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Profile for Mark Shackelford > Reviews

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Reviews Written by
Mark Shackelford "mark shackelford" (Worthing, UK)
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   

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Beco Pets Eco-Friendly Medium Beco Ball - Blue - 6.5 cm
Beco Pets Eco-Friendly Medium Beco Ball - Blue - 6.5 cm
Price: £4.99

3.0 out of 5 stars A slightly odd ball, 4 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A slightly odd ball - eco-friendly perhaps, but that didn't really impress Murphy.

It has a hole in it and is about the size of a tennis ball.
Not sure what the benefits are over a second-hand (i.e. free) tennis ball...

Murphy played with it a bit and then got bored.


After the Flood - Van Der Graaf Generator At The BBC 1968-1977
After the Flood - Van Der Graaf Generator At The BBC 1968-1977
Price: £9.99

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Day dawns dark, it now numbers, infinity..., 28 April 2015
Ok.. you will already have most of these, from The Black Box and other sources... but here are the track details:
The ones with ** are previously unreleased.

Disc: 1
1. People You Were Going To (Top Gear 1968)
2. Afterwards (Top Gear 1968)
3. Necromancer (Top Gear 1968)
4. Darkness (Top Gear 1970)
5. After The Flood (Top Gear 1970)
6. ManErg (Sounds of the 70s 1971)
7. Theme One (Sounds of the 70s 1971)
8. Vision (Sounds of the 70s 1971) **
9. Darkness (Sounds of the 70s 1971)
10. ManErg (John Peel Concert 1971) **
11. W (John Peel Concert 1971) **
12. Killer (John Peel Concert 1971) **
Disc: 2
1. Refugees (John Peel Session 1971)
2. Scorched Earth (John Peel Session 1975)
3. Sleepwalkers (John Peel Session 1975)
4. Still Life (John Peel Session 1976)
5. La Rossa (John Peel Session 1976)
6. When She Comes (John Peel Session 1976)
7. Masks (John Peel Session 1976)
8. Cat's Eye / Yellow Fever (John Peel Session 1977)
9. The Sphinx In The Face (John Peel Session 1977)
10. Fragments Of) A Plague Of Lighthouse Keepers / Sleepwalkers (John Peel Session 1977) **

It is, as always, a delight to revisit some of the treasures of one's youth

Day dawns dark, it now numbers, infinity...


Ink Jet Remanufactured Ink Cartridge Replacement for Epson - T0715 Combo Black, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow
Ink Jet Remanufactured Ink Cartridge Replacement for Epson - T0715 Combo Black, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cheaper Replacement for EPSON cartridges, 20 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Cheaper Replacement for EPSON cartridges

These are exactly the same size and shape as the original EPSON cartridges, and therefore fit happily in the printer
I have run a couple of test pages, and the ink quality seems fine, as well as a photo-print which looked good too - glossy colours and no smearing or any adverse effects.

I cannot comment on the longevity of these cartridges - I will report back once they run out!


Apexel 3 in 1 Clip-on 180 Degree Full Screen Fisheye +0.67x Wide Angle + 10x Macro Lens for iPhone 6/ 6Plus, iPhone 5/5S/5C/4 Samsung HTC Sony LG (No Dark Circle by the Fisheye Lens)
Apexel 3 in 1 Clip-on 180 Degree Full Screen Fisheye +0.67x Wide Angle + 10x Macro Lens for iPhone 6/ 6Plus, iPhone 5/5S/5C/4 Samsung HTC Sony LG (No Dark Circle by the Fisheye Lens)
Price: £8.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Ingenious accessory for your phone's camera, 17 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Ingenious accessory for your phone's camera

Three lenses (when they arrive two are screwed together - I was a bit confused until I checked the picture!) which click into a plastic holding arm and then fit over the camera lens - in my case an iPhone 5. The lenses come in a smartly laid out case with foam rubber slots and a zipper.

I have a case on my phone, but I didn't need to remove it to use the lenses - they slot over the top and all works fine.

The fish-eye is brilliant - and I have already posted a number of "interesting" shots of family and friends on WhatsApp and Facebook - with quite a few comments such as "Errr?" and "Brilliant!"... The macro lens worked well on my initial experiments (I took a picture of the table top and the grain came out in excellent detail - and better than the basic camera lens)

This is so cheap I thought it was a toy - but the quality of the lenses and the packaging make this a really useful extension to your phone.

Not sure I will use them very often, but it certainly whiles away a few moments when you have nothing better to do :-)


Towards the Flame: Empire, War and the End of Tsarist Russia
Towards the Flame: Empire, War and the End of Tsarist Russia
by Dominic Lieven
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and in-depth historical review of 20th century Russian history, 9 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Excellent and in-depth historical review of 20th century Russian history, written by a serious academic with privileged access to Russian archives.

This book explores the history of Russia before, during and after the First World War, and explores the repercussions of the decision by the Russian (Tsarist) leaders to take their well-populated, but technically backward, country to war against the high technology of Germany.

I found this an intriguing book - explaining how the Russian government's decision resulted in the overthrow of the Tsar and the eruption of the 20th century's most famously disastrous experiment - the horrors of the Russian Revolution and the scary careers of Lenin, Stalin and their terrifying cronies - and we are still living with the aftershocks of this period...

I thoroughly enjoyed the book, found it easy to read (even at over 400 pages), and feel I now have a better grasp on the why's and wherefore's of the Russian 20th century nightmare - and it answers many of the questions I had after my recent exploration of the history of the Cold War.


Philips GC8638/20 PerfectCare Aqua Steam Generator Iron with One Perfect Temperature - 280 g Steam Boost, 2.5 L, 2400 W, Navy
Philips GC8638/20 PerfectCare Aqua Steam Generator Iron with One Perfect Temperature - 280 g Steam Boost, 2.5 L, 2400 W, Navy
Price: £209.10

4.0 out of 5 stars Nearly a brilliant idea...but, 6 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Nearly a brilliant idea...but

The clever idea here is to have the steam generated outside the iron, so the iron itself is small and light and doesn't get burning hot.
The iron is easy to use and as you iron the clothes you press a button and steam is continuously sprayed. The clothes iron well.

So far, so good...

The downside is the enormous and heavy steam generator - attached to the iron by a thick tube.
The generator has to sit within a few feet of the ironing board as the tube is quite short (to prevent the steam cooling?)

So this means (a) you have a huge and heavy (filled with water) steam reservoir to lug around, and (b) you have to find somewhere in your already over-crowded house to store the monster.
We needed two people to empty the iron after use - one to man-handle the steam reservoir to the tip it into the sink and the other to hold the electric cable and the iron so they didn't fall in the water.

I am not sure this is going to be used much - even though the iron does (as it says) iron anything without needing any settings.


Oral-B Pro 600 CrossAction Electric Rechargeable Toothbrush Powered by Braun - Pink
Oral-B Pro 600 CrossAction Electric Rechargeable Toothbrush Powered by Braun - Pink
Offered by HealthXpress
Price: £31.56

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good toothbrush, 30 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Not bad at all - for the price! The toothbrush gives an effective clean - and claims to remove more plaque than a manual brush.
Some neat features - the 30 second buzz warning to move on, and pressure sensors to help reduce 'over-brushing'.
The battery needs recharging quite frequently, but the cross-action head works well
All in all - great value if you just want a basic but effective electric toothbrush


Hama Vertical Window Case for Apple iPhone 5C - Black
Hama Vertical Window Case for Apple iPhone 5C - Black
Price: £10.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good case - and better than the one in the Amazon picture., 24 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Pretty good case - and better than the one in the Amazon picture.
The one I got didn't have the grey stitched sides as shown on Amazon - and just has plastic grips for the phone, plus a wrap over cover.

The phone fitted straight in - and this would have been good if we had bothered to check which end the camera was... but simple to extract and put in the RIGHT way round. (This new technology is SO confusing for anyone over about 23)

Looks very smart and most of the controls are available through the case.


Tefal ActiFry Family Express XL Low Fat Healthy Fryer, 1.5 kg - White
Tefal ActiFry Family Express XL Low Fat Healthy Fryer, 1.5 kg - White
Price: £159.99

5.0 out of 5 stars smart piece of kitchen technology, 10 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Great idea - Deep Fat Fryer that doesn't use any Fat!!!!

Bring on the CHIPS :-) And the stir fry, and the healthy eating - what a great invention (especially with small children)

On the Plus Side
- it does what it says - great tasting chips cooked in the tiniest drip of oil... no mess, no BAD naughty ingredients
- cooks great stir fry, vegetables are crisp and cooked, meat is browned and succulent

Some Minor quibbles
- it is BIG - about the size of a microwave, so we are struggling to find somewhere to keep it
- it seems to work best with 4 portions of food - we are mostly just a couple of people, and it doesn't stir two portions too well (but still works fine)
- the supplied cook book only has a few recipes - I am sure it can do lots more things

Overall this is a smart piece of kitchen technology, producing great tasting food in under 30 minutes


The Devil's Detective
The Devil's Detective
by Simon Kurt Unsworth
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.08

4.0 out of 5 stars A believable Hell - hampered by Bureaucracy and populated by very very nasty Demons., 10 Mar. 2015
This review is from: The Devil's Detective (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A believable Hell - hampered by Bureaucracy and populated by very very nasty Demons.

Wonderful descriptions of Hell - not the Fire and Brimstone of popular myth (i.e religion) but a nasty dark and dingy place, with horrible pointless jobs, carried out by sad tormented people - sounds much like modern day UK!

And then we have the Fool. Which is his name, rather than his job description. He is a detective (aka Information Man) whose job seems to be mostly avoiding solving crimes - which are, to be fair, mostly committed by demons against the humans - and as this is Hell... who cares?

But here Mr. Fool has to solve a real and very nasty crime - sometimes helped and sometimes hindered by the Bureaucracy... and a couple of Angels who tag along (though I am not sure why)

Really enjoyed the book, a fun idea well carried out - would certainly pick another book by this author


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