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Stop watching stupid crap

Another reason why the collective in society aren’t to be trusted, believed or followed without extreme caution.

This video below has less than a thousand views. That’s on the high end for the content it contains as compared to similar. It represents a vast array of human skills applied to bicycle stunt riding in the discipline of flatland. It takes place in a contest format  in Japan where riders meet up, share their skills and technique maybe win a little money. A little showing off, creative expression. As awesome and difficult as flatland is, it’s quite unknown and barely seen. But it takes a lot of energy and persistence to learn and requires a level of commitment most people just don’t have. In short, these people are more skilled and talented and peristent than 99.999% of the rest of the world.

And then we have THIS video below, featured on the front page of youtube giving it has 1.5 MILLION views. What can I say about this video other than it’s absolute crap. You can tell that in about 7 seconds or less.

Here’s where I was encouraged to write about this.  I ran some numbers. If everyone of those viewers of the second video watched it all the way through, that’s 7.5 million minutes spent or 125000 hours, OR 5,208 days, OR if you like, spread out it’s 14 years wasted on that talentless clown in the second youtube video.

It’s really hard to try to make a point about this without getting into the useless argument that one form of entertainment or expression is better than another. So I’m going to just be the alpha male and pounce on this. The bike video is better than the Ray William Johnson video in absolutely every way without question. There’s nothing good about the 2nd video at all. Nothing funny or worth remembering. I’m not enjoying it during the experience and after it’s a big pile of regret. After analysis and discovering the 14 wasted years thing, it’s another nice kick in the balls too.

To compare it to something else, let’s say you need a house built. 20 guys working 8 hour days for three months can handle that easily. At that count you’re looking at 14400 man hours, all together 600 twenty-four hour days.  That’s less than 2 years stretched out.

It doesn’t matter what I say people should do, but the question remains, why does crap get so much attention when we all claim to care about quality? I realize it’s just 2 videos but it’s enough to offer a warning to all of us. We should be seeking out things even in our mindless entertainment that will create an impression that bursts open our imagination. Demand the good stuff and we won’t be as vulnerable to the pull of all the crap begging for our attention. And those people making crap will be less encouraged to do so.

With that out of the way, I’d like to happily report (as a BMX flatland fanatic) that the following 2 videos have 9 million and 1.5 million views. Bravo people. I think the music helped both of these videos a lot though. Without the music, the views would be dramatically different.  That speaks to where content creators can be putting a lot of emphasis on.

May 8, 2011 at 2:16 am | bikes, freestyle, media, music, rants | No comment

Jurassic 5 in Lawrence Kansas – the best show of my life

Juri’s first concert in the United States turns out to be the best show I’ve ever been to in my life. We were at The Granada in Lawrence last night and saw Jurassic 5. Opening for them was a group called X Clan.

I don’t know if anyone reading this knows this group, but they are one of the best hip hop groups ever. Their lyrics are progressive, clean and unmatched. Seeing all of them in person was huge for me. If their album’s are good, their shows are unbelieveable. The deep booming voice of Chali 2na had everyone cheering all night. What a treat. I was singing along with what I knew and I never do that.

The promoter for The Granada said my camera was too big to have in the show. I looked around town a little for a camera shop because I decided to buy a smaller digital since I’ve wanted one anyway. No such luck. I did manage to get a disposable camera at the corner drug store. So now I have to develop pictures, something I wanted to avoid for the rest of my life. The delay is the worst part, but some how these pictures won’t be part of the collection like the rest of the digital. Heck, I’d be surprised if any of them turned out. Thinking about it though, I was more involved in this show than I ever have been. Being involved and singing along might not have happened if I had my DSLR camera. So not having it increased the spirit of the show I think.

We were up first in line for the show and up front at the rail during the performance. Juri was getting tired from the long day, I was worried she wouldn’t like it, but once the group came out, she just lit up. Minus the show it was also a perfect evening walking around Massachusetts Ave and having a light dinner in the beautiful weather.

Some Jurassic 5 Links
DJ Nu Mark Article
Chali 2na Interview

September 6, 2006 at 9:16 am | music, photography | No comment

My first real Linux experience – timesucking but cool

Well, it’s 4:30 am on Monday Morning. I haven’t slept yet, but I’ve tried to. I’m at my computer, obviously posting this little entry. This weekend, I finally had free time for something I’ve wanted to do for a while. I installed Ubuntu Linux onto my computer. Ubuntu is like Windows or Mac, it’s just another operating system. It’s quite different from what I can see. There are some huge benefits to using Linux over Windows. One is that almost everything about it is free. You don’t pay for software, except with a few special apps you might find on the internet. Linux is free, and hundreds of apps are included free too. And there are some really good applications I might add. Amazing really.

So I’m not going to complain about that, but I am going to complain about some of the things I’ve encountered. Basically installing software is done through a command line in the terminal. So you have to type in things like sudo apt-get install fooprogram and if that program exists, it will download and install automatically or be upgraded automatically from a repository of software apps. Of course getting to the point where you know how to do all this stuff, takes some playing around. In one sense, it’s easier than Windows, but in most everything it’s more difficult. For example, I’ve spent hours trying to figure out how to get a larger cursor on this thing. Apparently it’s not like Windows where you can just choose the “big” cursor theme in the display properties.

I even installed this program called big-cursor, but I can’t find it anywhere. Also there are little controls in the themes / cursors properties that should let me resize the cursor, but it doesn’t actually do anything. I guess it depends on the cursor theme I have currently running? None of this matters really, but I think cursor size should be an option under the Accessibility menu, and it’s not. In fact, the Accessibility menu is really skimpy, consisting of a text voice reader.
I installed Linux because I really wanted to try out this program called Rosegarden. It’s a full featured music program including midi sequencing and even notation. I wanted to make music and this is the only free program out there that does all these things. Guess what? I installed and played with Rosegarden, it’s very impressive. But because of some unknown missing piece or setting I can’t hear any of the notes in the timeline. I can see it playing back, but a sound font or volume switch is mute which I can’t find. Great program, doesn’t do me any good whatsoever at this point.
One thing I do like are the graphic apps. I was able to play around with the Gimp, which is like Photoshop. I’ve had several complaints about Gimp on Windows, mainly that the tool palettes are too easy to hide. This little problem doesn’t happen in Linux so far. It’s behaving just fine. Now I know why Linux people love the Gimp more than I have in the past. It works better here on linux. Also got Scribus, Inkscape, Krita and more. My setup is a desktop publishing workhorse now!
I’ve downloaded the latest firefox, with a little issue. Firefox comes installed by default, but the recent update had to be acquired through a little searching and some special code that I pasted into the terminal. Again, pretty annoying, but it works fine now. Extensions are working too. Firefox is a must have. It’s a web browser if you haven’t heard of it, but it’s very extensible and really is helpful for me as a web developer and heavy surfer.
So my experience with Ubuntu is that I’m impressed, but with the hours I’ve put in trying to customize, It’s pretty frustrating. However, despite Mac OSX being really easy to use I don’t know I could customize that anymore than this. Less in fact. I shouldn’t expect to know everything about a computer right from the beginning, especially an operating system designed to be for tinkerers. I will say that If I walked into a workplace and had to use Ubuntu, (already set up for me), I would be content. It beats Windows in so many of it’s offerings out of the box, and for general computing, email, chat, word processing, it’s a perfect choice.

Apologies to those of you reading this who couldn’t give a crap about computers. Unfortunately I’m obsessed with them, so I tend to have a lot to say about my experiences.

Bed time

May 15, 2006 at 6:04 am | computers, music | 1 comment

electric boogaloo

I went to a community class this evening on electronic music. It was a starter class talking about the things you can use to create music at home. We covered midi sequencers, notation programs, and I got to ask a ton of questions of the expert. Sometimes you just need a teacher to complete the learning experience.
Anyway, I sent an email to the teacher afterwards because I had some resources that he could use in another class. I’ll post the email here because I want to remember these resources too.


Thanks for the Class David. I really appreciated
chatting with you about everything, and thanks for
spending time with me afterwards.

I wanted to send you those resources I talked about.

That 64 button open source music box is called the

Blog entry at
You really need to watch their video to see it in
action. It’s awesome I think.

Another application worth mentioning is called Rosegarden. It’s for linux, open source and the sources are free, if one wants to compile the application. You can also pay for it compiled via a linux live cd.

Free drum machine called Hammerhead

In your resources, you list some ear training apps.
Here’s a free one.

Big list of free music making software

Regarding Home Studios, this guy has created a huge guide for all this stuff. All the links on the left show how big this guide is.

An article about Thomas Dolby’s electronic music rig

The books I took out of the library were good
resources, some of them I took links out of. You can
see my list of music links here.

Here is the book I checked out that was really good.
“Getting started in Computer Music”

Another was called “The art of digital music : 56 visionary artists & insiders reveal their creative secrets”

Here’s a recent article about microphones

list of midi sequencers

One last thing. You might consider putting together a
quick webpage with all of the resources you want to
give out. There is a way you can do this really
quickly by using a free service called pbwiki.

That way you don’t have to necessarily email
presentations to people, you can just refer them to
the website, and you can update it as you need to, if
you plan on continuing the class.

Whew, that was a long email.

thanks again!

April 20, 2006 at 2:26 am | music | No comment

Beastie boys remixable

Yet another reason why the Beastie Boys are my most favorite group of all time. It’s not that all of their music is my most favorite, but they have over the course of 20 years, gone through a transformation similar to what I have gone through. That is to say, when I first listened to them, it was quite rowdy and mischeivious, and after that, they improved, and then had a spiritual awakening. Now their music embodies their maturity and ‘found’ selves but still has the fun and exploratory realm of progressive hip hop.

So now what do they do? They offer their lyrics acappella, so that anyone can remix their music and try something different, in a word, create. Travel to Beastie Boys Remixers. I discovered this little gem thanks to the Makezine blog.

August 24, 2005 at 12:20 am | music | No comment

Wehrenberg Theaters theme song

Does anyone remember the Wehrenberg Theaters theme song? The jingle played after the previews, right before the feature? You wouldn’t unless you lived in St. Louis two decades ago. They changed it around 1995. And changed it again to the current one. Many locals believe the classic song is so much better than the fancy digitally mastered new jingles with their 3D motion effects.

Don’t you wish you remembered it? Well, you don’t have to. You can download it right here, at least for the time being. I noticed several people have an affinity for this jingle. For me, it’s very nostalgic. I remember seeing “A Christmas Story” and “Ghostbusters” and hearing the song before those movies from my childhood. It always tightened my stomach a little, the excitement before the movie.  Hopefully these files can stay here for a while for people to enjoy, maybe even persuading them to buy a movie ticket at a Wehrenberg theater for a fun night out.

Wehrenberg Classic Theater Intro 1964
Wehrenberg Classic Commercial 1964
Wehrenberg Current theater Intro 1995

January 25, 2005 at 1:27 am | music, nostalgia | 24 comments