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Ric!
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Member since: 25.05.2001

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    • fatcheese.co.uk / Internet Site / 21 Readings / 18 Ratings
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      15.04.2009 16:31
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      100% cashback with reliable tracking

      Fatcheese is a new 100% cashback site. The principle is simple. You sign up to http://www.fatcheese.co.uk/signup and then use their links to visit all of your favourite online retailers. You make your purchase with the retailer as you would normally do. The retailer pays Fatcheese a commission and they pass 100% of it back to you as cashback! What's in it for Fatcheese I hear you ask? Well they retain the first £5 of the cashback that you redeem once per year. A small fee to pay when you can potentially earn hundreds or even thousands of pounds back every year.

      The site is easy to navigate. Once logged in you have a series of simple navigational options along the top of the screen. These include: HOME, SHOPS, VOUCHERS, TELL-A-FRIEND, FORUM, HELP.

      Every page has side columns with features that, for example, enable you to search the shopping categories and review the hot tips of merchants with offers on or who have increased cashback rates etc. There is a also a drop down menu to navigate you to your statement, to update your profile, to the refer-a-friend page, to submit a ticket (to submit queries and claims for any missing cashback), and to redeem cashback. Cashback can be redeemed once you have an awarded balance of £1 or more (transactions change from 'pending' to 'awarded' after 2-3 months - this allows for time for fatcheese to be paid by the merchants in case any transactions are declined or reversed for example). You can currently get paid by PayPal, Moneybookers or BACS.

      HOME
      From this page you can view your recent account activity, read the news bulletins and update your notepad with things to do.

      SHOPS
      In this section you can access the lists of online retailers where you can earn cashback. You can search by shopping category or by A-Z list, and you can filter search results by the cashback they offer in terms of £ or %.

      VOUCHER CODES
      Using voucher codes can sometimes make you ineligible for cashback. This is occasionally the case if a voucher code has been issued to a specific limited market and thus using the code affiliates the transaction to them. However many codes can be used without affecting your cashback. In this section you will find 'official' voucher codes or promotional discounts that can be used without affecting your cashback. Fatcheese is a very new site and at the time of writing has only been launched for one week, so I expect this section will develop as time goes on.

      TELL-A-FRIEND
      You can earn £5 for every friend that your refer to Fatcheese who goes on to earn £5 cashback themselves. This is a launch offer and the amount will go back down to £3 per referral at some point.

      FORUM
      The forum is obviously in its infancy at the site is new. However so far it seems that the site admin are active on the forum and have been quick to answer member's questions about Fatcheese.

      HELP
      Does exactly what it says on the tin! There is a FAQ section here.

      The site is very pleasing on the eye. The colour scheme of green, yellow and grey is easy on the eye. Pages are fast loading.

      For those of you that like 'no-spend' offers then you will not be disappointed. There are numerous no spend offers on board already and more are appearing on a regular basis. There are currently also 67p of 'daily-clicks' - but of course this is subject to change as these type of recurring earners tend to come and go.

      Tracking has been very reliable for me. I have 35 transactions from 9 different retailers on my statement just from the first week and all have tracked without problems.

      There are many other cashback sites out there, but Fatcheese offers:
      - 100% cashback
      - a forum to discuss offers and which, so far, has seen an active administrator helping new members
      - a generous £5 per referral scheme
      - no spend cashback offers and daily recurrers
      - reliable tracking

      It's got to be worth a punt! Sign up at http://www.fatcheese.co.uk/signup

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        02.02.2004 18:16
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        If you don?t use moist toilet tissue, then you?re probably sitting there reading this opinion with bits of dried, crusted excrement around your anus. If you spilt something soft and gooey on a table or work-surface, would you use a dry cloth to clean it up? No. You?d end up just smearing it around and making a worse mess than you started with. So why do we think we can do a good job cleaning our bums with dry paper? If you?ve travelled to predominantly Muslim countries, then you often find facilities to wash yourself following defecation. I personally liked the high-powered retractable shower-head shaped implement on the side of the toilet in a hotel I stayed in, in Zanzibar. The next best thing available to us in our homes, is either to take a shower after every defecation, or to use moist toilet tissues. ?Andrew Moist Toilet Tissues are the perfect complement to dry toilet tissue for gentle and effective cleansing? ? so the packet says. Indeed, you will need to use dry toilet tissue as well ? in my opinion, to get rid of the excess initially, and then at the end to ensure a nice dry botty. You can purchase them in hard pop-up tubs, ideal for the bathroom. Alternatively, they are available in cheaper flat plastic re-sealable refill packets. The trial size packs, containing 10 sheets, fit conveniently in ladies handbags etc, allowing you to take them anywhere. ?Enriched with aloe, they help you and your family feel clean and fresh at any time of day.? - Soft - Strong (your finger won?t poke through when wiping) - Flushable (very important ? ordinary baby wipes have the potential to block your toilet) - Dermatologically tested - well you wouldn?t want a chemical irritation rash around you back passage ? would you? It?s a good job too, just look at all the chemicals used to manufacture them: Aqua, Propylene Glycol, Aloe Barbadensis, Polysorbate 20, Tetrasodium EDTA, Disodium Cocoamphodiacet
        ate and Sodium Laureth Sulphate, PPG-12-PEG-50 Lanolin, 2-Bromo-2-Nitropropane-1, 3-Diol, Parfum, Citric Acid, Benzyl Alcohol, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone By the way, if you have macerator toilet ? then you should check with the manufacturer before trying to see whether you toilet can finely chop these tissues. So, how much will these hygienic little wipes cost you? Well, buying the large refill pack means that the cost is approximately 3.9p per sheet. Vastly expensive when you consider that a sheet of dry Andrex paper costs under 0.2p per sheet. However, if you don?t want to be sitting in your own excrement all day, then it?s worth every penny. Ladies - if your husband is leaving skid marks in his pants - then these could be the answer.

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        • Milk / Chocolate / 2 Readings / 23 Ratings
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          02.06.2003 00:51
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          Crusha milkshake was originally launched into cafes across the UK in the 1950s. The company is part of the Silver Spoon sugar company. Crusha is a syrup based milkshake. You pour the extremely sticky syrup into the bottom of the glass, and top it up with cold milk. The bottle recommends that the syrup:milk ratio is 1:6, although I personally prefer it a bit weaker than this. There is no need to whisk or stir the milkshake, as a perfect mix is obtained just through the turbulent flow of milk when pouring. This is contrary to powder milkshake mixes such as 'Nesquik'. The main flavours are strawberry, banana, chocolate and raspberry, and these are available in most large supermarkets, such as Asda, Tesco and Sainsburys. A 500ml bottle retails for £1.18 at www.asda.co.uk. According to the parent company website (Silver Spoon), there are four other flavours available: Vanilla, Lime, Pineapple and Black Cherry flavours. I have only seen these ones available in catering sized 740ml bottles in wholesale establishments. All the bottle sizes are made from glass and are recyclable. Let's take a closer look at the Raspberry Flavour Crusha - as this is my favourite! It is made with real fruit juice, and (unsurprisingly) has added sugar and sweeteners. A quick look at the ingredients reveals that disappointingly, there is only 2.5% raspberry juice, and there are artificial flavours and colours added, too. Raspberry Crusha is a deep intense pink colour, which fades to a soft pale pink with the addition of milk. The taste is one of glorious artificial raspberry flavour, not a bit like real raspberries -- but this is not a criticism of it. It is very, very sweet. The nutritional values of the syrup, based on one 25ml serving are (these do not include values for the milk that needs to be added!): Energy - 28kcals Protein - Trace Carbohydrate 6.925g (of which sugars 6.825g) Fat - Trace ......obviously n
          ot suitable for anyone on the Atkin's diet! The Crusha website can be found at www.crusha.co.uk. It contains competitions, great recipe ideas, information on the history of Crusha, the latest news, and the chance to ask any questions not answered by the website. Crusha is quick and easy to make, tastes good and is good value for money. In my view, it is the best 'instant' milkshake available.

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            16.10.2002 01:55
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            I grew up with Shield soap bars in the bathroom at home. We had Shield because my mother thought, in her infinite wisdom, that this was the brand, in her experience, which had the lowest tendency to end up as a pile of slimy mush on the side of the sink. Liquid soap was just one of those things that they had in the toilets at school, and in the shopping centre. It wasn't something that one had at home because it worked out much more expensive than bars of soap. The years went by, I grew up, left home, and starting shopping for myself. It's at this sort of time that you realise that there are things in life worth paying a little bit extra for. I don't want to be picking up a slippery, slime-ridden piece of gunk, that probably has more bacteria on it than I have on my hands, and rubbing it into my skin. No, siree. Now if I had my way, I'd only buy the liquid soap that was on offer. It's more justifiable to buy liquid soap if you're buying one and getting one free. But recently, my girlfriend, being a typical, well... erm, 'girl', bought the one that came in the nicest looking bottle. I have to agree with her that the Palmolive pH Neutral Aquarium variety of liquid soap, DOES look rather splendid. You see, the liquid soap is clear and transparent and so is the bottle. On the inside of the back label, there is a sea-scape design, with seaweed, coral reefs and fish. When you view this through the soap, it takes on a kind of hazy, blurred appearance, which gives the water scene a kind-of authenticity. Not only this, but there is a limited further sea-scape design strategically placed on the front of the bottle. But the 'piece de resistance' is the floating puffer fish in the middle of the soap! Wonderful. Who cares what the actual soap is like when it comes in such a fun bottle?! Palmolive pH Neutral Aquarium, comes in a 300ml bottle, with a white dispensing nozzle. To release an a
            ppropriately sized volume of soap, you depress the white nozzle, while maintaining a cupped hand under the end to catch the soap. Now, let's not get all technical about this - this is just soap. All you want to know is whether it does the job it's supposed to or not. Well, put it this way, it lathers up well, it gets the dirt off your hands, and it leaves your hands feeling fresh and clean. There is a smell to the soap - a typical soapy smell, which is not overpowering, but does leave a residual perfumed whiff on your skin after use. It is available from all good supermarkets and drug stores, including Tesco, who describe it as: "Palmolive Liquid Handwash. In this unique collection, Palmolive combines enchanting designs from the sea with a dermatologically tested formula, gentle enough for the whole family to use. It leaves your skin feeling soft and smooth, day after day." Tesco's retail price is £1.87, and you will find that most other outlets have the product similarly priced. For all you chemistry boffins out there, the ingredients are: Aqua, Sodium C12-13 Pareth Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Lauryl Polyglucose, Sodium Chloride, Parfum, DMDM Hydantoin, Polyquaternium-7, Tetrasodium EDTA, CI 17200, CI 42090 --- so you can see, it's nice and natural (!) All in all, an expensive luxury item (Palmolive bar soaps sell for only £0.79!), but one that is probably worth it because of its 'nice' factor. Made by the well known Colagate-Palmolive company, you can be assured of its quality, and hey, it's worth it just for the floating puffer-fish bottle.

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            • The dooyoo Redesign / Discussion / 0 Readings / 41 Ratings
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              01.09.2002 20:41
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              • everything

              Dear dooyoo, Thank you for helping me do something that I thought I'd never do. You see, I always thought that there was no point in me joining ciao. After all, dooyoo paid more, had a good community feel, and for someone like me who just wants to write the occasional opinion, it met all my needs. However, because of this unusable, excuse for a web-site that you've 'upgraded' to, you convinced me to try ciao. And, do you know what? I don't care about your lousy 3p-per-read anymore. Ciao has so much more to offer, but that's probably irrelevant to this topic. The reasons you forced me to join the other side? You need me to tell you? Just read alkaliguru's op for the language we'd like to use to describe the new dooyoo. The new site is: S low loading, H orrendously full of bugs, I ncomplete, T iresomely difficult to navigate. Why have you taken away the drop down menu to get to the latest ops, either cross-site or category related? Why have you taken away our profile details from the top right hand corner, meaning we can't see our reads going up after posting an op? Why does the new site teasingly jump back to the old version in certain places, only to prevent rating an op in the old format? Didn't you test the site? Sure you'll sort out the rating and posting bugs that a lot of members are experiencing. But all you've done by launching this unfinished, diabolical mess, is lose the trust of many of your formerly loyal members. If you aren't careful, people will: J ump ship, O rganise a boycott of dooyoo, I nscribe their opinions elsewhere, or even, N ot post any more opinions on dooyoo. C ash out, when you finally put that link back on the site, I mpede your future plans for dooyoo by, A voiding clicking on any advert banners and, O ccupying their time at a
              different consumer site. A site that depends upon it's members to survive, should at least be user-friendly. Have a rethink, before it's too late. Yours truly, A disgruntled dooyoo member

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                26.08.2002 04:26
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                • "Church chairs"

                Situated on the seafront in Eastbourne, this delightful little restaurant brings a little bit of the continent to the East Sussex coast. Cafe Belge does as much as it can to recreate a little corner of Belgium. There are images of TinTin adorning the walls, as well as advertisements and icons for the many Belgian beers which are served. If it's Moules and Frites, with lashings of Belgian beer that you're after, then you're in for a treat. The menu has an entire page devoted to Mussels. You can have them served in just about any way imaginable, with all sorts of different ingredients, there's bound to be something to take your fancy. There's the more traditional creamy, white wine sauces, and the more exotic fruity combinations. Your chips will come served in the traditional Belgian way - with a dollop of mayonnaise on top. When I say a dollop, I mean a huge dollop, probably containing enough fat to account for your daily intake in itself. The mussels also come with fresh crusty bread and butter. For anyone who doesn't like mussels, there are other options, although probably only 10 or so. These range from spinach and prawn tagliatelle in creamy sauce, to a traditional beef stew with vegetables and mashed potato, or perhaps a duck salad. You'll find something palatable. Portions are very reasonable, so you probably won't need a starter, but there is a good range, from soup to garlic mushrooms to fried whitebait. The restaurant itself looks very attractive at night time. It is dimly lit with candles on each table. The floor is modern wooden and the decor is attractive and new. There are several things which let the restaurant down slightly. The old wooden church chairs - the type with the kneeling cushions slotted into the back (many of which are still there) - which really are not the most comfortable things to sit on to enjoy a meal. The wipe clean table cloths. The paper
                napkins. It's not just me being snobby! - the standard of the food is excellent and the vinyl table cloths just don't do the restaurant justice! Onto the beers! There are over 50 different types served! These range from white beers, to golden ales, to fruity beers, to traditional lagers - the list goes on! They have come up with a great marketing plan to sell lots of beer - a belgian beer drinking passport. This is a piece of card with 50 beers on. With each drink you have, you get your passport stamped/signed. You earn prizes along the way. For example, once you have the first 11 beers signed off, you get a free 1/2 draught. At 23 beers you get a Buy 1 Get 1 Free offer. At 26 you earn a free mussel starter. 33 beers signed off gives you a free fruit beer, while 46 beers will result in a free desert. Once you passport is complete, having had all 50 beers, you are entitled to 2 free main courses. Most of the beers cost around £3 - £3.50, but a couple of them cost £10 or more!! You will have spent well over £200 by the time you get your 2 free main courses. Still, it could work out well if you use Cafe Belge as the restaurant that you go out to with friends, and always be the one who remembers your beer passport! Other prices are quite reasonable - starters being around £4-5, and main courses ranging from £8 to about £12-13. The toilets are situated downstairs, which is not so good for anyone with poor mobility. However, they are very clean. Staff are extremely pleasant and helpful, and deserve the 10% tip which is voluntarily added to your bill. So, for a pleasant meal out, you could do a lot worse than this place. In Eastbourne it's situated @ the Burlington, 11/23 Grand Parade - tel 01323 729967. There is another Cafe Belge in Bexhill-on-Sea at 45 The Marina - tel 01424 731513.

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                • Natwest Credit Cards / Credit Card / 1 Reading / 43 Ratings
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                  18.08.2002 15:50
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                  At the end of the day, any old credit card is good enough for me. I'm not attracted by any of these fancy offers and incentives. I just want a credit card that I can use, with good customer service to back it up. I'm quite disciplined with my money, and I only put on my credit card what I can definitely pay off completely at the end of the month, so paying interest is never an issue. I have had my Natwest Credit Card dual account for over 6 years. I signed up because at the time I had a NatWest bank account. After problems with my current account, I moved on and changed banks, but I've never had any reason to change Credit Card company. With the dual account, I get a Mastercard and a Visa card on the same account, using a combined credit limit. As I've said, the back-up of good customer service is the only thing that really matters for me. My dealings with them have all been more than satisfactory. - When I needed to add another card holder on to my account urgently, they told me to fax the details and they would sort it out. I did so, and received the secondary card holder's credit cards within 3 days. - When I didn't receive a shipment from Tanzania that I'd ordered, Natwest Credit Cards automatically refunded the whole amount within a couple of days, and then went on to make enquires afterwards. I had expected them not to make the refund for weeks, until they'd argued it out with the retailer. - When I needed to change my address, I went through the security checks over the telephone and then gave my new details. I've found that some other banks aren't satisfied that you've passed the security checks, and they make you inform them in writing. - New cards always arrive a month before the old ones expire. - They continually review and increase my credit limit without me having to ask them. So that's it - if you want a credit card to just
                  use, pay off in full every month, with good customer service, then I can certainly recommend NatWest. Now for the other bits, which is probably what determines which credit card most people select: The interest rate is 1.385% per month on purchases and cash advances. Cash advances also incur a 1.5% handling fee, subject to a minimum charge of £1.50. (Drawing cash out with your credit card is always a bad idea, I think.) Overseas transactions incur an administration levy equivalent to 2.75% of the value of the transaction based on the Sterling equivalent. Accounts which go over their credit limit are charged £18. If you don't make your minimum payment by the date shown on your statement, you are also charged £18. The incentive scheme offered by NatWest is Airmiles, you get 1 airmile for every £20 you spend on purchases (cash advances are not included). So, if you use your NatWest Credit Card along with your Tesco Clubcard, you will be earning Airmiles in two different ways simultaneously, and they'll soon add up. Your monthly statement comes on A4 paper. It shows transaction date, transaction reference and details of the place and amount of each purchase, together with whether you paid using Visa or Mastercard. You can pay your bill by bank giro credit at your own bank, by posting a cheque, or by direct debit. Personally, I pay one month at a time using my HSBC Internet Banking. This gives me the opportunity to check my statement when it arrives, and then pay the bill from the comfort of my computer. You're bound to find better offers and interest rates on the market, but for ease of use and reliability, I can't fault NatWest.

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                    29.07.2002 02:22
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                    For me, this was an 'airport book'. One of those books that you wouldn't ordinarily buy, but you do so, at the airport, before jetting off on holiday. The book claims to be all about helping us get to the bottom of all the media hype concerning health scares and environmental issues. It examines whether there is any truth or evidence to support the claims that the media thrust at us, day in, day out. The style of the book makes it suitable for everybody. It is written in simple English, with any 'sciencey' terms explained fully. Even if you have no background scientific knowledge you should be able to get to grasps with this book, and understand the concepts that the author puts forward. Repetition is used heavily. Key concepts are detailed and described over and over again, within the context of the subject matter, to aid understanding. This can become slightly frustrating for anyone who has studied science at an advanced level, but is essential in making this book a worthwhile read for a wide range of people. The topics covered are: Chapter 1 - What If Sunscreens Cause Skin Cancer? A great start to the book in which the role of sunscreens is examined. Why has the use of sunscreens not resulted in a proportional decrease in the incidence of skin cancers? The author debates whether plastering chemicals all over our bodies, under the disguise of being called a sunscreen, could actually be resulting in skin cancer itself. Other issues discussed include the fact that modern day travelling and emigration means that people with skin types not designed to be exposed to the constant barrage of the sun, are ending up in such locations. Also, should we be using moisturisers to prevent ourselves peeling after being burnt? This may be the body's way of discarding potentially pre-malignant cells, yet we are doing our best to prevent our body from carrying out its natural defence mechanism.
                    Chapter 2 - Cholesterol: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly This section gives examples of evidence which tends to show that cholesterol is not a guilty party where coronary artery disease is concerned. It gives examples of trials which show that certain people with high cholesterol are no more likely to have heart attacks than anyone else. It even poses a controversial question - could cholesterol actually be a healer? We know that arteries clogged up with cholesterol are often a precursor to a heart attack. The cholesterol plaque may rupture, resulting in platelet aggregation and an occlusion of the artery. But maybe the reason that the cholesterol is there is actually as the body's response to repair the damage done to arterial walls by other things, such as smoking. It may not simply be the result of having a high level of cholesterol in the blood. Whatever the correct answer, remember that this is just the author's theory, and the evidence he quotes is chosen by him, and likely to be biased towards his view. The current accepted medical viewpoint is that a high cholesterol level is a risk factor for coronary artery disease, but it is interesting to read an alternative theory. Chapter 3 - Clinical Depression and The House Of Cards Is depression genetic, or environmental? ie - is depression an unavoidable hereditary event that is determined by our genes, or is it a result of external factors, like where we live, who we live with, what stressful events happen in our life? Perhaps it is a mixture of the two. What are the treatments for depression and do they really work? The evidence is examined in this chapter. Chapter 4 - Mad Cows and Englishmen This was the most interesting chapter for me. Forget the media hype that we are all doomed, and that anyone who ate beef in the 1980s is going to get the human form of 'mad cow disease' which is called CJD (Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease). It'
                    ;s not all doom and gloom. The author explores the history of the disease, and why the mini-epidemic started in England. Is BSE really the same disease as new variant CJD? This chapter reveals what the scientific evidence really shows, not just what the tabloid newspapers want you to read so you buy their paper. Chapter 5 - Global Warming: Cheap Holidays, Future Apocalypse or Just Hot Air? There's no doubt that global warming is happening, but is it a man-made disaster, or a natural phenomenon? Is there anything we can do about it, indeed SHOULD we do anything about it. This short chapter is a revealing read. Chapter 6 - Conservation: A War Of Two Worlds Why should we expect African and South American countries to stop chopping down their rainforests? This chapter helps us to realise a few home truths. The Western world abused its resources to make itself rich. Now we are demanding that the developing world doesn't do exactly what we did. But is there an incentive for them not to follow in our footsteps? We have created a civilisation that they want to copy. They want wealth, cars and tv sets. What right do we have to try and prevent them from using their natural resources? Indeed, what incentives are we offering them not to do so? Can local people in developing worlds really survive from eco-tourism? Chapter 7 - GM Foods: Monstrous Saviours Did you know that the US is already several miles down the GM Foods freeway? They don't appear worried by it - but I am. It's all very well making slow ripening tomatoes, or disease resistant crops, but there are risks, aren't there? What happens if a super-bacteria is created, resistant to all our modern day treatment as a result of mans tinkering with genes? There are potential benefits, though (allegedly). The possibility of cheap vaccines, or indeed bananas that contain vaccines, could reduce disease in the developing world. A
                    ll this seems like playing with fire in my view, but you can make up your own mind after reading this chapter. Chapter 8 - Fragile Wills, Genetic Leftovers The final chapter is controversial in places. It examines whether we actually have a free will over our actions, or if everything we do is dictated by our genetic makeup. For example, maybe people who are overweight cannot actually help it, and maybe there is nothing they can do to change the situation. Go back to the time of our ancestors, when there wasn't a Sainsburys on every corner. Starvation would have been a real life threatening danger all the time. People who lived in parts of the world where food was ever present, but scattered around, would have spent all their time searching for food and constantly eating. They would have burnt up all the calories that they consumed because of their high metabolic rate and their constant search for more food. But then there would have been people that lived in parts of the world where food was briefly plentiful but unpredictable. They would have had to gorge themselves and build up fat reserves for the hard times that they knew would lie ahead, but had no idea when they would come. During the hard times, when food was scarce, they would have burnt up their fat reserves. Do you recognise this sort of varying behaviour in humans today? Yes. But there is one major difference. The people that are genetically designed to be gorgers during the plentiful times never encounter the hard times. Today's Western world, has resulted in us all living in a state of constant easy access to as much food as we want. So, the second type of person described above never has to encounter a time when food is scarce, and so never burns up their fat supplies. Instead, they keep on eating, and get fatter and fatter. Can't they stop? Well perhaps they literally can't stop themselves. Their genetic makeup may mea
                    n that their body is telling them to keep eating and eating while the food is available. They are 'genetically programmed' with a survival instinct to prepare for the bad times ahead (which unfortunately their bodies don't realise will never come). Controversial, eh? But what if it's true? You'll also read about a highly controversial theory on rape in this chapter. I won't discuss it here, you can read it and make up your own minds! So, all in all, an enjoyable book. Suitable for anyone with an interest in science, and not requiring any background knowledge. Well worth a read. You see, 'airport books' can be surprisingly good!!! (Paperback retails for £7.99 at most good book stores, published by Pan Books.)

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                      13.07.2002 20:15
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                      "Suzanne takes you down, to her place near the river." Pop goes the cork, as I pull it clumsily out of the bottle with my 'Leaping Frog Corkscrew'. "You can hear the boats go by, you can spend the night beside her." Glug, glug, glug, goes the red wine as I pour it out of the bottle and into the tumbler. This is no time for a small wine glass. It's dim in the room, and the only important things right now are Leonard and red wine. "And you know that she's half crazy, but that's why you want to be there." I take my first swig. Damn, it's always at these sorts of times that I go and put the corkscrew in too far. I spit little bits of cork off my tongue. I don't care where they land. Keep going Leonard. "And she feeds you tea and oranges, that come all the way from China". Finally I'm relaxed. I'm all alone in a dimly lit room. I've got a bottle of cheap red wine. And, most importantly of all, Leonard Cohen - Greatest Hits, is playing on my Denon sound system. There's nothing more I could want for. "......For you've touched her prefect body with your mind." *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-* Some people say Leonard Cohen can't sing. Some people say that he sings 'music to commit suicide to'. Most people think that his style and mood of song is somewhat depressing. I use his music to relax myself and allow myself time to think. The above scenario is now much rarer an occurrence. When you share your life with someone else, you don't often get the two vital requirements for such an event, happening at the same time. 1) An evening on your own, and 2) An awful day to put you in the right type of mood. If you were to walk in on someone, sitting in the dark, drinking wine and listening to sombre music, you'd
                      think that there was something very wrong, that they were upset or sad. You'd keep hassling them to tell you what was wrong, yet there would be no answer because there was actually, truthfully nothing wrong. You definitely need a night on your own for this. *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-* Leonard Norman Cohen was born in 1934, in Montreal, Canada. At the age of 17 he formed a country-western trio, which was called the 'Buckskin Boys'. It was at this time also, that Leonard began writing poetry. He became an active member of a local literary scene. His first collection of poetry was published in 1956, but is was his second collection, published in 1961, called 'The Spice Box of Earth', that earned him international acclaim. After a very short spell at university in New York, Leonard travelled around Europe before settling on the Greek island of Hydra with his partner Marianne Jenson and her son. Here he wrote another collection of poetry and two novels. He remained in Greece on and off for around seven years. But he couldn't be fulfilled there, and moved back to the States on his own, with the intention of pursuing a career in music. He appeared in the Newport Folk Festival in 1967, where he caught the eye of the 'legendary Columbia A&R man John Hammond'. Later that year, Columbia had helped Leonard release his first album, 'The Songs of Leonard Cohen'. It contained songs such as "Suzanne," "Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye," "So Long, Marianne," and "Sisters of Mercy" which lead to him being internationally recognised for his singing. *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-* Okay, some of Leonard's lyrics could be interpreted as being slightly morbid. "And who in her lonely slip, who by barbiturate, who in these realms
                      of love, who by something blunt, Who by avalanche, who by powder, who for his greed, who for his hunger, and who shall I say is calling." But it's about more than the lyrics for me. There is something magic about the music of Leonard Cohen. I find myself not even listening to the words. I slip away somewhere else. I think about what has happened that day to make me want to sit and listen and sip wine. I make decisions, I come to agreements with myself, I plan. After the problems of that day are resolved I go onto thinking about things on a wider scale. I resolve other issues in my mind. Leonard Cohen's music, combined with a moderate amount of alcohol, and a darkened room, are the only combination of things that give my mind this amount of freedom. *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-* Why did I decide to write about this as part of Jill Murphy's celebration? Simply because listening to the music of Leonard Cohen helps me to realise that "no matter how rotten life can be at times, there is always something to make you smile." "Jill Murphy asked me to write about one of my favourite things to help her celebrate her fourth anniversary of cancer-free living and to remind ourselves of all the nice things in the world. It takes more muscles to make a frown than a smile you know. If you'd like to join in, whether you've only just joined dooyoo, or you've been here ages, you're more than welcome. Just write about one of YOUR favourite things, make your title "A Favourite Thing: [your choice]" and include this paragraph at the foot of your opinion. And post before Friday, 9th August."

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                        29.06.2002 23:57
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                        It's lunchtime, you're hungry, and you need something quick. You walk through the doors of one of the popular fast food 'restaurants'. It's busy, there are lots of people around from all walks of life. Businessmen in suits, mothers with pushchairs and screaming children, men with big muscles and tattoos, adolescents with green hair and rings through every conceivable part of their body. You approach the counter and join one of the fast moving queues. No need to look at the menu - you already know what you want. Finally it's your turn and you are face-to-face with a kid who really looks like they ought to be at school. They flash an artificial smile at you, take your order, and try and make you 'go large'. You hand over your money, get given a brown paper bag, and it's all over within minutes, bar the eating. Your mouth is already watering, and you feel an inner happiness at the pleasure that you are about to experience. Yet, you feel no shame, no sense of remorse, no guilt that you are now a part of a worldwide massive exploitation of people, destruction of livelihoods and abuse of the earth and it's resources. Maybe you should feel guilty. You don't agree with me? That's okay - I wouldn't have thought twice about going into a McDonalds, Burger King, Kentucky Fried Chicken or any other fast food outlet, either. That was before I read 'Fast Food Nation' by Eric Schlosser. But, he's a journalist by profession, I hear you say. He's bound to write things that will grab your attention and make you want to read it. Surely a journalist wouldn't think twice about using a bit of artistic license, twisting the truth slightly - we all know what they're like. Maybe. But remember the McLibel case? It was where McDonalds sued members of the London Greenpeace group for handing out a leaflet accusing them of promoting Third World poverty, selling unhealthy
                        food, exploiting workers and children, torturing animals, and destroying the Amazon rain forest. Some of it was true, some of it was made up. McDonalds sued them - they don't like lies being told about the company. But despite heavy criticism about Fast Food Nation from McDonalds and other industries, Eric Schlosser claims that no one has yet been able to cite any errors within the text, and no one has managed to get the book taken off the shelves. This book is about proven facts, and that is why it is currently No.1 in the Non-Fiction charts in Britain's bookshops still (29/06/2002). Interested ? Curious ? Don't bother reading this book if you are expecting a gruesome tale about people spitting in burgers or mayonnaise turning out to be a pus filled abscess in someone's chicken burger. That's not what this book is about. Eric Schlosser starts off by documenting how fast food came about. What was it that caused the revolution? Why did it all change from one person making your entire meal (cooking the burger, toasting the bun, squirting the ketchup, adding the salad), to a conveyer belt system where one person just does the same task over and over again? Schlosser describes the origins of fast food, and how the necessity arose for quick, cheap food using cheap, unskilled labour. Advertising is explored in some depth too. How could we have reached the stage where Ronald McDonald is the most recognised figure by children in the entire world, second only to Santa Claus? Schlosser's research shows us how advertising campaigns are aimed directly at children. If you can get children to nag their parents to take them to McDonalds, then you've automatically got a whole range of adults through the door as well. There are warnings to be heeded in this book, too. American schools have started relying heavily on sponsorship from food companies, especially those that manufacture soft drinks. Und
                        er-funding in education has resulted in some schools displaying massive advertising hoardings in schools, (in their canteens, on their roofs, on their sports fields) to gain money from sponsorship. As a result, a significant number of teenage boys are now drinking five or more cans of soft drink per day. Each can (non-diet variety) contains around ten teaspoons of sugar, and we wonder why children are becoming obese. Another chapter tells us about the sort of people that are employed at fast food restaurants. Why are they almost always teenagers? You may not know about how they are treated, what training they do or don't get, and what happens if they try to join a union. With so many of our children being employed by these sort of outlets at some point in their life, even if only as a holiday job, there are things in this book that every parent will want to know. McDonalds prides itself in making its food taste the same all over the world. If you eat a BigMac in the UK, it should taste the same as a BigMac in Russia. Ever wondered why the chips that you make at home, or that you buy elsewhere, never have that unique high intensity taste that McDonalds fries do? In the US, up until 1990, the potatoes were fried in 7% cottonseed oil and 90& beef tallow. The fries taste good because they taste of beef! This unfortunately gave their fries more saturated beef fat per ounce than one of their hamburgers. Amid criticism about the amount of cholesterol this was allowing people to consume, McDonalds made some changes. This is when they had to start adding beef flavouring to the fries. In some countries this was natural flavouring (i.e. the flavour actually originates from an animal), while in other countries, like India and the UK, the flavourings contain no animal product (because of the large Hindu communities). But in Canada, Japan, Mexico and Australia, the fries are STILL cooked in beef tallow, according to Schlosser's hi
                        ghly researched book. Do the vegetarians in these countries realise what they are eating when they order a portion of fries? Are you a vegetarian, or a Hindu who has unwittingly been subjected to eating fries cooked in beef tallow? You may want to read this book for more details. A large portion of the book is dedicated to the meat industry. This was one of the most disturbing parts for me. The way traditional ranchers have been treated by the big boys in the meat industry is almost unbelievable. But it gets worse. The abuse of unskilled, often illegal, immigrants in abattoirs is scandalous. Schlosser uncovers hidden truths about their treatment, the high injury and even death rate of such workers, and the way that atrocities are covered up. The book was initially written for an American reader, and as such it is the US system that is under scrutiny. But it doesn't matter where these events are happening in the world, they simply shouldn't be allowed to continue. You need to read this book to believe it. Did you realise that a typical McDonald's burger contains meat from around 100 different animals?! Schlosser's book is extremely well written. This is not scare mongering, nor is it an anti-McDonald's crusade. Other fast food companies are also discussed, although McDonalds, being the largest and most widespread, features much more significantly. Schlosser writes in a very matter-of-fact style. He doesn't pour out his thoughts and emotions to the reader, he simply tells it as it is. There are interviews with people who find themselves in some of the predicaments that he describes. Following the 289 pages of main text there is a 64 page section entitled 'Notes'. Here, you will find a list, organised by page number, of claims and statements, followed by the source that the information was taken from. Eric Schlosser is careful to back up everything he says in the book
                        with hard evidence. If you find something hard to believe, you only have to flick to the back of the book, and he explains how he came to a certain conclusion, or how he calculated a figure that he quotes. How has this book affected me? Well, I've always known that McDonalds, Burger King, et al., serve so-called 'junk food'. I've always known that it is bad for you (which is why I find it ironic that there's a Burger King inside the hospital that I currently work at!). But, at the same time, I've always realised that it tastes bloody nice! (some of you may not agree with that last statement!) However, after reading Schlosser's book, I will no longer be a part of the culture that propagates such destruction and misery. To quote the back cover of the book; "Britain eats more fast food than any other country in Europe. It looks good, tastes good, and it's cheap. But the real cost never appears on the menu." (The paperback version of this book sells for £6.99 in high street retailers, and is published by Penguin books.)

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                          26.06.2002 05:11
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                          After finishing a couple of books that I had taken on holiday with me, I was forced to turn to the reading material that my girlfriend had taken. I wasn't expecting to enjoy it at all, as she normally likes girly books like those written by Maeve Binchy. So, that is how I came to read John O'Farrell's 'The Best A Man Can Get'. The front page shows a goldfish jumping from one fish tank, across the skyline of London (including the River Thames), and towards another fish tank on the other side. There is a quote by India Knight on the cover saying 'Howlingly funny, madly well-written, ruthlessly observed' - which seems like an overuse of adverbs to me, and besides, I don't even know who this India Knight person is. The book is about an advertisement jingle writer called Michael Adams, who is leading a double life. His family home is in North London, where he lives with his wife and two small children. Michael wasn't ready to have children, and he finds them not only exhausting work, but 'boring'. Don't get him wrong though, he loves them dearly, but he wasn't ready to sacrifice his life by letting a baby and a toddler take over his world. He resents the way that his wife seems to spend every minute thinking about their children, and doesn't appear to have any time left for him. Yet when he tries to get involved in their care, he is made to feel like a failure. He doesn't seem to be able to get anything right from mixing up the baby's milk (he should have used a knife to level off the powder in the measuring spoon!) to the angle that he holds the baby's bottle at. There's always something that his wife is moaning at him for. So, as his wife seems to be coping so well on her own, and he is being made to feel miserable, Michael thinks that he should spend some time away from his family home, in the interests of his marriage, of course. Michael's wife thinks tha
                          t the room he rents in a South London flat is purely used as studio. A place where he stores his instruments and recording equipment, and spends hours working on various projects - he is, after all, a musician. In fact, Michael is working so hard, and such long hours, that sometimes he has to sleep over, and won't go home for a few days. In truth, he is doing as little work as possible, just enough to get by, while living a relaxing life with three other blokes in their late twenties. He sleeps in until the afternoon, plays computer games and trivia quizzes, and escapes from the traumas of a crying baby in the middle of the night. Michael Adams has one life north of the river, and one life to the south. Just a few miles apart, yet a whole different world. Inevitably his double life is exposed, and the consequences are far reaching. This book is a supposed to be a comedy. It is full of humour, crammed onto every page almost. How funny you find it may well depend upon your sex. My girlfriend found it hilarious and was laughing out loud in places (very embarrassing when you're lying out by the pool!). From a woman's perspective, she found it an amusing look at how men think and feel. John O'Farrell writes it in a manner whereby Michael seems to be making a joke out of some of the 'normal' behaviour traits of men. Maybe I personally could relate too well to the shortcomings of men, but I found myself despairing at some of the humour. I felt that the author had gone for an all or nothing response. You were either going to find the jokes hilariously funny, or you would grimace at what were some appallingly poor punchlines. Unfortunately, I found myself doing the latter all too often. Humour however, is the big selling point of this book. The back cover has quotes from reviews by The Mirror, The Times, Literary Review and India Knight (again!) singing the praises of the humour that John O'Farrell u
                          ses. Of course, what people find funny is very subjective, and you and I will probably differ. One of the funniest moments early on in the book is when Michael Adams is portraying his relationship with his wife before his children were born; "Once Catherine and I went on holiday with another couple, and on the last night we heard them nonchalantly chatting about us through the wall. They were saying they could never be married to anyone as peculiar as Catherine or me. They thought that our relationship was completely weird. Then we heard her muffled voice saying, 'Are you coming to bed or what, because this clingfilm's making my tits sweat.' And then we think he said, 'All right. Hang on, the zip's stuck on my wetsuit.' Every marriage is bizarre if you look under the surface." The character of Michael Adams is portrayed well, and you really feel like to get you know what he is about and why. This is exceedingly important as it is written in a narrative style, but it does mean that other characters do not get described so well. This results in you feeling that you don't really have a good insight into Catherine (Michael's wife). Perhaps this is inevitable. The story line is simple and uncomplicated initially, and the humour occurs in abundance. Towards the end, after Michael is exposed, the humour lessens, as the plot thickens. And as Michael has to learn his lesson in life, it seems like the reader is trying to be educated, too. There are some unexpected twists at the end which help to maintain interest. All in all, I felt that this book was more suited for the female of the species. It will give them a chance to chuckle and nod in agreement at some of the behaviour traits of men. But to any chaps that buy the book for their better halves, then it is also worth a read once they've finished with it.

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                          • myvoice.co.uk / Internet Site / 0 Readings / 50 Ratings
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                            16.06.2002 20:19
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                            MyVoice (www.myvoice.co.uk) is an ideal way to earn an extra few pence on the net, for not doing very much at all. It is basically a site that invites you to take regular polls, which earn you MyVoice Points. *** The Polls *** These are very short (they can be only 1 question long!) and will not take more than a minute to do. According to the length, you will earn between 5 and 25 points. The topics of the polls are varied. They may be on products, services or even topical issues. They do not require much thought, and no writing is required. All you have to do is select an answer by clicking in the circle next to it. Recent polls include: Summer holidays - questions about where you are going, when, and how you are travelling there. To text or not to text - finding out how much you use SMS on your mobile, and for what purpose. Male cancer awareness month - assessing how much you know about male cancers and their treatment. *** MyVoice Points *** You can, apparently earn points in other ways than just doing polls. The MyVoice site says that it tries to match your profile to research surveys, and then invites you to take part in them. These commercial research surveys can earn you between 100 and 500 MyVoice Points. Personally I have never been invited to take part in any of these. 1 MyVoice Point = 1 pence. You can cash out once your account reaches 2000 points for a £20 gift voucher. Current gift vouchers available include: Debenhams, Amazon.co.uk, Asda, Marks & Spencer, Boots, Dixons, Virgin Megastore, WH Smiths, Tesco stores, Sainsbury stores, House of Fraser, Choice vouchers (valid in Argos, Woolworths, HMV, Dolcis, Mothercare, BHS, JJB Sports, H. Samuel) and Leisure Vouchers (valid in Pizza Hut, TGI Friday's, Thresher, Victoria Wine Shops, Marriott Hotels, David Lloyd centres). Alternatively, you can donate your MyVoice points to charity once you have 1000.
                            The site is frequently updated with polls, and there are additions at least once a week. You should treat this site as an interesting bit of fun, that you may earn some pocket money from. It is often quite fascinating to see the current poll results (which are displayed automatically after you submit your answers) and see how they compare to your own views. You aren't going to get rich from taking part. By my estimation, it will take about a year to reach the £20 voucher payout mark if you just do the polls. But don't fear, as people HAVE actually been paid by this site. Every poll that you take also earns you an entry into that month's competition. Prizes can have values of up to £1000, so it's well worth doing just as a competition site! *** Forums *** There is a forum section on the website which allows discussion based around the polls. I have never taken part, but it seems to be quite well frequented, even if MyVoice do seem a little slow at updating the topic categories. *** The Site *** The site itself is pleasing to use. It contains NO adverts, and is arranged well. A series of drop down menus across the top of the screen allow for easy navigation, and the site is very quick to load. *** Summary *** Earn a few pence a week for taking polls. A fast loading site, with extremely quick, easy to take polls. No advertising. No spam emails sent to you. Chances to win prizes, too, and to take part in topical discussions. A fun little site.

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                              10.06.2002 01:55
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                              Make no mistake about it - Archers is a girl's drink, and you won't catch me drinking it in a public place (anymore). But it's still a great drink to have lying around the house. Remember those early days of alcohol drinking? Vodka tasted vile and you had to dilute it so much you were almost drinking a plain coke, beer tasted foul and made you want to vomit, and cider was just bearable but made you bloated and belching after one pint. That's when Archers was acceptable as a boys drink (amongst your peers), and that was when I was a regular 'user' of this substance. Nowadays, the only reason I've got a bottle at home is for those 'cocktail moments'. I've just gone and dug out my half full bottle, blown off all the dusk and read the back. It says, "Best consumed within 9 months of opening' - oops, mine's been open for about 4 years. I'm sure it'll still be fine. For anyone who doesn't know what Archers is, it's a Peach Schnapps drink. The term schnapps used to apply to certain very strong (50% or more) and powerful drinks. It is only relatively recently that modern fruit flavour schnapps have appeared. They have a much lower alcohol content and contain a lot of sugar. Archers is a colourless, somewhat thick and syrupy drink. In fact, mix it with lemonade (which is quite a tasty and popular combination) and you can positively see the oily globules floating around in your drink. The peach flavour is pleasant and not overpowering, and there is a nice smell to it. The beauty about Archers is that it tastes like a soft drink (when combined with a mixer), but it contains 23% alcohol. Archers comes in a white coloured semi-opaque glass bottle. You can see the liquid level through the glass, but nothing else. The front of the bottle reads: 'G.W. Archer & Co. was inspired by the traditions of fruit schnapps in Europe to combine the clean, crisp edge of
                              the finest schnapps with the rich taste and aroma of fresh peaches to create a unique and delicious taste experience' - which translated into everyday English means 'it's alcoholic and it tastes & smells good', all of which I agree with. There is a multitude of ways to drink Archers - all of them taste better when chilled with ice. You can drink it neat (yum), or mixed with lemonade (yum), orange juice (yuk), tonic water (yuk), or champagne (mmmm, sounds okay, but never tried this). If you are planning on using it as your main 'getting drunk' drink, then you'll probably need to drink an awful lot before you start to feel the effects (if you're a regular alcohol drinker, that is), and I defy you to drink a lot of neat Archers - it is very sweet and becomes very sickly. Archers also makes up an important constituent in many cocktails. One of my particular favourites, which we used to make for people's house parties, when I was a student, is called 'WOO WOO'. You will need to mix: 1 bottle of Archers 1 bottle of Vodka 1 carton of Cranberry Juice 1 bottle of Lemonade (dilute to taste). Simple, but very nice, and the vodka taste is masked by the Archers and cranberry flavours. You can add some chopped pieces of fresh fruit to this mix, if you feel in that sort of mood. A 70cl bottle will set you back £9.59 in Tesco. Be warned though, cheap substitutes do not taste nearly as good, so it's well worth sticking to Archers. The www.archers.com web site doesn't really contain any info about the drink, but has features such as; 'organising a get together with friends', photos from Archers promotions around the country, competitions and horoscopes. So, all in all, Archers has a bit of girly reputation and is very sweet and sickly if you drink too much neat, but it a useful addition to your drinks cabinet.

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                              • Chocolate in General / Recipe / 0 Readings / 48 Ratings
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                                05.06.2002 02:59
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                                It's that time of year, with Father's Day approaching, when Toblerone are sold with a special sleeve that reads 'To My Dad' in the same style font as the underlying Toblerone logo. A cute sales ploy, and one that surely increases their sales. Indeed with the 400g variety currently being on offer at Sainsbury's it seemed like an ideal gift for me and my girlfriend to buy for our fathers. Bad idea to buy them before the double bank holiday weekend, though. There now lies two empty Toblerone boxes on the floor, with a total of 800g less chocolate inside them. Toblerone (original), for anyone who doen't know, is a Swiss milk chocolate, with honey and almond nougat. The nougat is special in Toblerone because it has a kind of crunchy, sweet and sticky quality about it. It gets stuck in your teeth, and leaves you with an urge to eat more. The urge is only overcome either when the sickly sweet chocolate becomes too much for you, and you are on the verge on vomiting, or the Toblerone bar runs out. One of the big selling factors, which has made it popular over many years, is that it is one of the few chocolate bars which is triangular in shape. It comes in a long bar of triangular pieces, joined along the base, which you break off to leave you with indiviual triangular portions. **- History of Toblerone -** In 1867, Jean Tobler opened his first store in Bern, Switzerland. By 1899, there was such a demand for Tobler's products that he opened his own factory with his sons, and formed the "Fabrique de Chocolat Berne, Tobler & Cie". It wasn't until 1908 that Toblerone was born. One of Jean Tobler's sons (Theodor), and the production manager, together came up with the unique recipe and triangular shape. The word 'torrone' is Italian for honey-almond nougat, and they incorporated this word with Tobler to come up with Toblerone. In 1909, Toblerone became the
                                first chocolate to be patented with honey and almonds. Over the years, the logo on the Toblerone bar has changed from an eagle, to a bear (Bern's heraldic symbol), back to an eagle, then the Matterhorn. Today, you can see the Matterhorn with a cleverly disguised bear, on the front of the box. 1969, and the dark chocolate Toblerone in a black box becomes available for the first time. This is followed in 1973 by the white chocolate variety in a white box. It wasn't until 1996 that the first 'filled' Toblerone bar became available, in a blue and white box (which strangely I've never tried - that'll be my next purchase I think!). For more information on Toblerone, you can go to www.toblerone.com . You will also find some great recipes on the site which incorporate Toblerone. These include Chocolate Mousse, White Mousse, Truffles and Fondue ideas. Alternatively, if you live in the UK you can freephone 0808 1000 757, or you can email toblerone@krafteurope.com . Yes, that's right 'kraft' - rather disturbingly I've just seen the Kraft logo on the box, too. I've always associated them with making cheese, not chocolate!! It seems that it's kind of the done thing on dooyoo to list the ingredients, so here goes: sugar, cocoa butter, whole milk powder, cocoa mass, lactose, honey (3%), milk fat, almonds (1.6%), emulsifier (soya Lecithin), glusoce syrup, egg white, flavouring (vanillin). Milk chocolate contains: Cocoa Solids (28% minimum), Milk Solids (14% minimum). And now in French: sucre, beurre de cacao... just kidding! Prices: 100g Toblerone = £0.95 200g Toblerone = £1.79 400g Toblerone = £2.38 So, why not treat your Dad (or yourself) to a tasty triangular Toblerone this Father's Day?!!

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                                  02.06.2002 02:13
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                                  If you are thinking of visiting the superb Eden Project near St Austell, Cornwall, and need accommodation (it's a 4 and a half hour drive from London), then you should visit 'Keith's Eden Project Web Site'. It's an unofficial site, but it is very informative and has a section on places to stay close to the attraction. I found a little Bed and Breakfast called 'Lynnwood' on page two of that section of his site: http://www.eden-project.co.uk/places-to-stay2.htm Lynnwood is a large bungalow, set in ten acres of woodland and landscaped gardens. There are bunny rabbits running around all over the place! It is located just off the A390 in a valley, and is only 3 miles from the Eden Project, which amounts to a 5-10 minute drive, and is situated 1/4 mile from the village of Lanlivery. The property is owned by Amanda and Martin Penk. It is their family home, which they also run as a B&B offering three rooms. There is one double room with ensuite bathroom, tv, and coffee making facilities. The other two rooms (a double and a twin) have their own shared bathroom, and a small communal sitting area outside the rooms with tv and drink-making facilities. It is a well presented, large property with plenty of on-site parking. The rooms and bathroom are clean and modern, and the owners are polite and helpful. Breakfast, which can be served at a mutually agreeable time, takes place at tables located in a corner of the family's living room. You can help yourself to a range of cereals and orange juice. On the day I stayed, the English breakfast which followed consisted of a fried egg, one sausage, two rashers of bacon, and a grilled tomato, with tea or coffee. All were well cooked and tasted good. Finally, as much wholemeal toast as you wanted, with real butter, strawberry jam and marmalade. All very pleasing and palatable. The evening meal that we had the night before was in the village of Lanliv
                                  ery, just 1/4 mile away, at The Crown Inn. It is a superb establishment that serves wonderful food. Being literally a 1-2 minute drive away it is ideal after you arrive tired from many hours of travelling. Apparently it is advisable to pre-book, and Mr and Mrs Penk will do this for you if you request so. Lynnwood would be impossible to find without good directions from the A390, and happily the Penks will send, or email, you a set which appear complex, but make good sense when you are on the roads! The price for Bed & Breakfast is £20 per person, per night for a single night, or £17.50 for consecutive nights. (No difference in price despite which room you end up with.) You can make bookings by calling 01208 872326, faxing 01208 872326, or by emailing martin@penkm.freeserve.co.uk . Postal address is: LYNNWOOD, LANLIVERY, BODMIN, CORNWALL. PL305BX. So, would I stay there again? Well, strangely no, I wouldn't. This is no reflection on the owners, or the accommodation. In fact, I think it is excellent value, and in a superb location. The reason is that I just felt uncomfortable staying in the family home of people I didn't know. It didn't feel like a B&B, it felt like you were staying as houseguests of these people. Their children were around, there were unfinished DIY jobs around you, you ate breakfast in a corner of their personal lounge. Plus, you weren't given a key as the door remains unlocked, or someone will open it for you if you come back late. Maybe I'm being fussy, and this sort of feel is what some of you are after. However, I want to stay somewhere where the guest quarters are entirely separate, and it feels like a business, not where you feel like you are invading someone else's personal space. Having said all that, if you're just spending one night as a stop-over while visiting the Eden Project, you'd be hard pushed to find somewhere as ideally located and cheap,
                                  offering good clean accommodation at excellent value for money. Oh, and by the way, the Eden Project is absolutely fabulous - well worth a visit.

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