Monday, May 30, 2011

Using up 12 seconds of my 15 minutes of fame

Grand Rapids Lipdub Project - "American Pie"

So, you know, last weekend I was in this. It was dreamed up by community organizer Rob Bliss as a response to a Newsweek article on "Dying Cities" that listed Grand Rapids.

The video, lipsynced to Don McLean's nine-minute opus "American Pie", was shot in one continuous take and involved shutting down a large portion of downtown GR for about 5 hours on a Sunday morning, featured various police, fire and news vehicles, a marching band, a high school football game, swing dancers, gymnasts, a giant pillow fight, a wedding, burning bridges and a whole lot more.

The weather was a little hot, and the downtime between takes was sometimes annoying, but from what I could see, everyone there was having a great time, and were just pretty jazzed to be a part of something that portrayed our city as the fun, positive city that I know it to be.

The video has been getting lots of media attention this past week, getting stories and mentions in NPR, NBC Nightly News, Adweek, Gawker, Roger Ebert's blog, an upcoming segment on The Today Show, tons and tons of online sites big and small, and, of course, Newsweek themselves, who walked back some of their "Dying City" claims by stating
... We're big fans (of the video), and are inspired by your love of the city you call home.

But so you know what was up with the list you're responding to, we want you to know it was done by a website called—not by Newsweek (it was unfortunately picked up on the Newsweek web site as part of a content sharing deal)—and it uses a methodology that our current editorial team doesn't endorse and wouldn't have employed. It certainly doesn't reflect our view of Grand Rapids.
FWIW, my brief seconds of fame and glory can be witnessed in the pillow fight and rock concert crowds (2:15 and 2:57, respectively).

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I Say, Jolly Good, By Harry!

Up until a few days ago, I was quite unaware of a battle between rival rappers taking place across the pond. Maybe that's because the battle's being waged so... politely.

This war of words is a bit more (okay, a LOT more) gentlemanly than your typical hip-hop dissyfit dustup, because the rappers in question aren't strictly in the hip-hop camp, but rather a humorous offshoot called chap-hop, tea-sipping Victorian-style steampunks who would rather rap about their knowledge of cricket and maybe challenge the other guy to a bout of Queensbury Rules boxing.

The two with the beef are called Professor Elemental, clad in Victorian-explorer garb complete with pith helmet, and Mr. B. The Gentleman Rhymer, a bit more modern and dandy-ish, and an ever-present banjolele.

Check them out, good sir or madam! Pip pip!

Professor Elemental - Fighting Trousers

Mr. B. The Gentleman Rhymer - Chap-Hop History

Friday, May 20, 2011

I think I have a crush on Pantone Yellow 012C now

How Ink Is Made

The photography and the music... an absolutely gorgeous look into the process for making, of all things, printing press ink.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I said SMILE, dammit! These are the best years of your life!!

The Funnies: 1922 - Twenty-one little kids. All wearing hats decorated with characters from the funny papers. At Johnny's 11th birthday party. And they're mortified, every last one. You really need to view the large size to appreciate.

While you're there, check out the rest of Shorpy,assuming you don't mind losing track of the next couple of hours. Great stuff!

Makin' You a Sammich Post

Great Sandwich Moments in Cinematic History. If this doesn't become an Oscar category, I'm going to be very disappointed.

And I'd have to say that President Dave (at 1:29) did indeed make a tasty-looking sandwich. He could probably win a second term with just that sandwich as his running mate. (via The Dish)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Stiff as a board, Light as a feather...

Planking is a fad that's taking Australia by storm, but catching on elsewhere, too. Goofy...

It's all fun and (board) games until someone gets hurt, and that appears to have happened after a 20 year-old man fell to his death from a seventh-storey Brisbane balcony while planking on the balcony railing. (via The Daily What)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Living on Planet Catalog

Kids! Dinner! Last one to the table gets the tetanus stool!

From the ever-wry pages of Catalog Living, proving time after time that when it comes to the people inhabiting the pages of Pottery Barn, Plow & Hearth, et al., their cheese has done slid completely off their cracker.

Saturday, May 07, 2011


From the It's-The-Little-Touch-That-Means-So-Much Dep't.: Note the little balloons in the bottom right corner. Not quite sure this is exactly up to code.(via Guzer)

The Slo-Mo Guys tackle a 6-foot water balloon.(via Cynical-C)

Nena with a remake from 2009 of her one and only Stateside hit "99 Luftballoon" (99 Red Balloons), and listening to the new version, it's still got some air left in it. As for the video itself... Nena looking like she's in Second Life? Man, she really is retro!

Let the balloon-popping monkey in you out for some playtime with Bloons 2.

Sunday, May 01, 2011


Ben Heine has some playful works he calls Pencil vs. Camera

Japan didn't just make cheesy Godzilla movies in the 60s, you know. No, they also made cheesy movies starring a giant flying radioactive fire-breathing turtle named Gamera, too. Here's the trailer to the 1967 classic Gamera vs Gaos (a giant flying radioactive fire-laser-breathing bat). Go, go, Gamera!

Step-by-step directions on how you can make your own pinhole camera out of a can of SPAM.