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Yersinia pestis (Surrey)

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Live Regular Mealworms Bulk Bag - 2kg
Live Regular Mealworms Bulk Bag - 2kg
Offered by Livefoods-4-u
Price: 24.40

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yum yum yum, 30 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
We get these in the bird breeding season. Our birds go absolutely crazy for them.

They don't smell as bad as dried mealworms. They are a writhing, wriggling mass, which many people don't like, but I think is pretty cool.

If you keep them too long (especially in warm weather), they will pupate and then eclose into little black beetles.

They will eat bread and like a bit of moist food such as sliced potato or broccoli stalks. We also put in newspaper for bedding, and moisten it if it is hot. They eat this, too. Moisture in the food is good - there should never be standing liquid in the bugs' home.

If the batch you get has a lot of fairly small larvae, they can grow quite a lot larger. It seems to vary between batches - sometimes I have had small, young larvae, sometimes most of them were pretty much full-sized. If you keep them a while and they do grow a lot, they will produce a lot of frass (droppings), which I sift out periodically.

We had a few passengers with our batch - larval and adult Dermestes beetles. These are smaller, faster and hairier than the mealworms. Birds love them all.


Hip-Hip Horatio - An oratorio for narrator, chorus (high and low voices) and piano
Hip-Hip Horatio - An oratorio for narrator, chorus (high and low voices) and piano
by Michael Hurd
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Some cracking tunes, and a trip down memory lane., 22 Dec 2013
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This oratorio is a somewhat sanitised biography of Horatio Nelson. The scandal of his relationship with Emma is very much glossed over.

The work features fairly simple part singing with a piano accompaniment. I'd say it was suitable for singing by children of late primary or secondary age, and would be good if you were looking for something for a choir that was a bit more challenging than well-known, stand-alone songs, while avoiding overtly religious works.

The main songs are very catchy, and are written in a variety of styles, including a waltz, ballads, blues and calypso. They are interspersed by short narrative recitative sections which introduce new chapters in Nelson's life.

We sang this in my middle school choir in the very early 80s. Despite not hearing it since then, I have often found myself humming snatches from it, and wanted to buy the score to see how accurate my memory was. Despite the passage of time, it was almost frighteningly accurate, which indicates just how catchy this is!


Sadler's Wells - Dance House
Sadler's Wells - Dance House
by Sarah Crompton
Edition: Paperback
Price: 18.87

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely book for fans of contemporary dance., 12 Dec 2013
There are very few appealing books available for anyone getting into contemporary dance, so I was excited to learn of the publication of this book, by the Daily Telegraph's dance critic, Sarah Crompton.

The book is a survey of the important works and artists nurtured at the recently rebuilt Sadlers Wells Theatre, under the directorship of Alistair Spalding.

This large, square format book is attractively presented, with beautiful photographs, and an accessible and informative text, peppered with quotes and material from reviews and interviews with the major players. The analysis inevitably reflects the author's own tastes.

My main criticism is the lack of an index. This is a book I could read all the way through, but will also want to dip into as a reference, and an index would be invaluable for this. Even when reading continuously, the lack of an index is very frustrating when someone is mentioned, and you want to remind yourself about them from comments made in another chapter.

All in all though, a very enjoyable book for dance fans.


chinkyboo Pratical Handbag Pouch Bag in Bag Organiser Insert Organizer Tidy Travel Cosmetic Pocket
chinkyboo Pratical Handbag Pouch Bag in Bag Organiser Insert Organizer Tidy Travel Cosmetic Pocket

4.0 out of 5 stars Keeps your odds and ends safe and organized., 22 Mar 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this for my partner, to use in the rack bag on his commuter bike.

Obviously, this is sold as a woman's handbag organiser, but men often have quite a few things to keep organised too, and this works well in casual luggage such as bike bags or rucksacks.

It doesn't have the yellow zip shown on the image, and is just a uniform grey, which he probably prefers.

It's very handy for containing all the small things he needs to take to work each day - tablet, phone, notebook, pens, wallet, keys, tissues and cough sweets (unfortunately), data cables and so on.

It's inexpensive, lightweight and unobtrusive, and stops all those smallish things collapsing in a heap in the bottom of his bag. It does seem to be becoming rather shabby rather quickly though.


Bresser Junior USB Microscope Set 40x-1024x
Bresser Junior USB Microscope Set 40x-1024x
Price: 92.90

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Buy the Biolux instead, 21 Mar 2013
I should clarify that I do not own this microscope, I own the Bresser Microscope - 5116200 - Biolux NV 20x-1280x

This microscope looks identical in most respects, but there is one important difference - the Biolux has a mechanical stage, whereas this just has slide clips. You will find the mechanical stage absolutely invaluable in navigating around the slide at the magnification which this scope will give.

That aside, these scopes offer superb performance for the price, and the eyepiece camera works very well on PCs, though I prefer to use the freely downlanded Debut Video Capture, rather than the bundled software. It can be made to work on Macs with additional commercially available software.


The Apex Examiner Microscope
The Apex Examiner Microscope

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great low-powered microscope for the price., 21 Mar 2013
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I bought this microscope for use as a dissecting microscope to prepare samples for my much higher-powered Bresser Biolux.

If you are considering buying this microscope, you should understand that it is a low-powered stereocopic scope, suitable for viewing the fine details of insects, stamps, coins, printed matter, jewelry, found debris etc. It'd be great for looking at live fly larvae in a drop of pond water. It is not suitable for truly microscopic life - blood cells, sperm, bacteria, diatoms etc. The distance between the eyepieces is easily adjusted to your eyes. Sometimes, it's worth using a piece of coloured card as a backdrop on the stage - the contrast between your sample and the bright white can be too strong.

Other reviewers have said that it is not suitable for slides. This is not strictly correct - it has slide clips, and can be used with prepared slides of larger subjects, such as insect parts, plant stem cross-sections etc. And while a higher-powered microscope is far better for use at the cellular level, you *can* see onion cells and nuclei if properly stained, using iodine for example.

There is no fine adjustment of slide position - you just have to move them carefully by hand. Even if you aren't using permanently mounted slides, a few blank slides are a very useful accessory for this scope, as you can use them to support your sample (sugar, nits, dirt...) and move it around under the scope without mucking up the stage.

I have a small eyepiece camera and have uploaded a few sample images of what you can expect to see using this microscope. The image quality is limited by the low resolution of my camera (not part of this microscope set-up), and the view using the supplied eyepieces is far better. The camera's field of view (5mm x 3.5mm) is also smaller than the 8mm diameter circle that you can see using the supplied 10x eyepieces. The leaflet that comes with the scope offers a USB eyepiece camera for 55, but I would recommend shopping around, and a pair of 25x eyepieces for 18, but I have not tried these either.

For 39, it is unreasonable to expect this scope to compete on quality with laboratory instruments costing 100s, but it provides good clear views of the type of subject material that it is intended for. However, I have a few minor quibbles, hence the 4-stars, not 5.

Firstly, the LED is truly pathetic, and insufficient for most purposes - I know it is battery-operated, but I have far brighter battery-powered LEDs in other apparatus. Thus, you need fairly bright daylight or a desk lamp to use this scope. A second LED under the stage would have been useful for translucent subjects - the stage lets some light through, and I have sometimes found that it is useful to stand it on top of a suitable light source.

Secondly, independent focusing of the eyepieces, as found in nearly all binoculars, would make this scope far more useable for anyone who has eyes with slightly differing vision, and would also allow me to look down one turret while using a camera in the other. As it is, the camera focuses at a very different point to the eyepiece, so I can't do that.

Thirdly, I find it hard to focus accurately and reproducibly using the friction focusing mechanism. While scrolling back and forth, both the plane of focus and the field of view sometimes shift appreciably. They are steady once you let go, but if you roll through the point of focus, and then try to roll back, it's often not there, as one turn of the wheel doesn't move the scope a set distance in the same way a rack focuser would, and tends to produce some side-to-side movement.

All in all though, this is a great little microscope, and would make a good introductory instrument, or a supplement to a higher-powered scope.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 14, 2013 4:37 PM GMT


Frogtape 24mm x 41.1m Multi-Surface Masking Tape
Frogtape 24mm x 41.1m Multi-Surface Masking Tape
Price: 6.79

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Do not use for gloss paint, 19 Aug 2011
Well it serves me right for just looking at the picture and not reading the instructions on the back, I guess.

This only works for water-based emulsion paint, apparently. I haven't tried it on that, so maybe it is okay for that usage. But nearly always when I need masking tape it is for gloss, against windows and around door frames and skirting boards.

I used it to paint a gloss white skirting board that adjoins charcoal grey floor tiles, where I needed a sharp clean edge due to the high contrast. It was disastrous. Even more bleedy than conventional masking tape. The edge looks horrendous, and I will have to go round with a child's paint brush and some wipes to make it tolerable.

Lesson: read the blinking instructions.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 31, 2011 4:34 PM GMT


Hoover PurePower PU2120 Bagged Upright Vacuum Cleaner - 2100 Watt
Hoover PurePower PU2120 Bagged Upright Vacuum Cleaner - 2100 Watt

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It sucks, 13 Sep 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this in September 2010, to replace a 10 year old Pure Power Hoover that had bitten the dust. I chose it because it's relatively cheap, powerful, has HEPA filters, and I can use my old Hoover for spares if I manage to break bits off it.

It's easy to use and is no noisier than I would expect for a cleaner of this power. It cleans edge-to-edge and has a hose for cleaning the stairs, though the stair and upholstery brushes are a bit basic.

I prefer a bagged cleaner as I don't want a faceful of dust every time I empty it. Pure Power bags or clones are easily and cheaply available, and close automatically when you remove the full bag, so bag changing is very clean and simple. The HEPA filter is washable.

One highly irritating detail: Hoover have reduced the length of the cable compared to the older model. I live in an upstairs Edwardian conversion flat with stairs, but no downstairs socket. I used to be able to clean right up to the front door, maybe 10 feet from the foot of my stairs, but can no longer reach. How much do the manufacturers save by reducing the cable by a few feet, FFS?
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 30, 2011 4:39 PM GMT


Science Museum - Paper Plane Launcher
Science Museum - Paper Plane Launcher
Price: 8.99

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Flawed but fun, 9 Sep 2010
= Durability:2.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This was one of several toys, including three "Science Museum"-branded gadgets, that we bought for a flight-themed "Science Weekend" with my nephews aged 5, 8 and 10. At 10.99, it was the most expensive, but was the only one from this range that was worth the money. Although the product description claims it is for "14 years and up", it was ideal for our kids, although they needed some supervision and help with assembly.

The launcher is powered by AA batteries (not included) and demonstrates principles of energy transfer and aerodynamics. It is mounted on a plastic board that is held steady by suction cups. The front suction cup can be mounted in different positions to alter the launch angle. The launcher consists of two small motors that turn rubber discs that are aligned such that you can just fit the fuselage of a paper plane between them. As you push the plane through, the rubber discs grip and shoot the plane off the front at high speed.

Not all designs of paper plane work with this launcher - they need a fuselage that extends beneath the wings to engage the discs. It'd be worth preparing for using the launcher, either by buying a book on paper aircraft design, or by looking at some of the many websites devoted to the subject.

The kids loved playing with this, and came back to it repeatedly over the weekend. I'm sure we will use it again. Unlike some science toys, it would be tricky to make a homemade version of this, unless you had a bit of know-how, and parts from a specialist store.

So far, so good. However, I felt that the toy was let down by attention to detail. The suction cups weren't very good, and had to be attached to an exceptionally smooth surface (we used a glass chopping board). The front suction cup leg screws through the launcher at a point where it fouls the plane's exit trajectory, so we couldn't fix it properly - instead we let the launcher balance on it, which is not very stable. And while you should theoretically be able to launch planes at different angles, the suction cups only work at the lowest angle. The launcher has only one speed - it would be more educational if you could test the effects of launching planes at different speeds. The motors do not cut out if left running, so most of our 'supervision' consisted of reminding the kids to turn it off when they weren't using it.

Overall though, this is a fun and unusual toy, enjoyed by both children and adults. Despite its flaws, this was the only Science Museum toy that we were pleased with.


Box of 48 Flying Gilder Plane Kits [Toy]
Box of 48 Flying Gilder Plane Kits [Toy]
Offered by Astra Discount
Price: 7.55

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My nephews fight over them, 9 Sep 2010
= Durability:2.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:2.0 out of 5 stars 
At less than 20p per plane, these attractive little WWII models are just great value for money. They are hard to fly straight, but can be made to bank, turn and loop-the-loop.

Obviously they aren't very durable, although they'll often take a few days of roughish treatment. When they do break, try to keep the nosecones and propeller bits to mend future planes as these parts are easily lost.

My nephews aged five to thirteen squabbled over these - always a good sign of a toy's desirability. They'd be a great addition to kids' party bags.


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