Posts tagged with "coronavirus"

Breaking News by Nicole Salazar

Weekly News Roundup: Week of May 3

President Biden Raises Refugee Admission Cap to 62,500 People

In a move to reverse former President Donald Trump’s stricter admission cap on refugees, President Biden has raised the admission cap to 62,500 people in the next six months. Originally, Trump had administered a cap on 15,000 refugees. At first, Biden said he would stick to this figure, but changed his stance after receiving condemnation from Democrats on Capitol Hill. In a statement issued by the White House addressing this political reversal, Biden commented “This erases the historically low number set by the previous administration of 15,000, which did not reflect America’s values as a nation that welcomes and supports refugees.” The New York Times says that Biden’s statement acknowledged how Trump’s budget and staffing cuts during his presidency makes it more unlikely to handle resettling 62,500 refugees within the coming year. In his statement, Biden admitted “the sad truth is that we will not achieve 62,500 admissions this year,” he said. “We are working quickly to undo the damage of the last four years. It will take some time, but that work is already underway.”

Pfizer Vaccine to be Administered to Adolescents

The availability of the Pfizer vaccine is soon to more accessible to millions more Americans. The FDA is said to authorize the use of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine for adolescents aged 12-15 by early next week. Pfizer has recently released trial results in which show their vaccine to be at least as effective for adolescents as it is for the adult population. If granted access, the CDC will likely meet the following day to review the clinical trial data and announce public health recommendations for adolescent vaccinations.  Over 100 million adults have already been vaccinated, and with the Pfizer vaccine becoming available to millions more, the level of public immunity is forecasted to rise, and the number of deaths and hospitalizations are to drop.

In order to target vaccinations to younger Americans, Biden announced on Tuesday that mass vaccinations sites would shift to more local settings. He also stated his goal of vaccination 70% of Americans by July’s Independence Day. To those who are unvaccinated, Biden plead: “This is your choice. Its life and death.” On Tuesday, the Biden Administration announced that tens of millions more Americans need to get vaccinated before the rate of the coronavirus will be low enough to return to normalcy.

Subway Overpass Collapse Results in the Death of 23 People

Late Monday night in Mexico City, the collapse of a subway overpass–and subsequent fall of an active train car– resulted in the deaths of 23 people. Dozens of more victims are suffering injuries. The accident occurred on Line 12, one of the newer tracks in Mexico’s subway system. The subway system has been plagued by safety concerns from the public after a severe earthquake in 2017. Over 70 people were transported to the nearby hospitals, most of them delivered to Belisario Dominguez Hospital. Mexico’s fire fighters, military, and forensics department all arrived on scene to aid in the rescuing and recovery of the accident’s victims. Currently, Line 12 will remain closed as authorities investigate the harrowing accident. The Mayor of Mexico City, Claudio Steinbaum, spoke to reporters on Tuesday morning: ” At this moment, we can’t speculate about what happened. There has to be a deep investigation, and whoever is responsible has to be held responsible.”

Derek Chauvin Files for New Trial Regarding Murder of George Floyd

The trial of the police officer involved in the killing of George Floyd, Derek Chauvin, was found guilty of one count of second-degree murder, one count of third-degree murder, and one count of second-degree manslaughter by Judge Peter Cahill. However, Chauvin’ lawyer, Eric Nelson, is now claiming that Chauvin’s rights were violated during the trial since Judge Cahill refused a change of venue regarding where the trial was help. As a result of such, Nelson claims that the pre-trial publicity deprived Chauvin of a fair trial. NPR reports that Nelson also has cited “prosecutorial and jury misconduct; errors of law at trial; and a verdict that is contrary to law.” In Nelson’s file motion that requests another trial, he argues that the court “abused its discretion” because of the nationwide publicity of the high-profile trial. Due to the mass publicity of the trial, Nelson says that the defense’s expert witnesses and jury felt “threatened of intimidated, felt race-based pressure during the proceedings.”

NPR reports that according to Nelson’s file motion, the court abused its discretion by:

  • When it failed to sequester the jury for the duration of the trial, or in the least, admonish them to avoid all media
  • When it permitted the State to present cumulative evidence with respect to use of force
  • When it failed to order that a record be made of the numerous sidebars that occurred during the trial
  • When it submitted instructions to the jury that failed to accurately reflect the law with respect to second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and authorized use of force

NPR’s Carrie Johnson reports on how infrequently officers are called to conduct while in uniform, “Some studies show only seven police officers since 2005 have been convicted of murder for their actions on the job. That’s even though about 1,000 or 1,100 people a year die at the hands of police.” The way in which Derek Chauvin’s initial trial ended was a long-awaited plea for justice that many Americans felt finally acknowledged and held accountable the perpetrators of police violence and systemic racism in the nation. Ultimately, it is up to Judge Peter Cahill to decide whether to open trial again for Chauvin.

Liz Cheney May Be Sequestered From G.O.P.

Rep. Liz Cheyney has received backlash from Republican lawmakers in the GOP party due to her public criticisms of former President Donald Trump. After Trump’s insurrection at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, she voted to impeach him from office. This vote to impeach Trump increased tensions between Cheyney and the members of the GOP leadership and other Republican lawmakers. Notably, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy questioned Cheyney’s ability to carry out her position in office, stating “I have heard from members concerned about her ability to carry out the job as conference chair, to carry out the message. We all need to be working as one if we’re able to win the majority.” At the Conservative Political Action Committee, Cheyney was asked if Trump should speak at the conference. She replied, “I’ve been clear in my views about President Trump and the extent to which following Jan. 6 I don’t believe that he should be playing a role in the future of the party or the country.” While her party oppositions have landed Cheyney in controversy, Sen. Mitt Romney tweeted on Tuesday, recognizing her honesty and dedication to her stance: “Every person of conscience draws a line beyond which they will not go: Liz Cheney refuses to lie.”

Breaking News by Nicole Salazar

Breaking News Roundup – Week of April 27

A Jewish gathering in Israel resulted in the deaths of 44 people, and the injury of some 150 others.

The New York Times estimated that crowd of approximately 100,000 people had been congregating at Mount Meron the night prior to the stampede in celebration of Lag b’Omer. This even had been the first legal huge religious gathering since India’s curtailing of coronavirus mutations. A 24-year-old witness told Army Radio that a first row of people collapsed, resulting in the second row of people to also fall due to the pressure of the stampede, and so on. US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan tweeted Thursday night, “Our hearts go out to the people of Israel tonight following the tragedy at Mount Meron. We offer our condolences to the families and friends who lost loved ones in this disaster and wish a full and swift recovery to those injured.”

Coronavirus cases soar in India.

A global, record-number of cases has been set for the fifth day straight as of Monday in India. 352,991 cases had been confirmed over a 24-hour period. Immediately, the United States moved to send over medical equipment, medical gear, and other coronavirus resources. President Biden tweeted on Sunday night: “Just as India sent assistance to the United States as our hospitals were strained early in the pandemic, the United States is determined to help India in its time of need.”

North Carolina sheriff requests body camera footage of Andrew Brown Jr.’s death.

A North Carolina sheriff requests that the footage of Andrew Brown Jr.’s death be made publicly accessible. However, a court motion will have to be made to do so. Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten clarified “only a judge can release the video.” Wooten has allowed four of the deputies back on active duty after video evidence proved that they didn’t fire their weapons. Three sheriffs who did fire their weapons will remain on leave until the investigation is complete. As of Wednesday, the judge denied making the footage publicly accessible, but allowed Brown’s family to view the recording.

New Orleans Shooting Resulted in Injury to Five People

Early morning on Saturday, a shooting on Bourbon Street in New Orleans resulted in the injury to five people, though none of the injuries are believed to be life threatening. One person was treated on scene, and the rest of the injured people were taken to a nearby hospital. The reason behind what led to the shooting is currently unknown, but detectives are investigating the crime scene.

Wisconsin Casino Shooting resulted in tragedy.

Saturday night, a shooting at the Oneida Casino near Green Bay, Wisconsin, resulted in the death of two people, and serious injury to a third victim. Investigators believe that the gunman had a “personal relationship” with an employee who worked inside the Radisson Hotel & Conference Center at the Duck Creek restaurant. The targeted employee wasn’t working when the gunman took to opening fire, so the gunman instead attacked his target’s “co-workers or friends,” says Lt. Kevin Pawlak of the Brown Country Sheriff’s Department. The main casino and other facilities are closed until further notice, and the investigation is still unfolding.

Medina Spirit Wins 147th Kentucky Derby

The winner of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on Saturday was Medina Spirit. This year’s derby is believed to be the most attended event since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. The prized pony was trained by Bob Baffert, the most accomplished winner of the Derby–this win counting as his seventh victory. Medina Spirit won over second place Manaloun, third place Hot Rod Charlie, and Essential Quality at fourth.

On Wednesday, federal agents executed search warrants to investigate Rudy Giuliani’s Manhattan apartment.

The criminal investigation into Giuliani, who served as Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, has been underway for more than two years already. Trump’s activities in Ukraine, which may or may not involve illegal lobbying, are one of the main focuses of the investigation. Giuliani has denied any wrongdoing, claiming innocence, and has not been charged. A search warrant for a lawyer, such as Giuliani, requires a sign-off from the highest levels of the Department of Justice. Giuliani’s electronic devices including the computer belonging to his assistant. Giuliani’s assistant, Jo Ann Zafonte, has also received a subpoena to appear before a grand jury in court next month.

President Joe Biden surpassed 100 days in office.

During his speech to mark this event in Duluth, Georgia, Biden was interrupted by protesters rallying for prison reform. Biden agreed with their demand and took to praising and acknowledging Derek Chauvin’s conviction.

Some of the other biggest feats of Biden’s 100 days in office so far include administering 200 million vaccines doses as of April 21, passage of the American Rescue Plan to bolster funding vaccinations and improve economic recovery. President Biden also reopened the federal Affordable Care Act exchange, with additional assistance as part of the Democrat’s $1.9 trillion dollar relief package.

Further, Biden rescinded Trump’s national emergency declaration regarding the former president’s “zero tolerance” policy regarding migrant families. Biden has reversed Trump’s travel ban that targeted mostly Muslim countries and secured the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program for children brought into America as children.

Biden has also looked to address foreign policy issues, committing to withdrawing troops for Afghanistan before the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks. Additionally, Biden has looked to salvage the US-Iranian nuclear deal previously put into place by former President Barack Obama. The Biden administration has also issued diplomatic expulsions against Russia in response to Moscow’s interference in the 2020 election.

Looking to address issues of climate change, Biden looks to lower the US’ emission of greenhouse gases. Biden has already pursed this commitment by formally rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement back in February.

Finally, the President has showcased his commitment to social justice by hosting the most racially diverse cabinet in history, dissolving the 1776 commission, signing executive orders surrounding racial equity, and repealing Trump’s ban unto transgender people joining the military.

Biden looks to continue the national shift to greener energy, improve the US’ infrastructure, and invest in a $1.8 trillion federal investment program regarding education, childcare, and paid family leave.

VIDAS book illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

VIDAS: Deep in Mexico and Spain

ADVENTURE AWAITS IN THIS NEW COMING-OF-AGE TRAVEL MEMOIR 

“VIDAS: Deep in Mexico and Spain”

A Tribute to The Glorious Diversity of Our Worlds

Shortly after the American ministers of hate started demonizing the people of Mexico, New York Times Best-Selling Author Edward Stanton began writing about his own wide experience living in that country, confounding the bigots and their bogeys, showing the real women, men, and children he knew there. When the coronavirus struck Spain last year, he decided to include that country as a homage to it and its people, whom he also knew and loved. 

This is how VIDAS: Deep in Mexico and Spain was born.

A wayward descendant of Mexico’s national hero, a femme fatale who recites poems in cantinas, a Tunisian prostitute in Barcelona, a Spanish psychiatrist who fights brave bulls, the wise owner of the world’s oldest restaurant. They are just a handful of the characters portrayed in VIDAS: Deep in Mexico and Spain, the first memoir to capture Mexico and Spain from the perspective of an American and the knowledge of an insider.

VIDAS explores subjects as diverse as the art of blasphemy, the cult of the Virgin Mary, superstition and witchcraft, the bordellos of Mexico, Spain’s paradise of drink and food, the bullfight, and the running of bulls in Pamplona, the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. Every chapter of this vibrant travel memoir depicts a different person or place, which combined create a cross-section of the most populous Spanish-speaking countries in the New and Old World. VIDAS is a passage from childhood to adolescence and maturity, a tribute to nature and the open road, an exaltation of love, food, and wine, a journey from the tender, mortal flesh to the luminous world of the spirit.

-RELEASE DATE: March 1st, 2021
-PUBLISHING COMPANY: Waterside Publications
-ISBN-13: 978-1-949003-47-5 (print)
-ISBN-13: 978-1-949003-48-2 (eBook)
-GENRE: Nonfiction, travel, memoir, culture, diversity
-PRICE: $17.95 (print) $9.95 (eBook)
-PURCHASING INFO: VIDAS is available for purchase on Amazon here.

Why You Need This Book

Filled with photographs, this engaging and unique memoir provides a sensory travel experience many of us are craving today. VIDAS: Deep in Mexico and Spain offers the opportunity to learn about faraway lands and striking events while never leaving home. This timely “armchair travel” memoir is for anyone searching for an escape during our troubled time.

“Lyrical…Iconic…Elegant…” –KIRKUS REVIEWS

“A love letter to the Mexican and Spanish peoples, a pure affirmation of life in countries with radical cultures of death.” –ANA MERINO, WINNER 2020 PREMIO NADAL

About the Author, Edward Stanton:

Born in Colorado and raised in California, Edward Stanton has lived in Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay, and Spain. He’s the author of twelve books, some of them translated and published in Spanish, Arabic, and Chinese. Road of Stars to Santiago, the story of his 500-mile walk on the ancient pilgrimage route to Compostela, was called one of the best books on the subject by the New York Times; Stanton’s environmental novel Wide as the Wind, the first to treat the tragic history of Easter Island, won the Next Generation Indie Book Award for Young Adult Fiction and three other international prizes. 

travel illustration by Gabrielle Marchan for 360 Magazine

Beijing’s Tourism Revenue Drop

Beijing’s Tourism Revenue Dropped by 53% in 2020 – Loss of Over ¥330B 

The tourism industry was badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and the city of Beijing saw the momentum of the industry halted in 2020. Beijing had become an increasingly popular tourist destination prior to the pandemic with revenue from inbound tourism recorded at $5.16B in 2019. According to data presented by TradingPlatforms, Beijing’s total revenue from tourism decreased by over 53% in 2020 for a staggering loss of ¥330B, or $50B.

Beijing Revenue From Tourism Dropped By Over $50B After Years Of Growth

China has long moved on from its isolationist policies and has encouraged the mainland as a travel destination for tourists. Revenue from China’s tourism sector grew at a strong 13.8% CAGR from 2010-2019 to ¥5.7T, or almost $880B. In 2019, China was the fourth most visited country by foreign tourists with 65.7M arrivals for the year.

Beijing is one of the leading tourist destinations in China, and the city has been enjoying the growth of the tourism sector until the pandemic of 2020 hit. From 2016-2019, Beijing’s tourism revenue experienced a 5.53% CAGR, rising to a value of ¥622.7B in 2019. However, COVID-19 shut borders around the world, crippling global mobility and disrupting the momentum built up by Beijing’s tourism industry. Beijing’s revenue from tourism dropped over 53% in 2020 to just over ¥291.

Beijing suffered a staggering loss in revenue, specifically in inbound tourism, where revenue dropped from $5.16B in 2019 to just $480M in 2020.

COVID-19 Hit China Early – Caused Massive Disruption in H1 of 2020

China felt the effects of COVID-19 before much of the rest of the world did. A clear example of this is in the drop in weekly Airbnb bookings from the period between January 5th to March 7th. This drop occurred when the coronavirus was just becoming news to the rest of the world of what was happening in various parts of China. Beijing experienced a dizzying 96% drop in weekly Airbnb bookings compared to just 46% in Seoul and 29% in Tokyo in this time period.

The number of domestic tourists is estimated to have dropped by as much as 62% in the first half of 2020 compared to the year prior, with revenues dropping by as much as 77%. By the end of the year, China had experienced a 43% drop in domestic tourists and a 52% drop in revenue from domestic tourism.

Tourism in China Projected To Completely Recover Within 5 Years

In 2019, the absolute economic contribution of tourism in China was estimated at $1.67T. This fell sharply to just $745.5B in 2020-a decrease of more than 55%, but still the largest in Asia and the second-largest overall, after the USA. However, projections have the figure bouncing back up by over 40.5% in 2021 to $1.04T. The figure is projected to surpass pre-pandemic levels for the first time in 2023, when the absolute economic contribution of tourism is projected to be at $1.75T.

Despite the turmoil of 2020, China’s absolute economic contribution from tourism is projected to have an impressive CAGR of 20.75% from 2021-2025, reaching more than $2.67T by the end of the forecast period.

You can read more about the story with more statistics and information on TradingPlatforms’ website.

 

 

Post Vaccination Adventure Image by Sublime Public Relations courtesy of Adam York for 360 Magazine

Post-Vaccination Adventures

President Joe Biden’s recent announcement that the United States will have enough coronavirus vaccines for all adults by the end of May – two months earlier than previously thought – is promising news for travelers. Precautions will still need to be taken, of course, but domestic travel is likely to be popular again this summer, highlighted by national parks, active trips and travel where physical distancing is possible. Here are six dream vacations to take this summer once you’ve gotten your shots.

 

1. Long-Weekend Cycling: Adventure Cycling Association is offering a new collection of long-weekend tours close metropolitan areas to make it easy to give bike travel a try. Options include taking in the crisp mountain air and stunning vistas while cycling around the stunning Lake Tahoe on the California-Nevada border, or leaving behind the hustle and bustle of New York City to bike up the Hudson River valley and visit peaceful state parks. To learn more, visit this website

 

2. Greater Yellowstone Adventures: A stay at The Wilson Hotel in Big Sky, Montana, offers the opportunity to explore the surrounding mountains, rivers and Yellowstone National Park. Go hiking through shaded forests and wildflower-filled alpine meadows, float or fly fish in a clear, cool river, experience the adrenaline rush of lift-served mountain biking at Big Sky Resort, or tour the natural wonders and wildlife of Yellowstone. To learn more, visit this website.

 

3. Explore National Parks by RV: Blacksford is a new recreational vehicle rental business with an all-inclusive pricing model that includes unlimited miles, no generator fees, bedding, bath and kitchen supplies, free Wi-Fi, free annual national park pass and 24-hour roadside assistance. Blacksford also curates road trip experiences by connecting travelers with vetted campsites, guides and other hand-picked attractions. To learn more, visit this website.  

 

4. Channel Your Inner Cowboy: “Yellowstone,” the wildly popular cable television series starring Kevin Costner, has sparked newfound interest in luxury dude ranch vacations. Red Reflet Ranch, a 28,000-acre guest ranch in Ten Sleep, Wyoming, has experienced a surge of guests booking five-figure vacations because of their love for the series. Guests stay in fully-stocked private cabins and enjoy farm-to-table cuisine while participating in equestrian programs, cattle branding, hiking, mountain biking, ATVing, fly fishing, shooting, family-friendly activities and cooking classes. To learn more, visit this website.

 

5. Idaho Hot Springs, Camping and Cycling: Escape Adventures is excited to offer a multiday cycling tour showcasing Idaho’s magnificent Sawtooth Range and some of the state’s most scenic natural hot springs. The tour includes five days of transfixing road rides – including over the highest paved road in the American Northwest – colorful mining towns, wild rivers and remote natural hot springs. To learn more, visit this website.

 

6. Retreat to a Teton Tiny House: With sustainably built, LEED-certified “tiny house” cabins, Fireside Resort is Jackson Hole, Wyoming’s most innovative take on resort town lodging. The resort embraces modern, yet rustic design and presents a fresh approach to luxury lodging. Nestled in a wooded setting at the foot of the Teton Range, the cabins allow guests to get back to nature while enjoying the intimacy of a boutique hotel and the ambiance of their own cozy residence. To learn more, visit this website.

Post Vaccination Adventure Image by Sublime Public Relations courtesy of Adam York for 360 MagazinePost Vaccination Adventure Image by Sublime Public Relations courtesy of Adam York for 360 Magazine

Post Vaccination Adventure Image by Sublime Public Relations courtesy of Adam York for 360 Magazine

Fireside Resort. Post Vaccination Adventure Image by Sublime Public Relations courtesy of Adam York for 360 Magazine

Online shopping illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Digital Transformation: ByondXR

Digital Transformation: ByondXR Develops virtual commerce platform used by World-leading Retailers

Web-based Virtual eCommerce: Transforming the Future of Retail

The online shopping landscape is continuously changing, with companies finding new solutions to bring unique experiences to their customers. When the coronavirus pandemic shook the world, brands had to adapt to the virtual landscape, as in-store shopping became nearly impossible quickly. With the fear and apprehension that the pandemic created, naturally, people lost the motivation to shop in-person as much as they used to.

Companies that rely on physical shopping lost their customers and floundered, while companies that already had a significant digital presence increased their business. As businesses struggled to stay afloat, ByondXR, a company specializing in building online virtual storefronts and showrooms, was positioned to assist them in building their digital presence and offering new experiences for customers despite the pandemic.

Industry veterans Noam Levavi and Eran Galil founded ByondXR in 2016, intending to help businesses acclimate themselves to the growing virtual commerce market. Having as much familiarity and expertise with online retail merchandising as they did, after COVID-19 quarantining forced people to isolate themselves and remain in their homes, companies like Lancôme, Target, and P&G turned to ByondXR for their technical know-how.

Their innovative technology caters to wholesale and retail businesses who seek to improve their digital marketing presence. With their team of experts, they truly revolutionize the virtual commerce market by creating the most stunning visual web experiences that significantly improve conversion rates, engagement, and reduced return rates.

The virtual showrooms allow customers to browse through a store as if they were moving through a physical space. Customers can pan around, viewing colorful and appealing displays of items. By simply clicking on an item or display, an information box pops up where the customer can view more info about the product, interact with the product in 3D, or place the product in their physical space using ByondXR AR capabilities. To close the loop, users can click to purchase the products directly.

Using the full 3D store simulation that ByondXR creates for top fashion retailers, the Virtual Merchandising teams invite VM, store managers, and customers to take immersive virtual tours of their digital storefront. Visitors can view and interact with new clothing and merchandise hanging on racks and displayed on tables or mannequins by visualizing the store, its fixtures, and garments.

This kind of experiential retail provides customers with a far more interactive and engaging experience than simply scrolling mindlessly through pages and pages of products on Amazon or any other retail website. Customers can view items and read product descriptions on a company website as much as they like, but online shopping can rarely be as effective as shopping in a real, physical store. These virtual storefronts give customers the feeling of in-person shopping without leaving their homes and risk getting sick.

The broad range of clients that ByondXR has worked with have found that customers are looking for new shopping experiences, different from the ones that they are used to, especially when over-use of traditional digital shopping venues has rendered them mundane and unengaging. Virtual storefronts like those they have built for Lancôme and P&G are only the beginning of ByondXR’s technological revolution.

Take, for example, 3D visualizers that they have created for home decor companies like CaesarStone. In these online stores, customers can view a realistic 3D room like a kitchen or a child’s bedroom. With a click of a button, they can place down a crib or a wardrobe in this 360 environment, viewing the item in a digital space as if it were actually in their home and use AR to visualize the product in their own home. They can change the decorations and furniture’s colors and designs and pan around, viewing the items with the depth and authenticity that they would get from a physical store.

One of the most important parts of buying a piece of furniture is visualizing what it might look like in a customer’s own home, and with technology like this, customers won’t be left scratching their heads in the middle of a store. No more wondering what a product might look like when delivered to the customers’ houses with ByondXR storefronts, and they get what they see.

The public interest in digital shopping has only grown since its inception, and the global pandemic has only sped up the growth of virtual commerce. The boom in digital shopping has led to such revolutionary techniques as ByondXR’s virtual stores and showrooms seem to have ushered in the future of shopping, where people can browse items and walk-through stores without ever leaving their homes.

As the pandemic continues, both in the US and abroad, the apprehension that people feel about shopping in person has only increased. People don’t want to risk getting the virus and then spreading it to their friends and family, and so they have turned to online shopping in droves to fill their needs. Although the most important aspect of retail business is to provide customers with quality products, the aesthetics and the art of the way these products are displayed play a large role in what brands customers decide to shop with.

With this kind of technology becoming more and more popular with companies and with the customers that they serve, the question arises: Will shopping ever return to the way it was before?

The pandemic has certainly altered the world forever, but many have wondered if customers will return to physical stores once they can safely and healthily do so. With specialized technical advancements in the virtual commerce market like those that ByondXR provides their clients with, customers may decide that they don’t have to visit stores in person to get what they need.

In fact, home decor technology of the kind they built for Caesar Stone is often found more useful to customers than shopping for furniture, tiles, or decorations in person. Why go to a physical store if customers can get the same experience by shopping online from the comfort of their homes while losing none of the in-person stores’ appeals?

There is also another angle to it: while utilizing VR, retail brands can improve brand messaging, boost online influence, and create unique touching points with customers, something that regular eComment lacks.

No matter what the future holds for the virtual commerce market, ByondXR and their CEO Noam Levavi have positioned themselves at the forefront of digital shopping innovation, and they are ready to meet the next challenge head-on.

Illustration by Gabrielle Archuleta for 360 Magazine

Oscars 2021, Only Kind of White

By Dana Feeney

The nominations for the 2021 Oscars have finally been announced. In June 2020 it was announced that the awards show would be postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The Oscars were originally scheduled for February 21 but they will now be on April 25. The award show is run by the Academy of Motion Pictures, which was founded in the 1930s. This is the third time in Oscar’s history that the show has been postponed: the first time was in 1968 after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the second in 1981 due to an assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan.

Despite the Coronavirus pandemic, there are many incredible films that have been created in the past year. This is the first time in Oscars history that the Academy will allow streaming films meaning films that did not have a box office debut. According to the Academy announcement last April, it will be a one time exception made to the eligibility rules due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting theater closures. This makes films like 2021 awards season powerhouse Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, which exclusively premiered on Amazon Prime Video, eligible for award nominations.

Landmarks in Diversity

This is the first time in the Academy’s history that two women have been nominated for Best Director; Chloé Zhao for “Nomadland” and Emerald Fennell for “Promising Young Woman.”  Zhao is the first woman of color to be nominated for Best Director at the Oscars. She is also the first woman to ever receive four nominations in one year. 

This is the first time that the Best Actor category is not majority white. Steven Yeun was the first Asian American to be nominated for Best Actor for his role in “Minari“. Also nominated for Best Actor, Riz Ahmed is the first person of Pakistani descent and the first Muslim person ever nominated for an acting Oscar for his performance in “Sound of Metal.” They are nominated alongside Chadwick Boseman for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” Anthony Hopkins for “The Father” and Gary Oldman for “Mank.” Chadwick Boseman is the first black actor to be nominated for a posthumous Oscar and may be the first black actor to win a posthumous Oscar considering his Golden Globes win

Many black filmmakers and professionals made history this year including Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson, who are the first Black women nominated for best makeup and hairstyling for their work on “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” Additionally, “Judas and the Black Messiah” is the first movie with an all-Black producing team, Shaka King, Charles D. King and Ryan Coogler, to be nominated for best picture. Daniel Kaluuya and LaKeith Stanfield’s acting nominations for “Judas and the Black Messiah” marks the first time two Black actors from the same film were nominated. “Judas and the Black Messiah” now holds the record for most Black nominees ever from the same film with 10 nominations compared to the past record which was “The Color Purple” with 7 nominations.

The best actress nominees include Viola Davis for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” who is now the most nominated Black actress ever and Andra Day for her performance in “The United States vs. Billie Holiday.” The best supporting actor nominees include Daniel Kaluuya for “Judas and the Black Messiah”, Leslie Odom Jr. for “One Night in Miami…” and LaKeith Stanfield for “Judas and the Black Messiah.” Additionally, Yuh-Jung Youn, who is nominated for Best Supporting Actress for “Minari”, is the first Korean person ever nominated for an acting Oscar.

As expected, the nominations for the Oscars have many familiar titles from the Golden Globes nominations. You can read more about this year’s Golden Globes here. It’ll be interesting to see how the Oscars winners compare to the Golden Globes winners considering last year’s parallel with Parasite’s Oscars win for Best Picture versus it’s Golden Globes snub.

This year’s nominations are as diverse as the Oscars have ever been, though the bar still is on the floor considering the nominees are still predominantly old, white, and male. In 2020 the Oscars earned the hastag, #OscarsSoWhite so The influx of recognition for minorities is significant in comparison. For reference last year the only non-white person nominated was Cynthia Erivo, who was nominated for Best Actress. 

The Academy is working on improving their organization and have increased the number of female identifying members from 25% in 2015 to 33% in 2020, and increased members from racial and ethnic minorities, from 10% in 2015 to 19% in 2020. Considering the significant lack of diversity and recognition in categories like Best Picture and the lack of representation for Latinx individuals almost entirely, the Academy still has a way to go til its awards actually recognize and represent the diversity of the film community. 

Full List of 2021 Oscar Nominations

Similar to college basketball’s March Madness brackets, we highly recommend making Oscars ballots. It’s a super fun way to engage in awards shows which tend to be pretty monotonous and motivates people to actually watch the nominated films.

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

NOMINEES:

RIZ AHMED

Sound of Metal

CHADWICK BOSEMAN

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

ANTHONY HOPKINS

The Father

GARY OLDMAN

Mank

STEVEN YEUN

Minari

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

NOMINEES:

SACHA BARON COHEN

The Trial of the Chicago 7

DANIEL KALUUYA

Judas and the Black Messiah

LESLIE ODOM, JR.

One Night in Miami…

PAUL RACI

Sound of Metal

LAKEITH STANFIELD

Judas and the Black Messiah

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

NOMINEES:

VIOLA DAVIS

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

ANDRA DAY

The United States vs. Billie Holiday

VANESSA KIRBY

Pieces of a Woman

FRANCES MCDORMAND

Nomadland

CAREY MULLIGAN

Promising Young Woman

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

NOMINEES:

MARIA BAKALOVA

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

GLENN CLOSE

Hillbilly Elegy

OLIVIA COLMAN

The Father

AMANDA SEYFRIED

Mank

YUH-JUNG YOUN

Minari

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

NOMINEES:

ONWARD

Dan Scanlon and Kori Rae

OVER THE MOON

Glen Keane, Gennie Rim and Peilin Chou

A SHAUN THE SHEEP MOVIE: FARMAGEDDON

Richard Phelan, Will Becher, and Paul Kewley

SOUL

Pete Docter and Dana Murray

WOLFWALKERS

Tomm Moore, Ross Stewart, Paul Young and Stéphan Roelants

CINEMATOGRAPHY

NOMINEES:

JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH

Sean Bobbitt

MANK

Erik Messerschmidt

NEWS OF THE WORLD

Dariusz Wolski

NOMADLAND

Joshua James Richards

THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7

Phedon Papamichael

COSTUME DESIGN

NOMINEES:

EMMA

Alexandra Byrne

MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM

Ann Roth

MANK

Trish Summerville

MULAN

Bina Daigeler

PINOCCHIO

Massimo Cantini Parrini

DIRECTING

NOMINEES:

ANOTHER ROUND

Thomas Vinterberg

MANK

David Fincher

MINARI

Lee Isaac Chung

NOMADLAND

Chloé Zhao

PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN

Emerald Fennell

DOCUMENTARY (FEATURE)

NOMINEES:

COLLECTIVE

Alexander Nanau and Bianca Oana

CRIP CAMP

Nicole Newnham, Jim LeBrecht and Sara Bolder

THE MOLE AGENT

Maite Alberdi and Marcela Santibáñez

MY OCTOPUS TEACHER

Pippa Ehrlich, James Reed, and Craig Foster

TIME

Garrett Bradley, Lauren Domino, and Kellen Quinn

DOCUMENTARY (SHORT SUBJECT)

NOMINEES:

COLETTE

Anthony Giacchino and Alice Doyard

A CONCERTO IS A CONVERSATION

Ben Proudfoot and Kris Bowers

DO NOT SPLIT

Anders Hammer and Charlotte Cook

HUNGER WARD

Skye Fitzgerald and Michael Scheuerman

A LOVE SONG FOR LATASHA

Sophia Nahli Allison and Janice Duncan

FILM EDITING

NOMINEES:

THE FATHER

Yorgos Lamprinos

NOMADLAND

Chloé Zhao

PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN

Frédéric Thoraval

SOUND OF METAL

Mikkel E. G. Nielsen

THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7

Alan Baumgarten

INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM

NOMINEES:

ANOTHER ROUND

Denmark

BETTER DAYS

Hong Kong

COLLECTIVE

Romania

THE MAN WHO SOLD HIS SKIN

Tunisia

QUO VADIS, AIDA?

Bosnia and Herzegovina

MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

NOMINEES:

EMMA

Marese Langan, Laura Allen and Claudia Stolze

HILLBILLY ELEGY

Eryn Krueger Mekash, Matthew Mungle, and Patricia Dehaney

MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM

Sergio Lopez-Rivera, Mia Neal, and Jamika Wilson

MANK

Gigi Williams, Kimberley Spiteri, and Colleen LaBaff

PINOCCHIO

Mark Coulier, Dalia Colli and Francesco Pegoretti

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)

NOMINEES:

DA 5 BLOODS

Terence Blanchard

MANK

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

MINARI

Emile Mosseri

NEWS OF THE WORLD

James Newton Howard

SOUL

Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross and Jon Batiste

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)

NOMINEES:

FIGHT FOR YOU

from Judas and the Black Messiah; Music by H.E.R. and Dernst Emile II; Lyric by H.E.R. and Tiara Thomas

HEAR MY VOICE

from The Trial of the Chicago 7; Music by Daniel Pemberton; Lyric by Daniel Pemberton and Celeste Waite

HUSAVIK

from Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga; Music and Lyric by Savan Kotecha, Fat Max Gsus, and Rickard Göransson

IO SÌ (SEEN)

from The Life Ahead (La Vita Davanti a Se); Music by Diane Warren; Lyric by Diane Warren and Laura Pausini

SPEAK NOW

from One Night in Miami…; Music and Lyric by Leslie Odom, Jr. and Sam Ashworth

BEST PICTURE

NOMINEES:

THE FATHER

David Parfitt, Jean-Louis Livi, and Philippe Carcassonne, Producers

JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH

Shaka King, Charles D. King, and Ryan Coogler, Producers

MANK

Ceán Chaffin, Eric Roth, and Douglas Urbanski, Producers

MINARI

Christina Oh, Producer

NOMADLAND

Frances McDormand, Peter Spears, Mollye Asher, Dan Janvey, and Chloé Zhao, Producers

PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN

Ben Browning, Ashley Fox, Emerald Fennell, and Josey McNamara, Producers

SOUND OF METAL

Bert Hamelinck and Sacha Ben Harroche, Producers

THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7

Marc Platt and Stuart Besser, Producers

PRODUCTION DESIGN

NOMINEES:

THE FATHER

Production Design: Peter Francis; Set Decoration: Cathy Featherstone

MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM

Production Design: Mark Ricker; Set Decoration: Karen O’Hara and Diana Stoughton

MANK

Production Design: Donald Graham Burt; Set Decoration: Jan Pascale

NEWS OF THE WORLD

Production Design: David Crank; Set Decoration: Elizabeth Keenan

TENET

Production Design: Nathan Crowley; Set Decoration: Kathy Lucas

SHORT FILM (ANIMATED)

NOMINEES:

BURROW

Madeline Sharafian and Michael Capbarat

GENIUS LOCI

Adrien Mérigeau and Amaury Ovise

IF ANYTHING HAPPENS I LOVE YOU

Will McCormack and Michael Govier

OPERA

Erick Oh

YES-PEOPLE

Gísli Darri Halldórsson and Arnar Gunnarsson

SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION)

NOMINEES:

FEELING THROUGH

Doug Roland and Susan Ruzenski

THE LETTER ROOM

Elvira Lind and Sofia Sondervan

THE PRESENT

Farah Nabulsi and Ossama Bawardi

TWO DISTANT STRANGERS

Travon Free and Martin Desmond Roe

WHITE EYE

Tomer Shushan and Shira Hochman

SOUND

NOMINEES

GREYHOUND

Warren Shaw, Michael Minkler, Beau Borders, and David Wyman

MANK

Ren Klyce, Jeremy Molod, David Parker, Nathan Nance, and Drew Kunin

NEWS OF THE WORLD

Oliver Tarney, Mike Prestwood Smith, William Miller, and John Pritchett

SOUL

Ren Klyce, Coya Elliott, and David Parker

SOUND OF METAL

Nicolas Becker, Jaime Baksht, Michelle Couttolenc, Carlos Cortés and Phillip Bladh

VISUAL EFFECTS

NOMINEES:

LOVE AND MONSTERS

Matt Sloan, Genevieve Camilleri, Matt Everitt, and Brian Cox

THE MIDNIGHT SKY

Matthew Kasmir, Christopher Lawrence, Max Solomon, and David Watkins

MULAN

Sean Faden, Anders Langlands, Seth Maury, and Steve Ingram

THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN

Nick Davis, Greg Fisher, Ben Jones, and Santiago Colomo Martinez

TENET

Andrew Jackson, David Lee, Andrew Lockley, and Scott Fisher

WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY)

NOMINEES:

BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM: DELIVERY OF PRODIGIOUS BRIBE TO AMERICAN REGIME FOR MAKE BENEFIT ONCE GLORIOUS NATION OF KAZAKHSTAN

Screenplay by Sacha Baron Cohen & Anthony Hines & Dan Swimer & Peter Baynham & Erica Rivinoja & Dan Mazer & Jena Friedman & Lee Kern; Story by Sacha Baron Cohen & Anthony Hines & Dan Swimer & Nina Pedrad

THE FATHER

Screenplay by Christopher Hampton and Florian Zeller

NOMADLAND

Written for the screen by Chloé Zhao

ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI…

Screenplay by Kemp Powers

THE WHITE TIGER

Written for the screen by Ramin Bahrani

WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY)

NOMINEES:

JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH

Screenplay by Will Berson & Shaka King; Story by Will Berson & Shaka King and Kenny Lucas & Keith Lucas

MINARI

Written by Lee Isaac Chung

PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN

Written by Emerald Fennell

SOUND OF METAL

Screenplay by Darius Marder & Abraham Marder; Story by Darius Marder & Derek Cianfrance

THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7

Written by Aaron Sorkin

No More Hate illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Atlanta Shooting

By: Carly Cohen × Heather Skovlund

Early this week, a tragedy had occurred in Atlanta, Georgia. A total of eight victims were killed at the Georgia spa. Six of the eight victims were Asian, and when the suspect got caught, he claimed that “his actions were not racially motivated.” It was stated that it was too soon in the investigation to claim this shooting as a hate crime; however, the shootings were “aimed at a recent wave of attacks against Asian Americans that coincided with the spread of the coronavirus across the United States.” The suspect claimed that apparently “sex addition” drove him to commit these murders.

There were multiple incidents: the first occurred at Young’s Asian Massage Parlor in a mall off Highway ninety-two, about thirty miles north of Atlanta. When the police got the call, five people were shot, and two were dead while three were rushed to the hospital. An hour later, after this tragedy, two other shootings happened right across the street- one being on Piedmont, the other at the Gold Spa and Aromatherapy.

There were seven women and one man; most of them were Asian. The victims have been identified as Delainia Ashley Yaun, Paul Andre Michels, Xiaojie Tan, and Daoyou Feng.

Yaun and her husband, Mario Gonalez, were off work getting a couples massage at Young’s Asian Massage when the tragedy started. Her husband safely made it out of the salon, but he and his wife were in separate rooms when the shooting was started. They had a family together; a thirteen-year-old son and an infant daughter. It is sad to say that this woman was a victim in this shooting that not one person deserved -separating families, taking parents, taking siblings. It is a terrible, terrible thing that no one deserved. John Beck, Yaun’s manager, voiced to BuzzFeed News that “her heart was so big.” She would feed homeless people and offer them clothes and a place to shower. Hearing a person who is so kind and so pure as Yaun makes you ask the question, “why do bad things happen to good people.” It doesn’t make sense and is not fair.

Xiaojie Tan was the owner of Young’s Asian Massage as was another victim of the attack. She was known for being an extremely hardworking small-business owner and had such a big heart filled with love and kindness. Her client, Greg Hynson, stated that when he came for an appointment on his birthday a year ago, she had a birthday cake waiting for him. Another victim, Paul Andre Micheals, was a U.S Army infantry veteran married for more than two decades. He was a “dedicated, hardworking, loving man,” his brother stated.

These killings brought a “wave of outrage and attention to violence against Asian-American people.” As soon as social media was notified of the attacks and assumed to be focused on Asian’s, you could see all over the media celebrities, influencers, and people left and right posting regarding standing up for the lost lives and spreading awareness to this hate crime and all hate crimes in general. The media has been outraged and will continue to stand together.

Back to College by Mina Tocalini for 360 Magazine

Emily Green Reinvents Post-Pandemic Education

The COVID-19 pandemic forced students, teachers, and parents to change their ways of doing things almost overnight as schools closed and learning went online. The situation left everyone scrambling – and often grumbling about the limited learning taking place under this hasty reinvention of how schools operate.

But, despite all the downsides, could this moment of school upheaval also be an opportunity to transform the nation’s education system into something better?

In her new book, School, Disrupted: Rediscovering the Joy of Learning in a Pandemic-Stricken World, author Emily Greene makes the case for just such a transformation as she shares her experiences with her three children and explores ways to encourage curiosity and creativity to create to a radical change in how we approach teaching and learning.

Greene writes: “It often takes a seismic disruption to change the way things have always been done. Before the pandemic, I jokingly said that it would take a cataclysmic world event, like an alien invasion, to truly disrupt education. While I could have never predicted this worldwide pandemic, its absolute disruption of school will change education forever and be studied in the history books for generations to come.”

In this book, readers will learn:

  • How to unlearn the current education system, setting the stage for replacing its outdated methods with creative new ideas that can work better.
  • Why it’s important to embrace the forgotten wonder of unscheduled time, when children can do what they like free from the constraints of school or outside planned activities.
  • How to cultivate children’s natural curiosity, which can lead to limitless opportunities for learning.
  • Why hands-on activities, such as drawing a picture or baking a pie, are critical supplements to the learning that takes place through reading a book or staring at words on a screen.
  • How to help your children follow their heart and find purpose and passion in the world.

About Emily Greene

Emily Greene is author of School, Disrupted: Rediscovering the Joy of Learning in a Pandemic-Stricken World in which she shares her experience educating her children inside and outside of traditional schools. She developed the Kiddovate program, working with hundreds of teachers and students. She also is cofounder of VIVA Creative, where she and her team create live and digital experiences. When the pandemic shut down the event industry, Greene co-led VIVA in rethinking how to bring people together in a global pandemic. In 2020, she received an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® award recognizing innovation during adversity.

General Information

Title: School, Disrupted: Rediscovering the Joy of Learning in a Pandemic-Stricken World

Author: Emily Greene

Genre: Education, Parenting

ISBN-10: 1642252433

ISBN-13: 978-1642252439

Pages: 248                                    

Publisher: Advantage Media Group

Sun by Mina Tocalini for 360 Magazine

Urban Sun Cleans Coronavirus 

Inspired by the light of the sun, and scientific research which proves that a new specific light can safely clean up to 99.9% of the coronavirus, Studio Roosegaarde launches the world’s first Urban Sun.

Daan Roosegaarde and his team of designers, external experts, and scientists challenged themselves to discover how the power of light can be used to combat viruses and therefore, enhance our well-being. Research shows that though traditional 254nm UV light is harmful, the new far-UVC light with a wavelength of 222 nanometers can actually sanitize viruses safely.

Urban Sun, a project in development by Studio Roosegaarde, shines a large circle of this far-UVC light into public spaces, cleaning those spaces of the coronavirus. It acts as an additional layer of protection to current government rules. Urban Sun aims to inspire hope. It combats the negative impact of social isolation by aiming to improve cultural gatherings, sporting events, public squares, and schoolyards.

Urban Sun debuts at Studio Roosegaarde, with the potential for future exhibits. The project is supported by the Dutch Council of the Public Health & Society Board. Urban Sun is created by Roosegaarde’s team, together with external experts and scientists from the Netherlands, the US, Japan, and Italy. The Urban Sun’s far-UVC light source is measured and calibrated by the Dutch National Metrology Institute VSL. Urban Sun meets the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) safety standards.

Professor Karl Linden, award winning innovator in UV technologies and founding board member of the International Ultraviolet Association: “Urban Sun is inspiring. It will make enjoying public spaces safer and I look forward to visiting locations where this far-UVC sun is shining.”

Designer Daan Roosegaarde: “Suddenly our world is filled with plastic barriers, our family reduced to pixels on a computer screen. Let’s be architects of our new normal and create better places to meet.”

The science behind Urban Sun is based on multiple peer-reviewed articles authored by scientists from Columbia University and Hiroshima University. Research shows that 222nm far-UVC light can reduce the presence of viruses, including various strains of coronavirus and influenza, up to 99.9%.

For more information, please visit Studio Roosegaarde’s website.