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Donald Scott (Scotland)
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The Etymologicon: A Circular Stroll Through the Hidden Connections of the English Language by Forsyth, Mark ( 2012 )
The Etymologicon: A Circular Stroll Through the Hidden Connections of the English Language by Forsyth, Mark ( 2012 )
by Mark Forsyth
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars A Journey into the Hidden Origin of Words and their Meaning, 2 Nov 2014
This little red book reads with a stream of consciousness rhythm, floating across a vast expanse of words and their evolutionary pathway. If it's true that without words and speech then we as a species would be next to nothing, the speech waves we surf along take us to the most remarkable destinations. Language allows us to reach heights barely conceivable with the ballast we humans carry inside our brains. Without noticeable effort we can grasp how words change their meaning over time. We ourselves change and with it our language. A veritable ballet of expression, communication and a limitless potential for confusion and misunderstanding. Words are one thing, meaning quite another.

This is the perfect book to dip in and out and a lovely gift to offer a friend who would appreciate exploring the origin of their mother tongue and to discover its many hidden secrets.


Thug Kitchen: Eat Like You Give a F**k
Thug Kitchen: Eat Like You Give a F**k
by Thug Kitchen
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.49

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Vegetarian Cook Book with Attitude, 2 Nov 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've just bought this after a friend from the States recommended it. I have instantly taken to it already, having flicked through its solidly chunky, well designed and nicely photographed pages. I anticipate many of our favourite recipe pages will be partially stuck together with Italian herb, oregano and tomato passata, aubergine purée or Thai soup splashing accidents. There are lots of brilliant tasty recipes, each looks a winner. All are vegetarian to include eggs but no fish. The text has lots of swear words but its not simply a gimmick, more a way to get the reader's initial attention. It can't be easy getting your new cook book to the top of the pile in front of the Ramsays, Olivers, Lawsons and the rest.

Great book and very glad to have picked this up, which now sits in anticipation on the kitchen book rack.


Frank [DVD]
Frank [DVD]
Dvd ~ Michael Fassbender
Price: £8.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Flashbacks Suggest Something Different, Something a Little Unusual, 4 Oct 2014
This review is from: Frank [DVD] (DVD)
If the number of times you get a sudden flashback from a scene in a film is significant, then I can recommend this little gem.

Guaranteed to gain a cult following, it's a coming of age story. Rather like 'Almost Famous', whose main character was growing up within a touring rock band, the main character Jon is doing the same, but in a totally different capacity. Jon is a bit of driftwood with no direction till he witnesses an attempted suicide on a beach in the South coast of England. The attempted suicide (little known to Jon) is, or was in a band. We later understand that the keyboard player's attempted drowning was connected to the inherent madness and personalities within the band.

Some of the scenes are surreal. Some of the script is touching and at the same time laugh out loud hilarious, Maggie Gyllenhaal's character in particular. At no time did I lose interest in the main characters, all of whom held the narrative together. It must have been a difficult film to direct. Some of the material was clearly improvised, but it worked for me.

Driving to work I find myself recalling Frank and his band, his family, (who reflected his madness) and Jon who joined them, then departed after setting themselves and himself free. The ending was touching and quite revelatory and unexpected.


Plato's Children: The State We are in
Plato's Children: The State We are in
by Anthony O'Hear
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Culture isn't a Biologically Transmitted Molecule, 11 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
If you've read John Gray's 'Straw Dogs' and/or Francis Wheen's 'How Mumbo Jumbo Conquered the World', then you'll get a taste of this author's take. Anthony O' Hear is a philosopher who argues that modern culture is creating a world of sometimes empty ideas that are essentially meaningless when their implications are fully considered. Nobody ever looks at the world through unfiltered eyes. We see it edited by a definite set of customs, institutions, and ways of thinking things through. Culture is not a biologically transmitted complex we're born with. We edit it unconsciously and with some good evolutionary reasoning.

'All ideas are secondhand, consciously and unconsciously drawn from a million outside sources. We are constantly littering our literature with disconnected sentences borrowed from books at some unremembered time and now imagined to be our own,' wrote Mark Twain. A good author will help you forget Twain's suggestion. O'Hear's work achieves this providing a fresh element to the subject of understanding society and the individual.

I really enjoyed this book.


Eat to Get Younger: Tackling Inflammation and Other Ageing Processes for a Longer, Healthier Life
Eat to Get Younger: Tackling Inflammation and Other Ageing Processes for a Longer, Healthier Life
by Lorraine Nicolle
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.59

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A New Approach to Improve Our Relationship with Food, 3 Aug 2014
We seem to be surrounded by cookery books, magazines and nutrition material promoting a wide variety of ways to improve health by eating a better diet. The content of these books is getting more sophisticated over time and often some of the topics would not have been out of context in professional texts a few decades ago. The public has an appetite for quality and scientific information on how diet can boost vitality and reduce dependence on widely prescribed medicines. This approach will help combat heart disease, diabetes and other illnesses associated with our lifestyles and the dietary choices that come with them. The book also promises a longer and healthier lifespan in addition to tackling inflammation. I liked the authors understanding of why the average GP won't understand the logic in changing eating habits to improve energy and vitality because it doesn't conform to the evidence based approach they've been taught. Their way is not the only way to judge effective change.

The idea that what we eat can influence our lifespan is certainly not without some serious science to back it up. There's a longevity gene in yeasts, worms, and flies as well as in mammals. It's activated by restricting calories, and caloric restriction is known to extend lifespan. Certain nutrients can similarly increase longevity, significantly without restricting calories. Both semi-starvation and increased activity of the longevity gene can prevent obesity, and obesity has some harmful effects. The promoters of the theory suggest that a drug will be able to prevent obesity and cure type-2 diabetes. These same scientists are also suggesting that it could slow aging and increase longevity.

Nicolle and Bailey take a different tack for those who don't relish the option of semi-starvation on 900 calories daily or waiting for a drug that'll mimic what we can do for ourselves. You can keep reading on if you don't choose to starve to live better and longer! There is a great deal of support backing up the understanding that keeping our diets high in fresh, unprocessed foods with ample exercise and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol intake will increase our active years. The dietary advice given may also help keep our mental faculties alert. What would be the point of living a long life if you were not at the same time compis mentis?

The book is technical in parts but I think it has been aimed at those who want to discover the ways our stomachs affect our health with a bit of science built in. To do this you need to know a little biology and have a curiosity to dig a little into what is truly a fascinating subject. I think 'Eat to Get Younger' gets the right balance between technicality and banality. You want up to the minute the science of nutrition and I think you'll be impressed by the information given here.

Calorie restriction (CR) and its benefits are discussed in some detail. I have a personal interest in this theme. There are a number of ways to improve your energy by either fasting or using a 16/8 approach (skipping breakfast at the normal time and having breakfast at noon and eating as usual until 8pm). I'd encourage those who want to optimise their health and increase longevity to read Rozalyn Anderson and Richard Weindruch's work on this subject. Its implications are exceptional and novel. Isn't it unlikely to take off as it requires a degree of sacrifice most of us won't be prepared to undertake without a struggle?

So its not only what you eat that may be significant, but equally how little you eat that may be just as important. If you're not ready for regular fasting and its benefits then the recipes at the end of the book look really delicious and satisfying. Go buy, read and enjoy this really informative book.


How to Build a Girl
How to Build a Girl
by Caitlin Moran
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £7.00

1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I'm Johanna Morrigan, Fly Me!, 13 July 2014
This review is from: How to Build a Girl (Hardcover)
I heard the author Caitlin Moran on the radio a few weeks back. She was funny and a most entertaining interviewee who is clearly a media- savvy woman. She has a varied and talked about history. She is not averse to upset. She talked without a breath about her new book which is written in a stream of consciousness, what-comes-into-your-head-you-say sort of way. She writes well. The first pages start with her introducing the principal character, a 14yrs old girl. Presumably the first few pages are geared just to get potential readers hooked. Say no more.

The interviewer on the radio liked the author's style and her book. I do too. She has a quite defined writing voice and tells her stories well. Lots of laugh out loud material and I quickly got to like her central character (who she tells you isn't herself, in case you're thinking autographically). I don't believe her on this. Some of this must have happened around her..... it's just that she doesn't want somebody spotting themselves then calling their lawyer.

Moran has big hair and very dark eyebrows and is probably an Aries. She tells us anecdotally. "I once went into a meeting, and every woman put her a million-pound bag on the table. Then I'm there with my tote bag and anorak. And I'm like, well, I'm still the most important person in the room right now."

I haven't come across her books before this novel but I'm going to read her earlier work now. Some reviews say this one isn't as good as her last but I'll see. All I can say is that this is a great read and I can recommend it totally.


Societies Beyond Oil: Oil Dregs and Social Futures
Societies Beyond Oil: Oil Dregs and Social Futures
by John Urry
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.48

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars There Will be Blood, 28 Jun 2014
The referendum in Scotland made me read Urry's book. Oil revenue has always been a bone of contention for nationalists in the debate on whether Alba can go it alone financially. Oil producers are sites of huge wealth, huge inequalities, massive autocratic governments, militarization, corruption and much potential protest and resistance–perhaps excluding Norway?

Irrespective of the referendum's outcome, clearly oil and what it provides to a nation's wealth and stability is as much reliant on the multi-nationals who make the resource available as much as the country that owns the oil. Urry's book is an academic examination of both the political and societal implications of creating energy through oil.

Both corporations and politicians consistently exaggerate the size of their reserves. The official global estimates depend on this to plan ahead. In 2004 Shell over-estimated its reserves by 24 per cent. Can you ever trust a corporations accuracy when they regulate themselves and invest heavily in lobby groups to protect their own interests? Of course you cannot as history tells us time and again.

Maybe the estimates of oil reserves in the North Sea are wildly inaccurate. Were this to be the case Scotland's–and the UK's fiscal policy to a lesser extent–would be adversely skewed. We rely on science to provide accuracy to all these aspects but scientists have salaries paid for by those who benefit from their opinions. Join the dots.


The Good Psychopath's Guide to Success
The Good Psychopath's Guide to Success
by Andy McNab
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.00

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How to Wire up Your Brain without Blowing a Fuse, 4 Jun 2014
Read the book and then coincidently listened to Andy McNab plugging it on BBC Scotland. He has been told his brain has the 'empathy bit' missing so that it's easier to dispatch someone if you need to.....handy if you''re in the SAS. Boxers presumably are missing this 'empathy bit' too, alone with other professions where getting into someone's head is more of a liability than an asset. Kevin Dutton told Andy about the wiring components and neural links making up the brain. Kevin is a research neurobiologist who is an expert on compartmentalising brains and extrapolating insights into human behaviour.

Are you following this so far? Good. So Andy armed with this wiring map, goes off and interviews CEO's of corporations, mostly in the States. Seemingly most of these guys (any women?) have bits of the empathy regions missing too. So psychopaths are not found just with those who are locked up, in the Marines, boxers etc. You get them in the rank and file higher echelons of business, where it helps to be able to dismember somebody (or give then their P45 without a flicker of regret) and then go out to lunch and clinch the next contract.

The book examines lots of things about human behaviour from the fragmented perspective of a psychopath. Are there more vegetarian (Hitler) than carnivorous (Hannibal Lecter) psychopaths? Has he grasped another idea that the left brain is the practical, pragmatic, male, logical, linear, rational side, whereas the right provides the wiring for abstract, creative, feminine values (in the general sense), and significantly the 'wholistic' picture that life provides. Right brain is responsible for surveying the whole scene and channeling incoming data, bring it more directly in touch with the world. Paradoxically given the brain is a single entity, the Right usually knows what Left is doing, but the Left may know nothing about concerns outside its own spheres of interest. It may even refuse to admit their existence. Sounds promising so far?

When you're about to shoot someone it's the left brain that sees the target and considers wind velocity, distance and trajectory data. The left brain conversely is whispering in his ear. "What about your target's family....how'll they feel when the body bag comes home?" How irritating to consider abstract implications.

Can you build in rapport and empathy in the brain of someone who is missing these at foetal development stage? The answers affirmative, according to Andy and Kevin. Some think left brain dominance is expressed as autism when taken as an extreme. Scary to think that a high % of corporate managers are autistic. But it does make sense in a sort of right brain way? Is Derek autistic...probably not.

Reading this book may blow your mind. Be warned!


Think Like a Freak: How to Think Smarter about Almost Everything
Think Like a Freak: How to Think Smarter about Almost Everything
by Steven D. Levitt
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £5.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thinking Laterally v2.0, 28 May 2014
Edward De Bono managed to churn out over 30 books based around a couple of central ideas based on 'Lateral Thinking'. The authors are doing 'Thinking Laterally v2.0.'

The book provides an endless supply of interesting questions based on data, then asks us to re-interpret the deductions made by the majority. Do you want to run with the herd or do you want to take the lateral thinking route? Examples on this? The pros and cons of breast-feeding; Fracking, and virtual currencies; Are married people happy or do happy people marry?; Get famous by thinking just once or twice a week; Our disastrous meeting with the future prime minister (aka David Cameron).

If you liked Freakonomics you'll most likely enjoy this latest offering. Hope they know when to stop flogging a dead horse though, unlike De Bono. Also if you want to use the stats in the most effective place to convert a penalty kick (football) then seemingly aim at the centre of the goal, which the goalkeeper will hopefully vacate in all but 17% of penalties taken.

Unless of course he's read 'Think like a Freak'.


The Art of HVT [DVD]
The Art of HVT [DVD]
Dvd ~ David Lintonbon DO
Price: £32.20

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars HVT Technique is a Unique Skill, 27 April 2014
This review is from: The Art of HVT [DVD] (DVD)
Some of the most effective results a practitioner can get come from applying high velocity low amplitude thrust technique (HVT). The physiology behind this form of manual therapy doesn't get covered by Mr Lintonbon, there are several excellent texts that explore the relationship between joint dysfunction and its functional effects (see below).

This DVD is aimed at student level individuals and will be a useful addition to osteopaths, physiotherapists and chiropractors who are learning the importance of developing 'tissue sensibility' and what is going on below the learner's fingertips. Only when a student has learnt the appropriate level of anatomy, physiology, biochemistry and pathology will the importance of palpation make sense.

This DVD can be recommended to those at the early stages of their learning curve and also to those who want to view an experienced teacher at work. Mr Lintonbon describes each technique carefully and uses a regional approach. All synovial joints are covered including the limbs, with the exception of the TMJ.

A master of osteopathy once told me that experienced practitioners should practice their art regularly to refine it. But it is knowing when to leave well alone that distinguishes the excellent from the average osteopath. I would guess this adage applies to all other therapists likewise.

This product is designed to compliment the E-books written by the same author, and I like the design of the project. It's important that the next generation of therapists continue to be adept with these skills. I hope this DVD will help to promote and maintain the use of HVT manual therapy as an effective and safe method to treat mechanical pain problems. This is an art that cannot be lost for those who will need it in the future.

Clinical Biomechanics of Spinal Manipulation by Herzog
Clinical Reasoning for Manual Therapists by Jones & Rivett
Functional Neurology for Practitoners of Manual Therapy by Beck
Somatovisceral Aspects of Chiropractic by Masarsky & Todres-Masarsky


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