Big news for Twaggies on Neatorama! We've just inked a deal with video hub Dailymotion to bring you animated tweets! That's right! Forget the static single panels, folks! We're going to be taking your tweets and turning them into shorts!
The first season will be 12 or 13 episodes with a few Hall of Fame tweets per episode. We're just gathering our tweetage now, so if you have one you think would be great for an animated short, send it on over! (@twaggies)
View more neat Twags or illustrated tweets over at Twaggies
My son and I have been consumed this weekend by a fun new iOS game called NumBurst. If you like brain teasers and card games, this one’s for you! With two free levels and two paid levels, there’s plenty to keep you going as you try to solve these fun math problems. The basic idea goes like this:
You’ve got a goal, which is a number, let’s say the number 3. Then you’ve got a bunch of cards, say 2, 4 and 1 and you’ve got to add them, divide them, subtract them, etc, until you hit your goal. The problems start out real simple, which is great for the kids and helping them learn math, but quickly get pretty darn challenging.
Plus, you’re playing against the clock! Once you’ve completed a puzzle, you get the option to post that time on Facebook and try to have friends do the same problem and see if they can beat your time. Excellent for the competitive neatoramanaut, eh?
What’s going on with customer service from big corporations in America these days? If this past week is any indication, nothing great, that’s for sure. Not sure which recent experience was worse, Lowes or Virgin America Visa card, but here goes:
Virgin America Visa
On Monday morning, my wife and I got a call that our account had been compromised and Virgin America Visa would have to issue new cards. This is the third time this has happened with this card in about a year. When I was with Citibank Visa it happened 3 times over the whole 15 years I owned the card. So right there, that says something about Virgin’s computers. But wait, it gets worse…
So for some reason, even though we have the same family account, our cards have different numbers on them (which is a real pain when you’re trying to return something your wife bought, btw). So we call to see which card number was compromised. Turns out, it was my wifes. So they issue her a new card and say I can continue using mine no worries. But then later that day, mine doesn’t work. So I call up Virgin Visa and they say, no, it was not my wife’s, it was mine. And they apologize for canceling her card and not mine. To make it up to me, they’re willing to overnight the new card (mine, not hers) at no expense. Geesh, thanks Virgin America! That’s mighty big of ya.
So the card is supposed to come today, this morning. When I call up to find out the tracking number to get a better idea of the window I’ll need to be home for to sign for the package (which they’d instructed me to do), they say, “Ooops. It never got processed. Sorry! We can resend it for tomorrow.”
So I say, okay. That rots, but I lived this long without it, I can go another 24 hours. Then I suggest that they put my wife’s card in the package since hers was due to go out regular post and not arrive until next week. It’s the least they should offer, right? They say, “Good idea.”
Two hours later, the card they said never got processed, arrived FedEx at the house! Even better, then I get TWO emails saying I’ve just activated a new card. Each e-mail has a different card number on it! Only one matches the card I’d just activated.
The story isn’t over, I’m sure. Let’s see what happens tomorrow or next week when more cards start coming…
Okay, now Lowes…
So I went in to buy a new microwave. I wanted someone to deliver it and install it over the range and haul away the old, broken one. Sounds simple, right? Un-uh. When I bought it, the salesman said it could be delivered in the next day or two because they had it in stock. Super, I said and went home counting the hours before I could nuke my next meal.
Well, days pass before the delivery company even calls to set up the appointment. Then, when they finally do, they say they’ll have to come on Saturday and give me a 4 hour window. Okay, so that kills one weekend day, but not the worst thing in the world. That is, until they don’t show up or call to say they won’t be able to make it.
The next week, I call Lowes and speak to 7 different managers and sub-managers and sub-sub managers before squaring things away. I had to call 3 different times because they kept putting me on hold to review the notes in the computer before the line would go dead. Good times.
So the last of the 7 managers says the install company will be in touch about rescheduling. He never apologies for the mess, but does offer to knock a few bucks off the price, so that’s cool. The install company finally calls and says that on Saturday (another weekend!) they’ll be coming to install my dishwasher. Fantastic, I say! A free dishwasher in addition to the $20 bucks off the microwave! Lowes rocks! “Sorry, sir. There’s no free dishwasher,” says the woman on the line. “Did you not order a dishwasher?”
Cut to the chase… the delivery/install company misses the 5 hour window over the weekend by about 40 minutes. No one ever calls to say they’re running late or anything. I had to call Lowes AGAIN to find out what the deal was.
What about you all? What’s the worst customer service you’ve had recently? I bet there’s no shortage of good stories! Oh, and if you want amazing customer service, Alex, who runs our neatoshop in addition to owning this wonderful site, is awesome! Truth!
First World problem here, I'll admit, but don't you hate when a product you use daily or weekly gets discontinued? Take the Kiehls cream pictured above, for instance. Before L'Oreal bought Kiehls, this cream was relatively inexpensive and made from some pretty obscure ingredients. I used it exclusively through the '90s and am convinced it's the reason I look 5 years younger than my actual age (or so people tell me... heh heh).
Then one day - bam - all the important, rare ingredients were gone and though the bottle had the same sticker on it, the face cream was as nondiscript and as bland as a frozen Costco hamburger patty. So I went on eBay and bought up all the old ones I could. That got me through another year or so... but ultimately I had to change up my routine and pay a lot more money for quality face cream.
How about you all? What one or two products have you loved that have been discontinued?
I was out one night last week with our friend Jeff from Pleated-Jeans.com. We got to talking about which blogs are worth reading these days and between us could only come up with a handful. What about YOU all?
What blogs are you loving these days? Maybe you can help us bookmark some new ones! (And bookmark Jeff's blog if you haven't already!)
Let's clarify something straight away with this week's question: When I ask which characters you miss most, I don't necessarily mean characters whose shows have finished, been cancelled or characters who've died. It could be characters in those situations, but it could also be characters you miss because the show is inbetween seasons.
For instance, my wife and I binge watched Orange is the New Black and now find ourselves feeling totally and completely bereft. I texted her this morning, in fact, saying: I miss College! I miss Red! And it's true. I really can't wait to rejoin Chapman, Alex and the whole glorious gang next season. Good for Netflix, releasing 13 episodes in one shot. Love that. It's definately the future of serial television. But oh is it hard to pace yourself, eh?
Over the past few years, we've posted Freddie Wong videos nearly two dozen times. It's safe to say he's our favorite filmmaker on YouTube, hands down. His love of video games, action sequences, special effects and good story telling set him in a league of his own on the video platform - definately not the usual YouTube rat-a-tat.
So when Alex asked me to venture with over with him to Freddie's production studio in Burbank to create this "Day in the Life of" video, I jumped at the chance. As you might expect, Freddie is down-to-earth, humble, affable, witty and has a lot to say. You'll hear in the interview below that he's been living on soda the past few weeks, pulling late nights to keep the latest season (#2) of his Video Game High School (VGHS) series on schedule. If you haven't been watching the show, I'll post a few of the 1st season episodes after the jump, but it's a new, really fun action comedy set in the near future where video gaming elevates its best players to stardom by its position as the world's most popular competitive sport. VGHS is an elite and prestigious facility almost impossible to gain entry to, which teaches a curriculum of video games of all genres. The episodes, which, in some cases are as long as traditional TV comedy shows, have racked up tens of millions of views and there are already plans for a season 3 next year.
So watch our interview, get a tour of the Rocket Jump facilities, meet some of the creators and listen to Freddie talk about this unique moment in history where content creators have (more or less) complete control over what they produce, where they publish it, and how it gets distributed.
Oh, and if you haven't already, make sure you join the more than 6 million other cool cats who've subscribed to FreddieW. Although, I guess even if you don't we'll continue to post his vids right here at neatorama.
Easy one here! Draw something creative, witty, interesting or otherwise humorous on a whiteboard and get it to us using hashtag #neatWB via Google Plus or Twitter. We'll pick our 3 favorites, publish them on the blog and give winners some free tees from the neatoshop!
How simple is that? Now, go, do it! Before this hammer catches up with you too!
After years of suffering through various types of ailments, using traditional prescriptions from traditional Western doctors, and going through various procedures at Dr.'s offices and Out-Patient facilities, I felt like I was at a dead end... like nothing worked for some of these persistent problems. Then I discovered the magic of ACV, or apple cider vinegar, which has, in some cases, cured my problems and in other cases greatly reduced the issue. Now, let's be clear here, I am not a medical doctor and Neatorama does not suggest that ACV is an actual "drug" that contains "magic" properties. Nor are we in cahoots with any ACV manufacturer.
But I will say that it has changed my life. Without going into any great details of what the issues were/are, I can say that ACV has helped me with skin problems and stomach/intestinal problems. And you can read up on what others believe are the benefits of ACV here.
Soooo, my question this week is:
1) What persistent or otherwise irksome health issues have you cured or eased with non-traditional treatments, medicines or "magic potions" ? In other words: What works?!
I recently tweeted over on our Twitter account how honey is the only food that, if left as is, won't ever spoil. Let's pretend my wife and I were building a space in the garage to prepare for the apocalypse. (Just pretending, of course.) My question this week is:
1) What other foods do you have on your shelves that last a long time? What do you recommend we stock up on?
My wife and I started watching the new Showtime original, Ray Donovan. It's set in and around Los Angeles, staring Liev Schreiber as a tall, dark, handsome, former Southy who's now a big-shot Hollywood tough guy doing Mr. FixIt work for some sketchy entertainment lawyers. To tell you the truth, if my friend Elliott Gould were not co-starring in it (as one of the aforementioned lawyers), I wouldn't have watched it past episode 2 or 3. Just not my cup of tea. But we're about midway through the season now and there is still some entertainment value in the show for me.
We watch and laugh at how easily Ray gets from, say Malibu to West Hollywood. Or from Hollywood to Compton. As you can see on the map below, LA is giant. It can easily take 1.5 hours to get from Malibu to West Hollywood in traffic. Never mind how long it would take to drive from Compton to Calabasas, deep in the Valley where Ray's family lives. But not in Ray Donovan's LA! He steps into his Mercedes and in the time it takes to make one phone call to his secretary or hit-man, he's already at his next destination, no road rage, no wrinkles in his suit jacket, no stops to urinate or get gas... I mean, I know all about suspension of disbelief, but seriously. Does the Mercedes fly and we just haven't seen that episode yet?
Anyone else watching the show and find this as funny as we do? Anyone in love with the show? What are we missing? What do you like so much about it? (Okay, besides Liev Schreiber?)
1. Our family recently inherited an Xbox. Much rejoicing! Problem is: Playing Xbox with a human 1/7th your age and 1/3 your size is hard. It's hard to find games we both like, we can both play, and it's especially hard to find kinect games that work for two people of such drastically different heights/sizes. Soooo, my question is: What are some games we should try that adult and 6-year-old could possibly play together, using kinect or controllers?
2. I'm tired of bad frozen pizza, which seems to be all we ever come home with. In your opinion(s), what's the best frozen pizza out there? Help!
I was at the Ford Museum in Detroit recently and they had a couple Duesenberg Model J cars from the 1930s on display. As I was standing in awe of these cars, two women were standing next to me talking about how the phrase, "It's a doozy," meaning, something awesome, extraordinary or powerful, comes from Duesenberg's nickname, "Duesy." Duesenbergs were ridiculously expensive in their day, with some costing as much as $25,000 when the average U.S. physician earned less than $3,000 a year.
The women's attribution didn't seem accurate to me, but I was really curious as to the origin so I started poking around online and discovered that no one actually knows for certain where the phrase comes from. But there are some theories.
1) Doozy could be an alteration of an older slang, "It's a daisy," meaning something beautiful. 2) It could have originated around a popular Italian actress during the late 1800s, early 1900s, Eleonora Duse, who often simply went as Duse. 3) According to this video over on Webster, doozy originally appeared as "dozy" in eastern Ohio in 1916 -- four years prior to the production of the first Duesenberg vehicles. They also claim there is little evidence connecting the Duesenberg and doozy during the '20s and '30s, when the car was most popular. "Dozy" is akin to the verb "dozen" that is semantically and etymologically related to "daze." 4) Finally, many people DO, indeed, attribute it the majesty of the Duesenberg car after all, which after doing my research, does seem the most interesting at least, despite what Webster says.
Last week's Questions In Need of Answers went well, so we decided to try it again this week. Rather than Google for these answers, we put them to the neatoramanaut community. Because you guys are way smarter than Google's algorithms, right?
1. My wife and I have rats living in our garage, which was built in 1924 and has holes throughout it. Other than implodin the garage and building a new one, what's the best way to keep these guys out? There are a couple outdoor cats already living around the neighborhood, who often visit our yard, fyi. We don't ever see the rats, but we find their feces in the dark corners often.
2. We're thinking about going organic, mostly for our son's sake. We've heard all kinds of arguments for and "against." What say you? Worth the extra money? Why? What's been your experience?
3. Anyone watching the new Netflix original series, Orange is the New Black, based on Piper Kerman's memoir? We need a new show but have heard mixed reviews about it. In general, we love what Netflix is up to, though, so willing to give it a go just based on their other recent originals.