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rob crawford "Rob Crawford" (Balmette Talloires, France)
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FRiEQ® 4-Feet Gold Plated 3.5mm Male to 3.5mm Female Car and Home Stereo Cloth Jacketed Tangle-Free Auxiliary Stereo Audio Cable Extension Fits Over Tablet & Smart Phone Cases For Apple iPad, iPhone, iPod, Samsung Galaxy, Android, MP3 Players Black/Green (Plug will be Fully Seated with Phone Case On)
FRiEQ® 4-Feet Gold Plated 3.5mm Male to 3.5mm Female Car and Home Stereo Cloth Jacketed Tangle-Free Auxiliary Stereo Audio Cable Extension Fits Over Tablet & Smart Phone Cases For Apple iPad, iPhone, iPod, Samsung Galaxy, Android, MP3 Players Black/Green (Plug will be Fully Seated with Phone Case On)
Offered by T.M. Enterprise
Price: £15.99

5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent, sturdy extension that we will use for many years, 6 Dec. 2014
This is a much-needed addition to our media room. I have never been satisfied with wireless headphones, so I have needed an extension cord for headphones that will last. The wire is reinforced and protected with (I believe) a nylon cover that is also attractive.

Recommended.


[OTG Hub] Inateck 4-port USB 3.0 Micro USB OTG Hub Bus-powered for Laptops, Ultrabooks and Tablet PCs and Android Phone and Tablets
[OTG Hub] Inateck 4-port USB 3.0 Micro USB OTG Hub Bus-powered for Laptops, Ultrabooks and Tablet PCs and Android Phone and Tablets
Offered by Inateck
Price: £32.99

4.0 out of 5 stars excellent and much needed, 26 Nov. 2014
This was something we have needed to obtain for years. As devices proliferate, the old equipment proves inadequate, a bristling of unplugged cables that one needs to fumble around with. Now, with this excellent and elegant device, I have cleaned the mess behind my MAC and greatly added to the ease of using it.

Recommended.


Kitchen Basics Ultra-Durable Tri-Blade Vegetable Turning Spiral Slicer / Spiralizer for Zucchini, Potatoes, Squash, Carrots, Cucumbers, etc. / Design vegetable stir-fries or pasta dishes / Decorate serving dishes / Veggie Slicer Cutter to Make Healthy Zucchini Noodles Spaghetti Pasta Dishes; Substitute Noodles and Spaghetti Pasta Recipes with Gluten Free & Low Carb Easy Vegetable Noodles Meals Ideas (White/Green)
Kitchen Basics Ultra-Durable Tri-Blade Vegetable Turning Spiral Slicer / Spiralizer for Zucchini, Potatoes, Squash, Carrots, Cucumbers, etc. / Design vegetable stir-fries or pasta dishes / Decorate serving dishes / Veggie Slicer Cutter to Make Healthy Zucchini Noodles Spaghetti Pasta Dishes; Substitute Noodles and Spaghetti Pasta Recipes with Gluten Free & Low Carb Easy Vegetable Noodles Meals Ideas (White/Green)
Offered by Gideon Direct
Price: £34.95

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars not very well designed, 15 Nov. 2014
I was looking for a simple substitute for the clunky and difficult-to-clean food processor we have. Unfortunately, this is not it. There are many problems with it. 1) It is not contained, so the food you slice goes everywhere, making a wet mess over the counter top. 2) It doesn't work particularly well. I tried carrots and they wobble and fragment, leaving large unprocessed pieces, again a mess. The variation of what be be cut is also a small range, basically slices or curlicues. 3) It is not well engineered - my hand hit the bottom every time the crank went round, very annoying and awkward.

Not recommended.


LE Solar Powered LED Motion Sensor Light, Wireless Night Light, Wall Light, Security Light for Door, Entrance, Pathways, Patios, Garden, Daylight White
LE Solar Powered LED Motion Sensor Light, Wireless Night Light, Wall Light, Security Light for Door, Entrance, Pathways, Patios, Garden, Daylight White
Offered by Neon Mart
Price: £24.50

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars nice addition, 21 Oct. 2014
This is a good product that will serve us as a low maintenance addition to our security systems. While not particularly bright, it is a good motion detector that requires no power other than solar.

There are a few quirks regarding our situation that I would mention. We live in medieval village in a mountain valley, so the combination of limited sunshine and odd architectural angles means that it is not easy for the unit to get the full recommended 8 hours of recharging unless we move it. Moreover, where it does get sun is not necessarily where we would want to place it during the night: the porch and walkway (what we want to illuminate in case of an intruder) are further in so don't always get enough light to fully recharge.

As such, I would recommend this for those who live in sunnier areas.


The Origin of Satan: How Christians Demonized Jews, Pagans, and Heretics
The Origin of Satan: How Christians Demonized Jews, Pagans, and Heretics
by Elaine Pagels
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars The socio-political context of early Christianity, with Satan as a backdrop, 20 Oct. 2014
This is a very interesting book that recapitulates the emergence of Christianity in context, detailed and vivid, from its origins in Palestine to its expansion westward. But the focus is on the use of Satan, first as a kind of gadfly or tester of belief in the Jewish and Pauline tradition to the "cosmic war" of later Christianity, whereby opposition from without and within are portrayed as intrinsically evil and irredeemable. It is beautifully written and fascinating throughout, but it was not what I was looking for.

The evolution of the notion of Satan progresses from an angel who tests people for God, posing questions and proposing alternatives to the righteous in contravention of God's will, into the embodiment of evil, whether as a being or a force within one's heart and mind. Pagels explains this strictly from both Biblical and "heretical" texts, with a keen eye on political developments of the time. First, in the Hebrew Bible, Satan (or Bielzebub or by any array of names) is an angel. Slowly, he becomes the force behind sectarian disagreements, from intra-Jewish ones to opponents of Jesus' supposed vision for the Jews. He also serves as the source of evil to be found in GOYIM, or those who are not of the nation of Israel. Second, as Christianity progressively becomes dominated by gentiles, the notion of the devil's evil work moves from a) vilification of non-believing Jews, Romans, and Pagans, to b) the condemnation of those Christians who promote rival interpretations to one's own, ending in c) a question of what is in one's own heart and what causes one to sin.

All of these notions, Pagels argues persuasively, came to dominate the consciences's of the various branches of monotheism over the next 2,000 years. With the accusation (or "demonization") of the "other" as irredeemably evil and not on the side of God and his righteous, it creates a kind of solidarity and certainty in the face of sometimes overwhelming odds - and an excuse to treat others as less than human in a cosmic war. This makes her argument, in my view, essential reading.

Nonetheless, I was looking for an examination of Satan himself, not only as a socio-political phenomenon, but as imagery, characterization, etc. As he appears in this book, Satan is a kind of morphing gravity well, a murky socio-political force. While very interesting, I was disappointed and will have to seek the other perspective elsewhere.

Recommended with enthusiasm. It is a great review of early Christianity and crucial to understanding the monotheistic mind.


The Crisis of the European Mind 1680-1715 (New York Review Books Classics)
The Crisis of the European Mind 1680-1715 (New York Review Books Classics)
by Paul Hazard
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Late Renaissance intellectual history, when reason and skepticism re-emerged, 20 Oct. 2014
This is a classic of intellectual history about a movement that carved the way for the Enlightenment. In a nutshell, it is about the thinkers who finally shook off unquestioning faith - the ancient authorities who set limits on thinking - in favor of more critical inquiry that, most significantly, required direct observation and experiment rather than reliance on a priori principles and doctrine. In other words, it set the groundwork for the scientific method, but also opened the way for radically new questions to be asked, e.g. whether the divine right of kings was a legitimate notion.

The characters range from Descartes and Locke to Francis Bacon and Spinoza, all of them skeptics and observers. They began to loosen the hold of the Christian faith on the minds of men, arguing first that God had created a world that ran on its own in accordance with laws that could be understood and that required no active oversight from him. Soon, some realized that this meant there was no need for a God to run things, that the universe could have come about on their own rather than require a creator. To oversimplify, the great philosophical principle that emerged was positivism, whereby phenomena had to be directly observed and explained, rather than referring back to principles that had come from the Bible or other sources unquestioned for over 1,200 years, when Christianity overwhelmed the classical philosophies of reason and free inquiry in favor of religious orthodoxy.

I give the book only 4 stars because, as a read, it feels outdated. The style is somewhat florid, which was perhaps popular in France before WWII. It is also hard to follow in many instances.

Nonetheless, this is a fascinating book. Recommended warmly.


LE 12 Watt E27 LED Bulbs, Brightest 75 Watt Incandescent Bulbs Equivalent,1050lm, Daylight White, Medium Screw, LED Bulb
LE 12 Watt E27 LED Bulbs, Brightest 75 Watt Incandescent Bulbs Equivalent,1050lm, Daylight White, Medium Screw, LED Bulb

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic new tech product, 20 Oct. 2014
For a long time, I have sought an alternative to old-fashioned incandescent and fluorescent bulbs - the former burn out too quickly and are too fragile, the latter are expensive and, in my experience, rather unreliable.

Assuming they last as long as these are supposed to, this is a truly superior technology: cheap, energy saving, long lasting. These 75 watts are very bright, you only 12W compared to old-fashioned incandescent bulbs.

Recommended with great enthusiasm.


LE 7W A60 B22 LED Bulbs, 40W Incandescent Bulb Equivalent, 520lm, Warm White, 2700K, Global Beam Angle, Bayonet LED Light Bulbs, Pack of 10 Units
LE 7W A60 B22 LED Bulbs, 40W Incandescent Bulb Equivalent, 520lm, Warm White, 2700K, Global Beam Angle, Bayonet LED Light Bulbs, Pack of 10 Units
Offered by Neon Mart
Price: £103.50

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars inexpensive new tech, 18 Oct. 2014
These are good alternatives to traditional bulbs: energy efficient, supposedly long lasting, reliable.

Recommended.


MFi USB Charger Manufactured under the MFi Program - Bundle of 3 Extra Long 6.5 Feet Cables for Apple iPhone 4, 4s, 3gs, 3g iPod touch 1, 2, 3, 4, iPad 1, 2, 3 for Sync and Charging (Red + Black + White, 30-pin) - Lifetime Warranty
MFi USB Charger Manufactured under the MFi Program - Bundle of 3 Extra Long 6.5 Feet Cables for Apple iPhone 4, 4s, 3gs, 3g iPod touch 1, 2, 3, 4, iPad 1, 2, 3 for Sync and Charging (Red + Black + White, 30-pin) - Lifetime Warranty
Offered by The Friendly Swede [UK]
Price: £5.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good quality, inexpensive alternative, 12 Oct. 2014
These are well manufactured, serviceable cables that are less expensive than Apple-supplied ones. They work, but are not as nicely manufactured as the originals. I have them in different locations around the house in case my Apple-manufactured ones are misplaced or unavailable.

Recommended.


The Kingdom in the Sun, 1130-1194 (The Normans in Sicily)
The Kingdom in the Sun, 1130-1194 (The Normans in Sicily)
by John Julius Norwich
Edition: Paperback
Price: £17.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars another solid narrative, a good read if not essential, 9 Aug. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Having hugely enjoyed the first volume, I approached this one with great anticipation. People I respected as deep readers of history had recommended these books to me for years, even though it covers, well, a pretty obscure chapter of the middle ages.

The story takes up at the moment when Roger II, the son, has been anointed by the Pope as sovereign of Sicily and a large portion of Southern Italy. Roger II earned this as the only major political leader to support the Pope in a divisive schism, for which he was to prove decisively useful in exchange for the legitimacy conferred. As king, it is he who garners the loyalty by feudal oath and contract of the various lords who are installed in the many localities under his nominal control. Though much of his reign is taken up by quelling rebellions on the peninsula (Norman lords wanted more influence than he cared to bestow), Roger II proved himself to be one of the ablest of feudal lords: while courageous and willing to use force, he combined that with talents for diplomacy, great attention to administrative detail, a lively intellectual life, and a politician's luck in timing - and knowing when to wait, in particular in defense against Emperors who coveted his lands. As a result, Sicily knew its only truly golden age, emerging as a major power in an era of petty autocracies, evolving empires, and religious strife; it became rich, building a number of architectural masterpieces (e.g. Cefalu cathedral), and tolerant of its many ethnic and religious groupings. Indeed, the way that Roger II balanced the various factions he contended with proves he had a first-rate political mind. As an administrator, he built a secure and prosperous state, with an eye to the long term. Unfortunately, once he was gone, his successors never displayed the combination of skills that Roger II was able to balance. While they could fight, most of them preferred to retreat to the pleasures of the court or their harems, living in luxury and decadence, yet hardly thinking of the future. It took over 50 years, but the Norman state eventually crumbled under their incompetences and the way that the ethnic balance shifted over 100 years (i.e. more Latins at the expense of Greeks and Arabs). That is the essential narrative.

Unfortunately, the coverage of the issues underlying the era is spotty. While inadvertently mentioned in asides, I would have liked much more detail about them. Norwich praises the eclectic culture that emerged with unprecedented tolerance (not a Christian virtue, but learned from the Moslem populations on the island), but I felt very hungry to learn more. I also did not get as good a sense of the political science that was operating during the period, i.e. how the feudal state was supposed to work, what powers the Pope had as spiritual and political overseer, and how the Holy Roman and Byzantine empires were governed, in particular during the Crusades. That was disappointing.

That being said, there is much to learn here - on Feudalism, the Papacy, and royal customs and behavior. I am very glad I read it. Norwich is a truly masterful writer of popular histories. His greatest virtue is that he understands how to approach history as a story and the dazzling personalties of the period, from Eleanor of Acquitaine and Richard the Lion Heart to Barbarossa and countless others. This book reads fluently, quickly, and sustains the reader's interest throughout. However, the analyses that are thrown in are sparse, as are references to culture. Recommended with these caveats.


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