Max Verstappen stormed to his 4th pole position, and 2nd in a row, in Bahrain, as F1 goes racing once again in 2021. Image credits: Getty

[WATCH: Highlights from Qualifying, Max Verstappen’s pole position lap]

Qualifying has confirmed why 2021’s F1 season will be truly exhilarating: a genuine two-horse race at the top, and an unpredictable, close midfield.

Max Verstappen confirmed pre-season speculation of Red Bull’s pace-setting car by clinching pole by a sizeable four tenths of a second over Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton. There has always been a healthy dose of scepticism about Mercedes’ pre-season troubles, especially after repeated seasons of team principal Toto Wolff playing down the team’s expectations, then proceeding to ruthlessly dominate the competition for 7 consecutive seasons. I have to admit that…


Coded Bias is a 2020 documentary directed by Shalini Kantayya exploring how the machine learning algorithms of today perpetuate bias and the undesirable consequences that this brings. The film’s thesis is that artificial intelligence fosters an illusion of objectivity in our society. This objectivity is purportedly illusory, because of human-generated data, algorithmic bias, technochavinism, algorithmic determinism, and information monopolies. Blindly adopting AI into our most important decision-making processes can unfairly reinforce inequalities, especially among gender, race and class. However, I find the film problematic in how it casts algorithms as the scapegoat for humans’ bad intentions and ignorance. …


Olivia Rodrigo’s ‘Drivers License’ enjoyed unprecedented success — it reached the top of Billboard’s top 100 after its first week, and remained uncontested for 4 weeks.

January is typically a quiet month for pop music with everyone is waiting for the Grammy’s. But this year, even in January, the pop music world already has a strong contender for 2021 Song of the Year. The song in the spotlight is one that is truly unexpected — a debut single from a 17-year-old from Temecula, California, previously unknown other than from a teenage Disney series. The song’s success has thus far been truly unprecedented — it broke streaming records worldwide, becoming the most streamed song in its first week on Spotify, and catapulted to the top of the…


Image Credits: Jamie Squire/Getty Images; Thomas Concordia/FilmMagic; Jamie Squire/Getty Images. Source: Entertainment Weekly

The Super Bowl is the most watched event on television in America, the hallmark sporting and cultural occasion of the American calendar. This year, Super Bowl LV was played between the Kansas Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on February 7, 2021. Why does a 60-minute game between twenty-two helmet-wearing men aiming to run 100 yards regularly attract 100 million viewers every year, and what implications does this have on American popular culture, particularly its interaction with the capitalism? …


Daniela Diaz, eighth-grader from southern California, loves to make videos from her bedroom, garnering thousands of fans at the peak of her popularity. Image credits: Frontline/PBS

“(The kids) are all put into this arena where you’re forced to try to survive on your own. They have to, like, do things in order to get people to like them. The game makers who this arena, just sit and watch them. But basically, they’re in there alone trying to survive.”

~ Ceili Lynch’s description of the Hunger Games tributes is actually an apt description of teen influencers like her

Review of Generation Like, episode of PBS documentary Frontline, 2014

The interactional approach to analyzing popular culture explores how the success of certain types of popular culture depends on…


Kathryn Bigelow (center) is the only woman to have won best director at the Oscars, in 2010, for The Hurt Locker. Image Credits: EPA/Paul Buck

“We had one Oscar, a Fulbright, two AFI Filmmaker Grants, two Emmy’s, and what we figured out we really needed … was a penis.” ~ Lynne Littman, film director

Review of the documentary film This Changes Everything by Tom Donahue, 2018

This Changes Everything is a documentary about the systemic gender inequality and female discrimination in Hollywood. It combines both hard statistics and the uncompromising, forthright and sometimes emotional conversations with prominent females in the film industry, to lay out the wide-ranging effects of this inequality on both Hollywood and our wider culture as a whole. Hollywood productions hold significant…


Image credits: Ken Ragan/Camera 5

Review of the documentary film Woodstock — Three Days that Defined a Generation by Barak Goodman & Jamila Ephron, 2019

Woodstock was a music festival held in August 1969 in Bethel, New York. Billed as ‘An Aquarian Exposition: Three Days of Peace and Music’, the event drew an unprecedented audience of more than 400,000, and has become synonymous with the counterculture movement in the 1960s. Through the 2019 documentary Woodstock: Three Days that Defined a Generation, filmmakers Barak Goodman and Jamila Ephron examine cultural significance of the event on its 50th anniversary. …


“It just felt so good to take something that was old, and dusty, and homemade, and crappy-looking, and replace it with Helvetica — like scraping the crud off filthy old things and restoring them to shining beauty” — Michael Bierut, graphic designer

Review of the documentary film Helvetica by Gary Hustwit, 2007

Helvetica is ubiquitous. Helvetica is so commonplace yet so unassuming, easily filtered out of our attention and becomes somewhat invisible. Yet its invisibility does not deny the subconscious effect that it has on our society today, and can be said to be an element in popular culture. …


Lewis Hamilton suffered a last-lap puncture but still managed to limp home to take his 7th British Prix victory. (Image credits: Florent Gooden / DPPI)

Up until the last three laps, the British Grand Prix was a mostly soporific affair, definitely the least interesting race of the season thus far. It wasn’t only due to the lack of on-track action, but also any strategic intrigue was neutralized with nearly all the drivers pitting for their change of tyres during the second safety car triggered on lap 14 when Kvyat crashed at the Maggots-Becketts complex. However there were still three areas of strategic intrigue to discuss, not least the dramatic close to the race…

[WATCH: Video highlights from the British Grand Prix Race]

Gaps to race…


Lewis Hamilton on his way to his 7th Hungarian Grand Prix pole position. (Image Credits: Formula1.com)

Prior to the start of this season, there was genuine hope that we would finally see a season-long title challenge between Mercedes and Red Bull. In fact, just 5 races ago, at the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix, top three qualifying positions were held by Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes respectively, with just 0.2 seconds separating the three teams. …

Isaac Tham

economics enthusiast, data science devotee, f1 fanatic, son of God

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