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Jon Hatfull "Hat" (Slovenia)
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3.0 out of 5 stars Bridge on the River Kwai?, 19 Feb 2013
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Beautiful shorts and a lovely cut, and very well made - but SO heavy! I imagine they issued them to the poor soldiers working as POWs under the Japanese in Burma - as and extra layer of torture. If you fell in the river wearing them you would sink like a stone.


The Painted Word
The Painted Word
by Tom Wolfe
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.86

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fast food for thought., 19 Feb 2013
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This review is from: The Painted Word (Paperback)
No antidote this to the malaise of the apparent domination of critical theory over fine art practice, but rather a mild pain-killer. Evidently skilful in the journalist's art of not really saying anything in an entertaining way, Tom Wolfe's fervour promises much and yet somehow left me only a little wiser - and that from the historical details. It seems, at the end of the day that the great theorists still had to follow the great artists, rather than what the book seems to propose ( though no doubt many jumped on the bandwagon). This book is nice and short, and a good, quick read, and makes some cute and acute observations about the nature of the art scene, but I was hoping for some sharp discussion of intellectualisation of art, and this 'snack' of a book left me hungry.


The End of Growth: Adapting to Our New Economic Reality
The End of Growth: Adapting to Our New Economic Reality
by Richard Heinberg
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Reassuring, 19 Jan 2013
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The insanity and immorality of the contemporary economic system, at least since Reagan/Thatcher if not long before, felt like The Emperor's New Clothes to me before i read this book. It seemed that despite most folk I discussed it with could also see little sense it, there was much shoulder-shrugging and hand-washing and a belief that it was all too complicated for ordinary people. In the nineties idealism capitulated to the 'spin' politics of so-called neo-liberalism, and whilst we decry the oppression of dictatorial regimes, we don't notice that we are similarly powerless to control our leaders and their ultra-rich sponsors. This book describes in plain English, without sensationalism or scare-tactics, the truth of the world's situation - and very realistic options for surviving any of the possible futures. Sometimes it's hard to cling to faith in the 'groundswell of public opinion', but it did bring down the Berlin Wall, so who knows? I like to think that, as described, the only hope for the future of our planet is, effectively, the kind of anarchism that serious thinkers described long ago. Far from the only book on the subject, as Richard Heinberg himself often reminds us, I would describe it as essential.


Pat & Mat series 1 [DVD]
Pat & Mat series 1 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Pat and Mat
Offered by specialinterests
Price: £5.75

4.0 out of 5 stars charming, 18 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Pat & Mat series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
Rather surprised I'd never heard of this before, but maybe it's my age rather than censorship by a communist-fearing West. I spot references to them in Sean the Sheep.


Clockwork Timer (2 Hour)
Clockwork Timer (2 Hour)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Shoddy, 18 Jan 2013
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Looks nice, but you get what you pay for, as they say - worked for a few days then refused to set on a time. I tried to fix it, but of course it exploded as I took it apart. Ho-hum.


Money: Whence it Came, Where it Went (Pelican)
Money: Whence it Came, Where it Went (Pelican)
by John Kenneth Galbraith
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars Clear as Mud, 26 Nov 2012
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This is clearly not a book for 'economics virgins', especially ones like me with a mental block regarding mathematics deep in my DNA. I was lost after the first few pages and never caught up. This was compounded, I felt, by the writer's bizarre syntax. Maybe this style was in fashion back in those days, and in States (East Coast, I guess), and maybe it's another mental block of mine, but I found it very hard to follow. I was lost from the moment he describes the influx of gold and silver from South America to Spain during their pillaging of the continent causing prices to rise not only in Spain but throughout Europe - I couldn't grasp why increased wealth necessarily means increased prices. I also couldn't follow the logic of banks issuing money on the basis of 'gold reserves' but much more than the gold is worth. The borrower's promise to repay a loan seems to count as hard cash. I was told that my money was safer in a bank, but I didn't realise they just gamble with it. I'm sure this book is a good and accurate history of money, as indeed it claims, but I think I need a simpler book - 'Economics for Dummies' (if such a book exists), but I was discouraged by the little I actual did grasp from this book, that it appears as if Economics is more opinion than science.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 24, 2013 6:19 PM GMT


LINDY 46-in-1 PCMCIA Card Reader
LINDY 46-in-1 PCMCIA Card Reader
Price: £27.12

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fine, 23 Feb 2010
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It does 'what it says on the tin' - probably the only way for an older computer to read higher capacity SD cards.
Excellent.


Green Wing: Special [DVD]
Green Wing: Special [DVD]
Dvd ~ Tamsin Greig
Offered by comedyfactory
Price: £13.99

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars High Street Jam, 14 Jan 2010
This review is from: Green Wing: Special [DVD] (DVD)
Put another way - Jam grows up. But this does a disservice to Jam, and it would be kinder and more accurate, I think, to say Green Wing relates to Jam the way Early Doors relates to Royle Family. Another comparison is the way the 'haute couture' of the Paris catwalks translates itself to the high street. The cutting edge is softened, even blunted, so it no longer threatens us, challenges us beyond our capacities. I would argue that although this is often contemptuously described as 'watering down', it could just as easily be lauded for working on many more levels, being much more 'accessible' without losing the core 'message' (or 'spirit').
Like Early Doors, Green Wing is consummately brilliant, displaying flawless skill in writing and acting, and quietly breaking new ground and, sadly, never gets the viewing figures which nowadays rule and condemn such perfection to the margins, if not the scrap heap. Still, widespread appeal is no guide to quality.


Clangers: The Complete Series 2 [DVD]
Clangers: The Complete Series 2 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Oliver Postgate

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars old hippies, 14 Jan 2010
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Well, they weren't exactly old back in 1970, and definitely not proper hippies (working for The Man, man), but something of those times definitely permeates the whole concept, and it reaches sublime heights in season two. I was fifteen back then, and Clangers touched this teenager, quite in awe of the slightly older boys who could more legitimately don the Hippy mantle, albeit with a strong feeling that those times would pass before he became quite old enough. Normally, self-respecting teenagers would not be caught dead watch TV intended for much younger viewers - we were in a hurry to grow up - but Clangers (and Magic Roundabout) were cool.
Picasso apparently once said that 'we spend our whole lives trying to see the way children see". (Saints) Oliver Postgate, Peter Firmin (et al) clearly had the rare gift of never losing that ability, as indeed does Nick Park and Richard Golezowski nowadays. To make anything which genuinely appeals to both 4 year olds and 54 year olds is a quite amazing gift. You don't need to 'drop acid' to appreciate season two of Clangers, but you have to wonder at just how they got there.


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