I'm a huge fan of Quidco. In my mind, it's essentially an opportunity to get paid to shop. So I was very excited to get the opportunity to try out their new iPhone app.
If you haven't heard of the site before, it's a cashback site where you can click through to hundreds of your favourite shops and earn a little money back every time you shop. So for example you can login to Quidco, search for New Look (who offer 8% cashback at the moment), click through to the site and shop as usual. You'll then earn 8% cashback on anything you buy from them. It's not just online shopping either - add your debit/credit card details and you can earn cashback in stores like Debenhams.
Lifestyle sites run by celebrities are, generally, a bit annoying. Take Gwyneth Paltrow's 'Goop'. It's smug, pretentious and far too expensive for the average person.
But Zooey Deschanel's new collaboration with producer Sophia Rossi and blogger/web personality Molly McAleer is brilliant. It's funny, interesting and covers everything from cute animal videos to handy guides and fashion pieces.
Apparently, HelloGiggles.com is "ultimate entertainment destination for smart, independent and creative females". Sounds perfect to us!
Oh, and they get a 12-year-old to blog about what things 12-year-old boys do that's annoying. Which is genius.
But king of the narcissistic snippet is one Arthur Kade, whose Tweets have the nerdy, self-aggrandising quality of someone touching-typing blindly as they stare helplessly into the mirror, captured by the awesomeness of their own reflection.
Not only do these women kick arse and take names in the politest way imaginable (just watch what one of the ladies does when she meets an "objectionable gentleman" who will insist on kissing her), but they also manage to do it in high heels and full party gear. One of the ladies even shows a rather daring flash of white knickers when she's throwing a brute over her shoulder. Speaking as a woman who finds it difficult to complete even the rudimentary basics of kickboxing whilst wearing jogging bottoms and trainers, you can't help but admire their chutzpah. Indeed, it proves that even back then, ladies were not afraid of punching muggers in the balls when the situation so required.
I'm a firm believer that women should learn how to defend themselves, particularly in light of the worrying rise in sexual orientated violence. Whilst knowing how to kick an assailant to the curb isn't the same as actually doing it in practice, just knowing the techniques will help you to turn fear into power if you ever find yourself in a difficult situation . And, as these videos prove, it is indeed possible to elbow a chap in the solar plexus without messing up your hair.
I love Black Metal. At least in idea, if not in actual practice. As amusing comedy musical genres go, it's the tops. What's not to love about a load of men indulging in sweaty homoerotic past times involving goats blood, sacrificial virgins and more make up than a branch of Superdrug?
As you also may have gathered, I also have a bit of a soft spot for domesticity. Please bear in mind that an appreciation of domesticity doesn't mean that I'm particularly great at it. The current state of the attic room I live in is testament to that. I can't sew, knitting appears to be a task beyond the limitations of my motor skills, and, I'll let you into a secret here. I can't iron to save my life.
If, like my good self, your forté lies more in the baking side of affairs, then any sweet toothed appreciator of Thrash will appreciate The Black Oven, a blog dedicated to how to make Immaculate confections succumbed to northern darkness
The Black Oven is a work of wonder. Not only are the recipes so damn tasty, you'll be sacrificing the first of each batch to Odin, the cooking methods show that the production of fine confectionary is a dark art indeed. Somehow I can't imagine that you ever find Jamie Oliver telling Channel 4 viewers that their Les Petit Gateau de Légions-Noires are best enjoyed with a clenched hand to the heart in coronary distress.
Anyone who spends any amount of time with me will know that there is a little space in my heart that will always be reserved for a good notebook.
Perhaps it is because I'm an old romantic at heart, or perhaps it's because me and Microsoft Word have a...strained relationship at best, but I've always found that I manage to put down all the stuff and nonsense I carry around in my head best when I have pen and paper to hand.
I'm not particularly fussy, either. I love the glittery spiral-bound notebook I bought at a car boot sale when I was twelve just as much as the fancy-pants Moleskine journal I cart around nowadays. And don't even get me started on typewriters. My Dad had to ban me from buying the things from junk shops and jumble sales when I was a Jack Kerouac-obsessed teenager because I kept messing up my bedroom carpet with the ink from the ribbons.
So, its not all that surprising that I've fallen in love with the rather wonderful blog Strikethru.
Sometimes I sit down and wonder what I could have achieved in my life by now if I wasn't constantly becoming distracted by the massive time gobbler known as the Internet. I love the Internet. I love the weird distractions it manages to throw in your direction, mostly when it is Sunday afternoon and you've got a feature to file by 9am the next morning. Instead of being good, making myself a cup of tea and actually getting down to some work yesterday, I managed to get bogged down in what is arguably one of the best blogs I've seen in ages, the rather amazing Sexy People.
As Briony and I share a name, I thought I'd let her tell her side of the story when it comes to sieving oneself from the internets:
I've actually developed something of a phobia, in recent times, of Googling my own name. Ever since I got fired for writing ill remarks about a former colleague on a tiny music forum, which he managed to locate due to the fact he Googled his name (oh, how implausible it was I thought he'd ever discover my words of malice!), I have this fear that as soon as I type in my name and hit return, an entry will pop up onto my screen, offering content such as "Briony Edwards looks like shit ALL THE TIME", "Briony Edwards is an absolute dickhead", and so on. However, committed and determined journalist that I am (err... yeah), I faced my fear and, thankfully, the offerings were insult free.
The front page sees a couple of my recent Dolly Mix posts, which is nice, as before now, Google hasn't deemed any of my output as search-result worthy material (fair call, Google). Now I OWN that front page. Beyond that, there's links to a couple of very ordinary and pleasant seeming women on Facebook. Obviously I clicked onto these women to see how I fare amongst the other Briony Edwards' of this world (wow, I wonder how many times I am going to fit "Briony Edwards" into this post). In my investigations, I discovered that not only does one of them share just a name with me, but also a birthday. What are the chances! In a flush of irrationality, my first thoughts were that she was trying to steal my identity.....
So Credit crunch has officially stopped being an overused aphorism cum potential Ben and Jerry's flavour, and started being an actual reason for some serious and very unpleasant upheavals. As such, recruitment consultants are foaming at their already be-fanged pieholes, and the HR blogosphere, not to mention job sites in general, are awash with dodgy information and syndicated 'advice.'
I stumbled across one the other day whilst doing some client research, and was intrigued to see that, across the board, the number one top tip was Google Yourself.Not as in 'get a job where the office has slides and one day a week is All. About. You. (Champ.)' but as in take the plunge and do a search for your full name. Because, apparently, that is what the person reading your latest application will do.
Now, I'm not in the can-haz-new-job market, but I got curious, and seeing as my name is pretty unusual (pretty certain there are no other Bryony Pamela Beynons) I thought I'd see what Big G threw up Re:me, as I'd not done it for a while. To what would have been my facepalm-esque horror if I had been job-hunting, nestled between the press releases, stuff about my zine, band, whatever, was what has to be the ultimate putter-offer of a Google result for a potential employer, even if it was from the Guardian...
I don't think I come off as too much of a dolt to be fair - you can still read the whole article here - I might have thought twice about being interviewed for the Guardian if I'd given a second thought to the fact that NOTHING DIES ON THE INTERWEBS.
What's the weirdest thing that comes up when you Google your name?
I have suddenly become my own worst nightmare, one of those women who write about sex. UGH.
If you've ever wondered about the er, ins and outs of your moral fiber, then Calculators Live could be the website for you. Using an array of variables, the Calculators Live website offers a number of calculators which work out everything from how much it would be possible to increase your penis size by (in inches), to the average number of sexual partners of contemporaries in your area, so that you can work out where you stand in the ranks of the promiscuous.
It's probably best to bear in mind that this is the internet, so the most likely demographic for this stuff will be teenagers and virgins. So don't feel bad when your result comes out topping the average.
As a joyous aside, if you've ever wondered if your boyfriend is a sufferer of premature ejaculation, Live Calculator also offers a calculator to work out just how premature he may be. Enjoy.