Friday, June 29, 2007

Creative Advertisement

I don't watch a whole lot of TV, but when I do, I'm always amazed at how many crappy commercials are out there. They all just seem so ineffective. I realize that they must work on most people, because I know that tons of money is spent figuring out how to make people buy things. And these dumb commercials are the result of that research.

Maybe it's just because I'd rather be entertained than informed when seeing an advertisement or commercial. If I want to be informed, I'll do that research on my own. If you are giving information, at least try to present it in an entertaining way. Anyways, I just wish commercials were more creative and entertaining. And I'm convinced that car dealerships do not spend any time researching how they should do a commercial.

Anyways, I just came across this really creative advertisement and it sort of sparked all that. Nothing too special, which is why it boggles my mind that there aren't more of these. I don't even know what they're selling, but it mentions something about talktalk. That was enough to make me google it to see what they were about. See? Effective advertising.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Awkward Moments

I currently work in a building that has really long hallways. I often have to walk up and down these hallways throughout the day. The shape of these hallways creates one of the most awkward moments possible.

The thing about most awkward moments is that they get less awkward the more they happen. For instance, a first date can be pretty awkward. But the more dates you go on, the more comfortable you get. Or if it's awkward for you to poop in front of your wife, that usually goes away after about two weeks. Unfortunately, this awkward moment seems to get worse every time.

The hallways at work are extremely long and narrow (insert immature phallic joke here). And I work near the end of the hallway, which means I have to travel its entirety to get to my office. The problem is that I often cross paths with my coworkers many times during the day.

The awkwardness comes when I am aware of a coworker at the end of the hall and I know that he is aware of me. I'm faced with quite the dilemma:

a) Yell down the hall, "Hey buddy, how's it going?" and hope he can hear me.
b) Stare intently at the walls on either side as if there's something interesting going on there.
c) Duck into the nearest office and hope it's empty.

The problem with choosing "a" is that usually when people say, "Hey, how are you?" or "How was your weekend," or "Is your dad still on chemo?" they don't really care how you feel. I'm one of those people. I'm just being polite. These hallways offer way too much time for a coworker to answer that question and then go into detail about how they spent their weekend trying to sober up from that crazy Friday night they had Tiki Bob's. So there's no way I'm choosing "a." That just leads to more awkwardness.

The problem with "b" is that it's way too obvious that I'm trying to ignore my coworker. Usually if I start with "b," I end up realizing how ridiculous it is, then I'll raise a finger in the air and pretend I just remembered something and turn around to go back to my office, waiting for the coworker to pass. Option "b" never works.

The problem with "c" is that even if you have a 50/50 chance of an office being empty, it can create an enormously awkward moment during the times that you do rush into someone else's office and they stare up at you, waiting to see why you're in there.

So far the best thing I've come up with is to always travel the halls with a folder full of important papers. I can pretend to be absorbed by the folder's contents, until I practically bump into my coworker, give him a quick "Hey, how's it going?" and move on without listening to his response.

The only problem I'm finding is that it's pretty awkward to have to take a folder full of important documents with you to the men's room.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Another Addictive Game: Desktop Tower Defense

I meant to post this one on Friday, for some Friday happy fun-time. I guess Monday can be a fun day too though.

This game is one of the most addictive games I've ever played. At least as far as cheap online games go. I haven't played it in a while and I think they're up to a version 1.5 now. It's called Desktop Tower Defense, and you get to set up various defense towers that kill creeps before they make it to the end of the screen. It's weird a first, but play it a few times and you'll be hooked. If you're easily addicted to mind games (like me), you might want to wait till Friday, or whenever you really have nothing left to do for an entire afternoon.

Desktop Tower Defense

If you're still bored (which would be amazing), here are a few more of my favorite online games.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Battle at Kruger and Pissed Off Leopard

Alright, this is just because Brian requested it. Here are some animals attacking things. The first one is long, but worth the time. It's of a pack (pride?) of lions hunting a small buffalo. The buffalo's herd fights back, including one particular buffalo who is a stud. There's also a cameo by a couple of alligators who try to steal the lion's catch. This really is an amazing video.

The second video is just of a leopard who gets pissed off and fights back.

Do It Like They Do On The Discovery Channel

Okay, this will be my last in immature animal humor. At least for a while. I think this video is funnier with the sound off, but that's up to you. This video is of a farmer being absolutely violated by a cow. The confusing thing is that they censored the cow's teets. Anyways, for some sick reason, I laughed at this. I hope to spread that joy.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Monkey Business

When I was searching for hippos pooping, I found a few other funny videos and thought I would share. The first video is of a monkey who casually eats his own poop. I think monkeys probably do most things casually, but it looks funny when it's with poop.

Then I found out that this wasn't the only monkey out there eating his poop. The next video is of a monkey who eats his poop, gets sick and pukes it up, then eats his poopy puke. Viewer discretion is advised.

Then those videos reminded me of one of my all time favorites. I remember seeing it before Youtube and all these other great video sharing sites existed. It's of a monkey who smells his own butt and then passes out. Watch his face. It's like for a split second he's amazed at the smell. Classic. "Oh no..."

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Congratulations, It's a Yssup!

Well, I seriously want to congratulate Joel and Tessi on their amazing news. Hopefully you've already heard, but they are expecting.

I like that if you put a period after "expecting," everyone knows exactly what you're talking about.

Anyways, they just got married like a month ago and now they're going to have a kid. That's just awesome. There's much I could say about Joel being a dad, but all I know is that he'll be great at it. So anyways, Congratulations you guys!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Hippo Poop

I've been trying to find a good video of this for a long time. Since I'm lazy and don't have time to write much, I'm choosing today to share what I think is one of the funniest things ever: Hippos pooping. I'm not sure why, but this just cracks me up.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Pan's Labyrinth: An Apology

Pan's Labyrinth is a great movie. If you haven't seen it, don't read any further as this post contains SPOILERS.

Right. So Brian wrote a little post on movies he saw and mentioned how he loved Pan's Labyrinth. I agree with him, but (like him) have also noticed that many people were disturbed by the movie, or just didn't like it. I am here to propose a defense of the movie, to the best of my abilities.

First of all, I'm not going to talk about the acting, cinematography, directing, and all that normal stuff. It was all really really great and everyone seems to agree on that point.

The first thing I'm going to talk about is maybe the most important character in the movie: The Faun.

I'm not going to go into the mythology of fauns or Pan, but you must have an understanding of that mythology to understand this character. When Ofelia first meets the faun, she asks him who he is. His response is important:

"Me? I've had so many names. Old names that only the wind and the trees can pronounce. I am the mountain, the forest and the earth. I am... I am a faun."

The faun represents nature. Not good or evil. The faun is used to present tasks to Ofelia, not to be a friend or redemptive figure. It is important to remember that the faun must remain ambiguous. If he were purely good, it would be too easy for Ofelia to trust him. Her actions would have no meaning and she wouldn't have to think for herself. The same is true if he were purely evil. The same would be true in this world, if things were unquestionably good or evil. Our actions would have no meaning. Make sense? And the faun is freaking awesome.

The first scene I want to point out is Ofelia's second task with the Pale Man.

This scene is important because it's the first time Ofelia disobeys the faun's instructions. The important thing to note, is that she disobeys twice: first, when choosing the door and then when eating the grapes. When she chooses the door, she ends up being right. When she eats the fruit, she brings about death. So, even though she disobeys both times, her disobedience doesn't bring the same outcome. It is important for Ofelia to learn to trust herself, regardless of the results. And the Pale Man is freaking awesome. (This info can be found in the director's commentary, which I highly recommend)

An interesting emphasis on that theme can be found in the doctor's last words:

"But captain, to obey - just like that - for obedience's sake... without questioning... That's something only people like you do."

The next thing that is often discussed is whether or not this world of Ofelia's is real or just imaginary.

I always want to believe it is real, in every fantasy story I read (e.g. Narnia) and I was happy to hear that the director agreed with me. Some people argue that every scene where the fantasy world interacts with reality can be explained through reality. For instance, the mandrake root that she uses can be seen in the kitchen. Or the fairy really is just an insect. However, there is no explanation for how she got into the captain's quarters in order to steal the baby. Not only that, but the captain finds and crushes the chalk. So, that scene is a pretty strong argument for the reality of the fantasy world.

Along with that (and this will be my last point since this is getting so long), this fantasy world obviously helps Ofelia cope with the reality around her. The same thing happens to the audience; as we watch more and more graphic violence surrounding the true evil in this movie (Captain Vidal), we beg for more scenes from the fantasy world. Many people argue that religion is just our way of coping with and explaining our reality. This fairy tale was Ofelia's religion.

In the end of the movie, she reaches her heaven. She trusts herself to know what is right- even though it risks losing everything she has dreamed and believed in. Many religious people do things for the sake of their religion, without questioning whether or not it is a good thing. I think that's the point of this movie (or at least an interesting topic that arises as a result). Ofelia is willing to die, because she knows it's the right thing to do. In the end, she finds that this is what was necessary; not blind obedience.

I could say a lot more about this movie, but I'm running out time and this post is long enough. Perhaps more will come out of the comments. I didn't have time to even touch on the non-fantasy aspects of the movie. Anyways, please leave a comment if you agree/disagree with anything, or if you have any thing else you want to talk about from the movie. I'm interested to hear more.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

"How to Dress for Success" or "Why I Hate You, Mr. Formal Business Man"

Photo was taken from this site.

I'm sure you've all heard how it's important to "dress successful if you want to be successful." Or "dress for the job you want, not the one you've got." Or "never wear black shoes with a brown belt." Or "pink is the new black."

Let me begin by saying that unfortunately, in our current society, all of the above statements are true. People have even done extensive research to prove this point (evidence here: Dress to Impress). I'm not going to sit here and try to tell you that it isn't true.

What I am going to tell you is that I hate this fact. I have never been comfortable in formal attire and that will probably never change. Take a look at those two guys in the picture above. Nobody is ever that happy in a suit.

The worst thing about this "appropriate business attire" is that people who work in virtual dungeons and never have contact with other humans are still expected to wear this hideous garb. We've given up comfort because some moron decided that you are more professional if you are wearing six layers of clothing and constantly sweating on your upper lip.

Well, I'm sick of it. I should be comfortable at work. You should be too. You want to know why so many people want to start their own business? It's not for the money. It's the idea that you can wake up in the morning and head to work in a mumu and nobody can tell you you're not professional.

I'm ready for a revolution! I'm too lazy to start it myself, but hopefully you aren't! If you don't get fired first, then I'll be right behind you! Vive la Revolucion!

As a bonus, we could also save the planet. See this story.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

LOLCats. What the...?

I have no idea how it happened, but somehow I found myself browsing through the website: It's a site where they take pictures of cats (and other animals) and write up captions for the picture. This is apparently supposed to be either:

a) Funny.
b) Cute.

I found it neither. But for some strange reason, I couldn't stop looking at more pictures.

It didn't take long to notice that things were spelled wrong on purpose and with awkward phrasing. Here's a good example:

And another:

The first thing I thought to myself was, "Mai Gawd! They's awl be race-eests!"

It was at that point that I decided I was going to do a post to uncover how these cats were being made out to sound like Jamaican-Creole gangsters. I was going to post a bunch of pictures as examples and hopefully get the story picked up by a major newspaper and expose these people as the bigots they were.

Then I actually did a little researching on these cats and discovered once again that I am a moron.

LOLCats is actually a huge internet phenomenon that has been going on for quite awhile. Unbeknownst to me. I went to my old friend wikipedia, and sure enough there is an LOLcats wiki-page.

Most of the phrasing for these cats come from different types of internet slang. A few examples you might recognize are:

"I'm in ur base killin' ur doodz."
"All your base are belong to us."

Just find a picture of a cat and insert your own awkward phrasing. Here's one I just made up for fun. If I'm breaking a copyright law, please let me know.

Okay, so it's harder than it looks.

Anyways, it's amazing that this has caught on and become so viral. Seriously, if you spend a little time looking it up, you'll see that this stuff is everywhere. Even more astounding is that this type of language (the Jamaican-Creole gangster style) is actually being developed and debated upon. Some are trying to build it into a feasible programming language. My head is about to explode, so I'd better just stop there.

Here are some interesting links on the subject:

LolCode and Feline Dialectology: This is a linguistic buff's point of view.

LOLCode: These are the guys who are currently working on a programming language. It's either genius or insanity. I can't decide which. This just has a ton of LOLCats.

Monday, June 04, 2007

God Hates Fags

I've been meaning to write about this for a long time, but wanted to make sure I had enough information to make an intelligent post. I'm glad I spent the extra time, because I think I would've been duped.

I'm sure the title has caught your attention, as this is a much debated topic and saying "God hates fags" is sure to raise a few eyebrows. Anyone who makes a statement like that needs to be ready for some controversy.

That's what I was thinking when I first came across the site, In my browser (Firefox), this website's title shows up as, "God Hates Fags! Love Gods Way!" Two exclamatory statements that were sure to keep me reading.

The site goes on to explain how they are trying to help homosexuals who are looking for a "way out." Further exploration of the site reveals that "Christian youth expert" Donnie Davies has developed a program: C.H.O.P.S- "Changing Homosexuals into Ordinary People." Donnie is a recovering homosexual who says,
Follow me and together we'll C.H.O.P.S away the Gay.

At this point, I started thinking that this site cannot be serious. I mean really, "CHOPS away the Gay?"

I found a link to a music video from Donnie Davies' band, "Evening Service." The name of the song is, "God Hates Fags." (video here) Not to be crude, but the video itself seemed pretty gay to me. I couldn't tell if he was serious or not. I was quite suspicious.

On the band's web page, I found the following quote:
Donnie clearly believes that "God Hates Fags" but he is also careful to mention that God hates everybody else too.

Now, I was fairly confident that this had to be a joke. That's when I found the picture that destroyed any doubts I had about this being a serious program. This page is from the Evening Service "Info" tab. It's a disturbing image of Donnie Davies wrestling with Satan, attempting to "Save you from Homo-Rock Bands." At first I laughed at this picture, but now I'm not sure what to think. For now, I wanted to warn you about the picture in case you might be offended. So, here's the link to that page.

I've come to the conclusion that this must be some kind of joke website that was set up to mock "super-conservative-Christian" rhetoric. The fact that I actually believed this could be real (and maybe it is?) is what scares me the most. If it is a joke, does that make it any less offensive? Are you even offended? Why or why not?

I guess I'm still trying to figure out exactly what I think about it and just wanted to see if anyone else had an opinion on the matter.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Friday Fun

I don't have the time or energy to write my own content today, but since I know most of my readers come here to be distracted from their everyday routine, I will leave you with some random/interesting things to check out.

What's your most embarrassing moment?
Larry Zierlein (who is the Pittsburgh Steelers new offensive line coach) accidentally emailed an "explicit sex video" to various NFL employees. As if that's not bad enough, one of the employees was NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Zierlein implies that he was trying to delete it, but I find that hard to believe. Without going into how wrong this is, I just can't imagine how mortified he must feel right now. Anyways, here's the story I read: Steelers' assistant apologizes for raunchy e-mail to Goodell, others

I have that sickening feeling that I just got screwed. is a great resource if you're thinking about buying a new car. There's an awesome piece they did, where they sent a guy to do some under cover car salesman work. It's extremely long, but well worth the read if you can do it. Check it out here: Confessions of a Car Salesman

Google knows what I want before I do.
Seriously, Google is amazing. I'm just now transporting all of my spreadsheets into Google, so the wife and I can both have access to everything. We already utilize their calendar and everything else. It's so easy and incredible useful. Google rules. Google Spreadsheets

This should be inspiring, but instead, it makes me feel worthless.

I really love the piano. I started playing about five years ago and I just love everything about it. Then I see stuff like this and it makes me want to quit. I wonder what it's like to be a genius? Amazing young piano players:

Embedding is not allowed on this last one, but if you liked the other two, this one's awesome. It's like my favorite piano piece: Chopin's "Fantasie Impromptu Op.66"