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blackmightcrash "Unbiased"

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Bain's Cape Mountain Grain Whisky 75 cl
Bain's Cape Mountain Grain Whisky 75 cl
Price: £31.95

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I like to feel that I know my single malts my ..., 28 Jan. 2015
I like to feel that I know my single malts my favourite tipples being Glengoyne, A'bunadh and to an extent, Glenfarclas.

However, Bain's is not a single malt. It is is in fact a single grain whisky hailing from South Africa (the only other single grains whisky I can think of is the rye's from Canada, the majority of which are like drinking petrol).

Admittedly, this is a somewhat sweet whisky but given its 43% it has little in the way of fire and is thus rather moreish. I like this whisky as it is a easy to drink, has a wonderful caramel finish and makes a great accompaniment to a pint of, say, London Pride, Good 'Ol Boy or Landlord.

Furthermore at a price around the £30 mark, why not try a bottle, you will not be disappointed.

The Oligarchs: Wealth And Power In The New Russia
The Oligarchs: Wealth And Power In The New Russia
by David E. Hoffman
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.99

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Compelling but ultimately, an incomplete picture, 20 Dec. 2012
I must confess to having had high hopes for this book but was left disappointed by a number of aspects.

Firstly the positive. For me Russia has and always will, it seems, remain an unknown and mainly dark place of Mafioso and corrupt politicians. This book does little to dispel this and if you'd like an overview of the mid 90's race for state assets this is a good place to start. However, the 6 chapters devoted to the oligarchs are broad brush-strokes at best. I would also like to express my uneasiness regarding inclusions of interviews with them. How forthcoming is the poacher going to be with the gamekeeper? How much can you press such powerful people without fearing for your own safety? In essence, what of themselves are they really going to reveal?

However (and perhaps this attests to the cunning of the 6 subjects) I felt the book failed to really grasp at the back-room deals and in particular the violence associated with this era. Don't get me wrong, Hoffman vaguely references the intimidation and violence ("The Faces in the Snow" incident and the gangs stealing cars off the production line) but fails to really delve into this in any detail. Or did I imagine the violence of this time? A very good example are the killings associated with the "Aluminium Wars" and John Sweeney's quote "after the oligarch (Abramovich) emerged at the top of the trade, the murders stopped." No mention, not one jot.

Of course this leads me to something other reviewers have mentioned, the omission of Abramovich. A great pity as he proved the ultimate adversary outfoxing his mentor and at one stage the most powerful oligarch of the time, Berezovsky. Should we draw the conclusion that Roman is too powerful to consider inclusion? Too secretive? Perhaps, and I think this is the crux of the disappointment for me about this book. Although an enjoyable read I felt that Hoffman was outfoxed and thus, as the reader, so too was I.

I also found his writing style a little haphazard or at least sorely in need of a good editor as phrases were often repeated, sometimes only a paragraph or two apart.

In summary, an enjoyable foray into the dark world of Russian politics and power of the 90's but barely scratching the surface of these intriguing men.

Tweezerman Green Apple Slant Tweezer
Tweezerman Green Apple Slant Tweezer
Offered by Beauty lime
Price: £11.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not your average tweezers, 8 Sept. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
As there is a negative review here I thought that I'd right the wrong.

Unlike most tweezers these are substantial rather than flimsy. The grip is accurate and consistent across the grip area.

In summary these are the best tweezers I have ever used. They also provide a free regrind service but the tweezers have to be sent to America.

Moleskine City Notebook Toronto
Moleskine City Notebook Toronto
Offered by Book Depository
Price: £7.21

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic do-it-yourself guide, 17 Aug. 2011
I feel compelled to write a review as I loved this Moleskine notebook so much. I recently visited my girlfriend in Toronto and she gave me this as a gift upon my arrival. I particularly like this notebook because unlike a diary (whereby I gabble on and never get past the third day) this is compartmentalised to include: maps/notes section/tabbed section as well as labels. Subsequently I have written up every coffee shop, every bar, every sight and every character we have stumbled upon whilst on our little adventure and many of these memories are now indelibly etched in my memory thanks to this notebook.

If you take one thing from this review it should be this; if you romanticise writing a diary/journal whilst on your travels but always fail to complete one, this is definitely for you. Such a great memento and it contains memories I'll cherish years from now.

by Gautam Malkani
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Much hype, 30 Dec. 2009
This review is from: Londonstani (Paperback)
Oh dear, I feel like crying as the (admittedly short) amount of time I spent reading this book is lost to me forever.

Reading this book is very similar to reading "Trainspotting" by Irvine Welsh in that it is written in dialect (I can't say which, Asian street?). The problem is that the prose is nowhere near as acerbically amusing or clever.

The book is split into three parts. Part one being pretty much unintelligible; I'm sure that the author would say that this was the aim. Part two sees the plot (what little there is) kick in and the dialogue become less tedious. Part three continues in a similar vein and is therefore endurable.

My main issue with this book is how lacking it is in anything really insightful or enjoyable. There are large passages that contain a diatribe of ranting filler that adds nothing and is just something that needs to be overcome. In reading this book I was hoping to gain an insight into the Asian community that predominates parts of where I live. Londanstani did not provide this. I was also bitterly disappointed by the Oxbridge character whose scam turns out to be underwhelming. If you bear in mind the constant references to "coconut" throughout the book you will also find the `plot twist' at the end to be contrived, resulting in total indifference, rather than a sense of jaw dropping revelation.

In summary, had this book not received so much acclaim (printed all over the cover; including inside cover) I feel that my expectation would have been lower and thus my disappointment less pronounced. As it is, there was much hype and not justifiably so in my opinion. Such a shame as I so wanted it to be great.

The Hobbit
The Hobbit
by J. R. R. Tolkien
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Childhood to adulthood - my favourite book, 29 Dec. 2009
This review is from: The Hobbit (Mass Market Paperback)
Oh blimey. I have to stick my two penneth in here. The Hobbit (unlike LOTR, which I found tedious beyond belief) has an adventure in every chapter. It has pace and imagination, incorporating so many scary creatures and exhilarating friends into one modest novel that it beggars belief.

This was one of the first books read to me by my father. He must have read it to me about 5 times before I myself could read. Since then I have read it approximately 20 times, throughout my adult life. In fact, if I feel really down, this is the book I use to forget my woes.

The only criticism of this book I have is that it has to end at all. Which is the case for all good things!

P.S. Tolkien's grave can be found in Wolvercote Cemetery, Jordan Hill, Oxford.


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pure Cheese, 27 Nov. 2009
This review is from: Krush (Audio CD)
I have to post a review here as this is probably the worst album in the DJ Krush stable I have ever had the misfortune to actually buy (upon its release).

The lyrics are terrible, the beats clunky and at import prices this album really is not worth the money. I cannot understand why this has received such rave reviews.

I have followed DJ Krush for a long while and can whole heartedly recommend every album he has since produced bar this one. If you want great beats, excellent loops and a sound still as crisp today as it was when released I can recommend any of the following: "Meiso", "Milight" and "Holonic: The Self Megamix."

If you want the good jazz album he produced then purchase Ki-Oku where he collaborated with trumpeter Toshinori Kondo. Seminal.

I cannot emphasise this enough, give this atrocious piece of trash a wide berth.

Western Digital My Book 320GB Essential USB 2.0 External Hard Drive
Western Digital My Book 320GB Essential USB 2.0 External Hard Drive

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars tobias provides a quick review, 11 Aug. 2007
Using this is like using one of those memory keys.

Unpackage it. Plug in the power. Connect it to your computer via a USB port. Go to 'My Computer' and it will be visible as a drive (it's an E: drive on my XP running PC). Double click and believe it or not, you're in. It's just one big folder.

I use it to store digital images as I shoot in RAW and they are massive files. I generally download alot of these onto my computers hard drive and every couple of weeks drag those onto the Western Digital folder. Deleting them from the hard drive afterwards.

When you turn your computer on, the drive turns on and when you turn off your computer, it turns off.

What I would add is that the way digital storage is going, buy two. When I bought this it was about £80.00. Now look at the price. I plan on getting another. You're meant to replicate the data onto two in case one goes down.

Seriously, easy to use. A no brainer!

Canon Remote Controller RC-1
Canon Remote Controller RC-1

140 of 144 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars tobias provides a succinct guide, 2 Aug. 2007
I think I want it but I'm not sure, what cameras can I use it with?
Canon EOS 10, 100, 30, 50, 50E 300D, 350D and 400D

Ok I have one of those. What batteries does it use? I bet they're a pain.
2 x 3V CR1220 and they are packaged with the item.

What does it do?
Allows you to take pictures without pressing the shutter button.
Allows a 2 second shutter delay remotely. Works at a distance of up to 16ft (5m)

Anything else?
Yes, you can attach it to your camera strap, keeping it safe and accessible.

Right, I've done a bit of remote shooting and I'm bored what else can I use it for?
Ok, so you've had some fun but you want more. First of all, on a practical note the remote can be used when you want the camera to be absolutely still when you activate the shutter which sometimes doesn't occur when depressing the shutter release yourself. This can be of use when you're shooting, say, macro work where camera shake is very obvious. Secondly, the best use for this remote is due to the in-camera exposure limit of 30 seconds. Try to go beyond that (in M mode) and you will see "bulb" in the camera display. Exposures of a length beyond 30 seconds require a remote. Why would you want to achieve such long exposures? Well, for instance (using a tripod) try shooting traffic passing by at night. You'll like the effects. Try shooting the stars for an extended exposure and see the results. The opportunities are endless and that's when this tiny yet perfect bit of kit comes into its own...
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 3, 2010 11:02 PM GMT

Renaissance: The Mix Collection Part 2 - Mixed by John Digweed (1995)
Renaissance: The Mix Collection Part 2 - Mixed by John Digweed (1995)

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 years old and as fresh as ever, 27 Feb. 2007
I just wanted to say it too, one of the best mix collections ever. Seminal.

24/3/09 Quick update. I spoke to one of the guys at Renaissance and mentioned this album and why it has not been re-released. He said that there are a lot of different rights owners to negotiate with and it will not be possible. A shame, this album gets more and more rare.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 30, 2011 12:45 PM BST

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