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J. McGhee "JackM" (UK)
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66fit Peanut Spiky Massage Ball Roller - Reflexology Muscle Trigger Point Therapy
66fit Peanut Spiky Massage Ball Roller - Reflexology Muscle Trigger Point Therapy
Price: £7.00

1.0 out of 5 stars Your mutt will love it., 15 May 2016
Length:: 0:08 Mins

It is a glorified dog toy. Wilts under the lightest of pressure. This item is not a hard plastic, it feels like a soft rubber filled with air.

Utterly pointless purchase, save your cash for a high quality foam roller and hard lacrosse ball.


Always Right (Kindle Single)
Always Right (Kindle Single)

7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The elephant in the room of the Thatcher debate., 28 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Right off the bat. This e-book is short (about 25 pages on my Kindle for PC). At £0.99 it was hardly going to be too long. It is basically pulled straight from the pages of his NYTimes column. Saying that though, this e-book never misses a punch and relentlessly grinds down the anti-thatcher rhetoric to a mere nub.
Definitely an interesting read for anyone on either side of the Thatcher debate (assuming said person is reasonable and open to the opinions of other people).

- - I really hope this becomes a regular thing for Niall to do, to publish these little Kindle Singles at a reasonable £0.99. I would certainly lap up a regular installment of these bite-size works (though, preferably a little more fleshed out, and not a copy/paste of a column that he has already been paid for).


Bounce: How Champions are Made
Bounce: How Champions are Made
by Matthew Syed
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some clear thinking, 30 Nov. 2010
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Bounce by Matthew Syed is a chronicle of the growing realisation that excellence - in any complex field - is the result of many thousands of hours of purposeful practice. 'Talent' in essence, is not a consequence of birth.

Part 1 - The Talent Myth - starts with the baseline of success, his thoughts on the old ideas of 'talent', how we convince ourselves that the amazing 'talent' we see in the world owes itself to the hosts DNA. Then moves onto the child prodigy phenomena, describing what we see as a miraculous shining star of talent is infact the product of a mind bending ammount of focused practice and dedication from an even earlier age. The latter half of Part 1 explores the mental aspect of the path to excellence such as motivation, inspiration and overcoming doubt.

Part 2 - Paradoxes of the Mind - is a continuation of the latter part of part 1, delving deeper into the mental aspect of elite people. Looking into the placebo effect. What happens when someone 'chokes' - the disasterous mental block that inhibits top performers from playing at their best - and rituals and superstition, explaining why it is so common in sport.

Part 3 - Deep Reflections - goes into the more acedemic and moral aspects (of sports especially). Dealing with optical illusions, drugs in sport (the rights and wrongs). Ending with one of the more contensious issues/arguments of modern sport, are "blacks" superior runners? This final part of the book is worth the price alone.

A heartily recommended book. Fascinating.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 22, 2011 7:17 AM BST


Bad Science
Bad Science
by Ben Goldacre
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unsettling ..., 24 Nov. 2010
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This review is from: Bad Science (Paperback)
Well, what a timely pop-science book. During a time that we a bombarded with a media with very little apreciation for science and quacks glowing with pseudo acedemia, both often working hand-in-hand. And outside of our immediate awareness are the big pharma companies operating with a lax approach to research.

Not only does Ben Goldacre (seemingly one of the very few voices within the media with real knowledge of medicine and research) deride the pharma companies and general bad science, he shows the grey area and weaknesses of genuine imperfect medical research. A refreshingly honest work, telling it like it is, and gently nudging the reader towards more progressive ideas of how we can inform ourselves and therefore make the world we forge for ourselves.

Maybe somewhat preaching to the choir personally, but revealing and enlightening none-the-less. Heartily recommended.


American History X [Blu-ray]
American History X [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Edward Norton
Offered by AARDVARK MEDIA
Price: £12.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars American History ... X, 7 Nov. 2010
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This isn't a crowd pleaser, a Hollywood cop-out nor a blockbuster pushing all the PR buttons. This is hard hitting and gritty. With a real and an important tale to tell. Whilst the story of Derek Vinyard (Norton) from regular teen to a prominent white supremacist group member may be fiction in the film, it is reality all over the western world. The power of the film derives from it simply revealing the most common avenue of this kind of behaviour. It doesn't have any of the answers, and it doesn't pretend to. It just shows you the issue and allows you the space to come to your own conclusions. Making it all the more powerful in my opinion.

A technically superb film with a masterful work of acting from all involved, a great watch. I certainly sensed that the actors were aware of the depth of the film and duly played it with the respect it deserved. Edward Norton shines especially, subtle emotional expressions, sometimes playful and often sinister. Captivating. And talking of sinister, one of the best presences on screen is the Cameron (Stacy Keach) character, the benign head of the local white supremacist group. Probably the most unsettling character, simultaneously the most vile and hate-mongering whilst also being the most cowardly, recruiting vulnerable young men to apply his hate in the form of violence on his behalf. Unforgettable.

Some elements that could, and should, have been expanded upon were the transition of Derek whilst in the prison system and being mentored by his old teacher. And I felt that the brother, Danny (Edward Furlong), was too easily convinced to follow his brother and deserved to be delved into a little deeper. I would imagine time constraints were the main reason for some plot lines not being followed up. Still a shame though.

The Blu-ray quality was great, but not fantastic. Certainly much superior to the DVD version. And the extras are quite pathetic really. A couple of deleted scenes and the subtitles. It warrants so much more. A shame really.

If you enjoy a movie that changes the prism of your world view (however large or small that change may be), then I whole-heartedly recommend American History X.

Amazing.

MOVIE [ 5/5 ]
BLU-RAY [ 4/5 ]
EXTRAS [ 2/5 ]


The Way Home
The Way Home
by George Pelecanos
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A modern tale, 5 Nov. 2010
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This review is from: The Way Home (Paperback)
The basic skeleton of this book is, a good boy gone bad, and can he go good again. With the background cast of a caring family, and friends barely keeping on the straight and narrow. Leading to strained loyalties and unlikely relationships.
I found the social narrative, Juvenile incarceration and youth reform, taught and believable. Something which so easily could have killed the flow of the book. An issue Pelecanos seems well informed on. The book as a whole is clearly quite masculine, aimed at a broad audience, but without doubt having a male slant (and all the better for it!).
For those who have come to Pelecanos from watching The Wire, you will enjoy this book. Whilst not having the depth of the television series (hardly surprising) it certainly has the flavour, not being content with black and white characterisation, in his element in the grey areas of the story. Very satisfying.

A great book that I recommend, with and ending that wraps it up very nicely, revealing how well Pelecanos had created his characters without me even realising until I had finished and reflected on what I had read.


Fallout New Vegas: Collector's Edition - Prima Official Game Guide
Fallout New Vegas: Collector's Edition - Prima Official Game Guide
by Prima Games
Edition: Hardcover

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A perfect partner, 30 Oct. 2010
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Length:: 1:33 Mins

One thing even the critics of the last two fallout games can't argue with is that they are immense. Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas are much loved for their depth of atmosphere and attention to detail. That legacy is not lost within this game guide. A really great and comprehensive low-down, brimming with hidden nuggets.

The main chunks of the book come down to:

Training -
Which does a great job of explaining your character statistics, skills, perks and points. And showing you exactly how to spend them. How to interact with factions. Keep hold of your manual that came with the game, it is recommended reading.

Factions and Bestiary -
The section chronicals the major factions within the wasteland, what kind of objectives each faction has and what kind of action they undertake. Along with this general information is individual statistics for all the possible adversiaries you may face. Very useful.

Guns & Gear -
Self explanitary really. A List of every single weapon in the Wasteland and their attributes, the gear (Armour, hats all the way through to sunglasses). Finally followed with all the ingestibles, and the positive and negative concequences of taking such items.

Main Quests -
Again, quite self explanitory. This is the guide for the main body of the story, with all its set pieces and faction choices. This sets out in plain English the consequences of the choices you are presented with, the conversation variables you can have and all the problems you may be setting yourself up for at a later date.

Side Quests -
A great low-down on the multitude of side quests that populate the environment and what makes Fallout such a great game to get your teeth stuck in to. This secion describes which facion the side quest is favouring, suggested experience for each quest (a 1 to 5 rating), lists the quests in alphabetical order for easier retrieval and also highlights which side quests are integral to the main quest.

Tour -
This section is to acompany the poster map that is provided with the book. The map gives and overall perspective of the Mojave Wasteland, the Tour section in the book reveals a more detailed look at each part of the map.

Appendices -
Appendix I Details of the various endings.
Appendix II shows the challenges and all their details (how to complete them and what the rewards are).
Appendix III Details the achievements and trophies
Appendix IV Vendors, weapon upgrades and Gambling dens. Showing the name and location of every Caravan player, Gambling den, Healer, Repairer, Trader and Weapon mods can be bought.
Appendix V Crafting locactions. Location of every campfire, Reloading Bench and Work Bench.
Appendix VI, VII and VIII Collectables,
Appendix IX Skill books, these add perminent points to your skills, and are well worth finding.
Appendix X Skill Magazines, adding a temporary boost to skill.
Appendix XI Sunset Sarsaparilla Star Bottle Caps, where to find these collectable caps.
Appendix XII Unique Items
Appendix XIII Unique Weapons
Appendix XIV Wild Wasteland Oddities, some of the occurances if you choose the Wild Wasteland Perk.

The book then ends with some great art from the game and giving the game a bit of history and background.

Right at the back you get your pullout map.

This a really great guide, and very much recommended for a Fallout fan, you shouldn't play without it.


Pest Control
Pest Control
by Bill Fitzhugh
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A killer of a comedy., 22 Oct. 2010
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This review is from: Pest Control (Paperback)
A down on his luck pest controller ditches his salary job to chase his dream of an all natural, non chemical, exterminator work. With things not working out as he had hoped, he answers a high paying extermination advert in the newspaper. Leading to curious developments...

To use a cliché, this book is a great beach book (admittedly, not quite the time of year), a great pace to keep those thumbs flicking from page to page. And as other reviews have made a point of, really quite funny. Whilst reading I was left with the distinct impression that it was written with a screen adaptation in mind. Which is not a critisism, just a note of the style.

This novel gave me some out-loud chuckles and a solid story, what more can you ask for in a quick read like this. Give it a try, I'm sure you'll be chuffed with it.


The Making Of A Para
The Making Of A Para
by Rory Bridson
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A valuable book., 21 Oct. 2010
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This review is from: The Making Of A Para (Hardcover)
This great book was written by a TA Para, alongside a large stock of regimental contributions (mainly by way of quotes from interviews) so it already has a certain degree of authority that often lacks from outsiders looking in.

The contents are essentially broken down as:

Preface (7)

The Maroon Machine (8)
This chapter over the course of a few pages goes into what makes the Parachute Regiment the Parachute Regiment, its ethos and strategic purpose.

No Pain, No Gain (14)
This covers the Para portion of your Army training, the dreaded 'P Company'. Its physical tests, along with the neglected mental aspect of this hellish week. And interestingly, goes into the changing aspects of recruits, the difficulties of the modern recruit compared to a few decades ago.

Green On, Go! (38)
As the title would suggest, this is about the parachuting training at Brize Norton.

A Tom At Last (62)
Life after training, in your battalion.

MSPs and Craphats (86)

Ready For Anything (104)
A chapter on the regiments training program and operational rotation and working with the UN in Cyprus etc.

Weekend Warriors (122)
The Airborne Brotherhood (140)
The Regiment At War (158)
Into The 1990's (182)
Appendices (188)

So, as you can see, the book has a fairly nice spectrum of topics about the Parachute Regiment. A word of caution though. Alot of the information is clearly dated. My edition was published in 1995, and it really shows, particularily with the weapon systems. With it rapidly heading towards two decades old, it is not reference material for current operations.

If you have clicked on this page I'm assuming you have slightly more than just a passing interest. In that case, I recommend this book.


Infidel
Infidel
by Tim Hetherington
Edition: Paperback

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A rare archive, 16 Oct. 2010
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This review is from: Infidel (Paperback)
Length:: 1:39 Mins

I bought this to accompany War by Sebastian Junger and my pre-order of Restrepo [DVD]. Having been waiting to get all three of these works together before I take my time to properly consume them, I found as soon as Infidel was taken out its wrapping I just couldn't stop myself taking in the entire book in one sitting. Really quite amazing and arresting imagery. One I will be re-visiting a lot.
The format and editing are worth a mention too. Kicking off with an introduction by Sebastian Junger, followed by a two page grid of the profile photos of the soldiers in his book. Following this is the main body of work, Tim Hetheringon's times at FOB Restrepo. The book concludes with the meditations of the soldiers themselves, short paragraphs on what they feel they took away from their tour, mixed with a few anecdotes.

It is always refreshing to come across the story of what we are involved in in Afghanistan rather than just the politics.

Though one small thing that can be quite frustrating, is the images that have a two page spread, inevitably leave an area at the binding that distorts the image. Which on the whole isn't an issue, except for a couple of the night-time images whose focus is at the partition between the pages. No biggie though.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 20, 2011 10:52 PM BST


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