Sunday, May 08, 2016

Kidstalk: There's No Such Thing as a Pirate Princess

I have two toddlers, so I watch a lot of kids' TV. Some of it just flies right over my head. Others actually trigger thoughts and analysis that I know are way too deep for childrens' television. I feel compelled to share.

There's an overuse of the word "princess" in entertainment for girls. I'm not even arguing that point. It's just a given. But I think Jake and the Neverland Pirates really crosses the line from pandering to flat-out ridiculous with its "pirate princess."

In case you haven't seen the show, Jake and the Neverland Pirates is about a bunch of kids in Peter Pan's Neverland who are pirate-like, except for the murder and stealing and burning villages. They wave around wooden swords and say "yo ho." And they occasionally run into pirates, including a woman called the Pirate Princess. She's exactly what it says on the tin, a pirate who's a "princess of all pirates."

Here's the problem: there's no such thing as a "pirate princess." It's just not possible. First of all, a princess is by definition the daughter of a ruler of a country. Pirates aren't a nation. They're a group, technically criminals. The term "pirate princess" makes about as much sense as a "bank robber princess." You can be a pirate, and you can be a princess who's turned to piracy, but you can't be a pirate princess. You especially can't be a pirate princess without a pirate king or pirate queen. It's just another ridiculous way to work the term "princess" into the show to attract girls.

I don't even really understand the obsession with princesses, anyway. Why aren't we showing girls queens, women with real power? I figure the attraction of being a princess is having all the perks of monarchy (like money and jewelry and gowns and people waiting on you) without the negatives of having to run a country. It's undeserved fame and fortune. It's why the Kardashians are popular right now.

But no pirate princesses.

Monday, November 02, 2015

"I Threw It On the Ground" By Lonely Island

This music video is so funny that I threw it on the ground...

Thursday, August 06, 2015

This Parody of Arsenio Hall's Gary Coleman Interview is Perfect

Paul Scheer, in some ways, is one of the great comedy geniuses of our time. But you've probably never heard of him, because his show NTSF:SD:SUV is on Adult Swim at midnight, and his other projects are on the web. But here's a chance to catch up. He created a series called The ArScheerio Paul Show, making parodies of clips from The Arsenio Show. Seth Rogan and Paul Scheer did a pitch perfect improv satire of Gary Coleman's appearance.

Here's the original interview:

And here's the parody:

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Pizza on a Pizza

Yo dawg, I hear you like pizza, so we put pizza on your pizza so you can eat pizza while you eat pizza!

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In case you're wondering, it's real. And here's the story behind this.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Philosophy Isn't Always Hard...

Not every philosophical question is difficult. Not if you've got the right frame of mind. Check out these cartoons by Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal.
The answer is Yes

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Arian Foster is Just Trying to Be the Best Teammate He Can Be

NFL Texas running back Arian Foster did his first media interview in the 2014 training camp. And he was an absolute troll. Watch him give pretty much the exact same answer to every question. video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

After the interview, he had this to say:

Friday, April 24, 2015

Amazon Same-Day Delivery is a Modern Day Miracle

Last week, I decided to order a new phone online. I went with Amazon, because I just signed up for Amazon Prime and that gives me free two day shipping. Yeah, that totally works. Anyway, I get to the shipping and I was about to select two day shipping when I see this:

FREE Same Day Shipping

Now this made me pause for three reasons.

First of all, it said "free." When I had resigned myself to two day shipping free, the idea of getting it sooner for the same price seemed too good to be true.

But second, it said "same day." I'd never heard of such a thing. How could I get something the same day I ordered it? Even overnight seemed like a stretch.

But the third reason I was in disbelief is that it was a Sunday.

That's right. Sunday.

Could Amazon really deliver my phone for free on the same day I ordered it? On a Sunday, no less?

I figured there had to be a mistake, that the system probably made an error. What the heck? I selected same day shipping and hit "next," expecting Amazon to say the equivalent of, "Oops, my bad. We meant delivery on Monday." That's why I was shocked when it said, "Congratulations! Your delivery date is Today." There was even a tracking number.

I Googled it and discovered that Amazon had achieved what I thought to be impossible.

The short version is that Amazon has warehouses set up in a handful of major cities and can process and ship orders for delivery to those cities on the same day. They even had arranged with the US postal service to deliver on Sunday, something the post office had convinced me was impossible.

I spent the rest of the day clicking "update order," and waiting for a moment when the website would say the package was going to be delayed. When it said it was shipped, I figured it would be a mistake, something would go wrong, and it wouldn't show up.

At five o'clock, there was a knock on my door. I opened it to find my package.

I got the phone. Six hours after I ordered it online. On a Sunday. I would have gladly paid $10 for that privilege, but I got it for free. This sort of thing feels so amazing, it should be illegal. Ordering online is now officially better than shopping in a store, because I didn't have to get dressed, drive to the store, wait in line, drive back home, etc.

Amazon, you are amazing.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Robin Williams Reincarnated in Amazing Impressions

Jamie Costa has an amazing gift. He can do an absolutely dead-on impression of Robin Williams. In this video, he runs through some of William's most popular roles. The incredible part is he does the voice and the face and the mannerisms. It's stunning.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Aamer Rahman Explains The True Definition of "Reverse Racism"

A lot of people - white people - complain about "reverse racism," the idea of minorities being racist against white people. Comedian Aamer Rahman explained how it's possible for there to be "reverse racism."

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Watch People Go Insane Over the Tesla's Insane Mode

The Tesla P85D Model S has a little button on it called "insane mode." "Insane mode" causes the car to accelerate from zero to sixty in less than four seconds. That's incredible acceleration, and DragTimes created this video showing the reactions of average people to it. And yes, the button actually does say "insane."

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Jennifer Lawrence Can't Handle Meeting "Homeland" Star

I love Jennifer Lawrence. Not so much as an actor (although she's great as Mystique and Katniss), but as a human being. Her antics off the set are more entertaining than her acting, because she's so unfiltered. It's refreshing to see her talk and goof around in ways that regular people do, but most celebrities are too self aware to do. She's the anti-Anne Hathaway.

That's why this clip of her meeting one of the stars of Homeland is so awesome, because it's exactly how a regular person would behave when meeting someone from their favorite show. But it does take a dark turn when they accidentally spoil a major moment from the show, and she freaks out the way most of us who hate spoilers do. (If you haven't seen past the first two seasons of Homeland, don't watch this or you'll do the same thing)

Thursday, December 04, 2014

DON'T Make DIY Glowing Bubbles

I saw this on Facebook, and I wish I could post this everywhere someone shares this thing.

This is a really, really horrible idea. The stuff inside glow sticks is toxic. Not corrosive acid, kill-you-instantly toxic, but still toxic. The packages all have warnings not to cut open glow sticks for a reason. The chemicals can burn and irritate the eyes and skin, and are even more toxic to pets. I can imagine the scene of a bunch of kids running around playing with the glowing bubbles and descending into horror as they start crying and screaming. All because some idiot gave some bad advice that went viral. So I created this...

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Kristen Bell Freaks Out Over Sloths

Kristen Bell really, really, really likes sloths. When her boyfriend introduced her to a sloth for her thirty first, Kristen absolutely freaked out. Watched her overview of the situation on The Ellen Show.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Saturday, August 30, 2014

"Simpsons: Tapped Out" Explained What's Wrong With Freemium Games

The game is wonderfully meta. These are actual screenshots from the game:

Sunday, August 10, 2014

An Open Letter To White People With Dreadlocks

Dear White People with Dreadlocks,

What are you doing? What are you thinking? Do you even know why you decided to put on this ridiculous (for you) hairstyle?

Dreadlocks are not pigtails. They are a profound cultural statement. There is literally no other hairstyle on Earth more identified with a specific racial group than dreadlocks, the one you decided to adopt. Even within African American culture, wearing dreadlocks speaks volumes about your African heritage, and possibly even your love of the Caribbean and reggae. What do dreadlocks possibly say to the Caucasian community? That you listen to too much Bob Marley?

I don’t even understand why you would go to all that trouble. Dreadlocks on African Americans occur naturally, just by braiding our naturally curly hair and keeping it tightly wound. You have to keep tangling it, and not washing it, and putting super glue in it or whatever it is you do to get your straight hair to make dreadlocks. It’s not worth it.

More than all of this, white people wearing dreadlocks just cheapen the whole thing. It makes you look silly, and makes everyone else with dreadlocks look silly. On behalf of the African American community, I’d like to say stop. Just stop. Wash your hair and move on with your life.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

KidsTalk: TURBO Makes No Sense

Turbo is a very frustrating movie. It’s very well animated, the voice work is great with stars like Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson, and the script is okay, if you don't mind the patchwork of story elements obviously lifted from other movies like Ratatouille. But it has a fatal flaw that made it hard to watch: the premise.

Turbo is one of those “x dreams of being a y” stories where “y” is something outlandish, like a rat who wants to be a cook or a pig who wants to be a sheepdog. But Turbo is about a snail who dreams of winning the Indy 500. I don’t mean driving a race car in the Indy 500. A snail driving a car would kinda make sense. I mean, running in the Indy 500 himself, despite the fact that he has no wheels or even legs, and no one actually runs in the Indy 500.

Of course, the moral of the story is that you can do anything if you put your mind to it, but I think Turbo proves the opposite. A snail who wants to win the Indy 500 makes about as much sense as a mouse who wants to become the world’s tallest building. It’s a dream that doesn't make any kind of sense. It’s just not going to happen. This is the kind of idea that should have made someone take a step back to re-think the basic concept. But instead of acknowledging the impossibility, the movie goes through a tortured path to try to make it happen.

While wishing upon a star, Turbo falls into a racing car’s engine and gets soaked in nitrous oxide. The combination of nitrous oxide and a toxic soda he drinks gives him super-speed. I can accept that, sort of. What I can’t accept is that it also gives him other features of a car, like headlights, a car alarm, and even a radio. As funny as it is to see his eyes popping to Snoop Dogg’s tunes, I couldn't help thinking, “How is that even remotely possible?” But I digress.

With his newfound speed, Turbo befriends a taco store clerk (for some strange reason, maybe to draw in a Latino audience) who believes in him and wants to make the dream come true. They go to the Indy 500, where an Internet video of Turbo racing the track leads to a groundswell of support to allow Turbo to race.

Now, here’s where it gets really sticky. They repeatedly try to explain why Turbo can enter the race by saying, “There’s no rule that says a snail can’t race!” Well, no, there’s no specific rule that says a snail can’t race in the Indy 500, but there are specific rules on exactly what kind of vehicle can race in the Indy 500. Emphasis being “vehicle.” Specifically, the rules state only open wheel automobiles can race, and Turbo has no wheels. End of movie.

But no, they go ahead and Turbo gets his race. I’m probably not spoiling it to say he wins, but it all felt really hollow. I mean, I’m used to nonsensical stories in kids’ movies, but Turbo simultaneously tries to ground the story in reality while clinging to a ridiculous premise. I just couldn't buy it.

Kids liked it, though, so I guess that’s all that matters.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Lion Greets His Rescuer: The Real Story

I saw this video on Facebook with the following text:

The woman in the video found the lion, injured in the forest, on the verge of death. She took the lion home with her and nursed it back to health. Later, when the lion was better, she made arrangements with a zoo to take the lion. Some time passed before the woman had a chance to visit the zoo. This video was taken when she walked up to the lion's cage to see how he was doing. Watch the lion's reaction when he sees her!!
The story is almost completely wrong. The woman's name is Ana Julia Torres. She's a professional wildlife rescuer. She did find the lion, but at a zoo where it was being mistreated, not "injured in the forest." She nursed it back to health, but not at her "home." She runs an animal shelter where Jupiter the lion (its real name) is being kept. It hasn't been years since she's seen it. She continues to take care of it, because she sees it every day and it greets her this way. I don't know why this video is being distributed with this made up story when the real story is so much better.

Friday, February 28, 2014

How To Twerk Like Miley Cyrus

This video really shouldn't make me giggle as much as it does. There's a YouTuber who calls himself "How to Basic" who makes some of the most bizarre and messiest videos you've ever seen, and here's his recreation of Miley Cyrus twerking at the VMAs. I know, it's uncanny how accurate it is.


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Rose Zone: The Red Zone for Women

SNL created this perfect parody of the Red Zone. My wife would totally watch this.

Monday, November 04, 2013

MemeWatch: What the Fox Says

Have you heard the phrase "what the fox says" and didn't know what it meant? Want to be ahead of the curve on what the young people are doing? Then let's learn together with MemeWatch. Today's lesson is on "What the Fox Says."

You've probably heard about the phrase "what the fox says." It's from this music video: "The Fox," more popularly known as "What Does the Fox Say."

Trivia: The video wasn't actually intended to be a real song. Ylvis is a Norwegian comedy duo with a TV show, and "The Fox" was just intended to be a commercial for the new season of their show. "The Fox" is meant to be a parody of pretentious pop music with an intentionally silly and stupid premise. As one member of Ylvis said, it was just supposed to amuse Norway for a few minutes. In the process, they accidentally created a genuinely good song. No one is more surprised than Ylvis that "The Fox" has taken off.

Saturday, August 10, 2013