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bobinder
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Member since: 14.08.2009

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    • Samsung GT S8000 Jet / Mobile Phone / 16 Readings / 16 Ratings
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      22.07.2010 15:30
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      A stylish and easy to use affordable phone!

      I have now owned the samsung jet for over 6 months and have generally been impressed. The samsung jet is not a smart phone, but looks very stylish and does have a number of useful functions.


      Appearance:

      Samsung are generally vey good at producing fashionable phones, with the slide phones D500, D900 and G600 all being extremely desirable for their time. The samsung jet is no different. The phone is wonderfully curved, appropriately thin and is designed well to maximize the screen. The hexagonal central button adds a nice touch (though has little function!).


      Functions:

      The phone, though not a smart phone, does have a 800mhz processor, which is equal to many of the top of the range phones. Thus the phone works extremely smoothly and I have not had an issue with freezing.

      With such an impressive processor, it is able to retain a number of functions, including the internet, 'widget' application system, a built in GPS system, wifi, a very good 5 megapixel camera, an array of games and a number of others!

      The internet works swiftly, supporting 3G technology, with access to all mobile friendly webpages. The touch qwerty keyboard allows efficient typing for entering web addresses or writing emails. Access to the net is easy enough through your network or via a relatively powerful wifi port.

      The 'widget' buttons are an attempt to increase access to popular webpages or applications, such as facebook, youtube, google, wifi, bluetooth, etc. They appear on a sidebar on the screen page. They are extremely useful, but the promise of producing more widgets by samsung was not followed through. Thus the phone has very few of these relative to smartphones.

      Another bonus of the phone is the built-in GPS system (though you have to buy the navigational program). The phone is powerful enough to support it, though it is not necessary to buy as you can easily use the google maps application.


      Ease of use:

      Having used traditional button phones, I was at first skeptical at the idea of a touch phone. The samsung jet however allowed easy transition, with with the screen large and sensitive enough to not be a nuisance. The widgets, as mentioned, do also increase efficiency of use.

      The phone also has a sufficient battery life, lasting around 5 days without great use, and around 2 days after constant use.


      Problems:

      After 6 months of use I have not had many problems, but there have been a few. The phone, when new, had a malfunctioning google maps application and had to be reset to rectify this issue. More recently however, the phone had started to automatically restart and to be sent back to the manufacturers to be fixed.

      Other than that it has been happy days!

      Value for money?

      The phone if bought without contract retails at around £200. With a contract however, the phone is free, and the contracts are not extortionate (as with the iphone!).

      For someone wanting a phone that does look good, with a few added bonuses of the applications mentioned above and does not cost an arm and a leg, I would definitely recommended the samsung jet.

      I have listed the phone specifications below, for anyone who wishes to peruse through them!


      GENERAL: 2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
      3G Network HSDPA 900 / 2100
      HSDPA 850 / 1900

      SIZE
      Dimensions 108.8 x 53.5 x 11.9 mm
      Weight 110 g

      DISPLAY
      Type AMOLED resistive touchscreen, 16M colors
      Size 480 x 800 pixels, 3.1 inches
      - TouchWiz v2.0 UI
      - Accelerometer sensor for auto-rotate and Motion UI
      - Proximity sensor for auto turn-off
      - Smart unlock

      SOUND
      Alert types Vibration, MP3, WAV ringtones
      Speakerphone Yes
      - 3.5 mm audio jack
      - DNSe (Digital Natural Sound Engine)
      - Virtual 5.1 channel Dolby surround

      MEMORY
      Phonebook Yes, Photo call
      Call records Yes
      Internal 2GB / 8GB
      Card slot microSD, up to 16GB
      DATA GPRS Class 12 (4+1/3+2/2+3/1+4 slots), 32 - 48 kbps
      EDGE Class 12
      3G HSDPA, 3.6 Mbps
      WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g
      Bluetooth Yes, v2.1 with A2DP
      Infrared port No

      USB Yes, v2.0 microUSB

      CAMERA
      Primary 5 MP, 2592 x 1944 pixels, autofocus, LED flash
      Features Geo-tagging, face, smile and blink detection, wide dynamic range
      Video Yes, D1(720x480)@30fps, QVGA slo-mo video recording
      Secondary Videocall camera

      FEATURES
      CPU Qualcomm MSM6246, 800Mhz processor
      Messaging SMS, MMS, Email, IM, Push Email
      Browser WAP 2.0/xHTML, HTML
      Radio Stereo FM radio with RDS, FM recording
      Games Yes + downloadable
      Colors Black, Mystic Purple
      GPS Yes, with A-GPS support, Route 66
      Java Yes, MIDP 2.0
      - TV Out
      - MP3/WMA/eAAC+/WAV player
      - DivX/XviD/H.263/H.264/MP4/WMV player
      - Video editor
      - Digital compass
      - Media Gate 3D
      - Organizer
      - Document viewer (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF)
      - Voice memo
      - T9

      BATTERY
      Standard battery, Li-Ion 1100 mAh
      Stand-by Up to 422 h (2G) / Up to 406 h (3G)
      Talk time Up 8 h 20 min (2G) / Up to 5 h (3G)

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    • More +
      03.09.2009 16:42
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      A refreshing snack with potential health benefits!

      Danone Actimel Strawberry is a probiotic yoghurt drink, with reported health benefits. It has the added advantage of having a lovely taste, and thus can be enjoyed as a refreshing snack at any time of the day! I will start by discussing a little about what probiotics are, and go on to what my opinion of this particular brand.

      Probiotics:

      Our gut contains a number of different bacteria, commensals, which are an essential defense against pathogens, as part of our innate (built-in) immune system. These commensals complement our immune system by providing a form of competition to invasive bacteria, usually out-numbering the pathogens, to the extent that the pathogenic bacteria are starved of essential nutrients and kept at bay. Danone Actimel attempts to support the natural commensal bacteria with probiotic L. casei Imunitass, which is said to possess all the sufficient means to reach your intestines.

      Benefits?

      Probiotics are meant replenish the natural gut microflora and help in the manner described above. They are now also being investigated for any other possible benefits, being reported to have some effect in reducing the symptoms of inflammatory diseases of the bowels, and preventing bacterial induced diarrhoea.

      However, many people are sceptical to their benefits, suggesting they are a seemingly unnecessary addition to a healthy individual. It has been postulated that probiotics may be beneficial to individuals who have had their intestinal microflora depleted, from, for example, antibiotic administration, but for the well-fed, healthy majority, their natural gut commensal content is sufficient.

      Danone's Strawberry Actimel possesses these potential benefits, along with its own characteristics. The yoghurt drink has a lovely taste, with a texture similar to a light milkshake. It can however, especially when not shaken, have a slightly powdery feel to it, which is not always nice. I find the 100g individual packs highly convenient, with each drink being just more than a single gulp, which means it can be quickly enjoyed at any time.

      Flavours:

      Danone provide this product in a number of flavours-

      * Blueberry
      * Cherry
      * Coconut
      * Forest Fruits
      * Multifruit
      * Orange
      * Original
      * Strawberry
      * Vanilla

      Nutritional Information:

      An individual bottle contains only 74 calories, which is only 4% of the recommended daily allowance, so the snack should not heap on the pounds!

      Energy (kcal), 74, Protein (g), 2.9, Carbohydrates (g), 11.5, Fat (g), 1.5, Fibre (g), Trace, Sodium (g), Trace.

      Price:

      The 8 pack can be bought at most supermarkets with the 2 for £4 offer, which is not a bad price, but not cheap either. The drink is cheaper than its equivalents from other brands, such as the Flora pro-active yoghurt drink at £6 for 14 bottles. There are many probiotic alternatives however, at cheaper prices, such as simple yoghurt.

      Overall, I do like the idea that I may be assisting my immune system, and do buy Danone Strawberry Actimel (my favourite flavour), on a regular basis, preferring it to the alternatives, given its price, taste and ease of administration!

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      • Abbey Zero Credit Card / Credit Card / 26 Readings / 26 Ratings
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        03.09.2009 15:13
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        Very convenient if you find yourself abroad!

        I have had the Abbey Zero credit card for about 2 months now, and have found it to be an absolute necessity. With the massive selling point of having zero charges on transactions abroad, I have been able to save a relatively large amount, useful especially with pound currently so weak.

        How to Apply:

        I found out about the card on a visit to my local branch, and the application process took about a half an hour. Most of this time was taken up by the banking advisor trying to sell me their payment care and insurances, but I found them to be very expensive, so would avoid the questions if you do ever go down!

        From what I understand you can apply over the internet or on the phone, which may be a bit speedier.

        I received the pin number within a week, and the card a few days later, which I found to be very efficient.

        Benefits:

        As I described earlier, the 0% foreign exchange fee is an absolute gem. On my recent visit to Dubai, I was able to take full advantage of this, taking very little cash from England, and simply using my card. On my next statement, I saw exactly what was advertised, there were no cash transaction fees, and just the direct conversion of Dubai Dirhams to British Pounds. Previously I have used my debit card or other credit cards and incurred a total fee of 4.5%, so saved a reasonable amount!

        Another rather rare benefit I have found with the card, is the lack of the usual 3% fee on cash advance, incurred with normal credits cards, which has been quite convenient.

        The 0% for 12 months on balance transfers is also not a bad addition, though I have not used it. Abbey does charge 3% of the balance for a transfer, which is worth keeping in mind

        The Cons:

        On opening a credit card, I have come to expect a lengthy period of 0% interest on purchases, I find the 3 months offered not to be very competitive, especially compared to the 9 months by the Halifax All in One.

        As with all credit cards, if you do not pay of the full balance, you do risk pay a hefty interest, which can dampen all the previous benefits mentioned, and at currently 18.9% APR, this card is no exception.

        The service:

        Thus far I have had no problems with this card, receiving statements on a regular basis (even if the statements are slightly inconvenient, in many parts..).

        Overall, in my opinion, if you can get this card, I believe it is a very handy addition!

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        • More +
          01.09.2009 23:21
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          a brilliant dip for many occasions!

          Though nothing beats freshly made houmous, Sainsbury's attempt comes very close. Houmous is a delicious dip/spread that originates from the middle east. It is primarily made with crushed cooked chick peas, which are mixed with olive oil, tahini (sesame paste), lemon juice, salt and garlic. It can be enjoyed by vegetarians (and meat-eaters!), and provides a good source of nutrition.

          Uses:

          Houmous is a great party dip, which nearly everyone will enjoy. I manage to spread Houmous on nearly anything. It is a lovely when served with pita bread, or bread sticks, crackers, rice cakes, and I do quite enjoy it with crispy egg plant.

          My opinion:

          I have had the pleasure (and sometimes misfortune) to try the houmous from a variety of stores, and Sainsbury's brand houmous is my personal favourite. The houmous has a brilliant smooth texture, and it simply melts in your mouth, leaving you with a fresh taste and the correct amount of tang. This compares well, especially to the Tesco equivalent, which I find leaves a very dry taste, and the houmous is slightly course. When kept in the fridge, I find the houmous lasts up to 4 days.

          Houmous, in general, has many nutritional benefits. The chickpeas are an excellent source of protein and fibre. The product is also good source of iron, vitamin C, folate and vitamin B6.

          As with most things, there is a downside however. A typical 1/4 tub serving contains 12.7g of fat which is 18.1% of the recommended daily allowance. It does only contain approximately 7% of your recommended daily allowance of calories and saturated fats, which sounds less worse (though for someone who eats a tub at a time, such as myself, it does not bode very well!). The full nutritional information is listed below.

          Nutritional information (per 1/4 tub):

          Fat 12.7g, Saturated Fats 1.4g, Salt 0.3g, Total Sugar 0.3g, Calories 144.

          Price:

          Sainsbury's currently sell the item at 99p for the 230g tub, which should not break the bank!

          If you do enjoy this, I definitely recommend you try the other flavours that are offered such as the Mixed Olive & Tomato Houmous, the Lemon & Coriander Houmous and my personal favourite the Jalepeno Houmous.

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          01.09.2009 20:10
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          worth a try!

          I find sacla sundried tomato pesto an absolute godsend. Apart from their standard original pesto, I struggle to find a more versatile sauce/paste. The pesto is highly aromatic, with a rich, mouth-watering taste.

          How I use it:

          To enjoy the taste of the Sacla sauce, one can simply stir it through pasta. However, for a heartier and fulfilling meal, I always find it useful to pan fry and season some sliced chicken breast and add this to the mixture, along with a handful of chopped black olives. For approximately half a kilogram of pasta, I use a third to a half of a 190g jar.

          You can also use the pesto to make a killer Panini, which you can have as a snack or enjoy it for your lunch! Just spread three full teaspoons on the inside half of a Panini (readily available at most supermarkets), lay 4 slices of chorizo or pepperoni and cover with torn mozzarella. Grill the Panini for 4-5 minutes and season to taste with some crushed pepper.

          My opinion:

          The pesto tastes great and as a lover of Italian food, I find it highly satisfying. The fragrant basil, delicious tomatoes and peppers, with the enticing crushed nuts blend to make you feel as if you are sat in scented gardens of Sicily. Though however tempting the sauce is, from a nutritional point of view, I do believe that it should be appreciated sparingly. With a typical serving of 60g, you will be taking in 160 cal, and large amounts of fats and salts, at 26% and 28% of your recommended daily allowance, respectively. This is not ideal for anyone on a low salt diet (such as hypertensives).

          Nutritional Value:

          For a 190g jar-

          Energy 1192kJ/289kcal, Protein 4.2g, Carbohydrate 5.2g (of which sugars 4.0g), Fat 27.9g (of which saturates 3.9g), Fibre 4.0g, Salt 2.8g

          Price:

          At the current price I found the sauce to be £1.99 at Tesco and Sainsbury's for a 190g jar.


          If you have yet to try this pesto, it's definitely worth a go!

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        • American Beauty (DVD) / DVD / 25 Readings / 24 Ratings
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          01.09.2009 18:48
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          a kevin spacey gem

          This movie is an absolute classic. I have watched it numerous times, and every time I feel as entertained and emotionally moved as the last. The movie is extremely thought provoking, to the extent that you will most probably find yourself re-evaluating your life as a result of it!


          The plot:

          'I feel like I've been in a coma for the past twenty years. And I'm just now waking up...'

          American Beauty tells the story of Lester, played by the legendary Kevin Spacey, who wishes to break free of the norm of 'keeping up appearances', his wife Carolyn Burnham (Annette Bening) is so obsessed with. Annette represents the disillusioned being, who has lost sight of what he/she wants in life and believes that happiness is represented by material things and how 'in order to be successful, one must project an image of success at all times'.

          Lester's character, not only very profound, as he decides to follow his hearts ambitions, to look young and feel excited, is highly comical. He continually lusts over his daughter Jane's (Thora Birch) friend Angela (Mena Suvari), as she represents his personified goal of youth and being spontaneous. Lester in his outrageous quest for happiness produces a few timeless one-liners, not least the opening scene: 'Look at me, jerking off in the shower... This will be the high point of my day; it's all downhill from here.'

          The film contrasts the shallow and superficial Angela with the esoteric Ricky fits (Wes Bentley). Ricky is portrayed as being in touch with himself, his environment and beauty, with the inspiring scene of a simple plastic bag being thrown by the wind, representing the electricity in the air, evoking emotion within him. Angela is the proto-typical cheerleader, who focuses on her looks, and believes her promiscuity represents success, befriending Jane in order to look good. She is therefore amazed, when Ricky finds Jane so fascinating and the film goes on to show how insecure views such as Angela's can lead one to become.

          Ricky records his life experiences on tape throughout the film. He believes there is 'too much beauty in the world' and cannot take it all in at once. This merely adds to the message of the movie, not to take any moment for granted and to appreciate all that you experience, whilst you can.

          My opinion:

          Personally, I rank this movie in the top 10 ever. I find each character fascinating, and you will find yourself relating to each character's traits. The idea of moving from convention resulting in happiness is something that I find very inspiring. Be it Carolyn's affair with the 'Real Estate King' leading to her momentary happiness, or Lester's abusive rant at his employers, you find yourself condemning and accepting each part of the film at once.

          This film is one you can watch over and over, it incorporates a perfect amount of humour, thrill, drama and the storyline, is portrayed in a magnificent manner.

          I would give this film a definite 5 stars!

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          • Quorn Mince / Ready Meals / 16 Readings / 16 Ratings
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            01.09.2009 16:27
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            a brilliant meat alternative, worth a try

            I am a devout meat-eater and often clash with my largely vegetarian family over what should be served for dinner. We have tried to settle for a number of meat-free alternatives, but none have had the same mutual agreement as the Quorn Mince.

            Quorn:

            Quorn employs mycoprotein as its main ingredient, to provide the 'meat-alternative' texture. Mycoprotein is a fungal extract (don't squirm- just like mushrooms!), and itself contains a large amount of fibre and amino acids, which can be scarce in a vegetarian diet.

            How I use it:

            Given quorn mince does not contain much fat, I have not found much use for it in making burgers, but it can be used to make a mean bolognese, which can then even be used in a lasagne.

            This recipe serves four (but three if you have some big eaters in your family!). Using a 300g bag of mince (which can be cooked from frozen), cook the mince with half a chopped onion and a chopped tomato. Cook the mince till it has browned, which takes 5-6 minutes (ensure the mince does not burn at the base by continually stirring). At this point add 500g jar of Dolmio Extra Spicy Bolognese sauce. As the mince can be a bit dry, I have found it useful to add half a cup of water to help stir the bolognese. After simmering for a little while the bolognese is ready to serve, or a few extra ingredients can be added to give it a more personal taste. I have always added a vegetable stock cube, seasoned to taste and a teaspoon of Marks and Spencers Sweet Chilli flakes for an extra kick!

            This can then be served on a bed of spaghetti and garnished with some fresh basil and watch the family enjoy!

            My opinion:

            I do love this product, and it has become a firm favourite in my house. It does provide a way for vegetarians to taste a texture and taste very similar to meat. However, I do find that if not cooked well, the quorn can taste slightly chewy, and you may find that it can often be slightly dry.

            The product is extremely healthy, which is always a plus. It contains no cholesterol and is very low in calories (but this is clearly compensated for if you use the rich dolmio sauces to cook your bolognese like myself). Red meat mince, traditionally used to cook bolognese, also have health risks associated to them, with regular consumption thought to contribute to a variety of cancers and heart disease (from the high saturated fat content).

            Nutritional Information:

            Per 100g-

            Energy 955KJ/229Kcal, Protein 23.1g, Carbohydrate Nil, Fat 15.2g, Fibre Nil, Sodium 0.3g

            Price:

            This is the current price I have found at a variety of supermarkets for a 300g bag-

            Tesco- £1.93
            Asda- £1.79
            Sainsbury's- £1.79

            This product is definitely worth a try for meat-eaters and vegetarians alike.

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            • Abortion / Discussion / 20 Readings / 18 Ratings
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              01.09.2009 15:00
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              A discussion of the current law on abortion

              An abortion is the termination of a pregnancy by the removal or expulsion of an embryo or foetus from the uterus, resulting in or caused by, its death. I will be discussing the validity of the law referring to induced abortion.

              The law set in 1861, the 'Offences against a Person Act', stated procuring a miscarriage is unlawful. This was backed by the 'Infant Life Preservation Act' of 1929. However in 1938, a gynaecologist, Mr Bourne, challenged the law by offering an abortion to a 14 year old rape victim. Mr Bourne was acquitted, deemed to be saving the girl's emotional life.

              The Abortion Act of 1967 allows medical practitioners to perform an abortion when there are two consenting practitioners. It allows a doctor to perform an abortion in his own 'good faith' if he finds in good judgement the pregnancy is less than 24 weeks from conception, or the pregnancy poses a serious risk to the mother, or the child will be born with severe disabilities. A doctor can consciously 'opt-out' of carrying out abortions, but cannot use his/her beliefs to cause potential detriment to the patient's life care. There are arguments for and against the current law in place.

              People opposed to abortions could argue the sanctity of life. This would include religious groups, such as Catholics, who believe that life begins at conception. This would infer that the foetus would have human rights, and thus it is unlawful to terminate its life, violating these rights.

              There are many that would argue against the idea that life begins at conception, and hence does not possess human rights. This idea is therefore dependent on the subjective view of what constitutes a person. Peter Singer, a renowned sociologist, measured life on the basis of conscious thought, and hence was pro-abortion. It could be argued that the law does not allow for euthanasia of the senile, so why should abortion be allowed? Peter Singer did personally carry his argument through to the elderly and was pro-euthanasia of the senile.

              Pro-abortionists may argue that the foetus has taken occupancy in the women, and hence is violating her human rights. The mother has the right to do whatever she wishes with her body, over-riding any rights the foetus may be deemed to have. This was argued by philosopher Judith Jarvis, underlining the fact that the child had not been given consent to reside in the mother.

              Anti-abortionists may point out that an abortion can potentially cause long term damage to the mother, and such a risk is not justified. A pro-abortionist may counter-argue the fact that the process of a full term pregnancy may have long term psychological effects on the mother, e.g. on a rape victim.

              Individual points of the law can be questioned. The law, when stating a pregnancy can be terminated after 24 weeks if the child may be born with severe disabilities, does not define how to interpret 'severe disability'. This came into question in November 2003 when Joanne Jepson questioned an abortion at 31 weeks as the child would have been born with a cleft palate. In this case, a cleft palate was deemed to be a severe disability at the time, though many would argue against this ruling. Allowing a post-24 week abortion for a potentially disabled child may also be said to undermine the position of the handicapped in society, perhaps suggesting they are 'worth' less than able-bodied persons. This can damage the confidence of handicapped individuals in their community.

              An abortion requires only a mother's permission to occur, with the father legally having no right. A father may feel as if the foetus is genetically half himself, and he should therefore have an equal say to its life. However, as the invasive procedure is being performed on the mother, people may argue it is her decision.

              The argument to allow abortions may be to simply allow a safer, sterile, more professional environment to provide the service in. If abortion was illegal, then someone may be forced to take to an untrained individual, with secondary peritonitis a major risk. This could be argued against, with the idea that legal abortion de-stabilises the community, such that if this provision was not in place many fewer people would consider it.

              Overall, personally I believe the abortion law should not be changed to make it illegal. In my opinion, in certain circumstances abortion can be favourable, e.g. if the pregnancy were to cause mental or physical harm to the mother. However, revisions to the law could be considered, for example, a viable birth has taken place at 21 weeks, which is before the current 24 week cut-off date, i.e. the child could potentially survive without its mother as a vessel. There should be clearer guidelines as to what constitutes a 'severe disability', as personally I find judging a cleft palate as 'severe', a step over the line. Further to this, I feel that allowing abortion post-24 weeks for a severely disabled foetus is determining the quality of life of the child's future life, without knowing it as a fact.

              Of course abortion is a very wide and thought inspiring subject and I have merely touched on a few of the issues I believe remain with the law governing it. I would be delighted to hear the comments of readers, and the views which they may hold in this matter!

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              • Marmite / Spread / 33 Readings / 32 Ratings
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                21.08.2009 00:02
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                don't give up on marmite!

                What more can you say about Marmite, than you either love it or hate it. Well this is not strictly true..

                History:

                The base ingredient of marmite is concentrated yeast extract, a paste, to which a variety of ingredients are added. The magic of marmite began in 1902, when Marmite Ltd was established. It has since been disgusting, and fulfilling millions of people.

                My Opinion:

                I love marmite, but this has not always been the case. Children are always curious, and I was no exception. I badgered my mother to buy marmite, as I would hear so many people speak of it, but as soon as I tried it, I squirmed and had to wash my mouth out of the wretched stuff. I did not try it again until very recently, and could not be more surprised at how my taste buds have changed. It does have a very unique taste, but one which I now savour every morning on some warm toast. I have generally enjoyed sweet jams and spreads, but there is definately something moreish about the salty tang of marmite.

                Given my initial resentment of the spread, I would say it is perhaps an aquired taste. My experience of the product pushes me to advise that if you do enjoy savoury foods, then it is definately a possibilty you will be fond of marmite. One word of warning on its application: too much marmite can taste slightly sickly, and too little being a bit bland.


                Nutritional Value:

                Marmite is also seen to have some nutritional benefits, containing essential B Vitamins, Thiamin & Riboflavin, Niacin, Folic Acid and Vitamin B12. However, it does have a high salt content, and is not advised for people considering a low salt diet, such as hypertensives.


                Goodluck to all potential buyers!

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                • White Chicks (DVD) / DVD / 24 Readings / 22 Ratings
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                  19.08.2009 20:32
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                  If you enjoy it, be warned of possible addiction!

                  Seeing that White chicks has an average member rating of 4 stars appeases me a little, but this must be one of the most under-rated movies of all time. It stars the hilarious Shawn and Marlon Waynes, famous from 'the Wayan Brothers', and their performance in this is exemplary.


                  Plot:

                  In actual fact, I do not think that many people would realise this film has a plot if they have only seen it once. Having watched this film numerous times, I think I have some idea!
                  Kevin (Shawn Wayans) and Marcus (Marlon Wayans) Copeland are two failing FBI agents, asked to transport Brittany (Maitland Ward) and Tiffany Wilson (Anne Dudek), two affluent 'white women', to the annual party at the Royal Hampton Hotel. A slight accident during the journey, leads to the vain sisters to threaten a complaint against Kevin and Marcus. Afraid at the consequences of the complaint, the brothers convince Brittany and Tiffany to not travel and they go to the event as the girls themselves, after unrealistic but very funny makeovers.
                  At the party, they become suspicious of the hosting Vandergeld family of major fraud and the story follows with the new Brittany and Tiffany Wilson attempting to uncover the truth.
                  This background plot is generally irrelevant however, and the film is really about how the two black officers survive and become a massive hit in the upper class white environment.


                  My opinion:

                  This has to be my favourite comedy by some stretch. I have always been a fan of the Wayans, and their performance in this movie is brilliant. Many people do enjoy criticising the lack of similarity between the original Wilson sisters and the transformed Wilson sisters, but this just adds to the hilarity. The movie is very original, and the 'dance offs', 'your mutha duels' and gut-busting one liners will have you on the floor with laughter.

                  There is one part of the movie which I do find slightly cringe-worthy and that is the opening scene. The scene is to introduce Kevin and Marcus as careless, but I find it a bit unnecessary and melodramatic.

                  If you enjoyed TV shows such as the Simple Life or My Wife and Kids, there is a very good chance you will fall in love with this film. However, given the largely negative response to this film on release, the audience of the film is very specific. If you do not enjoy 'in your face', often very vulgar comedy, and prefer a more thoughtful film, this may not be for you.

                  There is news of a possible sequel which I await eagerly!

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                  • Abbey National / Bank / 28 Readings / 24 Ratings
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                    18.08.2009 23:48
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                    seems a good choice in these difficult times some banks are facing

                    It is very easy to point a finger at the incompetancies of the service that our banks provide. When I call I am initially either be directed to a machine, or a call centre abroad, where the staff can be highly unaccomodating. In order to access my account, I can be interrogated in a way to convince myself I am stealing from myself. The branches have ridiculously long queues, and often my queries are simply redirected back to the telephone, or I am refused help. Furthermore, if I am 10p overdrawn on my overdraft facility, I am charged £35 for the transaction alone, plus a £25 monthly fee (this monthly fee cannot even be dealt with in branch!).

                    However, despite this (and I say that with a deep sigh) relative to the service I have seen in from other banks, Abbey does stand up fairly well. As well as this, given the banking is free (and we have no divine right to free banking), you cannot expect much more. The poor experiences I have described above are also few and far between, simply as I do find Abbey's online banking service highly convenient, and help you avoid using the telephones or branch (for basic day to day banking). Another plus I have found with this bank, is the fairly high interests rates they can occasionally offer, with my bank account giving me 6% interest, which is quite handy.

                    With the Abbey being owned by Santander (though I do not necessarily think overseas ownership is always beneficial), the immediate future of the bank seems secure, with the company being one of the few to make a profit during the credit crunch. With Natwest (rbs), barclay, lloyds and halifax, making such grave mistakes over the past few years in handling their finances, I personally feel inclined to look elsewhere.

                    Overall, the Abbey is far from perfect, but I believe you seem to find these problems everywhere, and given the few positive fators I have described, it is presently the bank for me.

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                    • maximiles.co.uk / Internet Site / 24 Readings / 22 Ratings
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                      17.08.2009 01:41
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                      worth a try!

                      Ipoints is an excellent cashback website, which rewards you with points for spending on associated retailers, with the opportunity to earn numerous free points. I have been using ipoints for just over a year and have managed to earn over £100 pounds in vouchers, spending hardly a penny of my own.

                      I came across ipoints when searching for something similar to nectar, but more rewarding and I have not been disappointed. The site originally used to send a couple of emails a day, from which you could get 5 or 10 points by simply clicking through to the vendor's website. These emails have become few and far between, with the '10 pointers' seemingly non-existent. With a £30 voucher for M&S costing 7400 ipoints, this was a wonderful deal and it did not take me very long (about 3 months) to receive my first voucher set (yes they do pay out, which is always nice!)

                      As you trawl through their website, you can easily find ways to make some very easy money. The ipoints credit card is one I would definitely consider, at 2500 point for merely registering and making your first purchase. After your purchase you can just cancel the card.

                      A more ingenious way of making a quick dollar I found, has been through their betting associates. For example, making a £10 bet with 'Boylesports' credits you with 3000 ipoints, equivalent to the £10 bet. If the bet is made on something which is very unlikely to lose say Federer, on fire and two sets up, you do not really risk your £10 bet and are essentially doubling your money! The free £10 bet that you receive from the betting company is just another bonus! Ofcourse this may not be to be to everyone's taste and they may not wish to risk their money at all, but there are lots of other ways to build up your points collection.

                      I have, thus far, found ipoints to be very useful..until I run out of ways in which to gather the free points, but do believe that everyone should have the chance to take advantage of them!

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                      • Samsung SGH-D900 / Mobile Phone / 10 Readings / 10 Ratings
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                        17.08.2009 01:01
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                        • Reliability

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                        a trustworthy companion

                        I have owned the Samsung D900 for over two year now and have yet to report a problem. With two opportunities to upgrade, I have not been able to, given my attachment to the simple and highly convenient phone. The modern phones such as the iphone and Nokia's N-range, with all of their 'add-ons' and touch screens seem to blow over my head, and I still prefer to stick to the easy to use Samsung D900.

                        The samsung D900, as listed below, has all the features such as a camara, mp3 player, SMS, bluetooth, etc, which are essential to to a mobile, and all the features are extremely easy to put into action!

                        The phone other extremely saleable feature is that it seems to be indestructible! I have dropped it numerous times, let it slip into a swimming pool, thrown it against a wall, and it has yet to bear a scratch..

                        Aesthetically I also find it very pleasing, with quite a standard samsung look. As well as this, I believe it is still the world's slimmest slide phone, so you hardly feel it in your trousers!

                        If you are looking to buy yourself a very cheap, reliable phone, the D900 is ideal. You can pick it up for around £20 from ebay, which is much better than the hundreds you would pay for an extravagent phone now!

                        Mobile specifications:

                        Network Type EDGE, GPRS, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, GSM 850, GSM 900
                        Form Factor Slide
                        Design Mobile
                        Digital Camera 4x Zoom 3 Megapixels Digital Camera

                        Display
                        Display Size 240 x 320
                        Screen Type 262K Colors (TFT)

                        Memory
                        Installed Memory 70 MB
                        Expansion Slot MicroSD

                        Technical Features
                        Antenna Type Integrated
                        Connectivity Bluetooth, Sync ML, USB
                        Input Method 5-Way Navigation Pad
                        Talk Time 3.3 Hours
                        Standby Time 260 Hours
                        Digital Camera Resolution 3 Megapixels
                        Digital Camera Zoom 4x Digital Zoom

                        Other Features
                        Messaging Formats EMS, IMAP4, MMS, POP3, SMS, SMTP
                        Data Formats MIDP2, WAP 2.0
                        Phone Features Caller line identifier, Integrated speakerphone, Photo caller ID, Predictive text input, Rington caller ID, Vibrating Alert
                        Organizer Features Alarm clock, Calendar
                        Other Features PC synchronization
                        Applications Calculator, Countdown timer, Currency converter, JAVA games, Stopwatch
                        Multimedia Features Digital TV playback, Direct photo printing through PictBridge, MP3 player, MP3 ringtones, MPEG4 video playback, Polyphonic ringtones, Video Capture, Voice recorder
                        Address Book Capacity 1000 Contacts

                        Dimensions
                        Height 10.3 cm
                        Width 5.1 cm
                        Depth 1.3 cm
                        Weight 93 g

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                      • Renault Clio 1.2 5-door / Car / 16 Readings / 16 Ratings
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                        16.08.2009 21:40
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                        If you are after a sexy looking little roadster, you wouldnt look much further than the clio!

                        The renault clio 1.2 5 door is my first car, for now over 4 years and I have loved every moment driving it.

                        Car Specs:

                        Make: Renault
                        Model: Clio
                        Variant: 1.2 Dynamique 16v 5dr
                        Colour: Black
                        Fueltype: Petrol
                        Bodytype: Hatchback
                        Transmission: Manual
                        Doors: 5

                        Power Steering, Electric Mirrors, Electric Windows, Adjustable Steering Column, Remote Central Locking, Immobiliser, Head Restraints, Height Adjustable Seat, Abs, Child Locks, Side Air Bags, Twin Air Bags, Air Conditioning, Folding Rear Seats, Rear Headrests, Cd Player, Front Fog Lamps, Metallic Paintwork and Alloy Wheels

                        I can't think of any more to mention!

                        My opinion:

                        The renault clio has been a lovely drive from the day I bought it. At a modest 1.2L engine, its light bodywork has meant it has not detracted from its acceleration. The car drives extremely smooth and despite its compact size it is extremely spacious inside.

                        My car has only driven approximately 25000 miles, so I guess it has not had the time on the road to deteriorate, even so, the car still feels as if I have just bought it.

                        In terms of the car's aesthetic appearance, everyone would be familiar with the car's extremely sexy look, especially whilst sweeping through the narrow french roads in the adverts, and I personally think it is one of the prettiest cars you will see.

                        The car is not perfect however. I have been lucky enough not to be in any major car accidents, but I am always slightly wary driving the small car over long distances. My only experience so far of in contact with my car was within the first month of passing my test, backing into a bollard. Though the contact was only slight, the damage on my car was not. With only a little impact, there was a very noticable amount of damage on the bodywork which cost a hefty fee of £300 to fix! For this reason I would raise concerns about the safety of the car.

                        Overall, for a first car or a second family car, I would never want a different car other than the renault clio (well maybe a mini..but that is all!).

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                      • Ted Baker / Clothing / 12 Readings / 10 Ratings
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                        16.08.2009 02:15
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                        worth a browse, even if it is to pick out something you may want in the sales

                        In ted baker, you will get a brilliant range of quality clothing, with greating fitting. From womens dresses, skirts to mens socks and shirts, Ted Baker supplies nearly every type of clothing and accessory, and I definately 'Trust in Ted'.

                        Ted Baker is a relative high class range of clothing, with matching high prices with mens shirts, for example, ranging from £40-£100, and womens skirts at about £80, but this is more than compensated for (in my opinion) by the quality and life of the products. The Ted Baker sale is definately worth waiting for, with the biggest knock downs coming in the summer and christmas sales, but such is its appeal that the most popular sizes disappearing very quickly.

                        Ted Baker has a very original range, from quite funky and outrageous to sophisticated and chic designs, which will look good on most people.

                        One thing to note is that they have a slightly different sizing system (well the first time I have come across it!), whereby they number the clothes 1-6, with 6 being the largest mens size and 1 being the smallest womens.

                        The service provided whilst in a Ted Baker store is also of the highest standard, with the staff always very courteous and polite.

                        If you do find yourself in desperate need of treating yourself, then Ted Baker is worth looking out for!

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