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Charles Ashbacher (Marion, Iowa United States)

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EACHINE X-POWER X4 7800mAh External Battery Power Bank With LCD Screen Option: White
EACHINE X-POWER X4 7800mAh External Battery Power Bank With LCD Screen Option: White

5.0 out of 5 stars A powerful and efficient portable charger, July 29 2014
Review written by Caytie Ribble, edited by Charles Ashbacher

This eachine charger is a lovely product, it is small and compact, so it travels very well, the instructions are easy to follow and it folds up neatly to fit in the travel case the machine comes in. When properly packed the charger easily fits into a standard jeans pocket. It charges a phone in about an hour and a half, and the battery life of the charger itself is excellent, it can be used for multiple charges.
The charger has a handy display to let you know how much battery life is left in the charger, and it works with a wide variety of devices. It does get rather warm when it is charging so it is important to keep it ventilated. Overall it is a great product.

Jumbl™ Mini Portable Car Jump Starter Power Bank w/12,000mAh Capacity - Supplies Car Battery w/Boost of 400 Amps - Features LED Light & Dual USB Device Charging Ports
Jumbl™ Mini Portable Car Jump Starter Power Bank w/12,000mAh Capacity - Supplies Car Battery w/Boost of 400 Amps - Features LED Light & Dual USB Device Charging Ports
Offered by Canadian Shoppe
Price: CDN$ 129.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Very impressive product that could be a lifesaver, July 29 2014
This kit is one of the most useful packages that you can keep in your vehicle. The core is a powerful rechargeable battery that holds a charge for a few months and can be recharged using a standard wall outlet or the cigarette lighter outlet in a vehicle. There is a set of five blue lights on the side that clearly indicate the progress of the recharge. Cords for both purposes are included.
Once charged the battery can be used to jump-start a vehicle using the battery connectors that are included. The only disadvantage here is that the cords for the jumper cable is very short. The black is only five inches long and the red is slightly less than nine inches long. While that does not present a problem in my truck, I am sure there are vehicles where this could prove awkward as there may not be a flat place to put the battery. The claim is that a fully charged battery can provide approximately 20 jump starts but I have not had the opportunity to test it.
There are two USB output ports that can be used to charge mobile devices and the kit contains cords and the following adapters:

*) Apple 30-pin
*) Apple lightning
*) PSP
*) Mini USB
*) Micro USB

So you can use it to charge just about any mobile device.
Finally, the battery has an LED bulb so that it can serve as a flashlight that can be set in three modes:

*) Standard steady light
*) Flashing strobe
*) SOS emergency mode

The light is bright enough to perform close-in work and to be seen for long distances at night, but it is not powerful enough to walk through the woods at night.
This is also an excellent mobile power source for wilderness camping. The case is eleven inches by nine inches by two-and-a-half inches with a sturdy handle and latches. It is lightweight and easy to carry and the charge would last for all but the longest of trips.
I work late one night a week at a remote location and am required to be the last to leave. To date I have relied on my cell phone to provide backup in case my truck does not start. From this moment on this kit is my backup. It is versatile and extremely useful and in the bad weather we have in Iowa, could literally be a lifesaver.

NEW 2014 Professional Straightening Iron 1.25 Teal Tourmaline Set, Includes Heat Resistant Travel Bag & Blue Tourmaline Heat Protective Hair Mask *Bonus* Travel Size Jumbl Brush and Mirror Included
NEW 2014 Professional Straightening Iron 1.25 Teal Tourmaline Set, Includes Heat Resistant Travel Bag & Blue Tourmaline Heat Protective Hair Mask *Bonus* Travel Size Jumbl Brush and Mirror Included
Offered by Canadian Shoppe
Price: CDN$ 39.95

5.0 out of 5 stars A functional product with some style, July 10 2014
This hair care device is a very good product, while there are no setup instructions, operating it is largely self-explanatory. There is a set of safety instructions and as is the case for all devices that use heat, it is a good idea to at least scan them before using the product. The on-off switch is right next to the dial that changes the heat settings. The device will heat to 460 degrees Fahrenheit as compared to other brands that only go to 410. This higher heat setting works better in straightening the hair.
Only 1-2 inches of hair should be put in the clamp at any time and it may take more than one clamping if your hair is thicker. As is the case with all products using heat on your hair, you must be careful near your scalp and ears, especially with the higher heat setting. Overall, nearly every user will be satisfied with this product. The travel bag is also very useful.

Jumbl Multi-Purpose Steam Cleaner and Sanitizing, System with Attachments - 1550-Watt Continues Pump Streamer - Great Handheld Steam Cleaner For Bed Bug Treatment - Clothing, Fabric, Garments, Indoors, Outdoor, Kitchen, Bathroom, Shower,
Jumbl Multi-Purpose Steam Cleaner and Sanitizing, System with Attachments - 1550-Watt Continues Pump Streamer - Great Handheld Steam Cleaner For Bed Bug Treatment - Clothing, Fabric, Garments, Indoors, Outdoor, Kitchen, Bathroom, Shower,
Offered by Canadian Shoppe
Price: CDN$ 44.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very handy little cleaner, does the job(s), July 10 2014
This steam cleaner is very lightweight and the water reservoir is easy to attach and remove, no strength is required, making it easy for elderly or unstable hands to use. Being light and relatively small, it easily fits into a corner of a suitcase, making it available for light touch up work on clothing that has been slightly wrinkled from being packed into a suitcase. However, it will not handle more severe creases that will still have to be done with an iron.
There is also a squeegee attachment that allows it to be used on hard surfaces like windows. It is also possible to use the machine without an attachment; there is a small outlet where the steam sprays out. Used in this way, it is possible to spray steam on difficult to clean hard surfaces, such as in a bathroom or in the kitchen, for example a wooden cutting block or a tile floor with depressions. This would be especially valuable for the person that wants to avoid using cleaners or perhaps has allergies to commonly used cleaners.
When being used, this cleaner does occasionally spit water, but that is a common trait of steam cleaners, so this is merely a statement and not a criticism. This cleaner was used in many ways and it worked well but not well enough to be assigned superlatives. However, for the price it is a good deal.

Star Trek #77: Savage Curtain
Star Trek #77: Savage Curtain
VHS
3 used & new from CDN$ 15.00

4.0 out of 5 stars An alien species exhibits intellectual curiosity, July 19 2004
The major premise of this episode is intellectual curiosity, although in this case the curiosity is exhibited by alien creatures made of liquid rock that live on a volcanic planet. They probe the minds of the Enterprise crew and from Kirk's they create a facsimile of Abraham Lincoln as an emissary to the Enterprise. Lincoln is beamed aboard and is treated as a visiting dignitary. He demonstrates all of Lincoln's charm, wisdom and humor and Kirk is taken with him. Lincoln then asks Kirk and Spock to beam down to the surface of the planet with him. After reflection, they agree and beam down to an area on the planet that has been made suitable for human habitation. Once there, they discover Surak, a Vulcan revered for his principles of nonviolence, the founder of the Vulcan way of logic, and a hero plucked from Spock's mind.
A rock creature called Yarnek appears and conjures up four people from history considered to be the epitome of evil. The four evil ones are then to battle against the four "good guys", in an experiment so that Yarnak's species can learn which is stronger, good or evil. To guarantee compliance, Yarnak vows to destroy the Enterprise if good is defeated. Surak and Lincoln are killed, but in the ensuing battle, the evil ones are defeated and the survivors flee. Yarnak returns and is puzzled and disappointed by the results. He feels that they have learned nothing of the difference, although he releases the Enterprise.
The choice of of the four evil ones puzzles me. They are Ghengis Khan, Khalis, the founder of the Klingon Empire, and two others that are unknown. My first choice would have been Adolf Hitler, and I will always wonder why they did not make that choice. Perhaps his time does not go back far enough into history for the producers to consider it appropriate. To the Klingons, Khalis is a hero, which may explain some of the ambiguity that Yarnek senses. Ghengis Khan is also a significant figure in the history of northern Asia, not necessarily considered to have been evil. Yes, he conquered a large part of Asia and Europe, but there are other figures from human history that were far worse.
The main premise of this episode is one that I believe has a higher probability of coming true than many others used in the Star Trek series. When humans encounter other intelligent beings, the two species could immediately go to war. Barring that, the other species could easily demonstrate an enormous curiosity about humans and our values. If they are a species that does not possess a moral sense equivalent to ours, then good and evil would be concepts that they would not understand. If they are capable of probing human minds, then experiments of this type could certainly be possible. Therefore, I enjoyed the episode, ranking it roughly in the middle of the list.

Genetic Code
Genetic Code
by Isaac Asimov
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
14 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars The Genetic Code for Dummies!, July 18 2004
Once again Asimov is at his best, this time explaining DNA and the underlying genetic code in an easy to understand manner. He starts with the fundamentals of the language of chemistry, the symbols for the elements, diagrams of molecules and the basics of organic chemistry. Using this as the foundation, he then describes the structure of amino acids and how they combine to make proteins.
The next question is of course how cells "remember" the sequence of the amino acids in the proteins used to construct it. This requires a digression into the structure of DNA and the correspondence between the components of the DNA molecule and the protein molecule. Asimov also spends a great deal of time describing the historical record of the discoveries of how characteristics are transferred from a parent to their children. This is an excellent book for learning the fundamentals of these transfers.
The line that I found most interesting is the last paragraph of the introduction.
"This book is an attempt, then, to explain the background of the breakthrough; the full meaning of the breakthrough and its immediate consequences; and, finally, a forecast of what the breakthrough may bring about in the future - what the world of 2004 may be like, as seen through my own wishful eyes."
Now that the referenced year has arrived, how accurate was Asimov's vision? He is right on many things, accurately predicting the use of microorganisms to create proteins. However, he misses the single most significant event in genetics, the complete sequencing of the human genome.

Star Trek #53: Ultimate Comput
Star Trek #53: Ultimate Comput
VHS
3 used & new from CDN$ 15.00

4.0 out of 5 stars A certain event, a computer with a survival instinct, July 18 2004
In this episode, a supercomputer called the M-5 is placed on board the Enterprise. It is so sophisticated that nearly all of the crew disembarks so that it can run the ship. However, it has been constructed using a human mind as a template. The creator of the computer, the brilliant Dr. Daystrom, used the patterns of his mind to build the circuits of the M-5. Unfortunately, Daystrom is mentally unstable, so the M-5 is also unstable.
When the M-5 is subjected to a war games exercise, it does not understand that it is a mock attack, so it treats it as a real one and destroys a star ship, killing everyone on board. The remaining ships then form an attack force, but Kirk is able to disable the computer and regain control of the Enterprise in the nick of time.
The most significant point in this episode is that a black man is portrayed as a very intelligent man who strongly defends his invention. He stands up to Kirk, interacting with the people in power as an equal, if not as a superior. Another point is that Dr. Daystrom has the most memorable reaction to the Vulcan neck pinch in the entire series.
I enjoyed the episode, it is often portrayed as anti-technology, but that is not true. I consider it an example of the reality of bleeding edge technology. Whenever a dramatic leap of technology has been attempted, there have been mishaps and deaths. Steam ships and locomotives blew up, ships sank, space shuttles exploded, planes crashed etc. Artificial intelligence (AI) remains an elusive goal with success being difficult to measure. However, one of the consequences of successfully implementing AI will be a computer behaving in a manner similar to that of the M-5, exhibiting a strong survival instinct. This is one of the episodes that is a safe prediction of a future event.

02 Understanding Physics
02 Understanding Physics
by Isaac Asimov
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
15 used & new from CDN$ 1.70

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best place to begin the study of physics, July 17 2004
Although I took a full year of physics in college, I learned most of my physics from the three books in the Understanding Physics series by Isaac Asimov. As proof, I offer the fact that I scored a respectable 8 on the physics section of the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) that I took before starting the college physics class. My study of physics in preparation for the test began when I purchased and read the three books in the series. When I was in the physics class, I understood all of the ideas; the only part that presented any difficulty was applying calculus to the problems.
Asimov has a knack for writing about science in a way that allows for the rapid and complete learning of the concepts. This book covers the basics of light, magnetism and electricity and how they are intimately interrelated. . Unlike many other authors, Asimov does not hesitate to use equations in his explanations. I commend him for this, as you cannot learn physics without equations and the temptation to avoid them was no doubt strong. If you want to learn the fundamentals of physics, the three-volume Understanding Physics series by Asimov is the best place to start.

01 Understanding Physics
01 Understanding Physics
by Isaac Asimov
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
16 used & new from CDN$ 0.37

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best place to begin the study of physics, July 17 2004
Although I took a full year of physics in college, I learned most of my physics from the three books in the Understanding Physics series by Isaac Asimov. As proof, I offer the fact that I scored a respectable 8 on the physics section of the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) that I took before starting the college physics class. My study of physics in preparation for the test began when I purchased and read the three books in the series. When I was in the physics class, I understood all of the ideas; the only part that presented any difficulty was applying calculus to the problems.
Asimov has a knack for writing about science in a way that allows for the rapid and complete learning of the concepts. This book covers the basics of classical physics, as relativity is only mentioned in footnotes. Unlike many other authors, Asimov does not hesitate to use equations in his explanations. I commend him for this, as you cannot learn physics without equations and the temptation to avoid them was no doubt strong. If you want to learn the fundamentals of physics, the three-volume Understanding Physics series by Asimov is the best place to start.

A Short History of Chemistry
A Short History of Chemistry
by Isaac Asimov
Edition: Paperback
10 used & new from CDN$ 66.04

5.0 out of 5 stars After forty years, still the best short history, July 17 2004
Even though this book was written forty years ago and there have been many advances in chemistry since then, it remains the best introduction to chemistry available. Isaac Asimov is still the best explainer of science that has ever existed and he was never better than when writing this book. Although Asimov was capable of writing in all areas of science, he was trained as a chemist, so in this case he was writing about the subject that he knew the most about.
The understanding of the elements that led to the modern periodic table did not come easy. There were many false starts and partial truths that were presented, refuted and remodeled. Asimov takes you through all of this historical record, emphasizing that scientific "truth" is an evolutionary process. The "Aha!" moment is a very rare event in science. Most discoveries are the results of months or years of painstaking research and few are definitive. Some of the main advances started as intelligent suppositions that were not verified for decades.
Written at the level of the intelligent high school student, this is the best introduction to the intellectual struggles that forged (literally and figuratively) our current knowledge of chemistry.

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