Urban Eola

Shakin' a leg

"Dancing with the Stars" is without a doubt the best show on TV now. It provides eye candy - great bodies, retro/ stylish dance outfits, a potential workout (if you follow along), solid music, and great overall entertainment. I like it so much that for the first time ever, I actually voted for a reality, vote-ff show. I called in to vote for my favorite dancers Jerry Rice, Drew Lachey and George Hamilton. "Dancing with the Stars" appears on ABC on Thursdays at 8 pm and the results show follows on Friday night.

While I'm in the dancing spirit, I found a pretty funny, but understandably true, article. A new study published in the journal 'Nature' found that the best dancers are considered the most attractive by both men and women when it comes to choosing a mate. The reason: they have the most symmetrical bodies. The study examined filmed footage of 183 men and women dancing to the same song for one minute. 155 men and women then viewed the footage without being able to see the faces of the people in the footage. The results, women overwhelmingly choose symmetrical men and men also chose symmetrical women although in less overwhelming numbers. "As predicted, there was a significant effect of symmetry and sex, and there was a significant interaction between them on dance ability," concluded the study which was led by William Brown of Rutgers University in New Jersey.

Meanwhile, single men may want to take that dance class after all...

posted by Michael Tavani @ 3:21 AM | | links to this post

JibJab's latest

The Spiridellis brothers at JibJab are at it again. Have some political fun and watch their newest video, George W. Bush in 2-0-5.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 1:28 AM | | links to this post

Ali G interviews Becks and Posh

If you think Ali G is the funniest guy in the world (I think he is), you've got to check out his interview a couple years back of David Beckham and his wife Victoria aka Posh Spice. He makes even studly Beckham look bad. Ali G with Becks and Posh Video 1 and Video 2.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 2:33 PM | | links to this post

Roddick-Sharapova... a new doubles tandem?

Maria Sharapova and Andy Roddick have been romantically linked recently says an article by NBC Sports.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 2:27 PM | | links to this post

'Futbol' eye candy

Heather Mitts, 27, U.S.A. and Freddie Ljungberg, 28, Sweden.
A little fitness motivation from the two hottest soccer players in the world.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 10:28 PM | | links to this post

Start your business here

10 Best Metros for Small Businesses from Biz Journals.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 12:01 AM | | links to this post

Most anticipated movie ever?

The highly-awaited Da Vinci Code will be the opening-night movie at this year's Cannes Film Festival on May 17. The film is currently set for release on May 19, 2006, and will star Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon, Audrey Tautou as Sophie Neveu, and Sir Ian McKellen as Leigh Teabing.

The Da Vinci Code is a novel written by American author Dan Brown and published in 2003. It is a worldwide bestseller with 36 million copies in print (as of August 2005) and has been translated into 44 languages. Sony's Columbia Pictures is adapting the novel to film, with a screenplay written by Akiva Goldsman, and Academy Award winner Ron Howard directing.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 12:36 AM | | links to this post

Modernizing the wristwatch

Remember when the 1960s generation talked about the 30th birthday as the dividing line between the hip and the over-the-hill gang? Abbie Hoffman, one of the pied pipers of the hippy generation, said “never trust anyone over 30” and the idea stuck with his followers. But today’s younger generation may have come up with a different way of identifying the un-hip: The wristwatch. Yes, if you’re over 30, you’re probably wearing a wristwatch, and if you’re standing next to someone under 30, that someone may be thinking: “Why do old people wear those things? All watches do is show the time.”

According to The Wall Street Journal last week, sales of wristwatches in the $30 to $150 price range fell by 10% last year as young people are learning to rely more and more on cell phones, iPods, and similar multi-purpose devices to keep time. Sales of watches that cost more than $150 are still increasing, but that just proves the point: As the baby boom generation becomes older and financially more secure, it is trading up in timepieces. But then they’re out-of-date.

To survive, watchmakers are adding functions to the traditional wristwatch. Swatch, for instance, just introduced a watch called the “Paparazzi” that tells not only the time, but also displays news, horoscopes, and tips on local bars and nightclubs. Other watch brands can display messages or store and play music. But that means watches are turning into cells and MP3 players. Dick Tracy would be amused.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 9:07 PM | | links to this post

Brand Profile #2 - Timbuk2

Timbuk2 is a San Francisco-based company started in 1989 that specializes in the making of ready-made and custom-made messenger bags that has built a solid reputation among cyclists, road messengers and regular people alike. They also make tote and duffel bags.

While in New York City this past summer, I saw their swirl logo all over the city without knowing it was Timbuk2. In some ways, that is the best form of marketing...place a logo on popular, good-looking products everywhere and let curious consumers find out what brand it represents.

Definitely check out their stuff because they are the best in their biz

posted by Michael Tavani @ 7:45 PM | | links to this post

Never tell a women she can't cook

posted by Michael Tavani @ 2:53 PM | | links to this post

Yele Haiti

Yéle Haiti is a non-political movement established by mulitiple Grammy Award-winning hip hop musician Wyclef Jean to assist his native land of Haiti (the poorest nation in the western hemisphere) and make a difference through projects in education, health, environment and humanitarian assistance.

Yele Haiti has a very cool logo and one of the best looking websites around, including a rare gallery of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's visit to Haiti for Yele Haiti's 1st birthday celebration last week. Yele Haiti gallery of Wyclef, Angelina, and Brad - 1/13/06.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 1:47 PM | | links to this post

The good life

Forbes puts out great lists on everything you can imagine.

Visit their very informative Best of the Web - The Good Life with links to the best websites in all of the things people enjoy in life.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 1:22 AM | | links to this post

Levi's tailors jeans to fit iPod...and an iPod belt buckle

Is that an iPod in your pocket or...oh, forget it
By Tony Smith
The Register - January 11, 2006

Jeans-maker Levi Strauss has designed a pair of denim trousers with an integrated iPod remote control. The jeans also provide an iPod dock and retractable earphones.

The hardware tucks into the trouser's special side pocket - neatly side-stepping those bottom-broken back-pocket iPod Nano blues. The controller is located in the watch pocket, itself tucked into the right front pocket - which is surely going to lead to male users getting some very odd looks while they innocently switch from Whitesnake to Johnny and the Hot Rods.

A more practical arrangement, perhaps, is ProductM's newly announced TuneBuckle iPod Nano belt. As the company's name suggests, the iPod clips securely onto the belt's specially designed "high-grade aluminium" buckle holster, ready for easy access. The strap is made of leather and available in black or white.

Levi's hasn't revealed what it will charge for its iPod pants, but it confirmed that the strides are due to go on sale in the autumn under the RedWire DLX brand. TuneBuckle will cost $49.95 when it ships in the US. ProductM didn't say when TuneBuckle will ship.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 1:44 AM | | links to this post

World O' Meters

Check out the world in numbers - World O Meters.
Pretty fascinating.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 10:02 PM | | links to this post

Tech weekend #2 - Skype

If you haven't heard of or used Skype yet, you've gotta look into it. It allows you to call anyone anywhere in the world over the computer for free. I heard about it a couple months back and didn't think much of it. But after downloading the program and actually talking through the speakers in my computer after only a 5-minute hassle-free process, I am now sold on it.

The calls are very clear and it's so easy. No accessories needed. No cost. Nothing. If I knew someone in Tokyo I'd definitely call them tomorrow.

I hope it crushes phone companies and especially cell phone companies which tend to treat their customers like crap because they can.

A little about Skype from Wikipedia:

Skype (rhymes with type) is a proprietary peer-to-peer Internet telephony (VoIP) network, founded by Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, the creators of KaZaA. The Skype Group is headquartered in Luxembourg with offices also in London and Tallinn. Skype users can speak to other Skype users for free, call traditional telephone numbers for a fee (SkypeOut), receive calls from traditional phones for a fee (SkypeIn), and receive voicemail messages for a fee.

In a deal generally criticized by many as overpriced eBay has recently acquired the company for $2.6 billion in cash and stock, plus an additional $1.5 billion in rewards if goals are met by 2008.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 11:46 PM | | links to this post

Tech weekend #1 - Apple store

I went to the Apple store in the Mall at Millenia yesterday (the nicest mall in Central Florida) and the place was electric with energy. People are walking by staring at the "apple" logo, looking befuddled and mesmerized with what's going on inside.

All the computers in the store are connected to the internet. You have little kids surfing the web on Apple's clean, modern and stylish computers. My theory is that people walk in the door because of the iPod but end up realizing how sick the rest of the products are. You get a vibe just by entering the store that this company is bound for something bigger even than what they are now. A guy working there told me it has the most foot traffic in the mall, which is by the way a gigantic mall.

Definitely check out an Apple store in a city near you.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 10:23 PM | | links to this post

The world's best looking kid

Here's baby Jolie-Pitt. That's either a hot dude or a man-ly chick.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 1:35 PM | | links to this post

Million dollar homepage

Very creative idea by a UK student to sell one million pixels on a web page at $1/ pixel to raise money to pay for his education.

Great write up in the Startup Journal and visit the Million Dollar Homepage.

Quick description from Wikipedia.com:

The Million Dollar Homepage is a website conceived by Alex Tew, a 21-year old student from Wiltshire, England to help raise money for his university education. Launched on August 26, 2005, the website has (as of January 3, 2006) generated a gross income of $999,000 and has a Google PageRank of 7.

The index page of the site consists of a 1000 x 1000 pixel grid (one million pixels), which he sells image-based links on for US $1 per pixel, in minimum ten by ten blocks. A person who buys one or more of these pixelblocks can design a tiny image which will be displayed on them, and also decide a URL which he or she wants them to link to, as well as a slogan displayed when hovering the cursor over the link. The aim of the site was to sell all of the pixels in the image, thus generating one million dollars of income for the creator, which has been accomplished.
On January 1, 2006, the final 1,000 pixels left were put up for auction on ebay.co.uk. The auction closed on January 11 with the winning bid of $38,100.00. This brought the final tally to $1,037,000 in profits.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 1:38 AM | | links to this post

Well said...

Great point from my buddy Rudy:

Just some interesting news since I am a huge advocate of the natural athlete and think baseball's steroid policy is an absolute joke. A female tennis player who was a quarterfinalist at last year's French Open has been banned for 2 years for doping. You want to get rid of steroids, that is how you do it.

Read the Forbes article - Karatantcheva banned two years for doping.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 8:38 PM | | links to this post

Outside the frappuccino

Starbucks, one of my all-time favorite businesses, is one of the most innovative companies in the world. They took the common European coffehouse concept and turned it into an American stalwart.

Customers don't necessarily go because their coffee is so good, but because it's an ideal environment to kill an hour. It has become THE place to meet and hang out. In most U.S. cities except New York, there aren't places to lounge around in a non-smoky, quiet, and sleek environment. Customers love the fact they can walk into any Starbucks from Atlanta to New York to Seattle and know they'll get a similar high quality look, feel and product. People like it so much they don't even realize that they're paying $4.00 for a coffee.

Here's some interesting facts about Howard Schultz's company:
- Starbucks was named after the first mate in "Moby Dick".
- The first Starbucks opened in 1971 in Seattle's Pike Place Market.
- All employees get health care (even part timers!).
- Each new barista must taste every type of coffee.
- An office was opened in Costa Rica to help teach farmers how to grow the best-tasting coffee.
- Coffee beans take eight months to go from harvest to roasting.
- Starbucks sells eight million poiunds of coffee each week.
- The freshest bag of coffee will be the puffiest because it is still emitting gas.
- Starbucks loans money to farmers so they can invest in improving their farms.
- Fortune magazine named Starbucks the 11th best company to work for.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 4:14 PM | | links to this post

American Express ads

These American Express ads have been popping up recently in different magazines. Usually the spot contains a celeb-filled out form and a blank one for the reader to fill out.

How would you answer these questions?

Michael Tavani

Tiger Woods

Mike Krzyewski

Laird Hamilton

posted by Michael Tavani @ 3:51 PM | | links to this post

Can your shoes do this?

For those of you who don't know of him, Ronaldinho is probably the best soccer player in the world right now on the best team in the world, Brazil. I've always thought he looks like a chipmunk, but when you're that good it doesn't matter.

A quick bio:

Ronaldo de Assis Moreira born March 21, 1980 in Brazil is more commonly known as Ronaldinho. Ronaldinho is Portuguese for Little Ronaldo, and the nickname was given to distinguish the then rising star from fellow Brazilian star Ronaldo.

He was part of Brazil's 2002 World Cup winning team and was voted 2005 European footballer of the Year along with 2004 and 2005 FIFA World Player of the Year, making Ronaldinho the current holder of both major individual soccer awards.

Check out this insane video.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 12:36 AM | | links to this post

Reggie Bush high school highlight reel

Fans of college football know that Reggie Bush is electric on the football field. They also know that he is the 2005 Heisman Trophy-winning running back from University of Southern Cal. He is a generational player the likes of which might not be seen again for awhile. What they don't know is that he's been doing that same stuff since high school.

At Helix High School in the San Diego area, Reggie Bush did some stuff that was just plain nasty. This 8-minute video is being passed around underground circles like a rare Phish concert DAT tape or the hot commodity and1 street tour tapes. USC shows it to entertain recruits. It was also "the Tape" that sold USC coaches on Reggie Bush. After watching it they knew they had to have him.

Reggie Bush is not only the man on the football field, he is well-spoken, solid looking and a good guy. He has style, flair (he writes "619" on his eye black strips in respect to his hometown of San Diego and it has become legendary), personality and after watching this tape, some major on-field talent. He is a marketing dream. Nike and Reebok will pay millions.

"Bush's college highlights have made him a national phenomenon, but his pre-college highlights are the grainy stuff of prep legend," says the New York Times of the highlight film.

The story and video clip are from the New York Times.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 11:28 PM | | links to this post

Picture this

Look around at any party, graduation, or sporting event. Digital cameras are everywhere. They have always been known for their ease of use and cool ammenities and now they are extremely affordable. It's funny how younger kids automatically look at the back of the camera after posing for a photo. They will never know what it's like to use film or Polaroids for that matter. Since practically everyone in the world has some type of camera, I figured I'd post tips on how to take better pictures.

Digital cameras are perfect for trying new tricks. You don't have to develop each picture and you can immediately decide if you like it or not. Now's a great time to start snapping away.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 11:58 PM | | links to this post

Brand Profile #1 - Gravis footwear & bags

This is the first in a series of brand profiles on creative and up-and-coming companies that are on the verge of breaking through to the big leagues. I am constantly discovering innovative brands that most people don't know about. From now on I will post my findings here.

Gravis Footwear caught my eye on two separate ocassions within the past month. With their simple, good-looking logo and memorable shoe design, both at Marshalls in Orlando and City Sports in Atlanta, I was drawn to look further at the brand.

The company designs shoes, bags and clothes and has a modern website that caters mostly to the urban market although they originally started as a shoe company geared toward the snowboarding apparel market.

Gravis was started in 1998 by Burton Snowboard Company to create comfortable, durable, ingenious products with everyday function and style and is based in Burlington, Vermont.

Their line of sneaks and bags is designed by some top-notch designers with an extremely creative flair. Each product is part of a separate-looking collection designed by a different designer.

They carry everything from iPod holders to computer bags, yoga bags, purses, teacher-style bags, messenger bags, and backpacks to go along with their bevy of casual shoe designs. Surprisingly for a smaller size apparel company they actually have a large selection of everything. Gravis also has some pretty stylish urban apparel designs like tees, hats, beanies, sweatshirts, etc.

Gravis footwear & bags is just the type of company UrbanEola hopes to profile and associate with.

Remember where you saw it first.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 2:20 AM | | links to this post

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