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Monthly Archives: August 2019

These days, consuming media is easier and more convenient than ever, thanks to no shortage of streaming services. But unfortunately, those subscription fees tend to add upespecially as are into an already overcrowded ring. As such, many people are understandably less than enthused to shell out for multiple services, and are now turning back to torrenting sites.

BitTorrent sites allow users to download content such as movies, television shows, music, and video games. Yet even in 2019, torrenting can present an enigma to those uninitiatedso what do you need to know?

The five best torrenting sites

Unfortunately, downloading torrents can be risky business due to fakes, malware, and sites inundated with pop-upsnot to mention legal ramifications. As such, weve rounded up a list of the best (and safest) torrenting sites you should be using in 2019.

1) 1337X


One of the most popular torrenting sites available, 1337X is unique in that it includes tons of obscure files. But theres also no shortage of new and popular content, making for an overallbalanced library. 1337Xs site design is user-friendly and straightforwardjust be prepared for the occasional pop-up tab.

2) The Pirate Bay

The Pirate Bay

The Pirate Bay is a classic. As the oldest of all the torrenting sites, it has a long history of reliability and a library that stretches back for years. Although it does occasionally experience connectivity problems, The Pirate Bay is a fantastic site for torrenting newbies, as users are able to numerically see how trustworthy its seeders are.



YTS.AM, the replacement for YTS and YIFY, focuses solely on film, which means that there is a wide variety of movies to choose frommost of which are of good quality. Moreover, the site layout is super clean and you dont need a ton of bandwidth to download its files, making torrenting through YTS.AM an overall painless experience.



If youre less interested in quantity and more interested in quality, definitely take a look at RARBG. Another movie-specific torrenting site, RARBG puts a focus on curating a library full of high-resolution, popular movies. Each file displays seeder and leecher stats, cast details, and more.

5) Limetorrents


Limetorrents is the perfect site for people who dont want to deal with the headache of illegitimate torrents. Even despite a massive database, Limetorrents still includes plenty of useful file informationas each torrent lists seeder and leecher stats, date uploaded, and a health meteralong with an additional info page containing additional details.

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It feels like it’s been decades since we last talked about Ariana Grande’s personal life, but just a year ago we were still getting almost daily updates about her relationship with Pete Davidson. Time really flies. We haven’t known what’s up in Ariana’s dating life since she and Pete broke up last October, but now there are rumors she has a new man.

The rumors were kicked off last week, when Ariana Grande pretty randomly dropped a new song with hip hop duo Social House. Mainly, it seemed random because Ariana is in the middle of a tour right now, so it doesn’t seem like she’s going to be making another album right away. But when you look at the bigger picture, it’s not especially surprising. Social House are currently opening for Ariana on tour, and they’ve produced past hits of hers including “7 Rings” and “Thank U, Next.”

Let’s get to the actual song. It’s called “Boyfriend,” which immediately caused some raised eyebrows. The lyrics talk about being attached to someone even though you’re not in a relationship, and judging from the video, that someone would appear to be Social House’s own Mikey Foster.

In the video, Ariana sees Mikey talking to other women, and she has elaborate fantasies of attacking them to get them away from Mikey. It’s actually a pretty funny concept, but it’s a little awkward that Scootie, the other half of Social House, is basically just third-wheeling the whole thing. Of course, this could just be a video concept and nothing more, but why? It’s not like Ariana needs to be promoting new music right now, and there’s obvious chemistry between her and Mikey.

When asked about the meaning of the song on Twitter, Ariana Grande responded with the following message:

Okay, so maybe Ari doesn’t have like, a boyfriend boyfriend, but there must at least be something going on, right? Right?? Fans on Twitter were quick to speculate that Ariana and Mikey are dating, but we don’t have any solid information so far. Ariana closed Lollapalooza in Chicago on Sunday night, and she brought Social House on to perform their new song, but things stayed PG during the performance.

Obviously, I’d love more details about what, if anything, is going on between Ariana Grande and Mikey Foster, but maybe it’s for the best that they’re keeping things quieter for now. Last year, I felt like I knew what Ariana and Pete were doing every second of every day, and we all saw how quickly that fell apart. I’m not judging, but maybe this time we can hold off on the couples tattoos, at least for a few months. One source did tell The Blast that Ari and Mikey are definitely in a relationship, and that their relationship has “taken a passionate new turn in the recent months,” but I still feel like it’s too soon to say for sure.

Ariana and Social House are headed to Europe on tour later this month, so it’s perfect timing if there’s a new relationship they want to keep low-key. Maybe Ari and Mikey will be engaged by the time they get back to the US, or maybe there really is nothing going on. Either way, hopefully we’ll know more soon.

Images: Shutterstock; Ariana Grande / YouTube; arianagrande / Twitter; bluebird / Instagram

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Most horror film enthusiasts can agree that the scariest part about any movie is the music. But turn off the ominous sound, and any horror film becomes dramatically less scary.

Now, podcast creators are using downright frightening sounds in a genre that leaves you scared to turn off the lights. Just like film, horror podcasts are diverse in their approach to storytelling. Some create fictional worlds to get lost in. Others, however, create stories in nonfiction formats that make you forget whats real and whats not. Then, another type of podcast simply shares unsettling, real-life stories.

Ready or not, here are some of the best horror podcasts to listen to.

10 best horror podcasts

1) The Magnus Archives

Listen: Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, Player FM, Podbean

Rusty Quill/Apple Podcasts

The Magnus Archives is a weekly horror fiction podcast that examines what hides in, well, theMagnus Institute archives. The institute is an organization dedicated to researching all things weird. Led by Jonathan Sims, the podcast slowly grows creepier by episode as whatever is hiding begins to reveal itself. There are new episodes every Thursday.

2)The NoSleep Podcast

Listen: Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, Player FM, Podbean

The Paragon Collective/Apple Podcasts

The NoSleep Podcast is an anthology series of original horror stories. It explores all kinds of topics, from omens to crime. Additionally, the podcast has won multiple awards for its signature atmospheric music. It boasts over 300 episodes and airs weekly.

3)Video Palace

Listen: Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, Player FM, Podbean

Shudder/Apple Podcasts

Video Palace is a horror podcast that follows video collector Mark Cambria. He begins talking in his sleep in a nonexistent language after watching a mysterious VHS tape. As a result, Mark and his girlfriend, Tamra, decide to investigate where the tape came from. They then find themselves caught up in a conspiracy surrounding a legendary, eerie video store. Video Palace finished airing in 2018, but its still a worthy listen.

4)Alice Isnt Dead

Listen: Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, Radio Public, Player FM, Stitcher

Night Vale Presents/Apple Podcasts

The fictional Alice Isnt Dead is by the creator of Welcome to Night Vale. The horror podcast isabout a truck driver searching for her wife, whom she thought was dead. The driver travels across America and encounters less-than-human serial murderers, towns lost in time, and other surprises. Though it aired from 2016 to 2018, the series is three seasons with 50 episodes, so its binge-able.


Listen: Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, Player FM, Podbean

Aaron Mahnke/Apple Podcasts

Lore is a nonfiction podcast exploring the mysterious creatures, tragic events, and unusual places throughout history. Each episode focuses on the dark side of human nature under a common theme, such as evolution or bones. Also, if you cant get enough of the horror podcast,Lore is a book and TV series.

6)Darkest Night

Listen: Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, Player FM, Stitcher, Podbay

The Paragon Collective/Apple Podcasts

Darkest Nightplaces the listener in the middle of a recovered memory that sounds like its happening in reality. Each chapter of the fictional horror podcast explores the last memories of someone who has recently died. The episodes slowly reveal a terrifying bigger picture that connects all the stories. Narrated by Lee Pace, the show wrapped up at the end of 2018.

7)Knifepoint Horror

Listen: Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, Player FM, Podbean

Soren Narnia/Apple Podcasts

The podcast Knifepoint Horroris a compilation of supernatural stories by Soren Narnia. New episodes premiere about once a month, and they describe, in detail, unfortunate events happening to unlucky people.

8)Archive 81

Listen: Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, Player FM, Podbean

Dead Signals/Apple Podcasts

Archive 81 is a fictional horror podcast that uses a found-footage format. It follows Dan, an archivist cataloging recordings made by the Housing Historical Committee of New York State. He records himself listening to unnerving interviews done by Melody Pendras (voiced by Amelia Kidd) with the occupants of an apartment block.

9)The Black Tapes

Listen: Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, Podbean

Pacific Northwest Stories/Apple Podcasts

The Black Tapes is a weekly fictional podcast hosted by Alex Reagan. The horror podcast follows its main character, Dr. Strand, in a nonfiction format. It explores a collection of his unsolved cases, called his black tapes. The podcast has run since 2015.

10)Welcome to Night Vale

Listen: Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, Radio Public, Player FM, Stitcher

Night Vale Presents/Apple Podcasts

Welcome to Night Vale is a fictional horror podcast that presents itself as a radio show for the town of Night Vale. The town is supposedly somewhere in the southwestern United States. During the broadcasts, the host discusses unusual occurrences around town. Broadcasts with community updates air twice a month.

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With the App Store’s big makeover in fall 2017, Apple attempted to shift consumers’ attention away from the Top Charts and more toward editorial content. But app developers still want to make it to the No. 1 position. According to new research from app store intelligence firm Sensor Tower, it’s become easier for non-game apps over the past few years to achieve the top ranking.

Specifically, the firm found that the median number of daily downloads required for non-game applications on the U.S. iPhone App Store to reach No. 1 decreased around 34%, from 136,000 to 90,000 in 2018, then increased a little more than 4% to 94,000 this year.

At the same time, the number of non-game installs on the U.S. App Store had increased by 33% between Q1 2016 and Q1 2019.

These findings, Sensor Tower suggests, indicate that the U.S. market for the top social and messaging apps has become saturated, with downloads for top apps like Facebook and Messenger decreasing over time. In addition, no other apps have found the same level of success that Snapchat and Bitmoji did back in 2016 and 2017, the report adds.


For example, Messenger saw 5 million U.S. App Store installs in November 2016 while Bitmoji and Snapchat passed 5 million installs in August 2016 and March 2017, respectively. And no other non-game app has topped 3.5 million installs in a single month since March 2017.

Meanwhile, the decline in downloads needed to reach the No. 1 spot on Google Play was even more significant.

The median daily downloads for the top non-game app decreased by 65%, from 209,000 in 2016 to 74,000 so far in 2019.

Similarly, the store saw a decrease in installs among top apps, including Messenger, Facebook, Snapchat, Pandora and Instagram. Messenger, for example, saw its yearly installs fall by 68% from nearly 80 million in 2016 to 26 million in 2018.


With mobile games, however, it’s a different story across both app stores.

On the Apple App Store, it has taken 174,000 downloads for a game to reach the top of the rankings on any given day in 2019 — 85% more the 94,000 installs required for non-game app to reach the top of the charts.

This figure also represents an increase of 47% compared to the 118,000 median daily downloads required to top the charts back in 2016, Sensor Tower said.


In part, this trend is due to the rise of hyper-casual gaming. So far in 2019, 28 games have reached the No. 1 position on the U.S. App Store, with hyper-casual games making up all but four of those. And of those four, only Harry Potter: Wizards Unite spent more than one day at the top of the charts. Meanwhile, hyper-casual games like and Colorbump 3D have spent 25 and 30 days at No. 1, respectively.

On Google Play, the median daily installs to reach the No. 1 position increased from 70,000 in 2017 to 116,000 so far in 2019, or 66% growth. Overall game downloads, however, decreased 16% from 646 million in Q1 2017 to 544 million in Q1 2019.

Similarly, 21 out of the 23 games that reached the top spot this year have been hyper-casual titles, like Words Story or Traffic Run.

Breaking the top 10

While topping the charts has gotten easier for non-game apps over the years, breaking into the top 10 has gotten more difficult. Median U.S. daily installs for the No. 10 free non-game app increased 11%, from 44,000 in 2016 to 49,000 in 2019.


On Google Play, median daily installs for non-game apps fell nearly 50%, from 55,000 median daily installs in 2016 to 31,000 in 2019.

For games, the No. 10 game’s spot on the App Store increased from 25,000 median daily installs in 2016 to 43,000 so far in 2019, and Google Play saw 26% growth, from 27,000 to 34,000 during the same period.


Categories making the Top 10

In terms of breaking into the top 10 by category, Photo & Video apps on the App Store present the most challenge. The category where YouTube, Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat reside saw a median daily amount of more than 16,000 downloads for the No. 10 app.

This was followed by Shopping (15,300 daily downloads for the No. 10 app), Social Networking (14,500), Entertainment (12,600) and Productivity (12,400).

On Google Play, Entertainment apps — like Hulu, Netflix and Bitmoji — need around 17,100 U.S. installs in a day to reach the top 10. This is followed by Shopping (10,800), Social (9,100), Music (8,200) and Finance (8,000).

Beyond the U.S.

Outside the U.S., a non-game app needs approximately 91,000 downloads to reach the top 10 on the App Store in China — higher than the 49,000 installs needed in the U.S. For games, the U.S. is the most difficult to crack the top 10, with a median of 43,000 daily downloads for the No. 10 game.


On Google Play, India required the most downloads to reach the top 10, with apps needing 256,000 downloads in a day and games needing 117,000 downloads.


Of course, the App Store’s ranking algorithms — nor Google Play’s algorithms — don’t rely on downloads alone to determine an app’s ranking. Apple takes into consideration downloads and velocity, among other undocumented factors. Google Play does something similar.

But these days, developers are more concerned with showing up highly ranked in app store searches than they are on top charts, where they’ll need to consider numerous other factors beyond downloads — like keywords, description, user engagement and even app quality, among other things.

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Image copyright Getty Images

The French or Italians might like to think of themselves as the most fashionable people in Europe – but it is the Brits that are the most dedicated shoppers.

The British buy more clothes than their neighbours and five times as many items as they did in the 1980s.

What was once a monthly payday treat, is now something for every weekend – or perhaps more often than that. And who can blame us?

A quick trawl around the high street reveals dresses aplenty for under a tenner, and you can get a bikini for as little as £1.

Globalisation means things can be produced in far-off lands at low cost, meaning more choice and lower prices.

But how is that even possible? And what of the environmental cost of our shopping habits? The relationship between shopper and fashion industry may have become dysfunctional.

A BBC Radio 4 investigation for the Today programme took us from Spain to Ethiopia as we examined whether the planet, and some of its poorest inhabitants, are footing the bill for our unquenchable thirst for fashion – and how we should tackle that.

How do they do it?

The pressure on brands to get trends from catwalks to our backs cheaply, and deliver profits for investors, can lead to an unseemly bunfight to secure the cheapest source – a phenomenon critics refer to as “chasing the needle” around the world.

Image copyright NurPhoto
Image caption In April, on the sixth anniversary of the Rana Plaza collapse disaster, activists campaigned for safe workplaces for garments workers in Dhaka, Bangladesh

The plight of some of those who make our clothes came into shocking relief in 2014, when 1,138 garment workers lost their lives in the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory complex in Bangladesh.

The scrutiny and pressure to improve terms and conditions there was immense, and yielded results. Some big retailers – such as H&M and Converse – have started publishing lists of their suppliers, and sometimes, subcontractors – which can run into their thousands – in response to calls for greater transparency.

Is the age of the sweatshop in the past?

But there have been unforeseen consequences of recent trends. As wages rose in Bangladesh, companies looked elsewhere to keep costs down.

In Ethiopia, for example, wages average just a third of the rates paid in Bangladesh. Rates of less than $7 (£5.75) per week are typical. Speaking on condition of anonymity, workers at a factory near Addis Ababa told us this was insufficient to live on.

They also said that conditions – from unsanitary toilets to verbal abuse – were intolerable.

This situation was brought to international attention by the Workers Rights Consortium campaigning group. Penelope Kyritsis, who wrote the report, told me of workers who had overtime payments withheld, and women who had their abdomens felt by hiring managers to check if they were pregnant. She claimed that there had been little improvement since the report came out some months ago.

In order to head off stiff competition, the Ethiopian government has made almost a virtue out of its low labour costs.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Women making clothes in a textile factory in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

But Ms Kyritsis says that the country’s garment industry can’t use the excuse that at least it is providing a livelihood where none else might be available.

She highlighted the “extremely high turnover, with workers leaving government jobs for other jobs to resume positions in other informal sectors or in agriculture”.

Orsola de Castro, co-founded campaigning group Fashion Revolution in the wake of the Rana Plaza disaster. Her organisation is encouraging customers to ask tougher questions of their favourite brands, via a postcard campaign.

“There are two great misconceptions when it comes to sustainability and ethics – one is that the culprit is fast fashion, and this lets the luxury sector off scot-free, when in fact it is the entire Ethiopian fashion industry that needs to be called into question,” she told the BBC.

“And the other is that locally-made is ethical and sustainable. It isn’t.”

What about the environmental costs?

Textile production, it’s claimed, contributes more to climate change than aviation and shipping combined. And there’s consequences at every stage of a clothing item’s life cycle – sourcing, production, transport, retail, use and disposal.

To start with the basic fabrics used, it’s not as simple as cotton versus synthetic. Cotton is an extraordinarily thirsty crop.

As the UK House of Commons’ Environmental Audit Committee highlighted in a recent report, a single shirt and a pair of jeans can take up to 20,000 litres of water to produce. It concluded that “we are unwittingly wearing the fresh water supply of central Asia”.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Denim threads are dipped into indigo baths in a rope dying machine at a jeans factory

Yet, a polyester shirt made out of virgin plastics has a far larger carbon footprint. Transporting items increases that further and dying fabrics can introduce more pollutants.

Microplastic fibres shedding into waterways is becoming an increasing problem – a single washing machine load can release hundreds of thousands of fibres.

Plus, a million tonnes of clothes are disposed of every year in the UK, and 20% of that ends up as landfill.

That impulse purchase or two quickly mounts up. But whose responsibility is it to tackle this?

What is the government doing?

The House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee has made 18 recommendations – from taxing a penny on the price of an item to fund recycling centres, to reducing the rate of VAT on clothing repair services, to introducing more sewing lessons in schools. As yet, none of these measures have been adopted.

Critics say if we’re serious about sustainable fashion, the objective of policy should be to persuade us to buy less. That might need more drastic action, with perhaps an environmental tax on clothing. But given the fragile state of the High Street, and the importance of consumer spending to the economy, it’s hard to see any politician entertaining that.

At present, the government favours a voluntary approach, encouraging retailers to sign up to the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan – but the number signing up accounts for less than half of the UK market.

How much is business actually doing?

As pressure from consumers grow, retailers are taking things into their own hands.

Image copyright LightRocket / Getty Images
Image caption Zara has pledged to switch to 100% sustainable fabrics by 2025

Just outside the Spanish coastal city of A Coruna lies the global headquarters of Inditex. It’s hardly a household name – but its main fashion brand, Zara, is.

What started as a small manufacturing outfit is now one of the biggest retailers on the planet. Moreover, Zara changed the way we shop – by bringing looks from the catwalk to the high street in just three weeks at affordable prices.

The chain recently pledged to switch to 100% sustainable fabrics by 2025. It is, of course, not just Inditex – from H&M to M&S, retailers are looking to improve how they source and their processes.

Greenwash? Well, some big retailers do at least seem to be engaging and taking action. But at the heart of their business model is newness, convincing us to keep on buying – that is, if we needed convincing. Is it retailers’ responsibility to convince us to buy less?

Zara’s Pablo Isla argues not – that the retailer is simply responding to consumer’s wishes, and that those customers should have the freedom of choice.

What about customers?

With Extinction Rebellion climate change protests taking place outside their windows, emerging designers at London College of Fashion told us that they were going on fashion strikes – taking a vow not to spend for several months or even a year. Such action is growing in popularity, and there’s an increasing focus on buying better clothing – and making do and mending torn garments.

One of the designers we met even focused on making clothes out of the multitude of tents discarded at music festivals.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Livia Firth established consultancy firm Eco-Age in 2009 to help fashion companies make their supply chains sustainable

But it may not be enough. As the popularity of social media influencers has soared, so too have concerns about the impact they may have on our attitude towards shopping.

One in six influencers admit to not wearing an outfit again once it’s been on social media.

Eco-activist Livia Firth has been using red carpet appearances alongside her husband Colin to showcase sustainable fabrics, including fish skin “leather” handbags. She even persuaded him to wear a tuxedo made out of recycled bottles. She says influencers need to change their approach, saying “if Kim Kardashian were to promote sustainable fashion, I could retire”.

She likens our relationship with fashion to an addiction. With clothing demand forecast to rise by the equivalent of 500 billion t-shirts over the next decade, she may have a point.

But no one as yet has found the cure.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionAre we buying too many clothes? Fashion bloggers on loving what you have and recycling

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Planning for festivals is a lot of work, and nobody likes work. Sure, you could read through 16 different Reddit threads to figure out what to wear, how to get there, if it’s worth it to splurge for VIP, and whatever else you need to know, or you could just check out the Betches festival guide.

At this point, I figured I would do something useful with my knowledge of music festivals, so I decided to start a series of guides. You are welcome. I’m starting off our festival guide series with one of my favorite festivals, and one that I go to yearly even though I am, as they say, pushing 30: Electric Zoo, Ezoo for the lazy initiated. Taking place during Labor Day weekend on Randall’s Island, this electronic festival is a fun send-off to the summer that’s easy to get to and even easier to navigate. *Looks to the camera* *Waves to the viewers* Let’s go.

How To Get There

If you don’t live in New York and haven’t figured out how you’re getting to Ezoo yet, god help you. Assuming you’re not within driving distance, which will take care of things, you’ll want to fly to LaGuardia because I’m biased it’s probably easier to get to the areas you’ll want to be staying. But if you cop a deal out of JFK or Newark, then do you. As far as actually getting to the festival, you are likely going to be walking there over the RFK bridge. You can also Uber/Lyft to the festival (highly recommend so you can save your engery/feet), but you can’t Uber out. Ubers literally will not pick up from Randall’s Island (or at least, they didn’t last year), so you’re going to be either walking back or taking one of the shuttles Ezoo has. Plan accordingly!

Where To Stay

Ezoo is not a camping festival and does not offer the option, so you’ll need to reserve some sort of accommodations in advance. Remember all your friends in Harlem and/or Queens who you made fun of for being broke? Yep, it will be time to hit those people up for a couch or half their full-size mattress! That’s becaues Ezoo is on Randall’s Island, an Island between Queens, and uptown Manhattan/Harlem that is within walking distance from both those locations. (As long as you are a little loose on your definition of “walking distance.”) If you don’t have friends with a free place to stay, you could try to Airbnb in one of those areas I mentioned, or just stay literally anywhere in any hotel you find. The subway system is extensive and you’ll be able to get uptown from wherever you are, but sticking to the east side will be easier because getting crosstown, especially on weekends, is a huge bitch. 

What To Wear

Ezoo is electronic music, which means this is the weekend to bust out your full raver girl attire. The great thing about this is that you can wear literally anything in the world you want and nobody is going to look at you sideways and you won’t feel out of place. You could wear a bra, a thong, and fishnets. You could just wear pasties. It truly does not matter, just bring some glitter and throw on some fun makeup. Unlike other festivals, nobody cares what you’re wearing.

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Leveling up by squading up. It’s the #EZoo way. #squad

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See? Pretty normal summer attire.

Above all, though, wear something COMFORTABLE. You’re likely going to be walking 20-30 minutes across a bridge to get to the festival, so this is not the time to wear your giant platform boots with the heel (not like any festival would be the time for that, but this one especially). Also, New York weather circa Labor Day is a fickle bitch, so plan appropriately. It could be 90 degrees and sunny af. It could pour on you. Both things happened to me last year alone. Whatever your outfit is, make sure it incorporates good walking shoes, and bring a poncho just in case.

What Ticket To Buy

At this point, a 3-day GA ticket costs $300, and a VIP ticket costs literally double that. According to the website, VIP gets you admission (duh), plus a faster-moving VIP line at check-in. You’ll also get “Premium views, private VIP flush toilets, shaded chill out area with seating, full VIP cash liquor bars, complimentary cell phone recharge stations, and complimentary passed hors d’oeuvres.” Now, is it worth it? Maybe. I’ve personally never had a huge issue with the non-VIP port-a-potties, however, seating is a real issue. There’s basically one small hill where you can park your butt without getting stepped on, and that’s it. There are other areas where you can charge your phone for free, like the T-mobile activation. Also, it’s 2019, buy a mobile charger.

There’s also a “Platinum VIP” option, which gets you more of the same, plus “Exclusive Platinum Only Premium views,” whatever that means. That option costs $949, and there’s no mention of any cash bar. If I’m dropping close to a grand on a festival, you better give me as much free Casamigos as I can legally drink, and you better make that known in advance.

Personally? Unless you are very picky regarding crowds and bathrooms, I would just rock with GA. You’re literally spending double the price for basically some passed hors d’oeuvres that they are probably going to run out of in the first hour after the festival doors open.

The Vibe/Crowd

“Ew, Ezoo? Isn’t that for 16-year-olds?” everyone says to me when I tell them I’m going there. I’ve been 3 times so far, and frankly, no. The crowd is actually older than you’d expect. I have never once looked around at my fellow festivalgoers and said, either aloud or to myself, “Ugh. The children.” You know where I have said that? Gov Ball, Coachella, The Meadows (RIP). Also? The vibe is way more chill than that of other festivals. Think less pushing and overall dickishness. People tend to respect other people and their space. Sure, if you’re trying to get to the front at Bassnectar 10 minutes after he already started, you are going to get some pushback. But as far as festivals go, the people here are generally pretty nice and chill.

Regarding the crowds… yeah. Friday is typically a dream and you can walk around freely. Saturday, you’ll see a noticeable increase in festivalgoers. By Sunday, it will be nearly impossible to move from stage to stage. Enjoy Friday as much as you can, and be sure to budget enough time in between sets to navigate through the crowds. And get there early because there WILL be a line to get in.

aLIVE Coverage for

The Production

It honestly varies from year to year. The year the theme of the festival was The 6th Boro, everything was animal themed (why? don’t ask…) and the main stage was a giant elephant. That was really f*cking cool. The year before that, it was a cobra. Last year, for the 10th anniversary, it was just… a big sound wave, sort of. That was a bit of a letdown tbh. Truthfully, the theme of Ezoo every year should be animals, and I’m hoping they bring back the animal stages. Last year, Sunday School Grove also sponsored a jungle themed stage, which I never made it to but it looked awesome.

aLIVE Coverage for

Okay, literally as I was writing this, Ezoo released a photo of this year’s main stage, which looks sick.


Who To See

The 2019 lineup boasts big names like Eric Prydz, Diplo, Kaskade, Above & Beyond, Zedd, Armin Van Buuren, Alison Wonderland, Skrillex & Boys Noize, and a f*ckton more. Here are a few of my other personal recommendations:

Excision: If you’re into some harder sh*t with more music/noises than words

NGHTMRE B2B Slander; 4B; Getter: If you want to hear your favorite music on the radio right now, but like, trappy.

Boogie T b2b Squnto: If you want some fun groovy music that will make you want to dance

Flux Pavilion: If you want dubstep

Seven Lions: If you want trance/melodic dubstep/if you don’t know what that means, it’s a little more chill than most of the other stuff I’ve listed above.

GTA: If you want house/trap/hip-hop

Don’t want to listen to me? That’s fine, Ezoo made a Spotify playlist with songs from the 2019 artists.

Other Things To Do

While there are a few art installations and activations, there’s not a whole lot to do other than see acts. Space on Randall’s Island is kind of limited, so there’s room for the stages and tents, plus food and drinks, and a few pieces of art. Last year they had a fun makeup/glitter station, and apparently giant Jenga. Like, there’s stuff to do if you’re looking for it, but people are mostly there for the music and not the Instagrams.

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That being said, they have afterparties and, while I’ve never been to one because I’ve been too tired, the lineups are sick. Acts include Borgore and Shaq (among others, and YES, that Shaq), Eric Prydz, R3HAB, and a lot more. It’s worth staying up for.

Overall, Ezoo is the best/only? electronic festival in New York, and it’s one of the more manageable festivals that exist. If electronic music is your sh*t, you should consider going. If you hate that stuff, don’t go. You won’t like it.

Images: electriczoo / Instagram; aLIVE Coverage (4)

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Some people fight hate with logic. Others use humor. But how many individuals do you know of that fight for equal rights by combining humor with their furniture building skills?

One father built a ‘Bi-chair’ for his bisexual daughter because she found the stereotype that people like her can’t sit ‘normally’ to be hilarious. The chair was designed by artist Má Matiazi and built by Israel Walker, according to whom it is meant “for people who can’t sit straight.” The satirical project went viral, as the internet thought it was incredibly creative. Make sure to scroll down for Bored Panda’s wholesome in-depth interview with the artist Matiazi!

More info: Facebook (Israel Walker) | Facebook (M. Matiazi) | | Instagram

Artist Má Matiazi drew a sketch of a chair “for people who can’t sit straight”

Image credits: Má Matiazi

The stereotype that bisexuals can’t sit ‘normally’ is widely known in the bi community

Image credits: eIektranatchio

Image credits: harleivy

The stereotype that bi people can’t sit ‘normally’ was started and spread by the community itself. Pink News writes the fact that bisexual people created the meme as part of the community’s “humorous trend for self-deprecating stereotypes.” It’s one of several such stereotypes, such as the ideas that bisexuals can’t “drive, do maths, ride a bike.”

These aren’t the only stereotypes that the bisexual community has ‘claimed’ for itself, though. Wear Your Voice argues that bisexuals have also called dibs on cuffed jeans, tucked in baggy shirts, the Sailor Moon anime, Green Day, Twilight Sparkle, Wonder Woman, Lady Gaga’s music, pink hair, and space. That’s right, as in the cosmos.

Israel Walker built a ‘Bi-chair’ for his bisexual daughter, based on Matiazi’s design

Image credits: mamatiazi

Image credits: Má Matiazi

Image credits: Má Matiazi

Image credits: Má Matiazi

Walker decided to build the chair for his daughter after contacting artist Matiazi and asking for her permission to use her design. Walker’s post on Facebook was shared over 3,300 times, got over 390 comments and over 2,300 likes. Which just goes to show that this modern dad knows how to get the younger generation’s attention.

Bored Panda interviewed the good-natured and energetic artist Matiazi about her bisexual chair sketch. “It was very unexpected when he [Israel Walker] spoke to me. I was in disbelief people could be so hyped about my [crappy] sketch! Israel was very kind, he spoke to me very respectfully, which is not something we’re used to as non-famous artists. People usually just come and steal our things, you know? So for being such a nice guy with such a cool daughter, well, I was excited to see this [project] done, he did a great job!”

Matiazi couldn’t believe the amount of attention her sketch got and said that nothing else she had created had got “so much attention.” She also joked that she hopes that her comics get as much attention as the sketch of the chair.

“The chair idea was just a joke. The concept is very simple: a ridiculous orthopedic chair for anyone who sits like a bisexual. It’s a joke inside another joke, and I thought it would be humourous for a very specific public. I confess, I thought no-one would give it any attention, most of my jokes are quite forgettable!”

The artist said that she doesn’t have any other similar projects in mind currently because the chair sketch was “very spontaneous and I think it wouldn’t have worked the other way around.” However, Matiazi mentioned that she’s currently working on a 3D model of the chair with a friend: “Maybe one day I’ll go for a life-sized one. I’d love to sit in a bi-chair because I made it thinking about myself.”

Finally, when asked if she had any advice to give for bisexual people struggling to come out, the artist joked: “I have no advice because I didn’t come out yet! Oh, damn, I think I just did.”

“I’m happy to see people sharing and having fun with the sketch. Bisexuality is invisible in most conversations, so it’s nice to see my sketch about it getting so much visibility. It’s been a crazy experience.”

The chair provoked a lot of reactions

It’s not all fun and games in the bisexual community. Rewire suggests that bisexuals feel “less support inside and outside the LGBTQ community”, so they’re less likely to ‘come out.’ What’s more, bisexuals “are more likely to be unemployed, in poverty and have poor health than lesbians and gay men.”

A recent analysis by Pew Research shows that only 19% of all bisexuals have ‘come out.’ This may have something to do with the continued stigma associated with being bi both from inside and outside the LGBT community. Rewire states that some members of the gay community don’t view bisexuals as being “gay enough” and don’t consider bisexuality to be a “valid identity on its own.” However, there are still people like Walker and Matiazi out there, who shine a light on the bisexual community in a very creative manner.

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Apple Music launched its data dashboard for musicians more than a year ago. Today, the company is taking that product — Apple Music for Artists — out of beta, and adding some new features in the process.

For one thing, it’s no longer a web-only product, because Apple is releasing an iPhone app. On both web and iOS, Apple Music for Artists allows musicians and their teams to see how often a song has been played, how many listeners it’s reaching and how many times it’s been purchased.

There’s also an “insights” section designed to highlight noteworthy data at any given moment, like how the first week of a new song compares to the first weeks of previous songs, or when the popularity of a song is spiking, or if they’ve hit a big milestone like 1 million plays.

Apple also is introducing data from Shazam, the music-recognition app it acquired last year. The idea is to capture listener behavior that’s very different from seeking out an artist or a specific song — it’s more about a moment of spontaneous connection, when you hear a song and think, “Whoa, what’s this?” (This also provides a window to behavior beyond Apple Music listeners.)


One of the goals is to give musicians the data they need to actually guide their decisions. For example, they might see that a song doesn’t have many plays compared to their big singles, but it’s doing surprisingly well on Shazam — so maybe it’s time to shift promotion.

And the data is also browsable by city, on a map. So if someone’s planning a tour, they can use this to data to choose which cities to visit, or to find the correct venue size in a given market.

Apple says all the data (including Shazam data) goes back to the launch of Apple Music in 2015. Any artist can claim their account for free.

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Bella Thorne really does it all. In addition to being a singer and actress, she’s also a best-selling author, model, and activist for causes like animal rights and cystic fibrosis. Basically, Bella is a modern-day renaissance woman, and now she’s adding a new title to her ever-growing resume: adult film director. That’s right, Bella Thorne is entering the world of porn, and honestly? I’m fully about it.

This week, it was announced that Bella Thorne directed an upcoming movie for Pornhub’s Visionaries Director’s Series, which is a hilarious name for a program from a site that’s known for shaky cell phone videos of people boning. The series focuses on “debut films by unexpected guest directors to diversify porn production and help create more varied content with multiple types of viewers in mind.” Basically, a lot of porn is lame and problematic, and Pornhub is enlisting people like Bella Thorne to help make it less lame and problematic.

Bella Thorne’s movie is called Her & Him, and it’s described as “a modernistic, sexually explicit Romeo and Juliet-like depiction of two star-crossed lovers who have an unbridled sexual longing for each other.” Wow, ninth grade me would have done so much better in English class if I could have just watched a porn version of Romeo and Juliet instead of pretending to read it. I’m sure this concept has been done before, but let’s be honest, plot originality is not the most highly prized quality when it comes to evaluating porn.

In the release about the project, Pornhub said that the movie “depicts an edgy twenty-something guy who stumbles upon a surprise text in his girlfriend’s phone, interrupting their morning routine and spinning everything into an out-of-control sexually charged encounter.” Okay, that sounds a little less like the Romeo and Juliet I know and don’t love, but I’m sure Bella’s directorial touch will guide this project in the right direction.

About her decision to make the movie, Bella Thorne said, “I’m really lucky that Pornhub wanted to come on and produce this with me because originally I was shopping it around a very long time ago and things were very different,” Thorne said. “People are kind of scared to make a movie like this one when it comes to dominance and submissive(ness) between a male and a female and how this relationship can turn quite sour.”

If this was something she really wanted to do, I’m happy for her that she figured out a way to make it happen, because there definitely is still a stigma around porn and sex work in general. It’s also cool that she’s exploring the dynamics of dominance and submissiveness in relationships, because people are often confused about how it all works. She’s been a huge proponent of being sexually open and body positive, and I’m excited that she’s channeling that into her work. I don’t know if Bella Thorne’s porn movie will be eligible for any Oscars, but I might have to watch it.

Aside from all off these details, there was one more thing that jumped out about Bella Thorne’s upcoming porn debut: THE MOVIE WILL FEATURE THE MUSIC OF MOD SUN. I’m sorry, what? Has there been a change in Mod and Bella’s situation since he was threatening her on Twitter a few months ago? Or was the music already decided before they broke up? I don’t know how the process works for choosing the music in porn, but I need to know more. Also, I can’t think of something that would make me less turned on than hearing Mod Sun’s music. Actually wait, I think seeing Mod Sun’s face would turn me on less. Not to be mean, but I like men who shower.

Bella Thorne’s movie Her & Him is set to premiere next month at a film festival in Germany, and it’ll probably be streaming soon after that. Just don’t watch it on your work computer because like, porn. That should go without saying, but I came dangerously close to just Googling “Pornhub” on my work computer during the writing of this article. What is my life!

Images: Shutterstock; bellathorne / Instagram; Giphy

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And the hits just keep on coming. We’ve seen a lot of surprising celebrity breakups this year, like Lili Reinhart and Cole Sprouse (maybe? probably?) and Bradley Cooper and Irina Shayk, and now, another seemingly strong couple has bitten the dust. PEOPLE confirmed that Katie Holmes and Jamie Foxx have reportedly split after six years together, and damn, I didn’t think I cared about them that much as a couple but I am pretty saddened by this news.

Me, after yet another celebrity couple I was barely following calls it quits:

A “music entertainment source” told PEOPLE, “Jamie and Katie split over a month ago. I need to know who this mysterious music entertainment source was. Was it T-Pain? Please tell me it was T-Pain.

Though neither Katie nor Jamie’s reps have commented, this seems legit and we can probably expect some canned statement about how much “mutual love and respect they have for each other” and how they “remain committed to their friendship” and how they “will always care for one another deeply”. I should be a celebrity publicist at this point, I’ve read so many of these breakup statements.

This news is sad, but not super surprising given that Jamie Foxx was spotted holding hands with Sela Vave on Friday night. She is 21 years old, and a singer/songwriter and model. A source initially told PEOPLE that Have is “just a girl he’s helping out, a young singer.” Yep, I’m sure he was helping her out, all right! Out of her pants.

Thank you, I’ll be here all week.

Foxx and Holmes were always very private about their relationship, posing for the first time together this year (this year!!) at the Met Gala. In a world of constant Instagram PDA, I very much respected their choice to keep all their minute goings-on out of the public eye.

I can’t say I’m surprised about a man dumping his partner of six years for a much-younger model, but I sure am disappointed. Oh well, at the very least this just gives me more writing material for my forthcoming diary entry collection of personal essays, entitled: All Men Are Trash.

Images: Giphy; Getty Images

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