Archive | December, 2013

Stuff That Happened!

23 Dec

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IN WHICH I FIND COOL STUFF ON THE INTERNET SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO! 

A collection of kickass stuff I find on the internet.

Cool Stuff // And Also… // Articles // Videos // Trailers & TV/Movie News

DI Cool Stuff BarA WEEK WHERE NOBODY LEARNED ANY LESSONS!!! ~ Welp- it was an exciting week in “STORIES THAT FLOODED MY FACEBOOK FEED WITH UNASKED FOR OPINIONS.” It started with Megyn Kelly saying that “Santa… is white.” Kelly said this during a discussion over an article that was published at Slate entitled Santa Claus Should Not Be A White Man Anymore. The ensuing shitstorm was epic. A million articles were written about why Megyn Kelly’s remarks were awful. The lesson everyone SHOULD have learned was: NEVER EVER ENGAGE ANYONE AT SLATE!! They LIVE for that, you guys! When FoxNews contacted them to do a segment, I imagine everyone at Slate experienced a collective orgasm. Technically, I agree with Slate on most issues and I STILL always leave the site in a spluttering rage. Slate writes articles with the sole purpose of upsetting you (why else would they have AN ENTIRE TAG entitled “YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG!? Really, Slate? I’m doing grilled cheese wrong? I DOUBT IT, you arrogant assholes.). [ThinkProgress]

GEORGE ZIMMERMAN IS COMING FOR YOU!~ Following in George W. Bush’s footsteps, George Zimmerman has turned to art therapy to quiet the demons in his life. Zimmerman recently put a painting he did on Ebay in hopes that the sale would help him combat his financial woes (i.e. MASSIVE COURT COSTS). In the description of the painting, Zimmerman says, “My art work allows me to reflect, providing a therapeutic outlet and allows me to remain indoors 🙂.” The smiley emoticon at the end isn’t me editorializing- that’s Zimmerman being all cute and jokesy (it’s hilarious because he gets in SUCH PREDICAMENTS when he leaves his house!). Zimmerman isn’t going to remain indoors forever though. The person who has the winning bid on Ebay gets a DOUBLE treat because Zimmerman has promised to deliver the painting to their door. WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG?   [NY MAG]

BROOKLYN IS NAMED LESBIAN CAPITAL OF THE NORTHEAST~ Marty Markowitz declared Brooklyn, NY “The Lesbian Capital of the Northeast!” Marty Markowitz (I CAN ONLY SAY HIS FULL NAME) is the Borough President of Brooklyn… which I didn’t know was a thing. It should be noted that this statement was issued with pride (no pun intended). Marty Markowitz believes that lesbians have, “made unbelievable contributions to the quality of life in our city and our borough” (awwww). Brooklyn beat out Amherst, Northampton, Manhattan, and Provincetown– and from what I can determine– NO ONE HAS TRIED TO CORRECT HIM! Who knew Borough President carried such authority?! WHY STOP THERE, MARTY MARKOWITZ? How about lesbian capital of THE UNITED STATES! THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE! THE WORLD!!! [Gothamist]

DI other stuff bar

– I WANT THIS KID’S CHILDHOOD! [ViralNova]

– “Troy McClure Film or Actual Terrible Movie” [Mental Floss]

– “40 Most Insane Things That Happened This Year In Florida” [Buzzfeed]

– “Royal Burn” a mashup by Bvnny [Bvnny]

– “A Treasury of Children’s Insane Christmas Wish Lists” [Deadspin]

The Daily Show correspondent, Jessica Williams, interviewed a sad little man from Forbes and asked him how his political policy (i.e. taking away after-school lunch programs for poor children/SNAP) was different from The Hunger Games.  (SPOILER: IT ISN’T THAT DIFFERENT, YOU GUYS!) This is a GIF set of the best part of the interview and you can see the entire interview here. [The Daily Show]

– 50 Awesome Quotes by Neil DeGrasse Tyson [TwistedSifter]

– The best punishment for politicians who don’t believe in science [Upworthy]

– Artist transforms her apartment into intricate dreamscapes. These are amazing! All I can turn my room into is the junk yard from Labyrinth. [Colossal]

– Beautiful comic about winter. It reminds me of The Snowman– but for adults. [Buzzfeed]

DI articles barWill Ferrell and Adam McKay talk about Anchorman and how it strays from “the rules of comedy”  (Terry Gross // NPR)

Inside the Box: People Don’t Actually Like Creativity (Jessica Olien // Slate)

‘Slut-Shaming’ Has Been Tossed Around So Much, It’s Lost All Meaning (Callie Beusman // Jezebel)

George Carlin on How He Came Up With His Material, Advice To Young Comedians, and His Influence (Larry Getlen // Splitsider)

DI videos bar– Penguin Falls Down [YouTube]

– How to Read Science News [It’s Okay To Be Smart]

– “Proof That Every Country Song Was Exactly The Same In 2013” [Buzzfeed]

– “Dance of the Snowflakes” from SNL. This is basically my experience with performing stand-up comedy distilled into a 4 minute skit. Also- John Goodman makes an excellent snowflake. [SNL]


DI trailers and tv news bar

  • Judd Apatow is teaming up with Keegen-Michael Key and Jordan Peele (from Key & Peele) to make (WHAT I CAN ONLY ASSUME WILL BE) an awesome movie [Bleeding Cool]
  • J.K. Rowling is writing a play that will serve as a prequel for the Harry Potter books [Daily Mail]
  • BriTANick might get a movie [Variety]
  • Jennifer Saunders says she wants to write a movie for Absolutely Fabulous. Now, all that is left to do, is peer-pressure her until she delivers. [Jezebel]
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Stuff That Happened!

15 Dec

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IN WHICH I FIND COOL STUFF ON THE INTERNET SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO! 

A collection of kickass stuff I find on the internet.

Cool Stuff // And Also… // Articles // Videos // Trailers & TV/Movie News

DI Cool Stuff BarHELLO! Usually “Cool Stuff” is one or two (or THREE if I’m feeling super ambitious) interesting stories that I write and comment on. There were several stories I posted earlier this week that basically fall under this category. They are awesome stories about heroic Canadians, badass scientists, aaaaand terrifying arctic monsters. Read them… and let me know what you think.


DI other stuff bar
– “Rise and Fall of the Fox Civilization in Disney Films” (The Toast)

– “40 Maps That Will Help You Make Sense of the World” (Twisted Sifter)

– “Truth & Lies” Poster Series by Justin Barber – The lies we tell every day… and what we really mean (UFunk)

– “Your Friend Made a Dubstep Album for Toddlers. How To Sound Genuine When He Plays It For You” (McSweeney’s)

– National Geographic Photo Contests:

– Laughing Owls (Buzzfeed)

 

DI articles barSix Things Nelson Mandela Believed That Most People Won’t Talk About (Aviva Shen & Judd Legum // ThinkProgress)

The Rule of Emperors (Bill Moyers // UTNE)

Your Spirit Animal Is Here (Mallory Ortberg // The Toast)

Excerpt from “You’re So Controlling” (Maria Konnikova // The New York Times)

 

DI videos bar– “Katniss Everdeen Kills Everything” [Pleated-Jeans]

– Carl Sagan on the importance of Science in democracy. It’s basically your civic duty to be an informed and critically thinking person. [Upworthy]

– “A Cheetah and a Dog frolic together in the snow.” YOU ARE WELCOME. [UPROXX]

– Germans try to pronounce the word “squirrel” [Laughing Squid]

– Amy Poehler and Billy Eichner coerce NYC pedestrians to sing Christmas Carols with them [Jezebel]

– Paul Rudd has been pranking Conan for the past 15 years [Pajiba]

 

DI trailers and tv news bar

  • Ed Helms will star in The Naked Gun reboot [Variety]
  • Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were guest editors for this weeks issue of Entertainment Weekly [EW]
  • Sarah Silverman is interviewed about her new special “We Are Miracles” [Vulture]

Awesome Story Roundup!

12 Dec

CANADIANS ARE SO FRIENDLY- THEY HELP SHARKS IN NEED! (Huffington Post) Two Canadians saw a shark who was choking on a moose and they rushed in to save the sharks life.

You guys! So much is happening in this story it is unreal.

Frankly, I did not think Canada had a lot of sharks (I was wrong). The shark that these dashing Canucks saved was a Greenland Shark and it is basically a hideous monster that eats polar bears, looks like a terrifying statue come to life, and lives forever. If I saw this beast- I would run screaming in the other direction. Luckily, these two guys felt compelled to help their shark brother and yanked the bit of moose out of the shark’s throat. I will repeat that. They had to remove the MOOSE from the SHARK’S throat. A meeting between these two animals would normally only occur in my worst nightmares (Moose are TERRIFYING!!  They are flippin’ BIG, you guys!).

So now, thanks to these brave lads from the North, this formidable creature is alive and well and will be waiting for you in the cold dark arctic seas. THANKS, CANADA!

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WOMEN DOING AWESOME FANTASTICAL DEEDS! (The Toast) While you were living your boring life– six women were quietly having astonishing adventures that basically made Indiana Jones and Lara Croft look like Dora the Explorer.

In order to assemble the perfect team, an archeological expedition did a search for the most highly qualified scientists in the land. In order to be a part of this special bone-finding operation– you had to have a very particular set of skills which included being blindingly brilliant, having no fear, being physically and mentally invincible, and being total nerds when they casually discover bones in what is apparently one of the most lucrative finds in archaeology. Basically they needed to be the freaking Avengers of Archaeology. When it came down to it– the most badass people turned out to be ladies:

Fifty-seven qualified researchers applied for the job. Six were chosen: Lindsay Eaves, Marina Elliott, Elen Feuerriegel, Alia Gurtov, Hannah Morris and Becca Peixotto.

“It ended up that the most qualified human beings on this planet to do this very dangerous, very remarkable job were young women,” Berger said in a video profile of the “underground astronauts.” (NBC News)

Wonderful.

You can follow the Rising Star Expedition and learn about all of their findings over the course of the excavation here.

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HARVARD STUDENTS DON’T KNOW THE CAPITAL OF CANADA (AND WE ALL LAUGH AT THEM FOR NOT KNOWING THINGS)! (Canada) Students at Harvard were asked to name the capital of Canada and pretty much no one knew the answer. Haha- what a bunch of dummies. While the sample size was pretty small, it wasn’t some outsider’s attempt to humiliate Harvard kids. The video was put together by The Harvard Crimson. Well done, guys. (Ottawa is the capital of Canada… more Canadian Fun Facts here).

This is what EVERY Bon Iver song sounds like to me…

11 Dec

“I Got Stuck” ~ Kollektivet

Poor fella.

 

If you want more Kollektivet, check these songs out. Between Ylvis and Kollektivet, Norway is winning at fun songs.

“I mean, really”

2 Dec

There is a little app floating out there called “What Would I Say?” It sifts through everything you have ever posted on Facebook and generates a post that sounds like something you would say.

It’s not just a bot, it’s a YOU bot.

Admittedly, when I began, I was skeptical (“No bot can imitate ME! I am special! Maybe the specialest!! No bot can recreate the uniqueness of ME!”). I granted the bot access to my Facebook page and planned to bask in the glory of being right.

But, I was alarmed at how accurate most of the posts were…

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Screen Shot 2013-11-18 at 12.13.58 AMThese are all totally legit things that I would post.

  1. This is a type of low-level burn I could definitely see myself using.
  2. I don’t listen to Lil’ Wayne’s music- so I was surprised at how concerned I was when he had a seizure. This might have been EXACTLY what I posted.
  3. My weekend revolves around brunch. An invitation to brunch is basically an invitation to be my friend.

I wasn’t entirely surprised that the posts seemed like something I would say. The app was using my words.

What surprised me was the tone of the posts.

I deliberately organize my posts to be funny and attention-grabing. My posts aren’t brilliant- but there is some thought that goes behind it. I’m not just hemorrhaging a bunch of funny words (which is what I assumed this app was going to do).

But the app (which we will now refer to as JennyBot) was generating responses that legitimately sounded like me.

After doing a minimal amount of research, I learned that the bot doesn’t just regurgitate the words from past posts– it mimics the language and style of the posts. My style is apparently ridiculous and grandiose. So even when the sentences didn’t make sense– THE POSTS STILL SOUNDED LIKE ME!

Screen Shot 2013-11-18 at 12.13.27 AM

Despite the fact that this sentence makes no real sense structurally, I had no problem understanding what JennyBot meant. It is not too far off base to say that if I were feeling down and unsuccessful, that I would describe my emotional state as “depressing death + Christmas Pterodactyls*.

(*but I like to think that Tina Fey’s New York includes Christmas Pterodactyls.)

Ultimately, JennyBot painted a fairly accurate portrait of actual Jenny:

  • JennyBot is well-meaning but impractical:

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I enjoyed this one. It sounds like something I casually wrote on my to-do list: buy paper towels, take clothes out of the dryer, take care of problems. While I’m at it, I should just include “achieve enlightenment” underneath.

(FUN FACT: I have never finished a to-do list in my life).

  • JennyBot is emotional:

Screen Shot 2013-11-18 at 12.18.24 AMI like to think that my posts are bizarre and curiously emotional while I, myself, am stoic and cold. If I’m honest, though, I DO get a little moved by the people around me. I can’t help it. I surround myself with awesome people. The compliments you hear from me are the kinds you you usually only hear from super drunk people (“No, seriously! You are AMAZING.”).

  • JennyBot is oddly inspirational:

Screen Shot 2013-11-17 at 6.04.11 PMMotivational posters and songs always seem to think that ASCENDING a mountain is the ultimate achievement. But there ain’t no shame in descending a mountain! There are plenty of non-mountain related activities you can do– and now you don’t have that mountain to deal with!

So, basically, through the magic of JennyBot, I learned that I am emotional, less of a misanthrope than I thought, pro-brunch, and overly invested in the life of rapper Lil’ Wayne (also, I like to talk about Sasquatch, ninjas, gay stuff, and the Russian Embassy).

Learning that a bot absolutely could imitate the specialness of me wasn’t actually such a terrible blow to the ego.

It was thrilling to realize I could finally delegate my tweets to someone else (that shit is tedious, yo!).

Let the robot takeover begin!

In closing:

Screen Shot 2013-11-17 at 6.04.50 PMThanks, JennyBot. I will be.