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Mr. W. A. P. Brown (England)

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Sniper 2 [DVD] [2003]
Sniper 2 [DVD] [2003]
Dvd ~ Tom Berenger
Offered by ReNew Entertainment
Price: £4.14

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The sequel to Sniper is way off target, 5 Jun. 2003
This review is from: Sniper 2 [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
This is a disappointing sequel. The central quality it lacks is authenticity and believability. The original film is far superior, with its intimidating rainforest setting and tense portrayal of the stress that snipers operate under. Many of the qualities of the original film, such as the demonstration of the snipers stealth and use of camouflage, seem to have been thrown aside in favour of a more conventional action film. The story sees a grumpy and disillusioned Becket coaxed out of retirement and partnered with a death-row inmate on a dangerous rescue and assassination mission in the Balkans.
In fact the 'Balkans' turn out to be Hungary and the subsequent story with its references to ethnic cleansing and Serbs and Muslims is hard to believe when the locals are spouting Magyar. Okay, so unless you know some Hungarian you are not going to notice. However, the plot was so confused and empty that this turned out to be the least of my criticisms. The actual point and logic of their mission completely eluded me, and once they were in 'The Balkans' the action was too disjointed and rushed for any memorable atmosphere or character development to be created. On the positive side Tom Berenger is good as the cynical and hard-bitten former US Marine, but unfortunately this film does not do him credit. As a standard action film it is not bad, however after watching the original film I expected much more from the sequel


Bird Census Techniques
Bird Census Techniques
by Colin J. Bibby
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £62.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Impressive Achievement, 5 Jun. 2003
This review is from: Bird Census Techniques (Hardcover)
Increasing numbers of both professionals and amateur ornithologists are becoming involved in conducting bird surveys. Due to the immense variety of potential survey techniques it is often confusing for the researcher to know which one is most suitable for a particular project. Even the amateur, who is carrying out a pre-selected survey on behalf of an organization such as the BTO, may not have a full appreciation of why they are using a specific methodology. This comprehensive book provides an overview of all the major techniques used to survey birds and thus fills this knowledge gap. It constantly stresses that the particular methodology chosen is entirely dependent on what the objectives of the survey are.
I found this book immensely helpful when carrying out my research. It forced me to sharpen up my study design by covering issues such as the purpose and design of surveys, common sources of bias and how to minimise them and then providing a thorough explanation of the merits and pitfalls of various techniques and when it is most suitable to use them. All of the major techniques are covered such as territorial mapping, point counts and line transects as well as counts for specific groups such as nocturnal or colonial nesting birds. The text is backed up with diagrams and many real-life examples of techniques in action. After each chapter there is a section that summarises the main points covered and there are extensive references for anyone wishing to pursue the topic further. Overall this book is an invaluable source of accurate information for anyone involved in conducting bird surveys or carrying out research into birds.


Bird Census Techniques
Bird Census Techniques
by Colin J. Bibby
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £62.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Impressive Achievement, 5 Jun. 2003
This review is from: Bird Census Techniques (Hardcover)
Increasing numbers of both professionals and amateur ornithologists are becoming involved in conducting bird surveys. Due to the immense variety of potential survey techniques it is often confusing for the researcher to know which one is most suitable for a particular project. Even the amateur, who is carrying out a pre-selected survey on behalf of an organization such as the BTO, may not have a full appreciation of why they are using a specific methodology. This comprehensive book provides an overview of all the major techniques used to survey birds and thus fills this knowledge gap. It constantly stresses that the particular methodology chosen is entirely dependent on what the objectives of the survey are.
I found this book immensely helpful when carrying out my research. It forced me to sharpen up my study design by covering issues such as the purpose and design of surveys, common sources of bias and how to minimise them and then providing a thorough explanation of the merits and pitfalls of various techniques and when it is most suitable to use them. All of the major techniques are covered such as territorial mapping, point counts and line transects as well as counts for specific groups such as nocturnal or colonial nesting birds. The text is backed up with diagrams and many real-life examples of techniques in action. After each chapter there is a section that summarises the main points covered and there are extensive references for anyone wishing to pursue the topic further. Overall this book is an invaluable source of accurate information for anyone involved in conducting bird surveys or carrying out research into birds.


Sniper 2 [DVD] [2003]
Sniper 2 [DVD] [2003]
Dvd ~ Tom Berenger
Offered by ReNew Entertainment
Price: £4.14

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The sequel to Sniper misses the mark, 9 May 2003
This review is from: Sniper 2 [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
This is a disappointing sequel. The central quality it lacks is authenticity and believability. The original film is far superior, with its intimidating rainforest setting and tense portrayal of the stress that snipers operate under. Many of the qualities of the original film, such as the demonstration of the snipers stealth and use of camouflage, seem to have been thrown aside in favour of a more conventional action film. The story sees a grumpy and disillusioned Becket coaxed out of retirement and partnered with a death-row inmate on a dangerous rescue and assassination mission in the Balkans.
Infact the 'Balkans' turn out to be Hungary and the subsequent story with its references to ethnic cleansing and Serbs and Muslims is hard to believe when the locals are spouting Magyar. Okay, so unless you know some Hungarian you are not going to notice. However, the plot was so confused and empty that this turned out to be the least of my criticisms. The actual point and logic of their mission completely eluded me, and once they were in 'The Balkans' the action was too disjointed and rushed for any memorable atmosphere or character development to be created. On the positive side Tom Berenger is good as the cynical and hard-bitten former US Marine, but unfortunately this film does not do him credit. As a standard action film it is not bad, however after watching the original film I expected much more from the sequel


Practical Statistics for Environmental and Biological Scientists
Practical Statistics for Environmental and Biological Scientists
by John Townend
Edition: Paperback
Price: £24.75

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A statistics book that actually makes sense!, 12 Mar. 2003
I used many statistics books when conducting my environmental dissertation and found this one to be the very best. Most of the other books grounded statistics in heavy mathematical theory, which was not only pedantic and unnecessary but also extremely difficult to apply. This book was clearly written by someone who appreciates the needs of the student who wants to incorporate statistics into their own individual project. It was highly practical in this regard with a very comprehensive section on how to ascertain whether a data set is normally distributed, and if it is not, how to transform it so as to employ the numerous tests which assume normality such as ANOVA and the t-test. The material covered in the book is common to many other stats books with sections on describing data, presenting data and formulating and testing hypotheses. What makes this material stand out from the other works is its clarity and applicability to the needs of the undergraduate/postgraduate student.


Colors [DVD] [1988]
Colors [DVD] [1988]
Dvd ~ Sean Penn
Offered by Black Wolfe
Price: £5.99

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gritty and impressive urban thriller, 25 Jan. 2003
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Colors [DVD] [1988] (DVD)
Colors was made in the immediate period preceeding global familiarity with LA gang culture achieved through the spread of explosive rap acts, televised images of rioting and several films. It steers clear of the sensationalism and bragging that characterises much of this material. Instead it presents a balanced and unsentimental look at the powerful allure of gang culture to the poor and disenfranchised urban youth and the obstacles standing in the way of neutral policing in an environment where the macho and indesciminant violence affects all who deal with it.
The fine dividing line between the gangsta and the cop is the source of tension between two police partners and forms the central relationship of the film. The senior cop (Duvall) dislikes the brutal approach to policing adopted by his new and inexperienced partner (Penn) accusing him of being "just like them - nothing but a gangsta". There is a refreshing absence of Hollywood moralsing in this film which indicates that the violent events of the film are merely part of a wider reality that constantly repeats and reinforces itself. As one of the gang members argues ... "there will always be gangs man, always be fighting, that's just life".
The sordid filming locations and sharp dialogue give the film a powerful realism, and listen out for the brilliant and menacing theme song rapped by Ice-T. Hopper has directed a hard-edged and exciting film here and it wins my praise.


Andalucia (Cadogan Guides)
Andalucia (Cadogan Guides)
by Dana Facaros
Edition: Paperback

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A stylish and superior guide, 17 Jan. 2003
Everything about this book is stylish. In comparison with this sleek volume other guides look as cumbersome as portable paperweights. The writing is of a very high quality, and the author presents all of the flavours and nuances that give Andalucia its appeal. There are a series of interesting and well-researched essays on the hitory, art and architecture of the province. Sections on topics ranging from hot-blooded Andalucian women to the Hercules connection prove that individuality still survives in a world of mass-produced travel guides.
The section that provides practical details is very helpful. The only drawback I found was that the number of accomadation listings fell on the short side and that their locations were not indicated on the maps. Also, whilst the listings did include some cheap options it was not exactly overladened with them. So this is not the guide for the impecunious backpacker. One other snag - the prices were still listed in pesetas when I purchased the guide (July 2002). Other than these observations I cannot fault this impressive and attractive guide.


Field Guide to the Birds of Britain (Nature Lover's Library)
Field Guide to the Birds of Britain (Nature Lover's Library)
by Reader's Digest Association
Edition: Paperback

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good guidebook for the beginner, 17 Jan. 2003
In my opinion this is the best bird guide for those who are just getting into birdwatching and are inexperienced at identification. First of all it confines itself to the British Isles, and any book with a wider coverage can be confusing for the beginner. It introduces the whole area of birdwatching with some very informative sections on the best birdwatching sites, how to attract birds to your garden and how to develop your hobby by purchasing the right equipment and becoming involved in surveys.
As far as the actual identification section is concerned the key advantage is the simplicity and clarity of layout. Each species features a large sketch with annotations indicating the key identification marks; there are subsequent drawings and annotations showing its typical behavioural characteristics and habitat, and also a photograph. The main text is often very informative about the ecology and behaviour of the species and there is always a distribution map.
The disadvantages are that sometimes the different plumages of a bird are not shown and the sketches are occasionally too simplistic and bold (despite being of an overall high standard). However, this was the first guide I brought as a beginner and I credit it with developing not only my identification skills but also my fascination with birdlife. There are so many dull and unrewarding birdguides on the market and this little book is a delightful exception.


RSPB Handbook of British Birds : (Ornithology) :
RSPB Handbook of British Birds : (Ornithology) :
by Peter Holden
Edition: Paperback

134 of 137 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Extremely accessible and informative, 16 Jan. 2003
This is a very impressive all round birdguide. Most guides limit themselves to merely providing details about how to identify species, this book not only perfroms that function perfectly well but in addition offers notes on what makes birds fascinating - their ecology, habitats, conservation status and movements. So, for example, you are not only told how to differentiate between a male and female Grey Partridge but also that they have declined by 84% in the last 25 years and that this is linked to a reduction in suitable nesting cover on farmland and insecticide use. In this way the book gives more of a clear overall picture of British bird species than almost any other book I know. Do not buy this book if you intend to find the definitive identification guide. But for anyone looking for a book that will provide interesting general information about bird species then this is for you.


Michel Thomas Spanish Language Builder CD (Michel Thomas Series)
Michel Thomas Spanish Language Builder CD (Michel Thomas Series)
by Michel Thomas
Edition: Audio CD

80 of 84 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing - too intense and dry, 9 Jan. 2003
I completed the 8 hour audio course having been impressed overall by the level of interaction that was fostered by creating a classroom atmosphere. After completing it I switched to this course and felt like I had been slammed in detention, my previous classmates had vanished, leaving a very monotonous Michel Thomas ordering me to repeat and re-arrange sentence structures. I really found this style too intense and confrontational.
Another criticism is that although you will pick up some additional phrases, you complete the course with the sense that you have not really learnt anything new. Some of the material is a repeat of the first course, but the most serious ommission is the total neglect of the past tense. Unbelievable - a product that claims to be a complete Spanish course that misses out one of its most fundamental aspects. On the positive side, there is an accompanying book that allows you to actually see the words you are repeating. I would recommend anyone coming to this product with high hopes of really taking their Spanish to a new level to look elsewhere. This course does not cover enough new ground, and it is not particularly enjoyable to complete either.
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