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As far as wireless mouses go, I'm a newbie - so I may not be able to give the most varied and informed opinion here considering this is my first experience with a wireless mouse, but, we're all pretty much rating the same factors for the same reason, so I'll do my best to be clear and fair.
== DESIGN and BUILD ==
Since the design of this mouse is kind of strange and inventive, it's only right that I start with that.
The design of the Arc mouse is the most striking thing about it; clearly, it has been named and designed to perfectly compliment the arc of the human hand when covering a mouse. All mouses are pretty much designed to be this way of course, but none this extreme.
Not that what a mouse looks like is of a huge concern, but if you care at all about aesthetic then this is definitely a stylish and sexy mouse to look at it - it's slick, modern and feels of a fairly good quality; when you grab the mouse - it feels very comfortable and feels sturdy.
Aside from how it looks, the bottom half of the mouse actually folds up inside so that you can easily fit in the carry case (which comes with it) for travelling, which, if you have a laptop, is a neat convenience.
== USE and FUNCTIONALITY ==
Okay, now on to the important bit: how good is it?
As I said - I don't have much experience with wireless mouses; I have used others, mouses of friends, but not enough to accurately compare them to the Arc, so I'm going by this experience only.
That being said, I don't want to over-complicate it, I mean all you want to know is: is it reliable right?
The answer is: mostly, yes.
When it works, it works great - good speed, reliable, works as a mouse should, it's comfortable to use with accurate tracking and comfortable clickers that work well, and a decent wheel.
There's the good news, now for the bad...
There is times when it's jumpy, as in, the mouse on the screen may flickers or move / jump and it can be a little frustrating to get on-point... and this seems to be influenced by surfaces, so I'd highly recommend getting a decent mouse pad for this mouse, although flat and smooth surfaces like a table seem to work well anyway; I've actually been using it on the arm of my couch (suede) - works great.
This 'jumpiness' that I speak of though... it doesn't really happen now and it's kind of stopped since I replaced the batteries (after they ran out of energy) to be honest... so it seems obvious that it may have been some weak batteries that were provided with the mouse.
So there's a note: as soon as you get the mouse, replace the factory batteries with brand new AAA batteries and you should be fine; the only reason I didn't completely dismiss the jumpiness as purely a battery issues is because I have seen other people complain of this too and it wasn't the batteries... so I'm just forewarning you that this mouse has a bit of a rep to be a bit iffy...
== THE PRICE ==
This is a Microsoft product so naturally, it's a little pricey.
You could probably find much better value mouses which work just as well... but the one thing that the Arc mouse has going for it is the design... the way it's designed is unique and I've never really seen a mouse like it, it feels very snug and fits perfectly against your palm, and it looks badass (if you care).
You'll no doubt be able to find it cheaper than the base price if you look around though, and I'd say - if you can find it at a good price, it's worth it and is worthy of being your hand-to-screen-companion.
== CLOSING SENTIMENT ==
Overall I'd say this is an OK value mouse which works very well in general, is comfortable to use, stylish and a convenient gadget for those of you who may be on the move (laptop folk).
Small. Bulky. Tough as nails. Legendary.
I'm sure as anybody who once had this classic phone - I remember it well.
I remember as this was my first mobile phone, and I got it about age 10, along with my sister who also had one; I still remember being excited with it, playing snake. 'lol'.
Perhaps this phone is so significant to me and many of my generation due to the fact it was the first phone of our childhood lives, near entering adult hood; it was basically the first tool we used to communicate via text between friends, romantic interests etc... so maybe all that nostalgia and association is tied in to the image some of us have of it! Maybe not!
== The Build ==
One truly memorable thing about this phone, and one of its pluses, is its build.
Solid, sturdy and rigid. I don't think I've ever actually held another phone that fits more perfectly in my palm either; the shape and size of this is very convenient and comfortable.
You'll notice I began this review by using the phrase 'tough as nails' to refer to this phone - this ties in to its rigid build; you can drop and bash this phone around till the pigs (cows was too cliche to say, I just couldn't do it) come home, it won't have much effect. This is a hard phone to break.
== Functioning, Features and Usability ==
The Nokia 3330 gets it very right in another department: buttons. Which, is a very important element to a mobile phone since you'll be hitting them constantly to call and text. It may sound somewhat picky but, they get the spacing between these buttons just right so you're not misshitting and have plenty of room to develop a fast and accurate tapping speed! Nerdy!
As for the features... SNAKE. Need I say more?
== Battery Life ==
From what I remember, the battery life on this phone is very very good. That's what is more memorable about this phone: it's a practical phone. It's very solid, very reliable and very lasting.
I currently own a smartphone (S3) and the battery life sucks major ass in comparison to the classic phones like these. It's apparently very good for a smartphone, and of course a smartphone would need to take up so much more power but, I remember the good ol' days!
== Price ==
Back in the day, I think this was fairly reasonable for price. I remember this phone being incredibly popular, everybody had it (maybe because there was also much less variety, and Nokia were very reliable) and it's one of the best selling phones of all time. Even in spite of that, I don't remember it costing that much at the time, but these days, you can pick it up for next to nothing.
My conclusion would be that this is a very very reliable, very solid, very usable, very comfortable little phone that ticks all the basic boxes. It's nothing revolutionary by today's standards of course, but it remains a staple in the classics, and if you're currently in need for a phone, to just be... a phone, trust me: this is a fantastic choice.
I'll begin by dispelling any potential mystique or suspense to my opinion and say that this phone, is awesome. Very awesome!
Okay, now that's out the way, let's explore why...
-- The Screen -- (4.8 Inch HD Super AMOLED)
When splitting your review into sections, for somebody as obsessive as me, it can be troubling trying to figure out how to order / if you SHOULD order them in any particular way... but with this one, it's easy. I have to start with the screen, as it defines the phone.
This screen is one of the biggest, sharpest and most beautiful screens thus far (as in thus far in the history of smartphone screens), it's very striking.
Many experts have concluded that the iPhone 5 has the best screen 'officially', in terms of resolution and depth perception but, it also has an unnatural resolution; a resolution that is unique to the iPhone and not mathematically viable to any known video formatting thus resulting in frustrating cut-offs of full-screen viewing, on any videos that you may choose to watch.
That is not the case with the screen of the S3, as it's beautifully wide and long, taking up almost the entirety of the phone's length and resulting in maximum viewing scope.
-- The Build --
In regards to this phone's build - perhaps the one criticism I would have of it is that the outer-casing is somewhat cheap feeling in the sense that it's thin plastic, but it seems to be super-enforced plastic that bends. This does have the benefit of making it lighter, but you may also prefer some weight.
This phone is very very (shockingly in fact) thin and fits well in the hand.
One common observation from hardcore phone fans is that it's tricky to operate with one hand due to the fact it's a little too wide, so if that is going to be an issue for you, keep that in mind. For me personally - I prefer using two hands anyway, so it doesn't make a difference.
-- Features and Customization --
With its Android platform, this phone is incredibly customizable and very fast.
What will strike you most about this phone is the beauty in which it operates. As you navigate and touch the screen, it's quick and vibrant; bright and swift and houses a lot of standard apps and app potential (if you're into apps) to allow you to customize it to high-hell if you so wish.
In terms of the base features, Samsung let you edit and personalize just about every aspect of the phone from the background(s) - you can have multiple home-screens that you swipe though, housing different versions of what you may like to see that day or check out - you can have multiple clocks from different countries, you can have moving wallpaper, and much more.
Internet browsing is clear and delightful due to the giant screen and 'screen rotate' feature. The feature to which I refer to there is one of the stand-out features of the phone. Basically, if you have this 'screen rotation' feature on, you can simply tilt the phone horizontal to have the screen twirl and fit the phone in that dimension. It's very handy for webpage and video viewing.
There's also the revolutionary 'face recognition' feature that is basically more of a novelty. I think you can guess what it is from the reference to it. It's still a little too unreliable to be truly worthy of security use, but it's cool to feel like Robocop for a few minutes when you first try it.
-- The Price --
There's no getting around it, this phone ain't cheap!
It's going to cost you well over £300.
For your standard mobile buyer, this is a hefty, expensive piece of kit. It all depends what you're looking for; if you are looking for 'just a phone', I would suggest perhaps going for something a little less flashy, but if you want the cutting edge and in my - and many people's opinion today; the best phone on the market; this is the phone for you. Even though it may empty your pockets.
-- Overall --
In closing, I would say this is a superb, pioneering, beautiful, highly functional, practical, flashy; show-offy, satisfying, proud phone to own with very few true flaws.
== How and When I Got This TV ==
My parents actually bought this TV for me a few years ago as a birthday present. It's certainly served me well and I was most recently using it as a PC monitor substitute.
== Quality of Build ==
Starting from the 'ground up' (metaphorically speaking); let's start with the quality of the build...
This TV has a fairly solid build with a thick, sturdy plastic base and frame. This is the kind of thick plastic that is layered and relatively hard to break, giving a stern feel to this TV's outer-structure.
== Quality of Display ==
Quite obviously, one of the more/most important things regarding a television is its display and screen quality, and I can tell you that this one is very good.
This TV has a 19 inch LCD screen with a 16:9 aspect ratio, and it's HD ready.
If you're looking for a reasonably priced TV to play games on, or watch movies on, at a fairly high-quality; this TV is certainly a worthy choice, and does the job.
== The DVD Player ==
This TV has a built-in DVD player which you will find on the side of the TV which comes in great use; you simply insert your DVD in to the side of the TV and press play (controls on top or via the remote).
I've read quite a few people saying that this DVD player breaks and has broken for them; and whilst with my particular model it did not happen, my parents actually own one themselves and I believe that DVD player has broken, or is iffy. So quite clearly, there appears to be something to this claim and I definitely think you should bare that in mind if purchasing this TV.
== Build-in Freeview: Any Good? ==
This TV is one of the many new televisions to have a build-in freeview capability, and for the most part it works lovely. If you find yourself a decent aerial (I'd recommend an internal one for best results) then you can pick up a good amount of digital channels and if you don't watch much TV on a regular basis - it can be a very handy little alternative to paid cable.
== Is This TV Value for Money? ==
Overall I would say this TV is good value for money.
You'll find this particular television for around £100 online (I'd recommend searching for and buying this; and actually any technology items - online) and I'd say that's a very good price and that this TV will last you a good while, and be a good companion for gaming, channel surfing and movie watching.
I've read a handful of horror stories regarding the quality of this TV and other TVs from Technika such as the DVD player breaking (something to look in to, and bare in mind) but I can honestly say that I've had no issues with mine, and it's lasted me about three years so far.
If you're looking for a cheap, decent TV, this is a good option.
I hope I've done a good job at giving you some honest and clear insight and opinion on this product; and thank you for reading!
So, the title almost doesn't make sense... as the liquid isn't squirty, it's just when you... squirt it, through the squirty bottle top, that it squirts. But, it sounded catchy and I'm waaay too lazy to revise it, despite having the effort to explain it.
This Lucozade is probably my second favourite, or perhaps even my very favourite (slightly edging over the orange, normal fizzy) flavour of Lucozade, and the method by which you can shoot the delicious orange liquid in your mouth (no this isn't erotica... just unfortunate wording!) only improves the experience of consuming this classic drink.
This is more like a squash; in comparison to other Lucozade which is fizzy and like a soft-drink and energy drinks with a 'kick' - this is more like an orange squash. But a good quality orange squash; it's very refreshing and tasty.
Like most brand sports drinks, it's not overly cheap but, it's good for on the go and I believe it's mostly the convinience that you're paying for. That's why a taxi costs more than petrol: as you're paying for the convinience of somebody picking you up NOW and taking you somewhere, NOW. Although... a lot of taxis take a little while, and I'm not even sure if they are cheaper than petrol - as I don't drive. So that's a total guess. But, you get my point.
Overall I'd say this is a classic, tasty, refreshing sports drink.
Okay so the fact Lucozade is orange is no real comment on its quality, it just, is, isn't it!?
I've been drinking Lucozade since a whee whipper-snapper and it remains a delicious, refreshing energy drink. On whether it gives you energy or not? well for me, it doesn't really feel like it does, it's just very refreshing as it whooshes down my throat slide!
Personally, I love the orange flavoured Lucozade the best and only ever really drink this one or the squash one; the other flavours, particularly the original are pretty meh to me. The orange flavour has a fizzy tang/twang to it, and the gas in the bottles gives it a kick.
Another good thing about Lucozade is that there seems to be quite a lot of liquid in each bottle in comparison to other, similarly expensive-ish drinks.
I'd recommend orange Lucozade to anybody looking for delicious, refreshing drink on a summer day, or even somebody looking for a little kick of energy!
Okay, so for those who don't know: Marmite is some kind of (what other kinds, other than 'some' are there?) spread, a cousin of Jam perhaps... that you may spread on your toast or... well, you may spread it anywhere; I'd recommend it for food stuffs though.
== Love it or Hate It? ==
Marmite are famous for branding their product with this slogan/philosophy (okay maybe the word "philosophy" is a little overblown haha) implying that its taste is divisive and people will either LOVE it, or HATE it.
I quite admire this as a marketing concept in the sense... Marmite aren't trying to win everybody, and that's quite interesting, for a major brand product. Most brands would at least like to pretend that almost everybody will love their product. Why wouldn't they? they want as many people to try, or hear of, or think they may love X product.
Marmite however, in their opening sentiment to you as a product... emphasize that you may hate their product. Which, is almost a little provocative too, which is why it's quite clever. As, people will often love or hate almost everything, and people will also be on the fence about almost everything, there isn't this clear dividing line, but all camps will always exist. But making it a statement and part of your brand, as if almost to tempt people in to finding out which... is a nice idea.
Whilst they (not sure who they is? the 'Marmite family' perhaps?) were probably fully conscious of the message and the fact it's not LITERALLY true, and were simply using it as a somewhat provocativeidea; I disagree with it.
The only reason I'm stating I disagree with it, after stating I know it's probably not meant to be taken literally is because; I actually both love AND hate Marmite. So I felt my personal perception of its taste to me qualified that otherwise verbose analysis!
Yes, I love AND hate Marmite. Its taste is certainly unique and when I eat it on my toast I think "that's delicious" and "that's disgusting" at the same time. This almost makes me feel more in-tune as to how they arrived at their marketing message... the taste is almost confusing and not definitively nice or bad, it's unique and weird, so they probably exploit that conceptually.
== Would I Recommend You Try It? ==
Sure, why not!
You only live once and you won't be trying any Marmite when you're six feet under (ooh, heavy for a review of Marmite, no?), so why not have a taste now?
I can't tell you whether you'll probably like it or not, as that's totally subjective, and Marmite is an inherently and I think mostly agreed: universally odd taste to most people. But you'll certainly not forget it soon, and it may just become your new favourite s... spre, spready, stuff!
== Introduction to the Great Dr. Pepper ==
I'm not sure exactly when I first tried Dr. Pepper, maybe when I was a child of about nine or ten, something like that.
Anyway, ever since tasting it: there's no going back! - once you try and love Dr. Pepper, it's just a taste you never forget and which so few other soft-drinks compare with due to the fact nothing else tastes like it. It has a very unique taste.
I actually just thought this moment that if you mixed dandelion and burdock with Coca-Cola, you'd get Dr. Pepper. That actually almost perfectly defines the taste in my mind, when I imagine a blend of those tastes. Maybe that's what they did!?
== The Taste ==
I briefly described the taste in my introduction, and actually... don't have too much more to say about it (but come on, you need a segment titled 'the taste' when reviewing Dr. Pepper!) other than it's very unique, you never forget it and always chase it!
I actually tried Dr. Pepper in a tall cold class with ice and drank it through a straw not so long ago, from the advice of my girlfriend, and wow, takes it to a whole other level!
== Overall ==
Overall I'd say that Dr. Pepper is probably my favourite soft-drink ever. Coca-Cola is nice but feels boring after Dr. Pepper; it's almost like you've tasted an enhancement, something more unique, and don't want to revert back to something generic and predictable.
Describing Coca-Cola as 'predictable', okay now I feel pretentious! I didn't mean it to sound as pompous and ridiculous as that, haha, I just meant, it tastes plain in comparison!
I would recommend buying Dr. Pepper either in a small can form or bottle form like you see in this lovely picture of it here, as the taste combined with the gas and also the thin top you drink out of is just so yum. And if you poor it in a glass or have it from a large bottle... meh, it loses its freshness and spark; unless you ice that bad-boy up and slam a straw in there.
Dr. Pepper ftw! Thanks for reading.
...Believe me, I was tempted!
Okay so, everybody knows Red Bull: apart from all the people who don't. Okay - enough witticisms (or, silliness at least), let's review!
== The Taste ==
I actually saw somebody else say that this wasn't sweet at all? maybe it's just a difference in perception but to me Red Bull is very sweet.
It's got an almost 'tangy' but also quite... 'raw' quality to it. It's quite a hard taste to describe to be honest, I guess you need to try it! ahh, maybe that's why they're so successful :)
== The Energy ==
I'm used to fairly addictive intake and am quite 'low' by nature. I have actually been diagnosed as Bipolar but, have let go of that now, HAHA, oh my; bit personal for a review of Red Bull!?
Anyway, I only mentioned that as to me: this doesn't give me a whole KICK of energy as some people describe. I feel it gives me a smidgen or slightly noticeable effect at best.
I wouldn't say that's typical though, as I tend to also have three spoons of coffee in my cups so... to the average person, I would say this drink would be a boost. It's rammed with caffeine after all!
== Overall ==
Overall I would say this is a fairly nice, unique tasting drink... actually, it's not even very nice. It's almost kind of horrible, but yet still nice: think of Marmite and you have what kind of product Red Bull might be categorized as.
It's often quite expensive too, but, I think the everyday axe-wielding caffeine addict would get a kick (oh stop) out of this. Thanks for reading, drink up!
== A Personal Intro ==
*Please feel free to skip this intro if you're not interested in my background that shapes the bulk of my opinion. My background is relevant, and it's brief, but I know you want to know how Derren is live, and you'll see the segment on that beneath this, thank you.*
I'll start off by saying that; my own personal history with magic goes back to about age 10/11 (I'm now 22). I was sat in the living room watching street magic on TV and thought to myself "I want to do that" (as I'm sure many kids/people may do whilst watching magic), so I then set about learning. First I would just record and watch close-up magic back repeatedly and work out sleights myself... then this evolved into a full blown obsession and passionate venture in to the art.
From about ages 11 to 16, I fully went at it (oi, mind out of gutter!) and learned everything I could possibly find about card and coin (and general close-up) magic, and the performance of it... I studied magician after magician, I studied the history, I was in love with the art.
Magic to me was always psychological, and elegant rather than 'mystifying' and 'big'. I actually dislike commercial magicians for the most part and the way TV magicians and the public tend to think of or see magic; it's quite cheesy. But that's not the magic I know of.
It looked all for sure that I was going to become a professional magician; in all humbleness, I got very good at it (card magic in particular) but then around... 17/18 just stopped practicing to the same obsessive standard I had (although, when you're truly passionately involved with something like that, it doesn't feel like practice, I enjoyed every minute of it) been and didn't ever (and still haven't) lose interest in it, but I just began walking down other roads and not focusing on it as much.
I also began to feel that a professional magician wasn't what I wanted to do with my life, despite being pretty certain I could go down that road and succeed (even to this day). I still love magic to this day and Derren is my absolute favourite all-time performer.
To anybody schooled in the history of or aware of truly special close-up legends will know what I mean. To anybody who isn't, but is interested; some names that may give you an idea are - Ed Marlo (a complete legend and perhaps the most well known, or certainly most referenced card magician within all of card magic), Jay Sankey (an all round entertaining and brilliant, well-rounded magician) and Brian Tudor (terrible performer but incredible technical artist).
The reason I wanted to write a little segment regarding my history with magic was to give my personal opinion of Derren's performance a little more weight - not because I think my opinion is so important, but just so that: to anybody who reads this, or thinks Derren is or could be overhyped, I just wanted to emphasize from the perspective of an experienced student of magic (and, believe me, I lived and breathed it, and have a lot of experience), Derren is IN-CRED-IBLE. This man deserves all the credit he gets as THE foremost performer of modern magic.
Derren also partially made me feel like "wow, what's the point now" haha, because... one of the hardest elements to magic is developing a performance style. You can practice technical aspects until you're blue in the face, and that's a whole world of its own, but if you don't develop a persona, it's all pretty useless unless you just want to be an exhibitionist of skill. You need to entertain...
And, given that I was so young when immersed in the art, I could never truly figure out how I wanted to present myself - but then when I saw Derren I thought "yes, okay... If I did it, I would want to do it like THAT, 100%". And I'm normally not happy with the idea of 'copying' somebody, I like to try and be original, but that just showed me how amazing Derren is. I almost felt like, well, if I feel that's the best way it can be done, and if I do it that way it's just a replica... why do it haha. That's the way I think, a little odd I know but kind of an extremist. But I may go back to it.
== Derren Live ==
Where to start!?
Okay so, as a performer, Derren Brown is sublime.
I don't use that word lightly, he's literally in the 'legendary' category and I guarantee you: he will go down in history with the historic men of magic and performance.
It's quite rare to see a performer of this calibre in this day and age, and no believe me, Chris Angel is not it! and neither is David Blaine (ew!). Derren is the kind of calibre of performer that I just haven't been aware of or known of this standard since the legendary days of development.
What Derren brings to magic which actually, I've never seen done in the way he does it or as good as he does it, is: an everyday style that feels completely natural (if you watch most magicians, it 'feels' like they're performing. There's an element of unnatural stiffness to the patter, something not quite true to life or entirely normal. It feels like a performance.) seamlessly blended with a plethora of wit, insight, genuine curiosity; dark and interesting undertones, a sense of the 'exhilarating' and entertaining and a modern, thoughtful perspective.
Most magicians, even great ones working today, even great magicians that I am a huge fan of - they're still basically 1.0 magicians in comparison to Derren's style of presentation. It still feels like 'okay, this is a magician talking to me, let me see what he tries to do now' where as with Derren, it's just like he's intelligently conversing with individuals and the magic is seamless; almost like he's not responsible for it, like it's happening as a result of something other than him and his input and control. This is the penultimate style of performing that any magician striving to be truly great at performing aspires to. The aim is for everything to feel so relaxed and comfortable, and for conversation to feel so unscripted, un-thought-out and flowing that the magic is a complete surprise.
When this style is achieved, you see what Derren produces. The reason Derren's material looks so insanely head-baffling sometimes, to the degree that people's only resort is to claim 'stooges' is because he has achieved this penultimate performance style.
This is why people are constantly questioning if it's real, because when you watch and listen to Derren, it feels like you're listening to a real man talking to you. Yes, there's a conscious performer there, and Derren fully infuses and adheres to this sense of 'theatre' and always lets you know that he's trying to do things and, plays so many mind games... but irrespective of his content, subject-matter or aims... it feels like a real interaction, and this is the key to why his misdirection and methodology is so well achieved to the point where the effect, looks like the effect. There's nothing to work out, your mind is just blown, and you feel completely entertained.
I say all of this as a magician, and this is the reason I gave my personal history as... when you've studied the art and 'get' how to structure or perform elements of magic, or just 'know' the inside so to speak; it can become harder for another magician to entertain or baffle you. Not that it's not possible, and I don't mean that quite how it sounds, as most good magicians LOVE the art (that's why they're good at it), that's why they got in to it, because they LOVE seeing it, and want to do it too.
But what I mean is, due to the fact you know the inner-working a lot... what becomes most important to you as a magician, becomes the performance. Where as with an audience... a performance is INADVERTENTLY most important, but in fact to most, what's most important is the effect / the trick, what they're seeing.
Audience members may be entertained by Derren's persona, but they've come to be baffled, they've come to see or experience something amazing, and try to figure it out, or simply enjoy the experience of not being able to figure it out. But if Derren wasn't such a good performer, general spectators wouldn't enjoy it as much as they do.
Derren has breathed a whole new life in to magic to the point where it can feel like you're watching a documentary or genuine psychological experience. What he's done with 'psychological magic' is simply astounding, he's taken it to levels not seen before and with a realism never imagined.
Remember when you used to think of magicians? you'd think 'top hat / corny' right? Derren has dismantled that feeling, which was an historically cheap and tacky thing to shake off, but through his sheer excellence in style and elegance, and intelligence, he's made it something so much better.
He makes it feel almost 'clinical' at times, and yet never losing the spark of a magic performance, never losing that 'life' and thrill and concept of entertainment, he's struk the perfect balance.
I know I've rambled a lot and I better stop myself now as, I know this is more of a general appraising of Derren; I have seen him live and the show I saw live was 'Mind Reader'...
I will bring this to a closing now or I will literally go on forever! but I will just say - to anybody considering if Derren's show will be a good night out, TRUST ME: it will be unforgettable. If you think Derren's TV programs are engrossing, wait till you see him live.
What I've failed to mention as much here is his humour. Beyond being amazed and engrossed, and beyond having all your thought provoked; you will be chuckling all the way through. Derren is a genuinely witty writer and performer - his comic timing is on par with decent comedians and some of his wit is hilarious. Most magicians fail to develop or just, aren't, usually, genuinely funny. They're usually 'jokey funny' in a kind of childish or flat way, but Derren is 'adult funny'. You will be baffled, amused, entertained and you will have a superb night out.
Derren Brown is a genius (I'm not somebody who overuses that word like many) and the amount he's achieved in such a short space of time, and the way he's transformed magic and the perception of it; and the heights and depths he's taken it too... I'm in awe. A true pioneer. See him now!
Thanks so much for reading, I know it was long!
Whilst I do generally drink a fair amount of store-bought bottled milkshakes, they're not the greatest milkshakes in general (lmao, yet I drink them anyway... oh consumer capitalism, how you make me laugh) as they tend to me just completely smooth. Which may sound odd to say, as, it's milk - but I personally prefer like a, frothy milkshake. I'm not sure if you could bottle froth though haha, or could you?
Froth or no froth, I discovered this milkshake flavour not too long ago and for me, it's saved the genre! I know 'bottled milkshake' isn't, a 'genre' strictly speaking, but come on, that word is close enough and metaphorically speaking, you get what I'm saying! plus it's comical, and stuff.
The flavour of this milkshake makes the yearn for froth and ice-creamyness seem futile, it's just so deliciously sweet and vile! haha. By vile I mean nice of course, come on, you know the rules.
I would definitely recommend this to anybody with a sweet too... tongue? but I wouldn't recommend it to somebody who doesn't like chocolate fudge brownie milkshake flavour. As that's what this is; it's a chocolate fudge brownie milkshake damn it, and it's yummy!
I got this portable DVD player for a birthday present from my parents earlier this year. And from what I've experienced of it through my use of it so far - it's very good.
I've not previously had a portable DVD player so I can't strictly compare this to any other portable DVD players or say how it holds up in general, but just based on a basic analysis of the audio/video quality and general build, this one seems solid.
== Display ==
This player has a 9" TFT LCD screen which is wider than most portable DVD players, and definitely wide enough when you have it in your lap (whether you be on a train or in the car); close range viewing makes for an enjoyable experience, a great display size.
== Video Quality ==
The video quality on this player is very good. The screen has an almost 'coated' shine to it, and DVDs look rich and clear on it, with great colour depth resolution.
== Audio Quality ==
Next to video, the most important thing in terms of a quality rating of course would be audio - as you may enjoy what you're looking at all you like, but if you can't hear it properly, what's the point!?
So how does this audio stack up? well, like I say: I haven't owned any other portable DVD players but just going by way of comparison to the audio quality of say an MP3 player, or what I am used to from good speakers or a television: this audio quality is very good.
This audio is Dolby Digital stereo and aside from sounding very crisp and 'surrounding', it also appears to be quite loud and you'll certainly have plenty of range with it.
== Quality of Build ==
In terms of the quality of the product itself, as in, its structure and manufacturing materials... it seems sturdy enough to me - with a solid base and thick screen.
Phillips are known to be a quality brand, even amidst some of the top dogs cheapening their hardware - Phillips is one of those brands that continues to make solid products.
My only slight gripe with this would be the noise of the disk spinning, it is sometimes noticeable, a very slight whirring but overall, you barely notice it, and won't at all if you have headphones in.
Overall I'd say this is an excellent gadget and great DVD player; great for traveling or perhaps curled up in bed: you can attach it to the back of a car seat too!
Considering how innovative and brilliant Apple generally are with design in particular; you would expect them to get the default headphones for their star player right.
I first got an iPod around 2004, which I think was when they were a few years in to production; anyway - it was brilliant, and I have one today that is also brilliant (a classic-style 160 GB) but the standard headphones that are given with the iPod aren't great.
You would also think that considering the price of iPods and Apple products in general (they aren't cheap), that you would get the very best in regards to headphones, as they are the very thing of which the penultimate point of the iPod hangs upon: listening to music!
If you were to buy a cheap MP3 player, you would expect some fairly standard headphones to go along with it and probably not complain, you'd just buy your own, but this is Apple!
Anyway, I know it just sounds like I'm complaining so far but I don't want this to seem OVERLY negative as they're not THAT bad, I just wanted to emphasize that, for apple... they are. In terms of a general pair of headphones, for the average listener, for day to day listening? these will suffice.
== The Design Flaw ==
From a consumer perspective - the major design flaw with these headphones for me is the way in which they 'attempt' to sit in your ear. The actual ear listening bud within the earphone casing is rounded, and pushes 'outward' slightly, so this gives the ear bud a shape which naturally opposes sitting within the ear properly. They always feel like they're half way to falling out.
To continue that train of thought: the actual earpiece just isn't very big or sturdy, it's very small and rounded so like I say, it just feels like it's half way out all the time, and the audio from your headphone isn't very concealed within your ear, it's kind of always 'open' slightly.
== Audio Quality ==
Okay so my major gripe with the standard iPod headphones is the design.
In terms of audio quality? it's not the best, but it's good enough.
Now, I'm not even like, the kind of person that obsesses over every snar or kick drum they can hear; as long as it's loud and clear, and crisp enough: I'm happy.
This is where the sound quality is slightly let down though and again, I think the design and casing could be partially to blame. Due to the fact the listening cover is on a sort of slightly... protruding and rounded bud, the sound is never truly being pumped directly and comfortably on target which allows for outside noise to somewhat muffle or interfere, it can sound a little dense and noisy at times.
Overall I would say that these headphones are... what you would expect from a cheap pair of headphones, and not what you would expect from Apple, or to receive with an iPod. However, I do believe Apple are now offering or have made in-ear versions.
I now have a pair of (not Apple) in-ear headphones for my iPod which I found myself, and they're fantastic. I would definitely recommend in-ear headphones always.
The standard Apple iPod headphones will generally suffice, but I think most people will find or have found themselves upgrading or buying different headphones. But again, generally speaking: the sound quality is good enough, and out of the context of breaking them down and reviewing them, they're not as terrible as I may make them sound. They're just, average.
Thinking about me and my Playstation (sounds rather sad!) 2 (not to diss the original, let's include the Playstation family in that opening line!) brings back some awesome memories.
I was born in 1990 and my generation pretty much grew up on video games and the Internet. Sure, you may say that's a 'certain type' of kid, but from my experience; it grabbed hold of every kind of kid, well - as you see quite clearly now. The Internet, and games, are rather big aren't they!
This console however I feel in particular, really defined a generation of entertainment for my age-group. Now obviously there were other great consoles slightly before and since, and even at the time which were competing, but for me: the games and quality of the play available for the PS2 was the best.
One of my favourite games for this console and all-time (I don't play video games at all now and haven't for quite a while) is 'Metal Gear Solid' - oh man, that thing really used to have be gripped... or rather, lazily led in bed for weeks on end in captivation and obsession. WHAT a game, and without the PS2, that game would not be possible.
The capability and graphics of the PS2 were ahead of its time in some cases (it also depends on the graphical interface and complexity of the game itself of course, and its developers); a game which definitely displayed that was 'The Getaway', which was actually the first game I recall playing on the PS2, as I had it with the console.
The PS2 is obviously years old now, and I haven't kept up with the development properly since to comment much on current consoles (though I did for a short while have an XBox 360 - pretty good!) but I can say without a doubt that this one, is excellent.
I had much experience with gaming prior to this console also, and grew up playing Nintendo's (even ones before my time, and second-hand ones) and I remember when this thing hit - it was SUCH a jump forward from even the PS1 just a few years earlier. I believe 'Grand Theft Auto 3' was the game that truly emphasizes its advancement and soared its popularity.
As for the controllers: they are superb, and even to this day I feel are the best and most comfortable controllers in gaming history; which is no doubt why they stuck with them for the PS3.
If you're a gaming fan, or if you've yet to enter in to that realm but fancy a trustworthy stepping stone - this console will serve you well and its range of games and reliable functioning will serve you with hours upon hours of engrossing entertainment!
If you've ever wondered why all 50 ever talks about is his money and sales, it's because it's all he's got; a good lyricist - he is not.
To some, lyrics may not be that important: but the entire basis of rap music and really, the point of it, is lyricism. This is why rap beats are 'repetitive' to so many who dislike the genre, in the sense that: they're looped drum-beats. The drum-beats are backdrops to what is supposed to be lyrical showcasing.
This album is a beat and hooks showcasing and actually quite neatly marks the decline (I do believe this album encouraged beats-over-substance rap) of mainstream rap. Which ironically, comes right after one of its peaks, with 50's mentor Eminem (with 'The Eminem Show').
On this album 50 details some of the struggles of the streets on which he grew tough, his then present day fame and status with plenty of bragging (void of wit) in-between.
There's no denying that there's some good songs on here, but even the very best songs exhibit pretty terrible rapping from 50. 50's real gift, at least back then, was his knack for hooks. He is not completely talentless in the sense - he can create a memorable melody, and that is his only gift to the game: dark, melodic hooks, of which he was certainly not the originator but, was a champion of.
What everybody never seems to mention though is just how bad of a rapper, technically, 50 Cent is. Which, he wasn't always. Back in 1998 he made an album called 'Power of the Dollar' and that actually features some pretty decent flows and ideas. Since then however, his writing has been at the best lazy, and at the worst embarrassing. He does stumble upon the occasional line that blends life philosophy with gangster brutality, and sometimes, just SOMEtimes nearly very nearly gets close to figuring out how to be witty. But nine times out of ten: he just can't rap.
Beyond 50's rap skills, there just isn't much originality here either. Almost every song has what could be considered the same verses re-written. I mean, you could literally swap some of them in terms of lyrics, and it would make no difference to either song in terms of it making sense or feeling the same.
Many rappers like Eminem, seem MORE intelligent in their music, to the point that when they speak: you almost feel like "wow, HE wrote that... ". With 50, he seems much, much less intelligent in his music, and I'm not sure if he's dumbing down or if it's the best he can do, but when you hear his lyrics, it makes you think "wow. He... WROTE... THAT?". He can do better, surely.
What's actually quite disappointing is the fact that... 50 is not actually a moron. Quite obviously the man is shrewd and ruthless (which in itself does not make him smart), and if you watch any interview with him; you will see that he's perceptive, fairly well-spoken and self-aware. It's just such a shame he can't work his true personality or mind in to his music - he clings to the 'gangsta image' even today and artistically: has nothing to say. Or if he does, he declines to, in favour or cliche and laziness.
Overall, I do believe that the average music fan would enjoy this album and I think a hip-hop head would too. But I think the enjoyment will come from some of the incredible production and under-your-skin hooks. Also, Eminem has the best verse on the entire album.