Welcome! Log in or Register

nobbledegook

nobbledegook
  • 0
  • 13
  • 4
  • 12
  • 92
  • 127
  • Crowns
  • Premium reviews
  • Express reviews
  • Comments
  • Reviews rated
  • Ratings received

Member since: 01.07.2000

People I trust

User that trust you
  • Sort by:
    • More +
      03.09.2000 16:45
      Very helpful
      (Rating)
      1 Comment

      Advantages

      Disadvantages

      I can't believe that this debate still lingers. The hypocrisy required at an international level to maintain the legality of alcohol and tobacco, whilst outlawing the pharmaceutical and recreational use of cannabis is astonishing. The arguments, should they need repeating: 1. Cannabis is a killer. Well sure, you can get cancer from smoking joints (even without tobacco, despite other opinions on your pages), and you can certainly kill yourself and others if you choose to drive following a good toke. But surely the same is true for the other legal drugs, Alcohol and tobacco (henceforth referred to as A+T). Hundreds of thousands of lives a year are lost in this country alone due directly to consumption of A+T, so it can't be this factor that is getting governmental knickers in a twist. 2. Cannabis use leads to the use and abuse of other drugs. Again, I can't say that the vast majority of so-called hard drug users wouldn't have used cannabis as the first step on the illegal drugs ladder. However significantly more people would have experimented with their level of consciousness using booze, before later going on to use harder drugs. Does this mean alcohol leads to hard drugs. No-one is seriously suggesting this, but there may well be an element of truth in this argument. There is a section of society who, for whatever reason, like to get off of their faces, from time to time. Some use lighter fuel, some use alcohol, some cannabis and some crack cocaine. People shop around until they find what suits them. This is a consumer society after all. The reason people tend to use cannabis as the first step, is because it is so easy to get hold of. It is as ubiquitous in some circles as Australian Chardonnay is in others. This does not mean it leads onto other drugs, just that people with a specific mind set will use it as their first port of call, on
      life's great journey. Some will stay there because they like it, and others will move on. Cannabis use does not cause people to seek out new drugs per se. 3. It is addictive. This has been extensively researched. It is not physically addictive, but can certainly be psychologically addictive. Those reading this forum will undoubtedly know of people whose life revolves around the 'evil weed', reruns of Countdown classics, Supermarket Sweep, and food with no nutritional value. Not my lifestyle choice, but not harmful to the population as a whole (if you ignore the screening of Supermarket Sweep, and its potential repercussions). If you take the weed away from them, they go to pieces. Mind you, if you took their tv away, they'd be in a worse state. 4. Buying cannabis puts the young in contact with the criminal underworld. Not difficult to see a way around this one, really. 5. Cannabis has theraputic uses. This is all well documented especially its use for reducing spasticity in those with MS, or other neuromuscular diseases, and as an anti-sickness agent. Indeed, a drug called tibolone, is marketed (yes, via a large pharmaceutical company) for use against sickness. No prizes for guessing how it works - through central receptors for naturally occuring compounds present in cannabis. You can't get high on it though, before you ask. Why does our society continue to outlaw those people whose only crime is to seek some relief from the unremitting onslaught of their symptoms, through the use of a simple, naturally occuring plant? So do I condone cannabis use recreationally? No. I think it's a boring drug, that turns otherwise lively intelligent young adults into dull-witted, but amiable fools. Should it continue to be criminalised? The hypocrisy has to end. There is no way you can intellectually justi
      fy the peddling of alcohol from every street corner, and continue to ban the weed. This nation needs some release from the stresses of it's daily existence, purely to stop us getting our heads together long enough to plan the next revolution. So yeah, legalise it. But it won't be me smoking the stuff..

      Comments

      Login or register to add comments
      • More +
        03.09.2000 15:44
        Very helpful
        (Rating)
        1 Comment

        Advantages

        Disadvantages

        What at title! Do the pages beyond the dust jacket do it justice? So very nearly. But then the author realises this, and apologises for every one of the books shortcomings in the introduction. You can find this either endearing or infuriating, but at the very least it's refreshingly different. I like this man - he has intelligence, youth, arrogance and a world view that is so thouroughly media saturated that his every experience feels second hand. If you identify with that feeling, then this is the book for you. Essentially autobiographical, the book deals with the trauma of losing both of his parents at a young age, followed by the struggle to bring up his kid brother whilst living the typical Californian countercultural twenty-something existence. This is done in a style that, as the author admits, is not just knowing, but knowingly knowing. This man understands modern media. His life is drenched in images, and every real event is seen through a prism of flashback, second hand images, and the contemplation of how the experience can be dressed up and presented for consumption by his audience later on. For all his talk of living in the moment and 'burning', there seems to be a screen between the author and reality. He never gets his hands really dirty, although he certainly lives through some terrible events. He never overcomes the obstacle of his creativity. It is not enough just to acknowledge this shortcoming in the introduction, and to hope the reader is feeling lenient enough. The author has the talent to clear those hurdles easily enough, yet chooses not to. What we are left with is a refreshingly different book, very much of its time, and well worth reading. But you shouldn't write about reaching for the stars if you are afraid of take-off yourself.

        Comments

        Login or register to add comments
        • More +
          02.09.2000 21:12
          Very helpful
          (Rating)
          3 Comments

          Advantages

          Disadvantages

          What are the real issues being debated here? 1. Why risk your child’s health to cover them against illnesses that are pretty harmless anyway? A good point, but unfortunately wrong in its basic premise. Measles is a killer, and not just in the developing world. A recent epidemic in Dublin saw at least twenty children dead as a result of measles infection. Dublin is not too far away from here, either geographically or developmentally. The same could easily happen again elsewhere. 2. It will give my child autism, or inflammatory bowel disease. This has certainly been hypothesised in the past, but recent statistical analysis of all the available evidence has shown no link. You either trust the statisticians, or you don’t, but there is no proven link, and the current party line claims no risk in this direction. If there is a link, it must be exceptionally small; not to have shown up conclusively from the work already completed on this topic. 3. Why are they given at such a vulnerable age? The earlier they are given, the earlier your children are protected (within reason). The timing has to be a balance between risk of exposure to the disease, and the ability of the body to generate a significant immune response to the vaccine. 4. My child will be covered by ‘herd immunity’ if everyone else is vaccinated and my child isn’t. For those not acquainted with the concept of herd immunity, the thinking is that for a virus to survive it has to be present inside a host i.e. one (or more) of us. This is ‘the reservoir’ of disease, from which the virus can spread. As our body works to clear the virus, it should have already spread to other susceptible hosts, thereby spreading infection, and maintaining it’s own survival. If enough of the population is vaccinated, there is nowhere for the virus to run to. It becomes cornered, and starts to die out. The reservoir dries up, as the infected ho
          sts clear their own systems. In some social circles it is acceptable to use this concept as a good reason for not exposing one’s own children to the potential risks (real or imagined) of the vaccination. Am I the only one who finds this distasteful, and socially reprehensible? There is a duty of care here to the population as a whole, and not just to your little ones. And if enough people start to use the argument, then it defeats itself, and we are all left facing a measles epidemic, and its consequences. 5. There are homeopathic alternatives. Now if you’ve read my opinion on homeopathy you’ll know where I stand on this issue. Even homeopathists will acknowledge that they cannot prevent your child from catching these illnesses. They may claim to be able to boost the immune system prior to infection, so that the virus never takes hold, and to treat the symptoms once developed (although personally if my child develops measles pneumonitis, I’d like her to be in hospital). My views are already written elsewhere… Would I allow my children to receive the MMR vaccination? Absolutely. And I believe there is a social obligation to do so. Not a very fashionable concept, I realise, especially when it comes to making decisions for your progeny, but nevertheless an important one.

          Comments

          Login or register to add comments
          • More +
            20.07.2000 05:12
            Very helpful
            (Rating)
            1 Comment

            Advantages

            Disadvantages

            A city of contrasts – serenity and chaos, poverty and spiritual richness, beauty and squalor - How could one even try to begin to describe Kathmandu? For many people, travel to Nepal means the opportunity to trek in the Himalayas. Kathmandu is perceived as an unpleasant stop-over on the journey north, rather than a destination in its own right. Although things have certainly changed since the ‘60’s, this city still has much to offer. I spent several months living and working here, and grew to love it. There are frustrations, as there would be in any Asian city of this scale, but these are more than compensated by the richness of the street life, the architecture, the temples, the people, and even the smells. You can’t help but feel alive in a city like this (in that respect, it reminds me of New York, a comparison I never thought I would make). Like Kuta in Bali, Kathmandu has undeniably suffered by rapid development precipitated by the chase for tourist dollars. This is clearest in Thamel, an unsightly sprawl of concrete -–shops, restuarants, cheap hotels. In a way we are all to blame for this. If we didn’t shop there, eat there or sleep there, then we could condemn the shortsighted planning and greed. But we do… The streets are crowded with the usual traveller types, stocking up on excellent food, before either the journey north to the Himalayas, or south, back to India. There are too many restuarants, bars and hotels to check by name, but a few are legendary on the circuit – The Kathmandu Guest House and The Bakery are but two. Whether their legendary status is deserved or not is another matter, but they are certainly crowded, and you are bound to meet like minded souls at either establishment. As always, shop around, bargain hard and have fun whilst you’re doing it. At the centre of Kathmandu lies the ‘Durbar Square’, an area filled with a sele
            ction of temples and monuments of varying styles. Take a seat up on one of the higher tiers of your favourite temple and watch the world go by. Come here at dawn, midday and dusk, and compare the atmosphere, the way the light falls, the difference in the sounds you hear. You can (and should) also see the ‘Durbar Squares’ of both Patan and Bhaktapur whilst you are here. The basic idea remains the same, but the atmosphere is totally different. Bhaktapur in particular is stunning, and a truly unforgettable place. Swayambunath is a large stupa on the outskirts of town, easily accessible by rickshaw, or by walking. When you see the number of steps up to it, you will wish you had gone for the rickshaw option. The stupa itself is in excellent condition, and very much a focus for everyday spiritual life. The views offered over the Kathmandu valley are also well worth the climb. Pashupatinath is the last on the list of ‘must sees’. It is the Holy Town where the bodies of the dead are cremated on burning wooded ghats, and the ashes scattered into the sacred river. It has huge religious significance, but tourists are well tolerated. The few taking photos of the cremations were, to my mind, overstepping the line however. The banks of the river are filled with ‘sadhus’, or holy men. Some of them certainly are spiritual beings, but some are more questionable in their motives. Most will happily engage in conversation though, and it is easy to spend a fascinating day here learning about their religious perspective. But this isn't about ticking sites off lists - although there are spectacular monuments and temples - the real delight of Kathmandu lies on its streets and in the everyday living of its people. You can't write about something like that - it needs to be experienced...

            Comments

            Login or register to add comments
            • More +
              16.07.2000 21:11
              Very helpful
              (Rating)
              1 Comment

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              This is the kind of place we scoured the globe looking for. I’ve half a mind not to share the secret, in the vague hope that should I ever get around to returning, things would not have changed. But I know in my heart of hearts that that isn’t going to happen. Things move on, and this place probably isn’t how I describe it, even now. If you do take a chance please post your opinion, because this is the place my mind wanders to on damp midwinter evenings. So where am I talking about? Kanawa Island. Where is it? It’s in the Indonesian archipelago between Komodo and Flores. How do I get there? Take a boat from Labuanbajo, the port on the western tip of Flores. It is a relatively short trip away. How much does it cost? I haven’t got hard facts available, but certainly not significantly more than other budget Indonesian accommodation (that means pennies to pounds a night). What do I get when I arrive? Perfection. Kanawa is a small island – it is possible to walk all the way around it in a couple of hours tops, or you can swim around in about the same time, due to the currents that carry you comfortably. There is a large hill in the middle, which it is possible to climb, and when we were on the island, there was a pair of sea eagles nesting up near the top. The landscape is relatively barren – this is not the lush tropical island that you experience in the Pacific Ocean. It is ringed by white sandy beaches, which in turn are ringed by pristine coral and crammed with sea life. There are six very basic wooden huts with mosquito nets and outside toilets. The shower is communal (to be shared with the goats as well, which is an entertaining experience in itself), and is the traditional ‘mandi’ style, i.e. a large reservoir of water and a receptacle for scooping it over either yourself or your partner in turn. There is a communal building, open to the elements where very simple food is se
              rved to order. Nasi goreng (basically rice + whatever) gets a little tedious on about day 6 when you have it twice a day. But don’t let this absence of a Michelin rating put you off. So what is there to do here? Absolutely nothing, and therein lies its beauty. Sure, you could go fishing with the local boat owner (and he will be more than happy to take you, lend you a line, and then laugh at your paltry catch in comparison to his), but that is about it for adventure sports. The real beauty lies in the sea. We spent day upon day circumnavigating the island, swimming with turtles and rays, playing peek-a-boo with moray eels, and (when feeling brave) searching for reef sharks. I have done a bit of diving (Great Barrier Reef, Thailand, Cook Islands and other sites in Indonesia) but this place wins hands down for richness of aquatic life. Unfortunately, there isn’t a dive outfit on the island, but there are a couple of masks, snorkels and a few pairs of fins. Best to come prepared with your own kit, if you can manage to fit it in your rucksack. Just snorkelling here is an unforgettable experience. One word of warning – because it is a small island, it can potentially develop a claustrophobic atmosphere. We were lucky. The people we shared our time with on the island were fantastic and added significantly to our enjoyment. If you were on the island with a crowd who were perhaps not so easy going, feelings could turn sour pretty quickly. You have been warned. Choose your travelling companions well. I hope you find this place in a similar state to when I left it. It really was an undiscovered gem, and invaluable as a rest stop in the journey across Indonesia.

              Comments

              Login or register to add comments
              • Mission Impossible 2 (DVD) / DVD / 0 Readings / 4 Ratings
                More +
                15.07.2000 14:09
                Very helpful
                (Rating)

                Advantages

                Disadvantages

                Stunts, gadgets, handsome leading man with a cute love interest. Stop me if you think that you’ve heard this one before. Now go and queue at the cinema if you want to see that formula worked one more time. Yeah, you and millions of others. To that extent the plot is secondary. For those interested, we’ve entered the biotech era and corporate business (rather than cold war dictators, or megalomaniacal psychopaths) are the bad boys now. This means that Tom’s / Ethan’s mission (should he wish to take it) is to rescue from the baddies the antidote to a virus that is capable of destroying the world. Meanwhile our blundering baddies (and they do always blunder despite their surface ruthless efficiency) have to obtain the original evil virus lurking in a (downtown!) laboratory so that they can threaten to unleash it and therefore scoop big bucks on selling the antidote that is within their evil clutches. This is complicated by Tom’s love interest inoculating herself with the live virus, and so begins a race against time…. James may have been suave, debonair and pretty damn cool, but Ethan has gunfights in slow motion, and that scores points with me. MI:2 sees John Woo at the helm, and he gives it loads. His trademark slo-mo shoot em up scene, shot as if he were filmimg a ballet pulls all the usual tricks. Yeah, you’ve seen it before but it still works for me. Tom and the boys skidding around in shards of splintered glass, like they were rain drops, and dodging the bullets at the same time. These kids are cool mum, can I be like them if I grow up? So what to we get for our £5. We get Tom rock climbing. And I would just like to remind you ladies and gentlemen that Tom has done all of the rock climbing stunts himself in this film (as his PR tirelessly reports in the press – yeah right!). We get motorbikes. We get Thandie Newton (for which many will be thankful). We get Sydney and Seville. We
                get people in prosthetic lifelike masks. And of course we get guns, explosions and (did I mention it?) slow motion. Put down your copy of Loaded and

                Comments

                Login or register to add comments
              • Homeopathy / Archive Lifestyle / 2 Readings / 9 Ratings
                More +
                14.07.2000 02:37
                3 Comments

                Advantages

                Disadvantages

                Am I missing something? As I understand the 'ancient art' of homeopathy, it invoves taking a substance and diluting it through several series of dilutions (shaken in an appropriate manner to release 'energy'), to such an extent that the final remedy doesn't actually contain any of the molecular structure of the original solute i.e. it is water. Practitioners argue that homeopathy works due to the energy imprinted on the solvent through the series of dilutions. I'd probably argue as well if my livelihood depended upon it , but hopefully I could come up with something slightly more convincing than that. This is the 21st century now - we have disciplines like biochemistry, physiology, pharmacology. We do not need superstition and witchcraft. I accept that modern medicine does not have all the answers, but it is at least honest in accepting its limitations. Drugs have to prove their efficacy in large randomised control trials before they are licensed. That is, they have to prove scientifically that they work. By the time a drug is released on to the market it's chemical composition, mode of action, metabolic breakdown, side effect profile and possible interactions are known and documented. Compare that to a quack selling a dose of water to cure your ills. There is no proof that homeopathy works. That needs repeating - There is no proof that homeopathy works. Sure, you will get some people who have paid money for to homeopathists who then improve. They will say that they have been cured(There is a world of difference however, in being better and having been cured). There is also a significant population who will stay the same, and (heaven forbid) a population who will get worse, whilst taking the same remedy for the same condition. Modern medicine accepts as a given the placebo effect. That is, in a drug trial, the population allocated to the placebo arm will show an improvement in symptoms compared to
                those who receive nothing at all. Ah, I hear you reply, even if homeopathy only works by placebo effect (which is my 'hunch') surely it is doing some people some good. And I can't argue with that. What I take offence at is the way that poorly controlled practitioners can peddle unproven remedies at exorbitant prices, whilst modern medicine is continuously portrayed as uncaring, inefficient and dangerous. Perhaps if GPs started to charge the same rates as homeopathists, people would begin to believe in modern medicine again. There is no power like the dollar after all....

                Comments

                Login or register to add comments
                • Other locations... / Discussion / 0 Readings / 9 Ratings
                  More +
                  12.07.2000 05:22
                  Very helpful
                  (Rating)
                  2 Comments

                  Advantages

                  Disadvantages

                  "It'll be fun," we thought when we booked a last minute budget holiday to Bulgaria. Never been there before and sounds more interesting than Ibiza or a Greek island. Hmmmmm. I'm as interested in post-Soviet colonies as the next person and in some perverse way I like the old Stalinist architecture. BUT (and this is a big 'but') I'm not sure spending 2 weeks in an ex-Soviet holiday resort is my idea of fun. Sunny Beach is ugly. It's not overbuilt like the Costa del Sol, it just has random hotels and restaurants dotted around in a totally baffling fashion and the overall result is not very sympathetic on the eye. The good points: The hotel was OK I guess. The beach had lovely sand and beautiful warm sea and wasn't too crowded (mid-June). Overall it was pretty cheap - e.g. you could have a 3 course meal for two including wine for under a tenner. Now for the bad points: The food was dire - kebabs and chips or kebabs and chips, plus a little bit of fish. The atmosphere was poor - just a complete holiday resort and full of Brits and Germans, no atmosphere. Lots of really old fashioned karaoke bars and lifeless nightclubs. No interesting shops. Nowhere interesting to wander around or explore. Sorry, Sunny Beach, but you were boring in the extreme and I would wholeheartedly advise people not to bother with it. Stick to other package destinations like the Spanish and Greek islands if you're after a beach, food, relax holiday.

                  Comments

                  Login or register to add comments
                  • UK Petrol Prices / Discussion / 0 Readings / 8 Ratings
                    More +
                    10.07.2000 00:44
                    Very helpful
                    (Rating)
                    1 Comment

                    Advantages

                    Disadvantages

                    Did anyone see Tony's appearance on Question Time the other evening? Historically I'm not much of a fan of our Tony's, due to his overwhelming aura of self satisfaction and scarcely credible humility, however, I thought the guy put on a career saving performance. The fact is that to view the tax on petrol in isolation, is to miss the point. We all want better schools, better healthcare and better policing, and the money has to come from somewhere (i.e. our pockets). Now that tax comes in a rich variety of disguises, some direct and some stealthy. The petrol tax used to be reasonably stealthy (we were all aware of it, but not on a daily consciousness level), but as it has become larger and larger, it has no longer been able to hide itself. It has leapt from behind the tree yelling 'boo', and we're all (justifiably) pretty angry at it for ruining the picnic. But let us remember, this is not just a one sided tax - it is a green tax. There is a lot of lip service in this country paid to green issues, until they actually cause us to change our practices of daily living. I don't think anyone would argue that it would be a good thing if this country as a whole used less fuel. But ask someone to walk, or (heaven forbid) cycle occasionally, instead of use their car, and all hell breaks loose. You can't have it both ways. The glaring ommision in Mr Blair's argument is that he has not established a workable national public transport sytem before encouraging / forcing us to leave our cars at home. Some journeys are not workable by other means of transport, and the government has not responded adequately to this issue. So Tony, nice try but no cigar. Get the buses, trains and cycle paths in order and then tax fuel - not the other way around. Personally, I bought a scooter for city travel - now even that costs £3.00 to fill up!

                    Comments

                    Login or register to add comments
                    • Seven (DVD) / DVD / 0 Readings / 5 Ratings
                      More +
                      09.07.2000 21:55
                      Very helpful
                      (Rating)
                      2 Comments

                      Advantages

                      Disadvantages

                      All too often horror films are perceived as a slightly inferior product compared to serious drama. This film goes some way to redressing that balance. The film is bleak but in such a glossy way, that I felt distanced from the plot, and found myself marvelling at the work of the director and performers. And there is much to admire. The performances are superb. Both Freeman and Pitt (yes, he can act , albeit with a limited range - see Fightclub) offer classy acting turns, but the film is stolen by Kevin Spacey. In retrospect it is hard to believe he only appears in the closing act, as his performance sticks in the mind like an image seared onto your retina. It ranks alongside his best work (see also The Usual Suspects). Oh, Gwyneth Paltrow puts in an appearance, and is suitably rewarded for it in the final scene. If this was for real and not just make-believe, we could have been spared that overblown oscar acceptance speech. The film might have had some difficulty getting past the censors though. The film is painted with a very limited palette of colours, and the constant rain begins to seep into your soul, so that come the final scene, when we are bathed in light and warmth in the desert, we can't but help feel optimistic despite ourselves. We know in our hearts that he has one more trick up his sleeve - but what a trick. Come on, who expected that? Superb plotting, taught direction, classy cinematography, and solid to great performances. What more do you want from a film with a body count?

                      Comments

                      Login or register to add comments
                      • Funny Games [1997] (DVD) / DVD / 1 Reading / 6 Ratings
                        More +
                        09.07.2000 16:49
                        Very helpful
                        (Rating)

                        Advantages

                        Disadvantages

                        O.K., I accept that low budget, German subtitled horror movies are not on everyone's must see list, but in this instance treat yourself to an exception. This film is truly horrific, and I mean that as a compliment. It is not a genre movie - if your idea of horror is a bunch of nubile teenage girls getting slashed by masked phantoms (scooby doo horror), then this isn't the film for you. This is cinema verite. There are no reassuring post modern ironic chuckles to lighten the load. In many ways it is the complete antithesis of recent horror movies, where violent deaths are just viewed as simple plot developments. There are people dying here, for heavens sake - this is not 'entertainment'. The tension is skilfully developed from its seemingly benign opening sequence onwards. No punches are pulled. And just when it gets to the stage where you are feeling physically revolted by what you are watching, the director does something inspired (and no, I'm not saying), and you remember that you are only watching a film after all. Without that opportunity for release this would almost be unwatchable. As it stands, it is a true masterpiece - compulsory viewing for those who like to indulge their baser instincts by watching young ladies getting chopped up on the big screen. Perhaps this will put things in perspective for you... (As for the plot - well don't read on if you don't want to know. I'd advise you not to, but if you must...Two lads visit an isolated lakeside cottage with the intention of torturing and killing the resident family for fun. It's as simple as that really. Pure evil personified.) Anyone who has ever chuckled at a slasher movie should be made to watch this - cinema facing the consequences of its own actions. You won't be laughing long...

                        Comments

                        Login or register to add comments
                      • More +
                        05.07.2000 02:14
                        Very helpful
                        (Rating)

                        Advantages

                        Disadvantages

                        I went to a comprehensive school, my folks ain't rich and my accent is far from cultured. Okay now that's out of the way can we get on please... Oxford was a cracking place to study. I will confess that it was a few years ago now ( I shudder when I think how many ), but as we all know, nothing ever changes in the spired city. Or does it... The big advantage of Oxford as I saw it was the collegiate system. It prevents you from getting lost ( and in a university of this size, that is a very real possibility ), offers an instant social network, and yes even an identity to a certain extent. I was a St Catherine's student for my sins - a large modern ( Arne Jacobsen designed, for those readers of wallpaper magazine ) college on the outskirts of town. It has a reputation for being liberal and less elitist than some of the more trad colleges, and is also less successful academically ( make of that what you will ). There was a good mix of public / state educated students, with equal opportunity to social climb, start a class war, or just enjoy yourself by meeting all kinds of people and assessing them without preconceived ideas. Do what you will. Some of the courses at Oxford are a little dusty when compared to their shiny new competitors. But that is to miss the point. Oxford teaches you a way of thinking, a confidence ( some would say arrogance ) and a perspective that is not available elsewhere. Most undergrads don't remember a word of their courses 3 to 4 years down the line, and that is probably true of me as well, but I have taken something from my education which helps me on a daily basis. Can every university make the same claim? So to those thinking of applying, and perhaps wavering due to the latest 'storm-in-a-tea-cup' journalism - just do it and see what happens. It's well worth a shot

                        Comments

                        Login or register to add comments
                      • More +
                        05.07.2000 01:38
                        Very helpful
                        (Rating)
                        1 Comment

                        Advantages

                        Disadvantages

                        Thinking of coming to Bath? You will probably already be aware of it's 'Georgian Splendor', the Roman Baths, Sally Lunn, and all the rest of that tourist brochure babble. They may have already informed you of the ample opportunity to spend money in any number of independent shops and antiques markets. You may think that you could choose from a variety of world class restaurants ( you'd be wrong on this score, despite what you read ), but you could still do with a few pointers from a local.... Sure it's pretty - the view of any one of the Bath crescents as the late evening sun reflects from their golden stone is hard to beat. It also tends to get very busy between March and October, but only in the central area. Take a walk up lansdown hill to the lesser visited lansdown crescent at sunset. Far prettier than it's more famous sibling the royal crescent, and as it's up on the hill, the views are far more impressive. Plus it will probably be only you and a few sheep sharing the view. Why more people don't come up here is hard to understand ( admittedly the gradient may put a few people off ). Other ways to avoid the well trodden tourist route would involve a trip to Alexander Park, purely for it's vista of the city. Admittedly the park itself is no great shakes ( good playground for the lil' ones ) but as it is nestled up on the southern slopes, with the city spread below it in the valley, it can offer a good perspective of the city. If you're in Bath for any length of time, take a walk along the canal ( recently renovated ) to The George at Bathampton. Pick up your route in Sydney Gardens ( at the end of Great Pultney Street ) and turn left onto the towpath. A very pleasant 30-40 min walk will lead you to a fine canalside pub. The food is a little pricey ( but then that's a recurring theme in this town ) but the beer is welcome. Centrally, everything is within easy walking d
                        istance, so no need to leap onto one of those tourist buses. There are plenty of galleries for those that way inclined. The victoria gallery is the large municipal gallery with free entry - as with all galleries it depends entirely on what is being exhibited at the time, but it tends to hit the mark more often than not. The permanent collection upstairs is also worth a quick browse. For those not on a budget, the best way to see Bath is from above - a hot air balloon trip. There are plenty of outfits offering pretty much the same package for the same price, but ultimately the wind is going to decide what route you take ( and if you will take off at all ). If you catch a good day this is an unforgetable experience. Highly reccommended, but not the cheapest form of entertainment in the city. And so to food. Bath has plenty of restaurants, but most of them are frankly disappointing and overpriced. Those not falling into this category are ( in descending price order ) Lettonie, the Martin Blunos owned 2 Star michelin restaurant with rooms - This will probably appeal to the hot air balloon crowd, but is less dependent on the prevailing weather conditions, Number 5 Bistro close to Pultney Bridge - excellent homemade icecream, and the Adventure Cafe on George Street - sandwiches to die for ( fight for a table ). After that you risk being disappointed and significantly poorer. I could go on, but this is far too long already. Bath is a great, friendly, beautiful city, but try to get out of the centre at least once.

                        Comments

                        Login or register to add comments
                        • The Mail / Magazine / Newspaper / 0 Readings / 5 Ratings
                          More +
                          01.07.2000 22:40
                          Very helpful
                          (Rating)

                          Advantages

                          Disadvantages

                          I feel the need to heap further condemnation upon this mean spirited publication. The reasons for my utter contempt - well it's all been said. There is no need repeat all that's been said. AndyC has already done a good enough job. What I would like to add to the 'Mail is rubbish' debate is the concept of positive action to be taken against Mail readers. Sitting on a train opposite a mail reader who doesn't show his ticket when the guy comes around - just have a quiet word and watch them squirm with embarrassment as they fork out the fine. A fine start to the day, and as good a way to eradicate this ridiculous little rag as any. Of course it does throw up the thorny issue of rail companies prospering as a result of the direct action, and I can see how that could lead to some restless nights. But sleep weel my friends - remember he was a Mail reader.

                          Comments

                          Login or register to add comments
                        • Dale's Supermarket Sweep / TV Programme / 0 Readings / 4 Ratings
                          More +
                          01.07.2000 22:24
                          Very helpful
                          (Rating)

                          Advantages

                          Disadvantages

                          Stop now all of you and ask yourselves 'is my life so worthless and empty that i can afford to waste even a moment of it watching this utter drivel'. And please, none of that it's so bad it's good argument. That is an ad mans dream come true - it means schedulers can feed us rubbish, and we consume regardless of quality. If we receive rubbish on our TV screens it is because people consume rubbish in the first place. If no-one watched they wouldn't keep transmitting it. We deserve better than this. So to all you post modern ironic students nursing hangovers by consuming junk TV, I have had enough. Please stop this nonsense now I beg you....

                          Comments

                          Login or register to add comments