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The One Gentleman is the 2010 edition of the original "The One" perfume which was released in 2008. It is an understated scent aimed - as the name suggests - at the more sophisticated end of the consumer market. Personally I was pleasantly surprised with the initial simple tones of wood, patchouli with gingery notes on top of a warm amber. It is a woody spicy oriental scent which I found reminded me of either Gucci Envy or Givenchy Gentleman. Overall I like the scent very much, though I have found it more suited to spring or autumn nights with the longevity on a hot summers day being far from perfect - though that could just be me. The One Gentleman is available in 30, 50 and 100ml EDT in the same shaped bottle as the original scent as well as in a gift box containing perfumed body wash. Overall I would give the scent 8/10
Fuel is a strangely ambitious project for a driving game. The developer has built a vast open space set in a post apocalyptic world where Fuel is the commodity for everything. The player can either free roam at will through a variety of fields, woodlands, mountains and coastlines driving between basecamps where different races are available. The reward for winning is fuel which may be used to purchase additional items. Racing is fundamentally the point of the game and this is a racer that is certainly like no other. There are a myriad of vehicles to drive and the point of the race is predominantly to get through a serious of checkpoints whilst choosing anyway you like to get there. It is this that proves to be both the best and worst parts of the game. The concept is a great one as you plot your way through abandoned farms, up and over valleys and through dense woodland to reach the checkpoints first. The ai however does tend to stick to the roads which results in a somewhat stunted challenge as you will probably never see an opponent vehicle which does lessen the excitement. The graphics are capable without being special and the same could be said of the controls. The music is the usual heavy affair but despite the grand plan of a ginormous race area the game just seems eternally empty with actually very little to do. Overall this is a steady title which is a good idea but just doesn't quite fulfill its grandiose claims.
I for one really enjoyed Plunkett & Macleane although from what I understand it did very little business in movie theaters and disappeared quickly to DVD. Thank goodness however that at least a CD was released for this underrated film. If you have heard any of Armstrong's other works such as The Bone Collector or more recently The Incredible Hulk. The album begins with some heavenly choral music similar to the brilliant finale from The Bone Collector. The track "Ball" wonderfully combines "classical" and "pop" sounds and simply put it really works. If you have never seen the movie or heard the album I would be very surprised if you had not heard the track entitled "Escape". This track is a heavily used action cue in trailers and adverts alike and for very good reason. In this one single track all the elements of the score are drawn together - the epic choir, the orchestra, and the driving electronic beat - to create a cue which demands use of the "repeat" button. Overall I believe Plunkett & Macleane is one of the most surprisingly original and listenable soundtracks I have heard and it is one that has regular use in my Spotify account. Very highly recommended.
The first thing I need to state in this review is that I was fortunate enough to snap up this cleaner for £60, the current sale price in most stores seems to be around the £90 mark. The cleaner itself seems relatively well built and I can personally vouch for the fact that it can take a tumble down the stairs without becoming damaged (can't say the same for the walls unfortunately!). It isn't the easiest to carry up and down stairs, it has a large base which depending on the design of your stairwell may not fit on a single step. However, the cable supplied with the cleaner should be more than adequate to stretch far enough to allow the cleaner to be used on stairs without having to unplug the machine half way up. You get the usual attachments and the pipe is long enough to allow these to be used without too much effort. They do not seem to sit on the unit as well as they might though and mine are stored away from the machine due to them constantly falling from it everytime I try to use it. I cannot stress enough what a beast this vacuum is - big, bold, noisy and powerful. The suction is very good and though I don't have a pet, I imagine rogue sock fluff is more than comparable and the cleaner has no problems in yanking it free from the carpet in my home. The vacuum does seem less comfortable on hard floors with debris often seemingly blown around the floor from what seems to be a giant jet engine within the base unit. Emptying the belly of the beast is not as straight forward as it might have been. The plastic bucket that you will soon see filling up with a myriad of muck from your carpet - complementing the powerful suction - is a sturdy thick plastic and will not break easily, however, it does seem to require a certain knack to twist on and off and just doesn't seem to sit quite right. My previous vacuum cleaner was a Dyson and ignoring the price I would say that the Dyson was overall a better design and more easy to use although the suction power of the two are very similar. The Dyson just had something that the Vax does not, although for an extra £140 I suppose you could expect that. So to summarise the Vax is a powerhouse of a machine that will rip anything free of your carpet without problem. But it is so much of a powerhouse that you may find the noise annoying and the weight and bulkyness real turn offs. This is why at the start of my review I mentioned the price I paid. For £60 this is probably one of the best cleaners available, however, paying closer to the hundred mark I do not believe I could recommend the model over all others available. Yes it is still cheaper than a Dyson but yes it also fails in one of the fundamental needs of a vacuum cleaner which is surely for it to be manoueverable and easy to carry.
When my last land line handset finally bit the dust I toyed with two questions. Firstly, with free minutes on a mobile phone do I even need a land line and secondly, surely a phone is a phone, what are you exactly going to get for paying a little more? Deciding I might as well have a land line handset as it came free with my broadband package I opted for a cheap but (so I thought) reasonably branded BT handset. Soon I discovered that yes there can be many flaws with poor designed and cheaper handsets. It might be my funny shaped head (which I don't think is too funny shaped) or it might be the rubbish The BT handset gave me problem after problem, from line drops to rubbish battery life and awkward controls. In fact it caused me so much grief that when I happened to have to use a friends Panasonic set I decided to replace mine the very next day. This handset is absolutely faultless in every way. The set feels good, more expensive than my BT the buttons work as they should, the menu is intuitive and easy to set up. I actually found the manual more difficult to understand than just messing around with the handsets themselves. One of the best aspects is that having loaded the memory with all your required numbers, the whole lot can be transmitted to the second phone at the touch of a button. The reception is crystal clear and can be increased in volume to suit the user as can the volume of the ringtone on both the base station and phone. One feature that I found very useful is that you can mute the ringtone on either the base station or phone (no more running to an empty base station when the phone is lying on the coffee table!). There are also a wide range of ring tones built in. Battery life is far better than anything I have ever been used to (if like me you are notoriously bad at replacing the handset on the charging unit). The answerphone can be controlled directly from the base station or from the individual instruments but although the built in message is a bit rubbish although you can obviously easily replaced it with your own recording. Range of the handsets is as advertised, I have never had any issues with clarity even at a greater distance away from the receiver. The phones display is extremely clear and although the buttons are more responsive I have less problems where they are pressed by accident during a call due to the overall better design of the handset. Panasonic might be a name you know better from televisions and audio equipment but for me they have far surpassed BT with this range of handsets. I would sincerely recommend that if you are toying over whether an extra £10-£15 is really worth the extra money to seriously pay it. You will not regret it.
Mass Effect Ascension by Drew Karpyshyn takes place shortly after the attack of the Reaper Sovereign and his allies Saren and the Geth. Acting as filler between the games Mass Effect 1 and 2, the novel tells of how The Illusive Man, the leader of the rogue, xenophobic organization called Cerberus, watches on as he plots Cerberus' next move. For those who have already played Mass Effect 2, the exploits and shady dealings of Cerberus and the Illusive Man will come as no surprise but for others who wish to devour as much knowledge of the Mass Effect Universe before playing the novel will provide a great introduction. Karpyshyn writes in a very easy style, this isn't The Game of Thrones but it is an easy read which can be devoured in a few sittings. The author is an experienced sci-fi author having penned novels in the Star Wars extended universe, several other video game franchises and of course the previous Mass Effect novel Revelation (which should be read first). The plot of the novel frequently points to that of the first two Mass Effect video games, Mass Effect: Revelation introduced the character Kahlee Sanders, a scientist on the run for her part in illegal AI research, and a character who became very important to Captain Anderson himself. One of the most talked about points of the Mass Effect games were the multiple plot endings, to explain in full how Mr Karpyshyn deals with these would constitue a spoiler but he does so simply without closing any of the doors the player of the game may have experienced. Although you will not need to read the novels to understand the games, in my opinion the Mass Effect universe is one of the best sci-fi galaxies recently created and the books do everything to make it even better. Ascension is a good read - admittedly I enjoyed the plot of Revelation more but overall this is a decent action novel which should appeal to all fans of the game.
I have been a customer of HSBC for over one year, changing my main banks from NatWest and Lloyds TSB due to the way I am paid via my workplace. I admit that it wasn't my choice to change banks although being an on line banking customer who uses hardly any advanced features of a bank I imagined I would notice little difference. Customer service ways I have had no problems. The branch staff are always helpful, possibly more so than I am used to experiencing. Branch opening hours are normal and I have never suffered from any inaccessibility to my banking needs - apart from one massive flaw. NatWest have an Iphone app which is absolutely streets ahead of HSBC's. In fact HSBC have only very recently launched an app that can show you your balance and a mini statement. For many this may not sound like a massive problem however, when you are constantly on the move like I am, I use either my Iphone or Ipad to keep in touch with my accounts. Yes the normal website can be accessed but this too is more clunky than it needs to be forcing you to carry a keypad around at all times even if you just want a balance check. I imagine much of it comes down to security but for me as a general user who needs mobile access to pay bills and transfer money, I'm sorry but at the moment HSBC just do not cut it.