Thursday, July 29, 2010

Review Day

There are no spoilers in these reviews.

Under and Alone by William Queen:
Reasonably priced at $6, this was the last Kindle book I read on our Washington-California vacation, and tells the tail of an ATF agent who goes undercover with a criminal biker gang for two years. It's a fast-moving page turner, even though some of the details seem more fictional than true. It also made me look shifty-eyed at all of the California bikers we'd pass daily around Santa Cruz and its environs.

Final Grade: B+

Neti Pot:
I've had some throat and nose congestion problems ever since my bout with strep throat last October, so I thought I'd try out a Neti Pot, which flushes out your sinuses with warm saltwater. It took a few tries to mix the right concentrate that didn't burn like drowning (1 cup warm-to-hot water and 1/4 teaspoon of salt per nostril, erring on the side of hotter and saltier), but I can tell that there are immediate results after flushing: it becomes almost effortless to clear the pressure in my Eustachian tubes. You don't actually get to see any grossness ooze out of your nose, which was kind of disappointing, but your airways definitely feel clearer in the aftermath. I've been using it daily for about two weeks now, so I can't tell if the effects will persist in the long-term. I also think "Neti Pot model" is an inauspicious way to break into the biz.

Final Grade: B+

Puzzle Dimension:
Puzzle Dimension is a turn-based 3D puzzler, where you navigate a ball around a maze collecting flowers so you can activate the exit. The ball is always on the "ground", so as you rotate onto a ramp, the entire world shifts around you (see a gameplay trailer here). The presentation is very nice, with old-fashioned Nintendo style music that refines into live instruments as you collect more and more flowers, and the puzzles get hard very quickly. There isn't much twitch-action, other than the need to hit spacebar to jump over gaps sometimes, but the camera can be a little tricky to maneuver when dealing with the more convoluted worlds.

Final Grade: B

Bride and groom accidentally kill wedding photographer
New Zealand pizza lovers suffer information theft from Hell
Cops issue cat alert for feline that caused wreck

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