Urban Eola

Remember when wishes came true?

Tis the season for commercials. You can see how important it is for companies to move their products this holiday season in their highly creative and entertaining commercials. I've posted 3 in the last 3 days.

Check out this hilarious BMW commercial. I saw it on MSNBC this morning? The video is another great example of the power of viral videos and YouTube on popular culture.

It's actually a real video clip of 6-year old Rachel and her 9-year old brother Brandon on Christmas morning in 1998. As dad records and the kids tear open their presents, the kids realize their dreams have come true, they got a Nintendo 64! ... YES!... YES!!... YES!!!"

Jump ahead to March 2006 - 16 year old Brandon shares the home video with his girlfriend who sees it for the first time and explodes with laughter. Brandon then took her suggestion and posted the one minute video online. The clip quickly became an internet sensation with remixes, spoofs, animations and even online tributes to the N64 kids.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 10:58 AM | | links to this post

Do the Mojito - Bacardi ad

Check out this fly commercial for Bacardi Mojito. It makes me want to do the mojito wherever that commercial was filmed. The Puerto Rican rum maker is currently playing the spots on TV and the internet. The song playing during the commercial is also pretty sweet - listen and download it for free.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 7:09 PM | | links to this post

Give the gift of experience

Gift certificates, cash and Old Navy sweaters aren't going to cut it as gifts for loved ones this holiday season. Not when you have a company like Cloud 9 Living that transforms awesome, unique and memorable experiences into unforgettable gifts. Basically, you buy someone a real-life experience as a gift or present. They literally have something for everyone ranging from:
It's pretty fun to browse around all the experiences/gifts they offer.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 4:38 PM | | links to this post

iPod shuffle ads

Holy schnikes! Tonight's a busy night of posting - 4 posts. I rarely post more than 3x/ day but the fresh content is flowing like water. Check out the latest Apple iPod shuffle "Clip" commercial featuring "Who's Gonna Sing" by the Prototypes. Awesome spot. Watch the ad.

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

Campaign for real beauty video

This Campaign for Real Beauty "Evolution" video shows you how much work (professional styling, makeup and of course, photoshop enhancements) is done on models before they get plastered on billboards all over town. The main reason though, that I'm posting this video is because it's very creatively filmed and interesting to watch.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 9:56 PM | | links to this post

Get on the bus, dammit!

Why the hell aren't school busses running on biodiesel? Remember in elementary school when they would teach you how to recycle and be good to the environment. Well, here's an easy way for those same schools to get it right. It's a no brainer. Here's the stats [via Veggie Van]:
Julia Roberts was on Oprah today promoting her helping biodiesel producer Earth Biofuels promote a program to encourage the use of biodiesel in more than 500,000 diesel school buses nationwide. ''It's very important that we expand our use of clean energy and make a long-term commitment to it. Biodiesel and ethanol are better for the environment and for the air we breathe,'' she said. She will be joining current Earth Biofuels celeb board members country singer Willie Nelson and Oscar winner Morgan Freeman.

Willie has used biodiesel fuels on his tour bus for the last couple years and has become somewhat of a father figure for biofuels in the U.S. Willie even has his own biofuel which combines 20% renewable vegetable-based diesel fuel with 80% traditional diesel, and can be used in almost any diesel engine without modification. The result is a cleaner burning, American-farmed renewable fuel.

"“It'’s important because we are going around the world starting wars over oil, and we don'’t have to do that,"” Willie has said. "“We can grow our own fuel here at home, help our farmers, help our environment, help the truckers . . . help the local communities."

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

SI on campus

SI.com is the best looking sports website on the internet. ESPN.com is probably more heavily visited, but SI has a lot more free access than ESPN, including awesome photo galleries and other unique content. However, an awesome site that a lot of people don't know about is SI on Campus. It is the college-based version and offers tons of content for anyone interested in college athletics.

Campus Cribs // similar to MTV's version

Superfans // weekly pictorial of the weekend's best fans

College Cheerleaders // no explanation needed

College Truth & Rumors
// the latest daily buzz

posted by Michael Tavani @ 6:20 PM | | links to this post

The Kim Komando Show

The Kim Komando Show is an awesome site that profiles great digital sites, tips and advice. It features a site of the day, which usually tends to be a site that is very neat and undiscovered. Check out this site of the day:

Where the Hell is Matt? // a 29-year-old guy quits his job to travel around the world and videotape himself dancing in various countries. His dance is hilarious because it is so bad. He ended up getting a free trip from Stride Gum out of it.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 7:16 PM | | links to this post

30 under 30: America's coolest young entrepreneurs

This kind of stuff is right up my alley. The only thing better than reading stories about successful young entrepreneurs is being a successful young entrepreneur. Check out Inc.'s 30 Entrepreneurs under 30 list.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 1:50 PM | | links to this post

Good for them revisited

Let me preface this post by saying that I follow Hollywood culture because I like staying in the loop on trends in pop culture and for whatever reason a lot of these trends tend to originate in Hollywood. But I must say, Hollywood aint like it used to be.

As I've blogged about before (Good for them), Nick Lachey seems like a legitimate good guy. He's down-to-earth, humble and into sports. His new girl, Vanessa Minnillo is a hottie and seems like a good girl as well. I've seen recent pics of them doing real stuff - watching the USC-Notre Dame game this past weekend in USC gear and hanging with Nick's boyhood friends in his hometown of Cincy. Nick's brother, Drew also seems like a good guy and was one of my favorites on last season's Dancing with the Stars.

However, I'm writing this post because Nick's ex-wife Jessica has recently been linked to one of my all-time favorites, John Mayer. Good for them. He's definitely one of the most talented musisicians of this era. His current song, "Waiting for the World to Change" (play it to the right of his site) is pretty awesome. He also started his career in my hometown ATL, sports retro Nikes with jeans at his shows (an Urban Eola-endorsed look), and blogs on a MacBook Pro. All things making him a cool guy in my book. Jessica ain't bad either.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 12:37 PM | | links to this post

Pre-turkey day round-up

Urban Eola readers - have a Happy Thanksgiving! For your viewing pleasure on turkey day, here's some great photo lists:

-- The 16 worst dressed teams in pro sports
-- 23 products that will save the planet (or at least won't hurt it)
-- 2006 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue gallery index

posted by Michael Tavani @ 5:11 PM | | links to this post

The FWA - Favorite Web Awards

Check out FWA - The Favorite Web Awards is a site that links to the best looking websites in the world. FWA scouts and evaluates cutting edge web design and posts a site of the day, site of the month, and site of the year. FWA is an easy-on-the-eye site with thumbnails and a description of each website they profile. If you're someone like me who loves checking out first rate web content and design, give it a look. I did... for about 2 hours.

Labels: ,

posted by Michael Tavani @ 6:52 PM | | links to this post

Two interesting links // 10x10 & a stupid, yet neat map app.

-- 10x10 // Ten by Ten is a simple site that explores the words and images that define the time. The result is an often moving snapshot of our world. Every hour, 10x10 collects the 100 words and pictures that matter most on a global scale and presents them as a single image that represents that moment in time. [via FT]

-- Google map application // When I was little kid I heard that if I dug a hole in the dirt next to my basement it would end up somewhere in China. For years, I wondered if it was a prank or not. This site lets you see for yourself. Little kids are obviously before their time. [via RW]

posted by Michael Tavani @ 11:20 AM | | links to this post

Tweakin' the Urban Eola experience

In an effort to make Urban Eola a top destination for cool people on the web, we have added "Quick Reads", a sidebar category to the right. The articles linked to in the "Quick Reads" will be different from the main blog posts to the left of the page. Think of the two as complementing eachother. It will be filled with the freshest and latest news stories that relate to the our themes of: trends | pop culture | sport | urban life | art | fashion | web 2.0 | humor | culture | the environment | lifestyle | and creative business. Hope you enjoy!

Any suggestions or alternatives to the name "Quick Reads"? Or any other categories you'd like to see on the sidebar? Email your recommendations.

Update 11.20.06 -- The original name "The Latest" did not totally capture what this category is all about. I felt that it implied the latest blogs from UE, so I changed it to "Quick Reads".

posted by Michael Tavani @ 1:15 PM | | links to this post

The Green 50 - entrepreneurial companies embracing green

Inc. does a great job profiling 50 most intriguing entrepreneurial companies that are embracing green business in the Green 50 feature. In fact, the action is being driven as much by markets as morality. Leave it to entrepreneurs to attack this multi-billion dollar industry.

I would like to make one addition to the list: Urban Eola. One of the main reasons I love being a part of this blog is that no environmentally dangerous emissions are used in the making of the site. No commute = no car pollution. No paper used = no trees cut. Hopefully, we'll be on the list one day.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 2:47 PM | | links to this post

Celebrity blogs are where it's at (not really)

A bunch of people are blogging nowadays - approximately 55 million. There are even some celebrity blogs. Some use them as a way to interact with fans on a more personal level and others use them for promotional purposes. Check out a couple of the ones I've run into recently: John Mayer, Mark Cuban, Zach Braff, and Tom Green (quasi-celeb).

Actually the most widely read blogs are those of regular people with great content like Michael Arrington (Techcrunch), Guy Kawasaki (How to Change the World), Robert Scoble (Scobleizer), Ariana Huffington (The Huffington Post), Andrew Sullivan, and Om Malik (GigaOm).

posted by Michael Tavani @ 12:56 AM | | links to this post

Emmitt's the man

As I blogged about previously, I'm a huge fan of Dancing with the Stars. It combines all the elements: physical activity, good looking girls, in shape bodies, athletes, competition, and it even exposed that ballroom dancing can be pretty studly. Emmitt Smith showed us that a manly guy can still remain cool while doing it. That's why he beat out Mario Lopez in the final - because he wasn't cheesy and overly-dramatic. Just classic Emmitt. The above photo says it all.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 1:01 PM | | links to this post

Urban Eola video teaser - 35 seconds of UE photos

I've been experiementing with the different video upload sites on the web. There's a lot more than just YouTube. Check out some of the others: VideoEgg, Revver, Blip.tv, Daily Motion, Jumpcut, Metacafe, Motionbox, Vimeo, and Veoh. There's also probably at least 10 more.

I used vSocial for this video because they have a good-looking website and attractive interface.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 5:37 PM | | links to this post

Microsoft's Zune launches today

As much of a monster Microsoft is, they are coming in as the underdog challenger to Apple's iPod as their Zune Mp3 player goes on sale today. The iPod owns a 75% market share. What's interesting is that the iPod has become the standard and you know how people like being different and having the things that's not "the standard". It's what makes people want Apple computers, because they are different compared the 97% share PCs have. That fact alone will bump the sales of the Zune a bit. The phenomenon is best described in this quote from Strategic Name Development: "in this world, alternative culture often gets to be the mainstream leaders. Just ask Apple." Check out Zune's official website clearly targeting the alternative youth culture.

Can Microsoft use their unlimited resources to convert others to a product that people will have to adjust to? Anyone that is computer savvy enough to maximize all of the features on the Zune most likely already has an iPod. I've always felt bad for the other MP3 players because no one wants their product, no matter how great the features are.

From what an editor at CNET said on "On the Money" last night, the Zune has tons of pretty cool features, including a great looking screen, but the formatting of the songs (remember people are used to iTunes) will be a problem. Some of the pretty cool features:

>> Ability to send photos, and some music files (not all music files may be shared) from Zune-to-Zune via WiFi. The music files that are shareable can only be played a maximum of three times, and expire after three days regardless of whether they are played or not.

>> Ability to create a "ZuneTag," which is a username/profile that is visible to others who wirelessly scan the area for fellow Zune users.

>> The wallpaper on the Zune can be changed to any user specified image.

However unlike the iPod, the Zune cannot be used as an external hard drive. The Zune will have a 30 GB hard drive, built-in FM tuner, 3.0-inch screen, and WiFi networking. The initial player will come in three colors—black, brown and white. Preloaded music and videos will be included. It retails for $249.99.

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

Old media meets new media - Amanda Across America

Amanda Congdon, formerly of the highly popular video blog Rocketboom has resurfaced after her departure from the New York-based internet show. Her new show is Amanda Across America, which is a video blog-style show where she travels across the U.S. interviewing people about the merger of old media, new media, and the environment. It's a very well done show and relatively entertaining considering the budget is a blip compared to that of a mainstream TV show. The beauty of vlogs (video blogs) is that they have a potential audience of approximately 6 billion people. And no need for TiVo - the internet is on 24/7, baby. The potential is crazy. Read a great article in Business 2.0 on the subject. Check out some of the better shows that I watched: mainstream actor turned videologger, Dan McVicar and famous blogger, VC and original Apple employee, Guy Kawasaki.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 3:45 AM | | links to this post

Tech love - yourminis

yourminis is a pretty bad ass site for all you tech lovers out there. Here's the premise: It's a flash page where you can drag tons of little minis (widgets) around the screen and create essentially a front page with anything you want on it all on one page. You can create your own tab that you can then publish to your friends or use as a personalized dashboard. You can configure minis to see your email, check the weather, track your favorite blogs, watch youtube videos, search the web, browse flickr photos, read news and rss feeds, save notes & to dos, listen to music, and much more.

It's similar to the dashboard on Macs. For PC users, it's similar to a personalized Google page, My Yahoo!, or My MSN -- but it's much more visually appealing, easier to handle widgets, lets you view all of your tabbed pages in one view, and has 10x more options.

Update: after playing around with this site for only about 10 minutes, I have now determined that it is probably one of the coolest sites I have seen in 2006. The power of this useful site is endless. Definitely give it look.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 11:10 AM | | links to this post

Another Forrest Gump? Dean Karnazes runs home -- from NY to SF

Remember Dean Karnazes?

Well, this past Sunday he finished his incredible journey of 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days. The most amazing part is that his last marathon, the NYC Marathon was his fastest of the 50 at 3 hours, 30 seconds. Can you imagine pushing it on the last of 50 straight marathons? He only ran NYC 30 seconds slower than the ultra-fit Lance Armstrong. That feat is absolutely incredible.

What to do as an encore? Well for starters he ran 28 miles the day after the 50 marathons ended. Not as part of the challenge. Just because he said he loves running. Now, he's running home from New York City. No, he doesn't live in New Jersey. He lives in San Francisco. Are you F@#king kidding? This guy just likes to constantly challenge himself and push the limits, physically and in life. Another amazing stat -- Dean Karnazes is 42 years old. Much respect, Dean. Track his cross country run and his official site. Also, a great interview about how he started this whole running thing.

Check out some of the stuff he's done. He has run 350 continuous miles, foregoing sleep for three nights. On seven different occasions, he’s run a 200-mile relay race solo, racing alongside teams of twelve. He’s run across Death Valley in 126 degree temperatures, and he’s run a marathon to the South Pole in negative 40 degrees and mountain-biked for 24-hours straight.

Listen to how he eats on the run: "So, on these longs runs I resort to highly refined foods and calorie dense items, like pizza and pie. During one 200-mile run we kept a food log, and I consumed 28,000 calories in 46 hours and 17 minutes of running. And I still lost five pounds!"

This is how he views running (from his blog): Of course, I already miss my family deeply. Funny as it sounds, running has become my life. It'’s how I put food on the table, so I look at this journey across the country no differently than a businessman who travels for extended periods, or a serviceman who is stationed overseas. If I weren'’t running, I'’d be sitting behind a desk and probably not very happy.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 9:38 PM | | links to this post

Yo Adrian! Rocky Balboa's back!

November 16, 1990 - the last time a Rocky movie (Rocky V) hit the theatres.

The 16-year wait is now over.

Rocky Balboa
, the 6th installment in the legendary Rocky series of underdog boxing movies hits theatres December 22nd. It's interesting to note that more time has elapsed between the fifth and sixth installment of the "Rocky" films than between the original film and Rocky V.

Interesting facts from Rocky Balboa:

- Though Talia Shire's character Adrian dies at the beginning of the film, Shire will still be reprising her role in flashbacks of the film.
- Burt Young, Paulie in the series, as well as the composer Bill Conti, who has composed the music for every Rocky movie except Rocky IV, are both returning.
- Tony Duke, Appollo Creed's trainer, will return as Rocky's trainer.
- Pro boxer Antonio Tarver will play the role of the champion, Mason 'The Line' Dixon, Rocky's ring opponent.
- Estimated budget for this film is $24 million.

News of this movie coming out has forced me to find all kinds of stuff on our favorite southpaw from Philly. Check it.

>> View the "Rocky Balboa" trailer: Windows Media Player or Quick Time
>> Rocky Balboa official movie site
>> Classic Rocky t-shirts (I want to order at least fifteen of them)
>> Awesome Rocky soundboard with every memorable Rocky line ever
>> Official blog
>> Wikipedia: Rocky, Rocky II, Rocky III, Rocky IV, Rocky V, Rocky Balboa

posted by Michael Tavani @ 2:07 PM | | links to this post

Eola del Urbano

On my stat counter page for this site, I noticed that some guy had translated Urban Eola to Italian using Google Translate. What a cool site. I've seen translation sites for years, but not one that lets you translate a whole website by typing in the URL.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 10:22 PM | | links to this post

Vote today -- it's your civic duty

posted by Michael Tavani @ 3:46 PM | | links to this post

Diddy caption contest results

Thanks to all the loyal readers who submitted photo captions.

- "We're here for Anna Nicole's wedding." - UE
- "It's hot out here!" - CT
- "You bring the beer, I'll bring the bitches." - Todd
- The New James Bond - FT
- "Where am I coming from? It's where I'm going that matters." - FT
- "I told you I was having twin girls!" - HJ
- "Look at the paparazzi in their little paddle boats." - Guyt
- "Luckily this suit is made of moisture-wicking material." - UE
- "Luckily this suit has built in flotation devices." - UE
- "It's a swirl baby! I got my chocolate. I got my vanilla." - Fritz

posted by Michael Tavani @ 11:16 PM | | links to this post

Urban Eola laughs

In honor of Lance Armstrong running the New York City marathon, here's a rare running joke. Good stuff!

A woman was having an affair while her husband was at work. One day she was in bed with her boyfriend when, to her horror, she heard her husband's car pull into the driveway.

"Oh My God - Hurry! Grab your clothes," she yelled to her lover. "And jump out the window. My husband's home early!"

"I can't jump out the window!" came the strangled reply from beneath the sheets. "It's raining out there!"

"If my husband catches us in here, he'll kill us both!" she replied.

"He's got a very quick temper and a very large gun! The rain is the least of your problems!"

So the boyfriend scoots out of bed, grabs his clothes and jumps out the window!

As he began running down the street in the pouring rain, he quickly discovered he had run right into the middle of the town's annual marathon.

He started running along beside the others about 300 of them.

Being naked, with his clothes tucked under his arm, he tried to "blend in" as best he could.

It wasn't that effective!

After a little while, a small group of runners, who had been studying him with some curiosity, jogged closer.

"Do you always run in the nude?" one asked.

"Oh yes" he replied, gasping in air. "It feels so wonderfully free having the air blow over all your skin while you're running."

Another runner moved alongside. "Do you always run carrying your clothes under your arm?"

"Oh, yes" our friend answered breathlessly. "That way I can get dressed right at the end of the run and get in my car to go home!"

Then a third runner cast his eyes a little lower and queried. "Do you always wear a condom when you run?"

"Only if it's raining."

posted by Michael Tavani @ 9:27 PM | | links to this post

Lance finished NYC in 2:59:36

Lance Armstrong ran the New York City Marathon today in 2:59:36. He just made his goal of finishing in under 3 hours. That's a pace of 06:51.3 per mile. Pretty amazing for a first time marathoner. After the race he said "that was without a doubt the hardest physical thing I have ever done." What made watch him running this marathon so interesting was that it was like watching a 35-year-old, really fit, retired guy go out there and give it his best shot. He even wore what all the average runners wear, not those underwear-looking singlets that the pros wear [via CNNSI article]. Also, read his pre-race thoughts on the marathon.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 8:16 PM | | links to this post

JBS men's underwear - men don't want to look at naked men

A lot of guys will be doing this on Saturday morning. (not the girl)

Watch the advertisement. Props for the creativity.

[via Danish underwear company, JBS]

posted by Michael Tavani @ 3:43 PM | | links to this post

Internet Explorer sucks

For some reason Urban Eola is showing up funky on Internet Explorer. All the more reason to switch to Firefox, if you haven't already. Quit clicking on the blue E and start clicking on the logo above. Download Firefox - it's free. Read about why to Switch 2 Firefox. Read the Wikipedia description and Kill Bill's Browser has a pretty funny list of why to switch.

Top 10 reasons to switch to Mozilla Firefox (from switch2firefox.com)

1) Tabbed browsing - makes surfing the web faster
2) Pop up blocking
3) Find stuff easier
4) Simplified privacy/ annoyance eliminator
5) Better bookmarks and history
6) Accessible, intelligent, responsive
7) Customizable and extendable
8) Modern download manager
9) Built for standards
10) KISS (Keep it simple and straight forward)

posted by Michael Tavani @ 6:33 PM | | links to this post

The power of sports

Sports rank up with some of the best activities you get yourself involved in. If you are reading this and 1) don't play sports yourself, or 2) aren't a huge fan of at least one sport -- then you should immediately log off this site and go to something like www.getalife.com. This video shows you the power of sports. There are stories like this all around the world where people have meaning because of sport. [via RW]

Mark Christensen - University of Georgia trainer

posted by Michael Tavani @ 6:02 PM | | links to this post

Funniest animation of all time

This is, in my opinion, the funniest animation of all time. I saw this way back in the day when the internet was young (4 years ago) and haven't been able to find it since. Now with sites like YouTube it's all possible. Thanks internet. Thanks YouTube.

Kozo the Hippo - Thong Song

posted by Michael Tavani @ 4:15 PM | | links to this post

Coming tomorrow night... Borat's movie film

Although Borat (played by Sacha Baron Cohen) has become a trendy favorite of young people everywhere, I have to step in and say that I was plugging him on this blog (here and here) when no one knew who he was.

Well, finally his movie film Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan is coming out in the US & A tomorrow night.

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

More good finds...

Thanks to loyal reader FT for sending these in.

>> Yahoo Time Capsule - it's going into the Smithsonian in 7 days. Read about it.
>> ABC News - interesting look into how people shop and how stores sell you more than you want to buy.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 2:16 PM | | links to this post

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