Vaping Diaries #279: Chillum Vapor Tantra Mod Interview (Vape Nights)

I randomly met Chillum Vapor co-founder Abhi Chatterjee when I was hanging out at The Vape Source in Koreatown. He mentioned that he was working on a mechanical mod and a few months later the Tantra Mod has arrived. At Vape Nights 2014, I caught up with Abhi to learn more about his high-performance made-in-the-USA mech. Objectively, the Tantra Mod is impressive with its unique features and fantastic performance (Abhi claims a 0.19 voltage drop on a 0.2-ohm coil). Subjectively, it hits nearly everything I look for in a mechanical mod; I’m partial to vaping products that are made in America, I’m a big fan of naval brass as a mod material, and I like designs that manage to be elegant yet distinct.

In the Vape Nights 2014 interview above, Abhi talks about Chillum Vapor’s background, designing the Tantra Mod, the unique wafer spring that helps give it great performance, and the new stainless steel model. It was neat to learn the meanings behind the words chillum and tantra in relation to the company. While many people think of tantra in sexual terms, the word has a definition that absolutely fits a vaping company. Abhi also talks about the Volcanic Tip, a novel drip tip that borrows from ridged swords for better vaping.

On a note that has nothing to do with anything, I was particularly proud to have slipped a Taylor Swift joke into the interview. That’s one less thing on my 2014 checklist.

Anyway, check out the clip above to learn more about this excellent and distinct American mod from Chillum Vapor.

Chillum Vapor Tantra Mod Abhi Chatterjee

Vaping Diaries #278: Baker White CEO Talks Odin Juice & E-Liquid Safety (Vape Nights)

My Vape Nights 2014 interview with Baker White CEO Danny Baker is one of the more informative vaping interviews I’ve filmed. Danny covered a wide range of topics, including the company’s extremely unique Odin by Baker White high VG line, e-liquid manufacturing safety, and the controversial diacetyl ingredient found in many vaping juices.

Baker White stresses safety; it was one of the first e-liquid companies to use a forced-air clean-room and one of the few with a facility that meets the pharmaceutical-grade ISO-6 standard. E-liquid safety is a big issue for me, as I’ve encountered many vapers (and even several juice makers) that don’t understand the importance of having something you inhale made in a clean environment. I was shocked to learn that some popular SoCal juices are made in stores, homes, and back rooms — places where contaminants can easily enter e-liquid. It was great hearing Danny address the issue of e-liquid manufacturing safety and I hope it helps educate some vapers.

As for the Odin line, it’s one of the most fascinating group of juices I’ve encountered. Odin by Baker White is a series of high-VG e-liquids made with advanced vapers in mind. While many high-VG juices are geared towards cloud chasers, Odin is a compelling choice for flavor fiends as well. These juices were made so that you get distinctly different flavors depending on the wattage you vape them. The same Odin juice at 10 watts will taste quite different at 30 watts. While it’s true that all juices change flavor depending on temperature, Odin was designed to push this property to new levels.

Lastly, Danny touched on diacetyl. Found in many custard flavors, this ingredient is known to cause popcorn lung. Unfortunately for vapers, there has been some dishonesty about the ingredient and Danny talks about that in the interview.

As a longtime verbal entertainer, it’s always my goal to inform and entertain. As far as the vaping section of RPadTV goes, I believe this is the most informative piece I’ve put together and I’m really happy with it. Please, please, please check it out when you have a chance.

Vaping Diaries #277: Joe Blow’s Incredible Juice Interview (Vapecon USA)

Capping off my Vapecon USA 2014 coverage is a chat with Joseph Upton, the owner of Joe Blow’s Incredible Juice. This was a fun piece for me to put together, as it was the most personal interview of the show. Joseph spoke about his daughter inspiring him to quit smoking tobacco cigarettes and start Joe Blow’s Incredible Juice. One of his flavors — Red Eye No. 36 — is a special blend that’s named after his late brother.

I was impressed by the inventiveness of Joe Blow’s Incredible Juice. A few of the company’s juices have unique twists that I haven’t encountered before. For example, Sweet Molasses blends extracted molasses with tobacco for a novel combination of sweetness and earthiness. While there are hundreds of peach flavors on the market, Peach Blow stands out with its use of dragon fruit.

Learn more about Joe Blow’s Incredible Juice and see what’s coming next in my Vapecon USA 2014 interview above.

Joe Blow's Incredible Juice

Coffee Talk #649: Shreds Revisited (Pop Edition!)

As many of you know, I’m a big fan of “shreds” videos. A well done shreds video totally cracks me up. The best clips are musically accurate enough to be recognizable, with the right amount of horrible playing/singing to make you laugh. The last time I wrote about shreds, I focused on heavy metal acts like Metallica and Ozzy Osbourne. The genre lends itself  marvelously to shreds; it’s fun to butcher virtuoso guitar playing and bang heavy drums off-rhythm. Today, I give you a trio of my favorite pop music shreds. Today’s lineup is Hall & Oates, Backstreet Boys, and Miley Cyrus.

This live performance of Hall & Oates “Maneater” is a fantastic example of a superior shreds video. The composer did an exemplary job of mixing different musical instruments and vocals, syncing them perfectly with the performance. Small touches, like the hollow sound that occurs when Hall hits the microphone stand, really help bring this video to life. Plus, John Oates is just a funny looking dude. It’s a scientific fact that videos that feature a white man with an afro and a pr0n-stache are exponentially funnier than ones without a white man with an afro and a pr0n-stache.

This clip of the Backstreet Boys singing “I Want it That Way” shows that a capella shreds can work too. It helps that it was performed on Oprah, as cutaways to the live crowd and Ms. Winfrey herself lead to some funny moments. The ridiculous faces made by the Backstreet Boys are even funnier. Lastly, middle-aged men singing a boy band song is always a good laugh. On a technical level, the composer did a great job crafting horrid harmonies.

Last, but not least, is Miley Cyrus performing “Wrecking Ball” on Ellen. Similar to the Backstreet Boys performance, the talk-show setting helps. Miley’s edge is that she’s singing a ridiculously dramatic song; a rich white girl whining about problems just begs to be made fun of. The composer did a fine job with the instruments, particularly the wretched guitar playing. On its own, “Wrecking Ball” is easy enough to laugh at. Give it the shreds treatment and the song hits a whole new level of comedy.

Naturally, I want to watch any shreds videos that you recommend. If you come across some great ones, please post them in the comments section.

Vaping Diaries #276: Gmodz Jeff Luciano Interview (Vapecon USA)

Gmodz was showing off some unique and beautiful 26650 mods at Vapecon USA. The Gmodz 26650 is available in a variety of finishes and uses a unique atomizer. The company claims that the Gmodz 26650 is the smallest and lightest 26650 mod on the market. What really caught my eye was the beautiful finishes the company offers. It all starts with a base of 304 stainless steel. After that, the possibilities are endless — 24-karat gold, Tiffany blue, and powder coat paint are available, with brushed, matte, and polished looks. You can even go as far as getting your signature engraved into the mod.

At Vapecon USA I chatted with Gmodz’s Jeff Luciano to learn about the mod, the different finishes, the customer service behind the product, and more. While I didn’t know anything about the company going into the show, I left very impressed by its products and customer service philosophy.

In addition to the Gmodz 26650, the company announced plans for the Gmodz 18650, which will be available with all the custom finishes the company offers. Learn more about the company and see its gorgeous products in the video interview above.

Gmodz 26650 Jeff Luciano interview

Vaping Diaries #275: Craft Vapery on Mike & Dr. Drew

Craft Vapery — in my opinion, the best e-liquid subscription service in the vaping business — made a special guest appearance on the Mike & Dr. Drew podcast. Company co-founders Omri Agam and Joshua Krane did a fantastic job representing the vape industry in a positive way. The two helped explain vaping to a general audience in clear and concise fashion. There are millions of people out there that have no idea what vaping is and many that have been given incorrect information about it. While vape enthusiasts are familiar with the ins and outs of vaping, mainstream outreach is vital for growth of the vaping business. Having great reps like Omri and Josh is an excellent, excellent thing. Through their appearance on the Mike & Dr. Drew podcast, I’m sure that the Craft Vapery guys helped many people find a great way to quit smoking tobacco cigarettes. Well done, gentlemen!

Star Wars: The Force Awakens…George Lucas Special Edition?!?

Most of us have been dazzled by the trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens and were thoroughly entertained by the LEGO version of the trailer, but are you ready for the George Lucas Special Edition? Whether you loved or hated the “enhanced” versions of the original Star Wars trilogy, you definitely need to check out this video. It takes the content of the trailer and (needlessly) adds all sorts of special effects. I’m confident that you’ll get a chuckle out of randomly seeing Jabba the Hutt and the ghost of new Anakin Skywalker pasted into the trailer. Star Wars fanboys that were irritated by the new crossguard lightsaber will go absolutely nuts when they see the double-bladed double-crossguard version of the weapon. Ha!

Check out the clip below and please let me know what you think when you have a moment.

Vaping Diaries #274: Saints Vapor Shane Bell Interview (Vapecon USA)

Whether you call them the seven deadly sins, the capital vices, or the cardinal sins, this group of naughtiness is something most are guilty of every week, if not every day. Gluttony (my personal favorite), greed, wrath, envy, lust, pride, and sloth (my second favorite) are things that all of us should endeavor to avoid. They’re also fantastic names for vaping e-liquids. That’s where Saints Vapor comes in. The SoCal e-liquid company has seven juices named after the seven deadly sins, as well as a standalone flavor called Divinity. At Vapecon USA, I chatted with Saints Vapor co-founder Shane Bell to learn more about his e-liquids.

There are some pretty unique flavors in the Saints Vapor lineup. The three that intrigued me the most were Sloth (raisin red oak), Wrath (horchata), and Greed (pineapple ice cream swirl). While it sounds unusual, I was also curious about Pride (menthol with rose). While I only had a brief taste of Saints Vapor e-liquid, I enjoyed the little bit that I vaped and am looking forward to spending more time with the company’s juices. Check out my Saints Vapor interview above to get an idea of what the company is all about.

Saints Vapor Shane Bell interview

Balotelli Says Mario Jumps Like a Black Man and Grabs Coins Like a Jew

Ah, Twitter…the social media service that gives a voice to millions of people that should be muted and gives athletes a chance to expose their idiocy. One of the latest instances of athlete Twitter fail centers on Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli. One of the most gifted footballers in the world, Mario Balotelli also has a reputation as an extraordinary bonehead. Urging people not to be racist on his Twitter account, Balotelli asked people to be more like Mario from the Super Mario Bros. series. His description of the Nintendo plumber was amazing. Check it out:

Be like Mario, he’s an Italian plumber, created by Japanese people, who speaks English and looks like a Mexican. He jumps like a black man and grabs coins like a Jew.

Mario Balotelli has deleted his arguably racist “Don’t Be Racist” post and issued an apology.

Personally, I don’t think he was trying to offend anyone and believe that he thought his original post was a positive thing. I don’t believe there was anything malicious behind his original post. All of this is, of course, conjecture.

Having said that, it was idiotic of him to make that post. Being an idiot is something that Mario Balotelli has been accused of thousands of times. Famous people that are in the public eye shouldn’t post stupid things that could be construed as racist. It’s just dumb and leads to more trouble than a 140-character post is worth. Hell, people that aren’t the least bit famous have gotten in trouble for posting stupid things on social media. If normals can get in trouble for misguided social media rants then it should abundantly obvious that celebrities need to be extra-careful with what they say on social media.

What do you think of Mario Balotelli’s Twitter adventures? Does he need to hire a social media editor to censor the dumb ideas he wants to share with the world? Or is he getting too much heat for his comments? Share your thoughts in the comments section (please!).

Stephen Colbert Defends the Crossguard Lightsaber (Star Wars)

One of the latest Star Wars controversies, the crossguard lightsaber shown in the teaser trailer for The Force Awakens has sparked a ton of nerd debate. Some fans think that it looks cool and could possibly serve as an excellent defensive tool. Other fans think that a crossguard lightsaber is almost as dumb as Darth Maul’s double-bladed lightsaber and that it has great potential to damage the user. As with so many situations in the world, Stephen Colbert added some much needed wisdom to the discussion.

In a recent episode of The Colbert Report, Colbert talked about his background as a lifelong Star Wars geek and nerdily gave reasons why a crossguard lightsaber makes sense. Check out the video below for a thorough and hilarious explanation.

As much as I admire Colbert and try to model my life after his, I’m not yet sold on his explanation. A certified master bladesmith told The Washington Post why a crossguard lightsaber would be dangerous to the user. While Colbert knows a great many things that cover an astonishing variety of topics, I think I’m going to go with the certified master bladesmith on this one.

Besides, the crossguard lightsaber clip shown in The Force Awakens trailer seemed like it was trying to one-up the first time Darth Maul busted out the double-bladed lightsaber in the first trailer for The Phantom Menace. Eventually, it’s going to lead to stupid things like this: