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J. B. Chapman (London, UK)

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Trio Stopper Set
Trio Stopper Set

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sort of do what they say on the tin..., 16 Jan 2006
This review is from: Trio Stopper Set (Kitchen & Home)
They stopper opened bottles. No really, that's it. No DVD extras, no interactive content, no hidden easter eggs...
They have a nicely weighty heft to them, but the rubber seals don't always hold them in very tightly, so don't go knocking the bottle over coz they aint gonna stop red wines stains on the rug. They look nice in a modern kitchen, and do stop air getting in so long as the bottle remains upright, but to be honest just jamming the cork back in works far better, and that's free.

Apple iPod nano 2GB - Black [MA099FB/A]
Apple iPod nano 2GB - Black [MA099FB/A]

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very nice indeed, but what's with the 'phones?, 16 Jan 2006
Got one of these, in black, for Chrimbo, lucky me. The setup was pretty straight forward and within a few minutes I had a whole heap of music stacked up and ready to go. So far (three weeks and counting) it is performing very well on the daily commute, with no screen problems. However:
1) What's with the cheapo headphones?? Why is it that a gizmo costing a week's wages, for many people, comes with headphones that look like they just came out of a 1980s Christmas cracker? Honestly, the pair I got with my very first personal stereo (c. 1985, Sanyo, size of a brick) were better. In years to come, Apple will have their pants sued off by people who jammed these elephantine lumps of plastic into their ears, and then had to crank up the volume to unutterably high levels because they are so poorly shielded. My nano now sounds sooo much better with a decent pair of Sony headphones instead; they aren't white, but they work a treat.
2) Battery life. A claimed 14 hours... really? Listened to at mousey quiet volumes and not touching the click wheel this might just be possible. Despite following the instructions (charge fully for three hours before using the first time) all I get is about 6-10 hours if I am lucky. Heaven only knows what happens if you use the slide show feature...
Anyway, in summary a very neat, lovely to behold gadget, but bear in mind that you should save a few quid for some better headphones.

Fatal Passage
Fatal Passage
by Kenneth McGoogan
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars John Rae - Victorian Superhero, 3 Aug 2005
This review is from: Fatal Passage (Paperback)
Any man who Roald Amundsen counted as his greatest influence and inspiration must have led a special life. John Rae certainly fits this bill, and this book tells his story in a riveting and compelling way.
A cracking read and a good message that it is never too late to start. Now where are my snowshoes...

Star Wars Trilogy (Episodes IV-VI) [DVD] [1977]
Star Wars Trilogy (Episodes IV-VI) [DVD] [1977]
Dvd ~ Mark Hamill
Offered by alentertainment
Price: 24.99

7 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars CGI let down, 7 Jun 2005
Ok, first off I do love Star Wars. And I have no problem with the added scenes on the whole (with the possible exception of one or two). But I have never been convinced by CGI. Ok so it is a step up from Tron, but it still never looks as real as reality. The ships were originally done with models, and they loom and glide across the screen with perfect motion and play of light on their flanks. The CGI versions however always seem to flicker and jerk ever so slightly, never truely allowing proper suspension of disbelief.
And don't get me started on CGI animals. The only CGI that seems to work for living creatures is motion capture (Gollum in LOTR was excpetionally good).
For me the inclusion of so much CGI in these new versions has spoilt them. I can be watching the films quite happily when suddenly CGI rears it's ugly head and... boom. No longer engrossed in a galaxy far far away, but sitting in my living room watching a film again. The same affliction messed up the last couple of Red Dwarf series. This is a shame as the special effects on the original films, while Lucas may have felt limited by them, are some of the best and most realistic ever produced.

Gran Turismo 4 (PS2)
Gran Turismo 4 (PS2)
Offered by Click4entertainment Limited
Price: 27.95

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hooooray!, 11 Mar 2005
This review is from: Gran Turismo 4 (PS2) (Video Game)
Wow. Bought this last night. Played it last night. Got very little sleep...
Firstly, there is just so much to it. More tracks than ever before. More cars ditto, including some real oddballs, not just the overwhealming Japan-orientated theme from GT3. Fancy driving something from before WW1? Gullwing Merc? Certainly Sir/Maam
Secondly, it looks so gooood... No really. Photo real is nearly a reality. And the detailing is fantastic. All the way round the Nordschliefer (and it is the full circuit!) the details are spot on, the graffiti, armco, the lot. You can even "aim for the tallest tree" going in to The Carousel, full on Fangio moments.
Thirdly, the cars drive very realistically. Don't confuse this with being easy. The cars will slide a lot more - with fishtailing, tankslappers, under and oversteer - than in many other racing/driving games. But then this isn't a game (according to the people who made it anyway), this is a simulation...
Other options I have not had a chance to check out properly... but I have a feeling that will take a lot of time so don't expect an update any time in the near future.
Buy this and lose your life.

Stable Isotope Geochemistry
Stable Isotope Geochemistry
by Jochen Hoefs
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent introduction to stable isotope theory, 1 Jun 2004
This newly updated and expanded version of the classic Hoefs text reflects the progress made within the field of stable isotope geochemistry in the last eight years, hence the inclusion of summary information on the up and coming 'non-traditional' stable isotope systems such as Cl, Li, Fe and Mo. The format otherwise remains near-identical to previous volumes, with plenty of good, clear diagrams and well-structured text.
Building from first principals, Hoefs takes the reader through nomenclature, fractionation theory, and analytical technology. The second section provides brief summaries of the current state of knowledge for each isotope system covered. Some of these are fairly brief (zinc gets only 10 lines!) but most include all the information needed to provide a sound basis for tackling up-to-date journal literature. Focus in the third section rests upon numerous case studies and summaries of isotopic variation in natural systems. These range through the entire spectrum of geological systems, from extraterrestrial material to palaeoclimatology and all points in between. Again, these are not tackled with any great depth but all provide abundant referenced material, allowing further investigation without much hassle.
In summary, this is a welcome update of an already indispensable text. Suitable for the vast majority of those interested in this field, from undergraduate students through to more experienced research workers wishing to refresh their knowledge of the ins and outs of stable isotope capabilities. Hoefs provides an excellent introduction to an otherwise fairly impenetrable subject area.

Jaguars Ripped My Flesh
Jaguars Ripped My Flesh
by Tim Cahill
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Travel writing with attitude, 25 May 2004
A very enjoyable and thought provoking book. While not at relentlessly entertaining as some of his other books, this volume of collected articles for various American travel magazines does go a long way to proving that the success of even the most adventurous off-road trip ultimately hangs on the people that you meet. One negative point is that most of the trips described are now pushing twenty years old and many are showing their age a little. However it is a little surprising, and at times depressing, just how little has changed fundamentally in the last two decades. A very enjoyably book which will open your eyes.

Love Actually [DVD] [2003]
Love Actually [DVD] [2003]
Dvd ~ Rowan Atkinson
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: 3.24

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too short by far, 25 May 2004
This review is from: Love Actually [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
The most serious failing of this movie (and it has a few) is that the whole things has been condensed far too much. While some of the story lines may promise to be quite interesting or entertaining, the short duration of the film is nowhere near enough to expand them beyond brief character sketches. In fact a couple of the story lines make very little sense until you watch the deleted scenes which explain various strange plot movements, such as the extremely dull 'porn' actors who turn out to merely be actors' body doubles. A good reason to RENT the DVD, but not to buy it.
The only reason that I can see for the deleted scenes having been left out is purely due to running time concerns. At two hours some may argue that it is already a touch long, but when we have grown accustomed to the sort of character development afforded by TV serials (which generally have at least 3 hours per series, some up to 10 hours) the lack of depth in this film is extremely fraustrating. It would have been far better to cut some story lines completely, and focus in more depth on those remaining. All in all, a film that promised much but failed to deliver.

Coyote Shivers
Coyote Shivers
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: 12.95

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun rock and roll..., 7 May 2004
This review is from: Coyote Shivers (Audio CD)
I can only assume that the previous reviewer either has a zero sense of humour or else that pretension is eating away as their charred and blackened soul. Yes, Coyote Shivers has been around for some time, but this means that he isn't ripping off the music that abovementioned reviewer grew up with, he was there! Any artist that The Ramones rated and allowed to support them on many occasions, along with being an special guest at their farewell party AND asked to perform at Joey Ramone's posthumous birthday party, has to be worth something.
This music is the fun sort of rock and roll (yes, not emo or grunge or whatever current fad is going about) that some people have forgotten how to do. How can you listen to this record and not want to be on the dancefloor, down at the front, getting sweaty and happy? The lyrics are funny and toungue-in-cheek at times, and at others they head towards deeper territory, but they are always supported by great, catchy riffs, a stomping rhythm section and the sort of energy the the Duracell Bunny, out of his tiny furry brain on speed and coke, would be hard pressed to match.
Buy it and smile all day.

Offered by adrians_records
Price: 39.99

6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but not comprehensive., 4 Nov 2002
This review is from: Singles (Audio CD)
Not bad these are they? This is simply a collection of most of their singles, and that isn't a bad thing. There is more fun to be had in some of these b-sides than many bands' a-sides. Perhaps the most interesting song is Marigold, the only song credited to Dave Grohl pre-Foo Fighters that I can think of. On the other hand, I do miss the intro to the single-version of Love Buzz.... all together now...... "May the Good Lord bless and keep you, bye now! We do a twist, a suffa (?), a wild watoosi and a swinging haligali............"

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