Monday, 27 April 2009

Racy Agent Provocateur Ad Provokes Mixed Reaction

News from the lingerie business continues to be good. News is especially good if you happen to a woman in Detroit who was miraculously saved after a bullet rebounded off her bra wiring. Aside from acts of god, sales in the industry continue to rise even amidst a global recession. Good news for those who have jobs in the industry (damn lucky people, working with bra models must be such a chore). Recent reports from Agent Provocateur suggest that sales have continued to grow by almost 10% since last March.

Fresh on their current success AP have released a new racy advert in an attempt to get bra enthusiasts really pumping. Agent Provocateur’s 2001 advert featuring Kylie on a bucking bronco is reputedly the greatest TV advert of all time, certainly gets a reaction off me every time I watch it. Here’s a quick glimpse for those of you who might have missed this one.

AP’s new advert features supermodel Karen Elson as queen of the sirens, intent upon eroding the virtues of young knights who happen to stray into the forest of wonders. Scantily clad lingerie models cavort with each other in a variety of pictures. There is also a saucy video which accompanies the ad campaign.

Agent Provocateur 'Call of the Sirens' Teaser - Click here for this week’s top video clips

However, internet inspectors and official geeks have managed to find a few flaws with AP’s new campaign. Take a look at this picture. Check out the extremely bad photo-shopping which has given the blonde the most bizarre looking arm and thigh I have ever seen. Full marks for sauciness, but D- for IT skillz.

Friday, 24 April 2009

Time for Dinner....

A dining table is the most important piece of furniture that you will buy for your dining room (or the part of the kitchen or living room in which you eat your meals), so it's worth taking some time to work out exactly what type of table will suit your home, in terms of both practicality and style. Here are some hints and tips on finding a dining table which is the right size and shape for your family and home.

Dining Table Size

The first thing that you'll need to decide upon when looking for a new dining table is the size of table that you want. This will depend upon where you want to place your new dining table and the number of people that you want to be able to seat around it. It's important to make sure that everyone will have enough room between them in order to be comfortable and that there is enough space around the table for them to be able to get up and sit down easily. Ideally, each place should be about 24 inches - 32 inches wide so that people don't feel cramped, and your table should be about 80 inches from the nearest wall, unit or other piece of furniture.

Even if you only have a small family and aren't likely to be cooking meals for a group of people, it's worth considering whether or not anyone in your family is likely to use it for other purposes, such as studying or crafts activities. If so, you may need a larger table than you first thought.

If you don't have much room but would like to invite guests to dinner occasionally, you might want to consider buying an extendable dining room table. However, make sure that you measure up carefully to ensure that the table will fit when it's fully extended.

Choosing a Dining Room Table - Shape

Dining room tables are available in a range of different shapes and, in order to find the right table for your home, you'll need to consider how you are likely to use it, as well as what shape of table will fit in with the style and the other furniture in your home.

Rectangular dining tables, for example, look good if your dining room is fairly formal in style and are most suited to long rooms. Round dining tables are great for family homes, as the design makes it easy for everyone to talk to each other. They are most suitable for use in large rooms, but they can look good in alcove-type spaces.

However, make sure that your new dining room table's shape will work with any other furniture in your room before making your decision. A good way of doing this is to cut out a template from paper and lay it on the floor, as this will enable you to envisage what your new table will look like, as well as seeing whether or not it would fit in different positions in your dining room.

Many retailers allow you to order furniture, including dining tables, online, which means that your new piece of furniture will be delivered directly to your door, which is particularly convenient when you are buying large items. You can also find various online buying guides like this sofa guide. If you’re environmentally conscious you can also find a variety of climate change friendly furniture from eco beds to eco tables from all over the net.

A dining table is an important piece of furniture so it's worth taking some time to work out exactly what type of table will suit your home.

Original content via Ezine

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Transformers – Sofas in Disguise

Every day my obsession for crazy furniture just grows and grows, and grows. I spent the morning at work trawling through websites looking for the coolest sofa I could find. And here it is, it’s unbelievable, it’s magical….its’ f*cking floating! No joke this is seriously the most amazing invention since the hover-board from Back to the Future 2. Here it is, isn’t it fantastic….

Unfortunately the cloud is just a concept at the moment. It was designed by D. K. Wei and it is originally based upon a Chinese legend about a cloud and a monkey king. Here’s what Mr Wei said about the cloud concept…

“Cloud is a sofa concept designed for ultra comfort and relaxation. The soft floating upper part is supported by the magnetic force generated by the bottom base. No matter if you want to work and sit with comfort or simply a power nap to release the stress, you can always enjoy your time to relax on the floating cloud.”

If the theoretical just isn’t practical enough for you, then how about this mighty morphing sofa which more than meets the eye. Cue Soundwave and that awesome noise he makes. Yep that’s right damn your normal boring couches check out these amazing transforming sofas!

Imagine the fun you could have with these, you could change your living room everyday or whenever you liked. Design and technology two magic best friends when it comes to furniture design, it’s just a shame that Megatron and Optimus prime couldn’t be here today.

Watch this ridiculous Soundwave parody it's awesome, what the hell is with Hollywood Soundwave kicked a**

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Eco Shoes - Tread With Care...

I must admit that I have a great love for any new fangled environmentally friendly products that come out. While browsing a news site I came across an advert to Timberland shoes advocating their new range of eco-friendly shoes. On their website Timberland proudly announce that the eco shoe, named Earthkeepers are made from 50% recycled PET! Don’t worry folks Fido is still ok and no pets were harmed in the making of this shoe, apart from a few pigs maybe. PET stands for polyethylene therephthalate (PET) and is the plastic used to make fizzy drinks bottles. So it’s good news for those of you out there with an environmental conscious. Timberland also state that the Earthkeepers are made with linings made from recycled materials, as well as having the outsoles made with recycled rubber and the all-day comfort of soft leather from a silver-rated tannery. You can also find a wide range of Earthkeepers in different styles including sandals and high ankle boots.

A quick eco-shoe search brings up a whole series of environmentally friendly products. One of the best that I found comes from a company called El Naturalista, a great green looking company who emphasise their commitment to guiding the consumer industry away from harmful synthetics and towards a more eco-friendly method of shoe production.

The consumer market is clearly moving towards a greener more conscience based economy which is great news. One of the main problems facing any global warming campaigner is the pressure that big corporation can negatively apply. This pressure can come in many forms either through advertising or lobbying. Another method is to use aggressive competition either by making a less environmentally friendly product and selling it much cheaper than its eco alternatives or by actually buying up the company and its patent product and then shelving it in a deep dark corner never to be seen again. Urban myths suggest that big oil companies have been doing this for years; one particularly frequent story is that of a man who designed a carburettor 100% more efficient than normal ones, this patent was subsequently purchased and then buried out of sight.

Such actions, if true, are clearly the work of cynical and greedy men intent upon maintaining the status quo, but the shift towards a greener lifestyle clearly indicates that this style of business tactic will no longer be tolerated or accepted by those striving against insurmountable odds in the effort to fight for our environment and our eventual survival on this great, green planet that we call Earth.

Monday, 20 April 2009

Once upon a time….

There was a princess. One day she was browsing the internet and her fairy godmother showed her the most amazing selection of beds in all the land. If you have a little princess you want to indulge then look no further than this. Here’s a quick glance at some of the most exotic and beautiful fairy-like furniture from around the web.

Magical Beds

If you’re feeling flush and want to give your little princess the ultimate fairytale bedroom then you can’t go wrong with this Elvish style four poster bed. It looks absolutely stunning.

If that doesn’t tickle you’re fancy then how about going for the ultimate Cinderella experience for your little cherub. This great carriage style bunk bed brings both fantasy and functionality together, without any pumpkin-like small print.

Of course these pieces are a little pricy and may be out of your budget range, but parts can be easily replicated at a much lower cost. You can find a great range of beds and furniture from online or High Street retailers. Once you’ve made your purchase then you can simply modify them with a bit of MDF to turn your ugly duckling’s bedroom into the ultimate fairytale shrine.

A few modifications like this speaking mirror or these printed page bed sheets make the ideal finishing touch to any princesses’ room.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Flower Madness.

Spring is in the air and soon summer will be in full bloom. Animals will be frolicking in the fields and the great British countryside will be bejewelled with a myriad vista of colours and flowers. The great spring rush of daffodils, snowdrops and bluebells will soon give way to a plethora of bountiful colours across the land.

Now traditionally there has always been three ways to go out and get yourself a bunch of flowers. The most obvious shopping route would be to head to the nearest florists, have a quick chat, get slightly confused and then let the lady at the counter pick a selection while you occasionally chuck in the odd name of a flower that you know. “Err Lilies?”… “Not for a wedding sir” replied the florist with a comforting, yet patronising voice.

Option two is of course to go and pick your own. This can have some unfortunate side effects thou, like obtaining some sort of fungal rash or getting chased from a field by a shotgun wielding Collie and group of farmers. Picking certain wild flowers is actually illegal and an operation such as flower picking must be handled with great care if you hope to avoid a ASBO or even possible jail-time.

Option three is even more disreputable and involves, wall jumping, a cemetery and a getaway car. Option three is a complete no-no people, it’s disrespectful and cheap. In light of this it’s probably best to go for option one or possible two at a push.

Of course nowadays with all this new fangled technology you can order your perfect bunch from the comfort of your own sofa. Several high street florists and retailer have now opened online flower shops where you can peruse at will, you can even find multiple guides on the net for choosing the right flowers for the right situation. You can also find great guides to British flowers and guides showing you which online flower shops are the best ones to go for.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Great Books for the Win!

Like most 21st century guys I’m a great lover of crazy new technology, but one thing I can’t abide is this whole E-book computerised digital reader business. It’s just not natural. A book is a thing to love, hold and cherish, not something that has to be turned on, updated and downloaded. Part of my dislike for these readers comes from working at a computer screen for 8.5 hours a day, after that you really don’t want to go home and stare at another one. I expect it’s the old romantic in me that suggests that books should be printed and placed on musty shelves in some deep dark library basement. There really is nothing like it, the smell of old books is somehow calming and soothing. Some of my greatest university memories involve long hours in the Classics library scanning through antiquated hardbacks.

Anyway enough of my reminiscing… on to the shopping. Most people nowadays buy their books either from Amazon or through their local High Street retailer. Personally I prefer to buy my books from my local Read & Return, it’s a great place to go to if you just want to read something, but not necessarily buy it and have it forever. Once you’ve read the book you can take it back and exchange it for part of its value and replace it with another one at a slightly different price.

I recently brought a bit of a selection from my local R&R. This included David Simon’s Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets, Brent Weeks’ The Way of the Shadows and A. B. Bosworth’s Conquest & Empire: The Reign of Alexander the Great.

Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets

It’s hard to really start and write a review for such a phenomenal book. Let’s start at the beginning. David Simon worked as a reporter for the Baltimore Sun back in the 80’s. During his stay at the Sun he spent a year working with the Baltimore City Homicide Division. The book provides an in-depth and accurate portrayal of a year within one of the busiest homicide departments in the US. Throughout the year Simon’s follows cases and detectives as they work their scenes and attempt to solve cases while battling the bureaucracy of the police department. It’s a fascinating insight into the world of homicide with little left out, well worth a read.

The Way of the Shadows

Being a bit of a fantasy nut I have a penchant for assassin books. I’d read some reviews about this book on the net so I decided to grab it and give it a go. Like most fantasy books it starts with an orphan and a love story. I must admit that I liked the characters and the plot, but at points I found myself lost as to what was actually happening. It was too jumpy for me. I also spotted a fair few broken and distorted sentences which for me completely ruined the book. Far from being encapsulated and drawn into the world I found myself outside looking in, trying to work out what was happening. Certain parts of the story are in my opinion badly told and the author fails to complete the images he attempts to describe. It’s a far cry from something like Robin Hobbs Assassin books which in my opinion is high-fantasy majestically written in a captivating style.

Conquest & Empire: The Reign of Alexander the Great

For many years now A. B. Bosworth has been at the forefront of Alexandrian history. If you ever wanted to read a book that provides a simple, yet in-depth, analysis and narrative of Alexander’s rise and fall then this is the book for you. Bosworth’s knowledge on this subject is second to none and the author writes in a superb academic style. Towards the back of a book is a collection of essays concerning several key Alexander themes including the Macedonian army, his connections to divinity and his attempt to incorporate both eastern and western ways of life into the Persian Empire. A must have for any Alexandrian scholar.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Shopping for a Job

With the current economic crisis still taking a downward spiral, perhaps the best thing to shop for at the moment is a job. Many people are facing job cuts, redundancies and general unemployment. Having recently been unemployed myself I can tell you that it is not as much fun as some people make out. Living off a measly £62 per week is not easy and the sense of self loathing you get from entering a Job Centre Plus is equally disheartening.

The fact is that you can virtually stay on Job Seekers with very effort. Every 2 weeks you have a 5 minute interview where they ask you what you have been doing to find employment. Outright lying is an option, asking a time consuming question will also take up those precious 5 minutes, allowing you to get signed off for another 2 weeks. The system is simply not rigorous enough and many people simply take the money and head off for another 2 week siesta.

So what can you do to find a job in this difficult time? Well it all depends on what industry you want to work in. Blue collar jobs are currently on the decline, so are financial jobs, construction jobs and jobs within the manufacturing industry. Retail is also on the decline, but there are some green shoots emerging from black pit of recession. As mentioned in previous posts the lingerie business is currently booming and expanding. Online retail is also expanding due to its ongoing successful battle against the High Street. The computer industry has suffered some job cuts, but it is still generally considered safe from the recession. Recent reports suggest that computer game sales have continued to expand and are so far showing no signs of slackening. Another up and coming industry is environmental based work. With the world becoming more concerned about global warming, governments have decided to alter the economy to a more eco-based economy.

Possibly the best thing you can do right now to look for UK jobs is to head to a local recruitment agency or check out their various internet sites. Failing that you could try volunteering. Volunteering is a great way to get into to a difficult and competitive vocation. There are also various work schemes that you can do to help you improve your career options. If you are shopping for a job at the moment best of luck to you and check out this top 10 recession proof jobs list.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Jedi Underwear!!

Shop on guys! Here’s a classy video for all you lingerie loving Jedi nuts out there. I bet Vadar never had any disciples like these two.

Monday, 6 April 2009

Bra Busting Aussies

According to a new report released in Australia over 40% of Australian women wear a bra with a cup size of DD or above. Great news for Australian men I guess! As mentioned in last months post Bustin, the lingerie market has continued to expand even in the event of a worldwide economic downturn. It seems that alongside the mafia and Hollywood, it appears that the lingerie market is recession proof as well.

According to the Australian report bra sales in the 1950’s were predominantly focused upon A cup sales, where as nowadays 40% buy DD which has now replaced A cup as the most common size sold. According to lingerie buyers DD cups sales have grown by 8% within the last few years. Some lingerie companies have introduced bras with cup sizes as high as K. Experts have suggested that this rise in cleavage levels is mainly due to cosmetic surgery, contraceptive pills, obesity and new types of artificial hormones.

Finding the right bra size has always been difficult and now lingerie companies have had to expand their ranges to deal with size increases. One of the biggest problems associated with this increase in breast size is a nationwide decrease in female physical activity. Larger cup sizes can be incredibly bothersome when it comes to exercise and sport. Medical experts have also announced that there has been a steady increase in the amount of breast reduction operations to combat this rise of bosoms.

Read the full article here.

Nice sofa love!

Friday, 3 April 2009

Feng Shui

Today Shoppa-dabba-do enters the mystical eastern realm of Feng Shui. Feng Shui originated in China and is an aesthetic system that uses supposed laws of heaven and astronomy to improve one’s life by manipulating the flow of chi. The literal longhand translation of Feng Shui is “chi rides the wind and scatters, but is retained when encountering water”. Feng Shui is all about attempting to harmonise and direct the flow of life forces within rooms and houses. Traditional Feng Shui requires a lou pan, a Chinese compass, which is used in conjunction with auspices to determine the best locations and directions for your furniture.

There are some excellent guides out there for buying sofas and for choosing the right type of beds. Once you have looked at beds or bought your sofa its time to get it home and start to Feng Shui it up. There are several key principles that you must look into when using Feng Shui, this depends upon the size, age, colour, location and interaction of your furniture within its surrounding environment.

There are multiple techniques used within Feng Shui many involve the five elements of water, wood, fire, earth/soil, metal, the four compass directions and the use of ying-yang style polarity.

Here’s a video I found giving you a brief starter into the world of Feng Shui.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

High-Tech Fashion

Once again we dip into the world of crazy fashion. This weeks’ video come from the realm of and features loads of bizarre and unique items from GPS shoes for prostitutes to LED wedding dresses to prosthetic lingerie for women who have undergone a mastectomy. I particularly like the white hippy dress with the interactive butterflies that move in time with your heart beat, a very cool innovation that brings fashion and technology together in one fell swoop. Another swish new item is the electronic umbrella that can visually display your photos under the parasol.

Trendhunter is great if you want to find out what’s hot, what’s cool and what is just downright strange. I love this climate change friendly furniture article about recycling old tyres into chairs, tables and beds. It’s great to see people taking the initiative and really doing something to help the environment. More companies need to diversify and expand down these eco-friendly routes.

More funky trends coming up next week… So stay tuned for more shoppa-dabba-do!