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Stephen Pletko "Uncle Stevie" RSS Feed (London, Ontario, Canada)

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How Do I Keep My Employees Motivated?
How Do I Keep My Employees Motivated?
by PhD George Langelett
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.22
24 used & new from $6.84

4.0 out of 5 stars Get this book for your favourite office tyrant!!, August 17, 2014

"I am concerned with the direction that corporate America is headed. I am convinced that empathy-based management is a healthier and more effective way to manage your employees than traditional management practices based on temporary inducements. The practice of empathy-based management needs to become a conversation in your organization and across corporate America about what works and what is ineffective in the real world. I hope you'll make this book a starting point for this much-needed discussion."

The above comes from the conclusion of this pioneering book by George Langelett, PhD. He is a professor of management and economics at South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD. Also, Langelett is a member of the Academy of Management.

So just what is empathy? Langelett prefers humanistic psychologist Carl Roger's definition:

"Real Communication occurs...when we listen with understanding. What does this mean? It means to see the expressed idea and attitude from the other person's point of view, to sense how it feels to be [that person], to achieve [that person's] frame of reference in regard to the thing [that person] is talking about."

Langelett defines empathy-based management as follows:

"A new protocol in which a manager's ability to empathize is a prerequisite to effectively performing the duties of management, including planning, organizing, leading, and controlling."

This book is well-written (though repetitive and wordy in spots). I liked the neuroscience that was presented which gives strong validity to the effectiveness of empathy-based management. I especially appreciated the conclusions or summaries found at the end of each chapter that included a preview of what was to be discussed in the next chapter.

Another hallmark of this book is that it includes hypothetical dialogue between a manager and employee in order to illustrate a particular empathetic technique.

There are six appendices. Each one is short and concise. My two favourite ones are entitled "A Journey through Management Theories of Motivation" and "Managing by Fear vs. Managing by Empathy."

There are also three worksheets. These are important because they allow you to put the book's core information into practice immediately.

Finally, the only problem I had with this book is that there is no index. This by itself is not a big problem since it can be made up for in other ways. For example, the table of contents, instead of just listing the titles of each chapter as this book does, could have had indicated the names of each section included in a particular chapter. Also, there could have been a glossary listing key words and key terms that are paramount to empathy-based management.

I say this because this is an instructional book and access to information is thus critical.

In conclusion, I feel that this is a pioneering work that may very well help change the direction of corporate America!! Best of all, empathy-based behavior is not difficult to learn as Langelett tells us:

"Management literature often treats empathy as a fixed personality trait. This assumption is incorrect. Much like learning to drive a car, empathetic behavior is a skill that can be mastered with practice by virtually anyone."

(first published 2014; preface; introduction; 5 chapters; conclusion; main narrative 135 pages; acknowledgements; 6 appendices; 3 worksheets; about the author; notes; bibliography; further reading)

<<Stephen PLETKO, London, Ontario, Canada>>


Land of the Pharaohs
Land of the Pharaohs
DVD ~ Jack Hawkins
21 used & new from $11.16

5.0 out of 5 stars The story of the FIRST WONDER of the ancient world!!, August 10, 2014
This review is from: Land of the Pharaohs (DVD)

"Now five-thousand years of might, mystery and majesty sweep down upon you as the story of the first wonder of the world becomes the greatest wonder of the entertainment world!

So vast, that making it was the screen's supreme achievement!

So powerful that seeing it will be your greatest dramatic experience!

A motion picture triumph that you will never forget!"

The above comes from the theatrical trailer of this engrossing epic.

We are presented with a fictional account of the building of the Great Pyramid (the oldest and largest of the three pyramids found in Egypt). (Note that the Great Pyramid served as a tomb for the Pharaoh.)

This movie stars two British actors: Jack Hawkins (1919 to 1973) and a young Joan Collins as Pharaoh Khufu (also known as Cheops) and his second wife, Queen Nelifer. They give good performances as do all the others involved in this spectacle. (Collins first appears about 39 minutes into this movie.)

This film has literally a cast of thousands (almost 9800 extras in one scene alone).

The sets are magnificently detailed including the pyramid's inner labyrinth, booby-trapped so no one can learn its secrets and live. You get to also see vast deserted vistas that fill the screen. The vivid colours shown are quite astonishing.

I thought that the background music enhanced each scene.

This movie was filmed on location in Egypt and in Rome studios.

Surprisingly, this film was a box-office failure since it did not quite break even. I don't know why it was seen as a failure.

Finally, the DVD itself (the one released in 2013) has two extras. Both are good.

In conclusion, this is a truly lavish production whose story can be summed up by what one character says:

"To build a tomb to house one man in his second life, thousands are finding misery in this life."

(1955; 1 hr, 45 min; wide screen; 27 scenes)

<<Stephen PLETKO, London, Ontario, Canada>>


God Is Not Great How Religion Poisons Everything by Hitchens, Christopher [Twelve Books,2007] [Hardcover]
God Is Not Great How Religion Poisons Everything by Hitchens, Christopher [Twelve Books,2007] [Hardcover]
23 used & new from $12.03

5.0 out of 5 stars A Theologian's Nightmare: "Thanks to the telescope and microscope, [religion] no longer offers an explanation of anything", August 4, 2014

"If I cannot definitely prove that the usefulness of religion is in the past,

[1] and that its foundational books are transparent fables,
[2] and that it is a man-made imposition,
[3] and that it has been an enemy of science and inquiry,
[4] and that it has subsisted largely on lies and fears,
[5] and been the accomplice of ignorance and guilt as well as slavery, genocide...and tyranny...
[6] [and that there is a] connection between religion, racism, and [dictatorship or] totalitarianism [as found, for example, in the Hitler and Stalin regimes],

I can most certainly claim that religion is fully aware of these criticisms.

It is also fully aware of the ever-mounting evidence, concerning the origins of the cosmos and the origin of species, which consign it to marginality if not to irrelevance."

The above is found in this fascinating book by Christopher Hitchens (1949 to 2011). He was a British-American author and journalist whose career spanned more than four decades. Hitchens was named number five an a list of the "Top 100 Public Intellectuals."

He supports his position that "religion poisons everything" with personal stories, documented historical evidence, and analysis of religious texts.

Hitchens is mainly concerned with the Abrahamic religions (the largest being Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) although he touches on other religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism.

I feel that the best way of conveying what this book has to offer is to list some of its chapter titles:

(1) Religion kills
(2) A note on health to which religion can be hazardous
(3) The metaphysical claims of religion are false
(4) Arguments from design
(5) Revelation: the nightmare of the "Old" Testament
(6) The 'New' Testament exceeds the evil of the "Old" one
(7) Does religion make people behave better?
(8) Is religion child abuse?
(9) A finer tradition: the resistance of the rational

One of my favourite chapters is the one where the author tells us that "there are, indeed, several ways in which religion is not just amoral, but positively immoral." These are:

(1) Presenting a false picture of the world to the innocent and [to those that believe too easily especially with no proof]
(2) The doctrine of blood sacrifice
(3) The doctrine of atonement
(4) The doctrine of eternal reward and/or punishment
(5) The imposition of impossible tasks and rules

Finally, the vocabulary used in this book is, in a word, impeccable. I, personally, appreciated this but some potential readers may have to resort to using a dictionary for some words.

In his book's acknowledgements section, Hitchens states,

"To all those...who live in...worlds where superstition and barbarism are still dominant...I hope this little book may fall [into their hands]."

In conclusion, I fully agree with the endorsement on the book's back cover that states:

"an intellectual willing to show his teeth in the cause of righteousness."

Christopher Hitchens may be the best since Bertrand Russell's "Why I am not a Christian" (1927) to laying out essential arguments with both force and precision!!

(first published 2007; 18 chapters; conclusion; main narrative 285 pages; acknowledgements; references; index)

<<Stephen PLETKO, London, Ontario, Canada>>


Struck by Genius: How a Brain Injury Made Me a Mathematical Marvel
Struck by Genius: How a Brain Injury Made Me a Mathematical Marvel
by Maureen Seaberg
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $20.34
79 used & new from $10.76

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A traumatic brain injury transforms an ordinary mind into a beautiful mind, August 2, 2014

"I struggled to my feet. Not only was I in a lot of pain, but I was having trouble getting my bearings. The world looked different: off-kilter, dreamlike. Everything that moved had trails of colored light following close behind it.

There were triangles and squares in repeating patterns wherever I looked, from the windows to the lampposts to the street signs...

I rubbed my eyes. The glow of the streetlights seemed amplified. I could see the cars going by, little chipped shapes bouncing off their hoods."

The above is what was experienced after a brutal mugging and is found in this fascinating book by Jason Padgett (and Maureen Seaberg). Padgett is now an aspiring number theorist. He's an award-winning artist who hand-draws the stunning geometric patterns he sees everywhere. (Seaberg is an author with several forms of synesthesia (see below). She has written for numerous notable publications.)

This book briefly describes Padgett's life before his TBI (traumatic brain injury) that resulted from a mugging and his long struggle to understand what was happening to him after his TBI. Padgett is determined to overcome psychological and neurological trauma and fully embrace his new mind that now has an extraordinary gift.

What is that extraordinary gift? Answer: acquired savant syndrome (the first documented case) with mathematical synesthesia.

(Savant in the term "savant syndrome" is one whose mental capabilities are quite limited but who possesses some extraordinary talent. Padgett's talent is mathematics and his other mental capabilities seem not to be affected as in the typical savant. Synesthesia is a process in which one type of stimulus produces a secondary, subjective sensation, as when some colour evokes a specific smell. In Padgett's case, he associates shapes with numbers.)

What's even more amazing is that before his TBI, Padgett was a party-loving jock and a college dropout who did not make it past pre-algebra.

This is a true story of sorrow and joy, of falling in love, finding a passion for mathematics and physics, and above all, discovering a profound sense of wonder for the order in our seemingly chaotic world.

Finally, there are twelve colour photographs near the center of this book. My favourite has the following caption:

"My conception of particle fusion [or nuclear fusion where two atomic nuclei combine to form a more stable heavier atomic nucleus resulting in a considerable amount of energy being released]. I imagine the center hexagon [in the photo] as the inert iron core of a star [like our sun] and the six surrounding hexagons [in the photo] as the outer mass, collapsing due to the immense pull of gravity. I'm fascinated by the process of fusion and the possibility of harnessing it to create unlimited, clean energy."

In conclusion this is a well-written book about the story of an ordinary man who was transformed when a traumatic brain injury left him with an extraordinary gift.

(first published 2014; a note from Maureen; 18 chapters; main narrative 225 pages; acknowledgements; bibliography; index)

<<Stephen PLETKO, London, Ontario, Canada>>


The Angel Ultimatum
The Angel Ultimatum
Price: $0.99

4.0 out of 5 stars This book is "dedicated to every caring person who has ever, or will ever live", July 25, 2014

"[In this analysis] we will approach the Bible as being the most complex literary puzzle ever created, and we will examine two completely different solutions [with respect to religion] to that puzzle."

The above comes from the introduction of this extremely interesting e-book by Alexander Mann. Mann is an author, producer, screenwriter, and actor. He develops new movie projects through his Production Company, Alexander Mann Productions, and works with notable talent throughout the entertainment industry.


In this book, Mann examines the traditional biblical explanation of creation where angels (supernatural beings) are created and whose actions in Heaven negatively affect the human race. There is, thus, a need for salvation through the Messiah, with the message of that salvation entrusted to religion.

Mann presents an alternative and, in my opinion, plausible explanation for everything that has taken place within the creation of individuals. Free will, the concepts of good & evil, and angels figure prominently in this explanation.

Throughout Mann's analysis, the role of religion is considered. (According to Mann, the word "religion" does not appear in the Old Testament Hebrew and only appears five times in the New Testament Greek.)

I was impressed with Mann's analysis. It is well-presented, thorough, and rational. As well, I was impressed with Mann's ability to conceptualize. As a result, I learned quite a bit from this book.

I'm looking forward to seeing the movie version of this book (of which Mann wrote the screenplay). It has already been announced on the Internet Movie Database (IMDb).

Finally, the only problem I had with this book is lack of references. The only reference given is that "all biblical references are from the New International Version of the Bible." However, there was information given that made me wonder where it was obtained. For a book of this type, I feel references are especially critical.

In conclusion, this is a well-written book. We're told in the "about the author" section that Alexander Mann has suffered the deaths of his older brother, his father, and most recently his mother. It seems to me that these losses combined with his ability to conceptualize (mentioned above) has enabled him to create an original work of depth that appeals to both the heart and intellect.

(First published 2014; introduction; 15 chapters; bibliography; about the author; 1740 KB; print length 90 pages)

<<Stephen PLETKO, London, Ontario, Canada>>


Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (Single-Disc Edition)
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (Single-Disc Edition)
DVD ~ Harrison Ford
Price: $9.27
481 used & new from $0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars A solid sequel and ending to the Indiana Jones series, July 19, 2014

"Whoever finds [the crystal skull] will control the greatest natural force the world has ever known."

The above (spoken with a Russian accent) comes from this science fiction adventure movie, the fourth film in the Indiana Jones franchise.

It was created by George Lucas and directed by Steven Spielberg.

This movie was released nineteen years after the previous film (the fantastic "The Last Crusade," 1989). It acknowledges the age of its star, Harrison Ford (who plays Indiana Jones) by being set in 1957. (Ford was 64 in this movie.)

This movie also pays tribute to sci-fi B-movies of the 1950s, pitting Indy against Soviet Agents who are searching for a telepathic crystal skull. The Head Soviet Agent is Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett, who gives a good performance).

Indy is aided by his former partner, Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen) and a "greaser," Mutt Williams (Shia LaBeouf). Marion appears in the last half of this movie.

To keep continuity with the three previous Indiana Jones movies, traditional stunt work was used instead of computer-generated doubles.

I personally enjoyed this movie. Yes, there are some absurd scenes (liked the "nuked the fridge" scene) but overall it was a good movie with, what I thought, was an important message. I especially liked the fact that this movie gave brief homage to Indy's father, Henry Jones Sr. (played by the first 007, Sean Connery) and to his late archaeological academic colleague Marcus Brody (Denholm Elliott, 1922-1992). We even get to see very briefly the Lost Ark (which was the relic Indy sought in the sensational blockbuster, "Raiders of the Lost Ark," 1981).

Although this film is no "Raiders" or "Last Crusade," it does have its moments.

Director Steven Spielberg said in an interview that "I'm very happy with this movie." (This is unlike his negative comments about the dark "Temple of Doom," 1984.) He even said Cate Blanchett's Irina Spalko was his favourite villain of the series. (Note that Blanchett was 12 years old when "Raiders" first came out.)

As with the previous films, this movie features the unforgettable music of the great John Williams.

This movie was a financial success, grossing over 780 million dollars worldwide, making it the franchise's highest-grossing film. (This is probably due to nostalgia for the series. I found "Raiders" and "Last Crusade" much more entertaining.)

Finally, the DVD itself (single-disc edition released in 2008) has 2 extras. I found both to be interesting.

In conclusion, this is a solid sequel to end the Indiana Jones series!!

*** 1/2

(2008; 1 hr, 55 min excluding end credits; wide screen; 16 scenes)

<<Stephen PLETKO, London, Ontario, Canada>>


How Sherlock Changed the World
How Sherlock Changed the World
DVD ~ .
Price: $13.11
29 used & new from $9.12

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's elementary! A documentary that blends real-life forensics with the fictional forensics of Sherlock Holmes, July 12, 2014

"Sherlock Holmes, the first CSI, continues to inspire detectives on TV and at the movies. He is as popular as ever. But his lasting legacy is that, even today, he continues to solve crimes."

The above is said by the narrator at the end of this spectacularly interesting documentary that blends real-life forensic analysis with Sherlockian forensic analysis.

I learned quite a bit from this documentary, not only about forensics but about Sherlock Holmes (and his alter ego, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, 1859 to 1930).

Using a combination of interviews (with forensic scientists, crime historians, Sherlock Holmes' experts, etc.), dramatic recreations, and archival footage (some in black and white), this documentary explains the impact and legacy of the most famous fictional crime fighter in history.

Here are some of the chapters found in this documentary:

(1) Jack the Ripper
(2) Deductive reasoning
(3) Blood evidence
(4) Bullets and ballistics
(5) The science of poisoning
(6) Fingerprints and fakes
(7) The art of tracing footsteps

Finally, what I especially liked about this documentary is the use of real high-profile murder cases with footage of the real crime scenes.

In conclusion, not only is this an instructional documentary on forensics, it is an entertaining one as well. I leave you with this piece of wisdom from Sherlock Holmes:

"Once you've excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."

(2013; 2 hr; 2 episodes; wide screen; 12 chapters)

<<Stephen PLETKO, London, Ontario, Canada>>


Shadow World
Shadow World
by Chris Impey
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.46
17 used & new from $13.10

5.0 out of 5 stars Is this a sci-fi novel? Only the SHADOW (and this reviewer) know for sure, July 5, 2014
This review is from: Shadow World (Paperback)

"If this [novel] is about anything, it's the boundary between creation and madness, art and science, the natural and the artifactual [meaning "of or related to artifacts"]. Characters are fictional although some are inhabited by amalgamated aspects of real people. The science is factual but I insert plausible speculation in places...

[This novel] hopefully explores new terrain between fiction, fantasy, and popular science writing...

[This novel] has twenty-eight sections organized into...chapters. Each [chapter] is geographically specific, connected to and yet disconnected from the [chapters] that precede and follow. Each chapter has a particular iconography: a celestial body, a substance, and an artifact."

The above comes from this VERY INTERESTING and well-written novel by Chris Impey (or Cimpey as he refers to himself). He is a University Distinguished Professor and Deputy Head of the Department of Astronomy at the University of Arizona. Impey is also a writer and has written many popular articles on cosmology and astrobiology, two introductory textbooks, and four science books. This is his first novel.

Many years ago I saw a science fiction (and horror) movie (directed by David Cronenberg). For those that didn't understand this movie beyond what was being shown, they saw it as a mess. For those who understood it, they saw it as exceptional. I saw it as a masterpiece.

The same goes for this novel. In my opinion, this novel is a masterpiece. (Unlike the movie mentioned above, even if you don't "get" this novel, it still is an interesting read.)

This novel follows the life of the Scot, McEvoy, from age 19 to age 40. It is filled with (among other things) action, adventure, family, philosophy, politics, science, steamy sex, travel, and even some religion.

Who is McEvoy? At one point in the novel, he's described as a "shadow person." He displays a wide range of behaviors. The most important, in my opinion, is that he is a questioner. (This is how the reader should be when reading this novel--as a questioner.)

We globetrot with McEvoy starting from the Arizona desert and ending up in Sweden, near the Arctic Circle. Each of the adventures (one per chapter) seems to be different from the other one with the only common element being our hero. In fact, after reading this novel, the unsuspecting reader might view it as a collection of short stories. (Don't believe me? Just read some of the reviews below this one.)

I'm here to tell you that this novel is definitely NOT a collection of short stories. As the author tells us above, each seemingly separate adventure is "connected...and yet disconnected."

I forgot to tell you that each time McEvoy goes to a different place, he doesn't remember how he got there. He has memory problems and other problems. Our hero has many "chance encounters" and "game-show twists" in his life.

I especially liked two things about this novel: the science and the humor.

Impey describes, through his characters, all the science quite well throughout his novel. The more of a science background you have, the more you'll probably enjoy this novel. (Realize though, you don't have to have a science background to read this novel.)

The humor found throughout is impeccable. (Impey must have been laughing uncontrollably to himself as he was writing some of this stuff.) Much of this humour is blended with fantasy. The separate fantasies (whether funny or not) that occur throughout this novel should tell you that something strange is going on.

Now, to answer the question posed in the title of this review: Is this a science-fiction novel? Definitely YES (but it's not obvious). In fact, it's an exceptional sci-fi novel! However, you'll only realize this if you consider the "big-picture," and not the snapshots presented in each chapter.

Tips on reading this novel:

(1) Carefully read the preface (much of which is reproduced above)
(2) Pay attention to detail
(3) Pay attention to the science
(4) Give special attention to the first chapter
(5) After you have read this novel, carefully analyze the two lists of objects found in it.
(6) Don't worry if you don't "get" this novel initially. (For me, I never understood this novel until I finished it!)

Finally, I found the cover image of this novel (displayed above by Amazon) quite relevant to its title. This cover image's artistic title is "Wintery."

In conclusion, Chris Impey has written an impressive debut novel. Now, the question is:

"Will he quit his day job and write only science fiction novels?"

(Perhaps he already has in some "shadow" universe.)

(first published 2013; preface; 7 chapters or 28 sections; 4 sections per chapter; main narrative 325 pages; about the author)

<<Stephen PLETKO, London, Ontario, Canada>>


[New Technology] OxyLED T10 COB(Chips on Board) 7-Level Touch / Sliding Sensitive Control Dimmer, Eye-care LED Desk Lamp with Free Angle Adjustment Gooseneck - Piano Black
[New Technology] OxyLED T10 COB(Chips on Board) 7-Level Touch / Sliding Sensitive Control Dimmer, Eye-care LED Desk Lamp with Free Angle Adjustment Gooseneck - Piano Black
Offered by Hisgadget Inc
Price: $69.99
2 used & new from $69.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A stylish, ultra-modern desk lamp that adopts energy-efficient solid-state Light-Emitting Diode (LED) technology, June 28, 2014

"[1] Seven levels [of] brightness
[2] Eye-protection
[3] Free-angle adjustment [of lamp light]
[4] Safe touching [or easy touching of lamp brightness controls]

[5] Long life [of LED bulbs]
[6] Energy saving
[7] Eco-friendly
[8] Top-class LED"

The above eight features are what you'll find printed on the back of the box that contains this ultra-modern lamp by OxyLED. (The name of this lamp that's printed on the box is "Dimmable COB Smart LED Desk Lamp" where "COB" stands for "Chips On-Board.")

Contents of the box:

(1) Desk lamp
(2) Adapter (attached to one end of a cord with a round plug-in at the other end)
(3) Instruction manual (six pages)
(4) Warranty card

I immediately took the lamp out of its box and was impressed by its design (pictured above by Amazon). This lamp appears to be of modular design consisting of these components:

(1) Lamp base (which has a touch panel to adjust brightness)
(2) Lamp arm (that is bendable or adjustable)
(3) Lamp head (which has the COB LED bulbs)

I was also amazed by this lamp's stability considering that you can bend the lamp arm a full ninety degrees from the vertical, it's not heavy, and it has a small base diameter.

This lamp is quite easy to set-up and operate. The instruction manual has large diagrams to guide you. Actually, I should say that it's "lucky" that there are diagrams because some of what's written can be confusing. For example, the adapter (indicated above) is referred to as a "charger" several times.

As well, the diagram showing angle adjustment in the instruction manual seems to be wrong. It shows how the angle can be adjusted through ninety degrees from, what appears, to be an arbitrary reference point. This diagram is incorrect because it doesn't take the ninety degree angle from vertical. In other words, you can only bend the lamp arm maximally from vertical to horizontal (or horizontal to vertical). Doing otherwise may cause damage.

I tried to find the longevity of this lamp's LED from the instruction manual. I encountered these statements: "LEDs have a lifetime of many tens of thousands of hours" and "Extremely long service life: >10000 hours." As you can see, nothing specific was given. By chance, I noticed on the box this lamp came in, a clearly defined information square above feature [5] indicated at the beginning of this review. It said "20 years 50,000 hours."

I take this to mean that the LED in this lamp has a longevity of (50,000 hours or 20 years). Is this true? Doing the math and crunching the numbers, (50,000 hours actually equals about 5.5 years). This result assumes that the lamp is on twenty-four hours a day for 365 days a year.

Perhaps, what they mean is that the lamp can be used for 20 years but only when used a certain amount of hours per day. (Certainly not twenty-four hours per day as indicated above.) Again, doing the math reveals the lamp could be used for just under 7 hours per day!! This is astonishing! (Personally, I thought this usage per day was going to be much, much less but the numbers don't lie.) This information should be in the instruction manual.

The instruction manual indicated nothing about support for this lamp if something goes wrong (such as a defective LED bulb burning out). No telephone numbers or Internet addresses are given. There is no mention of a warranty.

However, what the manual does say is "not [to] attempt to dismantle [this] lamp."

There is a separate "warranty card." (This card is small and I almost missed it.) It states that "You can return this product [within the warranty period] for a replacement for any valid reason as defined in our return policy." As well, an Internet address is given. I could not find any "return policy."

I checked out this lamp's website. It has a support page and there is a return policy. (Note that there is other stuff on this website, not just this lamp.)

Finally, I should explain my final rating. This lamp is "cool." It is sleek, stylish and easy to operate. I especially liked that it is LED eye protective and has a nifty angle adjustment. The light produced is soothing and relaxing. I give the lamp itself a rating of 5 stars. I was not impressed with the instruction manual for the reasons I outlined above. I give it 3 stars. My final rating is an average of these two separate ratings.

In conclusion, this ultra-modern "Dimmable COB Smart LED Desk Lamp" should provide you with solid performance for many years!!!

{LED bulb longevity: 50,000 hours (or 20 years using lamp 6 hours, 50 minutes per day); BASE DIAMETER: 4.5"; Length (bendable arm); 14"; Height (arm fully vertical): 25.5"; Height (arm fully horizontal): 14.5"; CORD LENGTH: 55"; Weight: 2.5 lb; Colours: piano black or snowflake white; Model: T10; WARRANTY: 1 year; Website: hisgadget dot com; Made in China}

<<Stephen PLETKO, London, Ontario, Canada>>


Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Offered by Brand New Rarities
Price: $13.97
3 used & new from $12.29

4.0 out of 5 stars YES! A worthy sequel to "Raiders of the Lost Ark", June 21, 2014

"The search for the cup of Christ is the search for the divine in all of us."

The above line comes from this fantasy-adventure film that was directed by Steven Spielberg from a story co-written by executive producer George Lucas. This is the third installment in the "Indiana Jones" franchise.

The "cup of Christ" in the above quotation refers to the Holy Grail, the cup used by Jesus at the Last Supper, and used to collect drops of Jesus' blood at the Crucifixion.

Harrison Ford, Denholm Elliott (1922 to 1992), and John Rhys-Davis reprise their roles as Indiana Jones, Marcus Brody, and Sallah respectively.

Sean Connery (who played the first 007) gives an outstanding performance as Indy's father, Professor Henry Jones, Sr. (Recall that Indiana Jones hates snakes. Can you guess what his father hates?)

In this film, set largely in 1938, Indy searches for his father, a Holy Grail scholar, who has been kidnapped by the Germans (because they want his knowledge to find the Grail).

River Phoenix (1970 to 1993) appears in the opening sequence of this movie as Young Indiana Jones. He gives an exceptional performance. This sequence shows the origins of Indiana Jones' hat
(a fedora), bullwhip, chin scar, and phobia to snakes.

Also, look for the mature Indiana Jones' face to face encounter with Adolf Hitler (1889 to 1945) and the three booby traps he must overcome to obtain the Grail.

Spielberg wanted to make this film because he wanted "to apologize for the second one." (The second film was "Temple of Doom" [1984].)

You'll find that this movie has the spirit and tone of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" (1981). It does not quite reach the heights of "Raiders" and definitely avoided the lows of "Temple." This movie has the added advantage of showing a good father-son dynamic.

The wonderful music of the great John Williams adds to each scene.

It was filmed in England, Spain, Italy, Germany, Jordan, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Texas, and California.

Finally, the DVD itself (released in 2008) has six interesting extras.

In conclusion, Indiana Jones returns in all his exciting glory in this movie!! And remember, in archaeology, "'X' never ever marks the spot."

**** 1/2

(1989; 2 hr excluding end credits; wide screen; 36 scenes)

<<Stephen PLETKO, London, Ontario, Canada>>


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