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Gimme 5

TOP 5 clothing lines you never knew were created by a celebrity

Gimme 5 - March 22, 2017

It’s not unusual for artists to branch out. Fashion remains their main arena of choice. We’ve picked 5 brands launched by celebrities and we’re sure you didn’t even know.

1.Dash: The clothing store, which opened its doors in 2006, is entirely the work of the Kardashians. Indeed, Kim, Khloé and Kourtney are the individuals behind the company, which is very successful in the United States

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Dash, by the Kardashians © Dash

2. Ivy Park: Launched by Beyonce in 2016, the clothing line got its name from the singer and Jay Z’ daughter, Blue Ivy. A sportswear line, Ivy Park already seems poised for success

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Beyonce wearing Ivy Park © Ivy Park

3. William Rast: Keeping it rather low-key, singer-actor Justin Timberlake launched his denim line William Rast with childhood friend Trace Ayala

4. Material Girl: Definitely inspired by Madonna’s iconic fashion from the 80’s, Material Girl is a clothing line created by the Queen Of Pop herself alongside daughter Lourdes.

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The single that inspired the brand © Warner Bros

5. Technobohemian: For those who’ve always dreamed of being John Malkovich, you’ll be happy to know that the actor, an all-time fashion enthusiast, has just announced his first ready-to-wear collection, which has been christened Technobohemian.

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John Malkovich, the latest celebrity to join the fashion world © johnmalkovich.com

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The top 5 bookshops around the world

Gimme 5 - March 15, 2017

No building could house all of the books in the world. And it’s a good thing, too! From one continent to the next, bookshops have stepped up a gear, each one trying to make their store the most unique of its kind. While picking a top shop might be all but impossible, these 5 bookstores are among our favourites:

1. Fangsuo Bookstore, Chengdu, China: Taking form in the basement of a commercial gallery, this 5000m2 bookstore is a stone’s throw from the Daci temple. Taiwanese architect Chu-Chih-Kang took inspiration from the legacy of buddhist monk Xuan Zhang in his designs, designing the bookshop to have the calmness of a hushed cave. The result is a space that is as still as it is mystical; you might just have your next great epiphany!

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The Fangsuo Bookstore is better than an Aladdin’s cave! © AA13

2. Livraria Lello & Irmao, Porto, Portugal: Constantly named as “the most beautiful bookshop in the world”, Lello & Irmao is as much an homage to reading as it to art deco. With a history dating back to 1906, the store is the real deal and whether you’re taking in the wood sculptures, the red staircase, the stained glass ceiling or the vintage wagons used to transport books, you’re bound to be blown away. And to top it all off? It was used as inspiration for the Harry Potter series, proving Lello & Irmao’s magical appeal!

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Magic and books: A match made in heaven © Livraria Lello

3. Bart’s Book, Ojai, California: If you fancy picking up a good book on your next road trip, make a pitstop at Bart’s Books. Founded in 1964 by Richard Bartinsdale, the store is open practically 24/7, catering to night owls and early birds alike. What can you find inside? How do thousands of books, hammocks, sofas and a starry ceiling sound to you?!

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Forget the gold rush, we’re here for the ink! © Bart’s Book

4. Altaïr Libreria, Barcelona, Spain: Smack bang in the heart of the Eixample district, Altaïr Libreria is the biggest travel bookstore across Europe. Want to be whisked away? Between the gaping stone columns, the bookshelves fit to bursting and the squishy sofas, you’re bound to be inspired for your next big adventure!

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60,000 titles to take you on your next trip © Altaïr Digital

5. Library of Muyinga, Muyinga, Burundi: This one of a kind bookshop exists as part of a specialist school for deaf children. Thought up by the architects of Brussels cabinet BC Architects, the building was constructed using local materials, involving the neighbouring community. Inside, it’s all lightness and fresh air, with a gigantic knotted hammock bringing the space together. This is the ultimate feat of literature and design.

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A nest of books, bricks and beauty! © BC Architects

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TOP 5 rising stars on Africa’s screen

Gimme 5 - March 08, 2017

The fact that African cinema is on the rise is hardly new information. Its megalithic growth has been well documented across the world, no doubt thanks to its shining set of cinematic stars. And while there are simply too many to choose from, we’ve done our best to narrow the brightest of the bunch down to our top 5.

1. Leyla Bouzid – The Tunisian director with her eye on the prize. At the meager age of 31, Leyla Bouzid has already been showered with prizes, having picked up the bronze Tanit at the 26th Carthage cinema days festival and the jury prize at TV5 Monde for her first feature “As I Open My Eyes”. Focused on a group of teenagers living under the dictatorship of Ben Ali, the film wowed critics and audiences alike!

 

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Leyla Bouzid © Africiné

2. Thabo Rametsi – The South African actor ready to pounce. For his part in “Kalushi”, the young actor picked up the best actor prize at the 2016 BRICS Film Festival in New Dehli. His jaw dropping portrayal of Solomon Mahlangu is what did it; representing the hero of the anti-apartheid resistance, Thabo Rametsi knocked it out of the park!

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Thabo Rametsi © Sowetan LIve

3. Bella Agossou – The Beninese actress kicking up a storm in Spain. Originally from Benin, actress Bella Agossou has turned to Spanish cinema, after moving to the country in 2002. Whether she’s playing a young girl on the television or an immigrant in a feature film, Bella Agousso always represents her native country with poise and grace.

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Bella Agossou © Africa Top Success

4. Mbithi Masya – The Kenyan director who’s a master of all trades. Before co-writing and directing his first feature “Kati Kati”, Mbithi Masaya tried his hand at publishing, composing and music, popping up as a key member in house-funk-disco group Just A Band. Screened at the 41st edition of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), his filmed was met with rave reviews, not least for its gritty depictions of Kenya’s violent past.

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Mbithi Masya © Mbithi

5. Mouna N’Diaye – The actress and documentary maker putting Burkinese cinema on the map. With a string of 12 documentaries behind her, as well as theatre pieces, television series and shorts, Mouna N’Diaye is well and truly on the international map. And for good reason! In the 2015 FESPACO festival, she picked up the prize for the best feminine interpretation, thanks to her earth shattering performance in “The Eye Of The Storm”.

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Mouna N’Diaye © Africa Top Success

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TOP 5 pop divas who can rap with the best

Gimme 5 - March 01, 2017

1. Mariah Carey and YG: Nothing’s out of range for the incomparable Mariah Carey. She just released a single with California act YG, one of rap’s biggest names. Mariah’s always ahead of the curve.

2. Christina Aguilera and P. Diddy: When Christina Aguilera crosses paths with rap patron P. Diddy, you know magic’s going to happen. It’s no surprise, then, that their collaboration “Tell Me” was such a musical tour de force, pumping up the beat around the world. Divas in training take note; this is how it’s done 😉

3. Toni Braxton and Loon: A woman of many talents, Toni Braxton’s more than a powerhouse. After wowing the world with “Unbreak My Heart”, the pop diva took a different musical turn, teaming up with Bad Boy Records protégé Loon. Combining forces, the two put out the mythic “Hit The Freeway”, the track you need for hitting the road.

4. Alicia Keys and Asap Rocky: Always in the thick of things, Alicia Keys recently released a cut with young New York rapper Asap Rocky. It’s a sparkling gem and it’s selling like hotcakes.

5. Erykah Badu and The Roots: Everyone dreams of teaming up with Erykah Badu, the divine diva of neo soul. In the end it was rap master Black Thought and his group The Roots who landed her, convincing her to do a duo that’s smooth as silk.

ELSEWHERE FOR YOU

TOP 5 artists of the effervescent South African scene

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TOP 5 Best places in the world hunt Pokémon

Gimme 5 - February 22, 2017

Last summer’s global craze, Pokémon GO, saw avid hunters prowling streets, parks, and villages around the world, stalking all kinds of critters. But where are the choicest hunting grounds?

1. Sokcho (South Korea): Two hours from Seoul, this city is Pokémon paradise. For security reasons South Korea isn’t Google mapped, except for Sokcho (because of a programming anomaly). So loads of South Koreans descend on Sokcho, where Pokémon abound, even, it’s been reported, the mythic Pikachu.

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Sokcho, South Korea’s happy hunting grounds © themonsoonproject.org

2. Disneyland, California: Turns out Walt’s Magic Kingdom is crawling with Pokémon. Lurking among Mickey and Dingo, you might just snare a Métamorph or a Mew.

3. The Volkswagen Arena in Wolfsburg, Germany: The VW Arena in Wolfsbourg is Pokémon hunter’s heaven. The locals hold group hunts, upping the chances of bagging rare game.

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Pokémon GO at the Wolfsburg stadium © foxnews.com

4. Circular Quay in Sydney: Sydney’s Circular Quay is an Aussie favorite. Pokémon fans scour the wharf to bag kangaroos and other rare game.

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In Sydney they’re chasing kangaroos © kotaku.com

5. La Défense, Paris: Some of the Oh-so-rare sightings of Ronflex, a first-gen Pokémon, have occurred at La Défense, Paris’s business district. La Défense attracts the French big-game hunters on the prowl for rare prey, like Elektek and Magneti.

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Parisians’ favorite Pokémon hunting grounds © leparisien.fr

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TOP 5 Ways streaming’s changed our lives

Gimme 5 - February 15, 2017

It was for the 1% (geeks, not Wall Streeters) in the early 2000s, but now we’re all streamers.

1. Allows us to listen to music anywhere, anytime. Remember the Walkman? The Diskman? Dead batteries in the middle of your favorite tune? Now we load up our smartphones so we can chill with Bowie on the commute, Daft Punk on vacation, and your killer mixtape before the job interview.

2. Broadening our musical horizons. Back in the day there were newspapers, then radio, then TV. And with the Internet, the post-Gutenberg era is here for good. Astronomical amounts of data, videos galore, podcasts, TED talks, language learning on YouTube… It’s a Brave New (digital) World.

3. We’re all hooked on series now. We used to patiently wait a week to see the next episode. High-Bandwidth and VOD put an end to that. Game of Thrones, Stranger Things, House of Cards, The Walking Dead… series are in these days, and our new addiction has a name: #bingewatching.

4. Bringing us the world: Livestreaming is certainly one of the most important recent innovations. The Web giants have delivered: Periscope (Twitter), Facebook Live, YouTube Live… Watch Africa Cup of Nations football matches, news reportage sites like Explicite, the lunar eclipse… The possibilities are endless!

5. Making cats the masters of the universe: Not since Ancient Egypt have cats enjoyed such status. With the Internet, they’re back on top, routinely smashing views records as the millennium’s undisputed YouTube stars. Rumor has it, though, that raccoons are mounting a challenge.

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TOP 5 Most decorated African players

Gimme 5 - February 08, 2017

1. Samuel Eto’o: The word “legend” is not hyperbole. His trophy case is jammed packed: top scorer in CAN history, top scorer in Cameroon national team history, Olympic gold, 3 Champions League titles, 4 Golden Ball of Africa awards, best center striker in FC Barcelona’s history. Creds like that speak for themselves. Quite a haul for a poor kid from Yaoundé.

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Eto’o playing against Morocco in 2009 ©Wikipédia 

2. Didier Drogba: No doubt about Didier. Twice top scorer in England’s Premier League, thrice champion with Chelsea of the English league, four Cup titles, twice League Cup champ, and a Champions League trophy in 2012. He’s a hero in his native Ivory Coast and one of Africa’s most decorated athletes.

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Didier Drogba with the Ivorian team in 2012 © Wikipédia

3. Georges Weah:In 1995, the Liberian striker entered the history books as the first non-European to win the Golden Ball (to go with his 2 African Golden Ball awards). Weah won League championships in Liberia, Cameroon, France, and Italy, and won top scorer in the 1995 Champions League tourney. In Liberia his status is quasi-divine.

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Georges Weah sporting Liberia’s colors © fifa.com

4. Yaya Touré: He led Ivory Coast to a CAN victory in 2015, nabbed a Champions League title with FC Barcelona, and pocketed the English Premier League trophy twice with Man City. Yaya Touré is hands-down one of the greatest active African players. African Golden Ball 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. Almost seems unfair!

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Yaya Touré wearing the Ivorian jersey in 2013 © Wikipédia

5. Abedi Pelé: Dubbed the “African Pelé,” the Ghanaian center midfielder and 3-time African Golden Ball winner went down in history for his historic assist that gave Marseilles its 1993 Champions League title. He led Ghana to a CAN victory, and remains their goals record-holder. His 3 sons are all international stars. It runs in the family!

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Abedi Pelé, the Black Stars’ star © fifa.com

RECOMMENDED FOR YOU

TOP 5 most successful off-the-pitch careers in football history

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TOP 5 Things the series Black Mirror correctly forecast

Gimme 5 - February 01, 2017

Darkly satirical, this British series portrays the anomalies and excesses that new technologies could bring on. Robotics, AI, virtual reality, Pokemon Go… Black Mirror addresses them all; sometimes they get praise, more often, they get a thrashing 🙂

1. Be Right Back (S2 – EP1, 2014): Resurrection via artificial intelligence

Fiction: following the death of her companion, Martha creates an avatar of the deceased, using his cloud content. The app generates conversations from Martha’s boyfriend and she even has a 3-D corporal semblance of him made, an android tailored into a copy of the dearly departed.

Reality: firms like Calico and Hanson Robotics have developed robotics systems and artificial intelligence. Replika even offers you the ability to create and educate your own AI by conversing with it on-line.

2. Playstest (S3 – EP2, 2016): virtual reality

Fiction: to bankroll his trip around the world, a young man agrees to test a new enhanced-reality video game that’s uploaded straight to his brain. Let’s just say the experience was unforgettable…

Reality: some of the heavyweight studios are already on it, offering total immersion in artificial worlds that seem real. A studio called Asobo, with the help of Microsoft’s HoloLens headsets, has developed astonishingly realistic cyber worlds.

3. The Entire History Of You (S1 – Ep3, 2011): bionic eyes that see all

Fiction: a young out-of-work lawyer suspects his wife is cheating on him. He gets a microchip implant and buys some bionic contact lenses so he can film, file, and view the entire adultery investigation.

Reality: the failure of Google Glass is just a momentary hitch. Just look at the enthusiasm for smart glasses by ODG and Vuzix, digitally connected bionic lenses by Google and Samsung, and the eyeborg system by cyborg artist Niel Harbisson.

4. White Bear (S2 – Ep2, 2013): frontier justice, PoGo-style

Fiction: a young woman has lost her memory and wakes up in a dodgy house. When she leaves the house, people track her, filming her with their smartphones. The hunt is on.

Reality: the episode is a critique of our mania for filming everything that moves, the omnipresence of smartphones, and extremes like nomophobia (smartphone addiction). There are also several parallels with worldwide trends like the video game Pokemon Go during the summer of 2016.

5. Nosedive (S3 – Ep1): the cut-throat ratings craze

Fiction: in a society where ratings drive consumers, Lacie tries to get the apartment of her dreams. It’s a ratings war that spins out of control.

Reality: the series denounces the race for favorable ratings, as well as the technological enabling that allows us to grade anything and everything, anywhere, all the time: food delivery services, taxi rides, apartment rentals, restaurants, you name it

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TOP 5 Projects we owe to “Google 20% time”

Gimme 5 - January 25, 2017

A long-time Google policy is that its researchers can spend 20% of their work day on personal projects, while using the company resources. The policy was so successful it was abandoned in 2013 because these cool ideas merited way more than 20% of in-house time. Here are the top 5 innovations born of this unorthodox policy:

1. Gmail: Google’s email service is world famous now but few are aware that it started out in-house. A pure product of “20% time,” gmail is the brainchild of software designer Paul Buchheit.

2. AdSense: Google’s advertising user interface also came from 20% time. And it’s a goldmine: AdSense accounts for 25% of Google’s revenues.

3. Google News: Google’s news service has snowballed since its creation in 2002. It’s been updated numerous times and is continuously spreading to more and more countries. Thanks 20% time.

4. Google Talk: Back in 2005 and well before Google Hangouts, the Web juggernaut already had an in-house instant messaging service called Google Talk, another free time invention.

5. Google Map Wheelchair App: Google Drive product manager Rio Akasaka used his 20% time to come up with a wheelchair map-app, adding wheelchair-accessibility info to Google Maps. Doing well by doing good.

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TOP 5 Elon’s reads

Gimme 5 - January 18, 2017

When asked where he learned to build rockets, Musk responds, “In books.” A bookworm of a child, he was thirsty for knowledge. Here are 5 books or authors that are/were seminal for Musk:

1. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. As a young teen, Elon Musk was looking for professional direction and a meaning to life. He found all that and more in this witty sci-fi read by British writer Douglas Adams. The characters are searching for the answer to the “Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything. “Hitchhiker’s Guide” taught me that the most difficult part is asking the right questions, explained Musk in September 2012 on Bloomberg.

2. Structures : Or Why Things Don’t Fall Down by J.E. Gordon. Musk devoured this book while he was launching SpaceX and needed the structural know-how to put a rocket together. He may also have learned of the role a Paris dressmaker played in aerospace history or what traditional Chinese junks have in common with bat wings.

3. Superintelligence : Paths, Dangers, Strategies’ by Nick Bostrom. A foundational text for Musk’s avant-garde philosophy on artificial intelligence. It’s a bold serious inquiry into what might happen if AI usurped human decision-making.

 

4. The Fundation by Isaac Asimov. Nothing plants cool futuristic ideas like science-fiction. Like any space nut, Elon Musk devoured Isaac Asimov (inspirational to Georges Lucas for Star Wars), who famously broached the subjects of galactic colonization and the future of humanity. For Musk, Mars is just the beginning.

5. Zero To One by Peter Thiel. Elon Musk doesn’t conceive an invention without considering its impact on mankind. To ensure an invention’s success and its widest-possible distribution, he puts business acumen first. And this book forged his vision of what a start-up should be and what a young CEO should do.

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