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Stuart Farrimond

Stuart Farrimond has written 261 posts for Guru Magazine

‘Not the 12 Days of Christmas’ Day 10: The six worst Xmas family photos… ever!

On the 10th day of Christmas my Guru gave to me… six of the worst Christmas family portraits ever.

It’s difficult to understand why some people think sending Christmas cards with a family portrait on is a good idea. Sure, it’s a clever way to get your beautiful mush on your friend’s fireplace, but it’s just, well… a bit weird.

More bizarre than a twee photo of relatives you never see are these creepy snaps. Ho, ho ho.. here are six of the worst – and perhaps funniest – Christmas family portraits of all time…

6. The VERY bad Christmas jumper family portrait

Yes, ridiculous festive jumpers are in fashion but this example of matching Christmas tops reaches new levels of terrible taste. Choosing red for women and blue for men is a special touch.

Very bad Christmas jumper family photo

5. Goth Family Robinson Christmas family portrait (and Santa)

If you thought heavy metal fans couldn’t enjoy some Christmas cheer, then this photo should put you straight. Can’t you feel the love?

Goth Christmas family portrait

4. Three bare-chested men and a huge snowman photo

Pert nipples all round! These proud men show how good they are at erecting a huge snowman by standing semi-naked in sub-zero temperatures while flexing their pecs.

Bare chested Christmas photo

3. The very disturbing naked Dad Christmas family photo

This photo is wrong on so many levels. You’re unsure whether to laugh, cringe or call the police… It goes beyond quirky into slightly-disturbing territory. Presumably the fire is turned to the ideal temperature for Dad’s bum.

Naked Dad Christmas photo

2. The Elvis Christmas family photo

Those Elvis impersonators show the remarkable ability to look absolutely nothing like Elvis. Isn’t that Michael Jackson in the top-left?

Elvis Christma family photo

1. The Naturists do Christmas Garden-of-Eden-style family photo

Naturists trying to celebrate humanity’s first Christmas? It’s a miracle how those leaves stay on.

Naturists Christmas family portrait

Every day in the run up to Christmas, we will be publishing a humorous, witty or intriguing post. It’s the Guru’s Not the 12 Days of Christmas! Missed any? Click here to see all the festive posts so far.

And yes, we know the real twelve days of Christmas officially starts on Christmas day…

Photos source: Mirror.co.uk

‘Not the 12 Days of Christmas’ Day 3: International Xmas Eating Infographic!

On the third Day of Christmas, my Guru gave to me… Reason to eat another slice of cake!

You may think your way of ‘doing Christmas’ is how everyone does it. Of course not! If you’re bored at the prospect of dining on a roast turkey (or some other bird) on Christmas Day, then why not consider trying something with a bit more spice?

This neat infographic shows twelve different food traditions from around the world (click to enlarge).

And if you don’t have a Scooby Doo what all of these mean, here are some clues:

Twelve Interesting Christmas Food Traditions From Around the World


Every day in the run up to Christmas, we will be publishing a humorous, witty or intriguing post. It’s the Guru’s Not the 12 Days of Christmas! Missed any? Click here to see all the festive posts so far.

And yes, we know the real twelve days of Christmas officially starts on Christmas day…

Book Review: Sex on Earth – A Celebration of Animal Reproduction

Sex on Earth cover artAnimal sex isn’t the sort of thing that usually sells books. With the possible exception of those funny Daily Mail attention-grabbers (like ‘The joy of T-Rex: scientists show how dinosaurs had sex’), most of us couldn’t give two hoots about the ins and outs of animal private parts (at least, not in public). To openly sit down with a book “celebrating” animal reproduction is to most people just, well, a bit weird. Especially when the book is bright orange and has the words “SEX ON EARTH” on the cover. But if you put your prudishness back on the (top) shelf for a moment, and dare to delve into Jules Howard’s titillatingly-titled début, then you’ll be in for a page-turning treat. And hands-down it will be infinitely more entertaining than Fifty Shades of Grey. No, seriously.

Released today, Sex on Earth: a celebration of animal reproduction is among the first books that mark the unveiling of Bloomsbury Publishing’s new Sigma pop-science brand. The book charts author Jules Howard’s twelve-month ‘animal sex journey’ of discovery. A man clearly on a mission, he travels the length and breadth of the UK meeting animal sexperts and spending far too long obsessing about trying to take videos of frogs and slugs getting it on (but not with each other). Each of the book’s fourteen chapters recount his experiences with dozens of (mostly randy) animals copulating with each other and – sometimes – inanimate objects. The variety and – dare I say it? – wonder of how members of the animal kingdom manage to keep spreading their genes is fascinating, if at times also a little stomach-churning. Nature’s carnal diversity makes the Kama Sutra look rather tame.

But early on, Howard sets out his no-nonsense manifesto: no silly shock-facts just for the sake of it (à la newspaper reports of dinosaurs with 12-foot-long penises). Rather, every panda bum and eye-watering anecdote is justified and used as the springboard into something deeper. The topics up for discussion are relevant and timely: flamingos, mallards, jackdaws and slugs each serve as a means to introduce thought-provoking explorations of homosexuality, rape, monogamy and unconventional mating habits, for example. But that doesn’t mean shock-fact fans are left wanting, as Howard also educates us on how a duck summons an erection in less than a third of a second and informs us that banana slugs eat each other’s penises off (there are also several “explosive” YouTube videos that I have not yet dared to watch.) Let’s just put it this way: after reading the first fifty pages, you certainly aren’t going to be the boring one with nothing to talk about at the dinner party.

While interesting and educational, Sex on Earth also manages to do what few science-themed books can – make the reader laugh! Reading like a travelogue rather than a science book, tales of Howard’s’ misadventures are told vividly and with the kind of dry wit and self-deprecation that you would normally expect from a seasoned comic author like Ben Elton.

One particularly memorable story is that of Ollie the pig and Billie the farmyard dog. So funny was it, that I became somewhat embarrassed: hysterical outbursts while reading in a coffee shop are not a good look. Of course, I won’t spoil what happens – you can use your imagination.

The balance of realism, humour and science throughout make for compelling reading. Some of the humour is very British and may be lost on international readers. Yes, there are some rough edges. Some of the more philosophical arguments – such as those surrounding animal (*cough*) self-gratification – are left uncomfortably open-ended. And the occasional unexplained piece of jargon also slips in. But as a whole, Sex on Earth is one of the best books I’ve read in a very long time. Cheeky and charming, it deserves to be a wild bestseller – even if the subject matter is off-putting for some.

Perhaps the two very cute pandas on the front cover will win a few people over, though. Just look how they seem to be in love – how sweet! Now, if that doesn’t melt your heart, then what Ollie and Billie get up to most certainly will…

Review by Dr Stu

Slider Image Source: Dinner for two by DaiLuo, on Flickr

5/5 Stars

Sex on Earth: a celebration of animal reproduction by Jules Howard is published by Bloomsbury Sigma and released on 23 October 2014

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