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Dr. Richard Harris (Bristol, Enlgand)

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Still Not Bionic: Adventures In Unremarkable Ultrarunning
Still Not Bionic: Adventures In Unremarkable Ultrarunning
Price: £3.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Carpe diem, 27 Dec. 2016
Perhaps I should admit that I know Ira: he and I live close to each other so our paths have crossed at a local Parkrun and at other running events. Well, at least, I thought I knew him. Turns out, from reading this, that I didn't really know him at all: not his personal struggle with depression that followed on from his previous book and the triumph of becoming an ultramarathon runner and a Woodwose (look it up under Green Man!). It is that struggle, and the honesty with which Ira writes about it, that gives this book a maturity and wisdom that adds depth to the characteristic humour - and this book really is very funny indeed. I have read many books about running and this is definitely a favourite. Why? Because being far from bionic myself, and with doubts and anxieties of my own, I can relate to this book, enjoy the wry humour, and raise a knowing smile at some of the daft challenges Ira likes to set for himself. This is a great book and highly recommended.

Garmin Nuvi 2447LMT 4.3 inch Satellite Navigation with UK and Western Europe Maps, Free Lifetime Map Updates and Free Lifetime Traffic Alerts
Garmin Nuvi 2447LMT 4.3 inch Satellite Navigation with UK and Western Europe Maps, Free Lifetime Map Updates and Free Lifetime Traffic Alerts

4.0 out of 5 stars Very good but perhaps look for a larger screen?, 14 Sept. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this to replace a Tom Tom. It works well - it's intuitive to use (needs to be; there is no manual with it), graphics are good, directions clear, found satellites quickly, rerouted quickly, traffic updates worked well, light and small to carry. With the 'lifetime' maps and traffic alerts it's very good value (lifetime defined by the manufacturer to some degree but I am sure they won't withdraw the services in the near future). My only caution is the screen size. It's the size it's sold at, so the choice was mine. However, I would warn that some symbols and information get a bit small when, for example, various split screens of information are being shown. The key information is always readable but it might be worth considering a 5 inch screen instead. Wish it came with some sort of carry case but they never do. In summary: very pleased withy purchase.

Blueblack Hussar In Marrying T
Blueblack Hussar In Marrying T
Offered by Books-and-Sounds
Price: £11.95

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I really don't know, 21 Jan. 2013
Interesting would be a suitable euphemism to describe this album. Hard to know whether it is brave and courageous or foolhardy. It's certainly neither predictable nor safe. But it also isn't a triumphant return.
Whatever else it is, it's a long way from Adam's pop sensibilities of the 1980s and 90s. Parts of this album are so 'raw' they are very difficult and not especially pleasant to listen to. I am not sure if this roughness is deliberate or poor production. It's certainly not a polished gem be that by design or otherwise.
On the other hand, there are also some strong songs here and given time maybe they will grow on me. They are clear pointers to Adam's talent and why it is good to have him back. I suspect they will also work well live. For someone who has return to public consciousness through an outstanding live show, perhaps it is appropriate to have something that works best on the stage.
My hope is that this album will garnish enough interest to add momentum to Adam's return to the music scene. I am not convinced this is an entirely successful comeback but given a suitable producer to work with, the next album could be a cracker. It all needs reigning in a little and make a litter easier on the ears.
All-in-all, it reminds me a little bit of George Martin's comment on The Beatle's White Album: would have made a great single album. I think the same applies to this record - less might have been more. But it provides interest.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 25, 2013 2:11 PM GMT

Politics According to the Bible
Politics According to the Bible
by Wayne A. Grudem
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £25.99

10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars What a disappointment, 11 Oct. 2011
Almost twenty years ago when I was a PhD student, our minister led a weekly study going chapter by chapter through Grudem's Systematic theology - an excellent book that was and remains deeply formative upon my Biblical and theological beliefs.

Two decades later and returning to Grudem, I am deeply disappointed. Despite its presentation, this does not read as a Biblical book that attempts to draw political ideas and principles from the lens of the Bible but actually quite the opposite: a book that appears to start with a political position and then use some Biblical verses to justify it. Nowhere is this clearer than in the Chapter on the Environment and especially the sections discussing climate change / global warming. Here Grudem draws extensively on the work of climate skeptics to produce - not unsurprisingly - a one-sided and deeply uninformed position. Where are the social justice (God's justice) arguments in favour of protecting people's livelihoods or preventing starvation in the face of changing climate patterns? Where are the theological arguments that present a much deeper and nuanced understanding, from the Bible, exposing the superficiality of the idea we "have dominion" over the Earth, at least in the way Grudem understands it. Why propagate the gossip (something the Bible is not too keen on) surrounding so-called 'Climate-gate' and not mention the extraordinary thoroughness by which the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reviews the evidence and draws conclusions even if occasionally mistakes are made (which is to be human, in a fallen world, right?). Why not be a little more self-questioning or perhaps mention that those who have done most to stir-up doubts about man-made global warming are backed by oil companies and other extractive industries, organisations that have a vested interest in undermining the science.

Sorry, what Grudem presents is not theology but ideology - a conservative manifesto. I admire him for thinking through his politics by using the Bible but a better recognition that how he has read the Bible is not objective but itself political would have made for a better and more balanced book.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 25, 2012 2:01 PM BST

Kindle Keyboard, Wi-Fi, 6" E Ink Display
Kindle Keyboard, Wi-Fi, 6" E Ink Display

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I wasn't immediately convinced but now I am hooked, 19 Sept. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
My Kindle arrived this weekend, only about a day later than the date expected when I placed the order in late August. There was a period when it appeared due to arrive later but the delivery date was then twice brought forward. To those who are still waiting - it will arrive!

In fact, I've always been somewhat skeptical about the need for ebooks. Whether it was simply Amazon's persistent marketing, I'm not sure but as someone who works in a University the idea of having books and journal papers on a single device instead of lugging paper copies everywhere became very appealing.

Taking it out of the box, it looks stunning. The screen - the electronic ink and paper - is amazing. So much so that I thought I was looking at a sticker that I tried to peel off. It took me a few seconds to realise it was actually the screen itself, preset to tell me what to do next. The quality of the "ink", the contrast between the font and the paper, are all the equal of a book, if not better. The wifi was a breeze to set up and I have bought and ordered a book within seconds. (Perhaps too easily: I am going to have to watch temptation!). There are nice and for me unexpected touches like the ability to highlight a word in the text and find out what it means.

So, does it meet my need? Sort of. Of course, not all academic books are available for Kindle, though actually more than I thought would be and no doubt their number will increase over time. The sending of .pdf journal articles to the device via its dedicated e-mail address is easy and works very well. They are not, however, entirely easy to read on the Kindle because ultimately they were never formatted to be ebooks. Again, I've no doubt that situation will change as more publishers makes those journal articles available in suitable formats but for the time being reading those .pdfs on screen isn't quite as good as the paper equivalent.

Another comment people have made and I initially agreed with is (for want of a better word) the flicker when going from one page to the next when reading on screen. The page change is fast but nevertheless still obvious and for me it took a little getting used to. Indeed, I lessened the default font size and decreased the line spacing so to do it less often. That said, as a distraction/irritation is soon passed and I was happily reading on the Kindle as much as I would any other book.

Finally, a word on the leather case accessory. As others have noted, it does seem somewhat overpriced. However, my Kindle is securely fixed within it and it looks good.

In short: this is excellent device, extremely competitively priced and has completely changed my opinion about ebooks. I still feel rather guilty about hastening the demise of independent bookshops. However, it cannot be denied: Amazon/Kindle offer a service that is very convenient, well supported and very keenly priced.

Last Rites: The End of the Church of England
Last Rites: The End of the Church of England
by Michael Hampson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

22 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Kind words spoken in frustration?, 30 Oct. 2006
This is a heartfelt, earnest and very readable book about one former clergymen's experiences within the Church of England. The author is gay and the book resonates with both the kindness but also the prejudice he experienced working as a homosexual priest within the church. The honesty is compelling and helps to take the reader beyond (perhaps) misplaced theology to see, as Jesus did, not the doctrine but the person, fully loved by God. Bound up in this honesty is found hurt and this is the book's Achilles' heel. The author, Michael Hampson, makes unwarranted sideswipes at strange targets including family services, non-stipendiary (`part time') priests, inclusive baptism services and the `emerging church' movement. Worse, there is a tendency to somewhat coarse stereotyping and generalisation which, at its worse - for example when talking of the `cult of fundamentalism' - seems no more nuanced or inoffensive than much of the brickbats thrown at homosexuality within the church. Still, frustration can manifest itself in many ways and, for much of the book, it does so positively. Some of his manifesto about dismantling the traditional Church of England, promoting both greater diversity and more local autonomy require serious consideration. And anyone who is brave enough to suggest that it's time the CoE handed over the keys of its ancient but empty building to some other organisation that is prepared to pay for that heritage, thus leaving the church to concentrate on the present, is certainly worth listening to.

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