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Tech Traveler Must Haves

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Constant travel makes packing difficult, but these products can make your on-the-go lifestyle much more efficient. You know you’re a tech traveler when your dongles are spilling out of your suitcase. Sometimes it may even be difficult to find a place to plug in these dongles. We compiled a list of products that ensures that your tech traveler lifestyle is up to par as well as enhances your experience, wherever you may be.

Memobottle

Memobottle is a water bottle designed to fit perfectly between your books or laying flat against your laptop. This rectangular, flat bottle design is sleek and is sure to spark some conversation. Slide your bottle into your briefcase or laptop bag without having your bag become bulky, which is a lifesaver when you're a fellow tech traveler. Memobottle is a sustainable alternative to disposable plastic water bottles. It is stylish and durable, making it an essential for everyday use.

 

Nomand USB charging hub

Because of our need to be connected, we may need to charge a bunch of different devices at the same time. The Nomad USB Charging Hub is sleek in design and fits perfectly into your environment. The charging hub is perfect for every tech traveler. You can charge up to five devices in one place, relieving you of the stress of searching for multiple outlets. The flat surface allows you to rest your phone or iPad on top. The Charging Hub also has an ambient light sensor that dims the LED indicator in the dark, allowing you to sleep peacefully.

 

Raden Suitcase

What makes the Raden suitcase unique is the technology they integrated into the suitcase. Think about some of the basic fears we now have when flying: losing our suitcase, having to pay extra fees, or running out of batteries on our phone with no outlet available nearby. The Raden suitcase solves these three concerns with their app. We may be able to fit everything we need into a conventional suitcase but usually forget about the weight. Well, the Raden suitcase is its own scale. After connecting the suitcase to the app, lift the handle of the suitcase to find out the weight and avoid overweight fees. With bluetooth technology, the app will notify you when your suitcase is nearby. No more fighting with other travelers for space circling the carousel watching as each bag falls down from the entrance. Stand back and let your suitcase tell you when it is coming.Running out of batteries has become one of our biggest fears - especially if being connected is a part of our job. Well, the Raden suitcase is here to save you if you miss your connection or spent too much time playing games on your phone and now need a charge. There is a built in USB charger port right behind the handlebar that can completely charge up to four phones. Plug the charging wire into the battery without removing it to charge up the suitcase or remove the battery, charge it and used as a portal changer once you have reached your destination. This suitcase is a combination of old and new. The Raden suitcase has four 360 degree wheels. Their use of polycarbonate shell allows the suitcase to be durable against TSA throwing your suitcase around, but at the same time is lightweight and smooth. The zipper is reversed, making it water resistance, great for keeping your belongings secure and dry when traveling to rainy destinations.

 

Lexdray Laptop Case

As we become more dependent on technology, besides a cell phone, a laptop is the next most important device to keep us connected and get our work done - especially those in the technology field. A prime investment for our previous laptops is the Lexdray laptop case. The case is “ultra paddled” with fleece lining for their main compartment as well as the two side compartments for chargers and other essentials.  The water repellent zippers are great for running from house to car, car to building, building to restaurant without worrying about our electrics getting wet.

Zest Tea

To get that boost of energy and focus you are craving for without the crash, try Zest Tea. They currently offer four flavors from something simple like earl gray black tea to something bold like pomegranate mojito green tea. Each flavor of Zest Tea is highly fragrant, and drinking it leaves you feeling instantly refreshed. This is especially important for the tech traveler who is awake at all hours of the day, going from place to place.Once you hit a certain age, highly caffeinated beverages are your best friends when we need a bit of extra energy. It becomes a necessity. You get the energy boost you are looking for but it comes with a consequence. You become jittery, especially when you are lacking the drink, and you crash once the caffeine wears off. Zest Tea gives you the energy you need without the uncomfortable side effects.

 

Happiness Planner

Technology has consumed our lives for better and for worst. Before smart phones and social media became such an essential part of our lives. Going back to the old school way of pen and paper allows us to disconnect from the world and have a moment to ourselves: right here, right now. The Happiness Planner is laid out in a way to help you take a step back from technology and focus on simpler things in life that makes us happy. Each morning, start off by thinking about what excited and inspires you. A positive mindset will set your day in a good direction. As you are writing, more ideas will come to you and before you know it, you are have the right attitude to conquer any difficult task that may come your way. At the end of the day, reflect on all the good things that happened that day. You will realize that this world isn’t as bad as the news makes it seem. 

I take too many pictures. A month without any kind of adventure makes me antsy. The water is my home.

Lifestyle

Moose Knuckles Topland Review

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Moose knuckles topland
Moose Knuckles is a Canadian brand that started in 2009 with a passion to "make the leanest, toughest and most luxurious sportswear in the world." They've made waves internationally since then and are now available world-wide. The Moose Knuckles brand is without a doubt a luxury brand and can be found in high-end retailers such as Bloomingdale's, Nordstrom, and Neiman Marcus. When it comes to most luxury brands, consumers are often shelling out the big bucks for the name and prestige. Such isn't the case with Moose Knuckles. Their brand is a perfect ménage-à- trois between style, functionality, and quality.Topland moose knuckles review

About The Topland

The Topland, at $1950 USD, is one of the most expensive men's parka Moose Knuckles has available at the moment on their website, and for good reasons. Seeing photos of the Topland might not do it justice. During our review, taking the parka out of the box for the first time was quite an experience at the office. The raccoon fur is absolutely astonishing in person and it's hard not to notice. The combination of tough poly-twill materials used for the shell, soft rex rabbit fur for the lining, and raccoon fur for on the hood makes for a unique and undeniably exquisite look that's unlike anything we've ever seen.Moose knuckles topland first impression

First Impression

Standing out is something Moose Knuckles as a company happens to excel in. We've reviewed another parka from them previously and had similar first impression. Although in many parts of the US East coast, the brand isn't as recognizable as other Canadian brands, it still stands out from the crowd. At first glace, it looks sturdy, well made, and can probably take a beating from wear and tear. The material is flexible and surprisingly soft given how stiff the texture looks. Although we haven't tested it, Moose Knuckles claims it's water and weather resistant.The interior rex rabbit fur feels silky soft against your skin and also looks nice when worn unzipped. The raccoon striped fur around the hood is hard to miss. It's significantly bigger, fluffier, and more "luxurious" looking than most other comparable parkas.Moose knuckles topland inside pockets

Functional Features

We appreciate it when brands pay attention to the little details that make their product easy to use and functional. And the Topland comes standard with all the bells and whistles you'd expect from a parka that's setting you back almost $2K USD.YKK Zippers: The Topland comes equipped with large metal YKK zippers on the front to ensure it'll hold up for years to come. Surprisingly, the side pockets also have heavy duty  YKK zippers.Water and wind resistant shell: You'll always have the peace of mind that you'll be fine rain or shine.Rib knit cuffs: The elastic rib knit cuffs are unique on the Topland. Most rib cuffs are simply sewed on at the end. Here, it's connected to a separate sleeve that's attached somewhere halfway up the arm. The sleeve that's attached to the cuff has it's own insulation, in addition to the insulation on the arm. We've never seen anything like it, hopefully the pictures will explain it better. It may sound bulky, but it actually gives you a lot of mobility and flexibility while wearing it. All the while preventing cold air from entering the wrists.Expandable wrist zipper: In case you have enormous forearm or need extra mobility, there's a zipper that gives your arm a bit more real estate.Adjustable tail: The parka can sit quite low, so Moose Knuckles added buttons on the tail wings so you can fold them up.Fur where it matters: This isn't much of a feature, but something we appreciate. The rex rabbit fur goes all the way up to your neck. So when you fully zip up the parka, your face is nicely insulated with luxurious soft rabbit fur. We're glad they went the extra mile and thought of their user's comfort.Adjustable hood: The hood is quite massive. And will likely sit over your eyes if it weren't for the adjustable straps on the back.Badge of authenticity: Not a useful feature, but definitely a unique feature. Inside, there's a "trippy" tag that verifies what you have, is the authentic Topland and not a cheap Chinese knockoffs.Moose knuckles topland look and feel

The Fit And Feel

Usually when buying coats or jackets, you're inclined to buy something slightly larger so you can layer up. The Topland is slightly larger than your normal size. So we recommend buying the exact size you'd buy if it were a t-shirt. Our model normally wears a large, and he fit perfectly into the Medium.The Topland is by no means a light jacket. It definitely has a bit of weight to it, and that's to be expected given what it's made of. But the weight was hardly noticeable. Despite wearing only a thin t-shirt underneath, I felt toasty walking around the streets of Philadelphia in 18 degrees weather. We don't have very extreme weather around here, but given how comfortable and warm it kept me, I'm confident it can handle harsh Canadian winters and worse.Moose knuckles looking swag

The Swag

We don't normally have a section for "swag", but this is an exception. I'm a ordinary looking white Caucasian male. And I don't normally get compliments or looks when I'm walking around Center City Philly. In order to review the Topland, I had to do a mandatory walk-of-fame around Center City and I recorded all the reactions and comments. They are some of my favorites:"Hey I'm sorry to bother, do you mind if I ask where you got the jacket?""Yo, what the F$%^ is he wearing?" (this one can be either good or bad)"Oh my god is that raccoon fur?!"And my favorite..."My Ni**a, that's different fam. I like it."I think it goes without saying that wearing the Topland (or any Moose Knuckles product for that matter) will get you a lot of attention. I don't know that will hold true in other cities, but in Philadelphia (one of the top 10 largest city in U.S.A) I can't cross the street without someone eyeing me.

The Verdict

It's fairly reserved compared to some of the other Moose Knuckles' items, but even then it still stands out. We believe this is an absolute buy and a rare luxury item that's well worth the price. You're not just buying an expensive parka for the sake of the brand. You're getting a highly functional and well made parka that both looks good and can stand up to harsh winters of Michigan and Canada. Not to mention Moose Knuckles product tends to retain their value fairly well. Overall, we believe the Topland men's parka is a unique luxury item that exceeds your expectation and worth every penny.
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“I’m Fat Let’s Party” Guy: Life as a Celebrity Meme

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The internet has done a lot to disrupt culture.  Once upon a time, styles, techniques, communities and information were only as transmutable as cable TV and word of mouth.  When compared to the rate of change we see today, the evolution of content has moved from a slow creep to nearing light speed.  Ten years ago the lifetime of any trend in humor could last months, and before that years.  These days, you see a popular meme "break the internet" but one week later a new one is there to take it's place.Imagine if Charlie Chaplin had risen to fame in this day and age through the vehicle of The Meme.  Would he still be as iconic?  As immortal?I spoke with Steven Lee... also known as "I'm Fat Let's Party" Guy.  Steven's meme has been sported on the front page of reddit twice and has garnered over 400k in likes and shares on social media within the first hours of being posted.  As it happens, Steven and I actually went to the same schools growing up.  However I am jealous because I cannot say that I grew up to be a world-class meme.  I got the chance to speak with him about Memeology.  Here's what he had to say:

1.  So let's hear about this party... 

The picture was taken in 2011, I was with my friend Dave Leek. We went to Philadelphia at Drexel Factory for a concert. The head Dj was Alesso. When we got there I found out my friend Dj Dubsef was opening so we were allowed in early. When the concert started, since we got in early we got front row, right in the middle. It was crazy we were just having a blast and I saw the photographer “ATOTHE” and I just made that pose and everyone went along with it. It was great the high from just being at the concert and all the fun I was having was crazy mainly because I was completely sober. We didn’t drink at all it was just the energy that gave me like a high feeling. Definitely an amazing feeling.

2.  Now let's hear about this shirt...

The shirt I got back in 2010 at Comic Con NY. It was at a booth called “Seibei”. They were super nice. After I became the meme I sent them an email about it. They thanked me and I told them that I ordered another shirt from them.  They said they were going to throw in some more for me. It was amazing because I ordered two shirt but when the package came they gave me three more shirts two of them were different color versions of the “I’m Fat, Let’s Party” shirt. One in black with yellow letters and one in sky blue with yellow letters too. Another note about Seibei is that when I went to Magfest 2015 I got to meet the creator of the shirt there. He was working his friend’s booth there and I haven’t officially met him before so it was great. Once he saw me he told some customer “I’m sorry but I need to hug this man really quick.” He is an amazing man, his name is David by the way. In short, I have three different colors of the shirt.

3.  Who first memed this?  Tell me about the moment you realized it went viral.

So going back to the Photographer “ATOTHE” he posted the original photo on his Facebook page. Then someone who I still don’t know posted it to “reddit” and it blew up from there. It’s funny I never heard of reddit before that. I saw the post after 14 hours of it being posted and it already had over 400,000  reblogs and likes. It was weird because in the comments some people knew who I was, telling them I lived in NJ and that I went to high school. Some said that I quote “omgz he snapchats me everyday”. The worst part of it though was the comments about body confidence saying that I have a mental problem about my body. Then there were other people arguing about it. It was pretty nuts. Also in the comments were people who started to photoshop me into a ton of different memes.  Basically the reason it became a big deal was because it made the front page of reddit and apparently posts only get the front page when it’s discussed and reblogged a ton.

4.  How old is this meme now?  How often do you see it reappear? 

It’s about 5 or 6 Years old now. It has been reappearing all the time. It’s been on the front page of reddit now about 5 times and when it gets posted the meme evolves, which is cool.

5.  What has been the most surprising side effect of being a "meme guy" so far?

The most surprising part of being "that guy" is that people from all over the world knows the meme and some of them actually know who I am due to mutual friends. The funniest/weirdest time I got recognized was when I was working as a cashier for FiveBelow. These two kids age probably around 12 and 10. They made a comment while I was ringing them up. It was “oh must be a party over here”. I was confused at first but then I looked at them and I asked are you referring to the meme. Their faces lit up in excitement when I caught on. What made it weird is that their father was confused and asked what are you guys talking about. My response was that they saw a funny picture of me and he gave me the most confusing look ever. It was funny and weird lolz.

6.  What are your thoughts on meme culture and memes as a vehicle for humor?  What's your favorite meme? 

The meme culture is huge, when it first started it usually was the same pictures with new phrases on them. Now new memes come out every other week. The convention I went to had a huge meme culture following in it. There were people who cosplay a meme that just got popular only a week ago. It's crazy but I also believe sometimes people make memes and take it to a new level. Now memes are videos too. They went from pictures to videos... now that's huge step. But again some of the memes are just too much for me and are part of that I wanna say is stupid humor like doing the stupidest things on purpose.
My favorite meme of all time?  Arthur Fist.

7.  What do you like most about your meme?  What do you like least? 

What I like most about my meme is that I met people who told me that the meme gave them the courage to go out and do things and that made me feel better about themselves. Even though I just was at a party having fun. The thing I like least about it is that some people think that I’m someone who just parties all the time and that makes them think I’m not someone who actually has a head on their shoulders. It sucks but I usually just ignore those guys because everyone has, haters am I right?
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Influencers

Ken Butler: Giving Voices to Lost Objects

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Ken Butler is your quintessential Williamsburg creative.  What exactly makes art, art?  What makes music, music? With a studio in Brooklyn and an artistic sense that is difficult to categorize, he blurs the lines between the two.  Ken creates functional instruments from found objects.  Some pieces are as large, if not larger, than a grand piano, and others are as small as a key. In a manner that pays homage to Frankenstein, Ken takes old and forgotten items, repurposes them, and gives them voice.  He was kind enough to welcome me into his badass studio. Being a person with deep respect for both art and music, I found myself profoundly fascinated while surrounded by his creations.  Here's some things I learned while we hung out:

Do you consider yourself more of an artist or a musician?

I am an artist first.  I used to mainly be a painter.  Back then I was slightly OCD.  As I experimented with the sculpture of instruments, I fell in love not with my creation's ability to make music, but from its transformation from trash into functional poetic art.

Do you ever create instruments for musicians?

I often get requests but I don't really do it.  My pieces are meant more to be shown, not played.  Often times when a real musician will try one of my pieces, they'll complain about how it's difficult to keep tuned.  And I always tell them that's not the point! The beauty is in the poetry of it's transformation, not in its utility as an instrument.  When it comes to playability, expectations should be fairly low for found instruments.

How did you come up with this concept?

I found an old axe one day and thought it would make a cool string instrument!  I am a total "noodle-head".  As a classic "Jack of all trades, master of none" I always found myself drawn to creative stuff but never really being an expert in any of it.  I think creating hybrid instruments was the byproduct of having this kind of mind.

Do you prefer playing your hybrid instruments to classic instruments?

Hell no! Classic instruments are beautiful, refined, time-tested things.  They are popular for a reason.  If I were stranded on a desert island and someone told me I could only bring one instrument, I would bring a classic guitar.

Are you working on any cool new hybrids now?

To be honest I don't create many hybrid instruments anymore.  There once was a time when all I did was churn out work like crazy, but I don't do that so much anymore.

Why?

Well, in 2007 I had liver cancer.  I underwent a transplant and realized that like most of my creations, I was a hybrid as well.  Almost dying hit me like a brick wall and honestly it lessened my desire for validation as an artist.  I realized that the true value was in the "making"... not in the expectation of selling the pieces that I have done.

Want to see one of of his badass creations?  Check out this Hybrid Piano:

This piano plucks a string under the keyboard using a spinning bicycle wheel.  When a key is pressed it changes the pitch of the plucking sound.
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