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*


Friday, August 27, 2010

YouTube VOTW (August 27, 2010)

If you don't wanna hear some explicit content, then just skip this post. I normally don't care for swearing in my comedy, but it's almost necessary for this joke. In his 2000 TV standup special Killin' Them Softly (watch the whole thing on YouTube), Dave Chappelle talks about Sesame Street, specifically about Oscar the Grouch. I won't give it away (although the video title already does that, so forget it), so I'll just say that this clip dubs a segment of Dave's performance into various Sesame Street scenes (I enjoy the last one most).

My next post, assuming I don't write over the weekend (I still might though, I have a few ideas), will be my first as a college student. I move in tomorrow, and classes start on Monday. Good luck to all others bound for college, and have a good weekend.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


EDIT (11:15) - I just finished playing around with the layout of the site, and made a few additions and changes. From top to bottom (on the right of the screen): I added a Subscribe To This Blog box, which allows you to keep up with my blog with Google Reader (which I profiled as part of an article I wrote when I was a part of my high school newspaper) or any other RSS reader. I added RSS feeds from ESPN and Rolling Stone, so you can catch up on the latest news from the worlds of sports and music (sorry, but I couldn't figure out how to make those links automatically open in a new window, so you're gonna have to right-click to do that). I also moved the Page Views box up, just to make it easier for me to see. That's about it, enjoy.

Billy Mays, major league baseball players, pedophiles, Al Borland, foreigners, the creep who lives three houses over from you, Grizzly Adams, the NHL playoffs, homeless people, folk singers: all hairy things you'd think of before the idea of what I'm about to show you passes through your thinkabellum.

Let's not forget Beard Fish.

These are also things that give me extreme beard envy. Bare-faced people like me, worry not, our day will come. Until then, if the embarrassment of bald cheeks is too much to bear, I would be delighted to introduce you to BeardHead.

The near-penultimate form of badassery, trumped only by an actual beard of this magnitude.

Owning a BeardHead will allow you to be warm and look like a straight up baller while doing masculine activities like snowboarding, watching baseball, bonding with your ladyfriend, protesting, and running.

...and fighting over who has better tattoos.

You can grab a BeardHead of your very own for $24.99 right now (they're on sale, list price is $32.99) from their website. They are available in the testosterony colors of viking, lumberjack, grandpa, pirate, and for the women who missed out on the Y chromosome, bunny (yellow, brown, grey, black, and pink). If you grow tired of the default mustache option, you can buy an alternate for five bucks, in the styles of fu manchu, Mario and walrus.

Like it in Facebook, and prove your dormant facial follicles wrong and get your own beard today.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Top 9 NBA Ownings of Greg Ostertag

(Before I start, I have a minor piece of blog news: I messed around with the blog a bit, so now when you click a link, it'll open in a new window instead of opening in the same window. It'll be a better way for you to check my in-text references: Just click, check it out for a second, then close it and keep reading.)

For a guy who is 7'2" and once averaged 2.7 blocks per game in a season (1.7 for his career), Greg Ostertag sure gets messed up in the post a lot. He seems like a nice guy (he saved his sister's life by giving her a kidney), but some NBA players just won't stop picking on him. Ostertag has been owned by many a NBA player: here are the top guys who Greg pretty much belongs to.

Honorable Mention. Hakeem Olajuwon

Hakeem "The Dream" did this to guys all the time, and really, there's just about nothing you're going to do to stop it, but what makes this special is that it was Olajuwon's 25,000th NBA point... right in Greg's grill.

9. Dwayne Wade

This would have been higher up if the shot wasn't a big pile of bullcrap. Still, Wade picked this battle: notice how he hesitates around the 3-point line, then realizes that it's Ostertag waiting for him, that it's safe for him to score.

8. Keith "The Boss" Closs

Poor Ostertag gets owned by a guy whose best quality is his nickname: He averaged 3.9 points per game in three NBA seasons, and that dunk constitutes 0.4% of his total career points. It also doesn't hurt that Closs is 7'3".

7. Eddie Jones

Greg shouldn't feel too bad about this one: the former Laker has done similar things to the likes of Shawn Kemp.

6. Amare Stoudamire

Again, another guy who has racked up some frequent flyer miles in his day. I'm sure Greg appreciates the three angles that ESPN provided.

5. Kobe Bryant

Now we get into the repeat offenders. Do you prefer in-your-face or finagle-around-you jams? Have it all.

4. Glenn Robinson

We now delve into Ostertag's unpaid collegiate inferiority, with Glenn Robinson destroying Ostertag's self-esteem twice in the same game. Some dunks, you go around the guy. Others, you go over. Robinson decides to ball it up and do both in the same possession. Then, Greg tries to stop him with mediocre physical contact in a last-ditch effort.

3. Luc Longley

Longley sees Ostertag coming from seven miles away and almost pushes the ball through the backboard. The best part of this play isn't even the block: after, an embarrassed Greg Ostertag fumbles and retrieves the ball, casually saunters to the three-point line with no contention because the other nine people on the court realize how ridiculous an Ostertag shot from that range would be, then Ostertag delivers, barely managing to scrape the bottom of the rim.

2. Shaquille O'Neal
I have no idea about the context of this image, but Shaq must have done something good.

I hear landing on your neck usually ends up well.

1. Michael Jeffrey Jordan
Unquestionably number one, both as best player on the list and biggest mastery over the big white stiff. I found a remarkable four different incidents in which Jordan made Ostertag wish he took over the family business instead of pursuing a professional athletic career.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Antoine Walker Trying To Break Back Into NBA

'Toine's basketball career can be described the same way you'd describe a phone on vibrate, "Quarantine," and Michael J. Fox: shaky. He won a national championship at Kentucky, then he was part of one of the worst NBA teams, the 96-97 Celtics, who finished 15-67. He averaged 20.5 points per game during his time with Boston, and reached the Eastern Conference Finals, then got traded to Dallas and averaged 6 points less per game. Bringing it back to a positive note, he did find time to star in the hit ABC sitcom "My Wife and Kids," miscredited as George O. Gore II.

Above: photo of the cast.
Below: then and closer-to-now photo of Antoine.

After leaving Boston, Walker fizzled: he did average 20.4 and 16.3 points with Atlanta and Boston (again), then got old and bad, averaging 12.2 and 8.5 points with Miami, 8 points with Minnesota, and appeared in two preseason games with the Grizzlies, being waived shortly after, the entire time continuing to take shots like this. In 2010, he signed with Puerto Rican team Mets de Guaynabo, but even got released by them.

Exhilarating Puerto Rican basketball highlights.

Off the court... eghguhgh. He got robbed in 2000 and 2007. What criminal decides to rob a 6'8" African American man?

Probably these Einsteins.

More recently, in the past two years, Antoine was arrested for suspicion of drunk driving, was charged with writing bad checks to cover gambling debts, and filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Yes, a man who, according to basketball-reference.com, earned $108,142,015 during his NBA career, not to mention endorsement dough, ran out of money. I'm assuming that Antoine then spiraled into a deep depression and self-produced this video to make himself feel good:

Nowadays, Walker is actually planning a return to the NBA. He's been losing weight, getting back in shape, and has drawn interest from a few teams. Maybe Antoine can sign with Miami again and take 87-foot three pointers. Maybe Boston can sign him along with Eric Williams, Tony Battie, Walter McCarty, Vitaly Potapenko, and Bruno Sundov and get the old gang back together (Nope: NESN.com reports "The Celtics are not one of the teams in the running"). But does he really have anything left? He was waived by Guaynabo and the '08 Grizzles, almost as bad as being waived by Guaynabo. Then again, in that Puerto Rico basketball video above, 'Toine did score 17 points in that game, and some impressive layups were had by him competition, so I don't know, maybe he can help a contender compete this season. He certainly won't be the same Antoine Walker that I remember:

Also, I would like to apologize for linking to Perez Hilton in the "Further reading" of yesterday's article. It was an unfortunate accident, and I promise it will never happen again.

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Monday, August 23, 2010

Bandwagon Kings of Leon Fans Unfamiliar With Band's Back Catalog

American rock music "kings" Kings of Leon have long been superstars across the pond: their first two albums hit #3 on the UK charts, and their most recent two reached the top spot. However, they haven't always received a lot of hometown love during their career. They instead saw a steady gain in popularity, charting at, chronologically, 113, 55, 25, and 4.

How could they have expected to compete with the beautifully poetic Amy Winehouse for chart spots? (Not goin' back to rehab, nonono...)

Apparently, sales doesn't mean familiarity: fairweather Kings Of Leon fans, drawn in by the success of "Only By The Night," were so ignorant of KOL's music that they thought their old songs were debuts of material from the upcoming "Come Around Sundown" album. Said drummer Nathan Followill to Absolute Radio, "The other night there was someone on the front row and we had played a new song, and then we played 'Trani' which is off our first album. I saw the girl look at another girl and say 'Is this another new song?'. So it's like a lot of them don't know the difference." No, it's not like they don't know the difference... they don't know the difference.

In case the label of "uninformed fan" applies to you, I'm gonna try to help you. I consider myself a knowledgable fan of the Tennessee Followills, so here are a few key cuts of theirs, released before their smash hit "Only By The Night":

1. Red Morning Light (from Youth And Young Manhood, 2003)

The debut single is certainly an impressive introduction to the band, although it is (perhaps unfortunately) no longer indicative of their style. This upbeat southern garage rocker puts the skills of guitarist and singer Matthew and Caleb Followill right at the forefront of your perception, featuring an energetic guitar solo and scratchy-yet-soulful vocals. The track was good enough to garner the attention of EA Sports, who used it as the introduction song for FIFA 2004. The only disappointments are when the song ends ate a mere 3:00 in, and that Caleb eventually axed the 'stache and chopped the mane.

2. On Call (from Because of the Times, 2007)

You'll immediately notice the difference between this track and the one prior, with the synthesized keyboard intro and all. Once it picks up, you'll make no mistake that it is the rocking KOL you fell in love with, albiet they've mainstreamed their style a tad. But like before, you'll hear an excellent vocal out of Caleb, and some scorching guitar out of Matthew. This album is definitely a preview of what was to come with Only By The Night, and sees the band shedding their southern rock roots. This change isn't necessarily bad, just different (one change that was definitely bad... and different).

3. Knocked Up (from Because of the Times, 2007)

The 7+ minute opener to the album showcases the improved songwriting ability of the band. From what I gather, it tells the tale of two teens determined to have their baby, despite their parents wishes. This now-typical storyline is contained within a dark and looming track, pierced by the high-pitched guitar wail, and told by an emotional and assured vocal. There are few better ways to kick off a record than with a song like this (well, here's one superior method).

These aren't necessarily the top three songs I had to pick from, although I could easily argue for any of them. They were just the three songs that I figured would be easiest to write a paragraph about. Other highlights include "Charmer," "California Waiting," "Milk," "Arizona," "Holy Roller Novocaine," and "The Bucket."

Do any of you true Kings Of Leon "Fans" (another great song I almost forgot) have any other gems I forgot that you feel compelled to share? Do you want to praise me for my musical taste and knowledge? Do you agree with my pride in Kings of Leon for saying no to Glee and American Idol, henceforth avoiding selling out (like this)? Do you appreciate the MP3 downloads of the three featured songs of this post that I'm giving to you? Do you want me to stop with the questions? Either way, let me know.

EDIT (10:53): I found an interesting fact I'd like to share. The titles of the four Kings of Leon albums (and the upcoming album) are all five syllables long: Youth-and-Young-Man-hood, A-ha-Shake-Heart-break, Be-cause-of-the-Times, On-ly-By-The-Night, Come-A-round-Sun-down.

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Saturday, August 21, 2010

7 (Very Different) Versions of "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction"

1965 saw Lyndon Johnson sworn in as President, the funeral of great British wartime leader Winston Churchill, a new flag for Canada (the current design), and the premiere of The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, Tom and Jerry, and A Charlie Brown Christmas.

1965... yaaayy...

None of these things, however, may be as important as the release of the Rolling Stones' opus, "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction"... well, maybe Charlie Brown, but that's a big maybe. Rolling Stones lead singer Mick Jagger said of the song, "It was the song that really made The Rolling Stones, changed us from just another band into a huge, monster band." The song hit #1 in the US and UK, and ironically enough, Rolling Stone magazine named it the second best song of all time, trailing only, also ironic, Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone." I was going to make a "rolling stone gathers no moss" joke, but I couldn't think of anything worthwhile, so let's drop it.

With success comes praise, and what flattery is better than knowing that other bands think highly enough of your song to want to play it themselves? Well, a number of cover versions have been performed, and from what I've heard, no two are the same. Here are the seven most interesting covers of "Satisfaction" that I have heard (and here is the original song as a reference point):

1. The Residents

One way to describe this version is "noise." Another is "crap." It sounds like a detuned orchestra of shabbily-produced kazoos, a thousand about-to-be murder victims simultaneously begging for mercy, and the grinding of bones for a giant's bread. On the plus side, this video is absolutely ridiculous: as one commenter asks, "why hasn't this gone viral yet?!!!" If you can't bear the entire video, either mute it or skip to 3:44. You're welcome.

2. Devo
(watch the music video on YouTube, I can't embed it here.)

Now, I would not go as far as to call this version "bad," because it really isn't: it's interesting. It's barely recognizable as "Satisfaction" until Mark Mothersbaugh monotonously chants "I can't get no" for the first time. It's the kind of weirdness you would expect if you're familiar with Devo's work, and if you like Devo, you'll probably enjoy this cover (released as a single in 1977).

3. Aretha Franklin

You can't go wrong with anything from one of the queens of soul, and Aretha's smooth voice works nicely with the song. An impressive cover, although Aretha grabs the song by the horns and muscles it into submission, almost convincing you that it was her song since the beginning.

4. Paul Revere & The Raiders

There's not much to say about this rendition: Sounds like a better-than-average company picnic cover band recreating the original with a fair amount of adeptness. I just figured I should include a cover that sounds at least a bit like the original.

5. Cat Power

I listened to this version for the first time at the writing of this post, and it's already one of the covers I enjoy the most. Cat Power simplifies the tune finely, stripping it down to just voice and guitar (which I would assume explains the clothes on the album cover). Cat Power does to this song what U2's The Edge did to "Sunday Bloody Sunday" during the Popmart tour.

6. ugh... Brittany Spears (yep, not gonna bold her name)

I tried to listen to it, I really did: too many lalalas in the first 12 seconds for me to bear. Brittany dismantles the song and turns it into a drunken lounge performance... until about 42 seconds in, when... oops, it picks up and she does it again.

7. Blue Cheer

...and I saved my favorite version of the song for last. Not my favorite cover, my favorite recording of the song, period. The original is excellent, but I prefer a psychedelic sound and energetic feel, and Blue Cheer translates the song into that mood excellently, using loud-quiet dynamics, fuzzy guitars, and according to a YouTube commenter, "somebody laughing and singing and double tracked guitar solos with feedback and fuzz with drums playing faster and faster."

Which cover do you think reigns supreme? Did I miss any good versions of the song? As always, let me know.

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Friday, August 20, 2010

YouTube VOTW (August 20, 2010)

I would have said the real inspiration behind the video I made and posted here yesterday, but it would have given away this week's video. For fans of The Office, this video will do a number in convincing you that Michael Scott is right, and Toby really is the source of all bad on this planet we inhabit. YouTuber wrion cut this video together about two and a half years ago, a horror trailer about Toby actually being all that Michael thinks he is.

EDIT 9:28PM: I re-edited the Steve Brule video from yesterday, check it out.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Movies Re-Cut Into Horror Trailers

YouTube is full of trends. There are vlogs, spoofs, shocking or funny clips of every day life, skits, and one that I enjoy, horror trailers. YouTube filmmakers will take clips from an innocent, happy movie, and make a movie trailer out of them that makes the movie seem like the next Friday The 13th. The earliest, and possibly best example of this that I've seen is Scary Mary.

Well, I was inspired, and I made my own horror trailer. This one takes clips from Check it Out! with Dr. Steve Brule, and I think it came out well:
EDIT (08-20-2010): I re-edited this video, in widescreen and with a few minor changes. Here's the new version:

What do you think? Let me know how I did.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

NBA Rookie Photoshoot: Luke Harangody

Sometime within the past few days, the 2010 NBA rookie class got together with some dudes with cameras and took photos in a gym. Naturally, the Celtics' very own Luke Harangody was there. Harangody was a great pick for the Celtics, since Brian Scalabrine's departure left a big hole at both backup-backup-small-forward-but-starter-when-somebody-gets-hurt and big-awkward-white-guy.

The would-be best Live cover of all time.

While Harangody had an impressive summer league (27.8MPG, 16.6PPG, 6.8RPG over 5 games), his photo shoot was decidedly unimpressive.

Let's start with this gem. Here, we see Luke demonstrating a variety of in-game basketball poses, consisting of the textbook pale guy layup, the no-look sideways pass in the middle of the lane, and either a sideways one-handed rebound or the worst low-post entry pass possible.

Here's Luke replicating the legendary Scalabrine Break-Away Slam of '09, trying to fill in those rarely-used shoes bright and early. (In the shot closest to the hoop, it looks more like he's pulling up for a soccer throw-in.)

Trey Kerby, author of the article where I found these photos, made an interesting observation: Luke Harangody looks a lot like Paul Lieberstein, better known as Toby Flenderson from The Office. That is unbelievably accurate, but I'll take it one step further: he also looks a lot like Joe Bereta (from Barats and Bereta) and a bit like the guy from the Scooter Store commercial:

I'd label who is who, but I forgot. Luke's either upper-right or lower-left, I'm not sure.

Ugh... Luke, I really hope you're more skilled than you are photogenic... or at least better than Scal.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

YouTube Automatic Captions: Not Even Close

Have you ever noticed that little "CC" icon that's part of the player on some YouTube videos? Well, YouTube users can create and upload caption files that can be displayed along with their videos, of if they want to put the fate of their deaf audience into clumsy hands, YouTube will automatically transcribe the audio of your video for you, and let me tell you, it is very clear that it is still in beta.

I was watching a video that my cousin Kjetil (juh-tee-uhl) made, and I noticed the closed captioning button. I had seen it before, but never really noticed it or tried it out extensively. So, I clicked it, and saw Transcribe Audio. Kjetil speaks pretty eloquently in the video, so I figured this would be a challenge for YouTube's experimental feature, and hoh-boy was I correct. Here's a breakdown of the highlights:

"Please note: Transcribe Audio is an experimental service that will make the deaf think you're a foreigner using a French to Chinese translator, then Chinese-German, then German-Spanish, then Spanish-English."

Speech: "I was in the midst of writing my next greatest poem entitled "Salute to the Summer Morning."
Caption: I was in Israel and its greatest and kind of speeches.

S: "How does one man think of such well-crafted strings of words, plucked like the chords of a varied 13th century troubadour's lute?"
C: comes one day and I think that's so well crafted street words on court their activities to the commitment

S: "Could it be? Could the great poet Kjetil Rossignol's poems all have been plagiarized?"
C: det could the greek politics he lost homes monthly jobs

S: "The last original poem was written in 1703, by English writer Francis Beaumont, read here."
C: the last original home was burned and seventy nineth street but analysts writer trustees

S: "How now, O lord, Thine grace be thine horse. My soul be thine goblet and mine essence thy wine. Whereforth I may travel, thy thenceforth henceforth Wadsworth be my worth."
C: terminal or die and grace be doing us my soul the senate bill Clinton since that where fourth time they travel night therefore its fourth also was be her

S: "super poet"
C: silver politics

S: "...that a young disabled boy named Dennis single-handedly revived poetry at an event called 'The Special Poetry Slam.' "
C: and it's even going dennis single-handedly five quarts that of the special voters.

I think the automatic captions are trying to subliminally sway us to support the Democratic party, with all the mentions of politics and voting and "bill Clinton." The only thing they sway me to do is use the captions strictly as a comedic outlet. They read like the transcript of a drunk man testifying in court.

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Monday, August 16, 2010

Top 10 High School Sports Clips and Moments

On Wednesday, my little sister starts her first day of high school, but today, she has her first high school sporting event: her varsity soccer debut. She goes to a small school, so freshmen make varsity, but she's dang good and will do some work for sure. EDIT 08-17: She won her game 4-1. Yes, she scored four goals. I told you, she's top rate. So, to commemorate the occasion, here is a hastily-compiled top 10 list, of my favorite high school sports plays and stories that I could think of or find on YouTube.

10. High School Musical - Getcha Head In The Game

As a former high school basketball player, I can say that this is an accurate depiction of a typical practice: A theatrically-lit gymnasium, no coach to be found, and plenty of choreographed dribbling routines. If you like watching Disney Channel destroy sports, watch Zac Effron ruin golf in HSM2. He doesn't even have a caddy to help with the timing on his dramatic fist pumps... disgrace.

9. NBA players in their pre-millionaire, high school football days
Glen Davis: 6'9", 723 pounds. Good luck tackling that.

From what I gathered, a few basketball studs, like LeBron James, Allen Iverson, and Glen Davis, were about as good at football as they were at basketball, if not better. Click the names to see the goods (meaning highlights… come on you guys, grow up).

8. "Crazy Basketball Shot"

Most of you sports followers have probably already seen this and been held in captivity by it's awesomeness. If not, you can pretty much figure out what happens: out of desperation, a lucky kid makes a garbage shot that will never happen again. Lesson: videotape everything you ever do in case something superb goes down. I'm not sure if it's high school or not, so I'll assume that it is.

7. "Kid does rainbow during a high school soccer game"

Well, after the title, there's really nothing left for me to say… unless you don't know what a "rainbow" is (no, not the kind that strange older men cry over), then watch it.

6. "Sweet High School Hockey Goal"

Just trying to represent as many sports as I can. Nice shot, though, have a look-see.

5. NBAers who skipped college
Trailer to More Than A Game, a movie about LeBron's high school team. Note the irony when Lebron talks about team and loyalty being the most important thing.

Many players have decided to forgo college basketball in favor of a direct entry to the NBA (until that was illegalized in 2005), and some of those players have done very well for themselves, and have therefore had many a YouTube user assembling highlight reels of their school days, including Kevin Garnett, Tracy McGrady, Kobe Bryant, Amare Stoudamire, Brandon Jennings (who played ball overseas for a year instead of going to school), and of course, LeBron James. A few players who should have gone the academic route: Korleone Young, Leon Smith, Ndudi Ebi, James Lang. Don't bother looking them up, you won't find anything worth reading.

4. "Amazing Bicycle Kick Goal Off Throw In"

An excellent shot that even professionals would find difficult. The thing that's hard about a bicycle kick is that you kick the ball with the same foot you jump off. Find yourself a ball, and have fun trying that.

3. "Sam McGuffie Hurdle"

This is one of those things that sounds sweet when reading the title, but is even sweeter when you actually see it, then bring it back and watch it again, then bring it back and watch it again, then bring it ba…

2. "Kelsey's Dunk! Ahahahaha"

If you've watched Jimmy Kimmel, MTV, Inside Edition, or other sources of "news" during the past month, there's a decent chance you've seen this a few times. The team has been labeled "the worst basketball team ever," and I label this the most "what-the-hell-did-you-think-was-going-to-happen? moment" ever.

1. The Story of Jason McElwain

The sports world was darn-near brought to tears in 2006 when the tale of "J-Mac" surfaced. In short, Jason is an autistic teenager with a great passion for basketball, so he was allowed to be his high school team's manager. The team got a big lead one game, Jason was put in, and the rest made for a great story. CBS, Sports Illustrated, NBC, and countless other news sources ran this miraculous story, but I think that ESPN did it best, so have a look above.

Did I miss a great story? I probably did, I put this list together in only about an hour, so let me know what I left out in the comments.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Ultimate Desktop Wallpaper

Yesterday and the day prior, I was browsing Wikipedia's Picture of the Day Archive, looking for a large image that I could put onto a shirt (via zazzle.com; check out my store). I found the most beautiful, powerful, and majestic photograph that I have ever seen. More beautiful than a Bob Ross painting, more powerful than Tim Taylor's lawnmower, and far more majestic than that Jim Carrey movie that few people liked or even heard of. Without further adieu, I give you...

Honorable mention for best animal image I've seen in the past two days:

You like this, don't you? Buy the t-shirt. (original image)

(I'll show you guys the shirt I decided on getting when I get it.)
If you have ever seen anything mightier, please let me know in the comments.

Friday, August 13, 2010

YouTube VOTW (August 13, 2010)

I cheated a bit this week, as this is a clip from a TV show, the Tim-and-Eric-conceived "Check it Out! with Dr. Steve Brule." Starring John C. Reilly of Step Brothers and Walk Hard fame, this 11-ish-minute show is, production-wise, about on par with your local public access programming... intentionally: I believe the episodes are upscaled from a VHS source, giving that good home-brewed feel. Humor-wise, it's on par with the funniest things you've ever seen ever. Dr. Steve Brule is a socially-awkward and lonely man whose show finds out about things he wants to find out about. In the "Family" episode, Brule interviews his brother in a segment called "Brother to Brother"... Let's check it out (Check it Out!):

(skip to 2:08 to see "Brother to Brother")

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Apps to Complete Your Mac

I am a huge fan of Mac OSX. I got my 13-inch MacBook Pro about 2 months ago, and it's spoiled me. I have a hard time using my friend's Windows computer without stressing myself out, knowing that I could be on my quality piece of Apple machinery. My only gripe with Mac is that I would have a hard time using one straight out of the box without installing my collection of applications, but that's easily remedied. The first thing I did starting my computer for the premiere time was install Google Chrome, Audacity, and a host of others. Here are some of the other cheap as free programs that my computer is equipped with, hopefully at least a few of which you'll find useful. If you're on a Windows computer, then, um… just watch this and have a laugh, I guess.
Alfred - Truth be told, Alfred may be the first program that I installed on my laptop, and justly so. If you're familiar with OSX's Spotlight, then you have a bit of an idea of the capabilities of this program. Alfred can not only search for and open files on your computer, but it can also search the Internet, play songs in iTunes, and much more. Alfred is conjured up with a customizable keyboard shortcut (I use control and `), and you can begin typing right away. Whether you're looking for that picture I - I mean "you"- took of the gingerest ginger in all of Philadelphia last year (also notice the Liam Neeson look-alike, yarmulkes, and me laughing at the red), searching for Van Morrison lyrics online to figure out just what the hell he's saying, or IMDB-ing "Angels In The Outfield" and realizing that it has a surprisingly-star-studded cast (Danny Glover, Tony Danza, Christopher Lloyd, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Adrien Brody, Matthew McConaughey... and whoever plays JP), you'll easily find whatever you need. All of this praise goes to a program that is still in beta; follow the Alfred Blog as development continues.

Even with Alfred, I still couldn't find it.

AppCleaner - Completely uninstalls applications, something OSX cannot do by default.
Burn - Allows you to copy CDs, burn audio CDs, MP3 CDs, DVDs, and data disks.
Caffeine - Prevents your screen from going to sleep; good for reading an article or using Hulu Desktop.
Displaperture - Rounds the corners of your screen (as illustrated in the Alfred screenshot above).
DockSpaces - If you have Spaces activated (if not, I recommend you use it, under System Preferences), this program allows you to have a different custom dock for each space. In my example below, I show the transition from my Default Dock used in spaces 1-5 to my Games dock in space 6:

Also shown: my skill with the paint program Seashore, used to make both this graphic and the Blind Melon wallpaper.

Google Notifier - Puts icons in your menu bar for your Google email and calendar accounts, showing you upcoming events, new emails, and even notifying you when you receive a new email. If you don't use Gmail, I think this program works with Hotmail and others, but don't quote me on it, I haven't tried it.
Facebook Desktop Notifications - Similar to Google Notifier, this official piece of Facebook software puts an icon in your menu bar that notifies you of activity on your Facebook (using Growl notifications), which is an excellent segue to...
Growl - Supported by numerous popular applications, Growl puts customizable notifications wherever you choose on your screen, making you aware of everything from a new instant message to a completed download.
MagiCal - Puts an icon in the menu bar that displays the date and day of the week next to your time. If you click it, it'll also give you a handy calendar.
MenuWeather - This menu bar icon (I love menu bar icons) displays the current temperature (of your automatically-detected location), and shows a 5-day forecast when clicked.
Secrets - Most Windows users complain that Mac isn't "customizable" enough… and that is where Secrets comes in to prove them wrong. Secrets, accessed via System Preferences after installation, allows you to change system settings, like being able to drag widgets out of Dashboard and onto your desktop, and application settings, like making the arrows in iTunes link to your library instead of the store (an immensely utilized and useful feature for me).

Finally hidden files are exposed, something many have wanted for a while.

RCDefaultApp - Also via System Preferences, you can change which programs are associated with which file types.
NameChanger - A batch file-renamer, good for retitling photos off a digital camera and many other things.
UnRarX - Opens .RAR archive files.
Perian - Makes Quicktime forty-seven times better by allowing it to play formats previously unplayable, like AVI, FLV, MKV, DivX, and many more.
You Control: Tunes - A very, very handy program that, again, puts an icon in your menu bar that allows you complete access to your iTunes library, no matter what application you're in. Click the down arrow to view the drop down menu, from which you can browse your songs, artists, albums, playlists, recently played songs, and more. You Control: Tunes also displays a nice and customizable Growl-like notification when a song starts playing.

Also a nice screenshot for (from left to right) QuietRead, DockSpaces, Google Notifier (Calendar and Gmail), MenuWeather, Caffeine, Facebook Desktop Notifications, spaces, airport, volume, battery, clock, MagiCal and spotlight)

Adium - An IM program that links all your accounts, including MSN, AIM, Yahoo and most other major instant messengers.
QuietRead - As the website puts it, "Sometimes, when I am browsing the web, I want to store a link for later. There are note taking applications and everything-buckets to do that, but I wanted something light and simple. Simple as dragging a link onto a menu bar item to store it."
McSolitaire - Pretty standard Solitaire application, but bells and whistles aren't at all necessary when playing a good ol' game of cards.
This last one is not free, but I had to include it anyway (if you want it badly enough, and you can't spare the ten-or-however-many-it-is bucks, click here and see what happens... *wink*). You've probably seen the Windows 7 commercial with the guy using his PC in the bathroom and explaining the new "snap" feature, which allows you to drag windows to the side, causing them to fill half the screen, or drag them to the top and fill the entire screen. Well, that's Cinch in a nutshell, so if that feature seems appealing (which to me, it definitely is), grab Cinch (official website).

Did I miss your favorite app? Let me know in the comments.
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