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Liam S (England)

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Asus EeeBook X205TA 11.6-Inch Ultrabook Laptop (White) - (Intel Atom Z3735F 1.33 GHz, 2 GB RAM, Integrated Graphics, Windows 8.1) with Free Windows 10 Upgrade
Asus EeeBook X205TA 11.6-Inch Ultrabook Laptop (White) - (Intel Atom Z3735F 1.33 GHz, 2 GB RAM, Integrated Graphics, Windows 8.1) with Free Windows 10 Upgrade

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely good value for money., 30 Sept. 2015
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I was a little hesitant at first purchasing the EeeBook with, let's admit it, not the best specs, but I am so glad I did. I purchased this primarily as a portable word processing, web surfing and research tool for university and it is perfect. Not only does it look fantastic, but it is extremely light and the battery life is beyond anything I could have needed, it lasts for all of the working day... And then some.

As soon as I received it I upgraded it from the pre-loaded Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 without a hitch (took about 2 and a half hours), although I do recommend purchasing a 64gb (or more) microSD which are cheap enough. The fact that it comes with a 1 year Office 365 key for Office 2016 is extremely generous, as is the 500gb+ of free cloud storage for 2 years.

This is not a heavy duty machine for CPU, GPU, or RAM intensive tasks such as gaming or heavy multimedia. It also has poor viewing angles but looks great face-on. The webcam is also outdated, so if a good quality webcam is of high priority I'd recommend purchasing a plug in, or altogether different laptop. But for Skype calls to family / friends it is good enough, for anything professional it is a no go.

It is perfect for web surfing, word processing / Office tasks, listening to music, watching videos (I often use YouTube and Netflix), and general day-to-day tasks, for these it is quick, snappy, and responsive. Well worth the money.

Runners Reflective Wrist Wallet Band with Zipped Pocket Secure and Store SPI Small Personal Items Keys, Cards, Coins, ID, Identity. Reflective Detail for Hi Viz High Visibility whist running cycling, exercising, jogging etc. Combo Product Package - Comes with Handy MovoBright Carabina Clip Also Shown.
Runners Reflective Wrist Wallet Band with Zipped Pocket Secure and Store SPI Small Personal Items Keys, Cards, Coins, ID, Identity. Reflective Detail for Hi Viz High Visibility whist running cycling, exercising, jogging etc. Combo Product Package - Comes with Handy MovoBright Carabina Clip Also Shown.

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nifty, 4 Jun. 2014
Nifty little running wallet at a great price. I never did like my house-key jangling about in my pocket when I go for a run. The pouch concealment isn't very large, but more than enough room for essentials (I.e. I use it for £2-3 in coins and my house key).

It should fit most wrists (unless very large or swollen), at least one third of the band is stretch-farbic allowing you to pull it over and once in place is suitably comfy. I've used it 3 times a week for a year now and it's still in perfect condition after being covered in mud, falling and scraping my arm, several washes, and all weather conditions. An absolute essential running accessory. 5/5.

automatic rolling machine
automatic rolling machine
Offered by discount world store
Price: £1.86

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bad quality, 3 Jun. 2014
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I formally gave this a 5 star review. Having used it for approximately three weeks, the pin keeping the hinge together fell out, my first rolled fairly well beforehand. The second I ordered came with a dint in the bottom of the tin, it rolled poorly, and the cloth blind started tearing. I've reverted to rolling by hand, and don't even use this for storing my tobacco instead using my £1 Bull Brand tin from Asda.

Cheap in cost, cheap in quality.

Terrorism and Hostage-Taking in the Middle East.
Terrorism and Hostage-Taking in the Middle East.
by W A Ruwayha
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Fanatical delusionary addled ranting., 28 Nov. 2013
The title may infer this book is a commentary of hostage taking in the Middle East in general, it is not. It is a one sided anti-Western, anti-Israeli, and in some cases I would propose outright anti-Semitic polemic. As stated on page 38, the aim "of this book [is to] clearly see how notably the U.S.A. and israel [sic] have picked up the British colonial spirit and methods." From thereon in, it descends into nothing more than an apologia for State Sponsored Terrorism of Arab Nations, and attack on the West and Wests alleged use, some of which cannot be correlated without wildly elaborate opinion which reads more like a conspiracy theory than a history. I am not against the anti-Western bias despite my own leanings towards the superiority of liberal ideals nurtured in the West (which the author rejects on page 43), but against the failure to implement proper academic balance, or language. Anti-Colonial in nature, it condemns strongly any Western intervention or role in the Middle East, specifically Israel, with strongly bias language, whilst underplaying and generally quickly flouncing over or outright ignoring the history of Arab colonialism both in geographic Palestine and Europe. The author is also a supporter of a one state solution, one in which Israel does not exist, perhaps furthered by every second reference to Israel preceded by "the so-called state of".

Whilst I am a Zionist and proud, I am happy to read the other side of the argument, but there is no argument, the author states page 46 vis-a-vis the U.N. Resolution 3379 denouncing Zionism as racism, "I agree totally with calling zionism a 'satanic religion'", of course 3379 was revoked in 1991 the year following publication. The author continuously switches, in the same page, paragraph, and sometimes sentence, the word 'Jews', 'Zionist', and 'Israel' when referencing one, identifying them all as one and the same, ergo also smears Jews under the harsh language employed.

It is also worth mentioning the author makes it clear through numerous references in his support for the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion as a factual and credible historical document, the documents of which have been proven fraudulently beyond question, the author states "'World Conquest Through World Goverment: Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion' is starting to come true".

Furthermore despite the author being Arab, there is also racism against fellow Arabs, the same type that can be heard which perpetuated Arab on Arab bloodshed across the Middle East, page 47, the 'Arab who has a different form of thinking, who still thinks with an agricultural mentality', really? This is just getting silly now, either fellow Arabs are incapable or outright unable to think for themselves in the eyes of the author.

Furthermore, the author, probably thinking himself smart in his employment of language, does so poorly and obviously, in an attempt to incriminate the West and Britain he provides a number of documents substantiating the 'hostage-taking' of a number of Christian and Muslim citizens in the Middle East during the Mandate, of course trying to redefine the term prisoner, with little or no reference to the reasons for imprisonment in the first place -- he probably feels the need to staunchly defend his father who was imprisoned by the British after he fought against Israel in the 'Arab zionist' war of 1948. This is somewhat baffling, the author has a love of quoting U.N. Resolutions throughout (believing argument ad populum establishes moral right), whilst admiring his father for attempting to defy the U.N. Resolution which legally established the State of Israel, after all, Israel accepted the Partition Plan, even if unfavorably after the previous splintering of Transjordan as an Arab State, the Arab States and his father, didn't.

This work is a joke, and a bad joke at that. It treats the West with contempt, treating it by its worst moments, whilst treating the Arab World by its highest. There is no balance, and dishonesty throughout. Redefinition and application of words to suit the authors poorly constructed arguments. It is nothing more than a heavily bias, paradoxical, fallacious, contradictory, historically weak, protracted diatribe based on altogether abstract grounds and conjecture.

The Jewish Study Bible: Featuring the Jewish Publication Society TANAKH Translation: College Edition (Bible Hebrew)
The Jewish Study Bible: Featuring the Jewish Publication Society TANAKH Translation: College Edition (Bible Hebrew)
by Adele Berlin
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Immense scholarship., 7 Sept. 2013
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Having purchased this Jewish Study Bible during my introduction to Judaism I am very pleased with the scholarship and immensity of scripture and additional information within. I would only recommend purchasing the hardback, as I soon intend on doing, as the paperback becomes quickly worn out due to the lightweight paper used and heavy depth of the book causing havoc with the book spine. I'd also recommend purchasing a copy with English and Hebrew paralell text, whilst this volume is impressive it doesn't include the Hebrew text, due to its size for obvious reasons.

The only criticism aside, I'm most pleased and very impressed with this volume. In opening the book you are met by a short introduction and short glossary of terms and their abbreviations which proved most helpful to someone new to the Bible. Each division of the Tanakh, the Torah, Nevi'im, and Ketuvim are introduced with information regarding their compilation, contents, terminology, etc, whilst each book within these divisions such as the first book of the Torah, bere'shit (Genesis) can also be met with an informative introduction which eases you into the text. The accompanying commentary of the text throughout is clear, concise, and informative, engaging and informing the reader, it gives an honest account of the text and addresses many common textual criticisms, engaging and forcing the reader not only to look at the text, but to give in-depth thought to the discussion of the text.

This is furthered by the two dozen scholarly essays concerning the Bible and its interpretation across the eras, in different settings, traditions, philosophies, etc. Whilst perhaps a little difficult to access mentally at an introductory level, they highlight many important themes and address many questions the reader will undoubtedly be faced with in reading the Bible. These insightful essays are themselves reason enough to purchase the volume.

It is then capped off with several tables on the timelines, historiography, chronologies, calendars, and maps, with a healthy sized glossary and bibliography which I look forward to exploring further.


Nescafé Azera 60 g
Nescafé Azera 60 g
Offered by Biblegifts
Price: £17.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I'm converted., 7 Sept. 2013
This review is from: Nescafé Azera 60 g (Grocery)
I received 6 free samples outside my local train station as a Nescafé team promoted this alongside their Cappuccino, always a herbal tea drinker before (not including the occasional 'Caramelette' treat at my local coffeehouse) the marketing ploy has worked and I have been converted.

The aroma is a little weak but don't let that fool you, it has a deep smooth taste, easy on the palate and goes down a treat, and has none of the insipid and bitter aftertaste that put me off other coffee blends. It doesn't quite live up its claimed 'barista style' but I feel it is the closest you'll get during the morning rush. I enjoy this with demerara sugar and a little whole milk which gives it a sweet caramel taste and intensified the smooth texture and creamy flavor.

The Lucky One - A Prize Winning Short Story
The Lucky One - A Prize Winning Short Story
Price: £0.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A story of survival and emotional self-torture., 4 Sept. 2013
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The story follows Susannah Zuckerman as she nears the end of her life, and her struggle to come to grips with her survival of the Bergen-Belsen camp during the Shoah as her memories of her life being spared and her becoming as the title suggests 'The Lucky One', whilst others die around her, her memories begin to blur into reality as she decides to revisit the place that caused her distress and changed her life forever.

Excellently written and emotionally powerful, this is a story I'd recommend everyone read. It's free and will take 10 minutes of your time, but be prepared to reflect on what you've read for an hour or more after. 5/5.

Judaism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
Judaism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
by Norman Solomon
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars A comprehensive introduction and beyond., 31 Aug. 2013
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I am generally pleased with this introduction to Judaism and its main philosophical, theological, cultural, and historical components. It goes into a great depth of detail concerning the origins of Judaism and its values and historical movers and shakers and the settings in which they lived and espoused their teachings.

The first quarter of the book is focused almost primarily on the comparison between Judaism and Christianity and asking the questions of how and why they split and what is the key differences are. That being said, for someone such as myself raised tinok shenishba and with no great in-depth knowledge of Christianity either, this can be a little difficult to grip and it isn't helped by the fact that the writing is very dry and jargonisms abound throughout. For someone who wants to dip their toes into the knowledge pool they may find this work a little cold and difficult to access, for those wishing to pursue knowledge beyond this book then it's a great book to jump right into. Thankfully I belong to the latter as I wish to study with a local shul upon entrance to university next year, and this book is an excellent reference point for topics of interest to study further.

The information packed into this tiny work is admirable however. The book takes you on a journey from exploration of Jewish identity (I feel this could have been expanded on including current inter-Jewish debate on Jewish identity both in Israel and the diaspora and the cultural, historical, and secular conceptions of Jewish identity), through the history of its great thinkers and philosophers who shaped Judaism and how it is now known, taught, and lived. Through to the way its teachings are practiced, explanation of its calendar and most important festivals, and its spiritual importance.

This then takes you back through to the comparison with Christianity and modernity in Chapter 7 and 8, a comparison of Jewish denominations (I feel there is a slight bias towards the Reform movement. Despite the author being an Orthodox Rabbi, there was a denouncement of his attitude as closer to Reform, although largely personal, see an article by Rabbi N. Daniel Korobkin "When Orthodox scholarship is neither"). Then through a very small history of Zionism and Israel which could have been expanded upon, even 4-5 pages in travel books I have read are more comprehensive of these topics which find themselves in constant discussion on both sides of the political spectrum. And finally, information on Holocaust theology and law regarding abortion and artificial insemination.

The book is then capped off with Maimonides Thirteen Principles of Faith, and the Statement of Principles of the Philadelphia Conference regarding Reform Judaism, and a wonderful chapter by chapter suggestion for further reading.

I wont pretend to be able to expand on the knowledge already provided in this book, although believe there was little room for improvement and further information within. I appreciate however that the author was probably commissioned to write this and had limitations, and with that said, has done an astounding job. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in Judaism.

What Papa Told Me
What Papa Told Me
Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Emotionally draining and heartbreaking., 30 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: What Papa Told Me (Kindle Edition)
This is a heartbreaking story following Murray Schwartzbaum's life from his beginnings in Szczkociny, Poland, through the desperate conditions of the Nazis, and his move to the United States that had me in tears by the end.

Living life with a fairly average family, although considered affluent in comparison to the village, the author tells of Murray's family and fathers lumberyard. His father having been stabbed in the back by his brother, a young Murray resorted to desperate measures by burning the yard to the ground in an attempt to claim insurance. However this plunged the family into further poverty as the insurance company contested and Murray moved to Ustron to work for the Freud family, who became his adopted family whilst there, and sent money home. A year later after the company paid out, Murray returned home and then moved to Bedzin.

Following the Kristallnacht in Germany, Murray's brother Joseph had himself smuggled to the German border where he entered Russia. Upon the invasion of Poland by the Germans, the fact Murray survived the following horror is astonishing. Beginning with his families plans to move back to Szczekociny (only 10% of the Jewish population of the town survived), they were warned by Jewish spies of German soldiers in Polish uniforms who had rounded them up and marched them to Slavkov and shot them into the Warta River. Escaping this and continuing to live in Bedzin in fear, Jews in the area were made to distinguish themselves with yellow armbands and restricted to curfews of 5 pm. When they started receiving letters and packaged from Joseph who had settled in Rostov, Russia, working for the Pravda communist paper, Meyer refused to dislose his sons location and was subsequently beaten.

Upon the rounding up of the young Jewish men of the town, Murray slid into a chimney to hide only to be ratted out a Jewish policeman named as Blum. Subsequently sent to numerous labor camps, satellite camps, and concentration camps Murray went back and forth between camps living the horrors of each. Starting with Sosnowitz, then Gogolin, then to Maslovitz, Ostenzants, back to Maslovitz, then to Direnfort Labor then Direnfort Concentration.

The author also re-tells Murray's story which turned my stomach in which a Jewish inmate stole a potato from a pig on the camp farm, and being caught was held down and had the potato shoved in his mouth, breaking his teeth, then shot twice in the head before being drove around tied to an army jeep, before an officer disgustingly exclaimed "You see, a pig is more important than a Jew!", the brutality of this had my eyes water.

He was then one of 200 sent to Fintichien he learned of his uncle who was a Muselmänner, and died several days later. His cousin Weitzenberg was also there, who selfishly refused food to his own cousin due to having no smuggled goods to pay for it. From there to Gross-Rosen in 1943, a camp also noted for the Nazi hunter Simon Wiesanthal. After which if his time wasn't hard enough, he was sent to Braunschweig, rumors of oncoming Allied forces pushed the Germans to load inmates, largely Jews, Russian POWs and homosexuals, into carts which the British mistakingly took for Munitions trains and bombed. Of 6,000 moved only perhaps 800 survived to continue the forced marches by the Germans.

Against all odds, Murray with his strength and determination survived and was marched to Bergen-Belson where he found his sister Cesia. To survive, he hid amongst dead bodies but still lived in fear of prisoners cutting his flesh off as some did with the bodies out of sheer hunger.

This book relays all the horrors of the camps and the life of its inmates. Upon liberation things briefly looked up for as he was treated alongside his sister, then went onto Nuremberg and Regensburg where he married a woman he had met in Bergen-Belsen, Fela Gurke.

Moving to America, Murray's determination to succeed and build a new life really shines through as he hops from job to job and place to place. Even here it takes many years before he finds peace, as a long lost uncle refuses him a job, his wife is sexually harassed by a doctor, he is operated on by a doctor and kind soul for his thyroid, the doctor dying several weeks later in a tragic car accident, and buying his own grocery store whose subsequent owner had overcharged and faked documents. Despite all this, he perserved against all odds and through events that would have admittedly broken me and many other people. He tells of having three children with his first wife Fela, who, due to the horrors she relived daily in her mind, was found hung by two of her children in 1959.

Years later Murray re-married Tosia Jakubs following his daughter Rochelle's marriage, and Tosia strength helped him continue, and at eighty-six learned of having cancer, which has receeded but not fully disappeared.

I hope Murray lives out his remaining years in good health with the warmth and love of his family around him. Even with his life written out and the horrors retold, I cannot even begin to imagine or relive in my mind his story. May it never happen again. Stories like this keep the memories alive so hopefully it never may, many thanks to the author for retelling.

Advancement of the Species
Advancement of the Species
Price: £2.22

4.0 out of 5 stars Short but packed full of suspense., 30 Aug. 2013
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SPOILERS: You've been warned.

The book begins with the Overseers, an unidentified being I can only assume is of godlike proportions to monitor and take interest in a seemingly uninteresting individual and central character of the story, Rodney. Rodney who, like the author, suffers from numerous disabilities, is a lost soul in a hectic world who is a social outcast and relies upon his emotionally abusive mother for everything. He lacks from motivation or will to do anything with his life, that is until his mothers unforeseen death due to her alcoholism. With no father or family to turn too, he is lost and lonely - Until he comes across a book he purchased unknowingly: The Veileder, a philosophical guide for every aspect of life... And death.

The Veileders author, Dr. Krokulf contacts Rodney out of the blue requesting Rodney to make the lengthy journey in order to meet him. With his blood flowing and a new found determination, Rodney makes the six hour journey only to be involved in an accidental car crash off the road just short of reaching his objective. Awaking the next morning, he continues with his quest on foot through Vennskap Valley, when he stumbles across the true reason he is there; contacted again by Dr. Krokulf he is pointed in the direction of his objective when he comes across a beautiful young woman, Amber. Amber leads him into a hidden Utopian-like society living in the valley under the protection of a dome constructed by Dr. Krokulf, an engineer and technical prodigy of savant-like proportion.

We are then greeted with Dr. Krokfulf's story of why the society was founded, for those outcast in society to create a better society, away from the society that seemingly loathes them, a society tainted by selfishness. Instead, Vannskep Valley's society is founded on the belief that the 'meeks' as they are referred several times can found an egalitarian society through education and restriction. That being said, I could immediately predict, not perfectly, the direction the story would then take. Dr. Krokulf's reminiscence of rejection from his family, peers, and society has heavy anti-corporate and anti-capitalist undertones. I knew from this moment on this version of society was my idea of hell on Earth, and reflects an extreme form of Utopian socialism.

Several months pass and Rodney who has found commonality with the disabled-made-abled and empowered citizens of Vennskap Valley has become partnered with the attractive ex-model-turned-disfigured outcast Amber, and now works for the societies Centre of Education. Children are monitered under extreme conditions, including their vital signs. Diets are strictly controlled. Television and contact with the outside world is strictly forbidden. However all of its citizens live seemingly peaceful lives. That is until Doug, another citizen with Cerebral Palsy, goes missing after mocking another citizen.

Visiting Dr. Krokulf whose health has taken a turn for the worse, Rodney is handed a mysterious key. Krokulf then quickly slips away and dies. Continuing his search for Doug, Rodney secretly enters into the forbidden and Orwellian named Centre for Correction, to find that far from being a place of treatment, those who have broke the rules are severely tortured in the worst ways humanly possible according to Dr. Krokulf's demands. Far from being a peaceful man, Krokulf reflects real life henchman such as Josef Mengele or even Adolf Eichmann, and like these people his obsession with perfection is exposed.

Returning to Amber, Rodney reveals the key and Amber has him follow. With much being unexplained, the military find the secretive society and helicopters penetrate its dome with soldiers rappelling from ropes and guns shooting. Heading for an underground installation underneath the society, Amber leads Rodney to a control station where she attempts to use the key against her own fingerprint. Unsuccessful, Rodney quickly realizes the key is for a biological missile that will destroy humanity. Revealing what his found and the fact he has barely read The Veileder, he is quickly disposed of by Amber who uses He, the chosen one by Krokulf, to launch the missile.

The Overseers who interrupt the flow of the story throughout for inclusion of anecdotes regarding the state of humanity and its comparisons against other species, summarize what has happened before quickly turning their attention to another Earth-like marble planet, where the reader will find a quick 'pick-me-up' cliffhanger from the chaos and destruction of the story.

This short story is engaging and suspenseful and easily read over the course of an afternoon or several work breaks. I would certainly recommend it and hope Ian Quin the author writes another lengthier book, perhaps without the Overseers, as I personally found their interruptions tiresome. 4/5 - money well spent.

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