Celebrity Inspiration – The Latest Fashion Trends Inspired By Celebrities

Celebrities are the people we see on TV and social media, the people that make a living out of being famous. Their jobs revolve around the glamour of their profession, and being in public life and always being in the public eye means they have to be at their best. Celebrities therefore spend a lot on their upkeep and wardrobe, and even have the best of the stylists to ensure no faux pas is committed and that they are always clicked looking their best.

Celebrities, by virtue of the nature of their job, command instant respect and standing. They are seen as authorities on various subjects and topics, which is a by-product of their life in the public glare. People look up to them as idols or advisors, which is due in part to the para-social relationships viewers form with these celebrities.

Celebrities are also objects of desire. Celebrities seem to have it all, from the perfect houses to the perfect outfits to the perfect lives and the perfect spouses, and it makes for a very compelling visual for the average, middle-class, blue-collar worker sitting at home watching them. This makes them feel that if they too, ape whatever aspect of the celebrity’s life is within their reach, maybe they too will one day reach the same level in life.

These reasons ensure that whenever a celebrity is seen wearing something new or trying something new with regards to their outfit, it sparks a trend that is replicated across the demographic bent amongst their fans and other people. To identify those trends and make sure you’re on top of your fashion game, here’s a list of the latest fashion trends inspired by celebrities.

  1. Jean Shorts

Jean Shorts, also known as jorts, were a huge fashion fad in the 1980’s and 1990’s. These items have made a comeback this year, propelled in its popularity by celebrities such as Keke Palmer, as well as Gigi Hadid and Bella Hadid.

  • Flip Flops

Flip Flops, known more for being something you wear to the beach, have been revolutionised and revived. With a major improvement, they are being made in leather and with heel shapes. Kate Holmes was seen wearing flip flop heels with straps, and Elle Fanning was pictured wearing the silhouette heel at the Film Festival in Cannes.

  • Discreet Luxe Bags

The luxury bags this summer are much more of a minimalist affair, shorn of all embellishments and embracing a smooth, lithe look. However, despite the minimalist detailing, they still carry a hefty price tag. Kendall Jenner was seen sporting The Row’s pouch bag made of leather, and Tessa Thompson was seen with a top-handle bag by Giorgio Armani, Kaia Gerber was seen with shoulder leather bags.

  • Men’s Pearls

A recent fashion trend, much like its historical character, men are wearing pearls again today. Pearls signify strength, innocence, power and wealth, and men have been reclaiming their right to wear pearls like the Maharajas of yore. Pearls have been around as a jewelry item for almost as long as jewelry has existed, and natural pearls are extremely rare and therefore considered extremely valuable. Celebrities such as Harry Styles, Asap Rocky, etc., have been seen sporting pearls. Just like other items, pearls can be an extremely versatile product to wear.

  • Waistcoats

A new style that has emerged is that of wearing Waistcoats. Waistcoats not only give a classy impression, but they ensure that you look chic and modern as well. One of the models to wear the waistcoat and popularise it was Kendall Jenner,

  • Normcore Caps

Normcore caps, also known as dad caps, were caps that were worn by Justin Bieber and Dua Lipa. Emily Ratajkowski was wearing the normcore cap as well.

  • Chunky Boots

Comfortable, versatile and colourful, these boots have it all. Chunky boots are all the rage these days, with celebrities such as Cardi B and Selena Gomez stomping around the city in chunky boots, which definitely seems fun.

  • Sky High Platforms

Sky High Platforms are the next biggest craze, with celebrities wearing ultra-high platforms, Celebrities seen wearing Sky High Platforms were Lil Nas X and Selena Gomez.

Like Jon Snow, New Fans Of House of the Dragon Still ‘Know Nothing’ Yet

Readers of George R. R. Martin’s series of fantasy novels, A Song of Ice and Fire, were cautiously optimistic when HBO announced that they had commissioned a new television series on the back of it.  Fans worldwide know Martin’s books as Game of Thrones (the title of the first volume in his written series) and there is no doubt that it was an unbridled success, quickly hooking millions of avid viewers in multiple countries around the globe.

The TV show went on to run for eight seasons, with 73 epic episodes broadcast in total, and although the final series did draw plenty of criticism from fans and critics alike over the creative decisions taken as it was brought to a conclusion, there continue to be many in the entertainment industry who feel it remains as one of the best television shows of all time, despite the more controversial finale.

With millions around the world now well introduced to the Iron Throne, the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros and the continent of Essos, not least what the future holds for House Stark, the Lannister’s, the controversial Targaryen’s and many of the other key families featured, there was undoubted fervour amongst a still very loyal fan base when it was confirmed that Game of Thrones would be subject to a prequel that delved into, and explained, why we had originally met the family clans in the positions they occupied at the start of series one, and equally provided – at least some – reasons for the varying dynamics at plan.

US sportsbooks online tested by BetStation are bound to have options for House of the Dragon to be an equally huge success given it continues to be inspired by the A Song of Ice and Fire series.  House of the Dragon however, takes us back to about 200 years before the events that gripped us all, and around about 172 years prior to the birth of Daenerys Targaryen and this new series takes most of its inspiration from the novel Fire & Blood.

Fans around the globe are only three episodes in to the new vision, but we already know it will initially focus on the beginning of the end of House Targaryen and will take us into the Dance of the Dragons – the Targaryen war of succession and whilst it will ultimately bring us up to date and tie into what everyone saw in Game of Thrones, many again expect that the television series will make its own creative decisions again as time (and no doubt future and further series progress themselves), so chances are high indeed that true fanatics of Martin’s original plot lines will again face some disappointment.

For non-readers who only know the story as it has been broadcast, three episodes in it again has that air of being as equally as epic as we had come to expect, and in fairness we are really still only being introduced to the characters, their quirks, possible future motives and motivations and very little has actually happened so far – but I cannot be the only one watching wishing that the first series could be gloriously binge watched so I know what happens next.

With such a stellar cast, we can only guess right now who will suffer the same unexpected fate of Ned Stark, but we all know that will not be the only twist that can be expected – and that is exactly why we will all remain tuned in to see what happens, although reportedly Jon Snow continues to ‘know nothing’ and we are again in that exact same position.

Toy Review: Playmobil “Knight Rider” Car and Figures

 

“Knight Rider”

K.I.T.T./Figure Set
Playmobil

Our Score 4 out of 5 stars

“Knight Rider, a shadowy flight into the dangerous world of a man who does not exist. Michael Knight, a young loner on a crusade to champion the cause of the innocent, the helpless, the powerless, in a world of criminals who operate above the law. “Playmobil adds yet another classic vehicle/figure set to their ever-growing retro line of toys with the addition of everyone’s favorite talking super car “Knight Rider”. Joining the ranks of previously released vehicles and figures from such classic 80’s films as “Back to the Future “and “Ghostbusters” to television series such as “Star Trek” and “The A-Team”, K.I.T.T. and his dapper navigator Michael are right at home.

Much like every other kid who grew up in the eighties “Knight Rider” was easily one of my favorite shows. Long before Siri could answer all your questions with the click of a button there was K.I.T.T. The snarky, ever loveable mobile companion to the uber cool Michael Knight. Playmobil has captured all that charm and nostalgia with their latest release. Included in the easy to open, displayable packaging along with Michael Knight and Kitt are figures of Devin Miles and Dr. Bonnie Barstow who come with a bevy of accessories to help keep Kitt and Michael going. From Devin’s desk and computer to Bonnies mobile diagnostic lab and tool set this set spares no details. The Michael figure even comes complete with his communicator watch and signature upturned collared jacket. I mean how cool is that?! The real gem in the set much like in the television show is K.I.T.T. From its jet-black exterior to its highly detailed dash and tan interior to its removable roof, flip up headlights and rotating license plate Playmobil nailed it but, that’s not all! With a touch of the hood, you get six different voice and light sequences which only add to the products over all entertainment value. I believe my son and I had just as much fun cycling through the different voicings as we did playing with the set as you never knew what K.I.T.T. was going to say next.

Playmobil continues to outdo themselves with every release and the “Knight Rider” set is no exception. From its eye-catching packaging and easy assembly to the high level of detail included in each piece this set is perfect for both display and or play. Though we did find the front light to be a little too bright for extended play and the volume of the voice sequences to be quite a bit lower than in previous released vehicles we still had a blast playing with the set on its own and integrating it in with other Playmobil products. The easy to open packaging, detailed directions and solid build quality make for a great purchase that will last for years to come. Parents, pop that collar, que up your favorite episode from the television series, grab your youngsters and let “Knight Rider” and imagination do the rest.

 

“World of Warcraft” Legendary Game Review

All people have heard of the video game World of Warcraft. The history of the world’s development is one of Warcraft’s key characteristics. The narrative progressed, added to itself, and did not in any way contradict itself from one section to the next. Blizzard is paying close attention to this. We’ll take you on a quick tour of the game’s fundamentals today.

When the “Wrath of the Lich King” addon was released, it particularly gained popularity. This addon is still available today on older servers, and players adore it for the intriguing story it tells and the fascinating quests it offers. With the help of this addon, you can begin your World of Warcraft adventure. You may either boost your hero on your own or with the aid of boosting services where you can buy wow wotlk gold or conduct any other in-game purchase.

Character and Skills

The character editor is where the players go when they initially start the game. It allows you to design your special hero. There are numerous game races to select from and numerous ways to design a distinctive appearance. Humans, dwarves, night elves, Worgen, Pandaren, Draenei, Orcs, undead, Tauren, goblins, and blood elves are among the available races. Each group has distinct aesthetic and individual traits that ultimately influence the entire gameplay. This holds, for instance, for unique armor and weapons that are exclusively appropriate for particular races, however, the majority of the equipment is separated by classes.

After choosing the hero’s appearance and race, you must construct your class, which is a lot of work. There are a total of 12 classes available for selection. Each class has between two and four primary specialties, which are further broken down into 21 skills, and they can be upgraded as the difficulty of the game rises.

Players can also learn professions while simultaneously employing up to two basic skills and as many additional skills as they choose. It is also possible to advance within a profession and find new chances. They are separated into groups like mining and producing. In addition, it involves cooking, fishing, first aid, and archaeology. You can fish, make bandages and antidotes, look for artifacts, and cook meals with a variety of helpful features using the first three methods. As the player advances, he can change the outfits he wears and other aspects of his look, such as his hairdo, beard, and other features.

Types of servers in WoW

The WoW world itself is divided into continents. Players move freely between them. Each of the races has its original city in which the player appears. Players of other races cannot attack you there. In other places, PvP is always possible. There are 2 types of servers, and each of them has 2 subspecies.

Normal – divided into PvE and PvP servers. In the first case, battles between players are not possible, no one can attack you, but you can’t attack another player either. The second type is the PvP server, on the contrary, allows free PvP.

Role-playing – similarly to the first is divided into PvE and PvP servers, but differs from the first type as follows: in a general chat, you can only communicate about the world of the game and here you must engage in your main profession. Such restrictions allow you to immerse yourself more in the world of warcraft, “merge” with the character, and remember less about the real world.

PVP in WoW

There are several special battle modes. On some servers, you can fight in almost any part of the world, as on others, the player chooses whether to enable this option or not and somewhere there are restrictions at all. Usually, players are free to attack each other in separate regions of the location, but this can only be done by members of different factions. Mass battles can be on the battlefields – a limited area of location. The conditions of the battle can be different: for example, you need to capture a flag or certain points on the map. There are also battle arenas. These are special small maps where two small teams can fight against each other, usually from 2 to 3 people from the side. There is a division into several matches, according to the result of which the winner is determined, and this is followed by various kinds of awards.

The best teams get into the world rankings, which are divided by region. The team’s points and their place in the list are displayed there. Additionally, there is a prize pool that is divided among the teams that have won the top spots, so the ratings are made for a reason. Individual players are given their ratings, which can be broken down into areas like arenas and the battlefield.

Finally

Today, WOW features cutting-edge visuals, an engaging story, a sizable open environment, and a huge player base. A location to fight or just have fun is always available. That’s just the way it is—WOW is only available through paid subscriptions, so not everyone can afford it. The game has been around for more than 17 years, yet its appeal has not diminished. If you’ve never played this game before, this is at least one of the reasons you should try.

Gaming In The Age Of The Internet: Is Online Playing Better Than Offline?

Many games today require players to be online to play, meaning we are playing less and less in the real world, which is shifted what is considered a “good game”. With increasing emphasis on skill-based gaming, would it be better for all of us if we were mostly playing offline?

The Internet: Social and Economic Impact

We use the Internet for social networking, shopping, and learning new information. What are the social and economic implications of the Internet?

The Internet’s effects on social interactions have been profound. With Facebook and Twitter, people can connect through online platforms. Social platforms have allowed people to develop closer relationships than before.

Additionally, it has allowed people to communicate with people from all over the world. Also, people learn about different cultures and exchange ideas.

Online Gaming in the Age Of The Internet

The Internet has revolutionised the way individuals interact. With each other, it’s changed the way we play games. The convenience of connecting with friends and opponents worldwide has made online gaming a top choice.

Is online gaming better than offline? In this article, we’ll explore both modes of play.

The Internet has revolutionised the way people play casino games. Now, anyone can access various online casinos from their home or office.

Therefore, this is excellent news for anyone who wants to enjoy a good game of craps or slots without leaving the comfort of their own home.

https://topcasinosearch.com make it easy to find the perfect online casino for your needs. You can also compare online casinos based on their features, payout rates, and customer service.

Are There Any Benefits to Playing Offline?

Offline gaming has not lost its appeal. There are a few advantages to playing games offline that can’t be found online, no matter how good the online experience may be. Offline gaming is more immersive because you are the only one in control of your game.

You are free to travel anywhere and engage want without fear of being disturbed. Your opponents are also nowhere near as distracting as other online players.

In addition, offline gaming allows you to take breaks when needed, rather than constantly checking your phone or computer for new messages or updates.

Finally, The physical act of pressing buttons on a game controller has a unique quality and an unrepeatable standard of excellence online. Whether or not these advantages outweigh the disadvantages is up to each gamer to decide.

Conclusion

There is no denying how popular gaming is an integral part of our lives, whether playing for fun or competition. There are many games available to play online, and it can be hard to determine which ones are the best for us.

However, playing offline may be the way to go if you want a more challenging experience.

Taking the time to get lost in a game offline can give you a sense of accomplishment that is difficult to find online.

So whatever your gaming goals may be, make sure you take the time to experiment with several games and see which suits you the most.

San Diego Comic Con Stumbles Out of the Pandemic

“Has it really been three years?” That was my thought as I sat in my cramped, terrible plane to San Diego. Ignoring the terrible aviation service, I had my mind on the prize. While San Diego Comic Con technically came back last November, the turn out by vendors and patrons alike made it seem more like a test run before this summer’s return to glory. Was July 20-24 everything I hoped it was? No, but that’s OK.

The biggest takeaway for those outside the geeky bubble of the San Diego Convention Center and Gaslamp District was the return of Marvel Studios to Hall H. Not only did they unveil footage from “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” and “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” Kevin Fiege, the Willy Wonka of the MCU, also unveiled their plans for phases five and six, revealing what the “Multiverse Saga” has in store for eager fans. Oh, and DC showed some new “Shazam” and “Black Adam,” but some are still wondering where Superman and Flash are.

Outside that big news, “Star Trek” had a lot to say, showing a look at “Picard’s” final season as well as info on a live-action/animated hybrid crossover that I’m sure Trekkies are already getting amped for. Outside the convention halls, Star Trek had an offsite experience called Ten Forward where Trekkies and others could partake in food and beverages in a “Star Trek” setting that had fans finally living in some of their favorite moments. Sci-fi wasn’t the only draw as “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” and “Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” rolled out footage that not only got fans pumped, but garnered attention from people who had no interest (me being one of them). D&D also wowed people with it’s offsite bar where people could partake in a fantasy brew while interacting in what can only be described as a cave tavern harassed by dragons.

Out of all the fandoms though, there was quite a bit of disappointment. Fans of Adult Swim’s offsite activations were left wondering where they were only to find a box in a field with a peephole advertising the Adult Swim Festival…taking place on the other side of the country. “House of the Dragon,” a “Game of Thrones” prequel, failed to generate buzz for people in Hall H, while the activation was apparently only for die-hards who left disappointed or content after standing in line for an average of five hours. The “Bob’s Burgers” panel was cancelled last minute, leaving Bob’s fans scrambling to find another favorite moment from this year’s festivities.

A lot of people actually may be signing up for Apple TV after the company’s first foray into SDCC. The fresh-faced streaming service highlighted several shows like “For All Mankind,” “Mythic Quest,” and this writer’s favorite, “Severance.” While not personally attending, the footage from inside the “Severance” offsite was astounding. It truly looked like people were walking into the world of “Severance.” Not only was it the most discussed and favorite offsite of this year, but it maybe the standard going forward for fully immersive rewarding offsites. One of the companies that manages to bring the fun to offsites, FX, returned this year with a maze featuring haunted dolls, muttering lunatics’, a vampire dance party and a chance to win various hot sauces.

Despite the highs of SDCC, something felt off. As a non-profit, it would make sense that SDCC would have to cut some corners and scale some things back with it’s return. But you have to wonder about some of the choices and decisions. One talking point that was (and still is) discussed is COVID-19. Was there a mask policy? Yes. Was it bothersome? Not really. The majority abided by it and it wasn’t like most people haven’t already spent a good portion of the past three years wearing one. That being said, I will flat out say that the COVID-19 wristband policy was stupid. To obtain a COVID-19 wristband, you must either be vaccinated or have a negative COVID-19 test result that was collected within 72 hours. If either of those requirements were met, you were given a flimsy paper wristband that was supposed to survive five days of sun, showering (maybe not everyone) and whatever else comes there way. The idea behind this is to prevent sick people from coming in, but as we’ve all found out, you can still become sick and a carrier of COVID-19 if you’re vaccinated and can still become infected and become a carrier within 72 hours after said COVID-19 test. So with all due respect, what was the point of the wristband? Another line? A sense of false security? Regardless, it was a completely unnecessary hurdle that frustrated hundreds if not thousands on a daily basis who showed up without a wristband and then had to wait in a lengthy hour-or-more line. I prepared and knew all about this, but not everyone is me and I can relate to the grief of having unnecessary requirements stand in your way of fun you’ve been craving for years.

Was there plenty of things that had me shaking my head in frustration? Yes. Was there plenty of things I enjoyed immensely regardless? Yes. In no way was this year a sign that it’s time for me to quit going and in no way will I say my experience was negative overall. There’s always going to be things I miss and things I will cherish forever. I’ve learned, grown and adapted to the things that happen every year like others…the long lines, the shocking amount of BO from fellow congoers and so on. Here at MediaMikes, we’re fairly confident SDCC 2023 will be better and 2022 will still have been a great year, just not as great as other years.

What Are the Benefits of Pet-Friendly Apartment Communities?

Almost 70 percent of renters own a pet. Finding pet-friendly accommodations can be difficult, as most rentals have strict breed and weight restrictions. However, allowing pets is a great way to expand your applicant pool. Not only do tenants take better care of their pets, but Landlords can also generate more rental income. Listed below are the main benefits of allowing pets in apartments. Listed below are some of the main reasons tenants love to rent from pet-friendly landlords.

Renting to people with pets is a “win-win” situation

Allowing tenants to own pets can boost rent revenue and tenant pools, while also increasing your market size. However, there are some important considerations before you consider allowing renters to own pets on your property. Listed below are some of the benefits and disadvantages of allowing tenants to have pets in your rental property. Read on to learn more about these benefits and disadvantages. Once you’ve decided to allow tenants to bring their pets, here are a few things to consider before you leap.

First, be prepared to meet prospective tenants. Make sure to bring up references to prove that you are a responsible pet owner. Ask for references from former landlords and renters to make sure you’re a good candidate. Don’t be afraid to suggest that a pet deposit will help cover the cost of veterinary bills and other costs, and don’t be shy about talking about how much your pet will contribute to the monthly rental bill.

Second, consider the type of pets. If you allow pets, consider the size and breed. Some leases only allow dogs under twenty pounds, while others don’t allow any type of animal. You may also want to know if your area has any laws against certain breeds or exotic pets. If you don’t feel comfortable with your tenant’s pets, you can increase your security deposit, or offer them a full refund.

Tenants take better care of their pets

A pet-friendly apartment community is an attractive option for those who are unable to find other housing for themselves but do not want to abandon their pets. Pet-friendly apartment communities often have stricter pet-owner expectations. Some may not allow loud barking or other rowdy behavior. Others may require spaying and neutering pets before allowing them. Pet-friendly apartment communities may also charge a pet deposit or require a recurring pet fee. In addition, the rules for pet ownership are detailed and include rules for what is not acceptable behavior in the apartment’s common areas. If you’re from California, make sure to check these Apartments for rent in San Jose

The owner of a pet-friendly apartment community should be aware of the health needs of the animal, as well as the needs of the other tenants. This is especially true for pets that do not interact with other animals, such as cats and dogs. Moreover, pet owners should contact a new veterinarian as soon as possible to maintain continuity of care for their animals. Pet owners must also ensure that their pets have the appropriate shots and licenses required in the area.

If the apartment building does not have a pet policy, tenants can always ask their landlord to amend their lease to allow their animals. Most apartment buildings require that pets are kept on leashes, but some prohibit them in amenity areas. Pet owners must clean up after their pets, keep them well-groomed, and respond to complaints about excessive noise, aggressive behavior, and more. Generally, tenants who have pets have fewer complaints.

Landlords get more rental income

It is estimated that nearly 70% of renters own a pet. This fact has many positive effects on landlords. Pet-friendly apartments for rent in San Diego attract more tenants, lower vacancies, and increase rental incomes year-round. And because the millennial generation favors pets over children, landlords are more likely to have repeat renters with pets. And companies are starting to apply this trick. Read on to find out how pet-friendly apartments can improve your bottom line!

Renters who have pets will pay more for rent. As long as the property is clean and sanitary, landlords will see an increase in rental income. A pet deposit is similar to that of a refundable tenant deposit, but it typically ranges from $200 to $500. In Seattle, the amount can’t exceed 25% of a month’s rent. However, before setting the amount of the pet deposit, make sure it’s competitive with average rents and is allowed by landlord-tenant laws.

A pet deposit may not be enough to keep pets away from the unit. Pet rent can add up to significant amounts, depending on the number of pets a tenant brings to the unit. But pet rent is a great way to generate additional rental income. While some tenants may sneak in their pets, landlords should always ask ahead. Getting upfront information about the status of a pet is essential so they can assess the level of risk of damage. In the meantime, some tenants may leave the apartment because of noise, allergies, or other reasons, and you’ll be held liable for any damages caused by the pet.

Important Things To Do Before You Travel

Image source: Pexels

6 Things You Need To Do Before You Travel

Traveling is an amazing experience, but it can also be stressful. Before going on your trip, you need to think about many things, including what to pack and where to stay. But there are some things that you should do before you leave that will make your travel experience much easier.

The best way to make your trip unique is to prepare for it. Planning can help you save money, avoid stress and ensure that you have a fantastic time on your vacation. Here are six things you should do before leaving for your next big trip:

Make a List of Items To Pack

Making a list of items to pack is a huge step and can be overwhelming if you don’t know where to start! But, it doesn’t have to be. The best way to start is by considering the activities you will be doing while traveling, where you’ll be staying, and how long you’ll be gone.

Other factors include the time of the year and the types of clothing you need. It is also wise to check out top travel tips for the ultimate adventure to get the most out of your trip.

Create a Budget for Your Trip

Before booking anything, create a budget for your trip. It will help you plan the rest of your itinerary and determine what kind of vacation you can afford. You don’t want to get into debt because of an unplanned vacation.

If you’re traveling with friends or family members, make sure everyone knows about the budget and agrees before booking anything for the whole group. It will help you know how much money you should save before leaving on your trip.

Research the Destination

Once you know how much money you want to spend, start researching the destination. Find out what activities are popular in that area and plan accordingly. There won’t be any disappointment if something isn’t available when you arrive. Plus, it’ll give you something fun to look forward to during your trip!

Plan Ahead in Case of a Delay or Cancellation

Flights get delayed, trains break down, and weather conditions can change quickly. If you experience flight delays or cancellations and there’s no other option but to wait it out at the airport, make sure you have a contingency plan.

For example, you can make good use of this time by playing games online. Casino games, in particular, are a great time killer. There are plenty of them, and they vary by location. Suppose you are in an Arabic country that mostly prohibits gambling but do not worry. You can check the online casino reviews to find the best site where you can play anonymously and remain safe. From these sites, you’ll have various game types to choose from, clues on the best odds, and claim incredible bonuses.

Get the Right Travel Insurance

It should be one of the first things on your list, as travel insurance is essential for any trip. Ensure it covers you for cancellation, baggage loss or damage, and medical expenses in case of injury or illness. If you plan to drive anywhere during your holiday, ensure your policy covers rental cars.

If you’re traveling outside of the country, it’s essential to ensure that you have the right travel insurance policy. You do not want to be stuck somewhere without coverage if something goes wrong while away from home.

Ensure You Have All the Necessary Documents

You must have proof of identification and seek the best advice for travelling abroad. It includes your passport, visas, and birth certificates, if applicable. Carry an international driver’s license and vaccinations required for the countries you’re visiting. If you’re worried about losing these documents while traveling, bring copies.

If you are traveling by plane, make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months after the date of your return flight home.

Plan Your Next Vacation in Style!

Planning a trip can be overwhelming. Before you go on that dream vacation, there are a few things you need to do first. It’s not as simple as packing your bags and jetting off to paradise. It involves extensive planning, especially when traveling long-term or to an unfamiliar destination.

How to Host and Plan a Hybrid Fundraiser

Many nonprofits and schools want to increase their donations cost-effectively but lack the expertise or resources to create and host a major fundraising event. A hybrid fundraiser gives you the best of both worlds: an engaging live experience that shares your mission with supporters while leveraging new technology for acquiring donations.

Hybrid fundraising events can be a great addition to traditional donor cultivation activities, being more targeted than telephone campaigns while also providing significant opportunities for engagement through social media sharing.

These types of events enable your nonprofit to do something different from what is expected of you, stand out from your competition and avoid becoming obsolete as time goes on. You get all this while still increasing revenue!

To have a successful hybrid fundraising event, it’s essential to research your options and establish a budget for the event. The next step is to assemble a team of people with different skill sets. You can then create a fundraiser website, promote it and execute your live event.

In the end, you will thank donors for their support and deepen donor engagement by keeping them involved after the fact. Finally, you’ll analyze performance data so that you can improve upon future events.

We’ve created this guide to take you through these steps one at a time so that you can learn how to host your own effective hybrid fundraising event campaign. Have fun!

Step 1: Weigh Your Hybrid Options

The following are ten steps to help plan and host successful hybrid events. First, let’s define some terms:

Hybrid Fundraiser: A hybrid fundraiser is a type of event that allows your supporters to donate online or during on-site activities. At the same time, they learn about your mission and engage with like-minded peers.

The donation method is up to you (cash, check, credit card). If the donation method is cash or check, make sure to have someone at the event record all gifts for accuracy and security purposes.

Step 2: Determining Tech Needs and Budget

While it can be tempting to “go big” on your first hybrid fundraiser and spend money on the most prominent venues and most elaborate activities possible, this strategy could end up costing you more than the revenue gained in the long run. Therefore, it’s essential to consider your budget and how much you want to invest in this project.

Keep in mind that when it comes time for planning and executing stages of your event(s), vendors will likely charge more if they think you’re not organized or serious about what you’re doing. Turning to professionals for help early on is a great way to get better rates while also avoiding setting yourself up for failure later.

To determine your budget, ask yourself:

  • How much do I currently raise during fundraising events?
  • What percentage of these funds do I typically see arrive after the live event is over (donations + additional revenue, e.g., auction packages)?
  • How much money would this represent for my organization if I could feasibly capture 10-20% more capital through a hybrid fundraiser?

Another vital thing to consider is the technology required for hosting your fundraisers. Do you have the necessary equipment and software (e.g., iPads or tablets with card readers & digital signatures, laptops with internet access and compatible presentation software, wireless microphones)?

Additionally, it would be best to determine whether you want to host more than one live event as part of your fundraiser. If so, will some of those events be held off site where participants don’t have Internet access? Can you rent additional equipment as needed?

Depending on what kind of activities you’ll be hosting, you may want to hire support staff such as videographers or photographers.

Tech Needs

  • Tablets/iPads with card readers and digital signatures for event check-in.
  • Laptops w/ internet access and compatible presentation software for speeches or activities.
  • Wireless microphones to connect with the audience or participants at offsite events.

Budget Needs

  • Additional equipment rental fees (e.g., sound system, wireless microphone/speaker system) if necessary.
  • Support staff (e.g., videographers, photographers) depending on what kind of events you’ll be hosting.

Note: You may also want to consider hiring a professional event planner to assist your volunteers and keep everything running smoothly throughout the weekend.

Step 3: Assembling Your Team

As mentioned above, it’s a good idea to hire a professional event planner to assist your volunteers and keep everything running smoothly throughout the weekend.

It’s also helpful to have an experienced fundraiser on-site during your live events who can:

  • Verify credit cards, cash, & electronic checks.
  • Collect and record donations accurately.
  • Address any technical difficulties quickly so they don’t impact participants’ experience.

Support Staff:

  • Event Planner (at least 1 for each on-site event).
  • Experienced fundraisers trained in credit card and check collection procedures.

Step 4: Building Your Hybrid Fundraising Site

If you plan on letting donors contribute both online before the event(s) and during on-site activities, then it’s essential that you set up fundraising pages ahead of time. This way, donors’ credit card information is already stored in your system when they arrive to participate in your fundraiser so you can capture their donations quickly and efficiently.

At a bare minimum, a fundraising website should include:

  • Donations page(s), where supporters enter the amount they’d like to give.
  • Payment Gateway(s), which accepts online contributions.
  • Funding Progress bar that shows how much has been raised so far.
  • Organization profile picture/logo and contact information.

To be successful, make sure your site invites donors to participate, not intimidate them. Also, keep in mind that very few people will want to go through the donation process unless there’s an incentive for doing so (e.g., free raffle entry, donation matching, etc.).

Step 5: Promoting Your Hybrid Fundraiser

Just because you’ve built an excellent fundraising website doesn’t necessarily mean people will visit it. We recommend promoting your hybrid fundraiser both before and during your events via email, social media, flyers, event invitations, or any other methods you think are appropriate.

Include images of your donor incentives (e.g., certificates for free raffle entries) to motivate potential supporters to get involved. You can also promote specific event details, such as the date(s) and time(s), website URL, etc.

Step 6: Excellent Tips for Planning Your Hybrid Event

  • Get creative with your on-site activities! The possibilities are endless depending on what you’d like to accomplish and how much time you have available. For more inspiration, think about previous events you’ve hosted or attended that were both successful and engaging.
  • Keep things moving at a fast pace, but don’t be afraid to take breaks if needed.
  • Wear comfortable shoes! If possible, bring an extra pair if one gets wet during an activity or is damaged by corrosive liquids (e.g., vinegar).
  • Make sure all required safety equipment is on-hand. This includes personal protective equipment (PPE), disposable gloves, safety goggles/glasses, and any other gear that might be required for activities.

Step 7: Executing Your Hybrid Event

Here are just a few possible event ideas to consider:

Live-Action Challenge: Participants compete in teams of two or three by performing different tasks that test their problem-solving abilities under physical stress.

For example, participants could assemble flat-pack furniture with the help of only verbal instructions while wearing emergency “hazmat” suits that make it challenging to use their hands effectively! Other examples include timed cooking challenges, puzzle hunts, water balloon tosses, etc.

Food Tasting Competition: Each team must create the best-tasting dish out of a set of ingredients.

Cookie Decorating Contest: Each team tries to decorate the most accurate replica of your organization’s logo with icing and sprinkles.

DIY Activity Station: Different stations could be set up where participants make slime, fold origami fortune tellers, or color in coloring book pictures.

Seasonal Activities: These could vary depending on the time of year, but examples include building snowmen, carving pumpkins, and making ornaments.

Step 8: Ending Your Hybrid Fundraiser

Now that you’ve completed your hybrid event(s) let donors know how their donations will make an impact by sending them a personalized thank you message afterward. Showcase the great things your organization has accomplished with their support and how they’ll continue to help build a brighter future for the community.

Step 9: Deepening and Thanking Donor Engagement

We recommend following up with donors within two weeks of their contributions to maximize their likelihood of giving again in the future. You can do this via email or text message (if you’ve collected cell phone numbers) and include a personalized video message from your CEO, executive director, or other key staff members (s).

Other donor communication tips include sending thank you cards or gifts (e.g., pens, notepads, magnets), updating them on important news related to your cause (i.e., upcoming events such as fundraisers, open houses, etc.), and including press releases of your organization’s accomplishments in all communications.

Step 10: Analyzing Data and Evaluating Performance

Once you’ve wrapped up your hybrid event(s), it’s time to take a look at some key metrics and determine the next steps. How did things go? What could have gone better? How much money did you raise?

Things to consider include social media engagement rates (e.g., likes, shares, comments) on Facebook and Twitter; how many donors utilized the online fundraising page; the number of participants who attended/completed your event(s); and more.

Make a note of any learnings or insights that can help improve future events and make sure to follow up with donors and thank them again.

Panic Fest Marks 10th Anniversary and Return to Normalcy


As I sat in the main theater at Screenland Armour for the start of Panic Fest on Thursday, April 28, I couldn’t help but feel relief. That relief comes with the knowledge that since January 2020, I haven’t experienced anything like this in a little over two years. The pandemic extinguished the lights at repertoire cinemas across the country, but some managed to fight through the uncertainty to emerge victorious; shining brighter than ever. So Panic Fest 2022, the 10th iteration of the genre film festival, felt personal in the context that the pandemic is now over, we can begin congregating again to partake in films that make us peek at the screen between our eyes or laugh at absurd things with a large group of degenerates some of us refer to as friends or family.

The 10th annual Panic Fest kicked off with Joe Bob Briggs and Darcy the Mail Girl presenting a 20th anniversary screening of “Bubba Ho-Tep.” The second day of Panic Fest kicked things into gear with films ranging from the comically bizarre, “CRABS!,” to the gory insane, “The Sadness,” which kept the hundreds who were in attendance happy and horrified. The directors came out to play Saturday as Joe Lynch introduced, what he called an undiscovered gem waiting to become a cult classic, 1984’s “Surf II.” don’t bother asking me about “Surf I.”

Director Mick Garris was in attendance as a nearly sold out theater laughed along and cheered to 1992’s, “Sleepwalkers,” which I can only describe to people as a horror film featuring indescribable super powered cat people who are not only deathly allergic to house cats, but also incestuously horny. Spider One, the lead singer of Powerman 5000 and brother of Rob Zombie, attended the global premiere of his first film, “Allegoria.” Spotted amongst attendees Saturday at several films, including “Sleepwalkers,” was Lloyd Kaufman. Yes, that Lloyd Kaufman. Kaufman would be introducing his latest Troma film, “Shakespeare’s Shitstorm,” a Troma adaptation of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” on Sunday.

While the celebrities and filmmakers are just one joyous part of Panic Fest, the other joys come in the form of independent films looking to break the mold. This year’s line-up films ranged from tense thrillers about neighbors next door, “Watcher,” to nightmare fuel bat shit insanity, “The Outwaters.” Just like in 2021, this year’s Panic Fest was a hybrid of in-theater selections and virtual selections. For fans who only attended in-person, you missed out on some great stuff that was only available digitally through Panic Fest like “The Chamber of Terror,” which feels like a midnight film waiting to burst onto the scene and “Masking Threshold,” a serious contender for one of my favorite films of 2022. While a few films, both virtually and in-person, weren’t really my thing, most of the films were diamonds in the rough while others showed great promise for the future creators behind it.

While it’s clear that not everyone was ready to be back in a theater, Screenland Armour was hopping with life during the four days I was in attendance. It was refreshing to be around like-minded people devouring high-brow and low-brow horror content. While the pandemic certainly had an effect on 2021’s and 2022’s Panic Fest, it’s safe to say the founders haven’t skipped a beat when putting together a well-crafted mix of genre films and events that most certainly put a smile on everyone who sat down to once again enjoy the magic of the movies.

 

 

Kansas City’s Planet Comicon Is Back and Better Than Ever!

 

PHOTOS BY DAN LYBARGER

The past two years have not been good for fans of Pop Culture in Kansas City.  Due to COVID, 2020’s Planet Comicon was cancelled.  Last year’s event was well received but there was just something that felt a little off.  I attributed that feeling to the world still recovering from the issues of 2020.  With that being said, I’m happy to report that the 2022 Planet Comicon came and was a tremendous event.

Ralph Macchio addresses his fans.

One of the oldest, and premiere, events in the Midwest, Planet Comicon once again boasted an eclectic roster of celebrity guests, some making their first Kansas City appearance.  After William Zabka and Martin Kove greeted throngs of fans last year, the Karate Kid himself, Ralph Macchio, was a guest this year, completing the “Cobra Kai” triumvirate. 

Also making their first appearances this year were Brandon Routh (“Superman Returns”), Mark-Paul Gosselaar  (“NYPD Blue”) and former NSync member Joey Fatone.  As I made my way through the crowds I was amazed at the diversity of Pop Culture Planet Comicon features yearly.

As with every Planet Comicon, there was an amazing array of dealers offering everything from Pokemon trading cards to your very own R2-D2.  I’ve never had the nerve to attend the show as one of my favorite Pop Culture characters – though I think if you excused the beard I could pull off a good Chief Brody -but the range of Cosplay characters I saw was impressive.  That’s the beauty about this event.  You can be WHO you want to be.

If you’ve never attended Planet Comicon, I urge you to get in line now for next year’s show.  FYI, it will run March 17-19, 2023.  BE THERE!

“Star Trek: The Next Generation” co-stars John de Lancie and Gates McFadden answer fan questions.

How to Afford Your Dream Trip

Many people have their dream trip they’d love to take someday, whether it’s in a faraway land or the chance to explore their own country. While the thought of going on that journey is supposed to be exciting, it’s easy to get stressed when thinking about the financial aspect of it. After all, travel is expensive in general when considering transportation, accommodation, and daily expenses. Luckily, there are several ways you can afford that dream trip, no matter your current financial situation.

Take Out a Personal Loan

One of the first options you have is to take out a personal loan. This choice is best reserved for trips that require quite a bit of expense. You can take out a loan from a private lender and receive flexible repayment terms and conditions. However, keep in mind that late or missing payments can lead to financial troubles down the road. Only go down this route if you know your budget can include loan repayments once you return.

Create a New Budget

One of the most obvious but best travel tips for any vacation, is know what you can and cannot afford. To put what you can currently afford into perspective, sit down, and create a new budget that accounts for saving for your dream trip. Calculate how much you can reasonably save in addition to bills and other expenses. You can put this leftover money into a new savings account at your bank that is purely dedicated to your trip. This way, you won’t mix it up with any other types of savings or be tempted to spend it. To make it even easier, many banks allow you to make auto-payments so the money is automatically put in the account every month.

Consider Alternative Accommodation

Sometimes, all it takes to make your dream trip a reality is to rethink your planning. These days, there are more options than ever before to save money while on your trip. For instance, you can look into house-sitting for locals in the destination you’d like to visit. Not only will this save you big on accommodation, but you have the chance to live like a local.

Pick Up Extra Work

Thanks to the internet, it’s easy for everyone to sell their skills for some extra cash. Consider putting your skills to work by signing up for side gigs online or via smartphone apps. Many websites hire freelancers for temporary jobs, such as writing, drawing, or computer coding. Taking on these jobs can help you build up some quick and easy cash that you can use for the smaller expenses on your trip, such as food or entry to desired attractions.

Be Flexible

Lastly, it always helps to be flexible. If you have a few places you are considering for your trip, seek out any travel deals or packages that these destinations offer. Research the cheapest travel times for these places and look into free, lesser-known attractions to visit. By being open about where to go and what to do, you open the door to more affordable traveling possibilities.

The Second Coming of Immersive Sim Games

At one point in time, one video game genre ruled them all: immersive sims. 

These games would have been trending on Twitch and YouTube if those platforms had existed back then. You’d have found dozens of guides, tutorials, and walkthroughs. But in the 1990s and early 2000s, the success of a game ebbed and flowed based on word-of-mouth alone.

Still, immersive sim games became a source of inspiration for players and future game designers. Games like Ultima Underworld, Thief, System Shock, and Deus Ex changed how players, developers, and even critics thought about video games. Game publishers threw money (and total creative freedom) at the likes of Warren Spector and Ken Levine, hoping to capitalize on their success in the same way Hollywood celebrates auteur directors. 

But then, in the mid 2000s, the immersive sim genre just kind of…fell by the wayside.

The games listed above all questioned and pushed the limits of what a video game could be. But while they received near-perfect praise from critics, they never quite became blockbuster hits with a huge audience. And as publishers shifted to chase revenue rather than recognition, immersive sims became a noteworthy but unsustainable genre.

At least, until their recent (and somewhat surprising) resurgence.

Defining The Immersive Sim Genre

Before diving into the resurgence of the immersive sim, it’s important to at least cover the basics of what this genre is and why it became so important for players and game designers alike.

The core idea behind an immersive sim is a game that captures the magic of a tabletop RPG where player agency drives the story and changes the experience.

If you’ve played games from Arkane Studios (Dishonored, Prey, Deathloop) or IO Interactive’s Hitman trilogy, you’ve got an idea of how immersive sims play. They worry less about a gripping linear narrative or a steady ability progression. Instead, the focus is on giving the player a set of tools and letting them handle missions and objectives in any way they see fit.

Most games provide a highly polished and guided combat encounter or “main story” level, presented in a cinematic way. Think about the jaw-dropping details in Uncharted 4 or The Last of Us Part II — these are incredible experiences from master storytellers.

Now, think about Prey or Hitman. The experience is less about a preset path and more about you, the player, discovering your own path. These are part of the DNA of roleplaying games, and immersive sims take those principles and pack them into an adventure game (rather than relying on random dice rolls and a list of skills to determine how likely you are to succeed/fail).

Imagine you find a locked building. Do you pick the locks to get in? Climb to a window or hole in the roof? Steal a guard’s uniform/badge to gain access? Or — in truest immersive sim fashion — do you skip the level entirely, forging a different path for your character?

This concept of player choice is the central pillar of immersive sim design. After all, this concept of “pairing old design philosophies with modern ideas” is what led to masterpieces like Breath of the Wild, Red Dead Redemption 2, and Elden Ring.

The Risks And Rewards Of Player Choice

It’s safe to say that the 2010s were the decade of open world games. Some game publishers fine-tuned the genre into a formula they could copy and paste into new titles and churn out huge, 100-hour epics that players could get lost in for weeks, months, or even years.

But eventually, those huge world maps got bogged down with hundreds of icons. Suddenly the question wasn’t “How can we make the world bigger?” or “How can we add more stuff?” Instead, it became, “How can we encourage players to discover their own story?”

Emergent narrative is at the heart of these games — it’s the idea of an event or interaction in a game that means different things to different players. Think about the “Nemesis System” in Shadow of Mordor or Shadow of War, where the main story took a backseat to the personalized experience of each player.

So when developers started looking for new ways to incentivize player choice and engagement, attention turned back to a niche sub-genre that had influenced a generation of game designers. After all, hadn’t immersive sims discovered the solution 20 years ago, long before anyone was even asking that kind of question?

The biggest game of 2022 so far has been Elden Ring, which sets a new standard for open world design and emergent narrative by allowing players to explore, fight, and solve puzzles at their own pace and (for the most part) in their own order. Elden Ring’s DNA is really just the most recent example of a modern game that uses old ideas to revitalize the industry.

Now, as most big publishers are asking what they can do to create their own Elden Ring, the answer seems obvious: It’s all about the careful balancing act between the risks and rewards of building games around player choice.

And, in doing so, it’s only building more credibility behind the idea that immersive sims aren’t just making a comeback — they’ve been inspiring the best new games all along.


Drew Gula is the copywriter at Soundstripe, a company providing content creators with royalty free music for Instagram and lofi hip hop music. He’s also a lifelong gamer (and immersive sim enthusiast) that is excited to see how open world games will continue to evolve.

The Best Casino Films you Wouldn´t Want to Miss

Casinos, bets and money have become one of the most intriguing topics in our society. It is not surprising that the film industry has decided to take inspiration from the universe that hides behind this gaming paradise. In the world of cinema you can see a multitude of realities, where casinos are in the background or even as one more character in the action. You can see that the atmosphere in these films is unique, whether they are criminal, outlandish, hilarious, tense or anecdotal.

Rain Man

Rain Man is a film from 1988 starring Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise. The film is about two brothers, Charlie and Raymond. Charlie finds out after the death of his father of the existence of the Raymond, who is also the legitimate heir of his father. The special thing about Raymond is that he is autistic. In the film, the protagonists spend a night in Las Vegas, where they manage to win a lot of money in a casino thanks to Raymond’s great ability to play. The film won four awards at the Oscars in 1989, including Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Director, and Best Actor for Dustin Hoffman.

Sydney

Paul Thomas Anderson entered the world of casinos with the film Sydney in 1996. Directed and written by him, it featured Philip Baker Hall, John C. Reilly, Gwyneth Paltrow and Samuel L. Jackson in the main cast. The film presents the union between Sydney, a veteran gambler and John, a young man who needs money to bury his mother. After convincing the young man to try gambling, they both go to the casinos to get the money they both need. This fleeting happiness will be interrupted two years later, when Clementine appears on the scene, a waitress and prostitute who is willing to do anything for money.

Croupier

Croupier is a film from 1998 directed by Mike Hodges and written by Paul Mayesberg. The film narrates the experiences of Jack Manfred, a young man who dreams of being a professional writer. While facing quite serious economic problems, he decides to start working as a croupier in a casino in order to improve his financial situation. However, what begins as a job to survive, ends up being the vehicle to establish a relationship with a woman who takes him down turbulent roads. The film was among the top ten films of 2000 for the National Board of Review. In addition, it was also nominated for the Edgar Allan Poe Awards for best film.

Ocean´s Eleven

Steven Soderbergh started the “Ocean’s” franchise with Ocean’s Eleven in 2001. It starred faces well known to the public such as George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Andy García or Julia Roberts. The plot followed Danny Ocean, a charismatic thief who, after getting out of prison, decides to plan the biggest casino heist in history. In order to do this, he will gather eleven people, each a master in his field, in order to carry out his plan. The only complication is that the owner of the casinos is the current partner of his ex-wife. In casino films of this kind spectators have the opportunity to enjoy watching many games of chance which nowadays can also be played online and for free, for instance, to play at free casino table games, where you can gamble for free or real money on hundreds of classic casino games at the portal VegasSlotsOnline. The good thing is that these online casinos use the best technologies to ensure that user data is secure and the games are fair.

 21Black Jack

Robert Luketic released 21: Black Jack in 2008, inspired by the true story of the MIT Blackjack Team, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The film showed the success of a group of young university students who, through mathematics and statistics, develop the key to be able to win in Las Vegas casinos and thus be able to pay for university tuition. The plan is perfect and there is no a single loose end, since they have the help of Micky Rosa, a statistics genius who shows them all the tricks necessary to rob casinos. Seduced by the idea of amassing great fortunes, Ben joins the group. However, the risk will increase and they will have to always be one step ahead of Cole Williams, one of the most terrible security chiefs.

In conclusion, these casino films are the best option for you especially if you are into robbery and theft too.

Win Passes to the 2022 kansas City Planet Comicon

 

 

 

Media Mikes has teamed up with their friends at the Kansas City Planet Comicon to give (5) readers the chance for them and a guest to attend the show this weekend (April 22-24).

 

All you have to do is let us know below what celebrity guest you’d like to see at a future show.  Pretty simple.

 

(5) random entries will be chosen and those chosen will be contacted by email and advised how to receive their passes.   GOOD LUCK!

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