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Kenwood SL250 Food Slicer - 100 Watt
Kenwood SL250 Food Slicer - 100 Watt
Price: 39.99

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Failure by design, 31 Aug 2011
I chose this over other items because I've always found Kenwood products to provide reasonable quality, durability, simplicity and price. This time I had a nasty shock.

Item arrived in record time; and the eventual return of item went flawlessly, so no quibble there. The problem was purely that that item didn't function properly, and couldn't by design.

I first tried this on some cured liver I'd made. Blade slipped and stopped dead with a nasty grating/rattling sound. "Loose blade" I thought, reattached and made sure was locked off: reapplied cured liver, same thing. Tried with various cheeses, same thing.

Being a bit of a geek I took a close look at what was happening as I attempted to cut, and figured out the problem was insurmountable.

1/ Non-dry, dense and compliant, yet relatively ungreasy foodstuffs like cured liver, cooked ham and edam or cheddar cheese have a tendency to "stick" to the blade, applying large friction loads.
2/ For some foodstuffs the friction resistance on the blade is enough to begin unlocking the blade twist-lock.
3/ Blade is driven by rather shallow plastic gearing with lateral play
4/ Once blade is partially unlocked and under load, plastic gearing slips completely.

Upshot: this item is valuable only for the lightest of loads. It could be very valuable as a bread slicer for those with bad arthritis or other hand articulation problems, but a food slicer it is not. The shame of it is that it should be trivial and cheap to fix: improve the disc lock; thicken up plastic gearing by a couple of millimetres; and insert radial dimples on the side of the blade (already done on some kitchen blades to stop vegetables sticking while chopping).

Am on the lookout for a reconditioned butcher's unit: failing that, a *really* sharp top quality japanese steel kitchen blade.

The Architecture of Happiness
The Architecture of Happiness
by Alain de Botton
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars A precious book, 30 Aug 2011
After some years pursuing a layman's interest in architectural styles and movements, I was looking for a basic primer to begin studying in earnest - "Architecture 101", if you will.

AdB's delightful work is an experienced philosopher's laid-back ramblings about the nature and developing perceptions of beauty, and its effects on human psychology, including plenty of anecdotes for digestion and photographed examples to seed later studies.

This is not a technical primer: reading this book will not begin to make an architect of the reader. But I can see that it might inspire alike both newcomers about why they've chosen architecture for a living; and experienced, jaded practitioners who need reminding. It speaks to me in the same way as "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" back when I was a Mechanical Engineering undergraduate.

Not what I was expecting, but if you have any kind of creative soul this book will speak to you. Well worth every penny.

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