Five Lessons Learnt This Week

Five Lessons Learnt is our weekly round-up of all the crazy, strange and funny news of the week. Perfect for a bit of Friday afternoon entertainment and a light-hearted look at what’s been going on away from the charts!

This week in Five Lessons Learnt: Guinness World Records, suitcases in Morrisons, free Starbucks, the world’s biggest shopping day and why Friday the 13th can be lucky for some…

1. How to skate your way into the Guinness Book of World Records

Thousands of people around the globe are attempting to set new world records ahead of Guinness World Record day on Sunday. And one bulldog has already got his record in the bag after skateboarding through the legs of 30 people. Bulldog Otto now holds the record for “longest human tunnel travelled through by a dog on a skateboard”. Which is clearly something to be proud of…

There will be more world record attempts over the weekend – stunt driver Alastair Moffatt has already broken the record for tightest parallel park in reverse, and a UK group will try to become the largest gathering of people dressed as penguins. And in India, there will be an attempt to break the record for most lit candles in a person’s mouth (ouch). So what record will you be trying to break this weekend?

We’re getting in the spirit by listing the World’s Craziest Records – and if you do attempt to clock up a record of your own, tweet me @LFXKatie and let us know. You might just make it into next year’s list…

2. Why online shopping is taking over

online shoppingSpeaking of records, a new record has been set for the biggest online shopping day ever. No, it’s not the mad early December rush. And it’s not Black Friday either. The biggest online shopping day in history is Chinese holiday Singles Day, which started out as a joke holiday to celebrate those not in a relationship. On Singles Day 2015 (November 11th), Chinese consumers spent a record 91.2 billion yuan online, making it the biggest day for internet shopping on the global retail calendar.

In just 5 minutes and 45 seconds, online shoppers in China had spent 5 billion yuan. By lunchtime, retail giant Alibaba had clocked up 57.1 billion yuan. And more money was spent via mobile devices than was spent over the entire day on any platform last year.

Your move, Black Friday…

If the thought of Christmas shopping is filling you with dread – never fear! We’ll be back with our handy Christmas shopping guide in a couple of weeks, so for now you can sit tight and avoid the shops at all costs. 

3. How to snap up a bargain on Friday 13th

Superstitious behaviour means millions alter their usual shopping habits when Friday the 13th comes around – meaning if you’re braver than the average person or don’t believe in luck, you could take advantage and snap up some bargains.

Weddings, flights and buying houses are all avoided on the “unlucky” date, so if you’re in the market for any of those investments, now is a good time to strike (or you can play for May 2016’s Friday 13th if you need a little more notice).

The stock market is also traditionally quiet on Friday 13th, when many traders refuse to place new trades. On the last four unlucky Fridays, trading volume dropped by 45% compared to the previous and following Fridays – despite the fact that 81 out of the last 144 Friday 13ths have actually been good for the markets.

Food for thought…

4. How to get free coffee

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 08.58.25One serious Starbucks fan has come up with an ingenious way to get a free coffee every morning – and he’s driving his barista crazy. The anonymous customer registered 365 different Starbucks membership cards, each with a different birthday, so that he’s now entitled to a free birthday drink every single day of the year. He goes to the same Starbucks every morning, so staff realised his trick a long time ago.

And to push his luck even further, the customer orders what must be the most complicated drink he could think of with very specific instructions. His caffeine fix of choice is “an iced quad Venti vanilla white mocha with heavy cream instead of milk” – and he likes a very particular ratio of ingredients made in a very specific order. Just to wind the barista up further.

The hack is estimated to be saving the customer £286 a year – but it is actually fraudulent, so we don’t recommend trying it…

Kit out your office with these cool coffee gadgets and you won’t need to steal your morning coffee fix…

5. How to dodge the 5p carrier bag charge

People are still coming up with ways to get around forking out the huge sum of 5p for their carrier bags following new UK regulations. And one student came up with a clever ploy – taking his suitcase with him.

Sam Berner, who attends East Anglia University, first took his suitcase to the supermarket as a joke, but then realised it was actually a pretty good idea. He says staff assume he’s just returned from holiday, and he does get a few funny looks when he opens his empty suitcase at the till.

But the shocked stares don’t put Sam off from loading his luggage with groceries – he reckons he can fit about £80 worth of food in there, and it’s definitely easier than hauling a load of carrier bags home. This could be the best solution to #CarrierBagGate we’ve seen…

If you want to take your suitcase somewhere a tad more exciting than Morrisons, check out our top city break destinations here

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