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S. Williams (Finland)

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Withings Pulse Wireless Activity and Heart Rate Tracker - Black
Withings Pulse Wireless Activity and Heart Rate Tracker - Black
Price: 79.99

1.0 out of 5 stars Keeps crashing and losing data, 29 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
First of all, I generally love Withings products and have been using their scales without a hitch for years. The Pulse, however, was a disappointment. I used it for five days and not a single day's activities were fully and completely recorded. At least once a day I would pull the Pulse out of my pocket, press the button, see that nothing was happening, press the button again (it is not at all difficult to fail to press it hard enough the first time around) and see the dreaded "Hello!" on the screen, followed by a daily step count reset to 0 and time set to 3.00am. Sometimes I got lucky and the Pulse had uploaded the data to the app in a scheduled upload cycle before crashing, but most often it had not. It was particularly frustrating to wake up in the morning and press the button to switch the sleep mode off, only to be greeted with "Hello!" and no overnight data whatsoever.
When the data was present, it was accurate and interesting, particularly the sleep analysis. I currently get up several times a night due to a small baby, and this had been accurately recorded. However, the reliability of the device was far too poor to even consider continuing its use. Withings customer service has been unresponsive about this issue, so I gave up and got a refund instead.

Medela Night Time Sleep Maternity and Nursing Women's Bra
Medela Night Time Sleep Maternity and Nursing Women's Bra
Price: 12.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very pleased with this soft, lightweight bra, 30 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'm currently 28 weeks pregnant so I cannot comment on the nursing use of this bra, but for the purpose I bought it (to hold breast pads in place at night and to offer light support), this bra is excellent. Particularly love the high cotton content. Could be worn out and about as well, although obviously it's not a sports bra by any stretch of imagination.
I was a bit concerned about sizing. I am currently size 34E/F and comments about how this bra runs small were a worry. However, size Large is a very good fit. For what it's worth, the packaging size chart suggests size Medium for 34E, but the Large is certainly not too big. What's more, the band is fairly snug, which is a rarity in nursing bras - with some other types, I've had to take the band in with a sewing machine to get any support at all.
I will be buying more of these!

Private Conversations in Neverland with Michael Jackson
Private Conversations in Neverland with Michael Jackson
by William B. Van Valin II MD
Edition: Paperback
Price: 10.40

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A lovely surprise, 4 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'm always a bit leery of books written about Michael Jackson that are self-published. Usually it means sub-par content, little of which is factual in any way. This time, however, I was very pleasantly surprised; one gets the impression that the book was independently published to retain complete control of the contents, even if it meant a much smaller paycheck. I'm sure the author could have had the book published by a publisher had he chosen to do so.

As nearly all self-published books, this one has its fair share of typos and awkward grammatical structures, but no matter. The contents are worth it for sure. This is as close as you'll ever get to visiting Michael in Neverland (unless you did so yourself, you lucky thing). Despite the detailed recounts of the conversations that took place between the author and MJ, the book does not feel like a breach of trust. Any specific things mentioned might have been said in a public arena. Kudos to the author for his good judgment in this regard!

The book might not be of much interest to people who are mainly interested in Michael Jackson the megastar. There are few references to his work and all that goes with it. This book is about Michael Jackson the person. If you, like me, prefer the person to the personality, this makes for lovely reading.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 8, 2013 6:37 PM BST

Behind The Mask: What Michael Jackson's Body Language Told The World: 1
Behind The Mask: What Michael Jackson's Body Language Told The World: 1
by Craig James Baxter
Edition: Paperback
Price: 8.29

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Preaching to the converted, 3 Jan 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Don't get me wrong: I am absolutely pro-MJ. I'm as pro as they come. But to claim this book is impartial is simply dishonest.
It reads very much like a university course paper on the basics of non-verbal communication, and indeed, what credentials does the author have? We don't know. The arguments and references are hand-picked to support the author's opinions, and anything that conflicts with this is swept under the rug. Any time that Michael Jackson displays non-verbal signals of deception or conflict, for instance, this is explained away somehow (as an exception to the rule) or simply ignored.
This is not to suggest that MJ was a particularly deceptive person or that he routinely lied, but I can guarantee that when being interviewed, knowing he was being watched by millions, he was not as truthful and open as this book indicates. No-one would; you wouldn't, I wouldn't.
Sure, the text may be exactly what a fan might want to hear, but if it's not objective, what's the point?
This is not a sound scientific text and I can see why it was independently published. I am astonished that the book has so many rave reviews.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 10, 2014 10:53 AM GMT

The King of Style: Dressing Michael Jackson
The King of Style: Dressing Michael Jackson
by Michael Bush
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 20.40

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true treasure, 7 Nov 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Although Michael Jackson is one of my favourite topics, I rarely buy books written about him as they hardly ever contain anything new to me (and often contain questionable information and pure speculation). However, I bought "The King of Style" and I am so so happy that I did. It is absolutely gorgeous and a MUST for any MJ fan or costume/fashion enthusiast. It is lovely to browse through the book and see all the familiar pieces, beautifully photographed. It also didn't hurt that I enjoy sewing/garment construction and the information in the book is fascinating to me from that perspective, as well. However, what makes the book truly special are the anecdotes of how the author and MJ came up with the ideas and designs. They warm the hearts of the fans who still feel his passing very sorely indeed.

Neverland: The Michael Jackson Graphic
Neverland: The Michael Jackson Graphic
by Jim McCarthy
Edition: Paperback
Price: 11.06

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A fan not impressed, 13 Sep 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
As a lifelong MJ fan, I was pretty confident ordering this product based on the other 5-star reviews. However, I must say I was disappointed. For sure, some of the artwork is absolutely gorgeous - at times, Michael's face is captured perfectly with surprisingly few lines. Many faces are lifted from actual photographs, and it's fun to spot them. Other times it's not so great. The faces of his brothers, particularly, are not very recognisable.

I found the story to be quite incoherent; a LOT of time/pages are devoted to the Jackson 5 days with Motown. After that, his life developments are presented more and more briefly. The Dangerous album and related projects never even make an appearance! The only reference to his charity work is by him mentioning (to Jordy Chandler, of all people!) that he intends to initiate the Heal the World Foundation. His children, or one of them really, are only mentioned in passing. Overall, one gets the feeling that after the initial surge of inspiration, the artist just wanted to get the job over and done with as quickly as possible.

All this would have been OK. However, what I found truly upsetting was that the graphic novel basically suggests that MJ committed suicide/overdosed himself without Dr. Murray even present. That goes way beyond artistic licence. Not cool.

I must say that regret this purchase and would advise other fans to view the item before buying it.

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse [Blu-ray]
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Robert Pattinson
Price: 7.21

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Who is this a-hole and what has he done with Edward?, 20 Sep 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I am quite firmly placed in the Team Edward category, but Eclipse the film nearly pushed me over to Team Jacob!
Edward is portrayed as a sullen, possessive a-hole with passive-aggressive (and often just plain aggressive) tendencies toward everyone including Bella. For sure, Edward has his issues in the book as well, but it's like they handpicked the worst of him for the movie and left the rest. It doesn't help that there's little chemistry between Edward and Bella - most of the time they just seem to be irritated by each other's presence. The line about them circling each other like satellites seems almost sarcastic because there's no evidence of this in their actions. Based on this you'd expect them to be breaking up instead of getting married.

Jacob doesn't get a fair treatment either. The acting performance is fine but the storyline involving him is severely handicapped. The kiss between him and Bella is nothing but awkward and doesn't begin to depict the supposed inner conflict that arises in Bella's mind. Also, when Bella leaves Jacob's bedside after telling him of her choice, the whole process of her having an emotional breakdown and purging her feelings for Jacob (which I thought was incredibly central to the story) is simply not there. Poof, gone. Why was this movie even made?

After watching the deleted scenes I could not understand why they had been cut. Particularly the bit where Edward tells Bella he understands if she's mad that he tooled with her car and that she should keep the window shut if she doesn't want him there. This is exactly the stuff that would've made Edward-of-the-movie more likeable, showing his tender and considerate side. And they cut it!

Others have commented on the excessive sunshine in the movie, I needn't repeat it here. Let's just say that I knew something was awry when even my husband (who dislikes the Twilight franchise) said "Aren't they supposed to sparkle?".

The hair (both wigs and simply styling) is bad enough to attract attention to itself, which is the worst thing that could happen. Speaking of hair - whatever happened to Edward's "smooth, marble-like chest"? The actor's excessively hairy arms and tufts of chest hair pushing out of his neckline kind of shatter the illusion. Minor, but again something that stuck out that shouldn't have.
Overall, I think the aesthetics of the film are not very successful. The morbidly fascinating hair aside, none of the characters actually look very nice at all. This is most startlingly obvious with Edward who is supposed to be dazzlingly gorgeous. Instead, he's sometimes just painful to look at, quite contrary to the first two movies. There are occasional moments, like the fight scene in the snow, that are beautiful. The rest just doesn't cut it.

The ONLY thing that was better in the movie opposed to the book was Edward's proposal speech. We are shown glimpses of Jasper and Rosalie's pasts but Edward's has never been touched much. I thought it was a nice addition.

This could have been a very good movie, but it's painfully obvious that both Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson have lost interest by now and the director didn't seem to care much either. It doesn't bode well for the Breaking Dawn movies, but I hope I'm wrong.

Breaking Dawn: 4/4 (Twilight Saga)
Breaking Dawn: 4/4 (Twilight Saga)
by Stephenie Meyer
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.82

26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Pretty much ruined the series for me, sadly, 8 Sep 2011
This review WILL contain spoilers. Please skip if this is an issue for you.

Although at 28, I'm hardly in the target audience for the Twilight books, I must say I immensely enjoyed the first book in the series. The second one was a bit blah whereas the third one picked up again. Looking back, I should've left it at that.

Don't get me wrong, Breaking Dawn is not all bad. The first part, told from Bella's perspective, is lovely. Part 2 with Jacob is worse, and part 3 (with Bella again) is where things get really bad.

What intrigued me about the previous books in the series was the intense, burning love between Bella and Edward, the care and tenderness that they showed (had to show) for each other to sustain the relationship and each other. Sadly, all of that pretty much goes out the window in Part 3 of Breaking Dawn.
Admittedly, the author was painting herself into a corner from the get-go: the tension and intrigue was certain to be lost once the star-crossed lovers were married and particularly once Bella becomes a vampire and loses her human fragility. Still, the way they seem to turn from eternal lovers into semi-platonic parents who sneak away at night for a romp seems to happen literally overnight. The romance dies in a blink of an eye. I guess this is kind of reflective of real life, but still, a huge disappointment.
I was not the least bit interested in the descriptions of them doting on their daughter while patting each other on the back supportively. This is particularly true of Bella who is even described as not being able to take her eyes off their daughter to gauge Edward's reaction to something. YAWN.

Secondly, which is nearly as bad, the description of the "newborn" Bella is so absurd and over the top that it's almost self-ironic. There's not a speck of realism in any of it, and the mundane conflict between the human Bella and the world of the vampires that was a hallmark of the earlier books (and made them if not plausible, at least believable) is simply gone. The "new" Bella is annoyingly perfect in every way: beautiful and strong, immediately able to control her immortal urges, a natural mother at 18 of a miracle child that never seems to be anything but happy and content. Oh, and her father is suddenly and unexpectedly OK with the whole vampire and werewolf scheme as well. Not to mention the sugary-sweet cottage and a flippin' sports car that she receives for her birthday. Gag. She's an empty shell and very uninteresting.

The much talked-about sexual references did not bother me at all; there is nothing direct or graphic in the book, much of it is alluded to only. Still, with the romance gone, the sex scenes seem crass and unnecessary. In contrast, the description of Edward and Bella's honeymoon in the first part of the book is very sweet.

All in all, I think the author really shot herself in the foot here, ruining the characters to a point where I am no longer interested in revisiting the first three Twilight books despite enjoying them before. I don't know what she was thinking.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 27, 2012 4:23 PM BST

Michael Jackson: The Experience (Wii)
Michael Jackson: The Experience (Wii)
Price: 11.05

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant workout for MJ fans but purists beware, 29 Dec 2010
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
I admit that as a hardcore fan since 1991, I was not intending to purchase this game as I'm wary of anything with Michael Jackson's name on it that has been released posthumously. There are many sources trying to make a buck with his name and not everything is of the high quality we have come to expect from the King. However, I received the game as a gift and was happy enough to give it a go.

-Surprisingly (to me at least) it does give you a decent workout, even at the Easy/Medium levels. After going through a few routines, my heart rate was up and I was slightly out of breath (I normally run for exercise).
-The song list does not play it safe, rather it contains some lesser-known fan favourites (Money, Sunset Driver, Ghosts, to name a few).
-The backgrounds for songs are impressive and nicely thought out.
-There are some cheeky touches, such as the MJ dancer blowing you a kiss at the end of the choreography.
-Said character has been realised in a tasteful way - it kind of looks like MJ but not so much that you consciously think it's him (the face is blurred, for instance). I was concerned I would find it difficult to identify with a virtual MJ, but this was not the case; it just felt like someone dressed up as him.

-Choreography is frequently changed/simplified from the originals seen in the short films. This will be particularly frustrating for people who have danced to MJ before and know the "pure" choreographies. In fact, fans will notice that choreography from OTHER songs is often cut and pasted inside the choreography of a seemingly unrelated song. It really is imperative to start from scratch.
-You have to dance through at least five songs at 1-star level to unlock all remaining warm up videos. I find this odd and even risky in terms of injury.
-Much of the training videos, once unlocked, concentrate on legwork, which is consistent with the way MJ danced. However, these complicated steps will earn you no points in the game since you hold the Wiimote in your hand.
-Song-specific training videos seem to be of questionable use since they often include steps/moves that are from the original video/performance and not the game choreography.
-You have to enter your name for high scores again and again after each song, it is not saved for you. A frustrating problem that would have been so easy to fix during development.
-The scores you get seem to be somewhat random; during identical repeats of the same choreography, I would sometimes get one star ("OK") and sometimes three ("Perfect") without doing anything differently.
-For those who are REALLY self-conscious about dancing, the threshold may be too high as even the Easy level routines can be quite complicated and move fast (they do become familiar after a few tries though). The game is advertised as a party favourite but I don't see how anyone bar professional dancers will have the reflexes to perform any of the choreographies after a drink or two!

Verdict: I will definitely hang onto this as a workout game. There is a nice variety of routines to choose from, many of which are very challenging. Even if you're not a great dancer, you're likely to have fun with the game. After all, the music is brilliant!

Stitch 'n Bitch: A Knitter's Design Journal
Stitch 'n Bitch: A Knitter's Design Journal
by Debbie Stoller
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.79

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This would have been a really good idea in 1994 (or if you knit once in a blue moon), 1 Jan 2010
First of all, I must say that I am not much into pattern design. If you are, the knitter's graph pages alone could make this journal worth buying (there are LOTS of pages for that).

I got this journal a few years ago and used it for a couple of months. I am an organization freak so it was perfect for me: I could tick off the needles and hooks that I had, write down info on my yarn stash, sticky-tape in samples of the yarns, jot down the projects that I wanted to make and the ones I had already made. The journal is cute and a great size to keep in your handbag for a trip to the LYS.

However, after said few months, I went to add another project that I planned on making, only to notice that I had already used up all of the project pages. My stash pages were also rapidly filling up.

I have since discovered Ravelry (thank goodness) which basically does everything this journal does except for providing graph paper for pattern design. I currently have 61 projects lined up and 80 yarns in my stash - the book could not begin to deal with such volumes! Granted, hand-written notes are easier to take with you on the go, of course.

If the internet wasn't available and/or if I only knitted very little, I would certainly use this journal a lot. As is, I wish I had looked around online first.

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