IKEA Releases Instructions for 6 Kinds of Forts You can Build at Home

With many of us being stuck at home since March, some are channeling their inner creativity to make time spent at home worthwhile. 

We’ve seen a rise in baking, cooking and also the much weirder trends such as the dalgona coffee craze; if you find yourself getting short of ideas for yourself and the kids, fear no more, as IKEA has released a new campaign with instructions on how to build 6 different types of furniture forts.

We loved them as kids, so there isn’t a reason to why furniture forts shouldn’t make a comeback this year, especially during quarantine year. 

These designs were created by an ad agency called instinct and they consist of detailed instructions on how to build castles, forts or any furniture forts your imagination can conjure up of.

1) Cave

One of the simplest designs here, this fort requires only a chair, a sheet or blanket and some some sort of heavy object to hold it down to the floor. Lights are optional too if you want some light while reading in your own fort.

2) Camping tent

If you’ve watched the Conjuring 2, you’d recognize this as the home of the “crooked man”. Safe to say, IKEA’s version of it is less scary and contains no “crooked man” of any sorts. Using a clothing rack and some pins, this fort allows for infinite head space.

3) House

As mentioned in its name, here’s where things can get real as the forts now get sturdier. All you need is a table and some sheets or blankets.

4) Wigwam

Here’s where things get creative as you would only need a light stand and of course some sheets. Optional lights too can be added for that aesthetic or ambience that you are looking for.

5) Fortress

We’ve all seen this one, heck, we might’ve even built one of this before. The most simplest of forts, you would only need couch cushions with a sheet over the top and you’re all set.

6) Castle

The best of them all, this fort requires four chairs and some kind of stand in the middle to give it the iconic castle pointed roof.

Italian Baker Who Fed Neighbourhood During Covid-19 Pandemic Dies

When the coronavirus hit, the north of Italy saw an economic crash and also hardship among many; in a time where many would ponder on where to get their next meal from, Gianni Bernardinello, an Italian baker, saw this as an opportunity to provide.

Outside his shop in Milan’s Chinatown, Bernardinello would leave baskets full of bread, pizza and sweets for anybody who needs it.

A sign above the basket would read “to give a hand to those in need, help yourself and think of others too”.

After leaving out the baked goods and goodies, he would then immediately disappear as he didn’t want to embarrass anyone he might kno who would be waiting in line for the hand out.

“He said he was putting out leftovers at night but I also saw him putting out fresh bread in the middle of the day,” Alessandra De Luca, 56, a client and a friend said, “He was really worried.”

Unfortunately, Bernardinello died on Nov. 9 due to Covid-19 at a hospital in Milan, his daughter, Samuela Bernardinello, said. He was 76.

Before falling in, he would be at his bakery everyday even though his daughters begged him to stay at home.

“Between these walls there wasn’t a day in 130 years that they stopped making bread,” he used to say, “even under the bombings in 1943.”

Bernardinello was born in 1943 December 22nd in Montù Becaria near Milan. He started working at 12 as a goldsmith apprentice and then later on in life as a fashion photographer and starting a yarn business. A crisis in the 1980s led him to wanting to sell a “product that the people always need,” he told his daughters.

He bought Macchi Bakery in 1989 and never looked back, learning the art of bread making as the years went.

The bakery today is renamed “Berni”, Bernadinello’s nickname, and is a meeting place in the neighborhood where locals would stop by for coffee or listen to Berni talk about drones that he built or jazz festivals.

Madonna Trends Online After People Mistake Her for Maradona and Thought She Died

Argentine footballing icon, Diego Maradona, has died at aged 60, but certain social media users went through a case of mistaken identity as they were seen mourning for pop star, Madonna instead.

Madonna started trending on Twitter last night and this caused confusion among some netizens who were questioning the story at first. Although, some were quick to post their tributes for the Like A Prayer singer, who is very much alive.

Maradona, the former World Cup winner with Argentina died of a heart attack, having undergone brain surgery earlier this month. Twitter was quickly lit up with tributes and RIP messages for the singer instead, Twitter users then corrected their own mistakes by pointing out the facts of Maradona from Madonna. 

To put this frenzy to an end, Madonna is alive, well and of course, singing; Diego Maradona on the other hand, has sadly passed away and is fortunately remembered many in the footballing community, there’s a difference.

Scotland Becomes 1st Country to Make Period Products Free

Scotland has recently made history by being the first country in the world to provide free and universal access to period products, a move that has shifted the public discussion around menstruation.

After four years of campaigning, The Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Act passed unanimously on Tuesday and will officially place a legal note on all local authorities to make period products available for all who need them, amplifying on the work done by councils like North Ayrshire which has been doing so since 2018.

Monica Lennon

Spearheaded by Scottish Labour’s health spokeswoman, Monica Lennon, she told the Guardian in an interview that this was “a proud day for Scotland”.

“This will make a massive difference to the lives of women and girls and everyone who menstruates.” Lennon said.

“There has already been great progress at a community level and through local authorities in giving everyone the chance of period dignity.

“There has been a massive change in the way that periods are discussed in public life. 

“A few years ago there had never been an open discussion of menstruation in the Holyrood chamber and now it is mainstream. 

“MSPs have enjoyed being a part of that, and it has encompassed the menopause, endometriosis, as well as the types of products we use and their sustainability.”

The scheme would cost an estimated £8.7m a year and the legislation will require schools, colleges and universities to provides the products for free which was announced by first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, in 2017.

In the meantime, a number of individual business such as restaurants, pubs and even football clubs – started providing free products independently which has made common for women in Scotland to walk into a women’s toilet and find free period products by the sinks, or with an honesty box.

“It’s an important message in the middle of a global pandemic that we can still put the rights of women and girls high up the political agenda.” said Lennon.

Maradona Dies at Age 60 Due to A Heart Attack

Long-time footballing icon and Argentinian great, Diego Maradona has died aged age 60, his lawyer and agent, Matias Morla confirmed.

The former Argentine World Cup winner was hospitalized for a blood clot in his brain and had been discharged on November 11th. He did not speak to the crowd of journalists and chanting fans gathered outside in masks as he left the Olivios clinic in Buenos Aires by ambulance shortly. 

Maradona who had just turned 60 at the end of last month, was thought to be recovering well and was expected to continue his rehabilitation in Tigre near his daughter’s home before passing.

“Diego has gone through perhaps the hardest time of his life,” his lawyer Matias Morla said earlier Wednesday, adding it was a “miracle” that the clot “which could have taken his life, was detected.” his lawyer Matias Morla said earlier.

Tribute have since poured in for the former Argentinos Juniors, Boca Juniors, Barcelona, Napoli, Sevilla and Newell’s Old Boy player such as from the official Argentina football team Twitter account.

Other tributes have also started coming from the rest of the footballing world.

Namewee’s “Babi” Nominated At Four International Film Festivals but Banned in Malaysia

Nominated for awards at the Berlin International Film Festival, Bangkok International Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival and at Taiwan’s Golden Horse Award, Namewee’s new film, although controversial, is garnering attention beyond the walls of Malaysia.


Its title – “Babi”, is a Malay term for pig and remains a racial slur in Malaysia and parts of Singapore, the movie has since received four award nominations, including Best Director and Best Actor.

According to the Malaysian rapper, “Babi” brings an alleged cover-up of a real-life school racial riot that happened in 2000 back to life.

“The script was actually written seven years ago,” the rapper wrote last August. “The main reason that the film was not in production that time was because nobody would ever consider [investing in] a zero-profit film [that might be banned].

“The second reason was I had no idea whom should I ask for help, I believed after hearing the film title, everyone would be scared off… Yet in the end, I’m still managed to finish this film with a very very very tight budget.”

He also added on how the film had challenges right from the start, even before production began.

 “From the start, we were sure the film will not be screened and there will not be any financial returns. So we rushed through the shooting to show the world Malaysia can do it.” he said.

“Surprisingly, there is a company in Taiwan that wants to screen the film, although deep down I doubt ticket sales will be good. But to us, this is an opportunity,” he wrote.

Banned in Malaysia

“Babi” is the second Namewee film that is banned in Malaysia due to its provoking nature. 

“Banglasia” was released and banned in 2014 due to 31 scenes that was deemed inappropriate for public screening. The rapper also added that “Banglasia” may have been banned for promoting homosexual lifestyles and for ridiculing national security.

The Federal Territory Perikatan Nasional (PN) Youth lodged a police report on November 19th claiming that the film poster for “Babi” touches on racial sensitivities and also asked for the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to block the content related to the film from being accessed by Malaysians

The rapper’s real name whose Wee Meng Chee said that he regretted that certain entities were using the race card for their own political motives.

“Contrary to their claim, this film actually promotes unity among the multi-racial community in the country.

“In fact, during filming, the cast and crew, made up of various ethnic backgrounds, worked together harmoniously,” he said in  Facebook post, adding that the film which has opened in Taiwan cinemas, will not be screened in Malaysia.

Check out the behind the scenes video and trailer for the movie, “Babi” here:

Finding it Hard to Focus When Working from Home? You’re Not Alone

What may seem like a comfortable task at first is turning out to be trickier then thought as the effects of Covid-19 is slowly beginning to unearth itself, especially in terms of our work.

 Experts say that the extra anxiety that we are feeling due to the pandemic has harmed our working memory, this only adds on to the mental health triggers that we are facing. 

We’ve all been there, walking to your workplace on a mission to complete any tasks for the day, but then quite literally stop midway and completely forgetting about why you’re there in the first place.

Study by the University of Notre Dame studied on the subject and found out that the brain is only built to hold so much information at once, a change in location works like a trigger to forgo data in order to make space for more.

1) Soft focus

businessman working in office with film colors tone, soft-focus in the background. over light

“Think of it as the mental platform for our cognitive operations, for what we’re thinking now,” says Matti Laine, a professor of psychology at Åbo Akademi University in Finland. “Working memory is closely related to attention. You’re focusing on some task, some goal, some directive or behaviour you want to get accomplished.”

In order words, it is the ability to reason in real time situations, and it’s also essential to what makes the brain the most powerful tool in the human body. However, research has shown that a rapid change in environment, worry and anxiety can all have an impact on that.

2) Rapidly changing circumstances

Studies before the pandemic saw a trend of negative relationship between anxiety and working memory; “We saw a trend of a negative relationship between anxiety and working memory. The higher the anxiety, the lower the working memory performance.”, says Laine.

“We’re talking about anxiety and stress that’s not acute,

“It’s related to a deeply uncertain future. You don’t know – does it continue this summer, this autumn? Nobody knows. It’s leading us to a more chronic anxiety situation.”

Even if you are not aware about what’s at stake, you’re processing it all the time which adds to the cognitive load your brain is having beyond its capacity.

Well, the good news is that you can improve your deteriorating memory.

3) Brain workouts

There are lots on “brain games” out there, but experts agree that it doesn’t actually do anything then to make you better at that game or as one research put it “Cognitive training games don’t make me better at remembering my shopping list, that’s like trying to train people to play tennis by having them run”.

There is one specific type of training exercise though that seems to show some promise. The N-back task, similar to a classic concentration game requires players to find pairs of matching cards, but, instead of pairs, there is only one object that moves around the grid-style board. Players have to remember the object’s position through a certain number of turns – 1-back, 2-back, and so on.

Its impact on working memory remains up in the air but a few rounds would definitely help with the tension . After all, it’s the anxiety that is the root of the problem.

4) Reboot

Therapists sometimes use the term “things aren’t as bad as they think they are”, but it may be controversial to say the least especially during this time. 

So, one other way is to rebooting your memory by cutting down on news consumption and considering a much needed break from social media; the most important thing of all, convince yourself that it is completely okay to be struggling and there’s nothing wrong with not being to be 100% for work when we’re still in the midst of a pandemic.

Washington D.C. Artist Plants A Flag Each Time A Person Dies Due To Covid-19

Outisde the D.C. Armory in Washington D.C., thousands and thousands of small white flags are planted where they stand and sway all at once as the wind blows.

223,059 were. planted as of last Friday, and each flag represents an American who died from Covid-19.

“It’s just so evocative,” says Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg, the Bethesda-based artist behind this public art installation.

Firstenberg began plans for the piece in March and had spent up to two months getting the needed approvals for installing her work at the area.

However, the motive for it all started a few weeks into the pandemic when she heard Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick suggest that elderly Americans could be willing to succumb to the virus in order to preserves the U.S. economy. This didn’t sit well with Firstenberg and she was left horrified by the statement.

“I know how valuable each life is, because I’ve had the opportunity — the honor — to be with people at a very difficult time in their lives, as they’re saying goodbye,” Firstenberg, who has spent 25 years as a hospice volunteer said.

Malaysian Group on a Mission to Teach Refugee Women to Read and Write

(AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

Seated on the floor in the room are a few students, notably women, who are reciting the alphabet; but these aren’t ordinary students, they are refugee women in Malaysia and they are learning to read and write in both Malay and English for the first time.

Conducted weekly at a rather gloomy room outside Kuala Lumpur, classes are led by the Women for Refugees group. The group was formed in September by two law students who wanted to empower them to be more than the portrayable wife by helping with their literacy and also with their integration into the local community.

“I don’t know even know my ABCs, but now I am learning,” Zaleha Abdul, 54, a Muslim Rohingya refugee, said in an interview with the Associated Press, as she struggled to remember the alphabet during a class last month. She said she wants to be more independent when going shopping or anywhere else.

Many refugee women, Zaleha among them, have picked up the local language but are still only confined to surroundings that they are familiar with as they don’t know how to read or write.

Arissa Jemaima Ikram Ismail, was a volunteer with a relief agency at first in Selayang and aimed to help to uplift women in this community. 

She and fellow law student Davina Devarajaan then met with the women who to their surprise, wanted to learn English and Malay. Arissa also said that education if often viewed as a low priority for refugee women.

Women for Refugees was then formed and they proceeded to recruit teachers via Instagram. Having about 20 volunteers now, the group is offering two-hour literacy classes in both English and Malay in a two-story block that has up to 50 families.

“It was very essential for us to not pitch the refugee women as a charity, where they are constantly requiring external aid,” Arissa said. “We want to equip them with the necessary skills so that they can sustain themselves … and contribute back to the community.”

Although open to all migrant women, majority of the students are from Myanmar and Indonesia. Davina hopes to expand to other neighbourhoods in the future and also to include technical skills that could lead to more opportunities for an income.

She also added that teaching still goes on with pre-recorded lessons due to the country’s coronavirus crisis; they were being viewed on three shared laptops while live classes were still being conducted once a week for older migrant children.

As the pandemic subsides, she would also “love to integrate more volunteers … to actually come and teach them and have this very community-based integration between” the women and the locals, whom many view migrants as a burden on the country’s resources and healthcare system.

Arisssa’s group may not be the first that is offering literacy course, but it is the only few that does this while focusing on women. Almost 178,000 refugees and asylum seekers are registered with the United Nations High Commission of Refugees, and many of them are left out educationally.

Shahidah Salamatulah, 38, was among three women at that time learning how to communicate in English when needing to seek treatment at a medical clinic. 

Shahidah, a Muslim from Myanmar and a mother of two, was preparing for a new life abroad. She was called for interviews three times last year by the UNHCR on possible resettlements, but the coronavirus pandemic has put all that to an unscheduled and timely halt.

“English is important for us … when we go overseas we will need English,” she told the Associated Press.

“Take Care of Yourselves” Covid-19 Patient Writes Goodbye Note From Hospital Deathbed

As Covid-19 continues to take a toll on the country, it has unfortunately taken the life of a father who had to say his last goodbye to his family through a hand-written letter.

The 325th person to have died due to the virus, 58-year-old Ahmad Bin Ahmad Taib reportedly died from Covid-19 on the 19th of November 2020 alone and separate from his loved ones at the Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital (HRPB) in Ipoh, Perak.

Before succumbing to the disease, Ahmad scribbled his final words on a piece of paper that was dedicated to his wife and children; he had asked for forgiveness and also to request for the family to take good care of themselves.

“Please pray, continue praying slat hajat (special prayers). Forgive me, take care of yourselves” the note showed.

The image of a healthcare worker holding the note was shared by his daughter, 32-year-old Syafiqa Humairak on Facebook.

“This is the final note from Abah before he was put to sleep last Monday. I cried everytime” Syafiqa wrote in the Facebook post.

Shfiqa also told reporters that the family was not allowed to keep the note as it may be contaminated with the virus. She added that her father who had been treated for Covid-19 when in quarantine, was unable to talk and wrote the note before being sedated.

Although, the family managed one last video call before he was finally put to sleep.

Syafiqa has since urged the public to not take the virus lightly and to abide the Covid-19 guidelines.

“I was the only one who could attend the funeral. It is sad because I couldn’t kiss him for the last time. I could only watch him from afar.” she said.

“Covid-19 is no joke and no one is immune. It only took a week for the virus to kill my father. 

“I hope people will take this virus seriously and observe all the safety measures set by the Health Ministry.”

Ahmad has since been laid to rest at the Jalan Bendahara Muslim Cemetery in Ipoh, Perak