the IT list #11

“the IT list” A series of posts that highlight the various stuff, old or new, that I’ve been doing… reading, watching, eating or simply obsessing over recently. It’s my personal countdown.

the IT list #11

#ONE
It’s been a summer of really entertaining blockbuster movies; but the one that stood out for me so far is Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim. I’ve watched it twice. Once in IMAX 3D. Once in the good old 2D format. Either way, the movie is just pure awesomeness wrapped in robots versus monsters goodness. Go watch it.

#TWO
It was one LONG month before I got this; but the waiting was worth it! I’ve been wanting to buy a pocket WiFi device of my own. Thankfully, I held out long enough for LTE to arrive in our shores.

The Smart LTE Prepaid Pocket WiFi kit is worth Php6,995. It includes a ZTE MF93D unit and LTE Sim. I’ve been using it for almost two months and I have no regrets. I’ve only gone up to 12mbps at the most, but it’s even faster than the WiFi in my house! And that’s saying a lot. With the prepaid kit, I get to control the amount I put into my device — no contracts, no lockout. What’s even better is that the unit allows up to 10 users at a time! I can also avail of unlimited LTE in Php50 (1 day), Php299 (7 days) and Php995 (30 days) denominations. That’s a really great deal especially since there’s no data cap.

Visit smart.com.ph/bro/lte for more details.


#THREE
I’ve been watching this YouTube show for a while; but Kids React (TheFineBros) got some mainstream media attention because of a recent episode that showed us how some kids could be smarter than most adults when it comes to viewing race and equality.

I love watching this show… as well as its other incarnations: Teens React and Elders React. It’s a simple concept; but it’s entertaining and it makes you think. Highly recommended.

vmars
#FOUR
The movie is finished shooting. A sneak peek has been released. It’s really happening! I am one of the proud backers of this Kickstarter project; and I’m SO EXCITED for the finished product. I’ve been getting a number of updates related to the movie and so far, things are looking pretty good… definitely worth the $50 I shelled out to help make it a reality. The Veronica Mars Movie will be out early 2014. I can’t wait!!

#FIVE
I haven’t had a chance to watch a concert or a theatrical show this year (and it’s already July!). What I’ve been doing a lot of lately is going on staycations. Last Holy Week, we stayed at Manila Hotel. For my sister’s bridal shower, I treated her to an overnight stay at Ace Hotel & Suites. Just last week, I tagged along with my brother’s family and stayed in Sofitel Philippines.

Needless to say, I LOVE the staycation experience. Getting to stay in a luxurious hotel… Not having to clean up after yourself… Best of all, two words: breakfast buffet, which is one of my favorite things in the world. It’s my way of getting some rest and relaxation without leaving the city.

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Songs for the End of the World

Here’s a Pentatonix mash-up of “Save the World” and “Don’t You Worry Child” by the Swedish House Mafia. Perfect timing for the END OF THE WORLD. Can’t stop listening to it.

Can someone please bring this group to Manila???

Life Tips

You gotta love the Internet.

Think of almost anything you can imagine; and you’ll probably find it there. Recently for me, two valuable tips I’ve found on the world wide web have helped me a lot. These are simple, everyday solutions to problems and emergencies that just might save you money and a whole lot of stress. I really want to share my experiences here; because I hope to teach you some stuff in the way these other sites aided me in certain situations.

CRISIS # 1: Tight Flats

Three months ago, I bought a pair of flats that fit fine when I tried them on in the store. However, after walking in them for less than an hour, the shoes hurt and bruised my ankles. It’s too tight for everyday use! They were then hidden away in the back of my shoe closet.

Thanks to Pinterest, which led me to Coffee Light & Sweet, I found my solution three weeks ago; and I’ve been sharing this tip with my friends ever since.

What you need: thick socks (or a number of pairs of socks) and blow dryer
What to do:
– Put on the thick socks (or at least two layers of socks) and wear your flats.
– Aim the blow dryer in the tight spots, wiggling your feet as you heat the shoes so that it loosens up. Do this for a couple of minutes.
– Keep the shoes on as it cools down.
– Once cooled down, remove your socks and try the shoes on. Repeat process until shoes are comfortable for you.
Other applications: This is a great technique to break in your shoes. You may also try it with your leather shoes and heels. I’m currently trying this technique out with a pair of rain boots I bought from the US, which is tight around the calves. (It has loosened up a bit; and I’ll try doing the technique again for the next few days.)

CRISIS # 2: Wet iPhone

This is probably the most common emergency that may happen to anyone with a mobile phone. I am one of the recent victims. Let me share my story first. The other day (on my birthday nonetheless), I had an accident and my precious iPhone got soaked. It was in the water for about 2-3 seconds before I fished it out. Common sense told me to turn it off at once, which I did. I then immediately shook the phone for excess water and used paper towels to dry it off outside. In the back of my head, I know I read something about using uncooked rice or silica. I ran to my computer to search for a solution and got my confirmation.

These sites popped up in my quick search: CNET and Appstorm. They also suggested the uncooked rice trick; so I rushed to get some and immediately put my phone in it. A few minutes later, I also found a paper clip, removed my SIM card, then put the phone back in the rice. All of these were accomplished in less than 20 minutes.

When I got home, I found the packs of silica I saved up and added them in the container where my phone was drying out. I also briefly blow dried the phone (in cool setting) before putting it back in the container.

Next thing I did was wait overnight. (It was one of the longest nights of my life!) By the time morning came, my phone has been in the uncooked rice and silica for approximately 15 hours. I plugged in the phone while praying for a miracle to happen. About 8 minutes passed before I finally heard the sweet sound of the iPhone booting up with the Apple logo appearing. At this time, angels were singing in my head.

Next step was to try out the functions. Thankfully, I found no glitches! I only saw some fogging in the lamp and the front-facing camera. To be safe, I put silica packs in my iPhone case for the rest of the day. I also put my phone in uncooked rice again overnight. In the morning, the fogging was gone and the phone still works! Hallelujah!

image from http://www.gadgetreview.com

What you need: paper towels, uncooked rice (or silica packs), lots of patience!
What to do:
– Turn off your phone immediately. Shake it out to remove excess water, then dry with cloth or paper towels. Don’t forget to remove the SIM.
– Put your phone in uncooked rice and leave it there for at least 12 hours. Depending on how soaked your phone gets, others suggest leaving it there for 24 hours to 3 days.
– After waiting, remove any uncooked rice that got into the nooks and crannies of the phone. Use a pin or brush to get them out.
– Plug the phone in and wait.
– If it turns on, test the functions of your phone immediately: battery, screen, touch screen function, home button, sending and receiving calls, texting, speakers, earphone jack, Wi-fi, 3G, camera, games & apps. This will help you determine the extent of damage to your phone. Since getting wet will void your warranty, you might as well get your phone repaired if any problem pops up.
– If it doesn’t turn on, try to put it back in the rice for a longer time, maybe weeks, before trying it again.
*Side note: This technique doesn’t guarantee that your iPhone will spring back to life. This is just one of the most effective ways to dry out and possibly salvage your water-damaged phone. It really depends on the extent of damage or the length of time that the device has been in the water.
Other applications: This can be applied to most electronic devices. If you can remove the battery, be sure to do so and dry it out before putting all parts in uncooked rice.

It’s only been a day or two since the accident; and I have yet to see any problems with my iPhone. I’m really thankful. It was just a matter of acting fast and finding a solution as soon as possible… thanks to the Internet.

Pinterest Envy

I LOVE PINTEREST.

I have recently reacquainted myself with the awesomeness of this virtual pinboard. In the past week, I have been pinning away like there’s no tomorrow. It’s now one of the pages I immediately log into every time I’m in front of the computer… right up there with the likes of Facebook and Twitter.

Pinterest is absolutely wonderful. Everything I like is arranged visually right in front of me — simple and useful. Scrolling through so many pretty things has never been this fun. I get to discover new brands, products and styles. I learn new recipes and pick up tips about everyday life.

It’s also a great social app. I get to see what my friends pin on their boards. In turn, I could repin anything they post that catches my eye. I learn more about their tastes and if they’re similar to mine. Aside from your friends, your pins are also shared with other users; and they too can repin your pins, regardless of who you are or where you’re from. It has allowed the world to seem even smaller. Sharing my interests has now given me a sense of community. I’m just amazed at how much people have in common. It’s pretty cool.

pinning

I like pinning the usual stuff… favorite shows, movies, books and music artists. This giant online cork board would never run out of space for what I love; and I have a lot of them. Believe me. In TV shows alone, I could pin one series after another. Movies? Don’t even get me started.

I also spend most of my time on Pinterest just pinning and pining away. I keep on pinning stuff that I WISH I had. I spot some cute luggage — PIN! I see an amazing indoor pool in a house I won’t ever own — PIN! I catch sight of a gorgeous dress that probably won’t look good on me — PIN! Pin this. Pin that. Every single beautiful thing… without even blinking… PINNED!

pining

Pinterest is genius, actually. It leads me to products that I now want to buy. Looking at my pins every single day creates this desire for a product. Here are just some of the things I actually covet and want to buy at the moment:

Unhealthy, right? So far, I haven’t really bought anything… Thanks to my amazing self-control (ha!). But it’s only a matter of time before I click that “Buy Now” button. It’s what I both love and hate about Pinterest. Still, I can’t stop pinning and pining.

Check out my pins at http://pinterest.com/mars_mg/

the IT list #7

“the IT list” A series of posts that highlight the various stuff, old or new, that I’ve been doing… reading, watching, eating or simply obsessing over recently. It’s my personal countdown.

the IT list #7

#ONE
I’ve bought my ticket; and I can’t wait to attend Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Ball, which is presented by Ovation Productions. It will be held at the brand spanking new Mall of Asia Arena on May 21, 2012. I missed her concert the first time she came to Manila; so there’s no way I’m passing up this opportunity to watch her live. I believe it’s going to be epic. I can’t wait!


#TWO
This brilliant app is like Pictionary among friends; and it has provided me with endless entertainment the past few weeks. With such a simple concept, it’s terribly addictive. If you have an Android or Apple device, this is the app you should download now. Connect with Facebook and play with friends! You don’t need to be a brilliant artist to play this, though some sites may make you insecure about your drawing ability. (See: Best of Draw Something) Still, it’s a lot of fun to try to draw as well as guess your friends attempts to draw. It’s another way to connect with people and share something with them without ever having to meet face-to-face.


#THREE
I’ve been wanting to buy this gaming console for a while; and I finally gave in… So far, I’m loving this toy. Kinect allows you to play games that make you move, dance and jump without a need to hold a device in your hand. It’s a lot of fun for the whole family. Games like Kinect Sports, Dance Central and PowerUp Heroes have kept me preoccupied the past Holy Week. It’s probably one of the coolest things I’ve ever owned in my life.


#FOUR
You either love it or think it’s “too gay;” but I’m personally loving Smash. I believe it’s an engaging portrayal of what it takes to stage a Broadway musical… from the producer to the director to the writers to the talents. As with any series, there are characters I could do without (Ellis, please!) and I could survive without the personal drama that borders on cliched (adultery, mean girls picking on the new girl, boyfriend drama). What I like is how the musical Marilyn/Bombshell has taken different directions… just like any production in real life. It also doesn’t dwell too much on performing as many songs as possible. And when they do perform a song, original or otherwise, it’s organic to the scene and it’s beautifully done. I’m glued to the show and I hope it only gets better from here.

#FIVE
I’ve known of this site for a while; but it’s only been recently that I got addicted to reading every entry on 9Gag. What can I say? The submissions make me laugh… most of the time. It introduced me to derp and derpina. It made me know about Ridiculously Photogenic Guy before anyone else. Bad Luck Brian, trolling, “Bitch, Please!” and everything in between… They’ve got it. It’s a good source of entertainment when I’m idling by with nothing to do while on the computer.

Schmidt vs. The Hills

Here’s a little something that brightened up my morning. I can’t believe I’m just seeing this now. Schmidt is the d-bag we love on New Girl; and here’s  an even bigger proof why he’s such a you-know-what.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zkf5SSdfQYA]

And here’s the video he was inspired by… brilliant.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4z1pF0vxGw]

And here’s the interview where I found out about it.

What a way to kickstart my morning!

Snap Happy with iPhone 4S

I recently gave myself a Christmas present:

What can I say… I’ve been lured by the temptation of a Php5,000 cash out plus a postpaid plan upgrade for a brand new iPhone 4S 16gb delivered to my doorstep. All it took was a phone conversation plus a three-day wait. Simple and quick. Thanks Globe!

It’s been with me for almost a week; and I’ve been tinkering with it a lot. It’s fast and responsive. Siri is absolutely brilliant (save for some times when it’s down). The 8mp camera is simply awesome. I’m in love.

Out of all the features, the camera is getting most of the abuse from me. I’ve never used a cellphone camera this  much before. The quality is really great. I can’t stop taking pictures. Plus, with the help of some amazing apps, I’m able to take even better pictures with some editing and effects.

I know that I’m hardly a photographer; but I’ve been taking so many photos, I’ve decided to start a blog for it. I call it iSnap Happy: Photographic Exploits with Me & My iPhone. It’s a showcase of snapshots I took with my iPhone, using applications such as Camera+, Multi-lens and Snapseed. I also post some of my conversations with Siri. It’s a fun photoblog and I hope you stop by.