Thursday, July 31

This Table Tennis Rally Is Absolutely Ridiculous

Who'd have thought that table tennis, or ping pong as it's often colloquially called, could be so entertaining to watch? At the Commonwealth Games, Nigeria's Segun Toriola pulled the Hot Cup of Joey technique (aka "the backboard," or just defending a lot of shots) against Singapore's Ning Gao during the event in Glasgow.

It's amazing. 41 shots in all, and a lot of them are insane returns off heavy smashes. Well done all around.

Tuesday, July 29

French Girls Might Be The Best App Ever

"French Girls" is an app where people post selfies, and then other people draw them. It's that simple. Some of the drawings are spot on, others are more literal interpretations. Still others are probably insulting, but hey, that's what you get for posting a selfie, I guess. Check out a lot more selfies and drawings right here.

Ranking the Pokemon: #18- Chansey

Chansey is such a weirdo. It's essentially a big egg with weird balding man hair on the side, and it also has an egg in its pouch, despite not being a kangaroo. It's pretty hideous actually, when you think about it.

But it also has far and away the best HP in the game. And anytime someone is the best at something, it's going to be high up on some kind of ranking. In this case, Chansey is #18 on a list of 151. Not too shabby.

Granted, the Attack and Defense are TERRIBLE (base power of 5), and Speed is pretty bad, too. Special is solid, though, at 105 base power, and Chansey learns an uncomfortably large amount of moves. Even normally it learns a lot of Normal and the occasional Psychic-type move, but TM-wise, it can pick up 34 of the 50 TMs. Special Sweeper is the way to go with Chanseether. My favorite includes Psychic, Thunder Wave, Thunderbolt, and Blizzard.

Alternatively, you could toss Counter on there to fight against Fighting types. Chansey normally can take a hit from a fighter (though it'll be a lot of damage) and Counter will do double the damage against the attacker. That's pretty cool, but it's useless against 13 of 15 move types--Counter only works if the original attack was Fighting or Normal. Unless you know you're fighting a...Fighting type, I'd stick to the special set above. But what do I know? I'm just some jerk ranking Pokemon from a game that's like 17 years old.

Battling Grade: B

Monday, July 28

Morgan Freeman Speaks After Inhaling Helium, Results Are Predictably Awesome

Morgan Freeman has one of the best voices in Hollywood. So it's only fitting that, on an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, he'd be forced to speak after sucking helium from a balloon. Jimmy Fallon commented that in his show Through the Wormhole, Freeman had done the same trick. As you might guess, the results are magical. Check out Freeman and Fallon chatting about...well, really nothing. But they're doing it in comical helium voices, which just seems to make everything right with the world.

Check Out The Trailer For A Simpsons/Family Guy Crossover

It really was only a matter of time until it happened--The Simpsons are making their way over to Family Guy. Or, rather, the Griffins are stumbling into Springfield. Either way, the two families are finally colliding in an hour-long episode. If you've ever wondered what Stewie would be like making a prank phone call to Moe, or how Peter's favorite beer stacks up against Duff, well, now those hypothetical queries can be answered.

The new season of Family Guy premieres September 28. We'll see what the two crews have in store for us. The best guess is that it'll be animated.

Saturday, July 26

Nightcrawler Trailer, Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Released

Nightcrawler is a soon to be released thriller starring Jake Gyllenhaal, set in Los Angeles and looking at the part of the media that focuses on murder, crime and other "nighttime" activities. It's also the name of a character from X-Men, which is apparently throwing people for a loop (just look at the comments section from the above video). 

What can we conclude from this? 1) People are dumb. 2) Not much else, honestly. This kind of reminds me of American Psycho, in that I don't really understand what's going on, and the main actor transformed himself to fit his character. But hey, the best trailers are vague and don't give away too much of the plot, right?

Nightcrawler hits theaters October 17. What do you think of the trailer?

Thursday, July 24

Hire A Socially Awkward Man To End Your Party

As someone who gets sleepy earlier than most, I absolutely love leaving parties early. Don't get me wrong--on occasion I enjoy an all-night romp, but for the most part I'm ready to tap out by midnight, or 1am at the latest.

I could use a man like the one in the above video. A creation of Sasquatch Sketch Comedy, he'll end parties by being awkward. I'm great at being awkward myself, so now maybe I can actually make money off of such a skill. Awkwardness.

Audra McDonald Sings Yahoo! Answers

Yahoo! Answers is a great way to find relatively useless answers to most questions. Of course, the questions themselves are often ridiculous in their own regard. But sometimes a few gems stand out. And sometimes you want those gems to be sing by a Tony Award-winning artist.

Enter Audra McDonald, who appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. She gets asked 100% real questions by the "Yahoo! Answers Lounge Singers," and then answers them via song. The best comment is that "the sound of her voice makes it seem like there is a meaning to life." Well said.

Wednesday, July 23

This Guy Has Never Paid For A Music Festival, And Now He's Making A Movie About The Concerts He's Gone To

Guess how many concerts Marcus Haney has paid for. If your answer rhymed with "hero", you are correct. The photographer and uninhibited person has done all sorts of things to get into concerts--pretending to be with bands or the press, jumping over fences, making fake wristbands--but he's never actually paid for one.

It started with Coachella back in 2010 and snowballed from there. And now, Haney is turning his adventures into a documentary called No Cameras Allowed. The above clip is just a leak, according to him, but he's currently shopping around his ideas. Check out the trailer, and read a full interview with Haney here.

20 Even Worse Impressions in 1 Minute

You may remember roughly a year ago when JKC fan (least) favorite Michael joined me for some terrible impressions. Well, Rubes was such a fan of the original that he wanted to join in on the fun. And now we have an even more embarrassing amount of bad impersonations. After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, even if it's awful imitating, right? The full list of this Buenos Aires adventure is below:

The Old Guys From The Muppets
Ray Gillette From Archer
Marge Simpson
Jerry Seinfeld
Buster Bluth From Arrested Development
Austin Powers
Gimli From Lord of the Rings
The Joker
Donna From Parks and Rec
Eric Cartman
Tina Belcher From Bob's Burgers
Tommy Wiseau From The Room
Jim Halpert From The Office
Chewbacca From Star Wars
Tom Haverford From Parks and Rec
Cosmo Kramer From Seinfeld
Star Fox, Slippy Toad, Peppy Hare, Falco Lombardi
Woody Allen

Tuesday, July 22

New Weezer Song Gets All Nostalgic

Weezer has already had a penchant for delivering crunchy, catchy songs, although recent efforts haven't been nearly as strong in the eyes of most critics (also in my ears). But as the band celebrates its 20th year of existence, they've released their first song in several years--and it's a throwback, for sure. They even say "rockin' out like it's '94" in the chorus, so you know it's true. The music is baller, though some of the lyrics could use a little polishing. All in all, if this is a sign of things to come, count me as excited for their new album. Everything Will be Alright in the End is due out later this year. Until then, let's go the shack...

Honest Game Trailers: Pokemon Red and Blue

Once again, Smosh Games has delivered a funny Honest Game Trailer. And once again, it's only mildly amusing until the end. Then it jumps at least four hilarity notches. The highlight here is the name for all the Pokemon--and yes, they tackle all 151. GET IT.

Monday, July 21

This Woman Does Not Let Size Limitations Stop Her

Kacy Catanzaro is a badass. There's really no other way to say it. At just 5'0" and 100 pounds, she became the first woman in history to qualify for Mt. Midoriyama, successfully completing the Dallas Finals of the American Ninja Warrior competition.

Of course, I have no idea what that actually means, but the clip above is pretty awesome to watch. The broadcast kind of ruins it, mainly because the announcers KEEP SAYING she's 5'0". Also, each time she accomplishes one portion of the course, both the announcers and the crowd act like she's finished the entire thing. But there are still like four to six obstacles left until she finally finishes the whole thing. Either way, this makes me want to go exercise, right back.

A Hot Cup Of Joey Chats With Daredevil and Musician Extraordinaire Remington

He's been described as an inventive wildcard with a passion for all things extreme. And as one of the founding members of the Dallas Stunt Riderz, Remington has traveled the country performing death defying stunts, while also being a successful singer & songwriter whose original pop rock anthems can be heard as the soundtrack to his group’s stunt shows.

Growing up in Dallas, Remington spent a lot of his time around music with his vocal coach mom, who has worked with major A-list performers including Beyonce, Jessica Simpson, Kevin Haley and Chase Crawford. The early exposure led him to learn to play the piano, saxophone, guitar, drums and bass, while honing his skills as a songwriter and vocalist. Remington took a break from wowing crowds to chat with A Hot Cup of Joey. 

A Hot Cup Of Joey: How did you get into stunt riding?
Remington: When I was a kid, I was praying for a dirt bike and never got one. My mom was totally fearful of motorcycles and tattoos, and I always wanted both of those. Guess I went against the mold there. My dad was a professional athlete and my mom was a professional singer.

I had these gauges in my ear and my mom asked if I'd take them out. She said she'd do anything if I did, and she promised me a motorcycle. So I got them sewed up the next day, and three months later she got me a motorcycle. A promise is a promise. It was a Yamaha R '06.

The first thing I wanted to do was pop a wheelie, and so I started riding with the Dallas Stunt Riderz. We began getting some recognition, and then a pilot saw us on the news, and asked if we'd do stunts for his air shows.

I never had any interest in music. I was walking with Jessica Simpson when she was 15 on the red carpet and I got pulled aside and was being asked to sign all these autographs, when my album was coming out and all that. And I had been onstage one time and said "Hell no, never again." But Jessica Simpson told me I didn't deserve all that, and it made me think, whoa, I can get the ladies. So I had a decision between playing basketball and making music. 

At an airshow we had 9,000 people, and I'm like, this is more than any show I've ever had! We sold out our merch and were signing autographs for like an hour and a half. Soon I thought I should bring my music, and we had 20,000 or 50,000 people showing up. Then my pilot asks if I can edit his music, and I say, "Sure, if you put mine on, too."

Then I thought, what if the A-list artist was performing on stage, but also doing stunts and then joining the airshow in front of everyone's eyes? People have never seen that before.

AHCJ: What do you think makes a song successful?
R: Relevance. It needs to say something to get with people. Even "Turn Down For What?" It's one line, but it resonates with so many people. If you're constantly up with the times, songs in the 70s were huge but might not be hits today. Like the iPhone 1, if you brought that to society today, people would be like, "sorry for you, you're too late."

AHCJ: You've worked with a number of charities, including Falling Whistles [a non-profit organization campaigning for peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo], Giving Keys and Krochet Kids. What made you want to really get involved in these charities?
R: How I got into all that is a move on the bike called a Champion, means I'm a badass and I'm conquering something. I had a friend whose mother was dying of cancer, and she threw me a picture of me doing a Champion while she was getting chemo. I was like "Wow, this could be a social movement." The champion could be the logo of a lifestyle. My buddy Alexander got me into using my network and my music in getting involved and spreading the word.

AHCJ: What move are you most proud of?
R: Riding backwards is a proud move for me. Not a lot of people do it, so people are always impressed by that. Anything like tandem stunt-riding is fun. It's scary, and you're responsible for someone's life in your hands, but it makes for a fun time.

AHCJ: What about wipeouts?
R: In all the extreme sports I do, everything since I was a child, I've never compound fractured anything. I have angels over me or something. I've wiped out on highways, and never anything that's longer than a couple weeks recovery time. I've hurt myself worse in basketball than I have in anything else. Broken ankles, hurt fingers, cut up faces. Basketball so far is my most dangerous sport.

AHCJ: What's coming up next for you?
R: I'm coming out with a new album in the fall. Lots more new videos. Everybody can Instagram and all that stuff. Catch the fire, it's gonna be fun. Trying to hook up with some energy drinks and build the brand even bigger. Working on a single that is hopefully on the radio, and with any luck we'll have a tour out there, too. We had a million hits in one day because my pilot flew within two feet of a person standing out there and scared the shit out of her.

Sunday, July 20

Ranking the Pokemon: #19- Primeape

Primeape is this high up (over much more deserving Pokemon, honestly) because it just cracks me up. It's litchrally just a fighting monkey, but it's also kind of a pig with that nose. More importantly, when it battles in Pokemon Stadium, it's always throwing those arms around like it's lost its bones. I'm pretty sure all of its joints are shackled, too, which makes the fact it can fight at all even more impressive.

Anyway, Primeape is not going to blow you away with its stats. It's got very good Attack and pretty decent Speed. Everything else is lackluster, to put it nicely. But sometimes you just need a little pig monkey to brighten your day. There's nothing wrong with that. The ape also gets more aggressive as it gets angrier. So it's basically a close relative of a human.

Move-wise, Primeape has some more options after Generation I, but the two you'll for sure want on this go-around of the monkpig are Submission and Rock Slide. Submission of course utilizes STAB and packs a good wallop, while Rock Slide can at least give you a fighting chance against Flying types. "Fighting chance." I'm so witty.

Primeape learns Dig, but sadly doesn't learn Earthquake. If you really want to put a Ground-type move on, go for it. It also randomly can pick up both Thunder and Thunderbolt. I don't recommend either because Primeco's Special stat is so low, but hey, there aren't a lot of other choices. Double-Edge is a good Normal-type move, or if you want the joy of lesser power but almost always getting a critical hit, Karate Chop is not a bad alternative. Plus it just seems more fitting that Primeape would use a karate chop move. After all, its hands are already natural boxing gloves, so I'm sure it can take the pain that normal karate chop deals to the user's hand. Have you ever tried karate chopping something? It HURTS!

Battling Grade: B

Friday, July 18

Weird Al Week: "Sports Song"

With the fifth installment of eight videos to help promote his new album Mandatory Fun, Weird Al has released a video called "Sports Song." Citing "empirical evidence," Al describes in painstaking detail how his sports team will beat yours. Doesn't even matter what sport you're playing. Besides, Yankovic has an entire backing band, and that's really all you need.

Conan O'Brien and Dave Franco Try Out Tinder, With Hilarious Results

My favorite part of Conan O'Brien's multitude of shows through the years are his "on location" sketches. It's just always funny seeing him trying out something new. In this case, he brings along Dave Franco, and the pair join the dating app Tinder. I've never used Tinder; all I know is it involves a lot of swiping and most of my female friends say it's very sketchy. Seems like the perfect setup for a bit to me. Well done, Team Coco. 

Thursday, July 17

Weird Al Week: "Fancy" by Iggy Azalea Gets Parodied

Weird Al has dropped another video in conjunction with the release of his album Mandatory Fun earlier this week. This time he takes on "Fancy" by Iggy Azalea, featuring Charli XCX, with a "Handy" parody. It's probably my least favorite parody of this week. Not just because I think the original song is terrible, but because I think Al himself as already done a better "hardware" parody (even though there's no official video for it). Check "Hardware Store" out below, and see which one you think is better!

Video Of Kanye West in 1996 Surfaces

Ever wish we could go back to a time when Kanye West wasn' of himself? Well, your wish has been granted, hypothetical reader. Video of a performance from 'ye himself at Fat Beats in Brooklyn, just 19 years old and looking slightly unsure of his prowess. He delivers pretty well on the mic, though. It's easy to see his influences at play here. Now if we could just get him back to the Late Registration era Kanye, well, things would be just dandy.

Weird Al Week: Today's Parody Targets Lorde

It's about time Weird Al had another parody about food. Probably his go-to subject (though there's plenty of variety in his food songs), "Foil" parodies "Royals" by Lorde. Of course, there's a little twist going into the second verse. But eventually, everything comes back to aluminum foil. Gotta agree with Al on this one--aluminum foil is awesome. Pretty sure it took me a year to use my last roll. Talk about durability!

Jordan Brand Sends Derek Jeter Off With Awesome Commercial

As any avid baseball fan knows, this is Derek Jeter's final year in the majors. Of course, the sendoffs will be numerous and great. Jordan Brand created a commercial for the All-Star Game that showcases just how much Jeter has meant to the game. Titled "RE2PECT" and featuring a bunch of New York cameos, it's definitely worth a watch.

Wednesday, July 16

Ranking the Pokemon: #20- Gyarados

Gyarados was maybe my favorite Pokemon the first time I played through the original games. Not knowing I could catch a Magikarp later, I got suckered into buying one from that shady guy outside of Mount Moon. But eventually, that flopping, splashing fish transformed into this dragon behemoth you see above. And it was MAGICAL.

As you can probably guess based on appearance alone, Gyarados has really good Attack. Nowadays its Special Attack is pretty weak, but back in Generation I its Special was quite strong. Not nearly as strong as the Attack, mind you, but not so weak that you could keep Beef Gyro as a special sweeper and not feel too bad about it. HP is great, too, and Defense and Speed hover right around the league average. All in all, some great stats for the blue bandit. In fact, adding all stats together makes Gyarados tied for the 8th highest stat machine in the game. Cool.

As for the moves, you could load up on physical attacks, but I'm more a fan of special moves. Surf/Hydro Pump gives Ground/Rock types 4x damage, and everyone else a hefty STAB of HP-drainage, while Blizzard is good for warding off any Grass chumps trying to get in your way. Thunderbolt is also very good, as you can take out fellow Gyarados in a mirror match, or other Water or Flying types. Gyarados also randomly learns Fire Blast, though it's pretty silly to put it on, since any of your other moves can take out Bug types without much effort. Hyper Beam or Double-Edge is probably the best 4th move. Just ask yourself if you want to wait a turn before you attack, or if you want to take some recoil damage. I'd personally choose the latter, but I also personally wouldn't be using those Normal-type moves unless I was really desperate. Since Defense is Gyra's worst stat, you could trade the final move for Reflect or Double Team. It's really up to you. And that flexibility is why Gyarados makes the Top 20. Also, it'd probably make a fine accordion.

The main reason Gyarados is this low is because of how easily killed it is by a Thunderbolt. Most of the time, you're able to do heavy damage. But the fact that Thundershock--THUNDERSHOCK--can kill a Gyra makes it impossible to put up any higher. If your opponent doesn't have any Electric-types, though, you'll probably encounter mostly smooth sailing. As smooth as a dragon/kraken will allow, at least.

Battling Grade: A

More Weird Al, And I Ain't Even Mad

Weird Al's album Mandatory Fun dropped today, and, in keeping with his theme of releasing a music video every day of launch week, Mr. Yankovic put up a music video for his "Blurred Lines" parody, called "Word Crimes".

I think this one is a lot better than "Tacky," both in the music video and lyrics. But hey, I also think "Blurred Lines" is a catchier song than "Happy". Also, I feel way less skeezy listening to Weird Al's version than that of Robin Thicke. Plus, as a writer, I can appreciate the many spelling and grammar lessons within the song. Well job, Weird Al. Well job.

Tuesday, July 15

Weird Al Spoofs Pharrell's "Happy" With A Delightful Parody

Weird Al is the king of all things parody. Of course, thank to the rise of YouTube, there are several other people making parodies all over the place. Heck, even I've done a couple. But there's no beating the master himself, and Weird Al's 14th--and allegedly final--album (although here's hoping he'll at least make it to 15), Mandatory Fun, drops July 15. To celebrate, he's releasing a series of music videos, one day at a time. The first one up? A delightful take on Pharrell's annoying song, "Happy." Al's version is called "Tacky," and the one-shot video features cameos from Aisha Tyler, Margaret Cho, Eric Stonestreet, Kristen Schaal and Jack Black. Good stuff all around.

Sunday, July 13

Ranking the Pokemon: #21- Dragonair

Dragonair is one cool, dragon. The curvy body, pointed tail and unicorn horn make it look more snakelike (with a unicorn horn) than anything else, but I guess GameFreak didn't really have a lot of experience drawing dragons, since Dragonair's evolutionary line is the only one in the game. Besides, that baby blue color is just so hot right now. Well done, Hansel.

I just learned this right now, but Dragonair's base stats are 20 points higher in each category than Dratini's. That makes Dragonair, along with the other two dagrons, one of the few Pokemon that has a base stat ending in a number that's not 0 or 5 (in Dragonair's case, it's its 84 base Attack stat). That's some odd trivia, ain't it?

Draggy is tied with Haunter for highest total base stats for an unevolved Pokemon, which is another bit of trivia. It's also a way of saying Dragonairlines is a pretty solid battler. The Attack is its best stat, but everything else is right around average to above average. I also learned today that Dragonair is actually a real airlines in Hong Kong, and now that I think about it, I may have even flown on it when I studied abroad in China. Even more of a reason to like Dragonair (the Pokemon).

For your moveset, Thunder Wave should be a part of every Dragonair--in fact, any Pokemon that can learn Thunder Wave should have it as one of its four moves. There's just something that's pretty helpful about being able to paralyze your opponent 100% of the time. Someone once told me the Thunder Wave/Wrap combo with Dragonair was the most effective thing in the game, but for people who don't have the patience to do like 2 HP worth of damage at a time, Blizzard and Thunderbolt are much more satisfying alternatives. I'd put those two on for sure, and then include Fire Blast, Hyper Beam, Agility, Reflect or Surf as my final move, in that order. Blizzard basically takes care of everything Surf would (except for Fire), and even though I'm not a big Fire Blast fan, Dragonair's one weakness is Ice, so it's nice to be able to do some good damage against 'em.

Of course, that moveset isn't taking any advantage of Dragonair's Attack rating, but the difference between that rating and the Special one is subtle enough that you can still turn Dragonairhead into a special sweeper, often with overwhelming success.

Battling Grade: B+

Saturday, July 12

All 10 Players Confused, Switch Baskets Mid-Quarter During Basketball Game

The women's U17 World Championship was in full swing a few days ago, and a riveting matchup between Slovak Republic and Mexico found some intrigue at the end of the third quarter.

I'm not going to pretend to know any of the players involved, but let's recap what happened. After Mexico misses a free throw, a player from Slovak Republic secures the rebound. She then shoots at the basket that the free throw was just missed at--in other words, her own basket. The ball goes in, giving Mexico two points. Mexico proceeds to inbound the ball and dribble down the court, the attack on their own basket only neutralized by time expiring in the quarter. Just unreal.

Friday, July 11

LeBron James Headed Back to Cavs, Heat Fans Boarding Flights To Cleveland

Well, that's it. We can finally end the speculation of "The Indecision 2.0." LeBron James is returning to the Cavs to try and lead Cleveland to its first professional title, since...I don't know, James Polk was president?

In a letter posted to Sports Illustrated, LeBron explains his reasons for coming back. I loved the analogy I heard (not sure from where, originally, so I apologize for that) of his four years in Miami being like college. He wanted to sow his oats, explore somewhere new. And now that he's done that, he's ready to come back home. I get it; I went to college in Miami myself. Granted, I've lived in two other cities besides where I grew up since then, but hey, the first part is the same. And if LBJ does bring a championship to Cleveland, he'll probably be as beloved as he was hated in 2011. Redemption certainly does taste sweet.

As for Heat fans, they probably feel like this right about now:

Ranking the Pokemon: #22- Vaporeon

Dang, that picture is doing Vaporeon no favors. It looks like a deformed Teletubby, basically. Vapor Rub is the first of the Eeveelutions, and in my opinion, the second best. Its mermaid-dog body and sheep wool around its head make it probably the most confusing-looking of the three, but hey, maybe your opponent will be too distracted by its weirdness.

But, as we all know, you shouldn't judge a book by its cover. And Vaporeon can do some damage out there, with its really good Special rating. It'll take some damage before bowing out, as well, as its base HP stat of 130 is tied for the fourth best in the game. The other stats are...well, stats.

Vaporeon is one of the few Pokes that learns both Haze and Mist, two moves that are pretty good in subsequent generations, but awful in Generation I. Haze should probably go on any Generation II and beyond Vaporeon, though you'll definitely want to keep it off in Generation I. It's like an Iggy Azalea CD. You just want to keep it off.

Like any Water/Ice type (even though Vapo is pure Water), you'll want Surf/Hydro Pump (I prefer Surf, though HyPu is more powerful) and Blizzard. The other two moves can be a mix--go more on the defensive and add Acid Armor (which ups your Defense stat by two notches, compared to Reflect's one), Double Team or Rest; alternatively, you can take on a more tacit route of attack, and toss on Double-Edge/Hyper Beam and like Toxic or something similar. Or combine the two and do Toxic with Acid Armor or Double Team to poison people and then make it take a lot of effort to hit you back. I promise Toxic was a usable move back in Generation I.

If all else fails, maybe you can just order Vaporeon to slap your opponent. The actual opponent, not the Pokemon. After all, nobody likes a fish tail to the face.

Battling Grade: B+

Thursday, July 10

Text Messages Between Chris Bosh and LeBron James

With all the "sources" and "percentages" and "rumors" of where players will head this NBA free agency period, Funny or Die was able to obtain text messages between Chris Bosh and LeBron James. Check 'em out below.

Wednesday, July 9

Ranking the Pokemon: #23- Kabutops

I've always thought Kabutops was one of the coolest looking Pokemon. It's head is basically a boogie board/sting ray combo, it's got cool spikes along its backside, and those scythe hands are fantastic. It's also one of the few Pokes that has two-clawed feet; most have three or more. Pretty dang impressive. What's more, my computer auto-corrected the previous sentence to "pretty fang impressive." Seems fitting.

Kabutops, like its fellow fossil Omastar, is a Rock/Water type Pokemon, so in addition to its normal weaknesses and resistances, it's 4x weak against Grass, and Fire-type attacks only do a quarter of the damage. I guess das cool, though it's annoying having Fighting and Electric-type moves being supereffective. Oh well.

Booty has pretty wonderful Attack and Defense, and its Speed isn't too shabby, either. Special is a bit below average, and HP is the worst of all--a couple Thunderbolts will probably knock Butops out of commission without too much trouble.

Movewise, Kabutops randomly learns Absorb, which is a nice little nod to Grass, but the move is far too weak to have any use. And I'm fairly certain that, at Level 46, Kabutops learning Leer is one of the latest times a "beginner move" is learned. Weird.

As far as moves you might actually put on your Kabutops, Hydro Pump/Surf should be on there to take advantage of STAB. Pick your poison, whether you want more power or higher accuracy, respectively. Of course Kabutops doesn't learn a Rock-type move, but it's worth loading it up with physical attacks, a la Double-Edge/Body Slam/Slash/Submission, and capping it off with Swords Dance to uppity that already upped Attack.

It's possible to turn Butopiscle into a special-ish sweepe/tank, although I don't recommend it since the Special is nowhere near the Attack level. But you could theoretically outfit Butopslicious with Surf/Blizzard/Double Team and Reflect/Rest. I don't think you'd win a lot of battles that way, I just wanted to let you know it's possible.

Battling Grade: B+

Tuesday, July 8

Ranking the Pokemon: #24- Aerodactyl

Man, Aerodactyl looks fierce. Those teeth, that point tail, those bat-esque wings. Just glorious. Dacty is the only Rock/Flying type in the game, and it uses its dual-type well, with fantastic Speed and strong Attack. The other stats? Well, my mother (and mothers everywhere) probably uttered the phrase, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." So I won't mention that Aerodactyl's Special and Defense in particular are bad, and should feel bad.

In Generation I, Aerodactyl is weak against four types (then added Steel as a weakness in later generations), but none of them--Rock, Water, Ice, or Electric--do more than 2x damage, which is a nice lil' bonus. What's more, mostly thanks to its Rock type, Aerodyne Solutions is resistant to Normal, Bug, Flying, Poison and Fire types. Granted, that's a bunch of crappy types, but still, to resist a third of the types in the game is no small feat. Even though Aerodactyl does have some tiny feet (badum tsh).

Aerodactyl is one of just a dozen Pokemon that can learn the move Dragon Rage via TM, since Generation I is the only time Dragon Rage WAS, in fact, a TM. It was also the only Dragon-type move in Generation I, but since it always deals 40 damage, there really is no actual Dragon-type move in the first generation. Just like there's only a small handful of Bug and Ghost-type moves. GameFreak really got lazy on some of these types and their attacks. Oh well. All of this is to say that you probably shouldn't put Dragon Rage on your Aerodactyl.

So what SHOULD go on there? Better make Aerodracula a physical sweeper, and set it up with Hyper Beam/Double-Edge and Sky Attack/Fly. Curiously, the only Flying attack Aerodactyl learns that doesn't require two turns to pull off is Wing Attack, which is too weak to be viable. Too bad. Aerodactyl also learns Fire Blast, which I guess is worth putting on if you run across an Ice-type that isn't also Water (i.e. Jynx), but I'm more inclined to go on the defensive with Reflect and then Double Team or Rest. Because, hey, like the saying goes, if you're not killing someone with your potent attacks, you might as well be bolstering your defense and/or regaining your HP.

Battling Grade: B

Man Creates Kickstarter for Potato Salad, Makes About 322,000% More Than His Goal

Zack "Danger" Brown was a man with a simple dream last week: he simply wanted to make a batch of potato salad. So, he took to Kickstarter, the crowdfunding website, to try and earn $10 to create his own side dish.

He knew the risks: "It might not be that good. It's my first potato salad." But Mr. Danger didn't let that stop him. And now, at the time of this writing, he's raised over $32,000 for his project. That's absurd. His story is making the rounds all over the place. He even participated in a Reddit IamA, proving once again that the Internet will back a very stupid story to the ends of the earth. I think this is amazing. I just hope Zack's potato salad lives up to the hype.