How To Live: A 21st-Century Guide

Sometimes it's the everyday challenges that prove to be the most difficult. So where can we learn the skills to survive modern life? On the internet, of course. If you've ever wanted to temporarily turn paparazzi, get rid of a door-to-door salesman or navigate a conveyor-belt sushi bar (and let's face it - who hasn't?) a new website, VideoJug, has worked out all the answers. And it even has the step-by-step video instructions to go with them. So, you at the back there - pay attention!
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The Independent Online

How to snap a celeb

A quickfire guide on how to take and sell celebrity photographs.


1 camera or camera phone

Step 1 Avoid the crowds

The pictures that fetch the highest prices are those that no one else has got. Don't stand outside a premiere - the paparazzi will be there.

Step 2 Do your research

Find out where your local celebrity hangouts are. Study magazines and ask taxi drivers, waiters and doormen. But remember, shots that no one else has got are what pay best, so don't be too obvious.

Step 3 Find an angle

If the picture tells a story or catches the celebrity doing something they shouldn't do or wouldn't normally do, it'll be worth a lot more. Remember this when fixing a price for the photos.

Step 4 Privacy

Be very careful not to trespass on private property. Most publications won't print the resulting photos and you face prosecution.

Step 5 Find a buyer

There are now lots of agencies that will buy photos from amateurs and sell them to publications. They'll take a cut for their services, so if think your picture is important enough, try to sell it to the publications directly. Look for contact details on the internet.

Step 6 Act fast

Whether you go for an agency or publication, act fast. Most photos reduce in value as they become less current.

Step 7 Mark your photo

Never text photos for publication from your phone. This makes it very difficult for you to establish ownership or copyright. Develop your photos then score them with a knife before scanning and e-mailing them. This way a magazine can't print them but their subject is still visible. Alternatively, a watermark can be added.

Step 8 Negotiate

If you go through an agency, they'll negotiate to get the going rate. If you're doing it yourself, approach several different potential purchasers. Hopefully, they'll try to outbid each other.

Step 9 Read the small print

Before you enter any agreement, read the terms carefully. That way, you'll know exactly how your picture could be used.

Step 10 Scan the papers

After you make a deal, check to see that your picture is not being printed more times than has been agreed.

Step 11 Relax

Now your photograph is famous, relax and enjoy your earnings.

How to floss your teeth

Flossing your teeth is part of a good oral hygiene routine. Our short guide on the correct way to floss your teeth won't change your life, but it's a good start.


1 box dental floss

Step 1 Get some floss

Break off about 45cm of floss. Wind the ends around each of your index fingers, leaving about 10cm of slack between them.

Step 2 Now floss

Gently guide the floss between the teeth, using a rubbing motion. Don't snap it in to place. When the floss reaches the gum line, curve the floss against one of the teeth, and slide it between the tooth and the gum. When you feel resistance, gently take the floss away from the tooth

Step 3 Wind on

Each time you've finished a tooth, wind the used floss around one finger and release another 10cm of slack from the other. Now move on and floss the next section of your teeth.

Step 4 Don't forget the back

You should always floss behind the back teeth, too.

Step 5 Warning

If you haven't been flossing for a while, your gums may bleed a little at first. If this doesn't stop, contact your dentist right away.

How to build a first aid kit

We show you how to build a home first-aid kit


1 watertight box variety of bandages
1 adhesive waterproof tape
safety pins or bandage clips
sterile gauze pads
cotton wool
non-alcoholic cleansing wipes
1 pair dressing scissors
1 pair tweezers
1 thermometer
1-2 pairs sterile disposable gloves
1 face-protection mask
1 cold pack
1 heat pack
1 antiseptic cream or spray
non-prescription painkillers
antihistamine tablets
1 notebook and pen

Step 1 Assemble

Assemble the first-aid kit.

Step 2 Store

Store your medical kit somewhere immediately visible and accessible, but out of the reach of children.

How to remove chewing gum

If you have chewing gum stuck to your clothes, don't worry. Lady's maid Bea Knapp will show you how to get rid of it.


1 freezer bag
1 knife
1 toothbrush

Step 1 Act fast

Letting the gum dry makes it much harder to get out later. Pull off as much as you can with your fingers.

Step 2 Freeze

Hardening the gum by freezing stops it sinking in deeper. If it is a bulky garment, put some ice in a freezer bag and place it on the gum until it hardens. Or, take a single ice cube and rub it directly on to the gum until it becomes brittle.

Step 3 Scrape off the gum

Once the gum has hardened, try to scrape it off with a knife. You should be able to remove all the gum in this way from tough fabrics such as denim. For more delicate materials, wrap the item in a plastic bag and place it in the freezer to harden the gum. When it is brittle enough, pull off as much as you can with your fingers. Be careful not to pull too hard.

Step 4 Scrub with a toothbrush

Finally, take an old toothbrush and gently scrub the area to remove any remaining traces of gum. If there is any left on the fabric, wash as you normally would.

How to fold a shirt

Learn how to fold a shirt just like a tailor.

Step 1 Fold after ironing

Begin folding immediately after ironing.

Step 2 Button

Lay the shirt on a flat surface. Fasten every button. Turn it over and smooth until perfectly flat.

Step 3 Fold one side

Fold one side over towards the middle so there is a vertical fold from the middle of the shoulder. Bring the sleeve over, too.

Step 4 Fold the sleeve

Fold it back from the shoulder, then the other way from about a third of the way down. Fold the cuff back for a concertina effect.

Step 5 Fold the other side

Now fold the other side of the shirt over to the middle and the sleeve back down over the folded part. The sleeve should be vertical, with the cuff parallel to the bottom of the shirt.

Step 6 Fold the bottom up

Fold the bottom over, with the cuff, towards the centre so it reaches halfway up. Fold this bottom half over again to reach the collar.

HANDY HINT To reduce creasing, lay a sheet of tissue over it before folding. This will cushion the folds.

VideoJug will show you the perfect application of concealer to cover up bags or dark circles under your eyes in this short video.


1 light-reflective concealer
1 concealer brush

Step 1 Try some sleep

Have your dark circles recently appeared? If they have, you might be able to get rid of them just by getting some rest. Unfortunately, if you have always had them they are probably hereditary, and you can conceal them the VideoJug way.

Step 2 What type of concealer

Creamer concealer is used on blemishes, but liquid light-reflecting concealer will give better results for under the eyes - it's lighter and lifts the eyes. It should be just a shade lighter than your foundation. But most light-reflective concealers blend very well so can be used on many skin tones.

Step 3 Foundation

Put on foundation first. You might also find once you have put on a layer you don't need as much concealer as you previously thought.

Step 4 Find your bags

Tilt your head down so that the raised dark circles under your eyes are more obvious. The bottom of the bags is where the shadow falls so this is where to concentrate your attention.

Step 5 Apply the concealer

Lightly dab on concealer along the bottom of the bags. Only use a little at first and build it up slowly - you don't have to cake it on.

Step 6 Blend

Blend the concealer into your skin with your finger. Use a light rolling movement. It's easiest to use your ring finger, as it's generally the weakest.

Step 7 Finish off

Try to keep the line under the bag the brightest, so the shadow is neutralised, but apply a little more concealer to the eye, and blend fully up to the lash line, so the skin tone is fully evened out.

How to eat sushi

A guide to enjoying sushi the polite way.


hashi oki
dish for soy sauce

If you are new to Japanese food, don't be intimidated - as with all food it is there to be enjoyed.

Step 1 What to expect

Your place setting should include: a napkin; a plate; a block called a hashi oki for your chopsticks to rest on; and a small dish for pouring soy sauce into.

Step 2 Drinks

You may begin the meal with warm sake, an alcoholic wine-like drink. It is customary to move on to either green tea or beer during the meal. If you are female, it is polite to hold the cup with one hand and use the other to support the bottom.

Step 3 Chopsticks

Although it is easier to eat larger pieces of sushi with your fingers, you should use chopsticks for some pieces, and for sashimi, the thin slices of fish with which the meal often starts. When selecting a piece of sushi, use the wider end of the sticks to pick the food up from the plate, not the end you put in your mouth. Never pass food to another person from your chopsticks to theirs. This mimics part of a Japanese funeral ritual and is considered extremely offensive. When you are not using your chopsticks, do not lean them on the edge of your plate.

Step 4 Soy sauce

Japanese soy sauce is perhaps the most common dipping sauce for sushi. Pour a little into your dish. Don't tip in too much; this is seen as greedy.

Step 5 Wasabi

This is a very hot green paste. Place a small amount at the edge of your soy sauce and mix it in with your chopsticks. Don't be too heavy-handed; it will override the sushi flavours.

Step 6 Eating the sushi

You should begin with sashimi. Handle with your chopsticks and take time to savour the flavour. Then move on to rice-based sushi, which you can eat with your hands if you want. Pick the piece up and dip it fish-side down in the soy sauce. Place the sushi in your mouth fish-side down too, as it's the flavour of the fish, not the rice, that's important. Ideally you should eat the sushi piece in one go, or two at a push.

Step 7 Pickled ginger

These are the pinkish slices often served with sushi. Eat a slice in between sushi pieces to cleanse the palate.

Step 8 Clear your plate

Try to eat everything. It is considered very rude to leave rice.

How to relieve earache

We show the best measures to take to relieve an earache caused by flying.


Chewing gum or sweet

Step 1 Wriggle your jaw

Move jaw right, left, up and down.

Step 2 Hold breath, pinch nose

Hold your breath, pinch your nose firmly just below the bridge and blow gently to try and equalise the pressure.

Step 3 Chew

Try chewing gum or sucking a sweet.

Step 4 Seek medical advice

In any circumstance, seek medical advice if you are concerned or if the problem persists.

How to pitch a pop-up tent

This film will show how to pitch a pop-up tent.


Your tent, which will come with some tent pegs. You might also need a mallet to hammer the pegs into the ground.

Step 1 Location

Find a flat area. In most campsites you will have a set area as your pitch. But if you are camping in a crowded field, give yourself a six-metre berth from any neighbouring tents.

Step 2 Prepare the area

Clear away any sticks, stones or sharp objects that may damage the floor and make the ground uncomfortable to sleep on.

Step 3 Unpack

Remove the tent and pegs from the tent bag.

Step 4 Pop-up

Pull off the restraining band. The tent will "pop" open. Turn it the right way up with the door in a good position.

Step 5 Peg

Secure the tent by pushing pegs through the loops at a 45-degree angle towards the tent. Your tent may have extra peg positions along each side. If so, peg-out each one.

Step 6 Guy ropes

The tent will have guy ropes already attached. Secure the guy ropes into the ground at either end. Adjust the slide to make the ropes as taut as possible.

Step 7 Final check

Stand back and admire your work. Make sure that each guy rope is secured and that the pegs are sunk into the ground. If anything looks wrong, correct it.

How to tie a tie

The four-in-hand is a basic tie knot.


1 tie
1 mirror

Step 1 Prepare

Turn up the collar and do up your top button. Drape the tie around your neck with the main seam inwards.

Step 2 Position your tie

Cross the wider end of the tie over the seam on the front of the narrow end of the tie.

Step 3 Wrap around

From this starting position, wrap the wide end under the narrow one, and flip it over the top. Do this one more time.

Step 4 Up and through

Pass the wide end up behind the knot and pass it through the centre of the knot.

Step 5 Tighten

Slide the knot up the narrow end to tighten it to your neck and turn your collar down. Take a minute to adjust it.

Step 6 Removing your tie

Slide the narrow end out and undo the knot.

How to make a breakfast smoothie

Ranish Jansari, at holistic health and beauty specialist Fushi in London, will show you how to make this breakfast smoothie.


2tbsp yoghurt
1 banana
2tbsp muesli
3 apples
1 juicer
1 jug
1 blender
1 spoon
1 glass

Step 1 Juice

Chop three apples, then juice. Pour into the blender.

Step 2 Add ingredients

Add yoghurt, banana and muesli, blend for 20 seconds.

Step 3 Optional extra

Fushi recommends adding a vitamin booster.

Step 4 Pour

Pour into the glass, stir.

Step 5 Serve


How to make gnocchi

Renowned Italian chef Giancarlo Caldesi of La Cucina Caldesi shows how to make fresh gnocchi.


1kg potatoes
1 egg
300g type "00" flour
rock salt, pepper
olive oil
1 large saucepan
1 passatutto
1 flexible knife
1 colander
1 tea towel
1 large tray or plate

Step 1

Place the unpeeled potatoes in the saucepan and add enough water to cover them all up. Add three teaspoons of rock salt to the water, then leave to boil. When the potatoes are tender, tip them into a colander. Use a tea towel to hold the potatoes as you peel. Pass the still-hot potatoes through a passatutto.

Step 2

Season generously. Crack the egg, stir in quickly. Add two handfuls of flour, mix.

Step 3

Turn the potato onto a wooden surface and tip the rest of the flour on top. Mix with hands to form a dough. Knead lightly until pliable.

Step 4

Slice a fist-sized piece of dough and roll out into 3cm-thick lengths. Use a flexible knife to cut off 2cm pieces. Repeat until you have used all of the dough. Place the gnocchi onto a tray.

Step 5

Fill a large pan with water and add salt. Place over a high heat, and bring to the boil. Tap the gnocchi into the boiling water. When the gnocchi have all bobbed to the surface, they're ready to serve.

How to spot a bogus caller

Most people who call at your door will be genuine, but it's worth knowing how to deal with someone who's not. This film has been prepared following police advice and Home Office guidelines.

Step 1 Stop

If someone comes to the door, stop and think before you open it. Are you expecting anyone? Has anyone made an appointment?

Step 2 Check

If you don't already have one, fit a security chain and/or a peephole to your door so you can check who the caller is. For how to do this, watch VideoJug "How to fit a security chain" and "How to fit a peephole". Ask the caller to hold up their identification so that you can see it before you open the door.

Step 3 Think

If the caller claims to be from a company and you weren't expecting anyone, call their company to make sure they are who they say they are, even if they have ID. Always check. If the caller is genuine they won't mind waiting. Don't be pressured into letting them in.

Step 4 Telephone

Don't call the number that the caller gives you themselves or that is printed on their identification. Instead, take the name of their company and look up the number on the internet, or call directory enquiries.

Step 5 Leave

If you have let someone in and they make you feel uncomfortable or threatened, don't stay in the house. Make an excuse and leave. Go to a neighbour's house and ask if they will come back with you or call the police if you feel threatened. Bogus callers are rare, but it's worth making sure you're safe.

How to create a smoky eye

Perfect for an evening on the town, the smoky eye look is easy to achieve with VideoJug.


3 shades of eye shadow
dark eyeliner
eye shadow brush
translucent base powder

Step 1 Choose a colour

Classic smoky eyes are created with three shades of one colour, and an eyeliner of this colour.

Step 2 Choose a brush

Successful blending is best done with an eye shadow brush.

Step 3 Line the eyes

Starting from the inner corner of the eye, draw a dark line of eyeliner along the lash line.

Step 4 Keep it symmetrical

Once you have finished one stage, do the same on the other eye.

Step 5 Apply the highlight

First, apply the highlight shade along the brow bone and up to the eyebrow.

Step 6 Apply the medium shade

Second, build up the medium shade on the eyelid, starting at the lash line, working up to just beyond the crease of the eye.

Step 7 Apply the darkest colour

Start from the outer corner and, with the narrowest part of the brush, taper the colour to half way across the lid. Blend this in to the medium shade.

Step 8 Assess the eye

It is easy to become focused on the eyes and apply too much. Before continuing, look at your face as a whole to see what's needed.

Step 9 Adjust to your own eyes

If you have deep-set eyes, you can build up the darkest colour to half way up the lid. If you have small eyes, it's best to leave this as a very thin line.

Step 10 Finishing touches

If the make-up isn't too smoky already, you can add a little eyeliner along the lower lash line and inside the lower lash line. To finish off the smoky eyes, apply lots and lots of mascara.

How to stop a panic attack

We show the measures to take to relieve a panic attack.


1 paper bag

Step 1

Remove the cause of fear, or take the person away.

Step 2

Try to get them to stay still.

Step 3

Regaining control of their breathing will help calm them down. Make them breathe in and out on your count and breathe into a paper bag.

Step 4

If the symptoms do not subside within 15 minutes, find a doctor.

How to eat white sausages

Mr Perkins of explains how you cook and eat a "Bayerische Weisswurst" - a Bavarian white sausage.


Bavarian white sausages
Händelmeier mustard
Breze (a large pretzel)
no fork!

Step 1 Heat up the sausages

Heat and serve!

How to make Marmite on toast

A delicious British breakfast or snack, perfect with a cuppa, any time of day.


2 slices of bread
bread board
small plate to serve

Step 1 The bread

Cut two slices and toast on the grill or in a toaster, until golden and crisp.

Step 2 Butter

Butter the toast - it's nicest when dripping with melted butter!

Step 3 The Marmite

Spread a generous helping of Marmite over the butter.

Step 4 Enjoy!

There you have it... simple but absolutely delicious. The main thing to remember is to not let it get cold!

Step 5 Variation on a theme...

Use cream cheese instead of butter, and add tomatoes... this is a more substantial snack.

VideoJug: Life Explained, On Film has these guides and 1,000 more online already. To see the films, upload your own videos or to suggest films that you'd find useful, visit The site is currently being tested and will be fully online this autumn.