Monday, November 23, 2009

AP Wacky News: The Internette Webby Awards (awards and accomplishments for and from a hive mind)

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The launch of Wikipedia, emergence of the iPhone and the election of U.S. President Barack Obama were among the 10 most influential moments on the Internet in the past decade, according to the annual Webby awards.

Other events singled out by the New York-based International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, which has presented the annual Webby awards since 1996, were the Iranian election in 2009 when protests demonstrated the power of Twitter and other social network in reshaping democracy.

"The Internet is the story of the decade because it was the catalyst for change in not just every aspect of our everyday lives, but in everything from commerce and communication to politics and pop culture," said David-Michel Davies, the executive director of The Webby Awards, in a statement.

"The recurring theme among all of the milestones on our list is the Internet's capacity to circumvent old systems and put more power into the hands of ordinary people."

Here is the Webby's list of the 10 most influential Internet moments of the decade:

- Craigslist, the free classifieds site, expands outside San Francisco in 2000, impacting newspaper publishers everywhere

- Google AdWords launched in 2000 allowing advertisers to target their customers with laser-sharp precision

- Wikipedia, the free open-source encyclopaedia, launches in 2001 and today boasts more than 14 million articles in 271 different languages and bringing strangers together on projects

- Napster shutdown in 2001, opening the file-sharing floodgates

- Google's IPO in 2004 put the search engine on the path to powering countless aspects of our everyday lives

- Online video revolution in 2006 that led to a boom in homemade and professional content on the Internet and helped reshape everything from pop culture to politics

- Facebook opens to non-college students and Twitter takes off in 2006

- The iPhone debuts in 2007 and smartphones go from a luxury item to a necessity with an app for just about every aspect of modern life

- U.S. presidential campaign in 2008 in which the Internet changed every facet of the way campaigns are run

- Iranian election protests in 2009 when Twitter proved vital in organising demonstrations and as a protest too

(Writing by Belinda Goldsmith, Editing by Sugita Katyal)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Jonathan and Nate's A-List Podcast, Episode 5

"Creator or Liar?" <---click here

J.R.R. Tolkien - Fellowship of the Rings excerpt
Lon Chaney - Theme from "Spider Baby"
Ol' Dirty Bastard - Rollin' Wit You
Wu-Tang Clan - Wolves
Talking Heads - Animals
Eugene McDaniels - River
Kenta Nagata, Hajime Wakai, Toru Minegishi, Koji Kondo - Illusionary Room
Animal Collective - On A Highway
Fiery Furnaces - Chief Inspector Blancheflower
Mountain Goats - The Sign [Ace of Base cover]
Lightning Bolt - Duel in the Deep
J.R.R. Tolkien - Fellowship of the Rings excerpt
Iggy Pop - interview excerpt
The United States of America - The American Way of Love

"Let Them Sing it for You" courtesy of Erik B√ľnger

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

AP Wacky News: Corporate Capitalism and the Gadgets of Our Fears (the fear iButton and Virtual Whoopsie Godlbergs)

SYDNEY (Reuters) – People scared of flying can now press a button on their iPhone to help them deal with their panic.

Long-haul airline Virgin Atlantic Airways has launched an application, or app, for its Flying Without Fear course which boasts a success rate of over 98 percent. Apps are a source of information, games and other novelty ideas for users of Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch devices.

The airline said in a statement that this app was designed to help people overcome fear, be it of the unfamiliar aircraft, the strange noises a plane makes, or of losing control.

"Our first iPhone app will bring the benefits of our successful Flying Without Fear course to millions of people around the world who are now using mobile technology to make their lives better," Richard Branson, president of Virgin Atlantic, said in a statement.

"The app will put many travelers at ease and enable them to prepare for their first Virgin Atlantic flight."

The airline developed the app with Mental Workout, a company developing software to help people resolve issues and increase mental performance. A spokesman from Mental Workout said an estimated one in every three adults were scared of flying.

The Flying Without Fear app has an introduction by Branson, a video-based in-flight explanation of a flight, frequently asked questions, relaxation exercises and a fear attack button for emergencies with breathing exercises.

(Writing by Belinda Goldsmith, Editing by Miral Fahmy)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Scott Walker

So I realize I've probably made a few too many posts today, but I've really just come across too much good stuff lately that I really want to share. I don't know if any of you have heard any of Scott Walker's stuff, but I somehow have completely missed it all these years. Either way it's good and the guy is pretty interesting, maybe not as interesting as the documentary 30 Century Man makes him out to be, but still definitely worth some time... I think. Jackie and I watched it a couple days ago and aside from the usual Rock-Doc cliches it has its moments. Here's The Electrician from 'The Walker Brothers' 1978 Album Nite Flights.

AP Wacky News: Genuine Capitalism and the Products of Our Fears (the anti-swine flu holy water dispenser)

ROME (Reuters) – An Italian inventor has combined faith and ingenuity to come up with a way to keep church traditions alive for the faithful without the fear of contracting swine flu -- an electronic holy water dispenser.

The terracotta dispenser, used in the northern town of Fornaci di Briosco, functions like an automatic soap dispenser in public washrooms -- a churchgoer waves his or her hand under a sensor and the machine spurts out holy water.

"It has been a bit of a novelty. People initially were a bit shocked by this technological innovation but then they welcomed it with great enthusiasm and joy. The members of this parish have got used to it," said Father Pierangelo Motta.

Catholics entering and leaving churches usually dip their hands into fonts full of holy water -- which has been blessed by a priest -- and make the sign of the cross.

But fear of contracting the H1N1 virus has led many in Italy -- where some 15 people have died of swine flu -- not to dip their hands in the communal water font.

"It's great," said worshipper Marta Caimm as she entered the church. "Thanks to this we are not worried about catching swine flu. It is the right thing for the times," she said.

Luciano Marabese, who invented the dispenser, said he did so out of concern that fear of swine flu was eroding traditions.

And he is now blessing himself all the way to the bank.

"After all the news that some churches, like Milan's cathedral, were suspending the use of holy water fonts as a measure against swine flu, demands for my invention shot to the stars. I have received orders from all over the world," he said.

(Reporting by Eleanor Biles; Writing by Philip Pullella; Editing by Louise Ireland)

Dan Lacey, The Painter Of Pancakes

"My name is Dan Lacey. I paint people with pancakes on their heads, a continuing series of images featuring Barack Obama Nude On A Unicorn, and many other things. I live in Minnesota." - Dan Lacey
Obama With A Pancake On His Head
Michael Jackson & Tupac Shakur / Only God Can Judge Me (Now)
Chairman Meow With A Pancake On His Head
Naked Obama Riding A Unicorn
Palin With A Pancake On Her Head
Putin With A Pancake On His Head
Tiger With A Pancake On It's Head (Putin Eating It)

Google Search: More Putin...

AP Wacky News: Vlad 4 Life (ealry signs of coming revolutions?)

MOSCOW (AFP) – Vladimir Putin, never shy with a photo-op, took his man-of-the-people act to the hip-hop dancefloor Friday, where he used a rap music competition to deliver an anti-drugs message.

"Graffitti is becoming a true art, fine and delicate," Putin, clad in a beige turtleneck and grey sports jacket, told a young crowd at the "Respect" rap contest.

"And breakdance is something peculiar," he said. "This really is propaganda for a healthy lifestyle because it is hard to imagine breakdancing having anything to do with drinking and dope," Putin said.

The powerful Russian president-turned-prime minister praised the spectators packed into the room where they watched displays by contest participants of making graffitti, breakdancing and belting out rap tunes.

"I must say honestly that those young people who are pursuing these kinds of arts in our country are bringing in their own, Russian charm" to them, Putin said during the contest, portions of which were shown on state television.

The youths appeared charmed themselves by the appearance of the 57-year-old Putin, who remains by far Russia's most popular politician despite ceding the Kremlin last year to Dmitry Medvedev.

"It would be cool to produce a joint track with Putin because he is a legendary person and our idol," gushed Rapper Zhigan, one of the winners of the contest, quoted by the state news agency RIA-Novosti...?

"We would create so much noise for him that the whole world would hear."

Putin is keeping the world in suspense over whether he is plotting a return to the Kremlin but presses his image, posing with bikers, swimming the butterfly in wild Siberian rivers, fly-fishing shirtless and riding on horseback for the cameras.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

AP Wacky News: Street Justice Served

(Photograph acquired through a google image search of "richmond bum")
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) A Richmond man will have to live more than a month in one of his neglected rental houses as punishment for failing to maintain his properties. Oliver Lawrence was sentenced Monday to 30 days in jail, followed by 40 days in home incarceration at a small, single-story house owned by his company, Bayou Properties. He also was fined more than $177,000.

Lawrence was convicted on more than 180 property-maintance violations.

Until recently, the house was unsecured and had a shed littered with needles, other drug paraphernalia and feces, according to a city inspector.

Richmond officials have been fighting with Lawrence over the condition of his properties for more than two years. He owns 150 to 300 properties, according to city estimates.

Old Pups

Tim Heidecker tweeted this the other day. Genius.

Faces of Old Dogs

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

AP Wacky News: Why We Fight

(Photograph Courtesy of The thanks.)
MILWAUKEE (AP) - A Milwaukee Army reservist's military identification earned him some street cred Tuesday, when he says four men who mugged him at gunpoint returned his belongings and thanked him for his service after finding the ID.

The 21-year-old University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee student said he was walking home from work about 1:15 a.m. Tuesday when he was pulled into an alley and told to lay face down and with a gun to his neck. Four men took his wallet, $16, keys, his cell phone and even a PowerBar wrapper from his pants pockets, he said.

But the hostile tone quickly changed when one of the robbers, whom the reservist presumed was the leader, saw an Army ID in the wallet. The robber told the others to return the items and they put most of his belongings on the ground next to him, including the wrapper, the reservist said.

"The guy continued to say throughout the situation that he respects what I do and at one point he actually thanked me and he actually apologized," said the reservist, who asked not to be identified Tuesday because the robbers still had his keys.

The reservist said he asked the men, who all had hoods or hats covering their faces, if he could get up and they said he could before starting to walk away.

"The leader of the group actually walked back, gave me a quick fist bump, which was very strange," he said.

Milwaukee police spokeswoman Anne E. Schwartz said the reservist is credible and that officers still were looking for the suspects Tuesday.

The reservist didn't realize until later that his keys were not with him and he doesn't know if the robbers intended to keep those, he said. Still, he said he feels lucky.

"I'm just kind of awe struck that everything was given back to me due to just being in the military, " he said. "I realize in pretty much every other situation that wouldn't happen."

He said he's never been deployed, only having signed up for the Army Reserves about a year ago. He said he is the first person in his immediate family to join the military.

Schwartz said there were two other incidents within 40 minutes in the same area and police suspect the four men were involved in all of them. The robbers were unsuccessful at 12:35 a.m., when the 39-year-old man they approached ran into the street and started screaming.

Schwartz said within 10 minutes of that they approached a 47-year-old man - a convicted burglar who had a Department of Corrections inmate ID in his wallet - ordered him to the ground and pointed a gun at him. They took his wallet, apparently unfazed by that ID.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


every night throughout the world hundreds of people dream about this face

AP Wacky News: Love Hurts

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A Portland man who attacked his ex-girlfriend and impaled her pet fish this summer has been sentenced to two years probation, a psychological evaluation and community service.

Donald Earl Fite III, 27, pleaded guilty Tuesday to animal abuse and domestic violence assault.

According to court records, Sarah Harris had broken up with Fite but returned to her Portland apartment July 25 to find him lying on her bed, saying he wanted to get back together.

When Harris tried to leave, Fite shoved her against a wall, grabbed her hair and tossed her against a bathtub.

Harris fled but returned with an officer to find her fish — a bright purple betta named "DeLorean" — on the wood floor with a knife through it.

According to court records, Fite quickly admitted killing the fish, telling police: "If she can't have me, then she can't have the fish."

Fite's attorney, Tom Macnair, said Tuesday that killing the fish was a "very low point" in his client's life.

"He is absolutely mortified and ashamed about what he did to the fish," MacNair said in Multnomah County Circuit Court. Fite, who had no previous criminal history, declined to make a statement.

Harris did not attend the hearing. In a phone interview with The Oregonian newspaper, she recalled crying hysterically when she saw the fish with a knife sticking through it.

"Donald bought the fish for me, and I'm sure he knew how much I cared for it," she said.

Betta fish, also known as Siamese fighting fish, are colorful freshwater aquarium fish that usually are between 2 and 3 inches long.

Prosecutor Eric Zimmerman told Judge Eric Bergstrom that Harris plans to get a memorial tattoo of the fish and wanted Fite to pay for it. Bergstrom, however, declined to make Fite pay restitution for the tattoo.

The judge ordered Fite to stay away from Harris, but said he could have contact with fish.

Monday, November 9, 2009