two Irish soldiers who fight in multiple US wars and involves a significant gay relationship. Barry has dedicated the book to his son after he recently came out adding "As a father, I'm trying to mobilise the world to stop being in any way prejudiced to people who are gay". Barry's first win in 2008 came for his book The Secret Scripture, which received other notable awards such as the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and Novel of the Year at the Irish Book Awards. Barry will receive £30,000 for his achievement yet said that when he was on Skype to his son, "I couldn't hear a word he was saying, but the glowing face of your son is an award in itself".
Source: BBC News
Photograph: Christian Sinibaldi for the Guardian
Club Penguin is closing down!
Hold back the tears, millennials, because those of you not old enough to remember Habbo Hotel will probably remember Club Penguin, and might have missed the news that the virtual world will be closing down 29 March. The Disney-owned social network for kids is being shut down and replaced with Club Penguin Island, which be released in March. Club Penguin Island will have a much more mobile-based focus, and allow you to create custom clothing and complete challenges. You are currently able to pre-register your interest in the penguin themed social network here.
Company behind Snapchat plans to go public
The company behind Snapchat, known as Snap, has filed for a $3bn IPO (Initial Public Offering). This means that they will move from a private company to a public company, where shares can be purchased on the New York Stock Exchange. The company is offering no voting rights for shareholders, however, and also makes no promises that people will ever see a return on their investment. The IPO filing gave some details into Snapchat's user base - with a reported 158m daily users at the end of December, 48% year-on-year-growth. While it also detailed making $404.5m in revenue in 2016, but lost $514.6m in the same period of time. What this means for the company long-term is unknown, but with Instagram adding Instagram stories, it could be a potentially difficult sell to investors.
Source: The Verge
Maddie Drury and Gracie McCabe contributed to this report
Header image: outtacontext