This is the 'most Instagrammable bird' and it looks like the stuff of nightmares

This is the 'most Instagrammable bird' and it looks like the stuff of nightmares

WITH its broad, menacing beak and wide eyes, the frogmouth bird - often mistaken for an owl - is an odd sight.

So much so that it has been crowned the 'most Instagrammable bird' by researchers at the University Hospital Jena in Germany.

Dr Katja Thömmes and Dr Gregor Hayn-Leichsenring studied how social media users interacted with some of the most popular bird photography accounts on Instagram.

Their research, published on APA PsycNet, examined more than 27,000 photos of birds across nine Instagram accounts with a combined following of nearly 3.5million users. The two researchers used an algorithm to record which birds attracted the most 'likes', relative to the number of times they featured.

The nocturnal frogmouth, once voted 'the world's most unfortunate-looking bird' emerged as 'Instagram’s most aesthetically appealing bird'.  

The researchers suggest that 'likes' for birds are not driven only by their aesthetic appeal, and that the frogmouth stood out because of it's 'anthropomorphic facial features', it's distinctiveness, and the context in which it was photographed. 

It's unlikely you'll see the frogmouth knocking around the UK though as they mainly live in Southeast Asia and Australia. 

May 13, 2021 — Goodwin Smith reporter
Tags: Travel
The Top 5 Awful Comments That Should Never Leave A Guy's Mouth During Sex

The Top 5 Awful Comments That Should Never Leave A Guy's Mouth During Sex

PRIME Minister Boris Johnson has announced we'll soon be allowed to hug each other. Bloody amazing. Physical contact has been legally approved by the British government. In case you find yourself in a situation where you'll be doing more than hugging but you're a bit rusty, here are The Top 5 Awful Comments That Should Never Leave A Guy's Mouth During Sex: 

 

1. 'Oh my ex used to do that' 

Probably on a par with mentioning the wrong person's name. Comparing the woman your inside to someone you used to be with is a solid mood killer. It conjures up all sorts of questions from 'what else did she used to do?' to 'did she used to do it better'. No woman wants to feel that you're thinking of your ex, especially when you're in bed. 

2. 'Actually, I promised to bell my mate, one sec'

It doesn't matter if Jesus Christ is calling reverse charge, don't lean over to the side unit to make or take a call. It gives the message someone else takes priority when a woman is at her most exposed. Alternatively, if you have to answer don't shout: 'Sam you cheeky devil, na mate, not up to much, you?' Make sure it's a good reason to interrupt the flow.

3. Poor quality dirty talk

'I'm going to pop off a piece of my dick in your vag' or 'I'm going to slap you in the eye with my cucumber.' Just no. Dirty talk can be silly, witty and commanding but only if it's done right, otherwise you'll sound like you've learnt how to speak English that day. More on this in another post but dirty talk works when you're familiar with a person's boundaries.

4. 'Cum for me, baby'

Similar to 'are you close?' saying 'cum for me, baby' is a sure-fire way to get the woman you're with not to orgasm. It's the equivalent of that absolute knobhead in a public toilet standing too close behind you waiting for you to finish. You tense up. Pressure shouldn't feature when you're having sex. It's sex not Countdown. Consonant please Carol. 

5. Saying nothing

The only thing worse than saying the wrong thing, is saying fuck all. There is little more disturbing than total silence. The woman you're with doesn't want to feel like she's having sex with a dummy - a cold, dead stare of a face. She'll wonder if you've lost a bet with your mates and is being given the silent treatment. 'Hello, is anybody in there?' Be vocal, not ridiculously loud but appreciative. Like you're enjoying a pasta dish at your local Italian.

 

NOW READ: Boyfriend Loses First Round Of Debates Over Whether Or Not PornHub Is Cheating

May 10, 2021 — Goodwin Smith reporter
THE POSITIVES TO COME OF CORONAVIRUS

THE POSITIVES TO COME OF CORONAVIRUS

The lockdown measures are beginning to ease.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has updated the guidance from STAY THE FUCK HOME to CONTROL THE VIRUS. Soon, you'll be skipping in your nearest park French-kissing strangers with complete abandon.

But before we look toward total freedom, let's not dismiss what we've been through. The normal 'unlockdown' may feel like the promised land but there have been some huge positives of Covid-19. 

Let's take a look.



Community spirit



Many of us have paid closer attention to our immediate surroundings because of the travel restrictions. What was once just a random street, avenue or estate is now a community of newfound neighbours. Covid-19 has turned strangers into comrades in the fight to stay safe and stay alert. This wasn't felt more keenly than on Thursdays at 8pm when residents leant from their windows or stood outside to clap for the NHS. No doubt when movement returns to normal that communal feeling will fade but hopefully some neighbourliness will remain.  

 

Helping OAPs



As Jim Carrey points out in Dumb and Dumber: 'Senior citizens are slow and dangerous behind the wheel'. However, in times of crisis, we set aside facts to help the vulnerable and the elderly. Volunteering websites, specific time slots at supermarkets, running errands and emergency crowdfunded donations. These are just some of the ways society has pulled together to show we really do care.

 

Blue skies



Facebook feeds are full of before and after videos of blue skies or waters. Most notably Venice's murky canals where a jellyfish was spotted swimming in the city's now crystal-clear channels. Water traffic has stopped meaning sediment has settled. The environmental benefits of planes being grounded, cars parked and factories shut down is unquestionable. However, history tells us that when emissions have fallen sharply in the past, as they do after recessions, there’s often a rocketing rebound that wipes out any short-term cut in emissions. Let's hope that's not the case. 

 

Increase in hygiene practises


Improved hygiene will become a priority for households. Unilever’s chief executive, Alan Jope, has predicted a permanent rise in demand for soap and other cleaning supplies. In the coming months, people will want to wash their hands more and be concerned about surface hygiene in homes, said Mr Jope. 'The whole hygiene thing will carry on.'

Elina Enqvist-Twomey, of luxury home-fittings brand Grohe said: 'Feedback from the commercial market in the past three months tells us that hygiene is top of the agenda, with a large proportion of projects specifying more hygiene-focused products such as infra-red taps, infra-red flush plates, and shower toilets.' Better personal hygiene can only be a good thing. 
 

July 13, 2020 — Simon Smith
BIG MOVIE RELEASES DELAYED DUE TO COVID-19

BIG MOVIE RELEASES DELAYED DUE TO COVID-19

Political strategist Dominic Cummings is providing the British public with some cracking lockdown drama. The quirky, defiant outsider is turning parliament into the Corleone family. There's in-fighting, underhanded tactics and questionable behaviour.

The whole of the UK is caught up in how the dilemma will turn out. It could be that Brits are actually interested in this babble and hypocrisy. Or it could be something to do with the fact nothing new is grabbing our attention. The film industry is on pause. Gone are the days are of special effects, stunts and stories to keep us entertained.

Here are some of the films delayed due to Covid-19.

 

A Quiet Place Part II

The follow-up to the American horror flick A Quiet Place was down for release on March 18. Now Paramount Pictures plans to release the film in theatres on September 4. The end of the summer is seen as the worst period for movie-going, however, there is a method in the studio's madness. They're hoping the pent-up desire to catch a movie after lockdown will see a surge in ticket sales. Not sure a dark room watching a screen will be people's go-to place after a stint of isolation.

 

(F9) Fast and Furious 9

The ninth instalment of the Fast & Furious franchise was down for release in the United States on May 22. On March 12, however, Universal Pictures pushed the date back by a year to April 2, 2021. Interesting fact: stuntman Joe Watts was badly hurt during filming on July 22, 2019. The accident - described as a 'serious head injury' after a major fall - saw the production shut down at Warner Brothers' Leavesden Studios as Watts was airlifted to the Royal London Hospital.


Top Gun: Maverick

Tom Cruise reprises his iconic role Captain Pete 'Maverick' Mitchell. Now he's a test pilot and flight instructor for the United States Navy. Impressive for a man close to 60. After a number of pushbacks, the film had a final release date of June 24 but Covid-19 has seen that delayed to December 23. Sales for Ray-Bans spiked 40 per cent when the 1986 Top Gun premiered, so expect to see hordes of people wearing the shades this winter.

 

No Time To Die

 

Talk of James Bond is usually about who will follow after Daniel Craig. Perhaps Michael Fassbender? Richard Madden? Sam Heughan? A safe bet would apparently be Tom Hardy...or a woman. Or Tom Hardy as a woman. Whatever the case No Time To Die is Craig's fifth and final outing as the MI6 agent. After a few setbacks, including the departure of Danny Boyle as director, the film was finally scheduled for April. On March 4, however, MGM and Eon Productions announced that after 'thorough evaluation of the global theatrical marketplace' they had postponed the film's release until November 12.
June 27, 2020 — Alex Swan
The Tommy Shelby Style Guide

The Tommy Shelby Style Guide

Whether it’s his effortless charm or his ability to hold great conversations, Peaky Blinders star Thomas Shelby is the embodiment of invisible character. If you’re not obsesses with him, you’re at least impressed by his mannerisms and unmistakable style.

Emulating the rebellious style of the one and only Birmingham kingpin and patriarch of the Shelby family has never been easier. Take inspiration from this nonconformist style icon to take your signature style to heights unknown.

The style experts here at Goodwin Smith have compiled some stylish ways to take your look to the next level. Make sure all eyes are on you from the minute you enter any room.

 

How to get the Shelby look

A century later, the roaring 20s are making a steady comeback – even throwing in plague and prohibition to make it all the more believable. The Shelby style icon is a living embodiment of the classic, suave style of this era – but how does he bring it all together?

 

Suave shoes

Let’s take this look from the ground up. Bespoke boots are the trademark of men who lead from the front. That’s not to say you can’t achieve the same impressive style with other shoe types. Goodwin Smith knows that a man with the right shoes is unstoppable. Bring your Peaky Blinders inspired style to the forefront with an elegant set of Oxfords or Brogues to set the tone for the rest of your classical look.

 

Timeless suits

It’s perhaps Tommy’s suits that speak to us the most; tailored, classic, elegant, and monochrome. A timeless look that oozes sex appeal and sophistication – what more could you want?

Suits aren’t exactly the most practical everyday attire, though, so donning one might be best left for special occasions. A well-fitted shirt in black, white or grey is a great way to modernise the classic look into a functional everyday outfit. Paired with a waistcoat, your outfit can be taken from every day sleek to sizzling with almost no effort.

They say a tailored trouser is a man’s equivalent of a push-up bra; and whoever ‘they’ are, they’re not lying. Highlight your assets and add the finishing touches to your charming style with a well-fitted pair of trousers.  The golden rules for the perfect pair are centred around fit and colour. Colour match your trousers to your shirt or waistcoat for a more formal look or create a contrast between the colours for a modern, casual spin. It’s worth taking a trip to the tailors to have your seams hemmed to your perfect length and to help ensure they fit properly. Then prepare yourself for the attention coming your way.

 

Top it off with a hat

A hat might not always be the most practical attire in 2020. But as far as significance goes, the significance is huge. It’s the unspoken promise of solidarity and brotherhood. Using this ideal as inspiration, why not find an accessory that speaks this on your behalf. That could be a classic watch, or even the way you choose to style your hair. The hat is far more symbolic than part and parcel of the outfit; after all, this is about evolving your own unique style, and finding a way to do that which is unique to you.

 

Don the right attitude

 

Now that you’re kitted out, head to toe in gentlemanly garb, make sure your attitude gets to shine through. It’s your chance to showcase your maverick style. A man who never backs down, never shies away from a challenge, and has a brotherhood following his lead – that’s a Goodwin Smith man.

Be the alpha man you were born to be. The one who leads from the front, the one who sets the tone. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so all we have left to do is wish you well with all the attention you’ll be getting. Go on then.

May 22, 2020 — Alex Swan
THE TOP 4 CORONAVIRUS CONSPIRACY THEORIES 

THE TOP 4 CORONAVIRUS CONSPIRACY THEORIES 

The coronavirus outbreak has turned us all into gibbering hypochondriacs. A slightly sweaty brow or itchy throat has us frantically googling Covid-19 symptoms.' Kiss the kids goodnight, I'm not going to see the morning,' we say to our partner after a light sneeze. It's understandable and any genuine health concerns should not be taken lightly.

But in these times of worry, there are those who exploit people's fear by spreading bullshit. Usually those with political or financial aims.  

Let's look at the top four craziest rumours spread during this outbreak.



1. COVID-19 CAME FROM A LAB IN CHINA

On April 15, an article on Fox News's website helped spread claims the virus came from a virology lab in Wuhan, China. The reason China would analyse this virus? To allow them to compete with America by showing them they can identify and combat viruses in the same way America can. Remember this is Fox News.

'Sources believe' a staff member working in the lab was infected by a bat. That person then, unknowingly, went out into the population of Wuhan and spread the virus. It could be true or it could have been made up by America's far-right to generate negativity toward China during the on-going trade war.  

2. 5G TOWERS ARE TO BLAME


Worry about mobiles and their impact on our health has been around since they first entered the market. There is no evidence to suggest mobile phone use increases cancer risk. Now conspiracy theorists are claiming 5G helps spread coronavirus.

According to Hanna Linderstal, chief executive of the Swedish data company Earhart Business Protection Agency - which tracks online bullshit - the first video directly linking coronavirus to 5G appeared online in early January. The video was of a lecture which discussed the influence of electromagnetic radiation on pandemics.

From that dozens of videos started appearing showing dead birds, dead fish and people fainting in the street - all, according to the videos, the result of 5G.

Amanda Holden only made things worse when on April 5 she retweeted a link to online petition banning 5G. Around the country mobile phone masts were set alight, some weren't even 5G.

Rest assured the 5G radio waves do not pose any health risks.

3. COW PISS IS A GENUINE COVID-19 CURE


On March 14, around 200 followers of India's Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha (All India Hindu Union) gathered for a cow urine drinking party in New Delhi. They believe drinking it protects them from Covid-19.

Many orthodox Hindus see cows as sacred animals, with some attributing numerous health benefits to the animals' urine and faeces.

'We have been drinking cow urine for 21 years, we also take bath in cow dung. We have never felt the need to consume English medicine,' said Om Prakash, a person who attended the party.

Unsurprisingly medical experts have repeatedly said cow urine does not cure illnesses like cancer and there is no evidence that it can prevent coronavirus.


4 SILVER TOOTHPASTE IS ALSO A CURE 


The more ridiculous the claim, the more insane the perpetrator. Enter InfoWars creator and host Alex Jones. The far-right Texan is known for his outlandish claims. For example, climate change is part of a plan by the World Bank to control the global economy through an imposed carbon tax.

But the coronavirus brought out the best nuttery from Jones.

He used his website to sell colloidal silver - a liquid which consists of tiny silver particles. It is often promoted online as a dietary supplement, but there has been little conclusive evidence it actually works. Among the offerings were 'Superblue Silver Immune Gargle', 'SuperSilver Whitening Toothpaste' and 'SuperSilver Wound Dressing Gel'.

On April 9, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent Jones a warning letter instructing him to remove his claims regarding the effectiveness of colloidal silver. He did. 

May 10, 2020 — Simon Smith
Goodwin Smith brogue shoe selection

What are Brogues? All You Need to Know

Brogue: (/broʊɡ/ BROHG) – roll your R’s and you’re halfway there. Way back in the 1600’s, an Irishman realised that having perforations in your shoes meant they drained quicker after a day in the wetlands. Fast forward to the 21st century and all your mates are buzzing about their latest Goodwin Smith Oxfords, or they’re eyeing up a new pair of tan brogues to level up their wardrobe.

But what exactly are brogues?

Smart casual footwear for a fashion forward man

Oxfords and Derby’s; these are not the droids you’re looking for. They are not interchangeable terms. The difference between these two styles lies in where the upper cover of the shoe sits. Brogues on the other hand are only characterised by the perforation detail on the leather.

Brogues are the quintessential shoe to dress up any outfit – for a night out, that important business meeting or the even more important after-hours meeting. Match your tan brogues perfectly with chinos for a dressed-up but casual look, or pair them with jeans when you’re painting the town red and let the world know you’re ready for whatever the night holds. Pair your black brogues with tailored trousers and have all eyes on you as the most stylish man in the room – or add a pop of personality to your best man outfit without stealing the groom’s limelight.

Types of Brogue Shoes

There are plenty of brogue types out there, and with so many ways to style them there’s bound to be a design that speaks to your signature look.

Boots

Goodwin Smith brogue boot

Brogue boots are becoming wildly popular, with vast colour ranges to choose from. They can have rugged rubber soles, sleek slim soles, and a plethora of finishes such as herringbone or plaid.

Half Brogues

Goodwin Smith half brogue

Half brogues also fall into the smart-casual category and have perforations around the toe or cap area.

Wingtip Brogues

Goodwin Smith wingtip brogues

Full brogues – also known as wingtip brogues are distinguished by the stretched-out perforation from the toe all the way to the ball of the foot.

American Brogues vs English Brogues

The only difference between wingtip brogues and English / American brogues is how far back the detailing reaches. In this case, they stretch all the way through the shoe and around the back. Fun fact: English and American brogues are exactly the same thing - people in the USA call them English brogues and vice versa.

Brogues are made from genuine leather, which is used in a natural or dyed colour. That’s the beauty of the brogue – if you’re less inclined to go full wingtip, you have free reign to play around with colour to find the look you really love.

How and when to wear brogues

Because this style of shoe is so versatile, it really can be worn on any occasion. Modest colours like tan, brown and black are suitable to wear to business meetings to bring some life to an otherwise ordinary suit. Paired with fitted jeans, you can take your casual look to the next level with any style and colour you like and find yourself the centre of attention in your social and casual settings.

The quickest way to help you sort your casual brogues from business brogues is to see the level of perforation detailing on them; the more detailing they have, the better they are to wear in downtime, and the less detailing they have – the better they are for a business or formal setting.

There is one exception to the rule; black tie events. Unless you have a deciding say in what footwear can be paired with a three-piece suit, brogues might have to wait for the afterparty to make their debut in this setting.

These aren’t hard-and-fast rules, however. The beauty of Goodwin Smith shoes is the bespoke style they offer, and how they can bring your maverick style to the forefront. In any case, we know you’re not about following the rules.

May 10, 2020 — Alex Swan
4 WAYS TO STAY SANE IN SELF-ISOLATION

4 WAYS TO STAY SANE IN SELF-ISOLATION

For some, the idea of self-isolation is a blessing, a welcome scenario where the stresses of the outside world have been reduced to a bare minimum. The streets are quiet, the drag of the commute is non-existent and the only possible activities to choose from are going to the supermarket, ordering online or exercising. 

But self-isolation can increase the anxiety of those that take comfort from the outside, it's their way to escape family members, an annoying partner or worse still, themselves. 

Here are four ways to stay sane while in self-isolation:

TAKE CARE OF YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM

It should come as no surprise that when we aren't surrounded by others our immune system takes a hit. Day-to-day there are fewer reminders prompting us to watch what we eat, from the crush you have at the office to the weekly visit to the parents. 'Oooo you're really filling out aren't you?' say your parents as you through the door.

Many are treating the self-isolation as a sort of holiday; indulging in snacks and treats like the fat kid at an American summer camp. It's simple, eat healthily, get around 30 minutes of sunlight a day and exercise. Psychologists also believe that listening to upbeat music or watching a movie can increase your immune function.

GIVE SOME STRUCTURE TO YOUR DAY 

With no need to be anywhere, the days can roll into one. This lack of a routine can lead to some mild mental health issues. Indeed, people that spend who have spent a winter in a polar research station see an increase in psychological problems.

It's unlikely your isolation is going to be anywhere near as extreme as a stint in the Arctic winter but that won't make you immune from restlessness, sadness or feeling demotivated. Having a set structure to your day can keep you from feeling rudderless and drifting from day-to-day with no clear focus. Plan meal times, set goals and stick to consistent bedtimes to keep motivated. 

 

DON'T BE A STRANGER

A key reason why we can feel down during an imposed isolation is an absence of human interaction. Even when we aren't in the mood, a pint down the pub with our Uncle Bullshit of a mate can lift our spirits. We turn to friends and family to offer support and guidance in times of stress.

Studies also suggest that without such social support, people turn to less positive coping strategies, such as drinking. Fortunately, it's 2020 so there are plenty of ways to maintain contact using technology. Chatting and having a good laugh is infinitely better than relying on a drink to cheer you up. 

 

AVOID ANY AGGRO

Some of us may be isolating alone, but some will be co-habiting with a loved one or a friend. You may think that the constant company will ease the isolation but be warned. Even you're nearest and dearest will find a way to annoy the very core of your being after a while. Habits and mannerisms that on a normal day don't even register on your radar will test your patience.

Soviet cosmonaut Valentin Lebedev, who spent 211 days on board the space station Mir, reported that around 30 per cent of his time in space was spent dealing with crew conflicts. Two solutions can resolve any building tension: regular exercise and spending some time of the day away from each other. Take it in turns to go for a jog to achieve both.

May 10, 2020 — Simon Smith
THE TOP (FAIRLY) NON-ALCOHOLIC DRINKS

THE TOP (FAIRLY) NON-ALCOHOLIC DRINKS

2020 has begun. A new decade is before us.  

We've already helped you with the making and keeping of New Year's resolutions...Here in case you didn't get the memo.  

The biggest resolution for most of us is a wish to be healthier, and the solution to that can often be found in less booze. Around 4million of us in the UK are taking part in Dry January, or at least attempting it. And out of that 4million, a significant percentage continue into February to cement their achievements. 

So in this Year of the Rat, if you feel that getting rat-arsed is taking its toll, we at GSHQ have put together some gentler options for your liver...and your wallet. 

 

Here are five low-alcohol alternatives from beer to spirits. 

 

NUMBER ONE

Brew Dog, Nanny State, 0.5%ABV
Having overtaken Erdinger Alkholfrie in popularity, Nanny State's pale ale is now the go-to non-alcoholic beer. Even former hard-core lager lovers (alcoholics) swear by its authentic solid body. It pours a deep golden amber colour with a fluffy white head that doesn't disappear after one sip. With a light, bitter body and flavours of citrus and pine, it's a bankable low alcohol beer. 
Compared to Punk IPA's 160 calories per 330ml bottle, Nanny State boasts only 26 calories, so there's a greater chance you'll feel bloated before overindulging. 

 

And with the rise of the various alcohol-free beers most bars and supermarkets stock it. So you won't be left with holding a bottle of Beck's Blue. Jesus. 

 

NUMBER TWO

Nosecco, less than 0.5%ABV
Reviews of this sparkling wine tend to use the same two words: refreshing and light. 
Regular Processo hits the brain like a hit of pure oxygen and though Nosecco has the bubbles, you may feel like you're missing out on that dizzying rush. 
But when it comes down to it, a non-alcoholic Processo is tough to create without tasting overly sweet. It's similar to the flowery Gerwutztraminar...not too sweet with a clean, dry finish.

 

NUMBER THREE

Atopia Spiced Citrus Ultra Low Alcohol, 0.5%ABV
A go-to replacement for when you want a cocktail. Atopia is best suited with your favourite tonic, ice and a slice of orange. A glass (with tonic) contains 75 times less alcohol than a standard gin and tonic. That means that with each drink you're 75 times less likely to say something foolish. 

 

With Botanics of juniper, orange and coriander, craft gin is an obvious inspiration. In taste, Atopia is citrusy with a touch of aromatic spice. It's refreshing, rounded and zesty. 

 

NUMBER FOUR 

Torres Natureo De-Alcoholised Muscat, 0%ABV
Unlike many 'de-alcoholised' white wines, which are often no better than cold fruit juice, this one has a real depth of flavour and a good aftertaste. It is on the sweet side, but it is a Muscat so that's to be expected. 

 

Served with ice and a dash of sparkling water it makes a very solid spritzer. Wine lovers on the wagon say it's got the edge over the well-known alcohol-free Eisberg Savignon Blanc and Leitz Eins Zwei Zero wines. 

 

NUMBER FIVE

Rawsons Retreat Cabernet Sauvignon, 0.5%ABV
Looking at bottle and colour, this wouldn't look out of place sitting alongside reds on the shelf at your local supermarket. 

 

The smell is almost jam-like, with juicy blackcurrant aromas. And the taste is fresh, bright and more-ish. All that's missing is the warm hug of alcohol to help remove any feelings of guilt or regret. 

 

Speaking of guilt, with only 28 calories per 175ml, you can drink it with cheese and crackers without feeling quite as greedy. 

 

🍻🍷🍾🍹🍸

On the grapevine:

The laws and terminology of what constitutes an alcoholic drink varies depending on where you are in Europe.  

For the purpose of simplicity, we deemed anything below 0.5%ABV as alcohol-free and anything up to and including 1.2%ABV as low alcohol. 

As of 2009 the UK Food labelling regulations state:
Alcohol-free beer = no more than 0.05%ABV
De-alcoholised beer = no more than 0.5% ABV
Low-alcohol beer = no more than 1.2%ABV
Alcoholic beer = contains more than 1.2%ABV
May 10, 2020 — Simon Smith
5 WAYS TO DEAL WITH SELF-ISOLATION BOREDOM

5 WAYS TO DEAL WITH SELF-ISOLATION BOREDOM

The country is edging toward a scene from the movie 28 Days Later. The streets are dead and the supermarkets are filled with socially-distant shoppers in masks. But for many, our greatest challenge is not the world outside but what's going on inside. 

Self-isolation is keeping us irritable and frustrated

Here at GSHQ we're one step away from shaving our heads and creating our very own Fight Club.

Here are five tips to stave off boredom...

CLEANLINESS IS NEXT TO GODLINESS

The daily hustle often distracts us from keeping your home immaculate, but now there are no excuses. Now you have the opportunity to keep the place you eat, sleep and wash spotless. What you see around you impacts your mood and irritability levels.

Marie Kondo is a highly successful organizing consultant and the goddess of decluttering. As a general rule for deciding what to throw away and what to keep, Marie, pictured, says you should ask yourself, 'Does it spark joy?' It may sound like something Tinker Bell would say but if those 20 Nintendo Pogs don't, then it’s time to let them go from your life. 

Declutter your home and your mind. 

LEARN SOMETHING 

It's unlikely you're going to be fluent in Mandarin Chinese by the time this thing blows over, but that doesn't mean you can't learn something new. Given you're going to be spending much of your time indoors, it's crucial your diet doesn't suffer.

Though it may be tempting to just order a takeaway while supermarkets are poorly stocked, in the long run (and it does look like it's going to be a long stint indoors) cooking is infinitely better for your waist and your wallet. YouTube healthy homemade dinner suggestions. Here's a start. 

WORKOUT

This one is going to be a separate blog by itself but it's still relevant. Exercise is a must to deal with the lows of boredom and to help ease the fog of idleness. Unfortunately with gyms and classes a no-go we're left to creating our own workout session. Aside from the obvious of sex or a thorough self-service, you need something short but effective to purge that excess adrenaline.

Jumping rope is exceptionally good at this as demonstrated by boxer Amir Khan. It's low impact, requires minimal space and offers a full-body workout. Skipping at a moderate pace is about the same as running an eight-minute mile. The only major difference is it's much easier to run than it is skipping so get practising

MEDITATE

During meditation, brain scans see more activity in areas of the brain directly correlated with decreased anxiety and depression along with an increase in pain tolerance. Meditation increases levels of alpha waves which reduce feelings of negative moods, tension, sadness and anger.

Studies have shown that after eight weeks of a meditation programme grey matter was denser in areas associated with learning, memory processing and emotional regulation. Jon Hamm knows it and now you do too. 

DON'T BEAT YOURSELF UP 

Remember, pretty much the entire world is in a similar situation: total lockdown, restricted movement or self-isolation. With social media influencers casting doubt on our ability and productivity every second of our lives, you may feel you're losing your edge and being too harsh on yourself. What's important to remember is that it's out of your control. Remaining relaxed and positive is key to your well being. Be more like Jeff Bridges's character in The Big Lebowski.

If one evening it all gets too much, there's no shame in dialling a helpline to unload stress or anxiety. The Samaritans have a free helpline for those needing support on 116 123. Further information is available at www.samaritans.org

(Main image: Steve McQueen in the 1973 movie Papillon.)  

 

April 02, 2020 — Simon Smith
HOW TO GET A POSITIVE MINDSET FOR THE YEAR AHEAD

HOW TO GET A POSITIVE MINDSET FOR THE YEAR AHEAD

Dry January has been and gone.

Some of us quit early. 

Some of us are relishing the fact alcohol is now acceptable.

Some of us are testing our stamina and abstaining on into February. 

Whatever the outcome, a new year - and its resolutions - always forces oneself to reassess their goals, efforts and aims in life. 

We make promises to ourselves, we make promises to others, we tell anyone that will listen, 'this IS going to be the year I do X, Y and Z.' 

To get you in the right headspace to conquer your goals and overcome your shortcomings, we've put together four sure-fire ways to help you smash 2020. 

DON'T START THE YEAR AT ZERO

When looking at the calendar ahead it's understandable to see only tasks you've yet to accomplish sandwiched by empty days. But it's important to make a list of successes that have got you to where you are today. By noting down and acknowledging the steps you've already taken, our brains lean toward a more positive mindset rather than becoming intimidated and overwhelmed.  

Think of it like completing a 10km run. We tend to speed up the closer we get to the finish line building on and becoming inspired by what we've already done. Start your year, and indeed your day, not by noting down all the things yet to do but ones you've already done.

Be sensible, however, though you may feel getting a gold star for the rabbit you drew when you five might have inspired you to go for that promotion last year, start with achievements in the recent past.  

MAKE YOUR BED EVERY MORNING

This may feel like a trivial routine that doesn't warrant a mention. However, you'd be wrong.

In 2014, former head of the United States Special Operations Command, Naval Admiral William H. McRaven, gave a commencement speech at the University of Texas. 

He said: 

'If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. 

'By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter.'

What we can take from this advice is that making one's bed sets the tone for the rest of the day. It's also comforting to know that the bed is made for when you get home after a productive day.  

 

START EACH DAY WRITING A GRATITUDE JOURNAL 

It's normal to start the morning quickly geared up and stressed out about the day ahead. To preempt worry taking over and get us in the mood for progress, start each day with a gratitude journal. It doesn't have to begin 'Dear Diary, I am grateful for the Kellogg's Frosties I'm about to eat...' but can be a short list of the significant things you're grateful for. From being able to walk to the love given by your grandparents, gratitude focuses our attention on what we have, rather than what we have not.

And there is evidence to back up the benefits of appreciation. American psychologist, Robert A. Emmons and his colleagues claim that gratitude can overcome our natural settings of grumpy sod. Meaning we can actually overcome our genetics when we are grateful. 

Professor Emmons explains: 'When people regularly work on cultivating gratitude, they experience a variety of measurable benefits: psychological, physical, and social. In some cases, people have reported that gratitude led to transformative life changes.'

DIAL-UP THAT POSITIVITY 

If you can carry out your day 5 per cent as happy as this Buddhist monk, below, then you're winning. Unfortunately, for many of us to get anywhere near that level of positivity is a huge struggle.

But a beaming outlook does not come simply from ignoring the bad and burying your head in the sand. It means facing times of hardship by not expecting the worst and seeing opportunity rather than strife. 

And that all stems from controlling your brain's self talk.

Self talk is the little chimp in your mind constantly hi-jacking your thoughts. It natters away in the background 24/7. This little shit makes you overthink, makes you doubt yourself and puts you on edge. 

In his 2012 book, The Chimp Paradox, Professor Steve Peters talks of managing your inner chimp. 

'We have to accept that the chimp in us will not change. When a chimp does decide to act it’s difficult to control. "Self control" will not work because the emotional chimp is significantly stronger than the human (a real chimp has 5x the strength of a real human being).

'You have to learn to manage the chimp like an emotional child. You must never forget that you always have a choice in how to behave. If the human inside chooses to ignore the chimp’s ‘offer’ on how to react, then the human needs to negotiate, manage and support its frustrated chimp. You need to find a way of addressing the chimp's fundamental needs in a healthy way.'

Look at this guy below. Can you imagine how calm his inner chimp is. 

 
February 06, 2020 — Simon Smith
IS THIS THE PERFECT INVENTION TO HELP WITH POSTURE?

IS THIS THE PERFECT INVENTION TO HELP WITH POSTURE?

Here at Goodwin Smith, we are not one to mock, scorn or ridicule. We're a platform of fashion and lifestyle not humiliation.

Yet there comes a time when something pops up online and the immediate response is 'right, fuck off'. 

When this story spread across social media it was one of those moments. 

The MailOnline recently reported the story of LEX - a 'Bionic Chair that enhances posture, comfort and life!' 

The guys behind the product have so far raised $143,192 of their $50,000 goal on crowdfunding platform Kickstarter.  

The idea was to 'create a chair that allows you to rest anywhere you want with a posture that creates a positive impact on your body.'

No matter how practical or beneficial the creators claim it is, it's hard to imagine anyone ever walking around an office with a step ladder strapped to their arse. 

Picture the scene: you're strolling across the office when your boss spots you. 

He walks up and asks if you have a moment to discuss some important figures.

As he's finishing you've already unfolded the contraption strapped to your buttocks.

In a mid squat you peer up at him and with a straight face say: 'Sure, sure, sure, I understand the concern, those particular numbers don't take into account...'

He looks down, mouth wide open, and says, 'Sorry, are you having a shit or doing street art?'


'Oh this...it's my exoskeleton that helps with posture, breathing and back pain,' you reply. 

'Right, fuck off,' he says and kicks one of the legs out from under you. 

You could tell him it even comes with something called a 'load distribution module' - a little platform that lowers the stress of your backpack.

When you think of the money the NHS spends on treating back pain each year plus the number of workdays lost due to a bad back then the LEX guys may actually be onto something. 

Online, however, the invention has been met with mixed reactions. 

'I like how the dude can sit to wait for a bus but once he gets on the bus he'll have to stand. Brilliant stuff here,' wrote @Cee4our on Twitter. 

Another commented that a realistic demonstration of the chair should include the user 'moving chairs everywhere he goes' and 'never going to the bathroom.'

Lars Gonaards from Chester wrote: 'On soft ground you would just sink.'

Patricia from San Diego wrote: 'This could have practical application for people with disabilities. 

'It might look silly to an able-bodied person but to someone who is unable to stand for more than a few minutes, it might be a god send...'

And Alan Gee from Newcaster-upon-Tyne agreed with Patricia writing: 'This gadget would be of great benefit to those who have difficulty walking, as there are not a lot of places to sit down and rest.'

If the TV quiz show QI is anything to go by, the best posture to adopt, while seated, is a sort of mid slouch as explained by Stephen Fry

While you're thinking about whether or not to preorder a LEX, copy the stickman seated in the diagram with the green tick. 

 

January 20, 2020 — Simon Smith