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lovetolearn (UK)

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Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work
Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work
by Paul Babiak
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.79

5.0 out of 5 stars Superb book!, 24 Aug. 2015
Superb! A complete eye-opener to me, having experienced a corporate P (psychopath) but not knowing what the heck it was I was dealing with. In short - look for a charming, brilliant actor, the life and soul of the party, centre of attention, lot of fun and with the gift of the gab - but amoral, ruthless, no pity, no remorse, very shallow emotions, no deep fear OR love, manipulative and back-stabbing. This book led to LOTS of online research - they have an empathy switch so can switch their empathy on or off at will (e.g. they stand before us, 'love' in their eyes, full of interest as they tune into us and mirror us, then switch their empathy off once they've walked away before stabbing us in the back), they're best mates with authority figures and anyone useful to them (people who lend them credibility, who're plugged into the gossip network etc.), they're very easily bored (restless, high-energy, need constant stimulation as never feel fulfilled as they're essentially emotionless though VERY good at acting out normal emotions) and incredibly manipulative (they ensure they're in the 'in-team' at the centre of the information flow so they can manipulate information, slanting it how they want.) Their charm is almost superhuman and they can persuade anyone that they're right - they show zero shame or embarrassment at being caught out and simply continue as if nothing happened and as if it was actually the target's fault (that superb manipulation again)..

If you do go online to do research there's plenty of forums dealing with the after-effects of contact with a psychopath. Learn about 'love-bombing' - overwhelming a target with drama, excitement and attention so that he/she doesn't get a chance to breathe, followed by the rapid declaration of being soul-mates and instant marriage. Also read about the 'psychopath bond' - Idealize, devalue, discard. Then there's the 'Pity Play' - when it's all going pear-shaped for the psychopath they subtly invoke our pity as a 'get out of jail free' card. They lie through their teeth - but they don't actually have to 'lie'. Their whole life is an act, so their whole life is a lie. But yes, the charismatic / corporate / successful psychopaths can give the appearance of being 'honest' but they can slant their words to gradually manipulate the people around them, lie through their teeth if necessary and act in completely amoral ways.

What else?
Full-blown psychopaths are 'clinical' psychopaths; those with less severe traits (still very dangerous) are 'sub-clinical'. Maybe 5 - 15% are subclinical psychopaths ('Comprehensive Handbook of Personality and Psychopathology: Personality and Everyday Functioning’ ). 1% of the population are clinical Ps; 4% are clinical Ps in the upper reaches of corporations.
Parasitic lifestyle - they use others for status, respectability, s*x, money.
They don't learn from negative punishment - because they have no fear and they love taking risks. So if there's a P in your organisation and his behaviour's being monitored you can bet your bottom dollar the behaviour will resume once the monitoring’s finished.
They see people as objects - hence the 'love bombing' e.g. if they're after a trophy wife.
Intense eye-contact - definitely experienced this. I think it's to do with tuning into us 100% in order to figure out what makes us tick.
No long-term goals - no master plan for their lives.
Unflappable and show no anxiety - that emotional poverty ('shallow affect') again. But also show very little real distress after major life events e.g. the breakup of a relationship.
Have to 'win' at all costs (there's nothing else in their lives except the 'game' they're playing.) This 'winning' can mean destroying other people - if they can't have something (popularity, love, happiness) they'll make sure the person they target doesn't have it (even though the target might have done nothing to them.)
Read about 'gaslighting' - telling you black is white and white is black until you no longer believe your own perceptions.
Read about 'hoovering' - sucking the target back into the toxic relationship by trying to make contact in many very subtle ways.
Most people will almost worship the P - a few 'dissenters' who see behind the mask will despise them, which is one of the ways an outsider can guess that there's a P in the organisation.
Some Ps overlap into Narcissism (N). 'Narcissistic supply' is the attention that Ns and possibly some Ps need. Ps at the centre of attention however usually need the attention so that they can be at the centre of the information flow and thus control everyone. Sounds crazy, huh? Not until you've witnessed a P deliberately making themselves immensely popular (and therefore untouchable) will you realise how clever it is.
The 'psychopathic fiction' - the story they try and create in everyone's mind about how they're a future leader.

Scared? You should be. If you enter into a head-on battle with a P you will lose. Not until you've experience their superhuman charm and the way they diligently get the authority figures, the high-status figures and then anyone else with any worth on their side will you realise what you're up against. They've spent their whole lives lying and deceiving and they're very, very good at it. Not unless you become a P yourself will you beat them at their game. And even if you're honest and trustworthy you only have to say one word out of place and your credibility will be deliberately undermined. No credibility = no influence = game over. That's how good at the 'game' they are. They have to win. The 'game' is the only thing they have in their lives (no emotions, remember?)

What can you do?
As mentioned in other reviews, run. Or keep your head low. Good luck with that (it's called the 'gray rock' technique - act like a gray rock). The best thing to do in the long run is to educate people but that won't help anyone right now. The authors suggest documentation but to be honest they haven't any other real answers, and that's because at the moment there are none. Ps are the perfect predators, right at the centre of the information network, full of charm, perfect liars, perfect deceivers and perfect actors. It's like being enmeshed in a spider's web - the more you struggle, the more entrapped you become.

Definitely read this book. Do some online research. Try and raise awareness of the problem.

Hope this helps someone with a P in their life who chances to come across this post. Hopefully I've given you a head start, raised some red flags or even given you that 'light bulb' moment.

Cordless Meditation Fountain - Nina Kelli
Cordless Meditation Fountain - Nina Kelli
Offered by Banjos
Price: £5.92

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Relax to the soothing whine of the chinese sweatshop motor, 25 Dec. 2014
Looks pretty but couldn't find a way to make the water trickle noisily. The main problem being that the height of the top fountain to the bottom fountain and the bottom fountain to the base is too low. Tried various levels of filling the water, tried blocking it with a finger and with the pebbles supplied, but all I got was the gentle whine of the motor (the device said made in China). Entertaining trying to get it to work as described ('relax to the calm whisper of moving water') but otherwise spend your money more wisely.

Vodafone VF354 Pay as you go Handset - Black/Grey Champagne Silver
Vodafone VF354 Pay as you go Handset - Black/Grey Champagne Silver

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A little gem of a phone, 5 Jan. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Where to begin? I had an old brick of a phone so anything is better than that. Nevertheless this is brilliant. Can watch videos (download and convert with a free 3gp converter), listen to MP3s (download off computer then go to Media / Music / Update songs or you won't 'see' them), listen to the radio, send texts (love the keyboard). Has a primitive camera (good enough for memories when nothing else is to hand, one click switch on side of phone or can access via menu), doubles as a primitive video recorder (does the trick when want to show someone something simple), can send emails and MMS (multimedia messages i.e. fancy emails, there are templates for them) and access the internet (Opera). Calendar, alarm, stopwatch, notes (text or voice memo). I installed a 2 GB memory card. Had 8 months so far no problems, phone is small, slips into pocket, not fragile like modern phones, not touch screen (can be a benefit 'cos they don't need so much protection). Simple automatic lock/unlock phone (press bottom keybar), also a PIN option available. Press the shift key once for one capital letter, twice for multiple capital letters, once again to go back to normal letters. Use the 'Alt' key in a similar fashion to go between the main letters and the numbers/symbols 'above' the main letters. There's a delete key, a carriage return key and a character map key (choose from multiple different characters or smilies)

So - to bore you and to give you a taste of all the options:

Welcome screen - can add most frequently used items as 'widgets' in a bar across bottom of screen for quick access via central keypad button. Also can have your own wallpaper and if bright wallpaper serves as a functional torch

To start, click main central button, get a display of 12 icons as follows:

Internet - Opera mini. Does the job. Obviously costs.

Camera -> options -> access video / image size (4 sizes) / Capture mode (1 shot, 3 shot, 5 shot) / Quality, Timer / Banding / Night mode / EV (something to do with the light?) / White balance / Color mode (normal, grayscale. sepia, color invert, more) / To my photos / Storage

Applications -> News / Weather /Services (Vodaphone / Synchronisation). Vodaphone includes: My Vodaphone (top up, register, balance, customer care, directory enquires, voicemail, my subscriptions, my alerts, prices), Sports (sky sports, football, summer footy, Eng cricket, F1, rugby, live sport), News and weather (breaking news, uk news, world news, local weather, live news), Entertainment (Daily babe, Daily hunk, TV alerts), Horoscopes, New this month, Travel and locate (Findme, cashpoint, taxi, movie, pubs and bars, clubbing, eat out, AA traffic, Net rail enquiries, Live travel). No doubt you have to pay a fortune to receive these services. Prices (above) gives a taste of cost of receiving texts. No idea what 'Synchronisation' does.

Profiles -> Normal / Silent / Meeting / Activity / Indoor / Offline. All of which can be edited for Ringtone, Vibration + melody, Vibration then melody, vibration only, silence etc., volume, key beep, message beep, power on beep, power off beep

My files -> My music, Pictures, My photos, Video Album, Others, Phone, Memory card, Memory status as follows:

My Music goes to Music, Ringtone, Recorder, General
Music shows Music (all MP3s) which in turn has options to play, set as (set as ringtone, message beep, power on, power off, contact), delete, mark, send (by MMS or email), download music (via Opera), rename, sort (by name, by type, by time, by size, none), copy to phone, move to phone, properties. Ringtone - play, set as, mark, download melodies, sort. Recorder has the option to download melodies (seems misnamed). General seems to be a repeat of 'Music'

Pictures - seems to show all pictures. Has the options 'View' (view pictures, each picture has arrows to go to next/previous and options to send by MMS (multimedia email) or plain email. MMS has things like message timer, title settings, slide templates, save as template. When viewing pictures you can also 'Set as' wallpaper, power on, power off or incoming call images). Also has options to 'Set as' (just described), Mark (not sure), Send, Download images, Delete, Rename, Sort, copy to phone, move to phone.

My Photos is similar to Pictures (above) but has the additional option to 'Capture' (take photo)

Video album is similar to Pictures and My Photos with option to capture videos

'Others' didn't do much - I downloaded a text file and tried to open it from within 'Others' but it wasn't very keen on that.

'Phone' seemed to be an overview of folders on the phone which you can drill down through but didn't seem to be much use to me 'cos all my folder are on the memory card

Memory card was more useful - as above an overview of folders to drill down through

Memory status - useful. By clicking to left or right of central button you can select phone (max capacity 3.2 mb) or memory card (in my case 2Gb) and see how much free memory there's left.

Next icon on the central screen - 'Calls'. Options -> View, send message, dial, edit before call, delete, delete all, add to blacklist. Lists all calls with green arrow for outgoing, blue arrow incoming, red cross missed calls. Time of call (if today) by each call, otherwise date beside each call. Options to View (further details, see below), send message, dial, edit before call, delete, delete all, add to blacklist. Press central button to also view further details, essentially duration of call, date, time, telephone number

Next icon - 'Messaging'. Click on this and there's a list of options - Create message, Inbox, Outbox, Sent, Drafts, Voicemail, Broadcast inbox, Empty folder, Templates, Settings. 'Settings' has the option of 'Conversational mode on / off'. When it's off you get the list just described, when it's 'on' you get a list of names/numbers you've texted in order of the most texted. 'Settings' also has a 'text message' option with a sub option of 'Common settings' with 'delivery report' and 'reply path' one of which makes a nice noise when a text has been received.

Still in 'Messaging', Inbox, Outbox etc. have obvious options such as delete all but also the option to 'multi mark' (and then perform an action on?) and 'mark as unread'. 'Empty folder' allows you to empty a folder of all the messages in it. Creating a message - there's a top box to fill in a number, or you can select 'contacts' with the middle button and then 'mark' all the contacts you want that message sent to. Press the top or bottom of the middle button to place the cursor either in the top box or the main text body where you're going to create the message.

'Organiser' icon.
Alarm - five different time slots. Each one can be set to any time of the day or night and repeated Mon-Friday, every day , once or customised (you select 'Customise', press the bottom of the central button to go down to another option where you press the central button in the middle to select that day then press the button on the edge to move to the next day and repeat). You can also select how long to snooze, what mode to be woken up in (e.g. vibrate and ring) and what music to play to wake you.

Calendar - a full month's calendar. I haven't explored it but you can make notes of appointments and have alarms ring at appropriate times.

Notes - create text notes or voice memos.

Calculator - pretty simple but allows you to store a value in memory. Not very intuitive.

Converter - weight, length, currency. Probably not much use as not very intuitive.

World clock - boring, text only, not dramatic hands going round a clock face or a world map or anything like that.

Stopwatch - split timing, lap timing. Also an 'Nway stopwatch' (I had to search to see what it was so you can too :-))

Next icon - 'Media'.
Camera, Video cam, Video album, Music, Radio. Explored some of these already.

Music - can put music in folders or create a 'star' list of favourites. Can also select by album, artist or genre (if included in MP3). Select a song then go to Options -> Settings which has three options: 'Play' - normal, repeat current, repeat all, shuffle, repeat shuffle, 'Equaliser' - normal, bass, dance, classical, treble, party, pop, rock (bit gimmicky and no fancy graphics) and 'Display' - song info or lyric (if they're in the MP3)

The radio's nice but it only works if the headset's plugged in, whereas music or videos can be played with or without a headset. You can put the headset in for the radio AND turn the loudspeaker on, though. The headset acts as an aerial. The radio options are - channel list (list of already found channels), save channel, auto search (best do this when you're in an area with good reception), entry freq (frequency you get when you first switch on radio?), record, settings (AF on/off, whatever that is, station info, sensitivity), activate loudspeaker, activate mono mode, optimise radio frequency, radio turn off. Once the radio's playing you can skip through the channels by pressing the left or right of the central button. Volume - press top or bottom of the central button, a nifty display pops up, use this feature for volume of music, radio, videos.

Tip on the videos - press the left or right of the central button to fast scroll through the video.

Next icon - 'Contacts'. Show all contacts either by name, saved to Sim, saved to phone or 'starred' (favourites). You can obviously add, edit and delete them and also send a Vcard (what?), 'multi-mark' or 'group'

Next icon: 'Email'. I haven't used this but it says create Google mail, Hotmail or Yahoo mail.

Last icon - 'Settings'.
Phone settings - date and time (city, date 24 hour or 12 hour, daylight saving), display (wallpaper, themes, power on, power off images, brightness, backlight and how long it should be on for (screen, keypad - nice purple glow behind the keys)), languages (token selection of English, French, Polish, Mandarin characters and Romanian), headset mode (headset only, phone and headset), keypad (looks like you can create keypad shortcuts), auto lock, widget bar (mentioned at beginning, with widgets you can select from a limited selection of shortcuts to appear on the welcome screen), input mode (smart abc, abc, simple chinese pinyin, simple chinese stroke, smart polish, polish, smart french, french, romanian, add numbers (whatever that is))

Call settings - black list on/off, voicemail, billing (amount, duration, GPRS counter, beep duration. Duration - last call cost, total cost, max cost, reset cost, price per unit. Duration - total outgoing call and answered call times). Also has call forwarding with a whole host of sub-menus, call barring (seems to be for international or roaming calls, with a barring password, haven't explored it), call waiting, auto redial, caller ID (hide or send own number), 'my number' (if forgotten, gets texted to you but probably costs)

Security - Activate PIN (seems to be a PIN for if the battery's removed), change PIN, change PIN2, activate phone code, change phone code.

Nework - network selection (preferred network, select network, search mode), GPRS selection (general packet radio service), GPRS international roaming.

Service message settings - enable push/accept all, enable service loading, enable white list (haven't a clue what any of this is, don't think it's anything to do with whitelisting individual telephone numbers)

Connectivity - data account, multimedia message, browser, email, synchronisation (haven't a clue)

And that's it! Hope this helps someone. This phone deserves good reviews. It's robust, not for teenagers, but it does its job admirably.

StarTech Bi-Directional SATA IDE Adapter Converter
StarTech Bi-Directional SATA IDE Adapter Converter
Price: £9.62

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works but documentation poor, 25 Dec. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
There's one gotcha with this product - it needs its own power supply. At first sight it looks like a simple adapter so it's easy not to put the right number of cables in and then nothing works. When it's powered up there's a red internal LED that shines through the casing so you know that at least you've got that right. :-)

I used this for connecting an old IDE hard drive to a modern SATA board. I simply plugged the side of the connector with lots of holes into the end of the hard drive with lots of pins. Then I plugged one end of the modern SATA cable into a spare slot in the motherboard and the other end into the equivalent slot in the converter.

The next gotcha was that for some reason I assumed that with a cable going into the converter the hard drive would somehow magically pick up its own power supply from the fresh air. Wrong. I forgot to connect a power cable to the hard drive too.

Fortunately there's a cable included. One end with four holes (or pins, can't remember which) went into a spare cable connection from the motherboard and the other end divided into two different types of cable - one of these went into the converter to power the converter and one went into the hard drive to power the hard drive.

So that was simple. I changed the jumper setting on the hard drive to 'Cable select' (search for your hard drive make and model + jumper settings + image) and everything worked (you can search for 'Cable Select' too but it's not very enlightening unless you're an electrician).

The included instructions are bare bone (and don't include the referenced image of DIP switch settings as others have pointed out though in my case I didn't need them). With hindsight I can see they're all there but they're semi-geeky so I hope my version helps. :-)

Stretching Scientifically: A Guide to Flexibility Training
Stretching Scientifically: A Guide to Flexibility Training
by Thomas Kurz
Edition: Paperback

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Give up, 6 Oct. 2012
Oh my! This is a technical manual with final positions only as photos - no how to, no user-friendly info. All I wanted was a book that told me what to do, and this is DEFINITELY NOT it.

Useful if you're taking a biology class, or a Phd in sports science. Bye bye book, it went to the charity shop, and some other sucker can wade through it.

And yes, I read the reviews before buying it, and thought I could handle the technical side - but no, I couldn't. Might as well have been reading the wiring diagram for a car, the amount of sense it made to me. But for certain mindsets I'm sure this works.

Just not mine.

Kundalini Rising: Exploring the Energy of Awakening
Kundalini Rising: Exploring the Energy of Awakening
by Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa
Edition: Paperback
Price: £18.99

9 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Heavy going, 15 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The first third was interesting, the second two thirds was boring. No nice way to put it.

I struggled mightily with the last two thirds because it was technical, logical and intellectual, whilst the third third was based much more on personal experiences.

Plus the second two thirds seemed to be approached from sometimes completely different angles, with one author's 'truth' conflicting with another author's 'truth'.

Could have been so much better. Nobody cares about what ideology anyone comes from. All we want is personal experiences. I don't care how many angels dance on the head of a pin or what their names are. I don't care about incredibly long words that sound like some 19th century theosophy - oh, what the heck, laugh at this:

p.248 'Vibrant well-being, overwhelming ecstasy, effulgently enlightened consciousness, the summit of human evolution, pathway to an endless eroticism, the Great Procreatrix, the deification, regeneration, and immortalization of the body, the somaticizing of spiritual aspirations, the teleological freeing of soul from flesh via the literal unwinding of the mortal coil into its constituent elements, the lost wisdom of the serpent of Genesis and the fuel of all human genius, the energy of the Dionysian revelry, the spiritual side of DNA, Christ's fiery baptism and that of His followers ever since, the seething cobra sheltering Lord Buddha - such are the ancient and modern claimed manifestations of kundalini, literally, "the mother of all creation and of all yogas."


Way to go.

That's how to put people off.

I know Kundalini-awakened individuals can be complete ****, selfish, obsessed, s**-mad, jealous, angry, lacking self-discpline, whatever. Having ten thousand volts going through the body doesn't make anyone spiritual.

Or wise.

It's not all as bad as the above. But that last two thirds of the book drags. It makes no impact.

Could have been so much better if they'd tried to talk to ordinary humans struggling to find the rent, hold down a job and bring up kids.

Way to go!

Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 24, 2014 6:03 PM GMT

Path Notes of an American Ninja Master
Path Notes of an American Ninja Master
by Glenn Morris
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.74

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent stuff, 8 Jan. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Lovely book. It's main strength is that it's human and fun. Certainly not a technical (read 'boring') how-to guide but rather the faults, foibles and slightly cynical view of a very ordinary person. Read this in dribs and drabs when the mood strikes (after you've read it in one sitting!) and take it as inspiration and hope.

Price: £6.37

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Looks good but too many quirks, 30 Jan. 2011
Maybe I was unlucky or missed the obvious, but the instructions on the back of the packaging were bare minimum and I couldn't find any instructions inside the packaging - which surprised me.

On countdown it beeps after a couple of minutes, which is incredibly annoying. You also can't countdown in terms of seconds, but only in terms of minutes and hours, which is confusing since counting up goes in seconds and minutes (and presumably hours?).

On count-down my timer resets itself after 20 minutes and starts again. There are only four buttons, and I must have pressed every available combination of these, but it makes no difference, it still resets after 20 minutes ...

Offered by Tcity
Price: £8.96

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 7 Jan. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Had these a few weeks now, excellent. Top notes not so good, but rough, but fine for the average listener (like me), and excellent for speech. Tried walking around in the garden with them on, no problem, can also go up to the attic whilst transmitter is plugged into the PC downstairs. Comfy enough earphones, adjustable - though I find all earphones get a bit constricting after a while (like, an hour :-) )
Couldn't figure out battery compartment in headphones at first - clear plastic slides away.
Also has a radio, though I don't use that.
For setting up, plug in transmitter, switch on, switch on headphones. Press reset on headphones, then press scan, and it picks up the transmission.
Well worth it if you're thinking of buying high-end wireless earphones and want a test run, also great for teenagers listening to music without disturbing anyone else, perfect for speech (radio) and anyone who's not too fussed about tip-top clarity.
Listening on them as I write this and everyone else asleep, volume turned up high :-)

Update Jan 2014 over three years later - still working fine.

China Shakes The World: The Rise of a Hungry Nation: The Rise of the Hungry Nation
China Shakes The World: The Rise of a Hungry Nation: The Rise of the Hungry Nation
by James Kynge
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! But watch out for a dodgy cartel rubbishing this book and promoting another, 19 July 2010
An excellent book. A few broad insights, particularly that China is struggling with a top-down system which means there's no dialogue from the grassroots up which in turn means there's nepotism, a lack of trust in officialdom and state institutions, an 'everyman for himself' ethos, regular military crackdowns (as there's no dialogue and therefore no safety valves), gross resource depletion (the State hasn't adapted to the almost overnight industrialisation whilst as the rivers literally dry up individuals and groups don't give a damn because it's everyman and every regional area for themself) and appalling pollution.

There's also been clampdowns on 'spirituality' which in turn means materialism rules which in turn means there's a declining moral structure.

In the long-term there's no way X billion people can live like Europeans (there's not enough resources on the planet) but at the same time this is the dream that's being peddled to the masses.

So China is being twisted and turned this way and that, a billion trapped individuals suddenly seeing a glimpse of freedom, Russia writ larger, the rich getting appallingly richer, the nation consuming insatiably but without a tried and trusted political system to absorb the forces unleashed.

Watch out for a cabal of individuals promoting George Zhibin Gu: China's global reach - see the review by 'A business researcher' on that book's page. For example, Expat-biz-Hong Kong has reviewed THIS book but has only ever made two reviews, posted on the same day and both promoting the above mentioned book by George Zhibin Gu.

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