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Susman "Sussman" (London Mills IL)
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China's War with Japan. 1937-1945: The Struggle for Survival by Mitter. Rana ( 2013 ) Hardcover
China's War with Japan. 1937-1945: The Struggle for Survival by Mitter. Rana ( 2013 ) Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Second World War remains a festering sore for China, 25 April 2015
Even today it is plain to see that there is an `edge' to relations between China and Japan if not outright hostility at times. To better understand the present and future, it is wise appreciate what transpired in the Second World War between the nations. Mr Mitter's description and treatment is a list of sufferings, undergone by China that continues to haunt the region. For China and other neighbouring states the Second World War remains a festering sore that has never healed properly. Chinese protesters frequently take to the streets, protesting Japan's derisory acknowledgement of its wartime carnage in China and its claims to borderline islets in the East China Sea.

The author begins his study by delving into the history before the war. This is where European imperial powers had carved out `empire' and had left the country like patchwork quilt of war lords and inept government. Japan had had eyes on China for some time and their gradual encroachment began as far back as the later part of the 19th century. When total war finally arrives, there is ineptitude and poor military planning that serves the Chinese poorly, while the Japanese are well organised and superior in military hard ware, their air arm is unleashed upon the civilian population. As European outposts and vested interests fell like dominos in the Far East to the Japanese tsunami, the Chinese did resist and it had not been for this stubborn resolve, maybe the fate of India would have been much different.
The sad truth that is brought to the fore was as the Chinese were fighting the Japanese they also fighting amongst themselves over ideology and perceived treason. Apart from the occasional sounding from the League of Nations there was no help from the `West' in terms of arms, materials or strategy. When the West does take interest the relationship is both complex and compromised to certain degree by Imperialistic bigotry, these are just some the threads that run through book.

Mr Mitter's goes to primary sources as he uses journals to put a human face on the narrative by illustrating accounts of dread of air-raids, there is the contradiction of turncoats and the quick-witted desperation of refugees. There is of course the routine description of battles and engagements; whereas Chiang Kai-shek and his nationalist Kuomintang party tried to fight the Japanese by conventional means Mao's communist cadres used guerrilla tactics.

This is complex and at times hard to follow narrative, as you inundated with a lot of detail, which is no bad thing in its self. This weighty piece of research, that is worth reading as it deals with a part of terrible war that has, in a way, shaped China into the country it is today.


Toshiba Satellite L50-B-1HX 15.6-inch Notebook (Black) - (Intel Core i3-4005U 1.7GHz, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, Windows)
Toshiba Satellite L50-B-1HX 15.6-inch Notebook (Black) - (Intel Core i3-4005U 1.7GHz, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, Windows)
Price: £382.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good laptop with certain excptions, 25 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
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Toshiba Satellite L50-B-1HX 15.6-inch Notebook has a good hardware specification. However, the pain of getting used to dreadful windows 8.1 is a real burden; we find the "number pad" on the right side of the keyboard very poor as well as the "copy and paste" function which we believe to be a problem with the sensitivity of the keyboard. All the other criticisms are Microsoft related and the fact that windows 8.1 are really designed for touch screens and not standard laptops, and if Microsoft wants it to be used in standard laptops, they should adapt it for this purpose. They certainly charge enough for their products to supply this service.

An apology for being repetitive, but Windows 8.1 is truly awful and has a long learning curve just getting to grips with it. In the end we used third party apps to give the feel of windows 7; we therefore keenly await windows 10. On setup you will need to set up a Microsoft account (another pain!) if you don't have one. Its form factor is relatively light and thin unit with an ok black colour, although the shiny surface will pick up finger smudges and alike with annoying ease. The screen is clear and bright and the speakers are good for this laptop. The Keyboard and mouse pad, are not well designed as the right and left click are not disenable from the pad itself. Using WIFI and Internet are good. Not a fan of the new MS Office 365 subscription service and hence used an older version of MS Office. If you need word-processing, best to download Kingsoft Office as it is free, it seems to be a “clone” of Microsoft word. The laptop boots up from start quickly.
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Camp X-Ray [DVD]
Camp X-Ray [DVD]
Dvd ~ Payman Maadi
Price: £20.19

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When Ali meets 'Blondie', 23 April 2015
This review is from: Camp X-Ray [DVD] (DVD)
Possible Spoilers

A film, that at first glance portrays the mundane nature of life in Guantanamo Bay, is absorbing, and scenes of detainees - let us not forget they are not prisoners - in black hoods and orange jumpsuits is still a startling image, but the allegories with which Sattler plays on are from WikiLeaks articles about the institution and other works about the War on Terror.

The character of Ali is bit too good to be true because he has a fine mastery of the English language and Harry Potter books. He is clearly bright and educated; he has a sense of comedy in spite of his situation. It is easy to see how for Cole aka Blondie - finds it not hard to find mutual ground with Ali, and for Ali not to find shared ground with Cole. The resultant still gives over to impressive performances by Moaadi, but - and here is the key point, the only time we have exchanges with any other detainees is when they are yelling at the guards or acting up. Even a subplot about Cole being sexualised by her superior Corporal Ransdell (Lane Garrison) when she spurns his aggressive sexual advances also has potential but fizzles to nowhere - apart from his jealousy of Ali and his `apparent connection' to Cole.

One thing that needs to be pointed out is how the film captures the monotony of life at Guantanamo Bay well. There are several long camera shots of the MPs walking in a circle around the cellblock looking in on prisoners one at a time to make sure they are not doing anything like killing themselves. As Ransdell points out to the latest batch of guards, they are not there to stop detainees from absconding; they are there to thwart them from dying. It is a justly forbidding, but sums up their main duty on the base. The recurring nature of life in Guantanamo Bay is a repetitive theme, and it adds surprising tension in the film's most climactic exchange concerning Cole and Ali.

Finally, Camp X-Ray is not going to change hearts and minds, what it is - is a compelling character piece, and it is very well acted by the two leads that are natural, engaging and accomplished at generating candid instants of surprise and impulsiveness.


Sony Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo HX Memory Card - 16GB - High Speed 50MB/s
Sony Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo HX Memory Card - 16GB - High Speed 50MB/s
Offered by digital memory card
Price: £23.45

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sony 16GB Flash Memory Card, 23 April 2015
Got this for my partners' video camera - replacing the original card that was slow and small in capacity. We are happy with the read and write speeds. When installed you will not get the full 16Gb from the card - but that is to be expected, so please bear this mind.On the face of it - it seems to considerably improve video camera performance and has allowed for a larger amount video recording. All in all we are pretty happy this newer card from Sony.


Samsung SL-M3870FW/SEE - M3870FW A4 Mono Multifunction Laser Printer - A4 Mono Multifunction Laser Printer. 38 Pages Per Minute. 1200x 1200 dpi Resolution. 128MB Internal Memory. 1 year warranty.
Samsung SL-M3870FW/SEE - M3870FW A4 Mono Multifunction Laser Printer - A4 Mono Multifunction Laser Printer. 38 Pages Per Minute. 1200x 1200 dpi Resolution. 128MB Internal Memory. 1 year warranty.
Offered by LambdaTek ComponentShop
Price: £300.24

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is a good mono multifunction laser printer, 23 April 2015
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Rating: 4.5

This is a mono multifunction laser printer, with quite a small `footprint' in terms of size of device.

What you have here is a multifunction laser printer with duplex (this ability covers both printer and scanner). There is the facility for wireless printing, as well as network printing. You get a multi-purpose tray for feeding non-standard paper (labels, envelopes, etc.). The fold-out multi- purpose tray on this machine will auto feed up to 50 non-standard sheets (in addition to the standard paper tray). This machine is loaded with features, more than we have found any use for. I have printed out a few pages, and the print looks very sharp compared to our old Epson Aculaser CX11N.

It is a real boon to be able to scan over the network, with a scanner that is reasonably impressive in its own right. For the price paid, at time of purchase - you get plenty of small to medium business features for the price of a budget printer. The only things we cannot comment on at present is how long the starter ink will last and long term durability and the rigors of regular use. However, for the present time, my colleagues and I pretty happy with this replacement laser printer.

As the purchase price can vary for this item, it is best to shop around.
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Brand New. Really Useful Storage Box Plastic Lightweight Robust Stackable 50 Litre W440xD710xH230mm Clear Ref 50C
Brand New. Really Useful Storage Box Plastic Lightweight Robust Stackable 50 Litre W440xD710xH230mm Clear Ref 50C
Offered by A2B Stationery Ltd
Price: £12.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strong & Robust - Storage, 23 April 2015
These are very useful storage boxes, and unlike other makes these are very sturdy, they have a good firm seal between lid and box. We have bought a number of these for office storage of files and other documents. Best to shop around to get best price.


Toy Story Battlesaurs Reptil
Toy Story Battlesaurs Reptil
Price: £10.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reptillus Maximus , a former antagonist fromToy Story That Time Forgot, 22 April 2015
This review is from: Toy Story Battlesaurs Reptil (Toy)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Reptillus Maximus is great character from Toy Story That Time Forgot, he is Carcharodontosaurus dinosaur - but framed with humanoid shape and its corresponding attributes. His narrative is one of a reformed adversary. His armour is lovely and distinctive, covering the upper body with the “Battlesaur” crest over his chest and armour that covers his lower body. His armour is somewhat reminiscent of the military wear from antiquity. He carries a mace with red spiked crystals. This is a nicely detailed toy that should leave any Toy Story enthusiast quite happy. At nearly £11 per character toy this is going to be a relatively expensive set to collect.

This is nicely realised toy from the Toy Story franchise, although at a price.


Canon Legria HF R66 High Definition Camcorder - Black (3.28 MP, 32x Optical Zoom, 57x Advanced Zoom, Wi-Fi and NFC) 3-Inch LCD
Canon Legria HF R66 High Definition Camcorder - Black (3.28 MP, 32x Optical Zoom, 57x Advanced Zoom, Wi-Fi and NFC) 3-Inch LCD
Price: £267.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Canon Legria HF R66 is Good, 22 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
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The Canon Legria HF R66 High Definition Camcorder is a relatively “small” full HD camcorder. What you get is built Wi-Fi adaptor and 8GB of built-in storage for your videos. To supplement storage needs there is additional storage in the form of SD card slot, which combined, means you have a fairly large volume of storage at hand. The HF R66 has a very good user interface. Returning to the built-in Wi-Fi there is good cross platform connectivity as you can upload videos to your smartphone, tablet and stream to your smart TV. Via your router you can access the camcorder through your Pc/Mac; however, you'll need the HDMI output if you don't have a smart TV to connect too. The on-board Intelligent IS means there’s no need to worry about camera wobble. It adjusts to the scene you’re shooting, by design selecting the optimal image stabilisation mode for you.

The user can recorded in different formats (AVCHD + MP4) to the internal memory (8GB) and an SD card concurrently. This means you can capture high quality footage for personal use, while distributing lower resolution, and hence quicker to transfer version, to other smart devices, as well as the social media web sites. At about two hours operating time, the HF R66's battery life isn't too bad, although this has not changed on this range since 2012. There is very good image quality. The HF R66 offers the following connections Mini HDMI and Mini USB ports. However, for those people who need a microphone input there is none - which is sad as cheaper camcorder models seem to have this included in one form or another, I really cannot understand this omission. The Legria HF R66 is easy to hold and handle, which is due in part to the hand-strap's comfortable padding. Although light in weight, it does not seem to be cheaply made, the hinge, which attaches screen to camcorder body, feels firm and durable.

To sum up then the lack of a microphone input is a disappointment. However, the other positive aspects of this Camcorder, such as its versatile 57x advanced zoom, low light abilities and the other details mentioned make this a keenly priced product compared to its nearest rivals. This then makes HF R66 a rather good Buy.
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A Little Chaos [DVD] [2015]
A Little Chaos [DVD] [2015]
Dvd ~ Kate Winslet
Price: £12.50

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars We saw this film at the London Film Festival October 2014 (in the Love Gala section), 21 April 2015
This review is from: A Little Chaos [DVD] [2015] (DVD)
We saw this film at the London Film Festival October 2014 (in the Love Gala section).

Kate Winslet (Sabine De Barra) plays a landscape gardener employed by King Louis XIV, via the chief gardener André Le Nôtre (Matthias Schoenaerts) to design a fountain that will be a centre piece of the gardens at Versailles. Her boss is a man who prizes order above all. Sabine is the breath of fresh air that the stuffy geometry of Versailles needs. To gain her position she needs to overcome gender politics, where her skills are belittled, by her so called colleagues, who see her invading their work place. This unfortunate theme continues, although she is soon charming all she meets and innovating with fresh approaches to horticulture. Never the less, Sabine struggles with class barriers as she becomes romantically entangled with the court's renowned landscape artist.

This is a narrative where there is scheming at the Court of King Louis XIV, a “vipers nest” of gossip and shenanigans, where Helen McCrory is bristling with predatory feline feel as a woman who believes she is scorned and thus holds great resentment towards Sabine. There is much for the viewer to take in, with colourful back drops, and the even more colourful characters of the court. Rickman himself plays King Louis XIV, the Sun King at Versailles, with a dry befuddlement. Stanley Tucci is in fine glitzy form. This is a film, which at its core deals with women and their relationships. Winslet’s Sabine is a woman fraught with her own inner demons, as well as the world at large. This then is a film that has its detractors, although my partner and I thought the film was a relatively fun period piece – and believe it is worth seeing.


Rob the Mob [DVD]
Rob the Mob [DVD]
Dvd ~ Nina Arianda
Price: £5.75

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A film partly based on a true story, 20 April 2015
This review is from: Rob the Mob [DVD] (DVD)
A couple from NY Queens focus on robbing “mafia social clubs” stumble upon a score bigger than they could ever imagine, and thus becoming targets of both the mob and the FBI in the process. A film Starring Michael Pitt and Nina Arianda as Tommy and Rosie, a couple who, initially, make their living by holding up shops, florists and anywhere that has cash-till. After a period in jail, Tommy comes up with an idea why not rob the mob. In his eyes, they are just a bunch of old men sitting around with no guns and lots of money. In addition, can they call, the cops? Well that is very unlikely – so in essence you have the perfect crime.

The film has dark humour taking the form of the squabbling between the couple; about their inconsequential troubles, while Tommy is holding an Uzi and is about to hold up the mafia. The obvious comparison would be to Bonnie and Clyde, as they are the nicknames given to them by the press. The viewer is rooting for Tommy and Rosie, and for their success. However, we are also given a flip-side look at the leader of that mafia family, his past and what his situation. The humour played a huge part in the film, making light of the mafia, this “aged organisation” feared by many, and believed by some that they did not exist.
Ray Romano played the part of Jerry Cardozo, a journalist covering the mob case in the court and the unlikely friend of Tommy and Rosie. Ray plays underpaid and sceptical journalist who became an unlikely friend to these young people, helping them gain nationwide recognition. You get a great performance from Michael Pitt who plays an erratic person driven and fired by his passion for his girlfriend and his intent on procuring revenge for his father who was a constant victim of the mob.

Overall, this film was enjoyable. It provided some great laughs, likable characters and good directorial attention to detail. A film partly based on a true story, which always helps bring that sense of near “realism” to the film and makes the narrative that bit more impressive.


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