leisure, comedy, travel

Last year around this time I went to Ed Byrne’s show in Hammersmith as I reviewed here. The supporting act on that show was Ben Norris and recently I came across The Comedy Store and noticed he was taking the scene on Tuesday nights as part of The Cutting Edge show.

The Cutting Edge

I decided to pay a visit to see what’s it all about. The show is fun in general. The idea is 6 comedians take the stage. It involves some of their material but mostly it’s improvised. Every week the cast changes so it may be worth checking it out frequently.

I thought Ben Norris was a great comic but after seeing him twice in this club I think he’s not the right guy for improvisation. Still it’s a lot of fun and it’s definitely worth the money. They have several shows in the club so I just might be a regular!

leisure, travel

Last Saturday, I went to Palace of Westminster for the first time. I had been around it a lot of times while playing Ingress and chasing portals but never been inside it.

I bought an audio tour ticket here and it did not disappoint.

Palace of Westminster

The building looks glorious from the outside but from the inside it’s absolutely amazing. Definitely the most beautiful and impressive building I have ever seen in my life.


fitness, game

I’ve been playing this game for about 6 months. It’s an interesting game in a number of ways.

Ingress Basics

I discussed the basics of the game in my previous post. If you want to find out more about the rules and game play you can check out that post here. For me the definite guide for the game is a site called decodeingress.me. You can find the latest news and updates about the game. It is updated quite frequently so it pays off to keep an eye on the latest changes in the game. Anyway, what I want to log in this post is mainly my experiences.

What’s It All About?

Feeling proud of achievements in a virtual world is a bit silly but I guess it goes for all sorts of games. Here’s a snapshot of the fields I created a while back:

Ingress Field

In theory the goal is to create and try to maintain those fields so that you capture “mind units”. The team who has more mind units wins (actually the game never ends so I guess there are no winners or losers. The worst case of scenario is your team falls behind). Once you start playing it’s all about levelling up but after a certain level you seek more. Here’s my view of pros and cons of the game:


  • Exercise: This is the main reason I started the game. It motivates you walk more. I stopped taking the bus from town centre and started walking home because there are some portals that need to be captured along the way!</li>
  • Get to know the city better: Before this game, I knew where my house was, where the nearest train station was and where the nearest Sainsbury’s store was. Now I know all the churches, parks and many other public buildings around my neighbourhood and around the city.
  • New friends: You can play the game alone with no problems and can have fun at first. But after a while it becomes a bit boring because you do the same activities repeatedly. By joining the local community you get to know the people playing around you.


  • Repetition: The portals have a mitigation cap meaning that you cannot keep enforcing the portals. So it can be taken down by a single player.After some time it becomes quite repetitive. You capture the portals and create fields. A few hours later someone blows them up and the next morning you have to do the same thing all over again. This might get the fun away especially If you are playing alone.
  • Can be time-consuming: Because of the above fact, portals require maintenance especially in crowded areas. If you become obsessed about keeping the portals yours you might end up spending a lot of time.

For me pros of the game far outweigh the cons. I can control the time I spend on the game and play with other people so it becomes a social event.

Some Tips

Just off the top of my head here are a few tips for beginners:

  • Deploy resonators as far as possible from the center so that they don’t all get hit hard at the same time.
  • When firing XM bursters, long press fire button and release it when XM is accumulated in the center. It allows you to get bonus firepower up to %20
  • Links make portals stronger so try to create as many links and fields you can.