SOUTH AMERICAN VIDEO VIRUS

Perhaps it's the swine flu epidemic that prompted US citizens to remember that there is another continent that shares the name America. Blog Boing Boing is awash with reports of viral video action from South America. There is a clip of Venezuelan president and serial bad-mouther Hugo Chavez  pointing out to a small and frightened looking supporter that "The rich are not human, they are animals in human form." One Venezuelan Boing Boing reader was so alarmed by the outburst that he has vowed to leave the country at once. Then there's Cuba Tiene Hambre, a video of Pánfilo, an ordinary guy, yelling "What Cuba needs right now is FOOD. Cuba is HUNGRY." Finally there is the saga of lawyer Rodrigo Rosenberg, whose posthumously-posted YouTube video blames Guatemalan president, Álvaro Colom, for his assassination on Sunday last week. The video has prompted a nationwide call for Colom to be impeached.

CYCLIST SQUEEZE

Cyclists should be loved. After all, they are reducing the burden on Mother Earth by eschewing more convenient forms of transport. Even though they can be a tad irritating: those spandex-covered air-humping butts sometimes look so self-righteous you just want to nudge them. Most people who commented on this video of Danish police hugging passing cyclists and then fitting them with helmets were cynical. They either accused the coppers of being "gheyy" because they only stopped male riders (my guess is that they wanted to avoid sexual harrassment charges) or concluded that it was all a ploy to make policeman look better.  Another  said: "The NYPD cop who pushed over the Critical Mass cyclist should be ordered to do this for about 1,000 hours."

 

 

MIA STARVES FOR DARFUR

Maria de Lourdes Villiers-Farrow, ex-wife of Frank Sinatra and Andre Previn and ex-partner of Woody Allen has looked exactly the same forever. On her YouTube channel, MiaFarrow2009, you can see her, still looking the same, talking about her hunger strike which she began on April 27 to protest the expulsion of humanitarian organisations from Sudan. By Day 9, the sylph-like Farrow is weak. She says that she seldom leaves her room, but will nevertheless attend an interview with Larry King. By Thursday this week she was into her tenth day without food. Doctors estimate that she will be able to fast for about three weeks. Farrow's YouTube channel includes details of how to contact the White House to persuade the US government to act on the humanitarian crisis in Darfur.

Arty ellie

This video on funnyordie.com shows an elephant painting a self-portrait. To the strains of Imogen Heap's Hide and Seek, our intrepid elephant first scans the canvas and then, in bold flourishes,  proceeds to create the unmistakeable outlines of a pachyderm. As a final touch, while his peers are jogging around in the background, he paints a disproportionately large orange flower (about as big as the painted elephant's head) held aloft in his trunk. This, I believe, gives the game away. No self-respecting elephant could get it so wrong.

Tales of Mere Existence

Tales of Mere Existence is a series of sketched animations by artist Levni (Lev) Yilmaz. In My Darling? featured here, the main character spots "a really cute gir"l across the room at a party and begins to fantasise about whether she would fit his ideal of the perfect partner – the kind who would "tell me that I look cool when I drive ... not talk about her ex-boyfriends that often ... not be bothered that my overbite makes me a slightly messy eater ... and make me feel like I'm the only guy in the world." The story ends with the character approaching his potential conquest: "Anyway, so then I went up to her and tried talking to her. I dunno why but it was kind of awkward for some reason and so I went home.

Plant bombs

Current tv, an Emmy award winning independent media company and cable television network led by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and businessman Joel Hyatt could be defined as the thinking person's YouTube. Its content, like YouTube's, is user-generated, but is rated and filtered by registered users, on Current's website and ultimately approved or disapproved by Current's on-air programming department. Gore's vision for the network was to create a channel for people "who want to learn about the world in a voice they recognise and a view they recognise as their own". In this "pod" reporter David Bond (Bondomatic) documents Guerilla Gardening's founder Richard Reynold's beautification of a sad sidewalk in Hackney on London's East End. Reynolds is first shown scoping the "joint" nominated by one of his troops who lives nearby. Later that week, under cover of night, he and his troops, united chiefly by a sense of mischief and assembled via email, transformed the spot by planting cordylines, narcissi, primulas and lavender which Reynolds bought from New Covent Garden Flower Market and stuffed into an ancient blue hatchback. As he fills the car to overflowing he says: "You have to think like a drug smuggler. Where else might you put the plants?" and, with practiced hand, places a few of the containers under the hood. To join an existing cell, start a new one or donate go to www.guerrillagardening.org.

 

DOPE COP

According to this news item posted on chrysb.fliggo.com, a certain police officer confiscated marijuana from a suspect and then baked a batch of pot brownies with the haul. When he and his wife got high, and a little paranoid, he made this 911 call pleading for someone to save them from the effects of the narcotic.

 

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

Fall GUYS

Weatherman Gene Fitzpatrick said he would be "bringing you your weather today", turned to face the weather map and disappeared through a hole in the floor.


This fashion designer fell unceremoniously  through the floor as she walked triumphantly onto the catwalk after her collection had been shown. The models just kept walking.


The worst thing about this singer's fall from the stage was not the actual fall. As he disappeared from view his voice continued singing as if nothing had happened.


A voice announces: "Michael G. Ferrell" and someone screeches their approval (probabably his mother) as the graduate accepts his honours. Next moment he is prostrate in front of an audience of thousands.

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

christmas how to's from video jug

Trap Santa
If you want presents all year round, the best way is to kidnap Santa Claus using drugged milk and cookies or an electrified Christmas tree.

Dress up as Santa
This video from videojug.com gives  valuable advice on what you need (belly padding, white beard etc) if you are asked to represent Santa Claus at a Christmas function.

Act like Santa
You will need: a jolly demeanour, quick thinking and lots of Christtmas spirit. Master the "ho, ho, ho", don't disappoint and know what's hip,

Avoid family arguments at Christmas
This video provides an entertaining yet sensible look at simple ways to avoid arguments and tips for conflict resolution if fights do break out.

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

 

Death of an ice queen

After 132 hours of work on this ice sculpture of a curvy mythical creature, the creators were adding the finishing touches when the whole translucent structure collapsed.  The artists are seen taking a chain saw first to one icy support which is dramatically thrown to one side before work on the remaining strut begins. Cries of "Drum roll" (one in a distinctly South African accent) are heard from the audience as they prepare to see the completed work. In a matter of seconds the sculpture snaps at its waist sending the head groundwards. The rest of the body follows and the elegant form is reduced at once to a chaotic heap of white stuff. No one was injured in the incident.

 

Greatest gift of all

If you are dead tired of Boney M parampampamming you through your Christmas shopping, its time to recommend something new to your store manager. Comedian Stephen Colbert has released A Colbert Christmas - The Greatest Gift Of All! on DVD as a response to the endlessly looping Christmas soundtracks that "play for a month, Ad infinitum" in shopping centres throughout the festive season. Colbert has collaborated with Toby Keith, Jon Stewart, Elvis Costello, Feist, John Legend and Willie Nelson to create songs like Can I interest you in Hannukkah, (What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding and Little Dealer Boy, in which Willie Nelson, dressed as a wise man extols the merits of marijuana, the "wonder weed": Behold a plant that smokes more sweetly
Than either Frankincense or Myrrh
And like the child born in this manger
This herb is mild yet it is strong
And it brings peace to friend and stranger
Good will to men lies in this bong.

nutty kitty

Cats are known for their ability to adapt to difficult situations. There is Boche, the cat who shared the attic with the Frank family, Captain Salty, the Calico captain of the ship "The Irish Pennant" in Richard Scarry's What do people do all day and Church, the cat who returned from the dead in Stephen King's book Pet Sematary. The feline featured in this video might well go down in the annals of famous cats for his ability to get around the obstacles that prevent him from getting to the peanuts inside this screwtop plastic bottle. Said cat first proceeds to unscrew the lid. Once he has succeeded he sticks his paw through the narrow opening and after much swatting grabs a single peanut, which he puts in his mouth. He then runs off.

the bridge: Fatal beauty

The Golden Gate Bridge will soon begin its transformation from world's number one suicide venue to just plain (though admittedly magnificent) bridge. After decades of debate between mental health experts, who argued that potential suicides could be convinced to change their minds and architectural preservationists who felt that safety mechanisms would spoil its aesthetics, the bridge authority has decided to fit the bridge with a plastic-coated steel safety net. No one knows for sure how many people have made the leap since the bridge opened in1937 – many jumps go unnoticed under cover of night or in dense fog which often blankets the bridge and the city has no mechanism in place to accurately monitor its entire span of 1,280 m – but latest estimates put figures in excess of 1,300.  A 2007 documentary called The Bridge shows footage of 24 suicides taken by director Eric Steel through telephoto lenses. The film (parts of it are posted on YouTube) was blamed for a surge in suicide numbers, but its release also brought the issue to light and caused a public outcry. The film features an interview with Kevin Hines, one of only 28 people to have survived the jump, which kills victims by breaking bones and rupturing organs.

Beard song

If you're thinking of starting the new year by letting your beard grow, you might think again after watching "Things you notice when you have a beard" on Funny or Die (funnyordie.com). It seems facial hair adds a new dimension to life that you may otherwise not experience. Tomato soup (or soup of any kind, really) becomes something you might avoid. As are sea sand, beer froth and popcorn. You also find yourself starngely drawn to check shirts and woodcutting tools. Not surprisingly, your partner flinches when you approach her for a kiss.

YES WE CAN: A case in POWERPOINT

Boingboing's guest blogger Steven Johnson suggests that US prez Barack Obama hone down his soaring rhetoric by using Powerpoint presentations to supplement his less formal addresses. He acknowledges that it would not be suitable to use the application for passionate speeches like the historical "Yes We Can" one above, but speeches on more technical matters like the bailouts, the pullouts and climate change might be given more punch if they are assigned salient points and presented in the style of Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth.

NOT THE KID'S fault

Today's Big Thing posted this video of wee Edward trying out his slide for the first time. Any self-respecting slide should be able to take a fair amount of hammering but this one was clearly not up to scratch. Edward climbs the stairs and waits at the top. His father is heard saying: "No, Edward, don't jump. Don't jump, you'll hurt yourself", which is exactly what Edward does as he is swallowed up by an Edward-sized hole precisely where his bottom lands.

STICKY PROFESSION

Japanese artist Ryo Sehata makes sculptures using only sticky tape. In this video interview with Scientific American Sehata says that the 50 sculptures that he has created from 4000 rolls of sellotape have left him with Repetitive Strain Injury and hands criss-crossed with cuts. "It is no joke that I have poured blood and sweat into my art pieces," says Sehata.
www.sciam.com

 

NOT ON YOUTUBE (BUT IT COULD BE)

It is Rebecca's job to sift out spam from seomoz.org's blog. When she received this submission, she was so amused  that she decided to illustrate it. She transcribed the copy verbatim.


THEN THERE WERE THREE

Segway riders possess a kind of smugness that just makes you want them to fall off them. This YouTube clip, some have commented, might have started out as a promotion for the human transporter, judging from the nonchalance of the riders, one of whom does a peculiar jig and sings a carefree "la la la"  as the quartet makes its way along a subway platform, as if to demonstrate how easy it is to control. The whole campaign goes belly up though when one of the riders crosses wheels with another and falls flat on her face, in spite of Segway's gyroscopic sensors, which are meant to detect a departure from perfect balance and command its motors to correct the fault. Here is where it becomes abundantly clear that Segway riders should not be exempt from wearing safety gear and should ideally wear a full face helmet even if this makes them look even sillier than ever.

TOP THAT, ANGELINA

The web is awash with happy stories this week. A video of sexy mexican movie star Salma Hayek taking time out to breastfeed a starving baby in Sierra Leone went viral this week as it inspired debates on parenting blogs asking "Would you do the same?" Despite what salon.com calls "predictably sophomoric blog commentary" (I'd kill to be that baby), the clip, which, in case you were wondering, does not feature any closeups of Hayek's bosoms, is a heartwarming look at a compassionate woman who gave what she could when it counted the most. Hayek, who is still breast feeding her own one-year-old daughter recounts a tale of her grandmother finding herself in a similar position when she breastfed the baby of a woman who had run out milk to give her baby.  "It's about women sticking together and we really need to help the children in any way we can," says Hayek.