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since 27/02/2008


Ice Road Truckers - Series 1 - Complete (Box Set) (DVD) 07/12/2008

Driving trucks on ice - madness!

Ice Road Truckers - Series 1 - Complete (Box Set) (DVD) For those of you who have never seen 'Ice Road Truckers' before it is basically a documentary series set in Canada's Northwest Territories and the infamous ice roads. It is very similar in style to the 'Deadliest Catch' and the British 'Trawlermen', so if you're a fan of these you're sure to love this. To date there have been 2 complete seasons and 29 episodes made, it's a very popular show. The format is simple, the drivers are regular truck drivers for ten months of the year, but when the sharp winter sets in they turn their hand to driving trucks on the ice roads and because of the huge risks involved the money they can make is astronomical. Each series follows the fortunes of about six drivers as they 'race for the cash'. Every time they report back to the depot they are told the loads available to them, some are more difficult and challenging than others in terms of size and weight and therefore drivers are paid differing amounts depending upon each load shifted. There is a real camaraderie between the drivers who often set off in convoy with one another and keep in touch via radio link which can be funny as they constantly take the Mickey out of one another and language used is quite colourful. It sounds great, but there is a real danger of death on the roads. Trucks have been known to fall through the ice before and therefore police implement a strict speed limit on the ice road. If trucks breakdown they can be stranded and because they're miles from anywhere ...

BBC1 - Hole in the Wall 07/12/2008

Hole in the wall

BBC1 - Hole in the Wall 'Hole in the Wall' is the latest primetime television show with the aim of demeaning 'so called' celebrities and it succeeds in a major way. The show is an adaptation of a Japanese show, hence the reason why it's so bizarre, anybody who's ever seen Takeshi's Castle will understand what I mean by this. The concept is simple, celebrities stand in front of a swimming pool and have a large polystyrene wall travelling towards them at speed. The only way they can get through the wall without being knocked into the water is to match their body shape to the shape illustrated or cut-out of the wall, some of them are incredible and they get harder as the rounds go by, towards the end involving all three team members simultaneously. It takes roughly five seconds for the wall to arrive at the participants and if they get the shape wrong they'll be knocked in! Some of the larger individuals have actually broken the polystyrene and managed to remain dry though. Once the challenge has been completed Dale Winton the host scores the participants out of ten for their efforts. Two teams take part each week, captained by England fast bowler Darren Gough and professional dancer and star of Strictly Come Dancing Anton Du Beke. Each week they are joined by two celebrities and then compete against the other side. Some of the celebrities to have appeared on the show include, Andi Peters, Vanessa Feltz, Phil Tuffnell, Joe Swash, Jennie Bond, Martin Offiah, Dominic Littlewood and Scott Mills. I ...

The Thames Barrier, London 25/10/2008

The Thames Barrier

The Thames Barrier, London I first saw the Thames Barrier when I was taken on a pleasure boat trip up the River Thames as a young lad by my parents, I remember being intrigued by it and began quizzing my father all about which I'm sure he was delighted with! The Thames Barrier is a flood control measure spanning the width of the river. Apparently it has been used over one hundred times and as recently as March of last year. When looking at the barrier it is quite impressive even if it is rather ugly! At the point which it has been built the river is over five hundred yards wide. The barrier covers this complete section and breaks the river into four different sections, each approximately two hundred feet in length. When looking at the barrier above sea-level it doesn't appear to be a barrier at all, just four Sydney opera house shaped structures spanning the river. Most of the barrier is actually underwater. These can be raised using hydraulic winches which raise the barrier by rotating it through ninety degrees. Each of the four segments then lock into place to complete a wall like structure which blocks the whole width of the river. The barrier officially opened in May 1984 and total construction costs reached £534,000,000. It doesn't really get as much recognition as it deserves because it is great at it's job, protecting London from the threat of flooding due to storm surges which travel down the North Sea and into the River Thames. It is also the second largest flood barrier in the world, ... 25/10/2008

Free online gaming Whilst at sixth form secondary school we used to play computer games on the internet quite a bit during our free periods, that was until the headmaster got wise to this an asked the I.T. technicians to make them blocked to students, a really unpopular move, but was definitely for our educational good. One of the most favoured sites was as this had the largest selection of games from different areas, action, shootem-ups, driving, sports etc. The standard of the games did differ quite a bit from my experience and it would take a while to find a really good one, but what used to happen was everybody would find out about a particular game on the website and so loads of people would be playing the same one, comparing high scores and all the rest of it, great fun! I recently visited the website again after a fair few years away and couldn't believe how many more games there are available to play and the choice gamers have, it's crazy. You could literally spend all day on the website if you really wanted too, although this could send you slightly mad! Another thing I noticed was that a lot of the games tended to involve shooting and general violence which can't be a good thing, especially because as far as I'm aware you don't have to be a particular age to enter the website. Saying this though, there are a large number of perfectly good games on there. For example the top ten most popular games on the website at the moment are: 1) Commando 2 2) Club ...

Evian Mineral Water 25/10/2008

If at home the tap, if not it's go to be Evian!

Evian Mineral Water I play a lot of sports and I'm generally a very active person so I tend to drink a lot of water, one because I actually like water and the feeling you get once you've correctly hydrated yourself and two, it is very good for you to drink water. Recent research has shown that up to eighty percent of the UK's population could be dehydrated at any one time, staggering I thought, but it's true. This is caused by two things, as a nation we love to drink tea, coffee and many other drinks high in caffeine content, referred to in the medical profession as 'diuretics' as they actually cause the body to lose water. The other aspect is the fact that we don't drink enough water anyways because when we are dehydrated we don't know what to drink and how much to make us hydrated sufficiently, generally speaking. The fact is that our bodies need water to survive and lots of it! Almost two thirds of humans bodyweight is made up from water. It is so important for us to drink water, yet it appears that many of us simply aren't drinking enough of it. It is recommended that we drink eight glasses of water per day, this may sound like a lot but if you imagine that we are actually awake for approximately fifteen plus hours per day it is not really. The benefits from drinking the correct amount of water per day include the following: - Helps digestion - Improves mental & physical ability - Helps to remove waste products - Gives you energy - Makes your skin appear healthy - Reduces the ...

Hula Hoops Salt and Vinegar 23/09/2008

Hula Hoops.....hmm!

Hula Hoops Salt and Vinegar Of all the crisps available to buy, hula hoops are one of my favourite brands. I know its hard and probably a bit sad to get excited about a crisp, but I think hula hoops are different to all other types of crisp. Packaging: Not too snazzy - just a simple design. The main colour is blue which tells you the flavour is salt & vinegar and there is a large hula hoop on the front which dominates the packet, onto which 'hula hoop' is written. Taste: Surely the most important thing about a crisp, after all the whole point is too eat them. I must admit the salt and vinegar flavour is very strong and for those of you who do not like strong flavours you probably won't like it. Texture: This is where hula hoops are different to most crisps. The fact that hula hoops are ring shaped makes them very crunchy which I like and it means that a packet will probably take you longer to eat. Flavours: Salt & Vinegar (Blue) Barbecue Beef (Brown) Ready Salted (Red) Cheese 'n' Onion (Green) Prawn 'n'Cocktail (Pink) Lettuced Onion (Purple) Sauce 'n' Rib (Brown) Nutritional Information: for a 25g foil bag Calories 141kcal Protein 0.9g Carbohydrates 15.4g Fat 8.3g Fibre 0.5g Sodium 0.3g - it should be noted that values vary between flavours. Overall: I love hula hoops, especially the salt and vinegar flavour, however they are similar to Doritos in the fact that you could just keep eating them - which I suppose isn't too good for you. Thanks for reading. (This ...

Deal Or No Deal 11/09/2008


Deal Or No Deal Deal or No Deal is one of the most popular game shows on television. A channel four production and presented by Noel Edmonds the show involves twenty two contestants, only one of which can play during an episode. At the start of the show a contestant is selected at random to become that day's player. The player then takes their box to the table in the middle of the studio and assumes their seat in the playing arena. After a brief introductory chat with Noel they begin to play the game. The aim of the game is to go away with the highest sum of money possible, which is £250,000. This is achieved by opening firstly five of the boxes assigned numbers 1 -20 around the studio to reveal monetary values inside which obviously can't be inside the contestants box (east wing and west wing). When they have done this the banker makes them a monetary offer, they can either accept the offer or play on as most players do. From here they go onto open three more boxes before the banker's next offer. Again they can either accept or play on. The game continues in this fashion - they either accept an offer from the banker or hold out to get to the last two boxes where they have the option to open their box (in front of them) or swap it with the remaining box. The programme is great viewing apart from when the contestant deals with the banker early on in the show. Here the scenario changes as the remainder of the show is taken up by opening the boxes as the play would have done if they were ...

ITV - Who Wants to be a Millionaire 11/09/2008

Fancy a million? I do!

ITV - Who Wants to be a Millionaire 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire' is a quiz / game show in which contestants can win up to £1,000,000 for correctly answering twelve multiple choice questions, sounds simple but only 6 people have won the full amount in the UK and the programme started in 1995. Contestants have to first win the 'fastest finger first game' which selects the playing contestant and then they are quickly up and into the chair where they meet Chris Tarrant. He has a quick chat with them and asks them the usual questions like 'what they would do if they won the million?' and then we get started. The questions gradually get harder and are selected randomly by the computer. For each question there are four possible answers only one of which is correct and they have 30 seconds to select an answer. If they wish they can use one of three lifelines whenever they like, these are: 1) 50 /50 - The computer eliminates two wrong answers leaving the correct answer and one incorrect answer 2) Ask the audience - the audience take a poll on the correct answer and the results are shown to the contestants in percentage format 3) Phone a friend - they phone a friend and have thirty seconds to ask the question and get an answer There are two monetary amounts which are deemed safe if a contestant reaches them, they are £1000 and £50,000. This means that the contestant can gamble and answer the next question anyway, if they get it wrong they will still leave with the prize money. All other monetary values don't ...

Trawlermen - Series 1 (DVD) 11/09/2008

Jimmy is fishing for prawns!

Trawlermen - Series 1 (DVD) If you like the deadliest catch documentaries based on king crab fishing in the Berring Sea then you'll love Trawler Men. There are many similarities between the two shows, the only real difference being that Trawler Men is focused in the North Sea fishing grounds for Prawns and the fleet fish out of the Scottish port of Peterhead as opposed to Dutch Harbour. The programme centres on a few boats all fishing for the valuable large prawns. The main Captain is 'Jimmy' an experienced fisherman who has worked the boats for over thirty years and has a few tricks up his sleeve to try and land large hauls. The is huge pressure to get a decent catch because if the boat doesn't land the good prawns then the crew make little or no money, the fuel bills for a weeks fishing are enormous and the cost of nets is expensive too, this means that before the crew even launch their nets they are trying to make up for these outgoings. When problems occur aboard the boat such as lost or damaged nets due to them being stuck on the seabed tempers can become frayed because ultimately if they're not catching their pay will suffer and when the fishermen return home to see their families they want to bring a decent wage too. Even when the crew have landed a large haul the pressure is still on - the longer they are at see the lower the price they will get for the prawns at market as they won't be as fresh; so when they are full to capacity it's a sprint back to Peterhead and every man onboard ...

Stadium of Light 05/09/2008

One of the best stadiums in the country

Stadium of Light Introduction: The 'Stadium of Light' is the home of Sunderland Football Club who play in the English Premier League. The stadium opened in 1997 and replaced their old home 'Roker Park' where they had played for 99 years. The ground is magnificent, and with a capacity of 49,000 (all seated) is the fourth largest in English football. The stadium got the seal of approval from the football association when two full England international matches were held there a few years ago. The Construction of the Stadium: The stadium was built by Ballast Wiltshire plc - the same company responsible for the Amsterdam Arena, the football stadium in which Ajax play their home games. Originally the design was to build a 42,000 capacity arena, which they did, not looking too dissimilar to Middlesbrough's Riverside ground (don't think the Sunderland fans would like me saying that!). However, with the success of the team the stadium grew and was increased in size to the 49,000 that it is today - making the overall cost of construction £27,000,000; not bad considering how nice it is. If the club chooses to they can increase the capacity again up to 64,000 - it was built in such a way as to allow for this, in the same way that Readings Madeski Stadium is. As of yet however Niall Quinn the Sunderland chairman has no plans for expansion, the club wants to establish itself back in the premier league before they undertake more redevelopment. So what's the stadium actually like? The internal ...

Sky Sports 1 - Soccer AM 29/08/2008

Saturdays are all about football

Sky Sports 1 - Soccer AM Soccer am is a great tv show all about the glorious game that is football shown on sky sports one and for some reason sky one between 9am and 12pm on saturday mornings. The programme started back in 1995, but only one of the original presenters still remains, the lovely Helen Chamberlain (Torquay Utd supporter). She has been a feature of the show since its creation, but she has had many male presenters during that time. The best and longest serving was Tim Lovejoy (Chelsea supporter) who now appears on Saturday Kitchen. He was very funny, if at times rather irritating and since he has left i feel the programme has gone downhill slightly. The current co presenter is Max Rushden, who is new to the show this season - he supports Cambridge Utd. Other notable members of the team include Tubes (poses questions to the unsuspecting guests and is generally quite funny), Rocket (presents the 'skills school' feature of the show and generally gets the mickey taken out of him) and Baby Elvis who recently made an appearance at Wembley Stadium before an England international to a ring of boo's, poor bloke! The show goes through the key action from the previous weekends fixtures, whatever division they are in and also highlights strange happenings in the world of football. They always have a few guests on the show whom they interview and find out their views on footballing matters, notable guests include Andrew Flintoff, Andy Murray and Noel Gallagher My favourite bits: - Fans of the ...

Any Given Sunday (Director's Cut) (DVD) 27/08/2008

Willie Beamen - what a player!!!

Any Given Sunday (Director's Cut) (DVD) I saw this film when it first came out at the cinema and absolutely loved it, so when it came out on DVD naturally I bought it. A key point to note that I didn't really take in the first time I saw the film is the great plethora of actors and celebrities that are included in this film. The main cast includes Al Pacino (Tony D'Amato - head coach of the Miami Sharks), Cameron Diaz (Christina Pagniacci - new owner of the team), Jamie Fox ('Steamin' Willie Beamen - 3rd string quarterback and start of the movie), LL Cool J (Julian 'J-Man' Washington - player on the team) and Charlton Heston (the commissioner); I'm sure you'll agree it's quite impressive. The Plot The film follows the fortunes of the Miami Sharks, a team which has fallen from grace and is struggling to find form. Injuries to the 1st ( Jack 'Cap' Rooney) and 2nd choice quarterbacks give Willie Beamen his chance to prove what he can do. As the 3rd choice quarterback he is overawed somewhat on his debut and vomits upon reaching the centre of the field - at first the crowd seem to let him off as its his first game, but we soon learn that this is a habitual thing and seems to happen every game, quite gross really! Match by match we see Willie go from strength to strength both on and off the field, making him quite a celebrity - he even manages to get his own song and music video, much to the annoyance of the other players. Under D'Amato and Beamens leadership the team manages to get to the Conference Final, but end ...

Ferris Bueller's Day Off (DVD) 22/08/2008

I wish my days off were as good as this!

Ferris Bueller's Day Off (DVD) The first thing I would like to say regarding this film is that when you watch it you cannot believe that it was released 22 years ago back in 1986! It didn't appear to me to be anywhere near that old. The film centres around the main character Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick) who is a regular truant from school, much to the annoyance of the dean of students Mr Edward Rooney (Jeffrey Jones) who is eager to pin something on Ferris for the number of years in which Ferris has made his life hell. Ferris has already skipped school 8 times in one year and is planning to make his ninth the best yet. It reminded me of the many times that I tried to convince my parents that I was too ill to go to school when a lad, but I obviously wasn't the master that Ferris was at this and never achieved the feat. Plot Summary: He manages to convince his parents that he is far too ill to go to school, using pre-recorded coughing and sneezing sounds to fool them and producing an enormously high reading when he takes his temperature, again a fraud. Once he has done this he hoes about planning how to spend his day off. He contacts his best friend Cameron (Alan Ruck), who ironically is genuinely ill and can barely pull himself out of bed and somehow convinces him into taking his dads Ferrari out for the day - they think they will be able to wipe any miles they clock up during the day by returning home in the car in reverse gear, very odd! Then comes one of the funniest parts of the film, ...

For Goodness Shakes 21/08/2008

Milkshake thats good for you!

For Goodness Shakes For Goodness Shakes is a relatively new product, although it was officially launched in 2003. It is basically a milkshake, but emphasises the fact that it is really a sports drink - used after exercise to aid recovery. There are quite a few products of this nature available to buy, but most are only sold in health food shops, sports shops or on the internet; however this one has been made more widely available. Another feature distinguishing these drinks from other rivals is the taste. Anybody who has ever taken any kind of supplement when training will know that they tend to taste horrifically bad, yet people still drink them because they want the effects the drink has on their body and are therefore not drinking the stuff because it tastes good. For Goodness Shakes s different from these types of drinks in that it tastes rather pleasant, almost like a normal milkshake would, yet still promises to aid the recovery from exercise. For Goodness Shakes have recently been named the best recovery milkshake by Runners World (one of the most popular running magazines in the UK). It is endorsed by the not long retired decathlete Dean Macey who won commonwealth gold in Melbourne 2006. It is recognised as a recovery drink that really works by many top athletes, currently using the product our Bradley Wiggins (track and road cyclist), Tim Benjamin (400m), Andy Turner (110m hurdles), Kristina Semple (elite triathlete), Stephen Bayliss (Triathlon & Ironman Triathlon). Aswell as being ...

Match of the Day 2 20/08/2008

Match of the day just on a Sunday

Match of the Day 2 Match of the day has for a long time now been the best football highlights show on television. With the ever expanding live coverage of games on sky sports many matches are now played on Sundays, which limits the number of matches that can be featured on the Saturday show. In response to this the BBC launched Match of the day 2 in August 2004, a similar programme to Match of the day shown at 10:30pm on Sunday nights (maybe a little late for younger viewers). The show is hosted by Adrain Chiles, a funny brummy who supports West Bromwich Albion. He is usually joined by two other pundits, which change week upon week. Notable pundits include Lee Dixon, Alan Hansen, Alan Shearer, Mark Bright and Les Ferdinand. Occasionally current players and managers appear on the show, but this only tends to occur if their match was played on the Saturday - I seem to remember David Moyes and Neil Warnock making appearances. Because there are typically less matches on a Sunday compared to a Saturday afternoon the highlights and analysis tends to be longer and more detailed which is good. John Motson leads the commentary as ever and this season saw the introduction of the first female commentator on the BBC Jacqui Oatey. She is very good but her high pitched voice did take a bit of getting used to and not every body thinks she is right for the show. Other notable commentators include JOhnathan Pearce, Steve Wilson, Guy Mowbray and Tony Gubba. Overall I think the show is great, but as ever ...
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