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Cartimand (Hampshire, UK.)
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Teach Yourself Visually LinkedIn (Teach Yourself VISUALLY (Tech))
Teach Yourself Visually LinkedIn (Teach Yourself VISUALLY (Tech))
by Lance Whitney
Edition: Paperback
Price: £17.94

4.0 out of 5 stars Well presented and full of quality information, 18 Dec 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I already had a basic LinkedIn account, but had made little use of it before now.

This beautifully presented reference book, printed on nice glossy paper, takes you through the absolute basics and then explores the more in depth areas, such as customising your profile, linking to groups, recommendations etc.

It's well equipped with a comprehensive index and should serve as a valuable reference book for quite some time.

My only criticism is that a lot of space is devoted to the very basic elementary stuff, which anyone who is remotely iT-savvy ought to know how to do it without recourse to any book. No big deal though. Unless you are already an advanced user, it's well worth investing in this attractive book if you want to make the most out of your LinkedIn account.


Clock Movement Mechanism with Black Hour Minute Red Second Hand DIY Tools Kit
Clock Movement Mechanism with Black Hour Minute Red Second Hand DIY Tools Kit
Offered by Trend Mall
Price: £2.29

3.0 out of 5 stars Cheap as chips and it works but..., 18 Dec 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The central spindle is shorter than I expected and only really suitable for going through a very thin and completely flat surface. I wanted this to replace the mechanism on a novelty flattened beer bottle clock and it needed to be maybe 3 mm longer to protrude sufficiently. Will have to look around for a suitable alternative clock face.

Came securely packed from China 22 days after placing my order.


Zip Dry 59 ml One Bottle with Nozzle and Lid, Crystal Clear
Zip Dry 59 ml One Bottle with Nozzle and Lid, Crystal Clear
Price: £8.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Pricey but perfect for those 1970s album covers!, 14 Dec 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Just spent a happy hour browsing through my old vinyl collection and using this Zip Dry glue to repair all those wonderfully evocative gatefold album sleeves (and yes, one of them was Tarkus (Gatefold Sleeve+insert) [Vinyl]) that had come apart at the seams many years ago.

Just apply a thin line of the glue to one surface, press together and it sticks almost instantly. Any residue can easily be rolled away after around 10 minutes, when it becomes quite hard and rubbery.

Zip Dry isn't particularly cheap but, if you need to glue card, then I cannot think of any glue more effective than this.


Skew [DVD]
Skew [DVD]
Dvd ~ Rob Scattergood
Offered by FUNTIME MEDIA
Price: £2.75

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If looks could kill..., 11 Dec 2014
This review is from: Skew [DVD] (DVD)
**** Warning Spoilers ****

Skew is a low budget but competent and pretty compelling twist on the old found footage theme. Simon, Rich, and Eva set out on a road trip. There's clearly some tension between them from the start (which is explained later on) and things become gradually more nightmarish as the tale progresses, all filmed by the increasingly paranoid Simon.

Some of the people he films seem to have their faces macabrely distorted. This portends that they are not long for this world. Simon makes the link between his camcorder and the proliferation of deaths, but is it the camera, is it Simon, or a combination of the two? During a long monologue, Simon lets slip that his parents would not allow any cameras or photographs in the house, so that hints very strongly that there is some sort of inherited family curse at play here. Things become increasingly creepy, with a couple of genuine make-you-jump moments, but a couple of scenes (at the police station and the enigmatic character running through the field at an impossible speed) left me rather baffled.

The ending, in flashback, was kind of fitting and made sense of a scene partway through, which had previously left me scratching my head.

Be aware though that the plot is a fairly complex one and the director never spoon-feeds you, so you need to pay close attention to get your head around what's going on. Overall, this is a competent and stylish supernatural horror film that keeps you guessing until the end. Well worth a look.


Rendez-vous with Art
Rendez-vous with Art
by Philippe de Montebello
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £15.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Context is everything, 8 Dec 2014
This review is from: Rendez-vous with Art (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Having visited Madrid and enjoying a wonderful day at The Prado just a couple of weeks ago, I couldn't wait to read about Philippe de Montebello and Martin Gayford's musings about its treasures. I certainly wasn't disappointed; in particular, their thoughts on the dramatically macabre works of Breugel and Bosch provided some fascinating insights.

The format of this book is perhaps a little strange and unlike any other art book I have read. The text for each section takes the form of some introductory notes followed by a series of short dialogues between de Montebello and Gayford, in which they explore the merits of the selected works of art. Sometimes, their musings are unapologetically intellectually aloof, but become very down to Earth at times, when mentioning the explicit sexuality of a painting, or comparing a classic depiction of Eve to a barmaid. A recurring theme is how important context is and that impact of a piece of art may be dramatically changed by removing it from its original location. Thus, if an item was meant to reside in a chapel or such like, its relative value when relocated to an art gallery may be diminished. A valid point indeed but somewhat ironic, given the positions of these gentlemen!

Overall, this is a fascinating and quite compelling read, which will certainly pique your interest to visit some of the wonderful collections mentioned here.

Only criticisms are that the colour reproductions are very small; I would have preferred a 2-page spread on glossy paper for the larger works, such as The Garden of Earthly Delights etc. The main font is also unusually small and may prove problematical if you eyesight isn't what it once was! Indeed, this book would probably have benefited from being published in a larger size.

No big deal though. Rendez-vous With Art is an absolute treat for those who enjoy classical art.


Zyliss Acid Etched Rotary Fine and Coarse Drum Grater
Zyliss Acid Etched Rotary Fine and Coarse Drum Grater
Offered by Lakeland
Price: £24.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Some nice design features but..., 29 Nov 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
this does strike me as a somewhat over-engineered solution.

I already owned a basic pyramid grater, offering three different levels of granularity. It did a fine job, as long as you treated it with respect. This Zyliss device offers you two different grinding levels with either right or left-handed operation. You slot in one of the drums to the side of your choice, put a chunk of hard cheese into the top of the device and grind away. Results are good. Just not convinced it's any better than using a conventional grater. It's also a bit fiddly to clean and mind your fingers, because the flanges on the drums really are razor sharp! The hinge, clip and winding handle mechanism on the drums are all plastic and don't feel particularly robust. Only time will tell how long they last.

To summarise, this is an efficient and quite fun to use grater. If you already own even a basic grater though, I'm not convinced this will add much to your grating experience.

**** UPDATE **** Be aware that the Zyliss works best with really hard cheese. I just tried it with some semi-hard Edam, which seemed to gum up the works a bit with rather unsatisfactory results. On the plus side, I managed to turn a hard crust of bread into breadcrumbs fairly easily with this grater.


Zyliss Burger Press with Adjustable Thickness
Zyliss Burger Press with Adjustable Thickness
Price: £15.99

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Simple and effective, 29 Nov 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is an elegantly designed little device that makes it easy to produce regularly-sized burgers in two different thicknesses. The inclusion of a half dozen suggested recipes was a nice touch - especially the vegetarian recipe, which I've just cooked and was well received!

The burgers come out as perfect circles, 4.5 inches wide and with attractive griddle lines across them. Depending on how well your burger mix binds together, you may need a spatula to detach your burger from the plastic slide-out plate.

Only criticisms? Well there's not a lot of grip if you want to swivel the top to swap between half and quarter pounder burgers - particularly if your hands are wet; sometimes your burger mix sticks to the plates a bit, and it's a bit fiddly to wash.

Overall though, this is a well-designed and simple to use device that makes it easy to produce professional looking burgers - whether meat or veggie!


Classic British Comedies The DVD Board Game
Classic British Comedies The DVD Board Game
Offered by Accessory-Shop
Price: £24.94

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great family game but I doubt if many 8 year olds would appreciate it!, 16 Nov 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Had a brief trial run with this game and intend to play it in earnest with the family together after Christmas dinner.

Given the age of the comedy clips, I would say this is aimed more at the 20+ age group and I can see younger players frowning in ignorance of much of the material and soon losing interest.

For those of us of a certain age though, Classic British Comedies The DVD Board Game works well as a light-hearted competitive game, as an enjoyable nostalgia kick and as a great tribute to the golden era of British comedy.

Given the limited number of video clips, the longevity of this game may be in doubt, but if it gets us through this Christmas with a few laughs, then it will have been money well spent!


Becoming the Perfect Gentleman
Becoming the Perfect Gentleman
by Zach Falconer-Barfield
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.48

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Has its heart in the right place, but somewhat disappointing and not what I expected., 16 Nov 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Given that the notion of the perfect gentleman conjures forth a somewhat anachronistic vision, I anticipated this being an entertaining book written in an ironically amusing manner.

Instead, I found a rather flat, uninspired and questionable account of the gentleman throughout history followed by numerous lists of dos and dont's covering such life situations as dining, dressing, romance, travel etc. Some of the advice I could certainly empathise with, whereas much of it simply came over as pretentious and downright snobbish.

Furthermore, I'm sure the perfect gentleman would have a decent command of his mother tongue and would not pepper his language with grammatical and other errors (you "lose your head" not "loose it" and inappropriate use of the apostrophe has always made me wince).

Finally, in a book intended for use as a source of reference, the absence of a comprehensive index at the back was inexplicable.

I almost awarded 2 stars but, on reflection, felt that would have been overly cruel, particularly as I found myself agreeing with the authors' overall objective in writing this book (and I did emit a brief "hurrah" when they lambasted the gross overuse of the word "like" in young people's conversations these days!). Employing a proof-reader and adding some witticisms and anecdotes to enhance the scenarios described, would have improved this book enormously.


El Nino [DVD]
El Nino [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jesús Castro
Price: £14.00

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great eye-candy in an otherwise rather formulaic thriller., 13 Nov 2014
This review is from: El Nino [DVD] (DVD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Two young men, el Niño (Jesús Castro) and his friend Compi (Jesús Carroza) are petty criminals always on the look out for ways of making more money. One day, pursuing a small job, they meet a young Moroccan, who mentions that his uncle - a serious drug trafficker, may have some extremely lucrative work for them. Most canny viewers will have a pretty good idea of what to expect from this point on.

Let's take the good stuff first; the Straits of Gibraltar and surrounding environs provide a splendid backdrop for this tale of drug-running, camaraderie, risks and consequences. The cinematography is admirable, often employing inventive camera angles. I played a couple of scenes back and thought to myself "how the hell did they film that?". The action scenes are certainly compelling. We also get to see life from both sides - cop and criminal and there's clearly a sub-text of social conscience at play here, exploring the motives that drive people into crime. Despite the slightly quirky subtitles, the dialogue was sometimes amusing and surround sound is used to very good effect.

On the down side, El Niño is very wordy and, at 136 minutes, threatens on occasion to overstay its welcome. I got the impression that the director thought "right, we've had this long conversation, so time to throw in a car chase. Or, better still, a helicopter chase!" Credit where it's due, the action scenes - particularly involving boats and helicopters, are excellent. That isn't enough in my book however to make El Niño a great movie. The cops' side of the story felt underdeveloped. The love interest struck me as rather tacked on and unconvincing (picturesque sex-on-the-beach scene though!) and Ian McShane, although billed as one of the stars, is criminally (ha-ha) underused in just a couple of cameos.

To summarise, the director has certainly ticked all the right boxes to make a competent thriller, with lovable rogue main characters, somewhat dysfunctional cops, action routines, a beautiful woman, a boo-hiss baddie etc. but it all seems a tad routine and lacking in any real tension. Anyway, just sit back, enjoy the spectacular scenery, action scenes and audio but you may well find your attention wandering a bit through the interminable conversations and I doubt if many viewers would bother watching this movie a second time.


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