Weekend Listening- The Piano Guys

Musical geeks are the most entertaining geeks, because they find ways to combine their musical talents with their geeky hobbies in fun ways. Case in point- The Piano Guys, who use a variety of instruments (but mostly pianos) to produce fun and creative music videos.

 

Helping Writers Become Authors

There are a few writers out there for whom the act of structuring and planning a novel is as much joy and fun as the writing of the story itself- K.M. Weiland is one of those writers. She has turned her love of structure and the writer’s craft into not only a blog, but also a video series on YouTube, a podcast and several books, all of them deeply focused on how to make writers produce better work by discussing the many components of a story in great detail. It’s actually quite impressive how she turned her former Wordplay podcast into an actual writer self-help industry unto itself called Helping Writers Become Authors.

I’ve been listening to her Podcast, and I have been quite impressed by the level of thought she puts into each episode (and there are 247 episodes to date!), which have even made me rethink some of my own perspectives on writing. Ms. Weiland has a real passion for the writer’s craft, and seems to be working hard to not only find the best ways to write, but share them with the world. The only criticism I have is that sometimes the podcasts can get a little too abstract, or have a few too many examples for my taste (which can slow the show down), but those are both the result of her depth of study in whatever she’s researching and sharing with her audience.

In any case, if you’re looking for a very focused and practical writing podcast or blog, this might be one worth checking out. She has a lot of useful resources on the blog as well, and even a tutorial for getting the most out of yWriter, the free writing software and structure templates for use with Scrivener.

Epic Rap Battles- Sir Isaac Newton (Weird Al) vs Bill Nye

Probably the best one they’ve done in a while! They might be getting their stride back!

TNG Theme on an NES Keytar

The coolest thing you’re going to hear today:

Kung Fu Cooking Girls

Your dose of Kung Fu action, served with a side order of fun! This short animated film was made to order for a dull Monday morning! Enjoy!

Dr. Rodney McKay Vlogs!

Well, okay, not entirely true. David Hewlett, Dr. McKay’s very real alter acting ego, has just started a video blog on Youtube where he hangs out with fans and geeks out with them. If, like me, you watched Stargate Atlantis for the entirely neurotic and very Canadian McKay, then maybe you’ll enjoy this as well, since there’s no doubt Hewlett and McKay are the same guy, just separated by a few IQ points and a few thousand light years.

Rob

Monday Morning Wakeup! Meet Hot Musical Metal!

Youtube user 331Erock is an extremely talented electric guitarist with a love for doing heavy metal guitar adaptations of different songs. (He’s done over 50 assorted tunes so far.) I thought a few of his better ones would be a great way to start off a Monday morning. Enjoy! 🙂

 

This one is guaranteed to get you out of bed! Thundercats! HO-ly sh*t he’s good!

Where’s my whip and hat?

A little romance of the metal kind:

Obligatory, and oddly soft for a metal tune.

As my friend CTC commented- this should be the new official theme song to every giant robot anime:

And to close the show- a tribute to the Big G himself (Godzilla 2014 this weekend! You don’t get more metal than that!)

A Short Film Festival

I’ve been going through (very) short films this week for school, and I thought I’d share a few of the best ones I’ve found. My requirement was that they each be around 5 minutes or less. Enjoy! 🙂

The Black Hole- a nearly perfect short film.

Kung Fooled- Perception is Everything!

2+2=5 – Power is Knowledge

Mama – The short that inspired the horror movie of the same name.

GUNDAM BUILD FIGHTERS

Y’no, I have to say I’m surprised by how much I’m enjoying Gundam Build Fighters. It’s not a great show by any means, but it does manage to be cute and kind’ve charming in a very geeky and toy-riffic sort of way. Of course, it also helps I know where all these Gundam suits come from already, having watched the shows, so I can appreciate what the show’s creators are doing. Damn, do I wish that I had that setup when I was a kid! (I mean, I kinda did, and it was called Battletech, but this would have been even more awesome!)

Also of note is that the Youtube channel this is on is Bandai’s official channel, meaning these aren’t pirated but actual official English subbed releases. They’ve also put up Gundam Seed, Gundam Seed Destiny, Gundam OO and Gundam AGE all up English subtitled for free! I might even go back and try watching OO or AGE later at some point. 🙂

Gundam, ikimasu!

Rob

Phoning It In

I often think that we are merely becoming mobile data terminals, sub-cells of a greater internet brain that exist more in the virtual world more than we do the actual real and physical world. Perhaps this is irreverable and our destiny as a species, but it’s still sad to watch sometimes.

I’m as big a technology nerd as anyone, and I love my iPhone too, but there are times when I wonder if I’m not spending too much time interacting with media instead of people. What am I losing by putting my phone away and actually enjoying the company of those around me? Why do I always have to be entertained or occupied? Is it so hard to exist in the moment?

I grew up half of my life without the internet, but now it’s almost unfathomable for me to think about living without it. I can only imagine what it’s like for those who have grown up with it their whole lives, and in a personable and portable form that lets it be with them constantly in an everpresent way.

Some people in the comments on that video say that Google Glass will solve the problem, but I suspect its upcoming release will make things so much worse. Right now our phones are at least something that we physically have to take out and manipulate, but Google Glass will be always there, handsfree, and omnipresent.

http://www.imaging-resource.com/ee_uploads/news/811/google-glass-borg.jpg

For now, I do what I can. I try to do things in the real world when possible, and not always be listening or interacting with my phone. I try to enjoy the peace and quiet, and I try to be with the people I’m with. I don’t always succeed, but I feel I have to try. My technology should be something that I use as a tool, something that services me, not something I’m a slave to.

Balance in all things.

Rob