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8" Magnetic Floating Globe With LED Light - Anti-gravity Levitation Rotating Earth Map Globe - Creative Birthday/Christmas/Anniversary/Educational Gifts Home Office Desktop Decoration,White
8" Magnetic Floating Globe With LED Light - Anti-gravity Levitation Rotating Earth Map Globe - Creative Birthday/Christmas/Anniversary/Educational Gifts Home Office Desktop Decoration,White
Offered by zjchao
Price: £69.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The (Chinese) Wonders of Science..., 21 May 2017
A very nice looking piece of kit. There's a polished metal stand which has a retaining bowl in the base to keep the globe secured when not in use. The globe itself is a surprisingly detailed stout plastic ball for its size (with no evident spelling mistakes) - which is still a useful 8inches diameter. The unit itself is 12volt so it's fairly safe for kids to meddle with; a small mobile-phone type transformer plugs into the mains and there's a little socket in the circular base (the item itself has no on/off switch). there's a circle of blue diodes around the top which point down at the globe. On the one I purchased, the oceans were a deep blue to match the lights, and the slight translucency of the globe means that it glows in a nice ghostly way, in otherwise subdued room light, which is fun.

I sourced mine at a local high street shop after having seen one operating in their window for several months (I don't know if it was the same unit in constant use or several different ones). It's of unbranded Chinese origin so it may last forever or conk-out the next day. I tested it a couple of times when I got home before mailing it off, as it was intended as a prezzie for a young neice with cosmic/science fixations. I understand it is much appreciated and working when last reported.

Incidentally I paid less than 40 spons, so shop around; the high street still has benefits over the internet.

Across 110th Street - Original
Across 110th Street - Original
Price: £0.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Jackie Brown's Intro, 9 Jan. 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'm no particular fan of Bobby Womack, but I heard this track as the intro to QT's excellent movie "Jackie Brown" and liked it. I can certainly recommend the movie as well.

Wallace & Gromit - The Complete Collection [DVD]
Wallace & Gromit - The Complete Collection [DVD]
Dvd ~ Peter Sallis
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £5.08

5.0 out of 5 stars Plasticine Never Found a Better Use, 8 Jan. 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Here's a compendium of the plasticine duo's first four cracking capers: A Grand day Out, The Wrong Trousers, A Close Shave, and A Matter of Loaf & Death. It's surely impossible to remain mirthless in the face of Park's bonkers little sitcoms, outlandish adventures, hilarious script and sight gags, with Peter Sallis's inimitable delivery. These little movies are wondefully presented and although brief, each took longer to realise that most full-length Hollywood blockbusters. Editing, lighting sound-effects and script are all spot-on. It's not entirely complete, but these first four are the core. My personal favourite is The Wrong Trousers; it always seems to me that Park got the formula just right with this one after his first, rather experimental Grand Day Out.

It's hard to believe they've been going since 1989. And there'll be no more to come; old Peter Sallis says he's just no longer up to the task of doing more voice-overs, so unless Wallace finds a new and younger voice (what travesty!) then this is it.

I got this as a stocking-filler prezzie for one of my great neices. It is a good, clear recording, it arrived promptly, and gave plety of Christmas laughs.

Demonic Males: Apes and the Origins of Human Violence
Demonic Males: Apes and the Origins of Human Violence
by Richard W. Wrangham
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dunderpate Authors, 7 Jan. 2017
When the famous Professor Owen (who'd been an inspiration to Darwin and who actually encouraged him to make a detailed study of the very Galapagos finch specimens that would prove to be the smoking gun of his then `Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection') first read that same groundbreaking work, he angrily denounced it as "an abuse of science". Well; nothing more aptly describes Wrangham and Paterson's many, many pages of utter tripe. This is not analysis, but advocacy. These two deluded chumps so evidently bought into the Great Feminist Lie, that they sought to try and qualify the latter's gender bigotry by scientific study. And never more was a study and interpretation more blindly perverted to a cause.

The truly staggering revelation here, is that Charles Darwin himself had already demonstrated the basis of extreme gender-related appearance and behaviour patterns in the follow-up work to his `Origins'; titled "Decent of Man" almost 150 years ago! In `Origins' Darwin described the first part of his theory of evolution - that of Natural Selection - in which life is pitted against the rigours of survival within the environment. Here he referred to the `survival of the fittest', which is often misunderstood as the application of the term has altered with time. In his day, fitness implied aptness or suitability, not health and vigour. So Darwin was actually referring to the survival of that which was best fitted. In other words, the organism which possessed the optimum characteristics to benefit itself at any given time was most likely to survive - and breed. And in breeding pass those characteristics on. This way, species tend to track their environment, and as the environment changes, those especially gifted individuals can lead to new species evolving. In `Origins', humanity was the one guest notably absent from the feast. Our species received a passing mention in the last paragraph of the last page. It was a blatantly political move to minimise the inevitable fury of creationists.

However, once the dust had settled, Darwin was free to deal with humans in more detail. And here, he drew upon his other less well known theory of evolution - namely - Sexual Selection. Darwin realised how very many species possessed characteristics that simply couldn't be explained by environmental pressure. He also noted that these characteristics were mostly gender-specific. Take, for example, the pea-bird. Most are familiar with the peacock - its brilliantly gaudy plummage, head crest, amazing erectile tail decked out in eye-whorls, and its raucous, piercing cry. What possible natural evolutionary benefits could all of these confer? And moreover, why were they not possessed by the hen - after all, both birds were the same species, they co-existed in the same environment, ate the same foods, and were prey to the same enemies? The answer was quite simple: the male had acquired all of these showy and pretentious accessories because the pea-hen had selected them for him. Over thousands of generations, females had judged the health and vigour of individual males and therefore the quality of their genes on the basis of increasingly outlandish appearance. The more showy the male; the more often he was allowed to mate. The least showy were simply shunned. The pusuit of the perfect (male) gene is what motivates females to their purpose. Though Darwin himself had no grasp of genetics.

We need to remember that - of the two genders - evolution has (usually) left the one we denominate as female, holding the baby. There are exceptions, but generally this is the case. Usually, males are free to sow their seed wherever they may. Females, however - especially in mammals - are faced with a lengthy pregnancy and an even longer matertity. Their breeding options are fewer, so they have to be much more choosy about who fertilisers their eggs. Males can afford to make mistakes; they're not faced with the consequences. So females choose. And they've been choosing for a very long time.

And this is why the Peacock is a gaudy, strutting clown, why the male Bower Bird labours like Hercules building a thatched cottage and accumulating a tresure-trove of trinkets on the forest floor, why male Manakins of Costa Rica must sing and dance with such pitch and step perfection that they need older more able birds to teach them. Life simply isn't long enough to learn on your own. It's why male Weaver birds spend so much of their lives becoming expert builders of nests which they never get to occupy, And it's also why some cocks fight, why bull elephants fight, why male giraffe fight, why stags annually grow enormous antlers and so on... Far and away the simplest method of determining who is the champ - and therefore who has the best genes - is not by art and craft exhibitions, but to just make `em scrap. A male can't mate while there's another male to contest his claim, so the champ has to successfully suppress all comers if he's to have enough leisure to enjoy his prize. To do that he needs to be the right stuff - right stuff for females.

And that's the basis of all in-species violence, human or otherwise. It's why the males of almost all mammals are bigger, stronger and more agressive than females. And every fight that starts in a pub, every crime, and every war, has its basis in ruthlessly selfish female gene selection.

I could go on. But why bother? The information is out there in the public domain for any genuinely interested student to read. Something that Wrangham and Co clearly didn't trouble to. Darwin has been there for 150years, though much good he's done these two chumps. When I first read this work shortly after its publication, I actually prickled with rage at the paralysing stupidity of it. Today I think it is simply tragic and shameful that such scientific and social heresy still remains in print.

Snowpiercer (Region 2)
Snowpiercer (Region 2)
Offered by Popcorn and Candy
Price: £7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Everyone Should Know Their Place, 1 Jan. 2017
This review is from: Snowpiercer (Region 2) (DVD)
I got to see this movie by accident and once again disovered what great watches are to be found away from the more regular glitz & glamour. It's violent and gross at times and occasionally completely bonkers with hints of very black humour. Not so much science finction, the concept is more one of surrealism; the other movie it most reminded me of was `Brazil'. Nothing is ever quite what it seems on this journey. There's a sterling cast including Ed Harris and John Hurt. Set pieces seem solid enough, but some of the CGI wobbles a bit. Directing, script and acting meet their marks, but hardly excel.

That's as much as I'll hint at. If you want to know more, hop on the Snowpiercer and take a ride; it's one hell of a train - literally...

Cypher [DVD]
Cypher [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jeremy Northam
Offered by Helen's Goodies
Price: £6.18

3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Average, Really., 19 Nov. 2016
This review is from: Cypher [DVD] (DVD)
(Spoiler Alert). Jeremy Northam is an unemployed accountant, with a tiresome wife who wants him to work for her daddy. Instead he signs-up as a supposedly free-lance corporate spy to some monstrous leviathan called Digicorp. His job seems to entail attending business seminars in his new persona and recording all the company-speak presentation twaddle. If you've ever been to any of these functions you'll know that not one word of the predictable guff is worth hearing let alone recording. However...

We - and he - learn via an Oriental femme-fatale that it's all a big con. He's been brainwashed by Digicorp. She gives him some drugs to bypass their technique and he soon finds himself in what might be called an altered reality and offered a job by an equally unscrupulous outfit called Sunways in order to counterspy at Digicorp. Apparently, either outfit will kill him if they find he's defected or become aware - or whatever. There's also a free-lancing Mr Big - for whom the Oriental femme-fatale works and who seemingly knows a lot more than everybody else.

The movie is extremely slick, and sylised to the point of becoming a bit `arty' There are genuine moments of tension, and one or two of violence in which machine-guns are once again shown to be the least useful weapon of choice. You just can't hit anybody with them. When are baddies gonna realise that a bag of rocks is the thing to go for?

The late publisher, Anthony Blond, once dinned into me that "story is something that happens to people you've been moved to care about (old boy)". And here again I was left with that big blank. I didn't give a toss about the lead character or the Oriental femme fatale - or any of the baddies either. So there really was no story in that regard. If you found the intricacies of high-tech thaumaturgy enough to engage you then - fine - you probably enjoyed it; but as a human interest experience I found it very two-dimensional. I also found it very sad that anyone other than a psychopath would submit to such outrageously intrusive vetting in order to have a job, no matter what the salary. I'd sooner push burgers.

Apparently, the director was responsible for the terrifying (and humanly engaging) Cube, which is now in my collection; but I suspect this freebie will be in the charity shop tomorrow. Grand-conspiracy movies now seem to vie with zombie movies as dystopian human prognoses. We seem to have entered a very pessimistic age - especially with regard to technology and the littleness of human purpose. Mind how you go.

Taken (Extended Harder Cut) [DVD] [2008]
Taken (Extended Harder Cut) [DVD] [2008]
Dvd ~ Liam Neeson
Offered by LOVE DVDS
Price: £3.10

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Neeson-Coloured Paint Seems To Take A Long Time Drying, 12 Nov. 2016
There's nothing original in this movie. (Spoiler alert). We have yet another disillusioned agent dragged out of retirement for one last job; another broken marriage; another prima-donna pop-singer rescued from jeopardy (no, it's not The Bodyguard); another feckless adolescent girl; more ugly and brutal gangs of eastern Europeans; another fat, rich, abusive Arab; yet more corrupt and dunderpate French authorities (that bit's at least accurate) a hero who is immune to machinegun fire but who hardly ever misses with a handgun; a host of implausible details and lot's and lots of gratuitous violence. Oh - and there's a car chase or two. And I mustn't forget the cheesy family reconcilliation at the end (well, it is American, after all). Oddly enough; I don't think there were any slo-mo's.

If the formula suits you (and it did me, about 50 incarnations ago) then you'll get along with this nicely, otherwise it's like watching Liam-Neeson-coloured paint dry.

Got mine free from a junk-shop brantub. Charity shop next day. Can't be bothered to mention the technical stuff.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 3, 2016 1:35 PM GMT

Cowboys & Aliens [DVD]
Cowboys & Aliens [DVD]
Dvd ~ Daniel Craig
Price: £3.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This Needed The Coen Brothers, 27 Sept. 2016
This review is from: Cowboys & Aliens [DVD] (DVD)
With Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford in the cast list, this movie appeared to offer stellar expectations. Then set these stars in a hybrid of two classic movie genres - western and science fiction - and we should've been looking at an each-way bet. However...

The work opens with all the right moves; great open spaces in US national parks, spectacular rocks formations and contrasts between landscape and sky colours to die for, then a music score that seems to hint at Ennio Morricone with a splash of John Williams. Add in an abrupt and threatening encounter of the Josey Wales type, and we should be in business.

But sadly, it all starts coming apart in a very disjointing, hammy and often boring way, with a script that arrived fast from the Predictable Cheese factory. Underneath all the macho grizzle everyone turns out to be quite nice really; even the Indians leave off scalping when there's aliens on the warpath. And the sci-fi really comes shot through with anomalies. The invaders have flying machines that our present crop of combat planes would wipe the floor with, and their Monster-Mining-Spaceship turns out to be rocket-powered! So how did it manage to bury itself thrusters first so deep in the earth as to look like a rock formation let alone travel across the stars? And how did it manage to free itself without incurring serious hull damage? Moreover, why did these star-travellers - obviously more intelligent than ourselves - turn out like a cross between a grunting gorilla and a reptile with huge claws that couldn't possibly operate the delicate equipment needed to make a starship? And why did they have no hand weapons to use against the cowboys and Indians? The answer, of course is that good Mr Spieberg was at the helm; and whatever Big Stevie wants; Big Stevie gets, no matter how ludicrous. The ending looks like it might have been pilfered from newsreel of the tragic NASA accident that saw seven of their astronauts killed during take-off.

It's sad, really. This could've been a corker; the concept was there. If it had been a Coen Brothers project, we'd probably have had a classic along the lines of "No Country For Old Men". But we had Big Stevie instead, and it's tosh.

Viewer rating is 12, can't be arsed to look up the rest. Just a spon and a half from Scope, Cancer Research next day.

Exposed [DVD]
Exposed [DVD]
Dvd ~ Ana de Armas
Offered by FREETIME
Price: £4.24

1.0 out of 5 stars Complete Waste of Time & Money, 17 Sept. 2016
This review is from: Exposed [DVD] (DVD)
"...His investigation begins to reveal a disturbing web of police corruption that runs far deeper than he ever could have imagined..."

That line is lifted straight from the sleeve blurb, and it's obvious whoever wrote it never watched the movie. (Spoiler alert) - there is no web of corruption; Cop Scotty Gablan (Reeves) is investigating the murder of his partner and we learn by an onion-peeling, patience-straining series of tableaux that he was bent. There's no conspiracy at all. We have lots of boys in the 'hood both black & Hispanic who are bumped off at various junctures to keep the flagging interest going. There's a young woman prone to bizarre Twin-Peak visions who turns out to be the perpetrator, but she acted in self-defence. The entire movie could've been comfortably edited to half an hour, but it was seemingly distended to 3 times that length by an endless series of distractions and irrelevencies, fractured editing and mournful pacing, presumably to give it marketable length. The title seems to have been chosen at random.

Supermarket bran-tubs are a prospector's game; sometimes nuggets turns up amongst the tailings; but on this occasion I think a bear must've shat in the riffle.

Cannot Recommend A Purchase.

Carmichael Alto Saxophone Reeds 1.5 - Box Of 10 Reeds - Strength 1.5 - 1 1/2
Carmichael Alto Saxophone Reeds 1.5 - Box Of 10 Reeds - Strength 1.5 - 1 1/2
Offered by Desperado Classical
Price: £8.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Strictly For The Birds, 14 Sept. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Well; I hate to buck the trend here, but I didn't get along with this product one bit. They sure look the part; nicely presented in a plastic case, each stamped with the maker's logo and reed strength; but - my goodness - they sounded awful. The result was so `reedy' that my sax didn't really sound like a sax at all; more like some sort of plastic toy. No depth and mellowness, and there was no constancy of tone. Almost anything could happen when you blew. And I tried every one of them. Certainly no match for the Ricos. They do actually feel slightly thinner - though I've no micrometer so can't be sure.

I'm at a loss on this one. Other posters seem pretty bullish, and I'm apt to wonder whether or not after so many months of puffing and blowing, my pulmonary prowess has now simply overwhelmed them and I need a stronger reed. Dunno, really; but they're heading for the bin; and it's back to Ricos for me.

No recommendo.

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