Urban Eola

After 107 years, Barca's jersey has a sponsor

For the first time in its 107 year history, reigning European champion FC Barcelona is now sporting the name of a sponsor on the front of its jersey. That sponsor is UNICEF, the United Nations children's relief agency. What makes the deal so unusual is that Barca is paying UNICEF for the privilege. That's right, what is arguably the most valuable jersey space in European sport is paying a charity for the right to display its name and logo. Check out the terms of the agreement.

As Barca's President, Joan Laporta said in announcing the deal at the United Nations, "FC Barcelona is not only a football club, but a club with a soul." Full story at SportsBiz blog.


posted by Michael Tavani @ 1:07 AM | | links to this post

Why isn't there an Oprah for guys?

Oprah and 8 of her frequent guests have been promoting her new radio channel, Oprah & Friends which went on air Tuesday on XM Satellite Radio. Each of Oprah's Friends has their own show and are specialists ranging from a financial expert, a psychologist, an interior decorator, a lifestyle expert, a spirituality expert, a get in shape guy, a doctor and the legendary poet Maya Angelou.

Essentially her friends cover all the main issues for women seeking advice, tips and thoughts in these different areas of life.

The launch of the new channel reiterated in my head (because I've thought this many times before) that there needs to be an Oprah-style TV show for men. It would be a guaranteed hit. There is nothing out there that combines all the key "ingredients". There are sports shows, investing shows, business shows, medical shows, fitness shows, variety shows, pop culture shows, gadget shows, dating shows, comedy shows and arts shows -- but none combining all of the above.

Someone want to go in on it?


posted by Michael Tavani @ 11:17 PM | | links to this post

Little Superstar -- guaranteed laugh

No explanation needed. Watch the video. [via Bankers Ball]



While searching for that one, I also found the one below. Watch the 2nd guy in the orange sweater. He's got some talent.



posted by Michael Tavani @ 2:55 PM | | links to this post

Nike goes for the green

Great find by my dad from our environmental site Green Tavani:

After 14 years, Nike figured out how to get greenhouse gas out of its sneakers. Nike's air pockets contained not just air, but SF6 - a super potent greenhouse gas called sulfur hexafluride. It developed a new technology which uses nitrogen instead of SF6. It not only solves the environmental problem because nitrogen breaks up easily and is not harmful, but it paid off commercially. It allowed Nike to create the Air Max 360, the first sneaker to cushion the entire sole with a bed of air.

There are no regulations forcing companies to reduce greenhouse gases. What's great about what Nike has accomplished is that it voluntarily took the initiative. Now every Nike product is entirely free of SF6 and it has seen huge cost savings. And now it gets great raves for the Air Max 360 from runners and greens alike.

Nike is taking steps to make the Earth a little bit better off -- let's follow their lead.


posted by Michael Tavani @ 10:43 AM | | links to this post

Interview with Lance Armstrong

Interesting interview in Runner's World Magazine with Lance Armstrong, who's currently training for the New York City Marathon on November 5th. He's running the race in part to challenge himself marking the 10-year anniversary of his diagnosis of cancer. At a training run this week, he ran a couple miles at 5:45 minute/mile pace which is crazy fast. Armstrong, who's done some training with Matthew McConaughey, also said he's thought about running a marathon a year and choose different places to travel to.

My favorite line from the interview:

Runner's World: Oprah ran a marathon, P.Diddy ran a marathon, now Lance Armstrong?
Armstrong: Yeah, but P.Diddy didn't finish within an hour of the winner. I'd like to finish within an hour of the winner.


posted by Michael Tavani @ 2:25 AM | | links to this post

Lil' Bush is absolutely hilarious

Just saw this on Donnie Deutsch tonight.

Amp'd Mobile produces "Lil' Bush: Resident of the United States," a series of 5-minute lampooning, cartoons following the misadventures of Lil' George Bush and his precocious pals Lil' Condi, Lil' Rummy and the unintelligible, foulmouthed wisecracker Lil' Cheney.

No matter where you stand on the politics, "Lil' Bush" is hysterical. And, it should be. The show's creator is one of the writers for "The Simpsons," "Just Shoot Me" and "Late Night with David Letterman." Amp'd makes the content syndicated for use on a mobile phone. Bush Lampooned on Amp'd Mobile


posted by Michael Tavani @ 1:19 AM | | links to this post

What's happening to USA sports?

If you've watched any professional athletic events recently you've probably noticed that the world is beating the USA in just about every competition. It's not just the sports where you expect America to not be as strong like soccer and hockey but it's happening in sports where the US should dominate like men's and women's basketball, baseball, golf and tennis. These are not the backup U.S. squads that are getting beat -- they're the best athletes in the U.S. in their respective sports -- and we're still getting beat.

What's causing a country with 300 million people and all the athletic resources/facilities to struggle against countries with 1/150th of their population? Are American athletes not as intimidating as they used to be? Are American training techniques being copied worldwide? Is the rest of the world simply catching up physically? Are American professional athletes too pampered and spoiled? Do American athletes not work hard enough? Is patriotism an issue? Is the team concept not as important to Americans? Is coaching to blame? Do American kids who have grown up on SportsCenter only want to do the highlights with no interest in learning the fundamentals?

The answer to all of those questions is YES.

Some recent examples:
>> Tennis - Just yesterday, Russia ousted the US (Roddick, James Blake and the Bryan Brothers) in the Davis Cup semifinals
>> Golf - The US, featuring Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, got beat handily by the Europeans for the Ryder Cup trophy
>> Women's basketball - Russia beat the heavily-favored US squad in the semifinals of the World Championships denying the US gold in both the men's and women's competition of a sport invented in America
>> Men's basketball - The US squad, filled with NBA All-Stars, lost to a Greece team that doesn't have an NBA player on its roster. After having dominated the world for the past 50 years, the US basketball team now has finished third at the 2006 World Championships, third at the 2004 Olympics and 6th in 2002 World Championships.
>> Soccer - The US team, despite their highest-ever ranking of 5th in the world, did not win a game at this summer's World Cup losing to Ghana and Czech Republic
>> Baseball - In America's pastime this past March, America didn't even advance to the semis of the first-ever World Baseball Classic losing to Mexico, Canada and Korea in the process. This is despite having a lineup full of some of the biggest names in the majors -- Clemens, A-Rod, Jeter, Griffey Jr.

Good thing there's no "World Football Classic" because I heard Samoa has a good squad.


posted by Michael Tavani @ 2:38 PM | | links to this post

USB wristbands - so geeky, they're cool

Part Livestrong bracelet. Part keychain flash drive.

The uniquely designed Imation Flash Wristband provides an easy way to transport your precious digital files, such as photos, music or videos, securely around your wrist or attached to a backpack.
The wristband consists of a rubber molding shell and friction fit locking band, and range in capacity from 32MB to 1GB. Don't know if I'd sport one, but pretty cool nonetheless. Buy them here or customize one (for large orders)


posted by Michael Tavani @ 4:11 AM | | links to this post

Global warming taking hold

Two big stories in the news this week that show me the impending scare of global warming is taking hold with some people in power. To this point, the federal government and automakers have pretty much refused to act. Let's keep the momentum rolling and push for more initiatives protecting the environment.

First, California's attorney general filed a lawsuit this week against the six biggest-selling automakers (General Motors, Ford Motor, DaimlerChrysler, Toyota, Honda and Nissan), alleging that their cars emit dangerous gases and foster global warming. The lawsuit seeks unspecified compensation for the "billions of dollars in damages" from global warming caused by the six carmakers, which have made 88% of the cars sold in the US this year. Some say this could put automakers under more pressure to speed development of hybrids and alternative-fuel vehicles, such as those powered by hydrogen fuel cells, to lessen air pollution. California sues carmakers

Also, today billionaire Richard Branson committed to spending all the profits from his airline and rail businesses -- an estimated $3 billion over the next 10 years -- on combating global warming.The Virgin Group chairman, whose company also includes music and mobile phone ventures, has already created Virgin Fuels, which will invest $400 million over three years in renewable energy initiatives as part of his pledge. Branson pledges $3 billion to fight global warming


posted by Michael Tavani @ 1:33 AM | | links to this post

New Lexus parallel parks itself

Coming soon -- no need for drivers. Part of me thinks this is flat-out stupid, but it is innovative. New Lexus LS 460 parks itself.


posted by Michael Tavani @ 11:47 PM | | links to this post

Miscellaneous

A couple of interesting things I found in like 5 minutes I had on the internet today.

> Wow! Richard Branson pledges $3 billion to fight global warming
> A petition to "Ditch the Black" in the New York Mets logos/uniforms
> Business 2.0's 11 Companies that will change the world
> TC's great find of a site that creates buttons for you -- Buttonator.com
> This is crazy -- Yahoo might be in talks to buy Facebook for $1 Billion and YouTube says it will sell -- for $1.5 billion.


posted by Michael Tavani @ 2:50 PM | | links to this post

Yahoo upping the ante on YouTube and Google

TechCrunch is reporting that Yahoo! has teamed up with Al Gore-backed Current TV to provide a video site (Yahoo Current) with a mix of professional and user submitted videos arranged in channels. The site is supposed to have better video content than the others (YouTube, Google Video, etc.) and also some of the best user submissions to Yahoo! may make it onto the terrestrial Current TV channel. That's a great concept and alliance in our opinion.

Meanwhile, YouTube is making noise of their own by announcing deals with Good Morning America and Warner. The deal calls for a YouTube technology that will automatically detect when copyrighted music is used in videos, give Warner the right to accept or reject those videos and then calculate the royalty fees Warner is owed.

Are these deals making viral video sites not so viral? This whole viral video thing is so interesting because it is so new. This new medium is changing by the minute. YouTube has held off thus far on advertising, but at some point you knew it was coming. This whole legal dilemma of copyrighted content has been the main barrier to YouTube’s possible acquisition and has most likely cost the company millions in possible advertising revenues.


posted by Michael Tavani @ 1:51 PM | | links to this post

300 posts!

Urban Eola thanks you for your support and readership through 300 posts -- and getting stronger! Readership has grown steadily, (averaging 2,000 unique visitors/month) hopefully as a result of fresh content and frequent posts. Keep the comments, suggestions and ideas coming.

Check out our original design Urban Eola desktop background
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us


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

Urinal too high

A group of 3rd, 4th and 5th graders, accompanied by two female teachers, went on a field trip to the local racetrack (Churchill Downs) to learn about thoroughbred horses and the supporting industry (Bourbon), but mostly to see the horses.

When it was time to take the children to the bathroom it was decided that the girls would go with one teacher and the boys would go with the other. The teacher assigned to the boys was waiting outside the men's room when one of the boys came out and told her that none of them could reach the urinal.

Having no choice, she went inside, helped the boys with their pants, and began hoisting the little boys up one by one holding onto their "wee wees" to direct the flow.

As she lifted one, she couldn't help but notice that he was unusually well endowed.

Trying not to show that she was staring, the teacher said, "You must be in the 5th grade."

"No, ma'am, " he replied. "I'm the jockey riding Silver Arrow in the seventh."


posted by Michael Tavani @ 10:59 AM | | links to this post

Keystone beer commercial

Hysterical! Surprised this doesn't happen more often.



posted by Michael Tavani @ 5:28 PM | | links to this post

True stories told in one sentence

One Sentence is a novel site idea -- people submit everyday stories (funny, insignificant, life-turning) all in one sentence. Worth a look for a couple minutes. Some examples below:

> A stunning woman in a sexy little sundress got on the subway, and for just a moment I forgot to breathe.

> I took a neuropsychiatric test and realized that I don't have a mental illness after all: I have five.

> She was my favorite cousin and my best friend, but that didn't stop her from screwing my fiance then marrying him.


posted by Michael Tavani @ 6:55 PM | | links to this post

Little Miss Sunshine

Urban Eola has yet to see Little Miss Sunshine, but credible movie buffs tell us that the flick's very entertaining and a must-see this weekend. It looks like Sideways in its character study and has the feel of an independent film -- just the way we like it. The cast is great with Greg Kinnear and Steve Carell starring.

Little Miss Sunshine :: official site :: imdb :: reviews :: trailer :: apple :: find it near you


posted by Michael Tavani @ 1:18 AM | | links to this post

A good weekend to get out of town

Who would've thought an earthquake in the Gulf of Mexico would halt the Urban Eola blog for 3 days. As a positive, it shows what it takes to slow down this blog. Yes, that's my apartment building in the article. So for now, I'm blogging from the 11th floor of the Downtown Marriott (directly across the street from the TD Waterhouse Centre).

AskMen has a solid list of top 10 budget destinations -- from major metropolitan areas to the middle of nowhere that'll leave you with some cash left over for your next trip. All of these spots are sounding better by the minute. Top 10 Budget Destinations.

10) Austin, TX
9) Las Vegas, NV
8) Baltimore, MD
7) California wine country
6) Charlotte, NC
5) Cleveland, OH
4) Denver, CO
3) Memphis, TN
2) Portland, OR
1) Wisconsin Dells, WI


posted by Michael Tavani @ 12:22 AM | | links to this post

10 reasons to drink water

Who knew there are more good reasons for water other than to shower? This is a pretty interesting list (10 Reasons to Drink More Water). Props to yeah, kinda like that for the find. Also, check out another solid read 8 Reasons to Stretch.


posted by Michael Tavani @ 11:36 PM | | links to this post

Brilliant concept - meetup.com

Meetup.com is a fantastic, yet basic concept. It allows anyone with an interest to find a local group about it and meet with people who share that similar interest. Check it out -- meetup.com.


posted by Michael Tavani @ 1:16 AM | | links to this post

U.S. Pizza Team

Who knew the U.S. had a national pizza team? Read on here and here and the official site.


posted by Michael Tavani @ 12:27 AM | | links to this post

Nike's Football is Everything

Along with leaves falling and the weather cooling down comes high school football season. For some that elicits a warm, pure and hearty feeling. Nike has taken advantage of these strong emotions in their latest entertaining ad campaign -- "Football is Everything". The All-Star cast includes Michael Vick, Brian Urlacher, LaDanian Tomlinson, Troy Polamalu, Matt Leinart, Don Shula, Jimmy Johnson, Deion Sanders, Steve Young, Lee Corso, Urban Meyer, and Marlin Brisoce.
> Nike Campaign Proves "Football is Everything" - PR News

Check out the commercial and the behind-the-scenes interviews afterwards. Urlacher lining up for the coin toss is hysterical.


posted by Michael Tavani @ 12:05 AM | | links to this post

The Ultimate Sports Experience

From the outdoor enthusiast to the die-hard season-ticket holder, Sports Illustrated's Ultimate Sports Experiences has all the unique passions when it comes to sports. There's something for everyone on this 10-part series and currently the list is at #7. Check it out -- SI's The Ultimate Sports Experience.

Urban Eola take :: I am honored to have participated in the 9th best experience -- The NYC Marathon. Not as a spectator -- as an athlete. Good stuff, MT.


posted by Michael Tavani @ 12:33 PM | | links to this post

Get your J-Block shirt

Not many people have the official J-Block shirt. You know you want one. Buy them here. As a bonus, all proceeds from the sale of the J-Block shirts are donated to the USTA Tennis and Education Foundation.

For those who don't know -- the raucous J-Block is a grass-roots cheering section of many of James Blake's childhood friends and family.

Also, check out these other Nike tennis shirts: Vamos Rafa, Man with the Golden Racket, and I Feel Pretty.


posted by Michael Tavani @ 9:55 PM | | links to this post

Clemson player raises 11-year old brother

For most college football players, life is already full with classes, team meetings and practices. For Clemson freshman Ray Ray McElrathbey that's only half the story. He also has custody of his 11-year-old brother. Read on. And a great editorial.

This is a truly great story. The NCAA HAS to make an exception for them.


posted by Michael Tavani @ 8:03 PM | | links to this post

How weak is this?

During the month of September, Starbucks will be reintroducing their original brown logo on paper (hot) cups in commemoration of the company's heritage from the Pacific Northwest and to celebrate 35 years since their first cup served.

Before Starbucks became a worldwide name, the old logo was very well known around Seattle and it can still be seen today at the first Starbucks in Seattle's Pike's Place Market. However, in the early 1990's, there were growing complaints about the appropriateness of the original logo and the company gave her a 'modest makeover' which is the logo used widely today.

That is the cool part.

This is the weak part. This guy needs a life.


posted by Michael Tavani @ 6:42 PM | | links to this post

Best sports moments montage

If you're a sports aficionado of any kind, take the six minutes to watch this video. It captures every major sporting event from the history of sport. You're not a sports fan if you're "new school" and don't appreciate some of the "old school" moments. Watch the smaller version below or the big screen version on Google Video.



posted by Michael Tavani @ 6:41 PM | | links to this post

Coca-Cola v. Starbucks?

"Coca-Cola, already locked in a decades-long clash with PepsiCo Inc. for supremacy in the cold beverage business, may be about to pick a fight with the nation's No. 1 hot beverage powerhouse: Starbucks."

Coke is leasing a 4,000 sq. foot retail space in Toronto with the plans of building their first "Far Coast" coffee store in a potential run at Starbucks' coffee shop supremacy. Coke, the world's biggest drink company, which derives most of its revenue from carbonated beverages, has been experiencing sluggish sales in developed markets, as consumers shift from sugary sodas to healthier low- or no-calorie drinks such as flavored waters, coffee, and tea.

Urban Eola take :: If you look at the beverage market, there's no one hotter than Starbucks and there's no one bigger than Coke. This seems to be one of those Microsoft situations - where a pioneering company (Starbucks) develops a red-hot product or idea and the mega giant (Coca-Cola) catches on to the trend and tries to outduel the original. Should get interesting.

> Is Coke gearing up for a Starbucks showdown?
> Coca-Cola may take on Starbucks
> Coke's official site with images of all their brands


posted by Michael Tavani @ 4:06 PM | | links to this post

The Wayback Machine

This site allows you to browse through 55 billion web pages archived from 1996 to a few months ago. Check out how amateurish Yahoo looked when it started back in 1996, how basic Google was in 1999, and what the front page of CNN looked like on 9/11. Very cool site.

> The Wayback Machine


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

Booz Allen Hamilton commercial

I stumbled upon this commercial last week (while being stuck watching the Booz Allen Hamilton Golf Classic for 2 hours on the treadmill) and think its depiction of leadership at a young age is very powerful.

Loyal Urban Eola reader RW works for Booz Allen Hamilton and I bet he's proud of their work and the commercial. Good stuff. Check out the Booz Allen Hamilton commercial - "Dog".


posted by Michael Tavani @ 7:54 PM | | links to this post

Urban Eola's 9 steps to a better environment

1) If you haven't seen Inconvenient Truth, see it.
2) Calculate your contribution to global warming.
3) Learn simple ways (opens pdf file) to take action at home, on the move, and how to bring about change locally, nationally, and internationally.
4) Watch Leonardo Dicaprio's awesome and powerful Global Warming and Water Planet videos.
5) Challenge yourself to the Carb Cutter Challenge.
6) Check to see if your city is pushing for smart energy solutions at Cool Cities.
7) Sign up to learn The "Inconvenient Truth" Presentation from Al Gore this Fall/Winter.
8) Check out MTV's 10 ways to save the planet (easy for even the MTV crowd).
9) Subscribe to (via RSS feed) and give a look at my dad and I's new environmental blog, Green Tavani.


posted by Michael Tavani @ 2:49 AM | | links to this post

Innovate your business

Some great reads on Inc.
> How to Prepare for the Property Bubble
> Google for Business
> Five Reasons Why You Should Blog for Business
> Most Entrepreneurs Start with Limited Funds, No Business Plan


posted by Michael Tavani @ 1:49 PM | | links to this post

Andre Agassi: Unmatched!

"You guys refreshed my faith in the human spirit, and I can't thank you enough for that."

-- 36-year-old Andre Agassi to the New York crowd at 12:45 AM after his 3 hour, 40 minute-winning 5 set match against 21-year old Marcus Baghdatis, the 8th best player in the world. If Agassi lost the match, it would have been his last professional match ever. Man, his grace, poise and agelessness are unmatched.

> Agassi Open
> Agassi College Prep
> Agassi Charitable Foundation


posted by Michael Tavani @ 3:12 AM | | links to this post

A great night for pop culture and DVR's

Tonight was a great night to observe what most of the pop culture world's doing at the MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan. Every year at the VMAs the celebs try to be different and stand out. Show business is a doggy dog world and if you're not making noise then you'll be quickly forgotten. That's what makes watching them so interesting. It's like riding the subway in New York -- always entertaining to watch.

Also, Andre Agassi is playing his second round match at his last ever pro tournament in the US Open (also in New York). He's a G.O.A.T. (one of the Greatest Of All Time) and deserves major respect from the Urban Eola crowd. Luckily, DVR's are around because they're both too good not to watch.

As a result of the amazing capabilities of the web, the VMA's did something they've never done before to capitalize on their young, internet savvy viewers -- they simultaneously broadcasted the behind-the-scenes, uncut backstage version of the show on their website (MTV Overdrive to Broadcast Live Behind the Scenes Feed of the 2006 MTV Music Awards). This glimpse of the show from the other side actually made for some interesting TV. Check it out at vma.mtv.com.

> Here's a good site with all the photos -- Yahoo VMAs Coverage.
> And follow the 2006 US Open.


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



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