Saturday, 12 April 2014

A Night Out Or A Night In. Which Is Better? There's Only One Way To Find Out...

Modern society and technology bless us with the ability to find entertainment from a myriad of different sources. Often we are spoiled for choice as there is so much that can be done potentially. Sometimes we may be feeling lively and want to dance the night away and other times we only want to crawl in front of the fire with a good book.

You will find here, different forms of entertainment; some of you may not have experienced and some that you definitely will have. Either way, if you are stuck for something to do tonight, maybe you will follow one of these suggestions. I am also going to mark them out of Ten, from my own point of view, as to their desirability.

Go to the Theatre

Whether it is an amateur dramatics performance or a Shakespearean classic, going to the theatre is a great experience. Sometimes the scenery may be a little rickety and the acting cringeworthy, but all in all it is good fun. There are often coach excursions to the big shows in London departing from a town near you so check the local papers or look on the internet for times, shows, and prices.   Rating: 6/10

Stay In

If you wish to stay in with a friend and watch the latest bollywood movies on your huge plasma television there has never been a better time in history to do so. There are several websites that stream movies now, often for free, and they have huge libraries from which to select your film. Now, when stopping in, the cuddle factor has to be taken into consideration. Being with a loved one in front of a real fire and watching cool movies is a great way to spend an evening. Don’t forget to plan the alcohol and snacks too. Rating: 8/10

Go to The Pub

Going to the local pub is a great British tradition that is sadly dying out thanks to the smoking ban and tax an alcohol. In fact it is hard to find a pub anymore, they have all turned into one kind of eatery or another since selling booze stopped bringing in enough income. If you can find a traditional, friendly pub with a jukebox and a dartboard, try a night out there. The banter makes it a very enjoyable evening indeed. Rating: 6/10

Go For a Meal

As mentioned previously, there is no shortage of places to eat since most of the pubs turned to food. Maybe, however, you may choose to sample some foreign delights. There are restaurants now that lay out all of the food in the form of a buffet, and they are a great way of discovering what the different dishes taste like. They are all-you-can-eat establishments, so value for money is guaranteed. Rating: 8:10

Thursday, 10 April 2014

The Rise Of Jazz During The 1920s

Jazz started off life in the 1920s as a cultural movement in America, and has not looked back. The Jazz Age started its snow ball to popularity in the Roaring Twenties, along with the introduction of mainstream radio and the conclusion of the first World War.

However, like most music genres its shelf life was limited to about 10-15 years, as the Great Depressions of the 1930s hit America hard. Jazz lives on in many different forms today, and some say that it is more popular at present than it ever has been.

[Thanks to macprohawaii, via Flickr]

Jazz started off, and is often accredited to, African Americans. This soon expanded through to the white middle class, and cities like New York and Chicago soon brought Jazz to their masses. Jazz is often characterised by this meshing of races, classes and differing parts of society. It was Jazz music that crossed this invisible barrier between two very different sets of people. New York and Chicago become hotbeds for the black jazz singer, somewhere to start a music career that could take them from the poverty stricken rural wastelands to the wealth of the urban areas.

The youth of the 1920s were influenced by Jazz to rebel against previous popular cultures, and this was represented with the fashion at the time, as well as the birth of radio and the distribution of Jazz over the airwaves.

Jazz differed completely from the mainstay classical genre of the 1920s, and as the decade went on Jazz started to gain popularity from all quarters of society. Traditional black dances like the Charleston were quickly adopted by the more affluent demographics. As Jazz was the first music genre to take advantage of the birth of radio, people did not have to visit a Jazz club to listen to the music.

Due to racial prejudice, at the time, white Jazz artists received much more air time than their black counterparts. Artists like Louis Armstrong, Joe ‘King’ Oliver and Jelly Roll Morton all received far less airtime, however their music was still very much loved and played throughout Jazz clubs in the bigger American cities.

Monday, 31 March 2014

Behind the Internet Curtain - Infographic

With a full time job in the real world plus a number of part-time earning gigs through my blogs, there’s no doubt that the internet makes my life less complicated.  From doing most of my shopping to booking hotels and flights, managing my finances and keeping in touch with family and friends --- with a swamped schedule, believe me when I tell you that it’s the internet that never fails to come in to the rescue.  I am pretty sure that you and I are on the very same page, yeah?

Since we rely so much on the power of the world wide web, do we have any idea on what’s actually behind the internet curtain?  Curious?  If you are, the infographic attached below might just give you a clearer view from the top.  Have a fun read!

Monday, 24 March 2014

The Best 5 Gifts [That Don’t Suck] For Sports Fans

With Christmas in the rearview mirror, you thought you were off the hook on buying presents for a while. But you forgot about birthdays? And what about Father’s Day and Mother’s Day? Here are 5 gift ideas for sports fans that you can actually use [as well as some fun facts to wow them with!]:

1. Tickets to the Big Game

Tickets are an obvious gift idea for your major sports fan. You can get just one ticket, but who wants to go to a game alone? Buy yourself one also so you can enjoy the game together! But what if you’re not exactly sure which game/day/time works best for the recipient, and/or you want it to be a surprise? If your loved one loves the hometown team then why not buy a gift certificate from the stadium so they can go to whatever home-game they like. You really can’t go wrong.

Fun Fact: The rivalry between Harvard and Yale football teams is legendary. The very first Harvard vs. Yale football game was November 13, 1875. Tickets were only 50 cents [Tickets today will cost quite a bit more], and there were 2,500 spectators. 

2. Game Day Gift Basket

Of course, they can’t watch every game live and in person. For the guy or girl who’s gearing up to watch the next big game from the comfort of the couch, treat them with a gift basket to enjoy on game day like this hamper with snacks, beers and jerky. Maybe you’ll be invited over to share in the spoils.

Or if they like to play the sport just as much as watching then try out a sports themed hamper – a great gift for a golf junkie!

Fun Fact: Shadow Creek Golf Course in Las Vegas is the most expensive golf course in the United States. The fee is $500 for 18 holes.

3. Classic Jerseys

What self-respecting sports fan doesn’t already own a sports jersey? Not many. However, there are different levels of sports jersey possession, some might say. There’s the sports jersey you wear while watching your game, and there’s the sports jersey you frame for adornment on the wall of your Man Cave. Obviously, both are necessities.

Fun Fact: Shaquille O’Neal was already 6’8 when he was only 14 years old. 

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Save Money On Arts And Crafts Supplies

If you’re in love with arts and crafts it can be easy to get caught up in all of the products recommended in the various magazines you read. You will also encounter quite a bit of advertising from arts and crafts suppliers, each one trying to convince you that you will never reach your full potential if you pick the wrong supplies. There’s no doubt that good supplies can be important in certain instances. However, there are plenty of situations in which you can save a great deal of money on arts and craft supplies by using a bit of ingenuity and good old fashioned common sense.

Let Recycling Help You Save Money On Crafts

If you’re an avid crafter, you probably love to have your craft supplies organized. It can be tempting to buy organizers that are specially designed for crafters. However, there’s no need to spend a great deal of money organizing your crafts when most of what you need is already in your home.

If you have a baby, you can use plastic baby wipe containers to store many of your craft supplies. Since most baby wipe containers are opaque, you will need to label each container so that you know which supplies are stored where.

Photo source: Spoonful

Egg cartons can be used in a variety of ways to help you store your crafts. Many people use them to store beads and other small crafting items.  There are also several types of crafts that you can make with egg cartons. You can have your child decorate the egg carton and use it to put their small toys in. If you’re feeling particularly adventuresome, you can save up a large collection of egg cartons, paint the outside with designs, and then cover your child’s ceiling with them.

If you love quilting, you can cut squares out of old clothes and use them in your quilt work. Denim and other heavier material can be excellent for making a quilt that will keep your children warm at night. If you have a friend who is having a baby soon, you can get a square from each of their friends and make a very memorable quilt blanket for their newborn.

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