4 reasons you must embrace push notifications to increase revenue – Best in Australia

Photo: Cristian Dina, Pexels.

You think of expanding your business, suddenly one idea sparks in your mind and that is none other than the mobile app technology and you want to adapt it since you want your business to excel and you don’t want a single stone to remain unturned for the sake of your success. 

But after getting a mobile app you realize that it is turning out to be a hard task for you to retain users.

When the question of app’s success comes the very segment which describes the success of a mobile app is the number of active users on your mobile app, and something which takes this journey one step ahead is the app retention on your mobile app. 

Push notifications can be a tool for the user retention, but only if you decided to proceed with certain tactics, which are mentioned herewith in this blog. Let’s read ahead and experience the difference

App retention is one of the greatest concerns every app has to deal with and needs to find out the best ways out of it in order to make your app survive the app chaos elegantly. 

Indeed there are certain aspects which must be integrated into the app during the app development process, so the app can fit in the requirements of the business and falls as an absolute fit for the users’ expectations as well.

But with so many features, functionalities, it gets more confusing for the app owners to pick the right strategy for the mobile app, which can help the mobile app from getting doomed, so to avoid the cloud of confusion, we have brought this post today, which clearly speaks that how a simple feature in your app, can help your mobile app to survive the game of the app retention…this feature is none other than the Push Notification.

Motivates users to buy products

When a customer plans to buy something from your app, but adds them in the cart and forgets to buy the product, in such scenario when you send a push notification reminder to your targeted audience so they can complete their purchase.

So with a help of simple push notification, you trigger your audience and help them to stay hooked to your services only.

Offers personalized notification

Your users have a different choices, and the different demand from the users, often lead the users to visit the competitor’s mobile app, since they feel the existing app doesn’t have anything new to serve them, so with a push notification you can easily eradicate this possibility by continuously updating your users, about any new feature or the new update which would suit their taste.

With this, you would help your users to stay engaged with your mobile app only and you can experience a much-engaging user experience.

Works on users’ psychology

When you wake up in the morning, and find a notification on your mobile app, telling you the weather forecast, you would definitely feel touched and would start to notice the app. 

This same strategy is integrated by the Facebook as well, wherein on opening the app or the web page in the morning, you are notified by a beautiful message, which states, Hi XXX, today weather will remain clear in Australia, you can enjoy the sunshine!!!, these small notifications which stay on top of your mobile app, keep reminding the users to about your app.

Now the question comes, that how to make the push notification a successful strategy???

Unfortunately push notification can be a deal-breaker or the maker for your app if you skip following the rules. The rules are quite simple and state:

Keep the content simple

When you decide to proceed further with the push notification then you must remember that your users don’t have much time to understand and act on your notification, so the very first strategy suggests, that more your content would be simple, more it would be preferred by the users. So keep the notification content simple yet engaging with some magic words, like ‘ Grab the deal’ or ‘ (name) you should not miss this deal’, by integrating the words like this, you would allow your users to use your app.

Push platform

The selection of the right platform to send the push platform is also mandatory for the successful push notification strategy. There are many push platforms in the market, such as PushWoosh and Parse to name a few, but you need to pick the most appropriate option as per your business needs.

Notifications must have the frequency

You need to understand a very common and most significant fact, that every user has a personal life as well, and you cannot disturb it with your push messages, so you need to understand that your push notification must not turn out to be an irritating factor for your mobile app, so by keeping this in mind you must set a frequency of your push messages.

Switch on/off option

When it comes to push notification, the more you allow your users to use it as per their convenience they would prefer to use it further. To make this happen, you must let the On/Off option in your mobile app, which would allow the users to set the notification-receiving as per their convenience.

Indeed push-notifications can help your mobile app to retain the users, but only if it is planned and managed with the right strategies to yield the best result out of it and can help you to make your app development a cherishing experience for your business goals.

Also, one another fact which equally matters in the success of a mobile app, and cannot be given a miss at any given cost, is the selection of the right mobile app development company for your app.

I know there are many app development companies in the app development market, and which keep on confusing you further, but you need to be sure of picking a right app development partner, which has the impressive technical experience and the technical exposure to handle your app requirements effortlessly.

If you are finding it hard to find such company for your app concept, then you must get in touch with experienced app builder such as Techugo, which has every bit of these requirements coupled with the renowned clientele list, and help your app to grow immensely.

Jason is a senior Android developer in Australia. He holds great expertise in latest and advanced Android technologies, and ensures to integrate his skills into the mobile app development process.

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5 Most paired Nollywood actors | P.M. News

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RMD & Stella Damasus

By Jennifer Okundia

The movie space is one where creatives come together to make magic. From scripting to a selection of the perfect fit for a role, to production and then the final result of having an interesting movie that can attract audience attention and do well in box offices, Nollywood is a highly competitive industry.

There are some actors who sync like beans and plantain or better still bread and butter. Whenever they are paired in a film, the duo can bring a script to life with their expertise.

Below are some actors who have been paired countless times on movie sets. In no particular order, check these ones out and let us know if we got the combination hook line and sinker or if you have your reservations and want to include others, tell us in the comment section.

Genevieve Nnaji & Ramsey Nouah

Genevieve Nnaji and Ramsey Nouah are an item not to be overlooked when romantic scenes are involved. The duo plays the roles so well you would think they were actually lovebirds in real-time. Movies like ”Power of Love, Break Up, Valentino” and many more will remain green in the minds of fans.

49-year-old Edo born Ramsey directed his debut with the film ”Living in Bondage: Breaking Free” in 2019 while Genevieve’s directorial debut movie, Lionheart, is the first Netflix Original from Nigeria, and first Nigerian submission for the Oscars. The movie was disqualified for having most of the dialogue in English.

RMD & Stella Damasus

The 58-year-old actor and model Richard Mofe Damijo aka RMD and beautiful mum of two Stella Damasus have both featured in movies like ”Engagement Night, The Bridesmaid, Burning Desire” e.t.c. It was almost impossible to not see these two in a love relationship. Nollywood definitely knows to bring their A-Game when pairing characters.

Chinedu Ikedieze aka Aki & Osita Iheme aka Paw Paw

Aki and Paw Paw are Nollywood twins when it comes to comedy. These two will crack you up with their gimmicks and scheme in roles assigned them. Chinedu Ikedieze and Osita Iheme are mostly together when acting due to their similarities and skill. Thumbs up to Nollywood for always pairing this duo.

Nadia Buari with Van Vicker

Ghanaian actors Nadia Buari and Van Vicker are like the Siamese in the movie industry. Producers like to bring these two together as lovers and it always works so well. Van knows how to win a woman’s heart, even though Nadia tries to pull her stunts. Little wonder he is a ladies man.

Jim Iyke and Rita Dominic

It is still surprising that these two did not end up with each other like a real couple. The love between Rita And Jim cannot go unnoticeable. They come off so well when acting and we always look forward to a scoop of Riri and a dose of Jimmy in the movies.

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Slaves, nannies, and maids: Oscars value women of colour – in subservient roles | Film | The Guardian

For Oscar voters, what makes a great performance has disturbingly narrow criteria for non-white performers. The observation that people of colour are only ever recognised for playing slaves and criminals, that their stories are only ever seen as important when they deal with tragedy and suffering, does not strictly belong to the unenlightened past. This week’s Oscar nominations prove that such judgments are planted firmly in the present.

The kinds of roles being written for people of colour over the past decade have begun to expand to encompass a wider range of experiences. Just recently we were graced with the luminous Jennifer Lopez as savvy stripper Ramona in Hustlers; newcomer Nora Lum (Awkwafina) as the conflicted granddaughter of a dying matriarch in The Farewell; Lupita Nyong’o in a remarkable two-in-one turn in Jordan Peele’s Us. This all goes without mentioning the incredible performances that never quite picked up steam: Alfre Woodard in Clemency, for instance, or Song Kang-Ho in Parasite. But never mind the fertile pickings. This year the Academy has nominated one person of colour – Cynthia Erivo as Harriet Tubman in Harriet. This outcome is dismaying, partly because it falls neatly into a familiar pattern: a person of colour performing a racially specific form of suffering, the outlier in a sea of white nominees.

Erivo’s nomination for Harriet, a film that received middling reviews, is not a preposterous decision. Actors are often recognised for individual work that might stand out in an otherwise mediocre film (take Renée Zellweger in Judy). I’m not bothered by the quality of Erivo’s performance. There are far more egregious entries on that front, with the likes of Charlize Theron for Bombshell, or Scarlet Johansson for Jojo Rabbit, reaping nods (have the Oscars ever been a legitimate meritocracy?). Far more worrisome is what Erivo’s nomination suggests about the way Academy voters evaluate performers of colour, who seem to be the most visible, and taken the most seriously, within the trappings of white pity.

That voters overlooked a performance like Nyong’o’s in Us, a chilling interpretation of two sides of the same self, is telling. It doesn’t matter that this performance matches, if not surpasses entirely that of Joaquin Phoenix’s in Joker, even though both actors play, with tremendous physical commitment, psychologically tormented characters in genre films. Instead, the Academy prefers the Nyong’o who starred in 12 Years a Slave (2013), a film in which she is a slave, raped and humiliated. For these efforts, so difficult for the conscience to ignore, she was awarded best supporting actress.

In the last decade, only 14 women of colour were among the 100 women nominated by the Academy for the best actress and best supporting actress awards. There were even fewer men of colour (nine out of 100). That the same types of roles – slaves, nannies, and maids – continue to be the magic ticket to the red carpet, feels particularly ugly considering the range of parts played by white nominees. This year, for instance, the characters of Erivo’s fellow best actress nominees include a Fox newswoman, an icon of classic Hollywood, an aspiring young writer, and a hopeful divorcee. In 2019, Yalitza Aparicio was nominated for her performance in Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma. Aparicio is one of the few Latin American actresses to receive the honour, joining Adriana Barraza as a deported nanny in Babel, and Catalina Sandino Moreno as a drug mule in Maria Full of Grace.




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As moving as these performances are, these films leave a bitter taste as they reaffirm tired conceptions of Latin American women. Aparicio plays a housemaid silently enduring racism and neglect, which recalls another Academy favourite – Tate Taylor’s The Help (2011), which stars Octavia Spencer and Viola Davis as resilient maids, as well! Such slim parameters betray the desire, perhaps even the need by Oscar voters, for a particularly cheap form of pathos, one that simplifies and minimises the experiences of non-white people by placing them on the margins or in the past. Those performances that don’t square with this mould are often considered too “light,” too niche, or too subversive for the Academy, all of which indicates the incredible myopia of its voting body and the thinly veiled racism that guides it.

Perhaps hoping for a consistently diverse pool of Oscar nominees is blind optimism; the more time passes, the anomalous triumphs of films such as Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight, feel like a fever dream. By opening up its membership to more women and people of colour, and enlisting diverse talent such as John Cho, Issa Rae, and Tiffany Haddish to present its nominations, the Academy has attempted to create an image of inclusivity. But given this year’s batch of nominees, that commitment has proven to be both superficial and a bad joke.

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MultiChoice Talent Factory South Africa Academy Program 2020 for Aspiring Film-makers | Opportunities For Africans

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Application Deadline:29 January 2020

MultiChoice Group is committed to developing and honing the skills of young, talented and ambitious African storytellers. That is why it is with pride that we announce that the M-Net Magic in Motion (MIM) programme will now be known as the MultiChoice Talent Factory South Africa (MTF ZA) in line with MultiChoice Africa’s broader MTF programme.

This new chapter will carry the same passion for film and movie making, the same devotion for excellence and will continue with our promise of enriching lives. The naming convention allows the business to consolidate all initiatives that are critical in developing a sustainable talent pipeline to the video and entertainment industry.

The MiM Academy was established in 2014 and has been instrumental in helping transform the South African film and TV industry by upskilling students and empowering them with substantial knowledge and experience in just 12 months. The MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF), which was launched in 2018 by MultiChoice Africa, does the same by upskilling the next generation of passionate young film creatives.

To date, 58 students have been trained through MIM and are making their mark in the video entertainment industry. About 16 Mzansi Magic movies have been produced by participants of this programme and nine graduates have started their own production companies, namely: A tribe called story, Eccentric Circus and Beyond Black.

The MTF ZA programme has three pillars:

Entry Criteria

Applications to be part of MultiChoice Talent Factory ZA (MTFza) Academy class of 2020 are now open and will close on 29 January 2020 MTFza is a 12-month long industry readiness programme that affords the opportunity to learn from some of the leading TV producers in the country while acquiring valuable experience in the directing, producing, cinematography, commissioning, art direction and many other skills.”

Who qualifies?

How to apply?

Download the application form (below), fill it in, provide all the supporting documents listed below and email directly to: [email protected] by 29 January 2020 12pm. Quote the subject line: MTFza Academy 2020 application

Required documents

Important information

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Odunlade Adekola’s new film ‘Ajanaku’ tops trending list on YouTube

Popular Yoruba actor, Odunlade Adekola’s new film, ‘Ajanaku’ is currently at the top of the trending list on YouTube.

The Yoruba film, which was written, directed and produced by the renowned actor was premiered on Dec. 13 and it has over 420 views in the first six days on YouTube.

The film ‘Ajanaku,’ tells the story of Dr Ajanaku, a worthy unorthodox healer, a role played by Adekola.

Ajanaku(Adekola) believed so much in his ancestral powers but in this chosen path, there were lots of battles to be fought to remain relevant.

The film features Yemi Solade, Odunlade Adekola, and Ireti Osayemi, Eniola Ajao, Bolaji Amusan aka Mr. Latin and Babatunde Aderinoye.

According to him, the film also features some of the students from his acting academy, Odunlade Adekola Film and Production Academy (OAFP).

Adekola a Nigeria actor, singer, film-maker, producer and director, gained popularity with his lead role in Ishola Durojaye’s 2003 movie ‘Asiri Gomina Wa’.

Adekola is a prolific movie producer, who has produced mostly Yoruba films and currently the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Odunlade Adekola Film Production(OAFP).

Through his production company, he has been able to produce several movies in Nigeria and has acted in multiple Nollywood movies.

The most notable movie he has produced is “Adebayo Aremu” which he also acted in as a lead character.

The renowned Yoruba actor, began his acting career professionally in 1996 .

Then he joined the Association of Nigeria Theatre Arts Practitioners, under the tutelage of the late Nollywood actor and producer, Isola Durojaiye, also known as Alasari.

READ ALSO: Odunlade Adekola, Dayo Amusa, others grace ‘Omoniyun’ premiere

Adekola has acted, scripted, produced and directed several Yoruba films over the years which include Omo Colonel, Aroba, Oro, Sunday Dagboru, Monday omo adugbo, Taxi Driver: Oko Ashewo, Eku Meji, Kurukuru, Sunday gboku gboku, Adura, etc.

In December 2015, he marked his entrance into the Nigerian music industry.

Adekola in the cause of his acting career, won several awards in Nigeria, which include Best Actor in Yoruba at the Africa Movie Academy Awards in April 2014, Best Actor of the Year at the City People Entertainment Awards in 2009.

In 2011, he won the Best Actor of the Year at the City People Entertainment Awards and in 2014, he won the Best Actor (Yoruba) at the City People Entertainment Awards.

In 2015, he won the Best Actor in a Leading Role at the City People Entertainment Awards and Best Actor of the Year at the African Magic Viewers Choice Awards.

Odunlade Adekola is currently one of the most talented actors, who is married to Ruth Abosede Adekola and the marriage is blessed with beautiful children.

(NAN)

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12 Nollywood Celebrities from the decades you must know | P.M. News

Chief Hubert Ogunde

By Funmilola Olukomaiya

The Nigerian movie industry has evolved, but this didn’t come cheap as it was achieved through a lot of hard work, dedication and persistence through the efforts of the pioneers of the industry.

Most millennials know little or nothing about how Nollywood came to be and the truth is, they really careless.

Below are 12 of Nigeria’s movie industry (both English and Yoruba) celebrities and pioneers from the decades you must know.

1.) Hubert Ogunde

The late Hubert Ogunde in one of his films

Hubert Ogunde was a Nigerian playwright, actor, theatre manager, and musician. He was a pioneer in the field of Nigerian folk opera (a type of drama in which music and dancing played a significant role). He was the founder of the Ogunde Concert Party (1945), the first professional theatrical company in Nigeria. Ogunde who was often regarded as the father of Nigerian theatre sought to reawaken interest in his country’s indigenous culture. He died on April 4, 1990, in London, England.

2.) Duro Ladipo

Duro Ladipo

Duro Ladipọ was one of the best known and critically acclaimed Yoruba dramatists who emerged from post-colonial Africa. Writing solely in the Yoruba language, he captivated the symbolic spirit of Yoruba mythologies in his plays, which were later adapted to other media such as photography, television and cinema. As a teacher in a church school at Oshogbo in 1960, Ladipo scandalized church members by including bata drums in the Easter cantata that he had composed for the church and was thereafter obliged to seek a secular outlet for his musical interests. In 1962 he founded the Mbari Mbayo Club, and for its inauguration, his new theatre company performed his first opera, Oba Moro (“Ghost-Catcher King”). He premiered Oba Koso (“The King Did Not Hang”) at the club’s first anniversary in 1963 and a year later introduced Oba Waja (“The King is Dead”). All three operas are based on the history of the Oyo kingdom and are available in English in Three Yoruba Plays (1964). He died Mar. 11, 1978, in Oshogbo.

3.) Ola Balogun

Ola Balogun

Born 1st of August 1945, Ola Balogun is a unique figure in Nigerian cinema. In the 1970s and 1980s, he influenced the film industry in Nigeria like no other person and paved the way for the Nollywood boom that began in the early 1990s. The fact that he is virtually forgotten outside of Nigeria nowadays is also a function of the fact that many copies of his films have disappeared. He also ventured into the Nigerian music industry in 2001. Balogun studied cinematography at Institut des hautes études cinématographiques.

4.) Adeyemi Afolayan (Ade Love)

Adeyemi Afolayan aka Ade Love

Adeyemi Afolayan also known as Ade Love was a Nigerian film actor, director and producer. He brother to actress Toyin Afolayan and father to film actors, Kunle Afolayan, Gabriel Afolayan, Moji Afolayan and Aremu Afolayan. In 1966, Afolayan joined Moses Olaiya’s drama troupe, and in 1971, he left to establish his own drama group which went on to stage comedic plays. He appeared in Ola Balogun’s Ajani Ogun in 1976, and later produced and starred Ija Ominira, also directed by Balogun. Kadara, ‘Destiny’ in English was the first movie he wrote, produced and also starred as the leading actor. The movie was shown at the ninth Tashkent film festival for African and Asian cinema. Afolayan went on to produce and star in other productions such as Ija Orogun, Taxi Driver and Iya ni Wura. He died in 1996.

5.) Sam Loco Efe

Sam Loco Efe

Sam Loco Efe was a popular comic actor who was born in Enugu. His first experience with acting was at his school when a theatre group came to stage a play called ‘The Doctor In Spite of Himself’, afterwards, he discussed with members of the group about the theatre and performance arts. In elementary school, he was a member various groups including a drama society that performed a rendition of Shakespeare’s ‘Julius Caesar’ at an Eastern regional arts festival in Abakaliki,[8] the play came last in the drama competition but Efe was noted as the best actor which earned him a scholarship to complete elementary school. After finishing elementary school, he attended various secondary schools and was active in the drama society, organizing a performance of ‘The Doctor in Spite of Himself’ and a play called ‘Vendetta’. After secondary school, he was a member of a travelling theatre group and played soccer earning the moniker locomotive later shortened as loco. He died 7th August 2011.

6.) Oyin Adejobi

Oyin Adejobi

Chief Oyin Adejobi was a very popular dramatist and seasoned actor in South-Western Nigeria. He wrote and performed in a variety of Yoruba productions on the stage, television and movies. He was especially well known for his autobiographical movie ‘Orogun Adedigba’. He also had a weekly television show, ‘Kootu Asipa’ meaning “Ashipa’s Court” on Nigerian Television Authority, Ibadan. The Oyin Adejobi Popular Theatre Company is named for him. He died in the year 2000.

7.) Professor Peller

Professor Peller

Professor Moshood Abiola Peller was a Nigerian magician and one of Africa’s most renowned magicians. He was born in 1941 at Iseyin, Oyo State and he was named Moshood Folorunsho Abiola. He later picked the stage name of ‘Professor Peller’, an appellation that has stuck to him like a second skin. He started performing illusion tricks in 1954 travelling to Ibadan, Lagos and Oyo for performances. In 1959, he changed occupation and began work as a representative of G.B.O. and later moved into trading. His interest in illusion continued and in 1964, he attended a school of magical arts in India, he spent 18 months at the school and after completion, settled in Liberia. In 1966, he had his first post-training show at the Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos. He was later assassinated in 1997.

8.) Alade Aromire

Alade Aromire

Muyideen Alade Aromire was a popular actor and producer who was also the owner and creator of Yotomi Television, a cross-cultural broadcasting station with bias for Yoruba-based programmes. Alade was believed to have produced the first home video in Nigeria as he was the pioneer of Yoruba home video industry. He died 4 July, 2008 in an auto crash along the Lagos/Ibadan expressway.

9.) Moses Olaiya

Late Moses Adejumo, aka Baba Sala

Moses Olaiya, better known by his stage name “Baba Sala”, was a Nigerian comedian, dramatist and actor. Baba Sala, regarded as the father of modern Nigerian comedy, alongside other dramatists like Hubert Ogunde, Kola Ogunmola, Oyin Adejobi and Duro Ladipo popularized theatre and television acting in Nigeria. He was a prolific filmmaker. He started his career in show business as a Highlife musician, fronting in 1964 a group known as the Federal Rhythm Dandies where he tutored and guided the jùjú music maestro King Sunny Adé who was his lead guitar player. As a young boy, Olaiya played the class clown and sometimes dressed outlandishly to please people. While he chose to develop a career in entertainment his parents wanted a path that will lead to a professional career such as medicine or law. Baba Sala died in October 2018.

10.) Lere Paimo

Lere Paimo

Born November 1939, Pa Lere Paimo, OFR is an ace Nigerian film actor, film-maker, producer and director. He began his acting career in 1960 after he joined the Oyin Adejobi theatre group, founded by Pa Oyinade Adejobi before he later joined Duro Ladipo’s Theatre Group where he featured in a stage play titled ‘Obamoro’ with the role of “Chief Basa”. He became popular following a lead role as Soun Ogunola played in an epic Yoruba film titled ‘Ogbori Elemosho’ which brought him into the limelight. He has featured, produced and directed several Nigerian films since he began acting in 1963. In 2005, in recognition of his immense contributions to the Nigerian film industry, he was bestowed with a National award of Member of the Federal Republic alongside Zeb Ejiro by former president Olusegun Obasanjo. On May 2013, it was reported that he had a partial stroke, an attack he survived.

11.) Funmi Martins

Funmi Martins

The legendary Funmi Martins was a shining star of the Yoruba movie industry in the ’90s. She was shot into limelight in 1993 when she starred in her first movie called ‘Nemesis’ directed by Fidelis Duker. Funmi Martins before her death starred in dozens of movies. Some of her most notable works include Eto Mi, Pelumi, Ija Omode, Eru Eleru. She died on May 6, 2002.

12.) Bukky Ajayi

Bukky Ajayi

Zainab Bukky Ajayi was a Nigerian actress who was born and bred in Nigeria but completed her higher education in England, United Kingdom courtesy of a federal government scholarship. In 1965, she left England for Nigeria where her career began as a presenter and newscaster for Nigerian Television Authority in 1966. Bukky made her film debut in the television series ‘Village Headmaster’ during the ’70s before she went on to feature in ‘Checkmate’, a Nigeria television series that aired during the late 1980s to the early 1990s. During her acting career, she featured in several films and soaps including ‘Critical Assignment’, ‘Diamond Ring’, ‘Witches’ among others. In 2016, her contributions to the Nigerian film industry was recognized after she and Sadiq Daba were awarded the Industry Merit Award at the 2016 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards. Bukky Ajayi died at her residence in Lagos State on 6 July 2016 at the age of 82.

NOTE: This list is not exhaustive, do share the names of others who didn’t make our list in the comment session.

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Death of the Man in the Iron Mask | History Today

At the end of July 1669 the French Secretary of State for War, the Marquis de Louvois, wrote to the governor of Pignerol prison telling him to expect a new inmate, one ‘Eustache Dauger’. The instructions were unusually thorough and involved housing the prisoner in a room with double doors to prevent anyone hearing him. Only the governor was to see the prisoner, bringing him food, water and whatever else he needed. If the prisoner spoke about anything other than his needs, he was to be immediately killed.

Dauger arrived at Pignerol in late August and remained there until he had to travel with the governor to his new appointment at the Exiles Fort in Piedmont in 1681. In May 1687 the governor moved again, this time to Sainte-Marguerite, an island just off Cannes. It was during this journey that rumours began to spread that there was a prisoner wearing an iron mask to keep his identity secret. More rumours spread about who that prisoner could be, from Louis XIV’s younger twin to Charles II’s illegitimate son. Some favoured a disgraced French general or one of the participants of l’Affaire des Poisons – a scandal involving black magic and poisonings which threatened to engulf the king’s mistress.

The following year the governor was on the move again, this time to the Bastille, taking Dauger with him. One of the jailers noted that the prisoner did indeed wear a mask when there was a danger of anyone seeing him, but it was of black velvet, not iron. Orders remained that Dauger was to be killed if he spoke to anyone about anything other than his immediate needs.

Whatever it was that Eustache Dauger knew, or the king thought he knew, he took that secret to his grave, dying at the Bastille on 19 November 1703. He was buried the next day under the name ‘Marchioly’, having spent the last 34 years of his life in captivity. His identity is still not agreed upon among historians.

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Air New Zealand joins search to find owner of a left-behind unicorn toy | Stuff.co.nz

teddy bear dog

Air New Zealand has joined in the worldwide search for the owner of a toy unicorn left behind at Heathrow Airport.

Journalist Sarah Doran has temporarily adopted the plush toy after coming across it in Terminal 2 of the famous London airport.

“Lost & Found was closed so they’re currently safe & sound in a temporary London home,” she tweeted on Monday, alongside photos of the unicorn in question.

“Seems very well loved so would love to reunite with owner if possible. RTs appreciated! Can we make some magic happen?”

Air New Zealand retweeted saying: “It can be easy to get separated from your travel buddy, happens to the best of us.”

The Twitter community also rallied behind Doran, sharing the post in the hope it might see Unicorn returned to its home.

However, three days and 27,000 retweets later, no progress has been made.

In the interim, Doran is taking good care of Unicorn, sharing a series of photos of him looking very at home in his current surroundings.

“Unicorn is tucked up in bed and v thankful for all your RTs,” she captioned a photo of him under the covers with his arms around another plush toy.

Another photo depicts the wayward toy settling in to watch a movie with some “fellow globetrotters” — a teddy bear, a penguin and a moose.

Two days into the quest, Doran shared another photo of Unicorn perched by her window, admiring fireworks outside.

“Still no owner located. Having marginally better luck finding fireworks on Bonfire Night,” she wrote.

Despite articles in local newspapers and retweets, Unicorn is yet to be reunited with its owner.

Doran says she’s also had difficulty reaching the company that handles the airport’s lost and found department.

“The response to this tweet has been totally unprecedented … No owner found yet but I’ll keep the unicorn safe until we can find them,” she added.

The unicorn’s plight has clearly moved plenty of people, many of whom have shared their own experiences of the sadness of a lost toy in transit.

“Oh God. My (now 19-year-old) son lost his Elmo when he was on a cruise at age 5 and I still haven’t gotten over it. Somebody please help this unicorn find its kiddo!” one wrote.

“As a kid I lost a cute stuffed Cocker Spaniel, that I carried everywhere, while in transit moving from Germany to Washington state in 1975. Broke my heart for years,” another said.

– This article was first published on 9Honey Travel and is republished by permission

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New PSA warns parents to avoid youth tackle football by comparing it to smoking

Health

(CNN)A young football player stares down his opponents. He hikes the ball. Then the coach passes him a cigarette, which his mother happily lights.

The new PSA, which premiered Thursday morning on YouTube, kicks off the “Tackle Can Wait” campaign. The goal is for parents to keep kids out of tackle football until they’re 14 to lessen their risk of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE.
The campaign was led by the daughters of two football players diagnosed with CTE after their deaths: Rebecca Carpenter, whose NFL player father, Lew Carpenter, died in 2010, and Angela Harrison, whose father, Joe Campigotto, played college football and died in 2016.
    The video’s release lines up with a new study in the Annals of Neurology, which found that the severity of CTE isn’t related to the number of concussions, but the number of years spent playing football. Concussion Legacy Foundation CEO Chris Nowinski was a study co-author.
    After studying the brains of more than 260 professional and amateur deceased football players, Boston University researchers concluded that the risk of CTE doubles for every 2.6 years of play.
    That means high school football players who started playing tackle football at 5 years old have 10 times the risk of developing CTE than players who started the game at 14, the foundation said.

    So why 14 years old?

    If age restrictions on cigarettes can prevent lung cancer in young people, Nowinski thinks similar rules might cut kids’ risk of CTE by as much as half.
    Research shows that kids who get brain injuries before age 12 recover more slowly. Plus, children’s bodies aren’t built to withstand the head-bobbling hits of tackle football, he told CNN.
    Of course, there’s also the option of skipping the sport.
    “They can choose not to play tackle football at all,” he said. “But if you do, the best way to manage risk and reward is to wait until 14.”
    Dr. Julian Bailes, the director of neurosurgery and co-director of NorthShore University HealthSystem Neurological Institute and medical director for Pop Warner, said the risk for contact in football is heightened after age 14.
    In high school, the hits are harder and more frequent, and teens face off against bigger players who can cause more damage when they tackle, he said.
    “The risk for brain degeneration later in life relates more to those who have played many years and at the higher levels, college to professional,” he said.
    As for the age limit, Bailes said there’s “no scientific agreement that 14 is a magic number.”
    Brains continue to develop well into adolescence and early adulthood, he said. Neuroscientists haven’t even set a benchmark age when brains have fully developed.
    Nowinski said the smoking comparison is “intentionally shocking,” meant to make parents consider their children’s health in a different way.
    Bailes called the comparison between smoking and tackle football “misleading and inaccurate.”
    “There are nearly half a million people in the US who die from illnesses related to tobacco use, and there are no deaths in youth football,” Bailes said.
    Youth and amateur organizations have made changes to reduce contact in the sport, he said, by taking out head contact during practice and eliminating kickoff for younger players to make football “safer than it’s ever been.”

    CTE symptoms take years to present

    The neurodegenerative disease is thought to be caused by repetitive brain trauma, which shakes the brain inside the skull. That leads to a buildup of tau, an abnormal protein that can take over parts of the brain.
    It can take years or decades after initial brain trauma for the effects of CTE to manifest, according to Boston University’s CTE Center. They include memory loss, confusion, aggression, impaired judgment and eventually dementia.
    There’s no known cure, andit can only be diagnosed through an autopsy.
      A 2017 study from the CTE Center found the disease in 99% of studied brains of deceased NFL players. Only one of 111 former footballers hadn’t shown signs of CTE. The studied brains were required to have football as their primary exposure to head trauma, and the study noted potential bias because relatives of players might have submitted their brains due to symptoms they noticed while they were living.
      But football players aren’t the only ones at risk. Boxers, baseball and soccer players and military veterans have been diagnosed with it, too.

      Read more: http://edition.cnn.com/

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      ‘I filled a room with My Little Ponies’

      BBC Image copyright Laura Kate Shippert
      Image caption Laura Kate Shippert has paid hundreds of pounds for a single Blythe doll

      Ask yourself which toys are most collectible: train sets, die-cast cars, and – it almost goes without saying – Star Wars figures. The most obsessively collected examples tend to have one thing in common – they were originally marketed at boys.

      While these toys aren’t collected exclusively by men, women are less likely to have vast collections of them. So which vintage toys are women seeking out?

      Blythe

      news Image copyright Laura Kate Shippert
      Image caption Blythe pondered on the mysteries of Stonehenge during her visit to the famous stone circle

      Thanks to her peculiarly oversized head and bulging eyes that change colour with the pull of a string, not many girls wanted to play with Blythe when she was introduced in 1972.

      But Blythe has become strangely popular in recent years and original dolls now sell for between £500 and £2,000, depending on their condition.

      “They were only released for a year,” says Laura Kate Shippert, one of the organisers of BlytheCon UK, which was held in Bristol earlier this month. “They failed terribly; people thought they were a bit freaky and scary.”

      BBC Image copyright Laura Kate Shippert
      Image caption This Blythe doll was lucky enough to see Notre-Dame before the devastating fire

      Their popularity in recent years was sparked by a book called This is Blythe, in which photographer Gina Garan featured the dolls artfully posed like real fashion models. Others then started picking up second-hand Blythe dolls – which were relatively cheap at the time – dressing them in glamorous outfits and photographing them in exotic locations.

      The renewed interest has led to new Blythe dolls being produced, known in the community as “Neo Blythes” – and these are pretty valuable too.

      “They are anywhere from £100 to £400 new, then after a while some become more popular and harder to find, and the prices will fluctuate,” says Laura Kate.

      She has 17 Blythe dolls, but only one is an original from 1972. She paid £400 for it about 10 years ago, which was “a steal” even at the time.

      news Image copyright Laura Kate Shippert
      Image caption This Blythe opted for a classic tourist pose in front of the Eiffel Tower

      Laura Kate considers her own collection to be quite small compared to other people’s.

      “I know someone who owns like 40 of them and I think ‘but you could own a house’,” she says. “If that’s what makes her happy and that’s what she wants to spend her money on, she’s an adult, she can make her choices. It’s not cocaine.”

      My Little Pony

      BBC Image copyright Martina Foster
      Image caption Martina Foster (right) is known in the pony community as Sparkler, her favourite My Little Pony

      The My Little Pony phenomenon began when the toys were launched in 1982. About 150 million ponies were reportedly sold in the 1980s, with their popularity boosted by an animated TV series. Actor Danny DeVito even lent his voice to the 1986 film My Little Pony: The Movie.

      Martina Foster loves My Little Pony so much she has a “pony room” in her house filled with somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000 of them, worth between £10,000 and £15,000.

      Martina was seven years old when she was given her first one – a pony called Tootsie printed with lollipop “cutie marks”. She rediscovered them while searching eBay as a student, then got her old ones out of the loft.

      news Image copyright Martina Foster
      Image caption These two ponies enjoyed prancing in the sun on a day out at the river
      BBC Image copyright Martina Foster
      Image caption Dressing up as a pony is encouraged at UK PonyCon, but attendees are not permitted to wear real metal horseshoes

      “I thought, ‘I’ll buy the ones that I always wanted, just for fun’,” she says. “Then you get sucked into it.”

      Martina says the market fluctuates but rare ones in good condition can now fetch thousands of pounds. The most she has spent is a £200 for a pony called Rapunzel – “a bargain” because it is now worth about £500.

      Martina is vice chairman of this year’s UK PonyCon, which is being held in Nottingham this weekend. As well as attracting collectors of the original toys, the convention attracts fans of the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic animated series, which launched in 2010.

      news Image copyright Getty Images
      Image caption My Little Pony was originally launched in 1982 by Hasbro and has been revived three times since then

      While My Little Pony was marketed towards girls in the 1980s, many fans of the animated series are adult men.

      “It is fairly watchable even for grown-ups,” says Martina. “You can watch it as an adult and there are some witty things in it and in the end it’s all about friendship and accepting other people.”

      Pippa

      BBC Image copyright Heather Swann
      Image caption Heather Swann photographs her dolls and posts photos online

      Pippa was marketed as “the pocket money fashion doll” when she was sold in the 1970s, but Vectis Auctions has sold Pippa dolls for as much as £1,400 in recent years. She and her friends are much shorter than normal fashion dolls at only 6.5 inches (16.5cm) tall, which meant production costs were low.

      Heather Swann started collecting them about 20 years ago after picking one up in a charity shop for 50p. She wanted to collect them as a way of recapturing her childhood.

      “Isn’t that why people collect toys?” she says.

      news Image copyright Heather Swann
      Image caption Heather has about 50 Pippa dolls, made by Leicestershire toymaker Palitoy

      After Heather’s charity shop find she started buying more dolls through eBay.

      “They were much cheaper then, as ladies of a certain age were just beginning to find them,” she says. “Unfortunately they are now becoming expensive and many collectors are after them.”

      BBC Image copyright Heather Swann
      Image caption Heather says Pippa dolls are becoming more expensive

      Heather describes her collection of about 50 dolls as “medium size”, as many women have hundreds. She has seen individual dolls sell for hundreds of pounds but the most she has ever spent is £40.

      “I don’t tend to buy the expensive dolls, I now just look out for the ones which need a transformation,” she says. “I enjoy the process of restoring them.”

      Care Bears

      news Image copyright Jennifer Hawkins
      Image caption Jennifer Hawkins’s 200 Care Bears take up so much space in her house she bought a bunk-bed for them

      Care Bears were originally painted in 1981 to appear on greetings cards, before the characters were turned into soft toys in 1983. A television series followed, as did books, a plethora of merchandise, multiple LPs and a film in 1985 for which Carole King was persuaded to write and perform songs for the soundtrack.

      Jennifer Hawkins loves Care Bears so much she had her favourite one, Bedtime Bear, tattooed on her arm.

      “I was looking around earlier and I think I’ve got something Care Bears-related in every room, except my bathroom,” says Jennifer, who lives in Gloucester with about 200 Care Bears.

      “But they make me happy so I’m quite happy to have them everywhere. I like the cuteness, I like having the little faces to talk to, I like the fact that they represent different feelings.”

      BBC Image copyright Jennifer Hawkins
      Image caption Jennifer spent £140 on this 25th anniversary edition of Bedtime Bear

      Jennifer got one of her favourites – called Beanie – “as a comfort” when her grandfather died the day after her 14th birthday.

      “He [Beanie] comes pretty much everywhere with me now,” she says.

      news Image copyright Jennifer Hawkins
      Image caption Jennifer had a tattoo of Bedtime Bear sitting on a cloud

      She estimates her collection is worth “a few thousand”. The most she spent on an individual bear was £140, which was a 25th anniversary version of Bedtime Bear, and resisted the temptation to spend £500 on an original 1980s Bedtime Bear that was still in the box.

      “Unfortunately I can’t afford to spend a month’s rent on one bear,” she says. “That’s definitely a bit too much.”

      You might also be interested in:

      BBC Image copyright Jennifer Hawkins
      Image caption Nearly every room of Jennifer’s house has something Care Bears-related in it

      Barbie and Sindy

      Barbie was launched in 1959 and swiftly became a cultural icon, gathering fans among each new generation of girls.

      Linda Richardson was not one of them. When her mother gave her Barbies, she chopped their heads off.

      news Image copyright Linda Richardson
      Image caption Most of Linda’s dolls are NRFB – “never removed from box”

      “My passion was always cowboys and Indians and motorbikes and all that stuff,” says Linda, who lives in Cumbria. But she now has an “obsession” with dolls and has more than 500, worth about £35,000 at a “conservative estimate”.

      Her passion was ignited 15 years ago on a trip to buy presents for her son.

      “I saw these Native American Indians and they happened to be Barbies and that just set it off, really,” she says.

      She did not buy the dolls at the time but started researching Barbie online and “found a whole new world”.

      Most of the ones she buys are aimed at collectors, rather than the typical Barbie dolls made for children. She keeps them protected behind glass doors in a room lined with bookcases.

      BBC Image copyright Linda Richardson
      Image caption Linda photographs some of her dolls and puts them on Instagram
      news Image copyright Linda Richardson
      Image caption These Native American dolls ignited Linda’s interest in Barbie

      She also has some “de-boxed” dolls she puts in dioramas, photographs and posts on Instagram. “It’s just something to do,” she says. “It keeps me out of trouble.”

      Others favour Barbie’s rival, which went on to become the best-selling fashion doll in the UK when it launched in 1963.

      Melanie Quint only had one Sindy as a child but now has 60 or 70, worth between three and four thousand pounds.

      “I decided to sell all of my childhood dolls and when I looked on eBay I realised there was this massive collecting and restoration community,” she says.

      Instead of selling her dolls she ended up buying more.

      “It’s nostalgia at the end of the day,” says Melanie. “You look at the face and the doll and the fashions and it takes you back to the way you were when you were a child.”

      BBC Image copyright Melanie Quint
      Image caption Melanie Quint owns dozens of Sindy dolls
      news Image copyright Melanie Quint
      Image caption Melanie Quint has 60 or 70 Sindy dolls

      Melanie now runs Dollycon UK, which is for collectors of all dolls but has a particular focus on Sindy. A particular highlight is the “hilarious” cosplay competition, where people dress up as particular dolls.

      “It’s very tongue-in-cheek,” says Melanie. “They pick some of the weird outfits, the 70s stuff. It’s really funny seeing what they do.

      “We had one woman last year who dressed as Action Man Frogman, in a full suit with flippers on. I couldn’t speak, it was hilarious.”

      BBC Image copyright DollyCon UK
      Image caption The DollyCon cosplay competition is “very tongue-in-cheek”

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