Friday, August 16, 2019

The Disaster Artist Book Review – The Story Behind Tommy Wiseau and The Room

After having seen “The Disaster Artist” movie as well as the movie “The Room”, I decided to pick up the book “The Disaster Artist” which was the source material for which “The Disaster Artist” movie was based on.

For those who are unfamiliar, “The Room” is a movie commonly known as the greatest bad movie of all time. It was written and produced by Tommy Wiseau who is also the lead actor in the movie.

Tommy is a mysterious person and probably one of the most fascinating people out there. He immigrated to the US when he was young with the dream of becoming a movie star. He pretty much started with nothing and worked hard to earn a living with his businesses.

He tried to get into Hollywood but no one would accept him or give him a chance. This led him to ultimately make the decision to make his own movie and do everything himself. The end result was a movie that was meant to be serious but because of how it turned out, it comes off as more of a comedy.

When Tommy was studying acting, he met another struggling actor named Greg Sestero. The two are very different people but somehow they become good friends and decided to make the movie “The Room”. The Disaster Artist book is written by Greg Sestero and is about the whole experience from the time he first met Tommy to the night of the actually movie premiere.

I really enjoyed reading the book. It goes into all the details and behind the scenes of how it all started and what happened along the way as they were making the movie. It goes deep into the relationship between Greg and Tommy which is a roller coaster ride of ups and downs.

The best part is learning more about Tommy. He has so many quirks and a personality unlike anyone else. If you like what you have seen from Tommy from watching the movies or interviews, the book is even more of this. I laughed out loud several times while reading the book at the stories and things Tommy does and says.

Also the book explains a lot about Tommy's background such as his origin and how he made his money. (The movie cost $6 million to make which Tommy financed himself). I won't spoil the details but his story is pretty impressive considering he came to the country with nothing but a dream and ended up making a real feature length film.

Overall the book is entertaining, funny, and inspirational. If you liked the movies, you will like the book. If you find Tommy to be an interesting character and want to learn more about him, this book is for you. If you haven't seen the movies, they are great also and I recommend watching them first and then reading the book.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Burger King Impossible Whopper Review – Is it good and how does it compare?

I had heard about the “Impossible Burger” for some time and had been looking to try it out but it was always hard to find, that was until now that Burger King announced they are selling the Impossible Whopper.

Basically it is a Whopper but instead of the regular beef patty, it has the Impossible patty which is plant based so it does not contain meat. This is good news for people who don't eat meat since it gives them more options to choose from at places like Burger King.

The main ingredients of the burger are water, soy protein concentrate, coconut oil, sunflower oil, and natural flavors. Something to note, the Impossible Whopper is not supposed to be more healthy compared to the regular Whopper in fact, the nutrition stats are pretty similar, it is just supposed to be an alternative to meat while replicating the flavor.

So how does it stack up? Upon appearance, to me it looked more like a Boca Burger than a regular burger. For the taste, it was ok. Comparing it to frozen plant based burgers like Boca and Morning Star, I would say it is better than those, but not as good as a traditional beef burger. I was able to eat the whole thing and I was satisfied, but it is not something I would necessarily rush back to order again.

Since the nutrition and cost are similar, given the option I would probably go with the regular Whopper based on the taste. But if you are trying to avoid eating meat and you happen to find yourself at a Burger King restaurant, the Impossible Whopper is a good option.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Whitening adidas Boost with Sharpie Oil Based Paint Marker

If you have a pair of adidas Boost shoes such as the Ultra Boost, NMD, Pure Boost or many others, you know they are very comfortable, but you also probably know how hard it is to keep Boost material clean. It picks up dirt quickly and even if you try to clean it, it is nearly impossible to get it back to looking like new again.

After having tried countless cleaning solutions, my Boost shoes were starting to look pretty dirty around the soles after having worn them for a few years. I started to look for other options to clean them up when I read some reviews of people using a white Sharpie oil based paint pen. The results looked pretty good so I decided to give it a try.

I found the oil based paint markers at a local Hobby Lobby arts and crafts store for about $6 (for the bold tip marker). They also have medium and fine tip markers, but I went with the bold to make sure it had enough paint. (Having tried it, the medium tip would probably work just as well.) They are also available online at places like Amazon.

Getting Started:
First, I recommend doing a quick wipe down of the shoes to get off any surface dirt that may be on there before you start painting. I also recommend putting some newspaper down to cover the surface you will be working on. I taped the newspaper in place to help keep it from moving around.

Next, you will want to tape up the shoes to cover the upper material so it does not get paint on it. I used clear packaging tape because it is what I had around the house. Taping up the shoes was actually the most difficult and time consuming part of the process because it takes a lot of carefully placed tape pieces to get it just right along the edges.

Taped up. Starting to apply some paint at heel and forefoot. 
Preparing the Paint Marker:
The marker comes sealed in plastic so you have to cut it open to get started. Next, the instructions on the marker tell you to press the tip down, re-cap and shake. Then press it down on a surface to get the paint into the tip.

I did this but the tip was still dry and I thought it wasn't working. But the thing is you have to be a little patient. Keep the pen pointing down and keep pressing down a few times and slowly the paint should start flowing through.


Applying the Marker:
Once the paint reaches the tip you are ready to start applying it to the Boost. I started by applying it to one of the dirtier sections on the inner side. I actually didn't like how it looked at first because I felt like it changed the look of the Boost too much. I was starting to think maybe it wasn't a good idea. After a few minutes I tried to see if it would wipe off with cloth and water but it was on there pretty good. I figured it was better than the dirt so I decided to keep going.

Comparing how it looks as paint is being applied.
 At first I was using the flat side of the marker and applying the paint slowly and thoroughly, but I found that using more of the corner of the tip and kind of using more of a scribble method tended to work better especially for blending in. I went around the sides of both shoes until they were all covered.

You may want to apply a few coats depending on how dirty the shoes are. Once you are done, the paint should dry pretty quickly. I tested it out and it was dry in less than 10 minutes. Once it is dry you can remove the tape from the shoes and admire your finished product.

Results:
Interestingly, the marker was a lot neater than I expected. I thought I would be getting paint everywhere, but it turned out I did not get any paint on my hands or even on the newspaper. It's probably because the paint dries quickly and it is not liquidy enough to drip so it is easy to use without making a mess.

I was also worried that it might have a strong smell but surprisingly, the smell of the marker is very mild. The smell is almost nonexistent after it has dried.

I found one marker was plenty to paint all the Boost around the shoes. I'm not sure how much paint is left in the marker, but I will save it for later to do touch ups over time. 

The finished product!
Overall I am very pleased with the result. Up close you can tell it is painted, but from a distance, it just looks like a clean pair of shoes. If your Boost shoes are at the point where cleaning just isn't working anymore, I recommend this method to get them looking like new again.

I will update this article at a later time with the results of how well the paint hold up over time.

Update 8-14-19: 
It has been about 5 days of wear and the Boost is getting dirty again similar to how it was before the painting. Also the paint is wearing off in the high wear areas such as the heel and toe. It does not seem to be any easier to clean compared to before. Overall it still looks better than before, but it seems the paint is not a miracle solution.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Good Youtubers Who Stopped Making Videos

1. Laina
Laina is best known for her “Overly Attached Girlfriend” character which became a popular meme many years ago. Since then she has created many funny videos on her Youtube channel. Coincidentally, she just posted her final “Breaking Up with Youtube” video as an explanation for where she has been the past 2 years. In the video she explains why she decided to stop making Youtube videos.

2. Joe Goes
Joe from the Joe Goes channel is know for his series where he travels to different countries and events and interviews people in a comedic style. His videos are funny and you get to meet a lot of interesting people and see what they have to say. A couple years ago he posted a “Hiatus” video explaining that he would be not be posting videos on a regular basis and has not posted a new video since. 

3. Robbie Sherrard
Robbie Sherrard makes comedic talk to the camera style videos. The style is of someone who is just being themself but unintentionally happens to be funny. His last video was posted about 8 months ago and is actually a trailer for a series he decided to post on Vimeo. No word yet if he will get back to making videos on Youtube.

4. Whatever
Brian from the Whatever channel is known for pranks and social experiment videos. His last video was posted about 2 years ago. In one of his last videos he explains what happened to the channel and why he stopped making videos. 

5 The Wine Kone
Tony from The Wine Kone channel makes funny videos that are often random and obscure. He has been pretty inactive for a while and actually posted a video parodying this exact subject of Youtubers disappearing. No word yet on if he will get back into making videos, but don't count him out yet! 

So what are the reasons some of the best Youtubers stop making videos? Many of them move on to bigger things such as tv and film. Many of them outgrew the platform and decided it was time to move on. The changes in the way Youtube compensates creators also caused many Youtubers to stop making videos or switch to other video hosting services. Whatever their reason, we as viewers have to respect their decision when they decide it is time to hang it up.

What are some of your favorite Youtuber's who left Youtube or stopped making videos? Feel free to post them in the comments below.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Bumble App Review – Is it any good and how does it compare to other dating sites?

After having tried some of the online dating sites over the years, I figured I would give one of the dating apps a try. After doing some research I decided to try out Bumble. One of the unique features of Bumble is that women have to make the first move by sending a message if they are interested. So how did it work out and how does it compare to other dating sites?

I tried it for a couple weeks and I should note, I am male so I was only able to “like” profiles but not send messages. Signing up was fairly simple. It asks you to upload some pictures, answer some questions and fill out a little bit about yourself.

One thing I noticed was it does not really let you write much about yourself. In the “About Me” section, I was literally only able to write 3 sentences before it cut off with a character limit. The questions it gives are not the best. For example, one that seems to show up a lot in the profiles was “Do you like the beach or the mountains?” This does not really tell you much about the person.

The app lets you set a couple filters for free to help narrow down your search. You have to pay if you want to add more filters. You can also pay to get premium features such as a boost for more attention, and the ability to see who has liked you even if you have not liked them.

Once you have your profile and settings filled out you begin looking through profiles one by one. I never tried Tinder but I'm familiar with the swipe right and swipe left feature which is how it works in Bumble to either like or dislike a profile.

Since Bumble doesn't really let you add much information about yourself and the questions are pretty bland, it pretty much just comes down to a pictures app. Because of this, I can see most people just looking quickly at the pictures and swiping right or left without even reading anything in the profile. This works if you are an attractive person, but for most people on the app, this will not be beneficial.

I tended to be selective when going through the profiles and only swiping right if I really had interest and saw potential after having looked through the whole profile. My filters were also strong enough that I was able to go through all potential profiles within a few days. Each day new ones show up though.

After a couple weeks of using the app, it resulted in 0 matches. So this means none of the profiles I liked, liked back. I guess I am not too surprised by it, but it would have been nice to actually get a match. I will probably delete the app soon.

For me, I am more interested in dating sites that allow people to really show who they are. For example on OKCupid there is a lot more opportunity to write about yourself and answer questions to see how you match up with other people.

I see Bumble as more of a pictures dating app that will work for people who are very photogenic. Because of this, I do not see it working out too well for most people. Overall if the swipe right, swipe left dating app style appeals to you, it might be worth a try, but if you are looking for something more meaningful, there are better options out there.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Life Expectancy – Changes for Each Generation

Life expectancy has increased with each generation as people have learned to live healthier lives and the medical field has improved to prevent and treat illnesses. The issues our parents and grandparents had to deal with are often no longer a problem due to advances in medicine or new findings in related to health.

Now is a great time to be alive but there are always things to improve upon. While each generation learns from previous generations on how to be healthier and live longer, we are also exposed to new things which might actually be harmful in the long run.

For example new foods are being introduced into our diets each year. A lot of these foods are processed and artificial. While they may be considered safe to eat, the long term effects on health are still unknown.

Not only has food changed, but other things such as technology and the environment have changed significantly in recent years. We are exposed to a lot of new technology such as cellular and wifi signals. These things may be safe for now, but there is no long term research on these things because they are so new. It could be that in 50 years they find out that some of this technology is the cause of a new illness due to long term exposure.

Cars and factories and people in general continue to pollute the air and water that we all depend on. We might think the air and water is ok now, but again, there could be long term health concerns that we don't know about yet and won't know until it is too late.

Each generation improves by learning from previous generations, but at the same time they are faced with new issues that the previous generations did not have to deal with. Since no one knows what the future holds, we just have to use the information we have now to try to live long healthy lives.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Insecurity – Everything is ok, or is it?

Recently I found some posts on Reddit asking questions such as “Girls, what are some things guys should not be insecure about?” and “Guys, what are some things girls should not be insecure about?” They are quite interesting to read because you can discover the things most people are insecure about and see how it relates to yourself.

For context, here are some of the most common things guys and girls are insecure about, in which the opposite sex assures they should not be, based on the comments in the threads:

Guys:
Intelligence (not knowing something)
Hair (baldness)
Facial hair (not able to grow beard)
Penis size (not big enough)
Liking feminine things or appearing feminine
Showing feelings or emotions / crying
Weight (too fat or too skinny)
Height (too short)

Girls:
Making the first move
Intelligence (appearing too smart)
Body hair
Breast size or shape
Periods
Hair style / appearance
Weight (too fat or too skinny)
Height (too tall)
Being seen without makeup / nails done
Age (getting older)

After reading over the posts, one of the main takeaways was that people should not be insecure about all these things because other people really don't care as much as we think they do. Another finding was that many of the things you might feel insecure about are actually liked or valued by others.

We tend to be our own worst critic and we see every small detail about ourselves and it's easy to get into a negative mindset about any little flaw or imperfection. Then we might think that the whole world sees us in this way when in fact they probably don't even notice at all or if they do, it not a big deal to them.

Based on the number of times these kinds of questions have been asked, it is clear that many people struggle with insecurity. Feeling this way can really bring you down and hurt your self esteem. So how can one overcome these thoughts and feel better about themself?

I think the answer is simply that you have to learn to be happy with yourself and be accepting of who you are. This is easier said than done. You really have to believe that you are ok with who you are in order to overcome the things that are causing you to feel insecure.

A viewpoint that gets brought up is that while others might not care about the thing that is making a person insecure, that person still feels insecure about it themselves. People can tell you there is no reason to feel bad about whatever is bothering you, but until you believe it yourself, it will continue to be something you struggle with.

So the question is, if all these things we are insecure about are actually not a big deal, why are we insecure about them? I think the reason is a combination of conditioning by society as well as human nature which causes us to be judgmental. We see other people in the world and we make judgments about them just based on how they look.

In terms of society and media, we have shows like The Bachelor and The Bachelorette which create unrealistic expectations about what potential suitors are supposed to look like. They go through thousands of applications and select what they think are the most attractive and desirable people to be on the show.

Of course the people they select are very good looking and this conveys a message that you have to look like these people in order for people to like you. Then you take a look in the mirror and realize you don't look like the people on the show and it makes you feel bad. This is an example of how we are influenced by the media, but I believe we as humans have a natural tendency to make judgments based on what we see.

One might say it is bad to judge people based on their appearance without getting to know them. I agree, in an ideal world, you should not “judge a book by its cover” but in the real world, we don't have the time or opportunity to get to know every single person we see. Just going out into the world, you may be around hundreds of people in a day. It's not possible to sit down and have an in-depth conversation with every person, so you have to use the knowledge you have to make quick judgments based on what you see.

An example of this would be when looking for a potential boyfriend/girlfriend. When out in the world, you might unconsciously scan everyone you pass or interact with and make quick judgments about if there would be any potential for a relationship based on what you see. You might look for things like age, attractiveness, style, signs of availability, and demeanor.

These things then act as a filter for if there is potential for a relationship with that person. If they pass the quick filter test, you may be more open to interacting with them vs if they do not pass the filter, you may have no interest to get to know them.

I think because of this and the desire to be liked and accepted by other people is the reason we fear judgment and in turn end up becoming insecure about what we believe are things about ourselves that are not good enough.

So which mindset is correct? On one hand, we live in a judgmental society that puts a lot of value on the way we look. On the other hand, people are saying that these things are not really a big deal and that we shouldn't worry about them. I think you have to keep both viewpoints in mind and realize that yes, you may be judged on things, but at the same time, you should not allow these things to bring you down or make you feel bad about yourself.

Also keep in mind that you are not defined by one thing. Everyone has things they wish they could change or could be different. The truth is there are so many things that make us who we are. Even if there are a few things you might be unhappy with, there are plenty of other things about you that are likable. Also everyone has different opinions on what they like and dislike. Something you don't like about yourself may in fact be a thing that someone actually does like.

Overall, I think the best advice when it comes to insecurity is to learn to be happy and accepting of who you are. Once you have achieved this, it can be freeing and can translate into self confidence which itself is an attractive quality.