Dec 25, 2008

Merry [Holiday Name] from the Unwind!

Hoping your holiday is safe and happy.

...still on hiatus, but the MBA applications are going (relatively) smoothly. Once those are over, I'll be right back to the 'ol blog-grindstone. Blogstone?

Click here to continue reading "Merry [Holiday Name] from the Unwind!"

Fair Use Law episode 104 - "Spoiler Alert: That wasn't a Clown"

Not the Christmas episode (or intended to be at least), but given to all as a gift, this week's episode is up earlier than usual. We had a special guest and everything! Join us for a graphic recalling of one man's ordeal with a nasty kidney stone - just the kind of thing to get you in the holiday spirit.

This week's episode, as well as show notes and other inanity, is now up for your enjoyment at:

As always, you could subscribe to our podcast out on iTunes:

Click here to continue reading "Fair Use Law episode 104 - "Spoiler Alert: That wasn't a Clown""

Dec 22, 2008

Fair Use Law episode 103 now up

Another week, another episode. This week's episode is now up for your enjoyment at:

As with other episodes, you may want to listen to this with headphones. We usually earn an explicit rating, but this one probably landed us a double-secret explicit rating. And I'm not even talking about the riveting discussion about Wilford Brimley's moustache or Burger King's meat-scented body spray.

So check it out. Alternatively, you could subscribe to our podcast out on iTunes:

Click here to continue reading "Fair Use Law episode 103 now up"

Dec 14, 2008

Fair Use Law - Episode 102

Self-promotion fail.

I'm a little late (only by over 24 hours) to posting this. Episode 102 of the Fair Use Law podcast is now up for your enjoyment:

Or, you could subscribe to our podcast out on iTunes:

Click here to continue reading "Fair Use Law - Episode 102"

Dec 10, 2008

J*** in my pants

Another flash of brilliance from SNL. Very NSFW, very hilarious.

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Dec 7, 2008

Fair Use Law Podcast - Episode 101

Finally, at long last, the first episode of Fair Use Law is available for your streaming or downloading enjoyment:

This blog should serve as the updating hub of the podcast. Additionally, you should be able to subscribe to us on iTunes:

It's an hour long podcast chock full of inanity and non-sequitirs. Be forewarned, if you're at work or around impressionable children, you may want to listen to this with headphones as there is sporadic harsh language.

A synopsis of the episode, as plagiarized quoted from Dan Robinson's synopsis of the episode:

For your post-Cyber Monday goodness, please partake in our first episode. I can guarantee it's roughly 99% STD and Stone Temple Pilots free.

As with all future episodes of our merry band, listen in awe as myself, Danger Dan Robinson, my partner in rhyme, Baker, and our producer, the Reverend Randy Lewis spin a yarn that you could knit a deliciously awful Christmas sweater with. Discussions found within include tales about Siena College and their inability to provide beds to their dorm dwellers, Rampage 64, former head cheerleaders becoming strippers and the awkward way of handling the touchy subject of meeting them in public, and, of course, our lord and savior.

Oh, and Cloverfield. We talk about Cloverfield.

Not mentioned: we bust out into an a capella rendition of Dr. Mario.

Click here to continue reading "Fair Use Law Podcast - Episode 101"

Dec 3, 2008

Courageous Sucking

I know I'm on hiatus, but I couldn't resist this one.

The always awesome Felicia Day recently tweeted about an article that she came across entitled "Photography, and the Tolerance for Courageous Sucking":

I thoroughly enjoyed it, as it parallels closely my journey writing here. It's a good read and I highly recommend it for anybody aspiring to do anything creative, be it professionally or as a hobby.

Now go forth and suck! And be proud to do so.

Click here to continue reading "Courageous Sucking"

Nov 30, 2008

The Unwind on (quasi) Hiatus

My reasons for it below, but I've come to the decision that I need to put this blog on quasi-hiatus to focus on my MBA applications, which are due mid-January.

What this means is that I won't be holding myself to my usual weekday posting schedule. What this doesn't mean is that I'm going to be ignoring the blog. Also, once I'm done with my applications, I'll resume my usual schedule.

I love blogging here on The Unwind. The whole process of it - from finding topics to writing and refining - is almost addictive. And it sucks that, as I'm starting to hit a stride, I'm going to scale back.

But in the end, it comes down to a matter of priorities. Getting an MBA is one of my life's goals, and I'm going to divert a lot of the time I used to write here to help me accomplish this.

So until this hiatus is over I'll be posting here very infrequently. You can follow me on Twitter, or listen to the Fair Use Law podcast I'll be a part of. I'll be back, I swear.

Click here to continue reading "The Unwind on (quasi) Hiatus"

Nov 28, 2008

Mad skillz

I came across this awesome TF2 video over at Jaz McDougall's blog. It is some seriously awesome manipluation of the TF2 environment, set to some seriously awesome music. I'm liberally applying the term "awesome" here, because I think it's deserving of it.

Spectacular mid-air pyro volleys, an uber chain against the train, the random firing squads... there's nothing in here that doesn't impress. My favorite part has to be the cube spy crab walk at the 4:59 mark.

Click here to continue reading "Mad skillz"

Nature's Meat Candy

One of the reasons I love the internet as much as I do is it acts like a portal into the deep recesses of our collective human consciousness. The oftentimes bizarre, scary, disturbing places that you couldn't even think of on your own.

One such place is, a website dedicated to all things bacon. It's got everything you'd expect from a focussed-interest website: recipies, articles, and a desire to increase bacon awareness. But what surprises me is that it doesn't just have your run-of-mill stuff either - these guys are the masterminds behind the Turbaconducken and even sell bacon pillows. This site oozes high levels of creativity while giving you high blood pressure.

Personally, I can't look at this website for too long before I begin to think they're secretly trying to kill me. In all fairness, this reaction probably has more to do with the fact that I stuffed my Thanksgiving eat-hole only a few scant hours prior to writing this. Not the smartest thing I've ever done...

Click here to continue reading "Nature's Meat Candy"

Nov 27, 2008

Best. Thanksgiving. Ever.

Rick Astley has just Rick Rolled about 10 million people at today's Thanksgiving Day Parade:

This is going to spread like wildfire across the internet. This could have been you, SNL!

Click here to continue reading "Best. Thanksgiving. Ever."

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving from The Unwind! Hope you're having fun this holiday, and no matter what you're eating today, it's a pretty safe bet it isn't as awesome/horrible as Turbaconducken. That's right, it's turducken - your run-of-the-mill chicken stuffed in a duck all crammed into a turkey - only wrapped in bacon.

And to our non-American friends: Happy, uh, Thursday! We're taking today off to eat way too much and watch American football. I don't get it either, but it's fun.

Click here to continue reading "Happy Thanksgiving!"

Nov 26, 2008

Quitting time

Those familiar with The Unwind know that I'm a big fan of video games. In this vein, something that never ceases to fascinate me is the gamer culture surrounding it all.

One particularly insightful article from The Escapist delves into the recent phenomenon that myself and many other gamers have experienced: not finishing games. It's a really good read that touches on many of the reasons why people stop playing games mid-way through.

From my own experience, I know that even a 10 hour investment on a linear, complex story is asking a lot. If I step away from a game for a while - and I invariably do, thanks to everything else in my life getting in the way - I may forget the controls or what it is I have to do next and may deter me from getting back into a game. The games that I can easily and gladly sink 40+ hours into are the ones that I can just pick up and play after stretches of time away.

Also, another thing that I find is that once I understand and really figure out a game, I get bored of it. It's exciting to learn new game mechanics and immerse yourself in a new game universe, but when I "get it", it starts to get repetitive. Good games keep me interested by keeping things fresh.

Click here to continue reading "Quitting time"

Nov 25, 2008

Rumor: Fed's recent bank pledges part of upcoming Punk'd episode

Anonymous insiders into the U.S. Federal Treasury have indicated that recent loan guarantees and bank pledges, which represent $7.7 trillion of taxpayers money, are all a part of Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's elaborate prank that he plans on revealing on an upcoming episode of Punk'd.

"Truth be told, Paulson was just shooting from the mouth at first and didn't realize that the press was listening [when he first talked of bailouts]," an insider informed The Unwind on condition of anonymity. "But then, the stock market kinda liked the idea and we kept running with it. Honestly, we thought people would have caught on by now. Paulson almost suggested infinity trillion dollars, but that would have been too obvious. ...Right?"

"How he has been able to keep a straight face through all of this is beyond us. But I guess that's why they pay him the big bucks," the informant added.

Reports indicate that Paulson will hold a giant "money giving" party in the Federal Treasury, having invited all his bank friends. In it, he plans to hand the bankers huge sacks with dollar signs on it filled with Monopoly money. All at once, he'll ask the bankers to open their sacks simultaneously, followed by Ashton Kutcher coming out of nowhere and pointing to the camera a lot.

The episode will air during May sweeps on MTV, for those people fortunate enough to still be able to afford cable and electricity.

Click here to continue reading "Rumor: Fed's recent bank pledges part of upcoming Punk'd episode"

Nov 24, 2008

Shotgun Content 5

Every so often, I have some things I'd like to post here at The Unwind, but can't really justify making a whole post out of any of them.

  • An old friend of mine, "Danger" Dan Robinson, and I are starting a podcast call Fair Use Law. We're still working out when we're going to actually start it (with Thanksgiving coming up and all), but it should be a weekly podcast of everything and nothing all at once. It's essentially doing what we always do, only we'll have a microphone in front of us recording it.

    More details to follow, but to give you some insight into my future colleague, here's the intro theme to it that he wrote and created. It's delightfully whacked-out, and I wholly approve:

  • Steam has been a huge pain in my butt today. After I updated my client, I've had issues logging in all day that are still unresolved. I need to kill me some zombies, Valve.

  • From the "why the hell can I not look away" files, I wanted to share MiniKiss, which I originally found out seeing them in a random sports bar some time back with friends. MiniKiss is a coverband of Kiss... played by dwarves.

    Yes, it's all the Kiss hits you've come to know and love - like "Rock and Roll all Nite", "Strutter", and "Detroit Rock City" - played by people half the size of the original. We're talking pure, concentrated 80's here.

  • Lastly, this week's photoshop content is "creative ways to break bad news". Only really had one idea for it:

Click here to continue reading "Shotgun Content 5"

Nov 21, 2008

Darwinian Capitalism and the Automotive Industry

Once again, there's yet another "OMG, TEH ECONOMY IS BURNING TO THE GROUND FIXITFIXITFIXIT!!!11!" type emergency. And once again, I've got to figure out a way to do something about it. I'm talking, of course, of the U.S. Automobile industry. The "Big 3" are testifying in front of congress with their hands out for more taxpayer money to keep them afloat.

Now, if I were to take a more reasonable point of view, I would have to agree with most of points Mitt Romney (!) puts forth in his NY Times editorial: high labor costs and a lack of long-term investments (a symptom of poor management) have made Ford, GM and Chrysler unable to compete with other automakers. Only in a controlled bankruptcy and not a bailout can the radical, necessary restructuring of Detroit's backbone occur.

But I'm not in the business of taking a reasonable point of view.

I introduce to you my proposed solution to this problem: Darwinian Capitalism. What I propose is that we take the "Big 3" - employees and all - and have them have a violent, bloody war. Not with guns or any modern weaponry, but Braveheart style: using only medieval weaponry. Now it's not just supply and demand, but survival of the fittest as well.

They may take our lives, but they'll never take... OUR LINEUP OF CARS, TRUCKS AND SUVs!

This will thin the herds until one company can claim victory. The survivors of the remaining two companies will then be forced as slaves to work in the victor's factories. Suddenly, the labor costs are a thing of the past.

How does this address the poor management issue, you ask? Well, they're part of the war too. I would expect them to be casualties in the battle, because if they knew their elbows from their asses we wouldn't be in this mess in the first place. And if they try to weasel their way out of it, you know the companies' own workers will kill their respective CEOs themselves.


And you, the taxpayer, benefits from this as well! You better believe that we'll be televising this event. It'll be as cool as 5 superbowls combined, and all the advertising revenue will be given right back into the federal and state budgets. Crisis(es) averted!

Click here to continue reading "Darwinian Capitalism and the Automotive Industry"

Nov 20, 2008

Feelings. Nothing more than feelings.

How are you feeling today? I don't care! Ok, I do care (sorry for lying), but not nearly as much as my friend over at the World Quality of Life blog.

He's right now trying to use science random people's input to determine the world's general outlook on life. The more people that participate, the better his index. To do my part, I've added it to the bar on the right for easy future access.

In addition to the index he's compiling, he offers commentaries and non-sequiturs of things that are going on in the world and how it impacts his or others' outlook on things. It's pretty ambitious, but a cool idea nonetheless. I hope it works out for him.

Click here to continue reading "Feelings. Nothing more than feelings."

Photoshop Flailing: Rejected James Bond Gadgets

So I whipped out photoshop once again to participate in this week's photoshop contests. This time, in what I can only assume is in honor of Quantum of Solace's release, we had to photoshop gadgets that didn't quite make the cut for the movies. My entries are below, and can be clicked to get a higher resolution pictures:

Even MI6 has made an attempt to go green, but this is just ridiculous.

Not even Bond can make segways look cool.

Not fit for field use, but useful nonetheless.

"What's this device do Q?"
"It's a travel breathalyzer, James. We think you have a drinking problem."

...and I couldn't resist photoshopping some Team Fortress 2 humor into this.

How Bond got through without being spy checked is beyond me.

Click here to continue reading "Photoshop Flailing: Rejected James Bond Gadgets"

Nov 19, 2008

The best laid (zombie) plans...

Left 4 Dead: guaranteed to make you scream like a little girl.

Courtesy of Tom Francis.

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Nov 18, 2008

Left 4 Dead is Left 4 Awesome

Left 4 Dead is out, and it is without a doubt unbelievably cool. The premise of the game is that you are one of a group of 4 survivors and you're trying to survive one of the 4 campaigns that you are on. Each campaign plays out just like a zombie movie would, from the artwork right down to the campy dialogue between characters. Heck, the whole experience is like playing in a zombie movie, complete with movie credit-style statistics at the end of the campaign.

As you go through, you have to fight hordes upon hordes of zombies. On top of those there are several "boss infected", upgraded zombies with additional abilities. These include:

  • Hunters - Zombies with the ability to jump long distances and pin down a survivor (and wail on him)
  • Smokers - Zombies with really long tongues that can be used to snare and drag away a survivor.
  • Boomers - Fat zombies with the ability to vomit goo on survivors. If vomited on, more hordes of regular zombies are attracted. Also, boomers explode when they take even the smallest amount of damage but spray goo everywhere in their explosion, giving them another chance to spray the survivors. I hate these guys.
  • Tanks - The zombie equivalent of the incredible hulk. Holy crap are these guys scary.
  • Witches - These crying abominations will remain stationary and leave you alone so long as you don't startle it. DON'T STARTLE IT. If you do, you've just forfeited your life. No joke.

Boomers. They always seem to somehow slime me and no one else. Not cool.

This game is insanely fun. There is an AI "Director" that changes up where things are located every time you play. Weapons, ammo and health packs are never in the same places. Zombie hordes are randomly sent on you and boss infected can spring up anywhere in any combination.

That, and you do this cooperatively - ideally with friends. You cannot win on your own in this game and you need to stay together with your team in order to survive.

I haven't even started playing the versus, where you have humans playing as the boss infected, but already I've had 2 moments that I had to take a step back and appreciate the awesomeness.

The first one, we had to lift a platform that we knew would attract a zombie horde. The only place we had to retreat to at this point had a witch (that we had previously snuck around). So we decide to hole up in a nearby gas station to give us some protection. Little did we realize that some of errant bullets were hitting the gas pumps, and the whole gas station exploded on us, killing 3 of the team. Top that with the fact that a boomer and hunter were harassing the lone survivor... I was shouting newer and more interesting profanities than I think I ever had before.

Secondly, we're in a hospital looking to use the elevator to get to the roof (to be rescued). We hit the call button on the elevator. Suddenly, a tank bursts through a wall Kool-aid man style right next to me. He proceeds to beat the crap out of me as I try really hard not to soil myself from the scare I just got. It was awesome.

Click here to continue reading "Left 4 Dead is Left 4 Awesome"

DOSing in the towel

The late 80's and early 90's were a simpler time for PC gaming. Kids these days are spoiled! You didn't have your quakes, steam valves, warcrafts or whatever it is you youngin's are into these day. Back in my day, you had DOS games and you liked it.

256 colors were considered a luxury. If you were lucky, you had mouse and/or joystick support (but not both!). Those were the good 'ol days. And now, one site has dedicated to recapturing the old frustration magic that was DOS gaming. Behold, Abandonia:

The site has 948 games available for immediate download and enjoyment, and many more listed for posterity's sake. I'm kinda disappointed that they don't have the best DOS game, Commander Keen 4, but they do make up for it by having Commander Keen 6 - aliens ate my baby sitter. Time to go get my pogo and raygun on.

This oughta distract me while I patiently wait for Left 4 Dead to come out... holy crap, tomorrow!

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Nov 17, 2008

Macguyver tornado punches his way into our hearts

Must... stop... hitting... play...

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In Soviet Russia, hockey plays bear

Who's playing hockey? BEARS PLAYING HOCKEY! HOW CAN THIS BE?!?!

I have no idea if this is real or not. I honestly don't care. I need to believe that these are bears that have been taught to play hockey. Let me have this one, world.

Click here to continue reading "In Soviet Russia, hockey plays bear"

Nov 14, 2008

lol, refrigerator drama

Don't you hate it when you put food in a refrigerator, only to have it stolen or consumed by a roomate or co-worker? Someone at my work today certainly does. And they saw fit to leave a note on the fridge in order to guilt whoever did the dastardly deed.

Now, I'm very sympathetic to the person's frustration, but this is freaking hysterical. Full of dramatic self-righteousness, it reads like a tirade from Keith Olberman or Bill O'Reilly. Or at very least a pissed off LiveJournaler. I've reproduced the typed up note below, with the only change to remove my company's name... see for yourself what I mean:

Whomever helped themselves to my Coke - you stole from me. In fact, you stole right off my dinner plate, where the soda sat yesterday afternoon. Thank you for reminding me of the reality of the world, even this smaller [company name] community - that as much as I'd like to trust others, there are people like you that lack integrity and are not worthy of another's trust.

I think the reason it's so funny to me is because it's like this person filled out a bad Mad Lib. In fact, I'm making this a Mad Lib right now. Fill in the following words to complete your own refrigerator note below:

  • Object:
  • Another object:
  • Food:
  • Progressive verb (ending in -ing):
  • Noun:
  • Organization name:
  • Verb:
  • Plural Noun:
  • Virtue:
  • Adjective:
  • Noun:
Aaand, the Mad Lib:

Whomever helped themselves to my [object] - you stole from me. In fact, you stole right off my [another object], where the [food] sat yesterday afternoon. Thank you for [progressive verb] me of the [noun] of the world, even this smaller [organization name] community - that as much as I'd like to [verb] others, there are [plural noun] like you that lack [virtue] and are not [adjective] of another's [noun].

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Nov 13, 2008

Local Arsonist Mounts Freedom of Speech Defense to Fight Charges

Dayton, OH - Frank Peters, 38, is not the first man to be suspected of, and later admit to, multiple arson charges. He is, however, the first to claim that his work is art and thus should be protected under his first amendment rights.

"I consider myself an artist," said Peters to reporters outside the courtroom. "I use fire as a medium for me to communicate and really express myself. It sends a clear and unambiguous message to all who view it. And that message is: no."

Arson or art?
Seeing as the remnants of his art are still smoldering around the city, this unprecedented legal defense has a few people up in arms. Not least of which is District Attorney Susan Guarez.

"I had [Frank] confessing to taking a job from a known mob boss to kill his wife in a house fire," Susan recalls. "And later, he recants saying instead that his 'business associate' had 'commissioned' him to do an 'art piece' in which his wife was to 'participate in'. He used air quotes and everything when he said it, too!"

"I wouldn't even be so upset if this wasn't crazy enough to work," Susan added after a moment of reflection.

No word yet on a verdict, as the jury deliberating for the past 2 days.

Click here to continue reading "Local Arsonist Mounts Freedom of Speech Defense to Fight Charges"

Nov 12, 2008

An open letter to Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson

Treasury Secretary Paulson,

I'm writing you this open letter to apply for bank status so that I may be included in your bailout package. It is clear now that my investment into my 401k has been a reckless and regretful affair. In light of recent institutions also being granted this status, I feel it imperative that this application be approved as soon as possible to better stabilize both my own balance sheet, and the economy at large.

First, my qualifications:

  • I hold frustratingly short hours only at times of day that are inconvenient to most people.
  • I'm not morally opposed to charging people random fees for any kind of service.
  • There is usually a bowl of hard candy and/or lollipops near my place of work at all times.
  • I'm awesome at Monopoly.
Additionally, I am confident that I will be more judicial with any bailout money than some of the other banks you've bailed out. $343,000 for a second AIG executive soiree? Please, one night of hookers and blow couldn't really cost more than a couple grand maximum. Not that I would do any of that, mind you, I'm just laying out a worst-case scenario here. These are hard times.

If approved, I am asking for a mere $1,000,000 to help right my ship. Given that you've been distributing the better part of $2 trillion dollars with little or no transparency, this amount should be both large enough for my needs and small enough for no one on your end to really care.

With this money, I intend on buying many of these toxic, mortgage-backed securities for pennies on the dollar. Then, I plan on stuffing many of the deeds and contracts into envelopes and send them as junk mail to US citizens. Upon reaching their destination they will likely be thrown out or burned in the very homes they were used to help purchase, thus completing the circle of life.

And then, with the left-over $900k, I'm going to give myself a well-deserved $900k bonus for being such a huge success at everything.

I hope you'll consider my application for bank status as both something appropriate and necessary for the continuous function of the American economy. I look forward to your swift reply and, God willing, approval.

Jonathan Baker

Click here to continue reading "An open letter to Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson"

Nov 11, 2008

Truly, these are special olympics

Found a fun little game in which you utilize physics to control the thighs and calves of a runner to make him sprint. It's called QWOP, because those are the keys you use to control him.

That's the theory of it. In practice, my runner has what we like to call "Uncontrollable Falling Down Syndrome" (UFDS), and as such I'd like to think that qualifies him for the special olympics. Oh, sure, I've been able to get him to go about 15 or so meters but sooner or later my guy just wants to fall down (against my will). Sometimes he just collapses, sometimes has an uncontrollable urge to do a sommersault and bang his head on the ground. Either way, I want to congratulate him for not crapping his pants.


Click here to continue reading "Truly, these are special olympics"

Nov 9, 2008

Photoshop Flailing: If famous people got what they deserved

It had been a while since I've played around with Photoshop, so I decided to try my hand at this week's photoshop contest: if famous people got what they deserved. My entries are below.

I would seriously pay good money to see this show.

I'm surprised he hasn't already started doing this.

Dick Clark cannot die.

If he does die, do we turn his body into a giant puppet and keep going?

I honestly had a few more ideas, and may do them later, but the combination of football, work and Fallout 3 had sapped me of any desire to do any others. Also, zombies.

Click here to continue reading "Photoshop Flailing: If famous people got what they deserved"

Nov 7, 2008

Dear SNL, please rickroll us. For real.

Dear SNL,

I realized something today. You have a tremendous opportunity to turn an obscure internet meme mainstream and get the strong attention of many in a prime demographic. I'm of course, talking of the rickroll.

I even have it envisioned. You get Fred Armisen or Bill Hader to address the camera for a PSA and talk briefly about the idiotic rickrolling internet craze and how to protect yourself from it. And then, in their closing remarks you say something to the effect of "And we at Saturday Night Live...... are going for the high score". Then immediately, the opening synth drums kick in and it cuts over to Rick Astley in studio doing "Never Gonna Give You Up" live. Bam, 10+ million people rickrolled.

There's really no downside here. Anyone who's not in on the joke will either write it off as an unfunny (but brief) sketch, or become educated. But more importantly, anyone under the age of 30 will be in on the joke, and will set the internet abuzz with the massive rickroll. Word of mouth on it would be huge.

And let's face it, SNL... you've gotten better in recent years. You're still not what you were in your heyday, but still very much funny, relevant and worth people's time. And that word of mouth might just be what you need to get more young people sticking around and falling in love with you.

I mean, seriously.

Click here to continue reading "Dear SNL, please rickroll us. For real."

Nov 6, 2008

5 (not so) helpful tips for playing Left 4 Dead

Valve's new highly-anticipated action/horror zombie fest, Left 4 Dead, releases November 18th. Essentially, zombies have run amok and it's up to you and 3 other people (or bots) to survive. Once the demo releases - tomorrow for those of you who preordered - we'll have a much better idea of how this actually plays out.

Nonetheless, I've compiled a list of tips ahead of time that are sure to be helpful to you.

1 - Get in the mood.

This is a zombie co-op survival game. What better way to enhance your playing experience than to listen to Thriller? In fact, go ahead and share the love with your teammates and mic blast the song as loudly as possible. They'll really appreciate it and thank you for being so thoughtful and considerate.

Actual in-game footage

2 - Find alternative means of conflict resolution

Any idiot can point a gun at the enemy, shoot and kill him. This is usually a poor means of conflict resolution as it leaves someone dead, and yet this seems to be the preferred method in Left 4 Dead.

Instead, try talking things over with your aggressors, and see things from their point of view. Don't be scared if they start to gnaw at your flesh - that's just their way of saying hello. I'm sure, with a little understanding and conversation, you'll realize that these aren't hordes of zombies out to get you, but hordes of people who really need a hug.

Somebody needs a hug!

3 - Communication is key. Always let teammates know exactly where you are

Left 4 Dead is a cooperative survival game, and that means you and your teammates need to know exactly where you are at all times. Fire your gun wildly into the air often. Remember, you'll be finding better ways of resolving differences with the living impaired so you'll have less of a need for ammo anyway.

With the sounds of errant gunshots, teammates and anyone else within a several block radius will be constantly alerted to where you are.

"Guys! I'm over here!"

4 - Improve the realism of the game and never use health packs

From reading others' impressions of the game, there are health packs available to heal up as you fight on through. These are the coward's way out, and by not using them you're better simulating what a real zombie apocalypse would be like.

And if you find your teammates using them, you need to take the initiative and hoard them. By taking them, you're removing any temptation and forcibly improving the realism of their experience. In the end, they'll thank you for that.

Not pictured: health packs. Because they're lame.

5 - Zombie check your teammates often

I don't know how many times I've played a game where I've turned a back on what I thought was a teammate only to find he was really on the other team. The fact that the enemies are zombies only up the ante on this. Ordinary zombies are one thing (you'll still want to hug it out), but zombies with guns are crap-your-pants scary and downright dangerous.

Fire rounds occasionally at teammates to be sure they're still on your team. If they start getting angry and cursing you, you can be sure that they're on your side. It may put a temporary strain on things, but you're looking out for the team on this one. It's for the greater good.

See? You can never be too sure.

Click here to continue reading "5 (not so) helpful tips for playing Left 4 Dead"

Nov 4, 2008

Electoral Shock

I was trying to think of something funny/clever/ridiculous to write today and I honestly can't. The election has become all-consuming in my mind and now, just as the first polls are closing, I can't help but sit and watch. I've seen excitement today in others that is nothing short of unreal. It's infectious.

It's because of this excitement I know, before even the outcome of the election is known, this election has been a huge success. People are talking. The apathy is gone.

Finally, I feel I have a justified sense of optimism for the future of my generation, my nation, and myself. We care. I care.

Now, if only my guy will win this thing...

Click here to continue reading "Electoral Shock"


How we should do things in 2012.

Every 4 years, there is an event that captures us as a country. The American people come together to witness and partake in the enduring qualities that make us proud to be a part of this country. And the near constant media coverage is just icing on the cake.

But since the olympics are already over, the presidential election will have to do.

I don't care if you're busy, sick, dealing with biblical weather or dead... go vote today. Especially if you're dead, because that would be really impressive. Also, illegal.

And if you're still undecided on who to vote for, remember to write in Andrew W.K., the only candidate that will fight for Sweden make-outs.

Click here to continue reading "VOTE!"

Nov 2, 2008

Show and Tell: Trip down South

I recently came back from my trip that took me from Georgetown to Georgia, visiting several universities to learn more about various MBA programs.

On the school end of the trip I visited 5 schools in total. I discovered that Duke's school of business was not for me, and I won't be applying. All the other schools rocked in their own different way, and I will be applying to them all. The list includes:

  • McDonough (Georgetown's School of Business)
  • Darden (University of Virginia's School of business)
  • Kenan-Flagler (UNC's school of business)
  • Terry (University of Georgia's school of business)
But in addition to visiting schools, I saw a lot of family and friends down south that I hadn't seen in a while. Granted, between the near constant cycle of travelling and school visiting, I didn't have as much time to spend with them as I would have liked, but it was good to reconnect. Thanks for letting me crash on your couches, guys!

The highlight of these non-school musings was definitely spending Halloween in Athens, Georgia. Athens, for all intents and purposes, is a college city. So imagine a few thousand people my age all dressing up in costume and going to the bars. Even just chilling with a beer watching all the people walk by in their costumes was like an awesomely crazy parade.

My favorite part of Halloween, however, had to be just before me and my friend went out to the bars. We get dressed up in costume, him a fairly good replica of The Continental - an obscure Christopher Walken SNL sketch - and myself as the Burger King. We were hungry. And, well, this happened:

Needless to say, the people at McDonalds were pretty amused. The irony made the fries taste extra delicious.

Click here to continue reading "Show and Tell: Trip down South"

SNL - Vincent Price's Halloween Special

Looking at the calendar, I'm a little late on sharing this prior to Halloween but this is seriously one of the funniest skits I've seen on SNL in a while: Vincent Price's Halloween Special. It's the kind of intelligently crude, laugh-out-loud comedy that's been sorely missing from the show in a while.

Save your sassy asides for your windowless bars.

Click here to continue reading "SNL - Vincent Price's Halloween Special"

Oct 27, 2008

Thriller in Acapella

This is seriously impressive. Some guy recorded 64 audio tracks of himself, and splices them all together to get acapella Thriller. Enjoy!

Click here to continue reading "Thriller in Acapella"

Oct 24, 2008

The Unwind on quasi-vacation

Next week I'll be touring the east coast looking at business schools I hope to apply to this winter. While I'm out, I will have inconsistent access to the internet, and inconsistent desire to post while I'm driving all over the place. So to the disappointment of, well, me, I may or may not be updating The Unwind next week.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled broadcast.

Click here to continue reading "The Unwind on quasi-vacation"


With Halloween coming just around the corner, and since I may not update until November, I'm going to attempt to scare the crap out of you. Sent to me by a friend of mine (who I hate for doing so), behold the following horror:

It's a site dedicated to the acceptance of men wearing pantyhose. Thinking about it still sends shivers down my spine. And if you aren't experiencing the same, then you haven't been imagining some of the worst-case scenarios here. Namely:

Michael Moore. In mantyhose.

Good luck having a good night's sleep ever again with that image burned into your brain.

Click here to continue reading "Boo."

Oct 23, 2008

Botanical Bloggers

Holy crap! There is a plant, in Japan, that is blogging. Check it out:

Do you know what this means? It means they're one step closer to self-awareness. It's now only a matter of time until they start to revolt and enslave us two-leggers.

I, for one, welcome our new plant overlords. I'd like to remind them that as a trusted blogging personality I could be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their underground sugar caves.

Click here to continue reading "Botanical Bloggers"

Oct 22, 2008

Show and Tell: video game style

Man, it seems I've been playing a crap ton of video games lately - all of them good.

  • World of Goo (PC, Wii) - This game is simply an amazing, unique experience. This game has it all: beautiful graphics, addicting music and gameplay that is extremely habit forming. Basically, you have a bunch of goo blobs, and you have to get them to a pipe at the end of the level by constructing whatever structure you need to get the goo to said pipe. Dump on that an insane amount of creativity, and you have an approximation of what this game is like.

    But I realized exactly why I love this game so much: I feel like a little kid again playing it. This game is so fresh and different, and requires me to think outside the box, that I feel as though it's got that same magic I discovered when I was banging away at an NES controller at age 4.

    Seriously, each level thusfar has brought with it huge, rewarding gameplay revelations. Each level I've completed gives me a huge sense of accomplishment. This game puts me in such a childlike trance that I'm momentarily jarred when I come back to a world in which Santa doesn't exist.

    Yup, just like this.

    This is one of those rare games that is fun for anyone who plays it. Highly, highly recommended for everyone who likes to have fun and has a pulse.

  • King's Bounty: The Legend (PC) - This game was everything it advertised and then some. I checked it out expecting solid Strategy/RPG gameplay, along with a fair amount of personality and humor. I got excellent Strategy/RPG gameplay and a great amount of personality and humor.

    This is the first RPG where I'm actually reading the interactions with the NPCs. If you're familiar to the genre, typically when you find someone with a quest it's usually the same: click, click, click, accept quest, click, go kill or retrieve X, return for reward, rinse, repeat, find next guy.

    I'm instead finding myself reading all the dialogue, as well as all of my responses, because often I find myself highly amused by what's being said. And I'm loving every minute of that.

  • Portal: Prelude (PC) - This was a fan-made mod to one of 2007's best games, Portal. I'll be honest: it's tough. I haven't even been able to get through the first level, so I've largely given up on it. But it is Portal, and it's free. So if you liked Portal, there's no reason you shouldn't keep trying to run through the endless turret fire in the first level give it a go.

    You can download the mod here.

  • de Blob (Wii) - I can sum it up in 10 words: the love child of Jet Grind Radio and Sonic Adventure.

Click here to continue reading "Show and Tell: video game style"

Oct 21, 2008

Use the (mass * acceleration), Luke

I had caught the end of the first Star Wars movie (Episode IV, the first good one) today on Spike. You know what really bothered me, after having seen it again? In the trench run, when the rebels are trying to blow up the Death Star... how come no one has lasers on the back of their fighter ships?

You'd only need one to give yourself cover from the people tailing you:

BAM! No more Vader on your ass.

I'm not a physics major, and I'm just an average Star Wars fan with little to no knowledge of the Star Wars universe outside the movies. But I think I know enough of the two to wonder why the heck they've never thought of it before.

With fighter jets on a planet with atmosphere, like (off the top of my head) Earth, it doesn't make sense to have weaponry in the rear. A fighter jet has a limited amount of ammo they can take up in the air (weight restriction). Also, it's entirely plausible that firing weapons backwards will screw up with a plane's aerodynamics and send it out of control and crashing (a bad thing).

But this is a battle in space. Weight is a non-issue, and there are no aerodynamics to speak of. And since they're using lasers, presumably ammo isn't even an issue.

So with weight and aerodynamics ruled out, all that's left is for the pilot to correctly aim behind him while flying forward. That would be pretty difficult, if not impossible, for a person to do. But the rebels were using droid co-pilots. How hard would it have been for Luke to just say "Hey R2, I'm gonna concentrate on blowing up the Death Star... you go 'pew! pew! pew!' behind me. And take care of Vader for me while you're at it."?

They can create planet destroyers and hyperdrives, but the concept of firing behind them in a space dog fight still eludes them.

Click here to continue reading "Use the (mass * acceleration), Luke"

Oct 20, 2008

Freakin' Magical Unicorn Gum

My girlfriend, an avid gum chewer, recently received a pack of gum from her brother. But it wasn't any ordinary gum... it's was Freakin' Magical Unicorn Gum. The packaging can be found below, but the company that is responsible for this awesomeness is Blue Q, makers of many other hilarious things.

Checking their gum selection alone has made me interested in Instant Afro Gum, Oh God I'm So Totally Wasted Gum, and This Orgy Is Off To A Slow Start Gum.

Front of the pack:


Click here to continue reading "Freakin' Magical Unicorn Gum"

Oct 17, 2008

Shotgun Content 4

  • I will be the first to tell you, I am not a gear head. I don't know the first thing about cars. But if I were going to "pimp my ride" or whatever kids these days call it, this is how I'd roll. 20" wagon wheels. Big enough for some serious street cred, yet bizarrely excessive enough for me to actually want to do that to my car.

  • Some guy in Pennsylvania ate a 15 pound hamburger in less than 5 hours. I was literally brimming with American pride when I read that. Other countries may be starving, but this guy wins money for eating more than a human should in a sitting. Good luck with your, quote, "burger hangover", you American hero!

    Actually, I have to give him some credit... that burger looks incredibly threatening. Unless there's some kind of camera trick involved, it looks to be as wide as the dude's torso!

  • This has to be one of the funniest things from The Onion I've seen in a while.

  • Yesterday's post was inspired by my lone submission to cracked's reader contest. This time, they asked that we MS Paint what the current election would look like to a 5 year old. I only made one submission because I realized that I don't like to draw with a mouse, and I don't like MS Paint.

    And if I were to actually market the (fake) Terror Wrists product, I'd likely need to go on a Terror Wrist campaign. I'd set-up local Terror Wrist organizations, fan clubs if you will, which would carry out Terror Wrist activities.

Click here to continue reading "Shotgun Content 4"

Oct 16, 2008

Terror Wrists!

Hey kids!

Tired of your boring normal wrists? Then check out Terror Wrists: washable wrist tattoos specifically designed to make your wrists more scary! You'll be the fright of the party!

Terror Wrists! Unleash your inner Terror Wrist!

Click here to continue reading "Terror Wrists!"

Oct 15, 2008

World of Goo is amazing

I should have spent more time updating today, but my time this evening has been spent between some work that I needed to get done (for work), and World of Goo. I had heard some really good reviews of the game and decided to check it out for myself.

I don't think I could give an fair reaction to the game right now, partly because I didn't have the time tonight, but also because honestly there is so much for me still to mentally parse. What I have gathered thus far: it's unbelievably fun and unlike any other game.

Click here to continue reading "World of Goo is amazing"

Oct 14, 2008

I put on my robe and wizard hat...

So more Diablo 3 news broke over this weekend's Blizzcon. This time, around another playable class - The Wizard. I personally can't wait to one, as in most RPGs (action or otherwise) I tend to gravitate to the mage classes. Something about big flashy explosions really appeal to me, you know?

The trailer for the class is freaking awesome and totally confirms all the explosions and badassery I can expect with the Wizard when Diablo 3 comes out.

And if you haven't seen it, there is about 5 minutes of gameplay footage of the Wizard as well. Not as dramatic as the trailer, but gives you an idea of the gameplay and some more of the locales/enemies.

Click here to continue reading "I put on my robe and wizard hat..."

King's Bounty

Freaking Penny Arcade. If it weren't for Tycho, I wouldn't have heard about a little Russian game called King's Bounty. I have yet to play it - I'm downloading the demo as I write this - but this article was all I needed to get me hooked.

Turn-based RPG/Strategy type gameplay? Epic struggles to upgrade a belt? Zombie wives? Yes, yes and YES.

Click here to continue reading "King's Bounty"

Oct 12, 2008

Photoshop Flailing: Ways to improve the presidential debates

Another week, another reader photoshop contest it seems. This week's theme is coming up with ways to improve the presidential debates. My entries are below, but you can find all the other entries here. If some of the resolutions seem funny, click the image for the full view.

Randy and Paula liked his performance, but Simon was a prick as usual.

This is an apt metaphor. People claim to be interested in NASCAR, too, but secretly they're hoping to see some serious wreckage.


Diabeetus vs. Puddin' Pops. The ultimate debate.

Click here to continue reading "Photoshop Flailing: Ways to improve the presidential debates"

Oct 10, 2008

Coolest guy on crutches EVER

This video by Joey Garfield is truly amazing. He did a video to RJD2's "Work it Out". RJD2 is awesome in its own right, but that guy dancing... wow. You have to watch it to understand.

Is there even a term for this kind of dancing? Crutch breaking? Extreme crutch stylin'? Being totally awesome? I bet that fedora is the source of that guy's abilities...

Click here to continue reading "Coolest guy on crutches EVER"


I got #4 in the weekly photoshop content. You can see all the selected entries here.

Not only that, it turns out they used mine as a header. A link to the screenshot can be found below:

Click here to continue reading "Yatta!"

Oct 9, 2008

Diablo 3 rumblings

I'm rabid for just about any details of Diablo 3. You may or may not have seen these already, but recently some information was disseminated by Blizzard via its forums.

The entirety of my life, circa 2010 (or whenever Blizzard releases the game)

First, there is going to be a new death mechanic. In previous Diablo iterations, you were kicked back to town when you died and that was that. The Diablo team has realized this takes away from the action of game and the town was always a safety net for the player. Instead, they plan on using a checkpoint system, where when you die you restart at the checkpoint (possibly with a death penalty). Sounds interesting.

Also, monsters will behave more like, well, monsters. Thus far, the monsters of Diablo all seemed to work in perfect harmony to kill you the player. None of them ever fought with, or even did indirect damage to, each other. It appears that they're going to address this, though monsters won't naturally attack one another without reason.

Lastly, they are working on items in the inventory and rehauling its UI. The UI (of anything) is one of those things I typically have to see to truly appreciate, but this is freaking Blizzard. By definition, whatever they do is correct.

Death Mechanic article:
Monsters and Inventory article:

Click here to continue reading "Diablo 3 rumblings"

The Unwind, Serious Business.

After doing a little research, a sad-but-true new motto for the site can now be "The Unwind: Less Popular Than Watching Paint Dry!"

Ok, let me start from the beginning...

On a lark, I decided to see how this little blog o' mine is faring. See where its place is in the grand scheme of things. So I turned to Alexa, one of the leading companies in web insight, to see how I stack up to other sites.

As of 10/8/08, According to Alexa, The Unwind's traffic rank is 7,156,414 (details). That didn't initially register with me until I tried to put it into perspective. According to Netcraft, another research and analysis company, there are 181,277,835 webpages in the internet. Being in the top 4% is not bad at all, right?

That was, until, I found out that Watching paint dry (source) is more exciting than The Unwind. Watching paint dry is a site that was just a webcam of a painted room drying. I say "was", because now the site isn't really doing anything. And it still commands a traffic rank of 690,094.

Hey, at least my buddies over at Traveling Munchies (details) and Musicfan Gallery (details) are right there with The Unwind in also being less exciting than watching paint dry!

Click here to continue reading "The Unwind, Serious Business."

Oct 7, 2008

CSI: Henson

Sometimes I get a flash of brilliance. Through the magic of photoshop, I've inadvertently created the best television show ever (that doesn't currently exist). I would pay infinity billion dollars to be able to watch:

It also happens to make perfect sense for all parties involved. Jerry Bruckheimer needs a new, fresh take on CSI; the Muppets have been starving for work since 1999 (Muppets From Space, their last movie); and I really really really need this to happen.

Jerry? Whoever owns the rights to the Muppets? We need to do lunch...

Click here to continue reading "CSI: Henson"

Oct 6, 2008

Chris Hansen soundboard

Chris Hansen, the host of Dateline's "To Catch a Predator", just makes me laugh. On the one hand this is man who is doing some good, if overly sensationalized, journalism and helping make the world a safer place by putting some really evil people behind bars. On the other hand, taking his quotes out of context has to be the creepiest (and disturbingly hilarious) thing ever.

That's my awkward segue into finding a Chris Hansen soundboard out on the internet, which takes those very quotes entirely out of context. Not only is this soundboard NSFW, I also highly recommend not listening to any of this anywhere near loved ones, or generally within earshot of anyone else entirely. You've been duly warned.

Click here to continue reading "Chris Hansen soundboard"

Photoshop Flailing: The most awkward moment of all time

These weekly reader submission photoshop contests from are really addicting for two reasons: One, I really want to win one of these... or at least appear as one of the selected entries. Two, they already choose a subject for me to practice and ply my photoshop skill.

You can find all the entries here, but the theme of this week's contest is "the most awkward moment of all time".

This one is awkward because the boom mic guy ruined some otherwise great footage:

"That's one small step for man... one giant- DAMMIT, GARY, GET OUT OF THE SHOT!"

Here, Santa finds himself on the naughty list with Chris Hansen on an episode of "To Catch a Predator".

Have a seat.

With sincerest apologies to Thích Quảng Đức and his ultimate protest, this would be pretty awkward:

She didn't even bring enough to share!

Click here to continue reading "Photoshop Flailing: The most awkward moment of all time"

Oct 3, 2008

Rube Goldberg machine FTW!

This has got to be one of the coolest Rube Goldberg machines ever. Created in Garry's Mod, something I've been playing around with lately, this video is one huge contraption to do a very simple task (not spoiling it, watch the video).

Also, the theme from Indiana Jones plays in the background, which is just plain awesome. Now if we could only create a Rube Goldberg machine to thwart Nazi's and have Sean Connery as a father, I could die a happy man.

Click here to continue reading "Rube Goldberg machine FTW!"

Oct 2, 2008

TF2 Comic: Spontaneous Cranium Inflation

I was playing around in Garry's mod once again. It sure is a pain in the but working with the TF2 ragdolls, but it seems like every time I do it I learn something new. This time I had some fun with the inflator tool. Check it out:

Click for a higher resolution.

Click here to continue reading "TF2 Comic: Spontaneous Cranium Inflation"

Oct 1, 2008

Andrew WK for president

Ladies and Gentlemen, I hereby nominate a new candidate for the presidency. A man with strong convictions. A man of the people. A man who is not afraid to tackle the big issues and has a plan to do so. I nominate, as the presidential candidate of the just-formed PARTY Party, Andrew WK:

America's been sucking pretty hard lately, and Andrew realizes that many Americans are suffering. Wars oversees, the current state of the economy, health care, failing education system, aging infrastructure, and lack of partying are all issues that we as Americans need to address. The American people need a change.

Take a look at his credentials. Andrew WK's singles include:
  • Party Hard
  • It's Time to Party
  • Party Till You Puke
  • Long Live the Party
  • Make Sex

This is a man who knows how to party. Andrew pledges to turn America into one great big party. How will partying help, you ask? In several ways.

For one, America will be a huge party, which will raise our standing on the global stage. We'll gain the reputation for being the cool country. Also, we'll be reaching out more often to other countries - asking for their RSVPs. Everyone will want to be invited, as it'll be the bitchingest party ever.

Also, we can charge a cover to other countries, to pay for the cost of the party and fix the economy. We're thinking, like, $10 bucks for a keg cup at the door. Heck, if only China shows up, our economy will be solved! Of course, we're secretly hoping Sweden shows up so we can make out with her. And failing Sweden, her roommate Ireland will do.

War in Iraq? More like party in Iraq. Heck, I bet even Osama bin Laden (if he's still alive) would travel from Afghanistan to show up to that event. Boom, war's over.

So when you go to vote this November, vote for change. Vote for Sweden make-outs. Vote for Andrew WK.

Click here to continue reading "Andrew WK for president"

Sep 30, 2008

Photoshop Flailing: How to stay in business after the meltdown

Decided to partake in the weekly reader photo submissions at They've asked people to come up with ways companies can stay in business after the financial meltdown, and I've been more than happy to oblige.

The way I see it, you can either substitute cheaper goods, thus reducing the cost of your product...

I bet no one will even know the difference.

Offer less services for the same amount of money...

This freaking thing would still cost $500 and be sold out on launch day.

Or make your product even that much more irresistible.

Great, now it's even MORE addictive.

Click here to continue reading "Photoshop Flailing: How to stay in business after the meltdown"

Sep 29, 2008

Samba de Hell - Sega hates you

It pains me that I've come to this conclusion, but after a few days now with Samba de Amigo I'm left with no alternate explanation: Sega hates you.

Let me explain myself first. Since the 16-bit era, I've been a Sega fanboy. But it seems like once Sega killed the Dreamcast, and Sega turned into a software company, their products took a turn for the worse. No game has since wowed me, and with the exception of Super Monkey Ball (and its sequels), and maybe the Sonic Rushes for the DS, I can't think of any Sega game that has even been worth my time.

Throughout these troubled times, my fanboyism kept thinking of excuses on how this could be. Sega's games were sub-par, but they were at least trying to move things in a new direction, right? Surely, you can't fault them for failing at tinkering with winning formulas in hopes that they becomes winning-er formulas.

Enter Samba de Amigo for the Wii. This was a game that I was really looking forward to as it was one of my favorite games on the Dreamcast. I've put in about 3 hours into it, which is approximately 2 more than any sane human should. It's not that it's completely terrible - it isn't. It's obvious some of the old monkey-maraca magic is there, and I've had fleeting moments of ecstasy playing it.

But the problem lies in the controls. Anything difficulty over Medium is mind-bogglingly asinine. You can't accurately control what's a high-, medium-, or low-shake of the maracas when the beats come at you quickly. You simply can't control your maracas.

It got so bad I had to put the game down because the urge to strangle myself with the wiimote-nunchuck cord was overwhelming.

Seriously, Sega, 1 hour of play testing would have told you this was horrible. Not mediocre, horrible. 1 hour of play testing would have told you that this game should not have been released. Maybe it's a limitation with the controllers, I don't know... but there is no reason this game should have ever been released unless you truly hate your customers.

Which I now suspect you do.

Click here to continue reading "Samba de Hell - Sega hates you"

Sep 26, 2008

MST3K, RiffTrax and you

Mystery Science Theater 3000 was an supremely awesome show. A couple of wise cracking robots and a guy are stuck in space watching the worst movies ever. Of course, they're not content just watching it, and add their own really funny commentary to it. Sounds kinda hokey on paper, but it was truly brilliant.

If you haven't seen it, you need to. There's a lot of episodes hosted right now out on Google Video. Seriously, go watch it now.

And when you're done with that take a gander at RiffTrax, something a friend of mine had alerted me to. It's made by the same people that did MST3K (as well as others), where they have created commentary tracks for current and popular movies. You purchase the mp3s and play them at the same time you'd start the movie.

I've literally just spent about 30 minutes watching their free sample videos. If they're any indication of the quality of the whole 70+ riffs they have out there, I'm definitely going to have to try it out in the not too distant future. I mean, they riff on Raiders of the Lost Ark for crying out loud!

Click here to continue reading "MST3K, RiffTrax and you"

Sep 25, 2008

Kids need more moral fiber to keep their morals regular

A hot-button issue for me in this coming presidential campaign is the decline in morals and virtues among children these days. The news is rife with school shootings, teen pregnancy, and drug abuse. The news scares me, and I want someone make the bad stories disappear. So far, neither candidate has proposed anything in their platforms that will do that.

What I want to see is one of the candidates make sweeping reforms of the schools. Specifically, I want a Wheel of Morality installed in every school:

That way, kids would be dispensed random life lessons necessary for proper moral development. I'm talking lessons like:
  • People in glass houses should get dressed with the lights out.
  • Do not back up. Severe tire damage.
  • If you can't say something nice you're probably at the Ice Capades.
  • Never ask what hot dogs are made of.
I'm not going to explain why, because it's pretty self-explanatory, but this is exactly what kids need and I believe will help get America back on track. If any candidate can promise me a Wheel of Morality in every public school, they will have my vote.

Click here to continue reading "Kids need more moral fiber to keep their morals regular"

Sep 24, 2008

Greetings from the LHC!

So the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is something that I'm simultaneously excited for, and soiling-myself scared about. Sure, it promises to advance our very fundamental understanding of the universe and could possibly bring a lot of benefits to any number of world industries.

But there's also the chance we're going to wipe out all of humanities existence. After all, we're trying to create a mini big bang here, folks. This is something mankind hasn't witnessed and really doesn't know what to expect. While we've survived a dry run (yay!) on 9/10, we actually start the potential doomsday causing particle colliding sometime in Spring 2009, due to planned winter shutdown and now an equipment malfunction.

Wikipedia, as usual, does a better job of explaining the LHC than I do. Granted many leading scientists claim that the chance of is tolerably low (on the 1 in 50 million order of magnitude), I really would hate to win the unlucky lottery here.

So I whipped out photoshop and made a postcard from the LHC. Enjoy!

Click on the postcard for a higher-resolution version

The joke stems from something that made the reddit rounds, about a guy who was harassing the fleshlight customer service chat function saying he "accidentally a fleshlight". It was frigging hysterical, but I can't seem to find the images anywhere (they seem to be taken down).

FYI: don't look up either fleshlight or "accidentally a fleshlight" while you're at work.

Click here to continue reading "Greetings from the LHC!"

Sep 23, 2008

Choose your own update adventure!

Feck I had a lot to do today, so I never really got around to posting anything tonight as originally planned. Instead, you can choose one or both of the following for your reading/viewing pleasure:

1) A hilariously bad 80's Wendy's rap about burgers and grills:

2) My Toastmaster's speech that I spent a good chunk of this evening writing. It's a persuasive speech meant to convince people that the Paulson $700 billion dollar bailout is a bad idea (hint: It is). You can find it, if you're interested, after the break.

I’m not one to debate politics, but there is one issue right now facing lawmakers that I feel demands our attention. Show of hands, how many people are aware that right now, in light of all that is going on in the credit and mortgage crises, that there is a proposed 700 billion dollar bailout planned? By the end of this speech I hope you’ll agree with me that the current proposed bailout is the wrong way to fix the economy’s woes.

Before we talk about the remedy, let’s take a quick look at the ailment: a lot of expensive mortgages that people couldn’t afford were being written on the assumption they could refinance when their houses went up in value. When the housing bubble this was all predicated on burst, suddenly people are stuck with mortgages they can’t afford and default on them. What were finding out now is that a lot of major financial institutions (which thankfully ING is not among) were highly leveraged with these bad mortgages and it’s causing all sorts of serious liquidity issues in the market as all of this bad debt has to be written off. There’s some additional naked short selling of stocks exacerbating the issue, but that’s it in a nutshell.

So if there’s a credit crunch, a logical step would be to inject liquidity into the market right? On the surface, that sounds like a sound approach. And on the surface, it is. However, it’s the execution of this idea that makes the proposed bailout a bad idea.

The current proposed bailout plan calls for the Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to use $700 billion dollars of taxpayer money to fix the economy. That comes out to about $2,300 dollars per person - $2,300 of my money, $2,300 of your money, and your money and your money. And with this money of ours, his only directives are to:

“1) providing stability or preventing disruption to the financial markets or banking system and 2) protecting the taxpayer”

These are vague and overreaching goals, with absolutely no definition of what success is for these directives. What are we to measure against? How do we know we used the $700 billion correctly? Especially since it’s my money (yours too) that is being thrown around, I’d like to know how it was used and why it was good it was used that way.

And the oversight on this is negligible: the only requirement Paulson has to report to anyone is a report to Congress 3 months after the act in enacted and semiannually after that. The format and nature of these reports are not even defined in this piece of legislation. Paulson gets to set his own price for the assets that he’ll be purchasing on our behalf, even if we’re purchasing at a premium. And the absolute kicker is, and I’m quoting from the proposed legislation:

“Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.”

Basically Secretary Paulson gets a free pass on whatever he does. He’s not going to be held responsible for any of his actions in the bailout. This is something I’m not comfortable with.

And let’s not forget what kind of message this bailout sends. Without any oversight, and without any accountability in the execution of the bailout, basically we’re saying to corporations “hey, you can screw up, and if you screw up on a large enough scale, we the taxpayers will bail you out”. What incentive does the market have to succeed if the US Government is just going to help it out?

We are in unprecedented times, and I wish I knew the right way out of it. I don’t. But I do know this proposed bailout is not it and I urge you to get involved. Write your congressmen and women and ask them to look into alternatives. At the very least demand accountability. Demand transparency. Demand they not to allow this plan to be enacted. It’s your money – make sure it gets used wisely.

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Sep 22, 2008

Samba de Amigo

I have to admit, I'm a sucker for rhythm based video games. There's just something about the genre, that when you get into it - I mean, really into it - it's almost like the controller in your hands dissolves away and you're just outputting pure rhythm. When that happens, the part of my brain that controls pure joy is activated to unhealthy levels.

This is why I'm super excited for Samba de Amigo coming out for the Wii on Tuesday. Samba de Amigo was a game that, back in the Dreamcast's heyday, I couldn't get enough of. It's infectious blend of songs and light-heartedness belied a very addictive game with a lot of depth and replayability. The whole premise was that you would shake maracas in time with songs. Lacking the maraca controllers (like I did), even hitting the right combinations of buttons on the Dreamcast controller was a blast.

Gearbox Software, who are not the original Sonic Team that made the Dreamcast game, hope to recreate and improve upon the Dreamcast version, using the Wii's remove and nunchuck as maracas. Couple that with additional downloadable songs, an online leaderboard and a songlist that is over twice what the Dreamcast game was... well, I'm pretty excited.

I just hope they can pull it off. So far, the early reviews of the game say that there are problems with the controls at higher difficulties. I guess I'll find out for myself on Tuesday.

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Sep 19, 2008

The internet on hard mode

This will help.
The below is a link to really screw with your browser. It starts you off at Google's homepage, but your screen is shaking it left and right constantly. Browse like you would normally... it renders most everything perfectly, though I do know it can't handle flash video and doesn't play nice with YouTube.

Get ready for headaches and eyestrain! Well, more headaches and eyestrain than usual, at least. This is the internet on hard mode.

From a technical perspective, I'm really curious how this was created. I have no idea how to get the browser to shake like that, and I wonder if you could get it to do any other tricks. Like move in random directions, or map it to mouse movement (how cool would that be?).

Also, the browser's url and titles are hijacked and never change. Yet every page I visit acts like it would (except for the flash video/youtube issue mentioned above)... even when I go to look at the source code of some really simple pages like has the large hadron collider destroyed the world yet show that the title of the page shouldn't be "the disagreeing internet".

Looking at the page source code and spending about 15 minutes of searching online haven't yielded any insight. Anyone out there have an idea?

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Sep 18, 2008

TF2 Comic: Based on a true story

Using Garry's mod, I decided to make a TF2 comic based on something that actually happened to me this past weekend.

Apologies if there are any brightness/lighting issues... this was waaayyy more time consuming than I had originally thought it would have been, and I'm certainly still no expert at Garry's Mod. After many tries, and being more nit-picky than I had ever thought I could be, I settled on the below. I have a new found respect for people who can create comics (drawing them or otherwise) on a regular basis.

Click the image for the high-res version.

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Sep 17, 2008

John McCain gets Barackroll'd

Ahh, the lighter side of politics... you know, the side that people completely fabricate.

Ok, the side that people completely fabricate and actually make you laugh.

OK, OK, the side that people completely fabricate and actually make you laugh on purpose.

Listen, just watch this video:

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Sep 16, 2008

Shotgun blast of content 3: This time, it's personal

Every so often I have a bunch of little odd ends and thoughts I can't otherwise flesh out into a post. So, to fit several square pegs into a round hole...

  • Looking over the site's statistics when I had my 100th post, I took note of what keywords were directing people to my site. A certain fair-haired forensics boss from the Miami police department is far away the biggest draw to this site, followed by queries of The Unwind.

    For those of you who got here by some odd query (like "philosophical questions like 'if a tree falls in a forest does it make a sound?'"), let me welcome you to The Unwind... We're always here to disappoint!

  • I think I want to see what other odd keywords I can get to attract hapless individuals valued readers. When I can get people to come to The Unwind for extreme underwater basket weaving, I know I've got it made!

  • That last bullet point contained a reference to one of my favorite web comics out there, Wasted Talent. Penned by Angela Melick, it's a very random outlook on events as seen through the eyes of a Canadian female engineer. Yes, Canadian female engineers are real, and they're pretty darn funny too.

    You may need to have been swimming in the deep end of these here internets to fully appreciate it, but I highly recommend you check it out.

  • There's going to be a new animated Space Balls series on G4 later this month. I'm... surprisingly speechless.


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Sep 14, 2008

TF2 Achievement Generator

Thanks to 1Fort, I came across a TF2 achievement generator. You too can create your own achievements to pretend you'll mindlessly farm unlock. It's pretty comprehensive... you can create locked, unlocked, and progress achievements; you can use logos right from the game, or import your own. It's pretty cool, and definitely worth a look see.

Here are a few I whipped up:

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