Podcast recommendation- Global News Podcast

Keeping you, in the know!

My grandfather used to say, although I couldn’t see, but I was still more informed about the world around me than most people. And he wasn’t wrong, as although I couldn’t physically see what was going on around me, but I used to keep myself informed by listening to everything I could get my hands on. And these were the dark ages of AM/FM radio, and before I had my own computer with adaptive technology. So, I had to rely purely on free to air radio stations for news of the outside world, outside of my own four walls.

So, you can say, this is why I particularly enjoy podcasts, as it’s just like old school radio, but you get to pick and choose what you want to listen to, when you want to hear it! And for the past 18 months I’d been following the BBC’s coverage of the Corona Virus, by the way of their daily Coronavirus Global Update podcast- a daily 5 minute whip around the globe, covering the main Covid-19 related stories of the day. Until one day, when the new episodes just stopped. And days went by without a new upload. This was in late February and soon I realised why. The war in Ukraine had started, and the BBC were diverting their resources to cover the conflict over there. And in my podcast player, under ‘You might like’, was the BBC’s ‘Global News Podcast’. So, I naturally gave it a listen.

And to my surprise and pleasure, I found all the same newsreaders who I’d grown familiar with, but now instead of covering the Coronavirus, they were covering the war. And for the first few weeks it was just wall to wall coverage of Ukraine, 2 episodes a day, 30 minutes each. So, from being across everything related to Covid-19, all of a sudden I was all across the goings on in Ukraine.

But now that the world has turn its attention to other matters, the Global News Podcast has a more balanced reporting, they cover everything and anything. From conflicts to science, entertainment to politics, the obscure to the mega-mainstream i.e. Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars. They cover it all! so if you want to see beyond your own local happenings and prefer to turn your attention more further afield, then check out the Global News Podcast! Why I’d recommend it, is that in a daily 30 minute hit, I’m given all the news which matters around the world. Gone is the need to actively look for trending news items on the web or sit through hour long TV news broadcasts with all that advertising in-between. But now I wake up each morning, listen to my 30 minutes while I go about my morning routine  and I’m up to speed in what’s important around the world!

And because it’s the BBC, I find their reporting to be fair and impartial, detailed and to the point, and most importantly it’s trustworthy!

So, if you want to develop some new habits in how you receive your information, free from fake-news, and spared any sensationalism or purely eyeball grabbing headlines- check-out the BBC’s Global News Podcast, just click HERE! And you can be as informed as mee……. “So, they say it’ll be any day now when we’ll land our first man on the moon! How awesome is that?”

Disney Plus recommendations- Gordon Ramsay Uncharted (seasons 1-2

It’s like Bear Grylls meets Jamie Oliver!

And the boycott of Netflix continues….. Oh, I’m just joking, it’s not an active effort to avoid Netflix content, but there’s nothing worth watching on Netflix ATM! Ouch! So, we’ve been spending the past few weeks watching purely Disney Plus, and what we’ve been binging at the moment has been Gordon Ramsay Uncharted!

For those who are unfamiliar with the National Geographic series, it’s essentially potty-mouth Gordon Ramsay on the ground, in a different remote location per episode, trying out the local delights and attempting to replicate his take on the local cuisine at the end of his stay in said country. It’s both travel doco and cooking show all rolled into one, whilst including some extreme experiences like deep sea diving or sheer cliff climbing- in attempts by the locals to humiliate poor Gordon. Hehehe.

To date we’ve seen Gordon in Sumatra, South Africa, Tasmania, Alaska, Laos,  Hawaii, Morocco, New Zealand, and Peru. Although the format is a bit predictable i.e., Gordon meets local renowned chef who welcomes Gordon to country and introduces him to the local food and terrain, before informing him who he’ll be cooking for at the end of the week. Then Gordon goes off and meets a number of different locals, oftentimes in the most odd and inhospitable locations, where they show him the local produce and ways of eating said produce, before Gordon returns back to locally renowned chef to either collaborate on a feast using the techniques/ingredients he’s just learnt, to feed some VIPs or the friends who he’s just made during the week, or the locally renowned chef competes against Gordon in a head-to-head cook-off. Either way, everyone is well fed and happy at the end of the meal, and after much praise of Gordon’s talents behind the stove, Gordon heads off on his next global adventure.

To date there has been 3 seasons (21 episodes), and we’ve enjoyed each one we’ve watched thus far! Sure, Gordon might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but we’ve warmed to him since watching his Masterclass, and he shows a large amount of vulnerability and humility  on ‘Uncharted’, as he heads off into the unknown, the locals having a bit of a laugh at the expense of the big white fella. Hehehe.

So, if you’re looking for a Reality TV show to binge this weekend, check-out Gordon Ramsay Uncharted on Disney Plus! Just click HERE! It’s much better than you’d ever imagine it to be!      

Podcast recommendations- The Mismatch

Coming to you twice a week is Chris Vernon, joined by Kevin O’Connor, a.k.a Kevin O’Bama, Kevin O’Candyland, Kevin O’Camerman,  Kevin O’Concert, KEVIN! What’s up Verno!

Now I’ve been hearing that same podcast intro twice a week since the 2021/22 NBA season first started all those months ago back in October! And since then, I haven’t missed an episode yet!

As the new NBA season was nearing, I thought to myself “wouldn’t it be nice to get back into the NBA?” Because as a kid of the 90s, I and all of my contemporaries were all into basketball. Be that watching NBA Action on Saturday morning TV, playing school-boy basketball (very poorly), or collecting and swapping basketball trading cards. We were all obsessed with Jordan, Shaq, and Kobe.

But fast-forward to the end of high school, for me when school ended  somehow so did my passion for hoops. And for years on end, I hardly thought about the sweet game of basketball and soon all the NBA superstars of the era became  foreign to me. Literally and metaphorically- like who is Embiid? Jokic? And Antetokounmpo?

And in my attempts to get back into it,  I literally stumbled upon these guys. You know, in your ‘Listen now’ tab of your Apple Podcast player, it suggests other shows which you might like?

I’m mainly subscribed to sports podcasts (NFL and F1), and news content, so all of my recommendations were on those lines. But the first NBA podcast it recommended, was The Mismatch from the Ringer Network of podcasts, and naturally I clicked on that first. And from the get-go I was welcomed by Chris Vernon’s predictable intro, to welcome his co-host onto the show, Kevin O’Connor!

And to this day, I still don’t know why the show is called ‘The Mismatch’- sure it’s a sporting term to refer to a far superior player matched up against an individual who has absolutely no chance of stopping said superior player. However, what’s the mismatch they’re referring to here?

Is the mismatch in their ages? As Chris is “an older” gentleman (probably in his 50s), compared to his younger co-host Kevin who is in his late 20s early 30s. Or is the mismatch referring to their accents? As Chris is from the South and has a distinct Southern accent  while Kevin is originally from Boston and now resides in LA and has more neutral tones. Or is the mismatch referring to their differing views? As they argue passionately their opposing opinion on the game, standing steadfast to their individual hot-takes. I think this is what they’re trying to lead us to believe if the podcast blurb is an indicator. But to tell you the truth- these days they seem to be more agreeable than argumentative. And that’s a good thing methinks, as who wants to listen to two men arguing at each other for 60 minutes?

But either way, as compatible or conflicting Chris and Kevin are, they have absolutely captured my attention for an entire NBA season, all 9 months of it. So as the 2021/22 season draws to an end, have I caught-up on the game of basketball? Sure have! Do I have a newfound enjoyment of the game? Yes sir! And have I found a new man-crush? Well, I wouldn’t go that far, but I do respect the duel of Chris Vernon and Kevin O’Connor! So, if I was going to recommend an NBA pod to anyone, it would probably be The Mismatch. Coming to you twice a week (Tuesdays and Fridays),and for good measure, mid-way through the season they introduced a third episode called ‘The Void’, where Kevin chats with a different guest each week to dive deeper into a single NBA storyline.

So, if you want to keep up-to-date with the NBA, but you don’t have the time to watch countless hours of NBA highlights or scroll through web-sites looking up box scores. The Mismatch is the perfect pod to keep you across the games, through the key storylines of the day, discussions on the biggest games of the week, and a deep dive into a specific topic which is sure to intrigue!

So, here’s something to look forward to as one season draws to an end, and the new season isn’t far behind it. To check out ‘The Mismatch’, just click HERE! We’re playing basketball, we’re playing basketball!

Netflix recommendations- Bling Empire (season 2

This proves that there is absolutely no good shite on Netflix ATM!

And this is exactly what my sister has been telling me for the past 12 months, why they say they rarely watch Netflix anymore. As there’s  an obvious drop-off in good and new content to binge on Netflix! Grrrr! But what we’re seeing are the second instalments of series which did alright in 2021- now extending out the story-lines for another season. But are these second go-rounds any good?

In the case of Bling Empire season 2, I have to admit it’s as good as, or perhaps even better than season 1? But what does that really say about season one though? For those who are unfamiliar with Bling Empire, it was dubbed as the real life version of  ‘Crazy Rich Asians’. And they’re justified to say so, as each of them were born into wealth (in some cases mega-wealth, we’re talking 10 figures here), while some are self-made, while some are just your typical run of the mill good looking Asian model. You know?

In season one we spend much of the time just getting to know these rich Asian characters, and in season two we delve a little deeper below the surface, learning of their hidden secrets, vulnerabilities, and who likes whom etc. And of course, after seeing their friends gain notoriety (probably on Instagram or gossip blogs), their equally shallow friends had to get into the mix, so we’re introduced to a few more of their friends, just as rich and eyebrow raising as the others.

For moments there was a story-line which I was really getting behind, be that the deepening friendship between Kevin and Kim- the two most down-to-earth of all of their friends. But of course, drama split them asunder, due to a manufactured drama. But who am I kidding!? The entire show is one big, manufactured drama! It’s either rich people creating their own drama to make their otherwise meaningless existences more meaningful (in their eyes); or the drama is manufactured for the benefit of Netflix and its viewers. As after all both Kelly and Christine are Executive Producers on the show.

But hey, like I always say, when you point a finger at someone else, three fingers are pointing right back at you. So, what does this show say about me? Here I am rolling my eyes at the rich, and their silly antics, but I’m the one who is encouraging them. Because as I  invest my time to watch their antics, my viewing habits are then providing data to Netflix so they can decide if they’re going to pay for a 3rd season of Bling Empire. The end outcome being that if their renewed for a third show it furthers each of their ambitions of being celebrities, people who you recognise on the streets and follow on mass on all the social platforms. *Shrug*.

And even as I now blog about Bling Empire, this exhibits how few good shows are currently on Netflix, half of the driving force for me to complete the series was so that I had content for this weekly blog!? *Headshake*. Last year I had rolled-up the review of Bling Empire season one into a post where I reviewed 3 similar shows all at once. But now due to the lack of content, I’ve spent an entire post on it! And it doesn’t prove that it’s great or even good, but more like there’s nothing else to write about ATM! Ahhhhh!

Netflix, I hope you have a whole pipeline of new shows coming our way! As you have a hungry audience out there, an audience addicted to binging content- an addiction which you Netflix had first created in us! If you don’t meet our needs, we’ll just have to go elsewhere to find a streaming service alternative who can give us what we need! Constant new shows! Bigger! Better! Badder than what has come before it! Moohaaha!

For those who have already scraped the bottom of the Netflix barrel and looking for anything and everything to binge, check-out Bling Empire, just click HERE! Let the shallowness and petty drama begin      !

Netflix recommendations- The Circle (Season 4

For the life of me, I can’t remember who won season 3! Argh!

And here we go again! I have to admit, with some Netflix series, they do feel like you’ve just finished one and the next season is already released! But in the case of the Circle, it’s a very welcomed thing! As the Circle thus far has been super entertaining, the players have been characters you can definitely fall-in-love with, and there are always twists and surprises which keep both you and the player on their toes!

And season 4 is no exception, the central features which you know and love from the Circle are still there. E.g., the Circle building located in Salford, England; each individual player isolated in their own apartment like they’re in COVID Hotel quarantine; Circle chat- a social networking like platform which is their only means of communication with their fellow players; the anonymity they hide behind to either play as a ‘Catfish’ or to secretly throw shade on nemesis or ally alike; the popularity votes to nominate the Influencers which ultimately determine the outcome of the game; and of course, the $100K+ prize pot for the winner of the game!

But in season 4 there are a few extra secrets and twists e.g., a celebrity dual who Catfishes as a random player; the players having the potential to affect the size of the prize money; and even the return of an ex-player, all be that in the form of their true selves after the first time around their profile was used as a catfish avatar for another player! So, with those new surprises installed for season 4, this novelty alone made the latest return back to the Circle worthwhile for us!

And as the seasons go by, I think the producers are becoming more experienced in casting and choosing the right players for the game. As this season each individual brought their own charm to the show. In the final 5, honestly it was anyone’s game. There was no obvious weak player who you could easily right-off straight away,  nor could you say there was a favourite. So, it was a guess to who was going to win, right to the very end! And this time, it seemed like all players had fun, no animosity in the house- and I think the Circle has set themselves up nicely for a great 5th season! As I think the Circle franchise is only building up steam at this point, and the fans of the show are still wanting more! The concept has definitely not run its course just yet. Although, although, the seasons are starting to all blur into one another. Recalling back with my wife, we can remember the key players from season 1 and 2, and who won those seasons. But for the life of me, we cannot remember who won season 3! And I’m too lazy to look it up on Wikipedia to find the answer. But I’m sure they were a deserving winner……..

For those who haven’t checked-out the Circle yet , please start from season 1! But for those die hard fans, season 4 is out, and it is brilliant! To start binging, just click HERE! Let the overuse of hashtags and emojis begin!

Product recommendation- Delonghi 2400W Steal Elite Fan Heater

Affordability over quality?

Winter is upon us, and as we all scramble to keep warm this winter- would you rather? Spend the big bucks on a quality heater? Or do you want to spend a fraction of the cost just to stay warm?

As a family we’re big fans of Dyson, we have all sorts of Dyson products from vacuum cleaners, hair driers to air-purifying hot/cold towers. So, I instinctively wanted another Dyson product to do the heating around the house as it’s a trusted brand in our family. But all I wanted the product to do was the heating, and to live under my office desk. So, when it’s that inevitable time to log into a work MS Teams meeting with cameras on, I’m not seen sitting in my shabby home hoodie, but looking professional in only shirt sleeves (when we don’t have central heating in our apartment).

For the 2020 and then the 2021 winter seasons, working from home was huddling in the home office, with a beany on and the hood of my hoodie pulled low over my head. And I’d still be cold and suffering with chilblains throughout winter. But now with a new manager who has mandated a camera on policy, so Winter 2022 I needed to look presentable in all meetings and wearing an outdoor puffy jacket in every meeting just wouldn’t cut it. Not to mention, someone would inevitably point it out in each meeting, that I looked like I was ready for an outdoor expedition.

So, I started on a search for a fan heater to go under the desk, the criteria were that it couldn’t be too large as I didn’t want to lose too much leg room under the desk. I wanted it to be fan forced, rather than heat elements or an oil heater as I didn’t want to wait to be warmed up. And I wasn’t too fussed on price, my justification was if I spent a bit more, it just meant that it would last longer. And the most important point, was that I wanted a heater first and foremost, I didn’t need it to do 6 different things, I just wanted it to blow heat. Is that too much to ask for?

Online searches showed  that Dyson sells a fan heater, but when we visited the various major department stores in the city all they seem to stock were air-purifiers. And we already have one, it’s tall and it takes up too much space to be living under my desk. But literally everywhere we looked, every brand was selling hot/cold air-purifiers at $500 or upwards of $800. Sure, I said that cost wasn’t an issue, but spending upwards of $800 didn’t make sense either. Especially if I was settling for something that I didn’t really want.

So, my wife suggested that we check-out K-Mart or Bing Lee, sellers who were more likely to stock a simple fan heater.

And Bing Lee had exactly what we were looking for, a fan heater, no taller than 20cms, and no wider than 15cms. And this fan heater came in the shape of the Delonghi 2400W Steal Elite Fan Heater (in Chrome). And at $119, there wasn’t much need to ponder. So, I got my under desk fan heater!

And you know that adage, ‘You get what you pay for’? And that is exactly what I got! Straight out of the box, the Delonghi fan heater reeked of noxious fumes. For the first 2 weeks as soon as you walked into the study you’re hit physically by the odour of the plastics used to manufacture this product. And fortunately, after several weeks the odour does subside, but you’re reminded of it each time you turn it on though. As the heat releases the worst of the odour, and the fan inevitably spreads it out for all to enjoy. So thus far I’ve found myself using it very sparingly, just to get me through those coldest of meetings and when I’m no longer shivering I reach down and turn it off.

The fan noise is kind of loud, but because it’s a low purr, it’s not too annoying. The fan force is quite strong even in the mid setting, I probably look like I’m squinting in each of my team meetings now, as the heated air does come up and hit you in the face. Haaha. And it’s dead simple to use, a single dial to select from the various fan speeds, and a slider to turn up and down the heat. I still don’t understand the thermostat feature though, it’s meant to cut off when it reaches the desired ambient temperature. However, by the time you’re shivering again, the fan still doesn’t seem to kick back in. So, to date I’ve never had the patience to wait to see it turn back on automatically, perhaps it does? But it feels like it’ll allow you to freeze first before it comes back to life.

It has a safety button on the base, so as soon as it’s knocked or moved in the slightest, it will automatically switch off. So, that’s super re-assuring, safe to have around the house if you have kids or pets. And in the end, I guess it does its job. A $800+ Dyson would also keep you warm, but if you’re not prepared to pay 4 times as much , especially in this current climate of rising living costs. Me-thinks, the Delonghi 2400W is a good little buy.

To read more about the Delonghi 2400W, just click HERE! Bring on the winter months! Come-on! I’m ready for you!