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KM (Liverpool)
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Crack Open 4 Real Geodes - Starter Rock Science Kit
Crack Open 4 Real Geodes - Starter Rock Science Kit

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great introduction to Geodes/rocks and geology!, 26 Feb. 2015
I was very kindly sent this 'Break open real Geodes' kit for review by Dr Cool for review purposes.

Although it says 6 -15 years old I personally would say it is aimed at anybody able to enjoy hands on science with or without the help of an adult. I'm as old as a geode and loved it!

As ever I enlisted the help of my 5 year old nephew who is turning out to be an excellent lab assistant. Great for fetching biscuits and glasses of milk! I have uploaded a few photos to accompany this review - hope they help :)

What on earth is a Geode? A lot of Geodes are formed in the bubbles in volcanic rock. Over time, dissolved minerals seep into a hollow area and harden into an outer shell creating the geode. The minerals continue to form on the inside walls of the shell, growing towards the center. The most common dissolved mineral is quartz, but amethyst and other minerals are also found. It can take hundreds of millions of years for the space inside a geode to be filled, and many geodes remain partly hollow.

This is the second Dr Cool science kit I have checked out and as before the presentation and quality are non other than top notch. In this geode kit you will find -

- 4 geodes in a cloth pouch which measure 1.5 to 3 inches across
- 1 pair of safety glasses to be worn whilst cracking the geodes open
- A plastic magnifying glass
- 1 geode display stand
- Geode Adventure guide - this booklet will help you identify what is inside your geodes. It is a well produced fun to read educational booklet with some very nice photographs which explains what is a geode? How is a geode formed? How to find a geode and much more!
- Geode activity booklet containing geode related mazes - crosswords - word searches and puzzles

The geodes are brilliant out of the box. They're a generous size as you can get much smaller ones than these. The goggles are good quality for the job in hand and do protect the eyes well enough. These can be reused for other activities of course. The magnifying glass is okay but I'm sure most people have a glass one knocking around the house which will give better clarity when examining your geodes.

How do you crack open a Geode?

There's a few ways to do this. The first thing to remember is - get your goggle on! Unless you want a flying spec of rock in your eye!

If you can get hold of an old plumbers tool that they used to use to cut cast iron pipes open - these nearly always give two nicely cut halves of Geode. But you don't see them around much nowadays thanks to UPVC! The best way to do this at home is the hammer and chisel method.

You need a hammer and a chisel and taking your time you need to lightly tap the chisel to score a line around the equator of the Geode. Keep doing this around the Geode until you see a crack appear. Keep tapping a little harder now around it until it breaks open.

If you don't have a chisel you could put the Geode in a sock and taking a hammer just use enough force to break it open. It will be in pieces but you will be able to examine the inside!

How did we get on with cracking Dr Cool's Geodes?

Not bad at all. We managed to crack ours open pretty much in half. You know when it's gone well because you can fit the two halves together again perfectly. The lighter coloured Geode (the Quartz one) was very easy to crack open. The darker heavier one (the Calcite one) took a bit of time but gently does it is the trick. You can hear the sound change as it's about to open up so take your time and listen out! One more tap and it's open to reveal it's crystals.

I love this kit! Using this you can introduce your child or yourself to the wonderful world of Geodes and rocks! I imagine a lot of people have never even seen a Geode but here you can see it - handle it - crack it open and examine it! Having your young child do this just opens their interests and knowledge up that little bit more and possibly will ignite an interest that may take them on to greater things in their adult life. Who wouldn't want to travel worldwide as a geologist?

Highly recommended
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Miracle-Gro All Purpose Soluble Plant Food 2 kg Tub
Miracle-Gro All Purpose Soluble Plant Food 2 kg Tub
Price: £7.43

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute must have for the gardener, 26 Feb. 2015
I've been using Miracle grow all purpose soluble plant food for a few years now. This version is spot on. It is granular so this two kilo tub can make 720 litres of liquid plant feed! I have a 5 litre watering can so that makes 144 cans full! Not bad at all. (13.5 grams dissolved per can)

This is an all purpose feed as it contains all the things that your plants in general need to grow well. The ratio of main ingredients (in this) are 24:8:16, which means there are 24 parts Nitrogen, 8 parts Phosphorus, 16 parts Potassium (when it's dissolved in water) as well as smaller amounts of trace elements such as Iron, Magnesium, Boron and Manganese! These are basically all the nutrients your plants need to grow well.

Just a quick explanation of the three main ingredients in here. . .Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium. You will find these in differing quantities in all fertilizers. This is an all purpose fertilizer so there is a similar amount of each.

Nitrogen-Makes plants grow vigorously (foliage) and green! This is why lawn fertilizers are high in Nitrogen.

Phosphorus-Promotes healthy, strong root development. This is why bulb fertilizers are high in Phosphorus.

Potassium-This aids flower size and colour (blooming) and helps fruiting! There is very rarely more of this than the other two as plants only need a little help doing this.

So when you see N:P:K 24:8:16 that's what it means and these numbers can be different for other fertilizers of course depending on what they're for!

So, I use this fertilizer every two weeks from about May through to September. I mainly grow flowers and some veg. My flowers definitely benefit from it. The flower heads are bigger, the colours appear brighter and deeper and dare I say. . .a stronger scent? :-) The root systems are more prolific and stronger, thicker. Foliage is great, a lovely deep green and large leaves, good stem growth.

I personally don't just depend on this as it is a quick shot of nutrients that doesn't last long. That's why it's a two week application. Soil preperation before you plant out is the key to a successful garden. Digging the soil over about 18 inches deep and incorporating organic material such as rotted manure or Fish blood and bone in early Autumn will give your soil a good chance to break down further before planting out later on.

One other thing. . .I don't use Miracle grow on seedlings. I let them grow of their own accord and develop a good root system as they have enough nutrients in the compost they're growing in for a good few weeks. Once they are well developed I use half strength Liquid feed (7 grams per can) and once they're planted out I will use full strength dilution.

So yes! I can absolutely recommend Miracle grow soluble plant food for watering around the root area and over foliage. . .backing up your usual growing methods of course. Don't tell the neighbours though!


2014 Newest Atongm Laser Projection Keyboard Bluetooth Virtual Laser Keyboard Touchpad For Windows Phone 7, IOS4/5/6 (iPhone and iPad) Android 3.1 higher, Mac OS X
2014 Newest Atongm Laser Projection Keyboard Bluetooth Virtual Laser Keyboard Touchpad For Windows Phone 7, IOS4/5/6 (iPhone and iPad) Android 3.1 higher, Mac OS X
Offered by Oxford Street
Price: £48.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nifty gadget, 25 Feb. 2015
The Atongm keyboard is a portable laser projection keyboard that can be connected to your Bluetooth enabled phones and tablets to provide you with a fully functional keyboard on the go. For Android use you need to be running 2.2 or higher.

You can also use this with non Bluetooth enabled devices by connecting it to the host phone/tablet/computer via it's the supplied cable.

In the box you get -

- The laser projection device 7.5 x 4 x 2 cm - weight 50g - 200 mins use from a full charge
- USB to Mini USB charging cable
- Instruction booklet

The device is well made from plastic and is extremely lightweight but feels very robust in the hand. On the back of the device you have the on/off power switch and the mini USB port for charging. On the front you have the keyboard projection lens - light detector - sensor - LED indication light. On the bottom is a removable (4 tiny screws) base plate as the internal 700mAh Li-ion battery can be changed.

In use -

You do need a non reflective opaque surface to use this on. I am using the keyboard to type this review up on my Samsung Galaxy Note 2. The keyboard is projected onto a kitchen table (photo uploaded)

You just charge it up and turn it on. Stand it on the surface where it's to be used and connect to it via Bluetooth on your phone or tablet (turn the device Bluetooth on by pressing Fn+B on the laser keyboard) That's it! Couldn't be easier. It can be used whilst charging.

Once on, you can change the keyboard brightness - turn on/off key press beep sound - adjust tone. The projected keyboard is 10 x 4 inches in normal use (see my pic upload) but . . .if you place the device just one inch or so higher (say on the edge of a book) the projected keyboard will be considerably bigger!

The blurb says it can detect around 350 characters per minute which is about right. I found It does take a 'bit' of practice as I was pressing characters I didn't want to by accident but I just slowed down a touch and found it was better. I would definitely take some time getting to know what each individual key does beforehand so you know how to go upper case, use the number and all the symbols.

Every time you make a keystroke you get a 'beep' so you do know that it has registered. I liked this function - similar to hepatic keystroke feedback on your phone.

If you haven't used the keyboard for some minutes it does go into sleep mode and is restarted by just making a keystroke.

As I said earlier -I have just typed this review up using this device on my phone, so it does work! It's a handy little gadget which you can just put in your bag/pocket and use anywhere! You could find a piece of card that the keyboard projects well on and carry that around with it if need be.

Recommended


Mr Beams MB360 Spotlight Pack Of 2
Mr Beams MB360 Spotlight Pack Of 2
Offered by Mr Beams UK
Price: £39.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great spot lights, 24 Feb. 2015
This review is from: Mr Beams MB360 Spotlight Pack Of 2
I've already got the double spotlight version of this in my back garden and I'm very happy with it. I bought these for my Dad to install in his garden.

In the box you will get. . .

- The spotlights with fixing brackets
- The required screws and plugs
- Instruction leaflet

This is a battery operated light taking 3 x D cell batteries that are 'not' supplied.

The spotlight body is made from a black matt finish plastic and feels very solidly built indeed. It has one LED light on the front and one motion sensor. The front is well marked with the direction it twists off to enable the batteries to be fitted.

The body is attached to a tilt-able fixing bracket. The light is also weatherproofed and I can report after the hammering they have had lately, it is still working well!

Once the batteries are in, this spotlight weighs around 1kg. It's dead easy to fit, just three screws in the base and screw the light on into the position /angle you want. The light will only come on during darkness when the motion sensor is activated and stays on for 20 seconds before going off again. It does work well too!

According to the instruction leaflet if the lights 'stay' on and do not go off after 20 seconds or more the batteries need changing!

I put these up about 7ft high pointing downwards on the diagonal to illuminate a section of path and a garage door. The motion sensor brought the lights on when I was around 20 feet away it was very bright and illuminated the path/door easily and well. It is quite blinding full on.

You cannot alter any of the parameters on these lights. It's a simple plug and play item.

These are cracking battery operated lights, well made and no need to wire it up!

Dead easy to fit yourself and works brilliantly in my opinion.


TS Optics Set of 4 high quality colour filters 31.7mm (1.25") Light Red, Yellow, Green, Blue, for telescopes, TSFi14
TS Optics Set of 4 high quality colour filters 31.7mm (1.25") Light Red, Yellow, Green, Blue, for telescopes, TSFi14
Offered by Teleskop-Service Germany
Price: £39.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most important filters, 24 Feb. 2015
I bought these some years ago to use with a Celestron telescope.

They are 1.25 inch black anodised aluminium and thReaded on both sides so they can be stacked/combined if need be. Made from top quality anti reflective homogenous optical glass the image you're looking at is crystal clear with no ghosting or distortions. The screw action is nice and smooth and they fit well. Great build quality here. You get the four main filters here that you will use most. The percentage figure ie Orange 46% relates to the amount of light that the filter will let through. So in the orange filter case 54% of light is blocked. So the smaller the number the stronger the filter is.

Grey 13% - A neutral density or Moon filter! This reduces brightness and therefore increases contrast acting just like sunglasses. This is the one you need for looking at the Moon and any other bright celestial object in the night sky. It will help reduce eye strain. Particularly useful for stacking with the other filters giving a darker image but still in the other filters colour.

Light Green 53% - Excellent for viewing the yellow tinted dust storms on the Martian surface as well as it's pOLar ice caps and useful for enhancing lunar details. Also increases contrast of the red and blue regions in Jupiter's atmosphere greatly.

Dark Blue 17% - Popular for use in viewing Jupiters Red spot and reddish belt structures. Saturns belts and clouds of Venus. This filter is also the best one to bring out gas tails in comets.

Orange 46% - For viewing Mars and defining the boundaries between land formations. EnhAncement of cloud belts on Jupiter and for viewing the Red spot. Also good for high contrast viewing of Saturn.

That's just a basic overview. Of course everybody's eyes are different and celestial bodies are changing colour all the time and. . .these filters are stackable giving many combinations. Sometimes it's a case of experimenting to see what works best for your eyes but this is a great set.

Highly recommended.


Ecoforce pack of 24 Strong Hurricane Force Grip Clothes Pegs made of Recycled Plastic
Ecoforce pack of 24 Strong Hurricane Force Grip Clothes Pegs made of Recycled Plastic
Offered by san direct
Price: £3.14

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superpegs! Pegs of steel. . . ., 24 Feb. 2015
or maybe just plastic. . . .

After many years of buying rubbish cheapo clothes pegs that discolour, go rusty, snap or fly off the washing line at random I decided to search Amazon and thought I'd give these a go!

These Eco pegs are a one piece recycled plastic unit, so no springs, weak points or wood involved here.

Many peg boffins have spent sleepless nights designing and testing these lemon and lime green blighters by the looks of things. They're great to use with a pretty strong grip indeed and so hold your whiter than whites, bath towels and lacy knickers securely even in a very stiff breeze!

The lemon ones have a better grip than the green as they are slightly different due to two tiny pincers where they peg onto the line. I would imagine these are for finer material to keep it held firmly and the green for thicker things like bath towels and such (see my pic uploads). I can see these lasting for years as they're virtually indestructible so a good investment! These superpegs are also British designed and manufactured, good show!

Think I'll buy my sis some for her birthday, she'll love em! Highly recommended.
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Premier Housewares Folding Snack Table - Natural Wood - 65 x 49 x 39 cm
Premier Housewares Folding Snack Table - Natural Wood - 65 x 49 x 39 cm
Offered by Beck's
Price: £13.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Handy little table for card games - laptop - drawing - lunch - garden drinks table, 24 Feb. 2015
We needed a little portable table around the house for various uses and after having a good look around opted for one of these. This is the second one of these tables we've bought.

Made from natural wood its quite sturdy and looks neat and tidy. Perfect for having your lunch on whilst watching tv if your that way inclined and no worries if anything spills onto it as its easily wiped clean.

At just over 2 feet high x 18 inches wide (as you sit at it) x 14 inches deep - its a good height to sit at and work on be it writing, using the laptop or crafting. The table top is large enough to fit two A4 pads on, side by side with a few inches to spare all around.

It folds flat (like an ironing board mechanism) for easy storage and can be easily moved around the house where it may be needed, even in the garden during summer!

A useful little table.
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Slime Tube 237ml Tyre Sealant
Slime Tube 237ml Tyre Sealant
Offered by bikes4life limited
Price: £8.17

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No more punctures - this stuff works!, 24 Feb. 2015
I've bought this stuff as I travel to work on a bike and have suffered from quite a few punctures over the years.

Slime is a green liquid in a bottle that comes with a nifty little key to enable you to unscrew the core out of your inner tube valve. This provides a clear run to inject/pour the slime into your tube. You just put half the amount into each inner tube. To do this you simply turn your bike upside down, take the valve core out, fill with slime and screw core back in, inflate tyre and you're away! Dead easy.

The slime is a liquid suspension of rubber fibres and a coagulating solution. The slime is in constant motion around the inside of your inner tube as you ride and as soon as a hole appears the slime solution rushes to where the air is flowing out and plugs the hole forming a rubber seal. Very clever.

Slime will last unopened for approx four years and once inside your tyre will remain active for two years according to the people who produce slime.

I've had it in for over 12 months to date but I've had no punctures touch wood or slime! and I have rode over glass shards, thorns and snapped off twigs, brambles along my usual route with no problems.

It appears to be the real deal.


Gold Sparkling Ice Fountain Candles - Pack of 2
Gold Sparkling Ice Fountain Candles - Pack of 2
Offered by Simply Direct ltd
Price: £1.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive!, 24 Feb. 2015
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
I bought these for a birthday cake as I have used them before.

You get two candles in the pack, each about 3 inches long. There's spikes provided that you pull off one end and attach to the other end so you can stick them into the cake safely. There is no wick but a thin tissue paper cover across the top of the candle. This is what you ignite. I used a cooker type lighter (one of those long ones), a match would do also but I personally wouldn't use a lighter!

You just hold the flame to the tissue paper covering across the top of the candle for a second then quickly light the other or have somebody else do it at the same time.

What you get is a mini Roman candle type firework effect! Flaming sparkles will shoot upwards about a foot into the air with loads of crackling noises! It's pretty impressive for their small size. We were impressed anyway.

The mini firework display went on for approx 30 seconds whilst we all sang Happy Birthday (I even got in some vibrato a-la X-factor style!) and managed three hip hip hoorays just as they finished, good timing!

Give them a minute to cool before removing as like a firework they do get hot!

They're spot on and I'll be getting a few more packs for future use. Highly recommended.


STOVAX THERMOLAC PAINT MATT BLACK FOR STOVE FIRE GRATE BBQ FLUE RADIATORS
STOVAX THERMOLAC PAINT MATT BLACK FOR STOVE FIRE GRATE BBQ FLUE RADIATORS
Offered by Plumbing Supermarket
Price: £12.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chiminea now looks brand new, 24 Feb. 2015
I bought one of these to repaint/spray my black cast iron chiminea. It has been used a lot over the last twelve months and was looking a bit rusty and weathered.

This spray is black and is okay for surface temperatures of upto 800 degrees centigrade and prevents rust for long periods of time. It does contain chemicals which are harmful so use only in well ventilated areas and wear a suitable mask!

I prepared the surface of the chiminea by wire brushing it all over to remove any loose bits and provide a clean as possible area for the paint to adhere smoothly to. Outside on a large piece of cardboard I first lay it on It's side and sprayed underneath and around the bowl, the legs/feet. After 30 mins it was touch dry so I stood it up and sprayed the rest of it.

The best way to achieve a uniform finish is to keep the can 8 inches from the surface at all times and move in sweeping motions like you would a brush. I gave it one full coat and left for 24hrs then another full coat. There's plenty in this can.

It looks like brand new! I'm just waiting for the weather to pick up a bit now. Roll on summer nights, crackling logs and cider with good food :)


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