Tuesday, June 30, 2009
I subscribe to several blogs, podcasts, and YouTube channels. Most of the ones I subscribe to are very nice, but rarely cause excitement. Then there are those that when they do update it is freaking awesome! The other day I experienced one of those updates on YouTube. Enter Mr. G, the host of Do Try This at Home. This YouTube series consists of Mr. G demonstrating fun and easy science projects that anyone can do from home. I have to say I always learn something that I did not know before. While updates where irregular for awhile(wild rumors on the internet said he was dead which he addresses after a long absence), it would seem that Mr. G is back with a second season and is making the attempt to bring us all episodes on a weekly basis. If you are not watching this web show, then start. Also, he has probably the best theme song I have ever heard on internet, plus new 30 second spots that will fit between episodes (with a new cool theme as well). Be sure to watch the bloopers at the end, they are always a good time. Here is one of our favorite episodes at The Unicellular Blog.
Friday, June 26, 2009
The future of our world is always unclear, especially in terms of how technologically advanced we will be. According to Back to the Future II, we should have self drying clothes, flying cars, and watching everything in 3D (well maybe we are part of the way there). Anyways, filmmakers have been known to have very rich thoughts on what our future world looks like in terms of technology, aesthetics, and culture. Generally, in the future we all wear slick one piece jump suites as seen in the new Mac ads (to which Jerry Seinfeld has a good reason for this fashion choice in this video around the 1 minute mark), and all of our cars take on the look of that space ship from Flight of the Navigator. One of the things I have noticed in film is that in these advanced societies, everything is shiny and void of fingerprints, corruption, or dust. Why is that? Apple has been known for their more futuristic design and glossy screens that look like they could fit in a world of flying cars, but all the ones I see are simply filthy. Are people just cleaner in the future? No, we just wised up, and here are the two reason why the future is going to be shinier based on technologies that exist now.
1) In the future, the things we will actually have to touch will be protected by a special polymer that will fend of our greasy paws. Sound like science fiction? Think again, and you don't have to look further than Apple's new iPhone 3G S. When I got my first iPhone, I was driven mad by the amount of fingerprints I had on my favorite new toy. No matter what I tried I could not stop it from getting smeared with natural oils and grease from hands and face. Enter the oleophobic screen of the new iPhone 3G S. Basically this polymer applied to the phone minimizes those nasty little oils and even helps in evaporating the little that get through. Outside of the phones impressive speed, this is no doubt my favorite feature. So how is this going to keep the future so clean? Imagine it on the side of every building, on every window, and all of machines. There is a more in depth discussion of oleophobic polymer over at Gizmodo with Bill Nye the Science Guy.
2) Minority Report is not my favorite movie, but the technology in the movie really gets ones mind going. Most of the technology is based around holographic images, with no hardware needing to be touched at all. Surely we are years away from such advanced technology. Well, don't tell that to the guys at Microsoft's Xbox team. Project Natal is a new revolutionary way of gaming that will require no chords or controllers, just motion control. The system will respond to human movement in respect to what is going on the screen. Imagine this technology applied to say a computer. No more keyboard and mouse. The future will be pretty clean if we aren't touching anything. Check out the video below.
I don't know about you, but I am pretty excited about a shiny clean future.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
You would probably be a liar if you said you have never really thought about the apocalypse in any sort of capacity: whether it be the apocalypse of the religious variety, zombie attack, alien enslavement, or nuclear winter; you know that some book, film, or video game put your mind to work imagining how you would react and continue to survive. I for one have had my zombie escape plan and alien uprising rebel battalion in place for years. I just wish there was somebody around who could organize, talk about, and critique our perceptions of impending doom. Lucky for me there is such person willing to spend hours of deep thought and mediation analyzing history and the human psyche to help us better understand what the hell is going on in the world of the post-world. Enter Mark Hutson: my friend, film companion, and Apocalypse obsessed blogger. His new blog ,The Apocalypse Blog, will be the place to discuss our misconceptions, delusions, ideas, and expectations of a potential end of human civilization as we know it. Please subscribe and enjoy what this blog has to offer.
Friday, June 19, 2009
So I got a haircut yesterday. I went through a delusional period thinking that it would be cool to grow my hair long, but it dawned on me that I live in Alabama and it a million degrees right now (an obvious exaggeration). So, on a whim, I got my haircut. Typically I like my hair immediately, but when I get home I have regrets. It always seems puffy and unflattering at home. Generally it takes about a two months for me to really start liking my hair and then I need another cut, thus the cycle starts over. It is a bitch. Anyways, here are some haircut links.
One of the most catchy indie tunes of all time has to be Pavement's Cut Your Hair. From the ohh ohh's to the playful lyrics about bands, scenes, and style; this track is sure to make you tap your toes.
Now I love viral videos and I don't really care what that says about me, but My New Haircut is really funny. Let us hear it for this parody of the Jersey Douche Guy that is so quotable.
While this is not necessarily haircut related, it is important to note anyways; watch the Vlogbrothers channel on YouTube. These brothers started by communicating for a solid year strictly the Vlogs, and the whole things has grown into this whole Nerdfighter revolution. The reason I mention it under this post is for brother John Green (writer of the brilliant Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, and Paper Towns) speaks of his hair poof often which is many times the issue I have with my hair ( I couldn't find a specific video where he talks about his hair, but this is about his beard.)
Finally I leave you with a barber shop quartet. Did I mention these guys have a STar Trek them?
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
It's 10a.m. Alabama time and I'm in Charleston drinking Trois Pistoles from a growler with my uncle. For those of you who don't know, a growler is a 1/2 gallon glass jug you fill with draft beer for consumption at your own leisure. They are legal in South Carolina, but not so much in Alabama. There is one place that sells them though, Dee's package store on Greensprings Highway. Read about it down below
Get a growler, get some beer, and watch this youtube video of A Goofy Movie done David Lynche style.
Friday, June 5, 2009
Birthdays are lame. At least they have been since I stopped having cartoon themed parties where people brought me gifts in shiny wrapping paper and I got to beat the daylights out of a polychromatic paper donkey filled with candy. Oh yes, those were the days. However, I would like to point out some exceptionally awesome birthdays you may want to celebrate on this day, June 5th.
First is everyones favorite cubical slave Ron Livingston. You may remember him as Peter Gibbons from the now cult classic Office Space, or maybe you remember him as Carrie Bradshaw's writer boyfriend in Sex and the city. Maybe you are more of a history buff and recall his performance in the HBO mini-series Band of Brothers. Either way you remember him, wish him a happy 42nd Birthday.
While thinking about celebrities, nothing makes a better celebrity than someone who is multitalented. You know, the type that can act and rap. Well today you better set aside some time and try to send Marky Mark Wahlberg some birthday greetings. He is 38 today.
For all of those who absolutely hate jazz music, you may want to dust off your old copy of G Force and give it a listen. That's right, pseudo jazz man Kenny G is 53.
If you are a fan of contemporary art and music, then you may want to bust out a MIDI keyboard and play some Happy Birthday for experimental performance artist Laurie Anderson. Mostly known for her UK hit O' Superman (Which Imogen Heap probably heard right before she wrote Hide and Seek), she is know this day for turning 62. Happy Birthday Laurie.
There are a lot of rebels in the music scene today, from bad boy 50 Cent to train wreck Amy Winehouse, but very few of these artists have caused a complete riot at the ballet. Igor Stravinsky, Russian composer, caused a riot in the streets of Paris when he debuted his now iconic Rite of Spring. The crowd in Paris at the May 1913 debut reacted with jeers and and a general uproar. The well heeled Parisian crowd were shocked by the Russian Pagan imagery accompanied by the liberal use of dissonance and misuse of string instruments as percussion. Despite the negative reaction, Rite of Spring has become one of the most important compositions in 20th century music. Stravinsky would have been 127 today.
Finally lets give it up for Edmund of Langley, the first Duke of York. Ed was born June 5th 1341. While his main claim to fame was being the first Duke of York, his other accomplishment was being the first of five brothers to live to adulthood. Way to go Ed, have a happy 668th birthday.
There are loads more great June 5th Birthdays, so for the rest of you I leave you with Bert and Ernie and the letter U.