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Bokken: Art of the Japanese Sword (Literary Links to the Orient)
Bokken: Art of the Japanese Sword (Literary Links to the Orient)
by Dave Lowry
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.50

2.0 out of 5 stars Just look a the amount of time uke is expected to remain still while tori executes unnecessary steps such as spinning around to, 12 Dec. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'm far from being an experienced commenter with only about 4 years of iai and ken under my belt but to me the paired exercises just don't look right. Just look a the amount of time uke is expected to remain still while tori executes unnecessary steps such as spinning around to deliver an attack or steps back when his sword is inches from uke's throat allowing uke to strike. In my experience Japanese traditional schools are much more direct.

I alos have a problem with the section on striking. It describes the positions but not he correct technique to strike with a sword. A sword should not be used like a hammer. Additionaly the advised training methods of striking at speed and stopping the sword just before the target teach students to do just that, stop before the target.


Behind the Candelabra [DVD]
Behind the Candelabra [DVD]
Dvd ~ Michael Douglas
Offered by MusicnMedia
Price: £4.87

1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Tedious, 3 Jan. 2014
This review is from: Behind the Candelabra [DVD] (DVD)
A tedious camp-fest interspersed with an occassional tawdry sex scene, presumably to wake the audience up.

If you're interested in the trivial minutia of the rather ugly relationship between Liberace and his man-servant cum lover then fire away. For me, it was wall to wall boredom that no amount of rhinestones could dress-up. The kindest thing I could think to say about it was that it was relatively well acted and superbly produced.


Sony XBA-C10 XBA Active In-Ear Closed Headphones - White
Sony XBA-C10 XBA Active In-Ear Closed Headphones - White
Price: £19.73

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I like 'em, 31 Oct. 2013
Really neat design, attractive and unusual - they sit well in the ear due to the little elbows that bias against your skin. They are light. They come with an optional clip to clip the phones to your clothes, 4 sizes of ear pad and a reel to wind up excess chord when you don't need it.

I'm a bit long in the tooth to be judging the frequency response of headphones - my own ears have no doubt lost a lot at the margins - but a quick comparison against a set of beats full size headphones in the shop using the same audio file from the same MP3 player left me more or less unable to find a meaningful difference. I do detect a slight difference between these and the apple earbuds that came witht he mp3 player (the Sony is slightly better). in terms of ergonomics they are vastly superior.

The beats are of course several multiples of the price.


The River Shannon: A Journey Down Ireland's Longest River
The River Shannon: A Journey Down Ireland's Longest River
by Aiveen Cooper
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.77

5.0 out of 5 stars A Tapestry that Weaves a Warp and Weft of History and Place, 15 Mar. 2013
With a light hand the author leads us on a journey, from the source of Ireland's greatest river, down it's length and through its secrets and stories to where its waters are finally released to the sea.

Aiveen writes in a beautifully easy to read style that weaves the sights and sounds she experienced on her journey down the Shannon with the stories and history of the river, its lakes and surroundings. Part guide book, history book, zoology textbook and coffee table photo-book Aiveen manages to teach us about the the things to see and do along the Shannon, the history of the river and the wars made over her, the animals and plants of the river and the industry and engineering that are part and parcel of the river and its course.

My own family has a long history on the river both around Lough Ree and Limerick city and I was delighted to both recognise the river I love in this book and learn more about her.

So whether new to the river, planning to visit it or an old hand I think there will be something in this book for everyone. Just hope that, should your travels take you to the Shannon estuary, you don't meet one of the dolphins Aiveen describes in the final chapter.


The Tree of Life [DVD]
The Tree of Life [DVD]
Dvd ~ Brad Pitt
Price: £3.00

3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bimodal Distribution, 24 Jan. 2012
This review is from: The Tree of Life [DVD] (DVD)
I'm not surprised to see a bimodal distribution in the ratings for this film. All 4/5s or 1/2s and very few 3s.

As mentioned by others this is quite beautiful in a cinematic sense with lush colour, visual poetry and some beautiful, simple scenes. The story is presented in lots of cut up fragments for the viewer to piece together as he pleases.

By that description this is a film I should love.

But for me, the spell did not work, and I think there are a few reasons for that. The film starts with a series of childhood reminisences but a few minutes in it jerks suddenly into an odd series of scenes that we eventually realise represent the birth of the universe, the birth of earth, evolution of life and so on. I guess the intention is to set the scene for our little drama and point out how insignificant, if all consuming, our lives are. The main structural problem with this film is that this sequence does not work. The device is odd in and of itself and leaves you with the same WTF feeling you get on first watching 2001 A Space Odyssey. It is transitioned to in a jarring manner. Worste of all is the choice of material to tell the story of the universe. We have random floaty clouds and ;ights. Then we haev some nice astro photography. Then some plasticy looking birth of life sequences, some BBC Wildlife footage and some hilariously poor Dinosaure animation. The mix of very poor original material and high quality (I guess) stock footage does not work. The film has started to feel like a college project and from then nothing can save it.

After that the predictable and pretty tedious progression of family scenes leavew you wondering what Penn and Pitt saw in the script.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 15, 2013 10:29 PM GMT


Belkin Omniview 2-Port KVM Switch: F1DK102UEA (F1DK102UEA)
Belkin Omniview 2-Port KVM Switch: F1DK102UEA (F1DK102UEA)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Pass, 29 Mar. 2011
Never really worked to my satisfaction. Mostly it was ok, but occasionally it would refuse to switch and the only way to reset it was to unplug both USB cables from the 2 computers - this meant crawling around under my desk. It only happened once a fortnight or so, but still, a reset button would have obviated the need for desk yoga. Anyway, it died after about a year of light use and no abuse. I'm sure there are better options out there so I would recommend you not buy this product.


Mussolini: His Part in My Downfall
Mussolini: His Part in My Downfall
by Spike Milligan
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Honesty, 16 Nov. 2010
Spike's recollections of his time taking the sun in Italy at his majesty's command is a simple and honest account of one man's Italian invasion. And it is this honesty and the sensitive eye of Spike that is the treasure in this book.

We get a graphic account of life near the front - the privations, the work, the boredom, the cameraderie. Never boring Spike has a fantastic memory for events and the hilarious dialogue of his companions and himself. But this wisecracking layabout is never calous or lazy. He spends his war lookign for ways to be useful and he never misses or jokes about the suffering of others.

Spikes closest brush with the pointy end of the war brings the book to a sudden and sad conclusion. I cried for him in his desolation just as I had laughed uncontrollably along with him and his mates in the "good" times (the poor lady who sat beside me, with me giggling and sniffling away all accross the Atlantic!!). And it is Spike's light pen and innocent view of the world that whisks you along on this fantastic journey from somewhere in Italy to somewhere else, also in Italy.


Iomega Home Network Hard Drive 500GB SATA II USB2.0 (Silver)
Iomega Home Network Hard Drive 500GB SATA II USB2.0 (Silver)

1.0 out of 5 stars A little big for a paperweight, 21 April 2010
Lasted 6 months before access became spotty and finally died. I think the hard drive is still working but the network and usb connections are not.

Stay away!!


The Absorbent Mind
The Absorbent Mind
by Maria Montessori
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, 13 Dec. 2009
This review is from: The Absorbent Mind (Paperback)
First of all one should note that this is a very poor edition. It seems to haev been machine scanned from a printed copy to digital and then went straight to print without even as much as a quik cusory spell check, never mind a read. There seem to be some paragraphs missing and there are sone awfull spelling errors such as replacing "s" with "$". Still, this did not stop me enjoying this copy. Good ness knows I'm capable of a few awfull spelling mistakes myself.

One thing I've learned about the "great" books, be it Aristotle's Politics or Plato's Republic or just a good old pot boiler such as The Count of Monty Christo, is that it pays to go and read the originals. Almost without exception the idea I had of these books and their authors was dramatically different from what I discovered reading them and in the reading was a whole new perspective on the author and the times. This book is no exception.

For example, it was interesting to discover the Madam M. was not a believer in Darwinian Evolution, but instead in what would be known today as Intelligent Design. She seems to have had a very structured It was also interesing to get a good perspective on why her methods were seen as so radical at the time. To read the scare warning by the publisher on the inside cover one would think Madam Montesorri was some sort of raving racist but the text of the books gives a very strong impression that the opposite was very much true with her speaking glowingly and in very equal terms of various cultures. One can't quite get away from a vague whiff if a LeCorbusier like view of the world though, where efficiency and order and everyone knowing their station are the most beautiful of qualities. MM has an almost mythic belief in the ability of the child of under 6 to adapt and learn but it is mirrored by an equally strong conviction in the inability of adults to change or learn or adapt.

As for the contents of the book one must be frank and admit that a great deal of it is not very much to the point and often rather boring. There is a great deal of repetition and one often wishes the author would just get tot he point. Smattered throughout, with a greater concentration towards the end of the text, are insights into the education of children in what she views as the 3 developmental stages ( 0 -3, 3 - 6 and 6 - 12) but although these are powerful and probably more subtle that a first reading would credit them, they are also far from being in terms of a manual which one could take and apply except in the most general of ways. Perhaps there are good modern Montessori method books out there for parents to use in the education of their children, but I don't think this was either meant to be that book nor can it be used as such.


D-Link DSL 504T - Router + 4-port switch - DSL - Ethernet, Fast Ethernet - external
D-Link DSL 504T - Router + 4-port switch - DSL - Ethernet, Fast Ethernet - external

5.0 out of 5 stars Great little product, 13 Dec. 2009
Great little product! Most home user grate network equipment is of poor quality and this is the first router I've owned that lasted more than a year. Qudos to DLink for creating this great little product that has only now, after more then 6 years of continuos use in 3 countries, finally started to show signs of wear and tear (one ethernet port has given up the ghost).

Interface is simple but powerful, the unit is responsive, reliabeland remains connected to the WAN well and it looks pretty good too. I'm sorry to finally have to replace it and will be spending a lot more on the replacement in an attempt to equal its reliability.


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