Hip-Hop and Shakespeare

Do you associate William Shakespeare with hip-hop?

Most major cultures, movements and ways of life have been influenced by a wide range of people and events from the past. Sometimes these influences can surprise you. Let’s take hip-hop for example.

Hip-hop originated in the South Bronx, New York, in the 1970s. It started when a DJ, named DJ Kool Herc, started mixing existing tracks with his own “shouts”. Hip-hop is made up of four different aspects: MCing, DJing, breakdancing and graffiti art.

Akala on the influence of Shakespeare on hip-hop (above)

Hip-hop emerged from a mixture of other genres that came before it, like blues, jazz and rock ‘n’ roll. However, if we take a look even further back and step out of the 20th century, we can find other influences that are arguably just as important, perhaps even more so.

Yes, it’s William Shakespeare. Shakespeare’s influence on the English language is so great that there is no doubt that it would have subconsciously made an impact on hip-hop. In terms of rhythm, Shakespeare’s writing is easily comparable to hip-hop.

The links between hip-hop and Shakespeare are fascinating. Check out the two videos featured in this article for an entertaining take on the greatest English writer of all time.

MC Lars on the hip-hop of Shakespeare (above)

So, there you have it. Shakespeare and Kanye have more in common than you would have originally thought.

Source(s): TEDx Talks


Explore the World with Google Street View

Tired of the same old view?

Google Street View is constantly expanding. Recently they’ve sent their teams to locations such as the Amazon forest and Mount Everest, so that you can explore these amazing places from the comfort of your home. Here are five places to check out.

Fernando de Noronha


Fernando de Noronha is made up of 21 islands and islets in the Atlantic Ocean, 354 km offshore from the Brazilian coast. The islands got their name from the Portuguese merchant Fernao de Loronha. The main island has an area of 7.1 sq miles and has a population estimated at 2,782. It has been named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO because of its importance to its environment.

Click here to check it out.

Tengboche Monastery 


This Buddhist monastery is located in Phortse, a farming village in Nepal. The area came under the influence of Buddhism over 300 years ago. Situated at 3,867 metres (12,687ft), it was built in 1916. After it was destroyed by an earthquake, it was rebuilt in 1934.

Have a look for yourself.

Northern Lights


The Northern Lights, also known as Aurora Borealis, are a natural light display in the sky. They can be seen in the Arctic and Antarctic regions. Auroras take many visual forms, the most distinct being the curtain-like arcs. They eventually break into separate arcs or rapidly change and can fill the whole sky. The northern lights have had a number of names throughout history. The native Americans and native Canadians called them, “The Dance of the Spirits”; while, in Medieval Europe, the auroras were commonly believed to be a sign from God.

More pictures here.



Kennedy Space Centre has been at the center of technology and exploration for fifty years. The exploration of the space centre on Street View is Google’s biggest collection, with a total of 6,000 photos exploring facilities such as the shuttles, firing rooms and launch pads.

Check out the rest here.

Wieliczka Salt Mine


Located in the town of Wieliczka in southen Poland, this mine was built in the 13th century and produced table salt until 2007. The salt mine reaches a depth of 327 metres (1,073ft) and is over 278 kilometres (178 miles) long. The mine features an underground lake, as well as new exhibits on the history of salt mining.

Click here for more.

Want to explore more places like this?

Check out the awesome game Geoguessr. You’re dropped in the a random place on Google Streetview and have to guess where in the world you are. It’s a lot of fun.

Click here for Geoguessr.


Growing Up in Ancient Rome

Take a look at this TED-Ed video, which shows us what it would have been like growing up in Ancient Rome. The lives of men and women were worlds apart. One video follows the coming of age of a 17-year-old boy, while the other follows 4 sisters in their daily lives.

Fun Facts:

  • Left-handed people were considered untrustworthy and unlucky, while left-handed gladiators were treated special as their fighting style was different and made it more entertaining.

  • When the Roman Empire reached its territorial peak in 117 AD, it spanned across 2.5 million square miles.

  • Hair dye was popular amongst women with red and blonde being the popular colours. This was achieved with ingredients such as goat’s fat, beech wood ashes and saffron.

  • Caligula’s favourite horse lived in a marble stable with an ivory manger. He also tried to make his horse a consul, which was the highest job in government.

  • Rome had over 140 communal toilets where people would actively socialise.


Future Sporting Greats: Mo’ne Davis

Mo’ne Davis is the latest sporting superstar in the US

Mo’ne Davis is a 14-year-old girl from the United States who has been in the spotlight recently for her outstanding sporting achievements.

Davis plays Little League Baseball for the Taney Dragons and has become the first girl to earn a World Series win with a 4-0 victory over Nashville, Tennesse. She can dish out a 70mph pitch, which is significantly above average for athletes of her age.

Following her success, Davis turned into a mini-celeb. People loved her, praising her efforts in helping female baseball players get the recognition they deserve in a primarily male-dominated sport.

She received recognition from the likes of Michelle Obama, Jimmy Fallon and Ellen DeGeneres. On 25th August, 2014, she became the first Little League Baseball player to appear on the cover of a major US sports magazine, after she was honoured by appearing on a Sports Illustrated front cover. She then went on to become Sports Illustrated’s “Sports Kid of the Year”. Go Mo’ne!

Mo’ne’s rise to fame is a reassurance that one day we won’t have to focus on the specific gender of a person, but more so on their skill, determination and the success they have in the game.


Amazing Volcano Discovery

4 underwater volcanoes have been discovered just 250km off the coast of Sydney. Scientists estimate they could be up to 50 million years old. The volcanoes are calderas, which is a large bowl shaped hole caused when a volcano erupts and the land around it collapses. The largest of the four is 1.5km across and is 700m off the sea floor. Collectively they are 20km long and 5km underwater.


They were discovered by scientists looking for lobster larvae who used sonar mapping to see the sea floor. It’s believed that they were created by the shifts in the earth’s plates that separated Australia and New Zealand around 40 to 80 million years ago. Before this discovery, the area was thought to be flat. With exciting discoveries like this, scientists have a great excuse to explore the sea floor further for more information.

Fun Facts:

  • Underwater volcanoes are known as submarine volcanoes

  • There are around 1,500 active volcanoes on the earth’s surface and an estimated 10,000 submarine volcanoes in the Pacific Ocean alone.

  • Volcanic eruptions in shallow water can throw material in the air, which is what created the Hawaiian Islands.


Obama and Attenborough Talk Nature

Two icons discuss the importance and beauty of the natural world.

Barack Obama is no stranger to an interview. As president of the USA, his opinion is always in demand . Wherever he goes, cameras and microphones seem to follow him around. However, in this unusual scenario, the tables have turned, and it’s Obama asking the questions – to Sir David Attenborough no less.

David Attenborough is a British presenter and naturalist who works primarily with the BBC. His nature documentaries are famous all around the world. He is the only person to have won awards in black and white, colour, HD and 3D. His main work is his Life series, which focuses on earth, animals and plant life.

Watch the interview below.

Growing up in the state of Hawaii, Obama has a great love and respect for nature, and he says we all need to act to save our planet from climate change.

With these iconic figures recognising the dangers of man-made climate change, it’s important to remember that we all need to do our part to save the world. From walking to school to recycling, every little contribution helps!

Source(s): The White House


Black Holes, Headless Chickens and YOU!

Check out Vsauce’s YouTube channel to see these amazing videos for yourself.


Vsauce is an educational YouTube channel hosted by Michael Stevens. Stevens poses a mixture of scientific and philosophical questions that seem impossibly weird. Within seconds, you will find yourself absolutely gripped by the unique mix of humour, knowledge and personality. You will never see the world in the same way again!

With Vsauce, expanding the mind and becoming a better, more knowledgeable YOU has never been so much fun!

What can you do without a brain?

In the video above, Stevens asks, “Is there such a thing as a no-brainer?” He tries to determine whether there is anything humans can do that doesn’t require the use of our brains. He wanders through stories of headless chickens, cockroaches and the possibility of finding an answer after death. It is one of our favourites.

Technology, gaming and fictional worlds

Vsauce has a number of other videos with intriguing titles made up of some of the most gripping content on the internet. If science and philosophy isn’t your thing, then you could check out Vsauce2 and Vsauce3 for more videos on topics like technology, gaming and fictional worlds.

Here are a couple of other Vsauce videos.

Did the past really happen?

Travel INSIDE a black hole

Source(s): Vsauce


The Vsauce Jurassic World Special

Have you seen Jurassic World? Are you a fan of the old Jurassic Park films?

Vsauce invites special guests Chris Pratt and Jack Horner for this Jurassic World special. Jack Horner is a famous palaeontologist studying dinosaurs; he’s also the technical advisor for the Jurassic Park movies and inspired the character Dr. Alan Grant. Actor Chris Pratt asks the questions. Take a look below.

People sure love dinosaurs, or maybe they just love Chris Pratt! Jurassic World has broken the record for the highest grossing box office opening weekend.


Fun facts:

  • The first dinosaur to be named was the Megalosaurus in 1824.
  • Birds descended from a type of dinosaur called the Theropod.
  • No one knows exactly how long dinosaurs lived but scientists estimate some lived up to 200 years.
  • The difference in time between when Tyrannosaurus Rex and Stegosaurus lived is greater than the difference in time between Tyrannosaurus Rex and now. The t-Rex lived closer in time to us than to the Stegosaurus!

For more videos from Vsauce, check out their YouTube channel.

Source(s): Vsauce


Pencils of Promise

Making a difference by building schools. Be inspired.

Pencils of Promise, or PoP for short, is a fantastic non-profit organisation that builds schools and gives opportunities for education in developing countries.

Founded by Adam Braun in October 2008, the charity works in Guatemala, Laos, Nicaragua and Ghana. Since then, the organisation has distributed 1,047 scholarships, built 304 schools and supported 182 teachers. There programme WASH teaches kids about water, sanitation and hygiene, as well as providing facilities for over 5,000 students.

The name Pencils of Promise comes from an incident in India when Braun was visiting. When he asked a poor child in the street what he wanted most of all, the boy answered “a pencil”.

To help you get a clearer understanding of their goals and visions they have lots of inspiring videos over on their Youtube channel.

Pencils of Promise also have support from a few celebrities. Back in 2012 Justin Bieber donated $10,000 to Pencils of Promise. Magnum Ice Cream held a competition where fans were asked to vote between musicians Bieber, Usher, Jordin Sparks and Nelly Furtado. The musician with the most votes could donate the money to the charity of their choice. Justin Bieber emerged victorious and generously split the $20,000 reward between Pencils of Promise and Make a Wish Foundation.

Source(s): Pencils of Promise


Been Watching the Women’s World Cup?

The FIFA Women’s World Cup Final is on Monday morning.

You may or may not have been following the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada. But if you have you would know it has been an exciting tournament, full of drama and excellent football. If not, you’ve been missing out. Luckily you can catch up with recap videos on the FIFA website.


Australia made it through the group stage behind the massively successful US team. The team went on to knock out Brazil in a historic victory. Unfortunately Australia were knocked out by the reigning champs Japan in a 1-0 defeat in the quarter finals. All in all, it was pretty good effort, and we should all be proud of the achievement.


Japan go through to the finals to face the US on the 6th of July. These two teams met previously in the 2011 finals, where Japan won on penalties.

If you miss the competition already you may be pleased to know that FIFA will be adding the women’s national teams to their hugely popular football computer game, FIFA 16.  The franchise is massively successful, and this is an awesome step in the right direction from them.

Click here to watch all the highlights.