NBA All Star Weekend 2013
Toyota’s i-Road Concept Car
At the 2013 Geneva Motor Show Toyota revealed the i-Road concept car. The three wheeled vehicle stands out on the look alone, but Toyota is looking make a car that is eco and urban friendly. The battery powered electric car runs on a lithium-ion battery. The battery powers up a pair of 2 kilowatt electric motors that drives the two front wheels.
The battery needs three hours to fully charge and you can use a regular power outlet. The i-Road has a feature called “Active Lean” which is a self leaning system intended to automatically balance the car when it turning or riding over some bumpy terrain.
According to Toyota’s website, “the system features a lean actuator motor and gearing mounted above the front suspension member, linked via a yoke to the right and left front wheels. An ECU calculates the required lean based on steering angle, gyro-sensor and vehicle speed information. And the system automatically moves the wheels up and down in opposite directions, applying lean angle to counteract the centrifugal force of cornering.”
The i-Road measures at 7.7 feet long, 4.7 high, 2.8 feet wide, and weighs a little over 660 pounds. This vehicle is looking to car that you can navigate through a busy city with ease. They also dubbed it as a Personal Mobility Vehicle (PMV) and it looks to provide a safe, intuitive and enjoyable, helmet-free driving experience for one or two people.
The Smart Car has bit of a following and if the concept car makes it out to the public you might see one driving near you. Some might think of it is an enclosed motorcycle while others see it as a way help the environment. With a top driving distance of 30 miles per charge you wonder how many of these cars will be sold.
Posted by Art Eddy III in Lifestyle
The Mowgli’s Shine at The Satellite
The best things in life are free. This was certainly the case Monday night at The Satellite in Silverlake where the up and coming band, The Mowgli’s, rocked out the fourth and final leg of their residency in a front of a raucous capacity crowd.
The Mowgli’s musical style personifies the diversity of California as their songs incorporate several genres that project a message of universal love and peace. The joy and harmony displayed on stage by the 8-piece collective is infectious and permeates through the audience making for one helluva good time.
The Mowgli’s formulation is vintage California. Five childhood friends from the San Fernando Valley jamming out making music linked up with three mid-westerners in search of greener pastures to forge a perfect union of rock ‘n roll and good vibes.
The opening performance of the evening featured a unique collaboration of gifted musicians. The amazing Lisa Donnelly shared the stage with the talented Aaron Glass and his folk love group Papa Bear and the Easy Love. The sense of togetherness and unity was a prevailing theme as members of The Mowgli’s performed alongside their friends and got the night rolling in style.
Next up on the slate was the funky sound of rock ‘n’ soul band The Diamond Light. The local blues rock group jammed out from the get go and provided the perfect segue to The Mowgli’s set.
Closing out the night after The Mowgli’s delightful performance was Los Angeles native Zak Waters and his group. Waters style of pop music infused with funky dance beats meshed well with the more inebriated crowd looking to dance it up after midnight.
Special thanks to Michael Vincze of The Mowgli’s and my fellow UC Santa Cruz alum Aaron Glass for their graciousness and willingness to chat it up after the show. It was a great night of music from beginning to end. Everyone in attendance could definitely feel the love.
Photo and Video Credit: Ju Park
Posted by Danny Dabiri in Entertainment
Know Your Beer – Blue Point Brewery
In this edition of Know Your Beer, we look at Blue Point Brewing Company. They are a microbrewery in Patchogue, New York. Founded in 1998 by Peter Cotter and Mark Burford, the two friends started out gathering brewing equipment and began to start crafting some fine beers. They built a brewery in a 1970s Penguin Ice Factory and never looked back. In 2011 Blue Point was ranked 34th in the Top 50 Craft Breweries in the Unites States. Their Toasted Lager won a World Beer Cup Gold medal in 2006.
Blue Point started their construction of beer in a traditional 25-Barrel Brew House. Scorching hot flames from a unique direct-fire brick Brew Kettle imparts a lightly toasted and complex flavor to their brews. Blue Point always uses natural fresh ingredients and is never pasteurized. They use quality hops from all over the world in places like Germany, United Kingdom, Belgium, New Zealand and here in the United States.
If you are in the New York area you should make it a point to go out to Long Island in the town of Patchogue for a beer in their tasting room or for their annual Cask Ales Festival. I was there in 2010 and 2011 for the Cask Ales Fest and had a blast tasting the craft beers from over 20 breweries. Their tasting room is located at the brewery and you can sample 12 different types beer every Thursday and Friday from 3-7pm and Saturdays from noon to 7pm. Not only do you get taste some great beer, but the staff is well educated on pairing food and beer.
Blue Point staples are the Toasted Lager, Blueberry Ale and Hoptical Illusion and all three are available all year round. Some of their seasonal beers are Spring Fling Copper Ale, Summer Ale, Oktoberfest and Winter Ale that are sold in a variety 12-pack. Other notables are Old Howling Bastard, Double Blonde, Golden Ale, Oatmeal Stout, Sour Cherry Imperial Stout, 10th Anniversary IPA and No Apologies Imperial IPA. For more info on how you can find their beer in your area go to their website.
Posted by Art Eddy III in Lifestyle
The Art of Shaving VIP Oscar Event
This past Friday, The Art of Shaving threw an Oscars Weekend kickoff party at their flagship location in Beverly Hills, where Diana Schmidtke, personal groomer to Seth McFarlene along with Master Barber David, spoke about the rise of personal grooming in male facial hair.
Let’s face it, as guys, most of us were never formally trained in how to shave. We were thrown in the lion’s pit and found a way to fend for ourselves. Most of us eventually figured out a way to run a razor over our facial hair and achieve a successful shave. It seems simple enough, but sometimes, we run into classic problems like razor burn, skin irritation or ingrown hairs and we don’t really know what’s going on.
That’s where the master groomer comes in. They actually know what they’re doing.
One of the main points that they try to teach is that there is an art to shaving, hence the name of the store. The elements of the perfect shave are fourfold: prepare, lather, shave, moisturize. From here, we must discover which products are most effective and learn how to shave for the grain of our hair.
They were kind enough to prepare a perfect shave kit, complete with razor and badger brush. Additionally, one of the master barbers at the Art of Shaving named Alex demonstrated a Royal Shave on me and it was the closest shaves I have ever experienced. The process took quite a while between the shaving and the hot and cold towel treatments, but it was a soothing and relaxing experience.
I would assume it’s the guy’s equivalent to a spa day and now I can almost understand how women can spend so much time at the spa. Well, almost.
Posted by Ju Park in Lifestyle
Interview with VIKINGS Actor Travis Fimmel
VIKINGS is a new show on the History Channel that takes a look into the world of the Norseman and how they learned to travel to different places looking for treasures to bring back to their people. The series looks at how they worshipped ancient gods like Odin, Thor, Freya and Loki.
The main character Ragnar Lothbrok played by Travis Fimmel feels that he is a direct descendant of the Norse god Odin, who, as well as being the god of warriors slain in battle, is also the god of curiosity. The nine part series centers on the curious and compelling Norseman who is always looking to break through barriers and discover new worlds to conquer.
Lothbrok has a family and is a farmer, but he is deeply frustrated by the unadventurous policies of his local chieftain, Earl Haraldson, who is played by Gabriel Byrne. Haraldson continues to send his Vikings raiders east every summer, to the Baltic States and Russia, whose populations are as materially poor as themselves. VIKINGS looks at Lothbrok’s stand against Haralson and his mission to go west and explore new lands.
I was able to chat with Travis about the show and talk about his character and that he hopes fans will love the show as much as he loved filming it.
Art Eddy: First off can you tell me a bit about your character Ragnar and what viewers can expect from the show?
Travis Fimmel: Well Ragnar is based on a historical character. He is very adventurous and he is one of the first people to sail west and discover England and do what Vikings do when they discover places. Say good hey to the ladies and beat up people.
AE: Your character is based on the real life Viking leader Ragnar. What type of research did you do for your character?
TF: Well I was very lucky, the writer and creator, Michael Hirst is an amazing guy and he gave me a lot of information. My job as an actor is to make it relatable to the audience. He has got a family, brothers, and he had got his wife and his children and has the same conflict that any family does even in this day and age.
AE: Ragnar’s brother, Rollo seems to be a wild card in the show. He takes whatever he wants and he looks to have eyes for Ragnar’s wife Lagertha. How would you describe the relationship between Ragnar and Rollo?
TF: It is a real power trip between Ragnar and his brother Rollo. Both of them want to be the leader, but there can only be the leader and that causes conflict between them and jealousy. You know I am sure at one stage they certainly will be against each other.
AE: I have seen a few episodes so far and I have to say you guys to a great job of portraying that time in history. Where did you guys shoot the series?
TF: We shot in Ireland for five months. It is an amazing country and it is so beautiful. Very bloody cold there man, very cold. The people were amazing. The crews are amazing. It was a really good experience. We all enjoyed making it, so hopefully the audience will sure enjoy watching it.
AE: You challenge your local chieftain Earl Haraldson, played by Gabriel Byrne, who always wants to travel east, while you think going west is the way to go. Why is Ragnar so curious about the east?
TF: He is so curious. He thinks he is a direct descendant from a god named Odin, who was a god of slain warriors and curiosity. Legends say that the god Odin killed himself just to see what death felt like. Ragnar has that same curiosity about stuff. Nothing is good enough for him. He wants to know what is out there. It is not just for the raping and pillaging stuff. He wants to learn about people and the gods they worship, what the look like, and their customs. He is just a curious person and his curiosity doesn’t end.
AE: I love the character Floki, who is played by Gustaf Skarsgard, and how he sees himself as the Norse god Loki. Gustaf seems like he would be cracking people up on the set. How was working with Gustaf and shooting the scenes with him?
TF: He is just a great actor in a role that he was playing. He is a funny guy and he made a great character and he is very interesting to watch. I think my character really enjoys his company so you will see plenty of Floki.
AE: In one of the upcoming episodes you guys raid a monastery in Lindesfarne and these monks get a firsthand look at what the Vikings are all about. You also save the life of Athelstan played by George Blagden. What does Ragnar see in the young monk to save his life?
TF: I think they definitely will and they do actually. He is very intrigued by Athelstan the priest. George is a great actor. He can learn so much from him. He can learn where the other settlements from the priest. The priest is a wealth of knowledge for him and it would have been silly for him to kill him.
AE: What can we expect to see in future shows of the Vikings series this season on the History Channel? Will there be a second season?
TF: There are nine episodes. It really keeps building. It gets better and better and I look forward to seeing the finished show. For the second season I don’t know. That is the producers job and I stay out of it.
To listen to the interview, click here.
VIKINGS premieres Sunday, March 3 at 10 p.m. (ET) on the History Channel.
Posted by Art Eddy III in Entertainment
NBA All Star Weekend 2013
Thanks to the awesome folks at Crown Royal, I got to attend my first NBA All Star Game this weekend. The trip was a reward of sorts, a prize for winning the Capture the Crown scavenger hunt in Indy last year. Team Win (Myself, Nick Evans from Straitpinkie.com, David Dennis from The Smoking Section and Brittany Edwards from Taylor) totally dominated the competition. We had a lot of help from Miss Edwards, who knows a thing or two about NASCAR, and we all got to bask in the glory of our victory during this weekend’s festivities.
Crown Royal Reign On Event
Crown Royal is rolling out a new set of TV spots around the message “Reign On.” Featured in these spots is NBA legend and all around great storyteller Dr. J. He’s a new ambassador for the brand and he really fits this new “Reign On” message.
So on Saturday night, when the skills competition, three point shootout and slam dunk contest were going on, me and the Indy crew got to attend an exclusive event that introduced the new Reign On spots and featured Reign On stories from Terrence J and Dr. J. The night also included a solid set of tunes from hip-hop producer 9th Wonder (hat tip for including “Glow of Love” by Change, seriously who doesn’t love old Luther Vandross jams?) and a whisky tasting hosted by all-around badass Master of Whiskey Stephen Wilson.
Take a look at the Dr. J Reign On TV spot:
And here’s a behind the scene’s video to check out as well:
Meeting Dr. J
Julius Erving was all class, man. Just super affable, upbeat and approachable. When the Dr. entered the room, he had a certain grace and presence. An arrogance-free gravitas.
When I shook the guy’s hand, he almost reached by elbow. Even at age 65, he’s still an impressive physical sight. Huge wingspan, hands big enough to pick up a Buick, with a swagger of a guy who’s more familiar with greatness than you are, but he doesn’t need to remind you about it. He knows and so do you. Meeting Dr. J was definitely a highlight of the weekend.
Hearing his Reign On moment was a treat. The Doctor talked about his entry into professional basketball, when he was an alternate Olympian who made the squad and overheard all these guys saying how much they were going to make playing professional basketball. Erving, who hadn’t really considered a pro career, absolutely dominated this group of would-be professionals. That’s when he knew he was going to do some damage in the game of basketball. Just a great story to hear from him.
The 2013 NBA All Star Game
Drinking great whisky while meeting NBA legends was good times, but watching the 2013 NBA All Star Game live wasn’t too shabby either. Here are some general thoughts on the game:
Lob City Represented Well
I was looking forward to cheering for the West. It was basically Kevin and the Clakers. Sure, there were some garbage minutes played by San Antonio players and the like, but the starting all-LA plus Durant squad was just awesome. Blake had some monster lob city moments and a ferocious off the backboard jam near the end of the 4th quarter. Chris Paul just kept feeding people all night, and his 20 points and 15 assists earned him MVP honors. Lob City was in full effect in Houston.
Joakim Noah Is a Kind of a Punk
This guy. I mean he kept running around the court begging for the ball and whenever he got it, he usually missed. He was often out of position and out of control. At one point, things started to get a little chippy between Noah and CP3. Noah got a little physical and even ended up hitting CP3 in the mouth with his slop. Paul responded by draining a big three point shot in Noah’s face. It was sweet justice.
Kevin Durant Is a Freak Show
It’s not like this guy needs more hype, but man, there’s not enough superlatives to describe his level of play. He’s got such effortless hops and he finishes so strong. It seemed like he played half the game multiple feet above the rim and the other half draining jumpers. He finished with a game-high 30 points.
Kobe Only Took High Degree of Difficulty Fade Away Jumpers and Showcased His D
Kobe refused to take easy buckets all night. Whenever he did shoot, he opted for long distance fade away jumpers over unsuspecting opponents. He also showed off his defensive skills with not one, but two blocks on LeBron James.
Russell Westbrook Made the Most of His Minutes
He may have been a reserve guy, but whenever Westbrook was in, he just dominated. He created his own opportunities, and just scored points in bunches. I’ve never seen him play in person and of all the non-starters on the floor, I thought he was the most impressive.
Alicia Keys Is Kinda Awesome
I’ve never seen Alicia Keys perform live before, but man, she can bring it. She had the whole arena fired up with piano skills, a booming voice, some sweet dance moves and an all-around lovely skillset that may have catapulted her to my number one music crush. Watching Ne-Yo perform and then seeing Alicia was like watching a JV high school basketball team compete against the Miami Heat. Just total entertainment domination.
Thanks again to Crown Royal for an amazing weekend. Good times were had by all and it was an experience that Team Win from Indy won’t soon forget!
Posted by Chris Stout in Sports
Know Your Beer – Hangar 24
If you drive about an hour east of Los Angeles, you’ll find an up and coming craft brewery nestled in an old Norton Air Force Base building right across from the Redlands Municipal Airport. The Hangar 24 Brewery offers daily tastings from 11am to 10pm every day. Guided tours are available on Sunday from 11am to 6pm.
To understand Hangar 24, you need to know about the brew’s Founder and Master Brewer Ben Cook. A Biology major from Cal State San Bernardino, Cook took his love for beer to a whole new level and completed the Master Brewers Program at UC Davis. After finishing the program and putting in 6 years as a QA/QC guy at the Anheuser-Busch Brewery in Van Nuys, Cook searched for a place to launch his own brewery. The spot next to the Airport was where he landed, and that drove the name of the beer, Hangar 24.
The brewery has a solid selection of year-round craft beers, seasonal favorites and some other specialty releases. Orange Whet is the flagship brew. It’s an American Wheat Beer “brewed with whole, pureed, 100% locally grown oranges added throughout the process.” Think of it as a rich man’s Shock Top, with more of a full-bodied, silted/textured taste. They use the whole damn orange in there, man.
The other beers in the signature collection are they types of brews that you enjoy as standalone options. There are German classics like the light Helles Lager or the roasty Alt-Bier Ale. Hangar 24 brews a variety of Pale Ales like the Amarillo Pale Ale with a dry hoppy American touch, the unfiltered explosively hoppy Columbus IPA and the more citrusy-sweet Double IPA. A rich Chocolate Porter rounds out the year-round offerings.
The seasonal selections include Hullabaloo, a hoppy Scottish Winter Ale; Oktoberfest, malty-amber German lager; a tart Belgian Summer Ale and California Spring Beer, a warm weather wheat ale with a brisk hoppy finish.
So where can you get this stuff? If you don’t want to tour the Hangar 24 Brewery (which, you know, you probably should do), you can visit one of the 2,342 on and off-premise locations from San Diego to Sacramento that carry Hangar 24. You can also grab the stuff in bottles and cans. Hangar 24 is the first craft brewery in Southern California to provide quality craft beer in can form (I say start with the Helles Lager). Prost!
Posted by Chris Stout in Lifestyle
Guest Post: Everything You Need to Know About the 4 C’s – A Bro’s Guide to Bling
Every serious gent reaches a point in his life when he recognizes it’s time to suit up and settle down. Hopefully, the lucky lady you’re choosing to share your distinguished name with is not only your admitted best friend but also a classy woman deserving of your time, effort and savings account. A dame this fabulous requires an elevated level of bling, and the only way to provide an exceptional proposal offer is to deeply understand the nuances of the engagement ring industry. As a generous service to the soon-to-be domesticated chaps of the world, here is a defining list of the crucial 4-C’s to be familiar with when buying a legendary diamond. Follow these rules for a guaranteed “Yes! Oh God, yes!” No magic tricks required.
Simply stated, the cut is the proportion of the stone. A difficult concept to sometimes grasp, the cut is not, in fact, the shape of the diamond or stone. A correctly cut rock shines brilliantly, and everyone knows ladies love a sparkler. The dazzle comes from the carefully proportioned facets and the symmetry with which they are edged. Though there are technically five cut grades, as a respectable fellow, you’ll stick with Reserve Ideal, Ideal or Very Good. If your companion is particularly demanding with an eye for size over shine, settle for Good.
Sometimes referred to, oddly, as the “whiteness” of a diamond, the color actually indicates the lack of pigment in a jewel. While color in semi-precious stones is naturally encouraged, choosing a diamond with a discernible yellowish hue is nothing but an absolute fail on your end. Remember your alphabet when selecting for color, any rock in the D, E, F—colorless—or G, H, I, J—near-colorless—zones is in a word, awesome.
Just like your comedic timing, diamonds should be as close to flawless as possible to be successful. The third C stands for clarity, which designates the number of inclusions, or flaws, found hidden inside that shiny crystal. Acceptable calibers include IF, VVS1, VVS2, VS1, VS2 and SI. The truly baller will settle for nothing below FL—flawless. Incredibly rare, this category is so choice. If you don’t have the means, though, any gemologist will tell you can’t begin to actually see the inclusions until you reach SI grades.
Attention, fellas! This is where the men are separated from the boys. You need to know all 4 C’s to determine the best ring for that once-in-a-lifetime love you’ve found, but the only question your darling’s friends are going to ask is, “How many carats?” Size most definitely matters, and the carat weight is how diamonds are measured. Anything over a full carat