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May 18, 2016

Weird and Wonderful Competitions

Over time, any game can be turned into a competition. Elite sport is considered the pinnacle of competition, with hundreds of disciplines being practiced across the globe – from football to chess, and everything in-between. We’re going to have a little fun and share with you some more obscure competitions, which most people wouldn’t even consider to be an international event but are. Did you know about any of these?

Pea Shooting


Known as the sport for everyone’, pea shooting is a real sporting competition. There’s even a National Pea Shooting Association and, on 11th October 2014, they presented the first U.S. National Pea Shooting Championship. You place a pea in a shooter, point the shooter at the target, blow, and aim to get the pea in the centre of the target – it’s that simple.

Rock, Paper, Scissors


The UK Rock Paper Scissor Championship takes place every year in central London. 250 competitors battle through seven knockout rounds until only one ultimate winner remains. The grand prize is a cool £100, trophy and bottle of champagne – not to mention a bucket load of respect. If you love playing Rock, Paper, Scissors, be sure to sign up for the next event, and take a look at Ladbrokes’ guide to the game in the meantime.

Finger Jousting


Finger poking sports have a long history, but in the summer of 2005 it all came down to one young man being inspired to found an international organization dedicated to the specific sport of finger jousting, the World Finger Jousting Federation. The rules are long and extensive, making sure that everyone plays by their guidelines. The events take place all over the world.

Shin Kicking


Robert Dover’s Cotswold Olimpicks have been running for over 400 years, and one of the sports included in the time-honoured event is shin kicking, which has been involved from the off in 1612. The rules have been improved since then, making it a lot safer – steel toe caps are banned for one thing.

 Worm Charming

The Worm Charming event was first devised by Mr John Bailey who was the deputy headmaster of Willaston County Primary School in Nantwich, Cheshire. It was designed as a fundraising event, as part of the school fete, in 1980. Competitors compete for a trophy in the shape of a golden rampant worm, which is awarded to the person charming the most worms from their plot in 30 minutes – yes, you heard that right.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our guide to weird and wonderful games that actually stand as sports all over the world. Would you be tempted to take part in any of these unusual games with a real competition atmosphere?

10 Unusual Dating Rituals from Around the World

Courtship can be interpreted on so many ways. Based on the country of origin and the time,  dating rituals can be really different. In today’s article we found a infographic that will show you the top 10 unusual dating rituals from all around the world:

Things You Should Buy if You Win a Casino Jackpot

If you win a big casino jackpot, whether that is from playing casinos online or at a real casino, then it always tempting to just spend it without really considering what you are going to spend it on. It can mean that you buy a lot of things and then end up with no money left very quickly and you may wonder where it has disappeared to. It is therefore well worth thinking hard about what you would like to spend the money that you have won at Online casino usa on before you spend a lot of it.

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The first thing it is sensible to consider is your career. If you have a life changing amount of money at the casino, then you may feel that you can just give up your job and not worry about a career. However, you will need to make sure that you invest your money wisely if you want to live the rest of your life without working. This could mean that you find an investment account that pays you a regular income which you can use to live off instead of a salary. You may be the sort of person that will get bored if they are not working though. In this case you could possibly use the money to start up your own business so that you can work but do things exactly the way that you want to.

career invest

Another thing to consider is your home. If you are renting a property, then you may want to buy your own home with your online casino winnings. This can mean that you will never have to pay any rent for the rest of your life, which is a great feeling. If you already have a home with a mortgage then paying off that mortgage is a great idea as well. It may be tempting to move to a bigger home as well, but make sure that you will be able to afford the costs associated with paying for a bigger home.

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It may sound like a boring way to spend money that you have won at a casino. But paying off debts can be really sensible. You will feel a great sense of freedom once that debt is gone and you will no longer have to be paying interest and repayments on those debts anymore. This can lead to a much more positive future for you. You may try to push your debt to the back of your mind but it is always going to be there unless you pay it off.

Many people might choose to buy a car if they have a big win at an online casino. If you have an unreliable car or no car then this can be a great idea. It can save you money in the long run if you do not have to keep paying for car repairs and you can travel more easily and quickly. It could help you to visit friends and family more easily and you will be able to find work more easily as you will be able to travel anywhere.

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Buying the latest electronic goods can always be temping when you win at a casino. However, this may not be a sensible idea at all. Goods like this go out of date very easily and if you buy the latest items they could have teething problems with them or they may not take off. Things like Betamax videos or 3D televisions are examples of this, where there were a head of their time and those people purchasing them may have regretted it. It can also be better to purchase something that you will treasure and not want to replace.

Investing online casino winnings can be a really good thing to do. Not only will you get a return on your investment and it could increase in value, but you will also not be tempted to make silly impulse purchases if the money is locked away. It can give you time to think and plan what the best things to spend your money on. This can sound so boring but it would stop you having regrets later. You may look back on your casino win and wish that you had done something more sensible with it. If you use it to buy a holiday, some electrical items and gamble some of it, you may wish that you had kept it to pay off some debts or buy something more useful.

Saving money on family gifts this Christmas

Regardless of whether you set aside savings all year, scrimp on luxuries as autumn arrives, or splash out and worry about it later, the cost of Christmas is a genuine concern for many Americans as the big day draws closer.

Top tips for a cost-effective Christmas

While the subject of a cost-effective Christmas can be disheartening, or even downright stressful, for those who wish they had more to spend, the good news is that it’s perfectly possible to enjoy a frugal, and environmentally friendly, festive season – you just need to approach your shopping and preparation with a slightly different mindset.

Handmade gifts

The idea of handmade presents being cheap, an ‘easy way out’, or downright rude, is a thing of the past. That’s right, gifting your loved ones an item that you’ve slaved over is now incredibly popular, and a fantastic way of saving those dollars. As if that wasn’t reason enough, choosing to make your own presents is also incredibly green. With no packaging to pay for, a myriad household items used up rather than being thrown away, and the opportunity to introduce the idea to friends and family, there has never been a better time to reduce your carbon footprint – your only issue may be deciding when to stop.

Talk presents

It’s never an easy conversation to have, particularly with certain family members, but it’s one that needs to happen if you want to stop Christmas from costing the Earth. That’s right, it’s time to talk presents. If you come from a large family, consider sending gifts only to children of a certain age or younger, or banish cards altogether. Similarly, now may be the time to suggest sending ‘family presents’ – that is, a single present that can be used and enjoyed by everybody, rather than individual gifts. Your cash-strapped friends and family may well applaud your suggestions.

Shop savvy

While it’s tempting to head into the nearest mall and aim to finish your shopping in record time, that’s not always the most savvy way to shop – sorry, gentlemen! Slowly building a collection of gifts throughout the year, or heading to the January sales to buy next year’s presents are fantastic hacks, while shopping online is the latest trend. In fact, many high street stores will now offer the same items online, and for a fraction of the cost. Just think of the gas, time, and effort saved – hurrah! Many online retailers tend to offer a host of practical gift ideas as you shop, which makes the process so much easier, and satisfying.

 

Plan ahead

Whether you usually plan for months at a time or generally go with the flow until Christmas Eve, it’s time to re-evaluate how you organize gift buying, feeding the family, and tidying up afterwards. These days it’s so tempting to buy whatever we fancy and worry about what to do with the leftovers once January arrives, but wouldn’t it be savvier to cut back, purchase only what we need, and use the remains frugally?

Of course, this list of hints and tips is not exhaustive – you may even have a few cost-saving hacks of your own. Hopefully though, you have been inspired to shop a little more frugally this Christmas, and to get your family involved.

5 Tips for Making a Great YouTube Video

These days, everyone wants to go viral. The key to becoming an internet celebrity is to make a YouTube video. Once you create enough of them, your channel will start to gain attention. With that newfound awareness, you’ll develop followers, video subscribers inclined to watch all the content you provide. Before any of that can happen, however, you need to get your foot in the door by crafting that first great clip. Here are five tips for making a great YouTube video.

Pick the Right Topic

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Image via Flickr by Photographing Travis

The crucial first step in getting your fledgling video career off on the right note is selecting the correct subject matter. While TV’s Sheldon Cooper would suggest an arcane topic near and dear to your heart such as Fun with Flags, the brutal reality is that you’ll do nothing but waste your time. You need to choose something with a wide scope of potential viewers rather than something with a narrow focus that the overwhelming majority of people will not find engaging.

Think about the most general topics that catch your eye, and that probably applies to other people as well. A vast array of subjects such as major sports, video games, cooking vacation destinations, cute animals, movies, and music, appeals to virtually everyone. With such a wide variety of options, you should have no problem picking something that speaks to you on a personal level while still attracting a massive potential viewer base.

Pick the Right Camera

Most people give in to the temptation to use the camera on their phone to record their videos. That’s also why most people fail to build major video content portals. By looking like everyone else, amateurish, they fail to stand out. You’ll want a decent camera with the functionality to record a high-quality video file that can upload quickly and easily to your computer. This will make your subject matter appear much more professional.

Pick the Right Laptop

Editing your files is a critical step in crafting the best video. People today want more than basic motion pictures. They expect splashy graphics and sound effects that enhance the viewing experience, making the footage more exciting to watch. Buying a state-of-the-art computer doesn’t guarantee that you’ll perform these tasks faster, but it’s a strong start.

The new Skylake processor from Intel is the first CPU that supports 4K video in the hardware itself. Powerful new laptops like the Lenovo ThinkPad will save you a great deal of time in the editing bay. Extra time liberates you to make more videos.

Pick the Right Editing Software

The same rules for the camera and the laptop apply to the software. No matter how much computational power your laptop possesses, a clunky editing app will cause problems. It’ll bottleneck the creative process as you impatiently wait for it to perform the requisite task. Sitting on your hands is terrible, because odds are good that you’ll forget what you intended to do while you wait.

Fortunately, there are a lot of great editing apps available. The best of them are Adobe Presenter, Corel VideoStudio Pro X8, and CyberLink PowerDirector 11. Choosing any of these three should assure a smooth process while you’re perfecting your video. Better yet, they’re user-friendly enough that they’ll do the heavy lifting for novices.

Be Yourself

The picking is over now. At this point, the success of your endeavor is entirely in your hands. You have the right camera, laptop, and software to make a popular video. What you need to realize is that if you start with a clip that isn’t true to yourself, you’ll have to keep up the act in every successive video. That’s exhausting.

Instead, try to find your voice as a content creator. What makes you so engaging and charismatic that you believe you can become an internet celebrity? What is it about your video that makes you confident it’ll go viral? Emphasize those aspects of yourself in your videos. They’ll operate as an introduction that will make people as interested in you as they are in your initial clip.

Making a great YouTube video takes some planning. Follow the advice above to improve your odds of your first attempt going viral.

Basic Things to Know About USA Divorce Law

You’re thinking about a divorce and you are starting to work with a divorce lawyer in Tucson so that you can get it finalized. There are a lot of things that you need to try and figure out, but what is important and what can just be left behind? In this article, we’re going to give you a look at some of the basic things that you need to know about USA Divorce law.

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  • If you have only been living in the state for a short period of time, you may not be eligible to get divorced there. You will have to take a look at the laws of your state in order to see how long you would have had to live there.
  • Many states (not all) actually require that you and your spouse live apart for a period of time before you are actually allowed to get a divorce. This is not only to ensure that you actually want to get divorced, but it also allows you both to have some “down time” before you actually try to make a decision and deal with the ins and outs that end up coming when you’re trying to get divorced.
  • Assets are one of the most important parts of divorce. Money and the things that you own have to be dealt with, and if you don’t take care of them, it could make the problem that much worse. Be honest about all of your assets and be willing to figure out and compromise the best way to go about whatever it is that you have to sift through in order to ensure that everyone gets a fair share and is taken care of in the end.
  • Are there children involved? Children often make things more complicated, but they also make it that much more important for you to sort things out as civilly as possible. There are lots of laws related to child custody that vary by state, so you will have to look into those and figure out the course of action that your family is going to take.
  • Alimony and child support are both things that need to be dealt with. Along with assets, the spouse who doesn’t have custody may have to pay child support to help out. Alimony, on the other hand, is only done if one of the spouses has never had gainful employment and is going to need help from the other spouse in order to make sure that they are okay.

There are many other laws that vary by state, so it’s always a good idea to get connected with a professional that can help you sift through it all. That way, you can make sure that you don’t miss anything and that your case can be dealt with as quickly as possible. In short, look for someone that specializes in family law or divorces and you’ll be ready to go in the state you reside in.

The 7 Habits Recent Grads Use to Manage Student Loan Debt

Borrowing money for education is a must for many, but after you graduate it may seem overwhelming to pay your loans off as you start out in your career. Managing student loan debt is much easier if you can follow in the footsteps of other borrowers like you who are trying to make ends meet.

Stay Connected to Debt

While it may be tempting to ignore a looming deadline, it is important to keep an eye on your outstanding loans and time limits. Many student loans have specific requirements for when you have to start paying them back, and even one missed or late payment can negatively impact your credit. This is something you want to avoid as you are getting into the world where credit matters for everything: mortgages, job opportunities, renting apartments, and buying cars. Along those same lines, avoid using credit cards for things you can’t afford, since the interest rates are typically pretty high.

Use Resources

Image via Flickr by Sebastian Kippe

With mobile devices so readily available, you can easily use technology to manage your debt. There are hundreds of financial management apps that make it easy to consolidate all accounts into one place, so you can check in regularly and see how you are doing on your budget and loan repayment. Specific banks and credit cards also have their own apps for simplified account management. With all of the apps readily available on innovative 4G LTE capable phones like the Samsung Galaxy S5, you can stay on top of due dates and outstanding loans.

Consider Repayment Alternatives

When you took out your first student loan, you probably had no idea what your starting salary would be in your new career. As a result, your repayment schedule might not be feasible once you have finished school and secured a job. Instead of missing payments or falling behind, talk to your lender. If you have federal loans, it may be harder to change the payment schedule, but it’s worth looking into if the monthly amount is impossible to pay. There are options for income-driven repayment plans that can alleviate the stress over making your payment each month.

Understand Postponement or Deferral Options

If you become ill or injured and are unable to work, there are ways to postpone or defer payments on your student loans. If this is your only choice, talk to your lender before making a decision since you may still accrue interest during this period. If possible, pay at least the interest while you aren’t working since this can decrease the overall amount owed once you are back to your job.

Make Extra Payments

Remember when you used to live on ramen noodles and frozen pizzas in college? It may be time to get back into the habit of living as frugally as possible so that you can make extra payments on your student loans. Anything you can put toward the debt will lower the principal and save interest. If you have multiple loans, pay off those with the highest interest rates first. You might also consider consolidating loans so you can make one payment each month without negatively impacting your credit.

Look Into Loan Forgiveness

If your career path has taken you into the world of non-profit, government, or other similar public service jobs, you might qualify for federal loan forgiveness programs. Even those working in education and healthcare can qualify if they meet criteria. These programs can help reduce or even forgive the amount you owe, depending on your position and employer.

Get in Good Habits

Even during the grace period after you finish school, get in the habit of setting aside your loan payment amount and pay it as a lump sum on the first due date. This will help you establish a budget with that amount coming out each month, so you won’t feel overwhelmed after the grace period ends.

Education is well worth the investment, since it can dramatically increase your earning potential over the course of your life. If you take out loans for school, prepare early for their repayment.

FOOD NETWORK’S HALLOWEEN BAKING CHAMPIONSHIP

LOOKING FOR SOME IDEAS FOR YOUR UPCOMING HALLOWEEN PARTY: SEE WHAT THE BEST OF THE BEST WILL COME UP WITH ON FOOD NETWORK’S HALLOWEEN BAKING CHAMPIONSHIP

Top Chef All-Star Richard Blais will host the Halloween baking Championship which will air Monday, October 5th, 2015 at 9:00 pm ET/PT. See who will wow the judges Ron Ben-Israel, Sherry Yard, and Carla Hall by making the best cheesecake coffins. Get entertained while getting some great ideas how to turn your home into a Halloween Masterpiece, so that you can throw the freakiest party of the year. Or just watch for the excitement.

 

The winner with the scariest and most delicious spider cupcakes, witch finger cookies, and mummy macaroons will win the $ 25,000. Don’t miss a second of the creepy crawling mishaps and mayhem. The top bakers in the country will prove that they can create the scariest creations and the spookiest treats for everyone to try this Halloween.

Who will create the best Halloween cupcakes using the classics like candy corn and peanut butter cups? Who has what it takes to create a sweet creation inspired by the best costume? You will have to tune in to see who will be the ultimate championship.

Check out FoodNetwork.com/BakingChampionship for more information and inside interviews or joint the ongoing Twitter conversation using #BakingChampionship now.

This post was sponsored, but opinions are my own

Rachel Ray is Mentoring Eight Tiny Talented Chefs as They Compete on Rachel Ray’s Kids Cook-Off

The series premiers on August 24th at 8 pm on Food Network. It will be full of fun and excitement as eight talented kid chefs battle it out to win a $ 20,000 Culinary Scholarship and their own web series on FoodNework.com. These junior chefs will be put to the ultimate test. They will compete to see who can create the most well-balanced bite or spin their favorite fast food meal. With appearances from Sunny Anderson, Amanda Freitag, Scott Conant, Robert Irvine, Alex Guarnaschelli, Daymon Patterson, Marcus Samuelsson, Jeff Mauro, and Fabio Viviani, this six show special will be a great family favorite.

Get your little ones involved in Rachael Ray’s Kids Cook-Off and make it a family affair. You will be teaching them that they can do big things even when they are just kids. Choose your favorite master chef in training to see who will come out on top. The eight competitors come from all over the United States and are masters in their home towns. Let’s see how they handle some of these obstacles and look great on camera doing it. They have to bring their food to life. The competitors are between 10 and 13 years of age. The last three kids standing will battle it out for the grand prize and bragging rights for the Grand Finale on Monday, September 28th at 8pm.

This post was sponsored, but opinions are my own

Classic Clubs From the Past

Clubs have been around since music gave us a reason to get together and throw some shapes on the dancefloor. The technology may have changed, the cocktails may be slightly different  but the basics are exactly the same. A decent club needs great music, a great venue and a really great crowd to succeed. Check out these super clubs from the past, you’ll see they are not too far from the clubs you visit these days.

Kit Kat Club, London 1920’s

In the 1920’s the first super club evolved, bringing music and dancing to London. The Kit Cat Club was the place to be in the capital. It was innovative and very cool for it’s time. It attracted the hoi polloi, politicians and entertainers performed here from all over the world. Think of gold leaf and royal blue decor, supper tables in rows, a sweeping staircase down to the dancefloor and the crowd dressed in glamorous beaded dresses or tuxedos. The music was a big part of the club, with a resident orchestra belting out the top tunes of the era. The club really got busy after the theatres closed and there was always a buzz. The champagne flowed as the night kicked off and the atmosphere was amazing. It may have been nearly one hundred years ago but the Kit Kat Club showed how Londoners liked to party.

The Cavern Club, Liverpool

Liverpool was the birthplace of the Beatles and the Cavern was the club that launched them. set, obviously in a cavern like building, intimate and small, the Cavern Club had exquisite acoustics and became the place to see new bands. Initially it attracted jazz influenced groups but skiffle was welcomed. The Merseybeat sound proved popular not only in England but also around the world. Of course, on 9th February, 1961, a very cool looking and sounding band first played at the Cavern Club and history was made. The Beatles was the regular house band and it goes without saying, they didn’t do too badly from that start. The Cavern also nurtured other groups/acts that also took the world by storm. It was the place to watch Cilla Black, Gerry and the Pacemakers and Billy J Kramer. It’s still possible to witness a piece of Cavern magic as the club is still open for business.

Studio 54, New York

It was during the 1970’s that Studio 54 made a splash on the clubbing scene. This style of club had not been seen before. The key to it’s place in history was the antics of it’s customers. All the bright young things were to be found at Studio 24. What did it matter if Jade Jagger decided to ride a white horse through the club on her 30th birthday? The club wanted the famous clientele to return to his club so he made sure that they were treated like royalty when they came to the club. It was not unusual for the owner to make sure that the clubbers were presented with gifts and endless champagne. The club attracted all the superstars of the era. No one would think twice about spotting Mick Jagger, Rod Stewart, Michael Jackson or Woody Allen. The guests were glamorous and beautiful – the owner personally manned the doors, making sure that only the beautiful were allowed in his club. Studio 54 raised the bar for crazy nights and exclusivity that has never been matched since.

Cafe de Paris

This London stalwart has occupied a prime space in London since 1924 and it only gets better with age. If your idea of a club from the 1920’s included chandeliers, velvet curtains, a ballroom and a sweeping staircase then you are right. Cafe de Paris has kept all of the decor and feel of the original club but brought it up to date. This is the place to celeb spot, the place to catch a live band, the place to watch vintage burlesque acts and the place to have an unforgettable evening. The dress code remains as it always was – put your glad rags on and dress to impress.

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