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thedevilinme

thedevilinme
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    • Mr Kipling Bakewell Tart / Snacks / 5 Readings / 5 Ratings
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      01.09.2014 13:39
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      • "Generics are better"

      What's with the almonds?

      It’s all in the maker for a good Bakewell Tart. The small six to a pack ones from Mr Kipling are too tangy and there bigger family version nice but the icing just too soft. The filling is pretty scrummy and the right texture there. But for me these Bakewell treats are all about the icing and I think the icing should be harder on the Kipling cake, say like thin ice on a lake in January. It should crack when you bite it so you get more of a hit from it. It’s often the case that the best Bakewell Tarts are the homemade ones you can buy on the local market.

      The Tesco one had terrible icing on it and the Sainsbury one more traditional with no icing and irritating almond sliced nuts in the sponge. Nuts ruin a lot of delicacies. Why do Cadburys put nuts in chocolate bars is the question. The Pearls Bakewell Tart is nice and the one you can buy in the Pound Shops. I like the Marks & Sparks one but smaller and ludicrously priced. £1.50 is genuinely how much you pay for a Bakewell Tart.

      The Kipling cuts well and only a small amount of the sticky icing deciding to go with the knife. The sponge is a nice constituency and a decent layer of jam to compliment it. The icing is perhaps a little too thick and so the overwhelming taste sensation. You must eat it within a day as they do turn quickly. On the whole a good solid Bakewell but not the best version. For me the local markets still provide the best and even if have to pick the almonds out I will always go with the harder iced versions. Bakewell's, like Colas, are better when they are the generic super market ones.

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    • McVitie's Golden Syrup Cake / Snacks / 11 Readings / 11 Ratings
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      30.08.2014 16:46
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      • "Falls apart"

      More like a treacle crumble!

      I do like McVitie’s Lyles Syrup Cake. It’s packed in their rather grand and signature green packaging and available in the shops for about £1.30 or you can take your chances in the pound stores. It’s a spongy like loaf product with the brown textured cake laced with a syrup mix. It is not too sweet or bitter and a reasonable chance of serving three or four people with one. It’s a moist texture with a spongy give and has decent shelf life although one of those cakes you will wolf down the lot and so no worries.

      Now the big problem with it is not the taste. No problem with that. The problem is actually eating it. Once you unpack it from the sealed pack you try to cut it and it simply collapses like a poorly inflated bouncy castle. But it doesn’t squash down the way a Fruit Malt life does but simply crumbles away to very little, the way a Flake chocolate bar does so you have to buy another one. You end up eating these with your fingers as half of it falls in the floor (again like the Flake) and the rest sticks to the cardboard base of the packaging. The bit that sticks is the best bit with all the treacle in. You really don’t get good value with it.

      I would say it’s a treat product to buy once a month because of its scrummy taste. It’s not one that will loiter in the family cake tin unloved the way the brown Fondant Fancies do so that’s good and, like I aid, it does keep well. But at the end of the day Mary Berry will tell you that the constituency of the cake isn’t great and needs a bit of starch in there. One of her Bake Off contestants would have surely have binned it in disgust if they had created it. It really needs sorting.



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    • Red State (Blu-ray) / Blu-Ray Movie / 20 Readings / 18 Ratings
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      25.08.2014 13:05
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      • "3 Wins & 7 Nominations"
      • U.S.A
      • "86 minutes"
      • "Director - Kevin Smith"

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      • "Not Smith's genre"

      Bit of a state alright

      At any given moment, public opinion is a chaos of superstition, misinformation and prejudice, so said someone famous, none more so prevalent than in those Evangelic Churches in America, the target for noisy director Kevin Smith, here.

      Smith, of course, bought us the View Askew Universe slacker comedy stuff and the indie hit Clerks and the enjoyable Dogma and Mallrats. Later on he strayed from what he knows best and bought us Jersey Girl, the beginning of the end of his career according to the critics. Gifted bigger budgets seeking mainstream success Smith took the edge of his work, Cop Out, with Bruce Willis, a disaster. Trying to be the next Judge Apatow with Zack and Miri Make a Porno didn’t do much for cinema either.

      After sending up Catholicism in Dogma he returns to his religious hatred here, this time dumping comedy for the horror genre, having a go at those small nut job cults like the Westborough Church, the ones you see on the news in America with those religious zealots holding signs damming homosexuals and abortion, a horror story in their own right, WACO meets Wolf Creek on the menu this time around for Smith fans. Don’t expect Matt Damon and Ben Affleck to guest star here. Its not that type of film.


      ===Plot===

      Highschool kids Jarod (Kyle Gallner), Travis (Michael Angarano) and Billy Ray (Nicholas Braun) decide to search the personals online to meet sexy older women, a lady called Sarah (Melissa Leo) responding to their ad in Craigs List and agreeing to meet. Home is a mobile home out in the sticks, but the boys tricked into drinking drugged beer and waking up locked in cages in a small church, cowing with fear at their surreal and horrific situation.

      On the way to their sexual tryst the boys pranged a car, the off-duty local sheriff receiving a heinous sexual act from another man in that car. The kids don’t know who he was and drive on. But the sheriff needs his deputy to find them just in case.

      The rural church is run by fire and brimstone Pastor Abin Cooper (Michael Parks) who has a rather brutal way of dealing with sinners by wrapping them in cellophane and tying them to the cross in the church before dispatching them with one to the head in front of the small but loyal congregation, witnessed by Billy Ray cowering in that cage, the other two lads likely to be next on the cross.

      As the cops closes in on the boys location a confrontation nears, a distressed deputy calling in when shots are fired at the complex, alerting ATF Special Agent Keenan (John Goodman), his job to shut these church whackos down. The people inside are ready to die and a new directive from the US government say that’s fine with them. But who will get out alive?


      ===Results===

      Well it’s certainly a change for Smith (another one) and the film all a bit of a mish mash. It starts off in familiar teen spirit Smith territory but quickly turns visceral before falling back into a political take on conservative Middle America. Smith is taking the opportunity to make a lot of points on religion in, mostly bigoted ones. The priests monologue at the start of the film on that subject goes on and on and Smith clearly keen to write in those hang ups. You can fast forward that bit as nothing happens in context with the movie although great fun for the guy playing the preacher.

      As the captured kids begin to fight back and the AFT surround the building then big John Goodman takes over the film and it becomes a different movie. I like Goodman but this doesn’t work for him, sloppy writing becoming almost comical at times, Goodman trying to keep a straight face. I was also surprised to see Oscar winner Melissa Leo here, effectively playing a B-Movie role that can’t be good for her career. You get the feeling these two committed to this before they saw the script.

      It cost $4 million to make but tanked big time, doing just $1.2 million back. With just $5000 spent on special effects and the money clearly on the cast and those names expected to sell the movie. But Kevin Smith fans didn’t really want this and so poor word-of-mouth and if he is to do horror then Tarantino or Rodriguez slock gore and big blood bags would be what they were expecting.

      It’s ok and if you survive the first half hour then the middle bit is quite taught and keep you on side. But once Goodman’s character starts moralizing on America leading up to the silly ending then you are glad you never rented this from Blockbusters back in the day (I bought my copy second hand on the local market). I like Smith and his early work classic indie cinema but slacker stuff is his thing and I want him to go back there. The problem here is this film is neither a horror movie or an action movie or a psychological thriller, ending up a mix and match of those three things and so incomplete. You simply don’t care who dies or who lives with no hero or likable leads.




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    • Mike Tyson / Discussion / 16 Readings / 15 Ratings
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      21.08.2014 11:48
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      • "Lots of stuff on criminality"
      • "Lots of stuff on the fights"
      • "Hard edge writing"

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      • "500 words? No one can write a decent book review in that."

      Tough man, tough read...

      Tyson is the Black America that white America is terrified of. Republicans don’t lodge 16 million license applications a year to hunt deer! But to Black America, Tyson is a mega star; they say a black man who made it big in spite of white America, every fearsome punch one up for Black America. White America would retort and say he is a convicted rapist and a thoroughly nasty man. The scenes of him being mobbed in Brixton made that point how important this guy is to black people, the Barak Obama of the black working-class. It’s pretty clear in the book Tyson didn’t rape Desiree Washington but it’s also clear he deserved that jail time for his unrepentant delinquent youth. This is not a nice guy, a womanizing drug taking thug, as he himself puts it. He loves being America’s baddest man. He is exactly as he looks. The saddest point in the book is how that very same black community wanted to take some of that money for themselves with all manner of erroneous law suits against Iron Mike.

      The early days for Tyson were in and out of school and the correctional facilities of Brownsville, Brooklyn, born to a drug abusing mother and absent father, a familiar black males story. By 10 he was robbing people and houses and the owner of a strong stutter. Helping gang members with their pigeons, he quickly moved up the pecking order, by 12 bullying and beaten up the older guys who once bullied him. But he was incredibly built for a young teen, soon taking up boxing to vent his frustrations, the 200 Lb 15-year-old winning medals in the Junior Olympics in 1981-82, mentored and trained by his great friend Cus D’Amato. Cus was so paranoid he would sew his pockets up fearing the FBI would plant drugs in his pockets!

      4 years of knocking out bums as a pro saw him become the youngest heavyweight champions ever as he knocked out Trevor Berbwick for the WBC title, at one point winning 26 of his first 28 by KO or TKO. From then on in it was money, girls, drugs and fast cars as the fights generated more and more cash. He would famously lose his 37 unbeaten run to James ‘Buster’ Douglas in 1990, his tenth attempted defense. After serving 3 years for allegedly raping Desiree Washington he would retain his title and again beat the best around, but Holyfield ending that run, leading up to the infamous ear bite in the rematch, earning Tyson an 18 month ban from the ring, and so no hard cash, blowing $50 million a year at that point and heading for bankruptcy. But after defeat to Lennox Lewis in 2002 there would be 2 more defeats and retirement in 2005, a record of 50 wins and 6 defeats over twenty years of pure brutality and lots of controversy.

      The book is a hefty 550 pager even in soft back and a tough uncompromising read. He owns up to all manner of things, like giving someone else’s urine to dodge drug tests and, incredibly, financing his friends crack cocaine business back in Brownsville during his early years as champion. His marriage to Robin Givens is dissected and he doesn’t pull his punches there on the women he called the gold digger he loved. She was from college stock and wanted his status and money. He clearly wanted college stock on his arm to boost his status in the white middle-class circles he was flirting with. I also enjoyed his love hate relationship with Don King, regularly punching the annoying loud mouth in the head but King fleecing Mike of so much money he was prepared to put up with it.

      It’s a brutally honest book and hard to read at times, very little contrition from the author. He seems intent on scaring whitey some more now that he is retired. He has calmed down of late now that he is middle age and can’t spark out everyone who challenges him on the street anymore with one punch. Age gets us all. I suppose the most revealing thing about the book is juts how much he got away with over the years as champion, shameless women of all social classes and colors throwing themselves at the champ and perhaps no wonder his rough sex caught him out. But he lives by the sword and will probably die by the sword and clearly a man who doesn’t really care, the ultimate warrior in his prime and what women really want their men to be deep down.


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        19.08.2014 18:18
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        Another embarrassing Indian performance...

        I think it’s fair to say that India didn’t give a shit about playing a long test series in England! They like to win one (possibly Lords) and return home with their heads held high after the best of three. Five tests was simply too much and sent packing with a 3-1 defeat. I believe this is why the ECB provided an India like pitch in the first test at Trent Bridge to keep them interested, a far from interesting Test though. England are only the second team to come from behind after two Tests to win the final three Tests of a series. Donald Bradman's Australia recovered from 2-0 down to beat England 3-2 in the 1936-37 Ashes.

        It’s been a roller-coaster for Alistair Cook and claims his wife talked him into keeping the job after a difficult year whereas my understanding is the ECB told him he was safe and they were not going to push him. Either way he went into the 5th and final Test at The Oval knowing he couldn’t lose the series after two crushing test wins.

        England put India in and they got out, the fourth time in a row they were bowled out for less than 200, 148 poor stuff. They were 90-9 at one point in the afternoon before captain Dhoni (82) added 58 for the last wicket.

        8257 and he is now the third leading run scorer for England after Gooch (8900) and Stewart (8463) having overtaken Pietersen and Gower. He has also overtaken Michael Clarke's 8240. There have been more runs for the 10th wicket in this series (466) than in any previous Test series, beating the record held by the 1924-25 Ashes. The England seamers shared the ten wickets and Anderson just 5 away from Botham’s record. Beefy also had a bad week with pictures of his penis appearing on twitter. He claimed his account was hacked but Twitter said they didn’t delete the picture.

        Cook became the highest English run scorer for England against India with 1713 runs with his 79, putting on 125 with super reliable Gary Balance (64). Joe Root his third test century of the summer and shared a 100 partnership with Butler, who could be something very special for England as far as taking games away from opponents go. Root added a quick fire 82 with Jordan (20) and 63 even quicker runs with Broad (37), sporting his new shiner. 486 all out was another poor bowling display by India as England smashed ten an over on day four. Joe Root is only the third England batsman to score a half-century in every Test of a five-match series, after Wally Hammond against South Africa in 1938-39 and Peter May against South Africa in 1955. John Edrich achieved the feat in a six-match series against Australia in 1970-71.

        India simply couldn’t be bothered with the task ahead to level the series and bowled out for a pathetic 84 on day four, lasting just 29 overs, Jordan 4-18. 2 more wickets doe Anderson as his record will have to wait for the West Indies in the winter. An innings & 244 was the sixth biggest victory in test history for any nation, the 5th being on the last India tour. Its getting harder and harder for England to fill their nine test grounds as tourist gets increasingly poor. In 67 tests Anderson and Broad have taken 501 wickets at 29.51

        ===Most Test Wickets for England===

        Botham 383
        Anderson 380
        Willis 325
        Trueman 307
        Underwood 297
        Broad 264
        Swann 255

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          18.08.2014 11:49
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          • "12 Golds"

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          • "Small crowds"

          New drug test regimes beginning to work in athletics!

          In recent years the rise of Caribbean sprinting and African distance running has somewhat devalued the European Championships. It remains strong in a field events but that doesn’t pull in the crowds. Without the Jamaicans and Americans you simply struggle for punters and YV, Zurich a case in question for the 2014 championships. But serious athletics fans love it and with favorable TV schedules across the continent I was hooked as per usual.

          It started really well for Team GB with 40-year-old Jo Pavey following up her gutsy Commonwealth Bronze in the 10,000m with gold here, beating the two French favorites with a superb and powerful technical performance. She is the first 40-year-old to win a medal at the championships. She is very popular on the team and even wrote to young Emily Pigeon when the schoolgirl broke her 25 - year-old school record to congratulate her. We like Jo.

          High winds racing down off the Alps delayed the evening session as Mo Farah did enough to defend his 10,000m title, beating off a surprise Silver from Britain’s Andy Vernon, who looks more like a Decathlete. In the top five there were four African born men, two Somalia and two Kenyan born, the later pair particularly annoying as they are running for Turkey but hardly in Turkey. In fact when the bronze medalist here, Ali Kaya of Turkey, won bronze in the 2013 World Championship he was back home in Kenya by the time of the medal ceremony the day after the final, obviously feeling rather guilty he is hardly Turkish.

          Farah ran ok but clearly not the athlete he was since the London Marathon experience. The problem for the 10k guys is the event is not run on the lucrative Grand Prix circuit for obvious reasons and so they have to train for the 5000 meters to earn prize money to last the year, not ideal preparation for the equally lucrative city marathons he gets his corn from. Farah now has a record 9 gold medals, a record for British athletics. Why he didn’t go for the complete set of double gold at the Commonwealths was explained by his form here, the more important event.

          Tiffany Porter of America, sorry Britain, won gold for herself in the 100m Women’s Hurdle Final. Yes, someone born in America and never left it is the European Champion for GB. I hate it when they poach athletes from other countries and then give them full British Citizenship. She represented the US as a junior and emigrated here as the US team was too strong for her to run there. She broke Angie Thorpe’s 15-year-old 100m hurdles British Record last year in the Moscow World Championships and Angie was not happy. But she brings in the medals for Team GB to secure funding and that’s the paradox these days.

          Ashleigh Nelson became the first British women to take a 100m championship medal in 40 years with an impressive bronze. It’s quite a statistic when you think about it. The heptathlete Schippers of Holland would win gold in 11:12.

          In the Men’s 100m there were guys running 10:30 making the final and perhaps the blood passport drug testing system beginning to work. James Dasalo won gold for Britain and Harry Aikines - Aryeetey getting a bronze, piping Dwaine Chambers in his 6th European Championships by a thousandth of a second. Harry AA should have been DSQ for twitching on the bloc but yellow carded, rare leniency from the starters, perhaps because it was the final event of a chilly night and so not delaying further events. Britain are beginning to dominate this championships. Lemaitre, the world’s fastest white man, got silver for France.

          Day Three and the gregarious Will Sharman wins silver for Britain in the 110m Hurdles. He clipped hurdle seven with the trail leg and then kicked through eight and did extremely well to get second, leading at that point. Defending champion Sergey Shubenkov of Russia took gold.

          Show off Frenchman Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad thought he had gloriously won the 3000m Steeplechase, ripping of his vest on the home straight to celebrate his hatrick of wins for this event and competition, earning a yellow card for his antics on the track. But the fourth place Spanish team appealed and he was DSQ on a technicality. He is a real character and once beat up his teammate on the line and has been known to attack ’mascots’’ at events. It’s fair to say the decision was harsh and the IAAF had been waiting for this moment to nail him. Male Field Eventers take off their shirts all the time during throws and never DSQ. Bene’s antics were no worse than Bolts and he hasn’t failed a drug tests so surely good for athletics. Give the guy the medal.

          Day Four and big Martin Rooney finally won gold, storming home in the 400m flat in a brilliant 44:71, the likeable Brumie Matt Hudson-Smith getting sliver and Israel's Donald Sanford taking bronze. I can’t recall those well known Europeans taking a medal in the championships. Rooney has been around a while and this team GB’s first win in the event since Iwan Thomas in 1998.

          Another potential British Olympic gold medalist is Adam Gemmill, against storming a final for gold here, Britain well ahead in the medal table by the end of day four. He won in 19.98, back-to-back sub 20 second runs, the first time a Brit has ever done that. Gemmill is a smart cookie and looks every inch the real deal. Dafne Schippers of Holland completed the sprint double in the 200m in a time that would split the Jamaicans and Americans in an Olympic Final, setting the fastest time of the year in the 200m at 22:03. Britain’s new sensation Jodie Williams took silver, closing in on Cathy Cook’s thirty-year-old British record. Laura Weightman rounded off another brilliant night with bronze in the 1500m, Steve Cram’s protégé looking very special.


          http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/athletics/28820918

          Cooley is the official mascot and enjoyed his championships, literary setting the bar for future mascots, taking part in the events to wow the crowd. Checkout his YouTube. I have never seen a hairy bear do the pole vault!


          Penultimate day five dumped the morning session and delivered a warmer afternoon than recent sessions for the shrinking Zurich crowd to enjoy. Eilidh Childs kept the gold rush going for GB with a cracking win in the 400m hurdles, the event favorite going into the championships, adding to her excellent silver in the Commonwealth Games. Fellow Scott Lynsey Sharpe won brave silver in the 800m to top what the team achieved in the medals table four years ago in Barcelona, judged their best ever championships.

          The Final day saw four gold medals and Britain finish top of the medal table for only the third time in history, Mo Farah defending his 5000m title with ease to complete the double and now a record five Gold medals at the Europeans. No other athlete from Europe has done that. Andy Vernon clamed a bronze to go with his silver. Greg Rutherford added the European Title in the long jump to his Olympic and Commonwealth title. If he wins the Worlds next year it will be a unique slam. Chris O'Hare took 1500m bronze behind the controversial Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbab, who produced a last lap of 52.17 to destroy the field after a slow opening 800m and win a deserved gold!

          The relays also went Great Britain’s way, quite a crop of young talent building up. The lads won the 400m relay with Martin Rooney bringing them home for his second gold for the fastest time for 16-years and the girls took bronze in their 400 realy. But it was much better in the 100m, a comedy of errors by the other teams landing the girls the top prize of gold and the British record, unbroken for 34 - years. The men blasted to the gold on the 100m relay for the 12th gold of the championships, the first time they have got the baton round for six championships. Whispers say they simply didn’t want to be tested in case one failed, that one being Dwaine Chambers.

          23 medals beat their previous best of 19. Team GB won more golds than the WHOLE of Eastern Europe put together. That is unprecedented and a sign drug testing is working.

          ===Medal table===

          Great Britain – 12 (Golds) 5 (Silvers) 6 (Bronze) - 23 Total
          France – 9 (G) 8 (S) 6 (B) - 23 Total
          Germany – 4(G) 1( Silver) 3( Bronze) - 8 Total
          Russia – 3(G) 6(S)1(B) – 10 Total
          Netherlands – 3 (G) 2 (S) 1(B) – Total 6

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            16.08.2014 21:06
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            • "96 minutes"
            • 18
            • "Good to see Gibson back"

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            • "Bit messy"

            Mad Mex!

            Ever since Gibson's infamous drunken racist outburst his career has tanked, at one stage not acting for eight years. Empowered by the success of the controversial Passion of the Christ, putting his beloved Catholicism head-to-head with Judaism on screen (and coming out clear winners over the story of the Crucifixion) he annoyed Hollywood’s influential Jews some more, his ecclesiastical power kick going to his head. That’s not a good idea in Hollywood. Others would say that loutish drinking binge was more about getting old and not getting good parts anymore. Those piercing blue eyes are now swimming against a tide of wrinkles. He is now in that fatal washed up drunken cop role territory Bruce Willis stagnated in, Expendables 4 beckoning for the likable Aussie, now the official retirement home of Hollywood’s action heroes.


            Plot

            A Felon (Gibson) is pursued across the desert by cops, smashing his car through the border fence to escape, the Mexican police waiting for him on the other side. They are about to hand the gringo back when they see a bag full of money in the car. The gringo is not going back to America and soon ends up in a notorious Mexican jail without his money.

            There he quickly learns the ropes by befriending a 10-year-old kid (Kevin Hernandez) and deploys his unique set of skills to climb the prison hierarchy, a surprisingly communal place where you can get pretty much anything you want, from Coca Cola to a girl for the night.

            The prison is run by mobster Javi (Daniel Giménez Cacho) and he has heard about the gringo and his money. Embassy guy (Peter Gerety) has also heard about the cash and fancies a big cut if he can get the Gringo out of jail. But the little kid has special status in the jail and something unique the mobsters want and in jeopardy if he stays and so now the Gringo has to get him and his mom out and still recover his money.

            Results

            Left field with touches of Elmore Leonard and Tarantino this film is many different things, none more so than the return of Mel Gibson as the nod and a wink action hero. All the crazy stares and ticks are back and an enjoyable performance in an ok movie. But he looks old on screen and hasn’t really got that action presence any more the way Liam Neeson did in Taken as the ex military guy.

            The communal prison scenario is based on fact in the Americas and women and children really do live in the same prisons as men there, little barrios (slums) within the barrios. The kid in question did cause controversy in the film as he is offered a cigarette by Gibson’s character and smokes it, the suggestion that a tobacco company paid for that scene to go in. As it was shot in Juarez it was deemed ok in the final cut because it reflects every day life in Mexico.


            ...

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          • BBC Sport & Media / Discussion / 14 Readings / 11 Ratings
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            15.08.2014 11:28
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            • "MOTD is a good show"

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            • "Over paid and smug"

            The millionaires doing one nights work a week.

            The BBCs rather precious tribute program on Alan Hansen’s retirement from Match of the Day and punditry in general proved a little contentious. Alan had actually been asked to take a much lower salary to stay on the nation’s premier football show, of which he declined and so asked to leave. You will be astounded to learn his salary is £1.2 million a year for a leisurely hour or two on the sofa with every Saturday night. The less easy on the eye Mark Lawrenson took the reduced rates. Linekar is still on £1.5m and so his failure to take a pay drop may have cost Hansen. Approximately ten minutes later Hansen signed with BT Sport to do the same thing all over again, reports of his retirement somewhat exaggerated.

            But the season is upon us once again and Phillip Neville got his seat, the BBC resisting the opportunity to bump up the prat Robbie Savage to the top sofa. I think we can all thank the Lord Gareth Crooks didn’t get it on BBC ethnic quota rules that decide many jobs there these days. Articulate black footballers are few and far between on TV for some reason and viewers have to put the kettle on when the rather common Ian Wright comes on ITV football.

            Difficult to tip who will win the league this year but the loss of Suarez will kill Liverpool’s chances, but refreshing to see they have a strong side built on British players. Could be top four but ironically that place could be curtailed by this years Champions League campaign. Chelsea have bought well and beginning to ship out the oldies with Cole, Lampard, Torres and Cech on their way. Defending champions Manchester City have also dabbled and will finish top two for me. I hope Arsenal win it with the exciting purchase of Sanchez and a fit Ramsay and we finally see how good Girold can be. With Caroloza and Arteta in there it will be same old thrilling football for Wenger. My word he deserves to win the title.

            Relegation wise it looks grim for Burnley, a city off less than 100,000 unable to survive with the big boys. The gap is huge. I think new boys Leicester City and QPR will stay up though and perhaps finally the end for Villa, who are up for sale and not much stronger than last year. Hull City were distracted by the Cup and perhaps that final was the end of their amazing journey, the way Wigans was last year. I would perm one form Sunderland, Swansea and Southampton to go down with Burnley and Villa. I had Palace to do well but after the bizarre departure of Tony Pulis they too are in the drop mix Southampton have sold all of their best players after their owner died and it feels like the new reluctant female boss is being manipulated to do that and most of the £110 million will leave the country.







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            13.08.2014 22:41
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            • "Costly bar"

            Pretentious, yes, cheap, no...

            From the outside this Northampton town center bar looks rather inviting and cool, tucked away in a side street in what looks like a castle like building. It’s slightly extravagant grandeur doesn’t match the pretentious kitsch inside though and, like the Tardis in reverse, a large multi-floored building offering extravagance is wasted with just one high ceiling room bar. It promises an exciting roof garden on its Facebook blurb but that turns out to be a small pokey terrace area mostly taken up by the perfunctory gas heaters and, rather oddly, tends to be closed on the warm summer nights when you and the smokers most need it. So no surprise the smokers are not too keen on this bar. I think the owners think the punters will stay up there and chat away, two floors above the bar and dumped with the toilets. Looking at the pubs financial records online at Companies House they are trading at a £44,000 annual loss and so the inability to cater for those Northampton smokers and offering food in the day time is clearly killing them off. I will give the bar another 6 months. The Beer garden and food in daylight hours is now critical for a pubs survival chances. Punch Taverns, our biggest national pub chain, had to sell and close 15% of their bars to survive since the smoking ban.

            Before you get past the bouncers, LA esque flaming torches and velvet rope you must pick your time to be there to get the atmosphere. In the summer there is simply nobody about in town until late with the peak trendy bar drinking time between 11-2am. Most kids fuel up with supermarket beer and alcopops at home now to save money and just hit the bars with dance floors for a boogie and a cocktail. People don’t do the six pubs any more. You can buy a 12 pack in the Coop for the price of a round in a town center bar these days. Borjia is one of those late night cool cocktail bars so between 11 and 2 it is.

            It has a trendy DJ booth high above the bar playing ambient house and tunes trendy people like although not a boogie pub as no real dance floor, the beer prices reflecting that pretentious air at £3.80 for a bottle. The décor appears expensive and fairly wow on the eye for a large Midlands town bar, lots of trendy sofas and oak top chunky tables in the London chill out bar style and very much a place to go and be seen at. When I was there it was full of hen parties and a 21st birthday party for a girl called Tina and so not so the clientele the glamorous surroundings want to draw. But it dose look better than most Northampton bars and certainly different. I suspect it’s designed by people who think this is what the working-class people of Northampton would call style and so be impressed and so spend on over-priced beers.

            The themes of the Italian Borjia family is somewhat lost and nothing that borzois going on in Northampton here, unless you want to snog a 13 stone admin assistant from Spinney Hill. They offer attractive cocktail waitress who will hoover up your near empty beer bottle if you are not guarding it and a sizable tip expected by the pretty girls if you do use them. Unless you want to hold on to your prime sport on the trendy sofa the bar is merely five yards away. They want you to buy fancy drinks here and shots are passed around to tempt you. Shots are the biggest rip off since printer ink. This is one of those bars where you take friends from other places to impress but only have one posy beer with your mates every month.



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          • Love and Other Drugs (DVD) / DVD / 20 Readings / 19 Ratings
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            13.08.2014 12:40
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            (Rating)

            Advantages

            • "Golden Globe – 2 Nominations"
            • "Certificate –18 "
            • "112 minutes"
            • "Romantic Comedy"
            • "Star – Jake Gyllenhaal "

            Disadvantages

            • "Cheesy bits"

            Love & yet another dud rom com?

            Based on the book ‘Hard Sell: The evolution of a Viagra salesman’, by Jamie Reidy, Love & Other Drugs sees thinking women’s crumpet Jake Gyllenhall and super pretty Anne Hathaway back together for the first time since their Oscar nominated performance in Brokeback Mountain. Both careers have gone from strength to strength since, Hathaway winning an Oscar for Les Miserables, of course.

            Although a light touch on the subject, the film dabbles with the seriousness of mass medication in the U.S. Like any corporation big pharma sells fear to get us to buy a potential cure from them, anti depressants an appropriate example here. We were told Swine Flu would kill 10% of us if we didn’t take Tamaflu. The British government, not adverse in using fear to drive crazy ventures to scare the people, had to respond to the perceived threat and spent two billion on Tamaflu, of which most is still stockpiled in warehouses quickly going out of date. It didn’t actually work and actually gave you worse side effects to the 1-100 risk of getting serious swine flu.

            ===Plot===

            Handsome and charismatic electrical store clerk Jamie Randall (Jake Gyllenhaal) can’t keep his hands off the female customers, or staff, and eventually sacked for shagging the bosses girlfriend in the storeroom.
            His next job is in the heady world of drugs sales where he trawls local hospitals and doctors surgeries trying to shift the anti depressant Zolafax for Pfizer, but being outsold by their big rivals drug Prozac, super rep Trey Hannigan (Gabriel Macht) working the same manner as Randall and more than a match with the ladies and sales techniques judging by the car he drives and salary he pulls.

            After flirting with various medical receptionists, Randall wins over Dr.Knight (Hank Azaria), who returns his calls when he manages to get the doc laid at a cool slumber party. But Randall’s style is being cramped by his slobby brother Josh (Josh Gad), who is sleeping on his couch after being dumped by his wife. But life is about to change for Randall when he meets sexy stage one Parkinsons Disease sufferer Maggie (Hathaway), who is on the medication that the effects makes her promiscuous, Randall’s kind of girl, he on meds for ADD, a match made in heaven, you would think. But Maggie knows her illness will only get worse and has no confidence a man will love her for the rest of her life. Randall just wants sex, or so he thinks, because that’s what Randall does. Can love save him from himself?

            ===Results===

            There is a kernel of a good idea for an intelligent movie here but instead backs off after putting its toe in that water and reverts back to glossy romcom, casting super gorgeous Gyllenhaal and Hathaway too much of a distraction. But crossover indie film stars bring a big multiplex audience
            and this $30 million production did a very healthy $100 million, high for a film that has ideas. The question then is this simply a romcom wrapped up with a wordy script or is it a clever Indie that misfired and so needed to be rom-commed? I suspect the later.

            The two narrative strands of Parkinson’s sufferer and ADD sufferer don't quite mesh, and the movie stumbles when trying to affect the redemption of Randall through love. It simply becomes about witty repartee between the two as sparks try to fly. She lives in a really nice Loft Apartment yet doesn’t appear to have a job whilst Gylenhaal can get any girl he wants so why would he fall for a Parkinson’s sufferer? We know Hollywood’s message is that the beautiful healthy people always pair off.

            On the whole it’s enjoyable fluff and will appeal to both romcom fans who like bankable stars getting it on and also films that probe at deeper emotions in society. The metaphors around love being a drug to cure all is fair enough but you guys already know the ending to this film. And if you are happy with that neat bow then by all means. I was hoping for a little bit more though. If you want a cool smart love story then there is only one, Before Sunrise. If you want a charming romcom then it has to be Serendipity. Love & Other Drugs is simply yet another formula romcom to hit the widest audience.



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          • Viber / Apps / 11 Readings / 9 Ratings
            More +
            12.08.2014 00:26
            Very helpful
            (Rating)

            Advantages

            • "Free service"
            • "Free texts"
            • "Free webcam"
            • "Free phone calls around the world"

            Disadvantages

            • "You need to be online to use it"

            Viber is a real buzz!

            Viber is one of many popular communication applets available free for your smart phones, tablet and PC. What makes this one very useful over the likes of Whatsapp and Kik is that it allows you to do more than just text and webcam with each other while online. Viber allows you to make FREE phone calls to each other, and, unbelievably, to ANYWHERE in the world, as long as the person receiving the call also has Viber. Viber is free to download and can be used on pretty much ANY smartphone model. I will repeat that. It’s FREE to make INTERNATIONAL and domestic phone calls. If you don’t have a usage contract on your phone you just nip down your local pub with free WiFi and make the call there or tether your phone to your home broadband and so make the call there.

            Skype offers free webcam from your PC and mobile the way traditional messengers do. But they charge for you to connect to mobile phones and land-lines so you have to buy Skype credit. As yet I have not found any communication service like Viber that allows you to call for free abroad to a land-line or Cell phone from your PC. This move to make calls free on apps really means the day of PAYG phones and call time contracts is numbered. It’s all about WiFi on the go now and buying bandwidth. This is why BT and the likes of Virgin are pushing up static land-line monthly costs as they know it’s all but over.

            Viber is quick to download and use. You must have the person’s phone number on your contacts list (or yours on theirs) to contact each other. Once you have it will automatically list you on Viber. These services tend to work on that basis so they can gather personal data about you in return for the free service. Once you are hooked up you press on the number and text chat or phone each other, which will make their phone ring as normal. If you Viber text or webcam request it will notify them with a text that you have called, even if they are not logged into Viber.

            The text service is as enjoyable as the size of your virtual keyboard so I tend to call. That is still a problem with smart phones. You can also webcam and send pictures to each other so great for dating and naughtiness. You can call non Viber users at low cost rates so to connect with normal mobile phones and land-lines. You can also download Viber onto your computer for a more traditional type messenger. It’s available in both Android and Windows 8. If you are using your cell phone abroad beware of roaming charges on ANY service.






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          • More +
            10.08.2014 18:16
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            (Rating)

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            • "Much improved crowd"

            Disadvantages

            • "Expensive "

            England rain in Manchester!

            So Cook survived and on to Old Trafford, another greenish pitch rolled out to finish off India with two to Tests to go. This should have been the pitch for the first Test. But test match revenue funds the 18 counties and so this series had to go to the last test to retain interest and those crowds. Without Tendulker and Dravid and some off the Test match location picks the crowds are just not there.

            Old Trafford is the latest ground to have lot of money spent on it to compete with the other nine test counties as they battle over those four tests per year after Lords and The Oval get their perfunctory three tests per year.

            England lost the toss and surprised to be put in by Dhoni on a greenish track after a sharp shower. Cooks Cheshire Cat smile saw India tumble from 8-0 to 8-4 and then 152 all-out, a Test world record equaling six zeros. Broad took his third best bowling for 6-20 and three more for Anderson as he closes in on Botham’s record. Broad now sits sixth on the all time list for wickets for England with 261. Captain Dhoni top scored 70 after avoiding total humiliation with a partnership of 66 with Ashwin (40) but extremely odd why he didn’t bowl. This series feels like the bookies are running it. England set about the total with confidence and closed on 113-3, the first three all back in the hutch.


            ===Top Test Wicket Takers for England===

            1 383 wickets Ian Botham --- 102 (Matches) Av28.40
            2 376 wickets James Anderson -- 98 (Matches) Av29.86
            3 325 wickets Bob Willis --- 90 (Matches) Av25.20
            4 307 wickets Fred Trueman --- 67(Matches) Av21.57
            5 297 wickets Derek Underwood --- 86(Matches) Av25.83
            6 261 wickets Stuart Broad --- 73 (Matches) Av30.05
            7 255 wickets Graeme Swann --- 60 (Matches) Av29.96


            A decent crowd rocked up on day two as the weather continued its pledge of being fine in Manchester for at least one day in a row. A full Old Trafford is around 26,000 punters with the additional temporary seating for Tests and Internationals, and around 15,000 for a domestic Twenty20. The ugly red media center looks like it was built by IKEA but offers great views from inside. They have a 70 room hotel on site with most rooms having a pitch view but charged likewise, and not a good idea to open your curtains after 11 am first thing. They also turned the square recently so the members pavilion was finally behind the line of the ball.

            Turned or not it couldn’t stop the square flooding after a storm swept in for the afternoon with England 84 runs on, Bell 58, play abandoned at 5.38pm as the groundsman failed to soak up a muddy area on the ropes in bright sunshine. The remaining crowd heckled and yet another refund went a begging as the theater of trying to dry up the ground was really just a distraction to prolong beer sales. Bells fifty means he is now in the England all time top ten Test run scorers on 7100 runs, an unsung hero of English cricket. Cook sits third on 8,327 runs.

            It’s an easy ground to get to by tram or bus although too far to walk from Manchester central, the Old Trafford province industrial in places. Food and drink points are excellent and plenty of covered areas to escape the rain. Tickets are quite expensive for a northern ground and the best ones 60 pounds plus. London maybe out of recession but the north isn’t.

            Butler (70) and Root (77) shared a 100 partnership as England moved towards victory on day three to take the match lead to over 150 by lunch. Broad got one in the grill for his troubles and a broken nose and another player that fiddles with his visor during the game to improve eye-line. The kit makers say that’s the only way a ball can get through. Woakes was unbeaten on 26* to guide the tail to 367 all out for the 215 lead.

            India simply didn’t fancy it on a sunny afternoon, even with day four and most of day five likely to be washed out, bowled out for a pathetic 161 by 6.07pm, and this without Broad for England. It was shocking stuff and India collapsing from 53-1 to 66-6 and nine wickets going down after tea. Moeen Ali was again the man with 4-39 and now the fastest England spinner to take 20 Test wickets, with his comical beard quickly becoming the new Monty Panesar. Anderson chipped off two more scalps to be with in seven of I.T Botham and now the highest test wicket taker in England. The returning Chris Jordan blasted the last two out in two balls to finish the match for England inside three days.


            ====Most Test wickets in England===

            JAMES ANDERSON - England 231
            Fred Trueman - England 229
            Ian Botham - England 226
            Bob Willis - England 176
            Alec Bedser - England 167
            STUART BROAD - England 164


            India are not set up to play five tests in England and have only ever been capable of winning no more than one test here. I don’t think they will be getting five tests ever again after poor performances and crowds. Dhoni is a muppet captain and plays at being a captain and more interested fin the one-day riches. This sort of attitude invites match fixers back in. For England it’s a welcome reprieve for Cook and now can’t lose the series with just one test to go, The Oval. Needless to say the papers back home are not impressed with the innings & 54 run hiding.


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          • Colgate Toothpaste / Oral Care / 17 Readings / 17 Ratings
            More +
            08.08.2014 12:11
            Very helpful
            (Rating)

            Advantages

            • Cheap

            Disadvantages

            • "Hole too small"

            Even a pneumatic drill won't get the toothpaste out of these tubes!

            In the 1950s a man went to the Colgate toothpaste head office and said I can increase your profits by 10% in just three months. They said how. He said make the hole bigger on the tube so more toothpaste is wasted and the loyal customer buys more tubes over the year. Their profits did indeed rise and the man got a job with the company.

            Today that man is no more but Colgate have returned to their old design with their Cavity Protection range and you have the exact opposite problem. The hole is too small and once the paste congeals in the top end of the tube it blocks up very quickly. You end up standing on the bloody thing to try and squeeze some out. This would be the preferred range for the diamond smuggler. I’m currently using my darts to unblock it. Even with the top on the toothpaste tube it bungs up. Needless to say I won’t be buying this range again and will stick with the larger hole ones and a soft touch so not to waste toothpaste.

            Thankfully they sell it in other flavors to that dreadful spearmint flavor so one plus, a pleasant light mint here. Is there any more yukky taste for oral hygiene than sharp spearmint? It’s like being at the dentists with all but the sound of the dreaded drill in your bathroom. Mint flavor is the only taste for toothpaste. This range is about right on that score. Thin a packet of those Polo lights!

            I bought the 100ml size with wavers that its 1.1% sodium monoflourophosphate, whatever that is. It’s a plastic tube with the days of metal ones long gone and lasts about three weeks. It’s about a pound in Superdrug and you can get 2 for 1 in Wilko’s right now. It tastes fresh in the mouth and I have no idea how clean it makes your teeth other than it has fluoride in it. It could be flour paste for all I know. I brush twice a day and it seems to do the job. All my dental issues have been cavities and not getting them filled quick enough due to the inability to find an NHS dentist over the years and so deals with that too. The only thing that weakens teeth is dentists drilling them! But all fine now and I have always brushed regularly. Those cavities over the years were caused by cracked fillings disintegrating and I’m a firm believer dentists fill and pull our teeth when not needed just to make money down the line. Toothache is pressure on the nerve by a swelling and poison, not the cracks in your teeth.


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          • Persepolis (DVD) / DVD / 13 Readings / 13 Ratings
            More +
            06.08.2014 12:26
            Very helpful
            (Rating)
            3 Comments

            Advantages

            • "234 votes)"
            • "Imdb.com –8.0 /10.0 (57"
            • PG13
            • French/American
            • "96 minutes"
            • "Genre – World Cinema Animation"

            Disadvantages

            • "Bit long"

            A colorful tale in Black & White

            This smart, spiky and rebellious adult animation sees the rise and fall of Iran through the eyes of a young child’s coming-of-age. It’s based on the graphic novel of the same name by Marjane Satrapi, part autobiographical of her life growing up in Iran.

            The French/American movie caused a lot of controversy at the time as it didn’t put Iran in a very good light, the Iranian government sending a letter to the French embassy in Tehran to protest against the movie and pressured the organizers of various international Film Festivals to drop it from the lineup. Eventually the regime allowed six cinemas in Iran to show it but cutting six scenes deemed too sexual, suggesting that it was that stuff they didn’t like about the film, not the ridicule, humor and hypocrisy the film used to make its point.

            ===Plot===

            We meet 10-year-old Marjane (Gabriele Lopes), who narrates her life growing up in Iran. She loves fries with ketchup, Iron Maiden and her idol Bruce Lee and wears Adidas sneakers. She has two obsessions: shaving her legs one day and being the last prophet of the galaxy. As precocious as she is rebelling against her parent’s liberal beliefs on 1970s Iran, Mother (Catherine Deneuve) and Father (Simon Abkarian) have high hopes for her and teach her. But the revolution arrives and the Shah is back in power, the British and American backed regime removed by the Islamic revolutionists.

            Marjane is now a brooding teenager and her Grandmother (Danielle Darrieux) her guiding light through the upheaval. Because half the population is illiterate they tend to go with their faith in democratic elections. The revolution that Parjane’s parents always longed and worked for hasn’t turned out the way they wanted and the bearded clerics oppressing women, men and thinkers alike.

            Next up is the Iran-Iraq War, The West arming both sides in a war of attrition as revenge for the King being removed and their oil deals torn up, Tehran city bombed most days by Saddam. Marjane’s parents decide its best to send her abroad, Vienna the chosen destination, soon enrolled in school and meeting pseudo thinkers who long for revolution. Marjane soon puts them straight on that one. But bounced from place to place although she meets interesting people, and falls in love once or twice, and soon longing for home where the heart is, and the men with beards.


            ===Results===

            Its good stuff, the type of cartoon you actually want to watch when you are all grown up. I can’t get into this thing where cartoons have just enough adult in-jokes going on so to get mom and dad to go to the cinema with their kids, more about making money than great movies. What’s wonderful about this one is you can imagine the satisfaction little Marjane Satrapi had growing up in Iran expressing her feelings against the regime in such a creative and rebellious way. We are with her all the way. Not surprisingly the film festivals loved it.

            The subtlety of the interplay among the three generations of women is extraordinary. This is the key to the movies success. The use of English slang colloquiums brings a realism to the brooding teenagers life and sends the message that Iranian kids are exactly like our kids in the things they want and do at that age. There is plenty of humor and less than subtle political comment on the negativity of the regime and makes no argument for the regime, what particularly angered the regime about this American made movie.

            It flows nicely and never a dull moment as Marjane grows up and is as much about Iran as it is being a teenage girl, another clever level to it. It’s just enjoyable stuff and a nice treat that should be enjoyed. Perhaps it’s a little long at 100 minutes with one too many musical interludes but enough here, along with the quirky animation, to keep you hooked. Another one was done about the Israel v Palestine thing and just as good and clever so very topical right now to check that one out.




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            • More +
              05.08.2014 11:42
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              Advantages

              • "Good Games"

              Disadvantages

              • ebola
              • " drugs"
              • Rain

              A big kiss from Glasgow!

              Cheap is the best way to describe the opening ceremony of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, or ‘sh*t, as Usain Bolt allegedly put it. Everything from an inflatable Loch Ness Monster to polystyrene Tunnock Teacakes were thrown into the arena for the local repertory theaters to smile and gurn away with. Professional showbiz camp John Barrowman spoilt it somewhat with a publicity seeking gay kiss with a random member of the cast, perhaps, inadvertently, highlighting promiscuous homosexual behavior than a liberated and diversely tolerant Scotland. He would get another kind of Glasgow kiss if he pulled that stunt on the high street Saturday night. The organizers crammed in every jock cliche in the book, they said to be ironic, we think because they didn’t have any money, perhaps how the new independent Scotland will look. God Save the Queen sung at Celtic Park – for the Queen – certainly raised a few eyebrows!

              The Olympics saw 82 competitors and officials claim asylum after London 2012 with just 10 returned home. It looked like the Sri Lankan cycling team where the first to make a break for it in Scotland as they were spotted on the M74 travelling at great speed. But they were unaware cycling wasn’t allowed on motorways and waved onto the A Roads by the ‘rossers’. Another visiting athlete who decided to get out and about in Glasgow was Papa New Guinea weightlifter Toua Udin, who was arrested for sexually assaulting a man in the toilets behind a local Tesco, no doubt celebrating finishing 9th in the 77 KG category with a few squats.

              The Commonwealth Games has a lot of girly sports in it like netball, badminton, table tennis and rhythmic gymnastics and it wasn’t until the swimming that the serious stuff got underway. The pool offers rare world class C sport as the mighty Aussies and competitive Canadians and South Africans go up against the broken up British team.

              Scotland had high hopes to build that Scottish patriotism early on as the independence vote neared and won gold and silver with Ross Murdoch and Michael Jamieson, very emotional for the 18-year-old Murdoch as Flower of Scotland kicked in. Hannah Miley also won gold in the pool for Scotland on the same day. Alex Salmond is sure to get a bounce in the vote from the Games as Scotland sat third in the medal table with 4 gold’s after day one, just one behind the Aussies. The Scottish Renwick sisters bagged gold each in judo. England won 3 gold’s in the judo.


              Cycling also got underway in yet another brand new British velodrome with Bradley Wiggins getting silver in the Pursuit, announcing his road race career is now over, a rare Tour de France winner leaving the sport clean. Alistair Brownlee beat his little brother Johnny again to gold in the triathlon. The biggest thrashing of the day was South Africa’s 16-0 victory over Trinidad & Tobago in the women’s hockey.

              40-year-old Steve Way of England didn’t medal in the marathon but a role model for all couch potatoes. In his own words he was a ‘beer drinking, pizza eating 15 stone slob’ by his 32nd birthday and decided he didn’t want to be anymore. He trained and trained and trained through running and ended up rather good, a surprise pick for the Commonwealths. It’s never too late folks.

              Boxing picked up on day two with blood and cuts everywhere, no headgear and so lots of head clashes and sneakiness as lots of inexperienced pugilists from the islands tried to level things up against their more seasoned white opponents. The shock of the day was world number one Flyweight Andrew Selby of Wales beaten by Scotland’s Reece McFadden, the Welshmen losing a point when his gum shield kept flying out. The game Scot won the fight and the showboating Selby out in the first round.

              Rhys Williams increased the bad news for Wales with a drugs ban in the 400m and no real surprise that Mo Farah pulled out with a faux injury, tying his name to the games purely to sell tickets and never going to run, for me.

              Day three and England’s Mick Gault equaled the commonwealth record with his 18th medal. Somewhat absurdly he can’t train with his guns in the UK.

              Whereas British athletes have been doing well in most sports here not so in athletics, a windy and tatty Hampden Park the location. Scotland didn’t have the money to build a new stadium so wisely used what they had. The Africans and Caribbean’s are running the show now in world athletics.

              The packed creaking stadium witnesses a strong women’s 100m final that saw Blessing Okanbare of Nigeria win with an impressive 10.85, and a Commonwealth Record, beating Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica, just off an 18 month drug bang, reduced to just 6 months and so allowed to race here. Kamal Bailey Cole got the gold for Jamaica for the men with 10 seconds flat, Adam Gemli of GB splitting the Jamaicans for silver. Steve Cram trained Geordie Laura Weightman of England split the Kenyans for impressive silver in the 1500m. There were also English silvers for the pedantic Will Sharman in the 110m hurdles and Ashley Bryant taking silver in a rather weak Decathlon field. Laura Samuel produced a huge personal best to deservedly take silver in the triple jump, while Nick Miller matched that in the hammer as Mark Dry took bronze for Scotland.

              Usain Bolt came out and said the Games were ‘shit’ and he didn’t like Glasgow much. It was chilly for the second week and seeing a young tall Jamaican take his 100m title in ten flat seemed the right time to make the Games all about him, only competing in the 100m relay, no doubt paid handsomely by his sponsors to show up.

              Wednesday night was top class in the athletics, four Olympic Champions on the track and field program. Gold medalist Greg Rutherford of Milton Keynes added the Commonwealth title to his collection with 8m 20 and the superb Kirani James of Grenada completed the hatrick of Olympic, World and Commonwealth Championships with a Games record 44.20 in the 400 flat.

              Jen McIntosh succeeded mother Shirley as Scotland's most decorated female in Commonwealth Games history with silver in the 50m rifle three positions. The medal - in an event won by Singapore's Jasmine Ser - was the fifth of McIntosh's career. Emma Pooley claimed silver in the time trial road race. Alex Dowcett of England got gold for the men.

              Olympic 800m champion and world record holder David Rudisha was dethroned by his young rival Nijel Amos as the 20-year-old took the Commonwealth title in style. Scotland's poster girl Eilidh Child wins silver in 55.02 seconds in the 400m hurdles final. Okagbare wins the 200m double, Jodie Williams taking a brilliant silver, now the second fastest English women ever over 200m,second only to Cathy Cook from the 1980s. Better still it was 3rd and 4th for Bianca Williams and Anyika Onura for Eng, all with PBs and high in the all-time best British times. There is Olympic chances here.

              Tom Daley managed silver in the diving pool in the synchronized pairs but only 4 teams in the final so hardly his best. Maybe an event to drop next time. England took a mind boggling 19 medals in the gymnastics hall with 4ft,7 inch Claudia Fragapone winning four gold’s, a Commonwealth Games English record and the first time for 84 years a woman has taken four medals. She could go big in Rio.

              Isobel Pooley wins silver for England in the women’s high jump and brilliant silver for Lindsay Sharpe of Scotland in the 500m, a massive performance, and the crowd sucking her over the line to split the Kenyan girls. Steve Lewis completed the full set of Commonwealth medals in the pole vault with gold, adding to his silver in 2006 and bronze in 2010. Luke Cutts took bronze for England.

              Another Sierra Leone athlete disappeared from the village after his team mate was quarantined in Glasgow over Ebola fears. Its no real surprise half-the time had applied for asylum as their home country is ravaged by the deadly disease.

              Monsho, the 400m champion, failed a drug test, the 400m World Champion testing positive for a masking agent. Jamaica won the 400m Women’s relay and a third gold for Okagbare of Nigeria (silver) and bronze for England. An exceptional bronze was won by England’s Jo Pavey, the 40-year-old veteran running the gutsiest 5000m I can recall and pinching one of the Kenyan trio’s medals. Bring s back memories of my bronze medal in the inter-counties in 1988! The English men’s 400m relay team took the gold in a thrilling race. The English girls took bronze in the 100m as the Jamaican women took gold.

              Boxing and Paddy Barnes became the first home nation’s fighter to reclaim his Commonwealth title. Tom Daley finally won gold in a poorly attended 10 M Final. Tom’s boyfriend has moved to London to be with him and the results are starting to improve. Chris and Gaby Adcock became the first married couple to win the Badminton mixed doubles, Chris previously dating the girl in their opponents, also from Milton Keynes, who took silver, of course.

              There were plenty of silvers and bronze in the squash arena for England too. With medals in mens and women’s hockey and things like table tennis and netball with the girls, England would top the final medals table for the first Games since 1984, Australia in their wake. It was Scotland’s bet Commonwealth Games ever.

              ===Final Medals Table===


              (1st)England – 58 (Gold), 59 (Silver), 57 (Bronze) 174 Medals
              (2nd)Australia – 49 (Gold), 42(Silver), 46 (bronze) 137 Medals
              (3rd)Canada – 32(Gold), 16(Silver), 34(Bronze) 82 Medals
              ---------------------------------------------------
              (4th)Scotland – 19 (Gold) 15 (Silver) 19 (Bronze) 53 Medals
              (13th) Wales – 5 (Gold) 11 (Silver) 20 (Bronze) 36 Medals
              (15th) N.Ireland – 2 (Gold) 3 (Silver) 7 (Bronze) 12 Medals
              (29th) Isle of Man – 1 Silver

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