May 30, 2008

The Glenn Slingerland Situation

Back in my college days, Albany had this odd show on at random times on Sunday nights called "The Glenn Slingerland Situation". Besides having one of the weirdest names ever for a television show, they played some really unheard of music and recycle about 10 different clips of people walking around or doing things. It was oddly entrancing, and I would watch it whenever it came on. At very least, it made for great, non-obtrusive background music when I was doing school work.

To get a rough idea of what the show was like, listen to "Groove Salad" out on soma.fm (an awesome radio station I found today and got me thinking of The Situation in the first place). While you're doing that, look at any 10 mundane, silenced YouTube clips randomly for about half an hour and that's approximately what Glenn Slingerland's situation is. Actually, that's probably exactly like watching the show, only without the commercials. You're welcome.

While the show was all well and good, I was poking around on their website (their homepage) today and came across a page that, like the show's title, raises more questions than it answers (their "you on the situation" page ed: page no longer exists, but go with it). First, you're greeted with their show logo, and this guy:


We're left to speculate who this unnamed individual is. One plausible guess is that it is Mr. Glenn Slingerland himself. Another one is that it's Mr. Clean with headphones and sunglasses on. Either way, he looks like he's thinking really pensively, going to the bathroom, or both. It's really creepy and makes me want to get a restraining order on him for reasons I don't fully understand myself.

Funny thing is, I doubt I'm even his type as the rest of the page reads like the personal ad of a crazy person (bold added to emphasize the crazy):
YOU could be AMERICA'S NEXT TOP SITUATION STAR...
Send us an email telling us a bit about yourself and why you want to become the next new star on The Situation.

If you are a woman between the ages of 18 and 59, enjoy wearing black, having a lot of fun, and passing through interdimensional alleys...
...IT COULD BE YOU!

Erm... what? Interdimensional alleys? Are these alleys cult-related or drug-induced? Because depending on the answer, I want either a pamphlet or a telephone number.

Also, while I'm not an expert on the female mind, I'm pretty sure talk of interdimensional alleyway travel will raise huge red flags and scare off most women. Glenn, man, talking from personal experience that's 3rd date material at best.

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May 29, 2008

INTERNET ENTRANCE

The entrance to the internet
Click for a high-res version of the internet's entrance

Dear sweet God, I've found the mother load: the physical entrance to the internet. Through my exhaustive research, and my happening to pass a local car dealership in Bristol, CT, I've finally located it. Armed only with my wits and some Jolt Cola, I'm going to head in later and report back on how it goes.

However, it's late and I'm pretty sure the entrance is closed. That means that this will be, oddly enough, the second time in my life I'll be accessing the internet with a brick.

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May 28, 2008

Anachronism: rewriting history for the sake of entertainment

THIS IS SPARTA, REPRESENTED IN CARD FORMHave you ever wondered who would win in a fight: Alexander the Great or Genghis Khan? Me neither, but fortunately I don't have to anymore.

There's a now-defunct collectible card game called Anachronism originally put out by the History Channel (THE History Channel) and TriKing games that allows you to select heroes and warriors from all different cultures and time periods to have them fight each other. The mechanics of the game can be found out on Wikipedia if you're interested, but I was sold on the game because a) the games are short (10 minutes, max) and b) it's free... kinda.

It's free in the sense that the game has been abandoned by the distributing companies and at this point being supported entirely by the fans. So a few of my friends went out to one of the game's major fan sites, Dystemporalia, and downloaded the image library for all the cards in the game and we printed out our decks. For the price, you can't beat it.

Nerd musings aside, this game does get my imagination running wild on some of the other historical matchups that the game missed out on. I would pay good money to be able to have:

  • Joan of Arc v William Wallace
  • Atilla the Hun v "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan
  • Aaron Burr v Alexander Hamilton 2: this time, it's personal
  • Ivan the Terrible v Ivan Drago
  • Danny Larusso v Cobra Kai
  • Captain Ahab v Cap'N Crunch
  • The Jolly Green Giant v The Staypuft Marshmallow Man

And that's just to name a few off the top of my head. History Channel, MAKE IT HAPPEN!

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May 27, 2008

Oh that wacky Japan!

Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly, and the Japanese? They have to continue to be really REALLY weird. Some of the things they do really just don't bridge the culture gap and make sense to us Westerners, which is part of the reason I love their culture so much. I found recently on the interwebs a site that compiled a list of 10 soft drinks that would fall into that category.

Be warned that the site's layout is a little busy - busier than I like to be looking at, anyway - with advertisements and other things they want you to look at. But the content, and the subsequent laughter, is secured firmly within:

http://inventorspot.com/articles/ten_bizarre_japanese_soft_drinks_5225

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May 26, 2008

Let's do the time warp again

This weekend, when opening the time capsule buried in cleaning out my parents' basement, I found a number of ancient technologies that have long since been forgotten by men. Friends, take note; these are the things that I will be wrapping and giving to you for birthdays and other occasions. Unearthed was:

  • A TMK, black and white "Portable TV", complete with antenna and tuner knobs. I wouldn't recommend watching it as it's a huge strain on the eyes. Instead, visually read a book written in braille - it'll be less frustrating.

  • A 28.8k Ethernet Modem. Not pictured above: it's cellular capable, plugging into what appeared to be a brick with a keypad on it.

  • A Timeport, which is either a really early BlackBerry-esque device, or a personal time machine disguised to look like a really early BlackBerry-esque device. I'm not too sure which.

  • A Grainger magazine showing the 600 products of the year, including power cords, a tape measure, a wrench, a lock and a flashlight. What was more surprising was the fact that they made no mention of previous year's winner, the printing press.

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May 22, 2008

Photoshop Flailing: Because my friends asked

Felt like it was high time to get back to photoshopping. Only this time, I turned it around and asked my friends what they'd want me to photoshop.

I was actually able to learn a little bit about the clone stamp tool and the blur effect. Not that I used them to any great result - remember, I'm only a novice at this whole photoshopping thing. But you could probably already tell by some of the pixels and/or if you've seen quite a few shops in your day.

Ok, before you ask, yes that Rosie O'Donnell's face on a manatee and vice versa. My friends are weird.


FUN FACT: This photograph was not doctored in any way


At the request of my friends over at Traveling Munchies, Cheetoes:


I bet the main ingredient is corniness


One of my friends always wanted to know what a monkey knifefight looked like:


No animals were harmed in the making of this photo

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May 21, 2008

Round is a shape

I'm a physically active individual in good health with a healthy self-image. That said, I also know that my eating and exercise habits are less-than-ideal or inconsistent and I could certainly stand to lose a few pounds (50, easily). I mention this as I feel it is the required personal background needed to view today's events through the appropriate lens.

It started today, innocently enough, with a free pedometer. To receive one, I needed only to go on a mile walk - something I'm usually up for in most circumstances anyway. While the pedometer itself was fairly cheap (and its instruction manual mostly in engrish, likely to be covered in a future post), one thing I noticed was when it was fastened to my belt, I was unable to read it. To be specific, I couldn't push my stomach out of the way far enough to be able to read a few digits on a little LCD screen telling me just how often I had been gyrating. It was mildly irritating and humiliating.

That afternoon, after leaving work and realizing that Wii Fit (an exercise "game" for the Nintendo Wii) was released today, I decided to get Wii Fit because I am decidedly Wii Not. Or at least I would have purchased it if not for the fact that is was sold out everywhere. Who knew a $90 balance board and disc that tells you how to do push ups, sit ups and a few other exercises would be so popular?

One store even had copies but refused to sell them because I had not payed them extra to make sure that I would be able to buy it today. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that just a form of extortion? I digress...

After getting ticked off about not being able to purchase my exercise trainer (....thing), I did what any rational adult would do in that situation: I went to Taco Bell. That will show them! The deliciousness of the Grade D meat and nacho cheese soon gave way to the familiar despair of realizing I just f***ing ate Taco Bell.

Long story short, and without getting too graphic, I'm really regretting that decision now. If I'm a product of my culture, I'm not surprised we have an obesity epidemic.

Sorry for getting all LiveJournal on you today, I figured this story was mildly amusing and gives some insight into what makes me tick.


Current Mood: I got the Taco Bell blues
Currently Listening to: My stomach gurgle

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Rumor: Is Apple developing a new product to revolutionize the way we think?

Having already a strong presence in the home computer market, as well as practically reinventing the digital music player and most recently the cellular phone industry, does Apple have plans to move into the emerging "thoughtspace" market? Unconfirmed, but reliable, sources claim that Steve Jobs and company are currently developing the iBrain, a device that supposedly will help organize and streamline your thoughts, desires and basic motor functions.

While no design documents or pictures have yet been released, the iBrain has been rumored to resemble a helmet and will have at least one proprietary connector that will insert into your cranium. Details are sketchy, but there should be two initial models at two different price points with the more expensive model including things like a larger hard drive, additional usb drives and fuller access to your human emotions.

Also expected is full integration among all of Apple's existing products. Especially of note is the ability to increase "thought throughput" by combining your brain's processing power with that of your iMac, Mac Pro, or any of the MacBook computers. There are initial plans for Apple to push iBrain updates directly into your skull via wifi connection to ensure a consistent consumer experience.

While anything more at this point is pure speculation, this blogger is excited to see if Apple can revolutionize the way people think. Finally, thinking will become trendy again.

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May 19, 2008

The creepiest website you'll see today

I found a website the other day that is really difficult to explain. It contains nothing profane, graphic or offensive, so it's definitely safe for work. It's just... well, it's really creepy. But funny. Take a look:

Manbabies.com

Oh sure, I could go ahead and tell you that it's just a bunch of pictures with a father and his baby, only the baby's head has been photoshopped onto the father and vice versa, but that really doesn't capture the subtle and nuanced "WTF?!?" that will wash over you as you're looking at them. Honestly, the most unsettling thing about the site is that someone is committed to bringing new content to it 5 times a week.

In conclusion, I'm adding it to the Odd Squad on the right hand side for easy navigation with a big seal of approval. I wish I had thought of the idea first, especially since it would have been a great idea for practicing my photoshop skills.

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May 18, 2008

Epic Music

Ride of the ValkyriesOne time my freshman year in college, I was playing a game of Age of Empires 2 (a real time strategy game) with a couple of my hallmates in my dorm. I was quick to build up my army and attached. Just as I did, I blasted Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries" as loud as my speakers would allow me. The distant profanities from the would-be doctor down the hall were incredibly satisfying, to say the least.

"Ride of the Valkyries" is in the category of songs I like to call "epic music". You know, the music that makes any activity, no matter how exciting or mundane, significantly more awesome. I work out a little harder at the gym when AC/DC's "Back in Black" starts playing. Paperwork becomes a life or death dogfight at 15,000 feet when I'm listening to Kenny Loggin's "Danger Zone". Even doing taxes becomes somewhat bearable when "Battle Without Honor or Humanity" (the Kill Bill theme) comes around on the ol' iPod.

What say you? What are the songs you listen to when you need that little extra boost in your daily routine?

Please note, The Unwind has issued an epic music Public Service Announcement.

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Public Service Announcement: Epic Music

You've just read a post on epic music here on The Unwind.

While the benefits to epic music are obvious, there are hidden dangers to epic music that are, well, hidden and often go unnoticed. While you're listening to it, and shortly there after, you may be tempted to do outrageous things that could endanger yourself, others or (worse still) be really embarrassing. Even being exposed to second hand epic music can cause erratic changes in behavior.

Some facts:

  • Reckless driving onset by rocking out to "Freebird" accounts for 70 percent of all "Freebird"-related injuries.
  • The Pirates of the Caribbean fight music has been scientifically proven to increase blood flow to the part of the brain that controls sword fighting.
  • With the exception of professional boxers, listening to "The Eye of the Tiger" anywhere near a boxing ring increases your mortality rate nearly twenty fold.

We at the Unwind hope you do continue to enjoy epic music. But please, listen responsibly.

The More You Know

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May 16, 2008

Photoshop Flailing: Fun with Busey

I've been tooling around with Photoshop for a few days now and trying to get acclimated to the tool. I had Gary Busey on the brain and decided to see exactly where that idea could take me. I originally had grand plans to have a huge collection, but it turned out since I wasn't familiar with the tool, each one took me much longer than it probably should have.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that these may suck. They may be an affront to your visual cortex. But that pain you're feeling in your brain? That's progress, my friend, and it can only get better. Also, these made me chuckle.

First up, Darth Busey:


All Hail Darth Busey!
All hail Darth Busey!


Gary Busey in his titular role in the move Alien Vs. Predator:

Alien Busey
I swear to God, I'm going to have a nightmare about this.


And finally, in a role I'm genuinely surprised he wasn't considered for, King Busey Leonidas defending Sparta:


THIS IS BUSEY!
"Madness? THIS IS BUSEY!"

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A few points of business...

Wanted to give a big thanks to everyone today who had given me some feedback and encouragement on the blog. I'm always on the look out for honest criticism and ideas on how to make The Unwind better. Plus, it's good to know that I'm not the only one reading this thing.

Now get back to work.

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May 15, 2008

Tweet Tweet

It's been almost a week with Twitter now and I definitely am enjoying it. I know this service has great potential, as I'm becoming devoted to it and none of my friends currently use it. You would think with the focus on short asynchronous messages having actual people to communicate to would almost be a friggin requisite, but no.

For one, I've got a little Twitter do-hickey right in the layout, meaning anything I update is included in there. It allows me to expand upon slightly what I've posted about. It allows me to notify anyone following me of a new post. It allows me to just post questions out there and see what kind of response I get from people following me.

Also, it's not as consuming as an IM client, email or social networking application that we use nowadays to communicate. With IM, it's frustrating when the person you're talking to is "afk", and the conversation's choppy. With email, if you answer one, you answer a million it seems these days with all the spam and noise that clutter our inboxes. Social networking? Takes wayy too long.

With Twitter, you don't have any of those expectations. It's just 140 characters and you're done. Want to read what your friends have been tweeting? Each one is only 140 characters long. To put it in perspective, I've already typed more than 140 characters for this paragraph and I'm not even done lauding Twitter yet. Seriously, when I check my Twitter account, I'm done in 3 minutes. And if I don't want to tweet, the expectation isn't there that I have to be tweeting all the time, I just stop tweeting.

But what really sold me was having one of those gee-whiz moments not too long ago when there was a fire drill at work. In testing out the functional of the service, I sent a Tweet from my phone. It was immediately added to my profile and displayed on the blog here. I was floored and instantly saw the potential. I could be anywhere and alert you to anything I might be thinking of.

It's moments like these that blow my mind how far we've come with technology, even in my short lifetime. The future is now. I seriously recommend you try Twitter... you'll fall in love with it too, I promise.

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May 14, 2008

Way to go Connecticut!

God, I love my state.

A friend of mine recently stumbled upon Connecticut's latest aim to get kids recycling. Now, I think we can all agree that recycling is a good thing, and that impressionable kids should be encouraged to do it. What better way to convince them than to create a mascot for kids whose sole purpose is to promote environmentally friendly habits? What could go wrong?

A lot, apparently. Meet Phillup D. Bag:


Phillup D. Bag
Gaze into the soulless, murdering eyes of recycling

Phillup D. Bag. Let that sink in for a second. Yes, it's a play on words. Yes, they're trying to get kids to fill up some kind of bag for recycling.

But "D. Bag"? As in, an abbreviated form of "douchebag"? Who in the holy hell let this one slip by? We're supposed to be the most educated state in the country, and this was the best we could do? Was "Recycling Mo Fo" taken by another state? How about "BJ the Dumpster"?

At any rate, way to go guys! At very least you're being upfront and honest with my tax money here... it's going to fund some D. Bag. You bunch of Phillups.

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May 12, 2008

Spy's sapping my post!

Team Fortress 2 Cast

I owned a Nintendo Entertainment System when I was 4, and since then video games have been something of an obsession a pastime of mine. Seriously, if I devoted even a tenth of the amount of time I spent with Italian plumbers and blue hedgehogs to something productive, I could have learned 12 different languages or cured cancer by now.

Then I leveled up my real-world avatar and things like "responsibility", "finances" and "pants" were things that I could no longer avoid. Between the demands of a day job and something that resembles a normal social life I had little time or energy left to play video games. Most of the time, I was only able to dabble in this, or dabble in that. Everything seemed like more of the same. This was especially true of the first person shooter (FPS) genre, which came in three flavors: tactical, Counterstrike-esque shooter; futuristic, frantic Halo-esque shooter; and World War 2.

Suddenly, along comes a game called Team Fortress 2, and totally recaptures my attention and free time. I'm not the first person to talk about this game, and as God as my witness, I'm not going to be the last. You join a server, pick one of two teams fighting each other, and pick one of nine classes of characters (pictured above). Brief summary: it's a game that favors teamwork and group tactics over "lone-wolf" mentality to accomplish the particular goals of a map.

I could wax poetic about the amount of polish, class balance, and addictability (that a word?) this game contains, but what Gentlemen.really hooked me was the personality. Each of the nine aforementioned misfits- er classes, have their own set of weapons, strengths and weaknesses and personality. This personality is palpable, and oozes out of every detail.

The demoman is a drunk Scottish explosives expert with one functioning eye and can slap people around with an alcohol jug. The Heavy, that big slow brute, laughs maniacally when he fires off a few hundred rounds. The German-accented Medic is a really weak combatant but will still try to put up a fight with a syringe gun in a pinch. And nothing, I repeat nothing, in the game is more satisfying than as a Spy getting behind an enemy rush and stabbing as many of them as possible in the back.

Valve, the game's creator and apparently not content with merely representing the classes' personality in game, also developed several short videos for each of the classes in the "meet the" series of videos. They don't have all of the classes represented yet, but to get an idea of the personality I'm talking about:

This is one of the few games in recent memory that has been able to not only hold my attention for so long, but genuinely continue to excite me every time I play. I could go on and on... but I think I'd rather get back to playing.

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May 11, 2008

Photoshop Flailing

One of the things I've always wanted to do, besides two chicks at the same time, was to learn how to use Photoshop. It's always been a skill that I've envied in others and it's time I start to do this myself. To this end, I've created a Photobucket account and installed Photoshop on my computer.

Seeing as I have a high threshold for public humiliation, I'm going to be periodically posting my progress. What you see below is not a photoshop - at least, not by me - as it was something I had found somewhere else on the internet (I honestly forget where, but I can't take credit for it). What it does serve as, is a link to the Photobucket account I've set up for this blog.

Printer craves blood
See? Picture!

Photoshop for fun and profit? I'm game.

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May 8, 2008

The internet's best kept secret

No, I'm not referring to the emails for "C1@L@$" or "V14gR4" that you can buy for 30% off if you act now. I'm talking about a blog some of my coworkers maintain called Traveling Munchies.

Traveling Munchies is devoted to all things that come out of a vending machine. This is essentially the by-product of both too much free time and an unnatural, yet healthy, love for unnatural and unhealthy snacks. They have vending machine recipes, exotic snacks from faraway lands, an insane collection of potato chip bags, and even edible candle alternatives.

This blog is nothing if not interesting, and I've added it to the collection over on the right. Bon App├ętit!

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May 7, 2008

Unwind update - Twitter!

Twitter! This is my first foray into the service, but already I'm looking forward to being kind of a prick giving brief status updates from virtually anywhere! If you're already down the Twitter rabbit hole - as I see myself quickly descending into - feel free to follow me.

If you've never Tweeted before, Twitter is basically a very polished, well-executed microblog that you interface via the twitter website, sms text, instant messenger, carrier pigeon and telepathy (they're beta testing that feature, I think). Check it out for yourself at http://www.twitter.com/ and create an account. If you don't, you don't love America.

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Bombers commercial

A few years back, my college hangout (Bombers burrito bar in Albany, NY) had a contest where people submitted commercials for the place. A few of my friends and I decided to try our hand at it and, while we didn't win, we had a blast doing it. Enjoy!

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May 6, 2008

Hello World!

Finally got me one of these new-fangled blogs!

This blog is meant to be my creative outlet where I can post whatever I want like rants, ravings, videos, images, commentary. I like something I saw on the internet? I'll add it here. Sophmoric humor? You bet. What the hell, I'll maybe even throw in a haiku or two at no extra charge (Don't think that I won't / Haikus are underrated / And I just used one).

Point is, I'm going to have fun with this and maybe even try some things out. Stay tuned.

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