Top 5 Unusual Hobbies You Don’t Have The Patience For.

28 Feb

Everyone is always looking for that one thing to boast to their friends about, or put on their CV to distinguish them from their peers. Here’s a list that you only dream of having in your repertoire!

5.Extreme Dog Grooming

Extreme Dog Grooming (Creative Grooming) involves colouring the dog’s fur and creatively shaving the fur in order to create the desired artistic effect.

Poodles tend to be the best candidates for this specialist hobby due to the texture of their fur. There is some controversy over whether this is cruel or not. Participants argue that anyone doing it seriously always use dyes and inks safe for the animals. Whether you agree with the hobby or not there are certainly some fantastic designs requiring an astonishing amount of skill.

This is not purely for poodles however – any breed can be used in competition as long as it follows the rules. These differ depending on the event. Cats are also eligible. Yeah, good luck with that.

If you’re ‘dye-ing’ to find out more about this hobby try: National Association of Professional Creative Groomers

4.Noodling

Noodling is the act of fishing, specifically for catfish, but only using your bare hands (or feet) to catch them…

Before you go out and find your nearest stretch of water to try your hand at noodling, be aware that the sport has some restrictions. As of 2002, noodling has only been legal in 11 states in the US: Alabama Arkansas Georgia Illinois Kentucky Mississippi North Carolina Oklahoma South Carolina Tennessee and Wisconsin.

The ‘noodler’ will catch the flathead catfish by sticking his arm into their hiding place (or ‘hole’) and entice it to react defensively and attack with its mouth. The noodler’s hand, once inside the mouth of the catfish, will hold it through the gills and lift it out of the water. Just look at that picture again. Tight lines…

If you’re interested in finding out more, grab onto this: Okie Noodling

3.Carving Egg Shells

This egg decoration is off the wall!

Despite what many think, these are real egg shells. Admittedly, many are not your standard chicken egg; Geese, Ostrich, Rhea, Emu, and Turkey eggs have also been used to create these exquisite designs.

The patience and skill needed to carve such intricate designs into something so fragile as an eggshell is astonishing and takes true dedication. After all, you can’t make an omlette without breaking a few eggs.

If you’re interested in being egged on, try hatching a plan with this: The Egg Shell Sculptor

2.Lockpicking

Lockpicking or Locksport involves the recreational studying of, and learning to defeat, locking systems.

The easiest way to think of this is like a knitting circle, but with locks. Lockpickers get together to trade secrets and techniques on how to defeat locking mechanisms. In a typical meet-up, challenges will be set-up to test and improve upon key skills, for instance lock relay races and timed cracks of mechanisms from different types of locks. It looks like great fun and provides an adreline rush without having to jump out of a plane.

Do be careful with this and pick your locks carefully. Bear in mind breaking into locks that aren’t yours is probably a criminal offence – wherever you live! Be sensible and buy second-hand locks from car boot sales and the like… Don’t want anyone getting locked up!

If you’re interested in unlocking your potential check out: Locksport

1. Pooktre Art

Pooktre Art or Tree Shaping takes the top spot due to the fact you have to wait for trees to grow! Think Bonsai Trees, only on a massive scale.

Although the art of training trees into specific shapes has been around for centuries, two Australians have popularised Pooktre Art for a modern audience. For instance, instead of carving a chair, a Pooktre artist will grow a chair. Peter Cook and Becky Northey create the pieces as living art, although some pieces may be ‘harvested’ for use as indoor furniture. There are many others who are doing similar things and, as they say, there is nothing to prevent everyone from having a go.

If you want to grow into this branch of hobby you’ll want to see this: Pooktre

Anyone who actually does any of these things gets a high-five from us at Top 5!

Top 5 Fictional Maps of Places You’d Love to Visit.

27 Feb

We love a good old map here at Top 5. Especially old maps which claim ‘X marks the spot’ or ‘Here be Dragons’.

5. Arrakis

The centrepiece of Frank Herbert’s magnus opus was the desert planet known colloquially as Dune, home to the Fremen and terrifying giant sand worms. Anyone who has ever read the novel has wanted to go there. It’s not the most hospitable place but we’d all like to think we could awaken our inner badass à la Paul Atreides.

4. Neverland

Peter Pan’s magical refuge for the Lost Boys. A land where crocodiles chase pirates around, while we chill out in treehouses and lagoons. Did we mention the whole ‘never-growing-up’ thing?

3. DiscWorld

Terry Pratchett’s infamous Discworld requires its own laws of physics as it is balanced on the back of four huge elephants who are standing on the back of a giant star turtle, The Great A’Tuin. The unique geography of Discworld requires 4 alternative basic directions: hubwards, rimwards, turnwise (in the same direction as the disc is rotating) and widdershins (opposite direction to disc rotation). That’ll blow the Flat-Earthers’ minds…

2. Azeroth

Warcraft has come a long since its humble beginnings. The MMORPG World of Warcraft has pretty much pwned the market since its release. The massive maps and detailed world is inhabited by dragons, dwarves, orcs, and all the other staples of the fantasy genre. Escapism at its best.

1. Middle-Earth

J. R. R. Tolkien not only created the world of Middle-Earth but the races and languages of its inhabitants. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are the genesis of the entire fantasy genre, whereby elements from Norse and Celtic folklore were forged into a new mythology. The map isn’t just there to look pretty, but at some points in the story it is a must to look at the map to make sense of the complex events taking place concurrently in different areas. The maps of Middle-Earth are the benchmark on how to create and use maps to enhance your fictional world!

There we go… start booking your holidays now!

Top 5 Real-Life Most Interesting Men in the World

26 Feb

Dos Equis has mighty success with their ‘Most Interesting Man in the World’ ad campaign. This got us thinking; who are the most interesting men in the world? What qualifies someone as being interesting? For the purposes of this top 5, we are defining ‘interesting man’ as someone who has reached the pinnacle in numerous professional fields and we feel has added something to humanity.

5. Dolph Lundgren

Actor/Director/Martial Artist known primarily for his role in the Rocky series as Ivan Drago.

  • He holds a master’s degree in Chemical Engineering.
  • Has released his own range of vitamins and supplements.
  • Claimed IQ of 160
  • He speaks Swedish, English, and Spanish with some German, French, Italian, and Japanese.
  • Just his photograph can fend off burglars! His house was broken into and his wife tied up by the burglars who upon noticing his family photo quickly left.
  • He can sing, dance, drum, and break ice, all within rapid succession.

Have you ever seen anything so epic?

4. Bruce Dickinson

Lead singer with heavy metal legends Iron Maiden.

  • UK commercial airline pilot who in 2006 flew 200 UK citizens from Lebanon during the Israel-Hezbollah conflict and in 2008 flew home 180 stranded holiday makers from Egypt.
  • Ventured into radio with his Friday Rock Show which ran for 8 years on BBC Radio 6 Music.
  • Has written 2 novels and co-written the screenplay ‘Chemical Wedding’ with Director Julian Doyle.
  • Flies his band around the world when on tour in Ed Force 1… because he can.
  • Ranked 7th in Great Britain for fencing.

Never a dull moment with this guy!

3. James Doohan

Famous for his portrayal as Scotty in Star Trek.

  • His talents go far beyond those of mortal man. He not only starred in Star Trek but is the creator of the Klingon and Vulcan languages.
  • His military service record boasts surviving D-Day after being shot 6 times by Canadian friendly fire.
  • Also whilst in the military, he earned the title ‘Craziest pilot in the Canadian Air Force’ for slaloming between telegraph poles while flying down a mountainside in a Mark IV Auster.
  • After his death he had his ashes jettisoned into space as part of his will.
  • He collaborated on 3 science fiction novels with  S. M. Sterling.

What a human being!

2. Mick Foley

Known for his alter ego’s on the professional wrestling world stage including Mankind Cactus Jack and Dude Love.

  • Is a multiple New York Times best-selling autobiographer.
  • Has lost part of an ear wrestling… real man stuff. He also pulled out his own hair.
  • Is a successful stand-up comedian.
  • Has written fiction for both children and adults.
  • Hosted ‘Robot Wars’ – geek points!
  • Helped fund childhood education in the Philippines and Mexico and 4 community schools in Sierra Leone.
  • Logged more than 550 hours talking to victims online for the RAINN (Rape Abuse and Incest National Network)
  • Encouraged people to give to charity by offering to mow donor’s lawns, stating ‘If you want to help survivors of sexual assault or just want to see a big guy with long hair mowing your lawn in front of your friends please take part…’
  • Enjoys socks… let’s be honest, who doesn’t?

Who’d have thought he was such a nice guy?

1. Brian Blessed

Actor known for his bellowing voice and larger-than-life characters.

  • Before becoming an actor was an undertaker and plasterers’ assistant.
  • Served in the Royal Air Force as a parachutist.
  • At 17 reached the summit of Mont Blanc.
  • Has recovered from a nervous breakdown at the tender age of 18.
  • Attempted to climb Mount Everest on 3 separate occasions – but never reached the summit. At the age of 55, despite having climbed higher without oxygen than any other man his age, he turned back to save another climber’s life at a mere 29 000 ft. What a hero!
  • He holds the record for being the oldest man to reach the Magnetic North Pole on foot.
  • Has successfully climbed some of the world most famous mountains including Mount Kilimanjaro.
  • Has recorded with UK power metal band Pythia on their 2009 album ‘Beneath the Veiled Embrace’.
  • Impersonated Pavarotti on ‘Celebrity Stars in their Eyes’ – one, of if not the greatest tenor who ever lived… that takes some balls.
  • Animal rescuer!

This man-mountain’s talents know no bounds!

There you have it… What will they think of next?

Top 5 Cars You Will Never Own (but wish you could)

26 Feb

Using Top 5 logic we all know girls love a guy with a sexy car… and guys love having a sexy car because the girls love a guy with a sexy car. Likewise, some girls love driving a sexy car. Some guys love a girl with a sexy car. In other words, everyone loves a sexy car. Here’s our Top 5 sexy cars you will never own but wish you could.

5. Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale

Rare, beautiful to look at, and fluent in Italian – what’s not to love? Did we mention butterfly doors?

Cost when new: USD 17k in 1968 (not sold in the UK at the time)

Estimated cost atm: £2 mil (USD 3.2 mil)

Top Speed: 160 mph

BHP: 270

0-60: 5.5 secs

# in existence: 18 made (5 later modified)

Sexy Points: 7/10

4.Ferrari 330 P4

Just look at those curves! Oh yeah, and in 1967 the P4’s finished 1st, 2nd and 3rd at Daytona. Not just a pretty face…

Cost when new: Unknown

Estimated cost atm: Unknown

Top Speed: 210 mph

BHP: 450

0-60: unknown

# in existence: 3 made: only 1 remains in original state.

Sexy Points: 9/10

3. Jaguar XJ220

At the time of its release it was the fastest production car in the world. Its name boasts of a max speed of  220 mph. It didn’t actually achieve that speed, so like most men, it exaggerated its prowess.

Cost when new: £361k (USD 580k)

Estimated cost atm: £130k (USD 206k)

Top Speed: 217 mph (what’s 3 mph between friends?)

BHP: 542

0-60: 3.6 secs

# in existence: 350 made

Sexy Points: 8/10

2. Bugatti Veyron SS.

The fastest production car in the world right now. Who wouldn’t want this car in the garage?

Cost when new: £1.7 mil (USD 2.7 mil)

Estimated cost atm: see above

Top Speed: 267.856 mph

BHP: 1184

0-60: 2.46 secs

# in existence: 30

Sexy Points: 5/10 (dumb blondes might think it’s an Audi)

1.The Batmobile.

The Dark Knight’s pimped-out ride. Because we all want to be a superhero whose alter-ego is a billionaire playboy.

Cost when new: Unknown

Estimated cost atm: Unknown

Top Speed: 330 mph (with jet turbine booster)

BHP: Holy horsepower Batman!

0-60: 3.7secs

# in existence: 1

Sexy Points: 10/10

Top 5 Classical Instruments that Rock!

26 Feb

You’re 16 years old and play in the school band. Your parents have poured their efforts into giving you music lessons. You’re a rock star in your own right. If only you hadn’t picked up the Euphonium. The cool kids don’t realise that some of the most bizarre and nerdiest instruments have been used in the coolest songs around. Beat back the bullies with our Top 5 Classical Instruments that Rock!

5.  The Bagpipes – Example: It’s a Long Way to the Top (If Ya Wanna Rock and Roll) by AC/DC

This is the curveball and hence comes in at #5. It’s in here because it proves that odd instruments not only rock but are pretty awesome. AC/DC = rock. Using Top 5 logic we can therefore say Bagpipes = rock.

4. Harpsichord – Example: Golden Brown by The Stranglers

Alright, this one probably doesn’t even feature on the ‘I-Mac-G4-technowizardry’ generation’s radar. What’s that saying? The old ones are the best. Young punks. Moving on…

3. Flute – Example: Sure Shot by the Beastie Boys

These guys are old school and will fight for your right to party with even the coolest of kids. It’s a Sure Shot.

2. Cello – Example: Eleanor Rigby by The Beatles

Okay. It’s the obvious choice and not exactly the rockiest of songs. It’s one that everyone knows. If you’re not convinced that the Cello can rock as hard as any other instrument, do some homework on the subgenre of rock and metal: Cello Rock. You won’t be disappointed.

1. Violin (plus supporting strings and horn section) – Example: Kashmir by Led Zeppelin

I can’t remember where I read this but I think it was Jack White who said ‘I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t like Led Zeppelin’. Let this be a lesson to you all. Kashmir has an array of strings and horns that will convince any nonbeliever that classical instruments do indeed rock!

Any other famous songs you think are worth mentioning? That’s what the comment box is for… interesting offers will induce labour for a part 2.