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I've always ordered from the Hackney branch, and the service over the phone and in person was great. Delivery in 20-30 minutes, friendly at the branch, polite on the phone, free delivery as promised, and took my money after delivery. Unfortunately, the Stoke Newington branch was the complete opposite...
Out of sheer curiosity, I decided to try the other branch the website suggested-Stoke Newington...Big mistake. Below is a copy of the email I just sent their head office:
"I just placed an order and the delivery man says I am too far away. The website says I am within 1-2 miles, but he says I am three miles away. Your website says the order can be cancelled within 30 minutes (he called within five minutes of me ordering), but he says he can't refund it. He said only the Head Office can refund it. He said he can deliver if he's paid £3, but the email says delivery is free.
Please give me a full refund. He kept talking about having too many orders, so I believe that is the real reason. As a happy customer for many years, I am very disappointed in being pushed to pay for something I was told was free. Even worse, the money left my account immediately. That's never happened before. Knowing they had too many orders, and knowing they saw my address beforehand, I feel as though I've been scammed to get extra money from deliveries.
The man called from (phone no.) at 15:21. He sounded like he was outside. I called him back for a refund (I was advised to by the Hackney branch, who the man told me to transfer the order to). That's when he said he'd deliver for a £3 charge, and started sounding aggressive, cutting me off when I spoke. The man was from the Stoke Newington branch."
I have emailed the head office and will update this page if I don't get a full refund ASAP.
I looked around at other websites and only one was around the same price. It was around 50p cheaper, but the overall website just didn't look anywhere near as professional as Mr Memory. The other websites were charging TWICE as much, so I didn't give them another thought. Again, their business front didn't look as impressive.
I'm not sure if paying the extra 90p for 'priority' 1st class service was worth it, but it wasn't a HUGE amount, so I'm not bitter. I just wanted the memory ASAP.
The memory came in a grey envelope. Inside was a brown envelope and inside that were the memory slots in two separate packets (I'd ordered two). Inside one was a brief instructions leaflet. It was a nice touch I didn't expect.
Only downer is being asked to leave a review on a website that creates a profile without telling you....NOT DOOYOO, so don't worry. That website gave me trouble when I posted a negative review about another company, so I won't be going there again.
Anyway, I'll definitely be using this service again. Everything from confirming I had the right memory to the timely arrival in the post was 1st class from start to finish.
I haven't posted on here in a long time, but I HAD to come back after my recent experience. Please note that this review also applies to DIRECT CHEMIST because they are the same company acting separately. Check their phone numbers, signing in to one signs you in to the other, and ordering from one gets you emails from both!
My mum's leg is hurting, so I ordered from DIRECT CHEMIST. The prices were very cheap, but we went for it - mistake! They sent an email confirmation and I thought that was it...Around fifteen minutes later, they sent an email saying the product was out of stock. Fair enough, there was a warning in the description. However, they almost said if you paid by VISA, no money was taken...Lie. I paid by VISA and when I logged in after the cancellation email, the money was already gone.
It's been almost a week and the money still isn't back in my account. Someone at the company says she can confirm that the money was not taken, but she only confirmed this after I emailed them to complain about my account still saying ORDER RECEIVED - they say they aim to despatch right away, so why didn't they update my account the same day? Plus, my bank balance still shows that no refund has been made. Basically, she lied.
Honestly, it was too good to be true. The product we wanted was £13. DIRECT CHEMIST offered it for 50p each. I just checked and the product is STILL FOR SALE! They said it was discontinued, so why are they still accepting orders? I looked online and found others they're doing this too. I won't go down without a fight.
If you doubt my review, go online and do a proper search. Their glowing positive reviews are by people with empty profiles, people who posted a review ONCE (the positive CHEMIST DIRECT review). I posted a review on another review site that has the word TRUST in it...Now they're demanding I provide proof of a transaction. My review was pulled while positive reviews remain.
PLEASE don't deal with this company or their mirror site DIRECT CHEMIST. It's disgusting how major newspapers and websites like MoneySavingExpert gave this business such a high rating, but have yet to update their views. Don't let CHEMIST DIRECT or DIRECT CHEMIST take your money!
Argos has been around for many, many years, so it was only natural that it would expand and establish an online presence. I was happy buying from other stores online, so I decided to see what Argos had to offer, and whether it was worth ditching the stores for good.
It is a nice touch when the receipt supplied in Argos stores tells you how long you have to wait. However, the 5 minutes indicated on the receipt can translate into 10 minutes in real life. Then you see other people going up before you, even though, based on their number in the queue, your product should have arrived first.
The obvious side of shopping online is that there are no more queues. Once you have you credit or debit card and the product is in stock, its yours. Now all you have to do is wait until it arrives at your door. Of course, the downside is that you need to be home when it arrives. Also, Argos does not deliver for free. It costs £5.95 to deliver your order no matter how many items (big or small) that you order. This is great if you are ordering many, many huge products that you could not bring home. One time I did consider ordering two medium sized products, and was delighted to see that they were being offered for a cheaper price online. However, when the delivery charge was included the total cost was greater than if I went to the store. In the end, I went to the store. It was more effort, yes, but for a student every little helps. I got some good exercise lugging the products home and saved ten pounds. This is just to remind you to consider whether the delivery charge is worth it. Just because the product is cheaper online, it doesn't mean that the total cost will be cheaper too.
Another great side of shopping online is that you can check whether the product is in stock. It is such a waste of time when you arrive at the store, use the machine to check the product's details, and discover that someone has already taken the last one. The shop assistants can tell you where the product is in stock, but then you have travel all the way there.
I do not like the reviews under each product. The danger with online reviews is that you can never tell whether the people are real, or employees from the company or a competitor. Some Argos reviews look and sound completely legitimate. They summarise the good and bad points the product has, so you can make a good decision. Others seem ridiculously upbeat. If the reviews under each product seem too one sided then you can easily do more research on other websites. If you are at the Argos store then you might feel obligated or pushed into buying the product otherwise the journey was a waste of time. At least buying online means that you can do thorough research on websites like dooyoo!
The website itself is set out very well. Important information like delivery charges, refund information (30 days to return the product in a still sealed, unused, saleable condition), Argos's other services like insurance, the terms and conditions, etc is at the bottom of the screen. Other websites I have visited have buried this information like it is top secret, so I appreciate that Argos has it right there in clear view. The product categories used in the book are also used on the website. Even better, hovering the mouse pointer over the category heading brings up a more in depth list. For instance, Home Entertainment brings up more categories like Televisions, DJ Equipment, Ebook readers, iPods, etc.
Online websites like Argos allow you to sign up. The good side of this is that your details will be saved on their system, so there is no need to input your name, address, and payment details every time you buy online. The downside is that you cannot buy any products without signing up with Argos first. A lot of websites seem to do this, but it is annoying to have to give them extra information like your email address just to order their products. This extra information is usually so they can email to say when your product will arrive.
I like Argos's online store, but not when the total cost outweighs going to the store. For some big products that would require too much effort to bring home, the website is a blessing. For smaller products, I feel that the bus or train fare would be cheaper than the delivery charge. If you prefer to buy in store, so you can check the product there and then instead of having to return them through the website (for free), I understand. However, you should definitely take advantage of the website's ability to check that your product is in stock before visiting the store. It will save you time and money.
If you have not seen the first film, The Descent, then I suggest that you do. It is MUCH better than this one. Anyway, I am about to ruin the ending of the first film, so if you want to see it then skip the rest of this paragraph or return to read this review after seeing the first movie. The Descent is about a group of female friends who descend into a cave, unaware that it is inhabited by Crawlers. Crawlers look like naked human beings, have teeth sharp enough to tear skin, and can climb near horizontal walls. One by one the group is killed off until only two best friends, Sarah and Juno, are left behind. Close to the exit, Sarah injures Juno so she (Sarah) can escape. This is because Juno slept with her husband and also sacrificed one of their friends in the cave.
In The Descent 2, Sarah is out of the cave and quickly taken to a hospital. A search party decides to return to the cave. The Sheriff suspects that Sarah killed her friends, so he insists on taking her with them. She has lost her memory because of the traumatic experience, so she goes with them. Inside the cave, the group is eventually separated by cave ins and stupidity. Then clues as to what happened to the previous group begin to pop up...but it's too late.
I was SO excited about seeing this film. The first one was a great watch, and we were glad to own it on DVD. I would gladly watch the first film time and time again. The second tried to imitate the first film, which is to be expected in a sequel of something so great. Unfortunately, the action-packed fight to survive only began halfway through the film. the first film only took around fifteen to twenty minutes to start the battle against the Crawlers, but The Descent 2 took forty-five for anything special to start happening. Until then, there was too much talking, accusations being thrown, and looking for clues when they had already found one dead body. You would think that finding a body, ripped apart and covered in blood, would be reason enough to turn back and call for back-up OR return with guns. Instead the group plods on.
The films have gore, so if that is not your sort of thing then don't watch. The gore happens when the Crawlers kill. This is mostly throats being bitten, so the victim bleeds to death. There is one decapitation scene and someone's stomach is torn open. In the first film the gore was there when it 'needed' to be, and the blood looked pretty real. In The Descent 2, the blood looks like ketchup- light red and messy. I don't understand why the blood looks less realistic than last time when this film's budget is twice the size of the last one.
The characters make some VERY stupid decisions. I understand that nobody is perfect, and if the characters made no mistakes then the film would be over much sooner and less enjoyable. Still, there were times when I was so frustrated. If your friend sacrificed her life for you, would you sit around crying until a Crawler arrives to kill you too? If you need to climb around, would you attach yourself to someone else by the wrists? If you know that Crawlers are capable of leaving the cave, would you make a phone call close to the entrance or keep running and running and running?
The actors are good, but I felt that the actress playing Juno tried too hard to look tough and mad at Sarah. I understand that being in the cave with monsters like the Crawlers would make anyone angry, especially when your friend left you down there to die alone, but she tries too hard to look and fight like Lara Croft. Making sad faces doesn't make you tough. The Crawlers were just as great as they were in the last film, but they looking very different. Before they were like skinny people. Now they resemble body builders. Instead of being scared, I enjoyed looking at their bulging biceps, rippling six packs...They were VERY nice to look at, especially a really big one who appears at the end. I felt weird thinking it, but he looked hot!
I did like how the film shows how we turn on each other when we are desperate. If a Crawler was coming towards you and a friend, would sacrifice yourself so your friend can return home? What if the other person was an enemy or someone you barely know? First the Crawlers are the only monsters, but then the rescue team's primal urge to survive starts to come into play. At times the people are quite scary, and even they are surprised when they have to kill.
There is a twist at the end. I have been online and spoken with others, and so far no one likes the twist. In fact, one or two suspected the twist would happen from the start of the film. I guess the production company will explain the twist in The Descent 3, but this film flopped HARD (made back half its budget) so I doubt that the third film will come.
Before I watched the The Descent 2, I was very disappointed to hear that it had flopped. I could not understand why viewers had deserted what could have been a great franchise. Half an hour into the film, I understood and was glad that the film failed to make an impact. It deserved to flop. I just feel sorry for the actors and the rest of the crew who wasted their time.
I advise you to watch The Descent and pretend that this film does not exist. If you still want to see this, I advise you to watch it on TV for free or wait until it is REALLY, REALLY cheap. If The Descent 3 comes along, I will think long and hard about watching it. I saw this one for free at a friend's house, so money wasn't the issue. However, I will never get those one and a half hours back. Actually, I'd just like a refund on the first forty minutes.
My mum bought the Lateral Thigh Trainer years ago. She used it for a week or so, but then she fell off...Years later, when it was my turn to lose weight, I hopped on the LTT to get my flabby, HUGE thighs into shape. I know that I have given this product 3 out of 5 stars, but please read the entire review, or at least the The Bad portion, before making up your mind.
One, you can have resistance on the machine itself. If you want to help build and/or tone those leg muscles, so they look great when the flab and excess fat are gone, then the higher resistance is ideal. You can really feel your muscles working as they work hard to push the pedals down. On the other hand, the lighter resistance means that you can burn more calories in the same amount of time because of the quick movement.
Two, the resistance bands, which were not included with mine, means that you can work your arms at the same time. Working more than one muscle at once leads to massive calorie burning and body sculpting, so those bands will aid your fitness training very well.
-All fitness levels
To make it easier on yourself, you can position your feet near the end of the pedal, and close to the top of the pedal if you want to work harder and burn more fat and calories. So simple and there is no need to modify the machine.
-Easy to use
Anyone can use this machine. All you have to do is get on and push down on the pedal with your foot, then push down on the other pedal with the other foot. Do this as fast as you can and you are burning calories.
The ridges on the pedals make sure that your feet stay in place, so they are not sliding all over the place. This gives you extra security so once you start working there's no need to keep stopping to adjust your position.
-Cannot spot train
This machine will help you burn calories and fat but there is NO guarantee that the fat will be taken from your legs. If anyone says that they lost inches off their legs then that would have happened whether they had used this machine or a treadmill or a skipping rope or walked miles everyday. You body burns fat from the areas it wants to slim down, no where YOU want to slim down.
-Resistance? What resistance?
The resistance seems to be lacking. I presume that over time the resistance inside gets worn down so that even on a higher setting it still feels easy or easier than it did before.
I read on a review on the skating movement this machine makes you perform is bad for the knees. After using this machine for a week or so, I did start to feel slightly worried about my knees. I started doing my martial arts again, and my knees felt wobbly and/or hurt a little whenever I did high kicks. I have not used the machine since then.
I did leave my legs feeling worked, but the rest of me felt fine. I definitely burned calories, even though it was only around twenty minutes. The repetitive movements can get boring, but this can be solved by watching TV or listening to music while you work. If this was like the huge step machines that you get at the gym, I would highly recommend it. However, because of my weakened knees after using this machine for a week, I cannot recommend this product. If you are determined to buy it, I would use the machine once or twice a week on non-consecutive days. I would also do a thorough warm-up and cool down off the machine- walking on the spot for a few minutes is sufficient- followed by leg stretches with emphasis on the knee area, just in case...
Double Act is about twin girls, Ruby and Garnet, who live with their father and grandmother. Their mother died years before. Eventually their father brings home a new girlfriend, and naturally the twins feel shaken by the new woman in their lives. Then a new school opens and the girls are determined to attend. However, after the interview they learn that there is only room for one of them. Will these girls who have shared almost everything since they born cope with being separate? Or will they continue to stick together despite becoming more and more different?
The book address three important issues that children may have to deal with:
Their mother died when they were quite young, so they are used to living with just their father and grandmother. The book shows children that you can love the living and the dead without feeling guilty. The living person will not replace the dead.
2. The other woman/man.
As I said, their father brings home a new girlfriend and the twins are far from pleased. Wilson shows the affect that a new relationship has on children, especially after a death in the family. It shows that it is okay to have an extended family, and that the love between the immediate family is still strong even though there are now more people involved.
3. Twins are different people
The most important thing that this book addresses is that twins are two separate people. The way Wilson does this is slightly cliche: one twin is outgoing and the other is quiet. One twin takes control of the pair and the other follows orders. Even the front cover shows their slight differences: Ruby, the outgoing sister, has messy hair and a broader smile. Garnet has neat hair, is blushing, and holds a book. Eventually Ruby takes drastic measures to make them look completely different...
Not only do the girls learn more about their differences, but they also learn how to be seprate entities. Logic says that the quiet Garnet needs a shield like Ruby to protect her, but eventually the readers see how vulnerable Ruby can be. A certain event will tear the girls apart and test the strength of their relationship when they are alone. This is when we see how the bossy Ruby learns to be a better person and the introvert Garnet begins to come out of her shell.
The book matures with the girls. It starts quite fluffy and light, even when they are talking about their dead mother. This period shows how inexperienced and untroubled they have been despite losing their mother. Gradually the story gets darker and more emotional until a thrilling climax between the twins leads to a life-changing decision for both.
The happy ending is sweet and happy, which is to be expected because this is a children's book. The book is short, but that's great because then you can read it twice! I read this book MANY years ago, but I still remember how much I enjoyed it to this day. If you or your child is a big fan of twins- I used to love Tia and Tamera on Sister Sister and Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen on lots of stuff- then this book will suit you well.
Almost three years ago I became an undergraduate at Southampton University. It was my first choice because it just felt like the right place for me. I will be graduating in six weeks, so it is time for me to move on. Here is a review based on my time there.
Some people dislike that Southampton does not have a lively nightlife for social butterflies. The city centre is packed with action, but closer to the university campuses there is only one High Street where there are pubs and bars, a shopping centre, and charity shops. I like the calm nature of the area, but if you want an action-packed place then you had better look elsewhere.
Southampton University's Student Union- SUSU. This is where students get to voice their opinions and fight for their rights. There is the newspaper, Wessex Scene, which is online and in provided for free on Highfield campus. There is also a SUSU forum online. You sign up the same way you do with other forums, but the username displayed is your full name (forename and surname). You can choose a character to represent you. You can change the hair, race, and outfit. Some people choose a character that looks like them, and others choose something wackier. The forum is great for freshers who are nervous about their first week, so they can meet other newbies and start making friends early on. The forum is VERY useful for house hunting. I moved out of Halls for the second year and my housemates and I used letting agents. The landlord was terrible and our neighbours were party animals. The following year I used the SUSU forum to find others with a similar personality, and the landlord is a great guy. No arguments or complaints so far (it's April and we moved in in October). You will also find information on clubs, transport, and many other things happening at Southampton. The only bad side is that the forum is quite dead. Many posts were last updated months/years ago. The only section that is always alive and kicking is the Housing area, for looking for housemates and rooms.
The city is VERY well connected to the rest of the UK. There is a train station in the city centre, an airport to the north, and many bus services that run. Over the past three years, I have only used the bus services.
The university's official bus service is the Uni-link. The drivers are friendly, and not in a fake, blatantly forced way. There were times when the buses were late, but they were mostly five minutes within their allotted time. Every morning I would get there the same time and the bus would arrive just when it was expected. I advise you to drag yourself out of bed and catch the bus before the 8:30 am rush. When I got to the bus stop late, there was a crowd of students ready to shove their way on to the bus. Missing one bus is fine, but you need to pray that the next bus is not full too or you'll be in trouble.
The Uni-link bus pass is around £250 for a year, but people who live in Halls get it for free. This is great for first years because then they have one less thing to worry about. Even better, the Uni-link buses stop at all the places a student needs to be. Both campuses, every Halls of residence or as close as it can get, the major High Streets, and the Hospital. There are five bus routes: U1 (to Highfield campus), U2 (to Avenue campus), U6 (to Halls of Residences), and another two that stay around the city centre- one of them, which is clearly indicated on the bus, allowed everyone to travel for free.
I have no experience of the other bus services, and I have never needed them.
Halls: Besides a disgustingly dirty headboard, my room was perfectly clean. We wiped the place down but found no dirt. When my housemates moved out, I saw the cleaners cleaning their rooms from top to bottom, so cleanliness is not a problem. The cleaners also did a good job in the kitchen too. Students are encouraged to clean up their own mess, so there is a mop, dustpan and brush in the kitchen's locker. There is a noticeboard so everyone is aware of important news, and it was kept up to date during the entire year. The wardens were generally pleasant, but one did seem to have a slight attitude problem. He seemed irritated whenever I brought him mail that was addressed to the person who used to stay in my room. Excuse me for thinking that the person doesn't want me having their new credit card or red letters!
Obviously your budget will determine what kind of accommodation you get. People rush to rent as soon as possible, but the university always recommends that you wait until your January exams and essays are over. Many don't want to wait until March- Accommodation Week- and snap up the first or second house they see. Please don't make the same mistake! The second year house we found in January turned out to be quite horrible during the second viewing, but we were in such a hurry it looked pretty good during the first viewing. On the other hand, I waited until April/May before settling on my third year house, and it has been a lovely experience. It goes to show that there is no need to rush in finding a property. There are many to choose from. If you miss out on one then it just wasn't meant to be.
Instead of churning out degrees and leaving it at that, the university puts support behind employment. There is a Careers building and online facilities where you can get information on perfecting your CV, practising interviews, job requirements, work experience, and volunteering. They also provide free books that detail the top employers, snippets from students who share their experience at work, and the expected salaries of graduates and the experienced. The only downside is that the careers information is usually slanted towards traditional careers like Law, Medicine, Engineering, etc instead of others like Interior Decorating. However, I found that this is true on most career websites I have been on. There are also many Careers Fairs where you can speak to employees from the company you want to work for, so you can question them and make important contacts. You also get freebies like mugs, goodie bags, and pens! The Careers are always separated according to their relevancy, so future accountants won't find themselves mingling with future scientists. The Job Fairs are just as usual. They showcase jobs for students who need extra money, part-time or only for the holidays, and let you sign up for extra information or submit your CV there and then. Most of the jobs were catering for functions or hotels, with a few opportunities to work at stores like GAME.
I'm sure that no matter interests you, you will find a club full of like-minded individuals. To name a few: horse riding, scuba diving, karate, Spanish, hiking, cycling, football, yoga, entrepreneurs, volunteering, conservation, rock climbing, swimming, African, Atheist, etc. If you want to start your own club then make sure it doesn't already exist, do some planning, and then get the university's permission. If there is a enough demand then I'm sure it'll be granted.
The staff are all friendly. They give useful, honest advice that will help you with your next assessment. You can see your lecturers during their open office hours, and they also set aside time before assignments and exams so you can discuss your plans and problems. These appointments usually last for ten minutes. The cafe staff seem to have a slight attitude problem, but there is one lady who runs a small shop on Highfield campus. She is LOVELY! I wish they were all like her.
I have a mental disability- social anxiety- and the university have been very supportive. No one had ever suggested that I get help before, but my lecturer did. I was paired up with a Mentor for two years until she left for maternity leave and I decided to stop having extra help. The university's GP helped me get in touch with the Mental health facility that used to be near the campus, but has since shut down.
Physical disabilities are also considered. There are elevators on both campuses, computer rooms for the disabled only are on both campuses, and you can ask for extra time during exams if you need it- you must inform them beforehand, but they always email long before the exams start so don't worry about forgetting. There are also large computer screens and magnifiers for people with vision problems.
The area around the university is ideal for bike riders. There are many cycle routes and places to lock up your bike. Some Halls of Residence have bike sheds, but always lock them carefully and don't open it for others. There was an incident where one of the bike's was stolen, so use at your own risk. I would advise you to leave your bike at home during the first year (if you live at Halls) and use the bus pass and your legs. Then when you start renting privately then, hopefully, you'll choose a house with a shed or garden to keep your bike safe. The university sells tough, durable bike locks, so don't settle for cheap locks or your bike will be gone REAL soon. There have been stories where people left their bikes unlocked for a minute or two, came back, and had to walk home. Security have seen some youths with large bolt cutters in their bags, ready to pounce on cheap, laughably flimsy locks, so invest in the best locks or you'll have to buy a new bike.
Avoid Burgess Road!!! Apparently it is the most dangerous road in the city. Someone was hurt was a sword, cars were set on fire, a guy was robbed twice, non-white people are often targets, and close by there is a street called 'Rape Alley'. In our second year we almost made the mistake of living on the road because the 'lovely' landlord neglected to tell five girls about such a dangerous place. He seemed overly eager for us to sign the contracts and pay a week later, but luckily I did some research beforehand. Unaware of the street's reputation, I did walk down it twice completely alone during the day and nothing happened, and a third time at night with my housemates, which also resulted in nothing. I have not tempted fate since.
You will need to use your common sense. Close to the university campus-a two minutes walk away- a girl was attacked by a guy but she managed to break free. Close to the smaller campus, someone was attacked. This is a reminder that you need to exercise caution at night! Walk with friends, take a taxi or bus, ride your bike, drive your car, etc. If you need to go home alone late at night, walk quickly with confidence, have a panic alarm- the university sells these and gives them away for free during Safety Week- and I also have my umbrella at hand. Do not walk through parks or forests at night, even if the park has sufficient lighting or is near houses.
-Distance from city centre
The university is a fifty minute walk from the city centre. The centre has much more to offer than the High Street near the campus. It has major stores, the West Quay (pronounced West KEY) shopping centre has four packed floors filled with food, clothes, technology, books, and health products. The High Street is just as lively with popular stores like Argos and HMV. I used to shop here during the second year when I lived only twenty minutes walk away, but now I don't because I live too far away and cannot bring my shopping on my bike.
-Humanities campus detached
The Avenue/Humanities campus seems quite detached from the Highfield campus. As an English student, my time has been split between the two. It takes ten minutes to walk from one campus to the other, so even your lecturer might be running behind at times. Obviously they can't move the building, but it is a shame that Humanities students are distanced from the others. On the other hand, Avenue campus has a little library of its own and many computer rooms.
I highly recommend the University of Southampton. If I could choose this place again, I definitely would. If you want fun then you'll find it. If you want peace and quiet then you'll find it too. No matter what your needs or hopes are, I'm sure that the university can provide them. Safety is the main downside, but if you use common sense then you should be fine.
Medium is about a young wife called Allison who uses her psychic powers to solve crimes. She is a police officer, but her visions and dreams help to solve cases when the only witness is dead. Unlike the glamorous Jennifer Love Hewitt in Ghost Whisperer, Allison is a 'normal' mother of three with work commitments. She cannot just up and leave because she has priorities, so there are times when solving murder cases must take a back seat. The show spends an equal amount of time with Allison's family and the solving the case. When the case is solved, Allison can finally sleep easy until the next ghost comes looking for justice.
-See through their eyes
Unlike another ghost show, Ghost Whisperer, Allison does not see ghosts walking around until someone helps them find what they are looking for. When Allison sleeps she sees particular moments that the ghosts experienced through their own eyes, so there is no guarantee that you will see what the ghost looks like. I like this because it makes sense- the ghosts could not remember things from a third person perspective. It also brings a new way to see how ghosts ask for help. Instead of approaching her or walking around aimlessly, they only show what she needs to see and leave the rest to her. She cannot talk to them so she knows they are at rest when the ghost stops showing her how it died. There are even times when Allison sees people from an outside perspective. Still, this eventually leads to helping a ghost.
I really like Allison's family. They are so REAL that it's like they could live next door to you and fit right in. None of them are perfect. Allison and her husband argue, their children go through odd periods or the usual hard times of growing up, and they experience deaths in the family. This is not the usual perfect suburban that you see on TV.
It is nice that we see the balance between two conflicting careers- motherhood and solving murders- but there are times when you want to move on from the family-time and back to solving the murder. I do like the family because they are so REAL, but I am not watching for drama. I want to see more ghosts being avenged!
The show moves at too slow a pace for me. Instead of focusing purely on the ghosts, we have to watch her family, work at the police station, relationship problems, etc.
I think that Medium is good, but not great. The focus on her lovely family is nice, but not really necessary. It's like the production company have forgotten that the name of the show is Medium not Mother or Wife. This means that at times the show feels like just another crime investigation programme. Her dreams and visions remind you that she has powers otherwise you would probably forget. I recommend that you give Medium a chance and see whether it suits you. I watch it if I am in the mood, but I would choose Ghost Whisperer over it every time.
The Ghost Whisperer is about a young wife called Melinda (played Jennifer Love Hewitt from films like I Know What You Did Last Summer) who sees ghosts, but not just any ghosts. They are aggrieved ghosts who were murdered or have some other strong urge not to move over to Heaven, Hell or wherever you believe dead people go. Melinda talks to the ghosts to determine how they died. She also does research to track down the living who played a part in the murder, if there was one.
Almost every episode I have seen has an ending that I could not predict. From the start you and Melinda will probably jump to the same (wrong) conclusions until more evidence comes to light and the ghost has revealed more information. The ghosts often say who killed them, directly or through hints, but even the ghosts can get it wrong because their minds are not in tact. Another time, the murderer was a character who I barely noticed because Melinda had suspected other people.
-Unique murder mystery
Every episode I have seen but one has involved murder. This makes sense because the emotions being murdered would cause are more likely to make you stay on earth than those for theft, affairs, etc. Instead of just relying on evidence or witnesses, Melinda only has one witness- the ghost- and they do not outline everything that caused their demise. They remember bits and bobs at different times, so Melinda helps them remember more when she does research about the situation.
-Ghosts with personality
There is another show called Medium which features a middle-aged mother who helps ghosts crossover after being wronged by the living. In that show the ghosts may appear once or twice, and they look dead or like they are suffering. I prefer Ghost Whisperer's decision to have the ghosts walking around with a pale exterior to show that they are dead. This keeps the pace moving quickly, especially when the ghosts pounce on Melinda from nowhere.
I love when shows have continuity. Instead of a major event or character disappearing without a trace when the episode ends, Melinda and the other main characters may refer or see them again.
Nothing that I can think of.
I can't think of anything that I dislike about the show. When I heard about this and Medium I assumed that they would be the same, but Ghost Whisperer is a much livelier show. The time flies by every time I watch, VERY rarely can I guess the ending, and I like all of the characters. I always watch whenever it is on and never feel like I wasted my time. Every episode is fresh even though almost every one I have watched has been about solving a murder.
The hype machine around this film was INFECTIOUS. Twitter was on fire as people buzzed about the film that was going to be crowned 'The Scariest Horror Film EVER!' I love horror movies so I had to see it. Lately horror films have been let downs, but I decided to give Paranormal Activity a chance.
Katie and Micah are a young couple enjoying the good life. A big house, great jobs, and a bright future ahead of them. Then Katie starts hearing noises, their bedroom starts opening and closing by itself, and then chaos ensues. They set up a home video camera to record them at night, and every morning they watch the footage showing that someone or something else is in the house...
-What you can't see
Instead of gore or moments to make you jump, the film lets you use your imagination. I won't ruin things, but you can hear when someone or something is coming. Your mind is buzzing as it considers what it is going to happen- these moments were the only good parts of the film for me. The sounds of a third presence and Katie's screams were eerie times when the film lived up the hype. You wondered what was going on, but you could not see anything because the characters were in another room. You feel helpless as you continue to watch from the corner of their bedroom where the camera has been left behind.
Instead of an anti-hero or heroine who fight back against the intruder, we have a 'normal' couple who we can relate to. Katie and Micah could be your family, friends or co-workers. You could walk past their house everyday and never know what was lurking there every night. We need to see more of this type of angle because horror is scarier when crosses over into reality.
They are irritating. At first Micah was quite nice and the joker of the pair, but then he kept joking and making stupid decisions when it was really time to be serious. I know some people like him are out there, but even they would stop acting half their age when their partner is being traumatised. Then the door opening and closing gets old eventually, and makes you wonder why they don't just lock the door or put something in front of it. It'd make you feel safer, right?
-Tense, not scary
The film is not scary because of Katie and Micah. At night there is a sign that someone or something is in the house, but when it starts to get closer and the tension builds, the couple wakes up. They do the usual of looking around, panicking, and then going back to sleep until the next morning. Rinse and repeat for most of the film.
-The action happens at night...
So why is there so much daytime? The film fell flat when it became apparent that the good stuff happened when the couple went to sleep. There is far too much arguing, filming Katie, and then we have to watch the footage we have already seen because the couple have yet to see it. We know that they get up and watch it every morning, so why show us the footage again? Just cut to their reactions.
THE CONCLUSION ...
Once again, the hype carried a film to almost record breaking profits- based on the film only costing a few million to make- and fell VERY far short of its expectations. This is far from the scariest horror film, and was far from being scary. The very ending and some bits in the middle made me feel tense, but the annoying characters ruined those when they woke up. Even worse, I ended up hating the characters so much that I asked for a certain ending, and my wish was granted. I would get this for cheap, wait for it air on TV and watch for free, or just pass.
Years ago I decided to try Nell McAndrew's Ultimate Results. I had no idea who she was, but later found that she was a model and also played the role as Lara Croft for a while. She has done a few workout videos, so I was optimistic that this would be good.
The workout is separated into three sections: cardio, strength training/weight lifting, and abs and back work. If you are advanced enough then you could do the entire DVD in one day, but the cardio took me almost sixty minutes so make sure you have enough time! This is one of the workouts that is 3 in 1. You could do cardio and abs, cardio and strength, abs, strength or cardio only, and any other combos you can think of.
The music is the sort of dance/trance tracks that you would hear at Ibiza. They are not repetitive or too loud. When times were tough I would sing along to help the time pass. I do not listen to dance music, but there were one or two songs even I could sing along to, even though I have no clue which singer or group performed them. If you are tired of workouts that have music that it so quiet that you can barely hear or so horrible that you wish you couldn't hear it, then consider this workout for that reason.
Maybe the boringness of the workout made it tough, but I have to give Nell and the instructor credit where credit is due. The workout was TOUGH. I only did the cardio section and it lasted for almost an hour, so I decided against the weights segment afterwards. Even the weights portion is hard because you are working against gravity i.e. holding weights up. Another workout DVD I have mentioned how effective this kind of weight training is, so I pleased about that.
The instructor and the woman to his right seem to enjoy some private joke throughout the workout. When they first laughed and conversed is seemed nice and friendly, like you are working out with a group of friends. Eventually it was just annoying. Get a room! Then his constant shouting is just as irritating. 'Lower! Lower! One, two, three...'. Usually I like counting because then I know how many sets are left, but this time I just wanted him to be quiet or only speak when we had a few left.
The cardio segment is VERY repetitive. I find that variety keeps me coming back time and time again, and new movements keep my motivation pumped during workouts. Here I kept looking at the time over and over again. Running, waving the arms, squats, running, waving the arms, squats, running...Oops, sorry. I fell asleep there! The weights and abs were more varied, but I couldn't believe it when Nell said that they had been working on this DVD for weeks. Working on what? Running on the spot in time with music? Is she saying that they came up with that?
I have not done this workout for many years because it bored me to death. I feel good knowing that I did every segment, but I have no desire to go back for more. Great music is good to hear because so many workouts have drab music that my dog could've come up with. On the other hand, those workouts are varied and interesting and keep me coming back, which is more important than the music.
I have lost almost fifty pounds but, as people who have lost weight know, eventually you reach a plateau. This is where your body stop losing or gaining weight and stays put. You need to shock it into losing again. I decided to use Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred to knock my body's socks off.
The 30 Day Shred is divided into three levels and you are supposed to do each level for ten days before moving on to the next. Each level gets progressively harder, but the move you do it the easier it will be as you get stronger and fitter.
Each level is broken up into three circuits.
Each circuit follows this pattern:
Three minutes of strength training/weight lifting
Two minutes of cardio
One minute of abdominal work
The strength training/weight lifting and cardio portions are broken up even further. They both consist of two sets of exercises that you do twice before moving on, for example, lunges followed by push ups and then repeat. The abs is one exercise performed for a full minute.
Why is it called the 30 Day Shred? You are supposed to do each level ten times in a month without days off in between. Ten days at level one followed by ten days at two and then finish off with ten days at three. Others have said that they take days off, so if you need to then go ahead. Those people still got amazing results!
-Only 20 minutes
Actually it's around twenty-five when you include the warm up. Still, I have not worked so hard physically in under thirty minutes in my entire life. I was thirsty, tired, and feeling stronger than ever before. All of that in twenty minutes. If you see someone with a fantastic figure who only works out for twenty to thirty minutes, I bet that they do this HARD training. Circuit training like this is one of the most effective, especially if you are a VERY busy person.
There are breaks in between each exercise, but they only last for a second or two. This fast pace is the best form of fat burning and body toning because your body is being forced to do different exercises before it has the chance to adjust. It also tires you out far more than if you took longer breaks whilst exercising for a longer amount of time.
Jillian works your entire body. I felt that level one could have worked the legs more, but my arms were definitely feeling it the next day. Level two definitely did it all. As I said, I have yet to do level three yet. Based on others' opinions, the jury is still out on whether level three is easier or harder than level two. I pray that it is easier because I am doing it tomorrow! Anyway, there are some DVDs that leave you wishing that you'd worked your arms, legs, obliques (side of your abs), etc, but after level two my entire body was worn out!
-Safe to do daily
When you work the muscles you are supposed to give them 24-48hrs of rest. I was worried that the 30 Day Shred would tire them out too much because you are supposed to do a level everyday. However, others have said that because Jillian does not have us doing only strength training then it IS safe to do daily. Tiring, and you will be sore, but safe.
When I do noticed the music it sounds pretty good to me, but I can't remember what kind of genre it was because I was working so hard! You don't have time to sit and enjoy some tunes because you are moving from one movement to another so quickly. Others have said that they put their own music on, but I'm fine with what I heard.
Jillian is accompanied by two participants. One does the beginner versions of each movement and the other, poor soul, does the hard one. You can choose which version you want to do depending on how long you've been working out and/or how you feel on the day. Even better, you can use lighter or heavier weights depending on what you have lifted in the past. Feel free to not use weights at all. Whenever you use the weights Jillian is making sure that you work the arms AND legs at the same time to burn more calories, so you'll still be working hard with or without the weights.
-Weight lost? No. Inches lost? You betcha!
Many have commented that they did NOT lose weight doing this programme. BEFORE YOU STOP READING, let me explain why this does not matter. Your body can lose fat and replace it with muscle. They weigh the same, but fat takes up more space. This is why people can stay the same weight but loses inches and dress sizes. That's what has happened to many who've tried the 30DS. They've lost inches off their stomachs, arms, legs, hips, etc, but it took a while for the scale to catch up. Would you rather be a size 14 and 140lbs/70kg or a size 8 and 150lbs/75kg?
On the other hand, some have reported losing many pounds/kilograms in the FIRST WEEK. Note that losing a lot on a regular basis is NOT HEALTHY for people who don't have much to lose, so don't expect to lose kilograms or pounds every week until you reach your goal.
To me this is not really a con against the workout, but I know how some people get upset when they lose three inches off their waists but weigh the same, so I'm just warning you.
-After 30 days...Now what?
As far I know, Jillian has not told people what to do after the 30 days are up. I'm guessing that by that time your body will be used to the workout, so it's effectiveness will have reduced. I plan to do other workouts for a while and then come back to the Shred when my body has 'forgotten' about it. Taking a break from workouts always makes them fresh again. Others who stopped doing the Shred for whatever reason, and returned weeks or months down the line, said that it was like doing it for the first time all over again.
I have done two days already (level one and level two). Nothing stuck out to me as being irritating or needing improvement. I've been exercising for almost four years now, so that might explain why level one didn't push me THAT hard. Level two kicked my butt today, even though I did everything with the advanced movements. I'm not looking forward to tomorrow's workout because it's HARD, but then I'm because HARD workouts bring quick, great results! As of today my plateau has not been broken, but it's only day two. Others have successfully broken their plateaus with this workout. If you want to prevent or break plateaus, push your body and mind like never before, do one of the most effective workouts out there, and all in a short amount of time then get the 30 Day Shred!
A forum I belong to usually quotes articles from the Daily Mail, so I decided to check out the online newspaper for myself. After reading it for a few weeks now, I decided to write this review.
Unlike The Times, the Daily Mail is still free. If you just want to hear about the stories and form your own opinions then the Daily Mail is there. Remember that it is free, so you get what you pay for...
-Clear comments section
After The Times decided to start charging for use, I looked elsewhere. I LOVE reading the comments on website, but many online newspapers I looked have their comments hidden away or don't have an empty comments section. The Daily Mail's comments section is right under the article instead of being hidden away in a separate area.
All media is biased because everyone is biased at some point. The Daily Mail does not even try to hide it's bias. The paper seems to hold grudges against homosexuals, Muslims, illegal immigrants, and other 'ethnic' minorities at times. They try to draw you to useless information, like a star's sexuality, when there are more important issues at hand. They even jump to disgusting conclusions, like when their report suggested that a homosexual singer died from AIDs, when he really died from natural causes.
It is irritating to find an article that has only been written to plug an author's book. These articles usually revolve around issues that aren't news to anyone e.g. divorce, eating disorders, etc. Instead the Daily Mail tries to put these people on a soapbox and then advertises their book at the bottom of the article.
-Celebs > politics
I would not visit the Daily Mail for sophisticated news reporting. If you want the latest celebrity gossip, with no guarantees that the report is true, then this newspaper is ideal. Even their homepage features entertainment over the news.
-Dodgy comments section
Sometimes the comments section displays the number of comments but not the actual comments. When you try to read the comments in the forum, it is also a dead end because the website says there are no comments to view. This is irritating when you want to read other comments and want to post your own.
Despite signs of ignorance, discrimination, and bias, I still visit the Daily Mail every day. Instead of reading their drivel, I stay in the Comments section to see what others are saying. I tend to agree with what the Readers are saying, so I just ignore the reporters. If you love entertainment gossip more than news then this newspaper is for you, but don't expect a healthy balance between the two. The paper does not charge for online use, so don't expect high quality reporting for a free service.
Four years ago I decided to start getting fit. At 200lbs (I'm 5 ft 2), I could barely work out for a few minutes. After conquering my exercise machine, I saw a Tae bo box set and decided to jump right in. A month later I had lost an inch off my waist, and was ready for more.
Tae bo is basically martial arts with a hint of dance. Sometimes you do the moves in time with the music. In many of the videos each exercise is performed in sets of eight. This means that you can count how many repetitions and/or sets left before the next movement. The class is led by Billy Blanks, a successful martial arts instructor and competitor. He is always accompanied by his daughter Shelly, who keeps track of the sets, leads the counting, and keeps the class pumped.
Instead of involving fitness instructors and models, Tae bo features 'real' people. Mothers who have had six children, people who lost weight doing Tae bo, Billy's daughter Shelly. The older Tae bo videos feature an even greater range of people: overweight, young, old, short, tall, advanced, basic, black, white, biracial, etc. Everyone looks different and it is comforting to see them struggling when you are. They are all human, not just fitness models with six packs and pretty faces.
-100 calories in ten minutes
Tae bo burns a massive amount of calories. Running and jump rope also burn approx 100 calories in ten minutes, but if you want an exercise that is more varied then Tae bo is for you. I will put Tae bo's calorie burn into perspective based on calorie burns using my height and weight (5 ft 2 and 150lbs, yes I'm overweight). Yoga burns approx one hundred calories in thirty minutes. High impact (lots of jumping around) aerobics burns around one hundred and fifty in thirty minutes. Tae bo burns three to four hundred calories in the same time. Yes, three to four times more!
-Whole body workout
You work EVERYTHING with Tae bo: arms, legs, abs, bum, back, calves, etc. Even when you focus on one area you are still working another. This means that you burn more calories than if you worked one area of your body at once.
The music is not great or brilliant, but it's not something I would mute. In the older DVDs, it's 90s chart music but no songs that I recognise- I think I was around five when the first videos were shot, so maybe that's why. Sometimes the songs have motivational words like 'You can do it!' and 'Victory!'.
Some of the DVDs are purely bootcamp style- you are there to feel the burn and push yourself to the max. Other Tae bo workouts have a more dance-like feeling behind them. You punch, kick, etc in time with the music. This means that you can work out depending on how you feel on the day.
Often Tae bo's warm up feels like the main workout. After briefly walking on the spot, you start punching, kicking, etc. Then you do some stretches and then the main workout begins. The cool down is also fast. You walk on the spot, stretch, and then walk while Billy gives you a motivational pep talk. I like that there is no dilly dallying. If I am sore, I do more stretches while Billy is speaking at the end.
-8 minute workout
Some DVDs include an 8 min workout. The entire workout usually lasts from twelve to fifteen minutes, but the main segment is 8 minutes. Don't let the short time fool you. I doubt that you will EVER work as hard in eight minutes as you do during these workouts. I thought they would be easy, but sweat will dripping down in bucket loads. They are like the usual Tae bo workouts but faster and with one or two brief moments to catch your breath. One woman did these workouts once or twice a day for three months and lost thirty pounds. If you are a busy person, these workouts will suit you perfectly.
There are times when Billy says that we have one more set of eight to go, but then he starts talking...and talking...and talking, so you end up doing three or four more sets. This means that you get to burn more calories, which is obviously great, but one side of your body will be worked more than the other. I would say that both sides of my body are equally as strong, but when you work one side more than the other, it's sorer the next day.
-Too fast for some
I have been doing Tae bo for almost four years, but at times I still need to move slower than the participants do. I have spoken to other Tae bo lovers who do the same thing, so it's not just me. If you can go as fast as the people on the workouts then good for you, but if not then don't injure yourself trying to keep up with them.
I have eleven Tae bo DVDs, and many of them have three workouts each. I LOVE Tae bo, but I will not be buying any more. Why? Because the workouts are starting to look too similar to the others. Eventually you will notice that you are doing the same moves but with a different background, participants, and music. The Tae bo team have tried to combat this by providing extras like inflatable Contacts, boxing and weighted gloves, resistance bands, and exercise balls. I only have the resistance bands but that has not stopped me from losing almost fifty pounds.
I highly recommend Tae bo. If you are worried that this workout will be too hard, remember that most Advanced workouts come with a Basic on the same DVD. The basic will prepare you for what is to come, so you can work up to your best slowly and safely. When times get tough, Billy will keep talking you through the burn and always reminds you of correct form. If you want to practice martial arts' moves in a fun way then Tae bo is for you.