Wednesday, February 29

RIP, Davy Jones

It was reported that Davy Jones died this morning from a massive heart attack at the age of 66. Best known as the lead frontman of The Monkees, Jones and his bandmates had hits like "I'm a Believer" and "Last Train to Clarksville," touching the hearts of bubble gum pop fans everywhere.

Although before I really knew The Monkees, I knew The Brady Bunch Movie. And Davy Jones makes an appearance in it, as Marcia Brady is the president of his fan club. The clip below also proves that Davy Jones is, in fact, metal.


British Humour Livens Up NBA 2K12

Man, I got the spelling right and everything! Anyway, kudos to my buddy Yam for bringing this to my attention--British netball commentator Anthony Richardson gives us a "play-by-play" of sorts of a simulated version of this year's All-Star game, courtesy of NBA 2K12. It's pretty amazing, and at least four times as funny because of his British accent. 

I also like the description on the video itself: "Will NBA 2k12 predict the outcome correctly? No, it won't. It's already happened and it got it wrong." So I guess that's a spoiler of who wins this simulated game. Oops.



Monday, February 27

Let's Make Some College Bball Predictions

If you've even sniffed this blog, you know March Madness is my favorite time of year. And with the Big South conference tournament starting tonight, here are my predictions for all of the conference tourney winners. While most of the big conference teams should still get in, for the small schools, it's win or go home. So they better win!

You'll recall I did this last year, with limited success. Only 10 out of 32. So there's really nowhere to go but up. My comments are in parentheses. Let's do it!

America East- Vermont (currently tied for second, but they're the most experienced team here)
ACC- UNC (As much as I'd like to say my alma mater Miami will take it...let's be real here. The only team standing in UNC's way, as usual, is Duke).
Atlantic Sun- Belmont (There hasn't been any drama in the A-Sun for awhile. Belmont continues to roll).
Atlantic Ten- Temple (This bad boy is usually Xavier or Temple, and...well...one of these teams showed up to play this year. Look for the Owls to get 'er done. Potential dark horse in St. Joseph's.)
Big East- Marquette (This one is usually a sleeper team making a run, a la UConn last year. Syracuse is far and away the best team in this league, but they tend to screw up when they're a top seed, and Marquette's not a bad second).
Big Sky- Weber St. (The Wildcats are 14-1 in league play, which ties them with Montana. Not coincidentally--or maybe it is, I don't know--they play each other Tuesday to close out the regular season. The Wildcats already won at home, and while I think Montana will win the rematch, I'll still go with Weber St. to win the tournament).
Big South- UNC-Asheville (This tourney is starting tonight, but seeing as how none of the contenders are playing yet, I don't think I'm cheating with this pick. Make it back-to-back conference championships for the Bulldogs).
Big 10- Michigan St. (Could this be the year we see Northwestern make the NCAA tournament for the first time ever? I'd love it, as long as Miami also makes it. But the Wildcats have no shot to win the conference tournament. That's going to either the Spartans or the Buckeyes, and I think Sparty is just a bit better).
Big 12- Kansas (They're better than Mizzou, and Baylor is fading. Simple).
Big West- Long Beach St. (The 49ers haven't lost in conference, and have some good out of conference wins, too. They'll be a tough out in the NCAAs).
Colonial- Drexel (I picked Hofstra last year and they failed me. This year they're 3-15 in conference, so I don't have any false hope with them. The Dragons have super-slim at-large hopes, so they better take care of business in the tournament. But watch out for a ridiculously hot VCU team, surging at just the right time. Hmm...seems familiar...).
Conference USA- Southern Miss (If I keep picking them, it'll come true eventually, right?)
Horizon League- Valparaiso (I wouldn't be entirely shocked to see Butler grab our collective hearts again, but...I think this time they'll fall a bit short).
Ivy League- Harvard (Don't look now, but the once-ranked Crimson are tied in the loss column with Penn. If the two meet in a playoff, Harvard will be tested. But I think they'll pull it off).
MAAC- Manhattan (I literally have no rational reason why the top-seeded Iona Gaels won't take care of business, but hey, March is all about upsets!).
MAC- Akron (A mediocre Zips team shocked the conference last year. This time they're the favorites, and they'll take care of business again).
MEAC- Norfolk St. (Savannah State, who not too long ago lost every game they played during the season, is tops in this league, but look for the #2-seed Spartans to sneak the auto-bid).
Missouri Valley- Wichita St. (The Shockers look reeeeeaallllyyyy good. If they're a 5-seed I can definitely see them knocking off the #1 in their region).
Mountain West- New Mexico (The Lobos are tied with UNLV and San Diego State atop the Mountain West. Might as well go with the one that's not ranked, right?)
Northeast- Long Island (The Blackbirds looked good last year in a very entertaining 2-15 matchup against UNC. Expect more of the same this year).
Ohio Valley- Murray St. (The Racers already slipped up once in conference--don't look for it to happen again. Like Long Island, Long Beach State and Wichita State, they're going to make life very difficult in the NCAAs).
Pac-12- California (This league is absolute garbage. They really only deserve one bid, but they'll probably snatch two or three. Cal--and MAYBE Washington are the only two with an at-large shot, so hopefully one of them wins the tourney). 
Patriot League- American (I'd love to pick Army to end their draught of not making the tourney ever, but it ain't gonna happen. I do know Navy, who has yet to win a Patriot League game, will not win the tournament. Might as well be patriotic, though, and go with the third-seeded Eagles.
SEC- Kentucky (Their only reasonable competition is Vanderbilt or Florida, and both of those teams have looked suspect, at best. The one thing that could do the Wildcats in is that sometimes their players look bored, like "This is TOO easy.")
Southern- Charleston (Dark horse alert! Davidson is by far the favorites, and Wofford has experience on its side, but Charleston has won some big games over the past couple years, so why not a few more?)
Southland- Texas Arlington (They haven't lost a game yet in conference play. No reason to start now).
SWAC- Mississippi Valley State (Ditto as far as losing in conference goes. Pat Forde just wrote a solid article on the Delta Devils coach, Sean Woods, otherwise known as the guy who hit the shot before Christian Laettner hit his game-winner in the 1992 tournament).
Summit- Oral Roberts (One loss in league play. If ORU wins their tournament, some #2 or #3, or possibly #4 seed is going to go into conniptions in the first round playing against the Golden Eagles).
Sun Belt- Middle Tennessee State (The Blue Raiders made headlines early this season by beating UCLA. By a lot. Then we learned UCLA isn't very good, so that accomplishment didn't seem as cool. But 25-5, and 14-2 in conference is nothing to sneeze at. Plus the rest of the Sun Belt is like UCLA--nothing too special).
West Coast- Loyola Marymount (The smart money is on St. Mary's or Gonzaga. The outside shot money is on BYU. The stupid money is on the Lions. I guess I'm stupid. At least I'm not taking 0-16 Santa Clara).
WAC- Nevada (The only other team to even threaten will be New Mexico State, and I don't see that happening. Look for the Wolfpack to make the field for the first time since the Nick Fazekas days).

As always, we'll hold ourselves accountable for these picks come tourney time. Let's do it!

NBA Dunk Contest Highlights

And by highlights, we mean the seven minutes or so of actual success. Of course, this year's contest was stupidly judged by the fans, who texted in the winner. But, on a positive note, Iman Shumpert pulled out of the contest due to injury, which meant we didn't have to deal with the Linsanity that would have surely come when Jeremy Lin made a pass on one of the mandated "teammate-assisted dunks." Fortunately, we were spared that, and instead, Utah's Jeremy Evans made the cut, and probably made one of the Top 10 dunks in Dunk Contest history. Here's a breakdown of each player's best dunk, which conveniently enough all happened in a row, starting with eventual champion Evans' double ball slam at 3:04 in the below video.

Jeremy Evans Double Ball Slam - As I alluded to before, this dunk is INSANE. Evans benefits from having super long orangutan-style arms, but this dunk is still very difficult. He catches TWO balls that are thrown from teammate Gordon Hayward AS he's JUMPING OVER Hayward, and puts both of them through the hoop successfully. Very impressive. This jam probably won him the tournament.

Paul George's Glow-in-the-Dunk - I wish I could say I came up with that term, but I think George did it himself. In any case, this is one of those "gimmick" dunks, but unlike most of the other ones, the slam itself was pretty impressive. Hearkening back to Vince Carter's 2000 windmill dunk, George turns the lights off so he can really shine. Or something like that.

Derrick Williams Side o' the Backboard - I've seen this dunk before in a dunk contest, and I know that because I've used it when playing H-O-R-S-E since. It's also been done much better by Andre Iguodala. But I like this one mainly because Ricky Rubio is smiling like a South Park character while he's throwing the alley-oop. And it's still a fairly impressive dunk, even if it's been done before.

Chase Budinger's Actually Blindfolded (?) Dunk - Remember Cedric Ceballos's dunk in the 1992 Dunk Contest? Where it was fairly obvious he could see through that blindfold? Well, Chase Budinger paid him a tribute 20 years later with this dunk. What you don't see in this highlight video is that Budinger actually did fail on his first attempt, which may have just been a cute way to say "Hey, I can't really see!" when he still could, but I'll believe that he actually did it blindly. So kudos to you, Mr. Budinger.

Of course, none of these dunks surpass possibly the greatest dunk ever.

NBA All-Star Game Highlights

Thanks, NBA, for creating a nice little video of the best of Sunday night's All-Star game. As predicted, defense was nowhere to be found, but that didn't stop the highlights from rolling in with regularity. I don't know if it was quite as entertaining as Kevin Hart's antics from a couple nights prior, but it was still pretty awesome. Check it out below.

Sunday, February 26

Another Celebrity Game Highlight

Oh yeah, I forgot this. Again, Kevin Hart was involved. Funny stuff.



Kevin Hart, Celebrity Game MVP

Lost in all the Oscars hubbabaloo was NBA All-Star weekend (and, to a much lesser extent, the Miami Hurricanes 78-62 win over Florida State. Go Canes!). And since I was super busy this weekend, I'm just now watching the festivities. First up is the NBA Celebrity Game, which really makes me want to be a celebrity so that I can teach some of these people how to play basketball. Even with former All-Stars on each team, it took the West four minutes to score at all, and turnovers and bricked shots abounded.

The two highlights both involved Kevin Hart--who I had heard of but wasn't really familiar with, because, despite my alarming knowledge of random pop culture things, there are just too many things to notice, so sometimes a gem like Hart will fall through the cracks. In any case, seeing Dwight Howard use him as an armrest was quite entertaining--Hart is 5'2", while Dwight is 7 feet. Reminds me of me using people shorter than five feet as armrests. Good times. The other happened at the end of the game, when Hart, who won the MVP trophy, got ejected. I don't know what's more embarrassing--getting ejected in a celebrity game, or the score when said ejection occurred. Honorable mention also goes to Paul Pierce saying there was "not a lot of talent out there" during a mid-game interview.



Friday, February 24

Ranking the Pokemon: #111- Eevee

Aww, young Eevee. Look how precious it is! Eevee's only this high on the list because it's one of the cooler Pokes out there. You only get one in the game, and then you can evolve it to one of three different options (I think there are like 14 different options now). In fact, thinking about it, unevolved Eevee might even be better than Flareon (the Fire-type option), but we'll give the more evolved one the benefit of the doubt.

Anyhoo, aside from being really cute, Eevee doesn't have a ton going for it. Since it's unevolved, its stats are all average to paltry, and as we've discussed, Normal types aren't really the greatest. I think Eevee can be classified as an annoyer, too, since it learns Double Team, which, especially when playing against the computer, makes the user nearly impossible to hit after one use. And most of the time, it's going to use it more than once. Ugh. But seeing as how this is one of the few Pokes I'd actually enjoy having as a pet, I'll let it slide. Barely.

Battling Grade: C-

Previously: #112- Meowth

Thursday, February 23

Kim Jong Un Memes

Most of the time, a meme will come along and it will be very stupid. This one falls in that category, but at least it's pretty funny. In the same vein of Kim Jong-Il looking at things, his son has become a popular sensation thanks to several pictures of him looking at things with kind of a hungry look on his face. Thus, "Kim Jong Un Wanting to Eat Things Meme" was born. Check out the results below, and thanks to SomePeopleHateMusic for posting this fantastic thing.




Wednesday, February 22

Xenoblade Chronicles Available on Nintendo Wii April 6

I got an email from Nintendo today with some nice non-news: that Xenoblade Chronicles, a game that up until recently had no plans to be localized for the North American market, is coming out April 6, and The Last Story, another game with no plans for said localization, will follow shortly. The whole email was pretty much a list of Nintendo releases coming out from now until then. None of it was too important, and the main reason I'm even writing about it is that I wanted to share this video below. 

A little back story: When there were no plans to release these games to North America, there was an uproar amongst fans of the games, since apparently these are like the greatest RPGs ever. While the group, codenamed Operation Rainfall, was pretty annoying, they were at least generally civil about their case. And they've been rewarded. But this guy was easily the highlight of the whole thing, with one of the silkiest voices ever. Taken a listen.

Tuesday, February 21

Seriously Stupid Scouting Report: Chicago Bulls

This blog is as good a place as any for a little self-promotion. A couple nights ago, my roommate Jason and I were watching a Bulls game, and making little comments about various players' strengths and weaknesses. It got to the point where we had done it for over half the team, so we figured, why not fill it out and get 'em all done. The result is the below video. This one I like because it was super easy to make. Those are fun.

Oh, and don't forget to check out a previous self-indulging video here.

Monday, February 20

Ranking the Pokemon: #112- Meowth


Little Meowth is probably one of the better known Pokes, just because it's pretty much the main "villain" Pokemon. As Team Rocket's #1 mascot, Meowth occasionally shows signs of adorableness, but otherwise, it's still technically a bad guy. And for that, it's not going to get a stamp of approval from me.

That being said, Meowth is still okay. I'm sure it's not nearly as stupid as its owners, it's pretty fast (especially when it evolves into Persian), and can learn a nice variety of moves, which is the main reason it's not a bad battler, especially if you're for some reason limiting yourself to unevolved Pokes. One of those moves is Pay Day, which is unique to this evolutionary line. Sadly, though, Pay Day does not give you a candy bar or even that much Pokecash--it's a weak attack that'll net you an extra 50-100 Pokebucks per fight, so...you can buy...half of a Poke Ball? I don't know, but the move is nothing too special, so don't use it!

Battling Grade: C

Previously: #113- Growlithe

Belated CD Review: New Found Glory - Radiosurgery


It should be noted that I'm a pretty big fan of New Found Glory. From the simple riffs to the catchy choruses, it's just a good band to bop your head to. Even with their brief foray into a little bit of a heavier sound with 2009's Not Without a Fight (which I think is their worst album), they've still maintained that signature whiny-vocal sound that catapulted them to the forefront of the pop-punk movement. And with 2011's Radiosurgery, they may have delivered their best effort yet. This one reminds me a lot of their self-titled album--just track after track of mid-paced to fast tunes that aren't too serious and are full of energy and crunching guitars. Let's go the song-by-song breakdown (featuring links to the singles/highlights of the album):

1) Radiosurgery - This might actually be the worst song on the album, so of course it's what they went with as the lead single. It's not that it's necessarily a bad song, it just doesn't have anything too memorable to it. It's definitely a good thing the rest of the album picks up after this. 3.5/5

2) Anthem for the Unwanted - Here we go, this is the NFG we know and love! Kickin' off with a steady drumbeat, it jumps right into the catchiness. This one gets bonus points for using the phrase "six feet under," which is currently my television obsession at the moment. Just a solid track all-around. 5/5

3) Drill It in my Brain - Ohhh baby. This is probably the best track on the album. The opening riff sounds a bit like "Motivation" by Sum 41, but oh man is that chorus much better. It's funny--this song also mentions the word "brain" in the chorus (the first being "Radiosurgery"), but the former kicks the latter's ass so badly, it's incredible. I guess that wasn't funny at all. Oh well. Listen to this song and try not to tap your toe or bob your head. it's impossible. 5/5

4) I'm Not the One - This little ditty is about a one night stand gone slightly awry, and features an old NFG standby, the "Let's go!" And go they do. Well done, lads, well done. This is also the first of a few tracks that features a voiceover from another medium--I'm not entirely sure what it's from, but it sounds like one of those instructional videos from the 50s, like it would be called "How to Date" or "Girls vs. Boys: A Study." 4.5/5

5) Ready, Aim, Fire! - Along with Radiosurgery, this is the weak link of the album, but again, it's still not too bad. The instrumentals are actually quite catchy and jump-around-worthy, but the chorus leaves a little something to be desired, so it gets the dreaded 3.5/5

6) Dumped - This one will definitely grow on you; those background "oohs" in the chorus/pre-chorus/whatever you want to call it are a perfect touch, and the backbone of the song (i.e. the bass and drumming) seems particularly on-point here. 5/5

7) Summer Fling, Don't Mean a Thing - While the nod to Grease's most annoying song is a little cheesy, this uptempo number is a very good summer song. It's the type of song you'd blare from your speakers while driving around during those dog days and months. Or, if you live in LA, all the time, since it's currently 78 degrees and sunny. Sorry, I had to do it. 4.5/5

8) Caught in the Act - Featuring Bethany Cosentino from Best Coast (although not for much of it), this might be the slowest song on the album, and it's still pretty moderately paced, which gives you an idea of the album's sound. Or maybe it doesn't. Anyway, this song, detailing a lil' boy/girl secret relationship, isn't anything too special, but Bethany's limited chance to show off her vocals don't go to waste. The end of the song bumps it up another half point. 4/5

9) Memories & Battle Scars - After the slowest song on the album, it only makes sense to have the fastest one. This one's certainly in contention for song of the album. Super catchy, super bouncy, and a really sweet/aggressive (depending on your point of view) chorus: "I wanna kiss you so tight that your lips bleed/and I want to hold you so hard that your ribs break." Definitely a fun song to jump around to. 5/5

10) Trainwreck - Great use of the train sound effect! Since I was slightly obsessed with trains as a kid, it's always a good nostalgia trip to hear a little train whistle. This is another one that grows on you. 4.5/5

11) Map of Your Body - I like this song, but I'm not sure if it really fits as a closer. This is something NFG had a problem with on the last disc, too, after clearly having "ending tracks" on all the other albums. And since "Radiosurgery" may be the worst song, it looks like NFG had trouble with their usually fire opening tracks, too. In any case, the "50s prom" breakdown in the middle is absolutely amazing. 4.5/5

While I didn't get the deluxe CD, thanks to YouTube, I can still listen to the tracks and give a review. So le'ggo!

12) Separate Beds - Another uptempo number, this certainly fits in with the theme of the album, but I don't think it's anything too special. Jordan also uses the phrases "drilled in my brain" again--c'mon, you can do better than that! 3.5/5

13) Over Again - It has "bonus track" written all over it, if that makes any sense at all, but it's a good fast-paced jam with a really simple chorus. I could see this one being a good mosher at shows if they ever play it live. 4/5

14) Sadness - This one tricks you--you think it's gonna be a slow number, but then it kicks into the fastest thing on the whole album. Fast palm muting is the norm on this bad boy, and while the chorus slows it down a bit, there's still an antsy feeling to the song, and it works well. 4/5

15) Blitzkrieg Bop - Yes, it's a cover of the Ramones' song. And it's a very solid cover. Nothing too special, and it honestly doesn't even sound like Jordan's voice, but since the original is so awesome, this one doesn't suffer too much. 4.5/5

I still don't know if this is the best NFG album, but it's certainly up there. A return to their roots is never a bad thing, and with an album jam-packed with simple songs that are catchy as all get-up, the quintent from Florida prove they're still at the top of the pop-punk scene, even after being around for about 15 years. Well done, boys, well done.

Overall Score: 4.5/5

Friday, February 17

Conan O'Brien Shows Some Other Jeremy Lin Ads That Didn't Make the Cut

In case you've missed the phenomenon that is Jeremy Lin (in which case, you're very lucky, because it's really all anyone can talk about), he's salvaged the Knicks season by helping them reel off seven straight wins--four against league bottom-feeders, but that never gets mentioned--and has taken the nation's hearts by storm. I like Lin and hope he does well, I just hate the whole circus around him.

But, fortunately, we have Conan O'Brien and company to help make things a little easier. In Wednesday night's win over the Kings, MSG Network showed a fan-made sign that depicted Lin's head in between a cracked fortune cookie with the phrase "The Knicks Good Fortune." Not surprisingly, this has been considered by many as a racist message, and MSG is taking heat for showing it. Conan brings this up on his show, but then goes over some of the other racist ads that aren't getting quite as much publicity. Check 'em out below.

Breaded Cats



Oh man, sometimes websites are just the stupidest things ever. This would be a great example of said stupid sites. It's called BreadedCats.com, and well, as the name implies, it's cats wearing bread around their heads. Apparently this has become so popular so quickly, they're actually building an app around it (or at least building apps for cats). Incredible. Here are some instructions on how to bread your own cats at home (straight from the site), as well as a couple pictures of the felines indulging in some om noms.

1) Take a piece of bread
2) Cut a hole approximately 1 inch larger than your cat's head. This trips some people up. Remember: the bread has to fit around not just the cat's head, but its ears, too.
3) Gently place the bread around your cat's head.
4) Take a picture & post it!




Thursday, February 16

Adorable British Girls + Red Carpet = Success

The Grammy Awards, in case you missed 'em, happened last Sunday. By all accounts (i.e. a couple of the people I asked), they were kind of long and kind of boring. But there was a highlight from the ceremonies--Sophia Grace and Rosie, two adorable eight-year-old cousins. These remind me of home videos my family made when we were young'ns, but they have access to celebrities, whereas I interviewed my parents and/or the occasional friend with a wig. Lucky girls. Check out the delightful results below.

Wednesday, February 15

Man Proposes to Girlfriend with Infographic

Thanks to Buzzfeed (via Mashable) for this...pretty friggin' adorable. And just in time for (the day after) Valentine's Day! Sorry for the picture spilling over into the side, but Blogger is very limiting in its picture posting abilities. It's still legible!



Tom Murphy = Weatherman Legend

My buddy from college, Tom Murphy, a.k.a. Murph, is doing big things as the news director at WBKB-TV in Alpena, MI. As the fill-in weatherman, Murph's random references to hip hop and sports culture are second to none. And while most of the people actually living in Alpena probably don't understand them, they've helped Murph become an internet sensation over the past few days, much like Jeremy Lin, except ESPN doesn't overdo it with Murph. Check out some of his finer points below. It was always a pleasure working with him, so glad to see he's still kickin' butt out in the suburbs.

Tuesday, February 14

Google Valentine's Day Doodle

Google is known for their fantastic doodles during holidays and other occasions, and this time they went above and beyond with a video highlighting the Day of Valentine. Very entertaining and adorbes, if nothing else. Check it out below.


SNL's Clint Eastwood Chrysler Ads

In case you weren't sure of it, the Super Bowl happened not too long ago. During the game, Chrysler ran an ad with Clint Eastwood (one of the best of a paltry bunch), where he was talking about halftime in America. And since most of Saturday Night Live nowadays is doing parodies of actual things, here are three hilarious parodies of that commercial. The last one is my personal favorite, but they all make me laugh, and Bill Hader's impersonation of Clint Eastwood (even down to the scowl) is spot on.





Thanks to Lexus, Sports Illustrated Is Getting Even Hotter

Lexus, which is the official automotive partner of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit property (not a bad thing to partner with), is creating an official campaign that's actually pretty cool--designing an actual racetrack in the shape of SI model Tori Praver's body.

No word yet on whether Tori Praver comes with the track.
Here are the elements of the campaign--of course by having a Droid phone I'm screwed out of the first one, but it still seems pretty cool. The Beauties & Beats music festival sounds like something I'd enjoy too, assuming those beats were HOT. See what I did there?
  • iOS app—Available at Lexus.com/tori500 and iTunes, SUPERMODELED is a camera app allowing people to place the swimsuit model into their own photos with the click of a button.
  • Behind-The-Scenes Video—Two of the world’s best professional drivers, race car driver Scott Pruett and stunt driver Greg Tracy, compete on the TORI 500 track (to see who wins a victory lap with Tori in the passenger seat, visit: Lexus.com/tori500 or youtube.com/lexus).
  • Print and Online Components—Executions include a four-page spread in the Feb. 14 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue and custom tablet integrations featured on iPad, Samsung Galaxy, Xoom and Nook.
  • Launch Week Events—Lexus will participate in the marquee New York launch event and SI’s two Las Vegas events, SI Swimsuit On Location and Club SI Swimsuit. Additionally, the automaker is the exclusive presenting sponsor of the first-ever, two-day Beauties & Beats Music Festival, happening at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Feb. 15 -16.

Monday, February 13

Rhythm Heaven Fever Launching Today

Since the good folks at Nintendo, Giant Robot and iam8bit were kind enough to host a free party Friday night, the least I can do is write about the reason for the party--Rhythm Heaven Fever, which comes out today on the Nintendo Wii.

I got there late, so no lines for me!
The game goes for $29.99, and to be honest, that might even be a little much. I only got to try out a couple of the 50+ minigames, and I'm sure part of the problem was that you need to be able to hear the music of the game, and since this was a party of sorts, there was plenty of background music and noise. And I was a little surprised that you really don't even utilize the Wii's capabilities--the only "movement" is pushing the A or B button, and I suppose any auxiliary movement your head and/or feet make.

Photo booth-esque shenanigans with some chums.
But, the kiddies should eat this one up, since it's full of ridiculous cartoons, from talking monkeys to...well, larger talking monkeys, and pigs, stars, whales, and many other things I can't even classify. I also definitely enjoyed the event, with free food, dranks, and entertainment, and of course, the opportunity to play the game at like 20 different areas. Beautiful.  

Attendees were able to embarrass themselves with a six-second
dance video that can be viewed on the Internets for all to see.

Sh*ts People Say

Sometimes a little self-promotion doesn't hurt--JayKay Creations, of which A Hot Cup is a part, released its first video today, capitalizing on the already faddish "Shit People Say" videos. This time, it's not a group of people we're going after, but rather the word itself. In what cases would you drop an s-bomb? We highlight some of the finest. Thanks to K-squared for helping brainstorm ideas (as well as making an appearance), and of course Kayla, who makes up the Kay of JayKay, for being short. Check out the recently launched YouTube page and Twitter feeds, respectively, and thanks for watching!

Friday, February 10

Jeremy Lin Madness

Jeremy Lin, the first American NBA player of Taiwanese descent, has been all the rage this weak. Going from the bench to averaging more than 25 points and 8 assists per game this past week, Lin has certainly deserved the praise. Of course, due to his deep Christian beliefs, there is a strong guaranteed possibility that this will turn into Tim Tebow, part II. Soon we'll be having videos of how many times Lin's name is mentioned during SportsCenter, "Linning" will be the new craze, and since he plays for the Knicks, it will be about 59 billion times more prevalent.

But aside from all that, Lin is also a relatively avid YouTube user, and makes goofy videos from time to time. Like this one, released about five months ago, when the lockout was still going on and Lin had the spare moments to make this. It's a tutorial of how to get into Harvard. My personal favorite part is the "and one," but it's all pretty entertaining.

Thursday, February 9

Ranking the Pokemon: #113- Growlithe


Look, I'll be honest. I think a Growlithe would be a fun thing to have as a pet. He's small enough that he wouldn't be wrecking terror upon my house, and he's at least kind of furry in places, so he'd be fun to pet. His fire attacks also wouldn't do as much damage as his evolved folk, so more bonus points for that. But that's where the compliments end.

Growlithe has two things kind of going for it--its Attack and Speed. Outside of that, though, it's not very good. And you can probably guess from that picture that its type is Fire. We've already gone over that Fire is not a very good type, since it doesn't kill much (and what it does is generally covered by other, better types), and is weak to a lot of common types (Water and Ground amongst them). In later generations it learns cool moves like Extremespeed, but since we're just in Generation I here, lil' Growlie is just a boy in a man's game. Or a girl in a woman's game. They didn't do genders back then, so pick and choose!

Battle Grade: C-

Previously: #114- Paras

Will Ferrell Announces Lineups For Bulls-Hornets Game

Fans watching the Chicago Bulls/New Orleans Hornets matchup from Wednesday night got a special treat, as Will Ferrell was on hand to announce the starting lineups for each team. With interesting tidbits about each player, such as Derrick Rose's favorite movie being The Notebook, or Ronnie Brewer rivaling Kobayashi by eating 20 hot dogs in a minute, Ferrell channels his Semi-Pro days, with fairly hilarious results.

Sadly for the fans, this might have been the only entertaining part of the evening, as the visiting Bulls demolished New Orleans 90-67. Check out both starting lineups getting their names called below, and sorry for the annoying kid in between lineups. Jump to 3:05 after the Bulls get introduced to get back to the hilarity.

Wednesday, February 8

Canine Superstar Uggie Lands Epic Role as Nintendo’s First-Ever “Spokesdog”


Remember how The Artist won all of those Golden Globes, despite no one having seen it? At least no one I know, but since I don't necessarily hang out with a ton of movie savants, that's not surprising. In any case, Uggie, the adorable dog (who made an appearance on stage to accept one of the Golden Globes the movie collected), is making even more moves, as he's now become the first official "spokesdog" of Nintendo.

Apparently February is Responsible Pet Owners Month, so Uggie is helping spread the word via titles like nintendogs + cats, of both how to virtually take care of your pet as well as interact with pups and kits in the real world. How precious. 

NoA's VP of Sales & Marketing Scott Moffitt even had a mildly amusing quote:

"Uggie didn't have to sit up and beg for his role as Nintendo's spokesdog. It's truly our pleasure to work with a star of Uggie's magnitude, especially to help animal lovers and portable gaming fans discover the fun of nintendogs + cats."

Awesome. Can't wait to see what kind of shenanigans Uggie finds himself in.

Tuesday, February 7

The Kobe System Level 6

Remember a few weeks back when we posted a video of the Kobe System? Well, we're still not entirely sure what the Kobe System is, other than a fairly entertaining series of Nike commercials starring said Kobe. Bryant tutors other athletes and celebrities with varying degrees of success. This one is my personal favorite, but they're all pretty solid. Check out Kobe (who sounds a lot like Barack Obama in this commercial) give Kanye West some tips below.

Monday, February 6

These Were the Best Super Bowl commercials?

According to Boston-based agency Mullens, the "2012 Brand Bowl" had these commercials as the most well-received of the Super Bowl. Thanks to a busy schedule, I was only able to catch the second half of the game, and, well...I didn't really feel like I missed too much, commercial-wise (great game, though). After seeing these ones that I missed, I'll confirm this seemed like a dud year for commercials. It just seems like everyone's trying too hard. But here are the best and brightest of 2012, both from the survey and a few other ones. Now let's really enjoy these next few months of basketball before the lull in the sports world, and then bring on the Olympics!

Also, if you want to see every ad from yesterday's game, AdAge has you covered.









Thursday, February 2

Ranking the Pokemon: #114- Paras


Goodness, it's already been almost a month since the last one. I really need to get better at updating these. Buckle down, Joey, you got this.

Also, I should clear up the "Grade" part, since there has been some confusion as to how it's different from the ranking. I think I mentioned this way back on Caterpie, which seems like multiple years ago, but the "Grade" is strictly a battling score. Rankings take into account battling ability, how you obtain it, coolness, utility (so an HM slave might gain a few spots even if it sucks as a battler), and various other criteria. Got it? Here we go!

Paras is kind of cool--it and Parasect are the only two Pokemon in the game that learn the move Spore, which instantly puts your opponent to sleep (and I believe has a 100% success rate, so unless your opponent uses Double Team or Sand-Attack or some other move that reduces accuracy, it's going to work). That's awesome, and makes the Paras line one of the better sleep-inducers in the game. I'm not sure if they're the best though, for one reason: they are SLOW. Like...the tortoise and the hare will both finish the race long before Paras is even halfway done with it. I'm graduating college before Paras has completed first grade. Paris Hilton has become a decent human being before Paras even knows how to use the Internet to visit Perez Hilton. The point is, it has one of the worst speeds in the game. And since I'm a fan of the fast Pokes, that hurts its ranking quite a bit.

But, on the positive side, Paras has very good Attack and pretty decent Special stats, so using Slash or Mega Drain can do some damage (after the opponent has been put to sleep, of course). Paras will have to take a hit before it can do said sleep-inducing, of course, but if it can do that, you're in pretty good shape.

Battle Grade: C

Previously: #115- Pidgeotto

Super Bowl Ads Are Out Already

If these two ads are any indication of what we'll see come Sunday, then expect a lot of throwbacks to classics. First up, Matthew Broderick stars in an homage to Ferris Beuller's Day Off, although instead of faking a sickness to get out of school, he plays hooky from work. And hilarity ensues. All for the chance to frolic in a Honda CR-V, which I guess is cool?

In the second one, Jerry Seinfeld wants, nay, NEEDS to be the first one to own an Acura NSX. And he will not stop at anything to do it. Check out each of them below and decide which one you like better.




Wednesday, February 1

Kristen Bell Freaks Out

And why is she freaking out, you may ask? Because of an adorable baby sloth that was delivered to her by fiance Dax Shepard. In addition to kicking butt on Showtime's fantastic new show House of Lie$, Bell is also a huge fan of sloths, and even admitted earlier this year to Googling baby slots multiple times a week.

"I've been obsessed with sloths for as long as I can remember. They must be my spirit animal or something. There's nothing cuter than a baby sloth ... OK, maybe a slow Loris. Maybe. On a good day," she told The Insider. She may be on to something--baby sloths are pretty friggin' cute.

For Bell's 31st birthday, Shepard had a sloth appear at the party. And Bell gets overwhelmed. Watch as she tells the tale on the Ellen DeGeneres Show.

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