“Microsoft products are generally bug free.” – Bill Gates

August 31, 2009

Windows

Microsoft’s release of Windows 7 is supposed to hit stores October 22nd. It will hopefully be a favorable alternate option to Windows Vista, which many businesses hesitated to upgrade to due to its many bugs and bothersome problems. With Vista being only 3 years old, Microsoft is obviously desperate to refocus their product and deliver something flawless. With the release of Windows 7 we will likely see how well Microsoft’s long awaited counterattack to Mac vs. PC “I’m a PC,” bolstered public opinion of the operating system and if people are ready once again to trust in the company. In a separate vein, the company’s “Bing” decision-maker-non-search-engine-search-engine, although extremely popular for the first week after it’s launch date, has not faired particularly well against Yahoo or the mammoth Google monolith. This proves disappointing for the company that injected billions into the project, plus upwards of $80 million in marketing (after the jump, my favorite Bing commercial). The New York Times reports that even though it might not be getting the desired traffic just yet, it is an extremely satisfying search engine for people that spend enough time on it. It has also merited Microsoft something that it has been in desperate need of recently; respect. They have turned out a quality project with Bing. Let’s hope that the same will be said of the Windows 7 operating system.


“Remember “I” before “E”, except in Budweiser.”

August 30, 2009

In college, drinking bad liquor is a given. It is a rite of passage, and a testament to the incredible capacity and endurance of the human liver. From Natty Light to Aristocrat, I have often been faced by the immutable desire to find something that, in the wake of, will not make me feel that I have spent the evening hammered in a gutter. Although I am typically not a fan of flavored vodka, Firefly’s Sweet Tea Vodka has tempered the pain long suffered by the consumption of Long Islands, Jager bombs, and bad decisions. It is deliciously smooth, and can be mixed with water or lemonade. Burnett’s makes a similar vodka that is both inexpensive and a couple of steps above Aristocrat (not that it’s hard; moonshine is probably safer than that unfiltered vodka).

Boylan Heights offers 2$ Fireflies on Wednesday nights. Try a taste test. Side note: If you don’t think that your liver has taken enough of a beating (or you have a drinking buddy that you hate a lot), check out some of the Most Miserable Shots Ever Concocted.

Sometimes when I reflect back on all the beer I drink I feel ashamed. Then I look into the glass and think about the workers in the brewery and all of their hopes and dreams. If I didn’t drink this beer, they might be out of work and their dreams would be shattered. Then I say to myself, “It is better that I drink this beer and let their dreams come true than be selfish and worry about my liver — Jack Handy


“Douchebag of the Day” – Philip DeFranco

August 27, 2009

Get the latest and greatest news from DeFranco. Perhaps not your standard CNN pundit, but a hilarious political/entertainment commentator. Check out his YouTube channel here.


“[insert name here] must stop using Facebook as the primary communication method with his girlfriend, family and friends.”

August 27, 2009

Social Media Tee


“I’m finally starting to understand these soap operas. They’re pretty good.”

August 26, 2009

Let me preface this with something: I am not a very emotional person. I’m not one of those girls that needs to “just have a good cry” on a weekly or even monthly basis because of my fragility or trying life. I am occassionally (re: maybe biannually) plagued with beer tears, and of course could be on a varisty, no, professional sobbing team immediately post breakup, but my wounds tend to heal pretty fast, and most things don’t phase me.

That said, I am a sucker for sappy season finales, short stories, and the occassional romcom/family drama. A “List of Things That Make Me Cry” sounds pathetic/ridiculous/melodramatic so…I won’t title this. Don’t worry, Titanic isn’t on the list. But it is implied.

Ziv Navoth’s Nanotales (in the video above)
-“Closer” – Joshua Radin
-1.3 Brothers and Sisters when Tommy convinces Paige to jump in the pool (song in clip: “Ice Age” – Pete Yorn)
-4.14 Sex and the City when Trey and Charlotte break up for good but he still takes the picture for Home and Garden. All that glitters…
-Dawson’s Creek series finale (sorry, I truly am a girl of the 90s!)
2.27 Grey’s Anatomy…it all went downhill after this. The episode brought “Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol to uber fame.
A Lot Like Love…in its entirity
Prime…a totally underrated romcom. The tears are in the ending, so if you’re short for time…fast forward.
Cute boys that sing sweet songs a capella…check out The Academical Village People
6.03 One Tree Hill…Quentin’s funeral. Who thought that a sideline character would be so important?
-The Notebook…nuff said.
-All of those in between moments of will they/won’t they in Miss Match
Remember the Titans…inspirational moments can be tear worthy too!
-The Chuck/Blair dynamic on Gossip Girl. Oh, young love. SO much better than the sad and pouty Dan/Serena thing (that scene in the elevator in episode 2.3 is an exception) Honestly, the fact that I tear up over any of the aforementioned things on GG is pathetic, especially because most of it is overshadowed by the constant presence of a narrator (thankyou, Kristen Bell)
The Breakup. OK, so many people hated it, but it isn’t it comforting to know that there is the possibility of the fire being rekindled? Did I really just say that? It is simultaneously awesomely funny and awesomely sad.
-4.15 Sex and the City when Aidan and Carrie breakup…and 4.18 when Carrie sees Big before he leaves for Napa. The end is the sweetest. (While Moon River plays in the background…):

“Maybe, our mistakes are what make our fate. Without them, what would shape our lives? Perhaps if we never veered off course, we wouldn’t fall in love or have babies or be who we are. After all, seasons change, so do cities. People come into your life, and people go. But it’s comforting to know the ones you love are always in your heart. And if you’re very lucky, a plane ride away.”


“We live in a ‘cut and paste’ culture enabled by technology.”

August 24, 2009

ACT II: Girl Talk at UVA

Let me begin at the end. This past weekend, UVA’s University Program’s Council brought Girl Talk to John Paul Jones Arena for a free show. It seemed like the perfect way to kick off the annual Block Party festivities and don the elusive game face. Gillis was en pointe, mixing live and remixing some of his hits from the Feed the Animals and Night Ripper albums. Unfortunately, JPJ is a huge arena and the security staff wouldn’t let many people on the floor, putting a damper on the night and causing a lot of people to leave. It was bad planning, but I managed to get down to the floor with a friend, and was elated to hear him mix 80s rock i.e. the stuff that frat parties are made of with rap, pop, and slow jams. It was over entirely too soon, and all I was left with was a stolen blue wristband and a chiropractic nightmare proffered by my over energetic and largely unnecessary head banging. The man known as Girl Talk, despite his nerdy exterior and conspicuous lack of music instruments had rocked the house.

ACT I: Intro to Girl Talk

Fall semester of my third year, I wrote a research paper on Girl Talk, sampling, and fair use. Forever a mash-up fan, I dig what Girl Talk does and think that his music is transformative, and shouldn’t be considered stealing. My thesis?

Digital technology gives unprecedented voice and creative power to fans and amateurs that copyright law tries to prohibit. The convention of sampling used by Girl Talk and other artists like him is an imperative example of beneficial user generated content and fandom enabled by modern technology and the internet. Girl Talk has garnered success and critical acclaim working outside of the mainstream, using the internet, illegal downloading, and blogs to his advantage and creating a new type of fandom. Intellectual Property Rights as they stand are too restrictive, and should be expanded to accommodate and allow sampling. In Girl Talk’s case in particular, creativity should be supported rather than stifled.

I considered Girl Talk the original master of mash-ups, but quickly came to realize that artists like Norwegian Recycling, DJ Earworm, Lenlow and Milkman (to name a few), were doing similar things with music. It stays underground for the most part because as per fair use, these artists can’t legally profit off of the thousands of samples that they use to create mash-ups. Girl Talk’s last album, Feed The Animals (2008) was available from Illegal Art for a “donation,” similar to Radiohead‘s “In Rainbows” (2007) album. Neither act found the distribution particularly profitable, but is essentially the only option for artists like Girl Talk. The money he makes comes from live shows; only recently did he even quit his day job for a fulltime performing gig. Before I graduate, I was determined to see him.

For more info on Girl Talk, check out this exclusive interview with him on the day of the concert.


“I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework.”

August 22, 2009

Next week is the first week of my last year of college. Glad as I am to be a soon-to-be college graduate, I can’t believe the time has gone so fast. After middle school, high school, and 3 years of college, I’m still drawing the same conclusion

homework vs. me

Here’s your go to back to school guide; everything you need to know about writing a college paper. A reminder for my classmates, and a little advice for the first year nubies out there.

How to write a paper in college/university:

1. Sit in a straight, comfortable chair in a well lit place in front of your computer.

2. Log onto MSN and ICQ (be sure to go on away!). Check your email.

3. Read over the assignment carefully, to make certain you understand it.

4. Walk down to the vending machines and buy some chocolate to help you concentrate.

5. Check your email.

6. Call up a friend and ask if he/she wants to go to grab a coffee. Just to get settled down and ready to work.

7. When you get back to your room, sit in a straight, comfortable chair in a clean, well lit place.

8. Read over the assignment again to make absolutely certain you understand it.

9. Check your email.

10. You know, you haven’t written to that kid you met at camp since fourth grade. You’d better write that letter now and get it out of the way so you can concentrate.

11. Look at your teeth in the bathroom mirror.

12. Grab some mp3z off of kazaa.

13. Check your email. ANY OF THIS SOUND FAMILIAR YET?!

14. MSN chat with one of your friends about the future. (ie summer plans).

15. Check your email.

16. Listen to your new mp3z and download some more.

17. Phone your friend on the other floor and ask if she’s started writing yet. Exchange derogatory emarks about your prof, the
course, the college, the world at large.

18. Walk to the store and buy a pack of gum. You’ve probably run out.

19. While you’ve got the gum you may as well buy a magazine and read it.

20. Check your email.

21. Check the newspaper listings to make sure you aren’t missing something truly worthwhile on TV.

22. Play some solitare (or age of legends!).

23. Check out bored.com.

24. Wash your hands.

25. Call up a friend to see how much they have done, probably haven’t started either.

26. Look through your housemate’s book of pictures from home. Ask who everyone is.

27. Sit down and do some serious thinking about your plans for the future.

28. Check to see if bored.com has been updated yet.

29. Check your email and listen to your new mp3z.

30. You should be rebooting by now, assuming that windows is crashing on schedule.

31. Read over the assignment one more time, just for heck of it.

32. Scoot your chair across the room to the window and watch the sunrise.

33. Lie face down on the floor and moan.

34. Punch the wall and break something.

35. Check your email.

36. Mumble obscenities.

37. 5am – start hacking on the paper without stopping. 6am -paper is finished.

38. Complain to everyone that you didn’t get any sleep because you had to write that stupid paper.