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Bookish (Devon)

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It's Morecambe and Wise (Vintage Beeb)
It's Morecambe and Wise (Vintage Beeb)
by Eddie Braben
Edition: Audio CD
Price: £5.37

4.0 out of 5 stars Great for car journeys..., 16 Mar 2010
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Morecambe and Wise... what's not to like? The humour hasn't dimmed at all despite the passing years: it's genuinely funny, slick, well timed - and yet sounds completely natural and off-the-cuff.

It's true that these sketches were made for TV, and therefore the visual humour is lost. But it didn't diminish my pleasure at all: I could easily picture what was going on and in any event, none of the sketches depended wholly on the visual action.

I got this CD to listen to on car journeys and it's ideal for that. The language is always clean and respctable so no need to worry about playing it in front of children.

The sound quality is okay, given the age of the programmes, although I suppose in this age of digital technology they could have been enhanced. But anyway, it's perfectly good enough.

Easy listening, funny sketches, leaves a smile on your face. Recommended!

Mind Chi: Re-wire Your Brain in 8 Minutes a Day, Strategies for Success in Business and Life
Mind Chi: Re-wire Your Brain in 8 Minutes a Day, Strategies for Success in Business and Life
by Richard Israel
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.51

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lots of words but nothing new, 10 Mar 2010
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The authors have obviously worked hard on this thick and heavy book. There are over 300 well illustrated pages with diagrams, drawings and colourful charts, and the tone is enthusiastic and encouraging.

The authors say that mind chi is a 'powerful synthesis of thought and action based on the most recent research into how the brain works'. There are pages and pages of advice and steps to follow to improve your powers of concentration and form habits of positive thinking...

So why did my attention wander when I was trying to read it? Because there is so much information it quickly becomes overwhelming, and, the further on I read, the more I felt there was nothing ground breaking here anyway.

It might be possible to re-wire your brain in 8 minutes a day, as claimed by this book, but ploughing through all this material will take weeks.

If you are completely new to self improvement and want something to take you by the hand and lead you through some basic steps for changing some of your less useful habits, this may be the book for you. Otherwise, there are better books out there.

Restore® Post Natal Memory Foam Donut/Ring Cushion from ExtraComfort 44cm (17 inches) Diameter and 9cm (3.5 inches) High. SUPPLIED TO THE NHS!
Restore® Post Natal Memory Foam Donut/Ring Cushion from ExtraComfort 44cm (17 inches) Diameter and 9cm (3.5 inches) High. SUPPLIED TO THE NHS!
Offered by ExtraComfort
Price: £35.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't work..., 10 Mar 2010
I bought this as I needed to keep the weight off my nether regions while sitting (after a recent riding accident)! which is what it's designed for. But within five minutes of sitting on it, it's squashed as flat as a pancake and offers no support at all! The shape returns quite quickly after I stand up, but that's not a lot of use since it's intended to support me when I'm sitting on it - and it doesn't.

I'm not especially heavy at less than 9st and I would have expected it to offer support to my weight at least. I contacted the company that I bought it from (here on Amazon) and they immediately refunded me, so no complaints in terms of customer service, but I wouldn't recommend this product as a support cushion at all.

G-force (PSP)
G-force (PSP)
Offered by GameExplorers
Price: £12.90

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A review for grown ups..., 10 Mar 2010
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: G-force (PSP) (Video Game)
I'm a grown up (very, very grown up) who has a PSP and likes to play games on it that are fun, not too difficult, look good, and offer entertainment without too much murder and mayhem.

This game fits the bill perfectly! The graphics are excellent: some of the best I've found so far on the PSP, and best of all, the characters are big enough that I can see them clearly :-)

I didn't see the film, so I have no idea what the story is all about - but the cutscenes tell me enough to give the action meaning. Basically it's guinea pigs being goodies and using skills such as solving puzzles and jetpacks to save the world from the baddies... as guinea pigs do...

The puzzles are of the 'how do I get through this door when the switch to open it is all the way down the corridor and by the time I get to it, it's closed again' variety, but they're not frustrating as so often these type of puzzles can be. I have a short attention span, but I haven't got fed up with trying to figure out how to solve these puzzles. There are some novel things like being able to use a fly with a camera on its back to zoom into rooms and examine paper work on tables etc...

It's 3D so you have lots of freedom to roam around rooms and climb on and off things, but the game is linear and you must solve one puzzle before the story moves on the the next.

All in all, great game and highly recommended for adults - and visiting children seem to like it as well!
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 27, 2010 9:19 PM BST

Omron Walking Style Pro Pedometer
Omron Walking Style Pro Pedometer

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For the dedicated step counter..., 1 Mar 2010
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've used step counters before, but just the simple ones that register each footfall (and have to be carefully positioned or they won't work...) This is much better in terms of its ability to count footfalls, because you can hang it round your neck or stick it in your pocket or even your bag and it will still tell you how much walking you've done all day. Pretty clever.

You can also download the information from the step counter to your PC, and keep track of your progress - which is very useful if you're on a fitness programme and want to see how well you're doing. I'm not and didn't, I just wanted to increase my overall walking and can do that just by checking the Omron directly.

It's a bit of a fiddle to set up, because you have to program in your stride size and weight - first measuring stride length and taking an average and calculating it and following a formula, which for someone like me who feels faint at the sight of numbers, was a definite turn off! But if you do the calculations accurately, you can be sure that the readouts will be accurate and tailored exactly to you.

It's neat and tidy, seems well made and robust, and comes complete with a wrist strap and clip, CD and comprehensive and easy to follow instructions. It's much more accurate and therefore more use than the other step counters I've had, and I like it.

Multi-function Computerised Sewing Machine 66 stitch types
Multi-function Computerised Sewing Machine 66 stitch types

80 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great machine, 25 Feb 2010
I have only ever had very old sewing machines, and did the very minimum with them (i.e. turning up hems). I recently decided to learn how to sew my own clothes and wanted a machine that was relatively cheap and simple to use, but robust and reliable with plenty of features.

Well! This machine is just brilliant! The instruction book is easy to follow - even for a comlete novice like me. I was able to wind a bobbin and thread the machine within minutes of unpacking it...
It has a button for backwards stitching, a button that does a couple of stitches automatically, a button to choose stitch length and another for stitch width.
There are 66 different stitches.
It has a speed-slider with a cute picture of a tortoise at one end and a hare at the other, so you can choose the speed of the stitching.
There is an automatic needle threading device.
It has a buttonhole gadget.
It has a detachable plate for big material.
It has a light and a beeper to tell you when it's working and when it's not, plus another light to light up your work.
It has a foot pedal and a hand wheel.
It's light to carry, has a carry handle on the side, and comes complete with all kinds of interesting bits and pieces (such as spare bobbins, spare feet, needles etc. plus other gadgets the purposes of which I have not yet ascertained - but it's all explained in the booklet.)
It also has a plastic dust sheet.

And, best of all, it sews really beautifully! I've nearly finished a whole jacket now and it's been flawless so far. It's quiet, efficient, and does what it's supposed to do well. Thoroughly recommended.

Cancer Is Not a Disease - It's a Survival Mechanism
Cancer Is Not a Disease - It's a Survival Mechanism
by Andreas Moritz
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.35

28 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book could change your life..., 22 Feb 2010
This is an amazing book. The author explains his belief and understanding that 'cancer' is not a killer disease that pops up out of nowhere and takes over the body, but is actually a body's final attempt to isolate accumulated toxicity, and, far from intending to kill us, the process of 'cancer' is actually trying to save us. Cancer is a healing mechanism.
He also believes that current medical treatment for cancer does much more harm than good.

When I was reading it, I just knew he was right. The human body is the most magnificent creation. The cells are intelligent and look after us throughout our lives. We cut ourselves: the body heals the cut. We run: the body figures out how to pump the blood faster and get more oxygen into the blood stream. It has never made any sense to me that any body's cells would suddenly mutate and kill the host (thereby killing themselves into the bargain). But as a desperate last healing mechanism - yes, that makes sense.

Moritz believes that the toxic elements in our environment are many and varied, but can be avoided to a large degree. Our bodies will warn us in plenty of time that we not treating them right: aches and pains are not there to be supressed with medication, but are intended to alert us to the fact that all is not well in our body's world and we need to make changes in our lives until we feel physically and emotionally better.

This is a very wise and thought provoking book which is well written and easy to read. I actually don't entirely agree on Andreas Moritz's beliefs on the environmental toxins: I truly believe that our bodies are far more damaged by guilt, fear, anxiety, hatred and emotional abuse than by burgers and mobile phones. But that's my opinion...

Read this, especially if you have been diagnosed with cancer.

Balthazar Jones and the Tower of London Zoo
Balthazar Jones and the Tower of London Zoo
by Julia Stuart
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.19

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Something a bit different, 17 Feb 2010
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I applaud any writer who tackles something different - and Balthazar Jones and the Tower of London Zoo certainly is different! I expected it to be a bit of a lightweight, lighthearted read from the picture on the cover, but it's not really lightweight at all. It's a good, well constructed story with great characters and enough atmosphere to satisfy anyone. There is also the fascination of a Beefeater's life - not a bit what I thought it would be!!

The story centres round the Queen's decision to move her collection of animals from London Zoo to the Tower of London. Balthazar Jones is the Beefeater who is charged with looking after them. He and his wife are trying to live with the grief of the death of their son - which seems to have driven a sad wedge between them...

From the outset, you get the impression that living in the Tower of London is an eerie experience, and the various characters that live and work there are also - well, kind of eerie. Balthazar himself collects different types of rain, which seemed like a perfectly reasonable hobby until I thought about it a bit...

Overall, a good book and well written. I found the author's use of adjectives grated a bit at times: "he ran a hand through his tumultuous hair" and "capacious nostrils" to name but two!! But that's nit-picking. If you like something a bit different which will intrigue, entertain and inform, I recommend this novel.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
by William Kamkwamba
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.19

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Humbling, funny and moving, 11 Feb 2010
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is the true and incredibly moving and inspiring story of William Kamkwamba, who was born in 1987 and lived in a village in Malawi. He spent his young life facing hunger, drought, poverty and great adversity, living a hand to mouth existence which relied heavily on the success or failure of the maize crops - maize being the staple diet.

William had a great interest in science and, in particular, was curious about how radios, batteries and dynamos worked. Electricity was only available in Malawi to the rich and influential, and that didn't include William's family. When it got dark, he and his family had to go to bed: they couldn't even afford to light their homes with smelly kerosene lamps.

William taught himself about electricity and, against all the odds and using scrap items, he built himself a windmill which generated electricity to his house and, ultimately, brought water and power to his whole village - transforming the lives and living conditions of everyone.

The book is written by William and left me feeling all kinds of emotions. It's beautifully written: it's funny, raw, honest and unpretentious. It's hard for me to know how to express my feelings about villages that have no electricity and no water when the technology is available for them to have it all - and everything else that the world holds and that everyone living on this planet should be entitled to.

William's vision and wonderful belief and enthusiasm comes through these pages in bucket loads and this is a true treasure of a book. It's fascinating to read about his life and his village and family, and even more fascinating to follow him as he learned how to harness the power of the wind.

Absolutely recommended to everyone.

David Busch's Sony Alpha DSLR-A380/A330/A230 Guide to Digital SLR Photography
David Busch's Sony Alpha DSLR-A380/A330/A230 Guide to Digital SLR Photography
by David Busch
Edition: Paperback
Price: £16.36

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect guide, 3 Feb 2010
This is exactly what I was looking for: a comprehensive, lavishly illustrated, easy to understand guide to my new Sony Alpha 330 (also covers A380 and A320). Written in a friendly, easy manner, it covers everything, from 'out of the box' - what you get and what it's all for - to:
setting up,
advanced techniques,
lenses (choosing and using),
light and illumination,
downloading and editing images

In each of the areas it covers everything you could ever want to know in straightforward terms with clear photos. 268 pages in total.


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