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Thomas Knight "The-Advanced-Lemon" (Brighton UK)

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MANICARE Nail Clippers with Chain
MANICARE Nail Clippers with Chain
Price: 2.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Very 'handy'..., 4 Aug 2014
I had a set of these for several years. Now I'm buying another set. They are cheap, well made and sharp enough to cut fingernails without a problem. They also happen to be one of the only sets of nail clippers of this quality that you can easily put on a keyring. Personally I dispense with the chain and put the keyring directly through the little hole that the chain goes through. As a musician, I find these indispensable. Quite often i need to cut my nails while not at home and having them on my keyring means I never forget them or lose them...

Staedtler Noris 122-HB Pencils Rubber-tipped Box Of 12 HB (2) Degree
Staedtler Noris 122-HB Pencils Rubber-tipped Box Of 12 HB (2) Degree
Price: 7.52

5.0 out of 5 stars Quality that shows, 4 Aug 2014
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Not all pencils are created equal. I will only buy these pencils. Enough said!

Pack of 100 - Grip Seal Bags Resealable Clear Plastic Bags ***Different Sizes*** (8x12 cm (3.15" x 4.72"))
Pack of 100 - Grip Seal Bags Resealable Clear Plastic Bags ***Different Sizes*** (8x12 cm (3.15" x 4.72"))
Offered by Everest Trading UK
Price: 2.05

3.0 out of 5 stars Good for cramming things into a small space, 22 Jun 2014
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I agree with the previous review on this. These are really thin bags and unless you are a careful sort of person (like me) they wouldn't last 5 minutes, but then they are also really cheap bags...

In fact though, thin bags have their place. For instance, when you sort a box full of bits into bags like these and then try to cram them all back into a small space then you will find that many thick bags add considerably to the bulk and you will be unable to fit everything in. These thin bags were perfect for what I bought them for which includes being packed into an extremely tight space and doesn't include being opened much or even handled very often. However, the remaining 50 or so bags are pretty useless because I would want thicker bags for most other applications.

Mosolov - Piano Sonatas Nos 2 and 5; Two Nocturnes
Mosolov - Piano Sonatas Nos 2 and 5; Two Nocturnes
Price: 15.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great and unique music - truly deserves to be more popular!, 22 Jun 2014
These piano sonatas are masterpieces of 20th century Modernism! They are highly original works but if you like Prokofiev or Russian Modernism in general then you will love these.

You will perhaps have come across some obscure music from Soviet Russia before. Many times it is accompanied by flattering remarks and comments touting the composer's genius. Then you listen to it and think: so what - sounds like a poor version of composer XYZ? There is a lot of this kind of 'second rate' (I hate to say it) music out there. This however is where Mosolov stands out. His music is NOT like that at all. This is genuinely unique stuff which truly deserves a place in the pianist's repertoire!

Mosolov's music is extremely dark and artistic. It can be enjoyed very much on an conventional aesthetic level since his works are in fact tonal and are extremely well structured, much like Prokofiev's works - so they require no 'special training' or knowledge of music theory to appreciate, just an open mind, and perhaps an artistic propensity towards the darker side...

In fact this music was formed by the aspiring young Mosolov somewhere in the wake of Prokofiev's early career and during his absence in Paris. The 2nd piano sonata has the subtitle 'From old notebooks' which is certainly in homage to Prokofiev and contains some very powerful music! The 5th sonata is epic in proportion. The nocturnes are a really nice addition although they might give you nightmares if you have a particularly vivid imagination!

My slightly more technical description of Mosolov's earlier works would be that they are Scriabin-esque in atmosphere (but hugely dark whereas Scriabin is all mystic and light), that they employ Stravinsky inspired compositional techniques (the handling of themes and melodic figures for instance), and yet they are much closer to Prokofiev in structure (the structure is based around polyphonic techniques which come from Prokofiev), but of course they are unmistakably Mosolov and if you haven't yet heard them, do buy this CD.

As for the performance, it is really good. The music is technically very difficult to play and interpret (speaking from experience) and somehow Henck manages to pull it off almost flawlessly! I think he aims to just 'play what's actually there' in keeping with the modern view of the performance of Modernist music. I would personally also love to hear a really artistic interpretation of these works. Additionally, both sonatas are just crying out to be orchestrated. (listen to Mosolov's newspaper advertisements to get an idea of what they could sound like)

Days Of Wonder Ticket To Ride Europe 1912 Expansion
Days Of Wonder Ticket To Ride Europe 1912 Expansion
Price: 13.98

3.0 out of 5 stars Warehouse rules...??, 6 April 2014
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Despite the warehouses being the biggest selling point of this expansion, when we tried it we found the resulting game didn't really make a lot of sense. From the rules, it appeared that you could simply place a depo anywhere on the board and then build straight into it, discarding a second depo as you did so in order to pick up all the cards from your own warehouse. But then we tried with the additional rule that you cannot place a depo and then build into it on the same turn. This seemed to help a bit, but ultimately using the warehouses takes away from the other strategies in the game and makes the whole game a bit more based on chance. One of the most annoying things about the warehouses was that if you needed to collect cards for one of the long connections in the game, it could turn out that most of the cards of the colour you wanted were stuck facedown on a warehouse somewhere, only to be taken by another player. This meant basically avoiding the longer connections unless you happened to be that other player and found yourself handed 6 cards of the same colour.

The redeeming feature of this expansion however was the Big Cities option which we found to be quite fun. The combined option didn't work so well because you could start off being dealt original route cards while another player could start off with the Big Cities routes, which basically means you're screwed from the beginning.

Actually, the Big Cities is a bit flawed as well in that once you've played a couple of times, because the routes fit together so well, everybody basically starts the game by taking routes until there are none left in the stack. But it is still a lot of fun!

Tanita KD321SV33 Kitchen Scales 3 kg with 0.1 g Fine Increments
Tanita KD321SV33 Kitchen Scales 3 kg with 0.1 g Fine Increments
Price: 29.82

5.0 out of 5 stars Well designed, 6 April 2014
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A good set of scales. Well designed and robust!

I did a bit of research before buying because I wanted a set of scales that could weigh very accurately, had a sensible range and which wouldn't break the bank. In the end, I went for these on a whim, despite the lack of reviews. I have not been disappointed!

They also have the handy feature of being able to measure milk or water by weight so would be ideal for using with a bread machine or for baking.

Before you throw the manual away, make sure the scales are set with the correct calibration for your latitude. I live in Scotland, and upon arrival, mine were set up for use in England. This could cause the measurements to be slightly inaccurate as the earth's gravity varies depending on what part of the world you are in.

Rave Coffee The Italian Job Fresh Roasted Coffee Beans Classic Italian Blend 1 Kg
Rave Coffee The Italian Job Fresh Roasted Coffee Beans Classic Italian Blend 1 Kg
Offered by Rave Coffee
Price: 9.50

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good blend, but I found the title misleading..., 6 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought these coffee beans on the strength of the other reviews here and elsewhere. (and because I've heard good things about Rave Coffee)

The blend itself is very good and the beans were roasted not so long ago. The ones I received however were not quite as fresh as I would have liked, having been roasted 3 weeks prior to me receiving them. Most people would agree that beans are at their peak somewhere between 5 and 20 days after roasting. This means that while my first shot was very good, by the time I get anywhere near finishing this enormous bag, they will long have gone stale... The delivery was very quick so this can't have been the issue. Perhaps I should have made enquiries as to the best time to order beforehand. They are still much better than anything you would find in a supermarket. (and sadly, many cafés)

That's the objective part over, now on to the more personal bit:

If you are the kind of person who enjoys drinking coffee in Starbucks, then these beans are for you. Don't hesitate to buy! You will not be disappointed! With the right care and attention, (or some good coffee making equipment) these beans will transport you right there. If, however, you prefer the coffee in Costa, or in Café Nero, or even in a nice Italian restaurant somewhere, then you may want to think twice before ordering these beans. I personally found the title a bit misleading as to me these beans just don't taste like what I expect from an 'Italian' blend.

The crema these beans produce is excellent, but this comes at a cost, because one of the reasons for this is the use of Robusta beans in the blend, which also give the shot more bitter tones due to the higher caffeine content. (I was absolutely buzzing after trying these)

Personally, I found that the flavour of this blend reminded me a bit too forcefully of Starbucks, and for me, that isn't such a good thing. All in all however, personal objections aside: The blend as a say is very good, well balanced, produces good crema, and would ideally appeal to somebody who is fond of Starbucks. If you manage to get them fresh, then even better, perhaps I was just unlucky at the time I chose to order. (but hence the 4 stars) And lastly, don't be misled by the title, these are the kind of 'Italian' beans you would expect to find in an American café. (I suppose I should have guessed)

UPDATE 22/06/14 - I've been trying various coffee beans for a while now and these are still some of the nicest beans I have yet managed to get my hands on - just don't buy the huge packet unless it's for an office! I'm tempted to up the review to 5 stars...
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 30, 2014 1:33 PM BST

JVC HA-NC250 High Quality Noise Cancelling Headphones with Comfortable Ear Pads
JVC HA-NC250 High Quality Noise Cancelling Headphones with Comfortable Ear Pads
Price: 80.50

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, but not audiophile quality!, 20 Jun 2010
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These headphones are really really nice. I bought a pair for my girlfriend at first, and she was over the moon and said they were amazing. :) I too, was staggered how good they were when I tried them on, so I went out and bought myself a pair as well!

I've had a few noise cancelling headphones in the past, but none of them have been nearly as powerful or as hiss free as these. In fact, there is virtually no hiss at all. The bass also sounds incredibly crisp compared to other noise cancelling headphones I've tried!

I say 'virtually no hiss', because there is just no hiss at all when you haven't got any music playing through them, or when you've got the track paused, and for Rock music, or pretty much any sort of music played by a band. But audiophile quality they are not, as I listen to a lot of classical music, (especially piano, as I play the piano) and one thing that I noticed as soon as I played piano music through them is that there seems to be an audible distortion of the very high frequency harmonics of the sound when noise cancelling is turned on, especially through the left ear-piece!

In fact, I sent mine back and got a replacement pair because of this, just in case, but the only difference in the new pair is that although they do distort the sound slightly less, they do it through both ear-pieces instead of just the left.

Either you will notice it or you won't. (my girlfriend hadn't noticed at all until I had pointed it out and made her listen very carefully several times over)

To be honest, you get used to the tiny bit of sound distortion, and when you compare it with the amount of white noise you get with other noise cancelling headphones, it's hardly worth worrying about. I use the headphones on the train almost every day, and the improvement over listening with other headphones is staggeringly good.

If you are an audiophile who likes listening to classical music, then you will most probably find the slight hiss caused by the sound distortion quite irritating, but if you don't consider yourself an audiophile, you probably won't even be able to hear it. (you'll just think I'm making it up) And if you listen to music with cymbals in, you DEFINITELY won't be able to hear it!! ;) It's barely noticeable, just annoying for anyone who likes their music to sound absolutely perfect, and for each ear to hear the same quality sound!!

It's just a design flaw anyway. It's todo with the placement of the microphones and their housing, and --may-- be able to be rectified somewhat with some cunningly placed blue-tack... But it's up to you what you do with your 100 worth of headphones!! I take no such responsibility!!! :P

Apart from this, they're great! They're certainly the best sounding noise cancelling headphones you'll get for this price, and JVC always have a better build quality internally then most of their competitors. (I know this for a fact as I've taken a lot of electronics stuff to bits in the past)

Overall, they're a wonderful piece of kit! If you're faced with a noisy environment in which you want to listen to your music, these are the things to get!!

Liszt: Piano Concertos Nos 1 & 2
Liszt: Piano Concertos Nos 1 & 2
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: 12.74

5 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally! ..., 14 Nov 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The recording of totentanz on this CD is awesome. It's really violent and dramatic. Someone gave me a tape with various pieces of music on it several years ago, and it had this version of totentanz on it, and I've been searching for it ever since. I'm so glad to have finally found it! It's fantastic...

River of Tuoni
River of Tuoni

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A promising taster of more to come..., 23 Feb 2009
This review is from: River of Tuoni (Audio CD)
Amberian Dawn, despite having members from previous bands, are still quite young as far as bands go. Their style in this album is similar to Nightwish, After Forever, Epica and other Symphonic Metal bands.

I will explain:

If you are a massive fan of Nightwish and you're looking for some similar music to listen to, I wouldn't recommend this album that highly. You will be disappointed as Nightwish and other big symphonic bands have almost exactly the same sound but do it much better.

However, if you are a fan of Symphonic Metal as a genre, if you get excited or inspired by hearing a promising new band on the scene, then go for it. You'll love this album and this band! In River Of Tuoni, you can clearly hear some Amberian Dawn's own style coming out even though it is only their first release. Tuomas Seppälä writes some pretty awesome guitar riffs, and Heidi Parviainen, though sounding a bit raw in places, has a very good voice, although I personally feel she doesn't really use it to it's full potential in this album.

River Of Tuoni sounds great - any band would be very pleased to have created something this good as their first offering!

All in all, a very promising young band. (Also very friendly people too) Definitely worth hearing if you like Symphonic Metal, and I feel one to look out for in the future...

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