Tag Archives: Video

‘House of Cards’ Spurs Interest in Rowing Machines, Studios

The popularity of rowing workouts has surged since Netflix’s hit House of Cards debuted, featuring star Kevin Spacey rowing while contemplating his next ruthless move, observes SneakerReport.com. The site says Manhattanites are now “flocking” to trendy new “rowing studios.”

Spacey’s Congressman Frank Underwood was less than thrilled by a gift of a rowing machine from his wife in the first season, to be set up in his man cave in the basement. Continue reading

Meth Cook Arrested in ‘Breaking Bad’ Shirt

meth breaking bad shirt

Meth cook arrested in ‘Breaking Bad’ shirt.

Life imitated award-winning television when Chicago police arrested Daniel Kowalski, whose mugshot shows the 21-year-old in a Breaking Bad-related shirt. Police were acting on an anonymous tip when they allegedly found a methamphetamine lab in his home. The shirt, of course, features the logo of the fictional Los Pollos Hermanos restaurant from the hit TV series starring Bryan Cranston. You can get your own Los Pollos Hermanos shirt here. But don’t get carried away with it. It’s just a show.

(Mugshot courtesy Cook County Sheriff’s Office)

Ghostbuster Harold Ramis: Egon Away

Ghostbusters star and cowriter Harold Ramis, who passed away Feb. 24 at the age of 69, leaves behind a treasure trove of comedy gold, starting with his turn on Canadian sketch show SCTV in the mid-1970s. He went on to write and direct several cult classics, and appeared in a few, including as Egon Spengler in the two Ghostbusters movies alongside pal and long-time collaborator Bill Murray.

Of course, Ramis’s passing likely closes the chapter on the long-in-development Ghostbusters 3, which is probably for the best. In the 2009 interview below, Ramis talks about working on the third installment. (You can buy the Ghostbusters Double Feature Gift Set at Amazon for less than $14.)

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Know Your Meme: The Infomercial-Fail Montage

infomercial fails

The first infomercial-fail montage appeared in 2009.

The infomercial-fail montage is a web video art form that first appeared in 2009. For as long as there have been infomercials, there have been infomercial parodies, which seems almost redundant since the infomercials themselves are already in so-bad-they’re-good territory.

“that parallel world where people have a really hard time performing everyday tasks”

The advent of Internet video and easy editing software has given us priceless fast cuts of the best-worst moments in the infomercial universe, that parallel world where people have a really hard time performing everyday tasks. The first such montage, according to KnowYourMeme.com, was posted by online video curator Everything Is Terrible on FunnyorDie.com back in 2009.

In 2010, a second montage appeared on YouTube (above). The vid’s popularity (it’s been viewed more than 2.3 million times) helped drive the infomercial-fail montage into the mainstream, and the compilations were soon appearing all over the net, including on Huffington Post and blogs like Infomercial Problems.

More detailed info on the meteoric rise of the infomercial-fail meme.

TV Station Airs Artists’ Fake ‘Infomercial’

TV viewers who tune into KTXA Channel 21 in the Dallas/Fort Worth area this Friday, Feb. 7, at 3 a.m. may not know just what to make of a new “infomercial” that’s not really selling anything. The 28-minute spot, featuring a gentleman who looks a lot like Steve McQueen whittling a walking stick and promising viewers the secret to immortal life, is part of an art exhibit by Texas artists Good/Bad Art Collective.

“Curtains,” an interactive experimental exhibit running through Feb. 16 at Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, invited visitors to see the set where the infomercial was filmed, and even help make the infomercial.

“At turns humorous and interactive, dark and thought-provoking, CURTAINS uses the dying medium of the infomercial to highlight the transience and ephemeral nature of the human experience,” reads the museum’s website.

The project brings to mind the 1970s commercials of experimental artist Chris Burden, who purchased late-night slots for his own weird films.

Post Links to Clutter-Free YouTube Videos With ‘Surprisely’

New site adds element of ‘Surprisely’ to YouTube vids

When you’re enjoying a video of, say, a mailman battling a ferocious feline or an owl and a cat playing together in a tree, the last thing you want to see are those annoying pop-ups containing links to other videos or advertisements. Other things, such as top reader comments, video title and view count can also be annoying because they influence our perception. A new site has done away with these things, providing a clutter-free, more enjoyable YouTube viewing experience.

Just plug the video’s URL into the very simple interface at the Surprisely site, and it plays a full-screen version of the video with all the metadata scrubbed. To send or post the video, just copy the URL from the address bar. The link doesn’t even tell your email recipient or Facebook followers the name of the video, offering a surprise element that’s been all but lost to cynical web surfers. Surprisely is a surprisingly innovative use of Google’s YouTube Data API.

“Like telling a punchline ahead of the joke”

“In 2012 it occurred to us that the context of YouTube was affecting our relationship to it,” Surprisely cocreator David Lewandowski told Wired. “The video title, the view count, runtime, related videos, top comments—all of these shape your response to the content, often to its detriment. It’s like telling a punchline ahead of the joke.”

 

The Mouse Chaser Cat Toy

The Mouse Chaser Cat ToyThey say a bored kitty is a naughty kitty. And we have two bored kitties – no, make that two bored, overweight kitties – at our house. So when I saw the new motorized cat toy Mouse Chaser, my only question was should I buy one or two?

The Mouse Chaser has a motion-sensor that starts and stops the moving mouse as the cat walks and stalks around the toy. That’s cool for the cat, since it imitates the behavior of a real mouse, but it’s also good for me since it extends the battery life.

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10th Anniversary September 11th Commemorative Gold Proof

10th Anniversary September 11th Commemorative Gold ProofAs the anniversary of September 11th approaches, there’s a new commemorative tribute with a unique feature: precious metals recovered from Ground Zero.

The commemorative is created using three distinct struck pieces. First, a traditional proof is struck with frosted relief on a mirror-like base and clad in 14 mg of pure 24-Karat gold. Then, the skyline of the Twin Towers and the silhouette of the USS New York, clad in a total 14 mg .999 pure silver recovered from Ground Zero, rise up into a 3-dimensional sculpture.

A little background here: the USS New York was made with steel from the World Trade Center. The steel was poured into the molds on 9 September 2003, cast to form the ship’s bow. One shipyard worker, Tony Quaglino, said: “I was going to go in October 2004 after 40 years here, but I put it off when I found out I could be working on New York. This is sacred and it makes me very proud.” The USS New York was christened on 1 March 2008, in a ceremony attended by members of the New York City Police Department and the New York City Fire Department, and family members of September 11 victims.

This historic three-piece commemorative proof comes with Double Verification, confirming its 24 karat gold and .999 Ground Zero Recovery Silver contents. Part collectable, part work of art, and all a tribute to the United States of America.

SlimTs: Men’s Shapewear, or the End of Western Civilization? Discuss.

SlimTs Men's Body Shaping Tank TopSlimTs Men’s Body Shaping Tank Top claims you’ll instantly look pounds thinner and inches smaller without dieting or exercise. Even if you could tighten your waistline and trim down your love handles with this miraculous man girdle, would it be morally right? I mean, what is The American Man coming too? Would Davy, Davy Crockett, King of the wild frontier have worn a SlimT under his buckskin shirt? Would Commander Neil Armstrong have worn a SlimT under his space suit when he took his first step on the lunar surface? Sure, they say that the Spandex-blend SlimT is not constricting, won’t raise body temperature and fits under all your regular clothing, but isn’t it cheating to forego diets, exercise and that yearly gym membership? I suppose you could just say that the twelve firming panels are a support for your back, or maybe a posture helper, but… well, I’m just sayin’.