January 31, 2007

January Wrap-Up

Another month come and gone. Seems like only yesterday I was cracking open that first tube of aMENity shaving cream and wondering what it would be like. Missed our review? You've got five posts to read - aMENity Gel Face Cleanser, aMENity Shave Cream, aMENity After Shave & Face Moisturizer, aMENity Anti-Breakout Gel, and aMENity The Balm. That's practically the whole aMENity line! (Loose interpretation of "practically") We also had a quick review of California North products based on the samples we got from Foreman.

One of my favorite items this month was the book Sharp Practice: The Real Man's Guide to Shaving, a new book on shaving by Anders Larsen. Still not available stateside, but you can order it from Amazon UK. Maybe I'll start posting tasty nuggets from the book every so often (with author's permission).

ShavingStuff readers got a renewed and improved ZIRH coupon this month. Use coupon code 'ShavingStuffZ' at checkout on the ZIRH website and receive 15% off all orders of $30 or more. Who takes care of you?

The first of several Valentine's Day ideas showed up in the form of this pricey but attractive set from Hommage. Don't worry if you don't have $375 to shell out for a Valentine's Day gift. We'll have a couple more suggestions next week.

Got a very mysterious email from Gillette about the launch of a new razor on February 15th. I'm guessing it'll be called the Fission, a slightly cheaper but messier Fusion.

Coming up in February we'll have our review of Urth shaving products, Marvis toothpaste, Dad's Old Time Razor Set, and another check-in with the Hesketh 4x4 - this time with video!

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January 30, 2007

This Just In - Dad's Old Time Razor Set

Our newest friends over at the Nashville Knife Shop just sent over Dad's Old Time Razor Set. That's "dad's" as in "old-school" shaving. The set comes with everything you see here -
pure badger shaving brush along with a cake of Muehle-Pinsel Shaving Soap with Aloe (in it's own convenient plastic storage case). Includes metal stand, sample razor blade.

Not too shabby, dad. I've already broken into the shaving brush, and I can tell you - badger makes a difference. Much better than the synthetic I'd been using before.

We'll be trying this set out over the next couple weeks. Expect a full report soon. In the meantime, click over to the Nashville Knife Shop and see what other shaving products (and knives!) they've got. The Dad's Old Time Razor Set is $79.99.

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January 29, 2007

Gillette's Save the Date

Got this cryptic email in my inbox late last week. What could it be? Combo Fusion/iPod? Seven-bladed plasma razor? Your guess is as good as mine. Well, given those last two guesses, probably better.
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January 26, 2007

Celebrity Facial Hair Friday - Billie Piper

OK, this is a first. It's Celebrity Facial Hair Friday and we're picking a woman. Is this some kind of mistake? Honestly. It might be. According to this FemaleFirst article, Billie Piper, former star of the recently revived British sci-fi show Dr. Who, grows a mustache.

Billie, 24, told: "I have to work a lot at facial hair. My eyebrows are hairiest but the 'tache is definitely a close second. "I don't shave, I use cream. If I'm on holiday and I let it grow so I can do twiddle the ends when I'm concentrating.

Huh. Well, ok. I couldn't get confirmation on this, but it's on the Internet. And on a lot of sites. So it must be true.

I wonder what cream she uses. I wonder if it would work for me.

Special thanks to Jack's Grooming Blog for sending this one in.

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January 25, 2007

Free "Grooming Trio" from ZIRH

zirhPromoTrio.jpgToday and tomorrow only, receive a free "Grooming Trio" from ZIRH when you purchase $20 of ZIRH products from the ZIRH website. What exactly is in the ZIRH Grooming Trio? Um... er... I'm not sure. The picture is really small. My guess is the one on the left is the Shave Foam. The one in the middle is a little tougher - maybe the CLEAN Face Wash? And the one on the right is either the REFRESH Astringent or the SOOTHE Post-shave Solution.

Look. It doesn't matter. ZIRH is good stuff. Whatever they send you is going to be top shelf. We reviewed ZIRH products back in September and loved them. You will too.

And don't forget to use the special 'ShavingStuffZ' coupon code when you check out. You'll save an additional 15%. Nice!

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January 24, 2007

Baxter of California Wins MenEssentials 2006 Consumer's Choice Grooming Awards

bestlineBaxter.jpgCongratulations to our friends over at Baxter of California for scoring high marks in Men Essentials' 2006 Consumer's Choice Grooming Awards. Not only did Baxter come in first place for eight categories of the nine categories they were nominated in, they won the major award of Best Product Line. Phew! That's a lot of acceptable speeches.

Best After-Shave
Baxter of California After Shave Balm

Best Face Wash
Baxter of California Face Wash

Best Face Scrub
Baxter of California Skin Toner Facial Scrub

Best Face Moisturizer
Baxter of California Oil Free Moisturizer

Best Body Bar
Baxter of California Vitamin E-D-A Cleansing Bar, Italian Lime

Best Body Wash
Baxter of California Invigorating Body Wash, Bergamot Pear

Best Shampoo
Baxter of California Daily Protein Shampoo

Best Conditioner
Baxter of California Daily Conditioner

Personally, I thought they were robbed of Best Original Screenplay, but what do I know? More details of the win can be found either at the Baxter of California or this page at Men Essentials.

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January 23, 2007

The Shanghai Groom Center from Hommage

Valentine's Day is coming up, and if you're struggling to find something special for that special someone, here's one that will shave the day. It's the Shanghai Groom Center from Hommage.

Bold and daring in its distinctive red color, the Shanghai Groom Center makes a strong statement on any bathroom counter. Stand and razor are made of zinc alloy, hand polished then chrome plated with a solid lacquer finish. Silver tip Grade A badger hair bristles on the brush. Compatible with Gillette Mach3 blades.

Imagine shaving with this set every morning. You'd feel like a king. Might need a matching red robe to go with it. And if red isn't your thing, Hommage has a several other sleek and modern designs for you to choose from, all created by Hommage's cofounder and awarding-winning chief designer Wolfgang Joensson. Definitely click over and take a look. These are shave sets to design a bathroom around.

The Shanghai Groom Center is $375 and is available from the Hommage website, as well as select retail stores.

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January 22, 2007

Guess the Celebrity Hawking the Schick Ultra

We've all got some skeletons in our closets, but rarely are they revealed. Unless of course you're a successful celebrity. Then the entire world wants to see your seedy past.

Case in point - this gem sent to us recently by Laura of Shirt Snob. Can you guess who's hawking the Schick Ultra, "the one with 'push-clean blades'"? Here's a hint - imagine him with a lot less hair.

Give up? It's TV's Alan Dale, currently starring as publishing patriarch Bradford Meade on the surprisingly successful Ugly Betty. You may remember Dale as Caleb Nichol from The O.C., or Vice President Jim Prescott is past episodes of 24. Seems like he's been in just about every TV show at least once. Oh, and at least one commercial. Hey - everyone gets their start somewhere.

Via Laura via popwatch.

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January 19, 2007

15% Off ZIRH Products With ShavingStuff Coupon!

zirh.gifVigilant ShavingStuff readers may notice a slight change to the site. That's right - we're talking about the new and improved ZIRH coupon available now to you, the ShavingStuff reader.

ShavingStuff.com visitors receive 15% off all orders of $30 or more. To receive your discount, please enter code 'ShavingStuffZ' at checkout.

What's changed since the old coupon? The old one was 12% off $40 or more. The new one is 15% off $30 or more. Not too shabby. Also note that the new coupon code has a 'Z' (for ZIRH) at the end - 'ShavingStuffZ'. We'll keep the text in the upper left part of this page up until the end of June (when this coupon expires) so you'll always be able to find it easily.

If you're new to ZIRH products we've got a whole page on the site dedicated to every ZIRH article we've posted, including lots of review of their shaving and grooming products. So read up, click over to ZIRH, and save!

Russell Neufeld Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 18, 2007

Checking Up On Mustache's For Kids

m4kchicago.jpgLast December we learned about the Chicago chapter of Mustache's For Kids, a charity organization where instead of running or biking, participants grow mustaches. Over the course of the four weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, Chicagoans checked in weekly to chart the growth of their killer 'staches. And here's the gallery of photos to prove it. See whose whiskers grew fast or slow. See whose fashion sensibility went the way of the mustache. And see the harshness of dropping out.

The lesson we can all learn in this? If you're ever forced to grow a mustache, add a giant pair of shades and some 70s garb. People will think you're retro. Oh, and raising money for charities is also a good thing.

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January 17, 2007

The New Schick Intuition Plus For Women

schickIntuitionPlus.jpgScore one for the ladies! It's the new Schick Intuition Plus. What makes it "Plus"? Probably something about its newness.

The Schick® Intuition® Plus™ razor has three blades surrounded by a Skin Conditioning Solid™ that's enriched with shea butter, aloe and vitamin E. Lather, shave and condition your skin in one easy step!

The Intuition is a cartridge system, which means you'll need to buy refill razors, but these razors won't look like anything you've seen before. That's because the razor is surrounded by a "skin-conditioning solid" designed to lather and lubricate while you shave. See that big white stuff around the blades? That comes in three different flavors - Normal to Dry Skin, Sensitive Skin, and a refreshingly light Cucumber Melon fragrance. Just don't eat the last one.

And if you're looking for the online community gabbing about the Schick, look no further than Club Intuition. I'd sign-up but it'd probably mean I would have to start shaving my legs.

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January 16, 2007

Wahl Groomsman Beard and Mustache Trimmer

Amazon is offering the Wahl 9918-617 Groomsman Beard and Mustache Trimmer for the low price of $19.99, and that includes free shipping.
For daily beard maintenance or for making a big change to facial hair, Wahl’s Groomsman trimmer is the device you need. [...] A six-position beard regulator easily attaches to the trimmer’s head to provide consistent and safe tapering and trimming of beards and mustaches. The six positions range from a height that tackles longer hairs, (for example, if you are shaving off your beard) all the way down to a short height for trimming daily stubble.

Accessories include: the beard regulator, the jaw line blender, two close-trim attachments, a mustache comb, cleaning oil, and a cleaning brush. All that and a two year guarantee. What more could you ask for?

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January 15, 2007

Celebrity Facial Hair Monday - Martin Luther King Jr.

mlk.jpgToday is Martin Luther King Jr. day. A day in which we all reflect on race and civil rights issues in America. A day we pay tribute to a great man who helped usher in an era of equality and understanding. We are grateful for how far we've come, but we also recognize we've still got a ways to go.

So to honor MLK we present a special chapter of Celebrity Facial Hair Friday - Monday Edition. Dr. King distinguished profile is recognizable to virtually everyone today, almost 40 years after his assassination. And chief among those distinguishing features is a well-groomed mustache. Simple and unassuming, perfectly manicured, dipping just below where the upper and lower lips join. It's tough to pull of the mustache, yet Dr. King elevates this one to legendary status. Bravo.

Spend some time reading about Martin Luther King Jr. today.

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January 12, 2007

Review of aMENity The Balm

amenityTheBalm.jpgWe've come to the end of aMENity review week at ShavingStuff. The last product we'll look at is aMENity The Balm - the "‘granddaddy’ of heavy-hitting moisturizers". And they're right on every account. The Balm is a thick, almost waxy, cream for use on places like elbows, kneecaps, knuckles, and heels. The places on your body with the thickest skin. I tried it a couple times on my face after a hot shower, and while it does work, I'd recommend something a little more smooth. Working this stuff into your skin takes effort, and on your face you want something which gets absorbed a little faster.

aMENity's The Balm is virtually odorless. Aside from the secret formulation of PRO-FORM 6, The Balm contains Shea and Mango Seed Butters, as well as Liposomal Vitamin E. Typical usage is probably twice a day, but if you're trying to treat some really rough spots, aMENity recommends up to four or five usages a day for a week.

aMENity The Balm is $35 for a 5.5 oz. (150g.) tube. If you've got some major dry skin or are often plagued by eczema, check out The Balm. Otherwise consider this a "nice-to-have" but not a "must-have".

So that's it. I hope you've enjoyed aMENity week on ShavingStuff as much as we've enjoyed their products. Click on over to aMENity and see for yourself.

Russell Neufeld Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 11, 2007

Review of aMENity Anti-Breakout Gel

amenityAcne.jpgDay four of aMENity week and we're going to explore a different grooming product - aMENity Anti-Breakout Gel. The first thing you'll notice about this product is the packaging. (Notice a theme to these posts? Someone did a good job on the recent aMENity redesign.) aMENity Anti-Breakout Gel comes in an "airless pen", which looks a lot like those Tide instant stain removers I got in my stocking this Christmas. (By the way, thanks for the Tide instant stain remover this Christmas.) Take the cap off one end, push down on the other, and a squirt of clear Anti-Breakout Gel pops out. aMENity has definitely taken some time to think about serving size, and then designed containers which dispense the right amount each time. I think it's only right that we take a moment and recognize that.


The gel itself is worth recognizing too. Back in high school I used that Clearasil stuff. It had the tendency to bleach anything it came in contact with - the neck of my shirts, pillow cases, towels. It also dried my skin like you wouldn't believe. Or maybe you would. What else was there back then? aMENity Anti-Breakout Gel is completely clear and doesn't dry out your skin at all. Sadly, I still get the occasional breakout from shaving. (Oddly enough it seems to happen more from weekend shaves.) A couple squirts from my airless pen and I was all set. Didn't eliminate every pimple, but I noticed a marked reduction.

I need to clarify one point with the packaging of aMENity's Anti-Breakout Gel. On the bottom of the pen - the opposite side from the cap - is a curved arrow and the word "open" on a piece of the pen which does rotate slightly. I don't know why this is there, but it's confusing and should say "push" without the arrow. When I first got the pen I thought I was going to break it in half trying to twist it open. Luckily ShavingStuff wife was there to show me how to use it. It's always good to have a smart wife around.

aMENity Anti-Breakout Gel is $28 for a 0.25 oz. (7g.) "airless pen". Remember, push, don't open.

Russell Neufeld Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

January 10, 2007

Review of aMENity After Shave & Face Moisturizer

amenityAfterShave.jpgWelcome to day three of aMENity week. We've cleansed, we've shaved, and now ready ready to heal. It's aMENity After Shave & Face Moisturizer time.

This "two-in-one" after shave and face moisturizing gel is commonly described as Gatorade™ for your skin because it replenishes naturally occurring skin lipids and improves moisture retention.

Now I have to admit that I only got about four or five samples of aMENity After Shave to try instead of the pump dispenser shown on the right, so I don't have a huge wealth of experience to draw on for this review. However what little I used was great. Clear and gel-like, my face drank this stuff up. Often times I've tried aftershaves or moisturizers which are too light, and I'll have to supplement them with a face cream a few minutes later when I realize that my skin is too dry. Not so here. One application was perfect. And if this pump is anything like the Gel Face Cleanser pump, you'll get the exact amount needed each time. Love the pump. Have I mentioned that before?

How does this stuff work? Click on over the to "How This Product Works" section of the aMENity After Shave & Face Moisturizer page and read about the ingredients. I especially liked the section on liposomal vitamins. "If it doesn't start with the word 'Liposomal' and it's a vitamin, it's not going to work." Well all right. I'll bet there are a lot of unhappy vitamins out there right now, but suck it up. "...non-liposomal vitamin applications stay on the surface and do nothing." The truth hurts. Liposomal. Ask for it by name.

aMENity After Shave & Face Moisturizer is $37 for a 3.25 oz. (90g.) pump. I think you're going to like this stuff.

Russell Neufeld Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

January 9, 2007

Review of aMENity Shave Cream

shaveCream.jpgIt's shaving time! Time to lather up. Or not. aMENity Shave Cream is actually a "non-lathering" shaving cream, which means that the squirt in your hand pretty much looks like the stuff on your face. aMENity Shave Cream is a loose, white liquid which easily goes on the skin but doesn't really work itself into a bubbly foam. It's not thick, which is nice since you can still see most of your skin if you're trying to retain some highly manicured facial sculptures. And if you're into shaving brushes, aMENity Shave Cream works well with those too. You'll get an ultra uniform coating with a brush.

aMENity Shave Cream's secret ingredient is PRO-FORM 6™, and before you chime in with the answer Mr. Smarty-Pants, no, it's not the agency that Sydney Bristow worked for in season one of Alias. PRO-FORM 6™ is aMENity's patent-pending formulation of Willow Bark Extract, Provitamin B5 Panthenol, Bisabolol, Hyaluronic Acid, Rutin, Lipsomal Vitamins A,C & E. "Each Amenity product features PRO-FORM 6 complex ingredients in a ratio blend specific to the product's function." I'm pretty sure even Milo Rambaldi himself couldn't have come up with anything nearly as good.

I don't know if it's the PRO-FORM 6™ or any of the other ingredients like Kava Kava in aMENity Shave Cream, but the stuff smells vaguely of beer. Maybe more like the barley or hops part of beer, but to my nose at least, definitely some fermented alcoholic beverage. And really, what's smells better to a guy than beer? Seriously, you gotta smell this stuff. It's nice and subtle. You won't reek of a frat party, but you will enjoy it.

The shave with aMENity Shave Cream is very good. Little or no nicks or cuts in the month I was using it. Not too much gunk in my razor after each stroke. Enough lubrication on my face if I wanted to take a second pass. No ingrown hairs. My one and only complaint was that you have to open the tube with the cap facing upward. Otherwise the stuff squirts out and you end up with a dollop of shaving cream in the bottom portion of the cap. No biggie. Just remember to turn the tube upside down before opening it.

aMENity Shave Cream is $25 for a 5.5 oz. (150g.) tube. Another great product in a great line of men's grooming products.

Russell Neufeld Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

January 8, 2007

Review of aMENity Gel Face Cleanser

gelFaceCleanser.jpgWelcome to aMENity review week! Five days, five products, five ways to improve your shave. We've been using aMENity products for about a month now and it's report card time. Please have this signed by your parents and bring it in tomorrow.

As you may recall, aMENity launched a revamped line of men's care products in the second half of last year. New look, new packaging, new formulations. We were fortunate enough to receive their Gel Face Cleanser (pictured, right), Shave Cream, After Shave & Face Moisturizer, Anti-Breakout Gel, and The Balm.

Today we're going to focus on Gel Face Cleanser. First thing you'll notice is the pump top. Love it. One squirt and you've got exactly the right amount. Genius. All products should come in pump tops.

aMENity's Gel Face Cleanser is completely clear, but when you work it into your skin it foams up into a nice light lather. The cleanser is the right level of mild yet effective and never left my face feeling too dry like soap. aMENity's face cleanser is fragrance free, but to me it has a very slight fermented smell, which I found very pleasing. Never smelled a product quite like this.

I always like it when products come with instructions, and aMENity has an instructions link on each of their products' pages. Click over to the Gel Face Cleanser page and then click on the red "Instructions" image on the right. I have to admit that I didn't always follow the instructions to the letter, but I thought the results were great. The cleanser went on easily, and more importantly washed off easily. Several cleanser's we've tried before work great but leave your face with a slight filmy slickness which won't wash off. Not so with aMENity.

aMENity Gel Face Cleanser is $27 for a 3.25 oz. (90g.) pump. Tomorrow we shave!

Russell Neufeld Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

January 5, 2007

Sharp Practice: The Real Man's Guide to Shaving

sharpPractice.jpgGot an email recently from Anders Larsen, author of the new book Sharp Practice: The Real Man's Guide to Shaving. Nice. It's about time an new shaving book hit the shelves. According to Larsen the book is only available in "UK and commonwealth countries", with US availability coming soon. We used to be a commonwealth country, didn't we?

Rich in the (sometimes strange) history of shaving, full of anecdotes and packed with tips and advice, "Sharp Practice" will revolutionize your morning ritual. Here you will find advice on avoiding common mistakes, preventing rashes and cuts, what aftershave to use and how to handle a cut-throat razor, as well as everyday tips and the ultimate luxury shave. You will also learn about Che Guevara's beard, Ivan the Terrible's idea of fun, Alexander the Great and the severed head, and how cavemen invented the razor.

I can't imagine Ivan the Terrible's idea of fun is universally accepted, but hey, what do I know. We'll be getting a copy in soon, and in the meantime if you're in one of the lucky places where Amazon UK will ship to, click on over and have yourself a look-see. Sharp Practice: The Real Man's Guide to Shaving is £6.00.

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January 4, 2007

Quick Review of California North

razor_shave_thmb.jpgAs we mentioned last month, we got a bunch of samples in from Foreman, including several from a men's grooming line called California North. First, a history lesson:

The line was specifically designed to serve active men who were exposed to the rough outdoor climates of Northern California. The demanding tests on mountain climbers, mountain bikers, and sailors helped to define the function, ingredients, and quality of our products -- all of which help counteract the visual effects of sun damage, aging, environmental, and other life-style factors.

aftshvcr_4_thmb.jpgWell, I didn't spend the day mountain climbing, but I did spend Christmas with my in-laws, which by some accounts is equally as demanding. (Note to my in-laws: I'm kidding.) To prep I shampooed with Sea Blast Shampoo and followed it up with Watermint Conditioner. The shampoo smelled great. Conditioner was a little minty. Then again, it is "watermint".

It was a tough shave since I didn't have home-court advantage, but the Razor Shavecream performed admirably. And the Aftershave Care had a pleasing, lemony citrus finish. I only got one shave from these samples so I can't give you a full review, but at first blush California Northern products seem great.

Foreman sells a wide variety of California Northern products. Definitely worth trying.

Russell Neufeld Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 3, 2007

This Just In - Marvis Toothpaste

Got something new in the mail recently from our friends at Details for Men - two tubes of Marvis toothpaste. Now I know what you're thinking - isn't this a shaving blog? It is. But it's also a new year, and maybe it's time to take on something new. So here and there we're going to sprinkle in a few reviews of other men's grooming products as we see fit. Starting with Marvis:
Imported from the beautiful city of Florence, Italy, Marvis Classic Toothpaste has long been a favorite throughout Europe. Marvis toothpaste is formulated with adult tastes in mind. Not only do they provide all of the dental hygiene, tooth & gum care that you'd expect from a top quality toothpaste - they do it with style! Designed & packaged with old world charm, this toothpaste has a decidedly 'retro modern' look that is worthy of display on any bathroom counter.

Marvis toothpaste is $9 at Details for Men and comes in six different flavors including Fruit Mint, Ginger, and Jasmin. Check back in a couple weeks for our review.

Russell Neufeld Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 2, 2007

Shave More, Live Longer?

bbc_logo_2.gifHappy New Year! Want to have many more happy new years? Keep shaving. According to this BBC News article, men who shave every day have a lesser chance of stroke than those who shave infrequently. The research was based out of the University of Bristol with funding from the nebulous Stroke Association, and if the BBC article is any indication of the science, non-shavers have nothing to fear. Consider this gem of a paragraph:

However, even after all the factors were considered, researchers found they were had a 70% increased risk of having a stroke and a 30% increased risk of dying from any cause.

Huh? "they were had." Do they have editors in BBC-land? And who doesn't have a 30% increased risk of dying from any cause. In fact, I'd go so far as to say everyone has a 100% chance of dying from some cause. (Sorry readers. You're all going to die someday. And there's no Santa Claus either.)

Here's my second favorite line from the article:

A spokeswoman told BBC News Online that the research was interesting.

Yep. It certainly is. You know what else is interesting? Loans.

OK, so I'm not sure I really believe this one. But if you shave everyday, keep at it. And if not, click on over to the BBC News and decide for yourself if you should be.

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