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Ghostgrey51 (Britain)
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Garnier Skin Naturals Vitamin Enriched Cleansing Wipes 25
Garnier Skin Naturals Vitamin Enriched Cleansing Wipes 25
Price: £2.69

4.0 out of 5 stars The packaging seems to be good retaining the moisture of unused wipes, 17 Aug. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Review based on my wife's comments. Wipes were very effective at their job, and no astringent feelings either. Pleasant odour and plenty of cleansing lotion on each wipe. The packaging seems to be good retaining the moisture of unused wipes. As other reviewers have pointed out the pack is not an full calendar month's supply, and I have been reliably informed is a bit above the average price; overall judgement then is 'very good for when you feel your skin needs a bit of TLC'


Ink Jet Remanufactured Ink Cartridge Replacement for HP 301 - Tricolour
Ink Jet Remanufactured Ink Cartridge Replacement for HP 301 - Tricolour

4.0 out of 5 stars Effective subsitute, 13 Aug. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The previous occasion I used a remanufactured ink cartridge my HP 2542 print would not accept it. This version was a different story.

Upon installing the printer produced its usual test page and the alignment process went smoothly; my computer Printer Assistant showed a reading of three-quarters full for both cartridges, whether this was the case or simply the information problem which the supplier warn you about I cannot say.

As I download PDF docs for card model building the cartridges came in for some heavy demands in terms of quality and quantity and I was pleased with the results.

So in conjunction with previous reviewers I can confirm that these are good value for money


Storm Volume 2: Bring the Thunder
Storm Volume 2: Bring the Thunder
by Greg Pak
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Storm The Majestic, Storm The Rebel, Storm the Streetwise, Storm The Empathetic, 9 Aug. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This solo run of Storm’s set me thinking back to earlier tales in which she played an important role and how there had always been a streak of strong independence and through her powers an empathy with world around her.
In this the second volume Greg Pak continues to emphasise these traits; along with that commanding ‘Storm Riff’ (as spoken by Kitty Pryde when she was the ‘new kid’ at the X-Men).

Following on the formulae from the previous volume this is a collection of short stories, and considering the big ruckus that’s going on in the Secret War series (s), it’s probably an astute move as a longer run might cause a clash of continuities. It also allows space to make some pointed remarks about bigotry, corruption and the voice of a community, as well as a bit of humour.

I will try and outline without giving away large spoilers, but a few of the small to medium type might slip in, so warning and apologies.

The first tale which takes up approximately one-half of the book follows on from pervious events in which Storm was involved in trying to stop serious inter-gang warfare. She’s journeying home on a small private jet, another passenger is a senator and a currier with a transplant donor organ. The plane is attacked by one of those bunches of super-equipped private forces (the guys have flying suits); Storm saves the day but gets the blame. Senator is a weasel and part of a set-up (no that’s not a spoiler, is it, bet you saw coming). Storm is out to clear her name. No more about the plot. Nice addition of Rachel Summers, Hank & Kurt. For once the public are showing as being on a mutant’s side. Cracking good climatic battle with the real villan.

The second tale involves Gambit, in his role as king of Thieves and asking Storm if she would help him out in a quest to seek out some thievish things. Aside from friendship traps, they also have the annoying interruption of a super-geek wannabee thief. Both verbal and visual references to Raiders of The Lost Ark, a timely reminder that Storm has her own street-urchin thief past and ending with a punch-line (joke as opposed to sock in the jaw that is)

The third tale mostly takes place at the Jean Grey School. This involves someone from the relatively recent X-Men past (pre-Schism); I’ll say no more; there’s lots of action and Storm at her compassionate best; some of the drama taking place in a ‘mindscape’ and quite profound.

On the whole an upbeat collection; the theme of the Good in Folk overcoming the Negative running through the whole (well maybe not so much obvious in with the Gambit tale, but in Gambit’s world it would seem that way) and some good continuity from the previous volume.

Finally hats off to Victor Ibanez for his work; the art does great justice to Storm’s elemental powers, there are some spectacular scenes; the lady can still stop a destructive wave, and as for houses where creeps are hiding-pfftt! NO problem). The way her powers are portrayed Storm fans could set up a strong case for her being the most powerful of the X-men.

Recommended for Storm fans, folk who bought the previous volume and for those who like a strong story with a hopeful theme.


Katusha Book One: Edge of Darkness
Katusha Book One: Edge of Darkness
by Wayne Vansant
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.62

5.0 out of 5 stars Family Story Weaved in History, 5 Aug. 2015
Wayne Vansant has established himself in the niche of military history through Graphic Books and has a strong body of work.

This volume recounts the opening year of the Nazi invasion of the then Soviet Union through the experiences of a 16/17 year old Ukrainian girl Katusha and her family, parents, brother and sister and adopted sister Milla; later to be joined by widely travelled rogue and adventurer Uncle Taras.

In terms of reading military history the invasion Barbarossa the impression is giving of a military thunderstorm and flash flood sweeping all before it; which in that perspective has credence. Vansant takes a more nuanced approach at civilian level, at first the pressure is relatively slight, but gradually normal life slips away, the family is split and circumstances find Katusha, her brother and Milla led by the ever resourceful Taras on a long eastwards trek combined the partisan activity.

The narrative manages to combine the strength and love of family, compassion for others with the ever present brutality and suddenness of war. Although there is a level; of sentimentality and neighbourliness which some might at first find cloying, they would be shaken out of that perception by the sudden clear depictions of the massacre at Babi Yar the clear sights of death on the battlefield and the bodies of the innocent following action by one side or the other.
Neither Nazi nor Soviet regimes are spared scrutiny and it is only the heroism, compassion and perseverance of the Ordinary Person which is celebrated.

Katusha is a very likeable girl on the verge of womanhood, often portrayed with a wide-eyed innocence, surprise or horror, her determined comes through in a quiet way, counterpointing the grim descent of Milla (very understandable) into a hardened killer, the headstrong approach of brother Vasily and the ever-resourceful Taras; it could be said thus she is the most realistic and identifiable character. Taras seems to have an answer for everything and seems to know everyone, but not to worry, there has to be a mind of suspension of belief in these tales, and he’s generous Robin Hood sort of chap anyway.

Although the illustrations spare us nothing of the horror of war, the style is more rounded and softer in outline and colour than some graphics, making the episodes of relative peace and refuge something the reader can share. This is the first time I have encountered his work, some I can’t say how well this works in other books, but in this journey it fits perfectly.

Humour manages to find a space from time to time, such as when Katusha ask Milla about ‘it’ (Milla and Taras have become lovers-no problem; adopted remember), and gets the word ‘it’ stuck in her mind, so that even in the midst of battle when someone says ‘it’, she’s thinking ‘it?’ in quite another context.

Detail in military history can leave buffs sniggering or howling. It must be said in depictions of the machines of war Vansant’s work is excellent, right types of tanks, in right place at the right time, as it were. I would quibble about the accuracy of Russian troops being sent into action without rifles, also about their officers doing a runner (That was not an option under that regime! You’d be lucky if it was just you that got the bullet in the back of your neck and not your whole family).

Highly recommended in terms of art, narrative and characters.


Rexel JOY Tape Dispenser - Perfect Purple
Rexel JOY Tape Dispenser - Perfect Purple
Price: £11.14

4.0 out of 5 stars Expensive but robust., 3 Aug. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This dispenser is designed for small rolls, and even then you might find you have to ‘jiggle’ a bit to get the roll to fit; but that’s a ‘not to worry’ sort of issue.

The price is quite high for this type of equipment, but having said that it is tough and heavy should stand quite a bit of wear & tear and with its thick base be fairly static on a desk. In addition it is not so large as to dominate.

The serrated cutting edge is effective enough for a sharp clean cut; this being enhanced by the weight of the device.

As a piece of equipment for household or desk it comes recommended, if you are happy with the price.


Battat Garbage Truck Toy
Battat Garbage Truck Toy
Offered by LoosBooksNgames
Price: £9.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Tough, Colouful, Active, Not So Little Toy, 12 July 2015
This review is from: Battat Garbage Truck Toy (Toy)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a sturdy not so little product. 34.2 cms ( 1’ (approx.) x 18.8cm ( 7.5”) x 17cm (6.75”) and in the child’s perception double the measurements and so they are presented with quite a handful!

The parts are simple. Four moveable wheels, one detachable basic & smiley figure, 2 bins and a lever operated flat platform which mimics the ‘tip and empty’ function of the average ‘bin’ lorry of today. Also one very solidly secured exhaust.

The construction is of thick, rounded plastic which should stand any amount of vigorous treatment by the owner. The ‘tip and empty’ function is ideal for some play and education in co-ordination; in fact there is opportunity to place some ‘rubbish’ in the bins to add to the reality. The driver’s cab also hinges forward to allow easy access to the driver

This has been well received, although the bins have already been used in other roles, such a flying objects and stacking toys, while the driver has gone in the main body of the lorry more than once. The wheels allow for high speed over most surfaces; adults take note of ankles and any pets within range.

According to the box the company Battat also have a Front End Loader, Fire Engine, Cement Mixer and Dump Truck and the dimensions suggest some imaginative compatibility with the Duplo Range.

Judging by an albeit limited customer satisfaction survey this is a good product for that first ‘Proper’ ‘Big Toy’.


A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night [DVD]
A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night [DVD]
Dvd ~ Sheila Vand
Price: £7.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Eerie and compelling., 12 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I stepped right outside of my comfort zone when viewing this and am very pleased to have done so. Films reviews are not my usual area and I tip my hat to earlier contributors for the depth of their insight.

In Black & White at a USA location this depicts a stark remote industrial town, known as Bad City, where hope has withered and died and malevolence has taken its place; portrayed by the never explained wide trench littered with bodies.

The film tugs and twists at some of our common perceptions. The Iranian town is devoid of any of the theocratic influences a western audience would expect; the dynamic of the one family we see is that Arash the son has to care for his father Hossain who is ‘the drug addict’. The vampyric ‘Girl’ is a complex mix of the sensuous loner, vigilante and forlorn waif, devoid of any quality of evil and still threatening.

The pair meet against the backdrop of Arash’s struggle for his own identity and The Girl’s ‘mission’ and a tender understated love begins to grow; the blossoming being portrayed in a scene of slow, achingly poignant, tentative affections.

The cast is small which in a relatively short film brings more impact to the narrative and each carries out their role with much intensity. Both Marshall Manesh as Hossain, Arash’ wreck of a father and Mozhan Marno as Atti ‘The Whore’ convey pain and wretchedness and although your final judgement of both maybe different the performances are excellent.
In addition as previous reviewers I too must praise Mushaka, credited as ‘The Cat’ who inclusion confirms the old Hollywood adage ‘Never Act With Children or Animals’; seriously his positioning and presence in the final scenes add a surprising depth to an already potent dialogue free scene.

In conclusion the extras are a valuable and fascinating insight into the creation and production of this film.

Overall an impressive film which has taught me I must really widened my film going horizons


No Title Available

4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasant and Effective for Dry Skins, 6 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
My wife suffers with patches of dry skin and found this product very soothing and a comfort. There is no need to apply a great deal and the cream is absorbed quickly. The almond base leaves a most pleasant aroma (confirmed by me!). This product would be useful in many ranges of dry skin conditions, though you should check with doctor or pharmacist before using on broken skin. Quite informative information on packaging, though no leaflet included.
Recommended for common dry skin conditions.


Thomas & Friends Take-n-Play Thomas Engine
Thomas & Friends Take-n-Play Thomas Engine
Price: £5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Ideal start to the world of Thomas, 6 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Thomas & his friends continue to enchant children and the Take-n-Play series is an ideal way for them to start a collection. This is a charming little model but sturdy enough to take some quite robust treatment (eg Thomas taking a trip down the bannisters). Well received by grandson. Ideal toy for little treats and as said before for introduction to the series.
The packaging also comes with website information and as the coupling is magnetic words of caution.
Recommended


The Inner Enemies of Democracy
The Inner Enemies of Democracy
by Tzvetan Todorov
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £20.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Challenging and Valuable Contribution, 30 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Tzvetan Todorov of Bulgarian birth and formative years under the communist regime has been a French national for many years thus has experience of both a flawed totalitarian system and the traditional vibrancy of French thought and debate. By bringing these twin perspectives to a work warning on the dangers facing full and representative democracy he writes with an authority born out of experience.

Starting a brief introduction and overview of democracy Todorov outlines the basis of his comparisons and evaluations of forms of government by referring back to the 5th Century Christian passionate debate between Pelagius and Augustine of Hippo. To summarise Pelagius proposed that Humanity could seek salvation through its own efforts to commune with God while Augustine contended that the Church was vital in this process. Todorov parallels this with a basic tension within democratic societies today of the right of the individual with the need of a government to govern and thus hold the society intact.

Todorov then continues by examining the histories of the revolutions in particular The French and Russian cataloguing how in their urge to throw off the previous regime all its vestiges and replacing them with its own code, the continuance and security of the state subverted the rights of the individual. This he terms as political messianism and before the reader gets too smug about our democracies, he brings the western inclination to press its own ideas of government onto other cultures with force if necessary under a similar spotlight, choosing Afghanistan, Libya and Iraq as examples. To make us even more uncomfortable he exams the question of a selective rather than universal imposition.

Having viewed governments per se Todorov then turns his attention to the neoliberalism ethos of The Market being the solution to all society’s ills and challenges this belief on the basis that only the Wealthy truly benefit from this, while acquiescence of governments to removal regulations to aid The Market erodes the protection of the rights of the individual who have a lessened recourse through a democratic process as The Market does not respond to this.
Linked to this he exams the claim that everyone has the right to do as they would wish without thought for the effect this has upon society in general referring back to the opening chapter and the need for a balance between the need to govern and the rights of the individual. He uses as interesting term; The Tranny of The Individual invoking the notion in this reader of a growing selfishness masking as rights.

His examination of the way The West is dealing with Islam is interesting, suggesting there are laws in place to deal with the violent extremists and the culturally unacceptable (such as the despicable practice of killing or abusing women who will not do as the family tells them), without going to the extreme of regulating how a person might dress, particularly relevant from his viewpoint when considering the French laws concerning women’s clothing on religious grounds; the latter he argues is hardly democratic.

In his closing chapters he warns against the intolerance of those outside of the region’s cultural majority as seen by the rise through the growth of Populism, noting how many political parties espousing this creed include the term Democratic in their party’s name, whereas they are far from inclusive and tolerant.

This is quite a short book (188 pages in large font) and so makes for a relatively swift read. Overall the translation has been conducted quite well, though some passages might require a careful re-read. (Example: When discussing British and French colonialism the reader could be forgiven for thinking the writer is asserting France and not Britain completed its colonialization of India in 1858).
These are only minor quibbles; overall Todorov presents his arguments in a clear, concise and correct manner. In fact this is a book which is easy to pick up and re-read specific chapters.
His approach is also refreshing in that whereas USA policy, political system and the rise of the deliberately obstructive Tea Party come in for criticism he does not take the route of blaming all the world’s ills on the USA. Most of his reasoning is based upon political activity within Europe.

No doubt there will be those who will be angered by some of the author’s views on the Market and deregulation, there will be those who will be enthusiastically agreeing and hopefully those who will think/say ‘I never thought of it like that’. His overall message that we are passively journeying towards a dilution of tolerance and democracy to fit a narrow confine which suits only a few and not the whole is a powerful one.

Recommended, and hopefully will gain a wide readership. Certainly if you are concerned about the value of democracy in today’s cultures and societies then this is a book to read.


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