Am I the only one who thinks that this week has been so much more awesome since the discovery of the Higgs boson was announced on Wednesday morning? Most of the jargon and explanations are waaaay above my high school AP Physics edumacation, but as scientists and smartypants people peel back another layer of this crazy universe we live in, paradoxically it seems that the world has become just a little more magical. I love it! I was hoping they’d also found a tiny magic school bus in their research, but alas. Between the Higgs boson news and Independence Day, this week has been pretty fantastic. July 4th of course means good eating, including delicious watermelon, which also happens to be the video that kicks off this week’s best trending videos that went viral.
Nicolas Cage has given us, the American audience, an eclectic range of roles in a wide variety of movies (over 60 films) over the years. He has also provided a lot of material for the blogosphere and meme factories on the webz, some of which I’ve collected below for your viewing pleasure. The Internet’s fascination with him stems from his enigmatic personality and the roles he’s played. Just kidding, it’s because he’s nuts. This interview in particular is a good glimpse into the beautiful mind of this actor in particular his answer to the question “You mention LEAVING LAS VEGAS. Is winning another Oscar important to you? Or is it now more, ‘Well, I did that. Now I just do what I’m going to do’?”
Because going outside is dangerous (sunburns and explosives come to mind), we’ve got the best of the Fourth online. With Independence Day falling awkwardly on Wednesday this year, it feels like we’re being cheated and our right to celebrate properly is being infringed upon. At least this is the prevailing mood of those of us who are working all week or as @NamOf succinctly tweeted, this is “the least 4th of July week ever.” However perhaps this is a good thing for America because it may compel us to moderate and restrain ourselves a bit more than we would if the holiday occurred instead on a Friday or the weekend, especially when adult beverages and fireworks are involved.
Color Coordinates is a fun website where “tweets mentioning colors are plotted on their coordinates of origin.” This social cartography is a unique live visualization of tweets which incorporates the watercolor maps designed by Stamen Design and available for public use as part of the City Tracking project and funded by the Knight News Challenge. In addition to this watercolor template, Stamen Design created one that mimics the outmoded black-and-white toner scheme and an ecological one labeled as Terrain.
Get ready to color outside the lines. “Thrill Murray” is a coloring book set to pay tribute to Bill Murray, one of the greatest actors of my lifetime, with inspired illustrations of this actor by various artists. Aside from your run-of-the-mill Murray fans, this book is also for the “young, old, middle-aged, bored, hyped or mildly interested.” While this isn’t the sort of material found in the coloring book section of your local bookstore, and as bizarre as this is one some level, I have a feeling that Bill Murray would approve. There have long been loud whispers around the Web of Murray’s behavior in public. It’s not the sort of negative stuff that would land him on TMZ. Instead the prankster actor seems to pop up in unexpected places and his encounters with the public often fall somewhere between whimsical to eccentric performance art that leaves people surprised with a cool story that none of their friends would ever believe.
“Commander-in-Chief,” “POTUS,” “Mr. President,” “Leader of the Free World,” “Yes We Can-er,” and “Cool Dude” are among the more familiar titles on President Obama’s business cards, but did you know he also goes by “Mr. Birthday Cake Giver?” Bon Appétit compiled a delicious photo gallery of pictures snapped by White House chief photographer Pete Souza of the President presenting birthday cakes (and the occasional candlelit cupcake) to various people, which is apparently a bit of a tradition. These socialist pastry ceremonies have taken place from everywhere from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to Camp David to Air Force One. This blog entry at Obama Foodorama (brilliant name) has a comprehensive write-up on this presidential gesture as well as the context behind some of the photos. The best photo, of course, is this one (below) of President Obama scolding Vice President Biden for dropping crumbs in the Oval Office. Bad Biden! Bad!
From the Internet time capsule (or rather from Cornell University Library’s digital collection of images on photo series from the 1920s of a former Cornell alumnus Ruth Kellogg “demonstrating correct postures for various forms of housework.” I guess these photos could be viewed as early ergonomic manuals of sorts. These were published in
While New Yorkers have been obsessed with this week’s heat wave, Europe took a break from its economic woes with a little bit of soccer. Kicking off this week’s top trending video in the number five slot is something from the Ukraine and France match.
Today, June 21st, is global “Go Skateboarding Day.” It’s funny to see how this rebellious and anti-establishment subculture has become completely mainstream (minus certain city ordinances). For example, here’s what skateboarding looked like in the 70′s as captured by Hugh Holland. In celebration of all things skateboarding, I’ve collected below some of my favorite links for your enjoyment.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton graced these pages back in April thanks to “Texts from Hillary”. She’s relevant again here — not because of her involvement in the Syrian conflict or questions about her possible presidential ambitions to which she provides ambiguous answers — but because The Atlantic hilariously notes that when Clinton winks she resembles Lucille, “the alcoholic, sardonic matriarch of the Bluth family” from Arrested Development. Check out the full photo gallery here.
Summer is upon us and that means a season of rooftop, balcony and pool parties. Expect the most common question (after “Where are the drinks?”) to be “Where is the bottle opener?” In my best Seinfeld voice: “What is the deal with parties of a hundred people and there’s only one bottle opener?” I think at every party one person should be designated the keeper of the bottle opener. We could chain it on a necklace around that person. So instead of looking for a bottle opener, you just have to look for Jason, that 6-feet-9-inch tall guy. In the meantime, until this rule is implemented, watch this short film BOTTLE CAP BLUES. In it Adam Young and Chris Sumers (Get it? Sumers like Summers) sat around and came up with various ways and methods of opening a bottle of beer without the use of a bottle opener. Some methods, such as those involving a machette for example, it seems the loss of a digit or two is the cost of failing to open the bottle. They filmed the results set to some good old fashioned olde timey bluesy music. In some ways, this reminds of those YouTube “trick shot” videos I’ve posted here in the past. The creators however I think missed a golden opportunity here to make a “99 Bottles of Beer…” version.
What do Colin Powell, Jimmy Fallon, The Roots, and Tay Zonday have in common? Answer: A song with lyrics that makes Avril Lavigne’s Sk8er Boi sound like J’avais rêvé d’une autre vie. It’s also the number one viral video, or rather ties for the number one slot this week.
Article: Diego Stocco: The sound of nature
If you ever walk by a guy just smacking a tree branch for apparently no reason, there’s no need for alarm. It may be just musician Diego Stocco. He composes some rad sound musical tracks using samples from nature and other organic objects. The finished product is then all mixed together without any synthesizers, samplers or additional sounds. Instead of the horse or dog whisperer, he’s a nature whisperer who pulls out the melodic quality of our green surroundings. This would be a bit tougher to do in my domicile of New York City. He should do a NYC version and create a song composed from the sounds made by pissed off delivery drivers, honking cabs, police sirens, and Mayor Bloomberg giving press conferences in Spanish (Bloomberg’s Spanish alter-ego on Twitter received HER own New York Times coverage once).
So Ridley Scott’s PROMETHEUS landed in theaters this weekend, and while $51.1 million is nothing to joke about, a group of talking animals did beat it in the box office. The reaction, at least among my friends who saw it, was tepid. Some things about it were great, others…not so much. That said, the cinematics blew their minds and the story provided some food for thought. IndieWire served up their good, bad and ugly thoughts on the film, and people across the Internets are not only chiming in, but having a lot of fun riffing off the film:
this Simpsons-inspired shopping guide, The Bartorialist:
Zombies have leapt from the movie screen into our streets and this week’s trending videos capitalize on this hot news item. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) had to release a statement recently that stated zombies did not exist. “CDC does not know of a virus or condition that would reanimate the dead or one that would present zombie-like symptoms” wrote agency spokesman David Daigle. Good try David. After finishing writing this I’m headed to my safe house deep in the woods.
Article: The Internet remembers Ray Bradbury
Article: Wes Anderson Bingo and more
A friend texted me this week asking if I wanted to go see MOONRISE KINGDOM (obvious answer is “YES”) which is the perfect segue here to discuss this amazing bingo card generator created by Slate. Captain Obvious would argue that Wes Anderson, the film’s director has certain signature motifs and techniques that he likes to incorporate in his films to the point of parody. All of these elements (and players), each “appeared in at least three of his movies, and some elements appear in all of them,” add up for a perfect game of Bingo.
The latest gem from the people at Barack Dubs is President Obama “singing” Carly Rae Jepsen’s saccharine song “Call Me Maybe.” A more fitting title of this song for Obama who is on the fundraising circuit for the upcoming election against Mitt Romney should be “Donate Maybe.” Stitched together from his various public appearances and speeches, the Internets wildly approved of their previous video of Obama singing “Sexy and I Know It” by LMFAO. Based on his previous performance singing a bar of Al Green, I think Obama could nail both of these songs at karaoke. Mitt Romney however should stick to just his stump speeches and avoid singing in public.
Article: Crowdsourcing smoothies on Twitter
Here’s a working smoothie-making machine that mines Twitter looking for tweets mentioning specific fruits or vegetables such as blueberry and pineapple for instance. This working prototype then produces a smoothie with a proportional blend of those flavors that were mentioned in the collected tweets. This brilliant machine was conceived “during a one-week visualization course at the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design” by Kat Zorina, Ruben van der Vleuten, and Kostantinos Frantzis. This needs to be installed in my apartment um, stat. As a guy who can never figure out what he wants to eat or drink (I really just gluttonously want it all), I’m all in favor of a machine that makes this decision for me.
With summer temperatures (good) and the accompanying humidity (bad) officially here, it’s now bona fide beach season. If you’re looking for something a bit more exciting at the beach other than getting sunburnt while napping or catching up on Hunger Games (is this a dated pop culture reference already?), then take a page from the pranksters in this week’s #1 video.
Photo by Dan Nguyen Manhattanhenge, the biannual solar phenomenon (coined by my hero, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson), goes down this evening at 8:16P (ET). The setting sun will perfectly line up with Manhattan’s street grid and wow everyone (technically it started yesterday, but I don’t like to count it because it was only a partial…
Last week we saw the teaser trailer for SKYFALL, the newest James Bond film in the Daniel Craig era. Not shown in the trailer is that instead of ordering a martini “shaken, not stirred” Bond might be only requesting a cold beer (blasphemous!) thanks to a marketing deal with Heineken for supposedly $45 million.
With summer here, it means the bicycle season is in full swing. I’ve actually been surprised by the number of friends and acquaintances I have who never quite mastered the art of riding a bike. If you’re reading this and still apprehensive of bicycling, then I suggest you watch the number five video below as a source of encouragement.