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Primary cultures of neonatal rat cardiac ventricular myocytes were performed as described previously [20]. In brief buy modafinil uk hearts from 1-2-day-old SD rats were placed in an ice-cold 1× phosphate-buffered saline solution. After repeated rinsing, the ventricles were minced with scissors. The minced tissue and ventricular cells were dispersed by digestion with collagenase type IV (0.45 mg/ml), 0.1% trypsin, and 15 μg/ml DNase I. The cardiomyocytes (0.33 ×106 cells/ml) were cultured in cardiac myocyte culture medium containing Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium/F-12 supplemented with 5% horse serum, 4 μg/ml of transferrin, 0.7 ng/ml of sodium selenite, 2 g/liter of bovine serum albumin, 3 mmol/liter of pyruvic acid, 15 mmol/liter of HEPES, 100 μmol/liter of ascorbic acid, 100 μg/ml of ampicillin, 5 μg/ml of linoleic acid, 1% penicillin, 1% streptomycin, and 100 μmol/liter of 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine and were seeded into six-well plates.. involve two-component GAL4/UAS system [23]. This system is based

involve two-component GAL4/UAS system [23]. This system is based. [2,3,16]. These explorations aim to filter noise from large scale data and.

The objective of this pilot study was to determine clinical predictors of adverse outcome, defined as myocardial infarction, angioplasy or stent placement, coronary artery bypass graft, or death, within 60 days for patients discharged from the emergency department with a presenting complaint of chest pain. All patients presenting to the emergency department with a chief complaint of chest pain were eligible for the study. A chest pain risk analysis sheet was completed as part of the patient evaluation. Patients discharged from the emergency department, in whom a risk analysis sheet was completed, were contacted to determine their clinical course within 60 days of their discharge from the emergency department. During the 6-month study period, 129 eligible patients were enrolled. Of these 129 patients, four had an adverse outcome within 60 days of their discharge. All four patients had either a balloon angioplasty procedure, coronary artery bypass graft, or both. None of the study patients had a myocardial infarction or died. Statistically significant predictors of adverse outcome in our study population were an abnormal electrocardiogram (ECG), a history of myocardial infarction, and a history of hypertension. In conclusion, patients discharged from the emergency department with a presenting complaint of chest pain were at a low risk for having a myocardial infarction or dying within 60 days of their discharge. Several patients, however, did have significant coronary artery disease requiring angioplasty or bypass. These patients were more likely to have an abnormal ECG, a history of myocardial infarction, or have a history of hypertension. A prospective study with larger numbers of patients is needed to validate these findings.. efficacy between in vitro and in vivo conditions. Although direct analysis. A total of 1114 patients were included in the study. The median age was 48 years (IQR = 34–66 years) and 576 (51.7%) of the patients were male. The neuroimaging tests performed were cranial computerized tomography (CT) in 694 (62.3%) cases and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in 114 (10.2%) cases. Mild head trauma due to syncope was observed in 116 (10.4%) patients. None of the neuroimaging studies revealed any clinically significant findings.. accurate identification and quantification of the targeted compounds. Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are neuro-developmental. One of the concerns of using dexamethasone is the potential for poor glycemic control. In this study, postoperative glucose level measured at immediate postoperative period was higher in the dexamethasone group. The clinical significance of this minor increase in blood glucose level in the dexamethasone group is beyond the scope of this study to discuss and remains to be proven. Considering the results of the current trial, magnesium sulphate could be a valuable option for the prevention of POST when the use of dexamethasone may not be appropriate for its potential side-effects.

One of the concerns of using dexamethasone is the potential for poor glycemic control. In this study, postoperative glucose level measured at immediate postoperative period was higher in the dexamethasone group. The clinical significance of this minor increase in blood glucose level in the dexamethasone group is beyond the scope of this study to discuss and remains to be proven. Considering the results of the current trial, magnesium sulphate could be a valuable option for the prevention of POST when the use of dexamethasone may not be appropriate for its potential side-effects.. Medications for diabetes management on the Veterans Affairs (VA) national formulary include sulfonylureas (glipizide, glyburide), a biguanide (metformin), and insulins (aspart, glargine, regular, NPH, 70/30). Other antidiabetic medications, including TZDs, require non-formulary consults. TZDs, pioglitazone specifically, have defined criteria for use. To qualify for TZD treatment the following must be met: (1) contraindication to metformin or sulfonylureas, (2) inadequate glycemic control on monotherapy metformin or sulfonylurea or dual therapy with these agents, and (3) patient is not a good candidate or refuses addition of insulin. Within Veteran Integrated Service Network-9 (VISN-9), specific non-formulary reviewers evaluated the criteria of use for TZD and either approve or disapprove initiation via a formal consult process.. Potential differences between basic characteristics and exercise behaviour and QOL were assessed by multivariate analysis of variance. Differences in exercise behaviour among the cancer-relevant time periods were analysed by repeated measure analysis of variance. Standard pairwise comparisons were performed to assess differences between groups. The association between total exercise during active treatment and off-treatment and QOL was assessed by correlation coefficients.. Most reports on bleeding complications caused by anticoagulants and/or antiplatelets are of warfarin and/or aspirin, with little information available for other antiplatelets, e.g., cilostazol, clopidogrel, ethyl icosapentate, limaprost alfadex, sarpogrelate and ticlopidine This study was conducted to assess the bleeding complications induced by the administration of antiplatelets and to attempt to determine the rank-order of the association, using more than a million case reports on adverse events (AERs) submitted to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Authorized pharmacovigilance methods were used for quantitative signal detection [13-19], where a signal means a drug-associated adverse event or an association between a drug and an adverse event. Here, 7 antiplatelets were compared with warfarin in terms of susceptibility to bleeding complications..

The occurrence of HS after MMD direct bypass is associated with blood flow from the STA, and research has been performed to investigate whether it is also associated with double bypass with 2 STAs. In 1995, Takahashi et al. suggested that vascular reconstruction centered on the frontal region utilizing both the anterior and posterior branches of the STA was more efficacious[34]. However, other studies have suggested that single bypass is sufficient for the treatment of MMD and that it is associated with a lower risk of HS [12, 35, 36].. • social isolation

• social isolation. Whole-body vibration (WBV) is a kind of supplementary training or light-resistance training based on automatic body adaptations to rapid and repeated oscillations of a vibrating platform [10]. Studies have demonstrated several benefits of WBV buy modafinil australia including improving muscle strength [11], increasing bone mineral density [12, 13, 14], decreasing abdominal fat [15] and increasing hormone content [16]. Although there is considerable evidence that WBV is similar to resistance training, WBV still lacks sufficient strength stimulation. In order to resolve WBV's problem of a lack of training intensity, we combined resistance and WBV training through the use of weight-loading WBV (WWBV). In addition, we included DHEA supplementation, which has been shown to have several benefits in age-advanced subjects [14]. There has been no prior study on the effects of a combination of DHEA supplementation and WWBV training on body composition, serum biochemical indexes, exercise performance and hormone content. In this study, we combined DHEA supplementation and WWBV training for middle-age mice to investigate the beneficial synergistic effects on hormone content, muscle mass, body composition, exercise performance, biochemical profiles and pathological responses after 4-weeks of treatment..

Serum GA level could potentially be used to measure dysglycemia in research and clinical settings and it may detect blood glucose fluctuations earlier than HbA1C levels [13]. Serum GA reflects the blood glucose status more rapidly than HbA1C (2-3 weeks vs. 2-3 months) because of the different half-lives of the protein-binding forms. Hwang et al. showed that a GA level of >14.3% is optimal for the diagnosis of diabetes in Korean adults and that measurement of GA can detect diabetes earlier than fasting plasma glucose and HbA1C levels [14]. In addition, GA has a stronger relationship than HbA1C with the glycemic gradient and glycemic excursions [15]. Consequently, GA may reflect not only short-term average glucose concentrations, but also fluctuations in glucose levels [16]. However, misleadingly low GA levels may occur in the presence of heavy proteinuria and increased serum albumin catabolism in patients with diabetic nephropathy stage III. These low GA levels may rise if anuria, with consequent cessation of proteinuria, occurs in end-stage diabetic nephropathy. The loss of albumin in PD dialysate can also falsely decrease the GA level, leading to underestimation of glycemic control in PD patients. Thus, GA may be an acceptable indicator of glycemic control only in patients with normal serum albumin and low protein loss in the urine and dialysate [17]. In addition, in non-DM patients with overt hypothyroidism, GA levels may be misleadingly increased because hypothyroidism prolongs albumin metabolism. Albumin metabolism returns to normal after thyroid hormone replacement [18]. In chronic liver disease, GA values became abnormally high because of the prolonged lifespan of albumin in patients with impaired albumin synthesis [19].. evidence (scientific and traditional) to. Opioid use in the ED to treat patients with headaches or migraines may have several negative ramifications including increased risk of revisit, hospital admission, and increased ED length of stay.. The finding is compatible with previous studies. The studies showed the most prevalence of well-differentiated OSCC.[14],[15],[16],[17] The findings were different from some previous reports which showed a more prevalence rate of moderately- and poorly differentiated OSCCs.[18],[19] The difference can be due to the type of samples. Unlike surgical specimens, diagnostic specimens in patients referred to clinics or patients who are involved with unknown lesions are typically in the form of incisional. Because of this, it does not represent all aspects of tumor such as lymph node involvement. In contrast, hospital-derived specimens consist of lesions as a whole and include all parts of the tumor. In these circumstances, pathologist has more insight to overcome the pitfalls of histopathologic diagnosis.. Renal tubulointerstitial fibrosis is a common pathologic condition that leads to end-stage renal disease. Several studies have demonstrated that oxidative stress is an important etiologic factor in renal fibrosis. Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) have evidence of accumulated oxidative stress caused by interactions between reactive oxygen species (ROS) and proteins buy modafinil australia carbohydrates, and lipids [1]. Oxidative stress is known to be strongly associated with increased cardiovascular mortality in patients with CKD and those on dialysis [2]. ROS increase lipid peroxidation and hydrogen peroxides and can injure DNA or protein function, which causes renal tubulointerstitial damage [3]. ROS is also involved in renal fibrosis by regulating inflammatory cell infiltration and extracellular matrix accumulation in the renal interstitium in human and experimental animal models. Therefore, it has been suggested that antioxidant treatment might ameliorate renal fibrosis and thus the progression of CKD [4, 5].. In both normal and pre-hypertensive groups buy modafinil australia the prevalence of CAC >0 was higher in subjects with increased hs-CRP concentrations (>2 mg/L). Adjusting for age, sex, cerebrovascular accident, coronary heart disease and diabetes mellitus, lifestyle, obesity, fasting glucose, triglyceride, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations, there was a significant association between higher hs-CRP levels (>2 mg/L) and CAC score in the normal group (OR 1.55, 95% CI 1.11–2.16; p = 0.010); a borderline significant association in the pre-hypertensive group (OR 1.33, 95% CI 0.99–1.76; p = 0.054); and no association in the hypertensive group (OR 1.01, 95% CI 0.76–1.33; p = 0.94).. to target DNA through recognizing PAM (Protospacer Adjacent. Esophageal manometry. The patients were seen in consultation at 1 month intervals. Questions were asked about the side-effects, menstrual abnormalities and also patients self-evaluation of the clinical effects of the treatment. After 6 months, rate of hair growth of the skin area, the mean caliber of three plucked hairs, and the Ferriman-Gallwey score of the skin area was evaluated.

The patients were seen in consultation at 1 month intervals. Questions were asked about the side-effects, menstrual abnormalities and also patients self-evaluation of the clinical effects of the treatment. After 6 months, rate of hair growth of the skin area, the mean caliber of three plucked hairs, and the Ferriman-Gallwey score of the skin area was evaluated.. This study underlines the high incidence of difficult intubation in FNB patients buy modafinil australia greater than 11.2%, and demonstrates that intubation is more difficult when realized at a burn center, probably because it is performed later, allowing for development of cervical and laryngeal edema.. we are less able to tolerate alcohol

we are less able to tolerate alcohol. Addition of the cold receptor agonist buy modafinil australia menthol, on the basal tension elicited a negligible response (Fig. 2), but resulted in a small relaxation of the trachea when introduced after the addition of a constricting agent such as 10-6 M methacholine (Fig. 3, 4). Low doses of menthol resulted in a mild effect on contraction and higher doses slightly relaxed the trachea smooth muscle (Fig. 4). At 10-8 M menthol, the tension was 99.5% of control values (Fig. 4). While at 10-5 M and 10-4 M menthol, the tensions were 80.1% and 71.0%, respectively (Fig. 4). The difference of tension among 10-8 M menthol and 10-5 M or 10-4 M menthol was statically significant (P<0.05)..

Two machine learning methods, the support vector machine (SVM) and Bayesian logistic regression (BLR), were used to capture risk factors in a community cohort of 1532 adults from the Cameron County Hispanic Cohort (CCHC). A total of 28 predictor variables were used in the prediction models. The recently identified genetic marker rs738409 on the PNPLA3 gene was genotyped using the Sequenom iPLEX assay..

TSP-1 is upregulated at early phase of TBI in WT mice. Compared to WT mice, TSP-1 KO (1) significantly worsened TBI-induced BBB leakage at 1 day after TBI; (2) had similar lesion size as WT mice at 3 weeks after TBI; (3) exhibited a significantly worse neurological deficits in motor and cognitive functions; (4) had no significant difference in cerebral vessel density, but significant increase of VEGF and Ang-1 protein expressions in peri-lesion cortex; (5) significantly increased BDNF but not synaptophysin protein level in peri-lesion cortex compared to sham, but both synaptophysin and BDNF expressions were significantly decreased in contralateral cortex compared to WT.. Group A streptococcus (GAS) [13]. Manifestations of acute rheumatic.

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Another month passes and I nearly forgot to add the next set of books to this still vast list that I will be picking from during August.  It is starting (!!!) to get a little out of control now…

 

Finishing Off (Still!)

Lotharingia – Simon Winder

Sea People – Christina Thompson

On The Marsh – Simon Barnes

Another Fine Mess – Tim Moore

Girl Squads – Sam Maggs

Bloody Brilliant Women – Cathy Newman

 

BLOG TOUR

Peacocks in Paradise – Anna Nicholas

 

Review Copies

Burning The Books – Richard Ovenden

Dear Reader – Cathy Rentzenbrink

Astral Travel – Elizabeth Baines

The Germans and Europe – Peter Millar

Britain Alone – Philip Stephens

We Own This City – Justin Fenton

Spaceworlds – Ed. Mike Ashley

Elites – Douglas Board

The Fugitives – Jamal Mahjoub

Invisible Work – John Howkins

Slow Trains Around Spain – Tom Chesshyre

The Power of Geography – Tim Marshall

Finding the Mother Tree – Suzanne Simard

The Four Horsemen – Emily Mayhew

The Spy who was left out in the Cold – Tim Tate

No Matter How Many Skies Have Fallen – Ken Worple

The Devil You Know – Gwen Adshead, Eileen Horne

Letters from Egypt – Lucie Duff Gordon

Nature Fast and Nature Slow – Nicholas P. Money

The Glitter in the Green – Jon Dunn

Borderlines – Charles Nicholl

The Sea Is Not Made Of Water – Adam Nicholson

The Pay Off – Gottfried Leibbrandt and Natasha De Terán

MAINSTREAM – Ed Justin Davis & Nathan Evans

Flight of the Diamond Smugglers – Matthew Gavin Frank

White Spines – Nicholas Royle

Above the Law – Adrian Bleese

Somebody Else – Charles Nicholl

Goshawk Summer – James Aldred

Fire, Storm & Flood – James Dyke

Walking Pepys’s London – Jacky Colliss Harvey

 

Library

The Nightingale – Sam Lee

Weathering – Lucy Wood

No Friend But The Mountains – Behrouz Boochani

 

Poetry

Slate Petals (and Other Wordscapes) – Anthony Etherin

 

Challenge Books

An Affair Of The Heart – Dilys Powell

Wyntertide – Andrew Caldecot

The Con Artist – Fred van Lente

Water Ways – Jasper Winn

The Night Lies Bleeding – M.D. Lachlan

Divided – Tim Marshall

The Wonderful Mr Willughby – Tim Birkhead

The House of Islam – Ed Husain

Asian Waters – Humphrey Hawksley

Light of the Stars – Adam Frank

Blue Mind – Wallace J. Nichols

21 Lessons for the 21st Century – Yuval Noah Harari

The Restless Kings – Nick Barratt

The Kindness Of Strangers – Ed. Fearghal O’Nuallain

To Obama – Jeanne Marie Laskas

What We Have Lost – James Hamilton-Paterson

 

Wainwright Prize

Vesper Flights – Helen Macdonald

Seed to Dust – Marc Hamer

English Pastoral: An Inheritance – James Rebanks

I Belong Here – Anita Sethi

The Wild Silence – Raynor Winn

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3.5 out of 5 stars

The more that we learn about the natural world the less we realise that we know. The interdependency of every living thing from the alpha predators to the nutrients that move through the system is finely balanced. The way that we have been disrupting and to be frank, most of the time ruining it, is now bringing to light issues that we never even contemplated.

In this book by Peter Wohlleben, he brings to life this web of intricate connections between the most unrelated of animals and plants. These crucial links are not just the predator and prey that ripples up the food chain to the apex predators that you’d expect. These are very important as an overabundance of a particular species can affect countless others if it is not kept in check by its natural predator. He compares it to a clockwork mechanism and in particular to a clock of his grandfathers that he thought that he could take apart and put is back together. He couldn’t and his grandfather was not best pleased.

We’ve already seen that most attempts at fixing things come to nothing, so why not simply trust mechanisms that are millions of years old to carry on functioning without us.

Using this analogy of how tinkering with a system can have massive unknown implications is the theme of the book. He explains how a lack of predators in Yellowstone meant a rise in elk populations who stripped swathes of the vegetation and caused a fall in insects and beavers whose habitats disappeared from the riverbanks. With nothing there to stop the flow, the rivers flooded more often. They released wolves in 1995 who found large numbers of easy to catch elk. As elk numbers dropped, the dynamic of the ecosystem changed, the elk no longer favoured open spaces, i.e. riverbanks, and the plants and trees began to grow back reversing the decline and stabilising the riverbanks once again. The main point of this is that the scientists had never even thought that this one change would have such a multitude of different positive effects in the park.

If you know where to look then you can find these links all over the place. He explains how salmon and trees have mutually beneficial links, why trees don’t like the taste of deer and how ants and aphids have a close relationship. He even looks at some of the folklore myths about the production of beech mast and acorn and given plausible reasons as to why these trees release masses of seeds every few years. Where there is life there is death too, each living thing that passes, from a tiny fly to a huge tree has a range of creatures that are waiting for that very moment; death becomes life and so the cycle repeats.

We need to leave things alone – on a large a scale as possible.

This is not a bad book overall. It is not full of flowery prose, rather it is a concisely written and pragmatic book that uses numerous examples of how the intertwined links in the natural world actually work. The main point that he is making in the book goes back to his clock story at the beginning of the book; namely that these systems are just so complex that even all that we know from scientists studying them, we know so very little of just how they work. It has similar themes to Tapestries of life by Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson that has been recently published and is worth reading as a pair.

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4 out of 5 stars

A copy of this was provided free of charge from the publisher in return for an honest review.

When it was first put forward as a source of power for the new age, nuclear seemed to offer almost limitless energy. It had begun to go out of favour until there was a resurgence after people realised that it did not emit as much carbon as coal and gas plants. Sadly the reality was much different. Sadly the enormous power plants only had a limited life span and the ones that were built in the 1960s are mostly decommissioned now.

And it turns out it wasn’t clean energy either.

It isn’t the carbon, rather the problem that humanity is going to have with the nuclear industry is the masses of radioactive waste that was generated in the production of uranium for power generation and plutonium that was needed for the weapons industry. Some of the materials are going to be deadly for thousands of years and the cost of decontamination mounts exponentially.

So where are we with it? And what can be done?

These are two of the questions that Fred Pearce sets about trying to answer in this enlightening book on the nuclear industry. He travels to some of the places that have suffered the worst nuclear accidents, Chernobyl is of course one, but there are others that very few people know about. He visits the places that are trying to make these materials safe for our grandchildren and their decedents who will follow. What he also finds is an industry that is struggling to manage the situation and find places where the long term storage facilities are starting to leak into the environment.

It is to be completely frank, quite scary stuff.

Even though this is three years old, the subjects that Pearce brings to light are deeply troubling. Namely, what are we to do with the gargantuan amounts of waste that the nuclear industry generates and the long term (i.e. thousands of years) solutions to neutralizing it or storing it in a safe and secure place. This is a very readable book that is understandable by the layperson too. Read this and be very troubled indeed.

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3.5 out of 5 stars

A copy of this was provided free of charge from the publisher in return for an honest review.

The planet that we live on is a finely balanced system. We have for far too long been buggering it up though and there is much evidence that we are reaching a tipping point. What people seem to forget is that we are as much a part of the ecosystems as the worm in your garden and the blue whale.

The intricacies and complexity of these relationships and how we interact with the natural world around us is something that has fascinated Ian Carter for many years. In this book, he has brought together a series of essays and articles that he has written over a number of years that look at the way that we and the natural world have co-existed and the benefits and problems that it causes.

It is split into four sections, Closer to Home where there are essays on rats and what birdwatchers do in the quiet months of July and August and even lets us know his favourite bird. The second section is titled Human Nature. In here he extolls the virtues of making mud pies versus playing  Mario, why we name creatures, how one person’s favourite is another person’s nightmare and that even dead animals have a place in the ecosystem.

The third section is titled Conflict. Here are some of the sticky subjects that he wants to deal with including the spectre of plant and animal non-natives, when should we intervene in rescuing wildlife and should we cull wildlife at all? The final section, Wild Places is looking at how we see wildlife; if the place you park has a pay and display machine can it be counted as a wilderness and the delights of the Isle of Skye in January.

I thought this was pretty good overall. Carter has been involved in conservation for over thirty years now. He started with the nature Conservancy Council before moving to English Nature. In his work, he has been involved in a variety of schemes including the reintroduction of Red Kites. This has given him valuable insight into the way that we interact with the natural world and he conveys just how we are dependent on those links to the wildlife around us. I like that the essays are short distillations of his thoughts about a particular subject and be read all in one go, or dipped into as and when it suits. If you want a slightly different perspective on our complex and complicated relationship with the natural world then this is as good a place to start as any.

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3 out of 5 stars

History may be written by the victors, but it is made by people from all walks of life. Who these people are is often overlooked in the grander history books, but thankfully we have authors like David Bramwell & Jo Keeling who are prepared to poke around in the dustier areas of our past and tell the stories of those that have made their mark in one way or other.

They have split the characters in this book into five different sections, the first is Tricksters & Subversives, Creative Mavericks, Wild at Heart, Pioneers & Inventors and Explorers of the mind. In each part, there are around ten different people that they have found and are telling the story of.

There are a few that stood out for me. W Reginald Bray was one, who in the pursuit of his art, posted anything and everything that he could get in a letterbox. Quentin Crisp who was camp and gay at a time when it was illegal to be, and Alfred Wallace Russell who worked out evolution at the same time as Darwin and is buried just down the road from me in Broadstone. Two particular favourites are Flora Tristan who stood up for injustice before anyone else and Joseph Campbell who took a huge pile of books to a shack in Woodstock and spent four years reading them.

If you want a history book that looks at the people who often go against the flow and you almost certainly haven’t heard of, then this is a good place to start.

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4 out of 5 stars

A copy of this was provided free of charge from the publisher in return for an honest review.

The arrival of the Covid virus into Europe changed the way of life across the continent. What was normal, suddenly became forbidden or restricted. Words that were rare in our lexicography suddenly became common; furlough, social distancing and isolation. The first lockdown was a bit of a novelty for everyone. However, as the virus ebbed and flowed around the population, people came to realise that these changes were here to stay for a while.

We were allowed out at times. If you could not work from home then you could travel to work and there was permitted exercise for an hour a day which I used to discover more of my local area. People reacted to these changes in many different ways and David Banning & Julian Hyde have collected in this slender volume text and images from 13 artists across the UK. The first page is a Year planner, wherefrom the 16th March someone has written ‘IN’ on every day until the end of June.

Some of the photos in here show the eeriness of the empty streets, the queues of people waiting to scour the empty shelves for something to eat. Trains that were once full of commuters are now rattling empty along the lines. Most poignant is a series of black and white pictures with the discarded blue face masks picked out in colour.

It was dark; even the faintest stars were unusually clear

I hesitated.
I was afraid of the empty streets.

If you are looking for a very different take on the pandemic so far, then this book is a very good place to start. The artistic responses here are as good as they are unsettling, the empty streets feel like spectral walks, the ghosts of people who once passed seep out of the concrete. Without the people passing the eerie geometries of structures are much more visible, and the surreal things that have been discarded add to the psychogeographical encounters throughout the book. As unsettling as it is, I really liked this, it picks up on themes from the excellent Unofficial Britain by Gareth Rees about those fringe parts of our urban landscape that are not normally seen and brings them to life.

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3 out of 5 stars

Generally, I am a beer drinker, but there are certain times over the summer when I like to have a cider or two. The acidity of the drink is very thirst-quenching and when chilled very refreshing. And I tend to think that it is one of your five a day…

Even though we think of apples as the archetypical English fruit, they originated from the mountains of Kazakhstan, where the wild Malus sieversii can still be found today. Those fruits are very unpalatable. However, with careful selection of hundreds of years, we have ended up with thousands of varieties of delicious apples that are now grown all over the world. There are the well-known dessert apples, crab apples, cooking apples, and of course, cider apples.

They have fantastic names too. For example, there are apples named Ball’s Bittersweet, Improved Hangdown, Bastard Underleaf and the best cider apple that there is, Kingston Black. I didn’t realise that one of my favourite apples, Egremont Russet is used for cider too. Apart from the Egremont, you wouldn’t want to eat any of these though, they are bitter, full of tannins and sour. But those qualities make them perfect for juicing and fermenting into cider.

I quite liked this book, it is a reasonable introduction to all manner of things about cider, with chapters on drink styles, orchards and the science of making cider. It is fairly comprehensive, but those looking for more depth would be wiser looking in other books. The writing is clear and concise and Cook really knows his stuff. There were a few new things that I learnt from here, for example, I didn’t think that you could grow apples in Sweden and Canada, let alone that they had a growing number of cider producers.

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4 out of 5 stars

A copy of this was provided free of charge from the publisher in return for an honest review.

Like everyone I like to think that I have some eclectic and fine tastes in music. However, judging at the looks on my children’s faces, sometimes they scandalously do not consider what I think is the best song that I have so far ever heard as worthy of troubling their ears. Mind you I think similar things about the music that they are playing…

That sums up just how personal musical taste is. A bit like reading really. I wouldn’t say I have a broad musical taste, rather it is pretty niche in particular genres but it does vary from folk to dubstep with some unusual avenues along that route. One of the things that I have never really been into was the phenomena of the late 1990s, Britpop. I quite liked the song, Wonderwall, but a lot of the other bands that existed then never really crossed my musical radar.

As the millennium came and went, and thankfully no one suffers from the bug, the music that took over didn’t crash to shore, rather it rose steadily and quietly like the tide coming in on a calm day. The New Acoustic Movement had arrived without a fuss. Not really considered cool, a lot of people thought that it had been unfairly overlooked, but sales of records proved that a lot of people liked the music that these bands were making. I must admit that a lot of this music escaped me, which has a certain irony, as at the time I was working for a hi-fi company designing multiroom systems and speaker cables and we played a lot of music for research purposes. Instead, at the time I was discovering lots of other bands and music styles that a friend was introducing to me.

One person who was into all these bands was Tom Clayton and one of the things that he felt was that thy were not getting the attention and recognition that he felt they deserved. Neither could he find much written about them, so he decided to write the book himself. His friends couldn’t believe that he wanted to write about these bands. This music had been around in his formative years, he loved them and he was sure that his friends did too, even though they were reluctant to admit it.

In five chapters he will take us through his key records of this era, He begins with Travis and The Man Who. There is a little history behind each band, who there were, where they cam from and a critique of each of the songs he has chosen.

I must admit that this type of music is not really my sort of thing, so much so that I had barely heard of some of the bands, such as Kings of Convenience, Badly Drawn Boy and Turin Brake he writes about. I had heard of Travis and we actually have Dido and Coldplay albums in the house. I couldn’t remember knowingly heard the music either, I. think at the time I was on a journey of discovery into Chicane and Afro Celt Sound Systems.

That said I really enjoyed the book. Clayton has a way with words that makes this book worthwhile reading. These are his favourite pieces of music so the way that he writes about them is warm and generous. There are personal anecdotes all the way through, these are the music that defined his formative years after all. The most amusing of which is where he gets to meet Guy Garvey while on holiday in Cornwall. Even though I haven’t heard many of these, I have been listening to the tracks with an open mind whilst writing this review. Thankfully, Tom has produced a playlist buy modafinil com on Spotify of his favourite tracks.

 

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3 out of 5 stars

A copy of this was provided free of charge from the publisher in return for an honest review.

Frogs have been around far longer than us and are found on every continent except Antarctica. There are thought to be around 8300 species of these amphibians. So far we have identified around 88% of them. They may be more, but no one really knows.

Sometimes you never know the true value of a creature until it becomes a memory – Suzy Cato

Most live in damp places as you’d expect, by being ever adaptable there are some that can live in deserts. This book is a collection of amazing photographs and quotes that Bishop has collected together. The text is from a variety of people such as  Harrison Ford, Colin Tudge, Roald Dahl, Lou Read and even one from a puppet; you’ve guessed it, Kermit.

When we save the frogs, we’re protecting all our wildlife, all our ecosystems and all humans – Kerry Kriger

This is a delightful little book. The quotes are quite memorable and amusing occasionally about our little amphibious friends. Couple this together with a series of stunning images and it is quite the visual feast. Seeing all these pictures reminds me that not all frogs are green; the colour variation between the various species is just staggering. There is a list of the species at the back of the book, but I did feel that it could have done with a few lines about each of them to highlight where they come from and if they are endangered or not.

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