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Nigel in England (UK)

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Roberts CRD51B Glowtime DAB/FM RDS Digital Clock Radio-Black
Roberts CRD51B Glowtime DAB/FM RDS Digital Clock Radio-Black

2.0 out of 5 stars ridiculous design flaw, 5 Jan. 2011
Well, let's be positive to start with - it looks good and sounds good, as you'd expect from a company that have been making radios for years and years. It's not cheap and nasty like other radios I've had, and the buttons seem quite robust. HOWEVER... this must be the first time that Roberts have made a clock radio because there's a glaring design flaw - when the radio goes off in the morning, instead of telling you what time it is, the display tells you what radio station you're listening to. What bloody use is that? I know it's Classic FM (or whatever) because I'm listening to it. What I want to know as I ponder getting out of bed is WHAT TIME IS IT?! I then have 2 options - either hit snooze, in which case the time is once again displayed, or else press menu/display button - not once, not twice but FOUR TIMES. If I then choose to hit snooze then when it comes on again it again tells me what station I'm listening to.

For a clock radio this is not very helpful. Surely someone will tell them before long that the most important information for the snoozing customer is the time of day.

Also, a minor quibble is that I can't wake up to any station I choose - I can only wake up to the one that was playing when I went to sleep (e.g., I can't go to sleep listening to Radio 3 and wake up to Radio 5). So if you compare this to a Pure clock radio (more expensive) then the functionality of the latter is vastly superior.

So to finish on a positive note, the sound quality is good and it's a well-made piece of kit, but it's back to the drawing board in terms of functionality.

Pure EVOKE-1S, Luxury Portable DAB/FM Radio - Cherry
Pure EVOKE-1S, Luxury Portable DAB/FM Radio - Cherry

4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars just hope you don't get a faulty one, 29 Nov. 2010
I fell in love with these a few years ago and I bought three of them, so keen was I to have one in each room in which I spend a lot of time. I guess I was unlucky, but two out of three developed faults. My radio alarm clock had a slightly loose aerial when I first got it, which I basically ignored because I didn't want to go without it for weeks, and all the hassle of posting it etc. But it steadily got looser and looser and now a bad connection has developed, so it just cuts out intermittently, which is really irritating. There's no way of tightening the loose aerial without opening up the radio, which I'm reluctant to do.

The other radio that has a fault is the one that won't play through a Pure auxillary speaker, although it used to work. The auxillary speakers (for stereo) costs thirty quid, so I'd bloody well expect it to work. The speaker works on the other radios so the problem is with the auxillary speaker socket.

Makes me think that perhaps the workpersonship isn't all it should be, probably because the company are paying obscenely low wages in some country with no unions to speak of. I should add that I don't know where Pure make their radios or what their policy is towards unions, although I suspect, like Nike for instance, they don't make anything themselves and just subcontract out all their manufacturing requirements. Such is the neoliberal dreamworld in which we now thrive and prosper.

But I hope you don't get a dodgy one. I was unlucky with 2 out of 3 Pure radios. I'm getting a dab radio for my dad this Christmas, and a replacement for me, but it's not going to be a Pure, sadly.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 2, 2012 11:00 AM BST

International Relations: The Basics
International Relations: The Basics
by Peter Sutch
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £75.00

2 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars four reviews too many, 4 Dec. 2008
Isn't it irritating that the two rather mundane reviews that advertise the book have been copied and pasted 3 times?! How pointless is that?

I'm not sure about IR as a "political science", you know. How can you study international politics and barely mention ideology?!

by Philip Roth
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Accomplished and steeped in truth, 14 Aug. 2008
This review is from: Everyman (Paperback)
I read this right after reading the latest Martin Amis novel, and it was like a fresh of breath air after emerging from a dusty and dimly-lit library. Compared with Amis, Philip Roth is beautifully to-the-point and straightforward in the way he explains things and illuminates his characters.

I also read this shortly after attending a couple of very significant funerals, I therefore found Roth's ruminations on death both comforting and bleak - a lovely combination in literature, I think.

Recommended. (It's also fairly short, which is a plus if you read slowly and/or don't have much time but want to read something decent, as is generally the case with me.)

Double 3" Deep Memory Foam Mattress Topper With A Washable Removable Cover
Double 3" Deep Memory Foam Mattress Topper With A Washable Removable Cover
Offered by Bedding-World
Price: £59.99

91 of 98 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! I love sleeping on memory foam!, 14 Aug. 2008
I bought this product because I have a bad back and I thought this might help. I now find that I love sleeping on memory foam! I just wish I'd spalshed out sooner!

I wanted the full 3in depth, but I'd have been happy with slightly less depth (which would've been cheaper) because my bed is really hard and so I am well supported anyway.

What I'm saying is that I was hung up on not having less than 3in, but really that's not such a big deal - so long as your bed is firm.

It does take a bit of getting used to, in terms of sleeping, but I love it more each night. Besides, I'd made up my mind I wanted memory foam, and this was the best deal that I could find on the internet (especially for 3in depth). Take the plunge, but if you have a bad back then you MUST have a firm mattress or futon beneath or else you're wasting your time and money.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 13, 2009 7:25 AM GMT

House of Meetings
House of Meetings
by Martin Amis
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars at least it's short, 30 Jun. 2008
This review is from: House of Meetings (Paperback)
Sadly, the best thing about this novel is its brevity. And I say that as someone who has enjoyed Amis's novels in the past (eg, Money, Success, London Fields - the latter being my favourite). I expected to be shocked and enlightened by the realities of the gulag and the nature of Soviet communism (which Amis correctly identifies as a form of fascism, post-Lenin), but instead I was mostly bored by Amis's baroque linguistics. Basically, IMNSHO, it's overly-literary and all a bit poncey.

A2 US & Comparative Government & Politics Textbook 2nd Edition
A2 US & Comparative Government & Politics Textbook 2nd Edition
by Anthony Bennett
Edition: Paperback

2.0 out of 5 stars Not well regarded by my students, 26 Jun. 2008
This was the first year that I used this book to give to my A2 Government & Politics students. The verdict was not good. The feedback that they gave me was that the book was overly skimpy in its treatment of US politics, providing only the bare bones of the constitutional and institutional set-ups and little more. On this basis I'll be trying something different next year.

Useful Idiots: How Liberals Got it Wrong in the Cold War and Still Blame America First
Useful Idiots: How Liberals Got it Wrong in the Cold War and Still Blame America First
by Mona Charen
Edition: Hardcover

16 of 31 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Unintentionally hilarious, 26 May 2005
This is surely one of the worst books ever written. This was a best-seller in the US?! Read it and weep. The book's title is remarkably significant, using the phrase "useful idiots" to describe those on the left in non-communist countries, apparently because that's what Lenin called them. Except that he didn't... "Lenin may never have actually uttered the phrase", the author useful mentions on page 10. Hilarious! I might well write my own book in the future, called "Simple-minded Idiots", because Ronald Reagan once said that about Republicans. (Well, he might have done.)
This book is actually useful as an illustration of the delusional power of ideology. Charen's attempted trashing of leftist views involves her deploying some highly dubious assertions, which simply don't accord with historical accuracy. For instance, the suggestion that American soldiers were not "particularly nasty" to Vietnamese peasants, and that South Vietnam was a viable democratic state (other than an artificial creation borne of the US supporting French colonialism after 1945). (Read George C. Herring's 'The Longest War' for a reasonable account of Vietnam, or else John Pilger's brilliant analysis in 'Heroes'.)
I have given sections of this book to my History students after we have discussed aspects of the Cold War so that they can see how contemporary right-wing Amerians think, and they are truly shocked. It reads as plausible argument, but it's only when you read proper history books that you can see how insidious it really is. The frightening thing is that so many Americans are willing to be taken in by this rubbish. But that's the power of ideology for you!
['ideology': ideas serving as weapons for social interests. (Berger & Luckman 1966: The Social Construction of Reality, p.18)]
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 6, 2011 3:42 PM GMT

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