The Light from the TV Shows: A Chat with Jason Mewes (“King of the Nerds”)

Jason Mewes has been around the block enough times that he’s easily identifiable even when he’s not standing next to his onscreen hetero life mate, Kevin Smith, but the two are teaming up again to serve as judges on this week’s episode of TBS’s “King of the Geeks,” which airs 2/7 at 10 PM. Bullz-Eye talked to Mewes for a few minutes about his TV obsessions, his new gig, one of his old gigs, and an old gig that may yet be a new gig again. Confused? Read on and you’ll figure it out.

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Bullz-Eye: When one of your most famous characters is turned into part of a superhero duo with their own comic book (Bluntman & Chronic), you’ve got pretty good geek credentials, but what is it about you, Jason Mewes, that makes you a geek?

Jason Mewes: Um, I would say…I could be considered a geek in the sense of my love of TV shows, comics, and action figures. I collect action figures, I collect Legos, I have a Batman pillowcase and sheet set, and, y’know, I play video games all day: “Call of Duty,” “Black Ops,” “Lego Batman 2: DC SuperHeroes”… And I guess a love of technology. I mean, I don’t know why I’m obsessed with technology, and some of it I don’t know how to use, but I want it. I have an iMac that I’ve had for a couple of years, but now they’ve got that new iMac and I want to go get it. I haven’t, but I want to, even though mine’s perfectly fine, because the new one’s all sleek and slim and amazing. I have the newest iPad, the oldest iPad, and when the iPad Mini comes out, I want to get that. So I don’t know, I guess I’d just say that my love of technology, games, comics, toys, all that…I don’t know if that makes me a child or a nerd. [Laughs.]

BE: How was the experience of being a judge on “King of the Nerds”?

JM: It was awesome. What they talked about, the content and the debating of each topic, was awesome, not to mention getting to sit there as a judge, but also the hosts (Robert Carradine and Curtis Armstrong)…I mean, “Revenge of the Nerds” was one of my favorite movies growing up. I know the whole song. [Starts singing.] “Clap your hands, everybody / And everybody clap your hands!” That was my favorite. And to be able to meet Lewis and Booger…that was a treat. So combining the stuff that they talked about and that we got to judge them and the hosts, it was amazing.

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BE: Not to divulge any spoilers, but were there any contestants who, when you saw them on the show, struck you as being potential Kings?

JM: Um, you know… [Hesitates.] There’s a lot of great people on the show, so…I don’t know which one’ll be the King. And I don’t really want to give anything away, because they get kicked off…well, they don’t get kicked off, but they leave the show. But…I don’t know, there was a young lady there, I’ll say that, who was really passionate and was really on her stuff. She knew what she was talking about. So we’ll see what happens.

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App of the Week: Manalyzer

Developer:
Xynyn

Compatible with:
iPhone
iPad
iPod Touch

Requires:
iOS 4.2 or later

Price:
Free

Available here

On the subject of being a man, in the song “Mannish Boy” Muddy Waters had this to say:

“I can make love to you woman,
in five minutes time
Ain’t that a man

I’m a full grown man
Man
I’m a natural born lovers man
Man
I’m a rollin’ stone
I’m a man-child”

While that was Muddy Waters estimation of a man, it would be unrealistic to compare your only manliness based on the Muddy Waters scale. Still, though, I’m betting in a moment of channel surfing weakness where you ended up on a chick flick too long, or maybe settled for a light beer and a salad at dinner, the question has briefly crossed your mind.

Are you properly manly enough?

Luckily you need not wonder anymore, as one app now has the balls to tell you. From Xynyn comes the Manalyzer, or Manliness analyzer. Using photo analysis of your hands, and face, the Manalyzer uses figures and ratios determined by research done in over 25 scientific papers to take the analysis of these photos and assign a man score to you. The man score then correlates to five different categories (financial success, aggression, leadership, athletics, and innovation) to determine how much man you are, and what kind of man you will be. In the interest of fairness, there is also a mode that manalyzes women (though please note it is not advised that even a level 10 man try this on their girlfriend).

Now I know what you might say. That there is no way this app can accurately calculate how much of a man you are based on a couple of pictures. To these people I say, I scanned a picture of man great Charles Bronson, and came up with a 10.

That’s scientifically proven enough for me to man up, and name this the app of the week.

  

App of the Week: Solar

Developer:
Hollr, Inc.

Compatible With:
iPhone
iPad
iPod Touch

Requires:
iOS 5.0 or later

Price:

$0.99

Available here

With all of the entertainment and social distractions that smartphones provide, it’s hard to remember that they were originally conceived with the simple intention of providing a tool to help the hyper active through their lives. In that respect, there are a few essential apps that everyone must have on their phones, no matter how far the technology may have come. They’re apps like schedule planners, calendars, and metal band name generators, which have all become standard regardless of the user.

But just because an app is standard, though, doesn’t mean it has to be ordinary. Consider the weather app on your phone. Everyone has one, everyone uses it, but unless you’re one of those guys who spends their free time watching mudslides in Honduras on The Weather Channel, using the basic weather app probably doesn’t constitute the highlight of your day.

Thankfully Hollr, Inc. and their app “Solar”, are looking to change that. “Solar” provides all of the usual weather information (current temperature, forecast,etc), but does it in a genuinely engaging way. Using a minimalist design, “Solar” uses a dynamic color palette on each half of the screen to represent the current weather conditions. The top half shows the weather, while the bottom half reveals the temperature, producing a stylish visual for your phone. Scrolling up on the app provides a forecast for the day, that also modifies the screen design appropriately to match the expected weather, and scrolling down gives you the three day weather report. Extra functionality is provided by double tapping on the screen to set up multiple weather locations, which can then be accessed by scrolling left and right on the app. More than any single feature though, the main selling point of “Solar” is its ability to turn one of the most basic features on your phone, into the most stylish.

Even though this app is discounted right now to the low, low price of 0.99 cents, you probably have some reasonable doubt about buying a weather app when so many good ones are available for free. Plus, for all of its incredibly slick design features, “Solar” still does include the standard text read-out weather temperature as its go-to measurement, and lacks some of the more specific details of competitive apps. But the fact is, you really only have two options for how to check the weather each day. Like a guy who’s trying to see if he needs an umbrella, or:

And if you fall into that later category, the only way to really do it is with “Solar”, my app of the week.

 

  

App of the Week: Loopcam

I’m beginning a new mission to try and find the best apps available for smartphones and tablets everywhere. While this mission may one week develop into a noble pursuit of finding useful, game-changing applications, or even just innovative time-killers, for this first edition, I can’t help but share my unhealthy fascination with an app that celebrates one of the greatest and most stupid innovations of the internet age.

I speak, of course, about the animated GIF file.

Short for Graphical Interchange Format, the GIF file is another bitmap image format that is easy to use and fairly versatile. But its real potential wasn’t realized until the 90s when people started to animate their GIF files, allowing for them to display a few precious seconds of motion in a repetitive loop. Then suddenly, after one dancing baby became an overnight sensation, the animated GIF established itself as a staple of internet humor.

Now with the free iPhone app Loopcam, you have the ability to create your own animated GIF files to one day slow down the load time of a webpage and lead to potential seizures. It’s an incredibly simple app that streamlines GIF creation into a few-step process. From there, Loopcam gives you the ability to share your creations with the world via e-mail, texts and all of the usual social media outlets. While there are other, similar apps out there, Loopcam’s user friendly nature and range of features make it the standout of the pack.

The GIF is one internet joke that looks to stay, and that’s largely due to the many, creative “shouldn’t be funny but somehow is” ways that people have used the format. Loopcam allows that same user creativity to thrive anywhere you may be, and for that reason stands triumphant as my first app of the week.

  

Three simple reasons you shouldn’t buy the “new” iPad

I’m going to keep this short and to the point. I don’t have to. I have plenty more than three reasons you should take a pass on the new iPad, but I think three pretty much sums things up.

1. LTE is essentially nowhere
Apple spent a decent chunk of its time today touting the super-fast LTE speeds the new iPad was ready to exploit. The simple reality is that LTE is available to a tiny minority of the country, and its even spotty for those folks. LTE might be awesome when its out–in all likelihood it’s going to mean a massive increase in your cell phone or home internet access plan–but for nearly all intents and purposes it isn’t out yet.

You could definitely make the case that Apple needed to make the LTE upgrade so that networks didn’t have to wait for those pesky 2012 iPad buyers to get off the network. All the same, you likely won’t be able to take advantage of LTE so why pay for it now?

2. The screen difference doesn’t matter
I’m sorry, nerds, it doesn’t. Certainly not in any meaningful way. The current iPad screen is just 10 inches and ridiculously crisp. Crisp in a way that is almost unnecessary for a 10-inch screen. The new screen is definitely unnecessary for a 10-inch screen. Even for professional applications like showing off videos or photography to potential clients, the increased resolution will do nothing for mediums in which those resolutions are actually applicable. I don’t need to see a document in 2048×1536 on an iPad to imagine what it will look like in print. If my designers are not morons, it will look fine, even if you show it to me on the iPad 2 screen.

At this screen size, resolution is an utterly meaningless arms race. It does nothing but raise the cost of the device.

3. The iPad 2 is $529 with 3G
Bet you didn’t see that coming. I’m not an iPad hater. Hell, I want one. I’ve wanted one for a while now. The only reason I haven’t purchased one is that I’m not sure how much use it would see beyond casual reading (no kids). It’s probably for the best that I try to curtail my Netflix consumption, anyway. But that’s not the point. The point here is that the iPad 2, which is for all practical purposes just as good as the new iPad, can be had for $529 with a 3G sim in it. Pair that with an a la carte data plan and you have a much more useful device than the $500 bragging rights of the latest model.

  

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