Dreamland Margate reopens (again) after £25m revamp

The 2015 relaunch of the 1920s amusement park proved disappointing to both investors and visitors. Now it has high hopes for its latest incarnation, with new rides, bars and food stalls, and a live music venue

It was hailed as the revival of a seaside mecca that would consolidate Margate’s regeneration, but the fanfare around the reopening of the town’s retro amusement park in 2015 soon fizzled out. Barely one year on, Dreamland was in administration. Now, following a £25m investment, and under a new management team, the attraction is preparing to reopen for a second time, promising a radically different experience.

Dreamland’s second relaunch, just in time for the May bank holiday weekend, will showcase new rides, new landscaping, modern art installations and a better food offering, all of which its management team hope will transform its fortunes.

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Fox News’ Tucker Carlson will do absolutely anything to avoid talking about the Trump fiasco


Did Donald Trump really ask FBI Director James Comey to shut down his Russia investigation? 

Is this story real? Are you real? What is reality? 

Tucker Carlson of Fox News is asking these tough questions. 

Tucker’s lead at 8

— Josh Kraushaar (@HotlineJosh) May 17, 2017

If it seems like he’s avoiding the news that the president of the United States may be engaged of obstruction of justice, don’t be fooledTucker Carlson Tonight looks beyond Beltway politics to answer the big, existential questions.

Tucker Carlson nailed it tonight, you

— Molly Knight (@molly_knight) May 17, 2017 Read more…

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Siri rumored to get new competition — right on your iPhone


Move over, Siri: your iPhone might soon welcome another AI assistant into the iOS fold. 

Google could throw the smartphone world for a loop at this week’s I/O developers conference and unveil new Google Assistant functionality for the iPhone, according to Bloomberg. The report, which cites “a person familiar with the matter,” claims the Assistant-to-iOS news could be announced as early as the first day of the event.   

Assistant will come to the iPhone in the form of a free iOS app, the source said, and will depend on voice commands to work with other Google apps installed on users’ phones. You’ll presumably be able to ask Assistant to queue up videos on YouTube or even read off emails from Inbox, to name a few potential uses.  Read more…

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Top 10 restaurants and tapas bars in Huelva, Spain

A byword for great produce, this small city in Andalucía with 200 restaurants is Spain’s gastronomy capital for 2017. Picking 10 of the best is no mean feat

Xanty Elias is the city’s culinary A-lister. Having trained for two years at San Sebastián’s three-starred Arzak, he returned home and quickly gained Huelva’s sole Michelin star. Changing six-monthly, his two fine-dining tasting menus include palate-thrilling dishes like beef sirloin (solomillo) with spiced lard, and tangy, mustardy mackerel with tender lupini beans. Each course can be paired with local wines, sherries or vermouths. The current 525 Sinergias menu marks the fact that 2017 is the 525th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s first voyage to America (the explorer departed from a port a few miles south of Huelva) and uses ingredients brought to Europe for the first time following Columbus’ expedition.
Eight-course menus from €48 without wine, Calle San Salvador 17, +34 959 245135,

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Bill Gates’ wise tweetstorm will inspire new grads


Personal advice from one of the biggest business icons in all of tech history is difficult to come by, but Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is making it easy for newly minted college graduates via Twitter. 

On Monday, just a week before the graduation ceremonies at Harvard, the school he famously dropped out of to create Microsoft, Gates offered his pearls of wisdom to new college graduates around the country. 

Beginning with a reference to the classic film The Graduate about giving market trend advice to newbies (plastics!), Gates launches into his tweetstorm by first noting the areas he thinks we should be focused on in the coming years.    Read more…

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10 of the best Irish bars in New York

A New York Irish pub may have been voted best bar in the world – and be making an appearance in London this summer – but ‘old country’ boozers are in decline in the city. We raise a glass to both the classics and those reviving the tradition

In some New York neighbourhoods every other bar seems to be either Irish-themed or Irish-owned. In a city that remains the spiritual home of the Great Irish Bar, the challenge becomes how to sort the genuine from the fake. There are plenty of shamrock-ed bars to drink in, with all kinds of Blarney-fied names, but links to the “old country” are often flimsy.

It’s partly for this reason that the Irish bar in New York is in decline, a social staple being squeezed out as Guinness sales fall in favour of American craft beers and diners move away from traditional bar grub to more gastropub food, along with the usual cycle of rent increases and gentrification. Some say the traditional Irish New York pub is simply falling out of fashion; others argue that a vibrant new generation is emerging. Here, then, is a personal Manhattan top 10 that exemplifies both the survival and the revival of the great New York Irish Bar.

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NBCUniversal is buying an arts and crafts tutorial site


NBCUniversal is getting into arts and crafts.

The media conglomerate said this week that it’s buying Craftsy, a DIY tutorial and art supply site, in what Recode reported to be a $230 million deal.

The Denver-based startup merges media and e-commerce with paywalled courses on everything from watercolor painting to “mastering the art of the pizza,” as well as a catalog of crafting kits.

NBC plans to tap Craftsy’s contributing instructors to appear on various shows across the company’s cable and broadcast channels like Bravo’s Top Chef and SyFy’s Face Off. The startup will also use its own production studio to create content for the network. Read more…

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Le Havre, a short break built on concrete chic

Le Havre is celebrating its 500th anniversary, but its architectural gems are modern masterpieces built from the ashes of war – and now a world heritage site

Few cities make you want to stroke their walls, but in Le Havre it’s hard to resist caressing the concrete. All but obliterated by allied bombing in the second world war, France’s second-largest port city was entirely rebuilt according to the meticulous vision of Auguste Perret, supreme master of liquid stone and tutor of Le Corbusier.

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Some dude wearing an Australian flag jumped onstage at Eurovision and mooned everyone


Eurovision fans often complain that Australia shouldn’t be included in the contest — after all, it’s not a European country. And now … the critics have quite a bit more fuel for their fire. Or, alternatively, a reason to include the Aussies forever and ever after a stunt on the show’s finale.

Here’s what went down (under). While last year’s winner, Jamala, was performing her number, an enthusiastic man wearing an Australian flag somehow got himself onto the stage. He then proceeded to moon everyone. Fun!

And the internet, predictably, went wild. (Worth noting: many people watching Eurovision had been drinking for a while at this point.) Read more…

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The elusive American wilderness: in search of my own private Idaho

Off-trail amid towering mountains, engulfed in freezing fog and stepping over fresh bear tracks, our writer finally finds America in the raw

In 1901, the pioneering environmentalist John Muir sat down to write a compendium of America’s wildernesses, places he had learned to love and also helped preserve as the world’s first national parks. “Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people,” he wrote, “are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity …”

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Michelle Obama expertly blasts Trump without even mentioning his name


Former first lady Michelle Obama was back on stage doing what she’s known to do: talking about childhood obesity and making Americans healthier. But this talk had some bite to it.

Naturally, the recent decision by Donald Trump’s administration to not push forward with federal rules to make school lunches healthier — something Obama championed for hard with her “Let’s Move” initiative during her eight years in the White House — was brought up.

Obama had some tough words at the Partnership for Healthier America Summit in Washington, D.C. Friday. Without mentioning Trump by name or singling out the U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue who announced his plan to “make school lunches great again” earlier this month, Obama made her very clear what she thought of the president and his administration’s move. Read more…

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Kickin’ Kiev: Why the Ukraine city is looking to Eurovision to jump start tourism

Ukraine’s historic capital may be preparing for the pop and ‘nul points’ of Saturday’s Eurovision but, kitsch aside, it is developing its edgy creative atmosphere

Kiev is sparkling and radiant as spring sunshine sets the gilded baroque churches ablaze. Snow banks begin to melt; shoulders drop and faces soften. The city, and its people, look newborn.

Kiev may have a reputation for political unrest (gained during the Maidan protest-cum-revolution of winter 2013-14) but today’s visitors are unlikely to see it. Instead, this city offers tourists a taste of bar life with an edge, softened – this week at least – with a dollop of Eurovision kitsch.

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Police chopper warns paddleboarders they’re surrounded by 15 sharks


New footage shot near Capistrano Beach from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department adds to the evidence that Southern California has a really bad shark problem this year. 

“You are paddleboarding next to approximately 15 great white sharks,” Deputy Brian Stockbridge announced  from the helicopter to the beachgoers below.

Thankfully, the sharks were relatively small and were not acting aggressively, so the area beaches were not closed but put under shark advisory instead, the Orange County Register reports

“We haven’t had any reports of anyone being bumped or charged, just observations of them either swimming or breaching,” OC Lifeguards Chief Jason Young told the Register. Read more…

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Microsoft needs your iPhone as part of its new mobile strategy


It wasn’t that long ago when Windows Phone was an important topic at Microsoft’s Build developer conference.

But you’d be hard-pressed to tell from watching this year’s keynotes. Like last year’s event, no one in the parade of Microsoft executives who took the stage made any mention of Windows Phone.

Except for that one moment.

Joe Belfiore, corporate vice president in Microsoft’s Operating Systems Group, was demoing a new OneDrive feature from the upcoming Fall Creators Update on a Windows Phone. As soon as he said the words “Windows Phone,” someone in the audience let out an inexplicably enthusiastic “Woot!” Read more…

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‘It was like being Alice-in-India.’ Artist Natasha Kumar on Bundi, Rajasthan

The light, dust, colours and street life mean this town is as artistically inspiring as St Ives is to other painters

I heard about the step wells of Bundi, in southern Rajasthan, about 10 years ago. I was travelling in the Thar desert, which divides India and Pakistan, and in that landscape of scorching heat, the idea of exploring damp, shadowy caverns of possibly bottomless dark water was tempting.

The first place I stayed at was Bundi Vilas, a family-run boutique hotel built into the walls of the crumbling Bundi Palace. Mr Sharma, who could have inspired Dev Patel’s character in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, had been left in charge by his brother. He had the keys to the palace, and when he learned I was an artist, he insisted on giving me a tour, not just of the standard rooms, but of areas forbidden to the public too.

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All dads should carry around their daughter’s fugly doll, like this tough guy


It sucks when dads are praised as heroes for doing the stuff mums do every day. 

So instead of saying “look at this incredible dad, actually loving his kids like some kind of saint,” we’ll simply suggest that the actions of Indiana man Keenan Watkins be the new norm. 

When Watkin’s 10-year-old daughter, Aayla, asked her dad to carry around her precious (and anatomically accurate, therefore fugly) ’80s baby doll all day, he obliged. Only later realizing the gravity of what he’d promised. But it was too late to back out. He’s a dad who keeps his promises, without compromise.

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The iPhone is so popular its sales can crater and it still takes first place


Apple is once again the king of the global smartphone market, even after a dip in iPhone sales.

When Apple released its Q2 2017 earnings report, one of the few points of concern — other than what exactly the company might do with its massive wealth — was the noticeable drop in sales for its signature product.  

Tim Cook & Co. are clearly focused on competing with their own records, because Apple appears to face little challenge from anyone else in the popularity department. A Strategy Analytics research report on global smartphone sales crowned the iPhone the undisputed leader in the market, as Apple absolutely dominated all comers.   Read more…

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Lightning strike leaves a surprise for an unsuspecting motorist


Thanks to the rise of cheap and reliable dashcams, the internet is filled with random occurrences people have witnessed behind the wheel.

While we’ve seen plenty of meteor strikes, instant justice delivered to bad drivers, and even plane crashes, this clip of a bolt of lighting hitting a bird and whacking it right out of the sky is one for the weird record books.  Read more…

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You can now buy Samsung’s Galaxy S8 without any bloatware

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