The Saturday Miscellany: Super-niche dating sites; how to complain; can I eat fingernails?


THE DIGESTED FAD: Super-niche dating sites

By Luke Blackall

For those who find themselves dubbed "too picky" when dating, there is an increasing number of niche-dating websites. Say you have tattoos and want a partner who likes them. It might take you a while to discover if they're into ink on a conventional dating site, but at, they know instantly. Similarly, single fans of novelist Ayn Rand can use the dating area of

Spring/autumn romances also have their place: finds matches for younger men looking for older women and vice versa and for those for whom a cougar isn't mature enough, they can head to where chaps are encouraged to "Embrace your fantasy and hook up with a granny tonight!".

A darker niche is found with new app Carrot Dating, which finds attractive partners for those willing to offer 'bribes', ranging from a coffee to a holiday, and could only be less appealing if it was called Stick Dating.

CAN I EAT THAT? Unorthodox digestion queries, answered. This week: fingernails

By Will Dean

Fingernails are possibly the most popularly consumed of foodstuffs which one really ought not to eat. We were told as secondary schoolers that there were more germs under our fingernails than on the seat of the school lavs – a judgement, having seen said lavs, we'd dispute – but the fact remains, it's a grim old habit.

Obviously, sticking fingers which have been on handrails, sinkholes and shoelaces in your gob is unwise. Besides the germs, it can also damage your teeth and sharp nails can damage the lining of your oesophagus and stomach (though likely only if you're in Florence Griffith Joyner territory).

These are all reasons not to bite your nails. But that's not what we're here for – these bits of hand-grown keratin can go down the gullet. Just wash your hands first.

HOW TO: Make a complaint

By Oscar Quine

The art of complaining can be a priceless one. Jasper Griegson, founder of, is its Da Vinci. We asked him how to moan like a pro:

"Do it in writing, don't waste your time on the phone speaking to customer services and listening to Vivaldi. I often add humour to my letters or write a poem, and often get a poem back. The best one was from Brent Council, strangely."

"Always go to the top, but not necessarily the CEO. The finance director often works because they have a boring in-tray. I had a complaint regarding the Catholic Church and wrote to the Pope and Cardinal Hume, whose assistant sorted the whole thing out."

"It's very British to be afraid of complaining. There's a lot to be said for asserting yourself. Many people find London Underground daunting to complain to. I wrote complaining there was no bench at my local Tube station – and included a picture of myself looking angry, drawn by my daughter."


By Ellen E Jones

Dear Ellen

Q. My daughter has asked for a loan to go travelling. I can afford it, but I'm worried about her safety. Is it OK to refuse?

A. If your daughter seeks the independent adventure of a lifetime, saving up to pay for it is the place to start. Tell her you'd love to help, but you're treating yourself to a fortnight in the Maldives, instead.

@MissEllen E Jones

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Life and Style
love + sex
Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle 0 Man United 1: Last minute strike seals precious victory
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Seth Rogan is one of America’s most famous pot smokers
filmAmy Pascal resigned after her personal emails were leaked following a cyber-attack sparked by the actor's film The Interview
Benjamin Netanyahu and his cartoon bomb – the Israeli PM shows his ‘evidence’
Arts and Entertainment
80s trailblazer: comedian Tracey Ullman
Life and Style
A statue of the Flemish geographer Gerard Kremer, Geradus Mercator (1512 - 1594) which was unveiled at the Geographical Congree at Anvers. He was the first person to use the word atlas to describe a book of maps.
techThe 16th century cartographer created the atlas
Arts and Entertainment
Stephen Tompkinson is back as DCI Banks
tvReview: Episode one of the new series played it safe, but at least this drama has a winning formula
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: UI / UX Designer

    £25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This firm are focussed on assis...

    Recruitment Genius: General Processor

    £7 per hour: Recruitment Genius: A vacancy has arisen for a General Processor ...

    Recruitment Genius: Outbound Sales Executive - B2B

    £18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A great opportunity has arisen ...

    Recruitment Genius: Online Sales and Customer Services Associate

    £14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Full time and Part time positio...

    Day In a Page

    War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

    Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

    Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
    Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

    What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

    Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
    The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

    Setting in motion the Internet of Things

    British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
    Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

    Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

    Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
    Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

    Cult competition The Moth goes global

    The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
    Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

    Pakistani women come out fighting

    Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
    Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

    Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

    The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
    LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

    Education: LGBT History Month

    Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
    11 best gel eyeliners

    Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

    Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

    Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

    The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
    Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

    Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

    After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
    Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

    Climate change key in Syrian conflict

    And it will trigger more war in future
    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
    Is this the way to get young people to vote?

    Getting young people to vote

    From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot