Tag Archives: app

{infatuation friday}

02.01.2013

  1. RascalExtermi-nator Cats. Fun fact about cats: they kill between 1.4 billion and 3.7 billion birds and between 6.9 billion and 20.7 billion small mammals yearly, according to the Christian Science Monitor. However, house cats don’t seem to be the big exterminators. Instead, feral and un-owned cats are doing most of the killing. CSM reports that 30 million to 80 million street-roaming cats live in the U.S. , each killing between 23 and 46 birds a year and between 129 and 338 small mammals. I wish my cat (pictured) would have had that kind of courage! He once caught a mouse, but didn’t seem to know what to do with it; he just let it dangle from his mouth–weirdo. (Big thanks to my friend Mike for sharing this article with me earlier this week!)
  2. Super Bowl. Super Bowl XLVII: (noun) An excuse to watch hour-upon-hour of commercials and consume enough hot wings, jalapeno poppers and light beer to put last year’s hot dog-eating champ to shame. There may also be some football-watching involved. Occurs in January February. (See also: HarBowl 2013)
  3. Super Bowl Monday. Speaking of the Super Bowl, did you know there’s an official petition on the White House We the People page to make the Monday after the Super Bowl a national holiday. Obviously, I vote yes. As of right now (“right now” being the moment I click “publish”), the petition still needs 86,924 signatures before February 23 for an official response from the administration. (Don’t mind me; I’m just daydreaming about sleeping in during future Super Bowl Mondays.)
  4. Word Jigsaw. This game is my newest obsession. (Not even kidding… I played it for a solid hour earlier this week.) To play the game, you use the letter tiles you are given (each tile contains multiple letters) and try to piece them together on the board to create words. It’s kind of a mash-up of jigsaw puzzles and word finds. The game is free, offering three free levels (tiny, small and medium). Three additional levels (big, bigger and giant) are available through in-game purchase. Available in iTunes for iPhone and iPad. FREE
  5. UFC 156. Is it weird that I’m posting so much sports stuff? And that none of it is college-related? Anyway, Josh is really into the UFC, so Saturday night, we’re going out to watch the fight. That’s really all there is to that story because I don’t know much about Aldo or Edgar. (Feel free to educate me in the comments.) Okay, I’m done with the sports stuff.
  6. muffin knightMuffin Knight. Ignore (or laugh at) the strange intro video and move on to the frustratingly fun game: Muffin Knight. I honestly haven’t gotten past level one (it’s a little harder to play on the iPad than it would be on an iPhone or iPod touch), but I’ve had lots of fun with it anyway. The point of the game is for you, the knight, to collect the fairy’s magical muffins, which appear as you collect the others. You control left-to-right movements with your left thumb, while using your right thumb to make the knight jump (which is necessary to get muffins on cliffs or across streams. You can play in single-player mode or in co-op mode. Available in iTunes for iPhone and iPad, Google Play for Android, Mac App Store for Macs and Chrome Web Store for Google Chrome. Prices range from $0.99 to $4.99, depending on device. $0.99-$4.99
  7. Mr. & Mrs What’s-Her-Name. I learned something new this week: only nine states allow a man to change his name for marriage (in the way a woman traditionally would). Florida is not one of those states. Now, a Florida man is suffering for taking on his new wife’s name; the Florida DMV has suspended his license after deciding the name change on his drivers license was fraudulent. (His Social Security card, bank accounts and passport all reflect his new last name.) Read the full story from Yahoo! News.
  8. Bout. I have to be honest: I haven’t had the chance to download this game, but I had to include it because it seems interesting. You play this College Humor game with your friends; one person chooses a topic (like “What you’re doing right now”) and everyone posts photos, trying to be the funniest. However, according to All Things D, a major problem could be one similar to many Facebook-based games: you can only play if your friends join. So there is no inviting random guests to play (which means you either bug your friends to join or just don’t play). The game is free, though there may be in-app purchases available. Available in iTunes for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. FREE
  9. Midland City. Probably the biggest story I’ve been keeping an eye on this week has been the hostage situation in Midland City. It occurred not too far from where I grew up, and my mom texted me about it within an hour or two after the bus driver was shot. The short story: Wednesday afternoon, a man by the name of Jimmy Lee Dykes jumped on a Dale County bus and demanded the driver hand over a child or two. The driver–a man named Charles Albert Poland Jr.–refused, and Dykes shot him four times before adbucting a 5-year-old autistic child and heading to an underground bunker near his home. Poland passed away on Wednesday. As of this afternoon, the man is still holding the child hostage. (Read more here, here and here.)
  10. breakfastBrunch. Let’s end the week on a lighter note, shall we? Good news: I think I may be over my breakfast obsession. Except… Josh and I are having crepes Saturday for brunch. And I kind of really want to make these adorable scones. And I still need to make that breakfast cornbread. Okay, so maybe I’m not over it. What can I say? I love breakfast.

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Tech Tuesday: Roku 2 XS

This review is for the Roku 2 XS. Roku offers other device options, which are available with different features. Visit shop.roku.com to find the device that best suits your needs.

Roku Screen 1

Until Christmas, I had never heard of a Roku. That was when I got a tour of my dad’s Roku (which kind of confused me–I got that he was excited about his sort-of-new toy, but he was really going in depth to be just showing it off). Later that weekend, when I opened the box to my very own Roku 2 XS, I totally got why he showed me all those features.

Now, thanks to my dad and stepmom, I no longer have to use this…

Computer 1

And this…

Comp Cord 1

And this…

VGA 4

To stream video on this:

Roku Screen 3

(Seriously, though, don’t all those cords look beastly? And don’t get me started on how long my computer takes to boot up.)

Roku Device 3Roku stays put. No more plugging and unpluging the VGA cord from my computer and TV. No more sound cord to deal with. Just a little black box. Simple.

Roku comes standard with a video cord, but Josh and I plugged it into the TV using an HDMI cable instead. With the standard video cord, we had problems buffering some shows on Netflix, and the HDMI cable solved that.

Roku also comes with a little remote. I like it (I find it comfortable and easy to use), but not everyone is a fan. When you download the Roku app (available in iTunes or Google Play), you can program a remote to sync with your device, allowing you to use your smartphone or tablet as a remote for your Roku (though I imagine the phone is much less awkward than the tablet remote).

Roku Remote 3There’s even a USB port on the side, where you can plug in and watch digital copies of movies you own, listen to music or view your photos.

My initial excitement over my new Roku came from a want to easily stream Netflix, but Roku can do so much more. If you prefer Amazon, you can stream Amazon Instant Video movies and shows to your TV too. Or you can stream from Hulu Plus. Or Crackle, Vudu, Vevo, HBO GO, Epix… the list goes on.

Roku App 1Some websites have jumped on board too. You can watch cooking videos from allrecipes.com—convenient if you have a TV located close to your kitchen. And some fitness subscription sites like Gaiam and YogaVibes give users unlimited access to workout videos via Roku.

Though Roku is built for streaming video, it can bring other forms of entertainment to your TV as well. In fact, one of my favorite ways to use my Roku is for streaming music from Pandora—perfect for when I’m cleaning up around the apartment or chilling with friends (kidding—no one shares my taste in music).

Roku also acts as a sort of gaming device. Much like Wii, Roku allows the player to interact with the screen by using the remote, which also acts as a mouse at times. However, I haven’t had much experience playing games on my Roku (I spent maybe five minutes testing out the Angry Birds game that came  preloaded on it). Honestly, my fascination comes from streaming shows and movies.

Roku Device 1So far, I’m completely loving my Roku. Since adding the HDMI cable, I’ve had no complaints. (Josh’s only complaint has been that the TV repeatedly switches to the video setting for Roku whenever he turns on the TV, which is frustrating when he wants to play his Playstation instead. But I’m pretty sure that’s an issue with my TV, not Roku.)

Now the only problem is I only have one! (Gosh, I’d love to have a Roku in the bedroom too. One day.)

I was not reimbursed or rewarded in any way for this review. These thoughts and comments are my own and have no reflection on Roku, its employees or its affiliates.

{infatuation friday} Halloween 2012

10.26.2012

  1. Franken-weenie(Movie) I kind of really want to see this movie. I really liked the original, and I love the twisted child-like feel of the newer version (sort of like Coraline–though that movie actually freaked me out a little). I’ll wait until it finally makes its way to Netflix before I watch it though. (Watch the trailer here.)
  2. The Mirror. ($0.99) This app seems interesting enough, but I doubt I’d actually pay for it. You use your forward-facing camera to look in the mirror, which transforms your face into something scary/creepy. The app description says this about sharing the app with friends: “Make sure you volume is turned up and watch THEM scream!” So I guess there are spooky sounds to accompany the distorted reflections. Available for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.
  3. Death Makes a Holiday: A Cultural History of Halloween(Book) I like history. Like, a lot. So I might have squealed a little when I found this book on Goodreads. It looks at the history of Halloween (which is super-fascinating to me anyway) and mixes it with personal anecdotes as well as a social analysis. I’d love to have the chance to read it.
  4. Pumpkin Masters Official Carving App(Free) This adorable app can be fun for both kids and adults. You choose your pumpkin from seven shapes and pick a carving pattern. After watching a few-second-long cartoon clip of a the pumpkin’s lid being cut and its filling removed, you get to “carve” the pumpkin by swiping your finger over the design. Once the design is complete, you choose from four types of lighting. When you’re finished you have the option to save, start over or share the app on Facebook. I must say, this is a pretty spectacular (spooktacular?) free app. Available only for the iPad.
  5. The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror. ($9.99 per collection) This was the Starbucks Pick of the Week last week, so I downloaded it for free. I haven’t had a chance to watch it yet, but I’m pretty excited. Now, the free app was only the first episode (which I still like). You can purchase individual episodes in iTunes for $1.99 each (linked above).
  6. Halloween Sounds Pro. (Free) For a free app, it’s not too bad, though I’m not a huge fan. I think, if used very creatively, it could be good for a Halloween party or a haunted house. Or kids might enjoy the spooky sounds (and aggravating their parents). Beyond that, I don’t see much use for it. Available for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.
  7. Disney Scary Storybook Collection(Book) I found this in Target last night and thumbed through it for a few minutes. It’s super cute. It seems to be the original Disney stories recreated for Halloween. There are 15 tales in this hardcover book. Target’s in-store price was $15.99 (though the online price appears to be $2 cheaper). Of course, it’s available online and in stores elsewhere as well.
  8. Costume-Decider(Free) This app allows you to spin two wheels to decide what costume to wear. The costumes are often goofy selections such as “disco devil” or “werewolf nurse.” There are also sound clips to match each costume idea. Honestly, this might help me overcome my annual horrible costume curse. Available for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad (linked above).
  9. Paranorman(Movie) This movie looks absolutely, adorably creepy. The main character is a kid who can talk to ghosts. I don’t know much else, but I’m okay with that. I still want to see it. (Watch the trailer here.)
  10. 200+ Scary Stories, Sounds, and Pranks($0.99) I haven’t downloaded this, but it looks like it’s worth the money. This app feature more than 200 horror and ghost stories in an in-app e-book format, more than 40 haunting sounds and several pranks and games. The app gives you the option to set haunting sounds to play at random moments, which the app’s description says will “give your friends a good scare” and is “perfect for scaring yourself while you read.” Available for iPhone and iPod Touch. iPad version–100 Horror Stories, Sounds, and Scares for iPad–also available in the iTunes store.

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