Posts Categorized: How To…

How to Survive Comic Con

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Look around you. Are you unable to leave your property due to piles of comic books? Do you have more action figures than Facebook friends? Are you wearing a cape? If so, you may well be a self-proclaimed nerd, geek, dweeb or Big Bang Theory cast member and a visit to a Comic-Con (or a Comic Book Convention to the confused) is almost certainly in your near future. Not that there’s just comics. Now these Cons feature movie stars giving previews of their latest efforts, panels on TV shows, signings, toy sales and all sorts. But if you’ve never attended one before, or you’re being dragged along by what we refer to round here as a ‘reading friend’, then here’s a quick guide on being there and not going insane. BEFORE YOU GO Apparently you can’t simply dress like Captain Violence and saunter into your local convention centre like you owned the place. Depending on which Comic-Con you’re attending (a stipulation that applies to most of these tips) there will almost certainly be a complicated membership registration/badge purchase system implemented. This will have to be done well in advance, as will, if you’re visiting one of the bigger conventions like…

How To Live Anywhere In The World For Free

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Shh. We’ve got a secret to tell you. Being an adventurer, gallivanting around the world and seeing everything it has to offer doesn’t have to cost you the Earth. You don’t have to be a posh toff  to safari in Africa or a trust-fund Tarquin to summer in the South of France. The secret’s this: the most expensive part of any trip is always accommodation, but it doesn’t have to be. You can stay in any country in the world – for free. The types of accommodation on offer range from sharing a hut with Asian villagers to having free run of a Californian villa. It doesn’t matter whether you want a taste of adventure or a brush with luxury. And here’s how. Work for your room If you’re prepared to graft for your bed and breakfast, paying your way by working is one way to avoid handing over any money. It’s also a good idea when you’re starting on a trip or need to refill the savings account when you’re on a big trip. Teaching English as a foreign language and working as a rep are popular choices  we’ve covered before. Other perennial favourites include picking fruit for a…

How To Apologise (& Mean It)

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We live in an age of apology. Every day some celebrity, sport’s star or politician tells the world that they are sorry for some indiscretion they were caught performing. And as you may have noticed, very often they are not good at it. Especially if they don’t actually mean it. But you can make a verbal recompense for something and appear legitimate. Just try these few simple techniques… FIND OUT WHAT YOU DID There’s nothing worse than launching into a fully fledged apology without actually knowing what it was you did. Before you go anywhere near the S word, establish the facts. You can do this by saying, ‘Look, there’s been a lot of crazy accusations flying around, tell me exactly what you heard.’ If they reply, ‘You know exactly what you’ve done.’ then you are screwed and you should throw yourself to the floor begging forgiveness. Otherwise get all the information you possibly can, just to make sure full remorse is necessary. WARNING: Clip has some bad words in it. SETTING Heading to a neutral space for apology reasons is the cowards way out. You know that whoever you’re saying sorry to will probably not freak out in a restaurant…

How To Buy Jewellery For Your Man/Woman

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Buying jewellery for another person is like buying them underpants – only much, much more expensive. A piece of jewellery is a very personal thing. So why do we even buy jewellery for other people? Well, for all the reasons that it’s so bloomin’ difficult. When you gift jewellery to someone, it’s special. You’re telling the recipient how you feel about them, in all kinds of subtle ways. No pressure there, then. General Rules Every time you buy a piece of jewellery it will be a unique experience. Just like the person you’re buying for and the occasion that warrants it. But there are some general rules you can use in every situation. Take a friend Assuming the purchase is a secret, take a friend with you. It can be an entirely neutral third party or a friend that knows a bit about the person you’re buying for. Either way, they bring a second opinion to the table that will be valuable when you’re planning to spend half your savings. Match your spending to the occasion Never spend more or less than you have to. Match the occasion and the circumstances. An engagement ring, for example, is going to set…

Self-Help Advice From Alan Partridge

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Do you long to be more interesting? A charisma leviathan, part man, part God? There can be only one blueprint. Norfolk’s answer to Jesus of Nazareth, Alan Partridge. Some say Partridge is a fictional character played by comedian Steve Coogan in several series, some TV specials and a mildly disappointing film, but we say those people are crazy. How could anyone invent Alan Partridge? Except, perhaps, a genius mind like Nietzsche, Kant or Jilly Cooper. Partridge is both the everyman and the ubermensch. Women want to be him and men want be him with the women who want to be with him. How could you, a normal man, with a man’s courage, ever be like Partridge? Well, we’ve been studying the formula and we’ve broken it down in our laboratory to seven component parts. Gentlemen and strange ladies, here’s how you can be more like Alan Partridge in seven steps of varying difficulty. And to top it off, we’ve got a collection of Alan Partridge’s best clips. 1. Be a ladies man Though divorced from the love of his life Carol, who bore him children Fernando and Denise, Partridge doesn’t let that cramp his bachelor style. At one time, between…

How To Talk Dirty To Your Man/Woman [British Edition]

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  If we are to believe glossy magazines, local news programmes and bridge graffiti, then engaging in sexually explicit conversation is a vital part of modern lovemaking. Alongside ‘devices’ and ‘flimsy underwear’ it adds a much needed novelty aspect to the whole endeavour. But if you have been raised, properly, in the British Isles, the thought of this undertaking would surely fill you with revulsion and immediate self-loathing. So how can it be achieved? Here’s a handy guide to talking dirty but still remaining a stolid citizen. SETTING Good areas for this pursuit to occur are the bedroom, the spare bedroom and, on very rare occasions, (possibly a birthday or significant anniversary) the kitchen. Don’t embark on this sort of activity out in public, at a sporting event, while in a motor vehicle, while working heavy machinery or at the seaside. Your own home or a discreet hotel are both acceptable. Ensure that all doors are locked, windows are sealed and heavy furniture is placed against the door where the ribald speech is to be engaged.   HOW TO INITIATE Like most conversations, you should begin with a firm handshake  towards your partner (who is presumably, and I think legally,…

How to Survive Your Next Shark Attack

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First, the good news. Statistically, most people who are attacked by sharks survive. Only 20% of shark attacks are fatal. While we’re talking numbers, it’s reassuring to know that shark attacks don’t happen very often either. In 2013, there were just 72 confirmed attacks by sharks worldwide. Not all sharks attack either. Of the 480 recorded shark species, only three have been known to attack the hairless chimpanzee we call “humans” in more than double figures. Those sharks are the great white, the bull shark and the tiger shark. Now the bad news. Sharks are apex predators, designed to dominate their environment totally. They are organic machines made for aquatic killing, fashioned from muscle and teeth, with senses honed to detect movement and smell blood. If a shark decides to attack you, there’s no winning for you. There’s only survival. Luckily, you’re reading this – so if you ever do get munched by a shark, you’ll know exactly what to do. Shark strategies There are two basic kinds of shark attack; provoked and an unprovoked. Provoked attacks are just about what they sound like. Funnily enough, if you poke a shark with a stick or swim around waving your flippers…

Britain VS Americans: Who is Better & Why?

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Ever since we discovered them a couple of hundred years ago (give or take) and gave them language and shoes, there has been a certain rivalry between the nations of Great Britain and the United States of America. We sent them The Beatles, they retaliated with Madonna. We have Bond, they have Bourne. They came and helped out during World War II, so we sent over Russell Brand to star in Arthur. But we feel this tension has to come to an end. So we have devised this very scientific survey to decipher once and for all who is the greatest country-based area. Is it us or is it them. Or is it Canada? (Just kidding, it’s never Canada). COUNTRY SHAPE If aliens do attack the planet (and they will, just listen to David Icke) they’ll look down at all those country outlines and think ‘Which one is the nicest? We’ll start by invading that one.’ Obviously it’ll be a toss-up between the British isles and North America. And while the UK resembles a little man turned to the left and shaking hands with Ireland, America looks more like flattened out pastry when you roll it out wrong and have…

How To Plan An All-American Road Trip

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The great American road trip. Vast, craggy landscapes orange-soaked in desert sunbeams, two lane blacktop stretching to the horizon. The coffee, black as the hearts of men, pie spilling cherries like gut-shot cowboys. The dusty roads and gas station assignations between… This grand continent fought for and gained its independence from us back in 1776. As the US celebrates again this July the 4th, maybe it’s time for us Brits to reflect on what we lost when the original colonists separated from the Mother country. There’s a reason there are no movies about commuting from Reading to Norwich. America is a land of limitless contrasts, from lush forest and mountains in the midwest, to snowy-peaks along the Canadian border, to the red desert between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. And the only way to truly experience it, is to drive through it. This is a land conquered by the car. No wilderness has been left unscarred by road, no desert unmarked by tracks. And Seven Elevens. And Piggly Wigglies. If you want to see the USA, you should do it as God intended; in a 2.0 litre saloon. Hallelujah, brethren. But where do you start? Getting your wheels First things first, you’re going to…

How To Go Travelling (Not On Holiday)

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Travelling is a very different thing to just going on holiday. When you travel, you see the world and soak up its culture. You spend time getting to know places and people; their customs and rituals. When you go on holiday you spend a week eating egg and chips in a hot country. Going on holiday, you come back with ten days worth of identical memories and a phone full of sunsets. When you travel, you change your life. You become a different person. That’s why it’s worth dropping out for a year to do it properly. But to do it properly, you’ll need to plan – which is where we come in! Choose Where to Go We’re going to suggest you experience one fairly large part of the Earth in depth, because travel isn’t fast food. The world is your oyster and, like oysters you should savour the experience. That doesn’t mean you should restrict your year off to a tour of Bognor Regis and its surroundings, but choosing a distinct geographical area has advantages. You’ll have time to absorb the culture better You’ll be able pick up regional travel deals and discounts You may be able to learn…