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William James, Brasenose "brasenose"

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The Nature of the Beast: The first genetic evidence on the survival of apemen, yeti, bigfoot and other mysterious creatures into modern times
The Nature of the Beast: The first genetic evidence on the survival of apemen, yeti, bigfoot and other mysterious creatures into modern times
Price: £16.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Where other scientists fear to tread., 13 Aug. 2015
Professor Sykes starts from the radical position that pinpointing the identity of the animals that have given rise to stories about Yetis, Bigfoots and the rest is an entirely proper scientific objective, and one that, moreover, is susceptible to unambiguous solution given the DNA technologies developed over the last decades by laboratories such as his own. To answer the question satisfactorily, he has to obtain as much physical evidence of each beast as possible and then subject it to the highest standards of analysis. To obtain the samples, he has first to take the stories seriously and treat the story-tellers with decent human respect, with as open a mind as possible about whether the stories are delusions, hoaxes, mistakes or the record of genuine encounters with beasts “unknown to science”. He treads the difficult path between cynicism and credulousness with great aplomb. In doing so, he retells the stories with great verve, and sketches the story-tellers with a masterly hand. Much of the book is in the form of a picaresque narrative of his travels to each faraway site and his encounters with the often eccentric characters who devote their life to the pursuit of fabulous beasts. He pauses from time to time to reflect on the duties of scientists to truth-telling and social responsibility, and the legitimacy of their role as entertainers within these bounds. Although lightly delivered, these reflections are rather deep. But the eye is always on the scientific prize: what is the nature of the beast? He very clearly describes for the lay reader the way in which geneticists can now isolate DNA from minute hair samples without risking contamination with extraneous sequences, either from the environment or themselves. He explains how he uses the fast-ticking molecular clock of the mitochondrial DNA’s control region to precisely calibrate the sample’s relationship within the human family, and the slow-ticking clock of the 12S sequence to identify non-human species. The stories gradually get drawn together towards an Agatha Christie-style dénouement during which the identity of each of the beasts is revealed by the DNA sequence analysis. Satisfyingly, although the great majority of the culprits are identified definitively, there remain a couple of tantalizing oddities that will repay further investigation. I’ll not spoil the readers’ enjoyment of the chase by revealing these outcomes, any more than one would give away the plot of a whodunit, but Sykes is to be congratulated on solving so many mysteries in one magnificent sweep and, for the first time, doing so in a way that satisfies the reviewers of a proper, peer-reviewed scientific journal. The nature of the beast is a great, pacey and entertaining read for the holidays, with some really serious science thrown in for good measure!


Dualit 2 Slice Toaster Stainless Steel 20245
Dualit 2 Slice Toaster Stainless Steel 20245
Price: £109.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Timer's out for Dualit!, 12 July 2014
Adequate toaster with appallingly cheap timer, which lasted a couple of years. Avoid


Dowland: Art Of Melancholy
Dowland: Art Of Melancholy
Price: £13.41

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive recording!, 21 April 2014
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I've recently had the chance to hear both Iestyn Davies and Thomas Dunford perform this set of songs with lute (and lute solos) at Wigmore Hall, and Ian Bostridge and Liz Kenny a very similar set at the Sheldonian. Both pairs were superb, of course, but Davies and Dunford had the edge in control, subtlety and emotional power. Now wonder this is #1 bestseller on cassette!


Brasenose: The Biography of an Oxford College
Brasenose: The Biography of an Oxford College
by Joseph Mordaunt Crook
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £75.00

1.0 out of 5 stars Read Buchan instead, 17 April 2014
As a good read, and a reasonably good history of BNC's first 400 years, Buchan's work (£5 on Kindle) is much to be preferred. Crook's work is excellent if you want to find out more about the personalities of the dining and sporting clubs of the college.


Tiger A2 artists portfolio with rings for art presentations
Tiger A2 artists portfolio with rings for art presentations

4.0 out of 5 stars Good quality and value, 3 Feb. 2014
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This portfolio is just the job for art and architecture students. It is light and robust enough for daily use


CR2032 Battery (2 pack) - Panasonic, Lithium Coin Cell, 3V
CR2032 Battery (2 pack) - Panasonic, Lithium Coin Cell, 3V
Offered by BargainShop_London
Price: £0.97

5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing value and service, 3 Feb. 2014
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At this price, I don't know how they cover the costs of P&P, let alone the batteries! These would be several quid for the pack at your local shop.


Springyard "Classy" Mens High Quality Galosh, Size Small
Springyard "Classy" Mens High Quality Galosh, Size Small

5.0 out of 5 stars as worn by Jeremy Fisher, 30 Mar. 2013
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I tried to buy galoshes in the cold wet winter of 1978-9, but the department stores claimed they'd not stocked them for decades. Now, the power of the interweb means these invaluable items are available once a gain, than goodness. I cycle to work an need to protect my smart shoes from slush and flood. These slim overshoes mean I don't have to carry gumboots and change, and they are tidy enough not to be noticed.


ITTM Outlimits DSS Rugged Outdoor Mobile Phone - orange
ITTM Outlimits DSS Rugged Outdoor Mobile Phone - orange

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars does what it says, 30 Mar. 2013
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Excellent value compared with others, and survives abuse like bathtub immersion without complaint. Bi enough for texting with human fingers!


Close Range: Brokeback Mountain and other stories
Close Range: Brokeback Mountain and other stories
Price: £3.49

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant sketches from diverse lives, 30 Mar. 2013
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The sheer range of characters Proulx conjures through her writing about overlapping times and spaces in the tumbleweed-strewn vastness of the US West is stupendous. Each story has an absolutely distinct tone, but the whole collage amounts to an impressive portrait of a place. Brokeback is only characteristic of the set in that it gets inside the emotions of individuals struggling to come to terms with a world of challenges and contradictions, and readers should expect the other stories to be utterly different in atmosphere, though equally vivid.


The Shipping News
The Shipping News
Price: £1.49

4.0 out of 5 stars spare, intense, atmospheric, 30 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: The Shipping News (Kindle Edition)
Proulx's characteristic writing style is not to everyone's taste, but it follows in an honorable line of american novels that break with the classic literary forms of English to recreate the sense of everyday speech and thought. Although to my "ears" Shipping News is not so successful in this regard as some of her Close Range short stories, it does generate a convincing wordscape around the lives of remote Newfoundlanders trying to recreate their lives after the collapse of both the local economy and the private lives of the protagonists. Very engaging and memorable.


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