September 2, 2016 10:50 am

A taste of nostalgia seems to be something that everyone loves. It is why we spend so much money on instant cameras, typewriters and record players. We all love the feel and the look of the analog, there is just something about the digital that loses the panache of things. This is exactly what Chatbooks is about.

Chatbooks tries to capture the magic of the photo album, in an era where the concept seems archaic. The way they revitalize this idea is in an ingenious manner. Chatbooks uses its app to link up with your Instagram or your Facebook account. After it is linked up, it gives you the option to scroll through your photos and find the ones that you want to add to your photo book.

The service is a simple one but it is one that has real potential. Many of us feel that even though our photos are up on a social media platform, that there is something about them that is just not as special. It might be that they are not physically there, not tangible objects that we can see with our eyes and touch.

When the inevitable zombie/ecorp/mayan/skynet apocalypse happens and the machines attack, you’ll be happy to know that you can still look at those memories of you, your friends and family. The product is one that will attract people of all ages, it provides you with a great idea for a gift, for anyone and at $8 per album, why wouldn’t you?

June 10, 2016 1:47 pm

As a recent graduate with lots of free time on my hands, I spend a great sum of it looking at different things that might peak my interest. While most of those things do seem to be job related, some of it has to do with style. Admittedly, I’ve never been one to know anything about fashion, let alone some kind of style icon. Yesterday I wore this old grey Pokemon shirt that has ketchup stains from middle school still on it. It is one of my most prized possessions.

While there are various sources to seek tips on how to be stylish- or even how to be a “man”- Inside Hook is definitely one worth taking a peak at. While it mostly markets to an older demographic, I’m 22 going on 23 and I find it useful. It is definitely one to consider.

The site has a sleek and modern design, and it’s content is actually pretty entertaining. I just spent the past few minutes looking at their “Culture Hound” pieces that give you an insight into that month’s pop-culture “happenings.” Now I don’t know about you, but I love me some pop-culture. This month they included some movies to watch and while I disagree with their recommendation of Independence Day, (that movie does not need to be re-done I’m not going to go into a rant, I’m not going to go into a rant, I’m not going to go into a rant) I do agree with some of their other ones. I even came across something new when they recommended the Star Wars “Floating Disk Vinyl.” Why is that a thing? I don’t know! But doesn’t it sound oddly cool?

While some of the site’s content can be great, other stuff just might not apply to you. For example their “Father’s Day Gift Guide” includes a horseshoe set that seems more useless than a tie, but costs over 900 dollars. I am not included in their demographic if they think that I can A.) afford that and B.) think that that kind of monstrosity is a good gift idea. Another thing that bugged me about the site is that on their latest “Where to go on dates” section they had a piece about “Netflix and Chilling” while watching A Clockwork Orange. Now I’m just going to blissfully assume that you, my dear reader, have watched this masterpiece and therefore understand why this is definitely not a good date movie. Your date will likely not be comfortable watching a little bit of that ultra violence that occurs in that beautifully fucked-up film.

While I can’t say that my journey to seek sources that will assist in my becoming the man that I can be is over, I can say that I will consider Inside Hook for light suggestions. While it may be a little bourgeois, that’s definitely not enough reason to overlook it. It is a site that you should also consider, male reader. Or female reader. Or person that would like to be a little more like Rob Lowe.

April 22, 2016 2:35 pm

As a 5th year college student (yes, 5th year, shut your mouth I’m graduating) I am living a life that is so overwhelmingly busy. A life Screenshot_2016-04-21-21-48-53which is controlled by two things; my inexplicably small bladder that sends me to the bathroom every 5 minutes, and of course my planner. I would be nothing without my planner, it’s my life and it’s my wife. Why am I bringing this bout of random information up? Because I have found an app that claims to help you organize your life a little more.

Vurb is an app that works like a grocery list, but for your life. It is an interactive collection of every important meeting, appointment, due date, etc. It helps you compile lists of things that you might want to do, whether that may be watching a new movie like Green Room, or trying out a restaurant that you’ve been meaning to go to like Blend on the Water. Vurb allows you to search for it and add it as a “card” to your (appropriately named) “deck” of things to do.

The app sells itself on being a reminder of sorts for things you might want to check out later, it also sells itself on the ability to be able to share this with friends. Ay there’s the rub, for in that ability to share with friends what friends may come? Vurb allows you to sync up your Facebook friends with the app. That did not look good.

Now I’m not saying I am the most popular guy in the world, its just a mathematical fact. Out of the 350 (rounding down) friends on Facebook that I have, only one has this app downloaded. That’s .3 percent. So .3 percent of the people that I have met in my life have this app.

Vurb app has been around for more than a year, the fact that no one that I know has it is not a deciding factor of whether or not the app is a dud, like I said I’m not the most popular guy in the world (I’m the second most.)

Vurb can be useful in many ways, while some of us will stick to a physical planner, or in some cases good ol’ pen and paper, or even..the calendar on your phone, it is good to know that there is a more modern alternative to trying to get your shit together. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; life moves pretty fast, if you don’t stop and plan things out once in a while, you could miss them.

April 18, 2016 10:22 am

April 13th marked the very first day of 2016’s Tribeca Film Festival. An iconic display of visual art, this year’s screenings include some pretty ambitious entries, as well as various directorial debuts from talented, pioneering women like Katie Holmes, Leyla Bouzid and Rachel Tunnard. One woman in particular however, is truly setting the bar at a uniquely high caliber.

Defined by filmmaker Smriti Keshari as “contained chaos,” The Bomb is a fiery immersion into the uncomfortable, yet relevant reality of nuclear weapons. This media installation will include a 360° display of a combination of film footage and animation created by Stanley Donwood projected on eight massive floor-to-ceiling screens from United Visual Artists. Meanwhile, The Acid will accompany the movie with a live performance to stimulate energy and force of the nuclear subject.

Created by Eric Schlosser (writer/director of Fast Food Nation) and Smriti Keshari (Food Chains), the film is expected to be a truly emotional experience for those who hold any knowledge of the stigmatized relationship between nuclear engineering and the countries involved (or rumored to be involved) with it.

The audience will experience a recreation of nuclear testing and attacks while being immersed in the cultural and political implications of the powerful man-made technology. And the bomb couldn’t be more timely. There are currently nine nations that have stockpiles of more than 15,000 nuclear weapons; many of those weapons are far more powerful than the atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima in 1945. Tribeca Film Fest 

This screening will conclude Tribeca’s Film Fest’s Interactive and Experiential portion on April 23rd and 24th at 7PM and 10PM both nights. Preceding will be a panel by the creators of the film and actor and advocate for nuclear non-proliferation Michael Doulas. Buy tickets here

Written by Annie Paul 

January 27, 2016 12:53 am

Alexi Murdoch is hauntingly beautiful. His voice is rich and soulful, his songs compelling and emotionally complex. Picture an early winter morning with hot tea and a blanket. Or maybe a warm fire in the middle of the night, comforting yet dangerous. Evocative, poignant, spiritually enlightening. Like running through a field in a thunderstorm. Turning on the lights after a sock hop. Eating a whole mouthful of Skittles all at once because why not, it’s Halloween. Sometimes a light turns on inside you and can’t help but respond. Alexi Murdoch knows that feeling and can put it to music. Just try not to burst out crying when you hear it.

I first heard Murdoch in Away We Go, Sam Mendes’ excellent 2009 comedy/drama (and I didn’t cry, I swear.) As John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph scour North America for a place to call home, Murdoch’s soulful voice becomes a third protagonist, articulating the difficult emotions surrounding the film. Almost all of the soundtrack comes from his debut album Time Without Consequence, and almost all of the soundtrack could bring you and your entire family to tears. Just listen to “All My Days,” featured here in this trailer and also in the climax of the movie. Try not to cry I dare you (or just wait til you shower–then it’s like it never happened!)

Really makes you think, doesn’t it? What does it all mean? Why does anyone do anything? Are we all just dust in the wind? Ships in the night? Ducks in a row? What if I’m just a drop in the bucket? A bump on a log? A line in the sand? A lonely sailboat lost at sea with only my stars and sextant to guide me? My cargo bucks and shimmies in my cabin as my sails flap and tatter about my delicate mast. A single candle in the captain’s quarters illuminates my treasurous booty. I am the captain on the ship of my life, and Alexi Murdoch is my soul compass. His first directive? A good solid cry. Goddammit, Alexi you read my mind.

Now that we got that out of the way, I’m sure you’re wondering what we’re all wondering: where is he now? How can I get some more of that good good stuff? Everybody’s looking for a good cry nowadays, where’s Alexi when you need him? Well I got sour news for you, buster: no new music since 2011. Guess you gotta dust off the old time machine and cry your way back 5 years or so. Apparently he plays a show now and then, but his Twitter and Instagram don’t give much away in that regard. Your best hope is to be at the right place at the right time. Sounds a lot like life, amirite? Think about that as you listen to this:


December 28, 2015 12:36 am

How do you normally get sound effects for your video projects? Do you rip them from YouTube, or download them from less-than-legal sources? Now you can get sound effects easily and legally, no matter your budget.

Soundly is a cloud-based app, that includes free and subscription services. It’s compatible with any software that works with drag-and-drop, including Pro Tools, Logic, Final Cut, and Premiere. It also offers the option for lower resolution files for use with slower Internet connections, and is compatible with Mac and Windows.

The interface for Soundly is simple – listen to sound effects, choose one, and drop it into your project. There is also the option for dragging only a piece of your chosen sound effect to your project, allowing for tailored use of each effect. The free version includes a good selection of sound effects, like the eclectic “Man Humming” and “Head Hitting Windshield.”

Soundly was created in Oslo, by Peder Jørgensen (a musician, sound designer, and programmer) and Christian Schaanning (a sound designer with an impressively long IMDB page). Jørgensen’s personal website is charming in a way only a Norwegian programmer’s website can be charming, greeting visitors with “You are here either because you followed a link from one of my projects, or I met you last night and drunkenly exchanged numbers followed by me excitedly sending you lots of unintelligible texts for which I apologize profusely. Either way, welcome!” Schaanning’s work you may recognize from the 2014 DreamWorks film, Penguins of Madagascar and (also from 2014) Doctor Proctor’s Fart Powder (How did I miss this??)

Soundly is easy to use and fun to mess around in, and would suit anyone from a working professional to a high school student looking to spruce up a video project. Not a bad first app for a startup.