Thursday, January 31

A Message From Kid President

Watch. Be inspired. Kid President's got a lot to say, and now it's up to you to listen.

Tuesday, January 29

Gerald Henderson's Game Winner Caps Ridiculous Final Play

This is a few days old, but watching it again, I have the same reaction as I did when I saw it live. Which is to look around me and scream from excitement. In a play that fairly succinctly sums up the Bobcats season—chaotic, and with way more bad than good—the Bobcats nearly turn the ball over three or four times before it finally ends up in Gerald Henderson's hands, who then hits a crazy three as the shot clock winds down. The Bobcats held on to win, and in doing so ended their 16-game home losing streak. Check out the madness.

A Sincere Compliment

Sometimes, a nice compliment is all someone needs. This is a pretty cool project from West High junior Jeremiah Anthony. He created @westhighbros, a Twitter account that tweets compliments to friends and classmates. If someone's having a bad day, BAM. The account is on it, sending some good vibes said someone's way. Pretty amazing to see the impact it's had on the students of the high school.

New Lonely Island!

Any fan of this blog knows I'm a big fan of The Lonely Island. After Andy Samberg left SNL, the Digital Shorts, often the highlight of episodes, still existed, but they just weren't very good. Not to say all of Samberg's Digital Shorts were great, but even something as stupid as Dear Sister usually made me laugh, at least.

The trio is back with "YOLO," a song featuring Adam Levine and Kendrick Lamar, and utilizing the popular "you only live once" message from Drake. Of course, stupid idiots took YOLO to new heights, doing something...well, stupid like peeing on a cop car or getting a dumb tattoo because, hey, you only live once! The Lonely Island reminds us of that, but rather than living wildly, they advise extreme caution. 

The problem is, I'm not sure how I feel about the song itself. Lines like avoiding children because they have "mad lice," and "two words about furniture: killing machines" make me giggle, but the song is certainly nowhere near as catchy as "Lazy Sunday" or "I Just Had Sex," which were the debut singles of the first two Lonely Island albums. Kendrick Lamar's verse is kind of a throwaway, and I just hate YOLO so much, that even though the idea gets turned on its head, I'm still irritated by it. Oh well, at least this is still better than most of what's on the radio.

Sunday, January 27

Fan Hits Halfcourt Shot, Gets Tackled by LeBron

This is pretty cool - a couple nights ago, some random fan hit a halfcourt shot during a break in the action at a Heat game. In addition to winning $75,000, the fan also got tackled by an excited LeBron James. I'm sure that memory will be even better than the money. Not too shabby, LBJ.

Friday, January 25

Microsoft's Internet Explorer Commercial Oozes 90s Nostalgia

Pogs, Giga Pets, Oregon, there were some good things back in the 90s. For anyone who grew up in the final decade of the 20th century, your heartstrings will probably be tugged a bit by this new commercial from Microsoft. "Child of the 90s" features the tagline: "You grew up. So did we." Will this get people to switch back to using Internet Explorer as their default browser, instead of something like Firefox or Google Chrome? Doubtful, but still a really well done commercial.

Tuesday, January 22

Russell Westbrook Hates Queso, Blocks Mascot's Shot

Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook may have just made enemies with an entire city. In a 121-118 loss to the Nuggets, Westbrook drew the ire of the city of Denver when he repeatedly blocked the over-the-head-backwards shots Rocky, the Nuggets mascot, was shooting.

While most teams (including the Nuggets) will do a promotion for a free item--say, Big Macs or tacos--based on how many points the home team scores, Denver goes one step further. The team offers complimentary queso from a local Mexican eatery to the entire crowd if Rocky sinks one of his signature shots. But Westbrook would have none of that, and blocked not one, but two shots headed towards the rim. And the fans booed him mercilessly.

Apparently, as the Nuggets still reached 110+ points, the entire city can redeem the high scoring for a free taco. So they can continue to be fatties, courtesy of the NBA. Thanks, fellas.

Monday, January 21

Ish Smith Jumps Over John Wall, John Wall Jumps Around Ish Smith

A few nights ago, Ishmael Smith of the Orlando Magic jumped over John Wall whilst attempting to block a shot. Undeterred, he jumps AGAIN in like half a second, and blocks Walls shot. Pretty impressive. Note how the Washington announcers have seemingly seen this before, since they have absolutely no reaction to the impressive athleticism.

Of course, John Wall wanted to have the last laugh. I mean, if someone jumped over ME and then blocked MY shot, I'd be a little mad, too. So Wall decides to break Smith's ankles with a nasty crossover. Enjoy the shenanigans below. 

LA Phil

One of the things I'm bummed I never saw when I was living in Los Angeles is the LA Philharmonic. They've added a few cool indie acts to their "Brooklyn Festival," taking place in April. These are already some eclectic-sounding groups, so to hear them set to strings and orchestras should be pretty amazing. Tickets are on sale now: more info below.

The Antlers, Chairlift 
April 19 8pm Sharp

Planetarium |  
Sufjan Stevens • Bryce Dessner • Nico Muhly
April 22 8pm 

Sunday, January 20

NFL Championship Picks

Joey makes his picks for the AFC and NFC Championship games. He is probably going to be wrong on both of them. But oh well. Go big or go home!

Underground Railroad Video Game

Sometimes, I do like to be educational. As does Ball State University, who recently published a game about the Underground Railround

"The Underground Railroad in the Ohio River Valley" is a strategy game that puts users into the role of runaway slaves. The game is being produced by Ball State students through an immersive learning experience under the direction of Ron Morris, a history professor, and Paul Gestwicki, a computer science professor. 

Prior to the Civil War, thousands of escaped slaves traveled across Indiana and other Midwestern states on their way to Canada. These fugitive men and women frequently altered their routes and the locations of their stops in order to avoid detection and possible recapture. 

"Even though the Underground Railroad has been well studied, there are a lot of myths and legends connected to the era," Morris said. "We hope to enrich the curriculum and instructional practices of teachers and students by creating a way they can experience some of the decisions while trying to get to the safety of the north.
The game is the second created in immersive learning classes under the direction of Morris and Gestwicki. In 2011, their team released an educational computer game focusing on what today is known as Morgan's Raid,  a highly publicized incursion by Confederate cavalry into Indiana and Ohio in 1863. The raid is named for the commander of the Confederates, Brig. Gen. John Hunt Morgan.

I've always been a fan of learning, so check it out!

Pentatonix Covers "Thrift Shop"

Those lovable kids from the a capella group Pentatonix are at it again. This time, they're popping tags while paying homage to the Macklemore and Ryan Lewis hit "Thrift Shop." They recommend listening through headphones, but I thought this sounded plenty awesome just through my speakers. Get it, kids!

Tuesday, January 15

NFL Bad Lip Reading

Forget for a few minutes if you enjoy football or not, and think if you like to laugh. If the answer is yes, then stop what you're doing and watch this video. Entitled "The NFL: A Bad Lip Reading," it goes around the league and tries to translate what players are saying. And it is absolutely amazing.

Ranking the Pokemon: #68- Rapidash

Rapidash holds a special place in my heart. You see, the first time I played Pokemon Blue, I used my normal name: Joey. Or I guess it was in all caps, so it was like JOEY. Regardless, I barely knew about the MissingNo. glitch, and I certainly didn't know that your name could have an effect with said glitch. 

For those who haven't pulled it off, you trigger the glitch by talking to an old man in one town, then flying to another town and immediately surfing on a line of graphics that are both land and water. There's a whole explanation of the programming of the game, and why this works, but eventually you'll trigger a battle animation, only it'll be with something that's not normal in the game. Sometimes it's a mess of graphics called MissingNo. (for Missing Number), sometimes it's just like M', and sometimes it's a Level 138 or equally outrageous and impossible number Pokemon. That Pokemon is dependent on your name you chose way back at the beginning of the game. This name can't be switched, so if you don't like the Poke that shows up, you have to start all over. I learned later the way to make it so Mewtwo appears, and then stocked up on them. Awesome.

But the point of that long story is that the first time I played, Rapidash was that random Pokemon that appeared. It's not very good otherwise. It has solid Attack and Speed, yet as a Fire type, its special leaves a lot to be desired, and it doesn't even really learn any good moves. Not even naturally, just at all. I'm not a fan of Fire Blast, as it's only got 5 PP and is horrendously inaccurate, and Fire Spin is more annoying than useful. Sadly, that might be your best bet for a moveset--something like Agility and Fire Spin, and then two other moves you'll never really use. Yikes.

Battling Grade: C

Sunday, January 13

People in LA Get Cold Easily

In another fun Jimmy Kimmel Live segment, the late night host compiled a bunch of L.A. newscasts where people were complaining about being cold. The only problem was that the temperatures will still generally in the 50s. This is not cold. But for LAliens, it sure is. Enjoy their complaining!

How Quickly Can You Tie Your Shoe?

For Rockets big man Greg Smith, the answer is "far longer than three seconds." In what has to be a first, Smith got called for a three-second violation while tying his shoe. Of course, one would think that an NBA player would be smart enough to pick somewhere outside of the lane to tie his shoe, but as someone who gets bothered when seeing an untied shoe, I understand Smith's urgency. And to be fair, the official did give him about six seconds. And that's just too long.

Rushing the Court in a Wheelchair

This one's super random but cracks me up. After NC State defeated #1 Duke on Saturday, fans predictably and understandably rushed the court. This included a kid that was pushing another kid in a wheelchair. Dick Vitale certainly took note. Of course, we hope that guy is okay, but that had to have been an insane experience. Way to go, Wolfpack.

Kid Hits Halfcourt Shot From Behind His Head

This one's been making the rounds on the internets lately, and with good reason. Mimicking NBA mascots everywhere, this guy catches a pass and just flings it over his head. Not even looking at the basket, yet he still cashes it. According to the uploader of the video, the red team is up by 16 prior to the shot going in, so it's not like this won the game or anything. But as someone who's made a shot from halfcourt in an actual game before (albeit facing forward), it's still an awesome feeling.

There are a number of highlights from this video. My personal favorite is #12 on the red team eventually high-fiving himself because no one else will (around the 19-second mark). Other things that you might miss on the first viewing are the random folks rushing the court, that the red team has a girl playing, and said red team's excitement that the whole moment was captured on video. Just a magical time. Enjoy!

Friday, January 11

Dunk You Very Much

We're not even two weeks into the new year, and we already have a pair of dunks that made me jump out of my seat upon seeing them. Just to be sure, I sent them to my buddy Andy, and he had a similar reaction. In fact, he got up and had to walk around to calm down, he was so pumped. Beautiful.

The first one comes from Brandon Paul, who makes quite the poster early in a matchup with Minnesota. Strangely enough, while Paul was called for the charge, the basket was allowed. Probably because the dunk was so awesome.

Our second slam is courtesy of San Diego State's Jamaal Franklin. His actual dunk is less complex, but the fact that he throws the ball off the backboard while running down the court at full speed makes it absolutely incredible. It also appears that he's looking to a teammate on the wing while he throws the pass off the glass, though an alternate angle suggests that he is, in fact, focused on the backboard. Either way, it's still very impressive, even if it's completely unnecessary. Which one do you like better?

Monday, January 7

Victor Dukes...BEAST MODE

This is a little old, but who cares? Nettleton High's Victor Dukes just put not only his home state of Arkansas, but the entire nation on watch. The sophomore made one of the craziest dunks I've ever seen, where it looks like he almost elevates again after jumping. Check it out!

Saturday, January 5

Joey's NFL Picks

I figured, with only four games this week, a video on my NFL picks was in store. How will Joey fare? Hint: poorly.

This Year in Unnecessary Censorship

Let's add this to the list of things I'm late posting about. Oh well. Per usual, Jimmy Kimmel Live comes up with a fairly funny video based on a silly premise. I believe they've done this in the past, too. They just take clips from throughout the year (an Obama speech, a newscast, etc.) and put bleeps over non-curse words. Hilarity ensues. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 2

12 Days of Karaoke 2012 Day 12: "I Want It That Way" by The Backstreet Boys

This borders dangerously close to being on overplay level, but it's just such a masterfully crafted song that we can overlook it. "I Want It That Way" is probably one of the most well known tunes of the 90s, and is the quintessential boy band jam. Whether folks are singing along to the "you are" that gradually gets higher pitched, or Weird Al is making a parody, people know the song, and they get excited when it comes on. 

When I was KJing, I tended to get sick of songs that people always picked. "Total Eclipse of the Heart" (which I already hate anyway), "Don't Stop Believin'," "Livin' on a Prayer," etc. etc. all became grating and irritating. But "I Want It That Way" never did. As far as I can tell, no one ever figured out exactly what "it" is, or even "that way" that the boys want it. But it doesn't matter--with an infectious hook, everything will be okay.