Profile for Mistah Lee > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Mistah Lee
Top Reviewer Ranking: 559,540
Helpful Votes: 27

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Mistah Lee "digilude" (Finland/ Thailand)

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2
pixel
Concise Guide to the Moths of Great Britain and Ireland
Concise Guide to the Moths of Great Britain and Ireland
by Martin Townsend
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Even beyond UK borders, 22 July 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The recently published "A Field Guide to the Butterflies and Moths of Finland" is a veritable aspirin for those residents of Finland who - in contrast to people like me who grew up in the UK following WW2 - have long suffered the headache of having no handy guide to moths in their "Northern Dimension". However, wading through that fine tome takes a lot of time. Cross-referencing captures with my comprehensive collection of South's Moths (several editions of both volumes) after emptying my "live trap" (British made) in Central Finland every morning as I systematically build up a picture of the moth fauna inhabiting our extremely unkempt and wonderful "garden" takes up a considerable amount or time. Many species of moths are found much further north than Britain. To 'cut the frass' - a quick skim through the "Concise Guide" saves a great deal of time. I can then refer to the definitive Finnish guide and progress from there. If you actually LIVE in Britain and have even a passing interest in macro moths, I'd heartily recommend this slim volume!


Flowering Plants of Thailand: A Field Guide
Flowering Plants of Thailand: A Field Guide
by Patrick D. McMakin
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars Great plant guide at an exhorbitant price, 9 Sept. 2014
The highly popular tourist destination has suffered badly from a lack of guides to animals and plants the observant tourist is liable to come across while enjoying a holiday (the Traveller's Wildlife Guide to Thailand being a massive improvement in this connection). As a biologist addicted to entomology, I bought this book because once out of town my (Thai) wife tends to hop off the motorobike to demonstrate some plant or other capable of delivering a barrage of hard seeds if immersed in water or almost dead from drought. It is nice to know what such triffids are called in English, and especially in "Latin". We have unnamed JPGs of many of the flowering plants depicted, which was my main reason for buying the volume. The amount of information given in the text is just enough to enable one to identify a plant in flower and taxonomically hang it on a hook, before foraging elsewhere on the great information highway for further details. Many tree species can be cross-referenced to, for instance, Margeret Barwick's hefty Topical and Subtropical Trees or Kirsten Albrecht Llamas' heavyweight Tropical Flowering Plants. And here we hit my only criticism: both these large volumes were delivered to me for less than fifty quid each inclusive of p&p. One of the lucky few, I obtained a second hand but virtually mint, copy of the smaller Flowering Plants of Thailand for a mere fraction of the price of a new one (the 2009 expanded edition). New, at over £200 the book is well out of reach of the majority of tourists to Thailand and this is grossly unfair to the author, a gentleman of impressive achievements going way beyond the identification of flowering plants in the land of smiles. Could somebody explain the reason for putting this attractive book out of reach of most biologists, let alone tourists? (I'd give 5 stars were it not for the price)


A Naturalist's Guide to the Butterflies of Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand (Naturalists' Guides)
A Naturalist's Guide to the Butterflies of Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand (Naturalists' Guides)
by Laurence Kirton
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.38

5.0 out of 5 stars Superb camera-bag inclusion, 12 Jun. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Fuming from inadvertently playing midwife to 12 healthy parasitic wasps (Hymenoptera) from 15 Finnish swallowtail pupae carefully nurtured over the whole 2013-14 Nordic winter, I discovered on Amazon, and ordered a copy of, this promising little book in May 2014. A S-E. Asian veteran butterfly collector of the 1950s, I was weaned in Britain on dried specimens ordered by post and on old second-hand butterfly books – some going back to the 1860s – with their black and white plates delicately coloured by young ladies with sharp eyes and steady hands, often to breathtaking effect. Thus was set the ”alpha” of this review. As soon as Kirton’s book arrived, I ordered a second one with alacrity: being ”married to Thailand” I long ago lost the wish to transport a library of bug books to and from my home in Finland (as of 1966) and my ma-in-law’s place in N-E Thailand. Recently, I had the pleasure of adjusting, very slightly and by invitation, the English language in a similar guide to European butterflies. The text in the book under review – my ”omega” as it were - needs no correction and I absolutely love the first 21 pages, containing as much information on the butterflies of the region, if not more, of books two or three times its slim bulk. Naturally, it is the superb colour pictures that catch the eye when initially skimming through the book. Depth-of-field constraints have been put to good use and annoying photo-clutter binned. A small point of interest is that whereas the Common Mormon was referred during my youth as PAPILIO polytes, later I had to grow used to it’s being PRINCEPS polytes. I can now refer to the species as PAPILIO again! On this occasion the taxonomy ”lumpers” appear to have beaten the ”splitters”. As a person who hatched out his first ”cabbage white” at the tender age of four, I may have a certain advantage over what used to be called the ”layman”. But the more butterfly watchers there are on this planet, the better for biodiversity, future inquisitive human generations, and these attractive, innocuous insects themselves. In short, incredible value, fantastic pix, Kirton I salute you in full entomological gear. In the modern idiom, if you are off to S-E. Asia, ”Ge’ i’” !


Survivor on the River Kwai: The Incredible Story of Life on the Burma Railway
Survivor on the River Kwai: The Incredible Story of Life on the Burma Railway
by Reg Twigg
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best WW2 Railway of Death account to date, 9 Sept. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
In 1941 I was born. In the 1950s-60s I read all the available PoW paperbacks. In September 2013 I headed for the River Kwai, not to follow up an earlier visit to “the bridge”, nor to spend time in Kanchanaburi’s well-kept war cemetery contemplating the ‘then and now’ – but on a personal nature photo safari with my Thai wife and relatives. I also, by chance, took along the hardback edition of the book.

Do not be confused by an author’s name on the cover (Reg Twigg), followed by an Author’s Note (Clive Medway). Clive is Reg’s father and Clive is a gifted raconteur. Numerous monochrome plates supplement the book, featuring both photos of life (to use a euphemism) on the 1940s “Railway of Death” as the camera saw it, and artistic impressions as others remembered it. The caption to the portrait of Nipon’s ultra-violent Lieutenant Usuki by page 83 helps relieve the reader’s pent-up feelings by adding “he was executed after the war”. A sadistic guard nicknamed “The Silver Bullet”, who killed Reg’s close mate Harry, also earns a place of honour in the rogues’ gallery, albeit flanked by comrades.

Medway’s excellent prose alternates with sheer British army profanity, the content of which is better imagined than quoted! At the outset, the reader might be forgiven for feeling this book is more of a biography than a story confined to the Japanese Burma railway atrocities – but if you want a clear picture of Twigg’s WW2 Britishness, stick with it, for Medway will get you by troop vessel to Singapore (“Twigg! … It was Major Bowley. “I’ve left my tommy gun in the golf course clubhouse. Go and get it.”- in the midst of a battle!). The narrative excellently reflects the chaos that led to Reg Twigg unwillingly helping the Japs construct an essential supply route from Thailand to Burma. Rather unsportingly, the Allies felt obliged to obliterate the railway in their own interests, so that Twigg’s ”first mosquito” chapter is more than just a passing reference to an insect vector of malaria! As a salute to those Europeans, Australians – and especially Asians – forced to slave to the benefit of a nation that eventually felt the might of humankind’s first atomic bomb, it will be difficult to better this book. Down on the Kwai, looking for wildlife, I now pack my HD edition of Reg Twigg’s “adventures” safely down inside my rucksack - among my cameras and lenses of Japanese manufacture. Do buy the book for reading during your ‘yasume’. It’s the best of its kind.


Fascinating Insects of Southeast Asia
Fascinating Insects of Southeast Asia
by L.E.O Braack
Edition: Paperback

2.0 out of 5 stars Too general, 20 Jun. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Married to a SE Asian, I'm a biologist inclined towards entomology so may be considered a miserable old git. However, I often buy insect books on tropical insects to further my knowledge. Obviously anyone who expects a slim volume like this to cover even a fraction of the ground that the (now ancient) volumes of A.Seitz did for the Lepidoptera (butterfles and moths) is naive. Showing genuine examples of the major groups is fraught with danger as these may well not be typical of that group as a whole, while (as here) simply delving as deep as a family or genus does little to enlighten the reader bewildered by the (bewildering) variety of insects on the planet, especially in tropical regions. The information given would make a good general lecture series on insects as a whole. As to the illustrations, there are far too many flash photos (I could forgive those taken in the depths of a rainforest) and some of the insects look as though they had been staged, as was the tendency in the insect books of the 1950s: this may be an illusion, I admit. Overall, as an "old hand", I was disappointed in this book.


Wild At Heart, Series 1 [DVD]
Wild At Heart, Series 1 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Stephen Tompkinson
Price: £7.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kids in a sweet shop, 11 Jan. 2013
That's us - kids in a sweet shop! Why? - because I, as an expat Brit, and my wife, as an expat Thai, living in Finland need something to keep our spirits up over Finland's long winter months. Missing the first screening, we have managed to see all the "repeats", screened 5 evenings a week after working hours. Why the "sweet shop" allusion? Well, the Heartbeat repeat is screened just before Wild at Heart on another channel, so we simply switch channels! As to WaH, I would have gone to S.Africa in 1964 but the project never materialised. Having numerous CDs of African music, I can see the continent, and especially the southern region, "in my mind's eye". It will never come to pass, but I like to think that, had the project been realised, I would have met up with somebody approaching the character that Deon S. as Du Plessis so admirably portrays. Repeats are like staying on the beach when others have long gone home - but if there's someone out there who hasn't yet seen WaH, let me highly recommend the series.


The Ultimate Guide to Windows 7 SP1 MagBook
The Ultimate Guide to Windows 7 SP1 MagBook
by PC Pro
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Faint type spoils a good guide, 16 Dec. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I liked the modern "classbook layout" and the contents but why - oh why?! - did they have to use such faint print on many of the pages? This makes for heavy reading for older folks or even younger readers suffering from eyesight problems. After all, the purpose of a guide is to get you through the early stages of setting up your computer as quickly as possible.


Seven Of One [DVD]
Seven Of One [DVD]
Dvd ~ Ronnie Barker
Offered by globalmovies
Price: £19.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An "Essential Barker" DVD., 25 Jun. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Seven Of One [DVD] (DVD)
This DVD is obviously more of an "Essential Barker" than an omnibus edition. I never really liked "Porridge" (here you have the 1st episode) but have watched "Open All Hours" (1st episode also here) time and again - and still have a laugh a minute. I bought this DVD after having purchased and watched "The Two Ronnies" and I was not disappointed, despite being lukewarm towards Porridge. Having watched this entire DVD a month or so ago, two lines remain in mind: 1. Grandfather Barker ends up in a high rise flat with daughter and family, his grandson shows him a pair of binoculars, to which Barker acidly replies, "Help yer to see the ground do they?". 2. As a Welshman whose old man has just died leaving an unclaimed win, with a classic Welsh lilt "They say you cannot take it with you - but that old b##ger did!" Some superb scripts here, well worth the money.


Nightmare in Bangkok: The Incredible True Account of Survival in a Thai Prison
Nightmare in Bangkok: The Incredible True Account of Survival in a Thai Prison
by Andy Botts
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too broad a time-span, 15 May 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A good try - but more of an autobiography than an account of hellish conditions in a Bangkokian jail. Far too much emphasis on the author's early nefarious exploits for my liking, so I would have to list this book at the bottom of the several I have recently purchased from Amazon on virtually the same theme. I liked the ending, though.


The Digital Photography Handbook: An illustrated step-by-step guide from choosing your camera to using advanced digital techniques
The Digital Photography Handbook: An illustrated step-by-step guide from choosing your camera to using advanced digital techniques
by Doug Harman
Edition: Paperback

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heavy handbook peps up your photography, 29 Jan. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The book is heavy for its size - a bit too heavy, I fear, for the average camera bag. Despite this minor drawback, even as an experienced photographer I found it very useful. It is well laid-out and full of practical tips and excellent examples showing the reader what can be achieved by anyone with a serious attitude towards photography. "Digital photographer" is not a synonym for "dabbler". Take the content of this book onboard and do your camera justice! A very good buy, even at the undiscounted UK price.


Page: 1 | 2