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alapper

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Curiosity: An Inside Look at the Mars Rover Mission and the People Who Made It Happen
Curiosity: An Inside Look at the Mars Rover Mission and the People Who Made It Happen
Price: 4.47

5.0 out of 5 stars An enthusiastic amateur interviews the experts., 31 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
There seem to be three types of book on space exploration - those that are interestingly knowledgeable about what they write (e.g First Man, How Apollo flew to the moon, Digital Apollo etc), those that aren't but make it up by whizz-bang frothy sort of writing (Gene Cernan's ghost writer does a bit of this as does a recent one on Apollo) and then this one, written by an enthusiast who is not an expert but tells you what he has picked up by interview etc. Quite a few interesting anecdotes and a passable attempt to explain some of the technicalities. I'm still reading it as I write this (Amazon review requests do chase you up pretty quickly!) but I must say I'm finding it an interesting read that I'm glad to have bought and i'll definitely recommend it to anyone.


Yeovil and Frome (OS Landranger Map Series)
Yeovil and Frome (OS Landranger Map Series)
by Ordnance Survey
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

5.0 out of 5 stars The best maps available apart from the explorer series, 28 July 2014
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OS are the best available - need I say more? Even so every now and then I come across errors indicating that in recent decades they have not updated maps very rigorously. Especially true in remoter parts such as Wales. But even so they are the best. the landranger series has become even more useful since they started marking the long distance trails. The Explorer series are even better and clearer (and have field boundaries) although I wish they wouldn't mark rights of way in green - its confusing. However if you are off on a longer route you need fewer landrangers and this cuts down the weight. I've walked LEJOG and found all the paths on Landranger only.


Dorchester & Weymouth, Cerne Abbas & Bere Regis (OS Landranger Map)
Dorchester & Weymouth, Cerne Abbas & Bere Regis (OS Landranger Map)
by Ordnance Survey
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

5.0 out of 5 stars The best maps available apart from the Explorer series, 28 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
OS are the best available - need I say more? Even so every now and then I come across errors indicating that in recent decades they have not updated maps very rigorously. Especially true in remoter parts such as Wales. But even so they are the best. the landranger series has become even more useful since they started marking the long distance trails. The Explorer series are even better and clearer (and have field boundaries) although I wish they wouldn't mark rights of way in green - its confusing. However if you are off on a longer route you need fewer landrangers and this cuts down the weight. I've walked LEJOG and found all the paths on Landranger only.


Roberts Stream93i DAB/DAB+/FM/ Internet Stereo Sound System with 3 Way Speaker System
Roberts Stream93i DAB/DAB+/FM/ Internet Stereo Sound System with 3 Way Speaker System
Price: 139.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another first class radio from Roberts, 28 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
We already had the previous version of this radio - a 83i and knew it was good. A previous review for the 93i was amazingly good (had it been written by the manufacturer I wondered?) but this newer version really is very good. The sound quality is excellent and there are five preselect buttons for channels (I don't like fiddling with a single central knob as you have to on other makes). The manual made it apppear very complex and difficult to get internet radio (as had the 83i manual) and so on the previous radio I had never attempted this. However it turned out that all you had to do was key in the code written on the side of our wi-fi router and away you went! It was so simple that I went back and did the same on the 83i! Why did the instructions make it appear like you were setting up the Mars Curiosity lander for its mission? I noticed one other reviewer said the standby button was stiff - well they've got round that problem now. I've always had a respect for Roberts radios and this one is no exception.


The Natural Navigator
The Natural Navigator
Price: 5.03

2.0 out of 5 stars Very little in the way of genuinly useful information, 23 Jun 2014
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I was disappointed in this book the further I read into it and discovered that it was more philosophical than a useful guide to navigation without a compass. I think the most useful natural directional guides are sun and stars when it isn't cloudy as these are fairly accurate - and you do need quite a high degree of accuracy when navigating. The sun and a watch generally give accuracies of five degrees (the errors are due to the differences between GMT, solar time and local time) which is far better than guessing which side of a tree is growing thicker or which side of a ridge has been more exposed to the sun. If Polaris is in view you don't need a watch but I rarely walk by night as rough ground underfoot can be a problem in the dark and hills can be positively dangerous. I have to admit I gave up reading before the end so perhaps I'm being unjust - if I manage to finish it I'll add to this


Pure ONE Elite Series II Portable Stereo DAB/FM Radio - Black
Pure ONE Elite Series II Portable Stereo DAB/FM Radio - Black
Price: 79.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A rare portable digital radio with good quality output but some faults, 23 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is that rare radio - both portable and digital. In order to square this circle it has a large heavy (and very expensive) lithium battery which must pack a huge amount of energy when fully charged. The quality of the radio is good - Pure have an excellent reputation. So what are the downsides? I didn't really like the rubbery case (which other reviewers say can get sticky) although this makes it easy to grip. I also didn't like the lack of quick select channel buttons - you have to think and fiddle to find a station. However the worst problem was an electronic failure soon after I switched it on - the whole radio locked up and didn't respond to any button. In the end this was overcome by unplugging the battery and switching off at the main (the battery is always in circuit, charging when the main is in use) Because one fault might lead to another I decided to return it while still within Amazon's fortnight - and was a bit disappointed to discover they charge for return postage even though the system is otherwise painless. Shame on you Amazon, you've lost my previous five-star opinion of your service!


Smashing Physics
Smashing Physics
Price: 9.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A sort of stream of consciousness style of writing, 23 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Smashing Physics (Kindle Edition)
I enjoyed this book mainly because the Higgs Boson prediction and subsequent discovery is one of the really big stories during my lifetime. I still don't think i've found a book that really gives a clear understanding of the physics involved although many of the books recently written (and there have been many!) give perspectives - this book gives some more hints and perspectives. Probably if I added all these hints and perspectives together I'd get a closer understanding but I can never remember them all at the same time!
The style is that of a physics lecturer in stream of consciousness mode - not really great writing but the story is a great one. My own perspective is that of someone who has been in experimental physics (but not particle physics) all my working life and so I enjoyed reading the thoughts of someone else in a neighbouring field, some of his insights being illuminating, while others were boring rehashes of stuff I already knew. Of course he has the considerable problem of not knowing what audience to write for. Overall I found it hard to decide on three star or four star but the story itself is worth five plus.


The Outlying Fells of Lakeland Second Edition (Pictorial Guide Lakeland Fells)
The Outlying Fells of Lakeland Second Edition (Pictorial Guide Lakeland Fells)
by Alfred Wainwright
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 9.79

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent revision of a classic book, 28 May 2014
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I am a great fan of Alfred Wainwrights seven (later eight) guides to the Lake district fells - they were only half written when I started walking in the area and I've used them ever since. The author never revised them in his lifetime but agreed that if this necessary task should ever be undertaken, then it should be by Chris Jesty. Chris has now completed this mammoth work, and this is the last (eighth) book in the series - as it was in the original. He has faithfully followed the originals and indeed the only difference the casual reader will see is that the paths are outlined in red - a useful clarification. I highly recommend this book


The Quick Guide To Taking In A Lodger: Your essential legal guide
The Quick Guide To Taking In A Lodger: Your essential legal guide
Price: 8.95

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A quick guide, 28 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Yes, this book gives you a quick idea of the essentials of taking in a lodger. It is written by a lawyer who has also been a landlady and should know something about the pitfalls. An important factor is clearly getting the right person to share your house with you. My main criticism of it is that it is not made clear what conditions are legally essential and what is desirable. Its worth a read if you are taking in a lodger.


Nothing Like it in the World: The Men Who Built the Railway That United America
Nothing Like it in the World: The Men Who Built the Railway That United America
by Stephen E. Ambrose
Edition: Paperback
Price: 8.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A great story, but not well told, 28 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I came to this after reading several books about another great transcontinental railroad - the CPR. Unfortunately this book suffers greatly in comparison. It is very confusingly written (especially if you are not a citizen of the USA) The maps are very poor and are in totally the wrong places so it is very difficult to understand where the action is taking place. it is only after a while that it became clear that the railroad was not trans-continental at all but started in the middle of the continent and headed westwards. In addition the chronology is very difficult to follow as it jumps from one side of the continent to the other and forwards and backwards in time. It is also extremely repetitive. I gather from other reviews that there are many historical errors and that the research effort was obviously limited. Having said all this, it does give a flavour of the achievement and I'm interested to have read it - so three stars.


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