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John Hardy (Redditch, UK)
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164 Days in Acts
164 Days in Acts
Price: 5.02

3.0 out of 5 stars Some intruiging perspectives, 28 Jun 2014
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This review is from: 164 Days in Acts (Kindle Edition)
I found this a useful and readable walk through the book of Acts with some useful ways of looking at things. I would like to have seen a little more on what the original Greek words would have meant to contemporary people, rather than an exposition off an English translation through the eyes of a 21st century Westerner


Internal Combustion: How Corporations and Governments Addicted the World to Oil and Derailed the Alternatives
Internal Combustion: How Corporations and Governments Addicted the World to Oil and Derailed the Alternatives
Price: 6.43

3.0 out of 5 stars First half fascinating, second half dated and poorly thought through, 20 Feb 2014
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The first half of this book covers the history of the development of energy for transport in the US from the late 1890s. The style is somewhat polemical (phrases like "robber baron" to describe entrepreneurs recur rather too frequently), but that aside, he does explain some baffling aspects of US society (e.g how come many big US cities have such lousy mass transit, and how come the richest nation on earth isn't criss-crossed with bullet train tracks?).

The second part is an analysis of where we go from here and is both seriously dated already and even allowing for that poorly thought through. Bio-fuels are discussed including corn-based ethanol but the author does not make the connection with food prices: true Jean Ziegler of the UN had not yet come out with is famous comment about food based biofuels being a crime against humanity. The author is a man-made climate change enthusiast - since 2006 we have had Climategate and another 8 years of flat-lining of global average temperatures. There are strongly held views on this subject on both sides of the debate so I'd suggest that it is unwise simply to assume that it is a given.

Black doesn't even mention the lithium ion battery and regards hydrogen as the fuel of the future, which in the age of the Tesla Model S looks seriously quaint (unless you are an oil major or Toyota). In the short term hydrogen would come mostly from natural gas (keeping the business model of fossil fuel companies pretty much unchanged). Sure, it is possible to extract hydrogen by electrolysis of water, but how daft is that? You take electricity, use it to create a gas that is difficult and dangerous to store, you truck it all over the nation, pump it into cars, then use the hydrogen to create electricity to drive the car. There are risks and losses all the way down the line. Er, why not just ship the original electricity direct to the car battery via the grid?

I think he missed a trick with the sad story of Nickel Metal Hydride batteries used in the Gen 2 EV1 for example. There was a lot going on in that area including, reportedly, the purchase of patent rights by Texaco and the subsequent restrictions on the use of the battery in EVs.

Lastly I wasn't always convinced by all the statements and statistics. They may be OK but I did wonder about some of them
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 24, 2014 3:54 PM BST


No Highway (Vintage Classics)
No Highway (Vintage Classics)
Price: 3.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 7 Feb 2014
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The story itself is woven across a range of technical, geographical and human domains in a brilliant way. Like "War of the Worlds" it doesn't matter very much that our knowledge has moved in other directions in some areas: we now know far more about metal fatigue for example


An Old Captivity (Vintage Classics)
An Old Captivity (Vintage Classics)
Price: 4.31

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping stuff, 6 Feb 2014
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I greatly enjoyed this book; as a former pilot myself I greatly appreciated the accuracy and realism of the technical elements - but then again you wouldn't expect less from Shute


Pride and Prejudice
Pride and Prejudice
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4.0 out of 5 stars fascinating, 6 Feb 2014
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A remkaable insight a world at once so very different from our own and yet with so much continuity with it


The Wind Farm Scam
The Wind Farm Scam
Price: 3.23

3.0 out of 5 stars Some good points well made but goes on a bit, 29 Jan 2014
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The author knows his stuff and makes some good points. The impact of these is to some extent blunted by detailed discussion other issues,such as marginal TV reception problems which a wind protagonist would (probably rightly) regard as readily solved.

I would also suggest pruning exclamation marks especially when their apparent intention is to ridicule the opposing viewpoint.

He convinced me though. I will oppose large scale wind at every opportunity.


Climate: the Counter Consensus (Independent Minds)
Climate: the Counter Consensus (Independent Minds)
Price: 8.05

5.0 out of 5 stars A careful analysis by a scholar, 25 Jan 2014
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This is a very interesting contribution to the debate. Although the author regards the current hype surrounding anthropogenic climate change as nonsense (and provides considerable evidence to support his view), he also makes the excellent point that it is obscuring an effective response to natural climate change


The Propaganda Bureau
The Propaganda Bureau
Price: 2.05

5.0 out of 5 stars Dogged, 23 Jan 2014
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Explains a lot that I have been wondering about for several years! well written, although you have to track the names rather closely


Below Me, the Clouds (True Stories)
Below Me, the Clouds (True Stories)
by Ron Collard
Edition: Paperback
Price: 12.89

5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating on two levels, 3 Jan 2014
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I couldn't put this book down. It was fascinating on two levels.

Firstly it gives an insight into into an era, and from a perspective, that is unusual. Much has been written about the exploits of the RAF in the second world war. The author was a child during the war (on the receiving end of V1s and strafing runs by German aircraft), and later flew with the RAF in the post war years; his memories of both were fascinating. Who now remembers that Iraq threatened Kuwait 30 years before Desert Storm, or understands the attitude of German civilians to RAF personnel stationed in post war Germany?

Secondly this is an account of life as a Christian believer in a hi-tech occupation that ought to be interesting to open minded people whether or not they themselves share the author's faith. The author doesn't pull his punches but at the same time doesn't spout a load of religious platitudes. For example, he gives an understated account of a battle of wills with the hard-bitten hard-drinking CO of an operational squadron to which he has just been posted as a junior pilot. As an example of moral courage, it is worth the price of the book.


Light for our Path 2013: A year of Bible readings from around the world
Light for our Path 2013: A year of Bible readings from around the world
Price: 7.49

3.0 out of 5 stars ok if a bit lightweight, 31 Dec 2013
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I used this for most of the year and am gra teful to those who put time and effort into compiling it.

It could be improved by more focus on what the passages would have meant to their contemporary readers: it sometimes veered toward the blessed thought based loosely on the passage.


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