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YOUR LOCAL NO. 1!

HELPING NEW & LOCAL BUSINESSES WITH THE POWER OF POSITIVE PROMOTION!

When times are hard it sometimes feels like nothing can make a difference. For retailers and small businesses the news seems constantly bleak. How, you ask yourself, can you break the cycle of gloom and get those all-important customers flooding back through your doors?

THE SOLUTION? LOCALPOSTCODE’S AFFORDABLE HIGH-IMPACT ADVERTISING OPTIONS!

At Localpostcode we are dedicated to raising the profile of businesses in your area. Our range of cost-effective marketing and promotional packages will stimulate customer awareness, energise interest in your product or services and neutralise consumer negativity on your hometown high street.

HOW DO WE DO IT?

Localpostcode is committed to positive promotion. Our print publications are far more than mere advertising freesheets. They’re colourful lively professionally-designed magazines filled with features to engage the reader, with specifically targetted sections to highlight advertising, meaning your ad will be seen by customers in your specific sector. Alongside this, Localpostcode publications also offer you our unique voucher scheme designed to let you offer direct customer incentives, increasing footfall to your business. All this at a price that gives you maximum marketing punch for your promotional pound! But our services don’t end there - alongside our publications we also operate our Localpostcode.com range of national websites. So not only do we give you the best exposure possible in your local area, we can also deliver coverage across the country and beyond!

DON’T BE LEFT BEHIND...FORGE AHEAD OF THE REST NOW!

Surveys consistently show that businesses that invest in optimism emerge from downturns faster than those that adopt a more cautious course. At Localpostcode we believe a pro-active approach to promotion produces profitable results. We maintain that now is not the time to keep your head down and hope for the best - it’s time to make the most of your marketing opportunities. You believe in your business. We believe in your business.

FEBRUARY 2011 CONTENTS 4 THE SECRETS TO AN AMAZING SMILE 6 THE MANE ATTRACTION 7 HER AMY IS TRUE 8 SAY IT WITH FLOWERS 10 GREEK TRAGEDY 12 CRAZY CARS 14 ON THE ROAD: SURE & SAFE 16 3D OR NOT 3D? 18 SHARE & SHARE ALIKE 19 UNPRECEDENTED TIMES 20 HOT WAX And with Localpostcode’s affordable expertise we can make everyone believe in your business! Contact us now on 077-3333-2216 to find out what Localpostcode’s services can do for you!

LOCALPOSTCODE - YOUR POSITIVE MONTHLY OUTLOOK!

Localpostcode is a return to the basic KEEP IT SIMPLE advertising strategy that gives companies a local magazine and web presence that doesn’t cost an arm and leg. We pay attention to what the real marketers say, the people “in the trenches” who are doing this day in day out in their own businesses, with their own livelihoods depending on it. In this economic climate, a compelling offer will give the best return on investment.

Published by Localpostcode, England. Tel: 077-3333-2216. This periodical is sold subject to the following conditions, namely that it shall not without written consent of the publishers first given, be lent, re-sold, hired out or otherwise disposed of in a way of trade, except at the full retail price, and it shall not be lent, re-sold, hired out or otherwise disposed of in a mutilated condition or in any unauthorised cover by way of trade or affixed to or as part of any publication or advertising, literary or pictorial matter whatsoever,. All contributions, including colour transparencies and photographs, submitted to the magazine are sent at the owner’s risk. While every care is taken, neither Localpostcode., nor its agents accept liability for loss or damage. (c) Localpostcode, 2010


HEALTH & BEAUTY

g n i z a A m Sm i l e

The SECRETS OF AN The Cosmedic Coach

T

hrough my consultancy service so many people always ask me what the key elements are to improving the aesthetics of their face?, In my opinion one the most essential improvements we can make to our face (if we haven’t been blessed by nature), is an amazing smile.

Cosmetic Dentistry is the “buzz” phrase of the moment and in just a few short years, Dentists have gone from being the people we most feared to our new best friends—who else can make you look younger, fresher and sexier? (apart from a cosmetic surgeon!) So it’s no wonder a visit to the dentist has become so glamorous! The Cosmedic Coach’s Research esearch shows that people will often make instant judgements about a person’s social and intellectual

R The Cosmedic Coach is a Health and Beauty published author and a leading expert in the field of Health, Beauty, Anti-Ageing, Cosmetic Medicine and Cosmetic Surgery. She provides consultations to individuals worldwide including, Dubai, New York and Paris; her clients include celebrities, VIP’s and Royalty. www.thecosmediccoach.com

The Cosmedic Coach Recommends... √ Invisalign these fantastic invisible braces will make an amazing difference and are hardly visible to the naked eye, trust me I swear by them! √ If you don’t have the big budget for veneers then try teeth whitening, amazing how brightening the colour of your teeth 2-3 shades whiter can make an amazing impact on your smile abilities simply by the appearance of their teeth 88% of people say they always

remember someone with an especially attractive smile 85% of people agree that an unattractive smile makes a person less appealing to people of the opposite sex 74% of people agree that an unattractive smile can effect a persons chances for career success (*source AACD) A great smile can make a huge difference to the way we look and feel and the way in which people react to us. An amazing smile helps us to feel


confident and attractive. With so many fantastic techniques and innovations you too can now have the smile you deserve. Whether your teeth are stained, discoloured, crooked, gappy or cracked—there is help at hand! The Next Step f you are thinking about undertaking a cosmetic procedure it is important that you understand the different options that are available to you and what can be done to improve your teeth or smile. Do your research and read about the different procedures

I

Simple Solutions for an Amazing Smile Teeth Whitening—for a bright whiter smile Veneers—to correct distorted front teeth which are worn, poorly visible, or severely discoloured Dental Implants and Crowns—replacing missing gaps Braces—whether Conventional or Invisalign braces correct misaligned crooked teeth Regular Hygiene Visits—for healthy gums and fresh breath and what they are used to correct. It is important that you understands the risks involved with any cosmetic procedure that you are considering. After you have researched the options book a consultation with a cosmetic dentist where you will have the opportunity to ask questions, discuss the pros and cons of different treatments and also the costs. Be sure to keep in mind that cosmetic dentistry is a truly specialised procedure practised by highly trained professionals, do your research and ensure that you consult a professional, the best way to find the dentist for you is through recommendation.

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HEALTH & BEAUTY

MANE

n o i t c a r t t A Antonia Mariconda

Y

our hair grows at a constant rate, it differs per individual but more or less human beings grow their hair about half an inch longer a month. It is simply something beyond your control. However, what is truly amazing is that by accepting this truth, you are well on your way on doing more for your hair and yourself to create an atmosphere that is conducive to hair growth. Keep in mind that your hair is nothing more than dead cells. Meaning, once damaged, it cannot heal itself. The best fast hair growth tip is prevention—stay away from cigarettes and smoking, hair dryers and perms, hair colours and anything that will take away moisture and natural oils from your hair. Love the hair you were born with; do not try whatever is the latest hairstyle and colour; sometimes natural solutions are the best. For your regular regimen, try these for a month and see if you don’t find yourself with more beautiful, longer hair: * Shampoo only every other day, at a maximum of three times a week— shampooing hair often strips it of its natural moisture and makes hair prone to breakage and brittleness * Use conditioner every time you shampoo, and make sure to rinse it out well—conditioners

gives your hair a protective coating against UV rays, pollution, and other harmful elements to your hair * STOP brushing your hair too much! Those 100 brushstrokes create static causing flyaway hair * Massage your scalp every night instead—it improves blood circulation and encourages natural oils to flow to your hair. * For maximum results, massage with jojoba oil into your scalp to make your roots stronger, making your strands firmer so that they will stay there on your head healthy and long. My Hair Secrets by the Cosmedic Coach eople often think I spend thousands on my hair, but I don’t believe it or not I spend £6.95 every 6 weeks on my favourite colour Golden Brown by L’Oreal and voila my own salon style colour without breaking the bank. My favourite tip is massaging pure coconut oil into my scalp and hair once a week for amazing super shiny goddess style hair, I pass this tip on to anybody who in passing admires my luscious long locks and thinks they’re extensions! But thankfully they’re not; it’s all down to one simple easy natural ingredient that costs around 99p a bottle from my local Asian deli!

P

The Cosmedic Coach, Antonia Mariconda, is a Health and Beauty published author and a leading expert in the field of Health, Beauty, AntiAgeing, Cosmetic Medicine and Cosmetic Surgery. She provides consultations to individuals worldwide including, Dubai, New York and Paris; her clients include celebrities, VIP’s and Royalty. www.thecosmediccoach.com


e u Tr

ENTERTAINMENT

HER AMY IS Adriana Saliu, Music Writer

I

t has been nearly four years since Amy Winehouse released Back to Black and it’s been too long since we heard her sing live at all. However, this new development may stir new hopes in her faithful fans. And the hopes are high indeed since her new version of Quincy Jones’ “It’s My Party” which will feature on his new tribute album entitled Q: Soul Bossa Nostra, later on this month. The jazz icon praised Amy as “sweet” and “amazing”, and revealed that they bonded well. The five Grammy award-winning singer announced to the British Press that her new album will be ready “in six months at the most”, which leaves some of us doubtful considering what Mark Ronson said speaking after a performance at The 100 Club in London recently: “Amy hasn’t begun working on her next record yet. When she’s got 10 songs we’ll go down to the studio together.” Winehouse who was combating food disorder, drug addiction, alcoholism and her tempestuous relationship with estranged husband Blake Fielder-Civil over the last couple of years—has become a regular feature in the tabloids for all the wrong reasons. It seems that Amy is finally spending a

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considerable amount of time in the studio making what she was meant to do and according to her spokesperson she is even learning to play drums. Amy herself is optimistic about the album and when asked by The Metro what style of music it will feature, she simply said: “It’s going to be very much the same as my second album [Back to Black], where there’s a lot of jukebox stuff and songs that are… just jukebox, really.” In the meantime, The Roots drummer told Rolling Stone earlier this year that Winehouse had contacted him with regards to a “jazzy” alliance with Mos Def. She has also been seen recording in Jamaica at Geejam Studios with the co-producer of Back to Black— Salaam Remi. And if all that is true—and we certainly hope it is—we are very much looking forward to hearing Amy’s new release. But more so, we would like to see Amy’s special talent and colourful personality shine bright once again!

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HOME & GARDEN

Say It With

s r e w o l F

1.

Jane Kubiesa, Interiors Journalist

M

ore is most definitely more this season as designers try to make the summer last for as long as possible by piling floral print upon floral print.

getting in on the act. Pairing large and small prints together helps to give the impression of a floral overload, with the variation in print size

“Maximalism is the watch word on everyone’s lips and the aim of the home decorating game at the moment is to mix and match florals for dramatic effect...” Maximalism is the watch word on everyone’s lips and the aim of the home decorating game at the moment is to mix and match florals for dramatic effect. And the taste for flora is not just

2.

limited to soft furnishings; furniture, home accessories, wallpaper and china are all

working to break up block colours. Coordinate colours 3. so that the overall floral effect is not too garish. Concentrate on using two or three base colours which tie in with your room’s colour scheme for maximum wow factor. Or for a safer version of this country cottage style, combine florals with plain 1. www.tch.net Mix patterns in a small way with The Contemporary Home’s Pretty Floral Bunting, £9.99. 2. www.fairwindonline.com At £34 this Flower Power Cushion makes a bold design statement. 3. www.driftliving.com Chintz is back and is ideal for country-style design. Greengate teapot priced at £32.50. 4. www.garrendennylane.com Mixing florals is a perfect idea for any little

or gingham prints. For example, using cushions on your sofa which have small blue flowers on a cream background and mixing them with plain cream cushions and blue gingham ones is easier on the eye. One of the simplest ways to get in on this design trend is with accessories. Opt for floral light shades, a flowery duvet set or flower-patterned junk shop plates for an open dresser. After all, what better remedy is there to the onset of winter than filling your home with flowers? While it might be chilly outside, your home will be as fresh as a daisy inside. girl’s bedroom. 5. www.diy.com B&Q’s Innsbruck Range combines flowery details with rich colours synonymous with winter. 6. www.diy.com Combine block colours with block florals for a modern twist. B&Q wallpaper at £14.98 and duvet set at £34.98. 7. www.diy.com Say it with flowers. Graham & Brown Spirit Pink Floral Wallpaper, £19.98.


5.

4.

6.

7.

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FEATURE

GREEK

TRAGEDY


by Anna Katerina

W

hen you hear ‘Greek Tragedy’ your mind instantly goes to Ancient Greece and you feel like a very highaesthetic play is going to take place in front of your eyes. Blue and white colours, beautiful, rich, black wavy hair, white dresses and moustaches accompanied by classical music and warm weather. Well, as a Greek, I wish this was the first thing to come to mind. My tragedy, Greece’s tragedy, had the pick on 10th December 2008 at 5.05 a.m. Next day, on my way to work, I felt that the headlines of the newspapers were following me: Greek Riot Police Fire Tear Gas At Protesters Boy whose police killing sparked off five days of rioting in Greece ‘died from bullet’s ricochet’ Riots, Looting as Athens Hit by New Protests Militants firebomb Athens police after death vigils And so many more...

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Greece was falling apart. Riots were everywhere, smashing windows, ATMs, burning buildings, cars, policemen... The smell of the city was teargas and the colour was grey. One whole nation was mourning for the loss of Alex Grigoropoulos, a 15-year-

“Greece was falling apart. Riots were everywhere, smashing windows, ATMs, burning buildings, cars, policemen... The smell of the city was teargas and the colour was grey...” old boy who was shot by a policeman at 5 am on 10th of December. What followed made everyone even more mad. Corrupt politicians, lawyers and journalists are something very common, I guess, in every country. Only this time trying to convince the angry

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nation, this teenage boy’s friends who watched the bullet go through him and his parents that he died “a bullet’s ricochet” was a dash too much. Personally, I am against violence. But I do believe that there is a point when you have to ‘speak’ to the other side in their own language and then it becomes violence for violence. I am not proud of what followed the next days, but I was proud to be Greek. I was proud to be part of a nation that when it sees something as unfair as that doesn’t go to sleep. You can accuse Greeks of many flaws, but we sure know how to look out for each other and protest for our rights and justice. It was about time to stop pretending everything was going well. 18% unemployment, politicians stealing money from the poor and a dent to the European Union that keeps growing... It was about time to change our smiley masks to anti-teargas ones. Rest in peace Alex Grigoropoulos. We will make sure that you will always be alive in our memory and in our hearts.

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MOTORING

Crazy Cars THE MOST FUN YOU CAN HAVE ON FOUR (OR THREE) WHEELS

C

reated by Canada’s Campagna Corporation the T-Rex is a two-seat, tri-wheeled motorcycle that effectively

hand-operated, more closely resembles motorcycle transmissions than that of a car. The T-Rex has been commercially

CAMPAGNA T-REX

marries the look and handling of a car with the fuel economy of a motorcycle. Equipped with a 1.2l, 4-cylinder engine, it is capable of accelerating from 0-97 km/h (0-60 mph) in 4.1 seconds, with a top speed of 140 mph. Although legally classified as a motorcycle, the T-Rex interior can accommodate two passengers side by side. There are also adjustable seat backs, foot-pedal box, and three-point retractable safety harnesses. The manual transmission, although

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available since the early 1990s. The

CAMPAGNA T-REX SPECIFICATIONS Acceleration 0-60mph

4.1 seconds

Top speed

150 mph

Width

78 in(1981 mm)

Length

138 in (3500 mm)

Height

42 in (1067 mm)

Dry Weight

900 lb (410 kg)

Engine

1164cc inline 4 cylinder, DOHC

Steering

Rack and pinion

Front Tyres

205/45/ZR16

Rear Tyre

285/40/ZR17

Lateral Acceleration

1.9 g

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distinctive and unusual look and style has made it a collectable for both car and motorcycle connoisseurs. Due to the absence of doors or windshield (optional), the vehicle maintains a very low weight. In addition, thanks to its low centre of gravity, and two front wheels and single 315 mm rear wheel, the vehicle can achieve turning gforces greater than a substantial majority of fourwheeled vehicles. Campagna also produces a vehicle almost identical to the T-Rex, the T/R except for that it has no top.

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QPOD

ARIEL ATOM 2

O

T

he Atom is a high performance sports car from Somerset’s Ariel Motor Company. It’s unusual in that the chassis is the body, so lacks roof, windows and other features of road cars. A range of engines is available, top being a Supercharged 2.0 Litre 300hp 250 ft/lbs GM Ecotec engine which can reach speeds of more expensive cars. If top speed of 140-150 mph is slow against more exotic sports cars, the Atom’s high power-to-weight ratio (approx. 500 bhp/ton) lends amazing acceleration and control as there’s less weight to throw it out of a turn. The Atom is being used by US maker Wrightspeed to test electric running gear for a new production vehicle they are raising funds to build. This prototype, the X1, has amazing acceleration—60 mph in 3 seconds. Because the X1 is electric it has the equivalent fuel consumption of 170 mpg. Suspension comes from single seat racers and is fully adjustable. Front and rear double unequal length wishbones and inboard pushrod operated dampers contribute to the Atom’s race car-like handling characteristics. Stacked light and heavy coil springs lend low spring rate for minor deflections and higher rate for large deflections. The Sunday Times tested the Atom’s acceleration from 0 to 60 at 2.89 seconds, making it the world’s 3rd fastest accelerating production car available today

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after the 1001 bhp Bugatti Veyron which reaches 0 to 60 in 2.46 seconds and the Ultima GTR, which reaches 0-60 mph time in 2.6 seconds.

ARIEL ATOM 2 SPECIFICATIONS Acceleration 0-60mph

3.5 sec. (2.7 sec. Supercharged)

Top speed

140 mph, 225 km/h (155 mph, 249Km/h Supercharged)

Width

1.798 m

Length

3.41 m

Height

1.195 m

Dry Weight

600 kg (1320 lbs.)

Engine

1998cc Straight-4

Transmission Power

wners wax lyrical over this decidedly fun buggy. Light enough to pick up with bare hands and attach to your towbar, but capable of 45mph, it’s the ideal solution for campers who need a runabout to run into town or just doodle around the campsite. It’s a little buzzbomb, the most fun you can have on four wheels. Built by The Unique Motor Company of Fenny Bridges, near Honiton, Devon and financed by Noel Edmonds. Price is under four grand, power is from a 340cc air cooled Lombardi motorcycle engine, fuel consumption is 60mpg from a two gallon tank, more than enough for a day’s outing from the campsite, or a trip to the supermarket. It romps up the steepest hills with huge aplomb and is enough of a workhorse to tow loaded trailers across muddy fields as well as being a great fun off-road buggy. The boot holds the shopping, the bespoke towbar which clips under the front axle and the pram hood which clips on rapidly when the weather turns nasty.

Honda 6-Speed Close Ratio Manual w/ Reverse 220 bhp (300 bhp Supercharged)

Price (Basic Model)

£18,000

Price (Race Model)

£40,000

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MOTORING

e f a S & e r u S ON THE ROAD

TomTom’s latest in-car overlord promises to make the driving experience even more of a breeze than ever.

Mark Rowbottom, Motoring Correspondent

W

e swear by them. We sometimes even swear at them. But few modern motorists can deny that SatNav systems have taken much of the hassle out of today’s driving experience. TomTom have been at the forefront of satellite navigation since its earliest inception and have forged a sterling reputation among automotive aficiandos. Now TomTom has unveiled the newest incarnation of its stellar navigation aid; one that doubtless will find a home on dashboards the length and breadth of Britain. So what, exactly, does the GO Live 1005 offer all those seeking a SatNav they can truly trust? The TomTom GO Live 1005 offers ultra intuitive design featuring a responsive, rich colour fluid touch screen and magnetic mount. A year’s subscription to TomTom’s LIVE Services is bundled in free of charge. It also comes equipped with mobile speed cameras, Europe-wide traffic information feed plus richer maps with

IQ Routes. Voice control is considerably upgraded with advanced speech recognition technology that lets you control your GO Live utilising spoken commands. More than 150 tasks, from routeplanning to making phonecalls, can be activated simply by speech, to make any drive relaxed and safer. Using the 5” (13cm) fluid touch screen, drivers can zoom in and out of maps or scroll through menus with responsive fingertip control. The improved touch screen will react consistently and accurately to the touch. On the road, the GO Live Europe system delivers the most up-to-date, real-time traffic information for any route direct to your display. TomTom claim their network updates every two minutes-at least seven times more frequently than any rival provider. This means the driver gets detailed road incident reports, complete with estimated times of delay and even alternative route suggestions to steer you clear of the worst blackspots. Moreover, should a new map for your GO LIVE


1005 become available within the first 30 days of use, you can download that map for free the tomtom. com website. In an additional new extra, the Live 1005 plainly flags up the appropriate lane to take at junctions so you won’t overshoot a turnoff or junction. Even at the most complex motorway intersections, a realistic 3D representation of the junction will help drivers stay relaxed, safe and assured. And once you’re off the main roads and approaching your ultimate destination, the Live 1005 will steer you right, with clear and precise instructions-including street

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Battery Life:

Up to 3 hours

Bluetooth Handsfree:

Yes

Car Mount:

Yes

Fuel Efficient Routing:

Yes

Full Postcode Search:

Yes

Home Charger:

No

In-car Charger:

Yes

Pod/Mp3 Connectivity:

No

Lane Guidance:

Yes

Live Services:

Yes

Mapping: UK, Ireland & Full Europe Point Of Interest Installed:

Yes

Remote Control Included:

No

Safety Camera Location Data:

Yes

Screen Size: Text To Speech:

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Widescreen Yes

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names-to make finding your way there a doddle. When you finally park wherever you’re going, the unique easy-click magnetic dock makes docking and undocking your GO 1005 SatNav as routine as putting on a seatbelt. This will come as a boon to any longterm user who’s ever wrangled with the release mechanism on older systems. Now there’s no excuse to forget to stow your system away on exiting your car. With an RRP pf £299. this feature-packed device will doubtless appeal to the multitude of current TomTom users, and will surely be a must-have for travellers at home and abroad. For more information, visit www.tomtom.com

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ENTERTAINMENT That is the question! And with the home entertainment world becoming increasingly obsessed with exploring new dimensions, it may be time to find out whether this is really a viewing revolution or just a high-technology hype...

Ross Bannon, Tech Consultant

Y

ou can’t escape it. 2010 saw the advance of 3D technology into more and more areas of entertainment. Cinema was its first conquest, with advanced digital systems as far removed from the early days of cardboard red-and-blue viewing specs as an F1 car is from a Model-T Ford. It was the James Cameron mega-blockbuster Avatar that thrust 3D on to the globallyrecognised stage, paving the way for numerous successors and making the 3D movie experience a commonplace one. With the big screen conquered it was only a matter of time before developments in the cinema made their way into the home. The first home systems emerged in 2009, but it was in 2010 that things took off in a big way. Sky TV has proved to be a major standard-bearer for the medium, screening major sporting events in pubs and clubs, albeit on a limited basis. Likewise, Britain’s electronics retail showrooms have seen ever-increasing numbers of 3D sets on display with similarly multiplying numbers of curious potential purchasers keen to find out what this revolution in viewing is all about. By April 2010 most of the major manufacturers had their own version of the set on sale. However, the early sales figures seemed to indicate the novelty wasn’t exactly thrilling the nation’s consumers. Initial reports indicated a mere 25,000 sets were sold Europe-wide in the first month of availability. Considering that an estimated 250 million TV sets are sold each year, this hardly represented a stellar start to the 3D phenomenon. Several reasons could be behind this. Firstly (and possibly foremost), lack of

available content. With only a meagre amount of 3D TV programmes on offer-primarily on Sky TV and mainly focussed on sport-many consumers may have baulked at shelling out

EYE OF THE BEHOLDER: ACTIVE VS. PASSIVE

Currently, the big face-off in the 3D TV market is over which kind of specs provide the best results. Active shutter glasses are the preferred choice of the bulk of big brand 3D TV makers. These sync with the TV via infra-red signal and blink on and off at high speed, playing HD 1080 pixel images at 50 frames a second. AS glasses need a powering from either a small battery or USB charge so cost more. Most new 3D TVs come with a pair of AS LCD glasses, with extra pairs costing about £100. Generally, these glasses will only work with specific TV models. The Passive Shutter display has polarising film over the actual TV screen splitting the image into left and right types. PS glasses are also polarised (as in the kind used in cinemas) and this filters the image to allow corrected 3D imaging. Because you only see 50% of the image in each eye, 3D content can’t display sharp HD resolution using passive shutter technology. This lower-resolution issue means only a few manufacturers are going with PS. what was perceived as a premium price for a technology that at present seems in advance of content delivery. This may well change as broadcasters make more content available, but does raise a vexed chicken-and-egg

issue of whether said broadcasters will invest in producing 3D content if there is still only a limited audience willing to watch it. Another issue is the HD question. Hi-Def TV has been with us for a few years now and, unlike 3D, there are now a plethora of channels-major broadcasters includedscreening programmes in HD. Takeup of HD-ready sets has been strong across the UK, with many opting to upgrade in advance of then upcoming digital switchover in 2012. For many this has been a big investment in improving their home entertainment systems, coinciding as it did with the advent of largeformat flat screen TVs at relatively affordable prices. The 3D sets obviously offer HD (in several cases, enhanced HD), but with the nation preoccupied by economic uncertainty, whether those consumers who went HD in the last few years will be willing to plunge into further expenditure for 3D capability is a question that remains moot. Christmas 2010 will answer many of the questions about how viable is the future of 3D TV. Prices may well need to come down a bit before people commit wholesale to the new technology. In the meantime it’ll be intriguing to see which manufacturer blinks first as regards pricing and their own commitment to 3D. Almost certainly, it will be some time before we know for sure whether this is a technology too far.


Sony Bravia HX810/HX813 3D TV The NX713 and NX813 3D TVs are the latest additions to Sony’s Bravia range, intended to increase uptake in PS3 games and 3D Blu-Ray DVD. There’s very little to set the two TVs apart, except 100Hz motion processing in the NX713 and 200Hz processing in the NX813. Each has the “Monolithic’ look associated with the 2010 Bravia range featuring dynamic LED backlighting and Internet VOD services. There’s an optional designer stand, to tilt screens to an optimal 6 degree angle and also a 2.1 channel speaker system in the base. RRP: (NX713) £1,299 (NX813) £1,599

Samsung LE40750 Samsung’s LCD is strong on detail and colour with what has been recognised as among the best field of depth of the current crop of 3D TVs. Its low price also means it’s among the most affordable. However, some critics have commented that its 40” screen means it operates at the very bare minimum for effective 3D resolution, with many remarking on a degree of ‘ghosting’ (the number one bugbear of 3D). It uses Active Shutter glasses (extra pairs £60-100) that make for comfy viewing, so if you’re prepared to weigh sharp picture quality against affordability then this may be the model for you. RRP: £799

Panasonic Viera TX-P42GT20 With great depth and natural 3D feel, the GT20 is a strong contender for top spot among current 3D models. It boasts a 42” plasma screen at a reasonable price which makes for rich colour representation, especially in the black range, though some carp about a loss of performance in brighter conditions. Overall, however, the detailing is very impressive even if occasionally some ghosting is visible. The biggest complaint among reviewers appears to loie in the 3D glasses themselves. These active shutter specs are clunky and uncomfy to wear, as well as looking somewhat outlandish. Small woes, however. compared to the assets overall. RRP: (NX713) £1,199

LG Infinia 55LX9500 Boasting a whopping 55” screen (and a price tag to match) LG’s Infinia has gained a reputation for packing a punch in terms of dazzling 3D impact, yet it has also attracted more than a few brickbats from reviewers for what they perceive as a range of problems, including fuzzy, muddy picture quality and a reflective screen that majorly affects 3D enjoyment. Motion rendering also suffers from jerky imaging, meaning that this model may need some fine-tuning before it conquers the world. RRP: (NX713) £3,500

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HOME & GARDEN

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by Karen Lenz

Much more than ‘something for nothing’, in less than a decade Freecycle has become a worldwide movement with millions of members, both home and abroad...

T

he Freecycle concept began in 2003, when Arizona environmental activist Deron Beal decided to do something about the huge numbers of perfectlygood and useable items he saw being thrown out while on his regular recycling rounds in his native Tucson. The idea was extremely simple: why not establish a way that unwanted items could find new homes? It was ‘give and get’—a system whereby those with goods they wanted to dispose of could announce the fact and get in touch with others willing to take them off their hands. They described it as ‘changing the world one gift at a time’ and soon discovered they had created something huge. Starting with an email group of about 3040 likeminded Tucsonans, the Freecycle idea caught on rapidly and quickly spread far beyond Arizona. Today there are numerous local networks in 85 nations and counting, with membership numbers in the millions. Freecycle estimate they keep somewhere in the region of 500 tons of waste out of landfills every day. Freecycle is a grassroots movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns. These groups are all organised by locally based volunteer moderators, By maximising use of things already made, goes the reasoning, people

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are able to cut down on consumerism, require fewer goods to be manufactured and thus reduce overall global environmental impact. Using Freecycle also encourages people to clear out junk we no longer need while boosting community involvement in the process. The UK’s first Freecycle group was set up in London in October 2003. At last count, there are currently around 500 different local groups up and down the land, boasting about 1.8 million members. If you want to get involved yourself, then here’s how Freecycle works. First, make contact with the group in your area-the Freecycle UK website has a thoroughly comprehensive and updated list of where to find them and who to contact. It may be based around an email system (e.g. a yahoo group, say), but it will cost you nothing to sign up and become a part of it. Once your membership has been verified, then you can start to play your part. Everything posted must be free, legal and appropriate for all ages. When you want to offer something-be it a computer desk, a washing machine, shelving, books you no longer read or outgrown clothing, simply post an email to your group, marking it OFFER. Remember, it is down

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to the giver to decide who receives the gift from the responses they receive and to set up a collection time, and finally post an item TAKEN message. On the other hand, if you’re seeking something yourself, then post a message marked WANTED and, if you’re in luck, another group member could be able to help. If they do come through for you, then be sure to alert the group with a follow-up RECEIVED email. It’s really as simple as that. By simply following the basic etiquette, your local group can flourish and thrive. Beware, though, that signing up to Freecycle can generate a large amount of email—a fair amount of which may not be things you’re interested in—so you may want to use the very handy Daily Digest option to distill all the day’s messages into one handy email. As with all great ideas, the Freecycle ethos is stunningly simple and supremely effective. When so many of us baulk at doing our bit for the environment, this is one way to get us participating that actually works! To find out more and discover how to contact your local Freecycle group, visit the Freecycle UK website at: www.uk.freecycle.org

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FEATURE

Living in unprecedented

political times

By James Hockney

I

n the ten years I have been involved in politics, this for me has been the most unprecedented year for politics. It is probably fair to say this has been one of the most significant years in generations. The events of early May seem so long ago, yet I remember them as if they were yesterday. Election Day is always exciting. Get up at 6am, campaigning all day long, quick evening meal and then off to the count. By the time this was finished I got back to my room at about 3am to watch the election results with my girlfriend, before falling asleep at about 6am. A very busy 24 hours indeed. It was clear from the early results that although the Conservative party had done well and gained a lot of seats, it was not going to be quite enough to form a majority Government. During the run up to the election all sorts of ideas were discussed in the media in the event of a hung parliament with the Conservatives being the largest party. I initially favoured the idea of ‘confidence and supply’. Put simply it would have meant the Conservative party forming a minority government with the Lib Dems agreeing to support us on key policies; although as the reality of the election results became

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clear, I realised the only workable option is what we have now—a full coalition. During the first couple of weeks the Sunday papers were full of stories along the lines of ‘he said, she said’ designed to create splits in the coalition. Clearly this did not work. The two parties have actually worked extremely well together despite the nay-sayers in certain parts of the media. There have been a few bumps along the way; but for two parties with significantly different manifestos to be working so well together in the national interest is historic. Many gave the coalition only months. But in actual fact how wrong they are. It is the reverse, with the coalition team gelling together day by day. For both sides it has been a case of putting all the campaigning against each other behind us, and doing something much more important— Governing in the long term interests of the country. James Hockney is a leading young Conservative. He was Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Barnsley East at the 2010 General Election, and is a District Councillor in South Cambridgeshire.

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ENTERTAINMENT

HOT

! x a W

You might think it’s outdated and obsolete, but thousands of collectors around the world could be willing to pay big money for those vinyl records gathering dust in your attic...

Dave Moody, Collectables Writer


A

nyone aged under 20 may find this hard to believe, but items, Yugoslavian-only releases etc.—can command daft once upon a time you bought music on a format known sums among fans. as ‘vinyl’. These curious objects—commonly known as On the other hand, if you think you might have something ‘records’—were circular discs of black plastic containing special on your hands then there are several ways to find grooves. To hear the music it was necessary to use a device out for sure. There’s a wealth of sites online devoted to called a ‘record player’ which—and get this!—used a needle selling vinyl—a few of which are listed at the end of this placed on the disc’s surface to play the day’s hip ‘n’ groovy article—and it’s well worth seeing what other sellers with sounds. the same item are asking in order to gauge the worth of Of course, to a generation raised on CDs and MP3 your own example. Be aware, though, that value is variable downloads, this sounds absurd. But at least they now know depending on the state your record is in—a mint, unplayed what those odd 7 and 12” square things their parents keep copy will always fetch more than a copy that was played under the stairs or in the attic actually are. They probably endlessly at family knees-ups over the years and suffered all don’t give them a second glance, shrugging them off as manner of scratches and scuffs from dad’s tipsy deejaying. artefacts of a bygone, technologically-primitive era of no Some sites will let you search using the record’s catalogue use or interest to anyone today. number (usually the long code printed on the label). It’s However, they’d be wrong. For right now interest in old vinyl worth using these options, as sometimes the catalogue has never been higher. Until recently, number will dictate a specific release, record collecting was viewed on a par “a mint, unplayed copy which may actually be worth much with trainspotting, birdwatching and more than subsequent reissues. will always fetch other oddball pursuits the preserve So what should you look for when of males of a certain age and social more than a copy that you go rooting around the attic? Well, aptitude. They tended to congregate was played endlessly the honest answer is there’s no hard at fairs held on damp Sundays in and fast definite as to what will sell. at family knees-ups municipal hall annexes to pore over Collecting trends come and go, but over the years and box upon box of dusty wax. being simplistic it’s safe to say that The advent of the internet, however, suffered all manner Vintage Soul usually gets a good has changed all that. Sure, collecting price, while rare 60s reggae is keenly of scratches and vinyl is still the domain of the sought-after out there. All you aging obsessive and anorak-y, but now it’s a scuffs from dad’s tipsy Sex Pistols kids may be interested global marketplace where rare items to know that original punk rock can deejaying...” can change hands for breathtaking go for crazy prices too. But as I said, sums. Want a few examples? Here’s a few random online you never really know—the past year has seen interest in auction sales (mostly on eBay) from the past 24 hours at obscure 80s synth-pop go nutty, with 7” singles reaching time of writing, as recorded at the website collectorsfrenzy. £100 and more. com—’Soul Town’ 7” by Ray Agee sold for £4,467; a 1983 The reason vinyl frenzy is so high today is simple—rare Metallica acetate went for £634; an LP by Jazz legend vinyl can only ever keep its value. The majority of records, Tubby Hayes reached £509...Need I go on? And, keep in once pressed way back when, were never re-pressed. Often mind that’s just today—every day something sells online for the original acetate masters were destroyed, meaning that prices that can be, frankly, shocking. if only 500 copies of a record were made, then that’s all But before you rush off to raid granny’s old stereogram, there ever will be. Hence, if you have it then it’s a genuine keep in mind that the reason those discs mentioned above inflation-proof investment. fetch such extravagant amounts is because they are rare. If you have a stash of dusty old vinyl lying about, then As in any collectables market, the scarcer something is maybe it’s time to take a fresh look. You never know what the more highly-valued it will be. To employ a simple rule gems you might be sitting on! of thumb, it’s pretty safe to say that if that 7” single you unearthed in the attic happened to be a chart topper in Recommended websites: 1970 then it won’t be rare. Obviously, 7” singles sold in the www.discogs.com millions then, so chances are there’ll be quite a few around. www.netsoundsmusic.com That’s why original Beatles records don’t have immense www.gemm.com value. Rare Beatles records—test-pressings, promotional http://collectorsfrenzy.com

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