Pixar continues to move onward

The new studio film received the first reviews

Reading time 4 minutes

On February 20, preliminary screenings of the new cartoon of the animated film studio Pixar “Onward” were held. The first reviews of the audience were positive. Most of those who watched agree that the picture has a standard for Pixar beautiful and elaborate animation, a touching story and an excellent soundtrack.

Главные герои "Вперед" (ноги тоже!)
The main characters are “Onward” (legs too!)

According to the annotation, the action of the cartoon will take place in a magical world, from which all magic had disappeared as a result of some terrible event. But fabulous creatures, such as trolls, centaurs or elves, remained and were forced to live an ordinary (human) life. The main characters are two elf brothers, Ian and Barley Lightfoot. They will receive the magic staff that their deceased father bequeathed them. This staff will launch a series of adventures. The brothers will try to get their father back and find out how magic left their world. Interestingly, both brothers were voiced by actors who gained popularity thanks to roles in Marvel studio films – Tom Holland (Spider-Man) and Chris Pratt (Star Lord).

Режиссер Дэн Скэнлон
Diector Dan Scanlon

The film was annotated in 2017 at the annual D23 Expo, which is dedicated to new Disney studio projects. It was immediately announced that the director and screenwriter of the picture would be Dan Scanlon. “Onward” is the second full-length cartoon in his career. Previously, he was also the director and script writer of the prequel to Monsters, Inc., Monsters University, which was released in 2013. Scanlon was also the creator of the 2006 short film, 2Mater and the Ghostlight”. This movie was dedicated to the tow truck Mater, a secondary character in the cartoon Cars of the same year. Following the success of these films, Pixar launched the animated series “Cars Toons: Mater’s Tall Tales2, which ran from 2008 to 2014 on the Disney Channel. Scanlon did not take part in the creation of the series.

Похожи?
Are they similar?

On February 17, the future of the film was in jeopardy: an artist and tattoo artist Danier from San Francisco sued the creators of the cartoon for copyright infringement. According to the plaintiff’s position, Pixar, without her permission, copied Danier’s unique vanicorn design featuring a unicorn. It turned out that in September 2018, Pixar representatives rented the van “as an artwork at a corporate music evening.” But at the presentation of promotional materials for the cartoon in May 2019, Danier saw a van that looked exactly like her. She later contacted “Onward” producer Corey Ray. Ray asked the victim to sign a non-disclosure agreement, but did not pay the compensation. Now the artist demands not only monetary compensation, but also an injunction against distribution of advertising, goods and the film itself. The film company has not yet commented on this situation.

Coronavirus is a new trend of the year

How the disease has incluenced on the fashion industry

Reading time 5 minutes

When you enter the subway, citizens with masks on their faces surround you. When you scroll through social networks, you notice numerous memes about the coronavirus and the end of the world. We follow the covenant of Joan Rowling: “Fear of a name only enhances the fear of one who wears it.” Masked people went outside, but they won’t save your lives.

Coronavirus is a serious disease, a cure from which will be found in the near future. We hope. In the meantime, it not only affects the body, but also influences on various areas of life. For example, coronavirus is ruthless to the fashion industry. Shanghai Fashion Week has been postponed due to concern of the organizers. It was supposed to start on March, 26th. New dates have not yet been announced, but it is already mid-February. We remind you that Fashion Week is a large-scale event and it takes time to prepare for one: you need to book locations, arrange with coordinators and look for venues for an after-party. A month before the start, a lot of people have already been involved and the  designers take care of their health.

Marine Serre show 19/20

The economic component is an equally important indicator for the organizers. According to Kommersant, a relatively small number of Chinese buyers were recognized at London Fashion Week. This fact worries brand founders a lot. Ralph Lauren, Burberry, Nike, Capri fashion house, which owns brands Michael Kors, Versace, Jimmy Choo and others, have closed many of their outlets in China, as well as they reduced the opening hours of the remaining ones. The ProFashion portal claims that Ralph Lauren sales will fall to $ 55-70 million because of the epidemic during the fourth quarter of 2020. While looking for a way to survive possible losses, two large conglomerates LVMH and Kering, as well as other fashion companies donated over $ 2.88 billion for the vaccine’s research.

Marine Serre Ready To Wear Fall Winter 18/19

Despite the financial torubles, coronavirus made another problem visible – the popularity of various things that hide faces. Robbers have never been so in vogue. Lots of magazines, for example, Fashion United, call medical masks a new trend of the season. A curious fact is that fashionistas or sincerely frightened individuals buy rolls of masks from Aliexpress, a web-site which supplies goods from China. The Blueprint mentions that the virus cannot exist outside of biological objects. So, you can safely purchase cheap goods from Chinese retailers. But it can be doubted that they will be delivered quickly, as the work process is intermittent. The workers might get sick because the factories are located near the outbreak.

Balaclava IknitHandmade 19/20

Many clothing brands, in obedience to protests, demonstrated masked models, balaclavas and respirators (Gucci, Rick Owens, Moncler and even Calvin Klein) on the catwalk in past seasons. They seemed to foresee that at the beginning of 2020, these accessories would become the most popular. Fashionistas buy specific medical accessories or knitted balaclavas, not only because of the fear of infection, but because of the atmosphere of general concern. While others are afraid of going out, they show their awareness, firstly, in terms of news, and secondly, in terms of fashion trends.

 

The strongest

How did the humanity fight dangerous viruses in different eras?

Reading time 6 minutes

When the coronovirus epidemic walks around the world, it’s time to recall what diseases people have already defeated. In the article we will tell you who, how and when saved the humanity from epidemics.

Plague

According to historians, up to 300 million people died from the plague. The disease was rolling in wave during the Middle Ages and the New Age. The most ferocious pandemics are the Justinian plague in the 6th-8th centuries and the “Black Death” in the 14th century. More often people got sick with bubonic plague – lymph nodes became inflamed and formed characteristic “buboes”. Pulmonary plague happened less frequently. A person began to cough and spit blood. In the first form, the probability of recovery was 25%, in the second – 0%. All the doctors could do was to protect themselves when approaching a sick patient.

Костюм, который вошёл в культуру Средневековой Европы: кожаные доспехи и маска. В «клюв» доктора закладывали травы, которые обладали антисептическими свойствами. При дыхании они нагревались и испаряли вещества, снижавшие риск заражения
This costume was popular in medieval European culture: leather armor and a mask. Doctors laid herbs in the beak that had antiseptic properties. When breathing, they heated up and vaporized substances that reduced the risk of infection.

We learned how to deal with “black death” in the 20th century. Epidemiologist Vladimir Khavkin created an inactivated vaccine against bubonic plague from temperature-killed plague sticks. The live vaccine was created and tested by the bacteriologist Magdalene Pokrovskaya. In 1947, Soviet scientists from the Red Army Research Institute of Epidemiology and Hygiene developed the antibiotic called streptomycin and began to use it in Manchuria, where an epidemic broke out at that time. All patients who received the new medicine recovered. Today, with proper treatment, 90-95% of patients survive.

Smallpox

Chinese annals mentioned smallpox in 12th century BC. In the 6th century AD, the disease entered Europe. Epidemics happened regularly and claimed up to 40% of patients. The ones who recovered often remained blind and had disfigured scars.

A person who had contracted smallpox usually did not get infected again. A Millennium BC the Chinese instilled a mild form of the disease, so, that a person would not become infected with a serious one. However, the course of the disease was still individual and the person who was vaccinated could die. There were few people who wanted to try their luck, and the disease spread further.

Екатерина II первой в России сделала прививку от оспы. Страна последовала её примеру и в XX веке для поступления в учебное заведение уже требовалась справка о прививке
Catherine II was the first who got smallpox vaccine in Russia. The country followed her example, and in the 20th century a certificate of vaccination was required for admission to an educational institution.

The safest way to protect oneself from smallpox was invented by the British physician Edward Jenner in the 18th century. He suggested that  vaccination from cow smallpox, which was easily tolerated by humans, could protect them from dangerous natural one. The doctor conducted an experiment on May, 14 in 1796. The vaccinated boy remained healthy. Jenner later discovered that a vaccine made using the blood of a previously vaccinated person is just as effective as one made from biomaterial that has been infected directly from a cow. Now, vaccination did not require waiting for rare outbreaks of vaccinia. The last case of smallpox was registered in 1977, and in 1980 the World Health Association announced the victory over the disease.

Poliomyelitis

The developed countries faced epidemics of poliomyelitis in the 20th century. The patients were mostly children under 5 years old. The virus affected the nervous system and the gray matter of the spinal cord. The person was broken by paralysis.

Poliomyelitis is not treatable, but it can be prevented. Salk’s inactivated vaccine was launched in the United States in 1955. At the same time, Virologist Albert Seibin invented a cheaper and more effective live vaccine. Soviet scientists Mikhail Chumakov, Marina Voroshilova and Anatoly Smorodintsev tested it on their children, grandchildren and relatives. The vaccine helped to stop the polio epidemic, which has been affecting the Baltic states since 1949.

Основатель и первый директор Института полиомиелита и вирусных энцефалитов АМН СССР действительный член АМН, профессор Михаил Чумаков за работой
Professor Mikhail Chumakov

In 1988, the World Health Assembly adopted a resolution on the eradication of poliomyelitis in the world. After this initiative, the number of cases decreased by 99%. Today, the virus persists in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria.

 

Valentino’s collection is not on the catwalk but in the cinema

The fashion Brand collaborated with Luca Guadagnino, a film director

Reading time 3 minutes

This month a short drama “The Staggering Girl” directed by Luca Guadagnino  (also “Call Me By Your Name”, “Suspria”) will be released. It was inspired by Valentino’s couture collections 2018-2019. Julianne Moore is a leading actor, but Valentino’s ensembles come to the forefront of Luca’s favorite cameraman, Sayombhu Mukdeeprom. The movie can be easily taken into screenshots and printed, for example, in Vogue.

After attending Valentino’s Couture Spring 2018 fashion show, Guadagnino got the idea of filming something equally amazing with his fellow countryman, Pierpaolo Piccioli. Piccioli, in his own words, dreamed of becoming a filmmaker when he was young, so, the idea of turning the “stream of consciousness” (as he describes the couture collection of spring 2018) into a movie, found the most lively response from the designer.

Guadagnino’s passionate romance with fashion has been known for a long time. For example, director’s favorite actress Tilda Swinton wore Raf Simons twice: for the movie “Io sono l’amore”, and for “A Bigger Splash”. Guadagnino’s hobby resulted in the creation of the Frenesy Film company, which specializes in collaborations with fashion brands. Its portfolio includes short films for Giorgio Armani, Sergio Rossi, Cartier and Salvatore Ferragamo. The latest documentary named “Walking Stories” came out last fall. It was based on designer’s autobiography.

At the same time, “The Staggering girl”, which is formally a short film (37 minutes), Guadagnino designates it as an artistic picture with a plot, and not just an elegant fashion film. The story unfolds around the New York city. The main actress, Francesca Moretti (Julianne Moore), is a writer, daughter of German-Italian artist Sofia Moretti. Francesca goes to Rome to persuade an aging and going blind mother to move in with her, but, once visiting the long-abandoned home, she is immersed in memories. Guadagnino and Piccioli encoded the state of mind of their heroine using the color and style of clothing that she wears.

 Top 3 most eloquent outfits from the movie

BLACK FULL SKIRT DRESS WITH A SLIT UP THE SIDES, COUTURE COLLECTION SPRING 2018

 Francesca, despite her Italian origin, is a true New Yorker: she lives in a Spartan setting and dresses appropriately. Her clothes are exclusively dark, whether it is an oversize black palazzo pants with a turtleneck and an oversize coat or a chic evening satin dress with shoulder-length gloves. Wearing this drees, she appears at her friend’s house party, where she sees a picture on the wall, reminding her of the mother.

LUSH RED OFF-THE-SHOULDER DRESS , COUTURE COLLECTION FALL 2018

Scarlet is the color which Francesca associates with her mother. Young Sophia Moretti is played by Mia Goth, another Guadagnino’s favorite actress. They worked together on “Suspiria”. When Francesca is immersed in childhood memories, she sees her mother as a lady of society. She likes to party or spending time in front of the easel. Her mother wears velvet and sequins or a lush scarlet off-the-shoulder dress – Valentino’s classic. It appears on the catwalk in different variations from year to year.

AZURE CAPE WITH SATIN APPLICATIONS, FALL 2018 COUTURE COLLECTION

A luxurious cape embroidered with satin applications and a gold edging is the brightest item, both in the movie wardrobe and in Valentino’s Couture collection fall 2018. According to Piccioli, Greek myths served as inspiration for the collection, especially, the one about Leda and the swan.

Salvatore Ferragamo will restore sculptures in Florence

The fashion house will donate more than 1 million euros

Reading time 3 minutes

Salvatore Ferragamo will contribute more than a million euros to the restoration of sculptures in Piazza della Signoria in Florence. Italian fashion house has already donated funds so that the masters can restore the Fountain of Neptune. Over the next three years, it is planned to restore both copies of the statue of David, one of them is located in the courtyard of the Palazzo Vecchio, and the second – in Piazzale Michelangelo. In addition, the equestrian monument of Cosimo I will be restored, as well as the statues Judith and the Head of Holofernes and Hercules and Cacus.

Fountain of Neptune
The Fountain of Neptune is a fountain in Florence, Italy, situated on the Piazza della Signoria
The Fountain of Neptune is a fountain in Florence, Italy, situated on the Piazza della Signoria

Bartolomeo Ammannati’s Neptune is made of Carrara marble and has the features of Cosimo I de Medici, it overlooks the representation of the two sea monsters Scylla and Charybdis (in Greek mythology, two immortal monsters that assaulted the hero Odysseus and his sailors in the wanderings described in Homer’s Odyssey) and is surrounded by satyrs and sea horses, the fountain was built for the marriage of François 1er de Medici who would in turn become Grand Duke of Tuscany and was the eldest son of Cosimo I.

The statue of David

Michelangelo’s David is one of the masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance. During that period, sculptors such as Donatello, Ghiberti and Verrocchio produced works inspired by the Bible where David was shown after having beheaded Goliath. However, Michelangelo chose to represent the moment before the combat. Young David is ready to strike the giant holding a stone in his right hand with a sling resting on his left shoulder.

There are three copies of Michelangelo’s David in the city. The original one can be found in the Accademia Gallery. The second copy is located in Piazza della Signoria just opposite to the Palazzo Vecchio. The third replica is in the middle of Piazzale Michelangelo.

Judith and Holofernes
A copy stands in Piazza della Signoria, in front of the Palazzo Vecchio
A copy stands in Piazza della Signoria, in front of the Palazzo Vecchio

Judith and Holofernes, completed around 1460 is a masterpiece by Donatello. Under the reign of King Nebuchadnezzar II, there lived in Samaria, present-day Israel, a beautiful widow named Judith. The king’s general, named Holofernes, besieged the city where Judith lived. The situation was critical. Judith dressed in her finest attire and took some liquor and delicacies. She went to see Holophernes. The latter, charmed by her beauty, invited her under his tent. Judith made him drink and, taking advantage of his drunkenness, cut his head. By doing that she terrified the soldiers and saved her city. This precise moment is represented there by the artist.

Hercules and Cacus
Statue of Hercules and Cacus in Piazza Della Signoria in Florence, Italy
Statue of Hercules and Cacus in Piazza Della Signoria in Florence, Italy

When the Medici family (late 14th and 15th centuries) returned from exile in 1530, they instructed Baccio Bandinelli to create the statue of Hercules defeating the giant Cacus. It illustrates the victory of the Medici House. Among the members of the royal family were several dukes, two French queens and four Catholic popes.

Salvador Dali exhibition through the Curator’s eyes

A win-win combination for the immortal glory

Reading time 4 minutes

On January, 28, the large exhibition “Salvador Dali. Magical art ” opened its doors to the public in Moscow Manege. Everyone, like Elvis Presley, knows him. Thanks to bewitching paintings, mustache sharp as rapiers and a laid-back walk with an anteater. Painter, graphic artist, fashion designer, sculptor, performer and animator, he staged the ballet “Mad Tristan” and painted the ChupaChups logo, without changing himself.

Monsa Ager, the director of the Dali Museum, helped us to understand better the blossoming complexity of the creator.

In search of immortality

I would call Dali a true universal creator: an artist, graphic artist, sculptor, someone who can translate reality into a completely different plane. But first of all, he is a painter. Interested in classicism, the Renaissance, science, mysticism, he was able to achieve a triumph in surrealism, but did not stop there. He worked with well-known fashion houses, painted the covers of magazines and created jewelry.

He was a humble man who understood that creating a shocking image was simply necessary for his art. All his life, a struggle of becoming as good as his brother, followed him. His name was also Salvador (he died nine months before the birth of the future artist). In his autobiography, Salvador Dali wrote that he had been searching for real faith all his life, but never found a suitable one. Science gave more answers, considering that the artist aspired to immortality. And working on his art, he earned the immortality.

Dali’s secret is kept in the ability to reflect the anxieties of people, their dreams and fears in a very realistic way. When you look at the work of Salvador, you always see elements that cause discomfort, it is impossible to look at them calmly. So, the artist provokes the viewer to play a game. He arouses curiosity. At first glance, it seems that everything is clear in the picture, but then we go deeper and deeper into this tricky game, noticing all the new elements, details and symbols. As a result, the artist leads us into this complex maze and leaves us alone with ourselves and our thoughts. And whether you get out of this labyrinth or not, it is up you.

Symbols

Clock is a favorite Dali’s symbol. The artist was fascinated by Einstein’s theory of general relativity. The shape of the clock in his work is fluid and unstable. It shows the master’s interest in the contrast between the soft and hard state of the object.

The Persistence of Memory, 1931
The Persistence of Memory, 1931

The perspective plays a very important role in all Dali’s works. It is an indicator of both time and the depth of a person’s subconscious.

Double images are constantly hidden on his canvases. Perhaps most often they appear as a self-portrait of the artist. This is probably a type of narcissism: Dali was constantly ill in childhood, so he was given a lot of attention – family, doctors, relatives – he still had a need for constant care until his death.

The Invisible Man, 1929-1933
The Invisible Man, 1929-1933

A face with an airplane is the image of a just dropped atomic bomb, which instantly explodes in the right corner, right next to a clock twisted into a tube and a human figure. It instantly affects the world, the passage of time and a human life. Other watches are leaning against the head. They flow down, hinting that the idea of the length of time after the appearance of the atomic bomb has changed.

Melancholy Atomic, 1945
Melancholy Atomic, 1945

Tears, a sad blue face and shadows demonstrate the artist’s attempt to find a place for his art in a new world.

Cracked elements such as vases, clocks, columns represent unbearable human pain.

Color and the turn of the head are homage to Diego Velazquez. Dali turned to his works quite often in the last period of the career.

Seated Figure Contemplating a 'Great Tapeworm Masturbator', 1981
Seated Figure Contemplating a ‘Great Tapeworm Masturbator’, 1981

Vertical figures in the background are cypress trees, which the hero of the picture (presumably Salvador Dali himself) reproduces from his childhood memories. He saw them through the window at school.

The male figure on the left – Dali himself, young, twenty-year-old. His whole life is yet to come. Light stripes symbolize good memories from life, dark ones – awareness of the inevitable end.

Portrait of Gala with Rhinocerotic Symptoms, 1954
Portrait of Gala with Rhinocerotic Symptoms, 1954

Recognizable features of Gala can also be considered as a certain symbol – inexhaustible love, passion, inspiration and sex. They appear in his works throughout his entire life – sometimes with a naked torso, then with a portrait, sometimes she is only taken apart into elements – but Gala is always recognizable.

 

The last couture show of Jean-Paul Gaultier

In the finale, the fashion world threw the maestro into the air and chanted “Gauthier! Gauthier!”

Reading time 3 minutes

On January 22, Jean Paul Gaultier, the one we call the terrible child of fashion, presented what is announced to be the last Haute Couture show of his eponymous house. Tears, laughter and surprised exclamations were heard every minute at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. Three thousand spectators could feel a concert atmosphere in the air. The one and only Jean-Paul Gaultier could provoke such emotions. He worked especially hard on his last show. On January 17, the designer claimed that he was saying goodbye to Haute Couture Week. He came up with about 200 images and decided to demonstrate them all on the catwalk.

Madonna Blonde Ambition Tour - Japan - April 20th, 1990
Madonna Blond Ambition Tour – Japan – April 20th, 1990

The guests enjoyed nostalgia throughout the show. There was the creative director of Louis Vuitton, Nicolas Gesquière, in the hall. He began his career with Gaultier as a junior assistant. Gesquière reminded Eva Herzigova, a Czech-Italian supermodel and actress, that he once dressed her before the show. Laetitia Casta, a French actress and model, who was also discovered by the maestro in 1994, came to the show in the same jacket she first appeared on the Jean-Paul Gaultier catwalk 26 years ago. The hall whispered that even anonymous Martin Margiela arrived at the Théâtre du Châtelet to say goodbye to the teacher. He assisted Gaultier in the early 1980s.

Dita Von Teese was wearing a dress made of bandage belts during the Jean-Paul Gautier show
Dita Von Teese was wearing a dress made of bandage belts during the Jean-Paul Gautier show

The performance began with a funeral scene from the 1966 movie “Who are You, Polly Maggoo?” Then people in black carried out a coffin with two cones. This was a reference to the legendary Gaultier cone bra in 1950th style, which Madonna glorified in 1990 as a part of her Blond Ambition World Tour. However, it was not a fateful lady in linen who came out, but the girl in a white dress, assembled from a dozen of other white doll dresses. Perhaps Gaultier wanted to say that couture was still alive, contrary to popular belief that this format was outdated. At least during the following hour no one doubted his idea.

Gigi Hadid joined the last Jean-Paul Gautier show
Gigi Hadid joined the last Jean-Paul Gautier show

Beloved muses of the designer convinced the public of the vitality of haute couture: Béatrice Dalle in the costume of a vampire smoked right on the stage, Dita Von Teese was wearing a dress made of bandage belts, Rossy de Palma looked like an eccentric widow. Coco Rocha repeated her legendary Irish dance. Irina Shayk commanded attention in a semi-sheer corset dress which featured the French designer’s iconic cone bra. Boy Georges sang his “Church Of The Poison Mind” while the crowd tossed Jean-Paul into the air for several minutes.

This parade will remain in the annals of fashion. The maestro assured that the last show did not sign the end neither of his career, nor of his brand. He said he already had lots of new projects, kept in secret.

A brief introduction to the “royal sport”

Horse racing, show jumping and dressage: what is the difference

Reading time 5 minutes

Equestrian sport is historically one of the most popular activities among kings and other noble persons. Today some of them choose it as a hobby, for others horse riding becomes a profession, for others – even a lifestyle.

Many people don’t take horse riding seriously, considering it as an entertainment and a pleasant way to spend time. They may have a ride once or twice. In fact, this is one of the most dangerous sports. Among those who have been involved in equestrian sports for a long time, few have never fallen from a horse or been injured.

Конный спорт: выбор смелых и решительных
Equestrian sport is the choice of the brave and decisive people

Horse racing at hippodromes is the most popular equestrian competition among spectators. It is considered not as a sport, but as a test. In real equestrian sports, the most common types are jumping and dressage. They are both Olympic sports.

Скачки — испытания лошадей на резвость, по итогам которых делается вывод о пригодности к дальнейшему разведению.
Horse racing is an agility test for horses. The results helps to make a conclusion about the suitability for further breeding

Show jumping is the most spectacular and dynamic one. At first glance, the most important thing here is the speed of the route. However, according to the rules, victory is won not by the fastest, but by the most accurate one: for every mistake, whether it is a tumble (obstacle destruction) or disobedience of a horse (refusal to jump over a barrier), the rider receives penalty points and can often be disqualified. The victory will go to the one who completed the route “cleanly.”

Людгер Бербаум — один из самых успешных конкуристов Германии
Ludger Beerbaum is an internationally successful German equestrian who competes in show jumping and has been ranked the No. 1 Show Jumper in the world by the FEI on multiple occasions. He is also a four-time Olympic Gold medalist

There is even a “director” in a show jumping. His role is played by a course-designer. This professional is adept at creating precisely calibrated routes for a specific category of riders. He is responsible for the design, height and location of obstacles, as well as (up to a centimeter!) for the distance between them. After the route is completely ready, even before the start of the competition, each athlete has the right to familiarize himself with it, walking between all the barriers on foot and having pre-estimated the trajectory of movement from one to the other.

In dressage, speed does not matter. The main thing is attention to detail. This is a kind of elegant and graceful “dance” which consists of many complex elements. To hone them a lot of rider’s patience is required, likewise painstaking work and dozens of rehearsals. The pace, rhythm, accuracy and quality of the figures are all judged. The athlete is free to combine the elements contained in the ride and arrange them in the desired sequence, creating his own unique show. He also chooses musical accompaniment for it. Preparation for a sporting event turns into a fascinating creative process. Each participant gets a chance to show creative abilities and discover all facets of talent in his partner – a horse.

Эдвард Гал и Тотилас: звёзды мировой выездки
Edward Gal and Totilas are world dressage stars

 

 

 

Blizzard wants more gold

Warcraft 3: Reforged became the biggest failure in the history of the studio

Reading time 4 minutes

On January 29, one of the most expected Blizzard Entertainment projects went on sale – an updated version of the cult real-time strategy (RTS) of Warcraft 3: Reign of Chaos (2002) and its continuation The Frozen Throne (2003). Immediately after the release of the video game, it received the lowest ratings from critics among all the projects created by Blizzard – 60 out of 100 according to the most popular review aggregator portal Metacritic. Typically, Blizzard games receive ratings above 85 on this site, moreover, each time they become an event in the gaming world and are recognized as the best or among the best ones of the year. For example, the original Warcraft 3: got 92 out of 100 among critics and the same 9.2 out of 10 among players. The remake turned out to be very upsetting: at the moment, the user rating of the product is 0.5 out of 10. This is the worst result among all the games that have ever been released. Gamers are unhappy and are massively demanding to return the money for the purchase. The game even got the nickname “Warcraft 3: Refund”.

Warcraft 3: Reforged is defeated by critics and players

The main reason for the audience’s dissatisfaction was unfulfilled promises: during the announcement of the game at the major game festival BlizzCon 2018, developers talked about completely redesigned in-game videos and graphics, a fundamentally new gameplay, an endless variety of user content, etc. At the output, the strategy turned out to be much worse than during the festival presentation. Almost everyone who bought the game reported a large number of bugs (errors in the game code, due to which it does not work correctly), inability to play normally in a co-op, and system requirements that are too harsh when graphics is outdated. Finally, original game fans noted that the new version has significantly less interactive elements. There are in-game tournaments and clans, which played an important role in the online component of the 2002 game. Moreover, it turned out that it was not Blizzard employees who developed the game: the creation was outsourced to an unknown Malaysian company Lemon Sky Studios. This fact convinced the gaming community that Blizzard took Reforged irresponsibly and did not care about its quality.

An example of a bug in the game

Almost a week after the release, Blizzard developers made the first announcement in their official forum regarding Reforged. They apologized to the players and promised to release several patches (files for the game that fix errors in the code) in the nearest future. In general, they will continue to improve the game. In any case, this scandal ruined the Blizzard reputation. It will be much more difficult for the company to advertise new projects in the future.

Ocean in motion

Cruises: an affordable travel format

Reading time 4 minutes

A sea cruise may seem old-fashioned and not too comfortable, you may associate it with sailors of the past. Indeed, this way of exploring different parts of the world has a long history. One of the most important events connected with it was a shipbuilding revolution. I happened in the 30s of the 19th century, when sailing ships were replaced by steamboats. It was then that the transatlantic voyages became widespread, although the price of such trips was high and accessible to few people. Today, cruises have become a separate type of travel industry, and the price range and the number of destinations have expanded significantly. But are there any other benefits of this travel format?

Cruises as a luxury of a bygone era

Diversity. You can visit three, four, or even five countries at once. Every morning you arrive at a new port and plunge into the color of an unknown place – you go by shuttle to the nearest major city and get acquainted with its sights. If you don’t want to spend time and money on excursions, you can just go for a walk yourself, go to a local restaurant or (in summer) stay near the coast and swim in the sea.

«Посмотри на мир. Он куда удивительнее cнов» — Рэй Брэдберри.
“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list,” – Susan Sontag

Profit. A cruise, for example, through the Mediterranean, allows you to visit Italy, France, and Spain in a week. At the same time, the need to pay for several hotels and meals disappear. You will save the most when choosing the most expensive destinations, such as the Norwegian Fjords or the islands of the Indian Ocean. Well, if you decide to explore countries such as Denmark, Finland and Estonia, you can completely forget about air tickets – cruise ships leave directly from St. Petersburg, this is one of the most inexpensive options.

Fun. Modern cruise ships offer plenty of entertainment right on board. During the trip, the guest has an opportunity to swim in the pool and sunbathe on the deck, play games with animators, attend a circus show in the evening, sing karaoke and enjoy the seascape.

Atmosphere. During the cruise, a gala dinner is held for guests at least once – is this not a reason to show off your spectacular look in front of the photographer? In addition, every evening you can see off the sunset overlooking the water surface – that is a real beauty. Who knows, maybe it is the seascape that brings you closer to harmony within yourself?

Create your own sunset collection