MANILA, Philippines – Here are Life & Style stories you might have missed from the week of March 4 to 9.
Techies, indie film-makers and musicians flock to SXWS pop culture festival
The 27th South by South West (SXWS) technology, film and music festival to be held in Austin, Texas is as big as pop culture bonanza gets.
The 9-day jamboree, which started last March 8, has drawn tech tycoons, potential financiers, indie film-makers and musicians of all generations and genres to the Texas capital.
“In the world of start-ups, SXSW is pretty crucial to attend. It’s like if you’re not there, you’re not on the map,” said Lori Cheek, who is returning to SXSW to launch a smartphone app for her online flirting service Cheekd.com.
The first 5 days of the event are dominated by the SXSW Interactive Festival, a showcase for emerging innovations in technology, social media and gaming. It was at SXSW 3 years ago that the ubiquitous voice recognition app Siri won a festival award before it was snapped up by Apple for its iPhone.
SXSW attendees can also look forward to this year’s panel discussions which will feature the likes of actor Matthew McConaughey and “Slumdog Millionaire” director Danny Boyle.
Actresses Chloe Sevigny and Selena Gomez are also expected to show up.
On the music side, the list of confirmed performers includes Iggy Pop and The Stooges, Carsick Cars, Baauer (the Brooklyn DJ who scored the “Harlem Shake” viral video), Green Day, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
Kate Moss wraps up Paris Fashion Week
British supermodel Kate Moss surprised attendees of Paris Fashion Week when she walked down the catwalk at Marc Jacobs’ Louis Vuitton show to wrap up the week.
The crowds cheered as Moss, wearing a short black wig, stepped out of one of dozens of identical doors in Jacobs’ hotel-inspired set.
The show celebrated what Jacobs called “decadent glamour.”
Gold and silver embroidery covered retro-feel dresses finished with fur trim and shimmer. Silk and satin dresses were covered with lace-like cut feathers while ostrich feathers were used in purple and green silk check coats and a backless trouser suit.
Asked about Moss, Jacobs added: “She means a lot to me personally. She’s a very dear friend and she’s closed many Vuitton shows.”
German museum returns painting stolen by Nazis to Jewish art dealer
For the first time, a German museum returned a painting stolen by Nazis to the estate of a late German Jewish art dealer.
Last March 5, the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart returned an early Northern Renaissance painting that had belonged to Max Stern before the Nazis took it.
The painting of the Virgin and Child, attributed to the Master of Flemalle (1375-1444), identified by historians as Robert Campin, was donated to the Stuttgart museum after World War II.
“This work is important because, first of all, it’s an early Renaissance painting. Early Renaissance paintings are not very frequently on the market, particularly if you can look at the market today. They are highly praised and highly sought after works,” said Clarence Epstein, who leads the restitution project.
Stern lost more than 400 paintings at the hands of Nazis through a forced sale in 1937. He closed his art gallery later that year then fled to London. In London, he was forced to liquidate even more paintings, including the Virgin and Child, in order to buy a German exit visa for his mother.
New SimCity game teaches players about climate change
The 10-year wait of SimCity fans and players ended last March 5 with the arrival of the new edition of SimCity, a computer game that challenges players to build thriving cities in the face of conditions such as limited funds and climate change.
The game, tailored for play on personal computers running on a Windows operating system, costs US$ 60 a copy.
Millions of people have played SimCity since the computer game designed by Will Wright was first released in 1989 but the new version promises great features.
Technology in ‘SimCity’ has been updated along with forces influencing the health of cities and the happiness of inhabitants, according to Maxis Studio, the new game’s creator.
Along with rich 3-D graphics, the game will have a new simulation engine that enhances its realism. For instance, urban design decisions can now affect neighboring cities.
Maxis collaborated on the title with Games For Change, a group devoted to making games that would teach players about social issues aside from entertaining them. One issue SimCity touches on is climate change.
“I love the game,” said “Inconvenient Truth” director Davis Guggenheim, who played an early version with his son last year.
“Climate change is the biggest crisis of our time, but there is a disconnect because it is not in front of us. When you play ‘SimCity’ it is in your face; if you build a coal power plant you feel the consequences — smog in the city, water table getting dirty, and your people getting angry.”
British ‘Batman’ unmasks himself as takeaway delivery guy
Last March 5, a takeaway delivery man revealed that he is the mysterious crime fighter whose image went viral after he walked into a British police station dressed as Batman and handed over a wanted man.
Stan Worby, 39, said the worldwide coverage of his antics left him “gobsmacked.” He then revealed that the man he turned into police was a friend charged with handling stolen goods and fraud-related offences.
Dressed as the comic book hero, Worby walked into a police station in Bradford, Northern England with the suspect. He had told dumbstruck officers, “I’ve caught this one for you!” before vanishing into the wee hours of February 25.
His image, captured on the police CCTV, went viral and sparked theories on his identity.
Worby told police that on February 24, while watching a football match in London wearing his Batman costume, his friend, Danny Frayne asked if he could give him a lift to the police station. Frayne wanted to turn himself in.
“I told him as soon as I was home I would run him to Bradford central police station,” Worby told the Daily Telegraph newspaper.
Worby said he was offended by media reports describing him as a chubby version of the “caped crusader” asserting that he looks overweight in the picture because he was wearing a tracksuit under the costume to stay warm.
“I’ve got my full tracksuit underneath,” he explained. “I’m not just wearing this—it’s too thin.”
Frayne, meanwhile, appeared in court last March 8. – With reports by Pia Ranada/Rappler.com
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