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Capitalised Education: An immanent materialist account of Kate Middleton
Capitalised Education: An immanent materialist account of Kate Middleton
Price: $7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deconstructing the media's projections of power, wealth and privilege, August 4, 2014
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“Capitalised Education” by David R. Cole is a highly original, fascinating and thought-provoking study on capitalism and its symbolic use of Kate Middleton. Mr. Cole is an Australian academic whose brilliant scholarship draws inspiration from the masters of French post-structuralism, Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari. This excellent book helps us see through the capitalist media spectacles of our time while encouraging us to speak truth to power.

To provide perspective on Kate Middleton as media sensation, Mr. Cole discusses a number of significant ‘plateaus’ from British and world history. These include Diana Spencer’s death on August 31, 1997; King George VI’s speech to the commonwealth on September 3, 1939; the rise of communism and fascism in the early 20th century; the declaration of Queen Victoria as Empress of India in 1877; the Industrial Revolution of 1815-1825; the struggles of Henry II and Lady Eleanor on 1150-1200; and of course, Kate Middleton’s wedding on April 29, 2011.

In the spirit of Deleuze and Guattari, Mr. Cole eloquently analyzes the various cultural, political and social forces that have shaped our perceptions of these historic plateaus. In particular, I found Mr. Cole’s discussion of the plateau of King George VI to be enlightening. Drawing upon his own family’s history to flesh out the narrative, Mr. Cole muses about the relationship of monarchy to a fading empire; the ‘tobacco death wish’ of a generation addicted to nicotine and the impending dread of total war; and the state’s institutionalized persecution of conscientious objectors who were opposed to war.

The end result is a nuanced and sophisticated analysis of the various meanings we have come to associate with the British royal family. Of course, Kate Middleton can be understood as personifying the ordinary person’s aspirations for upward mobility. More importantly, Mr. Cole connects capitalism with the scripted theatrics of the royals to explain how the working class has been pacified by media projections of corporate power, wealth and privilege.

I highly recommend this outstanding book to everyone.


Dawn Ultra Antibacterial Hand Soap Dishwashing Liquid, Green, Apple Blossom Scent,  24 Ounce (Pack of 2)
Dawn Ultra Antibacterial Hand Soap Dishwashing Liquid, Green, Apple Blossom Scent, 24 Ounce (Pack of 2)
Offered by Since 1901
Price: $13.29
7 used & new from $9.62

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ideal for clean-up time, July 31, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Having used the product several times on my greasy pots and pans, I can safely say that Dawn Ultra Antibacterial Hand Soap is a household necessity.

I'm not sure that I would replace my everyday hand soap with Dawn. Prior to mealtimes and throughout the day, my preference is to use organic soaps in order to avoid dyes and chemicals. However, I'm finding myself using Dawn to wash my hands when I have a tough job to do, for example after gardening and or a mechanical chore when I have a sticky or greasy mess to clean. Dawn simply works much better than an organic soaps in these instances.

More than anything, Dawn has succeeded in formulating a dish soap that is tough and effective on breaking up greasy pots and pans while being as gentle as possible on the hands; making it ideal for clean-up time. Soak pots and pans for a few minutes with Dawn and clean-up is made signiciantly easier than before. The bottom line is that I can handle the task of scrubbing pots and pans after meals without worrying about the effects of harsh chemicals on my hands. And that is a very good thing.

I highly recommend this very useful product to everyone.


Weed Land: Inside America's Marijuana Epicenter and How Pot Went Legit
Weed Land: Inside America's Marijuana Epicenter and How Pot Went Legit
Price: $13.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How California has shaped public opinion about weed, July 26, 2014
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“Weed Land” by Peter Hecht offers a fascinating, place-based history of the struggle to legalize marijuana. Mr. Hecht is among a select few award-winning journalists to specialize in full-time reporting on the cannabis industry in California. This excellent book offers one of the most insightful, engaging and interesting narratives on how the government’s war on weed is well on its way to being burnt out.

Mr. Hecht shares California’s experiences over the past two decades, from the disgraceful raid on the compassionate care organization WAMM to the founding of Oaksterdam University, the emergence of a grow economy in Humboldt County, reefer research, pot doc dispensaries, the defeat of Prop 19 and more. Through his skillful research and storytelling, Mr. Hecht demonstrates how California has led public opinion and shaped the debate about weed across the country.

On that point, we understand how the historic vote to legalize the recreational use of cannabis in Colorado and Washington states were informed by California’s successes and failures. On the one hand, we see how California entrepreneurs have played a significant role in ramping up the pot industry in these states. On the other hand, the city of Los Angeles’ troubled dispensary system no doubt influenced Colorado’s decision to draft a far more comprehensive set of rules for its fledgling cannabis industry.

Mr. Hecht is to be commended for profiling the many courageous individuals who have risked personal freedoms and fortunes for the cause. These include WAMM’s Mike and Vickie Corral; Oaksterdam’s visionary founder Richard Lee; pot ‘chronnoisseur’ Dragonfly de la Luz; medical cannabis researcher Dr. Donald Abrams; Harborside Health Center’s Steve DeAngelo; unionizer Dan Rush; and many more. Of course, Mr. Hecht criticizes a few of the black hats who have exploited the struggle for their own gain, including the robotic federal agent Patrick Kelly and the unscrupulous pot scamster Yan Ebyam.

I highly recommend this book to everyone.


Windex Multi-Surface Cleaner Spray, Crystal Rain, 26 oz (Pack Of 2)
Windex Multi-Surface Cleaner Spray, Crystal Rain, 26 oz (Pack Of 2)
Price: $5.98

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very useful and effective product, July 23, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I am very impressed with Windex Crystal Rain. It is an ammonia-free product, meaning it is safe to use on most surfaces (whereas ammonia can be troublesome for acrylic, to cite just one example). In my case, I have a glass kitchen table top so it is important to use a product with the lowest toxicity possible.

More than anything else, the clean I have achieved using Crystal Rain is fantastic! I have found it very easy to clean the surface by spraying and wiping away the grime with a cloth. I achieved a non-streak, crystal clear finish by polishing with a dry rag. Overall, I have to say that this very useful and effective product did exactly what I hoped it would do.

I highly recommend Windex Crystal Rain to everyone.


Sotareño
Sotareño
Price: $9.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Original, captivating and charming, July 20, 2014
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This review is from: Sotareño (MP3 Music)
"Sotareno" by Carolina Calvache is definitely one of the most original, captivating and charming jazz debut recordings in recent memory. Calvache is a native Colombian pianist who at age 28 has gained recognition for creatively blending her homeland's musical traditions with contemporary acoustic jazz. This excellent set, which features Calvache's original compositions alongside her inventive new interpretations of South American folk classics, invokes an uniquely lyrical, rhythmic and soulful Latin jazz sound that is all her own.

The celebrated Latin jazz pianist Luis Perdomo helped Calvache assemble top-notch talent from the New York City jazz scene for this project. Calvache's lyrical piano stylings are ably supported by the rhythm section of Hans Glawischnig on bass and Ludwig Afonso on drums (with Antonio Sanchez on drums on one track). The horn section consists of Michael Rodriguez on trumpet and Jaleel Shaw on alto saxophone, who shines throughout as the main musical counterpoint to Calvache.

I highly recommend "Sotareno" to everyone interested in hearing a fresh, unique and compelling musical statement from a gifted young artist.


Against Austerity: How We Can Fix the Crisis They Made
Against Austerity: How We Can Fix the Crisis They Made
by Richard Seymour
Edition: Paperback
Price: $20.09
24 used & new from $10.60

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incisive, working class perspective, July 14, 2014
“Against Austerity” by Richard Seymour offers a timely, intelligent and passionate perspective on the austerity struggles in Britain. Mr. Seymour is an influential journalist and author who articulates an incisive, working class perspective on the critical issues of our time. Although Mr. Seymour discusses austerity using multiple points of reference, it is probably helpful for American readers to have some basic knowledge of U.K. politics to fully appreciate the author’s key points, narrative and rhetoric.

More than anything, Mr. Seymour argues that austerity is a manifestation of upper class power. Mr. Seymour explains how the state chose to implement cheap credit policies at the urging of the big banks in order to keep an increasingly unstable capitalist system afloat. Yet, neoliberals have somehow succeeded in casting blame for the crisis on the working class who have been forced to shoulder the burden in the form of benefit cuts and increased taxes, like it or not.

Mr. Seymour draws on the work of Antonio Gramsci to help us understand our moment in history. Although one might hope for radical change in the midst of economic crisis, Gramsci’s maxim that the ‘traditional ruling class’ is always best positioned to exploit crisis has been proven true. The New York City financial crisis of the 1970s, Mr. Seymour contends, was a harbinger of things to come as the banking sector exploited crisis to wring huge concessions from labor and profit from the marketing of the city’s indebtedness. In that light, today’s austerity policies illustrate how capital intends to leverage the 2008 banking crisis. The agenda includes the transfer of wealth from people to business; the imposition a more punitive and authoritarian state order; and avoidance of responsibility by falsely reducing the core problem of profit maximization to consumer overspending.

Strategically, Mr. Seymour contends that progressives must be prepared to engage on the issues of class, state and ideology over the long haul to fight deeply-entrenched corporate interests. To be sure, social media can help organize local occupations but the results are often fleeting: without mass public and institutional support, the corporate state can easily criminalize and disperse these scattered oppositions. On that point, the author goes on to describe how a more enduring movement might be built; including real world examples that help us envision how a more hopeful, egalitarian and prosperous future might come to pass.

I highly recommend this excellent book to everyone.


The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We’ve Lost in a World of Constant Connection
The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We’ve Lost in a World of Constant Connection
by Michael Harris
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.54
68 used & new from $13.09

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Deep reflections on the nature and meaning of technology-mediated life, July 7, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
"The End of Absence" by Michael Harris offers a thoughtful, mature and humane meditation on life before and after Web 2.0. Mr. Harris is a renowned writer and editor who artfully blends personal observations, experiences and research into his work. This excellent book invites readers to reflect more deeply on the nature and meaning of our increasing technology-mediated lives.

Mr. Harris is the right person for the job. He is old enough to recall an analog childhood; but young enough to relate with digital natives. Mr. Harris writes perceptively about the myriad changes to our interpersonal behaviors that have resulted from our massive adoption of technology. Among many issues, the author is most concerned about how addiction to technology conspires to distract users from engaging in intelligent thought, contemplation and self-reflection. In fact, Mr. Harris engaged in a self-imposed sabbatical from the Web; leading the author to a moment of self-empowerment that has profound lessons for us all.

I highly recommend this book to everyone.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 7, 2014 11:57 AM PDT


WD TV Media Player (WDBYMN0000NBK-HESN)
WD TV Media Player (WDBYMN0000NBK-HESN)
Price: $84.99
46 used & new from $62.62

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent solution for accessing and displaying personalized content, July 7, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I am impressed with how Western Digital's WD TV Media Player provides an easy way to access and display personalized content through my TV.

The WD TV has multiple inputs so that you can feed a data source to the player and then display the content on your TV. More than this, the WD TV has a very useful and intuitive interface that allows you to connect the online accounts you might have for music, photo and video sharing. For example, I found it easy to log into my YouTube account and stream a playlist I had created. It was great seeing it play on a large screen! The video quality was very good, suggesting that Western Digital has put a lot of care into engineering the WD TV.

Comparing WD TV to other media players such as Roku; as I might have expected the WD TV has a number of pre-loaded apps for entertainment, news, and etc. Compared to Roku, the selection seems a bit smaller overall but the WD TV does offer some features that I can't find on the Roku. For example, WD TV includes RSS feeds to a number of fascinating audio and video programs representing many different points of view. I also like the option to pair a device, like a tablet or PC, to the WD TV to make it that much easier to get to the content I want to share.

The negative is that I could not find the killer app, Netflix listed among the default apps. Apparently this is a licensing issue that needs to be worked out. Unfortunately, I believe the omission of Netflix will make this otherwise very impressive media player less desirable to people who are primarily interested in an entertainment portal.

Overall, I think Western Digital has introduced a very useful product for those whose main purpose is to display their own personalized content (photo and videos) with the flexibility to choose from a large variety of formats. I highly recommend it to everyone.


Remington F3-3900B Rechargeable Foil with Pivot and Flex Technology
Remington F3-3900B Rechargeable Foil with Pivot and Flex Technology
Price: $24.99
35 used & new from $19.49

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes it easy to get a very close shave in less time, July 4, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I am very pleased with this terrific Remington razor. Per the manufacturer's instructions, I charged the battery for 24 hours before the first use. Every day after, I simply give it a quick recharge and it's ready to go.

The flex technology works exactly as advertised. The foil adapts to the contours of my face much better when compared with other razors that don't have this feature. The bottom line is that the Remington makes it easy to get a very close shave in less time.

I highly recommend the Remington F3-3900B to everyone.


DII Everyday Bamboo Middle Stripe Placemat, Blue, Set of 4
DII Everyday Bamboo Middle Stripe Placemat, Blue, Set of 4
Price: $5.18

5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, July 4, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
DII's bamboo placements are stunning. The bamboo has a rich brown tone and the stitching is an attractive pattern of blue and light blue threads. The individual pieces of bamboo are securely fastened in the middle and near each end.

I really like how these placemats look on the glass table in my kitchen! The spacing between the bamboo strands allows for visualization of the underlying surface, making for a very nice effect.

I also like that cleaning is easily accomplished using a damp sponge and how the mats roll up for storage.

My only caution to purchasers of these fine mats: take care if you have a young household. You do not want to bend the mats for fear of breaking the bamboo. Having said that, a youthful family might still want to invest in these mats to use on special occasions.


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