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Everything I know about teaching
Everything I know about teaching
by Mr Michael Gove
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.99

29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Charming Man, 18 Oct 2013
Following a long and distinguished career in teaching, it was only a matter of time before Gove published this weighty tome. Like the man himself, this book is inspirational, charming and not in the slightest bit condescending. To promote it Gove has launched a government sponsored initiative whereby all schools that achieve an Ofsted grade of 'Outstanding' will receive a free signed copy. Bravo, Mr Gove!


VANGUARD Endeavor ED 8545 Binoculars
VANGUARD Endeavor ED 8545 Binoculars
Price: £289.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Impressive, 17 Oct 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Rock solid and sturdy, these are excellent binoculars. I spend most weekends in and around the New Forest and the Solent and these are perfect for getting a closer look at the wildlife, birds and surrounding landscapes. Light given their size, images are exceptionally clear and they're easy to focus. The only downside is the case. It would be so much better if there were two straps, with one for the case and another for the binoculars and even better if the binoculars fitted in the case with the strap attached - they don't. Nonetheless, these are very impressive binoculars but I'll be changing the case. 4½ stars.


Waterpik Sensonic Professional Plus Rechargeable Toothbrush
Waterpik Sensonic Professional Plus Rechargeable Toothbrush
Price: £48.80

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An all out assault on the teeth, 16 Oct 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Whilst this toothbrush does the job of cleaning your teeth, an oscillating Oral B electric toothbrush does the job just as well but smoother. A lot smoother. Using this toothbrush is an all out assault on the teeth - it vibrates with such force that you almost feel like your teeth are going to shatter into a million tiny pieces. It's ferocious. There are two speed settings and on the slowest it's a more forgiving experience but it's not powerful enough to feel like you've cleaned your teeth properly.

It's ergomonically sound and it reaches the back teeth with no problems and it has a momentary pause every 30 seconds to prompt the user to change between quadrants and stops after two minutes. Personally, the only use I have for it is with Corsodyl mouthwash. When using it with a mouthful of Corsodyl for 30 seconds, the sheer power ensures that the mouthwash really gets into the gums and between the teeth.

In summary, this brush is too violent but, conversely, not up to the job when using the slower, more relaxed speed setting. There needs to be a middle ground but there isn't one. Finally, if you have sensitive teeth stay well clear.


Enjoy The Experience, Homemade Records 1958-1992
Enjoy The Experience, Homemade Records 1958-1992
Price: £13.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outsider Music: 1958-1992, 10 Oct 2013
This is a superb CD of DIY music recorded by wannabes, enthusiasts, misfits and eccentrics between 1958 and 1992. There have been a number of outsider LPs from a bygone, pre-digital and pre-Internet era released over the past couple of years, most notably Light in the Attic's Dreamin' Wild by Donnie & Joe Emerson and Trunk Records re-issue of Bob Chance's It's Broken! that both highlighted that there was some quality never-going-to-be-mainstream music floating under the radar in the late Seventies alone.

Most of the music on these two discs was self-penned, self-recorded, self-financed and self-promoted and it's awe-inspiringly good in places and just bizarre in others but it's never less than interesting. Spread across two discs and clocking in at 98:26 minutes, there are, unexpectedly, given the years covered, a number of different genres from rock, country, funk, easy listening and straight-up pop on offer.

Highlights include the blue-eyed soul of 'Come on Sign' by Joe E that would sound perfectly at home on Van Morrison's 'Moondance' album. 'Piledriver' by Dennis The Fox is five minutes of sublime country funk (it also features on Country Funk 1969-75) and 'Inquire Within' by husband and wife duo Hank & Carol-Leigh Mindlin has a chorus that could be lifted from a 1950's TV commercial and it sounds just like The Mike Sammes Singers at their most swinging. 'Diska Limba Man' by Medico Doktor Vibes is proto-techno from 1979 and Gary Wilson '6.4 = Make Out' features some really creepy stalker type lyrics and vocals against some cool jazz / rock fusion vibes. 'Elton John Medley' by Silk & Silver best sums up the spirit of this compilation - it's just two amateur musicians giving a not altogether different spin on a few Elton John songs but somehow making them their own.

Released to accompany the weighty coffee-table tome bearing the same name, it'd be easy to praise the concept behind this compilation and over-look the music, but there is some very good and occasionally outstanding and altogether original music to be found here. Housed in a book style sleeve with extensive liner notes, this is an exemplary release from Now-Again Records. Predominantly featuring US artists, for a similar UK experience based upon recordings from the Seventies and focussing primarily on cover versions, the two volumes of Working Man's Soul are worth seeking out.

*** It's worth noting that at the time of writing the MP3 version of this album on Amazon only includes the first disc***


Norton 360 21.0 - 3 Computers, 1 Year Subscription (PC) [2014 Edition] [Download]
Norton 360 21.0 - 3 Computers, 1 Year Subscription (PC) [2014 Edition] [Download]
Price: £28.79

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Straightforward download and installation and first class protection, 8 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought the download copy of this from Amazon and the downloading and installation on a laptop and a PC were smooth processes. When you make the purchase, you can either download it there and then or leave until later - in Amazon go to Your Account > Your Games and Software Library and the download link and Activation Key are waiting there. When you decide to install it, be sure to copy the Activation Key and then just paste it into the Activation Key box when prompted to enter it. The total download is 172MB and after installation there's a further 200+MB download of updates. It will always update to the latest version when installed.

In addition to AV, Firewall and ID Protection, Norton 360 also offer a Tuneup suite that runs a few very basic PC optimization tasks (clear browsing history, delete temporary files, etc.) and a Backup facility. The Backup facility can either backup files between your own disk drives or back up in Norton's cloud storage. You get 2GB of free cloud storage and you can buy an annual subscription for further cloud storage (up to 50GB for £89.99) should you require it. The Backup suite is let down by the fact that you have to exclude files and folders instead of include them if you elect not to save the complete contents of a drive. Additionally, the 2GB of free storage is much less than that offered by other providers (it's worth remembering that you get 5GB of free storage with Amazon Cloud Drive (not to be confused with Amazon Cloud Player)). If you don't need the Tuneup or Backup suites, I'd suggest buying a cheaper Norton package that doesn't include them.

Although still bloated and resource hungry software, Norton runs unobtrusively in the background and it will do on any modern PC or laptop given the processing power and memory they now possess. It's easily the best commercial protection available and provides first class protection. The download from Amazon and the installation were both straightforward and it cuts out the need for a disc copy - the Download link and Activation Key remain in 'Your Games and Software Library' should you need to reinstall it. Finally, if you already have a copy of Norton 360 installed on your PC, don't install a new copy until your existing subscription is due to expire. Install a new copy before and you'll lose any days remaining on your existing subscription.


talkSPORT
talkSPORT
Price: £0.00

5.0 out of 5 stars DAB Radio killer, 2 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: talkSPORT (App)
This is a superb app. I only really listen to Hawksbee & Jacobs, Drivetime with Durham & Gough and occasionally Alan Brazil's Sports Breakfast and Andy Goldstein's Sports Bar nowadays and this app allows me to stream them live and perfectly clearly. It uses very little bandwith and performs flawlessly whilst connected to a BT WiFi Hotspot with a very weak reception. In addition to live streaming there's also brief written sports headlines and stories and the ability to playback loads of previously aired interviews and phone-ins and connect to TalkSPORT's YouTube videos etc. Overall, If you're a TalkSPORT listener then this is app is essential and it's rendered my DAB radio redundant.


Yekte
Yekte
Price: £13.77

4.0 out of 5 stars Fuzzy Turkish Psychedelia, 27 Sep 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Yekte (Audio CD)
Consisting of 12 songs taken from the A and B sides of singles released between 1970 and 1974, this is another fine compilation from Pharaway Sounds. Although not as well known (or as flamboyant) as Erkin Koray or Baris Manço, Alpay, as evidenced on this album, produced some music that was more than the equal of that of his fellow country men. If you're familiar with the Turkish psychedelic movement of the early Seventies then you'll know what to expect - lots of fuzzy plugged-in saz and guitar, heavy beats and bass, rhythm guitar, Turkish clarinet, violins and Middle Eastern string orchestrations.

Although he wrote very little of the music (he has two music writing credits) and none of the lyrics, Alpay is in the main responsible for the arrangements that mix straight-forward rock with traditional Turkish music and it's mind-blowing at times, particularly when the fuzzy saz and guitar kick-in alongside some seriously heavy beats. Percussion wise, it's very reminiscent of Ersen's Seventies output as are Alpay's frequently whispered vocals, although he also uses the Middle Eastern back of the throat singing technique.

It's not all fuzz and heavy beats - things ease up at times and there are even a couple of near MOR moments but the arrangements and the array of instruments used always keep things interesting. Clocking in at 42:33 and featuring well written liner notes and remastered sound, if you're a convert to Turkish psychedelia (or are just interested in hearing something unique and different), then this is essential listening.


Classroom Projects
Classroom Projects
Price: £12.05

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Music made by children in schools, 23 Sep 2013
This review is from: Classroom Projects (Audio CD)
Trunk records have a reputation for unearthing and releasing long forgotten and unknown outsider music and this compilation of music, songs, singing and sounds made by children in schools is no exception. Comprising of over 20 recordings taken from various albums and singles recorded and released in extremely limited quantities by British primary and secondary schools between 1958 and 1981, it is, on the whole, more unconventional than the sing-along style of the Langley Schools Music Project. Much of the music featured is either of the folkish or Avant Garde (including BBC Radiophonic-esque tape manipulation) variety and there are some scary as hell pieces alongside moments of out and out beauty and straight-forward sing-alongs.

'Don't Drink and Drive' by the Hutton School Choir is a mid-seventies message on the perils of drink driving ("Once you've drunk all your ale you'll have the bobbies on your tail") and it is exasperatingly addictive. The Chelmsford County High School cover of the Korean War folk song 'Portland Town' is sombre but beautiful and the Small Choir of St. Brandon's School take on 'Bright Eyes' is the album's most Langley-like moment. Most of the Avant Garde recordings are taken from 'Sounds and Silence', a 1969 album comprising of music composed and played by children that acted as a companion to a book of the same name. Together they were used as guides to stimulate creativity in the classroom and a couple of these tracks are very spooky indeed.

In the very interesting sleeve notes, Jonny Trunk explains how rare some of this music is and that a lot of the schools have long since shut down and of the schools that are still open, none have any of their recordings in their archives. All of the recordings have been taken direct from vinyl copies (none of the master tapes exist) but the overall sound is very good and the occasional inconsistency here and there adds to the overall charm. Clocking in at 58 minutes, this is another interesting and worthwhile release from Trunk records. Great cover artwork too.


Philips Style Xpert BT5260/33 Precision Beard Trimmer
Philips Style Xpert BT5260/33 Precision Beard Trimmer
Price: £64.95

24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent trimmer with a very impressive battery life, 18 Sep 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a well made and ergononically sound trimmer. It has 17 settings and it's a doddle to switch between them using the rotating adjuster on the handle (although it looks like a digital display, it's not). I use it without any of the attachments and it leaves me with about 2-3 days worth of stubble. I have quite an aggressive stubble but this cuts through 2-3 weeks' worth of growth with ease and gives an even shave. The head is rotatable and when rotated there's a smaller head for refined trimming purposes. It takes about 90 minutes to charge from empty and the battery life is extremely impressive and lasts long enough for six complete trims.

For the past 18 months I've been using a BaByliss trimmer that cost £25 and it cuts no better or worse than this one. However, the BaByliss trimmer needs recharging after each trim and the build quality is inferior to this - I'm quite confident that this trimmer can withstand plenty more wear and tear.

In short, there are cheaper alternatives but if you value an effortless cut, a very long lasting battery and a superior build quality, then this is the beard trimmer to get.


Elvis At Stax (Deluxe Edition)
Elvis At Stax (Deluxe Edition)
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £22.36

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime Elvis at Stax recordings, 19 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a superb collection of music that Elvis recorded during two sessions at Stax Studios in July and December 1973. It's a delicious melting pot of soulful country, R'n'B, ballads and pop. Elvis is (unsurprisingly) in fine voice and he highlights that nobody before or since sings a ballad quite like him. He's backed by some of the best musicians in the business and during the outtakes you get a sense of just how much fun Elvis had recording these tracks. The sound quality is crystal clear and it's just an out and out joy to listen to.

***If you buy the single CD edition of this album DIRECT from Amazon, in addition to the CD you get all the 55 tracks that comprise the Deluxe Edition immediately auto-ripped to your Amazon Cloud Player that you can then listen to or download at no extra cost!***
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 10, 2014 10:11 AM BST


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