Archive | July 2016

What Ever Happened to… the cast of The Full Monty?

Following on from our Yorkshire Netflix blog post yesterday, we thought we’d take a trip down memory lane to see where the cast of The Full Monty are today – and what they got up to subsequently. Can you believe it will celebrate it’s 20th anniversary next year?!

Robert Carlyle – Gaz

robert carlyle the full monty

This man still scares the bejaysus out of me on sight (though that’s more to do with his Trainspotting role rather than his pale bum in this film).

Robert did a convincing Sheffield accent in the film and is frequently English on screen but is actually Scottish.  Before The Full Monty he appeared as creepy serial killer Ablie in‘Cracker’, a gay lover in ‘Priest’, the lead role in ‘Hamish McBeth’ and of course played Begbie in ‘Trainspotting’.

Robert went on to play the dad in ‘Angela’s Ashes’, Daffy in ‘The Beach’, Don in ’28 Weeks Later’, Felix in ’51st State’, Hitler in ‘Hitler: The Rise of Evil’

robert carlyle hitler

.. a part less scary than Begbie, and he played the lead baddie Renard in James Bond film‘The World is Not Enough’.

robert carlyle the world is not enough

He also popped up in the Oasis video for ‘Little By Little’ in 2002.

Tom Wilkinson – Gerald

tom wilkinson full monty

Before ‘The Full Monty’ Tom had only appeared in TV productions and the odd film like‘Sense and Sensibility’ but he now the go-to man in Hollywood if you need a gruff looking businessman.

He starred in ‘Shakespeare in Love’, ‘Batman Begins’, ‘Michael Clayton’, ‘The Exorcism of Emily Rose’, ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’, and was Oscar nominated for his role as a grief stricken dad in ‘In The Bedroom’.

More recently you’ve seen him as the CIA boss in ‘Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol’.

 

.. and he played Grahan in ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ alongside every British actor over the age of 42.

the best exotic marigold hotel tom wilkinson

Up next we’ll see Tom opposite Johnny Depp in ‘The Lone Ranger’.

He lives in London with his wife, actress Diana Hardcastle (the woman beside Judi Dench in the pic above), and their two daughters.


Mark Addy – Dave

mark addy full monty

Mark also appeared in the police sitcom ‘The Thin Blue Line’, and in a series of Tesco ads with Fay Ripley ..

 

..and played Fred Flinstone in ‘The Flintstones In Viva Rock Vegas’.

mark addy fred flintstone

Mark played Friar Tuck in Ridley Scott’s ‘Robin Hood’ and most recently tucked himself under a mighty beard duvet to play Robert Baratheon in ‘Game of Thrones’. 

mark addy game of thrones

More recently Mark plays Hercules in the new BBC ‘Doctor Who is on holiday’ slot-filler ‘Atlantis’. 

atlantis mark addy

He lives with his wife Kelly and their three kids near his childhood hometown York.

Paul Barber – Horse

paul barber full monty

Liverpudlian man Paul is best known for playing Denzel on ‘Only Fools and Horses’. More recently he teamed up with Robert Carlyle once again for ‘The 51st State’ and he played ‘The Captain’ in Sky One’s ‘Sinbad’.

Steve Huison – Lomper

steve huson the full monty

Steve has also appeared in ‘The Royle Family’, ‘Heartbeat’, ‘The Royal Today’ and most famously played Eddie Windass on ‘Coronation Street’.  More recently he dragged up to play ‘Fat Brenda’ on stage –

steve huison fat brenda

A stage character based on the never-seen ‘Fat Brenda’, an oft-mentioned Streetcars worker on ‘Coronation Street’.

steve huison 2013

Hugo Speer – Guy

Hugo has since appeared on the flop soap ‘Echo Beach’, played Nicole Kidman’s brother in ‘The Interpreter’ and appeared in the hit BBC production of ‘Bleak House’.

He narrates ‘Cops with Cameras’ and Channel 5’s ‘The Bachelor’ and in 2014 he starred as Captain Treville in the BBC’s ‘The Three Musketeers’. 

If you fancy a career in Acting, take a look through our Performing Arts courses here at The Sheffield College today. Click here for more information

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Apprenticeships – Alternative, Not Inferior

Further academic study and university isn’t for everyone. For some a more hands-on approach, such as an Apprenticeship, is what suits their learning best and is what suits there development. This article from notgoingtouni.co.uk might open a few of your eyes to the wonders of an Apprenticeship.

You probably have an idea of what an apprenticeship is anyway. You might think that it is something for those who are ‘not clever enough’ to go to university, or maybe you think that an apprenticeship is only any use if you want to go into a manual job – like plumbing, hairdressing, or as a car mechanic?

These ideas of what an apprenticeship most likely come from your parents, friends, or even teachers. But have you ever looked into apprenticeships yourself? If not, you might be surprised by what you are missing – as well as realising that, sometimes at least, the advice you get may not actually be right!

Will going to  university lead to a better career?

Let’s put it another way; you have probably been told that going to university will lead to a better career – despite the fact that you need to think about the cost. But what if you could get into that same career right away, without the tuition fees, and with a wage? Indeed, what if apprenticeships made you more employable? Surely that would be something to consider?

The benefits of apprentices

The fact is that a lot of different industries are waking up to the benefit of taking on apprentices, meaning that some careers that were previously only available to graduates can now be entered as an apprentice. You can, for example, take an apprenticeship in law – not just saving you time and money on going to university – but also offering immediate job-relevant work experience as you train.

Former apprentices are happier than graduates

Despite a lot of young people seeing apprenticeships as less desirable than university, research has shown that former apprentices are happier in their work than graduates, while apprentices also stand a much better chance of finding suitable and relevant work once they qualify. In short, that equals better prospects and more job satisfaction! This has led some of the brightest students to start wondering if there is any point in going to university?

University is not better than an apprenticeship

For some people, university is the right choice, and there are still some career paths that demand a degree. But it is no longer true that university is ‘better’ than an apprenticeship. Often they are just different routes to the same destination – it is all about which suits you more. But then again, you won’t know unless you take a look at apprenticeships for yourself!

If you like the sound of an Apprenticeship, check out our vast range of vacancies – with some fantastic employers – that we currently have here at The Sheffield College. Click here for more…

Facts You Didn’t Know About The London 2012 Opening Ceremony

Before I start, this BuzzFeed article had 50 amazing facts to it. 50! That on it’s own highlights what an incredible job Danny Boyle did back in 2012. Here we’ve picked our favourites ahead of tonight’s Opening Ceremony in Rio.

Steve Pond / PA ARCHIVE IMAGES

1. According to Danny Boyle, the link between all of the segments in the opening ceremony is “the idea that we can build Jerusalem. And that it will be for everyone.”

2. Nearly all of the 10,000 performers in the opening ceremony were volunteers who rehearsed in their spare time and had no previous dancing or acting experience.

3. The bell you hear at the very start of the ceremony was made by the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, which is the oldest manufacturing company in Britain, dating back to 1570.

4. The bell is inscribed with the words “Be not afeard, the isle is full of noises”, from Shakespeare’s The Tempest. These words were read at the ceremony by Kenneth Branagh, who was playing Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

Olympics / youtube.com

 

5. Relatives of notable suffragettes were invited to be in the audience for the sequence.

6. The pause during the Industrial Revolution sequence is supposed to reflect all wars in all countries throughout the world, not just World Wars I and II.

7. A team of performers were underneath the rings when they collided, and there were concerns that they would be burnt. They were told to shake the embers off.

8. If it had rained, the flames falling from the Olympic rings would never have happened.

9. For the next sequence, “Happy and Glorious”, in which the Queen met Daniel Craig, Danny Boyle and his team were planning to cast a double if the monarch said no.

10. The Queen agreed before Craig did, due to complications in his schedule.

11. They managed to film the Queen sequence at Buckingham Palace in two takes, in the room where she normally meets prime ministers.

12. The Queen was not supposed to say anything in the film, but she asked if she could.

13. The Queen and Bond were originally supposed to land in the stadium itself, but due to concerns about the overhead wires, Boyle decided they should land outside.

14. A BBC documentary on the Olympics claims that health secretary Jeremy Hunt, who was then the culture secretary, wanted to reduce or cut the NHS sequence entirely. A spokesman for Hunt denies this and says that he was only concerned about the show’s length so that people would get home safely

15. Nearly all of the volunteers for the NHS sequence were doctors and nurses. Many had gone straight from night shifts to rehearsals.

16. During the ceremony itself, nine patients from Great Ormond Street children’s hospital were invited to appear on the hill in the stadium and watch the sequence.

Steve Pond / PA ARCHIVE IMAGES

 

17. The giant house in the middle of the stadium [above], was also inflated seconds before the sequence took place. A second house was made of foam.

18. When Tim Berners-Lee was unveiled under the house typing on a computer, words saying “This Is For Everyone” were published on his Twitter account.

19. There were great concerns that the Athlete’s Parade was going to be too long because it cannot be rehearsed.

20. The drummers from the Industrial Revolution sequence became marshals and were asked to bang to the drums to keep everyone moving.

21. The tote bag the mother carried when she opened the door in the “Thanks Tim” sequence was the same pattern as the outfits the marshals wore during the Athlete’s Parade.

OBS / Via youtube.com

Courtesy of Jamie Smy

22. The confetti that fell when Great Britain marched out was in 7 billion pieces, supposed to represent every single person on Earth.

Afp / Getty Images

23. Each of the 204 countries that participated walked out during the Athlete’s Parade with a copper petal. The petals were then secretly taken underneath the middle of the stadium to be attached to the Thomas Heatherwick-designed cauldron afterwards.

24. The cauldron had to be extinguished not long after the ceremony so it could be moved to the edge of the stadium for the athletics, but a flame was kept in a miner’s lantern and the cauldron was then relit by a torchbearer from the 1948 games.

25. The cauldron sequence was rehearsed many times in middle of the night so it wouldn’t be spotted by volunteers and newspaper photographers. There was a no-fly zone imposed above the stadium during testing.

26. Overall 27 million people watched the opening ceremony in Britain. More than 19 million people were still watching the ceremony passed midnight.

Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images

Incredible performance. Incredible backstory. Simply magical, Rio has a lot to live up to tomorrow evening. If you dream of putting on a performance anywhere close to the magnitude of Danny Boyle’s masterpiece, then look no further than our Production courses here at The Sheffield College. Click here for more.

Six Yorkshire-Inspired Shows To Tuck Into On Netflix

Netflix. What on earth would we do without you? Your favourite web-based app is now providing original series’ and your favourite programmes straight to your smart tele. Technology, eh?! Wow247 have compiled 6 of their favourite Yorkshire-inspired shows for you to sink your teeth into…

Happy Valley

The BBC crime drama was an enormous hit throughout its first two series.

Starring the irrepressible Sarah Lancashire as Sgt Catherine Cawood (whisper it queitly – she’s Lancastrian!), it’s a gripping, gritty thriller set and filmed in and around Hebden Bridge. It’s a recent success, too, meaning you’re not too far behind the curve on this one.

Sharpe

Richard Sharpe

Before Yorkshire’s prodigal son started crowing on about the fact that winter was coming, he was best known as hunky soldier Sharpe: a war hero from the early 1800s who took on the world single-handedly and pretty much sent them packing each and every time.

Still brilliant all these years on.

Residue

Not one of the better known inclusions on this particular list, Residue is an intense and dark independent mini series penned and put together by the Screen Yorkshire production team for Netflix.

The conspiracy thriller, which is set in London but filmed in Leeds, stars Game of Thrones almuni Natalia Tena and Iwan Rheon. Keep your eyes peeled for Leeds landmarks such as Mojo’s, Kirkgate Market, Call Lane and the Queens Hotel.

Educating Yorkshire

Educating Yorkshire

Very much a ‘watercooler’ programme on its initial broadcast, this became part of the national conversation throughout its run in 2013.

The reality show follows the every day goings on at a secondary school in Dewsbury, focusing heavily on the human struggles of growing up. There’s laughter, tears and the odd dose of inspiration.

The Full Monty

Full Monty

Very much a modern icon of our cinematic cultural history, Peter Cattaneo’s Oscar-nominated film is surely the go-to Yorkshire feature flick.

Forget the ever-so-slightly questionable Robert Carlyle accent: it tells the hilarious yet poignant story of a group of laid-off Sheffield steel workers in their struggle to regain confidence and employment. Via the art of stripping.

The Trip

The Trip

A cult comedy starring Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan as slightly distorted version of themselves, The Trip found international acclaim when it hit BBC Two in 2010.

Series one sees the bickering, impression-loving comics travelling throughout the north to review some of the country’s finest restaurants – two of which are happily situated in our fine county, and show off a fair helping of our beautiful surroundings.

Must admit, as fantastic as The Trip is we totally forgot they visited some of Yorkshire’s finest restaurants. Sadly, the missed out the best hidden gem of all. Whilst it may not receive the royal fanfare of a Michelin Starred diner, Coogan and Brydon will be kicking themselves the didn’t feast at The Silver Plate; our very own student-run restaurant. For a chance to work at our award winning eatery, check out our Catering courses here...

A 19-year-old created a free robot lawyer that has beaten 160,000 parking tickets

I think we’d all agree that robots are pretty impressive. From the destructive type on the now resurrected Robot Wars, to this helpful little messenger-bot…

The very first robot lawyer that was designed to challenge parking tickets has been wildly successful since it was launched last Autumn.

robot lawyerJoshua Browder

British programmer Joshua Browder, 19, launched the beta version of the bot in London in September. In that month alone, 3,000 people used the service to appeal their parking tickets. By February, it had already appealed $3 million worth of parking tickets.

In April, Browder launched the bot in New York as well. To-date, the bot has successfully appealed between 160,000 of 250,000 parking tickets in both London and New York, giving it a 64% success rate.

The artificial-intelligence lawyer shows how bots can seriously help people settle difficult and costly issues instead of just being used for things like ordering food.

Here’s how it works: simply visit DoNotPay and make an account. From there, the chatbot will ask questions about your parking violation, like whether there were signs indicating you couldn’t park. If you answer a question that shows you could have a case, the bot will help generate an appeal.

Many companies are investing in bots, most notably Facebook. The tech giant launched a series of Messenger Bots in April to do tasks like order flowers or provide the weather forecast, but like many users, Browder was disappointed.

“I’ve tried almost all of the bots and have been unhappy — it’s quicker to type in a simple webform to order flowers,” Browder told Tech Insider. “But there’s a lot of potential for these bots to really help people.”

Browder plans on rolling out the robot lawyer in Seattle this Fall. But he is also working on bots that can assist people in other ways.

He is currently working on a bot that can help Syrian refugees get asylum. He’s working with IBM’s Watson platform so that the bot can understand Arabic but write the legal documents in English.

Browder is also working on a bot that can help HIV positive people understand their legal rights when disclosing their medical status.

So that’s fighting on the tele, appealing parking tickets, drone racing to drone serving…what could be next? Well, that’s in your hands with one of our Robotics courses here at The Sheffield College. Click here for more info.

6 Films You May Have Missed This Month

That, yes we know you’ve been busy, but you really should give them a watch (according to BuzzFeed anyway – don’t shoot the messenger)

1. Approaching the Unknown

Approaching the Unknown

Vertical Entertainment

Mark Elijah Rosenberg’s Approaching the Unknown has the misfortune of hitting theaters in the shadow of The Martian. It’s impossible not to compare the two — they’re both about missions to Mars that go wrong, leaving a lone astronaut struggling to survive. But the smaller, more pensive Approaching the Unknown is better looked at as an acoustic cover of the tune Ridley Scott’s movie played at arena rock levels. Its main character, Captain William Stanaforth (Mark Strong), is also a scientist, having leveraged his discovery of a way to create water molecules from dirt into a chance at a one-way trip to Mars. Approaching the Unknown’s minor key pleasures are in the way it documents how Stanaforth’s analytical approach to his experiences gives way to more poetic, fragile meditations as the immensity of his loneliness and vulnerability in the vastness of space settles in. It’s a journey rather than a destination, and while it’s not a Strong solo show — Luke Wilson and Sanaa Lathan are piped in onscreen, and there’s also a stop at a space station — the intensity of his deeply committed performance is what will stay with you.

How to see it: Approaching the Unknown is now available for digital rental.

2. Breaking a Monster

Breaking a Monster

Abramorama

It’s no surprise that Malcolm Brickhouse, Jarad Dawkins, Alec Atkins, and their band Unlocking the Truth went viral. Who could resist the phenomenon of three black Brooklyn preteens wailing impressively away at heavy metal tunes in Times Square? But Luke Meyer’s documentary Breaking a Monster catches up with the trio after their internet fame has netted them the attention of Alan Sacks, a Hollywood vet who was instrumental to launching the careers of Demi Lovato and the Jonas Brothers — and he’s intent on doing something similar with his new, less Disneyfied clients. Guitarist and lead singer Brickhouse, whose angel face morphs into a scowl when performing, wants success, but he’s also a kid who gets tired and sulky, as Sacks exasperatedly tries to keep him in line. And Brickhouse is absolutely savvy about the fact that, while he’s a genuine metalhead, he and the band have serious novelty value in a genre that’s so predominantly white. What follows is a fascinating if incomplete-feeling exploration of an attempt to leverage viral celebrity into mainstream fame — one that’s leagues more nuanced than the recent Presenting Princess Shaw, which offers a more idealized take on what it means when the internet catches a musician in its spotlight.

How to see it: Breaking the Monster is now in theaters in limited release.

3. Les Cowboys

Les Cowboys

Cohen Media Group

Les Cowboys begins in the ’90s at what looks like a country music fair — there are cowboy hats and boots, there’s horseback riding, someone sings “Tennessee Waltz,” and there’s an American flag flying in the background. Only the scene is actually taking place in France, where this act of cross-cultural appreciation serves as a nod to writer-director Thomas Bidegain’s source material, John Ford’s Western The Searchers. In Bidegain’s homage, instead of the John Wayne character — who, over miles and years, tracks his niece after she’s abducted by Comanches, maybe to kill her rather than see her living as one of “them” — there’s François Damiens as a man whose rage and obsession slowly destroys him and everyone around him. His bigotry is aimed at Muslims as he looks for his teenage daughter, who runs off with her Arab boyfriend, and who, despite her father’s insistence otherwise, is in charge of and defiant about her own choices. Les Cowboys pointedly repurposes a classic film in order to take on the eternally timely topic of Europe’s attitudes toward and mistrust of its Muslim populations, and the movie’s self-consciousness is made up for by its astonishingly far-reaching ambitions.

How to see it: Les Cowboys is now in theaters in limited release.

4. Microbe & Gasoline

Microbe & Gasoline

Screen Media Films

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind director Michel Gondry has always had a way of combining the magical with the mundane. That’s true in his new film, too, though compared with the Pee-wee’s Playhouse-meets-period-tragedy stylings of his last one, Mood Indigo, Microbe & Gasoline is downright restrained. It’s a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age story set in a non-magical realist Versailles in which two outcast tweens form a friendship. The quiet Daniel (Ange Dargent) is an aspiring artist who’s still on the near side of puberty (hence “Microbe,” a reference to his small size), while newcomer Théo (Théophile Baquet) comes from a working-class background and likes to putter around with scrap mechanics (his nickname comes from how his smells). The boys are stuck between childhood and adolescence in ways that are painfully real, but Gondry adds levity with touches of autobiographical whimsy, from the stroke material Daniel adorably draws for himself, to the tiny house on wheels the boys build for their road trip. It’s a film whose sweetness never closes in on saccharine.

How to see it: Microbe & Gasoline is now in theaters in limited release.

5. Swiss Army Man

Swiss Army Man

A24

Swiss Army Man may not hold together entirely, but in a summer full of limp retreads and unasked-for sequels, its boldness shines like a beacon. Paul Dano plays the suicidal, shipwrecked Hank, whose attempt to take his own life is interrupted by a corpse washing up on the shore — a dead body he names Manny, who turns out to have powers that may or may not be a figment of Hank’s feverish imagination. The film, the feature directorial debut of music video wunderkinds Daniels, is filled with juvenile humor, Jurassic Parkshout-outs, and, yes, superpowered flatulence, but what lingers is less its quirk than its sweetness. If we feel so uncomfortable about bits of bodily weirdness like farting, it asks, then how are we ever going to be open about all of our other dark and strange aspects? It may take Dano riding Radcliffe’s corpse like a Jet Ski to find out, and it’s definitely worth it.

How to see it: Swiss Army Man is now open in wide release.

Do you fancy yourself as a bit of a film critic? If you’re into the weirdest and the wonderfullest (deffo not a word) films and love reviewing them, tearing them to pieces and finding any excuse to watch another then you’ll love our Film Studies course. Interested? Good, click here to see more…

7 Memory Myths That Will Make You Go “Huh”

Remember, remember…

1. “Our memories are always our own.”

“Our memories are always our own.”

Thinkstock

The truth is our memories are a social construction. Every time we share a memory with others, we edit it. For example, we often make our memories more appropriate or entertaining for the people we are talking to. This is why a good story generally gets better over time. On the flip side, every time we hear other people’s versions of events we have the potential to steal their memories – later telling their versions of accounts as our own, perhaps even coming to believe that these memories belong to our own lives. We are all memory thieves, and we often don’t even realise it.

2. “Someone who is not telling the truth is usually lying.”

A person who says something that is demonstrably untrue is not necessarily lying – they could have what’s known as a “false memory”. A false memory is a recollection that feels like a memory, but is inaccurate in some way. We can have false memories of small details, such as getting people’s names wrong, or even of entire events that didn’t happen to us, or that didn’t happen at all – in my own research I go as far as convincing people they committed crimes that never happened.

3. “Long-term memory means things we remember for at least a few months.”

When scientists talk about “short-term” memory, they refer to the brain storing information for about 30 seconds. Anything over 30 seconds is generally referred to as a form of “long-term” memory. Long-term memory can last for a minute, or a lifetime.

4. “I have memories from when I was a baby.”

Scientists generally argue that memories before the age of about two and a half are impossible. This is because our brains are not yet big and mature enough to meaningfully organise our world and record it for later. The term for this phenomenon is called “childhood amnesia”. Scientists further argue that we have “partial childhood amnesia” between the ages of about three and seven, where our memories are still not as good or long-lasting as they will be over the age of about seven.

5. “There’s a thing called photographic memory.”

"There's a thing called photographic memory."

Tsuyoshi_kaneko / Getty Images

You don’t have a “photographic” memory, and neither does any other adult. The closest thing to photographic memory is called “eidetic memory” – exceptional memory of scenes or pictures. Around 5% of children have been found to have eidetic memories, but rather than pointing to mental superpowers having an eidetic memory may actually be a sign of problems, as prevalence increases to 15% in children with developmental difficulties. Even if photographic memories can be said to exist, they are fallible and it appears that memory Photoshop exists right alongside it.

6. “Everyone remembers exactly where they were when 9/11 happened.”

"Everyone remembers exactly where they were when 9/11 happened."

BBC

Detailed and vivid recollections of where we were at the time of particularly significant historical events, such as the Paris bombings, 9/11, or the death of Princess Diana, are often inconsistent or incorrect. Despite this, our confidence in our memories of such events is often high; showing that confidence can be a poor indicator of accuracy.

7. “Imagination and memory are two totally different things.”

They’re actually not. Our memories are incredibly complex, flexible, and creative. We use the same parts of the brain to picture things happening by engaging our imagination as we do when we remember things. Because the same brain cells can be used for imagination and remembering, these two processes can get mixed up. We can mistake things we just imagined with things we experienced. This is how memory scientists have been able to, through simple imagination exercises, convince people that they experienced emotional events that never happened, such as spilling the punch bowl at a wedding, being attacked by a dog, or going on a hot air balloon ride.

Our memories cannot be trusted, and imagination and memory can feel surprisingly similar.

Julia Shaw’s new book The Memory Illusion, is published by Penguin Random House and is out now.

 

Find out more about how the brain works, how it processes, how it recovers, how it is on one of our Biology courses. Click here for more info.

Travel the world on a budget

Hasn’t the weather been delightful?! It’s been an absolute dream and if you suggest otherwise then you’re wrong. Sorry, but you are. We need more weather like this. Unfortunately there’s no guarantee that’s going to happen; might have to travel (affordably) for it…

1. Peru

1. Peru

Brand X Pictures / Getty Images

“I went to Peru for 10 days for $2,000! The exchange rate is fantastic: One American dollar is equal to about three soles.” —madib49725de2c

“Lima was probably the most affordable city I’ve been to. The food was amazing and incredibly well priced: Things that normally cost $40 were about $25. Also, the people are great. Overall, it is an amazing country with a rich history and culture — I give a perfect five!” —casualglow25

More info on visiting Peru on a budget here.

2. South Africa

2. South Africa

Andreawillmore / Getty Images

“First of all, the exchange rate is amazing — it’s about 15 rand to one dollar. That alone helps you get more vacation for your money. South Africa also has very cool, cheap boutique hotels and hostels, about $10 to $15 per night!” —Lauren Campbell, Facebook

“I spent two entire months in South Africa for $1,300. By staying in hostels, couchsurfing, using public transportation, and even hitchhiking (ahem!), I was able to do it super cheaply. This budget also included heaps of amazing meals out, skydiving, bungee jumping, shark cage diving, paragliding, canyoning, and so much more.” —Ellen Burne, Facebook

More info on traveling South Africa on a budget here.

3. China

3. China

Zhaojiankang / Getty Images

“Airfare is the bulk of the cost — it’s much cheaper if you live on the West Coast, though — and then once you get there, things are really affordable. Public transportation is often just a few cents. Dinner in a local restaurant is maybe a dollar or two. Once you get out of tourist areas (Beijing and Shanghai), prices go down further. Last year, I got airfare and a four-star hotel for eight nights for $900 per person (two people). Once we got there, we didn’t spend much at all.” —jessicag43418f540

More info on traveling through China on a budget here.

4. Vietnam

4. Vietnam

Cristaltran / Getty Images

“It’s not cheap to get there from the U.S., but once you’re there, it’s great! We spent nine nights in Vietnam, and spent about $300–400, excluding lodging and our international flight. Our total trip cost just a smidge over $2,000 (we were two people sharing a hotel room and flying from the East Coast — so it would’ve been cheaper had we flown from the West).

“That budget even included one splurge dinner and some trinkets for friends and family at home, and we stayed exclusively in four- and five-star hotels/resorts. I’ve heard you can find hostels for $10 per night! Plus, even though the flight is so long and expensive from the States, you can rack up serious frequent flyer miles.” —JoDa

More info on traveling Vietnam on a budget here.

5. Greece

5. Greece

The people there were so happy to have tourists, and they wanted to share their beautiful country and history with those of us who don’t know about it. The best part about it was that I had so much extra money when the trip was over, I was able to upgrade my ticket home to first class.” —Emily Anderson, Facebook

More info on traveling through Greece on a budget right now here.

6. Jamaica

6. Jamaica

“I stayed in a pool house on Airbnb for $25 a night, which is my preference over a resort anyway. I ate at local restaurants and went to hole-in-the-wall bars, and spent about $30 to $40 daily. Going to the Caribbean can be very cheap; it’s all about doing your research.” —taharram

More info on traveling Jamaica on a budget here.

7. Cartagena, Colombia

“I actually used to live there, but just went back. Roundtrip airfare from the Northeast was $250. You can easily get a hostel for $7–15, although we stayed in an amazing hotel for $70 a night. Food, drinks, and fun are all completely reasonable; it’s an absolutely amazing place to visit!” —Madelina Türner, Facebook

More info on going to Cartagena on a budget here.

8. Bali

8. Bali

Cbpix / Getty Images

“A friend and I traveled through Bali for seven days, and spent only around $500 each, not including our plane ticket. We didn’t book anything beforehand (you can bargain with people, even for hotel room costs), and food was super cheap.

“We went to three different cities and just used the taxi system (make sure you bargain or they will take advantage of foreigners). But overall, everything was super manageable and budget-friendly — not to mention super beautiful!” —Kelsey Fausko, Facebook

More info on doing Bali on a budget here.

9. Nicaragua

9. Nicaragua

Annie Daly

“Nicaragua is both the cheapest country I’ve ever been to, and my all-time favorite. I went for a few nights when I was living in Costa Rica, and had an amazing time. I stayed in a hostel dorm for $5 a night (!), and didn’t need to spend more than $10 a day on food. There are so many options for inexpensive activities — volcano boarding ftw — as well as museums, stunning cathedrals, and generally amazing people.

“Getting around the country can also be cheap, as long as you stick to the local transport, which, while not luxurious, will definitely give you an authentic experience.” —Michaelalee

More info on what things cost in Nicaragua here.

10. Caribbean cruises

10. Caribbean cruises

Shalamov / Getty Images

“Cruises aren’t too bad, and they can be done on a budget. You can easily book a six-day, all-inclusive trip for under $500 a person. And if you frequently travel with a specific cruise line, you’ll rack up rewards and earn on-board credit and whatnot. If you book port excursions, though, don’t do it through the cruise line. Save a little money and book through the tourist agencies (e.g. Chukka Tours if you’re visiting the Bahamas, etc.).” —graces4c8a8fc89

More info on the best budget cruises here.

Andddd more on Travel courses that could see you jet-setting around the world in just a few years, here!

Why are left-handers more likely to win Wimbledon?

Typically Andy Murray won Wimbledon this year and is right handed, which throws a little scorn over this article from Greg Rusedski and the BBC. But it’s the history of left-handers succeeding in tennis which is very, very interesting…

The upper hand

I’m left-handed, and lefties have managed to dominate more than our fair share of Wimbledon tournaments. Here I reveal the secrets to our success.

2.Left-handed champions

Number of wimbledon singles finals won by left-handed players

There have been 96 singles tournaments at Wimbledon from 1968–2015. With left-handers making up 10% of the general population, if they had an equal chance, lefties would be expected to have won around nine titles. In fact they have won 22.

3.TAKE THE TEST: How left-handed are you?

Some players like Nadal play tennis with their left hand but write with their right. In fact, handedness is a continuous scale from left to mixed to right. Take the test at the link below to find out if you’re more left-handed than you thought.

Click here…

This test is based on the Edinburgh Handedness Inventory (RC Oldfield, 1971). Handedness categories by Dr Milan Dragovic, NMHS MH Clinical Research Centre, Western Australia. Consultancy by Dr Gillian Forrester, cognitive neuroscientist, University of Westminster.

4. Advantaged of being left-handed

Like most people, the majority of tennis players are right-handed. They get used to playing against each other. But being left-handed is a little bit different; it makes it a little trickier for a right-handed opponent.

For example, a lefty’s forehand – usually his stronger shot – plays naturally into the righty’s weaker backhand. Of course, right-handers have a similar advantage on their forehand, but crucially, lefties get lots of practice against this.

The left-handed serve naturally spins differently when you strike it, which makes it lethal coming from the left side of the court. Creating this kind of spin – making the ball swerve and bounce – pushes the ball far out wide, onto a righty’s backhand. If my opponent is good enough to get the ball back, the court’s wide open for me to take the point.

Now you might think right-handers serving might have the same advantage from the righthand side, but they don’t. Not only are lefties used to this, the rules of tennis actually favour us on the big points. The final game point is only served from the right side when the score us 40 – 15; favouring righties. Every other game point is contested from the left side of the court. 40 – love, 40 – 30, and advantage after deuce.

From first serve to match point, it seems left-handed players have the natural advantage. It takes a pretty experienced player to claim it back.

 

5.Rusedski’s ruling

When I was a junior, three of my left-handed heroes – Martina Navratilova, Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe – dominated Wimbledon. Since that glorious run, just five singles titles have been claimed by left-handed players.

 

It could simply be a lull before lefties dominate again. Or right-handers may have been gradually closing the gap, with improvements in match preparation.

 

Elite players and their coaching teams now have video analysis and performance statistics at their fingertips – able to scrutinise every detail of their opponent’s game.

 

But making this knowledge count is another matter. When righties face a left-handed player, they can’t just play on auto-pilot. It requires a big bag of tricks and lots of practice to be able to adapt your strategy.

 

This year at Wimbledon, right-handers will be upping their preparation. And unfortunately, with Nadal out of the tournament and certain left-handers in the draws not fulfilling their potential, it will be hard to see a left-hander winning Wimbledon this time round.

So lefty’s have been winning above their station, considering how many of them there are in world tennis but it’s started to dry up. Is it a lull or is it down to the work of analysis, coaching and tactics? Where would you find those sort of answers? A Sport course at The Sheffield College. Click here to see more…

7 Smart Tricks That’ll Make Breakfast So Much Better

The most important meal of the day is often overlooked. Overlooked due to an extreme laziness that resides throughout the population. The desire for an extra half hour in bed is too much when pitted against a quick bite before work.

It seems strange that we do so with such regularity, breakfast is hands down one of the best meals of the day. Nobody has had a bad brekkie, only exciting ones. Here’s 7 tips from BuzzFeed that will get you eating breakfast 7 days a week!

1. Make a big batch of freezer-friendly breakfast sandwiches so that you’ll never have to be without one.

These classic English muffin breakfast sandwiches are easy to make in a big batch so you won’t have to do any work in the morning beyond heating (and EATING). Recipehere.

2. Transform oatmeal into muffins — they’re great on the go, and you can make them ahead of time.

Transform oatmeal into muffins — they're great on the go, and you can make them ahead of time.

Sure, you could take your regular oatmeal in a to-go cup, but these only require one hand, and you can make a big batch ahead of time. Also, they’re vegan and gluten-free. Recipe here.

3. Learn how to cook eggs every way.

Learn how to cook eggs every way.

Chris Ritter / buzzfeed.com

Eggs are cheap and fast, but the same scramble on repeat can get a little tiresome. Master all the basic kinds of egg preparation and you can eat a different egg breakfast every day of the week! Recipes and instructions here.

4. Looking for a weekend breakfast to make with your kids? Try a “breakfast ring” with your favorite fillings.

Kids can help lay out triangles of uncooked crescent dough, then fill and form the “ring.” Recipe here.

5. Put coffee in your smoothie to kill two birds with one stone.

Sure, you could double-fist, but isn’t this so much more efficient? Also, coffee + banana = breakfast perfection. Recipe here.

6. Start any birthday celebration early in the morning with cake batter waffles.

To be clear, these should be eaten for breakfast in addition to whatever cake you’re eating later on. Double the fun, basically. Recipe here.

7. Reinvent a healthy but lackluster breakfast to make it feel like dessert.

Reinvent a healthy but lackluster breakfast to make it feel like dessert.

These “banana splits” are pretty much just a combination of fresh fruit, yogurt, and granola, but man are they fun. Recipe here.

I don’t know about you, but all I want now is breakfast. All the breakfast. See the thing is with breakfast, when you know, you know. And when you’ve completed a catering course at The Sheffield College, you certainly know. Click here to see more…