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.

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