Technology (28) Geek (20) Sports (20) Movies / TV (16) Fun (15) Montreal (11) Food (9) Games (9) Travel (6) Museums (3)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Hobbit Trailer

It's been a while since the Lord of the Rings Trilogy was released and it will forever be remembered as one of the greatest fantasy films of all time. I remember seeing the trailer for the first LOTR on Jackie Chan's Rush Hour DVD and the excitement it created. As I watch The Hobbit trailer, I don't quite get the same feeling as it looks like a lot of singing sprinkled with bits of action. We'll have to wait until next year for the film but let's hope it'll be good. Trailers below:

Monday, December 12, 2011

Transformers: Fall of Cybertron

Being a fan of the original 80's cartoon, I was very disappointed by Michael Bay's live action movie of The Transformers in 2007. The sequel to the movie wasn't much better and the third movie was ok.

However, all you fans out there should try out the latest series of Transformers games. I had the chance to play the XBOX 360 version of Transformers: War for Cyberton and it's actually a faithful representation of the Transformers universe. The transformation from humanoid to vehicle is smooth and relevant. I think that High Moon Studios did a great job where so many fail. The games are much better than the movies in every way (story, rendition, action, faithfulness...).

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Google's 10 Billion App Downloads Special: $0.10 Apps!

If you have an Android phone, and have been living under a rock for the past three days, then you wouldn't know about the $0.10 sale on some "Editor's Choice" paid apps. Who wouldn't know about this you ask? Well I know someone who bought a Samsung Galaxy S when it launched last year and he checks his emails every 2-3 days...he actually only uses it to make phone calls. Here is a look at the Top Paid Apps and as you can see many of the apps are at the discounted rate while some went back to regular price.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Technology: Samsung Flexible AMOLED

Samsung is working on creating a transparent, paper-thin and flexible AMOLED screen that can be rolled up and slipped into your pocket. The concept video shows really cool uses for reading and video chatting but the greatest potential could be in the use of augmented reality. As the screen is transparent, you can see what's behind it (i.e. poster, menu, text...) and do an automatic search for more info and with the use of some imagination, a whole lot more (think Avatar and Minority Report). You can also apply the current use of AR of instantly identifying your surroundings and explaining details that you would otherwise not know about. See the video below:

Friday, December 2, 2011

George Takei's Facebook Page

For all you sci-fi fans out there, you know George Takei as Star Trek's Hikaru Sulu, Hiro's dad in the TV series Heroes and his voice-over work in The Simpsons and Futurama. You probably also know that he is openly gay and is active in LGBT organizations. One thing that you may not know (as I recently found out) is that he has a REALLY funny Facebook page. He likes to post funny images and here are some examples:

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Smartphones: Windows Phone 7 Test Drive On Your Android or iPhone

We know about the crazy growth of Android phones and the latest Galaxy Nexus smartphone that recently launched; we know about iPhone 4$'s Siri and how fun it could be, but we don't hear much about Windows Phone 7. The smart people at Microsoft decided to replicate the WP7's user-experience on other platforms for all to test drive in hopes of winning people over.

Friday, November 25, 2011

AWESOME FOOD: Indian Curry House / Maison Indian Curry (Montreal)

After a tennis practice with Yinan, we headed over to the Indian Curry House for lunch. I must say that the food was AWESOME! I've been to more than a handful of Indian restaurants that were more expensive and none have been as tasty. I had the non-vegi Thali pictured below and although the portions are moderate, the butter chicken sauce was the best I've ever tasted. I'm not a saucy type of guy but I actually scraped it up with my Naan bread at the end. The iceberg lettuce was really bad though (and the baby carrots straight from the bag) but you don't come here for the salad anyways.

The best part is that it's $6. You can barely even get 1/3 of a movie ticket for that price nowadays. I will go back.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

How to Google Things More Effectively

Apparently, 75% of college students don't know how to properly use Google. With over 8 billion webpages on the web, you don't want to manually sort through a poorly searched Google request. Thanks to HackCollege, we can make use of an infographic that will make all of use more efficient.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Lastest Internet Meme: Pepper Spraying Cop & "It's a Food Product, Essentially"

Throughout the various Occupy [Your_City_Name] protests happening around the world, one incident has become a viral hit across the web. Last week, during a peaceful protest at the University of California at Davis, cops sprayed people with pepper spray [video]. One of the cops was ex-Marine Lt. John Pike who was honored for his police service twice in the past. According to the Washington Post, he past also includes incidents of racial and sexual discrimination so he isn't a boy scout by any means.

So check out what people have done with this image, it's pretty hilarious (more at the end of the article):

Monday, November 21, 2011

Samsung Galaxy Nexus: Pricing (Canada)

So pricing was released today on Bell's website for the Google Galaxy Nexus smartphone. 649 buckeroos. That's a lot of cash for a device that isn't that far off of, according to some benchmarks, the existing Samsung Galaxy S2 that retails for $549-599. In the US (an hour away from Montreal), you can get the SGS2 phone for as low as $499. I know it's not exactly comparing apples to apples but seeing how the Galaxy Nexus is unlocked, picking one up across the border is not unrealistic. The pricing is in same range as the iPhone 4S, but then again Apple consumers are used to paying a premium for the brand regardless of tech specs etc.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Gears of War 3: XBOX 360

I just finished the single player campaign mode of Gears of War 3 (GoW3) and felt that it was a lot like playing Gears of War 2. With the addition of a few new weapons, enemies etc, there isn't that much change at all but then again I have yet to play online against my fellow gears. I played a lot of GoW2 online (I would be level 100 if I didn't get fooled into a hacked game which reset my score) so I have some street cred to compare the two games :).

Friday, November 18, 2011

RETURNING TV SERIES: The Walking Dead (Season 2 E01-E05)

The Walking Dead returns for a spectacular second season on AMC (Sunday 9pm EST). For those who aren't familiar, the show is based on a comic by Rober Kirkman, Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard. This zombie show's theme is similar to what you see in the movies: the world (or at least we assume) is overrun with some sort of virus that transforms the infected into the walking dead. Chaos ensues and survivors do what they can to live out their remaining days. Rick Grimes, the lead character, plays the role of the leader of a group of people struggling to flee Atlanta. The group meets other survivors along the way, many of which have become hardened and violent. The show portrays regular people acting out in extreme fashion because of the lack of societal rules and the mistrust of people who start off "good" but really have horrible intentions.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

NEW TV SERIES Part 3: Grimm Review (E01-03)

Grimm is a new TV Series that plays on Friday nights at 9pm on NBC. Although the show is linked to the Brothers Grimm fairy tales, it's totally different from another new series, Once Upon A Time. The shows centers around a cop, Nick Burkhardt, who learns that his descendants were "Grimms", profilers that are able to see creatures for what they really are (i.e. demons, monsters...).

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Movie Review: Immortals

Today I decided to watch the movie Immortals. It was the first time that I saw a movie in what Cineplex Odeon calls "Ultra AVX". According to Wikipedia, Ultra AVX movies "feature screens that are considerably larger than...traditional ones, and a Dolby Digital 7.1surround sound system...DLP Cinema projectors provide distinct digital and 3D presentations. Guests can reserve seats, which are extra wide rocking seats with high backs".

Saturday, November 12, 2011

AWESOME FOOD: Cacao 70, Resto - Dessert - Bar de Chocolat (Montreal)

*Updated with our second trip to Cacao 70.

Second Visit (4 days later - Read First Visit below if you haven't done so already)

This visit we ordered a whole bunch of things:
- Raspberry Brownie Parfait (again, but the first time was better as it came with chocolate cream)
- Quadruple Chocolate Parfait
- Triple Chocolate Pizza
- Chocolate Nutella Ricotta Pizza
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Pizza
- Waffle with Ice Cream, Fruits and Chocolate
- Raspberry Crepes with Chocolate

Friday, November 11, 2011

FOOD: Kazu Cuisine Japonaise (Montreal)

Photo courtesy of Will Travel For Food
Ok, so this place has been getting a lot of rave reviews for its food. I went a few times for lunch and supper and every time I went the line-up was about 45 mins. The trick for supper is to go when it opens, at 5:30pm or a bit earlier so you are part of the first wave in.

The place only seats about 25 people so its really tiny. I've tried the Teriyaki Chicken Burger ($10) & Ramen noddles ($12) for lunch and the Galubi (beef short ribs, $15) for supper. I had a taste of the Onigiri rice balls and the Salmon head as well. The food tasted good, but I must say that the portions are really small (the photo below makes the plate look decent but it's extremely light).

Thursday, November 10, 2011

NEW TV SERIES Part 2: Once Upon a Time Review (E01-03)

Once Upon a Time is a new TV series that plays on Sunday nights at 8pm on ABC. The premise of the live-action show is that your beloved fairy tale characters are living in the modern day city of "Storybrooke" but have no memories of who they really are. The show alternates between flashbacks of the characters in their fairy tale world before the Evil Queen placed a curse that brought them to a land with "no happy endings", conveniently our present day reality. The Evil Queen seems to have some uber-powers when she interrupts Snow White's and Prince Charming's wedding. She throws guards from a distance and vanishes when PC throws a sword at her.

The Evil Queen crashes Snow White & PC's wedding. She has the Jedi push powers...

However, before the curse takes effect, the "War Council" in the fairy tale world (made up of the Seven Dwarves, Red Riding Hood & her grandma, The Blue Fairy, Geppetto, Pinocchio, Snow White and Prince Charming) decide to create a wardrobe from a magical tree to protect whoever is in it from the curse. Snow White and PC place their newborn child, Emma, into a wardrobe made by Geppetto and Pinocchio in hopes that the prophecy that Emma will be the savior in 28 years comes true.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

NEW TV SERIES Part 1: Terra Nova Review (E01-07)

*Update: A really cool look at the CGI effects from the show. Even the old school fence is CGI! Click here to view video.

I will post about a few fun TV shows that are new this Fall season. The first show is called Terra Nova, which plays on Monday nights at 8pm on Fox and is produced by no other than Steven Spielberg. The premise is that the Earth, in 2149, is overpopulated, extremely polluted and pretty much a wasteland (unrealistic eh?).

Earth 2149 vs Terra Nova, 85M years in the past

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

1MiniMe - Custom Bobbleheads

So I was just randomly looking up Groupon coupons in Montreal and found nothing to my liking. I clicked a nearby city, Sherbrooke (~150km away) and saw an expired coupon for a nonetheless interesting site called 1MiniMe. The site 100% handcrafts customized bobbleheads (I've seen 3D printing before for this kind of stuff, but I like the artisan aspect of this) and some of the samples are really cool. It takes 8-16 hours to craft each one and you can view the video below for yourself.

There's also a discount code on their Facebook page so if you're thinking of getting something, you should check their page out. At the time of this posting, these are the coupon codes available (I believe they are $10 off):

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm for Geeks and Cool People

Here is fun RTS (Real time strategy) game for you peeps out there to play. For those who aren't so in tune with the game, let's just say it deals with resource management, micro management and fighting aliens...yeah ok so this might not be fun for everyone but it sure is for me. The fun part of this RTS (real-time strategy) game is that every game is different and you have to think a lot (relative to other games) in order to win. I personally use Terran or Protoss but I can’t figure how to use the Zerg effectively enough. I play with a few of my buddies who are all way superior than I am at this the game. I am still proud to say that I am a “Gold” level player which I guess is about slightly above the middle of the pack.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Samsung Galaxy Nexus

As I watched the live announcement from Hong Kong, I couldn't help but notice that the presenters were  monotonous. It reminded me of when Mark Zuckerberg presented at a Facebook summit and at the time I didn't know how he looked and was surprised to find out it was him. I can really appreciate the charisma Steve Jobs had and he ranked among the best speakers out there.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Marvel Comics Android App

Being a huge Marvel fan (I am a proud owner of X-Men issues #1-50 from the '90s), I downloaded the newly released Marvel Comics Android App. In the past I tried to read documents on my Android and although doable, the experience was not great. I had to scroll across every line when I made the text big enough to be legible and this proved to be a turn off (also, images in ppt didn't show up for me). In the spirit of trying new things, I got this app and it was nice to see that there were a few free issues for me to test out, one of which was Astonishing X-Men #1, cool.

Friday, October 14, 2011

XBOX 360 Central, Downtown Montreal

I had the opportunity to be the first customer to walk into the new XBOX 360 Central store at the Eaton Center in Montreal. I was in the area today when it opened and got to try some new Kinect games. The coolest by far was the new Star Wars Kinect game.

Although developers said that they realize that "no one  wants to look like the Star Wars kid", apparently that's exactly how I looked when I played it. I must admit, it might look geeky but lifting your arm to raise a droid and throwing him to the side is super cool.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

CN Tower: "Touriste, Touriste" (said with a French accent)

So not quite the hidden gem, but worth a short post. The coolest part of the CN Tower is the glass floor in which many people, including my mom would not dare to walk on. They say its 6x stronger than a conventional floor and it does feel freaky to walk over it while looking down. If you have oodles of cash, you can try the skywalk where you actually go outside and walk around the tower in a harness.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Recreational Football (Soccer)

Five years ago, I decided to make a football (soccer) team in a co-ed recreational league. The story started like this: one of my good colleagues at work made a team and only asked me on the last day if I wanted to play after I overheard him talking. The invite did not seem sincere so I did not reply to his ultimatum. Then I made my own team and have been playing for the last five years. After a few seasons in the middle ranks of the league (we made one finals and got killed), we finally had a perfect record in last winter's indoors season. We played the #2 seed of the other division in the semi-finals but fell flat so the season ended not so perfectly.

Champions League Winners: We got medals, for some, the first in 15 years. Yeah!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Jean Paul Gauthier (JPG) - Perspective of Someone Who Knows Nothing About Fashion

Ok, so apparently JPG is known for his crazy fashion stuff...and stripes. 

In terms of the fashion world, I'm the first to admit that I pretty much know nothing. Nonetheless, in the spirit of openness, I went to the JPG Exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts in Montreal. It was the second last day of the exhibit and there was a an hour line-up to get in. At least I now understand that fashion shows are meant as art and not really clothing. Apparently JPG paid the museum to showcase his work and contribution to the arts. A little bit of blowing his own horn but then again, I imagine that's what fashion designers are all about.

Monday, October 3, 2011

AWESOME FOOD: Best Dragon Seafood Restaurant (Toronto)

So happy after eating here, jumping for joy

Here is a hidden gem for people visiting or are in the Toronto area. I went to a dozen of Chinese restaurants over the last week and this was by far the best one. The place was never full, although we were there a bit early (5pm) but I suspect that the far off location is probably the main reason.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Hockey Hall of Fame: Stuff You Didn't Know About

That's one big goalie. I feel super shrimpy.
The HHOF was ok, there was nothing really extraordinary about the place even for a hockey fan like me. Of course you have all the stuff you would expect and I'll quickly go through some highlights. There was a somewhat interesting but totally dated shooting gallery where you take wrist shots at a virtual goalie. Unless you shoot the inside post, nothing is going in. It didn't help that I kept shooting at his chest. I rang one that looked like the inside of the post and in but it didn't register. Me thinks me rusty : p

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Mega Cheap, Mega Bus: Toronto-Montreal Round-Trip

I don’t want to make this seem like an advertorial but MEGA Bus seems like a pretty good deal. I mean, $42 tax in for a round trip to Toronto is cheaper than the gas ($100) it would take to drive there.

Monday, September 26, 2011


Growing up playing North American games (Monopoly, Life...) I was pleased last year to learn about a fun game originating from Germany called Carcassonne.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Why Tennis Is Fun For Everyone (+ Tips for Beginners)

Don't try this at home
Before I comment about the wonderful sport of tennis, I must comment on last week’s US Open. I know it’s a bit late but the Djokovic vs. Nadal match was history in the making. First, Djokovic’s record of 64-2 will most likely not be equaled anytime soon, but then again it wasn’t that long ago in ‘84 when Johnny McEnroe went 82-3. Congrats to him and I’d love to rally with someone of his caliber one day.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

ComicCon 2011 (Montreal)

*Update, new masquerade videos added, click here to view them.

The Montreal ComicCon is on this weekend and we (Ryan and I) decided to check it out. It's the first time I have ever been to any sort of comic book convention although I have been to card shows ages ago as a kid. There were some pretty big names in the geek world, namely Stan Lee, Adam Ward, James Marsters, Michael Dorn, Marina Sirtis and more.