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Mr. D. N. Sumption (Sheffield, UK)
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Incredible! Plant Veg, Grow a Revolution
Incredible! Plant Veg, Grow a Revolution
by Pamela Warhurst
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.09

5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible, inspirational, and a great read., 22 Aug 2014
I bought this book, having seen co-author Pam Warhurst give an incredible talk about the subject to TEDx Houses of Parliament a couple of years ago. The book is written in a style that's every bit as engaging as Pam's rousing talk. It is the story of how Pam and others helped to galvanize a community by growing food everywhere that food could possible be grown - in vacant plots of land and containers all over the town of Todmorden: at the railway station, outside the police station, in the grounds of the local school, and even in the graveyard. As well as telling this fascinating and inspiring story, the book is also a manual for anyone who want to make a similar change in their own neighbourhood. And on top of all that, scattered throughout are some decent recipes for things to make with the food you've grown. If just one person in each town reads this inspiration book and acts upon it, then it really will start a revolution that will change the world.


Mindfulness at Work For Dummies
Mindfulness at Work For Dummies
by Shamash Alidina
Edition: Paperback
Price: 11.89

5.0 out of 5 stars Thorough, and surprisingly good., 18 Aug 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I was skeptical when I picked up this book: mindfulness seems to be the latest buzzword, and I half expected the book to be full of information easily available elsewhere, but shoehorned into a work-related context. I could not have been more wrong. It does kick off with a general introduction to mindfulness, with exercises to develop your mindful skills, but then the work-related sections really set it apart from any other book on the market. It goes into great detail, with very clear guidance and exercises for the reader, to explain how mindfulness can be used in diverse situations, from just getting on with your day-to-day tasks and coping with stress, to avoiding digital distractions, managing people, and building mindfulness within an organisaton. Despite being so thorough, the book is well-written with a flow that makes it easy to follow.


HTML5 Games: Creating Fun with HTML5, CSS3 and WebGL
HTML5 Games: Creating Fun with HTML5, CSS3 and WebGL
by Jacob Seidelin
Edition: Paperback
Price: 17.36

4.0 out of 5 stars Well-written tutorial on most aspects of HTML/CSS/JavaScript game building., 13 Aug 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This book leads the reader through the creation of a simple HTML game, and in so doing introduces key features including guidelines for drawing, animation, 3D, sound, event handling, concurrency/threading, saving persistent data, and building games which are flexible enough to work across multiple platforms both on desktops and phones. It's probably not a book for complete beginners - early code samples seem to assume at least some familiarity with HTML and JavaScript - but for anyone with some level of technical competence it should provide a very useful primer. The book is well-written, and the code samples clear, concise and relevant, making the process easy to follow. It's not comprehensive - for example the author leads the reader through building the sort of basic functionality which, in a "real-world" application, would be left for a framework such as JQuery to handle; this approach provides a good understanding of all all components of the game, but perhaps a little less well prepared for real-world development using multiple libraries. Still, as a whole the book is very well-structured, easy to follow and extremely useful.


Developing Analytic Talent: Becoming a Data Scientist
Developing Analytic Talent: Becoming a Data Scientist
by Vincent Granville
Edition: Paperback
Price: 18.35

2.0 out of 5 stars For advanced students only. Poorly written., 12 Aug 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The author of this book suffers from a common problem of academics: although he clearly knows his subject extrememly well, he is not particularly good at communicating that knowledge, and the result is a poorly written, difficult to read mess which is crying for the attention of a good editor. Additionally, most of the material presented here will require a good grounding in data analytics and statistics: although Mr Granville claims to offer an introduction into the topic for executives and Java programmers, even the introductory chapter is crammed full with bulleted lists of technical jargon which is only ever explained poorly, if at all. The premise of the book is that data science, and the analysis of "big data" is a rapidly evolving field, and many courses and guidebooks approach its problems using outdated tools and mindsets. Unfortunately in making this point, the author has a tendency to come across as rather holier-than-thou. At times his sniping becomes petty, for example when he berates a competitor's book for including an example showing the reader how to build a Twitter "what the author calls a word cloud", he feels it necessary to point out that this "has nothing to do with cloud computing", at which point I felt like shouting "YES, AND CLOUD COMPUTING HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH A CUMULONIMBUS, WHAT IS YOUR POINT EXACTLY?"

All of which is a shame, as the book does contain plenty of valuable and seasoned wisdom, but it's so painful to get at that I would recommend that only advanced students of data analysis tackle this book. In the introduction the author states that "much of the text was initially published over the last three years on the Data Science Central website". To be frank, it shows: as a series of articles intended for a core technical audience, this stuff is fine, but as an introductory or bridge guide, it is not.


Braun TS755 Iron, 2400 Watt, White/ Blue
Braun TS755 Iron, 2400 Watt, White/ Blue
Price: 64.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Smooth, strong, reliable iron., 21 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Like most people, I'm no fan of ironing. But with this iron... well, it's still ironing, but it's just a little bit easier than with other ones I've had to use in the past. It heats up quickly, glides smoothly over fabrics, and is surprisingly easy to get into even the most niggly little collars and corners. It holds a decent amount of water, and the steam function does a good job on hard-to-remove creases. There's even an auto switch-off function for doofuses like me who are inclined to forget to unplug it after use. If I could change one thing on it, it would be to have a longer cable - 2.5m is not too shabby, but I would like to be able to use it a bit further away from the wall socket.


Trunki PaddlePak Water-Resistant Backpack - Pinch the Lobster (Red)
Trunki PaddlePak Water-Resistant Backpack - Pinch the Lobster (Red)
Price: 15.24

4.0 out of 5 stars You know, for kids!, 3 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
It should be obvious from the product description, but this is a product for kids. Small ones. Still, that didn't stop my 18 year-old daughter from wanting one. It is too small for her, though she still uses it, because she loves it. The design is very attractive and it's well built, hopefully well-enough that any toddler bought one will be able to carry on using it until they can only do so ironically. Great backpack! For kids.


Rio Quick Waxer
Rio Quick Waxer
Price: 26.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Expensive and not great, 3 July 2014
This review is from: Rio Quick Waxer (Personal Care)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I got this for my wife, and after a couple of uses she has already abandoned it as it is not very useful. It holds only a small amount of wax, and takes several minutes to warm up. Suitable only for waxing very small areas (e.g. eyebrows), and it works OK for these, but for the price it hardly seems worthwhile.


Colour Deconstructed
Colour Deconstructed
by Tricia Guild
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 20.40

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful inspiration, 18 Jun 2014
This review is from: Colour Deconstructed (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This book is something of an oddity - in everything from the content to the way it is produced (large sheets stitched between thick board, making a binding that is very easy to lay out flat). I got it as inspiration for my wife & myself in decorating our house, and it certainly didn't disappoint. It takes you on a journey through different colours and colour combinations, all of the way featuring lush photographs of both rooms decorated using these colours and a sort of mood board of related imagery. Text scattered throughout offers a bit of insight into the colour choices and how they work together, but the star of the book are really the photos and the way they compliment and contrast one another as you progress through the book.


Linksys 8 Port SMB Desktop Gigabit Unmanaged Network Switch
Linksys 8 Port SMB Desktop Gigabit Unmanaged Network Switch
Price: 29.72

5.0 out of 5 stars Simple, small and solid., 18 Jun 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I got this to replace a 4-port switch, and setting it up was simplicity itself - just plug and play. Really nice that, unlike previous switches I've owned, you don't need a crossover cable to connect the switch to the rest of the network - it auto-detects the connection and acts as appropriate. Very little more to say as, well, it just works!


NOCO BLSOLAR2 Solar Battery Charger
NOCO BLSOLAR2 Solar Battery Charger

4.0 out of 5 stars Easy to use, though not very powerful, 6 Jun 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This charger is easy to hook up to your vehicle, via cigarette lighter or direct to the battery. It's fairly small & low-powered, so I don't think it would provide an awful lot of backup power if you were planning on using it for a long time, but I found I was able to run low-powered electrical items without appreciably draining the car battery.


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