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James Wells "Cambyses" (KSA)
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Private House Electric Lighting - A Popular Handbook of Modern Methods in Wiring and Fitting as Applied to Private Houses, Including a Chapter on Gene
Private House Electric Lighting - A Popular Handbook of Modern Methods in Wiring and Fitting as Applied to Private Houses, Including a Chapter on Gene
by Frederic H. Taylor
Edition: Paperback
Price: 1.50

2.0 out of 5 stars Outdated, 5 Feb 2013
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This book was originally written in the 1920s when DC was widely available. Even if some of the apparatus described was still available, with modern ideas of Health and Safety some of the suggestions and ideas may well be regarded as rather dangerous.

Of interest to a Social or Electrical Engineering student but not much of modern practical use.


The Hawker Hunter [DVD]
The Hawker Hunter [DVD]
Price: 6.85

2.0 out of 5 stars Missing details, 5 Feb 2013
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This review is from: The Hawker Hunter [DVD] (DVD)
The Hunter was one of the great British post WW2 successes and I purchased this DVD to learn about the plane itself. The initial details are reasonably good but then deteriorates into the personalities who flew this plane. I wanted details about the plane not the fliers. This plane did well for itself in the Middle East but this is barely mentioned.

My copy is destined for the next boot sale.


Staples Premium Embossed Punched Pockets
Staples Premium Embossed Punched Pockets

4.0 out of 5 stars good quality, 5 Feb 2013
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These were good quality items, delivered promptly and in use shortly after delivery. The embossing makes the contents considerably easier to read and without having to remove tha paper sheet than the transparent variety requires.


The Battle Of The Java Sea [VHS]
The Battle Of The Java Sea [VHS]
VHS

2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 30 Jan 2013
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The Battle of the Java Sea is one of the most obscure naval battles of WW2 and this video is badly put together.

Most of the video is taken up with survivors remembering their experiences. Ships are mentioned but not even photographs of the various ships shown. The whole course of the action would have been made much clearer by a simple map showing the course of the naval action.

Although some of the survivors stories are interesting but at the end of the video I'd learned very little more about the action as a whole than I knew before.


Fall Of Eagles - Complete Series [DVD] [1974]
Fall Of Eagles - Complete Series [DVD] [1974]
Dvd ~ Laurence Naismith
Offered by adfilms
Price: 59.95

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Gaps, 30 Jan 2013
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Almost the ultimate costume drama with some of the cast bearing an almost uncanny resemblance to the characters that they were portraying.

Apart from this there seem to be serious gaps. In the very first epsode, based in the 1880s, the Grand Duchess remarks "the vultures of revolution are gathering".

So what did she mean? We never hear any real further details of the causes of the "vultures of revolution gathering" and the disquiet in any country which thirty years later ended in a devastating war. Just what were these advance warnings of the obviously gathering social unrest?

The only serious cause of unrest ever referred to is the well known Lenin inspired Russian Revolution, which eventuallly lead to the downfall of the Tsar.

At the end of the war the only monarch of a country that took part in WW1 and still on his feet at the end is the UKs George Vth. What did he do, or didn't do, that ensured the survival of the UK monarchy?

I had hoped to learn more about the increasing unrest under all three of these families and this just didn't happen.


Zulu [1964] [DVD]
Zulu [1964] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Stanley Baker
Price: 3.75

4.0 out of 5 stars snippets, 9 Nov 2012
This review is from: Zulu [1964] [DVD] (DVD)
all the superlatives have been said and I can only offer a couple more small pieces of information.

Being interviewed after the film had premiered, Stanley Baker gave great credit the "intelligence of the Zulus" who had taken part in the film. Had the Europeans been perhaps a century later in reaching the Cape would they have found a southern Africa united under the Zulus?

The regiment 23rd Foot wasn't a Welsh regiment but mostly recruited in the slums of Birmingham. There was great Victorian pride in the performance of a regiment that wasn't really considered a proper "line" regiment.

It may well be that after the release of this film the Zulus began to rediscover their cultural heritage and several years ago the British Army signed "a permanant peace treaty" with the Zulus.

At that first rugby match against New Zealand, after the ending of Aparthied, the All Blacks did their usual Maori war chant, so why didn't a Zulu regiment enter the arena and do their own war chant. An opportunity to upstage what was to be a bad NZ loser.


Confederate Blockade Runner 1861-65 (New Vanguard)
Confederate Blockade Runner 1861-65 (New Vanguard)
by Angus Konstam
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.15

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good reading, 4 Nov 2012
This is an excellant review of the period but in a briefish review not everything can be covered. For anybody interested in this period of history it is a very good starting point for research. All the more important as the steam ship has virtually disappeared from the sea.

There were a some obvious questions not answered though. Were these blockade runners built of wood or iron?

Also at a time when the screw propellor was increasingly being accepted why are the blockade runners in this book all paddle steamers? Paddle boxes must have made these ships a much larger gunnery target, an important point when building a blockade runner.

One glaring error though. In the compound steam engine the low pressure steam cylinder is larger than the high pressure steam cylinder, not smaller.


What Really Sank The Titanic: New Forensic Discoveries
What Really Sank The Titanic: New Forensic Discoveries
by Jennifer Hooper McCarty
Edition: Hardcover

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't agree, 2 Nov 2012
I mnust be one of the last men alive who actually drove rivets as part of my 1960s London Docklands apprenticeship.

Wrought Iron rivets were almost pure iron including a small amount of slag as part of the manufacturing process. WI rivets could be heated almost white heat without suffering structural damage and thus thrown further and still be hot enough to use when inserted in the ships plates. Steel rivets although nominally stronger could only be heated to a lower temperatures reducing the throwing distances. WI was also slightly more flexible than steel and possibly more likely to survive a shock load by stretching slightly.

As it is a material almost unknown today the Royal Inst. of Naval Architects has recently published my short article about WI rivets and the use of these in ship building.

The hydraulic tests carried out on rivetted plates and shown on the "Titanic a century later" are entirely consistant with my own experiences. Nobody at the time of my apprenticeship ever heard of a rivetted seam "unzipping" and this included warships that had seen action. Rivet heads may shear off in extreme circumstances but the body tended to remain in the hole.

The "Titanic" hull was built of "best quality battleship" steel plates and no other ship of this time and during WW1 on the North Atlantic routes seems to have suffered from brittle plates with sulphur impurities. The design was of adequate strength, good quality materials used throughout and the highest standards of workmanship. It is unfortunate that this ship encountered a whole series of incidents that eventually led to foundering.

Capt. Browns reconstruction of the "Titanic" sinking still seems to be the most likely course of events leading to the sinking.


Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World [DVD]
Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World [DVD]
Dvd ~ Arthur C. Clarke
Price: 8.16

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Frustrating, 18 Oct 2012
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Arthur C Clarke has a sceptical and entertaining style but I found this series to be highly frustrating. Although there was considerable detail offered about the various mysteries there were very few possible answers offered. Far too much space was given to anecdotal evidence and too little to more credible sources.

At least the william shatner series "Weird or What", having given the details of a mystery, then offers explanations of varying credibility.


Vengeance: Hitler's Nuclear Weapon - Fact or Fiction? (Aviation)
Vengeance: Hitler's Nuclear Weapon - Fact or Fiction? (Aviation)
by Philip Henshall
Edition: Hardcover

3.0 out of 5 stars Baffling., 17 Oct 2012
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The up side of this book is in the details given about the remaining details of the bases. The downside has to be the questions never even attempted and these can be summarised.

1) Just why was the V2 rocket built in the first place? It seems a highly expensive, inaccurate and highly unreliable method of delivering a ton of explosive no more than 200 miles.

2) Apart from at Antwerp, why was the V2 only used on the UK, the most junior of the Allies. Why was in never used on Russia?

3) Just where where the Nazis going to obtain the necessary Uranium ore? The windfall of a few hundered tons of Belgian Congo Uranium ore at the outbreak of WW2 doesn't add up to much refined Uranium. The only other likely Nazi source of (low grade) Uranium ore was a small mine in Bohemia, which was only available after the invasion of Russia anyway.

The Manhatten Project consumed one quarter of all American WW2 resources but the other three quarters still out produced Germany, Italy and Japan combined. Truly a weapon of a superpower and definitely not the middle rank players of Germany and Japan.

By the time the fragmentary details are added together, whether technical, scientific or artifacts and even the German nuclear theory seems to have been wrong with several even plausible explanations just why. It seems fairly obvious that Nazi Germany never really knew how, considered or even got close to producing a nuclear weapon.

There has to be some other explanation for the vast concrete constructions in wartime France, especially at a time when such resources are desperately needed in Germany as a result of Allied bombing, which has yet to be discovered and published.

This author has gone looking for, and found, a nuclear programme which does not seem to have ever existed, without aver considering any other alternatives.


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