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Profile for Joel Avrunin > Reviews

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Customer Reviews: 1196
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Joel Avrunin "Electrical Engineer who loves Science, History, Economics, and Literature" RSS Feed (Baltimore, MD)
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   

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Death at Painted Cave: A Robin Crane Mystery
Death at Painted Cave: A Robin Crane Mystery
Price: $4.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An educational thriller!, February 9, 2016
This book was amazing! I learned so much about political history of South America. Before reading this, I knew next to nothing about the plight of the Nicaraguan natives. Robin Crane was a highly likable character who struggled with the balance between single motherhood and a demanding, crime-fighting career. The advanced education of the protagonist served to add depth to her personal challenges. A great read with a surprise ending that left me wanting more!


Simple Steps for Sixth Grade
Simple Steps for Sixth Grade
by Thinking Kids
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.99
38 used & new from $8.88

5.0 out of 5 stars Great skill reinforcement fro your kids, February 2, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Great workbook if you are trying to reinforce some sixth grade skills with kids. This book is really well laid out and easy to follow, so much so that you can just assign pages and most kids will work through it without much more instruction. Basic pages on multiplication/division, ratios, number systems, geometry, and statistics round out the math parts, while it also has a full language section with parts of speech, capitalization, spelling, etc. My son liked going through the problem sets and it was a great way to reinforce the work he had done.


Fast into the Night: A Woman, Her Dogs, and Their Journey North on the Iditarod Trail
Fast into the Night: A Woman, Her Dogs, and Their Journey North on the Iditarod Trail
by Debbie Clarke Moderow
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.79
44 used & new from $8.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing story of determination and passion in pursuit of the Iditarod, January 29, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
An amazing book on the Iditarod and the connection of a woman and her dogs. This is a compelling book that really shows not only the author's passion for her dogs and for Alaska, but a general love of the outdoors and determination to tackle a tremendously difficult task. Along the way, you will learn about the history of the Iditarod, Alaskan settlement, and some amazing details about this race. It is so dependent on the dogs, and the bond the human must form is critical. Dog lovers, lovers of the outdoors, and general sports adventurers will all appreciate this tale.


South Main Hardware SH7114-OR-10 Traditional Cabinet Hinge Variable Overlay (10 Pair Pack), Oil Rubbed Bronze
South Main Hardware SH7114-OR-10 Traditional Cabinet Hinge Variable Overlay (10 Pair Pack), Oil Rubbed Bronze
Price: $4.83

4.0 out of 5 stars Great quality hinges for those home repair projects., January 27, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
These are great quality replacement hinges for that home improvement project. Great value for a pack of hinges, and they are high quality thick metal. No issues here.


Wells TA5005 GoTech Bluetooth Mobile OBDII Diagnostic Tool for iPhone, iPad, Android Phone and Tablet
Wells TA5005 GoTech Bluetooth Mobile OBDII Diagnostic Tool for iPhone, iPad, Android Phone and Tablet
Price: $89.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great way to get insight into your car, January 24, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Worked great on my iPhone 6S to let me see exactly what as going on in my car computer. I was throwing an engine code and could easily see that it was an oxygen sensor malfunction. I know exactly what is wrong and can easily take it to get fixed. Data formats were easy to read and the app did not require me to buy a bunch of "supports" in order to get it to work. Very happy with this device and highly recommend it.


Jastore® Little Girls' Soft Cotton Long Sleeve Butterfly Print A-Line Dress
Jastore® Little Girls' Soft Cotton Long Sleeve Butterfly Print A-Line Dress
Offered by Jastore
Price: $39.99

5.0 out of 5 stars My daughter's favorite new dress - she wears it all the time, January 23, 2016
This has fast become my little girl's favorite dress. I got it for evaluation and asked her to try it on, but I soon noticed her seeking it out of the laundry basket and wearing it as soon as it made it out of the dryer. It is so cute and so comfortable that she just wants to wear it every day. It can be tough to find comfortable play dresses that are nice looking but also durable and soft. This dress is basically a long sleeve t-shirt dress, perfect for wearing indoors during those chilly winters. The pink color and beautiful butterfly bring in a little bit of spring. The highest recommendation I can give is that my daughter keeps putting it on first, so what else can I say? 5 stars.

Note: Free sample provided for evaluation.


OUTAD Outdoor Winter Camping Waterproof Sleeping Bag
OUTAD Outdoor Winter Camping Waterproof Sleeping Bag
Price: $49.99 - $58.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great quality sleeping bag - will update review when I take it outside!, January 18, 2016
This is a wonderful quality sleeping bag at a great value. I occasionally camp and with a big family, I do need a lot of sleeping bags. This bag is a comfortable choice, and certainly was good for the smaller members of my family. The bag is rated down to 32 degrees. Unfortunately I got this to review in the middle of the winter where the temperature is currently around 10 degrees at night, so I have not had the ability to try it outside. The bag stuffs into a really small space, but fluffs up quickly and is incredibly soft and comfortable. My only issue with it is that the length is a bit short for someone who is taller, but I found that it was a perfect fit for my younger kids when we go camping.
I will update this review when it warms up above freezing and I can actually try it out!
Note: I was provided a free sample for the purposes of evaluation.


One Breath: Freediving, Death, and the Quest to Shatter Human Limits
One Breath: Freediving, Death, and the Quest to Shatter Human Limits
by Adam Skolnick
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.77
59 used & new from $12.71

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating insight into this niche sport, but a bit slow in spots, January 3, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
As a distance runner, I can't really throw stones at anybody's extreme sport. I may wonder why people risk life and limb (and lung alveoli) to dive to depths nobody else can reach, but many wonder why I would choose to spend 8 hours running trails through the wilderness. We each have our sports and things that make us enjoy this life just a little bit more. This book is a glimpse into this world of freediving - I would liken it to "Born to Run" for the sport. It is not just about the sport, but about the people who participate in it. Along the way, you will learn not only their stories but also some of the science behind how they are able to dive further than many doctors thought it physically possible to dive.

They are trying to develop safety protocols in this sport, but as Nick Mevoli demonstrated (he dies in the first chapter, so no spoilers), they don't fully understand human physiology and how extreme pressure impacts it. If you have a burst alveoli, how long must you wait until you are 100% better? They really do not know.

The book was well written, but some of the detail did get tedious on the personal lives of the divers. It's not that I'm not interested in the human side, but at some point, I know all I need to know. Books like Born to Run seemed to walk the line well, introducing personal narratives without getting dry. Sklonick gets dry in spots, but overall, tells a good story.

One note - if you are squeamish, some of the more vibrant descriptions of deep diving injuries may be tough to read!

Recommended to learn a little more about this sport.


Kollea Google Cardboard V2.0 3D Glasses Virtual Reality DIY Kit - More Comfortable and Clearer
Kollea Google Cardboard V2.0 3D Glasses Virtual Reality DIY Kit - More Comfortable and Clearer
Offered by Kollea Direct
Price: $29.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Could not use - so uncomfortable that it hurt my nose!, January 2, 2016
This was tough to review because as soon as I put it on my face, I wanted to take it right off. Really uncomfortable. The nose piece just digs into the bridge of my nose, and you can't keep it secure on your face without really stretching the elastic tight. I put my iPhone 6S into it, and while it did work, there was no option to hold the phone in better so it could easily slide out of the slide. Of course there are also no adjustments for pupillary distance or focus, but even as a Google Cardboard device, it was just uninspiring.

I recently got another headset which was much more comfortable (Airsspu 3d Vr Virtual Reality Headset. Despite the higher price, I would recommend it over this one.

Note: Free sample provided for review.


Thunder® 3 in 1 Design Ice Scrape Snow Shovel Snow Brush Vehicle Snow Remove Kit With Aluminium Alloy Handle for Cars
Thunder® 3 in 1 Design Ice Scrape Snow Shovel Snow Brush Vehicle Snow Remove Kit With Aluminium Alloy Handle for Cars
Offered by ThunderTrading
Price: $39.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Only 1 handle but 3 heads and they don't easily interchange - not a great value, December 29, 2015
This "3 in 1" scraper isn't really what I was expected. I have other similar brushes where on end can pivot for various blades, but in this design, you are really getting just 1 tool with 3 different heads. The problem is that the heads are not easy to interchange. Since you only get 1 handle, you have to pick which ones you are going to use. Once you pick, you slide the head on the handle and secure it with a small plastic peg. The peg snaps into the hole. The only way to change heads is to pry the peg out of the hole. There is no tool supplied to do it, so find a screwdriver or something else you can pry it out with! Of course, it's a plastic peg, so once you pry it out a few times, it will loosen and no longer hold tight. This concept might have worked if each tool has a "quick release" or if the handled had a spring-loaded pin, but the peg is just a cheap solution that won't work in the long run.

So I attached the brush and the scraper. Neither is particularly innovative - this is like something you get in the $1 aisle at Target. I'll throw out the other brush since I can't ever picture myself using it and changing it out (it will probably get lost along with the extra 2 pegs). I'm sure this will work for my car, but there are much better options at this price point.

Note: Free sample provided for review.


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