Narwhal, Leeroy Jenkins and music videos

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Narwhal (BBC) I’m going to start today’s post with some animals and Muppets, then move on to cartoons and video game characters and ultimately end up with singing, dancing, basketball-playing human beings. Go!


Narwhal are interesting, with their helical tusks. Compare and contrast Weebl’s Stuff’s silly looping Narwhals animation to this report about the real-life sea creatures: “‘Arctic unicorns’ in icy display.”

Here are some other strange creatures: 25 Cool Obscure Animals, including vampire squid, tanuki and pistol shrimp.

Sesame Street censorship

I’m not sure there’s a funnier “censored” video than The Count Censored Edition, but Sesame Street Censored is pretty good too. Oh, the childhood memories.

Xavier: Renegade Angel Somewhat watchable/offensive cartoons

I can’t strongly recommend either of these shows (which were recently recommended to me by two different friends), but each episode only occupies 15 or 30 minutes of TV airtime, so it’s not a big commitment to see if you enjoy them.

The first 10 episodes (out of 13 total) of MTV’s short-lived “Clone High” (2002-03) are available via this YouTube playlist. The animated show featured high school-age genetic clones of famous historical figures. You can watch John F. Kennedy, Cleopatra, Abraham Lincoln, Joan of Arc, Gandhi and others during their awkward years. I like the pink-haired Joan of Arc character.

You may also want to try watching the aggressively unentertaining “Xavier: Renegade Angel” (2007-09) on Adult Swim. The show has a bizarre, hateful goodness. Oxymoron! I can’t decide if the show is philosophical or anti-philosophical. It’s so purposely awful and fast-paced. At least the episodes are only 12 minutes each.

World of Warcraft: Leeroy Jenkins

I guess it’s time to revisit the WoW Leeroy Jenkins Internet phenomenon. Why? Because I found these video clips on YouTube and I can’t resist mashups: Leeroy Jenkins & 300 Spartans and Leeroy Jenkins Remix. Amusing.

Music videos

Stress by Justice It’s not new, but I enjoyed the music video for “Stress” by Justice (French DJs), featuring a French gang. It’s very well directed by Romain Gavras. It has a similar feel to The Prodigy’s “Smack My Bitch Up” video by Jonas Ã…kerlund (which was banned by MTV and has also been banned from YouTube).

(Side note: The Prodigy recently released a new album, Invaders Must Die. Check out their YouTube channel for new videos.)

Amusing detail: Gangsters in the “Stress” video kick the crap out of a car radio when one of Justice’s own pop-style songs starts playing. The song is “D.A.N.C.E.,” which has a pretty good music video in its own right (and technically interesting), though I don’t love it.

(You should also watch this French “Stress” parody video, which pokes fun at the original video.)

Here is another cool, technically interesting video: “Robot High School” by My Robot Friend.

Sports and technology

Don’t throw out that old VCR! Try this: VCR Hack!

In sports research news: “For Free Throws, 50 Years of Practice Is No Help.” In 50+ years, the free throw percentage in basketball (college and NBA) has remained unchanged.

NCAA March Madness starts soon!

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