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Kitchen Craft Seafood Dining Set
Kitchen Craft Seafood Dining Set
Price: 10.52

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent set, 10 April 2014
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I almost missed buying this seafood set after reading some of the very negative reviews, luckily because of the low price I decided to get them. Now I am completely mystified by such negativity; I am so pleased with both the design and quality that I have decided to get a second set for larger dinner parties.


HP 364 Print Cartridge Combo Pack - (1 x Black, Yellow, Cyan, Magenta)
HP 364 Print Cartridge Combo Pack - (1 x Black, Yellow, Cyan, Magenta)
Price: 20.02

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Buyer Beware, 25 April 2012
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This is a genuine HP product, a combo 4-pack of four inks: cyan, magenta, yellow and black. However, the included black cartridge is NOT photo black, but print black. This is fine for HP printers that use four colours only, but not for the more advanced ones which take five cartridges (separate photo and text blacks).

My printer is an HP Photosmart C6380 and has two black cartridges: photo black (364 CB317EE) and print black (364 CB316EE). Whilst 364 is very prominently displayed, the crucial designation (CB316EE or CB317EE) is in very small type at the back. This is very misleading. This is not Amazon's fault but clearly is HP's.

Just to recap and clarify things further, HP cartridges come in two sizes, standard and XL. HP 364 standard text black is CB316EE and XL text black is CN684EE. HP 364 standard photo black is CB317EE and XL photo black is CB322EE.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 8, 2012 4:31 PM GMT


Acctim 71347 Twickenham Radio Controlled Alarm Clock, Silver
Acctim 71347 Twickenham Radio Controlled Alarm Clock, Silver

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Warning!, 6 April 2012
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I received this radio controlled clock on 27 March. I put in the battery, but nothing happened; it seemed unable to get a signal. I tried several positions but nothing happened. I was about to send it back as being faulty when, after several wasted hours, I checked the NPL time signal website. There I found this:

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Notice of Interruption to MSF 60 kHz Time and Frequency Signal
Please note that the MSF 60 kHz time and frequency signal broadcast from Anthorn Radio Station will be shut down over the period:

08:00 UTC on Monday 26 March
until
20:00 UTC on Thursday 5 April

The interruption to the transmission is required to allow maintenance work to be carried out in safety.

The service is expected to be off-air continuously until the evening of Wednesday 4 April, then to be off-air during the daytime only on Thursday 5 April, with normal operation restored from the Thursday evening."
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Sure enough, at 8 pm on 4 April the clock sprang into life and I am very pleased with it. If you do get a radio-controlled clock it pays to check here before assuming, like I did, that the clock is faulty:
[...]


Altec Lansing MX5021
Altec Lansing MX5021

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnetic shielding, 2 Sep 2008
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After reading all the reviews (particularly the 'one star' review) here and on the Internet I decided to go ahead and order these speakers.

They arrived today and were quickly set up. They are superb! Top high-fi quality at last. I have a separate hi-fi set-up with an expensive pre-amplifier and amplifier feeding two speakers which cost me well over a thousand pounds several years ago, but these 2.1 Altec Lansings fed from my laptop equal them at a fraction of the cost.

The negative review by Orpheus above, with respect, shows a lack of understanding of sub-woofers (quote: "Altec Lansing could do the decent thing and magnetically shield the sub-woofer so that it can go anywhere"). Does anyone know of a top-class sub-woofer that is magnetically shielded?

All sub-woofers have a powerful magnet, it has to be powerful to generate fast variable mechanical power to shift the diaphragm of a large base speaker, and magnetic shielding lowers its efficiency considerably. If you want hi-fi performance then forgo magnetic shielding, you can't have it both ways unless you are prepared to spend several thousand pounds on professional audio monitors.

A magnetic field will not affect any laptop screen or any flat screen monitor, it will only affect a CRT monitor. The reason is that a cathode ray tube uses a magnet itself, with a variable magnetic field, to direct electrons to the screen where they fluoresce giving the illusion of an image. Any strong magnet will deflect the electron stream and give rise to a rainbow effect on screen. Move the external magnetic source and everything goes back to normal after a few seconds.

A sub-woofer's magnetic field can effect any media which uses magnetic storing (hard discs, floppy discs, USB flash sticks, etc) but you have to get pretty close. Antec Lansing are being ultra cautious in suggesting a two-foot minimum separation.

I agree with all the positive 5 star reviews. These are amazing speakers at an amazing price.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 12, 2012 11:17 AM BST


Flat Earth: The History of an Infamous Idea
Flat Earth: The History of an Infamous Idea
by Christine Garwood
Edition: Hardcover

5 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Flat Earth in a flat book, 29 Aug 2007
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This book, whilst informative on modern Zetetics, as the flat-earthers dub themselves, is sadly let down by a veiled attack on the Enlightenment and a complete misrepresentation of the beliefs underpinning early Christianity and the subsequent Middle Ages. The 'Middle Ages' is just a convenient label used by historians, but Garwood dismisses it as "the invention of poet and scholar Francesco Petrarch". Actually Petrarch coined the term 'Dark Ages', The first use of the term "Middle Age" appears with Flavio Biondo around 1439.

Petrarch wasn't harping back to a Golden Age, he meant it as a sweeping criticism of the decadence of late Latin literature. It was the period between the fall of Rome and loss of classical literature and the re-discovery of Latin texts by Humanists, for which he also coined the term 'Rinascimento', the 'Rebirth' which we now call the Renaissance.

Ignoring all this, we are told that there were no Dark Ages following the collapse of the Roman Empire, nor for that matter a 'Middle Ages' and that hostility between Christianity and Science is a myth.

It seems that in the Dark Ages (sorry, I mean before the Enlightenment) they were up on their astronomy too. Garwood puts forward the assertion that Lactantius' and Cosmas' belief that the earth was flat 'had little impact "on the contemporary thought about the shape of the earth ... because his works were all written in Greek it is safe to conclude that, like Lactantius, his radical flat-earth views had no impact in the Latin-speaking West". An extraordinary claim given that the entire New Testament was written in Greek, along with all the works of early Church Fathers such as St. Irenaeus of Lyons, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, St. Athanasius of Alexandria, St. John Chrysostom, and the three Cappadocian Fathers.

St Augustine accepted that the earth might be a sphere, on the authority of Aristotle, but he dismissed the idea of men living 'under' the sphere on the grounds that they would be upside down and fall off: "As for the fabled 'antipodes', men, who live on the other side of the earth, where the sun rises when it sets for us, men who plant their feet opposite ours, their is no rational ground for such a belief" - he finds the whole idea "too ridiculous" to discuss.

Presumably we can rely on Professor Father David Knowles, O.S.B, the eminent Roman Catholic Historian and authority on St Augustine to tell us what the early Church believed, for he adds a footnote: "By the third century A.D. the picture of the earth as a flat disk had displaced the spherical theory of the Early Greeks." ('Augustine: City of God', Penguin, page 664).

The book is peppered throughout with such loaded phrases as "Enlightenment propaganda", "propaganda par excellence", "Dark Age promoters" and we are told that "Christianity had a critical role in preserving the scientific knowledge that had survived from Greco-Roman times ... which further disseminated knowledge of the spherical shape of the earth." Oh, really?

The author tells us that the "early Church Fathers were not Biblical literalists who believed that the Bible was the only authority on the natural world ...". This smacks of sloppy research - isn't Garwood aware of St Augustine's authoritative dictum, to quote but one Church Father, that "Nothing is to be accepted save on the authority of Scripture, since greater is that authority than all the powers of the human mind", a stern pronouncement which set scientific enquiry back not by decades but by centuries.

It is fashionable these days to denigrate Andrew White's "The Warfare of Science with Theology". Out trot Garwood's over-the-top adjectives to describe it: 'this gargantuan history of science', 'all the hallmarks of a scholarly tome' (presumably meaning that it isn't); 'exhaustive compilation of hits and misses'. Calm down! It's just two volumes of 415 and 474 pages, hardly 'gargantuan'. True, it has extensive footnotes detailing all sources, is this somehow wrong? It is still an exciting read and far more informative than this light-weight book.

Incidentally, of White's two volumes, Garwood says "... medieval flat-earth thinking again played a notable role as a prime example of scriptural literalism derailing 'natural' progress towards scientific truth". Her own 'scholarly' note correctly references pages 89-95 of Vol.1, and that's all there is on the flat-earth - 7 pages out of 889 - hardly a notable role in a detailed study.

Then we have Darwin. Ah, yes, Darwin. His modern day followers are apparently 'evolutionists' (not biologists, or cosmologists, or geologists, or astronomers, or astro-physicists, or just plain scientists). Thus in the book we have 'evolutionists' opposed to 'creationists', or is it the other way round? Not much to choose between them, really, if you follow this book. Here's an example (page 358) "Evolutionists have claimed that if the Bible is accepted as an inerrant, infallible, scientifically accurate authority, as creationists argue, then to avoid contradiction they must also believe that the earth is flat". `Evolutionists argue'? What, all evolutionists?
Comment Comments (7) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 21, 2011 10:53 AM GMT


The Dawkins Delusion?: Atheist Fundamentalism and the Denial of the Divine
The Dawkins Delusion?: Atheist Fundamentalism and the Denial of the Divine
by Alister McGrath
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

124 of 173 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Scholarly Brilliance, 7 Mar 2007
In McGrath's 96 page tract, primarily an ad hominem attack on Richard Dawkins, we are told that he is shallow and misunderstands various Christian thinkers who he quotes and, in particular, that Thomas Aquinas' 'five ways' were not meant as proofs of God's existence, but simply that they are consistent with a belief in God.

This is rather a novel interpretation of Aquinas. Thomas Aquinas (c.1225-1274) was a Catholic Doctor of Theology; the authoritative Catholic Encyclopaedia refers to his "five arguments for the proof of God's existence". And Aquinas himself at the beginning of the Summa (1a, q.2: Contra Gentiles) makes it abundantly clear that he is putting forward 'proofs' for the existence of God, indeed Aquinas discusses the earlier proofs put forward by St Anselm (1033-1109).

Frederick Coplestone (1907-1994) himself a noted philosopher and Catholic professor of theology, a colossus compared with McGrath both in theology and philosophy, discusses at great length with supreme scholarly erudition Aquinas' five proofs for the existence of God (Chap XXXI to XLI in Volume III of his nine volume 'History of Philosophy', pages 312-434). `Proof' as valid argument for the existence of God, as Professor Dawkins understands the term used by Aquinas. Copplestone explains the proofs and in the main supports them, Dawkins demolishes them.

Bertrand Russell in his 'History of Western Philosophy' also discusses Aquinas' five proofs (pages 444-454), he understands 'proof' to mean exactly how both Coplestone and Dawkins understands it, and demolishes the proofs in much the same way as Dawkins does. It is quite absurd for McGrath to accuse Dawkins of misunderstanding what Aquinas meant. Has the respected Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Philosophy got this wrong too?

Aquinas himself says, ipsissima verba,: "The existence of God can be proved in five ways" (Summa Theological, Q-2 Art-3.) Are we now to understand, on the authority of McGrath, that Aquinas spoke in riddles? No one, so far as I am aware, has been in any doubt hitherto that Aquinas was discussing 'proofs', as understood by Richard Dawkins. It is intellectually demeaning to himself for McGrath to distort Aquinas in an attack on Dawkins and to mislead those not acquainted with Thomism who might read his short tract.

What amazes me is that demonstrably without knowing a thing about medieval theology or logic, but simply on the say so of McGrath, we get reviewers coming out with this: "Dawkins ... forays into philosophy and religion are almost laughable" and pseudo-intellectual assertions that "[The God] Delusion" is ludicrous and quite indefensible from a scientific or scholarly point of view! Another pundit tells us "McGrath's book is a fairly brief and general summation of Dawkin's errors". Oh, really?

An enthusiastic reviewer writes "If you are looking for a complete rebuttal to absolutely all the arguments in TGD, you won't find it here. The book is relatively short and only engages the most fallacious of Dawkins' claims". Actually none of Dawkins' arguments is rebutted and, unfortunately, the one who is fallacious here is Professor McGrath PhD.

Incidentally, for those who have not read The God Delusion, Dawkins in his bibliography gives full details of the 165 books cited by him. In his notes he also gives some relevant website links including some to Creationists and Fundamentalist Christian sites. From these modern aids to assist the reader, McGrath seeks to put forward the notion that Dawkins research is mainly confined to Internet trawling.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 17, 2012 5:05 PM GMT


The God Delusion
The God Delusion
by Richard Dawkins
Edition: Hardcover

352 of 437 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dawkins raises a few hackles, 13 Oct 2006
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This review is from: The God Delusion (Hardcover)
My goodness, some of the more vitriolic reviewers are demon speed readers! Ploughing through and absorbing 400 pages in hours! This one "A flawed fundamentaist tract in which Prof Dawkins fails once again to prove the non-existence of God" appearing within a day of the book becoming available. Evidently failing to grasp that it is impossible, logically, to prove the non-existence of any supernatural entity, be it Osiris, Thor, or unicorns.

Then we have the all too common "Why can't a scientist ever admit that their beliefs are theories, not fact?", showing a complete misapprehension of the term 'theory' as scientifically understood. 'Theory' as understood by scientists does not mean a speculative conjecture, Einstein's 'theory' of relativity and 'theory' of gravitation have stood the test of nearly a hundred years now and are accurate beyond dispute.

And stunning non-sequiturs: "God is outside of nature, and science cannot prove or disprove his existence. Therefore, atheism is an unreasonable and illogical position". For the flaw in this try substituting 'atheism' with 'theism'.

For my part I strongly recommend this book. It is well written and well argued. Those already convinced, atheists and agnostics alike, will of course enjoy it, but it is not meant for them primarily. Those who are troubled and tormented by doubt will find much to console and support them here.
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 30, 2013 6:26 PM GMT


Dawkins' God: Genes, Memes, and the Meaning of Life
Dawkins' God: Genes, Memes, and the Meaning of Life
by Alister E. McGrath
Edition: Paperback
Price: 18.99

162 of 223 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dawkins, Darwin, and and some muddled sources, 17 May 2006
This book it is a prolonged attack on Dawkins and, indirectly through him, on Darwin. Nothing new in that. What did surprise me, however, was the selective way McGarth, an Oxford academic, treated his quoted sources, frequently dropping parts of them which do not support his argument. Another ploy is to constantly reiterate throughout the book that atheism is a sort of childish delusion, an adolescent phase intelligent people like McGarth grow out of.

McGrath says that "Darwin's 'Origin of Species' and later writings must be seen as a nineteenth-century refutation of of an early eighteenth-century idea [Paley's] - an idea already rejected by leading Christian writers of the age. He offers no evidence why they 'must' be seen in this light; far from being simply `an early eighteenth-century idea', Paley's `Natural Theology' wasn't published until 1802. Darwin was a prodigious letter writer, over 13,700 have survived, but in only one letter (Cambridge reference No. 2,532), dated 15 November 1859, did Darwin mention Paley. Hardly the actions of a man obsessed with him. The reason why a few Christian theologians dropped Paley's approach was that Natural Theology was eventually seen as counter-productive in promoting Christian dogma, having nothing to say about Christ and his miracles. Paley's `watchmaker' argument logically led to theism, little better than atheism in the eyes of some 19th century theologians. McGarth fails to say that Newman, and every other theologian, in all other respects was in full agreement with Paley and with his `demonstration' that man and the universe had been created by God.

But there are further distortions and half-truths in this book. We are told that Augustine of Hippo "stressed the importance of respecting the conclusions of the sciences in relation to biblical exegesis", but not a word is said about Augustine's authoritative dictum regarding science that "Nothing is to be accepted save on the authority of Scripture, since greater is that authority than all the powers of the human mind", a stern pronouncement which set scientific enquiry back by centuries.

McGrath says that, "On the rare occasion when [Dawkins] cites classic theologians, he tends to do so at second hand, often with alarming results. ... Dawkins [he continues] singles out the early Christian writer Tertullian for particular acerbic comment, on account of two quotations from his writings: 'it is certain because it is impossible' and 'it is by all means to be believed because it is absurd'. McGrath tells us that Tertullian never wrote the words. It is, he tells us, a misattribution and from this concludes "So at least we can reasonably assume that Dawkins has not read Tertullian himself, but has taken this citation from an unreliable secondary source". Quite, this is a translation. The `unreliable secondary source' used by Dawkins is the Oehler text, the standard Victorian critical edition of the Ante-Nicene Fathers, a highly respected work of Christian theology still in print.

He then tries to justify Tertullian's absurd reasoning by telling us it was all probably meant as a joke. We are told, in terms, that the joke was not detected for several hundred years until it was happily discovered by James Moffat in 1916. But Moffat says only that "The odd thing is, however, that consciously or unconsciously he [Tertullian] was following in the footsteps of that cool philosopher Aristotle." From this, McGrath draws the conclusion that "it was probably meant as a rhetorical joke, for those who knew their Aristotle". But nowhere does Moffatt even tentatively suggest it was a joke. McGrath should know that the very last thing Tertullian, or any of the early Church Fathers, would do is crack jokes while discussing the mystical body of Christ. McGrath concludes his discussion on Tertullian with "Dawkins' views on the nature of faith are best regarded as an embarrassment to anyone concerned with scholarly accuracy". Scholarly accuracy? McGrath gives the source of the quotation as "Tertullian, de paenitentia (sic, for `poenitentia', a repeated McGrath misspelling), v, 4"; but do not waste time looking for it there - it is in another work and place, Tertullian, de carne Christi, v, 25. An astonishing misattribution, especially when berating another academic for faulty scholarship.

McGrath may hold a PhD in molecular biology, but his grasp of physics is startlingly limited. He seems to believe, for he repeats it several times, that the discovery that light did not consist purely of waves was made in the 1920s. He also implies that the wave theory of light was then dropped. Neither of these assertions is true. Light is still defined as electromagnetic waves in the visible spectrum. McGraw also seems to think that 'big bang' cosmology dates back to 1920 - even the expression wasn't used before 1950. Again and again McGrath hammers away at the notion that scientific theories are not to be trusted. He says " History simply makes fools of those who argue that every aspect of the current theoretical situation is true for all time." But no scientist has ever claimed this, Dawkins certainly hasn't.

As for God, we are given a long lecture on what McGrath claims is the illogicality of Dawkins' position and attributes to Dawkins the mistake of believing that 'since A hasn't been proven, A is false'. There is no proof that either the god Mars nor the goddess Venus exists or ever existed, although there is ample proof that for over 2,000 years to around 500 AD they had many sincere believers. As the Roman poet Horace said 'Caelo tonantem credidimus Jovem regnare' (The sound of thunder is evidence for our belief that Jove reigns in Heaven), a belief which made sense before the true cause of thunderstorms was known, but according to McGrath we should simply suspend our judgement on Jove's existence, since we cannot disprove nor prove it.

For me, the one good thing about this book is that it might lead curious and fair-minded readers to Richard Dawkins' work.
Comment Comments (10) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 25, 2012 10:36 PM BST


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