Posts Categorized: How To…

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…

How To Disappear Completely, Never Be Found (& It’s 100% Legal)

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Have you ever wondered what it would be like to start over? What if you could disappear and, months later, re-emerge as a deckhand on a long-haul fishing vessel, or tend bar in the Caribbean? What if you could wipe the slate clean and emerge as an entirely new you?  No baggage, no history. As we sit here on a drizzly English morning, tapping out these words on a crumb covered keyboard, it all sounds very tempting indeed… Like the 70s classic sitcom character Reginald Perrin, it is possible to disappear completely and never be found; emerging with a new identity. But you have to get it right. You only hear about the people who fail at this; John Darwin – “the Canoe man” – who faked his death for half a million quid in life insurance. Then there was fallen Serb despot Radon Karadzic, who evaded war crimes charges for a decade with a new name, a bushy beard and a job as a faith healer… All of these characters committed “pseudocide” to evade the law; they disappeared and changed their names. But we’re staying on the right side of the boys in blue here. All the advice we’ll give you is…

How to Learn Languages Like A Polyglot

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If the last time you tried to learn a foreign language was at school, learning a new one will seem pretty daunting. Here’s a thought; why don’t you cheat instead? You couldn’t get away with cheating in exams, but this is real life. There are no invigilators here; no teachers ready to smack you on the hand with the back of a ruler. Cheating can take many forms, from full on faking to taking short-cuts. You can speak double Dutch in the Netherlands, or get a helping hand in Hungary. We look at full-on faking it first, then show you how to speed up language learning so much that it will feel like cheating. Because it sort of is. Faking It Here’s the scenario; you’ve been a bit economical with the truth, telling your new date that you’re fluent in five languages. Now you’re sitting in an dark, Italian restaurant and she’s waiting for you to order. The waiter comes up, takes out his pad and… you begin speaking gibberish in an ostentatious Italian accent. But does the waiter roll his eyes and blow your cover? No – because two hours earlier you nipped in on your way to pick…

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 BS About Football (When You Know Nothing)

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The 2014 FIFA World Cup is very nearly underway, with hosts Brazil among the first to take to the pitch. If you didn’t understand a word of that, this post is for you. Football is the blood that runs through our nation’s veins, so it can feel a bit awkward being the only person in the tap-room who doesn’t know the offside rule. You become an eternal wallflower, ostracised and muttering with embarrassment whenever the fateful question is asked: “who do you support?” It’s like being asked whose side you’re on – and you don’t have a side. You’re no one. You’re Billy No Mates. You’re the kid that teachers flick spitballs at. But fear not! The World Cup is the ideal time to learn how to talk about football credibly. It’s a crash course in the highs and lows of the beautiful game, compressed into four compact weeks. It’s football fan university, with all the drinking, partying and physical contact with members of the same gender that implies. All you need to do is go with the flow, get yourself a cheap England shirt and follow our simple instructions. Watch the matches in a crowd It’ll be difficult to…

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…

How To Start Your Own Death Cult

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What’s the difference between a religion and a cult? Not much. The study of cults is a modern phenomena – dating back to the 1930s. They have many of the same traits as mainstream religions, but with beliefs and practices that established society deems odd or eccentric. When you think about it though, there are a lot of things people do in the name of mainstream religion that look decidedly odd or eccentric… One thing’s for certain. Cult formation is skyrocketing. As old time religion loses its lustre for many, New Religious Movements or NRMs are flooding in to fill the hole. Best of all? You could be the person at the top. Anyone can start their own cult. All it takes is a bit of charisma, a creation myth and some commandments to live by. A charismatic figurehead Getting people to follow you in the first place is a confidence trick. So, every cult needs a leader who inspires that confidence – a leader who will embody and represent your theosophy. In 1968, The Beatles dropped their Rickenbackers halfway through “Magical Mystery Tour” and went off to India. The chap who turned their heads? The Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, leader of the Transcendental Meditation…

How To Be Better at Conversation & Small Talk

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I’ve noticed recently that the number of occasions when people flee from my company as I begin talking to them is roughly down to single figures for each day, so I now consider myself to have the gift of the gab. Yes, I am one of those tremendously fortuitous individuals who can simply open up a conversation with practically anyone and they will stand there, rigid with admiration, unable to speak due to my fascinating insights and gesturing frantically to passers-by, so they can join them and also enjoy my words. My abilities and techniques have been slowly assembled over many years and I am finally ready to share them with you lucky, lucky people. So sit back, pour yourself a Lucozade and prepare to learn my trade secrets of polite, enthralling conversation. THE OPENING This is always the most difficult gambit when initiating a conversation with someone. Do you try the traditional ‘hello’? The more relaxed ‘hi’? Or something more unorthodox like ‘ZAPPY PAPPY ZAPPY PAPPY’ screamed at quite a high register. Well, even novices like yourselves will realise that it should be this last one. You only have a few microseconds to make an impression and allow this person to understand that you…