The Bubble video is back!

The Bubble video, a catchy song about the “second tech bubble” and put to “We Didn’t Start the Fire” is back online, after it was temporarily removed due to a threatened lawsuit by photographer Lane Hartwell regarding unlicensed use of an image of hers. (The image in question was removed.)

The song is actually quite funny and relevant. It amazes me that anyone who has been alive during 2007 could actually suggest we’re not experiencing 1997 all over again. Hopefully, this time the bubble burst won’t be quite as painful.

Oh, and I felt compelled to blog about this, because the song said I would. Then again, the song also said I should blog during sex. I have to figure out logistics for that one still.

Paging all men: please check your balls

Health campaigns are often a hard sell, so ad execs have to find a creative way to push a message. For example, in order to encourage more adults to have colon exams, at some health fairs you’ll see a giant, inflatable colon that reminds me of some twisted moon bounce (fun for the whole family!).

Here’s a hilarious 45-second PSA for testicular cancer, featuring what must be the ugliest testicle ever, getting “checked” by a hockey player as he skates around merrily. The dozen or so pubic hairs hanging off the sides are a nice touch.

C’mon boys, it shouldn’t be too hard to check your testicles each month. I mean, most men have their hand down their pants every possible waking moment, so instead of just letting it hang out down there, give the boys a little once-over.

Ok, now I think I’ve grossed myself out. Watch the video!

Vote for your favorite viral video of the year

Mashable has released its nominees for viral video of the year. There’s that stupid kid who cried about Britney Spears; the most dramatic chipmunk to ever walk this earth (you heard it here first: this chipmunk has a future in acting); a girl opening her 300-page iPhone bill (which is the only video in this group I had never seen before); Will Ferrell’s first FunnyOrDie.com video, The Landlord; and my favorite, the Late Show series, Will it Blend? I’ve seen these skits on various late shows over the past couple years and always enjoyed watching random things getting thrown into a blender. But in this version (seen below), Chuck Norris is thrown into a blender with a bunch of bad guys. You can guess what happens.

Man, I do love you Chuck Norris.

New movie idea has spider eat a NASA shuttle…or not.

A recent clip from NASA TV shows the camera watching the space shuttle Atlantis chilling out on the launch pad. Then, out nowhere, a beast of a spider climbs onto the shuttle and proceeds to eat it. Or, the spider is merely crawling across the camera lens. Regardless of what actually happened (I’m staying firmly in the shuttle-eating spider camp), the video is pretty funny. This is probably the same spider who decided to bite me FIVE TIMES on my knee earlier this week. Bastard.

 

[Thanks Boing Boing!]

Annie Leonard’s “The story of stuff”

My friend Brad just shared with me the link to an amazing 20-minute video by activist Annie Leonard on our country’s obsession with consumerism, offering the entire story of a materials economy rather than just the oh-so-happy image we often get from corporations. Leonard looks at every step in the process of a product, from extraction to production, distribution, consumption and disposal. She squeezes a ton of facts into a short space of time while presenting her information into a visually appealing and often humorous package.

The part of her video I found the most provocative was her discussion of planned and perceived obsolescence. Planned obsolescence is the conscious effort on the part of manufacturers to design products which have as short a life span as possible without removing public trust in the product and/or company. As a personal example, my first iPod died on me after about 20 months of ownership. I have some friends whose iPods died even quicker. However, all of us remained fans of the product and bought new ones when our older ones died. We had surpassed the point in time when we would have lost trust. Unfortunately, I’m not an economist and so most of the complex equations that could explain how companies reach this specific time frame are beyond me, but I’m sure there is a detailed explanation somewhere. It probably is something like the explanation of how car companies determine if a car should be recalled in Fight Club, which goes a little something like this:

Take the number of vehicles in the field, A.

Multiply it by the probable rate of failure, B.

Multiply the result by the average out-of-court settlement, C.

A x B x C equals X.

If X is less than the cost of a recall, we don't do one.

Moving on, we come to the even more despicable (in my opinion at least) perceived obsolescence. Here, we are being told by the media that even if our products have not run their corporation-shortened life spans, we should still dispose of them because they are not “in” anymore. I see this most obviously in the fashion industry, where women are constantly bombarded with the latest looks and trends. And god forbid if women do not adapt to the newest trend, whether it is skinny jeans, choppy bangs, clunky heels or metallic belts. If she falls even one season behind, said woman is doomed to a life of loneliness, for surely no man would marry a fashionably unfit woman. And if that’s the case, I might as well start buying cats, because they’re going to be my only friends for the next 50 years.

I tend to get exceptionally riled up about American consumerism around this time of year, especially with the number of companies trying to sell luxury products to the average American (who can almost never afford these purchases). And unfortunately, many Americans do succumb to these companies because either the advertising makes the (most likely unessential) product seem as necessary as food, water, shelter and air; OR, these poor consumers (typically men) are harassed to the point of insanity by their significant others (typically women) about how the best way to convey love is through diamonds (or Lexuses). The first thought that comes to mind when I think of both these situations is those stupid Jared’s commercials, which contain a number of annoying women bitching to their men, “He went to Jared’s.” Now, I blogged about this last year and received some feedback about how bitter I was. Well, I was bitter then and I’m even more bitter now. American consumerism drives me batty.

To bring this post full circle, the point of Leonard’s video is to educate and inspire you to do something about America’s problems with consumption. Yes, I know you hear it all the time, but get used to it folks, because I am predicting right now that Going Green will be the hottest issue of 2008. She offers to her top ten list of things you can do here. Most important in my opinion is one of her simplest suggestions: educate yourself and educate others.

You can start by watching the video.

Webby Awards names 12 most influential web videos of all time

I’ve never gotten into online videos like some of my friends. Don’t get me wrong, I have spent many an hour on YouTube or Google Video. And there have definitely been many hidden gems among the piles of nonsense and online porn. I am definitely in the camp that suggests online videos are playing an important role in society currently, especially in changing our ideas of what an “author” is and encouraging diversity of ideas.

I think the Webby Awards agree with me, as they have acknowledged the 12 most influential online videos spanning from 1996 to 2006. Any organization that recognizes a fat kid dancing around his room with a pole and pretending it’s a light saber or a chicken that does whatever you tell it to do gets the thumbs up in my book. I just can’t believe they didn’t include this video, one of my favorites of all time: