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N. J. Mazonowicz

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Humans are not from Earth: a scientific evaluation of the evidence
Humans are not from Earth: a scientific evaluation of the evidence
Price: 1.99

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Cut Price Von Daniken - without the verve., 31 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I am sure most people of my generation will remember the first time they read Erich Von Daniken's Chariots of the Gods and how they were momentarily convinced. After all for all his faults, he was able to construct his arguments with a rhetorical verve that was persuasive and his research (even if misleadingly presented) was interesting and was probably many people's first introduction to such phenomanae as the Easter Island statues.

Unfortunately, those great days of Von Daniken and Charles 'Bermuda Triangle' Berlitz are long gone and instead we are left with Dr Ellis Silver - a kind of Lidls to Von Daniken's Harrods. Supposedly a top ecologist, Silver posits that we are a species not native to this earth but have been dumped on here by an alien race as a sort of punishment for something or other

Points he throws up in evidence include

1) We can't look directly at the sun.
2) We tend to get bad backs
3) If you look out of your window, you'll see a lot of miserable people
4) We like fatty foods rather than food that is good for us
5) We get sunburnt

Most of these arguments are of course pretty specious and easily disprovable with just a moments thought (if we are the only species that likes junk food, why have parks now decided to put up warnings to customers not to feed white bread to ducks?) and at times Silver seems to be arguing against himself or losing his thread (trying to find out which planet we came from, he concludes it was one orbiting a binary star but then says "I'm not sure how we could warm at night on such a planet without clothes or fur..Perhaps we burrow underground and huddle together for warmth).
What really grates is the sheer flimsiness of the book with no references, charts, pictures or any actual supporting material.

If you are really not sure how to spend 1.99 on your kindle then this will give you a good half-hours chuckle, but compared to the great days of loony theorising from Berlitz and Von Daniken, this is poor stuff.

Anonymous [DVD] [2011]
Anonymous [DVD] [2011]
Dvd ~ Rhys Ifans
Offered by games-n-console-land
Price: 3.48

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The 'darker and edgier' Shakespeare?, 31 Dec 2012
This review is from: Anonymous [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
This film presents itself as Roland Emmerich's move into cinematic maturity, a move away from the special effects laden films of his youth and into a concentration on plot, atmosphere and mature characterisation. Or so he apparently intended, but by the end of the film I was hoping in vain for an alien invasion to destroy London or Godzilla to burn down the globe...anything to raise the mood of gloom and doom that Emmerich apparently thinks is 'proper' film-making. Derek Jacobi (one of the few performers who actually gives any sparkle to his performances) promises at the beginning to tell a 'darker story' and dark the story certainly is; full of tightly framed underlit shots of lots of men in ruffs and beards shouting at each other and generally being underhand. Not one sympathetic character shows themselves; Edward Hogg's Robert Cecil is a grumpy hunchback who, like his father, hates the arts and wants to put King James of Scotland on the throne (which the film, rather ineffectually tries to suggest is a Bad Thing). Rafe Spall's William Shakespeare is a drunken fornicator who kills Christopher Marlowe when he discovers the truth about his non-authorship of the plays. Ben Jonson is a treacherous swine who is given one of the film's unintentionally hilarious lines ('You know he's illiterate. Oh he can read well enough'). Queen Elizabeth is a senile old bat who has spent most of her reign dropping bastards left, right and centre, which his counsellors alternate between covering up and trying to stick them on the throne. And as for Edward De Vere, the 'soul of the age?' Well it's hard to sympathise with a man who, according to the film, killed an unnamed servant and wasted most of his family fortune while ignoring his own family. The part is given to Rhys Ifans who fails entirely to endow it with any sign of life whatsoever. And as for the big question the film poses, 'Who wrote Shakespeare?' The film does such harm to the Oxfordian cause by piling on absurdity on absurdity that one might suspect this to be a stealth satire.
Comment Comments (7) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 29, 2013 1:26 PM BST

Where Dawkins Went Wrong
Where Dawkins Went Wrong
by Andrew Rilstone
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.40

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bristol's Own Juvenal strikes again, 7 Jun 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
There are bloggers...and then there is Andrew Rilstone. His fanboyish enthusiasms; scathing wit and learned sensibilities have made his blog compulsive reading for the last few years. In this, one of his first published works, Andrew takes on the mighty Richard Dawkins and largely wins; thanks to his ability to ignore non-essentials and zoom in on the critical weaknesses that Dawkins presents; as well as concluding with a compromise agreement on the subject of religion that both believers and non-believers could easily accept. As another reviewer has mentioned; the work could do with more proof checking; as well as more material, but this still remains an essential purchase for anyone with the remotest interest in the science vs religion debate, as well as showing the best of what 'The New Media' has to offer.

The Da Vinci Code (Robert Langdon)
The Da Vinci Code (Robert Langdon)
by Dan Brown
Edition: Paperback

42 of 50 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Da Vinci Code Code, 2 Sep 2010
The famous Civil Servant sat at his computer typing. His wife entered, gazing in awe at his finely toned figure.
"What are you doing?" she questioned?
"I'm writing a review of the Da Vinci Code' he replied. "As you know, it was published in 1997, the year that the Vatican assassinated Stephen Hawking for questioning whether or not the world was round"
"Is this the Da Vinci Code that was the very exciting thriller?"
"Or so it is believed" replied the famous civil servant "but take a look at this". He handed her a large illustrated tomb entitled 'The Da Vinci Code'
His wife gazed at the book and the writing, and then suddenly gasped aloud
"But...but it's just a load of poorly put together sentences, two dimensional characters and obvious plot twists, mainly narrated by the clean cut hero in a patronising manner to his female assistant? How could Dan Brown ever hope to make this a best seller?"
"That is the cunning part" replied the increasingly handsome and clever civil servant. "In order for Dan Brown to be proclaimed saviour of the thriller novel, he had to be made to look controversial. So he chucked in a load of nonsense that he vaguely remembered from reading The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail so that his novel would seem subversive and sticking it to the man (or god). Then he put in an introduction stating that all the facts were true so people thought they were actually learning something new. And because the novel is attacking organised religion, anyone who criticised the book could be seen to be an agent of the church"

Meanwhile, 300 miles away, the hunchbacked crippled albino.....
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 20, 2013 6:50 PM BST

Bic Crystal Ballpoint Pen, Medium Point, Black
Bic Crystal Ballpoint Pen, Medium Point, Black
Offered by Premier Life Store
Price: 0.94

14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Political Correctness Gone Mad, 11 Feb 2008
Why does it have to be a BLACK biro?? No doubt it would be considered offensive to muslims or something if you sold a biro with white ink in it.

Lying about Hitler: History, Holocaust and the David Irving Trial
Lying about Hitler: History, Holocaust and the David Irving Trial
by Richard Evans
Edition: Hardcover

20 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?, 16 April 2004
"You know that David Irving? He's completely made up. He didn't happen at all". So said Stephen Fry.
In April 2000, David Irving took the author Deborah Lipstadt to court over allegations that he had systematically distorted evidence to fit in with his own ideas of holocaust denial. Evans was expert witness for the defence and in this utterly fascinating book, he shows us step by step how he was able to prove that David Irving did systematically distort the evidence. He also explores how the trial was able to turn from a mere libel case into something bigger; a trial which was seen as putting not only the Holocaust on trial, but even accepted notions of truth and falsehood.
Before this book, David Irving had a (slightly tarnished) reputation as a controversial but diligent researcher with an astonishing grasp of primary material. The picture of Irving that emerges from this book is that of an increasingly deranged demagogue; constantly interupting witnesses in his interogations, spending time trying to show the anti-semitism of 19th century writers in a startling display of irrelevance and addressing the judge as 'Mein Fuhrer'. However, a particularly strange atmosphere surrounding this trial; at times it seemed like it was Irving himself who was on trial; portraying himself (and being portrayed in some quarters) as fearlessly resisting the might of the Jewish-Zionist lobby attempting to supress him (as if it was Lipstadt who had launched the libel suit), a factor which Evans captures well.
In his examination of the evidence in this book, Evans limits himself to a few key case studies; which may be fustrating to the casual reader wanting more, nevertheless this is an utterly fascinating account of an untterly fascinating case.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 7, 2012 9:05 PM BST

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Two Disc Theatrical Edition) [DVD] [2003]
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Two Disc Theatrical Edition) [DVD] [2003]
Dvd ~ Elijah Wood
Price: 3.40

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant of course - but....., 13 Mar 2004
Without wishing to fall into the 'third orc from the left was called Gushnask in the book not Grishnashk in the film' trap of book pedants, I felt that this film was the one which suffered most in the translation from the book. The downgrading of the palantir as a plot device (in the book, one of the central elements of the third part) left Denethor particularly damaged, turning into a power crazed loony with no apparent motive for his actions. (In the book, Denethor uses a palantir to discover Sauron's plans without realising Sauron is manipulating the images he sees). I also agree with a previous reviewer that Eowyn's appearance lacks the impact it does in the book (we are not aware that she is the warrior who takes Merry into battle until the final confrontation with the Nazgul).
Also the lack of the scouring of the shire (admittedly perhaps difficult to carry off as the part of the film) means we lose a crucial character arc for Frodo. (Wearied of his experiences and of fighting, Frodo refuses to draw his sword in the battle to liberate the shire, and as a result is shunned by countryfolk for ever after, contributing to his decision to leave middle earth).
Despite these reservations (and, like most people, I eagerly await the extended version which may hopefully restore some of the narrative force of the book), this is a film in which the full force of Peter Jackson's cinematic genius is unleashed and never once lets up in the three hours of the film, battering even the most cynical of reviewers (mentioning no names Peter Bradshaw) into submission. Brauva shots abound, particularly the lighting of the beacons sequence, and what seems to me the most powerful aspect of the book is preserved in the film. That is, that the final battle is not the battle of Pelennor Fields but the battle of the Black Gate because this is a battle the heroes willing fight, knowing they have no chance of winning but merely hoping to provide a distraction to help Frodo and Sam. It is at this point that the most powerful moments of the film occur, and they are not the CGI effects but the simple, yet moving, pieces of dialogue spoken by Aragorn "Perhaps, but we may buy Frodo a little time", "A day may come when we forsake our friends, but it is not this day".

The Head Of God: The Lost Treasure of the Templars
The Head Of God: The Lost Treasure of the Templars
by Keith Laidler
Edition: Hardcover

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining reading- taken with a pinch of salt., 26 Sep 1999
This is one of the latest books to follow the path set by Henry Lincoln, Michael Baignet and Richard Leigh in their controversial bestseller, Holy Blood and Holy Grail. In Holy Blood and Holy Grail, the writers theorised that the artifact known as the Holy Grail, reputed to be held by the Knights Templer, was in some way connected to the legacy of Jesus who, far from being the passive figure portrayed by the gosepls, was in fact, the legitimate king of Israel. They also speculated that Jesus was in fact married and had sons and that the Mervoginian dynasty of France was descended from Jesus and this was a secret the catholic church tried to suppress. Much of history, for example the crusades, could be read as an attempt to restore the heirs of Jesus to their rightful throne. However, Lincol et al never discussed what, in fact, the Holy Grail was. This book however builds on their story to reveal the shocking truth that the Holy Grail was none other than the mummified head of Jesus. A shocking story indeed, if it is true. Unfortunately, the evidence Laidler gives, like in many similar books, is patchy and doubtful to say the least. One of Laidler's theories is that Moses and the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhnaton (who introduced a monotheistic sun-worship religion) are one and the same. To do this, however, he takes the accounts in Genesis and Exodus literally until they fail to support him, in which case he decides that they have been altered by propagandists. Jacob, Joseph and his twelve brothers are, according to Laidler, real historical characters. (And Laidler also repeats the fallacy that Joseph had a 'coat of many colours', a fact recorded nowhere outside of a certain musical!). His reading of the new testament is equally suspect. He takes what he needs from the new testament until it fails to support his theory, in which case he produces, almost out of the blue, apocryphal accounts and ancient Jewish stories to suggest that, for example, Jesus was not crucified but stoned to death. There is no attempt to critically weigh up sources, no attempt to evaluate evidence, no attempt to put into context, and no reasons given why we should accept one account and not the other. His methods on a literary level do not impress me as sound. He decides, to the amazement of everyone, that John the Baptist was already dead when Salome asked for his head. His reasoning? The gospel of Mark mentions that Herod thought that Jesus was John the Baptist risen from the dead and this fact is mentioned before the story of Salome. Ergo, John was dead before Salome danced. Yet any reading of the story will show that Mark is using the perfectly respectable literary technique of the flashback; he mentions the fact that Herod killed John the Baptist and then goes back in time to detail how this will do. (Fans of Quentin Tarantino will have no difficulty following this!). Another mistake that Laidler makes is assuming that all cultures which share symbols must be somehow linked. He decides that since the Severed Head is important to so many people, all these people must be related. However, a few minutes thought will reveal why the Severed Head would be important. If you cut off any part of someone's body, there is a chance they will survive, providing you do not behead them! This would show why severed heads would be so important to many cultures, without necessarily proving that they are linked. To sum up, like many of its kind, a fascinating story with absolutely no evidence to support it.

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