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Mad Simon

Mad Simon
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Member since: 15.02.2001

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      24.10.2001 19:18
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      London wasted their Millenium money on a big tent that no one really wanted to go to. Belfast used theirs to create one of the largest entertainment centres in Europe. The Odyssey encompasses a 7,000 seater arena, complete with ice rink (and Ice hockey superleague team Belfast Giants), a multiplex cinema, Planet Hollywood, a science museum and various other cafes and restaurants. As well as hosting approximately 50 ice hockey games in a season, the arena also plays host to big name music concerts, such as Westlife, Radiohead and Stereophonics, as well as 5-a-side football tournaments, motorcross, ice shows etc. There is also a 200m indoor athletics track under the seats, apparentely, but I have yet to see this in action. The ice hockey is one of the biggest attractions in Belfast, with the Giants icing in front of capacity crowds at practically every opportunity. The support generated by the crowd has been described by the coach as having "7 players instead of 6". Getting a ticket for this event can involved some very long queueing. The multiplex cinema has possibly the most comfy cinema seats in the world, none of this flip up ones, there is so much leg room that the chair doesn't have to upright in order to let someone pass. The cinema shows all the major box office releases, and it priced relatively standardly. There is also huge car parking space available at the Odyssey. This will cost you £2 on a hockey night, £1 at other times. The arena is positioned about half a mile from Belfast's cross harbour motorway, so it isn't exactly hard to get to, and finding it is easy, it is that huge big building with a sign saying "Oddyssey" on the side.

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      • American Pie 2 (DVD) / DVD / 0 Readings / 6 Ratings
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        23.10.2001 18:03

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        You know the score, the same characters, the same actors, the same humour. Its a sequel. American Pie 2 is every bit as funny as its predecessor. A year has passed, and instead of finishing off high school, it is now the end of our heroes college freshman year. Jim, Kev, Stickler, Finch and Oz decide to follow in the footsteps of Kevin's older brother and hire out a house at the beach where they plan to have a massive blow out bash at the end of the summer. This being said, things do not obviously go completely smoothly, and they inevietably get into some pickles along the way. The only criticism I would have is that the humour has progressed from gross out humour, into downright smutty, to the extremes that I would question the 15 certificate at times. However, it is an extremely funny film, and is certainly worth watching.

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      • Globe (Belfast) / Pub / Bar National / 0 Readings / 9 Ratings
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        15.10.2001 17:45
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        The Globe was recently converted from the Elms, which had been there for nearly forty years, when it was bought over by new managers, the Botanic Inns. The Globe was a nice little pub, a good place for starting the night off, but not somewhere that vast numbers of young people, ie. students, would want to spend a whole night in. That was the problem to the owners, they watched vast quantities of students walking past everyday on their way to other pubs, and realised that they wanted some of that. So, a refit was undertaken. A dj box was installed, along with more seating, got rid of the pool table and did up the toilets (which were one of the most disgusting in Belfast) along with a few other touches. There is now djs playing the usual blend of current chart tunes along with cheesy pop from years gone by, as well as karoke 3 nights a week. I have no problem with that, the place itself isn't bad, I even get quite a good pint of Carlsberg for my £2.10, which is reasonable for Belfast. The reason why I hate the Globe is down to the fact that it is packed to the rafters every night of the week, which leads to the inevitable onset of unbearable heat. It is frustrating as well to have to queue for an hour to get in on a Saturday night, go in and see people who were 4 years behind me in school, and therefore underaged, in there already. Some people I know love it, and I am probably in the minority in saying that a night in the Globe is a bad night, but I can't stand the place.

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        • yahoo.com in general / Internet Site / 0 Readings / 8 Ratings
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          19.07.2001 07:03
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          I cannot believe all that you get from Yahoo! and it is all for free. I regularly use their email, news, search engine and fantasy sports games, and I am only using a fraction of what is available to me. I started using Yahoo! mail about four years ago, and this was only because the browsers in our school had Yahoo! UK & Ireland as their homepage, but looking back now, I think it was an inspired choice. However, I have also toyed with having a hotmail email account, but, having experienced Hotmail, I am in a position to say that Yahoo! is much better. Their Inbox allows you to store 6MB of information, and you would have to be very email active to fill that very fast, so you get no annoying "Your Inbox is too full" messages from the adminstrators a la Hotmail, which only allows you a measly 2MB. But the best bit is yet to come. When I used Hotmail, whenever I checked email, at least half of my new messages would be from people I do not know, offering all sorts of things that I do not want. In my time at Yahoo! I cannot recall receiving one similar email at all, never mind in double figures everyday, which I got at Hotmail. Yahoo! seems to employ a sensible Inbox protector policy, meaning that this rubbish doesn't even reach your bulk mail folder, let alone your Inbox. The one thing maybe it lacks is an easy way to produce colour messages, but personally this is not something that I regard as all that important. The addressbook is simple to use, with a function to select multiple recipients, which can be useful in the case of making arrangements/forwarding messages. Something I find very good is that, once selected, both recipients names and email addresses are displayed, making it easier to check if everyone you wanted to send the message to has been included. If sent photos, they can easily be stored in Yahoo! briefcase, where 30MB of information can be stored. I find this
          useful as some of my friends have digital cameras and like to share their experiences. Yahoo! also provides an e-greetings card service. There is a large range of cards, and recipients can again be selected from your personal Yahoo! address book. My Yahoo! is a service on which you select the content so as to create a newspaper like webpage which provides you with news, sports, horoscopes, weather, cartoons, stocks etc, pretty much whatever you want to see. Yahoo! fantasy games, I find very enjoyable. I currently use their fantasy Golf and fantasy soccer. I find little point in competing with those at the top, cos I am never going to win, but it is possible to set up private leagues and have competitions with your mates, allowing to forget about the disheartenment of being in 300,000 place. The Yahoo! search engine, powered by Google, is, in my opinion, the best on the net. Results are displayed in catagories, therefore cutting down the number of useless sites you have to trawl through before finding what you want. Security is Yahoo! is fine, as long as you remember to log out of your Yahoo! when finished, if on shared internet access, but this is the same as any email provider. If you do forget your password, you have to know an awful lot about yourself to regain access, which is in itself reassurring. Once logged into one service, you can jump from that service to the next without having to log in again, something which I find handy. The one aspect in which MSN has the upper hand over Yahoo! is that Yahoo! messanger is pants compared to MSN messanger, but you can't have everything. What I may think may be fine, but if you don't believe me, try it for yourself at www.yahoo.com

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          • Hollyoaks / TV Programme / 0 Readings / 8 Ratings
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            06.07.2001 18:37
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            Although I enjoy watching Hollyoaks, it being the only soap I would watch on a regular basis, I am irritated by a number of unbelievable aspects to the program. The main problem is that the writer of this soap have no concept whatsoever of how a university works, (which reminds me, in the old days, didn't Vanessa go to HCC to do A-levels?). For example on Monday (July 2nd 2001) I watched Ruth at the end of a lecture make dinner plans with the lecturer with whom she plans to become romantically involved. Two things wrong with this: 1. Ruth is doing a PhD, PhD students DO NOT ATTEND LECTURES! 2. All universities that I know of finish in the end of May, certainly none would still have lectures at this time. Other things that are wrong is that Geri, Anna and co are supposedly second year students, but they are quite blatantly all about 25 years old, when the average second year would be 19-20 years old. As much as I love the program, these things irritate me. Apart from that, most of the actors/actresses in the soap do their work well, and form the basis of a believably cast (Ruth being a notable exception, the girl cannot pull off that character at all!), and therefore I would recommend people to watch it, but a lot of improvements could be made to the soap, which would result in me having to increase my rating.

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            • Shrek (DVD) / DVD / 0 Readings / 7 Ratings
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              06.07.2001 01:40
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              Shrek is a pisstake of a lot of things. It seems that it makes fun of all the fairytales we knew and loved as children, but even the Matrix gets a look in at one point. All this, along with some other jokes, some of which are relatively adult, despite the U certificate, make this film a comedy in the league of Airplane, or National Lampoon etc. It tells the tale of Shrek, an Orge, voiced by Mike Myers (of Waynes World and Austin Powers fame), and how after meeting Donkey, Eddie Murphy, he goes about ridding his home of fairytale characters who have been banished there by Lord Farquaad, a man of below average stature who dreams of being a King. As part of the deal for having them removed, Shrek agrees to go and rescue Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz), who is locked in a tower guarded by a fire breathing dragon, whom Farquaad wants to take as his wife, enabling him to become a King. Unfortunately, things do not go quite as in the fairytale, but it would spoil the film to disclose that here, so that is as far as I will take it. I throughally enjoyed viewing this film, I laughed an awful lot at times, and went away happy when I had been a little depressed beforehand. As previously stated, some of the jokes are quite adult, but they are done in such an innocent way so that they would simply be missed by children instead of them being corrupted by their presence. There is no annoying soppy parts, the story moves along quickly enough as to not bore you, and is throughally entertaining. Not only would I recommend anybody else to go and see it, I think I shall go and see it again myself!

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                26.05.2001 03:57

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                Don't bother - Advantages: Easy to get into if you are underage, Good pint - Disadvantages: Full of underagers

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              • The Dish (DVD) / DVD / 0 Readings / 5 Ratings
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                26.05.2001 02:03
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                The Dish is an Australian comedy film set at the time of the Apollo 11 mission to put man on the moon. It tells the story of a small town in Australian, where the radio dish which picked up the television pictures beamed down of the first moonwalk. Brought to us by the same team responsible for "The Castle", The Dish presents a factual story, whilst reflecting on the differences between Australian and American attitudes to life, and there is also a hint of a love story involved in the plot as well. I throughally enjoyed the film, the comedy cheered me up rightly and the plot was entertaining as well, The one problem, with this being a factually based film was that the will they won't they approach to the climax of the film was spoilt by the fact that it is a known fact that the pictures from the moon did arrive. The love story was also not cleared up at the end of the film and was left hanging in the air. Despite of this, I found the Dish to be a suitable waste of two hours of my life, and also worth my £4 to see.

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                  07.05.2001 03:16
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                  Clements is a chain of coffee shops across Belfast. The Donegall Square West branch has sister shops on Botanic Avenue, Stranmillis Road, Royal Avenue and Rosemary Street. All of the shops in the chain serve the same menu, and the consistency in product is maintained partly by rotation of staff from one premises to another. Not being a coffee drinker myself, I cannot comment on their varied range of coffees, but I regularly go there with a group of friends who are, and they seem happy to continue drinking it. They also have on their menu many "not coffee" items, such as tea, milkshakes and their to die for hot chocolate, with can be served with a layer of whipped cream and everyone's favourite marshmallows if desired. There is also a large range of pastries, cookies, scones, muffins and bagels to accompany your choice of beverage. I can highly recommend the toasted bagel with butter, jam and cream cheese, the sweetness of the jam perfectly complementing the sourness of the cream cheese, with delicious effects. The decor is similar in most of the clement's branches, though the sofa's in the Donegall Square West Branch are so comfortable it can be hard to leave. The prices are very reasonable, it would be unfair to expect to pay less for the fayre they provide, and all of the menu is also available take-away, at a discounted tariff. All in all, a quality establishment. Recently however, since I originally wrote this opinion, Clements has changed it's pricing structure, so that I now only receive a cup of tea for my £1.25, when previously I would have received a whole pot, from which I could have easily got 3 cups. This is only one example of what price increases they have made which means that it is no longer such good value for money. Sorry Clements, only 3 stars now!

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                    10.03.2001 00:29

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                    I bought this book after seeing the film, in the hope that reading the book would make the film more understandable. Unfortunately, I was wrong. It only made it worse. American Pyscho follows a Wall Street banker, Patrick Bateman, who also happens to be a blood thirsty killer. It offers an insight into how the rich, one whom Bateman is one, look down in disgust at those in the gutter, and shows us how futile the life of the upper classes are. If this was all that the novel dealt with, I could probably accept it. However, he has a bad habit of describing in detail everything that everyone is wearing. including himself, something that I found amusing at first, but as I progressed through the book, just iritated me. Some of the passages which describe some of his murders are just disturbing, and I was left disgusted on several occasions, so disgusted infact that I had to put the book down. This was a book that I struggled to finish. I kept on wanting to reach the end, but whenever I did read it, it never engrossed me so much that I found it hard to put down. I did enjoy the film, but novel I didn't find a good advertisement for Mr Easton-Ellis' other work. I won't be rushing out to make other purchases of it, anyway. I did say that I read the book in an attempt to help me understand the film, but now I am tempted to go and rent the film inorder to help me understand the book.

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                  • Trailer - Ash / Music Album / 1 Reading / 3 Ratings
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                    03.03.2001 00:37
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                    Ash wrote and recorded this album when they were 17 year old sixth form students in Downpatrick, County Down. Despite their obvious youth at the time, the music from this album shows that they were very accomplished musicians, Tim Wheeler's guitar solo from Uncle Pat being just one example of this. Uncle Pat is the hightrack on this album, with it's unforgettable bass line, and is instantly recognisable from a Heineken advertisement from the time of its release. Petrol is another outstanding track, a screeching guitar intro leading into a simple, yet melodious, verse, with the screening guitar accompaning the chorus. The other six songs are simple, and it is easy to see the influences of their heros like Nirvana in their work. This was the highlight of their work, and in my opinion it has been downhill ever since.

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                    • Apartment (Belfast) / Pub / Bar National / 0 Readings / 3 Ratings
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                      28.02.2001 18:23

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                      This place is classy, very classy. As an eighteen year old going to this place, I didn't half get the impression that the only reason I got through the door was that I work next door and the doormen know me. The crowd is young professional, who come dressed for a night out in their suits and the like. They stock a large range of cocktails, as well as the ordinary drinks which do not seem to be over priced. The one thing I would say is, this place seems to be packed, so you do need to get down early if you fancy having a table to sit at, and it is not unknown for queues to form just to get through the door.

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                    • Greatest Hits - Jam / Music Album / 3 Readings / 1 Rating
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                      27.02.2001 04:32
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                      The Jam were one of the most important bands of the early 80's. Four number one singles(Going Underground, Town called Malice, Start! and their final hit Beat Surrender) three of which entered at number one, when this was a very rare thing to do, and numberous another hits was the Jam's contibution. Songs like "Going Underground" and "Town Called Malice" will be the songs from this collection that everyone will know and listen to first, but they are only two of the excellent songs on offer. This collection contains all twenty one of the Jam's hits in chronological order, which shows the bands development from angry young mod punks, into mainstream songsmiths with a more soulish feel to their music, a progression which lead to the decline of the band, as Paul Weller wanted to take the Jam further along this road than the other two members, who felt they should have been more true to their mod roots. I would recommend this album for fans of modern bands such as OCS and Blur, as this would be an example of the music that they would be listening to when they were growing up, as well as to older people who were fans of the Who and Small Faces during the sixties, as it was their music that largely influenced the music of the Jam. Totally class, but maybe i am biased. 1. In The City 2. All Around The World 3. The Modern World 4. News Of The World 5. David Watts 6. "A" Bomb In Wardour Street 7. Down In The Tube Station At Midnight 8. Strange Town 9. When You're Young 10. The Eton Rifles 11. Going Underground 12. The Dreams Of Children 13. Start 14. That's Entertainment 15. Funeral Pyre 16. Absolute Beginners 17. Town Called Malice 18. Precious 19. Just Who Is The 5 O'Clock Hero? 20. Bitterest Pill (I Ever Had To Swallow) 21. Beat Surrender P.S. Currently in Virgin'
                      ;s summer sale at £9.99, so now there is even less of an excuse for not buying it anymore.

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                      • Good Feeling - Travis / Music Album / 0 Readings / 2 Ratings
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                        26.02.2001 04:54

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                        Having bought The Man Who... I, being someone who likes to be a completist, decided to buy "Good Feeling." In my opinion, it is a better album than it's sucessor. They seemed to have avoided the drone that typifies The Man Who and even manage to include some upbeat numbers, Happy and Tied to the 90's been just two examples. This album will appeal to those who liked The Man Who, but will also find a home in the collection of those that didn't, but are fond of other bands such as Oasis and the like. This album can often be found included in sale stock at outlets such as HMV and Virgin, and is well worth a look when buying such items, although I am not sure I would have bought it at full price.

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                      • Room 101 / TV Programme / 0 Readings / 5 Ratings
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                        23.02.2001 05:01

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                        Room 101 is a program presented by Paul Merton, of Drop The Dead Donkey and Have I Got News For You fame. The idea behind it is that celebrities come on and present a list of their pet hates, with the intention of having them banished to Room 101, from which there is no escape. The format allows plenty of scope for Paul Merton to display his form on think-on-your-feet humour that made him so popular in Have I Got News For You, and, in my opinion, this makes Room 101 a funny and enjoyable show to work. This programme should appeal to those people who are fans of things such as They Think It's All Over and Have I Got News For You, as it contains a similar level of humour, and it also provides an interesting insight into the lives on the famous people who appear upon it, finding out what they hate.

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