Urban Eola

The Hoff phenomenon

For years now loyal Urban Eola reader, RW has been running his mouth about the German infatuation with David "the Hoff" Hasselhoff while trying to get me to jump on the Hoff bandwagon. He always told me stories about how Hoff's song "Looking for Freedom" was played when the Berlin Wall was taken down and as a result it's become Germany's unofficial national anthem. And how Dirk Nowitzki hymns that same song to concentrate when at the foul line during games. And how Hoff blames his lackluster U.S. musical following on the O.J. Simpson car chase (his big pay-per-view concert was on the same night and Hoff honestly believes that his career in the U.S. would have taken off if not for O.J.).

It wasn't until after I watched his new video "Jump in my car that I realized exactly what the Germans see (the last scene is legendary). This guy is potentially one of the least talented, biggest cheeseball entertainers of the of the last 150 years. And he knows it. Yet that's what makes him larger than life in Germany. He has capitalized on the fact that Germans are apparently looking for an American icon to fall in love with. Do they think all Americans are like Hoff?

Check out these sites: The Hoff shrine - agodamongmen.com, hasselhoff.info, dropitlikeitshoff.com - they're hilarious.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 10:24 PM | | links to this post

Italian fashion trends

AskMen.com is a great resource for men. Check out their article on Italian fashion tips. Like I said in the second Urban Eola post ever, Europe is at least a year ahead of the States when it comes to cretain things - fashion being one of those. And Italy is leading the pack. AskMen says it best: "Italian fashion often paves the way for fashion trends throughout the rest of the world. As a result, noting these trends can be especially useful for anyone who wants to stay a bit ahead of the style curve. Italian fashion is also easily accessible. Whether it be through trusty and convenient internet shopping or by visiting a boutique in the nearest city, the difficulty in embracing Italian fashion turns out not to be so much about availability, but about finding a way to pay for it."

posted by Michael Tavani @ 10:50 AM | | links to this post

Creative business for young people

I can't get enough info, articles, or websites on young people being entrepreneurial and starting businesses of their own. The problem is that they're hard to find. A couple blogs about the process of starting a company written by young entrepreneurs that I've been reading recently:

- Cafe Evoke - a coffee shop
- The Moxie - an independent movie house
- Sports Lizard - sports collectibles site

SportsLizard led me to an awesome site called Trizoko, a badass business journal whose mantra is: "helping your business change the freakin' world". The site is definitely worth a look. Read a very interesting entry "How to Earn $1 Million in 30 Days", which chronicles a 27-year-old's unlikely entrepreneurial project - to make $1 million with one month, using only a cell phone, a digital camera, and a $100 bill, to get a flavor of the Trizoko. (A million bucks in a month - Business Week)

posted by Michael Tavani @ 1:09 PM | | links to this post

Governor Barkley in Alabama?

My favorite athlete of all-time, Charles Barkley, might be running for Governor of Alabama in 2010. "I really believe I was put on Earth to do more than play basketball and stockpile money," Barkley said. "I really want to help people improve their lives, and what's left is for me to decide how best to do that." Gov. Barkley? Sir Charles eyeing office in Alabama - ESPN

posted by Michael Tavani @ 10:52 AM | | links to this post

Scarlett (Hearts) Rbk

In another example of the merger between athletics/entertainment/pop culture, Reebok (owned by adidas) signed Match Point hottie Scarlett Johannson to a four-year deal. The Scarlett (Hearts) Rbk collection of athletic-inspired pieces such as hoodies, T-shirts and track jackets will draw retro influences from the ’70s and ’80s. Reebok has designs on Scarlett: H-wood "it" girl aims to pump up saggin sales - Boston Herald.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 11:09 PM | | links to this post

The power of branding

Austrian website Monochrom (an art-technology-philosophy group) attempts to investigate branding power by asking consumers to draw 12 famous logos from memory. *once you get to the Monochrome site, click on each logo to see the result.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 4:23 PM | | links to this post

Man has run 100,000 miles since 1980

This is a pretty amazing human feat. A 62-year-old guy from Atlanta has run 100,000 miles since 1980. Some amazing numbers from his streak:

- 100,000 is the equivalent of circling the globe 4x
- Longest streak without running in 26 years is 6 days
- His average run over 26 years is 10.3 miles (that's absolutely amazing!)

From 100,000 mile obsession - Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "Jim Short of Atlanta never actually circled the globe, but the 62-year-old retiree has run the equivalent of it four times — 100,000 miles — since Jan. 30, 1980, when he began recording every mile in a journal he's maintained as meticulously as the accounting major he once was.

Since 1980, the longest Short has gone without running was six days in 1996 because of a heel injury.

Short, a California native who moved to Atlanta in 1973, is believed to be the second Georgian to have documented 100,000 running miles.

The first was Scott Ludwig, a Peachtree City marathoner whose streak of running each day since Nov. 30, 1978, is the 37th-longest in the country, according to the U.S. Running Streak Association.

The USRSA also keeps track of runners who have eclipsed 100,000 during their streaks, and Ludwig became the 11th nationwide on Nov. 24, 2005, during the Atlanta Marathon.

"It's very unusual because you've got to be fairly healthy, and you've got to stick with it for a very long time," Ludwig said.

Along with the volume of miles, Short's accomplishment stands out for its average miles per day. At a gentler rate of three miles, it would've taken him 91 years to hit 100,000. Instead, Short has averaged 10.3 miles."

posted by Michael Tavani @ 9:51 AM | | links to this post

Web 2.0 logos

I'm a huge fan of logos. Especially web 2.0 logos. They're simple, colorful, catchy, modern-looking, and usually have a glass-y finish to them. Here's a good description.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 2:28 PM | | links to this post

Traditions of the Tour de France

If you've watched the Tour de France the last couple of weeks, you'll notice that the overall leader gets a yellow jersey, a stuffed lion, and a kiss from two (usually hot) podium girls. I wondered what these traditions were all about and thought to myself how awesome they are.

Here's the stroy behind these traditions.
Yellow jersey :: "Maillot jaune" is the jersey worn by the current overall leader of many bicycle races, originally and most notably the Tour de France. It is French for "yellow jersey." It allows the rider who was in the overall lead at the end of the previous day to be easily identified during the race. The overall leader is the one with the lowest cumulative time for the race so far. The holder will normally receive three separate jerseys per day he is the leader from sponsor Nike: a podium-only jersey which zips up the back, the jersey he wears when riding and an unworn copy of the race jersey to keep.

Interesting side point :: Lance Armstrong used to mispronounce the French words "maillot jaune" to closely resemble Mellow Johnny. As a result he sometimes checked into hotels under the fake name Johnny Mellow.

Stuffed lion :: French bank Credit Lyonnais who for 25 years has sponsored the yellow jersey developed the iconic tradition of the yellow jersey-holder receiving a stuffed lion (the company's mascot) on the podium, which the riders have been known to keep as a memento or give to their children if they have any.

Podium girls :: Read this USA Today article about them - Women of the Tour deliver kisses, jerseys.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 4:40 PM | | links to this post

Find the cheapest airfare

When planning a flight, you've always searched for the best deal. This usually means laboring at the computer searching different days, times, etc. The other option involves calling the different airlines directly and trying to swing the best deal. Either way, you're looking at a very time consuming task.

Now there are two websites that can help in finding the best current price for airfare, both using interesting techniques:

1) FareCompare.com: For the first time available to consumers, FareCompare.com offers historical prices for trips in 77,000 markets in the U.S. and Canada. FareCompare displays the lowest prices offered by month for the next 11 months. Included in this information is a "Fare Trend" graph showing whether the lowest prices have been increasing, decreasing or unchanged. They also provide widgets and plug-ins for Google Desktop, FireFox, Dashboard, and Yahoo!. Once you find the fare you want from the airline you chose, they will link you to that airlines site to purchase the ticket.

2) Farecast.com: Now in beta, Farecast.com offers a proprietary system that provides "airfare prediction". The concept of using sophisticated data-mining techniques to predict whether prices for a particular trip are likely to go up or down over the next week seems ideal. However, the only departure cities you can currently search are limited to Boston and Seattle. Farecast has said that it should have most cities included by the end of the year. This really looks promising!

posted by Michael Tavani @ 10:51 AM | | links to this post

Bottle vs tap water

An L.A. Times article (The bottle-versus-tap-debate) revealed that consumers spend 10 billion dollars annually on bottled water which undergoes a far less scrupulous testing regimen than big-city tap water systems. Municipalities are required to test for fecal coliform bacteria over 100 times per month and to make their results public, while bottled water facilities are only required to perform these tests once weekly and do not have to publicize their findings. This information--coupled with a June United Nations Environmental Program report finding an average of 46,000 pieces of plastic debris floating near the surface of every square mile of ocean--may be good encouragement to stick with tap water.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 10:46 AM | | links to this post


If you find humor in the photos to the right (Borat at the Cannes Film Festival and Borat after a ping pong match), then you will want to see Borat: Cultural Learnings from America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan when it comes out in November 2006.

Check out this hilarious page and pictures of the movie on Yahoo. The funny thing is that he was threatened to be sued by the country of Kazakhstan for a few skits involving the country. What will they do after they see this movie?

Here's the movie description from Apple's site (with trailer): "Sacha Baron Cohen - star of HBO’s hit comedy “Da Ali G Show,” takes his outrageous Kazakshtani reporter character Borat to the big screen. In this hilariously offensive movie, Borat travels from his primitive home in Kazakhstan to the U.S. to make a documentary. On his cross-country road-trip, Borat meets real people in real situations."

Check out official (hilarious) and unnofficial Borat homepage (also hilarious).

By the way, "jagshemash" is a Kazakhstani greeting made famous by Sacha Baron Cohen, aka Ali G, in character as Borat. Closest interprtation is "hello". Example: "Jagshemash! I like you!" *must be said with Kazakhstani accent.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 10:07 PM | | links to this post

What's hotter?

You know my choice. *click to enlarge

posted by Michael Tavani @ 9:13 PM | | links to this post


This is balls-to-the-wall. Some dude named Winter has a goal of visiting every Starbucks location in the world. Over the past decade, he's hit almost 6,000 different stores. He's hit as many as 30 in one day. It is his routine to drink a half-cup of coffee at each Starbucks he visits, and he customarily photographs each cafe as well. Check out his site at Starbuckseverywhere.net. Also, read these stories on him - Meet Winter: Starbucks Hunter, Texan to visit every Starbucks in the world, Winter: Coffee hunter. There's also a documentary about him titled Starbucking. Read about it here - Film follows quest to visit every Starbucks.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 8:13 PM | | links to this post

Photo ops

I can't believe I just discovered this. SI.com has awesome pics of all kinds of different sporting-related events & topics. Some of their best categories: Athletes and their Celebrity Partners, Top 15 Greatest College Athletes, College sports #1 Celebrity Fans, Athletes and their Tattoos, Future Watch: Sports Stars of Tomorrow, NBA Finals Cheerleaders, Most Exciting Athletes, and Athletes Graduation photos.

Check out the rest of SI.com's photo galleries.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 12:04 AM | | links to this post

Good for them

In my eyes, Hollywood is usually a bunch of cheesy, average talent, young people who try to stay in the spotlight while usually forgetting their roots and generally not "keeping it real". However, I spot out some exceptions every once in a while.

Nick Lachey seems like one of those exceptions. He dresses like most normal young guys with the flip flops, baseball hats and t-shirts, yet styles it up when he has to. On Newlyweds he seemed like a good guy who liked to do his own work around the house. He's passionate about college athletics (Cincy basketball, Miami of Ohio and USC football). He attended a high school for performing arts in Cincy and actually worked on developing his talent. And his brother, Drew was down-to-earth and another all-around class act on Dancing with the Stars.

Nick's now supposedly linked with Vanessa Minnillo. These are the first pics I've seen of them holding hands and looking like a pair. To this I say good for him because Minnillo's a babe and Jessica's dad is a tool shed.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 9:32 PM | | links to this post

Right on.

"Kelley Howell, a 38-year-old architect, got on her bicycle a little after 5 a.m. and rode 7.9 miles past shopping centers, housing developments and a nature preserve to a bus stop to complete her 24-mile commute to work. Compared with driving in her 2004 Mini Cooper, the 15.8-mile round trip by bicycle conserved approximately three fifths of a gallon of gasoline, subtracting 15 pounds of potential carbon dioxide pollution from the atmosphere (minus the small additional amount she exhaled as a result of her exertion). That's 15 pounds out of 1.7 billion tons of carbon produced annually to fuel all the vehicles in the United States. She concedes that when you look at it that way, it doesn't seem like very much. "But if you're not doing something and the next family isn't doing anything, then who will?"

- Read the rest of this Newsweek article - Green America: Why Environmentalism is Hot

posted by Michael Tavani @ 10:48 PM | | links to this post

Extra tasty!

This a pretty sweet site created by some pretty creative guys.
ExtraTasty lets you create your “My Bar” page by entering in all the booze, mixers and garnishes you have at home. Then it tells you what drink recipes you can make.

Submit your own recipes and tell other people how great or awful theirs are by rating them and leaving comments. ExtraTasty will also combine similar recipes by listing alternate ways to mix a drink. The site also allows you to link up with your friends to see what they like or don’t and compare recipes.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 2:43 AM | | links to this post

Sports + entertainment = ESPY's

I love watching the cross-section of sports and entertainment. They usually meet somewhere in the middle, but recently the merger has been leaning more towards the entertainment side. Like they always say, athletes want to be entertainers and entertainers want to be athletes. They each have what the other one doesn't. Athletes are usually fit and physically gifted and admired. Entertainers are stylish and smooth in front of the camera.

ESPN's ESPY awards, which started in 1993 with Jimmy V's awesome speech, is essentially the Academy Awards of sports. Lance Armstrong is hosting this year's version on ESPN this Sunday at 9 PM ET. Check out the official ESPY site. Following are some pictures via People Magazine of the events leading up to the ESPY's. Need I plug the event anymore?

The ESPY's also give you two good reasons to donate money to cancer research: Jimmy V and Lance Armstrong. Through their respective foundations you'll have even more incentive to donate by either getting a copy of one of the most inspirational speeches of all time or 10 Livestrong bracelets.

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

Conan at Stuy High

Could you imagine one of the funniest guys of our time speaking at your high school graduation? Stuyvesant High School in NYC had Conan O'Brien as commencement speaker. He's not even the most famous commencement speaker they've had. Bill Clinton spoke there in 2002. Watch Conan's speech here (part I, II).

Urban Eola take :: Stuyvesant High School, located in Battery Park City near the World Trade Center site, is one of the best high schools in the nation. It's buildings look like a college. The land that it's built on must be worth a fortune as it's on the Hudson River overlooking the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and across the water, Jersey City. I know this because I used to run by it a couple times a week last summer. Famous alumni include Lucy Liu, Paul Reiser, Tim Robbins and Frank McCourt taught there for 20 years.

Urban Eola double take :: Conan O'Brien is one of my top 2 funniest people in the world next to Sacha Baron Cohen aka Ali G (check out his version of a graduation speech at Harvard in 2004).


posted by Michael Tavani @ 7:50 PM | | links to this post

More big names supporting cause

Tom Brokaw is joining Al Gore in the fight against global warming (read previous post here). He's hosting "Global Warming: What You Need to Know," which doubles as an explainer and call to action for average Americans. It premieres Sunday, July 16th at 9 p.m. ET on the Discovery Channel and re-airs Saturday, July 22, at 8 p.m. ET. Make sure to check out the show.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 1:08 AM | | links to this post

World Cup conspiracy?

Zidane is protesting his red card in the World Cup final. He submitted this video of the Italian team practicing along with his appeal.

Haha. Forza Italia! Bravissimi! Much respect to Italia and the national soccer team for winning the only "true" world championship and becoming 2006 World Cup Champions (4th title for Italy). Props go to my studs of the tournament from Italy: Gianluigi Buffon, Fabio Grosso, Fabio Cannvaro, Genarro Gattuso, and Andrea Pirlo.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 12:54 AM | | links to this post

Bear of a commute

What the F! What are the chances of a frickin' bear breaking loose on the busiest highway in metro Atlanta during morning rush hour? Luckily the camera crews were there to capture it (WSB TV - Bear coverage) and I was there to comment on it.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 2:59 AM | | links to this post

A little for the girls now

All guys should take note of this site for two reasons. 1) you can find cool stuff for your girl here for any ocassion, and 2) you can recommend it to your girl so she can have something to do on the internet while you're out "playing basketball with the guys" for the fourth straight night. Even though I've talked about this site before, it now has a female companion site to please those underserved women (note: women are only underserved on the internet and in a couple rare exceptions, the bedroom).

Urban Eola take :: These two sites kind of remind me of that clothing store idea where chicks shop for their stuff in a store while there's a section for their guys with entertaining stuff like magazines, video games, a mini golf putting green, landing strips, etc. Also, these are two of the cleanest looking sites around, with highly artistic display of products. Men's version >> Uncrate. Women's version >> Outblush.

Women: check out these links for a demo of the good stuff they post (Los Tankini & Hipster, Paul Smith Crescent Hobo, Wedding Day Survival Kit, Juicy Couture Three tier dress, Take out menu organizer, Retro print headbands)

posted by Michael Tavani @ 10:45 AM | | links to this post

Behind the $0.75

Check out this entertaining and creative new Coke commercial.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 10:42 AM | | links to this post

Once in a Lifetime

If I could pick all of my favorite things and throw them into a movie, it would turn out like Once in a Lifetime (official site) a feature-length documentary about pop culture, girls, goals, drama, and the New York Cosmos. Watch the Once in a Lifetime trailer on Apple. Read the Tribeca Review of Once in a Lifetime. Hilarious and nicely-written review from a British perspective - Once in a Lifetime - Future Movies review. And an excellent review by Avid. The movie opens in NYC today and nationwide July 14.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 9:48 AM | | links to this post

Two good sites

HowStuffWorks (about) and EBaumsWorld (about) are two entertaining sites that deserve a look.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 3:06 PM | | links to this post

Flatulence from up above

You gotta laugh at Robert Tilton (aka The Farting Preacher). The facial expressions are second to none.

By the way flatulence is explained here.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 1:43 PM | | links to this post


An oldie but a classic. The tagline "true" is also classic. Whassup even has a Wikipedia entry.

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

Amazing snaps

I stumbled upon one of the best photography sites I've ever seen as I was looking for a trail picture for my last post on the environment. This guy Corey Rich, a 29-year-old adventure photographer from California, deserves much respect because his photos are stunning.

Here's a clip of his bio from his site:
"Himself a climber, adventurer, and photojournalist, Rich has photographed a wide array of assignments, including rock climbing in Mexico, surfing in Panama, freight-train hopping in the American West, ultra-marathon racing in the Sahara Desert of Morocco, and snowboarding in Papua New Guinea."

posted by Michael Tavani @ 12:28 PM | | links to this post

Pay for what you use

I saw Inconvenient Truth last night (blogged about the movie previously here and here) and strongly encourage all Urban Eola readers to see it. Make an effort to see it ASAP because it's not a big budget mega-movie that will be out in the theatres for months.

Anyone that knows me knows I'm not about politics one way or another. I'm passionate about
issues that I think are worthy to support for the betterment of people, life, things, etc.

As I learned in college from Professor James Porter, the environment is one of those no-brainer causes that is worth the effort and needs everyone's help (see Leonardo DiCaprio's short videos on the issue for more proof).

Here's an analogy: You sit for 30 minutes in Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village, New York City watching the street performers entertain you. If you enjoyed the entertainment value that they provided you, you'd most likely tip them a buck or so.

Well, everyone uses the earth's natural resources, whether it's sitting at the beach soaking up the sun and water or throwing a football in a beautiful public park or hiking a mountain or running on a natural trail. There is essentially no charge for using these natural forms of entertainment. Therefore, helping to protect and save the environment is our way of paying back the planet for our free use of it's resources.

It's about doing the right thing and making a difference, no matter how small it is. So go see
Inconvenient Truth and let's discuss its impact.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 10:53 AM | | links to this post

Retro T's

Quick: Who said “I feel the need, the need for speed!”? What is the “Contra Code”? How did Ralphie’s dad pronounce the word “fragile?” And where exactly is Fraggle Rock? If you know any of the above answers, perhaps it’s time for a visit to 80sTees.com.

Prepare to stay awhile, though. The site is chock-full of memories in the form of t-shirts. While some are obvious '80s icons — who could forget Rainbow Brite, “I’ve been slimed,” or The Karate Kid — others are more obscure references to '80s pop culture, identifiable only by others who came of age during that decade. Greyskull, GI Joe, Punky Brewster and ALF are all there; ditto Bon Jovi, Whitesnake, Pat Benatar and Guns N’ Roses.

Urban Eola take :: 80'sTees.com has some pretty sweet old-school t-shirts, which by the way are the best and easiest way to simply pull off being a stud. Just throw one on with some jeans and you're on your way.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 6:00 PM | | links to this post

Mens entertainment served daily

I ran across this pretty solid site for dudes called Savvy, which labels itself as a men's lifestyle portal. Give it a look.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 5:53 PM | | links to this post

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