Trends, news, information and reviews in electronics, fashion, entertainment and more.
The Adventures of Tintin, Steven Spielberg’s first full-length animated film is packed with action, drama and adventure. Follow news reporter Tintin and his dog Snowy as they journey around the world; through the skies and across the seas; in hopes to solve a mystery and find a treasure, all with the constant threat of a curse over Tintin’s shoulders. With a cast that includes Daniel Craig (James Bond, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and Andy Serkis (known for his work as Gollum and more recently as Caesar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes), The Adventures of Tintin almost flawlessly combines great storytelling with motion capture and CGI animation for the making of great animated film. Tintin pays homage to and that stays true to the original early 20th century classic comics, yet brings excitement that you can enjoy today. Pre-order Tintin and you save 51%.
Recently introduced to the global audience, Blue Microphones Tiki USB Microphone is billed as the first USB mic that accurately mimics the intelligence of human hearing. How is that possible you ask? The technological wonder workers over at Blue Mics have figured how to gear components of the portable USB microphone to focus on sounds you desire recording and to minimize sounds you don’t, through noise cancellation, voice isolation and auto-mute. Small enough to fit in your pocket, the Tiki mic is the perfect add-on component for recording audio when a portable voice recorder, iPad or other tablet are not enough for the task. Now you can record and listen to those all important multi-hour lectures in CD-quality sound.
Even though quite some time has passed since BigBerries first put the spotlight on a novelty pair of USB cufflinks, the demand for them (or at the very least the production of them) does not seem to be going away any time soon. Now, from being merely quirky, conceptual prototypes, functional cufflinks of varying types are becoming routinely available for you to purchase. That said, you can add these polished silver USB cufflinks with 2GB of storage capacity to your collection. Additionally, these cufflinks purportedly serve as a Wifi hotspot for your devices, making it so now you don’t have to mooch from the local coffeehouse to get your data. You can order them at Brookstone.
As time passes and days go by in the year, you do one of two things, you get things done or you don’t. Touted as a modern classic, “Getting Things Done” by David Allen is a book that details an organizational method that moves you from carrying a truckload of mindless mental clutter, to productive thoughts and effective, useful, task-orientated activities. While time management itself is not a new concept, the approach presented by Allen has generated a cult-like following in some circles and has even generated several web-based companies (Remember the Milk and 43Folders) that revolve around the GTD framework. In the book Mr. Allen periodically jaunts off-course into classical guru territory using the occasions to parlay some psychology and several philosophical insights, but they appropriately connect his presentation. However, despite weaving across the lane of focus, GTD manages to deliver strongly on the main premise. If you have ever found yourself running aground periodically when it comes to completing your to-do-lists, committing to resolutions, making appointments or otherwise, Getting Things Done is worth reading.
With an eight megapixel camera bolstered with Carl Zeiss lenses to help you capture all those important moments, a 4.3-inch AMOLED screen for all the media you can possibly consume, WiFi connectivity, Bluetooth and a 1.4Ghz Snapdragon processor with an updated chipset to handle LTE all wrapped in a soft to the touch polycarbonate frame, the Nokia Lumia 900 is first Nokia Windows Phone with 4G LTE.
The Nokia Lumia 900 is a great looking phone, but are looks enough to return Nokia to glory? Just in case its looks do not convince you to buy, Nokia is said to be giving the Lumia 900 an aggressive price with the hopes of making the new Microsoft Windows 4G phone appear even more attractive and thus more likely to get into your hands.
Thirteen tracks of metal, extra heavy, with some soul on the side. That’s how you can describe Mastodon’s long-anticipated sonic descendant to Crack the Skye. Constantly pushing forward, with the Hunter, Mastodon ditched the concept album model that has worked so well for them previously, like a snake shedding its skin and angled off into new musical territory. The result is a much appreciated evolution in sound, complete with more palatable song lengths, lyrics whittled down to the essential essences that evoke emotion and surge with force and direction, anthem-type choruses and melodic chords that tease the untrained ear into believing that Mastodon is aiming to go pop, but to the seasoned veteran it’s a sign of developing maturity in their craft. Could this be due to Mike Elizondo, who has handled production duties for Eminem or is it due to road work with Alice in Chains? Who cares? It’s Mastodon, the Hunter, the drums are vacuum seal tight, the songs stand alone and the music speaks for itself.
Boardwalk Empire is a prohibition era series laden with sex, violence and the syndicated crime elements that were celebrated in another HBO series, the Sopranos. This of course can be traced back to the series creator Terence Winter, a Sopranos series writer and co-producer Martin Scorsese, director of the Departed, Goodfellas and Casino. Historical figures and well crafted fictional characters align almost seamlessly in the reality-based but completely imagined series. However, historical facts are not the draw in Boardwalk Empire, much like Mad Men, Boardwalk draws on the current captivation of the ideals, lives and legends of not so distant time periods, but thrown into cauldrons of bloodlust, temptation and greed against intellectual backdrops and social circumstances similar in spirit to those of today, but in much nicer clothes.
Adapted from a Nelson Johnson book of the same name, Boardwalk Empire revolves around real life political figure and Atlantic County treasurer, Enoch “Nucky” Johnson, who aside from being a duteous civil servant, controlled an organization that involved gambling, prostitution and bootlegging during the Prohibition Era in then wildly popular, Atlantic City. Boardwalk Empire is a glimpse into the complex life of Nucky, plus the social and political workings of the era, which are just as complicated, if not even more. Boardwalk Empire: The Complete First Season allows you enjoy the show some critics are calling a classic in the making.
Spring means new things; new trees, new loves and of most importance to some, new kicks. Vans OTW will be releasing an updated Ludlow in the spring which captures the classic silhouette that Vans Ludlow is famous for, yet subtly refines the sneaker through the combination and use of premium materials. The Vans OTW Ludlow will be available to you in a black premium waxed canvas or a pairing of canvas and full grain leather. Spring also marks the Vans OTW debut of the Ludlow Decon, a variation of the Vans sneaker with minimalist construction.
Simple Steps to a Better Body and a Healthier You
Whether it is a new calendar year with New Year’s resolutions, a change in seasons with spring cleaning or a change in life that brings a new attitude, periodically we find ourselves transitioning from old to new.
When the season of change occurs a resolution that people often place on their freshly crafted to-do-list is getting in better physical shape. If you are not ready to join a gym you can still bring the pain and gain the muscle. With the right combination of information, activity, tools and exercises, you can reach the goals that you’ve set for yourself. Here are some suggestions to help you get started in the right direction. Especially, if you are not quite settled on a gym membership.
Running is a great activity that has a range of health benefits touted by the experts. Grab a pair of shoes and get busy. Here are three pairs of running shoes that meet the expectations of the pros and should work for you too. You might want to invest in a watch or heart rate monitor to track your vitals and also your progress. The Nike+ SportWatch GPS has a few useful apps and an active online community.
Yup, the jump rope is probably one of the most effective and overall low-cost exercises that you can do and jumping rope has tremendous heart health benefits. Additionally, the increased hand eye coordination will provide improvements in other areas of your day-to-day life; like dancing, throwing a right cross and better sex. Start light then gradually work your way up to the footwork, combinations and jump rope tricks. Do not worry that if in the beginning you get completely tangled in the rope, just get started. There are training videos to teach you jump rope online or you can grab a Buddy Lee Jump Rope Training video. That was him on YouTube. Crazy.
In addition to his video and book, Buddy Lee also has the Aero Speed Hyperformance jump rope. I had a Gold’s Gym jump rope. Although it frayed terribly after routine use I bought a Reebok rope that looks and performs the same. Some don’t like fraying; personally, it serves as a gratifying reminder of my sessions and is encouraging. For more of a workout use a weighted jump rope like this one.
Popular off and on throughout the years, body weight exercises are a great way to get in shape and stay there. Simply clear some space and get to the grunt work. Bodyweight exercises also are a good way to learn your body mechanics, build strength. Generally, bodyweight exercises build functional strength and bodyweight exercises can give you size and muscle.
The core principles of bodyweight exercises are simplicity, resistance, natural movements and real world applications of strength. However, many bodyweight routines and exercises stray away from this foundation. Start with the safe and proven routines first and build your body from there. Established exercises include; pushups, pull-ups, crunches and dips. After you crank out a few hundred of those, try a few variations. Later you can upgrade to rope climbs, pistol squats and the L-sit / L-chair. Find more on Wikipedia.
Super popular right now, yoga is an awesome practice that I personally can attest to and say it works. Yoga is good for the mind and good for the body. Start slow and work your way into advanced techniques. Yoga builds your core and with proper breathing, yoga can tremendously benefit your nervous system. There are plenty of yoga videos; Rodney Yee has several good ones. Here is his yoga video for strength. There are probably yoga classes in your area if you take look. Try Google+, Meetup, Craigslist or 411.
Well that takes care of your body, but you do not want to be all body and no brain, so here are some books and other tools you can use to help you reach your fitness goals in 2012.
The 4-Hour Body is New York Times bestseller not simply because Timothy Ferris has a good publicist (well maybe so). But that does not matter, the 4-Hour Body is chock full of useful information that if you apply will change you from puny to powerful. This is in part because Tim was kind enough to loan his body out for rigorous experimentation, to learn what is possible, what works and what is a waste of time, in the realm of health and fitness. Now you don’t have to spend as much money, time and effort on the road to vitality and wellness. Once you read the book of course. Or visit his repository of luminous text.
If the methods and information within the pages of 4HB does not suit your taste, here are two other books that have brought success to others looking to attain physical wellness.
First there is, “You: the Owner’s Manual.” A few years back this book was a number one bestseller and it spawned virtually an entire shelf of spin-off books, some of which went on to become best sellers as well. Obviously bored with international success and not content to leave well enough alone, the good doctors behind the massive, yet easy to read original, “You” have released an, “Updated and Expanded Edition.” The book, while huge follows a simple concept; gather vital health information and present it in an easy, clear and understandable format. Then, top it off with illustrations that make learning your body so trivial that even toddlers would understand what to do with their bodies to improve their health.
Finally, there is, “The Primal Blueprint.” Written by former marathon runner and Ironman Triathlon athlete, Mark Sisson. This book lives up to its name and gives an easy to follow, unrefined, blunt force approach to kicking sugar cravings, burning body fat and building a better body. If the lifestyle changes suggested are too overwhelming to handle alone, if you have doubts, questions, want to share your results, compare notes or just hang out; there is a wildly active Primal Blueprint forum on his website, Mark’sDailyApple.
Lastly, you’ll need some way to organize your progress and to keep track of all this. As I mentioned previously Nike has a great community resource for running and while Remember the Milk is primarily thought of as a place to assemble and store task lists not related to health, you can easily enter your exercise plan in there too. Other tools to help you reach your goals are fitness apps and health apps for your phone or tablet. These applications allow you to focus on the work to do and not the data behind it.
Five popular Android fitness and health apps for you to use include; CardioTrainer, Daily Yoga for X, JEFIT, MyFitnesspal and the FatSecret Calorie Counter. These are not the only health apps out there but, these 5 Android fitness apps are proven tools that can help you get started and also help you stay on course.
There a many exercise apps for iOS devices, but here are 5 iPad and iPhone fitness and health apps that do the work in the back office while you do the work on the floor. Starting off there is JEFIT, followed by Fooducate, SparkPeople, then the Calorie Counter by FatSecret and lastly the Endomondo Sports Tracker. You might have noticed that two of these apps were listed previously. Take this as a sign of their effectiveness and a strong suggestion of an app for you to include in your arsenal.
Two last items I want to mention before I wrap this up. The first is support. Having a good friend is a valuable tool. You do the work, but having someone to support you, provide you with feedback, encourage and help you stay accountable is a great help and often overlooked. If you are in a situation where a supportive friend is not available in real life, join the support forums, online community or group that fits you. Despite the feigned popularity and espousal of the lone wolf mentality, becoming a part of a group does not make you weak. In fact, the right coaching and support helps you become stronger.
There is strength in numbers.
Here is the other thing. The power is within you, your mind and internal conversation. That is not to disregard the teachers, coaches, books, videos and other information you gather. But all of that stuff is useless without you, and what you do with it. A good portion of that depends on how you speak and what you say to yourself. Everything you say to yourself matters. If you believe you can do it and stay focused and diligent long enough, with the proper actions, you will do it. Allow yourself both room to stumble and room to improve. With time, the areas where you once appeared clumsy you will become so skillful that others will think it came easy. You are a good foundation to build upon. Use the tools that you are given. Build yourself, a masterpiece.
The Les Miserables 25th anniversary concert brings the spectacular musical to life like never before. Recorded at London’s O2 Arena, the 25th Anniversary of Les Miserables is a celebration of the ever popular musical with stellar performances from an all-star ensemble comprised of various Les Mis cast members from the last 25 years, along with new faces; weaving a delightful fabric of song and emotion. Technological advances in lighting, video and sound significantly outperform previous stage performances and earlier video editions of Les Miserables, setting this version completely apart. Plus, now you get the best seats in the house.