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National Geographic Traveler: Berlin, 2nd Edition
National Geographic Traveler: Berlin, 2nd Edition
by Damien Simonis
Edition: Paperback
Price: $17.34
69 used & new from $9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars National Geographic is a casual, conversational guide that makes me want to head to Berlin ..., April 24, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I’m one of those indecisive people who has a difficult time deciding where I want to go when I go on a trip. Not a trip to a nearby state, but rather one of those “once in a lifetime” type trips to a faraway destination. Sometimes guidebooks can be overwhelming. I do like a lot of information, but the National Geographic Traveler was a nice, nice change of pace in comparison ... a lot of information, but not a textbook-like tome. Berlin simply appears to be an awe-inspiring one just looking at Schloss Charlottenburg on the cover. The photographs, as expected, were top-notch and plentiful. Just flipping through the pages I found several places I wanted to stop and “visit” a while before diving in.

National Geographic’s approach to travel is more casual and the writing conversational in nature. Come on in, sit down, and I’ll tell you why you might want to head to Berlin was the impression I received from this guide and a couple other National Geographics I own. For example, when I was reading the section on “Checkpoint Charlie,” there’s an interesting vignette about a most unusual escape over the border from East Berlin. Perhaps this is what made the book more into a fun read than a travel guide. The easy going, conversational approach really make these National Geographic guidebooks well worth taking a look at. These are most certainly perfect for the armchair traveler.

The Berlin Traveler has numerous informative sidebars that add to the experience. You can learn about “The Pope’s Revenge,” yet another fascinating vignette. There are a lot of “Experience” sidebars that I find quite interesting and very helpful. It’s nice to read tips and pointers before going anywhere, much easier than asking around once you hit your destination. There are a lot of insets that have walking maps, something of high interest to those who like a close up look at a particular area. It wasn’t until I hit the back of the book that I found more guide-like information on shopping, hotels, planning the trip, etc. Nothing says you can purchase more than one guide book and I usually do. This is a nice one for first impressions and narrowing down what you really want to focus one. This is a perfect book to become acquainted with Berlin.


Charting Your Trip
History & Culture
Unter den Linden & Potsdamer Platz
Central Berlin
Tiergarten & Around
Prenzlauer Berg, Friedrichshain, & the East
Schöneberg to Kreuzberg
Spandau, Dahlem & the West

The Friendly Swede (TM) Trilobite Extra Beefy / Wide 500 lb Paracord Survival Bracelet With Stainless Steel Black Bow Shackle - Adjustable Size Fits 7-8 Inch Wrists - In Retail Packaging - Lifetime Warranty (Woodland Camo)
The Friendly Swede (TM) Trilobite Extra Beefy / Wide 500 lb Paracord Survival Bracelet With Stainless Steel Black Bow Shackle - Adjustable Size Fits 7-8 Inch Wrists - In Retail Packaging - Lifetime Warranty (Woodland Camo)
Offered by The Friendly Swede
Price: $12.99

5.0 out of 5 stars You can add the Trilobite to your bug out bag or rock streetwear with Woodland Camo ..., April 24, 2014
Length:: 0:51 Mins

Bear Grylls and John `Lofty' Wiseman could probably give you 101 reasons as to why even a small length of paracord could save your life. Both of these gentlemen are survivalists of the first order and if you head to the Internet, you're bound to find out several reasons why a paracord could be a must have in a survival kit.

Many people will be putting a length of paracord in their bug out bags or emergency kits, but what better way to take it along than on your wrist? This length of paracord in this Friendly Swede ParaCord bracelet is approximately 11.5 feet and will go a long way in the wilderness if you have to use it there. There are hundreds of uses for a short length of paracord. If you have the time or inclination, you can easily check them out.

The grade is close to military-spec at 500 pounds. This paracord tests out at 531 pounds, not all that far from the 550 military-spec commands. This camo bracelet is held together by a stainless steel pin bow shackle with a pin that screws through the adjustable bracelet clasp. Very rugged and well-made.


► 9" trilobite extra beefy / wide 500 lb paracord survival bracelet with stainless steel black bow shackle
► One spare bolt in small sealed plastic bag included
► Adjustable size ideal for those with 7-8 inch wrists. Paracord disassembled length approximately 11.5 feet
► 500 lb actual rated load verified by SGS testing at maximum force of 531 lb
► Premium quality accessories - Hand picked or produced by The Friendly Swede® - Lifetime Warranty

In the meantime, if you're not the survivalist sort, you can rock streetwear with this camo bracelet. The look is impressive with its earthy tones. Even though its beefy, it's also unisex. You don't have to be a guy to look hot in camo.

I definitely like the quality and am way tempted to wear this bracelet, but someone else I know has his eye on this one. He's an outdoors kind of guy, the one you see at the beginning of my video trying out the Chainmate. When he's not outside, he'll still be making a fashion statement with the Friendly Swede ParaCord bracelet.

Sample provided for review.

Garibaldi's Biscuits
Garibaldi's Biscuits
by Ralph Steadman
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $10.42
67 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars This is the zany story of Garibaldi and how he and his soldiers battled the Bourbons ..., April 24, 2014
This review is from: Garibaldi's Biscuits (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Enough was enough, and Garibaldi and his "battle-weary" soldiers were yet on their way to battle yet another foe, the French. They had invaded Italy and that tyrant, the French king and his soldiers, the Bourbons, were going to get it this time. Garibaldi stood at the bow of his ship as they approached land while his family and soldiers were amidships. Of course his wife, Anita, and their four children weren't going to fight, but they'd come along for the ride. Garibaldi was an imposing man who wore none other than a stylish pizza pie belt buckle. His soldiers were some tired when they fought and so they "took off their pizza buckles and ate them, so their pantaloons would fall right down to their ankles." Stylish, but not practical.

Garibaldi was heading to his grandmother's farmhouse, but the Bourbons had already beaten him there and scarfed up all her food. Grandmother had moved to a small stone hut and was cooking some soup when they arrived. While Garibaldi was greeting his grandmother, "the soldiers fell upon the soup and ate it all up" It wasn't long before Garibaldi's soup-filled soldiers and Pecorino, his pet woodpecker, were off to battle the Bourbons. "CHARGE!" The battle was on and "his army surged forward, wielding their water balloons." The battle raged and they were so hungry their pizza buckles soon were gone and their "pantaloons fell down" once again. The pizza was gone, they'd eaten up the soup, so what on earth could Grandmother make for them?

This is the zany story of Garibaldi and how he and his soldiers battled the Bourbons. Of course this tale is very, very loosely based on the "real" Giuseppe Garibaldi, whose "great achievement was to unite Italy." This story, told in picture book format with graphic novel style artwork, will hold great appeal, especially to the reluctant reader. The silly factor is working overtime here, something that young readers enjoy. In the back of the book is a humorous, but light sketch of Garibaldi and the purported origins of the Garibaldi and Bourbon biscuits. This new nonfiction style is a big draw to students who don't absorb textbook material well and thrive on this type of tale, even the tall ones. It can easily be used as a stepping stone for those who want to know about Giuseppe Garibaldi and his place in history.

Axe Peace Antiperspirant, 2.7 Ounce
Axe Peace Antiperspirant, 2.7 Ounce
Offered by Value Mart Circle
Price: $12.99
2 used & new from $9.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A nice earthy, masculine smell and a great dryness factor ..., April 24, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Old Spice is a favorite in this house, but *hint* I like the smell of this one just as well. It’s got a nice clean, masculine scent without being perfume-like or overbearing when someone steps into the room. The AXE brand was always a favorite of another, younger household member who always used a wide range of AXE products.

The AXE Peace goes on clean and clear. You turn the dial on the bottom to raise up the stick deodorant. You can get the same scent in shower gel, body spray, shave gel, and shampoo if you like it enough. The nice, earthy scent will appeal to many people. AXE always has worked well and has the dryness factor that is a must have.


► Keep guys dry all day long
► Intriguing, fresh scent with a warm masculine edge
► Fragrance features notes of citrus, nutmeg, cedarwood and amber
► Also available in shower gel, body spray, shave gel, and shampoo


Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex GLY(18.2%)


Cyclopentasiloxane, Stearyl Alcohol, PPG-14 Butyl Ether, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Talc, PEG-8 Distearate, Fragrance (Parfum), BHT


AXE Apollo
AXE Anarchy
AXE Excite
AXE Twist
AXE Dark Temptation
AXE Essence
AXE Phoenix
AXE Black Chill
AXE Kilo
AXE Peace

Miracle-Gro Leaf Shine, 8-Ounce
Miracle-Gro Leaf Shine, 8-Ounce
Price: $5.48
3 used & new from $5.48

5.0 out of 5 stars I love the spring cleaning shine my philodendron got with Leaf Shine .., April 23, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I've always liked products like Leaf Shine. I'm not sure of what they used to call this product, but I even used in when I was a child. The Miracle-Gro works really well. The first thing I had to do was unlock the bottle. It's difficult to see where the lock is because the whole top is green. You simply press down on the rectangular button and you're good to go.

Now this isn't like one of the clean and shine products I've seen people use for their artificial plants. It comes out in a fine mist and after spraying a leaf, I actually wipe it down with a soft cotton cloth to shine it. If I'm working inside, I put the cloth behind the leaf or leaves before spraying to protect the wall or other items around it.

The leaves come out beautifully and really sparkle. I haven't used anything like Leaf Shine in years and I forgot how much I loved it. I've started working on a large philodendron and will probably add it to my spring cleaning repertoire. You can't use Leaf Shine on fuzzy haired plants such as African violets or you'll ruin them. Very pleased with the result.

Bolkin Hybrid Armor Series Shockproof Case Cover for Apple Ipad Air (light blue)
Bolkin Hybrid Armor Series Shockproof Case Cover for Apple Ipad Air (light blue)
Offered by Bolkin
Price: $63.99

4.0 out of 5 stars The Bolkin has a great look and offers up a lot of protection for the iPad Air ..., April 23, 2014
Length:: 0:40 Mins

The Bolkin won't be an everyday case for me, but rather an as needed one. My first try at inserting my iPad Air into this case didn't fare all that well because I accidentally tore a portion of the soft silicone. It's actually not a difficult thing to do because in some spots its rather fragile.

The case itself comes in three sections. The inner case is made of a tough polycarbonate, the part of the case that's going to give your iPad Air the most protection. There is a soft silicone exterior and a screen protector that snaps into the polycarbonate backing.

After a couple of attempts at putting my iPad Air in the case and taking it out, I did get the hang of it and didn't find it difficult. The iPad really is protected and shockproof, provided it doesn't land on the screen. Accidents do happen, but the Bolkin offers excellent protection in a stylish way.

This particular case is set up for landscape viewing. I actually prefer working in the landscape mode so this is perfect. There are some cases that offer up both portrait and landscape viewing, but with this type of case it's not all that practical. I even have a privacy screen on one of my iPads that only works in portrait mode so the Bolkin is not unusual in that regard. You can't make it into something it wasn't intended to be.

One problem, that's not unique to soft silicone and screen protectors, is the sometimes extreme static problem. Everything seems to cling to it and lint seems to come out of nowhere. I keep a dryer sheet on hand just for that purpose. I lightly wipe down everything, including the screen (front and back for the screen protector). Then I go back over it with a microfiber cloth. It seems to do the trick and prevents lint from lodging under the screen.

I do like the look and the protection factor was a real plus. I wasn't all that pleased with the tear, but I can only use that as a lesson learned and a cautionary note for anyone who decides to purchase it. Simply be careful and don't tug at the soft silicone when installing the case. Other than that, I really like it and the price point is decent.

Sample provided for review.

Silicon Power Rugged Armor A15 1TB 2.5-Inch USB 3.0 Drop Tested MIL-STD-810F Military Grade External Hard Drive, Black (SP010TBPHDA15S3K)
Silicon Power Rugged Armor A15 1TB 2.5-Inch USB 3.0 Drop Tested MIL-STD-810F Military Grade External Hard Drive, Black (SP010TBPHDA15S3K)
Offered by Silicon Power USA - Deal Site
Price: Click here to see our price
17 used & new from $71.99

5.0 out of 5 stars The Silicon Power Rugged Armor is the Otter Box of hard drives ..., April 23, 2014
Length:: 0:41 Mins

Rugged, totally rugged. This SP Silicon Power portable hard drive is like the Otter Box of hard drives and is a perfect one for either home or the on-the-go person. My son kept asking me to throw it on the floor and I kept asking "Why?" Just examining the outer case told me that because it was encased in a heavy-duty silicone "armor," there was no way I could possibly disrupt the inner workings unless I tossed it in the driveway and ran it over with my car.

Besides, I want to use the SP, not destroy it. One other reason I didn't want to bother was the superb warranty. With a three-year warranty on board if it dies, I'll be looking at a replacement. The Seagate only has a one-year warranty, not quite what I want and if you ask me, that's a rather iffy proposition to get into (sorry, Seagate).

We encountered a bit of confusion when we first went to the site to get things squared away, but soon discovered that the SP was basically a plug-and-play device. I'm not planning on running any transfer tests because it was easy to see that the time it took to back up all my files, which are massive, it was fast.

You will be offered a sixty day trial of Norton, but because I already have plenty of anti-virus software protection, I took a pass. If you're not familiar with the basic process of installing a backup hard drive, SP has a downloadable fifty-four page manual you can access. I used to think I preferred hard copy, but am getting used to the eco-friendly downloads.

The manual has full-color, very specific visuals, something I really appreciate. If affords users the opportunity to actually see what you need to know. For example, you will see a screen shot for each step you will be taking with a brief written explanation accompanying it. If you need more information, it's always easy to Google.

I haven't had this hard drive long, but do know that I really like and need it. I think that apart and aside from a bit of confusion on the site, the manual is good, no problems with the hard drive (a simple plug-and-play for the most part), and it suits my needs. I'm listing what's in the manual below so you can see how it will help you out.

MANUAL CONTENTS (abbreviated):

1. Intellectual Property and Copyrights
2. Product Intro
3. System Requirements
4. Introduction
4.1 Activating SP Widget
4.2 Browser Interface
4.3 SP Widget browser function explained
5. My documents backup explained
6. Folder backup function explained
7. Data encryption function explained
8. My Favorites backup function explained
9. Email backup function explained
10. Overview of Project Backup Function
11. PC-Lock function explained
12. Norton software download
13. Storage device info
14. About Silicon Power
15. Software update
16. Language selection
17. Scan Storage Media
18. Right System Key Encryption System

The visuals are plentiful and I feel that many users, both beginners and advanced, will be able to make good use of them. The problem I find with many manuals is that they are very poorly written and visuals are sparse. The accompanying paper manual, in essence, simply points the way to the more useful downloadable one.

I also skipped the RMA request because then we found that we had to download an additional file to be able to read the RMAs. In the end we found it to be extraneous and not necessary. All in all, this hard drive is a work horse, heavy-duty, and has a large storage capacity. In a word ... awesome.


► SuperSpeed USB 3.0 compliant and backwards compatible with USB 2.0
► High transferring rate up to 5Gb/sec
► Durable anti-shock rubber outer case
► Meets the U.S. military drop-test standards MIL-STD-810F (transit drop test), including
► Free fall drop directly onto concrete or hard surfaces
► One touch quick backup button
► Product's 8 corners, 12 sides and 6 surfaces all must pass free fall tests.
► Specific height free fall test (4 feet)


► Microsoft Windows 7 / XP / Vista
► CPU: Intel Pentium III or faster
► System memory: 1GB or more
► Hard drive space: 12 MB or more
► USB connection
► Internet browser software: Internet Explorer V5.0 or later
► Email software: Microsoft Outlook 2000(V9.0) / Microsoft Outlook Express
V5.0 or later

Sample provided for review.

Chef's Star® Chips n' Dips Set
Chef's Star® Chips n' Dips Set
Offered by Super Deal
Price: $24.99
2 used & new from $14.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Very nice party time or anytime chip and dip set ..., April 23, 2014
This review is from: Chef's Star® Chips n' Dips Set
Length:: 0:30 Mins

Nothing like having a chip `n dip set that will land on the floor and not shatter. Of course I did just that and the bowls just rolled around. Acrylic is quite sturdy and it looks so "real" that unless you are dipping in, it's hard to tell that it's not glass. Absolutely perfect for party time, especially when small, unpredictable hands are reaching for those chips.

This is a three-piece set and the two detachable dip bowls nestle nicely on the edges of the bowl. There's actually enough room for four different types of dip, but I'd rather use two to keep them from mixing. A bit of salsa on one side, a bit of guacamole on the other if you're serving up Tostitos.

I much prefer the dip bowls on the side because it keeps the dip from plopping into the chips. If you don't do chips, there's always the classic party mix. I'm a good one for hogging the bowl when I see someone's made it. The dip bowls can easily be used to an assortment of nuts instead.


► Generous sized chip bowl and matching attachable dip bowls
► The three piece set includes a large bowl and two attachable dip bowls.
► Will enhance any party, and is perfect for indoor and outdoor entertaining.
► Coordinates with most dinnerware for versatile and elegant use
► The Acrylic set is BPA Free

Cleanup is quite easy with a bit of sudsy water. I definitely like the fact that it's BPA free and, as I've discovered, the shatter-proof. The snack bowl is perfect for indoor or outdoor use and in a pinch, could easily be used as a salad bowl.

I also like the fact that it's easy to tuck away back in the box. The two dip bowls can be centered back on the cardboard insert, set in the middle of the bowl, and put back in the box. Very nice set that will probably be used a lot not only during party time, but year `round.

Sample provided for review.

VuPoint Solutions 3000mAh Universal Portable Charger, USB External Battery Power Pack for iPhone, iPad, iPod, Samsung, Android, Galaxy, Motorola, HTC, Nokia, Sony and other devices. Power Bank Includes USB Cable, Micro and Mini USB Adapters - Red
VuPoint Solutions 3000mAh Universal Portable Charger, USB External Battery Power Pack for iPhone, iPad, iPod, Samsung, Android, Galaxy, Motorola, HTC, Nokia, Sony and other devices. Power Bank Includes USB Cable, Micro and Mini USB Adapters - Red
Offered by KaliberInc
Price: $21.99
2 used & new from $21.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great little power bank for those on-the-go needs ..., April 23, 2014
Length:: 0:31 Mins

This small 3000mAh battery pack is right out of the box fun and functional. The size is what many people have dubbed "lipstick" battery packs, perhaps because of the shape. It's small, ultra-portable, but has enough power to power up your phone in a pinch.

The Magic Juice worked well enough to give my iPad a much needed boost and will definitely power up any phone you are using. One thing I think makes the Magic battery pack into a premium one is the Samsung Grade A cell they are using. Of course if you are thinking you want and need a battery pack to power up your iPad or other power hog, you may wish to look at battery packs starting at 10000mAh.

If your needs aren't particularly heavy and you are conscientious about keeping your phone charged, this might be a battery pack you might consider. Having the Magic Juice 3000mAh on hand for when you for forget to charge or are using your phone more than usual will be perfect. For example, the iPhone 5 battery capacity is 1440mAh so that will give you an idea of the capacity of the Magic.


► High capacity 3000mAh Samsung rechargeable battery
► Universal portable charger, power bank for USB charged devices
► Plug in and charge your mobile phones or portable devices instantly via USB cable. Includes USB cable, micro and mini USB adapters
► Charges up to 10.5 hours talk time, up to 1.3 times smartphone recharge
► Built-in LED Flashlight, LED Fuel Gauge shows remaining battery capacity


~► Capacity: 3000mAh (11.34 Wh)
~► Battery Type: Lithium
~► Interface: USB or micro USB
~► Fuel Gauge: LED light indicator (green)
~► Flashlight: Built-in beacon flashlight (static or flashing)
~► Voltage: Input: DC 5V ± 0.5V; Output: DV 5V ± 0.5V
~► Current: Input: Up to 1A; Output: 1A
~► Dimension: Approximately 4" (L) x 1.1" (H) x 1.1" (W)
~► Weight: 2.8 oz. (I weighed the Magic on a USPS postal scale)
~► Accessories: USB cable, mini USB adapter, micro USB adapter



A couple of other nice features include the addition of the USB cable, which is usually standard, but also the addition of both the micro and mini USB adapters. This increases the number of devices you can boost with the Magic. It also has a flashlight that you will simply remain static or, if you choose, become a beacon flashlight. Mind you, the light is not meant to act as a fully functioning flashlight, but rather enough to get you where you are going in the dark, in particular to get those car keys out and into the lock.

The color shimmers and is ergonomically designed as to feel quite comfortable in the hand. The input and output ports are clearly marked and small printed figural markings indicate how much capacity you have left. Nice, but a tad redundant as the four green LED lights visually let you know that. The Magic Juice is a really nice 3000mAh battery pack that is perfect if you need a little boost for you phone or other small device.

Sample provided for review.

BelleSha Round Facial Sponge pack of 12
BelleSha Round Facial Sponge pack of 12
Offered by BellaSHA
Price: $10.05
2 used & new from $10.05

5.0 out of 5 stars The BellaSha sponges are high quality ones that are perfect for makeup removal ..., April 22, 2014
Length:: 0:30 Mins

When these BellaSha sponges come in a small package, they come in an assortment of cookie-like shapes. Not exactly perfectly shaped, but when moistened they are soft, luxuriant and measure approximately 3" in diameter and are 3/8" think. I could instantly tell these were quality sponges as soon as I rehydrated one.

Everyone has a use for these little sponges, but most people prefer them to remove makeup. When hydrated they are quite soft and cushy and gentle on the skin. The package comes with a full dozen, but each one should last for quite some time. You can toss them in the laundry in your delicates bag and in between washings can put them briefly in the microwave to sterilize them.

These are not your typical sponges that you clean or wipe down your counters with. These are cellulose sponges, a high quality sponge made of wood fiber. They are eco-friendly and are biodegradable, unlike the polyurethane ones. However, because they are made of wood fibers, you should make sure you sterilize them between uses.

Sample provided for review.

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