Blake Snow

content advisor, recognized journalist, bodacious writer-for-hire

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The Promise is the greatest one-hit wonder from the Eighties

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After much deliberation, and nearly two decades later, I have finally made up my mind: The Promise by When In Rome is the greatest one-hit wonder from the Eighties. It’s better than Devo’s Whip It, better than A-Ha’s Take On Me (A-ha), more lasting than Come On Eileen by Dexy’s Midnight Runners, more diverse than Tainted Love by Soft Cell, and has more heart than Rapper’s Delight by the Sugarhill Gang. It’s so choice, as is the beat, the contrasting vocals, and the splendid synth bass.

The hair? Not so much.

Review: The Mutt is a compelling autobiography and page turner

The Mutt: How to Skateboard and Not Kill YourselfAfter a quick and entertaining three days, I finished reading The Mutt: How to Skateboard and Not Kill Yourself by Rodney Mullen, the most influential skater in history. No, it’s not a how-to book, as my wife first believed

Written in 2004 with the help of author Sean Mortimer, The Mutt has less to do with skateboarding and more to do with lifehacks, storytelling, business, relationships, and trying to please an impossible father. Mullen is obviously neurotic, but he comes off being genuine and likable in the book. And it’s easy to see how he became the greatest in his field, arguably more so than Tony Hawk, due to his insane work ethic. Just reading about his stingy regime makes me feel lazy, but it’s also motivating.

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Dashed hopes aside, Ron Paul homebrew advert is impressive

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Without marketing dollars which he sorely lacked, Ron Paul didn’t stand a chance at becoming U.S. president. But you can’t deny his message, which is the federal government has grossly overextended itself leading to a decrease in privacy, liberty, security, and economic stability.

Smaller government and fiscal responsibility, please. Please — it’s the only way we can get back on track, like putting an oxygen mask on yourself before helping others.

Get busy living, or get busy dying.

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Randy Pausch, a computer science professor diagnosed with terminal cancer, clearly understands the value of life. His thoughts on carpe diem, achieving your childhood dreams, and materialism are precise, inspired, and honest (no gimmicks here).

At the time of his discourse (Sept. 2007), doctors said Pausch would have “three to six months” to live. As of today, he is still alive. His original full-length lecture at Carnegie Mellon can be found here.

See also: My attempts to be a shoe designer | You have a choice

Review: The King of Kong is twisting with conflict and loaded with nerds

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Lindsey and I watched The King of Kong: Fistful of Quarters on Wednesday, a hilariously funny “documentary” that follows Steve Wiebe as he attempts to overtake the world’s highest score in a game of Donkey Kong from reigning champion Billy Mitchell.

Not only is the movie entertaining, but it’s cleverly presented in “good vs. evil” fashion, boasts an awesome soundtrack, and features some very creative transition effects. Oh, and it stars lots of socially inept individuals who are fun to watch.

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Again, Freakonomics authors liken voting to playing the lottery

On this, a near-deciding Super Tuesday in American politics, Freakonomics author Stephen J. Dubner reminds us that statistically, your vote is rarely a deciding factor in an election. I’m posting this to feel good about myself for not voting today, especially after sending a fiscally conservative Ron Paul a coupla benjis in contributions which weren’t enough.

See also: My homeland is in a world of hurt | The silver lining of mainstream POTUS candidates

Watch Fonz “jump the shark” on Happy Days

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Jump the shark
– a term to describe a moment when something that was once great has reached a point where it will now decline in quality and popularity. Going downhill. (The Urban Dictionary)

My favorite part is at 4:09 in, where Richie says, “A shark! That is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard… Fonz, you’re not jumping over garbage cans on a bike, you’re jumping over a shark!” The suspense crescendos at 8:35.

Wind farms hope to restore rural America

I watched an inspiring documentary on PBS this weekend — Harvesting the Wind narrated by Morgan Freeman. The film profiles wind farmers from southwest Minnesota, and how they are harvesting wind energy to provide local power and supplemental income for a decline in crop profitability.

The idea, which has shown initial success, is that wind farming can bring business back to small town America, without multinationals owning all the pie. In Minnesota, more than 25 percent of wind farms are owned by private individuals or cooperatives to keep money within the community.

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Poll: Where do your HD loyalties lie?

In light of recent news that Warner Bros picked Blu-ray over HD-DVD, there’s talk that the HD format war is essentially over, as nearly 75 percent of all studios pick Blu. Paramount and Universal, the last of the big five movie studios, are rumored to be following suit in an effort to avoid consumer confusion at retail.

Even though I own a Blu-ray player, I’m kind of rooting for a stale mate so we can bypass optical media altogether and go straight to downloads. I don’t even buy Blu-ray movies (only renting them) because I’m unconvinced that’s how HD should be consumed. Sure, the picture is gorgeous, though to a lesser extent than the transition from VHS to DVD. So I ask…

Two movies I want to see this fall

Lindsey and I went to see The Invasion tonight. It’s a solid, creepy movie that doesn’t drag on too much, has some awesome foreshadowing cinematics, and presents a rather believable story. Good stuff.

The trailers before the film were pretty good also. Here are two movies I plan to see this fall…

Dan in Real Life

Elizabeth: The Golden Age

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The Best Music Video. Ever.

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I’m on a kick of digging up old-school YouTube videos lately when I should be working, but I couldn’t pass this one up. It’s Radiohead’s most excellent No Surprises video (it’s also my favorite track from OK Computer). Don’t be fooled, though; director Grant Lee used ninja editing skills to make it appear as if lead singer Thom York held his breath longer than he really did.

GamePro: The Best (and Worst) Video Game Commercials

More than 5,000 video game commercials can be found on Game Ad’s online archive. That’s a lot of ads. Sadly, a majority of them aren’t worth your time, so we’ve taken it upon ourselves to hand pick the best using only the finest ingredients; humor, creativity, cachet and a hint of nostalgia. Peep ’em. They’re the best video game commercials of all-time:

Continue reading at GamePro…

Hilarious Starburst commercial

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I realize this commercial is over a year old, but it still cracks me up. And you gotta watch it a second time for the full klepto goodness. But on an advertising ROI basis, I’m not sure if the ad increases Starburst’s bottom-line. It may only be memorable via its wittiness rather than its ability of creating an emotional impulse to buy more Starbursts. Regardless, it’s good stuff.

Candor in defeat

This is tennis player Andy Roddick during a press conference after getting schlacked (even bageled) by super-human and world number one Roger Federer in the Australian Open semifinals. To set the stage, Federer owns Roddick. He now has a 10-1 winning record against the fifth ranked American. Despite this, Roddick has made several in-roads up to this point even beating Federer in a a warm up match just two weeks ago. But he may be competing against the greatest tennis player who has ever lived. Tough break. And though dropping some censored expletives during his post-game interview, Andy’s candor in defeat is admirably, likable, refreshing, and extremely funny. Well played (the press conference that is).