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Prof D. Bishop "deevybee" (UK)
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Mini Stereo Tie-Clip/Lapel Condenser Microphone
Mini Stereo Tie-Clip/Lapel Condenser Microphone
Offered by Quasar Electronics
Price: 24.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing in terms of volume, 19 July 2012
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I bought this microphone to use with a Kodak flipcam, but the volume delivered was not adequate and in the end I reverted to using the built-in microphone of my camera.


Kodak PlayTouch High Definition Video Camera 5MP,3.0 LCD - Black
Kodak PlayTouch High Definition Video Camera 5MP,3.0 LCD - Black

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars neat little camera, 10 Jun 2012
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This was recommended to me by a colleague who knew I wanted to film myself doing short video clips to upload to YouTube.
For that purpose it is generally very good value for money. Only a little bigger than a mobile phone.
The picture quality is superb and the camera is pretty easy to operate.
I needed to buy 3 extra things: memory card (you only get about 30 secs filming without it - but you can buy these at Currys quite cheaply provided you don't want more than an hour or so recording); a way to prop up the camera to point it at yourself - again Currys good for providing a funny little cushion thing with a spike that works well and is cheaper than tripod; microphone - the built-in one is okay but you get better sound quality with a stereo clip on mike.
The instructions were generally fine, the camera easy to use and you get a free download of editing software when you plug camera in to your computer. Software is quite simple but sufficient for my needs, which don't involve extensive editing. Only drawback at this point is tendency for conflict with computer so if you put camera USB into computer, or take it out, there's about a 30% chance of crashing the computer with the blue screen of death.
I'd give it 5* except for the computer crashes


Breaking Bad: Season 2 [DVD] [2009]
Breaking Bad: Season 2 [DVD] [2009]
Dvd ~ Bryan Cranston
Offered by Sent2u
Price: 10.00

5.0 out of 5 stars weird, disturbing but gripping, 17 April 2012
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Not much to say except that I wouldn't expect to like an occasionally violent film that is based on black humour about a cancer sufferer who becomes a drug dealer, but I was gripped by the characters and the quirky plot.


Science Ink
Science Ink
by Carl Zimmer
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 13.59

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great fun and perfect gift for scientists, 26 Nov 2011
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This review is from: Science Ink (Hardcover)
This book has to be unique. It's about the intersection of science and tattoos. It works amazingly well because it has three element: first, the visuals are gorgeous; second, it features wonderfully eccentric people who are so dedicated to science that they get a relevant tattoo, and third, Zimmer gives a brilliantly lucid summary of the science behind each of the images. It's the kind of book you dip in and out of rather than reading cover to cover.


Schuyler's Monster: A Father's Journey with His Wordless Daughter
Schuyler's Monster: A Father's Journey with His Wordless Daughter
by Robert Rummel-Hudson
Edition: Paperback
Price: 10.11

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read for professionals working with children with developmental disabilities, 4 Aug 2011
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I came across this book when doing a Google search for 'polymicrogyria' - a rare form of brain disorder that can affect speech and language development. I do research on childhood language disorders, and was really looking for scientific articles, but I was intrigued by the author's blog, and by the blurb for the book. I did not regret buying it. It kept me gripped for several days as I read Rummel-Hudson's autobiography of the first few years' of the life of his daughter, Schulyer.
I feel this should be required reading for professionals who work with families with neurodevelopmental disorders, because it gives such insight into the hopes, disappointments and anguish that accompany the slow, remorseless discovery that your child has an untreatable brain disorder. At the same time, the author's bond with his daughter is inspiring, and Schulyer's irrepressible character shines through. The author explains what it is like to have a diagnostic assessment, to have teachers who may not seem to appreciate your child's needs, to repeatedly experience that even the experts don't know what's wrong. I'm sure Rummel-Hudson is not a saint, and indeed he makes it clear that any parent who is determined to get the best for their child may seem to be a pain in the butt for those he interacts with. But he has an extraordinary gift for making you stand in his shoes, and to see what it's like for an ordinary, flawed human being to adjust to finding that his adored child won't ever attain 'normal' status.


How Genes Influence Behavior
How Genes Influence Behavior
by Jonathan Flint
Edition: Paperback
Price: 29.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Witty, engaging introduction to behavior genetics, 5 Jun 2011
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One would expect an introductory textbook by these three scientists to be good, and it is. It covers behavioural and molecular methods, using examples from the authors' own work in psychiatric genetics. The field is put in historical context, with the false turnings explored, as well as the major breakthroughs. The authors take us on a journey through family, adoption and twin studies, on to the history of molecular psychiatric genetics, starting with the early, and usually unreplicated, linkage studies, through genome wide association studies and animal models using rodents and drosophila. Concepts are explained with a minimum of technical and statistical detail, making the book accessible to a wide readership. What sets this book apart from others on this topic are the personal and often witty accounts of doing research. Kendler's anecdote of a family study of schizophrenia in Ireland is particularly engaging, including an encounter with an elderly grandmother who expressed indignation that he should be driving around all over the place interviewing people to find out if mental illness ran in families. "'Why everybody knows that! Take the O'Donnells for example. They are as mad as can be and it goes back generations." (p. 12). One also gets a sense of the hard graft involved in doing research in this area: Kendler estimated that his study took 18 person years just to gather the data, and evidently required persistence and a willingness to work heroically antisocial hours by the research team.
Anyone contemplating a research career in molecular genetics would do well to read the paragraph on p 34-35 debunking popular assumptions about life in the laboratory: "A combination of intelligence and technology applied to taxing but interesting biological problems leads to ground-breaking discoveries that could cure disease or change our understanding of the universe." Well, no. The work is dull, repetitive, and usually unsuccessful. And if after years of work you do find something interesting, your laboratory head will ask: "Why is this finding wrong?". In fact, I suspect only really good laboratory heads do that - the bad ones rush gleefully into print, which is why the field is littered with nonreplicable findings. But as Flint et al point out, you need to ask it because it's embarrassing to publishing something that is wrong, your peers will do their best to find flaws in the work, and, most importantly, "it's only by publishing findings that are robust to any possible criticism that we'll make any progress". A refreshingly old-fashioned take on the scientific process that is all-too-often forgotten in the current climate where we're all encouraged to publish as much as we possibly can, and where a dramatic but non-replicable result may get you two papers in a high-impact journal: one for the original finding, and the other for the failure to replicate.


Kettler Fitness Rebounder 38Inch Trampoline
Kettler Fitness Rebounder 38Inch Trampoline

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars does what it says on the box, 6 May 2011
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This is good solution for me for exercise because it's low impact and enjoyable. The trampoline is robust and easy to assemble and store. Fully recommended


Kenny [2007] [DVD]
Kenny [2007] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Shane Jacobson
Offered by Films and Figures
Price: 18.75

5.0 out of 5 stars Funny and sad, 25 Mar 2011
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This review is from: Kenny [2007] [DVD] (DVD)
Just a great mockumentary. Kenny a very believable character who tries hard to do well in his low status job but is repeatedly knocked back.


Major Pettigrew's Last Stand
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand
by Helen Simonson
Edition: Paperback
Price: 10.84

4.0 out of 5 stars Gentle, enjoyable, unusual romance, 5 Feb 2011
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I read this on holiday in a day, and found it held my interest. The characters are believable and well-drawn, and the use of language is often delightful.
I did find some of the dialogue stilted, though, and the plot a little contrived.
I suspect it will appeal most to those of the Major's generation, i.e. the 50 pluses, who will enjoy his observations on modern life, especially his odious son.


Hitch 22: A Memoir
Hitch 22: A Memoir
Price: 4.19

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hitchens on sparkling form, 3 Feb 2011
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In this bio you feel you get to know Christopher Hitchens the man; not just what he thinks about things, but why. His describes himself as easily bored, but his life has been anything but boring, not least because of his determination to take himself into places where people are oppressed and where there is an element of danger. I've always respected his intellectual rigour, but I had not been aware of just how far he'd ventured into dangerous situations to see for himself the conditions under which people in countries such as Iraq, Bosnia and Argentina were living.
His account of friendships with James Fenton, Martin Amis, Salman Rushdie and Edward Said are full of warmth and make me want to read more of those authors. The one thing I found very strange, though, was the absence of women in the book. Yes, they flit in and out, but, apart from Hitch's mother, they barely feature other than as asides until, quite late in the book, we get to mentions of Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Susan Sontag, both regarded as admirable and brave.
Girlfriends and a wife are mentioned, just: I was particularly struck by one girlfriend who had purchased Greyhound bus tickets so that she and Hitch could travel around the US, but who is never heard of again after arriving with the tickets. She's not named and, like other girlfriends, seems to have made precious little impression on Hitch. Did they split up? Or was she a continuing but negligible presence?
The only accounts of love in the book are with male friends: Hitch is frank and amusing about his early relationships in an all-male boarding school, and regards himself as heterosexual. He's clearly capable of extraordinarily deep and loving relationships - with men.
So I am now puzzled. Does the omission of women as formative influences mean that he really doesn't 'get' women, except as sexual partners? Or is this deliberate omission to spare wounding people with whom he's had relationships? If the latter, I'd have expected him to say so. Anyhow, to this reader, the paucity of intellectual relationships and friendships with women comes across as a gaping hole in a life that is otherwise full of interest.
But don't let that put you off the book: it is varied, gripping and an excellent account of a well-examined life.
I read as kindle e-book, and found the ability to scroll to unfamiliar words for a dictionary definition very useful: I regard myself as having a large vocabulary, but the dictionary was nevertheless needed occasionally. However, sometimes the defeat was created by misspellings: the kindle version has not been carefully proof-read, and there's an odd tendency for e to trasmute into m from time to time.


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