Posts By: Dale

How To Return To Real Life After Glastonbury

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WOW! That was some Glastonbury Festival wasn’t it? The weather was so… inconsistent. There was the AMAZING return of that guy who sang that song in the 1970’s. Remember that guy with the great big flag who stood right in front of you during your favourite musical outfit? But now you’re back in your bedsit/childhood bedroom/car with nothing but your memories and that rash. Isn’t it terrible? You need to readjust to your boring, non-tent based life – but don’t throw yourself into your old routine too quickly or you could end up with a condition known as ‘Post Glasto Bends’ where you freak out, grow some dreads and become the bass player in Ozric Tentacles. And nobody wants that. Instead follow these few simple tips to help you slip back into your old existence without too many harmful repercussions. DON’T WASH Smell is considered one of the most powerful senses. And you are sure to smell your most powerful on the Monday morning after a major festival. By showering or having someone hose you down in the driveway, all those olfactory memories will soon be washed away, along with that unfortunate henna tattoo of Yoda that you got on your…

What Dog Names Say About Their Owners

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It’s National Take Your Dog To Work Day! No matter when you’re reading this, it’s National Take Your Dog To Work Day, as it’s a completely made up thing. Probably devised by the ‘Make Your Office Smell Like a Dog Council of Great Britain’ (MYOSLDCGB). But it is a fine example of our cultish, almost dangerous affection we have for our dogs. We buy them clothes, we send them off on exotic holidays, we hire expensive psychiatrists to deal with their neurosis. And we pick up their poo in tiny bags. But does the name that we give them reflect something about our own personality and nature? Yes, yes it does. As you will discover… ROVER/BUTCH/LASSIE Traditional. You yearn for a dog from the old days who would pull clumsy toddlers from mine shafts and alert you when a fire had erupted down near the old creek and Timmy was in danger. You are utterly delusional, living in a world that no longer exists, where children went up chimneys and muffin men roamed the street, distributing their sweet breads to unsuspecting Londoners. FLUFFY/SKIPPY/MIMSY Cute. You fetishise your animal and wish it to be a toy that is played with and…

How To BS Like A Wine Expert

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“Oh, this has glorious undertones of russet.” “Goodness, you can really smell the loam.” “Sharp pangs of tangerine. I don’t even want to spit it into this bucket!” Yes, wine people. We’ve all heard them, we’ve all stood next to them, we’ve all pitied them. But what the hell they talking about? Do the things that they ramble on about actually make sense? Does that weird slobbery thing they do with their mouth before spitting actually achieve anything? Can’t we all just admit that all wine basically tastes the same? But if you wish to wrestle back the reins of wine from the connoisseurs and self-appointed sommeliers, all you need to do is follow a few simple steps and drop a number of notable buzzwords. Before you know it, you’ll be sniffing disapprovingly at a barbecue Merlot like a professional. KNOW WHAT WINE IS Sounds stupid I know, but it’s remarkable how little people actually know about wine production and how it goes from grape juice to great juice (which is what I call it. I call wine ‘great juice’). The elements that go into wine production, the region, the sugar content of the grapes (known as the ‘brix’), the weather:…

How To Yodel In The Swiss Alps

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Look at you. You’re young, thrusting, hip and sensational. Of course you want to yodel. Just consider the odds – every stupid, ridiculous, embarrassing thing has made a comeback eventually whether it’s clothes from the 1990’s, Veronica Mars or scabies. This means yodelling is sure to reach the heights of fashion any day now. And when it does, we want and pray for you to be ready for it. Luckily, it’s easy to learn, fun to perform and fairly cheap to maintain. So follow this easy guide and they’ll be another reason for your neighbours to send the warden round to your flat. WHAT IS A YODELLING? Back in the day when we reared sheep for food and clothing, they were forever wandering off. The people designated with the job of looking after the animals – the sheep herds if you will – thought that screaming at the top of their lungs would encourage them to return, rather than drive them further away. So in the Alps and other hilly places, this technique of calling out using high and low notes via the voice was born. Elsewhere on the planet, such as in the Middle East and Africa, similar vocal enterprises were…

How To Grill A Steak Like An Expert

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It seems the easiest culinary task in the world. To brown both sides of a healthy slab of cow so it’s succulent, tasty and attractive. So why is it so gosh-dang difficult? The answer is, it isn’t, you’re just doing it wrong. Probably over-thinking it. All you need to do is have great, fresh ingredients and the right tools for the job. Soon you’ll be chowing down on perfect steaks like a hungry lumberjack or Ron Swanson after a difficult bout of woodworking. CUT Like many things in life: the thicker the better. If your steak is unnaturally scrawny, it will cook through too quickly and be dry and nasty inside. A nice thick cut will provide a deliciously cooked outer layer and a moist, tasty interior. Don’t be swizzed into thinking there’s just rump, sirloin and T-bone out there for you. Experiment with more unusual cuts such as point steaks, onglet and feather blade to find the perfect variety for your appetite. Cuts from the middle of the animal will need less cooking time than steaks from the front and rear of the beast. PREP Take your steaks out of the fridge a good 45 minutes before cooking and…

Who Are The Celebrity Freemasons?

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Do you know who isn’t a Freemason? The secret society that supposedly runs politics, finance and all those daytime cookery shows? No-one, that’s who isn’t. Or at least that’s the verdict of the internet which, for some reason, loves the occasional conspiracy theory. While looking into the murky world of Masonic handshakes, I discovered some startling things. Firstly, there’s no such thing as a Masonic handshake (according to the Masons). Secondly, nobody believes this, as the massive amount of evidence posted onto You Tube, showing celebrities and famous figures great and small touching each other in an unusual way, testifies. EXHIBIT #1: GORDON RAMSAY AND THE HELL’S KITCHEN GANG Wake up people! It has the word ‘hell’ right there in the title, so you know there’s something shifty going down. After a couple of mysterious ‘chefs’ dressed all in black (I think we all know why) reduce an orange to liquid using voodoo (and soundwaves) the swear-spewing cook clutches one of their hand’s in a very unusual way. Actually in quite a girly way I’d say, like he was greeting an elderly lady of note at a council function. Oh and NASA is involved. Not sure how. EXHIBIT #2: JAY-Z/NAS/KANYE…

A Brief History of Crank Calls & 0898 Numbers

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From the moment when the first caveman held a seashell up to his ear and heard the ocean and then another caveman came along and smashed him over the head with a rock and screamed ‘LOSER’ at his inert body, people have been using and misusing communication devices. Whether it’s insulting Morse code, bad walkie-talkie etiquette or erotic semaphore, as soon as technology was introduced to help in the transmission of messages, we found a way to desecrate them for amusement or menace. Here is a brief run-down of the main methods of telephone abasement and where they appear in the history of communicating. FIRST CRANK CALL Though the early history of the telephone and the pioneers behind its development is hotly disputed, we do know that on the 10th March 1876, Alexander Graham Bell used his patented device and a liquid transmitter for the first time, uttering the words, ‘Mr Watson, come here, I want to see you’. This was in fact also the first instance of a ‘crank’ or ‘nuisance’ call. Bell had been goading Watson all morning, using various methods to call him into his office only to then throw a heavy book at him. To Bell,…

How To Be Like Bear Grylls

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Rupert. Paddington. Fozzie. Famous bears in cultural history tend to have a fairly sedate reputation. But this whole idea of bears being wussy, wimpy and clothed changed forever when the formidable Bear Grylls entered the televised fray. This Bear was an adventurer, an explorer and a man who gladly convened all over nature. A bit like a real bear, rather than those anthropomorphic fictional bears that never acted like bears at all. When was the last time Yogi or Boo Boo mauled anyone? Terrible. Bear Grylls could happily survive on an iceberg using only various bodily emissions and a penguin corpse for food, shelter and entertainment. But if you wanted to emulate this great British bug muncher, how should you go about it? EVALUATE YOUR SURROUNDINGS Once Mr. Grylls is dropped into a harsh environment and charged up his iPhone, the first thing he embarks on is a thorough survey of his surroundings. Is there a fresh water source? Are there any dangerous animals nearby? What time does the motel stop serving breakfast? You can conduct this kind of terrain survey even if you live in a bedsit or caravan. Just act as if you’ve been plunged into the landscape from…

How To Crash A Showbiz Party

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Scientists have recently proven, beyond all doubt, that celebrities do indeed have the best parties. Not very good scientists, obviously, but scientists all the same. Beyond the velvet rope and the burly bouncers, there’s a whole world that pathetic mortals like us can only dream about. Strange exotic canapés, booze distilled from fruits that you have never heard of and formation dance moves that are so unique several years of specialised yoga are required to pull them off. Other than perfecting your Britain’s Got Talent act and actually becoming a celebrity, how can you sniff this rarefied air? Here are a few pointers to get you inside a swell, famed-filled soiree (for the purposes of good obviously, don’t use these tips to do bad things). DO YOUR RESEARCH Don’t run from door to door knocking randomly and screaming ‘IS THERE A CELEBRITY PARTY IN HERE?’ Take it from me, that simply doesn’t work. Scour the gossip rags and various scurrilous internet websites for news on album release events, film premières, awards shows, product launches and the like and do a little delving to identify where the after party is going to be. Celebs are always bleating on Twitter about what…

The World’s 10 Weirdest Cinemas

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Going to the pictures used to mean something, you know what I mean? You would get dressed up. There would be usherettes to see you to your seat and give you free cigarettes. And you’d get seven films, a newsreel, a cartoon and a nudist documentary, all for a halfpenny. Now a child with spots pokes you with a stick as you sit in a pile of rancid Maltesers and sadness. But there are still some unique film going experiences out there. Movie palaces that proudly bear the moniker ‘weird’. Take a quick tour around the globe’s strangest and most impressive film venues. Kinema in the Woods: Lincs, UK Exuding all the best of English eccentricity, like a man with a large moustache and a pith helmet throwing cribbage pieces at a lion, this former farm building is one of the oldest cinemas in the country opening in 1922. Nestled in the village of Woodhall Spa, from the outside it resembles an enormous ski lodge gone slightly wrong, while the interior, featuring a classic crimped curtain and bountiful murals, is awesome. And there’s an organ! www.kinemainthewoods.co.uk Cinema d’Ete: Monaco You can rely on those swanky denizens of Monaco to produce…