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lexie*

lexie*
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Member since: 08.07.2000

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      25.09.2002 18:38
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      • "can be hard to navigate"

      I have been a member of Doo-yoo for two years now, and have seen the site grow and rewards change. Most of the time the site is useful, with interesting opinions on products and topical issues. I have also seen the email magazine develop and evolve, unfortunately meaning that users now get less personal messages then before. The biggest problem I have had with Doo-yoo has been because of the changes to better the site, which i recognise can only improve the quality of opinions. My problem is communication. When I started the conditions on writing opinions were different. The main one is that they could be shorter. I had several of these shorter opinions that were eligible when they were written. When I took a routine check of my opinions earlier this year I was surprised to see that one was locked. My only other experience of this locking was when a friends was locked because of swearing. I immediately emailed the guide for the appropriate part of the site. The next day I received an e-mail saying that the guide didn't know why the opinion was locked, and refering my query to another member of staff. The next day I was told the opinion was locked for being too short. It also said I should have been notified that this was about to happen in order to give me a chance to put any problems right. This never happened. After I made staff aware of this problem they were very swift in putting it right. The opinion in question is now active and has been adjusted to meet the new guidelines. However, the next month the same problem happened with another opinion. I again received no email to inform me that i needed to make changes. I cannot make any changes because they dont go through. Most of the time the site is easy to use and very informative. The staff are very helpful when you come across a problem. However the same problem over communication of problems from their point of view does not s eem to be happening. It makes it very difficult for members to know how to improve their opinions or correct any mistakes when they are not told of the problem and given a chance to rectify it.

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        22.08.2002 07:28
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        • "not the best ending Connelly has written"

        Michael Connelly is very popular at our library. It is a fight to get the next instalment of the cases of Harry Bosch. The novel Angels Flight follows Detective Hieronymus (Harry) Bosch as he attempts to solve the murders of top civil rights lawyer Howard Elias, and also-ran Catalina Perez. Bosch and his team have to work in a city where this crime is leading to riot. Also affecting his work are the actions of his superiors and Harry’s marital problems. The novel is well written but could be said to follow the set pattern that many of Connelly’s novels do. I won’t spoil the ending but the endings of these novels do seem to follow a similar pattern. This is not to say that Angels Flight is formulaic. It deals with some interesting issues such as the effect that civil unrest has on policing and the prioritising of crimes. Also of interest are the tensions that exist between different sections of the police service and the effect certain crimes can have on the police. This book is in the middle of a series about the lead character and as such I would definitely recommend that any prospective reader starts at the beginning with the first novel, The Black Echo. The main reason for this is that, although each book can be read individually, in many there are references to previous novels. There are also references to the novels based on Connelly’s other main character, Terry McCaleb. Also personal relationships that Bosch is involved in often don’t finish neatly at the end of each novel, but carry on in to each other. This gives the novel a better sense of reality, but adds more to the novel if the reader already knows about these happenings, like all the characters do. In conclusion, this novel is an interesting and enjoyable read. It is well-written and there is good character development of several key characters, especially the Internal Affairs Detective and Bosch’s previous partner. Those more accustomed to Connelly’s writings may find that it is quite easy to work out what the conclusion will be. However this does not detract too much from an otherwise excellent novel.

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        • Vanilla Sky (DVD) / DVD / 0 Readings / 16 Ratings
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          13.02.2002 01:06
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          • "plot laboured at times"

          I watched Abre los Ojos, the Spanish version on which this film is based the day after i watched Vanilla Sky in the cinema. As in many cases, Vanilla Sky suffers from a lack of sincerity when compared to the original. I found Abre los Ojos to be more subtle and passionate. Despite the subtitles the Spanish version was more enjoyable. Despite this, both films are very weird and hard to explain, especially if you dont want to give the whole film away. Tom Cruise plays David, who is a commitment-phobe. He has been dating (read sleeping with) the character played by Cameron Diaz. At a party he meets Sofia (Penelope Cruz,reprising the role she played in the original) and they spent the night at her flat. Diaz finds out and picks up Cruise in her car. Then she drives the car over the bridge killing herself and leaving Cruise badly disfigured. All this happens in the first half hour. The film uses the flashback technique, which works in the beginning of the film buts begins to drag, especially in the last half hour. It is during this time that the film gets seriously weird. The storyline here stretches the audience's imagination to the limit, being deeply unbelievable. The film is overlong at two and a half hours and the strange ending made me aware of my surroundings, not good when the chairs are not comfy!! In conclusion, although enjoyable for most of the film, the last half hour is too surreal to suspend the audiences' imagination. There are some nice touches of detail but i would advice people to watch Abre los Ojos as it is a better-made film.

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          12.02.2002 05:53
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          • "lots of grey architecture"

          Manchester University is easy to get to, Oxford Road Train Station is ten minutes walk away, there is always a bus or a taxi and failing that walking isnt too bad because the campus itself is compact. Most halls of residence are at least ten minutes walk away from the campus, but is of good quality and variety. It is possible to have an en-suite, and there are various activities put on by the halls including christmas dinners and easter balls. My friends in halls all enjoy an active social life and enjoy their courses. However, most are doing science based courses where students are split into small problem-based learning groups, making it easy to make friends because they always work within the same group. I am doing an arts course which has 360 students. There is not one person who is in more than one of the same tutorials with me. In some of the main modules another course attends the lectures leading to 600 students. It is hard to make friends on this course and i can honestly say that the only friends at the uni that i have are from halls. I seem to be rambling but the point i am making is that, at least for the first year, some of the arts courses can seem very impersonal because of the size of the university. This can make university life seem very lonely and intimidating. There are plenty of societies to join and the union offers good value food and drink. The three music venues are brilliant and the gigs i have been to here count among my favourite. The venues are the Academy, the Hop and Grape and the University Union. The size of the venues ranges from medium/big to small. My only complaint about the venues is the price of drinks. Also at the university are two club nights, Club Tropicana at the Academy and Horny in the Cellar (part of the Union building). I prefer the cheesiness of Club Tropicana but these nights cater for a wide range of music styles. The refectory at the centre of the universit y campus offers good value meal deals although food can be a little pricey here otherwise. The Stopgap sells the best value sandwiches on campus, as well as papers and basic food provisions. This is handy when you cant find what you want at the Union. The precinct nearby contains a comprehensive bookshop, Spar, several banks, a travel agents, Student Homes and a post office so everything is under one roof and it is possible to get neccessities without venturing into the city centre. Alsdo on campus are several bars and cafes. They range from very good but very expensive (kro-bar) to cheap and cheerful (faculty cafes). There are two vegetarian cafes on campus, next to the library and in the cellar of the union building. There is a mixture of styles of architecture within the university campus and this is carried on with the halls of residence which range from victorian styles to modern buildings. In fine weather the architecture is stunning but when it is wet grey is the overwhelming colour. The main library is large and extensive, but i found that i use the faculty library more often because it is easier to find what i am looking for. There are lots of computers available and i found that the technical help available at Manchester Computing (on campus) was excellent. There are plenty of societies to join, catering for all tastes. For example music societies range from HARM, a rock, punk, nu-metal society, to MUGGS, the Gilbert and Sullivan appreciation group. If you dont find a society to your taste it is possible to create your own, which has led to the creation of the Megalomaniacs society here. As well as these societies, the bar at the union is always packed, enticing students with cheap beer. On Tuesdays, the Student Market is held in the Academy. This offers secondhand books, cheap clothes, posters etc. Although it is nice to look around, i have found that there is not much variety between the stalls. < br> In conclusion Manchester University can seem overwhelming and intimidating, but once you get into the swing of things it is a great place to study, and a great place to relax and enjoy yourself.

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            08.02.2002 05:58

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            Wow! This is one of my favourite books. Centering on the story of Harry, a boy who discovers on his eleventh birhday that he is a wizard and has a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. I read this book to a eight year old and a five year old before all the hype arose, and it amazed me that this book was enjoyed by all three of us, despite differences in age, gender and tastes. The book is well written and is very concerned with detail. It is the fact that all this litttle details and clues to the future of Harry are placeed throughout the book that appeals most to me, whereas to others it is the adventures and trouble that harry finds himself in, or all the spells and animals that is most enjoyable. It can be enjoyed by many because it can be read on all these different levels.

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          • Teachers (Ch 4) / TV Programme / 0 Readings / 10 Ratings
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            08.02.2002 05:45
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            • "weird fantasy sequences a little ott"

            This comedy-drama is very surreal in places in the Ally Mcbeal dancing baby vein. However it is also funny, witty and has a wonderful soundtrack. The series centres on the new English teacher Simon, played by Andrew Lincoln of This Life, at a 'typical' city high school. As the series progresses the audience sees his relationships with the other teachers, pupils and his girlfriend, policewoman Maggie, develop. There is quite a bit of tension between Simon and the other English teacher, some of this is sexual. It is the sexual tension between the two English teachers that leads to the McBealesque fantasy sequences. Also of interest is the friendship of Simon, Karl and Brian. One problem of the series is that the supporting characters often seem two - dimensional and stereotypical. For example is Karl, the geeky, sex - obsessed information technology teacher. The series is so good that i am now watching it for the second time as it is being repeated on terrestrial television. The comedy lies mostly in the actions of Brian and Karl, two teachers who are more immature than the youngest student. also of interest in the series are the lovelives of the teachers, and how they all relate to each other. The comedy balances the drama enough to make this light viewing, great for after that bad day at work. The second series has now has had a chance to establish two new characters, JP who is a gay languages teacher and Penny who is a (bad) english teacher. In this series the piece has become more of an ensemble work rather than focusing mainly on Simon as in the first series. It is still quirky, my friends and i record it and then watch it back to see all of the weird little touches in the background such as the dwarf dinnerlady and the kids walking on their hands. It has managed to stay fresh and original.

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            • Tilt - Lightning Seeds / Music Album / 0 Readings / 5 Ratings
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              26.08.2000 23:03
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              Ian has said that if he had the chance he would have put more upbeat songs on the Tilt album. He feels it is too downbeat on first listen. Its true that a lot of the songs are slow, melodic swirling numbers and it does take a couple of listens. After a second listen i was hooked and the slower songs only enhance the power of more uptempo songs like Crowdpleaser. Sweetest Soul Sensation is one of the strongest songs on the album and reaches new heights when played by the seeds live. The songs perfecctly complement Ian's voice which sounds a lot stronger on this album. The use of loops add a new complexity to what are often essentially simple melodic hooklines. More use is made of Angie and Martyn, the backing vocalists, and it is obvious that this band has the chameleon-like quality of being able to constantly reinvent themselves which a new, improved, more sophisticated sound.

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              30.07.2000 21:00
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              I was given this 19th century novel to read as part of my English Literature course, with the idea of comparing it with a very modern book, Oranges are not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson. I, like many of my friends felt that it would be hard to read and devoid of feeling and passion. How wrong we were. The introductory chapter, The Custom House is hard to read, overly long and, in places, boring. However this chapter is like the notes of an editor setting the scene of how he came across the story. It is not really relevant to the actual plots so can be missed out. Once you get past the opening chapter the novel is easy to read and easy to follow, although it is certainly not predictable. It is the story of Hester, who is one of the first Puritans to move to America. She moves to set up home before her husband comes over, but she has an affair and gets pregnant. This all happens before Hawthorne takes up the tale. She refuses to say who she had an affair with. As Hester is ostracised from the community her husband comes, but he doesn't want to be associated with her so he lives in the community under an assumed name. The novel deals with how Hester wins back the trust of the community and how her husband grows more evil and bitter, destroying her lover under the guise of his doctor. The passion between the characters is created without sex or violence, two features used by the film version which effectively destroys the original, passionate novel.

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            • Neighbours / TV Programme / 0 Readings / 5 Ratings
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              25.07.2000 19:27
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              In last nights episode of Neighbours good samaritan and all-round good egg Harold Bishop was charged by Tasmanian police of Armed Robbery. The neighbours will no doubt be shocked but will all rally around the poor accused. Why?! Hasn't Harold been put through enough, what with falling into a rapid river, losing his memory for 5 years, then meeting Madge and, suddenly, remembering everything, getting into a "war" with Debbie Martin over the coffee shop business, being blackmailed by the son of the owner of the Grease Monkeys francise, and finally losing after two young, often troublesome boys. Does the above sound like the average life of a person, let alone an average decade?! Any family in the soap seems to have to suffer a wedding which is stopped for some reason, a person has to be run over, the parents seperate, get back together to find themselves bankrupt because of lawyers fees, and a child being suspended from school before they are accepted as 'realistic'. If this is realism, i must be living in a fantasy world

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            • Everton F.C. / Discussion / 0 Readings / 6 Ratings
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              25.07.2000 04:22
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              During one of Evertons last games of the 99/00 season, away at Leeds, the commentater Andy Grey let slip that only three players on the pitch were foreign. The only foreigner playing for Everton was Myhre, the goalie. The rest of the players were from the UK, many from Scotland. I feel that this should be seen as a strength for the team but as players like Barmby and Collins move it may be inevitable that most of them are replaced by foreign players. OK so Gazza is joining us but is he really the key player of five years ago? What Walter Smith needs to do is rely more on the homegrown talent. Already this way has produced good players like Jeffers and Cadamarteri. The standard of UK players is dropping but last season showed that if they are trained properly they can be just as good as foreigners. By keeping the team British Everton is retaining her sense of individuality in a league which is rapidly becoming saturated with players from Europe. It should also help the national side, and any help to give Everton positive publicity should also help the teams financial situation.

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              23.07.2000 20:11
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              Chester is a city with a strong sense of history. It is a walled city which dates back to Roman times. However it doesn't just attract history nuts. There are lots of designer shops as well as discount areas. Even though the main shopping area is about a mile from the train station they are easy to get to. In fact getting a bus from the station to the shops is FREE as long as you show the driver your rail ticket. The cathedral is a big feature of the city, as well as the Roman ruins. Even the shops play a part in keeping the history of the city alive. They are on two floors in the historic quarter of the city. It is easy to get good value food without resorting to McDonalds and there are lots of pubs or clubs offering good entertainment at low cost. Chester has done a good job of keeping the history of the area alive whilst modernising the city. Now they just need to work on the football team!!

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            • Rock Profile / TV Programme / 0 Readings / 8 Ratings
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              22.07.2000 21:33
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              Rock Profile is a half hour programme shown currently on UK Play starring Jamie Theakston, Matt 'George Dawes' Lucas and Dave Walliams. It comprises Jamie interviewing rock stars from a band. For this opinion i will use the episode with 'Steps' as an example. Jamie met the blokes from Steps in an art gallery to see their art. 'H' was dressed in blue and 'Lee' was wearing red. It was then found out that they wore a different colour each day and they had mixed up the days. The interview is broken up with videos from the band. The videos shown are the real ones sent out for promotion but they are given the Pop Up Video treatment. The best one from the Steps show was "Steps are wanted by Interpol" As well as the captions during the videos are small video clips of other pop stars talking about the subject. In a recent episode for example Bucks Fizz talked about ABBA winning Eurovision by copying the Fizz's music then travelling back in time. This show has clever touches and works where other spoofs have failed because nothing is taken seriously, even if the show is done with straight faces.

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              22.07.2000 21:15
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              Like you Do is exactly what it says on the sleeve...a best of album. It contains the biggest hits of the bands 8 year history from the classic debut Pure to the smash hit Three Lions. It was authorised for release by Ian Broudie to relieve the stigma of the Euro 96 anthem and it certainly did that. It achieved platinum status which is well deserved because it caters for the whole spectrum of fans, from diehards like me to those who just want the songs they know. As well as most of the seeds singles (Joy is the only single not included on the album) the LP also contains two brand new songs and a re-recording of an old song from Dizzy Heights. All I Want can seem a little aged along with Sense but most of the songs are slickly produced with clever, black lyrics and polished performances. I would reccommend that if you are new to the band, buy this first. Once you get into the music you wont be able to go back with the catchy melodies that get stuck in your head and layered instrumentals which always are a surprise

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            • London in General / Destination National / 0 Readings / 8 Ratings
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              22.07.2000 04:34
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              London is a good city if you want the ultimate shopping experience but, unless you are prepared to trawl around the charity shops, you better get that loan sorted. The cost of public transport and taxis is very expensive, especially if you are travelling from the North where the cheapest rail fares are £40. Once you get into London the transport infrastructure is struggling to meet demand and prices to tourist attractions range from mid-priced to very expensive. Accomadation costs in London are on average twice as much as the equivilent in Manchester. Food prices are aiso high. London is a great multi-cultural city, perfect to spend a day out if you live in the South. However, for those who live in the North, I would recommend that, unless you want to visit a particular attraction like the Millennium Dome, save your money and go to Manchester or Liverpool.

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              • Radio 1 / Music Radio Station / 0 Readings / 7 Ratings
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                21.07.2000 16:15
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                Radio One used to be the jewel in the radio crown, but recently it has suffered a spate of high profile mishaps that have undermined the station's product. The main problems have involved the "flagship" breakfast show. First there were the problems of Chris Evans, replaced by the unsuccessful Mark and Lard. These problems seemed to be under control when Zoe Ball joined the team but now she has left Sara Cox doesn't have the same widespread appeal. Weekends on radio 1 are rubbish. The Sunday Request show has been axed and replaced by ANOTHER dance music show. There are now about 36 hours of consecutive dance music - great(!) During the rest of the week daytime programming is pop based so there is no room for new talent to develop. It is only when we come to evening and late night airplay that we see any sign of variety. Radio 1 doesnt cater for real 16-24 year-olds...it caters for the stereotypes of a student.

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