Friday, December 30

What Are You Doing For New Year's Eve?

If you're Zooey Deschanel or Joseph Gordon-Levitt, it's something adorable. If you've seen 500 Days of Summer, you know this twosome has a fantastic chemistry. And they've put together a little song called "What Are You Doing For New Year's Eve?" which builds on that chemistry. Enjoy the duet below.

Thursday, December 29

Ranking the Pokemon: #118- Shellder

I don't know why Nintendo is obsessed with putting big, long tongues on its creatures, but whatever works, I guess. I'm a big fan of Shellder's evolved form, which we'll get to eventually. But for now, Shellder is a black hole with a tongue and eyes that happens to be encased in a shell. That means it has pretty good defense and...well, that's about it. I've mentioned before that there are a ton of crappy Water types out there. Shellder is a bit cooler than those other crappy ones, and I think it and Cloyster are the only Gen. I Pokes that learn the move Clamp. Again, it's a unique move that isn't very good, but uniqueness gets a little bit of a bonus, even if the move is an annoying one to go against.

Grade: C-

Monday, December 26

12 Days of Karaoke 2011- Day 12

Maroon 5 - Moves Like Jagger (feat. Christina Aguilera)

Well friends, we've sadly reached the end of another year of counting down top karaoke songs for you to perform. Wayyyy back at the beginning of this bad boy, I said ideally the countdown would be of songs from 2011. But since the year was filled with karaoke duds like "Someone Like You" and  "Grenade", there just simply weren't enough enjoyable songs to create a 2011-exclusive list. Actually, I guess there were, but with songs like "Party Rock Anthem" getting over played to the max, I don't want to hear that at karaoke, since I can just turn on one of like 11 radio stations and hear it.

This next song gets overplayed a lot, too, but it's at least catchier and pays homage to a legend. It's good for duets, too, since Christina Aguilera has a part in it. It's by no means easy to sing, but since it's a good danceable number, people will be too busy trying to imitate the Rolling Stones frontman to notice.

Sunday, December 25

NBA Bobbleheads - Happy Together

As any fan of A Hot Cup knows, we LOVE the NBA's bobblehead commercials. And with the NBA's season tipping off today (and my Bulls starting off 1-0 thanks to Derrick Rose and company's late game heroics), the bobbleheads have returned. This time, there's no on-court action, but this may be the best of the bunch. Several NBA players, with quite the hilarious facial expressions, are in like a 20-person jazz band, playing to the Turtles' "So Happy Together." And goodness, does it make me happy. Welcome back, NBA, and Merry Christmas to all.

12 Days of Karaoke 2011- Day 11

No Doubt - Just a Girl

Once again, we have another song from the 90s making this list. This song TEARS IT UP every time I play it as the "in between" music when I'm hosting karaoke. People just get excited as fock hearing the phaser/wah wah/whatever effect that opening guitar riff has. When girls sing it people freak out and start skanking (that ska dance, you know what I'm talking about), and when dudes sing it, there's some confusion at first, but then enjoyment. It's got "whoas" to belt out, and that solo, at least for me, is just super bouncy and fun. Kind of like the whole song. Definitely a winner.


Yes, friends, the NBA is back. With a Christmas Day tipoff, TNT unveiled a promo that's pretty amazing. The tagline appears to be "NBA Forever," and to demonstrate that point, the spot shows several interactions between current greats and retired legends. Now you can see Pistol Pete Maravich hanging out with Steve Nash, Kobe and Magic together during the starting lineup announcements, and Michael Jordan giving some dap to Derrick Rose with a fist bump, set to an acoustic, somber melody--"Live Forever" by Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors. And the whole thing is beautiful. Check out the spot below.

Saturday, December 24

12 Days of Karaoke 2011- Day 10

Lit - My Own Worst Enemy

You may notice that a recurring theme of this year's list is that a lot of these songs are from the 90s. That's not necessarily an accident--maybe it's because it's the decade I grew up in, but I notice that songs from 1990-1999 seem to get the biggest reaction when they first start up. Then it's up to the performer to keep that energy going, but if you can start a game up 10-0, you do it. The same principle applies here. This song in particular is a fan of old and young alike, from the simple but easily distinguishable opening guitar riff, to the "ahh oooooohs" toward the end of the song, there's plenty to enjoy. It also gets brownie points for me by being the only song I've successfully played on any Rock Band iteration with the guitar behind my head for the duration of the song. And that's pretty cool.

Jerome Simpson Gets a Perfect 10

Cincinnati Bengals receiver Jerome Simpson took a pass from QB Andy Dalton in today's game against the Arizona Cardinals. It was a pass much like any other--a short drag route over the middle of the field. But it was what Simpson did after the catch that is truly impressive. He leaped over an Arizona defender, and by leaped, I mean flipped. A complete flip. And then he landed ON HIS FEET, and threw up his arms as if he was dismounting off the parallel bars. Amazing. Check it out below.

Friday, December 23

12 Days of Karaoke 2011- Day 9

Sam Cooke - Wonderful World

Sam Cooke unfortunately died way too early, at the tender age of 33, but luckily for us, he provided the world with a number of catchy songs. The best of the bunch, though, was "Wonderful World." The odds of hearing this song and not smiling and/or singing along hovers right around zero percent. Go ahead--listen to the video below and try not to enjoy it. And since that's not humanly possible, the crowd will love it, too.

Thursday, December 22

12 Days of Karaoke 2011- Day 8

Rick Springfield - Jessie's Girl

I don't know what it is about this song, but when that opening guitar riff comes in (palm muting FTW!), people just start going crazy. It's probably because it's super catchy, and most people can relate to wanting to be with one of their friend's significant others at some point or another. And if one of the Penny Arcade guys says it's the greatest song ever, well, who am I to disagree? Particularly when I don't like being manslaughtered. I think this was also on Hot Tub Time Machine, as well as featured in other movies, so it gets bonus points for being popular but not overplayed. That's a fine line to cross.

I personally like it because of the music video. I know karaoke rarely has the video going on at the same time, but if your spot of choice does, you're in luck. Springfield's propensity for staring at the camera and unwillingness to blink make for a creepy, yet fantastic music video, complete with 80s clothing. Enjoy.

Meme-Themed Proposal(eme)

While A Hot Cup doesn't usually partake in Internet memes (although there are some notable exceptions), this fellow Tim warms the hearts of us all with his meme-themed proposal to his girlfriend Audrey. Fortunately for us, Tim had his buddies document the whole thing, as he turned over multiple placards with random memes on them to eventually propose. I'm glad the Yao Ming face made it in there, and the kid on the "she said yes" card is fantastic. I'd want a picture of that in my room as a motivational poster. I think an underrated part is that you can also see Tim came prepared with a "she said no" card, as well. Way to plan ahead, son. Definitely a good story around the holiday season, and we wish the best for both of them.

Thanks to Gizmodo for initially bringing this to our attention.

Meme Proposal | Tim * Audrey from Crazy Monkey Studio on Vimeo.

Wednesday, December 21

12 Days of Karaoke 2011- Day 7

Harvey Danger - Flagpole Sitta

Fun fact about this song: It was apparently featured in trailers for Scooby Doo 2, but didn't appear on the soundtrack. Another fun fact: People absolutely love it. I don't know if it's the "whoas" in the chorus, the fairly easy-to-follow words (which are pretty clever for a song that made it to the radio), or that it's just so 90s that people get excited when they hear it, but this song has something in it for everyone. And everyone appreciates that, and will certainly get geeked when you try to perform it.

Tuesday, December 20

Ranking the Pokemon: #119- Ekans

Ekans probably shouldn't be this high up on the list, for a number of reasons. For starters: It's a toy of Team Rocket's, which is the enemy in the R/B/Y series of games. Granted, that "enemy" is full of incompetence, but still, Ekans is technically a "bad guy" Pokemon. Second: He was only available in the Red version of the game. I generally don't like the exclusive Pokemon. You shouldn't have to buy both versions just to get all 151 (I know, I know, you can trade, too), especially since most of the version exclusives are awful. Third: You may not have realized this, but Ekans is a snake. Snakes are kinda creepy. We don't like creepy things. Fourth: You also may not have realized this, but Ekans is "snake" backwards. Well, I guess it's "snakE," but either way, it's a fairly lazy naming job. I guess it's better than Seel or Krabby, but I still don't approve.

Really the only thing Ekans has going for it is that, since in the Blue version you can't catch it, you only see it as an enemy, and almost exclusively with Team Rocket Grunts. And since the grunts tend to be in heavily populated areas, you have to fight a lot of them at once. But since Poison is generally easy to kill (especially since you should always carry a Psychic with you), that means Ekans are easy to kill. And when you really don't want to have to backtrack all the way to a Pokemon Center to heal up, an easy kill is always welcome.

Grade: D+

12 Days of Karaoke 2011- Day 6

Katy Perry - Hot 'n' Cold

Look, whether you like Katy Perry or not, you can't deny that she has had FIVE #1 songs from the same album (Teenage Dream), tying only Michael Jackson's Bad with that feat. And with "The One That Got Away"  climbing up the charts, she may very likely set a record. I must admit I do like some of her songs, and she's actually sort of funny (see her "Last Friday Night" video for proof of that). While songs like "California Gurls" and "Teenage Dream" might be more popular (and are actually from the album that has five #1 hits), not every karaoke place has them, AND I personally don't enjoy the songs where Perry is just screaming in the chorus--"YOU! MAKE! ME! Feel like I'm living a TEE! NAGE! DREAM!," etc.

"Hot 'n' Cold" solves both of those problems by offering sweet-sounding verses with a fun chorus, and the beat is danceable enough for people to enjoy. A good time is had by all when you pop this on, and as I said earlier, you can actually do it at most places, since it's pretty common as far as Katy Perry karaoke selections go.

Shaq's Parking Spot

As the NBA season draws near, the promos for TNT have begun rolling out. And they are fantastic. Shaquille O'Neal is joining the studio team, and as Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley find out, he's bringing some big things with him.

Monday, December 19

12 Days of Karaoke 2011- Day 5

Outkast - Roses

Call. Response. Repeat. People love "Sweet Caroline," so they love saying that name. And it gets plenty of mention in this song, with plenty of opportunities for the audience to yell back at ya. The rap part is really fun, too, and if you're really lucky, you'll get the "crazy bitch" part at the end to sing along with. If not, you can just say it. Women also seem to love this song for whatever reason, so if you're a guy trying to score through song, this may be your best choice.

Google "Let It Snow"

Goodness, I love Google's Easter Eggs.

Sunday, December 18

12 Days of Karaoke 2011- Day 4

Tiffany - I Think We're Alone Now

Nods back to the 80s are always welcome at karaoke, and this is no exception. From the simple bass line to the grooving synthesizer throughout the song, Tiffany provides for some good moments to act out what you're singing ("running just as fast as we can/holding onto one another's hand," etc.), and can allow for some solid interaction with the crowd. Alternative choices to this version include the Tommy James and the Shondells original, or the Weird Al parody, "I Think I'm a Clone Now." All will work.

NBA, Welcome Back

After a five-month lockout that made people all over the world renounce the NBA and vow to never watch a game again (yeah, right), we are now one week away from tipping off the abbreviated 2011-2012 season. And Kia has made a promo for its five game grandstand on opening day, made of images from last year. Pretty cool to check out and should get you geeked up for the season.

Saturday, December 17

12 Days of Karaoke 2011- Day 3

Metro Station - Shake It

If there is one thing I know about women, it's that if an opportunity to dance presents itself, they will jump on it. And this song clearly tells you what to do in the chorus. You shake it. And since Metro Station is one of those hipster-ish bands, you can dance like a tool and get away with it. Very easy to sing along with, as well, which, as you should know by now, is a big plus for karaoke songs. Plus the resulting chaos of guys trying to dance with said girls--when clearly they just want to stand in a circle around their shoes and pocketbooks and dance--is quite amusing for the singer and non-participants to watch.

Friday, December 16

Old Spice Holiday Cheer

The folks over at Old Spice have done it again. International heartthrob Isaiah Mustafa is back, with a series of messages targeted at different groups of people. And while they're all worth checking out, this one, addressed to every woman on the planet, is the best. And don't worry, ladies--Mustafa has saved a special gift just for you.

12 Days of Karaoke 2011- Day 2

Lupe Fiasco- The Show Goes On

I heard this song roughly a year ago, and to be honest at first listen I just thought it was okay. I'm a huge Lupe Fiasco fan, but this seemed sort of formulaic and didn't have as many of the clever lines that peppered the songs on his first two studio releases. But my goodness, is it catchy. And that's why it makes a great karaoke song. People are continuously amazed when I perform this, but really the rap is not that hard. Lupe has plenty of songs where he's spittin' rapid fire; this is not one of them. And since everyone and their mother heard Modest Mouse's "Float On," which this song heavily samples, they can at least sing along for the chorus. Coupled with a positive message and a fun counting section to start the second verse, and you've got yourself a winner.

Note: My buddy Chris suggested I go to a karaoke spot every night and do each of these songs. While that's not going to happen, I was able to do this song last night, so here's a performance below, in case you wanted to call shenanigans on my ability.

Thursday, December 15

12 Days of Karaoke 2011- Day 1

Recurrent readers of A Hot Cup may remember a gimmick I did last year, entitled the "12 Days of Karaoke." As a karaoke fiend (and sometimes host), I cringe when people choose "Don't Stop Believin'," "Bohemian Rhapsody" or "Total Eclipse of the Heart." There are soooo many better songs out there to pick, and as a Christmas special, I'll give ya one each day. The original plan was to do 12 songs that came out in 2011, but to be honest I don't think there are that many good songs from this year that you COULD do at karaoke, so we may have to stretch the timeframe a bit.

And that stretching will actually start right now.

Cee-Lo Green: F*** You

Whether you know it as its vulgar title or the more tame "Forget You," this song tore up the radio waves as soon as it came out last summer, and has continued to be an earworm ever since. Yes, it's overplayed, but you legitimately cannot help tapping your toes and nodding your head to it. Seriously. Try to listen to this song without smiling or singing along. You literally cannot do it. It's even better by the fact it's so expletive-filled for a song that sounds so cheery. And whilst crooning it at karaoke, there are TONS of good singalong parts, from the "ooh ooh OOOHs" to "Whyyyyy?" during the bridge. Plus the music video is fantastic as well. A great way to start off our list.

If someone tries to sing the Glee version, though, you have every right to boo and mock them. Santa can't punish you for that.

Wednesday, December 14

No Exaggeration: This is the Greatest Catch Ever

Here at A Hot Cup we love fantastic football catches. As an aspiring NFL wide receiver, it's easy to appreciate when something beautiful happens. And that something happened over the weekend in a game between Montana State and Sam Houston State during the "Final Four" of the FCS playoffs. Never mind that the Bearkats won 49-13, it was the Bobcats' Elvis Akpla (great name, by the way) that made, seriously, the best catch I've ever seen. That's not even hyperbole. Yes, there have obviously been better catches if you consider context of when the catch occurred in the game, but as far as quarterback throwing and receiver catching, this is insane. Akpla catches the ball behind the defender's back, holds it with one hand against his helmet, appears to break his arm as he's still holding it (he didn't; I'm just amazed an arm can bend like his did and not break) and somehow doesn't let it hit the ground. Simply. Amazing. Please watch the video below, even if you're not a football fan--you'll be glad you did.

Tuesday, December 13

Ranking the Pokemon: #120- Pikachu

Ahh, yes. We've finally come to the one Pokemon virtually anyone can name. No, folks--just because Pikachu is the most popular Pokemon ever and has been the face of the franchise (hell, you even start out with one that follows you around in the Yellow version), it is not the best Pokemon. It actually loses a lot of points for annoyance, despite the fact it's fairly formidable in battle. When Pokemon Stadium came out it was even able to overcome its one super weakness--Ground types, since you could obtain a Surfing Pikachu.

But still, Pikachu was ALL OVER the place, from Pop Tart boxes to having its own voice recognition game for the Nintendo 64 (which I can say wasn't very good, despite not having played it). And its oversaturation on the market drops it down several spots. It's also just very annoying, with its cries of "Pikaaaaa!" Unless it's when you demolish it with a baseball bat on Super Smash Bros., then the cries are not so bad. As a battler, though, Pikachu is quick enough and learns a few useful moves (i.e. Thunder Wave and Thunderbolt, which are really the only two good Electric attacks)...toss in Surf and something like Light Screen or Double Team, and we have ourselves the first Pokemon with a grade higher than a C-. It's not much higher, but hey, baby steps.

Grade: C

Previously: #121- Krabby

S*** Girls Say

In an effort to bring in more female readers, we'll post "Shit Girls Say," episode 1, which was uploaded by a YouTube user of the same name. I don't really find any of this particularly funny (although it does ring true), but since girls seem to love Gilmore Girls and this reminds me of an abbreviated and less annoying version of that, it'll work.

Awesome Noire

YouTuber egoraptor, otherwise known as Arin Hanson, has done this world a great service with his "Awesome" series. Essentially, these are just animated versions of popular shows/games, with extreme voice acting and super cartoonish drawings. Very well done, and I'm sure more than one will be featured on here, but for now, enjoy a little "Awesome Noire," based off the video game LA Noire. And while it's NSFW, you'll still LOL.

Thursday, December 8

Philadelphia 76ers...What Are You Doing???

Take a look at these drawings. Or as Simon would say, "drawerings." These are the possible options for the new Philadelphia 76ers mascot. On the left we have Ben Franklin, the middle is B. Franklin Dogg, and on the right is Phil E. Moose. The Sixers have provided bios for all three, so let's get to it! Ben Franklin, you're up!

One of the most revered figures in American history, and a man who needs no introduction as an honorable representation of this city and nation, "Big Ben" Franklin will now come back to serve Philadelphia yet once again. An avid basketball fan, Big Ben was thrilled to be asked to join Philadelphia sports fans in cheering the 76ers on to greatness. As the Sixers new mascot, he will bring electricity to the Wells Fargo Center, and be a towering presence at Sixers games both figuratively and literally as he stands seven-feet tall. 

Well, that's pretty cool! Except...would this mascot be similar to what the Washington Nationals do with their presidents race? You know, oversized heads and all?  Or would it actually be like a 65-year old man that's athletic enough to jump off trampolines while still keeping his bifocals on? Either way, this is my vote for the new mascot. But, of course, my favorite usually doesn't make it, so let's check out the other competitors, continuing with B. Franklin Dogg.

The All-American pet, B. Franklin Dogg is a loyal Philadelphia resident who can be seen in artist drawings from the day nestled under the table beside Ben Franklin as he deliberated on the founding of the nation. In the revolutionary fervor of the times, B. Franklin Dogg proudly wore patriotic colonial garb to show his spirit. Over the years, B. Franklin Dogg was occasionally seen playing with a basketball around the historic landmarks of Philadelphia, before finally making his way down Broad St. to the Wells Fargo Center.

That's my dog, dawg! Any time a pooch can hoop it just reminds me of Air Bud, and this is no exception. But the thing that bothers me is the "nestled under the table beside Ben Franklin" part. Many basketball games are at night, so Ben Franklin will come home after a busy day of kite flying, and where the heck is his dog? He's entertaining a three-quarters full stadium as the Sixers struggle to beat a mediocre Utah Jazz team on a cold January evening. Not very loyal at all!

And finally, we have Phil E. Moose, by far the most bizarre of the three choices:

One of the most regal animals to roam the wild, Phil E. Moose certainly fits that bill, standing tall as he represents the Sixers (he stands over seven-feet tall in fact, with the antlers). In his youth, Phil E. Moose would often be seen dunking a basketball with ease, aided by his great height. Throughout his high school, collegiate and professional games, Phil E. Moose was a scoring star, and was excited to learn he had been "traded" to the 76ers in order to entertain fans during games at the Wells Fargo Center.

I think this is supposed to be a nod to Wilt Chamberlain, who as far as I know was never nicknamed or referred to as a "moose." It's also kind of weird that Philthadelphia is going after a moose mascot, when the Milwaukee Bucks already have an antlered-animal, as well as the fact that moose aren't very commonplace in Philly. Oops. This is my least favorite of the three, right down to the lame name. It's like Doug A. Hole, but even worse.

I've been partial to the Sixers lately, so I kind of have a vested interest in this. Maybe it's because in both NBA 2K11 and 2K12 my My Player character has ended up there (PG Rodney Dawson in 2K11 and SF Charlie Galloway in 2K12). And ya gotta support the team you play for, right? With any luck, we'll have an old man dunking basketballs after jumping through a burning hoop very soon.

Tuesday, December 6

Ranking the Pokemon: #121- Krabby

Here's another case of a Pokemon that's so mundane I forgot completely about it. But Krabby will be high up on the list because crab legs as a meal are delicious, and it looks it has some succulent ones. It also kind of irritates me when the folks at Game Freak base Pokemon off of real things, without really mutating them at all. See my previous rant on Seel for more information on that.

In any case, Krabby is frustrating because it's a Water type, but only excels in Attack. That means it's about as effective dropping a Body Slam as it is in getting STAB and Surf-ing. I suppose it gets bonus points for being (along with Kingler, its evolution) the only Pokemon that can learn the move Crabhammer. But then you realize that all of these "unique" moves (e.g. Goldeen with Waterfall) are just, ahem, watered-down versions of better attacks. And Krabby's really just a watered-down version of some better Pokemon. Toss it in with some Fettucini Alfredo though, and you're good to go. 

Grade: D+

Touchback? More Like Touchdown!

Like many other kick returners, Wofford's kick Stepon Shelton fielded a kick on Saturday. But none of those other returners had the same issue that Shelton Had. To start the fourth quarter of Saturday's game against Northern Iowa, Shelton caught the kick about three yards deep in the endzone, walked over to the official, and dropped the ball behind him. He then appears to get angry as a Panther defender runs into him. Except that defender is one of many alert players on Northern Iowa, as ultimately it's the Panthers' Phil Wright who gets the gift touchdown. You see, Shelton forgot to take a knee before he dropped the ball, so rather than a touchback, it's a fumble. The Panthers went up 28-14 after the score, and ultimately won the game 28-21. Soooo if that kickoff return blunder didn't happen, the Terriers possibly could have been victorious. Even more disheartening is that this was an FCS playoff game (a second round one, in fact), so Wofford will go home with the bitter taste of defeat, in large part thanks to a mental error by Shelton.

On a side note, why can the FCS get it right with a playoff system, but the BCS continues to exist?

Monday, December 5

Triumph the Insult Comic Dog Occupies Wall Street

Roughly a month ago, Team Coco sent out Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog to the Occupy Wall Street protests. And it was quite hilarious. I'm not usually a fan of Triumph's, but this is really funny stuff. The "Piano Parallelogram" is my favorite part. Well done, Conan and co.

Friday, December 2

More Drive-Thru Antics

A while back, we posted about some fun at the drive-thru, with floating dollar bills and whatnot. Well, there are more shenanigans, this time courtesy of YouTubers Rhett and Link. They perform a folk song at a  Taco Bell with quite a laundry list of food, and the man working the drive-thru totally owns them by getting their order almost entirely right. Yes, I'm aware this video is nearly three years old now, but I'm also aware that fun stuff like this never happens at any drive-thru I've been to, so we might as well enjoy it, right? Right.

Thursday, December 1

Brian Williams is a Boss

Of all the nightly news anchors, I've always enjoyed Brian Williams on NBC the most. He's trustworthy, has a good voice, and seems like the kind of guy you could go out and crack a beer with. He's always had a sort of wry sense of humor that doesn't always show up since he's usually reporting on depressing topics, but earlier this week he had a chance to shine. The NBC studios had a fire alarm test, and they conveniently decided to run it about a minute into the NBC nightly broadcast. And Williams showed why he's the best, with a fantastic response while maintaining his composure. Well done.

Wednesday, November 30

Ranking the Pokemon: #122- Rhyhorn

Rhyhorn is kind of frustrating. On the one hand, it's pretty badass--it's got outrageous Attack and Defense and can learn a ton of cool moves like Earthquake, Rock Slide and Horn Drill (I don't care if it only works 30% of the time. Any move that can kill an opponent in one hit, no questions asked is cool). It also looks all steel-like and spiny, despite the fact the Steel type wasn't invented until the next generation of games. Then they created Aron and his evolutionary line, which was basically the same thing (see the bottom two rows of this chart for proof).

On the other hand, Rhyhorn's types are Ground/Rock (not to be confused with Rock/Ground, which is what Geodude and every other dual Rock/Ground type is), it's slow as hell, and its Special is terrible. Those are three awful traits to have, and here's why: In R/B/Y (and still pretty much to this day), like 98.6% of teams had a Water type, and EVERY one of those are faster than Rhyhorn. Most are faster than Rhydon, too, but we'll bash the higher evolution when we get to it. Since those Water types are faster, they attack first. Strike one for Rhyhorn. Since the Water types will most likely attack with a water move, that's strike two for Rhyhorn, since water is a Special attack. And the biggest one (strike three, called looking on the outside corner) is that since Rhyhorn is both Ground AND Rock, any Water attack (or Grass or Ice, for that matter) does FOUR times the damage it would normally do, AND if the attack is the same type it gets STAB (Same Type Attack Bonus), so it will ultimately deal SIX times the amount of damage a normal attack would.

In case all that capitalization threw you off, allow me to summarize with a handy equation:

Rhyhorn + Water = Fainted Rhyhorn

Even an attack like Bubble can kill it. Embarrassing.

Grade: D+

Monday, November 28

Possibly the Best Catch of the Year

Let's be honest--the Marshall Thundering Herd are not having a fantastic season. But thanks to this amazing catch by Aaron Dobson, they are eligible for a bowl game at 6-6. Marshall beat ECU 34-27 over the weekend to gain bowl eligibility, and since this insane one-handed grab was worth six points (plus the ensuing PAT), one could argue that it won the game. Or you could just watch and gasp in amazement at just how difficult of a catch this is. Bonus points to Hobson for shoving the ref out of the way after he scores and not getting penalized.

Monday, November 21

Lee Corso Drops an F-Bomb On Live Television

Sometimes the title of a video can speak for itself. But let's have a little commentary for tradition's sake.

On Saturday, the ESPN Gameday crew visited Houston, to give the then No.11 Cougars a rare opportunity to shine on national television. This is a good thing, because the Cougars are really entertaining to watch. They were taking on the SMU Mustangs in a game Houston would eventually win 37-7. Pre-game, Corso, along with fellow Gamedayers Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit, were joined by track and field legend Carl Lewis. Corso pretended he was going to pick SMU, then made an offhanded comment about how he was, in fact, NOT going to pick the Mustangs, tossed the megaphone away and donned a Cougars mascot head instead. And the reaction is amazing. Fowler doubles over onto the desk, Lewis chuckles knowingly, and Herbstreit makes the biggest "Oh geez, we're gonna be in troubleeeeee" face I've ever seen. Like I said, amazing.

Of course, people will get up in arms about Corso's faux-pas--he did offer an apology later on during the day in which he said the language would never happen again. But there's a lot worse that's on TV weekly, even if the f-bomb is the king of swears, so hopefully there's not TOO much backlash. Check out the insanity below.

Seducing Women Through Chess

We're STILL waiting on a new Lonely Island song (arrival date right now appears to be on the 7th of Never), but Saturday Night Live is still presenting weekly digital shorts. This one might be the best of the season so far, but with not a whole lot of competition, that's not saying a lot. Andy Samberg and most of the women of the cast join forces to show how chess and, later, some other activities can possibly impress women. Chaos ensues.

Friday, November 18

Ranking the Pokemon: #123- Nidoran♂

You may be wondering why I didn't just combine the two of these Niddies, and if that's the case, you clearly don't know me very well...that's right, gotta up that view count. Click away!

Anyway, Nidoran♂ gets the slight nod over his female counterpart for a couple of reasons. First, he has a horn on his head, which means when he does "Horn Attack" (which both versions learn), it should do more damage. I don't think it actually does, but Pokemon was never a game based on logic. Plus horns always remind me of unicorns, and unicorns are awesome. His ears, meanwhile, are ENORMOUS. The hearing must be off the charts. I don't believe "Sound" or "Hear" plan to be Pokemon moves any time soon, but if they are...well, look out.

Grade: C-

Previously: #124- Nidoran♀

Ranking the Pokemon: #124- Nidoran♀

Nidoran♀ (that's the female edition) is another Pokemon you can catch early in the game, if you go to the left at Viridian City rather than the more direct straight ahead path. You can also catch the male version, but he's slightly better, at least initially, so we'll only do some girl gossip here.

Nidoran♀isn't awful, and when fully evolved, Nidoqueen can learn some nice moves and do solid damage with 'em, but as a little unevolved cub(ette?), she's only okay, and it's mostly because most unevolved Pokes are terrible. Fun fact: I'm sure I'll touch on when I post about the male version, but this chain of evolutions were actually well ahead of their time. Starting with Gold and Silver, most Pokemon have genders and could be bred, but in the R/B/Y days, it was androgynous or bust. The Niddies didn't like that, though, so they decided to sex it up before it was the trendy thing to do. And for that, we can only commend them, because without their bravery, we'd never have the ability to, say, get Psybeam onto a Psyduck.

Grade: C-

Previously: #125- Spearow

Thursday, November 17

The Siri Argument

Siri is allegedly revolutionizing the way iPhones work, although I've still yet to actually see one in action. The concept seems super cool, though, in that you can use the digital program to be your eyes, ears, and should the need arise, any other part of your body. Cool. As College Humor points out, it would also be quite useful for arguments. I appreciate Siri's attempts to not get involved, but sometimes unwilling participants get dragged in. At least it's hilarious.

Wednesday, November 16

Rebecca Black- Person of Interest

Look, any fan of A Hot Cup knows we have a rather interesting obsession with Rebecca Black. She's 14, and thanks to some wealthy parents, made a song that polarized the internet, which I still believe holds the record for most dislikes on a single video in one week. Since then, she's recorded a follow up single, appeared in a Katy Perry music video, and, between all that, has still found time to keep up with her studies. Oh, and she's also recorded ANOTHER song that was just released. This one's called "Person of Interest," and is really only notable for being partially recorded at the Santa Monica Pier, which is just a short ways away from where A Hot Cup resides. Now we can say we've made an 100-point basket on the same arcade game (which is actually one of the lower scores on said game) Rebecca Black's love interest sinks in this video.

Also, to (roughly) quote one of the top comments, which makes a fantastic reference to the song that started this whole roller coaster ride: "The best part about riding go karts is it removes the need to have to choose which seat to take."

Happy Birthday, Big Sis

A Hot Cup of Joey would like to wish a very happy birthday to his sister--here's to many more years of delicious pumpkin treats!

Full-Court Fun

Stanford's Gabriel Harris was a bit confused as to why his team was losing to Colorado State at home last night. Down five going into halftime, Harris wanted to trim the lead a bit, so he effortlessly tossed up a 70-footer right before the buzzer. And I do mean effortlessly. Sorry for the poor quality, but the Bay Area doesn't get as much pub as the rest of the country, so we only get a dude pointing a camera at his TV. Oh well.

Monday, November 14

Fantastic College Football Plays

Over the weekend there were some big changes in the world of college football, with Oregon upsetting then-unbeaten Stanford 53-30, and Boise State once again being done in by a botched simple field goal, dashing any hopes of a shot at the BCS championship game. But the best two plays came from the Arkansas-Tennessee game. Arkansas is quietly rising back up the charts and at this rate is looking pretty good for a spot in a BCS bowl game. Check out these two fantastic plays below, the first being an amazing acrobatic catch from Jarius Wright, and the second an incredible punt return from Joe Adams. A Hot Cup still prefers Devin Hester's returns, but either way, it's beautiful.

Wednesday, November 9

Ranking the Pokemon: #125- Spearow

Ahh, Speary. I don't think this winged critter is any better than Pidgey as far as battling goes, but for whatever reason I always liked him better. I think maybe because spears are cooler than pidges. Also, pidges aren't actually legitimate things, so they have that going against them. It also appears that Spearow's beak is a bit sharper, and he's already got Peck when you begin, while Pidgey just has the neutral Gust. Come to think of it, the only Flying move Pidgey actually learns is Wing Attack (Mirror Move doesn't count), which was super weak back then, and probably still is now. So that's why Pidgey is lower.

Why is Spearow higher? Well, I kind of just answered that, but there are two words to further it: Drill Peck. Probably the best Flying move during this generation, it does solid damage and is accurate. And with the Same Type Attack Bonus (aka STAB to you diehards out there), it gets an extra boost whenever Spearow uses it. It's still super weak Defense-wise, but it can at least get a good hit or two in before it gets knocked out.

Grade: C-

Monday, November 7

Rage Quitting Gone Wrong

Anyone who's ever played video games has at one point or another come across a level, area, or even just a task that was darn near impossible to complete successfully. Personally, if I couldn't complete said impossible event, I would stop playing pretty early on, before the frustration mounted too high, and try again later.

But in this case, Michael from RoosterTeeth takes on an impossibly hard game called "I Wanna Be The Guy." This game seems frustrating enough on its own, but playing it with a computer keyboard seems, well, infuriating. Michael's efforts to become the guy don't quite work out as well as he'd hope, and the rising anger he experiences is quite amazing. I probably don't need to tell you this is NSFW, but I will, for liability purposes, or something like that.

Thursday, November 3

Ranking the Pokemon: #126- Clefairy

I know I've mentioned this before, but Normal types tend to not be very good. If I was making a hierarchy of types, Normal would probably be like 13th, ahead of Poison and Bug but behind everyone else. Perhaps one day I'll make that full hierarchy, possibly in pie chart form. Mmm, pie.

Anyway, Clefairy is just another of the many Normal types out there. In fact, its one of many PINK normal types out there. And outside of Chansey, none of those pinkies are really worth using. I do like the theory that the shadow of Clefable (Clefairy's evolved form) is actually the Ghost-type Gengar, but that's Clefable, not Clefairy. The more evolved form will gain a couple spots on this list simply because of that little tidbit, even if it's just farcical. As it stands, though, Clefairy is another one of those hard-to-find-but-not-really-worth-it Pokes that seem to frequent the first generation of games. Comparable to Jigglypuff, but with a bit lower HP and a bit higher Special, Clefairy can at least learn some useful moves; that's why it's higher than the Puff Factory. And Clefairy will one day turn into a pretty solid battling machine (as Clefable), but for now, it's wallowing in mediocrity.

Grade: C- (our first C grade!)

Previously: #127- Mr. Mime

Google "Do a Barrel Roll"

There's really nothing else to say. Outside of that I still love that you can use "Google" as a verb. But basically if you want a fun little treat, type "do a barrel roll" into Google and then hit enter. A delightful nod to Star Fox 64, one of my favorite games of all-time. Bam.

If you're incredibly lazy, you can just click here for the effect. It apparently also works if you type "Z or R twice" into Google as well, which is how you can accomplish said barrel roll in the game.

Monday, October 31

More Halloween Costume Ideas

In case you're still concerned about having a costume for Halloween, or if you just want to laugh a little bit, check out this video that aired last week from The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. The Angry Birds feature (particularly the "hint" of what Adam is supposed to be) is particularly hilarious.

Sunday, October 30

Adam Sandler's Cheap Halloween Costumes

If I wasn't out celebrating our favorite October holiday over the weekend, I probably should have put up ideas for Halloween costumes. But since I didn't, and the actual holiday is tomorrow night, check out Adam Sandler's ideas on an episode of Saturday Night Live if you're still stumped on something to wear when you're out trick-or-treating.

Little Walk-On = Big Heart

Jayson Carter just joined the Rice Owls as a walk-on last week. Sure, plenty of athletes join their respective teams without receiving scholarships. But I don't believe any of them (at least football-wise) have been 4'9" and 135 pounds. But that's exactly what Carter is. As a running back and safety at Kipp High, Carter routinely went up against guys much bigger than he was, but still excelled, posting 1,233 yards and 18 touchdowns on offense and 92 tackles, three sacks and a pick on D.

Carter estimates that if you could measure heart, he'd be 6'9", and Rice coach David Bailiff said he'll try to get him on the field in some way this year. He'd better hurry, since Rice just got demolished by a score of 73-34 in an historical game last week against Houston.

Thursday, October 27

Ranking the Pokemon: #127- Mr. Mime

Any fan of the original RBY games knows that Psychic was far and away the best type of the game. Only weak to Bug (and nearly every Bug-type was also Poison, which Psychic absolutely destroyed) and solid against virtually everything else, every solid team in those days had a Psychic-type on it. Teams that didn't mind using overpowered, oftentimes banned critters used Mew or Mewtwo; those who wanted a good leadoff used Alakazam (and, if you want to split hairs, Starmie, who's part Psychic), and those who wanted some Defense and HP on their Pokemon went with Hypno. But no one really used Mr. Mime. I guess nowadays he has a quality Special Defense rating, but guess what? In Red, Blue and Yellow, Special Attack and Special Defense was just known as Special, and Mr. Mime's wasn't special enough to supplant any of those aforementioned Pokemon.

But let's look beyond his battling ability...Mr. Mime is the closest thing to a clown in the game, and clowns are scary. His Psychic type is the sole reason he's not about 15 spots lower. As an added bonus, he's also useful around this time of year, too. Kudos to my buddy Roqstar for suggesting a Halloween costume that would certainly terrify anyone.

Grade: D+

Previously: #128- Jigglypuff

Tebowing = The New Planking

Tim Tebow got his first start of the year last week and led a nice little comeback win against the worst team in the NFL, the Miami Dolphins. Part of his celebration includes dropping to a knee and praying, with a hand up against his face.

Not surprisingly, the idiots of the internet have taken this to new heights, starting a new trend known as Tebowing. Similar to planking and owling, crazy folks do the Tebow pose in the middle of otherwise normal settings. I guess this is slightly less dangerous than planking, but it's still just as stupid. The little kid doing it in that link is pretty adorable, though.

Wednesday, October 26

There's a Dog on the Field!

Some folks might argue that soccer is not the most entertaining sport out there. I'm inclined to agree, mainly because I like scoring in my sports. Granted, this Colombian match between Santa Fe and Botafogo was already at 4-0, which is like 192-178 in basketball terms, so perhaps this most amusing distraction could have been saved for a zero-zero draw.

In any case, this canine, who was allegedly in the stadium as a bomb-sniffer, jumped onto the field and managed to avoid being caught for about five minutes. His shifty, evasive moves are quite entertaining to watch, and he might be a good injury replacement for a number of NFL teams needing a running back. The announcers absolutely love it as well.

Tuesday, October 25

Blink 182- Online Songs Kinetic Typography

A Hot Cup is all about promoting and sharing something awesome, regardless of how old it is. This YouTube video, from user caracter2, is a really cool typography effort using After Effects. It's over three years old, and the tune, "Online Songs" by Blink-182, is eight years old, but that doesn't stop it from being very impressive. Plus the song is only 2:25; compared to the last video up here, that's a downright steal!

The Lonely Island Q&A

A few months back, the fellas from The Lonely Island visited the YouTube headquarters to field some questions from YouTube fans. It was supposedly an "ask us anything" type of deal, although nothing gets too incredibly raunchy. It's also nearly 43 minutes long, which I didn't know was possible on YouTube, so I guess we're all learning something today. YouTube's comedy editor (also didn't know YT had a comedy editor) Mark Day moderates. Love his accent. Check out the full nearly hour of Q&A below.

Sunday, October 23

Michigan State's Hail Mary

Michigan State has made a name for itself with crazy last-second plays. Most sports nuts remember last year when they ran a fake field goal against Notre Dame for a wild OT win, and coach Mark Dantonio recovered from a minor heart attack just hours after the finish of that one. This ending against #4 Wisconsin isn't doing the ol' blood pumper any favors, but man oh man was it a fantastic part of an incredible weekend of college football that's sure to shake up the BCS landscape. It's reminiscent of the NFL's Jaguars making a last-second heave ho with their "big, strong-armed QB" (clearly not the case now with Blaine Gabbert behind center), but due to the actual implications of the Wisconsin/MSU game, I'd argue this is even better.

Saturday, October 22

Hulu Plus Coming to Nintendo Systems as Nintendo 3DS Preps for 3D Video Recording

Fresh off of knocking 80 bucks off the price of the Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo has announced that Hulu Plus is coming to the handheld, as well as the Wii. Nintendo is also announcing new features being added to the Nintendo 3DS system, including the ability to record 3D videos (which also means stop-motion potential!), new musical artists coming to Nintendo Video and a new animated 3D video from DreamWorks. As the picture above seems to suggest, I'm guessing it's a Shrek-themed version of Michael Jackson's "Thriller."

There are also four games coming to the 3DS, the official press release has descriptions on them which can be seen below. The last one seems like it could be fun (and who doesn't love armadillos?), but the others probably aren't worth their pricetag.
  • Freakyforms™: Your Creations, Alive! lets players create creatures and bring them to life. This game is all about creation, customization and exploration. Available in November for $6.99.
  • Developed with 3D game play in mind, Pushmo™ asks players to solve more than 250 puzzles by pulling and pushing blocks. Players can also create their own custom puzzles. Launches in December.
  • Swapnote™ gives Nintendo 3DS owners the chance to send 3D messages to their friends via the SpotPass™ and StreetPass features. Users can hand-write messages in 3D and also include picture and sound. Available for free download in December.
  • Dillon’s Rolling Western™ is a 3D tower defense game that blends action and strategy. It features an armadillo who defends an Old West town rendered in 3D by literally rolling over his enemies. Launches in Q1 2012.

The 3DS was pretty harshly criticized for a lack of quality games and supporting accessories when it launched, but this is a step in the right direction. Since I love stop-motion, I'm really interested to see how the ability to record in 3D can be utilized. Good job, Nintendo.

Thursday, October 20

Ranking the Pokemon: #128- Jigglypuff

As we near the top 6/7 of this list, Jigglypuff will get a nod, taking us back to the mediocrity of Normal types. Actually, now that I think about it, outside of Snorlax and maybe Slaking/Vigoroth, I don't think there's any Normal-type in ANY generation that I would ever want to use in a competitive setting. Doesn't bode well for some of Jiggly's other brethen, does it?

No, it does not. Because Normal types are neutral against virtually everyone, they're good Pokemon to have around when you're traveling through Kanto (I think that's what this first region was called). They do a fair amount of damage to most types, but they never do a great amount of damage to anyone, barely do any to Rock, and can't even touch Ghosts. Also, the Fighting type, which, while not a necessity for any team but still often appears on one (and by that I mean Machamp is on a lot of teams) absolutely destroys any Normal type. Except maybe Chansey, but more on that later.

In any case, Jigglypuff is probably only even this high up because I like its song of "Jig-GLE-puff" on Super Smash Bros. (N64 version). I also like clubbing it with a baseball bat; and no, that's not cruel, for two reasons. First, it's fictional, and second, we're not entirely sure what Jigglypuff is, but an animal it ain't. In-game--the Red, Blue and Yellow games--this puff is average to below average in everything, but has a decent amount of HP, which just makes it a little more-time consuming to take out. Movewise it's got a lot of annoying things too, like Sing, Minimize, and Doubleslap, which, despite doing minimal damage, is quite annoying because it'll hit you 2-5 turns (still not sure why it isn't always twice since it's called DOUBLEslap), and those animations can take a long time. Just like I took a long time to write about how lame Jigglypuff is. Whoops.

Grade: D+

Previously: #129- Seel

Wednesday, October 19

Dude, This is, Like, Perfect!

Big shout out to my boy D-Dust for pointing this out, but anytime you can combine two of the greatest things on earth (in this case, basketball and ultimate frisbee), the end result is going to be pretty fantastic. YouTube users Brodie and Dude Perfect do a trick shot competition game of H-O-R-S-E (except we only really see the makes) and it is beautiful. Look, A Hot Cup is good at basketball and pretty good at frisbee (more so chasing down rogue discs and making splendid catches), and this is mad impressive. Check it out below.

Rajon Rondo Throws Alley-Oops

I guess we're glad the NBA players are still finding ways to keep themselves busy while the season slowly erodes and we're left with only college hoops and NBA 2K12 to get our hardwood action. The State Farm Big Blue All-Star Tour allowed a few NBA players, such as Rajon Rondo and Kenneth Faried (who I think can really be a useful role player in the league and will ultimately end up being a steal of this pathetic draft we had a couple months ago), to practice their alley-oops. In this case, it may be against a local high school team, but hey, it's still kinda cool.

Monday, October 17

Blink-182: Neighborhoods Album Review

It's no secret that Blink-182 disappeared from the public eye soon after the release of their 2003 self-titled album. That disc saw the trio starting to drift into the more somber, anthemic music, with, for better or worse, more instruments outside of a guitar, bass and percussion, and more than just four or five power chords per song. After the '03 hiatus, guitarist Tom DeLonge formed Angels & Airwaves, an extension of 2002's Box Car Racer side project, which came out around the start of the tension between Blink's members members. Meanwhile, bassist Mark Hoppus and insanely talented drummer Travis Barker hopped on over to form +44, and released a CD in late 2006. While there were some additional side projects, those were the two biggies. And I'm mentioning them here because after a 2008 plane crash involving Barker, the members of Blink reunited in early 2009, and finally, after what's seemed like a lot longer than the 31 months from reunion announcement to actual album, the group released Neighborhoods on September 27. And the album certainly borrows heavily from the trio's side projects, which isn't always a bad thing, but sometimes it definitely is. In any case, let's take a track-by-track look at the group's sixth studio album. Be warned, though, there is virtually no humor on this record, so don't go in expecting Enema of the State part two. [Note: This review includes the four tracks from the Deluxe Edition album, because hey, more is better, right?]

Ghost on the Dance Floor: The biggest complaint I have of this album is that Tom sounds way too much like his Angels & Airwaves self on this CD. This song does as good a job as any at emphasizing that--just take a listen to this, then listen to "All the Small Things" (and enjoy the hilarious video), and the difference is incredibly noticeable, and not in a good way. That being said, this is still a pretty good song which DeLonge has said is about sharing a song with a deceased loved one, and makes for a fine opener. 4/5

Natives: This one makes a strong case for best song on the album. A Hot Cup always enjoys when Tom and Mark both handle vocals on a track, and they do so well on this one. From the intro--highly reminiscent of old-school Blink (particularly the song "M&M's") to the reference to Jekyll and Hyde to Travis's insane drumming, "Natives" is extremely catchy. 5/5

Up All Night: This is the lead single of the album, and again, it's a strong showing with Mark and Tom trading off vocals. The main riff definitely sounds like it would be right at home on Box Car Racer's album, and while I didn't particularly enjoy it at first, it does grow on you. Maybe not the best choice for a lead single, but at least the next one is starting to get some airplay, too. 4.5/5

After Midnight: If any song is going to be a mega-hit from this album, it's "After Midnight." It's simple, straightforward and even a little sweet with its lyrics, and also has probably the catchiest chorus on the album. This was one of four tracks the band wrote during a last-minute session before the album was released, and while some of those other tracks aren't quite as powerful, this end result--which also happens to be Barker's favorite track--is fantastic. 5/5

Snake Charmer: This is another part of that writing session, but this one makes less of a lasting impression. It's allegedly about the Book of Genesis, specifically the story of Adam and Eve, but the end of the song's odd transition to the next track doesn't really serve a purpose, and after the strength of the first four tracks, this one's a bit of a dud. 3.5/5

Heart's All Gone Interlude: Just like "Down" on the '03 album had its own interlude (though that one came after the song it was named for, whereas this one comes before), "Heart's All Gone" gets the breakdown treatment. The end result is about the same as it was in 2003--a funky keyboard-heavy track that doesn't add anything to the album. 1.5/5

Heart's All Gone: Fortunately, though, the CD gets back on track after the two-minute interlude with the throwback "Heart's All Gone." Hoppus has described this at a show as "a new song that sounds like an old song." He's absolutely right--I thought we were back in the 90s with Dude Ranch when I heard this one. And that is certainly not a bad thing. Barker's drumming is top-notch here once again. 5/5

Wishing Well: A cute little number with cool imagery in the chorus (and "da-da-das" too), "Wishing Well" might be one of the more simple songs on the album, but that's a compliment. Probably the best song only featuring Tom. 4.5/5

Kaleidoscope: This is where some of the lyrics start to sound a bit forced, as if Blink is trying to be too clever. "Stop banging away on my kaleidoscope/stop draining the color out of my scene...Stop blocking the driveway with your car/put the butterfly in the bill jar." Not entirely sure what that means (if anything at all), but it's alright as far as a toe-tapper goes. 4/5

This is Home: There's not a ton to say about this song; the lyrics are decent but the rhythm is pretty forgettable. Nothing great, but not the worst on the album. 4/5

MH 4.18.2011: DeLonge said this title reminds him of a virus, but unfortunately it's not the most infectious thing on the album. It's not a bad ditty, but again, the lyrics fall flat, specifically the line "Stop hiding in the shadow of a helicopter." As a current resident of Southern California, I can safely say helicopters covering the area in darkness is not a common occurrence, so I'm not sure what this line is supposed to imply. 4/5

Love is Dangerous: This one's another chance for DeLonge to show off his "arena rock" chops. Again, it's not bad, but it doesn't hold a candle to the early dominance this album showed. But when you compare it to the next track, it's one of the best things ever. 4/5

Fighting the Gravity: Ugh. This is just awful. It sounds almost like another interlude, except it goes on for nearly four minutes. Just a lot of noises and random sounds while Hoppus repeats "This makes no sense" ad nauseum. It makes no sense as to why this was included on the record, even if it was only the deluxe edition. I understand Blink wanted to take some risks with this album, but this was the wrong way to do it. 1/5

Even If She Falls: After the travesty that is "Fighting the Gravity," really anything else would be a good follow-up. Fortunately for the album closer, "Even If She Falls" is does a good job of closing things out. It's not a great closing track in the sense that it brings the album together, closes on an epic note, etc., but it's a catchy number and reminds us that Blink can still make good music, even if it doesn't involve farts, wieners, and poop. 4/5

Overall, waiting eight years for an album is tough, especially when the creators of that album were pioneers in the punk/pop-punk scene in the late 90s and early 00s. But that Blink is mostly dead and gone, and a more mature, anthemic sound dominates this record. If you're a fan of the side projects I talked about before, this album will absolutely please you, but there are very few moments on this CD that make you want to get up and start rocking out like some of their earlier stuff did. My best recommendation is to skip the deluxe version and pick up "MH 4.18.2011" separately if possible, because the other three are "Snake Charmer," "Heart's All Gone Interlude" and "Fighting the Gravity," which are arguably the three worst songs on the entire album. But the first four songs especially (with "Heart's All Gone" added in as well) show that Blink is far from incapable of making good, solid music that's enjoyable to listen to. They may never dominate the industry again, but they can certainly survive.

Overall Score: 4/5

Drake Does Some Interviews with Andy Samberg

While A Hot Cup is still extremely displeased that we have not yet seen a Lonely Island video after four episodes of Saturday Night Live, if the digital shorts continue to be as funny as this most recent one (which hasn't always been the case), we can forgive TLI for their lack of urgency in churning a new music video out. This latest short features Drake, as he's interviewed in a variety of ways by Andy Samberg. Drake hasn't really had to act since his stint on Degrassi, but it's nice to see he's still playing along, and does so pretty well. Check out all the interviews below.

Wednesday, October 12

Ranking the Pokemon: #129- Seel

Wow, it's been awhile since I've done one of these. Hopefully we can churn out a bunch...the goal is still to get to #1 before a full year since I've started happens. We'll get 'er done!

In any case, Seel is this low because of lack of creativity. Look, I love seals and sea lions. I've swam with them, taken pictures next to them, and watching the sea lions at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco is one of the most entertaining things I've ever done. But Seel suffers because, well, for starters, it's not very good as a battler, and it looks incredibly dumb. Seals and sea lions are not the brightest animals, but they're far more competent than Seel, who might not be able to avoid a slap even if you told it you were going to slap it in the face in the next two seconds. I also really dislike when Game Freak uses a normal word and just misspells it. It's fine when they combine two words, like Pony and bonita to get Ponyta, but when they're just like, "Hell, we're already making a real animal and calling it a Pokemon, let's give it a name and switch a letter so people are none the wiser." Well, we are the wiser, Game Freak. We are most definitely the wiser.

Grade: D+

Previously: #130- Poliwag

Samuel L. Jackson on Twitter?

Ya damn right he is! After a painstaking two-plus years having a Twitter account but not posting a single tweet, Samuel L. Jackson decided that here, on Jimmy Fallon, he would join the Twittersphere. He set a goal of a million followers--can you help him make it there? He's already jumped from zero to nearly 100,000 in less than 24 hours. Not too shabby. Check out the tweet here, and watch the video to see him in action as he sends it out to the world.

Monday, October 10

Another New Era Commercial

Apologies for the lateness in getting this up (as well as posting thing in general), but hey, it's kind of difficult when you're in the middle of a move. In any case, this commercial first aired near the end of the season, and it's very likely it's the last we'll see of John Krasinski and Alec Baldwin this year, since the Red Sox collapsed and the Yankees are now out of the playoffs (all central teams left babyyyyy!). But hey, good rivalries always last into the off-season. So let's enjoy 'em watching what was realistically probably Orioles/Red Sox and Rays/Yankees. Simultaneously.

Wednesday, October 5

RIP, Steve Jobs

Apple announced today that Steve Jobs has died at the age of 56 from pancreatic cancer. A huge blow to the technology world, as Jobs created some of the most innovative hardware and software out there as the CEO of Apple. A Hot Cup was a fairly loyal PC user, but after picking up a MacBook Pro two years ago (which is currently being used to type this post) and several years of iPod ownership, there is an appreciation for what Apple has brought to the table. Though Jobs will no longer get to see the creations that will undoubtedly still be churned from the company he brought to international prominence, the company in his good hands with Tim Cook, and Apple should still be a force for a long time.

As a nod to how far Apple has come, here's one of the first viral videos I can remember seeing, in which Hunter Cressel (or Cressall, both spellings have popped up) compares one of the original Macintosh computers to a PC. It's from at least last decade, and I believe even earlier than that (think mid-90s). And it's hilarious.

RIP, Steve, your creativity and innovation will be missed, but your legacy will carry on.

Thursday, September 29

Heat Big Three To Host NBA Exhibition Game in Miami

Well fans, it's happened. A Hot Cup of Joey was recently published on, and will continue submitting work for the site. Of course, we'll still update on here, but relevant/current sports-related topics will most likely go on Stack first. Check out the first article below, and thanks for the support!

Heat Big Three To Host NBA Exhibition Game in Miami

Tuesday, September 27

How Athletics and Pokemon Are Not That Far Apart

Any fan of A Hot Cup knows we love the Pokemon games. Sure, there are plenty of duds that have come out with the Pokemon moniker on it (e.g. Hey You, Pikachu!, Pokemon Rumble), but as far as the actual RPGs go, they're great. And even better, athletes can use them as a training device, since Pokemon and athletics share several characteristics.

Practice, Practice, Practice
Any sport, regardless of what it is, requires practice. Sure, you may be naturally good with a basketball, but to really excel, you'll need to put in a lot of effort, whether it's shooting hoops at the gym, dribbling around snowmen during the winter months, or passing off a wall when you can't find anyone to pass back. Similarly, in the world of Pokémon, no trainer is going to waltz up to the Elite 4 and win. Building a solid team takes time and practice, and that practice comes in the form of battling and leveling-up.

Supplement the Workout
Of course, making it to the elite level isn't just a matter of doing time in the gym, whether in sports or Pokemon. Athletes have a few different methods of supplementing, whether it's protein shakes or powders, nutritional tablets, or something as simple as carb-loading. Pokemon and athletics aren't far apart--say you want your Charmander to get some more Attack power; you feed it some Protein. Or perhaps your Golduck is a little low on HP; just toss it some HP Up vitamins and you'll see its strength go up. The right balance of training and supplementing creates a solid physical specimen.

Tests Before Glory
Never will an athlete be crowned champion by winning their first match or game. Yes, the goal is the Super Bowl, NBA Finals, World Series, Stanley Cup, World Cup, the U.S. Open, Masters...whatever the peak accomplishment of your sport may be. But you don't just snap your fingers and appear there. Tests occur along the way. Last year's Packers are a great example. With a multitude of injuries, including season-ending ones to their starting running back and tight end, the Pack could have, well, packed it in and waited until next season. Instead, they used an unbelievable season from QB Aaron Rodgers to propel themselves into a wildcard spot. Once in the playoffs, Green Bay defeated the NFC's 1, 2 and 3 seeds before dismantling the Pittsburgh Steelers to hoist the Lombardi Trophy. And once again, Pokemon and athletics intersect. Before ultimately beating the last champion, the trainer must go through many battles, but specifically he or she must conquer the region's eight gyms, defeating the leader and their cronies in each. Only then will they get a crack at the grand prize: the title of Pokemon League Champion.

With video games moving more and more into realistic settings, the ways athletes can use them to train will continue to improve. For now, though, Pikachu and pals offer a solid blueprint of what it takes to become an elite athlete.

Ranking the Pokemon: #130- Poliwag

Looking at Poliwag, one would think it would learn Hypnosis, since its stomach looks like any hypnosis device ever. And you'd be right. But that's about all Poliwag has going for it, and Hypnosis ain't even that great since it's not 100% accurate. The tadpole does eventually evolve into some stronger things, but until then, it's got about as much bite as its mouth is big, which is not very. I'm sure there was a more graceful way to put that sentence, but I'm talking about a tadpole, so there isn't much grace to begin with. Sorry, Waggy

Grade: D

Previously: #131- Lickitung

Stinkabod Dream

Goodness, I wish I could explain the reasoning for this song being stuck in my head, but I can't. And since I actually uploaded this video, I'll just copy and paste the explanation here.

Way back in the mid 90s, graphic artist Rodney Greenblat (he worked on PaRappa the Rapper, if that's any help) made a game called Dazzleloids. It was ridiculous and featured four "heroes" (the Dazzleloids) as they went through numerous adventures to try and stop the Mediogre (the "villain") from doing various things, such as boring the entire neighborhood to death. It's one of those quirky games that got overlooked, but I always had a blast playing it.

Anyways, each character had both a "good" and "bad" dream. This is Stinkabod's good one. I think. I mean it's pretty awesome, so I assume it's the good one, but who knows? Either way, enjoy!

Also, I own no rights to this video, it's all a creation of Mr. Rodney Greenblat. I just think it's hilarious, so I'm sharing it with the world.

Finally, I apologize for the random seizure-inducing moments (i.e. the screen flashes) throughout the video. I have no idea why it uploaded like that.

Thursday, September 22

Ranking the Pokemon: #131- Lickitung

I'm going to be honest, the only reason Lickitung is this high up is because I completely forgot about it. Also that picture makes me laugh. But Lickitung is slow, dumb and has a long tongue, and those are really its only specialties. If I want a slow, dumb Pokemon, I'll pick up a Slowbro because it can at least use Psychic or Thunder Wave or Surf or SOMETHING that's not completely terrible. Here are some fun facts about Lickitung (other than its inability to be useful in battle--thanks, Bulbapedia!): It's original name was Tonguetyd (yes, spelled that way), and despite having an obviously long tongue that licks everything in sight, it didn't even know the move Lick until the second generation of games. Way to drop the ball on that one, Game Freak. And then Lickitung would probably lick the ball because it thinks it's a Jawbreaker. Sigh...

Grade: F

Tuesday, September 20

The Lonely Island at the Emmys

Any fan of A Hot Cup knows The Lonely Island is a big hit over here. While the lyrics are often sophomoric and juvenile, they make many folks laugh, and the songs themselves are catchy to boot. Too bad live (especially in medley form) they're just not as good. Check out their performances from the Emmys below, with a ton of random guest stars in addition to Michael Bolton and Akon (who sounds AWFUL). Enjoy?

Jon Lajoie Doesn't Give a Chainsaw

Canadian comedian Jon Lajoie has never been one to mince words. Especially F-bombs, he'll drop them like they were, I don't know, Pogs or something like that. That hasn't changed in his latest video, entitled "F**k Everything." But the hilarity is still there--this rivals his "Everyday Normal Guy" videos in terms of the funny. Well done, good sir. Well done.

Monday, September 19

Ranking the Pokemon: #132- Magnemite

I really wanted to put Pikachu here, because he's arguably the most annoying Pokemon in any game, although Emolga makes a strong case for it with its obsessive use of Double Team. But since we're only focused on the RBY series, screw Emolga. Not literally, because it's a rodent and probably has rabies. But you know what I mean.

Anyways, back to the list. Magnemite, not Pikachu, wins the award for "worst Electric Pokemon" because in the first generation of games Magnemite is solely an Electric-type. In later games, it also becomes a dual Steel-type, which gives it some absurdly high defenses. But since we're doing this list as if it's only 151 Pokemon and there were only three RPGs to have existed (really just one, but we're counting Red, Blue and Yellow as all different games), Magnemite is pretty useless. It learns Sonicboom, which automatically does 20 damage to any Pokemon, so he's useful if you transfer it over to Pokemon Stadium and use him in that one cup where it's only un-evolved Pokes (like some of the suckers on this list already, e.g. Caterpie and Tentacool).

Wow, we're getting off track again. Magnemite also loses coolness points because its evolved form is just three of them put together. Diglett will suffer from this later, too, but for now it's Magny's turn. It's slow, when Electrics normally pride themselves on speed, and it has Thunder Wave, which is fantastic when it's on your team, but just annoying when it's not. And since you probably won't be battling with Magnemite too often, you guessed it--it's annoying.

Grade: D+

Previously: #133- Oddish