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since 18/02/2005


Poetry 11/09/2005

An Illegal Immigrants' Poem

Poetry Hi everybody, I finally have some more free time and have decided to give the rest of you Ciaoers a visit. Now, as some of you know, I live in Malta, a country between two great continents, Europe and Africa. As some of you are are aware, every year, we are visited by over a thousand illegal immigrants, strectching not only my country's resources, but even, unfortunately, some of my people's generosity and patience. As a result of all this, there is a small hate campaign (as one can notice from talking to the man in the street or more recently, by reading one's email address!) because of these immigrants. So I thought, why don't I do something to help my fellow human beings, and I wrote a small poem, describing the story of one such asylum seeker. An Illegal Immigrants' Poem --------------- --------------- -------- I mean you no harm, my intentions are pure, You see, its my wife, she's sick, I have no cure, A long journey, across the desert I had to endure, Living on scraps, no better than people's own manure, I gave all my money to a rich man, an entrepreneur, He tells me, " You will cross the sea, I assure " Now I'm in Malta, poor, honest and demure, Some charity from you people, I hope to procure. But, I've been jailed, a lot of suffering I endure, And my family's future, is at best, obscure. I know to you men, I'm something that you inure Please have pity, and postpone your grand summer tour. Or deprive yourself, of some of your ...

Evelyn DVD 26/07/2005

A father's love that changed a nation

Evelyn DVD 'Eveyln' is the story of one man's fight to regain custody of his three children. The story is set in Ireland, some time in the 1950's. It is Christmas time and Desmond Doyle, father of Evelyn, Dermot and Maurice Doyle, has just been abandoned by his wife who ran off with another man. Desmond, who is unemployed and drinks a lot, loves his children to bits yet he is finding it increasingly difficult to make ends meet. To make matters worse, Desmond is soon visited by a man from the SPCC telling him that he must defend his case to keep custody of his children. When in court, the judge tells Desmond that the children cannot be raised properly without a mother and more importantly, with a father who doesn't have a stable income. As a result, the judge sends Desmond's two sons to live with some brothers and Evelyn to go live with the sisters in some convent. Obviously, because of the film's title, the plot focuses more on Evelyn and how she is treated, rather than on the boys. Anyway, after having his children, whom he loved so much, taken away from him, Desmond makes things worse by virtually becoming a drunk and giving up on life. However, luckily for him another woman enters his life. Here we have the beginning of a sub-plot. As always, all great stories have some kind of love story and 'Evelyn' does not disappoint here. Bernardette (the new woman) motivates Desmond to become a better man, to give up the drink and to find a job in order for him to get his children back. ...

Creative 9300000000146 23/07/2005

Sleek, stylish and flashy

Creative 9300000000146 Nowadays, especially to us Ciaoers, it is very important that we are comfortable and keep a good posture while we are typing away or reading from the monitor. Beleive it or not, the computer in front of us can be the cause of countless health problems: from back pain to RSI (repetitive strain injury) and from diminishing eyesight to increasing waistlines. Having a good keyboard and mouse is essential to minimising some of the above effects. The Amazing Creative Desktop Wireless 8000 is one such example of the above. At first sight, I was impressed by its sleek and stylish design. The keys are black with white letters while the actual keyboard is a classy silver. Also, the matching wrist rest is black. The fact that the keyboard is loaded with buttons and features gives it a cool feeling to it. It also would match perfectly with a black monitor and tower (as are mine :) Among the features of the keyboard and mouse is the fact that they are wireless. This means that you no longer have to stay really close to the monitor because the wires are not long enough. Thanks to this feature, you can stay up to 1.8 metres away and it should work without any problems. Also, the fact that it is wireless means that there would be less clutter on the desk. However despite this, the receiver does have a wire, but more on that later. The only thing I disliked about the keyboard is the fact that it does not have the usual small lights indicating if the caps lock, num lock and scroll ...

Tai Chi - Chi Kung 22/07/2005

Tai Chi - China's gift to the world

Tai Chi - Chi Kung Tai Chi, which means 'supreme ultimate fist', is an ancient Chinese Martial Art practised all over the world. What makes Tai Chi so attractive to such a variety of people (both young and old, male and female) is the fact that it does not focus on fast and hard movements like other Martials Arts, such as Karate and Kung Fu. Instead Tai Chi must be practised in a relaxed state, and all the movements are practised and in a slow and flowing state. Don't fool yourselves though, you won't manage to do most of the movements correctly first time round as it is much tougher than it looks. To practise this Martial Art, one must learn a Form. This is like a routine or a dance, that is normally performed slowly. You might be asking is practising a slow dance going to make me an effective Martial Artist? I know what you mean, it seems strange at first but after closer inspection, each movement in the Form has a martial application. So, to put it in simpler terms, if a part of one movement is to extend your arm outwards, that could signify a punch in real life. Preferably, your instructor should teach you the martial application after learning each movement. Unfortunately, many practitioners of Tai Chi are not aware that it is a Martial Art and just practise it as a dance. When this is done, they lose many of the benefits (to be explained later on) of the Martial Art. There are 5 different styles of Tai Chi, they are the Chen Style, Yang Style, Sun Style, Lee ... 20/07/2005

A place where there's something for everyone is an online-gaming website, the type that offers free games and shows to its visitors. At first, one might think that such a site can only only offer mediacore games, especcially when compared with the top, 5-star games that are lately being released. Obviously I'm not going to deny that, but then again, I don't think Miniclip was created to compete with these games but rather to offer its users the chance to pass some of their free time playing something that is not complicated, but fun all the same. Without a doubt, Miniclip has been a huge success as proved by their monthly '21 Million unique users'. Upon entering the website, one immediately notices the host of different colours that make up the site. Due to some animations, the site has a live feeling to it, motivating you to remain and perhaps even try one of the amusing games. At one side there is a list with the Top 10 Games while on the other side there is the list of the Latest 10 Games to be realesed. The middle of the site is divided into the different categories of games (Sport, Multiplayer, Action & Adventure, Shoot-em Up, Puzzle, Learning) with each part listing the top games in each category. Miniclip offers quite a large number of games for its users to play for free. Obviously I cannot describe each and every one, mainly because it would take me over a year to review every game and secondly because I haven't even played all the games yet....and that's saying something since I've known ...

High Fidelity - Nick Hornby 12/07/2005

Fleming's Love Life Revealed

High Fidelity - Nick Hornby I've got to admit that I have a strange attraction to Hornby's books, not because they are particularly well-written and certainly not because they are about some super-original theme, but rather because for most of the time, whilst reading his books, we can relate closely with his characters that he obviously moulds so carefully. To me and many more, this is one of the joys of reading, seeing how different people react in situations that we ourselves have been in. To my great pleasure, I found that 'High Fidelity' is just like Hornby's other books. The book, which is written in the first-person, begins with Rob Flemming (the main character and your average chip off the old block) explaining to us his all-time, top five most memorable split-ups. These include both high-school sweethearts and the more serious adult kind relationships. It's easy to notice that there's a certain constant in all (but one) of these and that is.....yes you've guessed it.....SEX. Anyway, when the story actually begins we find that Laura, Rob's latest ex, leaving Rob and his apartment. There aren't any hard feelings between them, its just that Laura feels that Rob is not the right one ( sounds familiar guys? ). The story slowly unfolds and we find out more about Rob's life, about his friends Dick and Barry and his thoughts about a lot of things from his relationship to Laura to death to how mediacore (or sh*t :) ) his life really is. The plot progresses but not much happens. Both Rob and Laura ...

Catwoman (DVD) 30/06/2005

Terrrrrible and Horrrrrible

Catwoman (DVD) For some reason or other, these super-human movies such as Spiderman, Daredevil, Batman and The Incredibles always seem to be rather similiar in that all of them 'save the world' with their super-human powers! Yet all of them are succesful. So surely Catwoman was going to be a success too with this tried and tested formula right? Wrong! It turns out Catwoman was one of the blunders of 2004. So what went wrong I hear you ask? Well for one, the timing of the release was horrible. You can't really expect a 'super-hero' film to be successful in the same year as Spiderman 2 and a year after Daredevil can you? Another thing that went wrong with Catwoman was the script. I think, it tried to be different which in this case turned out to be bad. The plot is about Patience Phillips, an ad designer for Beaut Line, a successful international cosmetics company. Well, what happens is that Patience finds out that one of Beaut Line's soon-to-be-released products has a very bad effect on people's faces when the latter finally stop using the product. When Beaut LIne find out that she has this knowledge they have her killed. So far so good. Unfortunately this is when the crap starts. A group of 'special' cats gather round Patience's washed up dead body (she drowned to death) and magically, not only bring her back to life but give her super powers...hence Catwoman was born. From now on, the storyline develops into a plot for Catwoman to get her revenge and finally stop the release of Beaut ...

Valetta (Malta) 27/06/2005

The Cultural Centre of the Mediterranean

Valetta (Malta) Valletta is the capital city of Malta, a small island in the centre of the Mediterranean. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage City and with good reason too, because it is probably one of the places with the highest concentration of buildings of historical value. Why am I reviewing Valletta? Well, as a Maltese I feel that I can show what Valletta has to offer better than anyone else, although I understand that I can do it only from a local's perspective. Fair enough. What also encouraged me to write this review was the fact that there aren't many reviews on the city (just 5 counting this one) and all of them are out-dated. From beforehand, I wish to say that I have not included everything that Valletta offers in order not to spoil it for the visiting tourist and in order to keep the review as concise as possible A Short History Lesson One cannot write a review on Valletta without mentioning the Great Siege. It would be like reviewing New York and not mentioning the Statue of Liberty! So, what's all this fuss about a simple siege a hear you ask? Well, before Valletta was built, Malta was under the command of the Knights of St. John, enemies of the infamous Ottoman, Suliman. At the time, because of Malta's strategic position, whoever had control over the island, would find it very easy to control the rest of the Mediterranean. Because of this, Suliman, together with his army of 30,000 men decided to come over and gave us a visit. The Knights, which amounted to just 500 ...

King Arthur (DVD) 20/06/2005

It's all about Bravery, Honour and Freedom

King Arthur (DVD) After recently seeing 'Kingdom of Heaven', I have suddenly gotten into the mood of re-watching these medeival kind of films, if you know what I mean. I find these types of films truly fascinating, because they sort of help rekindle the lost love I once had for European History. 'King Arthur' is a story involving the infamous Knights of the Round Table which, from the little knowledge that I recollect, protected Britain and its Roman establishments. However, these knights were not your average knights, THEY were Sarmation knights. Knights renown for their bravery and impressive weaponary skills, but which had to serve the Roman empire for no less than 15 years. As is said in the movie, it would have been better had they not been born at all. From the little that I have read about the movie, 'King Arthur' seems to be another version of the more popular, legend of the Knights of the Round Table. However, in my mind, it fits better as a prerequal to that legend, in which King Arthur is betrayed by Mordred whilst in France seeking revenge on Lancelot, a knight and also Arthur's former best friend, who has run off with Arthur's wife, Queen Guinevere. On his return to Britain, Arthur gathers an army to fight Mordred in what turns out to be Arthur's last battle. After the battle, Mordred ends up slain while Arthur, gravely injured, drifts off donwstream on a barge towards Avalon. It is said that Arthur never died and will return the meantime his 'supposed' grave has ...

Top 10 Quotations 15/06/2005

Do not be slow to seek wisdom, it is here

Top 10 Quotations Looking up quotes is definately one of my all-time favourite past-times. Ocassionally, I even spend more than half an hour just looking for the perfect quote to put on as my MSN Messenger nick. Unfortunately, for some reason or other, certain people think that quotes are just another creative method to waste one's time. However, I really beleive that quotes are useful in everyday life and that they should not be taken lightly. I mean lets face it, quoting some famous person to tell somebody off IS really impressive. I also like keeping quotes all around me (in my school files, MSN nicks etc...) because many times they act as motivation and many times even bring a smile to my face :). Below you will find a list of ten of my favourite quotes. Some of these I have found in books, others in films and the rest I probably stumbled upon here online. They are carefully chosen to make you, the reader, reflect on certain parts of life in general. 1 - "It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities" Upon reading this quote from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, it struck me how true this was. I am an avid beleiver that we are what we make of ourselves, and many times we wrongly beleive that just because we are good at a certain activity than we must dedicate our lives to that. I beleive that we should work in those areas that we actually care about and not dedicate our lives to something just because we are good at it. How are we ...

Personal Computer World (PCW) 13/06/2005

The perfect computer student magazine

Personal Computer World (PCW) Until a few months ago, I used to regularly purchase 'Personal Computer World' (PCW), mainly because I found it very helpful for keeping me informed whilst studying for my Computer 'A' Level. PCW is unlike any other computer magazine that I've ever purchased (and I've purchased quite a few, I'll tell you that!). It has everything that a real computer magazine should have plus it is not overly complicated by hard, techy, nerdy words that nobody really knows the meaning of. One of the stronger points of the magazine is definately its professional presentation. Each single page is presented in a smart and colourful way. Most pages are either divided into two or four coloumns and all text is left aligned (in contrast to the boring 'justified' alignment). The diction that is used throughout (most) of the mag is quite easy and a lot of attention seems to be given so that the articles are interesting and flowing. I said 'most' of the mag because a section at the back of magazine called 'Hands On' can become quite technical (although it is meant to be). A typical PCW mag is about 225 to 250 pages long which is quite good and always covers a rich variety of topics. This is one of the main reasons why I recommend this magazine (especially to students such as myself) as it is not limited to only hardware or games or web design but gives a general information on just about everything (except maybe games that is). The magazine is typically divided into 8 different parts. These are ...

Checkers 11/06/2005

The Art that is Checkers

Checkers Checkers, or as it is known in the UK, Draughts is a strategy game that is very similiar to chess and that has amazingly been around for a very, very long time. Checkers is somewhat like an art really. In order to be really good at it, one must know the 'tricks of the trade', which can only be acquired by playing the game a lot, and by reading checkers literature too. It is once these tricks are found out, that checkers really becomes a beautiful and amusing game. A small history lesson It seems that Checkers could have been played as far back 1600 BC by the Pharoahs in Egypt. There are also references to the game in the Dialogues of Plato and in Homers 'The Odyssey'. However, modern draughts seems to have started in Spain with the publications of Anton Torquemada, as 'recently' as 1547. The first world champion in the game was Andrew Anderson who had earned his title by beating James Wyllie in 1847...the latter would later become one of the greatest ever Checkers players. The Rules of the Game Draughts is played on a checkered board, 8 boxes by 8 boxes. The draughtsmen (which is what the pieces are called) are situated on the darker squares of the first three rows of either side of the board. That leaves two rows between the draughtsmen of each player. The draughtsmen can move one square each turn and can only move diagonally. In order to capture the other player's draughtsmen, there must be one square free behind the opponent's draughtsmen. If a ...

Stargate S.G. 1 - Series 4 - Complete (DVD) 10/06/2005

And the battle against the Goa'uld continues...

Stargate S.G. 1 - Series 4 - Complete (DVD) As none of you probably know, I am a big, big Stargate fan. The stargate series continues from where the original film left off. In the original Stargate movie, a team of soldiers set off to an alien planet called 'Abydos', through the Stargate (see pic below), to do some reconnosance. To cut the long story short, after some time on Abydos, they encountered some trouble in the form of Goa'ulds. A Goa'uld is a human who has a parasite inside of him and poses as a god to an amount of people. The army of a Goa'uld is made up of what are called Jaffa, which essentially are modified humans to incubate the Goa'uld symbiote until they mature. The problem with these Goa'ulds is that they are arrogant, selfish, pose as Gods to everybody and are technologically advanced. Anyway, somehow, the team of soldiers which went through the Stargate, managed to kick some Goa'uld butt on Abydos, thanks to a nuke which they happened to bring along, and they returned to Earth to live happily every after. Sorry for ruining the ending of the movie but its necessary to understand what happens in this series. I am reviewing series 4 and so quite a bit has happened since the original movie. In short these are the important points. - The series revolves around the adventures of SG-1 (see pic). In (almost) all episodes, SG-1 travels through the stargate and meets some other civilisation, causes some trouble and fixes it in some way. Most of the civilisations they meet are human (although they do ...

Spanglish 03/06/2005

Spanglish - the perfect family film

Spanglish The Plot = Spanglish is a film about Flor, a Hispanic woman who emigrates to Los Angeles in order to find a better life for herself and her daughter, Cristina. They choose Los Angeles because almost half of it is indeed populated by Hispanics, one of whom is Flor's cousin, Cecilia, with whom they stay. As Cristina grows older, Flor finds a job as a housekeeper for a wealthy family (the Clasky's) and for the first time, she must confront the real and, for her, strange American way of life. At first, Flor takes to her job impressively despite the obvious language barrier (she cannot speak English and the Clasky's don't speak Spanish!) and sudden culture shock (like being shouted at for no apparent reason). However her patience, determination and the fact that everybody, including the dog, likes her, make her slowly become increasingly important to the Clasky Household to the point when one day they ask her to move in with them. Flor and Cristina eventually move in for the summer and Flor now faces and a new challenge of keeping the American way of life, which she disapproves of, from infecting her beloved daughter... The Cast Adam Sandler .... John Clasky Téa Leoni .... Deborah Clasky Paz Vega .... Flor Moreno Cloris Leachman .... Evelyn Norwich Shelbie Bruce .... Cristina Sarah Steele .... Bernice Ian Hyland .... Georgie Victoria Luna .... Cristina, six-years-old Cecilia Suárez .... Monica (as Cecilia Suarez) Ricardo Molina .... Flor's Husband ...

Kingdom of Heaven 02/06/2005

Kingdom of Conscious

Kingdom of Heaven Lately, I have read some negative reviews regarding this film and I thought it would do the film justice to have at least one review talking about the finer parts of the film. The film was released in May 6, 2005 and boxed $45,024,231 in the first four weeks so it really cannot be that bad. The Cast = Orlando Bloom .... Balian Martin Hancock .... Gravedigger Michael Sheen .... Priest Nathalie Cox .... Balian's Wife Eriq Ebouaney .... Firuz Jouko Ahola .... Odo David Thewlis .... Hospitaler Liam Neeson .... Godfrey Philip Glenister .... Squire Bronson Webb .... Apprentice Kevin McKidd .... English Sergeant Nikolaj Coster-Waldau .... Village Sheriff Steven Robertson .... Angelic Priest Marton Csokas ....Guy de Lusignan Alexander Siddig .... Nasir The Plot = The film begins with two guys burying a woman, a suicide, under a cross by the street. A group of crusaders on their way to the village pass them by, and on their arrival meet Balian. Balian is the village blacksmith and has just lost his wife (the suicide) and child. However that is not all. It turns out that one of the Crusaders is Godfrey of Ibelin, the father Balian has never met. He wants Balian to come with him to Jerusalemm where Balian can benefit from Godfrey's respect there and live a better life. At first Balian rejects the offer but later on, when the local priest tells him that he will join his wife in eternal damnation (hell) if he does not go, he murders the priest ...
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