What’s VPN? How to Protect Online Awkwardness with ExpressVPN

VPN

Every now and then, there comes a time when it’s time to take action. The revelations of Snowden are well known throughout the world. But for many of us it didn’t really change anything. And I think one of the biggest problems is that simply people don’t know where to start in order to take action with online privacy, protection of identity and all that. However it turns out that this was not quite true as according to some online statistics nearly half of internet users are using VPNs! Now that’s a bold statement to which I approach in doubt, but it is for certain that VPN use has sky rocketed and in popular use throughout the world. But how can it prevent awkwardness and what’s the point anyway?

This is of course talking from the perspective of already finding out what it is — and why probably all of us should be using one. So let me back up a little bit and help to introduce this by answering the question of what is really is.

My friend has asked:

I’ve heard about being connected to a VPN on your computer. What does it mean?

My (now) educated answer:

VPN which means Virtual Private Network is a method, by which you form a protected connection between two closed networks, over the the public network.

Let me explain further. If for example, a company has two offices, one in Chicago and the other in New York, the networks between the two loaves are connected with a VPN. In this way, the network is shared and looks like as one single network despite being connected from either of the office locations.

Also those who are working outside of the office, can use a VPN connection to securely join the inside network of the company. The user opens up a VPN client on their laptop, which takes a connection to the designated server and identifies itself with a login name and password.

This kind of VPN technology however, has numerous other uses beyond just a secure online working environment. Especially since the connection is always secured, by using different secure protocols of which the most popular is known as OpenVPN.

Modern day VPN services make anonymity possible on the internet, during a time when (as Snowden has proclaimed) government surveillance and security threats are only increasing. With a service, instead of your office, the connection is routed through a server so that your internet service provider (ISP) for example, cannot track your online activity. Thanks to the protection, the true IP address is hidden from everyone except the VPN server itself. Effectively securing your ass of course!

My journey with online privacy started with a quality service known as “ExpressVPN”. They provide easy to use services for us non-tech-savvy people, but most importantly they are fighting a good fight to make the internet a private place for limitless exploration. If you are interested in having a go, you can get a discount and months free worth of promo-goodness — just check out the expressvpn discount coupon offer for more information. They will return your money within a month if you decide that VPN is not a thing for you, however if you care about putting your vote out there that online data should be kept to yourself only and not shared with governments, then you can’t say no.

Benefits of VPN

  • privacy protection
  • security
  • anonymity
  • access to restricted sites
  • better connectivity

One of the interesting benefits is the possibility to route your traffic through pretty much any country in the world. In this way you can circumvent online country restrictions. So let’s say for example in countries where Facebook or other such social media services are banned, these websites can be accessed by first connecting to a VPN server that is located in a country where such blocking doesn’t take place. In other words, you can “cheat” your location to seem as something else. In practice the traffic will be routed through the location.

And in the US for example, if you go outside the country.. some services like for example video streaming, netflix and others will stop working. So what you can do is to “fake” your location as you were inside the states to access these services. And there is nothing that they can do about it of course.

I hope I have managed to cover the essential on this topic, but it really blew me away that such a simple (and affordable) technology could give so much possibilities. Try out the discounted ExpressVPN coupon code promotion linked above and you’ll be on your way sooner than you realize. Good luck!

Fantastic Kung Fu Show: Should be Made Into a Movie

The Legend of Kung Fu Show

Kung Fu Show at Red Theatre is among the most famous art shows in Beijing, China. This martial arts show is very famous among the local people of China and at the same time it has been the center of attention for a huge number of international tourists as the show is primarily in English language. Special effects, professional choreography and traditional music are among the other defining features of this show. At the same time, it also incorporates the elements of comedy at the beginning. All these elements have helped to make Kung Fu show at Red Theatre a big hit.

The Legend of Kung Fu Show can be a great source of entertainment and enjoyment for people interested in getting information about the Kung Fu arts and traditional Chinese martial arts. This show also provides certain valuable insights into the historical Chinese culture and the region’s history. The show basically depicts the story of a young passionate boy who is inspired to become master of the Kung Fu art. The Kung Fu show provides a unique mixture of modern theater and conventional martial arts to the viewers, hence acting as a valuable source of learning Chinese culture.

So far mostly limited to those who have the opportunity to visit the capital city of China. Also there have been the lucky occasions when the kung fu troupe has been touring the world. So despite the big success within both a Chinese and foreign crowd, we think that this magical story should be made into a movie so that everyone can experience it. It could be used to introduce Chinese culture to the west in a largely enjoyable format with huge entertainment value. We just wonder, how these kinds of spectacles get unnoticed with producers with supposedly so great ideas. Think about it!

Fun Referral Trick with Friends Website or Blog

Happy Child Using Computer

One fun trick that you can do to your friends is to make them believe that they are getting website visitors from some important persons website. This is nothing nasty of course, it’s just a way to play with your friend and get them excited for nothing. The possibilities are pretty much endless, but we had a good laugh trying this with a few bloggers that we know personally. Of course we told them what was realy going on afterwards to clear out the amusing confusion. Basically everyone has some kind of analytics software running in the background so that you know who is visiting your website and most importantly where they are coming from.

For Google search this statistic is not very accurate because of encryption that they use, which blocks the actual keyword people are using to find your website. Unless the person doing the search doesn’t support encryption for the search, it will show you all the details of the referral keyword. As for other referral origins, you can see pretty clearly where everyone is coming from and entering the blog or website. To change the statistic, we need to Fake Referrer URL and make it exactly what we want.

While there are all kinds of free scripts available, firstly half of them don’t even work. And the other half is just too much of a trouble to set up. For a working method, check out the link above for a detailed step-by-step instruction on how to get things going in no time at all.

It’s possible to use your own custom URL or make it seem liked the referred website is Blogger, DuckDuckGo, Twitter and many others. The possibilities are huge and the setup is reasonably easy. Once you have gone trough the instructions in that link, it’s time to test out what your friend thinks of people coming from a famous movie production website for example. Just hope he doesn’t get too excited as it will be rather awkward when he hears the news. Perhaps their success is further away than they might think it is!

Basically you get your on referral URL, which is used every time to point a click to the website. This is necessary to create the fake statistics for web analytics of the page. As for actually getting those visitors, you can try sharing the URL in social media as well as put it onto websites and blog posts where people might click on the link. If you need any more advice, just ask me and I will be more than a happy bunny to help. Or let us know in the comments of what kind of fun did you have with this fake referral method!

Just Get Horizontal for The Chinese Massage Experience

Authentic Massage Parlor in Beijing

When you travel to the almost movie fictional land of China, it’s a good idea to check out some of the popular massage parlors that are abundant throughout the cities, and even villages of the country. With a two hundred thousand or more year old history, you can be sure that some of the most skillful people are working in this vast industry of scrubbers and pushers. That is, for most commonly the souls of your feet of course.

The numerous amount of massage techniques available in China and many of those advertising “Chinese massage” abroad, are based on Traditional Chinese massage. Often shortened as TCM. A whole school of both medicine and thought on curing just about any illness that exists, even to this day. What’s great for massage in contrary to taking medicine, that it’s not just a healing experience but also a well-being one, giving you an enhanced feeling of bliss. In fact, some of the best massages I have ever had in Beijing are while being in very good physical and mental condition.

Do not be misunderstood however, it’s not a horizontal experience of western likes where you get half undressed and lay down on a table with oils splattered all over you. In China, the effects are meant to be strong and long lasting. Triggering your bodies acupuncture points that are left in the background to work. Sometimes these experiences can even leave you feeling awkward! Because your body is going through a lot of mental, and physical changes. But no worries, as they are all good for you of course.

But finding a good place is not always such an easy task, especially with the other “dark side” of the industry directed by thugs, being very strong in China as well. Especially in big cities like Shanghai and Beijing, you really need to take make sure you don’t end up in the wrong parlor. While the use of the word “spa” is more referred to proper establishments, it’s no guarantee and that’s why it’s better to ask around. I know at least in Beijing, where I have frequently visited, we are lucky to have a place where to get some helpful advice on finding an authentic Beijing Massage which at best is a life changing experience.

The May Tours company also has a wonderful timeline of the history of traditional massage in China as well as a detailed explanation of different techniques used. All the way, starting from the Sui Dynasty in 581-618 A.D, and throughout Tang, Song, Yuan & Ming dynasties the TCM as well as massage was developed to the form that still is relevant in today’s culture. I believe that there is just something fundamental about how our bodies energy system works, which is why changes to the system have not been necessary.

The parlors in Beijing offer anything from full body massage (known as Tui Na), to foot spa and my latest discovery, the herbal foot spa. Even if you are not a faith believer in the healing power, it’s even worth it for the pure pleasure and fun that it brings to your trip. Talking with some of the local expats in the area, seems that going to these places is a common day occurrence and especially blind masseurs are not only good quality, but very inexpensive as well. Back home, I would never dare to go to one of these things as often as I would like. Something you really have to appreciate with any trip to China or it’s capital. As usual my advice would be, to just to forget preconceptions, get horizontal and you’ll love it.

New English Feature Film Idea Thanks to Amazon JP Experience

Konnichiwa Amazon JP

I believe it was the director Tom Gormican, who once said that focus on features enough and you just might end up in Japan. Of course I had no idea what that meant, while I was busy with That Awkward Moment and had no idea what a feature film was anyway. Then years later, I did end up in Japan giving a presentation about making films to a audience that didn’t know much English. Amongst the many, many fun trips I have had. Japan is right there on the golden book of mostly precious and even awkward moments in my life. In some ways, it was the pinnacle of my career which is now nothing but a shadow of the achievements I made back then. In a way that is a really good thing, because at least I can look back and think that those were the days. That’s the whole point of making movies, isn’t it. To which the answer goes – “Oh yeah.” and nothing more.

Sakura was blooming and the fresh spring air was in my head. Moving through the streets, thinking I was something big. Indeed I had finally made it and people were willing to listen to the famous ‘Renan‘ guy which was difficult to pronounce for the Japanese. Probably it had something to do with the fact that l and r are pronounced the same, which is some weird pronunciation I have no idea off up until today. Anyway, Japan is filled with big companies and one of them include the famous Amazon online franchise. This electronic commerce heaven there is simply known as Amazon Japan which came and took the country by storm. Being utterly American as I am, it simply woke up my curiosity. As well as having the huge funding that I did back then, making a huge purchases to my hotel room was definitely not a problem in any way. On the contrary, I felt like I was obligated to spend some because after all that ‘some’ that had been created was largely thanks to me. So I went on my laptop and typed www.amazon.co.jp and was astonished.

Of course my intial response also had something to do with the fact that the site was completely in Japanese. There was a button that said English on the page, but hitting it would do nothing. I thought that this is some kind of a curse for foreigners who want to come to the country to purchase all their wonderful goods. I wouldn’t have any of that and became even more determined to pass through this portal of strange Japanese goods. There must be something very precious hidden inside and that’s why I have difficulties accessing the website was what I thought at the time. But there is was, like a blessing from the sky: “Amazon JP English” it was titled and instructed me to make purchases with Amazon Japan in the most wonderful language of English. Well known amongst the Americans who can hardly speak if of course. Well, after finding the right link I was in and registered to the service. But then, the how to article further even guided me to translate the whole site, including product descriptions. Now this was wonderful and I couldn’t wait to get started before my meetings were due in central Tokyo.

This incident had the resources for another charming comedy as I started ordering anything that looked interesting. From technological gadgets that I had no idea what they did, to comic animation figurines. I ended up with a suitcase filled, of stuff that I was not so sure if I really wanted. It got me thinking about how modern society is filled with mindless consumerism and how Amazon is a huge part of that. Or wait a minute! Perhaps I was one of the very important parts in this puzzle, perhaps I was contributing to the fact that this world was full of useless stuff. Even better, I could make my next movie out of it, in classic comedy style but with a subject that touches us all dearly. It’s that empty feeling inside of us that wants to be filled with goods. Yet no matter how much you fill it with possessions, that feeling never goes away.

So it’s not just the evil construction of society but us who are acting out to a problem with the wrong solution. Which is not a permanent solution at any rate. It is something totally temporary and a loosing battle. This “loosing dilemma” would make a fantastic full length feature film, which of course could be filled with awkward moments. The ideas are just coming in, how I can turn this industry to work for ourselves. Helping ourselves help ourselves. Now that would be a dream and having mindlessly shopped at Amazon in Japan, I have first hand experience. And if it weren’t for the JP Amazon guide in English, I probably would never had this experience.

So whoever you ‘Elf‘ guy are, thanks so much for the brilliant idea!

Awkward regards,
Renan Leggo

Feel Free, Feel Awkward

Call it God

I know it’s a strange theme for a blog. But the movie taught me something precious about life, not just as an actor but a real human being. Can you feel those moments in life, when you have felt hugely embarrassed. Those moments are precious. Especially when they happened to you as a kid. I mean, you could say that a huge amount of people in this world are traumatized because they had so called awkward or bad experiences in their life. Stuff that you just want to forget and eventually end up burring deep in your mind.

Then you become an adult and wonder why you are such a looser. It must have been because you never forgave yourself for the ridiculous thing you did. Or much worse, the shit that others did to you. Either way it doesn’t matter, what matters is that you forgive those people, including yourself. It’s a huge feeling of freedom once you start to understand, such a simple and brilliant code of life. This is not mathematics, it’s just a fact that probably the vast majority of us are crazy. I feel like an onion, trying to peel myself within a horror story. Once all the layers are torn down, all is left is me. But then you realize that me is a word and there’s nothing left. Except something that’s a whole new surprise for you.

Call it enlightenment, call it god. You need to let go of your face to be truly free. And freedom of course is equal to happiness. That much math I will give you guys. I was never good at maths, but I was really good at fucking things up. All the spice of my career, my brilliance and that road or path that I still take every day to become a more free, a more versatile silly human being.

Respect to all of you mother fuckers,
Renan Leggo

Is The Golden Mask Dynasty Going to be a Movie

http://www.goldenmaskdynasty.cn/

Awkward or not, life needs to be lived and experienced. Just like in the movies, like in Hollywood except, for real. A part of that realization, is to make things real. Yeah, not everyone can do these fun things but we need to get together with the folks that have nothing to do with movies in-order to make great movies. So that’s why good friends of mine in China have had a brilliant idea to make the Golden Mask Dynasty Show into a movie. Something that has been running in my mind for a long time now. Naturally, I am taking the opportunity of presenting this idea through Just Get Horizontal, just in-case it will take root.

As has been evident, I am a big fan of theatre and China has been a really refreshing ball game. And not just the awkward way, although those stories do suggest a lot of it. Going to all the amazing spectacles, there have been a handful that I though WOW. Those I have earlier mentioned on the blog, such as the Chaoyang Theater and the Shanghai Circus World venues. While they are stuff that you simply cannot miss on any trip to China, there is more. I have only uncovered a fraction of the vast range of shows that are offered. Not all of them are good but some of them are more than brilliant.

In the case of this golden mask story, I was impressed from the beginning. Without having much of a background for musical it was a totally new experience for me. Just like our movies, they shared common ground. This in itself was one of the most surprising things to me, having never even given thought to something “musical”. So at the end of the day, I ended up driving through the crowded streets of Beijing and managed to find the OCT Theatre. I was just absorbing all the dance, the choreography, stunts, effects and a beautiful story that was situated in an ancient Chinese dynasty.

It all seemed so familiar to me, as well as exotic. What was this feeling inside of me. It was that I wanted to make a movie out of it. Having the perfect story line and atmosphere for the big screen, the challenge was met. How to get the Chinese to collaborate in such a big project. These experiences are just a handful in the history of the Hollywood blockbusters. Perhaps, it was time to try again with something revolutionary.

So all the producers and idea-filled people who are reading this. Go to Beijing for your work trip or whatever. And head to the OCT Theatre venue and tell them: ‘One ticket for the Golden Mask Dynasty Show please”. And if you can make the extra effort, say that in Chinese! 🙂

See you next time awkward friends,
Renan Leggo

Now Showing, Awkward Film!

Film Collection

I could see a whole line of heads rolling as the movie started with a big slip of a banana and head crushed into the pavement. Yes, it was going to be one of those awkward movies, again. As for myself, I couldn’t be more exited. I had gathered a bunch of guys to watch a silly movie with much attention to laugh at my ass. If you know what I mean, probably you are a human being that actually lives on this earth.

But I do understand why some people have had enough and it’s not because of quality, it’s because of quantity. And quantity we have all had enough. Sometimes, it’s just crazy the amount of research you have to do about a movie to decide if it’s worth a watch or not. Where has the movie industry gone to! But there is a problem with the problem. And that is blaming movies that go into a category that have a lot of crap ones in that very category. And one of them is of course, comedy and “awkward stuff” that I love so much. If you just grab the first funny comedy movie from hollywood, you will most likely fail. Great precision and care has to be taken into entertaining your life with this stuff. You need memorable moments, with friends preferably.

If you take your friends to see a bad movie, maybe you will no longer have them in the end. And that would be a much more of an awkward moment than actually watching a film of that genre. Getting horizontal wont probably help you there either, unless the friend in question is female.

So what I am trying to say, that let’s stop naming people, and movies of that matter. Instead, let’s do the research and face the fact that it’s not going to be easy. That’s why we have film critics, of which most are probably not suitable anyway but. You know where I am going with this… to a point that has no end!

Let’s enjoy a good film guys. Once and for all.

Leggo R.

Chaoyang Theater Wins Shanghai VS Beijing Acrobatics

Acrobatic Act at Chaoyang Theater in Beijing

Who gets to go first. Me, me, me! This is what my friend shouted when we standing in front of the bullet train in Shanghai. Pretty much among the same lines as in the acrobatic show queue in Shanghai. Yes, obviously my good friend was very exited to ride one, as they claim that it crossed one of the largest train supported bridges in the world. Anyhow, it was time to say good bye to Shanghai at that time and we were still full of laughs. Always a good way to depart a place so you don’t start feeling sad about it or something. Kind of reminded me of what happened with the Rotten Tomatoes review of “That Awkward Moment”, which didn’t go all that well. But laughs saved us all, and now we look back at it that they did have some truth in it and we learn, and laugh even more.

I kind of was thinking to myself that there could not be any more awkward moments for us during the huge trip in China. But I was once yet again, wrong. This time we wanted to see the Beijing version of Chinese acrobatics known as the famous Chaoyang Theater. After a long and tired trip, we finally arrived to the hotel thinking we cannot make it in time to the show. But yet again, we were wrong as we managed to arrive in time after running around frantically around the Beijing subway system. Even up to this way, I really believe that this tired feeling really added up to the experience. While I was afraid I might fall asleep during the acrobatics, the case seemed to be quite the opposite. Shanghai was amazing in it’s own right, but Beijing still won and we think there is nothing more awesome that we can ever see period. With a little bit of exaggeration added, the show was also in that style where everything was pumped up so that heart beats would go up as well.

This time the stake was high, and the acrobatic feats were so stunning and crazy that we were afraid of their lives. With all respect this time none of the threw anything to the stage, or interrupted the performance in any way. Instead there was a bit of an awkward moment amongst the performers themselves. Yes, it involved balls and lots of hurting. The audience was hurting too, because one skilful guy on the stage had to be carried away for ball recovery. He was making an amazing balancing stunt, where you climb to huge heights with only one arm to use. It’s a bit difficult to explain, but we are still shaking our heads over it. Anyway, this man fell and hit his balls on a metal bar, making a huge sound. We really hope that he was alright afterwards, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he could loose to ability to breed. With all due respect, that was an amazingly amazing show with an even more amazing awkward moment. And for us of course, it made the spectacle even more spectacle-like and special. Beijing definitely won on that one! We are not sure if it’s because of the “little” accident, or just because of the show itself. Probably, a combination of both.

After we thought that we had seen it all, we were taking into a magical world of the silk hanging trick. Beautiful Chinese women and lots of them, hanging from the ceiling and making beautiful choreography. It proved to us, that Chaoyang Theater could manage all aspects of the performing arts very well. Obviously with tens of years of experience as one of the oldest acrobatic troupes in China, I was not that surprised about that. They did an excellent performance, which will carry it’s weight as a treasured memory in my life. Just too bad, that we couldn’t get a picture or video of the beautiful yet awkward moment that I explained.

Chaoyang Theater
36 North East Third Ring Road
Chaoyang District, Beijing

In town? Don’t miss it, we dare you to take the ball challenge! Check out their official site for more information. Btw. we would like to invite Tom Gormican to go to Beijing too.

Treasure Moments of Happy

Treasure Moments of Happy

Happiness is not Formulaic. It’s pulsating, and impossible to predict. Sometimes it may seem cruel, but all that crap that comes with on the road of achieving it, is not that bad. I mean, what is the worst thing that could happen. Yes, there is death but that’s not on the top of your worries is it. Worries are trivial, and I am not saying that people should stop having them. Rather accept them, including the awkward and make fun of yourself for being so useless. Little things are what this world is made of and people are so engaged in putting importance on the crappy moments that one forgets to treasure the happy ones.

Here is the clue, according to Tom Gormican at least. Each moment has to be treasured, because you never know which one of them is going to be the one. Going on with your life, selecting which ones you think are happy and not is going to limit you a lot. Truth is that happiness is something that can always be achieved in greater and funnier ways. That’s why you can never know the limit and why one needs to keep the gate open for the funny monster to come in.

The funny monster is another comedic image of the self image that we have of ourselves. Just think of the name, it’s ridiculous and you should be laughing already! If not, you cannot laugh at your self and miss one of the most amazing treasures in your life. Happiness baby, it’s all that and nothing more. I know you might think I sound like a douchebag but that’s exactly right! We should all become assholes so that we can laugh at each other, and enjoy the bloody time we have that’s limited on this planet.

But there is a flip side. Now that you have stopped worrying about small ridiculous things, such as awkward moments. It’s time to worry about your death! Muhahaha!

Get real,
Renan Leggo