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If your other half is obsessed with the so-called “beautiful game,” there are ways to avoid staring hollow-eyed at the TV for an hour and a half.

This World Cup has dragged on a bit, hasn’t it? Football’s not for everyone, and if you’re stuck with someone who watches every single match, this quadrennial tournament can feel like – well, like four years!

But you don’t have to mope around for days on end. There are other great ways to tide away 90 minutes.

Explore the World and the Skies Above

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Apparently, São Paulo is a real place. Who knew?!

Okay, so I knew too, but I know very little else about it. That’s one good thing about the World Cup: it expands our horizons. Football really is played on an international scale, and if seeing all those people from all those countries united in playing a game inspires you to explore the world a bit, that’s surely a good thing.

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And you don’t have to clock up some serious air-miles either. The obvious place to turn to is Google Earth. The iPad app essentially turns the world into your backyard! Google Earth Makes The Entire Planet Your Playground [iPad] Google Earth Makes The Entire Planet Your Playground [iPad] Are you looking for a way to go on a journey without spending all the money it costs to get a plane ticket? Maybe you just don't have time to go on a trip, but... Read More Aside from simply gazing at Times Square for a few good minutes, you can also track the sunlight 5 More Cool Things You Can Do With Google Earth 5 More Cool Things You Can Do With Google Earth In this article, I'm going to share five really cool features I found in Google Earth. These features are perfect if you're looking to build a new house or trying to find a place to... Read More turning night into day across continents, and learn about the beautiful constellations decorating the sky.

But one of the greatest resources on the Web, without doubt, is National Geographic. Their monthly magazines are incredible and their website reflects the astonishing amount of work they put into observing, documenting, preserving and enjoying the planet. Let’s take a look at São Paulo, for example — eye-opening pictures aplenty, and features that take you into the day-to-day lives of the Brazilian people.

You will have to create an account if you do feel like exploring for 90-odd minutes, but it’s free and you’re likely to spend more than just a sole football match discovering what lies beyond the seas.

Read Classic Tales Online

Barthelme

Another great way of exploring the universe is through stories. There’s a strong case to be argued that stories make us human. Fortunately, the Internet is rife with great storytelling (and, admittedly, some bad too!), whether you’re after fiction or non-fiction.

Notably, there are several sites where you can read the classics – completely free. Might I suggest H.G. Wells The Time Machine, or one of his short story compilations, like The Door in the Wall? Tales that have become deeply ingrained in our society can be read over at the Library of Congress’ Classic Books; these include Dracula, Æsop’s Fables and Pinocchio. Or if you’re in the mood for a bit of bone-chilling poetry, try The Raven.

And don’t forget to check out these five fantastic short stories 5 Fantastic Short Stories You Can Read Online For Free 5 Fantastic Short Stories You Can Read Online For Free Short stories are finally getting a proper look-in, thanks to some of the best in the business. May is Short Story Month. Celebrate by immersing yourself in the genius of these truly great authors. Read More .

If you’re inspired by football (but just can’t get deeply invested in it if your country’s now out), you could read a couple of stories at Motivation 4 Athletes. Try heading to your favourite author’s website too: they often upload PDF previews of their work alongside a regular blog. Michael Morpurgo’s Cool! may be primarily targeted at younger readers but no matter what age you are, it’s a brilliantly heart-breaking tale of a footie-loving boy in a coma. Read a sneak peek and head over to Amazon; you won’t regret it.

Update Your Social Network Sites

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Social networking eats up the hours with ease. I could’ve written three War and Peace-length novels with the time I spent on Twitter. You can use it to your advantage though.

90 minutes is a great amount of time to polish your social networking.

LinkedIn, particularly, could benefit from an hour-and-a-half of finesse. It’s mainly used as a business network and can help you find new contacts or new jobs 8 LinkedIn Hacks You Should Use To Further Your Career 8 LinkedIn Hacks You Should Use To Further Your Career If you're a jobseeker or just keen to move up in the world, you've probably set up a LinkedIn profile and started building a network there. You may have put a little thought into your... Read More . If don’t have a LinkedIn account, we have some tips to get you started Diving Into LinkedIn? 5 Tips To Get You Started Diving Into LinkedIn? 5 Tips To Get You Started LinkedIn can seem overwhelming. These 5 tips will get you from total newcomer to all-star networker in no time. Read More . If you want to polish your profile, we’ve got a few pointers to make your profile irresistable How To Make Your LinkedIn Profile Irresistible How To Make Your LinkedIn Profile Irresistible If social media has turned us into digital narcissists, then we should be building up our resume on LinkedIn all the more as it is a valuable platform for professional networking. Welcome to the digital... Read More . In fact, we published an entire guide on LinkedIn!

Otherwise, you could revisit your Facebook profile and make sure you’re not tagged in any embarrassing photos or status updates (handy hint: everyone is tagged in something embarrassing). Twitter’s hashtags (because no one actually uses Facebook’s ones 5 Reasons No One Is Using Facebook Hashtags 5 Reasons No One Is Using Facebook Hashtags What made Facebook think it needed hashtags? Obviously, no one is using them. But why? Read More , do they?) can be utilised to get you further followers: moaning about the football can even gain you new friends. Here’s all you need to know about Twitter hashtags #Clueless? Everything You Need To Know About Twitter Hashtags #Clueless? Everything You Need To Know About Twitter Hashtags Some people #use #them #for #every #freaking #word; others ignore them altogether. It might leave you wondering: what are hashtags even for? Am I using Twitter wrong if I don't use them? And are people... Read More .

Exercise!

I know. It’s a depressing word, isn’t it?

It’s easy to criticise players who spend 90 minutes (plus a break during which coaches shout angrily at them for being rubbish in defence) running up and down a huge pitch; but I got down on my knees to search for batteries in the cupboard and subsequently struggled to get up again. Mind you, I’m not paid millions, and it is a weekend.

Sitting at the computer all day isn’t the healthiest of activities: any office worker can attest to that. However, it could help you find your nearest sports centre.

Spogo searches for your nearest place to exercise in the UK and you can filter results to a specific sport too. There are a few blindspots, unfortunately; nonetheless, it’s a handy tool.

Alternatively, you can find exercise videos on YouTube 7 Best YouTube Workout Channels To Exercise at Home 7 Best YouTube Workout Channels To Exercise at Home Home gyms and personal trainers help the moneyed get up straight from their beds and hit the gym. We lesser mortals have to call on our powers of self-motivation and discipline to trudge the few... Read More – and, if you’re really pushed, try a workout 8 Easy Exercises To Help You Stay Fit At Your Desk 8 Easy Exercises To Help You Stay Fit At Your Desk Staying fit at your desk is actually possible. Here are some exercises anyone can do. Some don't even require getting up, others take no longer than 10 minutes out of your daily routine. Read More behind your very own desk!

Conclusion

90 minutes can whizz by. Trust us. Don’t you dare turn to Candy Crush.

And don’t worry. The World Cup is nearly over. Honest.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

  1. Dinika
    July 9, 2014 at 11:11 am

    Cool . These tips will come in handy for sure. I'm so gonna try reading and excising.....or maybe just reading . I can't read and exercise in 90 minutes, right?

    • Philip Bates
      July 21, 2014 at 2:02 pm

      Reading is ALWAYS the answer! :D

  2. John Smith
    July 8, 2014 at 3:41 am

    What kind of an uninformed hack would post garbage like
    "the so-called “beautiful game""?

    Yes it is beautiful, billions say so, but for you, stick to watching big fat ugly beer belly un-athletic player on steroids trying to run in Baseball and call that beatiful, or even better watch 500 rounds in NASCAR and call that sport or beatiful, hot dog eating championship, Golf, or watch a sport where the only time feet are used are less than 1% of the game and if not, players smack and hit each other and call that "football" and beautiful.

    Soccer "real name football" is as boring and bad sport as Classical Music to this pathetic vulgarity laced hip hop loving generation, and you are no different, apprently.

    • Philip Bates
      July 29, 2014 at 11:01 am

      ... what?

      Sorry if my article offended you in some way. It really wasn't intentional. I'm just presenting the POV of those who don't like football but who were confronted with it on so many channels during the World Cup. You seem to be under the impression that I'm completely averse to football. I'm not. As you will be able to see from this other article: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/goal-explore-80-years-world-cup-history-5-sites/

      I'm not sure how I can be "uninformed" as that implies some basis on fact, when all I'm writing about in this article is opinion. Furthermore, no, I don't think footie is the beautiful game. I don't think any sport is particularly beautiful. My sport is squash; it's not beautiful though.

      Also, you seem to think I'm an American who watches baseball and NASCAR. I'm not. In fact, I had to look up NASCAR. I live in England. And as such, as I wrote 'the so-called "beautiful game"', I had my tongue in my cheek - something us Brits do quite often.

      I think you took a not-very-serious article sympathising with those who don't enjoy football far too seriously.

  3. Suleiman O
    July 8, 2014 at 1:31 am

    I can't believe a person from UK will write this article. You reside in the land of Man United, Chelsea, Arsenal to name few. You live in a nation that breath Football ( we call it soccer). If you were in US or Canada , I would understand that, but you are in Football land , Sir Philip, the land were people dream to visit to their perspective clubs' Stadiums ( mine is Old Trafford ).

    FACT: World cup comes once every 4 years. The world tunes in unison for one month of an amazing beautiful game on earth. Everyone watchs : Young and old, women and men, boys and girls, babies and kittens, and dog and cats......no kidding , dogs and cats. I saw dogs with jerseys :)

    You want us now to do stuffs that we can do later on when were are "bored" ? If there is a person who feels bored in the world cup, make him/her watch if you really care and let them interact in a month long world discussion. If you don't ,that person will be the loneliest person for one month, guaranteed.

    This is my opinion and i will end this by saying :

    Vamos Argentina!! We will win this Wold Cup 2014 :)

    PS: I liked the suggestion and links you put. I will get back to them when the world cup is over :)

    • Philip Bates
      July 21, 2014 at 2:06 pm

      Thanks, mate - glad you like it.

      I know what you mean, but to be completely honest, once England went out, the UK fell out of love a bit! That's us Brits for you. And while I usually enjoy the World Cup, I just wasn't that invested this time; in fact, I realised that I only knew three people on our team! I know - shame on me...

      Bad luck to Argentina, by the way. There's always next time. ;)

  4. Darth
    July 7, 2014 at 8:45 pm

    Well... Considering that baseball & american football is even more boring than soccer, guess this list can be also udeful in these cases

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