Wednesday, October 31, 2012

PSY - "Gangnam Style" (2012)

"Gangnam Style" is a single by the South Korean pop artist PSY, also known as Park Jai-Sang, who wrote and produced the song with Yoo Gun-Hyung. The song was released on July 15, 2012, as the lead single of his sixth studio album PSY 6 (Six Rules), Part 1.

On September 17, the song was nominated for Best Video at the upcoming 2012 MTV Europe Music Awards to be held in Frankfurt, Germany. On September 20, 2012, "Gangnam Style" was recognized by Guinness World Records as the most "liked" video in YouTube history. As of October 29, 2012, the music video has been viewed over 590 million times on YouTube, and is the site's third most watched video and most watched K-pop video.

By the end of October 2012, the song reached the number one position in 33 countries including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom. "Gangnam Style" debuted at number one on the Gaon Chart, the national record chart of South Korea.

"My mom will battle your mom," dancer Mike Song writes on his YouTube page.

"This is the first thing I have ever taught my mom," he says. "She is 60 and has some serious natural talent."

The original Gangnam Style video has garnered over 117 million hits on YouTube. Song's version isn't too far behind with almost 2 million by Friday morning, just two days after uploading it.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Black Keys - "Baddest Man Alive" w/ RZA (2012)

Music Video Directed By Chris Marrs Piliero

The Man with the Iron Fists is an upcoming martial arts film directed by RZA and written by RZA and Eli Roth. The film stars Russell Crowe, Cung Le, Lucy Liu, Byron Mann, RZA, Rick Yune, David Bautista, and Jamie Chung. Set in 19th century China, the story follows The Blacksmith (RZA) who is forced to come to the defense of his fellow villagers. The film is scheduled for release on November 2, 2012.

Filming began in December 2010 on a $20 million budget and concluded by March 2011. The film was shot entirely in China including the city of Shanghai. The film's score is composed by RZA and Howard Drossin, and its soundtrack is developed by RZA, featuring several new songs by various artists. It is a blend of hip hop, R&B and neo-soul, with several members of the Wu-Tang Clan such as Ghostface Killah, U-God, Method Man, Raekwon, RZA and their affiliates such as Kool G Rap featured on the album. It also includes Kanye West, Pusha T, Corinne Bailey Rae, and The Black Keys among others. A series of concerts were held to promote the film, featuring music from the soundtrack.

More information:
» Best Martial Arts Movie Fight Scenes

Monday, October 29, 2012

Giants Win World Series, Doritos Locos Tacos

Game 4: Giants 4, Tigers 3
The Giants stifled the Tigers throughout the Fall Classic, and they allowed two homers but little else in Game 4 before Marco Scutaro's go-ahead hit in the 10th. Buster Posey went deep, and San Francisco got no-hit relief after Matt Cain's solid start to win its second title in three years.

Game 3: Giants 2, Tigers 0
The Giants kept stifling the Tigers, with Ryan Vogelsong working out of jams for 5 2/3 frames, and Tim Lincecum and Sergio Romo finishing the shutout. Gregor Blanco's RBI triple and Brandon Crawford's RBI single were enough as San Francisco moved to within a win of the Series title.

Game 2: Giants 2, Tigers 0
After Madison Bumgarner cruised for seven, the Giants chased Doug Fister and set up Game 2's first run with a bunt that rolled just fair. Hunter Pence, who scored the run, added a sac fly, and two relievers finished off a two-hit shutout of Detroit, giving San Francisco a 2-0 Series lead.

Game 1: Giants 8, Tigers 3
The Giants wasted little time against Justin Verlander, as Pablo Sandoval went deep off the Tigers' ace in the first. Sandoval hit two more homers, including a two-run shot off Verlander in the third. Barry Zito tossed 5 2/3 frames of one-run ball, and San Francisco's bullpen sealed Game 1.

Taco Bell had promised with its "Steal A Base, Steal A Taco" offer that if any player stole a base during this World Series, it would give away its best-selling taco to everyone in America.

With his stolen base in the eighth inning of Game 2 of the World Series on Thursday night at AT&T Park, Giants outfielder Angel Pagan won everyone in the country a free Doritos Locos Taco from Taco Bell. You can pick yours up at any participating Taco Bell between 2-6 p.m. local time on Tuesday only.

Does Pagan like Taco Bell?

"I love Taco Bell," he said. "I do. Doritos, tacos, name it."

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Community Premiere Postponed Indefinitely

Series creator and executive producer Dan Harmon will no longer serve as showrunner for the series beginning with the fourth season, as writers David Guarascio and Moses Port (co-creators of the short-lived Aliens in America) will take over as showrunners and executive producers. Sony Pictures Television, which produces the series with Universal Television, says that Harmon would serve as a consulting producer, but Harmon affirms he wasn't informed of any of this and will not return in a position without any executive prerogatives. The end of the third season also marks several other departures including executive producers Neil Goldman and Garrett Donovan, writer/producer Chris McKenna, actor/writer Dino Stamatopoulos, and frequent episode directors and executive producers Anthony and Joe Russo.

On October 8, 2012, it was reported that NBC had delayed the premiere of the fourth season, scheduled for October 19, 2012, without announcing a new date.

More information for geeks:
» TMZ: Chevy Chase's Voicemail for Dan Harmon in April
» LA Times Interviews Community's New Showrunners

Monday, October 22, 2012

Peter Gabriel - "Sledgehammer" (1986)

"Sledgehammer" is a song by British musician Peter Gabriel from his 1986 album So. It hit number one in Canada on 21 July 1986 where it spent four weeks; number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States on 26 July 1986; and number four in the UK singles chart, thanks in part to a popular and influential music video. It was his biggest hit in North America and ties with "Games Without Frontiers" as his biggest hit in the United Kingdom.

The song's music video has won a number of awards, including a record nine MTV Awards at the 1987 MTV Video Music Awards, and Best British Video at the 1987 Brit Awards. Gabriel was also nominated for three Grammy Awards: Best Male Rock Vocal Performance, Song of the Year, and Record of the Year.

Sledgehammer" spawned a widely popular and influential music video commissioned by Tessa Watts at Virgin Records, directed by Stephen R. Johnson and produced by Adam Whittaker. Aardman Animations (of Wallace and Gromit fame) and the Brothers Quay provided claymation, pixilation, and stop motion animation that gave life to images in the song.

The video ended with a large group of extras jerkily rotating around Gabriel, among them: Gabriel's daughters Anna and Melanie, the animators themselves, and director Stephen Johnson's girlfriend. Also included were six women who posed as the back-up singers of the song. Gabriel lay under a sheet of glass for 16 hours while filming the video one frame at a time. Notably, two oven-ready chickens, headless and featherless, were animated using stop-motion and shown dancing along to the synthesized flute solo in the middle of the song. This section was animated by Nick Park of Aardman Animations who was refining his work in plasticine animation at the time. The style was later used again in the video for Gabriel's other successful single from the album So, "Big Time."

Although many of these techniques had already been employed in earlier music videos (such as Talking Heads' 1985 hit "Road to Nowhere"), the Sledgehammer video won nine MTV Video Music Awards in 1987, a record which still stands as of 2011. It ranked at number four on MTV's 100 Greatest Music Videos Ever Made (1999). MTV later announced that "Sledgehammer" is the most played music video in the history of the station. "Sledgehammer" has also been declared to be MTV's number one animated video of all time. The video won Best British Video at the 1987 Brit Awards. Also, the video was nominated for the Best Music Video category for the first annual Soul Train Music Awards in that same year.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

RG3 Highlight Reel!

Week 7: Redskins 23, New York 27

"I'm not even going to lie: That's the best quarterback we've played this year, for sure," defensive end Osi Umenyiora said.

"I'm pretty mad at the football gods for putting him in the NFC East," Giants defensive end Justin Tuck said. "To face that guy twice a year is going to be a headache. "That guy is the real deal."

Week 6: Redskins 38, Vikings 26

Week 4: Redskins 24, Tampa Bay 22

Week 3: Redskins 31, Cincinnati 38

Week 2: Redskins 28, St. Louis 31

Week 1: Redskins 40, New Orleans 32

SNL Is Funny Sometimes: Best Videos of the 2000s

(L) Virginia Tech vs. #14 Clemson

“I don’t think it’s a matter of re-examining,” said Tech quarterbacks coach and play-caller Mike O’Cain. “That’s not a question. … It’s not so much what we’re doing. It’s a matter of doing what we’re doing better. And again, I know I keep saying it over and over: Make plays when your number is called.”
CLEMSON, S.C. -- The Tigers got three interceptions -- two off Thomas -- and made a pair of fourth-down stops in a 38-17 victory over the Hokies on Saturday.

Clemson (6-1, 4-1 ACC) came in 10th in the 12-team conference in yards given up at more than 445 yards per game. Virginia Tech (4-4, 2-2) gained 406, all but 100 of those by Thomas.

Logan Thomas had 207 yards passing and a 29-yard TD throw to Corey Fuller. He also rushed for 99 yards, including a 19-yard scoring run in the final quarter that gave the Hokies hope of a rally down 31-17.

But it was the Tigers' defense that turned things around against the fired-up Hokies. Virginia Tech turned the ball over three times, came up short on an early fourth-down attempt, scored only one touchdown after the opening drive and watched seven of eight second-half drives go no farther than 36 yards. Jonathan Meeks had two interceptions, including one he took back for a 74-yard touchdown off Thomas.

"We don't have to play like Alabama yet," defensive coordinator Brent Venables said with a grin. "Although we'd like to. But we can definitely play better than we have up to this point and hopefully, today was a sign of moving in the right direction."

Tajh Boyd ran for two touchdowns and passed for another for the Tigers, who were held to their lowest offensive output of the season at 295 yards. Boyd was 12 of 21 for 160 yards, 131 fewer than he averages. And he was sacked five times after Clemson had allowed 10 in its first six games.

Boyd thought the team didn't come out as strong as he hoped for their first game in two weeks. Still, Boyd said, in other seasons, such a showing would lead to defeat.

"I think it shows how far we've come," he said.

Andre Ellington had a 12-yard touchdown run and 96 yards for the Tigers. All-American receiver Sammy Watkins had his most productive game this season with eight catches for 84 yards.

Clemson tied a school record with its 11th straight home victory, something it had done twice before from 1937-42 and 1989-91. To match the mark this time, the Tigers had to count on their usually unreliable defense as their high-flying offense was largely grounded.

Virginia Tech had entered this one stung by last year's failures against the Tigers. After dominating Clemson for more than a decade, the Hokies were overrun in two games last year, including a 38-10 loss in the ACC title game.

Washington Post:
The offense’s woes masked a second straight strong effort from Virginia Tech’s defense. The Hokies held Clemson to 295 yards, more than 230 less than the Tigers’ average this season.

It also marked the second-fewest yards Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris has produced since joining the college ranks. In fact, Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster has now contributed to two of the three least productive college games Morris has been involved with.

The Hokies sacked Clemson quarterback Boyd five times, including twice in three plays to start the game. Defensive tackle Luther Maddy had two sacks for the second week in a row, including one on that opening series. Defensive end James Gayle said it sent the message that “we were coming to play and we weren’t gonna be pushed around.”

The Hokies have four losses before the end of October for the first time since 1992.

More information:
» Bleacher Report: VT vs. Clemson Preview
» The Virginian-Pilot: Hokies Defense Shined

Monday, October 15, 2012

Felix Baumgartner Freefalls 24 Miles Above Earth

"YouTube's live stream of the event racked up over 8 million viewers just before Baumgartner took his death-defying plunge. The previous record for a single Web video service: Around 500,000 concurrent streams, which Google served up during the Olympics this summer."
An Austrian daredevil plummeted into the record books today (Oct. 14), breaking the mark for highest-ever skydive after leaping from a balloon more than 24 miles above Earth's surface. Add one more feat: Going supersonic.

Felix Baumgartner stepped into the void at approximately 128,100 feet (39,045 meters) above southeastern New Mexico Sunday at just after 2 p.m. ET, then landed safely on the desert floor about 20 minutes later. His harrowing plunge shattered the skydiving altitude record, which had stood for more than 50 years, and it notched a few other firsts as well.

During his freefall, for example, Baumgartner became the first skydiver ever to break the sound barrier, which is about 690 mph (1,110 kph) at such lofty heights. And this happened on a special day -- today is the 65th anniversary of the first supersonic airplane flight, which was piloted by American Chuck Yeager in 1947 aboard the Bell X-1 rocket plane.

Preliminary results of the jump showed Baumgartner spent about 4 minutes and 20 seconds in freefall (a record without a drogue parachute). His maximum speed was 833.9 mph (1,342 kph), said Brian Utley, an air sports official watching over the event.

The jump's top speed was thus Mach 1.24 -- considerably faster than the speed of sound.

"I know the whole world is watching now, and I wish the world could see what I see," Baumgartner said just before the leap. "And sometimes you have to go up really high to see how small you really are."

Baumgartner's mission -- called Red Bull Stratos, and sponsored by the Red Bull energy drink company -- also set the record for highest-ever manned balloon flight, officials said. Project officials touted the skydive as a "space jump," calling it a "Mission to the Edge of Space."

The officially recognized space border is actually higher, however. Space is internationally recognized to begin at an altitude of 62 miles (100 kilometers), or about 327,000 feet.

The previous record, set in 1960, was 102,800 feet (31,333 m), which was set by Air Force (then Captain) Joe Kittinger during a series of high altitude tests known as Project Excelsior, which was designed to study such problems associated with extremely high altitude aircraft bailouts in both human and equipment terms. Kittinger, now 84, served with the Red Bull Stratos team as both a technical adviser to the team and as a mentor to Baumgartner.

Ironically, by falling so fast, Baumgartner failed to break Kittinger's record for longest time in freefall. Kittinger fell for 4 minutes and 36 seconds in 1960, with Baumgartner coming up 16 seconds short of the record yesterday.

The 43-year-old Baumgartner is a veteran thrill-seeker, having leapt from some of the world's tallest buildings and soared across the English Channel in freefall with the aid of a carbon wing.

The balloon was originally supposed to take off Monday (Oct. 8), but that launch, and another attempt Tuesday (Oct. 9), were called off because of gusting winds. Even moderate breezes can damage the enormous balloon, which is made of material 10 times thinner than a plastic sandwich bag, Red Bull Stratos officials have said.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

(W) Virginia Tech vs. Duke

BLACKSBURG, Va. -- Logan Thomas knows what he has expected Virginia Tech (4-3, 2-1 ACC) to look like this season.

He finally got to see it on Saturday, after a 12-minute beatdown by Duke put the Hokies in a 20-0 hole.

"We were able to move the ball any way we wanted to, throwing it and running it, and the defense was pretty much shutting down everything," Thomas said after the Hokies rallied from the early deficit to bury the Blue Devils 41-20.

Duke (5-2, 2-1) arrived having won four straight and seeking one more victory to become bowl eligible for the first time since 1994. But after the fast start, the game did more for the Hokies' expectations going forward than for Duke's.

"I think our bubble feels burst," coach David Cutcliffe said. "It hurts today. It hurts a lot."

The Blue Devils gained 150 yards in the first quarter and just 84 in the next two quarters as Virginia Tech's defense came alive, intercepting Sean Renfree twice before halftime, sacking him five times and recovering two fumbles.

The Hokies offense, meanwhile, got into their best rhythm of the season. Thomas hit Marcus Davis with touchdown passes of 42 and 47 yards, and hit Davis with a 40-yarder to set up the Hokies' first TD. Martin Scales scored that one on a 4-yard run.

J.C. Coleman, a true freshman getting his first start, later broke free for a 45-yard touchdown run, giving the Hokies their first lead at 24-20, and he added an 86-yard burst around the right side midway through the fourth quarter to close the scoring. His 183 yards came on just 13 carries. Coleman became the first 100-yard rusher this season for the Hokies, and had the most rushing yards in a game by a true freshman under Beamer.

"The line gave me outstanding holes to run through," Coleman said. "It was great."

The Hokies went into their game against Duke really struggling in the run game, unable to find any consistency with David Wilson gone to the NFL. They had been averaging just 131.3 yards on the ground -- a far cry from the 186.9 yards they averaged last season to rank No. 2 in the ACC.

It was the Hokies' most complete performance of the season, one that gives them hope following a mediocre start to the season and with a brutal stretch of games about to begin. They play at Clemson on Saturday and then have back-to-back Thursday night games -- at Miami and home against Florida State.

More information:
» ESPN: J.C. Coleman Named ACC Rookie of the Week
» Bleacher Report: Winners and Losers

Midseason Standouts:
Offensive: LT Nick Becton. He’s been one of the most consistent players up front for the Hokies. He was in on 72 plays against Georgia Tech in his first start and graded out at 90 percent. He also graded out at 91 percent in the loss to Pittsburgh and played every offensive snap. He had five knockdowns against Cincinnati and was in on all 80 plays at UNC, where he graded out at 92 percent.

Defensive: LB Jack Tyler. He has been a bright spot on an otherwise dreary defense and is fourth in the ACC in tackles with 68 total and 9.7 per game. He has started all seven games and leads the Hokies in tackles. He also has two pass breakups, seven quarterback hurries, five tackles for loss and a sack.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Best Moments of the Nationals' 2012 Season

Washington Post:
This Nationals' season was a memorable and historic one, filled with seminal moments and transcendent performances.
  • Bryce Harper’s debut, APR. 28: Out of need, the Nationals rushed their heralded rookie into the majors and started him in left field. He smashed a double in his third at-bat, in a game that many will remember as the beginning of his career and stellar rookie season. 
  • Bryce Harper steals home, MAY 6: In only his first week in the majors, the rookie was intentionally hit by Cole Hamels in the first inning and, when on third base, stole home, taking advantage of Hamels being preoccupied with Jayson Werth at first. It was Harper’s first major league stolen base and fans loved that it came against a heated division rival on national television.
  • Davey Johnson vs. Joe Maddon, JUNE 19: The Tampa Bay Rays manager thought Johnson was out of line when he asked umpires to check the glove of former Nationals reliever Joel Perlata for pine tar. It led to three days of back and forth jabs between the two managers that included classic moments, such as when they compared “Tweeters,” called each other a “guru” and “weird wuss,” and touched off a debate about the unwritten rules of baseball. 
  • Ryan Zimmerman’s cortisone shot, JUNE 24: The cortisone shot for his ailing right shoulder jump-started his season and provided a needed offensive boost for the Nationals. The offense came to life in the second half of the season, and Zimmerman provided one of the hottest hitting stretches in the baseball.
  • Roger Bernadina’s catch, AUG. 7: Likely the best defensive play of the season, when the left fielder chased down a ball deep into left field in Houston, the game in the balance, and made a spectacular, game-winning, crashing catch. 
  • Two bench-clearing fights vs. Cubs, SEPT. 6: It began with a skirmish between Cubs bench coach Jamie Quirk and Nationals third base coach Bo Porter with the Nationals leading 7-2. It escalated an inning later in the sixth when Lendy Castillo threw inside to Bryce Harper. Both benches cleared again and shoving ensued. It was one of the rawest displays of emotion on the field this season. 
  • Gio Gonzalez’s 20th win, SEPT. 22: The fan favorite left-hander notched his momentous 20th win of the season in seven dominant innings – and a memorable flop on the mound. He became the first DC pitcher to win 20 games since Walter Johnson in 1916. Teammates littered his locker with $20 bills afterward. 
  • Michael Morse’s pantomime grand slam, SEPT. 29: After his ball smacked off a right field ledge that umpires originally confused for being in play, Morse was told to round the bases again after umpires consulted video replay. At Yadier Molina’s suggestion, Morse hilariously took a swing with nothing in hand and rounded the bases again. It was high comedy on the baseball diamond.
  • Nationals’ first-ever division title, OCT. 1: Despite falling to the Phillies 2-0 that day, the Nationals clinched the NL East. Players celebrated with champagne, beer and sparking apple juice, spraying some on the fans who stayed nearly an hour after the game to enjoy.
  • Teddy wins, OCT. 3: After more than 500 losses, the lovable loser finally won a Presidents’ race – in the final game of the regular season. Teddy has won every race since.
  • Jayson Werth’s season-saving walk-off home run, OCT. 11: The Nationals’ season hinged on an NLDS Game 4 win and with the score tied at 1-1, Werth delivered the biggest hit in Nationals history. He worked Lance Lynn in an epic 13-pitch at-bat before sending fans at Nationals Park into uncontrollable glee. 

More information:
» "When the champagne comes again, it will taste sweeter."

Nationals Lose NLDS in Game 5

"The Nationals are riding the emotions of the first home postseason victory by the franchise since it resided in Montreal in 1981. The nation's capital hadn't hosted a Major League postseason game since 1933 prior to Wednesday. Gio Gonzalez, Washington's 21-game winner, takes the ball for the Nationals against the Cards' Adam Wainwright. It's a rematch of Game 1 taken by the Nats, 3-2, even though Gonzalez struggled with the strike zone (seven walks in five innings) and Wainwright was dominant (10 strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings)."

Game 1
The Nats fell behind early due to Gio Gonzalez's control issues, and they were held in check by Adam Wainwright and the Cards until the eighth, when pinch-hitter Tyler Moore delivered a go-ahead two-run single to lead Washington to the Game 1 win.

Game 2
In a Game 2 that saw starting pitchers Jaime Garcia and Jordan Zimmermann both struggle, the Cardinals used a four-run second inning to jump in front and four homers -- two by Carlos Beltran -- to put the game away and even the NLDS with the Nationals.

Game 3
Chris Carpenter didn't win a game in a regular season mostly lost to injury, but the right-hander hurled 5 2/3 scoreless innings and the Cardinals scored plenty to top the Nats in the first postseason game in Washington, D.C., since 1933. St. Louis now leads the NLDS, 2-1.

Game 4
Jayson Werth hit a walk-off homer in the ninth inning as the Nationals forced Game 5. Following Ross Detwiler's six innings of one-run ball, the Nats' bullpen recorded eight straight outs via strikeout. Adam LaRoche homered for Washington in the second off Cards starter Kyle Lohse.

Game 5
The Nats belted a trio of homers to jump out to an early six-run lead, but the Cards conjured up some of their 2011 magic, capping an improbable comeback with a four-run ninth inning on two-run singles by Daniel Descalso and Pete Kozma to advance to the NLCS.

More information:
» Werth Proves His Worth in Game 4
» Do or Die Time for the Nationals
» How Baseball Could Be So Cruel to This City

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Muse - "The 2nd Law: Unsustainable" (2012)

It takes a full minute and a half before the bass drops on "The 2nd Law - Unsustainable," which has surfaced as part of a special for fans who pre-ordered the upcoming sixth album The 2nd Law. As the Skrillex-loving Brits previously confirmed, they replicate the wub Rage Against the Machine-style, with analogue equipment. The dubstep nods are surrounded by vaguely John Williams-ish orchestration (think Star Wars: Episode 1's "Duel of the Fates") and a newscaster's chopped-up narration about "entropy" and, yup, the unsustainability of current global energy and economic policies.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Orioles Magic!

ZZ Top - "I Gotsta Get Paid" (2012)

“We thought long and hard about what this album should be,” Billy Gibbons says in a press release. “We wanted to recall the directness of our early stuff but not turn our backs on contemporary technology. The result of this melding of the past and the present is, of course, La Futura.”

The album was released on September 11, 2012 and is produced by Rick Rubin. The first single from the album, "I Gotsta Get Paid," debuted in an advertising campaign for Jeremiah Weed and appears on the soundtrack of the film Battleship. The song itself is an interpretation of "25 Lighters" by Texan hip-hop DJ DMD and rappers Lil' Keke and Fat Pat. The first four songs debuted on June 5, 2012 on an EP called Texicali.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Madcon - "Glow" (2010)

"Glow" is the first single released from Madcon's fourth album Contraband (2010). The song is produced by production team Element, and written by Element and Madcon. The Norwegian hip-hop/dance duo performed the song during the Eurovision Song Contest 2010 interval in Oslo, Norway.

The song was accompanied by flash mob dance arranged by Element at various locations, showing collective dancing by hundreds of ordinary people in various locations including at the Telenor Arena where the event was being held, as well as (in order of appearance) at L'Alfàs del Pi (Spain), Reykjavik (Iceland), Ljubljana (Slovenia), Gothenburg (Sweden), Vilnius (Lithuania), London (United Kingdom), Düsseldorf (Germany), Dublin (Ireland).

Additional celebration footage was shown (in their order of appearance) from Malta, Lithuania, Iceland, Azerbaijan, Sweden, Russia, France, Turkey, Poland, Estonia, Portugal, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Albania, Ireland, Slovenia, Serbia, Norway, Germany, Denmark, Armenia, Romania, Latvia, Belarus, United Kingdom, Croatia, Belgium, Georgia, Greece, Slovakia, Ukraine, Cyprus, live scenes from Hamburg (Germany), an individual in the North Sea (unidentified location), Moldova, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Finland, Spain, Israel.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

(L) Virginia Tech vs. UNC

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Gio Bernard rushed for a career-high 262 yards and a touchdown, Sean Tapley and A.J. Blue added two TDs apiece, and North Carolina beat Virginia Tech 48-34 on Saturday.

Tapley grabbed a 19-yard catch for a touchdown and returned a kickoff 94 yards. That was the first kick return for a score against Tech since 1993, the longest streak in the country.

Bryn Renner for the Tar Heels (4-2, 1-1 ACC) finished 17 of 30 for 194 yards with a touchdown pass and a 4-yard scoring run. They won their third straight, rolled up 533 total yards and claimed their first home victory over the Hokies (3-3, 1-1) since 1938.

Logan Thomas was 26 of 49 for 354 yards with a 13-yard touchdown run and two long touchdown passes. Demitri Knowles took a kickoff 93 yards for a TD for the Hokies, who are off to their worst start since opening 2-3-1 in 1992.

Thomas threw an early 49-yard touchdown pass to Marcus Davis and added a 66-yarder to Corey Fuller with 8:55 left for the Hokies, who lost for just the sixth time in 33 ACC road games.

More information:
» Roanoke: Hokies Head to North Carolina as 3 1/2-point Underdogs
» Bleacher Report: Time for a Coaching Change?

Banksy & Street Art

Exit Through the Gift Shop: A Banksy Film is a film by street artist Banksy that tells the story of Thierry Guetta, a French immigrant in Los Angeles, and his obsession with street art. The film charts Guetta's constant documenting of his every waking moment on film, from a chance encounter with his cousin, the artist Invader, to his introduction to a host of street artists with a focus on Shepard Fairey and Banksy, whose anonymity is preserved by obscuring his face and altering his voice, to Guetta's eventual fame as a street artist himself. The film premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival on 24 January 2010. It is narrated by Rhys Ifans. The music is by Geoff Barrow. It includes Richard Hawley's "Tonight The Streets Are Ours".

With a unique grassroots campaign, Producers Distribution Agency (PDA) brought the film to a US theatrical gross of $3.29MM. New York Film Critics Online bestowed its Best Documentary Award on the film in 2010. The film received overwhelmingly positive reviews, holding 96% on Rotten Tomatoes, and was nominated for Best Documentary in the 2011 Academy Awards.

More information:
» LA Weekly: 2010 Film Review with Banksy
» Douchebag Art Dealer Trying to Sell Banksy Works in Miami
» The Wooster Collective
» YouTube: Bomb It (Graffiti Documentary)

Friday, October 5, 2012

2012 Wild Card

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

LivingSocial Shows D.C. What's Up

UPDATE: "Teddy wins! For the first time, the Teddy Roosevelt mascot won the Presidents Race during the last game of the regular season. Teddy had lost more than 500 times since 2006, when the Washington Nationals baseball team began having races among 10-foot-tall foam renderings of Roosevelt, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abe Lincoln at home games."
Washington Post:
The Nationals are going to the playoffs, and now fans know how they will get home.

Metro announced Thursday afternoon that LivingSocial, the daily deals company based in the District, will fund extended Metro service for any playoff game that ends late.

The announcement, made at the Navy Yard-Ballpark Metro station near Nationals Park, ends weeks of uncertainty over how fans would make it home if playoff games run past Metrorail’s normal closing time.

Even as the Nationals clinched a playoff spot and fought for a division title, the standoff over who should pay for extended service dragged on, with little sign that the District, the Nationals or Metro was willing to budge.

But LivingSocial contacted Metro this week to see whether the company could pick up the bill for extra service. A deal was finalized in the hours before Thursday’s late-afternoon news conference.

“People won’t have to worry about how they’re getting home,” LivingSocial’s founder and chief executive, Tim O’Shaughnessy, told reporters.

Under the agreement, which is like those for other events that begin early or run late, LivingSocial will put down the $29,500 deposit required by Metro to keep the trains running for an extra hour.

The company would need to have 5,504 riders pass through the system during the late-night service to recoup the money for one hour of service, or double that for two hours. On the busiest game nights at the 41,546-seat stadium this season, some 10,000 riders have entered the Navy Yard station after games, according to Metro.

Metro also said that it has suspended some of the planned track work shutdowns in October that would have coincided with six possible playoff games, as The Washington Examiner reported last week.

LivingSocial is part of a wave of technology companies that have set up shop in the District in recent years, and this summer the D.C. government agreed to nearly $33 million in tax incentives to keep LivingSocial in the city.

When asked why the Nationals didn’t put up the money like other sports teams and organizations have, Gregory McCarthy, vice president of the Nationals, said the team wanted more partners involved.

The prospect of thousands of stranded playoff fans came into clear focus last month when a rain-delayed, 13-inning victory over the Atlanta Braves concluded after midnight, forcing some fans to leave before the game ended and stranding others at the ballpark.

At the core of the uncertainty was the $29,500 deposit Metro requires for an extra hour of service. Event organizers need to put down the refundable deposit and sign an agreement in advance to extend Metro’s hours.

But no one wanted to pay up. The D.C. government spent $611 million building Nationals Park. The Nationals’ 2012 payroll is more than $81 million. And Metro has an operating budget of $1.6 billion but says it can’t be expected to pick up the costs for providing extra service.

The Capitals and the Redskins, along with the Nationals and numerous other event organizers, have paid for the late-night service in the past. The Nationals, who paid to keep Metro open late after a Sunday night game this season against the Phillies, reportedly asked the District to pay for future Metro service; the team was shot down.

D.C. Council member Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) suggested that the issue remained unresolved because of Major League Baseball.

But Pat Courtney, a spokesman for Major League Baseball, told The Washington Post that there’s “not a policy per se” in place for how teams deal with transit costs. Major League Baseball has just never faced a “situation like this before,” he said.

Other cities, meanwhile, are already planning for playoff games, with transit plans largely sorted out. As with the Orioles, if the Braves, Yankees, Giants and Athletics make the playoffs, their fans can expect extra service.

Transit agencies in those teams’ cities are adding buses or trains to accommodate crowds, with the Atlanta authority making plans to extend service later than its usual 1 a.m. closing time if games run late.

In Baltimore, the Orioles earned their first playoff berth since 1997 (when they were managed by current Nats skipper Davey Johnson). The Maryland Transit Administration says it covers the cost of keeping Baltimore’s light-rail and subway systems open an hour after the conclusion of a major event like a playoff game.

More information:
» SI: Bigwigs Cross Partisan Divide to Root on Nationals
» Washington Post: No Answer on Late Metro Service