Pandora: Best known for Streaming Music, James Cameron's Avatar, or the Latest Jewelry Fad?
The 3 Pandoras
Every time I type 'Pandora' into Google I get hits on something completely different than what I was searching for at the time. The problem is that I am interested in at least three different types of Pandora and I'd imagine there's probably a lot more links to Pandoras that I've never even heard of. This hub is dedicated to the top three Pandoras in my mind, in no particular order. The first is Pandora Radio, home of the Music Genome Project; the second is James Cameron's fantastic world of Pandora, haven for the Na'vi people featured in Avatar; and third is Pandora Jewelry, a must have for fashion following women...or at least my wife says so.
I first visited Pandora when I was in college looking for a cheap (well, in reality I was looking for something free) way to play music through my speakers so I could jam in my dorm room much to the disliking of all my neighbors. This was long before Pandora plugins were featured by many major websites and applications or hosted on internet capable televisions. I'm not sure how Pandora made it's move, but it seems like it has exploded in the past few years. Back then it was good, but if you listened long enough you would definitely hear the same song played again, even on general channels. Today, Pandora Radio is all over the place along with names like YouTube and Facebook, there are I-phone and Android apps that plug you directly into streaming content on your phone, and when I listen I rarely hear the same song twice unless I'm on some self-created obscure channel like 'Christmas Songs by Mariah Carey'...not that I listen to that or anything. I am grateful to the creators of Pandora for such a wonderful listening experience. Even though it's ad-supported if you're not a paying subscriber and you get unlimited songs with more skipping if you upgrade, the free music outweighs the cost of being limited in the number of songs I can skip in an hour. If you haven't already been there, go check it out. The simple trick to disambiguate the search, type in 'Pandora Radio'.
Pandora: The World of Avatar
Of course, this Pandora has just come to popularity within the last year or so, but judging by the over $2 billion worldwide gross revenue that Avatar hauled in, I would say that it has become quite well known. I must admit that this Pandora is probably my favorite - as a fan of science fiction and special effects involving future or other worlds, Avatar was exactly what I was looking for to stimulate my senses. Critics and non-critics alike can say what they want about the plot and characters of the screenplay, but the visual effects that smack you in the face and this other world teeming with strange new life so vividly displayed goes to great lengths to consume your sense of sight. Cameron took quite some time developing the 3-D technology necessary to film the movie the way he wanted and in fact the original idea for Avatar sat on the shelf for a decade while the technology caught up. Home to the indigenous Na'vi people, Pandora's bioluminescent flora along with the spiritual interconnectedness of the people to sacred Trees resembling neon-lit willow trees was evidence of Cameron's imagination and attention to detail. Other interesting features included islands floating in the sky due to strange magnetic field perturbations and forests with trees hundreds and hundreds of feet tall. It did remind me a little of Abyss, which also featured bioluminescent beings occupying a strange new world, but then it was thousands of feet below the surface of the ocean. If nothing else, it was fun for me to look at and I had no problem sitting in the theater for over 2 hours, several times. If you haven't seen the movie go buy or rent it on Blue-ray or DVD before Avatar 2 comes out - I think you have a couple years though. The trick to finding this Pandora is to type in something like 'Pandora Avatar'.
Pandora Bracelets and Charms
While Pandora offers jewelry other than bracelets and charms they are best known to me for selling bracelets adorned with fancy-looking and in some cases unexpectedly expensive charms. Bracelets come in leather, silver, or gold in a variety of lengths and charms range from glazed wooden beads to tiny trinkets beaded with diamond. Pandora Jewelry can be found online or in your traditional brick and mortar jewelry shops, but cannot actually be purchased online from the official Pandora site. You can send an order in and it will go to a local store, but like other designer jewelry makers, you must actually buy the jewelry at a physical store. However, you will find multiple other web sites dedicated to selling Pandora bracelets and charms at prices both higher and lower than what you'll find at your jeweler's. You can see from the trend chart at the bottom of this hub that Pandora is quite popular around the Christmas season and makes a nice gift that you can add to for relatively cheap. As I mentioned earlier, charms come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and prices. You can get decent charms and some beads for as little as $25, or you could splurge and get a diamond charm for upwards of $1,000 - I guess it depends on how much you love your loved one...or at least that's what she'll say! I bought my wife a bracelet and one charm for an anniversary gift and I now add to it each time we have a significant event in our life or we travel somewhere and find one that relates to where we've been or what we've done. The bracelets and charms are not a novel idea, but they do make a good gift to build on and it helps the guys out a little come gift-giving time because we don't necessarily have to think as much about what piece of jewelry we should get! To make sure find the bracelets, try typing 'Pandora Jewelry' or 'Pandora Bracelets', they both have similar responses.