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John Smith (UK)

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Climategate: A Veteran Meteorologist Exposes the Global Warming Scam
Climategate: A Veteran Meteorologist Exposes the Global Warming Scam
by Brian Sussman
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £18.38

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read - but not dispassionate enough for my tastes, 27 May 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I am a confirmed sceptic now, and was looking for a book that would pull together all the findings of the recent so-called "Climategate" scandal in one convenient book. I have since found there to be another book that may be more suited to my needs (see below). This book is certainly very informative too - but I don't like when it lapses into politics. Sure, politics plays a massive part - it does tend to be the liberals/socialists who are more willing to embrace anthropogenic global warming as fact, and the conservatives and libertarians who are more likely to be sceptical and questioning. But I didn't really want to focus on this too much - I only wanted a summary of the facts, the exposed fraud, the dodgy science (e.g. hiding declines, fudging data, corrupting of the peer-review process, disregarding the Freedom Of Information Act, regarding sceptics as enemies rather than embracing scepticism as a healthy scientific principle, using poorly placed temperature stations - the list goes on).

This book does go into all of that, and backs up all the claims with the relevant references that can be crossed checked - but it also gets just a little bit into liberal-bashing and pro conservative/pro-Christian preaching, which I wasn't really interested in reading. I am no conservative (I am a libertarian at heart, and have as little time for modern-day conservatives as socialists). I just like getting into the science in a cold, dispassionate way. Still, this book is entertainingly written and well researched, and DOES still examine the science, and I enjoyed reading it.
I intend to check out "Climategate: The CRUtape Letters" by Mosher & Fuller.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 23, 2015 5:14 PM GMT


Home-tek Light 'n' Easy Steam Mop Elite
Home-tek Light 'n' Easy Steam Mop Elite

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not bad - worth the price, 27 May 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have used this machine just the once, to clean tiled floors in a hallway and bedroom. It lifted a lot of grime from the floors, leaving them very clean indeed. This in itself has made it worth the purchase for me.

On the downside, the machine could use a few more Velcro pads on it to really secure the stick-on cloths, as they can come unstuck. However, this is not a major problem. It is best not to let the full weight of the steamer sit on the floor, but rather to hover the machine over the floor so it is very gently wiping along the surface, letting the power of the steam do all the work. I wouldn't bet the cloths would stay attached for 2 seconds if dragged over a carpet (unless you took measures to modify it yourself to really secure them).

Bottom line: for hard floor cleaning this will save much toil and sweat, and achieve cleaner results than with a scrubbing brush and bucket.


Meyer Contempri Stainless Steel Covered Saute Pan with Glass Lid, 24 cm
Meyer Contempri Stainless Steel Covered Saute Pan with Glass Lid, 24 cm

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really excellent, versatile pan, at a fair price, 18 April 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this 'saute' pan after seeking something for those all-in-one-pan meals (chillies, curries, pasta sauces, etc.) that can fry as well as simmer for long periods, and this has served excellently. The fact that there is no non-stick coating is a benefit rather than a hindrance. As long as you do your shallow frying (e.g. onions, meat) at a moderate heat and keep stirring, you will not suffer any sticking with this. Then you don't have to treat it with kid gloves like with a non-stick, and of course can use metal utensils and not worry about bits of Teflon ending up in your food. And its lifespan will far outlast most non-stick pans.

The pan is VERY heavy, especially once full, so the helper handle is a must. The source of most of this weight comes from the thick base of solid steel and aluminium, designed to absorb lots of heat and release it evenly across the pan with no hotspots, minimizing burning. I also like the measurements (in pints and litres) etched into the steel interior.

It is also dishwasher safe, although the supplied manual warns that repeated turns in the dishwasher will gradually dull the shiny exterior, due to the harsh abrasiveness of dishwasher detergent. As with most high quality pans, it is recommended to wash by hand if you want to retain it's good looks, but using the dishwasher will not technically harm the pan in any way.

The lid is a nice design, being flat and thin, which means it slides easily into the dishwasher rack, or slots easily into your sink's draining board just as a dinner plate does.

Finally it works absolutely brilliantly on an induction hob. I have used mine on a Judge induction hob (bought from Amazon) and the pan heats very quickly just as with a gas hob.

The original retail price was too steep to justify a purchase for me, but at the current better-than-half-price (as with the whole Contempri range) it's a really excellent buy.


No Title Available

4.0 out of 5 stars Cheap blind, does the job, 18 April 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
For the price, what do you want? I wanted a cheap, functional blind for the small window behind my stereo system (the curtain was cumbersome with the stereo pushed back so close to it). It is described as having a 'woodgrain' effect, although it doesn't really look like anything other than light brown plastic, which is exactly what it is. Despite looking a bit tacky, it does its job perfectly, and I'm very happy with my purchase.


World of Data - 10m ADSL Cable WHITE - High Quality (100% Copper wire) - Gold Plated Contact Pins - High Speed Internet Broadband - Router or Modem to RJ11 Phone Socket or Microfilter - White
World of Data - 10m ADSL Cable WHITE - High Quality (100% Copper wire) - Gold Plated Contact Pins - High Speed Internet Broadband - Router or Modem to RJ11 Phone Socket or Microfilter - White
Offered by World of Data Ltd
Price: £5.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cheap cable, does the job, 18 April 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this as a last minute urgent purchase after my existing cable had started to fail and I needed something that could be delivered to my home within 24 hours. So I was a bit restricted on what was available.
For four quid this does the job adequately. I'm not quite getting 100% of the speed I know my internet is capable of - my usual max speed is around 5 meg, and with this I'm getting up to 4.4 meg. At the small price, it delivers adequately.


10M High Spec / Speed RJ11 ADSL Internet Broadband Modem Cable Lead
10M High Spec / Speed RJ11 ADSL Internet Broadband Modem Cable Lead

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good at first, but doesn't last, 18 April 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought one of these 2 months ago, and immediately saw an improvement in my internet speeds. However, by last week my speeds were down to half of what they are capable of, which can be a symptom of a degraded cable, usually from oxidisation. I have now replaced it with another cable, and my speeds are back up again.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 2, 2013 4:11 AM BST


Typhoon Grip-IT Beech 30cm Slotted Turner with Olive Grip Handle
Typhoon Grip-IT Beech 30cm Slotted Turner with Olive Grip Handle

4.0 out of 5 stars Does the job very well, 18 April 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
What is there to say? It's a decent quality wooden spatula, great for use with non-stick frying pans that you don't want to damage, for those of us who don't like to cook with plastic. The 'grips' at the end of the handle are a bit silly and totally unnecessary. Oh, and apparently it's 'Green' (yawn). Most products come from so-called 'sustainable' sources; after all, what company wants to exhaust the materials of its products? Still, it panders to the Green religious lobby, which is the intention. Overall it's a good buy.


Horwood JEA11 1800 W Portable Induction Hob
Horwood JEA11 1800 W Portable Induction Hob
Offered by Harts Of Stur
Price: £54.99

68 of 69 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended at the price - but NOISY!, 18 April 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Overall I am delighted with this purchase, which I bought to supplement my meagre two electric hobs on my Baby Belling mini-cooker. It is light and small (about 32 x 34 cm) and sits securely on four rubber-based feet. It has a wide range of temperatures, from a gentle 60C right up to a scorching 240C, and also has an optional timer. The first thing I cooked on it was a chilli, and I was extremely impressed with its responsiveness, ably handling the initial frying and browning, through to the gentle simmering, with ease. This thing is easily as responsive as gas - you can see the effect almost immediately of turning the temperature control up or down.

And of course it is so easy to clean, being a perfectly flat ceramic surface which (apart from directly under the pan) remains cool during cooking.

So those are the positives, but here are three gripes I have, which collectively knock off one star for me:

My number one gripe, as has been mentioned by a couple of other reviewers, is the loudness of the beep. Even though I was ready for it, it still made me jump when I plugged it in and it beeped unexpectedly. Every single press of a button generates an equally noisy beep. Worse, simply removing a pan from the hob whilst the unit is cooking causes it to beep incessantly every couple of seconds until the pan is replaced. Although I am getting used to it now, I am sure that sooner or later I'm going to have to unscrew the base, and locate the source of the beep so I can destroy it, which should make for more relaxing cooking.

My second gripe is that the temperatures can only be adjusted in increments of 20 degrees C. This is just about sufficient, but increments of 10C would have allowed more control, especially for attaining *just* the right simmering temperature. However, it's not a major gripe as 'fine tuning' can still be attained by shifting your pan to the side so that not as much energy is hitting the base of the pan. I'm sure we've all done this before on electric and gas hobs, so in that regard it's no different.

And thirdly, I naively thought this thing would be silent for the most part, but apparently these things have to maintain a cool temperature inside, so it has quite a noisy internal fan that kicks in as soon as the cooking is started, sounding a bit like starting a PC. To be fair that noise is dwarfed by the noise of frying (and of that damned beep), and there's nothing too annoying about the sound of a fan.

Also - not really a gripe - but it is confusing to me that there seem to be two modes for adjusting the heat, and I don't understand why, and the instruction manual doesn't allude to this at all. Firstly there is a setting labelled "Heat" with levels from 1 to 10. Then there is the "Temperature" setting (as mentioned above) with 10 settings of 60C through 240C. They both appear to have the same affect, unless I'm missing something.

But before one is put off by these negatives, one should take them in context. This slice of induction cookware comes in at under fifty quid (have you seen how expensive some induction hobs can be?), and is a fantastically useful appliance, particularly for those with small kitchens where space is limited. It is as responsive as gas, and cheaper to run than an electric hob. Without the loud beep I would be tempted to give this a 5-star rating at this price. With the beep, it's still worth it in my opinion.
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 27, 2015 4:35 PM BST


Thermos Stainless King Food Flask - 470 ml, Midnight Blue
Thermos Stainless King Food Flask - 470 ml, Midnight Blue
Price: £17.99

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Genuine Thermos, Perfect For The Job, 14 Mar. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this so I could take home-made stews, soups, chilli, pasta dishes, etc, etc to the office instead of relying on boring sandwiches. I tend to eat from it some 5 hours after filling it in the morning, and food is still steaming hot. I should add that I first pour in some boiling water from the kettle and leave the vessel to warm for a couple of minutes, before discarding the water and filling to the top with hot food straight from the microwave.

It is just the right size too. For a short time I had been using a 1-litre drinks flask (filled with soup or stew) but it was just too big and I was eating too much (you can't really half-fill them as the contained air cools down the food contents much quicker).

The supplied stainless steel 'telescopic spoon' is perfect, extending more than long enough to eat food straight from the flask, which is necessary, as the steel cup is very small and would need re-filling three or four times (maybe more) just to eat one meal. I can't say I'd be bothered to use the cup anyway. It does also serve nicely to protect the spoon, which clips onto the top of the plastic inner cap.

The opening of the flask is also plenty big enough to get a dish-sponge and three fingers in(!), to give it a good clean right to the base.

I have dropped one star as I think it is just a tad expensive for what it is - there are cheaper makes out there, also stainless steel with included spoons and similar specifications.
But this one does look great, and is an original, genuine Thermos.


Churchill China Studio Collection Stoneware Mug, Jasper
Churchill China Studio Collection Stoneware Mug, Jasper

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very stylish, very large mug, 13 Mar. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The mugs in this range are very easy on the eye, and look great hanging from the mug tree. They're also larger than the average mug, so you get a very nice big mug of tea or coffee from a single mug. They come with the Churchill brand stamped on the underside, but this is completely disappeared after a single wash in the dishwasher. Happily the overall finish is not at all impaired from machine-dish-washing.

I personally wouldn't pay the fiver asking price (hence the dropped star) - I picked up four of these whilst they were on offer at half-price. But compared to similar stoneware mugs from Denby, these are a real bargain. Available in various colours.


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