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Holiday Gift Guide 2019



Holiday gift guide 2016 owners mag

holiday gift guide

It's the little things that count. Gifts that come from the heart doesn't always have to be huge in size. Check out these stocking stuffers! You might just find something for someone on that list of yours.

1. Notebook

books droodleThis mashup of notebooks and adult coloring books is designed to inspire creativity, reduce stress, and increase productivity. Made from recycled paper and including 20 unique designs, Droodle Books are great for the environment and your mind.

2. Cards

no-holds-cardPerfect for the little douche bag in all of us, give the gift of a No Holds Card, a card with a message that will make some giggle and offend others. Recently completing their Kickstarter campaign, they will be producing new cards that will be ready for a stocking near you.

3. Car Phone Mount

car mount aukeyEasily mount your phone for quick access in your car with the Aukey Air Vent Magnetic Phone Mount. You'll never have to fumble around while driving again. The ultra-strong magnet holds your phone securely in place, so you can focus on the important things.

4. Unique Phone Case

society 6It’s the season for giving, so why not give back to an artist when purchasing a really cool phone case? For every Society6 purchase, part of the proceeds goes to the artist. Support independent artists while gifting iPhone cases with unique artwork from around the globe. Two birds with one stone!

5. Mini Adapter

nondaNonda is one of the best products for your new MacBook Pro Touch Bar (2019). It's extremely light weight and incredibly easy to use. Even though this product is small, it's nearly impossible to lose due to it's importance. Not having a USB can be a drag, but with our experience, Nonda is a must have this holiday season for MacBook Pro Touch Bar users.

6. Earphones

beats by dreWith 12 hours of battery life and wireless design, the Powerbeats³ will be able to provide your fitness fanatic with powerful sound in style. It is sweat and water resistant, so it is as tough as your workouts.

7. Unicorn Light

light unicornNighttime just became a bit more magical with this adorable unicorn light by Smoko. Whether you need a nightlight, or am working late, this LED ambient unicorn is the answer.

8. Charging Rug

bear rug charger snoozzThis cozy bear rug charges your phone without the use of wires. Made of plush faux sheepskin, it is designed to not interrupt you with vibrations when you're sleeping.

9. Sriracha Keychain

keychain srirachaTake your favorite hot sauce everywhere you go with the Sriracha keychain. Clip it onto your keys for easy access, and you'll never have to be without Sriracha again!

10. Water Bottle

thermoflask takeyaKeep your drink cold all day with the Takeya Thermoflask. Perfect for the fitness enthusiast or that person who is always outdoors, the bottle will not disappoint.       

holiday gift guide home

Decorate the home and body with holiday gifts fit for even the pickiest person on your list. Accent pieces like candles can complete a room, while the perfect bag can make a trip much more enjoyable.

1. Echo Dot

amazon echo dotThe Echo Dot is an amazing addition to any room in your home. It is a voice controlled device with a built in speaker capable of playing music, setting your alarm, tell you the weather, control your thermostat, and more. With built in skills like requesting an Uber and the ability to play games like Jeopardy, you have endless uses for this smart device.

2. Pomade

baxter of california pomadeFor the man with a pompadour, or that friend that is obsessed with her hair, Baxter of California’s Paste Pomade will be an amazing gift. This hair product promises all day definition and thickness with a semi-matte finish. We’ve got your hair junkie covered.

3. Shoes

shoes joy and marioGive the gift of shoes with these His and Hers matching pairs of espadrilles from Joy & Mario. Both comfortable and fashionably versatile, these will be a great gift for you and your significant other without being over the top.

4. Essential Electronics Toolkit

toolkit ifixitFor the crafty one on your list or the one who loves to fix things like electronics and household items, the iFixit Toolkit will be the perfect gift. You can't go wrong, especially with a warranty that guarantees the product should function as long as you own it!

5. Face Masks

dr jart face masksEveryone loves to be pampered, and Dr. Jart+ face masks is the perfect way to gift wellness and relaxation. During these upcoming brutally cold months, our skin takes a beating. Dr. Jart+ face masks are perfect for every skin type, from dry to oily to acne prone skin. They are great stocking stuffers or addition to a gift.

6. Candles

baxter of california candleCandles are the perfect gift for anyone on your list, including yourself! Whether you want to give something special to the party planner or spice up your home, Baxter of California’s White Wood 2 will give your space a wonderful woodsy scent. This candle is a true crowd pleaser.

7. Messenger Bag

messenger bag moshiYour favorite traveler will love Moshi messenger bags because of the versatility and storage capabilities. Made with innovative materials and a modern design, they perfect for a business meeting or just strolling through town.

8. Onesie

onesie forever lazyStay warm during these chilly months in a onesie! Always fun to wear and easy to please. Comfort is key, and you can't go wrong with the festive print on this onesie by Forever Lazy. This fits both men and women, so everyone can enjoy!

9. Kitchenware

pokeball-bowls-thinkgeekHave you ever thought about what it would be like to eat out of a Pokéball? Well, now you can! Fulfill nostalgic dreams by gifting something that will warm hearts and fill stomachs. Putting the two halves together, it is about the size of a volleyball. That's plenty of room for tasty snacks.

10. Wallet Phone Case

wallet cases incipioFor the person in your life that loses everything, they would love these wallet phone cases by Incipio. They are the perfect solution for protecting your device and storing cards. Incipio wallet phone cases are made for convenience, so you can leave your wallet at home.

holiday gift guide tech

Discover tech gifts that will get you in the season of giving. You might even find some cool gadgets to fill that space under the tree. Whether they enjoy gaming or an Apple fanboy, this guide will spark your imagination to give something that will make everyone happy.

1. Glasses

eyebuydirect-eyezenFor the techies in your life, you know their eyes are constantly glued to the computer screen. Whether it is for fashion or function, EyeBuyDirect provides affordable quality eyeglasses with its new Eyezen digital protection lenses. It features a unique blue light filtering technology to shield eyes from the negative effects from digital screens. With frames beginning at just $6, it can’t be beat!

2. Drone

drone mavicEveryone wants one, and now is the perfect opportunity to gift something extra special like the Mavic drone. If they are ready to go outside and pilot one of these amazing devices, prepare yourself for breathtaking views.

3. USB-C Charge Cables

cable moshi usb cFor the Mac and Google Pixel lovers, USB-C charge cables are an ideal gift. Charge and power any device equipped with a USB-C port with the Moshi USB-C Charge Cable.

4. Phone Cases

cases moshiProtect your loved one’s phone this year in style. Made with scratch resistant and shock absorbing materials, Moshi phone cases provides smart functionality and military grade protection. Their iPhone will look sophisticated and sleek while staying practical for everyday use.

5. Portable Battery

ionbank moshiWe all have that one friend who’s phone battery is always low. The Moshi portable battery is the perfect stocking stuffer. Whether they are constantly checking their Instagram or still playing Pokémon Go (lol), they’ll love the convenience of an extra charge right from their pocket. The Moshi IonBank 5k gives up to two full charges and can charge two devices simultaneously.

6. Saent

saentCan you imagine your workday without distractions? With the, it’s possible. Saent blocks apps and websites that distract you for instant focus.

7. Candle

candle macFor the Apple fanboys out there, having all their electronics may not be enough. This candle is perfect for the one that has everything. With notes of mint, peach, basil, lavender, mandarin and sage, your nose will be transported to your local Apple store with the New Mac scented candle by Twelve South.


8. MacBook Stand

bookarc twelve southSlide your MacBook into the Twelve South BookArc for the ultimate desktop setup. Connect it to an external display, add a full-size keyboard and mouse, and you’ll have a comfortable desktop setup without losing desk space.

9. Laptop Bag

Helios Moshi backpackPerfect for travel, the Helios backpack by Moshi features sleek design with function in mind. Made with water-repellent coating and fully padded compartments, your laptop and electronics will stay safe wherever you go. The Helios backpack can hold a 15” laptop as well as slots for your notebooks, phone, and whatever else you may need on your travels. 

10. Fitbit

charge 2 fitbitHelp your friends prepare for their New Year's fitness resolution with a Fitbit. The Fitbit Charge 2 is better than ever with the abilities to track your heart rate, steps, alerts from your phone, breathing levels, and much more.

Jie writes about influencers and startups in various industries. She is a designer turned techie, and when she is not writing, you can find her in her workshop working on her next big project.

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    November 8, 2017 at 6:45 pm

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Otakon Welcomes Writers Roland Kelts And Frederik L. Schodt



Frederik L Schodt Roland Kelts
Roland Kelts, author of Japanamerica: How Japanese pop culture has invaded us, and writer, translator, and conference interpreter, Frederik L. Schodt have both joined as guests for Otakon 2017. Fans of the writers were thrilled for their appearance at the convention, as they share their most popular and influential works. Frederik writes exclusively on pop culture, technology, and history, while Roland is currently a 2017 Nieman Fellow in Journalism at Harvard University, where he is currently working on a new book. Both Frederik and Roland are devoted writers, with similarities in expressing Japanese culture in their writings.
While living in Tokyo and New York City, Roland writes for a variety of well known publications that includes, "The New Yorker, Time," "The New York Times," "Harper's Magazine," "The Christian Science Monitor," "Newsweek Japan," "The Los Angeles Times," "The Yomiuri" and "The Japan Times," and is an authority on modern Japanese culture and media. His writings are spread throughout, though his recognition are from Japanese fans especially. Likewise, he is a frequent commentator on CNN, NPR, NHK and the BBC. With additional lectures for TED Talks in Tokyo and The World Economic Forum in Tianjin, Roland is looking for various opportunities to share his work, in order to spread awareness to the Japanese culture.Otakon is an annual celebration of Japanese and East Asian popular culture, with a title of holding in one of the largest gatherings of fans in the United States. In the celebration of anime, manga, video games, and especially music from the Far East, Otakon attracts like minded fans. Created from devoted fans for fans, the staff is directed by an all-volunteer, unpaid staff. The conventions are solely for the purpose of celebrating and sharing Japanese and East Asian cultures.Frederik is best known for his many works on manga that includes, "Manga! Manga! The World of Japanese Comics" (1983), "Dreamland Japan: Writings on Modern Manga" (1996), and "The Astro Boy Essays: Osamu Tezuka, Mighty Atom, and the Manga/Anime Revolution" (2007). He has won numerous awards for his talent in the past as a result. In 2009 especially, the emperor of Japan awarded him the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette, for his success in introducing Japanese popular culture to North America. His most influential work gave recognition to both him and to what Japan has to offer. As of recently in 2013, his book, "Professor Risley and the Imperial Japanese Troupe: How an American Acrobat Introduced Circus to Japan—And Japan to the West," won the Circus Historical Society’s Stuart Thayer Prize. Doing so, for the last three years, he has served on the executive committee of the Japan International Manga Award. Additionally, he is an active translator and has worked on many well-known manga series, as well as novels including Yoshiyuki Tomino’s "Mobile Suit Gundam” trilogy. Frederik has been involved in spreading Japanese culture and will continue as he attends Otakon 2017. The convention holds determined fans who wish to express their culture with other similar people. In Otakon 2017, writers Roland Kelts and Frederik L. Schodt are invited to continue the tradition. All while cementing their writings and work to Japanese culture, the awareness can now be shared in North America.Otakon will be continuing their gatherings next year on August 10-12 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington D.C.
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Interview with a Street Artist: Joe Mangrum, the Sand Painter



While walking through any given park in New York, what type of creative would you expect to encounter?  There are all the predictable performers such as guitarists, perhaps a living statue, and of course the young break dancers bouncing around the halls of subway cars or gathering crowds in the park before jumping over some poor tourist's kid.  No one would be surprised to see these type of performers in any given city in America. What about someone who pours sand on the ground? No... not a sandcastle.  What if you walked down the street and saw something like this: This insane and psychedelic pattern is what I saw one day walking through Washington Square Park while looking for the world's largest Corgi Meetup (that's a story for another day).  Above the geometrically complex shape growing on the ground, I saw a man hunched over his hands dusty with grains of many colors, adding more orbiting patterns to the piece. His name was Joe Mangrum. Joe makes some badass pieces of temporary art, fragile patterns that most often take the form of intricate mandalas.  Here's what he had to say about his experiences as a street artist:

1.  When we met you mentioned you've been doing this for 6 years now.  What were you doing before and at what moment did you decide you would do this full time?

I've been making art pretty much all my life and found my signature style about 1994, art has never really been a choice but a necessity and I worked various gigs in between art projects up until 2009 after I had moved to New York, determined to make it work.  It was then I started colored sand paintings in public and that gave me the bread and butter token making art on a daily basis without taking outside work.  Full time has always been the goal, and now its just managing bigger projects within that framework.

2.  Which do you like better and why: creating art in a studio or creating art in public spaces like Washington Square Park?

I like both for very different reasons. The public space allows for an interaction in real time with people who are not necessarily the type that go to art galleries, they have spontaneous reactions that are real insightful in ways, they inform me and feed me with lively discussion, on the flip-side there are plenty of people that are just walking on their phone and not paying attention that can be destructive to such a delicate work.  The studio offers the freedom of time.I can spend as long asI want on a single piece of work...  you just can’t go that deep and make changes with the limited time set by the sun wind and weather in the public space. Its gotta be swept away when I leave for the day.

3.  While working in public spaces, what was your best/most surprising experience?

I have had some people get emotional over the years but one time went furthering a person came up and said that I had saved their life?  Upon further inquiry they said they were suicidal and for six months had come out to see my work before working up the courage to speak to me, it gave them hope, and it hit me in a profound way, that my work over so many years may have that sort of impact on so many unknown people, its a little scary and at the same time humbling.

4.  What was the worst?

I can’t say any one instance is the worst, but being in public a lot you are vulnerable to whatever comes your way on any given day.  People can be rude and entitled or just plain oblivious, the cumulation can get you down at times.  Occasionally there is a mental unstable person you have to deal with and I just do my best to use non-violent communication to defuse and deescalate any potentially crazy situation, its sad, but it makes me feel good that I’ve honed these skills enough handle some potentially violent people over the years who just don’t have their world in the place they want it.

5.  How much would you say you earn from tips on average while working in public? 

Its really irrelevant,  I survive in NYC.

6.  Tell me about a time when your work was destroyed

 Its usually by a strong wind as the rain is much more predictable, the worst is when you are working on a very hot day its relatively calm but no-one is out as its just too hot... then as the people emerge out of the air conditioning in the early evening, a huge wind will sometimes gust up and destroy the work, leaving little opportunity to make the daily bread. 

7.  Tell me why you feel compelled to create

I create because it teaches me something new about myself about the world on a daily basis…   there is a lot of knowledge to be gained by my process still.
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Stan Lee Of Marvel Comics: His Legacy



Stan lee
Best known as the creator of the popular franchises Spider-Man, Daredevil, Doctor Strange, and more, Stan Lee headlines at Awesome Con at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington D.C. There are rumors that this will be one of the last cons that he will be attending, making it one of most exciting moments for attendees. At 94 years old, Stan Lee is an icon for comic book fans, uniting everyone with the power of his imagination.
The crowd eagerly waits for Stan Lee to make his way to the convention center. On Sunday June 18th, Father’s Day, Stan Lee graced the stage to a packed room filled with hundreds of fans wearing Marvel t-shirts and dressed in their favorite characters from comics, movies, and video games. As he walks onto the stage, the crowd erupts in applause and cheers. To some, he played a role as a father figure, guiding children and young adults to do good and essentially make the world a better place. During the panel, Stan Lee answers questions from fans about his career and Marvel. Attendees lined up to the mic to ask a few questions that we might have all been wondering.If you’ve seen any Marvel movie, you may notice Stan Lee making an appearance from being a hot dog vendor in “X-Men” in 2000, to a wedding crasher in “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer” in 2007, and even an animated cameo in 2014’s “Big Hero 6.” When asked what his favorite cameo was, he responded, “My favorite was the” He chuckles, “And my favorite, I don’t know if you’ve figured it out yet, was TWO SCENES!” The audience was loving it.Stan Lee mentions how comics use to receive very little respect and now are some the most sought out books. The public’s perception has changed a great deal over the years. At the panel, he spoke highly of his late partner Jack Kirby, who he calls “King Kirby.” Together they created the Fantastic Four, a team of characters including Mr. Fantastic, the Invisible Woman, the Thing, and the Human Torch. Stan Lee comments on the creation of each character, “What it is when you write something is you make the characters as interesting as you can.” He has a great appreciation for The Incredible Hulk and describes him as a lovable monster, but was not sure if Marvel fans and readers would like him as much as he does. Judging by the success of the franchise, he did not have to worry as much as he did. He also spoke highly of the teen geek superhero, “The one character I was very, very sure about was Spider-Man.” Over the years, Stan Lee was able to create an entire universe filled with powerful characters and superheroes that impacted the lives of several generations.The ultimate goal for Stan Lee was to create a world where everyone feels included and having fun. You can tell that is an important aspect in his work when he says, “I want to teach people that we’re all the same.” It is no surprise that Stan Lee will be receiving this year’s Disney Legends Award on Friday July 14th alongside Oprah Winfrey, Jack Kirby, and Mark Hamill. The award goes out to those who have contributed to Disney’s legacy. He will also be the Grand Marshal with Mark Hamill the first day alongside Disney characters and a live band.Stan Lee has taught us many lessons, including, “With great power comes great responsibility.” We have the power to promote change and do our best to make society a better place. His characters always appeared flawed in their everyday life but still tried to make the world better for those around them. Especially when it comes to X-Men, Stan Lee has taught us that we are not all that different. Though they had superpowers, they used it for others and not for personal gain. He imagined the Marvel Universe for us, but the stories will influence more generations to come.
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