TED Talks: Misogyny, Video Games & Cyber Bullying

A very interesting video was posted on my Facebook yesterday morning from a former roommate who knew of my love for video games.

About TED Talks

I can’t believe I have never mentioned TED Talks on this blog before, but if you are unfamiliar these are videos about “Technology, Entertainment, and Design.” Their motto is quite simply to spread ideas worth inciting discussion. I highly suggest you to look at their website and Youtube channel. I guarantee that you find a topic that will captivate you.

Natalie Tran aka Community Channel

I initially found TED Talks a few years ago via Natalie Tran of YouTube’s Community Channel. She creates funny yet smart videos that are satirical, random, and run by a one woman show. As she mentions in her TED Talk, she steps back and observes the “awkward moments” or small parts of life in her videos. She also points out some issues of being a funny female on internet. Please watch Natalie Tran’s TED Talk here.

TEDxWomen 2012: Misogyny, Video Games, Cyber Bullying

This is a great way to transition to the into video that my old roomie posted.

This is Anita Sarkeesian. She is a media critic who wanted to take a critical look at female representation in video games. She was met with a lot of hostility and online abuse, much of which can be classified as misogyny. Listen to her TED talk as she can explain and present her case in a much more captivating way than I could write.

Enjoy!

Other TED Talk Fave

Finally, I just want to insert this TED Talk I watched in Philosophy/Ethics class last year. It’s about how Google and Social networks use algorithms to generate search results and ads catered to  you. Some crazy stuff if you think about how the internet is evolving and becoming more aware of each of its users.

Concluding Remarks

I just want to urge again to try watching and sharing TED Talks. They are really interesting topics that are educational. The talks vary in length and even accessible via free apps for smart phones and ipods/iphones. Just in case you want something new to pass the time when  Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja, and whatever is floating  your game app boat today gets boring 🙂

My New Gadget: The Apple Ipod Touch 4G

Hello everyone!

So as you may have read in an earlier post, I alluded I had received money to buy myself a present for my birthday. I was planning on buying myself an Ipod Touch after Winter Term because I wanted more music storage and to finally have my first Apple product! It also helped my cause that my older sister’s company had a discount with Apple. Lucky for me, my parents decided to foot the bill on this product instead.

I even got the back engraved for free with a few of my favorite lyrics from The Beatles’ “Hey Jude.” Sadly, it got a bit scratched up when I brought it home from the Apple Store, but I’m not too concerned. I bought a temporary cover & screen protector from Amazon to prevent more serious damages.

Besides the uber fun touch screen and ability to use Wi-fi, the two things that really sold me on this Ipod Touch is the Music Storage & Sound and Apps abilities.

1) Music Storage & Sound

I can finally load full albums onto my Ipod instead of one or two songs from each band! I loved my Samsung S3 mp3 player, but it’s tiny music storage and inability to play music file types really annoyed me at times. I felt like it was really an over glorified playlist and adding music to it was a bit tedious since the EmoDio program it uses was temperamental with me.

Overall though, I really enjoyed the Samsung S3 mp3 player because it had great sound quality, was a great transition from button device to semi-touch screen, and is pretty hardy (I’ve dropped it a few times without a case, and it still works!). Most likely will be using it for the gym/running while my Ipod will be for travels & entertainment 🙂

I was also pleasantly surprised that the Ipod Touch trumped my mp3 player’s sound quality when paired with the mighty Sennhesier earbuds. Even when hooked up to my portable speaker that I got from my friends for my birthday, the chillest beats don’t just blend in the background noise, but are vibrant and beautiful as they should be.

2) Apps

I never understood why people liked playing games on their Ipods. I always thought it was a waste of battery and storage space. I take it all back. I’m completely and utterly in love with the free apps available for download.

Draw Something is probably the final push for why I gave into my craving to buy the Ipod Touch. It is like Pictionary, but electronically! My sister, brother-in-law, and I are pretty late in the whole craze, but it has been so much fun thus far.

Lose-It is an app I downloaded after learning it from Kristina’s blog. I had also spread word to it to my roomies. It’s a great way to keep an eye on your calorie consumption and provide some education on the type of nutrition you are in-taking daily.

Pet Shop Story. Don’t judge me. It’s all Megan’s fault I’m sorta addicted. It’s like The Sims without the commitment.

I’ve only had this thing for about a week now, so hopefully I’ll learn how to be more comfortable with the touch screen and it’s tiny, fragile body. I’m excited to play around with the camera and planner next. If you have any advice on what to use the Ipod Touch for, let me know!

FYE & Other Fantastical Shoppings

Hello everyone, and yes I have survived midterms week here at Drexel.

Now, I must admit, even to myself, I haven’t been spending too much on clothes or accessories shopping since the term has started (although my food bills & school payments are atrocious). But for whatever reason, FYE has been making a killing off of me lately. I used to go to FYE a lot when I was still in high school, mostly to browse.

But recently, it was Aniket’s birthday so I bought him presents. I also just bought random things that made me think of him. Most of which were all thanks to the FYE. At first he got really upset because he thought I broke the bank buying crap loads of things for him (along with the cake and other frivolous things), but I sat him down and shared my joy for my economical awesomeness.

I got him 2 sets of glasses (one of the Beatles and one of our fave superhero Spiderman) since his friend & roomie moved away and took most of his awesome dishware. Believe it or not, all 4 of the glasses totaled less than $8.

Next week hit, and another FYE sale found me! Aniket was sick and kept on running out of mugs when he kept drinking tea, so I figured why not help his cause.

Another set of Beatles dishware, for we both adore the band so much! He also likes Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix very muchly, although the Hendrix mug I got him looks similar to the one above, it didn’t have the “Are You Experienced?” text 😦 Surprisingly all 4 of these items in total were less than $10!

And last, but not least, I found this “Game of Thrones” poster for 50% off the final markdown. Less than$3!!! What a steal! Usually HBO charges at least $20 for each poster apparently.

Photo stolen from Naomi who baby sat my poster while I went shadowing at the hospital 🙂 (http://fromheretoforever.wordpress.com/)

Actually, I also got something for Miss Naomi:

A Soft Kitty shirt (referencing to Big Bang Theory!)

And since the sale was buy one get one 50% off, I got myself a Power Ranger shirt that I’ve ALWAYS wanted ❤

Last but not least (and hopefully the last FYE purchase for a long while), the most amazing clock ever of Marvel superheros! I’m not a big fan of the Hulk but I love literally 3/4 of the rest of it! $5, which even shocked the cashiers!

And finally (forreals this time), just in case I’ve frightened you all with my uncontrollable need to buy presents when I’m stressed, apparently my mom has the same gift/curse/responsibility.

Look at these ADORABLE cherry shoes! I think she said she found them on sale for like 60% off at Lord & Taylor online. The brand I think is a London designer called “Poetic License.” I absolutely loooooveee them. Wish it was a little warmer to wear them!

Okay, hopefully I will not have another shopping update for a long, long time…

New Laptop: The Samsung SF410

One of the perks of a good internship is a nice paycheck. And after a few months of working, I have finally saved enough for a brand new laptop! I had actually gotten it about a month ago when I visited my sister and bro-in-law in DC (they were the ones that help me find it). However, I haven’t been able to spend quality time with it much yet because of work.

14″ sized screen, a little over 4lbs, and white on the exterior, the Samsung SF410 is my new notebook of choice. ChubbyRiceBall is the endearing and fitting name my sister gave to it! For about $500 I was able to replace my outdated, duct tape ridden, beloved old Dell laptop, whom I decided to finally call Vagabond because of it’s ragtag appearance and missing keyboard letters.

So far, I like the laptop a lot. I suppose a quick pros & cons list shall do for a review:

Pros:

  • Appearance very sleek
  • Lightweight
  • Bright & clear screen display
  • Very quick reboot
  • Windows 9 (haha yes, finally away from Vista!)
  • Can charge usb items without being powered on

Cons:

  • Mouse touchpad drives me insane//need to get used to
  • Battery life isn’t anything spectacular
  • Battery is an internal unit
  • Dislike the buttons that control sound

Why I needed to replace my beloved Dell:

  • Outdated
  • Battery no longer charges
  • System randomly shut on and off during important times (ie- financial aid)
  • CD drive fell out and stopped functioning.

I think the thing I also like about my new laptop is the built in webcam. Never had one before :)! The cool borders and effects are really entertaining.

So, in summary no complaints so far. It would also seem to the average person that I am somewhat of a Samsung fangirl. All my mp3 players, current cellphone, and now recent laptop are of the Samsung brand! Truly a coincidence!

Headphones Review: Sennheiser HD428

I’ve been pushing off this review for a while. They say that headphones need breaking into, and that their true sound quality potential can be judged properly after a few uses. It’s been almost a month, so this is a fair time to break out the judgement haha.

I kept mentioning to Aniket that I wanted new headphones after the amazing although short life of my WESCO Oboe headphones, he suggested that Sennheiser has excellent sound quality.

The Sennheiser HD428 is described as “Closed Circumaural Hi-Fi” headphones, which I think is just fancy for round, close to ears headphones.

Pros:

While this is a much darker color pallet of black & silver compared to my usual technicolor preference in headphones style, I figure I should sacrifice a little in fashion for function. I actually like the structure of the headphones a lot.

The round cups are great for physically isolating background noise (awesome for a train commuting girl such as myself). I like the thickness and material on construction used for the framework of the headphones. It feels very sturdy and durable.

I also like that it’s closed from the back, giving me a secure feeling on my head when I’m wearing them. It also prevents my blasting music to leak out and disturb other people (a problem I had with my trendier looking headphones).

Lightweight and comfy, I like traveling with these headphones on even if I can’t fold them. In fact what one may call “clunky” I find very vintage and cool haha.

Cons:

My only design gripe is the very thin & long 10ft cords that Sennheiser loves to throw on their ‘phones. I remedied that easily by buying an adorable cord wrap.

The In-Between:

The price very much makes or breaks whether this is a great purchase. I personally bought a pair from Amazon with free shipping and about $40, which I think made the buy an OK purchase. Could definitely buy a better pair for the original $99 they were selling for at full price.

I may be going deaf or had too great of expectations (or both), but I kind of  expected the bass on these headphone to be louder & more defined. It’s probably better for my auditory health that they don’t go any louder haha. And way better than jamming earbuds into my head.

Overall, very content with my Sennheiser 428’s so far. Hoping they have a long life span 🙂

Playstation Network Free Games

I don’t know if you guys have heard, but ever since the whole PSN security fiasco, they have initiated a welcome back program in hopes of herding back in and reassuring customers. Among the highlights are 2 free PS3 games, 2 free PSP games, and a few other freebies. Learn how to redeem them here! http://us.playstation.com/psn/welcome-back/

 

 

 

Summer Shopping

I couldn’t think of a more creative title. But I bought a bunch of random stuff in the merry month of June 🙂

First up two pairs of Charlotte Russe. Not the best sale in the world (Buy 1 full price, get the second for $10) but I needed a pair of sturdy flats for work and I like the way the ones from Charlotte Russe feel and fit. Decided to get another to complete the promotion. My favorite is the simple tied metallic on the right, but mother insisted that the bejeweled black set were pretty.

Close up of black flats jewel front.

My mom also ran into Forever21 so we could buy a few necklaces for herself. I opted to control my insatiable shopping urges and pic up a set that included cute tweezers and a matching mirror for my traveling needs.

And since my mom also liked the original Franco Sarto sunglasses she gave me for Christmas, she decided to pick up another set from TJMaxx with a crazy snake case. I like the bright color of these shades though, even though I typically don’t wear sunglasses, I’ll have to attempt to wear this pretty thing.

While at TJMaxx for a cheap set of headphones. While they are not my dreams Senhessier quality of bass and sound, they are pretty cool looking and will satisfy my need for headphones fed music until I can find a good sale on large set Senhessier’s.

 

 

They are Grassroots headphones by iWave. Claimed to be “eco-friendly” I’m assuming because of the packaging. I like the clean look of the wood, but I plan to decorate it. The sound is decent,  and much preferred over the Sony earbuds that I have been using daily instead of limiting them to when I go to the gym.

And finally from Marshalls: An adorable checkbook cover for about $3 so that whenever I write my check for rent, I feel just that much less sad 🙂

My mom & I make an awesome shopping team XD ❤