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J. J. Guzy "julius paintings" (Northern Ireland)

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Attack with Mikhail Tal (Cadogan Chess Books)
Attack with Mikhail Tal (Cadogan Chess Books)
by Mikhail Tal
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mikhail Tal is the man, 6 Sept. 2014
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A brilliant game by game discussion of basic ways of thinking about opening up the board to your pieces so you can check mate your opponent. Pieces that will not contribute to the mate can be sacrificed for positional advantage. Check out the index in the preview to see the sorts of things considered.

I'm not a total novice but have never played at club level. For me this book has been a revelation. And yes, play through the games. They're astounding. You learn so much! Mikhail Tal is the man.

Mathematics for Computer Graphics (Undergraduate Topics in Computer Science)
Mathematics for Computer Graphics (Undergraduate Topics in Computer Science)
by John Vince
Edition: Paperback
Price: £26.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, well explained, just what I needed, 29 April 2014
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I write graphics programs and needed some help in finding intersections of lines.
Easy peasy.
And then I started reading the rest of it, e.g. interpolation, again, easy peasy.
His chapter on calculus - never seen the reasoning explained as clearly.
Why could they not have explained all this as simply when I was in school?
I like this man.
He's a teacher.
I'm looking forward to reading his "Calculus for Computer Graphics"

TeckNet® C016 USB HD 720P Webcam, 5 MegaPixel, 5G Lens, USB Microphone & 6 LED
TeckNet® C016 USB HD 720P Webcam, 5 MegaPixel, 5G Lens, USB Microphone & 6 LED
Offered by Innovation Goal UK
Price: £11.99

1.0 out of 5 stars Microphone does not work (Mac Pro, OS 10.6), 9 July 2012
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Mac pro OS 10.6.
Video camera works but is so light and tiny and the cable so strong that even on a small tripod it refuses to stay steady.
I finally used some rubber bands to fix it to a paper-weight and now it's OK.

The microphone does not work. The mac's sound input panel registers nothing. I tried another mike which worked fine so I know I used the correct socket.

Monsters [DVD] [2010]
Monsters [DVD] [2010]
Dvd ~ Whitney Able
Price: £3.46

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, intelligent, thoughtful, enjoyable film, 14 May 2011
This review is from: Monsters [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
This is a truly original movie.
Here is a list of images:
USA gung ho soldiers in tank driving fast at night looking forward to some killing.
There is all hell of a fight. A huge alien from outer space octopus like creature is flinging buildings about.
The landscape is a landscape of war, bombed cities, shells of buildings.
The jungle covered mountain sides are littered with the remains of boats, whole steamships dropped tsunami like onto the land.
Wreckage of aeroplanes and helicopters is everywhere.
The sky always has some jet fighters flying in attack formation somewhere in the distance.
The flashes of huge explosions illuminate clouds of smoke behind the mountains.
In the towns, yes towns on the edge of jungle but towns, habitations, poor, latin america but habitable, undamaged, the civilian population lives a relaxed life style. People just get on with their lives.
The television is filled with pictures of war, of octopus monsters waving their tentacles, bestriding cities, attacked by rockets, tanks and planes. These scenes of war form a wallpaper to people's lives as they cook, feed their children, converse.

Into this war zone come two American kids, the girl twenty something, he late twenties early thirties. It is like they're still in America. There is some kind of a panic or urgency going on around them but they are somehow untouched by it. It is paradoxical. On the one hand we have these two kids living in but insulated from what they perceive as an immanent danger to be escaped from and on the other civilian population resigned to living a normal life. Whenever these kids need ten or twenty thousand dollars they have it. As I said, there is an extraordinary distance between them and the world they're in.

The plot is simple. They need to get back to the USA through the contaminated zone, Mexico, where there be monsters from outer space. From the top of a Mayan temple we get a sight of fortress america: there is a huge, two or three hundred metre concrete wall insulating america from the world. On the american side we assume exists prosperous normality, on our side, the jungle side, there be monsters.

When we get across that wall the world does not suddenly become normal. It too is a bombed out landscape. The monsters are here as well. But though big and scary they are not the horror we've been led to believe but rather magical like glow in the dark jelly fish. And when the marines finally arrive and leap out of their cars to fan out to create their defensive perimeter I'm thinking: what do they think they can do with those rifles against hundred meter tall monsters? Why are they trying to frighten us?

Interesting movie. Enjoyable. Well worth watching.
Il give it five.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 24, 2011 11:26 AM BST

The Walker [DVD] (2007)
The Walker [DVD] (2007)
Dvd ~ Woody Harrelson
Price: £7.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and gripping subtle political thriller, 13 April 2011
This review is from: The Walker [DVD] (2007) (DVD)
This is a movie unflattering to the Junior Bush administration and the morality of the very rich. The dialogue is sparse but every word is a clue to the world it depicts. It describes a highly politicised regime vicious and vindictive towards its opponents and those it disparages. It's minions use the changed political climate for their own purposes. It says however that in one respect there has been no change: greed and corruption is as rampant now as it has ever been and that the wealthy care nothing for those they destroy in amassing wealth and power. The events at Abu Grahib are used to provide an ever present reminder of the depravities of our time. In the America it describes, it is better to keep quiet about such matters. The protagonists are caught up in events over which their control is limited to the question of whether they will behave like human beings ought.

An Excellent movie! I had thought perhaps it was too subtle and too understated but I now think I was wrong because the memory of it grows richer over time. Powerful stuff.

Ultraviolet [DVD]
Ultraviolet [DVD]
Dvd ~ Milla Jovovich
Price: £2.40

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ultracool, ultraviolet, ultrateriffic, 5 Dec. 2008
This review is from: Ultraviolet [DVD] (DVD)
I am dumbfounded by the number of people who hate this film. I love it!

It has a fantastic opening sequence: we begin inside the cockpit of a futuristic aeroplane out of which fall five huge blue-black shiny balls which line up in the air to crash in sequence through the windows of a sky scraper and out of which spring five futuristic sword wielding ninjas each of whom kills a white coated technician stereotype and who then explode their way through a massive airlock into a vast inner sanctum only to be suddenly massacred by a horde of armoured defenders who appear out of nowhere. An equally unexpected trio of civilians appears. One of these shoots one of the survivors and gets blood on himself and because now infected gets shot in his turn but not before telling us something about blood banks, conspiracy and vampires. We now know we're in for a treat. We are going to have fantastic images, fantastic technology, and what is really great: a plot.

Have I yet mentioned that before this we had five minutes of the most absolutely stunning Ultraviolet comic book covers! Can some people draw well!!! And so sexy! Hmmmm! And what colour. The whole film just packs style.

O.K. so I love it and can't stop myself from watching it. What don't I like about it? Well there is a boy who is in this pizza sized plastic delivery box that has dimension folding technology (hence 4 foot tall boy can be in two foot long by six inch thick case) that Violet steals from the Bloodbank people after a fantastic sequence of fights and an amazing motorcycle chase. The boy is a bit drippy and his clothes have for me an unpleasant feel to them. This is possibly an effect of the image processing applied to the whole of this film, something akin to "selective blur" in Photoshop which is here used to smooth out the wrinkles in people's faces and makes them a bit anemic looking; appropriate given the subject matter but not always pleasant to look at, especially in the case of the boy.

I can't really think of anything else I didn't like. I have read most of the critics here. What do they say? Surprisingly, quite a few of the one star commentators don't actually give reasons for disliking the film other than to say it is bad, pathetic, cheap, acting is poor, story uninteresting, unenjoyable, waste of money, cheesy, a turkey, stupid, ridiculous, terrible. Clearly it drives some people to apoplexy. Others, though no less passionate in their dislike were more cogent or appeared to be.

Many it was clear did not like the "selective blur" effect I referred to above. Actually, though I found it strange, and especially disliked it in the boy, I did not find it objectionable per se. In fact when I think about it with regard to the boy perhaps it is the vulnerability which the effect drew out of him that made me squirm. And let me add that though I did not much care for the boy it did not cause me to go into meltdown. I just wanted to point to something I did not much care for, and it was a tiny something so don't go making a meal of it!

O.K. so many did not like the blur effect. Fine but it surely can't be enough to cause one to fly off the handle. It is certainly a new effect to be seen in the cinema. Perhaps that is what some meant when they said the movie was cheap looking. It is true that the effect was visible and it did make everything feel strange but I would see these as positives. Still "chaqueun a son gout" (each to their own) as my grandmother would say.

Everyone is in love with Miss Jovovich's midrift as they call it, and her way of walking too I guess.

A few thought the fight sequences and motorcycle chase were not up to game playing technology standards. On this I cannot comment other than I thought this stuff amazing.

Many found the story uninteresting or unrealistic, or incoherent, or lacking a plot, the logic of the fight scenes baffled some, for instance, armour shattering like glass, guards rushing into a whirlwind of death, Violet killing other vampires, swords being used when they should have used guns.

In this I am baffled. The plot though straightforward has been given enough twists and turns to keep one guessing, we even have Utraviolet and the boy die on us at one point! Yes, Ultraviolet turns on the vampires that got her to capture the bloodbank's super secret delivery but that is only after they have shown her a fair lack of respect as the mafia might say, lied to her, behaved like pigs and attacked her with maximum prejudice.

The swords vs guns business, hmmm, this is in its origins a Japanese martial arts type of movie so swords are part of the ethos. If we want to be pedantic then this sword play takes place in a scientific research centre and in such a place firearms could cause excessive damage: broken test tubes, smashed computers, that sort of thing.

Guards rushing into a maelstrom of death... well, what are they if not archetypal army clones grown at the institute: fanatics but also Ultraviolet is moving at vampire speed so they'll not have seen much anyway, and if they do see her what do they see? a defenceless girl. Pah.

Why does the guard's armour shatter like glass? Presumably the materials were manufactured to a specification and Violet's actions exceed that specification. No problema. I see it as an exciting glimpse into some future technology.

Perhaps it is the quantity of all this unexplained technology that is causing many people a problem: gravity modifying belt buckles, invisible dimension folding pockets which can be loaded with masses of guns and bullets and are seemingly weightless, a lorry that like the Tardis is bigger on the inside than the outside, emotion sensitive colour changing clothing, lifelike real-time over the internet downloadable holographic projection technology, one time use fold together cell phones that can be got as a cardboard cut-out from a slot machine. There is masses of technology and hardly any of it is explained and why should it be? Anyone who had fallen asleep thirty years ago and woken up today would be completely baffled by much of what we take completely for normal. All that unexplained technology in the film just gives us an extra sense of being in the future. I think it is good stuff and like it. Pity others don't.

Some said there was no sense of danger or tension. I disagree. The film is unremitingly tense. Jovovich is ever under threat and we are made to feel it with her.

Costumes change every 5 seconds, well that's the nature of their technology.
One dimensional characters, no character development. Perhaps. But perhaps not (see below). I don't go to watch a movie like this for its character development. Who in amongst the Marvelled halls has much character?. The Silver Surfer yep, Peter Parker, yep, he and aunt May, as indeed Digby and aunt Augusta in Dan Dare, and the brooding Hulk,... but they're never characters in the sense that a person in a book is a character. Even the inhabitants of Heartbreak Soup and Love and Rockets though much richer as characters have nothing of the depth of the Idiot for instance. In any case is the assertion true? Violet has loads of character. The boy has character. The chief baddie has reasons for doing what he's doing. How different would one say he was from say Bush or Cheney or Rumsfeld or the Chicago Boys? I think we could find enough here to refute the term "one dimensional" unless that is, we judge Bush et al also to be one dimensional, which perhaps they are? Violet has loads of character and the scientist friend of hers with his five or six dimensional lab in a lorry has some kind of a life. So no. I don't agree with this criticism.

I think that about covers the range of negative things people wrote on these pages. I forgot the criticism of the "bad" accents. These were English and American and Hungarian I think. The accents did not worry me.

Everyone seems to agree that Violet has a lovely belly button. I think I said that before. It is worth saying again. But then I'm a fan.

The Watercolor Painter's Pocket Palette: Instant, Practical Visual Guidance on Mixing and Matching Watercolors to Suit All Subjects
The Watercolor Painter's Pocket Palette: Instant, Practical Visual Guidance on Mixing and Matching Watercolors to Suit All Subjects
by Moira Clinch
Edition: Spiral-bound

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Delicious Jewel of a Book, 18 Nov. 2003
Page upon page of examples of how a given colour mixes with a standard set of other colours.
For example, page 10: Cerulean blue.
Top 2/3 of the page shows three rows of four 2 x 2 cm squares labeled as follows: Cadmium Red, Alzarin Crimson, Lemon Yellow, Cadmium Yellow, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, Viridian, Cobalt Blue, Cerulean Blue, Windsor Blue, Payne's Gray.
Each of those squares shows the result of mixing Cerulean Blue with the named colour.
The squares are hand painted on watercolour paper so you get a realistic view of paint behaviour according to how it was laid with the brush.
The lower 1/3 of the page shows the named colours painted on top of a painted rectangle of Cerulean Blue so you get optical mixing and transparency effects.
Very useful if you want to gain an instant notion of colour behaviour. I have never used it for that purpose. I just like to drool over the colours.

CGI Programming with Perl
CGI Programming with Perl
by Scott Guelich
Edition: Paperback
Price: £25.59

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent in depth introduction to CGI using Perl, 22 Sept. 2001
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have been programming for years but only recently got big time into CGI. I think this is an excellent book from which to gain your first in depth understanding of CGI and of how to approach the many different aspects of CGI programming using Perl. (Take a look at the index to see). I bought the book, read it cover to cover and use it. It does not set out to teach Perl and assumes that you know the language but you don't need to be a guru to understand the examples. If you want to build reliable Perl programs that automate page generation, handle form data, implement shopping carts, manipulate databases and automatically send e-mails then this book will get you off to a good start.
P.S. I have seen some complaints about the number of errata. These have not bothered me in the slightest. Just get the errata pages from O'Reilly and print them out.

After Babel: Aspects of Language and Translation
After Babel: Aspects of Language and Translation
by George Steiner
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.50

35 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Maybe the most profound book on the nature of language ever, 8 Jun. 2000
Steiner examines questions of how we understand and use language by focussing upon the difficulties of translation. Many readers brought up on a coding theory view of language may find the book's thesis difficult to understand and thereby experience the problem at first hand. Steiner takes a view of language antithetic to the rule governed coding system espoused by Chomsky. He does not suggest a mechanism for language understanding. Instead he provides a myriad examples of cases which the coding theory approach could never hope to account for. In order to understand you have to try and work out what the other is saying. Language facilitates but is not the prerequisite of communication. An absolute tour de force of a book.

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