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Tarr Pitts (England)

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TRAPEZE ; ASIAN IMPORT ALL REGION DVD ~Tony Curtis/Burt Lancaster/Gina Lolobrigida
TRAPEZE ; ASIAN IMPORT ALL REGION DVD ~Tony Curtis/Burt Lancaster/Gina Lolobrigida
Offered by somethinginmyeye
Price: £5.75

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Too Good To Miss, 1 Feb 2012
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I first saw this movie when I was off school and lying sick on the sofa, watching the telly between groans. Not a propitious start you might think but I really enjoyed the movie and always wanted to see it again. This DVD grants my wish. The DVD comes from Korea and therefore is dirt cheap (how?!?!) Anyway, the sound track is in English and it plays perfectly so the Korean connection is not a problem. It makes the DVD slip case hard to read but that's no big deal. Why did I enjoy the movie? It just has a lot of mid-century style. Check out Curtis' jeans or Lolobrigida's outfits. So cool! I totally believe Lancaster is a circus performer and I agree to suspend disbelief with respect to the other two. It is effectively a three-hand movie and I like the way the three actors are in a triangle (Lancaster/Curtis are an established duo with Lolobrigida trying to fit in) just as their characters are performers in a triangle. This mirroring of 'reality' (which is contrived i.e. a deliberate product of the casting and thus unreal) and 'fiction' (where not just the script is pretending to be something it ain't) just adds layers of complexity to an otherwise seemingly simple movie. I also like the documentary style glimpses of 1950s Paris in the street/bar/hotel scenes away from the circus. The only thing I don't like and can't see any purpose to are the 'comic acts' which are as unfunny as the comic interludes in Shakespeare i.e. a dwarf who continually draws attention to his height and denigrates himself and Sid James (how is he in this movie?!?!?) who plays a man trying to sell a snake act (and seems to be telegraphing desperately, look I am funny, no really, I am funny, please find me funny). Bizarre. If there is a deep symbolism in all this (circuses?, dwarfs?, snakes?) it passed me by. Anyway, something about this unlikely combination just kinda sticks in the mind and it becomes a movie that once seen you never forget. I mean how many circus movies are there? I think it must be a 'classic' but I can't exactly explain why. Well, it's going cheap (all the way from Korea) so snap up a copy and make up your own mind.


The Fires of Fu Manchu
The Fires of Fu Manchu
by Cay Van Ash
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Cracker From A Master Storyteller, 1 Feb 2012
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This review is from: The Fires of Fu Manchu (Hardcover)
I love Cay Van Ash's Fu Manchu stories. His 'Ten Years Beyond Baker Street' pits Sherlock Holmes against Fu Manchu and it is a simply brilliant, laugh-out-loud romp of a book that I recommend to anyone who enjoys Holmes or Fu Manchu and likes a belly laugh. 'Fires of Fu Manchu' is more of a respectful celebration of Sax Rohmer's creations where there is less tongue-in-cheek silliness and more earnest daring do and adventure. Nevertheless, it is a jolly good read and I recommend it to anyone who likes to see stiff-upper-lip Britishness go in to bat against the sinister brilliance of the evil Doctor and win. Or do they? But surely no one can ever get the upper hand against the Green-eyed Genius, you cry. He may lose the battle but always lives to fight another day! Oh, does he? Maybe this time it ends once and for all. You'll have to read and find out. All I can guarantee is that there'll be perils aplenty before our heroes (and anti-heroes) reach hearth and home again -- if, in fact, they ever do...

It seems such a pity that Cay Van Ash never received the recognition he deserved for his brilliant pastiches during his lifetime. If you can read this Mr Van Ash, wherever you are, I hope you know you may be gone but you are not forgotten. Many thanks for your wonderful, warm-hearted stories. I think Conan Doyle invented Sherlock Holmes but Bert Coules, the playwright, developed Holmes in his adaptations for the BBC radio series and made the stories so much better than the originals. I totally recommend that series for their humour and humanity. In the same way, Rohmer invented Fu Manchu and Nayland Smith and Dr Petrie but I think Van Ash far surpasses Rohmer in the development of the Fu manchu stories, adding a humour and humanity that makes his Fu Manchu stories a life-affirming joy to read.


Moche Portraits from Ancient Peru (Joe R. & Teresa Lozano Long Series in Latin American & Latino Art & Culture)
Moche Portraits from Ancient Peru (Joe R. & Teresa Lozano Long Series in Latin American & Latino Art & Culture)
by Christopher B. Donnan
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £27.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic Work, 1 Feb 2012
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If you study Moche civilisation then this is a book you have to own. If you just enjoy beautiful ceramics this is a book you owe yourself. Fascinating. Great photographs. Not much information but then at the time of writing there was little known about Moche portrait vessels. The author has presented plenty of useful information e.g. on how the vessels were constructed and offers his theory that some vessels relate to historic persons who can be tracked through a career (which seems to end in sacrificial death). Plenty to debate but that just adds to my enjoyment of this work. Highly recommended.


Treasures of the Andes: The Glories of Inca and Pre-Columbian South America
Treasures of the Andes: The Glories of Inca and Pre-Columbian South America
by Jeffrey Quilter
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars Attractive Coffee Table Book, 1 Feb 2012
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I bought this 2nd-hand for a song. I was surprised when I received the book because it was a substantial hardback packed with beautiful photographs and interesting tid-bits of information about Andean Pre-columbian material culture. A pleasant introduction to the subject or maybe a good book to buy as a souvenir if you have just returned from an Andean holiday and want to keep the memories alive. Not much in the way of critical discussion but that is not what it aims to do. If you can pick up a 2nd-hand copy for a few bob then do so!


Lords of Sipan: A True Story of Pre-Inca Tombs, Archaeology, and Crime
Lords of Sipan: A True Story of Pre-Inca Tombs, Archaeology, and Crime
by Sidney D. Kirkpatrick
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Tomb Robber!, 1 Feb 2012
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I am interested in Moche civilisation and read this book for some general background on how Moche artefacts are recovered and traded; how local people view archaeologists and vice versa; how archaeologists view art traders and vice versa; how different nationalities operate with respect to Peruvian archaeological heritage; how these issues are presented to the general public. I found the book useful for my purposes, especially with respect to the last item on that list. This is a mildly 'sensationalist' piece of journalism which offers to let you, so to speak, 'read all about the real Indiana Joneses of the archaeology world!' It is tabloid journalism but not offensively so. If you have ever watched the free documentaries on the National Geographic website then you will know how those are pitched, as if talking to a moderately intelligent 12-year old. The authorial 'voice' in this book reminds me of the narration on those documentaries. That is the level it is pitched at. The tone is of a sort of faux outrage you find in consumer programmes which delight in reporting how grannies are being ripped off by unscrupulous tradesmen and isn't it shocking etc but they can't keep the glee out of their voices. The fact it is titled a 'true story' tells you all you need to know. So, if you buy this then you can expect something mildly entertaining but not high brow. Written as amusement for coffee breaks or travelling or sitting on the beach. Given that it does not aspire to be anything more then it does a good enough job.


JW Clean Cup Feed & Water Cup Medium 100g
JW Clean Cup Feed & Water Cup Medium 100g
Offered by Toy and Gift Shop
Price: £4.59

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Poorly Designed But Okay, 1 Feb 2012
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I found this feeder impractical for use with a budgie. Maybe I should have bough the smaller size? The design is very complicated, lots of fiddly bits. I gave up and just use a plain plastic bowl instead. It is a bore trying to put this 'clean cup' in and out of the cage several times a day. I think it could encourage people to cut back on daily maintenance and that might cause neglect. I suppose the hood is meant to stop dirt getting into the food or to stop the food causing mess. I think there are better ways of achieving this. With my budgie, I put out a clean towel each morning and sprinkle seeds, pellets, fruit and veg on the towel. He then 'forages' over the towel to get his food. He prefers this to eating from bowls. The mess from the food stays on the towel e.g. chaff gets trapped in the pile of the towel and he wipes his beak on the towel. At the end of the day I shake out the towel and shove it in the washing machine. Effortless. I supply bowls of food and water in his cage but these are back-up supplies and not his daily food. Because he only sleeps in his cage there is no opportunity for the food and water bowls to get soiled. Maintenance is quick and simple, maybe five minutes in the morning and five at night. I can do this (let him out of his cage all day) because I work from home. I guess you have to choose what fits your circumstances, if you go out to work and your bird has to be in his cage for hours during the day then maybe this feeder is for you.


JW Silo Feeder Tall
JW Silo Feeder Tall
Offered by Surepets ltd
Price: £3.25

3.0 out of 5 stars Okay I Suppose, 1 Feb 2012
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This review is from: JW Silo Feeder Tall (Misc.)
I bought a new cage and equipment for my new budgie. The cage was a Hagen Vision and I did not like the perches and feeders supplied so changed them. I bought several JW accessories including a water silo and two seed feeders, one for seeds/pellets and the other for greens etc. I found the water silo leaked so threw it away. The feeders were okay but too big for the cage and the colours supplied were not the light green advertised but an ugly white-yellow. The small area of seed open to the air meant that a build up of chaff could block access to food so I stopped using them and started using old-fashioned white plastic cup feeders (bought from Wilkinsons, a High Street shop). These have a wide opening and it is easy to blow off chaff each morning and to check now and then during the day that the seed/pellets/veggies in the bowls are clean and fresh and good to eat. The bowls clip to the cage bars and lift in and out easily so maintenance is a doddle. I use these bowls for both food and drink. I find these cup feeders visually dull (I wish they came in different colours/designs) but functional so I recommend them instead. My overall impression of the JW products is that their design is unnecessarily complicated and this makes the items faulty (leaking water silo) or hard to maintain (seed feeders). Simplest is best, I think. However, I should mention that my budgie spends all day outside his cage and only pops in and out of his cage during the day to snack so the water bowls and feeders in the cage are not being pooped on or otherwise messed up so an open cup design is not a problem for me plus he sleeps in a different part of the cage away from the feeders at night. I guess if a bird is unavoidably caged for longer each day then soiling open water/food bowls might be an issue and the covered JW feeders might therefore be more suitable. I suppose you choose what suits your circumstances best.


JW Clean Water Silo Waterer Tall 70g
JW Clean Water Silo Waterer Tall 70g
Offered by Surepets ltd
Price: £4.99

1.0 out of 5 stars Water Silo Leaks Like Crazy, 1 Feb 2012
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I have a Hagen Vision cage for my budgie and bought this water silo to use instead of the ugly brown (I think it is officially 'terracotta' coloured) container supplied by Hagen. The JW silo does not fit the Hagen cage very well and changing the water a couple of times each day was a fiddly process. I would have put up with this but within a couple of days of use the silo developed a slow leak. It empties itself overnight -- next morning the floor of the cage is soaking wet. I chucked it away and substituted with a drip bottle (the sort used for rodents with the ball bearing in the spout) bought from Wilkinsons (a cheap shop on the High Street). This was also a pain to change and I then started using a plastic water bowl which hooks to the bars of the cage and is a doddle to change (also from Wilko). I bought four bowls and just rotate them so the water is always fresh and clean. Typically, my budgie tends to ignore his official hygienic water supply and drinks from his bath(!) Whaddya gonna do? One other complaint -- the illustration shows a bright green colour but the item supplied to me was an ugly white-yellow colour which put me in mind of dead skin and municipal urinals. I would have thrown the silo out even if it hadn't leaked just on the basis that something that ugly should not be allowed.


V&A Pattern: Chinese Textiles
V&A Pattern: Chinese Textiles
by Yueh-Siang Chang
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £6.79

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring Designs In A Nutshell, 1 Feb 2012
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I bought this at the bargain price of £2.99 from the Book Depository. For the price this is a delight. It is a small hardback book with full page sized images of Chinese fabrics including woven, printed, and embroidered designs. Starts with stunning centuries-old embroidered fabrics and continues up to the Communist era and beyond -- I knew I would enjoy the classic embroidered designs but was surprised to be equally bowled over by the crazy retro Mao-style designs of printed cotton curtain material featuring factories wreathed in roses. I usually hate curtains as too fussy but, you know what, I could fancy some curtains made with this material. Wonderfully weird! Eye candy! Comes with a CD of high resolution images for those who want to luxuriate in the beauty and astounding skill of the makers or who want to use the designs as an inspiration for their own art. Sadly, I can't sew, wouldn't even know where to start. When I was a kid sewing was for sissies. Maybe it still is. We have celebrity chefs on telly all the time maybe we should have some celebrity sewers on there too and inspire a new generation of craftsmen and women? For a long time I thought that sewing was naff but latterly I have begun to realise how some sewing is great art and I look at textiles like some of these and I am humbled. Such amazing talent -- and were the makers ever rewarded for their efforts during their lives or did they work in sweatshops for a pittance? This book does not answer such questions. There is not much text, not much information about the back story to the textiles (e.g. not much information about how they were made, when, where, by whom, for whom, for what purpose). You need to look elsewhere for a scholarly study of Chinese textiles but this little book will inspire you to want to know more. Brilliant. I think at this price this has to be a must-buy for all interested in this subject area or for anyone who just wants to look in awe at what human beings can achieve even with the simplest raw materials.


Chinese Clothing: Costumes, Adornments and Culture (Arts of China)
Chinese Clothing: Costumes, Adornments and Culture (Arts of China)
by Shaorong Yang
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Short Simple Introduction To Fascinating Subject, 1 Feb 2012
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The negatives to this book are that the book itself is small (about A5 in dimensions) and as a result the illustrations are very small and it is impossible to see detail. The text is clumsily written (perhaps English was not the author's first language?) and is limited to listing each type of garment and giving very basic descriptions of what it is called, what sort of garment it is, when and where it originated, who typically wore it, and for which occasion. Sounds comprehensive but there is usually not much more than a sentence on each of these topics per garment type. There are some illustrations but as I said these are very small and none of the illustrations show the garments being worn. Some garments such as 'underwear' are presented without an explanation of how they were actually worn and one is left guessing. Most of the garments shown are for adult females of the upper classes and there is little useful coverage of other clothing (or adornments or culture for that matter). The whole book is only 78 pages and reads like the glossary of a more substantial book. The content of the book is thus woefully inadequate compared with the well-sounding title which promises far more than it delivers. The positives are that the book is hardback, looks attractive, some of the images are gorgeous if too small, and this little pamphlet (which is all it is really) helps whet the appetite for more in-depth studies. Maybe this book would be a good stocking filler for a person interested in sinology, fashion, design, material culture, archaeology or anthropology on a hobbyist level but if you are a scholar you can give this book a miss without really missing anything useful.


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