Saturday, February 27, 2010

To Boldly Go...

A case of spectacularly bad timing.

If our city planner meetings were this entertaining, there'd be a line to get in.

Captain Kirk has something he'd like to share with the group.

There are a surprisingly large amount of Star Trek/fart sound mashups out there.

The (in)famous Blazing Saddles campfire scene.

Hmm, I guess they're not always a bad thing...

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Video - Speed + Music = [sigh]?

Slow Snow - Медленный снег (ART) from Andrey Stvolinsky on Vimeo. (via Bits & Pieces)

After watching this hypnotic slow-motion video of everyday city living on a snowy day in Russia, I got to wondering what it is about slow-motion that changes the whole atmosphere of what we are watching?

Sure, the music playing lends to the vibe, but even with the music turned down (the gorgeous "To Build A Home" - The Cinematic Orchestra), this video (and I would argue this for almost any slo-mo video) still evokes some sort of poignancy, even when the subject matter isn't inherently sad. I mean, in this video there's kids playing on the ice, a silly face someone drew on a mound of snow, a guy in a giant Homer Simpson costume for crying out loud! All this and tons of other seemingly upbeat or at least neutral images. Yet we still get this feeling... not exactly melancholy, that's not quite the right word. But maybe more of a feeling of, "Man, I miss these people!"

Huh? I've never even met these people! Still...

So, a followup question: is this reaction universal or are we the product of a lifetime of exposure to Hollywood manipulation, folks who figured out the power of this technique long ago? Would someone who had never seen a movie or TV show before get the same reaction?

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball

Nobody taunts quite like the French.

Provide non sequiter insults wherever you go with a Your Mother Was A Hamster tee.

Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.

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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Back when I was a baby, we only had 40-watt incandescents, and we considered ourselves lucky!

Following close on the heels of my post about laser beam cats comes the latest threat to humanity: Babies With Laser Eyes! I knew there was a good reason to blow off those friends with newborns who are always asking us to "come over and see the baby".

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

From The Vault: Come On Baby, Put the Rock in the House

What with the 2010 Winter Olympics running and all, this seems like a good time to revisit this Olympic-themed post from a few years ago. There's even a song about curling in here, so pay attention as there may be a quiz after...

Monty Python Silly Olympiad.

Despite that I've seen this particular sketch numerous times, and even despite the fact that the names of the events, "The 100 Yards for People With No Sense of Direction" and "The 3000 Meter Steeplechase for People Who Think They're Chickens" for example, totally give away the visual punchline to come, I still giggle every time I see it. That, and when the announcer covering the "Marathon for Incontinents" uses what I imagine is British slang, "gone to spend a penny", whenever one of the runners stops to pee, which, as you can imagine from the name of the event, is pretty much constantly.

One of the more obscure (actual for real) Olympic sports would have to be curling. The Back House Weight, the Front House Weight, the Hackweight Takeout, the Wick and the Biter... there's a lot of lingo involved. This animated site teaches you Curling 101.

For those truly bitten by the curling bug, please enjoy the music video for the song "Curl" by Jonathan Coulton using public domain and creative commons pictures.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

"Amazing" is his middle name! If you count "The" as his first name, that is.

The Amazing Johnathan has been performing his unique brand of comedy-magic for over 25 years since he started as a street performer in San Francisco. Although I didn't know it at the time, I saw his first television appearance in 1983 on something called The 8th Annual Young Comedians Show. My friend John had taped it and we both thought this guy was by far the funniest.

Here is his segment of that show from way back in 1983, followed by a couple of clips from more recent years. What's perhaps surprising is that he still uses a lot of material from back then in his act today (the not-so-random choice of an audience participant, the handkerchief joke, The Zombie Ball trick, etc). What's weird is that most of it still cracks me up. Go figure.

Ladies and gentlemen, prepare to be (slightly) dazzled by... The Amazing Johnathan!

The Amazing Johnathan - Perfection

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Monday, February 15, 2010

The ball is in Uncle Ben's court now...

Japanese rice farmers, tired of looking at boring row upon row of the same homogeneous rice fields, step up their game and bring you these masterpieces by using different types of rice plants of varying colors.

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Missing Persons

Camouflage from around the world

The art of blending in. It may not be for you...

Worst camouflage idea ever? (via Claps & Vomits)

Devo - Peek-A-Boo!

The 5th Annual Ninja Convention is packed again this year.

Office Camouflage: a flipping awesome Russian car insurance commercial. (via Ned Hardy)

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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Friday, February 12, 2010

It's Valen-time!

Those premade candy hearts just not expressing the complex emotions you're feeling?

Roll your own with the Candy Heart Generator, if you find yourself constrained by the whole "HOT STUFF"/ "U R A Q T" milieu.

James Stowe has created some nifty Star Wars Valentines (or "Valentimes" if you are in the second-grade-and-under set). (via Laughing Squid)

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

One, two, three, four, I declare...

Two guys, two days, 222 T-shirts = one crazy-good T-Shirt War. (via Laughing Squid)

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Sunday, February 07, 2010

Drive fast, buckle up and leave a good-looking commercial

What with the Super Bowl and all the hype around the commercials that air during it, this low-budget public service announcement from the UK created by the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership, of all things, that was launched last week and is generating Web buzz. Some viewers have been calling it the most beautiful PSA they have ever seen. What do you think?

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No man, I just get all choked up whenever they run the Wishbone Triple Option formation, 'cause it's a thing of beauty, man.

Google's ad that's going to run tonight during the Super Bowl. It's okay if you get a little misty when you watch it tonight with the guys. Just tell them rubbed your eyes and must have forgotten to wash your hands after making the jalapeno nacho dip. (via Engadget)

When they put together that commercial, I bet they reeeeally carefully screened the results of the Google suggestions that it helpfully provides while you type in the search box.

'Cause those get a little weird sometimes. (via google lolz)

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Friday, February 05, 2010

I have discovered P.U.ium!

The Periodic Table of Smellements
(via The Fire Wire)

Why do we say "pee-yew!" (or "P.U.", "pew", "phew" or any of a host of other variations) when we smell something stinky? There doesn't seem to be a clear answer, but here's one stab at it.

Play Pepe LePew's Love Run
. Those of you of a certain age will find it similar to the old-skool arcade game Frogger.

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Thursday, February 04, 2010

Chair-ios: Part of a balanced diet

French daredevil Henri Rochatin hangs over a precipice in the French Alps at a height of 12,486 feet while balancing in a chair that is balanced on two glasses on top of another chair that is balanced on four glasses. Got that? (via Damn Cool Pics)

I remember watching people do the plate-spinning act on variety shows when I was a kid. You don't see it performed much anymore, which is a real shame.

Here French comic juggler and plate-spinner extraordinaire David Burlet does what he does best, namely keeping ten plates spinning at the same time while also juggling plates, balancing boxes on his chin, flipping spoons into glasses and about 6 other things as well.

His act seems to be a variation on this performance by Erich Brenn on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1969, right down to the "flub" during the first spoon-flipping attempt used to heighten the drama and make it look harder that it probably really was (for him at least).

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Monday, February 01, 2010

All my tubes and wires and careful notes

The 100 Coolest Science Experiments on YouTube - The Dry Ice Bubble (vid #2) is quite nifty, by the way. (via The Presurfer)

How to Extract DNA from Anything Living - Like so many of your wild regret-filled weekends, it starts with green peas and a blender, and ends with alcohol.

If Dr. Moreau had been just a bit hipper, he just might have beat Basement Jaxx to the whole monkey-rockstar hybrid prototype.

No post on the subject would be complete without Thomas Dolby, some well-timed throat-clearing and actual British scientist Magnus Pyke (you know, the kooky old "Science!" guy).

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Get busy watching these videos, or get busy ignoring them

Shawshank in a Minute

Voice actor Josh Robert Thompson does a pretty good (not perfect, but pretty good) Morgan Freeman impression.

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