Sunday, November 30, 2008

Interactive Video Object Manipulation

Interactive Video Object Manipulation is a video by Dan Goldman of Adobe's creative technologies lab showing up-and-coming video manipulation tools.  Basically, it's like new features for a video-Photoshop.  He says if you like 'em, blog about them, and I am.  Features include moving speech and thought bubbles, direction arrows, and object manipulation. Check it:

In Dan's words: "This demo illustrates our research to bring interactivity to video editing: Our system analyzes videos using computer vision techniques, enabling interactive annotation, browsing, and even drag-and-drop composition of new still images using video footage.

This is a joint research project of Adobe and the University of Washington." 
(From Buzzfeed)

Saturday, November 29, 2008 is, "free the web-based directory search service of 118 118, the UK's most called service for finding businesses, people, train times, film & cinema details and much more besides."

Basically, you can spy on people making stupid querries.  They're really trying to rope you into the paid service, but I just like watching it tick by for free.

(From Metafilter)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Cooking Mama: Mama Kills Animals

Cooking Mama: Mama Kills animals is the perfect game to make you feel crappy about having eaten turkey. It's a Peta game that has you plucking a turkey and disemboweling it. It's not really a "fun" game. It's a pretty, graphic game with an overbearing point.

The worst part is at the end, when it gives you an opportunity to see a video about turkey farming and slaughtering.  If you don't have any time, skip to the end, when it actually shows a conscious turkey hanging upside-down by a meat hook, then a butcher slices its throat open.  I swear I'm not posting this to make me feel smug about being a vegetarian, and I certainly don't support attacking and defacing other people's property (like fur coats).  I just really like games and not eating meat. 

Bonus: The aforementioned Peta propaganda video. It's narrated in that condescending voice, so just skip to the end:

(From Guy)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Fifty People, One Question: New York

Fifty People, One Question: New York is a video on Vimeo by Crush & Lovely that asks 50 random people the same question: what do they wish will happen by the end of the day?

Simple, tastefully done with charming music.  And I will take this opportunity to wish YOU a happy Thanksgiving! 

(From Buzzfeed)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Take On Me: Literal Video Version

Take On Me: Literal Video Version is the famous AHA video, but instead of the orginal song, the images are set to replaced lyrics that describe what is going on in the video.

"Lyrics/singing: Dustin McLean 
Voices: Jason Nash, Josh Faure-Brac, Priscilla McLean
Thanks: Jonah Ray"

Best line: Pipe wrench fight. 
Bonus: if you click through the link, you will see Youtube has a newfangled widescreen format.
(From Justin, Wilmar)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Helicopter Game

Helicopter Game is an oldie-but-goodie simple computer game. You're a helicopter. Pressing the mouse button makes the 'copter go up, not-pressing it makes it fall down.  Time makes it go forward, and crashing into obstacles makes you lose.

According to one Cammie, "Here's one that took up a good half of my freshman year of college."


(From CamBo)

Monday, November 24, 2008

LIFE photo archive hosted by Google

LIFE photo archive hosted by Google

is a collection of Life magazine photos, some of which haven't ever been published.  According to google:

"Search millions of photographs from the LIFE photo archive, stretching from the 1750s to today. Most were never published and are now available for the first time through the joint work of LIFE and Google."

This single link improves the interweb's image search signal to noise ratio by about 1000 percent. Enjoy!

(From LizC, Digg)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Eddie Izzard on the Second World War

(NSFW with the sound on.) Eddie Izzard on the Second World War is a well-known stand-up routine that explains imperialism and World War II in 8 minutes or so. An oldie but goodie, this is a favorite of history teachers and History Channel buffs everywhere.

Wikipedia accurately describes Eddie's comedy style as "expressed in rambling, whimsical monologue and self-referential pantomime." This particular bit was recorded for the Dressed to Kill video and DVD in 1998, during a performance at the Stage Door Theatre in San Francisco, California. Perhaps a fitting setting, considering next to the hilarity of his comedy, the second thing most people notice about Eddie is his appearance:
"He regularly cross-dresses both on and off stage and makes it clear that cross-dressing is, for him, neither a part of his performance, nor a sexual thing — he simply enjoys wearing make-up and clothing which is traditionally perceived in the West as female-only. He remarks in one of his shows, 'Women wear what they want and so do I.' According to Izzard, 'Most transvestites fancy women.' He dismisses claims that he is a male homosexual, saying he is either a straight transvestite or a 'male lesbian'. He has also described himself as 'a lesbian trapped in a man's body,' but this is not generally taken to mean that he actually identifies as a transgender lesbian.' "

Grade: A+.
(From Wikipedia. )

Saturday, November 22, 2008

PSA on Digital Conversion

PSA on Digital Conversion is a humorous Youtube video that explains what you have to do to switch from analog to digital TV in 2009. It's so simple, this grandma can do it.

Actually, it's not simple at all. It's totally complicated. And she can't. And it makes me sad to smirk at old people. Sigh.

Best line: "How many W's?!"

NON-SEQUITUR BONUS:  Flight of the Bumblebee on the marimba! Just as random as it sounds.

(From Metafilter and Clusterflock)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Shift 3

Shift 3 is the latest iteration of the Shift game on Kongregate.  You run around a maze with the right and left arrows, jump using the space bar, and shift to turn things upside down and make spaces into surfaces and surfaces into space.

If it sounds confusing, that's because it's hard to explain but easy to play. Incredibly addictive, and the "surprises" scared the wits out of me.

(From your mom)

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Zilch is a 5-dice game of chance that imitates Yahtzee. It's awesome.

(From Buzzfeed)

BONUS! An entry killed before it could be published due to a removed Youtube link:

Young Sarah Silverman was a Youtube video from Jimmi Kimmel's show showing a young Sarah Silverman. Sarah went on her boyfriend's show to promote her Comedy Central series. The re-united couple dance around the awkward situation of what happened in the interim of their semi-recent break-up, and use a tape from the early cenozoic era as a distractor. Youtube totally rained on my parade and took the video down. 

(From Buzzfeed)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Glennz is an online T-shirt shop and website by Glenn Jones, a graphic designer and illustrator from Auckland, New Zealand. He's worked in the design industry for over 15 years, concentrating on packaging and corporate identity but did so well with creative shirts that he's decided to focusing on just that.

Glenn got his T-shirt start on (Threadless is a perpetual T-shirt design contest website and store.) His designs sold extremely well, and he decided to branch off and create his own site. As he explains,
"Since then I've become one of the most successful designers on Threadless with 21 shirts printed for sale. So I decided it was time to focus a bit more on designing tees and I've teamed up with some friends in the US to start this range of T-Shirts. I also use my designs on greeting cards and artprints."
The site's name is taken from Glenn's Threadless username, which was conceived as a combination of his first name,'GLENN,' and where he is from, 'NZ.' I try not to post too many commercial sites, but... I just couldn't not not not post it.

(Ugh, I know. A sponsored link from Kottke)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Shiba Inu Puppy Cam

Shiba Inu Puppy Cam is a site that streams live a litter of Shiba Inu pups.  I would embed it here, but then  it would take forever and a day to load. So instead, here is a snapshot of the puppies in action. Puppies don't understand anything about framing.

The site is  perfect for people like me. I like puppies, but I can't even remember to feed myself regularly. Win-win.  


"The six Shiba Inu pups (3 boys and 3 girls) will turn 6 weeks old on November 18th. This is the first litter from their mom, Kika.

- Autumn (Purple collar) - 3 lbs 5.8 oz (as of Nov 11th)
- Ayumi (Yellow collar) - 3 lbs 3.4 oz (as of Nov 11th)
- Amaya (Red collar) - 3 lbs 6.6 oz (as of Nov 11th)

- Aki (Green collar) - 4 lbs 0.4 oz (as of Nov 11th)
- Akoni (Black collar) - 3 lbs 12.6 oz (as of Nov 11th)
- Ando (Blue collar) - 4 lbs 1.2 oz (as of Nov 11th)"

(From Justine)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Malcolm Gladwell: Geek Pop Star

Geek Pop Star is an article by New York Magazine's Jason Zengerle. He discusses the phenomenal success of writer Malcolm Gladwell, and his new book, Outliers. Gladwell previously wrote The Tipping Point and Blink.

In the article, Gladwell states he does not think of himself as an outlier.  Instead, he thinks of himself as a parasite.

"No amount of self-deprecation can mask Gladwell’s phenomenal success. Since the 2000 publication of The Tipping Point, he has been less a journalist than, as Fast Company once deemed him, 'a rock star, a spiritual leader, a stud.' Business executives seek him out for his insights, adoring fans stop him on the street to shake his hand, and other writers strive to emulate the genre he essentially pioneered—the idea-driven narrative that upends the way we think about everything from cigarettes to ketchup. 'We get scores of proposals each year promising a Gladwellian take on the world,' says Shandler. 'I don’t know any other author who has spawned that kind of adjective in nonfiction.' One Condé Nast editor, struggling to come up with another writer who has occupied as singular a place on the media landscape as Gladwell currently does, finally offers, 'It’s kind of Norman Maileresque, isn’t it?' Forty years ago, all the sad young literary men were trying to find their own armies of the night to mythologize; now they search for their own hipster footwear trend to deconstruct.

     Gladwell’s modesty isn’t entirely a pose. As he’s the first to acknowledge, his writing largely consists of taking the work of academics and translating it in a way that makes it understandable—and entertaining—to a lay audience. His job, as he describes it, 'is to be this intermediary between the academic world and the public.' That has led some critics to dub him not so much a parasite as a pilferer. "

That view, although in the minority, stems from people who don't read carefully enough, and assume that, instead of a skillful editor and translator, Gladwell is some sort of super-researcher that has time to come up with disparate ideas, write books and articles full-time, and walk the talk circuit.  The ideas he presents are generally well-annotated and sourced.

I expect no less from his new book, but I must admit here I haven't read Outliers yet.  (Also, I know that in that book Malcolm tackles the steoreotype about Chinese students, which makes me wary.  I'm not sure how it was handled in the book, and I won't know until I read it.  I digress.)

Jason sums up Outliers as a book where,

"Gladwell examines all the things other than individual merit—the 'hidden advantages and extraordinary opportunities and cultural legacies'—that produce hockey stars and software billionaires and math geniuses, he builds a brief for a massive reorganization of social structures and institutions that will give people who don’t have those advantages and opportunities and legacies an equal shot at success."

The world probably needs more recognition of that. We need to chop the laces off the pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps Horatio Alger myth.  

(From Metafilter)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Mr. Always Late to Small Group Guy

Mr. Always Late to Small Group Guy is yet another installment of the comedy video series from The University of Maryland School of Medicine Class of 2006 that spoofs those old Budlight radio commercials saluting the common man, Real Men of Genius. I don't know anyone like this. Not-a-one. No sireee. This is the final one I'll be posting. A relief for those of you hate the series, and closure for everyone else. There used to be more but I can't find them online. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Create Your Own Snowflake

Create Your Own Snowflake is an application by previously featured blogger, Interwebs guru, and spastic entertainer extraordinaire Ze Frank.

Basically, you make snowflakes by clicking and dragging a blue awkward shape onto a black screen, and the application rotates and spins it. The snowflake can be held still, spun 2d or spun 3d. It makes you think of pretty things like Christmas and how bitter cold it is outside my window. I digress.

It's just soothing or boring, depending on your mood. Kind of like staring at fish tank. Namaste.
(From reader Thom)
PS: Happy birthday to my mom!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Diesel Sweeties

Diesel Sweeties is a webcomic by Richard Stevens III (R Stevens) that was syndicated between 2007 and 2008.

These are better for the uninitiated reader, because most of the comics can stand alone.

As wiki explains, "The comic depicts a world where robots exist alongside humans, with human-robot romantic and sexual relationships commonplace. Although there is some character development and the occasional story arc, most strips are largely self-contained. Recurring themes include annual Halloween strips, featuring characters from the comic in costume." And in case you're wondering, yes, the characters are pixelated on purpose.

This concludes Webcomic Week here on TOTI. Hope you enjoyed it!

(From Guy, Wikipedia)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

VG Cats

VG Cats (short for Video Game Cats) is a webcomic about videogames. And cats. By Canadian nerd Scott Ramsoomair.

Scott claims, on the topic of furries: "I didn't know about anything Furry until after I started the comic. Though I know now the art style is regarded as such. Always been "cartoons" to me. I really don't care either way so long as it makes you laugh. : ) "

BONUS! Previously featured, PhD: Piled Higher and Deeper.

(From Wiki, Guy)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sluggy Freelance

Sluggy Freelance is a daily online comic by Pete Abrams about aliens, demons, dating, and bunnies with switchblades. Right.
Wiki explains:
"While the strip began as a gag-based series in which the three main protagonists (Torg, Riff and Zoë) would stumble from one brief, bizarre, parody-centric adventure to the next, the characters and plotlines have gradually become longer and more serious. However, even the more dramatic and soap operatic story arcs often conform to the common gag comic strip format. While there is often sexual innuendo and cartoon violence, the comic contains no strong profanity or explicit nudity."
The drawings do get better as Pete gets practice. Be forewarned, the site explains that, "Very few Sluggy Freelance comics work as stand-alones, but part of the charm of Sluggy Freelance is its serial nature. As a new viewer, we've set up this page just for you, to get you acclimated, and hopefully charmed."


(From Guy, Wikipedia)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Penny Arcade

Penny Arcade is a game webcomic written by Jerry Holkins and illustrated by Mike Krahulik.

Wiki sums it up: "The strip features Holkins and Krahulik's cartoon alter egos, Tycho Brahe and John Gabriel ('Gabe') respectively. ... The two characters spend much of their time playing and commenting on computer and video games, forming the basis of the humor in the strip. Most of the time, Gabe serves the purpose of the comic foil, and Tycho is the straight man. The strip can feature in-jokes that are explained in the news posts accompanying each comic, written by the authors."

Out of this week's comics, while it does dive deep into game-core territory, it's probably the best-drawn comic with the widest appeal. Plus the website is not overly clunky. Most would consider it web-comic royalty, alongside XKCD. Enjoy!

(From Guy, Wikipedia)

Unrelated bonus! Irish Barak Obama song.

Monday, November 10, 2008


Welcome to Webcomic Week here on TOTI!

is a gaming webcomic by professional web-cartoonist Tim Buckley. Wikipedia points out that since inception, "The comic's focus has gradually shifted away from single strip gags towards longer story arcs and greater continuity." Also, Tim has been able to stay financially afloat by adding a fee-based members-only features and publishing a book. Ctrl+Alt+Del is currently updated on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday schedule.

The comics focus on Ethan and Lucas:
"Ethan currently works in a video game store called Game Haven. Lucas works tech support at a local computer shop. Scott is a freelance web designer. The other characters have jobs as well."

It's super game-nerd-core, which means to understand the comics, you have to either be (physically or spiritually) a 15 year old adolescent or have lived in close proximity to one. Enjoy.

(From Wikipedia, Guy)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Mr. 4th Year Gunner

Mr. 4th Year Gunner is a parody video in the same vein as that series from The University of Maryland School of Medicine Class of 2006. 

This video, however, is from Washington University School of Medicine Class '07 (graduated in 2007). It's a take-off of those Budlight radio commercials that salute the common man, Real Men of Genius. Nice titles on this one.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Erin McKean: Redefining the dictionary

Erin McKean: Redefining the dictionary is a TED talk where lexicographer Erin McKean talks about how the paper dictionary is sooooo passé and needs a revamp. Basically she says it's too small, and we should have an inclusive dictionary that records, scientifically, the entire English language.

I know, that sounds as fun as re-filing books. But trust me, it's one of the better ways to waste 16 minutes. What's fun about her talk are the carefully chosen pictures she picked to illustrate her metaphors (and boy are there many metaphors). And they have no qualms about mixing! So try buckle your seatbelt and follow this quirky lady on her bumpy Steam-punk metaphor ride.

I always say that mixed metaphors are like a tranwreck in a sea of trouble; I guess the corollary is they do look pretty when illustrated.

(From Stef, Guy, Joshua)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Arthur Benjamin: Lightning calculation and other "Mathemagic"

Arthur Benjamin: Lightning calculation and other "Mathemagic" is a TED talk that blends lightning-speed magic and math. Ted itself was previously featured on TOTI.

Arthur's talk is pretty neat despite sounding totally lame. It's 15 minutes long and at the end he gives you insight on his jedi math mind tricks. It's still complicated to replicate accurately even after he explains how to be a math whiz.

Best part: the audience guy who gets the "recap" joke way too late. Enjoy!
(From Kottke)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Paris Daily Photo

Paris Daily Photo is a self-explanatory website by 48-year-old self-described "friendly Parisian" photogapher Eric. Eric explains his site:
You love Paris? You have never been to Paris but you would like a sneak preview? Then come here every day and you will find a brand new picture, taken by one of its inhabitants: me! Wish list (of photos!) welcome.

What makes the site charming are the little added descriptions of the photos and places. In particular, I like the November fifth entry:
It's a tradition that has almost never ceased since 1924: the "straw vote" at the famous Harry's Bar... The principle is simple: any American citizen (who can show an American passport) and who is older than 18 can participate in the vote. The results are posted in front of the bar (and on the Web site) every week leading up to the election until the very final moment (I took this photo at 7 pm on November 4th Paris time). The interesting part is that ever since 1924, the straw vote at Harry's Bar was wrong only twice: in 1976 (Ford/Carter) and in 2004 (Bush II/Kerry).

This concludes politics week here on TOTI. And by week I mean trio of posts. I live life on the FAST lane.

(From your eyes tell lies your mouth can never spill)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Third Grade Gay

Apparently I was the last person to see Third Grade Gay, a belligerently funny Youtube video advocating for "No on prop 8." Propsition 8, as of yesterday amended the California constitution to say that "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." I think the authors of the video would agree this makes California *so* gay.

Tune in tomorrow for the conclusion of politics week here on TOTI.

(From Daily Kos)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Barack Obama wins presidential election

"CNN projects that Barack Obama will be the nation's 44th president."

This is hands down the most awesome thing on the interwebs today.

Meet in Between

Meet in Between is a site and Google Maps application that lets you know where the midpoint is between two or more addresses is. 

If you want to meet up with someone, but you don't want to drive that far because you don't know if you LIKE like them yet, plus you just lost your job from the economic turnoil and your'e kind of scrimping on everything... just punch in your starting addresses and it will tell you where the rough midpoint is.

Lest you get stuck suggesting a date in the middle of a cornfield for fairness' sake, you can click on meeting place categories: golf courses, cafés, libraries, malls, bars, and hotels.

There have been other sites like this, but unlike similar sites, this one is not ugly. I don't know how often they revise the listings.  I have to admit when I tested it out, a certain Moonstruck Chocolate Café  was listed as a meeting place even though it's closed down permanently. Overall,  still awesome.

(From Buzzfeed, The Fire Wire, URL fan)

Monday, November 3, 2008

A World Enslaved

A World Enslaved is a totally depressing article by E. Benjamin Skinner, that ran on Foreign Policy magazine. According to the article, there are now more slaves than have ever been in human history.

"Here, 600 miles from the United States, and five hours from Manhattan, you have successfully arranged to buy a human being for 50 bucks.

In the popular consciousness, 'slavery' has come to be little more than just a metaphor for undue hardship. Investment bankers routinely refer to themselves as 'high-paid wage slaves.' Human rights activists may call $1-an-hour sweatshop laborers slaves, regardless of the fact that they are paid and can often walk away from the job. But the reality of slavery is far different. Slavery exists today on an unprecedented scale. In Africa, tens of thousands are chattel slaves, seized in war or tucked away for generations. Across Europe, Asia, and the Americas, traffickers have forced as many as 2 million into prostitution or labor. In South Asia, which has the highest concentration of slaves on the planet, nearly 10 million languish in bondage, unable to leave their captors until they pay off 'debts,' legal fictions that in many cases are generations old.


But more must be done to educate local police, even in the richest of nations. Too often, these street-level law enforcement personnel do not understand that it’s just as likely for a prostitute to be a trafficking victim as it is for a nanny working without proper papers to be a slave. And, after they have been discovered by law enforcement, few rich nations provide slaves with the kind of rehabilitation, retraining, and protection needed to prevent their re-trafficking. The asylum now granted to former slaves in the United States and the Netherlands is a start. But more must be done."
(From Mefi)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Mr. Falls Asleep During Everything Guy

Mr. Falls Asleep During Everything Guy is yet another installment of the video series from The University of Maryland School of Medicine Class of 2006.  It spoofs those old Budlight radio commercials that salute the common man, Real Men of Genius. I'd write more but I fell asleep.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


'Llectuals is a comedy video by comedy group POYKPAC, that envisions what the OC (or the 'Bu) would be like if it aired on PBS. Enjoy!

(From clusterflock)