Real Content: The Band, Episode 1-1

Written on July 21, 2009 by
eye catching, informative, music, news

The title of Ringl’s last post is pretty accurate. It appears that’s what Warptubes is becoming, a “dump” for Ringl’s Digg compilations.

But never fear, ‘Tubers: Shaw has come back to save you from boredom. My long hiatus was due to the work I’ve been doing with NBC. My band here in Houston, known as AquaTree, got picked up for a new mockumentary series entitled “The Band”.

I managed to get permission to share the short pilot with you, the readers. The series has unfortunately been postponed until the fall due to our upcoming world tour.

Enjoy!

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Pop Quiz

Written on March 12, 2009 by
participation

Everyone get out a pen and some paper; it’s time for a pop quiz!

But this isn’t a boring stupid pop quiz like the ones you hated in school, this pop quiz comes with a prize. The first person to answer this pop quiz question correctly will get to choose what the next video I make will be.

Your choices are:

  1. Reasons to NOT read or watch Harry Potter
  2. Reasons to NOT read or watch The Lord of the Rings
  3. Reasons you SHOULD read or watch Harry Potter
  4. Reasons you SHOULD read or watch The Lord of the Rings

For the record, I’m not a fan of either franchise, but I will do my best to answer #3 and #4 should they be chosen.

Those choices sound good to you? Ready to choose? Then first answer me this question:

In Calvin and Hobbes what was the sequel to the children’s book
Hamster Huey and the Gooey Kablooie
?

You must give the full title to qualify. Submit your answers in the comments below. Begin!

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What's in Your Pockets?

Written on March 7, 2009 by
participation

The clothes we wear, the music we listen to, the websites we frequent tend to reveal a lot about who we are. In fact, pretty much everything we do drops subtle or not-so-subtle hints about how we live our lives: messy room, messy person; clean room, obsessive compulsive person.

Today I want to cover another revealing aspect of our lives: What’s in Your Pockets? I honestly want to your feedback to hear what you carry around in your pockets, but I’m not expecting you to reveal that personal information without a little something from me.

So, What’s in my pockets?

Front left pocket: iPhone and Wallet.

The iPhone is a pretty standard affair now, so nothing to cover there, but “Wow, wallet in the front pocket?” I know. It’s not that I’m obsessed about pickpocketers, I just decided a long time ago that I hated having a “painful to sit on” wallet hanging out in my back pocket. To rectify this, I used my duck tape skills to make myself a very simple, one pocket wallet. Sure, multiple pockets would be nice, and sure I’d like to carry around every single sliver of paper I own in it, but this simple design keeps it thin enough to stay in my pocket with my phone and helps me keep my wallet down to the bare essentials. Usually “the bare essentials” include my driver’s license, debit cards, $20 cash for emergencies, and an RFID keycard to get into work.

Wallet

The wallet was extremely simple to make, I just added the stripe to give it a unique design and add a nice little challenge for myself. If there’s enough interest, I may even put together a tutorial on making one.

Front Right Pocket: Keys, thumb drive, multi-tool, a pen and chapstick.

It may seem like a lot to carry, but it’s manageable provided the keys don’t get turned to jab into my leg. The keys are pretty standard keys, but the keyring holds both my thumb drive and my multi-tool.

Thumb Drive

My thumb drive is a Pico 8gb USB Flash Drive, which is not much bigger than my thumbnail, yet holds the same amount as a two burnable DVD’s. This little beauty is built like a tank, and is perfect for keeping in your pocket for impromptu file transfers. I originally purchased it for $50, and currently the price has dropped to $29.99! That price is fantastic even for a normal sized 8gb thumb drive! Well worth the price.

Utili-key

Another product I found through ThinkGeek, the amazingly tiny Utili-key Multi-tool. A Phillips head screw driver, flat head screw driver, eyeglass screwdriver, bottle opener, and a knife with serrated blade all in one tiny little package not much bigger than a key. The multi-tool easily clips to your keyring and blends right in until you need it. It’s a small investment to make at just $9.99, but the feeling of always having the tool you need is priceless.

Pen 1
Pen 2

Another tool I carry around is a collapsible pen. It’s incredibly useful to always have something to write with, and this compact Zebra pen is simply amazing. The form factor is perfect to fit in your pocket, but it extends so you can write with a normal sized pen and not cramp up your hand. Awesome.

The fact that I carry chapstick in my pockets may have stuck out to you. I must confess that I’m absolutely addicted to chapstick. But it has to be good chapstick, not the cheap stuff like the actual Chapstick brand which leaves you feeling worse than before you put it on. The good stuff is Burt’s Bees. I don’t know what all goes into it, or how they give it the minty smell, or why it feels so amazing on your lips. All I know is it’s the only chapstick I’ve found that really works. Everything else always leaves my lips feeling dry after a few minutes. This probably sounds like product placement at it’s worst, but I’m seriously a huge fan of this stuff. If you’ve never tried it, do yourself a favor and get some. Your lips and the people that kiss them will be endlessly thankful. You’re welcome.

img_1814

There you have it; my soul and pockets laid bare for all to see. Now it’s your turn.

Share your pocket contents (excluding lint) in the comments, or if you have pictures, please send an email over to warptubes@gmail.com. I’ll make a post with some of the most interesting pocket collections I’m sent, so empty your pockets and grab your camera!

2 Comments

Children of the Apocalypse

Written on March 3, 2009 by
blog, news, videogames

A good friend of mine passed along an interesting news clip from The Onion on a topic I don’t think is discussed enough. Are Violent Video Games Adequately Preparing Children For The Apocalypse?

Frankly, I’m upset that more news stations aren’t covering hard news like this! Sure our children may be able to use Health Packs to heal anything the apocalypse may bring along, but shouldn’t they also be learning how to filter their radiation drenched water and build a shelter to protect them from the acid rain? No one knows exactly what the post-apocalyptic future may bring, but our only chance for survival lies in these violent video game simulations.

How are you preparing for the certain end of the world in a few short years? I for one am going to keep working out strategies against the undead hordes by playing Left 4 Dead.

On a side note, my apologies for the late update. My roommate gave me a call this afternoon boasting of front row seats to a Houston Rockets game. The court seems a lot smaller from up there, but Yao Ming seem so much bigger in real life.

1 Comment

Texas Rodeo

Written on February 28, 2009 by
blog, informative

Everything is done a little differently here in Texas. This week, schools get out early and roads are shut down because of an old fashioned Texas Rodeo.

Did I say roads shut down? Oh yes. It’s a Texas tradition to have a “trail” ride on horseback down some of the busiest roads in Houston, and I got to witness it. Traffic stretches on while horses do their business on the pavement. How picturesque!

Yesterday featured another big event of rodeo week called “Go Texan Day.” Business men swap their suits for jeans and boots, silk ties for bolo ties, and my roommate claims he saw a twenty gallon hat. I think I got away without wearing the full garb since I’m a newbie. Next year, I’d better have some western gear or I might be taken out for an old fashioned hanging!

All of these events are just the beginning. All next week there will be rodoes, country music, and more square dancing than your boots can handle.

Random happenings like this are one of the many reasons that I love living in the fastinatingly weird Texas. I know Texas isn’t alone in these unusual events; what are some of your hometown traditions?

5 Comments

Companion Cubes!

Written on February 24, 2009 by
informative

Here’s something a little different: a video How-To. It’s not very in-depth, but shows off exactly what I’m talking about:

Sorry for the crappy quality, but the video thumbnail is awesome! If you’re still not sure how to get started, here’s a quick step by step:

1. Find

Find a cool character to print out on cubeecraft.com. There are plenty to choose from: video game stars, comic book heroes, and all sorts of geeky characters to choose from.

2. Print

Print off your favorite design. Make sure if the design is two pages that your printer settings don’t resize the pages in a weird way.

3. Cut

Use scissors or an exacto knife to cut out all the shapes. Be very careful during this part, but make sure you’re thorough. There are plenty of little slots you’ll have to cut out, so an exacto knife will be almost a necessity.

4. Fold

Carefully fold along all the lines and start assembling the cubes. No tape is required for this, but it might help everything stay together.

Once you’ve put it all together, you get a pretty sweet decoration for your desk to show off how huge of a nerd you really are. Happy crafting!

On a side note: what in the world should we call Warptubes fans? Warpies sounds too much like a disease. Any ideas?

Ringl

I laughed at the Mark Hamill line… apparently I’m a little dork for a storm trooper.

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No post?

Written on February 21, 2009 by
Uncategorized

Upset that there’s no post today? Blame youtube. I filmed an awesome video for today, but Youtube doesn’t want to play it right. I’ll work on getting that online for Tuesday or Thursday, but in the mean time check out the NeoCube.

A ton of tiny powerful magnet spheres, every guy’s dream. If anyone wants to buy one of these for me, I would love you forever.

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Sketches

Written on February 17, 2009 by
Uncategorized

Today I bring you sketches from my past. These are some random comics I made about 4 to 5 years ago. Realizing how long ago I made these made me feel old, but they still make me laugh whenever I read them. Classics.

Numero Uno:

ih-001

Numero Dos:

ih-002

Warptubes Pop Quiz: Who are the “penguins” featured in the second comic?

7 Comments

RSS: What & Why?

Written on February 10, 2009 by
informative, technology

Out on the wild and untamed frontier of the interweb, many locales are vying for your attention. No doubt there are plenty of “regular stops” on your daily or weekly web safaris; websites that provide you with entertainment, news or time wasters.

But don’t you get tired of typing in those long convoluted web addresses like cnn.com? You might even have to put “h t t p colon forward slash forward slash w w w dot” in front of it! Or how about those websites that don’t update regularly, like when it’s Ringl’s turn to post here on Warptubes! (Hey-o!)

What if I told you that you could go to one place and get everything you wanted from all your favorite websites whenever new content was posted? My friends, the dream is a reality.

Most websites on the internet have something that we in the “biz” call a RSS Feed. What in the world is a RSS feed? Say you find a magazine in the grocery store that you really like. It’s a pain that next month you have to go to the grocery store again to pick up the newest issue. It’s so much easier just to subscribe to the magazine and have the new issues sent to you! That’s the magic of RSS. When you subscribe to an RSS Feed, you will get the latest updates from that website sent directly to you!

Want to get started? Just follow along here. In order to subscribe to a RSS Feed, you need a Feed Reader (called an “Aggregator” in the biz). Blah blah blah, technobabble. You just want a link and a tutorial. Follow along:

Go to http://google.com/reader.

picture-1

Google Reader is like the mailbox in which you receive your magazine subscriptions. It grabs the latest news and articles from websites and puts it all in one place for you to access from any computer. For a simple break down of what exactly Google Reader does and how it can assist you, watch this video:

To start adding websites, sign in. If you don’t already have a Google account, click “Create an account” in the bottom right.

Once you’ve made an account or signed in, you’ll see the main screen with some introductory information

picture-2

Now for the fun stuff! Click the picture-3 button in the top right and type in one of your favorite websites. For instance, “Warptubes” or “http://warptubes.com”

picture-4

Google will then find the website or feed it thinks you want. Look for the one that seems right, then click “Subscribe”

picture-5

From then on, your favorite websites will show up on the bottom right under Subscriptions. The number next to the Subscription name is how many new unread items have come in.picture-7

When you’re checking out your Subscriptions, the new articles and updates will come through looking like this:

picture-11

It’s not exactly the same as you’re used to seeing from your favorite website, but all of the content will be there and will look much cleaner with a lot fewer ads (if any!). I call that a sweet deal. If you do need to see the article in its original context, just click the title at the top. That link will take you straight to the page where the update was posted.

Not sure if your favorite website has an RSS feed? If Google couldn’t find it when you clicked “Add a subscription”, then look around on the website for a icon that looks like this:

feed-icon-28x28

Click on that and copy and paste the URL into Google Reader’s “Add a subscription” box, and viola! You’re set.

Google Reader has revolutionized my internet browsing and brings all the content I want directly to me. This tutorial will hopefully save you some time, too, while still getting all the news and articles you’re used to!

This ended up being a long post, but if you followed along and can get into the habit of using Google Reader, you will be much better off!
Still not sure about something? Have some questions? Post in the comments below and I’ll give you some advice.

Enjoy!

– Shaw

3 Comments

Klingon Boggle

Written on February 5, 2009 by
news

If you’re hip and follow the same news sites as I do, you may have caught this interesting tidbit about a man robbing some convenience stores.

Pretty boring so far, right? Wait until you read this: the robber used a Bat’leth to threaten the cashiers.

Not so familiar with a Bat’leth? I don’t blame you. Not everyone is an ultra-nerd, even I had to get some context before I realized what the news articles were talking about. Think the war-driven Klingon race from Star Trek. Bat’leths were the strange sword/knife-like weapons they possessed, which seem pretty capable of dealing out some damage.

batleth

I would definitely not want to be on the business end of that thing.

Fortunately no one was hurt, but the robber still hasn’t been caught. The funniest part about the whole story is that both clerks that got held at Bat’leth-point instantly recognized the Star Trek weapon! The cashiers are apparently huge nerds, but we’re still uncertain about the robber himself.

Is he a huge nerd seeking payback for all the times he was picked on, or simply a thug who grabbed the first pointy object he could find to score some quick cash? Either way, this guy will probably be in some pretty serious trouble when thrown into the closest prison.

What’s next? Bank robbers using lightsabers? Car hijackers using phasers? Only time will tell.

Ringl

Funniest parts of the article:

  • The robber hit two convenience stores. The second one didn’t give him any money
  • The comments on the article: several of them are written in the noble Klingon language
  • In the article itself: “He also demanded money from the store clerk. The clerk refused and the robber “transported” himself out of the store on foot.
  • This actually happened!

–ringl

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