Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Metallica on Kazoos
The Final Countdown on the KazooKeyLele (Which, if my math is correct, is only 33% kazoo. But 100% awesome.)
For the more traditional of you, here's Handel's Messiah on kazoos.
Eleanor Rigby on Kazoo
This is especially for my cousins who text me every time they hear Billie Jean...
Rocky on kazoos.
Finally, a tribute to John Williams. With no kazoos.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Sunday, December 14, 2008
It's weird not writing on this anymore. The strangest part is that I often save webpages and links to remind myself that I want to write about a certain topic. Over the course of the past month or two, I've collected dozens of "favorites" that were intended for here. The options were to 1) Erase them all 2) Post them all in a brain dump or 3) Organize them and post them in some sort of logical manner over the next week or two. I've decided to go with Option #2. I'm just going to post stuff until I get tired of it. This can be your go to page for the holidays when you need a new link or game or something when you're bored at work. Or not work as the case may be for 6.5% of the US Population and rising.
You never really put much thought into the allure of video games. One of the assumptions you probably don't think much about is that you get to do things in video games that you probably couldn't in real life. You get to play a professional sport, fight a war, be a rock star... You're hard pressed to find a game in which you're better in real life than you are in video game land. Until now. Try this Running Game. You use the Q, W, O and P keys to control the guy's thighs and calves. After at least a dozen tries in the 100 meter dash, I maxed out at 5.5 meters before I fell. (Warning: For the competitor in you, this could quite possibly be the most frustrating gaming experience of your life).
I made my first contribution to Wikipedia today. There's a List of White Sox Players' Nicknames. I added one. I rule.
The Quake Catcher Network is asking for your help if your computer has an accelerometer. The detector comes standard on Macs - Its purpose is to save your hard drive if your computer falls. However, the Quake Catcher Network wants to collect simultaneous data from those sensors to warn and analyze earthquakes.
100 things you should eat before you die. I'd guess I probably still have 50 to go.
Bored again? Play just about any Original NES Game here. I suck at Baseball Stars.
A few months ago I saw a world map poster unlike any I had ever seen before. The dude told me it was a Gall-Peters Projection. He explained that most world maps you see inflate the size of the United States and Europe so that the powers that be appear more powerful. In this projection, Africa looks pretty friggin' huge.
In the best/only good move MTV has made in the past 15 years, they are offering up old school music videos online.
"Synesthesia is a neurologically based phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway." I guess it's common that people see letters and numbers in colors. Personally, I think the number 6 has a hat. And convinced I once saw 6 wearing a hat in a kindergarten book or something and it's embedded in my subconscious.
I'm fascinated by the phenomenon, but would be frightened to have a severe case of it.
Speaking of colors, I had an intense dream a couple of night ago where colors played a blatantly obvious role. I won't explain the dream now, but the colors I remember were the girl in orange, and green and blue train lines. Perhaps I'll research it later and give an analysis.
"In 1993, the UK Science Minister, William Waldegrave, challenged physicists to produce an answer that would fit on one page to the question 'What is the Higgs boson, and why do we want to find it?' " Here are the best 1 page answers.
Some guy's list of the Top 10 Naked Gun Moments:
I think this was from PostSecret. It's about playing RockBand.
ESPN's SportsCenter Commercials throughout the years.
In October, MSNBC wrote an article about how Americans have lost $2 Trillion or 20% of their retirement plans. Which got me to thinking. That equates to about $10 Trillion in total retirement savings beforehand. The national deficit is also right about at $10 Trillion. Where I'm surprised is that, if you took every single penny saved by every single American over the course of decades, it would barely equal the wasteful government spending, $5 Trillion of which has been accumulated this decade alone.
Here's a goofy site where you look at random photos of people and guess their age.
Another game for you - It's called Factory Balls. It's a great thinking person's game.
This game is like Tetris. Only being bad at Tetris helps you. 99 Bricks.
The story of Oedipus. As written by some high school kid.
Point: Pachebel's Canon in D rules
Counter-Point: Not so much
Thursday, November 06, 2008
If you need to send a last minute card, here ya go... Here are some more e-cards...
Thanks to the Almanac of Miscellaneous Merriment for the reminder.
If you're an elementary school teacher, here's a lesson plan for I Love Nachos Day.
And finally, some medicinal uses of nacho cheese.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
During that same car ride, some guys were talking about the website HotChicksWithDouchebags.com. At that exact moment, I saw a guy in my rear view mirror with both iPod buds in his ears as he was driving. I began to wonder if it was the same guy I played basketball with this past weekend that insisted on listening to his iPod during the game.
Your IQ at age 10 has a positive correlation with alcohol problems as an adult. "... for every 15-point increase in childhood mental ability score, the likelihood of drinking problems increased 1.38 times for women, and 1.17 times for men."
Here's something you probably never expected to hear me say - This is my favorite Nickelback cover ever.
Have you seen the new Guitar Hero: World Tour commercial? It seems like risky business to pay four of the top athletes to endorse their product. At first glance, I recognized A-Rod, Michael Phelps and Kobe. After doing some research, I learned that the drummer doesn't have special needs. It's Tony Hawk. All I can think is that 1) Whatever money they paid those four guys, they probably could have put into better development. And 2) As great as those guys are as athletes, A-Rod, Kobe and Phelps are all kind of strange guys. I mean, if you had to choose 3 other athletes to come hang out and play Guitar Hero with you, would any of those guys make your top 20? When I think personable and fun, those aren't the guys that come to mind.
Finally with Halloween creeping up on us, here's my favorite Halloween comedy bit by Lewis Black....
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Speaking of high school, yesterday I attended my first high school assembly since I was that age. During the homecoming rally, songs would be played every now and again on the loud speaker. Included in the song selection were, "Crank Dat" by Soulja Boy, "I kissed a girl (and I liked it)", and that goofy song what goes, "Oooh, you touch my Tra la la. My ding ding dong." I want to talk about "Watch me crank dat Soulja Boy then Superman that hoe" but I don't have the heart to even explain it. You'll have to search the internet to find out for yourself what that's all about.
Now, I'm the last person to really care about protecting teenagers from music and lyrics. In fact, my personal opinion is that teenagers should be exposed to the realities of life sooner than later. But I wonder if the administration has a clue what these songs are about. Or maybe they just don't care - Were we listening to songs like that in high school? Like, did we play that Bel Biv DeVoe song where they say, "Me and the crew used to do her" at high school assemblies?
Here's that Tra la la song -
Here's my favorite version of Crank Dat -
Kid Rock is a no talent ass clown. He takes "Werewolves of London", adds in a few "Sweet Home Alabama" rips and claims a song of his own. Even worse? He thinks the best word to rhyme with "things" is... well, "things". The chorus seriously goes, "And we were trying different things / And we were smoking funny things."
Saturday, October 04, 2008
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Last night I had a vivid spider dream. For your reading pleasure, you get an account of the dream, an online dream interpretation of spiders from DreamMoods.com and the ability (if you so choose) to combine the two and determine your own take on the dream. If you know me, this is an extremely rare opportunity where I'll open up and leave myself vulnerable.
The dream began in a public room with a strand of spider web hanging from the ceiling about halfway to the floor. On the bottom was a cocoon beginning to bud. The cocoon began to grow and evolve into individual chambers. Those chambers then turned into eggs, with the assumption that there was a baby spider in each one. (I've read that the logic part of the brain is shut off during dreams. This is an obvious example.)
Next time I check the spider web strand, it had developed into a bigger, more intricate web and the "queen spider" had entered the picture. (Again, logic be damned, the spider in my dream behaved more like a queen ant where there's one mommy for the colony.) The queen was very cartoon-y. It was overly large with almost human-like characteristics. I was unable (out of fear?) to destroy the web or the spider in its initial stages. Due to that, it was beginning to grow out of control.
Towards the end of the dream, I walked across the room. The web had grown to such immense proportions that much of it clung to my body like sticky lint. The queen spider was now in a jar, caring for the cocoon-turned-eggs. The jar, too, was like some sort of protection that people from the outside world were providing for the queen spider. I couldn't quite understand why anyone would protect the spider that way and allow it to live and multiply. The queen, almost tauntingly, began taking its baby-ready eggs and tossing them around the room. One of them was intentionally aimed at me and went straight down the back of my shirt, causing a mini freak out on my part.
Still fearful of the queen spider, I devised a way to kill it without having to touch it. I decided that, if I covered the top of the jar, the spider would suffocate. I carefully placed a magazine over the jar and waited. On the ground was a slug shaped bug wearing the classic red and blue spiderman costume. The slug crawled to the jar and removed the magazine. Again, I put the magazine back on top of the jar. The slug returned again to protect the queen spider.
At this point I resigned and gave up. I also had this feeling of regret that I didn't address the spider problem early on when I could have dealt with it. Dream over.
Now that I've accounted for there dream, here's what DreamMoods says about spiders...
"To see a spider in your dream, indicates that you are feeling like an outsider in some situation. Or that you may want to keep your distance and stay away from an alluring and tempting situation. The spider is also symbolic of feminine power. Alternatively, a spider may refer to a powerful force protecting you against your self-destructive behavior. If you kill a spider, it symbolizes misfortune and general bad luck.
To see a spider spinning a web in your dream, signifies that you will be rewarded for your hard work. You will soon find yourself promoted in your job or recognized for your achievement in a difficult task. Spiders are a symbol of creativity due to the intricate webs they spin. On a negative note, spiders may indicate a feeling of being entangled or trapped in a sticky or clingy relationship. It represents some ensnaring and controlling force. You may feel that someone or some situation is sucking the life right out of you.
To see a spider climbing up a wall in your dream, denotes that your desires will be soon be realized.
To dream that you are bitten by a spider, represents a conflict with your mother or some dominant female figure in your life. The dream may be a metaphor for a devouring mother or the feminine power to possess and entrap. Perhaps you are feeling trapped by some relationship."
Now it's your turn. Go ahead. Analyze away.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
The following year, Galileo Galilei, making improvements of his own to the telescope, saw four of Jupiters moons (Io, Europa, Casllito, and later Ganymede) and began plotting their orbits. This alone proved that the earth wasn't the center of everything. In that same year, Johannes Kepler published Astronomia Nova, containing ten years of research and observation on the orbit of Mars. One of the biggest findings was that Mars' orbit was not circular, but rather elliptical, leading to one of Kepler's Laws. In honor of these great accomplishments in the year 1609, next year is being celebrated as the International Year of Astronomy.
A very near and dear friend encouraged me to still write, despite my sad attempts to even do this once a week. So, for those of you that enjoy reading this, you have No Longer Neighbor Natalie to thank for my attempt at some sort of writing resurgence.
From the nerdy to the heartfelt to the childish, a new absurd song has toppled "Milkshake" and "Umbrella" as the one to get stuck in my head for days at a time. In what Mike has accurately described as "appalling", "Paper Planes" takes the top spot in this week's top horrendous songs that I still listen to. I think I enjoy the gun shots in the chorus most.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
This week President Bush wants $700 billion to bailout various financial institutions. In a world where the words million and billion barely get notice, I want to put this into context. If, instead of a bailout, each of the 130 million tax payers that received rebate checks got the money instead, how much would they get? $700,000,000,000 divided by 130,000,000 people.... Equals exactly $5,384.62. You can look at it one of two ways. Either you deserved that money as an additional rebate. Or, more than $5,000 of your hard earned tax money just went to a bunch of irresponsible financial executives.
If you're not bothered by the current economic situation, I have one more little factoid that is personally bothersome. This is geared more towards those of you in my generation who have been in the workforce for perhaps a decade or so. Let's say you followed "sound" investment advice as you began in the workforce, putting away a few percent of your paycheck, preparing for big life events (a mortgage, wedding) and/or retirement. I know a lot of my friends have been doing this. If you began investing at the beginning of the decade (January, 2000), the Dow Jones closed at 11,522. This weekend (some eight years later) the Dow Jones sits at 11,388. It began Friday lower, at 11,027 until news of the government bailouts. So, for those of us that have worked our tails off, hoping for some long term prosperity or perhaps just a day when we can retire, things are not looking so good.
You know what though? Despite the increased financial difficulties of my generation, I'm happy. You want to know why? Because science once again has made life worth living. No, I'm not talking about the LHC (which was online for a few days, then has subsequently been shut down for 2 months). It's much, much more divine that that... Quilted Northern is now offering 3-ply toilet paper, putting the giant Q in Quality Time.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
While I don't deviate from my initial New Year's Resolution of not talking politics and the reasons why... I want to elaborate on the reasons. It's as if I've already formed some sort of opinion of you. (Not that you probably care what I think, but you can extrapolate my opinion and figure other people think the same of you). By talking politics, you're only going to lower that opinion I have of you, regardless of what you say. The more you talk, the worse it gets for you. Somehow, when people talk politics, the limits to their mind become clear.
The only example I can give to help explain where I'm coming from is when people talk poker. When you listen to someone tell you about their inevitable bad beat story (or on rare occasion a great play that they made), you can tell the limits of their poker skills by how they tell the story. The more you delve into their story, the more it becomes clear that they just have absolutely no clue.
Example Poker Story One: "I can't believe I got my aces cracked by four deuce offsuit! I mean, seriously, who plays four deuce offsuit?!" (This would be 90% of poker stories I hear. It's clear there's no context and no higher level thinking involved. It's simply - I have aces, I should win.)
Example Poker Story Two: "I raised with Ace King and some guy calls me with Ace Jack. Of course he rivers a jack and busts me. It's always on the river!" (Again, there's no context here. Even when I ask questions about the details, very few are remembered. Good poker players remember the details).
Example Poker Story Three: (Let's pretend this is the guy who played four deuce offsuit from the first story). "The tournament started with 27 players. We bought in for $20 each, started with 4000 in chips and there were no rebuys. We were down to the final seven players with the top five positions paying. With over 100,000 chips in play, the average stack was just over 15,000. I was 2nd in chips with around 22,000 and with players not wanting to bust before the bubble, I was ready to take advantage. A real tight player limped from early position with the blinds at 200/400. Both the cutoff and button smooth called. I'm in the small blind and decide to call with 4 2 given the pot odds and nobody showing any real strength except for maybe the initial limper. The big blind checks, leaving us with 2000 in the pot already. Just as I had hoped, the flop rolled off beautifully for me - J22 rainbow. I debate leading out a weak bet, but opt for the check raise, hoping somebody hit that jack or has a pair that he thinks is good. I check, as does the big blind. The initial limper bets the pot and leaves himself only 5000 behind. The cutoff folds. The button strangely smooth calls and still has 9000 behind. Does he really have a 2? Nah, he wouldn't be playing any hands with a 2. He must either have a jack (like QJ) or a middle pair that he thinks is good. With the pot getting juicy, I decide to make my move. I check raise all in. The bb mucks. The initial limper is stunned yet excited at the same time. He quietly gives me music to my ears and says, "I call." The button is forced to fold. I flip over my trip 2s and the limper can't believe that he's invested 7400 chips with aces only to have them crushed. If only he had raised preflop, I wouldn't have had such great odds to play my hand in the first place." (Honestly, unless you won some major tournament by playing this hand, I generally don't care either. But at least it's clear that you know your stuff.)
Despite my poker tangent, the point here is I don't want to hear your politics. When you write a sentence or two on your Facebook status, you sound like Poker stories 1 and 2. When you comment back on someone's status, you sound like an even bigger idiot. It's a crude, insensitive way to put things, but it's the only way I've ever gotten my point across... Arguing politics is like participating in the Special Olympics. Even if, by the slightest chance you happen to win, in the end, you're still retarded.
I'm trying really hard to help you here... Quit sounding retarded when you're not.
I had intended to just get a few things off my mind. Then that happened. I kind of got carried away. But, for what it's worth, it made me feel better.
In a sign that I don't think I'll ever grow up - All I can think about is Rock Band 2. I don't own Rock Band. But I've played it and love it. Now, with the equivalent Guitar Hero World Tour coming out, people will have to decide which one to purchase. Some people will choose one over the other based on brand loyalty or the songs or gameplay or cost or whatever. You know what the honest to goodness deciding factor is for me? (Assuming I eventually have the money for it). The one with the best bass pedal on the drums. That's it. After breaking so many bass pedals on the Rock Band that wasn't mine and not being able to replace them without replacing the entire game under warranty, I decided that the bass pedal is by far the limiting factor of that game.
Rock Band 2?
Or Guitar Hero World Tour?
After watching those videos, the answer is clear. It's Rock Band 2. Any game that advertises using Lenny Kravitz loses in my book.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
I'm still bothered by commercials during the shows I watch. Because, based on sound capitalistic desire for profit, the commercial makers want to gear their commercials towards some sort of target audience. Now, if I'm watching a certain TV show, I imagine that I'm part of that target audience. For example, it would be kind of stupid to advertise Depends or Poly Grip during the kids' show "Dora the Explorer", right?
I'm watching the latest "World Series of Poker" last night on ESPN, when a commercial for some product that waters your plants evenly over time is on. It's some long, bulbous Chemistry lab looking device that you shove in the dirt and it releases water at some proper intervals or something. Honestly, I've never owned a plant before. Most likely because, even with that product, it would probably still die. How is the poker playing community the target audience for a product like this? Do they really think that we're sitting at a 2:30 am session at the casino thinking to ourselves... Ok, I'll play one last orbit and then I've got to get home and water my plant. Never mind the fact that I'm up a month's rent and the guy to my right is loosely bleeding chips, ready to double me up again. My ferns are thirsty.
Here it is. They're called Aqua Globes....
On Comedy Central within the last hour there was some commercial for Enzyte. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it August? You think I'd be bothered by the creepy guy on whose lap everybody wants to sit. But I'm more bothered by the idea that a Christmas themed commercial seemed anywhere near appropriate in August.
Now that the Olympics are over, there's virtually nothing on my DVR. Which is fine, in and of itself. But I'm missing all of those stories about Michael Phelps and his breakfasts and ADHD. So, let's relive that magical moment where he wins by .01 seconds...
Friday, August 22, 2008
Rock Paper Scissors: A Geek Tragedy is coming out in theaters. Or maybe on DVD. Or maybe straight to YouTube. But it's coming out.
Here are some other Rock Paper Scissors movies for your viewing pleasure.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
It's also unfair to people who flip over and miss gates that way.
I'm finding myself watching more shot put than anything else track and field. Some of these guys are throwing the shot put upwards of 70 feet. That ball is 16 pounds, right? The weight of a full on bowling ball? How far do you think you could throw a shot put? I think, going granny style, I could maybe crack 12 feet.
It's not often I get a chance to brag about anything. It's not because I'm humble. It's because I rarely do anything significant. Today though, I'm going to brag.
My softball team once again won the league. Our once sad, sad co-ed team somehow is repeat champions. Before the game, I checked our roster and saw I was batting last. I looked at the coach and asked, "You're serious?" He said, "Yeah, I'm serious." I then flipped the page with our season stats and said, "Ok. That makes sense. It must be that I'm only hitting .950 this season." I looked at the details and saw that, in 20 at bats, I had 8 doubles, a triple, a homerun and 13 runs scored.
I was extra inspired to keep that batting average in tact and went 3 for 3, ending the season batting .957. (It's funny - you have no idea how mad I am that I made that one out a few weeks ago). Not only did we win the game 18-3, but my pitching record for the season remained a perfect 6-0. Despite what they say about how you play the game - it's way more fun to win.
That's it. I'm done talking about me.
My dad sends the Squirrel Obstacle Course for our viewing pleasure....
Thursday, August 14, 2008
1) Only one contestant qualified in all four strokes.
2) No contestant finished last in more than one event.
3) Adam finished better in the backstroke than he did in the butterfly.
4) Brad finished better than Doug in the butterfly.
5) Adam finished just behind Brad and just ahead of Eric in the breaststroke.
6) Doug finished just ahead of Carl in the freestyle.
7) Neither Brad nor Eric finished third in any event.
8) Eric's finish in the backstroke was the same as Doug's in the butterfly.
9) Doug only finished in the same position in the backstroke and the freestyle.
10) Carl finished in a different position in each event.
11) Brad finished only two events in the same position.
12) The contestant who finished second in the butterfly beat Doug in the freestyle.
13) The contestant who finished first in the freestyle did not qualify in the backstroke.
14) The contestant who finished fifth in the backstroke did not finish third in the butterfly.
15) No contestant finished in the same position in both the breaststroke and the butterfly.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Divide $318 (in whole $ increments) into a number of bags so that I can ask for any amount between $1 and $318, and you can give me the proper amount by giving me a certain number of these bags without opening them. What is the minimum number of bags you will require?
Monday, August 11, 2008
Mike sends the gripping story of the guy behind the opening ceremonies. Zhang Yimou has spent most of his life making movies that have been censored in China. Talk about getting the opportunity to finally shine, huh?
How is it obvious that my closest friends know me well? Both Mike and Joe sent the latest CERN press release... The Large Hadron Collider will be up and running on September 10th. I can't friggin' wait.
Confused about the LHC? Mike sends a rap that might help explain what's going on...
How much information are the LHC detectors collecting? 10,000 Encyclopedia Britannica's per second.
My family was here visiting recently. We took some video of our time together. Here's the highlights....
And finally, for those who are still reading (today and at all).... A brain teaser....
Grandpa: "My grandson is about as many days as my son is weeks, and my grandson is as many months as I am in years. My grandson, my son and I together are 120 years. Can you tell me my age in years?"
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Does anyone else suspect something goofy is going to happen at this year's Olympics?
For the Lost fans out there, you can join the Dharma Initiative. I have no idea what this is all about (we've already established that I get confused easily), but it is part of Lost and looks like it'll be updated periodically throughout the next season. (Thanks to my brother for this link).
Cousin Danny sends a photo and interview with the hottest girl ever. (Hint: See question #3).
The Chicago Bears have unveiled their new offense for 2008.
This is for my brother who has no idea what I was talking about when I referred to a singing piece of fruit from Sesame Street...
Friday, July 25, 2008
To give you an idea of how sad it is I'm doing this, I was telling Cousin Eric today that my goal is to be able to do one honest to goodness pull up by the end. Even sadder is that I've never been able to do one in my life and it would be an amazing accomplishment.
Since the workouts consume 60-90 minutes of my day... everyday... that's all I've been talking about lately. Just the other day I made it to the halfway point. Now, you'd probably expect me to talk about my numbers and give some sort of half way progress report with pounds and inches lost and strength gained. But that's not my style. Nor are my numbers all that impressive. In fact, I was about to say that I'll give a full report after 90 days, but I don't want to make any promises.
What I did want to do, however, was come up with some sort of "Top Ten" type list for those who have done P90X. This only really makes sense for those who have done the workouts since you've spent dozens of hours with Tony Horton and are starting to feel like he's living with you. So, my apologies to those who haven't done P90X - I know this all seems elitist and exclusionary.
There are so many classic moments in these videos that I want to make this some sort of "Work in Progress" where people can submit their own "P90X moments". So, if you have a P90X story/moment/favorite quote, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. In the meantime, here's my preliminary list to give you an idea of what I'm getting at here:
- Just about halfway through the yoga video, Tony talks about doing the best downward dog of your life. He then proceeds to say, "They're coming in to shoot the cover of Downward Dog Magazine." I laughed the first time. Now I look forward to it as inspiration.
- Just to make you feel worse about yourself, one of they guys in the Plyometrics (jump training) video has a prosthetic leg.
- Phase 2 brings all sorts of harder push ups and pull ups (not that I could do a whole lot of regular ones to begin with). At the end of the Phase 2 pull up day, Tony talks about doing pull ups that are easier for you if you're "wasted" and the ones you don't like if you still have energy. Needless to say I'm beyond wasted every time, hoping to do maybe 6 pull ups with the aid of a chair. Then smiley chick on the right in the video says, "I'm going to do corn cob pull ups." For those unfamiliar, corn cob pull ups are pull ups where, at the top of the pull up, you move your body right, then left, then away from the bar, then towards the bar, before going down again.
- Does Tony really need to do the pterodactyl every time he does the big reverse arm circles? Wasn't it enough in one video? If my count is right, he does it in three.
- Since you do the Ab Ripper X routine more than any other (three times a week), everything gets magnified. A few minutes before the end, Tony walks in from the back, acting all macho, slowing saying, "Ab.... Ripper... X..." For whatever reason I hate that.
- Tony's dad really threw some no hitters? He says so at the end of the Plyometrics video. Who's his dad? I actually checked the all time no-hitter list for the major leagues and there's no Horton on there. What's he talking about? Slow pitch softball?
- Thanks for the P90X recovery drink shameless promotion at the end of every workout.
- What are the odds that Tony and Dreya Webber are/were hooking up? Even odds? Big Brown 1-5 kind of odds?
- I love those pot stirrer cool downs at the end. Tony always asks what kind of soup people are stirring. During Phase 2, Phil says, "I'm stirring up trouble." Tony is obviously upset that somebody else was trying to be funny. Phil's my new hero.
- Speaking of Phil, he gets verbally massacred during the Stretch video. I somehow have a feeling that they filmed the previous pot stirring video first and Tony decided to get revenge here by pointing out how inflexible Phil is.
Thanks to newly discovered Cousin-in-Law Chris M. for some more fantastic P90X moments...
- "X me baby"
- After a tough set he'll look at the computer and say "Now that's.....P90X"
- "The Georgeous Dreya Weber"
- "German Potato Soup!"
- "How many are you going to do Phil?, How many are you going to do Morraine". I'll still be doing pushups when both of you are done". What an ass!
- (Send more and I'll keep this list updated)
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Speaking of poker, a computer beat some some professionals heads up. The computer won 3 games to 2. This is a giant feat for computer nerds, as poker is a game of imperfect information (since you don't know what your opponent is holding). Which makes the programming far more complex than, let's say, chess, where you know exactly what you opponent has and can do.
Remember a couple of years ago when I'd talk about my softball team and how bad we were? I mean, we got mercy ruled just about every time out bad? Well, in addition to our D-league championship last fall, we're 6-0-1 so far this season. We even got bumped up a league due to our "stellar" performance last time around. Don't let the undefeated record fool you - Until tonight, every one of our wins was by three runs or fewer. But we put on a show tonight, amassing a 14 run inning. After 12 runs, the umpire went out to the field and joked "Time out for the team in the field to take a bathroom break." I'm sure the other team didn't find it quite as amusing as we did.
Kidney stones are on the increase due to... Wow, is there any global warming CAN'T do?
I meant to post this on Bastille Day....
Under my umbrella ella ella eh eh eh.... (Yeah, I'm still kind of obsessed)....
And certainly not least, thanks to Mike who, I am proud to announce is now part of Mr. and Mrs. Mike... What I'm trying to say is he got married this past weekend and deserves all sorts of congratulations...
Friday, July 11, 2008
Have you joined the Wii craze yet? I know it's been around for a year and a half now. But my crowd is finally starting to get Wii's. One of my four friends is even having a Wii Party this weekend. Being more of a traditional gamer, I still think I'd get a PS3 over a Wii if given the choice. But I tried Wii Fit at my brother's last week. It's one of those games where you just have to get better. You say, "Oh sure, I'll try it." Then you're standing there four hours later still trying to get your bubble boy down the river. My opinion is swinging towards actually considering a Wii. If I wasn't convinced enough already, Zoo Magazine(?) has made quite the closing argument. I bet her Mii doesn't have the gut like mine does.
Major League Baseball chose one of my favorite songs of the last couple of years for their All Star game promo. It's called "Lazy Eye" by the Silversun Pickups. (I know, I'm also shocked that I listen to music written this century). So, kudos to Major League Baseball, right? Not so fast. They select the part of the song that repeats "I've been waiting for this moment all my life..." What they neglect is the second half of that sentence. Which says, "...but it's not quite right." Given Jason Varitek's selection to the game and the controversy surrounding World Series home field advantage at stake, perhaps it's more appropriate than I originally thought.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
First - The red square game. Keep track of your scores and leave the high scores in the comments section.
Second - Type the alphabet in order. Poker Jason and I have been competing a little bit. He's currently winning with a score of 4.95 seconds.
Check out MySpace's Intervention....
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
This week, VH1 has out-nostalgia-ed itself. I get "I Love the 70's"... in the nostalgia sense. I more get "I Love the 80's" in a "I sort of remember that stuff" sense. For me "I Love the 90's" really hit home. This week they're premiering "I Love the New Millennium". We're still a couple of years from the end of the decade and they're already giving a fond look back at it? If that's not bad enough, I got hooked into it as I was doing some other work.
Probably the biggest "Wow" moment I had was that the Milkshake song came out in 2003. To which I could only think - What the hell happened to the last 5 years of my life?
For whatever reason, the video for Milkshake can't be embedded. So you'll have to click here to see it. I miss being able to say, "I could teach you, but I'd have to charge" and not have someone look funny at me.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
I now get all of my foreign news from CBS. For reasons you probably already suspect. Lara Logan is smoking hot.
Speaking of hot, it's been miserably hot here lately. I also have no AC. So, if I've done or said anything bordering delusional, it's my frying gray matter. Honestly though - it's that kind of hot where you can't even sleep past sunrise.
Poker Jason sends the greatest win-win link so far this year. You can test and build your vocabulary, while simultaneously have rice donated to the hungry. Try it yourself at FreeRice. (Now you have to try it. Because, if you don't, you'll feel responsible for someone that dies of hunger.)
Have you guys seen this? The office worker who goes berserk? Did the German kid grow up that quickly?
The Office Worker video was exposed as a Viral Video. It's probably better I say something now than wait for the emails later this week.
Finally, the top 10 shirts to get arrested wearing.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Megadeth's Hangar 18 8-bit
Metallica's Master of Puppets 8-bit
AC/DC's Thunderstruck 8-bit
And Metallica's One 8-bit (This sounds like you've just entered the wrong level in the original Zelda).
And finally, if some snotty music critic really reviewed your Guitar Hero Performance.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Sunday, June 08, 2008
Here's the problem with the PS3. I enjoy video games - I'm not that ashamed to admit it. If I'm going to buy a video game system, I'm already set on a PS3. (For the sake of what I'm about to write, assume that one day in the not-so-distant future, I will have a steady income). The problem isn't with the $400 game system (although expensive). It's not even about the fact that I'm going to buy GTA IV as the first game at an additional $60. Or the fact that I'll probably splurge another $169.99 on Rock Band. It's the fact that I have a TV from about 1994. And the entire PS3 purchase would be wasted without a proper HDTV. Let's not even think about the need for speakers and surround sound. All of the sudden, an initial $400 buy turns into a $5000 ordeal. This, my friends, is the reason I don't ever see getting a PS3.
I say this only because I had a chance to play GTA IV at a friend's place for a couple of hours. It's absolutely amazing. Here's a stunt montage from the game that's edited to Metallica's "Battery" with the San Francisco symphony. In related news, I conducted a lab experiment with batteries recently and considered playing that song in the background. I didn't.
I've been on a little bit of an early 90's Seattle grunge kick as of late. I found the video for Temple of the Dog's "Hunger Strike". Watching it gave me a mixed sense of sentiment and cheese.
Mike sends a commercial for an office swear jar. F*&$in hilarious.
Saturday, May 31, 2008
- I DVRed the opening round on ESPN (3 hours) and the final round on ABC (2 hours). This time around, I set my DVR for extra time so I wouldn't miss the final word again.
- To be fair, I'm sort of half watching it in the background as I do work that should be deemed as more important.
- Rankine - It's some temperature scale that nobody uses anymore. It was probably never really used except in Mr. Rankine's home. It's named after the dude who invented it. The fact that the kids have to spell someone's last name is absolutely unfair. Does this also mean that you could just invent some new unit of distance and name it after yourself? Is there a legal process you have to follow to get a unit of measure named after you? Like one Johnson is equivalent to 16.3 centimeters?
- The guy who reads the words is the most patient dude who ever lived.
- Since I'm knee deep into classes on multicultural education, I feel more comfortable talking about race and gender in terms of kids. Previously I've talked about how the spelling bee is pretty gender neutral. On the contrary, the number of white contestants is not representative of the overall white population in this country.
- The success rate in the spelling bee is comparable to the success rate of a major league hitter getting on base. You're lucky to see a round where four out of ten contestants get the word correct.
- I miss the whole Samir Patel hype. Don't worry though. He made the cover story of ESPN.com the other day. He's fine.
- Sade is the most polite sounding person I've ever seen. It's a combination of her proper British accent and her overuse of "Please" and "Doctor Bailey" every time she asks a question. They just announced that she's Jamaican.
- Speaking of countries, who is eligible for this competition? During the first hour there was a mention that all six Canadians got knocked out in the same round. Why are there no British contestants?
- You can tell immediately if the kid knows how to spell the word. I get empathetic pain when I know that they're desperately searching for clues as the clock ticks down.
- The backup lady judge keeps asking the contestants to speak the word towards the judges off to the left. I would suggest that next year the judges sit directly in front of the stage.
- Keeping with my racial stereotypes, the kid with the big nose from New York got the word with Jewish and Yiddish origins. He still got it wrong.
- I learned that the Greek "chiros" means hand. Now the scientific word "chirality" makes a whole lot more sense.
- Nearly all of the words have European languages of origin (Greek, Latin, French, German, Italian, etc). Yet so many Asian kids are succeeding in the competition.
- After five rounds the total number of contestants went from 288 to 90 to 63 to 45 to 24. So my previous example of a baseball hitter isn't exactly accurate. This is more like a game of HORSE in basketball. But once you get "H", you're out. The first round was a 3-pointer from the corner.
- I take some strange comfort when I spell the word incorrectly but spell it the same way as the kid. It's not too often that I look up to a 13-year old like that.
I'm taking a little break here between the ESPN portion and the ABC portion....
- Tom Bergeron is the announcer? He's the d-bag who does that America's Funniest Home Videos, right? What's his deal? It's probably my inflated view of this event, but he's not good enough to be doing anything at the National Spelling Bee.
- I'm doing far worse than I did last year. This is confirming my theory that I've become way, way dumber over the past 12 months.
- 11 spellers remain. 6 girls, 5 boys. I love the gender equality.
- I'm starting to recognize words. I nailed Rorschach and Huguenot. What up?!
- "Numb Nut?". (Kid freaks out, finally figures out the word and gets it). N-U-M-N-A-H.
- I like Justin Song because he talks like Napolean Dynamite. Oh great. He just got dinged.
- A lot of the boys are starting to look like the kids from movies from the late 70s and early 80s. They have that long summer camp looking hair and the drugged out eyes. (Watch movies like E.T. and Meatballs again - the kids seriously have crazy druggy eyes. It's the point where I'm convinced there was something in the water.)
- Jahnavi Iyer's favorite movie is "What About Bob?". She's also kind of funny. I'm now rooting for her.
- She's out. I need to quit rooting for these kids.
- Tia Thomas is chock-full of confidence. She's good too.
- It's Round 12, they're down to 3. This is where they bring out the "Championship Words". Ya know, because everything was so easy up to this point.
- Alright, take an honest assessment of yourself. How likely would you be to get any random word correct? Maybe 5%? 10% at best? Ok, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and say 10%. So the odds that you'd make it past Round N would be (.10)^N. So you'd have a 10% chance of making it past round 1. 1% past round 2. 0.1% past round 3. (See, this is why I confuse my students. They don't get math either). Point being, these kids are really, really, really good.
- Ok, the championship list is 25 words long. If there's no winner after the 25 words, co-champions are declared. That seems fair. I guess. For kids. In professional sports, that would never go over well.
- The confident Tia Thomas is the first of the final three to miss a word. Opificer is tough to spell. Or say. I feel like the ultimate jinx. The final two contestants, Sameer Mishra and Sidharth Chand, have received no mention by me at all. It should figure that one of them is going to win.
- We're just passed the point on my DVR where the regular broadcast should have ended. I can take pride in the fact that I learned my lesson from last year and added an extra half hour.
- I kind of spaced out at the end there. Samir won. Next thing I knew, 20/20 was on. They were talking about the crane collapse in New York. And all I could think about was the famous scene from City Slickers....
"We got this job on 65th and Third. This big freakin' ballbreaker of a job, right, and we got the area roped off so that some schmuck don't walk through there and take a wrecking ball between the eyes. All of a sudden this woman, you know with the big dark glasses and the Bloomingdale bags, she starts walking right through the ropes and I yell down at her, "Hey! You can't go there ya stupid bitch." And suddenly, this big steam fittin' bursts and this God damn crane crashes right down on her legs. And she's screaming, "My Legs! My Legs!" And I say, "No shit, your legs, you got a two-thousand-pound goddamn crane on you." Now you know that in an emergency situation you can get superhuman strength? I reach down and I lift this crane and was able to slide her out from under, and the doctors were able to save her legs. So the moral of this story is: don't walk where you're not supposed to walk because there may not be someone with superhuman strength to save your little ass. And don't do drugs."
Here's the Numb Nut clip...
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Speaking of doom and gloom, check out environmentalist predictions from 1970. Paul Ehrlich (whose books on population growth I read as a teenager) predicted that global cooling would continue so that a food shortage would reduce the U.S. population to only 22.6 million.
I've been casually watching the NBA playoffs this year. That's new for me. There's something a little extra exciting about this season. Then, my two least favorite teams (San Antonio and Detroit) advance to the conference finals. I don't care for Boston either. Over the last few days, things went from exciting... to... dear lord, not them again. Even worse, by default, I'm rooting for Kobe.
This video takes a real hard core baseball fan to understand. It's the batting stances of White Sox players over the years.
Saturday, May 10, 2008
This is why I present of bunch of those NBA playoff commercials.
This one gets my MVP vote, simply for the music.
Adam Sandler parodies these commercials with Baron Davis for his new Zohan movie.
Saturday, May 03, 2008
You may have heard that Albert Hofman, the inventor of LSD died this week at the age of 102.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
From the "Never say never" files: Not only did I watch "American Idol" tonight, but I DVRed it. Some of you know that I don't think highly of "American Idol". But, when I heard that tonight was going to be Neil Diamond night, I couldn't resist. After watching it, I stick with my original opinion. It's glorified karaoke. Karaoke where the effects and background music make it much more impressive.
But Neil Diamond still rules.
Have you seen Hulu.com? One of the benefits of being around teenagers is that I'm exposed to these things before I read about them on MSN or Fox News two months after they do. Hulu is just full of TV shows and movies. I mean, TV shows the day after they premiere.
As a kid, my brother used to tell stories like The Chris Farley show. He'll be the first to admit it.
Saturday, April 26, 2008
In a battle of just awful, awful looking sequels, Speed 3 takes on War Games 2.
From CollegeHumor.com - The Die Hard friendship scale.
Level 1: Holly McClane-Gennaro - My closest, most battle-tested friend. I would walk over broken glass for you- and not in the gay Annie Lennox way, I mean it literally. Fact of the matter is, at the end of the day, I can count on you to punch a douchebag reporter in the teeth when I'm just too exhausted to do it myself.
Level 2: Sgt. Al Powell - When the shit hits the fan, you'll have my back. You're the type of person who is so loyal you'd be able to overcome your fear of using a firearm to save me from a gargantuan German whom I thought I had strangled with a steel chain. There is also the slight chance you've shot a kid.
Level 3: Argyle - The definition of a friendship of convenience. Yeah, we can share some laughs, but when the going gets tough, you're too busy raiding my limo's mini-bar and making your plans for tonight.
Level 4: The Principal from The Breakfast Club (Police Chief Dwayne T. Robinson) - You're a dick. Plain and simple. But, because of your position, I am forced to respect your decisions. That will not stop me from undermining your authority and making fun of your stupid name.
Level 5: Ellis - I try my best to be civil around you, even if you do spend your time hitting on my wife and doing blow, but it wouldn't ruin my night if you were shot in the head by German terrorists.
Level 6: Hans Gruber - You are my sworn enemy. Need this to be any clearer? Let me put it this way- I would consider my night a success if I was the reason you plummeted to your death from the 40th floor of a Los Angeles highrise. Yippee-ki-yay, motherfucker.
Level 7: Broken Glass - Fuck you.
No Longer Neighbor Natalie sends a mashup of Joel and Ethan Coen movies. See how many you can recognize.
Gas prices nearest to where I live - 3.93 / 4.05 / 4.17. Sadly, in three years, that'll seem affordable.