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.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Cool Shit 11/6

For research purposes only, the highest alcohol content beers.

A great read about a potential victim meeting with a serial killer and not becoming a victim.

Yesterday I posted a teaser to the new TV show Helix, coming to SyFy in January. Today I bring you, well it's still a teaser I guess, but it shows actual footage from the show and at least starts to paint the picture of just what the thing is going to be about.

The closing of a Waffle House means more than you'll ever know.

If only 10% of the American public believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in the assassination of JFK, maybe the minority are the conspiracy theorists? Regardless, here's a guy who is as passionate as all the others that he DID act alone.

Autumn is pretty. All around the world.

Alaska. It's a harsh, vibrant world.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Cool Shit 11/5

Battlestar Galactica fans (or science fiction fans in general) should probably start getting excited for the new SyFy show, Helix, coming in January.

The internet has become a place of lists...and reviews. And here are some examples of reviews done right.

The future of New York city looks...developed?

...Unless of course we lose all the ice in the world. Then New York will look...underwater.

Oh don't mind me, I'm just over here starting production on my very own Death Star. Though I might think about changing the name.

Another story of how Mt. Everest can always, at any given moment, remind climbers why it's kinda hard to reach the summit. But this story includes not only the death of a man, but the death of a company.

If you saw Gravity, and were blown away by the effects, and want a really, really detailed look at how some of them were accomplished, is your lucky day!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Cool Shit 11/4

So basically if you run a marathon, you should expect to end it with showing the same symptoms people have seen in corpses. Sign me up!

So yes, I took a humorous look at some of the suggestive costumes ladies could wear at Halloween, attempting to show how ridiculous the our society was becoming. And yet now here's GQ with an article in defense of the sexy Halloween costume, because if the author hadn't worn it, she probably wouldn't have met her husband, which is absurd just on so many levels...

In case you didn't know, Walmart parking lots are a haven for people on the road that need a place to stop and crash to rejuvenate. RVs, cars, vans full of people going to and from. And this policy apparently has led to the nomadic lifestyle for some people who sorta, kinda live in these parking lots. When you look around the corner sometimes, instead of simply straight ahead, you will find things that are just left of center. The nomads of Walmart parking lots is an example.

The cult of juicing. Which goes beyond simply trying to be healthy, and into a whole other stratosphere of changing your mind and body mechanics. At least so say the juicers.

The ways these two have been gushing over each other recently, I assume it's only a matter of time before Yoko Ono and Paul McCartney have sex.

I like that the list of 54 things you should know how to do is so varied. Because you never know when you're going to have to start a fire with matches OR cook an egg properly.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Cool Shit 11/1

If you're traveling by bus anytime soon, it's probably going to be you and a bunch of drug smugglers. Unless of course you too are smuggling drugs.

Alright, so maybe you don't want to ride a filthy bus to smuggle drugs. Why not simply make some? (And then you can get one of your deadbeat friends to be the bus smuggler.)

Fine, you don't want to build your kingdom on drugs, (at least not the illegal kind), why not use this handy candy popularity graph to help build your sugar baron kingdom? I'm guessing you're currently sitting in a pile of candy wrappers questioning your existence right now anyway.

And yet maybe the sugar baron thing is just too much and you don't like bees...I get it, so why not try your hand at moonshinin'? Looks like there's going to be an increase in demand.

I'm hoping that when looking a this breakdown of which soda (coke or pepsi) is more evil, people will simply realize both are awful. Also, it isn't far off into the future to see this soda "war" become a real, sponsored war over property, right?