Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Reeder 2 - A Phenomenal first-in-class Google Reader App for the iPhone hits the AppStore as a FREE update!

Google Reader, Pocket-Sized... (for iPhone & iPod Touch)

Reeder 2.0 (a free update from Reeder 1+) from developer Silvio Rizzi has hit the AppStore! The best RSS reader on the block for Google Reader is now even faster than before, with extra features like optional image caching, state saving, and increased contrast. There are also more services available (Open in Safari is back!), and holding on a link will now open up the services menu, so you don’t have to load up a page before being able to tweet the link.

Finally, the gestures have been much improved, so it’s easier than ever to swipe to star or mark as read. I also think a new gesture set was added, since I can now pull up after reading an article to switch to the next one — very slick.

Reeder 2.0 is still available for £1.79/$2.99 if you haven’t bought it yet.

Here are some screenshots of this fabulous app:

For more information, and the full feature-set, check out www.reederapp.com

Or download now direct from the AppStore:

Follow @reederapp & @uselessdesires on Twitter for more

~ Ryan

Posted via email from uselessdesires

Monday, 29 March 2010

The New ‘Glee’ Promo Is Like A Prayer

By now it’s no secret that the cast of Glee will be taking a bow to the Madonna back catalog in the April 20th episode of the series. But what was that trilling over a the airwaves with such conviction during an American Idol commercial break last night? Why, it was almost like a religious experience. In fact, it was a religious experience—it was Lea Michele singing Madge’s 1989 hit “Like A Prayer” in a brand new Glee promo! (Sadly, there was nary a sight of her making out with a saint in the clip.) Watch below, Gleeks!

Ah, it’s like school is back in session and we’re convening with all our friends during lunch to talk about what we did over break—you know, at the unpopular table, of course.

Now, a Glee cast mini album called The Power Of Madonna—which features eight Material Girl covers, including a “Borderline/Open Your Heart” mashup—is out April 20, and we already know that Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch) is singing “Vogue.”

But, forgive us, Father—for we are praying that either Kurt (Chris Colfer) or Finn (Cory Monteith) landed “Like A Virgin.” Or at the very least, give William McKinley High’s star kicker “What It Feels Like For A Girl.” (Oh, hush—you know that would be good television.)

Sigh. Four more weeks. Time goes by so slowly, indeed, Madonna

Posted via email from uselessdesires

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Old Low Light #2 (Lyrics) [from the album 'Over Fly Over' by Kathryn Williams]

Old Low Light #2
[from the album 'Over Fly Over' by Kathryn Williams on Caw Records]

In a room,
banging on about the world in words,
There's an old low light,
it flicks on and off,
like our opinions...

Three hours without a word, then you stroke my arm,
There's an old low light in me and it switches on...

It's not visible to anyone,
but our love lives there,
I can feel it shimmer...
It's old and quiet and stares out like years.

In a different city bed in my sister's house,
There's an old low light,
it keeps me awake,
without the shape of you...

Track four on a CD you made for me,
There's a note-like light and it changes the air,
And it makes me love you more...
Oh and it makes me love you more...
More, more, more, more.

It's not visible to anyone
but our love lives there,
I can feel it glimmer...
It's old and quiet and stares out like you.
And it makes me love you more...
More, more, more, more...
More, more, more, more.

You're my old low light
and I love you more.

You're my old low light
and I love you more.

You're my old low light
and I love you more.

You're my old low light
and I love you more...
and more...

Lyrics & Music © Kathryn Williams / Caw Records
Audio Transcription © Ryan Price

Posted via email from uselessdesires

How to Make Yeast Bread

There's nothing quite like the simple joy of taking your first loaf out of the oven, and once you've mastered the basics you can have some fun baking bread in unusual containers like tin cans...

In this era of instant gratification it can be difficult to persuade people that making their own yeast bread is a worthwhile activity. The mere mention conjures up daunting images of bouts of strenuous kneading interspersed with long waits for the bread to rise not just once, but twice. But one of the things that has kept me fired up about teaching through the 25-plus years of the Cookery School has been the look of delight on students' faces when they take their first loaf of bread out of the oven. It's almost more exciting than catching your first fish and I know that I've passed on an often forgotten skill that will touch their everyday lives forever.

For those who are apprehensive about working with yeast, Ballymaloe Brown Yeast Bread is a great introduction to yeast bread because it requires no kneading and involves only one rising. It takes about 1½ hours to make from start to finish but most of that is in the rising and baking – in real terms, it takes only about five minutes of your time. A wet dough ferments faster than a dry one.

Unlike the brown yeast bread, white yeast bread does involve kneading and double rising and knocking back. Much of the time it takes is in the is rising and baking, but the satisfaction and end result is immense and more than worth the effort.

Brown yeast bread

A few notes about the three main ingredients:

The yeast

When making brown yeast bread, remember that yeast is a living organism. In order to grow, it requires warmth, moisture and nourishment. The yeast feeds on sugar and produces bubbles of carbon dioxide that expand in the oven and rise the bread. Actually, there's no need to be scared of yeast, it's pretty good humoured and, like many of us, it has a sweet tooth and likes to be warm, so be nice to it. The average warmth of a kitchen provides a suitable environment in which yeast can grow, but a temperature of more than 50°C (122°F) will kill yeast, so ensure the water isn't too hot.

You can use dried yeast instead of baker's yeast. Simply follow the same method, but use only half the weight given for fresh yeast. Leave it longer to rise. Fast-acting yeast may also be used; just follow the instructions on the packet. Note that the dough rises more rapidly with 25g (1oz) yeast than with 20g (¾oz) yeast.

Much of the fresh yeast now available is genetically modified, so ask questions before you buy.

The flour

For brown soda bread, we use a stone-ground wholemeal flour. Different flours produce breads of different textures and flavours. The amount of natural moisture in the flour varies according to atmospheric conditions, so the quantity of water added should be altered accordingly. The dough should be just too wet to knead (it does not require kneading).

The treacle

At Ballymaloe we use treacle, but one can also use honey, golden syrup, molasses, white or brown sugar or Barbados sugar (soft, dark, brown sugar) may be used. Each will give a slightly different flavour to the bread.

Using old dough

Old yeast dough adds extra flavour and interest to a batch of bread. Sometimes when I'm making brown yeast bread, I hold back a quarter of the dough and put it in a tall glass jar (if it's white yeast dough, I use a covered bowl). Then I can save it for a few weeks and use it as a base for the next batch. The dough gets more sour and the brown bread takes on a deeper flavour, almost like pumpernickel.

Seasoning tins

When you buy new cake or loaf tins that are not non-stick, greasing them will not be enough to stop them from sticking; you'll need to do what's referred to as 'seasoning' the tins. You do this by brushing them with oil or butter and putting them in the oven for 10–15 minutes at a time. Let them cool down and repeat 3–4 times. Just to be on the safe side, put a bit of greased butter paper at the base of the tin the first few times you use it, just to ensure it doesn't stick. I far prefer this method to using non-stick tins which generally lose their coating over time and can even be dangerous.

Ballymaloe brown yeast bread

This bread has been made by hand every day at Ballymaloe House for more than 60 years – originally for the family, and then for the guests. The recipe is based on one for a nutritious loaf that Doris Grant developed at the request of the British government in the 1940s. I can't really stress enough what a favour you'll be doing your family by baking this bread. The main ingredients – wholemeal flour, treacle and yeast – are all highly nutritious. The ingredients and equipment should be at room temperature.

Makes 1 loaf

450g (1lb) strong (stone-ground) wholemeal flour OR 400g (14oz) strong (stoneground) wholemeal flour plus 50g (2oz) strong white flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black treacle
425ml (3⁄4 pint) water, at blood heat
20g (3⁄4) or more fresh non-GM
Sesame seeds (optional)
Sunflower oil
1 loaf tin 12.5 x 20cm (5 x 8in)

Preheat the oven to 230°C/450°F/ gas mark 8.

Mix the flour with the salt in a mixing bowl. In a small bowl or Pyrex jug, mix the treacle with some of the water, 150ml (¼ pint) and crumble in the yeast. Leave to sit for a few minutes in a warm place to allow the yeast to start to work. Meanwhile, grease the bread tins with sunflower oil. Check to see if the yeast is rising. After about 4–5 minutes, it will have a creamy and slightly frothy appearance on top.

When ready, stir and pour it, with all the remaining water (300ml/½ pint), into the flour to make a loose, wet dough. (Don't mix it until all the water is in; otherwise it tends to go lumpy.) The mixture should be too wet to knead. Put the mixture directly into the greased tin. Sprinkle the top of the loaves with sesame seeds, if you like. Cover the tin with a tea towel to prevent a skin from forming and leave the bread to rise. This will take anything from 10–20 minutes, depending on the temperature of your kitchen.

Preheat the oven to 230°C/ 450°F/gas mark 8.

When the dough has almost come to the top of the tin, remove the tea towel and pop the loaves into the oven. The bread will rise a little further in the oven; this is called 'oven spring'. If the bread rises to the top of the tin before you put it into the oven, it will continue to rise and will flow over the edges. Cook for 20 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6 and cook for a further 40–50 minutes, until your bread looks nicely browned and sounds hollow when tapped.

We usually remove the loaves from the tin/tins about 10 minutes before the end of cooking and put them back into the oven to crisp all round, but if you like a softer crust there is no need for this.

White yeast bread

Unlike brown yeast bread, white yeast bread does involve kneading, double rising and knocking back. It takes time but not your time, as much of it is in the rising and baking. It's very tempting to use a food mixer to knead bread but I always encourage people to knead by hand to begin with. It can seem a chore but in fact it can be enormously therapeutic and relaxing when you enter into the spirit and just enjoy the process. With each loaf you make, you will continue to perfect your technique and will become more observant of the changes in the dough, depending on the flour, atmosphere and even your humour.

If you do want to use a food mixer, however, use the dough hook and knead for 5–6 minutes rather than ten.

Why knead?

The process of kneading develops the elasticity of the dough. When the yeast feeds on the sugar and creates little bubbles of carbon dioxide, the strong stretchy web will facilitate the rising process.

What is gluten?

Gluten is the protein in the flour. When it is wet it becomes elastic, so flour with a higher gluten content will expand considerably as it rises and is therefore desirable for white yeast bread.

How do I knead?

There are several different styles of hand kneading, all equally effective, so choose the style that you feel most comfortable with. It doesn't matter which style or combination you settle for, but it's important to remember that you need to work and stretch the dough in order to develop the gluten structure, so don't just play with it. Kneading needs energy and has the added bonus of providing you with a physical workout which surely can only be desirable.

To start, scrape the dough out of the mixing bowl onto the worktop. Begin to stretch and fold. It usually takes about 10 minutes to get the dough to the correct consistency, but the length of time will depend on your technique. Here are my three suggestions:

Hand kneading: method 1

Stand upright with one foot slightly ahead of the other in front of the worktop. Sprinkle a little flour on the worktop and dust your hands, too. Tidy the dough into a manageable round. Now, with your right hand, stretch the top right-hand side of the dough and then fold it back towards you. With your left hand turn the dough anticlockwise and continue stretching and folding as you knead a different part of the dough, all the time, over and over.

Hand kneading: method 2

The second effective method is to stretch the top of the dough away from you while holding onto the end closest to you. Then roll the top edge of the dough inwards towards you and press away again with the heel of your hand. Again roll towards you, another stretch and a final roll which should bring all the dough as far as the bottom edge. Now you'll have what looks like a Swiss roll in front of you, so turn it 90° and start the kneading process again from the narrow end. Continue until the dough is fully kneaded.

• See this method in pictures

Hand kneading: method 3

This third method is effective, but very noisy. It's the best method for getting rid of frustration by far, but only attempt it if you are on your own! Knead the dough until it becomes a coherent mass, then form into a longish piece. Grip by the bottom end with your right hand. Lift up the dough, flick your wrist forward and bang the dough onto the worktop, flicking your wrist to the right in the same movement, then pick up the other end of the dough and repeat the action over and over again – you'll soon feel better and the dough will benefit from the workout, too!

How do I know the dough is kneaded enough?

You will be aware of the dough changing texture as you knead. At first, if you lift up the dough and pull it apart it will break into two distinct pieces but as you continue to knead you will be able to stretch it into a longer and longer piece without it breaking. It will also become much firmer and spring back without sticking when you press it with your fingertip. When kneaded enough, it will stretch into a long roll without breaking – so you'll be able to see the long strand of gluten you've developed with your hard work.

Is it possible to overknead?

You can, but it's unlikely to happen when you are hand kneading. A dough can be overkneaded in a machine. The tell-tale signs are when the texture of the dough changes from silky and elastic to a coarse, sticky dough that is slightly curdled in appearance.

Where can I rise my bread?

Bread will rise almost anywhere (within reason) and 27°C (80.6°F) is considered the optimum temperature but remember that cold doesn't kill yeast, so if your kitchen is a bit colder than mine, the bread may take a little longer to rise – but will still be fine. Keep it out of draughts, but you don't need to put it in an airing cupboard or on top of a radiator – and it doesn't matter how much of a hurry you're in, don't be tempted to put it into a warming cupboard or a low oven. Remember, heat over 50°C (122°F) kills yeast – and breads that rise slowly have a much better flavour and are more nutritious and digestible than those that rise quickly.

What is happening when the dough is rising?

There is lots of enzyme action going on, but basically the yeast is feeding on the natural sugar in the flour and creating bubbles of carbon dioxide gas. The yeast builds up flavour from the acids and other byproducts of fermentation – even a short period of rising greatly enhances the flavour of your bread.

Ballymaloe white yeast bread

The bread that was made in my home was always soda bread, so it wasn't until I went to school in Cathal Brugha Street in Dublin that I learned the skill of making white yeast bread. Later I brought it to Ballymaloe House and they've been making it there ever since. This dough can be used to make rolls, loaves, breadsticks and all manner of bread shapes. .

Makes 2 x 450g (1lb) loaves

425ml (¾ pint) lukewarm water
20g (¾oz) fresh yeast
700g (1½ lb) strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
2 teaspoons salt
10g (½oz) sugar
25g (1oz) butter
Egg wash and poppy or sesame
Seeds for topping (optional)

2 x loaf tins 12.5cm (5in) x 20cm (8in)

Put 150ml (¼ pint) of tepid water into a Pyrex measure. Crumble in the fresh yeast and leave in a warm place for about 2–3 minutes. Sieve together the flour, salt and sugar in a large, wide mixing bowl. Then rub in the butter and make a well in the centre. Pour in the yeast mixture and most of the remaining lukewarm water. Mix to a loose dough, adding the remaining water or a little extra flour as needed.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface, cover and leave to relax for about 5 minutes. Then knead for about 10 minutes or until smooth, springy and elastic (if kneading in a food mixer with a dough hook, 5 minutes is usually long enough). Put the dough into a large bowl and cover the top tightly with clingfilm. Yeast dough rises best in a warm moist atmosphere; 27°C (80.5°F) is optimum, but a slower rising is preferable to one that is too fast.

After about 1½–2 hours, when the dough has more than doubled in size, knead it again for about 2–3 minutes to redistribute the yeast in contact with the dough so it will have a more even crumb. Cover and leave to relax for a further 10 minutes.

Shape the bread into loaves, plaits or rolls, then transfer to a baking tray and cover with a light tea towel. Leave to rise again in a warm place, until the shaped dough has again doubled in size (about 20–30 minutes).

Preheat the oven to 230°C/450°F/gas mark 8.

The bread is ready for baking when a small dent remains if the dough is pressed lightly with the finger. Brush with water and dust with flour for a rustic looking loaf or brush with egg wash and sprinkle with poppy or sesame seeds for a more golden crust.

The bread will rise a little further when it goes into the oven – this is called 'oven-spring'. Bake for 25–35 minutes, depending on size. When baked, the bread should sound hollow if tapped underneath. Leave to cool on a wire rack.


Olive oil bread

Substitute 2 tablespoons of olive oil for butter in the above recipe and proceed as above.

Plaited bread

Take half the quantity of white yeast dough after it has been 'knocked back' and divide it into three equal pieces. Use both hands to roll each one into a rope – the thickness depends on how fat you want the plait to be. It will shrink at first so re-roll each piece a second time. Then pinch the three ends together at the top, bring each outside strand into the centre alternatively to form a plait, pinch the ends and tuck in neatly. Transfer onto a baking tray and leave to double in size. Egg wash or mist the surface with water and dredge with flour before cooking.

Bean-can bread

Originally, this might have been done when people were short of loaf tins or cake tins, but it's a great way of using what you have to bake bread. Plus, it makes round slices! Choose tins (bean cans) that don't have a deep lip on top and open with a tin opener that takes off the top of the tin. Follow the white yeast dough recipe, then bake the dough in the well-greased tins. Fill the tins only about half full to allow for rising. Tins work best if they've been seasoned in the oven a few times before the dough is inserted (see above); but if in doubt, line your tins with silicone paper.

Flowerpot bread

For an interesting shape, bake the white yeast dough in well-seasoned tin flowerpots. Oil them well before using.

Brotherly Love

Reneé Hague, the son-in-law of the renowned typographer Eric Gill, was virtually our next-door neighbour for many years. In his latter years, he loved to bake and particularly enjoyed making yeast doughs. We loved to be invited to tea, as one of his specialities was this traditional Suffolk bread called 'Brotherly Love'. Do not attempt to make this unless you have fine lard from a well-reared pig.

Serves 8

450g (1lb) white yeast bread dough, as above
75g (3oz) soft pork lard
75g (3oz) sugar

Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/gas mark 7.

Roll the dough into a 40 x 25cm (16 x 10in) rectangular strip. Spread or dab lard over it, then sprinkle generously with most of the sugar. Roll up and leave to rise for 30–40 minutes.

Brush with water, sprinkle with the remaining sugar. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6 and bake for a further 20 minutes or until fully cooked.

Leave to cool on a wire rack. Serve freshly baked and still warm, cut into slices and buttered.

• This extract is taken from Forgotten Skills of Cooking by Darina Allen (Kyle Cathie, £30)

Blog Article Posted with Reeder for iPhone 

Posted via email from uselessdesires

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Today's Joke

Daily Humor
An old farmer is driving down a country road in his pickup truck when
it starts making an awful noise. He stops the truck and crawls
underneath to investigate the problem.
"Hmmm...muffler's loose. I bet I could fix that if I had a Monkey
Wrench." He says.
He crawls out from underneath the truck and looks down the road. Off
in the distance he sees a small house. There is a black woman and
several small black children playing in the yard.

The Farmer yells to her "Hey Miss, do you happen to have Monkey

"What?" She yells back.

"A Monkey Wrench!!?" He screams.



"Naw, this ain't no Monkey Ranch, its a Day Care Center!"

Sent with Reeder for iPhone 

Posted via email from uselessdesires

Monday, 22 March 2010

Cigarettes & Cancer - 5 Top Questions Answered #wequit #smokefree

  1. What are the effects of cigarette smoking on cancer rates?

Cigarette smoking causes 87 percent of lung cancer deaths . Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women . Smoking is also responsible for most cancers of the larynx, oral cavity and pharynx, esophagus, and bladder. In addition, it is a cause of kidney, pancreatic, cervical, and stomach cancers, as well as acute myeloid leukemia.

  • Are there any health risks for nonsmokers?
  • The health risks caused by cigarette smoking are not limited to smokers. Exposure to secondhand smoke, or environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), significantly increases the risk of lung cancer and heart disease in nonsmokers, as well as several respiratory illnesses in young children. (Secondhand smoke is a combination of the smoke that is released from the end of a burning cigarette and the smoke exhaled from the lungs of smokers.) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Institute of Environmental Health Science’s National Toxicology Program, and the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) have all classified secondhand smoke as a known human carcinogen—a category reserved for agents for which there is sufficient scientific evidence that they cause cancer. The U.S. EPA has estimated that exposure to secondhand smoke causes about 3,000 lung cancer deaths among nonsmokers and is responsible for up to 300,000 cases of lower respiratory tract infections in children up to 18 months of age in the United States each year.

  • What harmful chemicals are found in cigarette smoke?
  • Cigarette smoke contains about 4,000 chemical agents, including over 60 carcinogens. In addition, many of these substances, such as carbon monoxide, tar, arsenic, and lead, are poisonous and toxic to the human body. Nicotine is a drug that is naturally present in the tobacco plant and is primarily responsible for a person’s addiction to tobacco products, including cigarettes. During smoking, nicotine is absorbed quickly into the bloodstream and travels to the brain in a matter of seconds. Nicotine causes addiction to cigarettes and other tobacco products that is similar to the addiction produced by using heroin and cocaine.

  • How does exposure to tobacco smoke affect the cigarette smoker?
  • Smoking harms nearly every major organ of the body. The risk of developing smoking-related diseases, such as lung and other cancers, heart disease, stroke, and respiratory illnesses, increases with total lifetime exposure to cigarette smoke. This includes the number of cigarettes a person smokes each day, the intensity of smoking (i.e., the size and frequency of puffs), the age at which smoking began, the number of years a person has smoked, and a smoker’s secondhand smoke exposure.

  • How would quitting smoking affect the risk of developing cancer and other diseases?
  • Smoking cessation has major and immediate health benefits for men and women of all ages. Quitting smoking decreases the risk of lung and other cancers, heart attack, stroke, and chronic lung disease. The earlier a person quits, the greater the health benefit. For example, research has shown that people who quit before age 50 reduce their risk of dying in the next 15 years by half compared with those who continue to smoke. Smoking low-yield cigarettes, as compared to cigarettes with higher tar and nicotine, provides no clear benefit to health.

    For additional information on quitting smoking, why not check out the We Quit Website? Or for great support or information, and to get a free Quit-Kit, visit the NHS Smoke-Free website: http://smokefree.nhs.uk/

    Posted via email from uselessdesires

    Benefits of Quitting Smoking by Someone Who's Quit

    20 Minutes After Quitting:

    • Your heart rate drops to a normal level.

    12 Hours After Quitting:

    • The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.

    2 Weeks to 3 Months After Quitting:

    • Your risk of having a heart attack begins to drop.

    • Your lung function begins to improve.

    1 to 9 Months After Quitting:

    • Your coughing and shortness of breath decrease.

    1 Year After Quitting:

    • Your added risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker's.

    5 to 15 Years After Quitting:

    • Your risk of having a stroke is reduced to that of a nonsmoker's.

    • Your risk of getting cancer of the mouth, throat, or esophagus is half that of a smoker's.

    10 Years After Quitting:

    • Your risk of dying from lung cancer is about half that of a smoker's.

    • Your risk of getting bladder cancer is half that of a smoker's.

    • Your risk of getting cervical cancer or cancer of the larynx, kidney or pancreas decreases.

    15 Years After Quitting:

    • Your risk of coronary heart disease is the same as that of a nonsmoker.

    Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2004.

    Posted via email from uselessdesires

    Friday, 19 March 2010

    14 Lessons on Life, Love & Friendship

    1. I love you not because of who you are, but because of who I am when I am with you..

    2. No man or woman is worth your tears, and the one who is, won't make you cry.*

    3. Just because someone doesn't love you the way you want them to, doesn't mean they don't love you with all they have.

    4. A true friend is someone who reaches for your hand and touches your heart.

    5. The worst way to miss someone is to be sitting right beside them knowing you can't have them

    6. Never frown, even when you are sad, because you never know who is falling in love with your smile.

    7. To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.

    8. Don't waste your time on a man/woman, who isn't willing to waste their time on you.

    9. Maybe God wants us to meet a few wrong people before meeting the right one, so that when we finally meet the person, we will know how to be grateful..

    10. Don't cry because it is over, smile because it happened.

    11. There's always going to be people that hurt you so what you have to do is keep on trusting and just be more careful about who you trust next time around.

    12. Make yourself a better person and know who you are before you try and know someone else and expect them to know you.

    13. Don't try so hard, the best things come when you least expect them to.


    *Edit: "No man or woman is worth making you cry, and the one who is, won't." ~ Ryan

    ~ supplied by email by my good friend, the Rev. Mair Bradley, of Derbyshire, UK.

    Posted via email from uselessdesires

    Thursday, 18 March 2010

    Unrequited Love is a Tainted, Losing Game - My Bitterness Sweetened by Creative Poison

    "Remember, the ghosts of your past are merely the shadows at your feet... A constant reminder of the life you have led, the knives you have twisted, the people you have hurt, the souls you have crushed, and the friends you have betrayed. Seeds have been sown, and now, you will reap the bitter harvest of your own contemptuous reward..."

    [Footnote: a very close 'friend' of mine apparently 'years ago' told my then-partner of 6 years that I had slept with this friend; that I had been unfaithful, adulterous and deceitful. I found this out only today, two years and many tears after the one I dearly loved left me. Of course, I was angry, hurt, shocked and upset at hearing a revelation from a partner that had kept quiet for many years. Concious of the unnecessary emotional angst and torment my then-partner must have endured in silence almost broke my heart today. That friend will only realise the damaged caused, when one day, I may be called upon in an hour of need only to find out I will no longer be there. Instead of getting angry at this former-friend, I sat down, got upset, wrote it down, and will now push it to one side, with the contemptious distain it now deserves, much like the disrespect shown to the relationship I cherished with my former lover...]

    Posted via email from uselessdesires

    I've just quit smoking - If you have ever smoked, what helped you quit? Take my poll!

    Please add any comments below, share your stories and support other people giving up smoking, or thinking of giving up smoking...

    Posted via email from uselessdesires

    British Airways - The Truth about the Forth-Coming Strike?

    Unite Newsflash

    British Airways - the truth57355-newscast-tn

    Unite cabin crew members at British Airways are now days away from strike action. Much of the media has portrayed the crew as overpaid, underworked and prepared to bring BA down to its knees. Nothing can be further from the truth. 

    The last thing BA crew want to do is to go on strike. In fact, the crew are preparing to take industrial action as a last resort because they care so much about BA and want the airline to have a future as a premier carrier. 

    In November 2009, BA imposed changes that cut over 1,000 crew members from flights, cuts that cabin crew believe have been a disaster for the on-board service quality. BA’s European flights have seen 25 per cent reductions in crew numbers and on long-haul flights crew compliments have seen reductions of between 1 and 3.  

    Unite crew members realise that BA is operating in tough financial conditions. That’s why they offered the airline £62m in savings – the same amount BA has saved by removing cabin crew from flights. Crew were prepared to compromise on crew numbers, take a pay cut, and take cuts in their terms and conditions. But no matter how much the union offered, BA simply refused to accept. Unite believes that all along BA was merely playing lip-service to the negotiating process. We believe that BA has another agenda entirely – smashing the collective voice of cabin crew. 

    BA’s management is becoming increasingly macho. Under Willie Walsh’s leadership the company has undertaken a range of union busting tactics. Most of the crew’s local union leaders are either suspended or awaiting disciplinaries. A further 30 union members have been suspended on spurious grounds. Staff are living in fear of who could be next. BA has also spent months encouraging other BA staff to help break the strike by training up as cabin crew. 

    BA has threatened to remove the travel concessions from any crew member who goes on strike – this is a particularly vindictive move when around one third of crew use it to commute to work. 

    The way forward

    Unite and its members did not want this strike.  But we have been left with no option because management will not listen. 

    We are, however, ready to resume talks at any time. Crew are prepared to offer compromise and flexibility. 

    This dispute can only be avoided if BA is prepared to make a serious attempt to finding a negotiated settlement. It could start by putting the offer the airline made last week back on the table so that Unite could give members the right to accept or reject BA's proposal. Unite is prepared to halt the strike while members are consulted and will stand by crew's decision. The ball is clearly in BA's court. 

    You can help

    As usual in industrial disputes, some media and politicians are taking the side of the employer ignoring the genuine concerns of workers. You can help get BA crew’s message to a wider audience by forwarding this email to a friend.  Check on Unite’s website to find out the real truth. www.unitetheunion.org/ba  

    Joint General Secretaries 

    Derek Simpson and Tony Woodley 

    BA’s cabin crew save lives

    BA frequent flyer Karen Ward believes she owes her life to the skills and professionalism of British Airways cabin crew. Here she tells her story about how she survived a life threatening illness thanks to the intervention of highly experienced cabin crew. Click here


    Click here to read Assistant General Secretary Len McCluskey's article in the Guardian newspaper

    Union tv
    Unite, 35 King Street, Covent Garden, London WC2E 8JG
    Unite, Transport House, 128 Theobald's Road, Holborn, London, WC1X 8TN

    ©2010 Unite. All rights reserved. All trade marks acknowledged.


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    ~ help me choose a Twitter profile picture!

    via tweetie

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    ~ help me choose a Twitter profile picture!

    via tweetie

    Posted via web from uselessdesires

    ~ help me choose a Twitter profile picture!

    via tweetie

    Posted via web from uselessdesires

    ~ help me choose a Twitter profile picture!

    via tweetie

    Posted via web from uselessdesires

    Monday, 15 March 2010

    Glee's Sue Sylvester Quotes

    • "Hey, Buddy! I was just dropping by to feed my Venus flytrap" Episode 13: Sectionals
    • "You think this is hard? Try being waterboarded, that's hard!" (Episode 1: Pilot)
    • "You think this is hard? I'm living with hepatitis, that's hard!" (Episode 1:Pilot)
    • "Your resentment... is dellllicious." (Episode 1: Pilot)
    • "You think this is hard? Try filling your own cavity, that's hard!" (Episode 1: Pilot)
    • Sue: "See, now what you're doing here is called blurring the lines. High school is a caste system and kids fall into certain slots. Now, you have your jocks and your popular kids up in the penthouse. Your invisibles and kids playing online trolls and creatures, bottom floor." Will: "So where do the Glee kids lie?" Sue: "Sub-basement." (Episode 1: Pilot)
    • "Lady Justice wept today." (Episode 2Showmance)
    • "I took the liberty of highlighting some Special Ed classes for you. Maybe you can find some recruits there because I don't think anybody else is going to want to swim over to your... island of misfit toys." (Episode 2:Showmance)
    • Sue: Iron tablet? It keeps your strenght up when you menstrate. Will: I don't menstrate. Sue: Yeah neither do i.
    • "It is my strong suggestion these two students be hobbled." (Episode 2:Showmance)
    • "Let me be the one to break the silence. That was the most offensive thing I have seen in 20 years of teaching and that includes an elementary school production of "Hair."" (Episode 2Showmance)
    • Will: "Are you threatening me?" Sue: "Threatening you? Oh no, no, no, no. Giving you a chance to compromise yourself? You betcha! Let's break it down. You want to be creative, you want to be in the spotlight. Face it. You want to be me! So here's the deal. You do with your depressing little group of kids what I did with my wealthy, elderly mother. Euthanize it! It's time, and I'll be happy to offer you a job as my second assistant on Cheerios. You can fetch me Gatorade, launder my soiled delicates. It'd be very rewarding work for you." (Episode 2Showmance)
    • "This is what we call a total disaster, ladies. I'm going to have to ask you to smell your armpits. That's the smell of failure. And it's stinking up my office!" (Episode 3Acafellas)
    • *when Principal Figgins forces them to hug* Will: "I will destroy you." Sue: "I am about to vomit down your back." Will: "It's on." (Episode 7: Throwdown)
    • "There's not much of a difference between a stadium full of cheering fans and an angry crowd screaming abuse at you. They're both just making a lot of noise. How you take it is up to you. Convince yourself they're cheering for you. You do that, and some day they will. And that's how SueC's it." (Episode 4: Preggers)
    • "I'll often yell at homeless people: 'Hey, how is that homelessness working out for you? Try not being homeless for once.'" (Episode 4: Preggers)
    • "God, it feels good to finally pop that zit known as Will Schuester."
    • "Oh, I know the Dutch are famous for being a cold people but that’s no excuse for treating you like some half-priced hooker in Amsterdam’s famous red-light district."
    • "I don't trust a man with curly hair. I can't help but picturing birds laying sulforous eggs in there and i find it disgusting"
    • "Are these your droopy white granny panties, Jacob? Are you an Eve who was born a Steve? Because if you are, I think there’s a special school that would better address your needs. And I think that school is in Thailand."
    • "Schuester! Yeah? I'll need to see that set list for Sectionals after all, and I want it on my desk, warm from the laminator at 5:00 p.m. And if it is one minute late, I will go to the animal shelter and get you a kitty cat. I will let you fall in love with that kitty cat, and then, on some dark, cold night, I will steal away into your home and punch you in the face." Episode 8: Mash-Up
    • "If I have a pregnant girl doing a handspring into a double layout, the judges aren't going to admire her impeccable form, they're going to be wondering if the centrifugal force is going to make the baby's head start crowning." Episode 9: Wheels
    • “If there’s anything on that list that involves demeaning, fruity hair tossing, I’m cutting it!” Episode 10: Hairography
    • "Never let anything distract you from winning. Ever." Episode 10: Hairography
    • "I have reasonable confidence that you will be adding revenge to the list of things you're no good at -- right next to having a marriage; running a glee club; and finding a hairstyle that doesn't make you look like a lesbian. Episode 13: Sectionals
    • "Love ya like a sista!" Episode 13: Sectionals
    • “Get ready for the ride of your life, Will Schuester,” she told him. “You’re about to board the Sue Sylvester Express. Destination: Horror!“ Episode 13: Sectionals
    • “I’m going to head down to my condo in Boca, brown up a bit, get myself back into fighting shape.” Episode 13: Sectionals
    More great Glee info on GleeWiki:

    Posted via email from uselessdesires

    Site News

    Just a few lines to tell you of a few developments:

    - If you found this site via www.fotoflickr.co.uk, my photography & design site, that's because it's now closed. If you are interested in buying the domain name from me, let me know.

    - The email addresses & mailboxes associated with fotoflickr.co.uk have now closed also.
    These include:
    info@fotoflickr.co.uk and

    - if you have tried emaling any of those addresses, please resend your email to ryan(at)uselessdesires.co.uk. Just substitute the (at) for the @ symbol. Spam is a problem! You can also email me on ryanjaprice (a)gmail.com.

    - I have just secured, after two or three years of waiting, the domain name flomo.co.uk - I hope to launch a new site offering photography & design services under the new name of flomo* in the near future. For now, www.flomo.co.uk redirects to my main blog at www.uselessdesires.co.uk .

    That's it for now. Nothing exciting. Just thought I'd share what I've been doing while giving smoking! See you on Twitter? I'm @uselessdesires on there.

    Bye for now...


    *flomo = flo & molly, my two cats!

    Posted via email from uselessdesires

    Stopping Smoking Tips

    Stopping smoking is not easy. Below are some tips which may help you to quit smoking. At the end of the leaflet there are details of some further resources that may help.

    Write a list of the reasons why you want to stop, and keep them with you. Refer to them when tempted to light up. You may wish to read a separate leaflet in this series called 'Smoking - The Facts'. This gives the reasons why smoking is so harmful and lists the benefits of stopping.

    Set a date for stopping, and stop completely. (Some people prefer the idea of cutting down gradually. However, research has shown that if you smoke less cigarettes than usual, you are likely to smoke more of each cigarette, and nicotine levels remain nearly the same. Therefore, it is usually best to stop once and for all from a set date.)

    Tell everyone that you are giving up smoking. Friends and family often give support and may help you. Smoking by others in the household makes giving up harder. If appropriate, try to get other household members who smoke, or friends who smoke, to stop smoking at the same time. A 'team' effort may be easier than going it alone.

    Get rid of ashtrays, lighters, and all cigarettes.

    Be prepared for some withdrawal symptoms. When you stop smoking, you are likely to get symptoms which may include: nausea (feeling sick), headaches, anxiety, irritability, craving, and just feeling awful. These symptoms are caused by the lack of nicotine that your body has been used to. They tend to peak after 12-24 hours, and then gradually ease over 2-4 weeks.

    Anticipate a cough. It is normal for a 'smokers cough' to get worse when you stop smoking (as the airways 'come back to life'). Many people say that this makes them feel worse for a while after stopping smoking and makes them tempted to restart smoking. Resist this temptation! The cough usually gradually eases.

    Be aware of situations in which you are most likely to want to smoke. In particular, drinking alcohol is often associated with failing in an attempt to stop smoking. You should consider not drinking much alcohol in the first few weeks after stopping smoking. Try changing your routine for the first few weeks. For example, don't go to the pub for a while if that is a tempting place to smoke and drink alcohol. Also, if drinking tea and coffee are difficult times, try drinking mainly fruit juice and plenty of water instead.

    Take one day at a time. Mark off each successful day on a calendar. Look at it when you feel tempted to smoke, and tell yourself that you don't want to start all over again.

    Be positive. You can tell people that you don't smoke. You will smell better. After a few weeks you should feel better, taste your food more, and cough less. You will have more money. Perhaps put away the money you would have spent on cigarettes for treats.

    Food. Some people worry about gaining weight when they give up smoking as the appetite may improve. Anticipate an increase in appetite, and try not to increase fatty or sugary foods as snacks. Try sugar-free gum and fruit instead.

    Don't despair if you fail. Examine the reasons why you felt it was more difficult at that particular time. It will make you stronger next time. On average, people who eventually stop smoking have made 3 or 4 previous attempts.

    Stop Smoking Clinics are available on the NHS. They have a good success in helping people to stop smoking. Your doctor may refer you to one if you are keen to stop smoking but are finding it difficult to do so.

    Various medicines can increase your chance of quitting. These include Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) which comes as gums, sprays, patches, tablets, lozenges, and inhalers. You can buy NRT without a prescription. Also, medicines called bupropion (trade name 'Zyban') and varenicline (trade name 'Champix) can help. These are available on prescription. See separate leaflets called 'Smoking - Nicotine Replacement Therapy', 'Smoking - Helping to Stop with Bupropion' and 'Smoking - Helping to Stop with Varenicline'.

    Further help and information

    Quit - a charity that helps people to stop smoking.
    Quitline: 0800 00 22 00 Web: www.quit.org.uk

    Smokefree - information from the NHS
    Free smoking helpline 0800 022 4 332 Web: www.smokefree.nhs.uk
    For help and advice on stopping smoking, and for details of your local NHS Stop Smoking Service.

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    Sunday, 14 March 2010

    A Mother's Love ~ A Mother's Day Poem & Some Photos

    A Mother's love is something

    that no on can explain,

    It is made of deep devotion
    and of sacrifice and pain,
    It is endless and unselfish
    and enduring come what may
    For nothing can destroy it
    or take that love away . . .
    It is patient and forgiving
    when all others are forsaking,
    And it never fails or falters
    even though the heart is breaking . . .
    It believes beyond believing
    when the world around condemns,
    And it glows with all the beauty
    of the rarest, brightest gems . . .
    It is far beyond defining,
    it defies all explanation,
    And it still remains a secret
    like the mysteries of creation . . .
    A many splendoured miracle
    man cannot understand
    And another wondrous evidence
    of God's tender guiding hand.

    ~Helen Steiner Rice~

    The top photo was taken by my brother Matthew, a couple of years ago, on Caldy Island, off the coast of West Wales, showing me and Jane, my Mother. 

    This picture was taken way back when! It's baby-me and my mother, Jane on a beach:

    This was my 'other' mother, my Grandmother, Betty Brown, strawberry picking! My Nanna & Me:

    To complete the maternal line, this is my Great-Grandmother, my Grandmother's mother and my mother's grandmother. This is Nanna 'Pow' as I don't think I could say her name at the time! Me & Nanna Powell:

    Finally, 30 years later, me and my mum in Brecon, South Wales, last summer:

    Happy Mother's Day everyone. Treasure the one's you have, remember the one's lost...   

    Posted via email from uselessdesires

    Saturday, 13 March 2010

    Early Morning Walk from Work

    via tweetie

    Posted via web from uselessdesires

    @osfoora the inline geotag preview isn't...

    @osfoora the inline geotag preview isn't representative of my general location :( see how tweetie do it (attchd)

    Posted via web from uselessdesires

    Friday, 12 March 2010

    Osfoora for Twitter - Screenshots of my ...

    Osfoora for Twitter - Screenshots of my 5-Star AppStore review. http://post.ly/SPI7

    Posted via web from uselessdesires

    Osfoora for Twitter - Screenshots of my ...

    Osfoora for Twitter - Screenshots of my 5-Star AppStore review.

    Posted via web from uselessdesires

    Thursday, 11 March 2010

    Osfoora for Twitter - App for the iPhone AppStore Review

    "A Serious Contender to Tweetie 2"

    (Star Rating: 5 out of 5)

    The UI is intuitive and elegant, while adding a bucket-load of essential features, some of which seem unique to Osfoora. Tweetie has been my app of choice for a long time and I've professionally tested almost every Twitter app available on the app store. Osfoora is now my default Twitter app, and although there's still room for a few improvements/additions, if there was an award for best-newcomer, Osfoora would win! Five stars! The developer always replies to feedback/questions on Twitter, which is really special. Keep the updates coming - I love what you've done with this beautiful app so far.

    A few requests:
    - Push notifications
    - Bookmarklet capabilities
    - Swipe the top left button to return to home/timeline
    - Swipe a tweet in timeline view to reveal more functions
    - Inline image preview
    - Post to Posterous support
    - Inline geotag preview image
    - With the 'now playing' function (which is great!), the ability to create a custom tweet template of the initial text you want to insert

    That's all I can think of for now - I'll update my review as the updates keep coming; looking forward to the 1.2 update! And thanks for a great experience...

    follow @uselessdesires

    Posted via email from uselessdesires

    Osfoora Twiiter App for the iPhone AppStore Review

    "A Serious Contender to Tweetie 2"

    (Star Rating: 5 out of 5)

    The UI is intuitive and elegant, while adding a bucket-load of essential features, some of which seem unique to Osfoora. Tweetie has been my app of choice for a long time and I've professionally tested almost every Twitter app available on the app store. Osfoora is now my default Twitter app, and although there's still room for a few improvements/additions, if there was an award for best-newcomer, Osfoora would win! Five stars! The developer always replies to feedback/questions on Twitter, which is really special. Keep the updates coming - I love what you've done with this beautiful app so far.

    A few requests:
    - Push notifications
    - Bookmarklet capabilities
    - Swipe the top left button to return to home/timeline
    - Swipe a tweet in timeline view to reveal more functions
    - Inline image preview
    - Post to Posterous support
    - Inline geotag preview image
    - With the 'now playing' function (which is great!), the ability to create a custom tweet template of the initial text you want to insert

    That's all I can think of for now - I'll update my review as the updates keep coming; looking forward to the 1.2 update! And thanks for a great experience...

    follow @uselessdesires

    Posted via email from uselessdesires

    BBC Weatherman Tomasz Schafernaker with Johnny Partridge from Eastenders

    If you use this image, please link back to www.uselessdesires.co.uk


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