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David Kahnemann

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Elizabeth Costello
Elizabeth Costello
by J.M. Coetzee
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Philosophy and novel most literate, 16 July 2013
This review is from: Elizabeth Costello (Paperback)
Through the title character, Coetzee criticizes some over-conservative, heartless and perhaps thoughtless assumptions that underlie academia and society. The result is a startling series of literate thought experiments that would rival Julian Baggini's in their conception and any great novel's in their stark imagery. Costello's views are similar to Coetzee's, and Coetzee writes so persuasively that some of the passages from Elizabeth Costello have been cited time and again by philosophers in their essays.
If you would like to open your mind to a broader scope outside the blase assumptions that many academics and other thinkers make, then you must read this book. If you do not, then equally you must read it.

UFC: Best of 2011 [DVD]
UFC: Best of 2011 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Brock Lesnar
Offered by TwoRedSevens
Price: £7.59

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Ripped up fights, ripped off customers., 24 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: UFC: Best of 2011 [DVD] (DVD)
The first annoying thing on this dvd is that the dvd shows the finishes and results of the fights in the intro before it shows the highlights of those fights. So you know who has won each fight before you start watching the main part of the dvd.
In addition, the highlights of each fight are short. They are cut up so much that they do not let you get in the mood for the fights. This is unnecessary. The UFC suits did not cut out all of that action so that they could fit more fights onto each disc. How much material can a dvd disc hold? Over 3 hours? The first disc of this 'best of UFC 2011' only has 2 hours worth of footage and yet the UFC businessmen have chopped out most of the action from the fights. For example, Noguiera vs Mir, they don't show you Noguiera's initial domination of Mir with his superior boxing and just cut it to the last moments of the fight where Mir submits Noguiera.
Why have they cut so much out of the fights? Here is my guess: the UFC are using this as a 2 hour long set of trailers that is supposed to give you a taste for the full events so that you buy a dvd for each event. This is cynical and aggressive marketing and I will be boycotting all of the UFC dvds until I have heard that they present a proper 'best of' dvd. If this dvd is meant as a trailers package through which to advertise the full event dvds, then the UFC suits are sly almost to the point of crooked.
This snippets of action from each fight on disc 1 will insult the intelligence spans of probably all who watch it.
This dvd is a waste of money; watching the first disc is a waste of time. It is a waste of time ordering and waiting for this product. I could have played my guitar last night instead. What a waste of time watching the first disc was!

Salvador--Special Edition [DVD]
Salvador--Special Edition [DVD]
Dvd ~ James Woods
Price: £4.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stone Grips with All-Time-Great Tale of Genocidal Thuggery, 26 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Oliver Stone at his best.
According to Stone, the US spent vast fortunes helping the El Salvadorian oligarchy to suppress (or a better word might be slaughter) the El Salvadorian peasants.
'Salvador' is a thoughtful depiction of the atrocities committed by the El Salvadorian oligarchy and the suffering endured by the peasants during the El Salvadorian civil war. Salvador's script juxtaposes materialistic and self-involved dialogue (some of which was apparently improvised by the neurotic germophobe James Woods) throughout scenes that convey the bullying slaughter of unarmed peasants, women, men and children, young and old. Some of Woods and Belushi's banter is Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David-esque. According to literary theorists, this split between subject (in 'Salvador' the slaughter of peasants) and tone (Woods and Belushi's self-involved minutia) is a common technique in 20th century high art, a technique that makes the author appear more objective and not caught up with sentimentality. In 'Salvador', this ironic juxtaposition allows us to invent the rage at the US backed atrocities against the peasants ourselves, rather than having it forced down our throats.
What gives the film even more value and authenticity is the documentary 'Into the Valley of Death' included on the DVD. In particular on the documentary, the man who was US ambassador to El Salvador at the time of the slaughter, gives revelationary testimony of the US mainstream press's suppression of the reports that told of the atrocities. This former US Ambassador to El Salvador seems to be a man of the utmost kindness and integrity and his reports are shocking. He asserts that several tens of thousands of peasants were slaughtered by the oligarchy. He verifies the genocidal self-interest of Reagan's US government, and he verifies that the disturbing footage in the movie is based on the kind of events that he knew was common. He also states that every scene in 'Salvador' accurately portrays the situation - every scene he says, except one, where his character in the movie is seen eventually capitulating to his US government colleagues.
Even if you are already sceptical of US propaganda and self-righteous US governmental language like 'good versus evil' and 'enemies of freedom', you will be shocked by what you see in the movie.
Salvador will grip you.

The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone
The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone
by Kate Pickett
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.69

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Casts Light on these Status Anxious Days, 5 Jan. 2012
The authors of The Spirit Level use financial data from well established sources such as the UN and the World Bank together with health and sociological data from equally well-established sources to form graphs that point out how, where and why among developed countries, the countries with the greatest level of income inequality (the most extreme cases being the UK and the USA) have worse sociological problems. The authors make convincing graphs using data on all developed countries. These graphs show the strong link between growing income inequality and growing sociological problems, such as violence, bad health, child mortality, teenage pregnancy and depression. Furthermore, they show us that these problems are worse in more unequal countries for people with almost any amount of income - even the rich suffer because of income inequality.
We are also treated to fascinating evolutionary reasons why human beings suffer in the ways and to the extent that we do from the perception of relative deprivation.
One of the best books I have ever read in my 10 years of academia.

UFC 132: Cruz vs Faber [DVD]
UFC 132: Cruz vs Faber [DVD]
Dvd ~ Urijah Faber
Offered by wantitcheaper
Price: £10.97

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite UFC event yet?, 29 Oct. 2011
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This review is from: UFC 132: Cruz vs Faber [DVD] (DVD)
How good is this event? Here is a clue: George Sotiropolous is on the second last fight of the preliminary fights. He is not on the main event bouts where supposedly the most talented fighters are placed. Sotiropolous is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt with explosive boxing and is one of the most exciting fighters in the UFC. For me that speaks clearly about the talent of the fighters on the main event. And the main event fights live up to their more privileged position with explosive action.

All of the fights but one on this DVD are exciting perhaps apart from the first prelim bout.
There are several TKOs.
If you have not seen Cruz fight, his style is one of the most unorthodox and yet could be the most effective in MMA.
He is extremely evasive and yet has damaging strikes. Similar to Carlos Condit, you can hear every one of his strikes lash off of his opponent.
For me, Faber vs Cruz is fight of the night with Siver vs. Wiman my second favourite.
UFC 132 was in my opinion one the most entertaining UFC event so far this year. For me only UFC 129 Shields vs GSP rivals the entertainment value of UFC 132's fights.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 21, 2011 8:57 PM GMT

UFC 131: Dos Santos vs Carwin [DVD]
UFC 131: Dos Santos vs Carwin [DVD]
Dvd ~ Junior Dos Santos
Price: £8.00

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A few great fights and dire music, 22 Oct. 2011
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Although Zuffa are bringing the UFC to a wider audience, perhaps their audience would be even wider if they did not rankle the musical taste and sensibilities of level-headed people with the new metal that plays intermittently in the dvd. (Or is it metal hip-hop? Anyone? I would like to warn my friends about it). Apart from the stylish music that plays as the 'Tale of the Tape' stats are shown, the rest is macho in the pejorative sense. How many people can watch UFC dvds with their Dads without embarrassment at the c**k-rock? If you are over 30, putting a baseball cap on backwards might help you get into the mentality for it.
However, on the un-macho side, in the bonus feature, the story about Diego Nunes's struggle through poverty brings a pleasant glow to one's heart.
During the fight action, the commentary is also first class. It features the usual UFC co-commentator Joe Rogan (who might well be the oldest guy ever to wear a baseball cap backwards) and the friendly Mike Goldman.
The undercard fights as usual feature some rather unrounded fighters.
The main event fights:

Donald Cerrone vs. Vagner Rocha

This is striker vs. wrestler. Cerrone has pretty good movement and leg kicks. Rocha has excellent ground skills. It turns out a bit one sided and drawn out.

Jon Olav Einemo vs. United States Dave Herman

Einemo is an Abu Dhabi submission wrestling champion, which means that he is one of the best submission wrestlers in the world. Herman is a great striker. Fight of the night in my opinion. Einemo surprises many with brilliant striking that makes this fight ebb and flow. Both fighters look on the brink of victory at times and must have been dizzy later in the changing room.

Demian Maia vs. Mark Muñoz

Maia has been training striking with Junior Dos Santos's trainer. It shows. He gets his weight behind his strikes for the first time in the Octagon. Munoz is tough, aggressive, agile and a phenomenal wrestler. Great match up. The tension mounts as the fight goes to the ground.

Kenny Florian vs. Diego Nunes

Ken Flo's Featherweight debut. Nunes trains with UFC Featherweight champion Jose Aldo and like Aldo, he is explosive and dynamic. Great match up for Ken Flo who is trained by one of the world's best Thai Boxing coaches.
Both fighters take a few bashes. Good fight.

Junior dos Santos vs. Shane Carwin

Junior has shown the greatest combination of speed and power in his hands that I have seen in MMA. Shane Carwin is a powerhouse. Both fighters have good ground games. Not so much because of the action in the fight, but because of the skills of the fighters, this fight is well worth watching if you are an MMA enthusiast.

UFC: Best Of 2010 [DVD]
UFC: Best Of 2010 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Georges St Pierre
Offered by Jasuli
Price: £7.95

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling turbulent fights, but some are spoiled., 4 Oct. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: UFC: Best Of 2010 [DVD] (DVD)
If you are interested in any combat sports but especially MMA and have not seen the fights on this dvd, then you must buy it. These fights show some of the best displays of skill that I have seen in MMA and many of the best fights I have seen in my 18 years of enthusiasm in boxing, Thai boxing and MMA. The standard of MMA fighters just seems to be going up, with most of the top fighters now being proficient in wrestling, jiu-jitsu, boxing and Thai Boxing. This makes for close fights that ebb and flow.
On the down side, however, the dvd includes a UFC news round-up of 2010, which is included as part of the main feature. This news roundup not only tells you who won at least some of the fights on the dvd, but also shows you the finishes of those fights before you are shown the full length version of those very same fights. So from where is your sense of anticipation about who will win the fight meant to come? You have already been told who won. You have seen the end of the fight. That is one of the reasons that I have marked the DVD down. The other is the inclusion of some of the macho behaviour of some of the fighters, for example, Thiago Silva's putting his angry face up to the camera and drawing his finger across his own throat.
But the quality of the fights is mind blowing.

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