Celebrating National Beard Day

If there is going to be a national celebration for anything, then beards are as good as subject as any. This Saturday(September 2nd)  sees National Beard Day, a celebration of all faces hairy and beautiful. It is no secret that I am partial to a hirsute man, with French and Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud being my number one crush, so Saturday is definitely a day close to my heart.

Beards have certainly grown (to pardon the pun) in popularity in recent years, you only have to look at how many instagram feeds are dedicated to beards to realise that. But if you think that a beard is an easy option that you just allow to grow and cut out shaving, then you are sorely mistaken. The modern beard is a well groomed, well sculpted facial adornment, which is pampered and preened with beard shampoo and conditioner, beard oils and balms, moustache wax and pomades, and very often it has its own comb and brush to ensure the styling is on point. Beards have become big beauty business with their own shelf in the male grooming aisle of Boots and Superdrug. Manscaping is definitely a thing.

Lucky for me, I have my own hot beardy man who is definitely in tune when it comes to male styling. Pete is a real fan of the Dear Barber Grooming set from Just My Look. In particular, this set has a great beard oil which helps keep Pete’s beard in tip top condition, taming stray hairs whilst having just the slightest hint of fragrance, making it not too sweet and cloying. It is also a decent sized bottle at 30ml, this should last for quite some time as you only need a few drops at a time. The kit comes in a wonderfully retro looking box and also contains a Dear Barber moustache wax and a great quality wooden beard comb. This is a wonderful gift for the upcoming festive season and would certainly be appreciated by anyone who loves to groom their beard.

Don’t Be Fooled By Fake Sterling Silver Jewellery

Why Is There So Much Fake Sterling Silver Jewellery Around?

As the price of silver as an investment rises, so the price of silver jewellery goes up. Sterling silver is 92.5% pure silver, and so is a costly metal. For this reason, there is a lot of fake silver on the market and a lot of silver-like alloys being passed off as sterling silver.

Not All That Sparkles Is Silver

S925 Silver is Sterling Silver, it is 92.5% pure silver alloyed with another metal, usually copper. This is the silver from which prized jewellery is fashioned. There are other alloys claiming to be silver, but they aren’t 92.5% the real thing. Watch out for EPNS, it is a nickel alloy which contains no silver unless it is silver-plated. Beware also of Alpaca silver, German silver, and Tibetan silver. These are all alloys containing considerably less silver than bona fide sterling silver. Finally, be cautious when offered 925 FAS silver, there is confusion about this acronym and some jewellery of doubtful provenance is stamped with it. An online jeweller like Silver by Mail in the UK will not trade in such alloys.

Ways To Spot Fake Sterling Silver

Here are some ways to stop yourself being fooled by fake sterling silver jewellery.

Exercise caution. Consider the price of what you are being offered. If it seems the deal is just too good to be true, then it probably isn’t true. When you purchase silver as jewellery, it is more costly than its price by weight because value is added when it is made into jewellery. Cheap jewellery is highly unlikely to be Sterling Silver.
Take a soft cotton cloth and rub the jewellery. Sterling Silver should leave a black smudge on the cloth. If the cloth is left clean, then the jewellery certainly isn’t silver. This property of silver was used in the medieval period when plans for cathedrals were drawn on sheets of linen with silver, not lead, pencils.
Check for stamps and hallmarks. All Sterling Silver is stamped or hallmarked. If there are no stamps, it isn’t silver. Also look carefully at any stamps which are on it. These should be firmly stamped into the jewellery and easy to inspect. Faint stamps, stamps obscured by plating, and stamps simply reading ‘silver’ are dubious, and jewellery carrying them cannot be trusted.
With larger pieces of jewellery, rub the surface of the jewellery with your thumb, then smell the silver. Sterling Silver is virtually odourless. If the jewellery emits a dirty metallic smell, it is not authentic sterling silver jewellery.
Sterling silver is non-ferrous, and so, will not be attracted to a magnet. Pass a small magnet by the jewellery, if there is even the slightest magnetic reaction, you can be assured the jewellery is fake.
Finally, there are acid tests which can be performed to check whether jewellery is silver or not. These can be dangerous and are probably best left to professionals in laboratories. However, if you are feeling brave, a small amount of nitric acid can be placed on the jewellery. If the surface turns green, then the jewellery is not Sterling Silver. If it goes cloudy grey, then it is real.

So you can use your common sense, eyes, nose, handkerchief, magnet or nitric acid (as a last resort) to avoid buying fake Sterling Silver.

3 Tips to learning bingo calls

Bingo is a game where players mark off numbers on their card as they’re being called randomly by the the caller. These callers are the game masters, their job is to preside the game, call out the numbers, and validate winning tickets.

 

Bingo calls are the terms or nicknames used by professional callers to refer to the numbers being called out in a game. Although originally from the UK, it has been adopted pretty much in other countries’ versions of the game too. These bingo calls are typically rhymes and phrases, so that instead of calling the actual number 3, the caller says “Cup of tea” or “You and me”. It’s a fun way to add variety and excitement to the hall. If you’re new to playing bingo, it may take some time to learn all of them, but you’ll eventually get used to it. There are 90 of them, with some numbers having more than one nickname.

 

For a potential caller, no doubt to you need to learn bingo calls one way or the other. If want to get a head start at learning the names, read the following tips and master them all in no time!

 

 

  • Start the game right

 

It’s important for any game master to start with proper introduction. Before you start calling out numbers, make sure you announce how many games you’re playing. Also, let the audience know how you’re going to sell the tickets, and for what kind of combination you’ll be playing first.

 

 

  • Learn the nicknames

 

Calling bingo numbers with their corresponding rhymes are a fun way to facilitate a game. Although it’s not not being used so much recently as it has a tendency to slow down the game, it’s still being actively practiced in charity and social events.

 

Check with the organizer if you’re required to use nicknames as some local bingo games don’t allow it. Don’t be afraid to make up your own, as long as it rhymes, and it’s fun. The entire purpose of bingo calls is to make it easier for the players to clarify the numbers. It also add a dash of wit and humor to an otherwise boring feat of crossing out digits from a bunch of tickets.

 

Bingo calls are generally grouped according to rhyme and reason. Some numbers have two nicknames. Say the number 20 could be called a score (reason) or “getting plenty” (rhyme). Whatever you use depends on your preference. Once you wrap your head around these rhymes and reasons, it’ll be easier to remember all the nicknames. Read up on the entire list and learn them by heart. Answer online quizzes and observe actual games too. Good luck!

 

 

  • More calling tips

 

Professional bingo calling is a form of public speaking. Even if you’re just announcing number after number, the fact that you’re in front of an audience may give you stage fright. Remember to not rush. It’s better to go slowly and surely than have players mishear and mismark a number because you’re stuttering and not being clear.

 

Shake up the numbers before drawing. It gives the effect that you’re mixing them enough and is giving out a truly random call. This will make you look more credible to the players as well.

 

Lastly, don’t forget to enjoy the game and have fun!