Thursday, October 19, 2017

World's Biggest Anti-Take A Kneel Guy A Hit On Social Media

Talk about insincerity!
A little hypocritical maybe?

The photo in this post went viral this week. It shows a guy at the NFL New England Patriots vs. New York Jets game wearing a "I Stand For the National Anthem" shirt.

As you can see, though, he decided to take a break and sit down, using the American flag as a picnic blanket for his fat butt.

The fact that he's drinking beer out of a straw is a nice touch, too, but that's besides the point.

So let's see if I've got this straight: If a black NFL player kneels during the National Anthem to protest police brutality against African Americans, that's totally disrespectful. If a white guy gets tired walking around with his warm, flat beer, he can use the American flag to sit on to keep his butt comfortable.

Got it.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Might Be Possible To Shut Off Those Annoying Gas Pump Video Ads

I'll have to try this: It might be possible to shut off the
sound of those annoying ads at newer gas pumps. 
I came across something today that I want to try the next time I fill up the gas tank of the Tacoma.

Lifehacker, via Reddit, says it's possible to shut of the blaring ads and news headlines from the video monitors that are popping up like crazy at newer gas pumps.

All you have to do, the theory goes, is push either the top right or the second to the top right button next to the video monitor on the gas pump. This is perfect for people like me, who don't want to be constantly bombarded with ads no matter what I'm doing.

The video will still play, but at least you can turn your back on that.

Of course the drawback now is this news is out, so I'm sure they'll redesign the gas pumps so you won't be able to shut off those awful ads when all you want to do is buy some gas.

We'll see how this goes.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Postman Dutifully Delivers Mail To Neighborhood That's Not There Anymore

A postal worker delivers mail to a neighborhood that
no longer exists after the California wildfires
One of the strangest videos I've seen coming out of that California wildfire tragedy is one you'll see here:

It's a United States Postal Service van delivery mail to a neighborhood that was completely incinerated by the wildfires.

It seems stupid at first, but then I'm thinking what else was the guy to do? The mailboxes were still somehow intact.

I guess he just hopes the people who lived in those destroyed houses will come back. Maybe even get a millisecond of normalcy back in their lives by checking their mailboxes.

Here's the spooky video:

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Saturday Night Live Hits Perfect Note With Aldean Cold Opening

Jason Aldean captured just the right tone during his
cold opening appearance on Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live very often seems to know how to strike the right tone when the news gets tough.

SNL did it again last night.

Last week, we had the massacre in Las Vegas.  Jason Aldean was on stage at the country music festival in Las Vegas when the gunman opened fire, killing 58 people. Aldean wasn't physically hurt, but certainly shaken.  

There was the prerequisite snarky comments on gun control during the Weekend Update segment, but the cold opening of SNL last night got it just right.

Saturday, Aldean did the cold opening for Saturday Night Live, honoring the massacre victims and nodding to Tom Petty, the rock great who died last week.

He then performed Petty's defiant classic, "I Won't Back Down."



Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Trolls And Bots Are Why We Can't Have Nice Things

I got an ugly surprise on my Google News feed on
an ugly news morning the other day. 
Monday morning, I got up early, went to my computer, and went straight to my Twitter feed.

There I saw my first hint that a horror had occured in Las Vegas overnight. I wanted to learn more immediately, so I went to Google News.

Of course, the top story was the atrocity in Las Vegas that claimed 58 lives, plus the despicable gunman, who killed himself.

But this post isn't about Las Vegas. Under "related stories" about the Las Vegas massacre was this "top trending" headline: "Jessica Simpson Nude Pics."

Yep, some awful troll apparently gamed Google's algorithms or something to place that nude pics thing in the top news, for profit, obviously. And I'm sure if anybody was stupid enough to click on that link, they got a computer virus or malware.

We all know now that Russians and maybe some other creeps influenced the 2016 election and very likely help a lot in getting Trump elected by inundating our Facebook and Twitter feeds with fake ads, fake news and all that to boost Trump's chances and hurt Hillary Clinton's.

As The Guardian points out, YouTube had its own problems with trolls and hacks gaming the system. Early this week, if you were on YouTube and searched "Las Vegas shooting" many of the top videos on the subject were posted by wacko conspiracy theorists who said the mass shooting was fake, and a false flag to take our guns and rights away, or something.

So YouTube was giving a platform for all these nutjobs. YouTube says the videos comply with their standards, which may be true, but really. On the bright side, my YouTube search of "Las Vegas shooting" was a little better, with the top hits mostly consisting of reports from legitimate news sources or videos from eyewitnesses.

I don't know how to fix all this,  but that's the big flaw in all these web sites and social media is they're automated, and algorithms, whatever they are, guide us to what we see.

Which is why none of us can ever serendipitously just wander around YouTube or search engines like we would in a book store, seeing what pops out at us.

Nope, we've done a web search, or we've watched a particular YouTube video, and now the algorithms steer us toward similar videos or searches. You can look at something else if you have something specific in mind, but if you're just sort of searching for whatever interesting pops up, you can't just stumble on something cool that's unrelated to your past searches. You can't discover new things. You're stuck.

And what about those ads that follow you around. Say, for example,  I bought some athletic shorts from Under Armour online. Now all I get ads for those very shorts following me around for weeks. Why would I want to buy shorts that I just bought? If an advertiser must advertise, the least they and their algorithms could do is advertise something else from that company that I might be interested in. But no: Buy more shorts! Buy more shorts!

It's why we can't have nice things.

Again, I'm no technology, internet or social media genius. But I like to think for myself. The tech companies think I'm incapable of doing such a thing. And it's terribly insulting.

And in the case of the Russian bots and fake ads and news, very dangerous.

Friday, September 29, 2017

French "The Voice" Contestant Wows With A Twist On The Village People

This woman, on the French version of "The Voice" show
us the right way to do the YMCA.
As people who read this blog thingy know, I'm one of those hopeless people who's a fan of some talent competition shows on TV, with "The Voice" being one of my favorites.

I missed the season debut of "The Voice" this week, so I was rummaging on YouTube to see what happened, and there's was some great auditions here in the Great Old U.S. of A.

But as you know, every place in the universe, probably including Neptune, has a "The Voice" franchise, and I stumbled upon some recent auditions from France.

One of them was by a woman named Nathalia, who did a version of the Village People song "YMCA"

The original song has frankly become a tired cliche of a tune that is played at every bad wedding you've been to. However, Nathalia turned "YMCA" into something flirty, gorgeous, new, powerful, playful, soulful and sexy.

As you might know, during "The Voice" auditions, the judges, all musicians, sit in chairs with their backs to the stage so they can't see what the performer looks like. They must rely just on what they hear. If the judges like what they hear, they press a button and their chair turns to face the performer.

Not surprisingly, all four French "The Voice" chairs very quickly turned for Nathalia.

Here's the video

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Sportscaster Dale Hansen's Comments On NFL "Take The Knee" Is Required Watching

WFAA sportscaster Dale Hansen just gave us an epic
takedown of Trump and his NFL protest nonsense.
There's a great sportscaster at television station WFAA in Dallas named Dale Hansen who's been there forever.  

The man is awesome. I first wrote about him in this here blog thingy back in 2014, when he came to the defense of Michael Sam, an NFL draft pick who was openly gay, something that would hurt his chances of become an NFL player

Hansen shredded the anti-gay bigots who would keep Sam out of the NFL spectacularly.

Hansen has done a lot of other great commentaries over the years, but this time, his words are required reading, or at least the video of him delivering those words are required watching. That video is at the bottom of this post. You HAVE to watch it.

This time, Hansen takes on Trump's appalling criticism of NFL players who kneel during the national anthem to protest violence against African Americans.

Here's just on excerpt, which gives you a taste of what you will watch:

"It has not gone unnoticed that Trump has spoken out against the Mexicans who want to come to America for a better life, against the Muslims, and now the black athlete. But he says nothing for days about the white men who marched under a Nazi flag in Charlottesville, except to remind us there were good people there. '

And when he finally tried to say the right thing, not one of them was called an S.O.B. or should be fired. We have white men in America who wave the Nazi flag and the Confederate flag and he's concerned about taking a knee because it disrespects this flag. We use that flag to sell mattresses and beer. We wear it as a swimsuit. We wrap our bald heads in a flag bandana and stick it in our pants, because we disrespect the flag every day."

Here's the video: