Tuesday, 29 December 2009

50 Trends for 2010

(Source: the Times)


Get over your camera phobia: the next decade will be “video, video, video”, declares Zoe Lazarus, trend analyst at Lowe Worldwide. Prepare to move from words to images. If the Noughties was the decade we forgot how to spell, will this be when we forget how to read?


Hold on tight: modern life is moving into the “now”, says the ad agency JWT, with a constantly updated stream of real-time information and virtual interaction. Think Twitter buzz, vlogs (video blogs), breaking news and rapid, mobile response. Do keep up.


Twitter is going to clean up, with social transport (a phenomenon that started with Tweetbike — tweet for a pick-up), bespoke Twitter gigs (Frankmusik’s latest tour, in fans’ bedrooms, was guided by their tweets) and alerts on everything from bread straight out of the oven to asthma warnings (see MediClim).


Let’s hope Santa delivered a smartphone. Your mobile will serve as entertainer, currency, friend-finder and informer, says Yannis Kavounis, of The Futures Company: “Our phones will take us away from our screens and get us out there.”


The Minority Report has arrived: according to Trendcentral, AR will allow consumers to view digital content (local stockists of your fave brand, restaurant reviews or nearby houses for sale) overlaid onto the streets before you.


Interactive storytelling across film, comics and gaming (remember, pictures are the new words). You can also connect with friends on screen — so as you read/view your story, you can comment on it with friends. Check out the Amanda Project for young girls.


Favourite websites will already know your shape, preferred brands and, of course, credit-card number. Tobi.com has virtual fitting rooms (using webcams and motion sensors) and posts your image to Facebook for friends’ opinions. And with a smartphone and the ShopSavvy app, scan an item’s bar code to find cheaper versions.


To get consumers offline and into the store, shops are working up the experiential quotient. Expect in-store events, “rock-up” spaces (even more guerrilla than pop-up) and designer collaborations, only “IRL” (in real life).


Already in prototype, shoes that harvest energy as you walk, generating electrical power for charging your pods and mobs.


Print won’t die, it will become electronic, with the arrival of paper replacements such as Plastic Logic — flexible electronic sheets that allow books and mags to be read as if on paper.


With GPS devices (such as the Buddi) to track wayward kids/pets/grannies, anti-cheating software to infiltrate your partner’s call log and texts (Mobile Spy), and biometric recognition in, like, everything, you’d better watch your back.


Think electronic, mood-managing walls, a robotic house help that cleans and entertains pets, washing machines to calculate detergent levels and energy metering as standard by 2020.


Cloud-computing means your PC, networks, email and mobile are connected. “Organise a dinner party on Facebook — your radio-tagged fridge, which knows its contents, will order from Ocado, and the robot maid will do the rest,” Lazarus says.

14) 3-D TeleVisions

How television-makers are fighting the computer’s domination. You may be watching the World Cup next year from behind the sofa as the ball flies through the room. (Sky will be broadcasting in 3-D; silly specs still required.) Also hotly anticipated are 3-D mobile phones.


You can already beam television around the house without having to run a cable under the Persian rug, and wireless charging pads exist that can power up multiple gadgets. Eventually, phones will feature solar panels, just as calculators used to.


Voice recognition grows up (and gets better). Many gadgets — phones and satnavs, for instance — already respond to voice commands, but soon they’ll be able to talk back, with up-to-the-minute, local recommendations. Bad news for real-life friends.


With no icecaps, try outer space for holiday top trumps. Since Virgin Galactic’s inaugural commercial flight, with only six £121,000 seats, is already full, head instead to Spain, when the high-speed Paris-Madrid link opens in 2012(ish).


The self-help gurus herald love as the next holy grail. But this isn’t about smug, coupled-up bliss — more a big-hearted approach to work, money, family, community, even politics. The happiness guru Robert Holden leads the fray, with workshops on how love can be applied to all.


No need to get crusty to save the world. This kind of commune — aka co-housing — sees you in your own home, but with shared laundry, tools, cars and WiFi to reduce waste. Springhill, in Gloucestershire, is Britain’s first.


Spread that love with pot-luck parties, where everyone brings a dish. This is the American trendspotter Marian Salzman’s tip for the future. Borrowing from neighbours is about to get much easier, she anticipates, as the NeighborGoods model (a kind of lending Freecycle) picks up here.


Social networking goes hypersocial: “Popular online services are all about tracking, connecting to and meeting interesting people,” Trendwatching.com says. Try meetup.com.


Cutting out the middle man, pooling resources and starving those fat cats is the new growth area, Kavounis says. It could be “so long” to Tescopoly if Arthur Potts Dawson pulls off The People’s Supermarket, run by the people for the people (www.peoplessupermarket.org ).


You’ll yearn to retreat from the modern buzz to “safe spaces”, Salzman says — empty your head by the sea, camp en famille, get low-key.


Seeing as we’ve exhausted conventional luxury, the new consumer high will come instead from social enterprise. For example, Chocolate & Love employs people with Down’s syndrome to pack the choccies. It’s about feeling good, not guilty.


Brace yourself for swotty holidays — Salzman predicts that we’ll all be up for educational self-improvement to overhaul our lives and reinvent our shallow Noughties selves.


As 90 becomes the new 70, so new gaps in the market are swiftly filled: the Thermador hob with auto shut-off, Whirlpool washing machines with pedestals to stop the stoop, and Samsung’s Jitterbug mobile, which rings (loudly) at meds time.


An ageing population means a rise in “sandwich” families — with children and elderly parents to look after. Tricare to the rescue: childcare, elder care and pet care in one happy space. And nobody to mind the noise.


It began on Twitter, with the Iranian elections and the campaign against that abusive London Underground guard. The virtual lynch mob is perma-armed with video cameras and can mobilise in minutes.


After a decade of cover-ups and nondisclosure, it will all be about transparency, accountability, unrestricted access to information and a deluge of honest, user-generated feedback. You, too, may find that there is nowhere to hide, with open-salary practices and an internet that never forgets.

Hail the age of consequences — the Future Laboratory predicts calorie and carbon counts on menus, fat taxes on airlines and bossy traffic-light stickers on products, berating you for harming yourself, animals, farmers and the planet.


Home-farming chard and chickens is child’s play. Now prove yourself with pigs: pig-arcs.co.uk . And, according to Lazarus, the Grow It Yourself (GIY) movement will, um, mushroom as processed, packaged convenience foods fall from favour.


This erstwhile foodie fetish, popularised by Fergus Henderson, will be the new vegan, says Maude Standish, of Trendcentral: “It’s how carnivores can enjoy meat in a green and holistic way.” Also, steady yourself for in vitro meat — yup, grown in test tubes.


Bright pink, plastic and pleasingly tacky to children aged 4 to 12, the Firefly (£85) has only five buttons, including the folks on speed dial.


Eat your 13-year-old heart out, Tavi: the adultification of kids will hit way younger. Six-year-olds are already creating bespoke outfits on the online playground Kidzui.com.


Your own brand starts with your public profile (such as Facebook) — which must appeal to employers, mates and dates — and finishes with the “me-conomy”, says Reinier Evers, of Trendwatching.com. As respect for multinationals plummets, so the independent revolution arises.


Yes, that’s Facebook for kidz, predicts Jenny Dyson, contributing editor of Teen Vogue: “A disturbing and genius idea, but how to keep it sacred to children?”


MagCloud (magcloud.com ) can publish one copy, or one million, of your magazine. Blurb (blurb.com) does the same with books. As new rules make blogs more transparent, they’ll get more credible.


Even Mary Portas will be this, when she starts selling direct on Maryportas.com next year. We’ll all be commercialising our wardrobes and shopping from friends, reckons Salzman. Supermarketsarah.com was there first.


“Fame will become infamy,” Salzman warns. Citing recent examples such as Octomom, Balloon Boy and the White House reality-TV couple, she predicts we’re entering an anything-goes universe. Take cover.


Roman Abramovich is on it — his superyacht has an anti-paparazzi laser shield to zap digital-camera images. Also expect anti-WiFi paint and companies to clean up your digital dirt. Phew.


To avoid that doppelgänger effect, apply to Vonrosen (vonrosen.com), a shamelessly exclusive Berlin label — only those approved by the company are permitted to purchase.


Six-foot glamazons are all very well, but nothing gets people talking on Planet Fashion like using a real woman. Remember Mark Fast’s spat with his stylist over plus-size models, and US Glamour’s — gasp — belly roll?. Dress down for those street casters.


It’s the decade of creative collaboration, asserts Trendwatching.com, as brands move away from a transactional, us-and-them mentality. Where Nike ID led, others will follow. Selfridges hosts frequent customising events, such as Louis Vuitton monogramming. Create your own heirlooms.


Seven calories per yawn? Forty-three per star jump? Remove the guesswork with Fitbit, a watch-like device that measures calorie output, distance travelled and sleep quality.


Forget about cup size — a high IQ will be key in finding a mate, Salzman says. A healthy brain, boosted by exercise or supplements, will be the new six-pack, she predicts. We’ll post our IQs on Match.com, and neurologists will be the new surgeons as we queue for our brain nip/tucks. No, no, you first.


The consultant dermatologist Dr Nick Lowe predicts a UK ban on tanning beds, given that 100 people die from melanoma every year as a result of overuse.


According to New Scientist, stem cells could be used for treating neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s, strokes and Alzheimer’s. To get them to the brain, you might have to inhale them.


The beauty industry is moving on to gizmos, or “integrated application tools”, according to L’Oréal, which next month launches Perfect Clean, a cleansing range with the detachable “scrublet” pad. (See also Maybelline Pulse Perfection Vibrating Mascara, Neutrogena Wave vibrating cleanser and Garnier’s massaging Eye Roll-On.)


“We’ll be seeing skincare morphed with make-up, such as foundation resembling well-moisturised skin,” says Terry Barber, of Mac. He forecasts powder-based products that imitate real skin, spelling the end of excessively groomed “Waginess”. We also welcome the predicted demise of short-term celebrity fragrances.


Mintel predicts the use of ingredients from extreme environments, such as the Arctic, deserts and deep seas, in the beauty industry. Clarins is working with — wait for it — watch lubricants to help skincare stability, while L’Oréal has been studying genes: its Youth Code range with “Pro-Gen technology” launches next month.

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Alcohol helps you lose weight...

There is some debate about the effect of alcohol in weight loss on a low-carbohydrate diet.

Dry drinks like vodka and dry wines contain no carbohydrates, but they do contain alcohol. This provides energy at 7 calories per gram and, as alcohol is absorbed rapidly by the body, this source of energy can be used as a source of fuel by the body in place of carbs. The late Dr Albert Pennington, who had considerable experience of high-fat, low-carb diets in the treatment of obesity in the middle third of the 20th Century, says that alcohol checks the combustion of fat in the body.

This is probably true. We know that alcohol does not raise insulin levels, it is not stored as fat and, thus, will not itself make us fat. However, it can stop weight loss. If the calories provided by alcohol are used preferentially, that will mean calories from both glucose and body fat will not be used until the energy supplied by the alcohol is used up. This must have an effect on weight loss. (Note that here I am talking about the alcohol in a drink, NOT the carbohydrate content of that drink. That will contribute to weight gain.)

On the other hand, there is Banting's evidence. He took six glasses of claret a day and a glass of rum or something like that most nights when he went to bed, and still he lost weight.

Another researcher working with low-carb diets, Dr Gaston Pawan, of the Middlesex Hospital, London, mentioned the intriguing possibility that alcoholic drinks, by dilating the blood vessels in the skin and making it work harder, may step up metabolism to an extent which more than compensated for the calories taken in as alcohol. This increased metabolism, coupled with increased loss of water from the skin and in the urine, he opined, could then result in weight loss. There is experimental evidence for this.

Pawan's colleague, Professor Alan Kekwick found that obese patients who were losing weight satisfactorily on a high-fat, low-calorie diet, would still continued to lose if alcohol was added in amounts up to as much as 500 calories a day — which is equivalent to about a seven fluid ounces (190ml) of 37.5% gin or vodka. But if that extra 500 calories were given as a carbohydrate-rich food such as chocolate or bread, they stopped losing weight and started to gain. It seems probable that all alcoholic drinks except those such as beer or sweet wines and liqueurs which contain large amounts of carbohydrate, are not fattening.

It might be wise to consider, however, that the stimulation of appetite and the removal of inhibitions by alcohol may mask the slimming effect by tempting you to overeat the fattening, carbohydrate foods which are so often provided with drinks.


Friday, 25 December 2009

Xmas Lunch

The average person passes gas about 14 times a day, and normally it doesn't smell bad. But what about when it does?

Here's one tip. Go easy on eggs, meat, beer, beans, and cauliflower. They all release nose-assaulting hydrogen sulfide when broken down by bacteria in the gut.

Sulfur Solution
Some of the sulfur-rich foods mentioned above may be healthy favorites of yours, so don't feel like you have to give them up completely. To avoid the smell, eat some leafy green vegetables or pop a probiotic pill (specifically one rich in Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG) along with the sulfur-producing items. For beans, which are full of good-for-you nutrients you shouldn't pass up, soak them ahead of time, or try a little Beano. Check out this video clip on how to soak dried beans.

Gas Attack
If you find that you get gas frequently, you may need to not only avoid certain foods but also change your whole approach to eating. Try these tips:

* Eat smaller meals more often. Along with fighting flatulence, mini meals help control appetite. Here's how.
* Ditch bubbly drinks. Carbonated beverages can cause bad gas. Find out why they're bad for your heart, too.
* Beware of fats. High-fat foods slow digestion. (But don't give up the friendly kind.)
* Get moving. Regular exercise makes for a healthy bowel. (Set a walking goal and track your progress.)

Could your GI problems be a sign of irritable bowel syndrome? Find out with this quick quiz.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

10 free things for Christmas

Christmas e-cards

Christmas cards definitely seem to have had their day. Not only does buying and posting them all add up, but most of us seem to think it pretty pointless to chop down trees to make thousands of cards that are put in the bin within a matter of weeks.

But what if you'd still like to send some festive cheer to your friends and relatives? Good news, there are plenty of e-cards available that can be sent to your whole email address book in seconds, and some are even free. And many have unlimited space for your message, so you could even squeeze in your annual Christmas letter to boot.

Check out 123 greetings, blue mountain, e-cards and Ilovecards for free Christmas e-cards - and for free charity cards take a look at Treeaid and SOS Children's villages.

Free Christmas animation

Alternatively, for a bit of fun JibJab is offering to create you a free animated Elf snowball fight video. Simply find some photos on your computer of each member of your family (you can have up to 5) and the software will lead you through what to do. You'll then all be made into "elves" and watch the snowball fight animation begin! (This is also a great one to send to friends and family).

Free Christmas clipart

If you fancy creating your own gift tags, table decorations or party invitations you'll need some sort of Christmas artwork. If you're not inclined to create your own you can find heaps of free Christmas clipart here that can be simply pasted into your creations to give them a lovely festive feel.

Alternatively, you could print these free, ready created gift tags, certificates, Christmas cards and even gift wrap from All Things Christmas.

Free Christmas activities for kids

The Christmas holidays are on their way so it's time to get prepared with activities to keep the kids occupied. You can find free games, puzzles, or your child could even write his/her very own Christmas story featuring him/herself as the lead character at the Blackdog site.

You can create Christmas decorations and other projects at the AllFreeCrafts site and ActivityVillage (including Shidonni - where you can create your own virtual pet).

Plus there are some Christmas themed activities at the CBeebies and CBBC websites.

Have a read of Top 10 cheap Christmas activities for kids for more help.

Free Christmas music

Having a party or gathering but don't own a single Christmassy CD? Not to worry, the internet can come to the rescue.

You can find free Christmas party music and download Christmas MP3s of carols and music. If you fancy a Christmas sing song but can't remember any words, you can find the most popular music and lyrics here. Or simply create your own playlist and stream the music you want from Spotify or We7.

Free Christmas parking

Many towns and cities will be offering some sort of free parking incentive in the run up to Christmas with a number timing this with free festive activities and events.

If you live in Bridlington, for example you'll be able to park for free, each weekend in the run up to Christmas, saving up to £3.50 a day. Check out your local council's website and see how much you can save.

Free Christmas events

Although there are a lot of festive events that cost money, there are equally a large number that are absolutely free.

If you live in Liverpool, you can take the kids to free art and craft activities and Christmas storytelling at the World Museum. Anyone living in London can take advantage of the free events lined up at the Southbank Centre.

And if you're in Doncaster, head over to the Frenchgate centre this Saturday. Not only will kids be able to have their faces painted, there will be live magic, and stilt walkers and jugglers will be handing out free lucky dip bags.

Adopt our goal Cut the cost of going out for more help.

Free Christmas knitting patterns

Knitting has become incredibly trendy with a surprising number of us having picked up some needles for the first time. If you're an avid knitter, or know someone who is, Knitpat is offering a free, downloadable knitting pattern to create cute Christmas novelties such as tea cosies and placemats.

Free or cheap Christmas gifts

Christmas presents can add up to a fortune, and let's face it; most are simply dumped in cupboards after the big day. What a waste of money!

Why not agree to a "no gifts" Christmas with presents only bought for the children, or organise a Secret Santa? Or try your hand at making Christmas presents such as bath salts and cookies.

Alternatively, there are things you can give that will cost you nothing apart from a little time that will be far more appreciated.

For example, why not create a voucher that will entitle a parent to a night's worth of babysitting; an elderly relative an afternoon's worth of gardening or a child to ice skating/swimming/football in the park?

And if you must buy presents don't forget those loyalty points - you may have enough Tesco, Nectar or Boots Advantage card points for a few free gifts. And you can snap up a free Alvin and the Chipmunks watch here (you'll need to pay £1.99 P&P).

Free festive makeover

Finally, if you have a Christmas party to go to, you can look great for nothing by getting your make up done in a shop or department store. Big names such as MAC do charge a fee which is redeemable against any cosmetics you buy. But if you stick with smaller companies you can often look just as good, without having to pay a bean. Just try to turn up when they are a bit less busy, and make sure you're dressed smartly! Read 10 ways to look good for less this party season for more help.

Have a happy and frugal Christmas!

Get help from lovemoney.com this Christmas

If you're feeling the pinch this Christmas, we can help!

First, adopt this goal: Make some extra money

Next, watch this video: How to save when you've got no money

Finally, why not have a wander over to Q&A and ask other lovemoney.com members for advice?

Monday, 21 December 2009

Have you enrolled on a course?

One piece of advice was to enrol on this - if you haven't done so by now, then you're too late.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Business opportunity....

Check this opportunity - six bedrooms...look at the investment...

Friday, 11 December 2009


A Christmas arrival - the Second Coming?...or is something much nastier being planned?

Read it here... and here....

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Recording Videos

How to Use Laptop Camera for Recording Video & Taking Pictures

How to Use Laptop Camera for Recording Video & Taking Pictures I have webcam built in on your laptop but how do I use it ? Well here is the answer. Laptop PC’s equipped with webcams are becoming standard these days.

But, What many don’t know is that with an additional program you can turn a laptop camera into a decent digital camcorder allowing you to record hours of high quality video for youtube or etc.

How to Use Laptop Camera for Taking Pictures

  • Go to Laptop’s My Computer
  • Click USB Video Device under Scanners and Cameras
  • It will Open a Window where you will be able to See yourself. Face your Laptop’s Camera to the Object you want to Photograph.
  • Click on “Take a new picture” to capture a photo. Wait for a Few Seconds as the response time is slow.
    How to Use Laptop Camera for Taking Pictures
  • The Picture will be saved automatically. Rich Click and Select “Save in my pictures”.

How to Use Laptop Camera for Recording Video

  • Open Windows Movie Maker (Should already be installed, Start > All Programs > Windows Movie Maker).
  • Look for “Capture Video” Option.
  • There will be “Capture from video device”.
  • Run through the wizard for settings etc.
  • And Finally Take Record your Video.

How to Use Laptop Camera for Recording Video

Video Quality will be as good as Picture Quality (1280 x 960 for 1.2 megapixel Camera)

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Tuesday, 1 December 2009


I was going to post asking whether all ravens are black.

But I changed my mind - instead read this...


Listen carefully to the language of this video...

(The welcome from the Principal)