Check it Out: Hi-tech Alternatives

THERE MUST be something about the approach of a new millennium that makes people want to go all technological. Whatever the reason, even "alternative" aspects of contemporary life are repackaging themselves into hi-tech phenomena. If you're seeking peace of body, mind or soul, there's almost certainly a futuristic gadget out there to help you achieve it.

If you're searching for something to soothe the soul, forget the odd wind chime here and there, these days even feng shui has gone digital. The latest feng shui website offers an interactive service that will let even troubled travellers bring feng shui to their hotel room. Simply connect up to the site, pay by credit card (pounds 11 per room) and sit back while Kate Lord and Huw Griffiths, the online feng shui consultants, assess your surroundings.

Patience will be necessary, however. The site is still in its teething stage so there is a long wait while all the images load up - the suggestion is that you scroll through the instructions in the pop-up window to pass the time - and my computer put down a very bad ch'i foot by refusing to let me access the service.

If your computer is more generous, start at the beginning and read the consultants' biographies, catch up on the latest celebrity visitors and browse the example room report before going to "start". After tapping in the direction of the room's door, you use the computer to "draw" a picture of the room and then, after paying the necessary cash, wait for the report to materialise.

Once you've taken the site's advice and got your living space sorted, move onto the mind with an Astropath. For those who secretly scan the papers for the horoscopes, pounds 19.99 will buy a whole year's worth of detailed daily astrological predictions. These nattily named machines look reassuringly like the calculator included in its range of functions (so no one need know what you're up to) and are available for each sign of the zodiac.

To find out your horoscope on any day in 1999, click on the `horoscope' button, punch in the date and scroll across the battery-powered LCD screen. Compiled by a team of professional astrologers - including Nicholas Campion, the president of the Astrological Association of Great Britain - the horoscopes are enticingly frivolous but, as with all things astrological, whether you decide that they are accurate or not largely comes down to your own beliefs.

Sceptics will be put off by the detail (claims that I wrote poetry yesterday did not materialise), but it's fun, would make a great present and has all kinds of useful functions. The Astropath helps you choose numbers for the National Lottery, houses the afore-mentioned calculator and an alarm clock and even works out emotional and professional compatibility with other people for each day of the year. Blimey!

The latest scheduling accessory is also related to astrology although it's not an astrological calendar. The Greta Kahn Moon Diary (pounds 5.95 plus 45p P&P) is based around "moon knowledge". The diary laments the fact that "the best time to sow seed or to cut wood ceased to be a theme in the lives of bankers and office workers", but it aims to change all that and use the same principles as are used in agriculture to help organise the hip urbanite's hairdressing year.

Strange, but apparently it's true. The different planetary positions and stellar constellations throughout the lunar cycle transmit "cosmic energies" which affect us physically.

The effect of all this is that a waxing moon is the ideal time for cutting and nourishing hair treatments whereas a waning moon is a better time for cleansing. Certain days are good for colouring and anti-dandruff treatments and other days - "water" days - are bad for pretty much everything except structure-improving treatments.

Before you so much as turn a page in the diary, you must have your hair analysed then, once you've pinpointed its type, you can consult the diary to find out what you should or shouldn't do to your hair. Each day of the year has an entry listing whether it's a good or bad day for cutting, perming or pretty much everything to do with your hair as well as space to scribble down all the necessary hair appointments.

In case you're wondering, today is a good day for cutting your hair if you want to increase volume and encourage rapid growth. Hair care treatments will be effective and oxidising and bleaching processes will work well... it doesn't say anything about washing, but I think I'll risk it.

Rhiannon Batten

The feng shui website is at www.online-fengshui.com; for Astropath stockists, call 0171-229 9394; copies of `The Moon And Your Hair' can be ordered from www.gretakahn.com or by phone on 0181-886 7720

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
Lou Reed distorted the truth about his upbringing, and since his death in 2013, biographers and memoirists have added to the myths
musicThe truth about Lou Reed's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths
News
people
News
Ed Miliband received a warm welcome in Chester
election 2015
Life and Style
Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the Apple Watch during an Apple special even
fashionIs the Apple Watch for you? Well, it depends if you want for the fitness tech, or the style
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Ashdown Group: IT Manager / Development Manager - NW London - £58k + 15% bonus

£50000 - £667000 per annum + excellent benefits : Ashdown Group: IT Manager / ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant / Telemarketer - OTE £20,000

£13000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Scotland's leading life insuran...

Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manager - City, London

£40000 - £45000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manag...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own