Dec 31, 2009

The War On Drugs is Over!

Thanks to Lil' Wayne, and to a less tongue-in-cheek extent The Onion, our war on drugs has come to a complete halt. The solution? Turn him loose on all the world's drugs and have him ingest them all. It was only a matter of time before authorities decided to use celebrities in the war on drugs beyond public service announcements.

The only real question is, why wasn't Keith Richards tapped for this? The man's done so many drugs that his skin has hallucinogenic properties.

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Nov 24, 2009

The Kindness of (Former) Strangers

I wrote this for my blogging duties at the BC admissions blog, but I figure I'd share here as well. I am so lucky to be at such an awesome program.

It’s not everyday that you get to see just how great of a community you’ve become a part of. My story begins just yesterday.

Before we begin, here’s a little background you may need to know: I walk to school from Brighton center, a 30 minute walk. I also carry a large backpack and a laptop bag, which conservatively has me trekking along 50 or so pounds of extra stuff. And while the dress code here at BC is business casual, I always make the trip in sneakers (just more comfortable that way).

Yesterday started as any other for me. I woke up reluctantly fighting my alarm clock, took a shower, grabbed some pop-tarts and it was off to school. I was fairly preoccupied thinking about the Economics midterm I had later that day that the time just seemed to fly by. Before I knew it, I was near the BC T-stop, getting ready to cross the street when all of a sudden, I noticed my shoe was coming untied. Fairly annoyed by it, I decided to tie it once and for all when I got across the street. But just I started to bend down to tie my shoe…

“AHHHH!” I shouted loud enough for people within a half-mile radius to hear me. I sprained my back. How could I have not thought to take off my stuff? Ok, time to think. I’m almost at class, let me just see if I can hobble- OW, nope that’s not going to work.

Thankfully, being so close to school, I ran into a few of my classmates. They were gracious enough to take my bags and limp with me for about as far as I could go. This turned out to be a distance of about 50 feet - I was in that much pain. Shortly thereafter came even more aid - another classmate saw us as he was driving and gave us a lift. We were able to drive up to the top floor of a nearby parking garage, thereby greatly shortening our walk to Fulton. With their help, I was able to limp into my seat and got through my IT class where I literally didn’t move in my seat for the next 2 hours.

As soon as class ended, I planned to go see health services. Note I used the word “planned” here because I never even made it out of the classroom. I tried, but after walking a few feet I realized my back had tightened during class and made moving on it even worse. I had to sit back down. Our IT professor, Professor Fichman, then called health services for me and wheeled me in the chair I was sitting to the back of Fulton hall. There, I waited with another one of my classmates for an ambulance that would take me to a hospital (health services knew they couldn’t do anything for me). They stood there with me for 20 minutes in the cold, just to make sure I was ok.

Later, at the hospital, I realized I wasn’t going to make it back in time for my Economics mid-term. Several classmates were willing to tell the professor my situation and see what I could do about making it up. I was even able to speak to the professor afterwards, and he was completely understanding. After my stay at the hospital, yet another classmate came from their mid-term and picked me up to take me home because, by this time, I was on some heavy pain medication and couldn’t get there myself.

I’m the kind of person who hates to feel helpless. My back may still sprained, but I would be far worse off if it weren’t for the concern, the support, and the help of countless classmates and professors. My belief in the strength of the Boston College community has increased tenfold, all from the small acts of kindness from these former strangers.

This is not the pain meds talking when I say that these are some of the absolute best people you could ever hope to surround yourself with.

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Nov 18, 2009

Left 4 Rage 2

I'm about to preface this rant with saying, unequivocally, that Left 4 Dead 2 is an excellent game. It is well worth your time and money to go out and buy it, even this soon after L4D was launched, and I've only seen a small fraction of what it has to offer.

The vast amount of new weapons, power ups and boosts make for unique and changing styles of play, not just your shottie/sniper/rifle config of the previous title. New boss infected really change things up, especially when they start working in evil, evil, tandem. And the new, non-stationary trigger events are really the bees knees - no longer do you just turtle-up, you have to go somewhere to end the event.

Again, I haven't seen all this game has yet to offer, but I'm incredibly happy with my purchase and think this is one of the better gaming experiences I could have with friends. The operative phrase there being with friends.

Seeing as all of my friends were either 1) offline, or b) haven't yet purchased the game, I decided to give it a go in the single player campaign. On normal mode. Turns out even on this setting the AI, can still be mind numbingly stupid.

This was me, Coach, the lone beacon of competency and probably the only one of my group that deserved to be saved.

The inherent problem is that the AI takes no initiative. None. 0. You couldn't get them to pick up a $1 million pile of cash sitting on the other side of the room unless you started doing it yourself. To Valve's credit, I didn't even really notice this shortcoming most of the time. I did my thing, my group backed me up. Awesome sauce.

But then, we got to a mall. And in this mall, was a door with a security alarm - a trigger event! In it, once I open the door, it's a mad dash up to the third floor to deactivate the alarm. Until you deactivate it, all of the zombies in the entire state of Louisiana, all of whom just so happen to be in the mall too, keep bum rushing you.

Something in this equation caused my team to go full retard. Valve, you never go full retard. If I could have written out the script for how this went down, it would have gone something like this.
Coach: Ok, guys, when I open this door, we need to get up to the 3rd floor and shut off the alarm. If we don't, we're going to die plain and simple. You guys got it?

Got it!

::opens the door::

Ok, let's get to the escalator!

God damn it, I can't hear you, this buzzing is too loud. What about a calculator?

Not calculator, stupid, escalat- OH SHIT, are they having a sale at Victoria's Secret? Hang on, guys, I'll be right back.

Actually, hold up, I might have a calculator somewhere in the gear!

What? No! Guys! Follow me, we have to get going.

What would you even need a calculator for in a time like this?

I DON'T! What I need is some fucking support as we get our asses upstairs.

Hang on, lemme ask this guy over here if he has a calculator.

THAT'S A ZOMBIE ::shoots zombie before Ellis can get to him::

Well, now how am I going to ask him about a calculator?

[from a distance] ...Ellis! You got that calculator? I need to know how much I'm spending over here. Budgets and all that.

GAH! Ok, Nick, you'll help me right? Follow me.

You got it!

::Nick and Coach walk to the base of the escalator. Coach goes up, but Nick stays at the bottom::

What the? Nick, get your ass up here!

But the escalator's not working.

I know it ain't working, just walk up here!

Is it safe?

WHAT DO YOU MEAN IS IT SAFE? If I could get my fat black ass up here, you sure as hell can.

I dunno... I mean, it isn't running or anything.

This is the zombie apocalypse, Nick, not Black Friday. Make fucking due. It's just stairs, for chrissakes!

All the same, I think I'm going to wait for a technician. I would hate to die in something so stupid as an escalator accident.

[in the background] My, you guys are the friendliest people I've ever met! Hugs for everyone!

I can't fucking believe this.

[walking up behind Nick] Hey, Coach, you have any cash on you? I left my wallet at home and I found the nicest little-


::Coach gets halfway to the next escalator when a Charger incapacitates him. Coach has only one regret just before dying: that he wasn't able to kill the rest of his team himself::


This might be funny if it didn't play out like this 3 times in a row. First time I ever ragequitted from a single player game before.

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Oct 28, 2009

Dear Dr. Ruth...

Rare is the joke or gag or schtick or whatever that makes me laugh no matter how many times I see it. I tend to think that this "letter" written to love columnist Dr. Ruth, a rough on the eyes sex therapist, is nothing but a joke. But a joke I'm not going to ever stop laughing at.

What makes this so brilliant is imagining the poor unfortunate woman as she's writing this letter. I honestly am not even sure that last sentence is supposed to be sarcastic or not. You decide.

via Reddit

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Oct 1, 2009

Pure epic

History is rife with examples of how two awesome things are put together to form an even more awesomer thing: peanut butter and chocolate; rock and roll; Stephen Hawking and speak-and-spells. This 2-combo bar has been the gold standard for thousands of years of human history.

Until today.

Some grand alchemist decided he would go for the impossible. He would combine not two awesome things together, but 3. Mad, is he? Sure, I'm sure he got that a lot in his quest for human combo advancement. I'm sure his kids cried little kid tears when father wouldn't come home again because he's set afire with purpose and flashes of insight.

So I humbly present to you, something unimaginably epic - a video game that combines Pheonix Wright, Elite Beat Agents, and Queen.

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Sep 16, 2009

The most ridiculous mashup of video games and pop culture EVER

Dear god, my head is going implode. Kinda like a reverse pinata, only instead of candy my head is full of lulz. And these lulz collapse into singularity. Which would make them more like the letter "K" if you squint really hard. That's what singularity means, right? Oh god, my brain is so bork right now.

The good news is if the Heavy Weapons Guy's career as a Billy Mays replacement doesn't pan out, you know MTV'll probably have some work for him.

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Sep 3, 2009

What playing football has taught me about my MBA program (and I haven't even started class yet!)

I'm currently applying for a student blogger position at Boston College's MBA website. Since I like reusing my work whenever possible, I thought I'd share the sample I sent in here. Enjoy!

I am a first year student. And at the time of this writing, I haven't spent minute one in the classroom. What I know of my upcoming academic experience has been gathered in the form of testimonials, hearsay, and grim warnings. It's a vision of first years toiling away in break out rooms and all but sleeping at Fulton Hall 5+ days a week. It demands all that you can give and then some. You will be constantly challenged throughout the year.

Having played in high school and college, I believe football is a pretty good parallel. While the games are all typical fans are exposed to, they represent only a fraction of the sweat, hard work and dedication put in by the players. There are practices, team meetings, films, off season work out routines, and grueling summer camps - a year round regime that demands all the player can give and then some. Players are constantly challenged throughout the year (though these challenges usually manifest as 260+ lb linemen).

Ray Lewis, one of the nfl all time great linebackers, represents Accounting. You don't even want to know what the metaphor for Statistics is.

I strongly suspect the solution to tackling the first year of school here at the Carrol School of Management is the same one I discovered for playing football: give it your all and have fun.

My fellow first years and I may get (figuratively) dinged up, bruised, and battered. We may all very well exhausted every night. But if we're doing it right, if we're really getting the most out of our experience here, there's no reason we can't be smiling the whole time. I know I will be.

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Sep 1, 2009

Holy crap you guys, I'm going to school

Shortly after the posting of this... uh, post, I'll be moving to Boston to pursue my MBA. This is a dream 3+ years in the making, having been rejected from all applied schools years earlier. I'm super excited to get into the swing of things, even though I'm woefully unprepared. I hear this experience is akin to drinking from a fire hose - so I say let 'er rip!

However, this post is also bittersweet. If you've ever drank from a fire hose, first off what the hell is wrong with you? But more importantly, you know that in the battle between your balance and the deluge of water, the water's gonna win. I honestly don't know what amount of free time I'll have, which means I don't know what ability I have to write here on The Unwind.

This blog has been a tremendous help to me as a writer, allowing me to hone my writing craft, and as a creative outlet. I do hope to continue here, but as of right now I have to put it on tentative hiatus.

In case I can't come back to it, thank you for stopping by. I hope you've had as much fun reading this blog as I did writing it.

Click here to continue reading "Holy crap you guys, I'm going to school"

Aug 31, 2009

Do you know the number to heaven?

I saw this on the great G4 television show Web Soup, and I needed to share it here.

So imagine you got a movie contest premise. It has to be 30 seconds long, feature a monster, someone under 18 years old and the word "fantastic". What would you come up with? Go ahead, think about it. I'll be right here.

Still need a minute? No problem.

Got it now? Good. Now throw your idea away because there is no way you're on enough drugs to top this movie (you're still able to read, after all). This could quite possibly be the most WTF thing I've ever seen in my many years on the internet. Also, I love it.

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Aug 28, 2009

Smile, you're on camera!

Ever go to Walmart, only to see some really creepy individual shopping? Would you like to see more of him/her? How about many different versions of him/her? Now you can, delivered right to the very computer that you're using right now!

I'm talking, of course, about the website People of Walmart.

It's got your average, run-of-the-mill creepy. It's got your take-3-showers-to-feel-clean-again creepy. It's got your absurd, ridiculous and just plain "wtf". There's something here for every voyeur too lazy to go to his local Walmart.

I'm wonder just when this site will feature a naked man in a trench coat. It's this idea's logical conclusion and, quite honestly, just a matter of time.

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Aug 27, 2009


I know I've been talking a lot about Team Fortress 2 here. I swear I'm not a TF2 blog, it's just... well, I'm heading to grad school soon and I don't know if I'll have the time to play it. So I've been playing it more often than usual pre-emptively in case I don't have the time to be a gamer anymore.

When I saw this video, I was instantly intrigued by a new game mode someone's created called Prop Hunt. Essentially it's hide and seek, done TF2 style. Set in arena maps, the RED team has about 30 or seconds to hide from the BLU team, then the BLU team has the remaining time to go forth and slaughter. Sounds simple, right?

Nope. The BLU team, default pyro (though you can switch to heavy, another good choice), takes damage everytime they fire their weapons. So it pays to conserve instead of W+M1. Yes, you can pull the trigger so much you die. To augment this, periodically the capture point is "refreshed" and you can touch it for full health. The brilliance of this is that it takes you away from the hunt.

Oh, yeah, and it's called prop hunt. The RED team, forcibly scouts, are all turned into random map props as soon as the round begins. We're talking palm trees, buckets, doors, wood piles, hay - whatever is native to the map. Actually, the worst things to be forced to hide as are capture points (BLU always checks the point and you always look out of place anywhere else) and BLU pyros - you hold no gun and don't have the same running animations the other BLU pyros do.

The outcome of all this is interesting. RED's advantage, aside from being a prop, is its speed and mobility. I can't tell you the number of times I've spotted and lit a hider, only to have him run away from me before I could kill him. But what BLU lacks in speed, it makes up for in numbers - once a prop is out and running, you can see everyone scramble to cut off angles and kill it.

It's amazing to see what can be done with a little creativity and the patience to create a new game mode. Wholly recommended.

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Aug 26, 2009

8-bit tripping

Stop motion video is a medium that has always fascinates me. You set up a picture, take it, then work to set up the next picture that's only slightly different than the one before so as to create motion. Rinse and repeat. Because the effort required to produce even a small amount of video is enormous, it's almost always a labor of love. And that's usually reflected in the video itself.

Case in point, 8-bit Trip. Someone (or several someones, more likely) spent 1,500 hours assembling and disassembling Lego blocks to create some amazing 8-bit esque video. The results are stunning.

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Aug 25, 2009

Stop having a boring head, stop having a boring life.

Like many people, in TF2 one of the things I find most frustrating (aside from repeatedly getting schooled) is not having hats. I have one. There are a total of 30 if you count the hatless hats. Doing the math, I need some more fucking hats.

You like my hat, chuckle-nuts?

The only way to unlock them is to play TF2. Like, a lot of TF2, because hats drop about as frequently as Beastie Boys albums. But what do you do if you don't have the time to play 20 hours a day?

That's when you something like SteamStats, an idler. It allows you to be "logged into" TF2 using a fake server and just sits there. It's not nearly as computer resource intensive as just chilling in an idle server, so keeping it up and running is just a matter of not playing anything on Steam while you go about your business or just leaving your computer on.

Items drop about 5-6 times a day, and so far I've received no hats, but just the fact that I now have a greater chance to get my beloved camera beard makes this full of win. Enjoy your hats.

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Aug 23, 2009

Best. Cake. Ever.

This weekend brought about a going away party for me, in which a lot of my friends and family were able to make it. And while I haven't been able to fully debrief all people there, the general consensus was that it was a rip-roaring good time.

The best part of the whole thing? I got cakerolled. I know I shared this on Twitter previously, but it's so full of win (and ice cream) that I have to devote some space on this blog towards it. This post is its posthumous shrine.

My girlfriend is the best for having this made. Totally have to marry her after this.

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Aug 20, 2009

Dance Dance Evolution

Wikipedia defines the Lindy Hop as: African American dance, based on the popular Charleston and named for Charles Lindbergh's Atlantic crossing in 1927. It evolved in New York City in the 1920s and '30s and originally evolved with the jazz music of that time. Lindy was a fusion of many dances that preceded it or were popular during its development but is mainly based on jazz, tap, breakaway and Charleston. It is frequently described as a jazz dance and is a member of the swing dance family.

I would have used the more succinct "awesome", but that's me. What about you?

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Aug 19, 2009

My Life is Average

No, that's not commentary on my own life (I lead an awesome life), but rather an awesome website in which people recount their tales of averageness. My Life is Average is very similar in layout and structure to FMyLife, but instead of stories of cheating and otherwise getting dumped on, MLIA's takes have an endearing childlike innocence about them. Also, they're pretty damn funny.

For example:

Today at work we got a new vacuum cleaner. It straps onto your back and has a hand-held nozzle with which to vacuum. I am officially a Ghostbuster. MLIA

It's like discovering an entire community of people that think exactly like I do. It's good to be average.

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Aug 18, 2009

Things that should not be: Poo Trap

Do you have a dog? Does it poop? Do you hate your dog? If you've answered yes to all three, then this product is for you. It's the Poo Trap, a device that catches poo that comes out of your dog. Finally, a device that strips you and your dog away from any remaining dignity.

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Aug 17, 2009

Long live the king! (of the hill)

So the new TF2 classless update hit last Friday, and I've had about a weekends worth of time to digest it. With it came hats, a new play mode, new ctf and arena maps, and a metric crapton of tweaks. Here's my (obligatory) two cents:

What Valve did right:
Hats. While they're a pain in the ass to get, the option to give your character a little more customization is a welcomed one (camera beard ftw) . Now if only I could get myself some of those freaking hats...

CTF_Sawmill. I never was a fan of arena Sawmill, but take out a couple of the side attack routes and it plays very nicely as a capture the flag map. Only slight niggle is that the map is so open and with plenty of water on both sides of the map, that pyros tend to be underpowered on this map.

Sandman tweaks. Un-freaking-believable what they did. Scout now can double jump with the Sandman, but can no longer stun uber-charged enemies. Also, there's a significant health penalty, dropping the Scouts health to only 95 hp. This means taking one rocket to the face, not even a crit rocket, usually means you explode. This change is amazing for 2 reasons:

  • No longer are people limited to the Force-a-nature / Sandman combo. Most people (myself included) teamed the two items together to help compensate for the Sandman's lack of double jump. Now Scouts are free to choose either scattergun.
  • The decrease in health actually forces Scouts to play as, well, Scouts. It's easier to learn how to play any class when you can vividly see your mistakes. What better way than dying just about every time you make one as a Scout? That's what the 95 hp represents - a learning tool. Jump in, deal quick damage, jump out. Learn the value of making the other team chase you and not take your objectives/engage your team.

King of the Hill - I really love this play mode. You and your team try to capture a central point and have your timer reach 0 before the other team's. Simple, yet maddeningly frustrating at times. Plus, shortly after the release the announcer kept shouting "overtime" which was hilarious. But most of all, what's great about King of the Hill is...

koth_nucleus - This map was made for King of the Hill. It's small and incredibly well balanced. The capture point is literally inaccessible until its unlocked which has the added bonus of preventing one team from camping it. There's no good place for a sentry nest, yet it doesn't preclude the engineer from setting up shop somewhere - its defenses are just not impregnable like in some other maps. So much fun to be had in this map.

What Valve did wrong:
King of the Hill nests - In koth_Viaduct, and to a lesser extent koth_Sawmill, the matches are usually won not by the team with the most skilled players, but the one that establishes its nest first. There are a few spots on these maps that are perfect for it, and that's the problem. If the other team's sentry is at level 3 and the teleporters are up, good luck turning the tide (unless the other team is really bad at protecting their stuff). Remove those nests, Valve.

Alternatively, I'd love to try Viaduct and Sawmill as-is on a server that doesn't allow engineers. THAT would be interesting.

Arena mode - It got replaced. Much like the Medic's Blutsaugher to the Syringe Gun, King of the Hill almost completely replaces it. Sure, I may indulge Arena from time to time to get a Counterstrike-esque feel, but even with the nesting problem King of the Hill is more fun than Arena.

Rocket jumping / Force-a-nature jumping - While I haven't tried these out for myself, servers chatter was alive with complaints on how Soldiers were unable to reach places they normally could with a rocket jump, or how the Scout's "triple jump" with the force-a-nature is more or less taken from them. I guess I didn't see the need for this, Valve. Why change what wasn't really broken?

Overtime! OVERTIME! overTIME! OVER time! ...overtime! OvErTiMe! oVertime! OVERTIME! OvErtImE! Come on, Valve, you didn't need to patch this shortly after the update. I may be alone in thinking it, but it was welcomed unintentional hilarity, and really gave life to the otherwise unknown Announcer.

Overall, there's a lot to be excited about in this update. While I'd always love me some new unlockables for a class (Demoman, plz), the Scout plays like a brand new class with the changes made so I can't really complain too much. Not perfect, but few things are. 9.5/10

Click here to continue reading "Long live the king! (of the hill)"

Aug 14, 2009

This marketing plan is the shit

Hey marketers! Want to really reach out and connect with the young generation and show them what a wonderful product it is you have? Why not supply them with some infotainment they can see in their normal communication channels. Viral videos these days are all the rage, but you're savvy enough to know that for a video to catch on, it needs to be something worth talking about. What do you do?

Well, if you're the people behind msi laptops, you strip the internet down to its essence and portray your product in that scenario. Yes, I'm talking about making a video of a team of spandex clad youngsters, who look like they're having the time of their lives catching your laptops in their butts. Wait, what?


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Aug 13, 2009

Seriously, Apple?

I must have missed this in the whole "let's make our iPods really obnoxiously smaller" phase of the brand, but Apple legitmately thought that its users were going to eat the iPod Shuffle. No, seriously, you can google it.

I know Apple's all about controlling the user experience and making sure it's easy to use even for the, shall we say, less-technically inclined of us. But to think they'd eat the electronics is a little bit of a stretch.

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Aug 12, 2009

This guy seems legit...

I found it! The most inappropriate video ever. And it comes from The Onion, much like you'd expect. It's a morning show piece with an ex-pedophile giving tips on how to make your kids less attractive. It'll make you laugh so hard you'll realize just how sick of a human being you are.


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Aug 11, 2009

Lost in Translation: Funny People

I've watched Funny People (applause). And, like any person with an opinion and a soapbox, I'm going let you know what I think. Instead of sharing with you my thoughts (far too easy), I've translated them once again into Japanese and back again via way of Babelfish. Enjoy!

The strange people are the movie concerning the comedian who never really does not hit to large and. Oh truly, secretly laughing, the movie concerning the comedian who brags about the power where this casting ones are strange - especially 1 - being consistent, when it is stranger, the large number of joke it had smile on my surface, but many there is the point which differs in the movie which makes, thinks.

The movie itself was in some genre, it could not define. On the one hand, as for that comedian who's concerning it possessed the element of the story of rather good growth; which exactly obtains that large being broken eye. The love story of those which obtain the change which leaves remain, that's arrange subpar at the very most. This time being clear, throw the help of accumulation of the old drama.

And however, every one of that is clumsy, it seems that disorder does not work exactly together with the enormous lump. In its movie the way because it seems the way, it is strange or, either one which goes somewhere. It reverses. There are no all assemblies or the punch line.

Just Seth of the entire movie was Rogen passing possible. While believing, that me it is the actor where he really is strange, he is clumsy, it seems that is the majority of all that elements. As for me lion you must say as for the share of laughing supporting position, all people you. The empty it came we which is heard never perhaps (certainly me didn't). Appreciating, that this movie won't it means the loom of on those remaining for carrier.

I remain the theater completely to regret the fact that you see, the movie which leases me whom perhaps it had the chestnut it probably will return. Favor to do you yourself, this just that time you see re-curiosity does not remove the forcing or the money for that from the shell.

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Aug 10, 2009

Sanity 'splosion

Gotta love vacation. Time to recharge the batteries and kick back. And, for myself, it's also another week of perusing the internet and seeing what the internet cat (technically a tiger) dragged in.

The always awesome Jaz McDougall turned me onto not one, but two awesome oddities. First, Shatner explains why Captain Kirk is climbing a mountain, embedded below. Ok, it's just an old Shatner interview, and Shatner was pretty out there himself, but it's spliced even further to turn the insanity up to 11. Oh, and it's set to super catchy techno music. HARD MODE: try and get the song out of your head once you let it wash over you.

Also, Translation Party has to be one of the greatest wastes of time ever. It stirs up huge waves of nostalgia as it does all the work of translating things from English into Japanese and back over and over again until "equilibrium" is found (where the phrases never change when transformed). I've, of course, taken the liberty of translating the Shatner vid using Translation Party. The results can be found below:

Captian Kirk, why he is climbing a mountain climber?
Captian Kirk, why he is climbing a mountain climber?
Captian Kirk, why he is climbing a mountain climber?
Captian Kirk, why he is climbing a mountain climber?

To hug the mountain
Wrapped around the mountain
To hug the mountain
Wrapped around the mountain
Mountains and Mt.
He is fond of mountains

Young people and a tough body, uhh, little finger and toe locks sinewed
Challenge of Death
Or climb a mountain? Because I love.

Kirk, the incident occurred between the mountains and passion
This is in the mountains KAKUKAKU

Now, to create the illusion
Attractive, it is to understand the meaning of the increased appetite that it is difficult
And this mountain, putting me

Captian Kirk, why he is climbing a mountain climber?
Captian Kirk, why he is climbing a mountain climber?
Captian Kirk, why he is climbing a mountain climber?
Captain Kirk is climbing. Please wait.

To hug the mountain
Wrapped around the mountain
To hug the mountain
Wrapped around the mountain
Mountains and Mt.
He is fond of mountains

Maeba still matters
In front of me some people here

Death of Rock Challenge
Or climb a mountain? Because I love.

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Aug 6, 2009

Bomb has been planted (in your mind)

Counterstrike, for all intents and purposes, was the game that really introduced me to this whole "online gaming" thing. Sure, other games had gone online, and I understood how that was a good thing intellectually, but it wasn't until I got the thrill of pwning noobs and talking shit over voice chat did I really fall in love.

Better still, this was all done at my college (I was a late bloomer with the online gaming) with a tight community of players about 30 strong. It was cool to live this double life of student and awp whore elite tactical agent. Even cooler was when you and other members of this community, previously anonymous to one another, discovered one another about campus. Granted I took (and still take) an unoriginal handle, but "Oh shit, you're Baker?" was a question that started some fairly interesting conversations.

Suffice it to say, while I don't play it much anymore, Counterstrike still holds a very soft spot in my heart. So when my cousin turns to me this vacation and tells me there's "this Counterstrike frag video" I have to see, I gave it a look. Not since a particular TF2 video (hint: THE AWESOME ONE (hint hint: MASS AI (while (true)))) have I awed at a video this hard.

While I suspect some aimbotting was done to make the video - noone's THIS accurate in CS - the editing and music and sheer awesomeness of the video more than compensate. This one's turned up to 11.

ahhh, I love programming humor. If (user = "gets it"){Do (laugh);} else{break;}

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Aug 4, 2009

PSA: How to reset your sleep cycle

I am a horrible, horrible sleeper. Not because the quality of the sleep is lacking, but because my body has a horrible clock for these sorts of things. I get it erratically, at different points of the day, for differing amounts. Much like the XKCD strip, I seriously considered just telling people I lived in different time zones.

But science, good 'ol science, seems to have found a way to reset your body clock: stop eating. For about 12-16 hours prior to when you want your body wake up, don't eat. So if I want to set my "morning" to be, say 5 PM, I stop eating at 1-5 AM and try to wake up at 5 PM. When you wake up and your body is nice and hungry, eat a really good, healthy breakfast. Your body receives the food and thinks "WHY THE HELL ISN'T THIS BACON?". I mean, "it's morning".

More details and science-y stuff can be found here:

This is one of those odd things that, while I haven't empirically verified for myself, passes the "smell test". While my sleep clock may be unreliable (read: broken), my stomach is fucking military precision on when it tells me to eat. Even more impressive, it sounds like Sgt. Hartman from Full Metal Jacket when it's trying to tell me it's hungry. I don't dare cross my stomach for fear that it'll make me choke myself.

But possibly, if I can trick it to anchoring around a new "morning" by timing my breakfast, my stomach should continue to do an excellent job in telling me when lunch, dinner and "time for bed" is. I'mma give it go!

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Jul 31, 2009

Craig Ferguson is my new hero

Admittedly, I don't watch much television these days. Not in the traditional sense, at least. Hulu, I'm convinced, is a magical place where television is brought to my computer when I want it. I swear to god, their service must be powered by unicorns or leprechauns or something.

When I do watch tv, however, I usually end up watching the late shows. One such show that I enjoy is the Craig Ferguson show. He has a quirky sense of humor, razor-sharp wit and keen insights into the world. For the record, these are good things. They make him edgy and fresh in a sea of similarity. Or maybe they just make him Scottish. I don't know.

Either way, he's easily becoming one of my favorites to watch when I actually do watch late night TV. And this bit is only cementing his mantle. In this monologue, he explains how he figured out why everything sucks. And it's nothing short of amazing.

In the interest of full disclosure, I've written this article a day in advance. I only hope that Youtube hasn't taken this clip down, because as one friend accurately described, it's "like mainlining on insight".

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The Unwind on vacation (maybe)

Attention reader:

I am going on vacation like I mentioned previously. Because I'm a man of my word. I'm a man of many words, mostly because I need them to convey my thoughts. On this blog. Do you understand what I'm getting at? I'm getting some time to get away, get it?

I'll have internet access and, presumably, more coherence while away on this trip next week. Expect updates, but not regularly.

And remember, alliteration is always your friend.

The Management

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Jul 30, 2009

MMO Pitch Party

FUN FACT: I checked on Urban Dictionary to make sure that a "pitch party" isn't some slang term for something more lewd. I'll get started on the entry.

Pretend you're a Hollywood bigwig. You have a vast portfolio of intellectual properties, consisting primarily of movies, and you want to make more money off it to fuel your uncontrollable habit of hookers and blow. It's now time to cash in on the profitable gaming market.

From what you can tell, this "video game" thing is a gold mine. Why, some game called World of Warcraft has like 8 million something people paying every month to play that game. And they're not even backed by your popular movies! You could probably get 20 million people at least playing your game.

Ok, all horrible assumptions aside, what are we going to turn into a video game?

  • The Shawshank Redemption - Join a particular prison gang and level up by sneaking drugs and other contraband in your ass (I'm sorry, "coin purse"). Shank targets of rival gangs, or try and plan your escape from prison. Either way, immerse yourself in a persistent, (n)ever changing universe complete with gray walls and mandated rec time.

    It's like ol' Red said: get busy grinding, or get busy dying. Or something to that effect.

  • Office Space - Fill out TPS reports and try to one-up your boss. Whatever you do, be sure not to aggro too many co-workers or you'll be forced into a meeting. Equip yourself with the legendary Red Swingline and get ready to fight another instance of the Mondays.

  • Snakes on a Plane - A multiplayer Sim Airplane with snakes and Samuel L. Jackson shouting at you for no real reason.

  • V for Vendetta - This will be the first game to intentionally evolve over time. At the game's launch, players will be able to enact cold-blooded revenge against oppressive authority figures in near-future Britain. All while using an innovative new combat system.

    2 weeks later, 4chan arrives and it all goes to hell. Then you get to crusade against mudkipz and facepalm text macros in Guy Fawkes masks.

  • Momento - This game would actually stick closer to standard MMO conventions, with one exception: there is no linear leveling progression. First you start at level 1. Then you jump up to level 99 (the game's max). Then back to level 2. Then 98. Eventually, you'll stabilize at level 50 and at that point wonder why the hell you played the game so long in the first place. Just like the movie.

  • Slumdog Millionaire - A quiz-show based MMO, only your brother gets shot when you advance to a certain level. Of course, you could just rez him, but that'll cost one of your lifelines.

  • James Bond (any of them) - An MMO in which you assume the role of one of MI-6's top secret agents. Customize your agent with various suits and disguises as you infiltrate terrorist organizations. Collect powerful gadgets and exotic STD's ("epic mounts" earn you double XP) as you try to save the world from yet another near-catastrophe.

  • Dr. Horrible's Sing-a-long Blog - You're a evil super villain hell bent on making a name for yourself and challenging the status quo (because the status is definitely not quo). Players can dabble in various skill trees including, but not limited to: internet savvy, evil genius, carrying a tune, and evil laugh.

Sad thing is, though these may make bad MMOs, they're still more appealing to me than the Twilight MMO.

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Jul 29, 2009


Hey, do you like video games? Video games you can play online with people, as in massively multiplayer online games? Excellent! You've come to the right place!

But do you also like the movie Twilight? If so, get the hell out of here. Seriously, this blog isn't for you.

Twilight, for those not in the know, is a story about a vampire (Edward) who, over the course of a few books, ends up being strong-armed into an eternal marriage and a kid with some crazy chick (Bella). Sure, the book claims he was in love with her, but this dude has been around for over 100 years - he's probably had his pick of the litter for some time now... why would he give that up? And for Bella to be actively seeking out a supernatural race of people who like to feed on blood (you know, the stuff in her body) is just plain dumb. Darwin Award-worthy dumb.

If you want to know how I know all this, well I had to do some research on Edward not too long ago. It was also the time that I found out I could have an allergic reaction to a Wikipedia page.

Ok, so what's the point?

Well, rhetorical device, the point is someone's trying to put these two ideas together to form an unholy union that is the Twilight MMO. Finally, an MMO that will suck literally and figuratively.

It's still in the early stages of development, where I'm hoping sunlight will kill it. If you're interested in learning more, the game's website plays a first-soothing, later-irritating song in the background while you try and pick at the games' details. Maybe you level up at Hot Topic or something. I don't know. What I do know is that I threw up a little in my mouth when I was first alerted to this.

Tomorrow I'll be pitching other movies/tv shows that would make horrible MMOs but still would somehow be more fun than this.

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Jul 28, 2009

Don'tcha know

I'm not dead. Yet. Sorry for the delay. My vacation to New Hampshire was amazing, though it did leave a blog-sized void in my life that I hope now to fill.

For those unfamiliar with American politics - and I don't blame you if you're not, it's like a bad soap opera, except real - Sarah Palin, the recent Vice Presidential candidate in our last elections, had resigned from her governorship in Alaska some time ago with aspirations of running for some greater office. Now, say what you will about her platforms, but the prospect of this scares me. She's about as qualified for the presidency as I am to go outside and fly an F-15 bomber. We'll both crash and burn spectacularly, but I'm likely to create fewer casualties.

Unknown to me, she gave a resignation speech that was described by some as "rambling and sometimes confusing". Normally this would be non-noteworthy, but the great Conan O'Brien had seen the truth in her speech. He posits that it was not really a speech at all, but rather a very beautiful and image-laden poem.

And of course to "awesome it up", like Conan's apt to do, he had none other than William Shatner read the poem. It's like his infamous Rocketman reading, except real (and therefore more inherently sad).

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Jul 22, 2009

The Unwind On Vacation - shameless parting plug edition

I'm going to be away from the internets for the rest of the week, taking one of two vacations left planned for the summer. Fortunately, the next vacation has internet access so the flow of crap consciousness that spews forth likely won't be as interrupted, if at all.

While I'm gone, you can enjoy all of the good inanity and ranting on The Fair Use Law Podcast as usual (and hey, subscribe to us via iTunes while you're at it).

Or, you could check out some of my work over at Top Cultured, which I still write for on occasion. The picture I made of Edward Cullen in my latest article still makes me lol when I see it. FYI, I only really write to entertain myself - your entertainment is just a nice by-product.

Shameless plug time OVER. See you on Monday.

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Jul 21, 2009

7 Habits of Highly Effective Twitterers

Time and time again, I find one of the biggest barriers people have to joining Twitter is that they don't "get it". And time and time again, I struggle to succinctly convey its value. The value is there that anyone using the service can appreciate, to be sure, but since Twitter is so free form and so open-ended, this "value" can mean wildly different things to different people.

Twitter is something you just have to jump into and explore for yourself to really understand why you'd want to be there in the first place.

Whether you're new to Twitter, or been using the service for a while now, the following link is an article that very nicely articulates how to get more out of your Twitter experience.

7 Habits of Highly Effective Twitterers

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Jul 20, 2009

I have no idea what's going on

No, seriously. I have no idea what's going on in this video. Is he made of rubber? Does he have a detachable jaw? How did he find out he could do this in the first place? Did he train? If so, why? Is this ability useful for eating? Has he ever accidentally swallowed a child?

My mind is bork pondering these unponderables.

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Jul 16, 2009

Of Wizards and Men

I find myself in an interesting cross section of popular culture. I enjoy the Harry Potter series enough to watch the movies, but not enough to forge ahead and read (devour?) the books. And since I'm about the only person in this demographic, either you don't care to see the movies or I'm not going to be spoiling anything for you having read the books.

This is what we call in the blogosphere a spoiler alert.

Ok class, let's try to ONE have a lab that doesn't involve someone's death.

The Half-Blood Prince was a good divergence in movie from the other previous ones in that it really felt like there was no closure at the end of the movies. Previous films all left me with that same episodic feeling, like Harry triumphed over Voldemort once again - but he'll be back another day. Kinda like how The Claw from Inspector Gadget always shouted "I'll get you next time, Gadget! Next time!" as he made his escape.

In this movie, things got real. Over the course of the movie, you see an interesting playout of Dumbledore and Voldemort infiltrating one another's ranks and trying to out maneuver one another. Dumbledore knows he's missing crucial information needed to defeat Voldemort, one a former teacher has. This teacher is reluctant to give up the goods, as they say, and after much persuasion, Harry finds out how to defeat Voldemort: destroy the horcruxes - things that contain Voldemort's soul.

Meanwhile, Snape is infiltrating the Death Eaters - Voldemort's band of merry murderers - and acting as spy to Dumbledore. All this is happening as Malfoy, who looks like a band member of My Chemical Romance, is trying to get the Death Eaters into a magically fortified Hogwarts to kill Dumbledore.

All the while Emma loves Ron but Ron doesn't know it. So Ron dates some floozy and that pisses Emma off. Top that off with a heaping helping of Harry falling for Ron's sister, Ginny Weasley, and you've got yourself a love cocktail that's fit for any soap opera.

Confused? Too much to follow? To its credit, the movie does a good job of making sure you aren't lost over the course of the 2.5+ hour movie.

So we get the buildup of what I've been told by my book-reading friends is the final arc. And the movie plays out like a buildup movie. The story progresses. We see newer darker sides of a lot of characters. We see a lot of ambiguities in characters that need (we hope) to be reconciled.

Ron's helmet was part of his "special needs" at Hogwarts.

I came out of the movie theater feeling the same way I did after the second Matrix movie - I understood this movie was a necessary transition to the end of the series, but the movie left me wanting more. More action, more wizardry, more excitement. Half-Blood Prince didn't quite feel like it was dragging, but it did feel much slower than the other movies.

Notice how I'm primarily focusing on the story of the movie. This is because you know the other aspects of the movie already. This is Potter, after all. It's like trying to dissect how different yearly batches of Madden '0X are from one another. It's what you've already come to expect from the series:

  • The supporting cast all play brilliantly around Daniel Radcliffe who plays a perfectly capable, though comparatively underwhelming, Harry Potter.
  • Everything else was superb. The music, the costumes, the setting, the visuals - you name it.

I believe that this movie, on it's own, is the weakest of all Harry Potter movies. That said, even a B-B+ Harry Potter movie is better than 90% else that Hollywood's been producing. It is a necessary (and fitting) transition movie for the series, and one I wholly recommend to anyone with even the slightest interest in the series.

Oh, and Snape kills Dumbledore.


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TF2 videos

It's of no surprise to anyone who reads this blog that I love Team Fortress. I really think there's something for everyone and, though not perfect, comes about as close as you're gonna get in the first person shooter realm.

There's just something about throwing around jars of piss that really resonates with me.

Anyway, in my zealotry, I find a ton of videos that range from the pretty amazing to the "meh". Lately a few of them have caught my eye. You can find them after the break.

Meet the Crashes. Think America's Funniest Home Videos meet TF2.

Girlfriend Fortress. Someone recorded their girlfriend playing TF2 for the first time to fairly hilarious results. I think this is actually pretty close to my first experience ("how come I can't shoot while I'm invisible?")
Watch more videos of TF2

The always fun Nom nom nom server played a pacman map to awesome results.

Someone modded a female scout class. It's not perfect, as you can see, but it's neat.

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Jul 15, 2009

As advertised

I'm not going to lie. As I write this, it's way past my bedtime because a friend of mine convinced me to see the midnight showing of the new Harry Potter. I really did enjoy the movie and will likely write about it in the very near future.

But as of right now, I'm barely able to string these thoughts together. Perhaps if I used duct tape to create some kind of giant idea tube...

So bear all this in mind when I tell you that the Helen Keller Simulator is making me laugh every time I return to the tab I have it open under.

See you tomorrow.

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Jul 14, 2009

The best kind of trolling EVER

I believe that comedy is one of the most difficulty things to master. Everyone has different styles, tastes, backgrounds, predispositions etc etc etc that make us all the unique snowflakes that we are. So it follows that no two senses of humor are the same.

I've written essays and papers on this subject, most recently in my MBA application process. Comedy is something I'm passionate about. Why? Because I also believe there's no greater emotional high than when people share a good laugh together.

So how does this relate to trolling? The below video is of a guy who goes into webcam chatrooms in a bear suits and simply dances around. It's absurd and ridiculous - not demeaning or infuriating like most trolling is - and you can't help but laugh, not at, but with this guy. It's simply sublime.

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Jul 13, 2009

An Arcade Fit For a King (Of Pop)

Ever wonder how Michael Jackson used to relax after a long day of... doing whatever it is he did? Well, when not allegedly doing anything illegal, that is? His highness had an arcade that was rather bitchin'.

The below link is a set of 360 degree panoramic photos to what MJ's arcade might have looked like. Though these pictures were not taken at the Neverland Ranch, all the machines and decorations and life-size Star Wars everything were all very much his. He even has a Zoltar fortune telling machine from the movie Big!

Forget his accomplishments, I have a new found respect for this man - on some level, at least, he was a geek at heart. It's good to be king.

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Jul 10, 2009


I myself am a heavy sleeper. The rapture could be happening outside of my house and it won't cause me so much as a stir. That said, my body knows when it's time to be receptive to the sounds of the several alarm clocks I've stashed up around my room. I don't need an alarm clock like this.

What this alarm clock lacks in subtlty, it makes up for in whiplash.

(via TechEBlog)

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Jul 8, 2009

Awesome retro media center

A friend of mine from college recently cracked open his VCR and put in it's place a digital media center. As he puts it, it's old school technology meets new school technology. As I put it, it's undeniably awesome.

Bravo, dude. Pictures below.

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Jul 7, 2009

Creepy vintage ads

Some advertisements are witty. Some advertisements are unfortunately placed. Others are just downright creepy.

These 15 vintage advertisements have really not stood up well to the test of time. Enjoy!

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Jul 6, 2009

Best review of a video game EVER

My good friend Jaz (who, btw, is making a name for himself in the gaming journalism scene) sent this to me, and it is without a doubt the most creative video game review EVER. Destructoid reviews Mad Dog McCree Gunslinger - one of those cheesy, full motion video light gun-esque shooters for the Wii.

Only, they made it such a way that you yourself are playing a cheesy, full motion video light gun-esque shooters by using the magic of youtube links. Fail, and you have to start over (or at least rewind the video a bit). Absolutely brilliant.

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Jul 3, 2009

You can put lipstick on a pig...

One site is dedicated to making bad fast food (essentially, all of it) and make it look good. Like, 4 star restaurant good. So good that I want to go to the respective fast food joints and demand they serve it to me like the photo.

I'm talking, of course, of Fancy Fast Food. As their description puts it:

These photographs show extreme makeovers of actual fast food items purchased at popular fast food restaurants. No additional ingredients have been added except for an occasional simple garnish.
They're working sorcery over at this site. I mean, could you ever imagine, in your wildest dreams, that White Castle could ever look this appealing?

Or that Taco Bell would be this enticing?

The best part of all of this is that there are recipies to recreate all of what is seen. Give this guy a show on the Food Network already!

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Jul 2, 2009


I swear, Billy Mays' infomercials should just live on indefinitely and be dubbed over by other people, be they celebreties or other recognized characters. Take this video of the TF2 heavy selling Kaboom for example. It's one part memorial, one part entertainment, one part informercial.

It's memfotainment and it's freaking hilarious.

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Jul 1, 2009


In what is pretty old new by internet standards, Pirate Bay is in the process of being bought out by Global Gaming Factory X (GGF), in an attempt to make the site's dealings legal and profitable. Pirate Bay is currently the largest hub for torrents, which allow people to share quickly and easily any digital content - including illegal, unpaid for, copies - with one another.

While I can understand the current site owners' desire to sell the site (they are currently, to much surprise, facing increasing legal issues from their native government, Sweden), this deal makes almost no sense from GGF's perspective. GGF touts that they'll implement a new business model that will justify the $7.7 million they're spending on this.

I strongly believe it's going to fail.

First off, if you're talking money, already the business model is more complex than The Pirate Bay's (TBP) current one. You've got legal issues, tax issues, ownership issues, digital rights issues, terms of service, etc etc etc. Even if there is no net cost to the user, this is still inconveniences and legal hurdles that have to be contended with by GGF's and its users.

TPB's current model has none of that - you simply use their site. Once TBP goes, I predict several clone sites will sprout up, offering the same ease and simplicity that TBP did. Which do you think users would prefer?

And this does not address the money issue. While I don't know if GGF's business model will require its users to pay out of their pocket (or be subsidized, say, via advertisements), if there is any cost to its users, already GGF is already behind. People who are looking for free content are going to continue to find free content, and this move will only cause them to look elsewhere. The torrents themselves, which are distributed in nature, are going to still be available. TPB only listed the torrents' statistics.

But perhaps I'm wrong. Perhaps GGF does have some kind of mystery model that costs nothing to its users, keeps things simple, and somehow offers more value to its customers than the current model does. Perhaps they can work digital alchemy and produce something from nothing.

I'll believe it when I see it. Best of luck, Pirate Bay.

Click here to continue reading "YARRRRRRRRrr"

Jun 30, 2009

Awesome trick shot video is awesome

Basketball was one of my favorite sports growing up. I'd spend hours upon hours shooting hoops on my hugely uneven driveway. Depending on the side of the driveway, you'd be up or down a foot in elevation. But I didn't care - when I had a basketball in my hands, life was good.

No matter how much I would ever practice, I don't think I could ever hope to be as good as this guy. Bruce Manley shows off some trick shots that border on the supernatural. I can't imagine how much time was spent practicing and putting together this footage.

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Jun 29, 2009

The Unwind, on vacation

If you can read this, then you already know. I'm on vacation, and likely will be wrapping up my trip to Cape Cod by the time this gets posted.

I don't have anything to say, and really haven't the time to peruse the internets with distractions and wonders of the entertaining variety. So you'll have to make due with the following haiku:

Google Image Search:
"Vacation". Turned up creepy
muscle man. Honk! Honk!

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Jun 26, 2009

You Laugh, You Lose (At Life)

This is wrong. But I'll be damned if it didn't make me laugh.

It's a little known history fact that Hitler was actually a very promising singer when he was a young Austrian boy. His soulful style and delivery were well ahead of his time. It's unfortunate, then, that he gave up that career so early in life to go on and be a car salesman. He was a car salesman, right? I never paid attention in history class...

Anyway, at one of the dealership conventions, he was picked to entertain the crowd. Deciding to test the old pipes, he delivered a tune so moving, historians decided to put it up on YouTube for preservation:

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Jun 25, 2009

Do A Barrel... Monster?

I'm convinced the South has no sense of humor.

In what has to be one of the best college pranks ever, some a college student and a construction worker in North Carolina decided to chop up three traffic barrels to make a "Barrel Monster". This is one awesome monstrosity:

Of course, the state wasn't too happy about the destruction of their property. But instead of having a sense of humor about all of this and just making the two pay the $365 for new cones, the state of North Carolina arrested them for vandalism. Come on, NC... even the company that makes the cones is asking the charges be dropped.

(via MSNBC)

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Jun 23, 2009

Burger King to offer a new sexual value menu?

It's an adage touted by marketers and car salesmen alike: sex sells. And while this is generally true, Burger King decided to be the exception to the rule.

This advert for the Burger King Super Seven Incher is just wrong. The innuendo in and of itselt isn't the issue. It's that BK's food makes me feel fat and greasy - not sexy. It's trying to combine my sex and hunger drives in a way that causes an internal riot. Also, TOO MUCH MAYO.

And I can't help but keep imagining the King watching this woman deepthroat the sub. Always, always watching with his cold, soulless eyes.

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Star Trek on Acid

I had always suspected that the cast of Star Trek was doing some kind of hallucinogen when they did half the crazy stunts they pulled. Heck, I'm pretty sure they just invented some laws of physics. You know, Picard's first law of plot holery or something like that.

This video represents what I believe is the Enterprise's "down time". Enjoy!

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Jun 21, 2009

At least you're not this guy...

You ever walk around in a city somewhere and you see someone dressed incredibly outrageous? To a point where you're not quite sure, but you think they're either setting a trend or mentally retarded? 9 times out of 10 you're looking at a hipster*, and chances are they're both.

Don't have access to local hipsters? Then check out Look at This Fucking Hipster. It's a great site that basically points out a lot of ridiculous bs that youngsters try to pull to be "cool".

I probably shouldn't point and laugh as much as I do. Don't get me wrong, it's funny, it's just we did this kind of crap when I was in college, too. There just wasn't a website to chronicle it all (heck, Facebook had just come out).

*A hipster, according to Wiktionary, is defined as:

  • a person who is interested in the latest trends or fashions
  • a member of Bohemian counterculture
  • an aficionado of jazz who considers himself to be hip
Also, this guy:

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Jun 19, 2009

A Cappella Makes Anything Better

I'm going to let you in behind the curtain a little bit. I hate posting back-to-back YouTube videos on The Unwind, especially when said videos are the crux of the post. This is because I really feel like I starve the writer in me. Practicing my writing and expressing my own ideas was half the reason I started this blog.

That said, I can't ignore the awesomeness that is "On a Boat" done a cappella. A bunch of plucky youngsters from UC Santa Cruz sought to take one of the more ridiculous (and hysterical) SNL music videos, and totally take it up a few notches. These kids don't even need a boat to rock like they're on one.

Consider your day made.

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Jun 18, 2009

Today is Unintentional Homoerotic Euphemism Day

Yes, today is Unintentional Homoerotic Euphemism Day. You didn't know? Better get on the horn, reach out to a friend and get an earful of hot, sweaty knowledge because it is.

To celebrate Unintentional Homoerotic Euphemism Day I present to you "Carrot Highway", a unintentionally hilarious kids video all about one of nature's most phallic vegetables. I wonder if this was a low point in the careers of our hosts "NIGEL!", "CASSIDY!", and "Tom Gorman". As a bonus, after the video's sanity-eroding song you're treated to a monologue by an animated carrot cowboy.

I can't believe I just typed that last sentence.

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Jun 17, 2009

Ramblings of a late man

What first started as a self-imposed deadline to write on this blog has, much later, developed into a habit. I have a predisposition to not break habits, both to my benefit and detriment, so I'm moderately upset I couldn't get to this as normal. Sadly, events have conspired to make this update late - some legit, some the direct result of TF2's awesomeness when shared with friends.

First, the shameless plug stuff:

Returning to TF2, it's taken the lion's share of my video game time once again. There's just something about the new release that has really drawn me back. Whether it's the new maps, the seventy billion tweaks Valve's made to really balance the game, the fun new unlockables, or the multitude of flammable flammable spies running around, I'm hooked again.

The only disappointment with the new unlockables is the Dead Ringer. I love it's concept and I want to use it - you get a non-lethal hit and you instantly cloak, with your opponent thinking he actually killed you. What's I think is missing is a way for the Spy to cloak without taking damage. Even if it's super gimped, and drains 2x as fast as when not taking damage, it would greatly improve the item's usefulness. As is, the Dead Ringer leaves the spy no way of infiltrating enemy lines except acting like an obvious spy.

This scan-and-color pen is ridiculously cool. You have it touch a color you want to replicate, and it mixes the different inks it has to then write in that color. Is there a photoshop equivalent of this? I don't know, being a digital art novice, but I would really enjoy something like this when making my shoops.

And lastly this video, as the name implies, does not stop being funny - even after 100 viewings!

Regularly scheduled updates to follow!

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Jun 16, 2009


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Jun 15, 2009

Leonard Nimoy's Seaman Is All Over This Post

For those of you who don't (or won't) remember a time when Sega was still in the video game console business, the Dreamcast was a college student's dream. It was well ahead of its time in terms of graphics and hardware, a fairly good library of games to choose from, and cool little virtual memory units that acted like little Game Boys. I still have fond memories of my machine.
One "game", quotes indicating a loose application of the term, that really stood out was called Seaman. Essentially a pet simulator gone wrong, you have to hatch, raise and care for you half-man, half-fish abomination.

Caution: Your mind's about to be blown

And while the premise itself was fairly intriguing, how you interacted with your sin against God was particularly awesome: a microphone. Yes, packaged with every Seaman game was a microphone attachment you would use to literally give your Seaman commands. The controller was used primarily to drop food into the tank and to tap the glass, but once you had Seaman's attention it was all voice commanded.

The freakiest thing is, after a while, it started to talk back to you. And have emotions and feelings and hopes and dreams. At least I think so, I never played it long enough to watch it graduate from Seaman college. Come to think of it, Seaman college may not even be real. But they did develop personalities.

Mine were always bastards.

The challenge of the game was that you really had no idea what you needed to do to evolve and raise these Seaman. You had a microphone and a tank. To help you with this was narration by, no lie, Leonard Freaking Nimoy. His soothing voice overs are seconded only by Morgan Freeman's, and they were like the rich, chewy exterior in the caramel apple that is this game. My only wish was that he had more narration, if only to tell me what to do with the tank. I really had no clue most of the time.

To give you an idea of the gameplay:

I'm not a fan of any kind of simulator genre, particularly because I like to escape reality with my video games. If I wanted to learn a flight simulator, I'd rather learn to fly. If I wanted to tend a virtual pet, I'd just get a real pet. But Seaman was novel enough for me to overcome, and I'm really glad I did. Seaman is an interesting experience, one I wholly recommend to anyone who can find and assemble the necessary Dreamcast equipment to play it (particularly the microphone).

Just don't raise your Seamen to be bastards.

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Jun 12, 2009

Post-its are the Twitter of the analog world

I'm a huge fan of well-made, creative stop motion. It's no secret. And if it was, I just ruined it. Are you happy now?

No? Well, this video probably will make you so. It's called "Deadline", and it uses post-it notes to create pixel-esque animation. This is one of the most ingenious, most clever videos I've seen in a while, complete with a really catchy Royksopp track (that I'm unfamiliar with, but is awesome anyway). Enjoy!

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Jun 11, 2009

Amazing find of the week:

The internet is a strange and wondrous place. And every so often, you find something truly useful.

LyricWiki is, as the name implies, a lyrics-based Wiki. True, lyric websites are hardly revolutionary, but this one stands out among the rest.

The sheer amount of lyrics that can be found in one place is staggering. I have yet to stump this site - every song I've look for lyrics for has been there. And it's all organized incredibly well - by song title, artist, album, genre, hometown, label, or language. Why you'd even bother with some of those options is beyond me, but it's all there.

I spent a lot of time browsing for artists, and when I happened upon one I'm met with a clear, clean discography of which I can choose any song and see the lyrics of. I'd like to think something like this wouldn't get me excited, but compared to a lot of other lyrics sites, this is simply more streamlined.

Which brings me to my next point, this site's execution is far away one of the best I've seen for a lyrics website. Granted, it has the look and feel of your out-of-the-box wiki, but approach works for so many other websites (read: Wikipedia), they did good to leverage it. Also, ads aren't littering your screen and hurting your eyes. So, you know, yes to Shinedown lyrics; no to "click here and win a free iPod".

The only small frustration I have is the search engine the site is using. While I've gotten spoiled by Wikipedia's awesome "here's your article/disambiguation page" search, this runs a google varient that always returns way more info than you need. A minor annoyance, but well worth tolerating for the rest of the benefits this site has to offer. For best results, search both the artist and a song title.

It's certainly the site I'm using from now on. I recommend you check it out for yourself.

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Jun 9, 2009

Not Down

Oh god, not more Jehova's Witnesses!

I'm a sucker for just about everything that Dreamworks or Pixar puts out. I know they're geared towards a younger audience, but these movies have plenty of entertainment for adults. I also will probably never outgrow my love of cartoons.

A recent trend in these movies is to make them 3D, which really adds to the movies and all but guarantees that I'll go see whatever it is they put out. Seriously, if they put 2 girls 1 cup in 3D, you know I'd go see it. I'd regret that decision, sure, but I'll have already bought the ticket and want to stick around to get my money's worth.

So Disney/Pixar's (Dixar?) latest incarnation, Up, is about a man trying so hard to keep a promise to his wife. We first see the two in their childhood meeting up in an abandoned house, find out they share the same spirit of adventure, and are then treated to a 5 minute montage of their lives together, culminating in Ellie's (the wife's) death. Their dream was to live at Paradise Falls, so Carl - the old main character - in a incredible disregard for building code, attaches a ton of balloons to the house and flies off.

This movie was funny, and Ed Anser was amazing as the crotchety old man. I must confess, one of my favorite TV shows growing up was Freakazoid, and every time the old man was on the screen, I kept imagining Cosgrove. The other characters played off him incredibly well, including a naive boy scout, a large rare bird, Carl's childhood-hero-turned-rival, and an army of talking dogs.

I was taken aback, actually, at the amount of emotion that was inherent in this Pixar movie - there were times where you couldn't help but feel sad. This movie brought my girlfriend to tears on more than one occasion.

The 3D aspect of the movie never really jumped out at me. This means it was either done poorly, or so well that I wasn't noticing the 3D details. Given Pixar's reputation I'm inclined to think the latter, but that's the ironic thing about details - do them well and no one notices. I'll have to watch it in non-3D (likely when the DVD comes out) for comparison.

Verdict: See it in theaters

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Jun 8, 2009

Every class is different

Have kids? Love TF2? Do you want to read your kids a bedtime story AND teach them about TF2 all at the same time? Or maybe you didn't like this awkward, rapid-fire question set-up and would just like to see a hilariously well done TF2 video?

It's "Every class is different" - a TF2 children's book, as read by the Spy.

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Jun 5, 2009

So India and Japan walk into a bar...

Ok, stop me if you've heard this one before...

So India and Japan were talking one day, and India was feeling a little self-conscious. Japan asked what was getting it down. India replied, "You know, being me is great and all, but you've got such an awesome reputation for being batshit crazy. I wish I could be as bizarre as you."

Japan, both touched at the compliment and moved by India's predicament, decides it wants to help its good friend India out. So, like any good friend, Japan gets India all liquored up. You know, to remove the inhibitions. Then Japan asks "Ok, India, you're primed to go crazy. What can you do really well?"

"Let's see, I've got a growing economy, rich culture and the largest population of any country." India said in a proud, drunken slur.

"Hmm... not much to go with there. What else?"

India paused for a minute, having gone over its main strengths already. After a moment of reflection, India asked, "Well, how about Bollywood?"

Japan's eyes widened. "Perfect! It's recognizable enough, yet it hasn't really been used to do anything weird, perverted, crazy or just insane previously. How about... a condom commercial?"

And thus, the epic Bollywood condom commercial was born. You can see the fruits of their labor embedded below.

I warn you now that this video NSFW for dancing condoms, drawings of penises, and a general assault on your sanity.

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