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Member since: 07.05.2013

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    • More +
      03.04.2014 17:12
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      • "great poppy album"

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      fun and uplifting, but hardly groundbreaking

      You Me At Six formed in 2004 and consist of Josh Franceschi, Max Helyer, Chris Miller, Matt Barnes and Dan Flint. For anyone who doesn't really know them that well, they can be described as 'pop-punk' - they were definitely caught up in the 'emo' craze, but that's died down now and I'd still definitely say that they're a great band, so don't let their past 'emo' branding fool you. Prior to this album they have release 3 other full length CDs: Take Off Your Colours, Hold Me Down and Sinners Never Sleep. I've been a massive fan of theirs since around 2008 and have followed them ever since. Before the release of this album I'd have said that they'd gotten better with each new release, but as good as this album is, I'm not so sure about it.

      A main problem that I have with this album is that it's very samey, and I'd say a little safe too. It's still got the great vocals and music as the older albums but I'd criticise it in saying that the lyrics are a bit cliche and it's, I don't want to say it, but mainstream. I think that can be shown by the fact that it actually topped the UK charts - I was definitely proud that they did but they wouldn't have with any of their older albums.

      It still has that distinctive YMAS feel to it but, as with the other albums, I've not had it on repeat, nor have I really loved any of the songs. I'd call it a summer album, aka good but nothing to really obsess over - great for absent minded listening. This makes my review sound so negative, but don't get me wrong - I like the album, but I was hoping for so much more!

      Compared to its predecessor, Sinners Never Sleep, it has no bite. That album is one of my all-time favourites, because the lyrics are innovative and brilliant, and because it just has such an original feel. This album, however, just feels like a lot of generic pop-rock songs. None of the songs really stand out by themselves - I've even had to put the album on from start to finish to be able to write this, because I have a hard time distinguishing them from each other.

      I'd say that my favourite song from the album is Frest Start Fever, and mainly because it does feel like the most energetic and new song on there - It was the one that caught my attention when I first listened to the songs. Its upbeat and it's got great lyrics. I don't mind Lived A Lie as its also uplifting and anthemic. Win Some, Lose Some is also a great song and a little different to the rest, though it does have some cliche lyrics.

      Like I said, they're all good songs, but that's it - they're good. I'd say that the one to skip really is Be Who You Are - it is a lovely little slow song but YMAS have done so many better slower songs that this one feels disappointing. At least its short. Apart from that they're all worth a listen but the fact that there's none I hate can either be a good thing, or prove that it's pretty bland.

      I'd say that, yes, it is a good album on the whole but it's nothing that hasn't been done before.

      Tracklisting (deluxe edition)
      1."Too Young To Feel This Old"
      2."Lived a Lie"
      3."Fresh Start Fever"
      4."Forgive and Forget"
      5."Room to Breathe"
      6."Win Some, Lose Some"
      7."Cold Night"
      8."Hope for the Best"
      9."Love Me Like You Used To"
      10."Be Who You Are"
      11."Carpe Diem"
      12."Wild Ones"

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    • Apple iPhone 5C 16 GB / Smartphone / 40 Readings / 38 Ratings
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      20.01.2014 17:17
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      a gorgeous and easy to use phone; i won't look further than apple for technology again!

      iPhone 5C technical specifications:
      General:
      16gb/32gb
      Available in: white, pink, green, yellow or blue
      Software: iOS 7

      Size:
      Height: 124.4 mm (4.90 inches)
      Width: 59.2 mm (2.33 inches)
      Depth: 8.97 mm (0.35 inches)
      Weight: 132 grams (4.65 ounces)

      Display:
      Retina display
      4-inch (diagonal) widescreen Multi‑Touch display
      1136x640-pixel resolution at 326 ppi

      Camera:
      8 megapixels with hybrid IR filter, autofocus, tap to focus, face detection, panorama and photo geotagging
      1080p HD video recording

      Uses a lightning adapter

      Full specification available at http://www.apple.com/uk/iphone-5c/specs/

      I've been through a lot of phones in the last few years and have long insisted that Blackberry were the best. With my purchase of a Blackberry Bold 9790 I soon began to realise that Blackberry were not the be all and end all of phones. I've never really considered having a full touch screen phone and always insisted that buttons were completely necessary; that's why my u-turn into buying an iPhone was pretty shocking for everyone I know.

      I was lured into buying the phone through the fact that my friends were always telling me to get certain apps, which were not available on Blackberry. I never used to be bothered with apps and used to only use my phone as a device for texting, but this soon got frustrating when I went to uni. I felt out of the loop by not having all of the apps my friends had, and felt I couldn't adequately keep in touch. So, I caved and cancelled my Blackberry contract, finding a very good deal on Carphone Warehouse for a 5c. I paid £30 upfront for the phone and have a contract on T Mobile at £28 a month for 200 mins, and unlimited texting and internet.

      I would definitely recommend unlimited internet with a phone such as this due to the magnitude of apps available, and also due to the larger screen than older iPhones. I wouldn't say that I am using internet on it 24/7 but it is good to know that I don't have to keep an eye on it and be stringent with my internet usage. I can't adequately compare it to any other iPhones since I haven't had one before, but my family all have iPhone 4S' and so a limited comparison can be made in places.

      ~The actual phone~

      The software~
      The phone comes with iOS 7, which looks and works better on its larger screen than it does on older models. I would say that new design that comes with iOS 7 suits the overall aesthetic of the phone. Since I have not used an iPhone before, I will review the general software also. I love the fact that I can easily sync music to my phone, something that is incredibly hard to do with other models, using iTunes. There is ample space to do this due to the fact that the phone comes with 16GB/32GB of space. I have the 16GB phone and have not felt like this has hindered me in any way: I have over 1000 songs on my phone and plenty of apps and it is not full yet.

      The fact that the phone can sync to my iTunes wirelessly is also brilliant; I am so forgetful when it comes to syncing my devices and keeping my music up to date and so for the phone to do it for me effortlessly is a godsend! It is also easy to decide what to sync to the phone, if you're like me and have much more music on iTunes that can fit.

      As I mentioned before, the main reason I got this phone was for the apps to keep in touch with my friends. I never realised just how many apps were available on the app store - there literally is an app for everything. And a considerable number of them are free also.

      The camera is of a spec that puts any of my old phones to shame. It is amazingly easy to use, and has adequate photo editing features. I love the addition of the panorama mode. I would definitely say that since I got this phone, I've barely used my actual camera; the quality on the phone is so close to my digital camera that it would seem superfluous to take both around with me all of the time. Of course, for more professional photos, you would want to use an actual camera, but for the average day out it is perfect. There are also lots of easy to use ways to share your photos with family and friends using various apps.

      The design~
      I was wary about having a larger screen than with an older iPhone, which I considered, as I thought it would be too big. I couldn't be more wrong; I think the screen is a perfect size and in no way unmanageable. It is not actually much larger than the iPhone 4 screen but easily manages to fit in an extra row of apps, meaning that you will have less pages to scroll through, and can have more important apps on the first page than you used to be able to.

      With the larger screen, it can be said that apps look a lot more impressive, and that iOS 7 works and looks better. The software in general has been given more space to work with, and therefore does not look in any way overwhelming. The swipe up menu available through iOS does not reach the top of the screen, as I have noticed it does on the 4S, which I find preferable since you can still see the time and the top row of apps.

      At 8.97mm it is slightly thinner than the 4S, which means that it also feels a bit lighter to hold in your hand. Also, it is noteworthy that the phone with no case on feels sturdier than the likes of a 4S: this is possibly due to the fact that the back of the phone is made using plastic. I would say that this is beneficial due to the tendency people have to drop iPhones: the plastic back feels more durable and less slippy.

      The phone is available in 5 pastel-like colours. I chose the white one as I am not a huge fan of the shades of the other phones: I feel like the white one has a more classic feel to it. There is criticism to say that the phone, due to the pastel shades it is available in, it more aimed at women, but I would say that the white one in particular doesn't have any sort of 'feminine' feel to it - the like pink one does. The coloured backs of the phones is far removed from Apple's tendency to go for more classic colours such as black, white and grey - and possibly due to the fact that many phones on the market have gone for more colourful designs.

      As previously mentioned, the phone uses a lightning charger, which is familiar to people who are owners of iPads. I remember this annoyed people when the phone came out due to the fact that every previous iPhone used the same charger but since I haven't had that annoyance I can review this without bias. I think the smaller charger socket on the phone looks neater, and it also allows for the headphone socket to fit on the bottom of the phone. This makes the top of the phone look sleeker and less cluttered in my opinion. Also, the charger can be inserted into the phone either way, which many chargers cannot.

      I would say that the design of the phone is a considerable departure from the classic iPhone design that we have grown accustomed to: it is not for everyone as there is criticism to say it looks cheap and tacky. I would not agree, as especially in the white colour, it looks classy and refreshingly different to the old design. It feels durable, light and I trust the build of the phone more than I have with previous phones. People have also said that the 5C is basically the cheap version of the 5S, and I really don't see that that is a bad thing! A 5S on contract is hugely expensive per month, and I really don't see that it has enough extra features above the 5C to justify the price tag.

      I basically have fallen in love with this phone and with Apple in general. I doubt I'll look further than Apple in the future when my contract for this phone expires!

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      • Argos Compact Dryer / Hair Dryer / 35 Readings / 34 Ratings
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        21.06.2013 01:49
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        a great little hairdryer at a dirt cheap price

        Before going to university I had a pretty posh, powerful and expensive hairdryer with all the works but, unfortunately at the time, my university halls had a wattage limit of 1200 for electrical appliances and so my hairdryer couldn't come with me (it was double the wattage limit and then some!). My mum insisted that I buy this one seeing as it was the cheapest in the Argos catalogue and one of the only ones on offer that fulfilled my halls' requirement: I tried to bargain for a slightly better one than the Argos Value range but she wore me down since this one was so cheap.

        At £3.97 you can't really expect much from this hairdryer, and I wasn't when I first used it. This meant I was really shocked when it worked so well and was actually quite powerful! Obviously it isn't as powerful as my old hairdryer but is pretty decent considering the wattage and the price and doesn't really take much longer to dry my hair than before. To be honest, after using this hairdryer for about a year now, I would say I prefer the fact that its less powerful and now don't even use my old hairdryer while at home: I find that since it is less powerful, it is less damaging to my hair and I would say that my hair feels softer and less dry than it used to! Since I straighten my hair daily this is a massive plus!

        The design of the hairdryer is as basic as you can get: there's definitely no frills attached here. Its quite small, just bigger than a travel hairdryer, which is useful for me since I'm travelling a lot from university to home and other various places. It is made from grey and black plastic and isn't much to look at, especially compared to the design of pricier models: though for the price you can't expect much! It has two heat settings: the lower one isn't very powerful at all and doesn't really do much for my hair but the higher one is perfectly fine. The cord is adequate but could be longer, though I don't recall ever pulling it from the plug by accident.

        I have to say that as much as I like this hairdryer, it did cut out on me about 3 months or so ago halfway through doing my hair. This didn't really bother me as that meant that it lasted half a year, which is pretty good for a £4 value range hairdryer, and I just went out and bought another one exactly the same. I decided that it would be better to keep buying cheap and perfectly fine hairdryers if and when they break instead of forking out on more expensive and more powerful ones which obviously were just drying my hair out completely. I think the problem may have been the wires breaking inside, and was possibility due to how I was wrapping the wires around it to store it: so I would say that you should make sure the wire coming from the hairdryer isn't strained too much.

        For the price you really can't go wrong!

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      • More +
        20.06.2013 13:54
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        a lovely and trustworthy gadget case!

        I take my camera most places with me and therefore need a case to protect it from scratches or breakages, and I have found that this case does all that perfectly. I bought this in the Cath Kidston shop on student discount for about £8, but it usually retails at £9. I find that this is quite expensive but since it is a branded product, and seeing as it is such good quality, then it can be said to be justified. It also comes in all of the usual Cath Kidston patterns available: I bought it in a light blue with a floral pattern, which I think is a popular design of theirs and one of my favourites.

        It is made of the usual 100% PVC coating with the cotton pattern underneath and this is of the usual high quality that you'd expect from Cath Kidston: it is well put together and after having it for over a year, has shown no signs of wear or tear. The pattern hasn't been affected by usage and the colours haven't run: I say this as I have had a bag from Cath Kidston which was ruined when the colours ran and it ended up with a massive pink stain on the cotton. However, the rain hasn't affected this case in any way and there isn't a stain on it: the pvc is easy to wipe and so stains would be easy to remove.

        It fits my camera perfectly, which is a Panasonic Lumix and around a standard size for a digital camera: even with the the big lens on the front of the camera there is still plenty of room in the case. I reckon that it'd fit most average sized digital cameras, though obviously not bigger dslr types or ones with bigger lenses. The dimensions are 8 x 13 x 2cm. It also fits inside my handbag very easily, which is a plus since my handbag is quite small to start with.

        Inside the case there is a small pocket for memory/sd cards, which is useful and means there's less chance of losing such cards, since they're quite small. It also comes with a detachable lanyard to keep it safe when not stored away in a bag. The lining of the case is memory foam and therefore very protective: I definitely trust this case to keep my camera safe. You could drop this case on the floor with the camera inside and not worry about the contents being broken.

        All in all, this case is the usual high quality that you come to expect from Cath Kidston and even though it retails at £9, it is justified since it is so well made, pretty and can be trusted to protect its contents. Also, there's a sale on the site at the moment and some designs for this case have been reduced to £7!

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      • myfitnesspal.com / Internet Site / 27 Readings / 25 Ratings
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        19.06.2013 22:00
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        a great and free website for dieters!

        I've been struggling with losing weight for years and have tried so many times to combat my love of food and my terrible metabolism to no avail. My friend told me about myfitnesspal.com and I immediately jumped at the idea and signed up that day: it is essentially a website for calorie counting but it is so much more than that.

        -Signing up-
        When you first sign up and create an account it asks for your current weight, your desired weight and other important pieces of information such as your height, gender and age. It also asks how you'd describe your everyday activities and gives 4 options from sedentary to very active. Finally it asks how much you expect yourself to exercise in an average week and how much you'd like to lose in an average week in pounds. It recommends that you aim to lose 1 pound a week but you can pick other options such as maintaining your current weight or even gaining weight: I find the fact that it recommends you to stick to losing 1 pound a week instead of going for a higher goal as proof that, even though it is a website to help people diet, it is definitely focused on people's health. After you have filled in all this information it creates your fitness profile and gives you a recommendation for your daily calorie limit. You can update this profile at any time if you want to lose less or more a week or whenever your height/weight changes. The fact that this site is so easy to use and update is definitely one of its best features.

        -Using the site-
        Once you've made your profile you can 'track food' and 'track exercise'. In both of these categories there are pretty much every type of food and exercise that you can think of: I don't think I've ever tried to type in an item of food that it hasn't had in its massive database. If you come across something that isn't on the site, however, you can add it to the database as long as you know the relevant nutritional information.
        It is important to note that this is an international site and therefore some foods will be stored in the database in portions in grams or cups: make sure you look at what the portion is stated as as it may be much less or more than what you've actually eaten and you could be mistakenly filling out your food diary for the day.
        Once you've been using the site for a while it logs which foods you eat the most and makes a shortlist for you so you can pick food without having to type it in every time. It also has tabs for recent foods, meals, recipes and my foods. I personally don't really use the meals or recipes features but I reckon I will be doing so when I am actually cooking my own meals, since I've been in catered halls at university.
        In the exercise section it shows the calories you expect yourself to be burning (calculated from how much exercise you expect yourself to do in a week) and as you do this it fills itself in. When you put in exercise it adds the calories burnt to your daily calorie limit so you can eat more food if you wish - or it'll bring you down to your limit if you've gone over.
        On the main page of the website it shows you your 'daily summary' where you can see your calories limit for the day, what calories you've had and what exercise you've done. It also has some features akin to Facebook in that you can friend people and each person has a wall on their main page where their calorie intake and exercise undertaken appear as status updates: you can keep your diary private or make it public, meaning that your friends or people visiting your profile can see it. There is also a forum on the website where you can discuss dieting or anything really with other members: it certainly feels like a community on there.

        -Pros-
        I've never had any problems with this website and for anyone thinking of dieting, I would definitely advise them to use it since you can customise so many different things and definitely make your own personal fitness profile.
        It also has a mobile app so you can add food and exercise on the go: this is great so you can't forget to add something later!
        I would say that it acts as a sort of conscience in that, whereas before using it, I wouldn't have thought twice about snacking, now I tend to see whether I really need it and what sort of exercise I'd have to do to make it back to my calorie limit.
        It's completely free - even the mobile app!

        -Cons-
        As I said in my title, honesty is the best, and only, policy with this website. If you eat something, make sure you log it into your diary instead of saying 'if I don't log it down it doesn't count' and if you eat a lot of something, put down the amount you eat instead of a smaller one. At the end of the day, this website is trying to help you so if you're lying to make sure you're always under your calorie limit you may as well not bother. This website only works for you if you're honest with it.

        Personally, I love this website and would recommend it to anyone - people who have started using it on my recommendation have also been equally as pleased.

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        • Cath Kidston Ticket Holder / Handbag / 24 Readings / 23 Ratings
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          19.06.2013 18:16
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          a great ticket holder and a lovely cath kidston product

          Since becoming a student I've been travelling so much more than I ever used to: I never really traveled by train before going to university but now I may as well be an expert. After using the train a few times I decided it was probably a good idea to buy a ticket holder to keep my tickets and railcard etc all in the one place: cards are essential in my life and I constantly worried about losing them until I bought this!

          I saw this in Cath Kidston when my mum was in there looking at bags and thought it looked perfect: exactly what I needed! Cath Kidston also offer student discount at 10% meaning this only cost me £5 - this is a great price for such a high quality and essential product. The usual price without discount is £6 which is still reasonable.

          There are three card slots with the Cath Kidston logo on the middle one: each slot is accessible from one side and is protected by thick plastic so that there's no way that your cards/ tickets will be ruined by the rain. The exterior is made from 100% PVC and is easily wiped clean and not affected by rain. I would say that the middle card slot is much harder to get into than the outer two so I usually put cards that I don't use as much in that one. Each slot can also hold a lot of cards/tickets: I think I had at least 10 tickets in one slot at one point.

          There's loads of different colours and patterns to get this in: all of the usual Cath Kidston patterns. I bought it in a deep red with beige spots as I'm not much of a floral person.

          Its size is 7.5cm x 10cm which is a decent size to fit in pretty much any bag and it isn't too thick either: I'd say that it's about the same size as my phone, meaning that they both fit side by side in my bag.

          Overall I'd say that this is a great ticket holder: essential for those who do a lot of travelling. It comes in a lovely range of patterns, which is what you'd expect from Cath Kidston and is definitely worth the money. I've also had it for over half a year now and it looks good as new.

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        • More +
          19.06.2013 01:23
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          for a pair of mid range jeans, i was expecting much more

          I wear skinny jeans all of the time - I don't even own any other type of jean - and as a student I'm always looking for good quality and an affordable price. I've always felt that New Look have offered this mid range between the pricier shops such as Topshop and the cheaper ones such as Primark. I shop in New Look all of the time and however much I try to branch out to other shops, I always end up going back there. However, I don't really rate their jeans.

          These jeans come in a variety of colours: the usual black, grey and blue to more bold colours such as green, red and purple. I own them in green, khaki, purple and black. They also say that they are super skinny but they always seem to scrunch up around my ankles: this could be due to the fact that I am quite short compared to my jean size (I'm size 16) but I find that this makes them much less skinny looking and quite annoys me.

          They cost around £20 and the coloured jeans are made from 67% cotton, 31% polyester, 2% elastane: compared to the ordinary black and blue shades which are 100% cotton. This is where I have a problem with them: they just don't last. The material is evidently less strong than that of normal jeans and it shows: I've had a pair in purple since around Easter and they always have holes in from wear. I don't wear those jeans excessively and was definitely expecting more wear from them! Especially since I bought them as a replacement for the same jeans that had done the same. It's safe to say I won't be buying coloured jeans from New Look again.

          I have recently bought a pair of these jeans in acid wash and they seem to be made from a much stronger material and I hope they'll last better: this indicates that their coloured jeans are made from a much flimsier material. They're advertised as being 'super soft' and they are, and incredibly comfy too, but this means that they just don't last as long.

          As I said, I like to look for good quality jeans for a good price and my experience with these jeans from New Look just haven't lived up to this: yes, £20 is a decent price for skinny jeans but the quality isn't worth the price. It's a better idea to just get cheap coloured jeans from Primark for closer to £10: at least with Primark jeans you aren't expecting as high quality or longevity. I think that is what I'm going to end up doing since I definitely won't be getting coloured jeans from New Look again.

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        • Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner / Make Up / 8 Readings / 8 Ratings
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          19.06.2013 01:00
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          a lovely eyeliner if you're willing to spend a bit more

          I wear eyeliner everyday and have always brought the cheaper brands: the last one I bought only cost about £5. I've never wanted to spend anymore than that on make up but recently I've been getting fed up of constantly having to check my eyeliner to make sure it hasn't smudged - I just wanted something that I could apply in the morning and that would still look the same when I took it off at night.

          My friend recommended this to me and when I saw it in the shop I instantly fell in love with it - before I'd seen the price, which was a bit of a problem since there was no way I was leaving the shop without it! It retails at about £14, which is what I paid for it in Debenhams. This is undoubtedly more than what I was used to spending on eyeliner but for the quality, it's great value. It may be one of those purchases to make when on offer or after saving up, instead of doing what I did and practically making yourself broke to get it.

          It describes itself as 24/7, glide on and waterproof and it definitely is all three! Most of the time make up products don't seem to be as good as you'd expect but this met and surpassed my expectations - and for the price you'd expect such quality. I bought this eyeliner in the colour 'smoke' as I don't like to have completely black eyeliner as it doesn't suit my face: the shade is a lovely medium grey which is not as dramatic as black but is still noticeable.

          I have been using this eyeliner daily since I bought it about 2 weeks ago and every time when I have gone to take it off it has been in the same place as when I applied it - even after nights out. However, the fact that it doesn't budge is also a bit of a problem: it needs a decent make up wipe to take off and sometimes when I've forgotten to take it off before showering, it is still intact afterwards. It literally doesn't budge without a lot of effort! This is obviously great for daily wear but be prepared to have to be forceful to take it off.

          It also glides on smoothly, like it says and is easy to apply to the waterline - and knowing that it practically doesn't budge is good for doing so since you know it won't disappear just after application. It is also very water resistant.

          All in all, I'd say that this is a brilliant eyeliner pencil which comes in loads of gorgeous shades (I'll have to restrain myself from getting it in other colours!) and lives up to its claim as a 24/7 product. It is pricey compared to other pencils but for the quality, I'd say its worth it.

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        • More +
          14.05.2013 19:27
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          if you're interested in the history of crime or just the victorian era this is a great book

          I saw this in Waterstones and as somebody who is extremely interested in criminal law and criminology, well, I couldn't leave it. Throughout the book Judith Flanders looks into both famous, such as Jack the Ripper, and more obscure murderers such as Adelaide Bartlett, deemed a 'middle class poisoner'. As morbid as it sounds, it is a great read mainly for the fact that she describes these people's backgrounds, their motives, their murders and the consequences in great detail. I would say, however, that, since one of the reasons I bought this book was to learn more about Jack the Ripper from a reputable source, I was disappointed that such a small portion of the book was dedicated to them. Considering they were one of Britain's most notorious serial killers I was hoping for more information.

          She also conveys the stories of these people with an interesting twist, in that she looks at them alongside Victorian culture, entertainment and the press. The book seems to pose the question: which came first, the murderer or the novel. I thought that this was one the best parts of the book; to see excerpts and plot outlines of penny-bloods, poems, novels etc all based on the 'popular' crimes of the time. I use the word popular because, as outlined in this book, Victorian culture was obsessed with murder as much as ours is obsessed with celebrity: Madame Tussands wasn't always waxworks of footballers.

          The book is split into sections: Imagining Murder, Trial by Newspaper, Entertaining Murder, Policing Murder, Panic, Middle-Class Poisoners, Science, Technology and Law, Violence and Modernity - and focuses on each topic while looking through the whole of the 19th Century. I have to say I found the Policing Murder section fascinating as it talked about the history of the police force and how it developed over time to become what it is today. I would say that the only chapter that dragged a bit for me was Middle-Class Poisoners, since it was around 70 pages long, and also since there wasn't much variety in how the crimes were committed. It was still interesting though.

          As a massive Sherlock Holmes fan I was excited to read about Authur Conan Doyle's inspiration for the character and also some of the murders the stories were inspired by: if you're a fan, you'll enjoy these little asides. An overarching theme throughout the book is the birth of detection and the detective as a character in a novel. Also, throughout the book there's plenty of pictures, including two sections of in colour photographs at thirds, which I feel added to the appeal of the book and made it more interesting to read than if it were just 500 pages of words.

          It costs around £7 for the paperback and £6.50 for the e-book version in Waterstones: at 500 pages it is well worth the money. The length and content of the book also means that it isn't a light-hearted read: this isn't a book to dip in and out of due to the detail put into researching each of these people and their crimes. You can hardly read it from cover to cover in one sitting but it is an engrossing read, and the way that Judith Flanders links all of the murderers together makes you want to read on. Also, her tone throughout the book is chatty and funny, which for the subject matter, really makes it easier to read. For someone who enjoys reading about this sort of thing, even I can get a bit freaked out by what these people did.

          Yes, I did get a few funny looks while reading this, possibly due to the front cover with the word 'murder' on it in massive red letters. This aside, it is a great and interesting read that takes an in depth journey through the invention of murder as an art form in Victorian society, along with its theme throughout of analysing the trends in society in regards to murder in literature and in the press.

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        • In Love - Peace / Music Album / 16 Readings / 14 Ratings
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          14.05.2013 01:07
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          perfect cd to listen to in summer with a cocktail, i think

          Higher Than the Sun
          Follow Baby
          Lovesick
          Float Forever
          Wraith
          Delicious
          Waste of Paint
          Toxic
          Sugarstone
          California Daze

          I saw Peace at the NME Awards Tour 2013 and even though they only played a few songs they instantally had me hooked: Wraith has to be one of the most addictively hypnotic songs released in a long time and one of my favourite songs released this year. I had never listened to them before that gig, despite NME rattling on about them being the new best thing ever; I have to say that I do agree with them in that they're one of the best new bands around at the moment. This is a fantastic debut album and I'm already excited with the prospect of new songs!

          The album definitely has a running theme of love, which is pretty evident from the album's title, but the songs are far from the usual contrived metaphors; they're inventive, emotional and spacey. Whenever you listen to any of the songs of this album you definitely feel calm and relaxed: the best word to describe this album is definitely hypnotic. It's happy, simple and youthful, which is great compared to more emotional and depressing albums that have been released recently. It feels like a breath of fresh air, especially for someone who hasn't bought many new albums for a long time.

          At only ten songs long, it isn't a hugely long album and feels like it's over a bit too quickly, but if the only problem that you can find with an album is that it isn't long enough, well, that can't be much of a criticism! There is a deluxe edition of this album with four extra songs (Step a Lil' Closer, Drain, Scumbag, Bloodshake) but since albums cost £10 already I opted for the standard version. I definitely wish I'd paid the extra for these songs to be honest. Or that they were just on the standard version.

          I would say that Wraith would be a better opening track than Higher Than The Sun - despite the fact that it is a great song - just because Wraith has such a distinctive and intriguing hook at the beginning. Each of the songs on this album seem to have their own style, which is great because, despite this, they all fit really well together due to Harrison Kossier's hypnotic vocals and the jangly guitar in the background. I'd love to say that every single one of the tracks on this album are flawless, but I do tend to skip Lovesick. It's not a bad song, but it is a little cliche and a bit too lovey for me, but at only just over 2 minutes, it's the shortest track on the album anyway. As an ending to the album, you can't beat California Daze: it is a gorgeous, slow and sweet song and a lovely contrast to the more upbeat stylings of Delicious. The way that that song builds up over the course of its 4 minutes is just beautiful: when it finishes you're definitely left wanting more, which is why I'm so excited for a new album. Give these guys a listen even if it just for the guitar riff in Wraith, but they definitely deserve to make it big.

          Best songs: Wraith, Delicious, Float Forever, California Daze
          Skip them: Lovesick

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        • More +
          13.05.2013 19:18
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          i was desperate to come to this university for about a year and i'm so glad i'm here now

          I'm currently in my first year at Nottingham studying Law LLB. I spent a lot of time looking around the for the best universities for this course as, with Law, it's not really the course but the university's reputation, since to get a qualifying degree each student has to pass 7 compulsory modules anyway (Contract, Tort, Public, Criminal, EU, Equity & Trusts, Land).

          I picked Nottingham as my highest choice along with other universities such as Lancaster and York since Nottingham had the highest entry requirements (AAA and passing the LNAT). I have to say that it was annoying to have to do the LNAT since not many universities ask for it, and Nottingham was the only one that I picked that did, and costing £50, it was pretty expensive. That being said, its obviously a useful extra indicator for the university to pick students through, and there's no need to revise for it; it's based on innate skills. It does take a long time to process your results, meaning that I didn't know whether I'd gotten an offer from Nottingham until months after my other offers came through, which was pretty much the most nervous point in my life so far. Also, I think the entry requirements are going up for this coming year to A*AA (in my opinion it's hard enough to get in already!).

          Even though the fees have tripled the year I applied (how lucky for me) I do feel like the quality and standard of teaching is good: they had put on extra lectures compared to earlier years. Per week there's about 16-18 lectures, 1 seminar and 3 tutorials (alternate weeks) which is not as much as other courses: my friend does a lot more than that, but with Law, it's definitely enough work. I feel like pretty much most of my time outside of lectures is spent consolidating notes, prepping for tutorials/ seminars and reading.

          That's not to say I don't get free time though! The Law Soc organises a lot of events throughout the year from balls to nights out etc. I have been to quite a few of these but I would say that they're quite expensive, even with membership discount: the winter Law social was about £35.

          The modules that you do in the first year are Tort, Contract, Public Law and Understanding Law: they're all pretty interesting and in the first semester, not too hard to get your head around. There's definitely a big jump from the first to the second in difficulty and volume of work though! The tutorials are really useful, so go to them: if you're unsure on a topic, this is the best place to be. I've come out of so many tutorials feeling like I understand things much better than when I went in. They also set a lot of voluntary essays throughout the year so you can see your progress; they may be voluntary but it's a good idea to do them.

          I've got to mention this because it's so obvious to me: out of the 200 or so Law students there's only two people from the North - me and a girl I went to school with. There's got to be more I'm sure but I'm yet to meet them! I can't believe it's so one sided towards the South really. Also, I know this is where the jobs are but there's a lot of focus on London and corporate law when they tell us about careers, and as someone who's much more interested in Criminal Law, I do wish they told us more about that side of the Law.

          Overall, I do love studying Law at Nottingham; it's a great university with a great Law department. The lectures are interesting and pretty much essential and and the Law Soc is pretty good. The entry requirements are really high but not out of this world so if you reckon you can do it, go for it.

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          • Wesc Bass DJ / Headphones / 26 Readings / 25 Ratings
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            10.05.2013 18:45
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            great pair of headphones!

            I got these headphones as a freebie with a deal for my phone contract at Christmas: I've always wanted a pair of on ear headphones and have never been able to part with the money needed to buy a decent pair, so I was really excited then I realised that they came free! Over the years of me having my own MP3 player I've had so many pairs of in ear headphones and found something wrong with all of them: the Apple iPod ones always seemed to rip due to their material and other brands I've bought have just cut out in one ear for no reason.

            Hopefully I'll never have to deal with that again now I have these! Retailing at anywhere between £40 and £90 depending on the shop they are definitely an expensive investment and much more than an average pair of in ear headphones. But the sound quality is amazing compared to in ear ones: when I first used them I was shocked at how good it was! I've heard so many parts of songs using these that I've never noticed before and as a lover of music, I was so excited to!

            These are called Bass DJ and it is obvious: songs with a strong bass line in them sound second to one through these: I'm not a huge fan of chart music much but I'll actually listen to songs like that through these cause the quality's so great. Going back to my lousy HMV £5 in ear headphones after these is always such a disappointment!

            I wouldn't even use in ear headphones anymore, apart from the inevitable fact that these are pretty big and hard to store when you're not using them. They don't fit in an average handbag whereas in ear ones, you can shove them anywhere. Some types of on ear headphones have hinges inbuilt so that you can store them better but these don't and I'd definitely say that's a disadvantage that keeps me from solely using these.

            Also, as much as I love the sound quality, the design to me isn't the best. The silver side adjusters stick out a bit from the side of my head, and since my head is quite small compared to the headphones, they stick out a lot. Also, I wouldn't have chosen the colour white since I much prefer black headphones, but since they came free, I can't really complain. One thing I really like about the design is that the brand WeSC is written on the sides and the top in a shiny white colour and therefore can only be seen if light is reflected onto it: I feel that this is a subtle way to show that it is a branded product but doesn't shout at people to declare it.

            I've had them since Christmas and they definitely seem sturdy and like they're going to last, which I feel is a good quality considering the price. Also, the cushioned part of the headphones is really comfy and even when wearing them for long periods of time doesn't annoy me or start to feel heavy. On the R side as well the circle rotates meaning that you can keep the headphones on and move one side off your ear if you want to talk to people, for example. I found this out accidentally and thought I'd broken them, but this was a great surprise! There is also a Play/Pause button inbuilt into the wire which is useful, and they also came with an extension wire so that they work with phones etc.

            Basically, I love these headphones and am so glad I was given them as a freebie! The sound quality is brilliant and definitely makes up for their flaws.

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          • Yorkshire Tea / Tea / 21 Readings / 19 Ratings
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            09.05.2013 17:46
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            i've tried all tea brands and this definitely wins

            I've only liked tea for around 3 years or so but in that time I've managed to go through pretty much every brand on offer, and I haven't enjoyed any as much as I enjoy Yorkshire Tea! I wouldn't say that other brands aren't nice, but that Yorkshire Tea is exactly what I love in a cup of tea and definitely to my tastes.

            It is definitely a stronger brand of tea and seems to be darker in colour than other brands I've tried (my mum uses PG Tips at home and I find that as much as you leave it to brew and squeeze it, you can never get it past a certain biege colour). Since it's stronger than most I do take one sweetener, but sometimes I've forgotten to do so, and I would say that the flavour is lovely with or without. It does brew very quickly as well, which is great when you feel like you need a cup of tea as soon as possible! I would say not to leave the tea bag in too long, it's stronger than most already.

            I was recommended this brand by a friend and luckily at the time it was on offer, since it is more expensive than other brands of tea. I think I bought 80 tea bags for about £2 when it's usually closer to £3. The 160 bag box is definitely worth buying if you can find it since it's only about a pound more expensive. The tea bags do come two as one with a perforated line to rip them apart, which you need to do carefully unless you want the tea leaves getting all over you and the floor!

            Even though they are more expensive than other brands I can definitely say that I've been converted: no longer do I have to press the tea bag against the sides of the mug for ages to get to the strength I want it, it pretty much makes itself. And for someone who loves tea as much as I do, that's essential. And now I want another cup.

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          • Be Here Now - Oasis / Music Album / 16 Readings / 15 Ratings
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            09.05.2013 15:33
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            worth a re-listen if you don't love it already

            Track listing:
            D'You Know What I Mean?
            My Big Mouth
            Magic Pie
            Stand by Me
            I Hope, I Think, I Know
            The Girl in the Dirty Shirt
            Fade In-Out
            Don't Go Away
            Be Here Now
            All Around the World
            It's Gettin' Better (Man!!)
            All Around the World (Reprise)

            Be Here Now is iconic Manchester greats Oasis' third album, released in August 1997. It was a massively over-hyped album, by the press and the Gallaghers alike and when it thrust itself onto the music scene, it was met with mixed reviews and disappointment. I was only 3 at its time of release so I'm going here on what my dad told me when he was lining up to buy it. Many fans, even hardcore ones, accept that this album is an over-long, hyped up, drug fueld mess. But that doesn't mean it isn't a brilliant album. Be Here Now became the fastest selling album to date: it sold 350,000 on its first day.

            Most bands hit a wall with their second album (and with a debut as good as Definitely Maybe, you'd expect their follow up (What's The Story) Morning Glory? to not be as good as it is) but I'd say that with the success going their heads, they may have hit a wall with this one instead. At around one and a half hours to listen from start to finish, it is a massively long effort, compared to most records which stand at about 40 minutes. It does in places sound like they forgot to stop recording and ended up with a track that was 7 minutes long when it was meant to be 4. That doesn't mean to say that the songs drag on, in some places they do, but on the whole, I wouldn't say that by the half way mark you're itching to skip them.

            As a massive Oasis fan, I'd have to say that I love most of the songs on this album for what they are: long, with random solos and la la la's and overproduced in places. But the lyrics haven't suffered: I'd even say that the opening track, D'You Know What I Mean?, lyrically, is one of my favourite Oasis tracks. The Girl In The Dirty Shirt is also a rather sweet song: that, and All Around The World, definitely show that this album has some anthems, albeit long ones. One thing that Oasis did well was anthems. And saying shine a lot.

            However, there are some duds: even a big a fan as I am, I don't tend to bother with Fade In/Out for example and couldn't even tell you how the chorus goes. But on every good album, there are a few that are a let down. Doesn't mean that the albums no good. All in all, listening to this album now, without the massive over-hype, is a different experience than it would have been around the time of its release. It's got some great anthems on it, and even though the songs are long, it's definitely not as bad as some people say it is! And you can probably pick it up for about £2-5!

            Best songs: Be Here Now, D'You Know What I Mean?, The Girl In The Dirty Shirt
            Skip them: Fade In/Out, All Around The World (Reprise), It's Gettin' Better (Man!!)

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          • More +
            08.05.2013 22:10
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            a great printer for students

            General spec
            Printer / digital copier / scanner
            Printing Technology: Ink-jet
            Max Copying Speed: 2.5 ppm (colour)
            Copying Features: Fit to page, Multiple Copy, collation copy
            Inkjet Technology: Canon FINE (Full-lithography inkjet Nozzle Engineering)
            Max Printing Resolution: 4800 x 1200 dpi (colour)
            Max Printing Speed: Up to 8.4 ipm (mono) / up to 4.8 ipm (colour)
            Colour: 4-ink
            Ink Type: Canon ChromaLife100
            Scanning Optical Resolution: 1200 x 2400 dpi
            PC Connection Availability: Yes
            Interfaces: USB 2.0
            Operating System Support: MS Windows 7, MS Windows Vista SP1, MS Windows XP SP3, MS Windows 7 64-bit Edition, MS Windows Vista, MS Windows Vista (64-bit versions), MS Windows Vista SP2, MS Windows Vista SP2 64-bit Edition, Apple Mac OS X 10.5.8 - 10.8
            Software Included: Drivers & Utilities, Canon Easy-WebPrint EX, Canon Full HD Movie Print, Canon Creative Park Premium
            Voltage Required: AC 110/230 V ( 50/60Hz )
            Dimensions & Weight
            Width 44.9 cm
            Depth 30.4 cm
            Height 15.2 cm
            Weight 5.3 kg

            Bought a printer recently for university, since I found it annoying and time consuming to have to go to library to print off my work, and I couldn't have picked a better printer for the job! It installed without hassle to my computer (which has Windows 8 on it, and this didn't cause any problems) and the wi fi worked fine, though at university, with all of the other wi fi connections hovering around, it is much easier to use the USB cable. Miles better than my old household printer which didn't seem to connect to the laptop unless you placed the laptop on top of the printer.

            It loads up quickly and prints with ease, taking not long at all to print off essays and the like, even when I have to print documents off double sided. It also doesn't make much noise while doing this: I seem to remember my old printer made a lovely grumbling sound every time I printed anything.

            What I love most about this printer is its design: it is a simple box shape which makes it very easy to pack up when carting my stuff to and from university, and also for carrying around. It also means that it can sit on any surface since there are no sticking out parts: even the paper loading tray folds away nicely. I also love that it comes in a variety of colours instead of just black: mine is the dark red one and I think that makes it more individual and pretty to look at.

            I bought this on a deal at around £30: full price it was £50. I would be happy to pay for it full price though as I have found no faults with it! For a mid range printer/copier/scanner you can do no wrong by going with this printer. Also, as an extra when purchasing this printer, I also got free sample B/W and colour ink. I wasn't expecting this to last very long but I've had the printer since January and haven't had to change the ink yet! For someone who does a fair bit of printing and is on a budget, this is ideal. Basically, if you're looking for a compact, stylish and affordable printer, this is a great choice!

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