Monday, December 31, 2007

Highly Recommended: Infinite Solutions

I somehow stumbled upon a video by a fellow named Mark Erickson of Infinite Solutions claiming to be a how-to on setting your YouTube subscriptions to upload automatically as a podcast in iTunes. I mean, who wouldn't want that, right? You subscribe to the tag "weekendatbernies" in YouTube and whenever someone uploads new video with that tag, whoot, there it is on your iPod ready for the giggle party every time you sync up. When the video started rolling, I first thought "Wow this guy is a hopeless nerd" but I kept on watching because I really did think it was a cool idea, and besides, everyone knows that hopeless nerds make the best YouTube how-to videos.

So, I followed the instructions and it definitely did not work. Then I started to think about it and realized that there was no logical reason why it should work, given the steps he outlines (How would YouTube communicate updates to iTunes? Isn't YouTube Flash video the wrong format for an iPod? Hasn't YouTube been actively preventing users from saving video content? I've tried scraping updates from YouTube before, and it didn't work at all.). I looked at some of the comments on the video (there were like 1,700 of them), and it was full of people either claiming that it really does in fact work, or being pissed because they thought the video was a hoax.

After viewing the other videos by Infinite Solutions, I soon realized that the whole series was in fact a joke, albeit an elaborate and articulate one. The most representative example of the absurdity/genius of it all would have to be this video on how to prepare your computer for daylight savings:

If you go here you can see all of his videos. They are pretty damn funny, but what's weird is that while they are all kind of out there, sometimes he really cleverly plays on the desires of the nerd set, posting fake how-to videos for things that a lot of people have probably wished did exist (I mean, turning YouTube subscriptions into a podcast that loads onto your iPod would be pretty sweet, right?). The most classic example of his ability to clown on the dreams of internet geeks would be his how-to on procuring a "Google TV" invite:

On this one, I actually kind of felt bad for unsuspecting viewers because in addition to being somewhat believable, he makes the fictional Google TV seem so cool that people would actually want to try and do this, logging in and out of their Gmail accounts 11 times just trying to get it to work. It's a prank that borders on Andy Kaufman-style brilliance, the way he gets the fake website to look so Google-esque, the way that he blends weird reality with plausible fiction (Loco Google, for example, is real). It's wickedly clever, at least once you stop trying to actually get it to work and start being in on the joke, anyway.

I don't know... I haven't laughed this hard at one person's YouTube videos since discovering Ronald Jenkees (another YouTuber [<-- did I really just use that word?] who bends reality in a way that is distinctly Web 2.0). Thank you, Mark Erickson! Once it had all settled in, I went back and left a comment on the YouTube podcast video. I said "thanks man, this totally works." It felt good to be in on the joke.

I saw Juno today. It was as good as I suspected. Michael Cera has really cornered the market for awkward teenage boy roles in movies, of which it seems like there have been many lately. It begs a chicken vs. the egg type question though: Which came first, Michael Cera, or roles in movies that seem perfect for him? Perhaps his existence as an actor has caused writers to write movies just so he can be in them. I will go on record as saying this about Juno: Kimya Dawson overload! Demasiado! I'm sure Plan-It-X fans across the nation are getting a huge kick out of being able to clearly hear Paul Baribeau's name sung out in the middle of a major motion picture, but here's what I really want to know: When she sings "I never met a Tobey that I didn't like" do you think that she might be talking about Matt and Erin? What this really means for many people is that liking Kimya Dawson will soon become kind of like that moment when your uncle or whoever tries to add you as a friend on what up until that moment was the cool new social networking site: It's just not the same anymore.

I had a good time watching this movie, but I found myself laughing at things that nobody else in the theater seemed to think were very funny. Like when she is yelling at Jason Bateman and she says "Oh yeah, and by the way, I bought a Sonic Youth album, and it was just a bunch of noise!" It's strange to hear your own laugh, your own voice echoing off the walls of a movie theater. It's like "Whoa, does my laugh really sound that weird?" "Are there really no other Sonic Youth fans in the theater?" Maybe there were, but they were serious fans who had taken offense at her seemingly naive comment, thinking "How can she say that? She obviously didn't listen to Sister."

I also let out a hearty laugh solo when Jason Bateman said that his band opened up for the Melvins in Chicago. I know that it wasn't supposed to be funny, but I just think they are a cool band, and I guess laughing made more sense than being all like "Whoo! Yeah! The Melvins!"

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Holy Crap, Master of Puppets is Good

Just listened to it again for the first time in a few years. It's really hard to believe that this album was made by the clowns that you see in Some Kind of Monster. Of course, I guess it all goes to show what the missing ingredient truly is:


Dear Cliff Burton,
Tengo una pregunta. Which made you turn in your grave more, Load or Re-Load?
You rocked the bell-bottoms long before they came back into style.
Thanks for "Orion."


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

No, I Really Don't Think So

Saw this at the store the other day.

Um, No

I wonder how many kids are crying this morning because their parents followed this wacko suggestion.

Hannah Montana fashion dolls are gone. How about some MOON SHOES?

So kids are crying. Not so much because they got Moon Shoes instead of a fashion doll, but because they just realized that their parents are idiots.



Monday, December 24, 2007

A Movie So Full of Family Awkwardness I Had to Watch it in Two Parts

So I finally saw the second half of The Family Stone. I had watched about half of it during pizza break at band practice a few weeks ago. When I was at the video store with my mom, I decided to pick it up so that I could see how things ended up. I guess what I really noticed is that you never really get to know Claire Danes' character like you want to (I felt this way throughout the My So-Called Life series as well though, so maybe it's just me). And it seemed weird that she ended up with that one guy because he seemed like kind of a chaz. I mean, yeah, he did say that he wanted to go back to that monastery and stuff, but still, even like Steven Segal and dudes like that say that they want to go to monasteries. Jared said that he was at one point really attracted to Amy from this movie. I mean, she did wear a Dinosaur Jr shirt. But that EMT guy didn't really seem like her type. I wanted her to be with someone cooler, like Luke Wilson, but he was her brother, so that's a no-go, huh. I guess what I really wondered was how Luke Wilson could fall for that gross woman from Sex in the City like he did. Yeah, I mean she did let loose once she had some booze in her, but she still just seemed a little too lame for him. In the end everything is cool, I guess. That's supposed to be the main theme of the movie. Everything works out, everything is cool. For me, the main theme of the movie was "can't that person do better?" Maybe I am missing the point entirely.

One thing that I thought was funny was that when we were watching it at band practice, someone said that you could tell that the mom was liberal because she had those Liberal Mom Glasses. Those are totally the glasses my mom has. I talked politics a little bit with my mom yesterday. She said that she is pushing for Obama. She said she just doesn't really like Hillary. Just doesn't like her. She also jokingly added "and plus, Oprah likes Obama." Hmmm. Just how kidding was she?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Machine for Packing Cabbage

Every once in a while it's fun to see what searches have led people to check out the blog here. For example, today:

where search traffic comes from

  • "Brenna Lee Roth," I can understand that one, I guess I talked bad about her dad not showing up to Plan 9 that one time. What can I say, it was hugely disappointing. I hope when people google Brenna Lee Roth, they find out the truth.
  • "Jordan Catalano music" is really a treat, it's good to know that people still think of Jared Leto as what he truly was and in my mind always will be: the dreamy grunge dude from My So-Called Life. P.S., his real-life band is still about the worst thing ever.
  • "Curly fingernails." Also an honor. Those things are creepy!
  • "Really good palindromes" is the very first hit on Google! My classmates from 10th grade math class would be so proud of me. We used to rock some serious palindromes. Cecily Edwards, Ursula Eagly, Francisco Cutter, if you find this while you are ego-surfing one day (you all have incredibly googleable [maiden] names), then this one's for you!
  • The Xuxa one is not really that noteworthy, since it's a site-specific search, but is still pretty cool, I guess. I never really really wrote about Xuxa relating to Christmas songs, but I will now: Xuxa Christmas, Xuxa Christmas, Xuxa Christmas, Xuxa Christmas, Xuxa Christmas!
  • But the one I am most proud of is "machine for packing cabbage hesser." This one came up because a while back I wrote about my math teacher, the resourceful and mathematically talented Mr. Hesser. I can only hope that he has invented a machine for packing cabbage, and while ego-surfing for sweet hits about his invention he came across my little blurb about how I was reminded of his math teaching while watching an interview with Stephen Colbert. Congratulations, Mr. Hesser, your cabbage packing machine has truly revolutionized the cabbage packing industry!

"Doing The Most Good"?

It's a video.

Dr. Bronner's Magic Soapbox is finally out on DVD. I have placed my order and it should be here sometime this week. I'll be having a screening party pretty soon, so be on the lookout for that announcement. Seriously, it is going to rock nards.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Caveman Movie Review: Game Over: Kasparov and the Machine

Computer beats the world chess champion at chess.
The computer was made by IBM.
Do they even make computers anymore?
The computer is programmed by a Chinese guy.
Weird automaton chess player looks like the fortune-telling machine that turns the little kid turn into Tom Hanks in Big.
Kasparov thinks IBM was cheating.
Like maybe they had a real person helping the computer.
He's a sore loser, but I kind of understand.
When he lost that game, it was like his soul was also defeated.
Dude totally lost his groove.
Maybe chess really is just a game that can be won through calculable parameters.
Or maybe we just like beating Soviets.
Show me a computer that can dance better than Baryshnikov!
Then I will be impressed.