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Los Angeles and Things of Randomness


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Fun time at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show

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The LA Auto show is one of the biggest car shows in LA. Taking place in the Los Angeles Convention Center, this event showcases many of the newest models for cars that will be releasing the upcoming year. Like most car shows, brands will bring all their lines and put them on display in hopes consumers will keep their brand in mine whether they are buying a new car. Whether you are looking for a new car or are a car enthusiast, this is an inexpensive event that is fun for family and friends.

I have been going to the LA Auto show for a few years now and every year I have seen improvements with the design and layout of the show. I enjoy seeing the newest models of cars and every year, there are at least 30 new cars to see that are all loaded up with the latest technology and performance updates.

It seems to me that all the the brands need to find ways to keep people in their sections for as long as they can. So they have created many games and activities for everyone to participate. You will most likely blow through the sections that do not have any activities, especially if it is a car manufacturer you are not especially fond about.

The structure of the LA Auto Show is usually broken up into different sections — economy, luxury, exotic and aftermarket. The platforms for all the cars in the different categories are well organized and makes sure you will be able to see every brand and all their lines.

Interactions at the LA Auto show are increasing more and more each year. In 2014, the event held many customer interactions such as throw paper airplanes through a hoop to win a prize, or win swag from a machine by instagramming pictures. This year is no different with more manufacturers creating more innovative ways to keep you in their booth areas. Here are a list of some of the things I did at the car show.

la car show 3Subaru – VR and green screen – This virtual reality set straps you into a mechanical chair that moves as you view through the VR headset. The experience is to make you feel as if you are actually in the car. The content showcases the new sensors and safety controls that are loaded up in the newest Subaru cars. After the little demonstration, it kicks off to a action video where you are sitting next to a professional drifter riding through a race track.

Next to the virtual reality booth is a green screen where you can take pictures with your family or friends. After you take a picture, you can modify what background you want and let your creativity go wild by putting silly stickers on the photograph.

Scion – autograph signing – This year, Scion is having a lot of different celebrities come in for autograph signings from special guests, Robert Kirkman, Andrew Reynolds, Steve Aoki and Eddie huang.

Toyota – I did not stay at Toyota for a long time but they had announcers who were preparing giveaways to audience members if they answer short questions.

Kia – Hamster – Kia had a booth where you can take a picture with their hamster mascot.

Ford – Spinning Chairs – These spinning chairs at Ford were bolted to the ground and let you spin as fast as you can. It is a fun little break if you have been walking around for some time.

Random games – There are random little arcade style games around the the booths such as car parking simulators, auto racing cars, and reflex games.

Test driving cars – You can test drive as many of the latest model cars as you can where the course is driving around streets of the convention center. Some of the brands will give you a free gift for test driving such as battery power banks. Unfortunately, I do not think you can test drive any manual transmission cars.

Sitting in cars and photographs – This is a given but sitting in the cars and taking pictures of all the latest cars is one of the most entertaining things to do at the show. You can sit and feel the comfort of your dream car and take as many pictures as you want in the well lit show casings of all the cars. If you are looking for a new car, this also a quick and efficient way to get a good feel of as many cars as you can without having to drive from dealer to dealer.la car show

Overall, the LA Auto Show is worth going to at least once in your life. It is only here once a year and for $15, you can see and test drive all the newest cars, and see all the latest technologies car companies have loaded up their vehicles with. You can also get a free voucher at participating local dealerships. Just ask for a voucher and you can get a buy one get one free deal for the convention center.

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Getting through your Daily Commute

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Long, boring commutes. This is one of the ongoing problems for many of those who live in densely populated, urban areas such as Los Angeles. Many of us sit in the the car and accept that the ride is boring but those who are willing to maximize their time will take advantage of listening to podcasts during these long commutes. Podcasts are a great way to stay productive when all you can do is stare at the road until you get home.

You can listen to podcasts from your smartphone, iPod and any mobile device that you have. Even though I’m an Android user, I choose to use the Podcast app that comes with the iPod’s and set it to automatically download new episodes every morning. There are no advertisements and it works seamlessly. For Android podcast apps, the highest rated app is called Pocket Cast. I have not personally used it yet but it has all the mainstream podcasts that you can find. This app is not free but it is relatively inexpensive at $3.99 for a plethora of content. If you do not want to dish out any money for a podcast app, there is an Android alternative called Podcast Addict. It is free to use and has most of the popular podcasts. The only downside is this app has a lot of advertisements but you can remove these by paying the premium.

Once you have found your favorite Podcast App, you can now begin your productive journey in those long commutes to and from work or school.There are many different topics and categories of podcasts to choose from. You can listen to entertainment, education, business and pretty much anything you can imagine. I personally listen to a lot of finance and business podcasts during my hour long commutes but everyone has their own preferences. Here are my current favorites, in no particular order.

  • Planet Money is probably the most famous one in this list. Being one of the many shows on NPR, this podcast takes different topics and breaks it down from an economic point of view. Almost every episode is worth listening and lets you see different points of views on subjects that you may not have thought of.
  • The Start Up Chat with Steli and Hiten is a new podcast debuting in the middle of 2015 and features two Silicon Valley veterans who decided to make a podcast. Steli and Hiten are very knowledgeable in the processes of how startups work. The ups, the downs, they have been through it all as they are founders of their own start-ups. Many of their episodes will teach you an issue startups face and how to deal with them. At the end of the podcast, they will advise you one or two action items to do for your own companies.I personally think that a lot of the topics they discuss provide a lot of insight and can be applied to everyday life in how to improve productivity and efficiency in your life.
  • APM: Marketplace deals with a lot of recent events regarding business, stocks and finance. It sums up what happens in a nice 20 minute segment for those who want to know what is happening in the news but are short on time.
  • APM: Marketplace Tech is similar to APM: Marketplace but is much shorter and deals with recent events regarding tech companies. Many of the companies they talk about can range from up and coming start-up companies to large corporations like Apple and Samsung.
  • What’s Tech takes technology and explains them in clear, detailed fashion. Whether it be a product, concept, or recent theory in technology, What’s Tech keeps it fun to listen as well as informative.

My commutes range from 35 minutes to an hour each way so I usually keep in line enough podcasts everyday to power through the drive. I enjoy listening to music on my commutes as well, but sometimes you need to change things up a bit. You can learn so much through podcasts and I feel it should be something more people should take advantage of. It is free and there is really nothing to lose from doing it.