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Ukhuman1st "Mike" (Gloucester, England)

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Botany for Gardeners
Botany for Gardeners
by Brian Capon
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Botany For Anyone Who Enjoys Plants, 29 Jun. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Botany for Gardeners (Paperback)
I did botany as part of an A-Level Biology course but did not enjoy it because of the dry way it was taught. Although I'm not a gardener, I have retained an interest in wildflowers and bought this book on the strength of the excellent reviews. I found it highly readable and well illustrated and it is helped me see plants much more as living organisms rather than just a collection of parts. My only slight quibble is that most people interested in flowers, wild or cultivated, might expect to find the discussion on plant reproduction more up front - perhaps after the parts on root, stem and leaf anatomy and function. But it's easy enough to skip to that part of the book if you can't wait to get there! All-in-all, thoroughly recommended.


Gilbert and Sullivan Favorites for Voice and Guitar
Gilbert and Sullivan Favorites for Voice and Guitar
by Jerry Silverman
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Would thoroughly recommend., 14 Jun. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Was looking for a music book with a selection of songs from HMS Pinafore with full words and chords to play on my keyboard. Found it surprisingly hard to locate anything, then came across this one. Although not advertised as being for keyboard, it is exactly what I was looking for, and with lots of other Gilbert and Sullivan favourites too! Not sure why it took an American to compile such a collection but I'm grateful that he did. Would thoroughly recommend.


Wild Flowers of Britain and Ireland: A New Guide to Our Wild Flowers
Wild Flowers of Britain and Ireland: A New Guide to Our Wild Flowers
by Marjorie Blamey
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Could Not Ask For More!, 11 Jun. 2015
For many years I have been a fan of Blamey, Fitter and Fitter's excellent Wildflowers of Britain and Northern Europe but as I seldom stray beyond these shores, it was often hard to find plants I was looking to identify amongst the many European species, and many British species were described but not illustrated. I have therefore been longing to find a book that comprehensively covers and illustrates all British species. Somehow this book escaped my attention even though the first addition was published in 2003 and the second in 2013. But now I've got a copy, this book fulfills all my wishes and more. Not only does it include excellent descriptions, but the illustrations are second-to-none and cover important features that help confirm identity. There are also distribution maps showing the range of most species so enabling the reader to quickly eliminate unlikely possibilities. And for those whose interest is not confined just to flowering herbaceous land-plants, the book also includes water-plants, trees, shrubs, grasses and ferns. All this comes in a glossy book which is compact enough to be taken out into the field. I have no hesitation in awarding it 5 stars.

(I feel that some reviewers have unfairly marked it down for not being a book for complete beginners, which it is not intended to be. There are wildflower keys available which categorise common plants by their colour but this can be limiting as you cannot see how the different species and families relate to each other. And the more comprehensive the coverage, the more it becomes essential to find other ways to identify plants other than by colour alone).


Andrew James Stainless Steel Sink Strainer Stopper Waste Plug
Andrew James Stainless Steel Sink Strainer Stopper Waste Plug
Offered by Andrew James UK LTD
Price: £4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Fitted Blanco Sink Perfectly!, 10 May 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Both strainers in my Blanco sink have now reached the end of their lives but I had been unable to find a suitable replacement. Tried this one and it fits and works perfectly! And at such a reasonable price too.


FlipKlip - Book Clip, Page Holder, Book Clamp, Book Holder - Black
FlipKlip - Book Clip, Page Holder, Book Clamp, Book Holder - Black
Offered by MichaelS94
Price: £8.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very useful for holding open tightly-bound music, 10 May 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Having recently bought several volumes of popular music to play on my keyboard I found the bindings so tight that it was almost impossible to hold the pages open. This product has solved the problem! Even if the piece of music I wish to play runs over two or three pages I've found it possible to attach the clip so as to secure the first and last pages so that I can still easily turn the ones I want to play.


The Wild Flowers of the British Isles
The Wild Flowers of the British Isles
by David Streeter
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and comprehensive, 3 Sept. 2014
This is a beautifully illustrated and comprehensive guide to every species of wild flower found in the British Isles, including alien species and garden escapes that have 'gone native'. Although the text accompanying the colour plates is in a separate section, this is numbered in exactly the same way as the plates themselves so cross-referencing is easy. This section is particularly good at explaining where in the British Isles each species is likely to be found and its habitat. The text does not explain the different morphological features of each plant, but each illustration is worth a thousand words, so usually enabling easy identification from the pictures alone. However, if there is risk of confusion between two very similar species, the text explains how they might be distinguished. This is a large book, with pages slightly bigger than A4 size so definitely not intended as a field guide, but it has still proved enormously useful to me to check against the photographs I invariably take of new species. For me, the only slight snag is that the index lists each plant by name in strict alphabetical order, so if you find a speedwell but don't know what sort, you can't look up what page or plate it might be on under 'speedwell' - it is not in the Index. The answer is to look up a species of speedwell you already know (eg common speedwell). Overall, though this is a very pleasing book to own and I would thoroughly recommend it.


Panasonic V500 Full HD 1920 x 1080p (50p) 3D Ready Camcorder - Black (1MOS Sensor, 50x Intelligent Zoom, SD Card Recording, 2D/3D Conversion with Face Recognition) 3.0 inch LCD
Panasonic V500 Full HD 1920 x 1080p (50p) 3D Ready Camcorder - Black (1MOS Sensor, 50x Intelligent Zoom, SD Card Recording, 2D/3D Conversion with Face Recognition) 3.0 inch LCD

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great videos but how to store them?, 25 Sept. 2013
This little camcorder produces stunning HD images which look fantastic on my HD TV (as might be expected, far better than the old Sony analogue one it has now replaced). The wideangle perspective is ideal for shooting buildings and interiors when you can't otherwise get far enough away, and the zoom function is amazing. Indeed, such is the HD picture quality that it is possible to use the digital zoom to magnify much more than the generous 50 x optical zoom without the picture becoming over-pixelated. For those who prefer close-up, there is also a macro function but this is hard to access, requiring lots of button-pressing to find, and then easily cancelled if you inadvertently use the zoom function. However, I have found that for close-ups of insects and flowers, the easiest option is to move the zoom up to a max of about 7 x magnification and then move the camera in close - this gives incredible detail. The ability to take a still photo at the same time is also very useful - although not high resolution, such images are very sharp and probably fine for 6 x 4 prints.

The only snag I have found concerns the storage of the resulting footage. I bought a 32Gb SD card naively thinking it would last me for ages, but HD files are so huge that I have quickly filled it up. With my old Sony recorder, I would play the pics through my TV and record them onto VHS cassettes, with 2-3 hours of recording on each VHS cassette. I thought I would be able to use my computer and the supplied HD Writer software to save the footage to DVD instead, forgetting that a 32Gb card implies the need for at least 7 full DVDs. However, even this proved mistaken, as the software seems to require lots of space for menus and other information on each DVD, and I have found I will need far more, even when burning at less than full HD quality. in fact, each DVD only seems to hold about 20 - 30 minutes of recording time. Furthermore, each disk can take well over an HOUR to burn, after first waiting for ages for the computer to convert the files to the lower quality. This method therefore ties up my computer for ages, but I have to keep popping in to switch disks so can't just leave it. To cap it all, after sucessfully recording 4 disks this way, a subsequent attempt failed, and although Panasonic Support was helpful in suggesting how to fix the problem, the problem has persisted. One batch of DVDs then turned out to be very jerky in places. So all-in-all storing files on DVD is proving a nightmare. Part of the problem here might be that my computer, although within the recommended specification, perhaps does not have the processing power needed, but forking out £100s for a new one just so I can store videos is not an attractive proposition. Another expensive option would be to buy a blu-ray recorder, but again this is not something I otherwise need. I would like the files on DVD so that I can play them on my TV. If anyone knows of any other solution I'd be interested to hear - at present, my only solution has been to buy more SD cards and hope that my camcorder remains able to play them for many years to come. But having the files only readable by the camera makes it hard to navigate around the footage to play selected scenes.

These problems are, of course, not just a problem with Panasonic or the camcorder itself. However, if I'd realised that storage of digital images was now a far more awkward proposition than it was in the good old days of VHS cassettes, I might not have ventured into this medium. If a high spec computer or disc-writing programme is essential to archive recorded footage, this should be made clearer to prospective buyers.


Garmin nuvi 2545LMT 5" Sat Nav with UK and Western Europe Maps, Free Lifetime Map Updates and Free Lifetime Traffic Alerts
Garmin nuvi 2545LMT 5" Sat Nav with UK and Western Europe Maps, Free Lifetime Map Updates and Free Lifetime Traffic Alerts
Price: £119.91

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not very intuitive or user-friendly, 25 Sept. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I opted for a Garmin after my Tom Tom failed twice within 14 months of purchase - Tom Tom wanted almost price of a new one to 'repair' it so has lost my business. Unfortunately, although the Garmin does the job, it lacks much of the intuitive user-friendliness of the Tom Tom, and has some very quirky features. The online manual gives some basic help, but you'll find more using the Help function on the machine itself. Even then, I feel the whole approach to planning a journey needs a radical overhaul. For example, I wanted to visit my sister at 2 Station Road in a town near me. Using 'Where To' I enter town name (which it finds) then street name (ditto), then house number 2. It then gives me 3 possible options - no. 3, no. 112 or no. 118!! So I have to opt for number 3 which is on the wrong side of road. If I'd wanted No.58 it would leave me a long way from my destination! Now I want to store this location as a favourite, but I can't. To do that I need to start again but this time using a separate Route Planner App which you'll also need if you want to go via some other waypoint. In that App, once you select the destination you have the option to save it. It then becomes a favourite and can be accessed from the 'where to' facility. Having accessed it again, it can then be edited (but you can't edit the street number, so my sister is now shown as living at no 3). Having determined the route, you might then decide you want to get there avoiding motorways, but the only way that is then to go into Settings and change navigation preferences. If you forget to go back later and change it, your next journey will avoid motorways too!! Likewise if you want to plan a shorter route rather than a faster one.

Adding waypoints in Route Planner is also not easy unless you have an exact address. If you just want to visit the town centre, that option is not available - you are forced to make something up eg High Street. And if you just want to drive past the town and continue home, the sat nav will keep trying to take you back to the waypoint. It does same with detours around a blocked road even when you are well beyond the affected area. You might have to stop and recalculate.

Another option when navigating is to use Categories to find pre-programmed places such as car-parks, hospitals, schools, railway stations etc. However in a trip to Congleton recently it (wrongly) told me the nearest public car park was 12 miles away in Macclesfield! A big hospital in my local area was not shown either. Presumably people have to pay Garmin to put their details on, so coverage is very sketchy. By contrast, Tom Tom is much easier to use. It seems to have all UK addresses and you only need to find one once to be able to save it as a favourite. For each journey you are asked whether you want to use motorways or toll roads, and whether you want fast, short or eco-route. it also asks whether you want to go via other waypoints without having to go into separate applications. When I mentioned this to Garmin, they told me there is a free computer-based route planner I could use instead, but this was very complicated and no use when you're out on the road.

One final gripe is the apparently bizarre routing on some journeys. As I have Live Traffic, it is possible that I am being navigated along the fastest possible route available at the time, but the Garmin manual does not make clear how this function works so I can't be sure. All I know is that the Garmin recently took me on an extensive trip through the streets of Manchester rather than the usually much faster route using the motorways, and I was similarly routed through the middle of Oxford rather than via the ringroad. The machine did show a traffic warning, but I got stuck in traffic in Oxford anyhow, so am not sure what delays, if any, it had protected me from (assuming it had re-routed me automatically??).

Despite these gripes, the product does get me from A to B and I'm glad I have it. For simple navigation when you know the full address or postcode it does what it says on the tin. I just hope Garmin read this and have a major re-think about their user-interface, manuals and Help functions. Meanwhile, there is a lot of room for improvement and if reliability of my Tom Tom had not been an issue, I'd recommend buying one of those instead.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 28, 2013 1:52 PM BST


TomTom Start 20 4.3" Sat Nav with UK and Ireland Maps (discountinued by manufacturer)
TomTom Start 20 4.3" Sat Nav with UK and Ireland Maps (discountinued by manufacturer)

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Avoid Tom Tom products - defective batteries cost £75 to fix, 9 April 2013
I bought a Start 20 from an Amazon online trader in January 2012. After 2 days use, the unit failed - battery would not charge. Tom Tom services advised I got a new unit from vendor under warranty which I did, no problem. This unit worked well for 12 months but then, because of weather and illness I have not used it since about January. When I came to use it yesterday (April 8th) it booted up fine and said battery was charging, but after driving for 5 minutes the screen froze, then went black. I stopped car and tried to reboot, but no luck, so took it home and followed Tom Tom instructions of charging for 2 hours and then pressing reboot button for 30 seconds - still dead, just like my previous unit. Rang Tom Tom just now to explain but they were totally intransigent (didn't query that unit was utterly dead so obviously common problem). Told me that repair would cost their fixed fee of around £75 to fix, even if it's just the battery. When I said that I could buy a new one for that price, person said that that was up to me - in other words, they don't care. I was left feeling extremely angry. If I go ahead and have the repair the same could happen again. This is not an uncommon problem - try Googling 'Tom Tom battery' or 'Tom Tom won't start'. But point is that ANY repair out of warranty will cost as much to fix as buying new, so its a huge gamble. I certainly won't be buying from Tom Tom again.
Comment Comments (11) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 7, 2013 12:21 AM BST


The Moral Landscape
The Moral Landscape
Price: £6.99

8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Muddled Morality, 27 Aug. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have given this book 4 stars on the basis that reading what others think about morality helps hone my own thinking, and Sam Harris is very readable and entertaining, but I have reservations about much of what he says. As an atheist on the UK side of the pond I have no difficulty with the idea that our moral sense is more than a set of rules we must follow to please some supposed divinity, and I share the view that moral values are not just a matter of taste that cannot be meaningfully criticised. In my view, morality is all about how we and others need to behave if we are to enjoy the benefits of social living. Social living has proved an evolutionarily successful strategy for ensuring human survival because energy wasted in dealing with in-group conflict prejudices our chances of efficient cooperation especially in the face of out-group conflict. To coexist peacefully with others means sacrificing some of our personal autonomy - in particular, to ensure that we do not act in a way that cuts across the legitimate interests of others, who are similarly constrained in their behaviour towards us. This is the essence of the 'social contract' and is summed up in the old Judaic formulation - 'do not do to others what you would not have them do to you'. It is not just a blind divine commndmant - the nature of the moral imperative is that we 'ought' to behave in particular ways IF we want to best secure our long-term future. The argument from 'is' to 'ought' flows from inductive reasoning - we can see what works for us now, and draw inferences from that which may help us in the future. If we opt for a weaker moral system that does not enforce such beneficial behaviour, we are likely to lose out. When it comes to how we 'should' behave, then, we can perceive a continuum towards moral systems that seek to minimise harm, reduce conflict, allow legitimate grievances to be addressed and which encourage honesty, trust, integrity and other characteristics that are vital to effective co-existence with others. When we make moral judgments of another person's actions, we are not judging whether the outcome will maximise human happiness, as Harris seems to think, nor indeed whether the action actually has any beneficial results, but whether the action seems intended to promote group welfare (or at least to minimise harm). This means that we are able to quickly judge or justify actions as morally right or wrong even before their long-term consequences are known. Of course, we can also use inductive reasoning to argue that if certain behaviours are good for our in-group then maybe we could extend them to others - 'love thine enemy'. We may also believe that we should give up even more of our autonomy and devote our lives selflessly to public service - the injunction to 'do unto others what you would have them do unto you' sums up this positive approach but some people might not find that at all appealing. It might be nice if people behaved in this way, but is it a universally recognised moral duty? I think questions like this can only be answered by different people arriving at a consensus - I do not think there are any objective facts that can help us decide.


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