Crank it up

It's unfortunate that Armand Van Helden looks so much like Ali G in his promo shots, but put him behind a set of decks and all is forgiven. He is the Marc Jacobs of clubbing . . . a tweak here and a sample there creates sounds the world embraces with fervour. He's remixed everyone from The Rolling Stones to Daft Punk and even has his own wikipedia. org listingf They don't get more superstellar. Van Helden takes to the DJ box (sphere? ) in Spirit (Middle Abbey Street, Dublin) on Friday, 26 August.

Laughing Stock

With first performances lined up for his all-new 'Fitting In' tour, September is getting busy for comedian Des Bishop. The native New Yorker has a whole host of autumn dates lined up, but first airings will be at the Electric Picnic in Stradballly (3 and 4 September) and at Dublin's Vicar Street (15, 16 and 17 September). Bishop's star went full-tilt into the ascendancy since his RTE series 'The Des Bishop Work Experience' and subsequent stage tour/DVD, so this latest foray is bound to attract the hoards. For full tour details etc check out www. desbishop. com (a popular website with the ladies, if the forum is anything to go by).

Grub Geek

While the world is enthralled with Heston Blumenthall and his snail porridge, he wasn't the first food scientist on the block.

Purists are rediscovering the distantly un-cheffily named Harold McGee, who's 1986 book 'On Food And Cooking' revolutionised cooking and sold over 150,000 copies. While 'McGeeisms' might not have changed (searing meat doesn't seal in the juices, for example, and simmering a tomato sauce slowly makes it more watery, not less), the food we eat has, and so this culinary bible was updated in 2004 for a new generation.

Find out the benefits of chocolate and alcohol to health. Top stuff!

Melody Makers

The UK-based Mercury Music Awards always kicks up a few interesting contenders, and thankfully helps us maintain some credibility in our CD collection.

If you haven't already heard of award-nominees Anthony and The Johnsons, it's time to get genned up. Currently attracting eye-popping attention from all the frightfully fashionable corners of London's style elite, Anthony is one of those NY art-school kids who seems to have done it all already (sung with Lou Reid, starred in Steve Buschemi's movie 'Animal Hospital' and featured in the 2004 Whitney Biennale), his 'Johnsons' are a team of roving musicians and the album 'I Am A Bird Now' is one of the year's hottest numbers. Go discover.

Touchy touchy

While everyone loves a good gadget, functionality is important toof especially when it comes to mobile phones. So, it's good to see Nokia have equally rated form and function in designing their latest 8800. Made from shiny chrome, and operating with the smoothest slide-out this side of a DeLaurien, this camera phone has sounds by Grammy award-winner Ryuichi Sakamoto and 175dpi screen . . . the same density as a laptop. The perfect fusion of business and pleasure, it offers just the right stand-out factor whilst remaining subtle enough not to put the size of one's manhood in question.

Available sim-free from September.

The Stuff that Surrounds You

With every change of address seems to come a fresh interest in one's new environmentf And just like any good home re-locator, Habitat's move from one end of Grafton Street to the other has breathed fresh life into the interior's store. Along with tempting accessories, glass, furniture, fixtures, lighting and tableware, there's displays of specially-commissioned designer ranges (Kirsten Scott Thomas's upmarket laptop case and Manolo Blahnik's sensual shoe horn being two such items) and most tempting of all . . . an instore bakery with adjacent food market selling delicious homemade preserves and savoury treats. So much more appealing than bendy bamboo and citronella candlesf

Get Frothy

Next time you start thinking about indulging in a quick cappuccino or espresso, there's a new place to go. Jo Malone have brought their successful Tasting Bar to Brown Thomas Dublin, offering customers a chance to sit down, relax and get pampered. Choose from the menu and then watch while the therapist whips up shots of fragrance into luxurious creams before applying them . . . heated or chilled . . . in a blissful hand and arm massage. And with treats including the Cappuccino Cafe (Frothing Jojoba Day Moisturiser combined with one intense shot of fragrance) and the Espresso Cafe (an intense shot of fragrance encapsulated within vitamin E oil), they're bound to be habit forming!

Win tickets to Pop Paradise

If your choice of festival favourites is more of the pop variety, O2 in the Park, on Saturday, 27 August will rock your world, as well as your sound system. Acts confirmed to perform include Louis Walsh's X Factor choirboys G4, Blue's Lee Ryan (lock up your daughters), Lemar, Tyler James and Charlotte Church, with Brian Dowling, Fran Cosgrove and Caroline Morahan making the introductions. All those reality TV starsf all those hormonesf all those decibelsf it's pop culture heaven!

And we have 10 pairs of tickets to give away to Sunday Tribune readers. Simply email your name, address and mobile phone number, with the words 'O2 in the Park Competition' in subject box to hotshots@tribune. ie by 10am on Tuesday 23 August Melanie Morris hotshots@tribune. ie