Freelance Journalist

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Hike to hot springs

Weaving through the geothermal Reykjadalur valley, the Hveragerdi trail offers a taste of untouched Icelandic wilderness. The trail starts in the town of Hveragerdi before climbing up and over the dramatic hills and finishing at a delta of the bubbling, steaming streams for which the valley is known.

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Sean SebastianTravel
Drink to The Dude with a White Russian

This might be the only themed bar in Reykjavik and, inexplicably, that theme is the Coen brothers’ cult classic film “The Big Lebowski.” What significance The Dude has to Iceland’s capital is unclear, but Lebowski Bar throws together a whacky mix of ’50s American diner decor, late-night club, and of course, White Russians.

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Sean SebastianTravel
Fill up on a bread bowl with soup

When someone mentions traditional Icelandic dishes, odds are they’re talking about the items on the tiny menu at Icelandic Street Food. A low-key spot in the middle of the city, this place offers three main dishes: the fisherman’s favorite, or a choice of lamb or shellfish soup served in a hollowed-out hunk of bread.

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Sean Sebastian
5 Offbeat Attractions in Rome

Rome may be one of the most conventional tourist destinations on the planet, with iconic attractions that have been world-famous for thousands of years.

But buried under all of those well-worn cobbled paths lies a Rome rarely explored. From a crypt exhibiting 4,000 decaying Franciscan monks to an archaeological site spanning several subterranean levels, this is the version of Rome without millions of other tourists.

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How to argue about same sex marriage

In the meantime, you’ll have to navigate the treacherous waters of the same-sex marriage debate. Tensions will run high, tempers will flare and relationships will explode as your Twitter and Facebook feeds are overrun with questionable ideas and even more questionable evidence.

To survive the onslaught, you will need to know something about the No campaign: who’s behind it, what they’re claiming and how they’re speaking to their base.

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BlogSean SebastianPolitics
We Need A Government That Cares More About Science (And Six Other Things We Learned From Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Melbourne Talk)

Being the most famous (see also: sexiest) astrophysicist in the world, Neil deGrasse Tyson often gets sidetracked into conversations about things that aren’t particularly astrophysical.

A prominent face in science news cycles, he’s become the poor guy on the receiving end of a lot of inane and irrelevant conversation — like the time he tore apart what we thought was the bulletproof science behind Gravity, the fact that he’s now more commonly known as a “Pluto-hater” than scientist...

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Failure to launch - Australia is one of the last developed nations without a space agency

Australia is one of two Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries left in the world without their own space agency. The list of have-nots has been slowly whittled down over the years -- New Zealand being the latest OECD nation to establish its own agency -- and yet, Australia has continued to stay out of the space race.

Without a space agency of our own, the developed world is quite literally leaving us behind.

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The Blair Witch Paradox: Making and Breaking Found Footage Horror

More than blow up the found footage horror technique, The Blair Witch Project whipped us all up into a frenzy about the legitimacy of its claim. Did these three people actually go missing? Was the footage actually found? What kind of sicko is able to make money off of this?

Despite the insanity of the claim, some moviegoers in 1999 (myself included) still managed to convince themselves that the film was actually made up of footage shot by three missing film students. 

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BlogSean Sebastian
Aziz Ansari’s New Show ‘Master Of None’ Isn’t Really About Him, And That’s What Makes It Great

With characteristic naivety, Ansari’s character delves into the previously overlooked lives of his immigrant parents, his friends’ grandparents, his female friends and other Indian actors. As a result, each episode feels like a short film that tries to answer the question, “What’s up with that?” And, by removing himself from Master Of None’s spotlight, Ansari proves he’s a comedy writer to contend with the best of them.

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Love & The Lobster

There’s a quiet sense of futility throughout the runtime of The Lobster. No one seems to mind the dystopian world in which they live, nor really care about the twisted fate they all inevitably face. While the world smacks of 1984, there isn’t a character in the film who transcends the rules or tries to break them in any meaningful way. There’s no relief from the relentless pressure to find a mate and, while it all feels excessive, it also makes perfect sense in a film so dedicated to pointing out the absurdities of human dating.

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BlogSean Sebastian
The Look Of Silence

Joshua Oppenheimer’s 2012 documentary, The Act Of Killing, had a profound impact on modern Indonesia. By having perpetrators re-enact their killings, the film shed light on the national perception of the 1965-66 communist genocide, in which nearly one million innocent Indonesians were brutally murdered. The film revealed a modern climate that celebrated these killers, who have faced no retribution whatsoever. The Look Of Silence is Oppenheimer’s companion piece to The Act Of Killing, the other side of the coin. It’s a devastating look at the continued suppression of the victims’ families and a country unwilling to take ownership for their past atrocities.

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The Witch: Goddamned Pilgrims

It’s not often that a supernatural horror movie leaves the “based on true events” claim for the end credits, but this is exactly the kind of no-frills, no-gimmicks approach that elevates The Witch to a place amongst the genre’s finest. First-time director Robert Eggers’s stripped back approach actually echoes the precision of The Shining, proving that the most effective horrors get under your skin by leaving the more grisly details to your imagination.

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The Mad Genius of Adult Swim's Rick and Morty

We’re all familiar with the riotous, irreverent and often disturbing antics of the Cartoon Network’s weird cousin, Adult Swim. It’s the station responsible for the likes of The Venture Bros., Harvey Birdman, Children’s Hospital, Robot Chicken and those terrifying infomercials — you know, immature, dark and bizarre; those kinds of shows.

But one of those shows, while it is all of those things, layers on a moral and structural complexity you only really see on the prestige cable networks, while using itself as a platform for discussion about the place science has in contemporary society.

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“Surreal And Unimaginable”: Film-Maker Lucas Shrank On The Stories Behind His Powerful Manus Island Film

Despite the excessive red tape shutting us out of the system, there has been a slow drip-feed of stories emerging from inside Australia’s offshore refugee processing centres. Squalid living conditions, restricted movement, claims of inadequate medical facilities, mistreatment of gay asylum seekers and the constant fear of violence is an everyday reality for the men, women and children housed there. The stories that have emerged so far have consistently made international headlines, drawing damning statements from both The United Nations as well as American NGO Human Rights Watch.

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TV Is ‘Go Back To Where You Came From’ Essential Viewing, Or Exploitative Reality TV?

Before getting stuck into the finale of Go Back To Where You Came From’s third season, we all have to make a concession: this is reality television. Everything is bitchy exchanges, super dramatic musical cues, and emotions. So many emotions. It even encourages you to have fun in trying to figure out if Kim is simply ignorant or completely sociopathic.

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Reddit’s Diabolical Social Experiment ‘The Button’ Is Setting The Internet On Fire

At 9am on April 1, 2015, the reddit community was presented with a diabolically simple and mysterious social experiment: The Button. An enigmatic post from the reddit admins, the experiment was simply a button attached to a 60-second countdown timer. Once a reddit user presses the button, the timer resets. Each user only gets one press, and new redditors are barred from engaging in the experiment.

Its purpose remains a mystery, a dynamic that seems designed exclusively to thrust members into an existential dilemma. Do you wait to push the button, give yourself the chance to keep the timer alive when it most needs it?

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