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Profile for Ian Gordon Malcomson > Reviews

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Content by Ian Gordon Mal...
Top Reviewer Ranking: 22
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Reviews Written by
Ian Gordon Malcomson (Victoria, BC)
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Rightwell High-elastic Resistance Bands with Carrying Bag for Perfect Workout - 11pcs Set of Resistance Exercise Bands-Natural Latex Tube Ideal For Home Gym Fitness,Yoga,Pilates,Abs,P90x
Rightwell High-elastic Resistance Bands with Carrying Bag for Perfect Workout - 11pcs Set of Resistance Exercise Bands-Natural Latex Tube Ideal For Home Gym Fitness,Yoga,Pilates,Abs,P90x
Offered by Right Well
Price: CDN$ 55.00

4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Workout Tool for Building Muscles, July 27 2016
I am finding these resistance bands excellent for a ten-minute early morning routine for limbering up. This set comes with all sizes to exercise the various limbs wherever you choose to work out. The bands appear to be made of a very flexible and durable rubber, with sturdy attachments. On the negative side, instead of having to use the Internet to check out exercise routines, I would like to see a small instruction manual or set of diagrams accompanying this kit.


A Doubter's Almanac: A Novel
A Doubter's Almanac: A Novel
Offered by Random House Canada, Incorp.
Price: CDN$ 16.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A Tremedous Insight Into A Difficult and Sad Life, July 27 2016
I first heard about this book a number of months ago when Tom Ashbrook, from "All Points", interviewed the author. What caught my attention was the fascinating story that Canin created about the life of a young man named Milo learning to cope and overcome Asperger's Syndrome. As a milder form of autism, this mental disorder comes with both upsides and downsides. Follow this wonderfully sensitive tale of Milo's journey through life from obscurity to international fame and back all on his natural talent to mathematically visualize the earth's surface. While he rose to the top with a full professorship at Princeton, everything else in life seemed to pass him by, especially those skills needed to be socially aware of others and sensitive to their needs. Canin has a wonderful way of opening the arcane world of theoretical maths to me. I had no problem understanding the torment of soul Milo must have endured as he repeatedly tried to bring to life what he could show on paper. Where many abstract mathematicians suffer great depression from continuously analyzing an insoluble problem in the hope of achieving a breakthrough, Milo's fate is different. As his family will learn, long after giving up on his obsessive, compulsive behavior, that Milo never gave up on himself. Here was a man who firmly believed that success was just around the corner, even with the setbacks stemming from his inability to handle relationships. Canin handles this story like he has with his others, with tenderness and realism. On the one hand, you can't help but identify with his struggles, though I am not sure they are demons; on the other hand, you have to side with his family and colleagues as they continue to be rebuffed every time they offer him a lifeline. I found the last few chapters rewarding in that Milo surprises us with how much order he actually has in his chaotic existence. He really is a very sensitive individual who, though he may appear to lack the means of showing love, still leaves his children a very important legacy.


Armor and Blood: The Battle of Kursk: The Turning Point of World War II
Armor and Blood: The Battle of Kursk: The Turning Point of World War II
by Dennis E. Showalter
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 9.90
21 used & new from CDN$ 9.90

4.0 out of 5 stars A Story This Complex Needs Maps, July 24 2016
Here are ten observations and recommendations as to the effectiveness of this book in following the Battle of Kursk:
1. The various battle zones are described very vividly in terms of intensive combat and artillery. This is truly one very vicious fight to the death;
2. The author's detailed descriptions of the dimensions and intricacies of the battleground boggles the imagination. Kursk was no simple afternoon battle on an open field where winner takes all;
3. Reading this book will certainly give the reader a lasting sense of the ferocity of modern warfare. Both sides came well equipped to destroy each other;
4. Since the Wehrmacht and the Red Army were locked in a virtual death struggle, a lot of the daily maneuvering, in the form of advances and retreats, are hard to follow, especially without the aid of some detailed maps;
5. Battle strategy and execution is the essence of this study. Showalter takes great delight in describing, like a sports broadcaster covering a close game, its exciting ebb and flow ;
6. I got the feeling, after a while, that the Germans really had no answer to the overwhelming size of Soviet reserves;
7. For a newcomer, like myself, this book was handy in pointing out the turning point in this battle, where the Russians were able to deflect SS Panzer forces away from Kursk into a trap where the T-34s finished them, even if they had made the big breakthrough, they were essentially a spent force;
8. The noise of modern warfare in such a contained area like the Kursk salient was nothing short of deafening. No wonder the Eastern Front was not a desired place to serve;
9. Kursk is one of those protracted battles that resulted in incredible losses of life and materials, whose numbers do not receive a great deal of analysis here. I learned, however, that while the Germans may have had better made equipment, both on the ground and in the air, they just didn't have enough to finish the job;
10. Once again, this battle, like Stalingrad, reflected a great contrast in leadership styles between Hitler and Stalin, with the latter giving his generals time to come up with plans to effect defensive tactics until the moment was right to switch into an offensive mode.


Bluetooth Headphones, LoHi Bluetooth V4.1 Wireless Sports Earphones Sweatproof In-ear Headset with Microphone Noise-Cancelling for iPhone iPad Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge S6 and Bluetooth Devices
Bluetooth Headphones, LoHi Bluetooth V4.1 Wireless Sports Earphones Sweatproof In-ear Headset with Microphone Noise-Cancelling for iPhone iPad Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge S6 and Bluetooth Devices
Offered by LoHiDirect
Price: CDN$ 25.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A good quality product with convenience and comfort in mind!, July 20 2016
These blue-tooth headphones are excellent. I particularly enjoy the convenience of the ear hooks and the clear sound. Instructions for pairing are easy to follow and it allows for multiple audio functions.They come with replacement accessories and a money-back guarantee. Charging takes just over two hours. I like the fact that I can walk out of the room and still get clear reception. The LoHi is definitely a cut above the competition, and at the price a steal.


Garment Steamer, Yokkao® Mini Portable Handheld Clothes Ironing Steam Cleaner with Ultra-fast Heating Element for Travel/ Home/ Office
Garment Steamer, Yokkao® Mini Portable Handheld Clothes Ironing Steam Cleaner with Ultra-fast Heating Element for Travel/ Home/ Office

5.0 out of 5 stars The Power of Steam to Make Smooth Again, July 19 2016
What a handy device for getting rid off wrinkles and creases in your clothes before you leave the house for work, pleasure or travel. It is easy to use - fill up, plug in, and shortly afterwards lots of steam for the said garment. It comes equipped with a handy brush attachment to help remove the offending wrinkle. Comes with an easy-to-follow manual that covers care and maintenance.


Hamsun [Import]
Hamsun [Import]
DVD ~ Max von Sydow
Price: CDN$ 38.67
14 used & new from CDN$ 23.12

5.0 out of 5 stars Separating the Wheat from the Tares, July 17 2016
This review is from: Hamsun [Import] (DVD)
I recently watched this biopic on the controversial life of Norwegian novelist Knut Hamsun, and have to say that it does a commendable job in depicting his conflicted life during the Nazi occupation of his homeland. Max von Sydow looks and plays the role of a celebrated author who has just sold his soul to the devil in exchange for finally making Norway great again. In terms of crazy nationalistic ventures, it may have a bit of a Trump ring to it in making America great again. This is a very sad story where a truly accomplished writer took his writings to the next level and tried his best, with the help of a very grasping wife Maria, a prominent actress in her own right, to make Norway a proud Nordic bastion of the Aryan cause. While Kurst admired Hitler for being that 'Great Man' (Superman) whose ambitions to conquer the world could only benefit his vision of national rebirth, he still favored doing it on Norway's terms. The film examines the relationship between Hamsun and the nazis in terms of what each stood to gain. True to form, Hamsun stubbornly clung to the belief that he was no traitor because he always had the best interests of the common people at heart as he strove to return Norway to its ancient greatness. As for Hitler and the Nazi propaganda machine, they got to 'drag' Hamsun around the Third Reich as a rabid opponent of British imperialism. The big joke here, which this production captures effectively, is that Hamsun was really a very private individual who, only when pressed, would speak his mind, often to the chagrin of his masters, especially Hitler. Suffice it to say, Hamsun, while married to the notion of a national savior, proved ultimately as much a disappointment to the Germans as they were to him. In the end, Norway could not find it in itself to execute a former national icon who secretly expressed the deepest desires of many Norwegians who had strong nationalistic aspirations. Hamsun is obviously a tragic case of someone who got caught up in his ideas to the point of making some very bad choices which he dearly paid for in the end. Is that reason to dismiss his works as those of a fascist crackpot who helped bring death and destruction to his people?


Mysteries: A Novel
Mysteries: A Novel
by Knut Hamsun
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 14.44
19 used & new from CDN$ 3.19

5.0 out of 5 stars A Town at the Crossroads of Its Future, July 16 2016
This review is from: Mysteries: A Novel (Paperback)
The storyline in this novel is only a means to a greater end: the unleashing of the primitive and natural forces of love, passion, ecstasy, and fear on an unsuspecting society caught in its own traditional time warp. Hamsun explores the impact of the sudden appearance of outsider or stranger on life in a small Norwegian coastal village. Nagel, the perfect alien - comes out of nowhere - descends on this quiet, unassuming community with one motive: stir up the multitudes. In Christ-like composure, he will start doing inexplicable acts of of kindness and benevolence that have the locals bemused and even alarmed. Who is this man who has come to defend the poor, befriend the forlorn, and protect the oppressed? His methods are so disturbingly radical and unorthodox that nobody seems to begin to understand his underlying motives, thus the title "Mysteries". Even Nagel isn't sure himself that his existential mission to save society from itself won't be taken the wrong way. There will be moments when the locals will see him as a tyrant intent on ruthlessly changing their hidebound lives. While some would like to see him as a wealthy businessman throwing his money around in order to look good, others choose to see his friendly overtures as nothing more than a desperate effort to get attention. When Nagel finally bares his soul to Spinster Dagny, telling her that he has fallen in love with her, the response is as devastating as the original confession is poignant. For Hamsun, life is that arena where the future pivots on an all-or-nothing moment of truth. Even Nagel's plans to spontaneously commit suicide if he doesn't get the response he is looking for meets with calculated opposition from someone who has come to rely on his altruism, the much maligned Midget. Failure to do himself in when his expression of love for the lovely Dagny goes unrequited represents the moment when Nagel must leave town as someone who doesn't even have the power to do himself in. This novel, written in 1895 and loaded with all kinds of Nietzchean allusions to the appearance of superman ready to usher in an era of nationalistic rebirth for a fledgling nation like Norway, speaks volumes about Hamsun's great uneasiness as to its potential success. This is a country wed to a culture that has learned to suspect the outsider as an interloper intent on wrecking the peace in pursuit of the unknown. The only moment of clarity or truth comes when Nagel, this sensational deux ex machina, disappears as quickly as he came, leaving this once unassuming town badly divided, ill-at-ease, and feeling guilty.


Aoming Inflatable Travel Pillow Set- Velvet Pillow, Sleep Mask, Earplugs 3 Second Blowing Full - includes Carry Pouch for Convenient Storage (Gray)
Aoming Inflatable Travel Pillow Set- Velvet Pillow, Sleep Mask, Earplugs 3 Second Blowing Full - includes Carry Pouch for Convenient Storage (Gray)
Offered by We Family
Price: CDN$ 28.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Very Comfortable and Therapeutic, July 15 2016
Find it hard to fall asleep while resting on the couch, recliner or coach seat? Well, your problems are no longer with the purchase of this travel kit that includes inflatable neck pillow, sleep mask, and earplugs. The first item, done in velvet and easy to inflate, provides a secure and comfortable support for the neck and helps mitigate snoring. The second item excludes light almost entirely. All three items fit neatly into a little carrying bag when not in use. As one who travels abroad, I will be taking it in order to make the journey more tolerable.


MaxAike1 Unisex Retro Aviator Sunglasses Reflective Lens ( Golden Frame Pink Lens)
MaxAike1 Unisex Retro Aviator Sunglasses Reflective Lens ( Golden Frame Pink Lens)
Offered by MaxAike1
Price: CDN$ 19.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Simple Yet Stylish, July 13 2016
Looking for shades that are cool, look no further. People will notice them; they are polarized; and they fit very well. They come in a very convenient carrying case with a cleaning cloth. If you want to have your eyes completely shielded, these are the ones. They come in various colours and you can't argue about the price.


SJCAM M10 Plus WiFi Action Camera 1.5 Inch 2K 1080P 12MP 170 Degree Wide Angle Lens Underwater Camera HD Camcorder Car DVR for Biking, Skiing, Diving
SJCAM M10 Plus WiFi Action Camera 1.5 Inch 2K 1080P 12MP 170 Degree Wide Angle Lens Underwater Camera HD Camcorder Car DVR for Biking, Skiing, Diving
Offered by Gizcam Tech
Price: CDN$ 223.99
3 used & new from CDN$ 155.90

5.0 out of 5 stars Simple to operate, loaded with great functions, July 13 2016
We have tried this action Cam in a number of functions and all work well. We have tried it out as a dash cam, a hand-held camera for stills and also action shots. The SD card - doesn't come with camera - is sufficient for storage; however, buy a second one as a backup. Pictures are easily uploaded to mobile device and computer. There are a number of mounts to fit different situations such as bike riding. As for being waterproof, we submersed the outer plastic protective container and found no leakage. The buttons are easy to operate and some are multifunctional. As for the manual helping to define basic operations, the internet was a better source of information. The pictures are wide angle and very clear. Overall, a very good product that can work well in a number of photo opportunities.


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