Lifestyle

Here’s your K-pop Starter Pack

In case you want to get into Korean Pop Music

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The last few years have seen the rise of K-pop in the world outside of Asia, and with really cool bops and tracks, we’re not too surprised. There’s more to it though than the music, and we decided to put together a starter pack of sorts to get you acquainted with the world of K-pop.

K-pop terms

To start you off, let’s go over some terms that you’ll probably encounter more than once as you find your way around

  • Idol — what you call K-pop artists/stars
  • Aegyo — what you call idols who act cute (i.e., baby voice, facial expressions, gestures)
  • Bias — this is your favorite member in a group
  • Maknae — this is the youngest member of a group, usually seen as the innocent, playful, and sweet type
  • Sub-Unit — these are units of select members from one or more groups that come together and make music; members of sub-units still promote with their group, but are able to do something outside of them
  • Comeback — when an idol or group releases a new track, it’s called a comeback and usually starts a train of show appearances, live performances, and fan interactions

Fan Chants and Light Sticks

The K-pop culture is unique and interesting in that it has some specific interactive aspects when it comes to live performances: Light Sticks and Fan Chants.

Idols and groups have their own light sticks, and fans bring them to performances and wave them in the air to show support for their biases. There are times when light sticks are programmable to sync to the songs, essentially integrating the audience to the concert itself, and they make for really good souvenirs and symbols of people’s fandom.

Fan Chants are sections of songs that are yelled by the audience, again integrating them more into the show. Some fan chants are lyrics of the songs yelled alongside the idols, and others are separate sets of words and phrases during instrumental parts or dance breaks. As an example, here are the fan chants to Twice’s latest release, “Yes or Yes”:

Music Shows

Part of K-pop debut/comeback promotions is the music show performances. Each TV station has its own music show wherein idols and groups have live performances and give out awards on a weekly basis. Examples include SBS Inkigayo, MNet M!Countdown, and KBS Music Bank. The performances are also available on their YouTube channels to watch whenever and wherever you want to. 

Variety Shows

Another part of K-pop promotions are the variety shows. These give the idols opportunities to show who they are while playing games and having fun in different ways. Like with the music shows, you can find segments on YouTube, and they’re really entertaining.

An example is the popular show called Knowing Brothers (Men in a Mission on Netflix). The concept is a classroom with the students being showbiz veterans, and different celebrity guests come in as transfers. Everyone talks casually, without honorifics, and overall leaves everyone laughing their butts off.

Two other popular shows are Weekly Idol and Idol Room. These shows are kind of like talk shows, but the idols play games and do challenges, as well. With variety shows, you can tell that everyone on set is having fun, and I think that simply adds even more to the amusement of the audience.

V Live

In K-pop, fan interaction is a big thing. They have events like fan meets, fan signs, and something called “hi touches” (you literally high five all members of a group), but they’re also accessible online — an example being the app called V Live. This is a platform where idols can livestream and post videos, kind of like Twitch but for K-pop.

Idols have their own channels, and you can communicate with your favorites through the chat during their broadcasts. You can also subscribe to their CHANNEL+ or VLIVE+ and get access to exclusive content for a monthly fee. This is a really cool way to stay updated with your biases in a more laid back and personal kind of way.

Now that you’re somewhat familiar with the K-pop world, let’s get you some stuff to jam to. Here’s a playlist on Spotify called K-pop Starter Pack with some tracks to listen to as a start. It includes some of the best tracks out there, and it covers different genres so you can get a good feel of it all. Just click shuffle and start your journey!

Singapore

How Singapore Airlines uses iPad to make flights safer

Custom-made apps help pilots focus on what matters

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There are a number of factors to consider when booking flights, but safety should always be on everyone’s priority. That is why award-winning carrier Singapore Airlines is pioneering development of apps for iPad that enhance service and operational performance of its staff.

On a recent trip to Singapore, Apple CEO Tim Cook himself saw firsthand how iPad transformed the cockpit. Singapore Airlines CEO Goh Choon Phong and Captain Raj Kumar showed Cook how apps developed for iPadOS helps pilots focus on safety.

Developed with Apple and IBM, FlyNow provides pilots with personalized content based on pilot preferences and collaboration tools. This is made possible by analytics including weather conditions, fuel load, aircraft type, and route.

With FlyNow for iPad, pilots have one place to view all relevant flight information. They receive real-time push notifications on flight plan updates and collaborate with the crew even before they reach the airport.

Singapore Airlines is the first and only airline currently using FlyNow.

Roster provides pilots with an overview of all roster-related information, relevant documents and qualification requirements. The app uses powerful analytics to surface potential issues and recommend next steps.

It prioritizes alerts and notifications to help pilots keep pace with changes. Its collaboration tools facilitate connections between pilots and co-pilots assigned to the same mission.

Singapore Airlines is the first to use Roster and the only airline to use it on iPad. The app was made in collaboration with developers from IBM.

Flying made even more convenient

Singapore Airlines is consistently recognized as one of the best airlines in the world for its products and services. With Kristal, flying becomes even more convenient for customers.

Kristal is able to scan personal barcodes for an all-in-one check-in experience and communicate up-to-date flight information. It can also identify individual profiles of passengers including dietary preferences. It also allows for real-time communication with the lounge staff.

Singapore Airlines is the only carrier to use an app for lounge entry. It was custom built with the airline’s passenger relations officers, Apple, and Tigerspike.

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News

Here’s another adidas collaboration: Pokémon time

Gotta catch ’em all

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Image by GadgetMatch

A lot of brands have partnered up to end the year with a bang. In the recent weeks, adidas has been in the limelight of collaborations: Star Wars, Prada, and even with the ISS National Lab. This time, they’re pairing up with Nintendo’s Pokémon.

Image by GadgetMatch

Unlike their recent collabs that featured the newest Ultraboost 20s, they opted to use the more affordable Advantage. The material doesn’t look cheap though as it still uses the classic white leather upper with perforated three stripes on each side — reminiscent of the ever-popular Adidas Stan Smith. The 8-bit Pikachu is showcased on the outer sides for fans to brag it around.

Image by GadgetMatch

Other than that, several 8-bit Pokémon characters can be seen wrapping around the padded lining. The white rubber cup, black heel tab, and the custom-branded insole completes the overall look of the sneaker.

Pricing and availability in select stores and regions are yet to be followed.

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Features

Stay Cozy: 5 best places to visit during winter

Channel your inner Queen Elsa or Jack Frost!

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Photo by Jason Briscoe

Winter is here. From December to March, the Northern Hemisphere faces the coldest time of the year. For some people, winter is hellish. It’s brutally cold, bulky outfits make it hard to move; landscapes feel robbed of colors, and the sun barely shows itself.

However, some people enjoy the freezing season — especially those who live in tropical countries wanting to experience snow at least once in their lifetime. It’s also a time where people get closer and warmer. If you’re looking for a place to enjoy winter, here are the top places to go.

Helsinki, Finland

Helsinki is Finland’s capital. Many people visit the country to embark on a Nordic tour and see the northern lights. Little do they know, there’s a chance to see the famed northern lights in the country’s capital, especially in February and March from 9 PM until 1 AM.

Aside from spending long nights outdoors, Helsinki is a beautiful place to go sightseeing during winter. Make sure to visit Helsinki Cathedral, Helsinki Museum, Helsinki Central Library and walk around Sibelius Park and Esplanade Park. If you’re in for some coffee, visit Fazer Café and Café Regatta.

Don’t forget to visit a sauna — one of the top things to do in the city — to get a real feel of Helsinki. Drop by the Allas Sea Pool.

Where to stay: Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel

Radisson Blu Plaza is a historical hotel near Helsinki Central Station with a Finnish-designed interior making you feel like you’re in a set from an early 1900’s movie! Book here.


Quebec, Canada

People flock to Quebec to visit Old Quebec, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Who wouldn’t want to? Old Quebec is a remnant of history; a piece of life from centuries ago, immortalized through design and architecture. However, Quebec has its charms that make people explore more of its secrets and wonders.

When in town, make sure to walk along Terrasse Dufferin and bask in a spectacular view of Saint-Lawrence river. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also visit Plaines d’Abraham and do some skiing and skating. Don’t forget to warm up with a cup of hot chocolate from La Maison Smith.

Lastly, Quebec has events you shouldn’t miss if you’re in town for winter. There’s a German Christmas Market in December and Carnaval de Québec in February.

Where to stay: L’appartement GLOBETROTTER

L’appartement is a spacious and bright BnB with a private roof terrace, located in Saint-Roch district. Stay here.


Sapporo, Japan

Sapporo is popular as it is one of the snowiest cities in the world. It’s also a vibrant city — even in winter — as it presents a lot of activities for every tourist. Go ahead and embrace your inner child: play in the snow, adme ice sculptures, and ride snowmobiles, especially during the Sapporo Snow Festival.

If you love beer, you probably know Sapporo as a beer brand — another reason to visit the city. Sapporo has been brewing beers since the late 1800s and people come to the Sapporo Beer Museum for beer tasting. Beer fan or not, Sapporo in winter is a beautiful place to visit in groups. Who’s in for long nights drinking beer with your friends and/or with fellow travelers?

Don’t forget to book an onsen for a warm and relaxed trip!

Where to stay: Sapporo Station BnB

Sapporo Station BnB is a charming, tatami-styled, budget-friendly BnB located next to a subway station. Stay here.


Seoul, South Korea

Seoul is a wonderful destination during winter. There are a lot of things to do both indoors and outdoors that it’s impossible not to love this city even in cold.

For those willing to brave the cold, stroll around Gyeongbokgung Palace, ice skate at Seoul Plaza and Yeoui Ice Park, eat winter street food like tteokbokki (rice cakes with spicy red chili paste), hotteok (Korean pancakes with nuts and honey), and gyeran bbang (steamed bread with egg), and of course, experience snow everywhere!

For indoor dwellers, visit quirky and themed cafés or warm up with some hot cup of tea from teahouses in Insadong.

Where to stay: Hanok Guesthouse Mon Oncle a Seoul

A Hanok is a traditional Korean house popular among tourists. Hanok Guesthouse Mon Oncle a Seoul is well-loved by travelers due to its great location and remarkable sunset views. Book here.


New York City, United States of America

Popular all-year-round, New York unravels a different personality and charm during winter. It’s a winter wonderland for most people, hosting larger-than-life celebrations and making everything big and loud.

When you’re in the city for Christmas, make sure to rock on some coats and scarves while ice-skating with a date or someone special in Rockefeller Center or at Wollman Rink. Take a stroll along Hudson’s Warren Street and through Central Park.

Other than that, New York hosts a lot of tradition and events during winter like the New Year’s Eve ball drop, Lunar New Year parade, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, New York Fashion Week, and NYC Broadway Week.

Where to stay: Walker Hotels Tribeca

Walker Hotels Tribeca is an artistic and aesthetically-pleasing hotel situated at a great location that will help you get anywhere around New York. Book here.


Stay Cozy is a series on GadgetMatch.com where we feature travel destinations with guides on things to do, sights to see and a highlight on the places we can book in advance to show that technology makes planning your trips easier.

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