I Can Make Music!

Written on January 31, 2009 by
technology

A quick note: I haven’t been able to actually try out this software myself, but these results are just horrifying and speak for themselves.

How many times have you come up with a great melody with the perfect lyrics, but just can’t make the music to go with it?

Unless you’re Imogen Heap, the answer is probably never.

But luckily for you, Microsoft is here to solve a problem you didn’t have with SongSmith! This software allows you to sing whatever your heart desires, and it’ll magically create karaoke music to go along with it! Don’t believe me? Watch this astoundingly awful infomercial. (Pause the video at 3:15 for a quick laugh)

The best part? “Microsoft, huh? So, it’s pretty easy to use?” The irony just oozes out!

The results produced by Songsmith range from “Acceptable for a impromtu late night karaoke” to “Where are my earplugs?” People on the Interwebs have used this software to ruin such classics as “Tom Sawyer – The Skating Rink Mix” and “Backwoods White Wedding.” Not even Internet Phenomenons like Chocolate Rain and Never Gonna Give You Up are safe. Song after song after song are processed into this terrible excuse for music.

One possibly useful feature is quickly getting the chords to your vocal part, but the music Songsmith makes in its current state is just… yikes. Microsoft’s terrible advertising for it sure doesn’t help.

Perhaps in a few years, software like this could produce some decent music, but I recommend skipping Songsmith for now, unless you feel compelled to create a Warptubes theme song…

Ringl

I could be mistaken, but isn’t the girls laptop a Macbook Pro? The USB ports are in the right place.

Shaw

You aren’t mistaken. It does appear to be a Macbook (Pro?) with stickers to cover up the logo. Looks like someone’s using Bootcamp!

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Letter to the Editor

Written on January 27, 2009 by
fanmail

We at Warptubes get a lot of fanmail. Here a particularly interesting one sent in by my new roommate, JD.

Dear Warptubes,

Great blog, I love what you guys do. I keep getting questions about what its like living with the man that is Shaw… Well here is a little glimpse into a day in my life with Shaw.

6:45 – 7:00 AM – Shaw wakes up playing (and singing) Rick Astley at max volume from his room.

7:00 – 7:15 AM – Makes me breakfast in bed… Usually blueberry muffins and fruit rollups.

7:15 – 7:18 AM – We both pledge allegiance to the Texas State Flag and sing the national anthem “All my Exes live in Texas”.

7:18 – 7:45 AM – Shaw shampoos his hair using his Darth Vader no more tears shampoo, and then proceeds to style his hair like Conan O’Brien

7:50 AM – Shaw leaves for work on his Segway.

8:00 AM – 5:00 PM – Work work work (really, I think its his job to come up with new LOST theories)

5:05 PM – Shaw arrives home from work usually finding a sock on the door… He proceeds to get back on his Segway and waste time for about an hour

6:05 PM – Returns home and we eat and play Wii for a few hours before passing out on the couches (separate heterosexual couches).

XOXO,
– JD

Hey JD! That was a little more revealing than I would have liked, but thanks for writing. You did leave out a few details, though. Mostly how I’m awoken at 6:30 by your early morning drumming practice on my door demanding my iPod Touch to play Fieldrunners.

If it happens again, I’m starting the Rick Astley at 5:45am.

– Shaw

3 Comments

Everything's Bigger Here

Written on January 22, 2009 by
blog

If you’ve wondered why I haven’t been updating lately, that’s because I just moved to Houston, TX. I’ve never considered myself a fan of cowboy boots and big belt buckles, and yet now I find myself a Texan. Progressing from a sparsely populated beach town in Florida to the fourth largest city in the U.S. isn’t a simple move, but I’ve been fortunate enough to not run into any problems yet.

For those who haven’t been to Texas, let me give you something simple to remember when visiting: Texas is the Greatest State. Those are not my words, but ask any true Texan and you’ll quickly find out that Texas is not to be messed with. I’m not yet sure why Texans have such a deep dedication to the Lone Star State, but I would recommend a nod and a smile when hearing how amazing Texas is.

All stereotypes aside, I have been quite surprised to find that the vast majority of people here are not thoroughbred cowboys. In fact, I haven’t seen any large hats yet. I realize Houston is practically its own state, but this is Texas! You would at least expect to find at least one hardcore buckaroo.

Some of you out there have expressed concern that Warptubes will die off due to Ringl and I no longer being in close proximity. Rest assured that this is far from the truth. We hope to have it thrive even in our absense from each other. Things will naturally change, but after the initial adjustment, we will find our rythmn and still provide you quality entertainment.

In the mean time, I’m going to find some good Tex-Mex.

– Shaw

1 Comment

For our Lost fans

Written on January 21, 2009 by
Uncategorized

Wondering who the lady at the end of the season 5 premiere is?

Her name is Ms. Hawking. We ran into her way back in Season 2, episode 8 after Desmond first time traveled. He tried to change the future by marrying Penny and thus never crashing on the island. The woman selling him an engagement ring attempted to convince him not to go through with that. She then revealed she knew who he was, what he would do in the future, and that he had to do just that.

Yes, I am a walking encyclopedia of Lost knowledge… and for the stuff I don’t know, I look up on Lostpedia.

If you are not a Lost fan, please disregard this message. Don’t worry, your regular Thursday update will not be delayed.

– Shaw

4 Comments

LifeMINUS Sugar: The Final Hours

Written on January 2, 2009 by
lifeMINUS

As I write this, I only have two hours left. Two hours until I can have some crispy crunchy funnel cakes covered in delicious powdered sugar.

This week has been interesting. I wasn’t expecting it to be as much of a challenge as it turned out to be. Having self control wasn’t too hard, but finding food that was safe to eat was difficult. Nearly everything we consume on a day to day basis contains sugar to some degree. It’s not that our regular diet is unhealthy, necessarily. Our diet just needs to have balance. Overloading on anything is never healthy; moderation is key.

But enough preaching… LifeMINUS has been fun and has had some interesting reactions from everyone Ringl and I have talked with. Most people don’t understand why we do this, and I doubt Ringl and I really do either! It’s still quite a fun social experiment.

Food Consumed – Day 6:

  • Breakfast/Lunch: Bananas, Eggs and Bacon
  • Dinner: Cheeseburger with Mustard

Food Consumed – Day 7

  • Breakfast: Eggs and Cheese
  • Lunch: Chicken strips and fries from Whataburger
  • Dinner: Pizza

Overall, I ate way too much chicken and I overloaded on potatoes. What a sucky diet.

Well, Ringl and I wold like to make LifeMINUS a regular feature, but we want to hear from you. What would you like to see more of, or what would you like to see us do for the next LifeMINUS? Leave some comments and let us know!

6 Comments

LifeMINUS Sugar – Day 5

Written on January 1, 2009 by
lifeMINUS

I am just about sick of potatoes and chicken.

As it turns out, most of the easy to get/make food is loaded with sugar except for a few potato products and chicken. Bread, sauce, just about anything with taste is off limits.

The only safe fast foods I’ve found are fries and chicken nuggets, which sucks because I’m ‘forced’ to have fast food often. The only sauceMINUS sugar for coating the nuggets and fries is buffalo, but I can’t enjoy a buffalo chicken sandwich because bread generally has high fructose corn syrup (cheap and horrible sugar).

I’m ready for the week to be over so I can stop worrying about ingredients and just get back to foods I enjoy.

Food Consumed:

  • Breakfast: 3 packs of hashbrowns
  • Lunch: chicken tenders and fries from BK… No sauce
  • Dinner: pizza

My dinner is kinda a grey area. I looked up the exact pizza online at Papa John’s website, but they don’t have any nutritional information about the sugar content of their pizza. I had several other people testify that they didn’t think any sugar would be in there. If there was, it was from the tomato sauce and therefore (hopefully) natural.

Only two more days…

– Shaw

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LifeMINUS sugar – Day 4

Written on December 31, 2008 by
lifeMINUS

I screwed up today. I consumed a saltine cracker. You may be thinking “I thought this was lifeMINUS sugar, not lifeMINUS delicious salty crackers.” Well that’s exactly what I was thinking. I was at Ringl’s house having some delicious taco soup his wife had cooked up when I grabbed some crackers to go with it. I ate one cracker and thoroughly enjoyed it, popped another one in the soup and then my mouth and Ringl’s wife made a comment about me eating “high fructose corn syrup loaded” crackers. I immediately stopped my chewing and mumbled out “Really?” Ringl and her then explained that they do indeed contain “sugar” and Ringl was banned from having them last week during his lifeMINUS. I then proceeded to the bathroom and spit out the delicious cracker.

But other than that little incident, I attempted to down some coffeeMINUS creamer and sugar; my opinion: disgusting. Watch the video for a little humor.

Food Consumed:

  • Breakfast: none… again. (I need to get some fruit!)
  • Lunch: LaHa’s delicious Fajitas
  • Dinner: Taco Soup and one saltine cracker

– Shaw

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LifeMINUS sugar – Day 2 & 3

Written on December 30, 2008 by
lifeMINUS

This sugar thing isn’t too hard. The difficulty is not in abstaining from sugar, but simply finding (filling) foods to eat and snacks to help tide you over.

Sunday was fairly uneventful. As I hung out with friends, Ringl tried to tempt me with s’mores and soda but I made him eat a tablespoon of cinnamon (video coming soon).

On Monday, Ringl and I went to lunch at McD’s since I knew there were a few safe items on the menu (fries and nuggets… mmm). After ordering our food, it took an extended period of time to actually receive our food so the kind lady who watched us wait gave us two delicious-looking apple pies, McDonald’s custom to try to appease someone who had to wait. On any other day on any other week, this would be fantastic! Two good looking dudes, two apple pies. A perfect fit! Temporarily, my brain tricked me into thinking that this was a good thing, and then my heart sunk as I realized Ringl would get to consume both apple pies in front of me. To me, even a ten piece nugget isn’t very filling and fries without ketchup aren’t great at all. I left that meal slightly less hungry than when I had gotten there, while Ringl walks out of the restaurant loosening his belt.

Jerk.

LifeMINUS sugar has effected me to the point where I can’t even dream about enjoying something sugary! In this dream last night, I was eating some place and started to drink some delicious coke. Then: panic! This time, it didn’t wake me up, but I do distinctly remember having to drink water for the rest of the dream.

Food Consumed Day 2:

  • Breakfast: Banana
  • Lunch: French Dip sandwich
  • Dinner: Bar-B-Q sandwich with mac & cheese
  • Midnight snack: Potato chips

Food Consumed Day 3:

  • Breakfast: None (S’more Pop-Tarts, as it turns out, are filled with sugar)
  • Lunch: Nuggets with Buffalo sauce and french fries
  • Dinner: Shrimp Scampi!

– Shaw

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LifeMINUS sugar – Shaw's First Day

Written on December 28, 2008 by
lifeMINUS

I’ve been a little unsure about the whole LifeMINUS sugar thing. I couldn’t decide if it was going to be easy or difficult, but last night I realized it may be a bit more of a problem than I’d envisioned.

When I hit my REM cycle yesterday, I began dreaming I was in some normal family scenario: talking to relatives, eating food and the like. I found myself going after the dessert table and grabbing some delicious powdered-sugar-coated puppy chow. Once I realized what I’d just done,  I panicked and quickly spit out the puppy chow. My reaction was so strong that I actually woke up!

Other than invading my dreams, the first day of lifeMINUS sugar has been pretty easy. I had to reject a glass of soda that had already been poured, which wasn’t too difficult, but it did sadden me to see that delicious Coke go to waste.

At lunch I asked my grandmother if her coleslaw had any sugar in it. Coleslaw doesn’t seem like the kind of thing that would normally have sugar, but I had to be sure. Nana assured me that she didn’t add any sugar to her coleslaw.

Later in the afternoon I had to give Ringl’s wife (our “impartial” judge) a call to see if I could have some “sugar free” gum, to which she responded with a firm “No” due to the aspartame in the ingredients. My cousin who offered the gum was very understanding, though a bit confused.

The rest of the day I actually ate a heck of a lot better than I normally do:

Day One – Food Consumed:

  • Breakfast: Bar-B-Q sandwich (I don’t know that this was technically breakfast)
  • Lunch: Burger & Coleslaw
  • Dinner: Steak & Shrimp Hibachi, Rice, Vegetables and a Salad

Probably the hardest thing about this week (other than practically cutting myself off from caffeine, having to drink only water and actually needing to look at this nutrition labels) will be explaining to people exactly why I’m curious about sugar content. The best response I’ve given so far is that I’m on a fast.  Should people be more curious, I can give them the whole explanation of lifeMINUS; I’m just not so sure that people will catch on as to WHY we’re subjecting ourselves to this torture.

To which I say to you, “I hope you’re happy…”

– Shaw

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LifeMINUS: The Beginning

Written on December 16, 2008 by
lifeMINUS

LifeMINUS

A few posts ago, Ringl left off a spoiler completely ruining the surprise of this amazing segment of WarpTubes that I like to call “LifeMINUS.” Sounds epic, right? Rest assured, it is.

So what in the world is LifeMINUS? This WarpTubes series will be where Ringl and I will go without something for a week and keep you informed of how it goes. Obviously we’re not going to do something stupid like… LifeMINUS Eating, but whatever we go without will be something that will cause a noticeable change in our day to day lives. We will do it in shifts, with one of us taking on the challenge the first week, and then the other on the second week.

We have several ideas for our first LifeMINUS, but we want to leave it up to you, the reader, to influence our venture into uncharted territory. Like with Ringl’s VOD, we’re going to have a poll to allow you to choose.

But before you turn in your ballot, let me explain your choices:

  • LifeMINUS Speeding – Strict obedience to posted speed limits, and traffic laws in general. We would become those people you do NOT want to get behind on your daily commute.
  • LifeMINUS Fast Food – Ringl and I will have to “brown bag” it. No wonderfully convenient and cheap food. If it has a drive-thru, we can’t have it.
  • LifeMINUS Television – That magnificent glowing screen of entertainment must remain in the “off” position, whether for videogames, movies or TV shows.
  • LifeMINUS Sugar – Anything that has the white powdery stuff that we so love is untouchable for a week.

We will be taking votes until Wednesday at midnight and on Thursday Ringl will discuss the rules of our first LifeMINUS and we will reveal how we’re picking who goes first. Everyone clear? Alright, cast your votes!

[poll id=”3″]

– Shaw

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