Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Internet is Awesome 2

I know I've already done one video compilation post this month, but with as much as I wasn't blogging, I had plenty built up for a second one. And a third one later on, but that'll be just Christmas videos.

First up, we have the music video for my favorite song from the new Annie movie, You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile, performed by Sia.

Great movie by the way, I highly recommend it for anyone who likes musicals.

Next up is a cover of Taylor Swift's Shake it Off, by Alex Boye.

I love the original twists he puts on songs.

Now for someone I haven't featured in awhile, The Piano Guys. I would have featured them awhile ago, but the video they did that I was planning to post, a Batman themes medley, was blocked by some...Well, I probably shouldn't get into that... Anyway...

Awesome as always. I love how they always mix classical music with more modern songs.

Next is a channel I have never featured before as they are relatively new, it's another piano channel but totally different than the piano guys, Player Piano. This time doing the theme to one of my favorite childhood (and adulthood) video games, Tetris!

Their videos are consistently awesome, and always with an awesome custom designed piano.

Next we have the incomparable Lindsey Stirling who can make even a sponsored video amazing.

I've never played Dragon Age, but the video is amazing.

Last but not least, Peter Hollens and... Jackie Evancho?! Really?! It was just last week that she was making headlines as this tiny little girl with a huge, powerful voice! How did she grow up so fast!? In all seriousness, she's amazing, as is Peter, and the video is awesome.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

How To Not Die

I wrote the following post for my journalism class. A class that was grueling, unforgiving, and just plain hard. But the teacher was great, which made it so much better. Anyway, I only wrote one thing for that class that would be of interest to anyone else. The rest was all classmate profiles, an article on homelessness, a recap of a visiting political analyst's speech, and a bunch of other all incredibly dull stories for anyone who doesn't care about them.

But one assignment we were allowed to have fun with. We were to write an article in the form of an instructional blog post. We didn't have to adhere to AP Style, we didn't have to report on anything, we just had to explain how to do something. When I'm given such wide parameters, you know I'm not going to do just any old normal thing like, "How to Bake a Cake," or "How to Care for a Mohawk," no, I'm going to tell you all about not dying.

How To Not Die

If you're like me, you like living. I know, everyone does. But there could be a problem with that. Death is just around every corner if you're not careful. So, if you want to continue to be alive, here are just a few simple tips that can keep you going for years.
1. Stay out of the woods. I know it's tempting, they just look so big, and cozy, and inviting. But those friendly looking trees have dark secrets, inside the woods are all manner of unholy horrors. Inside each tree are the most disgusting, poisonous, and deadly creatures imaginable, creatures like insects, lizards, spiders, and squirrels. If you even touch the tree, they will leap out of hiding and tear you to shreds, or inject you with poison. Behind the trees are even more horrors. Lions, tigers, bears, and cassowaries, it all depends on where you live, but any one of these could kill you at any moment, so stay out of the woods.
2. Stay out of the frozen food isle. Unless you are going in there for some frozen peas, you need to give this isle a wide berth when you visit the grocery store. It is chock full of deadly items that are sure to kill you with one bite, or maybe 40. It's really the overeating that kills you. I'm looking at you, pizza rolls…
3. Stay out of the zoo. I know it looks fun, but the zoo is full of animals that can kill you with one chomp from their adorable maw. I know those ocelots are just the most adorable thing ever, but don't even think about climbing over that fence! They will just rip your face off with not even a second thought. Same with the meerkats. I've never actually heard of them attacking anyone, but with a swarm that large, you just never can be too sure. It's the cutest things that can kill you worst. Which brings me to my fourth point.
4. Stay out of the pet shops. You do not want anything that has sharper teeth than Grampa Fred living inside your house.  I'm sure by now you've heard of that old lady who fell down and was eaten by her Pomeranians. You don't want that to happen to you, do you? I didn't think so.
5. Stay out of the garden. You'd think I was going to warn you about the spiders, bugs, and scorpions that live there, but no. Those things are dangerous, yes, but not as dangerous as the plants. The plants can be more deadly than any poison slug or venom slug or worm you might find there. With one sprinkle of pollen you could puff up bigger than a pygmy hippo, and start blasting your lungs out with violent sneezes. Beware.
These five simple guidelines will serve you well, as you progress through life, hoping to avoid death. But if these are too much to remember, just remember this one: Stay in your house and never leave.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Internet Is Awesome

So, apparently I completely abandoned my blog last month, school has been ridiculous. I was planning to do more posts while I was on Thanksgiving break, but I was busy all last week too.
I started this one before I went back to Ames, but I never finished it. This will most likely be it before Christmas break. I'd promise to have more posts then, but I'm not good with those kinds of promises. I'll promise to do at least one, and we'll hope for a miracle.

So, I am changing the title of these post, again, but I think this time it'll stick. I got the name from a Pomplamoose song, see below, and it perfectly describes these posts, and will let me add non-music videos later on if I want to.

Here's the video that inspired the title!

It's such a strange video, more of a spoken word piece than a song, but I really like it. I've played it so many times I can almost 'sing' the whole thing along with her.

This next video is a collaboration between two of my favorite YouTube artists/groups, Lindsey Stirling and Pentatonix.

I loved this so much I immediately shared it on facebook, and right away I was told it was creepy. I didn't think so, I just thought it was awesome. Well come to find, out Pentatonix WANTED it to be just a bit creepy. So joke's on me I guess.

This next one is just Lindsey Stirling. It's not one of my favorite songs of hers, it has more of a country flair which I'm usually rather, 'meh' about, but it is one of her best videos.

I think I'll take back what I just said. The song must have grown on me because I just watched it again, and I liked it a lot better than before.

Now for a solo Pentatonix video.

This is one of my favorite songs from their latest album, and even though the video is really simple, I really like it. Japan is on the bucket list in my head that I've never written down.

Speaking of Japan!

Owl City hadn't released anything for way too long, so this was an awesome surprise! I already love the song, and I can't wait for his next album!

Let's finish this out with a bang! OK GO!

This is probably now my absolute favorite OK Go song. And the video is amazing. They put more work into their videos than pretty much anyone, and it shows.

As I was going through my saved music for these posts, I realized that I had more than enough for two posts, so if I get time, I will do another post. Stay tuned!

Friday, October 31, 2014

MORE Amazing Trick-or-Treat Ideas

You asked for it! Or maybe you didn't. You probably didn't. I just wanted to! More awesome trick-or-tricks, I mean trick-or-treats, to hand out to all the little mutants who come pounding on your door tonight! And if you missed the one I did last year, brush up on it before you continue!

Again, this probably goes without saying, but:

Warning: Do not actually attempt any of these in real life. If you do, be aware that results may vary, from mildly scarring a small child for life, to receiving multiple lawsuits from angry parents.

 photo Tricks_zpsc96c8686.png

Dog Biscuits - Open the door and ask the child if they've been a good little boy or girl. When they inevitably lie to your face and say yes, act thrilled. Exclaim, "Wonderful! You get a treat!" Pull a box of MilkBones off the table inside the door and drop one into their bag. Ruffle their hair, and rub both cheeks in your hands exclaiming "Whosa good boy! Whosa good girl!" adjusting the gender as necessary.

A Duck Wearing a Propeller Beanie - Open the door and let the duck waddle slowly outside to the child, propeller gently turning in the breeze. Leave the door open so that the child can hear you quietly weeping inside.

Coon-Skin Cap - Open the door and place the cap carefully on the child's head. Tell them, "I caught that there possum just this mornin'! He sher did put up a fight." Hold up a hand covered in ketchup that seems to be missing two fingers. When the child throws everything into the air and runs away screaming, lift the two hidden fingers back up and laugh evilly to yourself while you collect their candy.

Door Knob - Jerk open the door as hard as you can. Rip the knob out of your door, preferably splintering the wood around the whole knob, pulling the entire locking mechanism free. Yell, "Fetch, boy!" if it's a girl, "Fetch, girl!" if it's a boy, or "Fetch, thing!" if the child has no discernible gender; then throw it as far as you can. End the encounter by slamming the door and using a nail gun to violently nail the door shut from top to bottom.

Lemon Meringue Pie - Whip the door open as fast as you can, and >SPLAP< the entire pie in the child's face, knocking them off the porch into the shrubs. Slam the door and run out the back in order to escape the police.

Infant Baby - Walk slowly outside, completely disheveled, wearing old pajamas that have questionable green and yellow stains covering the front, with a tattered robe overtop that has fallen off one shoulder, holding a baby that is screaming at the top of it's lungs. Make sure you get a baby that has mastered the theatrical arts, so that when the infant sees the trick-or-treater, he, (Or she, you won't know until the first diaper change) will immediately stop crying, reach for the child calling, "MAMA! MAMA!" and leap into their arms. You then shriek, "THAT'S YOUR PROBLEM NOW, SUCKA!!!" and slam the door in their face, lock the deadbolt, close the curtains, and turn off all the lights, while you hide in the basement behind the water heater.

Balloons - Walk out, tears quietly streaming down your face, holding a handful of popped balloon shreds. Sadly say, "They're dead..." then sprinkle them into the child's bag of candy, turn around, and walk back into the house.

Macaroni & Salt -Walk outside with a box of your finest Barilla and a carton of your almost finest Morton, and pour all the macaroni and half the salt into the child's bag. Exclaim, "It's a do it yourself dinner tonight!" Then roll your eyes backwards, and start moaning and rambling incoherently, while turning in a counter-clockwise circle, pouring the remainder of the salt in a circle around you. Turn back to the child, and if they haven't run away in terror, smile and say, "There! That'll keep the Zompires away!"

Candy Corn - Give the child candy corn. Sit quietly while the child eggs your car, TP's your house, and tars and feathers your body. You deserve it for giving out candy corn.

Kool-Aid - Stand outside next to a very large potted plant. Wait until a child is within earshot, and loudly offer the plant some water while holding a comically over-sized watering can. Pretend the plant has accepted your offer, and then unscrew a bottle of Dasani out of an overhead light fixture, and stab it upside down into the dirt. Pretend to react to something the plant has said and hide the giant watering can behind your back and patronizingly explain to it that it is not allowed to have sugar. When the child steps up and says "Trick-Or-Treat," ask them if they would enjoy a fruity beverage. When they reply, pull out the watering can and sprinkle neon blue Kool-Aid over their head. Toss three ice cubes in their sack, and skip into the house, leaping into the air, clicking your heels together, and slamming the door behind you.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Iowa State Daily Articles

As most of you know, I am now a photographer for the Daily instead of a reporter. I've had a few photography assignments, which I will eventually post, but for now I figured it was about time I made an archive of the stories I wrote last semester. I really should have done this a long time ago, but better late than never, right?

My first story was about some design students who had competed in a nationwide contest, and had won.

My second story was about some more design students who flew to France to study fabric.

My third story was about the "Campanile Challenge" which brought awareness to homelessness on campus.

My fourth story was about four students who won a prestigious scholarship.

My fifth story was about a professor in the design school who won a service award.

My last story was about a fasion show that created gowns out of garbage.

I did have two other stories, but one was never published, as it was written at the same time as the VEISHA riot, and was understandably pushed back again and again, and eventually scrapped. The other story was for a magazine handed out on campus for new students and was never published online.

Anyway, as far as I know, these are the only stories I'll be writing for the paper. From now on it will just be photography, and I'll get those up eventually.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

More Music 2!

I've been so busy since school started I've kind of been neglecting my blog. And it will probably be that way for awhile. I've been saving videos on YouTube you make these posts, but I haven't taken the time to put a post together since before I went back to Ames.

For this post, I will be posting one video each from some of my favorite YouTube artists.

First up, the best group on the internet, Pentatonix, covering Ariana Grande's "Problem," which I have already shared here because I liked it so much. But, as much as I love Ariana Grande, I think Pentatonix' cover is even better.

Next up is the Gregory Brothers with an AMAZING cover of Imagine Dragons' "Radioactive." I grew up on bluegrass as that was almost all that my dad played in the house, and while I don't listen to it much now, when it's done this well, I'm obsessed. I LOVE the weird choice of turning "Radioactive" into a bluegrass song.

Next up in Lindsey Stirling with "Master of Tides."

She filmed that live, in ONE take, and no one there was expecting it. It was basically a flash-mob situation. These people certainly were in the right place at the right time!

Next is Rhett and Link with a video about going on vacation, and they released it while I was on vacation. I was briefly obsessed with this song, and I think I listened to it more than once every day while we were on vacation. Mild warning, if you strongly dislike either fake blood or zombies, don't watch it, as it has both.

Rhett and Link are masters at taking a strange concept and turning it into an extremely catchy song. And this is yet another example of someone doing zombies that I DON'T hate. Not many people can do that.

Next we have a YouTuber I've never featured by name before, Melodysheep. He was responsible for many of my previous posts though. He was behind all of PBS Digitals "PBS Remixed" videos. I never credited him there though, so I've gone back and at least tagged all those posts with a Melodysheep label. If you need a refresher on what else he's done, click the Melodysheep label at the bottom of this post and it will bring up all my past posts with videos by him.

Anyhow... This video is a tribute to the late, great Robin Williams. I had it on repeat for days after he posted it. I think I should just go ahead and buy the track.


Last but definitely not least is another video by Peter Hollens with an artist I had not heard of till this video, Malukah. This is so good. Definitely a new favorite.

And that's all for now. Hopefully it won't be too long before I get another blog post up.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Cookie Monstrous

So Cookie Monster did a thing. They seriously need to make a Sesame Street for grown-ups. Or at least one for families. Like the Muppet Show, but with the Sesame Street Muppets.

The outtakes are even better than the main video.