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8 Things Every Cigar Smoker Should Know

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Something that you will probably start to notice once you take up cigar smoking is that there is an awful lot of elitism that goes on within the community. There are no rules about who can or can’t smoke cigars, but they are typically associated with the higher classes.

They’re expensive, they’re a bit of a niche interest and they do have a certain amount of cultural significance. And this of course leads to a sense of superiority being bred amongst those who smoke.

That’s never a good thing, and one of the many consequences of it is misinformation. People talking about stuff that they don’t really understand or just coming out with random, uninformed statements about cigars to make themselves sound smart.

It’s difficult to be truly in the know about cigars when you have so many people just throwing around their opinions and their unsubstantiated ideas as facts. If you want to be a cigar smoker, here’s 8 things you should know to get ahead of all that stuff:

1.  Basic Cigar Anatomy

The makeup of a cigar is actually pretty straightforward, despite what some people might try to tell you. There are basically just three main components involved that you should familiarize yourself with.

You’ve got the wrapper which is the outer leaf, the only part you see on an uncut cigar. Like all three of these parts, the wrapper is made of tobacco. The binder is the second layer on the inside and is usually made from the same leaf, but doesn’t have to be as smooth or pristine because no one sees it.

And then you’ve got the most important part, which is the filler. The thick, interior tube of tobacco, which is usually made up of a variety of different kinds of tobacco. This is where most of the flavour comes from and where cigar makers have the greatest opportunity to experiment.

2.  The Importance of Storage

Cigars are not like cigarettes in the sense that you can just stick them in a box and keep them in your jacket pocket for months, or even years, before smoking them. Without proper storage, their flavour will deteriorate very quickly and they could even develop mold.

You need to invest in a humidor to store your cigars. This is a specifically designed cedar-wood container which has oils and aromas infused within to ensure that the temperature and the moisture levels are controlled.

A good humidor will serve its purpose for years to come, and you can even get a custom humidor if you want to display it and your cigars in your home.

3.  How to Cut Them

Cutting a cigar is a part of the process that some people don’t take that seriously. It’s something you have to do to be able to smoke it and while the easy route might be to just use a knife or a scissors, you are doing your cigar a disservice if you do that.

You want an even cut to ensure that you get as much value out of the cigar as possible, and that means getting yourself an actual cigar cutter. There’s guillotine cutters, punch cutters, V-cutters and a few other types for you to choose from.

4.  And How to Light Them

Again, you could just straight up light the cigar with a normal match, but to ignite the entire foot, while also making sure it doesn’t come into direct contact with the flame is tricky without either a butane lighter or a cigar-specific wooden match.

5.  Cigar Aging

Cigars are a little bit like wine in the sense that aging is an important part of the manufacturing process. The tobacco leaves themselves are aged before the cigar is put together. This is done by packing them into tight parcels to allow carotenoids to break down.

After you buy them, you can also age them yourself for a while if you like. You will still get a good flavour off freshly-bought cigars, but letting them sit for a long time. This allows the last of the acidity to fade away and for the cigar to reach its peak flavour.

They have to be aged in a humidor though, and unlike wine, you can’t really leave them for hundreds of years or their flavour will start to wane.

6.  How to Smoke Properly

You’d be surprised at how many people don’t realize this about cigars, especially those who are new to them, but the way in which you smoke them is not like smoking cigarettes at all. You are not supposed to inhale.

If you’ve never smoked before, make sure you are aware of this before you start, because if you inhale you’re going to have a bad time. Just let the flavour sit in your mouth so that you can relish in it.

A good cigar should conceivably last for like 30-40 minutes. If you take too many puffs you can cause the cigar to overheat and become bitter, so instead just be nice and slow with it.

7.  Origins

It’s always worth knowing a little bit of history about cigars, especially if you want to be able to have conversations with other smokers. The general belief is that cigars were invented by the Ancient Mayans sometime before the 10th Century.

The Mayans were an incredible advanced civilization in Mesoamerica who had a lot of innovations, this one included. It is assumed that the practice spread across the Americas, and when Columbus invaded the new world in the 15th Century he picked it up from the locals.

From there it was brought back to Europe and the global popularity of cigars began to explode. 

8.  What Are the Health Risks

Cigars do come with health risks, and depending on how often you smoke them, they’re not significantly less dangerous than cigarettes. You are not inhaling it into your lungs, but you are still exposing yourself to tobacco and so the risk of oral or throat cancer is still there.

No tobacco product is truly safe, and it can all lead to serious health problems like cancer or heart disease. And contrary to popular belief, you can get addicted to cigars, people just tend not to because they don’t smoke them as often as cigarettes.

It’s important to be aware of this so that if you do choose to smoke cigars, you do so in moderation.

As well as all of this stuff, I also think it’s important to make sure that you don’t become a part of the elitism problem. Keep yourself informed on important facts, but avoid allowing yourself to develop any sense of superiority or to feel condescending towards other cigar smokers.

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Entertainment

Has Technology Changed How We Play Classic Games?

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With technology changing many aspects of our lives, it’s reached into many areas that you might not have considered before now. In terms of the timeless games that people have played in the same way for centuries, what are some of the biggest and most dramatic changes we’ve seen?   

Live-Streamed Games

Live streaming has introduced a new type of entertainment that lets us enjoy the most popular games online. It’s possible to livestream everything from the biggest Scrabble competitions to the latest chess tournaments, capturing the excitement of the games and letting us see how the best players adapt their strategies in the most stressful moments. We can even find streams featuring people playing iconic board games including Catan and Monopoly.

The live streaming method has reached the world of casino games, with live dealer versions of games like blackjack and roulette joined by others with a game show-type presentation. The latest casino bonuses UK allow players to collect rewards for a variety of live games.

Newcomers can try this way of playing varied titles including Boom City, Mega Roulette, and Sweet Bonanza CandyLand, where a human presenter leads the game. 

Chess on the Blockchain

With a history going back centuries, chess is one of the world’s most loved board games and it’s moved with the times too. The traditional way of playing with two players face-to-face over a board is still popular, but technology means that many of the estimated 600 million chess players spread over the planet now take part in games online.

This can mean hooking up with other human players or testing your skills against an AI bot.

One of the most revolutionary changes in the chess world has arrived with the emergence of blockchain technology, which allows players to monetize all their victories. The Chess Polygon platform is a cryptocurrency-based project that lets players mine tokens and earn NFTs by taking part in chess challenges against others in the community.

Chess on the Blockchain

Playing Scrabble in the Metaverse

Will playing games in the metaverse provide the way forward for the games that we’re used to playing in a low-tech setting? This research by CNET looks at various ways of playing in the metaverse that include games based on Scrabble and Pictionary, with players having the freedom to set up the playing area in a way that suits them.

The overall idea with the metaverse is the creation of a virtual universe that blends perfectly with our real-world habits. This is why major brands such as Coca-Cola, Samsung, and Dominos have all entered the metaverse with physical products for sale, leading to the possibility that we can play our favorite games in a way that fits ideally into our existing lifestyles.

The games we’ve looked at have all changed greatly thanks to the latest technology, although it’s interesting to note that in many cases the underlying mechanics and rules have changed very little. By focusing on the presentation, these games have retained their timeless appeal while new ways of enjoying them have opened up.

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A Deck of Wonders: Unveiling the Rich History of Playing Cards

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Playing cards have long been an integral part of human culture, transcending geographical boundaries and spanning centuries. Originating in ancient civilizations, the history of playing cards is a captivating journey that unveils the evolution of this timeless form of entertainment.

Playing in casinos or in the comfort of your own home has been a staple for generations, whether its poker, blackjack or something played in the computer or phone like baccarat online, this article delves into the intriguing tale of playing cards, exploring the development of the suits and faces that have become synonymous with this universally enjoyed pastime.

The Origins

The exact origins of playing cards remain shrouded in mystery, with multiple theories proposing different points of inception. One widely accepted belief suggests that playing cards originated in China during the Tang Dynasty around the 9th century. These early cards were likely used for various games and had a distinct visual language.

The Spread of Playing Cards

From China, playing cards found their way along trade routes and made their way into Persia, India, and eventually reached Europe during the late 14th century. The intricate designs and artistic elements of these cards underwent transformation with each cultural influence, adapting to the preferences of different societies.

The Four Suits

One of the most distinctive features of playing cards is the division into suits. The standard deck we know today typically consists of hearts, diamonds, clubs, and spades. These suits have a fascinating history rooted in medieval Europe, where they were inspired by the socio-economic classes prevalent at the time.

  • Hearts: Originally represented the clergy or the church.
  • Diamonds: Symbolized the merchant class or the wealthy bourgeoisie.
  • Clubs: Depicted the peasantry or the working class.
  • Spades: Signified the military or the nobility.

The evolution of these suits reflects the social structures and power dynamics of medieval Europe. Over time, the symbolism associated with the suits may have changed, but the four-fold division has remained a constant.

The Evolution of Faces

Early playing cards featured simple designs, often just numbers or basic symbols. However, the introduction of face cards added a new layer of complexity and intrigue to the decks. The face cards typically include the king, queen, and jack, each adorned with unique characteristics and symbols.

Initially, the faces on these cards were generic, but as playing cards spread across Europe, they began to take on the personalities of historical or mythical figures. For example, the king of hearts might be inspired by Charlemagne, the king of diamonds by Julius Caesar, and so on.

This transformation added a storytelling element to the cards, making them more engaging for players.

The Standardization of Decks

As playing cards became more popular, various regions and cultures developed their own versions with distinct designs. However, with the advent of printing technology in the 15th century, the mass production of playing cards became possible, leading to the standardization of decks that we recognize today.

This standardization facilitated the widespread popularity of card games and established a common visual language for players around the world. And at the same time made the risk of tampering less apparent for cheaters.

Conclusion

The history of playing cards is a fascinating tapestry woven across centuries and continents. From their mysterious origins in ancient China to the intricate symbolism of the suits and faces in medieval Europe, playing cards have evolved into a global phenomenon.

As we shuffle and deal our decks today, it’s worth appreciating the rich history and cultural significance encapsulated within each card – a testament to the enduring allure of this timeless pastime.

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How Ergonomic Gaming Chairs Enhance Your Performance

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In gaming, every edge counts when it comes to enhancing your performance. Gamers often spend hours on end honing their skills, but one critical aspect that can sometimes be overlooked is the chair they sit in.

Ergonomic gaming chairs have gained popularity for good reason; they come with a host of benefits that can significantly improve a gamer’s overall performance. So, explore how an ergonomic chair for gaming can enhance your experience and elevate your performance to the next level.

Optimal Posture for Prolonged Sessions

Sitting in an uncomfortable chair for extended periods can lead to poor posture, causing discomfort and potentially impairing your performance in activities. Ergonomic gaming chairs, specifically designed with proper posture in mind, are the solution to this problem. They feature built-in lumbar support, adjustable armrests, headrests, and customisable seat height, allowing you to maintain a healthy and proper sitting position.

These chairs are engineered to align your spine correctly, thus preventing the aches and pains commonly associated with bad posture. With their enhanced comfort and support, these chairs enable you to focus more intensely on your game or work without distraction.

Moreover, the ergonomic design of these chairs not only supports long gaming sessions but also promotes overall well-being by reducing the risk of long-term musculoskeletal issues. This makes them a valuable investment for anyone spending significant time at a desk or in front of a computer.

Increased Comfort Equals Longer Playtime

These ergonomic chairs are meticulously engineered for maximum comfort. Featuring high-density foam padding and soft, breathable materials, they provide an exceptional seating experience that enhances endurance during extended sessions. The increased comfort from these chairs translates into longer periods of engagement without fatigue or discomfort.

When you’re not constantly shifting in your seat to find a comfortable position, you can devote more time and concentration to your gaming or work tasks, significantly improving your overall performance.

Additionally, the ergonomic design helps in maintaining proper blood circulation and reduces the risk of strain injuries, further amplifying your focus and efficiency. The adaptability of these chairs, with their adjustable backrests, tilt mechanisms, and height settings, ensures that they cater to a wide range of body types, making them a versatile choice for gamers and professionals alike.

Enhanced Concentration and Focus

In competitive gaming, where every millisecond can be the difference between victory and defeat, ergonomic gaming chairs play a crucial role. They are meticulously designed to keep you engaged in your game by minimising distractions and discomfort. Many of these chairs have advanced features like adjustable armrests, tilt mechanisms, and swivel functions.

These customisable options enable you to tailor the chair to your specific body type and gaming preferences, ensuring that you can maintain peak concentration and focus throughout your sessions.

Additionally, some models include integrated support for the neck and lower back, reducing the risk of strain during long gaming marathons. The chairs’ robust construction and durable materials guarantee longevity and consistent performance, making them a reliable companion for serious gamers.

Reducing the Risk of Health Issues

Sitting for extended periods improperly can lead to various health issues, including back pain, neck strain, and potentially carpal tunnel syndrome. These health risks are heightened for those who spend long hours in front of a computer.

Ergonomic gaming chairs, designed with comfort and posture in mind, are built to mitigate these risks. The lumbar support and headrest provide essential support to your spine and neck, crucial for reducing the strain on these sensitive areas.

Additionally, adjustable armrests can help prevent wrist strain by enabling you to maintain a natural, relaxed hand position while gaming or working. The chair’s adjustable height and tilt functions also contribute to maintaining an optimal sitting position. By investing in an ergonomic gaming chair, you’re not only enhancing your gaming performance but also safeguarding your long-term health and well-being.

Customisation for Individual Needs

One of the most significant advantages of these sitting options is their customisability. Gamers come in all shapes and sizes, and what works for one person may not work for another. These chairs generally offer a wide range of adjustments, from seat height to armrest position and even recline angle.

This level of customisation ensures that it adapts to your body and preferences, allowing you to create the perfect environment. When you’re comfortable and supported, your performance can thrive.

Conclusion

In gaming, where precision, concentration, and endurance are paramount, every detail counts. These chairs have become an essential tool for gamers looking to enhance their performance. With their focus on comfort, posture, concentration, and health, an ergonomic chair provides a multifaceted approach to improving your experience.

Investing in an ergonomic gaming chair isn’t just about upgrading your equipment; it’s about optimising your potential. By maintaining proper posture, increasing comfort, enhancing concentration, reducing health risks, and offering customisation options, these chairs can elevate your gaming performance to new heights.

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