Travel

Travel

New waves: make a break for the ‘crown jewel’ of India’s surf scene in Tamil Nadu

Tourism to Mahabalipuram once focused on its temples but visitors to this south-east Indian town now come to ride the waves – and it’s producing local surf champions of its own, too

On a crescent moon beach, just metres from the shoreline, fishermen were making repairs, their nets spread out across a handy skateboard ramp. Behind them was a Hindu temple, surrounded by colourful guesthouses, souvenir shops and restaurants. I had dodged the laundry lines crisscrossing the alleyways of Fisherman’s Colony in the Indian town of Mahabalipuram to make it to the sea, in search of the waves I’d heard about – and wanted to surf.

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Architecture

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir watch a montage of themselves, and it’s too much

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With sultry routines that’ve long threatened to melt the ice, people can’t help but egg on figure skaters Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir to requite their apparent love.

Following their Winter Olympics gold medal win, Virtue and Moir sat down with CBC to watch a montage of their 20-year career together on the ice. 

The pair shed tears as grabs of them talking about how proud they were of one another and images — so many images — of them embracing each other played out on screen.

C’mon and just date each other already, you guys.

It’s not just us either — Adam Rippon and Leslie Jones thought so too. When asked about what’s the deal with their relationship by TODAY’s Hoda Kotb, Virtue gave a rather diplomatic answer to the prodding. Read more…

More about Sports, Canada, Figure Skating, Winter Olympics, and Winter Olympics 2018

Architecture

Welp, Steven Seagal is endorsing a cryptocurrency called ‘Bitcoiin’

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Questionable ICOs have left many investors with Exit Wounds, but that hasn’t stopped Steven Seagal from backing one.

The ’90s action star became the worldwide ambassador of a cryptocurrency called Bitcoiin 2nd Generation, news that he confirmed on his Twitter account.

If the double “i” in the name didn’t prompt reluctance, there’s a couple of worrying signs regarding Bitcoiin2Gen.

As noted by Coindesk, the website for Bitcoiin2Gen lists no details about who’s actually behind the cryptocurrency. Its domain was originally registered in 2015 in Panama, but changed hands around Jan. 8.  Read more…

More about Tech, Celebrities, Steven Seagal, Cryptocurrency, and Cryptocurrencies

Travel

10 of the best insider’s tips to Amsterdam

With tickets for Eurostar’s direct service to Amsterdam on sale from 20 February, we pick some of the city’s best restaurants, parks and cultural attractions away from the tourist centre

Amsterdam’s reputation for stag dos, spliff and sex tourism belies the rich pickings beyond Dam Square. Described by locals as a village, Amsterdam has the arts, entertainment and startup scene of many larger cities but retains a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. As a resident, I love that all my favourite places are just a short journey away. The vibe is laid-back and the dress code avoids the stiff chic of more status-conscious cities: the rule is, if you can’t cycle in it, don’t wear it. From picturesque narrow streets of higgledy-piggledy houses to sweaty techno nights in converted factories, this city reveals its many faces to those willing to stray from the tourist hotspots.

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Travel

A local’s guide to Istanbul’s new cool neighbourhood

In once sleepy Kadıköy-Moda, new nightlife and culture hotspots happily coexist with the district’s established restaurants and cafes

Until recently, the neighbourhood of Kadıköy-Moda, on the Asian side of Istanbul at the southern end of the Bosphorus, was an unremarkable, mostly residential place that barely registered on the city’s cultural map. Over the past few years, however, it has become an unlikely hotspot for cutting-edge bars, art and culture hubs, cafes and music venues, as well as a haven for plugged-in, liberal-minded people opposed to Turkey’s increasingly authoritarian political climate.

Related: 10 of the best ways to enjoy Istanbul on a budget

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Architecture

Fergie performed a jazzy rendition of the national anthem. It did not go well.

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Alright, where do you even start with a performance like this.

Pop star and Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie opened the NBA All-Star game with her rendition of the national anthem, and by goodness, it was an interesting rendition to say the least.

While other singers may have opted for a straight-up, no fuss performance; Fergie gave the anthem a jazzy twist, which is incredible in both its braveness and repugnance for the ear. 

There’s no saving jazz this time, folks.

Throughout the performance, Fergie wildly shifts between different keys for some reason.  Read more…

More about Music, Sports, Nba, Basketball, and Culture

Travel

Ireland’s border country: walking the line and in love with the landscape

Since the Brexit referendum, the Irish border has again become a source of tension but on the ground it remains a fascinating wilderness of low mountains and fantastic hiking country

Today I’m hiking from Thur Mountain to the Cavan Burren along lanes and among prehistoric relics. This is north-west Ireland, not far from the sea but far enough for me to call it midlands. My route goes from Co Leitrim into Co Cavan, staying close to the border with Northern Ireland. For so long associated with violence and up against the appeal of the west coast, Ireland’s borderland has been ignored by travellers. Yet its history is fascinating and there are many beautiful stretches. Word is starting to get out, but this still feels like Ireland’s undiscovered region.

I spent last night in a B&B in Glenfarne, a thinly spread community of farms and homes. Clancy’s (doubles from €89 B&B, walking packages available) appears to be the area’s heart, a string of businesses along the roadside, under one roof. It’s a B&B, a cafe, a shop and a post office.

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Architecture

Watch Lupita Nyong’o and Letitia Wright freestyle a ‘Black Panther’ inspired rap

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The best freestyle rapper in Wakanda is clearly Letitia Wright.

Celebrating the release of the already-smash-hit Marvel superhero movie Black Panther, co-stars  Lupita Nyong’o and Letitia Wright decided to share a few impromptu bars. 

The Black Panther lives… and so does Troublemaker! Introducing MC Underbite (@LetitiaWright), best freestyler in Wakanda. All cred to my girl @RobynHoodmusic for the original inspiration and my bars
Happy #BlackPantherDay! #BlackPanther 🎵🎶 @travbryanmusic pic.twitter.com/pIwO9DNBfP

— Lupita Nyong’o (@Lupita_Nyongo) February 16, 2018 Read more…

More about Lupita Nyong O, Black Panther, Letitia Wright, Culture, and Music

Architecture

Colorado Girl Scouts can sell their cookies in front of marijuana dispensaries now

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There’s good news for Colorado residents prone to munchies: as of Friday, you only need to make one stop to get both Girl Scout Cookies and weed. 

Girl Scouts of Colorado updated its cookie sales policy to allow Girl Scouts to sell their boxes outside of cannabis dispensaries. 

This is a change of heart for the organization, which previously banned setting up cookie booths in front of dispensaries. In a deleted tweet from 2014, its Colorado council stated, “If you are wondering, we don’t allow our Girl Scouts to sell cookies in front of marijuana shops or liquor stores/bars.”  Read more…

More about Marijuana, Colorado, Girl Scout Cookies, Culture, and Web Culture

Travel

China by train: tracks, tales and a snapshot of everyday life

Chinese new year signals major travel across the country, and railways are at the heart of many journeys. Author and BBC journalist Michael Bristow knows China well – and the insight time on board offers

Chinese people will make nearly 400 million train trips over Chinese new year (16 February this year). Migrant workers will leave the cities and head back to the countryside to see their children; students will travel home for the long winter holiday; elderly parents will visit their grown-up children.

The mass arrival of cars and planes has changed the nature of travel in China but the railways remain the country’s most important form of transport. However, trains do not just get you from A to B: in China, these often long journeys give travellers a snapshot of ordinary life, a sense of where they are.

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Architecture

New Zealand’s prime minister looks like the lead of a crime show in her Vogue shoot

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It’s somewhat rare for New Zealand politicians to attract global attention, but Jacinda Ardern’s star continues to rise.

The current New Zealand Prime Minister is featured in the March issue of Vogue, where she’s been labelled the “anti-Trump,” admired for the way she speaks about poverty and homelessness with a “blend of Bernie Sanders’s bluntness and Elizabeth Warren’s fearlessness.”

But of course, being Vogue, there was plenty of attention dedicated to Ardern’s photoshoot. Clarke Gayford, Ardern’s partner, made the photo his wallpaper.

….well thats the desktop sortedpic.twitter.com/9YlqkiwPEZ

— Clarke Gayford (@NZClarke) February 15, 2018 Read more…

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Architecture

Australia’s government bans politicians from sleeping with their staff

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Sleeping with a co-worker is pretty much a no-no in all workplaces, especially so in the sensitive world of politics.

Not that Australia’s deputy prime minister stuck to the unspoken rule.

Barnaby Joyce been under significant pressure in the past week after it was revealed he had an affair with one of his staff, ultimately leading to the break-up of his 24-year marriage.

The situation has seen Joyce labelled a hypocrite, due to his advocacy of traditional marriage when the country was voting on whether same-sex couples could marry. Read more…

More about Politics, Australia, Relationships, Sex And Relationships, and Relationship

Travel

The best sights and bites in Hong Kong: readers’ travel tips

This cinematic city offers iconic views, stunning rooftop bars and, a little further afield, pretty beaches and great hiking
Send us a tip for the chance to win a £200 hotel voucher

For a beautiful day, start in the little fishing village of Tai O, trek around the lake and up towards a manmade pool nicknamed “infinity pool”. It’s not too long (around an hour) and has many beautiful views of the hills and sea – you can even spot the new rail track being built from China. Take bus 11 from Tung Chung to Tai O. On weekends and holidays, when there might be a lot of people, take the ferry to Mui Wo and take bus 1 to Tai O … and back.
emily milward

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Lifestyle

Qualcomm’s new X24 LTE modem can reach a ridiculously fast 2 gbps

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You future smartphone could be ridiculously fast even without 5G.

That’s the promise of Qualcomm’s latest LTE chip: the Snapdragon X24, which the company says is capable of hitting blazing-fast download speeds of up to 2 gigabits per second. 

Now, as we’ve noted before, the company’s touted top speed is more of a best case scenario, rather than a guarantee. There are many other factors that determine network speeds other than the modem. 

Even so, there’s a good reason to be at least cautiously optimistic about Qualcomm’s latest milestone: it’s a very good sign for the future of 5G. Read more…

More about Tech, Mobile, Gadgets, Qualcomm, and 5g

Travel

10 of the best eccentric attractions in Europe: readers’ travel tips

Weird wonders, including a prowl around Amsterdam’s cat museum, a truly deep Transylvanian theme park and ‘Stalin’s World’ in Lithuania, have made readers embrace the quirky

For a surreal experience, look no further than the Salina Turda salt mine. The 120-metre-deep mine was built in the 17th century and briefly used during the second world war as a bomb shelter. Then, later, it was a cheese storage facility. More recently it has been converted into a magical underground theme park, with a ferris wheel, mini-golf, bowling alley and table tennis. It also has an underground lake with rowing boats that you can use to explore the mine.
Adult £5.75, child £2.90; ferris rides £1, row boats £2.90, salinaturda.eu
Lindsay Watters

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Architecture

5 powerful stories by girls whose lives were forever changed by child marriage

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For most of us, a wedding day is something to look forward to. To plan and prepare. Or something to look back with fond memories of a choice once made. 

For millions of young girls and boys around the world, however, marriage is not a choice. It interrupts their childhood, forcing them into perilous cycles that are all too often impossible to break free from. 

Many young women have risked everything to have the right to choose for themselves. And some managed to escape. Now they’re sharing their empowering stories with women all around the world. The stories were presented in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), which is raising awareness about child marriage around Valentine’s Day – a celebration of love and our right to choose. Read more…

More about Education, United Nations, Women S Rights, Child Marriage, and Social Good

Lifestyle

Google didn’t sell many Pixel phones in 2017, and that’s not good for the line

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Google’s Pixel phones may be great phones with best-in-class cameras, but they won’t be toppling Apple’s iPhones or Samsung’s Galaxy phones anytime soon.

The company reportedly only shipped 3.9 million Pixel phones in 2017, according to IDC research director Francisco Jeronimo. For Google, that’s not too shabby for a newcomer — it’s twice the number of Pixels from the year before — but overall it’s still pretty weak, and a sign that there’s a long road ahead before the company even comes close to challenging Apple and Samsung.

iPhone and Galaxy phone sales dwarfed Pixel by a massive margin. Apple sold 216.7 million iPhones and Samsung sold 316.4 million Android smartphones last year, according to IDC numbers. Read more…

More about Mobile, Gadgets, Google, Android, and Smartphones

Travel

City safari: overnight with wolves and monkeys in Bristol

A stay at a new wildlife centre offers families a mini safari experience – with monkeys, a night-time wolf expedition and breakfast with giraffes

Plus: More UK wildlife sanctuaries

It’s early evening and the gates to the wildlife park have been closed to the public. All is quiet, except for birdsong, the gentle rustling of wind in the trees and an occasional excited shriek from a gelada monkey. We (my six-year-old daughter Nell and husband Huw) are gathered around a fire pit along with four other families who are trying out Camp Baboon, a new night-time wildlife and bushcraft experience at the Wild Place Project, a satellite venture run by Bristol Zoo.

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Architecture

Swiss Olympic skier casually rides up escalator with one arm on his day off

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Competing at an Olympics is a serious affair, not that it seems to worry Fabian Bösch too much.

The 20-year-old Swiss skier isn’t due to compete until next Sunday in the men’s Slopestyle event, so in the meantime he’s having a bit of fun — or you could call it a spot of training.

Here’s Bösch casually holding onto the rail of an escalator, except he’s not on the steps, instead hanging off the side. The dude has a strong right arm.

A post shared by Fabian Bösch (@buhsch) on Feb 11, 2018 at 11:54pm PST

It’s not the only time Bösch has pulled off a stunt for Instagram, even if the risk of injury would probably send any coach into a conniption. Read more…

More about Olympics, Pranks, Culture, Winter Olympics, and Culture