If the Internet has taught us marketers and content producers anything, it’s that people love cute animals. With that lesson, the lead-in video for this entry on the 5 trending YouTube videos of the week features Jayden, a Shiloh Shepherd who knows how to punish herself after getting in trouble. Be sure to stick around for the number one video that has already achieved almost a million views in just a few short days.
Article: The iPad of 1935
As evidence that the conceptual idea behind iPad and other tablet devices is not a new invention, the April 1935 issue of Everyday Science and Mechanics featured the above design of a fancy man (look at that jacket!) leisurely reading with the courtesy of a machine. The magazine explained, “It has proved possible to photograph books, and throw them on a screen for examination, as illustrated long ago in this magazine. At the left is a device for applying this for home use and instruction; it is practically automatic.” And anticipating the multimedia functionality found in the iPad, the article also pointed out that “You can read a ‘book’ (which is a roll of miniature film), music, etc., at your ease.” The best part about the above illustration is that there are two plain old books printed on paper resting on the table. So neglected. So old school. I wonder if the fancy man was nervous when he made his purchase like I am before I buy an Apple product because I’m cynically positive the company will release a better version two months later. “What? The iPad of 1936? CRAP! I just bought this a month ago. I can’t even return it.”
Article: Einstein goes online
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) here. Einstein had a connection with Caltech, having spent time with their researchers over the course of three consecutive winter semesters in the 1930s. His visits out West were chronicled in his
No two incidents better reflect our country’s schizophrenic political and cultural zeitgeist as it pertains to gay rights than this above photo taken by Charles Dharapak on one end of the spectrum and on the polar opposite end, the crowd’s reaction at a Santorum rally of seeing two men kiss. As the two kissers, Timothy Tross and Ben Clifford, were escorted out, the crowd lustily chanted “USA! USA!” (you know, because nothing screams American values quite like oppressing personal choices and because PDA is totally “ew” and unpatriotic) as if it were the 1981 Olympics “Miracle on Ice” hockey match.
Woody Allen has been famously unimpressed by awards shows. This past Oscar season he said, “I have no regard for that kind of ceremony. I just don’t think they know what they’re doing. When you see who wins those things — or who doesn’t win them — you can see how meaningless this Oscar thing is. … I know it sounds terrible, but winning that Oscar for ANNIE HALL didn’t mean anything to me.” And that’s how I feel about The Shorty Awards.
Article: This week's top 5 trending videos
Here are 5 distractions to take your mind off the fact that yes, there are people who listen to Santorum’s rhetoric and think “Yup! I agree with this man and he should lead us to the promised land.”
5. BrodieSmith21, the guy famous on YouTube for uploading his trick ultimate frisbee tosses, connects with a pole vaulter on a frisbee throw (you can look a little more enthusiastic). Count Andrew Sullvian and me as two people impressed with this effort. Will you be the third? If you like this, then check out my recap last year about the “trick shot” trend on YouTube.
Check out the latest tidbit from the Internet time capsule: The British Film Institute has rediscovered what is believed to be the earliest celluloid adaptation of a Charles Dickens story. Granted it’s only a 1-minute long silent film depicting a scene from the Charles Dickens’ novel Bleak House, but it’s still impressive considering its provenance. The silent film is believed to have been made in 1901 by G.A. Smith who was a pretty interesting dude. Apparently he was “a stage hypnotist, psychic, magic lantern lecturer, astronomer, inventor, and one of the pioneers of British cinema.”
Article: Gifs as art
It’s good to see the mainstream media (for the sake of this entry let’s all agree that PBS falls under this category) finally get onboard with a topic that I’ve personally and professionally long been a fan of and advocate for: the humble gif image. As I wrote earlier, “GIF images have historically resided in the seedier corners of the Internet, in profiles of message board users and the like, but these looping animated images have started to emerge as a medium of some artistic merit in their own right” (wow, did I just re-quote myself. That is so douche-y!). In the above recent online video segment, PBS examines gifs, “one of the oldest image formats used on the web” and how they’ve evolved into something larger today, something web prognosticators argue can be considered an art form.
I’m not sure what took the Internet so long to give birth to Lucille and Mitt, an obviously brilliant image macro meme combining Lucille Bluth, the sociopathic matriarch of the Bluth family of Arrested Development, with some of Mitt Romney’s quotes during his campaign that reminds voters of his foot-in-mouth affliction and the enormity of his pocketbook.
It’s Friday and that means you don’t REALLY want to be doing work, so let me provide you with a short respite with these five videos that I saw trending throughout the week.
You, ma’am and sir, are lying if you said you predicted the opening weekend success of Dr. Seuss’ THE LORAX which debuted over the weekend with a strong $70.2 million at the box office. As we pointed out earlier, the film’s marketers had to find a delicate balance between doing their job and the story’s green message of environmentalism. Whether or not they succeeded is debatable, but the numbers “70″ and “millions” made some people really happy. As MSNBC reports:
Spend this Super Tuesday with the network that covers this mess even when there isn’t an election going on. Jim Romenesko compiled this collection of the first C-Span appearances of various media notables such as Jill Abramson, Ana Marie Cox, Matt Drudge, Andrew Sullivan, Howard Kurtz, Malcolm Gladwell and our favorite (joking) Michelle Malkin. I know you’re all tired of hearing this in the same sentence about C-Span, but I’m going to say it anyway: This is pretty awesome.
Article: Portraits of lost silent film stars
In a reminder of the old becoming the new yet once again, as you all know unless you’ve been in a cave somewhere, the black-and-white silent film THE ARTIST won three golden dudes including Best Picture at this year’s Academy Awards. This film’s success makes relevant this lovely slideshow from The New Yorker of portraits of forgotten actors, such as Louise Brooks dramatically posed above, from that silent era to accompany David Denby’s piece on “the art of silent acting” in the magazine. Although I’m happy for everyone that was involved with the film and I particularly appreciated the aspirations of their intentions, I do ultimately agree with David’s review of the film:
Francis Ford Coppola, Woody Allen and Martin Scorsese
Over the course of a four hour interview Fast Company conducted with Martin Scorsese, a director you may have heard of (his latest film HUGO picked up 5 Oscars on Sunday for best cinematography, art direction, and other technical achievements), Scorsese made references to 85 different films. Fast Company organized these films from A to Z (including the director’s comments about them) with the “cumulative total reflecting a life lived entirely within the confines of movie making, from his days as a young asthmatic child watching a tiny screen in Queens, New York to today, when Scorsese is as productive as he’s ever been in his career–and more revered than ever by the industry that once regarded him as a troublesome outsider.” Replace “movie making” with “Internet meme observing” and this could be the summary of my life. Anyhoo, it’s an interesting browse for any fan of Scorsese or film buffs that underscores his deep knowledge.
Article: Political deep throats
For a Republican presidential candidate to be taken seriously they must go through the time honored tradition of becoming a meme via the consumption of food in a phallic manner. This means it’s time to finally pay attention to Rick Santorum (see photo above) as difficult as it may be. He now joins a rarefied group that includes Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann who were both unified into this unholy gif-union that you can’t unsee (although Mitt finds it hilarious):
This week’s edition is a special, animal style (not to be confused with the delicious burger from In-N-Out) edition filled with the top 5 trending YouTube videos starring some of your favorite creatures that have been getting passed around the Internets. Warning: You may experience cute overload.
5. Matt Ufford goes backstage at the Westminster Dog Show and attempts to pet each and every one of the 185 breeds represented at this annual show.
Article: Balancing dogs vs Balanced dogs
“Now, tell me… who owns the Internet?” asked @sfsutcliffe on Twitter to which I replied “Cats and 4Chan.” This is largely true, but occasionally dogs get their time in the meme spotlight as is the case with Tiger, possibly the most patient Staffordshire Terrier and American Bulldog mix in the world. Tiger has his own popular Tumblr “Food on My Dog” and like its title explains Tiger patiently allows his owner, Andrew to put all manners of food on its head. And for some reason the Internet is loving this. You do not ask why a meme happens, but you just learn to accept it. When I initially saw this I thought this was a bit torturous for Tiger but after reading Andrew’s explanation it makes me wonder just who is training whom.
Before she was Nicki Minaj, the international superstar (real name: Onika Tanya Maraj) with her wigs and outlandish colorful outfits that give Lady Gaga a run for title of Best Weirdly Dressed, she was Nicki Minaj, a talented aspiring hip-hop artist from the Queens. And the above video of her from that pre-red carpet fame era is currently being passed around the Internets in the past couple days with some viewers longing for this rawer, more pedestrian side of Nicki Minaj. Hey Sasha Frere-Jones: feel free to use this as a flint for your next essay about constructions of identity and its conflict with notions of authenticity as it pertains to hip-hop. Or something. Incidentally, if you slow down Nicki Minaj’s voice she sounds a lot like Jay-Z. Conversely, if you speed up Jay-Z he sounds like Nicki Minaj. This is a mathematical fact.
Article: Greatest singer of all
A common refrain I’ve heard expressed in the aftermath of Whitney Houston’s sad passing is “I’m surprised but not shocked” due to her well known past struggles with substance abuse, but I was actually surprised and shocked when I heard this (news that was incidentally texted to me while I was at a bar watching Jeremy Lin performing as Linderella). I was completely stunned because I had assumed that she had turned a corner. I want to use this soapbox not to focus on the macabre aspect of her death and troubles during her life, but instead use the opportunity vis-a-vis online bits and tributes as a celebration of her inimitable talent starting for instance with this: listen to Whitney Houston’s isolated vocals on “How Will I Know” to remind yourself how remarkable her voice was or as Oprah tweeted, “To me Whitney was THE VOICE.” I’ve listened to this countless times and I get goosebumps each time. That said, and this might be slightly blasphemous, but for the same reasons that Vulture made, I almost like the mash-up of Whitney’s vocals with Robyn’s “Dancing on My Own” track better than the originals for both songs.
Keanu Reeves is not only a star in Hollywood but he is among the biggest stars if not the biggest (as far as actors go) in the world of online memes in the subcategory of image macros with his blockbuster viral meme “Sad Keanu” (which I previously discussed here) and Conspiracy Keanu. However Oscar nominee Jean Dujardin, star of THE ARTIST has come out of nowhere to try to claim the meme throne from Keanu with the “Jean Sleeping on People” Photoshop macro for which there exists a Tumblr, naturally.
Article: What politicians are really saying
Just when Mitt Romney thinks he finally bested Santorum and sent him off packing to a dark hole, but like a bad itch that Romney just can’t seem to get rid of, Santorum keeps coming back as evident by his wins on Tuesday last week in the GOP presidential primaries in Minnesota, Missouri, and Colorado (Romeny won Florida and Nevada). And recently according to two national polls (here’s the boilerplate caveat about the reliability of polls blah blah blah) Santorum has pulled even with Romney. The downside to Santorum’s ongoing popularity is that it reminds me that there are people that actually agree with his odious social policy agenda and beliefs. The upside is that his relevance provides material for the comedic corners of the blogosphere. Among my favorites comes from the funny lip-dubbing people at Bad Lip Reading. They’re so bad that they’re so good. Like the video above of Santorum, these geniuses add their own carefully synched but gibberish speech to various national politicians’ political ads (here is Romney’s). Oddly enough, the gobbledygook words make more sense to me than some of the originals.
Here are the five videos that I noticed rapidly making the rounds this week. While they may not provide any life changing enlightening moments, at least you’ll get some laughs, and if the adage that laughter is the best medicine, then that’s not so bad is it?
Article: Has Anyone Said This Sh*t? (Yes.)
Not since Rebecca Black have I seen a meme go from hilarious to amusing to downright-shoot-me-annoying as quickly as the seemingly neverending “Shit [People] Say” videos. Jumpstarted seemingly centuries ago with a little celebrity juice thanks to the involvement of Juliette Lewis, the meme was birthed with this video titled “Shit Girls Say.” By now you’ve seen this and all the countless copycats. If you’ve been pulling a Rip Van Winkle who just woke up and have no idea what we’re talking about, what I’m referring to are series of viral videos which are basically a supercut of stereotypical expressions and phrase associated with different groups (not without some controversy). People quickly tired of them and vocally expressed their annoyance on Facebook or Twitter, but were quick to retweet and share any new variation that happened to fit their particular niche or interests: for example, as soon as the “Shit New Yorkers Say” video hit the web, it seemed as though every single one of my New Yorker friends posted it on Facebook (often right after having stated their irritation of these videos only the day before). For you Van Winkle’s here’s a sampling of others:
If you’re completely sick of all the coverage leading up to the Super Bowl, I’m here to provide you with some relief (9 out of 10 bloggers recommend it) with this week’s YouTube videos that seem to be gaining steam on the viral Internet train.
5. From the hilarious minds of one of my favorite channels on YouTube is this catchy and easy-to-sing song “Hapi Berth Dey.” It’s “about an Egyptian river god who finds a place to sleep atop two sheep” that also possibly doubles as an expression of his outrage of the misappropriation of copyright laws which legally also applies to a popular song traditionally sung to celebrate birthdays. Feel free to sing this new song coincidentally at your next birthday party!