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Archive for January, 2009

FFFFOUND! on a blog titled Musselsoppans Vanner

FFFFOUND! on a blog titled Musselsoppans Vanner

Yeah, this picture sums up the economic crisis’ effect on the average family. Look at them scrunched up in that car, trying to save gas. And the punchline is that the family’s weight keeps the car from being fuel efficient.

But notice their smiles. They truly are an optimistic family. After all the stimulus package passed, and they will have glorious relief soon.

{Pic comes from site of interesting images. Leave me, go there.}

FFFFOUND! on a blog titledd BOOOOOOOM!

FFFFOUND! on a blog titled BOOOOOOOM!

See, most people are able to change their physical appearance. She, on the other hand, is stuck with that ass. It’s not a bad ass, but it could be better. It does…sag a little though. But that’s ok. She’d have to deal.

It could be worse, she thinks. She could’ve been drawn by a talentless amateur. Then who knows what her ass would look like…You know, probably best not to think about it. Just live with the ass she was given, and spend her moments daydreaming of pants.

{This pic is from the awesome blog BOOOOOOOM! Click here, folks.}

FFFFOUND! on...no clue.

FFFFOUND! on...no clue.

Just fucking beautiful. : D

>>If you wanna share this post, tweet or post the URL: http://tr.im/dqfz

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“Hey! What’s going on, man?”

“Not much. Heading to class.”

“Oh yeah, what classes are you taking this semester?”

“Uh, well, explosions, stunts, and a class on how to make a tennis ball explode.”

“Whoa, I thought you were a science major…”

“I am..”

I’m surely not the only to notice the new trend on Discovery Channel: extreme shows. Now, these shows make for great TV. mythbusters-adam-jamie_1196814129The dorks are satisfied by the psuedo-science; the average person is thrilled by the explosions. The advertisers, oh dear, well they’re creaming their pants with the Discovery Channel’s growing viewership.

We all know it started with “Mythbusters.” A show that combined Hollywood engineering with the hosts’ thrillseeking attitude. Things are blown up, things are kinda learned.

The show is a fun break from the documentaries, Bear Grylls, and that show about how things are made…

The shows in the  new schedule either look like “Mythbusters,” or the shows look like they belong on Fox Reality. “Destroyed in Seconds” comes to mind. And the new show about detonators aptly titled “Detonators.”

I’m all for fun science. Bill Nye was fun science. But I feel like Discovery Channel is dropping their freaking standards. Rather than catching viewers with explosions, Discovery Channel should be finding their next Planet Earth. Think big. The channel has more money than most museums.

The execs should cut the explosion shows. Keep Mythbusters. Smash Lab isn’t a bad addition (though the name might suggest otherwise.) Work on innovation and education. Mythbuster, Smash Lab, Man Vs. Wild, and One Way Out (honestly my new favorite show) will fund your high educational standards.

Otherwise, you might as just well add a Jerry Springer for scientists. “Bitch, I promise you that’s my stem cell!”

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So, quickly, Twitter is becoming popular.

Celebrities use it. News organizations use it. Businesses use it. But you don’t.picture-23

You’re a twirgin (someone who hasn’t used Twitter before.)

Beyond status updates, Twitter is a more powerful tool than you think. In a simple way this service allows people converse the hottest topics in real time. But I’ll get more into the full potential of Twitter in a sec.

//First, the lingo. The lingo is a little ridiculous…but here are some terms you might want to know.

  • Tweet. That’s your 140 character update.
  • Twitter-er. Coined by Twitter, that’s you.
  • Tumblelog. A blog where you write short posts rather than long posts (like this one.)
  • #hashtags. A means of joining broader conversations via tags. That’s fairly vague, but I’ll explain later in the post.

Next, let’s go through the average twirgin’s experience.

//in the beginning you have 0 followers, but you might be following 3 twitter-ers (probably Barack Obama, Kevin Rose, and your tech friend Mike at twitter.com/miketobias) You decided to use Twitter because you heard some friends buzzing about it. On your first day, you update twice. And then you think…this is it?

This is it? That phrase is so common amongst the twirgins. What’s so great about this?

I think this stems from twirgins who are used to Facebook status updates. And, at face value, Twitter and Facebook seem to overlap in the department of status updates.

And that’s the problem. Little twirgin, you have to look at Twitter as a tumblelog; and it starts getting cool because Twitter surpasses normal blogs in being social. So, Twitter is conversational whereas Facebook and Loopt are primarily for updates.

How is it conversational? It’s conversational in 2 ways, the @reply and the #hashtag. Let me break them delicately for your twirgin eyes.

1. The @reply. A twitter-er can include other twitter-ers in their tweet by adding the @ symbol in front of a user’s name.

Here’s an example tweet conversation:

miketobias: I’m so freaking tired of hearing about Rod Blagojevich!

twitterbud: @miketobias, me too. But I want to hear about @barackobama.

miketobias: @twitterbud David, I love @barackobama I’m going to get back to watching @maddow on MSNBC.

twittergal: @miketobias Mike! I’m watching @maddow right now too!

twitterdude: @miketobias, @twitterbud, @twittergal I think Obama’s stimulus plan sucks.

miketobias: @twitterdude Dad, I told you. It’s a good bill. Read about it at http://tr.im/fake

So, twirgin, you can see that your tweet becomes very interactive and spreads across several people.

How Twitter Changed the World: On his show, CNN anchor Rick Sanchez interacts with people via Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace. While he uses all 3, he favors the real time interaction of the @reply. He will ask for people’s opinions, and viewers will use Twitter to reach him. “@ricksanchez I think press secretary Robert Gibbs was freaking awesome today!” You can follow @ricksanchez by going here.

Twirgin Silly Thinking: Well, @replies sound fine…but I can technically do that on Facebook. I can comment on people’s status updates.

Okay, that’s a good point still. Fundamentally, there is a similarity between Facebook and Twitter on that point. I choose to Twitter because the conversation is more global. It isn’t restricted to my friends or their friends…it’s open to everyone.

picture-2212. #hashtags. hashtags.org allows people to join a broader conversation on Twitter. You find popular topics on the website like Gaza, which is represented by the hashtag #gaza.

When you have a tweet to say about Gaza, you need to add that hashtag: “I think it’s a big mess in Gaza #gaza” This will bring your tweet to the discussion board on the site for others to read.

This will be an important step in finding followers. If someone thinks your commentary on Gaza is interesting…or they find it interesting that you’re talking about it…they might choose to follow you. And then the conversation can continue when they use an @reply. “@miketobias I think Israel needs to answer to the U.N. about the affected civilians. #gaza”

So, now that you understand (I hope) more about the interactivity of Twitter, let’s get you some followers to send @replies.

//Without followers, Twitter is pretty lame. I thought so at the beginning too. There’s a good chance your friends won’t be on Twitter. For me, out of my hundreds of Facebook friends only 6 are on Twitter. The same is true for many.

But that’s a good reason to be a social butterfly. Remember, a follower is not a friend. It’s just someone curious about your opinions or lifestyle.

Twirgin Silly Thinking: It’s always creepy friending strangers on Facebook. It’s going to be creepy following someone on Twitter.

That’s ridiculous.

After all Twitter is about putting your life in public. If someone didn’t want to be followed by others (and chances are most twitter-ers want to be followed by others) they would lock their profile. And sometimes that hasn’t stopped me from following people I thought were interesting.

Here are some ways to meet find new people to follow.

picture-2121. Twitter Search. Twitter Search is a service created by Twitter. It displays the highest trending words and #hashtags found in tweets. January 20th saw a rise in the terms Barack Obama, inauguration, #current. And Twitter Search lets you search for new terms. I’ve met people by searching “theatre.”

Anybody that’s tweeted about theatre in the last couple of seconds will be found.

If you like politics, you can search political words like “stimulus package” or “Hillary Clinton” to find people talking about those subjects.

Once you find an interesting twitter-er follow them. Not only that, send an @reply. Join their conversation! Give an interesting insight.

twitterstranger: I freaking love that new show on Discovery Channel One Way Out.

miketobias: @twitterstranger I love that we see a process. It’s not just one big trick; he tries to explain how he’s going to do it. Plus he can fail…adds suspense.

The conversation might stop there. That’s okay because Twitter is very easy going. You don’t have to follow twitterstranger, and they don’t have to follow you. The Twitter experience is akin to this situation: Two strangers see something in a pubic place, one makes a comment to the other about the event. You don’t plan on being bestfriends, but that’s no reason to stay silent with the stranger.

2. Treat your Twitter as a professional tool. If you’re going to put yourself out in the public world, you might as well look professional. That means no tweets about how drunk you got last night; Save that for your Facebook profile (with privacy settings.)

Twirgin Silly Thinking: Can something like Twitter really be taken that serious…I mean… Tweet really isn’t the most serious word…

With any tumblelog or blog, Twitter is a collection of your thoughts and interactions. So future professionals might reference them as an indicator of who you are. Twitter became serious when serious people took interested in it. Companies, managers, politicians made Twitter something serious.

So if it’s so serious, you can promote your Twitter profile without feeling too silly. Put your username (@miketobias) in public places. If you make a serious comment on a CNN story, put @username there too. Put it on your business cards, on your blog, on your Facebook profile, on email signatures.

People won’t think about following you unless you give them a good reason. Associating your Twitter username with your actions is a good reason.

//OTHER REASONS TO USE TWITTER. So now that you understand the REAL Twitter a little better. It’s time for you to start exploring the other ways Twitter is powerful.

Election. Twitter and Google Maps interacted with each other during the election to provide people real-time insights into their polling area. That means, via #hashtags, you could visit a website to see what people were saying about your polling place. The project made sure that nearly every polling place was represented on the map.

Now, the election is over. But the technology still exists, and it can certainly be used for more efficient community organization. Events like SXSW can offer Twitter-ers a better experience as they go about Austin, chasing their favorite bands.

Promotion. If you blog–and the stats show there’s a good chance you do–you can use Twitter to automatically promote your blog via TwitterFeed. The RSS will transferred to a tweet (with a link to your post.)

Plus you can promote your blog in tandem with #hashtags. If your blog is about theatre, use the #theatre hashtag to get your opinion out there for others to chime in.

Digest the News. The Internet provides you 3 ways to digest your news: visit a news site to browse, grab the RSS feed of that news site for your reader, and now Twitter. On Twitter you will see the headline and a link in each Tweet. If the headline is interesting, click the link. If not, move on. I don’t know of any instances where a news organization will respond to an @reply, but I think it’s a possibility in the near, near future.

Make money. If you want to sellout, there is a service that let’s you do it.  AdCause let’s you monetize your Twitter profile by advertising products and events via your tweets. So if you have tons of followers, you’ll make money. Maybe. It’s new. But it doesn’t hurt to try it!

//And all of this is just the beginning. People are very focused on Twitter as it develops quickly. Facebook tried to buy it, Twitter rightfully said no. It will be finding new ways to affect how we communicate.

Check it out. Don’t expect much to happen at first. But don’t be a wallflower. Find people, follow people, interact with people. Then you’ll get it.

Good luck, little twirgin.

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2896039-lgAs the drama unfolds on the Hill (will republicans back the stimulus package without enough tax breaks), I think it’s important to talk about the arts. After all, the arts often suffer first in any economic turmoil. Broadway has seen the biggest wave of closures; funding is out of the question for many new artists. Times are bad for us in the creative field.

Habit is a curious thing. When an option is removed from the table, we usually look at our other options. I can’t drive that way because of construction? I’ll go another way. But when habit is threatened, we freeze up. We don’t ask what else?, we ask how do I fix it.

Producers might be trying to figure out how to fix Broadway so it returns to being a cash machine. They probably remember the days when shows could sell tickets with $200+ prices. Well, now that option’s off the table. The new option is that producers can focus on new kinds of projects; they can explore beyond the movie musical, or even the dreaded jukebox musical. And Broadway will see something new.

We can either build our arts to return to our old ways, or we can take this opportunity to choose a different option. We are the creative sector of this country, and yet we’re just as guilty of mediocrity. It takes opportunities like this to show off our ingenuity. After all, the writer’s strike, while ultimately disastrous for dramatic writing community, still saw new projects that would not exist in normal conditions.

We don’t have to stray far from what we know–after all, some rules exist to create the best products. But we can try to use this economic climate to forge ahead. Artists, take on new projects. You may not get paid as much, or you might not get paid at all. The point is that your creative energy doesn’t rely on the health of stock portfolios or a hemorrhaging economy. Your creative energy allows you freedom in the economic storm. You can still create whereas others are screwed for the time being. And once the storm passes, you still have a product to show your talent.

So, get out there! Do something–especially if you’re layed off from your “A” job. Create, create, create.

P.S. Things might pick up soon. If the stimulus package is passed, there will be 50 million dollars for the arts!

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Just awesome…

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picture-181140it is a service that shortens the words in your longer Tweets so that they fit under the 140 character limit. There are similar services like Tweet140, but 140it excels in having a toolbar add-on for you to shorten your tweets on ur, excuse me, your Twitter home page.

So, the only question left is…y?

Twitter-ers don’t have to restrict themselves to one update per thought or event. Famous twitter-ers often use multiple tweets to express something. That’s where Twitter becomes a different beast.

I started following @tweettheatre and, still a Twitter virgin, it was the first place I’d seen a multiple tweet post in which Dallas based theatre critic Mark Lowry gave his top 10 shows over 10 tweets. He could’ve easily blogged about it and tweeted a link. That’s how most people do it, but he expanded his top shows across his Twitter profile.

And I have seen it since. @hodgman often has multiple tweet thoughts. And it takes nothing away from the effect of a picture-201microblog.

So u can crtnly shrtn ur twts. 140it is th best. Jst dn’t abuse it. Some of still get bothered by unnecessarily short words.

{via TechCrunch}

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“Hey, dude. Wanna go drink? I just got laid off from Sprint.”

“Bro, don’t interrupt me right now. I’m trying to connect with my spiritual side.”

“What…on YouTube?”

“Yes. Yes, on YouTube. I’m watching the Vatican’s channel.”

“Cool, wanna watch Numa Numa after you’re done watching the Pope?”

“Um, hell yeah I do.”

This is definitely noteworthy. A month ago, the only holy grail on YouTube was on the official Monty Python channel. Now, we have the official channel for the Vatican. That’s right, everyone. We will have the Pope and everything Catholic amongst the other YouTube greats like the skiing squirrel and naked Vlogs.

The channel already has 20 videos, and the channel is one of the nicest I’ve seen in a while. There’s some saint pointing in the background pic. It’s funny because they use the same saint in the profile pic, and it looks like he’s some holy Fonz pointing at some dude.

See the featured video from the Vatican Channel below.

{via The Official Google Blog}

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blago2I am so tired and done with this character! He’s been making his way around various media outlets. He decided against making his case against the state legislature of Illinois, and instead he’s making his case to the American people. The for-now Governor has visited The View, Good Morning America, and tonight he’ll be on Larry King Live.

The guy just won’t give up. Like his full head of hair, you cannot push this man down enough. He will just rise back up to embarrass himself again.

By the end of the week, he’s just be Rod Blagojevich, former governor. But I have a feeling he’s not going to shut up…UGH!!!

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picture-52 How dare I ignore Barack Obama in my graffiti series???

This man has definitely inspired some interesting images and art, and that can be said about the street art around America. There are images of him and his symbol. As usual, I have found most of these images via Flickr users. Click on the images to be taken to the photographer’s photostream.

Of course these are just my favorites. Click here to see all the images, including some copyrighted ones that I couldn’t show.



//Obama Graffiti

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For some reason I woke up today wanting to write a post about tech-savvy weddings. How does the internet change the overall experience of a wedding, from its planning stages to the I Do! Now, I have little experience with what all goes into a wedding. I’m a dude, and the whole thing might go over my head. Regardless, I will do my best to offer some nifty ideas.

Whether it’s your first wedding, or you’re my Aunt Gloria and going on your 7th one, these ideas will give your guests a different experience. So ditch some of the norms to tie the knot with my ideas. Com on, I dare ya.

//Twitter Your Wedding

It’s easy, set up an account with a name that reflects your pending-holy-bond. Something like @jamesandamy or @twitterwedding. Now, you can give status updates of the planning stages.

Here are some good examples of these Tweets:

“James and Amy are happy to see everyone in May. Send us @replies to RSVP.”

“We just took our engagement photos! Check them out at http://fakeurl.com/3nvx password: JA”

“James would like to announce his bestman @miketobias and Amy’s maid of honor @miketobias!”

“James and Amy have registered at target http://target.com”

“James is hanging with the boys–and hopefully not strippers–for his bachelor party. Amy’s party definitely has male strippers and too much alchy. Be sweet, James.”

The possibilities are infinite.

//Pandora as DJ

DJs can be pricey. If your party is at a place with wireless or you have an AT&T connect card, Pandora can be your DJ. Both bride and groom just need to each put 3 of their favorite artists/songs, and Pandora will choose similar music for a night of dancing. Just get the bestman–what else is he good for?–to sit next to the laptop and keep the songs peppy.

//A Vlog

Maybe your shy. Maybe that’s why you haven’t started a vlog. But remember, this wedding is an opportunity for 15 minutes of fame. It’s like when movie marketers use vlogs to build up to a film release, you will be giving your adoring public a glimpse into your lives.

You don’t have to produce great works of film, but you can do some cute videos to post on your wedding site via a YouTube embed.

Here are some video ideas to get you started:

  • Take a digital camera to record your wedding site. Show us where the magic will be happening.
  • Blow off some steam about how the cake place can’t make a 4 ft. replica of the roller coaster you proposed on.
  • Just be cute together. Let’s just see the two of you being adorable!

Like any good vlog, just share part of the experience with us. Get any frustrations off your chest; we all know that weddings are inherently stressful.

//Add the WeddingBook APP

The Knot recently acquired this application, and it looks fantastic. You can put a guestlist like a Facebook event. Plus, you can countdown to the date. Status updates are there, and you can add your engagement photo.

All the shutterbugs at your wedding party will have a place to send their photos via this app.

For more details about this app, visit the About Page.

//The Knot

Yes, this is your one stop online source for wedding planning. I’m just going to say it…you might not need another site for anything that relates to your wedding. This site is loaded with information. Check it out>>

//Create a Facebook page

That’s right, time to bust out the STATIC FBML app on Facebook to customize a page for your wedding. This can have some bigger benefits to the WeddingBook app.

You’ll be able to add apps that are related to your wedding, giving your stalker friends a better experience on your page.

Here are some suggested apps:

  • Wall App – let people give you a shoutout
  • Graffiti – your friends cand draw you getting married. No? Eh, let them play!
  • Wedding Bouquets – Your friends can play this flash game where they must catch the bouquets. Good practice.
  • The Knot Wedding Countdown – if you skip the app, you can still add this one to your page. Another one exists from Brides.com
  • What is Your Wedding Song – Fun little game to find the perfect song for you.
  • How Much Will Your Wedding Cost – Not so much fun…
  • My Wedding Map – for those out-of-town friends so that they may find your wedding.

There are MANY more. Search wedding in the app directory and filter through the crap.

Your Facebook page can also upload photos, videos, and create events and notes!

//Well, I hope this post helps you make a cooler wedding. I’ll be updating this post as technology changes. Happy wedding making!o update this post

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