Friday, December 31, 2010

Morning Jukebox: Forgotten 80s Edition

I've lined up a couple of fun and bouncy but forgotten videos from a couple of 80s bands.

The first one, "Pop Goes The World", was the only other US chart entry (hitting #20) from the Canadian New Wave band Men Without Hats, though they have seen much more success in their native country. Their most famous video, at least in the USA, would have to be 1983's quirky, goofy "Safety Dance".

"Pop..." is just as hook-y as "Safety Dance" was, featuring Jenny, a cute teeny-bopping guitar-slinging girl, and Johnny (Men Without Hats lead singer Ivan Doroschuk), an Elvis impersonator, a snowman drummer, and a baby keyboardist. Naturally.

The next video is even more shrouded in the mists of One-Hit-Wonderdom, "Whirly-Girl" from the Band OXO, which managed to briefly grace the 1983 pop charts, peaking at #28,before fading from our minds and our TV screens.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Morning Jukebox

Matt Bianco - Yeh Yeh.

This 1986 video by British jazz-pop star Matt Bianco is actually pretty meh (though the out-of-control arm movement at 1:15 made me laugh a little), but the song (a Latin soul number written by Rodgers Grant and hitting #21 on the US pop charts in early 1965), the song is killer.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Mt. Superior, Speed Fly from Marshall Miller on Vimeo. Music by K'naan.

Clawed and Dangerous, But Does Like Being Scratched Under Her Chin

(via Videogum)

Let's Enhance That!

Let's Enhance

Here's a trope that always bothers me, The Magic Enhancer. It's usually employed in detective shows, where the cops are studying some grainy, blurry, black-and-white image snagged from a super-cheap closed-circuit convenience store camera recorded on the one VHS tape they bought with the camera ten years ago and have been recording and re-recording (and re-re-re-re-re-recording) ever since.

Always, the cops find what they suspect is their perp and have the computer lab guy "clean up the image", usually while having the detective tell him to "enhance" this or that 4-pixel blob. Invariably, through some form of magical technology, the killer's license plate or driver's license number or what-have you come into crystal-clear focus.

This is what is called "bullsh**".

The various flavors of the crime procedural CSI (CSI, CSI:Miami, CSI:New York, CSI:Dubuque, CSI:Your Mom's Basement, etc.) manage to take the Enhance Button to a whole new level. The wonderful takes an excellent and incredibly detailed look at the phenomenon of the fabled and magical Enhance Button, citing numerous examples such as these whoppers, all of these just from the CSI franchise:

  • CSI likes to rely on the NTSC overscan to find hidden details in an image. In one episode, they are able to reconstruct a recognizable image from the reflection in someone's eye. At night. In the dark. From a grainy CCTV image. Another similar example involved getting a recognizable image of a person behind camera from the reflection of someone's sunglasses in the window of a car.

  • CSI had an egregious example when they showed off a 3D crime scene scanner. Such a device does actually exist, using a laser to create a 3D image of an area, but then they used the computer to ''lift the body off the bed to look at the stains on the sheets underneath it''. It's the equivalent of taking an ordinary photographic image and being able to "strip away" the skin and muscles to get an image of not just the structure of the person's bones, but what color they are.

  • [CSI New York] takes the cake when they zoom and enhance an image so much they can see the reflection in a person's eyes. Said reflection... is of course... crystal clear.

  • An even more outlandish example occurs in one episode where the original image was on a BOLT on the back of a car, which they turned into a crystal-clear, completely undistorted, image that showed the killer's face perfectly.

  • CSI New York were able to pull a fingerprint off of a still from a grainy video when the suspect put his hand in front of the lens.

This is a hilarious parody of CSI Enhancing gone to extremes.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Putting the "hurt" back into hurdles

Yes, I know there isn't a "t" in "hurdles". Shut up.

Epic hurdle fail. I would watch waaay more sports on TV if they had this guy in everything.

Friday, December 17, 2010

It's all in the details...

Ha! A nice recreation of George Seurat's pointillist masterpiece, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. (via The Best Article Every Day)

Incredible pictures made with pictures

This is amazing! (¡Esto es increĆ­ble!)

Word Lens is quite the cool iPhone app. It does more than just translate Spanish to English/ English to Spanish. It literally translates and replaces the words in the video, realtime. Quiero.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Big D

I do not fear Death. I play a pretty mean Battleship.

The lovely, talented, (and unsigned at this time) Lauren O'Connell performs an amazing version of the folk standard "O Death", playing all the instruments her own bad self.

You may also remember hearing Stanley Clarke sing this during the memorable "KKK meeting scene" in O Brother, Where Art Thou?

25 Most Unusual Deaths of 21st Century
Some of these were just horrific, like these two:

2004: Ronald McClagish, from England, died after being trapped inside a cupboard for a week. A wardrobe in the bedroom outside had fallen over, trapping him inside.

In an effort to free himself, McClagish accidentally wrenched a water pipe from the wall and the water gushing from the pipe eventually caused his death from bronchitis. His body was not discovered until two weeks later.

2009: Vladimir Likhonos, a Ukrainian student, died after accidentally dipping a piece of homemade chewing gum into explosives he was using on another project.

He mistook the jar of explosive for citric acid, which was also on his desk. The gum exploded, blowing off his jaw and most of the lower part of his face.

Bonus! Non-lethal palate cleanser: Boy gets butter knife stuck in head. Don't worry, he's fine.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Leaping Lepus!*

*Lepus is the genus to which hares and jackrabbits belong.

If frisky, playful puppies faced off against carrot-munching hip-hoppity bunny rabbits in a "cute-off", it may result in a tie. Luckily for us, we don't have to choose in Orisinal's new top-scrolling avoidance game Carrot Track.

You are trying to guide one lone rabbit as he follows a trail of carrots through a sunny park full to overflowing with perky pups. It is your job to "leash" the puppies (by clicking your mouse and dragging to one or more of the dogs) just long enough for your hare to get past their trajectory.

Fortunately, there are various powerups placed along your path, ranging from a dog whistle that stops the canine chaos long enough to afford some bunny breathing room up to a rabbit-sized helicopter backpack that allows your carrot-muncher to float above the fray for a bit.

Then there's the music, which is light and bouncy, not unlike your main character. I have a feeling you'll still be whistling it hours after you play.

If you like this, Orisinal has dozens of other lighter-than-air fare such as Starry Night (bounce stars off bubbles!) and the very popular Winterbells (also featuring a jumping bunny -- who knew rabbits had so much game?) which has just been released as an iPhone app. (via Jay Is Games)

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Roll Up the Rug

Designers Stijn van der Vleuten and Marcia Nolte and visual artist Bob Waardenburg make carpets out of just about anything. Here they've made a Persian carpet made entirely out of dry pasta.

And here is another, this time using plastic forks. Other kooky floor art include Plastic Army Man Carpet and Band-Aid Carpet.

A gallery of 18 even more unusual carpets, including this Pimento Loaf rug. Hey, at least it's not head cheese, amirite?

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Morning Jukebox

Mister Lidell is takin' his Mr. Potatohead act to the streets!
Jamie Lidell - Another Day

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Patty Cats and Mormon Brats

These patty-cake-playing cats reminded me of the fighty Mormon Twins from the 2001 version of Ocean's Eleven, remember those guys? YouTube won't allow me to embed the video but you can watch it there. I fear that this is my two boys in 15 years.

Friday, December 03, 2010

And I thought Roadrunner was a douche when he was a bird

Wile E. Coyote vs. Roadrunner in human and live-action format, Wiley vs. Rhodes. That braindead permasmile expression on Mr. Human Roadrunner doesn't translate well from the original cartoon and it creeps me out.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thirty Fails Hath November

Actually, it's a lot more than that. Here is a Fail Compilation for November 2010.

From Point A to Point B via Your Butt

The Technical University of Munich has two gigantic 4-story high slides.

At 82 meters, this holds the title of Japan's Longest Slide.

A very long slide at Mo Shan Mountain (Hong Kong?) that looks really fun.

Some jobs have better perks than others

Only $18.99! Cheap!


In what's left of this post-Thanksgiving gravy-covered bacchanalia of a weekend, we could all probably use a bit more exercise. In futility.

Pointless Factoid Bonus!
  • In the Star Trek series, some of the doors, pipes, conduits, and access panels were labeled GNDN as an inside-joke among the cast and crew. GNDN stood for "Goes Nowhere, Does Nothing".

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

You Can Leave Your Hat On

Good news, everyone! This busy Thanksgiving travel season, as you go through the TSA's porn-ray scanners, you can protest this intrusion of your privacy without saying a word.

4th Amendment Wear offers you metallic ink-printed undershirts and underwear that leave nothing to the imagination concerning your constitutional right to be secure from unreasonable searches and seizures.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Have You Seen Me Lately?

25 Hilarious Lost Pet Flyers

President Bethersonton?

I really miss The West Wing sometimes. This is perhaps one of my favorite scenes from the entire series, where President Bartlett calls the Butterball Turkey Hotline for some stuffing tips. From season 3, "The Indians in the Lobby".

Best line: "If I cook it inside the turkey, is there a chance I could kill my guests? I'm not saying that's necessarily a deal-breaker."

Monday, November 15, 2010

If It's Broke, Fix It

Budget Puzzle
This is a great interactive post in the online New York Times that lets you decide the best way to balance the US federal budget over the next 5 to 20 years. Cut spending and entitlements? Raise taxes? Check the appropriate boxes and watch your choices automagically shrink the deficit before your very eyes!

What's also cool is that when you have completed your master savings plan, there's a link to let you post it on your Twitter feed.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Waiter, there's a hair in my beard!

Luckily, we no longer have to wait for the best headline of the year, because this is it. This may also preemptively beat all entries for the next two years as well, as it is just. That. Awesome.


Kentucky Man Forced To Eat His Beard

That is all.(via Uproxx)

Forever Alone

Saddest European trip ever. (via EatLiver)

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Okay, okay, okay already!

I'm usually pretty psyched when a new OK Go video drops, and this one is... pretty good. Not terrible or anything, and still more creative than most any other music video out there. But I'd say it doesn't come near something like a "This Too Shall Pass" (easily my favorite) or even on par with the treadmill-centric "Here It Goes Again". Take a look and see what you think.
OK Go - End Love

Says the director: “The fastest we go is 172,800x, compressing 24 hours of real time into a blazing 1/2 second. The slowest is 1/32x speed, stretching a mere 1/2 second of real time into a whopping 16 seconds. If you like averages, the average speed up factor of the band dancing is 270x. In total we shot 18 hours of the band dancing and 192 hours of LA skyline timelapse – over a million frames of video – and compressed it all down to 4 minutes and 30 seconds! Oh and don’t forget, it’s one continuous camera shot.”

Previous OK Go-ness:
White Knuckles
This Too Shall Pass
Here It Goes Again

Useless factoid 'o' the day: “OKLAHOMA IS OK” first adorned license plates in 1967.

What is the origin of the English colloquialism "okay"? Short answer: No one knows for sure, and there are several dozen proposed etymologies, but the leading contender seems to be a comical spelling of "Oll Korrect".

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Morning Jukebox

The White Stripes - "Sister, Do You Know My Name?", from their second album De Stijl, footage from Edward Norton's The 25th Hour (2002)

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Set Kitteh Phasers to "Stun"!

Video remix of cute "Fainting Goat" Kittens. They suffer from a genetic disorder that causes them to stiffen up and fall over when startled. It's rare in cats; the name comes from a breed of goat where the condition is more prevalent. (via Cynical-C)

UPDATE - Sad news to add to this story: apparently, one of the kittens, Spike, has died because the condition interfered with his respiratory system. Fortunately, there may be hope for Charlie, the other cat. This BBC followup has more details.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Deathstar Reconstruction Paper

The original Star Wars trilogy in paper cutout format, set to the lovely song "Tatooine" by Jeremy Messersmith. (nice find, Wil Wheaton)

More Zombie Than Zombie

MakeMeZombie takes any face and zombifies it. Got an cute baby picture? Change it from "Awwwww!" to "Eeewwwwww!"

The ever-adorable 70s TV sweetheart Mary Tyler Moore goes from adorable to abhor-able.

And this zombification really puts the "ugh!" back in Hugh Grant.

Of course this process fairly cries out for a zombification of musician and filmmaker Rob Zombie...

I did a pic of myself, but for some reason the before and after photos looked identical, so I am just posting one and will let the reader guess whether it is the "Before" or "After" shot. (via The Presurfer)

Handmade precipitation

Perpetuum Jazzile creates a hand-generated rainstorm. Turn up the speakers and just try to stay dry... The first 2:00 is the really amazing part if you ask me; the rest of the performance is a pretty standard (though very well done) a capella rendition of Toto's "Africa".

Friday, October 29, 2010