Community Featured

Remote Workers: These US Cities Are Paving the Way

Washington DC takes first place in paving the way for remote workers

The Covid-19 pandemic forced huge changes onto our population in regard to our working lives, forcing thousands of workers to leave their offices and begin to work from home. Now, in 2022, many of these workers have decided not to return to the office and instead, remain remote. Since, remote work has been consistently on the rise, with no signs of slowing down. In fact, in the last five years, online searches for remote work have increased by 4400%.

There are plenty of upsides to becoming a digital nomad, with freedom of location and the opportunity to explore new cities and even entirely new states, it’s no wonder that so many people are drawn to the lifestyle. Of course, when it comes to remote working, some US cities draw in more of a crowd than others, due to various factors such as cost of living, amenities, quality of life or nearby beaches, national parks or hiking trails.

remote workers
Seattle @ National Geographic

Recently released census data highlights which US cities have the most remote workers in the country. Washington D.C takes first place, with 48.3% of all its workers working remotely. Next on the list is Seattle, with 46.8% of the working population working remotely, followed by San Francisco, Austin, and Atlanta. It has also been found that Atlanta, Washington D.C, and San Francisco also rank in the top five cities for most coworking spaces per 100,000 residents, with Irvine and Miami taking the other two of the five spots.

According to Pew Research Center data, the most likely kind of professionals to work from home are those with higher salaries and four-year college degrees. Therefore, it is the U.S cities with high costs of living that many upper-income remote workers are able to live in, such as San Francisco, Seattle, Washington D.C, New York and Los Angeles.

However, for remote workers earning less, there are plenty of cities all around the country that can make great places to live. For those who love to hike and explore national parks, Boulder or Denver in Colorado, St, George, Utah, Sedona, Arizona and Bozeman, Montana are all excellent cities for remote work. If the beach is more your thing, try coastal cities such as San Diego, Tampa, Jacksonville or Houston. The West coast does not have many cities that are affordable and popular with remote workers, except for both Bend and Eugene in Oregon. Instead, remote workers are heading to Eastern cities such as Asheville, North Carolina, Portland, Maine, Wilmington, Delaware or Boston, Massachusetts.

Currently, there are even cities in the U.S that will pay remote workers to move there, such as Tulsa, Oklahoma, Topeka, Kansas and Lincoln, Kansas is giving away 21 lots of land as part of their ‘Free Home Sites’ initiative for remote workers.


Community Featured

Energy Squeeze: European and California Energy Crisis 

California and Europe are facing a monumental energy squeeze right now. So, what’s the solution?

Energy is what makes modern civilization possible. Without it, lights, smartphones, the internet, and many other conveniences simply cease to exist and we are thrown back to 1850 where we have to draw water from a well whose cleanliness is in question. Right now, Europe and California are facing an energy crisis (something many are calling the ‘energy squeeze’). The California energy crisis comes from a lack of capacity and water and the European energy crisis is the uncomfortable middleman in a great power struggle. What’s at the center of these problems and more importantly, how can we solve them?

California’s Water and Power Crisis

California has faced electrical system issues for some years now. Back in the early Aughts, the power crisis was so bad it toppled a governor and ushered actor Arnold Schwarzenegger into office. Recently, downed power lines caused the massive Paradise fire that burnt down whole towns due to its fierce flames. In the intervening years, California has led the nation in green energy development. However, this has come at a cost; California relies on base generation from hydroelectric power plants along the Colorado River and the Pacific Northwest. 

Unfortunately, the west has been hit by a terrible drought this year, and rivers throughout the western United States are simply drying up. This means that there is no water to run through dams to make power. The solar panels and wind farms cannot keep up with the extra demand and California faces rolling brownouts and blackouts again. This has led to dual water and power crisis that has left Governor Gavin Newsom asking Californians to turn up their air conditioning so that they use less power and not charge their electric cars. The reality is that California needs a diverse array of power generation stations that may need to include fossil fuels just to keep the lights on. Whether California will be willing to delay shutting down its last nuclear power plant or even permit new plants to be built remains to be seen. For many in the state, this could be the new normal. 

energy squeeze
@ Getty Images

Europe and Gas

Europe, Germany in particular, made a rather Faustian bargain regarding their energy needs over the past 15 years. In the zeal to meet decarbonization goals and to use more green energy, Germany and other European powers switched off their coal plants and a few nuclear plants and build windmills and solar panels with natural gas used as a backup and for heavy industry.

For a long time, it seemed unlikely that Russia would interrupt the flow of gas and the flow of Euros flowing into the pockets of the oligarchs. However, the war in Ukraine has changed everything. The EU has now banned the import of Russian gas. As of September 28th, the Nord Stream pipeline system has suffered a major accident and may not be back online for months, if ever. The reality is that Europe is already feeling the squeeze on gas and this energy squeeze will tank the European economy. 

Europeans are already fearing that the winter will only be worse with no gas to heat their homes or even keep them in employment. A cost of living crisis has hit the entire continent. Cost of Living has been a central part of the discussion as Liz Truss takes over number 10 Downing street in London. German industry has cut production or closed entirely and the average german is seeing a rise in prices on everything. And, the Euro has lost value due to inflation and is nearly at par with the US Dollar for the first time in its history.

As a result, Europe will need to find a new source of gas. Right now, American oil companies are building new liquid natural gas facilities to ship gas to Europe but those facilities won’t be online until next year at the earliest. It may be a long, cold winter ahead for Europeans trying to stay warm. 

Give Me Power!

Electricity is vital for modern life and most people don’t understand the complicated web of treaties, agreements, business relationships, and infrastructure that goes into making sure that when they flip a switch, something happens. While both Europe and California are facing the same problem with different causes the solution is the same: more power. California needs to improve its grid and its power generation and Europe needs to find a new source of gas with countries that are far more friendly to the bloc. Europe faces a humanitarian crisis and an economic meltdown without a new supply of gas. California faces an uncertain future. California represents 1/7th of the US Economy and is the world’s 9th largest economy. The implications of these energy issues are profound for us all. 

Community Featured

Scorpio Season: 3 Reasons It’s Not As Bad As You’ve Heard

Approach Scorpio season with caution, but it’s not all bad

Scorpio can often get the “bad boy” rep of the Zodiac. Its dark and twisty desires, its reclusive nature, and its representation by the Death card in the Tarot doesn’t always make it a fan favourite. However, while it may initially seem intimidating, Scorpio season can actually be a force for good. Here are three reasons why Scorpio Season isn’t as bad as you’ve heard.

1. It Is A Time For Reflection

scorpio seasonScorpio is reclusive, thoughtful and, at times, isolated. But what’s so bad about that? In our lives, there are very few opportunities we get to step back so we can go within. Within our homes, within ourselves, and even within the inner recesses of our own thoughts, habits and patterns. Into those caverns that are just out of reach of our day-to-day life and our conscious thoughts. That’s right, the realm of the subconscious, Scorpio’s favourite.

So often the things we do confuse us, the choices we make, and the messes we seem to get ourselves into sometimes. But Scorpio season allows us to slow way down from our busy work-a-day lives and take some time for introspection and reflection. We are moving towards the new year, so what doesn’t get to come with us? Are there habits that don’t serve us, patterns we’d like to drop, or inner blocks we’d like to clear? Scorpio season is the perfect time to figure all that out.

Why not take a pass on the party scene this season, and instead grab a cosy blanket and journal? Get to know yourself again, Scorpio season is here to support you on your quest.

2. It Allows Us To Reinvent Ourselves

Scorpio SeasonScorpio is represented by the death card in the Tarot which is not always everyone’s favourite to see come across their spread. But all that death means is the end of a cycle, which is not always a bad thing. Think about it, weren’t you glad when that toxic relationship ended, or you quit that dead-end job, or even when you separated from that friend group that was holding you back?

Endings are simply gateways to new beginnings, and that is exactly what Scorpio season represents, a simple changing of the guard. When we begin to recognize patterns or habits that no longer serve us, we get a chance to make changes, and reinvent ourselves, if you will. We can decide we want to be more confident, more self-aware, or even take on new challenges. Perhaps during our time of deep reflection, we decide that a 9-5 job is no longer for us and instead we want to pursue our passion.

We get the opportunity to be whoever we want to be, because we have taken our “time in the dark” if you will, to figure out who that is. We get the chance t to show up on the other side of the season and the new year as the exact person we want to be. What a gift!

3. It Is The Darkness Before the Very Bright Dawn

Scorpio SeasonComing out of Scorpio season is a bit like coming out of a big hibernation and stepping into a new self. All of that time of reclusion if used correctly can give us huge insights into ourselves, our relationships, and our lives. So, what do we do with all that wisdom? We use it! We come out of the cave and reinvent ourselves. We see things from a new perspective and we get to walk out of our time within, to a bright new time on the out. Outside that is.

When things are ending it can often feel like a dark time in our lives. When we are left all alone to examine our choices, our behaviours and our patterning we can feel very isolated. Perhaps our old life is slipping away and that can include partners, friends, or even jobs, which does not always feel good.

Yes, Scorpio isn’t the sign of the scorpion for no reason. The departure of these things is not always tactful and the sting of the scorpion can really hurt. But it is all for the highest good because right on the other side of that darkness, is a very bright dawn indeed.

Think about when you had a painful breakup for example. It hurt right? For days, weeks, maybe even months, but eventually you came out of that dark place and moved to a place of perspective and understanding. You moved on to bigger and better. You grew from the experience, found strength, and maybe even a new partner to boot. You saw where in your life you could learn and grow, even if it wasn’t exactly pleasant. So one of the ways to make it through this season is to keep looking for the dawn, remember it’s coming, and look forward to it because it is well on its way!

Scorpio season doesn’t always get a warm welcome. But as is the case with many things that are good for us in the long run, it might be a little dark at the beginning, but by the end, we come out brighter than ever.

Community Featured

Babylon Park: Out of This World Fun in Central London

Head down to Babylon Park this winter for some intergalactic fun!

This week we were lucky enough to snag an invite to the opening of Babylon Park, a new attraction nestled right by Camden Market in northwest London. It’s the first location of the Israeli chain of alien-branded parks to open its doors in the UK. But what exactly do you expect from a space-themed, underground, three-story theme park?

From the start it was certainly a surreal experience, being greeted by the park’s fuzzy green alien mascots and a traditional town crier. Moving on down into the park, snacks and refreshments are on offer one floor down alongside function rooms and a children’s play area, with the main attractions resting on the space-themed bottom floor. 

Babylon Park ride
Babylon Park Press Image

The park is well furnished with a variety of mini-rides, some just designed to accommodate children and a few for adults and teens also. In particular, Babylon Park’s rollercoaster, suitable for ages 4 and up, packs a surprising punch for a smaller-scale, child-friendly ride. 

Rides aside, it feels as though the amusement park was conceived to combine the best of fairground and arcade attractions, with dodgems and hook-a-duck style games available alongside air hockey tables, shooter games, VR attractions and more vintage-style arcade games. The park is also cashless and you pay for games via a wristband, so no need to worry about rummaging around for the correct change! Personally, I really enjoyed the nostalgic appeal of the pinball tables, and defeating my partner at the two-player version of the ‘World’s Largest Pac-Man’ was a highlight. 

Babylon Park bumper cars
Babylon Park Bumper Cars © Press Image

Overall, Babylon Park uses its space to bring theme park and funfair-style thrills into the city for those who don’t want to venture too far for some fun. Kids will absolutely love everything on offer, from the alien mascots to the rides and games. However the park has clearly worked hard to include something for everyone, and it’s fair to say that grown-ups and older siblings will also have plenty of options to get stuck into as well. 

Entry to the park is free, with rides and games individually priced. Upon entry, you can buy Game Coins, or buy ahead on their site to see packages and offers. There’s also an interactive, play-from-home option available via the park’s app for the truly keen. 

Community Featured

Liz Truss Resigns as Prime Minister

After 44 days of serving as Prime Minister, Liz Truss has officially resigned

Liz Truss has the record for shortest tenure at 44 days as Prime Minister, with the next closest candidate being George Canning in 1827. Canning had a 119-day term and died in office. Truss’ predecessor, Boris Johnson, had also resigned after a relentless wave of scandals.

Queen Elizabeth II formally appointed truss on September 6th, just a couple of days before the queen passed away. At first, this wasn’t a good omen and seemed to herald the crash-and-burn of her tenure as minister.

A big part of what motivated Truss to resign seems to be the public reception of her ‘economic experiment’, after her tax plan caused panic in the markets, and her own party seemed to turn on her. “I recognize that given the situation, I cannot deliver the mandate on which the Conservative party elected me. I have spoken to his majesty the king to notify him that I am resigning as leader of the Conservative party.” She said, “I will remain as prime minister until a successor is chosen.”

Truss had won the intra-party race to serve after Boris Johnson’s resignation, promising tax cuts for the rich to boost economic growth. The plan was considered sketchy at best, given the rising inflation and the UK’s strained fiscal circumstances. 

The tax plan was announced boldly, along with expensive energy subsidies. This prompted the Bank of England to organize an emergency intervention upon seeing the possibly disastrous economic situation the plan would trigger. Liz Truss handed economic policy over to Jeremy Hunt to avoid further disaster.

Liz Truss Resigns
Liz Truss © Reuters

A leadership contest is now being held to decide the next head of the ruling Conservative party, who’ll become the next prime minister. It’s set to conclude the next week. Truss assured Parliament during the weekly Prime Minister’s Question sessions that she was a fighter, not a quitter. On the other hand, the opposition Labour Party called for an immediate national election.

Despite the current political situation of the British government, many UK residents are making light of the situation. The social media memes and comments used to cope with the fear and doubt have spread. A standout from Reddit was a user who stated Liz Truss would become a trivia question in the future. “Who’s the first Prime Minister to serve under two different monarchs?” Another mentioned how her time as Prime Minister was shorter than the campaign she fought to become Prime Minister.

There’s some gossip that the former finance minister under Boris Johnson, Rishi Sunak, would be a contender for the next voting contest. Should a candidate receive the support of 100 MPs, the final decision will be made by a vote of the 200,000 registered members of the Conservative Party.

While no elections are due for two years, Conservatives expect a loss of power and popularity, with polls now putting them 30 points behind Labour.

Community Featured

Alexia Putellas Wins 2 Ballon d’Or in a row

Alexia Putellas has made history as she was crowned, along with Karim Benzema, with the 2022 Ballon d’Or

Alexia Putellas is the first female player to win the Ballon d’Or Féminin for two years in a row. Putellas is a professional Spanish footballer who plays midfielder for Liga F club FC Barcelona. She’s also the captain of the club and Spain’s Women’s national team.

After picking up the award, Putellas thanked her teammates, the staff, the coach, and everyone involved at Barcelona.“I’m happy to be back here and pleased because a year ago I was able to win this prize, and it pushed me to want to be even better.”

Putellas faced competition from Beth Mead and Lucy Bronze for the Euro 2022, who won the competition with England.  Earlier this year, the midfielder suffered a long-term injury, ruling her out of the European Championship. Fans of Putellas commented that if she had not been injured, FC Barcelona could’ve won the Euro.

She’s still out of action but has contributed to the team enough to help Barcelona to a historic Spanish league title. The Catalan club won all 30 matches last term. During this campaign, Putellas scored 18 goals and registered 15 assists.

Alexia Putellas
© Getty Images

Putellas is considered the best contemporary female footballer in the world and one of the greatest of all time. That’s because, at the age of 28, she’s won all major club and individual awards available to a European player.

And, the player has been praised for her role as a winger and a predominantly left-footed player, who played primarily as a forward on the left-win most of her career. Known as the perfect Barcelona midfielder, she has the vision, passing ability, and accuracy that resembles the males of FC Barcelona. She is described as a “role model” for other Barcelona players due to her leadership skill.

But, most of all, Putellas is an example for many women football players and sports players overall. 

On the other hand, Benzema won the men’s award for the first time after leading Real Madrid to the Spanish title and their 14th European Cup. He scored 27 goals in La Liga and became the top scorer in the Champions League with 15. Ten of these goals came to be in the knockout stages, including hat-tricks against Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea. Benzema is the first French award winner since Zinedine Zidane in 1998.


Art + Culture Community

BLM Fest to Take Place at Somerset House

BLM Fest celebrates black narratives through the arts, activism, education, sports, joy, conversations, and healing

The BLM Fest event is set to take place at Somerset House on Saturday, October 22nd. They’ll have a wide array of activities, including an evening of exhibitions by the artist DYLEMA. These include the Black Portrait Archive Exhibition and curated works focused on diaspora and portraying the stories of melanin people, focusing on Africans living outside Africa. Tickets for the event can be purchased here.

The Dylema Collective is also set to stage a 90-minute headline performance of contemporary Jazz, Poetry, and Soulful harmonies to shake mind, soul and body. Their live music theatre will be performed from 19:00 to 22:30. Their name is an acronym: Do You, Let Every Man Adapt.

The Black Portrait Gospel will be hosted by Dylema, from 11:00 to 17:00, with free admission. Her Black Portrait Gospel exhibition will feature curated works and portrait collections of Black British service providers, with a detailed story of each individual’s personal journey in Britain. 

BLM Fest
© BLM Fest

Dylema was born in Lagos, Nigeria, and weaves into her art the experience of her Igbo culture and her British experience. As an Igbo diasporan living in the western hemisphere, Dylema focuses on telling the story of melanin people: both in Africa and out of Africa. Her art is mostly expressed through portraiture and live performance.

BLM Fest redefines what we think when hearing Black Lives Matter. It provides Black people with voices and insight into their visions and aspirations. From those with an international following to grassroots activists, BLM Fest will establish a global network of Black cultural producers and change-makers.

BLM Fest was founded by Kayza Rose, a Black woman with the mission to centre Black lives and Black voices in one organization. They invite everyone to take part in a model of cultural production fairly compensating Black people for their ideas, time and labour. They believe Black creativity should be enjoyed by everyone, and not treated as a niche market, as is the case of mainstream institutions and businesses. 

BLM Fest is shaped by Black people of a wide range of ages, here because of the contributions of those who came before and the passion and energy of the new generations.

For more information on BLM Fest presents: DYLEMA, visit BLM Fest’s website here.

Community Featured

Selena Gomez and Hailey Bieber Pose Together at Gala

Selena Gomez and Hailey Bieber are savvy enough to know the photograph will send a clear message

Selena Gomez and Hailey Bieber posed together at the Academy Museum Gala. Why? Because the savvy pair knew exactly what message the photo sends. The pair were all smiles and embraced warmly. The picture was taken by photographer Tyrell Hampton, who captioned it “plot twist” when he uploaded it to Instagram.

Selena Gomez and Hailey Bieber
© Tyrell Hampton

Fans have been picking sides and calling for a feud between Selena Gomez and Hailey Bieber due to their mutual romantic involvement with Justin Bieber. Selena dated Bieber on and off for ten years until they called it quits in 2018. Hailey married Justin later that year. As a result, fans of the three assumed the two women would hate one another. Turns out, the two were perfectly civil with each other at the Academy Museum Gala, and they made it apparent that they have no beef and much better things to do besides fighting over a man.

So, if it wasn’t clear already, Selena and Hailey have no beef and they’re telling the fans to cut their antics off with that picture.

Speculation on the supposed feud renewed interest when Bieber appeared on the “Call Her Daddy” podcast last month. Hailey Baldwin always described herself as a person who doesn’t do interviews but dropped many bombshells in the podcast, speaking about her rumours about Justin in the wake of his romance with Selena Gomez. She also expressed challenges in her mental health due to living in the public eye and learning to cope with the frequent hate she receives daily from various audiences, including Selena fans. She even admitted that at one point she “didn’t want to be here anymore.”

Hailey Bieber and Justin Bieber
Hailey and Justin © Getty Images

Despite the admittedly negative experiences, she also expressed many positives in her life, such as an inside look into her love story with Justin. She even provided some details about her sex life with him. And, when asked about her “stealing Justin” from Selena, Hailey stated she was never with Justin when he was in a relationship with anybody. “When he and I ever started, like, hooking up or, like, anything of that sort, he was not ever in a relationship, ever at any point. It’s not my character to mess with someone’s relationship. I would just never do that.”

She did however admit that she thought Justin was a f**k boy.

Hailey also stated that she didn’t actually cry when fans chanted “Selena” when Hailey and Justin made their way on the red carpet during the 2021 Met Gala.

Community Featured

Cleveland Lido: UK’s Oldest Lido Reopens

Discover Bath’s secret history during a day out at Cleveland Lido

It’s another victory for open water swimming enthusiasts, as the beautiful Cleveland Pools has reopened to the general public after a 40-year battle against the local authorities. “It’s like swimming through history,” says one ecstatic swimmer to the Independent. Despite the hefty price tag, the lido is proof that the only way is up for the UK’s outdoors swimming boom.

Cleveland Lido
The lido (Outdoor Swimming Soceity)

Many campaigners believe that the restoration will add immense value to Bath’s local economy. But, the lido will need to have a lot of visitors considering the mammoth 9.3-million-pound restoration bill – which is set to rise even higher when further developments get underway next year.

The Cleveland Lido is steeped with history, and so is Bath. The Georgian pools were originally built over 200 years ago, with the original purpose of stopping men from swimming naked in the nearby river: the river Avon. The pools were therefore a more private and relaxed way to enjoy swimming, due to the high walls that engulf the water. “The Avon at Bathwick was always popular for bathing for Bath’s ordinary working people,” says the lido’s architect, Barnes, to the Financial Times. “But people swimming in the river didn’t suit polite Georgian society.”

The smooth and sandy walls are impeccably restored to their authentic beauty, thanks to the generous crowdfunding effort that was supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Cleveland pools originally included a Ladies’ Pool, which has now been converted into a tiny, but state-of-the-art museum. It’s also equipped with modern showers and a spacious changing facility, filled with hairdryers and lockers.

Cleveland Lido
The lido back in the day (

But, there are mixed emotions among the local residents after learning that the pools will be unheated. “How did this city come to build a cold-water lido? After all, Bath is bursting with natural hot springs,” says one visitor to the Financial Times. The irony is that Bath is famous for its natural hot water springs, following the Roman’s declaring the city as a spa in the 1st century AD.

Architect Barnes approached the sensitive restoration with caution. On one hand, he wanted to make sure that the lidos were fit for purpose and could host large numbers of visitors. But, conversely, he wanted to respect the originality of Cleveland Lido, by not changing its iconic crescent aesthetic that so many Bath residents adore. “And we wanted to keep that connection with the river,” says Barnes, who made sure that the pools opened up onto the Avon.

For now, the lido will be Cold Water only. However, for those fearful of the cold, it’s good news, as next year operators hope to install a hot water pump. Althoughnothing is guaranteed as of yet. For now, head down to Bath for an authentic cold-water Georgian experience.

Community Featured

Mini-Budget Gambles with UK Economy Says ASDA Chairman

Chairman of Supermarket Giant Asda, Sir Stuart Rose, has criticised the UK’s mini-budget

Last week, the UK government announced their mini-budget, which details changes to income and corporation tax, national insurance, benefits and other financial procedures in the UK. However, the changes that the conservatives revealed have had an overwhelmingly negative response.

Sir Stuart Rose, the chairman of ASDA and former chief executive at Marks and Spencer, spoke out this week against the financial decisions made by Liz Truss’ government, saying “They have put the entire UK economy on the 3:30 at Epsom. If it comes in people will cheer but if it doesn’t people will be in a very difficult position indeed.”

And, Rose’s opinion is echoed throughout the country and across the globe, with businesses losing faith in the British economy to such an extent that it caused the pound (GBP) to drop to a record low, becoming almost equivalent to the US dollar for the first time in history. On Monday, the pound was valued at $1.03.

mini-budget causes pound to fall
© Bloomsberg

So, why has the world lost faith in the British pound? Firstly, there’s the alarming case of the cost of living crisis. As Stuart Rose pointed out, the poorest people in the UK are already paying £60 per month more than usual, meaning they’re more likely to pull away from premium brands. On top of that, with unpredictable changes being made to taxes, there’s a lot that could go wrong for the UK.

In the mini-budget, it was revealed that basic income tax would be cut down to 19%, while the planned increase of corporation tax (an increase of 6%), would be scrapped and the tax rate would remain at 19%. Benefits will also be cut and made more scarcely available. Essentially, the poorest will be poorer and the richest, richer.

And, while the overall aim is to improve the economy, there is a lot of scepticism surrounding the current tactics. So, it’s yet to be seen whether the pound will make a significant comeback or if another financial recession is on the horizon.