Porsche has launched a new website, 9:11 Magazine, hosted at a subdomain on its main website, 911-magazine.porsche.com.
Unlike most web magazines, it’s predominantly video-based, with each edition focusing on a theme that ties back into the Porsche brand. In addition, the material can be freely taken for journalistic purposes.
The website complements Porsche’s customer magazine, Christophorous.
The first edition, themed ‘Courage’, leads with a story starring the legendary two-time world champion rally driver Walter RÃ¶hrl. A lighter story on the most daring colours of the 911 through the years follows. Front-engined Porsches, such as the 924 and 928, feature in a third story, along with the 944 and 968 that evolved from the former. Finally, there’s a story on the Panamera 4E in the Scottish Highlands. Behind-the-scenes stories are also included, along with stills from the Panamera tour.
Five issues will be published per annum, in German and English. The theme of the second issue is ‘Pure’, dedicated to the 911.
Above: Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web.
Earlier this month, Sir Tim Berners-Lee wrote an open letter expressing his concerns about the evolution of his invention, the World Wide Web. (Interestingly, he writes the term all in lowercase.)
It wasnâ€™t just about â€˜fake newsâ€™, which is how the media have reported it. His first concern was, in fact, about our losing control over our personal data, and determining when and with whom we share them. Itâ€™s something Iâ€™ve touched on regularly since 2011, when Google breached its own stated policies over user-preference collection for advertising purposes, something that Facebook appears to be following suit with mid-decade. This was long before Edward Snowden blew the lid on his governmentâ€™s monitoring, something thatâ€™s happening to citizens of other occidental nations, too.
Sir Tim writes, â€˜Through collaboration withâ€”or coercion ofâ€”companies, governments are also increasingly watching our every move online, and passing extreme laws that trample on our rights to privacy. In repressive regimes, itâ€™s easy to see the harm that can be causedâ€”bloggers can be arrested or killed, and political opponents can be monitored. But even in countries where we believe governments have citizensâ€™ best interests at heart, watching everyone, all the time is simply going too far. It creates a chilling effect on free speech and stops the web from being used as a space to explore important topics, like sensitive health issues, sexuality or religion.â€™
But the one that struck me as very pertinent to publishing is Sir Timâ€™s second point. Itâ€™s the one that most news outlets seized on, linking it back to â€˜fake newsâ€™, a term now corrupted by the executive branch of the US Government when attacking coverage that it doesnâ€™t like. However, Sir Timâ€™s points were far broader than that. And itâ€™s evident how his first point links to his second.
Itâ€™s not hard to see that there is biased coverage on both the right and right wings of US politics (interestingly, they call it left and right), although Sir Tim points to how â€˜a handful of social media sites or search enginesâ€™ show us the things that appeal to our own biases through their algorithms. â€˜Fake newsâ€™ then spreads through these algorithms because they play to our prejudices. He writes, â€˜those with bad intentions can game the system to spread misinformation for financial or political gain.â€™ These sites are able to determine what we see based on the data weâ€™ve given them, willingly or unwillingly.
Itâ€™s so far from the ideals of the World Wide Web that itâ€™s sad that the medium, which was once so expansive and inspirational as we surfed from one site to the next to read and absorb information, has come to this: a tool for becoming more insular, the first path to the idiocracy.
Google, as I wrote last year, biases itself toward larger sites, no longer rewarding the media outlet that breaks a news item. The incentive to be that maverick medium is, therefore, lessened greatly online, because the web isnâ€™t being ranked on merit by the largest player in the search-engine business. Itâ€™s why Duck Duck Go, which doesnâ€™t collect user data, gives search results that are generally fairer. We think itâ€™s important to learn alternative viewpoints, especially in politics, otherwise the division that we already see in some countries will only deepenâ€”and at worst this can lead to war. In peacetime countries, a compatriot with opposing political thoughts is not our enemy.
Facebookâ€™s continued data collection of user preferences is also dangerous. Even after users opt out, Facebookâ€™s ad preferencesâ€™ page demonstrates that it will keep collecting. Whether or not Facebook then uses these preferences is unknownâ€”certainly Facebook itself clams upâ€”but since the site reports journalists who alert them to kiddie porn, kicks off drag queens after saying they wouldnâ€™t, and forces people to download software in the guise of malware detection, who knows if any of Facebookâ€™s positions are real or merely â€˜fake newsâ€™? Knowing the misdeeds of sites like Facebookâ€”and Google which itself has been found guilty of hackingâ€”do they actually deserve our ongoing support?
Of course I have an interest in getting people to look beyond the same-again players, because I run one media outlet that isnâ€™t among them. But we have an interest to seek information from the independents, and to support a fair and neutral internet. We may learn an angle we hadnâ€™t explored before, or we may find news and features others arenâ€™t covering. Better yet, we may learn alternative viewpoints that break us out of our prejudices. Surely we canâ€™t be that scared of learning about alternatives (maybe one that is better than what we believe), or having a reasoned debate based on fact rather than emotion or hatred? And if you are sharing on social media, do you want to be one of the sheep who uses the same click-bait as everyone else, or show that youâ€™re someone whoâ€™s capable of independent thought?
It shouldnâ€™t be that difficult to distinguish fake-news sites from legitimate media (even though the line gets blurred) by looking at how well something is subedited and how many spelling mistakes there are. Perhaps the headlines are less emotive. There is a tier of independent media that deserves your support, whether it is this site or many competing ones that weâ€™ve linked ourselves. Going beyond the same-again sources can only benefit us all.â€”Jack Yan, Publisher
Stars in their eyes
Above: Chanel continues its long-running ComÃ¨te collection.
Coco Chanel is known for embracing astrology. Her inspiration is reflected in many of her jewellery creations and designs years later. The star motif is highlighted within the ComÃ¨te collection and while the lion, representative of the brand, is reminiscent of the city of Venezia and symbolic of her astrological sign. The designerâ€™s influential vision comes to life within many of the intricately detailed pieces.
To this day, astrology serves as a tool that could provide one with knowledge and even supposed explanatory perceptions. Fashion-focused entities and individuals have contemplated to what extent oneâ€™s rising sign or ascendant, representing the door to oneâ€™s identity, is correlated to oneâ€™s wardrobe and personal style. Some inquisitive individuals ponder about personalities, style and even probable futuristic outcomes in the financial field. The AstroTwins, Tali and Ophira Edut, who have been featured in a number of outlets, have given advice to a slew of celebrities. While they focus mainly on various predictions according to the stars, some have used astrology to tap in to the financial market. The Merriman Market Analyst is one of the many prominent sites that discuss and explain transformations and changes in planets that could serve in financial as well as everyday astrology. Other than the website, they have published books for international audiences, divulging and examining the planets and geocosmic aspects. According to the websiteâ€™s disclaimer, ‘The hope is â€¦ it will help the reader understand the psychological dynamics that underlie (or coincide with) the news events â€¦’ For decades, the founder continues to ponder on certain circumstances, whether on a weekly or yearly basis, leading a team of apprentices that follow in his footsteps.â€”Lola Cristall, Paris Editor
As Topshop opens its doors in Wellington today, its second store in New Zealand, and in the wake of an announcement of a new flagship store in Dublin, Sir Philip Green, who chairs its parent Arcadia Group, has been under assault by British politicians.
The most recent controversy surrounds Sir Philipâ€™s knighthood, which was awarded to him for services to retail. However, a damning report published in July 2016 concluded that British Home Stores, which had been bought by Sir Philip in 2000 for Â£200 million and was formerly part of Arcadia, had been plundered, leaving BHS on life support. The mood in the Commons in October was that Sir Philip should be stripped of his knighthood, passing the amendment, â€˜[This House] noting that Philip Green received his knighthood for his services for the retail industry, believes his actions raise the question of whether he should be allowed to continue to be a holder of the honour and calls on the honours forfeiture committee to recommend his knighthood be cancelled and annulled.â€™
None of Sir Philipâ€™s supporters were present at the debate, where MPs launched into attacks on the multi-millionaire whilst under parliamentary privilege.
Also ignored as attacks were launched against Sir Philip was that, for a considerable period between 2000 and 2015, BHS employed thousands and the British establishment fÃªted the businessman. There were talks of a business venture with Simon Cowell, involving Cheryl Cole; supermodel Kate Moss created a line sold through Topshop. Even in the US, Sir Philip enjoyed a glowing reputation, winning a National Retail Federationâ€™s Retailer of the Year Award. Between 2002 and 2009 BHS had paid Â£167 million of corporation tax, and capital expenditure had been Â£421 million while it was under Sir Philipâ€™s control, according to Taveta Investments, his holding company. However, The Guardian believes that Â£580 million in dividends, rents and interest had been extracted by the Green family.
While the motion does not mean Sir Philip will lose his knighthood, it will be difficult for the honoursâ€™ forfeiture committee, which considers the matter, to ignore.
Sir Philip sold BHS for Â£1 in 2015 to investors led by Dominic Chappellâ€”someone whom he now considers to be â€˜categoricallyâ€™ the wrong buyer; by April 2016 it had gone into administration, with the loss of 11,000 jobs and a Â£571 million pension scheme deficit. Sixteen years before the fund had been in a Â£5 million surplus.
By July, the work and pensionsâ€™ select committee and the business, innovation and skills (BIS) committee issued a report which placed the blame of BHSâ€™s collapse at Sir Philipâ€™s feet. They accused him and others of extracting hundreds of millions of pounds from BHS, enriching himself and his family, and that he showed little business acumen. The committees further labelled the â€˜systematic plunderâ€™ of BHS â€˜the unacceptable face of capitalismâ€™, a term once linked to the Lonrho conglomerate in the 1970s and its chief executive Tiny Rowland. The committees also concluded that Sir Philip failed to invest in the business and that he was ultimately responsible for the pension fundâ€™s deficit.
BHSâ€™s overseas franchises and its website were sold to Al Mana Group, under which they have thrived.
Earlier in October, it is believed that Prime Minister Theresa Mayâ€™s reference at the Conservative Party conference to business people who â€˜take out massive dividends while knowing that the company pension is about to go bustâ€™ was about Sir Philip.
The man who chaired the work and pensionsâ€™ committee, the Rt Hon Frank Field MP, launched into a further attack on Sir Philip on Channel 4 News on October 18, forcing Taveta to counter the statements. Field said that Sir Philip was now running Arcadia â€˜into the ground like BHS,â€™ and warned that Arcadia staff should be concerned for their pension fund.
The same week, Sir Philip pledged to find a solution to the pension deficit in an interview with ITV and was â€˜very sorryâ€™ for those affected by the collapse. He claimed that he was in discussions with the Pensionsâ€™ Regulator to find a solution, though the Regulator stated that it was yet to receive a â€˜comprehensive and credibleâ€™ proposal.
On ITV, Sir Philip defended the years during which a dividend was taken out, stating that BHS was profitable at the time, though the committees concluded that those profits were made by cost-cutting and squeezing suppliers. He believes that the support he and his company gave to BHS from 2005 was closer to Â£850 million.
Chappell, meanwhile, facing criticisms from Sir Philip, supported the stripping of Sir Philipâ€™s knighthood.
There is an ongoing investigation into the failure by the Insolvency Service while the Serious Fraud Office has begun looking into the matter.
We love ideas that challenge convention (otherwise this title wouldnâ€™t exist), and Chris Fonsecaâ€™s work does just that.
Heâ€™s a dancer, choreographer and dance instructor who happens to be profoundly deaf after suffering meningitis as a child. But that didnâ€™t stop Fonseca from developing a love of dance, and itâ€™s that love that the Smirnoff Ice Electric Flavors range taps into with its latest campaign.
This hasnâ€™t been created cynically for marketing Smirnoffâ€”Fonseca has been teaching in South London, where both deaf and hearing people go to learn how to dance. He has, however, taken the idea across the Atlantic thanks to Smirnoff, and you can see his New York class for yourself on social media (check out Fonsecaâ€™s Instagram at instagram.com/cfofficial for more). Among those at one New York class were Jeremy Strong, a choreographer for Jason DeRulo, and C. J. Salvador, a dancer for Justin Bieber, notes Vibe, which attended in May.
Fonsecaâ€™s absolutely right: thereâ€™s no reason a deaf person cannot be great at dancing, and he gets his students to count the beat through vibrations, especially the bass. He further incorporates the lyrics of the song into his dance. His aim is to break barriers, and to make sure that that deaf people can do whatever they wish. â€˜[Being deaf] does not stop me from making everyday achievements,â€™ he told the BBC.
â€˜I always say to those young people not feeling body-positive to keep going, like everyday barriers, challenges, keep going: you donâ€™t know how close you are to making a breakthrough. Keep believing anything is possible. Your time is coming soon.
â€˜My motto is: dreams donâ€™t work unless you work. Dreaming, believing, and achieving.â€™
A very telling image on his Instagram shows Fonseca leading his class and on the mirror are the words, â€˜How do you know if you donâ€™t try?â€™, a term that he has hashtagged as well. Smirnoff, meanwhile, has taken more polished shots for its Ice Electric campaign, promoting its non-carbonated, plastic-bottled lineâ€”their idea is that you can take your Smirnoff drinks on to the dance floor more readily than when it was bottled in glass.
His teaching has reached the media, including a cover story for the British Deaf News, which he hashtagged as his proudest moment.
Above: The team behind A Billion Lives, and Doc Edge organizers Dan Shannon and Alex Lee.
Those of us outside the vaping world have probably looked at e-cigarettes, wondering why on earth these could be better for your health. Or we may have thought they were a fad, since the only people I knew who vaped were tech hipsters, who enjoyed vaping as though it was a matter of course, and nothing to be curious aboutâ€”thereby keeping their habit a closed shop. But then, perhaps they were tired of repeating themselves, and had settled into being comfortable with their e-cigs. A Billion Lives is a documentary that takes a look into this world, but it does so much more. The title refers to the number of people who can be saved if they give up smoking, but there are powerful forces at play to ensure that people donâ€™t. And those forces have ensured that there is misinformation about vaping and the potential for the technology to save lives.
Filmmaker Aaron Biebert, who directed and narrated the film which had its world premiÃ¨re in Wellington as part of the Doc Edge Festival, journeyed to 13 countries on four continents to find similar patterns worldwide: here is a life-saving technology of e-cigarettes, but governments were banning them or fining citizens over their use, ignoring the science and deciding to be complicit with the tobacco industry in keeping people addicted to a harmful product. Instead, governments spend money spreading lies about e-cigarettes, calling them a gateway to cigarettes, or that one could get formaldehyde poisoning, claims that the film demonstrably refutes. E-cigarettes are not completely safe, and the film acknowledges that, but they have proven to be a successful tool to help those giving up smoking, especially where mainstream solutions have failed.
In his own country, the US, Biebert points out that governments collect far more revenue from cigarette taxation than from several industries combined, and have no real incentive to cut off the flow of dollars. E-cigarettes, which were invented by pharmacist Hon Lik in China, were conceived as a way to give up smoking, and have been successful for 30 million people around the world. A Billion Lives points out that nicotine is not what causes lung cancer, and that the US Surgeon-General has said as much. What are harmful are the tar and 4,000 chemicals in modern cigarettes. It equates nicotine with coffee in terms of addictiveness, and the figure of 95 per cent less harmful than a typical cigarette featured prominently in the film. Vaping essentially allows one to get the pleasure of nicotine without the harm of the tar and toxins.
Yet as a society, we have come to equate nicotine as being the evil, addictive substance, and thatâ€™s no accident.
This point is made halfway into the film, with a good part of the first section looking into the history of cigarettes (Flintstones sponsor announcements for Winston cigarettes elicited laughs from the audience), and David Goerlitz, the Winston male model from the 1980s, being a particularly effective interviewee, discussing how he went from a smoking advocate earning millions to having a crisis of conscience when his brother developed lung cancer and died. Goerlitz went to the other side, and became a high-profile spokesman who was able to talk in plain language just what governments, Big Tobacco, and Big Pharma (which sells patches and gum, and would like to continue doing so) were doing. Health professionals were being marketed to far more than the public, permitting Big Pharma to continue to sell its products, the film notes.
Biebert was able to get other interviewees at a very high level, including Dr Derek Yach, the former executive director of the World Health Organization, and Dr Delon Human, former president of the World Medical Association, among others, speaking plainly about how lives could be saved through vaping e-cigarettes, a tool which could get smokers to kick their habit.
Meanwhile, the pro-smoking side was represented through historical clipsâ€”you get the feeling that we had only touched the surface of what was out there, with corporations spending thousands of millions to fund biased studies and get on to our airwaves.
Beautifully shot and scored, this independently funded feature tells a story about our times and just why so many citizens today are wary of their governments and multinational corporations. Those who oppose global trade agreements, for instance, do not do so in isolationâ€”and while A Billion Lives takes no political side, it does tap into the Zeitgeist of our modern suspicion about what is on our airwaves and what are the motives behind it. Like Adam Curtis, whose documentaries seek to explain the complex in simple terms, Biebert has done the same, narrating and directing, although he appears on camera as well when narrative gaps need to be plugged. He is an honest, frank speaker, and gives the film a personal touch.
Young smokers who tried e-cigarettes were often people who already smoked and saw them as a way to give up their addiction, and most, Biebert pointed out in a post-screening Q&A, were not even using nicotine in their e-cigarettes.
Yet the state of California, where Biebert is based, spent $75 million telling us about the evils of e-cigarettes, said the director in his Q&A; while in the film, he points out that US federal funds were being illegally used for lobbying activities. The American Lung Association had deceived the public, too, notes Biebert, who told the audience, â€˜If you get powerful charities on side, you can do anything.â€™ The increasing restrictions on e-cigarettes in the US, the subject of federal lawsuits, was equated to â€˜Prohibition IIâ€™.
Dr Marewa Glover of End Smoking NZ, who introduced the film at its premiÃ¨re, said that young people were using e-cigarettes as a way round peer pressure, when people in their circle smoked.
However, Australia has already banned e-cigarettes, with one interviewee, Vince, who sold them, telling a story about being raided by authorities and now faces losing his home as he fought the government on principle. He believed firmly he was saving lives. There are massive fines for vaping in Brunei and Hong Kong. There were restrictions in New Zealand, too, noted Glover, although those who sought to misinform were technically in breach of the countryâ€™s health legislation.
Biebert says he is neither a smoker nor a vaper; but all good documentary-makers, he had a commitment to get the right information out there. He acknowledges that vapers have not given themselves the best image, either, and that A Billion Lives can only be one small part of getting the truth out.
â€˜We need to cut the head off the monster,â€™ said Biebert, â€˜and the monster is being funded by big business. We need more than the movie. People need to get the right information.â€™
He added, â€˜The truth ends up winning. Even condoms were illegal in the US at one time.â€™ A Billion Lives will begin making its way to other countries. The website is at abillionlives.com, while the movieâ€™s Instagram is at abillionlivesfilm.â€”Jack Yan, Publisher
Above: The author (centre) joins Aaron Biebert, director (left) and Jesse Hieb, producer, for a photo.
The 31st edition of Gala Italia certainly proved to be a lavish, elegant and classy event at the Pierre Hotel in New York City. The Italian Wine & Food Instituteâ€™s (IWFI) event combines delectable wines with good food amongst enjoyable company. Chef Ashfer Biju and pastry chef Michael Mignano served enticing dishes with appetizing, high-end ingredients, paired with a selection of nine different wines ranging from sparkling to deliciously sweet, each intended to revive the senses. The variety of wines were: 2006 Ferrari, Riserva Lunelli, Trento DOC; 2014 Planeta, Chardonnay, Sicilia IGT; 2013 Tenuta Santa Caterina, Silente delle Marne, Monferrato Bianco DOC; 2011 Marchesi Antinori, Villa Antinori Chianti Classico DOCG Riserva; 2008 Tenute Lunelli, Carapace, Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG; 2008 CondÃ¨, Sangiovese di Romagna DOC Riserva; 2007 Mezzacorona, NOS Teroldego Rotaliano DOC Riserva; 2012 Bertani, Villa Arvedi, Amarone della Valpolicella Valpantena DOCG; and 2011 Sorrentino, Fior di Ginestre, Passito IGT Pompeiano. They provided various tastes for different palates with immensely flavoured textures to accompany the five-course menu, including a cheese platter.
Ferrariâ€™s Riserva Lunelli, made using a traditional method called metedo classico evoked succulent flavours in one sip. A bouquet of savoury aromas erupted while sipping on delectable Tenute Lunelliâ€™s Carapace, appropriately accompanying a tasty citrus semolina olive oil cake.
Roma-based Eredi PisanÃ²â€™s menswear fashion collection featured a number of pieces as the company toured the Grand Ballroom to introduce guests to sophisticated ensembles. As the intimate crowd continued to indulge in a delectable meal in the midst of this exquisite ambiance, a select few, who had contributed to the victory of Italian wine in the US, were recognized for their work and honoured with an award by the IWFIâ€™s president, Lucio Caputo. Vittorio Assaf and Fabio Granato (the Serafina Restaurant Group), Sirio Maccioni (Le Cirque), Mary Ewing-Mulligan, MW (the president of the International Wine Center), Florence Fabricant (a New York Times food writer), John F. Mariani (a food and wine editor and author) and Adam Stru (founder and chairman of wine enthusiast companies), were recognized for their contributions to the wine industry.â€”Lola Cristall, Paris Editor