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Richie M "Richie M" (Cork, Ireland)

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Sennheiser CX300 Stereo Earphones (White)
Sennheiser CX300 Stereo Earphones (White)

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent Earphones, 3 Jan 2008
I only read the Amazon reviews after ordering my CX-300s off eBay, and was understandably anxious when I came across the 1- and 2-star ratings, and thought I may have had a mistake. I found, however, that these Sennheisers were pretty decent in doing what they're designed to do - after all, they're earphones, and not exactly the most expensive ones, so absolute clarity will of course never be guaranteed.

The CX-300s handle most music well, and bass is warm and rich if not exactly very punchy. Complex rock songs get somewhat muddled but, again, they're reasonably-priced earphones.

I think these are quite decent-quality earphones, though I got them for 9.99 off eBay (they're priced 19.99 on Amazon at the time of writing), so for my price they're fantastic.


Dynamic Stretching and Kicking
Dynamic Stretching and Kicking
by Bill Wallace
Edition: Paperback
Price: 13.95

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Hit or Miss for Most - In My Opinion, Don't Bother, 12 Jan 2006
I had heard of the legendary Bill "Superfoot" Wallace and the kicks he could achieve, and so bought this book with excited expectation on the back of the Amazon reviews.
However, when I finally got hold of the book I was very diasppointed. It is very sparse and very basic, to say the least. The detail on muscle functions that the other reviewers commend is interesting, but ultimately not that significant when, like me, you are simply looking for some truly innovative stretching techniques in order to eventually achieve the wonderfully high kick Wallace is pulling off on the cover. Unless you are a physiologist or are interested in such detail, these descriptions seem to be just padding.
The book is very well illustrated, though, but this is let down by the very sparse descriptions covering the manoeuvre. Contrary to a previous review, I found Wallace's super-flexibility an encouragement, often saying to myself "I want to kick like that!" - however, Wallace neglects the processes involved in getting to that stage of flexibility, beyond "take it slowly". My favourite example of this was for "Leg Stretch #2":
1. Stand erect with right side facing the wall. Your partner holds your left leg.
2. Your partner begins pushing up on your leg
3. Relax as your partner continues the pressure
4. Eventually your foot should touch the wall
That's about as exciting as the descriptions get I'm afraid.
But what disappointed me most was that the exercises that are most effective must be done with a partner. Of course this is very necessary, but not what I was looking for I'm afraid. Also, about half the book is taken up with very very simple warm-up and stretching exercises that you will be doing in your martial art school anyway, and seem to be here just for padding or the sake of completion, but for me seemed to be wasting space.
Looking back over my review I find that I have been a bit too critical - Wallace's book is indeed very good for those wanting to attain super-flexibility, or for those wanting a thorough record of every trivial stretch - but for amateur enthusiasts like me who are looking to simply *build up* my flexibility from a partially-flexible starting point, this book wasn't right for me: the basics are too basic and the advanced are too advanced (and need a partner). I have found L. Christensen's excellent book "Solo Training" perfect for this purpose.
In all it's best to try and get your hands on someone else's copy before you buy to see if this book is for you.


Creative I-Trigue 3400  2.1 Speakers - Silver and Black
Creative I-Trigue 3400 2.1 Speakers - Silver and Black

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Stuff, 23 Nov 2005
I originally went in search for simple but good stereo speakers for my laptop so as to finally liberate my growing MP3 collection, but came across this 2.1 system in my search. After a brief shop around, comparing simple watt-output vs. price (ie. looking for value for money), I decided to take the plunge and go for it (as I'm quite a thrifty, undecided guy). I must say I am VERY pleased.
I'm not a sound buff (which stopped me getting the more expensive 3600 model) but these sound great. Speakers do the job well and the subwoofer is kickass. The remote control is fantastic as I can control the whole thing without barely extendin my arm. All my friends are envious as I crank up the volume and let it rip, as they cannot believe the amount of sound that comes out of such small, stylish speakers.
My only con is the sensitivity of the bass control on the remote control - it's very sensitive and so always hangs around the same value, giving a sense that you're really not in control of that area, but when you find a good medium you're laughing.
I'd recommend this for anyone who want simple, straight-forward, low-priced but great sounding speakers for a PC or laptop (or MP3 player even).


The Da Vinci Code (Robert Langdon)
The Da Vinci Code (Robert Langdon)
by Dan Brown
Edition: Paperback

25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Can Be Used as a Doorstop, 12 April 2005
I can't believe some people gave this book five stars and claimed it was 'the best book they ever read' and that Dan Brown was an 'amazing/excellent writer'. These reviews are all tripe. This book is rubbish - the writing is awful, the plot contains so many insultingly unrealistic characters as to render the plot farcical. This is OK and works well in books such as science-fiction and comedy, but for a novel that takes itself so seriously ("all the facts in this book are TRUE!!!") it's just folly. Seriously: an Indiana Jones-type Harvard professor, an intellegent - but amazingly beautiful, no doubt! - heroine, a deadly albino hitman, an eccentric (and also extremely intelligent) multimillionaire (who the Americans will no doubt see as 'quintessentially English') - this book just has it all. A disaster for humankind.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 19, 2009 12:15 AM GMT


Funeral in Berlin
Funeral in Berlin
by Len Deighton
Edition: Paperback

5 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Gave Up After 130 Pages, 12 April 2005
This review is from: Funeral in Berlin (Paperback)
I'm must have missed the allure of this book, as critics and Amazon reviewers alike seem to like this 'classic' "un-spy" type of spy novel. But the writing is mediocre at best, but at least light-hearted, and the plot doesn't seem to evolve throughout the pages I read ... in other words it didn't hook me or keep me interested, so I moved on to the worthier unread books on my bookshelf...


Beginner's Italian (Teach Yourself Languages) Accompanies Book
Beginner's Italian (Teach Yourself Languages) Accompanies Book
by Vittoria Bowles
Edition: CD-ROM

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 11 April 2005
(argh! my long detailed review just got wiped! here's a summary):
- Double CD and book set seem the biz when you first open it
- Begins well, native speakers and fun to use
- Soon find out that CDs and book usually sold seperately, and therefore both are often out of sync and oddly incompatible
- Runs away with itself and get far too messy and difficult far too quickly
- You can only learn set phrases
- There is no opportunity for you to concuct your own sentences or explore different ways of conversing
- Grammer is virtually non-existent, verbs and their conjugations are never explained, leaving you with pointless random phrases that will crumble if a native doesn't follow the conversation the way you learned it
- Stay well clear, there are better courses out there


Beginner's Italian (Teach Yourself Languages) Accompanies Book
Beginner's Italian (Teach Yourself Languages) Accompanies Book
by Vittoria Bowles
Edition: CD-ROM

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not Great, 11 April 2005
I have a huge interest in Italy and am very eager to learn Italian to make my visits there more enjoyable, so I bought this 2-CD & Book set as it looked comprehensive enough to get me on my way to learning the language.
Since I am currently in college, I have experience in learning languages fresh in my mind, and am used to the institutional method of equal vocab/grammer/oral/aurual work, etc. Buying this set was my first attempt at home learning, and I didn't know what to expect.
Skimming through the materials, I got excited. I immediately started and throughly enjoyed the first chapter, where I was intoduced to the standard hellos/goodbyes/thank yous, etc. I was looking forward to the rest of the course.
However, I quickly discovered the book and the audio CDs were oddly quite incompatible, and soon learned they are more commonly sold seperately. This means having to skim back and forth to find dialogues and vocab and generally getting muddled. This is especially true given that the difficulty increases exponentially after the second chapter.
This could be bearable if it wasn't for the awful layout of the book. Grammer is virtually non-existent, and you must learn sentences and phrases off by heart in order to proceed, but you are never given a chance to form your own sentences, nor are you given explanations as to why verbs are conjugated the way they are.
This set is seriously flawed, and is no more than a basic audio phrasebook. If conversation even slightly veers off the norm, you're pretty much screwed. Very disappointing - I've given up and am going to try another language course. Stay clear, I'm sure there are better sets out there...


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