Category Archives: Featured

Learn from Dating Mistakes

Dating.CO writes that dating is a complex game. Not everyone is able to master it, and get the perfect result. With the pressure of looking for the perfect partner, and maintaining the perfection, we become obsessed. This results in some mistakes that are common in almost every relation. All of these are quite obvious, but only if you notice them. Once identified, these can be easily reformed. Mentioned here are few of the most common mistakes made, and ways to avoid them:

Mistake#1: Playing games
This is something done in every other relationship. There can be two possible causes of this. The first being fear of rejection. Everyone has this fear in them; it might force them to maintain a sense of aloofness and remote behavior. This might push some sincere person away from you. There is no way to avoid this. The best approach is to find a balance between remoteness and showing interest. The other reason might be to get your way with something. These manipulation techniques are a sign that you should try dating somebody else.

Mistake#2: Talking about a past relationship
Although you can mention something about your past relation like what went wrong or why you guys got separated, you do not have to go into the whole story. You can forget a fresh start, while holding on to such past. Do not make your date, your psychiatrist. This might result in your date thinking that you are not interested, and are only using his being as a mean to get over your past relationship.

Mistake#3: Future planning
Game playing is common among men, but women make the playing field equal with thus mistake. Do not move ahead of yourself. Thinking of how your name will sound with his last name; should alert your mind that you might be expecting everything, out of nothing. In the first six months, every feeling is generated by a hormone called oxytocin. This creates the feeling of happiness inside you. Also, this planning might be, accidently, mentioned during conversation, scaring away a person who might have been the right one.

Mistake#4: over worrying
This is a common mistake done by most men and women. They start expecting more out the plans, then their dates. This creates excessive pressure, resulting in more silly mistakes and mental satisfaction. The best way to avoid this is to remain confident and believe that these things do not matter too much; as long as you both have a great time.

Mistake#5: overlooking the red flags
There are certain signs and instincts that provide guidance, during a relation. For example, if the person does not appear on time, then this is a red flag. You should start being more alert than before. If you have a gut feeling that something is not right, then this also is a red flag. Follow their guidance, do not overlook them.

Mistake#6: interrogation of your date
Do not treat the person, as if he is under surveillance. Try to enjoy yourself, and make the other person comfortable.

Mistake#7: Do not get hyper
Maintain a safe distance for the first few dates. Do not immediately jump into a relationship, nor be always ready to break it up.

Mistake#8: sacrifice, sacrifice, sacrifice
This is the worst of all. This causes hatred for the other person. Say what you want and how you want it. You should not hide your feelings for someone else. Be true to yourself.

For more Dating Tips and Dating articles visit www.dating.co

The Only Sure-Thing, Absolute, Trick-Free Guide to Avoiding a Hangover. Seriously.

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Why We Love Alcohol

Who doesn’t love drinking? I know I do, and unless you have some medical problems we don’t know about or are abstaining for religious or moral reasons, you probably love consuming fresh, delicious alcohol too.

The wonderful versatility of this drug lets us consume it in dozens of forms, so there’s one for every palate: is wine your thing? There’s plenty. Maybe the bitter taste of beer leaves you feeling more refreshed. There’s a whole world of them out there.

Delicious, Delicious Variety

Hard liquor what you need to get through the day? No worries, alcohol’s in all of those, too! And there are hundreds! Fruit-filled drinks that taste more like sugary juices than any kind of traditional alcoholic beverage? Sure, why the hell not?

With all that’s out there to choose from, and with our homes, apartments, bars, clubs, outdoor festivals, alleys, and bathrooms as suitable and enjoyable places where we can enjoy a drink, what’s stopping us from drinking all the time? I mean, really, why don’t we?

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Drunk at Work

Two centuries ago, in America, the average citizen put away an absolutely unbelievable amount of gin or other strong alcohol per day. Most people were drunk—quite drunk—by the time they started the second half of their workday. Sure, workplace accidents were legion and the health benefits were nil, but so what?

Alright, maybe my dream of an alchohol-fueled workforce is outdated and irresponsibly dangerous. Maybe drinking isn’t something that needs to be the absolute center of our lives, lest we lapse into alcoholism and early deaths by the thousands. But besides those sad possibilities, there’s a much worse consequence: the dreaded hangover.

Consequences: May Range from Mild to Unbelievably Nauseating and Painful

The sickness, occasional vomiting, general feeling of complete depression: all these things alcohol leaves us as its wonderful parting gift. Is there any way around it? Sure. Don’t drink. But what if we want to keep drinking, and yet keep our jobs, our lives, our mental health?

With just that in mind, ryoni.com is now going to give you the two most fundamental, absolute, you-must-always-follow-these rules for avoiding, destroying, or getting around a hangover.

These are not little magic recipes involving eggs and wheat germ or strange other things you’ve got to consume the morning after. These are the two (and you only need two) tried-and-true ways to actually AVOID or seriously REDUCE your hangover altogether, which is all that really matters.

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Rule Number One: If You Mix Alcohol, Never Increase the Strength.

In other words, if you start with beer, which is generally the lowest-alcohol drink you can find, try and stick with beer. Everyone knows that the drunker you get, the easier it is to consume, but there are other problems, hidden ones, too, if you don’t heed this rule.

See, it’s not just that you don’t feel the alcohol content when you’re downing that whiskey at the end of the night as though it was the same as that beer you had hours before. It’s also crucial for your hangover, and for the way your body deals with the alcohol itself.

Throwing a whole bunch of different drinks and alcohol percentages at your stomach mean your liver is going to be processing them at wildly varying rates, and thus will be operating at less than full capacity.

It’s Far Too Easy to Confuse Your System

Sure, if you simply drink ‘too much’ wine you’ll get plenty sick regardless, but by mixing it up, you’re confusing the hell out of your body’s system to process alcohol, which might mean that, in switching from wine to beer to vodka, you can stave off vomiting like you wouldn’t if you threw back 10 rum & cokes in an row, but you will pay the price (dearly) the next day.

Why? Because the next day, your liver and brain will still be going through that encyclopedia of alcohol you’ve thrown at them and telling you to never do it again.

Stick with one or two ‘types’, relatively close in alcohol content. Strong beer and mild wine are a good example. This can really, really, really save your ass.

It’s the difference bewteen a mildly annoying hangover you’ve gotta ‘shake off’ and one that debilitates you for the day. Your workplace will thank you for making the responsible decision.

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Rule Number Two: Water is Your Friend.

You’ve probably heard about the ‘chase every drink with a pint of water‘ rule. I have never, in my life, ever, seen anyone following this maxim, partly because it’s easy to forget, and secondly because the quantity of liquid inevitably slows down your alcohol consumption. It’s simply not possible to throw back that second pint when you’ve laid down a half-litre of water just beforehand.

Ah, but you say—that’s the whole point! It slows down your consumption AND hydrates you, thus conferring a double benefit! No. That’s only a benefit if you’re being responsible and thinking about every step before you take it, which goes exactly against the image of a wanton drinker, throwing back pints with reckless abandon. We’re here to drink and have fun, not keep a drink diary and file a report the next morning, fresh as dew.

Cram that Precious Water Down Your Throat

Not to worry, though, as there’s a better way to use your new best friend, mister water. Although it’s the equivalent of studying for 15 hours the night before a big exam, we’ve all done that before, right? And this time there’s no exam, just a hangover waiting to punish you. So cram away.

All you have to do is drink about 2-3 litres of water before you go to sleep. Of course, if you are stumbling around blind drunk, on the verge of vomiting or blacking out, there’s no way you are going to get that much water down, so you’re already a lost cause. But if you’re just feeling “really drunk” and have to, say, work the next day? Get over to that tap and stay there for at least a half hour.

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Should You Take An Aspirin, Too?

A lot of people also swear by the painkiller method in combination with this–something NOT containing acetominophen, which will destroy your liver when it’s already extremely busy with the alcohol, but say, ibuprofen, which will just be heavy on your stomach and kidneys but leave your liver alone.

Again, no one ever really recommends taking pills after you’ve drank a lot, so we are definitely not recommending it here, just mentioning that some (reckless) people swear by it as something to reduce any potential headaches the next day. But it runs a big risk.

Back to the water, which doesn’t have much of a risk at all: it’s the key. It’s not easy, and you’re going to have to force literally pint after pint of water down your throat when the only thing you want to do is go to sleep, but in the end, I swear, your body will thank you dearly.

The Price Your Bladder Will Pay

If you have a weak bladder, you’ll be getting up once during the night to hit the bathroom, or when you wake up in the morning you are going to be absolutely racing to the toilet, but it’s a very small price to pay for a day free of the hangover.

It’s not great for your bladder, sure, but is bombing your body with alcohol and then letting it process it all during the night any better? The phyiscal pain your body goes through during a hangover is probably just as damaging as a bit of extra water you’ve gotta hold during the night (but then again, I’m no doctor).

As for your hangover, if you’ve followed this method: it changes completely. It’s still there, somewhat, but the worst manifestation you’ll probably get is a kind of mild depression, which then gets alleviated by caffeine and other alcoholic beverages you start consuming later on in the day.

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A Hangover That Actually Feels Kinda Nice, We Swear

In other words, the absolute best kind of hangover, the one that brings you just a touch down and then leaves you feeling relieved and happy every time you take yourself back up (with a meal, sugar, coffee, another beer, whatever).

A final maxim: DO NOT partake of this ‘cure’ the next morning and expect miracles. By all means, if you went immediately to sleep, drink lots of water in the morning. Regardless of anything else, that’s a good idea. But don’t expect it to work like the night-time cure does.

Why This Only Works the Night Before

So do not give your body the chance to digest only alcohol all night. By the time you wake up, your brain will have been asking for water for several hours, and your body, due to your lack of intake, will have been unable to provide it. Giving it a little bit the morning after is simply not enough.

See, after your night of alcohol digestion and processing, and a lack of water, your brain will contract slightly, giving you the hangover headache that will ruin your day.

Don’t let it happen! Give your brain what it wants, annoy your bladder somewhat, and drink water BEFORE bed. Lots of it.

We welcome any other sure-fire hangover cures in the comments!

Top 5 European Cities For Getting it On

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That’s right, here are some of the sexiest cities in Europe, the legendary and the newly-established hotspots where you can arrive, hit the town, and… get it on. Some are classics, some are unexpected, all are full of romantic potetntial you’d be a fool to squander.

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Rome

Ah, this is my current city, and thus the one that comes first. It’s the eternal city, as they say, but not necessarily known as the most romantic place on earth—the chaos and improvisational nature of Italian life mean it’s not as easily insta-romantic as, say, Paris. But, hey, it’s Rome, so don’t worry.

If You’ve Already Got a Girl: Head out for a relaxing walk through some of Rome’s classic old neighbourhoods, ones like Trastevere and Testaccio, until you settle upon a small Osteria for dinner. Use a site like spottedbylocals to pick one that’s authentic and delicious. After dinner, hop in a cab and get back into the historical center, grab a gelato by the Pantheon, and then walk through the small streets until you’re back at your hotel/hostel. Before you go in for the night, throw back a 1-euro coffee in a nearby bar for some extra strength. Get it corretto (correct, which means with a shot of alcohol in it) and you’ll be set.

If You Don’t: It’s legal to drink outdoors in Rome, but if you’re a tourist here, it’s best not to go overboard (actually, it’s currently illegal after 9PM, but hopefully only for a temporary period). They say you’re stuck chatting up other tourists and travellers because of the inaccessible, overly protected ‘Italian female’, but that’s just an old stereotype. Head to San Lorenzo, the student district by the train station, use a site like Roma Zero to find a club night, show, or bar with a DJ that fits what you like, and go in. Drink, dance, and talk to the Italians and see what happens.

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Paris

What to say about Paris.. it’s expensive, one of the most touristed destinations on the planet, but also one of the most incredible cities ever. Can you break through the cliched expectations of French romance and actually pull something off? Of course you can.

If You’ve Already Got a Girl: You’ve got it easy. Get some good beer at a Brasserie in the afternoon, hit up a chocolate shop or two and keep walking it off, eat somewhere in the Marais district (near the Picasso museum), hit up another brasserie for some more wine, take a bottle to go, and end your night on the Pont Des Artistes, spanning the Seine. Tons of young people go and sit there until 2AM, eating, drinking, singing, laughing, making out. It’s romantic, fun, drunk, and beautiful as all hell, and by the time you get back to your bed you’ll both be going mad.

If You Don’t: Head over to the Bastille district, grab a beer or two with whoever you’re with on the steps of the Opera House (the new, less beautiful one), then head up the street to the wonderful concentration of bars there. Move in and out, drinking, chatting, embarassing yourself in French, and see what happens. Far better here than wandering the now-deserted streets of the very center, wondering where all the action is. Now you know.

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Stockholm

Cliches abound about Swedish women, although the fact that many of them are blonde and tall and quite beautiful seems to be relatively accurate. You’re going to spend a lot of cash here, so come prepared.

If You’ve Already Got a Girl: You need to keep just one single thing in mind. Don’t let her catch you staring at the Swedish girls walking, drinking, or dancing nearby. Seriously, this is way harder than it seems, and although the same kind of thing can happen in Spain or Italy or other countries, there’s something about Sweden (and especially Stockholm) that puts a guy into a guy of overload as soon as he arrives. If a nice vacation with your girlfriend is what you’re after, just stay alert is all I’m saying.

If You Don’t: Well, the previous portion kinda answered this question, did it not? Get your 400 euros or however much you plan on spending at the various Stockholm clubs or bars, head out to one that suits your taste (again, do your research here), and take advantage of the wonderful Swedish education system that means everyone there is already going to be speaking a ridiculously good level of English. Use their blinding attractiveness to your advantage—just pretend they’re all so beautiful and inaccessible that you might as well go for broke and just do whatever comes into your mind (within reason, of course), and it’ll work to your advantage.

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Berlin

This is a different kind of vibe. Berlin isn’t a city that automatically springs to mind when you think of some great European sexy-party destination, but I want to explain why it is.

If You’ve Already Got a Girl: Make sure she’s one who’s seen and enjoyed Cabaret a few times, and then head out on a tour of Weimar-era Berlin in all its decadent, degraded, hedonistic glory. By the time you’re done staring at transexual dancers and decadent erotic paintings by George Grosz, and have thrown back a few fine German beers, both of you are going to be running back to your hotel to get up to all kinds of strange things.

If You Don’t: Here’s where you’ve gotta get specific—Berlin has a bar or club or entire scene devoted to just about every aesthetic, sexual, or lifestyle choice you could possibly imagine for yourself, so take a look at some listings and try to envision the kind of girl you find the most irresistible. Is it an arch indie-hipster type at a dance/punk club, a sort-of-gothic girl who has about 50 unbelievably amazing tattoos, or a stay-up-all-night Berlin party girl who hasn’t stopped dancing since that giant rave in the 90s? All these types and more are out there, so treat Berlin like the ultimate chance to diversify or specify.

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Madrid

Ah, Spain. Long black hair and beautiful accents speaking a beautiful language and eyes that will destroy you as soon as you step off the plane. Don’t be afraid.

If You’ve Already Got a Girl: Like before—food, good drinks, walks around the town, followed by you-know-what back at the hotel. This site is just invaluable for this kind of thing. Sometimes the expectation of southern-European romance can work against you, and what should be a romantic and really nice time in a mediterranean city can get wrecked up by the common pitfalls of tourism (transportation headaches, confusion with the city, etc.). Keep a relaxed attitude and don’t try and pack too many common tourist-sites into one day. All the best times (day and night) on a trip come from the unexpected discoveries you make on the trip, not from gawking at the same thing 40 million other people have photographed that year. Remember it and you’ll be far better off in every sense.

If You Don’t: Generally, follow the same rules that you might in Rome—find where the students go and head there. If you find a Botellón in progress, try and join it. What’s a Botellón, you might ask? This is where tons of young Spaniards get together and drink outdoors with beer, wine, and alcohol bought at a supermarket or nearby store instead of going to a bar. It’s slowly being outlawed throughout Spain, so take advantage of a dying tradition, have a few drinks with some beautiful Spaniards, and use that liquid courage to start conversations with them. Spain is generally full of warm and friendly people (yeah, another stereotype, but if you’re out for a few drinks with students it’s generally true) and you shouldn’t have too much trouble.

That’s it, five western-european cities, five of the best places in the world to find some love, whether for a night or something much longer. Did we miss one? Of course we missed one. We missed about 100. Let us know which ones in the comments!

Five Essential Movies for Guys, Coming This Spring

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You’ve suffered through The Reader and slept through Doubt. You’ve been underwhelmed by Slumdog Millionaire and seen The Dark Knight so many times its greatness is starting to fade (but only from overuse). What then, men, is coming to theatres in the next few months for you to see?

Never fear, as ryoni.com has rounded up the five essential films you need to see as 2009 gets underway.

Watchmen (March 6th)

If you haven’t heard of this and aren’t already salivating/building a shrine/re-reading the comic for the 19th time, may I simply ask where the hell you’ve been? Alan Moore’s undisputed masterpiece is finally making it to the screen, with art input/direction by original artist Dave Gibbons.

Why it Will Be Good: The best graphic novel ever written gets 160 million dollars and an insanely committed team bringing it to the big screen. If the trailer is any indication, this is going to be a phenomenal film. The comic is extremely complex and layered, and if everyone stays on top of their game, this could be one of the most intelligent, creative comic-book adaptations ever filmed.

What’s in it For the Guys: Well, besides watching Dr. Manhattan blow up huge swaths of forest and create giant crystal cities on mars, you’ve also got Carla Gugino and her understated, mature sexiness playing Sally Jupiter, and the ridiculously beautiful Malin Akerman playing her daughter, who spends a good chunk of the comic (and hopefully the movie) wearing extremely short skirts designed to drive us insane.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine (May 1st)

The very best parts of the previous X-Men movies—the Wolverine story—are extended into a feature film. Set in my native Canada, this is sure to feature a bevvy of fantastic set pieces and one of the better comic-origin stories out there. Plus we get to see how Sabertooth comes about, too.

Why it Will Be Good: Although Brian Singer isn’t doing this one, we’ve still got high hopes. Of course Hugh Jackman is coming back, and the studio has picked a capable-if-unproven director in Gavin Hood. Without the entire X-Men franchise to deal with, this could be a great origin story, which is always where some of the best parts of all comic-book movies come from anyway.

What’s in it For the Guys: Well, besides all the snow-covered action (you just know there are going to be 20 shots of blood landing on fresh white snow—they can’t resist, these guys), Wolverine’s girlfriend is played by Lyn Collins, who has been smoking hot in this season’s amazing new HBO series True Blood. If she’s anywhere near as good in this film as she’s been on the small screen, guys will have no trouble finding plenty of things to enjoy here.

Terminator Salvation (June 5th)

Try not to be distracted by the recent rant by Christian Bale that made the interent go a little crazy recently—this is shaping up to be a great addition to the Terminator Canon, if we can call it that. Apparently taking a much more character-oriented direction than Terminator 3, that’s what brought Christian Bale on board, standards raised after the feast of excellence that was The Dark Knight.

Why it Will Be Good: Because it’s a kind of prequel to all the previous Terminator films. You remember how John Connor kept coming back—through time travel—and talking about that big old SkyNet war in the future? And we had futile little glimpses of it, but then everything else was set in the present day? No more of that—time travel, I mean—now we get a movie set in 2018 that is specifically about those very SkyNet wars, the things that seemed so damn cool in the first place.

What’s in it For the Guys: Bryce Dallas Howard is hot, although not everyone’s cup of tea. That’s why (we think) this film also features Moon Bloodgood, who besides having the coolest and most insane name for a movie star, well, ever, is damn good looking. She’s got Korean, Irish, and Dutch heritage, which has got to explain something. Keep an eye out.

Observe and Report (April 10th)

The second mall-cop movie coming out in a six-month span, here’s betting that this one is going to be the funnier of the two, by a big margin. Seth Rogen plays the mall security guard who has to deal with a flasher on the loose, and the movie is rated R for pervasive language, graphic nudity, drug use, sexual content and violence. Excellent.

Why it Will Be Good: Seriously, anything is better than Paul Blart: Mall Cop, and this movie’s story of a security guard with aspirations to be a real police officer should give Ray Liotta, who plays an actual detective, plenty of opportunities to re-inhabit his amazing role from the underrated NARC, swearing and all.

What’s in it For the Guys: Ana Faris is always a reliable addition that ups the hotness-quotient of any film, and even though we’re pretty sure the “graphic nudity” is likely going to be almost all male-based, you never know. There are a few other hotties in the cast, so here’s to hoping.

Bruno

Sasha Baron-Cohen’s follow-up to the unbelievably hilarious Borat, Bruno is his parody of all things fashion, an unbelievably over-the-top (for the rest of the world) fashionista who specializes in putting stereotypical industry-types into embarassing, hypocritical situations.

Why it Will Be Good: If Baron-Cohen has amassed enough material in-character that still seems realistic, there’s no way this won’t be hilarious. Although things certainly got more difficult for him after the worldwide success of Borat, word is that he started filming Bruno very soon after, so hopefully a whole bunch of otherwise in-the-known industry types had the wool pulled over their eyes.

What’s in it For the Guys: Admit it, there’s nothing like seeing a bunch of macho dudes put into hilariously embarassing situations by a flamboyantly gay Austrian who is faster and quicker with his jokes than practically anyone else in the world. Bruno was already legendary on the Ali G Show, and you just know he’s saving up some dynamite stuff for the film.

The 5 Worst Things You Could Possibly Do For Valentine’s Day.

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The endless media coverage surrounding the otherwise useless day of February the 14th is designed solely for news shows to fill air-time with pointless questionnaires, asking every passing dope what romantic piece of crap he’s planning on getting his sadly undeserving girlfriend. Cue the anchor making a few jokes about chocolates and candle-lit dinners and bewildered, bumbling guys screwing up, and there you have it: Valentine’s Day.

Nah, it’s not just an invented holiday designed to sell greeting cards or fill restaurants, although it is all of those things and more; no, Valentine’s Day is something ubiquitous, annoying, and unavoidable—a kick in the ass if you’ve been slacking off in the romance department, a reminder to every sadly-single person that other people sleep in beds, together, day in and day out, and so on. But it doesn’t have to be any of these things if you’re careful, which is where we come in.

Just in case you find yourself falling into those familiar Valentine’s Day traps—feeling guilty and obligated to do things, or acting fake-romantic and confused as you over-do it—we’re here with a guide of the Top Five Worst Things you Could Possibly Do for Valentine’s Day. Some are silly, some are depressingly familiar, but all are important and avoidable, unless you want to screw stuff up. Read on, fellow men, and go towards the 14th of this month with confidence. Or wanton disregard for your own well-being. Either way.

#5:Get Blind While She Doesn’t

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What This Involves: Heading out for a romantic evening with a secret plan to get wasted hidden in your back pocket. Working on a light buzz during appetizers but trying to keep things level, steady, smooth. It’s hard when the wine goes down so good with the food. When your second course comes around, you’ve failed any known sobriety test, and the waiter’s question about dessert sharing is met with a slurred “I ain’t splittin’ shit” from you.

Once you and your lovely girlfriend hit a bar “for drinks” after dinner (a course of action that took 20 minutes—and you walking off in the direction of the nearest bar—to enact) you’re having mild vision problems and big couple problems. The night ends (for you) when you spend 15 minutes sleeping in a public bathroom and your girlfriend, after much struggling, puts you in a cab alone. Bravo!

Why This is Worth Avoiding: They just don’t fit together, Valentine’s Day and drunkenness. Rather than saving this kind of behaviour for an obvious choice like St. Patrick’s Day, why not bust it out when it’s both unique and strangely fitting—the Summer Solstice, for example. That way, when someone asks you why the hell you’re celebrating so hard, you can drool out a sentence like “the pagans took my god damn sun” and everyone’ll be happier.

#4: Celebrate the ‘Holiday’ Only out of a Sense of Romantic Obligation

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What This Involves: You ironically mentioning that it’s close to Valentine’s Day, an ambiguous response from your girlfriend, followed by a half-panicked attempt to do something, anything to cover your ass. You buy some chocolates at a drug store and some flowers at a cheap supermarket, two actions driven entirely by resentment and barely concealed contempt. Confused about how to present these sub-par gifts, you strive for a sense of uncaring lightness combined with an undercurrent of legitimate romance nestled somewhere in there, if you could only find it. Despite your best (worst) efforts, you come off looking insecure and insincere. Congratulations! What is left of your relationship ends days later.

Why This is Worth Avoiding: Although the embarassing inadequacy of being romantic only when called upon by greeting-card makers and cheap chocolate factories should be obvious to everyone, it’s always helpful to re-state it. If this is the only time you can be a man, well, it’s been nice knowing you, friend. Your report card on those 364 other days of the year in which you did nothing will be arriving shortly, in the form of an SMS from your girlfriend saying, simply, “f**k this i’m out“.

#3: Eat at a Hellishly-Decorated Restaurant and Will Yourself into Feeling Sexy

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What This Involves: There’s a scene in the Sex and the City Movie (yeah.) where two of the characters have a Valentine’s Day dinner in what has to be the worst-decorated, most oppressive restaurant environment of all time. If we could find a picture, it’d be here, but a description will suffice: picture sickening streamers of every colour suspended from the ceiling and an already-cold interior made even worse by the ugly shininess of everything. What does this have to do with you? Well, that’s easy: you got lazy, and through your last-minute reservations ended up at a restaurant that is willing to decorate itself like the aforementioned monstrosity.

Why This is Worth Avoiding: There are plenty of good restaurants that are already romantic, and if you’ve taken the leap and decided that yes, indeed, a romantic dinner for two is going to be your Valentine’s Day celebration, the least you can do is seek out one of these places and take advantage of its natural charm. Any restaurant that puts up a bunch of red stuff all over the walls and hangs silver things from the ceiling in a vain attempt to convey sexiness is going to leave you—and more importantly, your girlfriend—feeling anything but.

#2: Acknowledge the Holiday in Any Way, Shape, or Form if You Are Single

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What This Involves: Three basic activities here. If you find yourself doing any of these, please stop, take a deep breath, and move on. It’s not worth it. In order of depressing obnoxiousness:

  1. Using the holiday to embark on a long meditation about your own singlehood, observing every other couple around you and immediately inscribing romantic bliss onto their relationships, and barren, desolate loneliness onto your future.
  2. Taking way too much time to explain to others—especially those in relationships—why Valentine’s Day is overly commercial and a waste of time (hmmm, kinda like this article).
  3. Perversely celebrating Valentine’s Day on your own by regaling yourself with chocolates or other indulgences you’d otherwise avoid.

Why These are Worth Avoiding: Because there are 400 other, better things you could be out doing as a single guy (or girl) on Valentine’s Day. Wait until you’re actually down or depressed to agonize over your relationship or lack thereof; don’t do it just because society is apparently ‘shoving it in your face’ for one day a year. It’s not society’s fault. Watch an enticing video and feel better.

#1: Over-Celebrate the Damn Thing.

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What This Involves: Full-on immersion in every bad cliche this propped-up ‘holiday’ has to offer. Chocolates, roses, chocolates made out of old roses, puppies, overly expensive dinners no one really enjoys, vomit-inducing greeting cards: it’s all out there, if you’re willing to embrace it.

Why This is Worth Avoiding: Have you seen some of the stuff young, creative people do these days, just for fun? It blows any tired old red-coloured, love-themed holiday celebration out of the water. So here’s what you do instead: choose 5 random days of the year. Mark them on your calendar with some sort of symbol known only to you, and setup a little reminder system so you know when they’re coming (Google Calendar is great for this). On each of those days, do something romantic yet creative (the two are the exact opposite of mutually exclusive), get your girlfriend something sexy, take her out for an amazing dinner, whatever. Any or all of these are equivalent to a large missile being launched at the empty spectacle that is Valentine’s Day, and any or all of these will make you a better man.

So: this February 14th, re-read this article and choose wisely. We’re behind you all the way.

Top 5 Coolest Watches Your Money Can Buy

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Although a post is forthcoming about all those wacky, insane Japanese watches which force you to tell time by making a series of complicated calculations every time you look down at your wrist, our first feature on the most insane watches your money can buy is going straight for luxury.

That’s right, these here are the top selections, the limited editions, the watches made by the finest European watchmakers (with one exception). They cost more than most cars, which is why we’re profiling them today. If you win the lottery or make good on a big investment (well.. it could still happen, right?), you know where to put your money. That’s right, forget your wallet or that stuffy old bank account. You want to wear your newfound riches right on your damn wrist, and here’s how.

The JeanRichard Bressel 1665

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The Details: This comes in two different editions: silver/platinum and black/gold. Both are gorgeous and feature that ever-so-coveted 45 hour power reserve found in today’s top timepieces. It’s also water-resistant to 30m, and the time mechanism is manufactured in-house in France.

The Price: This edition is new enough that a price doesn’t seem to be floating around, but you can expect nothing under 10,000 euro for this, your newly adopted child. More information at JeanRichard.com.

The Cartier Skeleton Santos

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The Details: Just introduced at SIHH 2009, the annual Swiss exhibition of the world’s most elite watches, this is part of Cartier’s entry into making its own watch movements. Featuring the popular ‘skeleton’ style, it’s one of the best examples of the trend, and the gorgeous metallic face and integrated roman numerals look beyond incredible.

The Price: Once again, unknown, but it won’t be cheap. Try somewhere above 15,000 euro, and keep watching Cartier’s website.

The Baume & Mercier William Baume 8796 Limited

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The Details: Limited to ten (10!) pieces for the visible-workings model (others are limited to the very specific number of 178) and featuring a hell of a lot of 18k gold, this ridiculously exclusive watch with its hand-sewn alligator strap and sapphire crystal case is stricly for masters-of-the-universe only.

The Price: Around $10,000 US dollars for the non-ultra limited. You’ll need to arrange a formal dinner with the ghost of William Baume himself to find out the price of the we-only-made-ten model. Check their website for more.

The A. Lange & Sohne Richard Lange Pour le Mérite

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The Details: Beautiful enamel dial, and check out those hands—blued steel. There are 50 of these in platinum and 200 in pink-gold cases. Painted by hand and extremely legible, this has to be one of the most beautiful watches we’ve ever seen. There are 915 individual parts in this watch, but the front is the model of refined European elegance.

The Price: Again, not made very public, and therefore not so cheap. But hey, if it were cheap, it wouldn’t be “Pour le Mérite”, now would it? Check out the stunning internals here.

The Void V01

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The Details: We had to put something that fell outside the parameters of classic Euro-watches while still retaining some kind of cool European tradition, and here it is. The Void V01 is the only ‘middle class’ watch you’re going to find on this list, but it’s a fine example. Fashioned after the traditions of Scandinavian design, this Swedish watch—introduced only last year—is one of the top examples of a minimalist digital watch you’re ever going to see. With its stainless-steel frame and reversed LCD (ie, the display is at the bottom), it defies traditional design while hewing to some vestige of tradition, albeit obscured.

The Price: Ah, here’s the sweet spot: 129 euro. Yep. Get it today at their website.

The All-Time Top 10 Scams, Cons, and Tricks: Part One.

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Wikipedia is full of wonders. There are pages on there that will give you more information than is ever humanly necessary on the most useless tripe in the world, and then there are pages like this one. It’s called a “List of Confidence Tricks“. Confidence, of course, being the source of the short-form con, as in con man or you are getting conned as I speak.

Turns out history is just full of great cons, and as we all know, they continue right up to this very day. There’s a sucker born every minute, they say. Or someone once said, somewhere. Chances are a loved one or friend is getting conned right now, on the street in front of your building. Seriously, check it out, I don’t think that guy actually works for UNICEF, man.

Why scams? Well, the best cons are brilliant. They bring us back into touch with the seedier side of the world, with the villainy that exists out there and wants our cash. But there’s more than that: the con artist is part of a long tradition of hucksters and tricksters, going right back to the devil himself. See, the best cons do the following things:

  1. Teach us a moral lesson.
  2. Show their genius only in retrospect.
  3. Represent significant risk for the con artist.
  4. Take all your god damn money.

So: What are the best cons in the world, in any context? We took a look at some of the top selections, and here, we give you our thoughts. Remember, the con man is often referred to as an artist, and the intended victim is the mark. That’s it–you’ve now mastered the con-man’s lexicon; let’s go.

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#10: Salting the Mine

How it works: Putting gold or other precious minerals around the superficial part of a dig site in order to convince prospectors that a mine contains a ton of gold, see? You just gotta dig it out!

Why it’s cool: This has become a kind of metaphorical scam, since no one is really wandering around the west, looking for gold to pan anymore. But what a metaphor it is, especially when you read that scammers used to load shotguns with gold dust and fire them into the sides of mines. Just think about any false investment, anything that appears too good to be true from the outside, like an amazing investment account. Just think of Bernard Madoff loading up a shotgun with shells full of consistent 10% returns and firing it at his balance sheets, hoping no one would notice the suspicious pockmarks next to all the precious gold. What a metaphor, right? No, really, it’s genius, I tell you. Plus, Deadwood used this one, so, suck on that.

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#9: The Ponzi Scheme

How it works: This one is simple, and if you’ve read anything about the aforementioned Bernard Madoff you probably already know how this works. At its simplest: take money from people, promise amazing rates of return, keep finding new investors while you blow through the cash. If anyone asks for their money back, give it to them. The whole scam relies on few enough people wanting their cash, and many people wanting to invest. Once that situation changes, you’re completely screwed.

Why it’s cool: Only because a 50-billion-dollar fraud seems to be an unbelievably high amount for what is essentially a scheme that nearly all of us have heard about. This guy was printing out his account statements using dot-matrix printers and an accounting firm with about 3 employees that no one else used. And no one (!) caught on, except for the few that did and couldn’t prove anything. For anyone who ever said big, long-running, but ultimately simplistic-as-hell scams are impossible in today’s complicated world of finance, meet Mr. Madoff.

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#8: The Gold Brick Scam

How it works: Paint a brick gold. Find idiot. Sell brick to idiot. Run.

Why it’s cool: Because you can do this with broken TVs, too, and in a wonderful bit of poetic justice, pay tribute to the original scam by loading the TV down with bricks. Hell, paint them gold just to drive the point home a bit further, like you’re some kind of comic-book villain. So: if you ever find some dudes selling you a TV in a parking lot, don’t buy it. You can’t report it to the police because they’ll scold you for trying to buy stolen goods, and you can’t get your revenge on the guys that sold it to you because they will probably beat you up real good. Even if the TV turns on, or the speakers seem to work, you probably shouldn’t bother. There’s always a catch somewhere.

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#7: Melon Drop

How it works: Find a Japanese tourist who is used to paying exorbitant amounts for watermelon, if such a tourist exists. Bump into him or her with a cheap watermelon in hand. Drop watermelon, begin screaming, and demand money from tourist. Rely on her bad english and cultural sense of propriety in order to extract the most amount of money possible, you asshole, you.

Why it’s cool: This scam is still being done today, only with a different variety: a couple with a baby walks by a gullible university student in New York. They drop a knapsack. Something breaks inside, and the husband will claim that it’s medicine for the baby. Angrily. The student is so mortified that he instantly agrees to be accompanied to the nearest ATM, where he gets out the appropriate amount of cash and pays the (distraught) parents. Repeat 10x. Check out this New Yorker piece for proof.

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#6: Barred Winner Scam

How it works: Show up at a Las Vegas casino, find a man outside with a big handful of chips. “See, I won big, but they ejected me from the casino cause I offended a waitress. Now I can’t cash my chips!” You, fine upstanding person you are, offer to cash the chips for this poor soul, who promises you $100 as a reward. But wait–he demands a little collateral. What if you’re gonna scam him, see? He’s gotta be careful! Ah, OK, no problem, here’s your credit card, watch, whatever. He’ll hold on to that, you’ll cash the chips, and you’ll both meet back here in 10 minutes.

The chips, of course, are completely fake, and your watch, of course, is completely gone.

Why it’s cool: This one relies on you not asking too many questions–a hallmark of most quick scams. The more questions you ask and insurance you seek, the more the scam will fall apart. Why can’t he cash the chips tomorrow? Why can’t he file a complaint with the casino? Why can’t he call a lawyer, if he’s got so much cash coming to him? All these inquiries, and many more, will seem obvious to you after he’s run off with your wallet, and you’re left sitting on the curb, contemplating the next four days in Las Vegas with no money.

Click Here for Part 2: the Top 5 cons of all time!

It’s Super Bowl Time, Everybody

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It’s finally here, the biggest televised sporting event of the year, the one where various companies still manage to scrounge up amounts nearing three million dollars for a single 30-second televised spot, recession be damned. It’s the Super Bowl.

Now, this year we’ve got what is sure to be a fine match between the Pittsburg Steelers and the Arizona Cardinals, but rather than give you a tired run-down of my predicitions for the game and bored, uninformed reflections on the NFL season that has come and gone, wouldn’t everyone just be a hell of a lot happier if we showed you the best Super Bowl things online right now? The sneak previews for new commercials, some of the best ads from years gone by, gorgeous cheerleaders, the ultimate man’s recipe for Super Bowl Sunday, and the like? Sure.

Mysteries of the Yellow First-Down Line.

First, a video: undoubtedly one of the best things to happen to televised football coverage over the past several years is the digital first down line. There is literally nothing in any other sport that has so changed the enjoyment of TV coverage. Directly out of a Madden video game, that beautiful big yellow line added an unforseen element of clarity and comprehension to a sometimes confusing mess of slamming bodies and helmets. Now when you see that running back perform a stunning jump over two tacklers, only to dive, arms outstretched, for that last inch, you know exactly why the man is doing it. You’ve got a big yellow line showing you. Here’s a video that explains just how they get that line to show up.

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The Hottest Super Bowl Commercials Ever.

And then the commercials. Where would we be without those precious commercials? Here we’ve got the top 10 sexiest ads, which is all we need, really. Cars and internet startups be damned:

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An Old Logo for a Sort-of New Game.

Next, the New York Times rounded up some designers and had them try their hand at redesigning the Super Bowl Logo to make it more contemporary. A few of them aren’t bad, some are pretty forgettable or generally un-usable, but then there’s the super-minimalist one of Aaron Draplin, which is uniformly awesome. Imagine if they took this and branded everything with it? It’s like an amazing old Atari game graphic.

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And Of Course We Can’t Forget the Cheerleaders. Please, We Simply Can Not.

What would a Super Bowl post be without some cheerleaders? Here are just a few of the best from the past season.

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Eat Pork, Pork, and More Pork on Sunday. It’s both a Right and an Obligation.

Apparently this absolutely insane recipe has been making the rounds in preparation for Sunday. Just look at this damn thing. That’s a bed of bacon, filled with sausage, and wrapped. Pound for pound it looks like the fattest thing in history, which means you are virtually obligated to make it on Sunday. 5000 calories and 500 grams of fat later, you will be in heaven, also known as some kind of emergency room. It’s called the Bacon Explosion:

The instructions for constructing this massive torpedo-shaped amalgamation of two pounds of bacon woven through and around two pounds of sausage and slathered in barbecue sauce first appeared last month on the Web site of a team of Kansas City competition barbecuers.

The Negative Side of Super Bowl Week is Here to Teach Us Valuable Life Lessons.

And we’ve got Esquire’s list of the top Super Bowl week disasters, and boy oh boy is it full of some classics. Who can forget Adrian Awasom’s DUI last year:

Awasom was sent home prior to the Giants’ upset of the Patriots, did not get to experience the greatest upset in Super Bowl history, and is currently not on an NFL roster.

Or Stanley Wilson in 1989, found in his hotel room, out of his mind on cocaine just the night before?

“The player was sweating and shivering. White powder flecked his nose and upper lip. The devil was back, for good.” Wilson was left off the active roster for the game and kicked out of the league forever.

Get more of them here, and pray nothing similar befalls (or has already befallen) a Steeler or Cardinal this week.

Why the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is, Possibly, the Greatest Thing in the World.

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The Victoria’s Secret Annual Special is the greatest program of its kind. Ever. How does that work, exactly? Well, there’s a certain type of television program that rounds up a series of beautiful women and parades them in varying stages of undress for your ogling, grateful eyes. It falls under the category of a Prime Time Annual Special, and Victoria’s Secret do it right.

You’ve probably heard about the big one from Sports Illustrated, with their Swimsuit Special, in which we easily ignore frivolous information about the photographers in order to glimpse those stunning models, just there, playfully rolling around in the sand.

Ostensibly, this special is about the famous, event-worthy edition of the otherwise sports-focused magazine, and makes a big deal out of the selection of its cover model, too. But it’s really just about nicely filmed, beautiful women and bikinis and thank you very much as we are quite happy with that. Or so we thought.

Then there’s VH1′s Fashion Rocks, in which we ignore both interchangeable fashion designers (not so hard, that) but also things we would normally find cool, like David Bowie, in order to see beautiful models paying tribute to the idea of a fashion show. It just happens to be a fashion show broadcast in prime-time with various artists playing live songs in the background.

This one is also (ostensibly, once again) about a heady mix of rock and fashion, but really it’s much more about the higher speed at which the models walk out onto the catwalk (possibly due to the thrill of live music and a massive audience), which makes them look more exciting, happier (and thus sexier), but also of course draws a ton of attention to their heaving, bouncing chests. It must be said that this show is also quite fine for what it is.

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Finally, though, there’s the queen of all specials, the extended catalogue advertisement miraculously turned into annual prime-time special, yes, you know the one: a great big old commercial for the lingerie line/store known as Victoria’s Secret. There’s just no other special like it.

I can’t think of another product that gets its yearly offerings advertised in such a high-profile, flashy way, but then again there’s a fine reason for that, gentlemen. Here, then, is the ultimate TV special devoted to literally angelic-looking babes with very little clothing, and what clothing remains is only designed to make us think of what’s underneath. Nope, it’s not like the other specials–no information about why this photographer likes a particular depth of field, or why that band goes well with this designer’s forward-looking spring lines.

No, no, no–this is all about a wonderful mix of red and black and white colors, a maelstrom of burlesque, of smiling, big-breasted, bouncing gorgeous women walking towards the camera in bustiers and teddies and oh dear god is that some kind of modern-style combination push-up-bra/corset? And will my girlfriend/wife/special friend be willing to wear it?

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These and other pressing concerns on the issue of cup size, nipple coverage, angelic wingspans, and how incredibly sexy this whole sort of boudoir/burlesque theme can be when attached to a buxom, glowing, curvaceous model with smooth skin and smouldering features, yes these (and these alone) will occupy your mind while watching this happily over-the-top spectacle that is exactly what it purports to be and nothing more. Beautiful women modelling rich, full lingerie in glorious HD.

If the Victoria’s Secret Catalogue was your adolescent Playboy substitute, let this TV special do the same for whatever porno-y video offering your older self was thinking about watching, but which would only spoil the whole surprise, the whole mystery, the whole great amount of sexiness that comes from dressing up stunningly tempting women in this stuff and not needing to watch them take it off because, well, damn, this is more than sufficient, thanks.

See our 2008 Victorias Secret fashion show high def Video or view photos

See our full collection of Victorias Secret Photos & Videos