Posts Tagged 'funny'

Cool New Facebook Feature

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

I joined Facebook when it was “The Facebook” and you needed an approved school’s .edu email address to join. I’m talking around six months before it was opened up to all colleges, and then opened up to the public.

I’m not trying to be all hipster on you. I’m making a point. Bear with me.

Back then I only joined because my classmates all joined in a frenzy when our school’s .edu address became accessible in one of that last waves of schools to be added. If I didn’t join, I would have missed out on all the sharing of assignment tips and whatnot on there. Being that I went to an art school, we weren’t sharing answers (since most of our grades were from projects). We really were sharing tips on how to get the uncooperative gouache to work right, or reminders about what the professor would be looking for in the finished project.

Then I quit going to school, Facebook opened up to the public, and I started having problems with Facebook. So I quit using it. In fact, I deleted my account and stayed off the site for two years. Then my coworkers wanted me on there, so I joined up again and resolved to keep it simple. No applications, no “friends” I didn’t really know… I thought I had it figured out (and for the most part, I did).

Though I still doubted whether I really needed it.

Then I did an experiment to see if I really needed my Facebook account and friends. Eventually, I concluded that I could (and should) live without Facebook (mostly for simplicity’s sake).

So these days I watch Facebook (and people on Facebook) with a bemused detachment.

Boy did I have a good laugh at their latest feature: Groups for Schools.

HA! At first I thought it was some sort of joke. But a quick Google search revealed that this is for real. Facebook is actually introducing an exclusivity angle for .edu addresses, rolled out to groups of schools in waves, as though it’s something new. So let me get this straight:

  1. Introduce exclusive social network for schools.
  2. Realize everyone wants in and open it up to the whole world.
  3. Attempt to sell idea of exclusivity again.
  4. ???
  5. PROFIT EVEN MORE? Yeah right.

Wow. Are they just trolling college students?

U MAD BRO?

Rhino Skull Troll-Face: U MAD?

Actually, I’ve seen something like this before. I read about it on the New York Times website a while back. It was a really neat article about how marketing companies pry into our private lives and use psychology to get us to buy and use their products.

When they first got started, it seems Febreze had problems selling a product that eliminated odors. They were actually doing very poorly as a business. However, their researchers (or someone) stumbled upon a woman who actually used their product. When they visited her, they found that she was using it as a finishing touch in her household chores, not to eliminate odors as it was intended to be used.

This crazy lady would make the bed with fresh bedding, then spray some Febreze on it. She’d wash and fold her laundry, then spray some Febreze on it. The bottle said, “eliminates odors!” Yet she was spraying things that already smelled good.

Rather than asking the lady from what height she was dropped on her head as a baby, they asked why she did it. Of course she wasn’t all that sure, but she knew she liked the way it smelled. So the Febreze guys looked at each other in disbelief, returned to the lab, and increased the perfume in their product. Then they turned around and marketed it again.

This time it wasn’t marketed as a product that eliminates odors; it was marketed as a product to make clean things smell nicer: Like a spray-on liquid air freshener that makes things smell pretty. Their commercials showed people doing what that crazy lady was doing: spraying it on things that were already clean.

Eventually the product really took off. This baffles me to no end. But the funny part is, once they were selling really well and making a ton of cash, they changed their advertisements again. They started telling people, “Oh yeah, and our product eliminates odors too.” They actually never removed that feature, but people didn’t care about it at first. After Febreze got big and made that announcement though, people were going, “oh cool.”

Sheesh.

Anyhow, perhaps what Facebook is doing isn’t all that different from what Febreze had to do. Maybe Facebook is trying to get back to its roots.

Or maybe they are just crazy.

And Now for Something Lighter

After the last two completely serious posts on here, I thought I’d share something that made me smile today.

I subscribe to an RSS feed for a website with a less than nice title, but the animated GIF images they share are generally fun.

The post I saw in my reader today was awesome. You can click the link to see it at the website, or behold it here:

I love it!

It’s like that little monkey was determined to murder that guy, but the dumb glass wall stood in his way. I’d pay real money to see a version of this where the glass was not there.

The whole thing is so perfect. At first I thought it might be a CGI hoax. But after doing a little research, I found the YouTube video from which the GIF was ripped.

A little further research uncovered that this awesome guy (the monkey, not the human) lives at the Memphis Zoo (in the China exhibit area). He’s actually a gibbon, which is somewhere between monkey and great ape (but closer to monkey, so I’ll call him a monkey).

According to this post that I found, the gibbon is close friends with a cook who works at the zoo, and he might be getting a little defensive about the spot where his friend usually interacts with him.

The YouTube video comments I read seem to indicate something else (having to do with an employee at the zoo who taunts and teases the monkey), but I find YouTube comments to be less than reliable most of the time.

I looked on the zoo’s website to see if they had anything official to say about this particular gibbon, but I couldn’t find anything.

There are several other videos of this happening on YouTube, but most of them are from a distance and outside. Most of the time the monkey dances around angrily after slamming into the glass, which (to me) indicates that at least some people are taunting him.

If anyone knows more about the background of this particular incident, I’d love to hear it in the comments! Also, if you live close to Memphis, go say hi to this monkey for me!

And until I know the monkey’s gender and name, I shall call him Epic Ninja Monkey of Doom.

This is Funny

I found this cruising around the Internet one day and just had to repost it. Really, I’m usually pretty good about sharing a link to where I find things, but in this case I think it just came off imgur.com or something.

Anyhow, this is awesome:

Unique

I often feel like that poor fork – contorted and twisted nearly beyond recognizability. However, I’d like to think that my deformities lend me some redeeming usefulness that poor fork will never offer.

That’s what I’d like to think, anyhow…

On Electronic Chain-Letters

I’ve been sick, and I’ve felt like writing, but I didn’t know what to write. Funny thing about inspiration though, it can hit you at any time, and in any text box. I just happened to get the urge to write while responding to an email, and the result was something I wanted to share with everyone.

Blah

I'm not fat - I'm puffing my cheeks.

Hey there. I’m sick today, and I lack the will to do anything except sleep, sit at the computer or at the couch, and do almost nothing. I’ve been thinking for quite some time that I’d like to write an unnecessarily lengthy letter to someone in my immediate or extended family, and since you’re my father-in-law and we haven’t exchanged words in a while, you win the prize.

So, when you forwarded that “touching true story” I thought I’d take a look at it rather than AUA it (Archive Upon Arrival).

The fact of the matter is, that I don’t care for forwards. I’ve got one friend (that’s one person, in the whole of my 200+ email contacts) that has ever forwarded me anything I thought was interesting. Most of the forwards I receive are silly “touching stories” that really don’t mean much to me. I’ve had too much experience with fabricated and embellished stories on the Internet, I suppose.

Anyhow, a really good friend of mine introduced me to snopes.com last year, and ever since then I have used it when faced with something on the Internet that seems outlandish. A quick query on snopes.com revealed a most interesting article written specifically about the email you passed along today. Interestingly, this particular story actually has quite a few true elements in it (most of the stories I have seen circulated in email forwards are so exaggerated and embellished that they are rarely representative of any truth that may have served as their premise). However, several key facts were changed and exaggerated.

The story took place in the early eighties, the boy’s name was Frank, and the Make-a-Wish foundation actually granted this as a wish (along with a ride in a hot-air balloon, and a trip to Disneyland). The most touching part of the real story doesn’t even appear in the email, and to make it worse, the email is copied nearly word for word from one of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books. The night that the boy died, it was five firemen that climbed into his room, not sixteen.

Here’s the link to the true account (along with the version of the email that the author saw, which is slightly different still from the one you sent me):

http://www.snopes.com/glurge/fireman.asp

So, yes. The story is touching, but I hate reading these stories in email forwards because they are almost all full of embellishment and twisted truths. I find it much more satisfying to scour the news for heartwarming articles that are presented as a collection of facts with the purpose of informing the reader. That way I’m getting completely true stories, which are better than the big, bold, colorful words (usually in the Comic Sans font) that have been changed or invented to elicit an “oh, how darling” response and usually wrap up with a self-righteous plea from the author to get me to say a prayer for some cause (usually, something I don’t care about).

In my view, the Internet is only good for six things, and half of them I don’t want any part of (pornography, gambling and robbery). The only three things I use it for are (presented in order of the value I place on them):

  1. Humor/Entertainment
  2. Communication (keeping in touch with close friends and family)
  3. Access to accounts and services (banking, on-demand-self-publishing services, etc.)

Even getting factual news on the Internet can be a challenge. My father runs the Internet arm of a newspaper corporation in Arizona, and this is a problem they deal with on a regular basis. Sure, there are news sources on the Internet that can be trusted, but they are drowned out by all the chatter and clutter from sources like the mysterious writer of that email you sent me (who, again, did little more than poorly copy another “touching” email, which was nearly a direct copy of a segment of the Chicken Soup for the Soul book).

So, I just use the Internet to look at fun stuff, like this article and clip from Robert Downey Jr.’s acceptance speech. Occasionally there is some interesting news at those trusted sites, like this article about a group of apes that had never had human contact before. Mostly, the Internet loves things that are silly and irreverent, like this historical look at a group of entertainers known throughout history as fartistes, among other names.
The main reason I love the Internet, though, is because of people like David Thorne. I really can’t explain all that well what it is that I love about his work, but I would encourage you to read this email exchange he had with his renters, and this exchange he had with a Blockbuster employee. He is extremely irreverent and at times a tad inappropriate. However, he is a comedic genius. After one of his earliest email exchanges went viral a coworker told David that he would never be able to do it again. David bet him his Christmas bonus that he could, and two weeks later he had another email exchange that went viral.

Essentially, what I love about David Thorne is that he embodies the idea that the Internet is not to be taken seriously. He is quoted as saying, “the Internet is a playground.” I agree, and that is why I don’t like coming across stories that are supposed to be “touching” on the Internet, unless they come directly from trusted news sources. If they don’t come from a trusted news site, then I’m a sucker for believing them until I’ve researched the facts myself.

As you can see, between David Thorne, funny/interesting stuff that comes to me in my feed reader, and finding funny videos like these ones, the Internet provides me with far more entertainment than I even have time for. It barely even leaves me time to read email, especially forwards. However, next time I get a forward from you that claims to tell a “true” story, I’ll check the facts on fark.com and tell you what they say. Sometimes the truth is better than the lies that circulate in chain-emails.

I hope you enjoy the links I’ve provided you with, and we all here love and appreciate the effort you make to maintain a presence in our life. Your daughter and grandchildren send their love, as do I.

Love,

-Brian

Mean vs. Nice

Separating the nice from the mean.

Have you ever noticed that when people see a “lane closed” sign, a bunch of people change lanes right away to get out of the closed lane, and the rest ignore the sign until they can’t stay in their lane any longer? That’s because all the nice people scoot over immediately, and all the mean people don’t. Next time you see a “lane closed ahead” sign, watch. You’ll see what I mean.

Fun YouTube and Others

From Cell Phone Photos

So, this is for my friends. Specifically, I was talking to someone tonight about some fun stuff on YouTube and I decided to make a list of some of my recent favorite songs, videos and artists to share.

I’ve spent the last few minutes reviewing most of these videos because I tend to forget the presence of little offensive words here or there. For the most part, these songs or videos will be marked to warn you if you might want to watch before showing your children. However, my kids have seen most of these, so it shouldn’t be a problem.

All links open in a new window, so click away!

Robots

This song is by Flight of the Conchords, and as such has a curse word in it (wrong word for donkey/butt) so you may not want to show it to your kids. However, if you don’t mind them hearing that one word a few times in the chorus, this is a really funny song/performance. Check it out on YouTube.

Star Wars Rap

This song has a few mature elements that are reference but not explicitly talked about, and they use one word that you may not want your child repeating (a less than kind word for urine). To check it out, click through to Atom.com and watch this hilarious Star Wars themed rap. Even if you’re not a Star Wars fan, you should enjoy this.

Tighty Whities

Next I’ll share a song that may not be your style if you generally only listen to country music or classical, but the theme is too funny not to share the song. Plus, it’s completely clean as far as language and themes are concerned. It’s part of the “Pull ‘em Up Campaign” aimed at getting people to pull their pants up and quit showing us their underwear. Even if you generally can’t stand rap, you’ve GOT to listen to this song. I didn’t let my son hear this one, but not because of the content.

OK, the rest should be fine for your children. Well, this first one might not be if you don’t want your children watching animals answer nature’s call. It’s completely natural though! This is Rhett and Link doing an “inappropriate” commercial for a small zoo.

Inappropriate Zoo Commercial

For a direct link, click here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kszzbkfJ-5Q

Jonathan Coulton

Jonathan Coulton is a musical comedic genius in my book, and here are two completely kid friendly songs (unless you strictly don’t expose them to violent themes, then the second one about zombies killing people probably won’t be good). These are both live performances (where you get to see his funny interactions with the audience) but he does studio recordings as well that are better sounding.

Skullcrusher Mountain

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IBewKuV9BQ

Re: Your Brains

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9e3gngvFdxg

For more about Jonathan Coulton, please visit his website.

This one may only appeal to your children (or the child in you), but it’s a cute stop motion animation that I recently got a chuckle out of.

8-Bit Water Slide

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkYVazguJCY

Also for the children, a few near-Pixar quality animations that are funny, entertaining and good for adults also!

Pigeon: Impossible

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEjUAnPc2VA

The Passenger

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGW0aQSgyxQ

The Magic Box

(Ultra sensitive parents be warned: This video contains partial nudity – butt cheeks.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sC7rIZ5dOPY

A Little More Fun and Then We’re Done

OK. I’ve embedded way too many videos, so the final four videos will just be links. They are all funny, so make sure you watch them, but the last two you might want to watch without your kids the first time you watch them. I’ll mark them with an asterisk (*) to remind you that you need to review them before showing them to your children.

Laughing Kids (very cute)

Kid Singing Britney Spears Scared to Death by his Mom (watch all the way through to the end)

No. No! NO!!!” – The Greatest Scare Prank *

Gun Scare Prank *

I know there is a lot here, but I don’t see how you couldn’t love most of these. :D Of course, if you don’t love them, I won’t be offended, but I do ask that you at least check them all out when you find the time.

Enjoy!

Profanity Offends Me

Found this. Thought it was funny. Thought I’d share.

Profanity Offends Me

Profanity Offends Me

(View full size.)

I don’t usually like stuff with this much text, but it’s worth the read. ‘Till later.


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