Saturday 30 March 2013

Food: The Search For Great Curry -- Part 1 @ San Lung

Curry chicken chop with rice
Image from Locky's English Playground
After writing about my Food: The Search For Great Hong Kong-style French Toast series (see Resources below), I have been searching for my next favourite food search. One day, I wanted to have curry for dinner, and I said to myself, "Let there be curry", and there it was. I found myself at San Lung, a Chinese noodle / curry restaurant in Mongkok. Since I had only 20 minutes for dinner, I needed something quick, and because most curry dishes are ready-to-serve in Hong Kong, this place might just be the perfect place...

Image from smallcatbb
... and so I thought.

I ordered curry chicken chop with rice and it was soon delivered. First look though, wasn't very appetising.

Curry chicken chop with rice
Image from Locky's English Playground
In terms of look, I am not going to say what I think it looks like, but the colour is close to dark brown. The curry had particles of red and black, which I'm guessing is the chilli powder, ground pepper, ground star anise, and some unidentifiable leaves of herb which did not seem to be adding any special taste to the curry. 

The taste of the curry? Hot, plainly hot, other than the fact that there were many herbs I could identify, they never seemed to match. It's not Hong Kong curry, not Japanese, not Indian, not Pakistani, not know where!!! It was like pouring everything into a grinder and then the cooking pot and then to the table without actual cooking! No, without even testing before rolling it out! What are the boss and the chef thinking?

As for the other stuff in the dish (I use "stuff" for a reason), the potato tasted normal, the chicken chop was tastelessly partly hot and partly cold, which means that the chicken was not cooked with the hot curry, and the curry was poured onto the cold, pre-cooked chicken chop without prior reheating.

Overall, it's not disgusting, but it is just edible. Did I get a stomach ache? No. Will I return for more? I don't think so.

You can't always get what you want, right? Better luck next time, I hope.

Look:            ☆☆☆☆☆ 0/5
Taste:            ★☆☆☆☆ 1/5
Smell:            ☆☆☆☆☆ 0/5
Textures:       ★★☆☆☆ 2/5
Temperature: ★★★☆☆ 3/5
Overall:         ★☆☆☆☆ 6/25

PS: I have added the Scores to the Hong Kong-style French toasts series, do go and check it out once more!

appetising -- (adj)  (UK usually appetising) describes food or smells that make you want to eat:
grind -- (vb)[T] (groundgroundto make something into small pieces or a powder by pressing between hard surfaces:
roll (sth) out -- phrasal verb to make a new product, service, or system available for the first time:
edible -- (adj) suitable or safe for eating:

San Lung - Hong Kong Style Noodles/Rice Noodles Tea Restaurant in Mong Kok - Hong Kong Restaurants Guide HK Restaurant @ OpenRice in English

Food: The Search For Great Hong Kong-style French Toast -- Part 1 @ Locky's English Playground

Food: The Search For Great Hong Kong-style French Toast -- Part 2 @ Locky's English Playground

Food: The Search For Great Hong Kong-style French Toast -- Part 3 @ Locky's English Playground

Food: The Search For Great Hong Kong-style French Toast -- Part 4 @ Locky's English Playground

Medical & Healthy and Fitness: Star Anise As A Cure For Flu @ Locky's English Playground

Song & People & TV: You Can't Always Get What You Want -- Band from TV & The Rolling Stone @ Locky's English Playground

Wednesday 27 March 2013

Learning Method: Learning English From Sport Blogs and News

Jeremy Lin (left) and Kevin McHale (right)
Image from Houston Rockets/Facebook

I have always talked about the importance of reading, especially in helping us learn new words, expressions and idioms. With that said, Hongkong English learners are often reluctant to read anything related to sports, unless they are real sport fans of course. Some say they are not interested in sports, other doubt the usefulness of reading sport news; however, this is not a good mindset and I hope that I can break you free from it.

As starters, we can simply read the titles of the sport news to learn words.

The first article titled Jeremy Lin shackling hurts the Rockets: Almost treated with Tim Tebow disdain already gives us 2 words to learn. From the vocabulary section below we can tell that the actual meaning of the title is "Preventing Jeremy Lin from playing is hurting the Rockets (basketball team) and he is being treated with the type of disrespect that Tim Tebow has suffered".

Sergio Aguero, shown celebrating after scoring for Atletico Madrid against
Real Madrid in 2011, could be returning to the Spanish capital - in a white shirt
Image from Dani Pozo/Getty Images, caption from ESPN
In the second news, Real Madrid eye move for neighbour's ex, the word "eye" is a verb, not a noun, meaning "interest in"; a "move" means "signing a player", and "neighbour's ex" refers to the ex-player of Athletico Madrid which is Madrid's other big club.

Combining all that information, the title means Real Madrid is interested in signing an ex-player of Athletic Madrid.

As you can see, even if you are not planning to go deep into the story, there is already quite a bit you can pick out and learn.

Then of course, reading the articles definitely benefits us much more!

Image from Houston Culturemap
"languish" means to leave Jeremy Lin is left on the bench and seldom get to play.
Image from Houston Culturemap
"lack of touches" means lack of match practice. A "novelty act" is an artistic performer.

Image from  ESPN
"be under a cloud" refers to the fact that Balotelli has lost popularity at Inter Milan, especially after he has thrown the club's jersey to the ground.

And there are many many more, so you see, you don't have to be a fan to find a good reason to read sports news.

break sth/ sb free from sth -- to force something to detach from something; to get something out of the hold of something else
shackle --  (vb)[I] If you are shackled by something, it prevents you from doing what you want to do:
disdain -- (n)[U] formal the feeling of not liking someone or something and thinking that they do not deserve your interest or respect:
eye -- (vb)[T] (present tense eyeing or eyingpast tense and past participle eyed) to look at someone or something with interest:
languish -- (vb)[I] to exist in an unpleasant or unwanted situation, often for a long time:
novelty act -- (n)[C] A artistic performer with an act that is strongly linked to some particular gimmick that makes it stand out from the crowd, even though it has little intrinsic value, and is therefore likely to wear out its audience quickly
be under a cloud -- to not be trusted or popular because people think you have done something bad:

Jeremy Lin shackling hurts the Rockets: Almost treated with Tim Tebow disdain @ Houston Culturemap

Real Madrid eye move for neighbour's ex @ ESPN

Balotelli: Italy increased my popularity @ ESPN

Monday 25 March 2013

News, Science & Idioms: What Is A Sinkhole?

In the spring of 1981, a woman's house and part of a car dealership were swallowed by a sinkhole in Winter Park, Fla
Image from AP, caption by WWNO
Not easy to find a topic that interests me these days. Have been trying very hard the whole week and finally got one -- Sinkhole.

What is a sinkhole? According to Wikipedia's definition,

A sinkhole, also known as a sink, snake hole, swallow hole, swallet, or doline, is a natural depression or hole in the Earth's surface caused by karst processes—for example, the chemical dissolution of carbonate rocks or suffosion processes in sandstone. 

But there are exceptions, like the one mentioned in the following video.

The power of Mother Nature is known to be explosive (volcanoes), earth-shaking (earthquakes), stormy (typhoons / hurricanes, tornadoes, snow storms) and wave-crushing (tsunamis), yet hollowing (sinkholes) is seldom mentioned. It could be the fact that the number of casualty is usually much smaller in the case of a sinkhole, but that doesn't mean sinkholes don't kill.

In fact, sinkholes are the silent killers and there is almost nothing anyone can do to predict their appearances, and in terms of spread, sinkholes are found worldwide, unlike the other destructive forces mentioned above. Check out the following videos for the May 2010 Guatemala Sinkhole and February 2013 in Guangzhou, China.

100-foot deep, 66-foot wide -- "The Guatemala Sinkhole"
Image from Discovery News
A sinkhole can be a silent serial killer, but it can also be a fun tourist agent too!

How's that possible? Well, they are adventurers and divers' paradise, that's how! Here are some of the famous sinkholes around the world.

The Great Blue Hole, near Belize City, Belize, Central America
Image from Wikipedia
The Great Blue Hole, near Belize City, Belize, Central America -- 124m deep, 300m wide.

Ik-Kil, Municipality of Tinúm, Yucatán, Mexico
Image from blogspot
Ik-Kil, Municipality of Tinúm, Yucatán, Mexico -- 40m deep

Xiaozhai tiankeng , Chongqing, China
Image from chinanavigation
Xiaozhai tiankeng – Chongqing Municipality, China -- 662m deep.

Crveno Jezero (Red Lake), Croatia
Image from Wikipedia
Crveno Jezero (Red Lake), Croatia -- 530m deep.

Dean's Blue Hole, Bahamas
Image from beaches.uptake
Dean's Blue Hole, west of Clarence Town on Long Island, Bahamas -- 203m

Sótano de las Golondrinas (Cave of Swallows), Aquismón, San Luis Potosí, Mexico
Image from
Sótano de las Golondrinas (Cave of Swallows), Aquismón, San Luis Potosí, Mexico -- 372m deep

Sima de las Cotorras, Ocozocoautla, Chiapas, Mexico
Image from 
Sima de las Cotorras, Ocozocoautla, Chiapas, Mexico -- 410m deep

Zacatón,  Tamaulipas, Mexico
Image from geology
Zacatón, Tamaulipas, Mexico -- 319m deep

Kingsley Lake,
Image from gohydrology
Kingsley Lake, Florida, USA. -- 2,000 acres (8.1 km2) in area, 90 ft (27 m) deep

Finally, I'm letting you go with a few idioms with the word "sink" and "hole"

Idioms of "sink"
sink like a stone (also sink like a lead balloon) -- to attract no support, attention, or interest:
eg. John suggested we go hiking last Sunday morning, but that sank like a stone.

sink or swim -- If someone leaves you to sink or swim, they give you no help so that you succeed or fail completely by your own efforts:
eg. You will be no assistance from the sales team, it's sink or swim.

sink without (a) trace informal -- to be forgotten about completely, or to not attract any attention or interest:
eg. Her thoughts about his ex-boyfriend seems to have sunk without a trace after dating this new girl.

Idioms of "hole"
need sth like you need a hole in the head -- humorous to not need or want something at all:
eg. I don't want cheese, I hate cheese! I need cheese like I need a hole in the head!

be in the hole -- US informal to be in debt:
eg. David will so be in the hole after he buys that apartment!

make a hole in sth -- UK to reduce an amount of money by a lot: 
eg. The handbag I bought for my girlfriend had made a hole in my wallet.

sinkhole -- (n)[C]  also known as a sinksnake holeswallow holeswallet, or doline, is a natural depression or hole in the Earth's surface caused by karst processes—for example, the chemical dissolution of carbonate rocks or suffosion processes in sandstone. 


The Abnormally Normal Science Of Sinkholes @ WWNO


Newcastle couple wakes to find sinkhole in yard @ YouTube

New Sinkhole in Florida Town Puts Residents on Edge @ YouTube

Don't Call The Guatemala Sinkhole a Sinkhole @ Discovery News

How Scary Sinkholes Are Formed @ YouTube

Saturday 23 March 2013

Science: How To Remove Mould From Your Beloved Clothes

Aspergillus, a mould commonly found on starchy foods
(such as bread and potatoes), and grow in or on many plants
and trees, often mentioned in House M.D.
Image from Wikipedia

Have you ever woke up on a humid summer day in Hong Kong just to realise that your favourite clothes are covered with moulds? Well, this is what happened to me this morning when I saw my camera luggage bag all covered with horrible mould. I should have taken a photo of it but I didn't remember I could write about it. When I did remember, I have 99% fixed the mould problem, thus I can't exactly show you a photo of a mouldy luggage bag. Then again, as long as a method works perfectly, I guess nothing else matters any more.

mouldy luggage bag
Image from Locky's English Playground
Once-moulded luggage bag, now cleaned
Image from Locky's English Playground
I don't know what kind of materials or why those materials mould much easily than others. My jacket as it happened, was placed  in the same cabinet as the luggage bag and it too was all mouldy, but the my wife's cotton coat right next to it is fine. Strange indeed. The moulds seem to like my stuff more.

Regular bleach
Image from howtocleanstuff

I have tried many different methods: plain water (cannot remove the mould stains), hot water (cannot remove stains), water with bleach (get a little slimy afterwards), concentrated bleach (very slimy), water with detergent (useless), water with Dettol (smells great but cannot remove stains), etc. 

I have failed so many times that I was going to listen to my wife and take my jacket for dry cleaning. Hey! Dry cleaning! Why don't I do it by myself? 

Had I not put my Galaxy S2 into sea water, I wouldn't have thought about using the magic liquid that saved my S2!!!

Meet the Magic Liquid and the lint roller
Image from Locky's English Playground
Yes!!! It's alcohol again! What else? Think about it, what liquid is an organic solvent, kills germs and bacteria, dries up quickly by itself, leaves no trace of smell and removes stains? Alcohol!!! It is one magical potion and I really love it!
Before cleaning with alcohol, tiny bit of mould left
Image from Locky's English Playground
To do the job, it is as simple as getting a piece of cloth, pour some alcohol onto it and start rubbing the mouldy fabric, don't go cheap on the alcohol if you want your clothes to be completely mould-free (it's not like alcohol is expensive anyway).

After cleaning with alcohol
Image from Locky's English Playground
Your cloth will leave some lint on the fabric, so use a lint roller to remove them.

My favourite jacket, almost 100% cleaned and mould-free
Image from Locky's English Playground
And just like that, your clothes will be return to its best look in no time! I'm going to wear this today when I go out! Just to show off a bit!

Have a mould-free weekend!

stain -- (n)[C] a dirty mark on something that is difficult to remove:
dry cleaning -- (n) is any cleaning process for clothing and textiles using a chemical solvent other than water
slimy -- (adj) covered in slime:
trace -- (n)[C or U] a sign that something has happened or existed:
potion -- (n)[C] a liquid that is believed to have a magical effect on someone who drinks it:
lint roller -- (n)[C] or lint remover is a roll of one-sided adhesive paper on a cardboard or plastic barrel that is mounted on a central spindle, with an attached handle.
in no time -- very quickly or very soon:

Aspergillus @ Wikipedia

Technology: My First Galaxy S2 Surgery -- Sea Water Damage S2 Fixed!! @ Locky's English Playground

Dry Cleaning @ Wikipedia

Lint Roller @ Wikipedia

Wednesday 20 March 2013

News & Opinions: S4 and Liver

It is a week that starts with a bang, and I bring to you 2 good and 2 bad news.

The first good news is for gamers. Most people have missed this out on the day of the announcement of the Samsung Galaxy S4, and that is the Samsung gamepad.

The number of games available currently is limited, but EA will add another 16 games to it on the April 26th, including the popular The Sims, Simpsons: Tapped Out, Plants vs. Zombies, Need for Speed: Most Wanted, Monopoly, and Bejeweled Blitz.

That said, it doesn't mean you cannot play other games because since the release of Galaxy S3, all later models work with emulators for say, XBOX, PSP or SNES, so is it necessary to spend that money to buy the gamepad? But, competition wise, Samsung is really coming in strong.

The second news is a magnificent news for the world!
OrganOx Metra
Image from Reuters
A team of British doctors, engineers and surgeons have invented the world's first liver-preservation device which can maintain the donor's liver in good shape outside the human body for 24 hours or more through the blood circulation system of the device.

The traditional "iced" liver method can damage or oxygen-deprive the liver during the freezing process, with this device, livers and patients in the number of thousands can be saved.


Technology: Welcome! Samsung Galaxy S4!! @ Locky's English Playground

Hands On With Samsung Galaxy S4 New Game Arcade At New York Launch Event @ YouTube

PSP Emulator (ppsspp)/Galaxy Note 2 @ YouTube

How Samsung Galaxy S4 Will Compete With Sony PlayStation 4 @ Forbes

Device keeps liver "alive" outside body in medical first @ Reuters

Friday 15 March 2013

Technology: Welcome! Samsung Galaxy S4!!

Samsung Galaxy S 4 is here!
Image from phandroid
Nothing is more important than the announcement of Samsung Galaxy S4 today, so it is definitely getting a post on this English Playground.

Ok, Ok, what's the phone like?

Let's just start with the videos of Jeremy Maxwell!

Now, here's the Samsung UNPACKED 2013 Live if you want to watch it. Please start watching from 0:40:00.

If you simply want to see S4 in a nutshell, here are some of the best hands-on videos on the internet.

So, what do I think about the new Galaxy S4? Here's what I consider as the S4's wows and woes,


The Wows
The 4.99" 16M-color Super AMOLED HD capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels (441ppi) is great! That 441ppi trashes iPad 4's Retina Display 264ppi! 40% clearer than the iPad 4!!! Of course, how much better is 441ppi on AMOLED than 264ppi on an LCD iPhone 5 to the human eye is hard to judge. Let's wait and see.

The Woes

The fact that the phone looks almost identical to the S3 and Note 2 makes me feel most disappointed because I was expecting their flexible OLED screen, but maybe it was just me asking too much, since Samsung has already mentioned that those flexible display phones will be under the name of "YOUM" instead of "Galaxy". Still, looking at the new S4 I can't say I am too happy about the lack of difference.

Image from Corning
It is worth noting that the guys at the Samsung UNPACKED didn't try to chuck the S4 onto the floor, meaning that the toughness of the glass -- Corning Gorilla Glass 3, isn't one of the real selling point of the S4, unlike the Sony Xperia Z which is kind of "unbreakable".


The Wows
People don't coin Samsung as "The New Apple" for nothing. Ever since the Galaxy Note 1, the world has started to see the creative drive in the company, the potential innovation eruption that would one day occur in front of everyone's eye, and then it really happened when Samsung Galaxy S3 came out, shaking the world with its Smart Stay (keep the screen on while looking at it), swipe screen to capture photos, a dozen of gesture functions.

This time, they have up the ante and continue to shocked me with dozens of innovative features and I must agree that Samsung really observes, listens and answers to the needs of the users.
S Translator
Image from mshcdn
I love the S Translator, it seems very fast and much more spontaneous than Google Translate, and you do need that when you are really travelling to a foreign country and need to ask for directions because the person being asked will not want to wait too long to help you.

The Woes
Toggles features on Android 4.2.2
Image from
No big changes with Touchwiz, but seems like you can get the Android 4.2.2 Toggles if you want through the settings.


The Wows
Not the first phone to have 13 MP back-facing camera (Sony Xperia Z has 13.1 MP) but definitely a strong upgrade from 8MP.

Image from tweaktown
Perhaps the Dual Camera mode isn't too amazing for some because there are apps out there which can do the same, but I like that to be integrated into the phone as a stock camera function, it just frees you from open one app after another just to take one simple photo.

Image from androidspin

Drama Shot allows its users to to take more than 100 shots in 4 seconds then compressing that into one single photo, simple yet brilliant idea!

Image from androidspin
The Eraser function is awesome! The camera takes 5 consecutive photos and allow you to remove moving or unwanted objects of your choice to form the best photo you want. My minor concern is just that, is 5 consecutive shots enough?

I'm not too keen on the Sound & Shot feature though, because if you want to remember what you have said when you are taking a photo, why not just take a video?

The Woes
Image from Google
Not sure if this is a woe or not, but Samsung seems to have missed out on Photosphere, an Android 4.1.2 and 4.2 experience which allows its users to take 360 degree sphere photos. I have heard that Google has recently disabled this feature on 4.2.2 because they want to make this solely available for the LG Nexus 4. I hope that the S4 also gets it. With 8-core processor, the rendering can be done in a much shorter time.

I would be very happy if Samsung can offer Video Stabilization (VS) because this feature have really stunned me when I first heard it from Adobe Premiere Pro CS6. Soon after that, YouTube has also added its own video stabilization function, but that only works with uploaded video. So, how about the on-the-phone videos? If VS can be added, that would be awesome! FYI, Sony Xperia Z claims to have this function.

The Hype

The Wows
I really like the setting up of Jeremy Maxwell and the two videos of him. It's cute, it's fun, makes me want to know what will happen after the two episodes. I enjoy the drama show in the Samsung UNPACKED 2013, pretty clever and refreshing way of introducing new products.

The Woes
Why on earth did Jeremy not get anything to say when he took the phone out? He should be the kid to tell us something about the new phone, not the Korean chairman!! All that hype built up resulted in nothing!!! What a bummer!!! In the end, Jeremy ended up just being an actor/tap dancer in drama skits. Don't get me wrong, he's a great tap dancer! But he should play an even more important role! Let the kid speak!!!

The Good News
Samsung S Health
Image from webnews
Looking at the features that comes with the S4, I have to say that it won't be too difficult for the developers to port the OS onto other Samsung phones. Definitely, even for the powerful Note 2, the absence of the temperature and humidity sensors from all earlier Samsung smartphones means that none of them can enjoy the full functionalities of the S4, but other than that, all other features should be "port-capable".

S Health
Image from gigaom2
Thus, it is just a matter of time before the developers transfer all these amazing features to your S2, S3 and Note 2. They have done that before, so they will do it again.

in a nutshell -- using as few words as possible
wows and woes -- the surprises and the disappointments
up the ante -- If you up the ante, you increase your demands or the risks in a situation in order to achieve a better result:
bummer -- (n)[S] offensive something that is very annoying or not convenient:

[Samsung UNPACKED] Be ready 4 The Next Galaxy @ YouTube

[Samsung UNPACKED] Be ready 4 The Next Galaxy (Part 2)  @ YouTube

Samsung Galaxy S4 hands-on @ YouTube

Galaxy S4 hands-on demo @ YouTube

Samsung Galaxy S4 hands-on: First look @ GSMArena

Samsung Galaxy S4 VS Sony Xperia Z @ GSMArena

Photography: Sport Video Capturing (feat. Adobe Premiere Pro CS6) @ Locky's English Playground

Thursday 14 March 2013

Animals & News: 5 Species Of Sharks Are Safe... For Now

Great Hammerhead Shark
Image from Google

A grand victory to the sharks and manta rays this time round!!! Congratulations to the oceanic whitetip; porbeagle, scalloped hammerhead, great hammerhead and smooth hammerhead! Your chances of survival have just been drastically increased! Thank you so much to the people who have been working so hard to get them on CITES' protection lists. All humans owe you a favour.

A mature male porbeagle
Image from Canadian Shark Research lab

The only concern now is whether the fishermen will actually obey to the law and stop fishing the sharks and manta rays on the list. Illegal hunting happens everywhere around the world, and when the hunted sharks are finned, it is almost impossible for amateurs to tell whether the fins are from a shark on the protection list or not.

Fingers crossed, let's hope that I am simply worrying too much.

Let's hope that the demand is really down in China.

bb Sharky X Earth Hour 2013
Image from Locky's English Playground
In order to celebrate this victory and promote the upcoming Earth Hour 2013, I have created my very first animated gif of bb Sharky, you are welcome to download this and share it with your friends. You can also see this logo on our English Playground's title banner. See if bb Sharky blinks one eye to you.

To keep doing my part of the sharks, I will create more bb Sharky logos when I have time.

keep one's fingers crossed (for someone or something) and cross one's fingers -- to wish for luck for someone or something, sometimes by actually crossing one's fingers; to hope for a good outcome for someone or something.
blink -- (vb) [I or T] When you blink, you close and then open your eyes quickly once or several times, and when an eye blinks, it does this 

Message: New bb Sharky Icon and Page Added @ Locky's English Playground

Animals: Doing My Part For The Sharks @ Locky's English Playground

Good News on the Shark Front @ NY Times

Shark Species Head for Protected List @  Voice of America

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora

Tuesday 12 March 2013

Event: Earth Hour 2013

Image from Earth Hour
Yes! It's that time of the year again, when everyone should join hand-in-hand to fight global warming and send this message to the world simply by switching off all the lights and unused electrical appliances.

Locky's English Playground has played a part in education since 2009 and it has not missed a single year in spreading the importance of protecting our planet.

Like every year, I hope that parents can educate their children and children can too educate their parents.

It is THE biggest world event and we should all share the joy of the celebration.

Image from Earth Hour
Let's continue to make our world a better place to live.

Earth Hour

Environment: Earth Hour 2009 @ Locky's English Playground

Environment: Earth Hour 2010 @ Locky's English Playground

Environment: Earth Hour 2010 (add-ons) @ Locky's English Playground

Environment: Earth Hour 2010 Reminder @ Locky's English Playground

Environment: Earth Hour 2011 @ Locky's English Playground

Event: Earth Hour 2012 @ Locky's English Playground

Friday 8 March 2013

Technology & News: Free Apps To Recommend Part 6

Time for another round of great apps recommendation. This time, all apps are produced by XDA-developers themselves.

One of the coolest apps is Panoramic Screen by XDA Senior Member exisapps. This totally awesome app allows you to turn any 2D images into 3D panoramic live wallpapers. It offers a wide range of customisations for you to fit the particular 2D image of your choice. Check out the video below and you'll know what this app can do.

If you are a fan of Facebook but you find that the original Facebook app lack functionalities and speed which you want, then you can give this Atrium for an Alternate Facebook Experience a go. Developed by XDA Forum Member radiantbits, Atrium for an Alternate Facebook Experience

Images from XDA-developers
Images from XDA-developers
Images from XDA-developers

If you are looking for more than just controlling Facebook, you can try Social Network OverView for Facebook, Twitter,Google+, Instagram, RSS-Feeds, developed by XDA Senior Member MOST2K2. It does make communications easier, though it will be at the expense of viewing less graphics.

Images from XDA-developers
Images from XDA-developers

If you are looking for a floating video app, then Popcorn Player by XDA Forum Member twondcc is one of the best out there.
Image from XDA
It is similar to the Super Video, Floating & Popup I have recommended in Technology: Turning your Galaxy S2 to Galaxy S2.5!!! but better than it in the sense you can download YouTube videos with it!

Last but not least, XDA Forum Member PariDevelopers created an app called GeoTask which serves as a location-based task list. All you have to do is to add your tasks like all other To-Do apps, then add the location of the venues at which your tasks have to be accomplished, and then the app will remind you when you are within the alert range of the venues.

Image from XDA
Image from XDA
Image from XDA

With this app, you will not forget to handle your tasks and only remember it when you get home. Excellent app for absent-minded people like me.

Have a great weekend and have a blast with these cool apps!


Generate Your Own Panoramic Live Wallpaper @ XDA-developers

Panoramic Screen @ YouTube

Atrium for an Alternate Facebook Experience @ XDA-developers

All Your Social Networking in SNOView @ XDA-developers

Technology: Turning your Galaxy S2 to Galaxy S2.5!!! @ Locky's English Playground

Enjoy Your Videos on Top of Other Apps with Popcorn Player @ XDA-developers

Location-Based Reminders from GeoTask @  XDA-developers