Even though we should never have to dignify ourselves to bullies, it is a little bittersweet when we can prove them wrong.
And one girl, aged just eight, is having the last laugh after being labelled ‘weird’ at school.
Little Adhara Pérez has been having a tough time in her native Mexico, with classmates bullying her and even the teachers assuming she would not succeed at the academy.
However, the girl they branded an ‘oddball’ is actually a child genius with an IQ of 162 – that’s higher than Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking who both measured at 160.
For context, the average IQ [Intelligence Quotient] is between 90 and 110; high scorers come in at 111 to 120; and superior abilities are said to be in the 121 to 130 range.
Tapping into her impressive wisdom, Adhara has already finished high school and is now in the process of earning not one but two online degrees in the engineering field.
And she’s not stopping there!
Adhara’s star continues to shine bright with the release of her new book, Do Not Give Up, which encourages other young people who are experiencing bullying.
She was also featured in Forbes’ 100 Most Powerful Women in Mexico list, and is now developing a smart bracelet that can monitor the emotions of differently-abled children.
Think that’s impressive? There’s more…
Adhara is currently mastering English with hopes of applying to the University of Arizona in America to study astrophysics to follow her dreams of becoming an astronaut.
Speaking about her gifted daughter, Adhara’s mother Nallely Sanchez said: “I saw that she was playing in a little house [at school] and they locked her up.
“They started to chant: ‘Oddball, weirdo!’ And then they started hitting the little house.”
Due to her treatment by the other children, Adhara fell into a deep depression and didn’t want to attend school anymore.
Yet mum Nallely recognised the potential in her daughter – who was demonstrating an advanced knowledge of algebra and the periodic table for her age – so took her for therapy. She was then referred to the Talent Care Center, who confirmed her as a genius.
Ms Sanchez told the Yucatan Times that Adhara was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome when she was three-years-old.
Asperger’s is a developmental disorder included in the autism spectrum, characterised by significant difficulties in social interaction and nonverbal communication.
While refusing to drink through plastic straws and recycling food packages is definitely a step in the right direction, these gestures are just the tip of the iceberg.
An eye-watering 8million tonnes of plastic enters our oceans each year, adding to the 150m tonnes that currently circulates in marine life already.
As we head into Plastic Free July, what better time than to put our own lifestyles under the microscope to see if or how we can improve helping improve the environment.
Plastic Free July is a global movement inviting people to join the mission to find solutions to combat pollution so we can have cleaner streets, oceans, and communities.
The challenge is simple, all you have to do is choose to refuse single-use plastics.
This means either avoiding single-use plastic altogether; targeting takeaway items such as bags, bottles, straws and coffee cups; or opting to go completely plastic-free.
People who take part in the quest reduce their household waste and recycling by 23kg per person per year, contribute to a total saving of 825m kg of plastic waste each year, with 9 out of 10 people making changes that become habits long after the month is over.
The primary reason single-use plastics impact the environment so poorly are because they slowly break down into smaller pieces known as micro-plastics. It can take thousands of years for them to decompose; contaminating soil and water in the process.
While it may feel like out of sight out of mind, the reality is that when plastic finds its way into the sea, marine mammals are at high risk of becoming tangled in it or swallowing it which affects animals’ food digestion and can lead to a very slow and painful death.
One initiative in particular who are spearheading change, are 4ocean.
Co-founded by two friends, Alex and Andrew, who grew up on the Florida coast, they began their campaigning after going on the surf trip of a lifetime to Bali.
When they arrived, they found the beach was completely covered in plastic, with each wave delivering significant amounts of garbage.
Their eyes were immediately opened to the magnitude of the ocean plastic crisis, and they vowed on the spot to try to do something about it.
Now, Alex and Andrew have created the 4ocean bracelet – with each sale pledging to pull a pound of trash from the ocean.
For just £16 ($20) you can buy a beautiful beaded or braided sea turtle bangle safe in the knowledge that your purchase will result in plastic waste being seized from the sea.
Speaking about their pursuit, the co-founders said: “It will take major systemic changes and the hard work of many great organisations each trying to tackle the crisis in different ways, as well as people like you who are committed to driving change.
“Our work won’t be done until we can walk along our beaches – in Bali, in Haiti, in Florida, and around the world – and see nothing but warm sand and rolling waves.”
So, if you’re looking for inspiration on how to avoid single-use plastic, here are a few ideas; stop using plastic straws (even in pubs); use a reusable bag when shopping; carry a reusable mug if you buy coffee on-the-go; use matches instead of disposable lighters; make freshly-squeezed juice at home rather than buying smoothies in bottles; use a razor with replaceable blades instead of a disposable razor; give up chewing gum – gum is made of a synthetic rubber, aka plastic.
With Pride events all over the country cancelled, indie artist Amy Lou is making sure celebrations still take place with a week long virtual Pride event.
From Monday 29th June to Saturday 4th July, LGBTQ+ musicians and creatives are hosting a series of exciting events. The online content will be streamed on Instagram, so you can enjoy Pride from the comfort of your own home.
Amy Lou is well known in the Scottish music scene for sharing catchy indie-rock tunes, with vigorous vocals and truthful lyrics, that focus on mental health and sexuality.
The Dunfermline-based singer has worked hard to still provide the LGBTQ+ community with an opportunity to celebrate their sexualities through a number of online gigs, exclusive interviews, DJ sets and podcasts.
For the first three nights, you can enjoy inspiring interviews and performances from LGBTQ+ musicians across the UK.
On Thursday, Katie Guthrie from Underground Sounds will present a special edition of her INDUSTEA podcast, in which she will talk to LGBTQ+ women from the music industry. Guests include Amy Lou, photographer Kayleigh Bissett, artist manager Cathie Balmer, and music business student Charmaine Hardman.
DJs from all over the world will also showcase some of their favourite upcoming music.
A limited edition merch sale will take place on Friday, with all proceeds going to LGBT Youth Scotland: a charity who work with 13-25 year olds across Scotland, educating them about LGBTI equality, wellbeing and human rights.
When I spoke to Amy Lou about their decision to donate the money to LGBT Youth Scotland, they explained: “Growing up I used to attend a youth group put on by LGBTYS, and it was a big part of me getting a lot more comfortable with my sexuality and who I am.”
Big Pride Doo will finish in style with a powerful live performance from Amy Lou, and the online gig will be streamed on Fife Pride’s social media.
When announcing Big Pride Doo on social media, Amy Lou stated: “For obvious reasons this year’s physical Prides have been cancelled, but the message, spirit, and history behind Pride month should never be silenced. So I’m using my platform, although it may not be the biggest, to shine a light on a whole plethora of amazing LGBTQ+ musicians, artists, creators, change makers, and believers.
“I spend a lot of time talking about adversity. I’ve spent a long time quietly wanting other queer voices like mine to come together in harmony and be heard. I’ve spent a long time wanting something but never actually doing anything to change it… I think I’ve arrived at the answer now to what I can do.”
If you’ve ever wanted to follow a dream but not been sure you can go for it, then Tiphaine Muller might just be your new inspiration.
The 25-year-old has accomplished a whopping 22,000km travelling on her bike across Europe and Africa – with more to come.
After finishing her studies, Tiphaine didn’t feel ready to settle down and decided to visit Australia from her native Paris, where she stayed for a year.
It was after a few months in Melbourne that the idea of cycling around the globe began to hatch, and she began experimenting with 1,500km across western Oz.
Speaking exclusively to Uspire, Tiphaine told us: “When I got to New Zealand, I gave up cycling as it was way to hilly and rainy for me.
“The frustration, and the fact I was so far from home, made me want to cycle Europe to discover my own continent outside of the beaten tracks and to live the adventure there.
“I worked a few months in Paris and realised I was more and more unhappy, so I decided to finally leave. I left my hometown with my bicycle, heading to Stockholm as a first goal.”
While it seems evident that Tiphaine would have to be physically fit to embark on a journey of this nature, she also needed to be mentally fit.
And with the idea in mind “for at least six months”, she finally coaxed herself towards a departure date and quit her job ready to start the trip on her 23rd birthday.
Tiphaine continued: “My only plan was going north. I left in June 2017… I’ve always heard nice things about Sweden and its nature.
“Cycling 2,000 km to Stockholm seemed pretty realistic, not too far but also enough to be challenging. That was kind of my only plan at the beginning.
“I already had in my mind that if I wanted to continue, I could always cycle a bit in Sweden and Finland, but never really thought much further.
“Africa had not crossed my mind at all yet. It came along later, with cyclists I met, stories I was told and, consequently, my motivation growing.”
Despite the ambition it wasn’t all a breeze though, and Tiphaine faced many challenges.
She explained: “Challenges are often regarding weather – some weeks of rain in Baltic countries; a terrible wind in the Sahara and a horrible heat in Guinea Bissau. Or traffic, as being on a bicycle next to cars and trucks makes you extremely vulnerable.
“Yet my most challenging moment was in Tanzania. There, I was cycling with Martin who I met in Morocco. We were in the centre of the country, in some rural area, when we got attacked by tsetse flies. We cycled for two hours with dozens of aggressive flies around us, trying to sting us everywhere they could. A pure nightmare!
“It was very hot and we had to cycle in our rain jackets so to not be stung everywhere.
“We were then sweating, stressed, and could not even take the time to drink any water. At some point, I thought we would die from exhaustion.
“Thankfully, when we stopped for the night, they all went away. But they came back the next day – even more than the previous day.”
To give a little context, tsetse flies are parasites that live by feeding off blood. They are also known to spread disease and can infect humans.
Fortunately, there were just as many magical moments for Tiphaine to focus on though.
She added: “My best memories are in the Sahara. I love that feeling of cycling without paying attention to the road, being in the middle of nowhere, disconnected to the world.
“We were given some water from people stopping with their car, we always had help finding a place to sleep, we were invited into a restaurant. Those three weeks in the Sahara were for sure the most incredible.”
However, returning home was a struggle as Tiphaine was faced with normality again.
She concluded: “The contrast between ‘survival life’ on a trip – only having to worry about food, water and a place to sleep – and a life in a consumer society, is quite brutal.
“When I’m home, I have everything I need and way more, but that doesn’t actually make me happier. Coming home from Oceania after my first year away was the hardest.
“What helped me a lot after my bicycle journey through Europe and Africa was writing a book. That definitely helped continue the trip in some way, re-living it.
“It was the perfect transition between the adventure life and what we call a ‘normal’ life. I was physically home but my mind was still in the trip. To write the book, I was going through my journal, looking at all the photos and remembering the journey. I loved it.”
Tiphaine is now the proud author of Little Miss Pedals, a book she hopes can inspire people to make their dreams happen and remind them how great the world can be.
But the adventures aren’t over for Tiphaine and boyfriend Martin just yet, with the pair planning to cycle to Bangkok where her brother lives – cycling through Turkey, Iran and central Asia – after their initial plans to go this year were put on hold due to coronavirus.
She added: “There are a lot of ideas, it’s just a matter of time and opportunity to make it happen. Dreams come and go, you just have to pick one and go for it.”
As hairdressers sharpen their scissors and spruce up their salons ready to welcome us back on July 4, it’s not only the stylists in full PPE that we’ll have to get used to.
In fact, the future of hairdressing is set to look quite different from pre-coronavirus life.
Yet with pubs reopening on the same day, meaning you can get your locks done prior to that first foray back down your local, does it really matter?
Here, we run through the main changes to prep yourself for.
Firstly, if you’re not much of a chatterbox, then the idea of less small-talk will please you.
Not only will hairdressers be kitted out in masks and gloves, but the British Beauty Council have proposed that salons also introduce Perspex screens above the basins too.
This will mean a barrier between the customer and hairdresser, to avoid cross contamination of the virus generated by respiratory droplets, coughing and sneezing.
In a similar vein, you may not have to spend too much time at the till being asked about your holiday plans, as salons are set to implement a no cash rule – which will include tips – whereby customers will pay with a card instead to reduce contact.
Some salons may also check temperatures with a scanner before allowing client access, and should they get the all-clear and be invited in, antibacterial gel will be offered along with face masks. Similarly, staff will have temperature checks up to five times per day.
It is believed waiting lists will be introduced to avoid customers wandering in for a walk-in appointment, to limit the number of people in the salon at any one time.
Even with the current social distancing rule of 2m set to drop to 1m as of next Saturday, waiting lists will be required to avoid the influx of people wanting appointments following three months of DIY efforts over the bathroom basin.
To align with these rules, people will be expected to book appointments over the phone or online and avoid going into the salon unnecessarily.
On the plus, waiting areas might be a thing of the past as it’s expected customers will be taken straight to their chair for their appointment and straight back out again, in a one-way system to reduce interaction between people.
Regrettably though, this will signal the end of your guilty pleasure as reading the gossip mags with a brew will be axed to avoid spreading germs via magazines and crockery.
For those working 9-5 who usually struggle to get an appointment, you’ll be pleased to know that hairdressers may extend opening hours to not only minimise contact between customers but amongst the staff also.
And if you thought paperwork was just for the office, think again. It’s likely customers will be asked to fill out a lengthy questionnaire about their health, including their interactions over the last seven days to raise any red flags if they have put themselves at risk.
Other changes include the possibility of being asked to wash your hair before your appointment to cut down on how long you spend in the salon, and the likelihood that longer treatments – such as fitting extensions – will no longer be offered.
In fact, even simpler treatments face the chop, and if you’re a fan of the blow-dry, you might have to stick with your partner or kid’s help as hairdryers blast particles around the room which could compromise the entire salon and therefore could be culled.
It has also been reported that ‘tint and go’ options will be launched, with hairdressers applying the product in the salon and customers removing it themselves at home.
There is a risk that prices may be affected, taking into account hairdressers will not only need to make up for lost time of being AWOL since March, but also the increased costs of sterilising equipment and having to wear new PPE and provide for customers too.
Just when we thought we couldn’t love Aperol any more than we already do, they go and prove us wrong.
The Italian brand have recently announced that they will be upgrading 2,000 weddings after couples were forced to postpone their big days due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Aperol originally offered the upgrade to the first 500 couples who registered for the competition, which launched on Valentine’s Day in February.
However, in light of the current circumstances, the world-famous Aperitivo wants all 2,000 couples who registered to be able to add a little extra spritz to their wedding day.
The lucky couples will be able to offer every single guest a free Aperol Spritz, and quite frankly we don’t know anyone who would turn down a free glass of the orange stuff!
Even better, guests will get to enjoy their spritz alongside aperitivo bites as they prepare to party the night away.
But if you haven’t got a wedding in the pipeline, then fear not because Aperol are also offering 100 lucky people the chance to win an epic bunch of their merch, so that you can turn your own back garden into a heavenly cocktail spot!
The epic bunch of goodies includes deck chairs, beanbags, parasols, blankets, cushions, hats, sunglasses, barmats, and of course those huge Aperol glasses.
So for those who aren’t keen to go to the pub as soon as July 4 hits, make sure you enter this awesome competition to be in with a chance of bagging this orange spread!
For more information, visit the Aperol website here.
It’s not always easy being a celebrity. No matter what they do, they’re often criticised for it and sometimes they just can’t win. So, at Uspire we’ve decided to shine a light on some of our fave VIPs and remind you that many of them are down-to-earth and real, just like us.
In the fifth offering of our #PositivePeeps series, we want to give a massive shout out to the one and only Gemma Collins – who first found fame on The Only Way is Essex.
Sometimes classed as Marmite – you either love her or you hate her – we can firmly say that we are fans of the ‘GC’ and admire her massively for what she’s gone on to achieve since landing a part on the ITV2 series back in 2011.
Not only has she built her own fashion empire and landed her very own television show, Gemma has also starred on hit TV series such as Dancing on Ice and Celebrity Big Bother… and provided plenty of LOLs along the way!
But what we love most about Gemma is her ability to always look on the bright side of life. She’s had her fair share of abuse from trolls and the media, but she doesn’t let it get her down and always comes back as sassy and as glam as always.
Gemma was recently forced to alter the latest series of her reality show, Diva Forever, when the Uk went into lockdown due to the global coronavirus pandemic. However, rather than cancel it altogether, Gemma invited the cameras into her home and renamed the show Diva On Lockdown. Yaaaaaaaaaaas Queen!
Gemma even let viewers see her softer side as she became tearful at times, but in true GC style, when things got a bit tough, she just whacked on a pair of shades and blasted out Queen’s I Want To Break Free.
Gemma, who turns 40 next year, recently revealed that she wants to start a family in her forties and send a positive message whilst doing so.
“I would love to have a child. It would be great for me and such a positive message for all the girls out there who don’t want to rush their life or their life has taken different a direction, like me who’s put their career first,” she said.
“But in my forties I’d love everybody to see The GC walking around with a pram,” she added to The Sun.
We personally think Gemma has already done a great job of inspiring young women and girls since bursting onto our TV screens, and we cannot wait to see what she gets up to next.
As we head into the weekend, we’ll leave you with one of our all time favourite quotes from the GC… “Hun, we ain’t living in the Truman Show. It’s not perfect every day.”
While plans are in motion to reopen venues, that reality of a cold beer from the keg is still over a week away… but we’ve got just the solution for you.
Grab your supermarket booze and turn your speakers up because tomorrow the Sweet Sensation all-dayer is back.
Running a live-stream on Facebook from 12pm-12am, a host of top DJs will be spinning the best tunes to help you get in the summer mood.
Having previously grooved to the Sweet Sensations bank holiday weekender back in May, we can personally vouch for the old skool house event to lift your lockdown blues.
And if you can’t take our word for it, then the DJs themselves might sway you.
Chatting exclusively to Uspire, Jordan Perez – youngest DJ in the team – said: “I feel that virtual DJ sets show how we can all evolve and adapt as humans due to the current circumstances, thanks to platforms like Facebook and Twitch.
“We are still able to play our music to our Sweet Sensation family and try to keep a little normality in people’s lives.
“These virtual sets are a release for people at the weekend so they can unwind and let their hair down, whether it be with us or any other DJ sets.
“You can listen and join the party from anywhere. These are really the thing for the future and I can’t wait to see how they will evolve.”
Meanwhile, the legendary Brandon Block said: “It’s been a really lovely thing to be able to use technology and stream live and get the interaction.
“It’s also re-lit my fire and now after we’re all waiting [in quarantine], fingers crossed, we can party together again soon. In the meantime, welcome to the Sweet Sensation unlocking the all-dayers.”
And Chris Mills agreed, adding: “I’ve loved being involved doing the live streams. People really seem to have embraced and loved the virtual side of clubbing.
“From a DJ perspective, it’s been great to be able to play a small part in lifting people’s spirits and providing some well needed escapism when we’ve all needed it most.
“It’s also been a new experience receiving feedback live as you stream, which I suppose has become the digital way of hands in the air and smiles on the dancefloor. As Danny Tenaglia and Celeda once informed us on their 1998 track, ‘Music Is The Answer’.”
Boasting an impressive line-up, the event will see each DJ host an hour slot before handing the baton over to their comrades.
With uplifting tunes direct into your home, garden, bedroom, or car, what’s not to love?
And it seems the feeling is mutual, as the DJs had nothing but praise for their listeners.
Richard McDonagh told us: “The Sweet Sensation family have always been the best crowd to play to. Their reaction to the virtual all-dayer has been brilliant, and I have loved seeing the regulars and so many new faces enjoying what is always a great day.
“People wanted it and needed it during these tough times and the interaction has been amazing and created a great atmosphere. It’s fair to say music is really the answer!”
Meanwhile, John Jones – who has also been hosting additional online sessions with his eight-year-old son Max every Friday – said: “We have rocked the shit out of lockdown.
“Bringing feel good music straight into people’s kitchens and front rooms to put a smile on everyone’s face. The virtual party is here to stay. Keep it locked.”
Luis Perez added how fun the virtual parties have been for both the DJs and listeners.
He said: “In these troubled times, technology has come on so much to be able to bring this to everyone. We are going to make this one bigger and better.
“Looking forward to playing some bangers to the Sweet Sensation faithfuls. See you on the dance floor, as they say.”
With the rain due again at the weekend, take comfort in knowing you can party inside. So, grab your beer/wine spritzer/Diet Coke and dance like no one’s watching.
In the words of DJ Darren Rowe: “We all know how much music makes us feel good. Let’s keep listening and we’ll keep playing.”
If the last few months of quarantine have made you forget just how beautiful the world really can be, these stunning photos might be the perfect remedy.
In what can only be described as otherworldly, snapshots from the Milky Way capture the magic of the galaxy in images that appear to be more fairy-tale than fact.
The Milky Way, the galaxy that contains our Solar System, is believed to contain 100–400 billion stars and at least that number of planets too.
Its quirky name which describes the galaxy’s appearance from Earth – where a hazy band of light seen in the night sky formed from stars cannot be distinguished by the naked eye – derives from Latin and Greek to translate as ‘milky circle’.
These new pictures, entered into a photography competition, are as pleasing to the eye as they are extraordinary as we can look into its starry mass 100,000 light years away.
The photos were posted by travel photography blog Capture The Atlas, in a series entitled 25 Most Inspiring Milky Way Pictures.
They explained: “To help you find inspiration for planning and executing your Milky Way shots, we’ve gathered the best Milky Way images taken around the world.
“Buckle up, because this trip is going to take you from the far American Wild West to the unfamiliar landscapes of Antarctica, passing by spectacular deserts, glaciers, mountains, beaches… always with the Milky Way shining in the sky.”
Photographer Dan Zafra told Forbes that it’s actually possible for non-professionals to capture the Milky Way too – although timing and camera quality are crucial.
He said: “It’s important to choose one of the best days of the season to photograph the Milky Way.
“For this, you can use a Milky Way calendar according to your location and look for a dark place away from light pollution.
“I recommend focusing before dusk since focusing at night is more challenging.
“If there’s no other option, you can use the live view mode on your camera and zoom in on a bright star adjusting your focus ring manually until you can see the star sharp.”
To be in with your best chance, the calendar runs from spring to autumn each year whereby our galaxy will become more visible at night.
Meanwhile, photographer Dr. Nicholas Roemmelt said: “It requires great planning, and there are always a few technical things to consider. However, seeing the galaxy captured on the screen of your camera is an excitement that is difficult to describe.
“Any great Milky Way photograph always goes beyond technical steps; there is a moment, a story, and a seed that has been growing in the photographer’s mind for some time until all the elements align to create the image.”
Looking at these breathtaking images, we might have to invest in a new digital camera.