OK Go is an American alternative rock band known for their catchy songs and awesome music videos. Their music videos are what really set them apart, gaining popularity not just on MTV but on YouTube especially. They released a few music videos online but they really blew up with the video for “Here It Goes Again” in which they performed a tightly choreographed dance on treadmills. They released a few other awesome videos incorporating everything from stop motion to trained dogs to elaborate Rube Goldberg machines. Their new video for “I Won’t Let You Down” might just be their most creative video yet. I’ve watched a few times and still can’t figure out how they did it. It’s starts out simple and gets bigger and bigger and bigger until you can’t comprehend the complexity of it all. It seems like it’s done all in one take but there’s no way in Hell that anyone could do that. There has to be green screens and CG and advanced robots involved. I don’t even know how they came up with the idea for the video. Words can’t describe it. You just have to watch it.
Jordan Rides the Bus is another entry in ESPN’s 30 for 30 series. It’s an interesting documentary that explores what happened when NBA legend Michael Jordan retired from basketball at the height of his popularity to give professional baseball a shot. Director Ron Shelton examines the reasons why Michael left one game for another and shows the struggles and triumphs of Michael’s stint in the Minor Leagues. Basically he stinks in the beginning, puts a lot of effort into getting better, he improves a little bit, and then he went back to playing in the NBA. Sorry for the spoilers but you should already know that.
Michael Jordan has been considered the best basketball player of all time and his attempt at playing baseball has often been considered a punchline. This documentary makes you realize that it wasn’t a joke. The guy really wanted to be a baseball player. He sucked but that’s beside the point. The point is that he tried. He doesn’t regret anything in the end. His time in the bush league took him from the top of the pedestal to the bottom, he learned some humility, and he became a better person and teammate when he triumphantly returned to the NBA.
The San Francisco Giants won the 2014 World Series. They also won the 2012 World Series. And before that they won the 2010 World Series. That’s three World Series in five years in case you’re not paying attention. That’s a dynasty. Only a lot of people disagree with that. Those people are mostly on the East Coast and they are extremely biased. They would have no problem calling it a dynasty if the New York Yankees did it. The Giants did it with the same core group of guys in an era when rosters change dramatically from season to season. Bruce Bochy, Madison Bumgarner, Buster Posey, Pablo Sandoval, Tim Lincecum, Jeremy Affeldt, Santiago Casilla, Javier Lopez, and Sergio Romo (and Matt Cain sort of) all have three rings with this team. A bunch of others now have two. A handful of them got their first ones. In 2016 they will get another if the trend keeps up.
The Giants are often overlooked and underrated. The Dodgers and Yankees get all the attention and publicity because of their marquee players and enormous payroll. But it takes a team to win the World Series and the Giants play as a team in every sense of the word. They pick each other up, they support each other, and they play for each other. It seems like there’s a different hero every game. They play for the name of the front of the jersey, not the name on the back and every single player on that roster will tell you that. They believe that there’s something special happening in San Francisco. And three World Series in five years proves that there is. Let’s call it what it is. It’s a dynasty.
One of the saddest things you can ever witness is an old person falling. When I was eleven years old my grandma was reaching for something on her dresser and she fell out of her wheelchair. I was the only other one home at the time and wasn’t strong enough to lift her up. She had to stay sprawled out on the floor while I went next door to find a neighbor to help. The worst part is how embarrassed she was. She was completely helpless and she knew it. It’s gut-wrenching to live your whole life independently and suddenly becoming reliant on other people. All you can do when an old person falls is to help them and hope they aren’t hurt. Their pride is always damaged. Treat them with dignity and respect while you console them. You could be the one lying on the floor someday.
The Wilhelm scream is one of the most famous sound effects in cinema and television. You’ve heard it hundreds of times even if you haven’t been aware of it. Have you seen any Star Wars or Indiana Jones movies? You’ve heard it. A fan of Tarantino flicks? You’ve heard it. Watched any of the Lord of the Rings and/or The Hobbit films? You’ve heard it. It first appeared in 1951’s Distant Drums and later became a stock sound effect. It was later renamed after 1953’s The Charge at Feather River when a character called Private Wilhelm gets shot with an arrow. It became a Hollywood fixture when sound designer Ben Burtt rediscovered it and put it in Star Wars. Other sound designers picked up on it and inserted it into their films as an in-joke. Once you’re heard the distinctive scream it becomes impossible to forget. It puts a smile on your face whenever you’re watching the latest blockbuster and it pops up. You can’t escape it once you’re aware of it.
Wet Hot American Summer is a 2001 comedy about the last day of summer at the fictional Camp Firewood. It’s not just a comedy; it’s completely off the wall and ridiculous. It’s more like Airplane! than most comedy films that come out. It’s packed with jokes, one-liners, and sight gags. It has a pretty solid cast featuring Michael Showalter, David Hyde Pierce, Bradley Cooper, Janeane Garofalo, Elizabeth Banks, Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, Michael Ian Black, Molly Shannon, and more. The movie was a flop when it came out but it’s become a cult classic in the years since.
There’s a plot, albeit a nonsensical one. It’s the last day of camp and the big talent show is tonight. Coop has a crush on Katie, but she’s in a relationship with the douchey Andy. Camp director Beth has a mutual crush on Associate Professor Henry Newman, but they are both too awkward to act on it. And to make things more complicated, Henry has detected a piece of NASA’s Skylab has broken off and is heading directly for the camp and he must find a way to stop the disaster. Even though the film takes place in one day, there’s no way that all the things that happen in the movie could happen in one day. It’s like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off but they acknowledge the fact that it’s impossible and have fun with it, like the scene where the camp counselors go into town and have a crazy drug-fueled montage and return to camp an hour later.
This movie is the smart kind of stupid. And it’s not for everyone. Watch it for ten minutes and give it time to settle in. If you don’t like it by then, stop watching it. But if you manage to make it through the whole movie, it will become one of your favorite comedies. Well, it should be at least. You might have awful taste in movies.
Snapple Peach Tea is a peach flavored iced tea. You’ll like it if you like iced tea and peaches. It’s made from green and black tea leaves just in case you were wondering. I know that if I were you, I would be wondering what kind of tea leaves they use to make it. It’s refreshing to drink on a hot day and it’s a healthier alternative than a soda. It’s caffeinated and that’s always a bonus, just maybe not right before bedtime. If you’re going to get it, look for the glass bottle as opposed to the larger plastic bottle. The glass bottle caps are the ones with “Real Facts” printed on them. Some of the “Real Facts” are real and some of them are completely wrong or inaccurate. It’s like the Wikipedia of bottle caps.
There’s a video circulating the internet of an angry homophobe attacking a man he believes is gay. It’s a video that shows the best of people and the worst of people. It starts with an angry guy taunting and threatening a fellow traveller wearing a pink shirt. A group of nervous onlookers try to calm the man down and relieve the situation. They ask him why he’s so upset, they try to reason with him, they ask him if it’s worth going to jail for. All of that just adds fuel to the fire and he suddenly attacks the guy in pink. But then the crowd jumps into action, tackling him and restraining him until a few cops show up to arrest him. It’s street justice, it’s vigilantism, it’s instant karma. The best part is that this video takes place in the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, deep in the heart of Texas. Texas isn’t exactly known for being liberal and supportive of gay rights, so it’s refreshing to see the crowd rush in to help. It looks like one guy even broke his ankle in the process. There’s a lot of hate in the world, but there’s a lot more love. It’s hard to remember that sometimes. Videos like this remind you of that.
Slim Jim Tabasco takes the processed smoked snack stick you know and love and combines it with the spicy pepper sauce that you also know and love. It gives the meat stick an extra kick. It’s pretty good actually. I like it more than other Slim Jim flavors. It’s not extremely spicy but it makes you sweat a little bit. Real jerky is a thousand times better, but sometimes real jerky is not available. That’s when you grab a Slim Jim. And if you’re grabbing a Slim Jim, try the Tabasco infused one. As long as you’re settling for an inferior product, you might as well make it a superior inferior product. That’s what Slim Jim Tabasco is. A superior inferior product. That makes sense if you think about it long enough.
LeVar Burton is an actor most famous for portraying the young Kunta Kinte in Roots, the blind guy in Star Trek: The Next Generation, and as the host of Reading Rainbow. He got millions of young Americans interested in books and literature. He’s not quite Mr. Rogers, but he’s been a positive influence in children’s television programming for decades. Recently he did a reading of Adam Mansbach’s Go the Fuck to Sleep as part of telethon to raise money for charity. Go the Fuck to Sleep is not a children’s book. It’s a parody of children’s books written from the perspective of an exasperated parent trying to get their kid to go the fuck to sleep, and it’s full of cuss words that would get bleeped on basic cable. LeVar reads the short story to a group of adults sitting cross-legged and listening intently. It’s impossible not to have flashbacks to your childhood, but it’s slightly jarring (and also hilarious) to hear him cussing like a sailor. LeVar agreed to do the reading if viewers donated $75,000. The telethon ended up raising $442,389. That’s not all LeVar, but he definitely helped.
A luggage tag is a tag for your luggage that contains your personal information in case your bag gets lost. It should have your first and last name, your address, and your phone number. You don’t need to put all your personal information on it, especially not your social security or PIN number. Don’t get carried away. You just want your bag to get returned, not have your identity stolen. Luggage tags are often given away by corporations as a form of advertising because they want their brand and logo to be seen in airports around the world. You should never buy something if you can get it for free. And who really wants to waste money on a luggage tag? I’d rather buy a soda and a pack of Skittles. Or stamps. Or a little key chain that lights up. You can make your own luggage tag with a Post-it note and some Scotch Tape.
A sand dollar is a sea creature related to sea urchins, star fish, and sea cucumbers. They are basically round and flat sea urchins living in a “shell” with a star pattern on it. The shell is actually their skeleton, and when they die you find their hollowed body washed up on the beach. When you picture a sand dollar in your mind, you’re imagining the corpse of one. The dead sand dollar is the thing that the Flintstones use for currency. Yes, the thing you gave your girlfriend as a romantic gesture were skeletal remains. How sweet. They are often used as paperweights because there’s not too much you can do with them other than look at them. Sand dollars are one of those things that you think are interesting but you don’t think too much about. But they are pretty fascinating if you bother to do some basic research. If you have a sand dollar lying around, pick it up now. Go on, grab it. You got it in your hands now? Ok, perfect. Flip it over so that it’s upside down and put your finger on the hole in the center of the bottom. Is your finger on the hole now? If it’s not, put your finger directly on the hole. Do you know what that hole is? It’s the anus. I just made you finger a sand dollar’s butthole. Behold the power of the internet. Now go wash your hands.
Critically Rated at 11/17
Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young
Orange juice is juice made from oranges. You can drink it anytime you want, but most people consider it to be a breakfast beverage. It’s full of vitamin C, so it will help fight colds and stop scurvy. It’s also an essential ingredient for mimosas and screwdrivers. It tastes good, is beneficial to your health, and it makes a great mixer. No refrigerator is complete without it. Orange juice is commonly referred to as OJ. It’s the only juice that gets an abbreviated name. Apple juice is apple juice, not AJ. Pineapple juice is pineapple juice, not PJ. Cranberry juice is cranberry juice, not CJ. Grape juice is grape juice, not GJ. I don’t know why orange juice is the lone exception. You would think that Minute Maid and Tropicana would try to distance themselves from the term OJ after the whole incident involving a certain football player, two dead people, and a white Bronco, but I guess OJ is too established a term.
When you’re picking out orange juice, you have to pay attention to your pulp levels. So,e people love pulp, some people hate it, and some have no feelings toward it. No Pulp is always a safe option, but it’s boring. You want some pulp, just not too much. Luckily Some Pulp is actually an option. I think Tropicana makes it. It’s the ideal pulp level for mimosas.
Critically Rated at 13/17
Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young
My roommate has a map of the United States on the wall. She puts little flags in all the cities, national parks, and places that she’s been. It’s like a visual representation of where she’s traveled, and it’s a great idea. So naturally I have to one up her. I plan on getting a map of the world so I can start putting up flags in all the places I’ve gone to. Right now there wouldn’t be too many flags, but that’s just motivation for me to get my ass to somewhere new. A map of all the places you’ve been makes you realize that the world is a big place and there is so much to see and do. You have to venture out of your bubble every once in a while to have unforgettable experiences that you can bore people with at Christmas parties for years to come. So get a map and some little flags and start to document where you’ve been, and think about where the next flag should go.
A mini fridge is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a miniature refrigerator. They are perfect for dorms, apartments, and offices. No man cave is complete without one (unless you have a kegerator, that trumps all). They are essentially glorified and electrified coolers. They aren’t too spacious but you can keep a couple of six packs in them with enough room left over for some sandwich materials and things to eat. I have a mini fridge. My mom is a teacher and she gave me the one from her classroom when I went to college. It’s followed me to the dorms and everywhere I’ve lived since. At one point I stopped using it as a fridge and started using it as storage space. I know that it still works because I accidently plugged it in one time. I woke up a few hours later and discovered a bunch of really cold computer cables and hard drives in my makeshift cabinet. They still worked okay after I thawed them out a little. I didn’t blame the mini fridge for my stupidity and that’s why I still have it to this day. This thing will become an heirloom.
October 17th was the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Loma Prieta earthquake and the San Francisco Giants are in the World Series again, so it only seems fitting to talk about ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentary The Day The Series Stopped. Director Ryan Fleck takes you back to the unforgettable 1989 earthquake that rocked the Bay Area just prior to the World Series Game 3 between the A’s and the Giants. It’s not the best documentary about the Loma Prieta earthquake, but it’s definitely the most sports-focused one.
The documentary begins by exploring the rivalry between the two teams and cities and setting up the atmosphere of the Bay Area at the time. You meet the important players and coaches and characters from each team. You meet a few fans and what their teams mean to them. Fleck does a great job of setting you up for the moment that changed everything. At 5:04 p.m. the ground started to shake as 6.9 magnitude quake roared to life. You experience the quake through the eyes of the players, coaches, broadcasters, and fans in the stadium that day.
At first they are shaken, then relieved, then they want the game to start. But soon they start to hear reports of all the widespread damage and chaos and the scope of the tragedy starts to set in. Baseball takes a backseat to Mother Nature any day of the week. The documentary explores the eyewitness accounts of fans, players, and coaches and even delves into the science of earthquakes. It shows the healing power of sports through escapism. It’s emotional, educational, and entertaining. It’s not the best 30 for 30 documentary but it’s one of my favorites. Although, I’m a little bit biased because I experienced the quake myself and my parents were at that game. It’s worth watching.
I was at work the other day talking to my coworker when he suddenly dropped his empty coffee mug. It would have shattered completely but my spidey-sense was tingling and I was able to stick out my foot and break the fall. He was impressed with my quick reflexes and nimble athleticism, and he was especially grateful that he didn’t lose his favorite mug. It’s weird how attached we get to our coffee mugs. Catching something with your foot makes you feel like Pele. Or David Beckham. Or whoever the hip soccer player that all the kids are talking about now is. The most important thing to remember is that you’re not trying to kick the object, you’re trying to slow its descent using your foot. Be cautious and be gentle. Imagine that somebody dropped an egg or a baby. Use too much force and you’ll break it and that defeats the point of trying to save it.