Friday, November 28, 2008

Letter of the Day

Dear Palisades Park,

We are nearing the end of 2008 and you don't have an official town website. Seriously? I understand that you negligently underfund the school system in order to keep property taxes low and to continue the myriad of shady businesses you have going on, but this is just ridiculous. Are you still attempting to cling to the golden age of file cabinets and fliers? 7000 Asians in this town and you can't get one of them to make you a website? Dammit Pal Park, I heart you so, but you continue to find new ways to frustrate me.

Angrily Yours,
Jorge J


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Asian Import of the Day: BoA

BoA is a 22-year old Korean pop wunderkind, who has enjoyed tremendous success in both Korea and Japan in her nine-year career. If you do the math, that means she's been in the business since she was 13 (with two years of training even before her debut), which is why I always equate her to be the Korean Britney Spears, minus the CRAZY stint and the K-Fed period and the kids. I mean she's worked super hard, selling millions of records in Asia, winning all sorts of awards and accolades (including MTV Asia's Most Influential Artist Award), and has tons of hits under her belt, but she's also kinda given up any semblance of a normal childhood/life to make all of that happen. Very a la Britney.

Anyways, in September, her label announced that she'd be making her American debut, and subsequently, her US debut single "Eat You Up" was released. I think it's catchy. Is it enough to win over the American public, as no Asian pop star crossover has done (does anyone remember Coco Lee? Yeah, thought so..)? I don't know, the US music scene is notoriously hard to break into as an Asian. Her handlers seem to be making sure that she is not just another failed crossover, as the BoA publicity machine has gone into overddrive. She's performing at the KIIS FM Jingle Ball in LA, and she's performing live in Times Square, in the MTV studios, on Dec. 3. All very interesting stuff, so we shall see how she does, come the release of her first English album early next year. Eat You Up is available on iTunes now.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Celebrity Sighting to blow all other celebrity sightings away

So originally this post was going to be all about Momofuku Noodle Bar, and how excited I was to finally go, and how amazing the food is, and blah blah. All of that is true, and I do recommend going to Momofuku Noodle Bar and having the pork buns and the Momofuku Ramen (YUM). BUT. We all know where my heart lies- celebrities. And nothing gets me more excited than seeing one up close. You can liken the excitement I get from seeing celebrities in real life to say, if you saw a unicorn roaming the street- fascinating, right?!! My celebrity sightings = your unicorn. I know, I know, they're just people, spare me the talk. But there's something exciting about seeing someone you only know through your TV/movie screen in real life. I've seen a couple this year (Stephen Colbert being my FAVORITE), but uh, last night's encounter blew all previous celeb sightings away.

I went to Momofuku with one of my favorite people in the world, my cousin Cathy, who wanted to introduce me to her favorite noodle place. We got seated right in front of the chefs, which was exciting in itself, and as I glanced around, who do I see sitting at a table 5 ft from us?? Saturday Night Live's Fred Armisen! I love the neurotic characters he plays on SNL, and from gawking at him, I could tell that he embodies a lot of the frenetic neuroses in real life- lots of hand gestures and animation in his conversation. My cousin, who had her back towards their group, was like, is he with anyone famous?? And I was like no, I think he's just with normal people...

Um yeah, NO. She kinda turned to look at them and was like, "He's with Pam from the Office." WHAT?!? And yeah, Jenna Fischer had her back towards me, which is why I couldn't tell at first, but once Cathy pointed that out, I was like, OMG THAT'S PAM FROM THE OFFICE!! If you know me at all, you know that I LURVE The Office. Like a lot. Btw folks, the camera does add 10000 pounds. Jenna is TINY in real life, and her face/head was like so small. Just throwing it out there. Anyways, Fred and Jenna were also with Elisabeth Moss, who plays Peggy on Mad Men, who is also tiny as hell. So even though I restrained myself (mostly out of fear of being rejected AND/OR embarrassing Cathy and myself) and did not acknowledge them, ask for a picture, or profusely gush I LOVE YOU GUYS like I really wanted to, it was the best.celebrity.sighting.ever. EVER! I feel one degree closer to my future husband John Krasinski.


Song of the Day: Flightless Bird, American Mouth by Iron & Wine

When the Twilight soundtrack listing was first released, I was expecting a hardcore, emo-riffic CD. Though I wasn't too far off with that assumption, one song in particular caught my ears - Flightless Bird, American Mouth by Iron & Wine. In the movie, the song was played during Edward and Bella's prom dance scene, but even though I am a die-hard Twilight fan, I haven't been associating the song with the movie. Rather, it makes me appreciate Iron & Wine in all their folksy goodness.


Monday, November 24, 2008

What a [Twilight] weekend!

"Twilight takes a big bite out of the box office"

"Twilight has bite at the box office"

"Moviegoers enter "Twilight" zone at the box office"

"Twilight: early box office is bloody good"

"Twilight sucks in Fangirls for $70.6 Mil Debut"

Am I the only one disappointed with the slew of headlines regarding the success of Twilight at the box office? I would've imagined, with its vampire theme, you would've seen a lot more of the following:

"Twilight slays competition at the box office"
"Twilight drains the life out of its competitors"
"Twilight makes a killing this weekend"
"Twilight sinks teeth into the box office"

There's so much to work with here! Copywriters, I am disappointed. Anyways, so uh, have you heard the news? Despite some sucky reviews, Twilight pulled in over $70 million this weekend, shattering all expectations. It became the #1 opener for a vampire movie of all time, the biggest opener for a female-directed movie, and made more than Transformers did on its opening weekend last year ($70.5 vs. Twilight's $70.6). Considering the movie pulled in types of crowd who don't normally go out to the movies in droves - women (75% of the audience) and the young (55% of the audience were under 25), those are some AMAZING numbers.

As for my review... Well, I definitely don't recommend the movie to you if you haven't read the book. There are some things the movie does better than the book (cutting out unnecessary and repetitive scenes, pacing the action/suspense throughout, UM the casting of Robert Pattinson), but I think to truly understand the intense relationship of the 2 main characters, as well as to appreciate the cheesiness of the dialogue, reading the book first is best. And as with any book-to-movie adaptations, there are certain things that can never live up to what you imagined it would be like (in Twilight's case, 2 words: sparkling skin). So, I give Twilight a B-. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it very much. I'm just being objective here.

And as proud as I am that a female director made the film, being not a fan of her work in general (I kinda hated Thirteen), I hope that the next one is made by someone other than Catherine Hardwicke. Maybe then we can move away from emo teen angst (though, I guess it is fair to say that Twilight is a bit emo teen angst) and more action, Blockbuster, big budget film making. Oh, and duh, MORE R.PATTINSON!! One more thing, check this NYMag slideshow out, probably my favorite thing written on this subject.


Phone of the Day

Of course it's the Blackberry Storm, Verizon's long over due answer to the IPhone. I went to get mine on Friday and it was bananas at the store. Apparently, there was a problem with their shipment so they were understocked. The people laughed, the people cried, the people got angry. Mostly angry though since most of them were not able to purchase their phone that day. Luckily for me, I was able to get it, even though I had to wait till 6:30 and was late for dinner I was suppose to help make (SORRY ASHLEY!)

The Storm is slick, pretty easy to use so far, and I really like the click screen feature. However, I am an absolute newbie when it comes to fancy phones so here are a couple of websites that just might help you out.


Friday, November 21, 2008

Activity Of The Day

What did I do to be productive this Friday? I went rock climbing at the Gravity Vault in Upper Saddle River, NJ. Today I did bouldering which is when you climb up certain pegged paths along a wall. I also top roped which requires being harnessed and climbing an even larger wall. As of now I prefer bouldering because falling down (I fell a whole lot) onto the mats is so much fun. I must warn you although it is a lot of fun, it is very tiring. It's $18 for the day and $7 for shoes. Let's go!


Unhappy people watch more TV

The University of Maryland released a study this week, finding that unhappy people watch more TV, while those who consider themselves happy socialize and read and stuff. This study, as interesting it is, makes me unhappy! Only cause this entire article/study sounds like something my mom says to me, all.the.time.

I watch a lot of TV, surprise surprise. I have at least 1 show I watch regularly every day of the week, and my DVR is probably my most favorite thing ever, next to my iPod. It's the first thing I tell people when people ask me what I like to do. Does that make me a loser? Perhaps. I just really like being entertained by my 'stories,' and I get very passionate about storylines and casting and acting and stuff. I don't see anything wrong with that, given that I do like socializing with people, and that I do do (heh heh, doodoo) other things like read (which I am also a big fan of). I also consider myself a pretty happy, decently-adjusted person, so... An hour or two (or thirty) of escapism never hurt anyone. Whatevs, University of Maryland and your fancy study! I, Jen Shin, am a happy TV watcher!


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Hottie of the Day: Robert Pattinson

Every once in awhile, I get completely obsessed with a male celebrity. When I say obsessed, I mean like recording every interview, reading every article, buying every magazine with said celebrity. The list of people who I think are hot is pretty long, but these special men have very special places in my heart, and there are only a handful of them. Michael Vartan (of Alias and Never Been Kissed fame) is my first celebrity boyfriend, John Krasinski (of The Office) is my 'I'm SO marrying him' celebrity boyfriend, and you can now add British HOTTIE Robert Pattinson (of Twilight and Harry Potter films) to my celebrity boyfriend list.

I don't think anyone would have been quite prepared for the insane-ness that the upcoming release of Twilight has bestowed upon the actors of the film, in particular Robert. He's handling the whirlwind of publicity tours and screaming (crying/fainting) fans particularly well, I think. He's pretty gracious and thoughtful in his interviews (you know, when he doesn't look exhausted and out of it) and he seems to understand that really, the girls are screaming for the character he is playing in the movie, not necessarily for him as a person. So while I am at the height of my Robert Pattinson obsession, and while he still seems like a pretty down-to-earth guy in the midst of the fan frenzy, he is officially my Hottie of the Day (week/month/year). RPatt, FTW! :)

Bonus: Here is a beginner's guide to Twilight.
And for those of you who think he's just a pretty face, here's a positive review of the movie, in particular, a positive review of his performance.


Top Chef Recap: As Cruel As Sore Losers

Last night's episode of Top Chef: New York was pretty intense. I mean, seriously, the producers are really outdoing their selves with the mobile question of the night and all - oh, the drama! Where to begin?

First off, I gotta say that the one person I CANNOT STAND is Carla, with her freakishly long limbs and bugged out eyes. She's got the crazy eyes, and I'm scared.

Um, and Ariane! Ariane, Ariane, Ariane. Please pack up your knives. You better be repeating those words in your head, 'cause dahling, the next chopping block meeting with the judges is going to be the last one. Cry me a river, but how's about you learn how to cook before you come on the show? I was contemplating visiting your restaurant, but after seeing the crapola you've been serving up - no thanks!

Anyway, last night's episode was super intense because New Yorkers are a tough crowd to please. But to be serving your foodies to the rejects that didn't make it to the 18 chosen contestants for the show? H-A-R-S-H. Padma is probably still laughing. Those were not happy campers.

Oh, and for the mobile question of the night: What did you think about Jill's decision to cook with an ostrich egg? Um, duh .. too risky, and no puns ("an egg-cellent choice"), please.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Blog of the Day

Other than your's truly of course... has all sorts of weird posts for the inner geek in you. One of my personal favorites has to do with using spider drawings as payment. If you haven't seen it yet, click here now.


Fall Out Boy: Live from the Chicago Theatre

Not sure if any of our readers are Fall Out Boy fans, but I'm sure that you've enjoyed a few of their songs ('cause admittedly, they are pretty damn catchy!).

Anyway, with the release of their new album just a month away, you're going to be hearing about a lot of promotions for it. Here's to start it off:

Fuse TV has just announced that they will be broadcasting an intimate and exclusive LIVE Fall Out Boy concert on the night of the release for their hugely anticipated new album, “Folie à Deux," (in stores Tuesday, December 16th).

“Fall Out Boy: Live from The Chicago Theatre,” will premiere on Tuesday, December 16th, at 9:00PM EST/PST, only on Fuse TV.
Apparently, they will be performing their entire new album. So if you're a fan or just happen to find yourself in front of the tv on Dec. 16th, ch-ch-check it out.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Twilight owns my life (and this blog)

Not to Twilight you all out, but... like Julia mentioned, I too, have become a pretty big Twilight fan. We like to introduce each other to stuff we can't live without- I introduced her to How I Met Your Mother/High School Musical, she introduced me to...the Twilight phenomenon. Yes, I still feel weird saying out loud, "hey, this vampire love stuff is really entertaining!" I mean how much more lamer can you get? But, folks, it SO is entertaining. And the thing is, Julia and I are far from being the only ones who are into it. Sold out mall tours, fainting fans, basically everything you would equate with like a pop act like the BSB or NSYNC in their heyday mania is... Twilight. The upcoming release of the film version of Twilight (this Friday, Nov. 21!) has got teenage (and not so teenage) girls and boys in a tizzy.

I like entertainment/pop culture facts and figures like boys like sports statistics, so let's examine the phenomenon in numbers, shall we:
* Twilight (2005), New Moon (2006), Eclipse (2007), and Breaking Dawn (2008) (the 4 books in the series) have sold over 17 million copies worldwide, in 37 countries.
* Breaking Dawn, the 4th and most recent, sold 1.3 million copies on the FIRST day of its release.
* For this weekend's film release, Fandango has already sold out almost 700 shows -- including 500 or so midnight Thursday screenings, and MovieTickets counted more than 400 sellouts of various showtimes.
* Twilight accounted for more than 85% of presales in recent days (me and Julia included, we purchased our tickets for Friday)
* Director Catherine Hardwick estimates the movie needs to make at least $150 million for the studio to consider making a sequel. Many people in the industry believe a $40 million-plus opening is a given, $50 million or more is quite possible, even $60 million is ambitious but doable.

SO, COME ON FELLOW TEENYBOPPERS, let's go show Hollywood how powerful we can be! I am confident we will be seeing a sequel. T-3!!


Mania of the Day (well, OF THE WEEK): Twilight

Oh, Twilight. I resisted your charm. I was unknowingly there, at the release party for Breaking Dawn back in August, and scoffed at the fake vampire tattoos that your many fans adorned. I wrinkled my nose in disgust when people started comparing the series to that of Harry Potter. I did not know, and if anything, the idea of a vampire novel kept me away.

But now I know. And awesomely enough, I've spread my love for the series to many other friends, who in turn, have done the same to their friends.

Twilight-mania continues to sweep across the country, with the cast closing down on their Hot Topic tour as the premiere approaches. Buy your tickets in advance, and get there early, ya'll - it's going to be pretty EPIC.

Not to mention that the latest trailer for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (yes, there's a NEW trailer!) will be shown before the Twilight movie.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Smart Move of the Week

A skirmish broke out between the Phoenix Suns and the Houston Rockets during their game on Wednesday night. Aaron Brooks of the Houston Rockets was asked to describe what happened in an interview.

Shaquille O'Neal is listed at 7 Ft 1 In and 325 lbs. Aaron Brooks is 6Ft even and 160lbs soaking wet. Smart move indeed Mr. Brooks.


Friday, November 14, 2008

Team Aniston!

Ok, so I know this topic has been beaten to death, but while I can still put my two cents in, I wanted to say something on this Angelina Jolie vs. Jennifer Aniston battle that has been dominating the media this week. Aniston will appear on the December issue of Vogue (out Nov. 19), and in the interview, she said regarding Jolie:

"There was stuff printed there that was definitely from a time when I was unaware that it was happening. ... I felt those details were a little inappropriate to discuss. ... That stuff about how she couldn't wait to get to work every day? That was really uncool."
Aniston made those comments regarding an interview Jolie gave earlier this year, when Jolie stated:
"It will be great when they [her children] can watch ‘Mr. and Mrs. Smith’, because not a lot of people get to see a movie where their parents fell in love."
Uhrm... Hi, Angelina. I totally remember that interview, because I remember being really confused by your statement. You and Brad vehemently denied ever being a couple during and immediately following the shoot, mostly to save your butts on being labeled homewrecker and cheater, respectively. So it was a little strange to see that you had totally forgotten about that period in time, by basically claiming that you and Brad fell in love while he was still married. Talk about foot in mouth.

Ok so honestly, as much as I don't really like Angelina Jolie, I don't really like Jennifer Aniston either. She kinda seems high maintenance, and for someone who has a mediocre film career, she's in the spotlight way too much. And what girl with any self-respect dates man-ho John Mayer?? (Sorry...was that harsh?) But, I wholeheartedly side with her on this issue. You might think it's uncool for Jennifer to be talking about this, cause it's been a million years since her and Brad broke up, but I think it's more uncool that Angelina brought it up in the first place. I mean, I don't really care about any of these people, but I still felt kinda uncomfortable about that statement when that interview first came out a couple of months ago. So there, that's my unimportant view on this matter. Team Aniston, ftw.


Movie Posters of the Day

Design company Antrepo4 designed these really awesome looking movie posters. Instead of focusing on the plot or stars, they highlight the product integration found in the feature.

The design is super minimalist and they look amazing. If I had $30 to spend, I'd totally buy one here.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

TV Round-Up: Top Chef and More

TOP CHEF NEW YORK. Where do we start?
First off, I've got to hand it to the producers: already after the first episode, I am ATTACHED. And their mobile question of the night? "Which team are you rooting for? Team Rainbow or the Euro Duo?" - WELL PLAYED, BRAVO. You really know how to cut to my heart with such an important question.

Cancellations: After 14 seasons, MADtv is in its final season. Lipstick Jungle and My Own Worst Enemy have been canceled.

Casting: After hearing that Amy Poehler gave birth and will no longer be on SNL, the question on everyone's mind was IS KRISTEN WIIG GOING TO PLAY EVERY SINGLE FEMALE CHARACTER ON THE SHOW? Turns out SNL will be featuring two fresh female faces. I'm really wondering what's going to happen with Weekend Update.


Cute Animals of the Day: Shiba Inu Puppy Cam

This is spreading on the internetz almost as fast as you can say, "CUTENESS!" It's a 24-hr live cam of these uber cute shiba inu puppies, and they are so cute and so oddly addicting to watch. I caught myself watching the pups nap the other day, for like 5 minutes. In the back of my head, I was thinking, WHAT ARE YOU DOING, JEN SHIN, YOU HAVE A CRAPLOAD OF WORK TO DO!! But uh, the puppies won out. Also I was really hoping that one of them would wake up and do something. Anything. Alas, I stopped watching and the puppies went on napping, but it's oddly comforting to know that they're there, waiting for me, whenever I want to spend a couple of minutes with them.

Now if they only had a Suri Cruise 24 hr live cam... Wait, is that creepy? Whatever.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

TV Tonight: Top Chef New York Season Premiere!

Set your alarms for tonight, kids - Top Chef New York premieres tonight at 10PM.

Yes, after a long wait, Top Chef returns back into our weekly Wednesday night schedule. The knives, the drama .. and the food!

Expect a follow-up post.


Changes of The Day

With the temporary departure of Yuri Kim, Life in Boxes will be making some changes. In order to promote equality in the workplace we will be cutting our male workforce by 25 percent. We will also be reducing the amount of Koreans by 33 percent thus increasing the percentages of Latinos by a whopping 8 percent.

Along with the personnel changes, we will also be cutting out the weekend posts and the features. We don't like writing the weekend posts and you don't read them. As far as the feature goes, we didn't want to make other "non" feature posts feel bad. It's political correctness thing.


Google Flu Trends

Google, the search engine.
Google Maps.
Google Earth.
Google Flu Trends?!?

In a surefire sign that Google is taking over the world,, the philanthropic arm of the Google empire, launched Google Flu Trends, which is supposed to act as an early warning system of flu outbreaks. Not surprisingly, it turns out that before going to the doctor, most people like to google "flu symptoms" or of the like as ways of self-diagnosis. Multiply that by millions of people, analyze the regions where the searches are coming from, and you get a predicting system that may be able to detect flu outbreaks up to 10 days before the Center for Disease Control may be able to do. The service will analyze the keyword searches as they come in, and create maps and graphs of the country to show where the flu is spreading. Well, that's the ideal theory behind it, anyways.

Um. I don't know what you all think about this idea, but I find it fascinating. Mostly cause I find search engine results fascinating. The editors of Life in Boxes keep tabs on how you find our site, and sometimes, the funniest things lead to our blog (search term: "town bordering Ridgefield, NJ"). To be able to use the data that people are entering to help predict and ultimately curb disease outbreaks? That's pretty cool. Imagine what else we can do with that kind of collective data; I feel like we're only at the beginning of major things. Ok, so I know this just all SCREAMS of violating privacy issues or whatever (idk, do you really care?), but honestly, nothing you do is private anyway. We might as well try to do some good with the technology that allows us to.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Holidays of the Day

Today is Veterans Day - take some time out today to celebrate those who have fought for our country, as well as for those who are still fighting for us today.

As for silly holidays that companies like to make up for the sake of increasing profit .. Happy Pepero Day! That's right, just as Jorge mentioned - it's one of those rare occasions when the ladies have to give their men a little gift. No need for roses or watches for your man - Pepero Day entitles men to a box of the Korean version of the [better tasting] Japanese Pocky.

As for why today is Pepero Day, take a look at the numbers: 11/11 (wow! they look like Pepero sticks!).

According to stats, Lotte makes about 55% of their annual business sales in Peppero on this date - if you don't believe this, go to your local H-Mart and TRY to get a box of Pepero .. it's most likely SOLD OUT.

(Um, is it just me or does the Pepero character looks WRONG?)


New Gift Cards are Two Gifts in One

As much as you may not want to think about it, Christmas is coming soon. And if you're already dreading the idea of finding "perfect gifts" for people, Best Buy and Target have you covered.

Best Buy has just released a gift card that also doubles as a speaker. The sound quality probably won't be great, but the concept is very cool.

Even better, Target has gift cards that are also mini digital cameras. The gift cards have 1.2 megapixel sensors and enough memory to hold 50 pictures on them. They also come with the necessary wires and 40 free prints from the store.

Both of these gift cards won't cost you any extra cash, though you will have to spring for at least $50 worth of credit to pick one up.

Uhm, I wouldn't be surprised if these sold out relatively quick, so if you want to get this kind-of-thoughtful-kind-of-impersonal gift, you probably should aim for sooner rather than later.


Random Holiday

Today is Pepero Day. What is Pepero? Cookie stick dipped in either chocolate or strawberry. Why is it Pepero Day? Because the sticks can be used to form 11/11. It makes as much sense as Valentine's Day. Happy Pepero Day!


Friday, November 7, 2008

Frustration free packaging

I love for a million different reasons- they sell EVERYTHING under the sun, free shipping on purchases over $25, and even if you're not an Amazon Prime member and refuse to pay extra to expedite your shipping, you still get all your stuff really quickly. Add this to another reason why I love Amazon: frustration free packaging. As someone who recently bought a bunch of tech gadgets, it's so annoying to have to sit there and rip through hard plastic, wrapping, cardboard, twistie ties, tape, etc to get to your precious cargo. Well, in an effort to reduce this frustration and to be more green (it is the trendy thing to do, after all), Amazon has partnered with companies like Fischer-Price, Mattel, and Microsoft to make 19 products available in eco-friendly recyclable cardboard packaging. So far the selection is sparse- select toys, memory cards, computer mouses (mice??), but if the initiative is successful, Amazon will try to offer a whole catalog of frustration free products to come. Sounds like a step in the right direction! Now, if only the record companies can take notice and make CDs a bit easier to open...


Wet Phone Blues

Last night, as I was ready to go to sleep, I knocked my cell phone and my keys off my bed. My keys made the accustomed muted jingle as they fell to the carpet but it was accompanied by stranger noise this time, a plop. My phone had fallen inside a mug of watered down coke. I took it out and placed it on the floor without giving it much thought. A few minutes later I was disturbed by a humming noise and was appalled to discover that my phone was vibrating and flickering uncontrollably.

If this happens to you, I know what you're thinking, panic. Do that for about 4 seconds then calm yourself down and take the battery out immediately. The steps go a little like this.

1. Get it out of the water as soon as possible. The plastic covers on cell phones are fairly tight, but water can enter the phone in a short period of time, perhaps only 20 seconds or less. So grab your phone quickly! If you can't get to it in time, your best bet is to remove the battery while it is still under water. Water helps dissipate heat from shorts that can damage the phone, so most damage occurs when the inside of the phone is merely wet and there is a power source.

2. Remove the battery. This is one of the most important steps. Don't take time to think about it; electricity and water do not mix. Cutting power to your phone is a crucial first step in saving it. Many circuits inside the phone will survive immersion in water provided they are not attached to a power source when wet.

3. If you have a GSM carrier, remove your SIM card. Some or all of your valuable contacts (along with other data) could be stored on your SIM. To some people this could be more worth saving than the phone itself. SIM cards survive water damage well, but some of the following steps are unnecessary i.e. don't heat it. Just pat it dry and leave it aside until you need to connect your phone to your cellular network. (This step does not apply to CDMA carriers such as Verizon, Alltel, US Cellular, Sprint, etc.)

4. Dry your phone. Obviously you need to remove as much of the water as soon as possible, so you can save it from getting into the phone. Shake it out without dropping it, then use a towel or paper towel to gently remove as much of the remaining water as possible. Dry the excess moisture by hand.

5. Remove any covers and external connectors to open up as many gaps, slots, and crevices in the phone as possible.

6. Use a vacuum if possible. Do not use a hair dryer (even on a "cold" mode) to dry out the phone, as this may force moisture further into the small components, deep inside the phone. If moisture is driven deeper inside, corrosion and oxidation may result when minerals from liquids are deposited on the circuitry. Using a hairdryer might be a temporary fix, but this will eventually cause component failure inside the phone. Instead, remove all residual moisture by drawing it away with a vacuum cleaner held over the affected areas for up to 20 minutes in each accessible area. This is the fastest method and can completely dry out your phone and get it working in thirty minutes. Be careful not to hold the vacuum too close to the phone, as a vacuum can create static electricity, which is even worse.

7. Use a substance with a high affinity for water to help draw out moisture. Leave the phone in a bowl or bag of uncooked rice overnight. The rice would absorb any remaining moisture. If available, it is preferable to use desiccant instead. Desiccant will absorb moisture better than rice. It may be found under a brand name such as "Damp Rid" or "Dry Right".

8. Let the phone sit on absorbent towels, napkin, or other paper. Remember that the goal is to evacuate all the moisture and humidity, not to trap it or add even more. Check the absorbent material every hour for 4 to 6 hours. If moisture is evident, repeat the vacuuming step and desiccant steps.

9. Test your phone. After you have waited a day or so, make sure everything is clean and dry looking and re-attach the battery to the phone and see if it works. If your phone does not work, try plugging it into its charger without the battery, if this works, you need a new battery. If not, try taking your cell phone to an authorized dealer. Sometimes they can fix it. Don't try to hide the fact that it has been wet. There are internal indicators that prove moisture.

Thank you for for the info. As of this afternoon my phone is back on track. Yay Phone! It will be replaced soon for the Blackberry Storm. Buh Bye Phone.


While watching the election results on Tuesday, a friend of mine refused to watch CNN because he doesn't like their magic screen. Something about it being frivolous.

And then we had our own editor hate on CNN's hologram effects. I, for one, welcome our new-fangled technology overlords.

That's why I'm super excited about Microsoft's SecondLight. This new technology is based on their Surface project where, by throwing a piece of paper on the screen, a completely different image appears. It is damn sexy and worth watching the demo.

I can't wait for election coverage in 2012, where we'll see a map of the US, then the piece of paper will break down who in the state likes ice cream and how it will affect their vote.

Or an image of a person and then the SecondLight screen shows how too much black bile and not enough yellow bile makes them more likely to choose a political candidate. Yes, the four humors as a science will be back in 2012.


I Really Want a Canon 5D Mark II

The newest innovation in professional digital photography is the ability to record video on them.

A lot of people who don't know much about DSLR's might say, "psh, my digital camera has always been able to record video!"

Trust me, it's not the same.

The Canon 5D Mark II, which retails for $2,700 shoots in full HD and allows you to use different lenses to create very impressive videos.

Don't believe me? Watch the proof. The video posted on top was done by a random guy with just basic supplies. This video, Reverie, was done by a professional photographer with a bunch of lenses and top-notch editing. Both look awesome.

Well, now you all know what to get me for Christmas!


Thursday, November 6, 2008

CNN, I Don't Like You As Much Because of Your Election Coverage, but Thanks for All the Fish, kbai

A friend of mine emailed me the following video:

Apparently it's sort of a parody of TI's song, "Whatever You Like" (which I've never heard before, nor am I interested in hearing). What made me post about the video is the fact that it makes me feel absolute.. nothingness. Well, I lied. It made me dislike CNN a bit more.

I can only imagine what sort of innane block of stories CNN was airing, to include such a bit. Sure, this was aired a week or so before election night. Is it pro-Obama or McCain or neither? I can't tell, but the kids who are singing the Obama bit do seem to have more pizazz .. but nonetheless, it doesn't make me feel as proud as I did on election night when Obama was elected FTW, nor does it make me dislike McCain any more or any less.

I'm guess I'm just wondering why this video has over 1 million views, why CNN aired this particular video, and if any of these kids have any idea as to what they are performing about.

I'm glad that the election is over for multiple reasons: seeing a historical event in our nation's history, no longer seeing McCain awkwardly campaign with that beeyotch from Alaska (will she disappear now?), and especially NOT SEEING THOSE WEIRD HOLOGRAM GRAPHICS (really, Will.I.Am?) AND STUPID ELECTION COVERAGE STORIES ON CNN.


Exercise of the Day: Planks

Planks are my favorite quick exercise to do, whether I'm at the gym or not. It works like a million things- like your core (aka your abs!) as well as legs, arms, and back, and you can do it anywhere you have a bit of floor space. It's not a super fun exercise to do- I mean you start shaking and sweating and you feel like you're going to die, but really, aren't those elements what the best workouts are made of? ...No?

I usually do the planks on elbows move, holding the position for at least 30 seconds for at least 3 sets of 2. Honestly, when you don't have tons of time to exercise, it's like the best thing to do. And planks are so versatile, so you can switch up your position and work out new muscles/areas. Here are 4 ways to rock the plank!


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

An Election of Hope

Where to begin? I've struggled to write this quite a bit.

The scope and depth of this election extends so much that it would be foolish for me to think that I can cover it in a few paragraphs. I'm just one kid from Jersey. Late into the night of November 4th, 2008, as a group of friends and I were flipping through election coverage, we saw Jon Stewart announce that Barack Obama had won the presidency of the United States of America. We quickly changed to CNN to confirm and then to FOX News to remove all doubt...and then joy. High fives were given all around, bottles were popped, phone calls and texts were made.

For us and for most of liberal America this was vindication. In 2004 we saw how President Bush used fear to win an election. We've seen how this Republican administration has scared Americans into thinking that war can be rejustified if the original motive doesn't fit, that torture is acceptable under the "right" conditions, that everyone who disagrees with America hates America, that this as good as the USA can and will ever be. Perhaps worst of all, they divided the country by allowing the demonetization of liberalism to be propagated. In doing so, a rift the size of the Grand Canyon was made between conservatives and liberals. This election was the hope of the end of this. The hope that America can discuss issues such as health care, rights for all, abortion, etc... without questioning the patriotism or faith of the other side.

I don't want liberals to view this as their opportunity to punish conservatives. Although it is highly unpopular, the Bush administration has done many good things that we can all be proud of. I also believe wholeheartedly that John McCain would have made a fine president.

However, I do believe America made the best choice. Barack Obama. A half black, half white, All-American man who was elected not because of the color of his skin, but for the merit of his character and his ideas. We've come a long, long way baby. The first time I heard Barack Obama was during his speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. In that speech he talked about hope. "Hope -- Hope in the face of difficulty. Hope in the face of uncertainty. The audacity of hope!" At the time I thought that someday he'd have a bright future in the Democratic party, but I had no idea how bright a future it would be and how quickly it would come. When he announced his candidacy in 2007 most people didn't give him an iota of a chance to win his party's nomination let alone the presidential elections. Unfazed, he continued to inspire people with an ability to speak unmatched by any of his counterparts. He convinced people with a set of ideas and plans that spoke directly to a hurting country.

An election based on the audacity of hope that started on a cold day in Chicago fittingly ended on a cold night in Chicago with the belief that together YES WE CAN change for the better.

Barack Obama is not the Messiah, however. Though I'm excited for the time being, once he's in office, I want him to be held accountable. I want him to be criticized when he errs. I expect him to do right for this nation. After all, this election was never about him.


Picture of the Day

"This is our time, to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth, that, out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope. And where we are met with cynicism and doubts and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can."


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Vote Vote Vote!

Hey there, I hope you know what today is! I mean, the writers of this blog have only been talking about it for months, here and here and here. So. I hope you went and voted, or are planning to. I did something I don't do ever - I woke up super early to go vote at 6:30. You know, when it was kind of still dark out. I NEVER wake up that early, unless I am absolutely forced to. Today, I did it willingly. That's how important this election is, and I wanted to be part of a history in the making. Whatever the results may be, we'll either have the first African-American President or the first woman Vice President. These are exciting times.

* Know your polling location, don't show up at the wrong place. Polls close at 8PM for NJ folks, 9PM for NY, so plenty of time to vote.

* But don't just vote for the sake of it. Know your candidates and where they stand on issues. There are also other races at stake too- Senate, House, Gov. Brush up on the local races and the candidates before you go.

* Record turnouts are being expected for this election, which is simultaneously exciting and interesting since the US isn't exactly known for high voter turnouts. For me, perhaps it was cause I was there at 6:30AM, but I was in-and-out in 5 minutes. For my manager, she waited in line for an hour and a half. Be prepared for the unexpected. Bring a book or two and expect to wait in line. Remember, history in the making!!!

* Don't ever tell me your vote doesn't matter, it does. You should be honored to exercise your right to be heard, don't waste it. Oh, and don't forget to collect your 'I Voted!' sticker (I forgot to ask for one...) and get your freebies!

So... Happy Election Day! The editors of Life in Boxes and friends will be gathering to watch the elections coverage unfold. FYI, elections results will start coming in at 6PM ET, when media outlets begin receiving vote counts from the state precincts with the earliest poll closing times. This will continue into 1AM ET, when the last states close their polls (ahem, Alaska, ahem). It's gonna be a long and exciting night. That's what she said.


Freebies of the Day: Election Day Round-Up

Besides the obvious THING YOU NEED TO DO TODAY, turns out it kind of pays to vote. The following businesses are offering freebies today, just for going out to the polls and putting in your vote for America's future:

Ben & Jerry's Free Election Day Cone
Ben & Jerry's wants to celebrate today's historic event with ice cream - visit any participating Ben & Jerry's for your free scoop of ice cream, from 5PM - 8PM today.

Starbucks Gives Out Free Coffee to Voters
Get a free tall cup of coffee today for voting - just make sure that you show your "I Voted" sticker!

Krispy Kreme will be giving out free star-shaped doughnuts with patriotic stickers for all voters - again, just make sure you show your "I Voted" sticker as proof!

So go out, vote, and get your snack-on!


Monday, November 3, 2008

[Feature] Leaving on a Jet Plane

Well, Life in Boxes readers, it's been fun.

I, Yuri Kim, will no longer be an editor for Life in Boxes effective November 14th. I am leaving because I recently joined the Americorps and I'll be moving out to Seattle for a year to work for the United Way of King County. It's such a big change that my life will be a bit too hectic for me to regularly post on the blog. So because of that, I'll be bowing out for the time being.

To give you a little more detail....

A few months ago, I found myself in a bit of a rut. I had been looking for a full-time job, but everywhere I wanted to work, I wasn't hired, and everything that I was hired for, I had no real interest in. After some soul searching, I realized that I was at a juncture in my life, post-college and pre-mortgage, where I could try something different. To that end, I joined the Americorps. I've always had a strong interest in public service and I saw the Americorps as an opportunity to do something I was interested in and at the same time go somewhere I'd never been. So when I got offered to work for United Way in Seattle, I took the chance.

Even though I'm leaving, I feel like I'm embodying the concept of Life in Boxes more now than ever. In less than a month's time, I need to once again put everything I own in as few boxes as possible and move to somewhere I've never been to before. And even though I roughly have a year of my life planned out, the details are very murky and anything past December of 2009 is still a mystery to me.

It's going to be different. I'm sure my year will be exciting, nerve-wrecking, sad, and enjoyable all at the same time. I think the most important thing is that I will be making a drastic change for the better. I'll be moving, living on my own and doing something I have a passion for.

Hopefully, I'll be able to make some time to keep you all updated on the trails and tribulations that comes with living below the poverty level in a strange new city. But for now, it's goodbye.


With my decision to leave, I've obviously shaken this blog up, so some changes are coming to Life in Boxes.

As you may have noticed, our "What are you doing this weekend?" posts are no more. The work started getting tedious and we feel like we can better utilize Fridays.

Also, our weekly features are going to change to monthly features. As editors, we found ourselves sort of forcing out features instead of becoming inspired to write them. Now, we'll have time to think carefully about what we want to write and give you something nice and meaty to chew on.

With the loss of one editor (me :x), there will be a slight drop in posts, but it should still be more than enough for you voracious readers!

Life in Boxes will still be around, sans me, and it'll probably be better than ever. Keep reading, I know I will!