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jpegington

jpegington
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Member since: 13.01.2006

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      12.05.2007 10:43
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      Give the police more praise

      Do you have faith in your local police is a hard question to answer as you need to consider this from a number of views.

      I would say that on the whole I have total faith in my local police. I think they seem to do a decent job and the only time I have needed to call them (someone was breaking into our car at night) and we had the police there within minutes.

      As such my first immediate reaction is that I do have total faith in my local police.

      However when thinking about this a little further, I have to think back on the above incident. There were fingerprints found our car and I believe they knew who did it and I think he was prosecuted, however we were never advised that he was. I would say on communication issues the local police could be improved to advise you when they catch the criminals.

      Also I would say that is rare that you actually see a local policeman on the streets. It seems that usually you only see local community offices or special constables, who seem to do a good job, but don't have the power of the police to arrest, etc.

      I would prefer to see a more old fashioned approach to policing with local police on the streets who know the community and can get involved. After all when I was brought up then you knew that if you had a problem you could go to a policeman and they would help you.

      I think that overall our police do a good job and I trust them and think that they should get much more praise then they currently do.

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      • Money in Football / Discussion / 43 Readings / 41 Ratings
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        07.05.2007 21:58
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        Bring in a wage cap

        Footballers, are they really worth the money that is now being spent on them?

        I must admit that my first love in sport is Rugby, however I am also a big football fan. I like to follow the Premiership and also International Football, but I do think that the money that is now mentioned in football is totally stupid.

        Why?

        There are a number of reasons why I think that there is too much money being spent on players (both to buy them and being paid them as wages). Firstly is the impact that this then has on the fans. Tickets to watch Chelsea play this season are between £35 and £60! Other premiership teams are similar as well, surely it would make sense to pay footballers less and then charge less to let people watch those same footballers.

        When you look at the financial state of a lot of football clubs (mainly those in the lower divisions) and you have to admit that money is killing a lot of these clubs. Wages are really high, signing players costs a lot of money, and they are not getting a lot of supporters coming through the gates. In the premiership it is a little different as they have a lot of TV money (which means that the majority of people have to purchase a digital package to watch the football rather than being able to enjoy matches on the normal Telly). Football as a sport has to realise that the fans are the most important fact and they cannot continue to just increase the costs of tickets. It is happening now with the a number of grounds not being full and that is a cost issue, which if the players were paid less and the grounds would cost less then they would be full.

        The second issue to consider is whether the players are actually worth that much? Lets look at Rugby, I doubt if many of the English Rugby team who won the World cup are rich! While I expect all of the English Football team are mega rich, despite not winning the major international prize.

        Also consider the club game, how many boring matches have you watched recently where the so called stars of the show, who are worth millions in transfer fees, just don't seem interested or bothered. They are just going through the paces and not really working hard! I admit there are major exceptions to this, with some players being true quality players who always work hard and put the effort in, but do all these mega rich players always work that hard?

        Another thing that makes me wonder whether footballers are really worth so much money, is when you see major millions being spent on a player who has yet to prove himself or who has done anything yet. Paying a young 18 year old £20,000 a week is a crime in my eyes when so many people cannot afford to even eat, even in this country. Having said that, paying anyone the sum of £50,000 a week and a lot more as well to play football and kick a ball around seems crazy in my eyes. £50,000 a week is around £2.5 Million pounds a year! and that is money that fans are paying for one player.

        I understand that they bring joy and misery to many people and as long as fans are willing to pay high entry fees and licence fees to watch them on TV, then maybe they are worth the money, but in my eyes it is a huge con. Rugby does not generate such high fees, but gives you just as much satisfaction and joy. A wage cap which allows them to make good money ( and a salary of £50,000 a month would be good money as they would earn around £600,000 a year in wages and would no doubt get some sponsership and advertising revenue on top) and this would allow the fans to spend less money watching their favourite teams play.

        In summary therefore, footballers are paid far to much money for kicking around a football and it is the fans which are suffering.

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          05.05.2007 18:46
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          Keep the House of Lords

          The House of Lords is in my opinion a necessary tool that is a very useful counterpart to the House of Commons.

          Take into account the issue mentioned above in regards to the House of Lords: The issue of Fox Hunting and other measures that the Labour party has pushed through the House of Commons due to their large majority can only be stopped by a second house that is independent and not politically motivated. Bear in mind that not all of the UK is against Fox Hunting (in actual fact I would put the figures at a rough guess at about 20% against, 20% For and around 60% indifferent who have not really thought about it. Therefore a second house that can consider items raised and can look at their impact upon this country without so much political thought is surely a good thing.

          YES I understand about the problems of unelected peers being able to veto decisions and also the issue of heriditary peers are two crucial thoughts in regards to the House of Lords.

          Lets think about the issue of Heriditary peers first. I personally think that this is in parts possibly a better idea than peers which have been given a peerage by political parties in order to get the House of Lords to vote in a way that the current political party wants them to vote. At least before we had a number of peers who were fairly independant and would vote with their thoughts and not just on party issues.

          Lets also consider the issue of unelected peers. This is still the case currently as only the political party that is in power decides who gets elected into the House of Lords. I would love to see the house of lords continue with unelected peers who come from various backgrounds which make them knowledgeable in various fields. We should have ex judges who make good decisions in their court time and ex doctors and ex businessmen. This should allow the House of Lords to be a good countermeasure to the House of Commons and be representative of the countries opinions.

          We must have some sort of second opinion and countermeasure to the House of Commons so I say that we should not abolish the House of Lords and ensure that it stays at least in part without political pressure and therefore be a good balance of power to the House of Commons.

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          • UK taxation / Discussion / 44 Readings / 38 Ratings
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            02.05.2007 19:39
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            Pay Less Tax

            UK TAXATION is an issue that is growing in importance all the time, especially with the current labour government who seems to be raising all tax levels except maybe income tax, sounds a crafty way of increasing taxes to me!

            Anyway how fair do I feel that taxes are in the UK? Personally I think that they are rather high, although income tax has not increased for a number of years, I pay just about double the council tax I used to, double the national insurance and do not seem to get any more benefits than I used to. Then take into account that extremely rich people can manage to avoid taxes with all sorts of legal arguments and even our politicians seem to manage to get away with not paying taxes on some levels (i.e. second houses) and it does not seem to be a particularly fair measure at this time.

            We talk about good public services and can we expect good service without paying for it. Personally I am all for paying taxes for good services like the NHS and roads, but personally am not happy that private companies seem to make so much money out of part of that money. Take for example the congestion charge in London: As far as I am aware a private company takes £4 out of every £8 that Londoners pay for this service. How is this fair? Surely it would be better for most of this money to be used to improve public transport in London rather than creating profits for a company! I have no problems with them making some money out of the service if it is run correctly, but 50% seems rather high to me.

            Then lets look at the national health service. Personally I think they do a good job, but this government has plowed money into it, but this does not seem to have helped or improved the service. WHY? Well I would say that the issue is where the money has been spent. I.e. on a computer system that has never worked, etc etc etc. I expect that if we worked out what was being pumped into the NHS, allowed business men to run the service efficiently, we would get a much better service and would probably not have to pay so much taxes for this. Can we expect good public services without paying for it? Well NO is the obvious answer, but I expect that we could get much better public services for the pound if it was run well and not allowed to have government officials meddling.

            The third issue here is do I know where my tax dollars are going?

            Exactly I would say NO, but I expect part of my and everyone else taxes is used to pay for the pay increase that politicians allways seem to be asking for and for th recent £10,000 they allowed themselves for electronic communication on top of the postal budget they already have. How is it possible they need an extra £10,000 pounds? Do any of us get emails from our local council? or from our politician?
            NO Of course not.

            I am not even going to start discussing or writing about the issue of the welfare system! I expect that if we prosecuted and chased up those who are abusing the system we could save £1 billion which could be used elsewhere. Why should individuals who can work be allowed not to? I am not having a go at any individuals who cannot work but rather those who are faking injuries or trying to get something for nothing from my taxes! Much rather it was used to improve public services etc.

            Anyway enough of a rant from me. As you can probably tell I do think we are paying to much in tax, partly due to watse of the government and partly due to abuses of the system.

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              29.04.2007 00:44
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              There are good opportunities, but you need to be careful.

              Am I disallusioned with Ebay? Well to answer that question I first need to state my opening thoughts on Ebay.

              Therefore, I need to go back a number of years to when I first started using EBAY. Back then, many moons ago, I thought EBAY was a great idea. A useful site where I could buy items that I want which I might not find elsewhere and hopefully get a much better prices from it. Also it was a site where I could sell my old rubbish (or at least old items which I no longer wanted) and hopefully make a little bit of money from unwanted items.

              OK, I think that I have made my initial opinion clear in regards to EBAY - I thought it was a great site for 2 clear reasons.

              Now have I been disallusioned with EBAY? I would say that in part I certainly have been in other areas I haven't. To clarify my points, I will split my opinions into two parts in regards to EBAY, Buying items and Selling items.

              BUYING ITEMS:

              In regards to buying items I would say that I certainly have been slightly disallusioned with EBAY. You read about a lot of cases of FRAUD, items being offered, paid for and never delivered and this has made me very wary about buying from EBAY.

              I now always check feedback on EBAY to see what other people have said and prefer to only buy new items and generally from people who have set up shops in EBAY as this gives you I believe slightly more protection as it is harder to setup a shop than just a normal EBAY account.

              I also prefer not to buy items that are a large price over EBAY mainly because if it costs a lot of money then I can probably get it new somewhere for a simular price over the Internet away from EBAY.

              I also no longer check Ebay as much when I am looking to buy something and the above reasons are the cause of that. So I think that it is clear that I am no longer quite such a happy buyer from EBAY as I used to be.

              However I must admit that it is possible to pick up some great bargains and amasing childhood memories that are just not possible to buy anywhere else.

              SELLING ITEMS:

              Now I must admit that I no longer sell that many items over EBAY as I first did. When I take into account that we recently did a boot market and earned over £100 from old odds and ends which I would usually have sold over EBAY I would say that in part I am disallusioned with selling items over EBAY as well.

              At least I would be except for the fact that we recently sold some items over EBAY that made me much more money than I expected. I had originally offered this furniture to some friends who I thought would want it, but thankfully they said NO so thought why not sell it via EBAY. It started getting bids and got to £30 and I was happy with that, but before it finished it ended on over £100 and I was over the moon.

              This has definitely changed my opinion a little about selling items on ebay. I was not bothered about doing so and not interested in going through the hassle of taking photos and listing the item, but now will have to reconsider. I expect that I will probably start using EBAY only for more expensive items that might actually make it worthwhile to go through the effort.

              So I would say that I was definetely getting disallusioned with EBAY on a selling side as well, but have now changed my mind with our recent windfall.

              All in all I would say that EBAY is a good site that certainly has its advantages, however you do need to be very careful what you buy and who you buy it from. However if you are buying anything second hand those same principles apply whether it is from a mate or EBAY.

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                22.04.2007 00:13
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                Give practical and physical aid to these countries

                This question is one that I have been thinking about for a while so was pleasantly surprised to see it here on the speakers corner. Should we as British people apologise for the slave trade?

                Now I have been thinking about this for a while. I must first state for the record that slavery is a terrible crime. It is indeed a blot on our history as a country that we were involved with the slave trade. However I also think that the fact that the UK were one of the first to abolish slavery is very important. We can thank the work of William Wilberforce for his constant acts within parliament for bringing an end to slavery within the British Empire.

                I have been reading for a while about the constant calls that we should apologise as a nation / individuals for the effects of slavery and for the fact that the UK was involved within slavery. Personally I think that it is not important or right that we should have to apologise for slavery.

                After all, none of us were or have been involved with slavery! We have not committed the crime that was done and therefore we should not be asked to apologise for those crimes.

                HOWEVER, having said that, I think it is clear that as a country we did benefit from slavery. It helped make the British Empire as great as it was and brought a lot of wealth into this country.

                Therefore I think that it is much more important that as a country and individuals, instead of apologising for something that our ancestors have done, we should take positive action and do something that is actually helpful. By this I mean that we should do something to help the current situation within these countries.

                Now I know that our government no doubt helps a number of countries with aid and I have heard that we should cancel the third world debt to help them as often the amount of aid given just pays for the repayments of the interest on the debts. Personally I think that we should freeze all interest on the debts and allow the countries to repay the actual debt. This teaches the countries responsibility for there actions in having to repay the debt, but also helps them in actual measures. This would be a much greater physical benefit to these countries rather than a non important apology.

                I think that is should be made clear that we regret our part within slavery and then go ahead with practical means to help and support the countries involved.

                We should all as individuals also do something to help. We could all sponser a child somewhere, buy a cow to provide food, give money to help rebuild a village or even go out there and help practically.

                Personally I think that this would be a much larger benefit and would be something practical towards the whole argument as to whether we should apologise as one of the key points that I hear raised is the amount that it benefitted this country.

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                  07.04.2007 22:00
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                  Good book and the best Dan Brown yet.

                  Digital Fortress is another Book by Dan Brown and follows his usual conspiracy theory and far fetched ideas that he seems to love.

                  Author: Dan Brown
                  Publisher: Corgi
                  Number of Pages: 510
                  Number of Chapters: 128
                  Number of words (estimated): 153,000
                  Number of Letters: Now I am being foolish, so lets stop and get on with the review.

                  ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

                  Dan Brown is best known for his Book "The Da Vinci Code". He has written a number more books, including this one that I am reviewing. Dan Brown is a graduate of Amherst College and currently lives in New England with his wife.

                  ABOUT THE BOOK:

                  Digital Fortress is about the NSA (National Security Agency) who have an invincible code-breaking machine that encounters a mysterious code that it cannot break. The agency calls in his head cryptographer Susan Fletcher. She is astonished to find that the NSA is being held hostage not by guns or bombs but by a code that could cripple US Intelligence.

                  Susan has to battle to save US Intelligence, the man she loves and solve the puzzle.

                  MY OPINION ON THIS BOOK:

                  Before I go any further I should say that I actually quite like Dan Brown's writing style. I think that he is easy to read, entertaining and enjoyable to read. My main critiscism is that he always has massive conspiracy theories and usually has something to say against the established church. I would say that generally his books could be much better if he just made them a little more believable.

                  Anyway, having written my thoughts above about the author and my general thoughts about his writing, lets move onto this book in particular.

                  Digital Fortress is in my opinion probably the best book that Dan Brown has actually written. I think it is reasonably believable, certainly is entertaining and gripping and a great read.

                  Why?

                  The story itself is certainly one that I can believe and think is possible. After all is it that hard to believe that the NSA has a computer that has the ability to crack all codes, read your mail, listen to your telephone calls and probably make a cup of tea while doing so? Add into that human nature, power corrupts, geeky computer programmers and just about everything probably makes sense and is possible.

                  THE GOOD PARTS:

                  I think that Dan Brown really builds up the characters in his book well. From Susan Fletcher as the brainy cryptographer to David Becker as her man. The roles all seem to pull together and make sense.

                  The book has a good story of mystery, whodunnit and thrills. As with all Dan Brown books, I do have to be careful what I write as if you are aware of his books there is usually a twist or two and I don't want to spoil the book, thus I will keep to general terms.

                  The writing style is one of short chapters. This can be annoying as no longer have you started a chapter and 1 page later it is over. However I do kinda like this style as it all seems to flow quite well. Word of warning that if you don't like this style, then maybe don't buy this book.

                  THE BAD PARTS:

                  He once again has come up with an ending that annoyed me completely. The book was really well written and running really well, but then the ending was just annoying to me. Not saying anymore as you this would give away far to much of the book. Don't get me wrong, the book is worth reading but had to make my criticism known here.

                  That is just about all I have to say about Digital Fortress. If you liked THE DA VINCI CODE then I do recommend Digital Fortress as I think it is a better book. If you hated THE DA VINCI CODE then I would still recommend Digital Fortress.

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                    01.04.2007 18:19
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                    Great Holiday in Florida & Washington.

                    My Ideal Holiday?

                    Well that is a very hard question to answer, mainly because I like so many different things at different times. For example I love reading, so a nice relaxing holiday at the beach would be great - get some sun and read at the same time. I also like some adventure stuff - so a nice trip to disney land & MGM Studies is also on the card. However I also like looking at historical buildings, etc and getting some nice history into me. Equally I really enjoy it sometimes when I can just stay at home on holiday and don't have to do a thing, just laze around, read, watch films and play computer.

                    Therefore it is very hard to make a decision on what my ideal holiday would be. However having started this review I do need to think about this in a little more detail.

                    At the moment I think my ideal holiday would be a combination of all of the above things, indeed I think back to my last US Trip when I went to Florida which was kinda ideal, although a nicer Hotel would be quite nice.

                    Therefore my ideal holiday would be a 3 week trip to America. I spend 1 week in Florida at the Theme Parks, visiting MGM Studios, Disney Land, Universal Studios, Wet & Wild Waterpark & Blizzard Beach. I would want to spend the time in a Top 5 Star Hotel with all the Luxeries, possibly in Disney World.

                    Having spent the First week doing all fun activity items, I would then move onto the Florida coast and spend 1 week just chilling out. Sunbathing at the Beach, water sports like Jet Skis, Diving and just having a nice chilled time. Again a nice top hotel would be good where you have excellent room service, a nice swimming pool and you can just chill.

                    The third week I would then use to travel again to Washington D.C. by an internal flight and spend the last week in the Capital and use the time to see all of the historical sights like Capital Hill, etc.

                    This holiday would then encompass just about everything that I like all in one trip and would no doubt be awesome.

                    HOWEVER, hold on, the perfect trip by yourself? I don't think so! In order for the holiday to be perfect I would have to be able to take my lovely wife and my equally wonderful little Jack Russel dog. Therefore the holiday hotels would have to be able to have qualified individual dog sitter to look after my little dog during the day (and evening if we go out) but still give us the option of seeing him and sharing the holiday with him, which would be better than leaving him at home with friends and family.

                    Anyway that is a quick introduction into what would be the pefect holiday for me. Comments would be welcome.

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                      18.03.2007 19:46
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                      Nuclear Deterent must be kept.

                      Are nuclear deterents still necessary? In one simple answer - YES ABSOLUTELY!

                      Why?

                      In my opinion this country still needs nuclear weapons to keep the country as safe as possible. Lets look back over the last 70 years!

                      I think everyone will agree that one reason that the Soviet Union never invaded Western Europe was the Nuclear deterrant that the West had. Therefore it is clear that Nuclear Weapons do work as a deterent against a super power.

                      OK, I hear what a number of you are probably saying now, the Soviet Union is no more and the threat to this country has changed. Rather than one superpower threatening us, we have Global Terrorism and smaller conflicts.

                      Is a nuclear deterent any good against Global Terrorism? This is a hard question to answer as it is uncertain. On one side I do not think that a Terrorist is going to be too worried about a nuclear weapon as he is a single person and a country is hardly going to attack him with a nuclear weapon. However there is a second side to Terrorism, that is the State Sponsored Terrorism. This is one side where a nuclear deterent would be useful. After all, should a country think of sponsoring a terrorist attack against our country, then they might think twice if they knew we would retaliate with nuclear weapons. And that is after all the point of a nuclear deterent, making other people think twice about attacking our country.

                      Of course, you have to have the political will to fight back and that is something that our country has to be willing to do.

                      Therefore, it is in my opinion very important that we have the ability to fight back should we be attacked. A nuclear deterrent is an important aspect in our defence of this country and should not be given up lightly.

                      So lets consider the costs aspect of a nuclear deterrent! I understand that it will cost a fair amount of money to have new trident missile subs. However, should a number of these new countries like North Korea or Iran get nuclear weapons with launch capabilities to reach the UK, then I for one would feel safer knowing that we have a way of fighting back. It might make other countries think twice about attacking us. After all the cost of repairing London or Manchester would be no doubt much greater (both in money and in human life terms) than the trident subs.

                      In conclusion therefore, nuclear subs and missiles good! Nuclear deterrent could still work against state sponsored terrorism and we should keep them. Hope you enjoyed reading this review.

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                        07.03.2007 22:12
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                        Amusing idea to consider

                        Having read this catagory, I just had to write about it. It is such a pointless discussion with such a crazy idea that it hardly seems worth the effort, however it does kinda interest me and it does provoke me to think what would I do!

                        Would I share my knowledge? Would I use it for my own benefit? Would I be scared and ignore it?

                        Having had all these thoughts run though my brain, I am sure that the following would probably be my response to what would I do if I had tomorrows newspaper today.

                        Firstly I think that probably greed would kick in first. How can I make money out of this newspaper. Therefore I would probably first look at the stocks and currencies. Is there an opportunity to trade the volatility of the currency? Have any stocks risen or fallen sharply that I can sell short or go long on? I am sure that therefore the first thing I would do is pick up the newspaper and look at the financial pages.

                        Then an idea hit me, what about the lottery, are tomorrow's lottery numbers in this newpaper? Quick flick through to find out would therefore be the second response.

                        Then I am sure that after the greed has kicked in and i have checked out how I can make money out of this unbelievable occurance, my social responsibility would kick in. Has any major tradegy occured that I can stop? Can I warn anyone about a hurricane? What about crime? Can I stop a murder or a bank robbery? I hope at least that I would start to think about other people and look through the newspaper to see how I can use this to benefit more than just myself.

                        Thirdly I am sure that after all of this my general curiosity would kick in. What has happenend tomorrow? Lets read the newspaper just to find out what will go on. I am sure that after the greed and social responsibility my general curiosity would definetely kick in.

                        What about next? Would I share my winfall with anyone else! Or would I keep quiet so only I benefit, I truly don't know the answer to this question. After all I am sure that most people would think you were crazy if you told them you had tomorrow's newspaper.

                        I expect that the last thing I would do is to put the newspaper in with the rest of my newspaper recycle pile. To be used when I need to clean the windows, or use on the floor under my umbrella.

                        I hope you enjoyed this hypothetical idea and would welcome your comments.

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                        • BBC Sport & Media / Discussion / 45 Readings / 43 Ratings
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                          03.03.2007 18:44
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                          It's OK, but not worth the TV Licence.

                          The Good and the Bad of the BBC!

                          Ok, now I must say that my opinion of the BBS is completely mixed. I think in parts it does a really good job, on others it is rather poor. My only real complaint is the fact that I have to pay a licence fee.

                          OK, what does the BBC do well?

                          I would say that there are some very good programs on the BBC, like TOP Gear for instance. Top Gear is a very enjoyable program that is well directed, funny and yet also informative. The BBC also produces a number of very good documentaries and nature programs that are very enjoyable to watch.

                          However, one of the best factors of the BBC is in my opinion its news. I think that generally it gives a very good overview of what is happening in the UK as well as across the world. At times it puts across certain opinions like all news broadcasters but generally it does have a reasonably balanced viewpoint.

                          WHat does the BBC do bad?

                          I would admit that there are quite a number of repeats on the BBC. That can be quite irritating when you have seen a certain show / film / docunmentary before.

                          However as I mentioned above, my biggest problem is that I have to pay a TV licence fee to watch 2 channels out of the many that i have on freeview (or cable ). I would much rather they made the BBC a free channel (and allow them to have advertising on it) and then I have the choice as to what I want to watch and gives the BBC the freedom to show what they want to show.

                          I would say that the TV licence is just another TAX that we have no choice really to pay, even if you never watch the BBC.

                          That is really why I mean that my views on the BBC are mixed. In parts they have good programs that I enjoy, in other parts they are just not worth the actual money that I pay as my TV Licence.

                          Therefore I am not certain as to how to finish this review. I enjoy the channels in part but agree that they are not great in others.

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                            18.02.2007 20:08
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                            It happens.

                            When I saw this discussion in speakers corner, I thought that I just had to write a review on it. I would say that I am definetely guilty of judging on first appearances and would say that just about everyone does in some manner or other. For me the important issue would be to what extent you allow that first impression to guide your complete judgement of an individual.

                            What do I mean by that, well I am involved in sales. As such your first impression, both on the phone and in meetings is all important. Should you make a bad impression (by looking scruffy or not knowing their name, etc) then you can immediately make your job so much harder. It is possible to turn a meeting around, by being professional, however it is much harder. Therefore a first impression can make or break a sale.

                            It used to be said, that should you want to know about a man, then you should look at their shoes. Should they be polished and clean, then they are trustworthy, etc, while if they are scruffy then they can't be. This is an issue of a first impression (that I also do sometimes) but is not the whole picture. It is important to consider in some cases as if they cannot be bothered to polish their shoes, then should you trust them in other areas as well?

                            One example where I have without a shadow of a doubt judged on a first appearance was a number of years ago. I was looking for a new suit and went to a high street suit shop that I had used for many years as one of the sales staff there was very helpful. On this occaision I walked in and an overweight man with an extremely bad fitting suit (it really did not suit him or fitted him very well) asked me whether he could help me. I looked at him and decided immediately (from the first appearance) that if he could not find a suit that suited and fitted him, then how would he be able to help me. As such I walked out of the store and went elsewhere. Now, was I right to do so? In my opinion yes, I judged on a first appearance, but if he cannot help himself, then how would he be able to help me?

                            In other times I have taken a slight dislike to someone based on my first appearance, but once I got to know them, I realised that they were not like I first imagined at all, and indeed got on very well with them. The important factor is that you should not let a first appearance govern your decision making all the time, but give people a chance.

                            As for the issue of pretty people getting more attention over ugly ones, then I would say that in some cases this happens with everyone. I would say however that a strong character can also make a good or bad first impression and this is also something that is important to consider both in judging other people and in how you live your own life.

                            In conclusion I would say that first appearances do have an impact on how I judge other people, but I try not to let them have such an importance in my life. Rather I try to get to know people first before I make a decision on what I think of them.

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                            • Road Rage / Discussion / 35 Readings / 31 Ratings
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                              03.02.2007 21:43
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                              Lets just all drive much nicer.

                              Road Rage is a subject that is not a really pleasant one to discuss. It seems to happen a lot in a minor way, but not very often in a particular nasty way.

                              However, I get ahead of myself, firstly What is Road Rage?

                              Road Rage is a condition which can affect just about anyone, it is a condition where, while you are driving you just lose control of yourself and snap. Now a Wikipedia defuinition of Road Rage is:

                              "Road rage (also road violence) is the informal name for deliberately dangerous and/or violent behaviour under the influence of heightened, violent emotion such as anger and frustration, with regard to the use of automobiles."

                              Now have I ever suffered from Road Rage?

                              Actually YES, I was punched in the face once when I was much younger (about 18) by another driver for what I assume he thought was because I cut him up. It was not particularly pleasant but anyway so be it.

                              Have I ever done Road Rage?

                              Well if you mean by the violent kind where I have punched someone or deliberately cut them up, then NO, however I have become angry when driving and wanted to scream at another driver. However I would definetely not take it another level as I am not violent in that kinda way.

                              Now it is clear that Road Rage can happen and my tips for staying clear of Road Rage is firstly, when driving, drive in a manner where you consider other drivers as yourself. That means, when you are in a hurry and you are desperate to pass the slow driver in front, rather than undercut them, wait until you have a safe option to do so, this should mean that in the long run, you should not be exposed to Road Rage from other angry drivers.

                              Also, when you are cut up (as it happens to all of us at some time), consider the issue of slamming your hands down onto your horn and showing the finger and consider what could be the reaction back! Yes we need to let off steam when we are cut up, but you don't want to give other drivers an excuse to get mad back at you.

                              Eye contact can also be a dumb move when someone is being aggresive to you and conducting Road Rage as this can spur them on and cause them to get even more violent. I would recommend locking your doors and try to move on to a safe location (ouside police stations are usually recommended as a good location, but generally a place with loads of people is usually a good bet).

                              Now for those people who have a temper or who are capable of doing Road Rage, consider at all times when you are driving the fact that you have the capability of being violent / aggresive and fight the urge. This could involve deep breaths, soothing music, etc, anything that might cause you to relax.

                              All in all, I recommend that everyone when driving should try to consider other drivers first and drive in a way that considers other drivers as you would like to be considered. This should reduce the opportunities for Road Rage and help everyone to be nicer to each other.

                              However I expect that that is just a complete pipe dream.

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                              • Conspiracy Theories / Discussion / 40 Readings / 35 Ratings
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                                19.01.2007 23:48
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                                Sooner or later you will find one with an element of truth in it.

                                Conspiracy Theories are in my opinion mainly either a case of the media trying to sell more papers, extremely guillable people or mistaken identities.

                                OK, now having probably annoyed just about everyone with my opening to this debate, I will elaborate a little further as to my thoughts on Conspiracy Theories.

                                It is very hard to take this subject as just one subject because of the large variation of conspiracy theories. Take for example the issue of Aliens and Roswell (where the US Air Force is meant to have an Alien spaceship and performed Autopies on aliens).

                                Now in my opinion this is of course complete nonsense. Most of the so-called alien sightings are almost certainly sightings of new advanced military technology that no one knows about. Take the Stealth Fighter and look at the shape and size of it and the fact that radar does not pick it up and compare it to a number of the sightings that have been seen around Roswell and you have a clearly sensible argument as to what these sightings are. However as this is A: not as interesting B: does not sell as many papers and C: just too believable we still have a conspiracy theory going on about Roswell.

                                Therefore in this case there is obviously no truth in regards to this conspiracy theory.

                                Now moving on, lets take another of the really popular conspiracy theories, that being who shot JFK? Now in this case you have to look at the various facts that are available in regards to the shooting and the various bullet angles. I would say that this issue does inspire the conspiracy theories to look into the matter a little further. From the limited information that I have, I would say that it would seem to be extremely difficult for a single gunman to have killed JFK. Therefore in this case maybe there is something behind this. Can we however learn anything from this conspiracy theory? Well I would say that I would say that the conspiracy theory on its own is not anything that you can learn from. Yes it does raise interesting questions and Yes you do need to say that maybe in this case there might be some truth in it, however we will never really know so no doubt the various conspiracy theories will continue.

                                OK, now I have covered the guillable people and mistaken identities side (under the US Air Force issue) The Media side under the following of the JFK side (and how much money have they no doubt made on this, let alone the films and books that have been written about this) so hopefully have clarified what I meant at the beginning of this review.

                                In most cases I would say that there is little actually facts behind conspiracy theories although in some cases there might be some truth in them. After all, if you have enough conspiracy theories then sooner or later you are bound to find one that has truth in it. As for learning anything from Conspiracy Theories, then I would say Number 1 is to not believe anything that the Media tell you and check everything out for yourself first.

                                I hope you have found this debate of interest and I hope I have not affended anyone. Comments are welcome!

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                                • More +
                                  14.01.2007 12:54
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                                  Good game that is sometimes to long

                                  So yet another Board game review for me as I seem to be enjoying them and picking up some nice crowns. Thanks to everyone for those.

                                  Anyway, back to scrabble.

                                  ABOUT THE GAME:

                                  Now Scrabble is a simple word game created by Mattel. The recommended age of the game is 10 years old, but in order to be good at the game you do need quite a good vocabulary so maybe slightly older might be better.

                                  BASIC RULES OF THE GAME:

                                  OK, now Scrabble is a very simple game to play, but very hard for those of us like me with bad vocabulary. The basic rule is that you have a board upon which you need to make words. How do you make the words, well you have a number of tiles within the game and you get to pick 7 of them out of a bag. Each tile has one letter on it (worth different number of points) and you need to make a word from these letters and put them onto the board. Then you need to draw more tiles until you have seven again.

                                  Aim of the game is to be the person with the most points at the end of the game, but more on all that shortly.

                                  HOW TO SET UP THE GAME:

                                  OK, you should have a board (with various symbols on it, like Double Word, Double Letter, Triple Word, Triples Letter, etc) on it. This is the basic playing service for the game. You also have 4 green trays which are to be used to keep your letter tiles on and a large quantity of letter tiles in a bag.

                                  Place the board on a table (on a turn table if possible as this makes it easier to play as you can turn the board to you when it is your turn), give each player a green tray and place all the letter tiles into the bag.

                                  Next decide who is going to be the scorer for the match (always a horible job as you always have to be writing down numbers, but thankfully Dad always used to do this, although now it my job between my wife and I).

                                  That is basically the board setup, so lets get on with playing the game.

                                  PLAYING THE GAME:

                                  Ok, first thing to do is work out who starts, this is a slight advantage sometimes, so we always pick one letter tile out of the bag, and closest person to A then starts.

                                  Next each player needs to pick out 7 letter tiles. These are the letters that you have to use to make your first word on the scrabble board. The first player to play must make a word (obviously the most highest scoring one) out of these letters. He must place these across the middle of the board (there should be a star on the central position of the board) and then calculate how many points he has. The first person to go, always gets double points which is why it is an advantage sometimes. The first player then has to pick out more letter tiles from the bag to make up his number to 7 again.

                                  Now it is the second persons turn. His job is a little more difficult as he must make a word that is able to be placed on the board out of the seven letter tiles that he has. What do I mean by this? Well simply put, he must make a word that either uses one of the letters on the board already or by extending the word into another word (For example if the first person put down "YOU" then then second person could add an "R" on it to make "YOUR" or could make another word running down or through or up from the "U", i.e. "UNDER".) Obviously he has only his 7 letter tiles to use, but he must make a word using these starting letters.

                                  Again you need to work out how many points he has and move on to the next player. This continues until there are no more letter tiles left and all words have been made that can be made on the board.

                                  WINNING THE GAME:

                                  You win the game by having the most points at the end of the game.

                                  INFORMATION ON POINTS/SCORING:

                                  Each letter tile has a number on it, these represent the number of points that letter is worth (i.e. vowels are alll 1, Q = 10, etc). These represent how you score the points and therefore words made up from higher scoring tiles is always going to be better. On top of this you have special squares on the board like "Double Word" or "Double Letter". When you make a word on one of these squares (or a number of them) then you should calculate your points taking these squares into account (i.e should you make a word on a "Double Word" square, then you should count the points on your scrabble tiles and then double them).

                                  STRATEGY TIPS:

                                  Not that many strategies to tell you here, except obvious ones. Firstly you should try not to give your opponents access to making words on the "Triple Word" squares as it is possible to get very high scoring words using these. Secondly there are some letters that are very hard to place (i.e. Q as you must have a U) and therefore sometimes it is good just to get these onto the board whenever you can. However these high scoring letters are great on Triple Squares or Double Letter Squares etc. Need to work out what you want to do there youself. Thirdly I would recommend having a Dictionary near you. This comes in handy to check spelling of words and whether they are real words. We always play that if it is not in the dictionary then it cannot count.

                                  MY OPINION:

                                  OK, now I must admit that when I was younger I did not like Scrabble. This is probably because I used to play it with my parents (who are both very good at it and do not like to lose) and I used to be beaten quite a lot. It has only really been in the last number of years that i have started to really enjoy playing scrabble again.

                                  Having said that, I would encourage everyone to play this game with your children. It is an excellent way to teach vocabulary and spelling and help them to think and it is a great way for parents to spend time playing with their children rather than letting them just play computer games or watch TV.

                                  I now enjoy playing Scrabble with my wife. I find it entertaining and fun, and we have to actually think about it as well. I find this does help me stay awake and use my Brain for a change.

                                  I would not say that Scrabble is an easy game as you constantly have to make new words and think about it, therefore not something to just vegatate on like other games. However it is good fun, and the feeling when you make a high scoring word is just awesome.

                                  Another point I forgot to mention earlier is that if you can place all seven letters onto the board in one go, then you also get a bonus of 50 points. Unfortunagely I have not managed to do this yet!!!

                                  I would mention that Scrabble can be quite a long game. Especially if you are having problems placing words. A game can go on for hours which does start to get boring if you are constantly waiting for someone else to play. We often watch a film that we know in the background so that you are not so bored.

                                  All in all I would recommend scrabble to everyone as a good game to play.

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