Friday, May 31, 2013

New PBS Ad Campaign Skewers Reality TV

Posted By on Fri, May 31, 2013 at 5:59 PM

Yesterday, I spent a good chunk of words ranting about the state of reality television, noting that the clownish, restaurant-owning fools at Amy's Baking Company might get a television series of their very own with which they can be further derided and mocked.

Today, I learned that PBS isn't too pleased with the state of TV either — and they've decided to mock it in a series of ads that have been running in New York City subways, creating fake advertisements for terrible-sounding shows that might actually run on the types of cable channels that have been scraping the bottom of the barrel:

(Admission: I would actually consider watching an episode of "Married to a Mime," because the potential for comedy is just too great.)

Now, there's not generally a lot to look forward to when it comes to television as of late (I miss you, Dan Harmon's Community), but PBS has always been a shining beacon — especially since everyone started freaking the hell out about Downton Abbey — so it's great to see at least one PBS member station taking shots at the competition. I wholeheartedly approve.

[h/t: A/V Club]

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Let's Watch A Homemade "Lightsaber" Effortlessly Burn Through Stuff

Posted By on Fri, May 31, 2013 at 4:54 PM

YouTuber and self-described "DIY Laser Guy" Drake Anthony (better known as Styropyro) has become relatively Internet famous for his videos featuring his love for lasers, chemistry and explosions — which is awesome.

But today, we're going to focus on one thing — his massive, self-made, 3 watt laser, capable of setting things on fire in spectacular ways:

From the video's description:

Here my BEAST 3000mW blue laser goes up against a bunch of flammable stuff. Most things light INSTANTLY when placed in the beam of this laser! This is the most powerful handheld laser that I’ve ever used!

This laser uses the new 9mm 450nm laser diode and runs on two 18650 Li Ion batteries. The housing is a custom machined “Sirius” host. I usually try to refrain from using the term “lightsaber” when referring to my lasers but there really isn’t much else out there to describe this laser.

To be honest I don’t even like handheld lasers this strong, but I knew by subscribers would like this! This laser is legal to own in the US, and I wore goggles while shooting this video.

So you know, those Lithium Ion batteries he mentions above? You'll typically find one of those in your average laptop.

For comparison's sake, your average, everyday red laser pointer typically uses under one milliwatt, so as to not cause injuries.

Yeah. I want ten of these.

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Juanes Rocks AVA, Regains His Edge

Posted By on Fri, May 31, 2013 at 3:15 PM

Grammy award-winner Juanes performed at the Anselmo Valencia Amphitheater Thursday night for the latest stop on his Loud and Unplugged Tour, playing a great mix of both new songs and deep cuts from earlier in his career.

Opening for Juanes was a new, up-and-coming singer, Raquel Sofia. Sofia, comparable at times to La Mari, of the flamenco-electronic group Chambao, has a great stage presence — her music is certainly worth the time it would take to seek out.

Juanes opened his portion with his classic song "Fíjate Bien." and continued to play a mix of songs from every album including the song "Fotografía" with Sofia joining to sing Nelly Furtado's lyrics. Juanes also sang his own rendition to Bob Marley’s “Could You Be Loved."

His concert was electrifying and overall a great show. If anyone had doubts whether Juanes was losing his edge after releasing his last album P.A.R.C.E., which definitely was not his best work, would be happy to know he hasn't.

Juanes is back and ready to rock out.

Colombian rocker Juanes.

Juanes rocking out.

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So, You Guys Are Still Doing This?

Posted By on Fri, May 31, 2013 at 2:03 PM

News you can use?
  • azstarnet.com
  • News you can use?

I thought we talked about this, Arizona Daily Star. Don't you remember the day you ignored a good, local story for the opportunity to plug Subway sandwiches?

Sure, at least this time you're not shuffling off information about good, local people for this marginally interesting press release, but did it really have to be for yet another nationally known chain restaurant and their most well-known (and thus, least-interesting) food option?

Tut-tut, Star. Tut-tut.

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God Bless You, Merry Prancers: the Majesty of Prancercising

Posted By on Fri, May 31, 2013 at 12:23 PM

There's something beautiful when someone is so damn earnest about what they're doing that they don't recognize the hilarity of their actions — when they're pouring their heart and soul into something, and it turns out to be heartwarming and amusing, even if it's for all the wrong reasons.

Such is the case with Prancercising, and it's creator/founder/head-prancer-in-charge Joanna Rohrback, who just loves to "cut the noose and let it loose" — apparently, in sparsely-populated parks on mildly-overcast days.

Honestly, this is what the Internet was made for — it's like Tim and Eric's comedy wet-dream (if carried a mild undertone of sadness, anyway), with your average, everyday person trying to share something they love in the most awkward outfit imaginable, and playing it completely straight.

If you're interested in learning more about the joy of Prancercising, you're in luck! The Prancercise book is available for you to order right here.

In this photo: Joy. And Photoshop.

(Also, in an off-putting realization, I'm fairly certain that woman doesn't invest in undergarments. Just an observation.)

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Today's the Last Day To Submit Your Best of Tucson® Ballot!

Posted By on Fri, May 31, 2013 at 11:10 AM

Tucson, it's May 31 — a date of significance for a number of reasons.

Some of you got paid today. Many of you have rent due tomorrow. Oh, and apparently Big Ben began operating back in 1859. It's a big day.

But for us, today matters for one reason, and one alone: it is the final day to submit your ballots for the Best of Tucson® 2013.

You don't have to submit your ballot to show how much you care about Tucson's many spectacular, home-grown restaurants, stores, musicians, artists, personalities and attractions — but if you don't submit a ballot, don't come complaining to us when your favorite place to eat Sonoran hot dogs is snubbed, if your favorite comic book shop is ignored, or your favorite hiking spot is overlooked.

You have 'til midnight tonight, folks.

Click here to vote!

Your Friday Morning Video Wake-Up: 'Years,' by Bartholomäus Traubeck

Posted By on Fri, May 31, 2013 at 9:37 AM

In what happens to be one of the coolest art projects I've seen in quite some time, "Years" takes a modified record player and a thin slice of a tree, and combines them to form something...well, amazing:

YEARS from Bartholomäus Traubeck on Vimeo.

Why yes, that old turntable IS playing the rings of a tree. From Traubeck.com, a description of the piece:

A tree’s year rings are analysed for their strength, thickness and rate of growth. This data serves as basis for a generative process that outputs piano music. It is mapped to a scale which is again defined by the overall appearance of the wood (ranging from dark to light and from strong texture to light texture). The foundation for the music is certainly found in the defined ruleset of programming and hardware setup, but the data acquired from every tree interprets this ruleset very differently.

[h/t: the Daily What]

Thursday, May 30, 2013

So There Might Be An Amy's Baking Company Reality Show, and I Hate Everything About This

Posted By on Thu, May 30, 2013 at 5:39 PM

warholright.jpg

(Note: Last week, when writing about the Jodi Arias Lifetime Original Movie Whoops! He Fell On the Knife Over and Over Again or whatever the hell it's called, I used the phrase "this is fucking stupid."

I would like to apologize for using that sentence — not because it is offensive to those who have tender language sensibilities, but because repeated use of that phrase tends to lessen its impact...that, and I have a self-imposed quota for the seven words you can't say on television that I may soon go over. With that said...)

According to the widely-read, nationally-known food blog Eater, there is a rumor that a reality television series based on the exploits of Amy and Samy Bouzaglo, owners of Amy's Baking Company in Scottsdale, is in the works.

This news comes via a report from Radar Online, who writes that an unnamed source claims that Cineflix (the producers of such television gold as American Pickers and Property Virgins) is "the most serious production company trying to secure Amy and Samy." God help them.

More from Radar Online:

“Amy and Samy are all for it because they feel like it’s the only way to keep their restaurant open.”

As RadarOnline.com previously reported, Amy and Samy’s appearance on Kitchen Nightmares was the most memorable in the show’s history, and after an onslaught of online hate mail and death threats directed towards the couple it was revealed that Amy is a convicted felon, Samy is currently facing deportation, the restaurant had a history of Health Department violations and business continues to fail — making them reality TV gold.

“Right now their agent is just looking out for them to make sure they get the best deal, so they want to wait on signing with Cineflix to make sure they’ve seen all the deals on the table,” the source told Radar.

“But no doubt, you will be seeing Amy and Samy on TV again sometime in the future. They need to generate money and publicity to keep their business going, otherwise customers just dropping in because of their Kitchen Nightmares appearance will fizzle and their restaurant will go under.”

This is fucking stupid.

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PCC Theatre Arts - Popol Vuh: The Story of Seven Macaw

. November 9-19 in the Center for the Arts Black Box Theatre (Thu.-Sat. at 7:30 p.m., Sun.… More

@ Pima Community College Center for the Arts Thursdays, Sundays, 2-4 p.m. and Thursdays-Saturdays, 7:30-9:30 p.m. Continues through Nov. 19 2202 W. Anklam Road.

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