High Adrenaline Sports Don’t Have to be Dangerous

Adrenaline junkies know that there is no better thrill than tackling a black run on skis, parachuting out of an aeroplane or completing a challenging climb then abseiling back down to the bottom. The problem is that with that sort of adrenaline rush comes danger, and even with the best safety measures possible, people are going to get hurt taking part in these sorts of sports. There is definitely a balance to be struck between safety and exhilaration though, and there are a few sports which combine excitement in a safer environment. Continue reading

World Record Breaking Jigsaws

I’m sure that almost everyone has attempted a jigsaw puzzle at some point. Of course they’re generally associated with the young and the old but that’s not always the case! Jigsaws are good value and provide a long period of stimulated entertainment and that’s just two of the reasons why they’re loved so much. Like with anything, people are naturally drawn to push the boundaries of their hobbies and jigsaws are no different! We’ll take a look now at two of the biggest jigsaws that I’ve seen in recent years!

Photo of Hand Cut Jigsaw by Charles Hamm via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 3.0)

Photo of Hand Cut Jigsaw by Charles Hamm via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 3.0)

Vietnam – The World’s Largest Jigsaw

The Guinness World Record for the world’s largest jigsaw puzzle goes to Vietnam! Well, more specifically the students at the University of Economics of Ho Chi Minh City. This massive puzzle was assembled in a in a stadium in Ho Chi Minh City by a massive crew of 1600 students, with teams of two tackling specific sections of the puzzle.

The previous world record was held in Singapore and featured a puzzle with 212,323 pieces. Vietnam’s had a whopping 551,232 pieces; that’s over twice as many pieces. It’s probably of no surprise then to learn that Vietnam’s puzzle took the 1600 strong team a lengthy 17 hours to complete.

Of course a jigsaw puzzle is always about the finished picture and the University of Economics of Ho Chi Minh City had decided on a lotus flower for theirs, which as Guinness World Records say featured “six petals in symbolic representation of the six areas of knowledge envisaged by the Mindmap study method: human beings, geography, history, culture, education and economy”; a perfect tribute to their area of learning.

Largest Hand-Made Jigsaw

This world record is hot off the press! So much in fact it hasn’t been declared official just yet. Dave Evans, a professional jigsaw maker used his skills to hand cut a jigsaw of 40,000 pieces! The jigsaw was made not only to set a new Guinness World Record, but also to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. The chosen design featured images taken during the Jubilee celebrations in 2012.

Over a period of 35 days Dave Evans cut out the 40,000 pieces of the puzzle but this doesn’t give you a sense of how much time really went into the project. It had been in planning for over 10 years! In April 2013 Dave Evans made his dream a reality and constructed his masterpiece, only there was a surprise in store!

Whilst adding some of the final pieces into the near-vertical jigsaw puzzle the whole thing collapsed! The video that was being recorded for the sake of Guinness World Records recorded the whole thing and has since been uploaded by Dave to YouTube where it has received an almost viral reception. After this apparent disaster Dave received a number of generous offers to help reassemble the jigsaw, and that they did! Everything turned out alright in the end and in May the jigsaw went on display at Sandringham House.

Getting Started Yourself

If making a 40,000 piece jigsaw is a bit out of your league or assembling a 551,232 piece puzzle a little more commitment than you’d like right now, you can pick up a standard jigsaw puzzle at many online and offline stores. You can get the whole family involved in puzzle building and you will even find wooden puzzles built especially for children from brands such as this one, so yo can train them up! It’s easy to put aside some space and get set up, perhaps using a large wooden board and sliding it under the sofa when you’re not working on it. The beauty of a puzzle is that you can come back to it whenever you like, making progress piece by piece, there’s really no rush at all!

What if you want to learn to Flamenco Dance?

What is Flamenco Exactly?

A true Flamenco performance is made up of a number of parts, the Baile, Toque, Cante and the Palmas.  Each one of these parts plays a crucial role in a traditional and authentic Flamenco performance.  The Baile is the familiar dance, the Toque is the Flamenco guitar, the Cante is the singing and the Palmas is the distinctive clapping.  The best Flamenco performances display mastery in all of these areas!


Flamenco Dancer by Ruggero Poggianella via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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Choosing My First Guitar

I’m a complete novice when it comes to guitars and guitar playing.  I’ve only ever played guitar on friend’s Acoustic and Electric models.  Recently I have decided to try and enrich my life with some new hobbies and learning to play guitar is one of them.

Initially I was quite daunted.  The guitar market is vast and saturated, with retailers and manufacturers competing to get your business.  From the start I was extremely eager to get myself a guitar that wasn’t just suitable for my ‘complete beginner’ level, but one that would also do me as my skills advanced (hopefully!) too.

Classical Guitar

Classical Guitar photo by Rose2727 via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

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