Friday, December 19, 2008

The Price is Right...Exact Actually

So if you know me well, you know that there's one thing that I hold very close to my heart: The Price is Right. That is, until Drew Carey horrendously made the impossible look impossible by making a piss-poor attempt at taking over for the legend that is Bob Barker.

But horrible hosting aside, The Price is Right is still the best game show in history. And something glorious happened this week on the show: a perfect Showcase bid.

If you're a fan of the show, you may be thinking...THAT'S IMPOSSIBLE! It's happened once before. Well, perhaps they illegally gave some inside information to a contestant to boost ratings but I had faith that this was genuine.

See for yourself:

Now, from doing a little research, I've learned 3 things:

1. There are people out there that are wayyyyyyyyy more into The Price is Right than imaginable (See this website)...and it seems that they're referred to as "LFaT"s (Loyal Friend and True)

2. There's some underground muttering about this exact bid. Apparently one of these so-called LFaTs was helping out these contestants on this show, taped about a month ago (perfectly acceptable in the game - contestants always look to the crowd for help). And apparently there was a long delay between the contestant bids and the revealing of the prices, likely due to suspicion over the exact bid, which is probably why Drew Carey seems practically emotionless when announcing it (BOO!)

3. I just spent way too much time coming to those conclusions.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Save Three Sheets - Rally in LA & NYC!

Just last week, I posted about one of my favorite shows and its struggle to get resigned to another network after the ceasing of operations of its original network, MOJO. I mentioned that on his website, you can choose from a list of networks to email in an effort to fight for Zane Lamprey's occupation as a TV drinking host. has been released that Zane is rallying next week!!! And by rallying, he means pub crawling of course. Here are the dates and locations:
  • December 16: LA
  • December 18: NYC
I can't figure out why Milford, CT wasn't the third option...but whatever. Oh's because no TV executives live here. In both locations, Zane will lead hundreds of fans on routes in supposed areas where TV execs linger, in hopes that an enormous ruckus of drunk people will make a difference. I'm sold...however it's a bit far for me to go.

By the way, the website states that if you plan a rally in a city near you and it's strong enough, they'll consider it if you e-mail your ideas to For those who can't make it to the rallies but want to express your support, you can buy "Save Three Sheets" t-shirts. But if you live near LA or NYC, and you want to drink with Zane and fight for his show, make sure you go out. You can even register at to get details on which bars Zane will be at and to get some free drink tickets.

There are many more details here.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Advertising on High School Tests

A calculus teacher in California ran into a problem when his school cut his copying budget. He was allowed $316 for copying when in reality, he needed atleast $500 for printing tests for his students. His solution: selling ad space on his tests.
  • $10 for a quiz
  • $20 for a chapter test
  • $30 for a semester final
It's not like Coca-Cola and American Express are jumping at this opportunity. He's raised $350 so far, and it's come from parents of students or local businesses that parents are connected to, but this teacher's idea can definitely raise eyebrows. The parents can add their own or a famous quote to the bottom of these tests or if it's a business, they can add something else. For example, a local dentist used, "Brace yourself for a great semester! Braces by Henry, Stephen P. Henry, D.M.D."

The idea of advertising on tests immediately sent amusing ideas around in my head, such as:
  • Don't know any of these answers? Call 1-555-Tutor
  • Pstt...Hey...yea, you!...Snap out of it, you're in a classroom. Sponsored by the Anti-Drug Foundation
  • Let's be honest here...your answer to #5? I think you might need our help. -Manure Transport Services
The possibilities could go on and on...good for this teacher for coming up with this idea.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

ESPN Commercials

Over the years, I've come to realize that there is a company that most consistently (and by that, I mean always) has had the funniest television commercials...usually funnier than any beer advertisement out there...and that company is ESPN. They've used the same formula for years now: popular athletes among the ESPN sportscasters in an office cubicle environment, as if it's what goes on at the ESPN offices. Searching YouTube for about 2 1/2 minutes, I found a good handful of some funny ones in recent years. I could probably dedicate an entire blog to these gems, but feel free to request your favorites and I'll try to find them for another post. Here are some good ones...Enjoy!

Manning Brothers

Celtics - Pierce, Garnett and Allen

Michael Phelps

Lebron James

Maria Sharapova

And this one is kind of what inspired me to create this post, one of the more recent ads with Shaq:

Monday, December 1, 2008

Save 3 Sheets!

Believe it or not, it's December 1st (excuse me for the week-long hiatus). If you have HD TV, you may have been among the many lucky ones to get the channel MOJO. I say "have been" because as of today, the network is gone...if you tune into whatever channel you used to watch it on, you will see a message saying that it has "ceased operations."

MOJO, an HD-only network, was much like Spike TV...programming mainly targeted for men: drinking, sports, technology, gambling, etc. By far, the best program on the channel was a show called Three Sheets. The show involves an eccentric host by the name of Zane Lamprey, who travels around the world and learns (and thus educates the viewer) about drinking traditions in whatever city he is visiting. He tries new drinks, find out about how they're made and always tries a new hangover ritual in each episode. It's informative, interesting and above all, funny. The best thing about the show is Zane Lamprey's personality.

Without its home network however, Three Sheets has no home. Logically, I would think Spike TV would pick up this show, which has 15 new episodes ready to go with 5 in the works...but as of yet, no network has grabbed at the opportunity. Well, if you're a fan, or if you're eager to check out the show after reading my awesome summary, you can go to this site and fight for Zane's right to party...and make a living while doing it.

Fight for Zane! As he put it, don't let him become "that guy who used to host that drinking show."

Sunday, November 23, 2008

New Guns N' Roses Album = Free Dr. Pepper

Apparently, back in March, Dr. Pepper announced that if Guns N' Roses actually released their new album in 2008, then they would give away free Dr. Pepper. Talk about your all time backfires...

Guns N' Roses started recording this album almost a decade and a half ago, in 1994, so thinking that it would be delayed even further was not too much of a stretch. However, "Chinese Democracy" dropped today so Tony Jacobs, VP of Marketing for Dr. Pepper only had this to say: "We never thought this day would come, but now that it is, all we can say is: 'The Dr. Pepper's on us.'"

Get your free coupon on Dr. Pepper's website for TODAY ONLY: click here.

Get the new Guns N' Roses album at your local Best Buy or through iTunes just in time to set the mood at Thanksgiving dinner.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Top Chef Fantasy Game

It's Wednesday...tonight is week 2 of the new season of Top Chef. I gave my predictions for the season last week, which could easily be swayed after tonight's episode...we'll see. For those of you looking to compete with your own predictions, Bravo has a fantasy game for you to play.

How to play you may ask? Simple...just register for free at Bravo's website and choose your team, consisting of 3 contestants, which you can change week to week. Your goal is to rack up the most points based on the point rules for that week, which probably largely stay the same week to week. Here are some examples of the logical point rules:
  • Winning elimination challenge: 6 points
  • Makes a dessert: 5 points
  • In the top group at judges' table but not a winner: 4 points
  • Wins a quickfire challenge: 4 points
  • In the bottoms group at judges' table but does not lose: -4 points
  • Eliminated: -6 points
And here are some examples of some of the fun rules, to make things interesting:
  • Featured in a "coming up next" clip: 3 points
  • Says, "I'm not here to make friends," or a variation: 1 point
  • Gets bleeped: -1 points
  • Cries: -1 points
  • Judge spits out food: -5 points
The "gets bleeped" rule will definitely harm a lot of people because those who have watched the show know that there's a *bleep* load of cussin'.

I racked up 19 points in the debut with 2 of the 3 top scorers (Leah being my missing link) One week may be gone so you might not have the best shot at getting the highest score for the entire season, earning the grand prize, $2500, but you never know. Regardless, there is a prize for the top score for each week: a Top Chef cookbook and an oven mitt.

Sign up! Good luck!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Nirvana - Nevermind 17 years later

17 years after the groundbreaking release of Nirvana's Nevermind, Spencer Elden posed in largely the same shot that his parents got a mere $200 from. I think he's bugged out enough about the fact that pretty much everyone in the world has seen him naked as a baby, so it was probably wise to spare everyone since he's an adult now.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Top Chef - Season 5

Top Chef is a reality cooking competition show on Bravo that just started its 5th season. It has the standard elements of a reality competition show in the sense that it creates drama and tension, reeling in viewers to watch every week to see what happens and to see who will win or lose. Bravo's website even has a fantasy competition game. There are always chefs that you want to win and those that you want to go down in flames. A large basis of my love for this show is my admiration for the skills of the contestants. Like many others, I have a deep appreciation for fine food and cooking and many of the contestants that have competed on this program are artists of this craft. It's amazing to see how quickly and creatively they can create dishes based on the sometimes absurd and shocking situations that they are given in order to do so.

After having just watched the first episode of season 5, here are some of my predictions, which will likely change down the line...

My initial prediction for the top 6:
  • Stefan - I knew before even watching the first episode that this guy would be trouble...on the Bravo website, they have headshots of everyone - this guy is the only one not smiling.
  • Fabio - Okay, this guy's name is ruined by the model of "I can't believe it's not butter" fame, but he is definitely Italian so he knows his stuff...the question is whether he'll know his stuff when it comes to cooking other than Italian food, but I think he'll still make it far.
  • Gene - This guy is all tatted up - he's from Hawaii and he moved to Vegas and has no "culinary education"...but he looks like the real deal to me. School of Hard Knocks.
  • Hosea - I haven't seen a lot to judge this guy yet, but he looks serious, experienced and competitive.
  • Jamie - Again, I'm going with the badass physique as with Gene to go with, but I think she won't take crap from anyone and she'll bull her way through.
  • Leah - The NY native, she has the advantage of being exposed to such a culinary versatile city on a daily basis and she proved to be a top contender on the first episode.
Now...on the other hand...the people that I think will be eliminated in the next few weeks (in this order)...
  • Radhika - she squeezed by on both the quick fire and the elimination challenge on the first episode. She does not seem very competitive at all and she wants to prove that she has more to offer than Indian cooking...but I don't think it will happen.
  • Carla - She seems confident but something strikes me that she will not go far in this competition.
  • Danny - although his over-the-top Long Island 'tude would go far in the dramatic aspect of the show, I think his personality might give him problems in any team challenge
  • Jeff - this guy seems way too vain. Either prepare your food or prepare your hair style dude.
So those are my initial predictions...I hope the loyal viewers are excited and enjoy this season and I hope some people might try watching for the first time...

Mouse Advertisement

This is one of those commercials that has you sitting there for the first 95% of the commercial, puzzled, wondering what it's about...but it hooks you in so that you want to find out what it's about...and then obviously the "Ohhhhh so that's what it's about" moment at the very end. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Sopranos Complete Series

The Sopranos Complete Series came out today on DVD...33 discs, 86 episodes...meaning you'll get in a lot of "couch time" if you buy it. You might have seen the television commercial for it which snapped together about 100 scene images running by at about 0.1 seconds each. Here is another advertisement for it, appropriately right after the election:

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Holiday Shopping - Best Buy all the way to Dubai

It's November believe it or not...which means the holidays will be here before you know it and you're going to be hitting the malls and the web to get presents for everyone. This year might be a little bit different though. Since we're in an economic crisis, chances are that both: (a) people will not be buying as much and (b) people might be relying on the holiest of all days in the shopping world, Black Friday, for their shopping. Even so, stores might seem a bit worried about their sales this year so you may be seeing more promotions...after all, you probably felt the oddness of getting your Halloween costume with Santa, Rudolph and possibly even some jingles playing near you.

Best Buy, a mecca for people with turkey hangovers, is trying something different this year...something a bit odd...something that kind of makes me think of A Christmas Story. An Essay Contest. [You'll shoot your eye out] The Black Friday VIP Contest wants people to write, in 250 words or less, about how Black Friday is "an important annual tradition" for families. 25 winners get a limo ride to/from the select Best Buy locations, early admittance (30 minutes ahead) into the store, a camcorder to record the experience and a $1,000 Best Buy Gift Card.

Pretty sweet prize but annual tradition? Personally, I've experienced Black Friday madness a few times and it was to get Christmas presents...for my family. Call me crazy, but I just don't buy Christmas presents for my family when I'm with my family, nevermind the fact that everyone in my family will usually sleep well beyond 5 am the day after Thanksgiving. But I guess I'm just not the demographic for this contest...good luck to the entrants.

If you really want a nice shopping experience, you may want to go to the amazing city of Dubai, a city that I have blogged about before. They just had the largest, single-day mall opening in the world: about 600 retailers, an aquarium, a fashion catwalk, an ice-rink and art galleries that cover about 12 million sq feet with about 14,000 parking spaces. I don't think they need to promote this monster with an essay contest. Take that Mall of America!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Election Promotions

As we all know now, Barack Obama will be the 44th President of our country, marking a very historic and emotional time for many of us. I hope that everyone reading this blog exercised their right to vote yesterday. Some voters did not have the luxury of walking in and out of the voting booths, waiting hours in line. Even amidst an economic crisis, some businesses were reaching out yesterday particularly for that patience and the patriotism of voters. Here are some of the freebies/promotions that you may have capitalized on yesterday, most of which simply with the "I Voted" sticker (or that you'll kick yourself for missing):
  • Starbucks: free tall cup of coffee
  • Ben & Jerry's: free scoop of ice cream between 5-8 pm
  • Krispy Kreme: free patriotic donut (star-shaped with red, white & blue sprinkles)
  • Chick Fil-A: Many locations gave out free chicken sandwiches
  • Wendy's: Free Frosties at Participating Locations
  • Kenneth Cole: In honor of the 44th President, you could get 44% off your order yesterday. I'm going to hold out for the 100th President.
Bars across the country were offering a free beer for voters too. And here are a couple funny ones:
  • Babeland - Babeland is an "adult" store...I'll leave it at that and no, I didn't learn about this at their store (MSNBC Article)
  • In Dallas, TX, you could get a free laser tattoo removal! They cited that this election is all about change so why not change your tattoo? I guess this helped for the people who got a McCain/Palin '08 tattoo.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day


Sunday, November 2, 2008

Post Halloween

Halloween has come and gone...I just wanted to post a couple of pictures from our night downtown at Southport Brewing Company (SBC)...

I saved people loads of money on car insurance all night...

And Hilary was a pumpkin...

The best part of the night: you may notice the guy behind Hilary dressed as Tony Montana aka Scarface...ironically at some point in the night, he started a fight which ended with beer all over the floor...which slowly crept toward my gecko feet.

Hope everyone enjoyed their Halloween!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Halloween Week - Music Playlist

Ok, so I've been digging around for a good Halloween soundtrack and here's what I came up with...
  1. Halloween, Alaska - "Halloween": Ok, the song itself isn't very dark but I like the group.
  2. Godspeed You Black Emperor! - "09-15-00 Pt. 2": This is an instrumental track that definitely has dark tones and to me, gives off a somber tone as well...but definitely nice, eery background music
  3. Shawn Lee - "Halloween": This is from a video game soundtrack and is a pretty short track, but it's definitely a livelier track to bring you back up from the somber GYBE track
  4. Dead Can Dance - "The Host of Seraphim": This one has that creepy operatic tone to it (what they're actually saying is beyond me but it sounds dark) and it sounds similar to the music from Eyes Wide Shut
  5. Silver Mt. Zion - "13 Angels Standing Guard Round the Side of Your Bed": Appropriately, this group is made up of members from Godspeed You Black Emperor, so it has similar tones to track 2.
  6. Sleepy Hollow Score - The entire score from this film is fantastic because it comes from Danny Elfman who has done most, if not all of Tim Burton's films as well as many others.
  7. Ray Parker Jr. - "Ghostbusters": It doesn't matter if you're dressed up as a Ghostbuster or not on Halloween...this song will make everyone dance.
  8. Halloween Theme - I watched this tonight and it's definitely one of the best horror themes...I especially like the video that I saw back in the day of guitar phenom Buckethead playing this on guitar
  9. MC Hammer - "Addams Groove": Nevermind the original theme...I'd rather listen to Hammer's version
  10. Dr. Dre & Ice Cube - "Natural Born Killas": I love the begining little skit of this song and how the bullet shot extends into the drop of the beat...which is the illest beat ever (yea...I said illest)
  11. DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince - "A Nightmare on My Street": Oh yes...this one has to be played no matter where you are...Will Smith in his old days rhymes about Freddy haunting his street...classic.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Halloween Week - Movies

There are plenty of horror movie scene marathons on every year so I won't attempt my own list because it will probably be similar. You may be familiar with the phenomenon known as "Power Hour," in which you drink a shot of beer every minute for an hour. This drinking game has gained popularity and therefore people have made hour-long 60 song-clip music playlists and it has even led to video playlist compilations as well. With the Halloween season upon us, I have recently started putting together a Halloween power hour, although if you're a fan of horror movies (like me), it could be used any time of the year. I'm compiling 60-second scary movie scenes to put together a video...let me know if you think any scenes are a MUST to be included. Whether you're actually partaking in the actual power hour or not, I think the finished product (which of course I will not be posting for copyright, etc. purposes) will be entertaining.

As far as movies go, however, I thought I should mention a few...

First of all, I'd like to commend the "After Dark Horrorfest" event, which, in its third year, has obviously gained some popularity. Starting as an all-day/multiple day horror movie festival at various participating theaters across the country a couple of years ago, the "8 Films to Die For" are a series of films that either don't have the budget to make it as big releases or perhaps are a little too grotesque or obscene to make it. That said, they are definitely entertaining from what I have seen. I have seen most of the first year's releases, recently have seen (on DVD) last year's releases and look forward to the next festival which will be held between January 8-15 of 2009. Check for details and if it's shown at a theater near you.

As far as future movie releases go, here are a few that you should keep on your radar:
  • A Hellraiser remake from relatively unknown French director Pascal Laugier
  • (Possible) remake of Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds (possibly) starring Naomi Watts and George Clooney (vague enough for you?)
  • My Bloody Valentine 3D - Yes!!! It's about time they start making horror movies in the way, this is a remake of an 80's slasher flick
  • Underworld 3 - I don't think I even saw the 2nd one...and probably for good reason...but the first one was definitely entertaining so hopefully they bring that back for the trilogy completion
  • Friday the 13th - set to come out next February
  • It's merely rumors right now as far as I know but they're talking about a Ghostbusters 3 - if it actually comes to fruition...noone will accept anything less than freakin' amazing...hard to face those standards

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Halloween Week - Zombie Portrait

So Hilary and I took a day trip to Salem, MA a couple of weekends ago to experience the various Halloween festivities and whatnot...

Here's one of the souvenirs that we brought back:

Monday, October 27, 2008

Halloween Week - Jack O Lanterns

Well, Hil and I literally just finished carving a jack-o-lantern (and we just poured ourselves a Southern Tier Pumking Ale too!):

You can probably guess which one is mine and which one is Hilary's.

I'm pretty proud of ours, of course, but I'd also like to post some very creative, awesome ones too:

Cannibalism is cool (when it's with pumpkins).

I think this is my nephew Connor's favorite Star Wars character so I had to put it up just for that.

This guy can kick Frosty the Snowman's ass any day of the week.

(Suddenly our pumpkins don't look so amazing) And finally, the Keene Pumpkin Festival in New Hampshire, which competes with Boston every year for the Guinness World Record for "most jack-o-lanterns lit at the same time":

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Halloween Week - Decorating Houses

Decorating houses during holidays is a heavily debated topic. I remember an episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air when Will decorated their house with more than the classy white-light approach during the Christmas season, going all out with plastic reindeer, santas, and multi-color lights. This sight was met with anger by the surrounding neighbors because their neighborhood was so "high-class," but of course they eventually embraced it (I think Evander Holyfield made a cameo appearance in that episode...before his ear got Tyson-ed). Anyway, I'm all for the Clark Griswold approach...make your house as cheesy as you want...I love it!

I'm even more for it when it comes to Halloween. There are multiple approaches you can take with Halloween decorations because you have to consider the fact that very young children don't want to take advantage of the fact that they're wearing a diaper when they approach your house. Because of this, many people take the conservative approach, hanging things here and there. Other people become a little more active, covering every square inch of their yard, but still don't make things too scary. And then there's the other people...who don't feel satisfied until someone goes into cardiac arrest when approaching their lawn.

Here are a few examples of what I'm talking about...

*Yawn* Oh is it Halloween? I wasn't sure. Oh ok...I get it...a witch...and a couple bet you these people hand out mini-size candy. Whose bright idea was it to call the miniature size, "fun size" anyways? What's fun about it?'re probably squinting at this one. That's the point. Overstimulation. You approach this house with caution...because God knows what's hiding in that yard. Give this house a standing ovation...for both their exterior decorative skills...and the fact that they use 60% of their house for Halloween decoration storage.

I swear...people have addictions to plug-in blow up holiday decorations. There used to be a time when people would put out one of these things in their yard. Nowadays, with about 500 to choose from, people put out as many as they can. I can't look at one of these things without thinking of the time a guy I went to high school with snuck one of these (a turkey) into his parent's room while they were asleep and plugged it in. To say they were confused would be an extreme understatement. Anyway, it's pretty cheesy to have one of these things in your have atleast 4 is just fantastic. Where the hell did they get that enormous Hulk?

These people have a front yard...and come Halloween...they're gonna use it. They've used the conservative approach as far as the scariness factor, however, most people probably get dizzy when walking to and from this house.

This one is just one-of-a-kind. They've taken the B-rated old-school horror movie approach with giant creatures. I just saw a portion of a gem called "The Food of the Gods," apparently based on an H.G. Wells novel. The premise was that a substance that animals were eating was making them enormous and of course, dangerous. The best part was that because it was made in 1976, cheesy CGI took a backseat to the use of actual rats...on a scaled-down scene with a house...and the movie just panned between that and the actual house where people were shooting the rats. Classic.

Anyway, the site that I got this picture from gives a little more insight to the mood of this house. That dragon on the right...spews actual fire. So not only has this house achieved a scariness factor...but also a danger factor. A+!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Halloween Week - Pet Costumes

It's less than a week until Halloween, one of my favorite holidays. For that, I'm committed to posting on Halloween-themed topics every day from now until the 31st - if I don't, then everyone can feel free to TP my apartment on Mischief Night.

Today, I'll start with a hot topic: dog costumes. Let's face it...dogs don't like costumes. Dressing your dog in a costume is like making Ralphie dress up in the pink bunny pajamas in A Christmas Story. Some dogs seem to tolerate it more than others, but most dogs simply look miserable with anything on their bodies other than dirt. And let's not forget that Halloween is a traumatizing experience for dogs...people walking around the neighborhood in costumes all day, constantly ringing the doorbell and knocking on the door. So is it wrong to have a laugh at a dog's expense? Well I don't have a dog, so I'm not faced with this moral dilemma...therefore, I can post pictures here and laugh all I want. Ha.

We all know Yoda is like...the best character ever. If more adult males were about a foot and a half shorter on average, I think we'd see a lot more grown-up Yodas walking around on Halloween. Unfortunately, that's not the case, so many dog owners resort to dressing up their dogs as Yoda (case in point: my brother's dog, Midge). This dog looks especially miserable sporting the Jedi get-up.

Some dogs just walk around with a disappointed look on their face even if they're happy - it's just how they are. That doesn't mean a costume won't make them even more miserable. I mentioned Ralphie in the pink bunny pajamas before...this picture reminds me of exactly that.

Ok, these last ones are pretty creative...I'm not even quite sure that they're all real.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Christmas List

I know it's only October and I'm committed to Halloween right now, after which I'll only be committed to Thanksgiving until Black Friday. And I know the economy is in the toilet right now and all, but if any of you are looking to go all out and get me something nice for Christmas, here's an idea:

My Christmas Wish

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Don't Vote & Don't Watch Nic Cage Movies

A couple of weeks ago, before the voter registration deadline, this video came out with a bunch of celebrities sarcastically telling you not to vote (unless you care about anything and everything). It's pretty amusing and a tad on the NSFW side at some points, but if this is what it took for anyone to register to vote, that's kind of sad:

Now I just saw a parody of that video and had to post it considering I think Nicolas Cage is so overrated and pretty much all of his movies are horrible except the ones in 1987 (Raising Arizona, Moonstruck...ok and Matchstick Men in '03 was decent). Please don't defend Gone in 60 seconds, The Rock, or Con Air...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Making Use of Beer Labels

You may remember back in March that I mentioned starting to save beer labels, both because a lot of beer labels are very creative and because I want to remember the beers that I've had. The labels have piled up and here and there, I've pondered over what I could do with them.

Well, in the most recent issue of Beer Magazine, there was a small clip of an artist who creates pieces out of beer labels. You can check out his website for pictures of the things that he has made, but in words, he puts together designs out of beer labels. For example, an outline of Germany made from German beer labels, a collage of Octoberfest/Fall beer labels, and just other shapes and designs.

Well, call me an idea thief, but I'll call it inspiration because now my mind is tossing around some ideas for creating something in the same way from my beer labels. Many thanks go to the inspiration, Devin - I like your work man, but considering all of the beer labels that I have, I'd rather create my own. This will require going through my collection thus far and probably more collecting, but stay tuned for my blueprint and hopefully final creation.

Speaking of final creation, my first batch of home-brewed goodness has made a trip to the fridge today because it's ready to go. I'll be taste-testing it tonight...more to come...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Monkey Waiters

Why monkeys haven't been waiting on tables for years now is beyond me. Better late than never though I guess. Thanks to The Underwire for this one:

Friday, October 10, 2008

Google Goggles

Those cool folks working at Google came up with another cool little gadget. Since the adaptation of cell phones, the concept of "drunk dialing" has become a common phrase, meaning to make calls when drunk. Obviously, this can be dangerous because when drunk, it may seem like you're having the most intelligent conversation with the Dalai Lama when in reality you're just drooling and speaking gibberish to your boss at 3 am. Similarly, when around computers, people can make the same mistake through e-mails.

Well Gmail users can rest assured now with Mail Goggles (I think they should have named it Google Goggles). Once enabling this feature, the default application of it is all night on the weekends, but you can obviously change those settings. What it does is when you click "send" during those set times, a pop up box appears with 5 math problems according to the difficulty you set for it. You have 60 seconds to solve them correctly, otherwise the e-mail will not send. The math problems don't seem incredibly difficult, even at the highest setting, but I guess when you're drunk enough to be sending improper e-mails, they'd probably look like trigonometry.

Here's what it says when you get them wrong:

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Top 10 "Teacher" Characters in Movies (Part 2)

If you did not get a chance to read my post from yesterday, it was Part 1 of a list I made from what I think consists of the Top 10 "teacher" characters in movies (literally, symbolically, figuratively, whatever, you get the point). Yesterday I posted the the top 5: you can read it here (or just scroll down if you're on the main page...or click on the link on the left side...or just don't read it - it's your life - do what you want). So as promised, here are the top 5:

5. Chubbs Peterson from Happy Gilmore - The fact that a teacher character is played by Carl Weathers automatically means he makes this list. The fact that he plays a one-handed, alligator-hating golf pro turned instructor means he makes the top 5. Not that it's a very common phrase outside of golf, but I can't hear "tap it in" without saying (in my mind or out loud...usually out loud), "just give it a little tappy, tap tap tap a roo" because of one of the exchanges between Chubbs and Happy in this movie.

Sadly, Chubbs dies from falling out of a window in shock after seeing what Happy thought was a nice gesture in getting Chubbs the head of the alligator who took Chubbs' hand. But he lives on in Happy's good thoughts.

4. Mickey from Rocky - Played by the late Burgess Meredith, Mickey is Rocky's trainer. He makes the list because every line he has is awesome:

--You're gonna eat lightnin' and you're gonna crap thunder!
--(To Rocky) Your nose is Broken (How does it look?) Ah, it's an improvement
--Keep hittin' him in the ribs, ya see? Don't let that bastard breathe!
--Women weaken legs.
--You know what you are? (No, what?) A tomato. (A tomato?) Yeah, and I'm running a business here, not a goddamn soup kitchen!
--You're a bum rock, you're a bum.

If lines like that don't inspire you to punch people, I don't know what would.

3. Detective John Kimble from Kindergarten Cop - Get to the choppa!!!! Hearing Arnold impersonations is probably one of the best things that this crazy world has to offer...that is, unless they're coming from the man himself...Ah-nuld. I'm proud of a lot of things that I've accomplished over the of those things: being in Kindergarten when this movie came out. I don't really remember, but it's okay because I definitely appreciate this movie more, 18 years later. You know how I mentioned not being able to take the phrase "tap it in" seriously because of #5, Chubbs? Well it's because of Kindergarten Cop that I can't take the word "tumor" seriously...especially when watching one of the many hospital shows on TV when they figure out, "it's not a tumor." And now, for your viewing pleasure, a compilation of some of Detective Kimble's best lines from the movie:

2. Mr. Miyagi from The Karate Kid - RIP Pat Morita. This is just a no brainer. Mr. Miyagi is easily one of the best teacher characters from the movies...he's one of the best characters period. Why is this though? Well, I think most of it has to do with the fact that although he can barely speak English, and when he does he sounds like a Japanese George of the Jungle, he still comes off so wise. Like this:

Daniel-san, must talk. Walk on road, hm? Walk left side, safe. Walk right side, safe. Walk middle, sooner or later...get squish just like grape. Here, karate, same thing. Either you karate do "yes" or karate do "no." You karate do "guess so"...just like grape. Understand?

Hell yea we understand! There's also his subtle sarcasm:

Daniel: Hey, what kind of belt do you have?
Mr. Miyagi: Canvas, JC Penny, $3.98. You like?
Daniel: No, I meant...
Mr. Miyagi: In Okinawa, belt mean no need rope to hold up pants. Daniel-san...(taps head) Karate here...(taps heart) Karate here...(taps belt) Karate never here...understand?

The other thing about him is that he's very calm but once in a while he busts out some ass-kicking moves, only when entirely necessary though...annnd he taught Daniel-san how to defend himself by making him sand his entire deck, wax his cars and paint his fence. And because of all of this, one of the hardest Nintendo games ever made was based on the movie series. But that's just how Miyagis roll: "In Okinawa, all Miyagi know two things: fish and karate."

1. Yoda - You knew this was coming. No elaboration needed.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Top 10 "Teacher" Characters in Movies (Part 1)

Many inspirational films contain a similar element: a character that acts as a teacher (literally or figuratively), a role model, or just a kickass guy with loads of wisdom. I've compiled a Top 10 list of what I think are some of the best characters that fit this description. A couple of these movies are so inspirational that they make guys squirm in their seats trying to act like they're not about to burst in tears (note: a future list that I'll make: Movies that can even make men cry). But most of these movies are ridiculous - either way, these are some great characters:

10. Fortune from Rudy - Ok, so maybe the whole wise janitor/custodian character has been overplayed in after-school specials, but this guy is great. Fortune plays the source of strength and wisdom for Rudy to continue his studies/football at Notre Dame. One of his best lines:

"You're 5 foot nothin'...100 and nothin'...and you hung in with the best college football team in the land for 2 years...and you were also going to walk out of here with a degree from the University of Notre Dame. In this life time, you don't have to prove nothin' to nobody except yourself...and after what you've gone through, if you haven't done that by now, it ain't gonna never happen..."

After this, Fortune reveals that he used to play for Notre Dame, quit because he thought he was getting benched because of his color, and that a day didn't go by that he didn't regret it. Cue the tears.

9. Roy Munson from Kingpin - Ok, the diversity of this list can begin here - the only tears that anyone would ever shed over this guy would be out of sheer pity...or more likely laughter. Roy (Woody Harrelson) is a bowling pro who gets mixed up with the wrong guy (Bill Murray) and an underground hussling scheme which lands Roy a hook for a hand, an introduction into alcoholism, loss of hair, and an end to his bowling career. This leads him to forcing himself as a mentor for an Amish guy named Ishmael (Randy Quaid), trying to gain a profit from acting as his coach in the pro circuit. Roy makes the list because of the ridiculous dialogue resulting from a down-and-out drunk and an Amish guy with no clue about the real world:

Roy: Thomas can raise a barn, but can he pick up a 7-10 split?
Ishmael: God blessed my brother to be a good carpenter...It's OK.
Roy: Yeah, well he blessed you too, and I'll give you a hint at what it is: it's round, has three holes, and you put your fingers into it.
Ishmael: You leave Rebecca out of this!

8. Priest Pai Mei from Kill Bill Vol. 2 - Being wise and acting as a master in any type of martial arts usually go hand in hand, which is why Pai Mei had to make the list. Pai Mei is far from the nice, gentle master though - in the first conversation he has with Black Mamba (Uma Thurman), he informs her that because she cannot speak Cantonese, he'll talk to her like a dog, he makes sure that Black Mamba knows that he kills at will, he threatens to chop her arm off, and embarrasses her in a fight. An awesome training montage follows. And oh yea...he has majestic long white hair and a Fu Manchu to match.

7. Louis Stevens from Only The Strong - Many people have not experienced the gem that is this film. You may recognize "Louis Stevens," the martial arts expert named Mark Dacascos as the Iron Chef America chairman. He was also in the movie adaptation of Double Dragon. In my mind, however, I can't see how any of his works could top Only The Strong. The movie is based on the Afro-Brazilian martial art form called "Capoeira," which is a kick-ass dance-fight hybrid. You know the song that Mazda ruined in their commercials: Zoom Zoom? Well it used to be a good song, one of a few good ones that are played during the capoeira sequences in this movie.

Anyway, Stevens plays a Green Beret who returns to his high school as a teacher to find it run by drug dealers and gang lords. He conforms a group of rebels from the school to the art of capoeira, but of course one of the rebels is related to the worst druglord in town, and a final showdown between Stevens and the druglord becomes the climax. Bad acting + ridiculous plot + coincidental town-wide knowledge of an obscure fighting form + awesome fighting + awesome music = great movie.

6. Dewey Finn from School of Rock - This movie is highly coincidental in that a down-and-out wannabe rock enthusiast (Jack Black) just happens to fraudulently sub in a classroom full of young musical prodigies, therefore enabling him to mold them into a band. But we can look past that. Jack Black, a musician himself in real life, shows his humorous musical talent in this film, teaching the entire class to damn the man, one of life's great lessons.

To be continued...look for the Top 5 tomorrow...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

NET10 Wireless

This video apparently comes from a real cell phone provider called NET10 Wireless. If I were to base my cell phone plan on advertisements, I'd have to opt for these guys (rather than the really annoying guy constantly saying "Can you hear me now? Good.")

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Bud Light: Drinkability

First of all...yes, I'm up before 10:00 on a Saturday morning.

Second of all, with ESPN on in the background, I just saw the first of Bud Light's brand new $50 million ad campaign. This campaign is focusing on its "drinkability," a term that they have used in their previous ad campaigns, as in "superior drinkability." The other descriptors have been eliminated though. Now it's strictly "drinkability." I know beer ads haven't exactly positioned themselves as the intelligent ones in the bunch (Miller even spells their beer "Lite"), but macrobreweries are the joke of the microbrew arena anyways, so I don't care if that reflects the intelligence of a beer drinker. But let's go back to this drinkability business. To me, as I noted in my last post regarding my own beer that's brewing, drinkability comes off as "able to be consumed." When I go to a restaurant, I don't ask if a dish is eatable. I suppose though, when it comes down to it, it's kind of an honest word to describe Bud Light...noone is drinking Bud Light for its flavor. But Bud Light is not using "drinkability" in its true's basically saying you can pound a 6-pack in an afternoon and end the day like a champ.

It seems that light beer advertisements are focusing a little less on strictly humor and more on their competition. Miller Light has Dr. Cox acting as the Miller Light beer commissioner, popping up whenever someone trys to drink a light beer other than Miller Light. Coors Light...well, actually Coors Light is in their own world. While Bud Light used to have the funniest commercials on television, Coors Light was driving trains through football fields to the tune of "Love Train." Now they're playing on the crappy work situation and hyping up happy hour while also creating fake press conferences with football coaches. God Bless them. And the Bud Light ad that I just saw started by someone saying something like "yea whatever, all light beers are the same."

The interesting thing is a Google search on "drinkability" sees no Bud Light anywhere (except people who are writing articles about them like me...I'll probably be on or around page 37 of the search results). Anyway, unless you're on a tight budget or you're planning on pounding a 6-pack in the afternoon, don't settle for drinkable.

Update: Page 1 of blog search results for "drinkability" Woo hoo!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Fall Beers

I've come to realize that my favorite time of the year in the beer brewing season is definitely around the start of Autumn, but not just because of the beer. Growing up close to and currently living in New England, it's hard not to love the fall season: the leaves changing colors, the air becoming cool and crisp and the Halloween season lending way toward Thanksgiving. With the football season well underway too, what better time for flavorful, Autumn-infused beer?

Early on this season, Hilary and I got our hands on a case of what I've found to be the Crème de la crème of Pumpkin ales: Southern Tier's Imperial Pumpkin Ale: Pumking. I owe my father a lot for discovering this last year at what most would consider the Mecca of the Lehigh Valley for beer menus: The Farmhouse. After trying a large handful of pumpkin ales over the past couple of years, I've found that this one is just spot on with its combination of spices and flavors - it's like liquid pumpkin pie...with the whipped cream. At 9% abv and 22 oz bottles though, you should probably only savor one at a time (if you have the will power). We put our case in a corner once we bought it, and I don't plan on taking any out for atleast another week. We're also going to try to save a couple of them for next year's season and see how they age. Even though I think this one trumps the rest, there are plenty that I have not tried so of course I'm always looking to try a new one. We have a few in store, including a "Halloween Ale" from Gritty's.

I've also found that although some of the other pumpkin ales are only average on their own, they can pair very well with the right meal. For instance, Hilary made us a butternut squash pasta which was excellent with a Dogfish Head Punkin Ale. And if you're not really a beer fan but you are a fan of pumpkin flavors, I recommend using some Bols Pumpkin Smash liqueur with some dark rum and milk/cream for a Pumpkin Martini: great for Halloween parties.

Even though it's called "Oktoberfest" in Munich, Germany, most of the festival is actually at the end of September. We even got a postcard from a friend who attended. It does still have a few days left though...and even when it's over, that should not stop us from enjoying Oktoberfest beers. I've only had a couple US versions this year so far: Blue Point's and Weyerbacher's (Autumnfest) - both pretty good. I'm definitely going to try a few more though, especially after reading NY Times' article about them. According to the article, after sampling 24 Oktoberfest beers (17 US, 7 German), they found the #1 brew to be from Thomas Hooker Brewery, in my home state of CT. In fact, 7 of the top 10 were from the US.

And of course I can't forget the other beer that will be available soon: my own. My first attempt at beer brewing, a clone of Orange Brewery's SW1 Pale Ale, is currently bottled and will be ready for consumption in less than 2 weeks. I'm hoping for drinkable...anything more will be great, but either way, I'm definitely going to continue this hobby. I'll probably try out a pumpkin ale next year!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Brass City Brew Fest '08

When I heard that a local event would supply over 250 beers for sampling over a 4 hour period, I immediately ordered some tickets. This was the Brass City Brew Fest in Waterbury, CT this past Saturday. My only regret is that it was only 4 hours...I would have preferred 4 days with all the brews available.

We arrived on the scene, an outdoor park in downtown Waterbury, about a half hour in advance, only to watch the line quadruple in size. Good thing...because we were able to get into the exclusive Belgian tent right away to get things started. A tent full of what was probably every Belgian beer available in the U.S. and then some was like Christmas morning. Here's an SAT analogy for you though:

The appeal of the In-Bev table : Belgian tent ::
The appeal of the Anheuser-Busch table : Domestic tents

Appropriate considering the recent purchase of Anheuser Busch by In-Bev...but sorry, in a tent full of Belgian beer that I've never tried, or even heard of, I'm not going to sample Hoegaarden. The two best tables in my opinion came from Belukus Marketing and Wetten Importers (probably because they both also had the most selection). Probably the most satisfying sample that I had all day came from Wetten Importers: the Gueuze lambic. I also learned that it's pronounced "lam.BEEK," rather than how it's spelled. I've had a handful of fruit lambics before: kriek (sour cherry), frambois (raspberry) and pomme (apple) to name a few, but this was a lambic without any fruit addition: very sour and quite delicious. Unfortunately, the closest I can come to purchasing some of it is through a petition that I signed for a local supplier to sell it.

Outside of the Belgian tent, I would have liked to have gotten to sample more of the domestic/int'l brews, but that's not to say I was not satisfied. Some highlights included:
  • The Moo Thunder Stout from Butternuts Brewery in NY (almost entirely because of its name but the beer was pretty damn good too...unsurprisingly, they have an amusing website). Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to sample the arguably better-named brew, "Tommyknocker Butthead Doppelbock."
  • Although I prefer beer, A UK brewery that I'm familiar with for its famous Oatmeal Stout, Sam Smith, was pouring their organic cider which was very tasty.
  • I was very pleased to try the very heavy "Wee Willy Scotch Ale," from the recently visited local brewery, New England Brewing.
Among many other brews (and some delicious chili), the day was exciting and very satisfying. The selection was better than any other brew fest that I have attended, so I look forward to similar events and of course...Brass City Brew Fest '09.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

New NFL Rules

The summer heat has died down...children and college kids have returned to and chips are flying off the shelves...that's right's time for some football. With a new season comes a few new rules, a few of which I think will make for some great games:
  • Defensive Helmet Radios: QBs have had radios in their helmets so that coaches can easily communicate with them between plays, which has worked out very well. Now, coaches can communicate with the other half of their team: the defense. One defensive player will be allowed to have a radio in their helmet now, which I think is a great idea. Defense needs to communicate with the coaches just as much as the offense.
  • Reviewable Plays: These obviously are nothing new but there have always been restrictions on the types of plays that can be reviewed. A few types of plays have been added to the roster now: field goals, extra points, and illegal forward handoffs. These types of plays are usually easy to call and therefore are rarely questionable (especially extra points), but we've all seen a FG kick that called for atleast a few replays. It's good to know they can be reviewed now.
  • Second Half Coin Toss: This is an interesting new option that teams will now have for the coin toss: they can defer to kick or receive in the second half now. Another addition in favor of the defense.
  • Facemasks: The 5-yard penalty for incidental facemasks has been eliminated; all penalties will be 15-yards now. Also, officials will be on the lookout for offensive players grabbing defending facemasks.
  • Forceout Rule: This is by far my favorite addition/revision to the NFL rules. Previously, the rule for sideline/endzone passes was that a receiver must get 2 feet inbounds before stepping out...unless the officials call a "forceout," meaning they believed the receiver could have had 2 feet inbounds but a defender "forced" them out. This rule is now eliminated. Regardless of any forcing, a receiver must get 2 feet inbounds. I love this because when this rule existed, it forced defenders to sometimes make snap decisions to often pull back from touching a receiver, hoping that they would not get 2 feet down. Now defenders will not have to restrain themselves - it eliminates a touch of ambiguity that is often decided in reviewed plays.
So let the games begin. Living in CT again, I'm going to have to deal with occasional conflicts when the Eagles are playing at the same time as one of those damn NY teams...thank God for satellite-providing sports bars.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

3D Movies

You would think 3D technology would be a dead one considering how long it's been around - apparently the earliest confirmed 3D showing to a paying audience was in 1922. But how much of it have you seen? Why hasn't it been utilized more?

3D films saw a short boom (more like a light tap) in the 50's. The decline was understandably due to the labor-intensive maintenance - back then, two projections had to be reeled at the same exact time, often requiring two projectionists, who usually didn't take their jobs too seriously. If they were not synced properly, it would become hard to watch, causing headaches. There were subtle revivals in the 60's and 70's, but a larger revival came in the 80's when IMAX was introduced. However, there have not been as many 3D productions as you would expect since then, mostly because IMAX theaters are understandably sparse.

The most recent development in 3D technology is called REAL D, most of which has been utilized by Disney productions - and it's a lot better than it was. You may have noticed a few recent releases such as Beowulf and Journey to the Center of the Earth. Still, though, this technology has mostly been used toward animated or children's films (or nature features). Of course, it can't really appropriately be applied toward certain genres. Noone really needs to see The Godfather in 3D. But in its previous successes, 3D was used for more than children's films. It was used mostly for horror, suspense and sci-fi features for obvious reasons - 3D can enhance shocking moments.

3D won't take over the normal film experience. There are only so many theaters nationwide that are or will be equipped for showing 3D productions (note: The Cinema Buying Group just made a deal to bring 3D to about 1,000 small-theater screens). And selling 3D beyond the theater to a fraction of the success of DVD's is a long way off if at all - the 3D experience is intended for large theaters. Not to say it's not developing for home viewing - it is.

The advantage of many 3D features is that they can be re-released if they are seasonal (take The Polar Express for was released in 3D in 2004 but is still shown at most theaters around the holidays). Also, many big releases are being released in both regular format and 3D. Expect to see more 3D in the coming years - studios are talking more about the developed technology. Apparently atleast a dozen productions are expected in 2009.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Tough Security at Hollywood Radiohead Show

I just read about a quite alarming story involving security at a recent Radiohead show at the Hollywood Bowl. Apparently after the show, a couple of guys were promoting their upcoming event called the F Yeah Fest by handing out flyers while a third guy was filming it for a documentary on his site, The guy behind the camera noticed close by that security was using excessive force on another fan, apparently choking him while he was pleading to leave. Now...chances are this fan did something dumb but how drastic could it be? Radiohead fans aren't exactly anarchists.

Once the security guards noticed someone was filming them, it seems it all went downhill. Apparently the guards, off-duty LAPD officers, were pushing the 3 guys around. Once the 3 started leaving, a guard commented that the video would probably end up on YouTube and that they had to get their hands on it. This is when chase gave way, into traffic even, a lot of which occurred in front of Police officers, who did nothing about it. The police response was that they give event staff "leeway." The guards eventually caught up to the tape, throwing one guy into an electrical box and smashing one's head against the pavement.

Needless to say, the guards got their hands on the tape. If you go to, you'll notice how the video entitled "Hollywood Beatdown" merely says "Footage Stolen."

There are plenty of movies that touch upon the corruptness of the LAPD. Plenty of allegations and news stories can back it up. What's the deal? I realize I'm reading this story from one perspective but the force that they used on the one fan that these guys just happened to catch on tape is enough to make you wonder. If "off-duty" officers are causing this uproar while the "on-duty" officers turn their back, what exactly are their duties?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Quiznos vs. Domino's

Watching television last night, I noticed an advertisement for Domino's...not for pizza (not even Oreo Pizza), not for Cinnastix, not for Chicken Kickers but for Oven Baked Sandwiches. Personally, when I think of oven baked sandwiches, I think of Subway and Quiznos...and I don't think I'm alone. I guess Domino's ain't havin' that.

It's a logical move considering the popularity of Subway and Quiznos...and the fact that you can't get delivery from either of those places. But did you know that Quiznos delivers in some areas? Indeed they do. However, it makes sense that they don't advertise this because it's only in certain certain times. Example: for those of you living in the Allentown, PA area, the Quiznos at Crest Plaza Shopping Center is delivering today between 10:00 AM-2:00 PM and 5:00 PM-7:00 PM. If they were planning on expanding those times and locations, Domino's just crushed their dreams.

Having food delivered to your house is definitely a convenience, and it's great to have if you're disabled, trying to save on gas, or just having an occasional lazy night when you don't feel like cooking. But how far is the demand of American laziness going to go when they opt for Domino's because they don't feel like leaving their home for other junk food?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Olympics Highlights

First of all, let me apologize for the longest span between posts in the history of this blog. I'll try not to let it happen again.

And no, I'm not going to dedicate an entire post to Michael Phelps. He's getting enough attention, not to say he doesn't deserve it. He was incredible to watch and he deserves his commendable records...I'm especially happy that he took it from Mark Spitz and hope that Phelps never talks like he did down the line if some new hotshot takes the spotlight. His response to the obvious posed hypothetical, if Spitz back in '72 could race Phelps now, what would happen?: he said that they would tie. C'mon man...pass the's been 36 years.

I will admit that one of the biggest highlights that I've seen so far involves Phelps, but not one of the races in which he blew out his opponents. I'm talking about the 100m Fly. This was the one race in which he individually looked like he was going to lose and pulled it out by 1/100th of a second, because he took half a stroke at the very end and the leader, Cavic, didn't.

I think it's probably because of the Hamm injuries, but for some reason, I've seen a lot more focus on women's gymnastics than men's. But it's been pretty intense. The all-around final is definitely one of the most exciting and challenging events in the Olympics because there is so much pressure and the gymnasts have to have nerves of steel to endure it. It's tough to watch two top U.S. athletes competing against each other but Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson definitely put on a good show.

Easily one of the most exciting events I've seen so far was the final of the Men's 100-meter dash. Usain Bolt is one of the only Olympians to make everyone's jaw under 10 seconds. If you didn't see the race, I strongly suggest going to NBC's website to check it out. First of all, before the race began, he was as loose as can be, dancing around, psyching out the other athletes. Then once he got off to a good start, realized he was way ahead, with about 15 meters left, he pumped his chest and started celebrating. And he broke the world record!

Honestly though, I haven't seen any event that hasn't been very entertaining. In fact, the only thing that I'm upset about is that I have not seen any Badminton coverage. I'm going to be kind of upset when the Olympics are over in about a week - once again, it's been great. I'll have to give some thought to attending the 2012 Olympics in London.

Monday, July 28, 2008

5 Comic Book Characters That Shouldn't Get A Movie

With the success of superhero/supervillain movies expanding, directors should and are looking to jump on the bandwagon and find a great character to base a movie on. Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, X-men, and Iron Man were the easy choices...most people had heard of them before the movies came out because they are some of the most popular. The bigger challenge is finding the villains or other heroes to include in the movie - The Joker is obviously proving to be one of the better choices.

Here are some superheroes and villains that probably should not go to the movies:
  • Squirrel Girl - I don't really need to elaborate on this one but I will. She was introduced alongside Iron Man in the comics. First, she tries to impress Iron Man so he will team up with her but fails in doing so (big surprise), but then Dr. Doom comes out of nowhere, captures Iron Man in a large ship, and Squirrel Girl summons the deadly force of every squirrel in the area to attack the ship until Dr. Doom concedes. I admit that a controlled pack of hundreds of squirrels coming at me would scare the hell out of me, but the "coolness" factor of squirrels is pretty low.
  • Calculator - I know, I know...the mere name makes me shake in my boots too. I'll cut some slack to DC Comics considering this character was created soon after the pocket calculator was created, but I don't see any evil iPhone supervillains popping up nowadays. The ability of this character is pretty impressive: through a computer in his suit, he can predict the actions of anyone or anything. The downfall: his suit looks like a giant calculator. Nerd Alert! Unsurprisingly, when he made a small comeback in 2004, his suit had been retired.
  • Looter - The stupidity of this character has to be intentional. An unsuccessful scientist, Norton G. Fester stumbled upon a meteor that had crashed into earth, and after studying the meteor, a pocket of meteor gas gave him his super-strength. It wasn't a constant power though - he needed to find more meteor gas in order to keep his powers. First of all, I'm pretty sure "meteor gas" doesn't exist. Second of all, basing your powers on being able to find something as rare as "meteor gas" is bound to fail - it's like driving a plutonium-powered time machine.
  • Aquaman - If you're a fan of the show Entourage, you probably know that Vince lands a role playing Aquaman in a film. The intent was that they could portray him as an actor landing a hit role in a superhero film...without showing the actual film. Because I don't care if you're Brad ain't lookin' cool in a mer-man costume.
  • Ruckus - The only cool things about this guy are that one of his partners in crime was called Ramrod and his song could be "Bring da Ruckus" by Wu-Tang Clan. Other than that, he'd just be really annoying because his power is the ability to absorb surrounding sound waves and send them back with force. A guy that yells so loud that it hurts...nobody wants to watch that.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Advertisers Are Watching You!

Have you ever looked at the technology that surrounds us and think The Jetsons isn't really as "futuristic" as it used to be? I'm amazed at some of the developments that many of us quickly adapt to and take for granted as the present-day norms.

Yesterday, I posted about a clever Oreo advertisement that, I think, is able to stick out to the common consumer who is constantly clouded by advertising these days. An article I read today, however, takes "target marketing" to a whole new level in order to grab people's scary George Orwell, "Big Brother is Watching" level. And it's happening where else? an IT multinational called NEC.

Basically it's a large (50 inch) plasma display that shows commercials, most likely located at high-traffic walking areas such as shopping malls. Big deal right? The kicker is that there is a camera located on the top of the display that, through some magically Japanese-developed technology, is able to detect the gender and age range of the person standing in front of the display. Through this detection, advertisers are able to program commercials geared toward gender and age-specified demographics in order to truly target their consumers.

The goal, obviously, is that the person in front of the display will tune in to whatever commercial is aimed at them...and through an RFID (radiofrequency identification) reader, that person can hold up their cell phone which will scan a URL for a coupon/information on the particular product/service.

Many questions popped into my head: what if multiple people, of different demographics, are standing in front of it? What if people are constantly just walking by it rather than stopping in front of it (the likely outcome) - how long does it take for the camera to process the demographics for the commercial to appear?

Questions aside, I think this is one of those "wow!" developments that really makes you think where technology could go...not in the distant the near future.

P.S. Thanks to Wired, CrunchGear, and DVICE for their articles on this.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Oreo Elevator Ad

Thanks to Street Attack for this one:

Very cool. Advertising is everywhere around us nowadays and often times the only exposure that people get to it is the second when walking by it, clicking by it, or driving by it. For someone to actually stop and look at an advertisement, even if just for a few seconds (hopefully not when driving), it has to immediately grab their attention. Creativity is key, and something like this can get people's attention, make them smile, and make them remember it.

After watching the video, the related videos reminded me of the funny ads that were running for Domino's Oreo Pizza. I liked the original best but this one is good too:

Monday, July 21, 2008

Scalping Dark Knight Tickets

So remember how I posted about The Dark Knight last week, and hoped that scalpers wouldn't turn to the movie theater? Well, they did:

Scalpers Hawk Dark Knight Tickets on eBay, Craigslist


Don't let these "entrepreneurs" make money off of you!