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Nothing2Say

Nothing2Say
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Member since: 30.12.2009

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      17.10.2010 22:12
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      A great yogurt with plenty of flavour, but rather expensive.

      Muller is one of my preferred brands when it comes to yogurts. They always seem to suggest a touch of quality with their products. Usually, I'm not someone who immediately grabs the healthy or low-calorie option when out food shopping, but as you can't be too careful with fat and sugar, and the fact that they were on special offer, I thought that I would sample this Muller Light Vanilla with Chocolate Sprinkles and a Black Cherry Underlayer.

      These yogurts are made by Muller at their large factory in Market Drayton, Shropshire. The factory produces 80,000 pots of Muller Light every hour, 24 hours a day. They are quite a green company who pride themselves on the fact that they source over 90% of their milk within a 30 mile radius of the factory, thus keeping carbon emissions to a minimum and supporting their local farmers in the process. This is another reason why I prefer Muller over other brands.

      The yogurt comes in a plastic pot with a foil lid. The lid is quite easy to peel away, but be careful because sometimes it does rip and then it can get a little messy to completely tear off. Both the lid and the plastic pot are recyclable, which will please the environmentally conscious among you. Muller pots are generally white and coloured to represent the flavour of the yogurt. This one uses what I would call a deep purple colour for its styling and lettering, indicative of black cherry.

      As you would expect from a vanilla yogurt made with real milk, it has a nice pale yellow colour. The yogurt itself is reasonably thick and quite creamy. Scattered throughout the yogurt are the sprinkles of dark chocolate. Now unfortunately for Muller these look more like spots of mould when you first open the yogurt and don't look appetising at all! Luckily they taste just fine and add an extra sweet flavour and an extra chunky consistency to the dessert. At the bottom of the pot is a sizeable layer of black cherry sauce. This is really nice and contains chunks of real cherries. The yogurt, cherry sauce and chocolate all come together to produce a wonderful tasty dessert.

      The good thing about this yogurt is that it's virtually fat-free. Many reduced fat alternatives I've tried in the past have been quite watery and rather tasteless, but for me this one is very satisfying. The underlayer has got a genuine fruity flavour from the real cherries, which make up 6% of the total ingredients. Overall the taste is very fruity and pleasurable.

      As this snack is directed at the health conscious I had better quote some of the nutritional values to let you know exactly what you're getting. Each 165g pot contains the following:

      Energy: 413kJ (98kcal)
      Protein: 5.1g
      Carbohydrate: 17.0g
      Of which sugars: 14.7g
      Natural sugars: 6.3g
      Fat: 0.7g
      Of which saturates: 0.3g
      Fibre: 0.5g
      Sodium: TRACE
      Calcium: 163mg

      As you can see this is virtually a fat free snack, low in calories and very rich in calcium; providing you with 20% of the recommended daily amount. It doesn't contain any artificial colours or preservatives. But, for those concerned, it does contain milk, aspartame, gelatine and a source of phenylalanine. Therefore it isn't suitable for vegans or vegetarians, but is ok for coeliacs.

      The yogurt comes in a 165g pot which I suppose is an adequate size portion for the average person. For me, it never quite feels enough, but it just about fills a little hole. It's great at any time of day. I've eaten them at all meal times and I even have them as a snack mid-morning or afternoon.

      I have only seen this flavour as part of a six pack also containing Orange & Chocolate and Vanilla & Chocolate flavours. The normal retail price for a pack is around £3 making each individual pot 50p each, which I think is extremely expensive. Even though they taste very nice, I will only purchase them again if they are on special offer. For example I got mine from Sainsbury's where they were on a buy one get one free offer.

      If you do purchase them when they are on special offer, you will invariably have to take quite a few pots. But don't worry, as the use by date is usually around 3 weeks from the date of purchase, so you will have plenty of time to scoff them all!

      Because of the health benefits Muller Light is a good choice of yogurt; it's fat free and low in calories. As a bonus this yogurt tastes great too with its concoction of flavours. I do prefer this to the standard Muller Light yogurts because of the extra flavours.

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        16.09.2010 11:41
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        A win-win situation of health benefits and taste; just let down by the rather steep price.

        This is my last review of Muller Light yogurts (thank goodness for that i'm sure many of you are saying). Many thanks for all who have read and rated them.

        Muller is one of my preferred brands when it comes to yogurts. They always seem to suggest a touch of quality with their products. Normally, I'm not somebody who immediately grabs the healthy or low-calorie option when out food shopping, but as you can't be too careful with fat and sugar, and the fact that they were on special offer, I thought that I would sample this Muller Light Smooth Raspberry and Cranberry.

        These yogurts are made by Muller at their large factory in Market Drayton, Shropshire. The factory produces 80,000 pots of Muller Light every hour, 24 hours a day. They are quite a green company who pride themselves on the fact that they source over 90% of their milk within a 30 mile radius of the factory, thus keeping carbon emissions to a minimum and supporting their local farmers. This is another reason why I prefer Muller over other brands.

        The yogurt comes in a plastic pot with a foil lid. The lid is quite easy to peel away, but be careful because sometimes it rips and then it can get a little messy to completely tear off (I've just made a real mess of mine!). Both the lid and the plastic pot are recyclable, which will please the environmentally conscious among you. The pot is generally white and coloured to represent the yogurt flavour. This flavour uses what I would call a deep red or maroon colour for its styling and lettering (nothing like the DooYoo picture which is actually Blueberry!).

        As you would expect from raspberries and cranberries mixed with milk, it has a nice pale pink colour. The yogurt itself is reasonably thick and quite creamy and, as its title suggests, has a very smooth texture. I assume the smooth in the title means that there are no real fruit pieces like you get in other flavours like strawberry and cherry. Although I do enjoy the chunks of fruit in the other flavours, I'm certainly not missing those annoying seeds normally associated with raspberries. I always seem to get them stuck between my teeth.

        Many reduced fat alternatives I've tried in the past have been quite watery and rather tasteless, but for me this one is quite satisfying, although I'm sure it won't be to everyone's taste. It has got a genuine fruity flavour, from the raspberry puree (8%) and cranberry juice concentrate (3%) that appear in the ingredients. But be aware that the taste is quite sharp, which I assume is from the cranberry juice. Overall the taste is very fruity and pleasant, with that slight sour taste of cranberries. I find that it doesn't satisfy me in the way that the chunky fruit flavours do, but this one is still very nice in its own right.

        As this snack is directed at the health conscious I had better quote some of the nutritional values to let you know exactly what you're getting. Each 190g pot contains the following:

        Energy: 414kJ (97kcal)
        Protein: 8.0g
        Carbohydrate: 14.8g
        Of which sugars: 13.7g
        Natural sugars: 10.5g
        Fat: 0.2g
        Of which saturates: 0.2g
        Fibre: 1.0g
        Sodium: 0.2g
        Calcium: 247mg

        As you can see this is virtually a fat free snack, low in calories and very rich in calcium; providing you with 30% of the recommended daily amount. It doesn't contain any artificial colours or preservatives. But, for those concerned, it does contain milk, aspartame, gelatine and a source of phenylalanine. Therefore it isn't suitable for vegans or vegetarians, but is ok for coeliacs.

        The yogurt comes in a 190g pot which I suppose is an adequate size portion for the average person. For me, it never quite feels enough, but it just about fills a little hole. It's great at any time of day. I've eaten them at all meal times and I even have them as a snack mid-morning or afternoon.

        There are numerous other flavours in the range, so if raspberry & cranberry doesn't quite tickle your fancy then maybe one of the others will. I have already reviewed several other flavours and the remainder I will cover in due course.

        These yogurts are widely available in just about every supermarket; large or small. Just head over to the fridge section.

        Muller Light yogurts can be purchased individually or in packs of six. The normal retail price for an individual pot is just over 50p which I think is extremely expensive. I usually only purchase them if they are on special offer. For example they have recently been sold in Sainsbury's at 4 for £1 which is much more reasonable. Often the six packs can be on offer at two packs for £5 which works out at about 42p per pot, which is still too expensive for a dollop of yogurt.

        If you do purchase them when they are on special offer, you will invariably have to take quite a few pots. But don't worry, as the use by date is usually around 3 weeks from the date of purchase, so you will have plenty of time to eat them all.

        Because of the health benefits Muller Light is a good choice of yogurt; it's fat free and low in calories. As a bonus this yogurt tastes great too. It may not be my favourite flavour in the range but I would still recommend it.

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          14.09.2010 12:40
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          Store, carry and transfer large files in an affordable, convenient device

          In my job as a software developer I'm manipulating hundreds of files everyday. Some of the best tools I have are my Kingston DataTraveler USB flash drives. I've got quite a few in my collection and I'm not sure what I would do without them. They are now an essential part of my working day. I use them for transferring files between computers, backing up data files and for testing purposes when I need the availability of an alternative drive.

          I needed yet another drive early last year and I was going to get another of the 4GB standard Kingston DataTraveler drives that I already owned. It was cost-effective and reliable so I thought why not? However, on searching the internet for the best price I came across this drive. It was the same price and same capacity, but was a second generation unit; hence the G2 in the title. I assumed that if it was second generation that it would be an even better model with even better features. Unfortunately that didn't quite turn out to be the case!

          The device dimensions are 5.7cm (7.0cm extended) x 2.3cm x 0.9cm and weighs just 11.4g making it extremely portable in a pocket, wallet, handbag, etc. The USB connector slides in and out of the unit with the aid of a slider switch on the side. When you want to use the drive extend the USB connector out and when you unplug it from your computer retract it back in to keep it protected. Although the connector can be retracted back into the unit while not in use, it is still exposed, and if you put it into your pocket or bag then it will undoubtedly gather dust and fluff. This system is not as good as the cap on the first generation devices that completely covered and protected the USB connector. The second generation unit generally feels cheaper and flimsier than the first generation equivalents. With the slider, there are more moving parts and they rattle around as though they aren't securely in position.

          This series of Kingston DataTravelers are predominantly white with coloured trimmings; the 4GB version has a yellow trim. It's nice and slim (although not as slim as the first generation drives), so when you insert it into a spare USB port it shouldn't obscure neighbouring ports which can be a problem with bulkier units. It has ribbed sides to make it easier to grip when you come to remove it from a computer and a loop at the end, presumably for attaching it to a key ring.

          Another step backwards from the first version is the illuminator that lights up when data is being read from or written to the drive. On the first version it was the large coloured area in the middle that lit up. On this second generation unit it's the small Kingston logo above the large coloured area that lights up. The problem is that the logo is on the white area and the illuminating bulb is pale yellow and in normal light conditions you can't see it. It's a complete waste of time.

          A couple of years ago 4GB was an enormous amount of storage space to carry around in your pocket. It's not quite as astounding today, but it will still be adequate for the needs of most people. It is ideal for transferring and backing up e-mails, office documents and pictures. It's also capable of shifting a fair amount of digital music and video too, so if that's your thing then this drive could suit. If you don't need vast amounts of storage then don't waste money on the new high-capacity units. The smaller volume drives, such as this 4GB version is just as fast and will cost you a lot less.

          This drive performs pretty well too. Files transfer relatively quickly, although there is always room for improvement. It can take quite a few minutes to transfer the contents of a drive which is full to capacity. It does utilise the hi-speed USB 2.0 interface; data is read from the drive at 6Mbps, and written to it at 3Mbps. It's compatible with a variety of operating systems:

          - Microsoft Windows: 2000, XP, Vista and 7
          - Mac OS X 10.5.x onwards
          - Linux 2.6.x onwards

          Kingston states that it's not compatible with Windows 95, 98 or ME. The unit is plug-and-play compliant meaning that there is no software installation required, you just plug it in, wait for a minute on first use for it to be recognised, and you're ready to go.

          If any of you live or work in a particularly hot or cold climate then you can be assured that this device will operate in temperatures between 0°C and 60°C, and it can be stored in temperatures between -20°C and 85°C.

          I have found this drive to be very reliable. I've had drives from other brands in the past that have let me down badly. For example, I have a 16GB 'Dabs Value' drive that I purchased recently, which got its write-protection stuck on, rendering it useless.

          One advantage of buying a Kingston DataTraveler over other brands is the fact that it comes with a 5 year warranty. So with the pace that technology advances, it will be covered for the majority of its life. It also shows that Kingston is proud and confident of the reliability and quality of its product.

          These drives are very cost-effective. 4GB is still a large capacity, and for the price of a packet of fags or 2 pints of beer you can't go wrong.

          It's not just people like me who will find these tools useful; I think everybody could find a use for one. I think it's a great way to back up those important documents. Ok, so your unit could get lost, stolen or broken, but I would rather backup to one of these devices, rather than not do it at all!

          In terms of performance, reliability and cost I can't fault this drive. But I do think it is let down by the design of the unit itself. When comparing it with its predecessor it feels quite cheap and flimsy. The fact that the USB connector is not entirely covered and protected is another product of the flawed design. Personally I would recommend the first generation units with their end caps, over these because of the better design and build quality.

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            13.09.2010 10:52
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            It's a good healthy option, but there are better flavours to choose from

            Muller is one of my preferred brands when it comes to yogurts. They always seem to suggest a touch of quality with their products. Generally, I'm not somebody who immediately grabs the healthy or low-calorie option when out food shopping, but as you can't be too careful with fat and sugar, and the fact that they were on special offer, I thought that I would sample this Muller Light Smooth Toffee.

            These yogurts are made by Muller at their large factory in Market Drayton, Shropshire. The factory produces 80,000 pots of Muller Light every hour, 24 hours a day. They are quite a green company who pride themselves on the fact that they source over 90% of their milk within a 30 mile radius of the factory, thus keeping carbon emissions to a minimum and supporting their local farmers. This is another reason why I prefer Muller over other brands.

            The yogurt comes in a plastic pot with a foil lid. The lid is quite easy to peel away, but be careful because sometimes it rips and then it can get a little messy to completely tear off. Both the lid and the plastic pot are recyclable, which will please the environmentally conscious among you. The pot is generally white and coloured to represent the yogurt flavour. The toffee flavour uses what I would call a nutty shade of brown for its styling and lettering.

            The yogurt itself is reasonably thick and quite creamy and, as its title suggests, has a very smooth texture. As you would expect it has a pale brown colour.

            Many reduced fat alternatives I've tried in the past have been quite watery and rather tasteless, but this one is quite satisfying. It has got a genuine toffee flavour, probably from the caramel syrup that appears in the ingredients. Overall the taste is fairly pleasant, without being inspiring. I find that it isn't as satisfying as the fruit flavours such as strawberry and cherry with their genuine flavours and real fruit pieces.

            As this snack is directed at the health conscious I had better quote some of the nutritional values to let you know exactly what you're getting. Each 190g pot contains the following:

            Energy: 412kJ (97kcal)
            Protein: 7.6g
            Carbohydrate: 15.0g
            Of which sugars: 13.5g
            Natural sugars: 8.2g
            Fat: 0.2g
            Of which saturates: 0.2g
            Fibre: TRACE
            Sodium: 0.2g
            Calcium: 232mg

            As you can see this is virtually a fat free snack, low in calories and very rich in calcium; providing you with 28% of the recommended daily amount. It doesn't contain any artificial colours or preservatives. But, for those concerned, it does contain milk, aspartame, gelatine and a source of phenylalanine. Therefore it isn't suitable for vegans or vegetarians, but is ok for coeliacs.

            The yogurt comes in a 190g pot which I suppose is an adequate size portion for the average person. For me, it never quite feels enough, but it certainly fills a little hole. It's great at any time of day. I've eaten them at all meal times and I even have them as a snack mid-morning or afternoon.

            There are numerous other flavours in the range, so if toffee doesn't quite tickle your fancy then maybe one of the others will. I have already reviewed several other flavours and the remainder I will cover in due course.

            These yogurts are widely available in just about every supermarket; large or small. Just head over to the fridge section.

            Muller Light yogurts can be purchased individually or in packs of six. The normal retail price for an individual pot is just over 50p which I think is extremely expensive. I usually only purchase them if they are on special offer. For example they have recently been sold in Sainsbury's at 4 for £1 which is much more reasonable. Often the six packs can be on offer at two packs for £5 which works out at about 42p per pot, which is still too expensive for a dollop of yogurt.

            If you do purchase them when they are on special offer, you will invariably have to take quite a few pots. But don't worry, as the use by date is usually around 3 weeks from the date of purchase, so you will have plenty of time to eat them all.

            Because of the health benefits Muller Light is a good choice of yogurt; it's fat free and low in calories. However, if you're also after great taste then personally I would stick to the traditional fruit flavours like strawberry, cherry and mandarin. Toffee is reasonably tasty, but it just doesn't excite like some of the other flavours in the range.

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              10.09.2010 10:59
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              Not bad flavour, but there are better alternatives.

              Muller is one of my favourite brands when it comes to yogurts. They always seem to suggest that bit of quality with their products. Generally, I'm not someone who immediately grabs the healthy or low-calorie option when out shopping, but as you can never be too careful with fat and sugar, and the fact that they were on special offer, I thought that I would give this Muller Light Smooth Vanilla a try.

              These yogurts are made by Muller at their large factory in Market Drayton, Shropshire where they produce 80,000 pots of Muller Light every hour, 24 hours a day. They are quite a green company who pride themselves on the fact that they source over 90% of their milk within a 30 mile radius of the factory, thus keeping carbon emissions to a minimum and supporting their local farmers. This is another reason why I prefer Muller over other brands.

              The yogurt comes in a plastic pot with a foil lid. The lid is fairly easy to peel away, but be careful because sometimes it rips and then it can get a little messy to completely tear off. Both the lid and the plastic pot are recyclable, which will please the environmentally conscious among you. The pot is generally white and coloured to represent the yogurt flavour. The vanilla flavour uses a pale shade of yellow for its styling and brown for its lettering.

              The yogurt itself is reasonably thick and quite creamy and has a fairly light yellow colour. There are no artificial colours in this yogurt, so they must use natural colouring agents to achieve the smooth yellow appearance.

              Many reduced fat alternatives I've tried in the past have been quite watery and rather tasteless, but this one is quite satisfying. It has got a genuine vanilla flavour, but the ingredients don't include actual vanilla products so the taste must stem from either natural or artificial flavours. Overall the taste is fairly pleasant, but not inspiring. Actually, I would go so far as to say it's a bit dull. I find that it isn't as satisfying as the fruit flavours such as strawberry and cherry with their genuine flavours and real fruit pieces.

              As this snack is aimed at the health conscious I had better quote some of the nutritional information to let you know exactly what you're getting. Each 190g pot contains the following:

              Energy: 403kJ (95kcal)
              Protein: 8.2g
              Carbohydrate: 13.9g
              Of which sugars: 12.9g
              Natural sugars: 8.4g
              Fat: 0.2g
              Of which saturates: 0.2g
              Fibre: TRACE
              Sodium: 0.2g
              Calcium: 257mg

              As you can see this is virtually a fat free snack, low in calories and very rich in calcium; providing you with 32% of the recommended daily amount. It doesn't contain any artificial colours or preservatives. But, for those concerned, it does contain milk, aspartame, gelatine and a source of phenylalanine. Therefore it isn't suitable for vegans or vegetarians, but is ok for coeliacs.

              The yogurt comes in a 190g pot which I suppose is an adequate size portion for the average person. For me, it never quite feels enough, but it certainly fills a small hole. It's great at any time of day. I've eaten them at breakfast, lunch, dinner and even supper. I even have them as a snack mid-morning or afternoon.

              There are numerous other flavours in the range, so if vanilla doesn't quite tickle your fancy then maybe one of the others will. I have already reviewed several other flavours and the remainder I will cover in due course.

              Muller Light yogurts can be purchased individually or in packs of six. The normal retail price for an individual pot is just over 50p which I think is extremely expensive. I usually only purchase them if they are on special offer. For example they have recently been sold in Sainsbury's at 4 for £1 which is much more reasonable. Often the six packs can be on offer at two packs for £5 which works out at about 42p per pot, which is still too expensive for a dollop of yogurt.

              These yogurts are widely available in just about every supermarket; large or small. Just head over to the fridge section.

              Because of the health benefits Muller Light is a good choice of yogurt; it's fat free and low in calories. However, if you're also after great taste then personally I would stick to the traditional fruit flavours like strawberry, cherry and mandarin. Vanilla is ok, but it's just a bit plain and dull.

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                09.09.2010 11:27
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                An extremely sharp tasting crisp

                I saw these Walkers Pickled Onion flavoured crisps available in my local Home Bargains store for 10p a bag. The price was too good to refuse, so I bought half a dozen packets.

                The crisps come in quite a large foil, sealed bag; typical of Walkers. The packet is too big for the amount of crisps they actually give you. The bag is just over half full. In this environmentally friendly, cost cutting era we're living in, you would think they might actually try and resolve this issue! And even more surprising is that you still can't recycle the packet!

                When you open the packet you aren't greeted with much of an aroma. This lead me to think that because there was no smell, that there wouldn't be taste either. So I dived in...

                How wrong could I have been! The taste was so sharp that I almost choked on my first mouthful as the flavours exploded in my mouth; I was not expecting that! The flavour is very sharp and tangy and it really does resemble those tiny little pickled onions that you can buy in a jar. I'm sure this flavour will bring tears to the eyes of the unsuspecting. It's certainly like nothing else in the Walkers range. After I had settled down and got used to the flavour, I did start to enjoy them. They aren't the best or the worst flavour Walkers have ever produced, for me they are middle-of-the-road. I suspect some will love them and others will hate them.

                The crisps have a generous coating of pickled onion seasoning (resulting in the powerful flavour), but it also means that you will certainly end up with messy fingers after you have polished off the bag!

                All Walkers crisps are fried in sunflower oil these days which is lower in saturated fat than the oils they used in the past. This means that they aren't quite as bad for you as they once were, but they are still not good for you nutritionally by any means. My 34.5g pack contains a whopping 179 calories, 11.3g fat and 0.53g salt. That's 9%, 16% and 9% of your recommended daily amounts on just one pack of crisps! So I wouldn't have too many if you're watching your figure, but I would allow yourself one sample pack. This flavour is however free from MSGs, preservatives and artificial colours. They are suitable for vegetarians and coeliacs.

                Although my packets only cost me 10p I'm quite sure that this won't be the typical price. They will be more like 50p in your local newsagents or petrol stations. However, if you havn't tried them before and you can manage to find a pack for 10p then give them a try.

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                  08.09.2010 11:03
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                  Store, carry and transfer your files in an affordable, convenient device

                  In my job as a software developer I'm using and moving thousands of files. Some of the best tools I have are my Kingston DataTraveler USB flash drives. I don't know what I would do without them. They are now an essential part of my working day. I use them for transferring files between computers, backing up data files and for testing purposes when I need the availability of an alternative drive.

                  My first Kingston DataTraveler was a 2GB drive that I purchased back in 2007 (reviewed just last week). I was so impressed with the cost, performance and reliability of the drive that I purchased this 4GB version a year later. With this drive you get the same durable and reliable unit, but with twice as much capacity.

                  A couple of years ago 4GB was an enormous amount of storage space to carry around in your pocket. It's not quite as astounding today, but it will still be adequate for the needs of most people.

                  It's not just people like me who will find these tools useful, I think everybody could find a use for one. I think it's a great way to back up those important documents. OK, so your unit could get lost, stolen or broken, but I would rather backup to one of these rather than not have one at all.

                  I have found my Kingston drives to be very reliable. I've got a few dotted around the house and I can safely say that none of them has faltered or let me down. Unlike the 16GB 'Dabs Value' drive I purchased recently, which got its write-protection stuck on, rendering it useless.

                  The Kingston DataTravelers tend to be predominantly white with coloured trimmings. The 4GB version has a purple trim and it illuminates when data is being read from or written to it. It's nice and slim, so when you insert it into a spare USB port it shouldn't obscure neighbouring ports which can be a problem with bulkier units. It has ribbed sides to make it easier to grip when you come to remove it from a computer.

                  The device dimensions are 2.4cm x 7.3cm x 1cm and weighs just 11.3g making it extremely portable in a pocket, wallet, handbag, etc. The USB connector is protected with a white plastic end cap. This needs to be removed when you want to use it and can easily be lost if you put it down. Fortunately the end cap will clip on to the other end of the drive so that you can keep it safe while in use.

                  If any of you live or work in a particularly hot or cold climate then you can be assured that this device will operate in temperatures between 0°C and 60°C, and it can be stored in temperatures between -20°C and 85°C.

                  The 4GB capacity is ideal for e-mails, office documents and pictures. It's also capable of shifting a fair amount of digital music and video too, so if that's your thing then this drive could suit.

                  Files transfer relatively quickly, although there is always room for improvement. It can take quite a few minutes to transfer the contents of a drive which is full to capacity. It does utilise the hi-speed USB 2.0 interface; data is read from the drive at 6Mbps, and written to it at 3Mbps. It's compatible with Windows Operating Systems from Windows 2000 onwards. Kingston states that it's not compatible with Windows 95, 98 or ME. Apple Mac users are also catered for. It's compatible with the MacOS X 10.x and later versions. The unit is plug-and-play compliant meaning that there is no software installation required, you just plug it in, wait for a minute on first use for it to be recognised, and you're ready to go.

                  The drives are still available today and the price has dropped dramatically since I purchased one. You can get them now for a very respectable £7.

                  One advantage of buying a Kingston DataTraveler over other brands is the fact that it comes with a 5 year warranty. So with the pace that technology advances, it's basically covered for life. It also shows that Kingston is proud and confident of the reliability and quality of its product.

                  I can personally vouch for this. My drive is about 2 years old now and its still going strong. It's been used an awful lot in that time and it still works as well now as the day I received it.

                  Overall, I can't fault this drive. Kingston DataTravelers are a very good, reliable product and are available at a very reasonable price. If you don't need vast amounts of storage then don't waste money on the new high-capacity units. The smaller volume drives, such as this 4GB version is just as fast and will cost you a lot less.

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                    06.09.2010 10:34
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                    It's a good healthy option, but there are better flavours to choose from

                    Muller is one of my favourite brands of yogurt. They always seem to evoke that bit of quality with their products. Generally, I'm not someone who immediately grabs the healthy or low-calorie option when shopping, but as you can't be too careful with fat and sugar, and the fact that they were on special offer, I thought that I would give this Muller Light Banana and Custard a try.

                    These yogurts are made by Muller at their large factory in Market Drayton, Shropshire where they produce 80,000 pots of Muller Light every hour, 24 hours a day. They are quite a green company who pride themselves on the fact that they source over 90% of their milk within a 30 mile radius of the factory, thus keeping carbon emissions to a minimum and supporting their local farmers. This is another reason why I favour Muller over other brands.

                    The yogurt comes in a plastic pot with a foil lid. The lid is fairly easy to peel away, but be careful because sometimes it rips and then it can get a little messy to completely peel away. Both the lid and the plastic pot are recyclable too, so they are good for those concerned with the environment. The pot is generally white and coloured to represent the yogurt flavour. The banana & custard flavour uses a dark shade of yellow for its styling and lettering.

                    The yogurt itself is reasonably thick and quite creamy and has a fairly dark yellow colour, darker than I was expecting. There are no artificial colours so it must come from the banana puree and other natural colouring agents.

                    Many reduced fat alternatives I've tried in the past have been watery and tasteless, but this one is quite satisfying. It has got a genuine banana flavour stemmed from the 3% banana puree included in the ingredients, but it isn't very strong. As for the custard I can't taste that much at all. Overall the taste and flavour disappointed me really. Many of the other fruit flavours have tasted very nice and fruity, but this one is a bit lacking in the taste department. The banana flavour isn't strong enough for me and I can barely taste anything resembling custard at all.

                    As this snack is aimed at the health conscious I had better quote some of the nutritional information to let you know exactly what you're getting. Each 190g pot contains the following:

                    Energy: 437kJ (103kcal)
                    Protein: 7.8g
                    Carbohydrate: 16.3g
                    Of which sugars: 14.6g
                    Natural sugars: 9.5g
                    Fat: 0.2g
                    Of which saturates: 0.2g
                    Fibre: 1.1g
                    Sodium: 0.2g
                    Calcium: 247mg

                    As you can see this is virtually a fat free snack, very low in calories and rich in calcium; providing you with 30% of the recommended daily amount. It doesn't contain any artificial colours or preservatives. But, for those concerned, it does contain milk, aspartame, gelatine and a source of phenylalanine. Therefore it isn't suitable for vegans or vegetarians, but is ok for coeliacs.

                    The yogurt comes in a 190g pot which I suppose is an adequate size portion for the average person. For me, it never quite feels enough, but it certainly fills a small hole. It's great at any time of day. I've eaten them at breakfast, lunch, dinner and even supper. I even have them as a snack mid-morning or afternoon.

                    There are plenty of other flavours in the range, so if banana and custard doesn't quite tickle your fancy then maybe one of the others will. I have already reviewed a few other flavours and the remainder I will cover in due course.

                    Muller Light yogurts can be purchased individually or in packs of six. The normal retail price for an individual pot is just over 50p which I think is extremely expensive. I usually only purchase them if they are on special offer. For example they have recently been sold in Sainsbury's at 4 for £1 which is much more reasonable. Often the six packs can be on offer at two packs for £5 which works out at about 42p per pot, which is still too expensive for a dollop of yogurt.

                    These yogurts are widely available in just about every supermarket; large or small. Just head over to the fridge section.

                    Because of the health benefits Muller Light is a good choice of yogurt; it's fat free and low in calories. However, if you're also after great taste then stick to the traditional fruit flavours like strawberry, cherry and mandarin.

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                      03.09.2010 13:13
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                      Store, carry and transfer large files in an affordable, convenient device

                      In my job as a software developer I'm moving files all the time. The easiest and best method of doing this is using a USB flash drive. They are so simple to use and are very reliable. This one is a 2GB Kingston DataTraveler, which I purchased back in 2007. By today's standards it's quite a low capacity, but it's still more than adequate for the majority of my needs.

                      A USB flash drive is a great tool to have. I'm constantly moving files between computers. E-mailing large numbers of files is very time-consuming and writing to CDs is not very practical in comparison, and of course are restricted to less than 1GB per disk. You also don't need an Internet connection.

                      I have found Kingston drives to be very reliable. I've got a few DataTravelers dotted around the house and I can safely say that none of them has faltered or let me down. Unlike the 16GB Dabs Value drive I purchased recently, which got its write-protection stuck on, rendering it useless.

                      The Kingston DataTravelers tend to be predominantly white with coloured trimmings. The 2GB version has a lime green trim and it illuminates when data is being read from or written to it. It's nice and slim, so when you insert it into a spare USB port it shouldn't obscure neighbouring ports which can be a problem with bulkier units.

                      The device dimensions are 20.4mm x 9mm x 66.9mm and weighs just 11.3g making it extremely portable in a pocket, wallet, handbag, etc. The USB connector is protected with a white plastic end cap. This needs to be removed when you want to use it and can easily be lost if you put it down. Fortunately the end cap will clip on to the other end of the drive so that you can keep it safe while in use.

                      If any of you live or work in an extreme climate then you can be assured that this device will operate in temperatures between 0°C and 60°C, and it can be stored in temperatures between -20°C and 85°C.

                      The 2GB capacity is ideal for e-mails, office documents, mp3s and average pictures. Unless you're constantly moving large bulks of high-resolution images or video around then something like this will be sufficient.

                      Files transfer relatively quickly, although there is always room for improvement. It can take a few minutes to transfer the contents of a drive which is full to capacity. It does utilise the hi-speed USB 2.0 interface; data is read from the drive at 6Mbps, and written to it at 3Mbps. It's compatible with Windows Operating Systems from Windows 2000 onwards. Kingston do state that it's not compatible with Windows 95, 98 or ME. Apple Mac users are also catered for. It's compatible with the MacOS X 10.x and later versions.

                      The unit is plug-and-play compliant meaning that there is no software installation required, you just plug it in, wait for a minute on first use for it to be recognised, and you're ready to go.

                      It's still available through Amazon today for a quite expensive £5.95. Strangely there are 4GB Kingston DataTraveler drives on there for around £4!

                      One advantage of buying a Kingston DataTraveler over other brands is the fact that it comes with a 5 year warranty. So with the pace that technology advances, it basically covered for the majority of it's life. It also shows that Kingston are proud and confident of the reliability and quality of their product.

                      I can personally vouch for this. My drive is about 3 years old now and its still going strong. It's been used an awful lot in that time and it still works as well now as the day I received it.

                      Overall, I can't fault this drive. Kingston DataTravelers are a very good, reliable product and are available at a very reasonable price. If you don't need vast amounts of storage then don't waste money on high-capacity units. The smaller volume drives, such as the 2GB and 4GB versions are just as fast and will cost you a lot less.

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                        02.09.2010 10:20
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                        Another classic desecrated by modern filmmakers.

                        I think it is a sign of the times when you here that a classic film is being remade and your immediate thoughts are; "oh, no, they are going to destroy yet another classic". Unfortunately modern filmmakers have done it again with Clash of the Titans.

                        * Plot *

                        The story begins when Titans ruled the world. But their rule was ended by their own sons Poseidon (Danny Huston), Zeus (Liam Neeson) and Hades (Ralph Fiennes). Zeus convinced Hades to create a beast so strong to defeat their parents and from his own flesh Hades gave birth to a terrifying horror, The Kracken.

                        Zeus became king of the heavens, Poseidon king of the seas and Hades, tricked by Zeus, was left to rule the underworld in darkness and in misery. Zeus created man, and it was mans prayers that fed the gods immortality. However, over time mankind grew restless, they began to question the gods and eventually they rose up against them.

                        Soldiers from the city of Argos desecrated the gods temples and felled a magnificent statue of Zeus, thus declaring war on the gods. This enrages Zeus and it brings Hades out of the underworld. Hades suggests to Zeus that he be let lose on man to make them turn on themselves and then beg for mercy. Zeus agreed.

                        Following the soldiers attack on the statue, the king of Argos celebrated, but was interrupted when Hades made a guest appearance. He threatened to unleash the Kracken on Argos unless the king sacrificed his daughter to him.

                        The men of Argos suddenly realised they were in great peril, as they knew they couldn't sacrifice the princess. But fortunately for them they were in the presence of a demi-god with a score to settle, someone who could help them defeat the Kracken.

                        Perseus (Sam Worthington), is introduced as the son of a fisherman whose family are killed by Hades following the battle with the kings soldiers. Perseus is actually an illegitimate son of Zeus, and as such, possesses some of his powers. Perseus is obviously upset and wants revenge on Hades for what he has done to his family and agrees to join forces with the soldiers of Argos. Fortunately for Perseus he has a guardian angel in the form of Io (Gemma Arterton). She tells him that to get at Hades he must slay the Kracken to reduce his powers.

                        * Opinion *

                        In it's own right this film would have been just about bearable. However, because it's a remake, a lot of viewers will already know the story and everything in it will be compared to the original; and this is what brings it down.

                        The main problem with the film is that it's been condensed so much and crammed into just over 100 minutes. For me this causes quite a few problems. Firstly many of the characters are underdeveloped. The soldiers accompanying Perseus are only briefly introduced meaning that it's very difficult to identify with them and ultimately find them likeable. Some of the main points of the story, such as Perseus arriving in Argos, have been reduced to almost nothing; and as for the final sequence it was just shocking.

                        The story moves at such a rapid pace that there isn't time to breathe and actually take in what's happening. I think viewers prefer the tensions to rise before the next big scene and then for the action to play out. Here we just have a relentless march from one sequence to the next.

                        I think many fans of the original were hoping that the monsters would be spruced up this time around. Well, they are certainly big and brash, but they just feel mediocre like something that could have appeared in any number films with monsters. There is nothing groundbreaking or really memorable at all.

                        The acting in the film is not much better. Worthington's performance was pretty lame, for me he just lacks charisma and gusto. Ralph Feinnes adds a bit of spark and venom to the drama in his own Lord Voldermort kind of way. Gemma Arterton brings some much needed glamour to proceedings, but to say that she has been cursed by the gods to be ageless is just a joke. I bet that there isn't a woman alive who would not want to stay looking like that until the end of time.

                        Other things that didn't impress me were the outfits. The soldiers, with their flimsy armour, looked like they had just pranced off the set of 300; they were awful. The acknowledgement of the mechanical owl from the original was utterly pointless and the scene with the Pegasus felt like it was in the wrong movie, it had no relevance whatsoever.

                        As you can probably tell I generally feel let down by this movie. I was hoping for the same powerful story with the addition of great monsters and battles. All I got was a rushed film, with mediocre CGI and nothing memorable to take away.

                        I think that the filmmakers thought that all they had to do was get a good story and add some CGI. Well, sorry guys but it just isn't good enough. This will definitely not stand the test of time like the original.

                        ----------------------------------
                        Film: Clash Of The Titans
                        Director: Louis Leterrier
                        Running Time: 106 minutes
                        Certificate: 12
                        Price: £9.99 (Amazon)
                        ----------------------------------

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                          31.08.2010 10:20
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                          A win-win situation of health benefits and taste; just let down by the rather steep price.

                          Muller is my favourite brand of yogurt. They always seem to evoke that bit of quality with their products. Generally, I'm not someone who immediately rushes for the healthy or low-calorie option when shopping, but as you can't be too careful with fat and sugar, and the fact that they were on special offer, I thought that I would give this Muller Light Rhubarb a try.

                          These yogurts are made by Muller at their large factory in Market Drayton, Shropshire where they produce 80,000 pots of Muller Light every hour, 24 hours a day. They are a fairly green company who pride themselves on the fact that they source over 90% of their milk within a 30 mile radius of the factory, thus keeping carbon emissions to a minimum and supporting their local farmers. This is another reason why I favour Muller over other brands.

                          The yogurt comes in a plastic pot with a foil lid. The lid is fairly easy to peel away, but be careful because sometimes it does rip and then it can get a little messy to completely peel away. Both the lid and the plastic pot are recyclable too, so they are good for the environmentally conscious. The pot is generally white and coloured to represent the yogurt flavour. The rhubarb flavour uses a shade of maroon for its styling and lettering.

                          The yogurt itself is fairly thick and quite creamy and has a somewhat light pink shade to it. It isn't a natural rhubarb colour, looking at the ingredients I can see that it's coloured using beetroot juice concentrate.

                          Many reduced fat alternatives I've tried in the past have been watery and tasteless, but this one is very satisfying. It's got a genuine rhubarb flavour and there are quite a few pieces of real rhubarb scattered throughout the yogurt, which I really like. A quick glance at the ingredients shows that it does contain 10% real fruit. Ok, so it may not be as rich, creamy and flavoursome as full-fat alternatives, but this healthy option really does come pretty close.

                          As this snack is aimed at the health conscious I had better explain some of the nutritional information to let you know exactly what you're getting. Each 190g pot contains the following:

                          Energy: 418kJ (99kcal)
                          Protein: 8.0g
                          Carbohydrate: 15.0g
                          Of which sugars: 13.9g
                          Natural sugars: 8.4g
                          Fat: 0.2g
                          Of which saturates: 0.2g
                          Fibre: Trace
                          Sodium: 0.2g
                          Calcium: 264mg

                          As you can see this is virtually a fat free snack, very low in calories and rich in calcium; providing you with 33% of the recommended daily amount. It doesn't contain any artificial colours or preservatives. But, for those concerned, it does contain milk, aspartame, gelatine and a source of phenylalanine. Therefore it isn't suitable for vegans or vegetarians, but is ok for coeliacs.

                          The yogurt comes in a 190g pot which I suppose is an adequate size portion for the average person. For me, it never quite feels enough, but it certainly fills a little hole. It's great at any time of day. I've eaten them at breakfast, lunch and dinner. I even have them as a snack mid-morning or afternoon.

                          There are plenty of other flavours in the range, so if rhubarb doesn't quite tickle your fancy then maybe one of the others will. I have already reviewed a few other flavours and the remainder I will cover in due course.

                          Muller Light yogurts can be purchased individually or in packs of six. The normal retail price for an individual pot is just over 50p which I think is extremely expensive. I usually only purchase them if they are on special offer. For example they have recently been sold in Sainsbury's at 4 for £1 which is much more reasonable. Often the six packs can be on offer at two packs for £5 which is about 42p each which is still expensive.

                          These yogurts are widely available in just about every supermarket; large or small. Just head over to the fridge section.

                          Because of the health benefits and great taste you can't really go wrong with this yogurt. It's a thick, creamy and delicious tasting rhubarb flavoured yogurt that is fat free and low in calories. It's a win-win situation of health benefits and taste; but just let down by that rather hefty price tag.

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                          • Men Who Stare At Goats (DVD) / DVD / 125 Readings / 118 Ratings
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                            27.08.2010 11:22
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                            A complete waste of time, effort and money.

                            I'm getting quite bored with the number of films being released centred around the ongoing wars around the world. 'The Men Who Stare At Goats' is yet another one based around the US occupation of Iraq.

                            * Plot *

                            Reporter Bob Wilton (Ewan McGregor) is frustrated at work and generally unhappy because his wife is about to jilt him for his editor. He wants to prove to himself (and his wife) that he's not worthless and that he's a real man. To try and accomplish this he flies out to Kuwait wanting to get into the war zone in Iraq to cover the war and get that elusive big story to give himself some prestige.

                            While waiting for an opportunity he meets Special Forces contractor Lyn Cassidy (George Clooney) whose name he recognises from an interview he had with a strange man a while back who spoke about an secret branch of the US military called the New Earth Army. They are a group of psychic super soldiers termed Jedi Warriors which specialise in psychological warfare and all have special abilities. They use strange techniques such as mind manipulation, becoming invisible and remote viewing against their opponents.

                            Cassidy is on his way to Iraq as part of a mission, and Wilton convinces him to take him along.

                            On their journey the pair continue to discuss how the unit was launched and what happened in the past. These parts of the story are told using flashbacks to when the unit was first established. It was run by Bill Django (Jeff Bridges) who was shot while serving in Vietnam. He returned home and started a unit who focuses on peace, positive energy and the powers of the mind to gain strength in their missions.

                            Django's two best students Cassidy and Larry Hooper (Kevin Spacey) want differing things from the unit. Cassidy wants to use their strengths and powers for good such as locating lost soldiers and Hooper wants to harness them for aggression and much darker things. The pair battle to become the best in the unit and for their ways to prevail. Eventually it all comes to a head.

                            * Opinion *

                            This is not a serious war film, but fairly light hearted. There is a comical statement at the start which says that "more of this film is true than you believe". Leading you to think that the US army is actually using techniques such as these in their conflicts in war zones around the globe today.

                            There are occasional funny and quirky moments, but they are few and far between. In the main it's very slow, dry and unfunny. The funniest parts of the film involved the goats themselves!

                            George Clooney certainly suits his role as Lyn Cassidy and manages to produce an average performance. For me he is the only actor to come out of this film with any credit. Ewan McGregor did what he could with what was put in front of him, but ultimately his performance was like his attempt at an American accent; very unconvincing. Kevin Spacey and Jeff Bridges didn't have much opportunity to shine, and ultimately they didn't. The massive pool of acting talent on show here was never going to be enough to enlighten this film.

                            To be honest I don't see the point of it. I'm sure that there are people out there who actually admire this kind of deadpan satirical humour, but for me it was just dull, boring and pointless.

                            -------------------------------------------
                            Film: The Men Who Stare At Goats
                            Director: Grant Heslov
                            Running Time: 94mins
                            Certificate: 15
                            Price: £6.93 (Amazon)
                            -------------------------------------------

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                              25.08.2010 10:56
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                              Tim Burton puts his stamp on another timeless classic

                              * Introduction *

                              In 1865, English author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll, wrote Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. In 1871, he followed it up with a sequel called Through The Looking-Glass. The novels were written around a fantasy world populated by whimsical and magical creatures. A century and a half later, director Tim Burton has released a film version of these classic novels. This new film is not an exact adaptation of either novel, but it's much closer to the sequel.

                              * Plot *

                              I'm quite sure that most of you will already be familiar with the story from the novels, but I will give a brief plot summary of the film.

                              It starts with Alice as a child. She tells her father all about her strange dreams where she is falling down a hole and seeing strange creatures such as a smiling cat, a dodo bird and a blue caterpillar. Her father tells her that she must be mad, but then reassures her that all the best people are.

                              The film cuts to thirteen years later and Alice is now a young woman. She is travelling in a horse-drawn carriage to a party with her mother. She has lost her father and she misses him greatly. Unfortunately for Alice, she doesn't realise that the party she is attending is intended to be her own engagement party. She has been lined up to marry Hamish, the son of a Lord who was one of her father's business partners.

                              At the party she keeps seeing a white rabbit dressed in a waistcoat which nobody else seems to see. Sure enough the marriage proposal takes place in front of all the guests. When it's time for Alice to respond she gets distracted by the white rabbit again. She tells the expectant crowd that she needs a moment to consider the proposal and runs away after the rabbit. She follows it to a dead tree stump where it disappears down a hole. Alice gazes into the hole, but loses her balance and falls in. She falls down and down and down until eventually ends up in a heap in a small room at the bottom. I'm sure you all know the story of the key, the 'eat me' food and the 'drink me' juice, but eventually Alice makes her way out of the room and into Wonderland.

                              Wonderland is a beautifully constructed world. Not quite on the scale as Avatar, but still magical in its own right. There are talking flowers, flying rocking horses and all kinds of weird and wonderful creatures; someone's imagination has really run riot here.

                              In Wonderland we meet the characters of which I'm sure you're all familiar. The White Rabbit, The Dormouse, The Cheshire Cat, The Mad Hatter, The March Hare and The Tweedle's amongst others. They are all beautifully crafted and the voiceovers are all instantly recognisable.

                              When Alice arrives, the Wonderland characters try to determine if this is 'The Alice' that they have been seeking for so long. They have been looking for a girl called Alice who they prophesize will slay the frightening Jabberwocky and restore the White Queen to her thrown, overthrowing her evil sister, the Red Queen.

                              Alice can't really come to terms with all this and is sure that she is just dreaming. Will Alice be able to wake herself up and take control of the situation, or will she have to fulfil her destiny in Wonderland?

                              * Opinion *

                              Even though this is a well-known story, director Tim Burton has produced a movie that is still well worth viewing. He has kept the story very simple and spent a good deal of time and attention to detail on the stunning visuals of Wonderland and the loveable characters residing within it.

                              Although the story was kept simple, it certainly doesn't become boring or insignificant and it's certainly distinct from anything Lewis Carroll ever wrote.

                              Alice's character is well-developed. You follow her plight as a youngster with strange dreams to an easily distracted young woman with strange and crazy thoughts who is being lead into a marriage she is uncertain of. Burton makes you sympathise with her and care about her.

                              As you would expect in this digital age Wonderland is full of beautifully crafted lifeforms. It is truly spectacular, the children will love it and the grown ups will just admire it. A lot of time and effort has gone into the construction of this world based on Carroll's vision and it certainly doesn't disappoint. There is always so much to look at, that I think a second viewing will be necessary in the not-too-distant future.

                              Although the setting is wonderful, for me it's the characters of Wonderland that make this film so appealing. They all have their own characteristics and they look great. My favourite character is The Mad Hatter, played by Johnny Depp. With his orange hair, crazy eyes, and iconic hat, he works his magic on yet another strange role. The Hatter is funny, spontaneous, very enjoyable to watch, comes out with some really quirky quotes (see review title) and is a great character in the sense that the audience is really able to feel for him. But all of the main characters are great. They all look beautiful on-screen and have all been superbly animated. Added to this you have the iconic voices of British television in the form of Michael Sheen, Matt Lucas, Stephen Fry, Alan Rickman, Barbara Windsor, Timothy Spall and Paul Whitehouse. This really makes the characters identifiable.

                              Tim Burton's take on these classic novels was never going to be a masterpiece, but it certainly does have plenty of flare and imagination. He adds his typical strangely beautiful style, as he did with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The story isn't exactly as I remember it, but the original plot is still there and it's all still very enchanting. Overall, I would heartily recommend it.

                              --------------------------------
                              Film: Alice In Wonderland
                              Director: Tim Burton
                              Running Time: 109mins
                              Certificate: PG
                              Price: £9.99 (Amazon)
                              --------------------------------

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                                23.08.2010 10:55
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                                A win-win situation of health benefits and taste; just let down by the rather steep price.

                                Muller is my favourite brand of yogurt. They always seem to evoke that bit of quality with their products. Generally, I'm not someone who immediately chooses the healthy or low-cal option when shopping, but as you can't be too careful with fat and sugar, I thought that I would give this Muller Light Mandarin a try. And the result was that I'm rather glad I did.

                                These yogurts are made by Muller at their large factory in Market Drayton, Shropshire where they produce 80,000 pots of Muller Light every hour, 24 hours a day. They are quite a green company who pride themselves on the fact that they source over 90% of their milk within a 30 mile radius of the factory, thus keeping carbon emissions to a minimum and supporting their local farmers. This is another reason why I favour Muller over other brands.

                                The yogurt comes in a plastic pot with a foil lid. The lid is fairly easy to peel away, but be careful because sometimes it does rip and then it can get a bit messy to completely peel away. Both the lid and the plastic pot are recyclable too, so they are good for the environmentally conscious. The pot is generally white and coloured to represent the yogurt flavour. Naturally, the mandarin flavour has bright orange styling and lettering.

                                The yogurt itself is fairly thick and quite creamy and has quite a light orange tinge to it. Many reduced fat alternatives I've tried in the past have been watery and tasteless, but this one is very pleasant. It's got a genuine orange flavour and there are quite a few pieces of real mandarin peel scattered throughout the yogurt, which I really like. A quick glance at the ingredients shows that it does contain 4% real mandarin and 6% mandarin juice. Ok, so it may not be as rich and creamy as full-fat alternatives, but this healthy option really does have a great taste.

                                As this snack is aimed at the health conscious I had better explain some of the nutritional information to let you know exactly what you're getting. Each 190g pot contains the following:

                                Energy: 437kJ (103kcal)
                                Protein: 8.0g
                                Carbohydrate: 16.2g
                                Of which sugars: 14.8g
                                Natural sugars: 9.9g
                                Fat: 0.2g
                                Of which saturates: 0.2g
                                Fibre: Trace
                                Sodium: 0.2g
                                Calcium: 247mg

                                As you can see this is virtually a fat free snack, very low in calories and rich in calcium; providing you with 30% of the recommended daily amount. It does not contain any artificial colours or preservatives. But, for those concerned, it does contain milk, aspartame, gelatine and a source of phenylalanine. Therefore it isn't suitable for vegans or vegetarians, but is ok for coeliacs.

                                The yogurt comes in a 190g pot which I suppose is an adequate size portion for the average person. For me, it never quite feels enough, but it certainly fills a little hole. It's great at any time of day. I've eaten them at breakfast, lunch and dinner. I even have them as a snack mid-morning or afternoon.

                                There are plenty of other flavours in the range, so if mandarin doesn't tickle your fancy then maybe one of the others will. I will be reviewing some of these in due course.

                                Muller Light yogurts can be purchased individually or in packs of six. The normal retail price for an individual pot is just over 50p which I think is extremely expensive. I usually only purchase them if they are on special offer. For example they have recently been sold in Sainsbury's at 4 for £1 which is much more reasonable. Often the six packs can be on offer at two packs for £5 which is about 42p each which is still expensive.

                                These yogurts are widely available in just about every supermarket; large or small. Just head for the fridge section.

                                Because of the health benefits and great taste you can't really go wrong with this yogurt. It's a thick, creamy and delicious tasting mandarin flavoured yogurt that is fat free and low in calories. It's a win-win situation of health benefits and taste; but just let down by that rather hefty price tag.

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                                • An Education (DVD) / DVD / 122 Readings / 121 Ratings
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                                  20.08.2010 10:57
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                                  Many have commented on its great story and acting, but it wasn't for me.

                                  I got this dvd on the back of the many nominations and awards it received recently and the great reviews that I've read about it.

                                  * Plot *

                                  In Twickenham, London 1961 Jenny Millar (Carey Mulligan) is a bright and intelligent 16 year old girl studying hard to gain entry to Oxford University. She has a liking for literature and the arts, but particularly for all things French. Her dream is of going to Paris.

                                  Her parents Jack and Marjorie (Alfred Molina and Cara Seymour) do everything they can to guide her to a successful Oxford university application. Jack spends a lot of time, effort money to achieving this end. Jack makes Jenny play the cello because he thinks that it will look good on her application, and shows that she likes to join in. Jenny isn't so sure, and thinks that she should only do the things that she wants to do; much like a typical teenager.

                                  One day Jenny is standing waiting for a bus after school in the pouring rain. A man, David Goldman (Peter Sarsgaard), pulls up alongside her in his car and offers her a lift in his own debonair manner. He duly takes her home, and soon after accidently meeting again, offers to take her to a proper grown-up concert, which is something Jenny really wants to do. David obviously takes a keen interest in Jenny, despite an obvious age difference. The seduction process begins and David sweetens Jenny with a grand lifestyle of theatre trips, fancy auctions, shopping and holidays. He introduces her to all the things she's been passionate about for so long, making her dreams come true.

                                  David meets Jenny's parents, and initially wary they soon fall for his charms in much the same way that Jenny did. The more they see of David, they grow to like and trust him. David even sweet talks them into taking Jenny away for a weekend in Oxford where she will meet C. S. Lewis and do her chances of getting a place at university there the world of good. Her parents obviously want her to do anything possible to improve her chances, so they agree.

                                  Obviously, Jenny is very happy spending time with David. However, her grades start to slip at school and the teachers starts to get concerned as the rumours of her with an older man start to spread. Eventually she has to make a decision. Will she keep seeing David and play happy families with him or will continue with her education and make something of her life?

                                  * Opinion *

                                  I really didn't get what all the fuss was about regarding this film. I understand it won many nominations and awards, including best actress for Carey Mulligan. However, I failed to see the appeal.

                                  Carey Mulligan was the lead in this film and although she won awards for the role I was a little disappointed with her performance. For one, she was far too mature for a 16 year old. She is supposed to be naïve and have strong feelings for this older man, but for me she just appeared to accept everything put in front of her with no thought or feeling.

                                  Peter Sarsgaard played the role of David well, but he wasn't half creepy. Although he is obviously a much older man than Jenny, nothing was really made of it in the film, not even Jenny's parents, which I thought was a little strange.

                                  We meet Jenny's English teacher Olivia Williams and her head teacher Emma Thompson, but they were hugely underused. Back in the 60's I'm sure that these reputable people would have had much more of a bearing on Jenny's thoughts and decisions.

                                  One thing I couldn't fault was the setting. The 60's era has been captured superbly. The attention to detail was excellent. The houses, cars, clothes and the little things like tax discs and tea cosies.

                                  There are a few areas of discussion coming from this film which I think it succeeds in raising. Is it more important to complete your education or follow your heart and your dreams? Is it acceptable for a much older guy to be dating a 16 year old girl? Although the film doesn't attempt to answer the questions, it raises the debates very well.

                                  Overall, I found the film to be quite dull and boring. Alfred Molina was the only actor with any character, everyone else was so flat. I know it isn't the most exciting of plots but I thought that in the main the acting wasn't convincing and the story was just plain old boring. I apologise to those who really liked this film, but unfortunately it didn't appeal to me at all.

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                                  Film: An Education
                                  Certificate: 12
                                  Running Time: 96mins
                                  Price: £6.93 (Amazon)
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