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Boglebadger "keen on rocks" (Edinburgh, Scotland)

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Obsessive Compulsive Cycling Disorder
Obsessive Compulsive Cycling Disorder
by Dave Barter
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.15

4.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring content, poor proof-reading, 3 July 2014
This is a book to inspire you to get on your bike. Any keen cyclist will identify with many of Dave's experiences and observations - he's funny, self-deprecating but also clearly at the tougher end of the cycling spectrum. I would be happy to achieve a quarter of what Dave's achieved - and he's inspired me to try!

As others have said, the book's let down by poor proof-reading. Yes, there are typos and poor punctuation, but there are also some mistakes that really grate. For example, in one sentence mis-spelling both Miguel Indurain ("Migual Indurin") and Alain Prost ("Alan Prost" - perhaps his Anglo-Saxon bother?). But overall, a book it's difficult to stop reading!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 4, 2014 9:16 AM BST


Volcanism in Hawaii, U. S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1350, volume 2
Volcanism in Hawaii, U. S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1350, volume 2
by Various
Edition: Hardcover

1.0 out of 5 stars Probably not the book you're looking for, 15 April 2014
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Two books seem to have been given the same ISBN number. As a result, the book advertised here is most likely _not_ "Volcanism in Hawaii", but instead "Improve your golf the professional way". You have been warned - I bought a few from various sellers, and either received the golf book or the seller realised the problem before sending and simply told me they didn't have a copy after all.


Yellow Jersey Companion To The Tour De France
Yellow Jersey Companion To The Tour De France
by Les Woodland
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars A perfect companion!, 18 July 2013
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I love this book. I bring it out every year when the Tour de France is on, to dip into whenever I have a free moment. Lots of interesting and amusing stories and well written. Could probably do with an update though if it hasn't been touched since 2007 - I would buy another copy if it were.


Burmese Days (Penguin Modern Classics)
Burmese Days (Penguin Modern Classics)
Price: £6.87

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good read, strange errors, 6 Mar. 2013
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I enjoyed the book, it's an easy read but quite sickening in its description of the unpleasantness of British colonialism. Orwell makes virtually all the characters unpleasant and narrow-minded, and it's difficult to sympathise with even the main protagonist.

The Kindle version though is quite good but there are some weird errors. Did they digitise it with some OCR software? It keeps saying "mere" where "there" was intended, and particularly strange was the use of "tiling" instead of "thing". While the book isn't particularly expensive, proof reading would undoubtedly have caught these, so it gets a bit irritating.


The Skeptical Environmentalist
The Skeptical Environmentalist
by Bjørn Lomborg
Edition: Paperback
Price: £23.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good book, but a misnomer, 19 Dec. 2012
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Lomborg's book is a fascinating read, and for the most part convincing. However I find it an odd title.

The two relevant definitions from The Free Dictionary of an environmentalist are:

2. a person who is concerned with the maintenance of ecological balance and the conservation of the environment
3. (Life Sciences & Allied Applications / Environmental Science) a person concerned with issues that affect the environment, such as pollution

Lomborg's overwhelming concern is, however, the well-being of the human race and human happiness. Laudable as this goal is, it is not strictly speaking environmentalism. Lomborg himself admits that the well-being of other species is only considered inasmuch as it affects human endeavour and happiness - and the more human life, the better.

That said, the book is full of fascinating arguments and data and his approach - based on statistical evidence and prioritisation - is one I fundamentally agree with. There is no point in pouring all your resources into attempting to solve something that isn't a problem and ignoring others that are. And the argument that the lot of the human race has improved, and is improving, is quite convincing and in keeping with most people's person experience. Who had it harder, your grandparents or you? Most would agree that health, food, salaries, working conditions and other quality-of-life indicators have all improved over their family's generations.

The chapter on global warming was the one that most failed to convince me. Throughout most of the book, Lomborg quotes the UN, WHO etc. whose conclusions back up his views. But here, Lomborg shows himself at odds with the IPCC, and uses a multitude of arguments as to why their estimates must overshoot the mark. Undoubtedly his arguments are valid ones. But I feel he consistently chooses to only show us uncertainties that may reduce the estimate rather than those that may cause it to be underestimated. In many cases, it almost goes like "we don't know what clouds do, so they must make warming smaller". He may be right, but his bias shows.

Finally, Lomborg is a statistician and an economist. He has a unwavering faith in the good of a free-market economy that I don't quite share. If something isn't happening in a free market, then it cannot (by his definition) be worthwhile. I also feel there's some double-counting of costs going on in places - such-and-such a change will cost this many billions of dollars *and* all these bad things will happen; but it seems more likely that the monetary cost is the fraction of GDP that must be invested to make sure the latter things *do not* occur.

The great thing about this book though is it makes you think and question. Don't take all the arguments given by the environmental movement, or by Lomborg, at face value. Avoid gut reactions and consider what is the most effective way to preserve and protect the environment - *and* improve the human lot.


The Apex Explorer Plus Microscope
The Apex Explorer Plus Microscope

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great microscope for a great price!, 18 April 2011
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My microscope has just arrived, and I have to say I've very impressed! It's solidly built and the quality of the optics seems superb (I'm not an expert, but experts will probably already have their own opinions anyway). Also, I wasn't expecting the 20x eyepieces included; the Apex website itself doesn't mention them. Seems like a lot for the money.


Teach Yourself Geology (Teach Yourself Science)
Teach Yourself Geology (Teach Yourself Science)
by David A. Rothery
Edition: Paperback

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read, 8 Jan. 2007
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If you've always fancied knowing a bit about how the landscape came to look how it is (and how it continues to evolve) then this is the book for you. The theory is expressed clearly and simple diagrams illustrate the ideas in the text to ease understanding, giving you a good overview of all the main areas of geology. But most importantly, it's a thoroughly good read - I couldn't put it down - and it can only leave you wanting to learn more and test your knowledge in practice.


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