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IsomorphEmit "isomorphemit" (London)

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Treetop Drive
Treetop Drive
Price: £14.70

5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely brutal, 10 April 2014
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This review is from: Treetop Drive (Audio CD)
I flirted considerably with ambience in the old days, many years ago, particularly in those post-night out sessions, 4am-ish, but found the more electronica strand ultimately unsatisfying in its inherent bleepiness. So when a friend recommended this recently I was suspicious, but I have to say it is completely hardcore: it's like driving a meditative juggernaut, horns blaring to the absolute max, through your brain every 8 seconds. You need to be a resilient listener - it is seriously very emotionally draining to listen to all the tracks in sequence. Absolutely brilliant. Listen to this on the tube and you'll be in a completely different realm to the mere mortals around you! My friend's recommendation came after I asked him for further steers on the state of play in ambient music after another mate had already put me onto Susumu Yokota (Sakura - very higly recommended) and the change could not have been any more from-light-to-dark - very chiaroscuro!

If you like music that twists you inside-out, then this is an essential item to get your mitts on.


The Delinquent Teenager Who Was Mistaken for the World's Top Climate Expert
The Delinquent Teenager Who Was Mistaken for the World's Top Climate Expert
by Donna Laframboise
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.16

4.0 out of 5 stars Mutliple direct hits on the IPCC, 10 April 2014
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Donna Laframboise is a professional journalist and has a very punchy style. If you're open to skepticism about global warming alarm and suspect that the IPCC is somehow not what it is portrayed to be, then this book will provide you with a very satisfying dissection of its flaws. And there are many. Many, many, many. It does a particularly sharp job on attacking the "peer reviewed" mantra espoused by many of the IPCC's supporters. It's a rich irony, shown in pinpoint precision in this book, that large swathes of the IPCC chapters rely on non-peer-reviewed literature and, worse, literature that is decidedly "grey" in nature. Particularly damning are the revelations that numerous chapters cite papers that had not been published at the time of writing; papers which were then commissioned, as it were, to order, in order to support the (foregone) conclusion in the chapter summaries.

If you're not open to skepticism then I wouldn't know what to say other than maybe try to pretend that this book does not exist.


Teaching-you Touch Typing  2 (PC)
Teaching-you Touch Typing 2 (PC)

4.0 out of 5 stars Worthwhile after getting through download faff, 5 April 2014
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I had something of a torrid tale with this item. I bought the disc (ancient version 1) then couldn't find the downloads for intermediate and advanced parts of course (levels 9 to 20) anywhere on Johnny Interweb. However, I eventually realised I should be searching for Accu-Type and then very quickly found the company page. No "extra levels" downloads per se but donwloads for versions 5 and 6 of the application, seemingly free. Lo and behold, after the download of version 6, the new levels appeared in version 1. I haven't delved into it but maybe the download checks that you have a registered version of software installed. In any case, I also now have an instance of version 6 installed (Unregistered) which works, although I haven't checked on any limitations to the functionality.

For the software itself, I actually prefer the much clunkier interface and 90's look and feel of version 2. Ugly-looking but effective. The exercises are usually about 4-6 lines of text, aimed at building the particular skill it teaches. There's some analysis of the mistakes made which takes you onto customised pages to tackle that particular problem, where "customised" looks like it means "cobbled together from the other exercises". After consistently failing to complete the required number of exercises at a given level at the required accuracy (e.g. 2 tests at < 2% errors, the most stringent accuracy setting available), the tests then start to repeat themselves. That can be a bit mind-numbing but basically a good thing since it allows you to practice again on the tests you failed. A typical exercise will focus on two keys somehow related e.g. 5 and 6, J and 7, H and N, etc.

Overall, what do you need apart from the approriate exercises and a way of measuring progress? Exactly, not much. I haven't noticed any of the problems highlighted by other reviewers where an exercise takes ages and progress not saved. It's true, the tests are atomic but they shouldn't take more than five minutes. It seems to remember the point you reached on the next start of the app.

I haven't tried the speed-typing or other sections. Overall, this is a pretty effective tool. I'd previously self-taught touch typing from the Ben'Ary book (recommended but dated and for typewriter not keyboard) but was only a half-hearted touch typer in that great opportunity for touch-typing practice, the office! I was ok with letters but the symbol characters at periphery of keyboard that I need to type frequently as part of my job were a consistent weak spot. Still are in fact, as I'm still working at level 10, as I write; but even after about 5 hours of practice, I'm noticing improvements. Consequently, I'm giving this a 4 based on initial progress.


The Making of the Fittest: DNA and the Ultimate Forensic Record of Evolution
The Making of the Fittest: DNA and the Ultimate Forensic Record of Evolution
by Sean B. Carroll
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.28

4.0 out of 5 stars Focussed dissection of Creationism, 15 July 2012
This book covers familiar ground in the landscape of pop science books on evolution at the genetic level. However, it provided me, at least, with some fresh insights, notably into making obvious the link between natural de-selection and fossile genes, and into how the evolution of switching genes can affect the application of "toolkit genes" in different parts of the organism.

At times, the attention to detail and volumes of evidence mustered to support his exposition can be a bit wearisome - "I get it, move on". But as one of his quotes from Darwin makes clear, the prodigious evidence he provides serves the purpose of making his argument in the final few chapters unassailable. The key chapter is chapter 9, which is really the point of the whole book - a rigorous attack on the nonsense that is Creationism / Intelligent Design.

He outlines his attack in a light-handed way but his intention is clear: to provide anyone who reads this book with a precise set of tools for dismantling the rhetoric of any Creationist that the reader would have the good fortune of meeting.

One of the most telling arguments that he supplies is the stark disagreement of Creationist views with the established doctrine of the Catholic and mainstream Protestant churches, such doctrines typically regarding the science of evolution as both an astounding achievement of human endeavour and a beautiful testament to the sophistication of God's creation.

He provides a variety of other analyses which serve to puncture the rhetoric of the Creationists, which once deflated shows starkly that Creationist views are not science, just myth.

The final chapter is something of a bolt-on to the main thrust of the book but consists of a useful, and quite sobering, look at overfishing. Importantly, he points out that without a correct understanding of the evolutionary impact of both fishing and the efforts to mitigate overfishing, then fish as we know and love them are doomed. The principal strand of his explanation here is that fishing for the biggest and juiciest fish creates a man-made selection pressure for top-of-the-food-chain predators to be smaller, with disastrous consequences for the underlying food chain.

Overall, this book is not really a page-turner but a worthy and rewarding read nonetheless.


Removal House Moving Boxes, strong large singlewall cardboard boxes, made with thicker C flute cardboard, quantity 30, size 19" x 12.5" x 14" as used by removal companies inc. bubblewrap roll 750mm wide x 10mt long, and 2 rolls of tape.
Removal House Moving Boxes, strong large singlewall cardboard boxes, made with thicker C flute cardboard, quantity 30, size 19" x 12.5" x 14" as used by removal companies inc. bubblewrap roll 750mm wide x 10mt long, and 2 rolls of tape.
Offered by Packaging.Products.Direct
Price: £22.39

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty useful, 24 Feb. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These are pretty handy - size is good for packing e.g. one shelf or slightly less off a standard sort of bookshelf. If you have vinyl, they're ok for that also but as you can guess from the dimensions, 12's just about squeeze in - they need to fit in diagonal to the long axis of the box and then you need some padding on the top.

Also, I've moved twice in the last year and the removal firms both times used a mix of double-walled and single-walled boxes. Removal firms tend to stack stack boxes up to about 5 high, in my experience, and the single-sided boxes will give a fair bit if they're not full and IF they're near the bottom of a heavy stack. With that in mind, you would almost certainly want some double-sided boxes for your more valuable and breakable possessions.

Note, if you're going to pack and therefore necessarily build a load of these boxes, you should get a tape gun: search amazon for "tape dispenser pistol grip"


Retrofitting Blade Runner: Issues in Ridley Scott's ""Blade Runner"" and Philip K. Dick's ""Do Android's Dream of Electric Sheep?
Retrofitting Blade Runner: Issues in Ridley Scott's ""Blade Runner"" and Philip K. Dick's ""Do Android's Dream of Electric Sheep?
by Judith B. Kerman
Edition: Paperback
Price: £25.95

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A challenging but rewarding book, 21 Dec. 2011
I bought this some time ago and dived straight into it but quickly discovered that it was not the casual read I had anticipated. I paused for a couple of years and then re-approached the book with a stronger commitment. The commitment paid off! The book is challenging but for a fan of Bladerunner, the reward is a much richer understanding of the film. The pay-off for me was the resolution of that key question, "Is Deckard a replicant?" Without being trite, the resolution was that the question is meaningless: the overall insight that the book offers is that the end-product film was the result of the many different interpretations that it accumulated during its tortuous gestation. In some of those interpretations he was, in some he wasn't.

That major question aside, there are many other revelations to enjoy, for example the origin of the turtle/desert question in the opening voidcomp scene.

As noted though, the rewards are not easily won. The essays in the first half of the book are quite lit-crit heavy so it can be quite challenging to actually parse the meaning of any given sentence if you're not used to reading that sort of analysis (I'm not). The essays in the second half are more forgiving since they focus on aspects of the film per se - e.g. the music - but still require focussed reading.

If you're prepared to read this book in a disciplined manner e.g. if you would be happy to repeatedly re-read sections of the book until you had absorbed the content, then this a very worthwhile book. If you're not, then don't bother buying it.


Little Sound Boy
Little Sound Boy
Offered by FastMedia "Ships From USA"
Price: £22.26

4.0 out of 5 stars Solid sound boy compilation, 20 Dec. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Little Sound Boy (Audio CD)
This is a solid compilation of great sound boy tunes from the Jammy's era. Worth buying for "No Ice Cream Sound" alone. The Real Rock and Stalag ("Stagalag") rhythms feature prominently and all the other rhythms are equally tier one. My faves are the two Stonelove cuts of the Real Rock, one of which is the famous "Big, strong and heavy" tune, well-known to jungle fans. Definitely a CD you can just stick on and listen to all the way through.

If you're into your sound boy lyrics, then you'll know that they don't reach their true height unless they're in praise of a particular sound. In that case, and also if you can't get enough of the Real Rock, you should also check out "Kilimanjaro Remember Garnett Silk" and "Champion Sound" by Stonelove.


Selectors Choice Vol. 1
Selectors Choice Vol. 1
Price: £7.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mind-boggling value for money!, 20 Dec. 2011
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This review is from: Selectors Choice Vol. 1 (Audio CD)
The basics: Prince Jammy was crowned King when he invented digital reggae with Sleng Teng. Consequently, no reggae collection is complete without a decent representation of Jammy's tunes. Buy this and volume 2 and you have that constraint completely licked. This box set is 4 CD's of top tune after top tune for circa 15 quid! (At least at the current price.) Additionally, the production values on the packaging are extremely high. The sleeve notes are short but very punchy and - riddim-spotter bonus - they identify all the rhythms on the compilation. This is a complete and utter no-brainer.

If you like these two box sets, you should also check out "Shock of the Century" which is a live set by Coxsone Sound with many of the top names of the time (and still) - Frankie Paul, Supercat, Nitty Gritty, etc - delivering top-drawer DJing over many of these tunes.


Rids The World Of The Evil Curse Of The Vampires
Rids The World Of The Evil Curse Of The Vampires

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In Scientist's top 2, 1 Nov. 2009
This vies with Wins the World Cup for his best collection of dubs on Greensleeves and, in fact, they hold various rhythms in common. The other reviews contrasting his style with the implied poor "cut and paste" technique (what!?) of King Tubby or with the "whistles" style of Scratch are plain silly. This gets a five for being an unassailable dub classic but loses one to acknowledge the effect of time - the stand out tracks remain ineffable but the rest can't escape their age. Bottom line is that this is an essential part of any dub collection along with World Cup. As an aside, to a new collector of dub, skip the boxing themed Scientist albums - they don't pass the test of time.


Math into LaTeX: An Introduction to Latex and AMS-latex
Math into LaTeX: An Introduction to Latex and AMS-latex
by George A. Gratzer
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars 100% Reliable Companion, 14 Sept. 2009
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This is an excellent book and I found it absolutely critical to have by my side when I was recently completing a maths (MSc) thesis. I was completely new to Latex when I started the thesis but by the end (about two months on write up) I felt very comfortable. The first chapter provides a very useful package of getting-started information and shows the source and finished typesetted document for a short maths article: all the rudimentary knowledge one needs to get going is included there. From then on a quick scan of the chapters is sufficient preparation for using the book in an index-led fashion i.e. look up what you want and then find the relevant section and after getting your information read around the topic a bit more if you're going to need it again. The catch there is sometimes you need to know the name of the guessed-at latex command before looking it up; in that case, the comprehensive tables and appendices at the back will probably contain what you're looking for, at least for maths and text commands. Should be noted that this book also covers AMS variants/packages.


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