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mogwins (London, UK)

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EcoAir DD122 Mini Compact Desiccant Dehumidifier, 6 L
EcoAir DD122 Mini Compact Desiccant Dehumidifier, 6 L
Price: £129.98

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't shut off when it's supposed to., 8 Feb. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It's supposed to shut off at a given humidity level. The unit we received doesn't, it runs continually, which is very expensive! It might be faulty, but apparently we're past the returns window (2 months?).
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 7, 2015 11:21 AM BST


Panasonic DMP-BD35EB-K Profile 2 Blu-ray Disc Player with BD Live
Panasonic DMP-BD35EB-K Profile 2 Blu-ray Disc Player with BD Live

1.0 out of 5 stars Shoddy hardware, shoddier customer service, 12 July 2012
With some discs (e.g., Game of Thrones), the player itself occasionally locks up, requiring it to be unplugged at the mains. After many expensive phone calls (Panasonic customers services is an 0870 number) it was sent back to Panasonic, who kept it for 11 weeks, then returned it unfixed. And charged me for the postage.

Save yourself the hassle and steer well clear - buy a Sony or Samsung player.


Panasonic DMP-BD75EB-K Ultra Fast Booting 2D Blu-Ray Disc Player (Old model)
Panasonic DMP-BD75EB-K Ultra Fast Booting 2D Blu-Ray Disc Player (Old model)

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Shoddy hardware, shoddier customer service, 12 July 2012
With some discs (e.g., Game of Thrones), the player itself occasionally locks up, requiring it to be unplugged at the mains. After many expensive phone calls (Panasonic customers services is an 0870 number) it was sent back to Panasonic, who kept it for 11 weeks, then returned it unfixed. And charged me for the postage.

Save yourself the hassle and steer well clear - buy a Sony or Samsung player.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 3, 2013 9:18 AM GMT


The Remains of the Day (FF Classics)
The Remains of the Day (FF Classics)
Price: £5.15

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A triumph. A joyless triumph., 28 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
OK then, The Remains Of The Day. Bring it.

After the near-constant slaughter, incest, kin-slaying, king-slaying, beheaded and bedding of Storm of Swords, 6 pages of discussion of changing generational attitudes to the supervision of silver polishing comes as a slight change of pace. But once I'd made the requisite adjustments to my expectations, I found a lot to admire -- though not much to adore -- about Remains (as precisely no-one refers to it).

As a study of repression, emotional and societal, the book is an absolute triumph. But, and this is a big but, do you really want to read a book where the two central characters are Mr Stevens, a completely dick, unable to relate to fellow human beings in even the most basic way, and Miss Kenton,a woman so tragically lonely that the most she hopes for in life is his brief attentions? Case in point: The day Kenton's aunt (basically her mother figure) dies, Stevens lambasts her about the arrangement of crockery to avoid any potential show of emotion on either part, which would, of course, be most unprofessional. What an utter bell end. Still, it's undoubtedly a "good" book. We can all relate to regret and the slow dawning of having wasted one's entire life can't help but stir some pretty strong feelings. Knowing how much Stevens has missed out on because of some misplaced sense of duty is actually quite distressing reading, despite the ever-unstated tone of the book.

One way I did manage to lighten the mood was by assuming "pantry" was Georgian slang for "anus." When Miss Kenton forced her way into Mr Stevens' pantry unannounced, I chuckled. When she insisted on putting flowers in his pantry because it dark and dank, and needed some added colour, I spat my tea across the room.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 30, 2012 11:47 PM BST


Last Orders
Last Orders
by Graham Swift
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A cockney Alan Bennett, 4 Nov. 2011
This review is from: Last Orders (Paperback)
The death of Jack Dodds, family butcher, causes family and life-long friends to reflect on the choices they've made, the chances they've missed and their ability to still change. Just the kind of melancholic introspection I love to wallow in. But Last Orders never quite clicked with me in the way I hoped/expected.


A Short History Of Nearly Everything (Bryson)
A Short History Of Nearly Everything (Bryson)
Price: £5.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Moments of fantastic clarity intersped with tedious taxonomy., 20 Oct. 2011
Bryson takes a break from travel writing to give us a potted history of our fair planet and its place within the universe.

It starts very strong, with Bryson bringing a much-needed human slant to such po-faced topics as the big bang, the expanding universe, the formation of the Earth etc. It's peppered with both familiar and less-popularised historical anecdotes -- which Bryson often hints may have been somewhat embellished down the years -- along side his own tales of interacting with modern-day scientists. Which I suspect have been similarly sexed up. But it's all good: It makes for a riveting read and -- the odd, minor scientific blooper aside -- a worthy introduction, not only to the big ideas, but how we came to have them. At his best, Bryson has a real knack making the inaccessible accessible.

The second two-thirds, however, are a different beast. Bryson gets completely bogged down in classification and nomenclature, firstly of rocks, then plants, animals and finally homonids. He never fears to expose the reader to yet another irrelevant Latin name and the debates that surround it. It's plain tedious. Sure taxonomy can be useful, e.g., grouping whales in with cows rather than cod is important as it reveals far more about how species developed and highlights the deeper commonalities and differences. But hard lines between different genus, phylum, species, family, order, class, etc., are a purely human construct. Evolution doesn't care. And the annoying thing is, Bryson knows this: Time and again he invites us to chortle at the absurdity of it all, e.g., the botanist who's devoted an entire career to the categorisation of bunch of different types of near-identical moss. Now, as a physicist, I do enjoy a good sneer at the stamp collectors of science, but I try to limit myself to no more half an hour a day, and this was all a bit much. On the rare occasion Bryson does step back to simply marvel at the diversity of life (regardless of how you divvy it up), it's a real return to the fantastic form of the first third of the book.

So on average, is it worth a read? Yes, without a doubt, but don't feel guilty about skim reading some of the later sections.


Solar
Solar
Price: £4.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A solid character study., 4 Oct. 2011
This review is from: Solar (Kindle Edition)
Most of the criticism of Solar is for its "hero", Michael Beard. Many find him inherently unlikeable. He's certainly a flawed individual, repulsive even in some ways, but he's ultimately human. Anyone who claims they can't relate to him in some small way is either a saint or a liar.

Anyway, as a book it's fast paced, interesting and compulsive. Not brilliant, but solid. My only real gripe is actually with authenticity of Beard. Yes, he's a believable individual, but (and maybe I'm being just a smidgen protective of Imperial-trained-Reading-based-physicists-turned-climate-scientists here) I'm not sure he's really that believable a scientist. Sure, I've met my fair share of entirely self-centred, petty, unscrupulous, back-stabbing, unfaithful, lecherous, adulterous, glory-seeking career scientists. Some of them are my best friends. But all of them have a thirst for knowledge, which Nobel-winner Beard entirely lacks. And few of them are motivated by money -- after all, there are far more proven routes to riches.


Dracula
Dracula

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun, but Stoker needed a stronger editor, 21 Sept. 2011
This review is from: Dracula (Kindle Edition)
Probably more important for starting a new horror genre than as a novel in its own right, Dracula is nevertheless still a fun read today.

But it's too long by half. Indeed, Stoker was a little too pleased with some of his plot points, to the extent that he felt the need to repeat them. Four or five times, with little-to-no variation. It also doesn't help that Van Hesling really likes the sound of his own voice. Which is a shame, as his monologues are both devoid of content and fairly incoherent (yeah, I get that the character's supposed to be struggling with the English language, but that doesn't make it any more fun to read). The team of good guys also have an annoying habit of repeatedly swearing allegiance to each other, 'til the end of days. In life and death. And worse. By God!

I was a bit disappointed that Mrs Harker's role is basically reduced to a secretary in distress. Especially as she's almost capable of "thinking like a man" at times. Still, a splash of old-timey bigotry is part of the fun of reading classics, right?


True Grit
True Grit
Price: £5.03

5.0 out of 5 stars An ultra-tight story told with a perfect economy of words, 21 Sept. 2011
This review is from: True Grit (Kindle Edition)
Mattie Ross, the straight-talking fourteen year-old girl who sets out to avenge her father's death, joins Randall P. McMurphy and Yossarian in my hall of fictional heroes. Rooster Cogburn and LaBoeuf are fantastic characters too, likeable but flawed, and more than holding their own in Mattie's presence.

Just wonderful stuff. And I don't even like Westerns.


A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1)
A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1)
Price: £3.99

5.0 out of 5 stars I'm sold!, 21 Sept. 2011
Despite a bloated cast of ludicrously named individuals* and a few choice relics from the standard-issue box o' fantasy clichés -- though admittedly, mostly the fun ones -- A Game Of Thrones is utterly compelling. Damn. The next four books are even longer than this one, so that's most of my reading time for the rest of the year allocated!

*Early this year, I was scoffing about many of the classic 19th century novels so clearly signposting the bad guys by their hideous looks and despicable aura. Well, it's seems by the 21st century we've only moved on as far hiding character types in names (while it doesn't quite reach "Draco Malfoy of Slytherin" levels of stupid, anyone who doesn't suspect "Joffery" is a self-obsessed toff and "Slynt" is a man of dubious morals probably has Jersey Shore on series record).


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