World Cup Competition

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Daddy Dazed is loving this World Cup  – such great games, such good goals – my biggest problem is wrestling control of the TV remote away from my daughter who doesn’t appreciate the finer points of team tactics and just wants to watch Frozen.

And now Daddy Dazed brings you a great free World Cup competition - Jungle Goal$, courtesy of 888casino

First prize is a LG 9.1ch 3D cinema system.

All you have to do is visit here – World Cup at 888casino - watch a short video and work out who bounced the ball the most times (HINT: it’s harder that it sounds, so concentrate) and guess the team that’ll win this year’s World Cup.

Competition ends 14th July.

Good luck!

Fathers Day Competition

Dear Readers, How would you like to make your dad’s dreams come true?

All you need to do is submit a video or simply tweet saying why your dad is your hero and what his #FathersDayDream would be e.g.: a racing day at Silverstone, a family holiday to Paris, a trip to see the Northern Lights  etc. Then Braun will chose one winner to make their dad’s dream come true!  

The competition ends on 16th June to enter & you have to include the hashtags #Braun & #FathersDayDreams in your tweet/video.  Full terms and conditions here - http://braunfathersdaydreams.wordpress.com/

Fathers Day Gifts

A message to my daughter. It’s fathers day this year and I’d really like a present. Last year the hand painted card was lovely and all but what I really want is something a bit more substantial. I know you have been hinting that you have made me something special – something about a card with your footprint on it in pink and with glitter – but if you were to look deep inside yourself you’d probably realise that you made that card more for you than me. When have I ever said “Oh what I really want is a splodgy picture of your foot”? So here I have a couple of recommendations for my father’s day gift:

1. A Bottle of Single Malt Whiskey 

whisky

I have two suggestions here:

The Macallan Gold Matured in 100% sherry seasoned oak casks, The Macallan Gold has notes of vanilla followed by dark chocolate, with lingering floral and light oak notes. Daddy likes to drink this after tucking you into bed.  www.themacallan.co.uk

Highland Park 12 Year Old This single malt whisky boasts a honey sweetness, followed by fruity notes with a hint of gentle smoke and a flavour that just keeps on delivering. Daddy like it very much.  www.highlandpark.co.uk.

2. Braun Cool Tec Shaver 

braun shaver

This is the ultimate electric shaver. It is the world’s 1st shaver with active cooling technology – now that might not mean much to you, but for my irritable skin this is a big deal.

Here comes the science, so listen carefully – most electric shavers allow warmth to build up in the head of the shaver, °CoolTec has an innovative aluminium cooling bar integrated into its head that actively cools down the skin during shaving, minimizing shaving redness, burning and itching sensations. It basically puts skin irritation on ice. Think of it as Frozen for my face. It’s like an icy blast of Elsa magic every time I shave.

I’ll be honest. I was so excited by this new technology and its sleek cool design that i have already bought one – so all you need to do is give the word and i’ll transfer your child allowance into my account. Thanks in advance. Daddy loves you.

Baby Jumping Festival

bizarre baby festival

Are you worried that your baby might be possessed by evil spirits. Well don’t worry all you need is a man in fancy dress to jump over your child.

Every year in Spain they hold a Baby Jumping Festival to purify babies.

El Colacho as it is known  is held in Castillo de Murcia near Burgos in the Spring. It is the culmination of the Spanish Catholic Festival of Corpus Christi.

The babies are laid on the ground and then grown men, dressed as devils (or bizarrely Elvis) jump over them. The act of flying in the air over the babies is supposed to cleanse them of all evil spirits.

baby jumping2

This bizarre festival was founded in 1620 and is a mixture of Spanish folklore and religion. The organisers are the mysterious brotherhood of Santísimo Sacramento de Minerva, who appear to be competing to wear the most outlandish costume.

After the baby hurdles, the children are sprinkled with petals and blessed.

In our safety conscious age, the festival has come under fire from critics who says its dangerous, and even the Pope has asked Catholic priests not to condone it, but it looks pretty good fun to me.

But I wonder what happens if one of these leaping lads was to land short and fall on one of the babies? Or if the leaper fell and twisted his ankle? Would they be able to seek compensation claiming it was a work accident? Perhaps they should have Leo Claims on speed dial!

The joy of reading to a 2 year old

Charlie Brooker, father of a two year old boy,  writes about the godless world of Mr Men, the creepy world of Snow White and why his son is a moron.

I moved house recently and was once again stunned by how much dead media I’m lugging around. First it was vinyl. Then CDs. Now the DVD collection has joined the VHS collection in my personal poorly curated Museum of Obsolete Clutter.

I can chart my history with each format. The surviving remnants of my VHS era, for instance, commence with an off-air recording of series one of The Young Ones transferred from Betamax in my teens, and conclude with a review copy of an Apprentice episode dating from about seven years ago. The DVD wing comprises box sets, rushes, rough cuts, and a Christmas edition of The Black and White Minstrel Show I had to watch for a TV programme I was doing. Beyond that point I don’t really own anything. It’s all in the cloud these days.

Same with books. My bookshelves chiefly function as a snapshot of what I was reading prior to the invention of the Kindle. The only physical, actual, by-God-it-exists books I buy these days are children’s books. In fact the only books I read these days are children’s books.

Each night I read stories to a two-year-old to distract him from reality, which being two, he hasn’t learned to despise yet. He earnestly believes everything is brilliant. Yesterday he discovered the timeless magic of throwing a fork under the sofa again and again and again. He laughs at the sight of a squirrel. Sometimes he spins on the spot and throws his arms out, shrieking with boundless delight for no reason. What a moron.

He wants to cling to every crumb of conscious existence, so it’s tough to convince him to let go long enough to fall asleep. Bedtime stories ease the transition.

We began with the classics. Goldilocks and the Three Bears is simple enough to recount from memory in the dark. Simple and boring. I regularly drifted off while reciting it aloud, and sometimes added new bits in a dreamlike daze. I once caught myself saying baby bear’s head had fallen off because his nose was made of hair. It was hard to steer the narrative back on course after that.

I tried reading fairy tales off an iPhone, but that didn’t work. For starters, it’s impossible to hold an iPhone in the same hectare as a toddler without prompting an instant, bitter struggle for possession that makes the battle for Ukraine look dignified. Besides, fairy stories exist in a peculiar medieval realm. Reading about tunics and spindles off a glimmering smartphone screen just feels wrong. You need a hand-me-down Ladybird book to really do them justice. A book filled with creepy paintings to match the creepy text. In Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, the handsome prince falls in love with a corpse in a glass box. It’s right there in black and white. No trigger warnings or anything.

Still, fairy tales were just a gateway drug to a wider world of kiddywink fiction. Quickly we moved from Peepo! to Goodnight Moon to The Gruffalo and beyond. Brilliant though The Very Hungry Caterpillar is, it’s only about 20 words long. You could tweet the whole thing while falling downstairs. And the storyline is full of holes.

Out of selfish nostalgia I bought a complete box set of Mr Men stories, which turned out to be the most satisfying purchase I’ve made in about a decade. The stories themselves aren’t especially remarkable. They follow a fairly rigid template. In each story Mr Titular wakes up, has breakfast (usually eggs, consumed in a manner that vividly illustrates his character), goes for a walk, encounters a worm or a wizard or a shopkeeper, learns a harsh moral lesson and then crawls home, a changed man, hopelessly broken by experience.

The Mr Men inhabit a godless universe. They chiefly fall into two camps – those with character defects (eg Mr Greedy) and those with afflictions (eg Mr Skinny). They all suffer in some way, except those too mad (Mr Silly) or too stupid (Mr Dizzy) to comprehend what suffering is.

There is justice in their realm, but it’s applied inconsistently at best. Mr Nosey, for instance, has all his inquisitiveness literally beaten out of him when the townsfolk conspire against him. He hears an interesting noise behind a fence and pokes his nose round it, only to be smashed in the face by a man with hammer – who laughs about it afterwards. But Mr Nosey’s only crime was excessive curiosity, whereas Mr Tickle – a 1970s children’s entertainer with wandering hands who runs around town touching strangers inappropriately from dawn till dusk – goes unpunished.

Most of those with afflictions are bluntly informed that their conditions are untreatable. Messrs Bump, Bounce, Forgetful, Quiet, Small and Tall, for instance, simply have to lump it. Mr Sneeze is cured, but only after a wizard turns his wintry homeland into a suntrap, in an early example of man-made climate change.

It’s a brutal existence, albeit a cheerfully rendered one. And in revisiting the books I was surprised to discover that despite forgetting most of the storylines, the visuals felt so familiar, they can’t have ever left my mind. When I was young, I wanted to be a cartoonist. As a teenager, I even managed to make a career of it for a few years. Back then I figured I’d formed this ambition thanks to the comics I’d read when I was about 12. No, looking back at some of my ham-fisted drawings of the time, I realise the Mr Men must have kicked the yearning off years before that. I was unconsciously sampling and regurgitating whole sections of Roger Hargreaves’ visual repertoire. The way Roger Hargreaves drew a shoe is still the way a shoe looks when I picture it. Same with a house. Or a hat. Or a butcher. Or a wizard. Or a cloud.

And when I thought about that, a sad thought occurred to me: that these children’s books may well be the only physical books my son will ever own. Because when he gets past about six, all his books will be in the cloud, surely. Not on a shelf. Not in a library. In a cloud. A cloud I can only picture in the shape of Mr Daydream.

Not that my son cares. Like I said, he’s still astounded by squirrels and forks. Monumental idiot.

4 Alternatives To Try This Year (Guest Post)

Can it really be June already? By now, most people’s New Year Resolutions will be just a distant, sad-eyed memory, and retoxing rather than detoxing will be the order of the day. But there is something you can do that’s less awful – and unrealistic – than the cold-turkey method of giving stuff up; replace things you enjoy with things that are just a little bit better…

A Better Lottery

daddy dazed

If you swore on December 31st that you were never going to do a lottery again, and now you find you’re back on the scratchcards with a vengeance, consider a lottery with a difference. The UK’s Health Lottery was launched in 2011, and, aside from the fact that 20% of the money goes to health-related good causes, the odds of winning the jackpot are actually better than many others, including the UK’s National Lottery. You can get involved and check health lottery results online.

E-Cigs

While we’re on the subject of health, giving up smoking is one of the most popular – and least successful – resolutions people make. In the last couple of years a real solution has emerged, with the advent of electronic cigarettes such as ciglites. The first models were a bit dubious, with strange, burnt tastes and unreliable batteries. Recently though, some excellent devices have hit the shops, and online forums are packed with anecdotal evidence of people switching to e-cigs after decades of smoking and not looking back. Talk to your doctor of course, but they really can work for those who find it impossible to quit.

Planet-Friendly Cars

dad car

Now for something you can do for the environment; switch to an electric vehicle. If your car journeys are generally short hops across town, it’s worth considering a move away from fossil fuels the next time you change your car. One of the most popular models right now is the BMW i3, a really rather good-looking hatchback that’s vaguely reminiscent of a Ford Focus. BMW claims a maximum range of 120 miles, but admits that 100 is more realistic day-to-day. Top speed is over 90mph and acceleration is comparable to similar sized petrol cars. It could be worth a test drive…

Low Fat Meat

Finally, another resolution that often gets ditched by February 1st – meat. Or rather, no meat. For people trying to cut down on cholesterol, options that don’t involve going vegetarian are often welcome. Enter the ostrich. Unlike most bird-based meat, it doesn’t taste “a bit like chicken”; it’s red and it’s much closer to beef. However, it’s very lean and the cholesterol content is far lower than beef. There are plenty of recipes available, and if there’s no outlet near you, you can also buy the stuff online.

(Images courtesy of casinojuggler.com,  forbes.com)

Watch Expeliment

“Rubber ducks float Daddy.”
“Yes they do.”
“And Barbies.”
“Do they?”
“Yes. I have been doing an expeliment.”
“Experiment,” I correct her .
“I call it experiment.”
“Ok.”
“But some watches don’t float.”
“No they don’t…hang on, what do you mean watches don’t float?”
“My pink Hello Kitty one does but yours doesn’t.”

I rush to the bathroom and look in the sink and sure enough my non-waterproof watch isn’t floating.

Time to buy a new watch. There are some nice ones at The Watch Hut. Maybe my 3 year old daughter and budding scientist can buy one for me for Fathers Day. I’ll take it out of her child allowance.

.

Does betting on sport make it more interesting to watch?

A dad writes on the appeal of betting on sports.

Watching sport, whether it is on television or in a stadium, is a past time shared by billions of people across the world who savours the excitement, drama and tension of action unfolding in front of their eyes. Sport has the ability to bring people and communities together in their unified love for a particular team or individual, while neutrals take enjoyment from watching any match and event without any emotional ties. Every fan has their own reason to watch a sport, whether it is football or snooker, and they do not necessarily have to participate in sports betting in order to make it interesting or enjoyable.

Sports betting remains a thriving industry that allows punters to bet on any event, whether it combined with technological advancements in handheld devices, revolutionised the industry as it provided bookmakers with the ability to expand their services to customers who could bet in a more convenient and efficient manner. Betting online or via a gaming app allows sports enthusiasts to add extra drama and excitement to the action from which they can win money. Checking the latest Formula One standings can help those who like to bet on races to be closer to the action and potentially win money, although many believe betting is the only way to make the sport interesting and worth watching.

The excitement aspect of sports betting

Placing a bet on an upcoming sporting event can instantly get the adrenaline rushing through your body in anticipation of a potential win. The amount punters place on each bet is irrespective to the feeling you get when a bet comes off. Every sport has its own unique array of betting markets that provide considerable opportunity to make a profit. Being able to bet online or via apps that can be downloaded onto smartphone and tablet devices further extends the options available, whilst also allowing punters to enjoy live in-play markets.

The modern day method of gambling allows you to place bets whilst on the go, or whilst sat in front of a television watching the action unfold. It allows gamblers to make more calculated decisions whilst watching a football match or Formula 1 race, as the potential outcome can change in a split second. Live in-play markets allow gamblers to enjoy better odds that reflect what is happening in each sporting event, whether it is the first team to score or how many drivers will finish a race. Gambling can make watching sports more interesting as there is more than just hope riding on the outcome; it creates an overwhelming urge to kick every ball, jump every hurdle and turn every corner in order for your bet to be a winner.

The Formula 1 debate

While sports enthusiasts have their own preferences as to which forms they watch and enjoy, there are often debates over which sports provide the most entertainment and excitement. Formula 1 continues to be considered in certain sections as a boring sport that carries little or not entertainment from watching car drive around the same track for hours. This notion has been at its strongest over the last few years as Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull have simply dominated the sport and it became almost inevitable that the German driver would win every race. Although the sport has undergone ground-breaking rule changes that are set to shape the future of Formula 1, they have only succeeded in creating a sport that has lost some of its historic features and is dominated by one team who are miles ahead of the competition. Mercedes due Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton continue to finish in the top two of every qualifying session and race as their W05 is far superior to any other car on the track.

Placing bets on Formula 1 races can add more excitement and interest, particularly during the current campaign when the result seems almost a formality for either of the Mercedes drivers. There is no guarantee that Rosberg or Hamilton will win, as Formula 1, like any other sport, has the ability to involve moments of drama or misfortune that change the entire complexion of a race. Mechanical failures, collisions and driving errors can lead to drivers losing first place or exciting the race altogether; this can make for a tense, yet exciting race, for those who have a bet on a certain driver to win.