Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Monday, July 15, 2013

Something for the Weekend!

Beware of Dutch Lifts

Beach balls and girls

Hutzler Banana Slicing: A review

The case of the Hutzler 571 Banana Slicer and its 4,000+ reviews is a phenomenon in itself. Here is one review and the response it provoked.

Another takes it from here:

I can't believe anyone could be so inept as to think that they couldn't slice their bananas because they bent "the wrong way." All that person has to do is to buy the model 571C Banana Slicer that is for bananas that bend the other way. Although I prefer left-bending bananas, I got both the 571B and the 571C so that when shopping, I don't have to have the hassle of finding bananas with the correct polarity. I hope "Angle Was Wrong" sees the light and removes that harsh one-star rating for this indispensable product duo.

Tuscan Milk: A Poetic Review

An inspired review of Tuscan milk sold on Amazon, written by a consumer known only as Edgar:

Once upon a mid-day sunny, while I savored Nuts 'N Honey,
With my Tuscan Whole Milk, 1 gal, 128 fl. oz., I swore
As I went on with my lapping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at the icebox door.
'Bad condensor, that,' I muttered, 'vibrating the icebox door -
Only this, and nothing more.'

Not to sound like a complainer, but, in an inept half-gainer,
I provoked my bowl to tip and spill its contents on the floor.
Stupefied, I came to muddle over that increasing puddle,
Burgeoning deluge of that which I at present do adore -
Snowy Tuscan wholesomeness exclusively produced offshore -
Purg'ed here for evermore.

And the pool so white and silky, filled me with a sense of milky
Ardor of the type fantastic of a loss not known before,
So that now, to still the throbbing of my heart, while gently sobbing,
I retreated, heading straightway for the tempting icebox door -
Heedless of that pitter-patter tapping at the icebox door -
I resolved to have some more.

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
'This,' said I, 'requires an extra dram of milk, my favorite pour.'
To the icebox I aspired, motivated to admire
How its avocado pigment complemented my decor.
Then I grasped its woodgrain handle - here I opened wide the door; -
Darkness there, and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams of Tuscans I had known before
But the light inside was broken, and the darkness gave no token,
And the only words there spoken were my whispered words, 'No more!'
Coke and beer, some ketchup I set eyes on, and an apple core -
Merely this and nothing more.

Back toward the table turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
'Surely,' said I, 'surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore -
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; -
'Tis the wind and nothing more!'

From the window came a stirring, then, with an incessant purring,
Inside stepped a kitten; mannerlessly did she me ignore.
Not the least obeisance made she; not a minute stopped or stayed she;
But, with mien of lord or lady, withdrew to my dining floor -
Pounced upon the pool of Tuscan spreading o'er my dining floor -
Licked, and lapped, and supped some more.

Then this tiny cat beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grand enthusiasm of the countenance she wore,
Toward the mess she showed no pity, 'til I said, 'Well, hello, kitty!'
Sought she me with pretty eyes that seemed to open some rapport.
So I pleaded, 'Tell me, tell me what it is that you implore!'
Quoth the kitten, 'Get some more.'

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Bad Humour

1. Hearing Aid

Two elderly neighbours were talking the other day and one said to the other. "Hey I just bought a new hearing aid the other day, best hearing aid I've ever had, thing cost over 4,000 dollars."

"Great! What kind is it?"

"About 12:30."

2. Aussie Etiquette 

(NB: A word about Aussie terms you'll find below. A "ute" is a utility vehicle, same as SUV in the U.S.; a "dunny" is a portable toilet;


1. While ears need to be cleaned regularly, this should be done in private, using one's OWN ute keys.
2. Even if you live alone, deodorant isn't a waste of money.
3. Extensive use of deodorant can only delay bathing by a few days.
4. Dirt and grease under the fingernails is a no-no, it alters the taste of finger foods and if you are a woman it can draw attention away from your jewelery.


1. Always offer to bait your date's hook - especially on the first date.
2. Be assertive. Let her know you're interested: "I've been wanting to go out with you ever since I read that stuff about you on the dunny door two years ago."
3. Establish with her parents what time she's expected back. Some will say 11 PM, others might say "Monday." If the latter is the answer, it's the man's responsibility to get her to school on time.


1. Crying babies should be taken to the lobby and picked up after the movie ends.
2. Refrain from yelling abuse at characters on the screen. Tests have proven they can't hear you.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Honiton Community College Teachers Dancing behind students - Video

Honiton Community College Teachers Dancing behind students

Monday, June 10, 2013

Amateur Psychos Beware! Duct Tape Gags don't work! - Video

For info sake: " It was World War II and there was a need for a strong, flexible, durable, waterproof tape that could seal canisters, repair cracked windows, repair trucks and help the war effort in general.

Permacell, a division of the Johnson and Johnson Company, stepped up to this challenge...

The resulting tape was nicknamed "Duck Tape" for its ability to repel water, while ripping easily into strips for fast convenient use."

From "History of Duct Tape" on http://www.duckbrand.com/Duck...

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Gangnam Style (Animal Parody)

Gangnam Style (Animal Parody)

Glass Doors: The Chip Shop Awards - Video

Made exclusively for The Chip Shop Awards: http://www.chipshopawards.com

Cat Food is for Cats

Company: Material_Works
Brand: Aldi
Title: 2 out of 10 cats
Credits: Lynn McBean - creative director

Interflora: Saying Sorry!

Company: Jolyon White and Richard Biggs
Brand: Interflora
Title: Say sorry from a safe distance

Shredder for Sale

Company: Ran Stallard and Andrea Lutken - School of Communication Arts
Title: Paper shredder for sale

Don't Do Rugs!

Company: Big Communications
Title: Don't do rugs
Credits: Tom Heywood and Vijay Ram

SlagBags: Rude Airport Luggage Labels

Company: Big Communications
Brand: Club 18-30
Title: Slagbags

Sensitive Tooth Man - YouTube

Company: Dafty
Brand: Sensodyne
Title: Sensitive Tooth Man
Credits: Written and Directed by DAFTY
Produced by Chief Productions

Monday, April 29, 2013

Creative Solutions to Parenting Issues

1. The mom who came up with the "get along shirt."

The mom who came up with the "get along shirt."

2. These parents who know how to travel with kids.

These parents who know how to travel with kids.

3. Any parent that uses the same tactics on their kids and their cats.

Any parent that uses the same tactics on their kids and their cats.

4. These parents who are planning for the future.

These parents who are planning for the future.

5. The masterminds who came up with this trick.

The masterminds who came up with this trick.

6. The parent who wakes up their kids like this.

The parent who wakes up their kids like this.

7. This dad who finally got his baby to fall asleep.

This dad who finally got his baby to fall asleep.

8. This dad who taught his son the classics.

This dad who taught his son the classics.

9. The parent who taught their daughter to have a healthy perspective on gender roles.

The parent who taught their daughter to have a healthy perspective on gender roles.

10. This thoughtful father who planned ahead on Halloween.

This thoughtful father who planned ahead on Halloween.

11. This dad who has a surprise planned for his kids.

This dad who has a surprise planned for his kids.

12. This parent who teamed up with the tooth fairy to get what they wanted.

This parent who teamed up with the tooth fairy to get what they wanted.

13. Any parent who names their kid "Tahra Dactyl."

Any parent who names their kid "Tahra Dactyl."

14. The parent who brought blanket forts to a whole new level.

The parent who brought blanket forts to a whole new level.

15. This dad who came up with the greatest father/baby costume ever.

This dad who came up with the greatest father/baby costume ever.

16. This mom who is teaching her kids to use social media responsibly.

This mom who is teaching her kids to use social media responsibly.

17. This dad who introduced his son to his hobbies.

This dad who introduced his son to his hobbies.

18. This dad who just wants his kid to appreciate the great outdoors.

This dad who just wants his kid to appreciate the great outdoors.

19. This dad who lets his kid go out dressed as Batman.

This dad who lets his kid go out dressed as Batman.

20. This dad who discovered a lifehack that makes everyone happy.

This dad who discovered a lifehack that makes everyone happy.

21. This dad who is equal parts embarrassing and awesome.

This dad who is equal parts embarrassing and awesome.

22. This mom who still knows how to have fun.

This mom who still knows how to have fun.

23. This dad who taught his son to not waste food.

This dad who taught his son to not waste food.

24. This dad who punished his daughter by making her wear his face to school.

This dad who punished his daughter by making her wear his face to school.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Advice on How Best to Chat Someone up!

Even for the most confident sort, chatting someone up can be terrifying but here are some tried-and-tested tips on how, and how not, to ease the fear.

Here are some options for you to try.

Try being direct
Sometimes, going back to basics is best. Forget all the fancy, over-planned introductions, and go for a simple ‘Hello, how are you?’

No one can tell you to go away, or tell you they’re already seeing someone to fob you off, because you haven’t asked that, you only asked how they are.

Nine times out of ten, you end up having a nice conversation. Think of it as chatting rather than chatting up and it becomes much less scary.

Show your playful side
I was recently in a bar, chatting to my mates – everything perfectly calm and normal. Then suddenly this guy appeared beside an attractive woman.

'Hello,’ he said. ‘Look.’ Then he started leaping up and down, hands by his sides. ‘I'm a penguin and I'm trying to break the ice.’

Much to my surprise, he broke it! She couldn’t stop laughing at how totally ridiculous it was, and soon the laughing led to chatting.

Eventually, it led to swapping numbers and three months on, they’re still dating! So if in doubt about how to chat someone up, my advice would be; do something silly! You know you want to, and your good at it!

Try cheesey
‘Shall we talk or continue flirting from a distance?’, ‘Apart from being beautiful, what do you do for a living?’, ‘I seem to have lost my phone number, can I have yours instead?’

I used to think they were all urban myths, clich├ęs that people laughed about but nobody actually said. Unfortunately, it does work.

One night, a few years ago, when a grinning drunk man came into the pub and announced to an attractive woman: ‘Is it hot in here or is it just you?’

It was the worst line I’d ever heard.

In the end though, it didn’t matter; what mattered is that they were chatting!

Be polite
It can be a bit of a minefield nowadays. Opening a door or giving up your seat for a girl isn’t seen as nice, it’s seen as sexist.

But standing at a bar, waiting to get served, everything goes a bit retro; every girl appreciates you letting her go first in the queue for the barman!

So you can always say ‘After you’ to a girl you fancy, and maybe she’ll think you’re such a nice guy, you’ll easily start chatting.

Of course she may also think you are a sap, especially if she is Dutch or German. But that's a blog for another day.

Think tactical
I’m not talking full-on disruption pattern clothing and military tactics, but I think a bit of an agenda does help when you’re trying to chat someone up.

If there is someone you fancy but are too scared to talk to, go and say hi to one of her friends instead, or ask if she has the time or knows where the toilets are.

Yes it’s a bit of a cheat’s way out, but it does get you in the picture, and then you can move on to phase 2- actually trying to impress her!’ But do remember to zip up your fly first!

Be Witty Not rude
My sister told me she was out at a club dancing around with her mates, having a really lovely night, when this guy walked over and declared: ‘Don’t worry, I can’t dance either’.

He then laughed, implying it was a joke – but she was mad and almost decked him!

Remember some gentle teasing can be good flirting, but there’s a fine line between teasing and outright rudeness – a line this guy over-stepped and it almost cost him his front teeth!

Friday, April 19, 2013

How to Avoid Mistakes When Searching for Jobs

Looking for work can be a hard (not to mention lonely and frustrating) experience and the last thing you want to do is scupper your efforts. Take a tip from the experts and discover the common pitfalls to avoid.

1. Going for jobs you don't really want

Casting your net wide can open up opportunities but beware of a scattergun approach.

'Apply only for jobs that you genuinely want and for which you have the relevant skills and experience,' advises Corinne Mills, Managing Director of Personal Career Management.

'No employer will consider you unless you meet their exact requirements or if you seem half-hearted about working for them.'

Not sure what you want or what is possible for you? Corinne suggests spending time researching your options and perhaps working with a career coach to help with your career planning and decision-making.

'Job-search campaigns which are clear and focused are far more likely to be productive and enable you to present confidently to employers.'
2. Not tailoring your CV

You might have spent hours writing your CV - but the work doesn't stop there. Once you have a basic template, be prepared to tweak sections for the particular job you're going for.

'I know this sounds strange, but your CV isn't about you,' says recruiter and careers coach, Aimee Bateman of Careercake.

'It's about how relevant you are to the job you're applying for, and how you can benefit the employer reading it.'

That also means sending a tailored cover letter.

'Don't make an employer feel like you have sent out a batch full of CVs, hoping someone (anyone) invites you for an interview,' says Aimee. 'If you want an employer to be genuinely interested in you, you need to make them feel like you are genuinely interested in them.'

3. Don't make finding work a full-time job

Finding work is often described as a full-time job - but there are good reasons why you shouldn't let it become the sole focus of your day.

'Looking for work can be lonely and frustrating but staying glued to your computer all day can do more harm than good,' says career coach Richard Maun.

'If you sit bashing out job applications you could very well be getting into bad habits and making the same mistakes. Take time out for a networking 'coffee and cake' chat (with friends, ex colleagues or LinkedIn contacts) and you're likely to come away invigorated with new ideas and inspiration.

'Keep a balance and make time for hobbies and family and friends and you'll be a happier and more positive - and that will come across to employers too.'

4. Not practising for interviews

When it comes to interviews, fail to prepare and prepare to fail. As well as researching the company and preparing answers to typical questions, think about how you come across.

'When you are preparing for interview, you need to practice your answers out loud,' says Corinne.

'Ideally this will be a mock interview with someone you trust, but even if you say your answers in front of the mirror, what you often find is that the message is clumsy and will need refining and you can only do this by practising different versions until it works.'

5. Not asking for feedback

If you've been job hunting for a while, seeking a second (objective) opinion can reveal areas you need to work on. Don't be afraid to ask the interviewer for feedback - and ask someone you respect for more general advice on how to approach your job search.

'Always get feedback to ensure that you are presenting your skills and capabilities in the best way possible. This means asking others for their views on your CV, Linkedin profile and interviews,' says Corinne.

'While you may understand what you are trying to say, the employer may not, so test it out beforehand with someone who can give you honest and constructive criticism.'

6. Not giving examples or quantifying achievements

The jobs market is more competitive than ever and having the right skills and experience is just the start - to stand out from the crowd you need to differentiate yourself.

'Focus on your key achievements (not just your skills and experience) and make sure to communicate these to a potential employer,' advises Richard.

'Have you made a difference and done something out of the ordinary? Is there a particular situation you did well in that is unique to you?

'Try to quantify the achievement (how much money you made/saved for the company) and include this on your CV - recruiters are more likely to remember an interesting achievement than the usual list of skills and experience they've read 100 times before.'

7. Not taking control of your career

Things can change quickly - so make sure you keep up to date with your chosen industry and what today's employers are looking for.
As Richard explains: 'The days of the traditional career where we worked for one organisation for years are gone. Today we're expected to move between 9-to-5 jobs, consultancy work and self employment - and perhaps do several at the same time as part of a 'portfolio career'.

'To survive in this brave new world we need to develop new talents and be able to spot and create career opportunities for ourselves - rather than waiting for them to fall in our laps.

'Put time into networking (at real-life events and online) and research your chosen industry, whether that's making contacts with key figures, reading trade magazines or keeping up with new technology. Keeping up to date and demonstrating a good awareness of advances in your sector could be what makes you stand out from the next candidate.'

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Networking for introverts

If the prospect of networking fills you with dread or you think it's something only extroverted people do, think again.

You don't need to have a gregarious or outgoing personality to build a network of professional contacts - in fact, your approach may be better received than the brash personality types out there.

Natural listeners
There is a misconception that only extroverts can network. Introverts in fact have some advantages: they are natural listeners and they tend to reflect before they speak. They are also sometimes better at building long-term relationships.

Regarding yourself as an introvert should not be used as an excuse for doing nothing.

Connecting with people in your search is a skill that needs practising, and the less it comes naturally, the easier you should make the first steps.

Begin with "Level 1 - Conversations" the gentlest form of networking, and one which anyone can do.

Start by talking to people you already know and trust, but talk to them in a way you've never done before.

This approach helps avoid mistakes that will feel like setbacks. Like the cold rebuff you get when you start a phone call saying "you don't know me, but...." or approaching high-level contacts too early in the process when you're still feeling bruised and you don't know what you're looking for.

Don't give people the opportunity to say "not now" or a plain "no" when you're aware how much these will set you back.

Easy targets
Nervous networkers should target the easiest people to begin with not the 'main target.'

When you pick up the phone you know that you can just begin a conversation, and you don't need to prepare a script of what you will say.

Be honest about what you're asking for - make it clear that you are setting up brief conversations with a range of people to find out what is going on in the world or in a particularly favourite sector.

Just think carefully about what to ask for and steer clear of asking for favours!

Ask people for things they are happy to talk about, but a good conversation about the world the person knows well is always welcome and don't forget to thank people properly.

Start by talking only to people you know, ask about their job or their hobbies, the universe, then ask them if they can introduce you to someone else; a proper, warm introduction, not just a name.

The big event
Once you've had a few "safe" conversations with the contacts you already know, you may wish to consider attending a more formal networking event.

Of course it can be intimidating going into a room full of strangers and feeling pressured to make contacts, but the fear of networking is often much worse than the reality.

You are all there for the same reason and you are all feeling the fear!

If you are at an event, ask one of the organisers to introduce you to others. any organiser worth their salt will be happy to facilitate this.

Do make sure that you introduce yourself clearly, so that people know your name and what you do, as this often reveals areas of common ground for conversation.

As long as you show an interest in other people and a willingness to listen, generally people will only be too happy to talk to you.

Networking from home
If you can't face wearing a name badge and making small talk, don't despair. Online forums and networking sites like LinkedIn allow you to make contact with people in your sector - without even having to leave home.

To get started, search for ex-colleagues and look for groups set up within your industry. Remember, as with most things in life, the more you put in, the more you'll get out - so be sure to post messages and join the conversation rather than just observing.

Do not rant, do not pontificate, and do not over-criticise others. Let the tolerant, thoughtful and collaborative you come through in your conversations.

Having a few open conversations online should make it easier when you take the plunge and meet up at a real life event. You'll be networking like a pro before you know it.

Are you over-sharing or just mouthing off?

Being friendly and open on dates is good, but don’t cross the line of telling potential partners too much, too soon.

Privacy isn’t the most valued character trait nowadays.

Twitter, Facebook, checking in on your smart-phone for every lunch, bar and shopping trip – basically, letting everyone know everything has become second nature.

As a general rule, this has many plus points. You can feel closer to friends you don’t have the time or energy to see face-to-face, you can get tips on good new places to hang out, you can spy on people’s wardrobes.

But as with most rules, there are some exceptions and in the case of sharing, that first date is the exception.

It’s not without good reason that throughout history the ‘mystery’ man or woman flickers our flame of intrigue.

Think of the dark brooding Mr Darcy of Jane Austen times, or that dopey girl Peter Andre wanted to get close to in 1996.

Sure, they had water-drenched white shirts and waterfall-filled music videos on their side, but the attraction went much deeper than that; namely that we always like the intrigue and the thrill of the chase.

So when you meet a potential new partner, how do you keep your secretive allure and make sure they’re chasing you, rather than you gushing all over them - information overload.

Anti-social media
One little name-search of your upcoming date is normal. Hanging out outside their house all night is not!

Following each other on Facebook or Twitter can’t do any harm you both need to check each other out, making sure you’re both normal/ human/ take a nice holiday snap and like similar things.

If you agreed to a first date in the first place, chances are, you've been doing a bit of research about each other and a little bit is all you need until you actually meet.

You are not trying to select an interview candidate from a huge pile of CVs! You are just making friends with a select number of people.

If things don’t work out with this person, you will move on to the next. At that time will you be looking back and regretting you shared the entire ins and outs of your whole life with them? Hopefully not.

Don’t pre-date - Leave some Mystery!
With work, friends and general life chores, it can often be a few weeks between you clicking someone you like online and actually meeting face-to-face.

Staying in touch with a few messages or texts in this limbo period is fine, but be careful not to over-communicate. There's a fine line between interested and obsessive!

By sending 20 texts a day, you can develop false intimacy, thinking you know someone better than you actually do and the chances are they'll have blocked your messages by then anyway.

So keep pre-date contact to a minimum and remember if you’ve told them everything before you actually meet, what will there be left to talk about?

Nothing, so all that's left is a long bout of snogging or going to somewhere very noisy to avoid speaking at all!

Ask questions - Don't interrogate!
If, like most normal people, you get nervous on first dates, it’s very easy to want to fill awkward silences with a wall of noise.

This is not helped if you have already been topping up on coffee or worse, vodka! Stick to pre-date soft drinks without caffeine!

Any conversational void gets bombarded with a rush of facts about anything and everything that springs to mind; your bus journey there, your planned bus journey back, what you had for lunch.

Leave some gaps in your monologue to allow the other person to speak about themselves, sometimes.

Being chatty is obviously a good thing, but if it veers into ‘telling everyone absolutely everything’ territory, then stop and turn the conversation around. Ask your date some questions about themselves but do it nicely.

Do not use any interrogation techniques you may have picked up in your army career, on the news or from watching Jeremy Paxman!

You don’t want your date to be so over-whelmed by the minutiae of your life, nor do you want them to feel that your working as an undercover investigator for the local authorities.

Stay cool, calm and collected and above all appear interested in what they're saying. Do not check your emails and text messages during this period and do not check out the cute guys at the bar. We are looking to create intrigue not conflict!

Remember your friends
It’s sod’s law that on the day of your date shit happens but however flustered all the frustrations of life  makes you feel, refrain from telling your date.

If you must unload and gripe to someone, call one of your established mates instead, unload your problems to them, then arrive at your date seeming bright, confident and problem-free.

In general, be pragmatic and philosophical about life's attempts to stub your toe and spill your drinks, on a regular basis.

Laugh at life's hurdles! This is a very attractive characteristic in a person and you should cultivate it before your next date. Good luck!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Street Smarts: How To Avoid Being A Victim

Part 1 of 3. Street Smarts: How To Avoid Being A Victim w./ Det. J.J. Bittenbinder, was a PBS special aired back in October of 1993 I believe on WHYY for us in Philly. The Det. went through a thorough process of how avoid being victimized in various stages, the last being taking some form of action. At the time I was 11 years old and applied the techniques in this special and hope others will benefit from it also. Hence, why I've uploaded this video. Naturally, there are aspects of it which are outdated, please adapt accordingly; i.e. not putting keys away in pockets/purse until getting out of car and inspecting surroundings. We have smart keys now, this is irrelevant, there's no need to take out the keys at all. This is NOT for purely entertainment value, it is useful.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Risk Taking: Flirting with a Dutch woman, if you must!

So, you want to flirt with that special Dutch woman in the early spring sunshine.

First check that the young lady who is smiling and flashing her baby blue eyes at you, is indeed Dutch.

There are a lot of foreign visitors and residents in Holland and they do most of the smiling.

It is probably safer to go sky-diving in Syria but, OK, let's look at it.

The Dutch don’t have an eloquent romantic language, so you can safely assume they do not like or encourage flattery.

Unlike the French and the Italians, they are not especially well-known for their romantic eloquence. Their language is functional and practical, as are their personalities.

Just think of the Dutch national motto "doe maar gewoon, dan doe je gek genoeg" (just act normal, that’s crazy enough), and you will realise that it doesn’t take a lot of verbal fireworks to impress your average Dutch woman.

The trick is to keep it simple and use as few words as possible to a maximum effect - an idea that might sound quite appealing to new speakers of Dutch. Here are some dos and don’ts to get you on the right track. But be careful what you wish for!

What you should not do...

› Don't confuse leuk and lekker
If you have the vocabulary, it is easy to overdo it with compliments when flirting in Dutch. Still, if you want to give it a go anyway, don’t confuse the two Dutch words for nice, that is: being lekker and leuk.

Lekker applies more to food and sensual experiences. It means something like tasty, yummy, or luscious (yes, including the sensual connotation) and relates to things you "like with your body."

Whereas Leuk is closer to nice, entertaining, or amusing and relates to things you "like with your mind."

Hence, lekker weertje (nice weather) is fine, while leuk weertje (amusing weather) is simply a bit odd.

Your good-looking colleague will be pleased to be introduced as mijn leuke college (my nice colleague), but might frown at mijn lekkere college (my tasty, luscious colleague). It helps not to salivate too much if you do use this phrase.

When in doubt, use leuk - it is better to be funny than to be slapped in the face by your luscious colleague, unless you like that sort of thing.

› Don't go over the top
It is just as easy to go over the top in Dutch flirting as in climbing a Dutch mountain (finding one is tricky): the tops are virtually non-existent and for a foreigner it is easy to overlook them altogether.

When you look for adjectives to describe anything - from an evening out to your friend’s fashionable flip-flops (thongs to the Aussies!) - stick to mooi (pretty), leuk (nice, see last point), or even geinig (funny), and avoid fantastisch (fantastic), geweldig (great) and heerlijk (delicious).

› Other no-go areas
No-go areas include:

  • - appreciative noises (yes, those are common in some circles)
  • - any (explicit, metaphorical, lyrical, etc.) comments on your belle / beau’s appearance
  • - open displays of courtliness, machismo, or sexism (in Dutch eyes, it is quite hard to say where the one concept starts and the other ends, so it’s better to play safe).

What you should do...

› Start a conversation using a diminutive (that's a linguistic term, and not a dwarf!)
In Dutch, diminutives often have nothing to do with the actual size of things.

Hating pomp and flattery, the Dutch like to add "-je" to their words and make them sound smaller, cuter, more intimate and gezellig. The Scotts also like to do this and a lot of this article applies to them to.

You can create instant intimacy and play around with some "-jes" yourself. Try:

  • - a general comment such as lekker weertje (nice weather), lekker zonnetje (nice sunshine), leuk terrasje (nice terrace)
- a rhetorical question such as lekker weertje?, lekker zonnetje?, leuk terrasje?

  • - or an offer biertje?, wijntje?, bitterballetje?

The mother of all diminutive flirting phrases, vuurtje? (fire?) might still work, but like cravats and bow ties, it  has become slightly outdated.

NB: Complimenting a Dutch woman's bicycle will also be a good approach as it is a compliment of a Dutch object, close to but not of the person. See how tricky this is.

It helps if you are a trained psychologist or bomb-disposal expert with a cool mind and steady workman-like hands.

› Play the foreigner card
Say any Dutch sentence you have picked so far - revision of chapter one of your (online) course might help here - look very proud and clearly state that you are practicing your Dutch.

Go for a slightly absurd rather than completely bizarre sentences that have no flirtatious connotation at all, but is nonetheless impressive, such as "Dit is een lange, brede straat," or "Heeft u misschien een bonuskaart?"

The object of your affection will be surprised and pleased by your attempt to speak his or her language and might offer to practice some more Dutch together.

They may also look completely disgusted and turn their back on you. This can also sometimes be a gesture of affection, especially in Dutch marriages.

› Forget our advice and just go for it!
All in all, it is hard to think of an easier and more enjoyable way to start practicing your Dutch than some harmless flirting with a friendly Dutchy (see comment re Dutch mountains) on a sunny terrace - possibly enjoying a small over-priced Heineken, or a lekker non-attributable wijntje.

Forget our advice, "trek de stoute schoenen aan" (literally: put on your naughty shoes) and give it a go!

› Be careful what you wish for!
Yes, you will find it challenging to engage with Dutch women, just be sure you don't become engaged to one because that way leads to monsters!

We wish you all lekkere lentekriebels!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Low-tech: Unloading big truck load of bamboo - YouTube Video

Unloading big truck load of bamboo without the need of labourers or fork lift trucks - Taiwan 2013

Sheephead's chomping choppers - YouTube Video

Sheephead fish caught by guest from Ireland in Terra Ceia Bay, Florida

Elephant Seal Stops Traffic In Brazil City - YouTube Video

Motorists and tourists in a Brazilian city are given a unexpected close-up of one of nature's most impressive animals.

A massive elephant seal, estimated to weigh more than half a tonne, blocked a busy street in a Brazilian city after deciding to go for an impromptu stroll.

The animal stopped traffic for more than an hour in the beach city of Balneario Camboriu in the southern state of Santa Catarina.

The 9.8ft seal waddled out of the Atlantic Ocean on Saturday afternoon and headed up the beach straight for the busy Avenida Atlantica.

Police officers and firefighters splashed water on the beast, which politely used the pedestrian crossing, to keep it wet during its unexpected adventure as shoppers and tourists took pictures and videos.

Locals said the animal finally returned to the water after about an hour-and-a-half.

Guy gets punched by street performer! - YouTube Video

Hilarious video of an annoying man getting his come-up from a street performer on Cavil Ave - Surfers Paradise. Queensland, AUSTRALIA!

Pranksters Get Weatherman With Hugh Janus Birthday - YouTube Video

A US weatherman is probably still wondering how he could have fallen for one of the oldest pranks in the book after he was tricked into saying the name ‘Hugh Janus’ live on TV.

Forward - YouTube video

Videos filmed in a single take or those shot in reverse are nothing new but combine the two and you get something truly spectacular.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013