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World War I was an event that drastically changed and altered reality from several points of view. At a cultural level, realistic perspectives were highlighted by a cruelty that humans never saw before. At the same time, societies suffered from financial problems and the loss of a huge part of citizens. As it is possible to deduce, art was not exempt from this socio-cultural metamorphosis. In particular, literature embodied significative human experiences, which wanted to be communicated around the world. The main goal of these writers was to urge people to understand the real nature of this massacre and the consequences it entailed at a human level. If Proust in “Le Temps retrouvé” (1927) described the war effects on Paris as a spectator, most writers and poets experienced the war firsthand and expressed their own opinions. Nevertheless, not everyone stood out against World War I: some intellectuals considered the war as an opportunity to show human greatness, as well as its weakness. Even though this point of view may sound barbaric, social and historical implications gave meaning to it, actualising an eternal topos in the literary sphere: the limits of human beings. Giuseppe Ungaretti is one of those poets who experienced war and described it in a very realistic and sincere way. Instead of depicting heroic deeds, the poet wrote down the daily life of soldiers who had to fight and live in trenches. “All Quiet on the Western Front” (1929) by Erich Maria Remarque is a novel that distances itself from the lack of terror reflected by Ungaretti’s poetry. Conversely, the writer describes in a harsh way the mental and physical distress that affected the life of soldiers. In this novel, it is interesting to observe the direct link between body and mind, two aspects of human beings that manifest the need of being home in different ways. Another writer who offered a detailed description of the war through his personal experience is Ernest Hemingway. With his novel “A Farewell to Arms” (1929), a love affair between a nurse and an ambulance driver is told through the lens of two young people, who, pushed by their feelings, cannot avoid the horrors and massive massacre they are living in, even though it is the background of their relationship. Wilfred Owen (pictured below) is one of the war poets who left its mark in the war literature. As an English young soldier, Owen exploited poetry as a powerful tool to show and denounce the horrific conditions provoked by trenches and inhuman battles. In his anti-war poem “Dulce Et Decorum Est” (1920, published posthumously), Owen described the nightmare experienced by soldiers to confute the “old lie”, according to whom dying for your own country is a honour. As we have already mentioned, another perspective was relevant to the war concept. According to these poets and writers, idealistic and patriotic values were materialized in this bellicose imaginary. World War I became a unique experience to show people’s love towards their country and their brave personality. Gabriele D’Annunzio was one of those intellectuals who dedicated their life to patriotic values. Apart from fighting in the war and leading expeditions, D’Annunzio left an important literary patrimony, where the greatness of the war was exalted at a personal and social level. As a war poet, Rupert Brooke (pictured below) didn’t imitate the work of his compatriot Wilfred Owen. On the contrary, the poet described the war as the perfect event capable of embodying his idealistic values. In his famous poem “The Soldier” (written in 1914), the death of a soldier is seen as a sacrifice for his country, thanks to whom a part of England will always belong to the heroes who lost their life in the battlefield. This poem contrasts with Owen’s one, where the patriotic idea of death is ridiculed since the first line. World War I altered literature in a definitive way. Because of the cruelty and massacres experiences by human beings, artists abandoned their romantic view of society and nature, opting for a very different approach. If the disillusionment was at the core of literature during the war period, afterwards the modernism became the most influencing movement in the artistic world. Realistic descriptions and deep introspective analysis aimed to highlight the veritable side of reality, without discarding the portrait of the inner feelings of their characters.
Since the very first historical evidence, there has been only one constant in human beings’ development: change. The more time passes, the more humans evolve, improve their lifestyle, and adopt new habits. Nowadays, technology is probably the most influencing reason leading progress and change. Nevertheless, there is another factor which affects our daily life and our relationship with mother nature. And the cause of this frightening phenomenon is nothing but human beings. Yes, we are talking about climate change, a growing menace having no intention to pull back if we don’t act. In order to encourage people to change their lifestyle, it is important to raise awareness about how climate change and pollution will actually affect daily life. Long-term and large-scale changes predicted by scientists will take place in some decades, showing once and for all that human beings are the veritable enemies of the Earth. According to Paul Brown, an environment correspondent for The Guardian, “The destruction of 70% of the natural world in 30 years, mass extinction of species, and the collapse of human society in many countries is forecast in a bleak report by 1,100 scientists published yesterday. Unless the world changes its current “markets first” approach, the increase in building of roads, power lines, airports and other infrastructure will disrupt wildlife breeding patterns and wipe out species, particularly in coastal areas where most human settlement is concentrated. Forests continue to disappear at an alarming rate and 10% of land on which to grow food is lost because of soil degradation.” As we can deduce, forests will be soon composed of dead trees. The main cause is directly related to climate change: due to warm winters, beetles won’t die, destroying entire areas of vegetation. Negative effects can be seen even today: some populations of mountain pine beetles have started producing two generations per year instead of one. Climate change will be also responsible for a drastic reduction of coffee production. Considering the increase of temperatures in coffee-growing regions, coffee-growers have to find cooler places up on the mountains. Therefore, we will lose almost 50% of land suitable for growing coffee by 2050. Dry lakes won’t shock people, as this phenomenon will become soon an ordinary aspect of our daily life. According to the World Preservation Foundation, this fact will affect the water supplies for 3 billion people. Nevertheless, some lakes have already dried up: just think of Bolivia’s second-largest lake, Iran’s largest lake, and Lake Chad, in Africa. The effects of climate change and pollution will affect markets and food prices as well. Global agricultural supply is one of the victims of the increasing temperatures: costs of food and cereal drastically increased from 2007 to 2014. Africa and Central America will be the first areas to be affected by shortage of food. Despite their economic power, Europe, Asia, and the U.S. will inevitably come next. In addition, climate change is threatening the main ingredients of beer: water, barley and hops. Due to the lack of clean water, heavy rains destroying crops fields, and drought affecting hops production, beer is seriously in danger. Breweries have already reduced their environmental impact, promoting campaigns in order to save the planet. Storms are also a real menace to human beings. Since they are more and more frequent, insurers have curtailed homeowner policies. According to “Journal of Insurance Regulation”, almost 3 million American households lost coverage between 2003 and 2007. For instance, Farmers Insurance stopped granting homeowners policies in North Carolina. Hopes are not all lost, though. Several organisations are working in order to save our planet and reduce the level of pollution. Driving pollution down can be done also at home, being careful of the amount of energy we use, recycling our rubbish, and using means of transportation or bikes whenever it is possible. The Earth gave us an ultimatum: now it’s time to actively protect what we have. Nature will develop also without human beings: it will evolve another time, as it did before, creating new living conditions. Humans, on the other hand, do need nature to evolve, to survive. Rescuing our planet will help both nature and people.
Beers are the favourite drink of most men, but sometimes it is very hard to pick the right one. There are several kinds of beer in the world and, even though it is interesting to try new tastes, everyone has his favourite one. “The World Beer Awards” exist also for that: helping beer lovers choose their right beer and letting them discover some curiosities about their drink are the main goals of these global awards. Through this competition, some secrets about beers may even be unveiled. What’s more, it has allowed local or unknown beers to gain popularity around the world and to be appreciated by new customers. Among the numerous beers suggested by the 2018 awards, it is necessary to put into light the Collesi beer. Produced in Italy, this dark beer presents a Belgian Style Dubbel and it is the most awarded Italian craft beer in the world. Thanks to the ideal microclimate in Apecchio, a medieval town between the Italian regions of Marche and Umbria, its production combines a sustainable technology with the rhythms of nature. Founder Giuseppe Collesi operates with zero emissions, making this industry an environmentally friendly system. In addition, the flavours of this beer emerge as it is highly fermented, non-pasteurized and naturally bottled. As far as the most flavoured beer is concerned, Sons of Liberty stands out in the crowd. Sons of Liberty Beer & Spirits Co., a company based in the United States, is mainly known for whiskey, but it decided then to play with flavours, realising one of the most tasteful beers. What strikes most about this product is its aroma made of prunes and stone fruits: beer lovers can’t miss it! “Melon and vine notes on the nose with some nice hops. Light herbs, citrus and malt coming through in the body with a hint of sour. Great example of the style.” This is how the official site of “The World Beer Awards” has described this exceptional beer. Hobgoblin belongs to the IPA category and its an British brand: Wychwood Brewery has done an incredible job creating this tasteful beer no one can get bored of. German brands couldn’t be left out of these awards. In fact, Schwarzbräu is another well recognised beer. Well known in Germany and abroad as well, it is the best Lager beer, whose taste reminds people of traditions and popular culture. In some versions, it also possible to enjoy a powerful caramel and coffee flavour. Canada finds itself on the podium as well thanks to its Unibroue. Called “Blonde de l’enfer” (blond from the hell), this Pale beer conquered all the world with its delicate and raffinate taste. As it is a seasonal anniversary ale, it is available for a short amount of time per year. Last but not least, Rodenbach is a beer that has to be tasted at least once in a lifetime. Produced by Palm Belgian Craft Brewers, the style of this beer is Flanders Red Ale. Even though it is dark, its flavour is absolutely fresh and light. As it’s a regional product, its products are all selected in a careful way, without disregarding the environment. In addition, family Rodenbach helped Belgium secure its independence: an historical curiosity that makes this beer even more interesting. As we have already explained it, beers are several and their taste is mostly subjective. The only person who can recognise the perfect beer is, in the end, yourself. However, receiving some advice can be always a useful move, especially if you desire to know more about the history and the development of your favourite kind of beer. “Never underestimate how much assistance, how much satisfaction, how much comfort, how much soul and transcendence there might be in a well-made taco and a cold bottle of beer.” As Tom Robbins wrote in his book Jitterbug Perfume, a beer, no matter its brand, is always a good moment to relax and refresh your mind.
In the US, over 6 million men are affected each year with depression. Three quarters of all suicides are committed by men. While men are four times more likely to commit suicide than their female counterparts. This is a silent epidemic which has only been increasing globally among developed nations. An immense stigma exists around the topic which must be torn down. If we are to end the needless, self-inflicted slaughter of our brothers, husbands, fathers and sons. Certain social and interpersonal factors have coincided to create a perfect maelstrom of mental health issues among men. In certain respects, we are our own worst enemies. Refusing to discuss the internal pain which is burdening us. Choosing instead to remain ‘strong and silent’, lest we bother anyone. This antiquated attitude is quite literally fatal. Social norms dictates that we downplay symptoms of distress. Yet, we are not useful to our families unless we are healthy. It defies logic to suffer in silence. Therefore, this article outlines common indicators of poor mental health and discusses ways forward, back into the light. Loss of employment During the recent economic recession, families were decimated by male suicide. Loss of employment being a significant risk factor in deterioration of mental welfare. Male self-esteem is inextricably linked with the ability to provide. Traditional cultural values dictate that the male is a breadwinner or provider, bringing home the paycheck each week. When this is taken away, the resulting psychological stress can be catastrophic. This feeling is compounded exponentially as time goes on. With the father or son seeing himself as a burden on his family and society at large, the longer he remains unemployed. Bills mount and the stress of making ends meet becomes unbearable. Regrettably, this is when men take drastic irreversible measures. As the feeling of shame or failure has grown so intense that it has overwhelmed their rational faculties. Isolation In many ways, our society is a contradiction in terms. We are blessed with more methods of communication than in any other time in human history. Yet, we are faced with an epidemic of loneliness. Human beings are psychologically ‘programmed’ to thrive in strong social networks. Nearly all of our evolutionary history was spent in close-knit tribes. Battling the elements and the forces of wilderness together, united in common purpose. Without cooperation, we would simply perish. This sense of meaningful community has vanished in the modern age. Tribes of one hundred have been replaced with a bustling metropolis of millions. This has left many without a feeling of belonging to a tribe. This is essential to the human psyche. Without it, we are destined to feel exposed. Isolation particularly affects elderly men, as their support network tends to be tied up in their career. After taking retirement, elderly gentlemen lose a vital source of social connection. Depression will lead men to isolate themselves. Creating a vicious cycle of rumination and further isolation. Leaving no clear way out. No outside perspective with which to stop the barrage of negative thoughts which come with mental illness. Substance Misuse US statistics show that 1 in 5 men are likely to develop a dependency on alcohol during their lives. While 50% of those with mental illness are at risk of abusing substances. Due to the inherent stigma and criminality, this problem is largely kept behind closed doors. Therefore, addicts rarely get the necessary treatment to recover fully. Many turn to illicit substances as a means of self-medicating. It is an effective method of quieting unwanted internal dialogue or blocking out past trauma. Acting as a temporary numbing agent. Although it provides temporary relief, it can exacerbate symptoms in the long run. The pain or unresolved trauma that an addict is avoiding will return with interest once the drug has left their system. Leading many to escalate dosage. In search of the same euphoric sense of relief attained early on in their addiction. While under the influence, one is a lot more likely to engage in reckless behaviour or self-harm. Making substance misuse a band-aid that adds fuel to flames. Severe addiction also causes the sufferer to lose everything, compounding negative emotion and feelings of helplessness. Early Childhood Experience During early childhood, habits and behaviours are adopted, which literally build the architecture of the developing brain. This can have lifelong implications. Particularly relating to mental health in adulthood. Children look to their parents for cues as to how to interact with the world. This is learning through emulation. If an unexpected event occurs, a baby will look to the parents expression, in order to gauge whether the unexpected event is a threat. In this way, anxieties are passed on through generations, almost by osmosis. Through no fault of their own, parents sometimes pass on the insecurities sewn into their genealogy. Trust is built at a young age. If parents are unreliable, children develop a sense of unease and distrust which never leaves. Unless childhood beliefs are reexamined in adulthood. Breaking this harmful cycle. The foundation of strong mental health is laid in infancy. Feeling loved and valued by strong role models can set a person up for a wholesome life. With resilience when adverse events occur. There is a strong correlation between early childhood trauma and increased levels of male aggression. The result is that almost 93% of prison inmates in the US are male. This creates a cycle in which male role models are incarcerated, recreating the conditions for childhood neglect. As fathers are missing from family units all over the nation. Similarly, being in a state of fight or flight for long periods of time during childhood has been seen to change male brain-function, reducing mental resilience and damaging the metabolic system. A new vision of strength Men need a new toolkit for survival in the modern age. The first step is to break the silence around this frightful crisis. Silently, stealing the lives of those around us. Our dearest friends and closest family. Men must bear in mind: a job is not what defines your worth. You are invaluable to your friends and family, just as you are, unemployment is temporary. Find your tribe as isolation is never the answer. Reach out and speak to friends, they will be happy you did. Be careful to examine your relationship with alcohol. If you are using substances to salve internal discomfort, step away from the bottle and look at solving the underlying issue. Cast off the false beliefs of childhood as they no longer serve you in the present. Learn from the tribulations of the past and set them free. A number of treatments have been proven to be effective when dealing with mental health issues. Intensive therapy helps you to find your bearings and break from harmful patterns. Medication can be purposeful in alleviating short term symptoms of distress. Similarly, the benefits of reaching out to family and friends cannot be diminished. Keep in mind, whatever your going through, this too shall pass.
Economist Max Roser of Oxford University has recently completed a monumental large scale survey on global living conditions. The question asked was magnificent in its simplicity. Roser inquired “all things considered, do you think the world is getting better or worse?” The results surprised academics, revealing a profound pessimism worldwide. Most despondent were the French, with just 3% saying that the world is improving. While the Swedes topped the poll of developed nations. Not by much however, only 10% surveyed believed in Global betterment of the human condition. Would it surprise you to learn that the overwhelming scientific evidence proves otherwise? On virtually all key indicators – poverty, health, literacy, freedom and population. The World has been steadily progressing, raising the standard of living extraordinarily across all demographics. Still don’t believe me? Let’s take a look at the evidence. The eradication of extreme poverty “Every single day since 1990, on average, there were 130,000 people raised out of extreme poverty each day”. Many see extreme poverty as an inevitable and unresolvable result of modern day industrial economics. A human universal present throughout history. The birds-eye view of the statistics show the opposite is true. The age of industrialization has brought its challenges. Yet, by and large, the increased output of production has done wonders to lift people out of poverty across the board. Mechanization has meant more food, better clothing and indoor plumbing. Giving us the means to support an exploding population. Take China as a textbook example of this phenomena. In the last 50 years, 88% of the population were rescued from the indignities of extreme poverty. That is over 500 million people. Not a number to be scoffed at. In one generation, China is on the verge of becoming an economic superpower. With megacities springing up over night. Consider the lush scenery of Shanghai in 1990 as opposed to the bustling metropolis of 2010 (shown below). Unfortunately, these astounding advances in alleviating scarcity do not come packaged with a catchy headline.The caption “Things are much better today than yesterday” just doesn’t sell papers. The doubling of life expectancy and other wonders In the year 1800, 43% of newborn babies passed away before their 5th Birthday. This tragic statistic meant every third child on average would not be expected to see adulthood. Thankfully, these figures have been consigned to the history books. Vast improvements in public health, sanitation and living conditions have drastically reduced the likelihood of infant mortality in the present day. Our better nutrition has made us both smarter and taller. While increasing our resilience to infectious disease. The discovery of germ theory cannot be underestimated in the amount of human lives saved over the centuries. Vaccination and more hygienic hospitals have reduced infant mortality rates to a remarkable 4.3% in 2015. This figure is ten times lower than the numbers reported in 1800. Some areas of Sub-Saharan Africa and Afghanistan are still in desperate need of medical assistance in rural areas. Giving a heart-wrenching modern glimpse of the terrible catastrophe of losing a child too early. Obviously, one child needlessly lost is far too many. Nonetheless it is an astonishing feat to have alleviated so much suffering over the last two centuries. Saving parents the awful tragedy of burying their young. Yet, this is a scientific revelation that is not often discussed in the media. Literacy is a precious gift Historically, reading and writing was only the pursuit of a wealthy elite. Now, it has been democratized to an astounding extent. Reducing traditional barriers to economic opportunity and third-level education. In 1800, less than 100 million people could read and write. Now that figure is at 4.6 billion! 8 out of every 10 humans are literate thanks to terrific advances in education. In many ways, we are a privileged few in human history that are fortunate enough to be reading this article. Demographic studies show that youth are more literate than their parents. This improves with each generation. With most of the growth occurring in the least educated countries in the world. Following this Global trend, the Middle East and North Africa have accomplished the most inspiring turn-around in literacy figures. Young students boast a 92% literacy rate on average. 50 years ago, just 15% of adults could read and write. One might also assume that gender plays a role in literacy figures.With young girls presumed to be missing more school than boys. It’s simply not the case. School attendance figures are at roughly 80% across the board. Better educated people around the world, allows for a larger pool of talent, coming up with the next revolutionary innovation that will change all of our lives. Literacy and training is also one of the few proven ways to reduce inequality. The others being pestilence and large-scale war. Not exactly appealing options. Fight for your rights The common perception in the media is that we are all in a fight for our rights. Marriage rights, civil rights, legal rights. It gives the impression that a tyrannical and  oppressive government is taking away our power. This could not be further from the truth. The bar is being raised each year in terms of our civil freedoms. This is why there seems to be such a continuous uproar. Even having the freedom to voice our protests, this is a luxury that was not traditionally afforded our forefathers. The 19th century saw one third of all occupants of the globe as colonial subjects. Virtually everyone else lived under an Autocrats thumb. Meaning a single ruler had absolute power over their “lowly underlings”. Since then, monarchies and empires alike have collapsed in spectacular fashion. Leading to a relatively new experiment in human history called democracy. More people have a say in the running of their nation than ever before. The backbone of these newfound freedoms are journalism and British Common Law. They each laid the groundwork for the unique and beautiful concept named Freedom of Speech. Together, these institutions allow for open and frank discussion of our faults. Allowing us to decide on adequate solutions. Hence, avoiding terrible conflict and war.. A strong democratic nation is ideally composed of an informed populace. This in turn raises the level of rights. Never before in history have we had more open media and exchange of information through the internet. Nowadays, 4 out of 5 people living in an autocracy are residents of China. It is clear that there is more to be done, yet we should remember our significant progress in equal measure. While protecting the fragile flame of Lady Liberty from the encroaching threat of the dictators vice-like grip. Are we right to panic about overpopulation? Doom and gloom predictions of dire overpopulation in the future are common fodder for the sensationalist tabloids. Although science allows us to see things differently. It is true that our Global population has risen from 1 billion in 1800 to 7 billion presently. Humans are simply not dying at the rate that they used to. This a tremendous victory for the medical disciplines. Earth’s inhabitants have multiplied as mortality rates plummeted. While fertility remained at the same level. Better yet, life expectancy worldwide has doubled in the last hundred years. Fears of overpopulation have been shown to be far overblown. As people become richer and more educated, they have less kids. Similarly, the birth control pill has led to a women’s revolution. For the first time in human history, an effective method of contraception exists. Growth was shown to have peaked in the 20th century, whilst Global fertility has halved in the last 50 years. In fact, a decline in population is expected to start in 2075. The long awaited armageddon brought about through overpopulation has been nothing but a damp squib. How did we get it so wrong? Admittedly, it is no consolation to a family experiencing extreme poverty today, if we are to tell them that Global trends are improving. Nevertheless, there is reason for cautious optimism in the future. There is still much to be done but we can take comfort in the fact that our efforts are having an effect. This small acknowledgement will give us conviction for the future. The question must be asked: why do 90% of people not realize this level of progress has been achieved? Largely, it is due to what the media chooses to tell us. A narrow and short-sighted focus on calamitous events give us a distorted perception of human progress. Our attention is held longest, observing the flames of a wildfire. Our primitive fear responses stimulated, unable to peer away. Positive events occur gradually over many years. It comes about through arduous effort and unglamorous research. A headline like “most people are healthier than they have ever been”. This is not deemed to be newsworthy in an era of the 24 hour breaking news cycle. The result is that surveys of UK citizens show most believe Global poverty has increased. This is simply untrue. Global poverty reduction has been a resounding success. This is pivotal as our policy-makers and leaders must have the correct facts, if they are to make good decisions for the future. A little perspective goes a long way. As Rosen puts it, “If we believe things are getting worse. We risk losing faith in one another”. This would be the greatest tragedy of all.
These days, being called a geek is not the slur it once was. With the resurgence of retro games consoles, PC gaming, and the appropriation of geek culture by commercialism, ‘Geek’ is now a badge we can wear with honour. But what do you get for the nerd in your life? Here, we have a list of a few awesome and quirky presented xsd for you to give to your favourite dweeb this Christmas. Motherboard Chopping Board The perfect gift for the computer nerd, and the amateur chef in your life! Buy it here: Amazon Ctrl + Alt + Delete Hot And Cold Soup Set Perfect when you want to unwind and end tasks, or log off for a bit. Oh, and eat some soup too. Buy it here: Amazon Gameboy Watch It looks exactly like the original, and the alarm sound is the Super Mario Bros. theme. What more could you want! Buy it here: Amazon Second Breakfast Bowl Ideal for the extra hungry Tolkien fan in your life. Buy it here: Lenny Mud Floating Bluetooth Speaker These are really cool, and they look a bit like R2D2! Double geeky! Buy it here: Amazon Legend Of Zelda, Link’s Shield Backpack If you have to go out, and have a lot of stuff to carry… it’s dangerous to go alone…take this! Buy it here: Merchoid Star Trek Door Bell It makes sci-fi noises when ever anyone crosses the threshold of your room. It has motion sensors, and it lights up! Not getting this for the Trekkie in your life would be highly illogical, Captain. Buy it here: Amazon Stormtrooper Whiskey Decanter For the scruffy looking nerf herder and the booze hound in your life! Drink whiskey from a Stormtrooper’s head! What could be better? Buy it here: Temptation Gifts Magic The Gathering Spellslinger Starter Kit Ideal as a gift to play together, this set has everything you need to start you on your Magic path. Buy it here: Miniature Market Batman Egg Cup And Toast Cutter Serve breakfast with a side of vigilante justice, with this egg cup, and Batman symbol toast cutter. Buy it here: Amazon Floppy Disc Coasters No, kids, those aren’t 3D models of the save icon, those are floppy discs, the 90’s version of cloud storage. Well, those are coasters made to look like floppy discs, but, you get what we’re saying. Buy it here: Amazon Playstation Wallet How adorable! A wallet that is an exact mini replica of the original PlayStation 1 console! Perfect to put in your Link Shield backpack. Buy it here: Pink Cat Shop Star Wars Crochet Create your favourite Star Wars characters out of yarn! Look at these cuties… Just look at them!! Buy it here: The Book Depository Rick And Morty Cluedo Oh jeez, oh man! It’s everyone’s favourite mystery solving game, but with Rick and Morty, set in the multiverse. It even comes with custom sculpted Rick and Morty miniatures to use as game pieces. Wubba-Lubba-Dub-Duuub! Buy it here: Zavvi Awesome Mix Vol. 1 Pendant A miniature replica of the Awesome Mix Vol. 1 cassette tape from Guardians of the Galaxy, as a pendant. It even comes in a cassette tape box. Buy it here: Think Geek     There are just a few ideas to please all your nerdy loved ones this Geek-mas! #acp_paging_menu, .acp_wrapper { display: none; }
Are you tired of hearing Jingle Bells on the radio? Do you wish Santa would just stop coming to town? Have you just had enough of decking the halls with boughs of holly? If you answered yes to these questions, you might be suffering from a condition known as: ‘Imsosickofthatsongitus’. If you are unfortunate enough to be stricken with that malady, (and we suspect you are), we have the perfect remedy for you. Here are some alternative Christmas songs for you to put on your Christmas playlist, still full of Christmas cheer, just not the same old cheer we’ve all heard hundreds of times before. The Andrews Sisters – Christmas Island Bing Crosby And Rosemary Clooney – Snow Johnny Mathis – Do You Hear What I Hear Darlene Love – Christmas, (Baby Please Come Home) Destiny’s Child – Carol Of The Bells   Chris De Burgh – A Space Man Came Travelling   Ryan Sheridan – We’re Walking In The Air   Cyndi Lauper – Minnie And Santa T-Rex – Christmas Bop   The Kinks – Father Christmas AC/DC – Mistress For Christmas   The Ramones – Merry Christmas, (I Don’t Wanna Fight Tonight)   Bad Religion – Hark The Herald Angels Sing   Type O Negative – Red Water, (Christmas Mourning)   No Doubt – Oi To The World   Sufjan Jones – Christmas Unicorn   Beck – Little Drum Machine Boy   Run D.M.C – Christmas In Hollis TLC – Sleigh Ride   Snoop Doggy Dogg – Santa Claus Goes Straight To The Ghetto   So save these to your Spotify, make a playlist on YouTube, or get them on Google Play, and make your next Christmas party one to really remember, by playing a whole load of Christmas songs that nobody knows! We think there is something that will appeal to everyone on that list, and it makes a fun change from the usual Christmas carols that we hear year after year! #acp_paging_menu, .acp_wrapper { display: none; }
Are you feeling emotionally stable? Because you’re about to experience a real breakdown. 2018 is not only yet another year that has seen us lose faith in humanity and getting closer to the end of the world, it’s also the year many great TV shows have had their final season. There might be great new stuff coming up, but can we be sure? The Big Bang Theory (12 seasons) Not all fans of the series have followed during all twelve quite unequally hilarious seasons. Still, just as when Glee got canceled – if you don’t remember that, you are too young to be on the Internet, go to bed – it’s kind of the end of an era. Bye Penny, Sheldon, Howard…See you on Netflix, nerds. New Girl (7 seasons) Who knew that show still existed? Apparently, clumsy Jess and her flatmates were still a thing until their seventh and last season. Zooey, we’ll miss your sparkling eyes, and something about your personality that we cannot really put our fingers on. It’s not humor, though, definitely. Casual (4 seasons) Casual will leave our lives just as it entered it: quietly, peacefully, with a lot of dignity and in general indifference. For those who have missed it, and there must be many among you, don’t hesitate to watch all four seasons on replay. Valerie, you were insane, and it was a pleasure meeting you. Single moms with crazy brothers are not usually that good-looking. House of Cards (6 seasons) Based on an algorithm to create the perfect series – among other things – the star TV show that kept thousands on their toes during its first season was getting old. Without any regrets we’ll say farewell. Use your budget wisely, Netflix. The Americans (six seasons) The concept was great: Cold War, two Soviet KGB officers pretending to be an ordinary American couple, the Jennings. Well, it might not have been necessary to go through six seasons, but let’s give them an A for effort. Adventure Time (10 seasons) What will young stoners – and children – watch now that Adventure Time has come to an end?! Ten seasons of it on replay. Thanks for being so creative for so long, and for inspiring our most embarrassingly epic dreams. Just like your old aunt who smells funny, it’s always good to know they’re somewhere around, and you can catch up if you really want to. #acp_paging_menu, .acp_wrapper { display: none; }
Ah, fashion, what a fickle mistress she is. While we might think that we are super cool, on trend fashionistas, so too did our bell bottom wearing, platform heel doffing parents. We think, ‘but our fashion is awesome, we will never look back and think we look stupid. Alas, time makes fools of us all, and those 90’s school photos of you wearing trousers with 10 inch wide legs, and a Papa Roach t-shirt would beg to differ. Here we take a look at some of the most cringe-worthy fashion trends of the last few decades, and say a silent prayer that none of them make an ironic, retro reappearance in our high street stores. Patterned Tights These multi-coloured eye-sores were all the rage in the 60’s. Why anyone thought that these would flatter anyone’s shape is entirely beyond us! Futuristic Fashion There was a trend in the 60’s wherein designers envisioned what they thought the future would look like. Thankfully, they were wrong, but ‘Futuristic Fashion’ was a big thing at the time. Now it’s referred to as ‘Retro-Futuristic’, if you can get your head around that conundrum! Jumpsuits For Men Why, in the name of all that is holy, were these ever a thing? They are hideous! Completely unflattering, they make people look like matadors! Go home, 70’s fashion, you’re drunk! Bay City Rollers Fashion The Bay City Rollers were a hugely popular band in the 70’s. Unfortunately, so too were their fashion choices. Super high platforms, multi-coloured knee high socks worn with 3/4 length pants, and lots and lots of plaid. We get it, you’re Scottish, calm down on the tartan! Shell Suits OK, so these were garish, and loud, and gaudy, and kind of awful, but we must confess to having a bit of a soft spot for these. These are actually coming back into fashion at the moment, so we can indulge our secret tacky shame if we really really want to. MC Hammer Pants Yeah, we are not as fond of these pants, though. MC Hammer was a rapper in the early late 80’s and early 90’s. These pants were his trademarks. Very handy if you ever needed a parachute, for your crotch. Super Baggy Jeans Oh the nostalgia is killing us with this one! These were really popular in the 90’s amoungst skaters and Nu-Metal fans. We’re not saying we did have 10 pairs of these and a whole wardrobe full of Slipknot, Limp Bizkit, and Korn t-shirts, but we’re not saying we didn’t either! Bucket Hats These were hats that fishermen originally wore, but they were popularised by Glastonbury goers and Oasis fans. Again, we are not going to say that we didn’t fall victim to this fashion faux pas. Uggs A snow boot that wasn’t waterproof and slid off your feet sideways when you walked in them. Great! Thanks to the likes of Paris Hilton, ultra trendy girls everywhere had a pair of these. Most commonly worn with pale blue skinny jeans, a pink fluffy cardigan and a tiny dog inside a Louis Vuitton handbag . No, just no. We’d like to think that we have come a long way in terms of haute couture and high street trends. Honestly though, ten years from now there will probably be another article, just like this one, featuring something you are wearing at this very minute! So maybe we shouldn’t be too smug about our fashion choices, and just wear whatever we feel most comfortable in.         #acp_paging_menu, .acp_wrapper { display: none; }
Retro gaming is big news at the moment. There have been lots of updated versions of old 16 bit consoles revamped for today’s market and pre-loaded with classic games. The Sega Megadrive has it’s own new plug and play version of its classic console, but if you still have your old Megadrive console knocking around, there are plenty of great game cartridges still available online and in certain stores for you to play. But why stick to the old favourites like Sonic, or Golden Axe? Why not look for something a little more unusual? Here, we scope out some of the most bizarre offerings to the Sega Megadrive catalogue, many of which can still be sourced through retro gaming shops and websites like eBay. Zombies Ate My Neighbours Zombies Ate My Neighbours is a thoroughly underrated game. It is a fast paced run and gun game developed by LucasArts. It really should have been more popular than it was, as it is glorious to play. Smooth playability, awesome graphics for its time, 55 levels of zombie killing with a 3D glasses wearing main character, really, what more could you ask for? ToeJam And Earl ToeJam And Earl was super weird. The name is weird, the landscape was weird, the characters looked weird. But it was a fun game to play despite the simplistic graphics. Released in 1991, it follows two alien rappers, ToeJam and Earl, who crash land on Earth, and have to collect bits of their ship in order to make it back to their home planet, Funkotron. Lots of time spent traveling around in-game in elevators, and a landscape that looks nothing at all like earth make for a pretty surreal gaming experience. Shaq Fu So, this is a pretty strange one. In 1994, Shaquille O’Neal, NBA star and one of the most famous players the LA Lakers has ever known, starred in his very own Street Fighter-esque video game. While the release of the game was met with confusion at the time, (why is Shaq in a fighting game and not a basketball game… why??), the graphics were excellent and it was an all round fun game to play. Boogerman, A Pick And Flick Adventure Well, the title says it all, really. This is a video game about snot. Charming! Boogerman is a superhero janitor who works in a lab. He can flick his snot, burp, belch and even fart at his enemies. While the premise is childish to say the least, the graphics are pretty cool and it is pretty amusing to play. Beavis & Butthead So, just in case you don’t already know, Beavis & Butthead was a cartoon show that aired on MTV from 1993 to 2011. It followed the lives of the title characters Beavis and Butthead, two dumb, heavy metal loving, girl chasing high school layabouts. It spawned a movie, lots of different merchandise, and even a video game. The game itself is pretty cool if you’re a fan of the show. The graphics are great and look just like the cartoon, the audio is awesome and the game-play is really engaging. Even if you’re not familiar with the show, this is definitely one to check out. Bubba ‘n’ Stix Who doesn’t like stereotypes in their gaming? Well this game certainly won’t let you down if you do. In Bubba ‘n’ Stix, you play as Bubba, a shirtless redneck in overalls who carries around a sentient stick. He uses this stick to beat up his enemies and to move things around. He wanders around in swamps and always wears a red trucker cap backwards. The visuals are pretty cool in this one and the boss at the end is… well…interesting. The Haunting Starring Polterguy This game is super cool. You play the ghost Polterguy and your mission is to scare the bejesus out of the Sardini family, and terrify them out of their home. For no apparent reason other than you’re a ghost and that’s what you do. You go from room to room and jump into various objects to charge them with a scare. Once a member of the family investigates, you will be met with a spooky animation like, for example, a bathtub filling with blood. This is a really distinctive little game and will provide hours of entertainment. Word of warning though, beware the boss stage at the end, it’s the pits! Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker A tie-in with the music anthology movie of the same name, Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker sees you play the superstar, as he dances his way through various juke-joints and side streets in order to save a groups of kidnapped children. A weird and wonderful mix of 80’s nostalgia, this game is a simplistic one but an entertaining one nonetheless, especially for Jackson fans. The backgrounds and bad guys are a bit lazy, though, with each back drop being a slight variation on the last. The music, as you would expect, is awesome throughout, and the graphics are pretty good considering this is one of Sega’s earlier releases. There are hours and hours of entertainment to be had from dusting off your old consoles, and putting them to good use again. These are just some examples of the lesser known, wackier side of the Megadrive. Most of these titles are still readily available online and will provide you with a much more unique gaming experience than many of the more popular well known titles out there. #acp_paging_menu, .acp_wrapper { display: none; }