Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Cool Shit 12/31

I can't think of a better way to end 2013/start 2014 than with 45 minutes of James Brown on Soul Train. You're welcome!

Continuing with music, here is Peter Gabriel's latest album, a sequel of sorts to his last album where he did some covers with bands. This is now bands doing covers of his songs. And you can listen to it here.

Thinking about getting me a birthday present and have $450,000 laying around? Lemonparty.org is for sale!

Costco...It's not just for the bulk food lover anymore.

A list of movies you're probably going to want to see in 2014.

Good way to waste some time today instead of staring at the clock is to watch this list of the 35 best comedy sketches from 2013.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Cool Shit 12/30

Wait, what? Piranhas? Christmas?

So they're trying to figure out how many drugs were distributed via Silk Road. And the numbers seem crazy to me.

Looking for an innovation? Try the pizza box industry.

I'm fairly certain you can't guess any of the items that were the most popular selling on Amazon this holiday season.

Ah the holidays. A time to get together with your family and ogle your hot cousin.

Enjoy a look back at 2013 with Google's Year in Review:

This New Year's maybe you wanted a casual, yet catered affair. And finally, if you're in Times Square, you can get it. It's just going to cost you $375. Oh yeah, and it's going to be at Applebees.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Cool Shit 12/27

It seems that lunches could be made healthier simply by eliminating lunchables, and replacing them with peanut butter sandwiches. Also, lunchables may be the way to beat the terrorists. By either making them into bombs or just offering them as snacks.

Taking a multi-vitamin or a dietary supplement? You might be turning your urine a bright green, but that's about it. Eat some fruit and vegetables instead to get your nutrients, and save your money.

It's harder than you think to be a vegetarian. Also, apparently a beaver's anal glands taste like raspberries. I'd be interested in hearing an interview from the guy who wrote the thesis on that one.

One of the things on my bucket list is to make sure I never see the movie The Bucket List. But that has nothing to do with looking at the bucket lists of National Geographic staff members.

News Bloopers! The best of 2013!

A documentary about a different kind of strip club. Sure, you might think you've visited some bad strip clubs, but I doubt they're like this one (save Lou Turks. Nothing touches Lou Turks). Read about the 2 women who went all in to make it.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Cool Shit 12/26

Unexplained phenomena that science can't exactly explain. Somehow, the missing sock in the dryer didn't make the cut.

Another oral history - this time about Trading Places.

What better time than now to look back and list some of the more unusual things people put up their rectums within the last year.

It's not all flowers and kittens today, as globally, we are in constant battle over the potential of a pandemic overtaking us. Here are the list of possibly diseases that will wipe us out.

It's the age old question that has plagued us since the beginning of time: Who would win in a fight, the Hulk or Superman? Well, now you can at least watch the fight and judge for yourself.

The gadgets from 2013 that are going to change your life. Hopefully for the better.

Peter Billingsley, the star of A Christmas Story is a lot more successful at life than you probably know.

A look back at the Star Wars Holiday Special. It's sad that train wrecks like this don't happen like they used to.

Wolf of Wall Street, Martin Scorsese's latest, is getting some insane chatter, both positive and negative. So why wouldn't you want to watch 11 minutes of raw footage from the shoot?

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A closer listen to Do They Know it's Christmas?

Reprinting this piece I wrote back in 2008...certainly relevant to the season, and I still think it's strangely offensive. More so now, probably.

In doing some minor research looking for the most awesomest Christmas videos, I came across Band Aid's Do They Know it's Christmas? a charity song put together by Bob Geldof to help out starving people in Africa.

A catchy tune, it's one of the few Christmas songs I enjoy listening to (call me Scrooge or whatever, but I just can't get into the majority of the Christmas songs out there. Occasionally Feliz Navidad, but even that is starting to wear thin).

After watching the video of who's who in the 80's music world of Britain a number of times, however, I've come to an unfortunate realization about the song.

These lyrics are barely coherent, extremely bizarre, and borderline insulting.

I realize the song was written in a very short amount of time, but still. Perhaps just a little more time spent with the lyrics and a little less time demanding Boy George get on the Concorde to be a part of this, and we really might have had something here. Anyway, let's take a closer look...

It's Christmastime There's no need to be afraid
Who's afraid? It's Christmas time! A time for love, sharing, gift giving and cookies. So I'm not sure why anyone would be afraid. At first I thought the people afraid might be the people in Africa, who obviously aren't very aware about Christmas, but on repeated listen I don't think that's the case. I think Band Aid is telling the listener not to be afraid. And since I doubt there were many radios in the Sudan and Ethiopia, I'm guessing that's not the target audience. Who's afraid around Christmas?

Depressed? yeah, maybe a little.
Angry? Sure, mall traffic can be maddening.
Frustrated? Hey, who doesn't get a little annoyed when they're flopping around under the tree trying to get the damned lugnut on the bike at three in the morning Christmas Eve?

But afraid? Only on the set of Silent Night Deadly Night should people feel afraid during Christmas.

At Christmastime, we let in light and we banish shade And in our world of plenty we can spread a smile of joy Throw your arms around the world at Christmastime
Ok, though a little clunky, I can't think of anything much better to rhyme with afraid. Which does of course make me question it's inclusion in the song even more, but I digress. These lyrics here actually do a great job of capturing the spirit of what Geffen was driving at, I think, so I have no problem with them.

But say a prayer

Now why can't I throw my arms around the world AND say a prayer? Both messages seem appropriate for one another. There doesn't seem to be any reason to choose.

Pray for the other ones
At Christmastime it's hard, but when you're having fun

There's a world outside your window
And it's a world of dread and fear
Uh, this seems a little drastic. Dread and fear? Way to bring me down Bono/LeBon/Sting/Michaels/Other guy

Where the only water flowing is the bitter sting of tears
Bitter? Who's bitter? Are they bitter with me? But I'm praying and stuff!

And the Christmas bells that ring there are the clanging chimes of doom
This is sounding less like a plea for charitable donations and more like the announcement of the impending apocalypse with each line. Besides, who would use Christmas bells to chime doom? I can't imagine creating a sense of doom with the same sound as the beginning of Jingle Bells.

I gotta be honest, the song gets a little schizophrenic in places.

Well tonight thank God it's them instead of you
While I certainly do thank God that I'm not one of the less fortunate, it's not something I necessarily want to be reminded about. I carry that guilt in my heart. I don't need to think about it every time I hear this song on my way home from work between October and December (Yes, some radio stations began playing Christmas music in October. I'm going to go out on a limb and say we'll have year round Christmas stations in two years' time).

And there won't be snow in Africa this Christmastime

This is misleading. First of all, there will be. Africa is a huge continent, boasting a variety of different eco-systems, including ones where temperatures get low enough to produce snow. Ever see Mt. Kilamanjero? Snow.

Second of all, if we're to assume that the lyrics are alluding to the regions where many of the starving people were from, well of course it's not going to snow during Christmas time. There's never going to be snow there. I don't need a song to tell me that.

The greatest gift they'll get this year is life
Yeesh. That's a little blunt. Do we really have to bring that up at a time like this?

(Oooh) Where nothing ever grows No rain nor rivers flow Do they know it's Christmastime at all?
Ok, this is a little disingenuous and rather ethnocentric. While I understand that missionary work is successful in some of the more remote sections of the world (and this is neither the time nor the place to argue the merits of Catholic missionary work) I can't imagine many of the people stricken by the drought in Africa during the early 80s had the religious knowledge to even understand the concept of Christmas. That makes the question about knowing whether it's Christmas time a moot point. Why would they even care? They just want something to eat.

(Here's to you) raise a glass for everyone

Ok, now they're just being mean. Didn't they just confirm the absence of rain and river flows? I really don't feel the need to toast at a time like this. The irony feels especially cruel.

(Here's to them) underneath that burning sun

Oh yeah, three cheers for the starving people that are struggling to live day to day while these pop stars show up in their limos, perform a little diddy, and then head off
to shower in champagne with one another.

Do they know it's Christmastime at all?
Feed the world
Feed the world
Feed the world

Let them know it's Christmastime again

Feed the world

Let them know it's Christmastime again
repeat then fade

Not sure they ever knew it ever was Christmas time, but at this point we're just quibbling. Heck, I'm glad the song was successful and people got the message out about the starving nations in Africa, but I wonder what would have happened had the lyrics been coherent. We may never know.

Cool Shit 12/24

When it comes to music, 2013 is so 2013. It's all about anticipating what's coming out in 2014.

Find out if you're a psychopath with this obviously completely 100% legitimate test.

Oh sure, you might be ok with ghostbusters taking care of spooky ghosts in your house or place of business, but what if that ghost was a relative, or a friend? Ghosts have rights!

The best stuff on Pinterest from 2013. I think we're scraping the bottom of the barrel when we're creating best of lists for sites that are, essentially best of lists already.

Oh it's a joke now because we giggled with anticipation watching Amazon PR blast the concept of drones delivering us goodies from their warehouses (a complete fabrication in my opinion), but give it a few years and you'll be wanting to identify and hide from the many drones that populate our sky.

The history of last meals.

Finally, do you think you're ready for the Tiger Train? Because I don't think you're ready for the Tiger Train.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Cool Shit 12/23

This guy thinks all of professional sports are rigged. And he has a book that, well I would't say proves it, because that would be a much larger story.

Bitcoin is so November 2013. It's all about dodgecoin. Don't know what dodgecoin is? That's because you shouldn't. Confused? You should be.

It's a good thing Indiana Jones was on our side, or Hitler would have had immortality when he found the Holy Grail.

The top 10 Saturday Night Live skits, according to Flavorwire.

Anyone interested in Transcendence, a movie where Johnny Depp becomes a smart robot?

Breakdown the data from our collective porn habits and some interesting tidbits emerge.

Can you make the perfect chocolate chip cookie?

Friday, December 20, 2013

Cool Shit 12/20

They didn't all make me laugh, but a lot did, so it's worth checking out these gifs from 2013.

Yesterday it was the oral history of the fight scene in Anchorman. Today it's the oral history for Sir Mix-A-Lot's Baby Got Back video.

Listen, at this point you can't walk into a Wes Anderson movie and get surprised by what you see. You'll either enjoy it, or you won't. His style and love for symmetry is on full displaying his latest movie, The Grand Budapest Hotel...

I mean, it's cool to read about tracking great white sharks, but if the Jaws series taught me anything, it's that tracking them can lead to trouble, as sharks can hold vendettas and also leap out of the water and try to sink your ship.

Science has to come up with some alternate solutions to antibiotics, since viruses are getting smarter and more resistant. Well, maybe smarter isn't the right word. Or maybe it is and we just don't know it. Maybe think about that as you wash your hands with anti-bacterial soap!

Let's really ramp up this war on Santa. The only problem? We'd probably lose.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Cool Shit 12/19

New Between Two Ferns. It's their Christmas special!

Who doesn't want to watch a movie called Big Ass Spider?

By now you probably saw the pictures of the fog rolling into the Grand Canyon the other month, but have you seen the time-lapse of the whole thing?

Any interest in seeing what the Pinterest offices look like? Pin it if you like it!

Cool 360 degree panoramic views of the Bonneville Salt Flats at dusk and at night. Actually it's more than 360 degrees since you can go up and down as well as left and right. Let's just go with "immersive."

Hosting during the holidays but don't want to shell out the big cash on a cheese plate? Never fear, you can pull it off with a simple trip to the supermarket!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Cool Shit 12/18

The one thing I learned watching this 80s police training video is that criminals like to stab...A LOT.

Seriously, what are you going to do with this thing if you buy it? You're going to shoot rubber bands at things for about fifteen minutes, realize it's a nightmare to reload the rubber bands, and then sit it somewhere on the bookshelf behind your desk. For $50 I'll buy you a bag of rubber bands and sit in your office and shoot them with my hand at whatever you want.

An empirical look (as empirical as it could be I guess) at how bad NFL broadcasters are. Bet you can guess which one is statistically the worst!

I know I've posted about the quietest place on the Earth before, but this at least goes into a little more detail about why you couldn't hang in there too long (you eventually could hear your lungs!). Still, I'm pretty sure I could spend a few days in there at least, right?

An oral history of the crazy network all-out brawl in Anchorman. Worth it alone to read about the weapons selections.

A list of movies from 2013 that you may not have seen, but should have?

Timelapse time! This one of the beauty of California. You know, it's not all about the Hollywood sign and weed farms!

Check out this cool global map of wind directions. Zoom in, zoom out, this thing is crazy!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Cool Shit 12/17

The year in photo lists are starting to trickle in. This list is labeled, "the most surprising photos of 2013." While I'm not sure how surprising they really are, they do offer a look at some of the stranger moments and happenings from the past year. Definitely worth a look.

Bitcoin is a buzz word these days, as a form of digital currency. Maybe it takes off; I'm doubtful however, for the simple fact that it wasn't created by the big business, and therefore isn't necessarily condoned by big business yet. Oh sure, you'll hear stories that it's getting a foothold here and there, and there's the occasional story of a place accepting bit coins that isn't the dark web, but until Amazon opens its doors to Bitcoin, I'm going to assume it's a niche concept, and will soon become synonymous with Amway. But, if you want to attempt to understand just how Bitcoin works, this article is probably a good place to start.

Hollywood Blacklist for 2013 is out! No, it's not anything to do with race; the Blacklist is a list of the supposed best unproduced screenplays floating around Hollywood.

Ugh, I'm not sure how I feel about the news about a sequel to Rounders. I think the first movie worked so well (artistically at least, not financially) is because it was so mired in the nitty gritty of a basement poker game. Before the game's popularity on ESPN, the game was dirty, gritty and had an air of mystery around it. And the movie lived in that world, and worked hard NOT to offer the audience everything. But now, with the game more popular than ever, the natural inclination is to write a poker movie using that popularity. And I just don't know stylistically, if that will work. I hope I'm wrong. And I wish Malkovich was coming back, though it sounds like he isn't. How 'bout a Jannsen cameo at least?

I share this LA theater link for two reasons: 1) it updates us on the whereabouts of Brian Dennehy, and I for am glad to see he's getting work; and 2) I'm shocked, SHOCKED, Brian Dennehy is playing a cop in something.

Someone dug through Etsy for these Christmas gifts so you didn't have to. Of course, getting them depends on your relationship with that special someone. We here at The Popcorn Trick do not endorse the giving of any of these. That said, we hope they get you laid.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Cool Shit 12/16

To this day I find it amusing that stories (written word stories) can create so much upheaval for some people. Here's a list of 10 "controversial" short stories.

Trailer for Christopher Nolan's next film, Interstellar. Looks like a light-hearted romp!

A detailed look at Chernobyl. Because when you have a nuclear power plant disaster it can seemingly affect the entire globe.

Holiday movies aren't always hokey and sentimental. For example, take a look at these 13.

Trailer for The 12 O'Clock Boys - a group of kids/men that ride dirt bikes through the city of Baltimore. Named so for the attempt to get their bike straight to 12:00 when popping wheelies.

I don't care if you're Republican. I don't care if you're Democrat. I don't care about any of that. This article about absurd Pentagon spending should make everyone angry. Look, I realize that at "budget burning" is a thing and is necessary in the corporate world: basically, the idea that if you don't spend it, you won't get the money in the next year. Fair enough, when you're talking about thousands of dollars. But when we're talking about BILLIONS, and the government and public welfare, maybe we can change our line of thinking a little bit? Now, I'm no accountant, but at this point I don't think you need an accountant. I'm not sure who is suggesting that it's impossible to audit, but that is bullshit. It can be done, people just don't WANT it done. So I'm offering my services. For a fee (take it out of the bloat), I will figure out where the wasted money goes.

A photographer walks around the boundaries of New York City. Oh, and he brought his camera. And used it!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Cool Shit 12/13

The Kings of Kong documentary has given rise to a new breed of Donkey Kongers, but the spirit of rivalry still exists.

There are plenty of year end lists to be currently wading through. Like this one for example, for the best new beers of 2013.

So, want to take a guess what the lowest grossing movie made this year? $72

I can't speak to the effectiveness of any of these legal highs (because I like my highs illegal), so choose at your own risk. And let me know. And keep some for me. Because really, I'm not that picky when it comes to my highs. That first part was just a ruse. A terrible co-dependent ruse.

Hey guys, Beyonce has a new album out! It just dropped today. Unbeknownst to no one!

Love the People's Court (Wapner for life!) And this video of the Plantiff entrances takes me back...

So basically, James Bond would be in AA by now.

Want to know how the average NFL journeyman exists? This is a horrifying, cruel, sometimes-funny look at what an NFL player has to endure and go through to play the stupid sport of football.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Cool Shit 12/12

Is this song ready to go into the Christmas carol canon? I say yes. Why not? Also, mad props to Tracy Morgan for playing it completely straight. Sure, Fallon is no powerhouse when it comes to staying with the moment, but it still must have been difficult on that stage.

Don't think Tom Hanks portrayal of Walt Disney in his upcoming movie is going to take too many cues from his sketchy, jew-hating past.

Surfing in Alaska!

Damien’s Adventure – The Last Frontier from O'Neill on Vimeo.

The life of an illegal bookie. I'm going tone honest. The negatives of the business don't sound all that negative to me.

Check out the trailer for Bad Words, Jason Bateman's directorial debut:

A thorough takedown of the Williams and Sonoma catalog, because really, who owns (or has the kind of time one would need) a house that would cater to some of these things and designs?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Cool Shit 12/11

James Bond posters reimagined as designed by Saul Bass! Are these for sale? Can I buy these? I would buy every one easily! A ha! They are for sale. Please feel free to buy mean any/all of these. Seriously, any of these posters would make great Christmas presents. For me.

Run DMC's Christmas in Hollis was a song unlike any other when it came out, in that it was a modern Christmas carol that didn't seem immediately steeped in the traditions of long ago. Hear more about it from one of its creators.

They might not have been the best movies, but their posters sure look cool. Well, at least some of them. Not sure they represent the best of 2013, but who am I, anyway?

Awhile ago, we posted a trailer to the upcoming television show Helix. And now we have the first review, which suggests it will be good. Like Lost good. Well, Lost good up until the finale which made Lost not very good. But we're not here to live in the past. We can only hope this new show learns from our past mistakes. Honestly it looks like a cross between The Thing and The X-Files, which in my book, is a pretty decent mashup.

And finally, two new trailers wrap up today's cool shit...

There's a new Godzilla movie coming out. It has a lot to live up to following the Roland Emmerich masterpiece of 1998:

And then there's a new movie from the Wachowskis, Jupiter Ascending. Form the looks of this, it looks deliciously horrible :

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Cool Shit 12/10

Not much going on, just hanging out, looking at this field of geese, and what? OH SHIT!

Ben Stiller talks Zoolander, and what it took to make it, and what it might take to make a sequel. 

So does anyone remember Tila Tequila? She was one of the original got famous for "being on the internet" personalities, and then she made the reality show circuit, before getting attacked by the audience at the Gathering of the Juggalos. 

And now what's she doing? Oh not much, just becoming a champion of the neo-nazi party. Actually, if she were just a neo-nazi, that might be ok, but apparently there's a little more to her beliefs.

Thinking about moving to Texas anytime soon? Then get ready to have crazy ants walking all over you. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Cool Shit 12/9

I always figured one of the most dangerous jobs was "parachute tester" but that didn't make this list.

New Sherlock trailer...I guess spoiler alerts if you're not sure whether he survived the leap from the last season.

For those of you who need to plan a Christmas dinner, aren't a very good cook, but are extremely proficient with a can opener.

Speaking of trailers, here's one for Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark.

And if you like and/or hate Kelly Clarkson, I'm sure you will appreciate this review of her latest CD full of Christmas music.

Supermarkets are sneaky!

This article touches on the idea that I've always had about smart watches, that they're really not that necessary and will have a tough time in the marketplace. And with a bunch of different choices all vying for that small share of the marketplace, I don't think any will really succeed. I wish the article went into a little more detail about why companies think a smart watch is the next "big thing," my theory is that it's because they have a shallow vision and simply believe its the only place left to get into the tech market, in an attempt to bite into smart phone profits. But, in the 80s I thought Michael Knight looked cool; today not so much.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Cool Shit 12/6

So Paul McCartney is currently touring, and his opening act (or warmup act, whatever you want to call him) is Chris Holmes, who has put together a mashup of all things Beatles/Wings/McCartney related. And now you can listen to it without going to the concert.

So Congress just held a meeting about aliens, and what we should be doing to find out if they exist. But don't worry it's not as exciting as it sounds. Neither Will Smith nor Harry Connick Jr. were involved. For highlights, check here.

There's a debate whether the drug krokodil has shown up on American soil, and whether we should be worries if it has or will. But that's not the point of this article and video. This is a look at the drug in its homeland, Russia and the effects of it. Be prepared, it gets pretty graphic.

Well, this is some beautiful scenery out in the Moab desert, a cool place to go backpacking, maybe even some rock climbing, and wait - what, "magic backpack, what's going on, and HOLY FUCK!"

Check out pictures of a Russian ghost town 1300 km from the North Pole. Am I crazy for kinda wanting to visit?

If you like Tumblrs, you'll enjoy this list of the top 45 from 2013. Some will make you crack a smile, some will make you question the internet, and some, well I don't even know what they will do.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Cool Shit 12/5

It's never too early to start thinking about Sundance. Well, maybe it can be too early, but it's not now, since the 2014 lineup of films has just been released.

After reading some of these facts about our moon, I'm not so sure I can completely trust it anymore!

Basically, what this chart is saying, is if you move, the NSA knows about it and has a record on it. Hi NSA!

Spiders, spiders everywhere! Seriously, I'm not sure I could live in an area where this ever happened, especially after reading this:
Local residents said just walking around was tough to do without tons of spiders crawling up their legs, attempting to get to higher ground.
Right? Anyway, click on the link to see a billion spiders spinning their web all over the place. And if for nothing else, including this story gives me the opportunity to include this, the stuff that my childhood nightmare rested on:

Netflix's House of Cards is coming back in February...and here's a trailer to whet your appetite, though I wouldn't get too excited to get any clues about the direction it's going if you watch it:

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Cool Shit 12/4

A "new" political movement, born out of the necessity that the current politics suck. Diving into Dark Enlightenment at first, it sounds as though it has some interesting beliefs. It's went you drill down to the racist portions of it that the ball of twine starts to unravel.

Also - these guys need a marketing company. To be taken seriously you shouldn't refer to yourselves as a movie villain, specifically a movie villain from a movie that people were so disappointed with. Also, having "dark" in your name? The connotation is kinda negative.

The trend of flavoring vodka has probably reached its apex, and then stumbled and crashed after releasing these flavors.

I want to eat with each one of these bizarre utensils. The "bitten" silverware specifically.

Want to see a cock fight? A legitimate, legal cockfight? Puerto Rico is your place! I think the one thing crazier than heading to Puerto Rico to watch a cockfight is heading to Puerto Rico to watch a cockfight and ordering ceviche there.

I want to believe this is exactly what spending an evening with Bill Murray would be like, but I can't. Still it's a fun story.

The latest trailer for Monuments Men, which gives you pretty much the entire movie, so if nothing else, you can't say you were surprised what this movie was about when it comes out.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Cool Shit 12/3

I love the legend of the Chicago Max Headroom hack, probably because it remains a legend and no one has ever been caught or taken credit for it. That doesn't mean there haven't been suspects over the years. Suspects that have recently come to, at least a moderate level of light.

With the increase of cameras and digital photography, we're only going to see more of these perfectly times pictures.

The MLB/Alex Rodriguez PED story is a tired one that few people outside of baseball writers care much about at this point. I'm pretty sure the majority of the public who have any type of interest believe he took steroids, but also are growing weary of the intense, terminator-like approach MLB (and specifically Bud Selig) are taking to ensure he is suspended for his actions. And yet, with this recent reveal of just how bizarre the situation has been and continues to be, the interest might start picking back up. Who realized there was such a tanning circle cult?

Enjoy these pictures of where trolls live, or Iceland as you might know it.

This might be a joke, but it also provides some valuable information if you ever find yourself on the wrong end of a mad baby.

Listen, I'm sure some people might feel 00000000 was too easy a passcode to launch nuclear missiles. But you have to understand, a much harder passcode, something like 55378008 would be much harder to remember and then how would we launch our nuclear weapons?

Monday, December 2, 2013

Cool Shit 12/2

2013 is so over; let's look ahead to 2014, especially in movies. Here's a list of 14 potential flops coming in the new year. Side note: what's with all the historical fantasy epics we're about to get?

So the fog rolled into the Grand Canyon a couple days ago, and somehow made it look more crazy and spectacular. And it only happens about once every decade.

The GI Joe Fensler parodies, ranked. If you don't know what they are, basically after the GI Joe cartoon from the late 80s, there would be a goofy little PSA starring some of the GI Joes and kids. Fast forward 10 years and someone (I assume "Fensler" turned them into parodies - bizarre parodies that will warp your mind. How pork chop sandwiches got only 10 though, I'll never understand.

Speaking of insane, here's a Japanese movie trailer about a girl who can merge with her teddy bear to become some sort of superbero in order to fight off zombies. Because of course.

And then, speaking of Japan, there's a company there that is talking about building a huge solar panel farm to create energy for the world. Sounds like a great plan until you hear that they are planning to build it on the moon. This sounds less feasible and more like the plot to a James Bond movie in my opinion.

Basically if you live near a lake of relatively substantial size, you can assume there's a sea monster in it.

Think Breaking Bad was all roses and unicorns? Check out this documentary of the "real Walter White," and maybe think twice about starting your own meth empire.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Cool Shit 11/27

Happy Thanksgiving from...Tracy Morgan?

Britney Spears has a new album out, and you know it's serious because it's called Britney Jean. Why not enjoy this track by track listening review of it?

Who doesn't love Japanese game shows? Apart from the occasional participant of a Japanese game show?

I guess I would find this look at British people labeling the United States funnier if it weren't for the fact that I doubt the average American could do much better. Case in point, here's a look at Americans attempting to label the countries in Europe. Apparently everyone thinks Scandinavia is simply "Cold."

Sorry American prisoners, I don't care how badass your ink looks, it's not going to trump Russian prison tattoos.

If you find yourself with some time and a television this holiday weekend, here's a look at some shows you could binge watch, courtesy the A.V. Club.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Cool Shit 11/26

While I am not a cat person, I know there are plenty of you out there on the Internet, naively believing the serial killers of the animal kingdom enjoy your company. So by all means, head over to this "Cat Island" and cuddle with your felines. Just don't bring any babies, and don't turn your back for a second.

It seems the Food Network was built on the back of Alton Brown. "Good Eats" was a show that didn't just teach, it entertained - a rare feat that many strive for, but few accomplish. Much like the current crop of chefs list Julia Childs as an inspiration, in the future the new crop will list Alton Brown.

Ranking the cheap bourbons. Because let's face it, there's simply not enough Pappy Van Winkle for all of us to enjoy.

This guy builds weapons out of ordinary products anyone can get at shops in the airport. You know, like once he passes through the TSA screenings and has nothing better to do other than wait to board his plane. Weapons that can hurl a projectile through a watermelon, and shoot change through drywall. Just so you know.

Book recommendations. Nothing more, nothing less. One person, one review.

Yes there's a sport called chessboxing, and yes people participate and take it seriously. It's not just a Wu Tang (FOREVER!) thing.

One of the greatest concepts you've never heard of (unless you're a really big fan of the City Museum in St. Louis), Cementland, will never truly be realized. Fuck.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Cool Shit 11/25

The new era of assassinations. While data suggests assassinations are on the decline, it doesn't mean they still can't and won't be effectively used in the future.

Inside the rare world of a North Korean chain restaurant. MMMMM dog casserole!

I love Dirty Dancing. So I feel a little sad to have learned that Conan doesn't, and that his campaign to have it rereleased was a joke he didn't have anything really invested in. Anyway, here are a few more facts about the movie you might not have known.

Continuing on the theme of lists of facts, here are some about our very own Milky Way Galaxy.

Are you a traveler? Than this list of cool trips to take around the world will be right up your alley.

New season of Sherlock Holmes! And he's not dead. Which wouldn't have taken Sherlock Holmes to figure out really. Well, not in the real world. Apparently, it will take Sherlock Holmes to figure out in the Sherlock Holmes world. But in the world where Sherlock Holmes is just a television show, it's absurd to think they would have a third season without Sherlock Holmes. Right?

Sure, this article is about a Google working on developing a self-driving car, and that's amazing enough, but what I want to know more about is Google X - the secret laboratory where they work on experimental projects. Hold on...

Ok, so I just googled Google X. And I have to say, Google the company  doesn't do a great job of keeping Google X that secret. Since the search engine returned back a number of results.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Cool Shit 11/22

If you were born before 1979, you will reminisce about the awesomeness that is the homemade cassette tape label.

A look at the holy trinity of pop (GaGa, Miley, Katy) and a breakdown of who "won" this Fall's popularity/music contest. So you're an aspiring art thief. You've got a plan and it's impeccable. You know there's no way you're going to get caught. You scoff at Thomas Crown's amateurish plan. You've got a bunch of guys that are going to help you and as far as you know they won't double-cross you, but if they try, you even have a plan for that. You're the Danny Ocean of art thieves. There's just one problem.

You don't know how to sell it. This ain't no pawn shop back room kinda deal. This is high stakes, millions of dollars, high society shit.

We're here to help.

Interview with Sarah Silverman. Whether she likes it or not, it's tough to argue that she has become the face of current female comedy. And I'm not here to argue that there should or shouldn't be a distinction between male/female comedy (though there shouldn't be).

Huh, I had no idea Blue Velvet was being rereleased and that there was 50 minutes of extra footage. Flavorwire was nice enough to detail it here.

I know some people out there are fanatics for the McRib, so here is a helpful map showing you what McDonalds will be carrying it. Enjoy your gastrointestinal problems!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Cool Shit 11/21

For those of you who saw Gravity, here's a short film that kinda ties in one of the scenes from the movie. And in a weird way it fleshes out the movie even more, and reveals some more of the thematic concepts I think they were trying to play with in the movie. Anyway, it's worth watching.

"And I know how to throw hand grenades." If that's not one of the better titles of a memoir for Dr. Ruth, I don't know what is.

Want to know how much more time we have on Earth? NASA has given us a list of things that will most likely impact with out planet, so you can assess our risk and decide whether building that new house is really a good idea.

Yesterday we had a list of the weirdest restaurants around the world. Today we have the most expensive.

New Muppets movie coming out this Spring!

I assume by now you've at least heard about the many leaks from the NSA, but what you might not have seen is what exactly was leaked. Well now, if you're the curious type, you can see it. Here.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Cool Shit 11/20

Now this is a dense star cluster. Also, I want to go to an Austin, Texas Star Party before I die.

16 strangely themed restaurants. Because who among us hasn't ever thought about being served our dinner in a toilet bowl?

Shifting gears about bathrooms, ever wonder where the best public restroom was? Or that there even was a ranked list with a chosen winner?

Awesome panoramic pictures from all over the world. Taken by a bunch of Russian dudes with little photography experience.

Elliot Gould and sports...tangentially at least. I'm not sure why this article was written, but I have no complaints. I will always have a spot in my heart for Elliot Gould, as Trapper John in M*A*S*H*. And if you're only familiar with the television show, and never saw the movie, do yourself a favor and watch it immediately. The television show was great, but had too much empathy and pathos over its long run. The movie is a biting satire of war and pulls no punches. And I would put up Hawkeye and Trapper John as one of the best movie duos ever. They're the "Pros from Dover" for Christ's sake! Now I just need an article about Donald Sutherland and I'll be set.

A plant that grows both tomatoes and potatoes? Now I've seen everything!

Some interesting statistics about internet porn, with some more interesting hypotheses. As in, does internet porn ruin your sex drive?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Cool Shit 11/19

Bjork explaining how a television works is just as Bjorkian as you can imagine.

Enjoy a list of the 50 best stand-up comedian specials.

Terry Gilliam has a new movie coming out, The Zero Theorem. It's boring and bland looking, just as you'd expect.

Are you a Chuck Palahniuk fan? You know, the guy who wrote Fight Club? If so, you'll enjoy his new short story.

Honestly, can a thing called the Assassination Market really be such a bad thing? I mean the concept was created by a crypto-anarchist.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Cool Shit 11/18

What is the fascination with this show? The first few episodes of season 1 were decent, but it went to poop after that. And now it's coming back for a 4th season? What pictures does Veena Sud hold?

Meanwhile AMC is going in the opposite direction, looking for fare that will push the boundaries. Preacher is definitely that show. While this news suggests it will get made, I wouldn't hold your breath. This comic book series has a long history of almost getting made. If you're unfamiliar with the comic book, here's a quick summary of what it offers.

Everything you knew about eating apples is wrong.

There are so many awesome things going on with this video of The Bar Kays performing "Soul Finger," the best possibly being with nothing plugged in, the entire band is simply pantomiming the performance...

It used to be just the simple mention of the word "shark"would be enough to keep people out of the ocean. But now I think I would take an army of sharks over this squid type creature they have found in the Gulf of Mexico.

A down economy means black market food items. Here's a look at recent thefts of hauls. Of course, I have no idea where one would pick up black market nutella, but if you have a source, I'm all ears!

Thelonius Monk. Paris. 1969. Listen.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Cool Shit 11/15

How to win on The Price is Right. Especially if you're a math teacher.

Area 51: Declassified! At least declassified as much as they want you to believe.

Trailer for Noah...Oh boy. Not sure how to go with this one. After reports that Aronofsky and the studio were bickering over the final cut of the movie, I was curious how this was going to turn out. And now that we've got a trailer - it feels both like disaster porn mixed with some unbelievably cheesy moments (the snake scene specifically). I realize it's not fair to a movie to judge it based on the trailer, but I'm just not sure this one is going to be all that good. Also working against it? We kinda already know what happens. So any tension with the water and the ark...

Not enough people know the story about the Kashmere Stage Band, arguably the tightest funk group from the 60s and 70s. Mostly because it was a high school group! But now a documentary on the whole thing and how it went down is coming out, called ThunderSoul. Try not to get up and dance. I dare you.

And here's a song for you to get a taste of what you've been missing all these years...

There are some weird cookbooks out there.

It's never too early to start thinking about end of year lists. Well, I guess technically there is a time that's too early, specifically early in the year before stuff is released, but you get the idea. Here's a list of the best inventions of the year, ranging from a 3-d pen to a spaceship!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Cool Shit 11/14

This has the vibe of something that a fan of Andy Kaufman would do, trying to trick an audience with a sincere moment of announcing the comedian is still alive. The main problem with the theory that I see is that Andy loved to perform in front of people. So sure, the ultimate prank (or troll) to maintain 2013 language) on the world would be to fake his death EXCEPT what is the payoff? All good joke tellers feel the juice when they realize they get to the punchline...this one doesn't seem to have one, or if it does, it's been going on way too long, much longer than I think Andy could bear before the reveal.

Still, if it is true, it would be an amazing stunt. Absolutely amazing. And if you'd like to know more about the whole possibility of him faking his own death, here's a fairly decent refresher on the whole subject.

Some of these places around the Earth that you should see before you die you've probably seen before, because they are the standards whenever someone takes another crack at this woefully unoriginal list of places you should see before you die. But then there are a few entries that might not be so familiar with...

The whiskey you drink isn't so different from the whiskey I drink. At least that's what this chart kinda sorta suggests. There aren't as many distilleries as one might think.

In addition to showing that we're pretty much irradiated from all the nuclear fallout, this map of every nuclear detonation in the world between 1945 and 1998 also shows that the United States never wanted to come in second for blowing up nuclear stuff.

Um, I would like to ski on glaciers in Antarctica too. Where do I sign up? And for those who don't like to ski, you can still book passage on a boat that breaks up the ice down there, if that's more your thing.

More pictures. This time from NASA. Who I dare say might have the largest/best canvass from which to create from.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Cool Shit 11/13

Looks like I'll never have to go to the doctor again. I'm simply going to eat handfuls of turmeric!

I missed Mr. Neil Young's birthday yesterday, so to rectify that, here are 19 great live performances by the man. Also, Happy Birthday! (Also also, that Massey Hall concert is fantastic in general, so if you can get it, you should.)

Time to update your bucket lists with these cool landscape locations from all over the world.

Not sure why, but Martin Scorsese has announced his top scariest movies, and they're pretty much what you'd expect: The Shining, The Exorcist, and a bunch of black and white movies. Actually there was one kinda surprise: the 1982 Barbara Hershey joint The Entity. I remember seeing that and being freaked out, but for reasons other than fear...

When Russian River beer pairings are involved, you know it's gonna be an pretty awesome dinner. Wish I could have sat at this table.

These facts sound like they're completely made up (lobsters are immortal) but they have cites that allegedly suggest they're true. And it almost makes me want to be struck by lightning, except for the whole potential death part.

As with every skill in life, there are good taxidermists, and bad taxidermists. Warning, bad taxidermists apparently stuff animals you will see in your nightmares. It's like the Island of Dr. Moreau - Val Kilmer edition!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Cool Shit 11/12

Regardless of how you feel about George Clooney, read this article for the awesome prank he pulled on Brad Pitt, involving Meryl Streep (albeit indirectly).

I guess you could say I grew up in the golden age of talk shows, when hosts (off the top of my head: Maury, Geraldo, Sall Jesse, Springer, Morton Downey Jr., Richard Bey, Montel, et al) were competing with one another with the most absurd sensationalism they could muster. And while I lost touch of those shows, it appears they've continued on, trimming the fat and surviving like cockroaches after the apocalypse. Springer slides down a pole to start his show? Also, if you're either invited or ask to go on Maury, you've GOT to realize nothing good can come out of it. Nothing.

It seems the Olympics in Sarajevo didn't do much to help the economy or become the thriving winter tourist attraction city/country officials had hoped.

Watching dominos fall is somewhat soothing. Except my one problem with this video is that it easily could have (and actually was) been edited so that each "stage" of the setup could have been done individually and not all at once. So I'm a little suspicious of the whole thing.

The moral of this story might be if you ever find yourself as an American traveling in Venezuela, to suggest to everyone you're Canadian.

Nothing to see here, unless you enjoy the Beatles and want to view them in 360 degrees in the studio. Stupid cool.

Make your iPhone useful: turn it into A BBQ thermometer. Or a geiger counter!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Cool Shit 11/11

Cool time lapse of the Albuquerque Hot Balloon Fiesta, which apparently is a really big hot air balloon thing:

New cola wars taste challenge! Though I'm not really sure how this can ever be considered definitive when it only tests 10 sodas. It also hurts my coke loving heart that Pepsi won overall. And finally, I can't believe people couldn't tell the difference between coke and pepsi. (Bonus link: I like the subtle patronizing vibe this article has about the difference between Mexican coke and regular coke. It's the same! No one can tell the difference anyway! No one really likes it!)

Boy that Eminem has a lot of anger. Especially toward celebrities.

Um, well, if for whatever reason (and I would never dream of judging) you need to create an entirely new identity, here's some information that might help.

Who knew? Apparently there's no honor in the world of hiring a hit man.

There's plenty of fish we love to eat, but there's also plenty of fish we don't like to eat. Is it marketing? Is it something else? Is it just plain old-fashioned weird? Do we not want to eat a dogfish because it's named "dogfish?"

A deeper look into the James Bond movie On Her Majesty's Secret Service - from Steven Soderbergh. I haven't read his article yet, but I can imagine one of the main points SS believes it's one of the best Bonds is because it shows Bond with true emotion (when his wife dies at the end) and th consequences of that. Unfortunately, they also had George Lazenby doing it, not the world's best actor so it didn't come off with the emotional punch it could have. But it did have Telly Savalas as Blofeld, and I can't argue that. But I can argue that the hypnotized perfume girls was a pretty lame evil plan.

Ok I actually just went and read it. While he does allude to the ending and emotion, I was wrong in that I thought he would hinge the entire argument around that. Based on what he wrote however, he should have. I'm not sure how we can go from the first paragraph praising the director to the next, angrily taking the "filmmakers" to task for not using Lazenby in the right way, including the fact that "they won't even let him finish a fucking sentence onscreen." Which, I guess I would argue the director probably has to take some of the blame. Mr. Soderbergh, you can't have it both ways! Also, I would argue that For Your Eyes Only is a fantastic bond and maybe SS should go to bat for that one. (or maybe someday I will).

Friday, November 8, 2013

Cool Shit 11/8

People say "fuck" a lot on Twitter.

Speaking of Twitter, now that it went public, doesn't it owe something to the users who made it what it is? Take a look to see what you might be owed.

Well this sounds quite insane: Marvel has signed on with Netflix to create four series with different superheroes which will then culminate in a tie-in series (miniseries?) with all those characters. So yeah, Marvel is trying to take over the world. What superheroes are around to stop them?

I never read any of Harry Potter, so I have no idea what butterbeer is. But I know a lot of people did read the books, so the news that you can kinda order one at Starbucks now will probably be popular.

The best rapper you've never heard of has released his latest album. Download it here. From his website, you hooligans!

Here's a sample (and just a FYI, it contains some spicy language so maybe not blasting through the speakers, unless you work in a rap studio):

Spooky public transportation. Although really, it's just stuff that was never completed or have a few interesting stories. Sure, a dark, abandoned tunnel is scary, but then should it be classified as public transportation?

So, I'm not sure if you saw The Raid: Redemption. If you like kung fu/karate movies it's definitely for you and it's definitely insane, over the top action. Which of course means they've made a sequel for it, coming out next year:

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Cool Shit 11/17

Hang this up in your pants humidor, and you'll have a handy guide to know what color shoes you should wear with your burgundy suit you just got to impress Jean, your cubicle mate!

Pretty sure there's no bigger harbinger of impending doom than a dusty, half-assembled doll lying in an abandoned building. Of course these pictures beg a better question: why are there so many abandoned toy factories?

I have no huge affection for Blockbuster, so the news of them closing shop doesn't affect me one way or the other. But that's not to say that I don't believe the store didn't have its value (or video rental stores in general for that matter - Blockbuster kinda deserves what it gets as its business model put a lot of independent stores out of business when it first arrived on the scene). Video stores were the digital library for people of all kinds, and if you developed enough of a relationship with the employees and clientele, you could find cool movies you would have never heard of before. No algorithm is going to be able to recreate that, because the algorithms don't take into account emotion or the unpredictable nature of finding something not necessarily in your wheelhouse drama and being genuinely excited about it. Sure, you can surf on Netflix and fall down a rabbit hole of clicks, looking for new and unique movies, but I'm not sure that can ever replace wandering the aisles of your local video store, poring over ridiculous covers and walking it up to the counter in hopes that they might have it. Our world of instant access to just about everything is convenient at times, but it's not necessarily always good. The peaks and valleys of having to sometimes wait for our reward I think is lost now, and is having its affect on our society. See you next week on 60 Minutes!

Plus, if I had never walked into a Blockbuster, I would have never seen this:

Is the golden age of television over? If you thought my Blockbuster musings was long...I think I could write 10,000 words on what is wrong with the current state of television writing, starting with the false notion that Lost hurt sensibilities by drawing their mysteries out for so long. Lost wasn't hurt by the time it took to unravel; Lost was hurt because once unraveled, there was no clear answer. It got people rabid with the creative arcs it created, but then fizzled at the end by ignoring 90% of what it started. So now lesser shows such as Revolution and The Blacklist (just two examples) move at such a breakneck speed to try and surprise and delight the audience with twists and turns, that they create a template of trying to constantly one up themselves, which the audience can only take so much of. Seriously, Revolution premiered and the story almost immediately became, "don't worry, you'll know why the power went out by the end of the season," which was both disingenuous (seriously, ask anyone and I guarantee they couldn't explain why the power is off) and counterproductive to storytelling. If the writing is good, the people will stick around and watch. Just make sure you have your solutions buttoned up. Man it sure is high up here on my soapbox!

Tor! For when you want to send secret messages or buy drugs online, you go to Tor! Use it to get back on the Silk Road, which is once again operational.

A fun look at how baseball would change if it had a 16 game season.