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Robin Benson
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Out of The Furnace [DVD] [2013]
Out of The Furnace [DVD] [2013]
Dvd ~ Christian Bale
Offered by rsdvd
Price: £4.80

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rust Belt revenge, 1 May 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A very watchable crime/revenge movie with an excellent cast, especially Woody Harrelson who plays a local crime boss with very convincing menace and brutality. Locating the story in the eastern Pennsylvanian Rust Belt and its ripples into the Appalachians was a smart move by writers Brad Ingelsby and Scott Cooper (who also directed) allowing storyline and characters to merge into this grim landscape of wasted lives and industrial decay.

This is not a movie for everyone despite strong cast because it is full of troubled characters just getting by and prepared to try anything to survive. Part of the plot involves Russell Baze's (Christian Bale) brother Rodney (Casey Affleck) who struggles as a bare-knuckle fighter and eventually tangles with the brutal Harlan DeGroat (Woody Harrelson). There are several minutes of two fight sequences.

The movie though isn't without some rough edges, especially the editing. A few scenes jump from one situation to another, Russell Baze suddenly ending up in prison is one but despite these I think 'Out of the Furnace' is well worth a look.


Orico USB 3.0 up to 5Gbps High Speed TF, SD Card Reader (Black)
Orico USB 3.0 up to 5Gbps High Speed TF, SD Card Reader (Black)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Speedy reader, 27 April 2014
Card readers come in various price ranges and I don't think I would be too happy using a really inexpensive one. This Orico is probably mid-priced and I was rather impressed with transfer speed, either downloading or uploading from a micro SD 16GB card. Most micro's come with an adapter but you can use it directly into this reader (or use an adapter of course). It's a basic well made bit if kit which should last some time, just plug and play, works first time and you get to see the little blue light to confirm operation.


Teaching Type to Talk
Teaching Type to Talk
by Alan Peckolick
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £27.75

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More a whisper than a talk, 22 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Teaching Type to Talk (Hardcover)
I've always loved the typographics from the late-fifties onwards that flowered in New York and presented in all kinds of print media. Alan Peckolick was one of a small band of talented designers that believed that twenty-six characters could say so much more than just the straight forward meaning of a word.

Peckolick's book can be added to a growing library of titles displaying the work of top designers from past decades. That said I was slightly disappointed with this book. Initially I thought it looked rather like a vanity project with its thick paper and well spaced essays set in large Typewriter that fill the first thirty-one pages. The essence of the book follows the essays and there are some quite brilliant typographic solutions for a variety of jobs: brochures; annual reports; magazine covers; book jackets and book design; logos (plenty of these) packaging; movie graphics. All of this material is shown perhaps a bit too large on the page. This is just a taste rather than a meal of all this creativity. Pages 120 and 121 show a clever design solution for the 1989 Oppenheimer Capital annual report with the cover and three inside spreads so you get an idea of how the design worked but this is an exception, most of the other work only has one big example, pages 148 and 149 just has a Revlon logo a bit over fourteen inches wide.

'Teaching type to talk' really doesn't compare too well with other excellent designer monographs, for example Kit Hinrichs 'Type wise', Bradbury Thompson's 'The art of graphic design', Dorfsman & CBS' by Dick Hess and Peckolick's own book on Herb Lubalin. These four books are bursting with illustrations in various sizes and really give the reader a comprehensive look at each mans creativity.

It's a pity that 'Teaching type to talk' doesn't quite achieve what it was supposed to for the reader.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 25, 2014 3:45 PM BST


Brainwavz HM9 Hi-Fi Noise Isolating Headphones
Brainwavz HM9 Hi-Fi Noise Isolating Headphones

5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive for most contemporary music, 21 April 2014
I was surprised by the contents of this HM9 package. A hard-shell carrying case (plus shoulder strap with metal clips) two 1.2 metre cables, one has a mic remote, a three metre flat cable and a plane adapter (all these are inside a smaller zip bag with a Velcro bottom that sticks to the inside of the carrying case).

I was hoping this HM9 set could replace the Sennheiser HD 280 pro set I've been using for years and like most phones over time the outer covering eventually flakes off the inner pads (I noticed on the Brainwavz web site that their HM5 phones come with replacement pads) but I found the bass just a bit too prominent. In fact the box says: 'The Brainwavz HM9 use 40mm drivers which have been tuned meticulously to deliver audio with accuracy, high fidelity and a deep bass extension that doesn't suffer distortion'. There is no doubt they deliver the goods and I thought impressively so but I don't need as much of the bass extension for the music I listen to.

The build quality is as you would expect from a quality product and I liked the aluminium metal arms giving the phones a trendy look. Incidentally I mentioned above the replacement earpads for the HM5 set, the box for HM9 phones says the earpads are removable for cleaning but I can't how this is done.

If you listen to contemporary popular music these Brainwavz headphones won't disappoint you.


Tefal BL142A42 Fruit Sensation Blender - Silver
Tefal BL142A42 Fruit Sensation Blender - Silver
Price: £25.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blends in well with any kitchen, 11 April 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I think Tefal might be onto a winner this with simple blender, basically because of its narrow upright shape. Other reviewers have mentioned the product's footprint and looking at other models available on Amazon they all seem rather bulky, usually tapering out from the middle. Admittedly many of them have handles on the blender bowl (obviously essential for the larger ones) and this is one area where the Tefal has had to compromise: a narrow profile doesn't allow for a handle.

I don't think the operation can be faulted, two speeds two buttons, placing the bowl or the two additional grinder/blenders on the motor unit has been well thought out and I liked the slightly weighty glass bowl (with capacity markings in metric and imperial) far preferable to a plastic one. Cleaning isn't a problem either despite various folds in the rubber seals. I use a brush for the blades, then a rinse and let them dry by themselves.

Overall a stylish and neat looking product but strictly for domestic use. In the instruction book it says the guarantee is voided if the unit is used by hotel or motel clients, in bed and breakfast accommodation or similar environments, on farms or kitchens reserved for staff in shops, offices or other professional areas. In other words the motor isn't designed for use over long periods day after day.

For a two (or three) person household this is a perfect addition to the kitchen.


Libraries (Roads Reflections)
Libraries (Roads Reflections)
by Bjarne Hammer
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £33.80

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The public home of books, 8 April 2014
Forty-four of the world's leading libraries are revealed in this lavish photographic celebration of books in their public homes. Considering that all these buildings hold the same thing the range of architectural styles is quite amazing, even those built in the last decade. Just compare the sweep of the atrium in the 2012 built Sir Duncan Rice Library at the Uni of Aberdeen with atrium of the Library of the Faculty of Law, Uni of Zurich, built in 2004. Both have a fresh take on a similar idea. Perhaps the common element in most of the libraries in the book is a central huge space with shelving round the walls and reading facilities on the floor.

The majority of buildings are in Europe, perhaps as expected as some are centuries old: the Library of El Escorial, Madrid dates back to 1592; Joanina Library, Coimbra, Portugal from 1728; Austrian National Library, Vienna was built in 1726. Those from outside Europe tend to reflect local architectural styles and materials. The King Fahd National Library in Riyadh, built in 2013, has an external appearance of desert tents stacked on top of each other, the smallest building in the book, in Beijing and built in 2011 is the LiYuan Library which uses thin tree branches to cover its exterior.

All of the pictures are from a variety of photographers (some libraries are from two or more) and fortunately the colour and style doesn't vary too much. Each library has the architects name and construction date, the only other text is a deep caption (in four languages) and it is here that the book is slightly flawed because several captions have been printed on the photos despite having plenty of empty page space. Mostly the buildings get two spreads each with two or three photos, frequently a spread wide. They are, of course, beautifully printed (with a 175 screen) on a matt art paper.

'Libraries' looks at these fascinating buildings from an architectural angle but the book will intrigue any book lover.
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Brainwavz S1 Over The Ear IEM Earphones
Brainwavz S1 Over The Ear IEM Earphones
Offered by MP4 Nation
Price: £37.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sounds like a good deal, 4 April 2014
I was surprised and impressed with the sound quality from these S1 earphones. I prefer to listen to fifties jazz so a strong bass is not something I'm looking for (and difficult to avoid with most average head or earphones) but I do want to hear plenty of top for the percussion and brass instruments. As another reviewer has mentioned it's worth getting the right buds for your ears and fortunately these come with eight pairs plus a foam set, an impressive set of options.

Apart from the sound another feature I really liked was the cable. The weakest physical part of earphones are the cable connections to the phones, pull them from your ears and cheaper sets just break in no time. The S1 uses a flat cable and a good, solid connection to the ear piece and handled correctly I reckon these phones should last and last.

The little zip case they came in was a good idea as was the adapter for use while flying. Overall a quality set of earphones.


Railway Posters
Railway Posters
by Thierry Favre
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £21.50

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rolling stock, 2 April 2014
This review is from: Railway Posters (Hardcover)
One of the specialities of the Victorian era poster was cramming in as much type as possible, the playbill is a classic example but European rail companies took it to extremes judging by the posters in the first few pages of this book. Not only large type for a heading, a main picture and maybe two more but also a route map and amazingly a comprehensive timetables. All this on a four foot deep poster and frequently the route map was as large as the main scenic picture.

By the early years of the twentieth century this very busy poster format had changed to a much more graphic approach with a big picture, headline type and no timetable. The route map though was a constant idea used for decades. Page eighty-six has a 1933 poster for the Italian railways using a very stylised graphic map of the route between Milan and Naples.

Up to the start of the Second World War travelling by train was the way to go, especially long distances. Page fifty-five has a 1928 poster for the twelve day journey from Paris to Peking, via Moscow and Manchuria or the Simplon--Orient Express 1921 French poster on page 148, board the train in Grande Bretagne (I assume in London) and travel across Europe to Turkey, cross the Bosporus by ferry and then onto Syria. The kind of journey that would inspire books and movies and you can still do it today on the Express, though only as far as Constantinople (Istanbul) with a change in Venice.

The posters through the book follow an historical theme from 1887 to 1986. The majority are European with the next largest from the US with several famous ones painted by Leslie Ragan for the New York Central, Australia, Canada, Japan and Egypt are represented. The last chapter looks at Pullman cars and the French company Wagon Lit and the poster selection includes six from the brilliant Cassandre.

Railway Posters (and the companion titles: Ocean Liners; Cars) are lovely reminders of poster art, all in colour, beautifully printed and with mostly one large poster a page. In fact large enough to be suitable for framing if you wanted to create your own transport gallery.
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(Samsung Grade A cell, Lithium polymer battery, DC output) OXA® 2200/2600/8400/13000/20000/30000mAh Portable USB External Backup Battery Outdoor Camping Light Power Bank Charger for Apple iPhone 4 4S 4G;Sony XPERIA J ST26i S LT26i U ST25i T LT30 SL LT26ii Play; HTC One X/S/V,Windows Phone 8S/8X,Droid Incredible 4G LTE,MYTOUCH 4G HD,Droid DNA 4G LTE,Sensation 4G/ XL /XE,Desire X;LG Nexus 4 E960,Nitro HD P930,Opitmus Me P350,Connect 4G,VS920,Optimus G E970 4G LTE/E973,Optimus 3D P920,Intuition VS950;Nokia Lumia 900/800/710/810/822;BlackBerry Bold 9790 9780 9900;Motorola Triumph,Droid Razr Maxx,PHOTON 4G,DROID X/2/3/4/Razr/x2,Droid RAZR M 4G LTE,RAZR i XT890;Samsung Galaxy Nexus i515/GT-i9250/i9020/I9023/4G Infuse/i917/i5800,Ace S5830,Galaxy S II i9100/D710/i777/i727/SGH-T989;Galaxy S i500/t959/i897 (2600mAh white)
(Samsung Grade A cell, Lithium polymer battery, DC output) OXA® 2200/2600/8400/13000/20000/30000mAh Portable USB External Backup Battery Outdoor Camping Light Power Bank Charger for Apple iPhone 4 4S 4G;Sony XPERIA J ST26i S LT26i U ST25i T LT30 SL LT26ii Play; HTC One X/S/V,Windows Phone 8S/8X,Droid Incredible 4G LTE,MYTOUCH 4G HD,Droid DNA 4G LTE,Sensation 4G/ XL /XE,Desire X;LG Nexus 4 E960,Nitro HD P930,Opitmus Me P350,Connect 4G,VS920,Optimus G E970 4G LTE/E973,Optimus 3D P920,Intuition VS950;Nokia Lumia 900/800/710/810/822;BlackBerry Bold 9790 9780 9900;Motorola Triumph,Droid Razr Maxx,PHOTON 4G,DROID X/2/3/4/Razr/x2,Droid RAZR M 4G LTE,RAZR i XT890;Samsung Galaxy Nexus i515/GT-i9250/i9020/I9023/4G Infuse/i917/i5800,Ace S5830,Galaxy S II i9100/D710/i777/i727/SGH-T989;Galaxy S i500/t959/i897 (2600mAh white)
Offered by HappyGo

4.0 out of 5 stars Banking on power, 1 April 2014
I handy charger that does the job with my mp3 player and mobile which I've charged a few times. Unfortunately I can't give any accurate tech specs which should be the deciding factor in buying this sort of product. Charging and using is simple enough, it weighs seventy-four grams without any cables and it certainly looks well made. It came with a protective peel-off film either end.

It does seem to have a design flaw though. There is square metal button to press to start the charging process and a blue light appears (red when it wears down and charging). It really is so easy to press this button and I could see that it could easily be accidentally turned on if it moved in a bag or briefcase. A better solution would have been a slider that clicked into place or a much more robust button that clicked to on.

As other reviewers have mentioned the concertina folded User Manual is hopeless in explaining the Power Bank's operation (this is note 8: Charging, the mobile power hosts a slight fever, which s a normal phenomenon).


3D Eye
3D Eye
by Michael English
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Michael the meticulous, 30 Mar. 2014
This review is from: 3D Eye (Paperback)
An interesting large-size paperback showing the work of Michael English (1941-2009). He was one of those artists who inspired the Swinging Sixties London and in the seventies developed a slick airbrush style. The book probably has examples of his best work and certainly his most popular posters. The Food (1969) and Rubbish (1970) prints must have sold millions of copies round the world, especially the used Coke bottle cap (in the book this is opposite a half submerged empty Pepsi bottle)

English moved away from painting battered commercial packaging to concentrate on machinery and nature. The machinery series looked at parts of transport: a jet engine cowling; front of a diesel; wheels and tyres. Mostly close-ups and usually with a bit of lettering of a company name or instruction sign, all the rivets are there and the grime from constant usage. The nature series seem to have morphed from the battered packaging series. One spread shows two whole page paintings of foliage and both have empty bottles, one a smashed Coke bottle.

I thought it interesting that English chose to include lettering in his work. Perhaps the greatest challenge for an artist because repeat letters have to look identical, in every example he carries it off perfectly. Four spreads in the book reveal how: he was a brilliant draughtsman. These spreads show seventeen pencil roughs for the airbrush work and they look immaculate.

This 112 page book is a fascinating record showing the changing styles of an original artist though, unfortunately, it only goes up to 1979. Considering how cheap copies are has to be a bargain.
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