Posts tagged with "asia"

Bhutan’s Costumed Dancers Perform Traditional Dances via 360 MAGAZINE

BHUTAN REOPENS ITS BORDERS

New tourism strategy enhanced sustainable development policies, infrastructure upgrades and new national brand

The Kingdom of Bhutan today reopens its borders to international guests following the COVID-19 pandemic. The country has unveiled a new tourism strategy, underpinned by transformations in three key areas: enhancements to its sustainable development policies, infrastructure upgrades, and the elevation of the guest experience.

“Bhutan’s noble policy of high-value, low-volume tourism has existed since we started welcoming guests to our country in 1974. But its intent and spirit were watered down over the years, without us even realizing it. Therefore, as we reset as a nation after this pandemic, and officially open our doors to visitors today, we are reminding ourselves about the essence of the policy, the values and merits that have defined us for generations,” said H.E. Dr. Lotay Tshering, the Honorable Prime Minister of Bhutan.

“We must also ensure that we are a high value society, one that is infused with sincerity, integrity and principles, where people must always live in safe communities, among serene environments and derive comfort from the finest facilities. Typically, ‘high value’ is understood as exclusive high-end products and extravagant recreational facilities. But that is not Bhutan. And ‘low volume’ doesn’t mean limiting the number of visitors. We will appreciate everyone who visits us to treasure our values, while we also learn as much from them. If that is what you are searching for, there is no limit or restriction. The best conduit to realizing our vision are our youth and professionals in the tourism industry. While those working in the tourism sector will represent us at the forefront, the entire nation is the tourism industry, and every Bhutanese a host. The minimum fee we are asking our friends to pay is to be reinvested in ourselves, the place of our meeting, which will be our shared asset for generations. Welcome to Bhutan,” H.E Dr. Lotay added.

Enhancements to Bhutan’s sustainable development policies

Bhutan recently announced that it would raise its Sustainable Development Fee (SDF) from US$65 to US$200 per person, per night, which will go towards projects that support Bhutan’s economic, social, environmental and cultural development. (Additionally, visitors now have the flexibility to engage service providers directly, or book flights, hotels and tours in Bhutan themselves). The fees raised will fund national investment in programs that preserve Bhutan’s cultural traditions, as well as sustainability projects, infrastructure upgrades and opportunities for youth – as well as providing free healthcare and education for all. For instance, some of the SDF funds go towards offsetting the carbon footprint of visitors by planting trees, upskilling workers in the tourism sector, cleaning and maintaining trails, reducing the country’s reliance on fossil fuels and electrifying Bhutan’s transportation sector, among other projects.

As a country that is vulnerable to the effects of climate change (experiencing melting glaciers, floods and unpredictable weather patterns), Bhutan will also be stepping up its efforts to maintain its status as one of only a handful of carbon-negative countries in the world – in 2021, Bhutan sequestered 9.4 million tons of carbon against its emission capacity of 3.8 million tons.

“Beyond protecting Bhutan’s natural environment, the SDF will also be directed towards activities that preserve Bhutan’s built and living cultural heritage, including architecture and traditional values, as well as meaningful environmental projects. Our future requires us to protect our heritage, and to forge fresh pathways for forthcoming generations,” said Mr. Dorji Dhradhul, Director General of the Tourism Council of Bhutan.

“We need tourism to not only benefit Bhutan economically, but socially as well, while maintaining our low sustainable footprint. The goal of our new strategy is to create high-value experiences for guests, in addition to well-paying and professional jobs for our citizens. This is our moment of evolution and we invite our guests to become our partners in this transformative moment,” Dhradhul added.

Infrastructure upgrades

In line with this, the government used the period during the COVID-19 shutdown to upgrade roads, trails, temples and monuments around the country, upgrade public bathroom facilities, organize trash clean-up events, and enhance the standards and certification process for tourism service providers (such as hotels, guides, tour operators and drivers). Employees across the tourism industry were required to participate in upskilling programs to focus on enhancing service quality.

Elevation of the guest experience 

“We know that our new SDF brings with it a certain expectation when it comes to standards of quality and service, so we are committed to enhancing the guest experience – whether that is through the quality of services received, the cleanliness and accessibility of our infrastructure, by limiting the number of cars on our roads, or by limiting the number of people who visit our sacred sites. By doing so, we protect the experience for visitors to Bhutan, as we must be able to provide authentic experiences supported by world-class services and personal care. We also plan to work with our tourism partners to continue to upgrade the itineraries that guests can experience in our country – to help showcase the very best that Bhutan has to offer. We hope that visitors to Bhutan will notice and welcome these changes, and we very much look forward to welcoming all guests to Bhutan,” concluded H.E. Dr. Tandi Dorji, the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The revamp of Bhutan’s tourism comes amid a widespread “transformation project” rolled out across the country, from the civil service to the financial sector. The changes are geared towards developing Bhutan’s human capital by equipping the population with more proficient skills, knowledge and experiences.

During a special ceremony in the capital city Thimphu yesterday, a new brand for Bhutan was also unveiled by H.E. Dr. Lotay Tshering, Honorable Prime Minister, in the presence of other government officials and dignitaries. “Brand Bhutan” aims to capture the optimism and renewed ambition of the kingdom as it opens its doors to guests once again, as well as communicating its promise and plans for its young citizens. Bhutan’s new tagline, “Believe,” reflects this determined focus on the future, as well as the transformative journeys experienced by its guests.

For more information about visiting Bhutan, visit: www.bhutan.travel/.

Bhutan’s Natural Landscapes via 360 MAGAZINE
Bhutan’s Natural Landscapes via 360 MAGAZINE
announced by 360 MAGAZINE

BLACKPINK – BORN PINK ALBUM

Global superstars BLACKPINK unveil their long-awaited second full-length album BORN PINK via YG Entertainment / Interscope Records. Stream HERE. The album is accompanied by a cinematic video for new single “Shut Down.” Watch it HERE. On October 15, the girl group embarks on a world tour that touches down on four continents. BORN PINK is now available at all digital retailers.

BORN PINK was spearheaded by the record-shattering single “Pink Venom,” which topped the Billboard Global 200 and debuted at No.1 on Spotify’s Global Top Songs Chart, amassing 7.9M streams within the first 24 hours. The song’s official music video also conquered YouTube, amassing 90.4M views within the first 24 hours. That ranks as JISOOJENNIEROSÉ, and LISA’s biggest debut to date, the biggest release by females (group or solo) of this decade, and the third biggest 24-hour debut of all time.

Next up, BLACKPINK will kick off their world tour, which is predicted to be attended by more than 1.5M people, at the KSPO DOME in Seoul Olympic Park on October 15. The group will then visit the United States, Saudi Arabia, and Singapore, among others, before landing in New Zealand on June 21, 2023. A full list of dates is linked HERE

BORN PINK TRACKLIST:

1. Pink Venom

2. Shut Down

3. Typa Girl

4. Yeah Yeah Yeah

5. Hard to Love

6. The Happiest Girl

7. Tally

8. Ready for Love

ABOUT BLACKPINK: 

One of the most massively successful K-pop groups in music history, BLACKPINK have redefined the global pop landscape since first bursting onto the scene in 2016. Along with boasting the #1 most-subscribed artist channel on YouTube, the South Korean quartet has achieved such boundary-defying milestones as scoring the highest-charting album by a female group in over a decade and becoming the first K-pop girl group ever to perform at Coachella (the largest music festival in the U.S.). Comprised of JISOO, JENNIE, ROSÉ and LISA—all immensely charismatic vocalists, dancers, and fast-rising fashion icons—BLACKPINK began their meteoric rise with their 2016 debut “SQUARE ONE” and further proved their crossover power with “SQUARE UP” (a 2018 release that quickly cracked the Billboard 200). 

Soon after signing with Interscope Records through a global partnership with YG Entertainment, the group made their full-length debut with 2020’s immediately iconic THE ALBUM. THE ALBUM shot to #2 on the Billboard 200 and landed three singles on the Billboard Hot 100: “How You Like That” (the iconic single that shattered several YouTube records, including fastest video to cross 150 million views), “Ice Cream” (a collaboration with Selena Gomez that broke the record for highest-charting female K-pop group on the Hot 100), and “Lovesick Girls” (a track that’s sold over 1.4 million copies worldwide, making BLACKPINK the first K-pop girl group to sell over a million units). Through the years, BLACKPINK have also garnered a number of major awards (including an MTV Video Music Award for Song of the Summer as well as three E! People’s Choice Awards), collaborated with superstars like Dua Lipa and Lady Gaga, performed on “The Tonight Show,” and starred in BLACKPINK: Light Up the Sky (a 2020 film hailed by the New York Times as an “endearing documentary that emphasizes each member’s individuality”). With over 6.3 billion career Spotify streams to date, BLACKPINK have unveiled their wildly anticipated sophomore album BORN PINK. In less than a month, the group will hit the road for their 2022/2023 world tour kicking off on October 15 in Seoul, South Korea. 

BLACKPINK – ‘BORN PINK’ eAlbum

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Photo: YG Entertainment

Six Great Beach Clubs in Koh Phangan To Check Out in 2022

Thailand is well-known for its stunning beaches, and Koh Phangan is no exception. This small island in the Gulf of Thailand is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the country and is one of the most popular island-hopping destinations. There are a few different ways to get to Koh Phangan, including a ferry from Koh Samui, an island nearby. With a wide range of beach clubs, Koh Phangan is the perfect place to spend a day or two in the sun. 

Bars are formed on beaches and stocked with beer, but not everyone is a classic. Koh Phangan has many beach bars filled with good music, where you can watch the hissing waves while the water rinses your feet, watch the sunset, or even have a beach party under the moon. It becomes the final destination for travelers, especially those that love exploring the waters. People repeatedly visit the island because of the disco nightlife and amazing beach clubs that function 24/7 a week and 365 days a year. These places are a must-visit if you intend to enjoy your stay on the island.

However, not every bar can make it to the six must-visit beach clubs in Koh Phangan. We have gathered the chic and the elite, serving thirst-quenching beer, bamboo night parties, and sitting spots made of straw. These places have a way of calling you back if you’ve previously visited there.

1. Merkaba Beach Club

Merkaba Beach Club is an old but renowned club on the island. It is a sunset beach located and designed with palm trees in an isolated private place below the Haad Rin hills. The name has three sections, each with a meaning related to sacred geometry meaningful in ancient Egypt–Mer is for rotating light, Ka for spirit, and Ba for the body. The bar is known for its music, cheap drinks, cool décor, good sound system, and magical vibe. The club has a standard DJ with the desire to play trending songs.

2. Infinity Beach Club

Infinity Beach Club is at the forefront of many clubs in the area. You can easily see the club along the beachfront, where most vacationers hang out at night. The club has two restaurants, a large outdoor swimming pool, a functioning bar with continental drinks, and a rooftop terrace for dancers and chillers. People that get bored in their rooms take their activities to the poolside to relax and socialize with other vacationers. The place gets crowded between 5 pm and 6 pm, so it is better to be there before this time to get a convenient spot to watch the whole night’s activities. The club does not close until dawn, with a local DJ ready to blow your mind from sunset to 1 am.

3. By The Sea & Bar

As the name implies, the Sea and Bar have high tides close to the sea. You can hear the sound of crashing waves and open air down. The bar serves world-class cocktails, delicious coconut smoothies, and other locally made drinks. You can get lunch and dinner at the beachfront dining area. They do the best Thai-style food with flavors and spices, surrounded by incredible views. Seafood like lobsters is prepared phenomenally and highly recommended for evening relaxation. The dinner serves Thai and Italian dishes, drinks, and music all night. The bar is ready to party till daybreak.

4. Coco Locco Beach Bar

The Coco Loco Beach bar is on the island’s sand beach of Haad Yao. There are swimming pools, cheap lounges, beachfront dining places, and open-air lounges. Dance to the good high-quality music with restaurants serving Tapas, western and Thai food. Enjoy chilled grade drinks, beer, bottle drinks, cocktails, wine, and tropical fruits by the bar. You can’t visit Koh Phangan without seeing the Coco Locco beach bar. The bar is for family gatherings, birthday celebrations, welcome parties, and sometimes beach weddings.

5. Sunset Beach Bar

The location is at the city’s center, walkable to many neighborhoods like Thong Sala pier, Wat Plai Laem, and Bangrak beach. The evening atmosphere is warm, and the restaurant serves delicious hot meals. In addition, the resort has sports and outdoor poolside activities. Enjoy the nightlife with fantastic music, free drinks, and dancing spots. The restaurant and nightclub are connected, making the venue feel more spacious.

6. Ku Club

The Ku Club is a trendy, fun place in Koh Phangan. The bar has an open dance floor with a local DJ that plays international trending tracks from an echoing sound system. The club may be small but has an exceptional vibe, food, ping-pong tables, and drinks. In addition, the activities are affordable, making it a favorite spot for many vacationers in Koh Phangan.

Veep of Marketing at Lexus via 360 MAGAZINE

Vinay Shahani

Vice President – Head of Marketing at Lexus, Toyota Motor North America

*Listen to Vinay Shahani’s full conversation with Vaughn Lowery on the 360 MAG Podcast HERE.

As a crowded child growing up in and around Detroit, Vinay Shahani was exposed to the motor industry at a very young age. He started working at the Ford Motor Company when his father (of Sindhi descent) emigrated from India to the United States in the 1960s. Vinay became a car lover under the influence of his father: “He was in the car business, and I was also in the car business because I was his son, and I loved that.” Once he moved to Michigan, Vinay earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan, a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and Manufacturing Systems Engineering from Stanford University. Currently, Vinay lives in the Dallas area.

Vinay is Vice President of Marketing for Lexus, a Japanese high-end car brand created by Toyota Inc., a position he has held since January 2021. He is responsible for Lexus’ marketing activities, including advertising campaigns, media and digital, product marketing and lifecycle management, auto shows, incentive and experiential marketing, and motorsports. He creates a “speak up” environment to make the opinions of all members of his team visible (agency partners and internal staff). Identifying social and commercial values helps expand the brand to various groups of consumers who may not align with the preferences of the Asian population, such as Walton Isaacson (black, Hispanic, and LGBTIQ community) and the IW group.

In addition, he oversees motorsports, engagement marketing, car shows, and other consumer events throughout the United States. Vasser Sullivan is a race team, with worldwide competitors such as Cadillac, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi, that Lexus empowers with some of the best drivers –  “We definitely want to win, and we have a winning team.” Meanwhile, Lexus also helps improve consumers’ skills in car track by providing the opportunity to study professionally at Performance Driving School.

Since the brand is determined to treat consumers as valued guests, one of Vinay’s top initiatives iis Lexus Hospitality, as it is inspired by the Japanese spirit of hospitality and is committed to providing excellence in customer service. 

Another dimension within the marketing field is monitoring and analyzing the results after experimenting with the Lexus IS 500 model and the Lexus RC F Track Edition. 

Under the massive influence of the metaverse today, Vinay mentions that Lexus is creating its own Mark Netscape plus Upstream to figure out what the role of Lexus is as a brand in the metaverse. In addition, they are in talks with global partners like Lexus International to find out what is being sought out in Japan while identifying markets in the US, Canada, and Great Britain. Based on the diverse target audience of Lexus in the United States, Vinay seeks to use digital media and the National Brand Day to show brand culture and emotion, even

creating a TikTok account to get closer to younger audiences.  

As a high environment-friendly brand, by 2035, Vinay plans for Lexus to be a ‘global 100% battery electric’ vehicle brand to reduce fossil fuel consumption and emissions. With these measures, it’s great to see the carbon footprint will be reduced thanks to the company’s shift. 

Finally, Vinay adds that “it is important that we know who we are as a brand from a strategic perspective.” With this, they are trying to add attractive and technological accessories to their vehicles that give the driver great confidence in the handling and control of their car. “Maintaining a love for performance cars gets your heart rate up, it excites you, and that’s something we definitely want to associate with different brands.”

Article: 

Andrea Esteban, Vaughn Lowery, Krishan Narsinghani, Armon Hayes

Resources:

Lexus & Toyota Motor North America

Links to the 2023 product announcements: Toyota New Product Showcase and 

Lexus New Product Showcase

RZ images can be found within the 2023 Lexus RZ album on this page.

Link to each brand’s Livestream press conference:

Toyota | Lexus

Link to Toyota Connected ‘Cabin Awareness’ Concept press release

Links to the final PDFs of the speaker support slides for each presentation:

Toyota , Lexus × Sequoia First Drive

Follow Vinay Shahani: Instagram | LinkedIn

Shanghai during COVID-19 lockdown via Hannah Zhong for use by 360 Magazine

Shanghai Navigates COVID Lockdown

On March 28, the urbanist city in China of Shanghai began to lockdown. As of now, all people continue to be quarantined at home, with schools and businesses closed.

During the extended quarantine of Shanghai, the number of infections has continued to climb. A few things about the gravity of the lockdown are worth noting.

First is the treatment of positive patients. In most countries, people with mild infections only need to be quarantined at home to wait for self-recovery. China differs from often countries as they have adopted centralized quarantine, which includes quarantine of close contacts.

After the outbreak, countless shelter hospitals were built in Shanghai, with some schools, office buildings, and stadiums were requisitioned to build shelter hospitals. Because the speed of construction could not keep up with the spread of the virus, many covid positive patients waited at home for more than a week for treatment and were later sent to shelter hospitals even after testing negative. Many patients even spend whole days in transfer cars because all the shelter hospitals are full.

The conditions of shelter hospitals are also very diverse. Some places have sufficient food supply, and the environment is very hygienic. However, the sanitary conditions of some hospitals are shocking. Hundreds of people share one restroom, and in severe cases, toilets may even be filled with excrement.

Next, it is important to dicsuss the lack of food, specifically outage of all packages and restaurant delivery. The government issued a statement on March 28th, which entailed the Pudong district being locked down from March 28th to April 1st. Remaining areas would be locked down from April 1st to April 5th. Many people stored food for four days as directed by the government, but Shanghai’s lockdown was not lifted by the fourth day.

The government distributes food and daily necessities to residents, but the food everyone received could not sustain a month-long confinement. Some open supermarkets began taking orders in the morning hours, but a community with tens of thousands of people can only take hundreds of orders, leaving most citizens with no way to order food.

As a result, some people spontaneously initiated group purchases, with a resident of the community as the leader, negotiating with food suppliers, and then ordering the food needed by the entire community, and then distributing them by themselves. In communities with few households, everyone can only rely on supermarket deliveries.

Lastly, non-COVID-19 patients have not been receiving adequate treatment. During the quarantine period, all citizens were unable to leave their homes, which led to the difficulty of seeing a doctor for patients with underlying diseases. There are many patients who need hemodialysis, chemotherapy, and surgery that cannot be treated in time.

For emergency patients, it is even more difficult, because hospitals need Covid PCR test reports within 24 hours before they can accept patients. There are some acutely ill patients, such as myocardial infarction, renal failure, etc., who died at the hospital gate because they were waiting for the PCR test report.

As April 21, Shanghai had been closed for 24 days, with the number of infected people beginning to slowly decline on April 17. The government declared that “Zero-Covid policy” must be implemented. It remains to be seen where Shanghai will go in the future.

Article by: Hannah Zhong

Shanghai during COVID-19 lockdown via Hannah Zhong for use by 360 Magazine
Seventeen inside 360 MAGAZINE

Seventeen – Darl+ing VIDEO

Watch HERE.

K-pop stage-breakers SEVENTEEN just dropped their first English language single “Darl+ing” at midnight ET. Arriving ahead of their full-length album to be released in May, the single opens a new, heartfelt chapter in the band’s story. 

Built on a sweet-sounding but addictive chorus and an enthralling line of synths, “Darl+ing” is an eloquent expression of the 13-piece act’s admiration for the idea of ‘togetherness’. Like many of their previous hits, “Darl+ing” is also a self-produced track. The leader of the band’s vocal unit WOOZI took part in producing the single, credited for both its lyrics and composition.

A cinematic depiction of a new chapter in SEVENTEEN’s journey, the accompanying music video is packed with ethereal aesthetics and hints about stories to follow. The video shows the thirteen members traverse past an idyllic world that overflows with light and venture into a state of darkness, piquing curiosity around the forthcoming full-length album.

As global fans welcome their highly anticipated return, the K-pop superstars are slated to present their very first performance of “Darl+ing” at 5 PM ET today on MTV Fresh Out Live.

SEVENTEEN’s collaborative project with Apple is also being launched in time for the release. The K-pop creatives and Apple embarked on the first K-pop Today at Apple Remix session today in Korea. During the 60-minute sessions to be held initially in Apple stores in Korea and then across Asia, attendees will discover more about the band’s creative process and be guided to create a one-of-a-kind remix of “Darl+ing” using GarageBand and Apple’s devices. 

About SEVENTEEN:

Racking up 2 billion streams and selling 10 million albums, SEVENTEEN—comprised of S.COUPS, JEONGHAN, JOSHUA, JUN, HOSHI, WONWOO, WOOZI, THE 8, MINGYU, DK, SEUNGKWAN, VERNON and DINO—has rocketed to the forefront of the music scene fueled by a fiercely independent spirit and a nonpareil in-house creative ecosystem. The group’s innovative structure hinges on the interplay of three units: hip-hop, vocal, and performance. Living up to the title of “K-pop Stage-breakers,” SEVENTEEN has unassumingly made history and become one of the biggest groups ever due to their world-class synchronization, jaw-dropping choreography, and tight teamwork. Moving at an unparalleled pace, the K-pop stage-breakers made their U.S. television debut on The Late Late Show with James Corden in January 2021 and followed it with unforgettable performances on The Kelly Clarkson Show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live! and MTV’s Fresh Out Live. SEVENTEEN’s latest EP Attacca debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Album Sales chart and No. 13 on the Billboard 200. It sold over 1.3 million copies in the first week of release, earning the K-pop superstars the “quintuple million seller” title as it joins their last four consecutive releases—An Ode, Heng:garæ and ; [Semicolon], Your Choice—in selling over 1 million copies each. 

Follow SEVENTEEN:

Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | TikTok | YouTube | Spotify | Apple Music

Heather Skovlund for use by 360 Magazine

Liming and Phosphorous Increase Cassava Yields

Cassava is a woody, edible starchy root that provides an immense number of calories, carbohydrates, vitamins B and C and essential minerals. The plant is significant particularly in developing countries in the tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, Asia and the Americas due to its capability to withstand challenging growing conditions. Although Cassava is essential to specific regions of the globe, it has been used as a crucial source of calories for around a billion people everywhere.

In a new research study published in Agronomy Journal, researchers in Brazil explored hypothesized options for increasing cassava yields. Researchers found that adding both calcium and phosphorous to the soils of these plants would in return increase cassava yields. These found higher yields came with no correlation to increases in cooking times.

One of the main challenges that comes with growing cassava particularly in the tropics stems from the naturally acidic soils that are accompanied by low phosphorous convenience in those regions. Phosphorous is a heavily needed nutrient in plant growth. Through a process of liming, which is essentially adding calcium carbonate to the soils, nutrients like phosphorus organically becomes more available to plants. Liming also makes the plants affected less acidic, which is vital in the growth and production of edible cassava crops.

Though much was known about the process of liming, there was still a lot to uncover about the effects of the process on cassava crops. Adalton Fernandes, co-author of the new research study, states that “It was generally believed that adding calcium to the soil could increase cassava root cooking times… we showed that liming caused minimal changes to cassava cooking times.”

Liming was found, though, to increase cassava yields in the study when in blend with phosphorous fertilizers. Without liming and phosphorus fertilizers, cassava roots weighed about 270 grams – 9.5 ounces – on average. Assessments found that at top levels of liming and phosphorous fertilization, on average the roots weighed over 350 grams – more than 12 ounces. That adds up to over a 26% increase with the accumulation of liming and phosphorus.

The study lasted over the course of two years and was conducted on an experimental farm in Botucatu, Brazil. Experimental subjects were exposed to differing rates before the cassava planting. Half of the subjects received no phosphorous fertilizers. Researchers added about 70 kilograms – converted to 155 lbs – of phosphorous fertilizer to the other subjects.

Differing features of the cassava plants were assessed based on growth with or without liming and phosphorous. These characteristics that were measured included number of roots per plant, root length, root weight and cooking times.

It was found that the addition of phosphorous increased the number of roots per plant by around 8%. Root lengths did not change substantially with liming nor phosphorous fertilization. Cassava root yields were increased by 22% with phosphorous application and 28% with liming. Cooking times increased by only 6% – less than 2 minutes – with liming. The slight increase in cooking time balances out by the large increase in yields. Fernandes states, “This small increase in cooking time is no reason for cassava farmers to not apply lime.”

An untested hypothesis that phosphorous fertilizers could lower cooking time in cassava roots was ultimately disapproved by Fernandes. Fernandes states, “we observed that phosphorus-fertilized cassava roots did not cook faster. So, phosphorus fertilization is not a recommended or viable way to reduce cooking times for cassava roots.”

Fernandes and his team are still looking to further research with differing varieties of cassava. “Will the amounts of lime and phosphorus fertilizer needed be the same for other varieties of cassava?” asks Fernandes. This poses an imperative question because varying types of cassava may have different reactions to the processes of liming and fertilization.

Q&A × Keenan Te

By: Heather

Keenan Te started posting singing videos on TikTok a year and a half ago and has amassed over 1.6million followers. 2021 has been a hectic year for Keenan, with his last song Dependent being released in April. Dependent currently has over 50 million plays across platforms and flew to number 1 on Indonesia’s Viral 50 Spotify chart, as well as the Top 5 of many other countries across Asia.

We had the pleasure of corresponding with Keenan to learn about his inspiration, who he looks up to, and so much more. Read on to find out his answers!

What first got you into music?

Music has always been a big part of my life ever since I was young. There are videos of me when I was 1 or 2 years old singing and putting on ‘concerts’ for my family hahah. My parents played a big part of the start of my music journey, my dad taught me how to play piano and my mum taught me how to play guitar! It’s always been something I’ve been surrounded by.

Who inspired you to make music?

My parents have always been super supportive of me which I’m really grateful for. I remember watching Australian Idol for the first time when I was 2 and thinking I would love to be on a stage like that or do something like that in future, so singing has always been something I’ve wanted to do.

How would you describe the music that you typically create?

The music I usually write are sad pop songs that are about real situations and feelings that I’ve gone through or experienced. I hate talking about my feelings and I’m really bad at it but for some reason putting them into a song comes naturally to me, so I love being able to do that.

What inspired you to write “Dependent”?

‘Dependent’ actually came to me in the middle of the night and it only took me around 20 minutes to finish writing! I had spent the day thinking about a past situation I had been through, where I couldn’t get over someone but also knew that they weren’t meant to be in my life anymore. I knew that the internal battle of wanting to move on but also not being able to was something that a lot of people would be able to relate to, so I sat down at the piano and kind of just sang whatever came to mind.

Can you tell us about the inspiration behind “I’m Done” and “Hello”?

I wrote ‘I’m Done’ right after I had an argument with someone, and it was just what I was feeling at the time. I wanted to write a song that people could vibe to but also scream their lungs out too right after a breakup or something like that.

I have a list of random lyric ideas in my phone, and there was one that said, ‘it’s the last time that I’ll say hello.’ I liked the idea of a breakup song about saying goodbye to someone being called ‘Hello’ hahah. I kinda built the song off that initial line.

How would you describe your experience on TikTok?

I love using TikTok and I am so grateful to have built a community on there! It actually started off as a joke, out of boredom one night right as the pandemic was beginning in 2020. I didn’t really understand how to use it at first but then just thought I’d upload a few singing videos, not expecting for anyone to see them. I remember waking up in the middle of that night because my phone was buzzing like crazy with notifications! I’ve been posting singing videos daily since that moment and it’s mind-blowing to me that over 1.6 million people follow me and want to hear me sing.  

What is your creative process like?

My creative process for writing songs always starts off at either the piano or guitar. I usually just sit and hit record on my phone, and then sing whatever melodies or lyrics that come to mind. It’s usually a whole lot of gibberish at the start but once I find a melody I like, I try to build off that and build the song around that. Sometimes it can take me as quickly as 15 minutes to finish writing a song, other times I let myself brainstorm over a few days. I

Who would you most like to collaborate with?

There are so many people I’d love to collaborate with. Definitely Olivia Rodrigo, I think we could write a cool duet together hahaha! I really like Clinton Kane’s songwriting as well, would be super cool to jump in the studio with him.

If you could open a show for any artist, who would it be?

Justin Bieber. I’ve watched a lot of clips of his tour performances and stuff, and it just looks like so much fun!!

What is one message you would give your fans?

If you have a dream or goals that you want to achieve, don’t be afraid to put in the hard work and take risks to reach it!

What is the most useless talent you have?

I can type really fast. I’ve been able to since I was like 9 hahah

What would you be doing right now if it wasn’t for your music career?

If it wasn’t for my music career, I would probably be doing something marketing or business-related. I had started my business degree before any of my TikTok or songs had begun to gain traction, so that would probably be the industry I would be in if it wasn’t for my music career.

Outside of TikTok, where have you performed?

I’ve done some local performances here in Melbourne and was featured on Australian TV a few times too. I actually appeared on The Voice Australia in 2019 as well but that feels like an entirely different world and person hahaha. I’ve grown a lot since then and am really happy with how things are going right now.

How do you think the internet has impacted your career? The music business in general?

The internet and social media helped my career so much! Social media has been the way that new people discover me and my music and has helped me connect with fans all over the world, which I love. The music business as a whole has also changed heaps too since the introduction of social media, Tik Tok especially. There are more opportunities for singers now to get their music out there without having to spend heaps of money on advertisements and stuff like that.

What is your favorite song to perform?

My favorite song right now to perform would be my recent song ‘Dependent’. There’s something that hits different when it comes to performing songs that I’ve written myself, compared to singing other people’s songs. But if I had to choose a song that isn’t mine, definitely ‘Jealous’ by Labrinth.

Which famous musicians do you admire?

I love how Justin Bieber and Shawn Mendes turned their social media following into a full-blown music career. There are a lot of artists that have done the same, and it’s something that I admire, as I can relate in some way, but am still working on.

What is the best advice you’ve been given?

The best advice that I’ve been given is that everything happens for a reason. I truly believe that both bad and good things help shape who you are as a person and can lead to better opportunities in the future.

If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?

I love that the internet is creating so many opportunities for independent singers and musicians, but I would love it to be even more accessible somehow!

Would you agree that it is important to learn, study and understand old music and music history?

Definitely, old music trends and sounds reappear in today’s music so it’s important to have an understanding of what music was like in the past. I also just find it so interesting to see what the music industry was like before I was born and see the culture and also who were the biggest stars at the time!

What’s next for you?

I have a few exciting projects in the works, and also a lot of songs coming out! My next single will be out next month so I’ve been working hard on that. I’ve been working really hard on these next few songs that are coming so I’m really keen for everyone to hear them.

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Photo Credit: Taine Noble

Rita Azar, 360 MAGAZINE, travel, illustration

Medjet COVID-19 Air Medical Transport Benefits

Medjet, the industry leading air medical transport and travel security membership program, announced today that it has expanded its transport benefits for COVID-19. Effective today, Medjet members who fall ill from COVID-19, and become hospitalized while traveling globally, may now be transported to a home hospital of their choice. In October of 2020, Medjet was the first program of its kind to add COVID-19 transport benefits, but previously had limited transport services to travel within the US, Canada, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.

“As more and more countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and South America have opened their borders to travelers, we have increased our COVID-19 transport capabilities. Our members’ safety is always our top priority, and we continually evolve our services based on member needs,” said Mike Hallman, CEO of Medjet.

The expansion of global benefits will not increase Medjet membership prices, and benefits are applicable to both existing and new MedjetAssist and MedjetHorizon memberships as of July 12, 2021.

“While COVID is still a top concern for travelers, our own internal polling (in May) also showed that members were still very concerned with all the other accidents and illnesses that kept us busy pre-COVID. I think there’s now a heightened awareness of vulnerability, overall, while away from home. We hope that being able to get members back from more destinations, even for COVID, gives them the confidence to enjoy traveling again,” said Hallman.

Despite the increased cost of providing transport for a COVID-19 positive member, Medjet will continue to absorb 100% of all costs associated with the transport, and maintain its “no cost caps on transports” policy. A regular air ambulance transport can cost up to $30,000 domestically, and up to $180,000 internationally. Medjet memberships start at $99.

Updates and restrictions surrounding COVID-19 transport benefits can be found here. Full Medjet rules and regulations can be found here.

ABOUT MEDJET

Medjet was the first company in the U.S. to implement the air-medical transport membership concept. Since 1991, Medjet has forged a global network of air medical transport and security response providers to meet traveler health and safety needs. At any given time, Medjet has access to hundreds of air ambulances, commercial medical escorts, and highly trained security and crisis response personnel, ready to launch from both domestic and international locations. The company most notably differentiates from other players in the market through its commitment to arrange air medical transfer, regardless of medical necessity, to the member’s hospital of choice in their home country. It is the preferred program for virtually every major luxury travel consortia (Virtuoso, Signature, Westa), and thousands of organizations including AARP, Morgan Stanley, and the NFL.

Medjet memberships are available to residents of the U.S., Canada and Mexico, and protect members while traveling 150 miles or more from their primary residence (domestic and international travel benefits).