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J. Terry (Bristol, UK)

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Samsung ACADU10CBE Micro Car Charger Adaptor for Samsung S4 i9505 and S4 Mini
Samsung ACADU10CBE Micro Car Charger Adaptor for Samsung S4 i9505 and S4 Mini
Offered by Magic-Stores
Price: £5.70

1.0 out of 5 stars Died, 14 Dec. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Bought it at end of July 2016 and it has just died at start if December same year. I make that 5 months of normal usage. Not good enough.

Speed Solving the Cube: Easy to Follow, Step-by-step Instructions for Many Popular 3-D Puzzles
Speed Solving the Cube: Easy to Follow, Step-by-step Instructions for Many Popular 3-D Puzzles
by Dan Harris
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Frustrating, 17 May 2014
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I have recently learned to solve the 3x3x3 cube by following YouTube instructions and bought this book hoping to learn F2L more thoroughly thereby bringing my solve time down to below 1 minute.

One reviewer has mentioned that there are numerous errors in the algorithms given. Quite frankly this is not a minor error; it is basically analogous to saying "I bought a cube but there was a minor problem in that the thing falls apart every time I touch it". Giving incorrect information to the student is not a minor error, it is from an instructional point of view, completely unacceptable and renders the book almost useless.

It is imperative when instructing something complex like the cube, to be 100% clear about the language you are using and to progress slowly and surely. Yet the author sometimes introduces expressions which have not been explained fully. Eg on page 52 he starts talking about a 'cross-color' without explaining what that means. Yet in other parts of the book, he includes flabby unnnecessary sentences like "I hope these examples are helpful". The editor should have gone through this book and got rid of all redundant nonsense like that (I think it should be safe for us to assume that the author hopes his material is helpful). They should also have made it a book exclusively about the 3x3x3 cube - do one thing well and not multiple things poorly! That way there would probably have been more scope to go over the various stages more slowly and with more thorough explanation at each stage.

Another reviewer has complained that there is not enough clarity about very simple starters things, like simply which direction one should turn the cube if given a 'B' in an algorithm. This is a fundamental error in teaching the cube and is a sign of the writer's didactic sloppiness and complacency. I get the overwhelming impression that the author is first and foremost a speedcuber, not a teacher. Yet, as with many YouTube videos, speedcubers often make appalling teachers because they go far too fast and forget that an ignorant person is actually trying to follow what they are doing. If you are teaching something complex, it is essential to go incredibly slowly on the fundamentals and this gives a platform of knowledge and confidence to the student for when things get harder later. This book doesn't do that: there is far too much information given far too quickly over too wide an area and the result is confusion and frustration.

I have to praise the illustrations though, they are very good and save this book from the dreaded 1 star.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 21, 2014 11:06 AM BST

Salomon Men's Eskape Aero Trekking- & Hiking Half-Shoes Green Size: 11 UK
Salomon Men's Eskape Aero Trekking- & Hiking Half-Shoes Green Size: 11 UK

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressed, 30 Dec. 2013
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I have never purchased or worn a pair of Salomon shoes before and I bought these to replace my old Merrell Wrap-slams, mainly on the strength of the other reviews.

I was looking for a pair of all-purpose shoes, not specifically walking shoes. They are immediately very comfortable, little to no wearing in should be required. I was also pleased with the price: £40 for what are obviously well-made shoes.

Another feature is that the sole is not too hard - this has been a problem for me with other similar shoes as ones foot arches ache on prolonged use. Not here: these shoes are soft but strong.


Mayfair Games Disc World Ankh-Morpork Board Game Board Game
Mayfair Games Disc World Ankh-Morpork Board Game Board Game

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional, 7 Jan. 2013
This is an exceptional board game.

From a purely technical point of view the game design is superb: great balance between variation and repetition and between simplicity and complexity.

The rules and physical production quality of the game are flawless, and the humour and love of the books that has gone into making sure the characters have fun but appropriate attributes make this game a joy to play many times before boredom sets in. Oh, and no knowledge of the Disc world books is needed to enjoy the game, although a sense of humour will allow you to enjoy some of the characters. Eg Sir Charles Lavatory and Professor of Recent Runes :-)

Highly recommended.

The Hobbit Board Game
The Hobbit Board Game

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bewilderingly bad, 3 Jan. 2013
This review is from: The Hobbit Board Game (Toy)
Absolutely terrible game. Bought it for Christmas fun and, like the first reviewer, settled down to play with friends on New Year's Eve.

The game is repetitive and incredibly boring, but what is amazing is that, with only a modicum more thought, it could have been at least OK. The 'Destiny' cards are a good idea but all do roughly the same thing and there aren't enough of them. some of the character pieces are practically indistinguishable from each other - why not name them? The skill levels (health, skill, strength, etc) of each character are all either 30 or 50 for every character, and bear absolutely no relation to the attributes of the characters in the book/film.

What's worse is the enemies you face (there are 4 of them). Their skill levels are random, and there is no progression in difficulty from first through to last.

The lack of game testing is clear. At one point one of our players had a tie with a monster they were fighting. We looked to the rules for guidance on this. There was none. Not an unusual eventuality but the rulebook had nothing to say so we had to make up a rule for that situation.

With more thought this game could have been of acceptable quality and playability but it has not been tested and is therefore totally awful and a waste of twenty quid.

I See A Darkness
I See A Darkness
Price: £12.75

9 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Emperor's miserable whining new clothes, 9 Jan. 2012
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This review is from: I See A Darkness (Audio CD)
I bought this album on the strength of the Amazon reviews. For any of you who, like me, have been led to this page after reading up on your favourite singer/songwriter music (such as Mark Kozelek and Nick Drake), please be warned that this is a dreadful album. I am not trolling with this, but simply feel that some response to all the acclaim must be given for the unwary.

I am not an enemy of solemnity in music, nor would I kick an album off the player because it was difficult on first listening. But this is just plain bad. It is neither musically interesting nor challenging. Neither does it contain any emotional power, subtlety or depth in my opinion. The rhyming is obvious; the lyrical phrasing is amusical in a way that is drab not original. Ok, but it must have some `Je ne sais quoi' that beats all of those things right? I'm afraid not.

So why aren't I retrospectively bewildered by the strength of the positive reviews? Sadly I think that people hop on bandwagons all too easily. And maybe admiring the atonal drearings of a bloke who simply needs to get to a therapist is just too cool and pretentious a ride to pass up. But have a look at how few readers actually approve of these reviews! Very telling I would say. No one wants to gainsay the oh so musically literate crowd. Well I am.

We tend to like music that reflects a part of our (inner) self. But when writing a review of an album we should try and be honest about what that means so we don't end up only writing about ourselves.

This album is dreary, monotonous and negative. It is only unusual in that no one else quite rightly wants to record stuff that offers so little aural or emotional satisfaction.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 9, 2015 2:07 PM GMT

Webcam - New USB PC Webcam - Built-in microphone, 5G Lens, Plug and Play no driver needed, Works with Skype Yahoo MSN Etc - Share your golden moments with loved ones any where in the world. (SAME OR NEXT DAY DISPATCH)
Webcam - New USB PC Webcam - Built-in microphone, 5G Lens, Plug and Play no driver needed, Works with Skype Yahoo MSN Etc - Share your golden moments with loved ones any where in the world. (SAME OR NEXT DAY DISPATCH)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent service; excellent product, 7 Oct. 2010
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An excellent webcam. I opened the box, read the instructions, and was using it within literally 5 minutes.

Introduction to Psychoanalysis: Contemporary Theory and Practice
Introduction to Psychoanalysis: Contemporary Theory and Practice
by Anthony Bateman
Edition: Paperback
Price: £30.99

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A tangle of names and terms, therefore a potential disincentive for the budding psych trainee, 26 Dec. 2008
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Because this book SEES much of this subject as complex, it therefore MAKES it complex for those uninitiated for whom the title suggests it has been written.

I agree with the previous reviewer who complained that the language is unnecessarily complicated. Was it Einstein who said that a master should be in a position to communicate even the hardest of matters to a small child? The writers don't succeed in achieving that clarity here.

I read this book very very slowly, in the same way that, when you are confronted with a tangle of hair you need to brush it very slowly otherwise it becomes unmanageable, and eventually impossible to untangle. Surely the writers' job was to create a work which itself untangles potentially complex areas, not one which demands that of the ingenuous reader? For a text claiming to be an introduction, this knottiness is irresponsible.

To be fair you could say that the authors want to convey a sense of the conflict between the various psych thinkers since the start and that that may in itself necessitate some complexity. However 1) I don't buy it, 2) instead of citing all the contradicting or overlapping ideas, why not make more of an attempt to distill/synthesise them, picking out salient views along the way? And 3) there is too much mention of the 'celebrity' names involved and not enough attention to clear explanation of the terminology and concepts.

The authors are not alone in focusing too much on the names of psych theorists, they are merely following the trend within the field. But why? Psych ideology and practice should in my view revolve as little as possible around the persons who authored the ideas. It is the ideas themselves - their respective value and practical clinical worth - which surely should be of primary consideration. The 'family-tree' of who analysed whom at the start of the book, is a clear indication to me of this wrong emphasis. Why should we care who Joan Riviere analysed? This name-dropping is distracting and irrelevant.

The book separates itself into two parts, 'Theory' and 'Practice'. The first of these is extremely variable in clarity and helpfulness. Higher points for me were those on 'Mechanisms of Defence' and 'Transference and Countertransference'. But those on 'Origins of the internal world' and especially 'Dreams, Symbols and imagination', the latter being such a potentially mouthwatering area, were diffuse. The authors seem to have got so caught up with recounting everyone else's ideas that they have forgotten to pull these together in a substantive and helpful position of their own.

Here's an example of the type of language you can expect (from the chapter on dreams):

"A similar, but more systematic, analysis has been developed by Matte-Blanco (1975, 1988). He contrasts 'bivalent logic', equivalent to secondary process thinking, which follows the rules of mathematical logic, in which for example, if a equals b, and b does not equal c, then a cannot equal c [why not use the word 'syllogism'? surely not so as to avoid using over-technical terms!], with the 'principle of symmetry', which tends to obliterate such distinctions and is equivalent to Freud's primary processes. In symmetrisation - a form of overgeneralisation - all members of a set are taken as identical, creating feeling categories such as 'motherliness' or 'breastness' ... He postulates not just two types of thought but a gradient from bivalent to symmetrical with 'bi-logical' in the middle, which has features of both."

This kind of writing is typical of much of the material, in fact it's by no means the worst example and just screams inaccessible & insubstantial.

If you can endure the verbosity of Part One, there is some reward in Part Two which is clearer linguistically, more focused and more 'secure'. It seemed to me that the authors felt themselves to be on firmer ground discussing the practical, here-and-now elements of psychoanalysis, and they take up positions on technique more confidently (eg 'The Therapeutic Relationship' p167).

However, although the language is generally clearer there are still examples of potentially inaccessible references (eg to a situation from a Proust novel which is left out of context), and the packing of paragraphs with lists of terms for no useful purpose (eg p164 on 'Resistance').

By the time I got to the chapter 'Psychoanalytic Contributions to Psychiatry' it seemed like the authors were revelling in naming theorists and using jargon (from Chapter 10: "Kernberg relates BPO to Mahler's 'rapprochement subphase'"). I started to entertain the view that the over-complicating language was actually an attempt to disguise a muddled wash of ideas. 'Cognition' (p217) and 'The ego in psychosis' (p219) are examples of this.

One thing about the book which really should be praised are the case examples which are sprinkled throughout and definitely help to bring the material alive. The language used within these is markedly less obscure than that in the theoretical sections.

In conclusion, this book is more secure around the area of psychoanalytic practice than theory: the latter is simply not written about with enough clarity. The last sentence ("Freud's insistence that psychoanalysis be accepted as a science remains a legitimate contemporary hope and possibility") affirms my suspicion that the authors' over-technical language may be their way of trying to 'shore up' the credibility of Psychoanalysis by giving it a (pseudo-)scientific flavour. If so, I wonder if that isn't putting the cart before the horse?

Killing Defence At Bridge (MASTER BRIDGE)
Killing Defence At Bridge (MASTER BRIDGE)
by Hugh W. Kelsey
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good material but dry as a crisp, 26 May 2008
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This book is a classic example of how good thinking does not necessarily make good teaching material. Obviously Hugh Kelsey knew his stuff and the logic is crystal.

But ye Gods what an unbelievably boring format, which basically consists of ... hands. An incessant and steady bombardment of them. No periodic themed discussions to break up the repetition, no sparky wit to keep you from dozing, no light relief in the form of asides about the bidding or the wider game. The lack of such things does not make the book more focused: it simply renders it more difficult to learn from.

Ok I realise that this book was written back in the 60s when writers/publishers perhaps weren't so aware of how to get the most out of a reader. But what one shouldn't allow is that a book should be boring because it deals in detail.

Although the technique is spot-on, I'm afraid that reading this nowadays is a laborious and rather joyless exercise.

Under the Iron Sea
Under the Iron Sea
Offered by ReNew Entertainment
Price: £4.63

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Music snobs please read closely the lyrics to Hamburg Song, 30 Aug. 2006
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This review is from: Under the Iron Sea (Audio CD)
Albums like this are so very rare. In fact every time you hear one you hope it's not going to be the last time. You know, those albums which take a few listens to get into but then start to send a tingle of anticipation up the back of your neck as each and every track starts? If you have ever felt this way then this album is for you.

Actually, I don't think of this as music. To me it's more like soul food. If you love sweet, thoughtful (and very hooky) music and don't care too much about image, just buy this album and then play it at least 5 times so the melodies can properly enter your bloodstream. Then open your heart up and listen to 'Leaving So Soon' followed by 'A Bad Dream' followed by 'Hamburg Song' at a decent volume with no distractions.

Forget discussion about guitars vs keyboards and the nonsense about 'radio-friendliness'. Sad, lonely people think this way about music. This CD can truly lift you up. Snobs and the pretentious: stop talking, start listening and give yourself a chance to be happy :)

Yesterday, I found myself wishing my day at work would be over so I could get home and listen to Tom Chaplin's beautiful voice.

Tom, Tim and Richard: well done guys - you shouldn't be reading but just in case you are, a big thank you and good luck! From where I'm sitting the album was worth it.

Enjoy this all you lovers of music and life!

Jack Terry - August 2006

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