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Leon_W

Leon_W
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Member since: 19.09.2008

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    • Jagermeister / Liqueur / Cocktails / 66 Readings / 61 Ratings
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      25.09.2008 03:15
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      Wonderful...the only thing I drink past the 5% mark

      Jagermeister is a liqueur made from 56 different herbs, fruits and barks, from ginger roots to saffron. Mixed to perfection, with distilled rum and an unknown secret ingredient in it's distillery in Wolfenbuttel, Germany.

      Curt Mast first developed this herb liqueur in 1934, safeguarding it's unique recipe until in the following year, 1935 the brand of Jagermeister was launched to the public in it's homeland of Germany.
      The brand continued to be a familiar household name in Germany, often contributing to the German Football League as advertisers.
      It wasn't until 1964 that Jagermeister started to be exported to different countries, The Netherlands being the first of many to embrace Germany's best kept secret.
      Italy followed suit two years later in 1966 and the Austria in 1967, the drink's popularity in Italy is so big that the company claim that this country is only second to America in terms of sales in the international market.
      In 1971 the drink hit the stores of the USA, and opened up a wealth of oppotunities for the company, with more money, high budget ad campaigns where the order of the day to introduce this brand to the american drinks consumer.
      1975 saw the first exports to Namibia, so now the drink had hit it's 4th continent and the brand was growing to be a success.

      During the early 90's the drink made it's way in millions to such countries as Croatia, Hungary and Slovenia.
      Later in the decade Jager would be a familiar fixture in the bar's of China and most recently in 2003 Mexico had embraced the cult liqueur.



      Ok, so there was a little bit of history about Jagermeister, now lets move onto the taste.
      Jagermeister has 35% alcohol volume, so as you would imagine with most liqueurs and spirits of this strenghth, the taste of this maybe little to overpowering, but with Jager that couldn't be further from the truth.
      It seems to have a very natural taste, the expected overpowering alcohol blast that normally comes with such a drink, is replaced by a refreshing cinnamon type flavour. The viscosity of Jagermeister is also remeniscent of a childs cough syrup, which for some may seem a little off putting, but for me adds a distinctiveness to the overall drinking experience.
      After going through the process of maceration the drink is then stored in large oak casks before bottling, which also adds to the depth of taste.

      To get the full Jagermeister experience, it's best to serve cold if your planning on drinking it straight without a mixer.
      Although nothing at all is detracted from it's charm if served at room temperature. This is just a preferance of mine.
      There are countless combinations of mixers you can use, and a fair collection of them can be found on the Jagermeister official website.
      My personal favourite is the 'Jager Bomb', and here's how you do it.

      .Fill a normal sized shot glass with Jagermeister

      .Place the shot glass into a beaker

      .Then fill the beaker with Red Bull, pouring just enough to cover the shot inside the glass.

      .Down this in one

      The effects and taste of this are really nice. The drunk feeling you get from this drink doesnt provoke the all to common, aggressive nature of your average sprits drinker, this high feels almost like a 'knockout' to your senses and makes your eyes feel heavy and your body feel really weak. Nice for relaxing with in small doses.

      I have heard rumours that Jagermeister's chemical compound is very similar to that of THC, the chemical found in cannabis.
      Im not so sure about this, but it could be a good explanation for the drinks awesome ability to make you feel relaxed and chill you out.

      Overall I think that Jagermeister is a quality product and deserves it's status as a leading brand of it's kind. In the UK, Ive seen it stocked in some bars, but most notably in the spirits section at ASDA, and you can pick up a bottle for around £17. This is a good price for such a rare drink in this country. There are also various websites you can order this from, so if you don't find it in the shops you won't be stuck for an alternative way of purchase.

      Another thing which enthuses me about this product is it's loyal championing of the music scene, something which is very dear to me.
      Jagermeister sponsors it's own music tour and has done since 2002, which is held bi annually in the US every spring and autumn. Holding host to some of top metal and punk bands, which furthers the drinks reptuation as a 'Cult' figure in today's youth culture.

      Looking for a change from your normal tipple, then look no further than this. Love it or hate it, you've got to sample this at least once before your kidney's fail.

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      • Baduizm - Erykah Badu / Music Album / 50 Readings / 44 Ratings
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        23.09.2008 16:33
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        If you like your female soul singers, you should get this...brilliant!

        I recently bought this album as a birthday present for my mother, who has been a huge influence on my musical taste since being a little nipper.
        I had known about this singer for a while before I heard this album, notably from a live performance on a Jool's Holland Soul Dvd, which really made me sit up and take notice.

        After hearing my mam play this album, I decided that I really needed to 'hijack' the present back to have a closer listen for myself, (pretty selfish of me I know, but she'll get it back!).

        The album as a whole is really chilled out, It's perfect to throw on after a hard day, some songs are so relaxed you'll begin to notice a deffinate slowing of your heart rate. Lovely!

        Baduizm is Erykah Badu's debut album released in 1997. The album contains 14 tracks filled with smacks of soul, R&B and Jazz, and here is a brief overview of each track, and what you can expect to hear from this stunning soul/jazz songstress.


        Rimshot

        You are greeted by a booming double bass line that really puts you back in your seat followed by a low down funky beat. A sample of the chorus hook then slaps you around the face and your into it, A brilliant tune for showcasing Erykah's vocal talents


        On & On

        Another chilled out vibe, and probably the most well known on the album, Erykah's sense of vocal rythmn is really on display on this one, the smooth vocal and harmonies breeze threw the track like a refreshing light wind. On the music side, it's quite sparse, giving enough room for Erykah's vocals to lead the track.


        Appletree

        Apple tree uses more of a 'in your face' beat, with a beautifully played and interesting rhodes piano line. Very Jazzy indeed! The bass is booming as always, yet playing the right notes to compliment the at times, scat like lead vocal line, again the singing is absolutely top notch. Excellently displaying her expansive range without ever seeming to sound forced or pushed.


        Other Side Of the Game

        Starts with a huge bass slide, and forms into an almost 'superflyesque' intro. The intro then blossoms into a lushious soul groove, like a butterfly would from it's cacoon.
        Everything is so tight around the lead line sang by Erykah, telling the story of the other side of love, in a more conventional style of vocal line, still not without it's class though.
        The groove to this song is one of my personal favourites on the album. The addition of trumpets later in the track adds a wonderful tension in the music. Classic jazzy soul, a later key change also lifts the mood and heightens the emotions.


        Sometimes

        Is a small musical interlude, contains an uncromprimising drum line and bass line.


        Next Lifetime

        The song starts with a conversation between a woman and her man talking about their relationship.
        I absolutely love this track. Everything sounds so big. The bassline is soulful and prominent, propped up by a laid back drum groove, and such a catchy rhodes hook line to boot. This is Erykah's first real chance on the album to show true emotion in her lyrics and voice. This is a real piece of class, and I'll stick my neck out and say this is my favourite on the album. Everything in it's right place, at the right times.

        Afro

        This is another skit inbetween songs, It takes the form of an old style R&B number. You can tell the musicians in the studio had some fun with this one, as you get a real feel of 'it's just a jam'.


        Certainly

        This song starts with a beautiful jazz paino line, imagine your sat in a really classy restraunt with some nice dinner jazz being played in the corner, by a man in a sharp suit.
        Once the bassline drops, the jazz element is still very much apparent, outlined by a heavy double bass line, and abstract chord stabs from the piano. This is another song that showcases Ms Badu's vocal talents, rushes of rythmical vocals, mixed with more flowing one's make for a very enjoyable listen.


        Four Leaf Clover

        Four leaf clover has more of a Pop feel to it than the song the proceeded it, The bass and piano play an excellently constructed riff, which supports the vocals amazingly. The drum's are solid and funky, which makes for an overall great track. The vocals are again more contemporary in lyrical content. The harmonies on this track are reminiscent of 'En Vogue' or other girl singing groups of that genre


        No Love

        The track starts deep and soulful. The bassline plays a pumping rythmn, sticking tight to the kick drum of the kit.
        The piano line is very funky, and almost latin in it's construction, the latin feel is also highlighted by the use of the rim shot, on the drummers snare.
        Erykah's sweet vocals sit perfectly in the mix, her voice is so subtle and classy, taking you on a journey as each bar flows by.

        Drama

        Featuring a well crafted latin bass line on double bass, and a hip hop beat, with some lovely sting lines just padding out the sound. This song is mostly about the Erykah's vocal prowess and lyrical content. A very relaxing tune to listen to.


        Sometimes

        This song instantly has more pace than alot of the others on the album, the track has a purpose and sets it's stall out very early on. The use of conga's really pushes the drum rythmn and makes the whole groove sound polished.
        Eykah rely's heavily on reputition in this one to get her point across, 'where did the love go?' and 'yay o!' are the two most used phrases in this tunes catchy hooks!


        Certainly (Flipped it)

        This tune reminds me of 'Summertime' by Will smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff. Released in the early 1990's.
        It has a certain summery feel. Very optimistic in it's nature.
        The bass line rolls over a soulful chord sequence, outlined by stabs played on the rhodes piano. The drums continue along the lines of laid back funk, which sets the pace for the smooth yet brilliantly crafted vocals.


        Rimshot (Outro)

        This is the album's outro, which is musically the same as the 1st song on the album, with some vocal variations on the original line.



        As a body of work, this album is a total masterpiece of it's genre. Thoroughly enjoyable throughout, there is not one track I would skip through. If you like your neo soul or jazz, then I'd certainly advise you to get this album, it's available on amazon for £2.98 at the minute. So at that price theres no reason to miss out on this woman's truely amazing voice and views on the world, not to mention relationship troubles.

        Now I better get this back to my mother before she realises it's gone!

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          22.09.2008 14:58
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          a nice smoke

          Lambert & Butler cigarettes are very popular in my home town, infact nearly every smoker in my circle of friends buys them and me too!
          My first experience of a 'Lambert' king size came at the age of 14 or 15. Not an advisable thing to ever start smoking and I regret it to this day as it has become a very expensive addiction these day's. A twenty pack of these particular cigarettes can often come to a much as £5.50 in some outlets, and ten can cost around £2.60.
          Not to mention the habit's obvious health risks, on the Lambert box (and the rest of them) you are constantly reminded of the serious risks to your health in the form of huge white banners, on the front and back. Taking up most of the boxes room for design.
          The overall design of the packaging is quite eyecatching and appealing on the shiny silver limited edition box. The gleem of the shine almost reflects like a rainbow from a glass prism.
          The logo on the lid of the box is just simply a L&B, with king size written underneath in its own seperate box.
          A black and blue sasche runs through the middle of the box displaying the words lambert & butler in white upper case text.
          On the back, squashed inbetween the UK duty paid sign and the smoking health risk are the words 'premier edition' with the companies claim of being '10 years as the UK's number 1 brand' written underneath, both in bold upper case text.
          In a small white box along the right handside of the box (next to the barcode), you will find information on the content of the cigarettes. This particular incarnation of Lambert and Butler brand contains:

          10 mg Tar
          0.9 mg Nicotine
          10 mg Carbon Monoxide

          Tar and carbon monoxide are the two most harmful components of a cigarette, without contemplating all of the other 'unknown substances' that may also be included which, overtime will damage your lungs and may even lead to cancer. Nicotine is the 'addictive' element of the cigarette.

          Smoking is an addiction I am not personally proud of,but having started out with this brand then straying to others, I have always come back. Lambert's have a depth of taste like no other I have sampled.
          With some other cigarettes, the filter ends can tend to be a little to rigid. Which lead's to not being able to get a hefty enough drag of it, not these though. Lambert and Butler filters and the best I have tried.
          When I'm out of town and I produce a box of these from my pockets, it can be met with mixed opinion when offering them around, many people tend to think that Lambert's are harsh cigarettes, but I am inclined to disagree. I find the whole experience of smoking one of these quite smooth and relaxing, not harsh at all. Maybe in previous years these cigarettes may have developed a bad reputation for their rough style, but certainly not now.

          Im not one to condone smoking, but if your already hooked and looking for a new brand, give these little fella's a try. You might be pleasantly surprised.

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          • Poultry / Recipe / 38 Readings / 33 Ratings
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            21.09.2008 03:37
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            Teesides very own version of Pie & Mash

            In the teeside area of the north east, we have developed a trademark piece of fast food, exclusive to our area and when the concept of it is explained to 'non locals' it leaves them drooling in amazement.
            The food is called chicken parmesan, or a locally known as parmo's.
            It consists of a large slab of bread crumbed processed chicken, thick bechemal sauce and alot of parmesan cheese on top mixed with cheddar.

            The parmesan can be fried or oven cooked, and ready within fifteen minutes, this is perfect junk food after a belly full of ale. It really fills you up as it's normally served with chips and a little bit of salad, for those trying to watch their figures.
            Parmesan toppings can aslo be as diverse as pizza toppings, hot parmo's with jalapeno's are readily available along with mushroom, and even pepperoni. I have also heard of local take aways using different meats instead of chicken for the base, such as beef or pork.
            Most teesiders enjoy their parmesan's with a tub of garlic sauce or chili.

            The nutritional value of this meal, I can only imagine is terrible. A bad parmesan can often be too greasy so watch out. For a good parmo, look for the breadcrumbs on the chicken to be almost dry and crispy, and to be not too over zealous with the bechemal sauce.

            Parmesan's can also be quite messy, so if you are planning on eating one in public, be sure to get a plastic fork from the takeaway or the results could be quite embaressing.

            Everyone from outside the teeside area I have introduced to the chicken parmesan has welcomed it with open arms, this may be something to do with our alcohol intake before purchase, but I like to see this as a small victory for our local food!

            Love it or hate it, I suggest next time your in the area you should try it! Remember this is just a teeside thing (Middlesbrough, Hartlepool, Stockton, Darlington). They maybe a few outlets in Newcastle to sample from, but I have it on good authority they arent up to much!

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            • myspace.com / Internet Site / 24 Readings / 23 Ratings
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              21.09.2008 02:24
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              Awesome stuff

              Myspace is a social networking website that links millions of people worldwide. The site is generally used for making friends and chatting and storing photo's which can be commented on by people in your friends list.
              Users can customise their myspace by using html codes, to create different page backrounds, mp3 players and banners. Which increases the ways in which you can get your personality across.

              When signing up for a myspace account, you can choose between a band account or a normal account. I have both and they can be both just as useful in different ways.

              The music myspace that I have has been a revolution to me. A few months back I started to creating dance songs using a well known piece of software called fruity loops on my pc.
              After Id finished a few tracks I decided the best way to get some feedback on it would be to set up one of these music myspaces. I chose a name for my music project, filled in the obligatory blurbs about what it was all about, and then began to upload my tracks to the page. All within an hour of finishing my last one. Brilliant!
              I searched for a suitable html background and logo and then I was away!
              I'd added a few friends who where kind enough to leave me some favourable page comments to get the ball rolling, and then the interest in what I was doing started to have somewhat of a a snowball effect. Everyday there would be a series of friend requests, comments, and event invites in my inbox. It felt great to have such great feedback on something that started out as a hobby of mine.
              After a few weeks and alittle bit of tinkering with my page here and there, I began to generate interest from some record labels wanting to release my songs, Dj's wanting to remix them and even radio stations wanting to play it.
              Id never believed in my wildest dreams that this sort of thing was possible in the space of a few weeks, but myspace just seems to make it happen!
              Now I've got an album onsale on online shops and I'm signed to a Colombian dance label. How wierd is that? But thats the power of myspace I suppose.

              The way myspace works as a media tool for bands is incredible. It's so easy to use that anybody thats made a few tracks sat in their bedrooms should really give it a go. If you have a definate vision for your work in terms of image and so on, then don't be scared to transfer those idea's onto this medium.

              Everything Ive done in terms of marketing my product has been through this site alone and it works to good effect. It's great for generating a buzz around what you are doing. Blogs and bulletins are handy tools for letting people in your friends list know what you are up to, and any changes that are going to be made to your site ie, new song and video uploads and gig information.

              Myspace has seriously helped me in my career, and it can help you too! Don't dismiss the opportunity to have your creative work showcased to millions worldwide, sign up now!

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                20.09.2008 17:17
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                Smooth Jazz/Funk and all that junk

                Emergency on planet earth is Jamiroquai's debut album, released in 1993. I would of been 8 at the time, but it wasn't until I was 15 I was exposed to this brand of smooth, funky, acid jazz.
                The album cover is quite plain, the Jamiroquai symbol is the main focus in black with a white background. The band name is written on the top in a cool text, and underneath in smaller text is the name of the album.
                At first glance in a shop you may not be totally drawn to this album based on it's understated album cover, but don't let this put you off as the content of this cd is pure funk at it's best.

                1.When You Gonna Learn

                You are greeted by some sweet sounding horns, after a few bars your thrust into a phat groove and heart felt meaningful lyrics about the state of the world and enviroment. Jay Kay really gives it some vocally on this album, as you would expect. This song is a brilliant for starters.

                2. Too Young To Die

                This song is a classic of it's genre. A laid back cool vibe. The trumpet and string lines in this one create a brilliant tension in the music, as does the lyrical content and Kay's awesome vocal lines once again.

                3.Hooked Up

                This song has some interesting rythmns going on, the use of percussion and stuttered trumpet lines contribute to what can only be described as a lushious pseudo samba, abit different but all the more enjoyable as the song takes you to a rather hooky chorus.

                4.If I like it I Do it

                Clean, is all I have to say about this song. Every instrument sings out beautifully on the track. The song has an almost carefree air to it in the verses, but becomes alittle sinister in the chorus, never losing it's funky roots though!

                5. Music of the mind

                This is an interesting track, it's an intrumental that takes on a very meloncholic mood, the song starts slow and then builds up to a crescendo of rythmns like a jazz wall of sound. This track is very very jazzy, and may not be to everybodies taste.

                6. Emergency on Planet Earth

                The title track, gives you an instant lift as soon as you hear the intro, I love the bass playing in this track. Stuart Zender really lay's into it on this one with his slap playing, leaves you listening in envy, wishing you could of played on this!

                7. Whatever it is I just can't stop

                I love this one, it's based around a tasty little bass riff with wah wah guitar. This one is more of your classic soul type song. The vocals are exceptional and deffinately not a song to be skipped

                8. Blow Your Mind

                Another absolute classic on the album. Blow Your mind is another up tempo funky banger! The lyrics are based on love but also showcase Jay Kay's scatting skills, backed by a tight and funky backing track. This is one of my faves of the album for sure

                9.Revolution 1993

                This song is an epic. Over 10 minutes infact. Fast paced again with an excellent base line and uncomprimising lyrics based on making the world a better place to live in. This track has many chapters to it. It doesn't get boring in the slightest even though it is rather long, so don't be put off when you see it's track length in the album notes!

                10 Didgin' Out

                If there was a track that I would skip on this album it would deffinatley have to be this one Im affraid. The song features a didgeridoo, an instrument that Jay Kay seems to be fascinated with and on later albums,he uses it quite frequently in instrumental tracks.

                Even if your not into this kind of acid jazzy, funk soul stuff. Please give this a chance. I was listening to stuff like The Stereophonics and Oasis at the time I sampled this album and Im still getting tons of enjoyment from it now.
                For all you musicians too. Please make this a part of your collection you wont regret it. Brilliant musicianship mixed with lyrics which actually have meaning! Has to be a deffinitive album of it's era and genre.

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              • Sky Sports News / TV Channel / 14 Readings / 13 Ratings
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                20.09.2008 15:34
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                can't fault this channel. just watch it and catch up with the day's events

                Sky Sports News is a 24 hour news channel dedicated to the world of sport, and the 'crack team' of news readers delivers this with great diligence. Breaking the most up to date stories as they are released, basically these guys will break any big news before the back pages with generally more truthful results.

                The best thing about the channel is that come free with most freeview box packages. Or you can purchase it if you use Sky along with their other sports channels.

                During the week the show is hosted by two newsreaders, which will read the sports news and break any new stories throughout the day.
                On the right hand of the screen is a handy graphic that will show you all the league standings for near enough every football league in Britain. Top goalscoring charts and other interesting stats.
                Along the bottom of the screen is a scrolling banner. Displaying all of the previous sports stories of the day. This is great for a quick glimpse at the news, and means you don't have to sit all day to wait for the presenters to report it.
                The layout of the channel is very easy to process. Everything is clearly defined and not confusing at all.

                Saturday, the channel turns into a complete guide to the day's football action from 12am-5.30pm. My favourite, Gillette Soccer Saturday!
                Hosted by Jeff Stelling and a host of ex pro's mainly, Matt Le Tissier, Charlie Nicholas, Phil Thompson and Paul Merson, giving their opinions on how the day's results will go, based on the stats. As a football fan, I love to hear the honest opinions of the ex pro's on this channel, which can also lead to mass debate between them all, makes for great football viewing. It certainly makes me excited to see how the day's results will pan out.

                This show is not without it's humour also, whether it be a bungling Chris Kamara, out on an outside broadcast at some obscure football ground, or the rapier whit of Jeff Stelling in the studio, they always seem to have a laugh, and you can tell that they genuinely enjoy the job they are doing.
                Once the games are underway, results from all the leagues in the country are shown in the right hand graphic, and a vidi printer type graphic takes form on the bottom of the screen, showing all of the latest goals as they come in.
                The guest panel of ex footballers are all equipped with headphones and a screen showing them various games from the premier league, which they in turn report on as incidents occur. Goals cause an uproar in the studio, after a while of watching you'll become acustomed to each ex pro's screams of joy when a goal has gone in, then you'll be able to work out for yourself in advance who has scored!
                Jeff Stelling directs all this from his chair behind his own desk, smoothly running from outside broadcast reports to back in the studio when major incidents happen. Its like organised madness in a way, but makes for very exciting viewing indeed. The guy is also a fountain of footballing knowledge too, constantly dishing out the in depth stats as if he's known them all of his life.

                For me, this program typifies saturday and sport in general. The coverage of all sport but especially football is great. If your into sport and you dont already know about this channel, then where have you been? You are missing out a sporting oracle here!
                Soccer is saturday is simply brilliant, before this channel came along I was checking the scores on teletext! It gets you in the right mood to enjoy your sports filled saturdays, whether your going to the game or just wanting to watch the action packed coverage, you've got to give this a shout!

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                • Nokia 5200 / Mobile Phone / 13 Readings / 13 Ratings
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                  20.09.2008 04:08
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                  Great value, Ill be sad when mine eventually dies on me

                  The Nokia 5200 is a stylish, slide phone. Available at a very competative price.
                  When used in conjunction with a memory card for extra storage capabilities the Nokia 5200 can store enough mp3 files to keep you busy, and can be used as a competant portable player.

                  The play function used to hear your songs is a button placed to the left hand side of the screen, pressing this will instantly play your mp3 playlist through insanely loud inbuilt speakers, that seem to be the best at handling bass frequencies I have heard.
                  To shuffle through your songs simply press the left or right buttons, placed either side of the play/pause button.

                  On the right of the screen you will see the button's for the Nokia 5200s camera. The camera can be activated by holding in the button with a picture of a camera on it. Once the phone is set to camera mode you can use the plus and minus buttons to zoom in and out with the 1.3 mega pixel camera, which is quite sharp for such a small amount of pixels.
                  The plus and minus buttons also act as a volume control when not in camera mode, so remember to turn them up!

                  Video's can also be captured by this phone, although both video's and photo's are best taken in a well lit enviroment as this Nokia doesn't have a flash, which can be annoying when using these functions at night or in a low lit place.

                  Bluetooth is another reliable function on this phone, Ive never had a problem yet, it's easily set up and really easy to use.
                  Infrared has also been introduced to this model, I rarely use this as the bluetooth is alot faster way to share files.

                  The phones built in radio can be used by putting the Nokia headphone's into the jack socket in the top left handside of the phone. Doing this opens up the possibility of using this as an easy to tune portable radio which stores many stations. A very cool feature indeed.

                  Acsessing all of the phones tools is really easy to get used to, by pressing the circular inner button below the screen, you will be able to get to all your phone's sub menu's

                  .Messaging
                  .Contacts
                  .Call Log Info
                  .Phone Settings
                  .Internet
                  .Gallery (Pics,Vid's and Mp3's, also your memory card storage can be acsessed in here)
                  .Media (Bluetooth, Voice Recorder, Camera and Video etc)
                  .Organiser (Calender, Phone alarm, Calculator and Stopwatch)

                  These catergories are all listed by cool icon's, and is so easy to manage, the file layout is almost like that of computer. Which gives it a familiar feel.

                  The phones battery is also great too. Once warn in, it can last many days without recharging. When it needs it you'll be notified by a slightly annoying beep every so often to remind you your running low on juice!

                  So to conclude, this phone gets a huge thumbs up from me. I normally manage to go through a phone a year, up until i bought the N5200 that is. Its a nice durable phone that can also take a bit of a hammering. Ive had mine almost 2 years now and it still functions great. Id say this was easily one of the best in it's price range.

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                  • Money in Football / Discussion / 28 Readings / 27 Ratings
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                    19.09.2008 16:47
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                    Whats wrong with our game?

                    Sometimes I dispair at the way football is going in our country, although to the rest of the world it seems that our league, is the strongest and can attract the best players and managers in the world. It's all coming at a cost to the everyday man on the street, and during these harsh times of the credit crunch I fear alot of mid and lower league clubs will suffer from dispondense from fans, leading to lack of financial funds and possibly bankruptsie.

                    Premiership attendances are already dropping, and it's down to player's and agent's high wage demands that are forcing clubs to up season ticket prices and matchday ticket sales.
                    I went to a Hartlepool Utd game quite recently and paid £18 for a place on a terrace. I don't mind supporting my local team, but even I found this a ridiculous amount of money to be pay out to watch league one football.
                    The thing is, I dont really blame the clubs. In most cases it's caused by massive player wages, agent fee's. Every fan wants to see the best players at their club, but a wage cap should be put into place soon, as it's effecting the game in our country at every level.
                    Club's that have had their root's steeped in local history and that have been community based, such as Man City, Aston Villa, Liverpool and Manchester United have now been taken over by foreign investors, looking to capatalise on our nations love fo the game to make money. Some are even bringing debt from other business ventures into these clubs, hoping to make their money back.
                    I hope the effects of this trend don't leave a lasting bad impression on our game at every level, although it's beginning to look that way. Investors are only seeing the business potential of your football clubs, so I'd be wary if you hear of your club talking of it. What happens when these guy's get sick of playing 'Mr Chairman' and decide they want to sell up?

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                      19.09.2008 16:06
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                      Brilliantly contstructed album, a must for all you soul heads

                      If your like me and your into the soulful side of things, this album is a must have. This is his 1st 4 albums, I own everyone of them as this guy is such good value.
                      Aijuswannaseing ( I just wanna sing) is my personal favourite though. I was introduced to Musiq Soulchild by a fellow musician, after hearing the track 'L' is gone' taken from this album, i was immediately drawn to it's smooth, laid back groove based vibe. Capped off by a incredibly tasty vocal line and rich harmonies. Everything sounded so crisp and natural, which is helped by being backed by an actual band.
                      The song instantly made me want to hear more of his work and i subsequently bought this, what a choice!
                      The first track that stands out is 'Girl Next Door', a slow tempo song about the changing relationship between a guy and girl who started as out as just friends. It's delivered with such emotion that this song could easily be a personal experience of his own.

                      Stevie Wonder must of been an influence on Musiq Soulchild's voice and the way he constructs and delivers these songs. This guy can hit notes that you and I can only dream of, and the lyrical content of his work is, although based on love and relationships, finds different ways to explore these situations. Unlike some other artists of this genre.
                      For example the story of falling for an underage girl as portrayed in the song 'Seventeen' gives you an insight and a back story of events that has taken place, and also deals with his own issues on the matter. I like these qualities in a songwriter. The abiltity to put yourself into situations, whether it's a personal experience or not and be able to give a believable take on it, and Musiq Soulchild is a master of that.

                      Being a musician, I can also totally appreciate the work put into this album musically. Everything is sounds really tight and polished. If you like your groove based stuff, then this is worth a listen. Any drummers, bassists, key's players and singers are gonna love this one. It's a very jazzy album, with obvious elements of gospel, soul, funk and hip hop.

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                      • Football Manager 2008 (PC) / PC Game / 17 Readings / 17 Ratings
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                        19.09.2008 15:13
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                        Don't start playing this on a day where you have things to do, because believe me they wont get done

                        I've been a keen follower of the football management sim for quite some time now, since the concept's infancy as Championship Manager 93 on the Amiga, and I have watched it's evolution over the years from the basic versions to the 'in depth' games we play today. I must say that Football Manager 2008 is by far the best manager sim around.
                        I was playing versions of Championship Manager when a friend of mine convinced me to give this one a try, and I must say the boy's at Sega have blown all competition out of the water here! It's safe to say I switched my allegence almost immediately.

                        The game is so interactive, it pulls you right into the world of football management instantly, and the game's layout make it now even more easier to use!
                        You have fifty leagues to choose from. Including lesser nations leagues such as The League of Wales and even an Icelandic league. This gives the game a new appeal after using the worlds best teams, this gives you an option to test your skills with the smaller clubs of the world.
                        There is a multitude of tactics to be taken advantage of, reduce the chances of defeat by reading scout reports on the opposition which includes, opposition formation, key player threats and even pitch size!
                        The interaction between you and your players and staff is also a quality feature. Scout reports on potential signings are a useful example of this. The scout will give you a detailed report on a players attitude, strengths and weakness' and then a summary of whether or not you should buy this player. This is handy when trying to make the 'right signing' for your club, because this in turn can effect your squad, board confidence and fan's opinion of you. The way you handle your players in your squad is also a great feature. Each player seems to have different attitudes, personality traits and ambitions. So this can test your man management skills when faced with a tempremental squad member.
                        I am also impressed with the ability to bring your own youngsters in through your club's youth system. Near enough every team has a youth squad, and a good network of coaches will be able to pick out the cream of the crop in terms of your clubs youth. With this, it's important to train your players well in order to boost attributes, and also first team experience is a great way to up their skills, sending these players out on loan is a good tactic to employ. Once these player's become the finished artical they are valuable comodities to your team at no real cost.

                        The media is another excellent tool on this game, you can use it to gain a psychological advantage before a crunch game with a rival team, or you can use it to praise/critise your players, as a bigger club this is also a good way to unsettle players that you are trying to bring to your club.
                        Beware, if you over use the media you will develop a reputation amongst you piers and this can sometimes lead to unrest amongst your squad.
                        T
                        he brilliant thing about this game is that every decision you make can have a knock on effect on the way you play it. I'd certainly recommend Football Manager 08 to any body wanting to try this sort of game. It's an addictive, time sapping game and I love it!

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                          19.09.2008 03:30
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                          This is a must have for the serious gigging player!

                          The musicman stingray is a true piece of beautiful machinery. I started using one around 5 years ago and I've never looked back. Once you've set up your bridge height and pick up to suit your personal style, (unfortunately they don't come set up from the shops), you'll be enjoying the benefits of the musicman's active control capability (powered by 9v battery) which allows more punch and texture to your playing. With the correct amount of tampering to your bridge settings along with using the 3 tone pot's for treble, mid and bass you can achieve a beautifully aggressive grunt, which adds to an already naturally 'buttery' sound. Perfect for funk players yet easily capable of lending itself to any style of music, use it in the studio or live! this thing will blow your socks off!
                          The sound in the studio is impecable, and any sound engineer worth his salt should be able to make you sound great, due to the positioning of the peizo pick up close to the bridge, picking out all of those lovely high end frequencies.
                          When used live I feel the stingray really comes into it's own. Depending on your amp set up, this bass is perfectley audible and is just as effective when going straight into a P.A. system. When using lower to mid priced basses, you can often lose attack and bass power. Whereas the musicman cuts through perfectly into the live mix adding a certain phatness and presence to your stage sound.

                          Right, it's not all fun and games with this thing! You've got to remember that this beast is so finely tuned that little things like changes in temperature can affect it. From experience I know that exposing this bass to well above or below room temperature can warp the truss rods inside the neck of the guitar. Which in turn will screw up the amount of sustain (amount of time you can hold one note for) you can achieve. So I suggest a good solid case as a home for it when it's not in use, away from radiators or open window's.
                          Apart from that one downside, I cannot find a reason to be mad at this piece of kit! If your on the look out for a new axe then definately give this a thought, you won't regret it!

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