My Google Story – #MyGoogleZA

It’s hard to think of one specific moment when Google has made a big difference to my life, because honestly Google plays a part in my life almost every single day. When I’m planning a holiday I spend hours Googling tourist attractions, transport options, and hotel accommodations. I use it to give me up to date exchange rates, just by searching “convert Rands to Dollars/Pounds,etc” and Google Maps was my lifeline when I first moved to Johannesburg and had literally no idea where I was all the time. In all honesty, I would say that Google Maps is probably the most used app on my phone, even more than my social media apps! I hate getting lost (even though it happens all the time) so even if I’m in a taxi or driving with a friend, I usually have Google Maps open and the route planned out. My life would certainly be a lot harder if I didn’t have the option to use Google to prep for my shows during the week – as it is I spend hours finding new music online, and without it I would be lost and definitely wouldn’t be able to research the best music for my show.

I do have one specific story to share when Google (and their apps) literally saved my skin. When you think of Brazil, what’s the first thing that spring to mind? Probably football, or beautiful beaches, bikini clad women with perfect bodies… which is fair i suppose, but honestly, if you don’t speak Portuguese (or Spanish which seems to be their most known second language) then you probably won’t be able to find any of those things. I’ve traveled to places like China and Hong Kong, and in all seriousness, the language barrier in Brazil is way more of a hindrance. In cities like Sao Paulo, Fortaleza, Belo Horizonte, and Manaus you could go days without anyone being able to speak or understand even the minutest amount of English. Joe and I traveled Brazil during the World Cup for a month, and without Google Translate we wouldn’t have been able to tell the taxi drivers where we needed to go, or ask the pharmacist for headache tablets, or even order off of the menus in restaurants.

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Thanks to Google Translate, whenever I needed to ask something that hand gestures just couldn’t get across, I’d whip out my phone and just use Google Translate. The best part was that I would type the English in and translate it to Portuguese, but then I’d just switch it around, hand them the phone and they could type in Portuguese and translate it to English for me to understand. I even had a few locals asking me what app I was using because tourists would stop them all the time and try and speak to them, but they had no way of communicating. As a result of the app I felt like I could actually genuinely connect with more people because we were able to go beyond the “where *makes wild hand gestures* toilet?” questions you might ask when traveling in a country where English isn’t even the fourth language. I had some fully fledged conversations via that little app on my phone, and we always parted ways with smiles on our faces. I remember there was a day in Sao Paulo where my phone died, and we tried to get around without the help of the app, and it was significantly more testing. I had to resort to pointing at pictures in a booklet to try and ask the taxi driver to take us to Beco do Batman (yes, that’s actually its name… no it isn’t pronounced Batman like the superhero).

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Today I’ve collaborated with Google to bring you an EPIC hamper to the value of over R5000! But to be honest, you can’t actually buy most of these things, they’re exclusive Google swag. All you need to do is share your Google story on social media (Twitter/Insta/FB) and you could win :) Tell me about the time Google Maps helped you avoid the traffic and you made your crucial meeting just in time, maybe you found your wedding dress via Google Search, or maybe like me Google Translate helped you out of a sticky situation? Don’t forget to tag me in your story and use the hashtag: #MyGoogleZA – you need to do this in order for your entry to be counted.

What’s in the hamper:

  • Sony Xperia device
  • R250-00 Google Play Vouchers
  • Google Cardboard <<< this is amazing
  • Selfie Stick
  • Power banks
  • Google Headphones
  • iKnow Board Game

Just a quick FYI – I’ve recently downloaded Google Calendar too… and I’m hoping it’ll help with productivity and keeping all my events/appointments/meetings/travel in a row. So far it’s super easy to use and nice to look at too :P Thought it was worth mentioning in case you’re looking for something better than the native calendar app on iPhone/Android.

CONGRATS to Gary B Laight for winning the competition! His entry was received via Facebook, and he perfectly described how Google has become an essential part of his everyday life!

Terms & Conditions:

The competition is only open to people older than 18.

Only one entry per person, and entries may not be longer than 300 characters.

By entering this contest you agree to the competition rules: https://events.withgoogle.com/mygoogleza/terms-conditions/

By entering you agree that your stories may be published.

The full Ts&Cs can be found here: https://events.withgoogle.com/mygoogleza/terms-conditions/

Dear Fat People Part 2 – Nicole Arbour

Nicole Arbour found herself in a world of trouble when she released her “Dear Fat People” about 4 months ago. It was headline news around the world, she was invited onto talkshows in the USA, and probably received a record amount of hate directed at any one individual on the internet. In the greater scheme of things, i don’t realllllly understand why this makes people so angry? It’s her opinion, and she is hardly advocating anything horrific… she’s asking a genuine question: why are we “celebrating” fat-ness these days? If you actually listen to what she’s saying instead of getting emotional/angry immediately you might see that she isn’t saying that fat people aren’t beautiful or shouldn’t feel comfortable, just that we shouldn’t praise fat people for being fat… it’s a bad precedent to set in a world where obesity is soon going to become the leading killer. Regardless of whether you agree with her or not, it is still her opinion and she’s using her own platform to share it. I just think that the vile hate thrown her way is unnecessary.

She takes on the recent decision by Sports Illustrated to put a “plus size” model on their front cover, where the model is preaching body positivity and acceptance – YET the photo is photoshopped to within an inch of its life! Yes, she could approach this in a less inflammatory way, but she’s obviously an entertainer and to a certain extent probably wants you to get upset.

Take a deep breath and check it out:

Cabin Porn

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If, like me, you spend a large amount of time daydreaming about all of the wonderful places in the world you’d like to escape to for a holiday – then chances are that you also appreciate a good cabin as much as me. Besides wanting to desperately visit a cabin the middle of rural America for a holiday, i also imagine myself retiring in Colorado somewhere in a beautifully modern cabin on a small-holding where i can have an entire farm’s worth of animals…. at least 2 dogs, 2 cats, 2 foxes, and definitely a few sheep, goats, and chickens!

I digress! I came across a subreddit that will forever change the way i see cabins… reddit/r/cabinporn! A must for any cabin lover. I’ve collected some of my favourites from across the web, but definitely go and check out the linked page for even more cabin amazingness. It’s not updated as much as i’d like, this is quite a niche thing i would imagine, but it was nice to see some stuff i’d never come across before.

Owl Tree Cabin – Albion, California available to rent on AirBnB!

Stone Creek Camp – Big Foot, Montana

Yellowstone Club, Montana – a classic! I think this might have been the one that started my obsession.

Take a look at this breathtaking lake cabin’s interior:

Deer Cabin Reverie

A gallery of the interior:

Ralph Lauren’s Guest cabin, Colorado – no cabin gallery would be complete without making mention of this beauty. It’s like i’ve died and gone to cabin heaven.

Sun Valley Lodge, Vermont – this has got to be one of my favourites! Just look at it, i’m in love.

The beautifully designed interior:

Yellowstone Club, Montana – SAVED THE BEST FOR LAST!

Yes, another one in Yellowstone Club… seems like the place to be for cabin enthusiasts like myself! This one is more “lodge” than “cabin” though purely because of its size, but it’s cabin-y enough for me to add it in. This is by far my most favourite, i just wish it was closer to a vast body of water like the other one in Yellowstone Club – but let’s be real, i wouldn’t say no to a week here, or even early retirement :P

This interior will make you cry… also, i’m actually too poor to even be looking at these pictures. It is fun to dream though.

New Amazon Series Shows Us An Alternative Reality Where The Nazis Won

A brilliant new series is coming to a tv near us soon, hopefully (it’s been commissioned and released by Amazon, so i’m not sure how we could watch it here in South Africa). The entire series is based on a novel written by Philip K. Dick, and is set in a dystopian alternate history where the Nazis beat the Allied forces in World War 2.

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The pilot debuted back in January, but it was only after the pilot aired that it was picked up for a full season, so the release date is November of this year. The very basics of the story are that the United States has been partitioned into three parts: The Japanese puppet state of the Pacific States of America, which comprises the former United States west of the Rocky Mountains; a German puppet state that comprises the eastern half of the former United States; and a neutral zone that acts as a buffer between the two areas, called the Rocky Mountain States.

Meet The Girl With The Longest Legs In America

Ex-Varsity Volleyball player turned swimwear model officially has the longest legs in the USA! Her name is Lauren Williams and her legs measure an insane 124.5 cm/49 inches, and she also happens to be a cool 6ft4.

She said: ‘It’s interesting to me that this is a title I now hold. Pretty regularly I have people comment on how tall I am or how longs my legs are. I don’t recall a time when I realised I had such long legs, it was just always something about me. Most of my friends and family members are very excited about my title – they are always commenting on how lucky I am.’

As with most crazy-tall people, it’s all in the genes – her father, mother and twin sisters are all 6ft or taller. She also wears a size 10 shoe… which makes my feet feel like fairy feet at size 6.

A Story With A Happy Ending

Kayla Harrity, 24, and her boyfriend, 25-year-old Matthew Picca, were on a vacation with her family in Southport, North Carolina when he decided to surprise her with a proposal. “I turned around and he was getting down on one knee,” Kayla recalled. “As he opened the ring box, the ring fell out of the box and fell through the cracks on the deck and into the water. I didn’t even get to see it before it dropped.” Kayla says everyone was in total shock and speechless. “I covered my face and began to cry because I knew my boyfriend was devastated,” she said. “Matthew did not even get to say anything to me before the ring fell into the ocean.” Almost immediately, Kayla says, several people went down to the boat slip underneath the bar and jumped in the water and started looking for the ring.

Kayla’s brother-in-law, sister and Matthew all jumped into the water, fully clothed, to search for the ring. “At the bar, there were three men who were enjoying a beer who saw the whole thing,” she said. “They must have felt bad for us and did not want to see our engagement end like this. They jumped in the water and helped look for the ring.” Kayla says her sister thought Matthew had a special case on his phone and stuck it under the water to use as a flashlight. It didn’t have the case. Now his phone is ruined. “I began running to the neighbouring restaurants asking if anyone had goggles,” she said. “I knew if we had some we could find the ring.” She says people were handing the group flashlights and a local ran home to get some goggles for the crew. “After ten flashlights, and five pairs of goggles and over 1.5 hours of searching in the water…the ring was found!” Kayla said. A man named Kyle Blusher found the ring and yelled out.

“Everyone at the bar was cheering. All of a sudden, everyone was chanting ‘Propose again! Do it again!’,” Kayla recalled. “It was the best feeling in the world. My fiancé, soaking wet, smelling like salty, fishing water, proceeded to get down on one knee and put the beautiful ring on my finger!”

“The energy of everyone at the bar was incredible. It was a total shock that he even found the ring,” she continued. “We walked upstairs and bought the men who helped us a round of shots. They were amazing and we are so grateful to have their help that night.” After staying at the bar for about an hour, the couple took a romantic carriage ride around Southport. “When we got back, people were still coming up asking to see the ring,” Kayla said. “They said everyone in Southport was talking about it. It was definitely a night to remember!”

source: http://www.wect.com/story/29887223/photos-charlotte-area-couples-proposal-goes-awry

Find out which words are as old as you according to Oxford English Dictionary

It’s 2015 – the year in which the word ‘twerk’ was added to the Oxford English Dictionary. We should be very proud of ourselves. Although, judging by previous years, it might not even be the worst.

Oxford English Dictionary now has a “birthday word generator” which tells you what words originated (or were added to the dictionary) in your birth year. You can now find words with a first known usage for each year from 1900 to 2004.

Follow the link, and select the relevant decade and click on your birth year to discover a word which entered the English language that year.

For example, crowd-surfing was first used in 1989, around the time groups like Guns n Roses and Bon Jovi were popular (where crowd surfing was a regular occurrence). Then there’s Podcast in 2004 – which came only three years after the release of the first iPod… Bling was coined in 1999, we can definitely blame that one on Ali G i think.

Find the full interactive infographic here: OED Birthday Word Generator 

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Nat Geo Photo Contest Winners 2015

National Geographic received more than 17,000 entries, which were whittled down to 3 winners and 7 recognised on merit.

1)

The grand prize went to a photo titled “Whale Whisperers” – ‘This is an outstanding and unique place full of pelagic life so we need to accelerate the incorporation of this islands into Unesco as natural heritage site in order to increase the protection of the islands against the prevailing illegal fishing corporations and big-game fishing’

Photograph: Anuar Patjane

2)

This photo, titled Gravel Workmen, was taken by the second-place winner. “This gravel-crush working place remains full of dust and sand. Three gravel workmen are looking through the window glass at their working place. Chittagong, Bangladesh.”

Photograph: Faisal Azim

3)

Third place went to Camel Ardah. “Camel Ardah, as it called in Oman, is one of the traditional styles of camel racing between two camels controlled by expert men. The faster camel is the loser so they must be running at the same speed level in the same track. The main purpose of Ardah is to show the beauty and strength of the Arabian camels and the riders’ skills. Ardah is considered one of the most risky situations, since always the camels reactions are unpredictable and it may get wild and jump toward the audience.”

Photograph: Ahmed Al Toqi

MERIT AWARDS:

Nat Geo Merit Award Winners

Deadpool Trailer – NSFW

FINALLY – the full length Deadpool trailer is here. Ryan Reynolds has been doing some “in character” promotion on Twitter and saying some very Deadpool-y things.

Based upon Marvel Comics’ most unconventional anti-hero, DEADPOOL tells the origin story of former Special Forces operative turned mercenary Wade Wilson, who after being subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers, adopts the alter ego Deadpool. Armed with his new abilities and a dark, twisted sense of humor, Deadpool hunts down the man who nearly destroyed his life.

Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, T.J. Miller, Gina Carano, Brianna Hildebrand.

Ultimate Deezer Playlists

As long as i can remember, when music went digital, so did the piracy. Digital music pirating got its first big start with Napster, and this was almost purely because the music industry just couldn’t keep up with the changes, and were stuck in the past specifically with regards to distributing the music.

However, in 2015 we have the option of cheap alternatives to illegal download services… and for the first time in the history f the music industry online music streaming has actually become a viable option! In all honesty, the way streaming works these days it’s actually so much easier to just stream rather than try and find a reliable torrent (and run the risk of being caught).

The only streaming service that has taken an active interest in the South African market is: Deezer. They have acknowledged (along with the help of Vodacom) that we have different needs down here ;) Deezer worldwide has 16 million monthly active users! Deezer also has a whopping 35 million tracks in its library which are available in more than 182 countries. Those are some seriously impressive numbers.

Even if you’re still a little unsure of the app, just download it and give it a try, you have nothing to lose… and about 35million songs to gain!

I recently got together with a few other music-crazy people to try and come up with some “ultimate” playlists. So if you’re looking for some playlists to get you going, this is a good place to start! Check the sneak peaks of the playlists below, click on the title and it’ll open the full playlist in a new tab for you.

ROADTRIP:

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ONE HIT WONDERS:

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ULTIMATE HIP HOP:

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SA ARTISTS TO WATCH:

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