Everything you need to know about the deadly Blue Whale suicide game

Something macabre has been brewing on the internet, and it sounds like the perfect plot for a third rate horror film. A depressed youngster comes across a social media group called Blue Whales. The group encourages him to take his life. It also promises to make his exit from this world fun by turning the suicide into a thrilling game. After signing up, the youngster is assigned daily tasks for the next 50 days. It includes inflicting self-injury, watching horror movies, waking up at odd hours to wrap the task…

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Blue Whale challenge: Did Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why trigger online search on suicide?

While the world is debating how the Blue Whale Challenge, an online game, has triggered a wave of suicides in Russia and other parts of the world, here’s a new study that says online searches about suicide and suicidal methods soared in the weeks following the release of controversial Netflix drama 13 Reasons Why. The show is about a teenage girl who killed herself. While the report in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Internal Medicine did not examine whether the number of actual suicides rose following the popular…

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Love coffee but worried about too much caffeine? Switch to green coffee instead

Can’t start your day without a cup of coffee? But worried about the caffeine and calories intake? Well, let your worries take a back seat, as you enjoy a wonderful cup of green coffee. Long-standing health debate on drinking coffee is not unknown to anyone. But, amidst all these, comes in a new study on green coffee, raw and unroasted coffee beans. Some researches show, green coffee may help with weight loss. In this regard, Greenbrrew, a brand with a new concept to bring a new revolution in coffee industry,…

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How to make the perfect staffordshire oatcakes

Shrove Tuesday may have been and gone, the annual greasy round wiped from the kitchen ceiling, the dog back on non-burnt offerings – but this is one pancake that deserves to stay on the menu all year round. These floppy flatbreads are just as delicious as their crisp Scottish cousins, and certainly make a better bacon butty. Though there are spurious links to India, with claims that the local oatcake was inspired by the chapatis the North Staffordshire regiment enjoyed while stationed there in the days of the Raj, in fact oat breads…

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How to cook the perfect boeuf bourguignon

It’s a mystery to me how this giant of the French classical repertoire has escaped the clutches of this column for so long. Richard Olney (another big beast of the Gallic cookery scene) describes boeuf bourguignon as “probably the most widely known of all French preparations”, while Elizabeth David introduces it as “a favourite among those carefully composed, slowly cooked dishes, which are the domain of French housewives and owner-cooks of modest restaurants rather than of professional chefs”. Sounds manageable. Yet Olney goes on, slightly worryingly, that “beef burgundy certainly…

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How to bake the perfect swiss roll

ow do you make a swiss roll? Push him down a mountain. Sorry, it had to be done. Thankfully, however, there are easier ways to score a slice of this much loved and, despite the name, very British cake. Neglected in recent years in favour of flashier rivals, it’s one of those rare pieces of patisserie to combine both style, in the form of that joyous spiral of jam, and substance – though not too much: it’s a sponge, not a roly poly. Thankfully, for something that looks so impressive, the swiss roll…

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How to cook the perfect miso ramen

Less a fast food than a national obsession, ramen inspires levels of devotion in its millions of fans that can seem puzzling to anyone who has never had the – considerable – pleasure. Yet one ridiculously rich, intensely savoury and scalding slurp is enough to explain why this simple noodle soup is fast becoming a global cult. Though it is not a dish with a long and distinguished pedigree (it was introduced to Japan by Chinese tradesmen in the 19th century, helped by imports of US wheat during the postwar years and…

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How to bake the perfect salted caramel brownies

Some of you, I know, have had your fill of salted caramel. You’re sick of finding it in everything from green tea to cider, still unconvinced by the idea of a savoury sweet, and that famous image of Nigella dripping head to toe in sugary, buttery saline goodness leaves you utterly cold. And I’m sorry for your loss, really I am. Because, to the rest of us, the attractions are all too clear: rich and buttery, with an intense caramel sweetness shot through with maritime undercurrents, it’s hard to think of many things…

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How to cook the perfect spotted dick

  Spotted dick may have a name that only the British could love, but it’s a dish the rest of the world could well learn to treasure, and not just for the laughter it inevitably prompts. A doughty mainstay of school dinners throughout the 20th century, this steamed suet pudding – pleasingly plain yet plump with currants – feels like the product of a different age in comparison with the obvious charms of last week’s salted caramel brownie, possibly because it is. According to Regula Ysewijn’s rightly lauded history of the British…

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How to bake the perfect pretzels

With more aliases than the late lamented Artist Formerly Known as Prince, known variously as brezel, bretzel, brezn and breze as well as the more familiar Anglophone pretzel, the correct spelling isn’t the only thing that’s a bit twisted about this ancient bread. Named originally for the Latin brachium, thanks to its (slight) resemblance to folded arms, and often credited to monastic bakers, perhaps because children were taught to pray with their arms crossed across their chests, in the US a pretzel is often assumed to be a crisp, salted biscuit, while in Europe,…

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