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TheJollyGreenMan (Melbourn, UK)

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1.0 out of 5 stars Stay away from this unit! They are using false ..., 8 Aug 2014
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Stay away from this unit! They are using false advertising. The unit is advertised to take pictures of 14 to 22 Megapixel quality yet on the unit delivered to me it states it has a 5 Mega Pixel sensor that will save 5.0 to 10 Mega pixel photographs. So the unit delivered to me does not meet with advertised standard. This is fraud as far as I am concerned.


Silverline 574483 560 Watt SDS+ Hammer Drill
Silverline 574483 560 Watt SDS+ Hammer Drill
Price: £35.98

3.0 out of 5 stars No Reverse Setting, 29 May 2014
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Despite the description which states that this drill has a reverse setting/switch, please note that this specific model has no reverse switch or setting.

I bought this drill to replace my 1990 vintage Bosch UBH 2/20 RLE SDS hammer drill which finally burnt out a couple of weeks ago, during a stitch-drilling project, drilling a 150mm hole in a 350mm wall to fit the outlet of an air conditioner unit. A sad loss of a trusted tool for me. However, I was not prepared to fork out for a professional SDS drill again, as my days of heavy DIY jobs are long gone, but I got used to the ease and speed of an SDS drill, and wanted that type of drill in my toolbox.

I ordered this drill yesterday afternoon, having looked at various models on the Amazon - and other websites - in the past fortnight, and it was delivered before noon today, a kind of service you just cannot beat.

Now onto the drill and the reason I am so reluctant to go through the hassles of returning it to Amazon. It is an almost identical clone of the 1990 vintage Bosch - not the colour of the plastic - , the length, the casing, the indentations and various bumps and recesses you get on a tool, down to the L and R symbols on the casing where the missing forward and reverse lever switch of the Bosch is located. I hardly used the reverse function on the Bosch, and given that just about every piece and bit of the Bosch fits on this unit, including the separate hammer and chipping adaptor, why be bloody minded for a function you do not use?

Secretly I am hope that the absence of the reverse function means that the electronics of the drill is simpler, and in my book I know that simple=reliable. This machine has a three year guarantee from the manufacturer and if it packs up during that time it will go back.


Mapping the First World War: The Great War through maps from 1914-1918 (Imperial War Museum)
Mapping the First World War: The Great War through maps from 1914-1918 (Imperial War Museum)
by Peter Chasseaud
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £24.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book about Maps and Map making, 28 Jan 2014
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I have collected a number of books with maps for WWi so far. This book is really the best book about the topic of map making that I have read so far. I would highly recommend it. If you want a detailed blow-by-blow account of the war, this book is not for you.

I loved reading about the progress that the art of map making underwent during this war. The Germans printed copious quantities of maps - 775 million - and they were the first to make extensive use of aerial photography.

The British produced some 34 million maps, and by the end of the war they used portable map printing equipment working right behind the lines. I also find it amusing that it took until 1917 before the British adopted the French grids. Goodness knows how the French Artillery gave support to the British troops before then.


Harry's War
Harry's War
by Harry Drinkwater
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Nocturnal war., 23 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Harry's War (Hardcover)
This book was a Christmas (2013) present from my wife. She knew that I had an interest in WWI as I have visited most of the main battlefields in France and Belgium. Having been to Ypres, Arras, Delville Wood, and many of the places mentioned in the book, made the reading of this diary of Harry that more relevant and vivid, to me in any case.

Other reviewers covered the broad outline of Harry's war, from a short private to Captain, fighting in France, Belgium, Italy and finally again in Belgium. He has a very neutral voice and I still don't know the man behind the soldier. Harry is from a different generation and keeps his thoughts and emotions under check, what we get is just fact and very little opinion.

Having dug some trenches in my life, the whole sequence of trench warfare escaped me. Harry explains in great detail of how the infantry men lived and survived in the trenches. Basically, when a new line is formed, they dug in on the first day, just enough to hide themselves. Then, come night time, in the darkness and out of the sight of snipers, they got to work, deepening the trenches and shoveling the dirt into sandbags which is placed on the top of the trench, facing the enemy. So better protection is afforded by the deeper trench and higher rim. They were in the front-line trenches for six days. Once a position has been established their routine was sleep during the day, apart from a few men standing guard, and beavering away at night. A nocturnal existence,and this is the first time this aspect of trench-warfare was made clear to me.

Lastly, I read about the Bantam regiments that were raised in the North of East Anglia, the arc stretching from St. Neots/Huntingdon to Norwich/Great Yarmouth. These Bantam regiments were formed from men who did not pass the height requirement of the British Army. The records show that these Bantam regiments did not suffer the same losses to snipers as the regular regiments manned by regulation height soldiers. Harry mentions that on one occasion he was walking next to a friend when a sniper hit his friend in the head and not him. I suspect that the sniper picked the tallest man, and therefor the better target, on that occasion, and the fact that he was lucky in escaping injury in most of the engagements he was involved in is because he was so short.

Harry never feels sorry for himself and right to the end of the book his pride in being a soldier serving his King and Country shines through. I intend to take the book and start plotting all the places and dates on a list so that I can pay a visit to them next time I am in France or Belgium. I salute this brave man, and thank you to the owner of the manuscript, the publisher and editor for sharing this diary with us and publishing this book at this time.


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5.0 out of 5 stars What a clever idea, 20 Jan 2014
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I am very impressed with the 6 way extension lead with surge protection. The item arrived well packaged and on time. I like the fact that each extension socket is provided with an individual switch, something very useful if you are changing components.


American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character
American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character
Price: £8.78

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Do you have no shame and sense of decency?, 7 Jan 2014
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I finished Diane West's book yesterday. It was a difficult read as she packed so much information on each page that I had to stop and consider what I read from time to time. I cannot fault her conclusions. The new facts that the KGB records, opened by Boris Yeltsin in the 1990s, brought to the table in the history of the war period have not been incorporated into the official narrative of WWII. Need we add that early historians of WWII did not know about the role that the code breakers of Bletchley played in the defeat of the Nazis. The brilliant Allied generals were made to look even better because they were reading the Nazis confidential correspondences, that we only learned in the last decade or so.

Diane backs up each and every fact and allegation with references. It is a chilling thought to think that the whole WWII strategic course was being orchestrated from the Kremlin, and that the whole White House was infiltrated with Communist supporters and sympathizers. It is only natural that the established historians will get very upset with this information as it destroys their world view: the Good American saving the rest of the world and all that.

Difficult to come to terms with the information that the comrades of the USSR did indeed keep more than 25000 American GIs, whom were 'liberated'by the advancing Red Army troops, in the Russian gulags until as late as 1991, when Yeltsin shocked the world when he told one-term Bush during their first meeting and public interview that the USA can have the American POWs back! If this is true, the lies and spin the author mentions in her book needs further investigation and clarification.


How We Invented Freedom & Why It Matters
How We Invented Freedom & Why It Matters
Price: £4.19

50 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some Home Truths, 27 Nov 2013
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I have been following this author on the Daily Telegraph blogs for the last 5 years and this is the first fully fledged book of his that I purchased. Whereas his comments on the Telegraph Blogs has a political undertone, this book is refreshingly non-political but definitely ideological. As to whether you agree with the author's ideological stance or not, you can't get away from the fact that he is a skilled writer who doesn't bore the reader.

I must hasten to add that I did work for a number of years in Latin America and during that time I had the good fortune to visit Peru on various occasions. Interspersing his narrative with snippets and examples from the history of Peru made the book that more interesting for me to read. And like the author, I am also an admirer of the Spanish/South American culture and find his comparisons between the Latin (Spanish colonial) and British colonial experiences so fitting, appropriate, and refreshing.

This a serious book that is easy to read and would make an ideal Christmas present for the political animal - as all families have - in the family.


The Neglected Sun (Independent Minds)
The Neglected Sun (Independent Minds)
by Prof. Dr. Fritz Vahrenholt
Edition: Paperback

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The sun is taking a break, 29 Sep 2013
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This book is an updated and expanded translation of the German bestseller 'Die Kalte Sonne' which was published in Germany in February 2012. The two German authors are Prof Fritz Vahrenholt, an energy expert and former managing director of RWE Innogy, and Dr Sebastian Lüning a geoscientists who spend most of his working life studying the earth's climate and history. So they are not some liberal arts graduates that cannot comment with authority on serious technical and scientific matters.

Given the technical background of the authors, it is therefore not surprising that they can comment with great insight and command of the subject matter, the influence of the trace gas carbon dioxide on the climate. The authors do not deny the fact, as most sane people do, that the increase of carbon dioxide concentrations in the earth's atmosphere has an effect on the climate, and that the continued release of carbon dioxide will most definitely change the climate.

The question the authors tackle is: What will the influence of the increased carbon dioxide be on the climate. Starting from an historical overview of past temperatures, the book tease out the various factors that influence the climate, and surprising enough, they found that the sun also has a role to play, in addition to carbon dioxide. The book discusses what change in the climate can be attributed to carbon dioxide, and what change can be attributed to other factors, mainly the sun.

The conclusion of the book is that the sun also has a role to play on the climate and this fact has been understated by the IPCC reports to date. The sun is entering a cooling, or less active, phase and this will buy time to put appropriate sustainable low carbon energy generating systems in place. There is no need for the mad dash to a low carbon future, and market forces must be allowed to find the best alternatives.

Despite the fact that this book is a translation from German, it reads very easy, almost as if it was written by a native English speaker. The translators did an excellent job and we can thank them for making this very important book available to the wider English reading public. We had to wait more than a year for the English version and I can say that the wait was worthwhile.

Lastly, thank you to the publishers for printing all the graphs and figure in colour, it was such a pleasure to be able to read and follow all the supporting figures and graphs, and trust me there are lots, as you would expect in a technical book.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 3, 2014 4:47 PM BST


Ladies Waiting
Ladies Waiting
Price: £1.53

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LADIES WAITING, 10 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Ladies Waiting (Kindle Edition)
This book is an absolute `must read' for all those women who have decided to delay motherhood until they have established their careers; or those who just want to wait until they have finished their `bucket list'! Unfortunately, whilst they are fulfilling their dreams, the fertility window gets smaller and smaller. Then comes the heartache of numerous test and procedures, until they are hopefully blessed with a positive pregnancy result. Don't worry, this book is not all gloom and doom. It's funny, touching, and the ending is a happy one. Mothers of daughters who are experiencing all of the above, should also read this book, if only to understand what our girls are dealing with; the things they don't tell us in case we worry too much!


Extreme Environment: How environmental exaggeration harms emerging economies
Extreme Environment: How environmental exaggeration harms emerging economies
Price: £10.71

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Keeping a cool head when discussing Fracking, 12 Oct 2012
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Ivo Vegter is basically the James Delingpole of South Africa, but, unlike James, Ivo has a better scientific background and can therefor debate the technically issues surrounding fracking in more detail. South Africa is blessed with a rich and varied mineral endowment and every time a new discovery is made there are pressure groups that want to stop the development of these resources.

In the nineteenth century, when gold was discovered on the Witwatersrand, a dour and dumb boer Paul Kruger, who was president of the then Transvaal (Zuid Afrikaanse Republiek) ZAR tried his best to stop the exploitation of the valuable resource. He started the legacy of African corruption long before Robert Mugabe was born. Fortunately, the British intervened in what is know as the Boer War in Britain (with references filed under Colonial and Native Wars of the 1900s in British libraries) or the grossly pumped name of the Second Boer War in South African history books, and ousted Paul Kruger, who halfway through war hightailed to Switzerland, setting another example that was followed by other African dictators like for instance Idi Amin.

Now in the 21st century another mineral resource, shale gas in the Karoo was discovered. And right on cue, following in the footsteps of that great liar and scoundrel Paul Kruger and in the time honoured tradition of spragging mineral development, is the Treasure the Karoo Action Group. The TKAG is supported by one of the wealthiest families in South Africa, the Ruperts, who like the Kennedys of America, made their fortune from selling booze and tobacco.

In this book Ivo is asking for a proper public discourse about the potential impacts the development of the Shale Gas in Karoo would have, not only in the smaller communities of the Karoo where most residents are living in abject poverty, but on the broader South African economy. He is arguing that the social and economic benefits of developing the Shale Gas resources would outway the small (and let us not forget temporary) local impacts of shale gas extraction. The TKAG is hyping up the environmental impacts of Shale Gas extraction, a story that is repeating itself here in the UK, water poisoning (not just mere pollution) earthquakes (not just mere tremors) and all the ten plagues of Egypt will ensue if fracking is permitted in the dry and barren and lifeless wasteland known as the Karoo.

Ivo finishes the book with chapters describing how fearmongering and doomsday predictions have taken over rational discussions by the modern environmental movements, both in South Africa and in the rest of the world. We don't have much time left, and we must save the world today!


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