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John Moyes "JRM" (Cyprus)
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Photoshop CC For Dummies
Photoshop CC For Dummies
by Peter Bauer
Edition: Paperback
Price: £17.59

2.0 out of 5 stars Not for Complete Dummies, 4 July 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this book as a basic guide for the uninitiated, but it did not really fit the bill, though I worked through it all systematically and, I think, fairly carefully. The introductory chapters about setting up and organising the system were good and quite easily understandable. However, when it came to the processes of actually using the editing tools - Oh dear! It really skimped the basics of how you actually use the tools - actually selecting things using the Lasso and other tools, for example. When it came to "Layers", apparently the heart of Photoshop, and for things on from there on in, it really left the idea of "For Dummies" far behind, heaping complication upon complication to the point of (my) befuddlement. The author has impressive credentials as a Photoshop expert and no doubt all he writes is accurate and well-informed, but it was just too complicated and seemed to take too much for granted for this Dummy.


Big Love - Complete HBO Season 1-5 [DVD] [2012]
Big Love - Complete HBO Season 1-5 [DVD] [2012]
Dvd ~ Bill Paxton
Price: £40.60

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mormon Polygamy, 20 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The main proponents are a polygamous family (husband and three wives, and their children) living in a dormitory suburb near Salt Lake City, Utah. It is a lengthy series and, of course, there a number of different story lines melded together. The main ones, however, are the interactions within the family and between it and a settlement of Mormons, called the Compound, where the practice of polygamy (called The Principle) is central. I think that the Compound is loosely based on the Warren Jeffs, "Fundamental Church of Latter Day "Saints", with a similar, but rival group, based on the "Church of the Firstborn of the Fulness of Times", which was led by Ervil LeBaron. The series is a soap-opera. Parts of it are pretty saccherine and some of the minor plot lines are not particularly convincing (the possibility of a fourth wife in the main family, for instance), but overall the storylines are good and well acted. It helps to know a little about Mormon Polygamy and something about the core beliefs of the Mormon Church, but a quick scan of Wikipedia will do the trick. Essentially, Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon Church claimed to have received a revelation in 1843 (though it was not published until some years after that) which mandated polygamy (plural marriage) as essential to achieving exaltation (Godness) in the hereafter. In 1890 (in a Revelation now called The Manifesto) the then President of the Mormon Church disavowed polygamy, though the practice continued to be widespread in the Church at least until the early 1900s. The Church now mandates monogamy and the practice of polygamy is a cause for summary excommunication. Not all Mormons accepted The Manifesto (Smith's Revelations were held to be inviolable) and quite a large number of splinter groups set up and continued to practice The Principle. Currently there are thought to be upwards of 50,000 polygamous families (some put the figure much higher), mainly in Utah and its surrounding States. Overall an interesting series and I enjoyed it.


The Stoning of Soraya M [DVD]
The Stoning of Soraya M [DVD]
Dvd ~ Shoreh Agdashloo
Price: £6.83

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply should be seen, 2 Jun. 2012
I watched this film awe and horror. Awe for the acting, which is just outstanding. Horror for the fact (it reflects actual events) that such things can happen in this day and age. Why this film did not win a bucketful of awards is not mysterious. It exposes something which just cannot be condoned, far less justified, on any basis whatever. Just not the kind of film for mainstream awards. Don't watch this film and expect to be "entertained". Watch it because, at least in my view, it is an important film about an important issue that should be of concern to us all. Others have dealt in some detail with the film's content and there is no need to repeat it. The tragedy is that Soraya's fate will still be faced by others. You should know what it was.


The Philosophy Book
The Philosophy Book
by Will Buckingham
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £11.89

38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First Class Introduction, 18 Oct. 2011
This review is from: The Philosophy Book (Hardcover)
This book is by far the best of its type that I have ever come across - and I have read many. It gives an excellent overview of philosophers and their thought from the beginnings right up to date, and it does so in clear, unambiguous writing that is a pleasure to read. The book presents exactly what it says on the cover, "Big ideas simply explained". The context in which the various philosophers worked is covered well in introductory remarks to each of its sections. To produce such an excellent text is a considerable achievement by the authors: it is no small task to distil complex and too often arcanely written material in such a way. I have shown the book to quite a number of people, most of them with some knowlege of philosophy, and they have all been impressed. Most have ordered it. If you have tried some of the weighty tomes about the history of philosophy and been put off, then this is the book for you. It will whet your appetite to read more into the subject. And by the way, the production of the book is admirable. First class.


Child 44
Child 44
by Tom Rob Smith
Edition: Paperback

5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Hype and no substance, 8 Oct. 2011
This review is from: Child 44 (Paperback)
Apparently over 1.5 million have bought this and, presumably, most have read it. Frankly I had to grit my teeth to get to the end. The denouement, and it is nearly emblazoned in neon characters from less than halfway through the book, is totally implausible. The cod-psychology involved and described should bring a blush to the face of the author; just as it is likely to make the reader cringe.

So it is set in the Stalinist USSR. So what? It reads as though the author has mugged up and digested a few cliches and simply set them down seriatim. We have the State paranoia, the queues and for the proletariat and the lavish shops for the privileged,the omnipresent threat of the Gulags,and so on and so forth. The whole thing was superficial. The characters are cardboard. If you strip away the hype, you are left with not much more than a Mills and Boone. Stern, unyielding MGB apparatchik goes through an angst-ridden metamorphosis to become a goodie. Scales fallen from his eyes, he wins back self respect and with it true love. On the way to the predictable ending our one-dimensional hero carries out escapades that would out-Bond Bond and which are just as unbelievable. And, of course, there is the predictable supporting cast of the dastardly and of diamonds in the rough. The best that can be said is that the author will not have much work to do by way of writing screenplay, if (when) the film comes to be made.

The only reason to read this is to see what hype can do by way of selling books. Just be thankful that you will have to pay very little to do so - though I think that you might put a higher value than that on the time you expend in the reading.


Apple iPod classic 160GB - Silver - 6th Generation
Apple iPod classic 160GB - Silver - 6th Generation

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ipod First-Timer, 1 Aug. 2011
I have always held off buying an ipod for 2 reasons. First, I thought I would have problems with the technology. Second, I have a large library of music and no ipod seemed big enough. Ten minutes out of the box and I was up and running and merrily 'synching' away. The whole thing was as easy as pie (and if the same goes for ipad, I'm willing to put my money down). Second, I got everything on with 50Gb odd to spare. Using the device was also very easy - the whole thing was really as intuitive as Apple advertises. My only cavil is the earphones. I found them very uncomfortable with a very poor response, so I am using high-end Bose noise cancelling phones which rather defeats the purpose of portable music. I'll look for some decent in-ear phones now. In summary, a buy that I have not the slightest regret in making.


The Last Rose
The Last Rose
Price: £12.82

10 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed, 28 July 2011
This review is from: The Last Rose (Audio CD)
I will likely find myself in the small minority, but I did not like this disc much. The singing is generally accurate (some of the high notes are off), but often very mannered. The arrangements, contrary to what has been written by others,I found excruciating. What is being sung is essentially simple folk melody and the arrangements, perhaps with the exception of 'Scarborough Fair', are just way over the top. The best tracks,in my view, are 'The Ash Grove' and 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean'. Both are mainly in a lower register than the other tracks and that seems to suit the singer's voice better. Sorry!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 2, 2011 2:37 PM GMT


Stabat Mater - A Tribute to Pergolesi
Stabat Mater - A Tribute to Pergolesi
Offered by positivenoise
Price: £13.87

4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars More than disappointing, 20 July 2011
This music just is not for Anna Netrebko. She sings as if she was singing 19th Century Italian opera and does not anywhere catch the feeling of what is Baroque religious music. I admire her greatly when she sings repertoire suited to her, but this isn't it. I agree with another commentator who remarked that the recording was an artistic mistake for the singer(s) and the conductor, though to be fair some of Marianna Pizzolata's singing is well done. This is a recording that trades very much on Anna Netrebko's name and no doubt it will sell well for that reason, but my advice would be to give it a miss.


Mahler: Symphony No. 2 'Resurrection'
Mahler: Symphony No. 2 'Resurrection'
Price: £9.00

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Grows on you!, 9 April 2011
I looked forward to this CD. But when I first played it - ouch! The tempo of the first bars - the most exciting of symphonic openings in my view - seemed far too slow and almost shocked me it seemed so disjointed. No other performance, concert hall or CD, that I had heard had had the same adverse effect on me. I admit that probably prejudiced me against the whole performance the first time round. However, I persevered and after listening carefully to the CD three or four times over a period of days changed my opinion entirely. So, my advice would be to buy it and be prepared to listen to it a few times before you make up your own mind. I see that others commenting on this disc have drawn comparisons with the earlier Rattle/CBSO recording, mainly favouring that one. I am not so sure. I listen to the CBSO disc quite often and rate it highly. But I think that the BPO produce a much more pleasing sound, especially in the second movement.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 27, 2011 12:55 AM BST


Mahler: Symphony No.2
Mahler: Symphony No.2
Price: £14.05

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rich & Fulfilling, 9 April 2011
This review is from: Mahler: Symphony No.2 (Audio CD)
Interpretations of the 2nd Symphony vary quite widely, at least to my listening. I would describe this as a rich reading. I don't mean that it is heavy-handed; far from it both Gergiev and the LSO are in fine form. But the sound throughout is very rich and full (not a bad thing, of course, and indeed very much in keeping with what Mahler wanted). The overall achievement is, I think, superb. Conductor, orchestra, soloists(Elena Mosuc and Zlata Bulycheva)and the choir (LSC) give a performance that I found stunning and immensely satisfying. Quite the most rewarding 2nd I have heard for a long time - and that includes the new BPO recording. The disc also includes the Adagio from Symphony 10.


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