Saturday, December 31, 2011

The eight best media moments of 2011 - Nyan Cat


And Number One: Nyan Cat!

A world where a kitten/poptart hybrid can fly through outer space shooting rainbows behind it while a relentless techno-pop repetition of the Japanese version of “meow” plays in the background can’t possibly be all bad.

Friday, December 30, 2011

The eight best media moments of 2011 - Moneyball


Number two: Moneyball

Rare indeed is the movie that earns four stars upon first viewing in a theater, at least in part because when the 8sails staff ventures into a theater it’s usually in search of some escapist trash rather than a genuinely good movie. Moneyball was a rare exception, not only to the “movies in theaters are bad” rule but also the “baseball movies tend to not ‘get’ baseball” rule. I went in skeptical but came out impressed, a truly noteworthy moment.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The eight best media moments of 2011 - Everybody Poops


Number three: Everybody Poops

I’m genuinely in awe of the folks at Bad Lip Reading. They go over footage – most often from music videos and political ads – and figure out what other words might sync up perfectly with the onscreen mouth movements. Often the result is pure gibberish (which in the case of the Michelle Bachman video wasn’t all that big a departure). They’re all funny, but the one that had me literally in tears was a bizarre hybrid of the basic thesis from Taro Gomi’s popular children’s book synced up with the Black Eyed Peas’ “Boom Boom Pow” video.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The eight best media moments of 2011 - Honey Badger


Number four: The Crazy Nastyass Honey Badger

Take footage from a wildlife show about our friend the honey badger. Add some fairly random narration by some guy named Randall, and suddenly it’s a minor-league culturalphenomenon. A friend even found a honey badger T-shirt at Wal-Mart (the “Honey Badger don’t care” version rather than “Honey Badger don’t give a shit,” naturally).

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The eight best media moments of 2011 - Guy on a Buffalo


Number five: Guy on a Buffalo

One of the big themes of Media 2011 was “repurposing” – taking something somebody else already did and messing with it until it turns into something new. A lot of people suck at this, but not The Possum Posse. These guys found some crazy, copyright-expired movie about a frontiersman who rides around the Wild West on the back of a hapless buffalo. Cutting it way down and putting it to music renders it absolutely hilarious.

Monday, December 26, 2011

The eight best media moments of 2011 - This blog

Number six: This blog

Because a blog this fabulous can’t go unnoted. Seriously, though, this was the first actual “blog” blog we tried, and at this point I’d describe it as reasonably successful. The goal for 2012 is to get more content in here.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

The eight best media moments of 2011 - Science book


Number seven: The Gary Busey science book

If the one-day fudge on the last one was a “bit of a cheat,” this one’s massive malfeasance. This article originally appeared on Cracked.com nine months before 2011 got underway. But I didn’t run across it until earlier this year. And it’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever read, well worth bending the rules to call it to your attention.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The eight best media moments of 2011 - Deadwood

In years past I’ve written up the eight best media moments of the past year as a Hoffman Lens column. But the format seems to fit well here. Plus this way I can draw it out for eight days and finish it on New Years Eve.

Without further ado:


Number eight: Deadwood on Blu-ray

Technically this one’s a bit of a cheat, because the Blu-ray box set of all three seasons was issued on Dec. 31, 2010. But we didn’t get it until months later, and we didn’t start watching it until December. Oh that we could have started earlier. The image quality is truly breathtaking, making the visuals a worthy counterpart to the writing and the acting. The experience left me longing to be back in a cabin in the Black Hills again (not that I wasn’t longing for that anyway).

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The 12 days of do you really need that

I originally wrote this for another blog, but I thought the 8sails audience might enjoy it as well.

On the 12th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:

12 Rorschach coasters

11 nerdy pencils

10 custom Muppets

9 smoking bunnies

8 walnut rockets

7 bad swear snow globes

6 candid doormats

5 hooooooooowling rings

4 squirrel games

3 Apple charts

2 airquote mittens

And an elaborate outdoor cooker

Also, when exactly is the 12th day of Christmas? Is it January 5? Is it December 25 (making the first day  today)? Or given that the Christmas crap hits shelves as soon as the Halloween crap exits for the bargain table, is it November 12?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A scary moment

Just a couple of minutes ago, I completed the last of the structural work on the Media Survival Guide. From here I have three more chapters to finish researching, and after that it’s all writing (and web page building of course). So that’s three “feature length” chapters and five shorter “specialty” chapters to go.

For the first time The Project seems like it might actually have an end.