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Boris_amj "Boris" (UK)

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Hanayama Marble Puzzle
Hanayama Marble Puzzle
Offered by Brilliant Store USA
Price: £11.89

4.0 out of 5 stars Worth buying, 4 Nov. 2014
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This review is from: Hanayama Marble Puzzle (Toy)
This is quite an interesting puzzle.

The solution can be, after a brief examination of the elements, deduced entirely on your head.

Or, as Pink Nigel says, you can just fiddle with it and stumble upon the position which opens it up.

However you arrive at it, putting the thing back together offers new complications.

I was feeling so smug when I deduced the solution, that I failed to take proper notice of the exact relative positions of the items.
As a result, I spent rather a lot of time trying to put the slippery pieces together. At some point I was sure the puzzle maker had to have three hands or fifteen fingers.

Finally, after lots of sheer frustration, I put the pieces on the table and just stared at them, willing them to come together on their own.

And then it hit me. With a sigh of relief I got the wretched thing whole again.

Once you know how to do it, the disassembling and reassembling can take just seconds.
In particular (as Tyler Durden already points out) the reassembling feels like a magic trick as it looks like an impossible manoeuvre.

Even though this is probably not the best Hanayama Cast puzzle it is definitely worth buying, in my opinion.


25 cm red fir gold leaf origami (10 sheets) / Double-sided handmade paper 9.84in (Wrinkled gold / red) 10 sheets (japan import)
25 cm red fir gold leaf origami (10 sheets) / Double-sided handmade paper 9.84in (Wrinkled gold / red) 10 sheets (japan import)
Offered by Fast japan eu
Price: £16.38

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent paper. Shame about the seller's greed., 15 Sept. 2014
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This paper is one of the best of its kind.
It is quite thick and has a crumpled finish (momi).
However, because of the foil golden side, folding is precise and easy to stay in place.

The colours (gold and red) are very vivid and offer a very stunning contrast to each other.
Especially good for making Japanese-style paper crafts (see uploaded photo of my latest kusudama).

Ten out of ten for the quality of this product.

I would take one star off due to the greed of the seller, who seems to have bumped up the price by £5 within a month.

Still, since this is a premium product, I'd still strongly recommend it.


Ornamental Origami: Exploring 3D Geometric Designs
Ornamental Origami: Exploring 3D Geometric Designs
by Meenakshi Mukerji
Edition: Paperback
Price: £18.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Among the best, 22 Nov. 2013
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Possibly the best of the four published books by Ms Mukerji.
This edition comes in full colour and the pages are glossy and rich in content.

The models are intricate and difficult to assemble, so I would not recommend this book to beginners (other than for the sheer pleasure of looking at them, that is).

These designs are quite precise as is common in books about unit origami and are comparable to the very best in the field (I am thinking of Fuse Tomoko, of course). There are some very original ideas which can be easily changed to create some interesting variations.

If unit origami is your thing, this book is a must buy.


Exquisite Modular Origami
Exquisite Modular Origami
by Meenakshi Mukerji
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.85

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This should be a 5 star were it not for the dismal quality of the edition, 15 Nov. 2013
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I own all four books by Ms Mukerji and I am very pleased with them.
It is refeshing to see some designs different to the "classic" Japanese ones.

This book in particular left me a bit unhappy because of the format.
The previous books from 2009 and 2010) come in vibrant colours and the quality of the printed paper is glossy and rich.

This one, however, comes in the cheap black and white, recycled-paper feel of so many sub-standard origami books you see nowadays.
I appreciate this is very likely the fault of the editors.

I class the work of Ms Mukerji at the same high level as Fuse Tomoko (the "goddess" of Japanese origami).
But the quality of this book degrades it.

I hope that in the future the author will take more pride in her own standing and demand a better edition from the editors.

I'll finish on a positive note, which is that the kusudamas described in the book are very original and fresh.


Gravity [Blu-ray] [2013] [Region Free]
Gravity [Blu-ray] [2013] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ George Clooney
Price: £8.10

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Everybody knows that, 12 Nov. 2013
There is no sound in space.
Everybody knows that, right ?

So, when the Gravity film made no sound, everybody nodded sagely.
Everybody, that is, except the nit-pickers (I always thought they should be called the snot-pickers).

In walks the wise guy, who, having had some physics lessons in high school, comes ready to say "Hey, that's not right!".

I have read many reviews on this film and one of the things I noticed is that, the higher the knowledge of astrophysics of an expert, the higher the degree of leniency he/she shows.
Take Dr. Phil Plait, for example. Here is a guy that *really* knows his stuff. But by the same token, he is ready to acknowledge that films are about the story, not about the accuracy of the surrounding environment.

*** MILD SPOILERS AHEAD ***
I am quite aware of the orbital velocities and other problems. The only point I strongly object to (snot-picker) is the scene where the two astronauts have to make a decision over the line holding them together (you know what I mean). I really think that, with all the pains the director took to be as realistic as possible, this moment didn't ring true at all. I mean, surely with a little pull ...

Still, I found this film a magnificent show which really needs to be seen in 3D to appreciate the grandiosity of our own planet. I also like the fact that Mr Cuarón included practically every single construction which has had a hand in expanding humanity into space: The Shuttle, ISS, Hubble, Soyuz, Tiangong.

I for one feel grateful to Mr Cuarón for letting me feel like I was up there, looking down on a luminous earth. A dream come true for some of us, who wish we could have had that chance.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 24, 2014 1:15 AM GMT


Hanayama Harmony Puzzle
Hanayama Harmony Puzzle
Price: £10.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Easy but beautiful, 30 Oct. 2013
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:2.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Hanayama Harmony Puzzle (Toy)
Rated 2 out of 6 difficulty.

This puzzle is one of the new batch coming from Hanayama (the others being Delta, G&G and Cylinder) and the lowest rated of the lot.

I bought this one as a present for a friend who is very much into music and puzzles.
We agreed that the actual solution was extremely easy (we both guessed how to do it by just looking at it).

However, he was very pleased by its looks and it is now sitting proudly next to his violin.


Hanayama Delta Puzzle
Hanayama Delta Puzzle
Price: £10.90

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing, 29 Oct. 2013
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:2.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Hanayama Delta Puzzle (Toy)
I really cannot see where this puzzle got the rating of 3. It is more like a 2.

This puzzle is so obvious that I managed to undo and redo it in less than 5 minutes.
Once you realise its symmetric shape, it immediately leads you to the only possible resolution.

I would certainly NOT recommend this one to any seasoned puzzler.
Very disappointing indeed.


Photography in Japan 1853-1912
Photography in Japan 1853-1912
by Terry Bennett
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £42.16

5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent, 16 May 2013
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This is a magnificent book which shows the outstanding depth of knowledge on the subject by the author.

As stated by the title, this book provides a comprehensive account of the history of photography in Japan from its very beginnings to the early years of the 1900s (i.e., the Meiji period [明治時代]).

The book is not only highly informative, it also provides a superb sample of early photographs which, at the risk of using a tired old cliché, offer a true magic window into the past.

Of particular interest to me are the scenes of everyday life. That is, the ones not pre-set at a studio.
These scenes offer a wealth of historical detail regarding clothes, tools, housing, transport, etc.
Rare was the photo in this book I didn't stare at for at least 15 minutes, trying to extract as much as possible from it.

If you share the same fascination for old photos you won't go wrong with this book.
And you will enlighten yourself in the process too.


Firefly - The Complete Series [Blu-ray] [2002]
Firefly - The Complete Series [Blu-ray] [2002]
Dvd ~ Nathan Fillion
Price: £9.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's enough, 14 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
"You had Fox on you, executives and busybodies,
half the people on the planet hate it, and you're harbouring a browncoat fanbase."

"We have one series."

"That's not much."

"It's enough..."


Japanese Washi Paper Crafts
Japanese Washi Paper Crafts
by Robertta Alexandra Uhl
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars BUYER BEWARE, 13 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I am quite annoyed at the tricks editors use time and time again to sell the SAME CONTENTS WITH DIFFERENT COVERS.

This book is an exact replica of a previous one, which I already own: Wonderful Ways with Washi: Seventeen Delightful Projects to Make with Handmade Japanese Washi Paper

I was quite interested to see there was a further book on the subject by this author, so I quickly "snapped it up".
Imagine my disappointment when I realised I just wasted my money.

I am aware it is partly my fault. It is nevertheless sad to see the modern world laying traps for the common people.

So, use my bad experience to learn to check what you buy before you press that button.


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