Sunday, January 31, 2010

Another wonder from Hong Kong - IBM track pointers

My order of three little red pointy stick caps for my IBM Thinkpad X32 came through the post over the weekend. They cost a small fortune if purchased directly from Lenovo, but can be had on e-bay for 10% of the official price.

The three caps set me back a whopping £1.29 including postage, and they came all the way from Hong Kong - go figure. At this price, I wasn't fussed if they came through or if the quality was a bit shabby but they seem perfect and are really comfortable to use. A word of caution to potential X31, X32 buyers. These keyboards don't have touchpads. Having used the pointy stick before, I knew I would love it, but it still takes a bit of getting used to.

The Double Filet - forget the iPad, this is news!

My comrade in Hong Kong has sent through this amazing picture. It is the work of genius and I imagine people will travel far and wide to sample this delight, much as they do to partake in the offerings of Rick Stein's restaurant, or as they did to enjoy the wonders of El Bulli. What the great minds at McDonalds have done is to take two fish filet burgers and stack them on top of each other to make a grand double-filet burger (the Jesus burger?).
The filet has been relatively unmoderated as far back as I can remember, so this is big news. Alas, there are too many waters to cross to expect it to appear in the UK, so I fear it will remain a pipe dream, although any amateur food hacker could create this beast quite easily - it may have to be done.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Vitamin D Supplements Could Fight Crohn's Disease

I'm still popping my daily D tablets, and the reasons for doing so just keep on growing. Here's the link to the Crohn's article.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Linked Hotmail accounts

Plum in plum sauce is what I am. I have two Hotmail accounts which I access almost every day, every time logging out of one account and logging in to the other. Well, what I've just done is to link the accounts together. Now, all I have to is click on my profile in the top right corner of the Hotmail page, select the second account from the drop down menu, and watch the page automatically refresh to the new account. No more constant logging in and out.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


The first IBM X32 I bought off e-bay came with a cracked side, worn out keys, a glued up corner, and a good 'ole portion of buyer's remorse, as I discovered that I had overpaid by about £20. Fortunately, the seller did the right thing and replaced the machine a week later, and I am now typing away on an X32 which is in first rate condition and feels as solid as a brick.
I'll post a review in a few days time, once I've run the machine through it's paces. First impressions are very good.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Lenovo Thinkpad Ultraportable/Netbook X100e

Lenovo may have achieved something quite special with this ultraportable/netbook. It's a member of the X-series, has a perfectly sized 11.6 inch screen and what looks like an ace keyboard.

Okay, at around £400 it's out of my price range right now (I've just picked up a 5 year old IBM laptop off ebay for £130 which should serve me well for a year or two), but I reckon this could eventually decimate the high end of the ultraportable portable market.

Film review: Up In the Air

Great film. Clooney plays a great Clooney in this one.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Put yourself in a film trailer

This is seriously cool. Upload a headshot photo of yourself to this site, then sit back and watch the magic.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Pauly's sauce - life imitates art

Paul Sorvino's advertisement:

And here's Pauly in Goodfellas:

Monday, January 11, 2010

Film Review: Daybreakers

With an above average story line for the genre and quality actors in the lead roles (Ethan Hawke and Willem Dafoe), Daybreakers is much better than it ought to be. I loved it, in a guilty pleasure kind of way.


Talking of guilty pleasures, have you heard of a film called 'Ninja Assassins'? I'm the type of chap who thinks that most films could be improved with the addition of ninjas, and I know this could be a blasphemous thought in many circles (my kind of circles), but Ninja Assassins could actually be a rare case of 'too much ninja' in a single sitting. Still, I can hardly wait. I need some ninja in my life. Everybody needs ninja.

Here's the trailer:

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Cadbury's Fudge

As the price of other chocolate bars keeps climbing, the price of a Cadbury's Fudge (an 80's childhood favourite) remains stuck at a highly attractive 15p. Compare this to the likes of a Mars bar or Dairy Milk, which is closer to 60p, and you have a ratio of four Fudges to one regular chocolate.

Also, at a mere 110 calories, it's the perfect size for a cheeky sweet snack that won't ruin your appetite, or for that little post dinner 'something something' to have with with your tea. Boom.

2010: Year of the Scrooge

I have come to realise that I am a marketing man's nightmare, for as well seeking out the best deals possible, I also tend to find that most items on my personal shopping list have an extremely high price elasticity of demand. All that means is that it only takes is a modest increase in price for me to either switch to a substitute product or service or to severely curtail my consumption. The Filet-O-Fish burger in McDonalds for example, is relatively inelastic in the sense that McDonalds knows it can ramp up the price and most Filet consumers will keep on buying the sandwich because a large portion of said consumers are pesco-vegetarian's who can't substitute the Filet for a Big Mac or other meat burger. However, my halcyon days of Filet eating came to an end a while back, when the price broke through the £2.50 barrier. These days, it's 'special'.

Now take the ultimate inelastic good: petrol. The government taxes petrol like crazy because demand doesn't change all that much with price. Apart from my personal demand, that is. Price goes up 10%, and my consumption in terms of miles driven goes down by pretty much 10%. Boom.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Wallander ring tone

Boo-doop, boo-doop, boo-doop. I'd love to have this ring tone but it doesn't seem to be readily available. On this note, I just watched the first episode of Wallander (series 2) on the iplayer and it's in top form. Brannagh 'is' Wallander ... tired, weary, ridden with guilt, but he just keeps on going. If tv was consistently this good, I don't know what I'd do. Scrap that, I know exactly what I'd do, and I'd love every minute of it.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

The first Expendables post of 2010

From a recent interview with Stallone, on the the making of The Expendables:

''Dolph Lundgren and I always went for it.

''I gave him orders to try to knock me out while the cameras were rolling.

''At one point, he hit me so hard on the top of the head I felt my spine compress.

''He then hit me with an almighty uppercut.

One guy is literally Rambo, the other guy is Ivan Drago ... there was always going to be some pain being spread about the place.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Burj Khalifah

My sister lives just around the corner from the world's tallest building. She popped by to see the spectacular opening.

In a last minute change of mind, the name of building has changed from the Burj Dubai to the Burj Khalifa, in honor of the emir of Abu Dhabi - mind you, Abu Dhabi did lend Dubai a $10bn helping hand not so long ago, so a little nod of recognition is probably in order.

Sunday, January 03, 2010


In April, I asked: 'Quick thought - where do I get some of that placebo medicine? The trials show that it's pretty effective.'

Question answered.

Kurt Wallander ... he's back

Right now, on BBC 1. New series.

Film Reviews: Avatar, Sherlock Holmes

Avatar - This is possibly the first ever CGI driven film that has held my attention, and I was sat down for almost three hours! The effects are superb, there are a few nods to 'Alien', the acting is decent, and the action is full on. I wasn't disappointed by my low expectations for dialogue and story line, which is a shame, but I guess you just can't have it all.

*** 3/4 (an average of 3 for the actual film, 4.5 for the spectacle).

Sherlock Holmes - Holmes gets the Guy Ritchie treatment. Ritchie is a bit like John Woo in the sense that you really know what you are in for before you enter the cinema. Fortunately, Holmes is up there with Ritchie's best, helped in no small part by the performances of Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law in the primary roles. Okay, as a fan of Holmes, I'd like to see a big budget adaptation that is faithful to the character, and this is definitely not such a film. However, neither does it pretend it to be, and if you imagine it as nothing more than a Ritchie interpretation of Holmes you will not be disappointed. The story is great, the sets even better, and the villain (played by Mark Strong) is menacingly perfect. All in all, very enjoyable. I'd happily join the queue for any sequels.


2010 - Daybreakers is out soon, and it looks kind of good.

Friday, January 01, 2010