This is an excellent introductory text for those wishing to better understand the complex details of the rise of Islamic State, ISIS or ISIL. From its arrival due to the Syrian Civil War and its cancerous spread into post-war Iraq, this extremist-terrorist Sunni Islamic (Wahhabi) nation/fundamentalist organisation, has been indefatigable. The best minds and theorists on the region have been unable to prevent ISIS success and growth, even with tacit US military support and backing virtually every possible political rival. This book looks at the reasons for this emergence of IS and it briefly analyses the possible solutions to its successful cessation. It is clear that a lot of the problem comes from the wider Sunni-Shia split across the Islamic world. The failure to establish a genuine alternative to the Saddam Hussein régime in Iraq has left a vacuum in particular among the Sunni populations of Northern Iraq where ISIS predominate. The failure of the Assad opposition in the Syrian revolution/civil war has also created the perfect conditions for this new state, the inheritor of post Bin Laden Al Qaeda, and the recipient of such massive Sunni Wahhabist support across the Middle Eastern oil-rich kingdoms. Every player in the region has its interests invoked and post-imperialist powers plus global nuclear superpowers are all involved in the rising anarchistic conflict. What is clear from the author’s well-studied work is that this ISIS / Sunni Revolution situation is far from an anomaly and is a reality and a problem which is here to stay in the short term at least. In order for any solutions for the problem to be found, then studies on the ISIS phenomenon will become ever so important. A great introductory read, packed full of condensed information.
This book focuses on the role of French women during World War 2 and the immediate aftermath. It is clear that the women of France bore the brunt of dealing with the occupier, very often their men away, detained as prisoners of war or, for example, sequestered to work abroad in the Fatherland, Germany. Women had to cope with running family businesses, looking after the family, acquiring food. They may have chosen to either be collaborationists or to have joined the resistance. I found it particularly interesting hearing of the women who collaborated with the enemy, either seeking roles within Vichy or directly engaging with the German soldiers. The shorn heads of collaborators at Liberation cast powerful images in the reader. Women became, I feel, more valued in society as a result of their wartime activities and although they may have gone back to their roles afterwards as second class citizens within the family and society, they did earn themselves suffrage and I feel moved women as a whole towards parity with their male counterparts. The book is written in feminists tones, though without being to alienist to the male reader. It is factual and interesting and provides a good basis for further study for the university course I anticipate studying on the subject of Women in World War 2 France.
When I first purchased this book I thought it would be a work of non-fiction, but instead I discovered it was actually fiction. The author, a former Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe, was, in his employment, well-used to war-gaming scenarios with, in particular, Russia. This book, aimed at the general public, introduces many real aspects of NATO and is about a potential imminent future conflict with Russia. The thrills of the well-built characters as they journey through a potential MAD (Mutually-Assured destruction) Nuclear scenario, set in the Baltics, makes the novel a real fast page-turner. I was surprised by the often negative light the author holds NATO in, with its often complicated command structure and this book must have been written with real-life experience. It makes me wonder about shedding defence force budgets and what problems we actually would face were a potential conflict with Russia in Europe actually break out (which of course if you include Ukraine it actually has). In light of the potential Brexit vote in the UK, I think that this book shows the potential value of unity and the necessity of an international alliance in defeating dangerous foes. An excellent read.
Always at the cutting cusp of web radio technology, KryKey has now released Lyvshow, a plugin to its web radio service that allows radio show hosters to publish their own material. It bypasses the standard KryKey studio and allows broadcasters to use their own software, be it Traktor, Virtual DJ or Itunes. It also incorporates Skype for ease of radio station callins. We’ll certainly be giving the new service a whirl over at http://shuffleradio.org
Stout’s book is a detailed study of the status quo in Mexico and its relationship with its uber-powerful Northern neighbour. Based in Oaxaca, Robert Joe Stout’s writing often reflects detailed local knowledge and overall, his grip on Mexican and Mexican-USA affairs is profound. The book falls into 5 main chapters where various ‘landmines’ awaiting explosion are discussed. From migration to the cutthroat ‘War on Drugs’, from the environment to political activism and corruption. The poise of Stout is always of an educated man yet he has a Derridean presence, enough to see the wider picture and to target a worldwide readership. I love the way he interlinks words and phrases from Mexico such a ‘Cuatear’ and ‘debajo el agua’. I found the War on Drugs to be a noteworthy chapter – it is very difficult to see a solution to this militarized situation and with 50000 deaths already and 70% of Mexico’s cash being generated by the illegal drug industry, there are no easy solutions to this landmine. The author’s work here builds on other detailed studies I have read on this situation such as Joan Grillo’s ‘El Narco’. I found the chapter on corruption to be where the author was most freeflowing and insightful. The detail in this chapter, combined with direct local knowledge and research gives this book an edge on other contemporary studies on Mexico. Overall, I loved Stout’s revelations in ‘Hidden Dangers’ and as a Translation / Hispanic Studies student at Cardiff University I hope that this book and its contents can be featured on future courses at the institution. Five Star Rating.
Technology is shrinking. We are moving into areas through mobile technology that would have been unenvisaged 20 years ago. Devices bring us together on the move and we share photos, music, film, like never before. The disruptive web radio technology, that is #KryKey, now brings web radio to your pocket, with the release of its eagerly anticipated mobile app. Having just purchased a new #IPhone, I decided to surf over to the Apple App Store and test out what KryKey’s app brings to the table.
It’s nice and easy to get hold of this FREE app from the Apple App store… Just a quick search of ‘KryKey’ will list the Premium app for free download and installation time is fast. The app is pretty much streamlined and for the data it handles, works very efficiently.
The app builds on the successful web-based platform of http://KryKey.com and brings web radio to your fingertips. The first noticeable thing about the KryKey app is the design. It is structured to look like a traditional radio, with easy to use dials, all app-subscribing radio stations being allocated their own digital frequency, with plenty of space available at present to allow for company growth. Obviously, listeners and app users will remember the frequencies of their favourite KryKey radio stations and be able to simply whirl the dial to quickly tap between shows, in the same manner in which one used to flick through a car radio.
There’s an initial sign up to the app which requires a simple email address and some locational information, to tailor the app to your needs. This is non-essential though and the app will function anonymously, if required.
You have the pre-mentioned dial, for simplicity, though for the first few uses of app, it might be more advisable to use the search features to get to know the network a bit better. The preset dials can be customised for easy browsing, like any standard, traditional radio. The search features allow radio stations to be navigated by various subdivisions: Music genre, Radio Name, City or wider, by country.
The app is only available for broadcast for KryKey Premium stations, that pay the $30 or so monthly fee for the new service. KryKey used to have over 60000 personal radio stations and since the streamlining of the business, ahead of app release, most of the dross has been culled and only the more serious stations now feature on the App, meaning a higher standard of content and ease of use for end consumers.
So, well, where did my first app surf take me?
Had to check out the Shuffle Radio app firstly, on which my own Wez G Djing features heavily. It was a bit of a shock seeing little old Caldicot listed next to global cities such as Sydney and Seattle… but putting it on the map is always good. Shuffle Radio was functioning fine and although just primarily a 24-7 continuous DJ stream, it kept me entertained for 10 minutes or so… On with the surf…
Next up, over to Richard Radio in Los Angeles…. Some nice world music grooves… Back off the beaten track and over to Puerto Rico for some mild Jazz on ‘Jazz & Bossa’ radio…. I know that KryKey is very popular in the Arab world, so I decided to tune into some Arabic political discussion over on ‘Morrocco Republic Radio’…. A bit heavy for the ears but nice to hear some foreign voices. More traditional KryKey radio stations such as London Web Radio and New York Radio are functioning well although too much mainstream pop for my ears. Some of the community radio stations are taking advantage of the new app and it’s great to be able to surf into Preston Hospital Radio and MPVSW1, from the Millbank Estate in South London. Some of my favourite KryKey station such as WCUT radio and Red Babe are rocking it out and I shall enjoy tuning in regularly to them when I am out and about, on the move…
What next? Well, why not get yourself a decent dock or Iphone car holder, and with a decent data allowance you should be able to take 320k radio wherever you like….
KryKey has yet again proven to be at the cutting cusp of web radio technology and is leaving its competitors in its wake.
The app is also available on the Google Play store for Android phones and a Windows Phone app is due imminent release.
Here’s a nice selection of influential songs that plugged my walkman ears during through the teenage years.
1. Mock Turtles – Can You Dig It? [Siren]
2. The Farm – Altogether Now [Produce Records]
3. Martika – Toy Soldiers [CBS]
4. Lisa Stansfield – All Around The World [Arista]
5. Blue Pearl – Naked In The Rain [Big Life]
6. New Order – True Faith [Factory]
7. Womack & Womack – Teardrops [Island Records]
8. OMD – Enola Gay [Virgin]
9. Transvision Vamp – Baby I Don’t Care [MCA Records]
10. Divinyls – I Touch Myself [Virgin]
11. The Las – There She Goes [Go! Discs]
12. Soup Dragons – I’m Free [Big Life]
13. Bomb The Bass – Winter In July [Rhythm King Records]
14. Sinead O’Connor – Nothing Compares 2 U [Chrysalis]
15. Annie Lennox – Little Bird [RCA]
16. Heaven 17 – Temptation [Virgin]
17. Patrice Rushen – Forget Me Nots [Elektra]
18. Soul II Soul – Back to Life [Virgin]
19. Beats International – Dub Be Good To Me [Go! Discs]
20, Duster – Not So Manic Now [Food]
21. Aztec Camera – Somewhere In My Heart [WEA]
22. Deacon Blue – I’ll Never Fall In Love Again [Columbia]