Outdoor London Summer 2012 : Five cool activities to do

Posted by admin on Jun 14, 2012 in lists, news, travel

I realize that when the word summer and 2012 get placed in a sentence the images of athletes and torchbearers automatically come to mind,  and though this will no doubt be a ‘once in a lifetime opprotunity’ (to quote) there’s also a lot of OTHER super cool stuff going on in London this year. Naturally, I’m drawn to the unusual and the surreal that London Town offers up, and this summer there’s a full array of cool activities to help you get your London love affair on.

I think it’s important to keep rediscovering the place you live in, as you’ll constantly be surprised by what you find by turning down a new street or checking out the backroom of a bar. Some of my coolest London experiences have been accidental- a night at Shunt turned into a marathon weekend, secret supper clubs popping up in London landmarks- and by making sure I never (or rarely) say not to an invitation out means I get to see many sides of London.

Up at the 02: A trip OVER the Millennium Dome

The 02 (formerly known as the Millennium Dome) is a iconic London monument, and now you get to enjoy a rather different view of this structure. Forget about the weightlifting trials that will be happening inside- how about going over the dome? Up at the 02 offers a cool way to see London Town, and an extra shot of adrenalin for people who aren’t too afraid of heights. An amazing looking walkway has been erected over the roof- 53 metres over ground level.

Your experience starts at ‘Base Camp’ where you get briefed and outfitted in a jumpsuit, and then get harnessed and lead up the structure. You’ll get to see a 360 view of the city- and feel like king of the world (possibly). This takes place from 10am-10pm, so if you time it right you could catch the sun setting on the capital which I imagine would look pretty epic. Read more…



Seven Strange Ways Technology is integrated in South Korea

Posted by admin on May 27, 2012 in lists, technology, travel

Considering so many electronic companies (Samsung and LG I’m talking about you) are based out of South Korea I was expecting that Seoul (the capital city) would be some kind of sci-fi like cityscape, with towering buildings, holograms and jetpacks available for all (OK, maybe not the jetpacks). Instead I found a city- a country, really- full of eccentricities and contradictions with higgledy piggledy street vendors lying side by side flashing billboards and skyscrapers; and ancient pagodas resting in their shadow!

South Korea does seem technologically advanced when compared to London and the USA, but the technological advances are subtle rather than in your face teleporting chutes and holographic manifestations (Yes, a little Futurama inspired here).

I’m going to share some of the ways South Korea impressed me techwise- and how it was more about a combination of all the little things than anything big that made it stand out as advanced.

Fingerprint scanning lockers at all stations

When you arrive in a big city the last thing you want to do is lug your luggage around- especially if you’re only staying for a night. South Korea offered banks of lockers at all the train stations I visited (from the capital Seoul to the cities of Daegu and Busan) where you could store your luggage for 24 hours for the approximate price of 80p. What took these lockers up a tech step was the fact that once you’d inserted your money you didn’t get a key or a code for the locker- you had to place your FINGER on their scanning device and it then ‘locked’ the locker. Read more…

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Strange and wonderful new spa treatments

Posted by admin on Apr 16, 2012 in beauty, lists

The spa world is an ever changing beast, as beauty addicts are always on the lookout for the latest hot facial or relaxing treatment. Spas are getting more inventive to cater to their thrill seeking clientele, and spa menus nowadays offer far more than the traditional facial, massage and manicure combo. Some of the latest treatments to hit the spa scene offer rather esoteric beauty benefits, and some will increase your adrenaline just by looking at the photos! Here are some of the strange and wonderful spa treatments now available.

Tickle Therapy

Tickle therapy may sound like a kind of torture to those with sensitive skins, but the CosquilleArte spa in Spain believes this can have very therapeutic benefits. This isn’t tickling as you know it- rather than being tickled till you squirm, this therapy is all about soft fingertip like strokes, and is performed by two people so you get a 20 finger sensation. Fingers are gently traced around the body and often aided by feathers to provide a treatment that soothes and relaxes the senses. Isabel Aires, the creator of tickle therapy says it allows ‘customers to return to a state of childhood, recalling earlier stages of pleasure and play to move to a state of wellbeing and relaxation.’ Tempted? Sounds a lot better when she puts it like that… Read more…

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Los Angeles : Five alternative things to do on a City of Angels Trip

Posted by admin on Feb 3, 2012 in lists, travel

So you’ve been to Los Angeles more than once and ticked off everything your Lonely Planet guide suggested would be fun. You can now rules out a Segway tour of Santa Monica, a drum circle on Venice Beach, an adventurous foray into a Venice pharmacy (followed with a quick back away -you’re really going to sell me what!?) and the usual thrills of Hollywood Boulevard, the Hollywood Sign and the Getty Museum. Depending on your age, career and personal inclinations you may also want to add West Hollywood to that list, Westwood ( a mecca for students and fraternities), Rodeo Drive (lovely on the eyes, hard on the wallet) and Griffith Park (pretty, but watch out for snakes).

Now you can happily tell everyone that you’ve ‘done LA’- but wait! There’s so much more to the sunshine state than 24 hour McDonald drive throughs and exploring new food outlets such as Taco Bell and Jack In The Box (written by a UK based person, OK?).

Within the city of Los Angeles there exists a panoply of alternative attractions all which will add a little more joy to your Los Angeles expedition, so I’d suggest you to sit up straight and get your CTRL+C fingers at the ready.

In no particular order I’d like to welcome you to my five unusual hot spots in Los Angeles– where the crazy never ends and all adults can become kids again.

The LAX Firing Range: Tuition

Sure, you’ve played plenty of Gears of War but have you ever held a 9mm semi automatic Glock in your hands? The answer may be yes if you’re from abroad or have visited Vegas, but even then it’s unlikley that you’ve loaded the magazine, taken apart the gun or looked inside the machine and learnt how to aim correctly.

LAX Firing Range offer a 2 hour training session that costs $99 (including tax) and which takes you from a gasping sweating gun fearing Brit into an armed and dangerous ninja. OK, in reality you turn from someone who whimpers at every bang to a competent and calculated shooter, who memorizes the rules of combat. Taught by a straight up speaking ex marine, the first rule was that on a semi automatic,  ‘The Safety is the trigger button’. Seriously. The next few rules were equally thrilling (for someone with a Die Hard fetish).

To quote, Rule One: Only point at something you are willing to destroy, Rule 2: Only point when you are ready to shoot and Rule 3: Always check if your gun is loaded.

The 2 hour class taught me how to take a gun apart, put it back together, check if the chamber had bullets in it, learn the release and load buttons for the magazine and learn how to disable a gun if the magazine was empty- but a bullet was still in the chamber.

Read more…

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The five top technological trends at CES 2012

Posted by admin on Jan 29, 2012 in lists, news, opinion, technology, Television

The year 2011 was all about the tablet computer, we saw the first ever affordable (and good) Android options launch, and people went gaga over the idea of 4G and LTE and the BlackBerry PlayBook. This year, the atmosphere was a little different on the show floor. Yes, we did have a lot of new products coming out, but the main points seemed to be more about the long term trends than any particular product per se. I found this new way of assessing technology pretty interesting however as ways in which the average consumer could integrate some of the trends slowly started to emerge. Here’s my overview of the top five tech trends at CES 2012- let’s see if any of these make it into your home or work this year.

The year of the connected TV

We’ve heard mumblings about connected TVs for some time now (and you can read my article on future predictions here) but there generally have been two barriers to them going mainstream. One has been the pricepoint as most people simply aren’t ready to invest in a new LCD TV so soon, and the second barrier has been confusion over the services offered and the many complex buttons on the remote controls. This year is a little different, as not only were all the big names (SHARP, LG, and SAMSUNG) offering up web ready televisions but they’d also started integrating some pretty helpful features.

I’m talking about TVs that come with an integrated forward facing camera installed, TV’s that feature an upgradeable card slot so that you don’t need to replace the hardware and TV’s that offer remote assistance where the helpdesk can actually program your TV for you if you’re struggling (Sharp Aquos is offering this service). We’re also seeing super slim bezels on offer from a lot of brands, with some a mere 3mm thick- very gasp worthy. One of the new TV areas I’m intrigued by is the increase in peripheral devices, as these allow you to upgrade your TV without buying a new one- such as snap on cameras for Skypeing. Read more…

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The High Tech Home: My Top Ten personal design wishlist

Posted by admin on Jan 4, 2012 in Design and Home, geekery, lists

Now that 2012 has finally arrived, it’s time to start getting revved up for the Olympics (not so far away now), actually start visiting the gym and start tackling some of those resolutions on your list. One of them is bound to be ‘Have a lovely, stylish and geekified home’, so I’ve out together ten great  gadget accessories to let you live a lovely geeky life at home.

1. Geek Wall Stickers from Bouf

I’m a big fan of wall decals (easy to apply and remove= no landlord surcharge) and Bouf has an amazing selection. My favourite would have to be the Super Mario wall stickers, which would be amazing for a games room- heck, any room, but they also have a more muted space invader version if you want to class it up.

2.The iPod Duvet set

Show your love for Apple (and your single status) with this super cute coverlet. I wish you could custom order it with your favourite Apps- mine would come complete with Dropbox, TripAdvisor and Byline. Read more…

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Top Twelve Beauty Trends of 2011: Supermarket salons, Lip Tattoos, Home Nail Art, MAC Bloggers Collection and more

Posted by admin on Dec 5, 2011 in beauty, lists

2011 is making way for 2012 and we get to look forward to a dark January, an escalating Euro crisis and the chaos/excitement of the London 2012 Olympics. It’s not all doom and gloom though as it’s time to take a look back at 2011 and evaluate just who the movers and shakers in the beauty industry were- and think about what will be big in 2012. I’ve previously introduced you to the top ten strange beauty trends in 2010, and in the same vein I’m going to reflect on how the beauty industry has advanced in the last year. Sure there have been the usual celebrity fragrances/product lines/ faces stuck on any old tat, but I’d like to dig a little deeper than just trot out that Kate Moss and the TOWIE girls are doing well. We all know that- what’s more interesting to me is looking at what else is going on in the beauty world.

Magentized Magic

The magnetized nail trend has been very popular in 2011, with numerous brand falling all over themselves to offer women the chance to create a strange gradient effect on their nails. Aping the Crackle craze of 2010, these nail varnishes work by using a formula that contains iron filings in the mixture. You apply, wave the attached magnet (normally in the lid of the product) over the nails, and voila, a cute ripple effect. Yes, you may well have done this when you were 12, but that just goes to show you how circular beauty trend can be- and the effect is very pretty. Read more…

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