Thursday, December 9, 2010

Antoine Dodson Inception Trailer

I was looking at awesome parodies of the Inception movie trailers on YouTube the other day, like my two favorites so far, Dumb and Dumber and Space Jam.  I thought somebody would have made an Antoine Dodson trailer (the "hide yo kids hide yo wife" guy), but nobody did.  So I grabbed the baton and had at it.   Here's what I came up with:

Go comment on it, like it and let me know what you think.

Also, I'm working on another video, although it won't be out for a few months.  It's a long-term project but it should be worth it when it's done.

I'll try to post more frequently than I have been.  I've been busy with school and the newspaper (which just put out a top 25 albums of the year list, for which I wrote about 1/3 of the descriptions, if you want to see that), so I've neglected the blog.  I'll shoot for at least a post a week from now on, if not more.

The Dandy Warhols best of somehow didn't make the list, go figure.

That's all for now, have a good'ne.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Get Paul Millsap into the NBA All-Star Game

Alright guys, here's the deal: Paul Millsap, who has been a 20-point-9-rebound phenom this year, is not on the All-Star ballot this year when he should be in the game.  I am starting a campaign on Facebook to promote awareness of this cause.  Like the page, and vote for Paul Millsap as your write-in every day until voting closes, and let's try to get him in.


Friday, November 12, 2010

General Update/YouTube VOTW (November 12, 2010)

I know I haven't posted anything in a while.  I've been busy with classes and the newspaper (I'll post those articles on StuffToListenTo) and loafing and music-listening and racketball-playing and blog-not-updating, so I'll try to make up for a bit of lost time here.

So what have I been up to?  On the 28th of October, I saw Tosh.0 star Daniel Tosh perform stand-up at my school, and he was funny like you would expect.  He told some mean jokes that made people feel guilty for laughing, and others that made people puss guilt aside and lose it... so standard Tosh.
There is this girl on campus who looks just like dirty Meredith from The Office, and I finally got a picture of her.  I looked like a definite creep at the dining hall, but a photographer always gets his shot:
It's not a great picture, but you can still see the similarity.
I discovered, a great website for watching essentially whatever TV show or movie you want. I've read that it's not advisable to visit the site on a Windows, as it seems to be crawling with viruses and spyware and other goodies, but being on a Mac, I have yet to experience any problems.  I've watched an average of two episodes of Kenny vs. Spenny per day since I discovered tvshack, and I love it dearly.
It is a great idea to go on eBay, search for "shirt," then go to Men's Clothing/Shirts/T-Shirts and Tank Tops, then sort by Price Low To High (and optionally choose Buy It Now only), or just click here to do all that.  I managed to score this top rate Frosty shirt yesterday:
Only three bucks?  "Happy birthday!"
One more random thing before I get to the video(s) of the week, I was bored yesterday night and just decided to make the following psychedelic image.  Keep in mind that I honestly have never used or seriously considered using drugs and never will: they are a detriment to humankind.  That said, I do enjoy this picture:

The first two videos of the week (more than one to make up for lost time) are a couple of emerging internet memes, which you may have seen, but I've only seen recently, so here they are: "Best Cry Ever" and '"


The final video is more of a "personal childhood meme."  I used to have this on VHS and I would watch it at least once a week.  Presenting part 1 of "Larry Bird: A Basketball Legend"

Monday, October 18, 2010

Two New Maine Campus Articles

Two articles published in today's issue of The Maine Campus:
It seems there are few funnymen challenging comedian Bob Marley for his title of “Maine’s King of Comedy,” and for good reason — Marley is one of the best from any state. He proved that on Saturday night in his side-splitting standup performance at the Collins Center for the Arts, as part of his “Laugh Wicked HAAHD” tour.
 Click here to read about Bob Marley
The majority of Minsky Recital Hall’s 276 seats were occupied Oct. 7 for the Dance Department’s fundraising effort, “Emerging Dance – Minute To Win It.”
“We’ve done this event for years, before [dancer and co-emcee Molly Roberts] and I were even freshmen here,” said dancer and co-emcee Nicole Sanfacon.
Click here to read about the dance show 

Friday, October 15, 2010

YouTube VOTW (October 15, 2010)

You walk, right?
Oh, not you, sorry sir.
As a walker, you know that it's not a very demanding endeavor... unless you do it like the Japanese.  This week's VOTW, featured on Neatorama about a month ago, is from a precision walking competition.  If Japan supposedly has some of the world's most advanced technology, why are they wasting their time with this?  I'll tell you: because it's balls-to-the-wall awesome.
(I also just posted a new CD review on StuffToListenTo, so go have a look.)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Friday, October 8, 2010

YouTube VOTW (October 8, 2010)

How many of you grew up watching the show with talking produce pushing positive values?  If you have, you know that I'm talking about Veggie Tales.  Featuring Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber, this direct-to-VHS series, which eventually starting airing on television, takes up a good portion of my childhood nostalgia.
Thanks to LionsgateMovies, we are able to watch the entire "Jonas: A Veggie Tales Movie" on YouTube! Take 83 minutes out of your day and enjoy.
I am unable to embed the video here, so you'll have to go watch it on YouTube.

Monday, October 4, 2010

My First Newspaper Article

My Neil Young CD review was published in today's issue of The Maine Campus, check it out here.  From now on, I'll post CD reviews in the other blog, StuffToListenTo, so check in on that every now and then (or everyday if you want to, that won't bother me).
Neil Young's "Le Noise," released September 28

Friday, October 1, 2010

YouTube VOTW (October 1, 2010)

Jason Williams, known to relatively new NBA fans as the backup point guard for the Miami Heat and most recently the Orlando Magic.  Whenever I think of him, I see the explosive, flashy young combo of Pete Maravich and AND1 Mixtapes that he was with Sacramento and Memphis.  As Jason matured, so did his game, which meant goodbye to a lot of the flair embedded into his play.
A video editor who goes by Yinka Dare made this highlight reel of him a long time ago: I remember downloading it from Limewire as a much younger kid and watching it over and over on my Windows 98 PC in the basement.  Take a walk down my memory lane in this week's VOTW.
(Observe the sequence at around 1:22, when he embarrases some Heat player, then in another play toasts Gary "The Glove" Payton, one of the finest defenders the league has ever seen.  Also, be careful kids, the song does contain a fair amount of expletives.)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Amazing YouTube Impression Artist Alex Jordan

I found this talented young British gentleman... I forget how I found him, he's been in my browser's bookmarks for a while.  He does dynamite impersonations of Stewie Griffin, Heath Ledger as the Joker, Jack Sparrow, and a host of others (including Orlando Bloom, as you probably see in the video's thumbnail image).  Here is a big sampling of most of his impressions, but browse his channel for longer and better impressions of individual characters.

Monday, September 27, 2010

My Other Blog

Yep, I have two of these bad boys.
Unlike this guy.
This side-venture will probably be a minor affair, just posting reviews when a new album excites me (of if one bothers me), or linking to my work with the school newspaper... oh by the way, I write for the University of Maine school newspaper now, the "Maine Campus."  As far as I know right now, I will be doing CD reviews and write a music column, with the possibility for me to write about sports in the future, we'll see.
Obviously, this means that the frequency of posts on this blog will have to decrease, so expect updates less often, although I will still strive to update a few times a week.  So, I have a small introduction post on the other blog, so you can check that out while waiting for the beginning of my tenure with the new blog and with the school newspaper...
Oh yes, the other blog: check out  As you may have noticed, I'll have a little feed on the upper-right of this page that shows what's happening on that site (and the same thing on the other blog), so you'll know when I do something on either site.  OK, enjoy yourselves, gang.

Friday, September 24, 2010

YouTube VOTW (September 24, 2010)

The Razorwire Maze.  The Reverse Beartrap.  The Deathmask.  The Magnum Eyehole.  The Needle Pit.  Great methods of torture and murder, all spawned from the series of "Saw" movies.  There is one torture so mind-bending, so painful, so unbearable that even the "Saw" makers couldn't conceive it.  It took the twisted mind of YouTube filmmaker Richard Gale and the rest of RichardGaleFilms to come up with it: repeatedly striking the victim with a spoon.

Introducing the video of the week, "The Horribly Slow Murderer with the Extremely Inefficient Weapon."  (Yes, the video is a bit of a long haul, but watching the entire thing is worth it: I did it twice yesterday.)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Katy Perry deemed too hot for Sesame Street

"Sesame Street" has had some insanely notable guest stars, including the Backstreet Boys, Denzel Washington, David Beckham, Alex Trebek, Johnny Cash, Jack Black, Ray Charles, Bill Cosby, Ray Romano, Adam Sandler, and the list goes on. They've also had many bombshells, including Tyra Banks, Jessica Alba, Eva Longoria-Parker, Beyonce, Heidi Klum, and Barbara Bush, all of whom managed to dress decently.
I know, a wasted opportunity to show a picture of Jessica Alba or Eva Longoria-Parker or Heidi Klum, I'm sorry...

There, now I can label this post "basketball." Two birds, one stone.

Then along came Polly Katy Perry and broke the combo. Have a look at this clip of Katy singing a slightly modified version of "Hot N Cold" to Elmo:

After complaints from parents seeing the clip online, it was announced that the song would be cut from the show, but will remain available online.
I don't see what's wrong with it: it'll be a nice flashback for the kids to their breastfeeding days. Who better to serenade my children than a Las Vegas prostitute bride? Then again, if I have kids, what they're watching on TV is among the least prominent of my problems.
All joking aside, her outfit is a bit ridiculous, at least for a kids television show: she ought to have the sense to dress a bit more homely for this type of situation. She's worn less risqué outfits in her often very provocative shows, for goodness sakes:
When I'm getting aroused watching Sesame Street, you know something is wrong. Good move by the Sesame Street people, this isn't kiddy material. It's fit for the streets, but not this one.
One last thing: they couldn't make Elmo's running (during the chorus) look more convincing than that? It looks like he's kicking his feet while sitting in an invisible powerchair (at little or no cost to him).
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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Zdeno Chara-zard

I had been meaning to do this for a while:

Friday, September 17, 2010

YouTube VOTW (September 17, 2010)

Reggae is sweet. Rock is sweet. Rock covers of reggae songs are solid: take this video I recorded at the Eric Clapton concert I went to last year, of Bob Marley's "I Shot The Sheriff", for example. What is also top rate, and maybe even better than rock doing reggae, is reggae doing rock... or in this case, folk. The video of the week is the best reggae cover I have heard yet: Toots and The Maytals with their take of John Denver's "Take Me Home, Country Roads."

Other reggae covers to consider:

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Design Your Own Shirts

I have a hard time finding t-shirts that I like in a store. Most of them have a brand that I don't care for on them, or the design isn't good, or they're too expensive. I love getting random shirts from thrift shops, but when you want something specific, that just won't cut it. So, as others before me have, I wanted to create my own custom shirts.

Yes, "make my own" shirts... in "America"... and pay myself a "reasonable wage"...

With that idea as a launching pad, I found, a great user-powered website with guides to making and modifying all sorts of things: I learned how to make home-made Kit Kats, wooden rings, and 6 ways that baking soda can help me get a date.

That'll impress her.

Thankfully, I also found how to put my own designs on a shirt (or any fabric, for that matter). I started out by drawing using the bleach pen method:

The design on this one is crooked because the shirt is oddly sewn. Yes, I added in the TIME TO PRETEND because I wrote it on the shirt after this picture was taken.

If you want to find something to draw, search Google Images for "[whatever it is you want] coloring page" and you'll get some very drawable images, like this koala. You can do like I do and add your initials or signature near the bottom of the shirt, so people know that it is an original.

Depending on the shirt you use, the bleach may turn the shirt funny colors instead of making it lighter. Sometimes, even if you didn't intend it to be that way, it comes out nicely, like in this shirt, depicting Hokusai's "Great Wave Off Kanagawa."

After bleaching a few shirts, I wanted something different, so I gave painting with stencils a try. This method requires more resources and time, but if done correctly, produces an excellent result. Instructables user bballantine has an excellent guide for stenciling your own shirts. Following her lead, here are the two shirts I made:

If you know your way around a computer well enough, you can give making your own stencils a shot, or search Google for stencils and find some pretty good ones. This stencil was made by me, from a photo I found on flickr.

You can get creative and tie-dye a shirt, or modify it any other way you see fit before stenciling your design on it.

In one case, there was a shirt I really wanted to make, but drawing or stenciling it wouldn't do it justice: it needed to be a large full-resolution image. You can use printer transfer paper, but I don't like how it turns out. So, I made the shirt using, which allows you to make a custom shirt (or many other things) of whatever you want, as long as the image doesn't infringe copyright. The Wikipedia Picture of the Day archive and Wikimedia Commons are great sources for high-resolution pictures, most of which are copyright-free. I usually wait for sales to get a shirt, and ended up getting this one for only $12 or $13 (that's with shipping):

Does this interest you in making your own shirt? Have you already made your own? If you have, I'd love to see it, show me in the comments. A shirt is a form of self-expression, showing the world what you like and through that, what kind of person you are, so be creative, and wear what you really want to wear.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Leon - Original Video

Before my buddy Nathan Lapointe and I left for the University of Southern Maine and the University of Maine, respectively, he wanted to film at least one last video. He had also been wanting me to write him a dramatic monologue, so to murder two birds with a rock, here is the result, a dramatic monologue entitled "Leon," written by me and primarily performed by Nate:

Other videos Nate and I have done together:

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Internet and Music

For my CMJ106 class, "Introduction to Mass Communication," it is a requirement that we post in an online forum at least four times this semester, responding to whatever's up there or sparking a new discussion. Well, somebody started talking about how the Internet has impacted the music industry, and I thought it was a good pool for me to dive into. Here is what I posted, slightly modified for the blog:

The Internet is probably the greatest thing to happen to music. It allows artists to collaborate no matter where they are. It allows audiences to distribute their content to a much broader audience, including those who might be too busy to get their music at a record store. In fact, now-popular alternative rock band My Chemical Romance used MySpace to share their music and gain a wide following, wide enough to make their 2006 album "The Black Parade" sell over one million copies and go Platinum.

Don't worry, I was only pointing out supporting evidence, I don't care for MCR (just enough to know that "MCR" is an accepted abbreviation, that they don more makeup than Heath Ledger, and their singer looks like Jack White's corpse).

I suppose the Internet is bad for music if you are a nostalgist. From what I know, "back in the day," you used to watch television or subscribe to music magazines to hear about whatever albums were coming out, then wait until your local music shop stocked the record. Nowadays, you hear about every sneeze that comes out of Katy Perry's nose at the drop of a hat. Now you can browse iTunes' or Amazon's virtual record stores from the convenience of your armchair, and if something piques your interest, *click*, it's yours.

eBay, $7.48, free shipping, Buy It Now, *click*, mine. Buh-bye world, see you in two weeks (nah, I'm kidding... already have this game).

Most people say this instant access is a good thing (like myself), but the old-schoolers might argue that it takes away from the experience: the anticipation of a record and the journey of going out to a record shop and hoping what you're looking for is still in stock was a wonderful ordeal, days that music enthusiasts looked forward to with wet chops.

While I do agree that the Internet is great for music, it has ruined one part of it that I love: the album. When buying music, how often do you buy an entire album, as opposed to just the single or two that you heard on the radio? My guess is not very. What many casual music listeners fail to realize is that other songs on the record are not always just filler so the performer and record company can milk few extra dollars from your jeans. Singles (the songs that get rotation on VH1 and MTV) are what the record company and the artist think will appeal to the broadest group of people, not they are necessarily the best song. For example, on John Mayer's 2006 "Continuum" album, the songs "Waiting on the World to Change" and "Gravity" were released as singles, while to me, the non-singles "The Heart of Life" and "Vultures" are just as good as those songs, and "Stop This Train" is the best track on the album. Those are obviously opinions, but that's what taste in music is, and it illustrates my point.

Illustration of a point.

The record shops are expanding to accommodate this digital shift in the music industry by offering digital music products, like iPods and iTunes gift cards and such. I believe that these two communities can co-exist, and so do the people who organized Record Store Day, during which customers could access content exclusive to record stores, not available online, like special editions of albums and the soundtrack to the "Scott Pilgrim" movie. As long as each medium of music distribution maintains its own quirks and presents its unique advantages, both parts of the industry can thrive.

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Monday, September 13, 2010

Unreleased U2 song makes live debut

The boys from the north side of Dublin have been getting adventurous as of late in their U2360 Tour, as this post's title could apply to any one of four songs: in the past month or so, U2 have introduced "Return of the Stingray Guitar," "North Star," "Flowering Rose of Glastonbury," and "Mercy," the prompt for this post.

"Mercy" is a song that first surfaced in late 2004, when it was apparently one of the last songs cut from the "How To Dismantle an Atomic Bomb" album. Although how the song was thrust into the public is debatable, the a popular story is that a fan was given a copy of HTDAAB by Bono, a copy containing the extra track. Anywho, the song was uploaded to the Internet and shared on the Interference forums, and from there saw a grand reception from the U2 fan community (download the original song here). Fans speculated as to whether it would appear on the next album (we now know it did not appear on 2009's "No Line on The Horizon"), and now they suspect it might appear on the upcoming record, reportedly titled "Songs of Ascent."

These suspicions were pushed along when the song was performed in a soundcheck before a Zurich show, and bolstered when the song was actually played in the show yesterday evening. Have a listen:

If you've listened to the original, you'll immediately notice that the lyrics, structure, and length have been slightly altered, but it is definitely still recognizable as "Mercy" as early on as the first few notes.

I have always been a fan of the original track, and I'm a fan of its new incarnation for sure. It sounds more refined and better-written: although the rough and raw feel of the original was part of its charm, the new version is still tops, and the original will always be a great demo.

I tried working this into a post, but I couldn't find a way, and it's been in my bookmarks for too long now... this is a strange picture.

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Friday, September 10, 2010

YouTube VOTW (September 10, 2010)

Is anybody dirtier than Oscar?

Not the Oscar I meant, but yes, Meredith is dirtier.

I was talking about Oscar the Grouch, occupant of the only residential garbage can on all of Sesame Street. Oscar may have met his match in Mike Rowe, host of Discovery Channel's "Dirty Jobs," who made an appearance on Sesame Street on a date which eludes me.

Mike is searching Sesame Street for the "Dirtiest Jobs," and meets up with Oscar in this week's VOTW:

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Snuggie's Snugarena: ...

The giant backwards robe that is the Snuggie has been making me sick for the past year or so. If you're too lazy to stick your arms out of a blanket, then you really don't want that hot cocoa you're reaching for that badly, do you? If you really do want it, but your arm muscles can't be inconvenienced in the slightest, then grab your robe, put it on backwards, and walk around like a mental patient in his hospital paper apron, blissfully unaware that his buns are being buffeted by the breeze (that's consonance, people).

Search Google Images for "hospital robe" and this comes up.

The product itself isn't really that bad: I may be over-exaggerating the Snuggie's uselessness a little bit. What leaves a sour taste on my tongue is the horrendous ads. I believe they held a casting call, picked the worst actors, then asked a crowd to give them a location, improv show-style, then filmed it.

-"OK audience, need a place and defining characteristic!"

I am now near-thankful for the original ad ever since I saw the new one... just have a look.

Wow. Analysis:

1. 0:03 - "Let's legitimize our product as something other than a joke... and use the Macarena to do so." People are already making countless videos parodizing the Snuggie ads (check 'em out), can you imagine what the YouTube community will do now that they have the Macarena to feed on?

2. 0:04-0:27 - Fact: wearing a Snuggie amplifies the fun of every activity exponentially. This is true.

Trust me.

3. 0:10-0:11 - I have a sneaking suspicion she knows she's being filmed. She is part of the 4% of people aged 60+ who recognizes what a camera looks like and doesn't call every electronic device a Gameboy, iPod, or Walkman.

4. 0:11-0:13 - Typical depiction of typical girls at a typical sleepover, hula-hooping and singing into hairbrushes and such: happens all the time.

5. 0:13-0:15 - The only clever part of this commercial. Notice how the Snuggie cult members are warm and comfortable in their wizard cloaks, while the other fans are at the base camp nearest the summit of Mount Everest.

6. 0:18-0:19 - "Hey old leopard lady, look more awkward and uncomfortable." "I-I-I can't!" "Ah, OK... carry on then, shake those hips."


8. 0:25-0:27 - Snuggie, perfect for looking at pornogr... oh, no, a centerfold of a woman who couldn't be more clothed if she was Middle Eastern, never mind.

9. 0:29-0:32 - ...and to wrap it up, they "raise the roof." They would have done the electric slide, the moonwalk, the YMCA, and Cotton Eyed Joe, but it's only a 30-second spot. They had a hard enough time with the roof raising anyway: the boy in blue up front is as rhythmic as Michael Jackson... right now (it's not too soon for "MJ's dead" jokes, I hope).

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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Recent Music News Round-Up

A lot of stuff had gone down in the music world the past week or so, let me recap:

Music industry anxiously waiting for next Tal Bachman hit
It's only been 11 years since "She's So High"; take your time, champ. (Seems like just yesterday that was a socially-acceptable haircut.)

Killers frontman Brandon Flowers' debut solo album preview

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't one of the main purposes of a solo album to branch out and try things that you wouldn't have with your regular band? Brandon Flowers of The Killers put out an album recently (coming the 14th here in the states) that frankly sounds much like the synthy-rock his boys were putting out. Why he didn't just record these songs with his crew is beyond me, but regardless, SPIN had a full album preview of "Flamingo" about a week ago, you can check that out if you so wish.

Fan-made, multi-angle Radiohead concert available for viewing/download

In a 2009 show in Prague, about 50 fans equipped with Flip cameras positioned themselves at different spots in the arena and filmed the show; the resulting footage was then edited into the complete concert by four fan editors. If I had to describe the feel you get when watching the footage, it's halfway between a concert DVD and actually being there. Concert DVDs at times seem a bit overproduced, but being at the show doesn't always provide a great view, unless you're in a perfect spot. This production gives you multiple angles and great audio (the band gave the filmmakers top notch quality audio of the show to help in their production), while still retaining the experience of being at a rock show.

You can download the show here in a variety of formats, or watch the whole thing on YouTube. I was never a big fan of Radiohead, but I've started coming around recently; here's my favorite song from the set:

U2 fans did something similar to this during the band's Vertigo tour in 2005, but I can't find a clip of it; I'll update this post if I do.

Kings of Leon put out new song/video

My previously-written-about boys have a new album coming up ("Come Around Sundown," October 19 US release), and I'm getting tired of waiting. Luckily, KOL released the video for the album's lead single "Radioactive" today. I'm not quite sure how much I like the song yet, but I'll say that it sounds like a hybrid of their first two albums and their most recent two albums, probably swaying slightly more towards the latter, or maybe it's something new and I'm just trying to relate it to something preexisting, because that's what people do. Anywho, I enjoy it, but time will tell whether or not it's a grower. Have a listen for yourself:

Brooks & Done

Country legends Brooks & Dunn have decided to wrap up their 20 year career, ending it with a concert last Thursday. One less country artists I have to worry about, good riddance

Google to start online music store, become iTunes competitor

Not long after iTunes introduced a new version of iTunes, Google announced that they want in on online music sales. Many people have been looking to somebody to compete with iTunes, and Google seems to have a resources to do it. Google's gonna have something different to offer, otherwise they'd have no reason to try it out. I'm thinking they're gonna have either lower prices or some sort of innovative feature we can't even imagine, the kind of stuff you'd see on a tour of the Wonka factory.

Download entire MGMT Glastonbury 2010 performance

After a bit o' browsing, I found the entire show MGMT performed at this year's Glastonbury festival, and it is kickin'. It features riveting performances of songs off their debut album ("Electric Feel," "Time to Pretend"), new tracks from this year's album ("It's Working," "Congratulations") and "Destrokk," a cut from their 2005 Time To Pretend EP. So yep, download it here, and check out the album art I made for it, so it looks all pretty in your iTunes:

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Monday, September 6, 2010

Full-Length Standup Comedy? Yep, YouTube'll do.

YouTube is clearly a product of the "no-attention-span generation": it's millions upon millions of clips about everything from nostalgic video game intro videos to original sketch artists to sports highlights. You can go on YouTube and watch clips of Dane Cook talking about a glass of punch ruining the structural integrity of your home or hear the haunting falsetto of Jim Gaffigan when he sings "hooot pockeeeeeeet," but most people don't realize that you can watch entire shows of these standup artists.

For those of you who are attentive and patient enough to enjoy the 2.5 hours of mastery that is "Into the Wild" and other long-tenured activities, here are a few complete, 60+ minute comedy sets to whet your whistle. (Yes, that "Into the Wild" reference was a reach, but you should know, it's one of the best movies I've seen.)

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Sunday, September 5, 2010

"Society" by Eddie Vedder

I don't typically post on the weekends, especially Sundays, but I have two points I'd like to address. First, thank you guys for viewing my blog over 1,000 times in the first month. It's more than I expected, and I appreciate your appreciation of my writing. As I've said before, this blog is just a way for me to practice and improve my writing skills and to rant about what's on my mind, and anybody reading it is icing on the cake.

Imagine if this was a voodoo cake.

Point two: Have y'all ever seen the movie "Into the Wild"? It came out in 2007, is based on the book by John Krakauer, and stars the immensely talented Emile Hirsch. It tells the true story of Christopher McCandless, who, not to spoil the movie if you haven't seen it and wish to (which you should, it's one of the best movies I've ever seen), abandoned society with the ultimate goal of surviving the Alaskan wilderness alone. It is an excellent movie, I'm sure the book's great too (I haven't read it yet, but plan to), and a really touching story. Avid fans of McCandless' tale have ventured to the "magic bus" featured in the book and movie (and filmed themselves doing so) in hopes of getting a small feel of McCandless' journey. This is certainly an endeavor to add to my list of life goals; the list so far consists of going to Ireland (done), seeing U2 in concert (done), write for a newspaper or website (in progress), climb a mountain (will get done next weekend), other things I can't think of, and visit the magic bus.

The soundtrack is also top notch, serving as Eddie Vedder's (of Pearl Jam) debut solo album. It's written entirely by Vedder, except for what I feel are the two best songs, "Hard Sun" and "Society." The latter is the reason for this post: I edited together a music video for Society, which vaguely summarizes the movie. If the previous paragraph put the desire in your head to see this movie, then you might not want to watch the video. If you've already seen it or don't care about the spoiler, then have a look, and tell me what you think:

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Friday, September 3, 2010

YouTube VOTW (September 3, 2010)

Some crazy stuff happens in college, right? You attend a social event, you get intoxicated, you have relations with many partners ("you" do all this stuff, not "me"). Sometimes, you even pull a few pranks: who can forget when Streeter of College Humor had Amir convinced he won a halfcourt shot halftime contest?

I was browsing the good ol' YTube and I came up with a few funny things that went down in college classes, take a gander:

Well, I'm going home for this long Labor Day weekend, enjoy yours.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

iTunes and Celtics get updates

If you haven't checked for an iTunes update in the past two days, then you're missing out on a few new features. Yesterday, Steve Jobs announced version 10 of iTunes. The software gets a bit of a facelift, including a new icon, chrome side buttons, repositioned "x - +" buttons, and a new way to sort your library.

icons: old vs. new

comparison of iTunes 9 (above) and 10 (yes... below)

new library display mode

The reason that iTunes 10 is a big deal, however, is a new feature Apple is implementing called Ping. In short, it's a music-concentrated Facebook, minus the annoying friends asking for bales of hay for their farms. There's much more to Ping than that, and GeekGloss has an excellent summary of the service if you wanna find out more... or you can always just update to iTunes 10 and have a peek around for yourself.

Before I move on to the next piece of news, I have an iTunes (for Mac) addon that you all should have: it's called DockArt. It'll transform your iTunes icon to look like this:

It takes the artwork of whatever song that's playing (in this case, "It's Working" by MGMT from their "Congratulations" album) and does pretty much what you see: tilts the artwork and makes it your icon with a little iTunes badge in the corner. It's a very customizable addon, and an easily-installed one if you follow the directions given at the download site. It works for songs, movies, TV shows, and podcasts, like Bill Simmons' The B.S. Report, which was a horrible attempt at a segue into sports.

Yesterday, the Boston Celtics signed free agent guard Delonte West. If you didn't just hop on the Beantown bandwagon in 2007 when the Celtics got Garnett and Ray Allen and were cool to like again, then you'll remember that Delonte started his career with Boston in 2004, but was traded in 2007 as part of the flurry of deals that landed the Celts another banner. He was a promising young guard, putting up 12.2 points and 4.4 assists a game during his Celtic peak season of 06-07. Delonte, aside from a case of the crazies, provides a decent shooting option off the bench, a nice backup point guard to Rajon Rondo, and will probably (and hopefully) move into a 6th or 7th man role.

"OK Rajon, you're gonna wanna go there, then do the fake-behind-the-back pass because they fall for it every time (I know I probably will), then kick it to Ray for the trey-bomb."

...and that's all I have to say about that. UMO (University of Maine, my school) plays Albany in football tonight, so I'm gonna get some grub and go see that, so enjoy your night.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Monthly Music Playlist: September 2010

Near the beginning of every month, I'll post a playlist that I have either already made or a new one that pertains to a certain theme. Every playlist will consist of about 18-20 songs that can all fit on an 80-minute CD, and most songs should be available on iTunes or another online music retailer.

This month's playlist I made back in June, and it is a mix of what I was feeling then. It's also a great playlist to have going in the car, as it has a bit of rock stuff, pop stuff, hard stuff, and soft stuff; a diverse mix that'll satisfy whoever's in the car with you.

Playlist Page on YouTube (or watch/listen right below)

Tracklist (Artist - Song)
  1. Back Door Slam - Come Home
  2. Kobe Bryant featuring Tyra Banks - K.O.B.E. (not on iTunes, get the MP3 free here)
  3. MGMT - Electric Feel
  4. Eels - Fresh Blood
  5. The Doors - Break On Through (To The Other Side)
  6. The Stone Roses - Love Spreads
  7. John Frusciante - Dissolve
  8. Gorillaz - Stylo
  9. Led Zeppelin - Communication Breakdown
  10. Low vs Diamond - Don't Forget Sister
  11. Blind Melon - No Rain
  12. Jack Johnson - Better Together
  13. Badly Drawn Boy - A Minor Incident
  14. Jurassic 5 - What's Golden
  15. Blue Cheer - Satisfaction (Rolling Stones cover)
  16. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Scar Tissue
  17. The Jimi Hendrix Experience - If 6 Was 9
  18. Beck - Loser
  19. The Verve - The Rolling People

Standout Music Video:
(I was unable to embed the official HD version, so go watch it here if you wish.)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

NFL Pro Bowl-er Polamalu insures hair for $1M

Yep, Pittsburg Steelers safety Troy Polamalu had his almost-3-foot hair insured by Head and Shoulders, whose shampoo he endorses, for the whopping sum of a million dollars. Other things that could have been his for one million American dollars include a Picasso painting, about 17% of Steve Austin, some green brooch, and the love of whomever the Barenaked Ladies are singing about.

...and 100,000,000 thoughts.

According to Polamalu, his locks were last trimmed in 2000, back when a college coach of his told him that he needed them cut. Part of the reason his hair has been growing for the past decade is as a tribute to his Samoan heritage. What other ways could Polamalu honor his people's past?

I think Troy's posing: the Samoan ancestry is an excuse for him to continue his hippie lifestyle. For your benefit, I have rendered a simulation of Polamalu's appearance if he was actually paying tribute to those before him:

-"How come Troy never picks the tora, like, ever? He just stands there, waving his fire stick thing, trying to not light his hair." -"Who's Troy?"

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Monday, August 30, 2010

Write an Episode of Jake and Amir Contest

Do any of you CollegeHumor followers remember this, from early May of this year? Jake and Amir announced that they would accept submissions of fan-written episode scripts for their web series. Anywho, two fellas, Mike and Stefan, submitted the winning script, and here is the resulting video:

The reason I mention this is I just remembered that I submitted a script for this contest, so here it is, freshly dug out of the archives of my Gmail outbox:

Jake and Amir: Lebron
Amir: Hey Jake, did you hear the latest James Cameron news?

Jake: No, Amir, I did not.

Amir: Well, best friend, he might be changing teeth since his just lost in the playoffs.

Jake: What?

Amir: That doesn't really explain why he's wearing a headband though...

Jake: OK, Amir, I think by James Cameron, you meant Lebron James, and by teeth, you meant team.

Amir: They're both famous, it's the same thing.

Jake: Not really, they're in two entirely different... why does this matter to you? You don't even watch sports.

Amir: I do so watch sports, every time I organize my day to hang out with you but you have to help your mother clean her house or do something else inconveniently spur-of-the-moment.

Jake: Oh yeah? What position does Lebron James play?

Amir: He's the musher.

Jake: OK, what team does he play for?

Amir: Rocky Mountain Sabercats

Jake: What sport does he play?

Amir: Define "does."

Jake: Is he black or white?

Amir: HA! Trick question: he's Native American. His family calls him "Blazing Leatherfoot" and he does a ritual dance before his games to call upon the blessings of his ancestors to ensure success.

Jake: OK Amir, that's one of the most racist...

Amir: Shhh shhh shhh...

Jake: Amir, what are you...


Jake: Alright, why are you shh-ing...

Amir: (suddenly wearing basketball clothes and a Native American headdress) MAKE IT RAIN! (shoots a basketball at Jake's face)



...and my friend Kyle Hews also submitted a solid script:

Jake and Amir: Alergies

Jake: (taking nasal spray) ah, that's better

Amir: Ah, so better

Jake: What?

Amir: What?

Jake: I assume that stupefied look on your face is because you've never seen me use nasal spray.

Amir: ... What?

Jake: Thanks for confirming that. Amir, pay attention. I have allergies and they are particularly bad this year, so I'm using nasal spray.

Amir: (Wink, finger gun) gotcha, you have Al's Herpies.


Amir: OK, I get it. What is causing your Tapestries?

Jake: *sigh*, It's pollen.

Amir: uuuuuuuuuuuuh.

Jake: Pollen, like what comes from plants. Plants make it.

Amir: (looks over at the flowers on his desk, then glares) YOU! STOP KILLING JAKE!

Jake: Amir, stop strangling the flowers, they're not killing me. They just make working here suck, kinda like you d-

Amir: (interrupts, sobbing) I'm sorry I almost killed you Jake, or at least made your day suck.

Jake: It's fine, you do that every day.

Amir: Thanks for forgiving me.

Jake: I wasn't.

Amir: It's great that we have a bond like this. You know what? I'm gonna tell you my allergy.

Jake: A minute ago you didn't know what an allergy was.

Amir: I'm allergic to McDonald's barbecue sauce.

Jake: (suddenly interested, but trying not to show it) Really?

Amir: Yizz

Jake: But you eat it all the time.

Amir: I know, and my tongue bleeds and I fall asleep.

Jake: You mean you become unconcious in a barbecue sauce-induced coma.

Amir: Yizz

Jake: So maybe you should switch to sweet-and-sour sauce or something.

Amir: With your help, I can.

Jake: That's a little creepy...(looks at his computer, looks back, exclaims) You're eating some right now!

Amir: (unconcious, with blood coming out of his mouth) *gurgling sound*