Angry Seagulls, Chocolate, A Horse with No Name, Streaming Yoga, Two Cows.... all rolled in to one Good Friday bulletin of Good News & Other Stuff to Make you Smile.
The Irish seagull community has called for emergency chips to be delivered to seaside resorts across the country amid dwindling footfall figures as a direct result of the Covid-19 lockdown.
Not used to foraging for food naturally using their basic instincts, the Westernised gulls likened the current climate to a ‘famine’, stating that humans will have blood on their hands as opposed to bird poop if things are to remain the same.
“Where’s our f***ing chips?” a seagull announced from a sea battered railing on Tramore promenade, now closed for the past 2 weeks along with several take away food restaurants. “We’re basically left here to starve to death with not even a spice burger between us. What are we supposed to do; dive bomb into the sea like those culchie seagulls out there, fending for themselves? I’ll be fucked if I have to chase some smelly fishing boat. Also, I’m scared of heights for Christ sakes and haven’t a clue about surviving on my own”.
Echoing the seagulls squawks, the smaller bird sandpiper community also called for some intervention, however, not for free chips, but to eradicate all seagulls from seaside resorts indefinitely.
“They can piss off with their emergency chips,” announced a 3-year-old sandpiper, who’s sick to death of seagulls bullying food from his family’s beaks, “I speak for all the small birds around here when I say; they deserve to die in a chip famine!
As it's Easter and there's bound to be plenty of chocolate within relatively easy reach, you might like to assuage some guilt by discovering a handful of convincing health reasons for eating (more) chocolate. In times of stress, happiness, boredom, lockdown, self-isolation, Friday night, any night – many of us turn to chocolate to put a smile on our faces.
We're not (sadly) suggesting that you scoff a whole bag of Cadbury's Creme Eggs, but it's nice to know that a little square of good-quality dark choccy here and there not only lifts our mood, but has a range of other medicinal benefits, too. That's right, chocolate is healthy (within reason; the darker the better). Here are some more scientifically* established health benefits of good chocolate.
Chocolate makes you feel better: Chocolate contains phenylethylamine (PEA), which is the same chemical that your brain creates when you feel like you’re falling in love. PEA encourages your brain to release feel-good endorphins.
It's good for the heart and circulation: A study found that dark chocolate helps restore flexibility to arteries while also preventing white blood cells from sticking to the walls of blood vessels - both common causes of artery clogging.
It reduces risk of stroke: Researchers in Finland have found that chocolate consumption lowers the risk of suffering a stroke - by an average of 17% in the group of men they tested. (Sorry ladies, they only focused on men!)
It's mineral rich: Dark chocolate is packed with beneficial minerals such as potassium, zinc and selenium, and a 100g bar of dark (70% or more) chocolate provides 67% of the RDA of iron.
It reduces cholesterol: Consumption of cocoa has been shown to reduce levels of “bad” cholesterol and raise levels of “good” cholesterol, potentially lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease.
It's good for your skin: The flavonols in dark chocolate can protect the skin against sun damage (though nobody suggests abandoning sun cream).
Chocolate is good for the brain: Flavanols are thought to reduce memory loss in older people, and the anti-inflammatory qualities of dark chocolate have been found to be beneficial in treating brain injuries such as concussion.
* Warning: most scientific studies are sponsored by 'Big Chocolate' who clearly have a certain bias. But, hey ho, it's Easter! Let's just think about the positives and enjoy a bit of naughtiness.
A HORSE WITH NO NAME
Creative idea for gently working off your Easter chocolate consumption... but you may need to get the whole way across the desert to keep your waistline in shape. If you come up with any better ideas, please send them to us
If you've been banned from the Peak District or any other place of natural beauty, and are looking for a way to move your body to work off stress, yoga can be the perfect home-based workout. And a workout app can be the answer you need to get yourself in the flow. With its near-perfect rating on the App Store, YogaDownload was one that caught our eye, and so we decided to put it to the test, and rather like it. Some of us at OGN Towers (all working from home, of course) are getting happily bendy and enjoying disappearing in the 'zone'.
YogaDownload brings yoga to your devices by providing pre-filmed yoga and workout classes you can stream and download. Both a website and a mobile app, it's great if you're looking to keep up with or develop your yoga practice at home. Whether you're a beginner or a yoga studio regular (remember those days?), you're bound to find classes you enjoy. It starts at around US $10 per month for unlimited classes, and even offers a free class to let you try it out before committing.
Economics explained, using only 2 cows.
Have a great weekend!