Learn to Paint like Van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh is thought of as one of the greatest artists that ever lived.

Born in 1853, he originally wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a pastor. But, after failing in this endeavour, Vincent pursued the life of an artist. His genius wasn’t recognised in his lifetime. In fact, he only sold one painting while he was alive. In 1990, one of his paintings, Portrait of Dr. Gachet, sold for $82.5 million. He is often known for cutting off his own ear, but most people will recognise his famous paintings of sunflowers and landscapes.

Impressionism and post-impressionism

Impressionism is a style in which artists use small, narrow but very effective brush strokes to vividly display the changing qualities of light and darkness within a painting. They use thick paint and vivid colours. Their paintings are normally focused on ordinary subject matter but incorporate unusual visual angles. Famous impressionist painters include Monet, Manet and Cezanne.

Van Gogh is thought of being a member of a slightly different school of art called the post-impressionists. The post-impressionists took their style from the impressionists but differed in a few key ways, mainly by using geometric forms and unusual colours.


Van Gogh’s work is most notable for motion, paintings such as Starry Night (above) have been praised for how it captures the deep mystery of motion and light. Anyone interested in both science and art should check out this interesting video below.

Facts about Vincent

  • He sold only one painting while alive, The Red Vineyard. He became famous only after his death.
  • In 10 years he created around 900 paintings, many of which are considered as some of the greatest works ever created.
  • Vincent wrote over 800 letters. The majority of these were sent to his brother and closest friend, Theo.
  • Van Gogh never had formal training in art and is considered self-taught.

Source(s): TED-Ed, Philip Scott Johnson


Cute Kittens Combat Stress

Nobody said life would be a walk in the park. But, this park has cute little kittens in it – and they want to be friends with you!

Everybody has ups and downs – it’s a fact of life, just the way human beings are. But, for many people, stress and anxiety can become a big problem. Feelings of stress come and go depending on a whole variety of factors: work, exams, relationships, money, illness etc.

Sometimes it’s just the little everyday things than can start to get us. Often these challenges will be frustrating, leaving you feeling  flustered. And, every once in a while, you’ ll get to that point where you feel like stress is the one who is winning.  This is the same for everyone: parents, teachers and teenagers alike.

However – no need to fear – Vivo have stumbled upon a super fun and easy way to relieve some stress and help you get back on track to feeling light-hearted and happy.

The answer is “Kitten Therapy”, which is as simple and effective as it sounds. Nobody can resist the cuteness of a litter of wide-eyed kittens. Watch the video above to see how it works. In fact, just watching can makes a difference — they are that cute!




If you think you have problems with stress, anxiety or depression, you don’t need to suffer in silence.  Click here.

Source(s): SoulPancake


The World’s Toughest Triathlon

“Whoever finishes first will be called the Iron Man!”

Does anybody think of themselves as a super fit human being, at the peak of human physical strength and stamina. So much so that you could take on one of the most physically intense and mentally gruelling challenges this planet has to offer?

Check out the IRONMAN World Championship

In Hawaii, in 1977, there was a debate about whose sport required them to be in better physical shape:  runners or swimmers. However, John Collins, a US Navy Commander, argued that cyclists were the most physically fit. So, Collins, with a number of his military buddies, posed the idea that the best way to find out was to have a big race — and when they said “big”, they meant really BIG!

3 of Hawaii’s existing long distance events were combined to create one super event. These included the 2.4 mile Waikiki Roughwater Swim, the 115 mile Around Oahu Bike Race and the 26.2 mile Honolulu Marathon.

And so, the IRONMAN World Championship was born.

The IRONMAN World Championship is revered around the world for the distance involved and the way it pushes its competitors to their limits. The name was agreed upon at the first event in 1977, when Collins reportedly said, “Whoever finishes first, we’ll call him the Iron Man!”

Collins was afraid that the race wouldn’t get much attention, but, after an article on the event was featured in Sports Illustrated, hundreds of athletes signed up. The event went from strength to strength and is still going strong today.

 Source(s): Polar


Are You a Cyborg?

It sounds like a crazy question, right? Like something straight out of science fiction.

Are you reading this on your smartphone by any chance?

In the video above, Shots of Awe explores the idea that perhaps we’re all already cyborgs. It is argued that the reason for this is that our technology functions as an extension of our selves. When you take out your phone and search the internet, the information is presented to you instantly. It is as if it is part of your mind.

Many thinkers argue that these tools are just an extension of our selves, “extending our thought, reach and vision”, and that they are just another part of us, like our arms, our eyes or our brains. Our use of technology becomes so immediate and omnipresent that it becomes an important part of who we are. Why not check out the video and see what you think?

Facts about the ubiquity of technology.

  • 91% of all adults have their phones within arm’s reach every hour of every day.
  • Every minute 100 hours of content is uploaded to YouTube by individual users.
  • The average 21-year-old has spent 5,000 hours playing video games, sent 250,000 emails, instant messages and text messages and has spent 10,000 hours on a mobile phone alone.
  • There are 350 million Snapchat messages sent daily.

Source(s): Shots of Awe


Patrick Speaks

The human body has 5 senses: sight, smell, hearing, touch and taste. Unfortunately for some people, they are either born without one of the senses or lose them later in life.

Take Patrick for example, a 15-year-old boy from Uganda who was born deaf. The place where he lives is fairly secluded, and there are no schools around for deaf people.

Think back to your childhood and your days growing up, from as far back as you can remember to the present day. Now imagine how difficult it would have been to go through all of that, without being taught any kind of standard communication. Conversations between your friends and family would never have happened. Your only means of communication would have been  limited to a few simple hand gestures. Sadly, this is what life has been like for Patrick.

Things have started to change for Patrick at the age of 15. A man named Raymond Okelo, who is also deaf, is helping Patrick and many others like him learn sign language.

Okelo went through a similar up-bringing to Patrick but eventually learnt sign language. Now he wants to pass on what he has learnt so that other deaf people can overcome their limitations. Watch Patrick’s story in the video above.

Then 10 weeks later…

Source(s): Channel 4