21 Things You Learn When You Move To London

Moving to the capital takes some getting used to, so here’s a handy run-down of some very important London life-lessons.

1. If you cross at the zebra crossing before all the incoming cars have stopped for you, there’s a 90% chance you’re about to become a hit-and-run victim

21 Things You Learn When You Move To London

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You can’t say you’ve lived in London until you’ve nearly been run over by a truck breaking the sound barrier.

2. Your expectations for where you live get progressively smaller

21 Things You Learn When You Move To London

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…as does where you live.

3. Drunk-You will materialise more often than you anticipate

21 Things You Learn When You Move To London

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Apparently everyone in London goes out straight after work and drinks a bottle of wine each on an empty stomach.

4. You’ll find out that Drunk-You is impressively adept at getting around

21 Things You Learn When You Move To London

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Especially when you go out across down (a.k.a. hours from home) and then wake up the next morning in your bed with no memory of anything post-9pm.

5. If attractive people approach you on the street it is highly likely that they’re selling something

21 Things You Learn When You Move To London

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Do not stop and flirt with that fitty who just told you that your hair’s looking great (I mean, of course it is though, right?): they will trap you with their words!

6. Don’t always fear expensive drinks

21 Things You Learn When You Move To London

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It may cost £8.50 for one drink, but in some places one drink = one big glass of whisky with a dribble of mixer.

7. When experiencing #6, don’t drink said drink like it was a normal single

21 Things You Learn When You Move To London

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Or you’ll find it’s just hit 11pm and you keep raving incoherently at strangers about the sofa shaped like a pair of lips.

8. You will fall asleep on the tube

21 Things You Learn When You Move To London

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But you will get practiced enough to wake just before your stop.

9. Say no to Covent Garden

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Unless you fashion yourself some sort of plow, or at least a gumshield, to get through the crowds unscathed. Same applies for Oxford Street, Leicester Square, an Soho on a Saturday night.

10. If someone outside a tube station asks for a light, they will probably offer a magic trick (that is supposed to prove the existence of God) in exchange

21 Things You Learn When You Move To London

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Sadly they are usually not as handsome and have markedly fewer teeth than Barney Stinson.

11. Buying drinks anywhere but London will feel incredible

21 Things You Learn When You Move To London

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“£3.50 for a pint of Fosters? This is the best value pub in the world!”

12. Strangers must never break the no-talking rule

21 Things You Learn When You Move To London

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Whilst shrieking and running when someone approaches you on the street is arguably quite rude, it’s probably the safest thing to do. Sorry, tourists who need directions.

13. You’re not cool enough for Dalston

21 Things You Learn When You Move To London

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Deal with it.

14. Estate agents are the devil

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15. There is nothing more satisfying than “driving” the DLR

21 Things You Learn When You Move To London

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Elbows at the ready, there are teens to beat out for this!

16. …except for maybe that moment when someone asks for directions and you actually know the answer

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“Oxford Circus? Why yes I do know where that is! (That way, isn’t it? Is it? Can I look at your map? Where are we now?)”

17. You start to develop your own rush-hour crushes

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Sometimes a cramped tube isn’t so bad.

18. Which become frustrating on the days where you don’t get your morning eye candy

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19. Everyone not in London will bad-mouth London

21 Things You Learn When You Move To London

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OK, fine, it’s a sucking cess-pool of cut-throat capitalism where the poor are brutalised and everyone is stepped on by the wealthy and corrupt elite, but I’m quite enjoying it thanks.

20. Everyone in London will bad-mouth London

21 Things You Learn When You Move To London

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“I honestly don’t resent spending £1000 a month on a mould-infested one-room hovel 45 minutes from central London. I don’t I don’t I don’t.”

21. And yet, you can’t imagine yourself anywhere else

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Just instead of grass and mountains there’s smog and high rises.

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20 Cool Modern Lamp Designs

It is very difficult to say when and where the first lamp was used, but they are mentioned in all three early ages – lamps were used in Egypt, Greece, and Rome. It may  sound unbelievable, but scientists say that the lamp was invented and first used around 70,000 BC! Back then they were made of naturally occurring objects – coconuts, sea shells, hollow stones or similar objects filled with moss or a similar material that was soaked with animal fat and ignited. [1 2] [Read more…]

First electric lamp was invented in England in 1809 by Humpry Davy. He connected two wires to a battery and attached a charcoal strip between the other ends of the wires. The charged carbon glowed making the first arc lamp. 70 years later in  1879 Thomas  Edison invented a carbon filament that burned for forty hours. Edison placed his filament in an classic-shaped oxygenless bulb.[3]

Nowadays, lamps burn much longer, shine brighter, and use less energy than ever before. Besides being better,  they are way cooler than ever before!  So without further ado let’s look at some  very creative modern lamp designs!

1. Teddy Bear Lamp

Designer: Matthew Kinealy

2. Ice Cream Lamps


3. Garbage Lamp

Designer: Peter Castellucci

4. Liquid Lamp

Designer: kyouei design

5. Light Blub

Designer: Pieke Bergmans

6. La Vie En Rose Lamp

Designer: William Brand, Annet van Egmond

7. Melting Lamps

Designer: Keita Ogawa

8. Pixel Lamps

Designers:  Chan Wan Ki Kay, Chen Siu Wa Shai Chai, and Suen Ka Hei Catherine

9. Mario Bros Garden Lamps

Designer: Arthur Xin

10. Dandelion Lights

Designer: Qin Xue, Cao iXiaoxiao & Wei Hangshuai

11. Sip of Light

Designer: Sang-Hoon Lee, Sung-Kyu Nam & Su-Jung Kim

12. Bottle Lamp

Designer: unknown:

13. Abduction Lamp

14. Light Dressing

Designed by  Mary Huang

15. Tea Lamps

Designed by Louisa Kober

16. Noose Hanging Lamp

17. Electro Heart Lamp

18. Modulares Lamps

19. Martyr Lamp


20. Mr. Blamp

Which one would you like to have at your home? Or maybe you own one already?


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How Many Bars Have You Been To In London?

And how many of the best 100 bars do you still have to explore? Based on Time Out’s Top 100 list.

    1. 1 ✓ Dog & Duck, Soho
    2. 2 ✓ French House, Chinatown
    1. 3 ✓ Harp, Covent Garden
    2. 4 ✓ Bradley’s Spanish Bar, Soho
    1. 5 ✓ Newman Arms, West End
    2. 6 ✓ Craft Beer Company, Farringdon
    1. 7 ✓ Fox & Anchor, Smithfield
    2. 8 ✓ Jerusalem Tavern, Farringdon
    1. 9 ✓ Rugby Tavern, Bloomsbury
    2. 10 ✓ Yorkshire Grey, Holborn
    1. 11 ✓ Ye Olde Mitre Tavern, Farringdon
    2. 12 ✓ Jamaica Wine House, Bank
    1. 13 ✓ Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, Fleet Street
    2. 14 ✓ Princess Louise, Holborn
    1. 15 ✓ Queen’s Head, Piccadilly
    2. 16 ✓ Auld Shillelagh, Stamford Hill
    1. 17 ✓ Bree Louise, Euston
    2. 18 ✓ Brewdog, Camden
    1. 19 ✓ Euston Tap, Euston
    2. 20 ✓ Island Queen, Islington
    1. 21 ✓ The Lord Clyde, Angel
    2. 22 ✓ King’s Head, Islington
    1. 23 ✓ Pineapple, Tufnell Park
    2. 24 ✓ Railway Tavern, Dalston
    1. 25 ✓ The Salisbury, Harringay
    2. 26 ✓ Southampton Arms, Kentish Town
    1. 27 ✓ Wenlock Arms, Islington
    2. 28 ✓ Antelope, Tooting
    1. 29 ✓ The Bedford, Balham
    2. 30 ✓ Crown & Anchor, Brixton
    1. 31 ✓ Old Brewery, Greenwich
    2. 32 ✓ Priory Arms, Stockwell
    1. 33 ✓ Richard I, Greenwich
    2. 34 ✓ Royal Oak, Southwark
    1. 35 ✓ Carpenter’s Arms, Brick Lane
    2. 36 ✓ King Edward VII, Stratford
    1. 37 Peter Thwaite / Via ✓ Palm Tree, Mile End
    2. 38 ✓ The Florist Arms, Bethnal Green
    1. 39 ✓ The Dove, Broadway Market
    2. 40 ✓ Old Blue Last, Shoreditch
    1. 41 Facebook: The-Spurstowe-Arms ✓ Spurstowe Arms, Hackney
    2. 42 ✓ Prospect of Whitby, Wapping
    1. 43 ✓ Pride of Spitalfields, Brick Lane
    2. 44 ✓ Anglesea Arms, South Kensington
    1. 45 ✓ The Dove, Hammersmith
    2. 46 ✓ The Harwood Arms, Fulham
    1. 47 ✓ The Queen’s Arms, Kensington
    2. 48 ✓ Swan, Acton Green
    1. 49 ✓ White Horse, Parsons Green
    2. 50 ✓ 69 Colebrooke Row, Islington
    1. 51 ✓ Booking Office, St. Pancras
    2. 52 ✓ Callooh Callay, Shoreditch
    1. 53 ✓ Ceviche, Soho
    2. 54 ✓ Oskar’s Bar, Fitzrovia
    1. 55 ✓ Grain Store Bar, King’s Cross
    2. 56 ✓ Happiness Forgets, Old Street
    1. 57 ✓ Hawksmoor Bar, Spitalfields
    2. 58 ✓ Loft, Clapham
    1. 59 ✓ London Cocktail Club, Leicester Square
    2. 60 ✓ Lonsdale, Notting Hill
    1. 61 ✓ Lost Society, Clapham
    2. 62 ✓ Mandarin Bar, Hyde Park
    1. 63 ✓ Mark’s Bar, Soho
    2. 64 ✓ Milk & Honey, Soho
    1. 65 ✓ Mr Fogg’s, Mayfair
    2. 66 ✓ Nightjar, Old Street
    1. 67 ✓ Portobello Star, Notting Hill
    2. 68 ✓ Purl, Marylebone
    1. 69 ✓ Shochu Lounge, Fitzrovia
    2. 70 ✓ White Lyan, Shoreditch
    1. 71 ✓ Worship Street Whistling Shop, Old Street
    2. 72 ✓ Zetter Townhouse, Farringdon
    1. 73 ✓ Hakkasan, Soho
    2. 74 ✓ Kensington Wine Rooms, Kensington
    1. 75 ✓ Lobby Bar, Aldwych
    2. 76 ✓ Lost Angel, Battersea
    1. 77 ✓ The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town, Spitalfields
    2. 78 ✓ Powder Keg Diplomacy, Battersea
    1. 79 ✓ The Rookery, Clapham
    2. 80 ✓ Rum Kitchen, Notting Hill
    1. 81 ✓ Sager & Wilde, Haggerston
    2. 82 ✓ Sebright Arms, Haggerston

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How The NBA Manages To Overcharge For Games Despite Lackluster Teams

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Some of the NBA’s priciest teams at the ticket booth this season have kept things tidy in the basement of their respective divisions. They are piling on the losses, despite exorbitant ticket prices at home on the secondary market.

Top-priced teams that have blundered throughout the first two months of the season and each win has become costly for the paying fan.

Such a trend has been undeniably present in New York, where the Knicks lead the league in “ticket price per win,” and own the second-worst record in the NBA, behind the tanking 76ers.

The Nets have also started off slow after posting just 10 wins throughout their first 23 games, and saw the 10th highest “ticket price to win” ratio on the secondary market.

For the Knicks and Nets, ticket prices have done the talking for two teams that have failed to get it done on the court.

Carmelo Anthony’s elongated free agency this past off-season made many die-hard fans question his commitment to the Knicks. However, his decision to remain in New York came with a price — five years, $124 million, specifically — alongside the Knicks’ worst start to a season in franchise history at just 5-22.

According to secondary market ticket aggregator, TiqIQ, the average price for Knicks tickets on the secondary market for remaining games at Madison Square Garden is $255.46, trailing only the Cavaliers as the most expensive home ticket this season.

The Knicks have won just three games at home, making each of those wins cost $83.78 on the secondary market. With five total wins on the season, the average price for each Knicks victory comes to a grand total of $62.84, the clear league champion of such an unwanted honor.

A similar case can be made for the Knicks’ crosstown counterpart in the Nets, who have put up big ticket prices on the secondary market in their third season at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The average secondary price for Nets tickets at home this season is $139.33.

With five home victories, the secondary price for each home Nets win averages at $27.86, while the team’s 10 wins on the season averages at $13.93 per win.

The Barclays Center has been a venue hurting for its home team to win, adding to the gloomy New York basketball scene through the first quarter of the season.

With post-season hopes falling by the wayside, New York-based fans should probably direct their attention to the All-Star game events that will be held at both Madison Square Garden and Barclays Center in February.

The Knicks and Nets have combined for a dismal 15-35 record, but their slumping ways will be forgotten for a short period of time when the league’s most talented players invade Midtown Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn from February 13-15.

NBA All-Star Game tickets on TiqIQ will be at their most expensive in the past five years when the game hits MSG on February 15.

The same goes for the All-Star Saturday Night event in Brooklyn, which will give local fans a brief glimpse of superstar play in a city overrun by a slumping Melo, Kevin Garnett’s corpse and a handful of other no-name players.

Keeping with the top-dollar ticket to see bottom-dwelling teams trend, several other big market teams, the Lakers and Heat, have also posted impressive secondary market numbers, despite their poor play.

Kobe Bryant continues to break scoring records, but the lack of talent surrounding the aging star has brought on a period of failure and loss for the Lakers. With just eight wins on the season, the Lakers sit in the basement of the Pacific Division with the lights out and no one coming to open the cellar door.

The average price for Lakers tickets on the secondary market this season is $224.16, making the team’s three home wins cost $74.72 each and its eight total wins average at $28.02 per victory.

LeBron James’ departure to Cleveland has made secondary ticket average waver in Miami, and the King has undoubtedly left a void at American Airlines Arena this season.

With Chris Bosh now taking the reins of a team that has seen Dwyane Wade’s numbers drop significantly in the wake of constant injuries, the average price for Heat tickets at home this season is $198.24 on the secondary market.

The team has managed just four home victories and 12 total wins, making each home win cost $49.56 and $16.52 per win on the season. The Big Three era is dead, and the Heat’s struggles on the court have hurt both the team’s records and fans’ wallets.

Long gone are the old days, when high ticket prices were typically driven by a winning product. The lack of success found in New York, Los Angeles and Miami this season has ushered in a new period of economic mystery, where losing teams full of lackluster talent still dominate the secondary ticket market.

As long as Carmelo and Kobe continue to chuck shots and sparingly pass the ball to their unknown teammates, it seems like fans will be forced to cough up major cash when heading to the game.

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30 Squeaky-Clean Laundry Hacks

1. Use the power of the sun on tomato-based stains (and cloth diapers).

According to this blog, put out the stained item in full sun while it’s very wet.

2. White bread can blot out a lipstick stain.


Cut off the crust, wad up the soft center into a ball, then blot. Anything that remains should come out in the washer. From here.

3. Hairspray and hand sanitizer beat even the worst ink stains.

Just spray or squirt, wait about 10 minutes, and wash normally. From here.

4. Cold water and hand soap wash out blood stains.

This works best while the blood’s still wet. If it’s dried, hydrogen peroxide works best.

5. Hydrogen peroxide also kicks grass-stain butt.

Mix 2 tbsp hydrogen peroxide and 1 tbsp dish soap with a little elbow grease for the most effective treatment. From here.

6. Chalk works on grease stains.

Rub the chalk onto greasy stains, and the powder will absorb the oil. From here.

7. So does baby powder.

Gently brush on some powder, sweep off the excess, then let it sit for a few minutes. Repeat until the stain is gone. From here.

8. There are a billion ways to get rid of those yellow sweat stains.

OK, maybe just nine. From here.

9. Use club soda, salt, milk, or kitty litter to remove freshly spilled red wine.

Just make sure you treat the stain right away. Get more detailed instructions for each of these methods here.

10. Ditch the acrylic paint stain with some rubbing alcohol.

Plus a little bit of gentle elbow grease. From here.

11. Make your dry-clean last longer with spot treatments.

Dry-cleaning actually shortens the life of your clothes. So if you can spot-treat stains, do it. Just test in an inconspicuous area first. From here.

12. Spritz a shirt with vinegar to make it last longer between washings.

Try a combo of No. 4 and No. 5 on this page: Spritz your clothing with vinegar, then hang outside to air-dry.

13. Save time by sorting your clothes when you take them off.

Buy four cheap laundry baskets: one for whites, one for darks, one for brights, one for dry cleaning. Of course, this assumes you have floor space for it…
From here.

14. Spritz lavender water on your clothes before washing.

Add a drop or two of essential oil to a spray bottle filled with water, then spritz right before you wash your clothes. From here.

15. A little vinegar goes a long way.

Use it for your towels, your workout clothes, and anything else that’s a little sour-smelling. Add it at the beginning of the wash so your clothes don’t smell vinegar-y at the end. From here.

16. Whiten your whites with baking soda.

It won’t tear up your clothes like bleach. This blog recommends 1 cup per load, but I’ve had success with 1/2 cup per load.

17. Never lose a sock again with the help of lingerie bags.

Good for families, and those of us who do wash and fold. From here.

18. You can also use lingerie bags to wash stuffed animals.

Just don’t wash anything with a music box or talking box inside! Get the full tutorial here.

19. Make note of which clothes shouldn’t go in the dryer using a dry-erase marker.

20. Replace your dryer sheet with a ball of aluminum foil.

This blogger’s family has been doing it for 30 years. Wad the sheet of foil into a ball, and you can re-use it for six months.

21. If you just can’t give up that dryer-sheet smell…

Douse a hand towel in fabric softener and let it dry. Then toss it in with every load you dry. Get more details here.

22. Use a fluffy towel to make your clothes dry faster.

Put it in the dryer with your clothes and it will help absorb water. Just pull it out after about 15 minutes so it doesn’t continue to contribute to the water in the dryer. From here.

23. Dry sweaters faster by making a towel burrito.

Lay your sweater out on a dry towel, then roll them up together like a yoga mat. Don’t wring the towel, just press, gently. From here.

24. Use a salad spinner to help your panties and bras dry faster.

You can’t stick them in the dryer, but you need them for that date tonight. So pretend they’re lettuce and stick them in the salad spinner.

25. Clothes shrunk? Try conditioner.

See here for a full tutorial. Basically, you soak your shrunken piece of clothing in lukewarm water with some hair conditioner for a few minutes.

26. Listen to your mom: Hang up your clothes.

Pull them out and hang them up right after the dryer cycle’s over. That way your pants won’t be wrinkled when you need them first thing Monday morning.

27. Dilute a little fabric softener with water to make your own wrinkle spray.

The ratio should be about 1 part fabric softener to 10 parts water. From here.

28. Avoid sweater shoulder bumps.

Fold them. Or, if you insist on hanging them, at least hang them the right way.

29. Iron better by starting with a damp shirt.

Try spritzing it with a little water. From here.

30. Transform a folding TV tray into a dorm-sized ironing board.

See the tutorial here.

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Can Theft Kill A Band?

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“I’m paranoid now,” says Haley Fohr, the short-cropped brunette’s eyes jetting from one side of the bustling room to the other. The 23-year-old slouches deep into her chair, scanning the downtown Chicago coffee shop on this, the sort of winter afternoon that provides cheeks a natural blush. Fohr, who performs as experimental noise-rocker Circuit Des Yeux, is recalling how her professional life was ripped apart at the seams only a few days earlier.

“It’s so hard to be self-sufficient as a musician,” she says, “so when something like this happens…” Her voice trails off. Fohr is describing her turn as the latest victim of instrument theft. A week ago she’d been recording in the nearby Logan Square neighborhood and, upon returning to her car parked at a busy intersection, the small-town Indiana girl, having lived in Chicago for only a few months, discovered her custom-built amplifier, a set of microphones, and her guitar case had all been stolen. Fohr estimates her total losses total nearly $2,500. “It’s crippling,” Fohr admits. “I can’t afford to save up. I don’t have the time or money to rebuy everything I had.” She wonders what will become of her budding musical career. How will she continue gigging without the equipment that helped define her sound?

“I honestly don’t know,” she admits, dejection overtaking her otherwise gentle face. “I don’t have a plan.”

Haley Fohr of Circuit Des Yeux Courtesy of Haley Fohr of Circuit Des Yeux

Fohr knows she’s not alone in her circumstances; she relays stories of several of her musician friends having had their instruments stolen in the not-so-distant past. But having now been victimized herself, she’s beginning to grasp the scope of the problem: Instrument theft, Fohr now knows firsthand, is fast becoming a recurring and disastrous trend. Any act, it seems, no matter their size or the precautions taken, is at risk. In the past year alone, artists including Tom Petty, Grimes, Mumford & Sons, Dinosaur Jr., and Thurston Moore — no stranger to instrument theft; famously, on July 4, 1999, Sonic Youth had an arsenal of customized vintage guitars jacked in Orange County — have all had their gear stolen.

Luis Vasquez, who performs as atmospheric indie rocker The Soft Moon, was also victimized this past year. Last spring the Bay Area musician was mugged at gunpoint while walking home in Oakland. Thieves made off with his laptop, which held recordings for his most recent album, Zeros, as well as nearly two years of unreleased demos. “It’s not so fun to relive,” he says.

“It just sucks,” adds garage rocker Mac Demarco, thinking back on his own turn as the victim of laptop theft; the 22-year-old’s computer, with in-progress material on it, was stolen in the middle of last year while gigging in Hamburg, Germany. “Most of [the lost material] I’ve been able to track back down,” he explains. “Luckily it was a pretty new computer, so it didn’t have too much on it.”

This, of course, is not exclusively a contemporary occurrence — in 2005, The Decemberists had their trailer stolen in Portland, as did The Raveonettes in Brooklyn.

Most thefts, however, pale in comparison — at least financially — to that suffered by Portugal the Man. On an August morning in 2011, bassist Zach Carothers, still recovering from a long night of drinking, awoke to his road manager Ian Shaw informing him that the Portland band’s van, containing nearly $100,000 of the gear, and which had been left at an attended parking lot only a day earlier following their Lollapalooza performance, was missing. “It was a moment of disbelief,” he recalls of staring at the empty space where the band’s gear had been stowed hours before. “It was definitely a rough morning.”

The slew of instrument thefts, while disheartening on their own, point at a bigger, more pressing issue: In an era where bands are increasingly reliant on live performances to support themselves financially, where does that leave them, then, when their gear is taken?

A 425-foot-long, 20-foot-high mural inspired by Lotería, a Mexican board game not dissimilar from Bingo, casts a sprawling shadow over the massive gravel parking lot of Swap-O-Rama, a mega-flea market that resides a few blocks north of Davis Park on Chicago’s South Side. Every Monday the site is barren; most other days, however, it bustles with activity as sellers, swappers, and buyers iron out spur-of-the-moment deals. Just over a year ago, it was here that Portugal the Man’s stolen gear changed hands. Thanks to the swift work of the Chicago Police Department, the band was informed a few days after being robbed that much of their gear had found its way into the mitts of South Side mechanic Juan Decampo, a petty thief who confessed to having bought the band’s gear at the Swap-O-Rama despite knowing it was stolen. An investigation into the original robbery remains ongoing. And while some of the band’s pinched items were recovered at Decampo’s apartment — and subsequently returned to the band — several items remain missing.

In the aftermath of the Chicago theft, Portugal the Man, Carothers says, often wondered what they could have done differently to prevent its occurrence. It’s a question many bands now find themselves contemplating: What can we do to protect ourselves from instrument theft?

“I don’t know, dude,” admits Kids These Days’ bassist Lane Beckstrom, who recalls a recent incident in which a pedal board and laptop were taken out of their van while the band were recording Los Angeles. “We have chains on our trailer. We have all kinds of locks on our trailer. You never leave your shit in the van anymore. Even if you’re going into a restaurant for five minutes, you take your backpack out of the van.”

“You do whatever you possibly can,” adds Carothers, still searching for answers. “You could have an alarm system; you could have the Club; you could have a LoJack. You do all these things.” Portugal, prior to being ripped off in Chicago, had even gone to extremes to protect their gear: They’d regularly have band members sleep in shifts in the van. They ultimately stopped this tactic, however, when they realized the inherent danger it posed after they were robbed at gunpoint while on watch one night in Madrid.

Vasquez is now in the business of self-protection, above all else. After being robbed, the musician bought a knife. “It’s super illegal and crazy looking,” he adds. “Its got a skull crusher on it.”

It’s the “price per pound” that thieves can fetch for a used instrument, says Rich Holtzman, whose company The Artists Organization, in addition to managing Portugal, oversees the careers of artists such as Soundgarden, Chromeo, Blood Diamonds, and The Joy Formidable. Holtzman also believes the fact that many instruments actually increase in value over time makes them an appealing steal. “The resell market [for instruments] is pretty awesome,” he explains. “If you’re stealing car stereos, the market for used car stereos isn’t all that good. But the market for a used guitar only goes up.”

In theory, though, stolen instruments should be difficult to unload. After all, each instrument is marked with a unique serial number that secondhand buyers, such as pawn shops or musical instrument retailers, are legally required to cross-reference with a seller’s driver’s license. States are ramping up their efforts against the sale of stolen merchandise as well. In Illinois, for example, legislators passed a law that requires the identifying of material of all used instruments, whether bought or sold, to be logged into a central database.

New York and California have similar laws in the books. Prominent musical instrument resellers in both states explain that it’s standard protocol to file a police report and run the serial numbers to verify the instrument isn’t stolen. And as Dan Deuhorn, the owner of Sherman Oaks’ California Vintage Guitars, says, an instrument may even be held up to 30 days for investigation before any money changes hands. “If somebody has an original receipt or it’s somebody I know real well and I know the history of the guitar, I don’t do that,” he says. “But if there’s any question at all, we have to run the police report and hold it for 30 days.” Deuhorn is abiding by the California law under the Business & Professions Code, which, in their manual for becoming a “secondhand dealer or pawnbroker,” states that all secondhand dealers shall retain an item for 30 days, during which time an item must be made available for “inspection by an police officer or employee designated by the chief of police or sheriff.”

The Los Angeles Police Department has even gone so far as to have a four-man task force, dubbed the Pawn Section, designated to monitor the activities of secondhand shops. As it states on their website, the unit’s mission is “of recovering stolen property and identifying those suspects committing the crimes.”

In New York, Article 5 of the New York General Business Laws states that all secondhand dealers and pawnbrokers must keep records of all transactions “in good condition and in an orderly fashion for at least a period of six years” and that such books shall be “open to the inspection of the attorney general, the state comptroller, the mayor or local licensing authority, 
all judges of the criminal courts, the superintendent of police, police inspectors, captains of police and police justices of such cities, or 
any or either of them, or of any person who shall be duly authorized in writing for that purpose by any or either of them, and who shall exhibit such written authority to such collateral loan broker.”

Fran Pensa, vice president of Rudy’s Music in midtown Manhattan, adds that filing a police report with a description of the guitar, including its serial number, has been standard procedure for many years.

In Illinois, the Illinois Pawnbrokers Regulation Act, which went into effect July 2010, states that “an accurate account and description … of all the goods, articles and other things pawned or pledged … and the name and residence of the person making such pawn or pledge shall be printed, typed, or written in ink in the record book.” Pawn shops, in particular, are also required to log “a legible and exact copy” of all transactions to their local police department by noon the day after sale. Yet, it ultimately remains in the discretionary control of a store’s employee to follow these laid-out guidelines. An employee at McCabe’s Guitar in Santa Monica, California, says because buying used guitars is not a major revenue stream for the store, they don’t always hold steadfast to legal procedure. “We used to do that,” she says, “but it’s such a small fraction of our business that we don’t always now. Occasionally I get a driver’s license and that sort of thing.” When money is on the table, all bets are off.

Portugal. The Man Courtesy of Atlantic

Replacing equipment presents a challenge for victimized bands, especially when losing customized gear. Such was the case with Portugal, who lost an outdated “crappy Yamaha keyboard” that soundtracked some of the band’s earliest albums and is now nearly impossible to replace.

And as an employee at Chicago Music Exchange, one of the Midwest’s prominent secondhand retailers, says, it’s the most generic instruments that are most often brought in for resale — and then subsequently bought. He adds that this is due in large part to customized gear leading retailers to ask more specific questions, the answers to which thieves rarely know. Fohr says this likely explains why thieves left her guitar, which she’s used since eighth grade, and instead stole its case. “They probably left it behind because it’s so recognizable,” she hypothesizes, citing custom work, dings, and scratches that would make it easy to spot. “They probably couldn’t sell it.”

Electronic artists, who primarily rely on equipment such as laptops, do have it a bit easier in comparison — that is, if they back up their material. “You have the thumb drive with everything on it,” says Holtzman, explaining how most EDM acts operate. “So if your computer shits the bed or gets stolen, you walk into the Mac store, buy a new computer, plug in your thumb drive, and you’re off and running.”

The situation, though, is not entirely dire. Bands can protect themselves, at least financially, against such losses by insuring their instruments and gear. It’s what Portugal does, something that helped alleviate the band’s losses last year. But the hefty price of insurance — a policy taken out on an instrument can often run up to or exceed roughly 10% of the cost of an item — makes it a tough sell for bands operating on a smaller scale. Fohr says she had never even considered this option. “It’s all stuff I can’t afford,” she says. “I’m at the bottom of this financial system. But obviously I’m considering it now.” Adds DeMarco, “I’ve never thought about it. I guess once [something] gets stolen, you rethink that.” Breaking the bank on potentially losing gear is a dilemma Danielle Reed knows well.

The Texas-based country singer and her band had long toured sans insurance, without incident. That is, until this past June, when the Fort Worth, Texas–based outfit was the victim of a major theft: A trailer containing nearly $30,000 worth of their gear — including five guitars, four amplifiers, a pedal board, and a Yamaha Custom Oak Drum set with $10,000 in hardware — was stolen outside a New Braunfels, Texas, motel. For smaller-market bands like Reed’s, this sort of incident can spell devastation. “It was financially crippling,” Reed says, adding that it messed with her band psychologically in the aftermath. “When you take away your tools to do your job, and you don’t have the means to go out and buy $30,000 worth of [new] equipment, it’s nearly impossible to continue.”

“I had a major meltdown,” adds Reed’s manager and band member, Clark Kaupke, who lost $15,000 worth of gear in the robbery, including his prized Telecaster. “I don’t care if you’re the biggest artist in the world — if you lose something that important to you, it’s gonna hurt.” Brad Miller, a jam-band guitarist from Chicago-area band Zmick, has also seen instrument theft derail small musical acts. “It ends bands,” he says matter-of-factly. “For a lot of people, their gear is what makes their sound. You’re basically stealing someone’s voice.” Adds Fohr, “Years of working towards a sound…just gone.”

Danielle Reed Courtesy of Danielle Reed

If there’s any silver lining to be found among this otherwise disconcerting trend, it’s that bands say such a desperate situation has allowed their friends and peers’ goodwill to become readily apparent. “A lot of times it takes something really terrible to realize how much love you get,” Carothers explains. In Reed’s case, friends chipped in from all over the country, sending the band enough new gear to remain on the road, even brightening Kaupke’s spirits so much so as to help him adopt a more optimistic outlook on the seemingly depressing situation: “You can take our equipment,” he says, before pausing emphatically, “but you can’t take our music.”

And through the advent of the internet, there are examples — while rare — of bands recovering their gear through the detective work of fans and do-gooders. In Portugal’s case, persistent scoping of eBay led them to uncovering one of their lost guitars, which they recovered this past August. Even more amazingly, Sonic Youth recovered two of their long-missing axes, in consecutive weeks, this past October. (A fan in Belgium discovered one of the guitars on eBay; the other was recognized when a pawn shop put it up for sale on a popular online guitar forum. “It’s kind of wild,” Sonic Youth guitarist Lee Ranaldo said when it happened. “After all this time, things are still surfacing thanks to the diligence of fans.”) Still, Carothers’ bass, an ‘81 Fender Precision Special — the one he’d used for nearly 1,500 shows and that his mother had bought him at age 10 — remains missing.

“I’m like a hawk on the internet for that thing,” he says of his long-lost sidekick. “I know I’m gonna find it someday. I’d spend anything I had and more to get it back. It gave me purpose in life.”

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24 Survival Tips For Living Alone

1. Open a stubborn jar using rubber bands.

Place one rubber band around the lid, and another around the jar. With one hand, grip the jar where the rubber band encircles it; use the other hand to twist off the lid. The rubber bands provide friction, so your hands won’t slip off the jar or lid.

2. Or buy a JarPop.

$6.05 from Amazon.

3. Use a mason jar to store leftover wine.

Make sure the wine overflows so the jar is completely filled and no air gets into the wine. It’ll store in the fridge for a week. (No judgements if you’re the type who can down an entire bottle of wine by yourself.)

4. Keep a bottle of soda from going flat.

Once you’re done with your soda for the day, shake it up before putting it back in the fridge. It’ll stay fizzy for weeks.

5. Use Windex to move a heavy appliance.

Spray Windex around and in front of the feet of the appliance you’re trying to move. It will slide much more easily.

6. Pre-make pancake batter and store it in a ketchup bottle.

The pancake batter will stay good for a few days in the fridge.

7. Use toothpaste to perfectly hang a picture.

Add a dab of toothpaste to the back of the picture where the nail will go.

Once you’ve found the perfect place to hang your picture, press the picture against the wall so the toothpaste leaves a mark. Hammer a nail on the toothpaste spot. This is a great technique for hanging pictures in a straight row, or as a collage.

8. Or use Command Frame Strips if you can’t even deal with hammer and nail.

They’ll firmly hold pictures up to 12 lbs.

9. Get Ethylene Gas Guardian pods to make your produce last longer.

Just put them in your crisper. They’re known to double the life of your fruit and vegetables.

10. Use peppermint oil to deter mice.

Rodents are allergic to peppermint. Dab on cotton balls and place in area of infestation. Or, mix with water and pour into a spray bottle; spritz rodent-infested areas with the mixture.

11. Use electronic mouse traps if you’re super squeamish.

You won’t have to see or touch the mouse. It’s also one of the more humane methods out there.

12. Use a safety pin and a string to zip up the back of a dress.

1) Tie one end of a ribbon/string through the circular end of the safety pin, tying a knot to secure it in place.
2) Hook the safety pin through the hole in your zipper.
3) Use the string to pull the zipper up.

In the photo: there’s a product that does this, but you could easily make your own.

13. Use scotch tape to put on a bracelet.

It’ll keep one end in place while you hook the clasp.

14. Use baking soda and vinegar to unclog a drain.

1) Pour 3/4-1 cup of baking soda in the drain.
2) Pour 1/2 cup vinegar in the drain and immediately cover the drain with a plate.
3) Wait 30 minutes, then uncover and run hot water for 2-3 mins.
4) Repeat for really tough clogs.

15. Use dishwasher soap and hot water to unclog a toilet.

Pour hot water and dishwashing detergent into a toilet before plunging.

16. Put a duvet cover on in 24 seconds.

1) Fold the duvet cover into quarters so one long opening is facing you.
2) Fold the duvet into quarters.
3) Slide the duvet, long crease first, into the opening of the duvet cover.
4) With your fingers, hold the two open corners of the duvet cover, along with the duvet corners. Shake it out.

17. Wrap a shower cap around an overly-sensitive smoke detector.

Secure with a rubber band. Now you’ll never have to get on a ladder to turn it off every time you cook or take a shower.

18. Put bay leaves in nooks and crannies to keep roaches away.

19. Place a damp paper towel over your leftovers while microwaving.

One thing that sucks about leftovers is how the rice/pasta hardens up. This trick steams and rehydrates your food.

20. Buy organic milk.

It keeps way longer than regular milk.

21. Use a set of tongs to reach an item on a high shelf.

Like these 12” long Oxo Good Grips tongs, $12.99 from Amazon.

22. Use a small paint roller to apply lotion or sunscreen to your back.

23. Save time by using your dishwasher to wash things other than dishes.

Examples of things you can clean in your dishwasher: plastic hairbrushes and combs, rain boots, flip flops, baseball caps, broom heads, dustpans, potatoes, garden tools, pet toys, ceiling fan faceplates, mop heads, license plates, sink sponges, computer keyboards, makeup brushes, light fixtures, and hubcaps.
Things you shouldn’t put in there: wooden cutting boards and utensils, cast-iron pots and pans, your cat.

24. Invest in a home alarm system.

This one by SimpliSafe starts at $14.99/month.

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Dolphins Like Radiohead And Science Has Proved This

1. Siegfried And Roy’s Secret Garden And Dolphin Habitat in Las Vegas have noticed something interesting happen at their Yoga With Dolphins classes.

Shutterstock / Pannochka

Classes are hosted in a windowed room next to the dolphin enclosure. Instructor Willow Withy (because of course that’s her name) has noticed a change in their behaviour when she puts the music on. She told RadarOnline: “Our dolphins seem to really resonate with Radiohead music, especially the song “Lotus Flower”.”

2. “Lotus Flower”, you may remember, is the one where Thom Yorke does the dancing.

3. Willow says the song makes the dolphins happy.

Shutterstock / Willyam Bradberry

She continued: “As soon as I put it on, they come up to the window and their play patterns become more fluid, friendly, and they are curious about what is going on in the yoga room. They rub their noses against the windows, walls, and express more sensory communication. It feels like a mutually shared experience as they appreciate the yoga and music together. I would say they are happy.”
The only other soundtrack to elicit a similar response in the dolphins is the sitar music of Anoushka Shankar.”

4. There is a scientific basis to this.

Shutterstock / Igor Zh

Tori Cullins of the Wild Dolphin Foundation said: “Different types of music different effects. The percussive tunes seem to provoke the most interesting responses. It is a tell-tale sign when they look into the windows that the sounds are changing their behaviour.”

She added: “I haven’t heard of them listening specifically to Radiohead, but it is common knowledge among our community that they like new-agey music like Enya. Rock music tends to stress them out and jazz is the worst, while classical and country music has seen them relaxed. Human beings react in different ways to music so it is logical that certain music can trigger different reactions.”

7. …leads directly to this.

Dolphin disco!

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Watch This Dog Push A Puppy To The Park In A Tiny Shopping Cart

1. This is Maymo the lemon beagle pushing Penny the puppy in a tiny shopping cart.

2. Apparently, they’re going to the park, and this is the best means of transportation.

3. And they’re both, like, totally into it.

4. Of course, the park isn’t next door, so Maymo and Penny have to go on an adventure.

5. So Maymo pushes Penny down the sidewalk.

6. And past some graffiti.

7. And through a garden.

8. And on a boat for some reason???

9. And FINALLY they make it to the park.

10. And have, like, the best time ever.

11. On the spinning thing.

12. And on the swings.

13. And basically they just had the greatest adventure to the park ever.

14. Watch the whole video here and find more of Maymo on Facebook.

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Woman Who Lifts Things With Her Vagina Travels The World To Show It Off

Kim AnamiKim Anami

Kim Anami

If the name Kim Anami doesn’t ring a bell, allow us to introduce you: Anami is a sex coach turned vaginal weightlifter and founder of vaginal kung fu.

Since launching her career as a vaginal fitness guru, she’s dedicated her time to extolling the benefits of lifting weights using your vaginal muscles.

Yeah, it’s weird — but to be honest, kind of intriguing.

Last year, Anami went on a world tour of sorts to “educate people about [vaginas] in a playful and provocative way,” adding that a strong vagina “has many benefits for women.”

Along the way, she documented her travels and her, um, exercise in each place via Instagram, showing off her strength and lifting items such as rambutans (a type of Balinese fruit), surfboards and — a favorite — garden gnomes.

She created the hashtag #ThingsILiftWithMyVagina specially for the “vagina tour,” as she calls it.

Of the inspiration behind her Instagram series, Anami says,

I want every woman to know that she, too, can shoot ping pong balls from her vagina. It’s not just a skill reserved for some special Thai vaginas.

Well, ladies, it looks like we all have some work to do — that is, unless, you already possess said ping pong talent (in which case, brava).

Check out some photos from Anami’s vagina voyages below and follow her on Instagram and Twitter for more.

Lifting: The Rambutan

Lifting: Bananas

Lifting: Donuts

Lifting: Amethyst Crystal


Lifting: Cold-Pressed Juice

Lifting: A Surfboard

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