Thursday, June 27

Doc Rivers Basically Calls Bill Simmons an Idiot, And It's Funny

ESPN's Bill Simmons is notable for being a huge Boston sports fan. So when he spent some time during the NBA draft to accuse Doc Rivers, now the coach of the Clippers, of quitting on the Celtics last year, Mr. Rivers didn't take too kindly to that. Fortunately, Shelley Smith was nearby to stir the pot a bit, and we got this gem of a response from Doc.

Monday, June 24

Lonely Island's "Go Kindergarten" Video Gets an Upgrade, and it Rocks

I've always thought it would be funny if an artist released a song that insulted the listener, but the beat was so catchy no one even really cared. The Lonely Island have kind of done that with a club banger featuring Robyn. So already I knew I was going to like it. However, the original video, entitled "Dance Rehearsal," was a pretty stupid parody of Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines," so I'm very glad they made a legitimate video with Paul Rudd and Sean Combs.

With lines like "Punch your friend in the face" and "eat garbage," the fake rap trio try to see just how far the sheep at clubs will go. And the answer is "pretty damn far." Robyn wins for best line, though: "So raise your glass, now break the glass, then stomp your bare feet on the glaaassss." Poetry.

Thursday, June 20

Russian Tampax Commercial Puts America to Shame

Sometimes it really is just best to use images and let our minds put two and two together. In this case, it's a Russian Tampax commercial doing such mind-bending things, and the end result is quite fantastic, albeit a little graphic. But it's all in good fun, and to teach us a very important lesson about tampons.

Sunday, June 16

Ranking the Pokemon: #62- Dewgong

Dewgong is mostly this high up because the actual dugong is pretty cool. Have you ever seen one? Quite entertaining.

With solid HP and Special and OK Defense, Dewgong's not going to wow anyway with its stats. And, like any other Water/Ice type, it learns the basics: Surf, Ice Beam, etc. etc. I just always enjoyed the animation for Aurora Beam, which is an inferior Ice Beam that happens to also lower Attack. However, since I'd rather freeze an opponent than lower their attack, the Gong Show isn't actually very useful. But sometimes nostalgia trumps actual battling ability. And seeing Dewgong shoot off an Aurora Beam in the Elite Four before I finished it off with Thunderbolt is a great memory.

Battling Grade: C+

Previously: #63- Tangela

Saturday, June 15

Ranking the Pokemon: #63- Tangela

Tangela has awesome Defense and a great Special stat, so its barrage of Grass-type attacks can do some solid damage. Granted, Grass attacks aren't usually the best, but with Sleep Powder and Stun Spore in there (which don't do any actual damage), you really only need one Grasser that DOES do damage.

But there are two main reasons why Tangela is this high up on the list. #1 is that it's only a Grass-type. I'm fairly confident every other Grass-type in Generation I has another type, and it's usually Poison. That only offers up a few more weaknesses, which is no good.

The second reason is Tangela looks like spaghetti, and spaghetti is delicious. Its feet even look like little meatballs. Of course, if my spaghetti was this color, I'd be freaked out. But it's not, so win-win!

Battling Grade: B-

Monday, June 10

NBA Mean Tweets

One of Jimmy Kimmel Live's best segments is the "Mean Tweets," which find celebrities and other such folk reading derogatory tweets directed at them. And I don't think any of the past installments has been as funny as this one, starring NBA players. My two favorites are Shaquille O'Neal and DeAndre Jordan, though Andre Iguodala's is very funny as well. Enjoy! And please, make your tweets a little more friendly. We'll all thank you.

Sunday, June 9

Bitchy Resting Face

Bitchy Resting Face - watch more funny videos      

Have you ever noticed people judging you from afar, simply by the look you have on your face? Then you might suffer from "Bitching Resting Face," or, for the fellas, the "Asshole Look." Here's a video from Taylor Orci that teaches us how to...well, face our problems. Together!

Tuesday, June 4

Every Pokemon Move in Real Life

Sometimes a video is so self-explanatory that I don't even need to write about it. I don't know if this is one of those videos, so here goes: My buddy Sean and I decided to make a video depicting what every Pokemon move from Generation I (that's 165, for those of you scoring at home) would look like if applied to a real life situation. Some are stupid, some are clever, and most all feature terrible acting. Enjoy!

Monday, June 3

Watch, Read, Listen

It's June, which in Austin means summer is already upon us. So to stay cool, you'll need some distraction. Here are a few great ways to pass the time:

Beat Making Lab - This PBS Digital Studio series, developed at UNC Chapel Hill, is a program that brings the tools and techniques of digital music making to young musicians in developing nations Stephen Levitin (aka Apple Juice Kid) and Professor Pierce Freelon travel to places like Panama and Senegal and document what they find along the way. It really goes to show how universal the language of music is, and who knows? You may even learn a thing or two about making a killer tune.

It's Alright - I've been on a big Matt & Kim tear recently, and their latest music video finds them doing a choreographed dance on a bed while appearing to be asleep. There's pillow fighting, a rodeo section, and a breakdown with a nod to The Kama Sutra, plus the song is catchy as all get-up. Far better than all of the boring performance-based videos out there nowadays.

Arrested Development - I'll be honest--I haven't seen every episode of Arrested Development. Which, in Austin, apparently, is grounds to be ostracized and banned to a neighboring city. But with Season 4 becoming available on Netflix this past weekend, those seven years of life without the show now just seem like a distant memory. Yes, the pacing is a bit different, and it might take some getting used to, but it's still pretty awesome. Glad to see it finally made it back.

Iris Has Free Time - When Iris Smyles' story starts with a woman in her young 20s at a job fair, freshly graduated from college and looking for something to do, I felt a ping of familiarity. After all, it wasn't too long ago that I found myself with ample free time (and now, I hardly have enough of it). While the character of Iris does produce some frustrating behavior--often by how hard she is on herself--Smyles' writing is a lot of fun and really almost lyrical. Of course, there are plenty of pop-culture and literary references to satiate fans of both, and by the end of the book, the Iris we see is hardly the one that was at that job fair. Rather, she's more wise and mature, though that sense of humor is still quite apparent. (Soft Skull Press).

The Pocket Scavenger - I'm a fan of scavenger hunts, and I'm a fan of choose your own ending books. Keri Smith's The Pocket Scavenger (Perigee Trade Paperback; May 7, 2013; $15.00) combines them both. A used tea bag, something that was part of a tree, and something you can see through are just a few of the many items you'll collect and record in the book. Each item will also require you to make an alteration, truly creating a unique, one-of-a-kind experience. Even better, there's a corresponding iOS and Android app (for once, I can finally say I'm on the iOS side of things) that has players take pictures and make alterations purely by chance, while sharing with friends and seeing what other scavenges or going on nearby. Let the hunt begin!

Facing Ted Williams: Players from the Golden Age of Baseball Recall the Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived - Let's face it--the majority of people (and I would bet everyone reading this blog) are not going to make the big leagues. I have a better chance of going to umpiring school and becoming a Major League umpire than I do a ballplayer. But I always love reading about individual matchups, whether it's a great scorer/defender, a receiver/cornerback, or in this case, a ton of pitchers against arguably the greatest hitter who ever lived. In Facing Ted Williams, a number of greats and non-greats alike talk about what it's like to face Mr. Williams. Some of them only had one appearance against him, and it may have just ended in a walk. Which in the grand scheme of things isn't too terrible. There are also interviews of other position players, which are a nice touch. (Edited by Dave Heller, Sports Publishing, April 2013)

The Young Things - The New York rockers are dropping their debut album Hello Love/Goodbye Sexual on June 4, but thanks to that handy link I just provided you can listen before it's released. There are definitely some Beatles-esque moments, with just the right amount of "ahh" harmonies and churning guitars. Listen to the title track here.

"Hearts" by Dan Black and Kelis - I first heard of Dan Black courtesy of his song "Symphonies," which showed up on NBA 2K11. That song was delightfully earwormy and a perfect jam to play during the hot summer months. His new single "Hearts" is similarly catchy, and I much prefer Kelis in this role rather than in "Milkshake." The music video's pretty cool too--time lapse stuff is always a winner in my book.

Steriogram - The New Zealand rockers took the U.S. by storm with their 2004 single "Walkie Talkie Man" (which also featured a wonderful yarn music video), and then kind of disappeared from the map. Well, they've still been making music, which I recently discovered is quite good. Songs like "Moving On" and "Texas Beauties," the latter of which is a nod to how awesome the women of Austin are, will get your toe tapping and your head nodding. And if you think that's not what music is all about, I don't know what to tell you.

For the last installment of "Watch, Read, Listen" please click here.

Sunday, June 2

Ranking the Pokemon: #64- Fearow

Fearow reminds me of those birds that fly over the water for hours at a time, and then just dive in to pluck some fish out of the water. Which I guess is most birds, but still. And looking at the Pokedex entry (which doesn't happen often, so cherish it), Fearow does in fact have endless stamina: "With its huge and magnificent wings, it can keep aloft without ever having to land for rest.

Stat-wise, the large-winged bird has very good Speed and strong Attack, with everything else being pretty subpar. The only problem is the pool of moves it can learn. There's Drill Peck, Agility and...well, that's about it. I guess you could throw Hyper Beam or Double-Edge on there, and maybe Mirror Move? I don't even know. If it didn't have that wicked cool mohawk, it would be a lot lower on this list.

Battling Grade: C