Posts Categorized: Factoid

Zombie Games: Nine You Must Play Now

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  Are you ready for the zombie apocalypse? One group of people definitely is. Gamers. If there’s one subculture that has spent more time training for the rise of the undead, it’s joystick twitchers. The zombie apocalypse is the go-to storyline for an astonishing number of the mainstream games we know and love. Doom? Space marine satanically possessed zombies. Half-Life? Crab headed ex-scientist zombies. Monkey Island 2? Zombie pirates. Pirates, who are also zombies. Awesome. Some games take zombie action to an entirely different level though. These are the Dawn of the Dead of zombie games. Games where clearing wave after wave of classic, shuffling reanimated corpses is an exhilarating treat – or where deadly variants challenge your hand-eye co-ordination to the max. We asked tech writers and gamers for their favourite zombie games and what they came up with is the cream of the genre. Ladies and Gentlemen, let your training begin: Zombie Zombie Play it on: ZX Spectrum (or a PC or Mac, with emulation) Zombie titles go back to the dawn of video gaming. ZX Spectrum title Zombie Zombie is lifestyle and tech writer Lou Hattersley’s favourite of the genre. The 30 year old undead simulator had “3D…

How to Survive Freshers Week

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Freshers week is a feast of firsts and one off happenings. You’ll only leave home for the first time once. You’ll only move in with strangers for the first time once. You’ll only start university for the first time once. These experiences are common to every one, but you may have others. One thing’s for certain – it’ll be the time of your life. For some universities it’s freshers week right now – for others the chaos begins next week. We spoke to people who know all about surviving freshers week and student life to get the best advice; recent graduates. These are people that have not only been there and done that – they’ve lived to tell the tale, finished their courses and got to wear the funny hat and gown they give you at the end of your three years. You should pay attention to what they have to say. Surviving the Week There are two freshers weeks. The official week’s activities laid on by your university and student union are designed to ease you into academic life, with a series of events, introductory presentations and the virtual paperwork of registration. Then there’s the “freshers week” that happens outside the…

North Korea: World’s Most Unlikely Tourism Destination?

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  Why would you want to visit North Korea, a country where a quarter of the population is starving and slagging off the government can buy you a trip to a prison camp? It turns out that it’s a surprisingly nice to place be, on the surface… North Korea was forged in war. Annexed by Japan in 1910, Korea was divvied up between the Soviet Union and the USA after World War II. But while East and West Germany were able to survive the same treatment and reunify in the 1980s, the conflict between North and South Korea was always more volatile. A war over sovereignty that began in 1950 was never officially ended. The two nations still co-exist under an uneasy ceasefire. Though it claims to be a democratic state, North Korea is controlled by a single family – a totalitarian regime lead by the Kim dynasty and their Worker’s Party of Korea. And they don’t call it “North Korea” – they call it the “Democratic People’s Republic of Korea”. DPRK for short. “It’s a dictatorship of the most extreme kind,” says travel writer Tim Urban at his site whatbutwhy.com, “A cult of personality beyond anything Stalin or Mao could have imagined.”…

Doctor Who: How To Be More Like The Timelord

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He’s over two thousand years old, travels through space and time in a wooden box and is always the smartest person in the room. Who wouldn’t want to be more like the Doctor? Coming back to the telly box this Saturday, Doctor Who is now in its 51st year – with a title character who could teach us a thing or two about how to live a life more interesting. While we don’t know exactly what Peter Capaldi’s twelfth Doctor will be like yet, we can speculate. His face changes every few years, but he’s always the Doctor; an eccentric mass of compassion, cleverness and contradiction. These constants make him a truly fantastic hero – and a realistic role model. You don’t need a police call box that’s bigger on the inside or two hearts to be a better, less boring, more adventurous you. Let’s count down the ways you can be a bit more like the Doctor. The Doctor is never cowardly or cruel Former script editor and Doctor Who writer Terrance Dicks was first to describe the titular time lord as “never cowardly or cruel”. Those words were used again as the Doctor’s motto in the 50th anniversary…

How To Win Big At Life

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Sure, you could wait for dumb luck to come along and provide you with some form of glorious victory. Like a big sucker. Or you could follow our handy tips to ensure you win massively in every gaming enterprise you embark upon (or at least the ones mentioned). That’s right, you no longer have to leave it to chance to come in first. We have every area of luck or gambling covered (see brackets above). All we ask is you send us a nice Moonpig card when you win your first million. LOTTERY When trying to win the lottery there are a huge amount of don’ts to focus on, rather than do’s. Don’t bother joining a syndicate, even if you do win you’ll be sharing your reward amongst a huge amount of people. Patterns or clusters of numbers are equally ineffectual as there are too many other people using the same method, so again your jackpot will be shared. According to the statistics, buying twenty tickets for a single lottery draw has better odds than than buying one ticket over twenty draws. And mathematical types have concluded that if all the numbers you select add up to more than 177,…

How To Be A Traveller (Not a Tourist)

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Tourists. Don’t you just hate them? Standing around on the pavement taking photos, blocking the doorways on the tube or babbling away loudly on the bus when you’re trying to read your book. Why can’t they be more like the natives; soaking up the real experience of the places they visit? That, fair friends, is the difference between a tourist and a traveller. The traveller makes their own decisions. They go to a foreign land to see what it really has to offer. The tourist goes to another country and laps up a packaged experience. Be honest; how often have you been that tourist? The guy claiming the sun lounger with his towel at 6.30 in the morning? The girl pickled in sangria, one shoe lost in the high street? The next time you go away, be a traveller instead – doing what the locals do and going where the experience takes you. You’ll come home a a lot more interesting than you were before you set off. Stay in one place for a while Get any train from London Kings Cross to Aberdeen and you’ll be seated near an American family “doing” Europe. There’s a least one in every…

How To Be Interesting

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Let me make one thing painfully clear. I am an idiot. I am not smart at all. My intellectual capacities are considered poor at best. Nicknames I have endured during my life have included ‘Dummy’, ‘Gumpy’ and ‘Old Dung For Brains’. But, by listening to people who are smarter than me and by taking covert notes or secretly recording them, I have picked up a few salient phrases and culturally relevant sentences that make me sound vaguely clever when dropped into the heart of a conversation. Let me share them with you. If, after you let one of these beauties fly, someone questions you further, either fake a heart attack or burst into tears. Then run. “YOU KNOW THE STAR WARS FILMS HAVE SUFFERED SINCE THEY STOPPED BEING BASED ON KUROSAWA FILMS” Perfect for dropping into conversations with film buffs, comic book nerds or sci-fi geeks. The parallels between the first Star Wars film and Akira Kurosawa’s The Hidden Fortress have been drawn for years and George Lucas admitted that he basically stole the plot from the Japanese film, then changed it significantly, then stole it again for Phantom Menace. Works best when spoken snottily. “WITH THE RITE OF SPRING,…

7 Reasons To Carry A Penknife

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You’re heading out the front door, checking your pockets. You’ve got your wallet, phone, keys… What’s missing? Ah – yes. Your penknife. Because no right-minded person leaves the house without one. More properly, no-one should be without a multipurpose penknife; like the famous Swiss Army Knife by Victorinox. We’d suggest going for a Victorinox Spartan Pocket Tool or Swiss Army Hiker Knife. Some multipurpose knives are overkill, but both these models are compact, useful tools you can pop into your pocket and forget. Until you need them, that is. And you need them more than you think. 1. Cut things up Yep – it’s a knife, so it’s ideal for cutting things up. Chop up your Snickers bar in half, divide your sandwich and save a bit for later or slice a banana into your porridge in the morning. Our personal fave; use a penknife to carve up and eat an apple. Sounds like a waste of time? Your Grandad probably ate apples with his trusty pocket knife, avoiding all the icky brown bits and worm holes hiding under the skin. Bonus points: slicing up an apple also makes much less mess than chomping into one bite by bite. Grandad…

9 Sexy Memes That Went Extinct

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Amazingly, sex was not invented by the Millennials. We did have erotic artefacts and suggestive materials back in the deep, dark, pre-internet days. They were all just really, really weird. And not very sexy. Almost as if we couldn’t really cope with that actual hanky-panky itself and had to dress the whole process up in a variety of novelty items and odd movements. They truly were innocent, baffling times. RUDE FOOD Back in the early 1980’s, pictures of naked people were considered far more acceptable and tantalising when a variety of fruits and vegetables were stuck on top of or near to the participants private parts. In the old days, you couldn’t move for nudes with a tastefully draped pineapple obscuring their modesty or else a couple of kumquats replicating the disguised organs, released as several volumes of a hardback, coffee table book called Rude Food. Many confused newlyweds fruitlessly searched for the fruit on their honeymoon. SUGGESTIVE ARM GESTURES Drop a sexy lady into any 1970’s sitcom or saucy English movie and you would be guaranteed to see a vicar tugging at his shirt collar before riding his bike into a hedge and a labourer of some variety vigorously…

How to Start A Fire With No Matches Or Lighter

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Everyone knows how to make fire. You just take out a lighter and flick a switch – or strike a match. But what if you don’t have those things? What if you’re stuck in the wilderness with just what you’re wearing between you and the elements? Clue: your new name is “Wolf Food”. Maybe not. The ability to make fire is what separates us from animals. Chimpanzees can use tools and communicate with sign language, but the minute they learn how to build a bonfire this’ll be Planet of the Apes. Fire civilises. It brings light and warmth to the most inhospitable places. It dries us when we’re wet and lets us cook our food. It scares away creatures that mean us harm and stops us from perishing from hypothermia in the desert night. It keeps us alive. So, if there’s one thing you should learn to do  – one thing you have a duty to learn as a human being – it’s how to make fire. Sparks As Bruce Springsteen will tell you, you can’t start a fire without a spark. Well, you can – but using a spark is a classic method. It’s how your lighter works, after all. Sparks…