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Indulging In Luxury Hedonism On The White Island, At BLESS Hotel Ibiza – – The Luxury Editor

The white island is no stranger to decadence. Yet now sophisticated pleasure-seekers visiting Ibiza have a new kind of luxury hedonism, thanks to the unique hospitality style of the recently opened BLESS Hotel Ibiza, writes Andrew Forbes.

BLESS Hotel Ibiza brings together curated elements for a hedonistic white island experience. Think spectacular infinite pools; a breath-taking beach-club style roof-top bar; destination gourmet dining; cool DJ sets, theatrical performers and live entertainment; a full-service spa; and indulgent guest rooms and suites that invite stylish selfies and envy-inducing instagrams.

I was wowed by BLESS Ibiza

Im just back from an early autumn break in Ibiza and Ive been totally wowed by BLESS Ibiza. As Northern Europe braces for cold fronts, the sun continues to shine in the Mediterranean it was the most spectacular few days of sun, great food, stylish accommodation and superb hospitality.

The second property of BLESS Collection Hotels, BLESS Hotel Ibiza brings a hip Mediterranean sparkle to this new upscale lifestyle brand, following the opening earlier this year of the flagship BLESS Hotel Madrid Hotel (you can read about my delicious experience at BLESS Hotel Madrid here).

The property opened for the 2019 season and has been totally remodelled when it was acquired by BLESS Collection Hotels. The style is contemporary, with plenty of bold, original and architectural features and elegant details. The design makes the most of the hotels size, with striking double height spaces which add a real scale to the black and white interiors, with accents of pale pink, turquoise and yellow.

Outside the terraces, water gardens and swimming pools really have the wow factor with infinite pools that drawing the eye to the Mediterranean and the horizon. There is also a stylish area furnished with large daybeds, where you can walk on fine sand and relax in the shade of palms. A path leads to the public sandy cove.

The Ibiza hotel is a resort style property, found on the relaxed beach of Cala Nova. The place felt to me to be designed as the ultimate hotel for Ibiza pleasure-seekers who also want style, refinement and just the right balance between that holiday good-time feeling and pampering tranquillity. It wasnt formal yet it wasnt loud party style either the sophisticated balance was ideal.

The Balearics, the jewels of the Mediterranean, are a pine-covered archipelago east of Spains Valencian coast. Each island has its distinct identity and style; from the sleepy rural charm of Menorca; the mature refinement of Mallorca; and the laid-back, barefoot luxury of Ibiza & Formentera.

laid-back, barefoot luxury

Ibiza, a hippy hangout since the 60s, has evolved into a sophisticated destination that combines a world-class music scene, with a bohemian beach culture as well as rural tranquillity.

The islands club scene is renowned, yet Ibiza also has a chilled, laid back feel too. Most of the island is covered in pine forest, with a coast of small coves and bays.

BLESS Hotel Ibiza celebrates this unique island vibe with Palladium Hotels award-winning hospitality. The team was impressive knowledgeable, attentive, friendly and also they were truly passionate about the BLESS Hotel. Chatting with team members in reception, at the bar and in the restaurants, the young professionals would convey their enthusiasm for the property, its new concepts and plans for the 2020 season.

Check-in was faultless. We were given valet-parking, a welcome glass of champagne; then accompanied to the room nd shown the feature and amenites. Later, as we settled in, we received a follow-up phone call to room to check that everything was perfect.

The Guest Experience Team are found in the lobby; a motivated group dedicated to making sure guests make the most of the facilities. Our signature dining was arranged by the team; as well as access to the spa; and invitations to events on the property such as the Opera in the Spa event. The team can also arrange the signature BLESS services such as having a personalised bathology experience.

We stayed in a Deluxe Seaview the terrace was really spacious and certainly had the promised sea views! The room was well-designed with a walk-in dressing room, a superb bar and refreshment area; and a smart galley style bathroom that had all the expected luxury amenities, including luxury shaving kit, hairdryer, straighteners and upscale grooming products. Thought has certainly been put into the space.

The suites are spectacular, so if you really want to push the boat out and be truly hedonistic then there are some tempting sea view suites.

Dining was a real highlight of the stay. Superb gastronomy and professional mixologist at the bar is one of the pillars of the BLESS guest experience. Good food starts from the moment you start your day.

Breakfast

Breakfast is a genuine 5-star experience. Even with high occupancy during our stay out a la carte dishes were prepared and served in a very timely manner and the quality was there. I really enjoyed the Eggs Benedict. Hot plates to order include Full English Breakfast; Spanish classics like churros with hot chocolate, or tomato toast; to international favourites like avocado toast with poached egg; and vegan and vegetarian fruit and vegetable bowls.

Ruinart French Champagne added sparkle to the morning

The buffet is very generous with superb cheeses, cold cuts, and fresh fruit. Everything was beautifully presented. Ruinart French Champagne added a lovely touch, as did the sweet treats including macaroons.

The unique BLESS style is evident everywhere including with the live performers greeting guests.

We also opted for the luxury of in-room dining and had breakfast in bed enjoying the seaviews recommended!

There is a comprehensive room service menu; a pool bar; and also the impressive EPIC Infinite Lounge. This is the rooftop bar, dining, pool and sun bed area its a beach club in the sky, with spectacular views. The place is so well designed and truly makes the most of the hotels location.

There are also two signature destination restaurants.

This Atlantic Restaurant brings the kitchen of Mediterranean and Atlantic Andalucia to Ibiza, with a thoroughly modern, creative approach.

This is a stylish, light-filled, contemporary restaurant that uses Josper ovens to really enhance the flavour of fish and seafood. Its one of the restaurants that visitors from across Ibiza come to BLESS to dine, as well as welcoming guests.

Kick the night off with sharing plates of tasty fried seafood, or octopus from the grill. Starters also include salads like the classic Malagueo cod and orange salad; red prawn tartar; or gazpacho. Main dishes are stand out, including world-class tuna caught off the coast of Andalucia and superbly prepared meats.

The memorable highlight was our spectacular dinner at Etxeko Ibiza. BLESS Hotel Ibiza has quite the coup this signature destination restaurant by 10 Michelin star chef Martn Berasategui! Chef Paco Budia has recreated Berasateguis greatest hits in this extraordinary tasting menu that takes you through Berasateguis stellar career.

Highlights included:

Ensalada Lasarte a remarkable salad that dates back to the beginning of his Michelin star career in 2001.

Merluza a la brasa perfectly prepared hake.

An unforgettable deconstructed carbonara.

The palate-cleansing Esencia fra de albahaca con sorbete de lima- basil and lime sorbet.

The fab chocolate pudding Un dulce paisaje otoal

The restaurant is superb stylish; with dark wood, subtle lighting a highlight in brushed gold, creating a sensual space. Amongst the tables, in the heart of the restaurant is a Mediterranean fig tree!

Service was top-notch, with a good balance between attentiveness and privacy and friendly too.

In addition to the Rossano Ferretti salon, theres a fabulous spa. It is unusual is that its s flooded with natural light, from double height floor to ceiling windows. Its a really attractive space and as well as having treatment rooms and a circuit, there is an also a peaceful private sunbathing and relaxing area.

BLESS Hotel Ibiza is about 30 minutes drive from the airport and sits right on the shore, with access to a small sandy cove, nearby beach restaurants and also a small community of shops restaurants and other services such as car rental etc.

We have included BLESS Hotel in our guide to the best luxury hotels in Ibiza

BLESS HOTEL IBIZAAddress. Cala Nova, 07849 ES CANAR, IBIZAEmail: reservations@blesscollectionhotels.comTel: +34 971 33 03 00Web: http://www.blesscollectionhotels.com/es/ibiza/bless-hotel-ibiza

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Indulging In Luxury Hedonism On The White Island, At BLESS Hotel Ibiza - - The Luxury Editor

Embrace Your Van Winkle Hedonism With This Custom Barrel Stave Humidor – The Whiskey Wash

You, by some minor miracle, have your full collection of Van Winkle whiskeys for this year. You also have your Van Winkle cigars to go with them. For the latter, perhaps you need another Van Winkle lifestyle product to keep them in until you are ready for your hedonistic Van Winkle evening? If so Pappy & Company, a whiskey lifestyle company started some years back by those bearing the Van Winkle name, has you covered with a new humidor made in part fromPappy Van Winkle bourbon barrel staves.

The new Custom Pappy & Company Handmade Humidor, according to those behind it, was the result of a collaboration between the Van Winkle family members and Heritage Handcrafted, an outfit known for their custom whiskey barrel items. The two first collaborated back in 2014 on a custom Van Winkle barrel wood box holding a decanter and whiskey glasses. This humidor is said to be the second custom piece done between them.

What you have here is a humidor with an outer shell made from Pappy Van Winkle bourbon barrel staves. The boxs top showsthe inside char of the bourbon barrels while the sides display the exterior staves. Inside this box, which is cedar lined, isa hygrometer and built in Boveda 2-Way humidifying system to store and age your cigars for extended shelf life and improved flavor.

The humidor, which includes a removable tray, is designed to hold 150 cigars and weighs a somewhat hefty 8 pounds. It prices around $595 and is said to take four weeks to make from the time you order it. It was not immediately clear if this would be an ongoing item or if it was limited in quantity.

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Embrace Your Van Winkle Hedonism With This Custom Barrel Stave Humidor - The Whiskey Wash

An Aegean cruise aboard Azamara Pursuit proves there are few better places to sail – Stuff.co.nz

It starts with a faint tremor that I feel in the soles of my feet. Engines rumble and the horizon shifts subtly on its axis. I rush to the ship's railings and see ropes cast off and the gap to the quay widening. This is the most exhilarating moment in cruising, which I never want to miss. The inconveniences of travel have been navigated and stowed away with my suitcase. Everything is easy from now on, and adventure awaits over the watery horizon.

Sailing out of Athens is particularly thrilling. Over thousands of years others, from Odysseus to Herodotus, have enjoyed this same moment, though perhaps minus the cocktail. Athens rises from the Attic Plain in the orange haze of the late-afternoon sun. The Acropolis is a stubby outcrop crowned by temple columns that are the exclamation marks of a culture that has influenced the world.

Azamara Pursuit picks its elegant way between container ships into the inky-blue Aegean Sea. The ship is taking me on a 10-night Greece Intensive cruise that finishes in Venice and visits Kotor in Montenegro, but which concentrates on the Greek islands.

There are few better places to sail. The Aegean has been crosshatched by the wakes of ancient Greeks and Romans, Byzantines and Ottomans, crusaders and invading sun seekers. It has history and hedonism. It stirs the intellect, yet tempts with salty swims and chatter-filled cafes.

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Tourists and tourist boats in the famous Navagio Bay on Greece's Zakynthos island.

READ MORE:* Patmos: The heavenly Greek island that mass tourism can't reach* Tinos: The sleepy Greek island time forgot* An alternative side to Santorini

Each island has its distinct character, but all are close enough that passengers are off the ship all day and transported by night. Next morning, our first port of call is Spetses, which is almost ignored by international tourists. Wealthy Athenians come here to escape to bougainvillea-draped villas on pine-scented hillsides. The pines have supplied ships' masts since ancient times. In the harbour boatyard, workers are still making wooden fishing boats with traditional tools. Wrinkled men sit in the sun playing backgammon. The port town is stately with neoclassical buildings. Cars are banned and horse carriages clip clop along the waterfront.

Spetses has no particular sights, but everything that makes Greece magical. A rugged landscape of rocks, hills and scented forest, a tumble of whitewashed houses, shadowy chapels hung with icons and scented with candle wax and polish. Blinding light and blue sky, the blue domes of churches, the silvery shiver of olive trees, the happy splatter of red and orange beach parasols. This is a delicious nothing-to-do cruise day. I meander along the waterfront, hike up to a ruin, devour the first of many baklavas accompanied by thimblefuls of thick Greek coffee.

Next day is quite another experience. The whole world has discovered Mykonos: sun-pink Germans, posturing Chinese photo models, raucous Englishmen, jet-setting party people. Parts of Mykonos town's narrow streets are log-jammed with tourists, their cubic whitewashed architecture hidden under a veneer of hanging T-shirts and postcard racks. Still, it's hard not to be seduced by the whitewashed charm, and a short wander up the hill takes me to silent streets and a dilapidated windmill from which to admire a calendar-worthy island view.

That afternoon I take an Azamara excursion to Delos. This little island on which the Cyclades archipelago centres was considered the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis, and in ancient Greek times was the location of a prominent sacred and commercial town. Its ruins are scattered with mosaics, headless statues and toppled pillars. Marble lions have stood here since the second century BC, and are a brooding presence in a rocky, sun-beaten landscape.

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It's hard not to be seduced by the whitewashed charm of Mykonos.

I squint towards Mykonos, modern-day temple to tourism, and wonder what will remain in another millennium. Greece does this to travellers. It makes you philosophise and contemplate the vagaries of history, even while it distracts you with all the shameless pleasures of 21st-century tourism: beach clubs and coffeehouses, Insta-views and sunsets, warm waters and inflatable flamingo floats.

As we sail onwards, I find Azamara Pursuit caters to the split personality, too. It offers thoughtful seminars and enrichment lectures, and a ship's library of Georgian-style elegance and considerable literary heft. It's an elegant ship of understated appeal almost as minimalist as the Aegean landscapes, yet is never short of indulgences. I like the pool-side hot tubs, the White Night evening barbecue on deck, the properly made coffee from Mosaic Caf and the foie gras with fig jam from Aqualina restaurant.

As we sail onwards, each island is unexpectedly different. At Rhodes, we sail in under crusader battlements to spend the day exploring one of Europe's best-preserved medieval fortified cities. In Crete, there are wild landscapes and village life, and the crumbling ruins of Ottoman castles. By day seven we've arrived in the Ionian Sea to anchor off Zakynthos, where limestone cliffs plunge into peacock seas and a shore excursion takes me into a rural world of folk tales and saintly miracles.

Azamara Pursuit is ideal for these petite ports. The ship carries 702 passengers and, though it has space and a full range of amenities, is compact enough to visit smaller destinations. It's an attractive ship but caters to those who like to be off it and exploring for most of the day, and sometimes into the evening, too. Azamara Club Cruises is destination-focused, lingering in ports and providing an impressive range of shore excursions. A choice of 10 in Rhodes, nine in Zakynthos and nine in Mykonos, ranging from mosaic-making to a monastery visit, a four-wheel-drive adventure to a culinary walk.

SUPPLIED

Azamara Pursuit is an elegant ship of understated appeal.

I like the structure of the shore excursions, and the time they leave for exploration on my own. In Corfu, a morning visit to Achilleion Palace still leaves the entire afternoon free for Corfu old town, the jumbled alleys of which are edged with a fine, arcaded Esplanade and parks, all overlooked by a whopping Venetian-era fortress. This is a lovely place of statues, pastel-painted houses and bakeries hot with the smell of nut biscuits dipped in honey. Tourists surge, but in the Church of St Spyridon local widows in black queue beneath a flamboyantly painted ceiling to kiss the patron saint's silver coffin.

We sail away between the Corfiot and Albanian coastlines. The pie-crust roofs and fortifications of Corfu are left in our wake. Albanian towns are an enigma to starboard, glowing like the promised land in the last of the Mediterranean sun. That could be a place to visit one day, I think as I pace the decks. A good cruise leaves you wanting more, as the travel muse sings across the silvery sea.

FIVE SIGHTS BEYOND THE PORTSKNOSSOS PALACE

From Cretan port Agios Nikolaos, a shore excursion takes you to these 1250BC Minoan ruins, one of the world's most famous archaeological sites. The nearby Museum of Heraklion's artefacts highlight the sophistication of this ancient civilisation. Seeheraklion.gr

REMOTE ZAKYNTHOS

To prove there are still untouched spots in Greece, a 4WD tour winds into the rugged Vrachionas Mountains and onwards to remote inland villages Anafonitria and Volimes. There's also a stop above Shipwreck Beach, one of Greece's most stunningly blue coves. Seevisitgreece.gr

LINDOS

AnAzamara excursion across Rhodes island goes to the lace-making town of Lindos, whose cubic houses are scattered like white dice below an acropolis of ancient remains and Venetian fortifications. The combination of temple ruins and landscape is sublime. Seerodosisland.gr

ELIA BEACH

For your hedonistic moment, head to one of Mykonos' most magnificent beaches, lapped by emerald-tinted waters and embraced by craggy cliffs. Rent a sun lounge and thatched parasol and enjoy a day of sun-soaking and swimming among Europe's buffed and beautiful. Seemykonos.gr

ACHILLEION PALACE

This odd but attractive neoclassical mansion in Corfu was built in 1890 for melancholy Empress Elizabeth (Sissi) of Austria and later owned by Kaiser Wilhelm II. The curator takes you around the interior and statue-studded gardens with their sweeping terrace views over Corfu. Seeachillion-corfu.gr

TRIP NOTESMORE

visitgreece.gr

CRUISE

Azamara offers three Greece Intensive Voyage itineraries in 2020 that sail between Athens and Venice (or the reverse). They all differ slightly from each other and the one described here. Prices from US$2667 a person, twin share. azamara.com

Brian Johnston travelled as a guest of Azamara.

A return trip for one passenger in economy class flying from Auckland to Athenswould generate 3.2 tonnes CO2. To offset your carbon emissions head toairnewzealand.co.nz/sustainability-customer-carbon-offset.

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An Aegean cruise aboard Azamara Pursuit proves there are few better places to sail - Stuff.co.nz

A family vacation with something for everyone – The Boston Globe

Im not doing this again. Find another cook. So the search began for an alternative family vacation. Dude ranches. Cruises. Safaris. We couldnt reach a consensus.

Why dont you look into Club Med? a friend suggested.

Are you kidding? Take our tender kids to gawk at topless girls and eager guys sucking on straws stuck into coconuts? I dont think so.

To confirm our pilgrim conclusion we Googled their site in Cancun. Seems times have changed. Hedonism out. Families in. (OK, so theres a bit of hedonism.)

We have three kids, and they have six, from 6 to 23. Where can we find a place that caters to our myriad diversions? Where the daily buffets lay out a dozen desserts. Where you can have a mid-morning mojito. Where you can go back to summer camp.

The answer: a pre-paid all inclusive package where your only burden is to wear a bracelet which gives you the run of the place plus, unlocks your room.

A 15-minute drive from the Cancun airport, the massive doors open to an ocean estate perfectly laid out for every family configuration. Each room opens onto water; many of the rooms surround a private lagoon. All are spacious and meticulously kept by a bevy of housekeepers.

The first, second, and third reason for these reunions is to give our disparate family a weeks time to stretch out and catch up. Short of weddings and graduations, were tethered by jobs and school to our separate corners. Lying under palapas, cocktails by the pool, but mostly sobre mesa across the table we can reconnect and deepen our family ties.

We established our breakfast table just off the not-for-weightwatchers buffet. Beyond fresh squeezed juices and the length of fresh, local fruit, we each wandered off to have at the fantasies that well never see at home. For one grandchild is was Nutella crepes. Another favorite was chilaquiles (tortillas swimming in a rich salsa and covered with cheese). Then theres pastries with a side of waffle. Smoked salmon and bagels. Omelettes to order. And for the late-nighters theres cactus detox juice.

A favorite game was to try and guess a familys nationality before they spoke. We were stumped by a family from Lithuania. Or lean over the rail and count needlefish, barracuda, and the odd tarpon. (And theres the regular appearance of harmless caimans.) One morning, my son said it all: What would I do if I didnt have to do anything?

The Hacienda buffet is changed for lunch and, again, for dinner. Stations include a carving medium-rare roast beef and juicy chicken and duck, a taco and fajita bar, pastas, cold seafood, and an array of ice creams. (The Club has two underwhelming white tablecloth restaurants and a wine bar.)

Beckon a waiter and order a beer, wine, mixed drinks and, of course, a Shirley Temple. (Actually, beckon a waiter and you can have an umbrella drink right after you roll out of bed.) It doesnt take more than a few hours after arrival to adapt to the notion that everything everything is included in the package. No credit cards, no room numbers, no signatures.

The service and warmth went beyond that of many grand hotels. From beach sweepers to chambermaids to bartenders to trapeze instructors came hellos and smiles from dawn till the last dance of the night. Your wish is my command seemed virtually a mantra.

The day opened with a seemingly endless choice of activities waterskiing on the lagoon, archery (archery?), trapeze, snorkeling, scuba diving, tennis even salsa dancing. Thats just a random batch. Staying fit? Theres water aerobics in one of two enormous pools, power walking, all the way up to mega Zumba.

My son and I went fly fishing for snook and tarpon. The boys played one of two nearby golf courses, which they rated beautifully maintained and not outrageously expensive by resort standards. The rest went parasailing and a day later swam with dolphins. (How many photos can you take of grandkids kissing these creatures or posing with toucans perched on their heads?)

My take-away scene was watching my 6-year-old granddaughter climb a 25-foot narrow ladder to a trapeze platform, being tied to a safety line, grabbing the bar, and sailing out over the catch net, pumping her legs for height.

For us real potatoes, theres the beach of fine, white sand lined with palm-roofed palapas giving shade. Uniformed waiters weave around the lounges carrying chilled tropical drinks. Waves curl and splash under gliding frigate birds. The Caribbean tableau.

Nights brought professional shows including a Mariachi band, a circus trapeze act, Mexican folk dancing, synchronized swimming (goofy).

Sitting over cocktails on our final evening as the sun set red, we talked about our next biannual gathering. A few tepid alternatives were raised. They flopped. So Cancun 2021 it is.

Clinking of margarita glasses.

John Sherman can be reached at johnlewissherman@gmail.com.

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A family vacation with something for everyone - The Boston Globe

Tony Chambers on the designs that can help solve a climate crisis – Evening Standard

The latest lifestyle, fashion and travel trends

Many of the best ideas arise from a hearty debate across the kitchen table, and thats exactly where design community members devised their latest concept for Non-Pavilion,a showcase installation at last months London Design Festival.

Non-Pavilion stands out because it barely exists. It comprises four aluminium corner poles resembling Swiss baugespanne, structures erected to define what the profile of new buildings will be in order to illustrate their impact. It is essentially an empty space created within the poles, which serves as a platform for a series of explorative augmented reality films highlighting the need to challenge growth-driven economics.

Endless economic growth is proving environmentally unsustainable. With the global population hurtling towards 11 billion by the end of the century, the consumerist culture we are accustomed to cannot continue.

The London-based collective behind Non-Pavilion is a group of architects, designers and curators: Studio MiCat, There Project and Proud Studio, all of which are in agreement that as creators of new and desirable things, the design community is complicit in the current crisis.

Coffee 'could become luxury item in UK by 2050' due to climate change

The series of AR films asks pertinent questions: can design facilitate a change in mindset away from consumerism? Can design help advance a sustainable, prosperous and fulfilling existence? How can designers and architects use their skills to provide vision and inspiration for this progressive and much-needed movement?

I was pleased to learn that there are plans for the work to have a life now that the festival has closed. The idea now is to take Non-Pavilion to other design events and each time approach a community of designers and architects to create new, thought-provoking experiences that represent the fundamental questions were asking, says Michael Garnett of Studio Micat.

The top design events and shows to watch out for this month

Weve done a lot of work that is political so it felt perfect for us to get involved, says Lucienne Roberts of graphic design studio, LucienneRoberts+. I know from a graphic design perspective, most people go into the profession wanting to make the world a better place.

Garnett concurs: Ultimately we want to rally the whole worldwide design community to design ourselves out of a crisis. The global economic model can be unpicked, challenged, rethought and redesigned. This is of course what economists do, but we need creative minds to help think around these problems, too. (non-pavilion.org)

Memory Palace

Es Devlins 18 metre-wide immersive sculpture Memory Palace, at Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery in Ealing, maps historical moments that shifted human perspective, from African caves where the earliest human drawings were found to the conception of the world wide web in Switzerland. It includes mirrored planes that help create a greater impact by multiplying the works dimensions. Devlin also provides a Memory Library, a personal collection of books that informed the decisions to put the exhibition together. It is the second exhibit at Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery after its three-year refurbishment.

Until 12 Jan (pitzhanger.org.uk)

Achille Salvagni

Since founding Achille Salvagni Architetti, Rome-born architect and designer Salvagni has become world-renowned for his elegant interiors and luxurious yacht designs. His new self-titled book, Achille Salvagni, is his first-ever monograph celebrating his modernist style. Arranged thematically, emphasising harmony, colour and craftsmanship, Salvagnis book highlights his limited-edition works and contemporary taste for sophistication. (achillesalvagni.com)

The Stratford

The Stratford, a recent project by Harry Handelsmans Manhattan Loft Corporation, is part of the ongoing redevelopment of Stratford since the 2012 Olympics. Designed by SOM the architect behind the Burj Khalifa and One World Trade Center The Stratfords double cantilevered and distinctive profile has been described as architectural hedonism. This new social and cultural hub boasts 145 hotel rooms and 248 apartments, along with three bars and two restaurants designed by Space Copenhagen. The headliner restaurant, Allegra, opened last month and is fronted by the much-lauded former head chef of Chiltern Firehouse, Patrick Powell.

Echo ear buds

Amazon enters the wearables market, having recently unveiled a range of new devices at its Seattle HQ. Its wireless earbuds, called Echo Buds, have customisable ear tips to provide a universal fit. With noise-cancelling technology from Bose the earbuds, which adjust to three sizes, allow for immersive sound as well as hands-free assistance provided by Alexa. 119.99 (amazon.co.uk)

Excerpt from:

Tony Chambers on the designs that can help solve a climate crisis - Evening Standard

TT Sriram, the frontman of Skrat, talks about his life between business sales and tonal scales – Indulgexpress

It isnt hard to imagine the lead guitarist of a rock band lugging around a bag filled with deodorants and condoms. However, if youre picturing an artiste carrying all this backstage, followed by an entourage of groupies, dont bother. You wont find any tales of green-room hedonism here. This rockstar embarked on a door-to-door journey in the crowded markets of Mumbai and Madurai, trying to make the perfect sales pitch!

Thats a succinct summation of TT Srirams journey so far. A life that oscillates between being the frontman for one of Chennais most respected indie bands to being a salesman for a 91-year-old conglomerate company.

Despite hailing from an illustrious family that helms the multi-faceted TTK Group, Sriram earned his stripes the hard way. Be it onstage: where his band Skrat spent their formative years being trounced by scenesters. Or in the business realm: where at the outset, he might have been considered by many as the boss son.

Over a decade later, perspectives have changed. Respect earned. His outfits musical endeavours, which include four full-length albums, have led to sold-out shows around the country and earned the trio (featuring Jhanu Chanthar and Tapass Naresh) widespread critical acclaim. But, what of the entrepreneurial side of things?

Learning to hustleThe corporate world and the rock n roll domain have very little in common. In fact, as far as I am concerned, they stay independent of each other, says the engineering graduate with a degree in biotechnology from SRM University.

I am not an academically inclined individual, so I never took the Ivy League B-School route. Which is why after college, my father, TT Raghunathan, insisted that I gain work experience. Initially, I worked with Kemppi, a Finnish welding product company, who were launching in the city. Following this, a stint at Brew Magazines sales department. Only then was I allowed to step foot into the company. And of course, I started at the bottom as a sales representative, he adds.

Did his familys legacy in the field help him gain a better understanding of the craft? Maybe, because when he was a kid, Srirams grandfather would always explain how working in sales is the most fun job in the world. In spite of this, the Tin Can Man singer admits he was scared.

I was in my 20s. Surrounded by people whod been working in the department for more years than Id been alive. Getting fired or quitting wasnt even an option! I slogged on the road from 10 am to 4 pm in cities like Chennai, Madurai, and Mumbai. Selling everything from deodorants to condomsgoing to 42 shops a day and handling distributors. After an intense and challenging four-year period, they finally took off the training wheels, and I started progressing, explains the 31-year-old, who is currently a senior manager in sales at TTK Healthcares food division.

Worldbuilding skillsSince his bandmates, Jhanu (bass) and Tapass (drums) are full-time musicians who are on tour at least 200 days a year, one begins to wonder if Sriram ever feels like a kid in a corporate classroom looking outside the window and seeing all his friends going out to play.

Not at all. Both of them are talented and hardworking artistes. Whereas, I currently sell chips for a living! Why would I complain? Sure, it comes with its own set of challenges, crippling self-doubt, and high-pressure situations. All of which Ive handled in Skrat. I would even go as far as saying, music is the harder job. Touring is no walk in the park. The cyclical airport-hotel room-performance venue experience they both endure is not an enviable one. Whereas, all I have to do is come home every day from work at 5 pm, enter the shed/jam space beside my residence and flip a switch in my mind to tap into my musical side, shares the lyricist behind albums like Bison, The Queen, Bring Out The Big Guns and Design.

The aforementioned shedseen on their 17-minute, five-song YouTube showcaseis where Sriram does most of his songwriting, in lyric books. His approach is so organic and analogue that there is no home studio setup.

The musician, who also handles guitars for city-based Tails on Fire and features on composer Dhruv Kumars EP, Pieces That Do Not Fit, explains, As Skrat, we dont sing about political issues or provide social commentary. We are empathetic towards such topics, but also very aware of how preachy such bands become over time. People still connect to our tunes because we provide context. I create characters in my lyrics and then imply these issues in the third person. Listen closely, and youll realise that tunes like Samurai Bada** are about bullying.

Zero prestige issuesSrirams interests in fantasy and speculative fiction, in general, is apparent as 13 years of songwriting has evolved into a universe of Skrat characters and interconnected albums. Honestly, I feel people connect harder and heavier to a person that is not of this reality. This is why adults cry in theatres when superheroes die on-screen, he adds.

However, this Chettinad Vidyashram alumnus also admits to writing over 40 songs, some of which have never seen the light of day. Primarily because they are deeply personal tunes like Ghost Town and do not fit the bands lexicon.

Regardless of what he writes, Sriram always shares his tunes with his father. Dad is a proper audiophile. Besides his go-to country, jazz and swingpop records, hes always listening to new music. So, it comes as no surprise that hes my biggest critic. I remember sharing The Queen, one of our heavier albums with him, and he joked that I should provide a Saridon pill, free with every copy! However, he taught me an important lesson very early on in my career: If you sound like someone else, theres no point in doing it. Yes, there are only nine notes on a tone scale, but what mattersis what you do with it, shares the artiste, who is currently working on a graphic novel interpretation of theSkrat tune, Gunslinger.

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Bonding over BHPMotorcycles are a massive obsession for both father and son. Photographs of his fathers 1969 Triumph Bonneville 650 and cafe racer toy collectables are easy to spot in the shed. The apple, as they say, doesnt fall far from the tree. Back in 2014, Sriram and his crew embarked on a 3,600 km road trip, spanning seven cities.

The idea was to ride and perform at eight venues, counting stopovers at RiderMania and NH7 Weekender. Our adventures through lesser-known routes that touched upon Kalasa and Kudremukh, etc, have been captured in a tour video called The Loverider Experience, explains the motorhead, who rode a Royal Enfield Classic 500 Desert Storm edition during that ride.

Another instance of the family connecting over bikes would be their involvement with the California Superbike Schoolone of the worlds premier riding schools. My uncle TT Varadarajan and his son, Siddharth, bring the brand down to Indiaevery year. It is by far the most comprehensive school for the motorcycle enthusiast, and I love helping them out, he claims.

***************Indie issuesWe live in an age where cringe pop musicians earn over `3 lakh per gig.So, whats wrong with the live musiccircuit today? In the quest for instantvalidation, new bands are losing their identity. The essence of songwritingis deadits all about viral value, he elaborates, adding, Yet, there are a few original bands in the city. My favourites are La Brise, Amrit Rao & the Madrascals, Spotlight,and Nobody.

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TT Sriram, the frontman of Skrat, talks about his life between business sales and tonal scales - Indulgexpress

The 25 best albums of July to September 2019 – FACT

Every three months, FACT rounds up the best music that has passed through our inboxes and over our desks. With September over and the third quarter of 2019 closed out, weve examined the fringes to bring you the most exciting releases from the wider electronic music landscape and elsewhere.

Our Third Quarter Report is always about re-examining summers delights and this year, in particular, we are seeing artists pushing their own boundaries. Lisbon producer Violet flipped her youthful love of Bon Jovi kitsch into her most innovative release to date while Pittsburghs W00dy crafted freaked-out gabber and footwork to keep you warm just before the months start getting cold. We saw the softer side of Jenny Hval which for the Paradise Rot author means slightly less witchy than usual and a celebration of FACTs favorite R&B vocalists Jazmine Sullivan and Alexandria on Kindnesss triumphant Something Like a War. Chromatics returned, right after it became fall, with their first full-length in seven years, an album worthy of forgetting about the whole Dear Tommy debacle and a reminder that good things come to those who wait.

BarkerUtility(Ostgut Ton)

Bandcamp / Spotify / Apple Music

The title of Sam Barkers debut album, Utility, suggests a far more functional experience than it delivers. As with last years standout EP Debiasing, the Berghain resident and Leisure System co-founder ditches the kick drum and explores how far he can bend the idea of techno is before it breaks, crafting an album more in tune with the music of kosmische pioneers Manuel Gttsching and Klaus Schulze than his Ostgut Ton labelmates. Utilitys simple, devastating chord progressions paint a vivid picture of the utopian power of dance music while sandblasting your brain with serotonin. The techno trends and fads of the late 2010s will come and go but Utility already feels like a timeless classic. SW

ChromaticsFade to Grey(Italians Do It Better)

Spotify / Apple Music

Closer to Grey opens with a cover of Simon & Garfunkels The Sound of Silence. Whether or not its a gesture toward the unpredictable lore of the never-released Dear Tommy, it is the perfect preamble to the album that unfolds: Hello darkness, my old friend is a deft encapsulation of what we love about Chromatics. From their signature breathy 60s girl-group mutations on Youre No Good and a crunchy cover of The Jesus & Mary Chains On the Wall to light-touch tinkering with trip-hop on Light As a Feather and Touch Red, Closer to Grey evokes Chromatics time-tested ability to evoke a feeling that theres something else lurking beneath the shadows. And for that, we can forgive dear Johnny for the wait. CL

Charli XCXCharli(Atlantic)

Spotify / Apple Music

Charli XCXs third studio album is best summed up by a lyric from opener Next Level Charli: Bump bump, in the rave / Go forever and ever. The British singer has long been ahead of the curve when it comes to fusing electronic and pop music, and Charli achieves this in a way thats sonically intriguing yet still accessible and full of unabashed bops. She delivers strobey, synth-heavy collabs (whats a rave without friends?), as well as the quieter moments between nights out: breakfasts in bed and breakups; poignancy and paranoia. But then the bass hits and the beat goes on, forever and ever. KR

E-SaggilaMy World My Way(Northern Electronics)

Bandcamp / Spotify / Apple Music

On My World My Way, E-Saggila gives herself a formally unbound space to indulge, from the epic RPG-esque orchestration of Stars Dying in Succession to the trap-inflected beats of Alia which skitter around shrieking vocals from Club Chai-affiliate Thoom. The through-line that deftly makes sense of all this is E-Saggilas mighty, enveloping production style. It unfurls in each track like the whole horizon and deserves to be listened to as loud as possible. NP

Gabber Modus OperandiHOXXXYA(SVBKVLT)

Bandcamp / Spotify / Apple Music

Please, lets make 2020 the year that the term rave no longer stands as a lazy signifier for weak pills, anodyne acid house and parties on the M25. When we think of raving, lets instead look to acts like Gabber Modus Operandi, the Indonesian duo whose new album, HOXXXYA, is a contender for the most exciting half hour of dance music to be released this year. By rewriting traditional forms of Indonesian music such as gamelan and dangdut with a demonic medley of black metal, trance and happy hardcore, Kasimyn and Ican Harem have forged a collection of rave tunes with one foot in the distant past and the other in the far-flung future. HBJ

Jenny HvalThe Practice of Love(Sacred Bones)

Bandcamp / Spotify / Apple Music

If 2017s Blood Bitch, FACTs no. 1 album of that year, cast Norwegian experimental multi-instrumentalist Jenny Hval a witch, a vampire, an otherworldly succubus, The Practice of Love is the flip side of the same coin. It sounds like a love paean from another dimension but healing this time instead of destructive. While it retains the somewhat jarring, disjointed compositions that have put Hval at the forefront of avant-garde music, it is by far her most accessible record, taking its cue from, among other electronic sub-genres, 90s trance on the title track, Hval, Vivan Wang (formerly of the Observatory) and Australian singer-songwriter Laura Jane create a spoken word exploration of the meaning of love over ethereal synth waves. Its an emotional core that anchors the album and opens up Hvals sound to a brand new world of possibilities. CC

KindnessSomething Like a War(Female Energy)

Bandcamp / Spotify / Apple Music

Ever since Adam Bainbridge began recording as Kindness back in 2009, the off kilter pop-R&B project always seemed like an essential part of a greater whole and in the interim, Kindness has become almost as popular for their music as for their writing, remixing, production and radio work. This is one of the reasons why Something Like a War feels like an event, a cohesive universe of disco, R&B, club and radio pop that holds on to the homegrown essence that has always set them apart for their peers. There are tinges of Arthur Russells cool baritone and woozy strings, but updated for the 21st century. And when star featured vocalist Robyn appears on the mid-tempo The Warning, Kindness is able to effortlessly mold and guide her towards the sound he nailed on this production work on last years Honey. Within their somewhat-chaotic self-made world, Kindness has perfectly engineered their ideal environment, something between soft introspection and extroverted excess. CC

KleinLifetimeijn inc.

Bandcamp / Spotify / Apple Music

Klein continuously pushes her music forward. For her second album Lifetime which the south London adventurer likens to giving someone your diary she has constructed a hypnotic personal collage that explores spirituality and makes clever use of samples and field recordings, from haunted gospel choirs and a Bible debate to dialogue from race film pioneer Spencer Williams. Still leaning on an abstract sensibility, and yet presented in sharper focus than the grainy noise of her previous releases, Klein puts her memories and ideas through a mangle of complex sound design, inviting us into her world for a compelling timeless classic thats hard to put down. ACW

LeoncePenetration TestingMorph Tracks

Bandcamp / Spotify / Apple Music

Atlantas Leonce is hardly a newcomer. The young producer and DJ has been hard at work in his city and around the USA for years, building a community and crafting a unique sound thats rooted in the hybrid club styles found scattered throughout the US South. Penetration Testing is exactly the fusion that house and techno needs, skating the line between the basement party and the sex dungeon and pulling influence from Baltimore club, R&B and gqom. Its also the debut release from Morph Tracks Leonce and Jsports new label that aims to prioritize queer black and brown artists and disrupts a pallid scene with a smirk and a middle finger to the dance music establishment. JT

Loraine JamesFor You & I(Hyperdub)

Bandcamp / Spotify / Apple Music

For You And I is a phenomenal first LP from a bold new voice. Its both an exploration of the difficulties faced being in queer relationship in London and a snapshot of the citys changing musical landscape in 2019; jazz, UK drill and grime are all touch points, spliced together with abstract electronic textures to create a collage of sound and interior narrative that make you feel as if youre walking the streets of north London in Loraine Jamess shoes. There are parallels with both fellow Hyperdub artist Burials musical night bus journeys and Actresss introspective techno, though James carves out a unique sound that vividly reflects her own reality and the contemporary city around it. SW

MahaliaLove and Compromise(Atlantic)

Spotify / Apple Music

On her second studio album, Mahalia expands her guitar-strumming folk into slow-burn neo-soul, her angelic voice and Leicester accent draping over radio-ready production like warm satin. Her reverence for 90s R&B shines through on breakup burner What You Did, which flips the same soul sample as Camron and Juelz Santanas Oh Boy and trots out tour mate Ella Mai for an Aaliyah-inspired video. LC

MaralMahur Club(Astral Plane Recordings)

Bandcamp / Spotify / Apple Music

A good mixtape is a thing of great beauty, and LAs Maral nudges into exquisite territory on her debut release Mahur Club. Dense and brittle the point of collapse, the tape barges through genres like a Katamari ball, absorbing elements from rap, reggaeton, dub, psychedelia and US club music and filtering everything through a Persian cultural lens. If that sounds hard to imagine, its on purpose: Marals music is delightfully idiosyncratic and the mixtape plays like a warped stream of consciousness or a hyperactive sketchbook of microscopic sound collages. JT

Maxo KreamBrandon Banks(RCA)

Spotify / Apple Music

On his major label debut, Houston rapper Maxo Kream is all substance. His lyrics are dense, his subject matter is heavy. Hes too unpretentious (and hilarious) to pose as a conscious rapper and his life is too real to become a punchline or a meme. But his true-to-life tales of those trapped by mass imprisonment, gang violence and drug addiction prove hes one of hip-hops most brilliant modern storytellers. We hope his talent wont go unrecognized till its too late. LC

MoMa ReadyThe NYC Dance Project(self-released)

Bandcamp

In his own words, MoMa Readys The NYC Dance Project is simply a collection of wild edits and some big tunes to party to until the end of time, dropped onto Bandcamp on a whim one night in July. However, overlooking this digital-only collection of tracks from 2016-2019 would mean missing out on one of the years most thrilling house albums from one of NYCs most exciting new artists. Its a mix of nostalgic and the new: right at home with the rough and ready four-to-the-floor club tracks that have emerged from NYC over the past decade, made with samples that are a tribute to black dance music of the past. SW

Not Waving & Dark MarkDownwelling(Ecstatic)

Bandcamp / Spotify / Apple Music

Downwelling can be defined as the process of accumulation and sinking of higher density material beneath lower density material. This is a fitting metaphor for one of the most unexpected and devastating collaborations of the year, one that sees Mark Lanegans weighty growl slowly sinking to the bottom of Not Wavings gauzy ocean of sound. The ghost of the late Scott Walker haunts the albums nine tracks as Dark Mark ornaments his sonic descent with esoteric lyricism and a weary delivery, yet the narrative he weaves is one of quiet faith, juxtaposing human fallibility with our resistant capacity to connect with one another. HBJ

Octo OctaResonant Body(T4T LUV NRG)

Bandcamp / Spotify / Apple Music

Maya Bouldry-Morrisons first album after transitioning, Where Are We Going?, was cerebral, with a tinkling celestial sparseness and an uncertainty that reflected the title. Two years later, her debut release on T4T LUV NRG (the label she runs with DJ, producer and romantic partner Eris Drew) is a euphoric celebration of the body: the ecstatic joy of the dancefloor, and the psychic and physical bonds created through connection and love.

With meditative cover art by her wife Brooke and song titles like Ecstatic Beat, the project is deeply personal, a cohesive message transmitted through rave-ready breakbeats and house vocal samples. LC

Oli XLRogue Intruder, Soul Enhancer(BLOOM)

Bandcamp / Spotify / Apple Music

The main element that separates Oli XL from his glitchy neo-IDM peers is that he appears to be genuinely having fun with his material. The obsessively chopped samples and intricate sound design might nod to the hydraulic foley grime of Bloom, but Oli XL juxtaposes this with the plasticky, deadpan humor of PC Music and the carnivalesque quality of Basement Jaxx, who he cites as a primary influence. Rogue Intruder, Soul Enhancer never takes itself too seriously, dropping in cheeky samples or dialog snippets to break up the pulses, bleeps and cracks. When the chorus from Becks Loser appears on Clumsy, sung and pitched up to sound like a surreal kids TV character and piped through a sparse backdrop of electronic wiggles and a broken 2-step rhythm, its hard not to giggle. JT

PeladaMovimiento Para Cambio(PAN)

Bandcamp / Spotify

Its impossible to cleave dance music from its political roots. Even those who claim the genre is simply an excuse for hedonism dont seem to grasp that hedonism itself is politicized. Montreal-based duo Pelada dont even try to deny their musics revolutionary power. Movimiento Para Cambio fuses Tobias Rochmanns brittle IDM-adjacent house and club forms with Chris Vargas brutal polemic and manages to sound dangerous and new, whether you understand the Spanish lyrics or not. As screamed words and phrases bounce in-between bass womps and familiar house staples (the legendary Korg M1 is pastiched on stand-out banger Habla Tu Verdad), its hard not to feel stirred by Peladas passion, power and dedication. They are speaking their truth, but its up to us to listen. JT

RabitSTAR BELLYself-released

Bandcamp

Rabits rapidly growing series of screw tapes sound so personal that the experience of listening to them seems akin to inviting the producer over to your house, getting incredibly stoned and watching him gleefully flick through your record collection before he blends all of your favorite southern rap into all of your favorite pop songs. As the audio from a 1998 interview with DJ Screw melts into the etherized opening strums of Mazzy Stars Fade Into You, its as though you can hear all of Rabits formative influences and teen angst coalescing into a complete, slo-mo vision, a fantasy mixtape warped with low-bitrate distortion. HBJ

rRoxymoreFace To Phase(Dont Be Afraid)

Bandcamp / Spotify / Apple Music

On her first full-length, rRoxymore flexes her experimental muscle for a rhythmic hall of mirrors strewn with broken beats and dreamy pads. Beginning on a beatless note with the rich ambient dreamscape of Home is Where the Music Is, Face to Phase soon dives off the bass end with the low-key banger Passages, casting a spell of noirish magic that enchants a record which flits effortlessly between club and cushion. The French-born, Berlin-based innovator represents the adventurous side of house and techno, and this daring dossier of sound is the perfect expression of her paradigm-shifting artistry. ACW

RUI HOIn Pursuit of the Sun (Objects Ltd)

Bandcamp / Spotify / Apple Music

When a genre becomes oversaturated or stagnant, the best artists are always able to reach inside their own stories and reinvigorate and reinvent their scenes. Berlin-based Chinese DJ/producer RUI HO has done just that, taking the upbeat techno and club house that thrives in Germanys capital and injecting it with a healthy dose of traditional Chinese melodies and rhythms. The result is a track like opener Wings of Light, that pairs an old school Baltimore shuffle with a crystalline, hypnotic synth that perfectly mimics a guqin, a stringed Chinese instrument. This melding of cultures permeates the entire record, making In Pursuit of the Sun seem both futuristic, nostalgic and decidedly now. CC

VioletBed of Roses(Dark Entries)

Bandcamp / Spotify / Apple Music

For her debut album, Ins Coutinho, aka Lisbon-based multitasker Violet, took a step back from the breakbeat-infused euphoria of her previous club-minded releases. Built from schlocky synthscapes and silvery drum machine jams, Bed of Roses toys with everything from 80s electro-funk and synth-pop to ambient, techno and reggaeton. Written over the course of seven years, the title nods to the Bon Jovi song she loved as a child and the album is a self-described healing device for Coutinho as she recalls her teenage self. Bed of Roses isnt necessarily what youd expect to hear from the producer who brought Togetherness to the dancefloor but thats what makes it so good. ACW

W00dyMy Diary(self-released)

Bandcamp

W00dy makes club music for weirdos and My Diary offers wickedly quick and glitchy bangers that seem to forcefully tug against the leashes of their bpms. Its music made for ravers that want to thrash, noise kids that crave the rave and all post-genre absurdists desiring something fanatically different than your EDM standards. W00dys sound could be understood as some acid-drum n bass-gabber-footwork hybrid or just gorgeous sonic gibberish, beyond clear comprehension, immersed in its own heavily-hyphenated mishmash. A totally overstated delight. NP

xinMELTS INTO LOVE(Subtext)

Bandcamp

Over the last 30 years, tropes from what is often casually called bass music a diverse range of sub-heavy dance music rooted in Jamaican soundsystem culture and UK hardcore have become completely absorbed into the wider dance lexicon. In 2019 its almost hard to go to a club and not hear musical elements linked to this lineage: sirens, hoover bass, chopped amen breaks the list is long. So its to xins credit that they have been able to assemble an album that expertly references hardcore, dubstep and D&B without resorting to any obvious tropes. MELTS INTO LOVE is a deliriously psychedelic record and slithers in and out of the brain with the visceral body horror of a David Cronenberg movie. When hardcore or D&B is referenced, its corrupted, distorted and melted into this heaving, viscous slop. At once terrifying and welcoming, its the soundtrack to a new era of cyberpunk anxiety. JT

Originally posted here:

The 25 best albums of July to September 2019 - FACT

Room author Emma Donoghue’s new novel dives deep into love and loss, and what it means to be a family – Vancouver Sun

Vancouver Writers Festival

An Evening with Emma Donoghue

When: Oct. 22, 8 p.m.

Where: Performance Works, 1218 Cartwright St.

Tickets and info:writersfest.bc.ca

The award-winning author/screenwriter/playwright Emma Donoghue is a mindful traveller, but not in the meditative, pay attention to the moment, without judgment kind of way.

No, Donoghues mindfulness has a distinct purpose. Its there to register and record everyday experiences as potential fodder for future stories.

Take, for example, Donoghues latest novel Akin. The book is set mostly in Nice, France, and it tells the story of an almost 80-year-old professor who has, through sad circumstances, been entrusted with the care of his 11-year-old great-nephew. The street-smart kid lands on the mans doorstep on the eve of his trip to Nice to revisit his childhood home and to get to the bottom of a family mystery dating to the Second World War.

The author of the huge literary hit Room (shortlisted for the 2010 Booker Prize) and screenwriter of the movie of the same name (Donoghue was nominated for an adapted-screenplay Academy Award) spent considerable time in Nice over the last decade before writing this book.

Im always taking notes. It can give an extra thrill even to a weekend trip, said Donoghue, from her home in London, Ont. It was really that in Nice. When I was mugged by a seagull, for instance, I remember thinking Ill use this. Im losing my lunch, but I will put this in the book.

And she did.

Donoghue adds that this location in particular wasnt just a place to collect stories, but it also became the backdrop for all the stories, making it the first location to actually inspire a whole Donoghue novel.

Its a funny mixture. It is an international touristy city, but it is also very French as well, said Donoghue about the south-of-France locale. Its very modern. Its all about pleasure and hedonism and so on, but also it has so many traces of World War II in particular. So it really intrigued me and I thought I could write a novel about quite dark things but set in this very sunny, touristy setting, which makes it a much more interesting mixture. It was the first time Ive ever written a book because of living somewhere.

A native of Dublin who has called Canada home since the late-1990s, Donoghue will be talking about the Nice novel and other topics when she is here Oct. 22 for An Evening with Emma Donoghue, one of the marquee events at this years Vancouver Writers Festival (Oct. 21-27).

One of those other topics will undoubtedly be Room.

In Room, the story is told from the perspective of a young boy who is being held captive in a small room with his mother. Its the pairs relationship that anchors the story. Akin while it has no criminal and disturbing plot lines and is expansive in terms of geography and time does see Donoghue delivering another adult/kid relationship that at times can also seem confining.

Yes, I do like it when people are in some sense trapped together. Its like Sartres line that hell is other people. I enjoy that, said Donoghue.

Donoghues life is busy. She has many projects on the go, including a novel and a film version of her novel The Wonder. And adapting Charlotte Bronts last novel Villette into a TV series. She is also raising 15- and 11-year-old kids, so she says its not uncommon to see her typing away on her laptop while she sits in the dentists waiting room or in a parked car.

Adding to that packed schedule is the promotion of a book.

Its a bit of an effort to go on the road, but on the other hand you have fun times especially if you can run into friends or relatives as you go along, said Donoghue. You certainly eat better. I frequently think, Oh, I wouldnt be having charred octopus if I was home with the kids.

Promoting a book in Canada Donoghue says tends be a different, more-engaging experience than touring south of the border. Here theres a sense of community that Donoghue, a natural and interesting talker, likes a lot.

In the States it is just two weeks of events my publisher has set up for me. Its not particularly linking up with other authors, said Donoghue. In Canada, it is the festival circuit and it is so much more sociable. Also, the Canadian literary scene I find really democratic and not really a star system. Everyone pals along in the green room.

While Akin is her latest work, Donoghue knows that no matter its success, or the success of other future projects, Room will always be a part of the conversation.

I never expect to have another Room. I think I was very lucky on hitting on an idea that was so capturing and I certainly dont expect that to happen every time. It was such a fluke. It sold so many millions of copies, said Donoghue. I just feel like I want to keep writing the books that obsess me and get them published. Luckily, because of Room, they tend to reach more readers than they used to, so thats a permanent plus, really.

Adding to the life of Room is an upcoming theatrical adaptation. The play, penned by Donoghue, is set to premiere next spring in London, Ont., before moving to Toronto. Donoghue, who already has a large handful of plays under her belt, said it was nice to return to this form for Room, and that adapting it to the stage was easier than writing the movie.

What do I do? So I got about a dozen books on film writing from Chriss (her partner Prof. Chris Roulston) university library and I remember feeling like a total loser. When youre checking them out youre kind of embarrassed that the librarians see you. Then you know you get to the Oscars, said Donoghue, with a chuckle.

While Donoghue was having a bit of a laugh with the Oscar comment, she actually is very serious about that accomplishment and thinks her path is one other female writers should consider tracing.

Whenever I meet young women I try to push them to be more ambitious, because we have been indoctrinated not to be. All of us have been raised to be helpful and, you know, move to the back, really. Filmwriting in particular, you know, 87 per cent of films are still written by men, so I think when a woman has a novel that is a big hit, I really think she is duly bound to try and write the film herself, said Donoghue. Its not impossible.

Often when beloved books are adapted into movies people worry if the film will be as good. Fans of a novel suggest you should read the book before seeing the movie and when asked about that Donoghue agrees.

I quite agree if you are going to experience both do read the book first because it is really hard for us to picture anything differently once weve seen the movie. You cant get those faces out of your head, so just for that technical reason, said Donoghue. And you shouldnt read the book right before the film because then you come out and (you send a) crotchety email to the author going, Why did they cut that character? You need to enjoy each on their own merits. I think the absolutely ideal experience would be to read the book and then two years later you know luckily it does take a few years to make a movie go see the movie then.

Donoghue is currently in discussions about adapting Akin for film.

As a star novelist, Donoghues work is always open for scrutiny. One particular reviewer, though, really stands out. A few years ago Stephen King, yes that Stephen King, reviewed Donoghues The Wonder in the New York Times.

Yeah, Stephen King, oh that was great because I felt it gave people a totally false sense that I write his kind of books, said Donoghue again with another laugh. Im sure The Wonder got a lot more readers, because people said, Oh, this is a Stephen King recommendation. He is a really good reviewer. It was so exciting.

Donoghue may have more of an understanding of literary criticism than most as her father, Denis Donoghue, is a renowned literary critic.

He is still writing away at 90, said Donoghue about her dad. Hes working on a book about Henry James. He makes me feel that I am not very prolific by comparison, that I should really get out of bed earlier.

What about giving him her work to read?

Ahhh, yes, its a bit nerve-wracking, but of course he doesnt treat me like a critic, added Donoghue. He treats me like a loving dad.

dgee@postmedia.com

twitter.com/dana_gee

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Room author Emma Donoghue's new novel dives deep into love and loss, and what it means to be a family - Vancouver Sun

Take a look around the brand new hotels Thomas Cook customers will never get to stay in – MyLondon

Last week saw thousands of holidaymakers stranded abroad when tour operator Thomas Cook went into liquidation.

A huge repatriation programme is still ongoing to bring people home but it's not just the company's customers who have been hit.

Thomas Cook owned a worldwide collection of hotel brands and resorts including Sentido, Sunwing, Sunprime and Smartline.

The latest hotel brand to open under the same umbrella was Cook's Club, a design-led but affordable hotel group aimed at the millennial generation, reports the MEN.

Recognising a change in appetites among young people, Thomas Cook retired its Club 18-30 brand late last year and switched the focus from hedonism to health.

Gone are fishbowl cocktails and all-night parties, replaced with vegetable smoothies and properly crafted drinks.

Hotel spaces are designed to be as beautiful, and as Instagram-friendly, as possible, down to the unicorn inflatables scattered across the surface of the swimming pools.

It was a huge overhaul and, on the surface of things, seemed to be successful.

The first to open in June 2018 was Cooks Club Hersonissos, on the Greek island of Crete, with seven new hotels opening under the brand in little more than a year.

Cook's Clubs can be found in Gambia, Turkey, Mallorca, Bulgaria, Greece and Egypt.

The latest was Cook's Club El Gouna, located on the water's edge of a luxurious man-made lagoon just north of Hurghada.

This hotel, on Egypt's Red Sea coast, only opened its doors in August, and only had its launch party two weeks ago - the Thomas Cook yellow heart above the door got to oversee that, but won't see the hotel filled with guests.

On a very recent trip to the hotel, I found an understated decor of brushed concrete, Bedouin-style floor cushions, palm trees and wooden decks.

The muted grey and brown colours chosen for the hotel contrasted sharply against the piercing blue of the swimming pool, and the murky blue-green of the lagoon beyond.

Grey sunbeds around the water's edge were as comfortable as real beds, with matching bean bag chairs scattered beneath the shade of umbrellas.

A variety of food stations, from wood-fired pizzas to fresh grilled meats to salads and burgers, were built into the 'Cantina' to feed guests on either a bed and breakfast or half-board basis.

Even the fitness facilities were gorgeous, dumbbells and benches carved from polished wood and presented beneath a bamboo canopy.

It's a real looker of a hotel, and as someone sitting nicely within the target demographic of 20 to 35 years old, the appeal was obvious.

With virtually round-the-clock DJs stationed at the poolside, it was common on my trip to see the young and beautiful people of Egypt (as well as holidaymakers mostly from Germany) draped over fruit-shaped inflatables sipping on Aperol spritzes.

A huge sign at the poolside had light-hearted messages such as: "Keep your fluids - in certain circumstances, the exchange of body fluids may be a good idea but... spit, snot and pee do not belong in the pool!"

El Gouna itself is a network of 36 twisting and interconnected islands, all made by hand only three decades ago by construction company Orascom.

The desert was carved away to entice the ocean in, and now the resort boasts three huge marinas, two golf courses, 11 spas and around 2600 hotel rooms - all under a blanket of year-round sunshine.

Tuk tuks crawl over the resort like colourful bugs, whisking visitors around for a mere 15 Egyptian pounds (around 1 sterling) per person per trip.

Popular restaurants include Morgan's Beach Restaurant, where all-you-can-eat seafood buffets showcase some of the best seafood in the region, and Captain's Inn Steak House, where dishes are presented sizzling.

Day trips to the uninhabited island of Mahmya, where pristine coral reefs are surrounded by dusty mountains, are plentiful and worthwhile.

Boats frequently make trips to 'Dolphin House' too, a patch of the Red Sea where dolphins swim alongside snorkellers and effortlessly overtake luxury yachts.

All of these trips and more were arranged easily and quickly in typical package holiday style by a Thomas Cook rep, popping up at the hotel in his sunny yellow uniform and speaking proudly of the 178-year-old company he worked for.

Due to open in El Gouna this November was Casa Cook, another Thomas Cook-owned hotel brand with a similar design aesthetic but an even more luxurious travel experience.

Though both properties in El Gouna will remain operational, bumpered from the liquidation by Orsascom, it's not certain who will save the other properties around the globe.

Cook's Club El Gouna and Casa Cook El Gouna will be renamed and franchised out to an alternative, yet-to-be-confirmed tour operator.

The arrival of these two brands gave Thomas Cook a 21st century update - though it appears to have been too little, too late to save the travel giant.

The rest is here:

Take a look around the brand new hotels Thomas Cook customers will never get to stay in - MyLondon

Hear Pitbull, Blake Shelton Cut Loose in New Collaboration Get Ready – Rolling Stone

Country singer and Voice coach Blake Shelton joins rapper Pitbull on Get Ready, a party-friendly track from the Florida-based artists newly released album Libertad 548.

Built on top of a stomping, four-on-the-floor beat and a hard-rock guitar riff, Get Ready features Shelton singing a hook nicked from Ram Jams update of the traditional song Black Betty. Whoa-oh, get ready/Bam-ba-lam, he sings. Get ready to ride. Mr. Worldwide, meanwhile, marinates in nonstop-party hedonism during his verses: Wildin out, fill my cup to the tip/Ridin out to Atlantic City, he intones at one point.

Libertad 548 was released on Friday and its title honors Pitbulls father, who was involved in the 1980 Mariel Boatlift that transported many Cuban refugees to the U.S. mainland. Other collaborators on the album include Daddy Yankee, Lil Jon, Becky G and Ne-Yo. Get Ready isnt Pitbulls first collision with country music, either he appeared on Keith Urbans Sun Dont Let Me Down from 2016s Ripcord, as well as with Kesha on the hit single Timber, which blended elements of country and dance music.

Shelton just kicked off his 17th season of The Voice and is now the NBC shows longest-tenured coach. On December 13th, hell release Fully Loaded: Gods Country, a collection of recent hits and new tracks. His latest single is Hell Right, a collaboration with Trace Adkins.

Read this article:

Hear Pitbull, Blake Shelton Cut Loose in New Collaboration Get Ready - Rolling Stone

Singapore Grand Prix: Humidity meets hedonism during Asia’s most punishing race – CNN International

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CNN's u003ca href="http://www.cnn.com/profiles/david-culver" target="_blank">David Culveru003c/a> reports.","descriptionText":"China unveiled a new ballistic missile among its display of military might during a parade marking the 70th anniversary of communism in the country. CNN's u003ca href="http://www.cnn.com/profiles/david-culver" target="_blank">David Culveru003c/a> reports."},{"title":"See huge military jet fly low over Australian city","duration":"01:13","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"http://www.cnn.com/","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/travel/2019/10/01/brisbane-australia-military-jet-flyover-newsource-orig-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"travel/2019/10/01/brisbane-australia-military-jet-flyover-newsource-orig-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/191001100554-brisbane-military-jet-flyover-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/travel/2019/10/01/brisbane-australia-military-jet-flyover-newsource-orig-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/around-the-world/","description":"A C-17A Globemaster jet headlined an annual air show and pyrotechnic display in Brisbane, Australia, wowing the crowd by flying super-low over the city.","descriptionText":"A C-17A Globemaster jet headlined an annual air show and pyrotechnic display in Brisbane, Australia, wowing the crowd by flying super-low over the city."},{"title":"Nuclear disaster site becomes tourism hotspot","duration":"01:18","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/travel/2019/09/30/chernobyl-tourism-hotspot-orig-cz.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"travel/2019/09/30/chernobyl-tourism-hotspot-orig-cz.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190930185838-chernobyl-tourism-hotspot-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/travel/2019/09/30/chernobyl-tourism-hotspot-orig-cz.cnn/video/playlists/around-the-world/","description":"Chernobyl, the site of the world's worst nuclear disaster, becomes a hot tourism destination after the success of the HBO series about the 1986 accident.","descriptionText":"Chernobyl, the site of the world's worst nuclear disaster, becomes a hot tourism destination after the success of the HBO series about the 1986 accident."},{"title":"Explosion hits Italian convoy in Somalia","duration":"01:03","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/world/2019/09/30/explosion-hits-italian-convoy-in-somalia-ek-lon-orig.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"world/2019/09/30/explosion-hits-italian-convoy-in-somalia-ek-lon-orig.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190930123627-02-somalia-attack-0930-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/world/2019/09/30/explosion-hits-italian-convoy-in-somalia-ek-lon-orig.cnn/video/playlists/around-the-world/","description":"Two vehicles of the Italian Army were hit by an explosion on Sept. 30 in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, according to officials. ","descriptionText":"Two vehicles of the Italian Army were hit by an explosion on Sept. 30 in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, according to officials. "},{"title":"2 people killed when roller coaster derails during ride ","duration":"00:27","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/world/2019/09/29/mexico-city-roller-coaster-nr-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"world/2019/09/29/mexico-city-roller-coaster-nr-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190929125650-mexico-roller-coaster-derails-two-dead-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/world/2019/09/29/mexico-city-roller-coaster-nr-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/around-the-world/","description":"Two people were killed and two others injured when a roller coaster jumped its track at a popular amusement park in Mexico City on Saturday, Notimex, Mexico's state-run news agency, reported.","descriptionText":"Two people were killed and two others injured when a roller coaster jumped its track at a popular amusement park in Mexico City on Saturday, Notimex, Mexico's state-run news agency, reported."},{"title":"Libyan migrants: Death is better","duration":"04:04","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"http://www.cnn.com","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/world/2019/09/26/migrants-cross-mediterranean-then-detention-centers-pkg-wedeman-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"world/2019/09/26/migrants-cross-mediterranean-then-detention-centers-pkg-wedeman-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190924083602-02-libya-migrants-testimonies-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/world/2019/09/26/migrants-cross-mediterranean-then-detention-centers-pkg-wedeman-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/around-the-world/","description":"More than six thousand people are stuck in detention centers for those caught trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe. CNN's Ben Wedeman reports.","descriptionText":"More than six thousand people are stuck in detention centers for those caught trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe. CNN's Ben Wedeman reports."},{"title":" Clarissa Ward speaks to Ukrainians mentioned by whistleblower","duration":"01:59","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://www.edition.cnn.com/","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/world/2019/09/30/rudy-giuliani-kiev-ukraine-clarissa-ward-pkg-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"world/2019/09/30/rudy-giuliani-kiev-ukraine-clarissa-ward-pkg-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190930121826-clarissa-ward-ukraine-kiev-whistleblower-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/world/2019/09/30/rudy-giuliani-kiev-ukraine-clarissa-ward-pkg-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/around-the-world/","description":"Reporting from Kiev, Ukraine, CNN's Clarissa Ward tracked down two of the Ukrainians mentioned in the whistleblower complaint -- Andrii Telizhenko and Sergii Leshchenko.","descriptionText":"Reporting from Kiev, Ukraine, CNN's Clarissa Ward tracked down two of the Ukrainians mentioned in the whistleblower complaint -- Andrii Telizhenko and Sergii Leshchenko."},{"title":"Saudi King's bodyguard shot dead","duration":"01:01","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/world/2019/09/30/saudi-king-bodyguard-shot-dead-lon-orig-na.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"world/2019/09/30/saudi-king-bodyguard-shot-dead-lon-orig-na.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190930141930-saudi-king-bodyguard-death-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/world/2019/09/30/saudi-king-bodyguard-shot-dead-lon-orig-na.cnn/video/playlists/around-the-world/","description":"The bodyguard was shot dead by a friend in the city of Jeddah following an argument, police said according to state media.","descriptionText":"The bodyguard was shot dead by a friend in the city of Jeddah following an argument, police said according to state media."},{"title":"Video shows alleged attack on Saudi and Yemeni forces","duration":"00:38","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://edition.cnn.com/","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/world/2019/09/30/houthi-rebels-alleged-attack-saudi-yemen-live-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"world/2019/09/30/houthi-rebels-alleged-attack-saudi-yemen-live-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190930102638-houthi-rebels-footage-alleged-attack-saudi-yemen-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/world/2019/09/30/houthi-rebels-alleged-attack-saudi-yemen-live-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/around-the-world/","description":"Yemen's Houthi rebels have released video claiming responsibility for a 72-hour attack on Saudi Arabian and Yemeni forces that purportedly left hundreds dead.","descriptionText":"Yemen's Houthi rebels have released video claiming responsibility for a 72-hour attack on Saudi Arabian and Yemeni forces that purportedly left hundreds dead."},{"title":"Mohammed bin Salman: I didn't order Khashoggi's murder","duration":"01:16","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"http://www.cnn.com/","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/world/2019/09/30/mohammed-bin-salman-denies-involvement-in-khashoggi-killing-sot-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"world/2019/09/30/mohammed-bin-salman-denies-involvement-in-khashoggi-killing-sot-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190930014101-mohammed-bin-salman-denies-involvement-in-khashoggi-killing-sot-vpx-00000204-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/world/2019/09/30/mohammed-bin-salman-denies-involvement-in-khashoggi-killing-sot-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/around-the-world/","description":"Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman denied any personal involvement in the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi but took full responsibility as the country's leader during a CBS "60 Minutes" interview.","descriptionText":"Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman denied any personal involvement in the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi but took full responsibility as the country's leader during a CBS "60 Minutes" interview."},{"title":"Ukraine President isn't the only leader flattering Trump ...","duration":"02:25","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com/","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2019/09/27/world-leaders-flattery-trump-todd-pkg-sitroom-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"politics/2019/09/27/world-leaders-flattery-trump-todd-pkg-sitroom-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190927182522-trump-ukrainian-president-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/politics/2019/09/27/world-leaders-flattery-trump-todd-pkg-sitroom-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/around-the-world/","description":"Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is following in the footsteps of other world leaders who want to be on President Trump's good side. CNN's Brian Todd reports.","descriptionText":"Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is following in the footsteps of other world leaders who want to be on President Trump's good side. CNN's Brian Todd reports."}],'js-video_headline-featured-25px1c5','',"js-video_source-featured-25px1c5",true,true,'around-the-world');if (typeof configObj.context !== 'string' || configObj.context.length

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Singapore Grand Prix: Humidity meets hedonism during Asia's most punishing race - CNN International

The 2019 Porsche Speedster Might Be The Last Supercar That Actually Feels Good With A Manual Transmission – Jalopnik

The Porsche 911 Speedster turns anywhere it stops into a postcard scene. Looking at it is fun; sitting inside is spectacular. Then you step on the gas, and die, drowned in a sense of pure heroism and hedonism. It is nothing short of glorious and youll never forget it.

(Full Disclosure: Porsche flew me to Europe, allowed access to its museum and a small fleet of its finest current cars for a few days.)

We got the comically decadent task of road testing the artful 911 Speedster, extreme 911 GT3 RS and winged superhero 911 GT2 RS Weissach on a trip from the companys HQ in Stuttgart to the site of the 24 Hours of Spa endurance race in Belgium. The short story is, the cars are good.

Now, doing shakedown trips with new cars is a pretty routine and regulated experience, usually. Take the machine to speed. Take it back down. Maybe theres a track component. Take it around town and pull over for some photos while your coffees refreshed. At the end of the day, notes are compared and faults are weighed against features for an unbiased analysis.

But on a sun-soaked backroad trip through woodsy Germany and out onto the unrestricted Autobahn, the Speedster would allow no such thing. I intentionally waited a few weeks to write about this car after driving it, in hopes that its spell would wear off and I could rattle off a remotely objective report, but its pointless to fight it.

The new Speedsters not an instant classic just because it looks goodthough, I mean, come on, its pretty enough to make you want to dig into a thesaurus for something like... pulchritudinous.

But theres backstory too. The O.G. Speedster hit American asphalt in 1954, per Porsches historical record, as the cheap Porsche. Back then, people typically paid less money for fewer comforts; the idea of spending more for a stripped-out performance variant that weve fully embraced in 2019 was not a thing back then.

Automobile importer Max Hoffmann, who was basically Porsches entire U.S. dealership network in the 50s, convinced the Germans to send him something he could sell for less than $3,000. The result was an ultra-lean sports car made to look extra lithe with a raked windshield to appeal to folks who appreciated speed and European style over everything. James Dean famously copped an early Speedster, and more importantly, it helped establish the driving purist branding for the company. (A Speedster was not the car Dean fatally crashed in, by the waythat was a 550 Spyder.)

An inflation calculator tells us $3,000 in 1954 is about $29,000 in todays money. The 2019 Speedster retails for over a quarter-million bucks.

In between, there have been a few other iterations of the Speedster. You can comb through the specifics on Porsches site, but basically the concept has stayed the same while also completely changing.

Every Speedster has been a fast convertible with a uniquely sleek design and minimal luxury features. But the cars designation has evolved from stripped-down bargain-basement special to limited production collectors item, because guess which is more profitable for Porsche?

The new Speedster costs more than four 718 Boxsters but, in defense of its asking price, theres more to it than just 911 plus low windshield and scalloped hood.

The 2019 Porsche Speedster has the flat-six cylinder engine from the GT3 with the individual throttle body system from the GT3 R racing car. A silencer system Porsche describes as very special on the outlet side helps the car pass emissions.

You may have seen a BMW or a Honda once that had weird little tube things sprouting from one side

Individual throttle bodies are known in racing for throttle response, performance, better part-load throttle behavior, more torque in the mid-range, and simply faster reaction to changes, Andreas Preuninger of Porsche Motorsport told Road & Track when the Speedster came out.

The Speedsters tuned fuel injectors and a stainless steel exhaust also help dial the 4.0-liter GT3 engine to a 502 claimed horsepower hooked up to a three-pedal manual transmission in a package that weighs in at a Porsche-posted 3,230 pounds.

If you can shift fast enough, the Speedster can allegedly carry you from a stop to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds and, if youre brave enough, on to a top speed of 192 mph.

Even with weeks, months to cool on me, Speedsters still got me hopelessly seduced. Its near faultless. Its marvelous.

Its uniquely engaging without being too hard to drive, it stands out without making you look like an asshole, and its physically impossible to walk away from without looking back at over your shoulder.

Entering a Speedster is like climbing aboard any other car, except when the doors open and you drop yourself into the seat, youre falling about twice as far as you expect to and land in a little bucket with as much cushioning as a cake fork.

Ow, I said to Kevin McCauley; photographer, air-cooled 911 owner and avowed Porschephile who had already installed himself in the right seat. He laughed. A nervous laugh, like the two of us had been asked to take the Mona Lisa off the wall at the Louvre and Id just almost dropped it.

We burbled out of Porsches museum parking lot in Stuttgart and plunged into traffic briefly before finding ourselves in the countryside. The industrial city where Porsches and Mercedes-Benzes are built melts away to grassy fields and idyllic villages surprisingly quickly, even if youre respectful of the speed limit.

Too quickly to learn anything about the cars nature, except for one thing: if we wanted to run the rest of the day with the top down (obviously, we did) we were going to need some sunscreen.

Our $274,500 art piece on wheels landed in a grocery store parking lot, and after being briefly distracted by a two-door third-generation Mitsubishi Pajero sitting near us (neat!) I began rummaging through the shelves before realizing store aisles were labeled in German and English is not the universal language Id been raised to believe it was.

Sprek-en English? I asked the cashier, attempting to veil my boorishness with the politest tone I could contrive. She shook her head. Undeterred, I lifted the bottle Id plucked from within the shop. Sunscreen? Again with the head shaking, this time accompanied by a look of ominous concern.

Eventually, another customer led me to a red canister, which I bought, brought back out to the car, presented triumphantly to McCauley, and proceeded to shake up and dump onto my skin.

Out squired a thick dollop of white goo the size of a baseball with the consistency of shaving cream and an overwhelming scent of watermelon. Now my co-driver was laughing for real.

Huh, I said, re-examining the canister, tilting it with the hand that wasnt coated in an unsettling stickiness. I mean, it says SPF 15. Lets just run it and get the hell out of here.

After slathering ourselves in the frothy mystery gel we were pretty sure had some UV-protective qualities, I cranked the left-hand key to start the flat engine behind our heads and we Speedstered off into the forest smelling like tropical fruit.

The convertible was happy to settle into a canter through Germanys little roads among big trees. The car never felt like it was struggling against restraints, or provoking us with the snorts and ticks coming from the powerplant behind us.

Functionally, the most memorable element of this car is its manual shifter. Every gear change feels like that last move in a chess game, filling you with the satisfaction of a decisive victory. Click-click-click. Lever throws are a short-medium length and the clutch has some heft. Automatic throttle blipping could make a mediocre driver look like an expert, and it makes any driver feel comfortable in no time.

The Speedsters greatest accomplishment isnt flat-out speed, though Porsche claims it can do almost 200 mph. The best thing about this car is not even its cornering abilities, despite a suite of handling hardware and traction control tech that can keep it planted and predictable through wild driving.

What really stuck with me, and still has me looking wistfully back on my photograph of this trip, is just how well this car sells soul. It lives in a perfect middle ground between exceptional and accessible, where theres an intensity to casual driving but in a sense thats invigorating rather than draining.

Theres plenty of driver-assistance and infotainment tech onboard, but the steering wheels spokes are naked of annoying buttons or switches. The soft top requires some manual operation, but it clicks and cinches effortlessly.

The car feels alive without being untamable, its intense without being intimidating. The Speedster might be able to hang near 200 mph, but its still exciting at 20 because of everything you interface with inside feels well-weighted and purposeful.

A fast, athletic and elegant GT car might not be the best choice for every application, but if it were, this thing would be perfect.

Wind noise a bit bothersome above 150 mph

A car as artful as it is characterful

502 HP 346 LB-FT

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The 2019 Porsche Speedster Might Be The Last Supercar That Actually Feels Good With A Manual Transmission - Jalopnik

Royal romancer: Which royal had the most mistresses? The biggest Lotherio revealed – Express

Kings and Queens throughout history have often been attractive propositions for royal mistresses and misters. These extramarital paramours have long been considered to hold considerable power given their choice of mate and the influence they sometimes have over the monarch with whom they are connected. Out of the British Royal Family, which royal monarch has been the biggest lothario?

Royal marriages were historically made for political purposes and kings often found love with a mistress.

Many of these mistresses led scintillating lives, mothered illegitimate children and carried out huge influence over their royal lover.

The names of these mistresses throughout history have become synonymous with notoriety and scandal, but which royal stud had the biggest public track record with mistresses?

Two kings are known for having at least six mistresses during their lives.

The first of these monarchs is King George IV, who reigned from January 1820 to June 1830.

King George IV led an extravagant lifestyle and was plunged into exorbitant debt as a result of his hedonism.

Before he ascended the throne, his father refused to help him with his debts unless he married his cousin Princess Caroline of Brunswick.

The Prince agreed and married her in April 1795, but the pair were ill-matched and the couple formally separated after the birth of their only child Princess Charlotte.

After that time, he met Maria Fitzherbert, who he remained close to throughout his life, despite several periods of estrangement.

Georges mistresses included Mary Robinson, who was offered 20,000 to become his mistress and was later paid off with a generous pension when she threatened to sell his letters to the newspapers when the affair ended in 1781.

He also saw Grace Elliott in 1782, the divorced wife of a physician, with whom he had an illegitimate daughter named Georgina Seymour.

His affair with Frances Villiers, Countess of Jersey, began in 1793, after which she, aged 40 and a grandmother and mother of ten, dominated his life for some years.

In his later life, his mistresses were the Marchioness of Hertford, who used her influence turn the Prince towards the Tories, before her relationship with him ended in 1819.

The last mistress of King George IV was Marchioness Conyngham, who reportedly decided in 1806 to become his mistress but did not succeed until he became king in 1820.

Their relationship came to an end with Georges sudden death in 1830.

The other lothario king known for his liaisons was King Edward VII.

Edward VII was King of Great Britain and Ireland from January 1901 until his death in 1910.

Before Prince Charles, he was the longest-serving heir apparent to the British throne.

He married Alexandra of Denmark in 1863 but had several affairs throughout his life.

His first mistress was Sarah Bernhardt, who frequently attended her London and Paris performances and once, as a prank, played the part of a cadaver in one of her plays.

When he was King, he travelled on the royal yacht to visit her at her summer home on Belle-le.

Lady Randolph Churchill, an American socialite and the mother of British prime minister Winston Churchill, was the second mistress to Edward VII.

Celia Lee who wrote a biography about the Churchills, wrote of Lady Randolph: It was not a love affair between Jennie and the Prince but a matter of sexual convenience for both of them.

The way the Prince wrote to her, asking her to serve him tea in her geisha dress would have been a totally inappropriate way to address a woman, married, widowed or single.

This, and the amount of time they spent together, marks her out as having a sexual relationship with him.

Edward VIIs third affair was British-American socialite, actress and producer Lillie Langtry who the Prince met in 1877 at a dinner party given by Sir Allen Young.

The Prince became infatuated with Langtry, and she soon became his mistress.

The relationship lasted until June 1880 when she became pregnant with a daughter named Jeanne Marie, born in March 1881.

Daisy Greville, the Countess of Warwick, was the fourth mistress of the Prince, mistress to Edward VII having met him through her membership of the Marlborough House Set which was headed by the royal.

The next mistress of King Edward VII was Alice Keppel, who is the great-grandmother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

The pair met in 1898, when Ms Keppel, 29 and the Prince of Wales, 56, became lovers.

The couple met regularly and their relationship lasted until his death in 1910.

Reportedly, Ms Keppell was one of the few people in Edward VIIs circle who was able to smooth his strange mood swings.

The final mistress of Edward VII was Agnes Keyser, a longtime mistress who was the most accepted within royal circles, potentially in light of their relationship which remained a more private affair than a public one.

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Royal romancer: Which royal had the most mistresses? The biggest Lotherio revealed - Express

Ten of the Best Cult Films to Watch on Netflix – AnOther Magazine

September 27, 2019

What is a cult classic? Re-watched and over-quoted films almost always get this title. Some are B-movies, beloved with irony. Others are rejected masterpieces, reclaimed in outrage. Others still are cult in tone: if a movie is surreal, if it satirises, leans hard into genre or refuses to be classified, if its visuals are campy or interrupt tradition, sometimes we deem it cult, then, just for the feeling it gifts us. The sense that something is off delightfully, perhaps knowingly so.

Below are some of our all-time favourites on Netflix, the classics that keep us on our toes, rewatch after rewatch.

Whats unexpected about American Psycho is how funny it is. How much obvious pleasure it takes in ketchup-viscous blood and tonal dissonance. Christian Bales career-making Patrick Bateman, the high-powered, primly OCD 80s investment banker with a secretthirst for blood, giddily parodied the unchecked hedonism, misogyny, and moral bankruptcy of the American financial sector. Have you ever noticed that everymanat Pierce & Pierce has a card that reads Vice President? Or that when Bateman ushers a nosy detective out of his office, he mentions a lunch meeting with Cliff Huxtable? Inanity abounds on Wall Street; stylisation merely helps.

Boyz n the Hood was not exactly overlooked it received nominations for John Singletons screenplay and directing but was, in many ways for mainstream white Hollywood, ahead of its time. Its portrait of young men in South Central Los Angeles is both heartbreaking and hopeful, the nuanced work of a writer-director who lived the landscape. Characters speak sometimes in structural critiques (Either they dont know, dont show, or dont care about whats going on in the hood), but also in unexceptional teen remarks, the business of dating and SAT prep. Singletons balance, pathos, and complexity is staggering, still, and worth many revisits.

Blue Velvet is, by nearly every imaginable definition, cult. It garnered mixed critical reception and a loyal base with its Lynchian fever-dream sensibility it is unfathomably dark, surreal, abrupt, and occasionally completely impenetrable, with imagery that sticks nonetheless. You cant forget that underbelly universe of beetles, writhing beneath Lumbertons pristine suburban lawns. Or the sound of those fabric scissors, chomping with chilling rapidity through the air. Blue Velvet continues to frustrate more than 30 years after its release, but remains essential cult cinema viewing. As Jeffrey asks Sandy on the night they meet: Its a strange world, isnt it?

The original Carrie is horror simply doing what horror should do, which is to draw social anxieties out to their logical conclusion. The bullied and abused Carrie White finds secret sanctuary in her telekinesis, a power that serves, for much of this Stephen King story, as a heavy-handed but not unwelcome metaphor for a teenage girls fledgling sexuality and self-possession. People remember Carrie for its eventual prom-night reckoning, but the best of this 70s classic is its build-up. The increasing sense detectable in Sissy Spaceks over-wide eyes that the centre in Chamberlain, Maine cannot hold. Something must snap.

Linklaters third film meanders; it follows 70s-era Texas high schoolers after the bell as they kind of... drive around. Some get stoned and decide George Washington farmed weed at Mount Vernon. Ben Affleck beats up freshmen for sport. Matthew McConaughey, in his breakout role as recent graduate Wooderson, leers at girls. None of which sounds particularly sweet or engaging, but Dazed and Confused is both: its a snapshot of average kids doing average things, a listless two hours not unlike being high, or growing up. You just gotta keep livin, man, Wooderson declares in final-act half-summary. L-I-V-I-N.

Something salient about the premise of Girl, Interrupted in the late 60s, a teen is lazily diagnosed with Borderline-Personality Disorder after she swallows a bottle of aspirin, leading to her institutionalisation is that women are misdiagnosed by the psychiatric community still, their symptoms misunderstood or simply dismissed. This film does pose some interesting questions about mental illness and gendered experience, though its mostly worth a rewatch for its performances: Winona Ryder is an anchor as Susanna, and Angelina Jolie is an Oscar-winning powerhouse as Lisa, the combative but alluring sociopath (A word of advice: dont point your fucking finger at crazy people.).

Box-office success and three Oscars should doubly disqualify Moonstruck from cult status, but something about its quirky, appropriately moon-eyed sensibility keeps it just off-centre enough. It is impossible not to grin at this films winking use of Thats Amore; at its intentionally operatic speeches in the snow; at the over-clear sky hanging above its over-enchanting Brooklyn; or at its big, broad dialogue. Ronny isnt just tormented by his brothers betrayal, hes gonna cut his throat about it. Loretta doesnt just love Ronny, she loves him awful. Everything is slightly too much, and too much is sometimes that much better.

Tom Shone estimates that Tarantino hit his peak influence around 1994, when California cafs teemed with aspiring screenwriters bashing out talky, violent, blackly comic shoot-em-ups on their typewriters. That analysis places Reservoir Dogs a chatty, blood-soaked, men-in-suits heist-gone-awry story told largely through flashbacks at the very centre of the cult of Tarantino. His feature debut is more reserved than his later works (however unbelievably, he pans away in this film as an ear is severed from its head), but its Tarantinos world nonetheless, a sunny Los Angeles that speaks in witticisms and runs on hyper-machismo.

Another early 90s classic, for a very different cult. Thelma & Louise is maybe the best film about female friendship, feminine sexual reclamation, and the rejection of compulsory heterosexual institutions ever made. When the titular best friends kill an attempted rapist in self-defence, they take to the sanctuary of the open road, racing with famously clasped hands away from subjugation and towards the Grand Canyon. This is a Western through-and-through its got the stiff-blue denim, the guns, the stirring vistas but feminist catharsis is its real lifeblood, and its American dream is a very particular one. Just out-of-reach, over some horizon.

On quotability alone, The Princess Bride is one of the cultiest movies of all time. Its a bedtime story told with a Monty Python-esque sense of humour, one that billed itself Not Just Your Basic, Average, Everyday, Ordinary, Run-of-the Mill, Ho-Hum Fairytale. There are the requisite tropes princess, castle, adventure, swashbuckling but also a gleeful sense that were messing with something longstanding, partaking in the witty rewriting of tradition. Well never survive! Princess Buttercup cries, facing some medieval danger or another. Nonsense, replies Westley, her farm-boy love. Youre only saying that because no one ever has.

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Ten of the Best Cult Films to Watch on Netflix - AnOther Magazine

The fitness industry is overwhelmingly white and that needs to change – Metro.co.uk

Whenever I go to a spin class or a HIIT class Im struck by the fact that the women in the room and its almost always 90% women all look the same.

And Im right there with them. Im wearing the same Sweaty Betty leggings, the same Lululemon tank, Im around the same age, I have a similar body type. But there is one notable difference. Im more often than not the only non-white person in the room.

While I dont need to be surrounded by people who look exactly like me in order to get an effective workout, the overwhelming homogeneity of these spaces can send a message that if you dont fit the mould youre not welcome.

The fitness world is booming. Hedonism is out and wellness is in, as more of us prefer to spend our weekends breaking a sweat in the new Soul Cycle studio before heading out for green juice and vegan brunch.

Its a tired millennial stereotype, but there is truth in it. We are collectively becoming more health-conscious than we have ever been and the fitness industry is benefiting in a big way.

Gym memberships in the UK grew by 4.7% to 10.4 million this year, according to an annual industry report. Fitness is a 5bn industry, and with more people seeking a social experience from their workouts, boutique classes are flourishing.

So how can an industry that is growing year-on-year, and making so much money, get away with such a stark lack of diversity? And why is this problem being perpetuated?

One of the reasons has to be the cost. These boutique fitness classes are not cheap just ask my bank balance and that consistently high price point is fueling elitism and exclusivity.

According to the Money Advice Service, the average gym membership is 40 per month, but in London, where everything is more expensive, it can be 100 or more. Individual classes cost between 15-25 for an hour. Five HIIT classes at Barrys Bootcamp (just over one per week) will cost you 105 for a month. 10 spinning classes at Boom Cycle costs 160.

So is it any wonder that minority groups who are more likely to earn less or live in deprived areas are being pushed out?

Matilda Egere-Cooper thinks it comes down to who these gyms and studios are trying to attract.

Boutique fitness studios have a core target market, notably those with disposable incomes, she explains. This explicitly points to the wider inequalities that exist within society, where class, jobs, incomes, and opportunities are concerned.

Matilda is the founder of the Fly Girl Collective a running and fitness community inspiring black and brown women to get active. She thinks the problem runs deeper than simple economics, its also about representation.

Even if a studio happens to be affordable, theres a question around whos represented in the marketing, and whether the instructors and in-house staff are genuinely diverse and not just a tick-box exercise, says Matilda.

This is important. Black and Asian women are the least physically active social groups, and a significant barrier to their participation is a lack of role models.

Where the trainers and staff are disproportionately white, it sends a message to black and other ethnic minorities that the space hasnt been created with diversity in mind, explains Matilda.

The industry, particularly in a diverse city like London, should intentionally represent the world around them in their marketing, be accessible and employ a more diverse range of people at all levels.

Everyone should be inspired to pursue a healthy, fit lifestyle, but its hard to be what you cant see.

Sharlene Gandhi loves yoga, but as an Asian woman, she is increasingly concerned by the whitewashing of the industry, and the effect it is having on the integrity of the ancient Indian practice.

If I go to a class run by white folks which is most of them in the city then the class is normally, massively white, Sharlene tells Metro.co.uk.

There is such a market for white-washed yoga. Right down to the music that is played when you come into a studio, to the Namaste at the end all of it is disastrously white.

I dont necessarily feel out of place because, if anything, I know that I am closer to some of the asanas and techniques than most people in the room are.

Sharlene completed a diploma in Bharathanatyam, an ancient Indian classical dance form that has the same roots as yoga. She says it gave her a nuanced understanding of some of the psychology behind the physiology.

I think that is something which is increasingly missed out in quick-fix yoga, she explains.

I worry more about the dilution of an ancient practice, one that was well thought and planned out to fit in with an otherwise holistic and healthy lifestyle, into something that now is essentially an exercise routine.

Sharlene gets frustrated by the erasure of the people who created yoga but she has her own little ways to fight back.

I deliberately do not say Namaste at the end of a class, especially if its a white-washed class, or led by a white teacher. Im sure nobody notices, but it is my tiny rebellion, she says.

Ive only ever been to one class where the teacher deliberately counted in Sanskrit as you would do in a normal yoga class to keep the breathing steady. I found that super soothing and revolutionary.

The class was of course, run by a South Asian woman.

The effect of this wide-scale whitewashing of the fitness industry is that it creates a spiral. If you dont feel welcome in a space, youre not going to go there, which in turn prevents other people like you from going there for the exact same reason.

Whats needed is a fundamental shake-up of the industry from the top-down.

Hannah Lanel is the founder of The Fore a new fitness space that prides itself on inclusivity. Hannah is white and acknowledges that fitness has a serious diversity problem, but she is determined to do things differently. She says it has to start with recruitment.

Since launching The Fore in June weve done everything we can to break down the barriers to fitness and well-being, Hannah tells Metro.co.uk.

Our classes are designed to welcome amateurs and athletes alike and we actively seek out instructors who dont fit the mould in terms of both ethnicity, appearance and background.

Hannah says this helps them to attract a diverse audience who come to class and take whatever they need from it.

Inclusivity is at the very heart of our business and we are proud to unite a community of both trainers and clients that dismantles socioeconomic, religious and political divides to foster meaningful relationships that celebrate people of colour, of all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds.

Thats a big claim for a gym to make is it really that deep?

Matilda thinks it is. Her ethos is that the battle can only really be won if inequality is eradicated from every aspect of life including fitness and well-being. She doesnt want to sit back and allow another industry to thrive off the back of exclusion.

To take this point further, Matilda trains with her Fly Girl Collective squad at a boutique fitness studio at least once a month.

It can be tricky because of costs, but by being there, were sending the message that fitness is for everyone even black women from all walks of life, she explains.

Although the general reaction to us being there is positive, we do get a few side glances and stares, so I think theres still some work to be done to normalise diversity in these spaces.

But it starts with studios being willing to recognise the issues, have challenging conversations and working proactively to move things in the right direction.

Despite the boom in wellness, overall obesity levels are still on the rise and obesity-related hospital admissions rose by 15% last year.

The inference is that the growing fitness industry is only benefiting a privileged minority of the population. For everyone else, the gentrification of fitness is actually pushing them out and may even be making it harder to be active.

Dora Atim is a 27-year-old black trainer at The Fore, and she knows just how important it is to improve the accessibility of fitness resources.

In terms of instructors, we are only just beginning to see a marginal improvement in diversity being taken seriously, says Dora, but studios have no hope of attracting a truly varied audience unless they first address their marketing.

Thin, white and rich is still overwhelmingly used as the ideal to attract clients with the top five boutiques in London showing a disappointing lack of diversity in their marketing campaigns.

Its not until we stop breeding this idea that there is some kind of perfect homogeneous ideal that we will see boutiques open themselves up to a wider marketplace.

Mel is a mixed-race personal trainer based in Birmingham, and she agrees with Dora. She says targeting a more diverse customer base isnt rocket science.

We need more diverse images with a broad range of ethnicities used in their marketing, she suggests. They should also use targeted ads to appeal to areas where the population has a high percentage of BAME groups.

I understand the need to be niche, but businesses need to be careful that they are not alienating an entire demographic through poor advertising.

It is that sense of alienation that can be the most damaging.

The fitness industry is elitist in more ways than one. Women are expected to be a certain age, a certain size and conform to certain societal norms in order to be an accepted part of the community.

But women, and men, of all ages, sizes and races can be fit, strong and can smash a HIIT class just like anyone else. The industry may be growing, but there will always be a limit to that growth unless fitness finds a way to embrace different kinds of bodies.

MORE: Instagram has changed the way we eat

MORE: Woman opens BAME childrens talent agency to improve diversity on screen

MORE: What is unconscious name bias and why is it so damaging?

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The fitness industry is overwhelmingly white and that needs to change - Metro.co.uk

Bully. Coward. Victim. The Story of Roy Cohn Film Review: 2019s Second Cohn Documentary Flails in Too Many Directions – TheWrap

The amoral legacy of closeted gay political operator Roy Cohn has come back to life in two films of the moment: Matt Tyrnauers Wheres My Roy Cohn? and now this more personal documentary directed by Ivy Meeropol, granddaughter of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were prosecuted by Cohn and executed for treason in 1953.

Meeropol previously covered the story of her grandparents in her 2004 documentary Heir to an Execution, and she sketches out the basics of the case against them at the beginning of her film on Cohn, starting off with footage of herself as a girl talking to her father about what happened to Julius and Ethel. She then cuts to footage of Cohn, who always signals, I am evil for the camera, as if he were very conscious of the part he was trying to play.

The Story of Roy Cohn tries to establish a balance between Cohn and the Rosenberg family, but this is shaky from the start. Meeropol returns to her family history and jumps between a very brief explanation of communism in the United States (and its basis in the anti-Nazism of the 1930s) and interviews with Tony Kushner and Nathan Lane about the way Kushner wrote the Cohn character for his play Angels in America. The structure here is haphazard, to say the least, and there is a serious lack of concentration and follow-through. Too much ground is covered too quickly, and often confusingly.

Watch Video: 'Where's My Roy Cohn?' Director Explains How McCarthy's Counsel and Trump Are 'Cut From the Same Cloth'

It is unsurprising that Meeropol would lack the objective distance needed to deal with the part of this story that is personal to her, but her attempt midway through the film to contrast her fathers taste for folk music with Cohns lust for the disco hits at Studio 54 backfires; the leftist sing-a-longs described here sound far less attractive than the hedonism at that club. Then again, the devil has the ability to assume pleasing shapes.

When she is not trying to set up a good guy/bad guy dynamic between Cohn and her father, Meeropol jumps all over the place, trying to cram in too many stories and pieces of information, many of which lead to dead ends. Some of these stories, of course, are fascinating even in short doses. But Meeropol fumbles the connection between Cohn and Donald Trump, telling us so little about their initial contact on a court case that you have to search online later for what actually happened.

Also Read: 'Where's My Roy Cohn?' Earns Top Average During 'Downton Abbey'-Fueled Indie Box Office

The inconvenient fact for Meeropol is that her grandfather Julius was guilty of treason. Alan Dershowitz relates here that Cohn told him he framed guilty people in the Rosenberg case. This movie asserts that Ethel was entirely innocent (which is debatable) and that she was framed so that Julius would out some of his comrades. Julius refused to do this, and so Ethel was executed along with him. This is morally messy in a way that does not lend itself to the easier answers Meeropol would understandably prefer.

Cohn was a Shakespearean character like Richard III: His hand was in so many dirty deals of the last century, and there are so many ironies involved in these stories, that they clearly need their own movies, or their own episodes in a series. He is such an intriguing and also obvious camera subject that it is possible to trace the panicked way he reacts during the HUAC hearings in the 1950s when fairies are derisively mentioned to the same flare of panic in his would-be cold eyes when he denied on television in the 1980s that he had HIV. For all his reputation as a master manipulator, Cohn had various tells in his behavior that signaled his insecurity: a tightening of the mouth, a wincing urge to squirm away.

Also Read: 'Studio 54' Film Review: Disco Doc Skims the Surface Like Club Owners Skimming Profits

The somewhat awkward full title of this movie comes from the panel that Cohn was given on the AIDS Memorial Quilt, which Meeropol and her father saw right away when they visited it. The temptation with Cohn is to see him as he presented himself, as some kind of villain who had supernatural staying power even from beyond the grave. Yet when we hear him speak about dying in the last part of this movie, he says that some people will see him as an S.O.B. and some people will see him as a tough fighter and a good guy.

Did Cohn actually see himself as a tough fighter and a good guy? Maybe in his most confident moments. But even though he told so many lies with such boldness, Cohn could not shield himself from certain truths, which is why he is, finally, more a character for a dramatist like Tony Kushner than for a documentarian.

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Bully. Coward. Victim. The Story of Roy Cohn Film Review: 2019s Second Cohn Documentary Flails in Too Many Directions - TheWrap

Impossible to Love: The Reality of the Impossible Whopper – Forbes

Okay.I caved. I gave into the hype, the pumped-up curiosity, and the supposed alchemy behind this act of rooftop-heralded gustatory bravado.For the first time in probably half a decade I walked into a Burger King, ordered an Impossible Whopper, and ate the damned thing.

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 8: In this photo illustration, the new Impossible Whopper sits on a table on ... [+] August 8, 2019 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. On Thursday, Burger King is launching its soy-based Impossible Whopper at locations nationwide. The meatless patties are produced by California tech startup Impossible Foods. A single Impossible Whopper sandwich costs $5.99. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

And the only thing I find impossible is why the hell I would ever eat another one.

No, its not a lie.Does the Impossible tastes just like a Whopper?You bet it does.Its just as bland, flat and dry-mouth inducing as the real thing.And if this is your standard for satisfying dining, knock yourself out. Buy two.Obviously, Im not a fan of fast food; first of all, I dont believe in eating fast, on the run, or using plastic silverware, but what really bugs me is the unshakeable belief that fast foods surreptitious goal is seducing you into picking up a salt shaker and eventually devouring soda by the mini-bucket.

Wheres the hosanna in recreating mediocrity?If you think youre eating healthier, youre nuts.Theres no reason to waste time here in supplying the chemical breakdown and production on an Impossible Burger because its composition is easily available online.It offers nearly the same nutritional value and calories as the main attraction.Its cheap and you get what you pay for.

But, cmon, who chows down on a hamburger because its healthy?However, a truly great burger glorious sensual indulgence, and when theyre glistening with the perfect chopped blends of Pat Le Freida chuck and sirloin, or Wagyu beef, short ribs, bloody jeweled bursts from Black Angus beef, surrounded by brioche buns, jalapeo jam, stout mustard, sherry vinegar-soaked pickles, the sensation is some of the most fun you can have with your clothes on.

25 degrees closeup of small wagyu hamburger and fried onions, over wood board, including pickle and ... [+] mustard

A great burger is epic unapologetic hedonism, like two pieces of Schaffenbergers That Chocolate Cake, or a Cher concert.You can sense it even before you experience it and the fulfillment of that anticipation is everything that makes life at first bite perfect.

The Impossible Burger is a stunt, except only the publicity is juicy.Worse still, its origins are rooted in foolhardy hypocrisy.Years ago, due to a serious medical condition, I was required to follow a macrobiotic diet for nearly two years, a process that manifested a rack of cookbooks, each determined to do its damnedest to make tofu and seitan take like chicken steak, turkey, or bacon.Not one recipe succeeded to pull off the ruse.The point was, why bother to induce such a scam?Seitan doesnt look, feel, handle or cook like steak. It looks like shaved elbow patches.In fact, it was easier to deal with it when you just realized exactly what it was.

Close-up of roasted cauliflower steaks with herbs and spices on baking sheet , top view

And yet, we are still perpetuating this kind of three-card monte cuisine, like demonizing potatoes and pretending mash cauliflower is just as delicious, or, calling it steak on a menu when its sliced thick and broiled, or diet plans that pretend you cant tell cauliflower flour from real pizza dough.Try that one out at New Yorks San Gennaro festival and youll get pelted with old zeppoles.

Elevating the Impossible Burger to its current level of admiration comes close to the ultimate perverse switcheroo, which was fashions one-time obsession with creating amazingly lifelike dead fake fur.Not fun fur, the stuff that is obviously not trying to imitate a slain skin but is just soft, silly, cuddly and all over the Burlington Coat Factory and Target.No, I mean the lengths to which certain designers, whose life-long veganism I was happy to be respected and laud, to create a four-figure-priced product that is a near-perfect approximation of a garment whose aesthetic is derived by a process they find brutal and repellent.All that skill and effort to duplicitously imitate what you ethically and morally despise. If you hate fur, banish it from your life.

And if you want to avoid meat, then just dont eat it.There are now so many chain restaurants nationwide, such as Sweetgreen, Panera, Pret-a-Manger, Noodles & Co, Tender Greens, each serving nourishing, flavorful sustainable food that isnt trying to be anything than what it says on the swipe-able bar code.

You want to know an Impossible Burger?Fine.I promise you wont be able to tell the difference.How comforting to know that there is such consistency in mediocracy.Just remember to buy a really big Coke.Youll need it to wash it down.

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Impossible to Love: The Reality of the Impossible Whopper - Forbes

Hedonism – definition of hedonism by The Free Dictionary

Under your mask of hedonism you are yourself the Noseless One and your way leads to the Night.A clear pathological egoism, laced with psychological hedonism much like the life and style of Bashorun Gaa.Newmarket big-hitter Hugo Palmer sends out a well-bred newcomer in Hedonism for the first of eight races - the Watch Racing UK Anywhere Novice Auction Stakes at 1.They claim their results show that our intuitions about the experience machine do not undermine hedonism (section I).Sex, Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll: The Science of Hedonism and the Hedonism of ScienceHedonism, as compared to the sexual values of relativism and absolutism, involves sexual behavior based on the pursuit of pleasure without the requirement for love and/or commitment.Objectivity and Perfection in Hume's Hedonism, DALE DORSEYClub Orient, a 137-room resort on the French side of the island of St Maarten, is on one of the most famous nude beaches in the Caribbean; Hedonism II in Negril, Jamaica is an adults-only 280-room all-inclusive resort with a loyal crowd; Caliente Caribe is the only au naturel resort in the Dominican Republic, is clothing-optional; The Natural, Curacao is clothing optional, and the only au naturel resort on the ABC islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao.com)-- The summer is being kept alive in Negril, Jamaica this year as the tropics gear up for the Miss Hedonism II Bum-Delicious pageant - a contest that aims to find the best butt in the world.Hedonism Wines in the Mayfair section of London is a pretty cool place.Not many studios are champing at the bit to do an American epic with Wall Street in the title, let alone one that focuses on hedonism and debauchery and excess.Xi, who has been in office for a year, has implemented a high-profile campaign to eradicate "formalism, bureaucratism, hedonism and extravagance" among Communist Party members.

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Hedonism - definition of hedonism by The Free Dictionary

HEDONISM II – TripAdvisor

WHAT IS HEDONISM?THE SEXIEST PLACE ON EARTH WHERE YOU CAN BE WICKED FOR A WEEKHedo, Hedo 2, Hedo II, H2, or HII. No matter what you call it, Hedonism II is the worlds most iconic adult playground. An all-inclusive paradise where you can turn your fantasies into reality! Experience what you only read about in erotic novels and let loose!Be as mild or as wild as you like!People travel to Hedonism II from all corners of the world to live out their fantasies, to escape their inhibitions, to play. Life is too short. Do it now, before later becomes never.Your Pleasure Is Our Passion!he.don.ismnounthe pursuit of pleasure; sensual self-indulgence.synonyms: self-indulgence, pleasure-seeking, self-gratification the ethical theory that pleasure (in the sense of the satisfaction of desires) is the highest good and proper aim of human life.

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HEDONISM II - TripAdvisor

Hedonism – Wikipedia

Sumerian civilizationEdit

In the original Old Babylonian version of the Epic of Gilgamesh, which was written soon after the invention of writing, Siduri gave the following advice: "Fill your belly. Day and night make merry. Let days be full of joy. Dance and make music day and night [...] These things alone are the concern of men." This may represent the first recorded advocacy of a hedonistic philosophy.[3]

Scenes of a harper entertaining guests at a feast were common in ancient Egyptian tombs (see Harper's Songs), and sometimes contained hedonistic elements, calling guests to submit to pleasure because they cannot be sure that they will be rewarded for good with a blissful afterlife. The following is a song attributed to the reign of one of the pharaohs around the time of the 12th dynasty, and the text was used in the eighteenth and nineteenth dynasties.[4][5]

Let thy desire flourish, In order to let thy heart forget the beatifications for thee.Follow thy desire, as long as thou shalt live.Put myrrh upon thy head and clothing of fine linen upon thee,Being anointed with genuine marvels of the gods' property.Set an increase to thy good things;Let not thy heart flag.Follow thy desire and thy good.Fulfill thy needs upon earth, after the command of thy heart,Until there come for thee that day of mourning.

Democritus seems to be the earliest philosopher on record to have categorically embraced a hedonistic philosophy; he called the supreme goal of life "contentment" or "cheerfulness", claiming that "joy and sorrow are the distinguishing mark of things beneficial and harmful" (DK 68 B 188).[6]

The Cyrenaics were an ultra-hedonist Greek school of philosophy founded in the 4th century BC, supposedly by Aristippus of Cyrene, although many of the principles of the school are believed to have been formalized by his grandson of the same name, Aristippus the Younger. The school was so called after Cyrene, the birthplace of Aristippus. It was one of the earliest Socratic schools. The Cyrenaics taught that the only intrinsic good is pleasure, which meant not just the absence of pain, but positively enjoyable momentary sensations. Of these, physical ones are stronger than those of anticipation or memory. They did, however, recognize the value of social obligation, and that pleasure could be gained from altruism[citation needed]. Theodorus the Atheist was a latter exponent of hedonism who was a disciple of younger Aristippus,[7] while becoming well known for expounding atheism. The school died out within a century, and was replaced by Epicureanism.

The Cyrenaics were known for their skeptical theory of knowledge. They reduced logic to a basic doctrine concerning the criterion of truth.[8] They thought that we can know with certainty our immediate sense-experiences (for instance, that I am having a sweet sensation now) but can know nothing about the nature of the objects that cause these sensations (for instance, that the honey is sweet).[9] They also denied that we can have knowledge of what the experiences of other people are like.[10] All knowledge is immediate sensation. These sensations are motions which are purely subjective, and are painful, indifferent or pleasant, according as they are violent, tranquil or gentle.[9][11] Further, they are entirely individual and can in no way be described as constituting absolute objective knowledge. Feeling, therefore, is the only possible criterion of knowledge and of conduct.[9] Our ways of being affected are alone knowable. Thus the sole aim for everyone should be pleasure.

Cyrenaicism deduces a single, universal aim for all people which is pleasure. Furthermore, all feeling is momentary and homogeneous. It follows that past and future pleasure have no real existence for us, and that among present pleasures there is no distinction of kind.[11] Socrates had spoken of the higher pleasures of the intellect; the Cyrenaics denied the validity of this distinction and said that bodily pleasures, being more simple and more intense, were preferable.[12] Momentary pleasure, preferably of a physical kind, is the only good for humans. However some actions which give immediate pleasure can create more than their equivalent of pain. The wise person should be in control of pleasures rather than be enslaved to them, otherwise pain will result, and this requires judgement to evaluate the different pleasures of life.[13] Regard should be paid to law and custom, because even though these things have no intrinsic value on their own, violating them will lead to unpleasant penalties being imposed by others.[12] Likewise, friendship and justice are useful because of the pleasure they provide.[12] Thus the Cyrenaics believed in the hedonistic value of social obligation and altruistic behaviour.

Epicureanism is a system of philosophy based upon the teachings of Epicurus (c. 341c. 270 BC), founded around 307 BC. Epicurus was an atomic materialist, following in the steps of Democritus and Leucippus. His materialism led him to a general stance against superstition or the idea of divine intervention. Following Aristippusabout whom very little is knownEpicurus believed that the greatest good was to seek modest, sustainable "pleasure" in the form of a state of tranquility and freedom from fear (ataraxia) and absence of bodily pain (aponia) through knowledge of the workings of the world and the limits of our desires. The combination of these two states is supposed to constitute happiness in its highest form. Although Epicureanism is a form of hedonism, insofar as it declares pleasure as the sole intrinsic good, its conception of absence of pain as the greatest pleasure and its advocacy of a simple life make it different from "hedonism" as it is commonly understood.

In the Epicurean view, the highest pleasure (tranquility and freedom from fear) was obtained by knowledge, friendship and living a virtuous and temperate life. He lauded the enjoyment of simple pleasures, by which he meant abstaining from bodily desires, such as sex and appetites, verging on asceticism. He argued that when eating, one should not eat too richly, for it could lead to dissatisfaction later, such as the grim realization that one could not afford such delicacies in the future. Likewise, sex could lead to increased lust and dissatisfaction with the sexual partner. Epicurus did not articulate a broad system of social ethics that has survived but had a unique version of the Golden Rule.

It is impossible to live a pleasant life without living wisely and well and justly (agreeing "neither to harm nor be harmed"),[14] and it is impossible to live wisely and well and justly without living a pleasant life.[15]

Epicureanism was originally a challenge to Platonism, though later it became the main opponent of Stoicism. Epicurus and his followers shunned politics. After the death of Epicurus, his school was headed by Hermarchus; later many Epicurean societies flourished in the Late Hellenistic era and during the Roman era (such as those in Antiochia, Alexandria, Rhodes and Ercolano). The poet Lucretius is its most known Roman proponent. By the end of the Roman Empire, having undergone Christian attack and repression, Epicureanism had all but died out, and would be resurrected in the 17th century by the atomist Pierre Gassendi, who adapted it to the Christian doctrine.

Some writings by Epicurus have survived. Some scholars consider the epic poem On the Nature of Things by Lucretius to present in one unified work the core arguments and theories of Epicureanism. Many of the papyrus scrolls unearthed at the Villa of the Papyri at Herculaneum are Epicurean texts. At least some are thought to have belonged to the Epicurean Philodemus.

Yangism has been described as a form of psychological and ethical egoism. The Yangist philosophers believed in the importance of maintaining self-interest through "keeping one's nature intact, protecting one's uniqueness, and not letting the body be tied by other things". Disagreeing with the Confucian virtues of li (propriety), ren (humaneness), and yi (righteousness) and the Legalist virtue of fa (law), the Yangists saw wei wo, or "everything for myself," as the only virtue necessary for self-cultivation. Individual pleasure is considered desirable, like in hedonism, but not at the expense of the health of the individual. The Yangists saw individual well-being as the prime purpose of life, and considered anything that hindered that well-being immoral and unnecessary.

The main focus of the Yangists was on the concept of xing, or human nature, a term later incorporated by Mencius into Confucianism. The xing, according to sinologist A. C. Graham, is a person's "proper course of development" in life. Individuals can only rationally care for their own xing, and should not naively have to support the xing of other people, even if it means opposing the emperor. In this sense, Yangism is a "direct attack" on Confucianism, by implying that the power of the emperor, defended in Confucianism, is baseless and destructive, and that state intervention is morally flawed.

The Confucian philosopher Mencius depicts Yangism as the direct opposite of Mohism, while Mohism promotes the idea of universal love and impartial caring, the Yangists acted only "for themselves," rejecting the altruism of Mohism. He criticized the Yangists as selfish, ignoring the duty of serving the public and caring only for personal concerns. Mencius saw Confucianism as the "Middle Way" between Mohism and Yangism.

Judaism believes that the world was created to serve God, and in order to do so properly, God in turn gives mankind the opportunity to experience pleasure in the process of serving Him. (Talmud Kidushin 82:b)God placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of EdenEden being the Hebrew word for "pleasure". In recent years, Rabbi Noah Weinberg articulated five different levels of pleasure; connecting with God is the highest possible pleasure. The Book of Ecclesiastes in the Old Testament proclaims, "There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God..." (Ecclesiastes 2:24)

Ethical hedonism as part of Christian theology has also been a concept in some evangelical circles, particularly in those of the Reformed tradition.[16] The term Christian Hedonism was first coined by Reformed Baptist theologian John Piper in his 1986 book Desiring God: My shortest summary of it is: God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him. Or: The chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying Him forever. Does Christian Hedonism make a god out of pleasure? No. It says that we all make a god out of what we take most pleasure in. [16] Piper states his term may describe the theology of Jonathan Edwards, who in 1812 referred to "a future enjoyment of Him [God] in heaven".[17] Already in the 17th century, the atomist Pierre Gassendi had adapted Epicureanism to the Christian doctrine.

The concept of hedonism is also found in Nastika (heterodox) philosophy such as the Charvaka school. However, Hedonism is critcized by Astika (orthodox) schools of thought on the basis that it is inherently egoistic and therefore detrimental to spiritual liberation.[18][19]

Utilitarianism addresses problems with moral motivation neglected by Kantianism by giving a central role to happiness. It is an ethical theory holding that the proper course of action is the one that maximizes the overall good of the society.[20] It is thus one form of consequentialism, meaning that the moral worth of an action is determined by its resulting outcome. The most influential contributors to this theory are considered to be the 18th and 19th-century British philosophers Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill. Conjoining hedonismas a view as to what is good for peopleto utilitarianism has the result that all action should be directed toward achieving the greatest total amount of happiness (see Hedonic calculus). Though consistent in their pursuit of happiness, Bentham and Mill's versions of hedonism differ. There are two somewhat basic schools of thought on hedonism:[1]

An extreme form of hedonism that views moral and sexual restraint as either unnecessary or harmful. Famous proponents are Marquis de sade[21][22] and John Wilmot[23]

Contemporary proponents of hedonism include Swedish philosopher Torbjrn Tnnsj,[24] Fred Feldman.[25] and Spanish ethic philosopher Esperanza Guisn (published a "Hedonist manifesto" in 1990).[26]

A dedicated contemporary hedonist philosopher and writer on the history of hedonistic thought is the French Michel Onfray. He has written two books directly on the subject (L'invention du plaisir: fragments cyraniques[27] and La puissance d'exister: Manifeste hdoniste).[28] He defines hedonism "as an introspective attitude to life based on taking pleasure yourself and pleasuring others, without harming yourself or anyone else".[29] Onfray's philosophical project is to define an ethical hedonism, a joyous utilitarianism, and a generalized aesthetic of sensual materialism that explores how to use the brain's and the body's capacities to their fullest extent -- while restoring philosophy to a useful role in art, politics, and everyday life and decisions."[30]

Onfray's works "have explored the philosophical resonances and components of (and challenges to) science, painting, gastronomy, sex and sensuality, bioethics, wine, and writing. His most ambitious project is his projected six-volume Counter-history of Philosophy,"[30] of which three have been published. For him "In opposition to the ascetic ideal advocated by the dominant school of thought, hedonism suggests identifying the highest good with your own pleasure and that of others; the one must never be indulged at the expense of sacrificing the other. Obtaining this balance my pleasure at the same time as the pleasure of others presumes that we approach the subject from different angles political, ethical, aesthetic, erotic, bioethical, pedagogical, historiographical."

For this he has "written books on each of these facets of the same world view".[31] His philosophy aims for "micro-revolutions", or "revolutions of the individual and small groups of like-minded people who live by his hedonistic, libertarian values".[32]

The Abolitionist Society is a transhumanist group calling for the abolition of suffering in all sentient life through the use of advanced biotechnology. Their core philosophy is negative utilitarianism. David Pearce is a theorist of this perspective and he believes and promotes the idea that there exists a strong ethical imperative for humans to work towards the abolition of suffering in all sentient life. His book-length internet manifesto The Hedonistic Imperative[33] outlines how technologies such as genetic engineering, nanotechnology, pharmacology, and neurosurgery could potentially converge to eliminate all forms of unpleasant experience among human and non-human animals, replacing suffering with gradients of well-being, a project he refers to as "paradise engineering".[34] A transhumanist and a vegan,[35] Pearce believes that we (or our future posthuman descendants) have a responsibility not only to avoid cruelty to animals within human society but also to alleviate the suffering of animals in the wild.

In a talk David Pearce gave at the Future of Humanity Institute and at the Charity International 'Happiness Conference' he said

Sadly, what won't abolish suffering, or at least not on its own, is socio-economic reform, or exponential economic growth, or technological progress in the usual sense, or any of the traditional panaceas for solving the world's ills. Improving the external environment is admirable and important; but such improvement can't recalibrate our hedonic treadmill above a genetically constrained ceiling. Twin studies confirm there is a [partially] heritable set-point of well-being - or ill-being - around which we all tend to fluctuate over the course of a lifetime. This set-point varies between individuals. It's possible to lower an individual's hedonic set-point by inflicting prolonged uncontrolled stress; but even this re-set is not as easy as it sounds: suicide-rates typically go down in wartime; and six months after a quadriplegia-inducing accident, studies[citation needed] suggest that we are typically neither more nor less unhappy than we were before the catastrophic event. Unfortunately, attempts to build an ideal society can't overcome this biological ceiling, whether utopias of the left or right, free-market or socialist, religious or secular, futuristic high-tech or simply cultivating one's garden. Even if everything that traditional futurists have asked for is delivered - eternal youth, unlimited material wealth, morphological freedom, superintelligence, immersive VR, molecular nanotechnology, etc - there is no evidence that our subjective quality of life would on average significantly surpass the quality of life of our hunter-gatherer ancestors - or a New Guinea tribesman today - in the absence of reward pathway enrichment. This claim is difficult to prove in the absence of sophisticated neuroscanning; but objective indices of psychological distress e.g. suicide rates, bear it out. Unenhanced humans will still be prey to the spectrum of Darwinian emotions, ranging from terrible suffering to petty disappointments and frustrations - sadness, anxiety, jealousy, existential angst. Their biology is part of "what it means to be human". Subjectively unpleasant states of consciousness exist because they were genetically adaptive. Each of our core emotions had a distinct signalling role in our evolutionary past: they tended to promote behaviours that enhanced the inclusive fitness of our genes in the ancestral environment.[36]

Russian physicist and philosopher Victor Argonov argues that hedonism is not only a philosophical but also a verifiable scientific hypothesis. In 2014 he suggested "postulates of pleasure principle" confirmation of which would lead to a new scientific discipline, hedodynamics. Hedodynamics would be able to forecast the distant future development of human civilization and even the probable structure and psychology of other rational beings within the universe.[37] In order to build such a theory, science must discover the neural correlate of pleasure - neurophysiological parameter unambiguously corresponding to the feeling of pleasure (hedonic tone).

According to Argonov, posthumans will be able to reprogram their motivations in an arbitrary manner (to get pleasure from any programmed activity).[38] And if pleasure principle postulates are true, then general direction of civilization development is obvious: maximization of integral happiness in posthuman life (product of life span and average happiness). Posthumans will avoid constant pleasure stimulation, because it is incompatible with rational behavior required to prolong life. However, in average, they can become much happier than modern humans.

Many other aspects of posthuman society could be predicted by hedodynamics if the neural correlate of pleasure were discovered. For example, optimal number of individuals, their optimal body size (whether it matters for happiness or not) and the degree of aggression.

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Hedonism - Wikipedia


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