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Mil-Com Trouser Twists
Mil-Com Trouser Twists
Offered by MilitaryOps Ltd
Price: £0.99

1.0 out of 5 stars Short lived., 12 July 2012
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This review is from: Mil-Com Trouser Twists (Misc.)
These were not expensive however they are extremely simple little things that cost just a few pennies to make so there is nothing to suggest that they shouldn't still be fit for purpose. After 48 hours, one broke despite the fact that my son had only, up to that point, engaged in marshalling duties at the Fairford Air Tattoo. I wonder if these trouser twists would have lasted an hour if he had been out on manoeuvres.

I will be buying the replacements at a local store.

The Biggest Loser Challenge (Wii)
The Biggest Loser Challenge (Wii)

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for all the family, 9 Sep 2011
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So, I had a gym membership until recently which I was using less and less, my reasons ranged from feeling too lethargic to make the effort to feeling akward next to the almost olympic running abilites of fellow gym members whilst I lumbered along with my dodgey knees, excess weight and blistering breathlessness. Love the US Biggest Loser (the UK version always seems a poor relation) so felt that buying this 'game' for less than the price of one month's membership was smart and likely to yield results.

I must say I was pleasantly suprised at how tailored you can make your use of this home personal training and it didn't take very long to set up but boy, if I discovered anything, it was how unfit I am starting off. Had I been with a trainer at a gym, I would not have ventured back however in the comfort of my lounge with no one watching, I was able to accept my poor fitness level not as a negative but as a confirmation that I am now able to do something about it without feeling judged.

You do need a Balance board and if you can find cheap resistance bands, invest in them (they are instead of weights and will really help with upper arm toning etc). You don't need a great deal of space and instead of moving the Balance board every few minutes when changing exercise, simply step back and work behind it. I know there have been negative comments about the breaks between exercise sessions and complaints that it let's your heart rate drop BUT the best way to burn fat is to create an environment where your heart rate is taken up, allowed to drop then taken back up, this shock tactic of 'suprising' your body increases exercise results. Also there are quite a few complaints that it doesn't register certain movements such as rope skipping but I haven't found this and wonder if it's simply because users focus on the jumping rather than the wrist movement - you have to imagine you are actually using a skipping rope.

Jillian is a tougher trainer but for many people like myself, tough love works better. The music isn't irritating and it's good that both trainers continually encourage and advise how you should be positioning yourself throughout the exercise. My very slim and lovely looking teenager daughter loves the programme and is using it every other day not to lose weight but to tone her muscles and she thinks it's great fun!

You can chose what you want to achieve eg weight loss, toning particular parts, increasing cardio etc and over what period of time you would like to achieve results, so there is no pressure to work to the creators' timeline, you create your own and if you find you have over/under estimated you ability, you can amend it.

I think this is marvellous value for money and my only gripe is that it uses metric and I like to know what I am in stones and pounds, not kilos. I recommend this to all ages, male or female, of whatever starting fitness level and I'm intending to buy it for my grown up daughter who has an office job and always moans that she often feels unfit and tired. Go for it, you won't be disappointed and you will definitely lose weight/tone up seeing your first results within a week.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 9, 2012 7:00 PM GMT

My Kitchen Table: 100 Cakes and Bakes
My Kitchen Table: 100 Cakes and Bakes
by Mary Berry
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

59 of 62 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just made the best cake ever!, 28 Feb 2011
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I should have listened to my dear ol' mum ... she always said the seasoned cook authors were the best and Mary Berry is living testiment to that. I didn't give the book five stars only because there were so many recipes that relied on nuts and dried fruit and fewer of these would have allowed for some great additional recipes. Having said that, at half the price of books from celebs such as Lorraine Pascale etc, this was seriously good value for money.

I made the Christening cake (for my husband's birthday) and for a change, followed instruction to the letter. I have no reservation in blowing my own trumpet (and to that end, a whole wind section for Mrs Berry) when I say that the resulting cake could have been mistaken for something costing a fortune from a professional baker - it was out of this world and worthy, if I had made it a three-layer, to grace the palate of a bride and groom.

I shall, on the strength of this book, be buying some more of Mary's publications but this will only be once I have completed my gym membership form next week.

Can a Robot be Human?: 33 Perplexing Philosophy Puzzles
Can a Robot be Human?: 33 Perplexing Philosophy Puzzles
by Peter Cave
Edition: Paperback

4 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not Perplexing, not puzzling., 28 Feb 2011
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I'll keep this short and not so sweet. Here's a philosophical puzzle for you (according to the criteria established in this book).

Two people purchase 'Can a Robot be human?'. The first is a relatively intelligent individual who, whilst having no specific learning of philosophy, rather fancies the idea of nurturing their basic reasoning.

The second purchaser believes they are a relatively intelligent individual who like their counterpart, fancies the idea of nurturing their basic reasoning.

Only after both customers get the book home does the difference in suitability become blatantly obvious; our first buyer quickly discovers that the 'puzzles' are neither challenging nor coherently written and are poorly veiled examples of what we would term 'common knowledge' and basic logic. Our second customer only thinks they are of reasonable intelligence and in fact bought the book in the hope that it would give them overnight highbrow conversation for Friday night down the pub. Sadly they are stupid enough to be taken in by the book content but are too stupid to accurately requote the 'conundrums'.

Unless you fit into the second catergory, don't waste your money.

Baking Made Easy
Baking Made Easy
by Lorraine Pascale
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.99

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Oh dear, I had such high hopes, 13 Feb 2011
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This review is from: Baking Made Easy (Hardcover)
I was inspired to purchase this book on the basis of Lorraine's recent tv series (I must confess I hadn't heard of her before then). There are 100 recipes and all the tv recipes feature in here so if you have recorded the shows, you already have roughly 20% of the recipes.

Firstly, just to get it out of the way as it's not a massive deal, why do publishers insist on producing cook books with loose dust jackets instead of simply producing the book with plastic coated durable covers? The dust jacket is annoying and already showed signs of edge crumpling when it was delivered in the Amazon packaging.

Onto the content. As other have said, pretty as she is, it's a bit irritating to see so many pages wasted on full page soze piccies of her shopping and looking serene; ten more recipes could have been added and that's really what the punter wants Lorraine. Alot of the recipes were mediocre basics like a Victoria sponge - something we can all pick up for free on the internet. The bread section is good, the cakes sections okay, the dinner party section extremely unimpressive and dated.

I really wanted to get excited about the book but as I read each page, it dawned on me that I was already familiar with lots of these recipes and having tried some of Lorraine's by day two, I realised that her versions were on the hole, pretty awful; the brownies recipe is dull and not nearly as good as hundreds floating about on the web. The battenburg cake recipe - dear god, I lived through that as a kid, I love my kids too much to make them each stodge and marzipan!

This is actually the first cookbook I have ever bought as I inherited lots of lovely ones off my mum (I'm mid forties); I consider myself a good cook both family meals and baking and if you consider yourself a competant (not brilliant, but decent) baker, don't waste your money - it will not inspire or teach you anything you don't already have in a 1980s cook book or on one of the more popular recipe sites like the BBC food site.

Astronaut Food - Strawberries
Astronaut Food - Strawberries
Offered by Gifts Direct 2 U Ltd
Price: £5.21

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Yuck!!, 9 Feb 2011
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Bought this as stocking filler for my kids, both of whom threw it away after one mouthful claiming it to taste like sweet cardboard. My son is twelve and quite honestly would probably have a good go at a bit of cardboard if I dowsed it in sugar so this tells me that the Freeze dried Strawberry 'Astro' food must be abysmal!

What a waste of money.

No Title Available

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A hit with teenagers who appear to have earphones welded to side of head., 9 Feb 2011
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My 13 yr old daughter has a pretty full on relationship with her ipod but she kept complaining that headphones never lasted. I eventually discovered this was due to a teenage tendancy to wrap the earphone wire and hence cause it to crack within the plastic sheath where it connects to the jack.

Two months down the line, and her Duck earbuds are still going strong and give what she considers a decent quality output and a comfortable ear plugging. They look akward but I am assured, they don't move even when walking briskly.

She doesn't play her music too loud as I have scared her sufficiently regarding deafness in later life due to drum damage in these carefree years, so I can't comment on the sound integrity when the volume is seriously cranked up.

Glow in the Dark Shoe Laces
Glow in the Dark Shoe Laces
Offered by Otherland
Price: £2.38

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In the words of Pink "Too skool for cool", 9 Feb 2011
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:3.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Glow in the Dark Shoe Laces (Toy)
I bought these as stocking fillers for my 12 and 13 yr old (one boy, one girl). They both loved them and immediately replaced their Converse laces.

They do in fact glow very nicely even in mid light and are in as good condition nearly two months down the line after daily use.

I haven't tried to wash them but let's be honest, who washes laces?


5.0 out of 5 stars Great look for teen ipod, 9 Feb 2011
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My thirteen year old is a typical teenager - parents of such need no further expansion, so it was nice to find something that despite costing so little, was deemed so cool by a very hard to please young lady.
The orange cover looks metallic and you'd swear it gives off a sort of neon glow when placed over the silver chrome ipod.

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