Chris Higgins is the author of The Blogger Abides and writes for This American Life, The Atlantic, Breakfast on Mars, and The Magazine. You can follow him at chrishiggins.com.
Know Your Meme has a simple guide on how to dispute YouTube when they take down one of your videos for allegedly infringing on copyright. This is a must-view/must-read for anyone who makes parody, commentary, or other content on YouTube that builds on existing content. Now, this is not about how to circumvent copyright laws -- it's about protecting your Fair Use rights when you've made something that is legal.
A critical resource linked to by Know Your Meme is the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use... READ ON
Monsterpiece Theater is a Sesame Street segment parodying Masterpiece Theater (which is now known just as Masterpiece). Monsterpiece Theater has been running since 1982; it's hosted by Cookie Monster (actually, Alistair Cookie), and it's brilliant. Although somehow I don't remember seeing this as a kid, there's a TON of awesome Monsterpiece segments on YouTube. Enjoy!
"It don't get classier than this." Featuring Mel Gibson.
Chariots of Fur
It's not often that you see muppet... READ ON
Apollo 11 launched on July 16, 1969, on its way to the moon. In the video below, Mark Gray shows slow-motion footage of the launch (a Saturn V rocket) and explains in glorious detail what's going on from a technical perspective -- the launch is very complex, and lots of stuff has to happen just right in order to get a safe launch. The video is mesmerizing, the narration is informative. Prepare to geek out about rockets! (Did you know the hold-down arms actually catch on fire after the rocket lifts... READ ON
Airing TONIGHT on NOVA at 8pm in most markets: Mind Over Money, a program about economics, the brain, and how emotions affect decision-making. And it's NOT BORING -- this is the fascinating, bizarre side of economics.
Behavioral Economics is a relatively new field studying how cognitive, emotional, and social factors influence economic decision making. What am I talking about? Take this experiment (shown at the beginning of NOVA's new documentary, Mind Over Money):
A group of test subjects are... READ ON
Remember 1996 -- or, as I call it -- the golden age of websites? In those days animated GIFs reigned, MIDI soundtracks spiced up pages, and you actually cared what Geocities "neighborhood" your site was in. Fourteen years later, Geocities is dead, animated GIFs have been replaced with Flash, and MIDI soundtracks...well, those are still awesome. If you yearn for a taste of the mid-90's web, try The Geocities-izer, a site that can "make any web page look like it was made by 13-year-old in 1996." Above we... READ ON
On April 22, NASA announced 20 years of Hubble Space Telescope pictures. Yes, our little buddy Hubble has been up there for 20 years, happily sending images back to us. NASA has collected videos, a Greatest Hits photo archive, and even a book showing Hubble's best work. Here's my favorite Hubble photo:
Orion... READ ON
On March 20th, Obscura Day was a worldwide celebration of "expeditions, back-room tours and hidden treasures in your hometown." 80 events took place in 20 countries, hosting more than 4,000 people -- with the general theme being really awesome stuff that happens to be in your neighborhood. The video below shows some highlights of what happened. If it piques your interest, check out more info on Obscura Day and mark your calendars for Obscura Day 2011!
Obscura Day 2010 from Dylan D. Thuras on... READ ON
Okay, so there's a US government website called newmoney.gov. That's the first problem. We need a whole website with its own domain name to talk about updated currency? The updated currency that isn't being released until February of 2011? Okay, I get it, everybody needs a website (although I thought the US Treasury already had one). But what I really don't get is that you can "Follow the $100 Note Unveiling on the U.S. Currency Social Media Pages [links to Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, YouTube]." What... READ ON
Twenty years ago last week, Twin Peaks made its TV debut. Often described as eerie, creepy, or just plain weird, Twin Peaks is now considered a landmark in TV history. I'm a huge fan of the music -- composed by Angelo Badalamenti, with lyrics by David Lynch and vocals by Julee Cruise -- it's atmosphere and haunting. If you're a Twin Peaks fan, the Julee Cruise album "Floating Into the Night" is a must-have. Anyway, here are some awesome Twin Peaks clips to weird out your evening.
"Just You and I"... READ ON
Last week the Library of Congress announced that it would archive all public tweets (Twitter messages). This led to some speculation about why in the world anyone would want to archive the ramblings of people on Twitter -- in other words, who cares that I got a new gizmo, or that I liked last night's episode of Lost? Well, today I bring you #Posterity, a great Slate article addressing this question -- author Christopher Beam talks to historians and details what makes this archive useful. Here's a... READ ON
The duffel bag is named for Duffel, Belgium, where the cloth used in the bags was originally sold.