Written by Jesus Diaz
If this video doesn’t bring a tear to your eyes and makes you smile for the rest of the day, you are a cold hearted bastard. Watch it from beginning to end-you won’t regret it.
This cover of Stand By Meas recorded by completely unknown artists in a street virtual studio= all around the world. It all started with a base track-vocals and guitar-recorded on the streets of Santa Monica, California, by a street musician called Roger Ridley. The base track was then taken to New Orleans, Louisiana, where Grandpa Elliott-a blind singer from the French Quarter-added vocals and harmonica while listening to Ridley’s base track on headphones. In the same city, Washboard Chaz’s added some metal percussion to it.
And from there, it just gets rock ‘n’ rolling bananas: The producers took the resulting mix all through Europe, Africa, and South America, adding new tracks with multiple instruments and vocals that were assembled in the final version you are seeing in this video. All done with a simple laptop and some microphones.
I don’t know about you, but it blew me away. Best version of Ben E. King’s classic I’ve ever heard in my life. And I’ve probably heard between five and two billion of them. [Thanks to my friend Fernando]
Written by Leo Babauta
Today I received an email from the lawyers of author Susan Jeffers, PhD., notifying me that I’d infringed on her trademark by inadvertently using the phrase “feel the fear and do it anyway” in my post last week, A Guide to Beating the Fears That Hold You Back.
The phrase, apparently, is the title of one of her books … a book I’d never heard of. I wasn’t referring to her book. I’m not using the phrase as a title of a book or product or to sell anything. I was just referring to something a friend said on Twitter.
Her lawyers asked me to insert the (R) symbol after the phrase, in my post, and add this sentence: “This is the registered trademark of Susan Jeffers, Ph.D. and is used with her permission.”
Yeah. I’m not gonna do that.
I find it unbelievable that a common phrase (that was used way before it was the title of any book) can be trademarked. We’re not talking about the names of products … we’re talking about the English language. You know, the words many of us use for such things as … talking, and writing, and general communication? Perhaps I’m a little behind the times, but is it really possible to claim whole chunks of the language, and force people to get permission to use the language, just in everyday speech?
What if this were taken to an extreme? What if some billionaire (say, Bill Gates) decided to start trademarking thousands and thousands of phrases, so that he could charge us for each use, or so that we’d have to link back to the Microsoft homepage with each reference? The language, in this scenario, could be entirely privatized if we allow this sort of thing.
So, while this post is probably ill-advised (and yes, I realize that I’m actually giving publicity to Ms. Jeffers), I have to object. I think we have a duty, as writers and bloggers and speakers of the English language, to defend our rights to … words. Free speech is a bit of an important concept, I think.
As an aside, I think the idea of jealously protecting copyright and trademarks, in this digital age, is outdated and ignorant. You want your ideas to spread, and you should encourage people to spread your ideas, not put up all kinds of boundaries and restrictions and obstacles to that being done. This blog, for example, is Uncopyrighted, and will always be free, because I want people to spread my posts and ideas. I think it’s actually good for me as a writer, and it’s (not insignificantly) better for the writing community in general if we can share each others’ work freely. I’m hoping that with posts like this, and the good work of thousands of other like-minded people, the old mindset of fencing off ideas and language will slowly change.
So, no, I will not be adding a Registered Trademark symbol to the previous post. And no, I won’t be adding a phrase of legalese to the post. And no, I won’t even attribute the phrase or link to her book, as I wasn’t referring to the book. And no, I won’t remove the phrase.
I’d rather be sued.
Oh, and I’m not going to change the title of this post either. You’ll have to remove it from my cold, dead iMac.
On a side note: You may feel free to use the title of my book, The Power of Less, in any of your blog posts, on Twitter or even (gasp) everyday conversation.
About 6-7 years ago, I was in a philosophy class at the University of Wisconsin, Madison (good science/engineering school) and the teaching assistant was explaining Descartes.
He was trying to show how things don’t always happen the way we think they will and explained that, while a pen always falls when you drop it on Earth, it would just float away if you let go of it on the Moon. My jaw dropped a little. I blurted “What?!” Looking around the room, I saw that only my friend Mark and one other student looked confused by the TA’s statement. The other 17 people just looked at me like “What’s your problem?” “But a pen would fall if you dropped it on the Moon, just more slowly.” I protested.
“No it wouldn’t.” the TA explained calmly, “because you’re too far away from the Earth’s gravity.” Think. Think. Aha! “You saw the APOLLO astronauts walking around on the Moon, didn’t you?”
I countered, “why didn’t they float away?”
“Because they were wearing heavy boots.” he responded, as if this made perfect sense (remember, this is a Philosophy TA who’s had plenty of logic classes). By then I realized that we were each living in totally different worlds, and did not speak each others language, so I gave up.
As we left the room, my friend Mark was raging. “My God! How can all those people be so stupid?” I tried to be understanding. “Mark, they knew this stuff at one time, but it’s not part of their basic view of the world, so they’ve forgotten it. Most people could probably make the same mistake.”
To prove my point, we went back to our dorm room and began randomly selecting names from the campus phone book. We called about 30 people and asked each this question: 1
1. If you’re standing on the Moon holding a pen, and you let go, will it
a) float away,
b) float where it is,
or c) fall to the ground?
About 47 percent got this question correct. Of the ones who got it wrong, we asked the obvious follow-up question:
2. You’ve seen films of the APOLLO astronauts walking around on the Moon, why didn’t they fall off?
About 20 percent of the people changed their answer to the first question when they heard this one! But the most amazing part was that about half of them confidently answered, “Because they were wearing heavy boots.”
MORE ON THE BURNING QUESTION OF HEAVY BOOTS
I decided to settle this question once and for all. Therefore, I put two multiple choice questions on my Physics 111 test, after the study of elementary mechanics and gravity.
13. If you are standing on the Moon, and holding a rock, and you let it go, it will:
(a) float away
(b) float where it is
(c) move sideways
(d) fall to the ground
(e) none of the above
25. When the Apollo astronauts wre on the Moon, they did not fall off because:
(a) the Earth’s gravity extends to the Moon
(b) the Moon has gravity
(c) they wore heavy boots
(d) they had safety ropes
(e) they had spiked shoes
The response showed some interesting patterns! The first question was generally of average difficulty, compared with the rest of the test: 57% got it right. The second question was easier: 73% got it right. So, we need more research to explain the people who got #25 right but did not get #13 right!
The second interesting point is that these questions proved to be excellent discriminators: that is, success on these two questions proved to be an extremely good predictor of overall success on the test. On the first question, 92% of those in the upper quarter of the test score got it right; only 20% of those in the bottom quarter did. They generally chose answers (a) or (b). On the second question, 97% in the upper quarter got it right and 33% in the lower quarter did. The big popular choice of this group was (c)…33% chose heavy boots, followed closely by safety ropes at 27%.
A telling comment on the issue of fairness in teaching elementary physics: Two students asked if I was going to continue asking them about things they had never studied in the class.
Written by Ned Hepburn
Yahoo Answers is where anyone with a Yahoo account can pose a question to the rest of the internet and have any person from the internet ask it. Simply put: Yahoo Answers is a goldmine for comedy.
Why? Because there’s a lot of stupid people out there. Either that or a ton of bored 13 year olds.
Without further ado here’s some of the cream of the crop. These Yahoo Answers, and the answers themselves sometimes, made us all at Manolith laugh our asses off and he hope you enjoy them as much as we did.
5. The Joy Of Painting
The best part is the “i know this is a common question” part. Wow.
3. Canada Eh!
I always wondered the same things about Canada, too, y’know, after always hearing about it on the TV. But do “Canada People” look like Americans? This is what the internet is great for.
2. My Girlfriend is Pregnant…. and…
Ah, the age old question. “Is my unborn son drinking all the blood”. And to think we give these people drivers licenses and the ability to buy automatic weapons.
And my personal favorite. Good ol’ entry level emo kids.
It makes the internet a gigantic playground, it really does.
Big thanks to The Yahoo Answers Tumblr kids!
(Photo By: ooJasonoo)
Written by Claire Suddath
YourTango.com, a self-described “community for love, sex, dating and relationship advice,” has created an instructional video called “Facebook Manners and You.” Styled after one of those frighteningly cheery ’50s educational films, the video’s instructions for proper behavior on the “electric friendship generator” is funny in a hits-close-to-home way. (I mean, no it doesn’t. No one has ever posted embarrassing photos of me on the Internet!) (See the 25 best blogs of 2009.)
The video covers everything from how to dump someone (do not peak up with your partner by changing your relationship status) to the best practices for starting a hate group (don’t create an “I hate so-and-so” group. But if you already did, don’t use it to call someone a communist). Still, there are a number of Facebook etiquette rules the video does not cover. TIME would like to suggest these additional “electric friendship” guidelines:
1. Stop taking quizzes. Nobody cares what literary time period you are.
2. If you sync your Twitter account to Facebook so that you fill others’ news feeds with a constant stream of mundane updates and references to people with little @ symbols before their names, be prepared for people to de-friend you. Maybe even in real life. (Read “25 More Things I Didn’t Want to Learn About You On Facebook.”)
3. Don’t friend someone you don’t actually know
4. If you must friend someone you don’t know, include a message explaining why you are doing so. For example, “Hi, I’m your cousin’s roommate!” would suffice.
5. Actually, no. Why would your cousin’s roommate want to be your friend? That’s still weird.
6. Don’t invite people to events if they don’t live in your city. I’m glad you still live in our old college town, but guess what? I don’t. Even if I did, I still wouldn’t waste my Friday night listening to you play music at that vegan coffee shop I frequented when I was 19 because I couldn’t get into bars.
7. I’m sorry your grandfather died of emphysema, but I will not join your “cause.”
8. Make sure all your photos are rotated in the proper direction. How will people know how fun your Fourth of July barbecue was if every picture looks like you fell over?
9. If you create a group called “Lost my cell phone; need your numbers!,” I will join, but I won’t give you my number.
10. Cryptic status updates about your mental state – “Rachel is trying so hard,” “Rachel wishes things were different,” “Rachel is starting her life over” – don’t make you sound intriguing, just lonely and pathetic.