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On May 16, while walking from the high-end Serena Hotel to a flea market in downtown Kampala, Uganda, Chhitup Lama, a blind Nepalese man, was holding on the elbow of Bau Bautista who was guiding him as they traversed the city.

Out of nowhere, policemen appeared to tell the two “not to hold hands” since doing so was “not allowed”. Apparently, these policemen assumed that the two are in a gay relationship and the “touching” was a PDA (public display of affection), which was a no-no for them.

When told that Chhitup is blind, they backed out. “Oh,” one of them said. “Good job, good job.”

This – in a way – encapsulates what it’s like to live as an LGBTQI person in Uganda…

“The Ugandan system is broken,” Ruth Muganzi said, noting that – at times – LGBTQI people are used as scapegoats so people forget how bad the country’s situation is due to government actions/inactions. “But we volunteer, we sacrifice because we’re fighting to survive.”

WHAT YOU HEAR IN THE NEWS

“The news you hear (about LGBTQI people in Uganda while) overseas, those are true,” said Jay Mulucha of Fem-Alliance Uganda to Outrage Magazine. This is because it’s still a crime (to be LGBTQI) in Uganda; and there is a lot of crimes (directed against) LGBTQI people in Uganda,” including “attacks, being taken to jail… So the situation is (still) not that good).”

Jay, a transgender man, experienced how dire the situation can be in Uganda. He was actually expelled from school after his teammates (while a varsity) found out he’s part of the LGBTQI community. “They didn’t know me as a trans person; they knew me as a lesbian,” he recalled. This news “went around the university and they had to expel me because of who I am.”

But Jay said that this gave him “the courage to come out to everyone”

Because of who he is, “my family is not comfortable with me,” Jay said. Fortunately for him, his only sister sides with him. “She says she will never walk away from me because I’m still a part of the family and no matter what they do, (we’re of the same blood) and she can’t do anything about that so she will still support me. The rest of the family is not okay with me.”

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All the same: “This is me and I don’t care about anything else.”

Isaac Mugisha of Spectrum Uganda, “were still there; we’re still not giving up.” He added that “we believe that it’s the right of every Ugandan to walk everywhere and to get service.”

USING THE LAW AGAINST THE PEOPLE

The laws of the land have repeatedly been used against LGBTQI people in Uganda.

On September 29, 2005, for instance, Pres. Yoweri Museveni signed a constitutional amendment prohibiting marriage equality.

Then on December 17, 2013, the Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2014 was passed, mandating life imprisonment for aggravated homosexuality. While it was eventually annulled by the Uganda Constitutional Court, it was NOT because the law was illegal; instead, it was on a technicality, and that because “not enough lawmakers were present to vote” on the law. Meaning, a similar law can still be passed… with the needed number of politicians advocating anti-LGBTQI sentiments.

Most recently, in April, Pres. Museveni went on a media blitz to denounce LGBTQI people again, using the erroneous line of reasoning that being LGBTQI is a “foreign” introduction, that it is “wrong” and that “the mouth is for eating, not for sex”.

But according to Isaac Mugisha of Spectrum Uganda, “were still there; we’re still not giving up.” He added that “we believe that it’s the right of every Ugandan to walk everywhere and to get service.”

Isaac is, by the way, helming the organizing of Pride in Uganda, which the government often cancels.

CHALLENGING LIFE, CHALLENGING WORK

Working with the LGBTQI community is – obviously – challenging.

For instance, “you don’t want any LGBTQI people to be affiliated with you” as it could put them in danger, Isaac said.

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But this is also because not many LGBTQI Ugandans come out and are willing to say “I am LGBTQI”.

For Ruth Muganzi of Kuchu Times, “You risk a lot by (coming out and) sharing your story. But it is also very important for us to be very visible.”

Isaac said that “every time mainstream media (released) stories about the LGBTQI community, these were negative stories that (made) other Ugandans react violently against LGBTQI people. When you put out a story that says that gay men are raping children, or that we’re recruiting children, of course it invokes a sense of anger from community members that are (to start) already (not supportive of us because) of the assumed cultural and religious perspectives (that oppose us).”

Ruth is first to say that working for – not just living as part of – the LGBTQI community is “difficult, but it is something that we anticipated.”

Jay, of course, said that even the local LGBT community still needs to be educated – e.g. it is still not very familiar with trans issues, leaving many issues of the Ugandan trans community unattended. Not to different from a country like the Philippines, in Uganda, “many people think that a trans person is (just) a gay person,” Jay said. While – yes – a trans person can also be gay, the very idea of being trans is still completely foreign to so many people.

Still not many LGBTQI Ugandans come out and are willing to say “I am LGBTQI”.

FINDING ONESELF… IN CHALLENGING TIMES

Spectrum Uganda’s Sultan Muyomba said that there was a time when he tried to “convince myself that I am not this or this,” he said. Until one day, “I said, I can’t fight myself; it’s like fighting nature.”
It remains hard, Sultan said. One time, for instance, he and a friend had to bribe another “friend” who – upon knowing that they are gay, could have put their lives in danger by blackmailing them.

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“The Ugandan system is broken,” Ruth said, noting that – at times – LGBTQI people are used as scapegoats so people forget how bad the country’s situation is due to government actions/inactions.

Incidentally, Uganda still has numerous “traditional” practices many may find “antiquated” – e.g. during pamamanhikan (that is, when the groom-to-be visits his would-be in-laws), he is not even supposed to see (much more touch) his mother-in-law. The reason? Because he may end up eloping with her, not her daughter.

“But we volunteer, we sacrifice because we’re fighting to survive,” Ruth said.

HOPE FLOATS

“Are we hopeful? First of all, the Ugandan LGBTQI movement has done a lot. In 12 years, we (now) have our own clinic, we have our own outspoken advocates, we are providing our own legal services… We’ve done a lot of advocacies that has allowed us to get this far. We’re not the same movement that we were 12 years ago,” Ruth said. “There is hope. We just need to keep pushing. Every day is about pushing.”

Jay seconded Ruth, saying that in 12 years, a lot of change has happened. “The LGBTQI community members stood up to raise their voices.” In fact, “a lot of LGBTQI community has come out and learned to fight for their freedom.”

And to continue this fight, Jay said that the help of other LGBTQI communities (perhaps in other countries) can give them a boost. Having said this, Jay isn’t a big fan of so-called keyboard activists (i.e. those who just “sit back”), but those who come and give them support (even if it’s only to share notes on activism, and how to move forward) are always welcome,” he said. “This strengthens our work and keeps us moving.”

“The LGBTQI community members stood up to raise their voices,” said Jay Mulucha. In fact, “a lot of LGBTQI community has come out and learned to fight for their freedom.”

For those interested to visit Uganda, you may apply for a visa HERE. The visa is also available on-arrival at Entebbe airport. Rates start from $50. Note that only those with yellow fever vaccine are allowed into the country (the yellow fever card will be checked upon arrival).
There is always a threat of civil unrest (particularly 50 km of Uganda’s border with the DRC and to the Karamoja region, and within 50 km of Uganda’s border with South Sudan). Similarly, there are health notices on the Zika virus and Ebola.
Though of course, there, too, is the issue of the treatment of the LGBTQI people, particularly those whose gender expression is not aligned with their assigned sex at birth, just as there are issues with PDAs…

The founder of Outrage Magazine, Michael David dela Cruz Tan is a graduate of Bachelor of Arts (Communication Studies) of the University of Newcastle in New South Wales, Australia. Though he grew up in Mindanao (particularly Kidapawan and Cotabato City in Maguindanao), even attending Roman Catholic schools there, he "really, really came out in Sydney," he says, so that "I sort of know what it's like to be gay in a developing and a developed world". Mick can: photograph, do artworks with mixed media, write (DUH!), shoot flicks, community organize, facilitate, lecture, research (with pioneering studies under his belt)... this one's a multi-tasker, who is even conversant in Filipino Sign Language (FSL). Among others, Mick received the Catholic Mass Media Awards (CMMA) in 2006 for Best Investigative Journalism. Cross his path is the dare (read: It won't be boring).

Health & Wellness

Transmasculine adolescents, teens who don’t exclusively identify as male or female at greatest risk for suicide

50.8% of transmasculine adolescents between the ages of 11 and 19 have attempted suicide at least once, while 41.8% of nonbinary adolescents – those who don’t identify as exclusively male or exclusively female – have attempted suicide.

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Transgender adolescents are at greater risk for attempting suicide than cisgender teens who identify with the gender they are assigned at birth. This is according to a study from the University of Arizona, which takes a deeper look at who within the transgender adolescent community is most at risk.

More specifically, transmasculine adolescents – or those who were born female but identify as male – and teens who don’t identify as exclusively male or female are at the greatest risk for attempting suicide.

The research, done by Russell Toomey and his colleagues and published in the journal Pediatrics, is consistent with findings on transgender adults and could help inform suicide-prevention efforts for transgender youth.

In the past, research on transgender adolescent suicide behaviors focused on comparing transgender youth as a whole group to cisgender youth as a whole group, rather than looking for any within-group differences that might exist.

Toomey and his co-authors found that 50.8% of transmasculine adolescents between the ages of 11 and 19 have attempted suicide at least once, while 41.8% of nonbinary adolescents – those who don’t identify as exclusively male or exclusively female – have attempted suicide. The next most at-risk adolescent groups were transfeminine – those who were born male but identify as female – at 29.9%, and those questioning their gender identity, at 27.9%.

Risk was lower for cisgender teens, or those who identify with the sex they were assigned at birth. Among females, 17.6% said they had attempted suicide, while the number for males was 9.8%.

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The findings are based on an analysis of data from the Profiles of Student Life: Attitudes and Behaviors survey, a national survey designed to provide a snapshot of youth behaviors, attitudes and experiences. The survey focuses on 40 developmental assets know to be associated with healthy development, as well as risk behaviors, such as depression and suicidal behaviors. Data was collected over a 36-month period between 2012 and 2015, and from 120,617 adolescents, most of whom identified as cisgender.

Survey respondents were asked, among other things, about their gender identity and whether or not they had ever attempted suicide. Nearly 14% of all adolescents surveyed reported having attempted suicide at least once.

“Nonbinary youth are putting themselves out there every day as not being read by society as male or female, and there hasn’t been much research on this population, but we expect that they’re probably experiencing the highest levels of discrimination or victimization from their peers and from communities, based on their gender presentation,” Toomey said.

The researchers also found that sexual orientation exacerbated suicide risk for almost everyone in the survey. The only population whose risk didn’t seem to be affected by sexual orientation was the nonbinary population.

“Nonbinary youth do not identify as totally masculine or totally feminine, so it complicates an understanding of sexual orientation, which is rooted in a binary, male-female understanding of gender. Thus, for these youth, the combination of gender and sexual orientation may be more complicated,” Toomey said.

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Toomey and his colleagues similarly examined the impact of other factors – including race and ethnicity, parents’ educational attainment, and the types of communities where teens grow up – on suicide risk.

They found that although cisgender teens who belonged to a racial or ethnic minority had a heightened suicide risk, race and ethnicity was not associated with higher suicide risk in transgender teens.

Toomey and his co-authors also found that some factors that seem to protect cisgender teens from suicide risk – such as having parents with a higher level of educational attainment or having grown up in a more urban versus rural community – do not have the same effect for transgender teens.

Suicide ranks as the second leading cause of death among adolescents and young adults ages 10 to 34 in the US alone; and research suggests that between 28% and 52% of transgender people attempt suicide at some point in their lives. As such, trans-specific factors should be integrated into suicide prevention and intervention strategies.

“Transmasculine youth and nonbinary youth are the two populations that often are the least focused on in the transgender community,” he said. “So really reorganizing our efforts to focus in and try to really understand and learn about the experiences of these youth is critical.”

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Health & Wellness

Bullying, violence at work increase risk of cardiovascular disease

People bullied frequently (almost every day) in the past 12 months had 120% higher risk of cardiovascular disease, while those exposed most frequently to workplace violence had a 36% higher risk of cerebrovascular disease (such as stroke).

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People who are bullied at work or experience violence at work are at higher risk of heart and brain blood vessel problems, including heart attacks and stroke. This is according a study – “Workplace bullying and workplace violence as risk factors for cardiovascular disease: a multi-cohort study” – done by Tianwei Xu et al. and published in the European Heart Journal.

It is worth stressing that the study was observational, and – as such – “cannot show that workplace bullying or violence cause cardiovascular problems”. However, it – nonetheless – shows that “there is an association (between the two),” and so the results “have important implications for employers and national governments.”

“If there is a causal link between bullying or violence at work and cardiovascular disease, then the removal of workplace bullying would mean we could avoid five per cent of all cardiovascular cases, and the eradication of violence at work would avoid more than three per cent of all cases,” said Tianwei, the lead researcher.

Bullying ‘follows’ LGB people from school to work

It is worth noting that members of the LGBTQIA community are more exposed to bullying. A study released last April 2018, for instance, investigated gender expression and victimization of youth aged 13-18, and it found that the most gender nonconforming students reported higher levels of being bullied, were more likely to report missing school because they feel unsafe, and are most likely to report being victimized with a weapon on school property.

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Sadly, for LGBTQIA people who are bullied at school, the bullying follows them to the workplace. A study released in November 2018 found that 35.2% of gay/bisexual men who had experienced frequent school-age bullying experience frequent workplace bullying. Among lesbian women, the figure was 29%.

For Tianwei’s study in particular, the researchers looked at data from 79,201 working men and women in Denmark and Sweden, aged 18 to 65, with no history of cardiovascular disease (CVD), who were participants in three studies that started between 1995 and 2011; the participants have been followed up ever since. When they joined the studies, the participants were asked about bullying and violence in the workplace and the frequency of their experience of each of them. Information on the number of cases of heart and brain blood vessel disease and deaths was obtained from nationwide registries.

The researchers also took account of other factors that could affect whether or not the participants were affected by CVD, including body mass index, alcohol consumption, smoking, mental disorders and other pre-existing health conditions, shift working and occupation.

Nine percent of participants reported being bullied at work and 13% reported experiencing violence or threats of violence at work in the past year. After adjusting for age, sex, country of birth, marital status and level of education, the researchers found that those who were bullied or experienced violence (or threats of violence) at work had a 59% and 25% higher risk of CVD, respectively, compared to people who were not exposed to bullying or violence.

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The more bullying or violence that was encountered, the greater the risk of CVD. Compared with people who did not suffer bullying, people who reported being bullied frequently (the equivalent to being bullied almost every day) in the past 12 months had 120% higher risk of CVD, while those who were exposed most frequently to workplace violence had a 36% higher risk of cerebrovascular disease (such as stroke) than those not exposed to violence, but there did not appear to be a corresponding increase in heart disease.

1-in-4 girls, 1-in-10 boys report self-injury or attempt suicide due to fighting, bullying or forced sex

“Workplace bullying and workplace violence are distinct social stressors at work. Only 10-14% of those exposed to at least one type of exposure were suffering from the other at the same time. These stressful events are related to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease in a dose-response manner – in other words, the greater the exposure to the bullying or violence, the greater the risk of cardiovascular disease,” Tianwei said. “From this study we cannot conclude that there is a causal relation between workplace bullying or workplace violence and cardiovascular disease, but we provide empirical evidence in support of such a causal relation, especially given the plausible biological pathway between workplace major stressors and cardiovascular disease.”

The effect of bullying and violence on the incidence of cardiovascular disease in the general population is comparable to other risk factors, such as diabetes and alcohol drinking, which further highlights the importance of workplace bullying and workplace violence in relation to cardiovascular disease prevention. For Tianwei, “it is important to prevent workplace bullying and workplace violence from happening, as they constitute major stressors for those exposed. It is also important to have policies for intervening if bullying or violence occurs.”

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Other interesting findings from the research included the fact that bullying in the workplace occurred mostly from colleagues (79%) rather than from people outside the organization (21%), whereas violence or threats of violence at work originated mainly from people outside the organization (91%), than from within (9%). This, combined with the fact that those exposed most frequently to workplace violence were not more likely to suffer from heart disease, suggests that workers may have received training about how to deal with violence they encounter as part of their jobs and may be better equipped to deal with it and avoid long-term consequences.

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LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

Choosing the right area for your new home

When looking for a new home, it is important to do your research and look into various aspects of the area you are considering. This will help to ensure you make an informed–and correct–choice.

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Moving to a new home can be an experience that is both exciting and challenging. Even finding the right property for your needs can be difficult. In addition, you need to ensure you choose the right area for your new home. It is important to do your research and look into various aspects of the area you are considering. This will help to ensure you make an informed–and correct–choice.

Fortunately, there are online tools that you can use in order to help you make the right choice about the area you move to. This includes PeopleFinders, which enables you to conduct everything from a cell phone number search to an address search. This means that you can find out more about the area you want to move to before you make a firm decision.

Some of the Factors to Look Into

So, what are the key aspects to consider when you are moving to a new home and area?

One of the first things you should look at is what the area is like in terms of crime and whether there are any dubious characters (such as sex offenders) in the area. This will, of course, be especially important for those with children.

In addition, you need to ensure that the property itself is suited to your needs in terms of features and size. For instance, if you work from home you will want to make sure there is a suitable room you can use as a study.

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You need to ensure that the property itself is suited to your needs in terms of features and size.
Photo by Cindy Tang from Unsplash.com

Another thing you can do by using the PeopleFinders online search tool is to find out more about your neighbors. It is important for people to get along with their neighbors if they want to avoid unnecessary stress and enjoy a peaceful life. The ability to learn more about them through people searches and public records searches will make it easier for you to learn more about them.

There are other important factors that you need to consider if you are deciding whether the area is right for you. First of all, you need to find out more about the local facilities and amenities in the area. There are specific  amenities and facilities that may be important to you, including nearby elementary schools and colleges, medical facilities, shops, and entertainment venues.

Finally, you also need to look at the transportation options in the area to ensure you can get around with ease. If you drive, you will want to make sure  you can get to and from work, college, or any other places to which you have to regularly travel. If you do not drive or do not have a car, you should find out more about public transportation options in the area.

You need to find out more about the local facilities and amenities in the area. There are specific  amenities and facilities that may be important to you.
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Looking at all of these factors will help to ensure you make the right choice when it comes to moving to a new area with which you are not familiar. The ability to do all of this research online means that you can save yourself a lot of time and hassle by doing the research quickly and easily from the comfort of your own home.  

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LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

Health benefits of sexual intercourse

We are always looking for one way or the other to get in shape and have the perfect body. And ways to relieve pain as well as prevent heart attacks. Well, search no more, we found one of the best solutions to all these problems. It’s called… SEX.

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We are always looking for one way or the other to get in shape and have the perfect body. And ways to relieve pain as well as prevent heart attacks. Well, search no more, we found one of the best solutions to all these problems. And you do not need to win from sa online casinos to afford it.

Read more about the health benefits of sexual intercourse.

Lazy to Exercise?

We know how you can be lazy to go to the gym. Well, one of the health benefits of sexual intercourse is that it counts as exercise.It might not be the treadmill, but hey, all we want is the exercise right.Besides, when you start getting into shape, they will still want to know what your trick is.

Sexual intercourse uses about five calories a minute. So depending on how many calories you want to reduce, you can just goal out and time your sexual intercourse session. Instead of gym subscriptions, here is an easier way of getting rid of the excess weight.

Sexual intercourse helps to keep estrogen and testosterone levels in balance. 
Photo by Becca Tapert from Unsplash.com

Reduces Heart Attack

We try by all means to avoid a heart attack. We even stop eating some of our favorite foods because they increase chances of us getting heart attacks. Research, however, dictates that a good sex life can reduce chances of heart attack, however there are other activities that can help you to  reduce heart attach such as playing Top jeux de casino that can be an entertainment

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Other than raising our heart rate, sexual intercourse helps to keep estrogen and testosterone levels in balance.  If one of those levels gets lower, we experience problems like osteoporosis, which is the thinning of bones that can cause fractures.

Pain Reliever

The first thing that we reach for when we are in pain is a pain reliever. However, we can always try out another option, how does an orgasm sound? A top professor from the Rutgers State University of New Jersey says an orgasm can block pain. He goes on to say that having an orgasm releases a hormone that helps raise your pain threshold.

Okay, maybe an orgasm is too much to ask, stimulation without an orgasm has the same effects. For the women, the professor says, vaginal stimulation can block chronic back, leg pain, menstrual cramps, arthritic pain and even a headache at times.

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LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

5 Ways to feel the holiday spirit

It’s that time of the year again when the holiday spirit is all around us. And I say: Why not make the most of it by enjoying it?

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Yes, it’s that time of the year again when the holiday spirit is all around us. In a country like the Philippines, it – in fact – started as early as September (when what is called the -ber months started, covering September-December) and won’t end until mid-January, when Filipinos mark the Feast of the Three Kings. So the holiday spirit is really inescapable, as malls are decked in Christmas-related decors, kids start their door-to-door caroling (for a fee), offices hold once-a-year parties (as bosses hand out annual bonuses to employees), and DJs in radio stations/TV anchors keep counting the days left before we all mark Christmas and the start of the New Year.

This is not to say that everyone is touched by the holiday spirit. Because there are some who feel the stress brought by the season instead of the joys it brings. And so for these people, partaking in the festivities isn’t necessarily easy.

Worry not, though: With the belief that this season should be enjoyed by everyone (not just kids), we have here five ways to help get you in the festive spirit.

1.  Play the right music.

There’s a running joke in the Philippines – i.e. that the moment you hear Jose Mari Chan’s Christmas in Our Hearts being played on air, it must already be Christmas. This makes Chan adored… and admittedly hated by some.

But the thing is, you don’t have to just stick to Chan’s songs because there’s more to Christmas music than Chan and, yes, jingle bells and reindeer. And many of the popularly played music for the holidays are chart-toppers.

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There’s more to Christmas music than Jose Mari Chan and, yes, jingle bells and reindeer.
Photo by Mohammad Metri from Unsplash.com

In the UK, the modern fascination with the race for the festive No. 1 started in 1973, thanks to glam rock bands Slade and Wizzard. Not surprisingly, the Christmas No. 1 has been a feature of the UK Singles Chart since 1952, after the week’s best-selling singles was first published in the New Music Express.

Here are some interesting FYIs:

  • 35% of all Christmas No. 1s are cover songs – meaning originality isn’t always the best way to go when it comes to Christmas singles, given that covers account for 23 of the 66 festive number ones
  • Four acts have ever had multiple Christmas No. 1s: The Beatles, Queen, Cliff Richard and Spice Girls
  • Just 12 out of 66 number ones are actually about Christmas; surprisingly, 33% of Christmas No. 1s are actually about love

But there are numerous holiday-related songs to enjoy.

There’s Do They Know It’s Christmas? by Band Aid (released in 1984), which has gone on to sell over three million copies – more than any other Christmas single. 

There’s Last Christmas by Wham! (released in 1984), the best-selling UK single that actually never reached number one.

Fairytale of New York by The Pogues (recorded in 1987 and released in 1988), which reached the top 20 on 15 separate occasions since losing out to Always On My Mind by the Pet Shop Boys in 1987.

And there’s Cliff Richard’s festive-themed chart-topper Saviour’s Day (released in 1990).

Incidentally, more pop songs (30 chart-toppers) than any other genre scooped Christmas number one. In fact, Ariana Grande (4/9) is the current favorite in the online betting this year. So you may want to consider other genres, too.

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Rock songs account for 11 Christmas number ones, including Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen, which took the title in 1975 and 1991 and is the UK’s third-best selling single of all time with 2.53 million sales.

Easy listening, with crooners claiming number one seven times between 1952 and 1976, the most recent of which being Johnny Mathis’ When A Child Is Born.

Choral songs, which are also chart-toppers, most recently A Bridge Over You by the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Choir in 2015.

Or you can even consider soul (with two chart-toppers), dance (also with two chart-toppers), instrumental, folk, disco and a cappella.

The point is, if it gets you in the groove, play it/listen to it. This way, you may finally ease into the holiday mode.

2.  Deck the halls… no, make that the whole house.

Put up the Christmas tree. If you manage to get a fresh one (by ditching the plastic trees), so much the better. Because once set up, staying near that tree, sniffing that pine aroma, is certainly going to pull some strings in you and make you feel… Christmassy.

Bring out those flickering lights, hang the parol (Christmas lantern), place that wreath up, ready the poinsettias, hang the stockings…
Photo by Markus Spiske from Unsplash.com

But don’t stop there: bring out those flickering lights, hang the parol (Christmas lantern), place that wreath up, ready the poinsettias, hang the stockings…

All these help make you anticipate that something special is bound to – and will – happen.

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3.  Watch some classics.

Particularly if you’re – say – Netflix- or HOOQ-crazy or is a couch potato, opt to watch some flicks that will remind you why this season is special.

If you’re not keen on a movie that is hard-selling Christmas, there are other holiday-linked films worth considering.
Photo by Sven Scheuermeier from Unsplash.com

Off the head, must-consider include: Meet Me in St. Louis (1944); It’s a Wonderful Life (1946); Miracle on 34th Street (1947); White Christmas (1954); Home Alone (1990); The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992); The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993); and Love Actually (2003).

If you’re not keen on a movie that is hard-selling Christmas, there are other holiday-linked films worth considering, including: Gremlins (1984); Die Hard (1988); The Family Stone (2005); Edward Scissorhands (1990); and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005).

4.  Join the parties.

There’s nothing wrong with flying solo; but the holiday season is really about togetherness. So try to get out of your shell and/or comfort zone and mingle. Consider this as an opportunity to party and not be judged for being overly festive (meaning, yes, you can drink and party all you want).

The holiday season is really about togetherness.
Photo by Mel Poole from Unsplash.com

5.  Share the spirit.

There are many who may not be as fortunate as you and be unable to celebrate the holidays – e.g. forgotten seniors in old-age homes, kids in orphanages, sick kids in – say – a cancer ward in some hospital, homeless families, et cetera.

As someone who may be in a better position, give some joy by reaching out to them. Maybe – just maybe – by seeing that you’re actually in a far, far better position than many others, you’d understand that there are actually things to be thankful for this season.

As someone who may be in a better position, give some joy by reaching out to them.
Photo by David Everett Strickler from Unsplash.com

So, yes, it’s that time of the year again when the holiday spirit is all around us. And I say: Why not make the most of it by enjoying it?

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Technology

The future of mobile phones – What comes next?

Mobile phones have evolved from bulky bricks capable only of calls to tiny pocket-sized computers capable of practically everything. It’s hard to imagine what could come next considering how advanced modern phones already are, but manufacturers and phone carriers are already busy planning new advancements.

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In the last three decades, mobile phones have evolved from bulky bricks capable only of calls to tiny pocket-sized computers capable of practically everything. It’s hard to imagine what could come next considering how advanced modern phones already are, but manufacturers and phone carriers are already busy planning new advancements.

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Licensed under Creative Commons

Here are just some of the improvements that are thought to shape the future.

LIMITLESS CONNECTION

When it comes to wireless plans, people are now getting much more for their money including free texts and even free calls. Plans such as this Verizon wireless plan offer incredibly strong signal and even mobile hotspot data. It’s thought that in the future, ‘unlimited data’ will become the norm and phone/wi-fi signal will be available practically everywhere allowing people to stay constantly connected.

FACIAL RECOGNITION

Facial recognition is already here with the iPhone X being the first to pass the tests. Other phones are thought to adopt this technology soon making it a standard feature in the future. Facial recognition can be used a secure alternative to a password preventing anyone else from being able to unlock your phone. It could also become the main form of payment – already you can use your phone to make payments and payment apps are now allowing you to use facial recognition technology. Cards may eventually become defunct given that they pose a greater security risk and facial recognition could take over.  

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COLLAPSIBLE PHONES

This year, Samsung unveiled the prototype for the world’s first foldable phone. Once this technology has been perfected, we could see phones on the market that are able to fold up and fit neatly into the smallest pockets, whilst being able to then fold out to the size of tablets when we need a bigger screen. This could make them both more portable and more practical when doing activities such as reading and watching videos. On top of having foldable screens, phones of the future may even have self-healing screens to counteract damage (such technology is already in development, although it could still be a while until it is perfected).

SELF-CHARGING BATTERIES

This technology may be a fair way off yet, but researchers are already looking into it. By using a combination of solar power, hydrogen fuel cells, nanobatteries and perhaps even kinetic energy, it could be possible to keep our phones charged up on the go without ever needing to plug them into a wall. This remains the one big inconvenience with mobile phones – whilst portable chargers already exist, these chargers themselves need to be charged up beforehand. Having a phone that charges itself could make it easier to travel and get by in remote places without having to search for somewhere with a plug point.

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