All recipes at a glance by taste/texture

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The matrix here shows the meals and snacks that met my own taste and texture cravings. Of course, most meals have a mixture of tastes and textures but I’ve just listed them under the taste/texture they had that was most dominant for me. You’ll likely come up with your own matrix but I hope these get you going. All of these foods

  • are fairly quick and easy to cook (I was a virtual novice to cooking a few months ago, having existed mainly on convenience food, so they had to be!)
  • have a lower proportion/total amount of carb (bulky green vegetables fill you up but have a low carb density so visually they will take up much more room on your plate than your protein source) than traditional meals – except for a handful (like those with pitta bread) which you can occasionally eat as part of a ‘normal’ diet when you’ve reached your weight goal.
  Sweet Spicy/peppery Savoury (salty) Acidic (sour) Bitter
Creamy Cocoa milk shakeYogurt and raspberry pudding Yogurt and cocoa
Soft Yogurt and pear pudding Avocado half
Boiled organic free-range egg
Cheesy Ryvita with cottage cheese and cucumber
Meaty Thai fish and vegetable curryThai chicken and vegetable curry AnchoviesBolognese with cauliflower

Bolognese with Ryvita

Beef/salmon with cauliflower and broccoli

Beef with sweet potato and cauliflower

Roast chicken with salad/cauliflower and broccoli

Tuna and tomato/cucumber yogurt pitta

Spaghetti bolognese

Chewy Yogurt, pear, walnut and prune pudding
Porridge and fruit
Spinach and oil/seasoning Mussels in garlic sauce
Penne with tuna, cucumber and tomatoBean salad and chicken slices
Scrambled egg and salmon on brown toast
Grapefruit half Cocoa powder spoon
Nutty All-Bran and skimmed milk Ryvita and peanut butter
Walnut half
Crunchy Apple Broccoli/sprouts and oil/seasoning Cauliflower and broccoli saladCottage cheese

Celery/cucumber/sugar snap peas

Salad
Pickled onion/cucumber
Refreshing Skimmed milk Lime and soda Green tea

In most cases I haven’t detailed the ingredients/quantities and instructions however the internet is overflowing with recipes and you’ll in any case have to develop a rough understanding of the nutritional value (amount of carb, protein, calories, etc.) of the ingredients and foods you commonly eat and a feel for how large given quantities look (like 100g – for which a food scale is very useful when starting out)  to make a permanent change to your lifestyle. Generally, I made my protein source (typically cooked in a way that kept bad and saturated fats low – e.g. supermarket-rotisseried in the case of roast chicken) half the size of the plate and low carb density vegetables (typically steamed in a microwave steamer) the other half. Make up your own recipes that adhere to the general biochemical principles you’ve learnt (that apply to everybody) and are tailored to your own experiences/findings from monitoring your weight loss against the foods you eat – just keep the grams of carb below the threshold that you can tolerate without spiking your blood sugar (signified by feeling hungry again a short time later) at one sitting (typically 20 to 30g and ideally less than the grams of protein/fat) and make sure you get your daily allowance of nutrients (vitamins/minerals are OK to come from a tablet during your period of fat loss). Personally, I found my hunger following a meal was kept lowest when I kept carbs very low (under 20g/meal) but the level of carb you can tolerate without spiking your blood sugar will depend on

  1. how quickly it’s absorbed into the blood – which itself depends on (a) how the carb is exposed to the stomach e.g. diluting the carb with protein/fat/fibre/water will reduce absorption and (b) how much work the body needs to do to turn the carb into glucose i.e. the GI and
  2. how quickly it’s being taken out of the blood by your muscles – which depends on how exhausted i.e. depleted of glycogen they are.

Of course, you’ll probably break the principles from time-to-time e.g. when socializing (even then your body probably won’t want to gorge anyway if you’ve kept it well nourished) or when pressure of work means you don’t have time to cook but if you follow the principles you’ve discovered the large majority of the time and continue to monitor your weight don’t worry about it!

Enjoy 🙂

The Secret of How to Lose Fat!

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By far the biggest change was WHAT and WHEN I ate but here’s the full story:

1) I changed WHAT I ate to stomach-filling meals with a much lower amount of carbohydrate (90 grams total per day is fine if you have a fairly sedentary lifestyle but go as low as you can comfortably manage while ensuring you get enough fibre in your diet – read the grams of carb on the nutrition label on your foods or google their ingredients e.g. here) combined in the meal in a low-GI way (see the videos here if you don’t know what GI means) while at the same time ensuring I got essential nutrients (proteins, vitamins, minerals, essential fats, fibre) so my body was not denied what it NEEDED and my blood sugar was kept at an even level (rapid rises in blood sugar are always followed by rapid drops – which make you feel incredibly hungry!). I gradually learnt about the calories in various foods and limited my food intake so I ate 1000 fewer calories than my body was using per day (to lose around 1kg a week). I came up with a list of meals I liked  that both satisfied my cravings for specific tastes, textures and smells like spicy, savoury, sweet, chocolaty, acidic, tart, crunchy, nutty, meaty, cheesy, chewy, creamy, aromatic but ALSO met my lower carb/high nutrient criteria and then shopped for those meal ingredients only, preparing batches of the cooked meals in advance (that I stored in my freezer) – I’ve posted pictures of the staple meals/snack ‘faithfuls’ I settled on (including a Slim-Fast style meal replacement milk shake) in the Recipes section. A strategy I found useful was to eat the majority of ‘feel-good’ carbohydrates in a pudding (like this) after the main meal – that way I finished the meal on a carb high feeling completely satisfied but without having consumed too many in total. I took a cheap supermarket-branded multivitamin and mineral tablet daily to ensure I got the nutrients I needed on my calorie-limited diet and made sure my diet included foods containing Omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids. What you give your body is as important as what you deny it but I reduced saturated fats, eliminated products with artificial sweeteners (which stimulate appetite) and caffeine (which causes water and minerals to be lost from the body), drinking water or green/herbal tea (without sugar) when thirsty – note that you will feel more thirsty and need to drink more as you start to burn your fat reserves. Remember, you will eat a smaller quantity of food but once you get over your sugar cravings (which can last for a few days) your body will quickly adapt to burning fat when it needs energy and re-educate your body’s cravings for the healthier foods you have introduced into your diet – if you only source of XYZ vitamin or mineral is French fries then you will crave French fries; when your body has healthier food sources of the nutrients it needs it will actually crave those healthy sources and you will come to love several foods you didn’t before!

2) I changed WHEN I ate to (a) include a breakfast and (b) rarely eat anything substantial later than 8pm so I didn’t go to sleep on a full stomach and had a restful night’s sleep. I also only ate at a meal time or when I was really feeling hungry in my stomach – rather than when I wanted a food ‘high’/’hit’ to cheer me up because I felt stressed or down or tired or bored or wanted a pleasurable distraction giving life a purpose/goal. Distinguishing real hunger from thirst (dehydration) or just feeling low in mood/energy is a skill that can be developed fairly quickly by allowing yourself to drink water/unsweetened tea or eat a limited repertoire (like apples, low-carb-density vegetables and canned tuna) of nutritious but not highly pleasurable foods when feeling the urge to eat. I never starved myself and always allowed myself to eat one of my repertoire of nutritious but not highly pleasurable foods if feeling truly hungry between meals. By BALANCING your energy intake (how much you eat and when) against your energy expenditure (how active you are) before and after that intake you can ‘coast’ along at a comfortable medium-to-low (but not so low that you feel hungry and end up over-eating) blood sugar level and get your body to burn fat by doing nothing – even when you sleep! In fact, the easiest time to deal with low blood sugar is at night while you’re sleeping since your body ordinarily burns fat then anyway and you don’t feel hungry at all. Modern work life can be stressful but if you allow yourself the time to savour tastes on your palate and take at least 30 minutes over your main meal of the day from the first bite to the last your stomach will have time to register how full you are and you’ll naturally know when you’ve had enough to eat. Listen to your body (but not false hunger cravings) and eat until you are satisfied. Remember that whatever you do during your weight loss phase has to also be manageable comfortably long term – there is no point exerting lots of willpower to deny your body’s real hunger cravings since you will just end up compensating (and more) down the line.

3) I kept a weekly record of my weight and fat % (using a set of electronic scales) and took weekly photos of my body to monitor my PROGRESS. Seeing the results gave me feedback on how various foods impacted my weight loss and looking more conventionally attractive and feeling healthier motivated me to continue losing weight. Muscle in fact weighs more than fat and your weight can change by 3kg from one day to the next depending on your intestine contents and level of hydration so recording fat % and pictures of your muscle tone is vital to know how amazingly well you’re doing!

4) I did 1 minute (yes, that’s not a typo!) of INTENSE (heart rate up to 120bpm) exercise a day on 3 alternate days a WEEK – as 3 bursts of 20 seconds of intense running on the spot (or cycling or swimming) every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The effects of this small amount of exercise on your blood biochemistry are profound and extend well into the next day.

Prior to my new lifestyle (it’s now a way of life I enjoy rather than a temporary regime of denial) I had in the main eaten foods I mistakenly thought were healthy and good for weight loss (like brown bread, wild rice, baked potatoes, cereals) together with convenient supermarket ready-meals (lasagne, fish pie, curry, M&S ‘fuller for longer’ meals) and in fact spent more time exercising (though at a lower pace). I had also dieted from time to time in the past when I felt the waistline had gone too far but always ended up putting the lost weight back on.

This is a lot of information to take in presented in a condensed way but my hope is that this site will provide you with a sufficient understanding of nutrition and your body’s biochemistry to enable you to implement the lifestyle changes that will let you take charge of your weight and stay healthy throughout your life – as well as pass on the understanding you develop and good habits you learn to those you care about. If you have questions not answered here then do please ask/comment.

Some people find it easier to be given a more prescriptive approach to what to do when starting out – a kind of one-size-fits-all template – and I have provided such a ‘prescription’ here, however, it’s important that as you see positive results you understand why the regime works so you can continue to lead a healthy lifestyle and keep your weight at a healthy level forever.

Shuoer Tape – stellar sound without the stellar price BUT..

Shuoer Tape with Etymotic, Fiio, TRN and KZ

TLDR: The Tape delivered absolutely stunning sound for the 3 months and maybe 100 hours listening before the right earphone volume dropped significantly. The failure may be related to the slight suction effect caused by using better fitting tips. My original review is below.

Several reviewers have described these as having a V-shaped sound however I don’t experience the mid recession they describe.

I bought my Tapes early July 2020 and using the supplied large black plastic tips the Samsung Adapt Sound equalisation required (on my antique S7 phone) shows them to be slightly mid-forward i.e. quite the opposite of V-shaped so not sure whether they have been revised. Mine have SHUOER02 printed on the underside however some photos, such as those from the Headphonia review, show SHUOER09.

When used through a cheap Bluetooth 4.1 mmcx cable they measured absolutely flat (this eBay adapter provided the convenience to skip tracks, change volume and pause but the sound quality went down a notch and suffered dropouts and poor 2h battery life so I reverted to the supplied cable).

Apart from this equalisation required (to bring up the bass and high treble to the same level as the mids) and the cable which is not to my taste (I’d prefer straight v braided, inline controls to skip tracks and change volume and no balanced adapter) I am hard pressed to identify flaws in them – though they don’t gloss over sibilance in recordings e.g. the line “give ourselves one more chance” in Queen/Bowie’s ‘Under Pressure’.

I have a lot of audio from HD600 (natural vocals) to Amperior (impactful bass) to Genelec studio monitors with sub (great clarity) and am very impressed with the Tape though would ideally not need to equalise them (though haven’t tried foam tips). That said the equalisation I apply is slight and even without any equalisation whatsoever nothing jars.

Just re. the driver technology, it is I understand Earbridge proprietary magneto-static (diaphragm coated in magnetic material) which is different from electret (diaphragm permanently stores electric charge), electrostatic (diaphragm coated in conductive material connected to a high voltage source) or planar magnetic/orthodynamic (diaphragm conducts alternating current) technologies.

I have been awed by the naturalness of their performance and to my ears this looks like a technology to watch – or rather listen to 🙂

I have discovered on the forums a lot of earphones over the years (no pun intended) from the stellar bargain Samusung EHS64 to warm and sweet Sony MH1C to transparent but variously compromised Hifiman RE0, Fiio EX1 (Dunu Titan 1), TRN V80, KZ ZS5 v1 and Etymotic MK5.

I’m not often sufficiently moved by an item to write a review but having used these for 2 months now I know that even well after the honeymoon period has ended these beauties are keepers. Their honesty means my music moves me and while I still use Bluetooth TWS sets like Galaxy buds for convenience, these are the earphones I turn to when I want the most true and emotional experience.

While the brand name may look like the stereotypical Chinese cheap copy of the renowned Shure, there is nothing glib about these earphones, though a touch of the garish.

Good job Shuoer. Supply a less garish simple straight cable with inline controls and a few more tip styles to ensure good fit and this could be as close to top tier for most as makes no difference.

More cheap truths including about the biochemistry of losing fat on my blog http://gichow.com

What AvE from the YouTube BOLTR videos looks like

AvE YouTube BOLTR face side of head

AvE YouTube BOLTR face side of head

If you’ve watched any of his videos you may be intrigued to know what the guy from the YouTube channel AvE looks like. I found this frame in one of his videos (BOLTR: KitchenAid Mixer. SURPRISE!) showing the side of his face with a reflection of his face hidden by a superimposed grey rectangle.

As the journalist at 14:30 of this article on CBC News asks “Who is he?!”

If you find anything clearer or know any more details about this funny and impressively knowledgeable chap (does he have a regular job, where does his wit and knowledge come from?) please share in a comment below!

There are some red herrings on reddit pointing to The worst job ever. How to remove tile thin set from plywood which is hilarious but reveals just a little more about this ‘200 pound gorilla’.

Hope this helps! and if you want some free advice on how to lose weight healthily check out my blog gichow.com (spoiler alert: the insulin response)

Cheap wireless bluetooth earphone showdown: Haylou GT1 Plus v Original i10 TWS v Samsung Galaxy buds SM-R170 clone v JHO A9

Left to right: JHO A9, Samsung Galaxy buds SM-R170 clone, Original i10 TWS, Haylou GT1 Plus

Left to right: JHO A9, Samsung Galaxy buds SM-R170 clone, Original i10 TWS, Haylou GT1 Plus #BestCheapTWS

Executive Summary

Four sub $25 great value true wireless stereo earbuds each with their own strengths.

GT1+ has the best sound quality, microphone quality and Bluetooth connection range though lacks volume control.

Original i10 is the easiest to pop in and out and forget one is wearing. A good all-rounder and the most fashionable though it lacks volume control.

Galaxy buds clone has the most enjoyable sound at very low volumes with the most deep rumbling bass. It is fashionable, coming in 3 colours and has volume control.

A9 is the cheapest and best suited to sports since very stable on the ear and has volume control and long battery life. The sound quality is enjoyable however the microphone quality is only barely acceptable.

Positions (best to worst)

Sound quality (10 is excellent)
1 – GT1+ (9; mids focus, no major issues)
2 – Original i10 (8; mids focus, less deep bass)
3 – Galaxy buds clone (8; less clarity)
4 – A9 (6; less clarity)
Playtime before recharge from case
1 – A9 (5h)
2 – GT1+ (4h)
3 – Galaxy buds clone (3h)
4 – Original i10 (2.5h)
Comfort
1 – Original i10 (easy to forget one is wearing)
2= – GT1+
2= – Galaxy buds clone
4 – A9 (pressing button pushes into ear)
Bluetooth connection range – distance in metres from house through wall to garden before drop outs start to happen
1 – GT1+ (28m)
2= – Original i10 (14m)
2= – Galaxy buds clone (14m)
2= – A9 (14m)
Microphone quality (10 is excellent)
1 – GT1+ (8)
2 – Original i10 (7)
3 – Galaxy buds clone (6)
4 – A9 (4; barely acceptable)
Controls
1= – Galaxy buds clone (touch pause, volume, skip, assistant but no audio confirmation of invocation)
1= – A9 (button pause, volume, skip, assistant)
3= – GT1+ (touch pause, skip, assistant)
3= – Original i10 (touch pause, skip, assistant)
Loudness
1 – Galaxy buds clone
2 – A9
3 – i10
4 – GT1+ (still gets adequately loud)
Price
1 – A9 (£12)
2 – Original i10 (£16)
3 – Galaxy buds clone (£17)
4 – GT1+ (£20)
AliExpress details

Comparison of Samsung Galaxy buds clone to Haylou GT1+

Samsung Adapt Sound equalisation profiles

All tests carried out on a Samsung Galaxy S7 mobile phone.

About the reviewer’s preferences

I own a $2000 Genelec studio monitor/sub combination and over 30 earphones and headphones (including studio grade Sennheiser HD600, Sennheiser Amperior, Shure SRH840, Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro, KZ ZS5 v1 quad driver earbuds), most costing much more than those reviewed here.

Each has their pros and cons and a style of delivery – exciting (v-shaped i.e. more bass and treble), natural, analytical and bright (less bass and more treble), warm and smooth (more bass and less treble), etc.

My preference is for a true and natural sound that is also somewhat exciting (think Etymotic with more involving bass) and the GT1+ gives me at least 80% of the best sound I’ve heard in a physical form I find comfortable and convenient and at a price where I won’t be too sad if I lose or break it.

Nowadays, with the high quality of mass produced consumer electronics, for most people diminishing returns becomes a factor at a much lower price point than in the past. I can enjoy the musical experience from a $25 set like the GT1+ as much as that from my $250 Sennheiser HD600 headphones.

Microphone test recordings

To come..

#BestCheapTWS

#BestBudgetTWS

How to highlight cells containing a question mark “?”

If, like me, you include a question mark “?” in Excel cells to show where you have outstanding queries or work to do (either by itself or with some other text e.g. “ask John?”, “?same as before”) there is a simple way to automatically highlight them.

I thought of using conditional formatting with a formula using the FIND, SEARCH, IF and ISERROR functions but there is a much simpler solution:

Click the first cell in the range, and then drag to the last cell.

Click HOME > Conditional Formatting > Highlight Cells Rules > Text that Contains…

In the Format cells that contain the text box enter ~? and select the formatting you desire – I use a custom yellow fill so it looks like a highlighter.

That’s it, you’re done – the tilde ensures the question mark is treated as a literal rather than a wildcard.

Hope this helps! and for more cheap truths about free ways to lose weight see the other posts on my blog http://www.gichow.com.

What video camera does HubNut use?

If you’ve ever watched the HubNut YouTube channel’s videos and been captivated by Ian Seabrook’s enthusiasm you might have wondered what equipment he uses to allow his natural talents to shine – just enough technology for low quality production values not to become irritatingly distracting in the end product but not so much that it takes away from the immediacy of the recording process.

Turns out it’s just a smartphone..the Oppo F1s and more recently the Samsung Galaxy S8. Check out this video where Ian describes it (35 seconds in):

HubNut Q&A (video camera)

Video camera HubNut uses

The mount is from VacMounts.com with a cheap eBay mobile phone holder

HubNut other video equipment

From the same video the microphone is again a cheap eBay lavalier one with a fur windscreen

If you know what he uses for editing or capturing other footage and ‘B roll’ – maybe you recognise gear like dash cams, gimbals, mounts, tripods and GoPro type devices seen in his many videos – please do leave a comment below, ideally linking to a clip where you’ve seen the equipment.

Looks like a DJI Osmo Mobile 2 3-Axis Handheld Stabilizer Gimbal For iPhone Android Phone used with a Samsung Galaxy S8 (2 circles right of the ear speaker while the S9 has one)

The dash cam footage footer shows it to be a Nextbase Duo HD Dash Cam (Full 1080p Front and Back Dual Lens)

As a journalist Ian seems to have used various still cameras over the years including a Canon S3 IS (compact ‘bridge’ camera with 10x optical zoom) from 2007, Canon Powershot SX10IS (compact bridge with 20x optical zoom and fold-out screen) bought in 2009, a Canon 1000D (DSLR with interchangeable lenses) bought in 2011 and a Panasonic Lumix DMC TZ70 (compact 30x optical zoom, low light – high sensitivity MOS sensor) bought in 2016 which he describes here: https://hubnut.org/2016/03/21/new-camera-time/

I admire Ian’s intellect, honesty and real value for money approach and it looks like that extends to his choice of camera gear – spending money where it matters and makes an appreciable difference to the final experience.

Hope this helps! and for more cheap truths about free ways to lose weight see the other posts on my blog http://www.gichow.com.

Which car battery terminal do you attach first?

There is a simple way to remember.

“Be positive!”

In short, where there is only one lead attached to the battery ensure it is the positive one.

Hence, when removing leads remove the negative first (leaving the remaining one positive lead in place before then removing it too). When attaching leads attach the positive lead first.

The same applies when attaching and detatching jumper cables – attach the positive cables first and detatch them last.

The reason is that when you attach the negative lead this is the most dangerous time since the whole frame of the car becomes effectively the negative terminal and hence accidentally touching the positive lead against it will cause a short circuit. Hence, don’t keep the negative lead attached when the positive lead is free to move around and potentially touch the frame.

Hope this helps! and for more cheap truths about free ways to lose weight see the other posts on my blog http://www.gichow.com.

The wisdom of my friends

20180827_163833.jpg

I asked my friends for any piece of advice or wisdom or a joke they would wish to pass on to their loved ones – here’s what they said.

Needs & emotions (including love)

“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn, is to love and be loved in return.” (Nat King Cole “Nature Boy”)

“There is no love sincerer than the love of food”

“Being ‘in a mood’ has a profound effect on ones’s perception of the world – learning to recognise when one is in a mood takes time!”

“Taking the time to understand one’s needs reduces hurt to oneself and inadvertently hurting others. Finding out what one’s needs are and how to meet them can’t be done by thinking alone but doing and seeing what needs remain. Only when some needs are met will you discover other needs e.g. one must have the need to feel loved met before one discovers the need to love. This has been described rather (too) succinctly in the Greek maxim ‘Know thyself’ and Maslow’s ‘Hierarchy of needs’ (though higher level needs can be met while lower level needs remain outstanding). “

Thoughts & ways of thinking

“Don’t worry” i.e. don’t dwell on potential future upsets.

“Stop moaning, life isn’t fair, just get used to it.”

“You are too concerned about what was and what will be. There is a saying: yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.” (Master Oogway, Kung Fu Panda)

“Live every day like it’s your last”

“Love with your heart but trust your grey matter to help you make wiser decisions in the years ahead”

“Have no regrets”

“People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, make them.”

“Never get to the point in life when you think you are too old to do anything you want to do”

“It’s not how old you are, it’s how you are old”

“You don’t need to be young to have fun! Continue to try new things, continue to be inspired by the world, and continue to grow. And that way, you’ll be ‘young’ your whole life.”

“If you look at the target as an enemy, you will never make progress. The target is your point of reference, not your opponent.” i.e. admire, take on board and make part of you the good in your competitors and opponents.

Will & actions

“A famous explorer once said, that the extraordinary is in what we do, not who we are.” (Lara Croft, Tomb Raider)

“Take it easy, but take it” (Woody Guthrie)

“Be Brave, Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience” (Paulo Coelho)

“Never be scared of trying something different”

If” (Rudyard Kipling)

“You’ve got to dance like nobody’s watching. Love like you’ll never be hurt, Sing like there’s nobody listening, And live like it’s heaven on earth”

“Never give up and always pursue your goals”

“Your story may not have such a happy beginning but that does not make you who you are, it is the rest of it — who you choose to be.” (Soothsayer, Kung Fu Panda)

“Be the change you want to see in the world” (Nelson Mandela)

“It always seems impossible until it’s done” (Nelson Mandela)

“Never go cheap on eggs or tomatoes”

People

“Treasure the time you have with those closest to you”

Work & the environment

“Make the most of even the smallest of opportunities”

“Less is definitely more”

“Do what you enjoy and enjoy what you do”

“Work to live, not the other way around”

“Do what you love”

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” (Hippocrates) i.e. even ordinary foods have drug-like effects and can profoundly affect our well being

In the context of trying to game the stock market: “Most good buy signals mean just that – good bye (to your money)”.

“Hold the handrail when descending stairs and remember to floss!”

“Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” (Benjamin Franklin)

Funnies

“There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened.” (Douglas Adams “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”)

Everyone’s a pilot or a passenger – which are you? Probably best to find out before the plane takes off.

Never judge anyone unless you are prepared to be judged. Unless you’re a judge.

Don’t be a glass-is-half-empty kind of person. If you can’t finish a drink, don’t start it.

People who live in glass houses should pull the blinds when removing their trousers (Spike Milligan)

If at first you don’t succeed, cheat!

The great thing about being a psychopath is that everything is a victimless crime (Dogbert)

Whatever a man’s age may be he can reduce it by several years by putting a bright coloured flower in his buttonhole.

Once upon a time, there was a non-conforming sparrow..

Today imagine you’re a star shining brightly in the infinite universe. It’ll give you something to do while you walk round the garden centre.

Thank you all for your contributions!

Altoft, Axe, Brown, Clark, Creasy, Dehm, Fair, Gerlach, Heard, Heyden, Ilukkumbure, Lewis, Loffman, Odlin, Prytherch-Odlin, Rubinato, Stanoevska, Tilling, Yates

(35 adults 40-78 and 10 children)

What Zeos Pantera from Z Reviews looks like

Zeos Pantera from Z Reviews face

Face of Zeos Pantera from Z Reviews

If you’ve watched any of his videos you may be intrigued to know what Zeos from the YouTube channel Z Reviews looks like. I found this frame in one of his videos (Best of Zeos Pantera) showing what looks to be a reflection of his face.

In 2019, Zeos’ face and name were revealed in this video:

Z REVIEWS’ FACE REVEAL!!!
If you know any more details about this funny and impressively knowledgeable chap (does he have a regular job, where does his wit and knowledge come from?) please share in a comment below!

If you can’t see the many comments with further photos below from your device they are also here: https://gichow.com/2018/01/30/what-zeos-pantera-from-z-reviews-looks-like/

Hope this helps! and if you want some free truthful advice on how to lose weight healthily check out my blog gichow.com (spoiler alert: understand the insulin response)

Shure SRH840 v Shure SRH440 headphones

Shure SRH840 (left) and Shure SRH440

If you’re wondering how these compare read on. Right now the 840 is available for £110 and the 440 for £60 in the UK. Is the former worth almost twice the price of the latter?

The 440 is brighter sounding than the 840 so picks out and abnormally highlights guitar strings and cymbals. As a consequence of this vocals can sound slightly less present and realistic/natural than they should. The 440 also has less extended bass so bass drum and double bass sound less natural however what bass it does have is more punchy i.e. has a faster attack and decay making it toe-tapping. It has a creaky plastic physical design against the 840’s more solid but also heavier (372g v 311g) design.

The difference in sound is not night and day and on first comparing them the 440 comes across as more lively and appealing because of its brighter frequency response. Overall however, over more extended listening, the 840 is the more emotionally involving and better headphone with more natural vocals (almost Sennheiser HD600 quality) and a more even frequency response. That said, the 840 is noticeably heavier and more uncomfortable on the top of one’s head. The 840 is like a more sensitive (requires a lower volume level setting to achieve the same loudness) but less comfortable HD600 with punchier and deeper bass but slightly less realistic vocals. Overall across genres the 840 sounds better than the HD600 but is much less comfortable (in fact it’s painful). These observations were made with the headphones ‘burnt in’ having had over 50 hours playing time.

I listen to music across a range of genres and my preference is for

  • a deep and punchy (a HD600 and HiFiMAN RE0 problem) but not boomy/flabby/loose/resonant (Creative Aurvana Live CAL problem) or exaggerated (Sony MH1C problem) or bleeding-into-mids (Koss Porta Pro problem) bass
  • energetic detailed not rolled-off (Porta Pro, MH1C and CAL problem) and not too bright (Superlux 668b problem) or sibilant treble
  • clear transparent natural sounding midrange vocals that are not recessed (Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro problem) or abnormally coloured in timbre (a problem with the metallic-sounding Fiio EX1 / Dunu Titan 1 when fitted with incorrect tips).

All this in a comfortable design (Shure SRH840 and Jays v-JAYS problem) that is loud enough straight out of a phone (HD600 problem) and one can go to sleep wearing (SRH840 and HD600 problem).

Left-to-right my headphones in audio quality order from Sony MDR V150 to Sennheiser HD600

In a nutshell I look for sufficient tight punchy bass, uncoloured natural-sounding vocals, and sufficient unsibilant highs i.e. an extended flat frequency response with impact and low level detail without colouration or resonance.

In summary, I find both to be some of the most accurate and enjoyable headphones I’ve listened to. Ignoring the comfort issue the SRH840 is overall better sounding than the 440 across musical genres (especially for genres with deep bass such as electronic) however the 440 is say 90% there for almost half the price. Indeed for some tracks where the strings are subdued in the mix (perhaps the mixing itself was done on upper mid-forward monitors / headphones like the 440 itself) or where you simply prefer to hear more of those string sounds the 440 sounds better. Also at a very low listening volume vocals on the 440 can sound clearer since there is less bass. The 840 is highly rated by Z Reviews and Head-Fi also has mainly very favourable reviews.

Taking comfort into the equation if I had to choose between these two headphones the 440 wins because I couldn’t wear the 840 for more than half an hour. Additionally, since the cups on the 440 are a little slimmer it’s possible to wear them while going to sleep.

Though very good headphones I continue to listen mainly to my

  • £30 KZ ZS5 (version 1 with one BA driver in the nozzle) earphones which are overall some of the best sounding ear/headphones I’ve ever heard (though as with any in-ear they can become bothersome over time and need removal/repositioning, especially with their standard tips which sound the best)
  • £8 KZ ATE Sport earphones when going to sleep, whose plastic body makes them more comfortable to sleep in than my more accurate but tip-sensitive and sometimes ear-canal irritating Fiio EX1
  • £4 Samsung EHS64 earphones with inline microphone and volume control out and about
  • £30 Superlux HD562 (Sennheiser HD25 clones) with velour pads when I want to rock out with deep punchy bass without losing too much detail from the rest of the spectrum
  • £120 (used) Sennheiser HD600 headphones or £50 Fiio EX1 earphones when I’m after a very revealing ‘audiophile’ experience.

Hope this helps! and if you want some free advice on how to lose weight healthily check out gichow.com

What are the best cheap earphones? Samsung EHS64 – an audiophile’s bargain

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Samsung EHS64 with 3M earplug tips

Samsung’s EHS64 earphones are amazing value at well under £4 on Amazon. Though their clarity is not at Sony MH1C let alone Dunu Titan 1 (FiiO EX1) levels (other well recognised sonic bargains I regularly listen to at home that also punch well above their weight) they’re a very enjoyable mildly U-shaped listen and have sufficient detail, frequency balance, transient response and open airy sound to not feel like one is missing out on too much regardless of music genre (not something that can be said of even the once much lauded HiFiMan RE-0 whose limited bass extension means one can completely miss out on bass rhythms). Sound-wise they’re not dissimilar to the venerable Koss Porta Pro (modified with the ‘quarter mod’ that helps lift that headphone’s treble veil) with an energetic but never distracting or aggressively sibilant treble (something the Titan 1 can fall foul of with certain tracks), clear articulate vocals and a tight extended open sounding bass that’s not boomy or resonant – there’s a tiny hole near the driver that probably contributes to the open sound (more natural than the PortaPro’s which exhibits some mid bass ‘bloom’). I often find myself listening to them in preference to my Sennheiser HD600 full size headphones since much less of a faff to use (straight out of my phone, no amplifier needed, can lie down/sleep with them) and keep with you (they’re always in my jacket pocket). I use them with homemade Comply style tips that are just a single 3M yellow foam earplug (about 10p a pair on Amazon in bulk) cut in half lengthways with a small hole drilled through them for the best and most comfortable ear canal seal. Tips can make a big difference to how a particular earphone sounds (seal, ear insertion depth and bore diameter affect frequency response) though the standard silicon tips the earphones come with are pretty compliant and comfortable to begin with and you may be happy sticking with them if they happen to fit your ears well. They even happen to have a phone microphone and volume control! I also use Genelec near field active monitors and their dedicated subwoofer and know how close to natural lifelike sound hifi can get but really think nowadays with careful choice one doesn’t have to spend anything like the fortune one once did to get very close to top class faithful sound and music reproduction – once at a certain minimum level of fidelity (like the Samsung’s) there’s really not that much difference in the emotional experience from the music that more exotic and expensive equipment brings. You can find a fuller review of them against other standard earphones supplied with mobile phones here. They sound good straight out of the packet but like many ear and headphones improve with some ‘burn in’ – just leave them playing music at moderate volume from say a home radio for a day or two.

Hope this helps! and if you want some free advice on how to lose weight healthily check out gichow.com