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Customer Reviews: 2156
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Helpful Votes: 61731




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A. Dent "Aragorn" RSS Feed (Minas Anor, GD)
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (#1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   

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Verilux HappyLight Liberty 7.5K Energy Lamp
Verilux HappyLight Liberty 7.5K Energy Lamp
Offered by VCT ELECTRONICS
Price: $57.95
6 used & new from $57.50

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars No Frills Bright (HappyLight vs. goLITE), September 23, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
"Narrow-spectrum blue light (468-nm light at 607 microW/cm2, with a 27-nm half-peak bandwidth), administered via a light-emitting diode (LED), has been shown to suppress melatonin as does full-spectrum bright light. In one recent trial, narrow-spectrum blue light was shown to exert significant antidepressant effects.[6] However, as this form of light therapy also appears to require 45 minutes of daily morning administration, it is not clear whether it will offer any advantages over conventional light therapy." (See the link to the article as the first comment to this review or, alternatively, simply google 'blue light therapy for winter blues' or something similar.)

I've been using a Philips goLITE BLU Light Therapy Device since 2009 and I've been very happy with the results. While my goLITE is still running strong, all its 60 blue LEDs as bright as on 'day one', I thought I'd try something else so here comes the Verilux HappyLight.

Briefly, the HappyLight is a 'white light' device that plugs into a standard power outlet and has 2 intensity settings I and II where II is brighter and 2 interchangeable (screws involved) lenses, one named 'Comfort' and the other named 'High Energy'. To dispel any misconceptions, these are not really lenses, they are plastic, flat, translucent filters.

When turned to the higher setting the light is very white and quite bright and the theory is that long-enough exposure to either blue and white light should have beneficial effects.

____________________________________________

goLITE vs. HappyLight

I believe there is some consensus that blue light is somewhat more effective but that particular wavelength can also hurt your eyes if you stare at it for long enough.

But, assuming that both white light and blue light are effective in addressing the Winter Blues (not a Johnny Winter album, I'm afraid), let's compare the 2, starting with where goLITE appears to be the superior device.

* SIZE - it's not everything but goLITE is made to be portable. It's much smaller and lighter and it even comes with its own carrying/protective case. HappyLight is large, heavy and bulky by comparison.

* PORTABILITY - goLITE has its own, built in rechargeable battery which, amazingly, is still good after all these years. HappyLight, on the other hand has to be plugged into a power outlet.

* CONTROLS - I already noted that HappyLight has exactly one button where you can select between 'bright' and 'brighter'. goLITE's touch LCD panel allows you to set the clock, the timer, the alarm and the light intensity.

* DESIGN - goLITE is pretty, HappyLight looks a little cheap. Well... I believe it is cheaper :)

* DURABILITY - can't speak for HappyLight yet but it's a fact that I've been using the goLITE since 2009 and it's still as good as new.

* LIGHT SOURCE - goLITE is LED (no flicker), HappyLight is fluorsecent (some flicker). I prefer no flicker.
____________________________________________

Maybe I'm biased here, but it seems to me that we have a winner if we don't factor 'price'. The HappyLight is cheaper so that might mitigate some of its shortcomings. Three stars stand for "it's Okay" which it is because it does produce a bright light but nearly all the frills are missing.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 23, 2014 6:12 AM PDT


Wrist Wraps ★ FREE Bonuses (Limited) - Maximum Support for Weightlifting, Crossfit, Powerlifting, Bodybuilding, Gymnastics - Men & Women - Avoid Pain & Injury during Weight Lifting - Elastic & Heavy Duty - Best Lifetime 100% Money Back Guarantee!
Wrist Wraps ★ FREE Bonuses (Limited) - Maximum Support for Weightlifting, Crossfit, Powerlifting, Bodybuilding, Gymnastics - Men & Women - Avoid Pain & Injury during Weight Lifting - Elastic & Heavy Duty - Best Lifetime 100% Money Back Guarantee!
Offered by LivingTheDRM
Price: $20.47

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good, September 21, 2014
Simply put,the Ninja Power Wrist Wraps (provided as a 'for review item') work, and they work well. They are made of a elastic fabric and feel comfortable even when used for a long time. They do not seem like they will break easily, and the stitch work is excellent. The elastic material should make them a universal fit. These wraps fully met my expectations.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 24, 2014 9:45 AM PDT


Soundbeats Q7 Sport Bluetooth Headphones Bluetooth 4.0 Wireless Stereo Earbuds Headphones with Mic Hands-free Calling for Iphone 5 5c 5s 4s Ipad, Lg G2, Samsung Galaxy S4 S3 Note 3 and Other Android Cell Phones(black)
Soundbeats Q7 Sport Bluetooth Headphones Bluetooth 4.0 Wireless Stereo Earbuds Headphones with Mic Hands-free Calling for Iphone 5 5c 5s 4s Ipad, Lg G2, Samsung Galaxy S4 S3 Note 3 and Other Android Cell Phones(black)
Offered by SoundBEATS Audio
Price: $49.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Look Mum, No Cord!, September 21, 2014
The Q7s came as a 'for review' item and, somewhat to my surprise, they were quickly and enthusiastically adopted by our 11 yr. old. I happen to prefer 'on ear' or 'over the ear' headphones myself but... I don't have to ride in a school bus where the cool factor is important and wearing huge headphones is apparently not so cool.

I am pleased to say that the Q7s, besides being super cool looking and perfectly suited for school bus wearing are also some darn good headphones. The sound is crisp and comes with a decent enough bass to make the acceptable to wear while jogging or... riding the school bus.

Minimalism is the key word here. Being Bluetooth driven, there is no cord to connect them to the content source (phone, tablet...) and all is driven by exactly three buttons. There is a power/pair/answer/play/pause/hang up middle button and the + and - buttons that control volume and skip to the next or previous track. And nothing else. Besides the headphones, there is a built-in microphone so you can have a phone conversation while your phone is in your pocket or attached to your belt.

Everything you need except for the charger is provided by the way. There are 3 pairs (different sizes) of earbuds and 3 pairs of earhooks that help keep everything secured in your ear.

The little manual is very good at explaining everything from pairing (quick and easy) to controlling your phone as your are making/taking phone calls or playing music.

It's 5 stars the Q7 being one of the more excellent and coolest looking in-ear, cordless headphones. Even I like them and I generally avoid anything in-ear.


Pixel Mago Speedlite for Canon 300D /350D/ 400D /450D/ 500D 5D/ 5D Mark II/ 7D /550D / 600D/ 5D MARK III HSS Wireless Flash Ultra High GN
Pixel Mago Speedlite for Canon 300D /350D/ 400D /450D/ 500D 5D/ 5D Mark II/ 7D /550D / 600D/ 5D MARK III HSS Wireless Flash Ultra High GN
Offered by Raindrop Digital
Price: $89.99
7 used & new from $83.50

5.0 out of 5 stars Big on most needed features, won't break your budget, September 20, 2014
As a T3 owner/user and not a pro, I am perfectly happy with the Mago Speedlite - sent to me as a 'for review' item but there was no request that a positive review would be posted in exchange. The may reason I am happy is clearly 'price'.

It does almost everything Canon's own, except maybe for lacking a Slave Mode and, as far as I can tell, and I am NOT a pro, it does it equally well. Yes, it's a little bulkier and maybe not as good looking as some of the Canon Speedlite equivalents but you could buy three or four Magos for the amount you'd pay for Cannon's least expensive equivalent.

SETUP AND OPERATION

Thanks to the nice instruction manual, setup was a breeze. Yes, you must supply your own set of AA alkaline batteries (and I am still using the initial set after taking a couple hundred photos with it) but that's not surprising considering the product's low price.

Mounting and getting it to work with the camera was a breeze.

Someone like me, would probably always use the 'auto' mode but more sophisticated photographers can easily pick Tv (set shutter speed manually), Av (manually control aperture) or M (control both manually).

OTHER FEATURES AND CAPABILITIES

I may only be scratching the surface here but, thanks to the manual, I was able to quickly master Bounce Flash techniques where you can point the flash head toward the ceiling or a wall so that light would bounce from there on the subject rather than illuminating them directly. You can also create a Catchlight effect with the built-in wide panel and so on.

More control is afforded by allowing you to manually set the flash output from anywhere between 1/128 power to full power.

Some interesting special effects can be produced in the Multi mode such as Stroboscopic flashes.

Everything I did in auto mode came out great.

OVERALL EXPERIENCE

Such an affordable and yet near 'pro-level' flash should be ideal for anyone in the process experimenting and learning more about their Canon DSLR. Speaking for myself, the Pixel Mago Speedlite is very much what I will ever want/need, at least for the foreseeable future as it works well with my camera and addresses nearly all of my needs in AUTO mode.


Gorilla Gadgets® JungleConcert Premium Bluetooth Wireless Headphone with Microphone
Gorilla Gadgets® JungleConcert Premium Bluetooth Wireless Headphone with Microphone
Offered by GorillaGadgets
Price: $99.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Power Is Real or Pardon My Oversize Bass, September 20, 2014
Yes, these were provided as a for review unit and, yes, these are my own, hopefully unbiased views.

The one word that should describe my first impression is 'surprise'. The power and fullness of what comes out of this Gorilla little gadget is almost overwhelming. The shamelessly over-emphasized bass and the little added reverb makes listening to hip-hop more fun than legally allowed. But then I switched to something classical and while the bass and reverb were still there, what came out was not far from a concert hall experience. Impressive. And progressive metal was equally impressive. The sound is full, powerful, yes, bass-biased but immensely enjoyable if you are a bass-loving or bass-tolerant person.

Now for the headphones operation and wear. They are Bluetooth, therefore wireless. They paired quickly with just about everything. Wearing them is a good experience not only because the lack of wires but they happen to be light. They fully cover my ears and my ears are not 'small' and I could wear them for hours (because I happen to like their sound) without any discomfort.

Controls are on the left side. There are buttons for volume and forward-back and a pause button and that's really all that's needed. The earphones come with a USB charging cable but any other standard Micro USB should do and a VERY COOL, black Gorilla Gadgets carrying bag. That's all you need. Other than something you pair them with, be it a phone, laptop, Chromebook... all worked good for me.


The America's Test Kitchen New Family Cookbook
The America's Test Kitchen New Family Cookbook
by Editors at America's Test Kitchen
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $30.62
4 used & new from $26.59

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everybody Cooks, September 20, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
MY EVALUATION

This is by all means an 'everything' cookbook. Besides the thousand-plus recipes, the reader is presented a standard of truly good cooking, is familiarized with the best tools, methods and practices and helped and guided very much every step of the way, from picking up utensils, appliances and ingredients to proper techniques, presentation and a lot more.

To those who are already expert cooks or master chefs this could be just a listing of many good or interesting recipes. For everyone else, it's the 'how to' of making better tasting food and on becoming a better cook.

It's probably worth stating what this MASSIVE cookbook is not about. It's not a low-fat or low-calories compilation of recipes. While it includes hundreds of 'ethnic' recipes it does not favor any specific cuisine so, if you really want to classify it, it would file under 'eclectic'. Also, it's not about quickies. Yes, some recipes are tagged in the book as 'fast' but what the authors label fast can take 40 minutes or even longer to make.

But let's talk about what this 'America's Test Kitchen' tome is about. And there's plenty to discuss.

BACKGROUND

All recipes have been tested at America's Test Kitchen which is basically the testing grounds and super-lab for those associated with Cook's Illustrated and Cook's country magazines. We are talking about "more than 4 dozen cooks, editors, 'food scientists' and cookware specialists." They would take any new recipe and do whatever it takes - vary ingredients, cooking times, add their own improvements - until they produce what they determine by way of blind tasting to be the best way to cook that particular dish. And that's what makes it into the cookbook eventually and, I presume, into their magazines and various Web sites.

CONTENT

By counting recipes alone, the book features 1356 recipes of which 1139 are 'new' as in never published in previous editions. And, since we are talking 'counts', the 800+ pages hold 302 finished recipe photos and over 1100 step-by-step photos.

The book is organized in ways to make it as helpful as possible. There is what I would call a must read introductory section that has tips to follow if you expect to produce delicious output and want to become a better cook yourself. There are 'baseline' bits of information and advice concerning the expected quality and freshness of ingredients you use, tips on backing out of mistakes, advice on prepping ingredients, information on various tools, basic food safety rules and so on. Everyone who is not a cooking expert or artist should go over these pages.

Then... it's recipes but not only. As I noted already, there is no ethnic or low calorie/high calorie breakdown. The 21 chapters cover basic categories. Okay, I will list them:

* Appetizers
* Salads
* Soups, Stews and Chilies
* Poultry
* Meat
* Seafood
* Vegetarian Entrees
* Grilling
* Casseroles
* Pasta
* Pizza and Sandwiches
* Vegetables
* Rice, Grains and Beans
* Eggs and Breakfast
* Quick Breads
* Yeast Breads
* Cookies and Bars
* Cakes
* Pies and Tarts
* Fruit Desserts
* Puddings, Custards and More

If you are looking for something specific like, let's say French Fries, there's an index at the end that should help you find what you're looking for if it's in the book.

Other useful sections include an almost Consumer Reports-style shopping guide for utensils, cutlery, bakeware, appliances, ingredients and so forth that not only lists the authors' favorites but also 'why we like it' information which I found very helpful. There is also a section of conversions and equivalencies.

THE PROCESS

Each section, as expected, has a number of recipes and for each specific dish you are told how long it takes to make it, how many it serves, ingredients, of course, the specific steps and in most cases photos of the finished product and even of intermediary phases. And, for every single recipe, before the "how to's" there is the very important "Why This Recipe Works" which helps you set your expectations and standards and, more importantly, decide whether this is what you want to cook or perhaps you should try something else.

But that's not all. All throughout the book there are 'Notes for the Test Kitchen' inserts, several per chapter where the food experts or artists or scientists share more general advice on the specific type of foods covered in the chapter but not on a particular dish. For example, the Soups chapter's Notes provide advice on successful soup making and provide 6 paragraph-size tips that include: "simmer, don't boil", "season just before serving" and so forth.

That there are the 'Learn How' pages where specific skills are discussed. The Learn How section of Quiche, for example details the 6 steps of the making Quiche process, each step illustrated with photos and complete not only with advice but for each step a 'why' paragraph that explains why you should do it the way the book recommends it.

The 'All About' inserts are meant to improve your general knowledge and tie it to practical advice. They are also present in each chapter and vary in topics from "All About Custom Grill Fires" to "All About Cheeses".

You also find boxes on everything else, all throughout the book with information and tips that you may find useful. There is a 'Glazes for Cookies' box on the page facing the 'Learn How' section that discusses 'Decorating Cutout Cookies'. Most useful if you're not an expert.


Victor M140S Quick Kill Mouse Trap, 2-Pack
Victor M140S Quick Kill Mouse Trap, 2-Pack
Offered by Bargain The People
Price: $4.63
5 used & new from $4.46

4.0 out of 5 stars Mouse-a-roni, September 20, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
There's no such thing as a perfect mouse trap, right? Right. Our experience with the field mice that, at about this time of the year, attempt to use our basement as their winter retreat is that they learn fast and any given trap will work well in the beginning, until... it stopped, Mice quickly learn to avoid 'danger' or even work around it and sometimes find ways to get to the bait without triggering the trap.

The solution is, believe it or not, diversity. Use different kinds of traps and, hopefully, you get them all before all your traps become 'old news'. To that extent, any new trap model or trapping technology is welcome and, while we didn't get out little would-be settlers yet, I have little doubt that Victor's M140S is going to be part of the overall solution if we get invaded again.


Leanlux Raspberry Ketone+ The High Potent, High Performance , Incredible Weight Management Supplement in the Market with 6 Super Antioxidant and Fat Burning Supporting Ingredients such as African Mango, Acai Berry, Coffee Bean Extract, Green Tea Extract and Resveratrol. All in Single Capsule.
Leanlux Raspberry Ketone+ The High Potent, High Performance , Incredible Weight Management Supplement in the Market with 6 Super Antioxidant and Fat Burning Supporting Ingredients such as African Mango, Acai Berry, Coffee Bean Extract, Green Tea Extract and Resveratrol. All in Single Capsule.
Offered by Arena Naturals Inc
Price: $39.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Probably worth a try, September 18, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Without going much into the ingredients or discussing the benefits of including infinitesimal amounts of African Mango, Green Coffee Bean Extract or the mysterious Resveratrol that seem to make up the Leanlux, I am happy to report that I am unaware of any side effects after taking 1-2 of these for several days. I did not feel sick in any way and there was no after-taste or bloating sensation, which is good. I can't state this with high confidence it but, maybe, I noticed a slight decrease in appetite but, as we all know, results may vary from person to person.

My verdict: try it and if it works, then it works. If it doesn't, it doesn't seem to do a lot of harm or any harm at all if used as directed so it's no big deal. My rating is 3 stars because "it's Okay" but this is the most I can possibly say at this time.


Victor M142S Power Kill Mouse Trap, 2-Pack
Victor M142S Power Kill Mouse Trap, 2-Pack
Price: $4.99
3 used & new from $4.11

4.0 out of 5 stars One word: Diversity, September 18, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Our basement seems to be a choice location for field mice during winter. Every fall, up to half a dozen of them find their way in and, if not caught, they make babies and that's not good because 'the basement' is where I often work (frequent telecommuter).

So... the lesson we learned was that there's no perfect mousetrap and there can't be a perfect mousetrap because mice, even the field mice are smart and they learn from other mice mistakes so you can't use the same trap too many times effectively. Therefore, all mice traps and all techniques are good or even 'great' and they work, once or twice... until they don't because mice learn to avoid them.

Victor's traps seem to be as good as any. We didn't get settlers yet but I have little doubt that they will catch a couple of them once they show up. So far, they appear to be safe for humans to operate if humans follow the clear instructions. They should work well if some delicious bait is provided.


Roundup 5005610 Weed and Grass Killer Plus Concentrate Bottle, 36.8-Ounce
Roundup 5005610 Weed and Grass Killer Plus Concentrate Bottle, 36.8-Ounce
Price: $24.60
26 used & new from $24.38

4.0 out of 5 stars Helps with the bills, September 18, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I wouldn't call it the 100%, never-fail solution to week infestation but it actually helps lower the overall lawn maintenance bill. We have a house in a sub-tropical location where 'everything grows' during the rainy season and we do employ a professional for lawn care but, with a little help from Roundup, we don't need to ask them too often to take care of the weeds and that lowers our maintenance costs quite a bit. We've been using RoundUp mostly around the house and around the flower beds and, if it doesn't kill all weeds outright, which it doesn't, it does kill some of them and it kind of discourages the survivors from growing too fast.

I agree with the other reviewers that the claim that 'one quart makes UP TO 10 gallons' is more that a little misleading. This 36 oz container (1 qt and 4 oz) should make 6 gallons if used as directed. Yes, you could dilute to solution but then you could make 100 gallons or 1000 gallons, just add more water.

Overall, we are please with RoundUp's product and we've been using it for years. The fifth star would be earned back once the marketing campaign gets better in tune with reality.


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