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Best tips for Swamp Attack (the Android game)

I recently stumbled upon a hugely addictive game: Swamp Attack. Swamp Attack can be downloaded for both Iphones and Android phones. As an Android phone owner, I’m playing the version downloaded from Google’s market.

It seems that a lot of people have started to notice this game, and this is why they started to share tips and tricks about Swamp Attack. However, although I read everything, I didn’t find the tips that I will share below.

Tip #1. What are the best levels to get extra money?

In Swamp Attack the main character sits in the front of his house and shots everything moving on the screen. All the ammunition is limited, no matter the weapon used, except the main shotgun, which has infinite bullets. So, the trick is to identify those past levels where you can gather the biggest amount of coins by using the shotgun only. The coins are precious because they can be used to improve the weapons and house’s structure.

From my experience, those levels are 1-17 and 3-12. Watch below two screenshots illustrating every level:

Level 1-17: you have to kill a lot of crocodiles. It's very easy with an upgraded shotgun.

Level 3-12: kill the mosquitos and their monster. No problemo.

The first level will bring 7-800 coins everytime one will complete it, while the second level will easily bring over 1000 coins, even 1100 coins in exceptional circumstances (the giant mosquito worths 250 points and it’s easy to kill him).  It means that with a session of 7-8 games one will easily gather over 5000 coins.

Compared with these two levels, the Quick Games are sometimes difficult and hard to manage, and the quantity of coins is very limited.

Beside the coins, these levels often offer at least one or two free gifts, so it’s better to know the second tip:

Tip #2. When playing just for coins those levels, be sure that you display on the screen only the most expensive weapons.

The free gifts are always selected from the weapons that you own on the screen. So, there is no need to have dynamites or molotov cocktails (which are very cheap and can be easily bought). Try instead to get free batteries, acid rains and other expensive weapons. Thus, you will save a lot of coins that can be invested in upgrades or big quantities from other weapons.

In order to de-activate some cheap weapons, go to Shop and press the weapon’s icon on the right. The shotgun is the only weapon that can’t be de-activated.

Enjoy the game!

Review for Arbutus watch AR503-TRWF

ARBUTUS is a a highly sought off Far Eastern watches brand. Although it is quite unknown in North America and Europe, this brand crafts some excellent automatic watches in the €250-500 range. Wearing an ARBUTUS is quite common in some Asiatic countries such as China, Thailand or Singapore.

I love watches. Unfortunately, I’m not a Rotschild, and that’s why I will never afford a Patek Philippe or even a Panerai. I know very well my … limitations.

However, I am the little middle guy that affords once a year to buy a 2-300 euros watch. I prefer in general Swiss made watches. Of course, in this range one can buy only a quartz watch and very rarely an automatic. Swiss made automatic watches are almost impossible to find at such price.  Hamilton, Candino, Tissot automatic watches usualy start at 4-500 €. Swatch has a cheap automatic, a Swatch Irony, that is sold for only about 120 €, but the movement inside it is – I think – from Japan, not Switzerland. Beside this, I already own a Swatch and I don’t particularly like it. It’s biggest quality stands in the reliability: it works perfectly after more than 10 years of service.

So, being a little bit fed up with all the Swiss quartz watches, and not particularly attracted by Japanese (Seiko?) or Russian watches, I noticed some months ago the existence of mushroom brands. Mushroom brands are some fancy-named watch brands that are sold almost exclusively online, on websites such as Ebay or Amazon, and that are spreading like termits from website to website. Almost invariably the price is displayed as a sensational bargain, aside a cut price, much higher than the real retail price. The watches are usually built on cheap chinese movement mechanisms and aside the fancy name – such as Graf von Monte Wehro, Eichmuller, Graf von Sponheim etc. – they usually feature a complicated design that one can usually find only in big brands. In fact many watches are clear copies of some big name’s succesful model and many “features” are only dummy (not functional) imitations.

Because most of this mushroom brands are based in Germany, they are called “germasian” too (based in Germany, crafted in Asia). However, reading and keeping an eye on the domain of fancy “germasian” watches for more than 1 year, I discovered that some brands aren’t in fact so bad. And other (such as Breytenbach, Yves Camani, Burgmeister and many more) really try to establish themselves as respectable brands. And knowing that these brands use Chinese movements I finaly decided to take my chance and to buy a Chinese automatic. I decided to buy an Arbutus watch, model AR503TRWF which I found on Amazon for just £51 (RRP £295). Although the name of the company is Arbutus New York, the watch maker is from, I think, Singapore. There is no doubt that they are using some Chinese movements.

And here are my findings regarding this watch after one month of wearing it on a daily basis:

- First of all, about unboxing: the box looked exactly like the one from this review from youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQVcSoTTFqc Just watch the begining of the movie and that’s it. Black box, guarantee certificate etc. Nothing spectacular. 3/5 stars.

- The clasp system (with push button) is very fragile, I manage to dismembered it since the very first touch. Hopefully I own some fine screwdrivers and I was able to repair it. Just 2/5 stars.

- The watch is a little bit oversized (45 mm in diameter, with crown) for my taste but it is incredibly light; this is why it is also very handy to wear it… it is quite a pleasure to wear it, at least for me. I have a Tissot quartz which is 8mm height and 35mm diameter, and it has the same weight with this Arbutus. 4/5 stars

- It is a very beautiful watch, nicely crafted, classic style, no fancy elements. I really like its simplicity. The dial is very easy to read, including the date. 5/5 stars.

- I weared it, on purpose, several times while washing my hands. It didn’t kept any trace of moisture. 5/5 stars.

- They say that its power reserve lasts 40 hours. I can’t confirm this assesment, but for 24 hours yes, I can confirm. Enough, from my point of view, for 5/5 stars

- And most important, how is this watch keeping the time? Well, I was, in fact I am, jaw-dropped: using as benchmark two Swiss quartz watches – a Tissot and a Swatch - this automatic only gained 15 seconds in a week. Far, very far from the horror stories and reviews about Chinese powered watches! I don’t know what kind of Chinese movement lays inside this Arbutus, but it is definitely one damn good! 5/5 stars

Question is, would I buy such a watch for its RRP of £295 instead of the “deal” price? This is a very tough question. First and foremost I still have to find out how reliable in the long run this watch really is. But, taking into account that this brand is quite common in China or Thailand, I think it is very reliable. Secondly, at £295 chances are big to get a deal somewhere on a decent Swiss automatic. I think that at £295 the watch is a little bit overpriced (faulty clasp, not so tiny…), but I definitely would pay £200 on this particular model. Anyway, Arbutus seems to work hardly in order to become a succesful watch producer. They earned my respect!

Stroller vs. baby carrier

This post comes from my personal experience. In short: hey, future mom or dad, don’t use a fucking baby carrier. Don’t listen to the load of bullshit written or spoken by this new pediatric niche, trying to sell you junk as baby food.

But why am I so angry? Because I saw with my own child what means this shit called baby carriers.

First of all, let’s get a fact: children’s carriage methods are nothing but an adaptation around social conditions of the parents. There is no such thing as a “natural way” of carrying a baby. The Egyptians, the ancient Greeks, the Romans, the Chinese, the barbaric nomads, the Indians, the Tartars of Genghis Khan etc. all developed different methods of carrying the babies, all adapted to the social context of their people, tribe, family etc.

Take a look to some samples: Navajo cradleboardInuit amauti, and many more. Nomadic gypsies (seen with my eyes) carry their children in baskets, attached to the charriot. Like the modern baby car seats.

All these methods have nothing in common with love,  tender, attachement, care and other industrial-era moral values and feelings. They are only working methods of carrying a child by a working mom or a working family.

But we are living a new era now. We are living now in industrial and/or post-industrial nations. Moms don’t need anymore to carry and to work simultaneously, like african or indian or prehistoric era moms. This is why the human intelligence developed, for the industrial era moms, the stroller. The stroller is the natural way of carrying your child in the XXI-st century!

Child won’t see, hear, eat, drink, poo or (later, in his/her twenties) fuck better if carried. I can assure you that Gary Kasparov or Judith Polgar weren’t babycarried. They have grown up in strollers (this was the custom way of growing up children in communist countries). And still they are geniuses.

However – and this is why I am so angry – there are some side effects of baby carrying your child like a IX-th century mom. These are my findings:

- When the baby is very little (up to 1-2 months) all is well and fun. Attachement parenting, blah-blah, blah-blah. The baby weights like a cat: 3-5 kilos. And there is no need to stay many hours outside. The baby is still very little, doctors recommend only 1/2 – 1 hours in fresh air, and this – only after 1 month.
- Around 3-4 months, the first alarm signs appear: the baby hates any surface. She only wants to be carried or to stay next to mummy. Being too little to crawl, she needs to be carried in order to be happy. And the “attachement” parenting means that she will start crying when the mom will go to piss. And it weighs now around 6 kilos. And outside walkings start being a painful experience for the mom. The child needs more and more fresh air, but the mom cannot carry 6 kilos for hours. She is a post-industrial mom, not an African mother!
-  The alarm continues: at 5 months, when she weighs over 6 kilos, the baby refuses the stroller. Unfortunately, she is already used with the carriers. She cries so loud when putted in, that it is impossible to use the stroller. The mom becomes the prisoner of the sling and carrier. At 1.57 cm height, this is for sure a “pleasure”. Daddy? Well, daddy works. He must earn money. Yes, he is strong enough to carry the baby for several hours in open and fresh air, but he cannot leave his work and his salary in order to carry the baby. Because we are a fucking post-industrial family, not a family of hunter-gatherers! As for the baby, she already became what the pediatricians called “a little tyrant”. And there is nothing to do. She is too small to understand that it would be better for her mom’s back to stay in stroller, not in carrier. We simply have to wait until she will be able to walk.
-  At 7 months mom develops stomachal troubles. Cause? Vertebral column deformity. It’s not easy to carry around a 7 kilos pack. The little tyrant is happy, though.
- At 10 months we cannot stay outside, in fresh air, more than 1 hour. The baby is too heavy even for the daddy’s back. When put in the stroller she simply cries. She can cry for hours. And hours. And hours. That’s why the baby spends most of the time in the house, playing with toys and books, instead of staying in fresh air. Fortunately, she is a good crawler and in few weeks she will be able to walk.  A new era will come!

In conclusion: if you don’t want to become a prehistoric mom / dad / family use since the child’s birth what’s the proper way of carrying the child for our modern, industrial / post-industrial life style: the stroller.  The stroller makes both parents and children happy. Hundreds of millions of children have grow up happy since the invention of the stroller. There is no need to be afraid of it!

And a final word: then why, if the baby-carrier is so unpleasant, my wife decided to use it instead of the stroller? The answer is simple: because of the hype. Because this is our first baby and she wanted only the best for our little girl. And the “baby carriers” are the latest trend, must-have, fashion and so on. And because nobody says definitely something against these carriers.

Anyway, if you really want to use a baby-carrier, my advice is to make the baby get used firstly to the stroller, than to the baby-carrier. Not the other way around! I have seen babies that preferred both strollers and baby-carriers, but they were since the very beginning used to the strollers.

Enjoy your… parenthood!