Archive for July, 2007

           If you take a trip over to Scotland, you may come across Sam, the world’s first shoplifting bird. That’s right, Sam has a knack for the five finger (or one beak) discount, as is evident through compelling security camera footage of Sam in action. He stands between 8 to 11 inches, depending on which store he is exiting. His tactics are simple, he walks in casually, snaps up a bag of chips, and prompty makes his escape. The chips are always conspicuously the same: cheese Doritos. The tiny thief has quickly taken the Scottish community by storm, and apparently onlookers have even been reinbursing the store owner for the merchandise. Who knows when and where he may strike again. Be on the look out for Sam the shoplifting seagull.



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                As I was casually thumbing through an article on the famed creators of the YouTube enterprise the other day, I began to realize something. Since the technological gods have dubbed YouTube their posterchild, the quality of viral videos elsewhere has floundered.

                 I can remember a time when ebaum’s world was king, funnyjunk flourished, and killsometime was on top of the world. Nowadays, it seems the popularity of these once megastars has drastically dwindled, overshadowed by the monsterous ectoplasm of the YouTube stratasphere. youtube_logo_01.gifWhile YouTube support soars leaps and bounds over the competetion, the quality of actually “funny” videos elsewhere is just plain dismal. Many sites that used to be hilarious have slowly turned into soft-core porn hatcheries, and offer more videos of brutality than humor. I can see the entertainment value in watching a 20 year old smash a fluoeresecent light bulb across his back, but I would rather be laughing than seeing him pick the glass out of his skin.



                 Almost all of these videos will end up on YouTube anyway, so the reality is that YouTube just has the best of both worlds. Heck, YouTube already serves 60% of ALL online videos watched anyway. Why go to 4 different websites when YouTube features that music video you were dying to watch, Donald the skateboarding monkey, John Doe getting tazered and the latest bashing of Michael “The Dog” Vick? I guess the underlying factor at work here is simple: since the massive surge of YouTube popularity, other viral sites just simply seem less important.

              YouTube even has support from the Whitehouse now, being the sole carrier of questions in the first “YouTube” debates ever held. From a snowman’s plea on global warming, to a southern man’s yawl to save his baby (an assault rifle), every last inquiry came from the YouTube database.

              Then you have one of the biggest additions to YouTube in recent years, its purchase by the gargantuan Google. So if for some reason you did not know about YouTube, now it is owned by the biggest search engine ever created and has massive financial backing. Now don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan of YouTube. I am not trashing on the multi media powerhouse out of personal angst, but rather public awareness. The death of the smaller video websites on the net is indeed a tragic one, I hope someone invites YouTube to the funeral.

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              According to a recent survey, George W. Bush is second only to Richard Nixon is lowest approval rating ever. Bush doesn’t have a Watergate, so obviously there are other reasons for the continual sharp decline in popular support for the president. I guess questions bush1.gifthat have yet to be answered help puncture the approval of the Bush administration. When will we leave the shattered and torn country of Iraq? When will Bush realize that you can’t force people into democracy through the barrel of a gun? When will American soldiers stop dying overseas? When will Bush admit he lied about the WMD’s? When will the U.S. health care system provide sufficent and affordable care for ALL Americans? When will the government put more effort to limit fossil fuel addiction? When will Bush face the reality he has created for America? Not since Mr. Nixon have the approval ratings plunged for such an extended time, with so many Americans disgusted and dissatisfied with the decisions of an American president. I hope the 2008 elections brings someone who has the ability to rebuild our country from the ground up. America needs a change.

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                      If you take a trip to Bob Dylan’s site, there is no doubt that you will notice the gigantic in-your-face red and black banner on the homepage. bob_dylan1.jpgThe banner has information regarding a new 3-cd retrospective set of music he will be releasing on October 1st 2007. The collection will feature a collection of songs across 3 CD’s that span his career from his self titled debut to the recent Modern Times. Apparently the tracks will also be selected heavily based on fan letters to his website. There is also a new section of his site that allows anyone who wants to voice their “Dylan story” to do so. So if you have a particular story to tell Dylan about regarding his music let him know and maybe you will see it make an appearance on the new album. Bob Dylan already has multiple other greatest hits-esque albums, so I am interested to see what sets this new one apart. I would expect to see a large booklet of pictures or maybe even a DVD edition in the future, but we will have to wait and see.

Bob Dylan

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                  I recently saw a video of the E3 video game expo 2007 featuring Nintendo guru Miyamoto showcasing the new WiiFit game for the Nintendo Wii. The new kid on the block features a white scale-like balance board that comes with the game itself. The board utilizes wi-fi and sends a signal to your machine which can then read a multitude of your body’s characteristics. As you stand on the board, a display will pop-up showing your BMI (body mass index), posture, and a slew of other stats. The weight feature is only one of over 30 or wiifit_logo1.jpgso activities a player can participate in with the game. There are muscle exercises that utilize the wiimote and actually feature a virtual person on the screen doing the stretch as you do it. From aerobics like stepping exercises to more uniform stretching, the combinaiton of the board and wiimote enable a player to perform an array of different activities usually not associated with video games. Nintendo is going a very interesting route with this new addition. Never before have video games really seen a direct “exercise” game that had broad appeal. (DDR being the closest I can think of.) I think the game will either be a hit or miss for Nintendo, and it will be interesting to see how many adults really utilize the Wii health program. Nintendo has always been known as leaders in innovation and creativity, and it seems they have truly come up with yet another completely original and enticing idea for a video game. We can only wait and see what the future holds for fitness on the Wii.

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              Here’s the bottom line: If you haven’t seen The Devil and Daniel Johnston, go rent it now. This movie was a masterpiece. I had not even heard of the manic depressive genius named Dan Johnston before watching this movie. This man is a musical genius and underground culture legend. Naive and mesmorizing, simple and touching, brilliant and deeply moving, Johnston’s music takes “original” to a whole new level. So please take a couple hours out of your time and see this movie.


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