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Recent Entertainment articles from Daily Dot

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    When dogs are reunited with their owners, it tugs at our heartstrings. It’s a classic YouTube trope, one that is even more heartwarming when you combine the excited pups with recently returned soldiers. But are these animals really remembering their humans, or are they just being dogs who'd be happy to greet any human?

    According to a recent Pacific Standard article, there might be more to canine greetings than you’d assume. The dog may not remember the human in the way another human would, but using their senses they can often tell who is around them, even if the person has been gone for a long time. They use sight, sound, and smell to associate the emotions they feel with their surroundings. For the return of a known human, that emotion is excitement, and it manifests itself in typical greeting behaviors.

    "They basically assess this complex of sensations, which is in fact a person,” Stanley Coren, professor emeritus at University of British Columbia and author of The Wisdom of Dogs, told Pacific Standard, “and that will trigger the emotion.”

    While there’s no evidence that shows dogs reacting more strongly to a human who’s been gone a long time versus a short one, dogs can pick up on the atmosphere around them to understand the level of excitement and emotion of a situation.

    “One of the things that’s clear from videos with soldiers is that the soldiers and families are all wired too, and the dogs pick up on that,” Marc Bekoff, author of Why Dogs Hump and Bees Get Depressed, told Pacific Standard.

    So next time you tear up as a soldier's dog welcomes him home, know that the dog’s emotions are just as genuine as yours.

    Screenshot via Funnyplox TV/YouTube


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    Imagine a game where you could charge your friends at top speed and bounce back without a scrape. That’s the world devinsupertramp created in his latest YouTube video featuring a crowd playing soccer in Zorb balls.

    Zorb balls are like giant inflatable bubbles that protect you while still allowing you to see through and move in any direction; think hamster balls, but for humans. Devin “Supertramp” Graham, whose high-quality adventure videos often snag millions of views on YouTube, created the video, which combines fast and slow-motion shots that capture the full experience of a Zorb soccer game.

    Like Graham’s other clips, this video is paid for by a corporate sponsor—this time Champion—but that doesn’t lessen their shine in the slightest. Graham’s videos are too fascinating and action-packed to ignore, from urban ziplining to an Assassin's Creed-themed parkour course.

    Screenshot via devinsupertramp/YouTube


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    On Sunday morning, a clip of a sprint car accident at Canandaigua Motorsports Park, involving Tony Stewart and Kevin Ward Jr., went viral. Twenty-year-old Ward ended up dying at the hospital that night, shortly after the accident. In the clip, you can see his body moving until it is not. Millions of us essentially watched his death, over and over. 

    To watch a death on the Internet has become part of being online. We all make the choice to click play or not, and for many of us, it's become muscle memory, that acting of saying yes. Still, many people were understandably upset that the footage of his death was "trending," or playing next to ads, or that they had to watch it at all. How should we feel about wanting to see it?

    I watched the video a couple times, each time feeling my stomach sink a bit. What was I getting from the image? I suppose I was trying to give this scene context, like everyone else. To try to make sense of the senseless. Commenters on the video debated what happened in the short scene, who was at fault. It brought out the worst in people, as the Internet does. 

    We've become accustomed to the curiosity gap, but there's also a morbidity gap. We channel our grief over the death of actors on Facebook and Twitter, unsure of where else to put it. Eric G. Wilson's 2012 book, Everyone Loves a Good Train Wreck: Why We Can't Look Away, explored this obsession with seeing what we don't necessarily want to. He posits that "our attraction to the macabre is on some level a desire to experience someone else's suffering." In this Digiday post questioning the wealth of traffic the Ward video brought Deadspin, author Brian Morrissey writes, '[the] line between what constitues news and what is essentially a snuff film is fuzzy." 

    To watch a death on the Internet makes us angry, and it should. We watched the video in which no one attempts to resucitate Eric Garner. The image of 18-year-old Michael Brown lying in a pool of blood after being shot by police in Ferguson, Mo., has been widely circulated and repurposed. In her new book, Bad Feminist, Roxane Gay discusses the 2010 rape of an 11-year-old girl in Cleveland, Texas, and the images that came with it: 

    "There is video of the attack because this is the future. The unspeakable will be televised." 

    And we want to see the unspeakable.

    The Canandaigua video now has a warning and has been age-restricted, in accordance with YouTube’s community guidelines. One of those guidelines advises, “Graphic or gratuitous violence is not allowed. If your video shows someone being physically hurt, attacked, or humiliated, don't post it.” Above these guidelines, it says, “Don’t cross the line.”

    Of course, videos cross the line all the time. The volume of videos uploaded to the site far exceeds the number of filters, or people “flagging” videos. Now that it’s age-restricted, the Canandaigua clip won’t have ads, so it won’t be generating revenue. When asked if they would be taking the video down, a YouTube spokesperson told the Daily Dot:  

    First of all, our hearts go out to Kevin Ward Jr.’s family at this time. While YouTube’s Guidelines generally prohibit graphic or violent content, we make exceptions for material with documentary or news value. In cases where a video is not suitable for all viewers, we apply warnings and age restrictions to safeguard people using our site.

    A second video of the accident is now being analzyed by police. We only saw a minute of Ward's story. We did not know him, but we mourned as if we did, sending thoughts and prayers to a stranger's family. This piece from Jay Busbee perhaps drives home the weight of this sad tale, which gives the video even more emotional heft. Stewart, a NASCAR star, raced with Ward, a small-town kid who’d been racing in some form or another since he was 4. This story is almost Southern gothic. 

    “Maybe one day years from now he'd have reached NASCAR's highest levels; maybe he'd just be sitting around the local garage, telling the same story over and over about the time he raced Tony Stewart. He should have gotten the chance to go as far as his talent and drive would have taken him. He didn't get it. This is beyond unfair.”

    To watch a death on the Internet takes almost no effort. Does that make it fair? 

    Photo via PDA.PHOTO/Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)


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    Being a Hollywood intern is already one of the most soul-sucking jobs around: Internships are near impossible to come by unless you know someone who can get your foot in the door, the roles are almost always unpaid, your fingers are permanently bleeding from fastening so many scripts together with metal brads, and all for what? Hopes that someone other than the IT guy might talk to you about anything remotely involving film or television?

    Luckily for the next generation of Ari Gold hopefuls, the Weinstein Company (TWC) is here to help cut through all that clutter. Not by offering paid internships of course, but rather, by offering college kids the once-in-a-lifetime chance to pay thousands of dollars for the possibility of winning an unpaid internship with TWC.

    TWC, in partnership with charity auction site Charitybuzz, is offering a three-month internship at either its New York or Los Angeles office to one lucky college student whose parents are dumb enough to believe that this is necessary. While the lucky winner can choose what department to work in (sorry, business affairs, really don’t think you’re nabbing this one), they do have the option to receive the next best and most useful thing to possess after money, a job, or a chronic illness: college credit. To be crystal clear: You, naïve movie-loving Hollywood hopeful, are being offered the once-in-a-lifetime chance to spend thousands of dollars for an unpaid job. If that doesn’t already make your skin crawl a bit, this will: The highest bid is currently set at $13,000.

    Unpaid internships, especially in Hollywood, are a hot-button issue now more than ever; a judge ruled last summer that it was illegal for 20th Century Fox to use unpaid interns on the set of Black Swan. One can argue that by adding the Charitybuzz component to the Hunger Games-esque hunt for non-gainful employment (proceeds from this auction go toward the American Repertory Theater), it’s just a chance for deep-pocketed philanthropists to do good while securing a fun reward, but as one bidder on the TWC auction, who prefers to remain anonymous, shared with us, she didn’t even know what charity the proceeds were going toward.

    “The internship opportunity is for my son who is in film school. They are very hard to come by, and the opportunity to work with a major entertainment industry player, I think, is worth its weight in gold, no matter what the price," she said. "I’m going to continue bidding, no matter what. To have exposure to that major player [Harvey Weinstein] in the industry is certainly a valuable asset for a college student.”

    Charitybuzz and TWC have set the estimated value of the internship at a little bit less than the cost of its weight in gold, just a mere $50,000. Judging by the fact that a current TWC assistant shared with me that a starting assistant salary at TWC—the wholly unguaranteed job next in line after an internship—is a paltry $31,000, the estimated value of that internship looks a little off, but hey, when it comes to wasting tens of thousands of dollars, to each their own. 

    No one is arguing that getting your foot in the door in entertainment is easy to do, but as a veteran of the Hollywood unpaid internship rodeo, I can assure you that paying thousands of dollars to get in the door is not going to earn you the type of respect you need to move ahead. If you remain undeterred and have at least $14,000 in disposable cash, you have about 20 hours left to make a bid.

    Photo via bjornmeansbear/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0) | Remix by Fernando Alfonso III


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    Loud cellphone talkers are everywhere you go, and YouTuber Greg Benson, the man behing Medicore Films, has a funny way of getting some revenge. His tactic? Just start loudly butting in on their conversations while on your own phone nearby.

    Benson has pulled this prank successfully since 2011. He'll stop beside a loud cellphone user and begin responding to their conversation as if he's the person on the other end of the phone. Eventually the subject catch on, to hilarious results. He's cellphone crashed at airports, parks and even Disneyland. His latest video targets beachgoers and their public conversations.

    IFrame

    Our favorite moment of the beach video is when the person on the other end of the line of one of his unwitting subjects knows all about cellphone crashing and gets excited to to talk to Benson. "I wish I could shake your hand," she exclaims. All-in-all, most of his subjects are exceedingly good sports.

    Screenshot via Medicore Films / YouTube


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    As Vine has progressed as a platform for comedy, the question of what’s funny has become more difficult to answer. What’s genuinely funny or original and what’s on the “popular” page are often very different. 

    We’re now living in a time when the “Broom Broom” girl has become an international meme, an exercise in absurdity. The clip has been viewed more than 14 million times, and it succeeded precisely because of Vine’s six-second format. You have to get in and get out on Vine. There has to be quality control. 

    Teens have taken over the platform, for better or worse, and while their popularity is often ponderous, there are people with a smart sense of humor expanding the boundaries of the app. (And, often, making fun of the Nash Grier industrial complex). 

    Chris Melberger is perhaps best known as the guy who repeatedly scares his girlfriend on Vine, which either joined or elicited a weird Internet tradition of guys scaring their girlfriends on camera. (Ladies, are we not scaring boyfriends? Can we get on that?) He says his videos go through the proper channels before he posts. 

    “If it makes me laugh, then it's funny,” he told the Daily Dot. “That’s how I decide if I will post it or not. Making that decision is hard because I am my own biggest critic. Next up on the critic express is my dad. I can text him a draft of an idea and if his response isn't an immediate ‘hahaha’ or ‘nice one!,’ then it's either not amusing or just a topic he is unfamiliar with. 

    “A lot of my content stems from everyday situations and how I can handle it in the most awkward way possible. I really enjoy poking fun at mainstream things as well, and that is when a Vine of mine usually does best.” 

    Melberger says a lot of comedians, like Will Sasso, who has perfected the art of Vine, have left the app or stopped posting as frequently. 

    “Earlier on, Vine was about content and creating it within the app,” he said. “Now it's a lot of overused meme jokes, heavily edited clips with rap or dubstep music placed over it, and teenage boys/girls lip syncing semisexual songs to their camera. It's a free app and anyone can use it however they want, it's just unfortunate that what is deemed ‘popular’ is the first bit of content a new user will see.”

    “I don't mind a younger demographic,” he added, “but seeing grown men do sketches about high school just for ‘likes’ has had me question the integrity of several users.” 

    Here are a few more people who are doing Vine right. 

    1) Alicia Herber

    Herber’s vines are a head rush. There’s a sharp aesthetic to her more design-focused pieces, but there’s also a bit of gleeful horror to her clips. Vine is tailor-made for animation, and Herber’s taken it to the edge. 

    2) Aparna Nancherla

    Like Sasso, comedian and writer Nancherla is another performer who’s mastered the format. Her surreal conversations are often those we have in our heads as we commute home from work but don’t say out loud. She and Maria Bamford need their own show. 

    3) Memory Hole

    This account is more a collection of weird bits of Internet detritus, but it’s a good resource if you do, indeed, want to get lost in an Internet memory hole. 

    4) Electrolemon

    Demi Adejuyigbe’s vines are both inventive and funny, and his Oscars series was especially good. Keep an eye on him. 

    5) Avery Monsen

    Monsen’s a writer for Billy on the Street, in which comedian and actor Billy Eichner challenges celebrities and people on the street to absurd challenges while yelling at them. Monsen uses Vine’s looping feature perfectly.

    6) Matt Braunger

    Braunger’s a comedian, and he excels at observational humor. You know, it’s the little things in life. 

    7) Brandon Bowen

    We wrote about Bowen last month, but it’s worth repeating that calling out your haters and being completely self-aware is what Vine was made for. 

    8) Stacey Nightmare

    Vine is also about terrifying people, and if you’re going to do it right, make sure you’re doing it as a terrifying crab-woman hybrid. 

    Image via Benjamin Ragheb/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0) | Remix by Jason Reed 


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    Michael Jackson’s back. 

    Wait, what? Last night, the King of Pop’s estate released the second new music video since his June 2009 death, a reinterpretation of America’s “A Horse With No Name” called “A Place With No Name.” 

    Premiered via Twitter Wednesday evening, the video features a series of clips of two people dancing in the desert, with footage stemming from outtakes of Jackson’s 1991 video for “In the Closet” interspersed between.

    The video comes directed by music video icon Samuel Bayer, who’s also responsible for Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and Blind Melon’s “No Rain,” and supports the May release of posthumous effort Xscape, the second album of Jackson’s material to be released since his passing. 

    It’s cool to see Michael groove again, even if none of the footage can be classified as new. No word yet on what America thinks of the remake. 

    Photo via Michael Jackson/Twitter


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    For Riot Studios, the Sept. 26 multiplatform release of its feature film Believe Me is not the big story. Well, it might be, but what is far more novel is that the Austin-based production company hopes to create an army of for-profit marketing whisperers on social media to spread the word in advance of opening day.

    “I think there are a lot of people trying to leverage social media where you can earn points or chips or these fake currencies and redeem them for money," producer Alex Carroll told the Daily Dot. “We decided we wanted to be more direct and make it super simple. We're paying fans, even motivating them, to do what fans do: to tell their friends. What better way to hear about a new movie?"

    The process is super simple. Fans go to team.believemefilm.com and register. After a quick confirmation email, each fan is assigned a unique link that he or she can add it to their social media network of choice and add a few words of encouragement to grab their friends’ attention. For each click-through, the ad-hoc marketers earn 10 cents. If someone clicks and pre-pays for a DVD ($9.99) or video on demand ($12.95), that link is worth 25 cents.

    The approach makes sense for Riot Films, which operates on a limited budget. The film cost $1.1 million to produce, and its marketing budget pales in comparison to most film studios. So while the film will have a relatively robust distribution for its opening (14-16 cities including New York and Los Angeles), that's nothing resembling debut week for a typical studio blockbuster. Seeing a smaller theatrical distribution window as an opportunity rather than an obstacle, Carroll explains Believe Me will come out simultaneously in theaters, on DVD, and on digital download. With that strategy, Riot Films’ precious marketing dollars can be leveraged across multiple consumer touchpoints.

    “If they don’t have a theater near you that is showing the film, you might wait and forget to see it  it, so we don’t want to miss out on that point of sale,” Carroll adds.

    Believe Me is not your typical low-budget film. It stars Alex Russell (Chronicle) as a college student whose scholarship comes to an end and who schemes to raise money by becoming a faux evangelist on a national tour. The film costars young actors Miles Fisher, Johanna Braddy, and Zachary Knighton along with veteran actors Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation) and Christopher McDonald (best known as Shooter McGavin in Happy Gilmore). 

    Photo via Riot Films


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    A hilarious Tumblr that shows what it would be like if your dog could text you is now an adorable webseries, Text From Dog, starring YouTube star Sam Pepper and his real-life pet Sir Chinston Pugsworth Sir Chinston Pugsworth II.

    Pepper runs his own prank channel with more than 2 million subscribers and appeared on the U.K. version of Big Brother, but the new Text From Dog series runs on the Petcentric channel, produced by Purina. The channel also features other pet-friendly content, including Pet Magic with Jose Ahonen of hot dog levitating fame, and Rescue Cam, which features dogs and cats in shelters looking for forever homes. So far Text From Dog has released four episodes that run the gamut of doggy text interruptions, from first dates to why can humans name their dogs but dogs can't name their humans.

    Pepper may be YouTube famous, but Sir Chinston Pugsworth II is a star in his own right with more than 84,000 followers on Instagram. We're excited to follow his future texting adventures.

    Screengrab via Petcentric/YouTube


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    Had dating apps existed 50 or 60 years ago, there’s no doubt they would’ve played a prominent role in classic pop ballads, however terrible that might sound. (Just replace the word “love” in every Beatles song with “right-swipe” or “dick pic,” and you’ll get a pretty good idea.)

    With this in mind, it’s actually kind of surprising that it’s taken so long for someone to come out with a song about Tinder. But thankfully, someone has: The five-piece “eccentric chamber pop” group Miracles of Modern Science, which has just released a music video for their single “Swipe,” a song about—you guessed it—swiping through potential suitors on Tinder.

    Featuring the vocal stylings of Brooklyn-based singer Kristin Slipp, the song and its accompanying music video can best be described as “quirky”: There’s a lot of shots of bearded, fedora-wearing white dudes preening and flexing, as the woman in the video swipes left on them all. (Which is, all things considered, a pretty accurate reflection of what living in Brooklyn and using Tinder is actually like.)

    But in all seriousness, the song is pretty catchy—especially with its chorus, “So if I whet your ample appetite/Go ahead and swipe me to the right”—and it’s hard to resist the charm of two people singing about using up all the data on their phones while a goofy white guy swings on the mandolin. So go ahead and swipe right on this one—just try not to think about the inevitable sequel, a mandolin-infused, mournful paean to Yo.

    H/T Jezebel | Screengrab via Miracles of Modern Science/YouTube

     

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    If you want to experience Paris, but don't have the money for a flight and hotel, don't despair: Vimeo user Paul Richardson has you covered.

    In just over two minutes, Richardson manages to beautifully capture the essence of the world-class city. Through time-lapse photography set to Lights & Motion's instrumental melody "Drift," we can explore all of the city's well-known landmarks (the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, etc.) and also its role in the everyday life of its citizens.

    According to the description, the video reflects three weeks of shooting and five weeks of editing.

    Parisians should be proud of Richardson's work. At least it is much more complimentary than videos showcasing other cities.

    Screengrab via Paul Richardson/Vimeo


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    Sometimes the sitcom remixer gets it right.

    Take two parts 500 Days of Summer, one part Mad About You, mix aggressively with some cross-generational pop culture references, and you have the half-hour meet-cute sitcom A to Z which debuts today via NBC’s digital properties (nbc.com, Hulu, etc.) and iHeartRadio in advance of its Oct. 2 network TV premiere.

    When last we saw Ben Feldman (Mad Men), he was headed for the looney bin. He returns to the screen as Andrew (A) who meets Zelda (Z, Cristin Milioti of How I Met Your Mother) in an old-fashioned-meets-social-stalking sort of plotline. He works for an online dating site, and she is a lawyer. They both have odd, goofy-in-a-charming-sort-of-way friends who fill the 24 minutes with enough refreshing banter to keep the show moving with a clever voiceover narrative from Katey Sagal. What makes the show hum are the pitch-perfect performances and dead-on references from everything from Back to the Future to the sociological treatise the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon (I had to look it up too). 

    Adding easy sharing tools and the hashtag #IHeartAtoZ allows the digital court of public opinion to weigh in on the show. For NBC, it’s a risk-reward move, as negative buzz could torpedo the program before it airs, while even a slight groundswell of positive digital energy could be the best marketing money can buy.

    NBC didn't respond to a request for comment in time for publication.

    Just a few hours into the digital debut, the Twitterverse is quite positive on A to Z.

    Can they keep up this level of rare television brilliance every week? If so, this is a winner.

    Photo via NBC Entertainment 


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    BY SAM GUTELLE

    Everyone wants a piece of the YouTube community, and Vimeo is the latest platform offering its profitable revenue streams to top online video stars. Per CNBC, the website with a reputation for high-quality, artistic content has distribution deals in place with three popular YouTube content creators: Joey GraceffaTaryn Southern, and comicbookgirl19.

    All three of these creators will continue to regularly release content on YouTube, but they will also take advantage of Vimeo’s pay-to-view platform by selling premium content at a few dollars a pop. Graceffa will debut a full-length version of his webseries Storytellers, Southern is working on a feature film, and comicbookgirl19 has already begun distributing long-form reviews similar to the ones she has on her YouTube channel. For example, here is the trailer for her review of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, which can be purchased from Vimeo On Demand for $1.99:

    As with YahooFacebook, and Vessel (all of which have plans to woo top online video stars away from YouTube), Vimeo is offering a much more potent revenue stream than YouTube’s pre-roll ads. Instead of YouTube’s 45 percent cut, Vimeo takes just 10 percent of the revenue its users generate. This makes the site an appealing option for creators who feel squeezed by the low profits their videos bring in. “We have creators who are earning tens of thousands of dollars selling things single-digit-thousands of times,” said Vimeo CEO Kerry Trainor.

    Vimeo has always been a niche site, so don’t expect any stars to flee YouTube entirely in favor of Vimeo’s pale blue shores. For side projects, though, it is an intriguing option. “There are a lot of people who have built a tremendous audience on YouTube, been very successful but it is a behemoth, there’s a ton of content being uploaded by users and personalities so it’s hard to stand out and be heard amidst all of the video,” said Southern. "So when you want to put out something premium I think it’s really exciting for YouTube creators to be able to look elsewhere for a different type of experience for their viewers to have.”

    In that sense, Vimeo’s role in the evolving online video ecosystem is already well-defined. We’ll see how much it catches on with YouTube’s cash-strapped creative community.

    Screengrab via comicbookgirl19/Vimeo 

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    On Aug. 21, a large chunk of the general population will go into hibernation until Labor Day. This is when the Simpsonsmarathon comes to FXX for a 12-day run.

    During this time, all 552 Simpsons episodes will be available to watch, and a trailer for the marathon was just released. This August binge is a teaser of sorts for October’s debut of Simpsons World, which viewers will be able to access as a website via FX, as part of a huge syndication deal.

    This is the Simpsons creation story:

    And this marathon will fortify fans for the new season, debuting Sept. 28, in which a major character will be killed off. It’s thought Krusty the Clown will see his end, so you better get your fix. We’re all binge-watchers now.

    Screengrab via FXX/YouTube 


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    Craigslist is known for its often odd and hilarious listings looking to sell something or find a missed connection, and you could be sitting next to one of those posters without even knowing it.

    Wanting to help out, Conan O’Brien went to his audience and showcased some of their Craigslist ads (or rather, the ones he thinks they would post) in a recurring segment. They’re looking to make some cash or connections, so with a wider TV audience, naturally it would only help their causes, even by the sheer exposure.

    Some are entirely too accurate while managing to get laughs, but if any of these people actually had listings similar to what O’Brien came up with, would it surprise anybody?

    Photo via Team Coco


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    It's no secret that every time a shark dies, a GoPro employee begins weeping.

    But the staggeringly high number of sharks that humans kill—100 million each year, or three sharks per second—should have us all in tears.

    For Shark Week, the PBS Digital-produced YouTube series It's Okay to Be Smart has taken a look at what would happen if 100 million sharks became 100 percent of all sharks. What would a world without sharks be like?

    Pretty dire, is the conclusion. Pointing to examples where overfishing of sharks has already caused algae pollution and the collapse of fishing industries, host Joe Hanson describes the potentially disastrous consequences of wiping out the entire top of the oceanic food chain.

    Given the number of irresponsible claims the Discovery Channel has bandied about during Shark Week in recent years, it's no surprise that scientists, researchers, and shark-lovers are turning to YouTube to counter the popular image of sharks as terrors of the sea.

    Five other science shows on YouTube teamed up to offer week-long alternatives to Shark Week via their YouTube channels. Hank Green's science channels Sci Show and The Brain Scoop both contributed, along with Minute Physics, Smarter Every Day, and Veritasium. Together, the shows produced a dozen videos devoted to debunking myths and educating viewers about the need for shark conservation.

    The shows cheekily referred to the project as "Several Consecutive Calendar Days dedicated to Predatory Cartilaginous Fishes." Check out each of their videos below.

    It's Okay to Be Smart

    Smarter Every Day

    Sci Show

    Veritasium

    Brain Scoop

    Minute Earth

    Screengrab via YouTube


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    That's not just Gwen's head in the box—it's generations of fridged women.

    It's been 15 years since comics writer and cultural critic icon Gail Simone first introduced to the world to the concept of "women in refigerators"—that is, the endless numbers of women who populate our narrative world for the sole purpose of being killed off in order to provide angst for a male character's plot development. Named after the notorious manner in which one disposable comic book female was offed, Simone's famous website documenting the trend has served as the lynchpin for conversations about sexist tropes in pop culture.

    But conversations about comic book characters can be hard to carry over to other mediums, as Anita Sarkeesian knows all too well after her work examining this and other harmful tropes in gaming culture. Now, YouTube user Loosemeatz has given us a scathing visual compilation of fridged women in cinema as the trope plays itself out on an endless loop of dramatic plot angst and the tears of (mostly white) male characters.

    While it's a strong statement, the supercut is by no mean a complete compendium of the vast assortment of female characters whose narratives have rendered them expendable. But it gets a big advantage from its soundtrack—Pearl Jam's cover of the iconic '50s ballad "Last Kiss," one of the most famous examples of the trope in musical form.

    We recommend playing the Fridged Women drinking game for this. Drink especially hard whenever Mel Gibson's manpain takes over the whole screen. Go for double shots whenever the death is extremely gruesome.

    Actually, we suggest you start drinking at the beginning and just keep going. 

    H/T AV Club | Screengrab via isochronous/YouTube 


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    As bloodthirsty as their favorite aquatic predators, Sharknado fans are ravenous for the third film in the unexpected hit cult franchise. And this time, they want to bring the sharkpocalypse to Washington.

    A hilarious new Change.org petition earnestly lays the groundwork for the next sequel. We recommend playing the soundtrack to Bill Pullman's Independence Day speech as you read:

    Sharknado and Sharknado 2: The Second One, are the cinematic masterpieces America needs. In a time plagued by war, terror, economic recession, and congressional gridlock, the American people need somewhere to turn. Thanks to the work of SyFy, they have been able to turn to Sharknado.
     
    They turn here for heroes, for adventures, for friends. They turn here for an escape from the troubles of life. But perhaps most of all, they turn here for sharks.
    After the first Sharknado took a bite out of the West coast, and Sharknado 2 chomped its way through New York City, what could the SyFy channel and B-movie factory The Asylum possibly do to top themselves?
     
    Allow the political sharks of D.C. and real sharks to face off, of course.
    This tale, like the spirit of the American people, must carry on.
     
    It is for this reason that we, the people, ask that you film Sharknado 3: Fin-Dependence Day, and that you film it in our nation's capital, Washington, DC.
     
    DC is the city on the hill, the bastion of freedom, and the home of monuments to our nation's great leaders such as George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Bryce Harper, and Ben Ali. DC is a city filled with history, majesty, and democracy. Most importantly, DC is a city that deserves to be pounded relentlessly by an inexplicable tornado filled with sharks.
     
    Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask yourself what you can do to make sharks pummel our nation’s capital.
     
    Four score and seven years ago, our nation rose together to overcome the greatest Sharknado known to man.
     
    I have a dream that one day, children of all colors will live in fear of a third Sharknado.
     
    We, the people, ask you to help us in our pursuit of life, liberty, and Sharknado
     
    We ask you to please film Sharknado 3: Fin-Dependence Day in Washington, DC.

    As of this writing, 46 eager supporters are trying really hard to make Sharknado 3: Fin-Dependence Day happen. With a boost from Uproxx, they might even get to 100. 

    Sadly, with the third movie due out in 2015, it's probable Sharknado 3 already has a working script. But there's always hope for Sharknado 4!

    In the meantime, check out the teaser for Sharknado 3 below, which seems to indicate that the sharks will be spending their time whirlpooling through the galaxy. Maybe they should subtitle it Shark Trek?

    H/T DCist | Screengrab via SyFy/YouTube 


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    From drunk cooking in your kitchen to covering the brightest pop songs a cappella, the 2014 Streamy Award nominees, announced today, celebrate the breadth of digital video achievement. Those digital stars will shine Sunday, Sept. 7, when the fourth annual Streamy Awards stream live from Beverly Hills.

    “If the caliber of this year’s nominees is any indication, we’re on track for the biggest Streamys ever,” said Executive Producer Drew Baldwin, co-founder of Tubefilter, in a press release.

    Since the 2013 edition of the Streamys, the line between digital and non-digital has continued to blur. But the Streamys have held true to their online roots, honoring Web stars as opposed to mainstreamers moonlighting on the Web, or new digital series that are more akin in budget and scope to television and film. The nominees are truly Web stars, with many repeat nominees from years past, including The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, MyMusic, and Grace Helbig, to name a few.

    New categories celebrating Vine achievement include nominations for Cameron Dallas, Brittany Furlan, and Marcus Johns. Overall, the theme of this years Streamys is diversity, with nominations that break down categories of content such as beauty or gaming, without trying to pit the best comedic YouTube stars up against first-person vloggers or educational series. The awards do pay homage to mainstream TV with the newly added category Excellence in Television, which saw nominations go to Chris Hardwick’s Internet-obsessed @Midnight, as well as more mainstream fare like The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel Live, both of which have highly successful YouTube presences.

    The Streamys have yet to announce a host or special guests, but in years past celebs such as Joss Whedon, Lance Bass, and David Hasselhoff have all graced the stage. The event is presented by Coca-Cola and organized in conjunction with Dick Clark Productions. The full list of nominees is available on their website.

    Photo courtesy of the Streamys


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    As if he had any choice, Last Week Tonight host John Oliver has taken on the militarization of the police, and the confusion, racism, and violence that has erupted in Ferguson, Mo., over the past week.

    All eyes have been on Ferguson since police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown on Aug. 9. In the past day alone, the results of Brown’s second autopsy came to light along with another night of violence and threats against citizens and the media.

    There’s the occasional joke and he eventually parodies a song called “Die, Motherfucker, Die” in the must-watch segment. But he can barely contain his contempt as he tries to wrap his head around the events in Ferguson. 

    “I know the police love their ridiculous, unnecessary military equipment, so here’s another patronizing test: Let’s take it all away from them, and if they can make it through a whole month without killing a single unarmed black man, then—and only then—can they get their fucking toys back,” he said.

    The situation in Ferguson has escalated even further since Oliver filmed his show, with Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon sending the National Guard—and that's no laughing matter.

    Photo via Last Week Tonight/YouTube


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