Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Bento Live: A New Way to Watch Free TV

If you're really into Japanese food, like I am, you'll definitely know what a bento is. Basically, a bento is a box shaped container of food with plenty of different variety of dishes stored inside, usually on a take-out basis because of how convenient and simple it all is. But why am I describing this simple marvel called a bento to you? Mostly because I'm here to share something new, something which is quite related to a bento, but not. Don't make sense to you? Just read on.

It'll make more sense in a while.

See I'm quite a die-hard TV fanatic. I can just plop myself on the couch, flip on the TV and scroll through channels for an entire day. But my main competitor is my grandma, who spends an average of 14 hours a day watching her TVB dramas. This leaves me without a TV to watch my shows on. That is, until a friend of mine recommended that I use a tablet or my laptop to watch shows.

"What is this modern witchcraft?!" I remember telling him, "You can watch shows ON THE GO now?"

"Yes," he replied with a sigh, "it's been around for the past few years." He then introduced me to a Bento Live, a multi-deviced platform where I could stream and watch shows for free. FREE. That's a word I don't see often enough, but also a word I enjoy seeing a lot.

"And all you have to do is watch a short advertisement before your show streams in HD." my friend continued, oblivious of the effect his words were having on me.

Of course, as a man of the world, I had my doubts about my friend's words. How can such a fantastic deal exist? FREE HD STREAMING OF MOVIES, DRAMAS, DOCUMENTARIES and OTHER THINGS? People who heard this 10 years ago probably scoffed at the absurdity of it all, before returning to watching reruns of Friends on TV.

So I made a short trip down to the offices of Bento Live to find out for myself whether this amazing deal existed or not. The first thing I saw in the Bento Live office was this huge 72" Samsung smart TV staring at me right in the face. I couldn't have missed it; it was the size of a minibus. I don't know how you feel about having a 75" smart TV sitting right in front of you, but it's honestly overwhelming. 


I mean, just look at the selection available to you.


The selection of movies were mostly TV channel stuff, ranging from raging volcanoes in Vegas to tornadoes in Toronto. There were also quite a bit of horror movies, because horror movies are universal. They also had a pretty good lineup of dramas, comedies and documentaries for people who like that kind of stuff. But that's not what drew me to Bento Live. What drew me was the fact that they had freaking 2 seasons of Mega Man the anime. FOR FREES!


And because Mega Man is such an old series, I wasn't expecting them to have HD quality. But Bento Live surprised me when it showed a clear HD quality episode of Mega Man. It was honestly one of the most insane things to trigger my childhood. Ever.


Bento Live is available for download on the Samsung Smart TV (all sizes and not just the 75" one, don't worry!). Don't have a smart TV but would very much love to use Bento Live? No problem! The Android app is available for FREE if you have a Samsung device (downloadable on the Samsung app store) or for the low price of RM6.50 on any other smart device.

But of course, TV should be watched on a TV. The Samsung Smart TV is a pretty good bet (it literally wows) and it runs Bento Live pretty well. Check out the commercial and see if you don't want to immediately rush to get one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lT4YLGqWqI

Of course, not all of us have the means of getting a smart TV. That's where Bento Live comes into play (literally). See, Bento Live is giving away 2x Samsung 40” Smart TVs once a month, which is 2x the chances of you winning one for yourself.

All you have to do is follow these few easy steps:

i. Register an account on bentolive.com
ii. Like the Bento Live Facebook page (facebook.com/bentolivevod)
iii. Share the contest post (it's right at the top of the page)
iv. Write a comment about your favourite movie on Bento Live.
v. Wait for the good news of your victory (y'know, if you win)


It's incredibly simple right? #waitwhat

If you really can, try out Bento Live. Trust me, you won't regret it.

Cheerios!
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Monday, April 14, 2014

5 Best Yoo Jae-suk Solo Wins on Running Man


The Nation's MC began his Running Man career as a pushover, someone who would warm the jail seats early into the episode (along with Suk-jin and Kwang-soo). But as he got more accustomed to Running Man, he quickly became one of the most efficient players among all the members, and he's racked up a pretty good number of wins over the years.

Here are 5 of Yoo Jae-suk's best solo wins on Running Man.

Note: Jae-suk has won quite a bit when he's in different teams. The 5 wins listed below is when there is an individual race (unless otherwise stated).

#5 Rise of Yooruce Willis (Ep 13)


This may not be a "solo" win, per say, but it is one of Jae-suk's finest moments in singlehandedly winning the Bells Hide and Seek game for his team. And he did it even though he was caught by the Commander and the Two Kids, shaking them off despite being surrounded on all sides and running for all his might to win. That moment of victory was when Yooruce Willis was born.


#4 Return of Yoomes Bond (Ep 91)


Yoomes Bond first picked up his water gun back in episode 38 when he eliminated all the other members. A year and plenty of episodes later, the members were swifter, more agile and had more experience in the ways of Running Man, and Yoomes Bond's task was made that much harder. Pile in the epic fight Jae-suk had to go through against the Commander, who broke out of his cell TWICE, and you have one of the more memorable Yoomes Bond solo victories.


#3 War of the Gods (Ep 100)


The milestone episode of Running Man was also one of, well, godly proportions. There were gods and their weaknesses, and a lot of scrambling around to figure out who was who and their respective weaknesses. Poseidon-Yoo's weakness was ironically, water, and the "battle" between him and Gary at the end is one of the funniest final matches in Running Man history. The editing tries to make it seem very dramatic and explosive, but you won't be able to stop laughing. Trust me.


#2 Yoomes Bond's Revenge (Ep 140)


The world is struck by the Angry Virus, and someone is pinning the blame to our favorite water gun toting hero, Yoomes Bond. He doesn't take this lying down, of course, and starts to solve the mystery in a classic whodunit fashion, armed with his trusty water gun. The fact that he managed to pull off a win by knowing the scent of Ace Ji-hyo's perfume (he's done this a lot in the past) and quickly surprising her with a water gun counter-attack was the perfect cherry on top of his victory cake.


#1 Yoo Who Came From The Star (Ep 185)


The Running Man parody of the hit drama, You Who Came From The Star (or the thousands of other names it has on the Internet), was what you would expect a Running Man parody to be; full of hilarity, lots of character reenactment, and Jae-suk in a wig. Yes, the Nation's MC was playing the role of Cheon Song-yi, and playing her with aplomb. The final battle saw the evil Kim Jong-kook tearing off Do Min Ha's nametag and rounding on the helpless (?) Song-yi. In a twist of fate, Song-yi managed to tear off the Commander's nametag and even gets to take the entire spaceship to fly off to the stars. Victory achieved.


Which Jae-suk victory is your favorite? Leave a comment below!

By the way, if any of you are interested to contribute an article for Running Mondays, please do leave a comment below or email me at joelwjm@gmail.com. I'm looking for a couple of passionate Running Man writers to collaborate for an upcoming Running Mondays project.

Cheerios!
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Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Comedic Genius Behind the Worst Singapore Tourism Ad Ever

I love watching advertisements on the Internet. For every heart-rending, soul-crushingly meaningful ad lies a few which don't know what any of those words mean. These ads are so terrible on first viewing that they go viral because people love sharing and ridiculing horrible things online. One such example I stumbled upon recently was an ad done by Singapore's Tourism Board to promote Singapore as a unique travel destination.

Someone at the Singapore Tourism Board decided to do something different, something that would draw in the tourists like bees to honey. What resulted was a tourism ad that insulted the intelligence of everyone who watched it for the first time. But after multiple rewatchings (a chance all terrible ads must be given), this ad turns into one of the most brilliant comedic videos I've seen in a while.

Watch the video here before reading the rest of this post. It will make more sense.



Here's why.

The Plot


A tourism ad usually doesn't require any sort of a plot or story, but that didn't stop the creative minds behind the ad to try breaking that convention.  The plot is straightforward. A married couple takes a trip to Singapore for their anniversary, where he hits the motherlode (sorry, I couldn't resist). In between their lovey doveyness, Singapore's metal trees and indoor parks are featured prominently. It's the stuff comedy is made of.

The Dubbing

There is a lag.

...is terrible. It's like the two actors aren't even trying to speak normally. But then again, that could be intentional because I laughed too hard whenever the couple has a "conversation" that doesn't involve the lady saying "LOOK HONEY!" and pointing off into the horizon. Plus, old Chinese comedies had terrible dubbing but was still funny as heck. I'll be damned if this ad doesn't successfully pull it off to draw in the laughs.

The "LOOK HONEY!"


"Honey, LOOK!" the lady exclaims as the camera pans to...nothing in particular. "Honey, let's go there!" as the lady pulls her husband to...nowhere.


This ad has so many "Look Honey"s that it should legally be renamed as such. This happens because the director needed a chance to showcase the beauty of Singapore without veering too far away from the main plot. The effect is astonishingly hilarious.




The Champagne Glass


...is probably magic.


The TWIST


One of the hallmarks of a great film lies in the twist; a shocking revelation at the end which catches the audience by surprise. The best kind of twist endings is when absolutely nothing has prepared you for the twist; no clues, no shots of anything hinting at a twist. I would say that everyone was pretty shocked by the Shyamalansque twist ending in the STB ad where *SPOILERS*, the lady announces her pregnancy by presenting her man with a pregnancy test disguised as an anniversary gift.


You don't even have to watch the video to laugh at that sentence.

The Man


Comedy depends strongly on the actors' body language, sometimes even more than the spoken word. The man in this ad is a perfect example of how you do comedy solely through body language. Every single time his wife does or say something, it takes him approximately 3 seconds to come up with the proper facial expression. Just look at his face here when he opens up the watch case to a positive pregnancy test.


I've watched this scene close to 10 times now and my stomach still hurts every time. Do you think words can ever replicate this sort of comedy?


If you cringed the first time you watched this video, now's the time to watch it a few more times. Trust me, by the 4th rewatching, you'll be rolling in the floor laughing. 

Cheerios!
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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Fuel Yourself with Positive Energy at the MILO Malaysia Breakfast Day 2014

Breakfast is undoubtedly one of the most important meals of the day. Unless you're me (because I am a glutton and eat constantly throughout the night), breakfast will be the first meal to start off your day. It's important to have a hearty breakfast because a good breakfast equals a good day ahead. Unless it's a Monday, because Mondays are terrible.

And honestly, one cannot have a completely Malaysian breakfast without a cup of MILO. MILO has become so staple in our breakfasts (and for plenty of other occasions as well) that it would simply be a conspiracy not to order a cup of MILO to complement the roti canai or kaya toast with a side of soft boiled eggs.


Because MILO is synonymous with breakfast, MILO is once again organizing the annual MILO Malaysia Breakfast Day for 2014. What is that, you ask? Well, it's only the biggest breakfast gathering ever held in Malaysia, with tons of games and breakfast stalls lined up for everyone to enjoy. And if last year's Breakfast Day was any indication, this year's gathering of breakfast aficionados will be bigger and better.


This year, MILO is focusing on bringing the message of Positive Energy through a healthy breakfast. And what else will bring about more Positive Energy than the MILO Breakfast Day Run?


Yes, spend your morning running alongside Malaysians in the name of bringing Positive Energy, and then cool off with an ice cold cup of MILO thanks to the MILO trucks that will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of the day.


Yep, lots of things are happening on the MILO Malaysia Breakfast Day 2014. Here are the complete details of this amazing event:

Venue: Dataran Putrajaya
Date: 20th April 2014
Time: Starts from 7:00am

If you need more information, just save and print this handy little piece of infographic to help you manoeuvre through the MILO Malaysia Breakfast Day.


Otherwise, you can just visit the MILO Malaysia Breakfast Day website for your quick fix of everything you need to know: http://www.milo.com.my/breakfast


Oh yes, if you fancy joining a small MILO giveaway, check out this blog's Facebook page (http://on.fb.me/1qkwDVc) and leave a comment on the picture to win yourself a limited edition MILO Mini Truck, along with other MILO merchandise! #waitwhat

Cheerios!
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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

My (Brief) Time As a Guest Lecturer

If you've been keeping up with the Wong, you should know that I went back to my former college to give a guest "lecture" at the behest of my former lecturer last Friday. After that guest spot, I posted this picture up on Instagram, which immediately set people's tongues wagging. 

This is the said picture.


Now before you (hi parents!) start a witch hunt to keep me away from your children, I'm here to clarify a few things about my lecture. My lecturer, who reads this blog whenever she's free. read about the 5 shocking cultures that I experienced while in Japan a few weeks back (which you can read about here: http://leonhart90.blogspot.com/2014/03/buggers-travel-japan-2014-5-shocking-japanese-cultures.html) and it caught her attention because she was incidentally teaching her Globalization class similar themes on culture. Hence, I was invited back to share about my experiences about the Japanese culture and how I perceived it to be.

Still, because of the picture shown above, my qualifications of being a lecturer (I hadn't yet graduated as of the time of my lecture) and my questionable morals, many people absolutely thought that my entire 45 minute lecture was based on Japanese pornography. Sure, there are plenty of things to discuss about Japanese pornography in general, but I'm not about to start talking about my favorite Japanese Av stars with a bunch of 18 year olds. I have my limits.

Being a lecturer isn't easy. For one, I was worried because I prepared my slides the night before my 9AM lecture, just like what I usually do when finishing up my assignments back in university. Another thing was the 9AM lecture slot. I never managed to attend half my 9AM lectures because of the magnetic attraction I had with my bed, and I was quite worried that the students would have similar mindsets. Also, I'd never done a lecture or presentation for the fun of it before; everything I had done previously had exam marks hanging on the balance.

Besides sharing about pornography and how much we all pretend we don't watch it Japanese culture, homogenization, westernisation, and other things you probably won't care about, I also talked a bit about my life as a university student. Sure, I looked younger than half the students in the class and it may have seemed weird that I was doing the lecturing, but I was glad that they didn't follow in my footsteps and whip out their phones to play Flappy Birds or something like that.

I did manage to leave some tidbits of information here and there; some of which I'm really proud to share with you all here. Who knows?You might learn something too.

"Make parking nightmares; double, triple park your cars, so that the management will understand the pain of lack of parking spots."
"University isn't all about studying, remember to have fun too. Don't do an assignment on the first day, wait for some of the best inspiration juice to hit: last minute panic."
"Never force yourself to attend all the classes in university. It's okay to skip sometimes."

Yeah, after that last one, I'm probably going to be banned from stepping foot into all the universities in the world. No more lecturing for me.

Cheerios!
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Monday, April 7, 2014

5 Things We Can Learn From Ji Suk-jin on Running Man


Say what you want about Ji Suk-jin, the oldest and often overlooked member of the Running Man, but the man is still around and very much alive and kicking it on Running Man. After picking up his first individual win and tearing off the Commander's nametag in the same year, the Impala is very much alive. Despite his relative lack of a fanbase as compared to the other Running Man members, he's still very much a part of the Running Man family. Here are some of the best things that Suk-jin has taught us over the years on Running Man.

#5 Never give up


Throughout all the Running Man episodes to date, Suk-jin has only won one individual race (episode 165). Once. In close to 200 episodes. Yet every week, after every OUT as he walks towards the jail, he still picks himself up and continues to work towards achieving another personal victory. If Suk-jin can still film Running Man week after week despite all those losses, there is no reason you give up on anything you want to do. That is some hardcore dedication right there.

#4 The impossible can happen


In episode 130, Ji Suk-jin tore off the Commander's nametag. Before that episode aired, the previous sentence was too unbelievable to type out because the weakest member tore off the strongest's nametag. Based on Suk-jin's performances for the past 129 episodes, it was simply impossible for him or anyone to imagine. But it happened; the nametag was torn off (not by accident, mind you) and the Commander was outed by Suk-jin. Suk-jin's never say never attitude achieved the impossible, proving that if you never give up (refer to point #5), you too can achieve the impossible.

#3 Be a good sport


Despite being the oldest hyung among the Running Man members, Suk-jin is still constantly teased for his inability to win games, his lack of stamina and his hilarious body gags. But as an older hyung, he takes everything in his stride and laughs everything off.


It's this kind of attitude which has kept Big-Nosed Hyung one of the most friendly members on the show, despite his popularity not being as huge as someone like Kwang-soo. His good nature and sportingness is something that we can definitely pick up on.

#2 Give everything a try


No matter how bad Suk-jin is at everything, including fitness games, nametag ripping, wrestling, and basically everything that requires him to move. On a variety show like Running Man, the members will undoubtedly have been given plenty of chances to try out new games, new things to test their skills in the races. Suk-jin usually shies away from most of the extreme sports like bungy jumping, but in episode 182, he leapt from the diving board at 7m; a record for his own standards. He even danced (pretty well too!) alongside 2PM in episode 162.


Suk-jin may still be the weakest member, but he's certainly adapting well. Of course, who can forget his "brilliant" way of solving the mystery in episode 135?

Thinking out of the box.

#1 Age doesn't matter


As the oldest among all the members, Suk-jin doesn't let the young un's step all over him. Well, not all the time. He still goes all out to try and win races even with his limited stamina. The best thing is when you see Suk-jin attacking the female guests shamelessly in his quest to achieve victory. As a 48 year old playing games on an urban variety show called Running Man, Suk-jin doesn't let his age disturb him in any way. He still completes missions (albeit with plenty of body gags to show) like the other members. And he still manages to have fun while playing the games.


What are the things you learned from the Impala? Leave a comment below!

Cheerios!
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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Announcement: Guest "Lectures", Graduation, and Random Giggities

I haven't written an announcement post for quite a long while now. For all the newer readers of this blog, an announcement post is basically where I just rant freely about things that will be happening soon. Because my life isn't exactly the most exciting one, I hardly ever write announcement posts anymore. But here I am, writing one now. Because the upcoming days are gonna be life changing. And I say that without any hint of sarcasm or exaggeration; the 2 things that my blog thrives on doing.

Many people don't know this yet but I was invited back by my former lecturer to conduct a sharing session for her current class. Yes, that means a full blown class, with actual students listening to me as I "teach" them stuff. It began with some innocent banter about this post, which soon turned into a full blown discussion about me actually sharing about my experiences in Japan and the culture shock that came with it to her class.

It's been almost 4 years since I attended her class back in Sunway College and to be going back and sharing to her current crop of students is just something I never imagined would happen. It only makes me feel so much older, now that I'm no longer eligible to call myself a student. Heck, even my student card expired. But still, to be able to talk to these kids; whose seats I sat just 4 years ago, is an incredible opportunity. Plus, who knows what kinds of knowledge I can impart onto a bunch of innocent 18 year olds? It probably won't be the positive kind, I assure you.



Tomorrow will be the day I corrode the minds of the young ones at 9AM. This will be the first time I'm actively going to attend a 9AM class since I left high school. For reference, since I became an unemployed bum, 9AM is the time I roll over to the other side of the bed because it's cooler. I'm not kidding. My main worry is that the students will see me looking like a shuffling zombie tomorrow morning, just like every other morning back in high school.

In other related news, I'll finally be having my convocation on Sunday, marking my journey from a unemployed bum to an unemployed bum in a graduation robe. But in all honesty, I cannot wait to finally be donning the robe and stepping up to the stage to get my scroll and pose for that one shot. My friends of the same age have all gone through this stage in their lives much earlier than I have, and I'm just glad to finally have the chance to do the same before I get any older.


So yes, it'll be quite a packed couple of days for me as I experience a whole new realm they call adulthood. And man, am I looking forward to it.

Cheerios!
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