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Ruled Cahier: Extra Large (Moleskine Srl)
Ruled Cahier: Extra Large (Moleskine Srl)
Price: £9.79

4.0 out of 5 stars Good quality, 12 Feb. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Paper feels so good to write on, and the outside is very sturdy - I throw it in my backpack along with a zillion other stuff each day, and it is still intact and good looking. My previous, other notebooks never survived that.

Only 'downside' is the odd sizes of Moleskine notebooks - I would much prefer a standard A5 notebook.

The Happiness Project One-Sentence Journal: A Five-year Record
The Happiness Project One-Sentence Journal: A Five-year Record
by Gretchen Rubin
Edition: Diary
Price: £10.49

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok, 12 Feb. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The idea is nice, but unfortunately the pages are so small, and the space on them is not used to its fullest either (margins could have been smaller, heading smaller) so the space to write for each day is just too small. You can write one basic, simple sentence per day.
Also the paper is very thick and the back of the book very stiff, so it is difficult keeping the book open when you're writing.
I ended up throwing mine away after 1 month already.
The quotes on each day's page are inspiring and nice though.

Jawbone Small UP Fitness Tracking Wristband - Black Onyx
Jawbone Small UP Fitness Tracking Wristband - Black Onyx
Offered by Same Day Ship Services
Price: £53.88

178 of 183 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Band dies after an average life of 100 days, horrible customer support, 12 Feb. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Tl;dr: The 2 Ups I had, died after 6 weeks and 5 months; the average lifetime of this device is 100 days, and customer support is horrible.
I challenge you to Google "Jawbone up battery problem" before buying this product.

Had it for 6 weeks. The step counting was great and very motivating. The sleep tracking is nice in theory, but the sensor or algorithm that analyses it is not good - on nights when I had gotten up and walked 10 meters to the bathroom and back, the app would say I slept solid through the night and did not wake up once. How can it track walking around as "light sleep"?
The best compliment I can give overall is for the app actually - it is gorgeous looking.


After 6 weeks the device suddenly would not charge anymore. A soft reset and a hard reset didn't help. Jawbone apparently only has a US site (there was no UK or european site), so I contacted their customer support. 2 days later, got a reply describing some steps I should take to reset the device, and they asked where I had bought the band and if it had been exposed to water (it had not). I replied that the steps had not helped and the band was still not working.

No reply from them to that. After 3 days, I made a new case since they hadn't replied to my first one. No reply to that either. Then I found out, via hear-say on Google+ (since Jawbone keep this e-mail adress secret) they have a EU Support email adress and I emailed that, this time mentioning upfront I bought it via and describing the steps I had already taken. Within 1 hour, I got a reply:

" Based on the information you've provided, your Jawbone device needs to be replaced. Please contact the original retailer where you purchased the Jawbone device to request an exchange. Jawbone retailers are responsible for processing exchanges. "

That's it then - gets the flack for Jawbones defective devices and pays all the shipping and other costs of replacing it. At least turned out to have excellent customer service - after a quick chat they immediately shipped me a new Up and I could send the broken one back.

Avoid Jawbone. The MAJORITY of Up users have had their band die on them. The results of a poll among users (you can look it up on the Jawbone Up Google+ Community) was that their bands had an average life of 97 days (!) and users had been through an average 2.6 replacement bands. That sums it up.

--- UPDATE 15 FEB 2014 ---

Replacement band arrived and in use now, I will keep you posted on how long this one lives....
NOTE: I WILL **NOT** USE THE SLEEP MODE ON THIS DEVICE, since apparently the reason so many Ups only live 100 days, is the button you need to press for switching between steps mode and sleep mode - it's the button that's defective and breaks so soon. So I will use this Up just as a pedometer and without the sleep function. We'll see if that can make it survive longer than 100 days.

--- UPDATE 18 FEB 2014 ---

So NOW, after 3 weeks, Jawbone (US) has finally replied to my mails. As opposed to the "within 24 hrs" they advertise on their website... Well since they were not only incredibly late, but also less usefull than a random stranger on the internet was to me (THREE TIMES, in all my 3 e-mails, they ignored my question about getting an EU support adress) I won't be using and lost all my trust in them.

--- UPDATE 22 JULY 2014 ---

2nd band died this week after working for 5 months (had it from 15 Feb - 18 Jul). And I didn't even use the sleep function / touch the button at all on this (the replacement) band! This time it was a battery problem; suddenly the device would go from 100% to 0% charged in 4-6 HOURS instead of the 10 days it is supposed to last.
I just threw it away, am not even going to get a new one from (Jawbone themselves to nothing for the customer) this time, since the devices last only 2-4 months (AVERAGE LIFETIME OF THE UP REPORTED ON THE GOOGLE GROUP IS NOW 92.3 DAYS).
Comment Comments (8) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 22, 2014 10:04 PM BST

Air-O-Swiss U7146 Travel Humidifier, Green Edition
Air-O-Swiss U7146 Travel Humidifier, Green Edition

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Works great but it lasted only a year, not good for this price, 27 Feb. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It is quite small and handy, easy to travel with.

Build quality seems good, though I've had it only a month and still have to see how it holds up in the long run.

You have to clean the whole thing, but especially the filter, regularly to keep it running well of course.

Beware that you're essentially required to use distilled water in it, especially if your tap water is 'hard' (i.e., high-Calcium). This does of course add up to the costs of using it - it easily uses 0.5 L of it every night/day.
(Edit: I actually mix half distilled water with half tapwater, so a 1 L bottle of distilled water lasts 4 nights)

I found that a 0.5 L bottle of water last about 6.5 to 7.5 hours on it, if it is used on the lowest output/gear, so one bottle almost last you a nights sleep.

While it does make a slight 'humming' noise, it is low in volume and actually a very soothing sound, I find it actually comforting to fall asleep to.

The blue light it emits onder the other hand, is quite present and people who are sensitive to light when wanting to sleep, might find it discomfortable. Apparently the purpose of the light is to indicate if there's still water (it turns red, and lot less bright too, when there's no water anymore). It would have been much better if the manufacturer had used just a small LED instead. Or even better if there would be an option to turn the light off altogether.

--- UPDATE 2014 ---

After having it a year the device began to leak when in use. It would be in a puddle of water soon after turning it on, and the 0.5L water bottle would be empty within 1 hr instead of 8 hrs, because it was losing all its water on my bedroom floor instead of vaporizing it.
So the build quality turned out to be bad.
I can't use the device anymore and am disappointed that it only lasts a year, for this price you expect such a device to work for at least a few years.

Reading Journal
Reading Journal
by Potter Style
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £11.38

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth for the reading lists only; good quality; full of thought-provoking questions., 27 Feb. 2013
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This review is from: Reading Journal (Hardcover)
Excellent quality - paper of the pages is thick and the build of the journal overall is quite sturdy.

The majority of pages are devoted to the owners' reviews of books, with two (almost) A5-sized pages for each book you've read. Then after each fifth review, there's a page with quirky questions about your read books. Here you can record your favourite quotes, what places your books inspired you to visit, your best and worst movie adaptations of books, etc.

All the lists of books to read are great, and I've never seen such a comprehensive selection; it lists all of the following (up to 2009, with blank lines for you to update up till 2013):
- Pulitzer Prize winners
- Man Booker Prize for Fiction
- National Book Award for Fiction
- National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction
- Pen/Faulkner Award for Fiction
- Hemingway Foundation/Pen Award
- The Modern Library 100 Best Novels
- The Readers' List
- BBC Top 100 Reads
- Time Magazine top 100 novels
- Oprah's Book Club Picks (though since OBC stopped in 2011, the blank lines to update it up untill 2013 here are kind of odd...)

Things I'd have liked different:

You have 2 (almost)A5-sized paged devoted to each book you've read, of which one half A5 is dedicated to the data of the book ('Title', 'Author', 'Date published', 'Date read' etc.) and one and a half A5 is dedicated to your review of the book. Frankly, I think the review part is too big for each book and would have liked just 1 A5 page (instead of 2) devoted to each book, of which a half for the data and one half for your review. (That would also have doubled the amount of books you can register in this Journal - although right now you can register 48 books, which is plenty already).

The 'Books I've borrowed to and from others' list isn't very useful since the colum where you can write the title of the book is so narrow, that only titles up to 3 words long fit in it. Also, it doesn't really fit well with the rest of the Reading Journal (which is about your opinions about read books, and suggestions for book to read) - the journal could have done without it.

The 'Book Source Adress Book', where you can fill in adresses of book stores, is a nice idea, but has only room for 6 adresses - also not very practical.

But overall, a great Reading Journal which is worth it for the book lists alone - recommendable for every book lover. Would make a great gift.

Quantum Theory Cannot Hurt You: A Guide to the Universe
Quantum Theory Cannot Hurt You: A Guide to the Universe
by Marcus Chown
Edition: Paperback

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lack of structure (and of an editor) hampers what could have been a better book, 24 Jan. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I can't recommend this book as a first introduction. I read it after a graduate course in chemistry so I already knew the subject matter of the 1st half of the book well (I wanted to read more about it in a non-academic way). It turned out, I could only understand what the author was saying because I already knew about the subject. The way this book tried to explain quantum mechanics was less easy to follow than the way the academic text did, but shouldn't it be the other way around?

The 2nd half was better understandable, but here the way the author meanders from subject to subject, making the subjects too 'scattered', didn't do the text good.
For example, he talks about 'white dwarfs' and 'pulsars' quite a few times. But every time, he only mentions them as a sideways from another subject; the information about them is scattered in bits and pieces all throughout the text. It's difficult to get a coherent picture of what they are.
At least the book has an extensive glossary, and an index. It needs those.

The book as a whole could have been a bit more well structured. In the 1st half ("small things") there are a lot of remarks or side-notes already about the "big things", which are to come in the 2nd half, put in between the story about the "small things". May be the 'flow' of the text would have been better if the two halves of the book would have been reversed?

Then, there are also the unintended errors the book contains. Statements that are false, not because the author meant them that way, but as a result of his writing style, and, crucially, of the absence of a good editor. A good editor with a solid background in science could have made an enormous difference here (positively).

Example [direct quote from the book]:

"The cosmic background is also the coldest thing in nature - only 2.7 degrees above absolute zero, the lowest possible temperature (-270 degrees Celsius)."

FALSE !!! the lowest possible temperature is [rounded up] -273 degrees, not -270 as the author states here! How could he possibly get such a basic fact wrong??

Well, what the author *meant* was:

"The cosmic background is also the coldest thing in nature, at -270 degrees Celsius - only 2.7 degrees above absolute zero, the lowest possible temperature (-273 degrees Celsius)."

The "-270 degrees Celsius" in his original sentence is not "the lowest possible temperature", as he seems to state here (and which is false), but "the coldest thing in nature". A different structure of his sentence would have made his statement correct.

It's all too bad, because in essence it's a good book actually. On the positive side:
The author has a very approachable way of writing about the subject.
He is good at giving examples from everyday life to explain quantum phenomena.
(As a side note, it's good that for the people he uses in his examples, he often takes young people. Way too many nonfiction books equate 'people' with 'a 30-to-50-year-old with a spouse and kids and a job', as if there don't exist any people with other ages or social status).
It's nice how he writes about the history of physics too, about its discoveries (and how they were interpreted and received at the time), and about important physicists.

Driving with Disney
Driving with Disney
Price: £17.33

5.0 out of 5 stars Great collection, 19 Jan. 2012
This review is from: Driving with Disney (Audio CD)
Lovely big collection (52 songs!) of Disney music. Every kind of Disney movie is represented, from the big oldies (Snow White, Cinderella) to some lesser known (Bedknobs & Broomsticks) and more recent ones (from The Lion King up to Chicken Little).
Then there are also some songs which are not from movies, but are famous Disney songs anyway:
Yoho a Pirate's Life for Me; It's a Small World After All; Dancin' a Catchy Rhythm.

Their order seems to be totally random. It would have been nice if they were put in chronological order; but you can always make your own playlist.

P.S. Don't understand why it's called 'Driving with' - I don't think it's especially suited to listening to it in your car, in fact I listen to it mostly at home.

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