Holocaust through the prism of modernity

The story of 13-year-old Hungarian Jew Eva Heyman recreated in Instagram

Reading time 5 minutes

The story of the Jewish girl Eva Heyman, who died in the Auschwitz camp in 1944, was brought to live in Instagram. The creators of the project showed what would be the life of Eva if she posted on her social media everything she had been going through.  

«The Nazis conquered us»

The eva.stories project recreates the events which Eva wrote about in her diary. It consists of 70 short videos that reflect the life of a Jewish family during the war years. Everything is depicted in insta-stories format, in the profile, the authors of the project posted only a poster and a trailer. The role of Eva Heyman is played by British actress Mia Quiney.

View this post on Instagram

Eva.Stories Official Trailer

A post shared by Eva (@eva.stories) on

War first comes to Eva’s family when her cousin gets deported to Poland. After some time, the accomplices of the Nazis come to the pharmacy of the Eva’s grandfather and confiscate it in favor of the government. The decisive moment for Eva Heyman’s fate is the day when she sees the incoming Nazi army. From now on, she promises subscribers to broadcast everything that happens. The girl shows the details of life with a yellow star on her chest. In the ghetto.

Ева Хейман, жертва Холокоста
Eva Heyman is a Holocaust victim whose story served as a reminder of the tragedy

The project was sponsored by the Israeli businessman Mati Kochavi and his daughter Maya. It was launched on May 2nd, Holocaust Memorial Day. Before filming the story of Heyman, Mati and Maya Kochavi looked through about 30 diaries written by the victims of those events. But Eva’s diary stood out for its modernity and simpleness.

Злосчастная желтая звезда, которую евреи впоследствии были обязаны нашивать на наиболее заметные места своей одежды, стала самым зримым символом нацистского антисемитизма.
The Yellow star – a symbol of Nazi antisemitism, all Jews were obliged to sew it on prominent places of clothing

Before launching the eva.stories the authors widely announced the project both on street billboards and in social media. The initiative was supported by Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel. The account was also noted by different celebrities in their profiles, including the actress Gal Gadot («Wonder Woman») and the stand-up comedian Sarah Silverman. As a result, the account had around 200.000 followers before it was even launched. Now Eva’s profile has about 1.7 million subscribers.

Билборд с рекламой Instagram-аккаунта Eva.stories
The billboard advertising the Eva.stories Instagram account

The initiator and producer of the project Mati Kochavi believes that the world is beginning to forget about the terrible events of the Holocaust. That is why he created the project and invested about $5 million in it. Neither the government nor any organizations financed the creation of Eva’s profile.

Although, there are some critics on the way. Disputes in the comments under the publications in Eva’s profile do not cease. Users think that the profile is not serious enough. Critics of the project reckon that it is inappropriate to use Emoji, stickers and hashtags when it comes to the Holocaust. Many also criticize the implausibility of Eva’s modern story. For instance, how did the girl manage to charge the phone if there was no electricity in the ghetto?

According to Maya Kochavi, their team was expecting this kind of reaction as well. However, Kochavi family is convinced that they chose the best way to address the situation: the problem of antisemitism does not lose its relevance. Instagram platform was chosen for a reason: it was important to bring the issue to the younger generation.

Do you want to drop everything? This is not laziness, this is procrastination!

Why do we put things off until later, and how can we overcome our reluctance to work?

Reading time 5 minutes

Why do students often postpone difficult cases? Study Mode conducted a survey of 1,300 students, and found out: 87% of respondents always delay in completing a task, leaving it for later. Psychologists call this phenomenon procrastination. Sometimes this phenomenon is called a manifestation of weakness and laziness, but in fact, procrastination has deeper roots.

Why do we procrastinate?

Procrastinator brain

Brain is to blame for the fact that man procrastinates. This conclusion was made by researchers from the Ruhr University. They used 264 volunteers, examined them with an MRI. Then the participants filled out a questionnaire in which they appreciated how they can control their emotions. Research has shown that some people have a much larger amygdala than others. This gland is responsible for controlling emotions. It means that it is difficult for a person to cope with his feelings.

In addition, this part of the brain of procrastinators has a weak connection with the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, which chooses what we should do. Normally, the interaction of the tonsil and the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex helps us to complete our tasks and enjoy the process at the same time. Each action of procrastinators is the result of a struggle between these two parts of the brain.

Vicious circle procrastinator

One of the most unpleasant features of procrastination is a constant feeling of guilt and dissatisfaction with yourself. Deferred cases are done in a hurry – these actions affect the result and our well-being. There is a reluctance to take on new things. It turns out a vicious circle, and getting out of it is not so easy. 

 

How to overcome procrastination?

At first glance, it is impossible to overcome procrastination, because for this it is necessary to correct those parts of the brain that are responsible for it. You can’t change the brain, but you can cheat it.

  • Understand your task. We put things on a back burner, because the task seems to us simply incomprehensible. Students, for example, are afraid of a blank sheet. In fact, the task only seems so impracticable. It is enough to single out the purpose of the task, divide it into components and solve it in parts.
  • Work for periods. A common problem of procrastinators is the inability to think for a long time. As soon as we begin to perform tasks, we immediately get tired. It is necessary to set a timer and work, for example, 25 minutes. The main thing is not to make indulgences and not to finish the work earlier.
  • Minimize distractions. Put your phone in flight mode so that you will not be disturbed by calls and messages. Work in a place where no one will disturb you, and concentrate fully on the task.
  • Kindle your interest. Obviously, to perform tasks that are beyond your interests is difficult. But the brain can be deceived: it is enough to spend a few minutes writing a script in which this experience will definitely come in handy in the future. In addition, you can encourage yourself for work. When you solve a problem, watch a movie or go for a walk with friends.

 

«Authoress» or «author»?

The discussion about the tolerant dictionary left many questions open

Reading time 7 minutes

Journalists and editors of the Internet portal «Such Cases»  (charity Fund «Need help» ) thought about tolerant vocabulary, and the result of these reflections was the tolerant dictionary «We do not say so» . According to the authors, it contains the basic formulations that will help to avoid unwanted incidents.

The publication of the dictionary caused a strong reaction in the network. The user NaVi writes: «the word «epileptic»  – than it offensive and worryingly? So I’m asthmatic, my son is asthmatic, we don’t feel insulted, and an epileptic should?» . Marina Pavlova said: «Socially vulnerable groups «robber» , «crook»  and «corrupt»  – it’s hard. Where can I transfer money to socially vulnerable Sechin?» .

After such reviews, on April 17, the portal «Such Cases»  organized a discussion with the participation of different experts  in the coworking «table» – from philologists and psychologists to activists and transgenders, where participants tried to «understand how we understand and correctly call each other» .

journalist of the portal “Such things” Maria Bobylev (left). Photo: Such Cases/Anya Todich

Author of the dictionary Maria Bobyleva, journalist of the portal «Such Cases»  stressed again that the creation of the dictionary was dictated by the desire to introduce tolerant vocabulary. «Sex change surgery – what is it? How, at the time invented the «face of Caucasian nationality»  – it seems to be polite, but this [nationality] is not really» , – says Maria, but adds that the dictionary is not the ultimate truth, many words in it cause controversy even among experts, and it will be modified and supplemented.

Ksenia Razen, the expert of the Center for curative pedagogics “the Special childhood” . Photo: Such Cases/Anya Todich

Particular emphasis was placed on the section of the dictionary devoted to diseases and restrictions. According to the authors, it is not necessary to reduce a person to one characteristic – his disease, it is worth remembering that this is the only part of a person’s life: for example, not «down» , but «a person with down syndrome» . The authors of the dictionary support the expert of the Center for curative pedagogics «the Special childhood» , Ksenia Razen: «I think it’s important that… we are discussing many different specific words… this process reduces the anxiety [in society] and provides security» .

Zara Harutyunyan, psychologist, specialist in working with victims of violence ( in the center). Photo: Such Cases/Anya Todich

According to Zara Harutyunyan, a psychologist, a specialist in working with victims of violence, the people who created this dictionary «think about how to intelligently express themselves», and Ekaterina Messorosh, a transgender woman, a transactivist of the initiative group T-Action believes that «the responsibility of public people is to introduce these words into circulation» .

Catherine Messorosh, transgender woman, TRANS-activist of the initiative group of the T-Action (in the center). Photo: Such Cases/Anya Todich

And, by the way, about «psycologist» : gradually the discussion began to move away from the dictionary to the problem of feminicides and their use in the Russian language. It turned out that the audience is keenly interested in the use of such words as «authoress» , «headmistress» , etc., although «сommunist»  and «weightlifter»  sound quite comfortable.

Maxim Krongauz, a linguist, Professor, HSE, Russian state University for Humanities. Photo: м24.ru/Александр Avilov.

«In Russian, the infinitive is used only if for some reason I need to emphasize that it is a woman»,  – says Maxim Krongauz, linguist, Professor of HSE and RSUH.

Does it turn out that the use of feminicides is a manifestation of selfishness? What if this particular woman-director is important to be told about her «directress» , stressing that her creation is the work of a woman, not a man? And what about mentioning the names of foreign authors, when it is impossible to determine whether it is a woman or a man?

Anna Narinskaya, journalist, literature critic (right). Photo: Such Cases/Anya Todich

Journalist, literary critic and exhibitions curator Anna Narinsky, supports the use of feminities, but believes that they cause negative associations from Russian-speaking people. «This is a real crisis of self-identification… here is the «female journalist» , no.. I’m probably a journalist, because I’m good»  – says Anna.

Hasan Huseynov, philologist, Professor at the HSE. Photo: Such Cases/Anya Todich

At the end of the discussion, many questions remained open. The desire not to stand out, to be «like everyone else»  and to speak habitually has not disappeared, and society itself should decide whether to accept new expressions or stay with the same, and the dictionary will be improved and developed. But, as noted by the philologist, HSE Professor Hasan Huseynov: «We live in a world where it s not necessary to be with the majority» .

James Gunn returns to the director’s chair for «Guardians of the Galaxy 3»

The director gets rehired after being fired for his scandalous tweets

Reading time 4 minutes

According to the report from Deadline, the company decided to reemploy Gunn several months ago. Alan Horn, the Walt Disney Studios president, was meeting with James and Marvel representatives in order to discuss the project. Gunn publicly apologized for his controversial  statements in Twitter. Consequently, Horn let him to film the third part of «Guardians of the Galaxy».

Съемки фильма должны были начаться в начале 2019 года. Однако из-за увольнения Джеймса Ганна с поста режиссера проект заморозили
Shootings were to start in the beginning of 2019. However, when the director was fired, the project got frozen

It all started in July 2018. At that time James Gunn was accused of his offensive tweets that he had been publishing from 2008 to 2011. The director joked about AIDS, violence and pedophilia. Gunn wrote that he was laughing at sick people, because laugh is the greatest remedy. In addition, he said that he did not mind violence and cannibalism when someone is really hungry. Then, Disney announced that James’s views were contrary to the values of the studio. That is how tha company broke all ties with the director.

Подборка оскорбительных твитов Джеймса Ганна
Some of Gunn’s offensive tweets

But how did it occur that the last tweet of that kind he had written in 2011, and got caught only in 2018? It’s pretty simple: Gunn’s account was full of not only jokes, but also criticism. Through Twitter, he judged Ben Shapiro, an editor of a conservative political website Breitbart. It got noticed by The Daily Caller website, where its representatives did not like Gunn’s comments. They decided to dig deeper and read the director’s old tweets. There the dirt got revealed.

James Gunn accepted his suspension with understanding and admitted his mistakes. First of all, the director had deleted all tweets with offensive jokes. And then, he blocked his account, however, it got reactivated soon. Gunn confessed that he had been trying to maintain the image of provocator through his statements. He also declared that had changed since then.

«Guardians of the Galaxy» decided to support the director as well. Gunn’s fans signed the petition, which called for permission for the director to return to work on the film.

Открытое письмо
Signatures of the cast in the open letter in the director’s defence

It all ended where it had started: the director confirmed the news of his return in Twitter. He will film the third part of the blockbuster after the shooting of «Suicide Squad 2». It was impossible to find a replacement for him, despite all the attempts. The third part of «Guardians of the Galaxy» will be filmed by the same director who had shot the first two — James Gunn.

Джеймс Ганн с кастом «Стражей Галактики»
James Gunn with the cast of «Guardians of the Galaxy»

How we will remember Karl Lagerfeld

Best models and shows of the legendary couturier

Reading time 5 minutes

Karl Lagerfeld died on the age of 86 in Paris on February, 19. He suffered from pancreatic cancer, and in recent weeks he felt a near death.

Lagerfeld was the world famous couturier, director of the fashion house Chanel, and he wore the title of Charlemagne in the fashion industry. In 1963, he created clothes for four brands: Chloe, Krizia, Charles Jourdan, Fendi. And in 1983 he headed the fashion house of Chanel, which at that time was going through a difficult period. He reworked the heritage of the legendary fashion house, retaining the special charm of Coco Chanel.

Shows of the fashion Kaiser always ended with a bright output of models in a wedding image. Every year, the Lagerfeld muses in their wedding dress went out to the hand with the designer. One of such shows is the presentation of the collection Chanel autumn-winter 1995-1996. Then the Kaiser accompanied at once three supermodels of the century: Helen Christensen, Claudia Schiffer and Nadya Auermann.

Legendary couturier and supermodels of the 90s at the Chanel show
Legendary couturier and supermodels of the 90s at the Chanel show

In 2004, the black-skinned model Alek Vek came to the podium with Lagerfeld. She defiled at the fashion show of the Chanel spring-summer collection.

Karl Lagerfeld and model Alek Vek at the Chanel show

In 2014, the line of the same season presented Cara Delevingne. Together with the fashion designer and top model, the Kaiser godson, Hudson Kroenig, also came out. Lagerfeld considered the boy his talisman and frequently went out to the podium with him.

Karl Lagerfeld with his godson and model Carol Delevingne

A year later, an extraordinary wedding image was presented by another muse of the designer – Kendall Jenner. Fashion industry was just beginning to recognize the young model. Jenner presented the 2015 Chanel Fall Couture collection.

Karl Lagerfeld and the rising star Kendall Jenner

One of the youngest models of Karl Lagerfeld was Lilly-Rose Depp, daughter of Vanessa Paradis. In the 1990s, Paradis worked closely with Chanel, and in 2017 her daughter defiled at the fashion show. Although the height of the girl is much lower than the standard, it was her honor to close the show. She walked along the runway with the maestro in a soft pink dress with layered frill at the hem.

Karl Lagerfeld and Vanessa Paradis daughter- Lily-Rose Depp

The king of the fashion industry admired many models. Among them: Claudia Schiffer, Diana Kruger, Stella Tenannt, Karol Bouquet. But the most important muse of the designer was Choupett – a cat of Burmese breed. Couturier admitted that his favorite is the heiress of his property. “She is the center of the world,” – said Lagerfeld about his cat.

Karl Lagerfeld with his lovely cat Choupett

Russians who impressed the Eurovision

The most successful performances from Russian artists at the European song contest

Reading time 7 minutes

Sergey Lazarev will be representing Russia at the Eurovision at Tel Aviv for the second time. This Russian artist won the public vote, but based on the results of overall scoring he took the third place in 2016. The European audience was moved by his song «You Are The Only One» and the breathtaking performance with 3D projection. Now, everyone bode him the the success of another artist, Dima Bilan, who managed to win a Crystal microphone with the second attempt.

Which other artists from Russia achieved success and claimed the first place in the main European song contest?

Сергей Лазарев
Sergey Lazarev will be representing Russia at the Eurovision again
Alsou «Solo» (2000) — 2nd place
Алсу
Alsou became the first Russian representative to take a prize place

The first one to have an impact on Europe was sixteen year old Alsou, the youngest contestant in the history of this show, with the song «Solo». Originally, «Solo» was made for male vocals, but the artist was so imbued with the song, so she choose it. The authors, Andrew Lane and Brandon Barnes, corrected the song for the young singer, and she went to thrill Europe. Alsou won the second place, what became a real triumph for Russia.

Tatu «Don’t believe, don’t be afraid, don’t ask» (2003) — 3rd place
Тату
Tatu believed in their victory until the end, but took only the third place

The third place was accepted with disappointment. In 2003 the duo actively transferred from Russia to Europe and held a leading position in the charts of many countries of the continent. So the girls were one of the favorite contestants on the show. Julia Volkova and Lena Katina wore shirts with number one, because they were sure in their victory. However, Tatu took the third place, lagging behind the leaders only by 1 and 3 points. Many people assume that their Russian song «Don’t believe, don’t be afraid, don’t ask» was not understood by the European audience.

Serebro «Song #1» (2007) — 3rd place
Serebro
Serebro became a real  discovery of Eurovision

The group’s debut with their «Song #1» took place at “Eurovision-2007”. The unknown trio of Maxim Fadeev was the winner of the national contest. People did not pin their hopes on inexperienced girls, but they brilliantly performed at the final and took the honorable third place.

Polina Gagarina «Million voices» (2015) — 2nd place
Полина Гагарина
Polina Gagarina’s performance turned into a magic fairytale

Polina Gagarina was representing Russian at the Eurovision with the composition «Million voices» which was written by five authors from different countries. The song is about intolerance to the division of people, the importance of love and peace between them. The magnificent dress of the artist became a part of the projected starry sky. Her performance is considered one of the most memorable performances in the history of the Eurovision. During the show, Gagarina was a leader, but lost the victory to the Swedish representative in the final.

Dima Bilan «Never let you go» (2006), «Believe» (2008) — 2nd and 1st places
Дима Билан, Евгений Плющенко и Эдвин Мартон
Dima Bilan brought Russia the only one victory at Eurovision

Dima Bilan was able to impress the Eurovision twice. The first time, in 2006, the artist with the song «Never let you go» took the second place, giving up the victory to a Finnish hard rock band «Lordi». Ballerinas took part in the performance, and one of them appeared in rose petals from the piano in the middle of the song. In his performance, Bilan did his signature jump for the first time, which became the singer’s hallmark.

Dima Bilan managed to win a Crystal microphone with the second attempt. He also brought Eurovision to Russia for the first time in the history of the show. Together with the figure skater Evgeni Plushenko and the violinist Edvin Marton, the artist created a performance for his song «Believe». Putting his health in danger, Bilan performed barefoot on ice while the famous skater could hurt the singer in any time. But the performance was impeccable and very sensual, which touched both the jury and the audience.The outcome was the first and so far the only Russian victory at Eurovision.

DNA discoverer is exposed in racism again

Nobel laureate James Watson was deprived of all titles after the film

Reading time 4 minutes

The American laboratory of Cold Spring Harbor has recalled all the honorary titles of DNA discoverer of Nobel Prize winner James Watson. In early January, the non-profit organization PBS released a documentary film in which the researcher spoke about the intellectual inferiority of blacks. He stated that science lacks a theory that proves the genetic difference in the IQ index of whites and blacks.

Because of the lack of political correctness, the scientist was deprived of the title of honorary trustee, honored professor named after Oliver Grace and honored leader. Employees of the CSHL noted the reprehensibility of what was said to scientists and the inconsistency of these words with scientific data. They also stressed the incompatibility of the statements of the former chairman with the values ​​of the laboratory.

Джеймс Уотсон занимал должность директора и президента CSHL на протяжении 35 лет
James Watson served as director and president of the CSHL for 35 years

Recall that it was racist remarks that led to the removal of James Watson from a laboratory leadership position. In 2007, James Watson, in an interview with the Sunday Times, condemned social policy towards Africa, noting the intellectual inequality of blacks and whites.

With such statements, the biologist has repeatedly undermined his authority in the scientific community. Thus, in an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, the researcher spoke about the homosexual orientation. He said that it would be fair to give a choice to a pregnant woman: to give birth to a homosexual child or not. However, scientists have not yet found the gene responsible for sexual orientation, and it is impossible to determine. In another interview, Watson made it clear that he would not have recruited an obese person.

The scandals associated with the convictions of a scientist, largely spoiled his reputation in the scientific field. In 2014, the biologist declared that the scientific community does not want to recognize its existence. Therefore, Watson decided to put the Nobel Medal up for auction. The money went to charity. For the first time in history, an honorary award was sold during the life of a laureth. The medal was bought by businessman Alisher Usmanov, and in 2015, a lecture by James Watson was held at the Russian Academy of Sciences, at which he was returned the award.

Президент РАН Владимир Фортов возвращает медаль Джеймсу Уотсону, 2015 год
RAS President Vladimir Fortov returns the medal to James Watson on behalf of Alisher Usmanov

Loose lips sink ships

Why you should not chat about your aims but to formulate them correctly

Reading time 4 minutes

New year means new plans and new aims. People can’t wait to share them with others! For example, to tell that you are going to learn a second language, lose weight, learn to draw and so on. But after a while motivation to do it disappears somewhere and created to-do list gathering dust on the shelf. We will tell you why it happens and how to set targets.

Mental traps

Reward addiction = dopamine addiction

It may seem, what’s wrong with sharing your plans for the future? You have told, you have dreamed and… sit on your plans. It seems to be so anxious to implement the conceived as quickly as it’s possible, but soon your aspiration disappeared. That is happening because a person, who talks to someone about his or her plans, falls into a trap without noticing it. The brain does not see the difference between reality and imagination. In one of the researches published in APS, scientists have concluded that when a person wants to deliver on target, consciousness tries to help: it is looking for ways to achieve the goal, calculates all the tracks and chooses the best.

Dopamine – a stimulant of the brain

However, if people tell others about their plans, the brain takes desirable  for real. In psychology, this is called social reality, the effect of having consciousness trapped in a completed action, feeling that everything is already done.

«Smart» formula

Instead of rattling about your plans it is better to articulate the goal for yourself. A clear statement of purpose is the first step towards achieving it, so it is important to pay special attention to the correct formulation. To do this, there is a universal formula SMART, which will help to set the goal properly.

Decoding the SMART formula

SMART is an abbreviation, each letter of which indicates what the purpose should be. SMART stands for the following:

S – specific. The goal should be specific, for this you need to define clearly the outcome, what should happen after it is achieved;

M – measurable. The formulation should contain clear quantitative or qualitative indicators that the goal has been achieved;

A – achievable. When setting a goal, it is important to understand whether you have a chance to achieve it;

R – relevant. Moving to the goal will be easier if you understand for what you need it;

T – time based. The time frame is necessary to ensure that the goal set for a year will not be postponed to the next one.

Incorrectly Correctly
To lose weight By June, lose 7 kg (from 67 kg to 60 kg) to go to the sea

Set goals correctly and achieve them!

Goodbye, Stan Lee! In memory of your heroes

Eluded by Spider-Man’s fame characters

Reading time 9 minutes

Stan Lee, the legend created Marvel Comics, has passed away at the age of 95. The artist, writer, producer, actor, and neither more nor less than “a person who made comics cool” – that is how the millions will remember Stan Lee. People will love his worlds and heroes as much as they loved him. However, there are characters which were not as popular as Spider-Man and X-Men.

Stripperella

One of the most famous not-popular characters is Strippella – a stripper named Erotica Jones who is also a secret agent.

The DVD cover of Strippella

Besides the enhanced reflexes and senses, superhuman strength, and an astonishing intelligence, Erotica can boast “sexy” martial arts and the arsenal of high-technological devices of questionable usefulness.

In 2003, debuted the eponymous TV-series where the main character was played by Pamela Anderson who gave Strippella her appearance and voice. These superhero series created for adults were rather comic making fun of genre cliches and conditionalities.

Despite the overall success of the series, it was closed down after 13 episodes because of the dispute between Stan Lee and Pamela Anderson. Another reason for this cancellation was that the ex-stripper Janet Clover claimed that Stan Lee stole her idea of this character when she discussed it during a lap dance.

Lightspeed

The next superhero on our list is another secret agent Daniel Light, also known as Lightspeed.

The box-art of Lightspeed

Daniel Light is a government agent who has the ability of super-speed, but this superpower puts him under a risk of getting fatal metabolic damage. Lightspeed gained his powers after surviving a building collapse triggered by the half-man, half-snake terrorist, called Python.

The movie about Lightspeed was released in 2006, and, to put it mildly, it hardly got any responses. Neither the Stan Lee’s status nor Jason Connery  starring as Daniel Light helped the motion picture to stand out.

Mosaic

The next superhero appearing under the Stan Lee Presents banner is Mosaic, also known as Maggie Nelson, aspiring young actress, who gained chameleon-like powers after some supernatural circumstances.

Бокс-арт "Мозаики"
The box-art of Mosaic

Maggie was exposed to an electrical storm and a magic rune which her father, an Interpol agent, had planned to study. After getting under this ancient spell, she possessed the ability to change her appearance, to merge with the environment, and to speak the language of an ancient race Chameliel, the owners of the magic rune. Using her new powers, Maggie investigates series of murders with Chameliel’s involvement and the origin of ancient artifacts.

The eponymous cartoon film was released in January 2007. This time the audience’s reaction was way better than in case of Lightspeed movie.

The Condor

After less than four months, another animated film with an original superhero The Condor saw the light. This movie tells the story of Tony Valdez, a professional skateboarder by day and an avenger in mask by night.

Бокс-арт "Кондора"
The box-art of The Condor

During a dangerous zombie attack, caused by nano-technologies invented by Valdez family, Tony gets severely injured and loses both of his parents. However, his friend Sammi returns him the mobility with similar nano-technology. The action has its side effect which gives Tony superhuman abilities. After gaining his capability to walk, The Condor starts the investigation of his family’s murder, hoping to revenge the killer.

The Condor film was accepted better than  Lightspeed, but comparably worse the Mosaic one. Overall, the audience took the film relatively well.

Chakra The Invincible

One of the most interesting characters is Chakra – an Indian superhero created in collaboration with Graphic India studio.

The cover of the third issue of Chakra: The Invincible

Raju Rai, Chakra The Invincible, is an ordinary boy from Mumbai conducting a research on chakra energy with the scientist Dr. Singh. Together they develop a technological suit that weaponizes all the Chakras in the body. Raju can fly, emit the energy beams and has superpowers. Using his superhuman abilities, he protects Mumbai from different scourges and dangerous villains.

Chakra The Invincible is one of the most successful Stan Lee’s original projects. The story turned into three animation films which were released in English and Hindi, series of comics, video games and toys.

Karakuridouji Ultimo

You would not expect the Stan Lee’s authorship behind the next story referring to Karakuridouji Ultimo. This character was created by Stan Lee and Hiroyuki Takei, a Japanese manga artist, best known as the creator of Shaman King.

Обложка первого тома манги "Механический мальчик Ultimo"
The cover of the first issue of  Karakuridouji Ultimo

This manga is about two robots, Ultimo and Vice, created in feudal Japan by Dr. Dunstan to be “perfect good” and “perfect evil”. Ultimo possesses the ability to transform into animal-like shapes, such as lions and cranes, and to manipulate time and space.

The pilot of Karakuridouji Ultimo was published in 2008, and it was positively met by the audience intrigued by a new shift in Stan Lee’s works.

Heroman

Another product of collaboration with Japanese manga artists is Heroman created by Stan Lee and Tamon Ohta.

A frame from Heroman. To the left – Joey, to the right – Heroman

Heroman, to be more precise, is actually two characters in one. On one hand, it is orphaned American boy Joey, from another — a robot Heroman which Joey fixed himself. Together they resist the alien attack caused by Joey’s school teacher.

Originally, Heroman was a broken toy that Joey repaired, but could not make work. However, a strange bolt of lightning brought Heroman to life, turned it into a giant robot, and gave Joey a special gauntlet. With its help, Joey could control Heroman.

For the first time Heroman was released as a manga in 2009 and has been publishing until 2012. Then, in 2010, the Bones studio produced an anime adaptation consisted of  26 episodes

Egypt Station by Paul McCartney

Ex Beatle took the lead in the chart with his new album

Reading time 4 minutes

Egypt Station is the first release of the ex-member of the Beatles Paul McCartney in five years. To make this happen, the artist worked with Greg Kurstin, the music producer.

The rumors about a new album appeared at the end of June, when the performer uploaded a photo of himself with a mic and a piano on his Instagram. The longplay consists of sixteen songs, McCartney sings about space adventures and calls for peace.

The album became a leader of American chart Billboard. The last time McCartney led this chart with his album Tug of War 36 years ago.

Маккартни во время записи альбома. Фото: RollingStone
McCartney during the recording of his new album. Ph: RollingStone
A Five-Year Lull

After releasing an uplifting and optimistic album New in 2013, Paul McCartney took a music break. This was McCartney’s longest break throughout his whole music career. However, the musician did not disappear from the music world, in fact, he frequently reminded of himself via mass media. Paul McCartney recorded a song with Rihanna and Kanye West, became a nominee for Grammy award, and composed a soundtrack for a videogame.

Paul McCartney, Rihanna, and Kanye West. Ph: FRIDAY.az

In style, Egypt Station almost does not differ from ordinary music of the member of The Beatles. The emphasis on a piano, acoustic, and dynamic rhythm cause nostalgia for musician’s previous albums. This is the well-known Paul McCartney of 2000s.

During one of Paul McCartney’s performances. Ph: Diego Vara/Reuters
A Song Station

The new album contains sad and happy ballads, vivid rock-blockbusters, his songs appeal to people  because of modern sounding and this special McCartney’s frolic.

At the same time, Paul McCartney keeps speculate about eternal, global and ridiculously prosaic problems. What prevents people from living in peace? How to draw a beautiful girl’s attention? Where have all the things we loved as children gone? And why does your car’s wheel become flat every time you are in a hurry?

Обложка нового альбома. Фото: BBC.com
A cover of the new album. Ph: BBC.com

According to the artist, tracks in the album are organized in a special order, so listeners can feel this travelling from one song to another – like from station to station.

The name of the album triggers memories about McCartney’s  Spirits of Ancient Egypt hit of 1975, and the “Station” part can be construed as the last stop in musician’s career. However, considering the quality of his music, 78-years old sir Paul is not going to retire from performing yet.