Benny's Adventures

in Life: T-minus 2 days until school!

I’ve been very busy packing things and making sure I’m not forgetting anything for school. As a result my posting has slowed down a bit. I haven’t decided how often I want to commit to posting during the school year but I think that a conservative once-a-week estimate will be good to make sure I can post regularly and also ensure good academic performance.

Here are things you can expect: band camp shenanigans, schoolwork ramblings, new thoughts from meeting new people, and more. But I really do have to focus on schoolwork so a weekly or biweekly posting cycle would benefit. I think the most interesting thing in the coming school year will be recruitment fairs, job interviews, and other after-graduation issues. Wish me luck!

In the mean time I made a new song parody (this time of Justin Bieber’s “Baby”) so check that out. This’ll be the last time I can post until I’m moved in which should be approximately this coming Sunday or Monday depending on how long it takes exactly.

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19 August 2010 Posted by | Life | , , | Leave a comment

in Blogging: What Songs Really Mean (my new endeavor)

On my way home from a doctor’s appointment the radio was on and inspiration hit! I was thinking about the songs and how a lot of them try to convey a certain message but end up providing much evidence for the direct opposite. Take for example, my first post in “What Songs Really Mean”. Check it out and let me know what you think!

(I’ll still be posting here regularly, I just now have a very focused blog also that I hope will do well)

16 August 2010 Posted by | Blogging | , , , | Leave a comment

on the Internet: A Thought Provoking Picture

I’m not sure of the original source but I found it on Reddit in a post titled, “Mondays.” Beyond a representation of the Monday blues I think there’s something greater here. Note that the false smiles required money to obtain. Perhaps we’re all fooling ourselves into thinking we’re happy by spending money when we should really be working on the intangibles that lead to happiness? Regardless of whether this picture is a critique on a materialistic society or anything else, I think it’s interesting.

13 August 2010 Posted by | Internet | , , , | Leave a comment

in Blogging: Following Up, Week of August 8, 2010

This will be a new weekly installment on my blog. I’ll do my best to follow up on any stories I may have commented on (if I’m able to) and respond to any comments I receive here. I think it’ll help my own follow-through with things and also provide some people more information on something they’re interested in. Thanks Allie for giving me the idea! If you’ve got any follow-up requests send them my way and I will look into it.
  • To Ellie’s comment on the hydrogen harvesting bacteria post asking if I’ve continued cooking and if I’m home: Yes, I’m back home from the summer apartment. I will be moving back in to my dorms in about a week and a half. Unfortunately I haven’t done much more cooking, but I have done a lot of other things. Mainly I’ve de-stressed and de-cluttered my life and started studying for the GRE. Still, I will be trying at least a few more times.
  • Following up on Blizzard’s attempt to mandate real name disclosure on their forums: Blizzard has implemented a Real ID system but made it optional. This seems like a tenuous compromise between anonymity and full accountability but the fact that it’s optional makes it pretty decent I think. Oddly enough upon further inspection, it seems the Real ID system was optional from the beginning. I’m startin’ to think that this whole hullabaloo was just another over-reaction by the collective entity known as “the Internet.” It’s probably the only downside of such an open and free communications platform – a lot of people who are unsuitable for mature debates, rational thought, and appropriate responses to changes are allowed to contribute.
  • Related material on the sumo wrestling GIF I found: I think this speaks for itself:

That’s all I have for now. Like I said before if you want something in particular looked at again or if you have questions let me know.

13 August 2010 Posted by | Blogging | Leave a comment

in Science: Hydrogen Harvesting Life Forms

Source: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20727721.400-hydrogen-bombshell-rewriting-lifes-history.html?full=true

The article is an interesting piece on bacteria that can survive without oxygen. The key finding of this discovery is the implications on evolution and oxygen’s role in it. It is currently thought that oxygen played the dominant role in the appearance of larger, complex, multicellular organisms. This article claims that it was not oxygen but hydrogen that played the dominant role.

While I believe the truth to be more of a combination of both sides than either individually, I think there is interesting evidence now to consider the possibility of life elsewhere in our universe where oxygen is not available. We seek Earth-like planets (which includes oxygen content) and look for life there, but what if we are missing life under our cosmic noses because we are not focusing as much attention on planets with less oxygen?

It will be interesting to see where this discovery goes.

11 August 2010 Posted by | Science | , , | 3 Comments

on the Internet: Funny Geico Commercial

One of Geico’s recent marketing tactics includes a man with slick hair asking, “Can Geico really save you 15% on car insurance?” and relating it to something else that is taken to be certain in some way or another. Here is one (and my favorite by far!):

For those that are unfamiliar, the commercial refers to a nursery rhyme (that I’ve seen used on toes for the five piggies) that goes like this:

This little piggy went to market,
This little piggy stayed at home,
This little piggy had roast beef,
This little piggy had none.
And this little piggy went…
“Wee wee wee” all the way home…

8 August 2010 Posted by | Internet | , , | Leave a comment

in Technology: Motorola Droid’s Android 2.2 Update

I’ve been looking forward to the Android 2.2 update to roll out for the Motorola Droid for a week now but finally got impatient and manually installed it. The process intimidated me at first but I found a very useful guide here:

http://www.droid-life.com/2010/08/03/manual-android-2-2-update-for-motorola-droid/

The instructions there were clear and easy to follow. The one issue I had is figuring out what the “root” of an SD card is but it was just a brain fart on my part – the root of an SD card is just the SD card without going into any folders.

My experience with the update is pleasant. The most noticeable differences are more desktop screens, a dedicated phone button that’s accessible on all screens, and a speedier feel to the whole system. I love the smoother feel to my phone and I swear it’s ten times faster (not sure what the actual performance increase is though). There are also numerous small tweaks to the interface in the menus and whatnot.

I haven’t yet messed with the touted new Flash capabilities or tethering but even without that I’m content.

If you have a Motorola Droid, I’d highly recommend manually installing the update if you haven’t received it through Verizon already.

7 August 2010 Posted by | Technology | , , , , , | Leave a comment

in Gaming: My Mom Playing on the Wii

I was recently playing New Super Mario Bros. on the Wii with my mom and I was really amused at how she was playing. I decided to take a video and put it here because I think it’s really cute to see my mom playing. I hope you guys think the same too!

The sound is really quiet except for one point (you’ll know when!) because I recorded this on my phone. Also what you do hear is in Tamil so if it sounds strange that’s why.

7 August 2010 Posted by | Gaming | , , | Leave a comment

in Technology: Using Google Voice as Voicemail Carrier on Motorola Droid

Verizon’s voicemail service is outdone by Google Voice‘s features in several ways. First and foremost Google Voice has a voice-to-text transcribing feature that comes in very handy. It’s not perfect but can come in handy in a pinch to figure out what a voice message contains without having to call. This could come in handy in a situation where you can’t make a call but can check text messages or the Google Voice app. For the times you can call the recording quality is on par with the default carrier’s voicemail. Another benefit of Google Voice is the ability to create groups of numbers and select individual recordings that will play to members of a certain group. This could be having a different voice mail greeting for your fraternity buddies and your interviewers or maybe creating a general greeting for numbers you know and numbers not in your list yet.

For these extra features and more the setup is simple. Here’s how to do it:

1) Download the Google Voice app for your phone.

2) Go to Settings -> Call Settings and select the Voicemail service drop down box. Here you can select Google Voice and will be given a prompt. In the prompt there is a number for you to call that you may call by touching the link.

3) You’re done! You can go to Google Voice and adjust your settings there.

Using Google Voice as the voice mail service on your Motorola Droid is not difficult. You can get the hang of it by giving your voice mail a call. The *86 number is a shortcut to voice mail for me and I suppose it’s the standard Verizon shortcut so I tried that after I completed this and instead of receiving a prompt to enter my password I got my voice mail recording. I left a test message and soon I received a notification on my Google Voice app and also a text message. The text message feature can be turned off because with the Google Voice app it’s a bit redundant. The app allows you to hear the recording as well as see a transcript of the voice message.

On top of the phone app the Google Voice inbox online works much like e-mail and provides a convenient way to organize and listen to messages. You can place calls from the browser interface as well where Google Voice connects you to the number via your phone (sorry, no Skype-like features… yet!).

For the benefits that Google Voice offers I think it’s worth what little effort it takes to set the system up.

6 August 2010 Posted by | Technology | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

in Blogging: SocialVibe Widget

I’ve recently added the SocialVibe widget that you can see on the sidebar. I was looking through the widgets available for this blog and discovered this wonderful service.

If you have some time to spare during your day take a moment to complete at least one activity and you can help contribute toward a helpful cause.

This method is handy because while most people don’t have the luxury of having money to allocate to donations time is aplenty in many lives and it can be converted to donations in this manner. I think it’s a great way to turn people’s tendency to procrastinate on the Internet into community service, so please spend some time helping out.

5 August 2010 Posted by | Blogging | , , , | Leave a comment

   

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