Aussie Mars hopeful heads into HAB to promote The Martian

AUSTRALIAN ‘Mars One’ candidate Josh Richards has entered a solitary, purpose-built ‘HAB’ at Sydney’s Circular Quay.

He has been selected as one of only 100 astronaut candidates who will potentially leave earth forever and travel to Mars in 2025 to colonise the planet.

A physicist, explosives engineer and a soldier, when a major film distributor in Australia went looking for someone to be part of a marketing initiative, they could not have found a better and more legitimate participant than Mr Richards.

Mr Richards isn’t just some actor who has been dumped into a Mars-like HAB (habitat) for five days in the hope of flogging DVDs of the Matt Damon starring movie, The Martian.

Quite possibly, he will also be Australia’s first legitimate ‘Martian’ as he is already on the short list of names that is being put through paces. Soon enough he may be part of the very serious and ambitious $6 billion Mars One mission.

The mission hopes to send a group of men and women to Mars by 2025.

While some people still think it is pie-in-the-sky stuff, Mr Richards is absolutely confident human life will eventually exist on Mars.

“I wouldn’t have put my hand up if I didn’t think it wasn’t going to work,” a confident Mr Richards told

“I have learnt, among many things, that we can GET people to Mars but we just can’t get them back at this stage.”

Mr Richards says there are many challenges to make the Mars One project work, from political and technological but the biggest one is physiology.

“The biggest issue is about coming back,’’ he says.

“Bones break down due to the reduced gravity environment, as you have zero ‘g’s’ when travelling through space so your body is adapting to reduced gravity. Once it is coming back it is going through upwards of 9gs of gravity, so you just wouldn’t survive it.

“With going one way, you have the chance to land and stay on land on the planet and research and discover new things and you never have to worry about experiencing the risk of what could be coming back.”

Hence, any of the team eventually chosen in the next 12 months and who commit to going to Mars have to reconcile the fact that Mars, potentially in 10 years’ time, will be their home. Forever.

“It’s really been an extension of where I was already going,’’ says the Perth-born former military man.

“I know what it is like to live with a backpack and rather than focusing on owning a home and having that kind of very traditional 1950s image of what success in life is, I have become a nomad and just keep moving and go where I need to be.

“My hope is you’ll be able to go outside in 10 years’ time and point out to kids outside that ‘look up there, there are people now living there, on Mars’.”

The public ‘HAB’ he has entered is very similar to what Matt Damon’s character ‘lived’ in, in the movie, The Martian.

“It is very clean and quite similar to what is in the film and what is going on inside will be very similar,’’ he says.

Mr Reynolds is taking part in a five-day public challenge that will require him to use his ingenuity, tenacity and skill to survive in a simulated Martian base.

He will be required to undertake up to three survival challenges a day, set by a team of experts and scientists.

The challenges have been designed to emulate those faced by Mark Watney (Matt Damon) in the Oscar-nominated movie, The Martian.

“I’m not fussed about people watching into the HAB over the next few days as you basically have to forget that the cameras are on and that people are staring,’’ he laughs.

But hang on, if he was to suddenly meet someone who he fell madly in love with, how would the 10-years-on-earth timeline go.

“I have faced those challenges already,” says Josh.

“I was with someone when I found out about all of this and I sat down with my partner and had an in-depth discussion. I realised that I want to eventually change the way all humans live and if this happens, this will definitely be part of that.”

“It’s difficult and very challenging and it means I don’t have those kind of relationships that most people do as I am committed to going to Mars.”

At this point, there are 100 candidates worldwide for the Mars One mission and there are seven Aussies in the mix.

“The next phase is September when they get us all together somewhere in the world and will put us through more testing and we would eventually become full time employees hoping on a launch date of 2026 with a landing date of March 2027.

“The cost of all of this is the cost of a major stadium or it is three times of what Australian would spend on beer in a year.”

* The public can observe Josh 24-hrs a day, directly through the glass exterior or via a live camera feed at

The Martian is out on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD on February 10

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Bluesmart: the clever carry-on suitcase with digi connectivity. Cool.

Introducing Bluesmart: the world’s first carry on suitcase that connects to your Smartphone, exclusively available at Strandbags.

Bluesmart is a high quality cabin suitcase with revolutionary technology to improve your travel experience.

Features include:
– Digital locking system
– Proximity sensors
– Location tracking
– Trip tracking information – Built in digital scale
– Built in battery

The Bluesmart case is powered by 3G connectivity with Bluetooth technology which enables a remote locking system, allowing users to lock and unlock the suitcase from their smartphone. The location-tracking feature on Bluesmart will automatically lock the case when it’s separated from its user. Trip tracking information means that users can track their miles travelled and also receive smart trip notifications when they arrive at their destination. The built in scale communicates the exact weight of the suitcase to the companion app, helping users avoid paying extra baggage fees or being forced to check for extra weight. Finally, the built in battery, which allows users to re-charge their smartphone or other device up to 6 times over.

Designed to make life easier for those constantly on the go, the innovative technology behind Bluesmart represents a quantum leap for the luggage industry.

Available exclusively at Strandbags Stores (distribution limited to 70 stores) & Price $599

Australian mums combatting 'Kitchen Chaos' by outsourcing to online food delivery services

The emerging trend of Australian families outsourcing household meal-planning and grocery shopping is a growing trend.

Innovative online food delivery services are helping to ‘ease the increasing pressures’ of balancing busy work and home lives.

The results of a two-week kitchen challenge set by My Food Bag, and tailored for Australian mums, revealed meal-planning and grocery shopping top the list of the most dreaded weekly household tasks, along with ironing and cleaning the family bathroom.

In order to curb the stress and pressure of the weekly shop, the research found families are now looking at outsourcing the task via innovative online food delivery services, in order to regain time and balance that is often lost., Australia’s premium food delivery service, challenged Sydney mums to put My Family Bag to the test and trial how the premium home delivery service combats the “what’s for dinner?” dilemma that many mum’s face on a daily basis. The solution – to alleviate the long hours spent battling away in the supermarket and kitchen.

“Grocery shopping is definitely in my top five most hated tasks,” says Heather, wife and mum of four kids juggling full time work and an extremely busy home life. “It’s only marginally behind ironing, cleaning toilets, and changing the sheets on the top bunk – The less said about it, the better!”

My Food Bag challenged a group of Sydney mums to plan, shop and cook a menu of five dinner meals for their families on a grocery budget of $160; following the same process they would in a normal working week and to report the challenges they faced. They then were asked to compare their experience to their My Family Food Bag, delivered to their door. The delivery included five (5) fast, easy, nutritious and inspiring recipes planned by its team of experienced chefs and dieticians and, included fresh, seasonal and local Australian grown ingredients.

The research found two of the biggest challenges contributing to dissatisfaction and stress in the kitchen were –

  • The time required to plan, shop and create week night meals which are healthy, fast, delicious and nutritious
  • A lack of inspiration and creativity in the kitchen, resulting in mums reverting to boring family staples when faced with no time and the need to cater to the fussy palates of little eaters

Jodi, a mother of four from South-Eastern Sydney claims, “Meal planning, list writing, shopping and unpacking with kids is by far my most challenging job as a mum and I don’t think my husband fares much better… This week alone, it took him almost five hours to plan, shop and unpack for just five dinners. There’s got to be a better way!”

Innovative premium food delivery service My Food Bag offers families the convenience of fast, easy recipes and the fresh seasonal, Australian produce to create them delivered to their doorstep weekly or fortnightly. The My Family Food Bag the mums were challenged to trial is one of three food bag options aimed at helping busy parents to out-source the planning and shopping time required to put healthy and delicious meals on the table, as well as inspiring the cook with new twists on familiar family classics.

“I often think how nice it would be to have someone to help with the dishes, fold the ironing – to lend a hand and ease the pressure a little. My Food Bag goes a long way towards meeting this need. It’s like some nice person has said ‘Don’t worry, I’ll plan some yummy meals and shop for you. You just cook them up and enjoy them with Dave and the kids,” said Isobel, a mother of three from the Northern Beaches of Sydney.

All the products offered by My Food Bag are underpinned by the Nude Food philosophy, developed by International Celebrity Chef and My Food Bag Co-Founder, Nadia Lim. An award winning author of four best-selling cook books and a trained dietician, Nadia claims the benefit of outsourcing the planning and shopping for your weekly family meals is not only saving on time and guaranteeing flavour, but also ensuring your family is eating a healthy, nutritious balanced diet – which is something that can be sacrificed for speed and taste during the time poor week.

“Australian parents face an incredible amount of stress and pressure to balance their commitments at work and home. As a mother-to-be, I’m often baffled by how they cope with busy and fulfilling work lives, while also juggling school runs, homework, extra-curricular activities and feeding their growing families healthy and nutritious meals. This was in-part the inspiration for starting My Food Bag, to offer parents a helping hand in what seems to be for many the most stressful room in the house, the kitchen!”

David Beckham unleashes new campaign for H&M: Modern Essentials

Style icon David Beckham has shot his latest H&M campaign for the launch of the spring 2016 Modern Essentials selected by David Beckham collection. The commercial was shot on the streets of Lisbon, where David realises that everyone wants to dress just like him. The new Modern Essentials selected by David Beckham collection will be available in store February 18.

It’s the second time David has worked with director Fredrik Bond, taking on the theme of their last commercial where comedian Kevin Hart dressed exactly like David. In this new film, David leaves his hotel to discover that everyone around him is wearing the same as him, including skateboarding kids, a baby, a grandma, and every man in the city. The film will be accompanied by a print campaign shot by Mario Sorrenti.

The campaign highlights David’s role as a style leader to millions of men around the world. For David, it’s about mixing the traditions of menswear with fresh ideas that move menswear forward. The pieces he wears in the film, all selected by David from the Modern Essentials collection are the perfect example of his timeless style.

“I always have the best time shooting H&M campaigns. They really understand my style and my sense of humour. It was great to wear such sharp pieces from the Modern Essentials range while having such a good time,” says David Beckham.

The campaign is the latest for the Modern Essentials selected by David Beckham range. Each season sees David select his favourite pieces from the Modern Essentials menswear collection at H&M, creating a wardrobe of updated staples and new classics that men can rely on throughout the whole season. The new collection will be available at all H&M stores that carry menswear on February 18.

New TopShop denim campaign just released

TOPSHOP launches the global Spring Summer 2016 Denim campaign, which sees the return of the brand’s stellar Holiday line-up, with new addition Steffy Argelich joining the gang – showing how to wear denim right.

The campaign celebrates the new generation of supermodels and shows TOPSHOP’s customers how to adapt their own personal shape and style to their denim.

What they wear; (in order left – right)

  • STEFFY ARGELICH (wearing JAMIE – High-waisted skinny ankle grazer)
  • SOPHIA AHRENS (wearing LEIGH – Super soft mid rise skinny)
  • BELLA HADID (wearing ORSON – High rise slim leg)
  • IMAAN HAMMAM (wearing MOM – High-waisted authentic tapered fit)
  • GRACE HARTZEL (wearing BAXTER – Low rise slim leg)
  • ANETA PAJAK (wearing STRAIGHT – Authentic straight leg)
  • MARGA ESQUIVEL (wearing LUCAS – Slim relaxed boyfriend)


TOPSHOP Creative Director, Kate Phelan says: “For the Spring Summer 2016 Denim campaign we have looked to this stylish and cool girl group once again, perfectly demonstrating how to inject individual style and mood to your jeans. The campaign highlights the versatility of TOPSHOP’s extensive denim range, proving that there is a perfect fit for every TOPSHOP girl.”