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B. Tovey (Oxford, UK)
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Elle Mac Pherson The Body by Homedics Instant Nail Wraps in Glitter Pink
Elle Mac Pherson The Body by Homedics Instant Nail Wraps in Glitter Pink
Price: 8.77

3.0 out of 5 stars Hard work, but they look good, 16 Jan 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
First things first, based only on the end result these would have had a four star rating from me. They look very cute when they're finished, and if you're looking for a pretty bold look, these might well be the nail wraps for you. However, they are difficult to apply perfectly. However careful I was, I still ended up with crinkles in the wraps after application. It seems particularly noticeable in these metallic ones, too. The instructions suggested using a hair dryer to even them out, and this definitely helped. But I'm a bit of a perfectionist, and I found myself picking at the little wrinkles, trying to straighten them out, and it drove me round the bend! They're easy to remove, and don't seem to dry your nails out at all, so they're definitely fun and painless to try out. But unless you're a wizard at applying wraps, be prepared for imperfections.


Evil by Design: Interaction Design to Lead Us into Temptation
Evil by Design: Interaction Design to Lead Us into Temptation
by Chris Nodder
Edition: Paperback
Price: 18.35

4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and enjoyable, 16 Jan 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This book is well laid-out, very easy on the eye, and manages to combine sleek looks with some really engaging content. It uses the theme of the seven deadly sins to show how design can tempt users of graphic interfaces - you may learn something about how you've been manipulated by good design, as well as how to implement these techniques yourself. The section on 'Envy', for example, gives ways to make products desirable and inspire envy in consumers so that they will covet things. Every section is illustrated with real-life examples so that you can see the practical applications of the various techniques. All in all, this is a great book, and a must-read for anyone who wants to use design as a tool of persuasion.


Berghaus Prime II 60 Wheeled Travel Bag
Berghaus Prime II 60 Wheeled Travel Bag
Price: 38.73

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect bag for a short vacation, 13 Aug 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I took this suitcase with me for a ten-day holiday in Switzerland. Before I started packing, I was concerned that I couldn't fit enough in there: it looks very compact when it's empty. But I needn't have worried - I managed to pack plenty of clothes, three pairs of shoes, two big novels, my toiletries bag, a few other small items, and the birthday presents I was taking for my friend. In fact, I ended up taking my carry-on bag almost empty because everything fit into the suitcase.

The case is well-built and sturdy. It has the usual trolley handle, as well as two carrying handles (one on a long edge, like a standard suitcase handle, and one on top). It also has straps to convert it into a backpack - I didn't use these, as I wasn't going anywhere where I couldn't pull it along behind me, and it felt a bit awkward. It might be comfortable for someone who's quite tall to use as a backpack, but not for me.

The back of the case is reinforced and quite rigid, as are the sides. The front flap, which zips open from the bottom corners, is soft, and the zippers have padlock loops on them. The front flap has a mesh zipped pocket on the inside, and another zipped pocket on the outside. The outside pocket is expandable (because it's soft fabric, not rigid), and you could fit quite a lot of stuff in there - perfect for the small last minute items you suddenly remember just before you leave for the airport! On the inside of the case, there is a little padded pocket in one corner, which can be used to separate out a small amount of stuff. I used it for toiletries, in case they leaked.

All in all, this is a great suitcase, really good quality, and the perfect size for a week or two's holiday.


What Money Can't Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets
What Money Can't Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets
by Michael Sandel
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 13.60

5.0 out of 5 stars Thought-provoking and well-written, 26 July 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I decided to read this book because I'm quite interested in the idea of morality in market conditions. For example, is it immoral to charge money for access to healthcare? Should people be able to sell their organs? Should children be paid for going to school? If not, why not? These are the kinds of questions that Michael Sandel deals with in his book.

This is a really well-written study. I have absolutely no background in maths, economics, or philosophy, but I flew through the book. If anything, it's almost too easy to read - I could have read much more very happily without losing interest. Each question or point is introduced with a series of real-world examples which illustrate different aspects of the story. Some of them are quite wacky (such as the political lobbyists who pay the homeless to keep their place in line for access to congressional hearings), while others are somewhat disturbing (the foundation that pays drug-addicted women to be sterilized, so that they don't bear children who are harmed by drugs). But they all raise profound questions about the way that we value different aspects of our lives, and encourage us to wonder whether we should start to think about things differently. While I found myself disagreeing with some of the arguments in this book, I nonetheless felt that it was making me reconsider some of my beliefs in a really useful way.

If you liked Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything, then I think you'll like this. It's perhaps less obviously entertaining, but it has the same ability to make you think hard about things that you took for granted. It also has something in common with books like The Tiger That Isn't: Seeing Through a World of Numbers and Bad Science - they're all books that take aspects of our daily lives, and look at them with a scientific and philosophical eye, but without patronising or confusing.


The Italian [2005] [DVD]
The Italian [2005] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Kolya Spiridonov
Offered by videosanddvds
Price: 11.75

4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 19 July 2012
This review is from: The Italian [2005] [DVD] (DVD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a wonderful, touching film. Visually beautiful, it captures the desolate state of so much of modern Russia, and the gloom of a cold winter. The plot is interesting and well-constructed, with a good mixture of seeing the world through adult and child's eyes. The acting, especially by the children, is fantastic - these are not Hollywood stage school kids, and they handle the relatively adult script really well. (By the way, although the film has apparently won awards for children's cinema, it's definitely not a film for young kids to watch.) If the film has any low point, it's possibly the ending, which falls a little flat. But that would be a very minor criticism of an otherwise excellent film.


The Shepherd: (Shepherd 1)
The Shepherd: (Shepherd 1)
by Ethan Cross
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.03

3.0 out of 5 stars Decent but foolish thriller, 19 July 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This novel certainly has a fast pace and is rather fun to read. The writing style is not great, but that's generally what you expect from thrillers these days. Unfortunately, the plot starts off well but becomes more and more silly and contrived as time goes on. The bad writing could be forgiven if the plot were really worthwhile, but as it is, this is a mid-rate, melodramatic story with nothing to make it stand out.


FX Factory 1 Amp USB Mains Charger for iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry, HTC, Kindle, Tom Tom, Navman
FX Factory 1 Amp USB Mains Charger for iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry, HTC, Kindle, Tom Tom, Navman
Price: 6.48

4.0 out of 5 stars Good product, 22 Dec 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This product does exactly what it says - allows you to plug a USB cable into a power source. This will work with iPod cables, and USB cables that come with many mobile phones and other products. It's decent quality, not too large, and sits relatively flat into an extension cable (unlike my Apple USB charger, which is much more bulky). The one problem I had with this is the blue light - it shows that the charger is working, but it's really bright and cast a glow in my bedroom which meant I couldn't use it in there at night. It's probably better used in another room unless you don't mind having an extra "nightlight" as a bonus.


Charlie Jade - Series 1 Vol.1 [2005] [DVD]
Charlie Jade - Series 1 Vol.1 [2005] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jeffrey Pierce
Price: 32.70

4.0 out of 5 stars Multiverse-tastic, 23 Nov 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
To state the obvious, if you don't like sci-fi, you won't like this. If you do, however, you'll find a lot to like here. The wormholes owe a lot to Star Trek DS9, and have elements of Stargate about them too. The people stranded in different universes are reminiscent of Star Trek: Voyager. But Charlie Jade also has its own unique feel. The visual elements are well-handled, with colour cues telling you which universe you're in, and there's a smoky, almost film-noir feel about the series - particularly in the dystopian alpha-verse. This, of course, adds to the tension of the thriller plotline, which is a bit predictable at times, but still keeps you wanting more. All in all, I think this is an important addition to any sci-fi fan's collection.


Rowenta for Elite Brush Activ' 1000W Hairstyler CF9222
Rowenta for Elite Brush Activ' 1000W Hairstyler CF9222

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Could be better, 23 Nov 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
For a certain type of person, with a certain type of hair, this probably works well. When my hair was very long, it got tangled in the brush, and the shininess wasn't really improved. When my hair was short-ish (chin length), this was really too big and cumbersome to use. With shoulder-length hair, it works really well, though! It curls the ends nicely, gives it a good shine, and helps it to dry without too much frizz. So, in my experience, as long as you always keep your hair the same length, this works quite well, but not so much outside those parameters.


Lupin the Third: The Secret of Mamo [DVD]
Lupin the Third: The Secret of Mamo [DVD]
Dvd ~ Yasuo Otsuka
Offered by The Happy Zombie
Price: 7.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Delightful!, 19 Sep 2008
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This classic anime, based on the 60s manga and itself released in 1978, has been available on DVD for about ten years, but this is its first UK release.

It's a brilliant sci-fi adventure story, centering around the theft of the Philosopher's Stone. I won't give the plot away, but suffice it to say that it has plenty of twists and turns, as well as action sequences involving a helicopter chase in a sewer, the mother of all monster trucks, and a lot of martial arts action. There's the obligatory well-endowed heroine, though she's a lot more interesting than the average. I was a bit bemused when Hitler appeared, but it all made sense in the end. There's a real taste of The Avengers and similar vaguely surreal 60s/70s TV series here.

Comparisons will of course be made with Hayao Miyazaki, who in fact directed the next Lupin III film in the series. Compared to the recent, very polished Studio Ghibli productions such as Spirited Away, this is raw around the edges. But it has energy and charm, and the animation is done with great flair. If you've seen manga before, you'll know that this isn't going to be Disney-style slick - it has a lot more character than your average cartoon offering. It's probably not one for kids, though.

The only odd thing about this DVD version is that the English audio track is radically different from the subtitles. For a while, I thought that there was a glitch with the subtitles, but I realised that they were just a very different take on the same action. I wish I could speak Japanese to tell you which is more accurate. At least if you use both you have the advantage of two different sets of dialogue, so you're not likely to miss any nuances or find anything unclear.

All in all, this is great fun. A must-have for anime fans, and probably pretty enjoyable for everyone else, too.


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