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Mr. Peter T. Hardy (Berkshire, England)
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High Grade - USB 3.0 Cable for Western Digital / WD / Seagate / Clickfree / Toshiba / Samsung Portable Hard Drive - Length: 50cm - AAA Products®
High Grade - USB 3.0 Cable for Western Digital / WD / Seagate / Clickfree / Toshiba / Samsung Portable Hard Drive - Length: 50cm - AAA Products®
Offered by MACRO.SUPPLIER
Price: £3.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A little short, 24 Jan. 2017
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Mine seems to be 50mm not 50cm. Still works fine, but not ideal.


Terry Pratchett Discworld: Ankh Morpork Board Game
Terry Pratchett Discworld: Ankh Morpork Board Game

5.0 out of 5 stars How could I choose just one reference to use for this headline?... HELLO, 11 April 2016
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A card-based strategy board game for 2-4 players set in the (here beautifully illustrated) comic fantasy city of Ankh-Morpork. Simple and quite fast (45-90 mins) to play, but very strategically deep and varied due to the different (and secret) win condition each player is dealt at the beginning of the game. For example, your condition may be you only win by spreading your minions widely; the other goals are amassing money, or controlling a proportion of the city,* or simply stalling or causing trouble. So there is an element of social deduction, but unlike Werewolf style games you do not win by guessing your opponents' identities.**

So far so good, but it gets better! It works just as well with 2 players as with 4. Further, each of the over a hundred central cards are different, often very silly and fun with their abilities, which adds lots of variety. Moreover, on every play those of us who are Discworld fans continue to enjoy the many references, but those we've played with who know nothing about it do not suffer from a feeling of missing out, and can understand the game perfectly well. Ultimately, play is very fluid with all the mechanics working so well, it would be easy not to notice all the strategy going on underneath the beautiful surface. But Ankh-Morpork does indeed have the best balance of strategic complexity to ease of any game I'm aware of. As such, it's fantastic that Discworld creator Terry Pratchett lived to see his work celebrated by this high class product.

* Given that you can own property that in areas you don't control, it seems strange that you can't have a secret identity who wins through building property rather than controlling areas, so there's space to improve the game there.

** Although I think you could make a house rule where you could gamble something on guessing correctly.


Boss Monster Boxed Card Game
Boss Monster Boxed Card Game
Price: £19.97

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The fun is enhanced by the nostalgic video game theme, but would be great even without it., 11 April 2016
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This review is from: Boss Monster Boxed Card Game (Toy)
Quite a fast stand alone strategy card game for 2-4 players. You are each constantly building a dungeon and aiming to kill the most of a series of non-player heroes by balancing your dungeon's perilousness with its attractiveness to the heroes. Too perilous and your opponents will lure all heroes away from you, too attractive and the heroes will kill you before you win. The depth of this dynamic, along with the unique powers the room and spell cards give you, bolsters the interaction between the players, and provides much variety for replayability.

As other reviewers have noted, the spell system doesn't always feel completely smooth, so perhaps the rules should be clarified with respect to this. And as with any deck building game where the cards are dealt randomly, there is quite a bit of luck, but you could always vary the rules to reduce the frequency of spell cards, which would maintain a higher ratio of strategy. So although Boss Monster is not completely perfect, these issues don't stop it being a 5 star game. I quickly became a fan, and was compelled to buy the stand alone expansion: Boss Monster 2 : The Next Level


Chapter and Verse
Chapter and Verse
Price: £6.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One for the old fans... and old punks, 18 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Chapter and Verse (MP3 Download)
At 37 minutes this is pretty short, but to be fair, it's short because it is made up of 'punkier' songs, continuing in the direction of the previous (and even shorter) album, Conduit. Given this, it's not really worth me suggesting stand-out tracks to download- just get the album.

Note that 'Hidden Track' is a proper song as well, although one of the worst here. The brief 'Brother' seems to serve no purpose other than being a soft acoustic interlude in an otherwise harsh, hardcore record. 'The Jade Tree Years Were the Best' is the exception here, coming in at 5 minutes. This track has a slow metal grind to it, the likes of which we've not heard since 'Waking Up' on the band's début, and this is effectively posed against more up-tempo segments.

The album is clearly their least melodic, and not as good as its predecessor (which offered two of the band's best tracks to date: 'Nails' and 'Death Comes to Us All'), but I would rank it higher than both 'Welcome Home Armageddon' and 'Tales Don't Tell Themselves'. Moreover, compared with F4AF's other material, even songs before 'Causally Dressed...', there is a rather lo-fi production value here, with the possible exceptions of the two tracks that have been released on You Tube ('1%' and 'You've Got A Bad Case of the Religions'). Although this further turn from the popular and towards an 'earlier' style will win plaudits from some rock purists, to my tastes it is just laziness, and I miss the shine to the twin guitar sound I love them for.

If one thing might redeem this, it's the political edge to the album heard on tracks like 'You Should Be Ashamed of Yourself' and 'Inequality', which is new territory for F4AF, and apt in this election year. It must be said that the lyrics are excellent as always. The politics also serves to make it more characteristic of, and cohesive as, a punk record; the anger at inequality, along with the lo-fi, bolstering the hard and fast songs in that respect.


Songs From The Underground
Songs From The Underground
Price: £9.36

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent Selection of Older Rarities, 24 Jun. 2012
I've been loving these tracks for several years so I'm glad that the decision's been made to make them more widely available. This is particularly good if you preferred the band's Hybrid Theory era sound, regardless of how big a fan of the band you are (though obviously don't expect an album-length record, this is an EP).

Qwerty, And One, and Part Of Me are rockers; Sold My Soul To Yo Mama and Dedicated are more hip-hop tracks; and My December is a simple haunting piano ballard with a robust melody.


The Hangover Part II [DVD] [2011]
The Hangover Part II [DVD] [2011]
Dvd ~ Bradley Cooper
Offered by ReNew Entertainment
Price: £2.40

1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More of the same Hilariousness, 2 Dec. 2011
When it ain't broke don't fix it -and they didn't. This basically the second part of the same film, just as funny in every way (or more, as things get a bit more extreme). Perhaps it is better described as the same film again but with different jokes, but what ever you call it, more of the same is excellent when 'the same' is hilarious.


The Philosophy of Jesus
The Philosophy of Jesus
by Peter Kreeft
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.95

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not A Philosophy Book, 6 Nov. 2011
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Kreeft is a convert from Evangelical Protestantism to Traditionalist Roman Catholicism. He is Professor of Philosophy at Boston College, USA. In this book he describes Jesus as the greatest of all philosophers, but focuses *not* on Jesus' philosophical teachings or their influence, but on philosophy in the light of Jesus.

An explicitly devotional work rather than an original academic thesis, this assumes that God is a person and that Jesus of Nazareth is literally identical with that person. This is a theology book not only in respect of this, but also because it is not a philosophy book. By this I mean that it doesn't philosophise, it doesn't make use of philosophy as a discipline, but only makes passing references to philosophy as a subject matter. While this was very disappointing, for me the book was saved by its almost constant supply of insightful and witty remarks and aphorisms.

It reminded me of, and is of the same quality as the devotional writing of C. S. Lewis. But this is CERTAINLY NOT A BOOK FOR A NON-CHRISTIAN. To make matters worse there doesn't seem to be any coherent overarching argument or purpose, but only the repetition of the formulaic remark 'Jesus is not just the greatest philosopher, He is true philosophy.' The pithy formula is brought out with more specificity for four occasions 'Jesus is not just the greatest scholar of reality, He is true reality.' - The same goes, we are told, for knowledge, humanity and morality. Although I agree with Kreeft on this, I am more frustrated than edified because it is just stated as a brute fact and followed by only the bare minimum of elaboration of what it means for us.

Perhaps the closest thing to a conclusion is when he says: "All 'isms' are abstractions. Even the perfect 'ism', if there is one, cannot save and cannot love us. The special danger of the religious Right is to worship Christ's doctrines instead of Christ, confusing the sign with the thing signified." (p. 147) For me, two lines made it worth reading, when he asks of Mother Teresa "Was she a necrophiliac?" (p. 130) And when he says that we should find ethics sexy because morality is foreplay with God! (p. 119)

Overall, its a sermon rather than a philosophy lecture, but a good sermon nonetheless. A quick read if you can spare the money and you're Catholic and/or have read all the main works by C. S. Lewis and G. K. Chesterton and are looking for more of the same.


Heartbeats & Brainwaves
Heartbeats & Brainwaves
Price: £24.69

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a rock album, 18 Oct. 2011
This review is from: Heartbeats & Brainwaves (Audio CD)
This is the 8th E6 album I've bought when it came out & I am presently listening to it for the 6th time. I generally agree with F. Longden's review but with the major qualification that this is an electro-pop album- not the rock album I was expecting. Of course E6 have always been danceable and synthesiser-heavy but here there are very little rock elements & as such it isn't so much my taste.

Still, it is superior to last year's 'Zodiac' (though 'Jam it in the Hole' was stronger than any track on Heartbeats). It listens well as a whole as every song is quite different while sharing a familiar, well-produced feel. Yet I would rank it as their third worst album after Senor Smoke and Zodiac so it is far from being an essential purchase. The tracks I'd recommend to download are: It Gets Hot, Free Samples, & Interchangeable Knife.
Comment Comments (8) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 17, 2011 5:57 PM GMT


The Myths We Live By (Routledge Classics)
The Myths We Live By (Routledge Classics)
by Mary Midgley
Edition: Paperback
Price: £15.99

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Science is not value-free, science is not omnipotent, 19 Sept. 2011
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This timely masterpiece is both easy and challenging: delightful to read but challenging to incorporate into the rest of one's thought. Although I knew I was broadly in agreement with her approach beforehand I have had a few of my views challenged and perhaps changed. But how much more challenging this will be for the majority who do not yet know of, or appreciate her views. (Naturally, that I don't agree with everything did nothing to spoil my enjoyment.)

Her main point here is that scientific understanding, especially in popular culture and to a lesser extent in research, is directed and distorted by non-scientific imagery and metaphorical types of thinking about the world. The myths (in a non-pejorative sense) she deals with are potent examples of such imagery which shape the view of the world taken by academic culture over substantial periods of time. Generally speaking myths are helpful, but when they go unnoticed and unappraised they can become dangerously unfit for purpose. Thus the book as a whole constitutes a detailed refutation of the supposed value-freedom of science.

Not only are the topics covered too broad to mention in a review, but it's so rich it would be too much effort to make notes on the whole book- when I need some of this material again it will be easier to re-read it. The major themes are myths of: reductive explanation to a fundamental part (as with memetics); reality as a solely mechanical (as with reductionism in the philosophy of mind); animals as unconscious machines; the environment as the enemy of mankind; society as a contract; and of inevitable, limitless technological progress (in the form of genetic engineering and transhumanism). In discussing these she makes vivid use of examples from contemporary scientists and here it is important to realise that these are not meant as ad hominem attacks.

The most relevant and influential critique she makes within all this is of the pervasive tendency to regard physical science as *the* model for all reasonable thought. She identifies three reasons for this philosophical bias: 1) that this mode of thought has been the most obviously successful in recent centuries, 2) the popularity of the figurative usage of the term 'science' to honour any kind of reasonable thought that is successful, and 3) the ever-increasing specialisation of sub-fields in the physical sciences such that most experts have a very impoverished understanding of the humanities and indeed of other scientific disciplines.

Furthermore, science has replaced the mythic role of religion/God in the West. As an atheist Midgley's concern is not with defending a place for religion (though she does in other works), but to demonstrate the limitations to science. Namely, that it is not, like the God it replaced, all-powerful and capable of solving any problem (a doctrine that has become known as 'scientism'). To this end she claims that non-empirical disciplines have an irreducible competency of their own. Disciplines such as logic, mathematics, metaphysics, sociology, economics, political theory, ethics, poetry, art theory, psychotherapy, phenomenology and theology. This is because a person's intelligence and understanding are not limited solely to empirical knowledge. They are clearly also found in many other faculties, not only reason but: imagination, morality, sensuality, creativity, and love. All of which can be informed by evidence, but are not reducible to the methods of, and the data collectable by the physical sciences.

She compares human experience of the world to "an enormous, ill-lit aquarium which we never see fully from above, but only through various small windows unevenly distributed around it. Scientific windows -like historical ones- are just one important set among these. Fish and other strange creatures constantly swim away from particular windows... reappearing where different lighting can make them hard to recognise. Long experience, along with constant dashing around between windows, does give us a good deal of skill in tracking them. But if we refuse to put together the data from different widows, then we can be in real trouble." [Taken from her 2001 interview 'Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary' in the Guardian; a shorter version of this is found on page 40 of the 2011 version of the book.]

Of course this is only an analogy, not an argument, but it is very good for clarification. Though the book's popular, rather than technical tone was my biggest problem with it, this was just a personal preference derived from my being a philosophy graduate. It is better that such an important work is more accessible (note that it does presuppose a little knowledge of the history of philosophy).

I am strongly inclined towards thinking that this will be her most important book, but then it is only the first of them I've read. Ignore the 1-star review from the troll who hasn't read the book- she is one of the very best women working in the humanities today (along with Julia Kristeva and Martha Naussbaum).
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 22, 2011 2:13 AM GMT


Lumen: The Catholic Gift to Civilisation (Evangelium)
Lumen: The Catholic Gift to Civilisation (Evangelium)
by Marcus Holden
Edition: Paperback
Price: £2.95

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Light of the World, 17 Aug. 2011
Excellent brief tour through the history of contributions to civilisation from Catholics, Church-supported organisations and the Church itself. It covers not just the arts -as would be expected- but charity, law, language, science and more.

Did you know, for instance, that the Church created the university system across Europe in the early Second Millennium, and was responsible for the first schools? That Nicolaus Copernicus was a Catholic priest? That Galileo's daughter chose to become a nun? That Gregor Mendel, the founder of the science of genetics, was a monk? That Georges Lemaître, the originator of Big Bang Theory, was a Catholic Priest? Along with more on science and philosophy we see that the Church is responsible for the nature of the legal system across much of the world, and that our Western concepts of individual persons and human dignity originate with Catholicism.

In addition to its intended purpose for instructing those interested in becoming Catholics, this makes an superb precis for the general reader. But I must end with a caution about using this for apologetics.

If someone argues against Christianity that it has been responsible for a lot of evil in history, it would be fatal for the Christian to respond by regurgitating the facts from this pamphlet. Instead of accepting the antagonist's terms -upon which he will never be convinced- the Christian must dispute them. It is not Christianity that has been responsible for evil in history, but particular *people and institutions*, some of whom happened to be affiliated to Christianity, or even cited the religion as an excuse for their actions. That they have done bad things is not in question, but it does nothing towards proving that Christianity is false. Likewise, the Christian must not, on pain of inconsistency, approach the non-Christian and argue for the truth of Christianity based upon the good things that particular Christians and Christian institutions have done in the past.


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