Ian Anderson Jazzes up "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen"

Ian Anderson's prowess with the flute is on display as he leads the Youth Orchestra Rheinland-Pfalz at the Maria Laach Abbey in the annual German special entitled, "Christmas with the President." Great chops! I think he's a better flautist now than back in the day.

For reference, this is "the day."


This week's “Coolest Instrument Ever”

This will be this week’s entry into the “Coolest Instrument Ever” contest. This is called a Reactable, and it makes music while you play with cool little toys on the interactive table. Think of it as a classic analog synthesizer made with really cool Tinkertoys:

The official description: The Reactable, is a multi-user electronic music instrument with a tabletop tangible user interface. Several simultaneous performers share complete control over the instrument by moving physical objects on a luminous table surface. By moving and relating these objects, representing components of a classic modular synthesizer, users can create complex and dynamic sonic topologies, with generators, filters and modulators, in a kind of tangible modular synthesizer or graspable flow-controlled programming language.This instrument is being developed by a team of digital luthiers at the Music Technology Group within the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain.


Fiddling Around

I’ve always liked experts in their field, any field. I also like experts who can fuse together dissimilar styles and techniques. I don’t know who this guy is, but he’s good. It’s almost like he’s playing a lead guitar riff on a fiddle.

This is Vanessa Mae. She’s showy, but she has the chops to back it up. Besides, it’s terrifically fun!

And to round this out, here is 7 year old Laura Watson playing her fiddle. She is still actively playing and has 2 CDs to her credit! She’s seriously cute.



John Cleese: The Night Before Christmas

'Tis the holiday season, in which people everywhere gather to celebrate this precious time of giving.Assembled around a blazing fire, families eat themselves sick, drink themselves silly, and fight for their entertainment options with unaccustomed ferocity. So, in order to leaven this dark time, we bring you John Cleese's Very Own Version of:
The Night Before Christmas.

With lots of festive love from all the Podcast Reindeer.


Singing Backwards.

The first half of this video features a guy singing a song in reverse. He’s also doing some stuff that will look strange backwards. The second half is where you find out what song he is singing, when the video goes backwards! This performance must have taken a lot of practice.


300 MPG Automobile

It looks like part airplane, part spaceship, but it drives like a dream, and it will make it from Seattle to LA on less than 5 gallons of gas.




My daughter likes explosions. I like explosions. Provided it's vicarious, who doesn't like explosions?

Ladies and gentlemen, I present explosions.

And then there are prank explosions


LFT: Little Flappy Things

Hummingbirds are some of the coolest birds in the world. They're exclusive to the Americas, and they're beautiful. Who hasn't dreamed about holding one in their hand. I just can't hold still that long!




The BristleBot is a simple and tiny robot with an agenda. The ingredients? One toothbrush, a battery, and a pager motor. The result? Serious fun. The BristleBot is our take on the popular vibrobot, a simple category of robot that is controlled by a single vibrating (eccentric) motor. Some neat varieties include the mint-tin version as seen in Make Magazine (check the video), and the kid's art bot: a vibrobot with pens for feet.



Coolest SUV ever!

SUV technology has improved immensely over the past few years. Some - like the hybrids - focus on fuel economy. This one, instead, focuses on performance; I understand the fuel economy is actually not all that impressive. There are, however, other impressive features to make up for that lack.


I want this phone!

Cellphone technology certainly has advanced over the past couple of years. This one is one of the best. It certainly puts the iPhone to shame!



Cute Overload

Twin pandas have a little fun in their own clumsy way at a zoo in Japan. The cuteness is overwhelming!



Blondes have more fun.

I know this is stereotyping, but it's so funny.

dumb blonde dumb blondes stupid blonds


Computer says no to a miracle

A woman who claims she was healed by prayer had to battle the benefits system to stop her disability payments. Officials said the computer did not "have a button for miracles".

June Clarke, 56, from Plymouth, Devon, slipped on a wet canteen floor at work in January 2000 and badly damaged her hip, pelvis and lower spine.

Last year she says she received healing at a Christian conference and within hours she was able to fold away her wheelchair and stop taking painkillers.

When Mrs Clarke realised she was completely healed she contacted the government Industrial Injury Department to put a stop to the benefits she had been receiving, but the payments continued. Mr and Mrs Clarke sent letters and made phone calls, but officials told them the system was unable to recognise an apparently miraculous recovery.

Mrs Clarke had been awarded an allowance for life and the computer was not programmed to allow that payment to end while she was still alive. After six months, she saw an official government doctor who registered her as fully fit. The allowance was stopped and Mrs Clarke was able to repay the money.

A spokesperson from the Department for Work and Pensions said: "Each case is treated individually."


Dangerous disease spreading rapidly among the young

Educate yourself and your children! Protect yourself! Don't be the next victim!


Disappearing Car Door

The original inventors and designers of the exciting Disappearing Car Door technology are now in a position to equip your favorite automobile with a cool, sexy, safe and convenient automatic door.

The vehicle architecture offers an attractive rethink for car design and adds greatly to overall vehicle safety including structural integration of the door with the unibody and cruciform door frame technology.

One thing is for sure, it will definitely grab everyone’s attention when you drive a car with Disappearing Doors!

Source: disappearing-car-doorVideo: Youtube



This is a song about a church being moved hundreds of miles across the US on the back of a very big lorry. Features the 40 strong Manning Chorus in what is possibly one of the most bizzare bits of TV I've ever been involved in - a musical number at the end of a show about, basically, feats of engineering skill. Some of the footage is amost Fellini-esque. It's taken from the upcoming series MONSTER MOVES which airs on Five (UK) and National Geographic (USA) from early 2007.



Why Did the Salmon Cross The Road?

Around here, the salmon are pretty tough. It's not enough to head upstream for spawning. Now they have to head up the road to spawn. This is from December 4th, 2007: salmon swim across a Skokomish Valley road in Mason County on Monday. It's actually a pretty common sight in some parts of Western Washington when there is flooding.


Daniel is raised from the dead.

Nigerian Daniel comes back to life after being pronounced dead by many witnesses including doctors! His wife believes that Jesus can restore his life and takes his body in a casket to a local Christian fellowship. Some of the video editing is a little cheesy, but the story is fascinating. In 4 parts to fit into YouTube’s time limits.



Gibson's Self-Tuning Guitar

This is perhaps the coolest guitar in the entire world!

Gibson Proudly Presents The Robot Guitar—A First Run Limited Edition

On December 7, 2007, Gibson will change the guitar world forever. Again.

True to the spirit of innovation that inspired Gibson to invent the legendary Tune-o-matic bridge, the powerful humbucker, and the revolutionary Digital Les Paul, Gibson proudly presents the Gibson Robot Guitar—the world's first guitar with robotic technology.

Since the dawn of the instrument, musicians have come to accept the guitar's imperfections and lack of tonal precision as necessary evils. Onstage and off, guitarists have fought to stay in tune. Every music lover and performer has had to suffer through the show—halting, mood-killing atonal droning of a loudly amped guitar being brought into tune. And in the studio, or at home, imprecise intonation throws the guitar in and out of tune, up and down the neck, as the instrument requires tweaking with each season and at times with each string change.

For as long as the guitar has existed, guitar lovers have had two choices—live with a temperamental and out-of-tune instrument or make frequent trips to the shop for setups. Not anymore.

Introducing the Gibson Robot Guitar. All you have to do is play it.


The Boxer's Greatest Challenge


The World's Stupidest Squirrel


Self-Willed BMX Bike

A bicycle continues racing without its rider



One Thing!

What one thing are you made for?

Request a Promo Pack

Grade School Geography for Blondes

I'm not sure I can actually comment on this and still not get myself in as much hot water as this game show host did! Let's just say that there are some people for whom "Blonde" is their best asset.


Twelves Days of Something

The Klein Four is the premier a cappella and variety group in the world of higher mathematics. We call the Mathematics Department of Northwestern University our home. You might remember us as the group who brought you "Finite Simple Group (of Order Two)." Since then we've recorded a CD, Musical Fruitcake, available on our website as well as through iTunes, Napster, Rhapsody, MSN, and other digital services. We are also video stars... as long as radio doesn't kill us.


Funny Japanese Ad: Norton Fighter

To promote its anti-virus software in Japan, Symantec created this fantastically retro ad campaign styled after those 1960s Ultraman TV shows. In the ad, the superhero "Norton Fighter" battles computer virus Botlas and his pesky henchmen. Parts 1 and 2.



The Ultimate Chocolate War

OK, so maybe it's not the ultimate chocolate war, but the Chocolate Bunny vs the Hot Iron is pretty amusing. After the Hot Iron match, Chocolate is faced with the Heat Lamp. And then the Hot Hair Dryer. What a day!



The Strangest Love Story Ever

It's a strange thing when thinking of Darth Vader in Love (beware the nerd factor, but it's still funny!).


Complete Cuteness Overload

This baby porcupine (also called porcupet) eats a banana. You'll hear tiny squeaks--those are hiccups!

Her mother was killed when she was hit by a car and he was cared for by licensed wildlife rehabilitator Gail Buhl. He was orphaned and imprinted on humans and is now living at a nature center in northern Minnesota.



National Geographic Explorers


Enhanced Daylight Meter

Enter your ZIP code:


The Punt Gun

The world's largest shotgun aka Punt Gun measures 10-feet long and has a 2-inch barrel. Due to its size and recoil, this gun has to be mounted directly on the punts. Just a single blast could wipe out 50-100 ducks resting on the water's surface



Japanese Candy Dragon Maker

Cool made while you wait candy from Japan. The presenter makes a fine dragon out of a featureless candy ball. Then he does a cat. Apparently they make all sorts of candy sculptures in the streets of Japan.



The End of the World



Flash Flood

I'm from the northwest: we understand rain and flooded parking lots. But we don't do flash floods. Here is a video of an honest-to-pete flash flood. It's so calm and peaceful that it's frightening: zero to complete destruction in seconds, but only in a limited area, thank goodness.

So you're going for a walk in the woods. Nice, safe, boring place, right? That's why you're there.

Or not. Dig a hole in the ground, fill it with water and film as bypasser fall in.


Anti-Helium and Jay Leno

You know how helium is really light and how it makes your voice squeaky. This is anti-helium. Technically, it's sulfer hexafluoride. Whatever it is, it's weird.


Tilted Room

How we look at things makes all the difference in what we see, doesn't it?



Fireworks Fun

New Years' is coming, and the fireworks will be out. If your buddy falls asleep, then you can do this with him.

He'll hate you forever, of course.


Tree Trimming by Helicopter

Did you ever wonder how they trimmed the trees next to power lines in remote areas? There are no roads, and you need to trim the tops as well as the bottom of the trees.

I found out!


Musical Stairs

Information about the musical staircase in the Sony building in Ginza, Tokyo seems to be sparse. To actually make a tune on these steps would involve jumping up and down like a mental case trying to hit the correct note, possibly breaking bones on the way. It’s like a hardcore version of the king-size piano in ‘BIG'.



Chemestry Fun

I don’t know why we never got to do these kinds of science experiments in my chemistry class. I’ll be we could have learned some interesting things. They could have rebuilt that wing of the school anyway.



How to drive a cat crazy

Watch and learn. This is a frozen fish pond.

via videosift.com


Amazing Friendships

I normally assume that cats and birds would be mortal enemies. Apparently not always. Now I wonder if Muslims, Christians and Jews can get along?



Mic Abuse

This video was produced by some wacky Germans who (obviously) had too much time on their hands. Nonetheless, it is a remarkable demonstration of the Shure SM58's legendary reliability. It’s also really funny if you’re in the industry!



Spectacularly Played!

I’m not much of a fan of football games on YouTube. This play, however, is wonderful: fifteen laterals in a desperate and determined effort to score. We could learn something from this team.
The announcers are amusing as well: they’re bored until 2/3 of the way through the play, when they finally figure out this is exciting!


Both inside and outside the box

I love it when someone thinks outside the box. This guy is thinking outside the mind!



Color Bunnies

This is a commercial for Sony that's not running in the US, and I thought you'd enjoy it. The stop-motion clay animation is wonderful.



Baby Got Book

This is a hilarious spoof on Sir Mix a Lot’s “Baby Got Back,” but it also stands alone as a fun video clip. It wouldn't be half as funny if he hadn't taken himself so seriously.



Fierce Competitors

Dogs and wolves are natural competitors to bears. Generally they don’t get along. But it happens that when nobody’s looking, they sometimes play together.

This is more what we’d expect:

This, however, would be completely unexpected in the wild.


The Battle at Kruger

This is one of the most amazing battles I’ve ever seen. It’s fascinating! It’s a battle between a pride of lions, a herd of buffalo, and 2 crocodiles at a watering hole in South Africa's Kruger National Park while on safari. It certainly is an illustration of working together.

Here’s what happens when we go it alone; not so pretty. There's a lesson here somewhere.




This is one of the coolest commercials ever! Millions of 'em!

This is the long version:

Like No Other - Watch more amazing videos here

And here's how they did it.



Le Grand Content

Le Grand Content examines the omnipresent Powerpoint-culture in search for its philosophical potential. Intersections and diagrams are assembled to form a grand ‘association-chain-massacre’. which challenges itself to answer all questions of the universe and some more. Of course, it totally fails this assignment, but in its failure it still manages to produce some magical nuance and shades between the great topics death, cable tv, emotions and hamsters.

It also makes me laugh, philosophically of course.

Now for a contrast, here is a discussion of what I'll call, Le Irritating Content:



Superb Prank!

OK, yesterday was kind of serious; we'll lighten up today. Now, I can’t understand a word they’re saying in this sketch (it’s apparently German), but the prank is still very convincing.



A Vision of Students Today

A short video summarizing some of the most important characteristics of students today - how they learn, what they need to learn, their goals, hopes, dreams, what their lives will be like, and what kinds of changes they will experience in their lifetime. Created by Michael Wesch in collaboration with 200 students at Kansas State University.

It's really scary if you think about it!



I have ADHD... and I like it

But there is apparently a whole lot of controversy over the diagnosis and treatment, even the existence, of the condition. Since we have a gazillion kids (and a half a gazillion adults) with the condition, it's probably worth having this discussion.

In this clip, psychiatrists attempt to define/defend the diagnosis of ADHD unsuccessfully to a panel of people. The narrator's point is that the disease is a fraud and that the medications are dangerous to children.

And just for balance, here's the take on ADHD from the testimony of one of its practitioners:



Amazing Battle

This is one of the most amazing battles I’ve ever seen. A pride of lions (yes, that's the right word) attacks this buffalo calf. But then it turns weird! And before it's done, it's a real feel-good thing.

It’s amazing!



Homemade hot air balloon

This looks like a great thing to do with kids along the ocean, or the edge of a big honking lake. Sure wouldn't do it in forest fire season.



Buggin me

And as long as we’re dealing with Mel Blanc, the voice of Bugs Bunny (and a gazillion others), let’s see some Bugs Bunny cartoons.


Mel Blanc, This is Your Life

OK, this is old. And it’s corny, ‘cuz that’s what the show is all about, but it’s a great insight into one of the coolest voices in the world. A thousand voices, actually.

(You can find anything on the Internet.)


an expert voice

One of the coolest expressions of true expertise is when a person in a support role does his or her job so well that they become recognized and credited for the success of a finished product that has had dozens or even hundreds of people working together to produce. A six and a half minute cartoon took 125 people 9 months, and if one stands out, you know you have something special!

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Mel Blanc:



Surprisingly cool elevators

I don’t think of “cool” when describing elevators, at least not most of the time. There are exceptions, however, and these are some of the best. The first one is in China, the second in New Zealand.

This, of course, is the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Oh, wait; that’s not an “of course;” we never see the tower! The view is certainly impressive!

This isn’t exactly an elevator. It’s called a Paternoster, and it does the same thing for an elevator that an escalator does for stairs.



The Wheel of Death

The Wheel of Death is a cool tool for circuses and impressing your date, particularly if it’s you in the wheel. I don’t know if they’re really deadly, but they are pretty cool!



Not for the masses

I grew up in the woods cutting firewood. Some happy memories, actually. I learned to drive when I was 8 or 10 or 12, and I learned to use a chainsaw before I learned to drive. But I never used one like this. Heck, the engine in my truck isn’t this powerful!



Bears in the Woods.

These aren’t your average bears, and “in the woods” in this case means “in a New Jersy backyard.” It surely is good entertainment, though!



Retro Encabulator vs Turbo Encabulator

You already know that I love experts doing their expert things. Here’s an expert, er… of a sort. This is as you are no doubt already aware, complete fabrication: half of his vocabulary is made up, but it’s made up by experts! I'm really impressed!

What you may or may not know, is that this is a re-make of a similar piece from a generation ago:



Pool Juggling

No, not juggling of pools, but of pool balls, on the surface of the pool table.



Canine Expert

OK, not all experts are human. Here’s a determined dog locked in an “escape proof” pen.




The glory of the home shopping network

You probably enjoy the Home Shopping Network as much as I do: you marvel that they can make money with this stuff. (But they do! They make lots of money doing this!)

Here is a collection of some of their shining moments of glory!




Restrooms in Space

This is one of the technical directors of theternational Space Station how to use the restroom without gravity. It's not graphic, and there's a twist to it at the end.



Olympic Tire Jumping

Ski Jumping has always fascinated me, though I couldn't tell you why. I have no plans to go airborn with long sticks on my feet.

Here's an interesting take on using a ski jump in the summer: instead of skiers, let's toss tires down the ramp and see how far they go.

The Japanese commentary only adds to the humor. It appears that this is some sort of Japanese TV show, along the lines of "I wonder what would happen if we tried this?":

Here's another episode with a giant rubber band. Who hasn't thought about trying this?

And this episode involves shooting kleenex with a handgun. Apparently, it takes 2354 sheets of kleenex to stop what looks like a 9mm bullet. It makes me laugh!



Feeling Crabby?

Animal migrations are always interesting. But this is ridiculous! It's really cool, but it's kinda creepy, especially the second migration, the babies...



Marcel Marceau is Silenced

September 22, 2007 PARIS — Marcel Marceau, who put the art of mime on the world stage and brought poetry to silence, has died, his former assistant said Sunday. He was 84.


Homemade infinite loop

This is a toy that will keep some kids busy for hours. It did me....



Bench-clearing fight in a Japanese baseball game

I did a post a few days ago on weirdness in baseball (and other sports). I don't know how I missed this one!



Jesus Freaks

Our culture today has been impacted by the hippie movement of a generation ago, and the hippie movement - at least as it influenced "middle America" - was influenced by the Jesus People movement. Here are some clips that show a little bit of that bit of sub-culture or counter-culture. It's a little bit our cultural history.



Motion activated sprinkler for birds

This is an example of an obsession turning into a really very creative invention. It makes me laugh, partly to watch the birds, but even more imagining all the work this guy went through, and his joy when it worked!

http://view.break.com/365748 - Watch more free videos


Rube Goldberg Strikes Again!

It takes a boatload of creativity and patience to make these kind of devices. I am always fascinated.



Train Drives Through A Bangkok Market

We've been on an "experts" theme off and on for a while here. These folks are experts of a whole other sort!

Train Drives Through A Bangkok Market - Watch more funny videos here


Watch the bat.

Watch the bat. Watch the bat. Watch the bat!

And as long as we're working on weirdness in baseball....

And since bloopers are just fun, here's a whopper!



Making Us Think.

This post is undoubtedly not politically correct. The movie Obsession, however, will make you think. Whether you subscribe to everything they say (that's probably NEVER as good move), or you question and challenge everything they say (and that's just as ignorant), it will make you think.

There is something disturbing about revealing the motive that a people proclaim among themselves, and which never makes the news headlines. It's even worse when it's in their own words, and when it's about how their goal in life is killing you and everybody you know.
Here are two previews. You can watch the 60 minute movie online for a few bucks.


A Canine Expert

OK, not all experts are human. Here’s a determined dog locked in an “escape proof” pen.



Japanese Baseball

I’m sure that American sports don’t make sense to people from other cultures. Heck, they don’t always make sense to me! (Can anyone explain why a baseball player can make $10,000,000 a year, and a teacher or fireman can’t even make 1% of that?)

The corollary, of course, is that the way other cultures do their sports doesn’t make sense to Americans. I’ve always thought of Baseball as an American sport, but the Japanese have a remarkable way of making it … strange!



The Best

I love watching the best in the world do the thing they do best. Here are two of the best in the music world, doing what they do best. Don’t blame me if they do it differently.




Who can resist blowing stuff up?

http://view.break.com/363436 - Watch more free videos


Fight For Kisses

This is funny enough on its own, and funnier if you're a dad.



TED and Rick Warren.

TED started out as an annual conference in Monterey devoted to Technology, Entertainment and Design. The content has broadened in recent years, but this annual event is still the main engine that drives TED's success, bringing together 1000 of the world's most remarkable people. The format is fast-paced, with 50+ speakers over four days. If you want to be challenged to think, the "TED Talks" are a wonderful way to do that!

Last year, Rick Warren spoke to "1000 of the world's most remarkable people." He's a pastor, and thanks to his book The Purpose Driven Life, he's also a wealthy man. His 21 minute talk to this gathering of (mostly) secular humanists is insightful, sensitive, and I found it riddled with nuggets to improve my own life.

No title - Click here for the funniest movie of the week

Copper Clapper Caper

Ok, this isn't the freshest video out there (it stars Johnny Carson and Jack Webb, for pity sake!), but it's certainly one of the funniest.


Copper Clapper Caper

Ok, this isn't the freshest video out there (it stars Johnny Carson and Jack Webb, for pity sake!), but it's one of the funniest.



Quirkology Explained

Some time ago, I posted (here) several of Richard Wiseman's Quirkology clips. Now here's how he does a couple of them.


Animated Sculpture or Artificial Life?

Brilliance in any form is always fascinating. Ladies and gentlemen, Theo Jansen.



Cool Jugglers

I really enjoy watching a gifted expert do their job, and it almost doesn't matter what their job is: if they're truly an expert, it's cool to watch. Then there's jugglers: they're kind of nuts already, but really gifted jugglers boggle my mind. Here are a few particularly impressive ones; one juggles the traditional 3 balls, but with a serious twist; the second juggles seven (I know bouncing is easier than in the air, but dang!), and the last guy is just a kid, and he juggles with his feet. Dang.

Chris Bliss - More bloopers are a click away

Viden One Of The Best Bounce Juggling Video - The top video clips of the week are here

Amazing Footbag Juggling - The funniest videos clips are here


Bugatti Veyron

OK, I admit it: I like fast cars, and I like Fifth Gear. This has them both, and so it's a definite winner.

But more than that: this is an amazing illustration of real joy in something. Fifth Gear's Tiff Needell demonstrates, while exploring the Bugatti Veryon (it's a car!), a Joi de vivre that I haven't seen very often. I know people - Americans, Christians, Churchgoers, whomever - who have stuff that's cooler than an admittedly very nice automobile, and they whine and complain.

So watch the video and enjoy it. Enjoy the cool car, and its 1001 horsepower. But more than that, learn from his complete passion, his joy in the machine, and learn from Tiff Needell how to experience real joy.


Zune Phone

OK, the Apple iPhone has been getting all the press. They've just proven the market is there. Now Microsoft is getting ready to announce their ZunePhone. Here's a preview.


Concerto for Faces, in D

What can I say? This is undeniably weird, but it tickles my funny bone.

Concerto For Faces - The most amazing bloopers are here


Wonderful World!

OK, yesterday was kind of intense, what with 300 guys dying for something they believe in.

Today we're a little lighter.This is the freshest take on "It's a Wonderful World" - and maybe the most offbeat - that I've seen in a while. But then, I like offbeat....

And just for context, here's the original, by the master himself: Satchmo!



Three Hundred

Have you seen the movie 300? It’s about the heroic stand of 300 Spartan warriors (with help for part of the time) against 250,000 Persian soldiers. The story is actually pretty accurate historically, and it is completely inspiring. Even the line, “Then we will fight in the shade” is correct!

I found myself taking away a number of “life lessons” when the credits rolled. (NB: There is some brief – and gratuitous – nudity in the movie, not in the clips that follow.)

Some time before the movie came out, the History Channel aired a historical documentary about the Spartans and the legendary Battle of Thermopylae (literally “The Hot Gates”) on which the movie is based. The CG doesn’t hold a candle to the movie, but the facts are still awe-inspiring. It’s in three parts:

And since this is the 21st Century, it stands to reason that there’s a music video made on the subject. Music by Nine Inch Nails, video excerpted from the 300. It’s fairly graphic.