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Hitman
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    • British Airways in general / Airline / 14 Readings / 12 Ratings
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      18.09.2004 13:06
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      Having just returned from a round the world trip, I've got plenty to tell...
      From all the airlines I've seen, airport terminals and different signs that all say "immigration", I can say 1 thing at least ... airlines are quite unique!!

      British Airways served me on a trip to Hong Kong, and back to Heathrow from Miami.
      On the flight out to Hong Kong, the queue at Heathrow to check in was enormous! However, that didn't stop BA processing passengers quickly!
      I was through check in in virtually no time. The service at the counter was friendly and when I asked for a specific seat (www.seatguru.com is a very useful site to visit now), they were only too happy to help. To my dissapointment though, the seat I asked for was taken, but they said they would do all they can to re-arrange the seating plan to help me.

      Through to the gate now... the staff at the gate knew who I was with my ticket and knew I was asking for a specific seat even before I told them - Impressive in todays world!

      Before long I was on the plane, not in my favourite seat but one equally as good. It was a long flight, but the attendants were great. They would do anything for you.
      The meal (for economy class) was great too. Although it was a meal you would expect in a 4 star restaurant, it was superb for "plane food".
      The drinks were free too (note all airlines offer them for free - as I found out later on in my journey!!).

      On BA, you can also earn "Executive Points". You can join the BA Executive Club for free. You collect points depending on the miles you travel. There are 3 stages to it, the higher you go, the more erwards there are to claim.
      Prices alter for BA all the time as well. Shopping around for prices is a MUST.

      Overall, BA is an airline I would definetly fly with again.

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      31.08.2001 00:49
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      Look closely, and beneath all the keys I bet it's clogged with dirt. Are you sick of trying to poke some scissors and other stuff inbetween the keys? For anyone wanting to sell there computer as well, the following will be one hell of an investment. Spray Duster. Spray Duster gets rid of all the muck beneath your keyboard. You can order Spray Duster over the net, via consumable websites, or they are now available in W H Smith or Asda. They might be else where but I haven't seen them yet. Spray Duster (there are a few variations now) comes in a silver can - just like a deodorant can. You can purchase it in either 400 ml or 200 ml, and I think 100ml. Obviously the bigger the can, the cheaper it gets. Basically, it is just compressed air, and you can attach a small "pipe" onto the can nozzle, like WD40, to put under the keys and get rid of all the muck. It is quite powerful and beware - if and of the liquid gets onto your skin, it can cause frostbite. Also, after spraying the can for more than 20 seconds, the can becomes VERY cold indeed. Besides that, it will make your keyboard look like new, and you can use the Spray Duster anywhere. Take the "pipe" of and it can be used as a general duster. A bit expensive to use though, as the 400ml version is around £7 - 8 but varies alot depending on where you go. It's ozone friendly as well. For anyone interested, it is made by Automation Facilities who can be contacted on 0118 940 4031. Once you use this once, you will not want to be without it. Highly recommended.

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      • Crocodile Hunter / TV Programme / 0 Readings / 23 Ratings
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        25.08.2001 01:20
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        Steve Irwin is his name incase you were wondering......an owner of an Australian Zoo. He has got the nickname...Crocodile Hunter. Steve features quite often on Discovery Channel, and sometimes programs such as BBC1 and Discover Animal and Planet. He is a real crocodile hunter. Just average size, but with a wealth of knowledge he will go out in the bush, and search for a variety of animals. For anyone interested in wildlife programs, you will not get better than this. Steve does his upmost best to get as close to the animal as he can. Often he will be wrestling a crocodile, covering it's eyes, the lot just to get a look at it. Don't get me wrong though, he is not the cruelty type. He cares and respects all animals so much, its unreal. He has done quite a few shows, some so good you can watch them over and over again. A couple of memorable ones are; Search for the Komodo Dragon: Steve goes to the island of Komodo, home of the lethal Komodo Dragon. One bite from this "giant" lizard will probably kill you. The bacteria in it's saliva is deadly, yet Steve brings this creature virtually into your living room. 10 most dangerous snakes ever: Steve travels the length of America and Australia in search of cobra's, taipans, fierce snakes the lot. Using no protection - and no....I'm on about snakes here....he will pick the snake up with his bare hands. This guy is insane and the least you can do is watch him. Wildlife programs will never be the same again!! Long live Steve!!

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          24.08.2001 00:56
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          Following the popularity of my Celebrity Cruises opinion, I though it was time to follow that on and give everyone a taste of the Oriana. While reading this, just imagine yourself walking aboard, the beautiful sunshine, plam trees, sunsets - sorry if I'm making you all jealous. Anyway here goes; Oriana was built in Germany, and entered service in 1995. Costing £200M it wasn't cheap either! Oriana is a brilliant ship, only to be beaten in quality, service and food by Galaxy, Zenith and QE2. Cabins aboard Oriana are quite good, and come in a variety of categories, some able to accomodate 4 people. There are quite a few cabins for single people as well. Other cabins include a trouser press, iron, and ironing board, binoculars, umbrella and an atlas.The decor in the cabins is a warm cherry wood which makes them very inviting. The bathrooms are a bit of a let down though. There is no marble sink, and the sides to the whirlpool bath are quite high.Electrical current in cabins in 110 or 220 AC. Overall, the rooms are the biggest let down in this ship, but do not let that put you off in anyway. Depending on which cabin grade you choose, you are allocated to a certain dining room. Peninsular or Oriental are both very nice and have tables for 2,4,6 and 8, and the chandeliers in both are amazing. There is also a 24hour self service beverage stand, which also offers breakfast and lunch. For anyone worried about sea-sickness while on Oriana, this is usually a thing of the past now-a-days. Oriana is so big it is just like a floating city at sea, and it also has the largest stabilizers of any ship covering an area of 231 sq ft. There is a large amount of outdoor deck space, and wide passageways ensure good passenger flow throughout the ship. With a passenger:space ratio of 35, it is the largest ratio of virtually any ship. 3 outside pools are great for cooling off in,
          and if that wasn't enough, there are 5 whirlpools to go with it. Keeping fit is easy with a gymnasium, which is very clean and well kept. Relaxing afterward is always important, and is easy done with a sauna, steamroom and massage parlour. There is a 4 deck high atrium with waterfall topped by a dome of Tiffany glass, which is very elegant. The Theatre Royal is superb on Oriana decorated in rich reds with individual air conditioned seats. Anderson's Lounge is also very popular at night, although this has no fireplace. To top it off, the library is very well stocked with books and the chairs are so comfortable you could sit there all night. The artwork on Oriana is also excellent some by all British artists. One of the other things people tend to notice is the quality of the carpets. They are 100% wool! Whilst on Oriana, the biggest cost you will notice is tips. They recommend a charge of £3 per person per day. Movement around the ship is also pretty good, due to 10 elevators that are very nice too. As with all large ships, expect a few delays at excursions. Overall though Oriana is a top ship that very few ships come close to beating.

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          • Rogue Trader (DVD) / DVD / 0 Readings / 22 Ratings
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            23.08.2001 00:28
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            Everyone's heard of Nick Leeson...well this is his story. Imagine the scene....It's 1995, Nick Leeson is working in the back office for Barings, and eventually gets sent to Singapore to manage the trading floor. There he looses a big customer for Barings, and due to the loss he gains, he gambles on the market going up. Yes...you guessed it...it went down and down until the loss couldn't be covered up any more. Ewan McGregor stars with Anna Friel. For anyone interested in finance/stocks/shares this is a brilliant film to watch. For people that have little or no understanding of markets, this will be a film that will be difficult to get into to. To fully enjoy the film and to understand how he looses all the money you must understand what goes on. Basically you must learn two phrases: Futures Options Futures are basically a bet on the market. If the market is say at 5000, you bet it will go up(long) or down (short). Every point above 5000 you gain money depending on how much you put on each point. In this case it's hundreds of thousands of pounds per point. Options are basically the same although you state what the market will be at, at a future date. Nick explains this briefly at the start of the film anyway. Nick starts off working in the back office for Barings, and does so well that his manager wants him to go to Jakarta to clear up some bonds. This is an irrelevent part of the film, except for the fact that this is where he meets Lisa, his future wife. Doing another great job, he gets promoted to Manager of the trading floor in Singapore, a much more important market. You will be baffled by all the hand waving, finger signals, shouting in the trading room, and this is where one of his assistants mucks up. Instead of buying a contract, she sells them. This causes a loss of £20,000. Coming up to
            Christmas the losses grow up to £10,000,000. Through good luck, and hard work he manages to trade of of that position and makes all that money back. Trying to recover all that money he has to recruit more people onto his books. Pierre Bo Marche is his answer. This guy is one of the biggest traders in town and the commission Nick earns off him is massive. But he hasn't made it because he's only really made a loss into a break even figure. Never the less, it shows up on the balance sheet as a profit of £10,000,000. Nick is a star, and gets to go to London to host speeches and so on. Into the New Year then, Nick gets a shock. Bo Marche wants to place a big trade but a rival bank has offered him a better deal than Nick can do. Not wanting to loose Bo Marche, Nick does the trade, but ends up making a loss from it. This loss grows and grows as he bets on the market trying to gamble again and recover the money. His luck isn't going with him though and soon he starts asking London for more and more money to cover his losses. It's not in small amounts either, £145M in 1 week!! As losses grow and the directors are going mad Nick gets the shock of his life. Another trader (Danny) rings him in the middle of the night to ask him to turn the TV on. The Kobe earthquake has took place, knocking the market for six. This looses Nick £50M in just one day. Eventually his losses grow until he can't take it any more and leaves. Eventually collapsing Barings with debts of £850M he flees to Frankfurt, only to be caught in Abu Dabi and arrested. The soundtrack is also good and works brilliant in the film. Travis, Manic Street Preachers, Reef, Finley Quaye, The Clash and Leftfield all feature in Rogue Trader. The acting is brilliant, Ewan and Anna really work hard and the outcome is amazing. Whether this is the "real" sto
            ry or not we will never know, but it shows one amazing true story that you will never forget. Total running time is 97 minutes. Rating: 15

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            • Vegetarianism / Discussion / 0 Readings / 30 Ratings
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              22.08.2001 02:05
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              Well....for those that eat meat, I'm sorry if this will put you off. I'm going to try and give a balanced view here, but remember, as I don't eat meat, the argument against it will be slightly weighed!! Firstly, why do we eat meat? Okay, your parents made you eat it since birth, and you never knew better. There are animal there to be killed and ate. If they weren't killed the animal population would grow until we have to send them abroad, then we would have cattle smuggled into the country, and then they would migrate, and so on, I think you get the idea even if it is a bit over the top. Meat can cause cancer! How many times have you heard that? Not too much I bet! Well....according to a leading doctor who writes for a national newspaper, there is sufficent evidence to prove meat can cause cancer. Apparently, it sits in the digestive system for ages, and releases a toxic chemical into the bloodstream that causes cancer. According to that doctor, in 5 years time scientists will confirm this belief and all meat sold in shops will have to be labelled; Meat can cause cancer! Okay, cut all that rubbish out...thats just one doctor I hear some say(Mainly the meat eaters I bet). Well, you're true. And what EVIDENCE I also hear you say? Still going on loudly I hear comments like, if it did cause cancer why hasn't the government admitted it already. I hope you can see the balanced view coming across now... Now for the veggies.... The government is thick, their liars... When that ONE doctor was going on about BSE in cattle YEARS ago, no-one took a bit of notice, politicans threw garbage at him. If "reports" were true then, and it is I will add - It is true that BSE exists - why didnt the government admit it YEARS ago? There was no risk to lamb all the veggie's heard; The doctor said it was....
              Again, he was rubbished, spat on the lot.. but now they have admitted it. Conclusion.... All it takes is time to reveal the answers. Well...if I havent gone on enough, or put you off your steak pie your eating while reading this, read on. So, the veggie's seem to have one up on the meatie's. Meatie's: At least we get our protein!! Ha ha True - meat is a brilliant source of protein that a lot of us veggie's miss out on. Without chumbling our way through nuts, lentils, seeds all that bird food we miss out on protein a lot. Whoops, it looks like it's 1 - 1. And the meatie's also add that fish is being poisoned in the salmon farms. High levels of dioxins are found in salmon, mackerel, tuna and so on. If the veggie's dont eat fish - I do, you're okay. If not, it's 2 -1 to the meatie's. And all the vegetables sprayed with all kinds of muck, herbicides, pesticides, googlevides whatever next.... Surely that can't be too good for all us veggie's. Okay, meatie's seem to win this argument 3 - 1. But then all the veggie's take a step back and say....WHAT ARGUMENT????? What have the meatie's actually proved? Meat is good for you? WRONG - All food will eventually kill you 0- that is a fact! Everyone's left speechless now on. It's a debate and personal choice. I'm staying veggie. What about you.....comments greatly appreciated.

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                19.08.2001 19:04
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                Finally it's done!! All 5 ships have been added now for you to read. Overall, in terms of quality, price, value for money, room service, cleanliness and general service aboard I rate Celebrity as being the best cruise's going today. Celebrity has 5 ships in its fleet: Century Galaxy Mercury Horizon Zenith You might remeber a couple of years back, Celebrity was featured on BBC1 "The Cruise" and it made Jane McDonald famous. All 5 ships are instantly recognised by the big X on the funnel so all can be seen easily when boarding after a day out on the mainland. Apparently the X represents C in Greek which stands for Chandris, the owning company! Not that you can miss one of these ships though, the smallest ship, Horizon, is a massive 680ft in length. Mercury and Horizon are the longest ships both at a staggering 865ft. Now for each ship in detail; This opinion isn't quite finished yet, I've still got 1 more ship to write about. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Century: Built in Germany and entering service in December 1995 this ship tips the scales at just over 70,000 tonnes. Built at a cost of $320M this is one of the newer ships in Celebrity's fleet. Century has a crew of 843 and can accomodate 2,140 passengers. There are 875 cabins aboard, 571 being outside. There are also 8 wheelchair cabins available. Each cabin has a fridge, safe, TV and VCR(Upper grade rooms only). Each room has an interactive TV where you can even go shopping now. A hairdryer is also available in the bathroom aswell as the 100% cotton towels.All cabins are finished in a warm wood finish and are very nicley decorated. There are no cabins for single people on Century. For real luxury, but at a price, Century also has 2 Presedential Suites of 1,173 sq ft. Century has 2 dining rooms, with 2 seatin
                gs, both connected by a grand staircase. Food aboard Century is excellent, with the menu being designed by Micheal Roux. Celebrity are very concious about their food and deliver it hot and superbly cooked. This is the main beneit of going with Celebrity Cruises. Note though that the chairs in the dining room have no armrests which can be annoying, and they are also quite heavy! Century has a very high ratio of passenger space, so you will not feel crowded and with a staff : passenger ratio of 1:9 the service you recieve is excellent and fast. This is also common with Celebrity that there are more staff to passengers than most other ships. You notice it in the cleanliness and service at the bar/restaurant. Many passengers have noticed staff constantly cleaning, vacuuming and polishing all day long. Passenger flow, both on and off the ship is also quick and has been well thought out and is tried and tested. Medical facilities on board are also very good, but hopefully you won't need to try them out. Also contained on the ship is a library, which has a good selection of books, a movie theatre with 190 seats, a massage palour, sauna and steam room, gymnasium, 4 whirlpools, 1 inside swimming pool (hydropool), 2 outside pools, and of course the casino, which also has slot machines.The aqua spa outside is amazing, set alongside a Japanese rock garden with shoji screens. A photo has to be taken of that! Getting up and down the ship is easy too, with 10 decks in all and 9 elevators to service these floors you shouldn't be waiting too long. For those who smoke cigars, don't miss out on the Micheal's Club, a cigar and cognac room. It is a traingular shaped room and the decoration inside is very much like an old English gentlemens room. Several sizes of Cuban cigars are available, all hand rolled each day by a cigar maker. If you have no money for one, don't despair, there
                is an ATM inside the room. Relaxing is an understatement here. Also, get a look of the early morning and take a jog. The teakwood promenade is wonderful and clean with a jogging track on top of the ship. The air at that time is so refreshing!! The foyer on the ship is amazing. It is 3 decks high and contains 9 giant TV screens with constant changing of scenery. On board the ship are 500 pieces of artwork, that cost $3.8M. Probably the worst thing about Celebrity ships are the shore excursions though. Because it is a large ship with so many passenegrs, it can take a while to get off, but staff really do try their best to minimise discomfort. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Galaxy: Galaxy was built in Germany at a cost of $320M and entered service in December 1996 so again, it is fairly new. It is one of Celebrity's largest ship, being a total of 865ft in length, and weighing in at over 76.000 tonnes. 10 decks make up Galaxy with 948 cabins, 639 of which are outside. 8 wheelchair cabins are also available. Galaxy is able to accomodate 2,681 passengers, with 908 crew members to look ofter them. All cabins on Galaxy are very comfortable indeed and feature a fridge, interactive TV from which you can order room service, excursions and goods from the boutiques. For those that miss junk food while on board, a fresh pizza, boxed, can be ordered and delivered to your room. The bathrooms in all cabins are very spacious aswell. Galaxy has 2 dining rooms with a huge gracious staircase adjoining the two, and just outside the lower level entrance there is a brilliant champagne and caviar bar. On board the Galaxy there are 9 elevators to keep you moving between floors with a casino, which also has slot machines, 2 outside swimming pools, 1 inside covered by a magrodome and 3 whirlpools. You can also find a gymnasium, sauna, but no steam room, a
                massage parlour and a library. There is no movie theatre on board! Again there is an aquaspa which is very popular, both on Galaxy and Century. Galaxy is slightly longer than its sister ship Century, only by 14 metres or so and has 4.5 acres of space on the open deck. Inside there are 2 foyers, the first is 4 decks high and the second, 3 decks high. The artwork dotted all around the ship is also quite stunning. Again, the excursions are Galaxy's weak point as with Century. It is purely the bulk of passengers but they are working on speeding things up constantly. One thing to take note of is the "Stratosphere". It is a huge observation lounge and disco and it is an excellent viewing place when in Alaska. Overall, for amenities and service Galaxy will be very hard to beat. Without paying absolute top dollar this is a cruise you should try out. Value for money is excellent - top notch and it will be a memorable holiday indeed aboard Galaxy. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Mercury: Once again, built in Germany at a cost of $320M Mercury id very similar to Galaxy. It entered service in November 1997 so it is quite new. Mercury features 10 decks with a crew of 908 serving 2,681 passengers. There are 948 cabins aboard Mercury, 639 being outside. 8 wheelchair cabins are also available. Cabins on board Mercury are very comfortable indeed with butler service, whether you want it or not. If you have the money and can afford it choose on of the suites on Deck 10 or 12. This way you recieve a gold card to open your door. No....thats not the only reason. It also gives you priority service throughout the ship. Free coffees, free welcome champagne, flowers and the use of the aquaspa is included. Occupants of standard rooms, both inside and out, have a white card to open their rooms with. <br><br>The Presidential Suites aboard Mercury are probably the best in the industry. They are perhaps even better than Galaxy and Century. Located in the middle of the ship there is a seperate bedroom, with a real high tech Sony multimedia centre, large lounge with dining table, a massive closet with loads of drawers, and a king sized marble tiled bathroom. If you choose one of the forward Sky Deck suites, be prepared for constant music. This happens from 8am to 9pm due to music from the pool deck. Another draw-back is that the shaving mirrors in the Sky Deck rooms are far too high so take another mirro with you, and you cannot view the TV from you're bed!!! All the standard rooms are very nicely decorated though, with generous spaced out bathrooms complete with power showers. Interactive TV is standard in all rooms the same as Galaxy. Dining aboard Mercury is first class! The two-level dining room is really grand and each level has its own galley, ensuring fast service on both floors. At night, the dining room looks fantastic. The windows facing the stern, have blinds which roll down, and have pictures of views of Manhatten on them. Wine is very expensive on Mercury, particularly for champagne! As with Galaxy, fresh boxed pizza can be delivered to your room, if you can't live without the junk food for more than a few days. This ship has virtually everything you could want, and is really grand! The 3 deck foyer complete with waterfall, is very nice indeed. If you want to be pampered, all the better. The ship has an indoor pool, aquaspa, "mud" treatment room, Michaels Club (the cigar and cognac room) a small cinema and a large casino. The interior inside the ship is made of wood, or wood-look material, and also has a $3.5M art collection aboard. Lastly, as with other large ships, excursions and dis-embarkation can take a while
                due to the mass of people. Another problem is the ability, or perhaps non ability to get hold of room service or reception on the phone. This is where they need more staff, although this may be better nowadays. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Horizon: One of Celebrity's oldest ship, Horizon is still in use and going strong! At a weight of 46,811 tonnes though it is, in comparison, light compared to the others. Built in Germany at a cost of $185M, Horizon entered service in May 1990. Unlike, the other 3, Horizon has only 9 decks, compared to 10, so straight away you will notice a difference in the size of the ship. Never the less with 677 cabins, 529 of which are outside there is still plenty of space. Indeed with a passenger : space ratio of 28.1 this is quite generous.Only 4 wheelchair cabins are available on Horizon though, so it's best to book as early as possible if you require these rooms. Carrying a crew of 645 to service 1,660 passengers this is still a very luxurious ship. Each room has a TV, and also to take note of is the voltage, which is only 100 AC. Cabins on Horizon could do with a make-over though. Don't get confused with this remark - the decoration is superb with fine quality fittings and all cabins are quite large. No cabin has a balcony though so don't expect to see this on Horizon. There are no fridges on Horizon's cabins either, and no VCR. Although bathrooms are very nice and quite spacious, the towels are fairly small. The dining room is quite large, but not large enough. It feels quite small as the tables are "rammed" in, but it is very elegant and there are tables for 2 available. The chairs have no armrests either. Onboard Horizon you will find a casino with slot machines, 2 swimming pools, but no inside pool, 3 whirlpools, gymnasium, sauna, massage parlour, movie theatre
                with 850 seats and a library. The casino is well worth a look, if not a bet. It is a wood paneled that has a stately home look. Outside the casino is an ATM, but it charges you $5 for access charge. There is no steam room! Horizon is an old(ish) ship now but is still very elegant with lots of open deck space. Inside, the public rooms are quite spacious, and passenger flow works pretty well due to this space. The foyer aboard this board is very unusual yet very pleasant. It is only 2 decks high, but has a soft peach coloured Miami Beach art deco look to it. Because of lack of some facilities, and the age of the ship, prices for holidays aboard Horizon tend to be very fairly priced, but service is not let down. Overall this would be a good starting ship, and then Galaxy later on. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Zenith: Zenith is a similar ship to Horizon, infact, so similar it is it's siter ship. Built in Germany (again) at a cost of $210M it entered service in April 1992. Featuring 9 decks like Horizon, and a crew of 628 it is able to serve 1,796 passengers. Although Zenith only has 9 decks, space aboard is still very spacious. Zenith has 687 cabins, 541 of those outside, and 4 wheelchair cabins. Cabins aboard Zenith are very nicley decorated with a good amount of space. Bathrooms aboard are set out very nicely aswell, with a good selection of toiletries provided. All cabins have TV, but no VCR. No cabin has a fridge though! Also note that most cabins on "bermuda" deck have nice views - of a lifeboat. This only applies to outside cabins obviously!! The food and its service on Zenith, are as always, excellent. Zenith has just one dining room, but has several tables for two. Chairs have no armrests either, but good news for the veggie's. There is a seperate menu for them, and for children. Oth
                er facilities aboard Zenith include a casino with slots,, 2 swimming pools, but no inside pool, 3 whirlpools, gymnasium, sauna, massage parlour, library and a movie theatre with 850 seats. Compared to Horizon, Zenith has a very similar layout, but has a nicer, warmer decor, and also has a larger observation lounge, with a larger dance floor. The ship has a 2 deck high foyer, similar to Horizon, but is very cosy with soft furnishings and pastel colours abundant. An ATM is also available outside the casino, which can get quite busy - the ATM that is!! Also there is a $5 charge to use it. Although Zenith and Horizon feel left behind in style and time, most passengers feel well looked after, and service and food quality make up for anything amiss. One thing that is annoying, especially for the elderly is the weight of the doors going to outdoor decks. They are quite heavy and need some strength to open them. Also, expect delays in excursions. A lot of announcements are made on Zenith over the loud speakers, to which people usually stand still and cause delays. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ To accompany this it is also good reading to read my other opinion... cruising in general. I hope I've covered most of the important points without mumbling on too much and I hope it makes you able to choose the best ship for you're holiday. THATS IT THEN FOR CELEBRITY CRUISES. If there is enough interest in other liners I might produce another opinion. Tell me what company and I'll try and do an opinion of equal quality for all their ships. Comments welcome. Happy cruising...

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                  18.08.2001 22:38
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                  Nivea for Men Exfoliating Face Scrub cleanses, smoothes and invigorates. For anyone out there that needs this kind of treatment this product is wonderful. After using this just once you will feel the difference and your face will be left feeling wonderful. It removes dirt, dry rough skin and blackheads and it also contains Vitamin E and Provitamin B5, so you're face will be left moisturised too. All you have to do is apply a little bit, not much is needed at all, to you're wet face, rub it in gently and then rinse off. It has a lovely clean smell to it aswell that stays fresh for quite a while. It comes in a funky blue tube that sits on its cap, so you get every last drop out of it. It is like a clear liquid with tiny blue bits in it that help scrub you're face. The liquid itself is full of tiny bubbles that really add some life to you're skin. The price is the only downside. At around £4.50 for the 75ml tube it is a bit pricey, but in certain stores such as Superdrug it can be seen on offer for £2.99. If you've got a big night out planned, a wedding, a party or so on coming up try this out and you will not be disapointed.

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                    18.08.2001 04:30
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                    Never been on a cruise? This will help you make the most of it!! Not pointing to any particular cruise company the following opinion is a general outline of what to expect on a cruise. Now… this has taken me a good 2 days to write out and find out all the information and I’ve included all the important information, as I feel fit. I hope you like it. More than 7 million people have taken cruises and that number is growing fast. Cruising is one of the most popular holidays going now, and over 80 per cent of cruise goer’s return to cruise again. Don’t worry if you’re single…. cruising is not just for the rich people anymore or married and old, cruising is getting popular with singles, families, honeymooners and even college buddies nowadays. Days of different classes aboard are now long gone. The only “difference” you find nowadays is in the types of cabins and the location of the cabin. Trying to find a cruise should be easy. There are thousands of different types of cruises, over 20,000 worldwide infact. “Won’t I get bored?” That is the biggest question that is asked before a cruise is taken, and it’s usually men that ask that question. Reality is there won’t be enough time in the day to fit everything in, and by the time the cruise is up you will of wished you would of done even more! So… what can I do aboard that won’t make me bored? Well, with ships ranging from just 60m in length to well over 350m (that’s over 1000ft), there has to be something!! Before setting off on a cruise though, bear in mind that larger more recent ships will be very big indeed and will have to anchor out away from major tourist cities. This will mean a delay in getting to the mainland as people try to get there. Smaller ships, one with less than 900 people aboard will not have to deal with this as
                    much. Also remember to compare brochures and see how long you have in the cities. Many times differ and you want as long as possible. For many cruise goer’s going for a second time, a smaller ship is usually chosen than the first journey. This will improve you’re overall standards of service but of course there will be less to do. The larger ships will be packed with everything you expect in a first class hotel on the mainland. Aboard The Legend Of The Seas you will even find an 18-hole golf course. Of course it is miniature but it proves a point! Several other ships include a golf simulator machine. Aboard Celebrity cruises, that’s Galaxy, Century and Mercury I’ve also been told they now have interactive TV in their cabins. If you’re undecided on where to go, here is a list of places to decide on. Caribbean: These cruises tend to “jam” about 5-6 ports of call into one week, which can seem quick and tiring. This will involve little time at sea for relaxing as well. Also remember that June – November are hurricane months here, something that is usually “forgotten” in most brochures! Europe/Med: Using a cruise to see as much of Europe does make a lot of sense. Just think where the following cities are situated – Amsterdam, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Genoa, Helsinki, Lisbon, London, Monte Carlo, Nice, Oslo, Stockholm and Venice. All extremely lovely places to visit, and all accessible by boat. Alaska: This is becoming a very popular place to visit now and is truly breathtaking! Around half a million passengers visited Alaska last year, and cruise companies, in particular Princess Cruises have shore side facilities such as hotels, buses and trains for you. The downside with Alaska is that ports are getting extremely busy and crowded now and wildlife is becoming harder to see with such busy ships a
                    round now. A real shame! Australia/Orient: Before setting out on a cruise here, beware that you will need to fly out first and this will be very long and take up a lot of you’re energy. Jet lag is a common feature when taking cruises here. The orient has such to offer that a long cruise should be taken here; a minimum of 15 days is about right to get in all the sights of the Orient. Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, China, Hong Kong, and South Pacific Islands – I’m sure you can now see why a long cruise is necessary. If you are setting out to book a first time cruise consider looking at the “big seven” cruise lines first as this will give you an idea of what to expect itinerary wise. Carnival Cruises: This is the biggest cruise operator in the world and carries many first timers. It is not an upmarket ship, and with Carnival you get what you pay for. Also to be taken note of is that any excursions on Carnival are booked through their interactive TV, so it can be difficult to track someone down if there are questions about it! Celebrity Cruises: This is a superb company. Best known for its food. All meals are made fresh and from scratch, no packaged stuff or boxed up food, all fresh! This cruise company also has the highest ratio of staff: passengers and so you can expect a far better service, especially in the cleaning of the ship and in the restaurant/bar. The artwork aboard is also out of this world for you art fans! Costa Cruises: Try these out for that “European” feel. The food on board is apparently not too good, the same with the service but does do a good candle lit dinner, with superb pasta! Cabins also tend to be quite small. Although it was purchased by Carnival back in 1997 the ships still have the same qualities about them. Holland America Line: These ships are quite famous for the teakwood decks outside, where as
                    most other ships use astro turf or similar. Free ice cream is available on all ships are various times as well as a Starbucks coffee. These ships claim to be 5 star and have a strong feel to being upmarket. Norwegian Cruise Line: This suits the active youth of today. It also suits sports fans due to a strong “sporty” feel aboard and many sports are available on board. Also available is an “eat n run” service for those not wanting to have a sit down meal. Princess Cruises: If you go on a honeymoon with Princess and want a table for 2 at dinner, make sure you go on Dawn Princess, Grand Princess or Sun Princess, as the others DON’T have tables for 2. Food is apparently not too brilliant but cabins are very good. Royal Caribbean International: The cabins on these ships are the smallest of all cruise liners. Passenger activity is pushed highly, so if you are one to not take part in activities this is not for you. Which ship you decide to go on is up to you and newer ships have advantages over smaller ships and so on. Themed cruises are also becoming popular with ones such as; Antiques, Astronomy, Art, Chess, Music, Fashion, Films, Gardening< Gay/Lesbian, Murder Mystery, Photography, Singles and Wine Tasting. When deciding on what cabin to have, you basically get what you pay for. An outside cabin is by far the best. An inside has no porthole or windows. Cabins in the centre of the ship are more stable, suffer less vibration and are noise free. Also, use common sense, if you like early night, pick a cabin away from the disco and so on. You could go on forever talking about cruise ships so I hope this has given you a taste of life aboard and helped you in making a choice.

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                    • Genie / Telecommunications Service / 0 Readings / 23 Ratings
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                      17.08.2001 23:22
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                      Genie is the relatively new service offering free text messages and free WAP use. Before I start mummbling on about it all firstly try out their website: www.genie.co.uk It's true, you can really send an unlimited amout of messages for FREE. For those text addicts out there this has to be the best deal around. Up until the 27 August 2001, you can phone up (0800 092 5599), or order off the net, a free SIM card which offers all of genie's services. You are able to have just a pay as you go card or a rental card. Beware off the website though! Not wanting to put you off or anything, but the site can be extremely slow at times. I have broadband internet and it takes the pages a while to load on mine sometimes so what a normal 56K modem would be like I wouldn't like to guess. Eventually I ended up ordering over the phone. Phoning up is easy and you should get through straight away to speak to an operator - no speaking into a nasty machine or pressing buttons. The SIM card arrives by post nicely packaged in a cardboard sleeve with all the usual rubbish and small print in with it too. Also useful is the 14 day money back guarantee on all phones offered by genie. All that is if you just want a SIM card. Thats not all though... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Pay Monthly ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If you decide that you want a new phone aswell and want it on rental you firstly have 2 options. You have to decide what "tarrif" you want. You have "ANYTIME" or "OFF PEAK". Note that any FREE minutes must be used in the day in question, or month and are NOT carried over like Orange. ANYTIME: This gives you 100 free minutes a month to use anytime, peak or off peak. *Text Messages are FREE. *WAP is FREE. *Peak calls are 10p per minute. *Off peak call
                      s are 2p per minute. *Online billing and e-care. *Voice care is £2 a call. *Calls to BT/Genie mobiles are charged at 10p peak, 2p off peak, per minute. *Calls to non BT/Genie mobiles (eg Orange, One 2 One, Vodafone) are charged at 50p peak, 35p off peak, per minute. *Voice Mail retrieval is 10p. OFF PEAK: Again, you get to choose a new phone but with this tarrif you have 50 minutes of off peak calls free, every day. *Text Messages are FREE. *WAP is FREE. *Peak calls are 20p per minute. *Off peak calls are 2p per minute. *Online billing and e-care. *Voice care is £2 a call. *Calls to BT/Genie mobiles are charged at 20p peak and 2p off peak, per minute. *Calls to non BT/Genie mobiles are charged at 50p peak, 35p off peak, per minute. *Voice mail retreival is 10p. On both tarrfis there are a few phones to choose from including the latest Nokia's and the Sony Z5 and J5. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Pay as you Go ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Again this will include a new phone but will cost you more than a monthly phone. Phones available on Pay as you Go are: Nokia 3330 Nokia 3310 Sony J5 Seimens C35 Trium Mars *Text messages are FREE. *WAP is FREE. *Peak call are 30p per minute. *Off peak calls are 10p, 5p at weekends. *Free online e-care. *Voice care £1 per minute. *Calls to BT/Genie mobiles are charged at 25p peak, 10p off peak per minute. *Calls to non BT/Genie mobiles are charged at 50p peak, 35p off peak, per minute. *Voicemail retrieval costs 30p peak, 10p off peak and 5p at weekends, per minute. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I have only had my new genie SIM card a few days now but the ability to send messages for free is brilliant. The cheapest messages I've found elsewhere were 2p, but that had to be on the
                      same network (One 2 One), otherwise it was Orange Pay as you go. This involved you buying a £50 voucher though every time. For parents who are paying the bills for their children, and are constantly telling them to stop texting, this could be you're life saver. Certainly a good operator to try out.

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                      • Goblin 1305 Aztec / Vacuum Cleaner / 0 Readings / 33 Ratings
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                        14.08.2001 18:21
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                        Believe it or not I'm talking about a vacuum cleaner. I've only just had the Goblin Axtec and must admit, for the price its probably one of the best cleaners going. For around £45 you can pick one of these up and you will not be dissapointed. It has a 1300 watt motor with a 4 litre dust bag, which is good for the size. It is fairly light aswell, only 4.3kg, compared to some being nearer 5kg. I've been through loads of vacuums because it is usually me that ends up breaking them somehow or orther and this is the best I've tried yet - lets hope I can keep this in one piece. Having a dog around the house is nice company, so you can imagine the pet hairs. This vacuum gets them all up with very little effort though, although at times the brush on the base tends to gather them up all in one go, and sometimes leaves a clump of hairs behind. That is the main drawback, but its simple enough to vac them up again in a second. It is better than some that leave a whole trail of hair all over the place though. Also cool about this vac is the "stairlock" feature. How many times have I turned around to vac the stairs, someone knocked on the door, turned around and BANG, the vac has fallen down, broke and not only that, put the caller in intensive care for a week. Honestly though this vac has a unique function on it. How unique I really dont know because it is a simple idea really but effective. Just under the wheel is a spring clip made out of plastic that lifts up. The wheels lock and there you go it sits on the stairs nice and safe. Simple really isn't it? It also contains a 5 stage air filtration system with anti odour filter. This is needed with pet hairs believe me!! You get 2 little tools with this, the thin nozzle and the small wide brush. They put snuggly at the back of the vacuum and don't interfere with anything. There ar
                        e 2 buttons on this vac - simple. On/off and cable wind. To get the top off its easy, you just flick the black button backwards which is right by the on/off switch. One of the good things about this vac is the permanent bag. Don't get confused with a Dyson type "bag" though. It still needs a bag but it is not disposable you just empty it as required and wash it every so often. It is very durable and thick so it should last a decent time. At least this saves on the cost of bags. It is very easy to clean both inside and out, and there are no little corners where loads of dust gets trapped, it is all nice and rounded. I won't be parting with this gem for a long time, not for at least 2 years, because thats the manufacturers guarantee on it. Not only that but the groovy red see through look adds a touch of class to it and makes it look very modern. This is brilliant. Highly recommended

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                        • Johnnie Walker / Spirits / 2 Readings / 24 Ratings
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                          14.08.2001 02:47
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                          For anyone out there that has not tried Johnnie Walker whisky all I can possibly say is you really don't know what you are missing. Even if you don't like whisky, JW is an extra special treat. That may sound silly but for most people who say they don't like whisky, it's probably because they tried Bells first. This is rather a strong whisky, not so much in alcohol content but a rather strong pungent flavour. If it has put you off whisky, don't let it! To start with I recommend you drink a little single malt, with some spring water added, gradually easing off with the water until its neat and then you can appreciate the "real" taste of whisky. One of the best single malts that I like is Cardhu Highland Scotch Whisky. Funny enough, it is this very same one that is part of the Johnniw Walker blend. Cardhu is distilled in the Speyside region of Scotland, in Knockando. The water used for distilling is from the Mannoch Hills. If you are ever in Scotland, a visit to Cardhu distillery is very worthwhile. If nothing else, the smell of whisky there is gorgeous! Now, moving on to Johnnie Walker.... You can get JW is 4 different varieties... Red Label Black Label Gold Label Blue Label Most common is the Red and Black label. --------------------------------------------- Red Label: 40% Red Label whiskies have consistently won awards in competitions; recently Red Label won Gold and Grand Gold Medals at the Monde Selection Awards, one of the drinks industry's most respected international events. And in 1996 it won a Gold Medal in the International Wine and Spirit Competition in the blended Scotch Whisky category. This whisky is the cheapest of all and has a strong deep taste to it. It contsians 35 malt whiskies and 5 grain whiskies. Still nice though. -----------------------------------
                          ---------- Black Label: 40% At the heart of Black Label lies 12 year old Cardhu, as was mentioned earlier. This whisky is beautiful, and has a lovely smoky finish to it. Over 40 single malts are blended in the Black Label so you really have a varied taste in this one. This is also common and can be bought for around £20 in a lot of shops. There is no reason why you should not try this one!! --------------------------------------------- Gold Label: 43% For around £50 depending on where you buy this, you will get one of the best blended whiskies in the entire world. This was the first JW I tried and the taste is stunning. If you like whisky but have never tried this for hell and high water go and buy it ASAP! You will not regret it. --------------------------------------------- Blue Label: 40% This is a rare whisky and it is not sold in too many shops, I have only seen it a few times. It is mainly made up of Isle of Islay malts and has a strong inner taste like nothing else. This should be drunk after you have tried all the others though. This is very expensive though. A 70cl bottle can cost around £135. --------------------------------------------- "Johnnie Walker & Sons have pursued a single minded vision to make our whisky of such quality that nothing shall come before it". That is the message Johnnie Walker gives out to it's customers, and rightfully so! They must be tried at least once, but I will warn you, if you do try it once be prepared to try it again as you will become addicted. Even the Royal family can't get enough of it!

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                          • More +
                            12.08.2001 16:46
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                            If any of you have not been to Turkey before for a holiday, you must read this... If you have, but just not been to Marmaris you should go there. Marmaris is one big resort! It is well established and is surrounded by lovely green mountains in every direction. The main road, where the majority of the shops are runs parralell to the beach, about 100 metres from it. Marmaris is full of shops. Gold and leather are the best buys. Gold is 14 carat and can be bought for as little as £6.00 a gram, which is very good value I assure you. If the price seems too high....haggle! Also I found that gold in some of the smaller family run shops tends to be cheaper than the big shops. This is a Turkish way of life. This way you also end up with a good bargain. The turkish currency is the Lira, and about the tuime of writing there are nearly 2,000,000 Lira to the pound - Yes 2 Million. Coins are very scarse in Turkey, mainly banknotes are used nowadays. The beach in Turkey goes on for ages and stretches all the way round the resort from one end to the other. At the one end there are palm trees dotted all along the side of the road! During the day it can get very hot in Turkey. Ignore the holiday brochures! Temperatures in Marmaris can reach anything up to 50C, and can be as hot as 30C at night. Air conditioning is installed in virtually every building though. Trips out are very cheap and should be taken, unless you just like lying on the beach. Tour operators all around the resort are offering all sorts of trips from Safari Jeep treks, to scuba diving (highly recommended), to boat trips and 2 day trips to Pammukale (Cotton Castle). The boat trips from Marmaris are excellent. A trip to "Turtle Beach", the place where logger head turtles breed, costs about £10 with lunch included. That lasts all day. Diving will cost you around £20, but that
                            includes all the equipment, lunch and 2 dives with instructors. Further inland is Ephesus, the ancient city where Tom Jones has played, and Pammukale. This is magnificent! Calcium enriched water has over time flown down the side of the mountain and formed shallow "pools". It looks just like ice! From Marmaris a 2 day trip here is the usual though, but the operator usually puts you in a 4 or 5 star hotel over night. My advice is don't book trips all in one go. After a couple, go back and they usually offer you a discount due to your good custom. At night there is something for everyone. You can just enjoy a quiet drink in the hundreds of bars away from the beach front, where a pint of local beer, Efes, will cost about 50p. Also available is Tuborg, again about 50p. If you're looking for a bit more action though head for the beach front and especially "Bar Street". Although this is quite narrow it is exactly what it says it is. Full of bars! Prices here though tend to be a little more expensive! Be prepared for the constant hassle in Turkey. Although the law has been tightened recently Turkish people will do virtually anything to get you to buy a drink, have a meal and so on. You learn to live with it though after a few days, but certainly adds to the holiday. You miss it a bit when you get home! Meals can be very cheap in Marmaris if you take time to look around. A typical meal can cost about £2.00. One place not to be missed is Alexandra's Steak House in the centre of the resort. Just try it out! You will not be dissapointed! The transfer to Marmaris from Dalaman airport is fairly long, about an hour. Overall though this resort must be seen!

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                            • Metal Gear Solid (PC) / PC Game / 1 Reading / 20 Ratings
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                              12.08.2001 16:17
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                              This is a game everyone should play! Originally released for the Playstation back in 1998, it's now available on the PC. You are Solid Snake, sent on a mission to infiltrate a nuclear warhead base, and stop the detonation of a nuke. This is not the usual go in, beat em up or shoot em up. The less fighting that goes on the better. This game is all about stealth. You start of with nothing but a scope and a packet of cigarettes. Going through the game you are able to pick up a handgun, machine gun, cardboard box for hiding in, stinger missiles - used for shooting down helicopters, infra red lenses and so on. The story line to the game is excellent and really gives the game an extra added feel to it. All through the game you have to be silent, and creep past cameras, guards and lights, but every so often you have to battle a boss. It starts off easy with "Revolver Ocelot" just a plain one on one gun shoot out, but through the game it gets harder, shooting down the Hind D with stinger missiles, battling with 4 people in a lift who you cannot see because their wearing stealth suits and so on. You end up fighting Metal Gear itself, where it starts firing rockets at you. This is difficult and requires fast action! Then lastly you end up fighting your own brother Liquid Snake to end the game. This game will take you virtually all day to complete, which sounds like a short life, but once you complete it, depending on how you submitted to the torture in the middle of the game, you can end up with a stealth suit or a bandana. This allows you to do the game again with stealth, or if you have the bandana, unlimited ammo. This gives the game a longer life, but to be honest once you have completed it a couple of times you tend not to play it again because you know all what happens. Never the less it is still a game to buy and try out.

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                              • More +
                                12.08.2001 00:33
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                                My advice to this game is don't buy it!! That may seem a harsh opinion of the game but you'd be better off saving you're money! Playing the game is not the same as watching it on TV. The database is only 1000 questions, which sounds a lot but soon get used up. You will find this game fun for the first time, and when the family are around, but after that you get fed up with it. When all you're mates turn up for some beers, it's a good laugh then, and then it site in the drawer never to be seen again. If you buy a game you want decent playability and a decent "life". Unfortunately this has either. It was a good "idea" to start with but that is it. It has not caught on in my household.

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