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Thomas Beale (London)
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Irrationality by Sutherland, Stuart ( 2007 )
Irrationality by Sutherland, Stuart ( 2007 )

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A startling expose of the numerous ways we fail to think straight and deceive ourselves and others., 5 Dec. 2015
This really should be read by everyone interested in making decisions of any kind, properly.

I come from a background of science and engineering, and am somewhat obsessed by evidence-based approaches not just to 'science' in its narrow definition, but to all aspects of life, particularly politics and economics, where wrong decisions so often occur due to misunderstandings of evidence, failure to reason properly and emotional prejudice clouding judgement.

This book lays out the numerous ways we deceive ourselves, as do doctors failing to understand mammograms, politicians going to war and all manner of other thinking failures. It is full of documented examples of reasoning failures. Even with a reasonable understanding of scientific rationalist thinking from my education, I was surprised at the number of ways exposed in this excellent book in which we fail to think clearly, and consequently make wrong and sometimes catastrophic decisions.

It's very nicely written as well, and will undoubtedly arm readers with a better ability to make personal decisions and spot the errors in received orthodoxies.


Fire TV Stick
Fire TV Stick
Price: £29.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Unreliable and ultimately not usable., 11 Nov. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Fire TV Stick (Electronics)
Unfortunately this device is not reliable on an otherwise perfectly functioning wifi network (Virgin router/wifi) which works fine for all other devices in the house. Can't handle 5GHz, which is what the wifi is normally on. Connects then drops out every few minutes. Under-engineered.


Melancholia [DVD]
Melancholia [DVD]
Dvd ~ Kirsten Dunst
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars This film made it to my shortlist of films that ..., 15 Oct. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Melancholia [DVD] (DVD)
This film made it to my shortlist of films that I regularly watch every couple of years. It's a real masterpiece by Lars von Trier and exactly captures the feel of the title. Elegant art-cinematography intercut with scenes of dysfunctional social goings-on that could be from Vinterberg's Festen give the film an eerie quality exactly suited to the doom faced by its characters. The trajectory takes us through madness, denial, acceptance and the pointlessness of beauty, as the planet hurtles to its death.


LINDY USB to PS/2 Converter Cable
LINDY USB to PS/2 Converter Cable
Price: £14.40

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Use this to connect a PS2 device (e.g. KBD) to a modern USB slot., 12 Oct. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
If you want to connect an old PS2 device, like a keyboard that you might actually want to work on, this is the kind of cable you need. Don't be fooled by 'converters' that simple connect USB terminals to PS2 terminals, they won't work.


Anker USB 3.0 Dual Display Docking Station with DVI/HDMI of up to 2048 x 1152, Audio, Gigabit Ethernet, and 6 USB ports (2 USB 3.0 + 4 USB 2.0) for Windows (19V / 2A Power Adapter included)
Anker USB 3.0 Dual Display Docking Station with DVI/HDMI of up to 2048 x 1152, Audio, Gigabit Ethernet, and 6 USB ports (2 USB 3.0 + 4 USB 2.0) for Windows (19V / 2A Power Adapter included)
Offered by AnkerDirect
Price: £149.99

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Trivial installation and faultless functioning device., 12 Oct. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
For a piece of equipment that is complex inside (I speak as an elec eng/software engineer), this product just worked. No special drivers, nothing to do.

It's attached to a Del XPS15 / Windows 8.1. I connected
- 1 x BENQ external monitor 1920x1080;
- 2 external disk drives (USB)
- VisTablet drawing tablet (USB)
- Bose PC surround sound system (USB)
- old style IBM keyboard via PS2 -> USB converter (Lindy cable)
- USB Logitech trackball

Everything worked, even the drawing tablet (this is actually due to Win 8.1 having proper drivers), without the slightest hiccup.

I almost feel let down. Where's the usual battle with hardware ? ;-)


We, The Drowned
We, The Drowned
by Carsten Jensen
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Un-put-downable tales of 100 years of mariners from an island town in Denmark, 12 Sept. 2014
This review is from: We, The Drowned (Paperback)
The wonderful thing about this novel is that it is properly situated in history, and so it feels very real. The reference point is the town of Marstal in AEro in Denmark, and the book follows the known maritime history, involvement in wars etc of this place. This is valuable in a long-running historical novel, since over the course of 100 years or so, the reader gets to know Marstal and its people, industry and so on - it becomes one of the characters in a way.

The story follows a small number of protagonists over 3 generations, on voyages to the south pacific, Van Dieman's land, England, the trans-Atlantic convoy route, and other places besides, all replete with historical detail, including the effects of going from sail to steam to modern diesel ships.

However, the novel isn't about explaining history. It's about sailors (and not just men), their ideas about life, their love stories, being Danish in a world dominated by much larger countries, as well as about the families and wives who regularly lose their sons and husbands.

The middle part concerning the 2nd world war reminded me of Nicholas Montsarrat's 'The Cruel Sea' (a definitive story of the horrors of war at sea).

We, the Drowned is funny, emotive, and very educational.


The Encyclopedia of Early Earth
The Encyclopedia of Early Earth
by Isabel Greenberg
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.88

4 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Compromised by use of contemporary street language., 19 Jan. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The artwork is good, and who doesn't love an ancient Norse myth? I bought 2 copies for various nieces. On reading it myself I was horrified to discover characters speaking in modern American (or British, it's hard to work out) street slang. There is a lot of 'OK', 'brill' (which is normally British), and in the story of the Hals, one brother calls the other a 'pussy'. And the children of the bird god are called... 'Kid' and 'Kiddo'. I really wonder how someone with the imagination to come up with the story and artistic approach could have been so lacking in imagination for the dialogue of the characters. Young readers might not notice this, but any adult reader can't ignore it.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 29, 2014 6:50 PM GMT


The Great Beauty [DVD] [2013]
The Great Beauty [DVD] [2013]
Dvd ~ Toni Servillo
Price: £5.99

30 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars sumptuous, dazzling, witty and perverse, 28 Oct. 2013
A poignant meditation on life undertaken via a voyeuristic tour through Rome, and the lives of some of its most stylish denizens, arguably also the most spiritually lost. The photography is simply beautiful. Although there is no real story, the thread of reflection of the main character provides the logic of the film. Some of the dialogues are laugh out loud hilarious, other situations leave a taste of emptiness and regret. The real subject is the problem of purpose. Of course there are no answers, but it's hard to imagine a more wonderful way to contemplate the question.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 25, 2013 7:59 AM GMT


Friedland EvoPlus D3006UK Wire-Free Plug-In Chime Kit
Friedland EvoPlus D3006UK Wire-Free Plug-In Chime Kit

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It actually works reliably!, 27 Mar. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have tried a few of those cheap door chime kits you find at hardware stores. Based on my experience and that of others whose reviews I read, they are universally bad and to be avoided.

This door chime does exactly what it says, the main unit plugs in (battery only for the sender), and so far has not had a false alarm or failed to work. And its chime sounds are digital music files, of much higher quality than the tinny 1970s sounds on the junk variety.

Good product.


Unicom Walkabout Door Chime 2 Pack
Unicom Walkabout Door Chime 2 Pack

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not a doorbell, an AA battery-drainer, 21 Dec. 2012
This review is from: Unicom Walkabout Door Chime 2 Pack
This product is poorly designed and made, and will constantly drain the batteries in the ringer units. To be avoided.


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