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We are what we think & my blog entries reflect how I think. Have a sip of the poison of my mind.. It's not always lethal.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Quickie: A Peek At How I Blog With My Galaxy Note 8.0

I'm usually long-winded but.. Ready? Commencing quickie, so let's do this in a hurry:

If I condense my thoughts regarding crafting out my blog posts in their entirety using my Galaxy Note 8.0 tablet in just one single photo, it's this (you can click on it to bloat it up if you need to):

Everybody already knows the old saying about how a picture speaks a thousand words but in my case here though, I didn't get that ambitious. As you can see, I only used exactly 10 words but they do the job adequately in conveying the idea that the Galaxy Note 8.0 is my blogging tool of choice, I trust.

It's all about the precision of the S Pen (especially when it comes to photo editing and artwork which the S Pen works on much easier and smoother as compared to fingers) and the Multi-Windows feature that allows me to reference additional information without being jolted out of my main project and losing sight of it and becoming disorientated.

Here's a look at this particular blog post in progress on my Note 8.0:

The photo above shows how I use the multi-windows feature: the left section of the photo shows my blog draft at the top while I work on a photo at the bottom. I can resize any of the windows if I need more work space without losing reference of the other. The section on the right of the photo shows my S Note at the bottom containing the HTML tags and templates I use frequently which I can just copy and then paste into the blog draft where I need them at the top window.

Also, when I need to hunt for information using the web browser, copy URL addresses or embed YouTube videos by copying down their embed codes, I can just drag in the browser by pulling it in from the multi-window apps selection on the left.

If you don't root your Note device though, you will have no say in exactly which apps are made available for multi-windows. So an unrooted Note device evokes the control freak rebel in me and prompts me to snatch over the reins. It's my device after all, so it's my say and rightfully so. Amen.

The days of being able to blog only when in front of the computer (and aching backs) have been long gone ever since mobile tech started taking over lots of tasks from the computer. My Galaxy Note 8 is my weapon of choice when it comes to Blogger's WMD.

Besides the multi-windows, the functionalities of the S Pen is what differentiates the Note device, which lots of folks misunderstand and underestimate by not viewing it as something beyond a normal capacitive stylus: functions like Quick Command, Page Crop (which Samsung calls "Clip Tool"), as well as hover air-view, which functions just like a computer mouse on website pull-down menus and gives you visual previews on video timelines come to mind.

The powerful functions of the S Pen come not just from its tip, but also from its button, which I think most Note owners hardly or never press. I know of Note owners whose S Pens reside permanently in their silos, never ever seeing the light of day. It's a pity that for the most part, the Note device is an under-utilized device.

Anyway, when it comes to blogging, it's a breeze writing and formatting with this bad mutha. Anytime, anywhere.

And that concludes our quickie. Hope you've experienced Nerdgasm and enjoyed reading this as much as I've enjoyed writing it. And I mean literally writing out every word with the S Pen since I'm a writer-wannabe, with pen and all, cough.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Getting Creeped Out For Entertainment Taiwanese-Style

My Lioness knows full well that I'm a big fan of mysteries, especially mysteries that evoke my goosebumps and send chills down my spine. Even in gaming, my favourite genre is Survival Horror. Horror is also my prime choice for movies, fiction, graphic novels and manga. Yup, I'm the sort that gets kicks out of getting creeped out.

That's either some dark and morbid Scorpio fetish or I've never committed damnable and unspeakable evils like killing someone (terrorists, monsters and ghouls made out of polygons and pixels don't count), destroying the lives of others or burning effigies of Barney the nasal dinosaur, which probably explains why I can have the resilience to face the horrors of things that go bump in the night. And enjoy it.

Luckily for me, my Lioness is also a horror fan even though she has a lower resilience to the creep factor and has to peek through the gaps of the fingers of her hands whenever we watch horror movies. Well, she's a Gemini, so she's supposed to be comical like that anyway - that side of them you usually only have the privilege of seeing if you become close to them.

Dear reader, if you happen to enjoy getting creeped out too and you understand the Mandarin language, read on:

I can't remember exactly if it was during my last working day with my previous company or the day after, but since I've decided to take a break during that time, it was just perfect timing that my Lioness found and introduced me to this Taiwanese series '爱哟我的妈'.

This series discusses mysteries both modern and ancient, ghosts (watch out for the '鬼灯獎' segments every monday night), strange crimes both solved and unsolved, the spiritual world, strange creatures, extraterrestrial life, and even urban legends. Once in awhile, they may discuss about other light-hearted and even humorous topics but for the most part, the mysteries and darker topics hold dominance.

Here, have a look at the very first 爱哟我的妈 video I watched that got me hooked to the series:

Of course, having a webpage that consolidates and organizes the different segments of this still on-going series can be more conducive for ease of navigation and for keeping track of your viewing progress, as opposed to the randomized search results on YouTube, so here's the organized webpage on Maplestage. However, you can still come across a handful of segments on YouTube which are not found on Maplestage. Just treat those as extra tidbits once you've exhausted the list on Maplestage.

(Update from the future: The entire series has been revamped and renamed to 来自星星的事).

真相 Hold 得住
My Lioness is one of the best cyber detectives I know and within a short period of time after I've started chasing the 爱哟我的妈 series, she found 真相 Hold 得住 which also discusses the mysteries and creepy topics.

The difference between this one and 爱哟我的妈 is that 真相 Hold 得住 attempts to approach the topics from a more scientific angle - which can end up rather comical sometimes because, well, there are times when Science cannot explain everything and ends up finding its back against the wall.

Here's one of the video segments from the series:

And here's the Maplestage list of this series.

(Update from the future: Maplestage has discontinued providing further updates for this series because it has ended. Even so, if you've never watched this series before, the segments listed on the existing page on Maplestage should still entertain you for a long while.)

Some time last month, I found another series myself that focuses purely on ghosts. I'll just say that if you find the ghostly segments of 爱哟我的妈 scary, then watching 鬼话连篇 should make you feel that the other series shows are the softcore versions in the creepy department. The segments of 鬼话连篇 may start out all calm and peaceful sometimes but the creep factor can suddenly jump out at you and make your skin crawl.

Don't get me wrong, 爱哟我的妈 and 真相 Hold 得住 are still very much enjoyable to watch (and both can help in expanding your general, geographical and historical knowledge), it's just that 鬼话连篇 takes things to more extreme and dangerous levels: in majority of the segments, the hosts and guests infiltrate haunted places and have to do things like being isolated all alone in the creepiest parts of the haunted grounds in complete darkness while doing things to lure the spirits to manifest themselves. It's like the Fear Factor of the creepy shows. This one takes you to the actual places instead of just holding discussions in the studio.

Even though this much older series is no longer on-ongoing, the segments you can find on YouTube number in the hundreds (around 300 odd or so if I'm not mistaken). I haven't come across any webpage that lists out the segments of this series in an organized manner yet and the segments found on YouTube come mostly with each segment sliced into 4 separate parts, so you have to do a bit of hunting for the remaining parts of each segment you watch (well worth it, in my opinion).

If you are interested in this series and to make things easier, just head over to ETTV32's YouTube channel, go to their playlists and hunt down the series from there.

Here's a segment from the series:
(Don't click on the video if you are squeamish, have a weak heart or if you are a minor. You've been warned)

Boy, you just gotta love Amy 李冠儀.

And by the way, did you watch the video alone in the dark with all the lights turned off and the volume pumped up? If you didn't, try doing so. Otherwise, you might miss some of the ghostly weepings and moans, not to mention the proper vibes. If you watch the series in a well-lit room with company and want to make a comment here about how you didn't find the series creepy, then no machismo bragging rights for you here.

Anyway, whether you get scared silly or you have balls of steel and could just shrug off the creeps, I hope you enjoy these 3 shows.

And finally, just keep an open mind but don't believe 100% in everything you see and hear at face value. Entertainment is still meant to be, well, entertainment. Truth can be like a cake - it comes out from the oven all bland looking but you can put icing, cream, fruits, confectionery decorations and what-have-yous on it just to make it more appealing and aesthetically pleasing.

But even so, they say there's no smoke without fire.