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Archive for the ‘Relaxing Music’ Category

How Lofi Hip-Hop Will Inspire New Music In 2021 – Forbes

Posted: December 28, 2020 at 1:52 pm


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PALM SPRINGS, CA - JANUARY 03: Will Smith attends Variety's Creative Impact Awards and 10 Directors ... [+] To Watch Brunch at the Parker Palm Springs on January 3, 2016 in Palm Springs, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images,)

Lofi hip-hop is here to stay. The instrumental blend of traditional hip-hop and jazz has notably made its mark on Spotify, where the Lofi Fruits playlist by indie record label Strange Fruits Music alone attracts almost four million followers seeking mellow beats to help them focus, study, relax and sleep.

The music genrerepresented by bands likeChilledCow, ChilledBeats, Chillhop Music and College Musichas also inspired a tight-knit community including the likes of Will Smith, who this past summer released his second quarantine mixLo-Fi Summertime Beats to Social Distance Toon YouTube.

As lofi hip-hops relaxing soundscapes continue to grow in popularity, they are debunking the unwritten rules of hip-hop and leading the music industry into unchartedterritory where new forms of musicare likely tocome about in 2021.

My focus wasnt necessarily on producing music myself and putting it out, says Ryan Celsius, an established YouTube and lofi artist who, as a music fan, began following emerging artists by creating hip-hop playlists on YouTube before lofi began taking form in 2017. It was really around this whole community, this idea that there is an entire ecosystem of music and artist interconnectivity that people werent aware of.

Celsius, who was recently hired by the indie record label and digital music distribution service Amuse to build the companys lofi division, says that many lofi artists likeSnw, Monty Datta, smartface, M!NT and Homieunculusare now creating their own playlists, labels and merch. They are also hosting live events and leveraging social media platforms to engage with the genres steadily growing fanbase.

The low barrier to entry and high accessibility and replay value of lofi hip-hop makes it a welcoming space for budding artists. Canadian singer and songwriterIsaiah Faber, known asPowfu, broke into lofi with his hit Death Bed (Coffee for Your Head) on TikTok where it totaled more than 4.1 billion plays during March and has been featured in more than 5.5 million videos this year.

Lofi hip-hop labels like Puebla Vista, Chill Children and Promoting Sounds are also expected to expand in the next year. Music producers are also exploring the space since discovering that, unlike traditional hip-hop music, lofi does not require collaborations with prominentand expensiverappers.

Our engagement inloficulture is a testament to the idea upon which Amuse was foundedto use music consumption data to find emerging independent artists, says Diego Farias, co-founder and CEO of Amuse. Over the past several years, our streaming data has shownlofihip-hop artists resonating with audiences, even at a very early stage in their careernowlofi is exploding in popularity and creating new models for the music industry."

As lofi hip-hop continues to debunk the unwritten rules of the music industry, Celsius explains that the age of the superstar will soon give way to new genres and ways of producing music. The industry is leaning towards a world in which music consumers are more concerned with the actual sound and accessibility of a beat rather than the method by which it was produced.

As new sonic standards takeover traditional music business rules, Celsius adds, new waves of artists and gatekeepers will come about. A more diverse creative space will actively flip the industry and provide new monetization opportunities and growth initiatives for most players. Major record labels will adapt successfully, he says, especially considering the opportunity to tap millions of loyal lofi listeners supplying streams.

ZOD1AC, an instrumental hip-hop artist based in Akron, OH who draws influences from a diverse mix of genres, including jazz, boom bap, ambient, shoegaze, downtempo and classical in addition to contemporary production styles, has found support in the lofi hip-hop community. His ties to other lofi artists grew stronger this year after lockdown abruptly put a pause on his prolific streak of new releases and live performances including opening forhip-hop record producer Blockhead.

The pandemic caused me to focus more on reconnecting with the beat community on a deeper level,ZOD1ACsaid. I have since forged a close bond with many more musicians (beatmakers, MCs and instrumentalists), and I look forward to continuing to build upon the success we've found so far, as well as helping my colleagues in the scene to navigate the ever-evolving online ecosystems that come with the territory of being an artist.

Celsius manages his own lofi channel, Ryan Celsius Sounds, with 507,000 subscribers on YouTube and 170,507 monthly listeners on Spotify. This year his streams jumped from 2.5k per day before lockdown to a daily average of 10k in July and 31k by November. This year he also worked with Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smiths Westbrook Inc. media venture this year to curate and mix thelofihip-hop playlist featuring more than 36 artists to accompany Wills summertime concept.

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How Lofi Hip-Hop Will Inspire New Music In 2021 - Forbes

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December 28th, 2020 at 1:52 pm

Posted in Relaxing Music

10 Ways to De-stress During the Holidays – American Salon

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This story originally appeared on solasalonstudios.com

For salon owners, the time between Thanksgiving and the new yearare often about everyone else: long days pampering your guests followed by gift wrapping and trying to squeeze in quality time withfamily.Winding down from a stressful season (and an even more stressful year)doesnt happen overnight, soIts important to give yourself a few days of rest and relaxation to gain back control of your life and find your much-needed zen. So take a few tips from the below list and allow the madness to settle. And, it wouldnt hurt to cultivate a few of these habits to take with you into the New Year...

1. Clear the books.Take a few days to slow down before the next rush hits.Its OK to say no to plans and prior commitments. Take a staycation and enjoy a few days taking care of numero uno.

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2. Catch some zzzs.Turn off that dreaded alarm and get a few extra hours of sleep at night. Maybe even treat yourself to a nap! When youre working 12-hour days and entertaining nonstop during the holidays, its nearly impossible to get a full nights sleep. So take a few lazy vacation days when you can and allow your body to recover.

3. Power down.Were willing to bet, if you haven't already, you'll bespendingmuch of the holidays showcasing all your beautiful work on social media and connecting with clients, friends, and family with nonstop texts, calls, Facetimesand Zooms. Shut down your devices for a couple of days, or even just a few hours,to reconnect to yourself. Too much screen time can take its toll! With the right systems in place, likeSolaGenius, you can keep booking appointments while youdisconnect.

4. Get outside.Take in a bit of nature with a brisk hike or spend a few minutes making snow angels. Fresh air and a few minutes with Mother Nature is a surefire way to lower your stress levels.

5. Utilize essential oils.Essential oils are a natural stress reliever and do wonders for calming your mind. Create an essential oil roller with jojoba oil and a few drops of lavender, lemongrass, tulsi and ylang ylang. Roll it onto your wrists and temples to totally shift your head and heart space. Inhale, exhale, and enjoy.

6. Take a coffee break.How many cups (ahem, carafes) of coffee do you consume during the week, let alone when the holiday rush hits? Its proven that warm beverages soothe the body, so try a relaxing cup of tea. Sipping some tea is a great way torelieve stress while boosting energy, immunityand digestion naturally. With a bit of honey, youll get an extra antioxidant boost to improve your immunity.

7. Soak it up.A hot bath is a perfect ritual to relax and unwind at the end of the day. Toss in a bath bomb and remember to breathe deeply while you soothe your tired muscles and detox your mind.

8. Get a massage.Plenty of research shows that massage therapy is an ideal stress relief tool. Book an appointment with your favorite Sola massage therapist or order one up at home with the Soothe app. Either way, you deserve to treat yourself before all the pampering you'll be doing for others this holiday season!

9. Create a calming environment.Your physical environment plays a major role in your overall mood. Take a break from bright lights with a few candles and by using dimmers in the evening. Add to the peaceful ambiance by turning on some relaxing music.

10. Practice gratitude.Its pretty simple: Being grateful can actually reduce stress. Create a gratitude list for everything you are thankful for and say "thank you"to those who make your life amazing. Refocusing your thoughts on what you have instead of what you dont have will cause a noticeable change in your overall mentality and mood.

Once youve allowed yourself to recoverand youve found that much-needed zen, youll be ready to set your intentions for asuccessful holiday season and new yearno matter what curveballs are thrownyour way.

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10 Ways to De-stress During the Holidays - American Salon

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December 28th, 2020 at 1:52 pm

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Best Games To Play If You Want To Immerse Yourself In Escapism From Your Depressing Reality – TheGamer

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With COVID-19 and election season, game recommendations for total escapism are sorely needed.

Its probably safe to say that 2020 has not been a good year for most of us. Between the never-ending isolation and political debates that have gone along with COVID-19 and the always-infuriating election process, stress has been unbelievably high for months. Though this dumpster-fire of a year is coming to a close, and the election is finally over, it is still likely that things wont get back to normal for quite a while yet.

Escaping into video games is not a new concept. Tons of us have been doing this for years on end, regardless of whats been going on in the world around us. Because lets be honestthe worlds inside our video games have always been more entertaining (and usually more aesthetically pleasing) than the real world. But with 2020 being dramatically terrible, finding the best games to play that are immersive enough to keep your mind in another world for hours on end seems invaluable right now.

Cyberpunk 2077

Given its current popularity, it seems almost silly to even mention this one. But then again, not mentioning Cyberpunk 2077 on a list of immersive games that are perfect for escapism would be doing the game a disservice. And yes, there are tons of bugs, especially on the console version of this game. That being said, the bugs will hopefully be gone in the near future. Tons of people have loved the feel of the game at least, with it being an open-world, action-adventure story set in Night City. The people in this place are obsessed with power, glamor, and body modification. As you play, the choices you make affect how the story goes, so it truly feels like youre living a different life.

Related:10 Best Cyberpunk Games, Ranked

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Speaking of living a different life, that is the primary focus of Animal Crossing: New Horizons. I was so skeptical when I picked up the game, as it looked like the equivalent of something a five-year-old would be into. But lo and behold, playing the game felt like taking a nice vacation, aside from the part where you spend most of the time in debt to a capitalist raccoon. But with relaxing music playing in the background, you get to build your own island however you want toand customizeyour house. Living on a beautiful island where everyone is (usually) happy and making it whatever way you desire is as good as it sounds.

Stardew Valley

Speaking of living a different life, Stardew Valley is one of the best games for pretending you live in an alternate reality. You inherit your grandfathers old farm plot, and now its up to you what you want to do with it. Not only can you customize your farm, but you can also learn to live off the land, join in your local community, find someone to start a family with, explore caves, customize your own house, and more. Bewareonce you get started with this game, you will not be able to stop, so make sure youre ready for a new addiction.

Octopath Traveler

Octopath Traveler is a retro, turn-based RPG. Eight different heroes are all on their own journeythough they travel togetherand you can choose which characters to focus on and which places you want to go. The world isnt as huge as Skyrim, but there are tons of different places to explore or visit, and many battles to fight, including secret bosses. Most importantly, the art and music of the game give it a relaxing, fully immersive feel, which is what so many of us need right now, in light of the world around us.

Skyrim

Skyrim absolutely needs a mention on this list. Though many have already played this game, the music and atmosphere are debatably superior to any other game if youre looking to escape reality. This open-world, fantasy RPG is built to immerse you in a world full of magic, dragons, other creatures, and of coursealmost endless quests for you to complete. You can decide what race and build you want and then set out to explore the world while returning to visit your husband or wife at home every so often. Luckily, even if youve played this game before, its one of the most replayable games out there. And if youre looking to give this beloved game a new twist, you could always try it with a little bit of Mary Jane.

Next:Reasons Why Ill Do A New Build This Time Rarely Happens With Skyrim Replays

One Cyberpunk 2077 Player Has An, Erm, Creative Solution For Photo Mode Lighting

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Best Games To Play If You Want To Immerse Yourself In Escapism From Your Depressing Reality - TheGamer

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December 28th, 2020 at 1:52 pm

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22 Things To Do in Real Life and Virtually This Week in Denver – 303 Magazine

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Denver has some marvelous events lined up this week. Kick it off by taking a deep breath at a Dig Deep Online Power Yoga Class and end it relaxing at We Begin Again: Yoga and Bullet Journaling. Wherever the week takes you, make sure to take a glance at this roundup of events happening in Denver.

Reminder, masks and social distancing are mandatory at any of these in-person events. Also due tocurrent restrictions, they can only be attended with members of your household.

Photo Courtesy of Urban Sanctuary Denver on Facebook

When: December 28, 9 10 a.m.

Where: Online

Cost: Varying prices register here

The Lowdown: Urban Sanctuary Denver helps you let go of that holiday stress with Dig Deep Online Power Yoga Class. You can stretch out on a mat and breath deeply to relieve your body of lingering tension.

Photo Courtesy of 9NEWS Parade of Lights on Facebook

When:December 28 31

Where:Starts at Denver Pavillions, 500 16th St. Mall, Denver

Cost:Free admission

The Lowdown:The annual9News Parade of Lights is back for the holiday season. This year the parade is a multi-day event with floats stationed all around downtown Denver starting at Denver Pavillions and ending at Denver Union Station. You can experience an amazing array of lights and stay socially distanced.

Photo Courtesy of Denvers Dangerous Theatre on Facebook

When:December 28 31

Where:Online

Cost:$10 $25 get tickets here

The Lowdown:Get a giggle on during Drunk Storytime: Drink-Along-Comedy show. You can choose from stories such as Dr. SeussOobleck, Cat & Sneetches,Gilligans Island Whats in the Box?andMission to Zolbott, A tale about the misfit crew of the Conundrum and a disco loving drag queen alien. The adults-only streaming features drinking cues with the narrator Caroline for a boozy night of laughs.

Photo Courtesy of Christmas in Color on official website

When: December 28 January 3

Where:Bandimere Speedway, 3051 S. Rooney Rd., Morrison

Cost:$30 per vehicle get ticketshere

The Lowdown: Step into the holidays during Christmas in Color Morrison. You can drive through 1.5 million glittering lights spun around Bandimere Speedway with the sound of holiday tunes in the background to set the mood for the perfect socially distant holiday activity.

Photo Courtesy of Denver Zoo on Facebook

When: December 29 January 1

Where: Online

Cost: Free admission

The Lowdown: Have a chance at snagging free tickets to the Denver Zoo during a Free Ticket Lottery. Denver Zoo is releasing 125 free ticket vouchers for select dates. You can win up to five tickets during the auction transactions.

Photo Courtesy of Eventbrite on Facebook

When: December 29, 6:30 7:30 p.m.

Where: Online

Cost: Bids start at $1 here

The Lowdown: Spectra Art Space hosts a Live Art Auction. You can purchase works from artist Kayla Lees during the virtual auction. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Spectra Art Space and its programs.

Photo Courtesy of Eventbrite on Facebook

When:December 30, 6 7 p.m.

Where:Online

Cost:Free $17.50 get tickets here

The Lowdown:Get your crafting skills warmed up for Laugh Your Craft Off. You can take part in a clay wall hanging making workshop with instruction from artist Melissa Piazza and comedic commentary from comedian Hannah Jones as you create during the virtual session.

Photo Courtesy of Denver Sushi House on Facebook

When:December 30, 6:30 7:30 p.m.

Where:Online

Cost:$80 get tickets here

The Lowdown:Denver Sushi House partners with Colorado Sake Co. for a Dim Sum Folding Date Night. You can learn how to create four different types of dim sum at home with a live stream guided by chef Taylor while imbibing on sake throughout the evening.

Bassnectar on 12/30/2019. Photo by Brandon Johnson.

When: December 30 31

Where: Online

Cost: Free

The Lowdown: Get your party on during a Decadence Colorado Festival live stream. You can dance all night in the safety of your own home while jamming to some poppin music.

When: December 30, 12 5 p.m.

Where:Prismajic, 2219 E. 21st Ave., Denver

Cost:$14 get ticketshere

The Lowdown:Dive into the fantastical world of Natura Obscura duringShiki Dreams. The 1,500 square-foot interactive exhibition allows you to explore the magical home of the yeti named Shiki with otherworldly experiences, sounds and more.

Photo Courtesy Childrens Future International on Facebook

When: December 30, 6 7:30 p.m.

Where: Online

Cost: Free register here

The Lowdown: Bear Creek Distillery teams up with Childrens Future International for a Virtual Fundraiser and Cocktail Making Class. You can learn how to create three different cocktails with the guidances of Bear Creek Distillery mixologists raise funds for Childrens Future International in the Zoom event.

Photo Courtesy of Kadampa Meditation Center Colorado on Facebook

When:December 31, 7:30 9 p.m.

Where:Online

Cost:Free $21 register here

The Lowdown: Kadampa Meditation Center Colorado keeps you centered going into the New Year with an Alternative New Years Eve Event & Fundraiser. You can hear a discussion about compassion and help support the center into 2021.

READ: 25+ New Years Eve Dinners To Ring in 2021

Photo Courtesy of Midnight Tyrannosaurus on Facebook

When: December 31 5 p.m. 3 a.m.

Where: Online

Cost: Free admission

The Lowdown: Get your body moving during the Midnight Tyrannosaurus and Friends NYE. You can rock out to beats from Algo, Mother Lotus, Strangr and more throughout the evening on Twitch.

Photo Courtesy of Wildermiss on Facebook

When: December 31, 4 9 p.m.

Where: Number Thirty Eight, 3560 Chestnut Pl., Denver

Cost: $50 $420 get tickets here

The Lowdown: Number Thirty Eight hosts a New Years Eve celebration with an outdoor performance from Wildermiss and Brianna Straut. You can party out the year while rockin to the socially distanced show.

Photo Courtesy of Itchy-O on Facebook

When: December 31, 10 p.m.

Where: Online

Cost: Varying prices check here

The Lowdown: Itchy-O teams up with Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas and Legion M to present the Sypherlot NYE Uncaged Interactive Experience. You can participate in an interactive musical experience with a virtual recreation of the Austin-based Lamar theater in a parking lot while maintaining social distancing safety measures.

Photo Courtesy of Factotum Brewhouse

When:January 1, 12 8 p.m.

Where:Factotum Brewhouse, 3845 Lipan St., Denver

Cost:Free registerhere

The Lowdown:Factotum Brewhouse hosts its Sixth Annual New Years Day Tamales and Brewskis. You can celebrate the start of 2021 with a take-home kit filled with eight tamales and a four-pack of Factotum brews. Make sure to order by December 28 at 11:59 p.m

Photo courtesy of Denver Union Station.

When: January 1 3, 5 p.m. 10 p.m.

Where:Union Station, 1701 Wynkoop Street, Denver

Cost:Free admission

The Lowdown: Denvers Union Station hosts its Merry & Bright Lights. The light show features works from local artists projected onto the exterior of Union Station. Artists such as Estee Fox, Maya Dite-Shepard and WAVEFORM.exp. will have their works projected onto the building. For more information check here.

Photo Courtesy of CORE New Art Space

When: January 1 17

Where: CORE New Art Space, 6851 W. Colfax Ave., Lakewood

Cost: Free admission

The Lowdown: CORE New Art Space hosts a CORE All Member Show. You can experience a myriad of art from realism to ceramics to fiber arts and more. Works that are featured within the show will be available for purchase as well as prints and small pieces.

Photo Courtesy of Eventbrite on Facebook

When: January 2, 3 5 p.m.

Where: Larimer Lounge, 2721 Larimer St., Denver

Cost: $10 $40 get tickets here

The Lowdown: Larimer Lounge hosts Arily Michele of Viewfinders. Michele is singer and songwriter with pop vibe similar to Lana Del Rey or Stevie Nicks. You can watch her perform and stay socially distanced within the lounge.

Photo Courtesy of Cleo Parker Robinson Dance

When: January 2

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22 Things To Do in Real Life and Virtually This Week in Denver - 303 Magazine

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December 28th, 2020 at 1:52 pm

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Science Says These Are The Most Relaxing Christmas Songs Ever – B&T

Posted: December 19, 2020 at 11:00 am


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A new study has revealed the perfect song to relax to this Christmas, it might even help your children get to sleep on Christmas Eve!

Boney Ms Marys Boy Child tops the list as the tune most likely to chill you out this Christmas something we could all do with after the year weve had.

While Band Aid 14s Do They Know Its Christmas follows closely behind, featuring the likes of Dizzee Rascal, One Direction and Ed Sheeran.

The research, conducted by Great Bean Bags, analysed over 2,000 songs using data sourced from Spotify playlists containing the words relax, relaxing, chill and chilling in the title to find the top 50 most common songs people choose to kick back and relax to.

From the top 50 songs, it then calculated the average beats per minute (BPM) and found the most common key and time signatures of the top 50 to create the perfect formula for the worlds most relaxing song. Using this formula, researchers then compared it to the same properties of 2020s top hits and all time Christmas classics.

The definitive list of the all time most relaxing songs can be found here.

Commenting on the research, creative director, Patrick Tonks at Great Bean Bags said:Relaxation is core to all of our bean bags, so after what has been probably the most stressful year for many of us, well all be looking forward to a well-needed break, and now we can make that even more relaxing with songs that are proven to chill us all out.

As luck would have it, theres also a Christmas hit that matches the formula meaning we dont even need to break from festivities to relax we can completely get lost in Christmas. The songs weve found to match the formula might even help to get your little ones to sleep on Christmas Eve before the big day!

If Christmas songs arent your preferred choice of music in December, the study also analysed the top hits of 2020, with Lewis Capaldis Someone You Loved coming out as the closest match to the formula, with Doja Cats Say So closely behind.

Commenting on how music can help us to relax, psychologist Cristina Barcelo said:Music is scientifically proven to have a special effect on the brain, the body and even the emotional aspects of the human being,

If youre feeling anxious, take at least five minutes of your day to sit down, take a couple of deep breaths and engage in relaxing music, its going to help you relax and increase the oxygen level of your body, which is also what creates the calming effect in the body, mind, and spirit.

The full research and analyses can be found here.

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Science Says These Are The Most Relaxing Christmas Songs Ever - B&T

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December 19th, 2020 at 11:00 am

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Meditative Activities 6 Relaxing Activities That Will Help You Unwind – Morocco World News

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Besides sitting still and focusing on breathing as a form of meditation, there are many activities that can be meditative and help you unwind and relax. Meditation is a practice that people have used for centuries to train attention and awareness as well as achieve mental stability.

However, many people consider meditation a difficult activity. Sitting in silence for a long period of time and focusing on breathing can be challenging, especially when your head is full of other thoughts that can distract your meditation process. Luckily, there are a number of other meditation forms that are not necessarily meditation and that can effectively achieve the same effects and results.

Most of us live a hectic lifestyle, with our day-to-day activities leaving no room for relaxation. Focusing solely on work or studies can be unhealthy and can lead to many consequences that can affect our mental health as well as our physical health.

Not balancing your lifes hectic activities can limit your personal time that you need to rejuvenate and take a break from energy-draining activities. This can lower your energy, motivation, and productivity, which can lead to low self-esteem, stress, and anxiety.

Fortunately, there many easy and enjoyable activities that have a meditative effect and that you can enjoy practicing easily without any challenges. These six pleasant, meditative activities can help you unwind and take a break from your busy day.

You do not have to be artistic or creative in order to paintit is a hobby for everyone. Painting is one of the fun meditative activities that will help you unwind and just be completely yourself.

Choosing the colors you like, the slow motions of the brush covering the blank canvas, and creating the vision you have in your mind are all techniques that can help train your attention, focus on your breathing, and just relax your mind and body.

Many people find it difficult to express themselves verbally because it can be hard to find the right words to use. Painting is a way to express yourself and your feelings without using words, a tool to release the stress and anxiety that might have flooded your mind.

Painting can have a significant impact on your mental health. Creating something beautiful that you worked on for some time and are proud of can give you the self-validation you need that will help boost your self-esteem and confidence.

Planting trees, caring for plants, and nurturing them, in the long run, can be one of the most relaxing, meditative activities that can help you unwind and also find purpose in small things. Gardening requires us to use all our senses and focus on the task at hand.

Touching the soil and plants, breathing in different scents of earth and air, the soft breeze across your face, and the calm and quiet environment can all help create a relaxing atmosphere for you to breathe easily and restore your energy.

Gardening also helps you take a break from your routine and the fast-paced world to practice mindfulness and appreciate the beauty of nature. Caring for other creatures and watching plants grow and flourish can be very gratifying and it can also help you feel accomplished and proud.

Gardening activities also have many health benefits such as burning calories and strengthening the heart. Studies have also shown that healthy bacteria live in soil and helps increase levels of serotonin and reduce anxiety.

This is an activity that might be very popular but also underestimated. Everyone knows walking is good and has positive health benefits, but not many actually take the time off their day to just take a walk.

Walking is one of the easy activities with meditative effects that you can do anytime and anywhere. Walking alone, in particular, can help you focus on your thoughts without many distractions and other influences, which can help you build clear opinions and make better decisions.

Amid the global COVID-19 pandemic, individuals across the entire world have spent months in quarantine inside their homes. As lockdowns in many countries ease up, it is important to get out of the house and go outside from time to time, while practicing all the necessary health measurements.

Being outside, surrounded by nature, the bright clear sky, the chirping birds and animals around, as well as people going on about their day, can give you a distraction from your daily routine. It will also give you the opportunity to focus on your senses: The breeze across your face, the sounds of nature, and even the touch of your foot to the ground. Walking can help you feel more in control of the current moment and slowly help you release any tension you have or stress.

Did you ever wonder how people who enjoy crocheting, knitting, and embroidery can sit for hours just working on their craft? Well, the answer is that needlework is one of the most relaxing and fun meditative activities that help you slow down and unwind.

If you find meditation to be challenging and difficult but still want to indulge in practices that train your attention and help you feel centered and focused, then needlework is a great activity for you.

Needlework might include sitting for a period of time, but while crocheting, knitting, or embroidering you will have something that will keep your hands and mind busy and focused while youre sitting. The repetitive motions of needlework can be very meditative and shift your focus from whatever is bothering you to the task you have in your hands and the pattern you are following and creating.

Needlework is also a productive hobby that not only allows you to enjoy some relaxing escapism but also gives you the opportunity to unleash your creativity and create unique crafts either for you or for others, and that can be very gratifying and boost your mood and self-esteem.

This might be surprising for some but not for others. Meditation is often associated with stillness, deep breathing, and quietness, and it is true that this helps you enter a state of mindfulness and improve your awareness. However, for many people, listening to music can also achieve a similar calm and focused state of mind.

Just like the renowned musician Jimi Hendrix, many people consider music as their religion, and that is because it brings them comfort, makes them happy, improves their mental health, and helps them express themselves through art.

People around the world enjoy music, no matter the genre or the language. Even animals are attracted to rhythmic sounds and pleasant melodies. Music is considered a tool of communication that has incredible effects on individuals.

The importance of music and has made it one of the most enjoyable meditative activities that anyone can do to unwind. Listening to music, focusing on the melody, the words, and the instruments played can create a meditative practice that will help you relax, reduce stress, provide comfort, and boost your mood.

For centuries, people have read books either for educational purposes or just as a delightful hobby that helps them enjoy an activity besides their day-to-day tasks. Reading is one of the meditative activities with many benefits and one that allows you to relax and unwind.

Some of the numerous benefits of reading include lowering stress and anxiety, strengthening your brain function, increasing your empathy, building your vocabulary, and improving your sleep quality.

There are millions of books of all genres of literature in the world, from biographies to thrillers and science fiction, making it easy to find the right book that interests you the most and that you will enjoy reading.

Reading books can help you immerse yourself in a different story and take your mind away from any life problems or issues you might be facing. Reading through the pages will help you slow down and relax as well as train your attention and focus.

Meditation is a great tool that allows us to train ourselves to be more focused in real life, to have a better reaction to unpredictable upsetting events, and improve our mental health.

Despite its immense benefits, meditation can be challenging and even frustrating for many people. Fortunately there numerous activities that are very beneficial and can achieve the same effects as meditation.

If you want to practice meditation but just cannot get yourself to sit still for a period of time without losing your focus, then you should try these six meditative activities that will help you cultivate a state of peaceful awareness without meditation.

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Meditative Activities 6 Relaxing Activities That Will Help You Unwind - Morocco World News

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December 19th, 2020 at 11:00 am

Posted in Relaxing Music

Lo-Fi Room preview – Chill to the beat of this relaxing rhythm game – Pocket Gamer

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The world outside is messy, loud, and oppressive. Everything morphs into edges that you can easily get snagged on, but inside Lo-Fi Room, you can find momentary respite from the chaos of it all. Here, you can close your eyes, sink yourself into your soft beats, and smile. Here, you are safe.

In a nutshell, this, to me, is the whole appeal of Lo-Fi Room. Scheduled for release in late 2021, this relaxing game from Bearmask tasks you with finding hidden musical instruments littered across different scenes per level, then tests your musical prowess with timed beats. Each musical instrument you find unlocks a music track, in which you have to hit the right button to complete the beat.

Each level indicates how many instruments you need to find (and, in essence, how many tracks you need to successfully sync your own personal rhythm to). When you find all the musical instruments and complete the tracks, you can bask in the glory of your achievement and listen to the full music, with the scene coming alive to your newly formed beat ala-GIF style.

While rhythm games have been around for a really long time, Lo-Fi Room isnt just another Dance Dance Revolution, Rock Band, or Guitar Hero. On the contrary, it doesnt make you feel like you need to get all hopped up on adrenaline just so you can get your groove on. In Lo-Fi Room, its all about chilling out and staying mellow, because isnt that what lo-fi is all about?

As for the controls, theyre pretty basic - all you really have to do is time your taps just right to hit the notes when prompted. There are four keys, and while some tracks are easy one-two beats, some can get pretty complicated, and youll need to bust out your hand-eye coordination skills to really get things going. Some have short durations that are easy to hit, but for some, youll need to hit every single note for a longer period of time - one wrong key and youll have to start all over again.

Still, if you feel like you dont have the chops to hit the notes, dont fret - the game can be pretty forgiving if you tap the keys at almost the right time. Even if you hit the keys relatively near where youre supposed to, the game counts that as a successful tap, so youre really not going to rage-quit from frustration. After all, lo-fi should calm you down to the deepest recesses of your soul - not send you off into a fiery rampage.

If you dont feel like timing your keys to someone elses rhythm, you can make your own music in the games Make Beats mode. Here, you can take your pick from all the different musical instruments available and create your own lo-fi beats. Each instrument will also have four keys, so play along as you please. Im not really too musically inclined, but at the end of the day, I personally found this feature even more relaxing than the Story Mode, if thats even possible.

Currently, there will be 15-20 levels with increasing difficulty as planned when the final version of the game comes out. Its obviously not meant to be played in a single go - I personally think you can enjoy the game best when you sit down and play through just a level or two with every session. Its the perfect way to de-stress when youre feeling overwhelmed with the world around you, especially with the aesthetically pleasing art thats as low-key and calming as the beats that surround it.

Overall, Lo-Fi Room lets you find your chill by perfectly encapsulating what lo-fi is. If you want to give it a try and see if its your cup of tea, you can check out the first three levels for free over at the official website. Then, cuddle up in a cozy blanket with a furry fuzzball by your side and youre good to go.

Heres hoping the game hits its target release date - because if theres even any teeny tiny way the world can unwind right now, well definitely take it.

Continued here:

Lo-Fi Room preview - Chill to the beat of this relaxing rhythm game - Pocket Gamer

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December 19th, 2020 at 11:00 am

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5 great military soundtracks to study or just relax to – We Are The Mighty

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MIGHTY MOVIES

Miguel Ortiz

The military isnt all action and adventure. There are plenty of dull tasks required of service members that can send even the most motivated of troops to sleep. Whether its writing an after action report, studying for your promotion board, or trying to figure out the convoluted requirements to get your leave approved, here are some of the best military soundtracks to listen to and keep you on track. Note that this isnt a list of the most epic military soundtracks, hence the omission of legendary film soundtracks like Das Boot, Black Hawk Down, and Crimson Tide.

1. Band of Brothers

If youre like me, youve lost count of how many times youve watched Band of Brothers. From watching reruns on TV to popping in the DVD/BluRay for a mini marathon, Michael Kamens arrangements have graced the ears of thousands of viewers. The combination of beautiful orchestral melodies combined with the almost haunting choral work makes this soundtrack an excellent choice for some calming background music. That said, youd be forgiven if you kept the Main Titles, Suite One, and Suite Two on repeat. After all, they are the most used songs from the legendary mini-series. Its spiritual successor, The Pacific, also has a noteworthy soundtrack. However, its a bit too intense with its dramatic swells and drum beats to make the list for studying and relaxing music.

2. Saving Private Ryan

It makes sense that the forerunner of the previous entry be on this list too. Band of Brothers took a lot of production cues from Saving Private Ryan including its score. Produced by the legendary John Williams, the same man that brought us the music for iconic films like Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, E.T., and Jaws, the soundtrack from Saving Private Ryan does not disappoint. The opening song, Hymn to the Fallen, is iconic in its own right and is often used for Veterans Day and Memorial Day events and videos. Additionally, the soundtrack itself is over an hour long, so you can get plenty of work done while it plays. If you enjoy this soundtrack, I also recommend giving the original Medal of Honor video game soundtrack a listen. The game was conceived by Spielberg after he completed Saving Private Ryan and Michael Giacchino, the games composer, was heavily inspired by Williams and went on to compose for eight more WWII-based video games.

3. Gladiator

Come on, this one counts as a military movie. After all, Maximus Decimus Meridius was a Roman general commanding an army in battle at the films opening. At any rate, composers Hans Zimmer and Lisa Gerrard built a truly inspirational soundtrack for the film. You dont even need to have seen Gladiator to appreciate its music as a studying or working accompaniment. Additionally, the album won the 2001 Golden Globe for Best Original Score Motion Picture.

4. The Thin Red Line

Yes, its another Zimmer entry. Anyway, the 1998 film is a bit of a departure from other war films of its time like Saving Private Ryan or Platoon. At any rate, its soundtrack was nominated for Original Dramatic Score at the 71st Academy Awards. Although it didnt win, its impact on movie music is long-felt. The films main theme, Journey to the Line, has been used in the trailers for Man of Steel, 12 Years a Slave, and X-Men: Days of Future Past. It was also used in the trailer for Pearl Harbor, the soundtrack of which was also composed by Zimmer and features heavy influence from The Thin Red Line. Pearl Harbor didnt make this list due to its more melancholic tones.

5. Dunkirk (Honorable Mention)

Hear me out. This one is absolutely not a good choice to study or relax to. Its time ticking theme and anxiety-inducing builds are not the kind of sounds you want to hear if you need to slow your heart beat. However, if youre on a time crunch, this might be just what you need to get yourself in the zone. Picture this: Its 0400 and youve been up since 0300the previous day. Youre running on pure caffeine and adrenaline and both are running dangerously low. Your task, whether its a slide deck, a new SOP, or a stack of evals, is due first thing in the morning. Some people thrive under the pressure, and if thats you, why not add some epic background music to your sprint to the finish line? The satisfaction garnered from completing your last minute task just before its deadline will be sweetened by having the films End Titles play you through to your victory.

Ben Weaver

Fighting fires is hungry work. And since firefighters spend long hours, even days, at the fire station, it naturally falls to some schlub rookie to lace up an apron and put food on the table. Thats normally how it goes.

But Meals Ready To Eat doesnt profile normal.

In South Philadelphia, theres a fire station where things go down a bit differently. Thats because the members of Phillys Fire Engine 60, Ladder 19 are lucky enough to count a gourmet chef among their ranks. In fact, he outranks most of them. Hes Lieutenant Bill Joerger, hes a former Marine and this kitchen is his by right of mastery.

The two sides of Lt. Bill Joerger (Go90 Meals Ready To Eat screenshot)

and both are delicious. (Meals Ready To Eat screenshot)

It is a little weird for a ranking officer to spend hours rustling the chow. Its a little strange that he goes to such lengths to source ingredients for his culinary art. Its a bit outlandish when those meals are complex enough to necessitate a demo plate.

But Bill Joerger doesnt care about any of that. When not actively saving lives, he cares about honing his cooking skills, eating well, and creating in the midst of a chaotic work environment some small sacred space where everyone can relax and just be people together.

Meals Ready to Eat host August Dannehl spent a day with Joerger at the firehouse, experiencing the often violent stop-and-start nature of a firefighters day and, in the down moments, sous-cheffing for the Lieutenant. The story of how Joerger found his way from the Marine Corps to a cookbook and then to the firehouse kitchen is a lesson in utilizing ones passion to impose some order in the midst of lifes disarray.

Fatherly

Remember how awesome The Empire Strikes Back was? You can stream that particularly great Star Wars movie on Disney+ right now. And, as of Nov. 15, 2019, Disney+ just added some context to one classic Boba Fett and Darth Vader beef. In the latest episode of The Mandalorian, we finally understand why Darth Vader said no disintegrations.

Spoilers ahead for The Mandalorian Chapter 2: The Child.

In the second episode of The Mandalorian, our titular bounty hunter continues his make-it-up-as-you-go-along journey to protect a little baby Yoda-looking creature. Throughout his misadventures in this episode (which culminate in getting a giant space rhino egg) the Mando tangoes with a bunch of Jawas who have stripped his spaceship of much-needed parts. In an effort to get his stuff back, the Mando busts out his nifty rifle, which, as it turns out, turns anyone he points it at into a puff of smoke. He vaporizes a few of the on the lizard-like Trandoshans who ambush him at the top of the episode, and later on, a few pesky Jawas.

The Mandalorian gets ready to disintegrate some punks.

(Lucasfilm)

Later, when he has to make peace with the Jawas to barter for some of his parts back, he mentions I disintegrated a few of them. In terms of what weve seen in the Star Wars movies so far, this specific tech hasnt been witnessed, but it has been mentioned. When Vader hires a bunch of bounty hunters to capture the Millennium Falcon in The Empire Strikes Back, the Dark Lord very pointedly shakes his finger at Boba Fett (a dude who rocks Mandalorian armor) and says no disintegrations.

Boba Fett and IG-88 in The Empire Strikes Back

(Lucasfilm)

So, there you have it. Vader was well-aware that this weapon was probably in Boba Fetts arsenal, and now, just a about six years after the events of Empire Strikes Back, in The Mandalorian, we get to see what that weapon looks like. The most surprising thing? In The Mandalorian, the disintegrations are shockingly mess-free. Less like a blaster, and more like a civilized vacuum for a more elegant bounty hunter.

After every episode of The Mandalorian you watch on Disney+, it invariably suggests you watch The Empire Strikes Back. Kind of makes sense now, right?

This article originally appeared on Fatherly. Follow @FatherlyHQ on Twitter.

Blake Stilwell

John Rambo changes lives. Not just in movies, but in the real world. From the flawed antihero of First Blood to the immortal god of death and destruction in 2008s Rambo, Sylvester Stallones action-hero prototype isnt just the forerunner of modern, big-budget action stars, hes a real-life game-changer. A cinematic visit from John Rambo has historically been an omen of big changes to follow in the real world.

Stallone just announced the production of a new Rambo movie and it couldnt come at a better time. Hes definitely going to take on Mexican drug cartels in the film, which is a good move, but there are many other places that need the help. Call it the Rambo Effect.

For the uninitiated, Vietnam veteran John Rambo goes off to find some personal peace after the war, meeting up with old Army friends and traveling the world, looking for meaning. What he ends up finding is a personal war everywhere he goes. He fights the bad guys in the movies and wins but in the real world, something always happens in the country he visits, often within a year of a films release, changing them for the better.

Anyone whos a big fan of Sylvester Stallones Rambo series knows the sequels are a far cry from the story and intent of the first film. In First Blood, he was a flawed Vietnam veteran who became a rallying cry for a generation of vets who were all but ignored by society. Seriously, this is a really great, thoughtful movie with a good message.

The Vietnam War took a toll on America in a way the country still hasnt fully recovered from. It was the first time Americans learned to distrust the President of the United States and this fostered a general mistrust of the government ever since. First Blood takes America to task about things Vietnam veterans still talk about today: Agent Orange, public indifference toward veterans, public perception of crazy Vietnam veterans, veteran unemployment, post-traumatic stress, and more.

The 80s were a crazy time for everyone.

What people really noticed while watching First Blood is how awesome that Green Beret stuff really was, so by the time First Blood Part II came about, Rambo was a full-on action hero the mold for the Bruce Willises, Arnold Schwarzeneggers, and the Steven Seagals yet to come. The real message was lost amid big-budget explosions and fight sequences.

Crewmen of the amphibious cargo ship USS Durham (LKA-114) take Vietnamese refugees from a small craft, April 1975

(U.S. National Archives)

The second installment of the Rambo series was released almost ten years to the day after the fall of Saigon. In the real-world, reunified Vietnam under Communist rule, chaos ensued. Thousands were herded into reeducation camps, a crippled economy suffered from triple-digit inflation, the state went to war with Cambodia and then China. Thousands of refugees took to fleeing by boat to anywhere else.

Still, some things just dont age well.

The year after First Blood Part II had Rambo return to Vietnam, the Vietnamese government began implementing massive reforms to move away from the strict Communist structure that dominated it for the previous decade. In the intervening years, the economy began to recover as the government moved to a more socialist form.

In 1988s Rambo III, John Rambo sets off to rescue Colonel Trautman after hes taken captive in Soviet-dominated Afghanistan. Of course, Rambo goes right into Afghanistan, destroys every Soviet in his wake and rescues his old friend in a blaze of fiery glory. That same year, the Soviet Union began its final withdrawal from Afghanistan, a war that was a major contributing factor to the fall of the Soviet Union.

Coming to theaters of war near you.

In 2008s Rambo, the former Green Beret joins a group of missionaries headed to Myanmar. 2008 Myanmar was a brutal totalitarian dictatorship scarred by rampant human rights abuses both on screen and in the real world. In the film, a warlord is brutalizing the Burmese people and the missionaries become victims. A team of mercenaries goes back into Myanmar with Rambo. Rambo kills everyone who isnt a good guy.

Two months after the films release, the actual Myanmar government suddenly held a real constitutional referendum intended to guide the country down the path away from the military junta and into democratic reforms. By 2010, Myanmar held contested, multiparty elections. The military government was fully dissolved in 2011 and, by 2015, there were serious elections held in the country.

Im not saying John Rambo had anything to do with any of this, all Im saying is that John Rambo could be the harbinger of positive change in the world. Which is good, because there are a few place that really need a change.

Even though this is hardly the worlds longest ongoing conflict, it has to be one of the most intense and well-attended. Anyone whos anyone is sending troops to Syria, and soon Germany may even join the party. All joking aside, this is a conflict that has, so far, killed more than a half-million people in seven years by moderate estimates, but no one really knows for sure.

A war this intense should end sooner rather than later. Even though Richard Crenna (the actor who portrayed Col. Trautman) died in 2003, maybe Rambo can be sent to Syria to rescue Trautmans son? Ill leave that for Stallone to decide, but hes got to get Rambo there somehow.

Just one North Korean parade and its all over.

While the intensity of this conflict peaked more than 70 years ago, the ongoing human rights abuses and detainment of North Koreans in prison camps is exactly the kind of thing John Rambo would hate to see.

And if theres anyone who could reach Kim Jong Un on his own, its John Rambo.

Pictured: Rambo sneaking back into Burma.

Even though his first visit to Burma (Myanmar) foretold the coming of democratic reforms, an argument could be made that they didnt exactly reach what anyone would call true quality before the law. In fact, a number of civil conflicts are ongoing in Burma, including the Rohingya slaughter and insurgency read so much about in the news lately, but there are others at least 18 different insurgent groups operate in Burma to this day.

If ever a war needed to end, its the ongoing Saudi-led coalitions war against Houthi-dominated Yemen. If ever any single country needed a John Rambo to finish things off, its this devastating embarrassment. For three years, Saudi Arabia and its 24 coalition partners have been hammering away at little Yemen and the Houthis who took it over, killing tens of thousands of people many civilians and are no closer to winning right now than they were three years ago.

Name a more iconic duo. Ill wait.

The Moro people of the Philippines have pretty much been resisting invaders since the beginning of time. For at least 400 years, the Moro have resisted Spanish, American, Japanese, American, and Philippine dominance over their traditional area of the country.

If theres a world leader that would make an excellent Hollywood villain, its Rodrigo Duterte, current president of the Philippines. Hes not crazy, he thinks hes doing the world a favor, and his methods are shocking. After a few centuries, this conflict should be ready to end and who better to bring that about than Rambo and a giant hunting knife?

Somalia has been in the throes of civil war since the 1980s and it has never even begun anything close to a recovery. After the fall of the Barre dictatorship, no one has held a controlling area of the country, including the United States, the United Nations, and even Ethiopia, who invaded Somalia not too long ago, crushing just one more in a long line of Islamic Insurgents who want to control the Somali people.

More than half a million people from all over the world have died in this conflict and it has displaced more than 1.1 million Somalis. It is time for this conflict to end thats your cue, Rambo.

Shannon Corbeil

Weve passed on all we know. A thousand generations live in you now. But this is your fight, hints Mark Hamills Luke Skywalker.

(Well, Ghost Luke, Im guessing)

This week at D23, LucasFilm released new footage from The Rise of Skywalker, leading fans to speculate what it all means as the Skywalker Saga comes to an end.

I for one got excited for the first time in a long time.

Check out the special look at then lets break it down:

http://www.youtube.com

Of course, the most buzz-worthy scene is Dark Rey wielding a duel-bladed and red lightsaber. I dont want to fansplain to you or anything, but red blades are of course associated with the Sith, who often preferred synthetic crystals energized by the dark side of the force.

Reys blade could mean a number of things. Maybe she nicked it? Maybe she turned to the dark side? Or probably maybe its just a vision. Rey hasnt had a character flaw yet, but who knows? Maybe J.J. Abrams wants to throw us a curve ball.

(PS: Has anyone else noticed how dangerous these fancy lightsabers are? Like, how does Kylo Ren not chop his leg off any time he ignites his crossguard lightsaber?? The Force can only do so much)

I just want to know that he attended his safety brief.

Anyway, back to Rey.

Twitter user Alan Johnson has a different theory about Dark Rey:

twitter.com

Now that would be interesting to me. And Im going full nerd to tell you why.

A brief history on clones in the Star Wars universe: they were bred to fight as soldiers under their Jedi commanders during the time of the Republic (think prequels). Under Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, the clone troopers fought the droid army of the Separatists during the Clone Wars.

But there was a hidden trigger implanted into every clone, and Palpatine (who of course we know was a Sith), issued Order 66, which named the Jedi Knights enemies of the Republic and called for their eradication. The clone militants purged the galaxy of the Jedi and gave Palpatine unchecked control of the Republic, allowing him to become the true antagonist of the original trilogy.

Emperor Palpatine was thrown into a deep shaft by Darth Vader during the Battle of Endor presumably dead and yet promo materials for the Rise of Skywalker have been teasing his return.

Could Palpatine have survived his fall? Id say yes any trained Force-user can levitate so its far-fetched for them to fall to their death. Theoretically he could have also hidden himself for all these years.

If he is alive, and Rey is a clone, that could pose many questions. Is Dark Rey also a clone? Could Palpatine Order 66 her? Are there more versions of her? (I mean, I wouldnt be unhappy with an Orphan Black situation)

As a fan, its fun to consider the possibilities, which makes The Rise of Skywalker even more fun to look forward to.

Fatherly

There are a lot of great moments in Spider-Man: Far From Home, but there is one very specific and hilarious scene in which Peter Parker very confidently misidentifies AC/DCs killer song Back in Black by saying I love Led Zeppelin! And though this seems like a funny throwaway, this is actually the exact moment where Far From Home brings the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe full-circle. You may have thought Avengers: Endgame was the end of this era of Marvel movies, but really, the latest Spidey flick is the real ending. And thats because it wraps up multiple storylines about the only character who can never return to these movies Iron Man.

If you squint through those special Tony Stark high-tech glasses, Spider-Man: Far From Home actually reads as Iron Man 4, and thats because a huge chunk of the movie is about how Peter Parker deals not only with a world without Tony Stark; but more specifically, a world which Iron Man created. Spoiler alert, but the entire conflict of Far From Home revolves around disgruntled former employees of Tony Stark; people who either got yelled at by Jeff Bridges in the very first Iron Man movie in 2008, or in the case of Jake Gyllenhaals Quentin Beck, had their inventions hijacked and turned into holographic therapy for Stark.

Like the next generation of young Marvel fans who are just getting into all this superhero stuff, Peter Parker inherits the mixed legacy of Tony Stark whether he likes it or not. Because this version of Spidey doesnt really have a fatherly-Uncle Ben figure, Iron Man was Peters next-best-thing to a dad. And in Far From Home, all the mistakes Tony made become Spider-Mans problem. Happy Hogan reminds Peter that although Iron Man was great that he was also all over the place, which is a nice way of saying Tony Stark was actually kind of a douchebag and may have given Peter and the rest of the world more than they really want to deal with. Anyone who has had been saddled with messiness after the death of a parent knows how this goes. For Spidey, his personal life is totally compromised in the post-credits scene (in which his secret identity is revealed) all of which is, indirectly, Tony Starks fault. In fact, the seeds for Peter inheriting Tonys problems are sewn in Spideys first official MCU appearance; in Captain America: Civil War. Back then, Tony recruited Peter to help him reign-in Cap, but we now know this movie also was where Tony ignorantly turns Beck into a bad guy.

http://www.youtube.com

Which brings us back to that AC/DC track; Back in Black. This is the song that opens the very first moments of 2008s Iron Man;Tony Stark sits in the back of a humvee speeding through Afghanistan, drinking a cocktail, acting like jerky the millionaire arms-dealer that he is. From that point, Tonys caravan gets attacked, and through the course of the movie, and a lot of snarky one-liners, he eventually becomes a slightly better person and you know, Iron Man. In fact, just like Far From Home, that film famously ended with Tony Stark revealing his identity in a press conference. And now, unwillingly, Peter Parker has become the new Iron Man insofar as his identity has been revealed too, albeit not by choice. Either way, Peters journey is very similar to Tonys at this point, the only difference is Peter didnt get much of a choice in the matter, whereas Tony did.

Despite everything that happened to Tony Stark, Captain America and Black Widow throughout all of their Marvel movie adventures, for the most part, these characters read as adults, and in the case of Tony and Natasha, adults who were not innocent people, like at all. But Peter Parker is the opposite of this. Even after everything, hes been through in five movies, hes basically still at the beginning of his heros journey. Which is why Far From Home is both an ending for the old Marvel movies and the beginning of the new ones.

http://www.youtube.com

Its unclear what new Avengers movies will look like in 2020 and beyond, but because Tony is 100 percent dead and Steve Rogers is 100 percent living in the past in secret, the big recognizable heroes of Iron Man and Captain America wont be around. (Also that rumored Black Widow movie is thought to be a prequel?) In any case, if the new Avengers are Captain Marvel, maybe Hulk, Falcon, and Bucky, then it seems like Spidey might become their defacto leader. After all, once youre secret identity is revealed, youve got nowhere to be other than with other superheroes.

The musical cues and plot similarities of Spider-Man: Far From Home help to complete Tony Starks story one movie after his onscreen death. But, our incumbent Peter Parker isnt Tony Stark. Like at all. He doesnt really know who AC/DC is, even if he likes the music. This Peter is the face of the future of the next big round of Marvel movies, and in some ways, thats reassuring. The MCU began with a tortured man-baby who drank too much and said sexist things. That guy accidentally became a hero, and of course, because of that journey of redemption, we all love Tony Stark. But now, it seems Marvel is going to do stories about different types of heroes, and those people, like Peter Parker, might be a little bit better than the generation before them. Marvel is done with the old guys. Its time to give the kids a shot.

Luckily, as Far From Home proves, the kids are more than all right. Theyre better than us.

This article originally appeared on Fatherly. Follow @FatherlyHQ on Twitter.

Blake Stilwell

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5 great military soundtracks to study or just relax to - We Are The Mighty

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Juliette Grco remembered by Abd al Malik | Music – The Guardian

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Juliette Grco and I may have been born almost 50 years apart but she had always been part of me. When we were kids growing up on a housing estate in Strasbourg, my mother had a ritual: on Sundays, she would play French chanson for us. Lo Ferr, Jacques Brel, Charles Trenet, Georges Brassens, and Juliette Grco. She was the only female artist in the pack so not only did her mysterious voice have a distinctive impact on me, I also assumed she was a tough cookie with character. In my young boys mind, she was their equal, a great artist, period. Years later, as I was relaxing at home in the midst of recording my second solo album, I switched on telly and here she was with her husband Grard Jouannest who had been Jacques Brels pianist and composer, and I thought how amazing it would be to meet them. The following morning, I told the sound engineer at my record company. It just so happened that he had recently worked with Juliette Grco. He was our go-between. I sent her my work and she agreed to meet. One day, she opened the door of her house near Paris to me and we became friends for the next 13 years, spending Christmas and holidays together.

When Grco met new people, what she was interested in was to find a poetical connection with them. No poetry, no friendship. It didnt matter that you were from a different milieu, a different country, a different culture, or belonged to a different musical genre, generation, political family or even that you shared the same convictions. The only thing that she cared about was poetry, and style. And a love for words and the written text.

In a way, this mirrored my own story. One of my headmistresses noticed my love for books from an early age and fed my passion. She also convinced my mother to take me to a better school and helped me getting a scholarship. Literature and poetry made me who I am. Albert Camus in particular played a great role in shaping the young rebellious man I was. When Camuss daughter asked me to perform for the centenary of his birth in 2013, I invited Juliette, who had known him well, to be with me on stage.

I asked Juliette about her love affair with Miles Davis in the late 1940s, early 1950s. When Jean-Paul Sartre asked them why they didnt marry, Miles answered: Because I love her too much for that. If she had followed him back to the US, she would have been considered there as a negros whore, she confided to me. I am currently adapting their love story for the screen.

I consider Juliette as the last interprte of our times. Somebody who completely appropriated the words of another to make it her own. It was extraordinary to see. Suddenly, your words were hers, and hers only. She had a way of delivering words that was unique: it was both very powerful and moving to witness.

She was both a godmother and teacher to me. Thanks to her, I rediscovered writers such as Boris Vian and Louis Aragon, people she had known well. She had a way of explaining intricate concepts with simplicity.

We were friends right up to the very last weeks of her life. She had this extraordinary elegance, both moral and physical, even when she had become rather frail. Its her elegance in all things that I shall most vividly miss.

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Juliette Grco remembered by Abd al Malik | Music - The Guardian

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How to Give a Massage That’s Actually Better Than Sex – InsideHook

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I once dated a guy who insisted that, given the choice between the two, he would almost always take a massage over sex.

I was initially skeptical of this claim, as it seemed to violate the sacred social dictate that all men are bound to a state of perpetual horniness and would cut off their own arm in exchange for sex at any and every opportunity. In addition to my disbelief, I also took some irrational offense at this dubious preference for not-sex over sex. Did he really like massages that much, or did he just hate having sex? Or worse, did he just hate having sex with me, specifically?

It only took one massage to make a believer out of me, however, and these days I, too, would probably take massages over sex if I could only have one for the rest of my life.

Fortunately, barring an oddly specific scenario Ive yet to consider, I cant really envision a situation in which anyone would actually be compelled to make such a choice. A small bright spot in an often cruel and unfair world, theres no reason we cant have massages and sex. In fact, bringing massage into the bedroom can actually improve your sex life, enhancing sexual experiences for both you and your partners.

Incorporating massage into your sexual repertoire can make sex last longer and provide opportunities to explore erogenous zones that are often overlooked, says Casey Tanner, certified sex therapist and an expert for sex toy company LELO. While some might resist massage because it doesnt seem overtly sexual, massage actually attends to your two largest sexual organs: your skin and your brain. Massage also increases blood flow, adds Tanner, leading to more sensitivity and lubrication, all of which ultimately translates into more orgasms.

Massage can also help partners become more familiar with each others touch language, says Eric Joppy, licensed massage therapist and owner of SenseFuel Massage. Massage helps you relax and become more comfortable with each others bodies, ultimately leading to a deeper, more intimate connection, says Joppy.

While, as Tanner notes, massage is often incorporated into a sex as foreplay or aftercare preceding or following a more explicit sex act, it can also be enjoyed as a standalone experience that need be no less intimate or erotic than sex itself.

While sex is an incredible tension reliever, I wouldnt call it relaxing to the body, says publicist Melissa Vitale, who considers it a karmic blessing that she recently entered a relationship with a man currently training to become a certified massage therapist. Massages help me feel rejuvenated, cared for and supported all at once, and it can be incredibly arousing, she tells InsideHook. I find the afterglow of a good massage can be just as blissful as post-orgasm.

Below, a few experts share tips on how to massage your partner into a state of post-orgasmic bliss, no orgasm required.

When it comes to sexy massage, what you dont have in the environment is just as important as what you do, says Tanner. To the extent possible, remove reminders of life stressors; put your pets away, wash dirty dishes, and turn off the technology.

As for those life stressors that cant be eliminated like loud traffic sounds or neighbors relaxing music or a white noise machine should do the trick, says Rachel Beider, massage expert and author of Press Here! Massage for Beginners: A Simple Route to Relaxation and Releasing Tension.

Tailor the ambience for sensuality using your five senses taste, touch, sight, smell and sound, says Tanner. Low lighting is a must, while scented candles can do double duty when it comes to sight and smell. Beider also recommends burning incense, using essential oils or scented lotion.

Basically, you just want it to be as comfortable as possible, says Beider. Temperature is also really important, she adds. The room should be comfortably warm, and Beider also suggests making use of a heated blanket.

Taylor Sparks, erotic educator and founder of intimacy retailer Organic Loven, suggests both partners begin with a warm bath or shower, whether alone or together, in order to relax and unwind pre-massage. Sparks also recommends laying out anything you might need oils, pillows, towels etc. ahead of time, putting everything within reach so you can easily grab it during the massage without breaking physical contact with your partner.

A massage is an exchange of energy between giver and receiver, says Sparks. If you can always keep one hand on your partner at all times while you get more oil or a towel, the energy will stay constant.

One of the most important things in massage is communication, says Beider. Its a good opportunity to practice consent and to ask for what you really want, which can also be helpful in other parts of the relationship. Massage fosters trust. It helps you express vulnerability.

With that in mind, the best way to begin a massage is to simply ask your partner what they want. Similar to professional masseuses, ask your partner if there are any regions of your body theyd like you to focus on or avoid, says Tanner.

Its also important to continue checking in with your partner throughout the duration of the massage. Ask them what they want and confirm things like pressure, speed, pace or location, says Beider, who suggests establishing a number system to help communicate the right level of pressure: If ten is way too much pressure and zero is boring, maybe you want to be massaging someone at a six or a seven. Partners can then communicate their desire for more or less pressure more precisely.

And even if you think youve got it down, dont hesitate to continue checking in with your partner periodically. I think sometimes people are afraid to say something, so its really important that you check in with them during the session, says Beider, who also stresses the importance of asking for specific feedback rather than accepting a simple, Its fine.

Your partner probably isnt expecting you to become a master masseuse, but figuring out where to put your hands and how to move them in a way that constitutes an actual massage instead of just a random rub down can be intimidating for a massage newbie. For those who really have no idea what theyre doing, Beider breaks down two foundational strokes to keep in mind.

The basic stroke in massage is called effleurage, says Beider. Its those long, relaxing, gliding strokes, and it accomplishes two things: it spreads oil across the surface that youre working on, and it also introduces your partner to the touch that youre providing, fostering trust.

The second stroke Beider recommends is petrissage, a deeper, kneading stroke good for breaking up adhesions, or knots.

This feels really good, especially in between shoulder blades, around the lower back and the neck, says Beider, who suggests creating flow throughout the massage by using long effleurage strokes in between areas that have been worked more deeply.

Start on the back so your partner can start to relax and become more comfortable with your touch, says Joppy. Then move from the back to the neck and down to the lower body. Try to use long strokes going from the bottom of the back to the top of the neck, or from the bottom of the legs to the top of the glutes.

And if your hands need a break? A sure fire way of giving a great massage is to turn to that large massager in the drawer, says Sparks. Yes, you can (and probably should) use a vibrator on your partner during sex, but a vibrator can also come in handy during not-sex. Vibrators that double as body massagers are capable of reaching 9,000 rpms and can work out the kinks just about anywhere you put them, says Sparks.

Dont forget that massage isnt just about the person being touched; the masseuse can get just as much out of this sensual experience, says Tanner

But to reap those benefits, youre going to have to relax, be present, and go slow.

It is just as important for the giver to be relaxed and in a comfortable position before, during and after the massage, says Sparks. This is an exchange of energy, and the giver must be in a mood to give. While you should stay focused on your partner, listening to their breathing and responses both verbal and physical, its also important to focus on your own breathing and state of mind, she adds.

Breathe, echoes Joppy. Deep, conscious breathing will naturally sync your two bodies, resulting in a deeper, more intimate and sensual connection.

Like sex, a good massage requires communication, consent, and enthusiastic partners who are both present and willing to engage physically and mentally.

Listen to your body, and that of your partner, says Tanner. When in doubt, just ask.

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How to Give a Massage That's Actually Better Than Sex - InsideHook

Written by admin

December 19th, 2020 at 11:00 am

Posted in Relaxing Music


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