Posts tagged with "Dana Feeney"

Golden Globes Illustration by Heather Skovlund

Golden Globes 2021

By Dana Feeney

The Golden Globes have kicked off the 2021 awards season despite the many production disruptions in television and film in 2020 due to the CoronaVirus pandemic. For those who may not be familiar with the Golden Globes, the globes are a film and television award show that happens once a year run by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA). The awards were done remotely and hosted in tandem from opposite coasts by comedy powerhouses Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Instead of the usual stacked audience of the biggest names in Hollywood, the members of the in-person audiences were front-line workers and first responders while celebrities watched from the safety of their homes via zoom. Fey and Poehler did not pull any punches during their opening monologue, which you can watch here.
The HFPA, a group of 87 international journalists from around 55 countries, does not have any black members. Fey commented on this almost immediately in the opening monologue saying, “The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is made up of around 90 international, no-black journalists.” Throughout the night different personalities commented on the lack of representation, including “Schitt’s Creek” co-creator Dan Levy who said “in the spirit of inclusion, I hope that this time next year this ceremony reflects the true breadth and diversity of the film and television being made today because there is so much more to be celebrated,” during his acceptance speech for Best TV Series. More critically, Sacha Baron Cohen, who won multiple awards including Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, for “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,” and said in his acceptance speech, “Thank you to the all-white Hollywood Foreign Press.”
One of the biggest snubs of the night was the lack of nominations for “I May Destroy You,” a British-American series starring, written, co-directed, and executive produced by Michaela Coel for BBC One and HBO. Many people are frustrated by the fact that “Emily in Paris,” which is a story about a white woman navigating Paris as an American, garnered nominations over “I May Destroy You.” Deborah Copaken, a writer for Netflix’s “Emily in Paris,” spoke to The Guardian and explain how much she believes “I May Destroy You” “deserves to win all the awards.” She speaks about how well the show “takes the complicated issue of a rape – I’m a sexual assault survivor myself – and infuses it with heart, humor, pathos.” You can read the rest of her take on “I May Destroy You” here.
Additionally, the film “Minari” won Best Motion Picture, Foreign Language, you can watch director Lee Isaac Chung‘s acceptance speech which features his daughter here. “Minari” was left out of the Best Motion Picture category supposedly because portions of the film were not in English, although the film is the story of a Korean-American family set in Arkansas. This created very similar dissent to last year’s exclusion of “Parasite” written and directed by Korean Filmmaker Bong Joon-ho, from the same category at the Golden Globes, which went on to win four Academy Awards, including Best Picture. You can find more information about “Minari” and where to watch it here.
On a more positive note, many deserving producers, directors, screenwriters, actors, actresses, and more were recognized for the high caliber of content produced this past year. One of the most heart-wrenching being Chadwick Boseman, who won his first Golden Globe for Best Actor in a motion picture, drama for his performance in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.His wife, Taylor Simone Ledward Boseman, accepted the award on his behalf and gave a beautiful acceptance speech which you can watch here. It’s highly anticipated that Boseman may go on to win a posthumous Academy Award for his performance.
History was made in many categories throughout the evening. Chloé Zhao is now the first woman and the first Asian woman to win Best Director. She won Best Director for the film “Nomadland“. Of the five individuals nominated for Best Director, three of them were women, Chloé Zhao, Emerald Fennell, and Regina King. This is the first time the HFPA has recognized more than one female director. You can see Zhao’s acceptance speech here. You can read more about this historic moment for women in film here.
Andra Day won Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama for her role in “The United States vs. Billie Holiday.” She is the second black actress to win the category since Whoopie Goldberg won for “The Color Purple” 35 years ago. You can see her ecstatic reaction alongside her family and her acceptance speech here and read more about her thoughts on her win here.
After his Best Screenplay, Motion Picture win for “The Trial of The Chicago 7,” Aaron Sorkin is now tied with Quentin Tarantino and Robert Bolt who respectively have three wins in the screenplay category. His past two wins were for “The Social Network” (2010) and “Steve Jobs” (2015), but he has received multiple other nominations for screenwriting in the past. You can watch his acceptance speech here.
Netflix, with 42 nominations and 10 wins, Amazon, with 10 nominations and three wins, and Apple TV, with four nominations and one win, took home huge victories for streaming services. Netflix’s limited series “The Crown” and “The Queen’s Gambit” were hugely popular and won a variety of accolades. For Amazon and Apple Tv, their ringers were “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” and “Ted Lasso” respectively.
You can see the full list of winner’s here.

Illustration of a Booker by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

Turf Shifts Modeling World

By Dana Feeney

The modeling industry has two very different faces. One side are supermodels, like Gigi and Bella Hadid, glamorously modeling, making millions of dollars, and traveling the world. The other are the unknown models working job to job, facing exploitation and manipulation by their agencies and clients, and trying to make their name in the industry. The mistreatment of models is as old as the industry itself. Skinny, cis, and white models experience this brutal reality. Working as a model is only worse for people of color [POC], LGBTQA+, and immigrants because of the lack of transparency or regulation and rampant misconduct.

New Players

The current push for diversity and inclusion has caused a much higher demand for POC, and LGBTQA+ models with different body types. In recent months, a few new players in the game are building their reputations on accountability and proper treatment of the models and creatives they represent. Three small agencies and one superpower are disrupting the model representation world: New Pandemics, Zandwagon, Community New York, and film and television power player Creative Artists Agency (CAA).
The way modeling deals traditionally work is that a model signs to an agency, such as Next Models, Ford Models, IMG Models, or Wilhelmina Models. The agency provides its models with certain services such as housing, transportation, portfolio shoots, and more. In most cases, anything an agency provides for a model they have to pay back to the agency, often at a high-interest rate. The interest rate means the longer they take to pay it back, the more they owe to the agency.

Although models sign contracts to agencies, they are not considered employees of those agencies and instead are independent contractors who the agency aids in booking jobs. The agencies do not keep models on their payroll. They do control the money that the models earn on a job and how their money models earn is distributed. Bad payment practices reach far beyond the agencies. The agencies are responsible for billing the client right after the model completes their job. Payment for jobs by agencies to their models is notoriously sketchy because clients are not required to pay upfront before shoots and can legally take up to 90 days to settle up. Most agencies take at least a 20% fee out of any money their models make and charge clients a “booking fee,” so for a $1000 job, they would charge $1200 but only pay the model $800. Worst of all, if a client does not pay the agency for work a model did, the agency does not owe the model the money they earned. The common practice in the industry is that the model only gets paid if the agency gets paid.

The film and television management world contrasts the modeling world in many ways. The modeling industry as a whole is riddled with misconduct, manipulation, and poor treatment of models by their agencies and brands. Many modeling agencies use contracts that include fees and costs they can pull out of the model paychecks and use debt, housing, and visas to keep their models dependent.

Agencies in other media such as film, only make money if their clients make money. In film, the percentage is around 10% because of unions. Although, none of these industries are flawless especially considering scandals in the film and tv world with predators like Harvey Weinstein and Matt Lauer.
Creative Artists Agency (CAA) has a long history of representing talents across film, tv, music, and more. In August of 2020, CAA announced their partnership with KCD Worldwide, a fashion services agency, which signaled CAA’s entrance into fashion model management for the first time in the agency’s history. CAA has a strong legacy of representing high-profile individuals and building their careers. They have also stated that they only take a 10% fee out of their models’ earnings, half of the general standard of 20%. Despite their claims for better treatment of models, CAA is not blemish-free when it comes to allegations of abuse and sexual misconduct. Multiple former CAA agents have faced lawsuits.

Additionally, CAA has previously represented multiple people accused of misconduct, including Shia LaBeouf, Chris D’Elia, and Marilyn Mason; all of whom are no longer represented by CAA.
On the opposite end of the spectrum are the smaller boutique agencies mentioned earlier, New Pandemics, Zandwagon, and Community New York. New Pandemics is “a casting and management agency dedicated to increasing LBGTQ+ visibility.”

Zandwagon is “a talent management company that could guide everyday life individuals who are breaking beauty standards daily” according to their website. Community New York is run by Butterfly Cayley, Moe Lamstein, and Richie Keoall, three first-generation immigrants from Laos, and “is founded on inclusivity and progressive values by changing not only the style but the very structure of management.” Cayley, Lamstein, and Keoall have impressive experience at agencies including DNA and Elite Model Management. Community New York now represents stars such as Hunter Schafer, who is well known for her work on the hit HBO show “Euphoria” and is now a brand ambassador for Shiseido.

With small diversity forward agencies up and coming, the existing modeling industry is under attack from all sides. All three of these agencies emphasize how much they value representation and inclusivity in this industry that has avoided breaking societal beauty standards for so long. They also claim they will be different from other agencies and provide better treatment for their clients. These agencies are sending the message that you’re either with them or against them, and they’re willing to think outside of the box to get proper treatment and equity for models from all walks of life.

Same Old Problems

Many of the biggest fashion houses in the world are still reckoning with the #MeToo movement. The fashion industry is known as a highly predatory business. Many of even the largest names in modeling have had to survive people abusing their power on sets and behind the scenes to become who they are. Household names, such as Kate Upton, Coco Rocha, and Cameron Russel, have all spoken out about their experiences with the abuse they’ve experienced while working as models.

Kate Upton spoke out against Paul Marciano in 2018, which led to a total of $500,000 in settlement agreements involving five individuals. He has remained an active participant at GUESS as a board member and chief creative officer, despite resigning from his position as an executive. At the beginning of February, the news broke that Marciano is once again being sued over sexual assault allegations by a woman who has chosen to remain anonymous. The allegations against Marciano are not an isolated incident. Similarly, allegations were brought against Alexander Wang in December of 2020 but began as early as 2017, yet some still chose his side despite the overwhelming corroboration of multiple individuals. If the word of a woman as successful as Kate Upton is not enough to oust a predator from power, it’s unclear what realistically can protect vulnerable individuals with less acclaim from the same experiences or worse.

The silver lining of these allegations coming to light is the industry supporting the individuals coming forward more than ever before. In the past, many models lost their careers before they had even begun due to the actions of predators and the mechanisms powerful people use to silence their victims. Accounts such as @shitmodelmgmt and @dietprada have been using their online platforms to expose predators and condemn their actions openly across Instagram and Twitter. Additionally, the Model Alliance, an organization dedicated to giving models a voice in their work, has also spoken out against Wang on their Instagram saying, “We stand with David Casavant, Owen Mooney, Gia Garison, and all the accusers of @alexanderwangny in their pursuit towards justice.”

The upheaval that began in 2006 with survivor and activist Tarana Burke’s creation of the #MeToo movement has continued into 2021. Slowly but surely survivors are taking their power back and pushing to create real change in media industries that have exploited them for far too long.

Illustration of models by Rita Azar for 360 Magazine

Illustration of Lamborghini Urus by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

Lamborghini Urus: Super-SUV

By: Emily Bunn x Vaughn Lowery

The marriage of a sports car’s athleticism and an SUV’s versatility is evident in the groundbreaking new creation from Lamborghini: The 2021 Lamborghini Urus. This super-SUV is the first of its kind on the market, offering an exhilarating driving experience to those behind the wheel. With the ability to host five passengers, this vehicle packs in pleasure and practicality wherever you go. The manufacturer elaborates on the invigorating experience of driving their super-SUV:

“It is the absolute all-round super sports car and more. It allows you to explore new paths and new ways to express yourself—to accept challenges confidently and to live life to the fullest. You are not afraid to go far: this is what you aspire to. Unlock any road, unlock your personality.”

The Urus rivals similar super SUV models like 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, but beats out the Trackhawk in terms of speed. Its twin turbo engine delivers 217kW per tonne, as compared to the Trackhawk, which only delivers 212kW per tonne. Further, the silhouette of the Urus resembles the electric Jaguar I-Pace, presenting a similarly aerodynamic exterior.

Other comparable models include the Audi Q8. While both vehicles have a top speed of 189.5mph (305 km/h), the Urus is able to hit top speed in 3.6 seconds, which is two tenths of a second quicker than the Audi Q8. Just like the distinguished sophistication of opera music, hearing the roar of the Lamborghini motor is music to driver’s ears.

Design

The interior of the luxe vehicle is inspired by aero-space design and driver oriented instrumentation. With a gear shift resembling a jet’s throttle and a start button hidden under a red flip cover, drivers are met with power and control immediately upon entering the driver’s seat. There are several interior cubby storage compartments, such as door pockets and a bin behind the floating center stack. With up to 22 ft3 of space in the car’s cabin  and the ability to fit 5 passengers, the Urus is spacious–especially when compared to other super cars.

Offering a choice of finishes–from leather to Alcantra, to wood and aluminum, or carbon-fiber­–the Urus is sure to look good from the inside out. The manufacturer now offers more customization than ever before. Clientele can choose from a selection of vibrant, eye-catching colors, including Giallo Inti (yellow), Arancio Borealis (orange), or Verde Mantis (green) with the available Pearl Capsule package. Alternatively, the standard palette offers more subtly attractive options, including black, grey, blue, and white colorways. Any of these fashionable exteriors create a beautiful contrast with the black and carbon fiber-trim. This model doesn’t fail to uphold the signature Lamborghini design with its Y-shaped details, front hood with a center peak, and crossed lines on the rear hood. With frameless doors and hexagonal detailing, this Lamborghini epitomizes modern glamour.

Technology 

Not one, not two, but three TFT LCD display screens are installed inside the Urus, transforming the interior to feel like a cockpit. The screens provide crisp graphics and are easy to view, without the need for any clunky buttons. You can use your finger on the touch screen to write in your destination, or other search requests.

The Lamborghini infotainment system is installed with a Bang and Olufsen radio sound system, smart phone interface with Apple CarPlay and Android Audio, a DVD-audio/video reader, 3D maps navigation system, USB capabilities, Bluetooth connection, and voice control recognition. Additionally, the vehicle has a fully digital gauge cluster.

If you’re looking for further refinement, the factory offers an array of optional lavish features for purchase. These features include front seats with ventilation, seats with massage functions, an upgraded sound system, the rear-seat entertainment system, and available Off-Road drive modes. A stand out is the optional hands-free tailgate feature for when you’ve got your hands full, just lift your foot to trigger the sensor beneath the rear bumper to activate the trunk and make loading or unloading your vehicle effortless.

Safety

Drivers feel secure as they transport their precious cargo in this super-SUV. With aluminum tires–21’ x 9.5’ in the front of the vehicle, and 21’ x 10.5’ in the rear–the Urus has some major brawn. At the same time, the multi-link front and rear suspension, with air springs, allows for smooth riding. The Urus is athletic without compromising safety, as evident in its quick steering and high-speed cornering modes.

The car comes standard with several key safety features such as adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go technology, standard blind spot monitoring, a night vision camera, available self-parking and driver assist, and an audio theft deterrent. Additionally, it is equipped with front, side, and overhead airbags to protect drivers and occupants in case of emergency.

Explore new paths in your Urus as you take on any terrain together.  Its Pirelli P Zero front and rear tires, offered in 21’ to 23’ size options, promise traction and performance. And if you want to take a pit stop along the way? The impressive braking system is equipped with carbon-ceramic brakes and front aluminum 10 piston brake calipers. These brakes, along with the premium shock absorbers, bring the car to a smooth halt from 70 mph to a full stop in 149 ft. Additionally, the car has front and rear anti-roll bars for extra braking power.

While the manufacturer doesn’t offer a lengthy warranty– providing three years with no mileage cap, without any complimentary scheduled maintenance–this car is built to last. However, if you’re looking for that extra protection, there are several extended warranty and maintenance plans available for purchase.

Performance

The Urus is powered by a powerful 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine with an output of 641hp, producing a maximum torque of 850 Nm (626,93 lb.-ft.) @ 2,2520-4,400 rpm. Feeling the need for speed? Accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.6 seconds, and reach a top speed of 190 mph, or 305 km/h in this sporty SUV. The 8-speed transmission is automatic with driver selectable mode, sequential shift control with steering wheel controls, and an oil cooler. Additionally, the engine has its own auto stop-start feature. The vehicle has eight cylinders, and a total displacement of 3,996 cm³.

When it comes to fuel efficiency, this Lamborghini gets 12mph in the city, or 17mph on the highway. The fuel tank has a capacity of 22.5 G. Equipped with AWD, you can drive anywhere with confidence and power.

Cost

The Urus’ MSRP totals $218,009, with a destination charge of $3,995. Compared to the rest of Lamborghini’s luxurious portfolio, this particular model is the most affordable and versatile option. Here at 360 Magazine, we took a spin in the manufacturer’s testing vehicle, which cost $282,649 with all the car’s capabilities fully loaded.

If you’re searching to cruise in style without compromising functionality, look no further than the 2021 Lamborghini Urus. Stars like Justin Bieber–who drives a custom barbie pink one, and Kanye West, who has his own custom, cream colored model–know that this super-SUV is the choice for drivers looking to stand out. Another member of the Kardashian crew, Kylie Jenner, also owns this super-SUV, which she posted about on her Instagram. Similarly, Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers flaunts his fancy super-SUV, decked out with a gloss black trim. Cardi B also just bought her husband–Offset from the rap group Migos,–one, the perfect present to transport the posh celeb duo in style. No matter where you go, every ride in the Urus promises VIP treatment to all of its passengers.

Purchase NOW.

Image of nothing, nowhere. by Dan Brown via Elektra Music Group

NOTHING,NOWHERE. SHARES NEW SONG: UPSIDE DOWN

Fueled By Ramen artist nothing,nowhere. has shared a brand-new single, upside down, which is featured on his widely anticipated new album TRAUMA FACTORY due out February 19th. Available now on all streaming platforms, “upside down” pulses with a duality of hypnotic rhythms as nothing,nowhere. traces the slow and painful dissolution of a relationship from his past.

nothing,nowhere. elaborated on the new track remarking, “We’ve all had our fair share of unhealthy relationships. ‘upside down’ is about a lost love and the inability to accept the new and painful circumstances.”

“upside down” arrives as nothing,nowhere’s recent single fake friend continues to climb Billboard’s “Alternative Airplay” chart, reaching Top 25 at the format this week. Also featured on TRAUMA FACTORY, “fake friend” is joined by a Mason Mercer directed official music video which spirals over nothing,nowhere.’s seamless alchemy of alternative, pop, rap, and punk.

Pre-orders for TRAUMA FACTORY are available at www.nothingnowhere.net featuring exclusive limited-edition vinyl and merch. Each pre-order will receive instant grat downloads of “upside down” and “fake friend” as well as previously released singles: lights (4444), pretend, DEATH, nightmare, and blood (Feat. KennyHoopla & JUDGE).

Over the course of 15 tracks, TRAUMA FACTORY cuts deep and finds nothing,nowhere. once again emerging from darkness, shedding external expectation, and moving forward into the glow of pure creation. Whether it be the anesthetized beats and intoxicating lull of “love or chemistry,” the cold piano-laden longing of “crave,” or the emotional immediacy of “upside down,” nothing,nowhere. paints from a wide palette of pain.

“TRAUMA FACTORY is an accumulation of songs written during a confusing time. it is about accepting the present and following your true north through the pain and suffering of human life,” nothing,nowhere. revealed He added, “I wanted to make an album that was truly genreless and inspire others to challenge themselves artistically. I believe the most inspiring art is unpredictable and unrestrictive. to me thatߣs what TRAUMA FACTORY is.”

Last year, The New York Times hailed “DEATH” as a “Scabrous, immensely satisfying emotional expurgation from Joe Mulherin that deploys early Beastie Boys drums and Rage Against the Machine bark-rapping in service of a rap-rock revival bathed in righteousness.”

Last year, he teamed up with Travis Barker for the collaborative EP, bloodlust. bloodlust was highlighted by lead single destruction, which debuted via The FADER with Kerrang! declaring “bloodlust feels like another world. From start to finish it envelops you in its hazy, muted soundscapes.” bloodlust followed a prolific string of singles from nothing,nowhere. –call back, dread, and ornament, and arrived just a year after the release of his acclaimed 2018 LP, ruiner. The sophomore LP features album standouts ruiner and rejecter, which Pigeons&Planes declared, “perfectly exemplify why nothing,nowhere.’s music is so exciting he’s crafted a world of sound that’s both fresh and recognizable.”

The FADER remarked, “The new record is a stimulating blend of singing, hip-hop, and live instrumentation, all fused together with emo and alternative stylings.” nothing,nowhere.’s 2017 debut album, reaper, was met with critical praise led by the singles hopes up (Ft. Dashboard Confessional) and skully.

The album made a massive impact upon its DCD2/Equal Vision release with The New York Times’ Jon Caramanica placing it at #1 on his list of 2017’s best. reaper “synthesizes the second-wave emo of the early to mid-2000s with the rattling hip-hop low end of the last few years,” he wrote. “(reaper) is one of the most promising pop albums of the year,” Rolling Stone declared, “reaper finds him tonally evoking the glory years of 2000s emo-punk without necessarily replicating it.”

nothing,nowhere. is the musical endeavor of Vermont songwriter, singer and guitarist Joe Mulherin. For Mulherin, nothing,nowhere. is about a connection. It’s one he finds with fans around the world, who gather to see him play on tour and to listen to his songs online. It’s that connection that urges the singer to place his fears aside and step onstage each night to share his art. He sees the potential to help, to make a change, however small it may be and that is why he brings his music out of the Vermont wildness.

Trauma Factory by nothing, nowhere. cover art via  Elektra Music Group

Trauma Factory available February 19th:

01. trauma factory

02. lights (4444)

03. buck

04. love or chemistry

05. exile

06. upside down

07. pain place (feat. MISOGI)

08. fake friend

09. death

10. pretend

11. blood (feat. KennyHoopla & JUDGE)

12. nightmare

13. crave

14. real

15. barely breathing

Stream upside down here. Preorder Trauma Factory here.

Lucky Daye Table For Two shot by Mark Peaced

LUCKY DAYE’S NEW EP: TABLE FOR TWO

Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Lucky Daye shares his latest EP, Table For Two, out now on Keep Cool/RCA Records. The EP follows his 2019 highly acclaimed debut album,Painted and comes off the heels of standout new single “On Read” with Grammy-nominated East London prodigy Tiana Major9. The release, timed perfectly for Valentine’s Day, features powerful contributions from Ari Lennox, YEBBA, Mahalia, Queen Naija, and Joyce Wrice making this a mandatory listen for any and all music lovers across eras and genres.

Early on in life, Lucky Daye discovered his love of music and natural gift for singing and songwriting in the musical melting pot that is New Orleans, where he was born. Ultimately Lucky knew he wanted to pursue music as a career so he moved to Atlanta for a brief stint and eventually ventured to Los Angeles to pursue his dream. He was shortly thereafter picked up by Keep Cool under RCA Records, where he recorded his 2019 breakthrough hit “Roll Some Mo” which has aggregated over 60 million streams worldwide. Earning first ever GRAMMY nominations that same year, Lucky Daye raked in a grand total of four nominations for Best R&B Song, Best R&B Performance, Best Traditional R&B Performance and Best R&B Album. This widespread acclaim also came in from his selective feature choices with KAYTRANADA, Buddy, SG Lewis, Big Freedia, Kehlani, Kiana Lede, Babyface, Victoria Monet, and more. His critically acclaimed work has received unanimous praise from Rolling Stone, NPR,Noisey, Billboard, The FADER, and Daye has found himself in 2021 with his dreams being manifested. With praise such as:

“…Far ahead of his competition in the genre. Daye’s forlorn vocal manipulation has drawn comparison to Frank Ocean, but his versatility and strategic fusions of funk and jazz nod to how he might set himself apart…”– NPR

“Lucky Daye can do it all. The versatility of his music makes him hard to box in one genre [and] shows elements of his skillfulness with songs full of strings, funk and tempo.” – HYPEBEAST

TABLE FOR TWO TRACKLISTING:

How Much Can The Heart Take feat. YEBBA

On Read with Tiana Major9

My Window feat. Mahalia

Access Denied feat. Ari Lennox

Falling in Love feat. Joyce Wrice

Dream feat. Queen Naija

Stream it now here.

Computer illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

Echo Dominates Voice Assistant Market

20% of US Adults Own an Amazon Echo

The smart home technology industry has grown incredibly in the last decade with homes becoming more and more interconnected than ever before. The most popular smart home device by far is the smart speaker, with Amazon’s Echo dominating its competitors. According to data presented by Trading Platforms, 20% of Americans surveyed indicated owning Amazon’s Echo with Google Nest as its closest competitor at only 8%.

Smart Speakers with Voice Assistant Systems – Most Popular Smart Home Device

The smart home trend has been on the rise in recent years as more and more household gadgets become interconnected. The industry’s strength is reflected by revenue projections for 2021, with the smart home market projected to record just under $1 billion in revenue for the coming year. Smart speakers, specifically those with voice-integrated assistants like Amazon’s Echo, are the most popular form of smart home devices. It is estimated that in 2020 there were 128 million voice assistant users in the US with that number projected to grow to close to 136 million by 2022.

Of those who said they owned a smart home device in the US 28% indicated that they owned a smart speaker – the biggest share among the different types of smart home devices. This popularity is not limited to the US, similarly, in the UK 29% of smart home device owners owned a form of a voice-assistant smart speaker.

Amazon Echo Dominates Smart Speaker Market Competitors Google and Apple

Amazon’s Echo was first released in 2014 and quickly became the standard-bearer for the smart speaker market. The Echo makes use of Amazon’s voice assistant system, Alexa. In January 2019 the company announced that it had sold over 100 million Echo smart speakers, passing an important milestone. In a survey from Q3 of 2020, over 20% of 4000+ respondents in the US indicated that they owned Amazon’s Echo.

This number is even made more impressive by comparing it to its two main competitors, Google’s Nest (formerly Google Home) which uses the Google Assistant system and Apple’s HomePod which uses its Siri voice assistant system. In the same survey, only 8.1% indicated owning Google’s Nest while only 2% owned Apple’s HomePod. Amazon’s dominance over its two main competitors is even more apparent with a further breakdown of the smart speaker market share. 74% of 1000+ smart speaker owners in the US, owned the Amazon Echo, while in the UK a similar 77% of 600+ smart speaker owners indicated that they owned the Echo.

You can read more about the story with more statistics and information here

Illustration of Larry King by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

Madame Tussauds New York Honors Broadcast Legend Larry King

Madame Tussauds New York is honoring famed talk show host, Larry King, by placing his figure front and center inside the entrance of the Times Square museum following his passing on Saturday, January 23, 2021. Guests are invited to pay their respects to the New York City icon by signing a condolence book and pausing for a moment in his honor. There’s no charge to visit his figure. It’s a tradition for Madame Tussauds museums to pay tribute to celebrities and those who’ve made a significant impact on society by featuring their figures in this manner.

King’s figure was unveiled in 2000 at Madame Tussauds New York. Madame Tussauds creative team worked closely with King and took more than 250 precise measurements to create his figure. More than a decade later, in 2011, King posed for a photo with his wax figure during the Hollywood Arts Council’s 25th Annual Charlie Awards Luncheon at The Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, California.

King started his career as a radio interviewer in the 1950s in Miami and grew to become a house hold name as a late night television host on CNN from 1985 to 2010. Over his career as a radio and television personality King hosted over 50,000 interviews and received awards including an Emmy and two Peabodys. He is survived by his 5 children as well as his extensive acting catalog and massive impact on both Hollywood and late night television.

Indoor plant story illustration by Gabrielle Archuleta for 360 MAGAZINE

How to Pick The Right Emotional Support House Plant

By Dana Feeney

Why should you get plants?

Lockdown has taken its toll on us all, especially on those living in cities restricted to their apartments. Since many people haven’t had access to nature since the Coronavirus pandemic started last March, many have turned to house plants to satisfy that need. Owning house plants has many benefits, including purifying air, improving the vibe of environments by adding life, and giving people something to take care of in their free time.

Plants are a delicate and bright way to help decorate your space and being around plants has a positive effect on people’s mood, productivity, and creativity.Taking care of plants is a therapeutic and rewarding way to put time and energy into your own space, even when you aren’t feeling your best. Studies have shown that talking or singing to your house plants increases their growth rate because of the increased CO2, or maybe because they just like your company.

What kind of plant is right for you?

All plants need light, water, and somewhere to grow. Some plants are less work to take care of than others because they are less picky about their environments. Taking care of some plants is as simple as giving them water when their soil is dry, but some have more specific needs like what type of lighting they prefer or if they grow more after getting cut back. Some plants have different functions, like those that serve as decorations or herbs that you can use to cook or make cocktails.

If you struggle with remembering to water your plants but like to have greenery in your space, snake plants or aloe may be for you. Both aloe and snake plants come in many color variations and function as beautiful decorations. They are happy living in a pot on a windowsill or balcony with bright indirect light or in rooms with lower light. These plants are drought resistant; they only need to be watered every 2-4 weeks, depending on how much light they get. They’ll be just fine until you remember to water them. Although, for the truly forgetful, it may be a good idea to set a two-week recurring event in your phone calendar to remind you to give your plants some love.

If you can keep up with weekly watering and want to grow your collection, then pothos or zz plants may be a good choice for you. Pothos, zz plants, aloe, and snake plants are air purifiers that remove pollutants such as benzene, toluene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, and xylene from the air. They are slightly different: zz plants are plants that sprout bright green leaves upwards, while pothos are trailing plants that grow vines that hang down over the sides of their planter. They both need water every 7-14 days, depending on light conditions. These plants tend to grow faster in brighter conditions, but they can live in lower light. The most important thing to remember about pothos and zz plants is that they are toxic to cats, dogs, and people. To avoid accidental consumption, it is best to place them out of reach of pets and children.

Both of these are great plants for propagation. Propagating your plants gives you more plants without having to pay for them. With pothos, you can cut a vine at a node with at least one leaf and put it in water. Glass bottles, like kombucha or wine bottles, are great vessels to use for propagation. Fill the bottle with water and add your cutting with the node in the water. Once there are about two inches of root growth, transfer it to a new pot or back to the original to create a full curtain of pothos. Zz plants tend to do better with propagation by division. You can do this by removing the plant from its pot, dividing the plant in half or more depending on its size, and then repotting the resulting plants. This method allows the new plants plenty of room to grow.

If you can keep up with regular watering and like to cook, an herb garden may be a great fit for you. Basil, mint, sage, and rosemary are all versatile herbs that grow well indoors. Rosemary is the easiest to manage, only needing water every 1-2 weeks. Basil, mint, and sage need more attention because they require water every 2-3 days; their leaves wilt when they need water. You have to harvest these plants semi regularly to prevent them from flowering. It’s easy to keep up with if you are using them occasionally in the kitchen. You can plant rosemary, basil, and sage in one large planter, but it’s best to keep mint in its own pot because it tends to smother other plants.

Where can you go to get plants?

All of the plants mentioned above are common and generally easy to find regardless of where you live. Local plant nurseries are a reliable option when buying plants or supplies like potting soil or planters. Some grocery stores, like Trader Joe’s, tend to sell house plants and herbs. The Sill, Bloomscape, Horti, and Home Depot all have online options for ordering plants to your house. The Sill, Bloomscape, and Horti also have subscription services that will deliver new plants to your home already potted and ready to go.

Wherever you buy your plants from, it’s always good to remove them from the container they come in and repot them. You should repot them to check that your new plant’s roots are healthy and not rotted or root-bound. You can either put them back into the original container or a new container. Planters are also a fun way to decorate your space. For more information on how to take care of your plants, The Sill, Bloomscape, and Horti have portions of their sites dedicated to plant care and advice and, in a pinch, you can always google specific questions.

If you are just getting into owning plants or are just looking to shake up your collection make sure to do your research when buying plants. The easiest way to get plants that will thrive is match their needs with care you can reliably provide for them. Remember sometimes plants die, it’s an unavoidable truth of owning a living thing. If a plant of yours dies, try to understand what may have gone wrong and try to not repeat the mistake in the future. Life is about living and learning so just do your best.

Aloe Plant photographed by Dana Feeney

Zz Plant photographed by Vaughn Lowery

Pothos Plant photographed by Dana Feeney

Setouchi Cominca Stays Recognized by UNESCO

Setouchi Cominca Stays, a unique collection of traditional Japanese kominca homes that have been lovingly restored and transformed into exclusive-use, modern vacation rentals, exemplify many of the 17 traditional Japanese architectural techniques now recognized on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List.

Of the 17 newly enshrined techniques, many are on display for guests of the traditional kominka homes in the Setouchi Cominca Stays portfolio.  In the 19th-century merchant town of Uchiko in Ehime Prefecture, Setouchi Cominca Stays has preserved and restored two historic homes in the Yokaichi and Gokoku Quarters of Old Town.  As the two homes, named Hisa and Ori, are located in a preservation district, the restoration of their outer walls, which hewed closely to the traditional architectural style of the other preserved merchant buildings of Uchiko, are a prime example of the recognized technique of “restoration of traditional buildings.” And both houses’ roofs exemplify “roofing with kawara tiles,” while the method of Shinkabe-zukuri plastering used in both properties are examples of “decoration of traditional structures.

In the remote hamlet of Shobara in Hiroshima Prefecture, the Setouchi Cominca Stays collection is made up of three historic farmhouses – the 100-year-old Furosen, 150-year-old Kozako-Mori and 250-year-old Chojaya.  All three are one-story wooden houses with wooden posts that rest on natural stone foundations, with no bolts or screws used to secure the posts in place – an example of “traditional woodworking techniques for structures.”  And the Chojaya and Kozako-Mori homes both feature traditional thatched roofs, another of the newly recognized UNESCO techniques. The Furosen and Chojaya properties also exhibit traditional lacquer techniques on their floors and ceilings.

“Many kominka have been abandoned and properties left vacant are at risk of being destroyed; but this would mean an irreplaceable loss of culture and heritage,” says Mr. Yo Kimura, General Manager of Setouchi Cominca Stays. “Built using sophisticated traditional techniques, they cannot be rebuilt using modern materials once torn down. Instead, reimagining vacant kominka as new lodgings for travelers will help protect these residences and preserve a crucial part of the region’s history and culture. Our project seeks to revitalize the tourism industry in the Setouchi region by creating new opportunities for employment and drawing more visitors to these rural areas.” 

The new recognition of traditional Japanese techniques used in wooden architecture, announced by UNESCO last month, is Japan’s 22nd listing on the Intangible Cultural Heritage List, which also includes Japanese paper and cuisine.

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Katy Perry Collaborates with Pokémon for P25 Music

The Pokémon Company International officially launches celebrations today for Pokémon’s landmark 25th anniversary. As an iconic video game and entertainment franchise beloved by millions of fans of all ages around the world, Pokémon has been bringing people together since its launch in 1996. In 2021, Pokémon will continue that tradition by aligning with another universal unifying force music. Headlined by pop icon Katy Perry, the star-studded program created in partnership with Universal Music Group (UMG), the world leader in music-based entertainment, accompanies fan-focused activations celebrating 25 years of Pokémon across the franchise’s portfolio of video games, mobile apps, animation, merchandise and more. To help fans kick off this celebration, a live-action video, uniquely highlighting moments in the brand’s 25-year history and a journey through the  Pokémon world’s many regions, can be viewed beginning today on the official  Pokémon YouTube channel here.

Global Music Celebration: P25 Music

Every party needs a great playlist. To celebrate 25 years, The Pokémon Company International is teaming up with UMG through their brands strategies division, Universal Music Group for Brands, to make 2021 the biggest Pokémon party in history and everyone is invited.  Pokémon is working with some of the biggest names in music, from rising artists to award-winning global superstars, for the program, titled P25 Music. Pop icon Katy Perry was revealed today as a premier collaborator in the massive, yearlong music campaign.

Pokémon has been a constant in my life from playing the original video games on my Game Boy, to trading Pokémon TCG cards at lunch, to the adventures of catching Pokémon on the street with Pokémon GO. I’ve even visited the Pokémon Café, in Japan while on tour! It is an honor to be chosen to help celebrate a franchise that has given me so much joy in the last 25 years, and to be able to watch it evolve in the ways its provided that kind of electric joy for the kids in my life and around the world said Katy Perry.

In Katy Perry, we see a kindred spirit to Pokémon, whose world is bright, fun and uplifting; said Colin Palmer, vice president of marketing at The Pokémon Company International. Katy is a wonderful ambassador to help us celebrate 25 years of Pokémon, and we can’t wait for music fans everywhere to experience the exciting collaborations we have planned; We are honored to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Pokémon and the significant cultural impact this beloved franchise continues to have around the world. Working together, we have developed dynamic year-round programming involving artists from across UMG’s labels because what better way to create a global celebration than through the power of music; said LJ Gutierrez, General Manager, UMGB.

Details about Katy Perry’s participation, additional artist surprises and more about the P25 Music program will be announced throughout the year.

25 Years of Adventures: A Journey Through the Pokémon World

Since the first video games launched in 1996, the franchise has explored a new region in the Pokémon world with the introduction of each core series game. In 2021, The Pokémon Company International will invite fans to relive their journeys through each of these regions in a yearlong program, beginning with the most recently discovered Galar region from Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield and ending with the classic Kanto region from the original Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue games. Beginning today, fans can visit a new website that will serve as the hub for this and all fan celebration activities as they are announced throughout the year, located here.

Anniversary Partners: Celebratory Programs and Merchandise

Pokémon adventures are always better with friends, so The Pokémon Company International is teaming up with other iconic brands to help fans celebrate the journey throughout the year with unique promotions and merchandise. Collaborations in the brand’s 25th anniversary year include programs from Build-A-Bear Workshop, General Mills, Levi’s, McDonald’s and more. Fans can also look forward to even more special merchandise tied to the anniversary celebrations from licensees including Jazwares, Scholastic, Mattel, Funko, PowerA, and The Wand Company. Additional partners and the ways they will celebrate the anniversary will be announced throughout the year.

Special Collections: The Pokémon Trading Card Game & Pokémon Center

The Pokémon Trading Card Game (TCG) is a cornerstone of the brand, and fans can look forward to special 25th anniversary-themed collections of the Pokémon TCG later in 2021. In the meantime, fans will soon be able to collect oversize cards featuring Pikachu and beloved first partner Pokémon from the various regions featured in the franchise-spanning retrospective. Fans can also expect 25th anniversary-themed products from Pokémon Center, the premier destination for official, high-quality Pokémon merchandise in the US and Canada. To kick off the celebrations on Pokémon Center, fans will be able to preorder the limited-edition 25th anniversary-themed skateboard by industry craftsman Bear Walker starting Jan. 19.

More Celebrations Across the World of Pokémon

The details revealed today are a glimpse into what the world can expect from Pokémon in 2021. With 25th anniversary-related activations planned for Pokémon animation, Pokémon video games, mobile games including Pokémon GO and Pokémon Masters EX, and more big announcements from the franchise, fans have a year full of new journeys ahead.