Thursday, 19 June 2014

Boba Fett to Return in Star Wars Episode VII?


It always bugged me how Boba Fett met his fate in Return of the Jedi, like thousands of other Star Wars fans around the world I happily went along with the initial comedic value of his accidental and grisly demise at the time, I was after all only 12 years old. But now, older and wiser I look back on how utterly cool this character is and have since joined the massed ranks of fans who feel that his accidental ending robbed him of a hero's fight to the death he so richly deserved.

At first you think that slamming into Jabba's sail barge and falling into the Sarlacc pit couldn't possibly be the end of the Fett story and he'll just ignite his jet pack and fly out of trouble, but alas, Han put paid to that when he smashed said jet pack with the lance when he swung it into Fetts back.

Death of an anti hero: Solo smacks Fettt's backpack as he turns around oblivious that the bounty hunter is behind him.

Wire work: Fett is rigged with wires by ROTJ crew members for the sail barge battle and his ultimate demise.(Photo by Mike Davis)

(Photo by Mike Davis)

The death of Boba Fett in Jedi ultimately became a catalyst for his popularity, In Empire Strikes Back he was the only man to have survived answering back to Vader, he'd also got his bounty in the form of a frozen Han Solo. Fett had quickly became a fan favorite, the cool bad dude in the helmet and cape and a man who's nod was the coolest ever caught on film, not even Eastwood or DeNiro had a nod that cool. George Lucas has even gone on record to admit that had he known the popularity of the character after Jedi he would have created a more heroic death, to go out in such a bum way remains a subject that's been hotly debated for decades.

Jabbas Sail Barge from the set of return of the Jedi   (Photo by Mike Davis)

(Photo by Mike Davis)

Personally speaking, Fett's backstory in the new prequels did little to appease me, on the one hand it answered the rumor that he was indeed a clone.Unlike other clones, Boba did not undergo the gene tampering that would lead to docility and growth acceleration. Jango Fett accepted Boba in addition to payment for services he rendered to the Kaminoans and he raised Boba as his own son. However, on the other hand Lucas' grasp on storytelling had plot holes the size of sink holes ( Leia remembering her mother fondly in Jedi, yet Lucas killed her off giving birth to Leia??)
The expanded universe had given Fett a new lease of life but recent statements by Disney in resetting (basically ignoring the expanded universe ever happened) the Star Wars Canon at least allows Disney to explore new ground for the character.

So Star Wars Episode VII is underway, Solo has a broken foot and websites the world over publish the first on set photo's, one of these appeared to be doctored with a photoshopped Boba Fett helmet, a surefire way to get traffic to websites and raise the rumor.

Above: An on set image of Star Wars Episode VII with 'photoshopped' Fett Helmet.

Above: Artist Livio Ramondelli own beautifully illustrated depiction of Fett emerging from the Sarlacc pit.

The latest news is that Fett could get his very own movie and the rumors are growing by the week. Lawrence Kasdan has been connected the Star Wars through the years, having penned Star Wars: Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. He’s a director in his own right, having helmed The Big Chill and Grand Canyon. But we already know that Disney and LucasFilm have hired Josh Trank (Chronicle) and Gareth Edwards (Godzilla) to helm the standalone films that Disney wants to fill the gaps between the main Star Wars movies of episodes VIII and IX.

Right now though we'll just have to keep our fingers crossed that the Sarlacc doesn't eat Bounty Hunters and pray for at least an episode VII cameo of some kind.

Smashing up a Lamborghini or Ferrari is never pretty

Owning a supercar is usually reserved for the rich and famous, that would be, obscenely rich and moderately famous. However, owning a supercar lie a Ferrari or Lamborghini should mean you've had a fair amount of road experience to handle the extra power, the low ride height not to mention the reduced visual scope out of the back of these things. 
Owning a supercar creates a paranoid driver of sorts from the simple fact you don't want any moron with a push bike within 50 feet of the car when you're on the road or you need to park it in front of the cafe and end up sitting by the window watching every molecule of shiny paint like a fat kid eyes up a cake "Stay away from the vehicle it's mine!".

I've always said I'll buy myself a 911 Porsche Carerra 4S in Basalt Black and have it modified further if I won the lottery, truth be told it'd last  half a day before some little bastard with a grudge walks a key down the side of it, #thisiswhywedon'thavenicethings

owning a supercar should by all intents and purposes signify you've made it in the big leagues, that you've worked hard for the pleasure of owning this fantastic beast that makes schoolboys drool and women swoon. Then again you might have won a shitload of money or rented it for the weekend which blasts all that into oblivion, rented , bought, won or gifted wrecking one these is damn expensive but never, ever pretty.

Damaged Ferrari sports cars plus a Lamborghini Diablo litter the Chugoku highway in Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi prefecture, western Japan following a 14-vehicle pile up.

Wrecked: F40 Ferrari wrecked in Vancouver, the driver blamed the road surface for the smash but what exactly caused the car to crash is unclear.

a Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 driven by a man convicted of murdering 6 people crashed into a brand new Ferrari F430. The Lamborghini was being driven by a former hitman who was sentenced to 72 years in prison but was granted political amnesty and released.

A man crashed a brand new Lamborghini Gallardo during a test drive of the supercar on the streets of Sydney, Australia.

 A Lamborghini Gallardo sits wrecked after the police officer driving the supercar crashed into two parked cars.  The accident took place following an exhibition in Cremona, Italy, where Italian police had the car on display.

In a well documented internet sensation this £250,000 Lamborghini Aventador was left looking a bit worse for wear after its owner managed to crash it into two parked cars in Kensington, London. The car had been filmed driving aggressively prior to the crash and at one point went airborne when it collided with another vehicle, ouch!


Check out how this Lamborghini went airborne when it collided with another car in a London Street.

This Enzo Ferrari crashed at 162 mph in Feb 2006 on the PCH in California in what became a case far more complex than just a car crash involving weapons, fraud and stolen identity.The car was driven by Swedish businessman Bo Stefan M Eriksson. ( Eriksson tried to launch the failed Gizmondo games console)

The Enzo's impact at 162 mph sheared the car in two dumping the engine onto the road. Eriksson was lucky to make it out alive.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

This man makes money in his sleep, lots of money.

The first rule about YouTube earnings is you don't talk about YouTube earnings.The second rule about YouTube earnings is you don't talk about YouTube earnings - There’s a veil of secrecy (almost) when it comes to the cash earnings that the biggest YouTubers earn. The most popular YouTuber is currently PewDiePie, aka Felix Kjellberg a 24 year old Brighton resident who creates wacky gaming and lifestyle videos on YouTube. He currently has over 27 million subscribers who tune in regularly for his latest online antics.

In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal Felix revealed he is earning a staggering  $4 million a year from YouTube in advertising, an amount he's earning 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,even in his sleep.
Felix comes across as a pretty level headed guy, despite the fact his videos can be quite unusual to say the least. Appeal is everything with a successful YouTube channel, on the one hand you need to tap into the audience in the right way and engage them on a level that will gain the most interaction and followers but on the other hand, also keeps your content fresh, interesting and above all unique.

His earnings and success are the core result of You Tube subscribers, a captive audience that advertisers and brands love to reach. In today's digital climate more and more brands rely on social media to reach their audiences, in fact some brands dedicate more into social reach than they do in more traditional forms of advertising. Take Coca Cola for example, apparently the third largest brand in the world, with over 86 Million facebook followers its able to reach an incredible number of consumers, more economical than Coca Cola spending hundreds of millions of dollars in print or TV ad spend to reach the same number of people. On Twitter Coca-Cola has 2.4 million followers. Over the last month, @cocacola has Tweeted 1,994 times. That’s over 60 Tweets a day, this in turn creates billions of impressions and reach.

For YouTube though its all about content, its important that content is unique and engages the audience enough that it'll either get a kick out of it or share it further socially.
If your channel reaches over 100,000 subscribers, you will receive a framed silver "play button" plaque that has the YouTube logo and their username on it from Google themselves. Channels that get over a million subscribers receive a the exact same plaque (Only exception is that the play button is gold) also from Google.
In order to successfully monetize YouTube videos there are a set of strict guidelines that YouTube partners need to follow.
  • You must own the rights to everything in your video, including music, images, and text.
  • Anything you don’t have the rights to, you must have written permission from the creator to use it and make money from it.
  • Your videos must follow the Community Guidelines set down by YouTube. Sexually explicit content, gratuitous violence, shock videos, hate speech, and more are all prohibited from being posted. The complete list can be found here.
Every 1000 times a pre-roll advertisement is shown, Youtube gets paid some amount of money. The amount can vary but typically Youtube is paid between $20 and $25 for every thousand ad views.Youtube takes 45% of whatever the partner channel earns. The CPM price varies a lot, but typically a Youtube Partner ends up earning roughly $5-7 CPM.This means that for every 1000 times an advertisement is shown on their channel, the Partner could earn $7 ( Youtube would take the remaining ($18). Ad values vary though, premium ads for example can earn significantly higher rates for partners depending on the number of subscribers and views or interactions with the advertising.

The top 5 Youtube Earners are...

#1: Pewdiepie – $7 million (3.7b views)
#2: BlueXephos – $6.7 million (2.4b views)
#3: Smosh – $5.7 million (3.1b views)
#4: DisneyCollectorBR – $5 million (1.6b views)
#5: BluCollection – $4.8 million (1.4b views)

Felix (pewdiepie) rarely ever talks to the media about his personal life, occasionally he'll do a Q&A with fans where he'll answer questions but mostly there is a huge dose of humor added to the answers and for the most part he likes to keep himself to himself.

One of my favorite YouTubers is FPS Russia, Activision were quick to seize on his popularity even featuring him in their advertising and PR campaign for Call of Duty .FPSRussia is a popular YouTube channel consisting of videos involving firearms and explosives. The videos feature Kyle Myers, an American born in Lavonia, Georgia playing the role of Dmitri Potapoff, a heavily accented Russian.

Another great channel to check out is Smosh which consists of Ian Andrew Hecox and Anthony Padilla. Padilla first began posting flash movies on Newgrounds in early 2003, under the name Smosh. With 18 million subscribers and some seriously wacky content no wonder these guys are pulling in the $$.

For a more in depth look at the YouTube high rollers and earners see the Social Blade stats here

Graffiti artist Millionaire

A Graffiti artist who shrewdly took shares instead of cash for painting Facebook's first HQ seven years ago became an overnight millionaire netting  $200MILLION in the social networks stock market float.
The 37-year-old Korean-American artist, who grew up in Koreatown in Los Angeles took equity instead of a flat fee of $60,000 when he was asked to paint the Facebook offices in Palo Alto, California, in 2005 by Sean Parker. (yeah, that Sean Parker)

Choe's not exactly been short of cash anyway, he started gambling at age 15, had already made his first million in Las Vegas casinos. In fact he's not that happy with the $200 Million he earned, in a televised interview with Barbara Walters Choe explained that he had endless requests for media and press interviews to talk about his windfall " I can't buy my privacy back" he said.

There's clearly more to this guy than most would give him credit for, he did a TV show about looking for a dinosaur in the Congo, spent time in jail for forging cheques and assault and he hangs around with ex porn star Sasha Grey not to mention that his $200 million hasn't changed him. When asked what he was going to do now that he had all this money he replied " I did everything I ever wanted to do before I had money" Holy crap. David Choe, interesting guy indeed, see the links and pics below for more.

Artist David Choe

After the  $5billion Facebook stock exchange flotation  at least 1,000 company employees became millionaires.

Choe's work is fluid, colourful and dynamic making him one of the most sought after street artists in LA.

Check out more of David Choe's wall work here 

Check out the amazing Danny Trejo (machette) youtube clip above

If Bruce Lee was a bartender this is what would happen...

Check out this incredible video of Po Hseng Hsu, who's known as the "Bruce Lee of flair bartending.

And to think, all you wanted was a bloody pint!

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Women tied to shipwreck 75 feet below the see

There are some people who love to push the creative edge, I admire anyone that can take a subject like photography and take it to the next level.Photographer Benjamin Von Wong did just that when he left the studio and took to the coast of Bali to take these utterly mind blowing and eerily haunting images of models over 25m underwater in a sunken shipwreck. In his images, the models transform from simple free divers to enchanting mermaids wearing dresses by Bali-based designer Ali Charisma.
The hauting photos are like nothing I've seen before and the flow of the fabric in the currents and gloomy murkiness of the wreck make for a fantastic contrast.

Von Wong relied on natural light and camera strobes to photograph the models who were each tied to the shipwreck to hold them in place while the shoot was taking place, emergency divers were on hand for safety but all the models were also freedivers and therefore could hold their breath for up to 4 mins at a time.

The maidens of the wreck, underwater currents create dreamy shapes with the dresses fabric.

Safety divers were on hand to make sure oxygen was on hand for the models to breathe.

natural light and camera strobes were the only sources of lighting for the shoot.

Each of the models had to be tied in place due to the shifting currents.

Check out more of Benjamin Von Vongs work here

Friday, 13 June 2014

Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul is turning on my Xbox One

The advert for Microsoft's XboxOne console feature’s Paul in his home on his sofa reading a few scripts, the ad has Paul shouting “Xbox on” in order to demonstrate the consoles versatile application software through Kinect’s voice commands. It boots up, EA's FPS Titanfall throws us into the gameplay action and even more spookily -  Aaron Paul is also watching football (soccer for you yanks) - how convenient its World Cup time!.

This reminds me of an incident earlier this year where ouTuber Master Of Luck pranked opponent players in Call of Duty.

After creating a Gamertag called "Xbox Sign Out", he decided to troll around the Xbox One version of Call Of Duty: Ghosts, annoying his multiplayer victims until they called him by his name. As you can see in the hilarious clip below he was able to get players turning off their consoles mid game just from shouting out his new gamertag.