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Midnight_Oil

Midnight_Oil
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Member since: 21.06.2000

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      27.02.2005 04:35
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      When I visited Drayton Manor for the first time last year I wasn’t sure what to expect, especially as it was on the way home from a several-day trip to the better known Staffordshire park (I'm sure you know the one - begins with A and if you read carefully you may spot it mentioned later in the review)

      It was just after schools' half-term week which had probably been a lot busier but as it was the park was a lot less crowded than I expected even for a less-hyped park. There were 1 or 2 school groups there but these didn't really get in the way as they were mainly younger children and we were there mainly for the more the white-knuckle rides!

      As neither my friend I was with or I drive, we travelled by coach to Birmingham where we stayed a couple of nights. There seemed to be very few details anywhere on the official website or elsewhere on how to reach the park by public transport. I think there is a special daily bus service from Birmingham to the park, but this only runs over the summer and hadn’t started by June when we went) With a limited information, we went by train to Tamworth station. From the information we were given at the Birmingham tourist office it was meant to be easy walking distance to the park, but while I'm not sure how far it actually was it did take quite a long time and I wouldn't recommend walking if you don’t like walking far! There are buses but we couldn't find a suitable stop on the way there. It started to rain on the way back to the station and luckily in reverse it was easier to find a bus!

      Anyway, when we eventually arrived, we paid to get in - they no longer have the wristband system you may have read about elsewhere, and it is now 1 price that covers everything which doesn't make a difference to people like me who wanted to go on all the rides, but I would think it would be a disadvantage to families, etc where only some want to use the rides but are accompanied by someone that doesn't (eg. Parents accompanying a child that wants to ride) – now they have to pay the full price even if they aren't going to ride. I can't remember the price I paid but I think it was about £16 (it may be more in peak season) which is less than quite a lot of other similar attractions.

      As the park was so quiet there were very few queues and those that there were, were very short (probably the longest wait for a ride was about 20 minutes but it was a straight-on situation for quite a few rides!)

      There are plenty of rides for all ages. I will describe the main ones I was interested in riding first.

      Apocalypse :
      This is a 54 metre high tower. You are lifted slowly up the tower, where you pause before "falling" back down. Unlike some other similar rides, as well as the seating option, you can also ride standing - supported by shoulder restraints with a bike-style seat under you (you stand but it's there to help support you). There is also a 3rd option which unfortunately wasn't running the day I was there which is standing but with no floor - just held by the restraints (and possibly the bike seats but as I didn't ride this way I'm not sure).

      Shockwave:
      As a roller-coaster fan this was the ride I was most looking forward to trying. It is Europe's only stand-up coaster - you are fixed in in the same way as Apocalypse - shoulder restraints and bike seats. This ride certainly didn't disappoint! It was a very different experience to other coasters - it felt a lot less safe than sitting down ones, but of course it was actually just as safe!

      Stormforce 10 :

      This is the main water ride at Drayton Manor. It was different to many others in that it includes a backwards drop, also the first drop happens before you've even gone anywhere! Apparantly The Daily Telegraph called it "the best water ride in the country" but while it was a very good ride, I wouldn't actually agree as I prefer the one at Thorpe Park, but Stormforce does have the advantage of 3 drops (including the "specials" I just mentioned) rather than TP's 1.
      It wasn't the warmest of days (although it didn't turn rainy till we were on the way back from the park as mentioned above) and this ride would probably seem better on hot days - though the queues would undoubtedly be longer.
      It is a well-themed ride, with the boats being like actual lifeboats .

      The Haunting:

      While not a thrill-seeker ride I was quite looking forward to this as it is a "haunted-swing" ride (I won't explain what this means as it may spoil it for some first-time riders), which while I knew wouldn't be as good as the one at Alton Towers (Hex), it was quite good and well designed. Similar to the Hex it has a walk-through section creating a storyline with the ride section at the end.

      A semi-thrill-seeker ride was Klondike Mine - a roller coaster designed for a slightly less intense-ride seeking rider. I won't go into any more detail on this one as it's now closed to make way for a new roller coaster that will be opening later this year!

      Other thrill-seeker rides include Cyclone (one of those rides that seem to be at nearly every park)- where you have a wheel of caged cars that spins round, not my sort of ride; Pandemonium opened last year after my visit so I can't really comment! There is also Maelstrom that involves a large spinning-ended swing, but I didn’t ride on this either.

      There are also a few family rides like the rapids-type ride "Splash Canyon" which is pretty much the same as most of this type ride (ie good but nothing overly exciting), and Excalibur that was new last year - a gentle boat ride with a King Arthur themed story. (I did ride this as an after-lunch before going back on the intense rides sort of break and probably would again).

      If you have time then the zoo is also worth a visit - as it was such a quiet day when I was there there was plenty of time for this. You can walk into/from the zoo area, or there is also a train that goes past quite a few of the animal enclosures.

      There are plenty of rides for younger visitors but as my friend and I are both fully-grown adults (though you'd sometimes wonder from our behaviour ;) ) I can't really comment on these.

      In size, compared to other major theme-parks, Drayton Manor is rather small, but there are still plenty of rides and it means less walking around, and while there are considerably fewer rides than larger parks, there are enough good rides that warrant several rides on each to be worth a whole-day visit!

      There are plenty of places selling food -restaurants and fast-food kiosks (though none of those well-known fast-food chains) I had Southern-fried chicken and it was quite tasty and the price while not cheap was about what you'd expect at a park of this kind.

      The appearance of the park is old-looking, and some of the rides also have that look about them, but this in no way affects how good they actually are.

      All in all a very good day out, though I don't think it would be the sort of place to need a several-day excursion (maybe in peak season when you'd get fewer rides in a day, but certainly not off-peak), more the sort of place you'd go to once in a while - maybe once or twice a year. I already have plans to visit during the next trip to that other place towards the end of May, and possibly another trip to Drayton Manor later in the year, especially as the new coaster won't be open by the time of the May visit.

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      • More +
        26.02.2005 14:38
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        Although I don't live far from London, it's far enough to sometimes prefer overnight accomodation or occasionally more than 1 night. Until I found the Generator, I stayed in various cheap hotels/hostels. They were all ok, but since finding the Generator, I only go to others if there are no twin room vacancies at the Generator. (This has happened a few times which I can only assume is due to their increasing popularity! There have always been dorm rooms - more on this in a moment - but I prefer a private room)

        I first found it on an advert board in a hotel/B&B place at Gatwick airport (where I work) when I was looking for a place to stay. The price seemed almost too cheap and I was concerned that maybe it might not be a very pleasant stay.

        I realised I was wrong when I arrived there. I chose a twin room - I usually visit London with a friend - as the price was not very different to that of the dorms. The price varies slightly - I think according to time of year, etc - but is usually somewhere between about £45 and £50 for the room, working out at about £20 to £25 per person. Dorm rooms tend to range I think from about £10 to £15 per person.

        It was very easy to find, and is only a short walk from the tube station at Russell Square and also not much further from tube and mainline Kings Cross stations.

        The rooms are all nearly identical (I have never been in the dorm rooms but I presume these are probably very similar). The rooms - and in fact the whole place - have a futuristic design. The rooms are always very clean and warm, and the beds very comfortable. There are toilet facilities on each floor - usually several per floor, though on one stay I did find I had to go through quite a few corridors and doors to reach them. The toilets are clean, and toilet rolls, etc well stocked with notices to say if you do find a problem to let them know and they will sort it out - I have never yet had cause to find out if they keep to their word on this!


        There are plenty of facilities in the hotel, though I haven't tried many of them, as there generally isn't time. These include:
        A bar which I have only tried once on my last visit to celebrate Australia Day. While the atmosphere was good the drinks were rather expensive.

        An eating area - they serve meals in the evening for a reasonable sounding price, but I have never tried them so far as I have eaten elsewhere.

        Internet - I am not sure of the prices or how good it is - as only stay for 1 or very few nights I have never needed to try it out! (I can just about hold onto my internet addiction for that long ;))

        Breakfast is included in the price, and while it is quite basic - cereal, bread (there is a toaster available) - you can eat as much as you like, and I have never left there hungry in a morning. They have also more recently added an optional paid breakfast that includes cooked breakfast items which seem to be good value, but I have been satisfied enough with the free basic option to not yet try this.

        There are rules on noise - the hotel is in a residential area so guests are asked to keep noise to a minimum, and late at night noise other than in the bar areas is not permitted. However on a few occasions I have been unable to get to sleep easily due to noise (including music which I presume was coming from the "sound proofed" area where noise is allowed) - sometimes a lot of shouting about from nearby corridors/rooms. The notices about noise in the rooms says that that sort of noise will not be accepted and they have people prevent this, but on occasions I have wondered if they really do!


        If you are ever staying in London and don't want to pay for more expensive hotels, I definitely recommend the Generator.

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        • neopets.com / Internet Site / 1 Reading / 12 Ratings
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          04.04.2004 10:17
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          I started on Neopets just over a year ago after a friend of mine( LouiseA) recommended it, and have been addicted to it ever since. Neopets is based on the classic idea of virtual pets. When you start off you get to create your first pet, from a large selection of species - none are real animal types, although a lot are very similar, just with a different name. You can choose its colour and sex. You give it a name too, but as there are millions of pets already named, you will have to think up a very original name or have a number as part of the name (as there can't be 2 pets with an identical name). There are some species that are "limited edition" and you may not be able to get your first choice of species in this case, but if you're desperate enough you can save and save and change your pet into your required species - but more of that later. Once you have created your first pet you are given a few starter items - these can include food, books, weapons. There are then many things to do on the site. As with most virtual pets, you have to feed your pet. There are many shops both the ones provided by Neopets and ones owned by other members. You can set up your own shop but it will cost you and you will need things to sell. The main way to get points - known as NPs - to spend in the shops, etc. is to play one of the many great games. With over 100 to choose from there is something there for everyone - in 3 main catagories of puzzle, action and luck, and ranging from very easy to very hard/complicated. There are versions of classic games - card games like Patience (aka Solitaire), and Tetris-type games, as well as lots of original games. The graphics are great, though you do need Flash player installed to play most of them. The characters and themes in the games are all based around the pets and areas of Neope
          ts. As well as games, there are various things you can visit in the well-designed Neop ian areas. There are a number of luck games that cost no points or a few that can be played once a day, or some every few hours. These can give you NPs and items. As well as feeding your pet, you can keep it happy by playing with it - there are toy shops with plenty to keep your pet amused. You can also buy it books and the more your pet reads the cleverer it will become. When you can afford it you can even buy your pet a pet of its own known as a PetPet - also available in many species and you get to name them too. After playing for a short time, it is likely you will find 1 pet isn't enough. Luckily you can have up to 4 on one account. So then you have 2 options. You can create more pets in the same way as you did your first pet. Or there is an adoption centre. This is where uncaring people can dump their unwanted pets, and you can rescue one of these. In this case you cannot choose its details such as name. As if all that wasn't enough, if you get bored of your pet's colour or species they can be changed. There are special paint brushes that can be used to change the colour and potions for the species. These are very expensive, but you do very occasionally find these items in various ways on the site. There is also a Battledome where you can fight your pet against Neopets' own characters or other peoples' pets. This is very popular with some people, but I've only been there once cause it isn't really my sort of thing. Well that's about the basics of what is Neopets. Of course there's lots more detail and lots more you can do on the site, but if you play you will soon find out for yourself! While I am an adult player, there are lots of younger players too
          - it is a very child friendly site and If I had children, I'd be happy to let them play knowing there wouldn't be any "nasty surprises" anywhere on the site. Just one last thing, 4 pets may not be enough for you, but be careful if you want more. You can create another account, but there are strict rules on this and you cannot visit once-per-day type things on more than one account on the same day. They freeze anyone's account that breaks the rules on this. Oh and if anyone wants to see my "babies" my Neopets username is middyoil.

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          • zapspot.com / Internet Site / 0 Readings / 13 Ratings
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            08.01.2003 03:21
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            I downloaded my first Zapspot game a long time ago, and discovered that others were available. At that time games were added regularly, and there are now 20 games. I think it's unlikely there will be any more as the last one was added months ago, but 20 is plenty really. They are all completely free, complete games - not shareware or demos - and do not come with spyware or other unpleasant things bundled. There are all sorts of games for all sorts of tastes and moods. Of the 20 there are only a couple I've never really found interesting enough to play for more than a couple of minutes. The one thing that is probably true for all the games, is they are easy to start playing, but there are a lot of levels and mainly they get progressively harder - most have a choice of starting level too so you can pick up from the difficulty you left off at, rather than having to complete the by-then-too easy levels first. Some of the games including my favourites: Bubblebound: You get a grid of circles with some coloured "bubbles" already filling some holes. You have to move them around (you can move a bubble to any empty space unlike some similar games where the space can't be blocked by other bubbles), to make one or more lines of 5+ bubbles of the same colour - these will then disappear. Everytime you move a bubble, unless you make a line, more bubbles will appear on the grid. Bully Frog: Like the Solitaire marbles game, where you jump one over another to an empty space to remove the one jumped over, but these are frogs on lilypads, and the lilypads are in various formations, not in the usual cross shape. FenceOut: You have a field with a number of each of various animals - each moving in different directions at different speeds. You have to draw fences to create complete enclosures, without any animals touching the fence before it is complete. If you get animals withing yo
            ur completed fence enclosures you get extra points. Hallow Meenies is almost exactly the same game, but with a Halloween theme. Jewels of Anubis: You have a grid covered with a number of each of several types of jewel. You have to remove them, by connecting 2 jewels of the same type, with 3 or fewer lines (2 right angles) un-blocked by other jewels. You have to clear the whole grid within a time limit. Moeboid: You are an amoeba in a small pool. You have to swim around eating other, smaller amoebas, at the same time avoiding larger ones who will eat you! Gradually as you eat more, you grow, and the ones you had to avoid before become food, but then the next size up appear of ones to avoid. The food and enemies can pop up quite suddenly anywhere within the pool. Sort Sport: You have a lorry with balls of various types drawn in in pale grey in rows. Balls of the same types as those drawn, but in full colour, come along a conveyor one by one. You have to move them left and right before they drop to fill them into the grey drawn space that matches (when they fill the space the next ball dropped in that column will land in the next space above). While the graphics aren't stunning, they certainly aren't bad. The games have sound effects which can't be turned off within the game, but unlike many similar games these aren't really annoying, and many aren't vital or not very vital to the game, so if you don't like them you can turn off your PC's sounds. They are also quite quiet, so I have found I can play music, etc on the PC, and don't find the games' sounds disrupt the music. All in all they are very good games, and are very addictive, and as you bore of one game in a single playing session, rather than quitting completely, it is very tempting to simply move onto another game (and chances are by the time you've done this with several games you will feel like playing th
            e one you started with again!).

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            • More +
              07.01.2003 06:33
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              Although I am 27, I know I am not nearly alone in being an adult fan of Paul's books, even though they are mainly aimed at the 8 to 12 age-group (I think the single story books are aimed at about 5 - 8 but I enjoy these just as much!). He is one of my favourite authors. Most of his books are short stories, or collections of short stories. They deal with all sorts of situations that are basically things which children can relate to, but at the same time, most stories include a lot of things that wouldn't/couldn't really happen - such as underpants that make you run really really fast, nails that start growing all over your body, and lipstick that makes girls kiss you - but still seem just as if they were real to life. Many of the stories are funny, and most of them include comic aspects. They use language children can understand, without being condescending. The short stories all have a twist at the end. Occasionally I have guessed the end, but a lot I haven't. He has also written two stories with Morris Gleitzman. These each have 6 parts. Each chapter alternates between the point of view/what's going on when they're not together, of the 2 main characters - Paul wrote for one of the characters and Morris for the other. One thing I particularly like, is the way the bad guys - such as the bullies - always lose out in the long run, and how they are beaten. A lot of Paul's short stories were used to make the wonderful TV series "Round the Twist". Paul himself adapted the stories and wrote the scripts for this series. There is also another series called "Driven Crazy" that is based on his stories, but Paul wasn't involved in the making of that series. Paul also cares a lot about his fans. He replies to all the fan mail he receives, visits schools, and he's even held some chat sessions via his website - I
              went to most of those, and he really does seem a very caring person. He has also given away a lot of free books from his site in the past - and every one is signed. If you don't believe how good his books can be, try one for yourself. I can almost guarantee you won't be disappointed!

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              • More +
                15.09.2002 05:52
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                I bought this a few months ago completely unaware of the hours I'd be spending playing these games. It was £10 second-hand so I thought since there are 10 games on it, it was worth a try. The games are as the name suggests "puzzle" games, some (though it doesn't appear to say which) written by the same man that brought Tetris into the world... and these are just as addictive. Also as with Tetris they are very easy to pick up the idea of the game, but will take a very very long time to master. Each game has several levels, and you can choose the starting level, so when the easiest become too easy you don't need to pass through these to get to your level. The addictiveness stems from the ease of playing combined with the large number of levels as the more you play the better you get, and the better you get the more you want to get further and further and further into it, and so you get better... My favourites of the games include: Fringer There are several strands of thread of different colours, with lots of twists in them, you have to untwist them all. That may sound easy, but the twists don't all go the same direction, and the threads are being pulled down every few seconds, and when a twist reaches the bottom, it's game over. Mixed Genetics Several animals have had their heads, arms, bodies and legs mixed up, and so you have to place 3 animals together to create complete normal animals, by matching the body parts so that there are 2 of the set of 3 with that body part (or at least 1 with the part you need and no 2 of another type of that part within the set of 3, and then it is chance whether you get the normal animal you need). Every few seconds another mixed animal is added at the top (you mix animals on shelves below). If you get the top full up game's over. Lineup You are given a grid, that looks like a sports pitch, and
                shapes (very similar to the Tetris piece shapes - I guess this is one that that man wrote!) made from sports balls, that you have to fit into the grid to make complete lines. Finty Flush There are 4 4X4 grids, which can be rotated and moved from side to side. And at the top 4 spaced columns appear one by one, with some or all of the spaces filled. You "simply" have to drop the balls into the grid. When the top is full, the game is over. These are just my 4 favourites of the games, that I spend hours some evenings playing. The other games are great too, but haven't got me quite so addicted yet. I think different people would enjoy different types of the games, so there's something there for everyone. As simple design puzzle gamesreally great graphics, the design is qu a la Tetris, the graphics aren't the real concern, but while they're not ite nice to look at. Each game comes with its own little tunes, and I have found that though repetitive, they are quite good, and there is one on Fringer that I have actually played once just to get to that tune. But if you don't like the tunes playing you can turn them - and/or the other game sounds - off. As I bought my copy 2nd hand I am not sure of how easy it is to find in the shops, but if you get the chance to buy it, I highly recommend having a go at these games - just make sure you have a few hours spare!

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                • The Wiggles - Big Red Car (DVD) / DVD / 2 Readings / 14 Ratings
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                  01.05.2002 04:13
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                  As I am 28 years old with no children, you may be wondering why I am writing an opinion on a childrens' video! Well I am I HUGE fan of the Wiggles. Although aimed at, and loved by preschoolers - initially in Australia, and now a huge hit in the US there are actually quite a number of "Big-Kid" fans like me (those without kids) as well as being often even more popular with the parents than their kids of those with kids. Anyway, this video in particular I think is my one of my favourites - especially of the 5 that have so far been released in the UK. (They are currently unavailable but there are promises of new videos to be released here soon!) There is plenty of singing and dancing -most of the songs are original written by the Wiggles themselves and are sometimes quite educational, but always fun- such as Look Both Ways (which teaches children how to safely cross a road), with a few others written by others (which are also very entertaining) such as Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes. Unlike some of the videos, this one has a storyline running through it based around the breakdown of their well-known Big Red Car. Although maybe the youngest children (The Wiggles have been known to appeal even to the youngest of babies) may not fully follow the story, there is enough in the way of songs, etc to entertain all! The Wiggles themselves are 4 men who wear brightly coloured tops or "skivvies" as they're known: Greg (yellow)- He drives the Big Red Car, and sings the lead vocals on the songs - he also loves practicing magic tricks. Anthony(blue) - He loves to eat whenever and whatever he can Murray (red) - Loves playing his guitar and has a huge smile Jeff (purple) - He's always falling asleep to which the viewer is requested to "Wake up Jeff" 3 of them have a background in Early Childhood Education and 2 were previously in an adult-based band (The Cockroaches) which explains b
                  oth the appropriateness and high quality of songs and in fact everything they do. They also have a lot of friends. The main ones are: Dorothy the Dinosaur - she is a very friendly dinosaur who loves to eat roses. Henry the Octopus - he lives in the sea and is the leader of an "Underwater Big Band" Captain Feathersword - a friendly pirate who loves to tickle people with his feathersword Wags the Dog - He doesn't talk (although we sometimes get to hear what he's actually saying), but usually manages to tell the Wiggles what he wants to. He lives with puppies known as the Waggettes who get up to lots of mischief. Officer Beaples - the local policewoman. Lots of other characters appear in this video - including a friendly alien called Zardo Zap (who has a song all about her) and in this and some of other songs on this video you get to see a whole town-load of friends. All in all an excellent video, and if you haven't been Wigglified yet, I recommend you get it if you ever get the chance. (The Wiggles can also currently be seen twice per day on Nick Jr)

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                  • The Castle (DVD) / DVD / 2 Readings / 7 Ratings
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                    06.12.2000 23:43
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                    As a fan and semi-expert on Australian films I watched this when it first came out in UK (though like so many Aussie films it was in hardly any cinemas) and although i've enjoyed all the aussie films I've seen, this has to be top of the list. The storyline is based around a typical Australian family (after seeing this you may not think this is true, but with discussions with australians on the film, it is much, much more like real aussie life than stuff like Neighbours). Anyway they live literally next door to an airport, the runway just beyond their back yard. All is excellent in life - it may not seem like much of a house to anyone else, but to them it's much more - the title of the film coming from the fact that "a man's home's his castle". Then one day they receive notice from the council that their house is going to be knocked down for a runway extension. The rest of the film is then based around their fight to save their home. (I won't give away too much as it would spoil it :-) ) I laughed through most of the film - as I saw in a quotation from a review of it "every line is a gem" - not necessarily all funny, but all very well scripted. It won a number of awards, and over 90% of australian people I've chatted to name it as their favourite or one of their favourite films.

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                  • Blinky Bill / TV Programme / 0 Readings / 3 Ratings
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                    10.08.2000 02:24
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                    Although I am 24, I love Blinky Bill! I think the drawings/animation are excellent (by Yoram Gross and his team, who have also previously made a number of excellent animated films with live background). Unlike the "Tom & Jerry" type cartoon, there is a lot of dialogue and you can really feel a part of the characters. The stories are always entertaining and although you know it's going to turn out ok in the end, there are lots of surprises along the way. Blinky has lots of friends (Flap, Nutsy, Splodge and Marcia are the main gang) but also lots of enemies too. (And young Shifty of the Dingos family who sometimes joins in with Blinky's gang, even though the Dingoes are always causing trouble). There are CD-Roms based on the series and these are great too, as they each (not including the play& print one) have a story on them, which you can watch first if you wish, and have lots of pages, each one interactive, with lots of hidden surprises - it creates hours of fun for an adult so I would imagine that it would be even more for a child. They also have educational games and lots more. I would recommend this programme to everyone, adults and children alike.

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                  • Nokia nk402 / Mobile Phone / 0 Readings / 3 Ratings
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                    16.07.2000 20:05
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                    I bought my nk402 just a few weeks ago. It is my first mobile phone. When looking to buy one I was looking for a good, reliable, cheap phone. Well the price was good and so far appears very reliable. It has a lot of good features: Phone book, Speed Dials, text messaging, and games (which are great, although snake is very addictive!!),etc. The front is interchangable, although I have not yet bought any of these. One of the things I find useful, is that you can set it to silent mode. I often play games and send text messages while on the train to work, and I like to be able to do this without disturbing other people. I rarely receive calls, so not hearing it ring really doesn't matter. I usually find I only have to charge it about once a week (although of course this would depend on how much you used it!) It is very easy to use - with a "navi" button which performs nearly every function on the phone (all the menus). Although at some point in the future I may decide to upgrade to a more expensive phone which has added functions (eg. WAP, email) for now I find this a very good phone and I'm sure I will use it for quite some time. And if I did change the phone, all the data stored can be kept as it has a removable memory chip. I also find the Orange network usually reliable (although there is a stretch of my journey on the train where I get no signal) and the costs are quite reasonable (I use "Just Talk" vouchers), especially if you buy a £50 voucher as these reduce the call rate.

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                  • More +
                    29.06.2000 08:25
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                    I have lived near Brighton all my life. It is an excellent town. If I was visiting it for the first time, I think I would be amazed at the number and range of shops. There are shops to cater for everyone - both large high-street names, and smaller shops - many special interest shops. There are also plenty of places to eat and drink. My favourite is the Walkabout Inn. It is an Australian pub. With branches elsewhere in the country, this one opened last year, providing great food and beer. But if shopping isn't your thing, there is still plenty to do in Brighton. There is a pier with rides (including a rollercoaster) and arcade machines, etc. The beach is stony, and the sea is polluted, but sitting on it couldn't do harm, and in summer, beachside shops open selling souvenirs and all the touristy things like candy floss, rock, etc. So really there is something for everyone in Brighton - a great place for a day out.

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                  • Lleyton Hewitt / Discussion / 0 Readings / 4 Ratings
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                    29.06.2000 08:07
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                    I'm not in general a sports fan and I don't really watch a lot of Tennis. But I do like the Aussie players (they are all so good looking!) and Lleyton Hewitt is one of my favourites! I think he is a very good player and he has been gradually improving his games over the past year. So I couldn't believe it when I heard he was out in the 1st round of Wimbledon!! I hope he has better luck in his next tournaments, and as for Wimbledon: Oh well, there's always next year!!

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                  • More +
                    26.06.2000 23:07
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                    As a fan of Australian films, I went to the cinema when this film first came out. It is one of the best films I have seen - definitely in my top 10 - and was so good that I went back to see it again...and again...and again! I saw it a total of over 10 times in the cinema and bought it as soon as it was available on video. It is the story of 3 drag queens - 2 transvestites, and a transexual - who, each with their own reason for going, make a trip from Sydney to Alice Springs in a bus which they name Priscilla. Along the way they meet different people with different reactions to their way of performing - acceptance, slight dislike to extreme dislike to the extent of violence. Although this is a comedy film - and very funny at that, there are also some very moving moments. The landscape is as much a part of the film as the actual story in places - the large open spaces, noone and nothing for miles. If you haven't seen this film, then I would strongly recommend getting it!!

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                  • Braindead (DVD) / DVD / 0 Readings / 6 Ratings
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                    26.06.2000 02:11
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                    After watching director Peter Jackson's earlier film Bad Taste, (see my opinion on this), I got hold of a copy of this. It is another excellent film - perhaps not quite as good as Bad Taste, but still great. The main storyline includes, a (very) strange disease (which is initially picked up from a rare animal in a zoo)- which causes some very nasty effects! The acting is excellent, as is the rest of the production of the film. The production has a more professional feel about it than Bad Taste (funding was probably a large factor as B.T. was initially funded by the Director himself), with more well known NZ actors. And there's lots of blood & guts!

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                    • Bad Taste (DVD) / DVD / 1 Reading / 6 Ratings
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                      26.06.2000 01:07

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                      I watched this film, as I am a big fan of New Zealand (and Australian) films (I have seen over 150), and I would have to say it is one of my top 10 films. It is very funny - lots of well written lines, and as the title suggests very bad taste! Unlike the previous opinion on the film, I would have to say I found the acting to be excellent - the characters were supposed to be how they are. As for the storyline, I think it holds together very well, especially if you consider these circumstances of the production: The film was made over 3 years , (filming only on Sundays), with the story made up as they went along. Several of the actors left over that time – including one of the main actors, who returned towards the end of the production. Great efforts were made towards continuity, and this shows – one actor turned up with a stubbly look on the 1st day. He kept the look for 3 years! The soundtrack is also excellent. Basically a lot of blood and guts and stuff, a very entertaining film. The director- Peter Jackson's later works are also excellent - I have also written an opinion on Braindead, another of his films. His latest project is the soon to be released film of Lord of the Rings.

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