Before you post that rumor, fact check it first!

land before internet

The land before the internet -Image from natioalgeographic.com

When I was in high school, I was accepted in a laboratory high school. We did a lot of research and self-teaching back then.  There was not much websites that provide useful information to finish my homework and the 56.6Kbps internet sucks! Thus I am a regular of libraries. Digital book catalogue was on it’s infancy stage. It wasn’t as reliable as today. You have to search for the book one by one using catalogue cards.

The library is a very dull and quiet (too quiet) place with only your imagination to distract you. I stay until 8 to 9 PM inside the library researching and reading books when I was in my early teens.

Changmin the librarian

“If he was our librarian, I’d stay all day and night inside the library.”

Now comes the information age. Students today are lucky enough to not stay late at night in libraries but rather sit in front of the screen and type away whatever topic their homework is about while downloading porn on the side.

Changmin the computer whiz

“The other tab is a PRON site!”

 Last year, Lourd de Veyra addressed the issue of youngsters and internet information in his speech at the UP Mass Comm. graduation. A rough translation of an excerpt to his speech goes something like this: “Information is different from knowledge which is intellect and true wisdom” (Iba ang impormasyon sa karunungan — ganap na talino at dunong.) If I put it by his example, Information is just Changmin’s Kakao Account but Knowledge is Shim Changmin himself… including that beautiful and delectable body of his!

Changmin naked in Paradise Ranch

“In short… KNOWLEDGE IS SEXY!”

In spite of having all the tools in the internet, there are still a lot of false information and rumors circulating in social networking sites particularly in FB groups. I left some of these groups because this is were rumors start and the admins of these pages could only do so much. Every screengrab is believed to be true without any citations. Well, let me show you how easy it is to build a believable post.

I’ll start with making a fake news using Chosun Ilbo.

First, I visited Chosun Ilbo’s official English site. Studied the layout and all that jazz.

chosun-inspectelements

Using Photoshop, I copied the site’s layout and put some of my words.

chosunilbo-yunjaeisrealfake

“I feel Yunjae shippers wish this is real!”

Then I inspect Facebook’s layout elements.

fb-inspectelements

For the finale… I typed in some freaking out stat and…

fb-yunjaefake

…VOILA! Post ready to fool anyone in any forum boards or FB page!

In posts like these, doubt is your friend. Before you freak-out and spazz on your local Facebook page… go Sherlock on it first!

shineesherlock

“Curiosity will not kill the cat this time! Plus, the cat won’t be stoned for ignorance.”

Here are some steps of how to confirm if the rumor is true or not:

1. Who is the source?

wiki-tvxq

Did the info come from fan boards? Some other fangirl? Wikipedia? Well, if it came from any of these sources then there is a big chance that the rumor is not true. You can use those sources as leads to the truth but never believe them 100% until you confirm it. Check the citations and visit them yourself. I remember Cassies crying over a troll post that JJ is getting married. Hah! Obviously that rumor is a very, very late April fools prank.

jj

“And a very, very bad joke too.”

 Even if the footnote says the statement came from CJes, there is nothing on the CJes site that claims that rumor. A little common sense wouldn’t hurt too. Use your imagination. If JJ’s gonna get married for real, I think CJes will be the first to hold a press conference for this, and there would be endless selcas of him in a bridal gown tux and so on and so forth.

3. Don’t skim, READ!

Most of us today has a short attention span on posts. We only SEO skim on posts and only see keywords that strikes us. If anything shocks you, try to read it twice or thrice before you react to it… OR if his / her sentence construction is confusing, it wouldn’t hurt to say “I’m sorry, I don’t understand what you are trying to say… what do you mean by ____.” If the user calls you stupid even after an elaborate explanation and apology then that’s their fault. Leave the topic at once!

4. Always take everything with a grain of salt.

If that Yunjae example of mine was pulled out from my site and used by some over-excited fan and post it on forum boards, doubt it! Question what you are reading or else it will crush you! If you start to doubt it, there’s always…

5. GOOGLE!

When it debuted, it was like a mana from heaven of information. Now, I don’t know why and how come people don’t use it even if their smartphones have Android OS installed in it! There are several techniques that Google has for any user to make the search capabilities more efficient. I’ll show you some of the functions of Google that I use most of the time.

– If the info is said to have come from a site, type in the keyword and place SITE:www.websitehere.com at the end.

I’ll use again my fake Yunjae news. The grab said that it came from the English site of Chosun Ilbo. I’ll search for the official Chosun Ilbo URL.

fb-yunjaeconfirmsite

When I press enter, there’s nothing on Yunjae. There… rumor dismissed!

fb-yunjaeconfirmsite02

– If there is a photo from an unknown source, use Google Images.

So~ooo… let’s say I want to know where this photo came from.

fb-imageconfirm

Right-click on your mouse and choose “Copy Image URL” on the option. Then go to http://images.google.com

fb-imageconfirm02

Click the camera thingy on the input box and paste the image URL.

fb-imageconfirm03

When you press enter, Google will show you results of the same image and it will suggest keywords for your future use.

6. Trust only official sites of their label or of the artist

Rule of thumb, if it didn’t come from official sites then it’s not true! I’m not going to list down all the official sites here because that would be tedious. I’ll just cite the most trolled KPop label page on FB!

smtownofficial

“This is the real SME people!”

Your bias’s social networking site account can also be considered official since they type every status themselves.

allrise

“My former bias approves of this username!”

Usually, famous people have more number of Followers than who they are Following.

7. Don’t Shoot Anonymous

CUE SOUNDTRACK!

Once there was a sportswriter who noticed a regular troll in every article he published online. When he couldn’t take it anymore, using his journalism skills he searched who this troll is, found his address and paid him a visit to his house. He didn’t expect that the troll on the other side of the monitor is a kind and gentle guy who has a soft tone of voice. The writer showed him his soul-crushing comments, the troll realized that those were harsh, he didn’t know what’s going on his mind when he was typing those harsh comments. He apologized to the author after. The author now realized the power of anonimity. A person who talks using a keyboard is more likely to have more courage because that person knows that he is safe behind the monitor. What every person doesn’t know is what happens on the other side.

yunho-computer

“Behind that butt-hurt comment when you bashed his pimples / prick marks in his latest airport photo is him posing as a fan!”

From the story I’ve told earlier, the troll was able to say those hurtful comments because he was shocked! Before you call that person stupid or type STFU, ask that person why he/she thinks that way. In international forum boards, English is widely used. From experience, English is a very tricky language and negative adjectives should be used with discretion. When I post something negative about my bias, even if I took extra care of my word selection, I still get attacked. When I check my troller’s info, I often see that they are several years younger than our family’s maknae. If I meet these kids in real life, will they scream at me STFU unnie or F*ck your stupidity unnie? I’m Asian, I came from a conservative family and I’m very sensitive with honorifics. Be careful who you call with those derogatory words because you wouldn’t know if they’re the same age as your mom and for those who love to post sexual innuendos or a photo of your bias’s crotch bulge IN PUBLIC AND OPEN PAGES be mindful that there are minors who are members of that group. Place a label or disclaimer about the post or do it in your own page and set that post on ‘custom.’ (Custom setting is friend… hehehehe~)

Be sensitive netizens and those rumors… don’t worry about them. Your bias can take care of himself, they’ve signed-up for this because they can handle what’s coming to them. To be honest, only us fans are the only people who get hurt by rumors about them. Remember also that your idol is only human, he eats, sleeps, poops, and occasionally grows some baddies on his skin. They are not gods, even if their band name has the word “GODS” in it!

With that… I give you…

Listen closely to what this song say about rumors.

HORY MOTHER FATHER! What did just happen to my AADBSK3 DVD Box Set?!

P4220003

Ahhh~ my All About DBSK 3 DVD box set. The crown jewel of my entire DBSK collection (besides Intermodulation by Jaejoong) This was my first original DVD box set that I’ve ever bought in my entire existence so it holds a special spot in my fangirl heart because it was freakin’ expensive. I covered it with protective plastic cellophane, kept it dust-free and away from sunlight, and even flamed at my dongsaeng for leaving a dent in one of the box’s corner. Ahhh… I love it so~ooo much! I bought the DVD in a Super Junior event way back in 2010. I watched all the DVDs religiously during my Semana Santa break.

Good times, good, good times.

I wanted to relive the precious memories together by watching it two years later.

Then, I saw one of the discs has some funny cloudy marks as if a Poltergeist rubbed it against his two sinister hands!

P4210020

In a fit of panic and paranoia, I checked all the DVD and saw every single disc has the same problem.

6DVD

My face went…

horyshet-spongebob

I don’t know what did just happened. So I went to Google for some leads. There are several theories to why this happened. Although there are no definite answer to this, at least we have an idea.

1. These might be mold that stick on organic materials that are used in plastic production, either from the plastic coating of the disk or the casing.

Here’s a more horrifying close-up of one of the disc:

P4210017

I’m thinking that the white mold came entirely from the disc since the plastic casing has not much mold on it.

P4220021“It forms that confused kaomoji, don’t you think?”

2. The mold might be a metal alloy eating mold that destroys disc data (gasp.) I think not! Because the disc doesn’t have any holes on it.

3. Disc bronzing – due to factory defect. I’ve eliminated the possibility that this is a case of disc bronzing because the material is still a shinning SHIMmering silver spendid with rainbow colors.

What should a Cassie do?

Luckily, I’ve invited a Cassiopeia Philippines admin by the name of Hannah over lunch… yes, those strawberry filled mochi lunch! Nobody knows exactly how that happened. Is there a particular supplier who tried a new organic material way back in 2009? According to the box, the set was manufactured in 2009. All of their discs turned like this. So here’s a temporary solution.

You know that ever so powerful laptop cleaner?

P4220008

You can get those in hardware stores whenever available. I bought mine from Handyman at only P60. The anti-bac properties of the cleaner kills all the mold in the CD surface. Just grab a rug or a cotton ball and wipe the disc with the cleaner. Be careful with the middle plastic ring of the disc because  the liquid goes inside it.

P4220022

I soaked the DVDs for a few minutes before drying it up with a soft paper towel. Make sure the CD is completely dry before you test play it on a DVD player. I don’t have a powerful camera with macro lens, but I called it a temporary solution because the mold patterns are still in the disc. The plastic is translucent enough for it to play.

After drying the discs, I played them on my laptop in my favorite portion of the show.

P4220033“It’s ALIVE!!!”

I did not return the discs in the original casing as Hannah advised, instead I placed them in an alternative DVD container.

P4220035

Some websites say that the best solution is to transfer them in jewel cases, since most jewel cases are made with synthetic materials. I’m about to buy some later.

So? Should Cassiopeia’s be fearful of buying an AADBSK3 box set? The answer is NO! I’m making this post for Cassiopeias that will buy this box set. At least you’ll know what’s in store for you instead of going through panic and rage like I did.

Besides… it will make Yunho cry…

Yunho-Cry

…and Junsu wouldn’t have enough money to buy his next luxury car.

jyjcar

Cassies! DO YOU WANT THAT TO HAPPEN?

P.S. – If anybody know why this happens, please leave a comment in the comments section.

Avoid Overphotoshopping your DP

Since we all have at least one social networking site account, choosing a profile photo became an obsession up to the point of over-photoshopping it. These are some simple tips on using Photoshop for that… uhh~ realistic? Or hassle-free dp.

1. Cropping photos to the required size

Some websites require a minimum photo size for upload. Most people would create a new photoshop document, copy and paste their photo and transform it. It’s a bit more tasking if you ask me. You can just use your crop tool to crop directly to whatever the size you want it to.

 

  1. a. Choose the crop tool from the tool bar.

 

  1. b. At the upper left portion of the screen, enter the size you want it to be.

 

 

  1. c. Select the portion you want to preserve.

 

  1. d. Press enter…

The good thing about this is you don’t have to resize anything or create a new document. You can even choose the framing of the photo properly.

What about those pesky blemishes? We’re not like celebrities who has someone do their hair and makeup everyday?

 

2. Erasing blemishes / eyebags

There are several ways to say goodbye to blemishes in photos. Some would use a Heal Brush or for the experts, use High Pass. The High Pass technique is what some artist do to banish all skin impurities of models if it will be published on a magazine. I no longer work for a magazine so… I just ended up removing my blemishes for my profile photo.

The goal here is to make the manipulation as subtle as possible, not make yourself look like a mannequin (‘cos that would be just freaky!)

Also, if setting up your camera for a portrait shot, it will help if you set it in a low ISO. READ YOUR CAMERA MANUAL and you’ll know how to change it. Some people with high power cameras will compensate the speed-aperture balance by ramping up the ISO, but when doing a portrait, a high ISO can emphasize skin imperfections more. I set up mine to only ISO 100 and let the small aperture preserve some details.

 

  1. a. Choose the Clone Stamp Tool from the toolbar.

The camera wasn’t able to capture small imperfections, now we are just left with a few breakouts and discoloration.

The goal here is make it blend, so we are just setting up the intensity to 18%. You can choose from 15% to 25% depending on how much coverage you want.

 

b. Hover to the next patch of clean skin near the imperfection and click ‘alt’. Then brush it over to your blemishes until it is gone. If you feel that it stick out, you can decrease the intensity and brush on the corners until it blends. You can lessen also the appearance of some lines, but do not erase them completely or else it would look artificial.

Now I just appeared to have applied some powder in my face.

 

How about those AF or MF’s (seriously, if you don’t know what I’m talking about… read your camera manual) that suddenly jolts out of focus or you didn’t work out?

 

3. Sharpening Photos (just barely)

I shot this photo myself and instinctively I would focus on the wall as a point of reference. It turned out okay, but I’m just going to show you how to sharpen photos using Smart Sharpen.

LENS BLUR MODE

This is most effective for out of focus photos.

 

a. Choose Smart Shapen from the Filters menu. 

 

b. Adjust amount and radius as desired. The thing with the radius field is if you apply too much or make the sharpening pixels ‘radius’ bigger, it does funny thing in your photo. What I usually do is adjust the amount and leave the radius at minimum. 

 

c. From the right is the Sharpened photo while on the left is the before photo. 

We just barely added some detail from the photo. In this way, it won’t look too Photoshopped.

For motion blur, we can apply Smart Sharpen too, but this time we will choose the one for Motion Blurs.

a. Choose Smart Sharpen. 

b. Choose Motion Blur from the three options. Adjust the angle according to which way the blur is. 

As you can see from the comparison, nothing much happened, but some of the vital details are at least a little sharp.

We’ll go a little advanced… like, selecting curved edges.

 

4. Pen Tool

Photoshop’s core lies on how one can paste his photo on another background or another person’s body. On this one, I’m gonna show you how to use pen tool as a substitute for Lasso / Marquee tool.

 

a. Choose Pen Tool from the toolbar. 

Make sure you set the pen tool on path mode only.

 

b. Start Selecting the edges. 

The good thing with Pen Tool is, it does not auto-close when you accidentally clicked the mouse twice. You can shape it in anyway you want it. To shape it further, press on the alt key to define an anchor point (it will turn into a triangle) or press on the ctrl key to move an anchor segment (the cursor will turn into an arrow).

Now we are almost done.

 

c. Right click and select “Make Selection.”

If you want a little blur on the edges, then you can increase the feather.

Then, delete the background.

Now we’re almost done. I’m just gonna select the inner parts of the photos.

Do the same with the insides.

There are also other techniques and software plugins that does all the dirty work for you. But just in case you only have Photoshop, knocking out the background may look awkward on the hair part of the photo… so we’ll cover a little about the smudge tool.

 

5. Smudge Tool

Smudge tool may be not the perfect tool to simulate hair edges, but this works too, especially on minor hair edits. My aim here is to make the photo blend. It may not look accurate but at least convincing.

 

a. Select the smudge tool from the toolbar. 

Set the smudge to minimum.

Use this tool with caution. Because this can ruin your photo if you are not careful. Sure, you can increase the intensity only if you can control it. I increased it later on for big stands.

 

b. Start smearing the edges of the hair. 

Some parts of the hair cannot be repaired by smudge, so I use the thinnest brush and drew some strands on the inside curls. Although if you are working for a magazine, smudging your model’s hair may not be the best practice. There are more comprehensive tutorials on how to properly lift subjects from difficult background using channels.

Set some gaussian blur to make it blend.

I want to change it’s color since ‘yellowish’ is not my thing.

Shot a nice book case, and chose it as my background.

I’m currently listening to a mysterious techno-kinda euro beat jpop right now, so I felt that I should make the entire photo dark.

Here the final edit. I am not going to cover what adjustments I made here, since it’s just levels and some gradient overlays.

There are more better techniques of preserving strands of hair from your photo. One of them is going to the Channel Mode and adjusting from there, but there are better tutorials that covers it well.

Since you know some of the basics…

Enjoy making your own profile photo.