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MrRivendale

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Isaac Newton: The Last Sorcerer
Isaac Newton: The Last Sorcerer
Price: £5.74

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and informative, 5 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The biography gives an entertaining and informative account of Newton's life through the lens of his life long obsession with alchemy and his deeply held Arian religious beliefs. The author makes a lucid case that it was these two passions (however misguided), along with Newton's thirst for knowledge, that drove Newton to his scientific discoveries.

The book is not overly scientific. It does not go into the mathematics or describe any of Newton's theories in great detail. Depending on your view point this may be a strength or a weakness, but it does make the biography easily accessible to readers who do not have a scientific background.

The biography also paints a lesser known side of Newton - namely Newton the civil servant. As warden and then master of the Royal Mint the biography gives an entertaining account of Newton as he tries to restructure the Royal Mint and increase efficiency, while simultaneously bringing to justice currency counterfeiters with almost a religious zeal.

However, I found the most enjoyable sections of the biography to be the accounts of Newton's feuds with other well known historical figures of the time - namely: Robert Hooke, John Flamsteed (First Astronomer Royal), and Gottfried Leibniz. Most enjoyable was his battle with Leibniz, and the battle for the title of "discoverer of Calculus". This gave an insight into the dark side of Newton and his ruthlessness when dealing with adversaries.

Overall a great read and highly recommended but personally I would of liked to of seen a little more scientific detail (in particular at least a mention of the second most famous equation in all of physics - F = ma).


Amazon Kindle Keyboard Lighted Leather Cover, Chocolate Brown (only fits Kindle Keyboard)
Amazon Kindle Keyboard Lighted Leather Cover, Chocolate Brown (only fits Kindle Keyboard)

1,560 of 1,588 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Adequate but should be so much better for the price., 3 Sept. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is posted after 5 days of use with the Kindle lighted cover(brown).

Positives
1) Good quality leather.
2) Swinging lock mechanism works very well and holds kindle in place securely.
3) The cover has been designed so the front cover extends fully backwards so as to overlap the back cover. At first I thought the increased thickness that results would be uncomfortable but I was pleasantly surprised how little you notice the cover when reading in this position.
4) The light (when reading only). Yes it is not evenly distributed over the entire screen but is perfectly adequate for reading at night. The difference in light from the top right hand side of the screen to the bottom left of the screen in my opinion is negligible.(However please see point 2 below for using the keyboard at night)

Negatives
1) The fastening mechanism - which comprises of what I can only describe as a thick elasticated string. I cannot help but wonder how long this string will last after repeated pulling and releasing. Yes it does the job but surely the designers could have come up with a better fastening mechanism. I hope to be proved wrong and like to think Amazon had some sort of robotic arm which was continually opening and releasing the kindle cover to test its longevity.
2) The light (when using the keyboard only). Although the light is perfectly usable when reading on screen I have found it to be lacking when using the keyboard at night. I have found myself having to strain to distinguish between the keys.
3) Muffled sound from speakers. Ok the text to speech option is at present not very good and as Amazon say it is experimental, but I thought I would mention that because the kindle speakers are located at the back of the unit, any sound that is played is muffled. Yes it sounds obvious and there is probably not much you can do about it (apart from turn up the volume) but I thought I would mention it.
4) Price. There is a niggling doubt in the back of my mind that the sum of the components does not reflect the overall price. In my opinion a price tag of around £35 is more realistic.
Comment Comments (32) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 23, 2012 2:25 PM GMT


Why Does E=mc2?: (And Why Should We Care?)
Why Does E=mc2?: (And Why Should We Care?)
by Brian Cox
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and educational. What all science books should be., 8 Aug. 2010
I have always wanted to know more about the famous equation but I have always thought it would be difficult to understand without going into the mathematics of it all (it was after all written by a genius). This book has been the answer to my prayers. The book is written with a non-mathematical audience in mind and succeeds in drawing the reader into Einstein's weird and wonderful world of relativity. The book does contain maths but nothing which I would class as difficult.

The book is both entertaining and educational in equal measures. Do not get me wrong there at times where you are left scratching your head and having to re-read entire sections of text to make sense of some of the ideas in the book but it is well worth the time and effort. At the end of it all I was left with a sense of achievement in learning something new about the formula, the history behind it, and its application in the modern world. This book has helped re-kindle my thirst to learn more about physics and science in general.


Panasonic TX-P50G20B 50-inch Widescreen Full HD 1080p 600Hz Neo Plasma TV with Freeview HD and Freesat HD
Panasonic TX-P50G20B 50-inch Widescreen Full HD 1080p 600Hz Neo Plasma TV with Freeview HD and Freesat HD

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quality television with superb picture quality and decent sound., 8 Aug. 2010
I have previously only purchased LCD televisions, but after much research and reading the positive reviews for this TV I thought I would give this Panasonic plasma a try. I can now say after 2 months of heavy use, I am officially a Panasonic plasma fan.

Positives
THX Mode: The plasma comes with a "THX mode" which basically means it will guarantee you an exceptional picture quality, for "THX" certified discs, straight out of the box. Now you might ask how many THX certified discs are out there and the answer would be not many, however I have found the mode gives outstanding picture quality for all non THX HD sources (SKY HD, blu-ray). To cut a long story short no researching on the internet to find the correct picture settings for your TV, just select the THX mode and you will get high quality pictures.
Viewing Sports: I have been watching the 2010 World Cup/ Wimbledon 2010 both on SKY HD and ITV/BC HD on Freeview and the picture quality has been exceptional. I could detect no motion blur and the images were crisp and detailed. One thing I did notice when first switching from LCD to plasma was that the picture looks slightly dull and less vivid. However after time I have got to appreciate that the plasma picture feels a lot more natural and now when I am watching LCD it feels as if the LCD picture is over saturated and unnatural.
Viewing Films: This is where the television comes into its own. Watching films from a HD source such as SKY HD but especially blu-ray discs gives superb picture quality. I am not exaggerating when I say at times it can feel you are watching in 3D.
Sound: I am pleasantly surprised with the sound output and it is much better than I expected from a TV this slim. I therefore only really switch on my surround sound when watching films and sports (for that extra effect). For "everyday normal viewing" the TV sound is above average/good.
Gaming: Picture quality is again superb with an XBOX360 hooked up and I have noticed no serious lag or motion blur.
Buzzing Sound: Some reviews have suggested the TV makes a loud "buzzing" noise. I have not been able to hear any buzzing noise coming from the TV after 2 months of use. The TV screen does however radiate heat (as do all plasma TVs).

Negatives (The following are minor gripes I have with the TV)
Styling: The TV has a simple black picture frame. Although not ugly it is not pretty either.
Remote control: The remote control design seems odd with the volume and channel buttons a quarter of the way up from the bottom of the remote control. You get used to this after a while and it is maybe a redundant point as I use the SKY remote to control the TV most of the time.
Auto-Input Select: This is a major gripe. I have as of yet found no way to get my TV to switch from normal Freeview TV mode to the AV HDMI input for my SKY HD box when I first switch it on. Even after repeatedly switching my SKY box on and off the TV is not clever enough to detect that a device has been switched on and to switch to the corresponding input mode.
Freeview TV Guide: In a word terrible. Feels like something you would see on a Windows 95 operating system. Dull, dated, with uninspiring colours (and annoying adverts).
Internet Capability: The internet enabled channels are few and far between. The only one I use regularly is the YouTube channel which works very well. The other channels are Skype (which I have not tested), Eurosport, DailyMotion, AceTrax, Picasso web albums, weather, and Bloomberg.

To summarise I would highly recommend this TV even after the minor gripes I have mentioned above. Buy this TV if you are after high quality "cinema like" pictures and decent sound.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 13, 2010 10:20 AM BST


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