Weird Al wonder

The wifey-person and I just finished watching Weird Al on the Biography channel.  I know there are folks who don’t like Weird Al.  Of course, I’m not much of one to care what others think, so I’ll go ahead and post about him anyway.  Every time I think about Weird Al, I think about this, one of his two finest videos:

Rumor has it that Coolio wasn’t too happy with Weird Al over this video.  Although all reports are that later they worked things out, perhaps minus hugs and kisses.

Although Yankovic traditionally secures permission from the artists he parodies (even though this is not legally required), and was told by his record label that Coolio had given permission, Coolio later claimed that he had not given such permission. This created a minor controversy, as speculation surfaced that Coolio had actually given permission but later claimed he had not in the fear that allowing the parody would not be seen as “cool”, or that Yankovic’s record label had lied to Yankovic in the hopes that the song would become popular.

During the show, one of Weird Al’s cohorts mentioned that pretty much every artist Weird Al contacts now is willing to let him create parody works.  Nearly everyone says yes, although Prince is apparently the perpetual holdout.  I wonder why that is.

And while I’m sure you don’t actually care what his other best video is, I’m going with The Saga Begins.

But I must say, some of his latest songs and videos are quite good, too.

[tags]Weird Al, Amish Paradise, The Saga Begins, Video[/tags]

Watchmen – the graphic novel trailer

I recently finished reading Alan Moore’s Watchmen again.  It is, quite simply, one of the best graphic novels ever written, I think.  The art is well done.  The story is thoughtful.  This is one of the graphic novels that made people recognize long-form comic as legitimate novel rather than just another comic format.  I had read this in college, then forgotten about it for a long time.  In the past year or two, I’ve started seeing it on bookshelves again (or possibly it was always there and I just started noticing it there), and decided last month to order it from Amazon.

While doing other random surfing this week, I stumbled on mention of a Watchmen trailer that was out.  I didn’t even realize this graphic novel was being made into a movie, but it is.  So naturally, I had to track the trailer down.  You can get the official, hi-res, widescreen trailer from the official movie site, but I have a soft-spot for Rorschach, and liked this fan-made trailer enough to use it instead:

No compromises.  Not even in the face of Armaggedon.  Not much longer to wait.  I look forward to seeing this.

[tags]Watchmen, Graphic Novel, YouTube, Watchmen Movie[/tags]

Mathematics: A visual exploration

While checking out the latest news on some of the geeky things that interest me, I found a link to this visual walk through of mathematics. The most interesting facet of the Dimensions Math page to me, and what made me think I needed to post about it, is that the 2 hour video that is the visual walkthrough of math was created entirely with the raytracing program POV-Ray. The entire video is available for free online, can be purchased on DVD, and is licensed for distribution under a Creative Commons license.

A film for a wide audience!

Nine chapters, two hours of maths, that take you gradually up to the fourth dimension.
Mathematical vertigo guaranteed! Background information on every
chapter: see “Details“.

Here is the sample video for the visual walk-through:

Watching this, seeing that it was made with POV-Ray, and thinking of the power of legally freely available tools like this makes me feel that I owe my readers a write-up of some of the many free tools and toys I use on my computer at home and for work.

[tags]Dimensions, Mathematics, POV-Ray, Video[/tags]

Quick draw

For my gun enthusiast visitors. I worked with a fellow years ago who claimed to have a rated speed of 0.02 seconds for draw and fire motion of his handgun. I was skeptical, but knew this guy to not be one to brag in general, so I tentatively accepted his claim although I never could imagine it being true. After seeing this video of Bob Munden, I’m not so skeptical any more.

I’m especially impressed with his accurately shooting 2 balloons, tied 8 feet apart, with two shots fired so quickly that it appears to be only a single shot. This looks like a prime candidate for the Time Warp treatment from the folks at the Discovery Channel:

I think it would be awesome to see this quick-shooter filmed at 1800 frames per second or higher. Too bad it looks like Discovery Channel hasn’t taken that show past the first episode. (via Bill at DQ)

[tags]Quick draw, Quick-Shooter, Handgun, Fast, Video, YouTube[/tags]

Optimus keyboard

optimus_maximus.jpgYou can finally order your Optimus keyboard from ThinkGeek for a mere $1600. Well – you can kinda… While checking this to make a post, I noticed it is currently out of stock. But this is a bit of forward movement from the last 2 years of story-without-substance.

Just some of the highlights/features of this keyboard:

  • Revolutionary Keyboard Features a tiny OLED screen on each key. 113 screens total.
  • Play a GIF animation or Quicktime movie on a Key
  • Key sets can be linked to an application, so whenever you open that app the appropriate keys come up
  • Built in USB hub

More features listed on the product page at ThinkGeek. One suggestion I’ve heard is encoding your favorite pr0n and setting it to play across all keys, but honestly that sounds rather infeasible. I *would* like to have one and set it up with animations and key images for the kids when they are playing their games. But I’m going to have to wait until one of these comes out for under $100 before trying anything like that. Probably in 2-3 years, we’ll have that reality, though, right?

[tags]Optimus, Keyboard, OLED, ThinkGeek, YouTube, video, Stuff I want, $1600 keyboard[/tags]

Blogging sweatshops

Fear not, fair reader – this isn’t going to happen to me.

Seems I can barely muster a few minutes a day to blog here lately.  Maybe I do need to move to New York and join one of these sweatshops.  Think of the useless knowledge I could serve up with 18+ hours a day at this! (via boingboing)

[tags]Humor, YouTube, Blogging, Sweatshops[/tags]

McCain calls it?

Folks, I think we’ve all been wondering lately if we’re in a recession or not. Well, we have official word from John McCain (watch the video for the full commentary by McCain):

…the important factor here is that Americans are hurting. Americans are hurting today.

They are sitting around the kitchen table saying ‘Are we going to be able to make our home or our mortgage payments?’

He makes some good comments.  I think things like this will help him with his standing among some of the uncertain right, but doubt it will make any change with those already convinced to support or denounce him.  Of course, it doesn’t take a political genius to figure that out.

[tags]McCain, Recession, Economy, Americans[/tags]