I am on the endless search for a pair of good tweezers. This year alone I think that I have purchased about 4 pairs (why the hell are they called pairs when there is really only one?). I might be one of those obsessed eyebrow plucking chicks. Sometimes I go on a plucking overdose and completely overpluck my eyebrows leaving me with a bit of a surprised look. The funny thing is that most girls do this from time to time.

In my hunt for the perfect tweezer I have searched high and low. Bought expensive ones, cheap, middle range, blunt, rounded tip, slanted tip, square tip, sharp, dull. I bet that you didn’t even realise that there were so many different kinds of tweezers. But, yes, there are. All catering to my weirdo plucking obsession.

After this big hunt my search has finally ended. I have officially found the best tweezers in the world. It is a little secret that Arlie has been in on for years, but I guess I just wasn’t listening very hard.

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Tweezerman! They rock. The perfect tweezers. I am a convert and will never use any other kind. Run out and buy a pair and start plucking all those unwanted hairs! They even come with a lifetime sharpening guarantee!

Here are a few tips on tweezing…

Five Easy Steps To Accurate Tweezing

  1. Brush hair in the direction of hair growth.
  2. Isolate the hair you are about to tweeze.
  3. Tweeze in the direction of hair growth.
  4. Pull one hair at a time.
  5. Pull gently and smoothly, making sure not to yank.

Shaping Your Brows
The shape of your brow should follow the natural line of your brow bone. The arch should be highest at the outer corner of the pupil. To determine where the brow should begin, place a pencil straight up from the side of the nostril. To determine where it should end, hold the pencil diagonally against the outer corner of the eye pointing up to the brow bone. Brow should extend slightly beyond the eye at which point it should taper slightly down.

Not Sure How Much to Tweeze?
Be sure to step back from your mirror and check your brows periodically. Tweeze a few hairs from one brow and then the other so they remain symmetrical. Remember that it’s better to tweeze too little than too much.

Do’s and Don’ts

  1. Do tweeze in the direction of hair growth.
  2. Do open your pores with a hot washcloth to make tweezing easier.
  3. Do use a make-up concealer to draw your desired brow shape, then tweeze the hairs that fall below the line.
  4. Don’t use creams or moisturizers that can cause the tweezer to slip.
  5. Don’t tweeze nose hairs or hairs growing out of moles.

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Tuesday night was the evening of the 2006 CNET Awards UK party here in London. It was a lovely little black tie event over at the Park Lane Hilton (also home to Nobu and the Met Bar). Skype was up for Internet Innovation of the Year award for Skypecasts. Skypecasts is the product that I’ve been working on for the past year of being here at Skype so I was invited along with a fun bunch of colleagues to go and bask in the glory of being nominated.

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Everyone was dressed to the nines and in a great celebratory mood when we strolled into the champers reception.

And the evening continued on with a little meal and a few bottles of vino and a lot of laughs and pictures. Should be noted that you knew you were at a table to geeks when two of the table (not even me) were blogging from their mobile phones.

We were all gutted that we didn’t win our award. But if there was an award for table of the best looking people we defo would have won that. GO SKYPE!

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Rest of the photos can be seen here

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I know that I thought I was done with the PC project, but it seems to be some neverending mission that I have embarked upon.

The latest addition to the PC? A tv tuner card so that I can watch all those fabulous BBC shows from the comfort of my bed. Another cool thing that I can do is record said shows for all my little Estonian friends that don’t get these great British shows. Or for my own viewing pleasure…

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The features of my new TV@nywhere a/d card?

• Watch free-to-air digital terrestrial TV and listen to digital radio (not DAB) on your PC
• Worldwide analog TV reception from cable/air TV
• Integrated Video Decoder and Audio Decoder (BTSC, EIAJ, NICAM, A2 & AM etc) chipset
• Integrate Philips Silicon Tuner and Demodulator to receive DVB-T signal
• Supports real-time video recording in MPEG-4/2/1 format (MPEG4 is compatible with DivX or Microsoft MPEG4). (Note: codec need to be downloaded from internet)
• Supports Time-Shifting and Scheduled Recording function
• Supports Still Image capture in JPEG or BMP format
• Supports Microsoft DirectSound for Analog TV / AV / S-Video
• Support HDTV Receiving up to 1080i (DVB-T Only)
• Additional AV/S-Video Input, be able to connect other video sources (such as DVD Player/VCD/VHS/Camcorder)
• DVB-T is compatible with Microsoft MCE 2005
• Listen to FM Radio
• Remote control function
• PIP: Turns on and off PIP Mode, which lets you watch both digital TV and an analog input (S-Video or AV in) at the same time in separate windows
• TWIN: Turns on and off Twin Mode, which lets you watch digital TV and an analog input (S-Video or AV in) at the same time side by side

The only issue that I have now with my uber multi-media pc is that it is completely the most uncomfortable thing to watch from my bed. It hurts my neck! Damn it – a flaw in the plan.

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I am seriously disturbed by this video…yet intrigued at the same time. WTF is going on here.

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Everyone in England complains about the NHS (National Health Service) and I used to be one of those people, but I am finding that more and more I am convinced that the system isn’t that bad (translation in Stephanie terms: pretty good). Of course it has its flaws, but I think that people are missing the point that this is free (I pay my taxes) healthcare available to everyone.

Let’s think about what a rip off health insurance is in the States. I once went to the hospital for a bladder infection so that I could get a prescription for antibiotics and the visit cost a whopping $2750. And that didn’t even include seeing a doctor or the actual pills. What a joke. Thankfully I have enough money that things like that would kill me, but what if I didn’t have health insurance and I broke my arm or even worse? I’d be dunzo bankrupt.

This doesn’t happen in England. I am a foreigner and I have an address here therefore I am entitled to free health care here. I have a pretty good GP around the corner from my house that always books me into an appointment within 1 day of calling. I now have a specialist rheumatologist who is really good and caring. The NHS even gives you free birth control. Yeah right that they will do this stuff in the States.

The flaws of the system? That i’m not really sure about yet because I haven’t had to go through any surgeries or anything. I did have to wait a few months for my specialist referral appointment which was annoying. Another annoyance is I have been sitting here in the waiting room to get my blood tests done for about 30 minutes now and I still have 13 people in front of me (they have gotten through 6 people in that time). Not ideal, but at least I have wireless access in here and can rant about things. Oh and the final annoyance is that the hospitals are pretty worn down looking.

Overall though I’d like to say that my experience with the NHS has been positive. I’ve thusfar gone through a battery of tests and seen quite a few specialists and everyone has been helpful and professional. Things take a little bit longer but based on the fact that it is a free service I can certainly practise a little bit of old fashioned patience.

I makes me sad to think that Americans, while the hospitals and treatments might be more advanced than here if you are lucky enough to have private insurance, still suffer at the hands of evil health care organisations. Top that off with the fact that there are millions upon millions of people that live in the States with no health care at all and you realise that the healthcare system is completely corrupt and broken. When the hell is someone going to fix it?

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Seriously. This is what our conversations are like. We drink a few vodka tonics and then blather on and on about the existence of rollerbladers in Barcelona. Every person in this video sounds like a complete and total moron and I call them my friends.

Stupid is as stupid does…

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I think I’ve fallen off the edge of the earth into complete and total geekdom to a place that I can never actually be retrieved except by a Star Trek transportation unit and a room full of ubernerds with their glasses taped together.

Seriously. Space time continuum stuff. OK maybe not quite that geeky…but close enough for a girl like me. It couldn’t get any geekier unless I actually started hosting Dungeons and Dragon parties at my house on Friday nights.

So what is it that has me on the brink of becoming an unsociable monster?

My latest gadget purchase. The Neuros OSD Linux Media Recorder Beta. Only 200 beta units available and I have secured one for myself.

What the hell is that?

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Out of the box, the Neuros OSD functions as a media recorder and player. Connect the OSD to your TV and give it an analog video input from your DVD or cable box and it can encode video in various formats for your portable devices like PSP or mobile phones. Files can be stored and played either using media cards or using a USB external hard drive plugged into the OSD. However, the really special part about the OSD is its wealth of ports and the completely open source firmware. You get analog video/audio input and output, ethernet, USB, infrared, serial, two card slots to accommodate CF and SD/MS/MMC cards, plus a full-function universal remote.

Sound cool enough like that? Sure, why not. We like out of the box functionality.

But that is hardly where it ends. This device is completely hackable. In fact, it is encouraged that you hack it. Yep, embedded programming. How geeky is that? With that said, I have not a freaking clue of how to do embedded programming which is where the fun part comes in.

I am making this a little project for myself to learn a few new tricks of the trade. Probably won’t be easy, but I do need something more than drinking vodkas and soldering jewelry together with a blowtorch to keep my brain occupied these days.

Where to begin with a project like this? Well that is the tricky part. I’ve actually joined the irc chat with the real hackers of this so I can linger in and perhaps pick up a few acronyms from them. Then I guess it is time to hit the books and participate with the other wannabe hackers online.

I can already begin to see this project spirallly horribly out of control into some expensive mission… For example, I now need to purchase a tv tuner card for the PC. And then who knows what else I’ll have to get from Yoyotech. Damn it!

Maybe I should just take up something easier and cheaper like gardening or flower arranging.

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Oh my god. I need to have one of these. I really loved Tickle Me Elmo, but this is beyond that.

It is Tickle Me Elmo TMX. And he is awesome. Seriously. This has just topped my wishlist for Christmas.

Buy one for me on eBay

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It’s Biscuit’s birthday today so I made a little video for him from all these pics from the past years. Notice that throughout every year the boy is ever only wearing a white Prada shirt. What the hell is up with that?

Happy Birthday to one of my bestest friends!

You can see the video from his 31st birthday here

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Arrived home from a weekend jaunt to good old Barcelona. Headed out on Friday to Gatwick after having been home for an entire day. Thankfully I had hired a pet sitter for Roley-cat so I didn’t have to worry about him dying while Arlie was away in the States.

I was completely not thrilled to be flying Sleasy Jet again for the 3rd time in a week, but I somehow managed despite the fact that I wanted to vomit when they were doing their “hey we’re funny flight attendants” bit. It might be funny for those passengers that don’t fly all the time, but it annoys the hell out of me after having heard it on the same flight at least 20 times. Blah.

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Arrived into town and was thinking I would have a nice early night hanging out with Tim and Giles and having a little vino. WRONG. Ended up at Kasbah with Alex, Greg, Evalina, Flo, Kathryn, Tim and some other randoms. And after that – despite the fact that Alex and I made a pact to go home at 3am – we ended up at La Terrassa for some more dancing. Typical!

Saturday was a little cloudy and I was exhausted beyond anything I can remember in the past few months. Giles came over and whipped up an entire lunch for me and sat on the sofa watching Footballer’s Wives for something crazy like 4 hours. Then we packed up and went to dinner and finally ended up at Ottozutz with Jesus and Alex until about 3 am.

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Sunday got up at noon and went down to the beach to catch up with Bonita and Greg. Had the standard 3 bottles of wine and some fab fideau at Cafe Sal (just like old times) then had a little siesta on the beach. Went home and changed then met up with Giles for some dinner at Thai Gardens. Mmmnn yummy soup!

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And there you have it. The weekend in a nutshell. Not too exciting but it was great to see Giles, Alex, Greg, Bonita and Tim (for a brief second). My biatches!

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