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Steven Fouch "fouch26" (London, England)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, 4 May 2009
My wife got my a small Paperblanks notebook, and so far I have found it more durable and practical than a moleskin that I had previously used as a pocket notebook.

This is more a small journal, and is hard backed, making it more durable, and with a strong magnetic clasp rather than elastic. Looks elegant and feels good in the hand, pleasure to write in, and a good storage pocket.

One criticism of this an other Paperblanks notebooks is that, if like me you carry lots of things in the pocket (business cards, receipts, stamps, tickets, etc.) and like to carry a pencil in the clasp, then it can be hard to close - but still works better and is more durable than the Moleskin equivalent.


CIAK Small Red 2015 Daily Diary, Day per page
CIAK Small Red 2015 Daily Diary, Day per page

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Durable & Attractve, 4 May 2009
I got this for my wife for Christmas, and it has proved a practical size (fits in the handbag), durable, plenty of writing room, and the elastic binder means you can hold receipts, tickets and other small documents in it quite nicely. Useful as a day to day diary and notebook and file for useful bits while out and about.

I rather fancy one for myself!


Finger Puppet Friends: Where is Mama Bear?
Finger Puppet Friends: Where is Mama Bear?
by Luana Rinaldo
Edition: Board book
Price: £6.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Engaging, but for very young only, 4 May 2009
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
My two year old loved this, played with the puppets for a few minutes, but lost interest fairly soon. The simple story is fine, but the puppets don't have much to do, and the story is over very quickly, and so loses interest of older toddlers. Probably better for under one's who will be most enraptured by the puppets


Transforming Care: A Christian Vision of Nursing Practice
Transforming Care: A Christian Vision of Nursing Practice
by Mary Molewyk Doornbos
Edition: Paperback
Price: £18.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A useful exploration of the intersection between Christian faith and clinical practice in modern nursing, 2 July 2007
Taking as its starting point the question "Can nursing be Christian?" this book explores theologically and practically what distinctive Christians bring to their professional practice. So while this book is squarely aimed at nurses (particularly American nurses, despite several European co-authors), it asks questions relevant to Christians in nursing and other health professions globally.

Starting with a theological perspective on nursing practice, human personhood, health and healing, the authors then use this theological base as a springboard to explore values and ethics, with an emphasis on the ethics of practice and interpersonal relationships rather than bioethics. The aim is to establish the core values that underpin a consistent Christian ethic for all areas of nursing practice.

The book looks then at how these values are worked out in practice in the particular examples of mental health, community and acute nursing. Liberally illustrated with vignettes that explore the practical outworking of the theoretical sections, this book seeks to be both applied and academic. It seeks to show how a biblical faith should act as a springboard to treating patients and colleagues in a distinctive manner - e.g. seeing all people as uniquely God created and valued beings, viewing death as not the final step, and seeing a concern for justice as being just as central to good healthcare as is good clinical practice. The latter is perhaps most illustrated in the vignettes which disturbingly demonstrate how the US healthcare system lets down its most vulnerable charges - but similar (though quite distinct) issues could readily be found within any health care system.

This is a useful book to start a serious exploration of how faith and practice intersect, especially at the level of how our underlying values and assumptions as Christians should contrast with those of the wider culture. However, it is also a book that raises more questions than it answers. In keeping with most nurse education theories in the UK, Europe and the US, it eschews a didactic approach for one that explores issues through illustrative narratives and reflective questioning. This may be frustrating for those schooled in more direct means of learning, but can be very helpful in getting one to think around issues rather than just plumping for simplistic answers.

However, I did find the applied practice section a little basic, and it might have been of greater value if a wider range of issues and examples had been explored in more depth. The first section, in which the core values are explored is by far the most useful.


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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Two Thirdsof A Classic Science Fiction Movie, 21 April 2007
I saw this at the cinema three days ago, and it still haunts me - which usually marks out a good film in my book. Visually arresting, starting from an intelligent premise, it takes one of cinematic science fiction's most classic themes - the giant spaceship, far from home on a vital mission, when something goes wrong. Alien, 2001, Solaris (either Tarkovsky or Sodebergh versions), Silent Running - they are all classics of this sub-genre, and Boyle tips at wink at all of them. Play spot the references when you get the DVD.

And for the first hour, that works beautifully. Set to a haunting Underworld soundtrack, it really holds you rapt as a single decision leads to an unfolding range of unforeseen consequences.

Then it looses the plot, turns in to a sub-Event Horizon slasher, and only just pulls it back to some, rather confused semblance of order for the final few minutes.

For the first hour, this film is well worth seeing if you like cerebral, intelligent cinematic science fiction. But for the last half hour I would have given it five stars. Sadly, the thriteen year old males for whom this part of the film was obviously intended would largely have switched off by then, and the rest of us are left wondering why the makers felt the need to drop the IQ level so dramatically.

Nevertheless, I will be getting this on DVD, if only for the best bits, which bear repeat viewing. This is almost a classic, and maybe one day it may be seen as such.


Sent to Heal!: Emergence and Development of Medical Missions
Sent to Heal!: Emergence and Development of Medical Missions
by Christoffer H. Grundmann
Edition: Paperback
Price: £34.95

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Valuable, and Much Needed Work, 23 May 2006
Midway through the nineteenth century, a new force emerged in Western mission to Africa and Asia - the medical missionary. Prior to that time, doctors, nurses and others with training in the healing and caring arts had travelled with missions to the far flung parts of the world, but only as an adjunct to the primary task of "winning souls for Christ". But a seismic shift in missiology and praxis occurred as mission societies were set up with the express aim of providing medical services to the world's poor as a primary missionary activity.

Grundmann's scholarly work looks at the sources of this movement - from the nursing and medical monastic orders of the Dark and Middle Ages to the early medical missionary work of the Spanish and Portuguese Jesuits of the sixteenth century, through to the Catholic nursing and missionary orders of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. But it was with Peter Parker and the Medical Missionary Society in China in Guangzhou (Canton) that the modern, protestant/evangelical medical missionary movement began. Forced by the Chinese authorities into the small Euro American enclave of Canton, with limited access to the Chinese population, the small number of missionaries found that provision of medical service offered the one opportunity to reach out the local population. Parker became an enthusiastic advocate for this strategy, and soon medical missions began to grow up either as separate societies (e.g. the Edinburgh Medical Missionary Society and the Medical Missionary Association), or as part of existing missionary societies.

This book looks at the other key figures in the development of nineteenth century medical mission, particularly from the UK and the USA, but also at Dutch, German and Danish medical missionaries, at their achievements and wider impact. And he asks probing questions about medical missions - did they succeed in the missionary task? What was the view of medical mission and medical missionaries held by the wider mission and Christian communities? Not all the answers he comes to are comforting, yet despite his strong critique, Grundmann is undoubtedly an enthusiastic advocate for medical mission himself.

This is not light reading (the main text and very extensive appendices and references formed the basis of a PhD thesis), so is best not approached as a motivational book on mission. But for the serious student of medical mission, and for those wishing to grapple with the roots of the twentieth/twenty-first century wave of healthcare mission, this book forms an extremely valuable source of detailed background information, and reveals how many of the strategies, questions and struggles being faced today by those using medical skills in the mission field are echoed in the experiences of the past.


The Matrix Reloaded (2 Disc Edition) [2003] [DVD]
The Matrix Reloaded (2 Disc Edition) [2003] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Keanu Reeves
Offered by Qoolist
Price: £1.45

12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A wasted opportunity, 3 Feb. 2004
I have seen this film three times now, and to be honest, it’s not quite as bad or as good as I first thought. The visuals are great, some wonderfully balletic martial arts choreography, and even some hint of a plot. And yet….
The main flaws for me are, firstly that the premise of the first film has been thrown out, and the struggle to liberate humanity becomes subsumed in plots surrounding various programmes free floating in the Matrix (which give Reeves and co plenty of opportunity for sometime over-elaborate fight scenes). Secondly, being the middle film is always a problem (although I still think ‘The Empire Strikes’ back was the best of the Star Wars films, and the ‘Two Towers’ stood very well as film in its own right). But actually, when you see the final film, ‘Revolutions’, ‘Reloaded’ almost seems elegant and coherent by comparison.
Finally, cod philosophy (no its not deep, even if you’ve only ever done ‘o’ level philosophy), and being in love with the idea of being clever without actually being clever, means that this film gives up plot and character for a veneer of depth that is only too shallow. ‘The Matrix’ was a good film – a rarity in that it was a Hollywood sci-fi blockbuster that actually understood science fiction as a literature of ideas. The Wachowski Brothers were not afraid to use ideas as the basis of the film’s story telling, and ‘The Matrix’ had a bit of depth as a consequence.
Sadly, ‘The Matrix’ seems to have been a one-of. ‘Reloaded’ pretends to have depth, and turns out to be just another sci-fi blockbuster. Not a bad film in and of itself, but a wasted opportunity nevertheless.


The Matrix Revolutions [DVD] [2003]
The Matrix Revolutions [DVD] [2003]
Dvd ~ Keanu Reeves|Carrie-Anne Moss|Laurence Fishburne
Offered by Qoolist
Price: £2.65

5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dissapointing, 3 Feb. 2004
The beauty of the first Matrix film was that it was ostensibly an action/adventure sci-fi shoot-‘em-up that actually turned out to have some depth of ideas behind it. Reloaded and Revolutions were films that were ostensibly explorations of the complexities of free will and destiny, but were in fact just action/adventure sci-fi shoot-‘em-ups.
The Wachowksi Brothers were feted as writers and directors of unexpected depth, when in fact in turns out that they stumbled on a good idea (borrowing heavily from the large stables of literary science fiction and cinema, married fortuitously to Hong Kong martial arts films and some new state of the art visual effects), that they subsequently totally failed to develop.
That being said, there are some arresting (if over stimulating) visual effects, but somehow, you do feel that you have seen it all before, and by the end, the cod messianic pretensions of the story are played out all too predictably. But hey, they’ve left the door open for more sequels, TV series, and a whole franchise.
The Matrix finished with a story yet to be told. Sadly, much as I wanted to like this film and Reloaded, these films did not tell that story.


Postmission: World Mission by a Postmodern Generation: World Mission by Postmodern Generation
Postmission: World Mission by a Postmodern Generation: World Mission by Postmodern Generation
by Richard Tiplady
Edition: Paperback

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A valuable addition to an important subject, 23 May 2003
World mission is changing. Arguably the most profound for change for mission from the Western nations, is the impact of postmodern culture, and the new generations who have grown up with it. What impact will this culture have on the future of mission?
Rather than write about Generation X (the age group that grew up in the eighties and nineties and who have been heavily influenced by postmodern values), this book is written by leaders of that generation themselves – men and women with a heart for mission, for taking the gospel of Christ to all the earth, but whose approaches and understandings may differ somewhat from those who have gone before. The book is the result of a meeting in 2001 on Lindisfarne of many young mission leaders from around the world. The aim of this ‘Holy Island Roundtable’ was to explore what mission might look like in the coming decades, and how to respond to this creatively and positively.
At one level, this book is a plea for understanding and communication. That room has been left for an afterward by Bill Taylor of the WEA Commission on Mission – an older leader with many year’s mission experience – is a good sign that this is not a book written out of a sense of confrontation or hurt, but rather out of a desire to reach out across the generations.
It is also an attempt to find out what God is saying to the church and mission agencies in these times. One of the challenges is to recognise how much of what we think of as the gospel is actually culture, and to separate that out from the core of Biblical Christianity. At the same time, what is readily dismissed in postmodern culture is not always unbiblical or against God. All culture is fallen, but God can redeem any culture. Each culture reflects something of God that can only be ignited by the Word and the Spirit being brought to bear. This no more or less true for postmodern culture than it is for the culture that preceded it.
With this in mind, the book also looks at the strengths and weaknesses that Generation X brings to world mission. If you are a mission leader of an older generation that finds young people frustrating, hard to work with or just plain incomprehensible most of time, this book may give you a fresh insight. If you are part of ‘Generation X’, it will help you reflect on where you are coming from and be a bit more willing to work with those who have gone before in a more constructive, and open hearted manner. I count myself as part of ‘Generation X’, and like me, you may not agree with all the authors say, but you will recognise aspects of yourself here. If we wish to see mission go on into the twenty-first century with new blood and fresh vision, books like this cannot but help us start to work out ways of working that will ensure we are being faithful to God and relevant to the culture from which many of our missionaries are being drawn. How that affects how we remain relevant to the cultures to which we are outreaching in Christ’s name is another subject.


Dead Air
Dead Air
by Iain Banks
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It could have been worse, 25 Sept. 2002
This review is from: Dead Air (Hardcover)
When I started this book, just before the anniversary of 9/11 (obvious timing for this book's release) I was looking forward to the usual complex, dark hidden meanings and intricate plot lines that marked Bank's earlier work. Sadly, it turns into a long rant, with minimal plot (apart from the last third), and even less event (again, apart from the last third). It seems mainly to consist of Banks using his protagonist (and some of the incidental characters) as a political mouthpiece. Indeed, most the characters seem to be little more than ciphers.
It is also very hip and topical in a sort of London hip manner, which means this book will date big time - the cultural and topical references will be irrelevant or seem very old fashioned in just a couple of years time, giving this book a very, very limited shelf life.
That being said, the final third does crank up a pace, and there is some genuinely good suspense writing, even if the climax (like so many Banks novels) is rather flat after the build up.
Banks is a good writer, but most of his best writing is ten or more years old now. He is getting better at description and creating mood and tension, but he seems to be losing plot and character along the way. I still feel that there is a truly great Banks novel waiting to be written. This, however, is not it.


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