Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Interactive Wonders of the Internet

If you think you've seen everything the internet can do, think again. This 80's invention is still evolving and soon enough, just watching a video will be as obsolete as using a floppy disk.

Play the Xylophone

This motion controlled xylophone works like the Xbox 360 Kinect and only works with Google Chrome. Once there, your browser will ask permission to turn on your camera and microphone. Then you can play the instrument by waving your hands. Of course you can also use your head, your elbows, your feet, or even your tongue if that would make you happier.

We're absolutely going to see more of this technology soon. By that time, we could probably play Xbox Kinect or Wii U games on our computers with it.

Jam with Terry Crews' Muscles

If you don't like Terry Crews or his muscles, then don't even bother with this one. 

This interactive video is part of Old Spice's very clever marketing ploy. First, Terry plays all the instruments around him with the use of his muscles. After watching him jam solo, you get to play with the instruments using your keyboard, which is kind of unfair because you only have 10 fingers while Terry has at least 20 muscles to do it. You can even record, review and share your masterpiece.

It has a great playlist, (not some mainstream music) and an amazing artwork that changes as you move your mouse or cursor. It's like a sound equalizer rhythm display... only snazzier.

This site teaches you what is and how to make imitation milk, for all the good it does.

Apparently, there are three different ways to make imitation milk and you can help doing it through this interactive video. You can crack the coconut, pop out the beans, and do other stuff that you would never have even thought of doing if you hadn't known imitation milk. 

But that ain't awesome enough. Perhaps if they put something in it that would enable us to control what's happening in the computer using a mobile device then---

Oh shit, it does.

After this, you can ask yourself, "So what?"

For a marketing stunt, this one is pretty useful because it measures and enhances your safety awareness.   

It has 10 questions like where to put fire alarms in the house and which insects you hate to see in your home which you can answer by clicking or dragging elements on the screen. Between each exercise, they insert all the boring marketing stuff, but you'll always be given the option to decline.

If you're still playing Farmville, for crying out loud, move out and visit Sunnyville. It's an interactive neighborhood packed with activities and tips about taking care of your home, cooking, gardening, mowing your lawn and even...

playing with a dancing bear?

Time to leave your poultry, swine and bovine.

If you know something more awesome than the ones on this list, be kind enough to share. We're starting to get bored with this lot.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Upgrade your iPhone4/4s to iPhone 5?

courtesy of www.apple.com

Apple has just announced the release of the new iPhone 5. “But I just bought my iPhone 4s yesterday together with all the funky cases and different usb cables!”, you say. Well you probably didn’t heed our advice

At least you still have time to atone for deeds and think about upgrading. If you’re living in the US, the iPhone 5 won't be around until the 21st. But if you’re getting one here in the Philippines, you may still have even more time to ditch your iPhone 4s because, as of the moment, they're still mum about the release..

But the real question is not "when?", but "why?"

Here’s a summary of the notable new features of iPhone 5:

1.     Taller, thinner, and lighter. It now has a 4-inch screen (now with 5 rows of apps on the screen), is 18% thinner and 20% lighter than the iPhone 4/4s.
2.     Battery time is a little longer thanks in part to the upgraded A6 chip that puts most applications on a power diet.
3.     iOs 6 will update all built-apps to fit the new display size. Some 3rd party apps that won’t update will just have black borders on each side.
4.     Everything is faster. Internet usage should be faster since LTE connection or 4G will now be available, but it will still depend on how your network providers will deliver. You'll get the same snazzy game graphics but with less loading time latency.
5.     The Lightning. It is the new cable connector/charger. It is smaller than the old one, but you don’t have to throw your old connectors away because Apple will be selling a Lightning to 30-pin adaptor for your old cables. That's if you can stomach its $29 retail price.
courtesy of www.apple.com
6.     EarPods. Apple says it’s a breakthrough in-ear type of headphones that will fit comfortably and stay inside your ears. We’ll still have to see about that.
7.     Better camera, new and improved apps, new iTunes interface, a smarter Siri, and a whole lot of other surprises to keep you on your toes. They had us at the smarter Siri, though.

Online prices are $199, $299, and $399 for the 16GB, 32GB and 64GB respectively. We say, if you have the budget, go switch. Key upgrades here are the new screen size, Lightning and the earpods. With these new features, all accessories will also upgrade to keep up with the new iPhone like the cases, chargers, speakers, battery extenders, etc. Most likely, the next generations will have the same screen and cable connector, so if ever Apple announces an iPhone 5s or 6, your accessories won’t be so old and you can wait out for the next couple of new iPhone models.

If you have a tight budget, now is the perfect time to buy accessories for your current iPhone because prices will surely drop.

Other notable products announced are the bigger iPod Nano (that can’t be worn as a wristwatch anymore), and the thinner iPod Touch with the same screen size as the iPhone 5, with new color options aside from black and white, a LED flash, and --- wait for it --- Siri!   

Unlike what we advised before, the rumors of an iPad Mini wasn't confirmed. But we are not losing hope because Apple fanatics and gadget experts think that Apple will have another product announcement by October. So, fingers crossed 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Clumsy's Bucket List Entry #5 - Festival of Colors

I just came across this Vimeo vid one fine morning:

This Good Line video production is about the Festival of Colors or "Holi", a Hindu tradition celebrating the coming of spring. In more traditional versions, folks use scented powders made from various spring blossoms. Others even mix medicinal herbs such as Neem, KumKum, Bilva and Haldi to combat cough and cold, which are common afflictions during the change of seasons.

Sadly, modern celebrations now use artificial colors, some of which are toxic enough to cause a less colorful spectrum of health problems.

Myths explaining its origins came a little later. While the change of season idea makes a whole lot more sense, the legends make the event even more colorful. Holi usually falls on March and is observed in countries greatly influenced by Hinduism such as India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal. I already feel sorry for those with asthma.

In this movie, "Outsourced", the Holi War, as it is fondly called, served as a backdrop during one of the movie's major turn of events.

If the world isn't doomed by the end of this year, I swear, I'll be joining one of those rainbow ruckuses next year... or the year after that... or before the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016.

Mark my words, I'll cross this one out.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Read all ye who want to buy CD-r King's Mirror Screen Protector for their iPad

Start of scenario:

You're playing Temple Run on your iPad on a public place, say, in MRT (we know you wouldn't dare, but just play along). You're having a good run; intense, yet somehow you make it through all the time. You're getting all the coins, jumping and turning and sliding with impeccable timing. You're good at this, you thought, and you're making the crazy monkeys eat your dust.

But then you're about to cross this gap on the road. "You got this", you told yourself. But something went wrong. You felt it, and your jump was half a heartbeat too late. You gasped right before you fell in the bottomless pit. Game's over. Bummer, yet that didn't bother you that much, because you realize something else was amiss--- others gasped at the same time you did.

You lift your gaze and find that people around you were watching the whole time. They're smiling, though not necessarily at your failure, but because of an experience you did not mean to share, and you don't like that one bit.

Then you remember that CD-r King has one of those 200-peso iPad Mirror Screen Protectors designed to limit your gadget's viewing angle range. You bought it, had it installed, and went home giddy thinking you've bought privacy at a bargain.

Then the nightmare begins.

You notice there is no hole for the front camera. You take pictures with it and notice that its shots were darker than usual.

And on your iPad's screen, you see colors. Lots of it. Ripples of blue, pink and yellow. All of which shouldn't be there. You realize you have just forfeited your iPad's retina display feature and the crisp and vivid images it used to have.

Compared with an iPod touch without the mirror screen protector, rainbow discoloration appears in most of the iPad's viewing angles. So much for privacy.

Very reflective indeed.

Both have retina display and same brightness levels. But the iPad with CD-r King's Mirror Screen Protector seem to be darker. Also, notice the discoloration on the iPad even at my usual viewing angle.

Then you regret ever buying this screen protector for the rest of your life.

End of scenario.

P.S. Don't get us wrong. We love and respect CD-r King for offering cheaper alternatives of otherwise overpriced accessories and gadgets. But not this one.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Just a few sizzling reasons why you should try Pepper Lunch

It's D-I-Y.

Eating a Pepper Lunch meal is just half the fun. The other half, cooking your food yourself. The secret lies in their electromagnetic plate which heats up quickly but stays hot longer than the average sizzling plate. This technology gives you enough time to stir, flip and mix your food before the plate cools down. You'll never worry about your meal being served cold, but you can also never blame anyone else for the way your food was cooked. 

Sizzling Beef Pepper Rice

The brown butter

There's something about that brown butter they put on every meal and that's pretty much everything we can say about it. Alone, it doesn't taste like anything extraordinary, but when it melts and blends with rice and meat, it becomes something else. Perhaps you might discover what's in that special butter.

Oh, that's why...

Double hamburger steak with egg. That's the butter on top of the meat.

Quick service

With cooking time out of the table, guests get their orders before they can even say "Pepper Lunch!". Average serving time is about 8-15 minutes depending on the staff's skill level and organization and volume of customers. 

Just a few other things

Meal prices, and menu may vary per branch.
Curry Chicken Pepper Rice with Cheese is our favorite in its Trinoma branch. But in SM Megamall, we had to pay for the curry powder and cheese as add-ons, making the entire ensemble more expensive.
Spot the difference. Curry Chicken Pepper Rice with Cheese (upper right) is not on SM Megamall branch's menu so we had to add curry and cheese. P215 (Chicken Pepper Rice) + P20 (curry powder) + P40 (cheese) = P275. Whereas in Trinoma (right), the meal is available for only P169. Ouch.

Lychee Cooler. Pepper Lunch's branch in SM Megamall has something the Trinoma branch doesn't. The lychee cooler is available at P88. It's so good,we forgot that we're slightly pissed with them.

For a restaurant that makes you cook your own food, however, eating at Pepper Lunch is not so budget-friendly. Prices range from P200-500 per meal without upgrades. But that's not saying that it's not worth it. Money can't buy happiness, after all. And if happiness is served on a sizzling plate, we say you should take it every once in a while.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Clumsy's Journal # 32 : Merlion's 40th bday ruins my trip to Singapore

They told me that a Singapore trip without a picture of the famous merlion is not valid. 

Well, just my luck.

It's my first trip abroad and this 70-ton, 8.6-meter tall, water-spewing ceramic at One Fullerton just had to ruin it. I heard he's prepping himself for his 40th birthday on September 15, refusing any photo ops until early that month. 

So vain. 

These guys didn't even let me get a glimpse of him.
Well, I guess that's just fair. His cracks are showing and his moss beard doesn't make him look dashing. I even heard that his humans are going to give him new waves to ride as a birthday present. Anyway, that left me with no other choice but to settle for his lesser counterparts just to prove that I've been there.

Well he's smaller... but hey! He's got a glowing nameplate!
And he's got a ---- no? Okay...

Come on! He's looking at you with those eyes. No? Damn.

Oh no, no, no. This one begged to have our picture
taken. I just... wanted a copy, that's all.
As much as I hate him, I wish I could witness his unveiling on his birthday. I managed to sneak up on my humans and consulted the all-knowing oracle they call internet. It told me that merlion throws a party like no other, with guests from all over the world scrambling for seats closest to him. I wish I was that famous.

But this one ought to be extra special. Humans say that "life begins at 40". I wonder if that's also true with merlion statues.

Now, that'd be something I would really want to have a picture with.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

10 Things you're LIKELY to eat on a rainy day

Half the city's submerged and the rains don't show any signs of stopping. With glacial pace, you remove yourself from bed realizing that there's nothing else to do but watch TV or browse the web as classes and work get suspended for days, citizens and the government play the blame game and people scare themselves over Genesis 8: 7-12

It's the perfect time to be socially aware and responsible, you thought, but a socially aware and responsible mind can't run on an empty stomach. So, you will yourself to the refrigerator and the food cabinets, looking for the most scrumptious yet very lazy-friendly food you can get your hands on.

You may want to look for one of these:

10 Oatmeal

Being one of the healthiest options in this list, you really can't go wrong with oatmeal. It's loaded with fiber that keeps you metabolically sound. And it's easy to prepare; just add a proportional amount of water, boil for about 4-5 minutes or until thick, then serve hot with milk and sugar or fruits.

9 Bread

When there's a dire need to eat and you're left with no other choices, even the stalest bread will taste like heaven. Pan de sal, pan de regla, kabayan and spanish bread from yesterday's breakfast, or even a nearly-expired, plain loaf bread will do --- more so if you could reheat it in an oven and maybe add a little bit of butter or cheese to melt on top.

8 Chocolate

Nothing says "Don't worry, you're dry and comfortable" and "You're gonna be fine" like sweet, sweet chocolate, whether local or imported, in bars or in a mug served hot with marshmallows. It's probably the only legit comfort food on the list with studies claiming that chocolate will make you feel good.

7 Eggs

Every refrigerator should never be without eggs. Farm-fresh or days old in the storage, they will all taste as good as the other when served scrambled, sunny-side up, boiled or half-cooked. Provided, of course, that they haven't gone bad yet. And watch your diet.

6 Biscuits/Cookies

You've probably ignored them when there were lots of other munchies around. But now that they're one of the few that stand between you and a quiet stomach, it's time to love them back. Now if you could just dip them in milk or hot coffee...

5 Chips

Health conscious people may have been avoiding them all their life, but these hard times call for a little leniency. So what if you eat chips dipped in salsa or cheese melt? And some soda to wash it down, perhaps?

4 Banana

No matter the season, they've always been on your table. And today is one of those few days in the year that they look very enticing. You'll fantasize about putting some scoops of ice cream and a dash of chocolate syrup on it, or putting it in a blender with coffee, vanilla and ice to make a coffee banana smoothie. But then, you'd be too lazy to go through the entire ordeal. You'll peel the banana and eat it straight up instead, and you'll find it not bad at all.

3 Tuyo / Daing (Dried salted fish)

When was the last time you ate tuyo or daing matched with spiced vinegar and tomatoes and steamed rice? If you can't remember and find yourself face to face with one of these dried and salted goods, make sure to remind yourself of how savory and liberating it is to eat them without any form of etiquette.

2 Canned goods

During a disaster, canned goods and instant noodles are most likely the ones you'll have in abundance. Though they are ready-to-eat, it's the little touches that will make your canned good eating experience more exciting. Try Spanish sardines with a few drops of calamansi juice and crushed chili for an added spike.

1 Instant noodles

There's nothing like a rich noodle soup from scratch. But when convenience and speedy preparation is a priority, instant noodles will have to do. Some will take them plain, while others will try to approximate the real thing by adding a few chunks of meat from yesterday's leftovers.

Now that you've had your fill, you decide that it's about time you stop being oblivious to what's happening around you. And then you realize that right now, the least you can do is offer some of what you have. :)