Deadliest Soccer Ball?

New evidence suggests that soccer balls DO NOT like being kicked!
Soccer-Ball
(Actually, this the result of me messing around with GIMP this morning. I watched a couple of tutorials [but they used apples] and then decided that I could figure out a better way. Then I tested my way and came out with this product.) Comment if you want a tutorial on how to do this project!

Don’t forget to like and follow!

-The Editor.

Thanksgiving Food

Since Thanksgiving includes a lot of food, I thought it would be neat to see what commonly used Thanksgiving spices look like up close.

I broke out my old 50x Blister microscope (I chose 50x since we want to see the spices, not the bacteria on the spices!) and put under the lens five spices commonly used at Thanksgiving. Here are the pictures I took through the lens of my microscope:

Salt:
I’d say that most of us know that salt molecules are cubes. It makes sense, then, that the basic shape of a salt crystal is going to be squarish. How cool is it that we can actually see the squares?!
Salt under a microscope

Sugar:
This is white table sugar. Just about all of the Thanksgiving foods have sugar, however, some use brown sugar. It’s pretty cool that salt is in little cubes but sugar looks like tiny quartz crystals.
Sugar under a microscope

Cinnamon:
Cinnamon looks like dirt….
Cinnamon under a microscope

Pepper:
We eat pepper in just about everything. How does it feel to know that you have been eating stuff that looks like gravel?
Pepper under a microscope

Sage:
Let’s not forget stuffing’s secret ingredient: sage. This is the special ingredient that makes your stuffing taste like, well, stuffing. This looks suspiciously like the dust that gets on my baseboards….
Sage under a microscope

Comparing Versions: Trial Xtreme 1, 2, and 3

One of the most popular games on Google Play and the Apple App Store, Trial Xtreme is a realistic dirt biker game. Trial Xtreme is one of the few apps that is still improving by the time it gets to the third version. I highly recommend any one of these versions, although I would say that TX2 is the worst one of the three. I will review Trial Xtreme 1 first:

tx1 logo

TX1 is the most realistic in terms of the controls you have. You have 4 controls:
accelerate, brake, and tilting forward and backward. You can choose whether to control tilt with buttons or by tilting the device. While TX2 and TX3 have a jump button for extra height going off ramps and hopping over obstacles, TX1 does not. TX1 is also the only version to have a speedometer. Obstacles and objectives include pipes, rings, ramps, logs, tilting girders, tires, rocks, and mud pits. TX1 has 15 levels in the free version on Google Play. If you are using an iOS device, feel free to comment to say how many it has.

tx2 logo

TX2 added a couple of things: barrels of dynamite, and a jump button. The speedometer was also removed in this version. TX2 is my least favorite, mostly because of the dynamite, which they conveniently put at the bottoms of ramps so you explode when you try to go on the ramp. There is also an annoying woman who signals you when to go. In my opinion, TX2 is good as a transition between TX1 and TX3, with some features from both. Obstacles include logs, ramps, jumps, pipes, rings, rocks, and dynamite. However, I would not download it if I had an option to download one of the other two. TX2 has 40 levels in five environments.

tx3 logo

Now my personal favorite, TX3. Trial Xtreme 3 combines the best of TX1 and TX2 to create what is probably the best biker game in app history. TX3 also has a lot of downloads! TX3 has over 50 million downloads! TX3 added a lot of leeway for customizing your character, as well as three different bikes to choose from. There are three stars in each level, and you get ‘money’ for collecting the stars. That ‘money’ can be spent in the in-app store to buy clothing, helmets, boots, bikes, and paint schemes. I am not completely sure how the app decides how to give you money for each star, but from my experience I have concluded that it bases it on your time and how many tricks you do.

TX3 is also much nicer with bombs and other obstacles. The bombs are not at the bottoms of ramps and so you don’t have to be so careful when you are playing. Obstacles include ramps, pipes, rings, jumps, fans, flaming barrels, tilting girders, tires, wood fences, vehicles, and boxes. TX3 has 32 free levels in six environments, and you can purchase more for each environment (there are 112 levels total).

Thanks for viewing my blog and I hope you enjoyed it!

Don’t forget to comment and follow!

-The Editor.

FYI

I am looking at another flashlight that is similar to the one that I recently posted about. I have decided to buy that flashlight, and then compare the two rather than having a two separate posts showing the brightnesses for each. I will do a review about the flashlight at a later date, and then another comparing the performance of the two.

Until then, enjoy my other posts! Look for an app review coming sometime soon!

-The Editor.

Mozilla Firefox VS Internet Explorer 9

Most Windows computers come pre-installed with Internet Explorer, and for a lot of people, that is enough. Most people aren’t willing to try another browser, but Mozilla Firefox is well worth the space it takes on your hard drive (about 15mb). From my experience, Firefox is faster, and more user friendly than IE, and it is more manual: it gives you more options regarding the layout of the browser. Here you go:

Internet Explorer 9:
-Allows add-ons such as Google Search box. Go into settings and find toolbar section to add/remove.
-Works on Windows computers, Macs if the user is running a Windows OS inside of Mac OS (as a program).
-Allows annoying “adds by coupon drop down” adds.
-Few add-ons available.
-Less customizable, add-ons have a fixed position.

Mozilla Firefox:
-Allows add-ons such as Google Search box. Right-click on toolbar and click customize to add/remove.
-Works with Windows, Apple, Google, and Linux/Ubuntu products, in its original form.
-Blocks annoying “adds by coupon drop down” adds.
-Many add-ons available.
-More customizable, add-ons can be moved by clicking “customize” in the toolbar, and using the mouse to reposition the add-ons.

So,
There you have it: a basic comparison of Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer 9.

Don’t forget to like and follow!

–The Editor

***
Please note that there is a newer version of IE, IE 10. However, it is designed for Windows 8 (although it does work with Windows 7). Most current users will be using IE 9 (which is why I chose to compare Firefox and IE 9. If you want to know about IE 10, then click this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_Explorer_10)

The Bengal Review

Today I would like to to a post about a fellow blogger’s site: The Bengal Review! The editor for the Review and I have conversations fairly often. You should definitely check it out. The Bengal Review has all kinds of reviews, like reviews of iOS 7, apps, electronics hardware, and more. Go check out The Bengal Review, and tell them that Handz Studioz sent you! Don’t forget to like and follow both of our sites!

Here is a link for The Bengal Review!!

Flashlight Review

OK,
This website is supposed to be about, “handz-on discussion on electronics and more,” and electronics are not limited to just cameras, computers, and tablets. Electronics also include cool stuff like flashlights, etc. This review is about a 300 lumen flashlight–special because it uses just one battery–made by Cree. Cree also produces a 400 lumen flashlight of the same type. This is what one looks like:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I added the paracord wrist strap myself. Here are some specs:
It weighs 65 grams
It is waterproof and skid proof
It has a removeable clip
It has an adjustable focus
It is 300 lumens (really bright)

By now you are probably thinking that this is really expensive, right? Actually, on Amazon.com, it costs $3.65! However, I will warn you, that the one that costs $3.65 takes around three weeks to ship, because it comes straight from China. You can pay about a dollar more and get it quicker.

Here are a few more pictures:

It has a rear click button:
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

To zoom you slide the top element:
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It has a convex lens and an LED panel inside:
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Finally, it uses one AA battery:
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I will do another post with pictures showing how powerful it is, at night.

Video Interpolation

You may have heard of video interpolation. Do you know what it is, though? Well, I have a pretty good understanding of it, and hopefully by the end of this post, so will you.

Interpolation is a way of creating slow motion video, using basic camera frame rates. All interpolation programs work basically the same way:
Let’s use a soccer ball as an example. In one frame, the ball is at the player’s foot. In the next frame, it is leaving the player’s foot. In the third frame, it is halfway to the goal. Then, in the fourth frame, it is in the goal. In order to be slowed down smoothly, that video would need more frames. That is exactly what interpolation does. It adds the ‘missing frames’ to the video, so that it can be slowed down smoothly. However, there are multiple issues with interpolation:

First,
Some of the action must actually exist in the original video. Interpolation would not work for filming a fire cracker going off at 30 fps (frames per second).

Second,
The software has to be very ‘intelligent’ to know what to do if there is, for example, a car passing behind a tree in one frame, and in the next frame it is out of the screen. How should the software display the added frames of the car? Should the car have part of a tree trunk attached to the middle of it? Should the be a missing space in the car where the tree was in the first frame? That decision is up to the computer program.

I took a video of flint and steel at 30 fps, and I added interpolation using a free program called SlowmoVideo. It really warped the video. Unfortunately, I can’t post if because I don’t have the video posting option, but maybe I can convert it to a .gif or something….I’ll see what I can do on that.

Despite these issues, interpolation works reasonably well at 60 fps. Here is a link to a video done using a $300 interpolation plug-in called Twixtor:
http://gizmodo.com/5863354/how-to-shoot-4000fps-footage-on-a-60fps-budget

Look for that video post, coming shortly!

1080i or 1080p?

This is a classic question. In this post I will try to give you the facts about both so that you can decide for yourself:
First, 1080p:
Put simply, 1080p is works the same way that a picture in the movie theater works. In case you aren’t familiar with what I mean, I will explain. The “p” in 1080p stands for “progressive.” Progressive means that every frame is replaced by another “complete” frame. Complete simply means the whole screen is filled by the picture (i.e. not 50 percent of the screen.) Therefore, 1080p is “progressive,” because the motion is progressing through a series of pictures.

Now 1080i:
In 1080i, the “i” stands for “interlaced.” That means that only 50 percent of the screen is filled for each frame. As you probably already know, on a TV screen there are horizontal display lines, and vertical display lines. Interlacing the video simply fills only 50 percent of those lines, thus increasing the perceived framerate, while reducing file size, because only have of those lines are filled. I’m not an expert, however, so if you want more information, check out this wikipedia page:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interlaced_video