Strovek Writes


Sunday, February 28, 2016

Inspiring Manga and Anime

I came across some inspiring animes and manga and thought of sharing them here.

Naruto is an anime about a boy who was treated as an outcast in his village. The villagers avoided him and prevented other children from playing with him. In a world where only the strongest and most powerful fighter is respected, he was looked down for his lack of skill. Naruto had a dream to become the head (Hokage) of his village and used this dream to overcome all challenges and obstacles. His tenacity helped him overcome obstacles and along the way he inspired others. He was able to overcome his weaknesses and defeat enemies stronger than him and in some cases made them his friends. My children introduced this anime to me and I enjoyed it in the beginning, but the stories took too long to complete. The first series consisted of 220 episodes. It was followed by Naruto: Shippuden which follows his challenges as an adult. I did not like the later episodes which appear to repeat earlier stories.

Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple is a story of high school student who was constantly bullied in school. His chance encounter with Miu inspired him to become stronger. In the beginning he just wanted to become stronger so that he will not be bullied but as he trained his goal changed to be strong enough to protect his friends. I do not remember how I came across this manga but the story was captivating, however, it is classified as ecchi manga - not meant for children. The story is long and consist of 583 chapters (manga/comic format) and 50 episodes (in Anime format).

Eyeshield 21 is an anime about a boy who was target of bullying. As a result, of the constant running either to get away from being hurt or to forced to run errands by his tormentors, he was able to run very fast. The captain of the American football team noticed his ability and recruited him. He was forced to keep his identity a secret to avoid other teams from poaching him. It was fun to watch how he grew in strength and how others who joined the team later were became inspired. Their football team was an underdog who lost all their games to become a champion in the Christmas bowl. There is 144 episodes in this anime but it was fun to watch how the team fought against incredible odds even with losses along the way.

The Breaker tells a story of another victim of bullies who became a disciple of a very powerful martial art artist. Throughout the story, the teacher appears reluctant to teach him but with the intervention of the teacher’s companion, he was thought various movements. One such intervention was the boy being given a pill that cause the body to create limitless amount of Ki that would result in the breakdown of the body and eventual death. Towards the end of this series, his ki center was broken to prevent him from being involved with the martial arts world.

The Breaker: New Wave is the sequel to The Breaker and continues immediately after the previous story. With his ki center broken, he is not able to practice martial arts anymore. He tried to honor his master's wish not to practice martial arts anymore. However, for honor and to protect his friends he willingly put his life on the line multiple times throughout the series.

Do you know of other manga or anime out there that are as inspiring, please share in the comments.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Using Evernote

I started using Evernote on Jan 28, 2016, even though I had the application on my phone back in 2014 when I bought Samsung Note 3. I was surprised to find that Samsung had a partnership with Evernote and gave me one year complimentary Premium subscription. I decided not to activate the subscription immediately but to explore the tool first. However, after one week, I accidentally dismissed the link for activating the subscription and thought I had wasted the subscription (worth RM 99).

I took the opportunity of the accident to try out their support. I submitted a support request on the incident and received a reply the next day. Amanda from Evernote asked a few questions and after two to three responses (within a few minutes), my Premium subscription was activated. Issue resolved in less than 24 hours - excellent customers service.

Web Clipping (browser)

This is a great feature to take a snapshot of articles from websites to store for future reference. The web clipper is an extension that can be added either to Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer or Safari browsers. After adding the extension to Chrome, I had to restart the browser. This was not required for Firefox.

Using the web clipper in the browser offers a few options:

  • Article which automatically proposes a selection consisting of the article and provides a + - navigation button to change the selection.
  • Simplified article, reformat the article to make it more readable, similar to some options of printing.
  • Full Page selects the whole page including the advertisements, navigation and comments of the web page.
  • Bookmark create a snippet and a link back to the original page, similar to the posting we see when someone shares a webpage on facebook.
  • Screenshot takes a screenshot of the page and prompts for annotation afterwards, but does not include a url link to the original article.
  • If you selected some text on the web page, an additional option will become available called selection. This is a good option for cases on pages where simplified article does not work well or if you just want to select parts of the article.
The webclip counts against your upload quota - very important if you are using Evernote Basic.
I found that selection and simplified article does not work for all web pages.

Web Clipping (Android)
Web clipping is built into Android. In order clip a web page, just click on the three dots at the top right hand corner of Chrome, select share and then select Evernote. The elephant icon will show up, click on the icon for more options. There is a check box to Clip full article, if checked, it will be similar to full page option in the web clipping for browser. If unchecked, it will take a snapshot (as a picture) kept as an attachment together with a url of the page you selected.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Review: Deadpool 2016

Prior to the announcement of this movie, I did not know much about the character. The thriller was peaked my interest. I went to watch the movie yesterday with my wife but could not bring my children along due to the rating (even though they were interested). My wife missed all most of the jokes (due to her grasp of the English language) so did not enjoy the movie.

Deadpool has the healing power of Wolverine and the wisecracking habit of Spiderman. Ryan Reynold is perfect for the role, poking fun of his previous role in Green Lantern asking not be given a green suit or any animated suit. He also referred to the limited budget for the movie saying why there were only two X-men in the movie. I guess it is true, sometime self deprecation is useful approach to humor. It was fun to watch how he grew his hand back after he severed it to escape from Colossus. His character and behaviour did not change much before and after his transformation into Deadpool.

Colossus did not feel right in the movie, it just looks different from the comic books. It seems strange that the taxi driver did not protest when Deadpool paid with a high five. Also, if the villain can create Deadpool and other mutant as weapons, wouldn’t he keep some for himself?

Overall the movie was entertaining but I did not have as much emotional satisfaction compared to other comic movies I watched recently.

Disclaimer: I was not paid to write this review.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Borrow and Lend

Non native English speakers are sometimes confused by borrow and lend. This is the trick I thought my daughter.

B comes first in the alphabets and L comes later. So when we borrow an item, the item comes to us and when we lend an item, the item leaves us.