Monday, December 17, 2012

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Fine Art of Italian Hand Gestures

Old Neapolitan gestures, from left to right: money, past times, affirmation, stupid, good, wait a moment, to walk backward, to steal, horns, to ask for.

Another illustrated page of the book of Canon Andrea de Jorio. 

Meaning of the gestures: silence, no, beauty, hunger, to mock, weariness, stupid, squint, to deceive, cunning.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Chat-up Lines: You are the biggest thing in my Life!

"Of course you are the biggest thing in my Life!"

Chat-up Lines: Pretty As a Picture?

When is not a good time to use this famous chat-up line?

Always best to check around your your location before using some of these throw-away lines.

Friday, December 7, 2012

A Robotic Car To Quiet His Annoying Parrot

The car (called the BirdBuggy) is electric, with the forward wheels powered and casters at the rear.

The parrot has a perch, and controls the car with a four-way joystick that moves the car forward and backward, and turns it left and right.

In addition to the beak-operated stick, the car can be placed in a robotic mode to seek out its charging station via camera-based computer vision.

Also, the car has bump sensors and an infrared collision avoidance system, since birds aren't exactly terrific drivers.

One huge innovation I think will eventually find its way into mainstream vehicles is a special holder below the perch for newspaper, to allow for more hygienic shitting while driving. Who wouldn't love a feature like that in your own car? You'd save a fortune on floor mats.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Sinterklas Day in Holland - 6 to 8 Black men

David Sedaris' essay entitled "Six to Eight Black Men" from the album 'Live at Carnegie Hall'. It was originally published in Esquire Magazine.

Here is a link to the text:

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Dating advice: Make a space for love to happen

One of the top questions we are asked is "What do I say?" Well, the best advice we can give is to find a space or a moment when it is easy to speak and of course, don't try too hard.

The more relaxed you are the more natural you will sound.

Whether you're on a first date or spot someone gorgeous while out and about, breaking the ice is that tricky first step on the path to romance. Here are some handy ways to kick-start the conversation.

Read it and speak
Books have always got people talking, so if your chosen hottie is clutching a copy of the new JK Rowling or 50 Shades Of Grey, ask their opinion on whether it's worth all the hype. It will show you're interested in what they have to say and lead to a discussion about your literary interests.

Also, try carrying around an intriguing book of your own to make it easy for people to talk to you but leave the Spice Girls pop-up, scratch-and-sniff volumes at home.

Show some balls
Not literally! An impromptu juggling routine is one way to stand out from the crowd. Whether you're trying to impress a stranger or a date, successfully chucking some fruit or sweets in the air will get their attention and give you a chance to compare party tricks.

If you drop a few, so much the better, it just shows you don't take yourself too seriously but don't do this in museums or art galleries and avoid using eggs, glass items and small animals or children, no matter how cute you think it would look.

It pays to compliment
Pay the object of your affection a genuine compliment. Asking about someone’s jewellery or clothing will show you're paying attention.

It's also a good way to strike up a conversation with a stranger without coming across as sleazy or resorting to impersonal chat-up lines but do avoid asking the value of any jewellery, as this just sounds like pre-amble to a snatch-and-grab.

The only time it is good to ask a woman about the cost of an item is just before you rip it off her. Again, it is best to do this in the privacy of your own home and with someone you know intimately, but not a near relative.

Arguing as an intro (bad)
Launching into a full-scale row about the crisis in Syria with a near-stranger could kill the romantic mood before it's even begun, but a light-hearted argument can be seriously flirty.

Ask something silly – like whether a latte or flat white would win in a fight – and then argue it out until your pulses are racing.

Again, when you both have mugs full of coffee or other hot liquids, this is not a good time to show off your juggling prowess, no matter how well the conversation is going. This is especially true in Starbucks, believe me.

Helping hand
Prove that chivalry is alive and well by doing something helpful for the one who's caught your eye but again try not to look like a potential mugger.

Holding a door open, assisting with a heavy bag, or picking up something that’s fallen on the floor, these types of favours may spark gratitude and show your caring side.

Some say that it works both ways, and that you should't be afraid to ask for a hand yourself but again be aware of the circumstances.

Avoid using props like crutches, wheelchairs and small children borrowed from relatives. Stick to simple things like dropping a pen, a book or some papers.

Avoid walking into lamposts and doors for attention, the sight of blood, tears and facial damage can put some women off unless they are medically qualified.

Also avoid women who ask you to sign a waiver in these circumstances as they are probably far to astute legally and that is never good in the longer term.

Kind of magic
Cheesy as it may seem, a well-executed magic trick never fails to impress. It's also a great excuse to approach someone and, as it's interactive, will mean they're not merely a spectator.

If the atmosphere is sufficiently flirty, the light contact as you brush over their ear to produce a coin will help make those sparks fly or, if things are not going well, you may get maced. But these are just the risks you take as an amateur magician in uneasy social situations.

A good magicians trick is to make their drinks bill disappear i.e pay for it yourself. I don't mean torching it in the ashtray and laughing nervously, that just gets you thrown out and banned from various premises in the downtown area.

again avoid trying to make precious items disappear, such as watches, rings, pets, small children, etc. You're biggest trick will be to make her boyfriend disappear and be replaced by you.

NB: I mean this in a romantic way, not in an elaborate David Copperfield way because that would be very expensive and more than a bit scary for your average downtown coffee shop, except in Amsterdam, where it would go unnoticed.

A good view
Never underestimate how nice it is when someone values your opinion. It's also a great way to get a conversation going.

When you clink trolleys with someone cute in the supermarket, say, ‘Can I get your opinion on something?’ before seeking an expert view on, say, the best Spanish red wine or whether sweet potatoes might work in a curry.

Do try to take into account their appearance and avoid trampling over racial stereotypes. If you do get into trouble in a supermarket simply cause a sweet potato avalanche and bury yourself under it.

Hopefully, this will also attract the attention of a helpful and considerate woman who comes rushing to your aid and not a shaven-headed goon who claims he is 'security' and roughly handles you into the street.

Not the physical contact you were looking for at all!

It sounds simple, but offering someone a smile can melt the ice and smooth the way towards an easy conversation.

So the next time you see someone you fancy on the bus, give them a warm grin. It will help fire up a connection between you, especially if you're surrounded by grumpy, stony-faced commuters.

Just make sure a) you have something to say once you've got past the smiling stage b) you have sufficient good teeth at the front of your face c) you do not grimace menacingly d) not burst into a laugh.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Friday, September 28, 2012

COMIC: Cycles of Life

Want to proclaim your introversion? You can order a poster of this comic here.

COMIC: We Are the Introverts

Want to proclaim your introversion? You can order a poster of this comic here.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Hand Lettering Experience with Bob Dylan — Video

Inspired by Bob Dylan’s Subterranean Homesick Blues video, Leandro Senna, an Art Director and Graphic Designer from Brazil, has decided to recreate those cards from the video with handmade type.

According to Leandro, it took him one month to complete 66 cards using only pencil, black tint pens and brushes. I’m sure many typography enthusiasts will find this clip amazing.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

How to quickly chat someone up

Whether you’re flirting in a bar or meeting an online date for the first time, those first few minutes of chat are crucial. Get it right, and you’ll have them at “hello” – or at least within a few minutes of it.

But chatting someone up is a tricky skill. Some people have the gift of the gab; others wouldn’t chat to a stranger if they were stranded on an island together. Follow these tips and you can go from chat-phobic to flirting champ.

1. Picture the scene
Before you approach that gorgeous creature or meet your date, run through some chatty scenarios in your head. Think about things you might say and how they might reply. Picture yourself responding with calm wit and fluency.

You probably won’t stick to these mental rehearsals, but the exercise will boost your confidence. It’s like the “visualisation” tricks sports stars use to calm their nerves before a game or a race.

2. One beer good, six beers bad

A drink or two can ease your shyness and help you mingle, but booze is not a magic confidence bullet. Alcohol on an empty stomach can turn you into a one-woman stag or hen party, and that won’t do your romantic chances any good at all.

3. Be a lone shark

Girls and guys who hunt in packs* are terrifying. If you want to pull a potential keeper, strike out on your own. (Numerical note: “a pack” means two or more. We’re easily intimidated.)

4. Flirt with your eyes

Intense eye contact is one of the strongest bonding signals humans can send out. So if you meet someone’s eye and they seem willing to maintain that eye contact until your backbone tingles, you’ve already done five minutes’ worth of chat in a few seconds of silence.

5. Make your move

If you see someone you want to talk to, don’t procrastinate – especially if you’ve made eye contact with them. Approach them before the moment is gone. If this one doesn’t work, there will be 100 more opportunities in the future.

6. Start small

The best chat-ups aren’t chat-ups at all, they’re small talk. So strike up a conversation, and keep the opener brief and casual. Make a comment or ask a question related to your surroundings, because that’s what you already have in common. For example if you’re at a party, ask if he or she has seen the bottle opener, and follow up with a comment about the choice of booze.

7. Cheese can work – in small doses

Don’t dismiss cheesy chat-ups completely. If you’ve already spent half the evening making eyes at each other, all you need say is “do you come here often?” – and they’ll laugh, and you’ve pulled. Humour is one of the best seduction strategies around.

8. Make sure they’re available

You’re wasting your time if they’re taken. First, the no-brainer – if there’s a wedding or engagement ring on the third finger of their left hand, don’t even think about it.

It harder to find out whether they have a girlfriend or boyfriend. Light humour is your best tactic, especially when combined with a flirtatious look. “So, will your boyfriend/girlfriend kill me if I buy you a drink?” is all it takes.

9. Watch your body language

If you seem to be at ease around the person you’re chatting to, they will feel more relaxed as well – and that’ll help your connection along no end. So relax your facial muscles and shoulders, and keep that lip-twich under control. To reel in your catch, subtly mirror their posture and behaviour. For example, sip your drink just after they sip theirs, or giggle at the same thing. Don’t be too obvious, though, or they’ll think you’re making fun of them.

10. Listen

If you find them interesting, they’ll find you interesting. Listen to what they say, even if it’s small talk about the weather, and respond to it. Don’t bombard them with questions, though – this isn’t a job interview. Overdoing the questioning will make you seem inexperienced.

11. Don’t brag

Bragging makes you sound both arrogant and insecure. What really attracts people is being passionate about your interests, but even passion can be overstated if it means telling someone how much you love your car within a minute of meeting them.

12. Avoid heavy topics

Politics and religion are no topics for chat-ups. You’ll seem overly earnest, and you may even start an argument. Save it for a longer conversation.

13. Breathe

You're nervous. Of course you’re nervous. So focus on your breathing and try to slow it down. Rapid breathing makes you babble, and that will make you feel worse.

14. Don’t admit that you’re nervous

Apologising for your nervousness, or even making a joke about it, will make the other person feel uncomfortable. Keep the conversation going, and the flow of chatter will distract you from the thump-thump of your pulse.

15. Let them know you’re interested

Forget about playing hard to get. If the person you’re talking to didn’t find you attractive, they would have made their excuses quickly. Seal the deal by maintaining eye contact and touching them gently on the arm as you talk. They’ll get the message. Chances are they’ll respond by showing their interest, too.

16. Leave them wanting more

Don’t outstay your welcome. Make your break as soon as there’s a lull in conversation. Ask for their number and vanish alluringly into the night. If they don’t want to give you their number, cut your losses and move on.