The best… well certainly the most creepy comment we’ve ever had

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This is how the creepy comment made me feel

The creepy comment made me feel like the one on the left…

I know I talked about the spam comments queue last week. I know I mocked the spam robots for their broken English and marvelled at their ability to create new greetings like:

What’s up to everyone!

or

What a stuff!

But we recently had a comment that was so creepy I just had to share…

 

Excuse me... what did you just say?

Excuse me… what did you just say?

 

So someone who is trying to get clicks on a site about drug addiction… and they do it by saying they’re looking forward to touching me later…

Classic marketing skills.

Needless to say, I don’t think we’ll be dropping him an email – he didn’t even leave any contact details.

 

That’s it for my double post Friday entry. Why?

Because I’m going to New Zealand today and that’s the perfect excuse for a short and slightly shoddy blog post!

More best things to come next week from the other side of the world… depending on where you live. That’s only if I can find the WiFi though. Otherwise I’ll leave you in Steve’s capable hands…

Looking ahead to touch you.

 

 

The best way to bake cake

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fish-cake

Would you believe this is a cake? I’m not so sure. The whole situation seems a bit fishy…

“Let them eat cake…”

A famous phrase from Marie Antoinette (Wikipedia tells me it may not actually have been said by her or anyone else as it was told as an anecdote) about the importance of cake over bread.

Often in my life I think “I would love fresh cake right now” but actually I don’t want to make it and my friends respond poorly to my “make me caaaaaaake!” whines. This means I either have to buy a cake or crack out the scales. I’d prefer to do neither.

Which is why this new invention is probably one of the best things ever: cake in a can.

But it’s not just cake in a can, it’s cake in a whipped cream-esque can and can be sprayed just like whipped cream. It’s then baked in the microwave for 60 seconds and you get light and fluffy fresh cake.

Super quick and really easy to make, looks pretty good and is fairly innovative.

It was originally created by two Harvard students as a University project who really just wanted an excuse ‘to eat lots of delicious cake’ but stumbled upon something that was even bigger than themselves.

I heard about this cake from some colleagues who were slating it as they thought it was just lazy Americans being lazy. They were worried about how it tasted, the products which were in it and the fact that it was microwaved.

brownie-cooked1

As it turns out it’s 100% organic and the people on the video seem pretty happy with the taste. As for it being microwaved, I don’t think I care. Have you ever tried the one cup brownie?! That’s microwaved and it’s pretty good.

These students are currently waiting on a manufacturer to pick this up but as soon as they do I really, really, really want some cake in a can. I don’t know how I’ll get it as I’m sure it’ll only be sold in America at first. Maybe I’ll have to go on a blog trip to really make sure it’s everything I’ve ever dreamed of and more.

That seems like a valid excuse to go to America right…

The best reason to not buy a super-flash, male wedding ring

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Turns out diamonds are not just a girl's best friend...

Turns out diamonds are not just a girl’s best friend…

 

Let me start by saying that I know very little about lady wedding rings. I know that some look very similar to man ones while others are much more sparkly than you would expect to find on a man’s hand.

Though the male wedding ring above makes me think that there are no gender-based sparkliness rules after all.

I do actually know quite a lot about man rings though – mostly because almost 2 years ago now I had to face the terrifying prospect of choosing and buying one of these things.

And initially, after getting over the fact that I would have to wear jewellery at all, I wanted something that looked a bit like this…

wooden inlay

That’s right… it’s got a piece of wood in it!

 

I think wood is my favourite material. It’s pretty natural – a friendly tree made it. And it makes me feel calm. Metal is kind of terrifying – you have to get it really furnace hot before it bends to your will.

So I thought a wooden inlay in my wedding ring would be perfect.

But at that time I didn’t know about these crazy cats (N.b. they are not cats, they are still rings)

 

dinosaur bone and meteorite

 

What’s that on the right?  Another piece of wood? No it’s a dinosaur bone, fool! And on the left? That’s just your standard piece of meteorite!

Yeah these rings are pretty cool – they appeal to the six year old in all of us. I bet the power rangers would approve of this type of ring. And I would totally go for one of these as well!

I guess in that respect my fashion taste is quite similar to the power rangers.

But there are plenty of reasons to not buy one of these fancy rings…

Firstly, you can’t guarantee the colour of the dinosaur bone – and if you don’t like it you still have to wear it your whole life.

They also cost a lot of money – £750 for the dino/meteor combo.

Then I guess people might look at you funny. They might not have the same love of prehistoric times as you and they might not care if you have a space rock on your hand. Some people are just like that.

But the real reason to not buy one… the motivation that will help you suppress your inner child just a little bit…

Well it’s that these rings break very easily. The wooden inlays can warp if they get wet and the dinosaur bone chips if it touches anything too hard. Suddenly your awesome wedding ring looks pretty stupid.. and you feel stupid.

That’s the sort of thinking that made me get a pretty basic wedding ring. I chose silver because it’s the same all the way through. It won’t need re-coated like white gold. It’s also cheap enough that I can scratch it a little bit and we don’t need to cry about that.

In fact I scratched it on the first day – the wedding day. We probably shouldn’t have scheduled the photos at a place where I could climb up rocks and stuff.

But now it looks pretty cool with all it’s scratches – it looks lived in and I like it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The best thing I’ve learnt from my work

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University of Gloucestershire

Everyday of my undergrad degree looked like this – I sure hope it’s the same for postgrad…

After nearly two years of working in Market Research I’ve decided to leave my job and go back to University. Not just so that I can have the carefree lifestyle of the student but that I can also once again live in abject poverty.

So as my time draws near (2 and a half weeks away) I’ve started to reflect on some of the things I’ve learnt from my work:

1) Email is a way of life, not just a form of communication which you should probably check twice a day. As soon as you see a message it is vital that you are there to read it and respond otherwise you will probably die

email

It’s pictures like this which make emails seem exciting and fun instead of the controlling and devastating bytes of information they are

2) I need elevensies otherwise I get really grouchy and hungry. I’m going to seriously miss our snack drawer…

3) If I don’t write it down I’ve already forgotten it - a pen and notepad are always necessary for even the shortest of meetings

4) Printers break…a lot

Broken printer picture 01

Everyday I want to do this. Our printer is currently printing pink, blue and yellow stripes along with big black lines down the middle

5) People will talk about you behind your back - you didn’t think you were immune did you?

6) Cake goes down well but is unlikely to get eaten - everyone is so polite or is on a diet that they take the minutest of slices. Basically only enough to feed a hamster

7) You will let people down - it’s the nature of work, someone won’t like what you’ve done and that’ll be sad

8) Your bosses will always give you amends - I was once told that they need to be seen as having a purpose even if your work is perfect

9) No-one really knows anything - they just say stuff with enough confidence

Professor dog

Someone’s looking serious

Recently though we’ve been doing some work for a supermarket about their online delivery and why shoppers are lapsing from it. One of the big (and unsurprising) findings is that customers are unhappy with the substitutions they received from the supermarket if their chosen product was unavailable.

I originally thought this just meant getting an own brand product instead of a branded one but it in fact goes much deeper. It strays into the realms of the ridiculous and bizarre.

Here are some examples of the products ordered and the subs they received:

Ordered: Lemons ¦ Actually got: Lemon scented shampoo

Britney-confused_zps9eff516a

Imagine that: you’re excited to be making your famous lemon meringue pie and you get some Head and Shoulders. Perplexing.

Ordered: Face cream ¦ Actually got: Gillette shaving foam

Maybe the supermarket were trying to give them a hint.

Ordered: Rack of lamb ¦ Actually got: Onion gravy

Gravy

Here’s my boat of rack of lamb and gravy – I’m sure you’ll enjoy it

Checklist for roast: potatoes, gravy, carrots, parsnips, Yorkshire puddings and gravy. Wait a minute!

Ordered: Baby wipes ¦ Actually got: Cotton wool and baby lotion

Ewwww. No-one wants that

Ordered: Baby wipes ¦ Actually got: Toilet wipes

Nothing like making your baby have that lemony, disinfectant smell…

Toilet

Toilet smell = baby smell

Ordered: Cheddar cheese ¦ Actually got: Philadelphia

This doesn’t sound that bad until you think about it. There are about 50 different types of cheddar cheese in a normal supermarket and they couldn’t find one?!

Ordered: Cow and Gate ¦ Actually got: Aptamil

If you’re like me you probably went “what’s the problem?”. If you’re a parent you probably had a minor aneurysm and started weeping on the floor. It turns out this is pretty bad and could harm your baby. Don’t buy two different types of baby milk!

So really the best thing I’ve learnt from my job is that the pickers for online supermarket shopping are sometimes ridiculously silly with their choice of substitutions. They need to get their heads on straight.

I don’t think I’ll be shopping online any time soon because of this but it did provide me with a good laugh.

If you’ve ever had any weird substitutions from online shopping then let us know in the comments. Jon and I like that sort of stuff because we like you all to engage with us…

The best thing to do when confronted with veganism

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This dog is demonstrating a common reacting to vegan food

This dog is demonstrating a common reaction to vegan food

 

I used to have a vegan flatmate. That was a weird time for me. She loved baking and devoted many hours and plenty of money to make delicious treats.

Only the treats weren’t delicious – they were sort of sloppy and bouncy. Two words that I don’t like to hear describing a cake.

So all this taking over the kitchen, making loads of noise and general passive aggressive-ness actually resulted in no reward for me whatsoever.

But she wasn’t even an extreme vegan… she just did it to “stay skinny for life”

 

will smith reacting

Thanks, Will Smith, for reacting perfectly to that comment for me…

 

I guess me and my vegan flatmate were just idealistically opposed. We never saw eye to eye on food issues. In fact, I’m not even sure vegans are allowed to see eye-to-eye… it’s too meaty a process.

But actually nothing about my stinky attitude towards sub-standard specialist food is a best thing. It’s just a Jon thing.

The best way to deal with any sort of veganism is actually to champion it… without changing your lifestyle at all.

Vegans are trying to do a good thing… reduce greenhouse gases, not kill cute little lambs – I bet vegans are probably not comfortable with throwing eggs at your house either. Those are all real positives.

Instead of trying to justify your stance on meaty goodness, just say well done to them – for doing something they believe in. It’s much more fun to cheer people on than argue about what’s on their plate.

Considering all of this, I’ve got an announcement to make…

I am now the (self-appointed) Unofficial Brand Ambassador for a vegan product. But not just any vegan product… I’m the Unofficial Brand Ambassador for delicious vegan Sheese.

Yes, that’s right… Sheese.

It’s like cheese but more soya and absolutely no animal involvement anywhere.

 

Sheddar Sheese

They really missed a trick in not calling this ‘Sheddar Sheese’…

 

You can get blue-style sheese, edam-style sheese… pretty much any cheese can go through the Sheesifying process. There’s normal Sheese, melty sheese, runny sheese, soft sheese…

It’s like a playground for people who really like soya products. Check it out for yourself if you want.

This is a picture of the guys that came up with the idea…

 

Sheese creators

 

And if this Brand Ambassador role goes well, soon it’ll be me on that picture as well. Three chaps standing together with the sunset on our backs and our awkward arms around each other’s shoulders… it’ll be great.

The only question left is what vegan product are you going to support? …There’s still plenty of room aboard the Sheese wagon if you want.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The best thing to do at the beach

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Dicaprio beach

Leo didn’t get the memo that the beach was meant to be a place of fun, not somewhere to look pensive…

The beach is a great place to be. It’s peaceful, fun and relaxing. Sometimes it’s wet, dreary and your face just got stood on by a beach donkey, but mostly that doesn’t happen.

This past week I’ve been in Barcelona and the beaches around there were great. The sand was sandy and the sea was refreshing rather than terrifyingly cold.

It made a nice change to a day trip to Scarborough.

But when you’re on the beach the routine of sunbathe, swim, dry, mysteriously get covered in sand and apply sun cream can get a bit monotonous.

Crying baby

“Where does this sand even come from?!! I literally just washed it all off!”

To break this monotony in Barcelona they’ve created an outdoor gym on the beach for the mega ripped to get even more ripped so they can spend more time posing next to other people who are posing.

Quick question: how do they get ripped in the first place? There were no weedy guys there but people don’t tend to be naturally ripped. Where do the weedy guys work out to become ripped guys?! It’s always baffled me…

So, we wandered over to the gym and decided to have a go at a relatively un-gym-like activity: hanging from a pull up bar. The challenge is to hang there for 110 seconds. You’re allowed to change your grip and use your arms as well but nothing else. It’s much harder than it sounds and it seemed to frustrate those who were actually there to work out rather than those who thought the whole thing was a bit funny.

However, outdoor gyms are not the best thing to do at beaches. The best thing is so simple. The best thing is bat and ball.

Bat and ball

I’ve never seen anyone enjoying their beach time more than this…

For some reason this hasn’t taken off in Britain but pretty much everyone was playing it in Spain. I think it’s great.

It’s collaborative, easy to pick up and good for your hand eye coordination. It adds a bit of excitement to your sun bathing and is just a bit of fun. Just hit the ball back and forth, what could be easier?!

So you should get a set. It will make your trips to the seaside way better and more interesting. We need to bring this to Britain. We need this to be a casual pastime of every seaside resort.

——-

I hope you all had a nice chilled week last week and you enjoyed the return of Steve’s nonsense posts today! It’s good to be back

The best logic puzzle from the Wachowskis

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Dog wearing glasses   It’s a Friday and that means your mental capacity has been reduced by a long and draining week. You’re now about as smart as a patient just coming out of anaesthetic (really hard word to spell) or a dog wearing glasses. That’s good news for me because I have a logic puzzle for you and in your tired, blurry-minded state, you might just accept it as a legitimate puzzle and not just a really odd question based on real life events. To get this right you will need to use all your knowledge of the Wachowskis (directors of matrix and cloud atlas), Channing Tatum (Magic Mike, 21/22 Jump Street) and Sean Bean (Game of Thrones, Lord of the rings).  

This is what they look like... a useful clue for this particular puzzle

This is what they look like… a useful clue for this particular puzzle

  So you now know everything you need to solve this logic test… that means it’s time to begin the exam.

The Wachowski’s are making a film. It’s a science fiction film in which Channing Tatum’s character is spliced with wolf DNA… That gives him pointy ears and presumably a strong sense of loyalty and smell. So using your knowledge of all the people involved in this puzzle, tell me what animal the Wachowskis decided to splice Sean Bean DNA with.

Essentially, Channing Tatum is to wolf, as Sean bean is to which animal?   …   How are you getting on with that little quiz – can your Friday brain cope with it? Maybe you’re thinking it’s a bear… he looks quite bear like – well that’s wrong. Maybe you thought a Phoenix because Sean Bean dies all the time – wrong. Or maybe you went crazy and said something like a dolphin – well you’re wrong as well, Sean bean is nothing like a dolphin.   The answer of course… is a bee.   Sean bee   And I presume the only way you would have got it right is if you already knew this was happening. Because really this wasn’t a logic puzzle at all… it was just a way of telling you a really weird fact. Sean Bean is going to be playing a character that is part human, part bee – he’ll be called Stinger which sort of makes sense. But it raises more questions than answers… Will he die after one sting? Will he have tiny little bee wings? What sort of honey does he make? Will he be able to pollinate flowers? All of these questions make really compelling reasons to watch Jupiter Ascending when it comes out (February 2015 for us UK folk). Though it almost certainly will be a bit weird and a bit complicated… I guess it all depends on how enticed you are by the Sean Bean/bee collaboration.   That’s your lot of best things for the week. Steve will be back next week and normal service will resume… until I jet off to New Zealand for three weeks. Don’t worry though – I will be a slightly better travel blogger than Steve is… I think I’ll have more access to WiFi.            

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