Coffee. The vivifying bean under scrutiny.

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Drinking coffee was initiated by the Arabs around the 12th century and since that time the beverage has won people’s hearts. But is it good for us? There has been an on-going squabble on the impact of the beverage on our health. Moderate drinking is completely safe but – not too much of a good thing. What are the benefits and ill effects of the drink? Let’s take a closer look at 4 mysterious substances of a coffee bean – caffeine, polyphenols, trigonelin and oxalic acid.

Caffeine is the core ingredient which makes us awake and … addicted, thanks to its stimulating properties. Like nicotine and many drugs, caffeine is a poison produced by plants in the wild for protection against pests. Moderate dose of caffeine (up to 400 mg per day) for a healthy adult does not affect health. But! Enough is enough. More than 600 mg of caffeine per day can cause feelings of anxiety, insomnia and headaches; in the long run it can even cause cardiovascular diseases or reduce bone mineral density.

Polyphenols (mainly chlorogenic, quinic and coffee acids) in turn, are very beneficial. They have anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. They also prevent atherosclerosis and reduce the absorption of metals from the diet.

Another precious substance is trigonelin. It transforms into nicotinic acid (vitamin PP) during the grain burning. Vitamin PP is vital for many life processes, such as metabolism, energy production, synthesis of certain hormones and DNA.

Finally, there is oxalic acid. The main source of the oxalic acid in the diet are plant products and it’s also the final product of metabolism. The oxalic acid unfortunately is not that good as it lowers the level of calcium in the blood as well the use of minerals supplied with food.

Thus, as we can see, coffee is not as bad as it is often presented. It contains some harmful substances but it is balanced with a number of nutritious values. And let’s not forget about the flavor and aroma which more than make up for all the ‘evil’ of the beverage.

 

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18 SHADES OF RAINBOW: REVOLUTION PRO REGENERATION TRENDS MISCHIEF MATTES

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Have you ever fallen in love at first sight? Yeah, so have I. But did you fall in love with an item not a human being? Well, I did, and I bet some of you did as well. My love interest that I’m going to review today is an eyeshadow palette Revolution PRO Regenerations Trends Mischief Mattes. Let’s be honest…it is stunning! Even if you are a man and you don’t put your makeup on, these colours should definitely draw your attention.

  1. Revolution Beauty

Revolution Beauty is a British company who creates cosmetics, skincare and haircare. They ship internationally, they are 100% cruelty free and the majority of their products are vegan. On their website, they explain why they are so revolutionary- the answer is simple! They offer cosmetics of  excellent quality at the most affordable prices. They promote their products on social media- mostly on Instagram- and they choose their customers to try their products there.

Revolution Beauty owns 5 brands:

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In Poland, we can get Revolution Beauty products almost everywhere online, e.g. Cocolita.pl, Ezebra.pl, Ekobieca.pl, Horex.pl, and in stores such as Hebe (but only selected products).

Revolution PRO is available only in selected Rossmanns and at Cocolita.pl

If any of you hate waiting for new goods to arrive in Poland, you can shop at the official Revolution website which is Revolutionbeauty.com.

  1. Revolution PRO Trends Mischief Mattes

When I first saw this palette I told myself: “I have to have it!”. All these crazy and bright shades made me desire it so much that I really considered spending my last penny on it. The struggle was real. I asked myself “Do I really need another eyeshadow palette?”, and the answer was: “Yasss girl, you do.”

I regret nothing.

But back to the point.

The palette consists of 18 matte shades in really bright, rich colours. At first, you may think that it isn’t enough. But I can assure you that once you start using it, you won’t be willing to use anything else. A good black eyeliner and, if you really need the shine, one shimmery eyeshadow will create a perfect set for anyone who is just starting their makeup journey or wants it for everyday usage.

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The shades are very well pigmented, they blend together beautifully, they are not patchy or muddy.

It’s worth noting that 2 shades ‘Indication’ and ‘Daydream’ seem a little bit dry to touch, but if you have a wet base on your eyelid, there shouldn’t be any problem with the application.

Overall, the palette boosts creativity and imagination as it really allows a user to fully enjoy doing eye makeup looks and playing with the colours.

Since I started using this palette, I’ve become braver and more creative in mixing different colours together.

Revolution PRO Regeneration Palette- Trends Mischief Mattes is a ‘must have’ due to the quality and price, which, by the way, is 39.90zł/ €8.99/ £8.00.

  1. A pictorial of an eye look promoting the palette

Apply the mixture of SAINT and ATTACHED onto your brow bone, so that other shades don’t stick to it immediately. Starting from the inner corner of an eye, above your crease, apply sequentially NEW DAY, DAYDREAM, HALF TIME, RICOCHET, RINGLEADER, UNDERDOG, and EXCLUSIVE ending underneath your brow bone.

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Cut the crease and onto half of your eyelid apply the mixture of SAINT and ATTACHED again. Be careful to maintain the clear line of the cut crease.

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Starting again from your inner corner apply sequentially SHRINE, INDICATION, CRUSADE, POISON, BELIEVER, and NEW DAY ending on your outer V.

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Then, apply UPPERHAND in the inner part and the mixture of HAUNTED and CURSED in the outer part of your lower lash line. To complete the look, draw golden lines along the cut crease lines to camouflage them, brighten up your very inner corner and put mascara on your lashes and enjoy this colourful but crazy eye look!

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Other inspirations:

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Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed it!

Klaudia Białczyk

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MANGO (2)

We have been producing plastic objects uninterruptedly since the 1940s. Nowadays, 20,000 plastic bottles are manufactured per second, which shows how serious this increasing problem of overusing material has become. In order to meet market demand, scientists have been developing products which are as strong as plastic but at the same time – environment-friendly. They have proved that not only crude oil but also algae, wood, mango and shellfish can be used for the production of ecoplastic.

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Can containers and bottles be made out of renewable materials such as algae? Dutch scientists Eric Klarenbeek and Maartje Dros have proved that it is possible. These two designers developed a method for manufacturing plastic fibres used in 3D printing, which can be a solution to the huge consumption of plastic products including bags, straws, cutlery and food storage boxes. In order to produce such biodegradable material, they collected/picked, dried and transformed algae into the innovative recycled plastic whose decomposition is treated in an environmentally sound manner.

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Bioplastic made out of wood – is it even possible? It turns out that lignin, a substance that makes the plant hard can be used as feedstock in the bioplastic industry. As lignin is a mass by-product in the manufacture of paper, it should be fully exploited, and not only as fuel as it has been so far. Professor Tim Bugg from the University of Warwick has discovered bacteria which process lignin into a raw material for bioplastic production. We will no longer buy plastic cups, but instead biodegradable ones.

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What can be done with mango? Obviously, you can eat and use it for cooking, but how about wearing mango? Mexican undergraduates of the National Polytechnic Institute discovered an unusual usage of the mango skin and seed and produced PET-like material which is able to decay naturally and harmlessly. These students believe that the production of bottles and disposable cups will be based on substances extracted from fruits. Fibres obtained from mango may replace synthetic fibres that are usually used in the manufacture of clothes and provide a new resource that can be recycled.

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Imagine. You prepare shrimps, lobster and crabs for dinner. You enjoy your meal, and then you have to clean up. What do you do with shells? I knew it! You throw them out. What if I told you that these shells are used in the production of so-called Shrilk, durable and biodegradable plastic? Scientists from Harvard University extracted Chitosan, the substance from the chitin shells and combined it with silk protein, creating material which may be used in the production of plastic foil.

Despite these methods of plastic production that are used on a very small scale in laboratories, we know that plastic can be easily replaced with biodegradable materials. It is all about using resources that are fully accessible. Perhaps surprisingly, we will stop using plastic objects completely in the near future, and ecoplastic will be enough.

 

Paulina Janiów

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5 ways to avoid writing your MA… and not feel totally guilty

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Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Are you being driven nuts by all the pressure to finish your MA (or any kind of work, really) as soon as possible? Well, here’s a few ideas of things to do to put off buckling down to work for just a little bit longer. Continue reading

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Alfa Romeo Giulietta – Italian, but better than you might think

“Hi, my name is Juliet and I will take care of you today” – I heard in my head when I got the keys to a red Alfa parked next to a sidewalk.

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The Alfa Romeo Giulietta is decidedly a car one can fall in love with at first sight like a voluptuous woman encountered on a street. Regular car reviews usually devote little time to cars’ physical appearance, but in the case of this Alfa Romeo, and Alfas in general, body styling and overall looks are something that can be admired for hours. The Giulietta’s bodywork is full of all kinds of stylistic flavors. Cleverly hidden handles for opening the rear doors, LED daytime running lights, rear headlights looking flirty like female eyes, red brake calipers embellished with the proud Alfa Romeo sign or beautiful, aluminum, silver-colored rims are just some stylistic accents that enrich the Giulietta.

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Enough of this admiration for the flirty shapes of Juliet. Stubborn supporters who adore VW Golf’s stylistics will regardless consider this car to be not very visually appealing, too conspicuous and overdone.

I get inside and the admiration comes over me again. The whole interior is done with taste and finesse, and in this case, you can definitely say that the exterior and interior design of the car complement each other perfectly. What is important, in the cabin of the Giulietta you don’t feel the Fiat heritage. Everything seems to be created and designed from scratch.

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And how does the interior of the Giulietta look from the practical side? I will say briefly, it’s good. Admittedly, you have to get used to the arrangement and function of some buttons, but everything can be grasped. Finishing materials are of good quality, however, their fitting could be better. When driving on an uneven surface, quiet sounds like crickets reach our ears.

When it comes to the space of the car hidden under the hood I expected something more. Instead, I found a large plastic cover with a MultiAir engine type designation and a Turbo Benzina inscription. Zero chromium, zero imagination, maximum normality.

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Fortunately, the power unit working in this car has an ace in the hole. 170 hp and 250 Nm available from 2500 rpm. They brought a wide smile to my face. The 7,7 seconds needed to accelerate to 100 km/h and over 218 km/h of top speed added to my excitement even more.

Alfa Romeo boasts about its unique system that changes the settings of the car called DNA. Its operation, similar to the appearance of the car, can also be easily compared to a woman. In the Dynamic mode, the power steering gives more resistance, the suspension becomes harder, and the response to even the slightest gas pedal movement is as violent as a woman’s answer to an indiscreet question. Forget about the Normal DNA setting. If you drive a Giulietta, it’s only in the Dynamic mode.

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The Alfa Romeo Giulietta has a lot of competition which she tries to bravely face. The Renault Megane, the Seat Leon, the Volkswagen Golf, the Honda Civic if equipped in reasonable engines may definitely be cars with an edge. Undoubtedly, when we feel guided by the heart when buying a car then the Giulietta can be unrivaled. If the jokes about Alfa Romeo drivers get out of date then rational decision making will also plead in favor of the beautiful Italian.

 

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5 REASONS WHY IT’S WORTH OWNING AN EXOTIC PET

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Have you ever thought that having a regular pet like a cat or a dog doesn’t do it for you? Perhaps for some reason or because of certain limitations you can’t own a demanding animal. Maybe the answer to your plight has been in plain sight all along: an exotic pet. People often seem to be of the impression that exotic pets belong in the home of true enthusiasts and find the idea of owning an unusual animal intimidating. In spite of various misconceptions concerning owning an exotic pet, there are decisive advantages to be taken into account. Below is a list of arguments for owning an exotic pet.

  1. Originality. This may sound like a cliché, but for many people of more refined tastes, having a mundane rodent won’t cut it. Being especially passionate about a given type of exotic pet ensures you won’t quickly get bored after the thrill of having a novelty in your house has worn off.
  2. Low maintenance. While the degree of maintenance varies depending on the species, exotic pets are generally more straightforward when it comes to their care. The costs and the amount of energy you need to invest in having a corgi is comparable to having a small child. Meanwhile, the only thing that a tarantula needs is a small to medium enclosure, proper humidity and warmth level, water dish, and food a couple of times a week.
  3. Affection. Sadly, most people seem to forget the fact that your pet needs even more attention than you do. An exotic pet is a good choice if you yourself are not the cuddly type since while some of the more unusual animals are capable of bonding, they won’t recognise you as their master.
  4. An incredible learning experience. Exotic pets display fascinating behaviours and tracking their habits can be helpful in developing and honing observation skills. Besides, a well-equipped terrarium provides a glimpse into the beauty of nature.
  5. Unique traits that are perks at the same time. Exotic pets are characterised by features that are not found in any other pets.
    • Most exotic pets don’t require big spaces, making them ideal companions for people living in flats.
    • Also, one of the reservations against having a pet is their low life expectancy, causing people to fear a potential loss. However, genetic potential of exotic pets allows them to live 20-40 years, provided they are properly taken care of.
    • Moreover, they are an excellent solution for unfortunate individuals who have pet allergies, as reptiles or tarantulas don’t have fur which is a major irritant. People with mild allergies can tolerate hairless rats or guinea pigs as well.
    • Lastly, exotic pets don’t need to be walked, which is a major improvement for people who are too busy to include walking in their schedule.

Finally, please remember that any pet, exotic or not, is a living and feeling creature, which is a tremendous responsibility and requires a lot of care.

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Hamilton: expectations vs reality

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I don’t remember exactly how I found out about Hamilton. I just remember that soon after its’ premiere on Broadway positive reviews began to appear. The Internet has been flooded with interviews with the originator, songwriter and lead actor, Lin Manuel Miranda and that was how my obsession with Hamilton began.

Hamilton is a hip-hop musical (yes, hip-hop), which tells the story of Alexander Hamilton, one of the founding fathers of the United States of America, inspired by Alexander Hamilton’s biography written by historian Ron Chernow. If you think that a story about a founding father will never work with hip-hop, rap, R&B and pop give it a listen (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jR1jn8tfrLg). The story is filled with struggles against adversities of fate, the fight for independence, it is filled with friendship, love and lust and the musical is now one of the most popular and top grossing musicals in history.  Hamilton conquered the hearts of the public and critics with brilliant lyrics, amazing choreography, an incredibly talented cast and with the casting of non-white actors to play historic figures.

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The original Broadway cast of Hamilton. (Source: https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2016-hamilton-broadway-profit/)

In 2015, I began to listen to the songs from the musical on repeat. First selectively, then one by one, until I managed to rap the majority of them along with the cast. The only problem was that listening to the songs was basically all I could do as there was no recording of the musical available online and me flying to New York was not an option.

However, everything changed when my friend called me a year ago in February and informed me that Hamilton would be playing on the West End in London for a year. I quickly went online and checked ticket availability for upcoming months to find out that majority of the tickets had already been sold out. Panicking a little and thinking what to do I searched for the first available tickets (August) and on impulse bought the two cheapest tickets for the show thinking “I’m not throwing away my shot”. Not knowing who I would be going with, how and even whether I would be going at all, I was a proud owner of two Hamilton tickets.

Fast-forward seven months I was sitting in the Victoria Palace Theatre in London, waiting for the curtain to go up and ready to see the story and wondering whether the show would live up to my expectations.

My biggest fear was that I wouldn’t be able to fully enjoy the performance because of the differences in the voices of the new London cast in comparison to the original New York cast whose voices I already knew so well. However, the cast was chosen in such a way that their voices were matched with the voices of the original cast very well. Only Giles Terera who played Aaron Burr and Michael Jibson who played King George didn’t match up the original cast. Terera lisped quite a bit and although his performance was incredible, in comparison with Leslie Odon, I prefer Odon. When it comes to the portrayal of King George, it lacked the perfect balance of comedy and horror, which was so well illustrated by Jonathan Groff.

Worthy of praise, however, were Jamael Westman, who played the title role and Obioma Ugoala, who played George Washington. Westman proved that he is the perfect choice for Alexander Hamilton from the opening verses. His vibe and rapping skills equalled Lin Manuel Miranda’s performance. Ugoala, on the other hand, stole the show with his intense energy and powerful voice, which I did not expect.

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In the middle Jamael Westman, the main lead on West End. (Source: https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-42263705 )

The set design changed frequently, but the changes were minimal, fluent, in sync with the choreography and did not disturb the performance. The stage was built of two moving circles, which added dynamism to the performance. The choreography was impressive, well thought-out but did not distract from the story. The changes between songs were smooth and the plot had a good flow. However, I would recommend getting acquainted with the lyrics before seeing the musical. Throughout the show I was laughing at Hamilton’s witty and clever lines and I was crying during “Satisfied”, “Stay Alive (Reprise)” and during the last scenes of the show.

The last scenes were beautifully choreographed and heart-breaking. It perfectly summarized the show and the life of Alexander Hamilton. That final scene filled the room with tangible silence, and you could hear people trying to suppress their tears just as I did. Hamilton, without surprise, ended with standing ovations from the whole audience. The show lived up to my high expectations and I would see it again if I could.

That said, if you ever find yourself in London; if you are interested in history; if you like hip-hop music; or if you simply enjoy a good performance, I would definitely recommend seeing Hamilton.

Useful links:

Hamilton tickets:  https://hamiltonmusical.com/london/tickets

What is Hamilton about?: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/theatre/what-to-see/hamilton-musical-ignorant-brits-guide/

Patrycja Kakuba

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Things they won’t tell you about Santorini

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Last year I made my biggest dream come true – I visited Santorini! Unluckily, Santorini that all of us know from postcards, which make us believe that all Greek islands look like that, is just Οία. Οία, which is a small village located at the top of the Santorini island is famous for white houses constituting the background for unforgettable blue domes and windmills. Together they make an impressive landscape that the majority of travellers wish to see at least once. Surprisingly, there are certain characteristics of that divine island that no travel agency or sponsored blogger will tell you about…

 

The whole island does not look like that

Shocking, right? What do you get when you type „Santorini” on Google? A stunning view that you believe you will admire during your whole stay? Well, if you are determined to spend at least five thousand Euros, then yes. But for the majority of tourists for whom a hotel is essential only when they need to sleep, that option is too pricey. Happily, choosing a hotel on a budget in a different part of the island gives you the opportunity to visit other facilities that Santorini is full of! What is more, if you think that the whole island looks just like its’ most famous part, then again, you are wrong. The rest of it is poverty-stricken, dusty and at times unimpressive. You are going to find a great deal of white houses with sky-blue doors, yet the view will not be the same as in Οία. Even so, I strongly recommend coming to stay in other villages than Οία.

 

Too crowded to actually enjoy the view

Another thing, which is pretty obvious, but no travel agency will tell you about, is that you have to bend a little to enjoy the view. And it is not only tourists who make the place crowded. You can meet a bunch of hawkers on every corner. You haven’t brought a selfie stick with you? No problem, you can buy it here. Do you need a colorful umbrella for God knows what? Problem solved – there is a guy who you can borrow it from for a couple of photos. Also, this crowdedness is a huge hindrance as you probably would prefer to get a thrill out of this view with your closest ones and not complete strangers. I’m happy to admit that the island guarantees many other worth-remembering places, such as Kamara beach, or Mesa Vouno Mountain with the ancient town of Thera on the top, that one can enjoy in peaceful conditions.

 

 

Greeks’ chilled out way of living

 

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Do you like that car? Do you think it still works? Yes, it does! And this is a perfect example of how Greeks are serious about their possessions and life in general. At first sight, Greeks seem to care very little about such trivial things as hygiene or even the sanitary conditions of their shops. Moreover, driving principles do not exist there and I am pretty amazed that I have not encountered any road accident. If you decide to come to Santorini, you need to be aware that white clothes which remind us of holidays in Greece won’t remain white for very long. Even though Greeks do not go bananas about the cleanliness of their cars, they manifest something more important – a happy way of living. What I found fascinating there was that despite the chatter which was easily heard almost everywhere, I could hear no screaming and no people arguing, whatsoever. That made me realise that locals’ kind-heartedness was the factor thanks to which I was calm and relaxed during my stay.

 

On top of that, Santorini is a place where you can pet a lot of friendly cats and dogs, which adds up to this place’s charm. Although this island may be considered by some as overrated, it offers a great deal of spots other than aesthetic white houses and blue domes. Spending your holidays there will be an opportunity to eat pizza at the beach while sipping on some daiquiris and to completely wind down. With this in mind, I strongly recommend visiting Santorini if admiring these views in real-life is on your to-do list. But you should be aware that not everything there is as spectacular as it is on postcards…

 

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10 Best Clapbacks You Can Serve Your Family During Easter

Family time… Films want us to believe we ought to spend quality time with our families at all costs, whether it’s Christmas, Thanksgiving, Birthdays, or even Easter. Yes, that’s right, Easter is right around the corner.

Overestimated by many people, Easter is fodder for salty aunts and grimy uncles. But worry no more! With this guideline of the ten best clapbacks you’ll be able to CLAP BACK at your nosey relatives in no time! Enough with pretending your aunt’s potato salad isn’t dry! Enough with turning a blind eye to your uncle hugging you just a little too long! Enough with answering the same sly questions over and over again!

Get your snack and take some notes, here come the ultimate Easter Clapbacks:

 

#10

Auntie Bitter:              “Still Easter egg hunting at age 16?”

You:                           “Still man hunting at age 42?”

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#9

Auntie Pouty:             “You are always on that phone, whether you’re in or out of the house.”

You:                           “You are always on your knees, whether you’re in or out of church.”

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#8

Uncle Unbuttoned shirt:                     “I see you have put on some pounds…”

You:                                                   “Yes, in my wallet. But how’s unemployment treating you?”

 

#7

Aunt Mind everybody’s business:      “Isn’t this your fourth plate?”

You:                                                   “Isn’t this your fourth divorce?”

 

#6

Auntie Bitchy:                        “Remember when you played with these little dolls?”

You:                                       “Remember when your husband played with these little girls?”

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#5

Uncle Businessman-my-ass:              “Y’all still got this furniture?”

You:                                                   “You still got these roaches?”

 

 

#4

Uncle Alpha Man:                              “You need to man up and get yourself a woman!”

You:                                                   “Isn’t that what your ex-wife did?”

 

#3

Auntie Know-It-All:                           “Mhm… I wasn’t drinking when I was 16…”

You:                                                   “That’s because women can’t drink when they’re pregnant…”

 

#2

Auntie Miserable:                              “When are you finally going to get a man?”

You:                                                   “Right after I am done with yours.”

 

 

#1

Uncle Corny:                          “I heard your grades are struggling”

You:                                       “Just like your hairline.”

 

# Special acknowledgement award:

 

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Auntie Moustache:                             “When are you going to give me a niece or a nephew?”

You:                                                   “When are you going to tell me if you are my aunt or my uncle?”

All right, we have went through ten amazing clapbacks you can serve your family whenever you feel like they are testing your patience. With these, I promise you all of your aunties and uncles will fear coming for you, and will think twice before opening their big mouths.

 

Mariusz Kaczorowski

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8 things Ukraine should learn from Poland or what makes me feel European

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After living almost five years in Poland, I am still being asked by my Ukrainian relatives “Why Poland? Why did you leave your motherland for that country?” or “What does Poland do to you that Ukraine does not?”. Sometimes I enumerate the reasons I chose Poland as a second homeland, but in most cases I just repeat: go and live there for some time to feel the difference.

And the difference exists. It touches upon all the spheres of social and individual life. It is hidden in the mentality of Polish people, their way of life and potential opportunities. Continue reading

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