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Seagan Eating: The Lure of a Healthy, Sustainable Seafood + Vegan Diet
Seagan Eating: The Lure of a Healthy, Sustainable Seafood + Vegan Diet
Price: £7.75

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Oxymoron, 16 July 2016
Oh dear. Clearly, the authors weren't getting enough money from selling to vegans. And I get it. Sort of. Some of my best friends believe in killing sentient creatures. I wish they didn't, but I love them for other reasons.

What we vegans want, however, is a modicum of respect from ex-vegans. We can't stop them deciding that killing is fine. But we can and should expect them not to try to make money from mocking our views.

"Seagan" is an oxymoron. It makes as much sense as the phrases "Christian Satanist" or "experienced porn star who is also a virgin". You cannot be a vegan, and, by definition seek to avoid animal use as much as possible, whilst simultaneously smacking our lips at the thought of deliberately eating sentient creatures. Fish not only feel pain but are more intelligent than we used to believe.

If you are vegan but are worried about omega 3, check out information from actual vegans. Like this: [...]
So please, stop with the nonsensical terms like "seagan". It's not only nonsensical, it's insulting to those of us who are actual vegans. You know, the people who bought Ms Cramer and Ms McComsey's earlier book ("The Vegan Cheat Sheet", in which they were telling us how easy it was to be vegan).

Fact: it's not always easy-peasy to be vegan. But it's not as hard as most things people manage to do successfully. More to the point, it's worth it.

The Vegan Cheat Sheet: Your Take-Everywhere Guide to Plant-based Eating
The Vegan Cheat Sheet: Your Take-Everywhere Guide to Plant-based Eating
by Amy Cramer Lisa McComsey
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Cheaters? No thanks. Choose life: choose veganism, 16 July 2016
Just don't bother. If you want to buy something about veganism, buy something written by a real vegan. Someone who is passionate about avoiding animal exploitation as well as passionate about great food. Not by shills who are not even vegetarian.

Cramer and McComsey have written a book ( based on the premise that veganism is hard, so people should eat fish. (Really? So they were lying when they wrote this one and claimed it was easy?) Never mind that fish feel pain. Never mind the growing evidence that fish are far more intelligent than previously thought.

I've been a vegan for approximately half my life. I'm in good health. I exercise. I donated blood last month. Being vegan can be frustrating, especially when you're like me and don't like cooking. But it's not hard compared to most of the challenges people face in life. And, if you like cooking, it's pretty easy.

More to the point, it's worth it. Knowing that you're doing your best to avoid animal exploitation is a wonderful, wonderful feeling.

So don't give your money to people who write about veganism but don't believe in it. Do some research and find a book written by actual, caring, sincere vegans.

The Blacklist - Season 2 [DVD]
The Blacklist - Season 2 [DVD]
Dvd ~ James Spader
Price: £10.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Red, 7 Feb. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
So - this is binge watching. (What? I had a cough. I needed TLC. Or Spader.) I was gripped. Some plot twists I could see coming (albeit just seconds ahead of the Big Reveal), but most took me by surprise.

I also wonder if the writers were having a bet as to whether they could include leylines as part of a serious plot. Well-played, writers. I liked the tiny details like the smily face on the sticking plaster at the beginning of Episode 22. I loved the name of the lipstick that Red named. And the Russian tango.

The writers have a good grasp of complex issues. Not just in terms of plot twists, although they're pretty darn good at those. Also in terms of the words they put in the mouths of their characters. I almost understood the logic of the "conservationist" who was secretly part of a wildlife poaching organisation - despite the fact I vehemently disagreed with him.

I was bowled over by Red's speech about the human cost of wildlife poaching. The last time Spader had a chance to deliver such an impassioned speech was in his "Boston Legal" days. (Red's little aside about waterboarding was a throwback to those days.) That's all Spader needs to shine: brilliant writing and a feisty brunette. (Almost all his memorable work relies on his having a feisty brunette co-star. Sometimes, other hair colours suffice, but he has seldom done good work where the female lead is underwritten.) He very clearly revels in playing a character with such moral ambiguity. Whenever Red does something nice for people (and he does seem to have a soft spot for dogs and underdogs), there's almost invariably something in it for him.

The rest of the cast doesn't hold him back. And, although accents aren't my area of expertise, I liked Ryan Eggold's German accent.

I have a couple of minor quibbles and one really big one. The tiniest quibble - when I thought that the guy with the most piercings Red had ever met didn't really have as many facial piercings as a couple of people I've seen in real life (also, why would Red complain about tattoos? I thought we established that he had some). A bigger quibble - Agent Ressler has been in so many road traffic collisions that surely he should be signed off work with whiplash by now? The episode with the flashbacks - good for new viewers to catch up, gives the actors a rest, but is it wise for a character to comment on how improbable the plot is?

I don't know if this is a plot hole or not - but there is a scene early on in the series where Red indicates that he knows that another character is seriously ill. You might think that it might be to his advantage to get his experts to help the character to ensure that character's absolute loyalty to Lizzie (who seems to have given up on asking Red if he is her daddy). But Red does nothing and events would probably have unfolded better for him had he intervened.

There was a big plot flaw in "The Front". People who kvetch about humanity being a plague on the face of the Earth either don't get pregnant or don't get to the "7 months pregnant" stage.

And the biggest problem of all. The really, really bad first aid. You do not tell whether someone is alive by spending a couple of seconds feeling for a pulse. You do not just do a couple of chest compressions, yell at someone that you want them to breathe, and magically bring them back. The lack of attention to detail in this matter is disappointing.

I've given this 5 stars, but I'm very cross that the writers are still getting this wrong. Every time that they ignore how the human body actually works, they make it impossible to suspend disbelief and enjoy the story.

The Homesman [DVD] [2014]
The Homesman [DVD] [2014]
Dvd ~ Tommy Lee Jones
Price: £5.00

3.0 out of 5 stars Wild Wretched West, 7 Feb. 2016
This review is from: The Homesman [DVD] [2014] (DVD)
This is a very well-made film. The story avoids clichés about strong, independent women. Or redemption. There is a major plot twist which I completely did not see coming (I thought it was a dream sequence for quite a while) and some minor twists that I did not anticipate either. I admire it, but it's simply not my sort of film at all.

It truly makes you wonder why anyone would have chosen to be a pioneer in the 1850s. Grim. Grinding. Awfulness and poverty and disease and no help for sufferers from domestic abuse ...

As my many fans may guess, I only watched this because of James Spader's cameo. And, even with a reddish blond wig and Irish accent, he managed to effortlessly convey the heartlessness of his character. In a film that contains more than its fair share of unpleasant characters, this one stands out as one of the most soulless. I can't tell you whether this character gets his comeuppance or not. Spoilers, sweetie! But, if he does, it's quite satisfying.

My favourite accessory was the cloth with the piano keys. Hilary Swank's character clearly cannot not afford a piano, but wants the next best thing. Which is really quite sad.

FursNewYork Rex Chinchilla Fur Thong Lingerie Bikini Set
FursNewYork Rex Chinchilla Fur Thong Lingerie Bikini Set
Offered by FursNewYork Quantitybuy UK
Price: £119.00

1.0 out of 5 stars Ugh, 25 Jan. 2016
Next time anyone says that people in cold climates need to kill and skin animals for fur, ask yourself what function a fur bikini serves in terms of providing warmth.

Magnetic Girls Talk Words to complement National Literacy Words
Magnetic Girls Talk Words to complement National Literacy Words
Offered by Indigo Worldwide Ltd
Price: £4.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Me Girl Sparkle Bubble Pink Fairy - Seriously, WTAF?, 13 Dec. 2015
Pretty! Unfortunately, someone bought me (Princess! Sparkly!) a similar product when I was a Princess! I mean child. Pink things! And it is now difficult for me to use un-girly words (Ballerina!) like "sexism" or even "dinosaurs" or "adventure". (Bubbles! Rainbows! Dolls!)

There's nothing wrong with flowers or pink stuff or any of this. There's everything wrong with coming up with two very different sets of words and claiming that one is for girls and the other for boys.


Feminist and the Cowboy, The
Feminist and the Cowboy, The
by Alisa Valdes
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £18.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Love and Fleas and Libertarianism and Feminism, 18 Feb. 2013
As we begin this memoir, Alisa Valdes was having a bit of a mid-life crisis.

Her life history goes like this: born in 1969, raised by parents who had a lot of issues and who shared a deep passion for feminism (in theory rather than practice). Studied writing and also jazz saxophone; became journalist and author. Got married, had baby, husband stayed home with their son. Split up.

Joined dating agency (the mid-life crisis, you see). Was contacted by cowboy. Fell in love with cowboy. Had revelation that a lot of her previous feminist ideas were wrong. Was attacked by fleas (that bit is amusing). Had great sex with cowboy (she is annoyingly vague on details).

Had truly epic sulking fit, resulted in cowboy refusing to speak to her. Went into therapy to get him back. This worked. Cowboy gets all the credit for making her into a more reasonable person, therapist mysteriously fades into background.

Part of the problem I have with Ms Valdes is that she doesn't seem to know when she has contradicted herself. On page 106, she says that when she was a student, she saw nail varnish as "evil". But on page 44, she told us that her student days were the time that she learnt how to apply make-up "fabulously". Whilst I suspect both are true, she should have told us about how she came to change her mind. Otherwise, her account of the development of her ideas on feminism has been deliberately distorted to fit in with the way this book is being marketed.

Another issue is the way she insists that the cowboy is a libertarian rather than a conservative. Maybe so, but she never explains the difference. She admits to knowing "nothing really" about libertarianism. This doesn't exactly help the reader when it comes to her describing the difference between her views and those of the cowboy.

She describes her epiphany regarding feminism thus: "Men and women should have equal rights, but we weren't equal. They were bigger than we were. They were hairier. We had all the babies and the milk ducts ..."

Valdes eagerly started studying research into sex differences, possibly with little awareness of possible pitfalls (such as monocausality, self-fulfilment, data pooling, inferred immutability and more). She is now a fan of "difference feminism", as promoted by the Catholic Church. (Such a handy way to excuse blatant discrimination against women seeking to become priests.)

And this is where Valdes's claim to have been a "radical feminist" falls right down. She has, surely, heard of "Backlash" by Susan Faludi? That would mean that she had read about previous incarnations of "difference feminism". Thus she would know about the harmful effects such notions had had on the lives of real women.

And if Valdes hadn't heard of "Backlash", well, what does that mean? That her ideas were stuck in the 60s and 70s with "The Feminine Mystique" and "Fear of Flying" as her most recent guides?

That she was using the term "feminism" just as a cover for her own behaviour? She writes, "If sexism's legacy was my mother cowering as my father threw a full wineglass at her head, then the fix, to a child, was for the woman to throw the glass next time" (p. 32). Consider also: "For example, at Berklee I wasn't all that crazy about practicing my instrument. Other people practiced a lot more. But I blamed the fact that other people got more gigs than I did on my sex" (p.106).

I'm sorry to sound judgemental, but it seems that her understanding of feminist theory was, at best, always shallow. By the way: third wave feminism is NOT, despite her claims, generally understood to mean second wave feminism plus the inclusion of women of colour. It also involves a whole new approach to sexuality. As for her claim that she was a "radical" feminist, well, I hope the late Andrea Dworkin would have been amused as well as outraged.

A couple of minor points irked me. Valdes suggests on page 156 that nature is "ruthlessly brutal", but also says (with absolutely no evidence to support her view) she "bets" female koalas enjoy "rough mating". She also says her son was viewed as possibly autistic, but it turns out that his only problem was her rushing to take over whenever he was having difficulties. Well, I am sure that is true of this one individual, but I certainly hope she is not implying that it is the case for other children. You know, ones who do actually have autism.

Valdes is prone to hyperbole: she insists her "controlling nature could be fatal". She gave the cowboy bad advice about a bull, although nobody and no dogs were actually fatally injured.

Let us remind ourselves of the cowboy's actual view on choices (pages 15 and 16): "You make choices in life, dear, and you live with the consequences." When Valdes sympathised with him because he took his coaches' advice and damaged his knees, he was irritated: "It's not terrible ... Jesus. It was my choice ... That's the problem with liberals. You think everything is someone else's fault or responsibility. No accountability, just a sense of entitlement."

So - any attempt by Valdes to blame her "fatal" control freakery for the cowboy's decisions should be regarded as melodrama.

Despite my reservations about practically everything she has said, Alisa Valdes comes across as quite a likeable person. And interesting.

My intention here is to review the book as stands; however, I would be failing as a human being if I did not mention that the author has subsequently suggested that the cowboy was abusive towards her. You can find the details via a search engine.

BiC Cristal for Her - Blue (Box of 20)
BiC Cristal for Her - Blue (Box of 20)
Price: £5.82

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I feeling blue, 19 Sept. 2012
Blue ... for her?

Very confused now.

Surely all "for her" items must be pink. It is a law of the universe. Or something.

What would happen if a man accidentally bought one of these pens, mistaking it for a male pen? What would happen?
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 13, 2012 1:27 AM BST

Advent AW10 Wireless All-in-One Inkjet Printer (1.5" Colour Display, Card Slot)
Advent AW10 Wireless All-in-One Inkjet Printer (1.5" Colour Display, Card Slot)

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not Right, 7 Sept. 2012
I don't want to cast aspersions on any of these being sold second-hand on amazon. Presumably, the seller has found it works perfectly well.

That said, I found this model and a related one ... well, the rhyming slang version might be "not right".

I started off with an Advent AWP 10. I got as far as trying to install the print cartridges and couldn't do that. Nor could the nice people at Curry's/PC World, who replaced it with an AW 10.

That one would take ink. I concede that it was able to photocopy. But it refused to acknowledge the presence of my laptop, also an Advent, even when they were fastened by a cable.

So, another journey to Curry's/PC World. Which is not convenient when you have a bulky item but no car. The patient person replaced the AW 10, but took the trouble to check it would all work. She completely could not get the final driver to work. Thus, I would not be able to scan pictures to my computer or to print from it.

I wanted to scan. That is my main reason for buying the product. So, after 3 Advent products which even experts could not get to work, I accepted a refund. I am trying again with a new product not made by Advent.

Why Big Fierce Animals are Rare (Penguin Press Science)
Why Big Fierce Animals are Rare (Penguin Press Science)
by Paul Colinvaux
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Does What it says on the Cover, and More, 14 July 2012
Do not be put off by the title. This is not merely a book for parents to buy if their children are precocious and start asking too many questions about nature. It puts the whole "nature red in tooth and claw" view of the natural world into perspective, in an informed and yet comprehensible manner. It also explains why the sky and sea are (sometimes) blue. What more could you want?

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