Milk Goes First?

After some borderline-psychotic posting on our Facebook wall regarding the thorny issue of how one makes a perfect cup of tea, we thought it would be a good idea to compile an office-wide list of how IWOOT does tea.

On a personal note, compiling this list has made me realise that I am the only person in the office who makes tea in the way I do. Am I a visionary or just plain deluded?

So here we go – here are all the varying methods in which us Wooters make our brew:

Cass, HR: I have fruit tea, so I don’t count. But it’s hot water, teabag and then just leave it in.

James, Creative: tea bag, sugar, hot water, stew, milk.

Dan, Creative: tea bag, milk, hot water, thrash with spoon, remove bag. No sugar. Ever.

Kate, Marketing: tea bag – water – sugar. Milk is horrible and should be banned.

Dino, Creative: Bag, hot water, wait for tea to brew, take tea bag out, sugar, then milk whilst stirring.

Tim-Yee, Commercial: Bag, water, brew, milk, squeeze teabag.

Chris, Customer Services: Kettle boils. While that’s happening, tea bag goes in cup. Pour water into cup (the floor is frowned upon). Stir and squeeze bag with tea spoon. Remove bag. Add sugar/honey. Add milk. Stir. Begin biscuit dipping.

Sasha, Customer Services: 2 sugars, then the bag, then the water, then the milk. I think it tastes better like this & you get a good builder strength! Mmmmm… If you put the milk in 1st, it just doesn’t work out right. Even if you only put in a bit of milk, it still tastes like nan tea!

Wanessa, Finance: Bag, sugar, hot water and milk last.

Tim, Creative Director: Tea bag and sugar (v imp that sugar goes in before water). Boiling water – not boiled two mins ago, but boiling. Leave in cup/mug for min three-four minutes (Earl Grey), or one minute (Builders). Ensure no spoon in cup whilst stewing. Remove and squeeze out bag. Add touch of milk and stir. Leave to get cold on desk and get nasty shock when you remember to drink it.


Chelsey, Customer Services: First grab a mug. Add a tea bag and 3 sugars. Add some hot water. Add a bit of milk (I like mine milky so a lil’ bit more than the norm). Stir with a teaspoon and then leave the tea bag in (I like a stronger taster and plus I’m too lazy to fuss about getting it out). Enjoy it with a Kit Kat.

Damn you – now off to raid the tuck shop and make a cuppa!!

Maria, IT: Tea bag, sugar, water, milk. Having said that I always used to put the milk in 1st! But I’ve been told that the liquid has to be boiling to get a proper brew.

Ben, Commercial: Two teabags in to accommodate my oversized mug, hot water on the top, stir a bit then let it stand for a few minutes, squeeze and remove teabags to release all tea goodness, milk, sugar, stir. If it’s not made in that order I’m quite simply not drinking it.

Jose, IT: 1 – tea bag. 2 – water. 3 – milk. 4 – sugar.

Sagar, IT: Tea. Hot water. Brew. Milk. The milk cools the water too soon and thereby slows down the entire brewing process if you add it before brewing is complete.

Richard, MD: First select teapot… breakfast or afternoon. Boil water and put a couple of inches of boiling water in the pot to warm it. Drain teapot. Add one spoon of tea per person and “one spoonful for the pot”. Pour in boiling water and stir round briskly for a couple of seconds. Let stand for 3-5 minutes. If breakfast tea, pour through strainer to ¾ fill cup. Add milk/sugar to taste. North of Watford, milk goes in before the tea for some reason I don’t understand.
With herbal or Earl Grey, pour tea through strainer and add lemon/sugar as required.

Alternatively, add one or two tea bags to mug; pour in boiling water, stir and drain tea bags and remove them. Add milk/sugar to taste.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this distraction from real work is how very seriously everyone seems to take their tea. But whose way is the right way? The consensus seems to be that the tea bag pretty much always should go in first, followed by hot water. But I disagree.

I love ‘Nan tea’, and apparently haphazardly foul up my cuppa by putting the milk in on top of the bag and then the hot water. The taste, though! The malty, thick, even goodness of a cup of tea that doesn’t have the same look as an open pot of floor varnish! Because this is MY blog post, I’m holding my position and am totally advocating the milk-then-hot-water strategy. As a result, I could well be unemployed by this evening.

Do tell us your thoughts/methods, and we’ll see if there’s anyone out there that shares my tea-making ineptitude genius.

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Realistic Movie Robots

Reading this news story over at the BBC makes for quite a panicky Monday morning’s reading, that’s for sure. In essence, it says that robot technology, such as it is at the moment, could potentially be very dangerous to humans if we were to allow machines to help us around the house. Some German science people conducted some experiments designed to test ‘safety limits’ on a robot arm only to discover that, unsurprisingly, it could still inflict serious injury when equipped with knives and other stabbing weapons.

Now, the article doesn’t really go into enough detail at this point. They’ve said that the victims of this controlled robot arm attack were a silicone lump, a dead pig and, rather alarmingly, the arm of a human volunteer. We assume they were already long-gone…

Still, all this combined with having watched the rather rubbish ‘I, Robot’ on Friday night makes me wonder exactly what robots will be like in the future. Furthermore, it made me wonder which films have successfully (more than ‘I, Robot’, anyway) made convincing attempts at depicting what the logical extrapolation of a robot arm cutting through a dead pig would be. One thing’s for sure – while the plot of ‘I, Robot’ is entertaining enough, having a zillion poorly rendered robots jump onto Will Smith’s moving car from 50 feet away and run alongside it in an attempt to kill him while he coolly shouts things like “now I’m maaaad!” certainly isn’t. God I hate ‘I, Robot’…

Anyway, off the top of my head, I’ve come up with the following better examples of realistic robots that might chop your arm off in years to come:

Replicant Roy Batty in Blade Runner:

ED-209 in Robocop (minus the blood… and the hilarious final line: “Someone wanna call a paramedic?”):

And finally, the great Woody Allen gets some tailoring advice:

What other examples can you find?

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The Swingometer Through The Ages

As we all amble down to the local Primary School to put a cross in the box (shame on you if you didn’t), certain things become clear. The names on the ballots, the policies, the scandals and the interest all change, but changes in some areas is slightly more pronounced. Being the techy nerds we are at IWOOT, we are of course referring to possibly one of the most frivolous, bizarre concepts to emerge from over 50 years of televised election night coverage.

Ladies and Gentlemen, join us in celebrating the virtues of the almighty Swingometer:

Thanks a bunch to HarryHayfield, whose YouTube video this is.

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Gyro Flyer Video Outtakes

Because we’ve lost a lot of sweat, tears and blood (mostly from Jenna Woot’s shins) in the making of the Gyro Flyer RC Helicopter product video (which, if you haven’t seen it, is here), we’ve decided to give it its very own honorary follow-up blog post. Being the professionals that we so blatantly are, we thought you’d appreciate a little peek behind the scenes, as it were, in the form of this little outtake reel. As you can see, our helicopter prowess has certainly come on in the last few months, so much so that there were hardly any embarrassing mishaps whatsoever.


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Review of the Month Winners for April

Thanks to the Bank Holiday, we’re a teensy bit late sorting this month’s winners, but we’re hoping it’ll be worth the wait. Well, it will be for the winners anyway. Without any further ado, let’s get this show on the road, get our noses to the grindstone and see how many tired phrases we can eke out before the end of this sentence. Err, reviews, then:

First up, and the winner of a well-deserved £50 IWOOT voucher, is Wishline with this super write-up of our Micro Bladez RC Chopper:

“A week with the Micro Blades Helicopter:

Having ordered my first remote control helicopter in a year, after a very disappointing encounter with a cheap Hong Kong one on eBay (it died after two hours. Not exaggerating.), I was prepared to wait at least five days before I saw any sign of it. I was three days out… it arrived in 48 hours! It arrived in a very well packed box that protected the Helicopter well. Very impressive service from IWOOT.
Taking it out of the box, I must admit I was quite concerned by just how delicate and breakable the small helicopter seemed. Painful memories of my Hong Kong eBay helicopter resurfaced and I couldn’t help from wondering if I’d made the same mistake twice. I charged it and read the instructions carefully in preparation for its maiden flight.
I felt a rush of exhilaration, hitting the up for the first time, and watching soaring into the air. As it was doing 360s about once every 3 seconds, I used the trim button on the remote according to the manual and tamed the spinning chopper. Then I began the process of learning to fly a small, light, fragile-looking object about 7 feet off the ground.
Crash. Bang. Boom. Meow (I frightened the cat). Every mistake had the helicopter smashing into the wall, ceiling or floor. Each time I held my breath, expecting to see that the rotors had snapped off or something, but every time I was pleasantly surprised to see the Heli in one safe piece. Heck, this thing can take a beating.
After a few days with the Helicopter I was getting quite good at maneuvering it. I’m crashing less than before, and spending more time in the air having fun. The instruction manual says you can fly it outside on a day with no wind whatsoever, but I have yet to try this out.
My verdict? Seriously good purchase. Stable, easy to learn and very, VERY robust. Excellent value for money and I’d recommend this to anybody who wants to pick up a helicopter for the first time. I’m now looking around to see where I can get a larger one…the Micro Bladez will get you hooked very easily. The perfect short break when getting through a large lot of work! With three channels, you have enough control to get you going, but it won’t be enough for you after a short time….you’ll want more! Don’t be deceived by the fragile appearance of this helicopter, it is anything but! Great buy! (PS… it’ll cost you a small fortune in batteries – I recommend rechargables.)”

Poor cat. Next, we’ve got a lovely photo review from Freckles, who is currently enjoying our Sun Jar. Well done Freckles, have 75 smackers of IWOOT goodness on us:


Aaaaaand finally, our video winner this month is this very educational series of moving images pertaining to the Cool Shooters, ably shot and edited by Rcrc. That noise you hear? That’s the sound of £150 IWOOT pounds flying towards the winner’s inbox:

So if you’re looking at these reviews and thinking, “pfft, these guys are amateurs at best! My skill with a keyboard/digital camera is far in excess of their puny so-called expertise!” then show us exactly how clever you are. Once you’ve bought a product from us, review it! There’s a £50 IWOOT voucher for the best written, £75 for the best photo and £150 for the best video review we receive every month – so get to it!

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Ewok Karaoke

If that headline won’t get you clicking through, nothing will.

Some bright spark with a little too much time on their hands has had a crack at working out exactly what it is the Ewoks are on about at the end of Return Of The Jedi and, to their credit, they’ve done pretty well.

Of course, this is the original version, not the hellish overhaul that John Williams and George Lucas tacked on to the Special Editions (nerd alert), complete with Wookie montage. So pick up a microphone and warm your vocal chords up:

Who knew that the last bit was in English? “Celebrate The Love”? By using the helmets of dead soldiers as a rudimentary glockenspiel (skip to 0:28)? Those Ewoks, they’re sick.

Via Geekologie.

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IWOOT Panic Button on Dr. Who

I can’t claim to be any kind of authority on the new incarnation(s) of Dr. Who, but as I understand it it’s generally regarded as A Good Thing. They need to sort out that synthesised orchestral score, though – what’s the deal with that? Anyway, the Doctor himself is prone to the odd bit of wild flailing, and what better IWOOT product for him to have on one of the myriad keyboards in the TARDIS than our Panic Button?

Have a look at this screenshot (via the lovely @technicalfault):


Good one, Doc. Wonder what happens when you press it? Maybe IT Helpdesk get sent an email.

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Ash use Stylophone Beatboxes

Being the discerning supporter of independent music that I am (so long as you gloss over the Girls Aloud and Beyonce sections of my iPod), I popped along to London’s Rough Trade East record shop for International Record Store Day on Saturday. Essentially an event that celebrates the independent record shops across the world, establishments across the world held free concerts, bands released one-day-only records and basically encouraged us to enjoy the experience of being surrounded by fusty blokes with vinyl sleeves jammed under their arms.

Rough Trade East played host to several enjoyable artists, but my ears began to tremble when Ash started using our very own Stylophone Beatboxes. With my crappy trusty phone in my pocket, I captured what I could for evidence:

Well done chaps. Truly, the music sounds better with Stylophone Beatboxes. Get hold of your very own here, and listen to Ash here.


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Apple employee leaves iPhone prototype in the pub

What happens when one of the world’s most loved and, importantly, most secretive brands accidentally leaves a prototype of their forthcoming iPhone update in the pub? Obviously, someone picks it up and manages to get it over to the folks at Gizmodo for a once-over.

The results seem to suggest that this new version of the design classic is pretty darn good, but that’s not the real story. The real story is of how the prototype came to be lost in the first place. It might be a tad cruel to place the blame based on one picture, but we think that hiring this guy and giving him the phone to look after was the first mistake:

Would you trust this man with something important?

Visit the ever-excellent Gizmodo for a full run-down of the features and how they managed to procure the phone itself. Cheeky chappies.

Picture via The Guardian.

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Is IWOOT Clairvoyant?

Well? Are we?! We reckon we might have something special, seeing as one of our April Fool’s products has been made into an actual thing you can touch and buy and everything. Our Pad-Dock iPhone to Tablet Converter caused a bit of a stir on the day and after, but thanks to the folks at Elonex, it looks like we’ve either predicted the future or been the victims of intellectual property theft. Knew we should’ve applied for a patent.

Still, looks like it could be quite a fun product:

Of course, not all our April Fool’s products end up being made into actual items you can buy. Imagine though, if you will, half a stadium of irate football fans at the forthcoming World Cup simultaneously turning their Win-Win Supporter’s Shirts inside out and turning defeat into victory. Or perhaps being able to converse fully with your canine chums, the world teeming with completely comprehensible speaking dogs…

We’re taking over, one product at a time.

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