Entertainment

Could These Space Bubbles Be The Future Of Concerts?

You could soon be watching a performance of your favorite reggaetonero from the comfort of a giant inflatable bubble…thanks to Covid-19. 

People are going to concerts in ‘space bubbles’ and could this be the new normal?

Last month, the band Flaming Lips staged two shows where socially distanced concerts were taken to a whole new level. The band successfully pulled their first official “Space Bubble” concert at the Criterion theater in the rock band’s native Oklahoma City. A second show took place the following evening.

In a creative effort to provide a Covid-safe atmosphere, the Lips provided 100 inflatable see-through pods for attendees to stand in while watching the band perform on stage. Each bubble held up to three people.

The clever idea for the socially distanced concert stemmed from the famous clear orb Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne has used for years to roll across crowds during the band’s festive concerts.

In addition to audience members, both Coyne and the other band members were enclosed in their own plastic bubbles during the Oklahoma City concerts. At one point during the concert, Coyne is seen holding a shiny silver-lettered balloon that reads “F— YOU COVID19.”

Ok, but what happens if you have to pee or it gets too hot in those bubbles?

Well, it turns out that they’ve thought of all that as well. Inside each bubble was a high frequency supplemental speaker – which helped prevent the sound being muffled – as well as a water bottle, a battery-operated fan, a towel and a “I gotta go pee/hot in here” sign.

If it got too hot, the bubble was refilled with cool air using a leaf blower, and fans who needed the bathroom were escorted by venue staff once they had put on a mask and stepped outside their cocoon.

The bubbles hold enough oxygen for three people to breathe for over an hour and 10 minutes before they need to be refreshed, although a towel is needed to wipe down the condensation.

According to an instructional video posted on the singer’s Instagram feed, the concert ends with everyone rolling their bubbles to the exit door, where they must re-attach masks before unzipping and leaving the venue.

Meanwhile in countries where people actually follow social distancing and mask guidelines…

While packed concerts may be little more than a hazy memory in most parts of the world, 22,000 fans flocked to see rock band Six60 in Hastings, New Zealand, on Saturday with no need for masks or social distancing. It was the second date of their tour, after another 20,000 watched them play the weekend earlier.

The fans were asked to check in to the venue by scanning a QR code, and to have a Covid-tracing Bluetooth app enabled in case they did come into close contact with anyone with the virus.

The country, with a population of five million, has recorded 1,927 confirmed cases and 25 deaths over the course of the pandemic.

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Kali Uchis’ “Telepatía” is Becoming a Global Hit Thanks to TikTok

Latidomusic

Kali Uchis’ “Telepatía” is Becoming a Global Hit Thanks to TikTok

PHOTO: JORA FRANTZIS

Through the power of TikTok, Kali Uchis is taking her song “Telepatía” to the top. The Colombian-American singer is sitting comfortably in the top 10 of Spotify’s Top 200 chart in the U.S. thanks to a TikTok trend.

This isn’t the first time that TikTok brought new fame to songs.

TikTok has proven to be quite the catalyst for today’s top hits. The app assisted in getting Olivia Rodrigo’s “drivers license” to the top of Billboard Hot 100 chart, where it remains. TikTok also reinvigorated interest in Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” last year thanks to Doggface’s viral video. Now Uchis is getting her long overdue shine with “Telepatía.”

“Telepatía” is becoming a global hit thanks to the same phenomenon.

At No. 7 on the Spotify U.S. chart, “Telepatía” is the highest-charting Latin song in the country. Bad Bunny’s “Dákiti” with Jhay Cortez is the next closest Latin song at No. 14. “Telepatía” is also making waves across the globe where the song is charting on Spotify’s Viral Charts in 66 countries and in the Top Songs Charts of 32 countries.

There’s also plenty of “Telepatía” memes.

Uchis is turning the viral song’s success into strong sales and streaming. On this week’s Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart, “Telepatía” debuts at No. 10, marking her first top 10 hit on the chart. There are also memes circulating on other social media apps that are contributing to the song’s virality.

“Telepatía” is one of the key cuts on Uchis’ debut Latin album, Sin Miedo (del Amor y Otros Demonios). It’s the best example of her translating that alternative soul music that she’s known for into Spanish. The song is notably in Spanglish as Uchis sings about keeping a love connection alive from a distance. It’s timely considering this era of social distancing that we’re in during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Uchis is currently nominated for a Grammy Award. She’s up for Best Dance Recording for her feature on Kaytranada’s “10%” song.

Read: You Have To Hear Kali Uchis Slay This Classic Latino Song

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He Gave Away Free Oxygen To Those Who Needed It, Then People Burned Down His Home

Things That Matter

He Gave Away Free Oxygen To Those Who Needed It, Then People Burned Down His Home

CESAR VON BANCELS/AFP via Getty Images

Peru is being ravaged by a deadly second wave of the Coronavirus pandemic. Few parts of the country are as badly affected as the remote Amazonian villages in the northeast of the country and cities like Iquitos.

The country has been one of the worst hit by the pandemic. For several months last year, it topped the per capita death charts. Officially, 1.2 million have been infected here while 43,880 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University.

One man’s effort to help those who have been most impacted, has nearly cost him his life.

As Peru now faces a daily oxygen shortage of 100 tons, Peruvians are becoming desperate for whatever oxygen they can get their hands on. Oxygen mafias are rising up to steal oxygen products and sell them on the black market for obscene prices.

Juan Torres Baldeón is a good samaritan who has, by his own estiamte, donated free oxygen to 8,000 desperate families in the jungle city of Iquitos. With his generosity, he’s likely saved hundreds if not thousands of lives in the process. But his generosity has also come with risks.

It began with crooks infiltrating the long lines outside Baldeón’s warehouse. The problem became so severe that the police and the military had to be called in to maintain order.

“We only give oxygen to those with prescriptions,” Baldeón told VICE News. “Normally, just half a tank, unless the patient is really sick, because we have to ration what we have. But we kept finding people in the queue who didn’t have a prescription, and when you asked them the name of the patient, they didn’t know what to say.”

Then he began receiving threatening phone calls, demanding he surrender his entire lifesaving supply of oxygen or leave his city behind.

That was when the criminals, who Baldeón believes are a local cocaine cartel, made their move.

In late January, Baldeón had left his home to go to the gym but quickly had to return. When he got back home, his office/home and four others alongside it were on fire.

“They probably thought I was inside,” he told VICE. “There’s nothing left now, just ashes. I feel for my neighbors. They didn’t even have anything to do with the oxygen.”

Thanks to Covid-19, oxygen has become a necessity for so many.

From Lima to Mexico City, residents have been forced to stand in line for hours on end and search far-flung neighborhoods to refill their oxygen tanks.

Normally, refilling a 10,000 liter tank of oxygen would cost around 100 Sols ($27). But with Covid-19 forcing so many to seek care at home with supplemental oxygen, some are paying more than $1,000.

Baldeón isn’t the only person to be threatened over oxygen supplies.

In Peru’s capital city of Lima, a district mayor was forced to send his family abroad following death threats that he received after setting up a municipal oxygen plant and distributing the essential gas to needy families, including to those from outside his district.

Yet even outside of Peru, his family remain unsafe, and they have had to change hotels after their whereabouts were discovered by the criminals, who also threw a grenade at his house.

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