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R. L. Dibblee (Cambridgeshire, UK)

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Hanson Slim Touch Sensitive Kitchen Scale, 5 Kg, Silver
Hanson Slim Touch Sensitive Kitchen Scale, 5 Kg, Silver

1.0 out of 5 stars Rip-off, 2 Sept. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this self-same scale through Amazon less than 2 years ago for <£12, including delivery. It's an OK scale but not worth £40-45! Either buy the black version (£16) or one of the other glass-fronted scales (they're all the same mechanism, I'm pretty sure). Glass-fronted means you don't get gunk in the mechanism but the change from Imperial to Metric is a bind, underneath the scale. It is quite heavy on battery usage, too. Unless you are really daft, don't pay 3 times what it's worth.

The 2007-2012 World Outlook for Canned Maraschino Cherries Excluding Glace and Candied Cherries
The 2007-2012 World Outlook for Canned Maraschino Cherries Excluding Glace and Candied Cherries
by Philip M. Parker
Edition: Paperback
Price: £795.00

1.0 out of 5 stars This, of course, is a joke, 8 Dec. 2012
This review, the title of which is a joke in itself,describes the book as 'affordable'. The price is £795. It reviews the book as though it might be bought by the home consumer. The title and price clearly indicates that its target audience is industry customers with more corporate funds than sense. Marascino cherries as a market (NOT in the canned presentation) is interesting in that there are no commercial brands for cocktail use (Manhattan, Old-Fashioned etc)that actually marinate their cherries in LUXARDO liqueur, the ridiculously over-priced (Italian of course) cherry-based spirit that is necessary to marinate the cherries as a cocktail additive worth consuming rather than spitting out. Commercially-produced 'marascino cherries' are marinated in sugar syrup and livid colouring matter. For real marascino, Marasca cherries need to be used - sour cherries, I understand from Croatia, marinated in LUXARDO. There are several home-grown recipes for LUXARDO-marinated maraschino cherries on the Net,but no commercial suppliers. The essence of cocktails is that they are expensive showy drinks professionally prepared by barmen - who do not rely on home ingredients, and are not worried about cost. If this book had been entitled (and written) as "The market and profit opportunity for supplying genuine marascino cherries in cocktail bars around the world" it might justify a £50 price tag for industry customers. As it is, its bizarre.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 8, 2014 5:53 PM GMT

Mirrors of the Unseen: Journeys in Iran
Mirrors of the Unseen: Journeys in Iran
by Jason Elliot
Edition: Hardcover

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational Travel, 11 May 2008
We have just come back from 18 days travelling throughout Iran. I read Elliott while travelling and my wife curses me I didn't give it to her until we came back.

Iran is an amazing place to visit and, unlike Afghanistan, readily accessible. Our goverment's attitude, in playing Mini-Me to the US's Dr Evil, means that only the rest of Europe enjoys Iran, even though Iranians, curiously, prefer UK visitors. Elliott bridged the gap between guidebooks like Lonely Planet and the real experience of Iran and engaging with the Iranis, which makes up 70% of the value of visiting the country. Curiously, although Elliott speaks Farsi, it really didn't seem to help him that much in striking up relationships and many of his travel observations (Tehran traffic, cheating taxi-drivers, pushy guides) are rather pedestrian.

Where he does score is with lyrical prose describing the effect of the architecture and the synthesis of art, architecture, calligraphy, garden design, poetry, landscape, interpersonal relationships, mysticism, spirituality, sexuality etc which in Islam are all aspects of a whole but which in the west, we compartmentalise. This is illustrated with stunning photographs, all the better for being in black-and-white.

His 'quest' lies in discovering the mystical foundation of architectural design and ornament, particularly the Golden Mean in the Imam mayden complex in Isfahan. He claims a first in identifying mystic numbers as the basis of much ornamentation (abjad) but Irani students I met were well acquainted with this so maybe he didn't talk to enough people.

He did seem to fall into the IIT (Intrepid Independant Traveller) trap of trying to interpret the counrty alone. We did an economy tour but had the services of a young educated Irani guide who travelled with us and was able to not only to interpret conversation with other Iranis but also translate the culture, relationships and experience of Iranis into something understandable to western eyes. Through her, we were able to engage with people in a way that we could not otherwise have done, even if we could have spoken the lingo. So, in a way he did not do Iranis justice for they are the most engaging, open, assertive (especially the women), funny, affectionate, kind, courteous people I have ever met, with the possible exception of the Bhutanese.

Despite this, Jason has written an excellent book - but mainly for those who have made the decision to visit Iran. I was button-holed by a number of people who had been inspired by it (including one of Jason's pushy guides) and it formed a connection. He follows the tradition of the best of travel writers (launched by Eric Newby's Short Walk in the Hindu Kush) of honouring his subject and being happy to laugh at himself.

For anybody interested, we used an Iranian agency. If anybody wants more details, email me on

Casio WVA-430DU-1AVER Tough Wave Ceptor Radio controlled Solar power Combi Watch
Casio WVA-430DU-1AVER Tough Wave Ceptor Radio controlled Solar power Combi Watch

33 of 40 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pluses and Minuses, 25 Nov. 2007
After 2 months useage,
Plusses are: perfect timekeeping, good strap, lightweight,good power storage.

Minuses are: Plastic watchglass which is already badly scratched, bulky, poor visibility of day/date (obscured by minute hand), servicing: small print says 'O' ring seal on back has to be renewed every 2-3 years (expensive job), watch body is NOT all titanium, size of strap links means that it's difficult to get a good fit, functions not user-friendly.

Casio WVA-430TDE-1A2VER Men's Wave Ceptor Radio Controlled Watch
Casio WVA-430TDE-1A2VER Men's Wave Ceptor Radio Controlled Watch

42 of 47 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite what it says on the tin! - It died after 3 years!!, 16 Oct. 2007
What's the ideal in a watch? One where the case is sealed for life, lasts for ever, timeless styling, and perfect timekeeping. The Casio Waveceptor titanium solar-powered, radio-controlled watch would appear to meet this bill but actually falls somewhat short of the mark.

Casio has always been excellent on value, functionality and engineering but not that hot on design. Their digital plastic watch has become a classic of function over form but more as an anti-statement than true classic design. The Waveceptor is clunky without being solid (the case is titanium-covered only, the core is resin- think G Shock) and the case is unnecessarily large, especially its depth. The design of the face is unexceptional. The watch-glass is not mineral glass (as was elsewhere reviewed) but cheap-looking plastic, which I suspect will scratch. The titanium bracelet is good quality and has a secure clasp but is secured to the watch by two thin lugs engaging a very thin titanium shell which covers the watch body. If this gets a knock, the watch will never fit securely to the bracelet. So, clunky but not `tough' as it claims on the dial.

The radio reception covers only UK and Europe, not US and Japan as with many other cheaper radio watches, so will not stay accurate for long periods in the US. As with other solar powered watches it is a `combi' watch with combination of analogue and LCD digital. This latter is a small, poor display that is difficult to read and prone to be hidden by the hands of the watch. Although it has alarms, stop-watch world time etc. as well as date/time, these are difficult to memorise and unless used often you would need to refer to the manual on the odd times you would need them. The day/date is far less clear than on a standard analogue watch and is a distinct disadvantage.

The solar power seems to work well - but is this the answer to changing batteries (and consequently compromising waterproofing)? I think not, as the manual says that you should have the O Ring back seal changed professionally on the back every 2-3 years (think what would this cost at an approved CASIO agent!) and also the system relies on a rechargeable battery, which the manual admits will fail sooner or later.

I suspect that, knowing the quality of CASIO's products, that the power deficiencies will not be a big drawback and that the watch will give good lengthy service. Titanium is a beautiful metal for watches, an understated gunmetal grey rather than garish stainless steel, and the bracelet feels comfortable and light on the wrist. It's a shame the case does not live up to the bracelet in comfort and looks. The face is a bit `chavvy'. The biggest drawback is not being able to see the day/date as clearly as the time. It's a shame that someone cannot come up with an entirely analogue radio titanium watch with classic styling and maybe a power reserve meter to give warning for battery changes. Still, a cut above kinetic watches, which seem entirely pointless.

Make sure you don't pay too much (I did, £96.50 all-in as opposed to £91.50 from UK Batteries) and have a look at them in H Samuel (£130!)before you buy on-line. I was also sold the European model (UK is 3353) but you can be reprogramme it easily yourself.

March 2011 Update - after 6 months of forgetting the controls, I have reacquainted myself and established that the "waveceptor" aspect of the watch died after only three years of service, so I am "back to manual". And the chrome plated plastic is now totally bald plastic. A bad investment!
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 20, 2009 6:39 AM GMT

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