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k.mccrindle

k.mccrindle
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Member since: 10.10.2000

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    • Vauxhall Nova / Car / 2 Readings / 60 Ratings
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      18.04.2001 10:52
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      LATEST: Here are the pics of my Nova after my near death experience...point your browsers to: http://novapics.cjb.net UPDATE: My little Nova is no more - I mis-judged a bad corner at around 50mph last Friday (27th April 2001) morning and it ended up going head-on into a wall. It is now rather crumpled and there isn't much left of it. Oh well, at least I was lucky enough to escape with only a few injuries and that I wasn't hurt too seriously... R.I.P. Vauxhall Nova (January 1992 - April 2001) ------------------------------------------- I had been saving all my pennies for years until earlier this year when I went on the lookout for an ideal 'boy racer' type of car to put my CD player, amplifier, and 12" sub-woofer into. Whilst looking around at different cars, I came across a wee white Nova (1992 'J' reg.). I ended up buying this car on February 8th 2001 for £1050. I can remember the excitement and anticipation...after all, I was 'upgrading' from a 1-litre Nissan Micra to a Nova 1.4 SRi. Being a typical 18-year-old boy racer, I was dying to get it out on the road to show off to my mates. First of all though, there was the small matter of insurance - ack. I had received many quotes from around the internet, most of which being absolutely extortionate (some were even asking up to £3500 for fully comprehensive cover) for the size of engine the car runs on. I eventually however came across a cheap(ish) quote compared to any other I had been offered - this was from CIS (Co-operative Insurance Services). The quote came up at £1094.70 per year for fully comprehensive cover under my own name - a rather nice improvement from some of the other recent quotes. I immediately phoned up my local CIS representative, and was visited by him just 1 hour later. He confirmed that the quote I had received was correct, verified my details, handed me my cover note, and off I went - cruising the street
      s in my 'new' motor. Now, I will firstly outline the good points of this car...there really are quite a lot. <br> Firstly, the engine seems to run really well for its age - considering it has done just over 100,000 miles. It also seems to be very high in performance for such a small engine size (1389cc). Below I have compared the statistics shown in a popular car magazine with my own self-proven statistics of my car... --------- 0-60MPH --------- Magazine: 14.5 secs Self-tested: 7.5 secs ----------- MAX SPEED ----------- Magazine: 96mph Self-tested: 125mph on the flat (Goes off the clock to about 135mph going down the M8) ----- BHP ----- Magazine: 60bhp Self-tested: N/A, but I would say it is at least 40 more than stated. And there you have it...I don't know where they find these so-called 'factory' statistics, but my little Nova seems to out-perform them anyway. Another good point about the Nova SRi is that it comes with electric windows, central locking, and sunroof as standard - quite a nice touch for an older car, especially seeing as no other model of Nova has these features. In addition to this, the fuel economy on these cars is quite outstanding. My car can run for a good while with only £5 of petrol in it (around quarter of a tank). As far as boot space goes, it is pretty average for a car of this size - there would be ample enough room for the weekly shopping, but that doesn't matter to me, as long as my amplifier and sub-woofer fit in! The comfortability of this car is pretty average, but I didn't expect it to be too fancy seeing as how it was an older car. The front seats are comfy enough and hold you in quite well as they are shaped like 'bucket' seats. The interior in my Nova is almost spotless, with only one tiny hole in the corner of the front passenger
      seat. The steering wheel feels good on the hands when driving, this is due to it being the SRi specification steering wheel - this being a little smaller than standard Vauxhall steering wheels. The dashboard contains white dials for the speedometer and rev counter - however I am planning to get them for the fuel and temperature gauges also. I can't think of much else to say about the interior apart from that I've got a Magic Tree hanging from my rear view mirror! The SRi spec Novas also come with body-coloured wing mirrors and clear indicator covers at the front - a nice improvement over the standard SR models. A nice, tidy but not too large rear spoiler also adds to the sleek look of the car. All I wanted now was for my car to be the dog's b*llocks, and so I began to ponder on what modifications I could give it to help it along the way to being a supernova... Seeing as the car had already gone through a few upgrades, such as lowered suspension (60mm), full sports exhaust system (Sportex), 14" 3-spoke alloys, and had been de-badged at the front grill, the next step for me was to get my money saved for an induction kit. I managed to pick up a top of the range induction kit from a local performance motorsport store (http://www.motorspeed.co.uk) - it was a K&N 57i kit and cost me £48. I took the kit to a local garage who fitted it for £8 and off I went with my car sounding even better than it did before - and pushing out an extra couple of bhp too. However, shortly after this (about a week later), before I had the chance to give my car any new modifications, some problems began to emerge... The first thing to go wrong was the rear shockers. I had noticed my car had not been handling as well as it used to whilst driving round corners etc, as there was a considerable amount of bodyroll - which there hadn't been any of before due to the stiff suspension and shockers, so I took it in to a local garage so th
      at they could have a look at it and maybe diagnose the problem(s). It turned out that one of my oil shock absorbers at the rear of the car had burst and the oil had ran out of it - meaning I had to buy new rear shockers. I was informed by the mechanics that I would be better replacing the oil shockers with gas ones, so, after the mechanic phoned up for a quote on the parts I needed, I got the new shockers fitted for a total cost of £44.98 - not a bad price at all. However, my next problem appeared when the mechanics were fitting the new shockers - they noticed that the exhaust needed some welding done to the middle pipe. I was told this was due to the exhaust hitting something when I had been driving (ie/ a speed bump or the like - remember, the car is rather low) and had therefore been dented. Well, I had no choice but to go ahead and let them carry out this necessary work also - costing me another £20 on top of the fitting of the new shock absorbers. Well, off I went again, as happy as could be with my little white speed demon...that is...until the next problem arose... I noticed that water had been literally running out of my car from somewhere underneath the bonnet everytime I turned my engine off. Worried about the health of my poor little baby I hurried off to the garage again. After some testing by the mechanics, the problem was found to be at the water pump - yes, you've got it...it needed replaced. AAAHHH!! Yet again I had no choice but to get the pump replaced, along with a new timing belt, costing me around another £100 altogether. Once again I set off in my pride and joy... "Uh oh"....click click click click click - "I don't think this is supposed to happen..." click click click click click...NOOOO!! My handbrake just wasn't working at all, forcing me to leave the car sitting in gear everywhere I went. Yet again, I drove the car down to my local garage. It seems that the problem was worse than I
      had first thought - when the mechanics were checking the handbrake cable, it was discovered that my entire braking system needed replaced..yep...new brake pads, shoes, and wheel cylinders were needed all round as they were all worn rather badly. This now meant that I had to get this sorted before my handbrake problem could be resolved. What a nightmare this car had been so far. I got all of the necessary parts ordered and fitted within the next couple of days which added up to a total of £122.06. Now, onto the handbrake problem...it seemed that I needed a new handbrake cable and nut. By the time these were ordered and fitted, it had cost me another £30. By now I was beginning to wonder if anything was going to go right with my wee white chariot. The wondering was soon over as yet another (small) problem cropped up. This time the problem was with one of the hoses going to my radiator - it had become very weak and was swelling up quite severely, thus threatening to explode and cause REAL damage to my engine. I had to get onto this problem ASAP, so I drove 20 miles to my nearest Vauxhall dealer (I was told by the mechanics at my local garage that this would be the only place to get a hold of this part) to get a price for one. It came up at £12 for the new hose, which had to be ordered and picked up the next morning by me, meaning another 20 mile each-way journey. After all of this hassle, I fitted the hose and there was no more swelling. It is now April 18th 2001 and it seems that, at last, my car is running alright (touch wood) - and so it should be with the amount of money I've spent on getting it fixed up. As my parents have said, it's basically a new car with the amount of parts I've replaced! Well, maybe by now, if I hadn't had to spend so much on fixing the car I would have had myself a nice re-spray (Tahiti blue in colour) and a set of shiny new 15" alloys slammed onto it. Oh well, it seems that I'll just have
      to save up again for a while before I can give the car anymore modifications. This opinion is only written on my personal experience so I can't really speak for anyone else who owns/has owned a Nova. One thing I can say however, is that these repairs have still been relatively cheap when compared to what alot of other car manufacturers and models would cost to get the same problems sorted. Overall, I am now quite happy with my wee Nova and have some nice plans for it in the future (maybe even a 2.0 litre 16-valve Courtenay-tuned engine *grin*), but I would recommend anyone who is thinking of buying a used car - especially a Nova - to get someone to take a look at it before diving straight in with their hard-earned cash. Even through all of the problems I've had with my Nova, I would probably still buy another one if I saw a strikingly handsome one for sale. Well, I think I've gibbered on long enough now about my car, so off to bed with me. Hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I did fixing my car! :-P

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      • Getright / Communication / 1 Reading / 49 Ratings
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        17.04.2001 12:27
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        I have been using Headlight Software's GetRight for well over a year now, and I have to say it has only improved with newer versions (the current version is 4.3 but there is now a beta of 4.5 available for download). The number of features and options now implemented in this program makes it hard for any other download manager to compete with. Anyway, read on if you want to know more... ---------- OVERVIEW ---------- Basically, GetRight is a top-rated (5-star by ZDNet and Download.com) download manager with lots of advanced features. It is one of the handiest programs ever to be introduced if you have an unreliable connection or if your ISP has a set cut-off period (eg/ BT Internet cut you off after every 2 hours of usage). Now I hear you say, "But there are loads of download managers scattered around the 'net these days that are capable of resuming lost files", but Dooyoo is all about being opinionated isn't it? - and I have to give GetRight my vote as the most simplistic yet professional download manager of them all. The best and most important feature of the program is definitely the ability to pause/resume downloads with just one click of your mouse - It'll even catch clicks within your web browser and automatically launch when you go to download a file. In addition to this, you can also segment your downloading to make downloading larger files easier. The program even has loads of different skins available to make it look a bit more lively and to your tastes. All in all there are many, many features implemented in GetRight - probably too many to mention, but I will try to cover them all below in as much detail as I can. Well, here we go... ------------- INSTALLATION ------------- This program is easy to use right from the installation screen. When you click the setup file, you are greeted by the ever-seen, blue backgrounded installation wizard. Once you have by-pass
        ed all the usual screens such as the license agreement, install directory, etc., you are asked whether or not you would like to run the GetRight configuration wizard before starting the program. I would recommend you to say 'Yes' to this part of the installation as it lets you setup all of your personal preferences before you go diving straight into managing your downloads (All of the many configuration options are explained in detail below). Once you have set all of the various options to whatever you like, you will be prompted to either run the program now or just exit the installation. ------------------------------- CONFIGURATION OPTIONS/FEATURES ------------------------------- When you go into the 'Tools > GetRight Configuration' section of the program, you will be presented with a dialog box containing 14 different tabs. These are: 1. General 2. Sounds 3. Proxy 4. Connections 5. Limits 6. Internet 7. Monitor 8. Mirrors 9. Login 10. Save To 11. When Done 12. Look 13. Segment 14. Advanced 1.****GENERAL**** This tab has only 2 options under it. The first allows you to switch between 'Basic' and 'Advanced' modes. When you switch to the basic mode, the more advanced and harder to understand parts of the program will be hidden and you can just use the configuration wizard to setup the various options, rather than having to delve into the advanced settings if you are a newbie or novice user. The other option is (in the registered version) to remove the advertising files that come with the program when you first download it. During the evaluation period, these ads will be displayed during any downloads at the top of the download box and in the 'GetRight Status' screen. However, once you register the program (for $20, which works out at about £12.50), you have the choice to remove the ad files from your system. I
        would highly recommend this as it tidies up the layout of the program a little and makes the download status screens smaller when displayed on your screen. 2.****Sounds**** This contains all of the optional sound event options. Here you can select sounds to play when various events occur - such as finished download, connection broken, start downloading, connection error, etc etc. You can choose to use either the built-in sounds that come with the program or use your own .wav files from anywhere on your hard drive. A useful option if you need audio confirmation when your download finishes (ie/ if you are doing other tasks at the time and don't have time to keep your eye on your downloads). 3.****Proxy**** Here are all of the settings needed to run GetRight through a network or proxy server. If you select 'Use proxy servers' under this tab, you will be presented with more options regarding your server settings, port settings, login/password, and other information. You can set this section up for both HTTP and FTP (including PASV) proxy servers. 4.****Connections**** The settings under this tab are to setup the way in which GetRight handles server timeouts and the retrying of downloads. You can set it up so that the program automatically stops and resumes files if there is a period of inactivity from the server. This is customisable by typing in the number of minutes the server has to be idle before the download is stopped and retryed. You can also set the length of time between connection attempts and how many times to retry the connection if the requested server is busy. In addition to this you can also set the program to automatically ping the server it is downloading from now and again to keep the connection alive. 5.****Limits**** This is where you can set how many files can be downloaded simultaneously from any servers or an individual server. Once you select a certain amount of
        files, any new additions to your download list will be automatically put in the queue for later. You can also set a speed limit for each download in this section by keying in how many bytes, kilobytes, or megabytes per second each file is allowed from your bandwidth. 6.****Internet**** This contains configuration options for the method which you use to connect to the internet. You can select one of three main options here: Always connected to the internet (ie/ do not try to connect automatically), connect using Windows dial-up networking software, or connect using other dial-up networking software. When any of these are selected depending on your preferred method of connection, you are presented with more options which you can change to suit your needs (which connection to dial etc.). Also, at the bottom of the 'Internet' options tab, there is a check-box to either enable or disable automatic downloading of your files as soon as an internet connection is detected. 7.****Monitor**** This is one of the best features contained within GetRight. It monitors download URLs containing the file types you specify in this section and brings up the GetRight downloader automatically if you copy the URL to the clipboard or click on a link in your web browser. This is a very handy option if you can't be bothered opening GetRight and copying/pasting URLs everytime you want to downloaded a file. In addition to this, here you can also choose to let GetRight launch anytime your web browser is opened. You can also type in certain servers for GetRight to ignore click monitoring on. For example, one of the default additions to this section is 'windowsupdate.microsoft.com' as this uses automatic downloading/installing procedures and is therefore not compatible with GetRight. 8.****Mirrors**** This is where you can add various 'mirror' sites for your downloading files. This is useful if you are downloading a
        popular program from a well-known website/server, as this is usually where you find a lot of different sites hosting the same file. This means that if one server has a heavy load at the time and is causing slow download speeds, GetRight can automatically switch to the fastest server on which you can download the requested file. I think you can actually download a pre-defined list of mirror sites from the GetRight website (http://www.getright.com) as otherwise you will have to add them in yourself. 9.****Login**** If you are downloading files from a private server on which you need to login with a username/password, you can add them all into this section so that you don't have to keep entering your details each time you go back to download from that server. All you have to do is click 'Add' once you've typed in the details and it will log you in automatically each time. 10.****Save To**** This is basically just where you choose where on your hard drive to store your downloaded files. You can either choose one default directory for all your downloads, get the program to remember the last directory used, setup default directories by file type, or generate a directory automatically using the files' download information. I have found the 'default directory by file type' very useful when wanting to seperate my MP3 music files from my EXE program files. It then saves all music to 'C:\My Music' and all programs to 'C:\Downloads'. Quite a nice feature. 11.****When Done**** Here you can select whether or not to close the download window once a download finishes. You can also tell the program to launch a virus scanner to scan the file(s) once they have been downloaded so that you can make sure they don't contain any virii before opening them. 12.****Look**** Here you can change the appearance and layout of GetRight. Firstly, you can select which 'face
        9; to use for the download windows (this is what the pause/resume/cancel download buttons look like). You can also (in the registered version) choose to show or not to show the advertisements in the download windows or even use different, smaller download windows from the standard ones to save desktop space. The other option under this tab is to change the tray icon which GetRight uses when open/minimised. 13.****Segment**** This is where you can configure the options for segmented downloading. It lets you choose which size a file should be before it is downloaded in the specified number of segments. This is a great option which lets you download larger files more efficiently and quickly. However, if more than 3 segments are needed to download any file, you have to make sure that you have mirror sites setup for that file or the download won't work. 14.****Advanced**** This is the final grouping of options in GetRight's Configuration box. There are 4 straight forward options here and a couple of more complicated ones. The first 4 are checkboxes which decide on: 1) start downloading newly added files immediately, 2) expert mode; no delete or cancel confirmation prompts, 3) always do 'automatic' downloading when starting a new download, and 4) automatically check for newer versions of GetRight. Although these 4 options are pretty straight forward, there are a couple of options below these regarding logging of comments and log files for each downloaded file - however, unless you are an experienced user of the program, I would recommend you to stay away from these options for now. ------------------ EXTRA INFORMATION ------------------ Along with the seperate and informative (gives est. time, kb/sec, progress bar, etc.) download windows for each download, GetRight also has a large status window which can be opened by double-clicking the icon on your system tray. This status screen shows all cur
        rent downloads as well as all the files that are queued to be downloaded. Each download is represented by a chain icon - if the chain is animated, the download is active, if it is greyed out the download isn't active, and if they chain is broken there has been some sort of error with the download. -------- OVERALL -------- All in all this program is relatively easy to get used to and when executed in the 'Basic' mode, is easy to use even for a newbie. However, if you come across any problems even after reading this long-winded and over-the-top review, there is a big old help file situated in the GetRight directory that's sure to get you back on track soon enough. So, overall, I think GetRight is a great little accessory if you are a regular internet user/file downloader, as it boasts many good features and options. Even if you aren't prepared to pay the $20 registration fee, I recommend you try it using the 30-day evaluation period. You can download GetRight at: http://www.getright.com.

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        • Internet Surfing / Discussion / 1 Reading / 27 Ratings
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          02.04.2001 22:18
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          I have been using the internet for around 5 years now, and I would have to admit that I'm well and truly addicted. There are just that many different things you can do on the internet which can keep you occupied for hours and hours at a time. The variety of websites that I have come across in my time of surfing is virtually unbelievable. Firstly, I have found absolutely tons of information on subjects which I have needed to research for school/college over the years - this has helped me earn higher grades and pass marks on my reports etc. For example, when I needed to collect information on the pros and cons of fox-hunting, I just keyed in my search query on the Excite search engine page and there it was...literally tons of pages related to the subject in question. I also found the internet useful for my college presentation projects. I used websites containing multimedia such as pictures and sounds so that I could download them and use them in my projects (with the webmasters permission of course). The second reason I use the internet is for chatting to people from all over the globe. I have met thousands of people on chat servers, many of which I have made good friends with and keep in contact with, either on the internet or by phone calls and actual meet-ups with the persons. I think chatting to others and learning of their lifestyle, interests, etc is really interesting as it shows me the different ways in which people live and spend their time. By meeting lots of different people from all over the world, it is easy to compare their different types of lifestyles throughout the various countries and areas. One piece of advice which I can give you on chatting on the internet is that you shouldn't be too open with your personal details, as there are a few weirdos out there that you really don't want acquiring your home address or phone number! However, if you are careful enough, chatting can be very interesting and lots of fun. <
          br>The third reason I use the internet is basically just out of boredom. When I am bored sitting in my house or at college with nothing to do, then I just go on the prowl for some amusing or interesting websites - most of which I just find through pure chance by typing in random URLs or search strings. I have found hundreds of cool websites this way which have kept me busy for hours when I would be bored stiff otherwise. I'm not going to go into too much detail on some of the websites I have found (some of them are a little too extreme to mention..*cough cough* :-P), but what I will say is that there are an immense number of these 'useless' sites scattered around the world wide web just waiting to be stumbled upon by a bored 'net surfer. Another reason I enjoy using the internet is for creating websites. This is a great pastime for me and I really enjoy experimenting with different designs for my websites. It didn't really take me long to learn the basics of H(yper)T(ext)M(arkup)L(anguage) and once you get into the swing of things, it really is quite an enjoyable hobby. You will find a whole range of various free webspace providers on the internet. One I would recommend is Yahoo! Geocities - they give you plenty of webspace (the exact number of MBs doesn't come to mind) to play around with so that the whole world can see your creation...well...if they wanted to that is - hehe. You can put basically anything on your website - from information about your name, age, hobbies, pets, to pictures of your favourite popstars. There are lots of different ways to make your website look cool, but I won't delve into this subject too much in this opinion as I'll just end up gibbering on, and anyway, this opinion isn't really about web design is it? :-P Ah, right, back to the topic of the opinion... Although I have explained here that the internet is a fun and interesting place, I wouldn't recommend you to leave ch
          ildren browsing it unsupervised without any filter programs running on the computer, as there is a lot of filthy stuff out there that you really DON'T want your kids to be subjected to. There are a few of these filter programs available to download or buy. A couple of examples of these are 'Cyber Patrol' and 'Net Nanny'. I would highly recommend any parent who lets their children use the internet to use one of these programs. I really think that anyone who hasn't yet got internet access in their home should think about going online. I mean, it doesn't cost very much to surf nowadays with all the free providers floating around. All you have to do is look around and evaluate all the different options for ISPs before just jumping straight in (I've had a few nightmare ISPs myself). I would recommend BT Internet's Surftime package, but if you are looking for a subscription free provider, maybe the likes of Freeserve would be more suited to your tastes. My overall point here is?... ...GET ON THE INTERNET! NOW!!

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          • dumblaws.com / Internet Site / 1 Reading / 35 Ratings
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            02.04.2001 09:28
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            This is a great website if you are bored whilst surfing the 'net. It contains hundreds of laws which have been passed in many parts of the world throughout the years - many of which are so outrageous they should have been abolished a long time ago but still haven't. Although very humorous, I also found this site rather interesting as I was reading up on some of the stupid laws which, allegedly, have been or still are enforced in my home country...however, not all the laws listed have been verified by citation so don't believe everything that you read here! The site is simple enough to navigate with an easy access drop-down menu box containing a list of countries and states. When you select an area, the site will take you straight to the relevant laws. Below this, there is a menu containing links to all the different sections of the site, including the 'What's New' and 'Random Law' pages. There are also links to the site's forum and readers comments pages. The one downpoint which I can think of about this website is that there are quite a lot of advertisements scattered around the content which can be rather off-putting for some people. Dumblaws.com is part of a network called the 'Dumb Network'. At the bottom left of the main page there are links to all of the other sites in this network. These are: Dumb bumpers - contains a list of bumper stickers spotted by road users. Dumb criminal acts - these are real crimes committed by dumb criminals Dumb facts - basically, loads and loads of dumb facts about anything and everything Dumb warnings - actual warnings which are/were printed on labels of various products The network also contains some factual sites about real fears, haunted houses, and people's names. All in all I think this site/network is well worth a visit - it certainly kept me amused for a while! UPDATE
            : This site was recently featured on the outrageously funny TV show, "So! Graham Norton", where Graham actually phoned up a law office in the US and confessed to breaking one of the 'dumb' laws. The law he confessed to was one in which, "It is illegal for a man to have sex with a dead fish.". The reaction from the woman he spoke to was very funny - and it certainly had the audience (and me) in complete and utter hysterics - top class humour.

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            • More +
              30.03.2001 08:56
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              This disease is also known as disseminated sclerosis, from damage to the sheaths surrounding nerve cells. The nerves are unable to function properly, causing problems of vision, sensation and muscular control. About one person in 2,000 develops multiple sclerosis. The average age of the onset of symptoms is 30, and women are affected more often than men. The symptoms vary greatly from one patient to another. Symptoms: Some 40 per cent of cases begin with some sort of visual disturbance. Sight may be blurred or dimmed in one or both eyes. There may be pain or discomfort behind the eyes, and double vision may develop. With or without visual disturbance, the sufferer may feel weakness or loss of control in one or more limbs, Simple tasks can be performed only clumsily. This symptom is known as ATAXIA. The sufferer may lose control over bowel movement and urination. Physical symptoms are often accompanied by a change of mood. Sufferers often become light-hearted, though some may become depressed. Duration: The symptoms usually develop over a period of hours or days, then gradually disappear over the next two to eight weeks. However, they may recur after a period of weeks, months or years, and continue to do so in forms which are increasingly disabling. Eventually multiple sclerosis may prove fatal, but many patients live for 30 or 40 years after the symptoms first appear. In severe cases they may die within two years. The average is more than 20 years. Causes: The cause is not known for sure, and is the subject of much research. It may result from a reaction to a virus infection, such as measles, contracted early in life. There is a tendency for multiple sclerosis to run in families, but no definite likelihood of its being passed on genetically. The twin of a sufferer is, for example, not specially likely to develop the disease. Complications: Infections of kidneys, bladder and lungs may
              occur. Treatment in the home: None possible. When to consult the doctor: If any loss of vision, muscular weakness or persistent numbness in the limbs develops. What the doctor may do: Perform a physical examination to find out whether multiple sclerosis is present. This will often involve arranging a lumbar puncture. A hypodermic needle is used to draw off some of the fluid surrounding the spinal cord for tests. If multiple sclerosis is confirmed, the doctor may prescribe injections of ACTH, a substance which stimulates the adrenal glands and is thought to lessen the damage while the disease is active. For long-term treatment, the doctor will recommend rest when the symptoms are present. During periods when they lapse, he will recommend exercises to strengthen the muscles and keep them mobile. The doctor will be able to recommend a physio-therapist or occupational therapist to help cope with disabilities arising from the disease. A society exists for sufferers: The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 286 Munster Road, Fulham, London SW6 6AP (Tel. 01-381 4022/5). Much can be done to minimise the disabling effects of the disease. Prevention: None known. Outlook: There is no cure for multiple sclerosis at present. Symptoms cause distress and frustration However, with determination and professional guidance, a sufferer can still live a long and active life.

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                29.03.2001 08:51
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                Diabetes is a condition in which the body cannot properly use sugar and starches (carbohydrates) from the diet, because the pancreas is not producing enough of the hormone insulin. As a result, sugar accumulates in the blood and tissues and this causes defects in various parts of the body . This condition is medically known as diabetes mellitus to distinguish it from an extremely rare disorder, diabetes insipidus. All types of diabetes can be controlled with diet, tablets or insulin replacement provided the diabetic plays his part in helping himself and working with his doctor he can enjoy a normal life. Symptoms: Thirst and passing excessive amounts of urine. The large amounts of sugar in the blood cause the kidneys to produce huge amounts of urine. Because of the loss of body fluids in this way, the patient becomes thirsty, but drinking does not reduce the feeling of thirst. Loss of weight, because of the loss of fluids and inability of the body to use carbohydrates. Itching of the vulva in women. Itching of the penis in men. Tiredness and irritability. A tendency to suffer from boils, skin infections and infections of the vulva and penis. Cessation of periods in women. Disturbances of vision with difficulties in focusing. Ulcers on the feet. Pins and needles and numbness of the hands and feet. Duration: There is no cure for diabetes. Once present it is there for life, but it can be controlled by proper treatment and self-care. Causes: Failure of the pancreas gland to produce insulin the hormone that organises the proper storage and use of sugars in the body. Diabetes is a different condition in children and young adults from that in older people. In the young diabetic there is very little insulin produced in the body and it has to be replaced by insulin injections. In diabetics aged 50 and over there is partial production of insulin, and treatment can usually be by diet and tablets without insu
                lin. The exact cause of failure of the pancreas is unknown, but there may be some inherited predisposition to diabetes. If two diabetics marry and start a family, the chances are one in four that one of their children will also be diabetic. Some virus infections may also initiate diabetes. Complications: Most diabetics do not develop any complications, but those complications which do appear tend to be related to the duration of the condition. and may take 20- 30 years or more before occurring. Parts of the body that may be adversely affected by diabetes include:- Blood vessel: Small blood vessels may become blocked because of thickening of their walls; or weakened, forming micro aneurysms (minute bulges that may burst) These defects of the small blood vessels may affect the eyes. legs. nerves, heart and kidneys. Eyes: Cataracts are more likely in diabetics. Retinopathy (haemorrhages in the blood vessels) may occur, and may affect the vision. Legs: Arteries may become blocked, leading to coldness, pain on walking, ulcers and in rare cases gangrene. Nerves: Numbness and deadness in the feet and hands may result from involvement of the sensory nerves. Heart: Thickening of the arteries in the heart may lead angina, heart attacks, breathlessness and swelling of the legs. Kidneys: Blockage of the small arteries and other changes may damage the kidneys. Very rarely this may lead kidney failure. Treatment in the home: None is possible until diabetes is diagnosed. once identified as a diabetic, the patient has to take on more responsibilities for self-care: Attend the clinic or consulting rooms for regular check-ups. Keep to the diet advised by the doctor. Eat regularly - do not miss out meals. Take tablets or insulin. Also, make regular checks on the urine and/or blood to make sure that the sugar levels are being adequately controlled. The diabetic’s family can play an important par
                t in providing him/her with support by helping them to keep to their diet, encouraging them to lead a normal life, and by reporting unusual reactions to treatment. When to consult the doctor: Immediately if persistent thirst develops, together with passing excessive amounts of urine. Take a sample of urine to be tested. If there are any unusual symptoms or anxieties such as those mentioned under complications once the diagnosis of diabetes has been made. If any of the other symptoms mentioned suggest the possibility of diabetes. What the doctor may do: Place a special dipstick into some urine. If there is sugar present a sign of diabetes-there will be a change of colour. Confirmation is by a blood test to measure the level of sugar in the blood. Manage the case himself or send the patient to a diabetic clinic at a local hospital. All diabetics need proper medical treatment. If neglected the disease can kill, blind and maim. The aims of treatment are to restore levels of sugar in the body to normal and to prevent complications. There are three main forms of treatment: Diet to reduce the amount of sugar-containing food in the diet. such as bread, cakes, biscuits, sweets. sugar,potatoes, so that the body can cope better with lessened demands. Those diabetics who are overweight must reduce weight-this may be all that is necessary to control the disorder. Tablets may help the older, 'maturer' diabetic. Insulin injections may be given to replace the insulin that is missing in a patient who has severe diabetes. It may be possible to control the blood sugar by one injection daily, but often better control is achieved by two injections, one in the morning and one in the evening. Insulin has to be given by injection because it is destroyed in the stomach and so cannot be taken by mouth. Injections are usually self-administered and most diabetics soon learn how to do this, but someone in the family should also know how
                to cope. All diabetics on insulin at times experience symptoms of low blood sugar or hypoglycaemia (due to excess insulin); the symptoms are faintness, sweating, unsteadiness and disturbed behaviour. The patient himself will recognise the warning signs and can cut short the attack by taking sugar. If he does not, he may appear to be drunk and there is a risk of coma. It is never safe to assume that the patient is drunk, and immediate medical help should always be sought. Prevention: Diabetes cannot itself be prevented or anticipated, except perhaps by avoiding overweight, but diabetic complications can be prevented by good control of the condition. Outlook: Bad in the untreated, unstable and unco-operative case. Good in those whose condition is controlled by co-operation with the doctors, regular checks, and strict adherence to the treatment advised.

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                • amazon.co.uk / Online Shop / 0 Readings / 57 Ratings
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                  20.03.2001 08:37
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                  Amazon is now one of the world's largest online retailers. Over the time since they were established, they have significantly improved and updated their product range. This website now does not only sell books (which was the sites original purpose), but they now also stock a large array of products in many categories such as: Music, DVD & Video, PC Software, Computer Games, and Gifts (Mother's Day etc). There is also a Kids section where you can find items suitable for the younger generation and, if you are a bargain hunter, or if you are looking for some rare/collectable items, there are now many auctions running from the site. In this opinion, I am going to review the UK version of Amazon's online store - http://www.amazon.co.uk ------------------- NAVIGATION/LAYOUT ------------------- First of all, the amazon.co.uk website is always (everytime I've visited) quick to access and is fast-loading. It is very easy to navigate and makes it simple enough to find what you are looking for. At the top of the main page, there are tabs containing links to all the different product categories so that you can go directly to what you're looking for. It has an advanced search engine below this which searches within all of these categories so that you can find your required product with upmost ease. After you find what you are looking for, all you have to do is click on the product name for more details on it. The product information can also tell you how many of the item required are in stock and how long it will take to be shipped if it's not in stock. In addition to this, all the way down the left-hand side of the page there are more navigation options. Again, the categories are all listed as they are on the top navigation bar, and there is also a 'More to explore' section here which contains information on gift certificates, WAP phone access to the site, and a couple of other items. The middle section
                  of the page contains all the latest product news and reviews for the various explorable categories. For example, when I visited the site there were articles on new releases in the DVD, Music, Books, Kids, PC & Video Games, and Software categories. To read more about each article and to learn more about the week's new releases, you can click 'More'. Down the right-hand side of the page, there is the 'New For You' section (if you are logged in with your username/password), which contains a brief list of product recommendations which amazon think you may wish to purchase, depending on your previous purchases (if you haven't previously purchased on the site, there is a list of current top titles). Also, beneath this section there are links to the Top 100 Books, Music, DVDs, Videos, PC & Video Games, and Software which are all updated hourly to make sure you are seeing realtime statistics. At the bottom of the page, there are 3 sections: 'Where's My Stuff?', 'Delivery & Returns', and 'Gifts and Gift Certificates'. The 'Where's My Stuff?' section allows you to view your recent orders and their information. Here you can update and make any changes to your orders (if they aren't already dispatched). The 'Delivery & Returns' section lets you view the latest information on delivery rates and policies. It also gives you information on how to return an item to Amazon if you aren't happy with it. The 'Gifts and Gift Certificates' section has a link to the Amazon Gift Shop where you can (yep, you guessed it) buy gifts and gift certificates. You also go to this area to redeem your gift certificates. Another good point about the design of the site is the option of viewing it as a 'Text Only' version. This is handy for anyone using text only browsers (such as Linux users etc. who are using the 'Lynx' browser). ------
                  --------- PRODUCT RANGE --------------- Amazingly enough (sorry, bad pun), Amazon stock all the new and recent titles that have been released in all categories, so you know that you can always find the product you are looking for. In addition to this they also have an extensive range of older CDs, movies etc which you can purchase. I have found absolutely tons of old dance CD singles which I've been looking for in shops all around the high street for AGES and can never find. This is another real strong point of amazon's online shopping facilities. It means that I can get my hands on all those hard to find tracks that I love easily and quickly - even if the chosen item is out of stock or if they only have limited copies of it, it only takes at the most 1-2 weeks, or in most cases around 4 days to be despatched to you. I think this kind of service applies for most of the other sections on the site also. ------------------------- PURCHASING YOUR ITEM(S) ------------------------- When you make a purchase with Amazon, you have to create an account which you can login into at anytime using your set username and password. The site uses an easy-to-use, secure, encrypted shopping basket ordering system so that you can be confident that your details won't be leaked anywhere. I don't know all that much about their encryption methods etc but I haven't yet heard any complaints from customers, and I certainly haven't had any trouble as of yet. There are absolutely loads of accepted payment methods on the site so that you can always find a method to suit your needs. These include: cheque/postal order, visa, mastercard, switch, solo, and many more. This means that almost anyone can shop at their website as long as they have the neccessary funds in their bank account. Also, once you're logged in to the site you can check the current status of any of your recent orders to see if they have been despatched
                  yet or if your order has or hasn't been successful. This is a great way of checking where your item is after you've ordered it, as at least then you know when you should expect it to arrive on your doorstep. In addition to this, when you have an account setup with amazon, all of your personal details such as delivery address(es), credit/debit card details, etc are stored in your personal account so that you can order again from the website quickly, easily, and efficiently. The website has a rather clever "1-Click" ordering system where, once you have logged in using your username/password, you can order a product right away, with just one click of your mouse. The shipping/delivery speed of ordered goods is quite outstanding compared to some other online retailers (I've had to wait weeks at some e-shops for my item(s) to be delivered). Even the charges for delivery are rather cheap - it's only around £1.70 for First Class postage on a CD/DVD, with the item usually arriving the day after it has been despatched from their warehouse. They'll even gift wrap any items that are to be sent out as presents for people! Nifty, eh? ------------------- OTHER INFORMATION ------------------- There's more - while you're browsing away and spending money buying things on the amazon website, you could also be making money from it with their refer-a-friend scheme. This is basically a customer referral scheme where, if you refer someone and they become an active amazon customer, you receive a £5 gift certificate to spend on the website. On top of this, as a little thank you, each person you refer will also receive a £5 gift certificate in your name. Not bad, eh? Amazon also run an Associates Program, where you can advertise a certain product on your website, and get payed everytime someone buys that product due to clicking on your link. --------------------- PERSONAL EXPERIENCE -----------
                  ---------- I have so far only used amazon.co.uk to purchase 2 products (A CD and a DVD) but I am already suitably impressed by their great service. The prices on this website are very competitive compared to any other online retailer and even most high street retailers don't compare to them (I have actually saw certain DVDs around £5-£10 cheaper at Amazon than in my local Woolworths store). It is also easy to pick up gift certificates for Amazon at various places - I've seen many websites offering them for free just for signing up for some service or another. I have also received a couple through my e-mail account from various places. * Remember, you can claim Amazon gift certificates here at Dooyoo by cashing in your hard earned points! * -------- OVERALL -------- Well, I think I've covered just about everything in this opinion, but if I think of anything else that could be added, I'll update it again. All in all, I think this website is absolutely great for the purpose it serves - delivering books/music/video direct to your doorstep - hassle free. If you like ordering books/music/video online, then this should definitely be your first stop. All this sound too good to be true? Go and see for yourself at: http://www.amazon.co.uk.

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                  • More +
                    13.03.2001 20:31
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                    UPDATE: I've just noticed that all the newer commentaries I have being writing are now located on the last page of the list - looks like my opinion ended up being short and useful. Thanks for listening Dooyoo, and thanks to everyone else who rated this as a useful suggestion! This is just a short opinion to make a suggestion about one of dooyoo's features. In the section which you can view your own commentaries on opinions, I would like to see the newest commentaries I have written at the top of the list. This would be helpful as I don't like having to scroll through pages and pages of my comments to see if anyone has given me any feedback on my newer comments. It would also be good to see the same idea implemented on users' own rated opinions and rated links sections. Well, it's just a suggestion...

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                    • The World Is Not Enough (DVD) / DVD / 0 Readings / 23 Ratings
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                      11.03.2001 00:29
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                      James Bond is a cultural icon. Everyone knows the catchphrases "Bond, James Bond," and "shaken, not stirred" - plain evidence of the character's popularity. There have already been 19 Bond films over the past four decades before this one. Why does anyone see a Bond film? Mainly for the nifty gadgets, the stunts and special effects, and the shallow violence in exotic locales. In "The World Is Not Enough," for instance, when, James Bond (Pierce Brosnan), meeting with a banker in Spain as part of a routine errand, finds himself in an ambush, he manages to shoot his way out of it handily. Almost as soon he gets back to London, a bomb explodes in MI6 Headquarters. This doesn't faze Bond, who takes Q's (Desmond Llewelyn) latest rocket-propelled boat, and chases the evil agent down the Thames - finally, after considerable destruction, crashing into the Millennium Dome. This is all in the first fifteen minutes. The plot is perfectly adequate - enough twists and turns, but not very original. The filmmakers borrow liberally from numerous earlier Bond movies (eg/ throwing in a "terrorists have a nuke" element). It works here - the fact that it worked years ago explains why they're doing it again. Another flaw in the writing is that while this is science-fiction, most of the science is fiction. Is there any kind of enlightened philosophical content? You're kidding, right? If you go to "The World Is Not Enough" or any James Bond movie looking for a cerebral experience, you'll get just what you deserve. To give them some credit, the villains in this movie are a little more complex than the typical Bond villains - one of them actually does a small, good deed before trying to kill millions for personal gain. There's also a subtle classical allusion, albeit a slightly flawed one that may be missed by most of the audience. Still, the real reason to see "The
                      World Is Not Enough" is the traditional James Bond action. Bond goes to exotic locations (in this case, Bilbao, London, Baku, and Istanbul), and blows stuff up. He spends much of the film shooting people and destroying things in the best action-film style. All the neat gizmos are here, for both Bond and the villains; I especially liked the flying snowmobiles. We're also treated to a generous helping of the double entendres and bad puns (why else have a nuclear physicist named Christmas Jones?). The actors in "The World Is Not Enough" do their part to keep things moving. He's not my favorite Bond yet, but Pierce Brosnan certainly does a great job in this installment. Sophie Marceau delivers a very strong performance as Elektra. Judi Dench, who also played M in the two previous Bond movies, delivers an excellent performance in this one - bolstered by a much larger part than M usually has. Also, Desmond Llewelyn, reprising his role as Q for what seems to be the final time, keeps pace, providing his usual witty repartee right along with the arsenal. The violence, sexual content, and nudity in this movie are all very close to what you'd expect in an 18 rated movie. This is probably less of a family film than any of the earlier installments. "The World Is Not Enough" is certainly as exciting as its predecessors. It has everything you look for in a Bond movie, and is one of 007's better appearances. While some films are like great works of art or high drama, the James Bond series has always been more like roller coaster rides. This ride has all the thrills you could ask for. Watch it if you like plenty of over-the-top action in a movie.

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                      • Big Momma's House (DVD) / DVD / 1 Reading / 22 Ratings
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                        10.03.2001 23:53
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                        "Big Momma's House" stars Martin Lawrence as an FBI agent called Malcolm Turner who is on the hunt for Lester (Terrence Howard) - a $2 million bank robber who has escaped from prison. Lester's girlfriend, Sherry (Nia Long), is a possible suspect/accomplice and when she learns of Lester's escape, she takes her son, Trent (Jascha Washington), and leaves their home - on the run for their lives. Malcolm and his partner, John (Paul Giamanitti) stakeout and put a few recording devices in Hattie Mae Peterson’s (Big Momma) home, believing Sherry will at least try to contact her. Big Momma gets called away on an emergency trip for a few days, and while trying to find any information around Big Momma's, Malcolm, by the fate of God (and one phone call from Sherry) becomes Big Momma. Throughout the entire charade, Malcolm is trying to find out any information he can that may link Sherry to the robbery or clear her name. Of course, there are times when Malcolm tends to "forget" that he's supposed to be a 75-80 year old grandmother from the South, and would make passes at Sherry, resulting in pure laughter. Malcolm eventually finds out Sherry had nothing to do with the robbery, she was an innocent victim and tries to find a way of tracking down Lester. We really don't see much of Lester until the end of the movie. He eventually was able to track down Sherry's whereabouts after she leaves some prescription pills for Trent in her apartment. At Big Momma's surprise party, all the secrets are revealed. The real Big Momma comes home from her trip, and watching as the real and faux Big Momma confuse the guests is hilarious. When the truth finally comes out about Malcolm's true identity, Sherry and Trent feel betrayed and used. Malcolm and John eventually catch Lester and everyone lives happily ever after. OK, not necessarily like that, but good triumphs over evil, and Malcolm makes peace with Sher
                        ry, Trent, and Big Momma. It’s one big laugh riot after another. Watching Lawrence dress up in the muumuus, all the makeup and padding was to die for. Apparently in the movie, Malcolm is a master of disguise. In the opening scene, he impersonated an old Asian man in order to bring down a major drug bust. That was too much. Big Momma is also the midwife in town, and watching Malcolm "deliver" this baby was a riot. All I can say to end this opinion is that this movie is a great barrel of laughs throughout. Go and see it!

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                      • X-Men (DVD) / DVD / 0 Readings / 21 Ratings
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                        08.03.2001 10:12
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                        The basic storyline of this movie has Magneto (Ian McKellen) and his Brotherhood of Mutants creating a machine that is very dangerous to humans - and Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and his X-Men trying to stop him. However, there are very real themes of racism and tolerance throughout this movie... Xavier believes in peaceful coexistence. Magneto, tainted by the Holocaust, believes in domination because, as we see in the film, mankind is near the point of trying to kill them anyway. And thrown into the middle is a new mutant Rogue (Anna Paquin) and the mysterious and abrasive loner Wolverine (Hugh Jackman). Magnificently done, through them we see this world through their eyes. Rogue is scared of her new powers but full of hope and wonderment at the thought of this school of Xavier's - Wolverine is less enthused, mocking the X-Men and Xavier and never buying into the dream of peaceful coexistence. The cast is what really makes this movie come alive for me. Singer never allows his actors to play their parts any other way but dead serious and it lends so much more credibility to the film. Too many times superhero films are filled with big name talent that doesn't believe in the serious nature of the comic books. Gene Hackman made Lex Luthor a near comical character in "Superman" as did Tommy Lee Jones, Arnold, and Danny DeVito in the Batman films. Not here. Also, these are not big names, reducing baggage from previous roles allowing them to simply be the X-Men. McKellen plays Magneto just as he should be. Magneto doesn't believe he's the villain, he believes he's doing what is right for his kind to survive. He doesn't enjoy killing or violence, but it is necessary to his cause. There is the perfect royal air about Magneto and also a world weary sadness to him as well. His best line is as he talks to Rogue about why he does what he does, "Because there is no land of tolerance, no land of freedom. Not
                        here, nor anywhere else in this world." McKellen as a serious, multi-faceted villain is the first step in the film's success. His henchmen have little to do in terms of great acting, but they serve their purpose as sinister thugs. Ray Park, the masterful fighter who portrayed Darth Maul and the Headless Horseman is Toad, and his famous acrobatic style of fighting and physical presence even through heavy make-up is a plus. Both Tyler mane as Sabretooth and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos make their villain roles interesting and memorable. Patrick Stewart is masterful as Xavier, giving off a very different aura than one might expect from Captain Picard. He is a kind teacher, a peaceful man but clearly willing to fight if need be. When he uses his telepathy, coupled with Singer's interesting direction, it is great. Halle Berry is good as Storm though given little to do. Famke Janssen is in her best role as Jean Grey. She effectively portrays the subtle attraction to Wolverine and the nature of her character. With just a look she gives much more depth to her character such as showing her to be almost unconfident in her powers. James Marsden as Cyclops is perfect, giving off the perfect attitude even with his eyes constantly covered. He has a great chemistry, or lack thereof, with Wolverine and a big brother type of relationship with all at Xavier's school. But the biggest asset of the film is Hugh Jackman. The new wonder from down under continues in the tradition of Mel Gibson in "Mad Max" and Russell Crowe in "L.A. Confidential" as another Australian making it big in America by way of a crazed tough guy role. Jackman portrays Wolverine as the hodge podge of contradictions and strange characteristics that make him such a powerful character. Mean, but capable of kindness. Crazy and wild, but also flirtatious. Uncaring, but father figure of Rogue. Funny, but dead serious. Violent, but gentle. He is a great character,
                        and with Singer's help he has the greatest introduction of a character since Michael Keaton in "Batman". And Singer really is the main man. So many things were against him and he pulled it off. His hand can be felt in the whole thing, be it the moody Holocaust opening or the creepy, quick-cut flashbacks and mind-readings. He and cinematographer Thomas Newton Sigel create a visually stunning world for the X-Men and a darkness that adds to the serious approach. The action is well done and exciting, but my favorite parts of the film are when the characters are just talking and exploring. He pulls off the humor and heroic ending perfectly, never resorting to cliche - and he succesfully draws us into the X-Men's world at a brisk pace, never bogging us down with explanation as did "The Matrix". Singer shows what a great storyteller he is here, and also shows skill a big time action and effects. "X-Men" is just a great film. It's a lot of fun, but also serious enough to be something unique and admirable as a film. The acting, script, and action perfect, as is Singer's amazing direction. This movie shows that you can make a comic book movie that is serious and loyal in tone to its source material. Perhaps finally X-Men will show Hollywood that superhero films don't need to be a campy joke but rather a respectable wealth of original stories to tell.

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                        • Sony Playstation 2 / Games Console / 0 Readings / 12 Ratings
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                          07.03.2001 20:13
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                          First of all, the PS2 system is sleek to look at, and creatively designed. It boasts a motorized CD tray, something I've wanted to see in a console system for a while. I really like the horizontal/vertical design of the system. When I play with the system in the living room on the big screen TV, I lay it horizontally on the floor, so that it doesn't tip over. But when I'm playing it in my room, I put it in the vertical orientation, because my TV stand lacks the space. I just place it right next to the TV, and it looks really cool. Also, Sony are the first company to offer component video and Dolby Digital output. When you play this system with component video, you just can't go back to composite video. The color separation is great, even with a cheap component cable, and the games aren't blurry and muddy. Fine text is readable, too. As far as the games go, the graphics are breathtaking and far more detailed than the Sega Dreamcast, a game system that I also enjoy playing. I only have two real complaints about the PS2. First, the game loading times are much longer than I had anticipated. Maybe it's because there is more data being loaded, but I feel that I wait less when playing Dreamcast games. Secondly, why are there only 2 controller ports? One thing I absolutely love about the Dreamcast is that Sega was thoughtful enough to include all four ports. With the PS2, you have to get the MultiTap again which means you have to splash out more money. Overall, I think this console is great but a little pricey. If you aren't too bothered about the wait, I'd maybe give it until about Christmas and then the price will probably go down. There will be wider availability by then also.

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                          • Final Destination (DVD) / DVD / 0 Readings / 8 Ratings
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                            07.03.2001 19:27
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                            Final Destination is full of bad vibes right from the very beginning. Alex is inexplicably scared about getting on the airplane for the class trip to Paris. He reads everything as an omen of misfortune - The rust on the plane door, the lightning in the storm, the people that give him odd glances. He is so disturbed that he dreams that the plane explodes just after takeoff, so he panics and storms off of the plane, taking 6 other people with him in the ruckus. While arrangements are being made for the 7 that missed the first flight to catch another flight, the plane takes off and explodes. So now there are 7 survivors, but is it merely coincidence, or is it Death's great plan? The FBI Agents hot on Alex's trail may believe that it is more than a coincidence (did Alex have something to do with the plane going down?), but perhaps Death would say otherwise. As a creepy mortician so conveniently proclaims, Death has a plan, and there is no escaping that design. After the plane crash, Death rears its ugly head and starts to take the survivors back to the grave one by one. What is so eerie about Final Destination is that the characters are outrunning Death itself, not some pseudo-scary crazy person wearing exotic head gear brandishing an axe or a knife. Unlike a mad slasher, Death is more abstract, but we are all familiar with the concept. And when the characters start screaming and yelling, legitimately terrified of death, it is easy to understand why. Final Destination is the first film from the ex-X-Files team of Glen Morgan and James Wong, and their strangely eerie style translates to the big screen quite well. It is a fun movie that sticks in your head well after the movie is finished. The deaths are violent, graphic, and in most cases, quite funny to watch. Final Destination is essentially a slasher film without a slasher. Although it's true that the film's strong points are not keen dialogue a
                            nd great character development, it is a genuinely creepy movie; a movie that resonates in your mind because it is about something that has been scary and that will remain scary forever. Death is scary because we don't know anything about it, and the unknown is always scary. I thought this movie was great and had me thinking for a while about death etc. Watch this movie if you like creepy/eerie storylines with some funny twists and events.

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                            • Hannibal (DVD) / DVD / 0 Readings / 13 Ratings
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                              07.03.2001 17:32
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                              There was some hype last year that this movie was not going to match the success of its predecessor, 'The Silence of the Lambs' because Jodie Foster was not going to reprise her role as Special Agent Clarice Starling. I was actually quite skeptical myself and wondered if this sequel would do nothing more than feed off the success of the original movie. Fortunately, as soon as Anthony Hopkins made his appearance in Hannibal, it became clear to me that this was not going to be a weak stepchild to the original film. This was going to be Sir Anthony Hopkins’ movie and it really didn’t matter who played in the role as FBI agent Starling. This sequel starts seven years after Dr. Hannibal Lecter’s (Sir Anthony Hopkins) escape from FBI custody. It has been seven years since FBI agent Clarice Starling (played by Julianne Moore) interviewed Dr. Lecter, and she has since progressed on a successful career of her own. Dr. Lecter retreated to a quiet, semi-normal life in Italy, pursuing his own interests in the world of art. But Starling has never forgotten her encounters with the doctor. In this film, we are introduced to Dr. Lecter’s first victim, an outrageously wealthy businessman who, in his youth, was horribly disfigured. Now in his old age, he is obsessed with obtaining his revenge against Dr. Lecter and craftily uses Clarice Starling as the bait to draw Dr. Lecter out of hiding. What made this movie enjoyable for me is that the audience was able to see some of the quality traits that Dr. Lecter possessed that make him an almost likable anti-hero; his is refined, extremely intelligent, witty, and impeccably tuned to a god-like notion of justice. Sir Anthony Hopkins was great as usual and definitely gives an outstanding performance as Dr. Lector. This is a great movie and I highly recommend it.

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                              • KingPin (PC) / PC Game / 0 Readings / 9 Ratings
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                                06.03.2001 19:28
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                                This game is an absolutely great shoot 'em up - that is, if A LOT of bad language doesn't put you off too much. The story-line takes you to the city streets where you are a lowly thug trying to work your way up to be the "Kingpin". You start off with nothing but a lead pipe and have to talk your way through the streets to get gang members and weapons. You have your choice of either talking nice or nasty to the people on screen. The only downside is their responses are VERY limited...usually to just two or three sentences. The language is rather crude but I think it adds to the feel of the game being set in the streets. It is DEFINITELY NOT for kids and they do have a warning label on the box. This game also has a multiplayer option for Internet/Network play which is quite entertaining if you have a fast enough connection and enough people to play (you can play Kingpin over HEAT at http://www.heat.net but you have to download the software first). The only real problem I have with this game is the load times. When you go from one level, or "scene" into another, or sometimes from one building to another, it takes a while to load (even on a Pentium III 550mhz). Overall, however, this game is very addictive to play and I enjoyed the story-line/violence that went with it. Worth buying.

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