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Peter Reeve (Indianapolis)
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Atheism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
Atheism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
by Julian Baggini
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A philosophical introduction, 25 April 2011
This entry in the OUP's A Very Short Introduction series is by Julian Baggini, a philosopher and the author of several philosophical works written for a general readership. He is co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Philosophers' Magazine, and also has quite an interesting website.

I was happily working my way through this series when I discovered the A Brief Insight series. They have the same texts, but the print is larger, they are hardcover, and they have many more illustrations, many in colour. So unless you want a very small book that you can slip into a pocket, the Brief Insight versions are better.

Baggini defines atheism as a belief that deities do not exist, but falling short of a dogmatic assertion that they do not. He distances himself from militant atheism. He presents a positive view of atheism rather than a negative view of religion. Perhaps more controversially, he associates atheism with naturalism (the belief that there is only the natural world and not a supernatural one) but the more extreme view, eliminative materialism, he strongly rejects.

The approach throughout is very much that of an academic philosopher. Social and sociobiological approaches are neglected. This is most apparent in Chapter 3, on Atheist Ethics. Baggini gives quite a technical account of a philosophical basis for atheistic ethics, reaching back to Plato, Aristotle and others to make his case. It is interesting, but completely overlooks the simpler and more obvious point that morality is evolutionarily adaptive. Natural selection has produced a moral animal. Baggini is more interested in the details of the various moral codes that philosophers have devised rather than the empirical fact that most of us implicitly follow some sort of moral code by nature.

If, like me, you are working your way through the VSI (or BI) series, then you can be assured that this is a worthy entry. If you want a philosophical insight into the subject, this is an excellent choice. If you would welcome more historical, social and psychological insights, then there are better books out there.
[PeterReeve]


Naty by Nature Babycare Wipes with Lotion -10 x Packs of 70 (700 Wipes)
Naty by Nature Babycare Wipes with Lotion -10 x Packs of 70 (700 Wipes)

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Expensive, but you may think them worth it, 21 April 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I think the value to you of these Nature Babycare products depends on how important environmental friendliness is to you, and how convinced you are that they really have it. You are certainly paying a premium for it. Whether these wipes prove skin-friendly depends on Baby, as individual reactions vary. (I always wince when I mention this subject, as I remember the terrible nappy-rash my son had, before we changed the wipes we used). Of course, the use of wipes is not restricted to that, as babies get mucky everywhere.

The wipes have a fragrance, which you may or may not like. Baby won't care.

Bottom line (as it were) - give them a try if you care about the environmental aspects, and decide if they are really better than cheaper brands. If they prove less reactive on sensitive skins, then they may be worth the extra cost.


Naty by Nature Babycare Newborn ECO Nappies - Size 1, 2 x Packs of 26 (52 Nappies)
Naty by Nature Babycare Newborn ECO Nappies - Size 1, 2 x Packs of 26 (52 Nappies)
Price: £6.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pricey, but worth a try, 13 Mar. 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
In my experience (and yes, I have had a far amount of nappy-changing experience over the years) the problem of nappy rash varies a lot from one baby to another. One wet-wipe or liner or nappy will react very badly on one baby, but be fine for another. I would guess that a product like this, made from natural products and keeping oil-based products away from the skin, would be less likely to cause an adverse reaction. So I would suggest giving these a try if other nappies present that problem.

The ultimate consumer for the nappies I received will not be available until mid-June, and I doubt will have much to say, although he or she will certainly let it be known if there is a problem. But the parents-to-be are happy with them, especially liking the fact that the tabs allow a second attempt. I remember getting very annoyed when a tab was too tight or loose and I had to re-apply it and found it wouldn't stick. If these nappies have solved that problem then that's a big plus.

I'll probably update this review once Baby has provided his or her 'input'.


MAM Microwave Steam & Cold Water Steriliser
MAM Microwave Steam & Cold Water Steriliser
Price: £16.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good quality and extremely useful, 13 Mar. 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
When I was a new parent, many years ago, I remember how troublesome it was to sterilise bottles, etc. Now that the next generation is about to produce their next generation I am pleased to be able to spare the prospective parents that same hassle.

Using this steriliser, particularly with the two tier levels, it is now much more convenient to put all the items together in the microwave. One of the greatest benefits is the speed with which it sterilises.

I also like the additional features including the access to the bottom of the bottles which when filled with water would heat the milk gently in the microwave.

This is a quality product, quick to use, light but seems very durable with simple neutral colours, and is reasonably priced. A really good starter set.


AmazonBasics Travel Adapter Kit in Black for iPod and iPhone 3G / 3GS / 4
AmazonBasics Travel Adapter Kit in Black for iPod and iPhone 3G / 3GS / 4

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Basic, simple, useful, 13 Mar. 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Even if you carry a general-use adaptor with you when you travel abroad, it is still useful to have a separate iPad/Pod/Phone adaptor, given how much electronic gadgetry we cart about with us these days.

This is a well-made product from the excellent Amazon Basics range. It's not cheap, but reasonably priced when you consider how much you get.

It's small and easy to put together. You click the attachment (plug) on so it doesn't come off when you pull it out of the socket, and you press a button to release it and twist it off. Very straightforward.

Most accessories are white for the iPod but these are black which may or may not be an issue for you.


AmazonBasics Silicone Case and Screen Protectors for Apple iPhone 4 and 4S
AmazonBasics Silicone Case and Screen Protectors for Apple iPhone 4 and 4S

4.0 out of 5 stars Good value product that does the job, 17 Feb. 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The AmazonBasics line is a breath of fresh air, providing as it does some good quality, low price, no frills products. This particular item may lack the stylishness that many users will want, although it does leave the Apple logo exposed, if that's important to you. The rubbery feel to it may or may not be to your taste. I personally prefer it to the feel of a hard plastic case. In practical terms I cannot fault it. The screen protector is especially good, and it's nice to have that included. Unless you really must have something that looks (and therefore probably is) very expensive, this is recommended.


Samsung MB-SP4GEU 4GB SDHC PLUS Class 6 Extreme Speed Memory Card
Samsung MB-SP4GEU 4GB SDHC PLUS Class 6 Extreme Speed Memory Card

5.0 out of 5 stars A tough, quality product, 25 Jan. 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Samsung currently produce 4, 8 and 16GB versions of the SDHC Plus, and the fact that Amazon (at the time of writing) shares the same Manufacturer's Description and reviews across the different versions seems to be causing some confusion. So if you order it, double-check you are ordering the capacity you want.

The card can be bent, danced on, drowned, X-rayed and verbally abused, all without complaint, thanks mainly to an epoxy coating.

I did not really notice that it is "25 ~ 40% faster than competitors' products", as Samsung claims but I note that other reviewers report increased read and write speeds. The bottom line, I would suggest, is to choose this card for its toughness, not its speed.
[PeterReeve]


Breville VST004 Two-Slice Sandwich Toaster - 850 Watts
Breville VST004 Two-Slice Sandwich Toaster - 850 Watts

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The removable plates are the biggest plus, 23 Dec. 2010
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This product is easy to store and has plates that are easy to clean. Any mess that seeps into the rest of the toaster is not so easy to clean. And although the plates are dishwasher safe, that is bound to wear down the none-stick surface, so I think washing by hand is better.

The "famous Cut and Seal technology" described by the manufacturer does not actually cut and seal very well and you will need to separate the two halves of the sandwich, but to be fair, that has been my experience with all sandwich toasters.

The shallow plates are a problem if you want thicker sandwiches. But again, that problem is not unique to this toaster.

This is a mid-priced, mid-range toaster. I would be inclined to spend a little more and get a higher-range product, for better performance and quality, as it is something you are likely to want to last a few years.


No Title Available

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good quality and functionality, 23 Dec. 2010
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
There are plenty of these docking stations on the market, with varying functionality and of varying usefulness. This is one of the better examples.

It is easy to set up and looks really stylish. You can choose to wake up to the iPod, the radio or a buzzer. The speakers are adequate. They'll wake you up all right. You can have up to 2 alarms. I think that's enough but I know some people like more.

There is a remote, which is neat and small. There is a dimmer setting as well which is useful because it's rather bright otherwise.

The instruction booklet is not well written, but that's not unusual. For example: "Press settings to go back the previous menu"..."Enter Repeat to select Everyday or choose the." Annoying, but not a serious problem.

This is a useful, stylish, fun item.


Pro-Tec Glacier iPhone 4 Quilted Pattern Case - Black
Pro-Tec Glacier iPhone 4 Quilted Pattern Case - Black

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does the job, 21 Dec. 2010
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The 'funky quilted design' of this product is very much a matter of taste, and it's going to be difficult for you to judge from an online image whether it's to your taste or not. My daughter likes hers very much, and I can't help thinking it has a mostly feminine appeal.

Easy to attach and remove, it's made of a silicone material that is light, flexible and tough. It fits snugly and has a raised edge which protects - but does not cover - the screen, so you might want a screen cover in addition. As promised, it does allow good access to all the phone functions.

The price is good, so if you want an iPhone cover that looks and feels a little different, go for it.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 14, 2011 5:23 AM BST


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