Active Edge Workout T-Shirt

active edgeOkay, I review a lot of products, but this is the first time that I have reviewed a shirt. Okay, there is one exception, like when I reviewed that shirt with the stainproof technology with Threadsmith Hydrophobic Nanotechnology.

I was able to obtain one of these shirts, and I am currently wearing it right now. To me, it feels like a shirt, really. Yeah, of course I am going to say that, but I am told that this product has “revolutionary technology” of infused and embedded electromagnetic frequencies into the fabrics, and this somehow enables the wearer to perform at a more optimal level.

Now, I have no idea if this is snake oil, because I am not certain how in the world to even test this. The company of Active Edge says that it has tested this, with clinical trials, and they report 90 percent positive benefits with zero side effects. How does this do this, it somehow activates the sympathetic nervous system, increases blood flow, as well as oxygen intake.

So, it is a great T-shirt, and it looks like it can do something for you. It is pretty expensive at $64.99, but it can be found at the Active Edge Gear site.

Our Review of the Beyerdynamic Custom Street Headphones

beyerdynamic custom streetIt’s been a while since I reviewed the Beyerdynamic Custom Pro, and I guess I’m reviewing what looks to be a follow-up with the Custom Street.

I’m going to start by telling you that I have no idea why it is called the “Custom Street”. I suppose that if you were designing a street, you would have a lot of variations. In this case, the Custom Street has a lot of options, and I guess it’s really street.

For example, there is a Custom Sound Slider, allowing the user to switch from several different sound profiles like “Heavy Bass” or “Analytical”. There is also a customizable style as you can take out these little circles on the side to make it look very different each time.

You can also change out the cable so it is a device for DJing, an extra pair of headphones, and you can also add a gooseneck mic as well. By the way, it comes with a mic on it so you can do some phone calls.

The Beyerdynamic headphones come with a case and can be found on the Beyerdynamic website for $149.00.

Our Review of the AfterShokz Bluez 2S

Bluez 2S aIt has been a while since I have reviewed an Aftershokz product with the Bluez, and I am very pleased to try out the Bluez 2S. Today, I am going to talk about the difference.

In all honesty, I don’t really know, because I’m not a true audiophile, and I’m getting tired of saying that. The truth is that I love bone conduction, and I just can’t understand why all headphones aren’t using it.

If you aren’t familiar with bone conduction, it is a way of just putting some sound on your skin and not in your ear, which is why I included a picture of it to the lower left. Especially in an age where we listen to headphones everywhere we go. The best part about listening to the Bluez 2S is that sound feels behind you and get all around you. It’s not something that you want to wear if you want to drown out the rest of the world, unless you turn the volume up all the way.

Bluez 2SI felt that when I turned on the bass, I could feel the sound on that part of my neck behind my ears. Other features include it being IP55 certified that is good for repelling sweat, dust, and moisture. It is also good for six hours of power, by the way.

Anyway, I’m going to put this on my “highly recommended” category and it can be found on the Aftershokz site for $99.95.

Speculative Fiction Saturday: Ex Machina

Ex_Machina-368494509-largeIt’s been a while since I reviewed an actual speculative fiction movie on this site. I have no idea why, but part of it might be related to all of the animated shows that I have been watching lately.

Whatever the case, I was pleased that I had a chance to watch Ex Machina. I heard that it was a good film, and it even won an award. Well, it won an Oscar for best visual effects, and this is the same year that Avengers: Age of Ultron, Mad Max Fury Road, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens came out.

Ex Machina is an indepedent film, and it feels like it. It has some very wonderful sets combined with some excellent scenery, but it still feels on a budget. The money clearly went into the special effects, and you can see on the poster where. Well, you can see that this lady is a robot, and she has transparent skin in some places so some cool techno machinery stuff shows.

I’d better start from the beginning. The story begins when Caleb, a computer programmer, is invited to visit his boss’s estate for a while for a special project. His boss Nathan is the boss of a big search engine company, and he is so rich that his estate is located in the mountains and it is quite a compound.

Nathan is a bit of a recluse, and apparently his company runs pretty well without him, because you don’t see Nathan doing anything work-related. That is, nothing outside research and development. Nathan has created a robot that looks human. That is, she has the flesh of a human on her face and hands, and let’s just assume that it is artificial. Nathan also has a live-in maid named Kyoko that doesn’t speak any English.

Apparently, Nathan wants Caleb to perform the Turing test, and if you don’t know what that is, it is a test from Alan Turing in order to determine a machine’s ability to exhibit intelligent behavior equivalent to, or indistinguishable from a human. There’s a really cool story about Alan Turing that you can watch in The Imitation Game, but I’m getting ahead and behind myself.

So Caleb goes to meet Ava the robot, and he finds that Ava is a lot more human than he’s expecting. In fact, he finds that Ava is quite attractive, and it is difficult for Caleb to come up with questions for Ava to pass his tests.

Now, the movie is very interesting because it is one of those films where there is little action at first, so it compensates by creating an uncomfortable and claustrophobic atmosphere. Then the music is very tonally perfect as well, and I couldn’t help but feel certain horror atmosphere.

I will have to say that the film is worth seeing, just so you can say that you saw it. It does explore the dynamic of creator/creation that shows up in a lot of good robot films, and I would say that Ex Machina achieves that. I don’t know if it is the best robot film, but I honestly am having a hard time figuring out what is the best. This is one of one of those films that I am going to spoil, so don’t read past the jump if you don’t want to know any more.

Continue reading

Our Hands-On Review of the BRAVEN BALANCE

BRAVEN BalanceIt’s been a while since we reviewed a decent BRAVEN product, and man, were we pleased to receive the BALANCE. The company has a reputation for making Bluetooth speakers that are durable and formidable, and this one is no exception.

What you are seeing here is the wireless Bluetooth speaker that is pretty flat, which is why I chose this shot here as an image. There is a Boost Mode which is very loud, and the side speakers are elastic which probably improves its overall loudness. At least, that is what I am assuming it does, because I am not an audiophile.

The BALANCE is well-named as it has a big battery of 4,000 mAh which can charge smartphones, and it has an 18 hour playtime. Oh, it is also a good BALANCE because it is certified IPX7 waterproof which means it is good for poolside and it can be submerged in up to one meter of water for up to 30 minutes.

You should be able to purchase the BRAVEN BALANCE for about $129.99 on the BRAVEN site, and it comes in the colors of Yellow, Pink, Black, Blue, White, and Orange. It also comes with cords for all kinds of countries, for some reason, but hey, that is one of its many BRAVEN BALANCE bonuses.

Meghan Trainor Pulls Video After Photoshop “Fix”

Meghan TrainorI’m sure that you have all heard of Meghan Trainor, who has done hits like “All About That Bass” and “Lips Are Moving”, and she is often characterized as being plus-sized. Yeah, this is just not a nice thing to say about anyone, because most see it as a nice way of saying “overweight”.

She recently released a video of her new single “Me Too”, which is a new single from her new album “Thank You” which is coming on May 13. This video is full of Trainor in various outfits, which includes pajamas and a giraffe costume. Actually, that is pretty normal video stuff, honestly.

However, Trainor’s waist was not normal, and it was slimmed down digitally. Trainor was infuriated by this cut, pulled the “slim-down” version, and released a new version today.

I am really siding with Trainor on this one. This really just shouldn’t happen, especially when the singer has put in her songs lines about how Photoshop is fake. This is one of those times where it is really difficult not to get upset at the decisions of producers who really believe that they are giving us what we want.

I suppose that all I can say is “you go, girl”.


Disney Infinity is not Infinite as Game is Discontinued

Disney InfinityI think I’ve been noticing a trend with Disney Infinity, as the games were just getting cheaper and cheaper. So, it looks like Disney is giving up on it.

In fact, it looks like the media giant stated in its earnings report that it has discontinued entire self-publishing console game business. The worst part is that Disney is closed on Avalanche studio in Utah, so 300 jobs will be cut, darn it.

One of the things that Disney Infinity is famous for is having collectible figures for the game. There will be figures for Alice Through the Looking Glass and Finding Dory, and that will be all.

I suppose that means there will be some kind of price upping from the collectible characters, so save them. They’ll probably be marked down so Wal-Mart can get rid of those displays.

Well, considering the first Disney Infinity had classic Disney characters with some modern ones thrown in there. Then Disney Infinity 2.0 had Marvel characters, and Star Wars showed up in Disney Infinity 3.0. So, I suppose that there was just no more franchises for 4.0, which will never happen.


Our Review of Lego Jurassic World

Lego Jurassic WorldWell, it has been a while since I reviewed a Lego game, and here’s the thing: I’m not going to give a Lego game a bad review. The issue with the Lego series of games is that you really know what you are getting into, as each game is pretty much the same.

Every game, from Lego Star Wars, Lego Batman, Lego Indiana Jones, Lego Harry Potter, Lego Lord of the Rings, etc. is that they are all side-scrollers where you go through levels and smash stuff made of Lego. You can then sometimes use the Lego parts to help through the level, and there kind of simple puzzle-solvers.

So, as I predicted, the game is able to have levels devoted each of the four movies, including the last one. Like all Lego games, once you have completed all the levels, you can play them in Free Play. This is where you can find some hidden prizes on the levels, and then you can find all the hidden prizes when you can explore the open world.

What makes this a little bit different is the prizes are pretty difficult to find. I’ve played other Lego games, and often the prizes appear on the map and you can find them pretty easily. Here, they were not on the map, but I noticed some appeared later. I don’t have any explanation of it.

Right now, I’ve played all the levels, and found them pretty easy to beat and get “True Survivor”, which is when you get a certain amount of Lego studs. What is cool as you can become dinosaurs and seriously stomp around as the big ones. You can even customize dinosaurs, so this game has some very cool creative aspects to it.

Now, I will have to say that the worst part of this game is the use of voices during the cutscenes. They just used the dialogue from the movie, but the voices sounded off. I don’t remember this voices being so bad in previous other games, and this counts the Lego games where the dialogue was just a serious of Hmmms.

Caseco 360 Duo Connect Case and Mount

Caseco 1So, this is another Caseco product that I got to review, and it is the Core 360 Duo Connect Case and Mount.

I’ll go ahead and say that this is a product that I have seen before, as it requires a mount that has some stickum on it made to stick permanently, like in your car. Then you can click on the case so you can mount the phone magnetically. From there, you can adjust the angle of the screen, and rotate it 360 degrees.

This is supposedly the smallest car mount, and the case is military tested and drop and shock-proof. It has a soft inner TPU rubber layer that can protect from fingerprints, scratches, dust, collisions, and abrasion.

Caseco 2So, yes, it is a case, but not like any other. There is a sound enhancer that can point sound directly towards you, so it is good for keeping your phone mounted as a TV or something.

If you want to get this, you should be able to get it on the CaseCo site for $69.99. Replacement Core 360 can be found individually for about $39.99 here.

Speculative Fiction Saturday: Batman, The Animated Series

BatmanI’m surprised that I haven’t written about this show before, but in all honesty, it has taken me years before I finally found a place that had all of the episodes. This show premiered on televisions back in 1992, and I was in the college at the time. If I had been watching afternoon TV shows in college, I am pretty certain that Batman: The Animated Series would become my world.

The reason why Batman: The Animated Series is so good is because it had the potential to be so bad. After all, Batman in 1992 was in the theaters still with Tim Burton’s not-so-good follow-up to the hit 1989 film with Batman Returns. By that time, the public was beginning to realize that Batman was more than the 1960s series and the character could be taken seriously.

The issue is that Warner Brothers ordered a cartoon series on Batman to be made, and it is actually is good. Like most cartoon series of the time, it could have not been written seriously, the mentality back then was “well, it’s good enough to keep kids entertained”.

Batman The Animated Series (TAS) broke all the rules for a cartoon. Instead of being light and colorful, it is very heavy on black and shadowy backgrounds. This style alone should have been enough for Warner Brothers to reject the concept initially, but am I glad that it stayed.

Speaking of style, Batman TAS had it in spades. The background art is very minimalist with giant blocks of buildings for color. There isn’t much attention to detail on things in the foreground, either, and I think this was done so the animation could be produced faster. This style became known as “Dark Deco”, and it gave Batman TAS a level of uniqueness that no cartoon of its time had.

Not only did this look like it was a cartoon for grown-ups, I was amazed at the mature themes that were handled on this show. It took on drugs, but a lot of cartoons of the eighties were doing that. The show had a lot of human drama as it showed the impact of crime on the common man. Then there is the episode with Two-Face, as the audience can really relate with the pain of Harvey Dent.

There are also episodes that deal with domestic violence. There is an episode where the character of Harley Quinn is introduced as the Joker’s henchmen. This character was created for the show and was so popular that she was added to the comic. Anyway, Harley can take a beating from the Joker, and it is pretty dark, honestly.

This show also really shined in creating stories within the Batman mythos that are beautiful and stand-alone. As mentioned before, Batman had man recurring villains, and what is awesome is how it did the Joker. He was voiced by Mark Hamill, who was only known for being Luke Skywalker, but is now became most famous as being the best voice for the Clown Prince of Crime.

I recently wrote about Batman on The Gospel Herald, talking about the best and worst versions of the Darkknight detective. I put Batman the Animated Series as number one, and it really is showing what Batman is all about. It is a character who is dark, but distributes justice to make the world a brighter place.