Urban Eola

2007 - we're coming

Happy New Year Urban Eola readers! Thanks for a great year. Check out last year's post on the history of that New Years song and the 10 most common resolutions.

2006, peace!


posted by Michael Tavani @ 6:38 PM | | links to this post

Bowl names have gotten ridiculous

Take one look at the college football bowl game names and you can't help but laugh. Corporate sponsorship has totally changed (screwed up) the games and their names. Did products not get sold when bowls were named for locations, nicknames or historical references? It's upsetting to see bowls with great traditions drop their past over a couple bucks.

Don't they realize that these companies most likely won't be sponsoring the game forever. Read Revisiting worst bowl names ever and Corporate soup bowl. Here's a list of my favorites (or should I say least favorites).

PapaJohns.com Bowl // formerly the Birmingham Bowl. The .com was added to promote the website, which is the first nationwide pizza chain to allow online delivery orders.

Chick-Fil-A bowl // formerly Peach Bowl. Corporate names totally taking over Bowl Game titles is disturbing. 'The Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl' or the 'Nokia Sugar Bowl' is one thing, but there is absolutely no reason to get rid of the historical titles of these great bowls that have stood the test of time. The Peach Bowl, by the way, was started in 1968.

Champs Sports Bowl // formerly Sunshine Classic (1990), Blockbuster Bowl (1990-1993), Carquest Bowl (1994-1997), MicronPC Bowl (1998-1999), MicronPC.com Bowl (2000), Visit Florida Tangerine Bowl (2001), Mazda Tangerine Bowl (2002-2003). The epitome of why not to change the name for a sponsor. 8 names in 16 years.

San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl // you're kidding, right?


posted by Michael Tavani @ 4:21 PM | | links to this post

Girls don't blog

Gizmodo put out a list of the top 10 Blogger Babes of 2006. It was interesting to see that 10 female bloggers actually exist. Jessamy Hawley (pictured) of Gadget Candy ain't bad, but for the most part babes don't blog. Guys like this do.

While I'm on top 10 lists, check out MSNBC's rankings of the top 10 airports in the world.


posted by Michael Tavani @ 5:05 AM | | links to this post

Runaway alarm clock forces you to get up

87% of the population press snooze on their alarm clock in the morning. There's now an alarm clock to combat that problem. Clocky is an alarm clock that has wheels and runs away and hides to force you to get out of bed by rolling off your nightstand once you press the snooze button. The first batch of Clockys are shipping now. They're $49.99 and are available in white, aqua and mint. The original Clocky looks like a furry granola bar. Read how they got started.

First, the watch alarm clock that wakes you when your body signals it to now Clocky. The cuckoo alarm clocks of years past are being revolutionized.

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 3:22 PM | | links to this post

Man who won $208 million lottery dies at 43

I try not to preach too often on UE. But occasionally when I feel it's necessary, I will (here, here and here).

When the man who won a $208 million Mega Millions lottery jackpot in April 2005 suddenly dies yesterday of a heart attack you realize that things (mostly money and material possessions) don't really matter. That's not to say that you shouldn't buy things you enjoy. But it's important to tap yourself on the shoulder every once in a while to remind yourself that you can't take it with you.

One of the reasons that past generations had simpler lifestyles is because they did not set out to amass a fortune. "More, more, more" was not one of their mantras in life.

Also, it's a reminder to take care of your body. Money can't buy health. It's amazing how many sacrifices and hard work my fellow law students put in to being successful, while forgeting to take care of their body. I'll make the bold claim that working less/studying less and being healthy more is better for you.

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 11:57 AM | | links to this post

The best loft in San Francisco

I'm a huge fan of loft living. Lofts are urban, creative, and usually a great re-use of existing, authentic buildings. This $1.2 million loft in San Francisco is 1,815 sq. ft. of freshly designed, urban living - located within the shadows of the Golden Gate Bridge. Check out these other Bay Area loft listings.

Read this interetsing lofts fact sheet.

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 1:37 AM | | links to this post

Di*k in a box

From loyal reader BW:
In case your first Christmas/Hannukah present for your lady didn't go over well, here is your chance to make it up... especially if she likes boy bands and you like boxes. Watch the video (the ending is hilarious). Yes, that's Timberlake.
And while we're on the subject, check out this hilarious idea for a company - Huge Brand condoms. While the actual products within are of standard size, the box they come in is gigantic — perfect for average fellows in need of a compensatory boost.

Choose from the Nightcap (a pack of three), the Weekender (twelve), and the Extended Stay (36), depending on your plans (and stamina). Each comes with the word HUGE printed in suitably ginormous lettering so all who see it know just what they’re dealing with - until they deal with it.

Lastly on the subject, a revisit of one funny UE post.

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 11:23 PM | | links to this post

Man of 10,000 Sound Effects

Remember Michael Winslow, the guy who made all the noises from the Police Academy movies? He's unbelievable and hilarious. Watch him recreating a tennis match below.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 9:34 PM | | links to this post

Make an elf of yourself

Now's your chance to make a total elf of yourself at Office Max's pretty hilarious site Elf Yourself. The site lets you paste your head onto a dancing Elf's body. Here's a demo. Just like Will Ferrell.

By the way, this is an example of great viral marketing. Think how many people are passing this around this holiday season.

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 11:25 AM | | links to this post

Time's Person of the Year is a familiar face

Time's Person of the Year: You. In 2006, the World Wide Web became a tool for bringing together the small contributions of millions of people and making them matter. Read the full article.

Power to the People // Meet 15 citizens—including a French rapper, a relentless reviewer and a real life lonely girl—of the new digital democracy.

The YouTube Gurus // How a couple of regular guys built a company that changed the way we see ourselves. YouTube photo essay.

People Who Mattered // gallery of those who made a difference - for better or worse.

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 1:37 AM | | links to this post

Any press is good press...I guess

I do Google Alerts for different search terms, including one for "Urban Eola". This is what came back today in response to my recent post PayPerPost stirring controversy, filming web TV reality show by a 33-year-old guy from NC who wrote this on his blog.

From My camera sucks:
PayPerPost is the coolest (blatant suckup) no matter what the wannabe’sScoble, Calcanis, Arrington, (and the latest) Tavani say about you.
From The Haters never stop:
a guy named Michael Tavani at Urbaneola being a “Super Blogger” like apparently this guy (thinks he) is, or , a blog that I haven’t figured out quite what it is yet. This guy though instead of coming up with any valid arguments against PayPerPost decides (along with his commentors) to just get personal on The CEO of PayPerPost, Ted Murphy ..... they’ve given me to make some money withoughScoble, or Calcanis. I’m just a security officer who loves to blog. Michael Tavani needs to back off and mind his own business. and don’t get me started on his commentors.
UE take // Pretty funny and thanks for the compliment. The compliment actually being that he listed me in the same breath as three major players in the blog world (read those guys bios on Wikipedia).


posted by Michael Tavani @ 10:39 AM | | links to this post

100 voices in 10 minutes

This video of 50 voices in 5 minutes (lots of cartoon characters, but around 0:55 it gets good) was very impressive and it led me to this video of 100 voices (actually 107) in 10 minutes, which I liked even more because I knew more of the characters. The first 29 below are hilarious.

1. Robert De Niro, 2. Christopher Walken, 3. Jack Nicholson , 4. Gary Busey, 5. Kirk Douglas, 6. Sean Connery, 7. William Shatner, 8. Gollum/Smeagol, 9. Robin Williams, 10. Don LaFontaine, 11. Al Pacino, 12. Joey Lawerence, 13. Dezi Arnez, 14. Lucy, 15. Matt Foley, 16. Johnny Carson, 17. Ray Romano, 18. Bill Cosby, 19. Kasey Kasem, 20. Shaggy, 21. Scooby, 22. John Travolta, 23. Regis Philbin, 24. John Wayne, 25. Marlon Brando, 26. Yoda, 27. Arnold Schwarzenneger, 28. Skeletor, 29. Sylvestor Stallone

As good as these are are, Frank Caliendo (John Madden and W) is the best I've seen.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 2:37 PM | | links to this post

PayPerPost stirring contoversy, filming web reality TV show

PayPerPost, a new start-up is causing quite the controversy (especially on TechCrunch) in the blogosphere. The company, who recently raised $3 million in venture capital, is connecting advertisers with bloggers that are willing to write about their products for payment. Essentially bloggers log into the PayPerPost site and search listings of advertisers and corresponding payments a blogger would get for blogging about them. This practice looks very similar to payola in the music industry, where record companies pay money for the broadcast of records on music radio. Payola is illegal in the U.S.

PayPerPost will now require disclosures amid criticism and a regulatory threat. Before this week, it was not required for bloggers to disclose that they were getting paid. Under the new policy, bloggers must disclose that they are accepting payment, either in the write-up or in a general disclosure policy on the blogger's Web journal. The disclosure can still be hidden in the "policy" or some other section of a blog that nobody reads anyway.

PPP's flamboyant founder is about 30 years old and this is the 6th company he's founded. He seems to be a bit cheesy and over-the-top, but I give him credit for creating some buzz and founding some successful companies (MindComet). He has hired a film crew to film a reality style TV show for the internet similar in style to the documentary Startup.com which came out around the time of the dot com bubble. The reality show for can be found at Rockstartup.com - the episodes are very professionally done and it's entertaining to watch a young, energetic start-up from the very beginning as they try to create a sustainable business. Check out this episode about the company and this episode where they shellac the Today Show audience with freebies.

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 11:52 AM | | links to this post

Great week for movies - Rocky, Marshall, Happyness

This turns out to be a great week for movie watching. Rocky Balboa opens tonight (read my earlier post on it), We Are Marshall about the football season following the tragic Marshall University plane wreck and starring McConaughey comes out this Friday. Also, word on the street has it that The Pursuit of Happyness starring Will Smith which came out last weekend, was a legit movie about a homeless guy who works his way up the corporate ladder. Finally some good flicks. Looking forward to checking them all out.

The Trilogy

- The Pursuit of Happyness - Will Smith - opened December 15
- Rocky Balboa (Rocky VI) - Sylvester Stallone - opens December 20
- We Are Marshall - Matthew McConaughey - opens December 22

posted by Michael Tavani @ 3:00 PM | | links to this post

Download your favorite YouTube videos with Qoogle

There's about 3,254 videos on YouTube that I would like to download to my hard drive so that I have them permanently saved (even if a major network does remove them from the site). Japanese website Qoogle is a very useful site that lets you download your favorite YouTube videos in a cinch. Just follow the four easy steps in the help section. It takes about one minute to download a one minute long video.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 2:24 AM | | links to this post

Cereality - a cereal restaurant

What a brilliant concept - Cereality, a cereal bar and cafe with pajama-clad employees offers up familiar cold or hot cereals and an array of toppings. Of course, you can make your own mixtures however you like. Can you believe that? A restaurant with cereal as its main offering. Pick two cereals and a topping, and they package them up in a Chinese-food style container served with a plastic spoon that doubles as a straw for drinking that ever-so-tasty cereal-flavored milk. I love the founders justification for how a cereal restaurant will fare (it appeared as the title of their first ever press release):

97% of Americans like cereal. 57% like sex. We've got cereal.

The restaurants are mostly based near college campuses, but are expanding into other areas. Apparently the founders have received 700 letters from potential franchisees. This is one of those ideas where you say to yourself, "why didn't I think of that?" Well, these two guys did and they're making it happen.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 1:10 AM | | links to this post

Italian philosophy on longevity

Although 33 years old, Italian Fabio Cannavaro (FIFA World Player, UE's 10th best looking athlete in the world, and all around stud) remains supremely fit and looks set to remain a top-class player for another four to five seasons. During the World Cup the father of three said he followed a simple regime to keep in shape:

Eating well, getting plenty of sleep and having sex -- these are all important things.

Molto bene.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 12:42 PM | | links to this post

Random quick links

- The Year in Gear 2006 // Great read for guys, including 5 to look forward to in 2007.
- Best of Maxim 2006 // covering the year's best tunes, flicks, tube, and photos.
- How to Succeed in 2007 // Business 2.0 lets you hear from the brightest and biggest entrepreneurs.
- Horrendous weekend for Brand Jordan // Melo, you lost my respect. By the way, does anyone care about the NBA anymore?

posted by Michael Tavani @ 8:54 PM | | links to this post

Santa's a fat ass, Harry ain't trim either

In this time of holiday parties, elaborate desert trays and articles about how not to gain weight over the holiday season, here's an article about how not to gain weight over the holiday season. Remember Santa's got a gut, doesn't mean you have to (one of UE's first ever posts). Need more ideas? Look here and here.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 3:44 PM | | links to this post

The world explained in 4 minutes

In the previous blog, I wrote about the Norwegian band Royskopp. I had to make this a separate post because it is one of the best music videos I have ever seen. If you want to see how the world works in a way that you've never seen it, take the 4 minutes to watch this video. It's actually quite powerful. And so European. 99.9% of the world does this everyday.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 3:17 PM | | links to this post

The real Geico caveman

I know everyone's seen the Geico caveman commercials. Most recently, this one (gotta be quick to catch what the person on the other line says). I've always seen them and never thought much about them. Upon closer inspection, they're actually hilarious - check out some earlier ones here ("I'm not 100% in love with your tone right now") and here ("I'll have the roast duck with the mango salsa") and here ("so easy a therapist can do it").

It's funny how commercials actually "stick" with consumers. I guess a caveman in an insurance commercial is so bizarre that people actually remember it. Can you imagine the guy who came up with the ad campaign at the Geico board meeting who said, "We've decided on the theme of our major advertising campaign. It'll be centered around a....caveman!" He most likely got fired that day.

Well, I just found out that the real Geico Caveman is actor John Lehr. Check out how he gets into character. And the awesome song from that commercial is "Remind Me" by Norwegian group Royskopp. Read about it on the Gecko's blog (yes, the green, British-accented, Geico lizard mascot).

Thought you might find that interesting.

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

8 best looking athletic leisure shoes in the world

Some shoes just plain look cool - especially urban/retro athletic leisure shoes. Here's Urban Eola's list of the 8 all-time best looking leisure kicks in the world:

1) Adidas Rod Lever (white with any accent color) // Rod Laver was an Australian tennis pro in the 1960's. Like Stan Smith, an American tennis player around the same era, adidas gave him the honors of a namesake shoe. The Laver is ageless. No matter what accent color (the classic green, navy blue, green/orange) adidas uses for this shoe, as long as it's paired with the classic white, it's money. Looks good with any outfit. Old tennis guys and urbanites alike are sporting them.

2) Air Jordan IV (black/red) // MJ at his best. Look how much they're going for - $550! Notice they have the Nike logo on them - later models didn't. I've wanted a pair since I was in 4th grade when they came out.

3) New Balance 574 (navy blue/gray or gray/orange) // Classic look. Not to be confused with these (which I don't like at all). Started off as a hard core running shoe.

4) Nike Dunk Low // Originally a basketball shoe in the early 80's and turned into a pop culture phenomenon. There are about a million different customized Dunk Low's out there. You can customize your own at NikeID.

5) Nike Air Max 90 // One of many legends in the Nike Air Max running line.

6) Adidas Gazelle (royal blue with red bottoms) // First launched in 1968 as an all-around training shoe, it became the off-field shoe among soccer players. Look for the original ones with the different colored sole.

7) Vans Checker // I can't pull them off but Andy Roddick can. They've made a major comeback in the last two years after serving primarily as skater shoes in the early 80's. Rad.

8) Nike Lava Dome // Nike's first "All Conditions Gear" outdoorsy shoe. I actually picked up a pair at the Nike Outlet store for $18 a couple years back

If you notice one of the trends is that all of these shoes were once a top athletic shoe of their time. Now they're all worn for looks and leisure. While you're at it, check out this really cool looking show website: Flight Club New York. And this site's pretty cool: Capitol 1524 (a Seattle-based retro shoe store)

Random takes on urban/retro attire. As you can see "urban" and "retro" are used interchangeably. At Barnes & Noble last night, I saw some chick wearing a subway map t-shirt (order them here). It got me thinking that one of those would look pretty sweet with jeans and any of the kicks above. Kinda like this. As always, scouting fresh looks.

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 3:59 PM | | links to this post

New Firefox logo

I recently wrote how Firefox usage has surged to 11% of the web browser market. Switching to this logo would most likely increase usage to above 72%. Looking critically at the new logo, I see it's vast potential because it appeals to both female (kitty cat) and male (other kitty cat) audiences. [via 2spare]

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

College students really do streak the quad

I knew this British guy Mark Roberts has streaked major sporting events like the World Cup and Wimbledon. And how could I forget that in one of my favorite movies Old School, Will Ferrell's character - Frank the Tank - streaks the quad. But I didn't know that the college streaking tradition still existed on college campuses. Apparently it 's a sanctioned event at UCLA -- albeit it's a semi-clothed streak. Check out the photos here and here. Man, that looks like a good time.

In other news, Firefox usage gained ground on Microsoft's Internet Explorer, snagging 11% of the market. That's pretty good considering 50% of Windows users probably don't have enough technical savvy to download Firefox. By default, they use the pre-installed IE.

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

Celebrating 1 year of Urban Eola love [12.15.05 - 12.15.06]

...ringing in the new year with a new design/template.

On December 15, 2005 I wrote my first post on the humble and newly-created website, urbaneola.com. That marked the official start, but the idea of starting something creative and original has been in my head since I was a little kid. I've loved the power of the internet since I discovered it my freshman year of college ('98). In all of my searches, I've always sought to find the baddest website out there. The one with all the freshest stuff that I'm interested in. But I couldn't find it. Enter Urban Eola. This site has all the latest and greatest that people like you and I like -- in one place.

Here's a brief recap of the past year.

// Stats
- posts: 416 (1.139767094158 posts/day)
- templates: 5
- logos: 10
- total site visitors: approximately 19,710

// A look back: check out this compilation of old school Urban Eola templates and logos. As you can see, many of these logos were left on the cutting room floor.

// Goals for the future
- increase the #'s of feed subscribers
- attract talented, creative writers to cover original content
- 1,000 visitors/day by this time next year
- secure a sponsor with the same artistic vision as UE
- develop a first-class site for for urban people seeking 'intellectual entertainment'
- Become a known source among young, creative urbanites

I plan on making this Urban Eola thing even bigger and better. It's my hobby and my passion. But I can't do it alone. I need some help to reach the goals above -- idea tipsters, writers, researchers, etc. Anyone interested in creating this urbanite utopia? Any suggestions? Let me hear from you. Also, a special thank you to all the loyal readers for making this worthwhile. I know who you are (Stat Counter tells me).

Editor's note // In launching this new template, there might be some functions that are down or not linked correctly. The kinks will be fixed shortly. As with everything, this new template works best with Firefox.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 12:20 AM | | links to this post

Nike's Air Force 1 can rent a car; turns 25

Sneakerheads and Nikeheads, this is awesome. Nike's Air Force 1 turns 25. Read Details Magazine's 25 moments in the life of the Air Force 1 and a recap of the 25th Anniversary party in New York City by CNBC's Darren Rovell. The party sounded pretty amazing.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 4:19 PM | | links to this post

The wine industry's Donald Trump

The wine industry has to be an amazing business as far as profits go. There's a stylish wine bar outside my window (notice the "Eola" name) and it's busy 7 days a week from about 5 PM - 2 AM. I would bet that 95% of the people (mostly yuppies) in there couldn't tell the difference between good wine and Costco wine (I know I can't). They end up spending $10 on a glass of wine and they think they got a good deal. Little do they know that the wine bar probably paid $10 for 2 bottles of wine.

That being said, you have to check out Gary Vaynerchuk's Wine Library TV video blog. It's pretty hilarious. Vaynerchuk is the Director of Operations at the Wine Library, a bricks and mortar wine retailer in New Jersey. His video blog has become an internet phenomenon, and in the process he has turned the small, family owned wine retailer into a mult-million dollar buisiness.

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

Skype's not free anymore

Skype, the Internet calling service owned by eBay, said Tuesday that as of January 1 it would begin charging $30 a year for unlimited calls to landline and mobile phones within the United States and Canada. Those calls had been free since last spring. Skype's Free Phone Call Plan Will Soon Have Annual Fee.

If you haven't used Skype yet, you've missed out. It allows you to make phone calls from your computer using an internet connection. There seriously is no no need to have a land line. [via FT]

posted by Michael Tavani @ 7:55 AM | | links to this post

Launch your own business

CNN Money has a good list of 5 things to do before starting your own business. And take the quiz -- are you ready to start your own business? -- on the right side.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 4:00 PM | | links to this post

Magazine death pool...who's next

I'm a huge magazine guy. I have 8 subscriptions, but I've heard ramblings that, as a whole, the magazine industry is struggling. Overhead costs are high and with RSS site feeds on the internet, the rise of plasmas, TV on demand, and about a thousand other entertainment options, who reads magazines anymore? I read them because they're a quick, mindless read that you can take anywhere (pool, toilet, beach) without worrying about them getting wet or taking them out of your bag at airport security. I pick up a magazine to look at the photos or read short, simple snippets that are visually appealing with lots of charts, graphs, etc. The way I see it, specialty/niche magazines are the only ones that have a chance.

I stumbled upon this site called Magazine Death Pool, which chronicles and predicts which magazines will go out of business next, with the latest being FHM. (EMap Shuts Down FHM Magazine in U.S.). Are magazines outdated? Or, like movie theatres and newspapers, will there always be a place for them? Let's hear your thoughts.

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

Quit smoking...or else

This is awesome. Americans are fat, out of shape, unhealthy and need to quit smoking. Just look around the local mall or airport. Finally, a company is doing something about it. Crown Laboratories, makers of Blue Lizard sun block, has decided not to pay their employees health insurance if, based upon set criteria, their employees are not "healthy". Factors considered are smoking, weight, physical activity, etc. Read this quote from the article Get Healthy...Or Else:

Last fall, Bedard [CEO of Crown] decided he'd had enough and he rolled out a tough new wellness program designed to force his 61 employees to live healthier lives. Each worker is required to get an annual on-site health assessment. Based on a number of indicators--including blood pressure, weight, physical activity, and cholesterol levels--the individuals are given a "wellness number" of up to 24. Those who improve their scores by at least three points a year, or maintain a score of 20 or more, will get a $500 bonus and extra days off. Smoking is now officially against Crown policy--even during off-hours--and nicotine levels are measured in the health assessment. Smokers have until January 2007 to kick the habit. If they don't, they'll have to start paying their own health insurance premiums.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 10:39 PM | | links to this post

10 most fascinating people of 2006; Baron Cohen

Tonight at 10 PM ET on ABC, Barbara Walters takes a look back at the 10 Most Fascinating People of 2006. It should be pretty interesting. The ten people are:
Everyone now knows Borat, but not many know much about Sacha Baron Cohen, the guy that plays him. This Rolling Stone article -- Man Behind the Mustache -- is the only interview he's done recently as himself and it takes a great look into Baron Cohen's life.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 11:25 AM | | links to this post

Web video cheat sheet

I've heard of about 10 web video sites as I wrote about here, but Light Reading has a great cheat sheet breakdown comparing all of the web video sites out there (more than 25 of them). This article explains why more people are turning to web-based video as a source of entertainment.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 11:40 PM | | links to this post

Choosing the perfect domain name

I spend at least an hour a week looking for cool, short, catchy, and meaningful domain names on GoDaddy. I have a pad with about 200 ideas of available names that I have thought of. As you can see, pretty much every good domain name is taken. It forces you to be creative -- and that's what I like about it. After going on a domain name spree, I even got cut off by the better half for buying too many domain names. So what did I do? I bought another domain name -- and put her on it. I told her it's like an investment in real estate and has the potential to be a good investment -- even though I haven't even had one bid on any of my domain names up for auction at the Domain Name Aftermarket.

From what I have seen, there's no Domain Name Anonymous groups around, so I'll have to resort to keep doing what I do - searching for domain names. Check out this good read -- Choosing the perfect domain name.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 2:31 PM | | links to this post

Response to the response of "Is Atlanta the best HS bball city in the Us?"

Update - 12.12.06 // more crossfire has occurred in the comments below. Also, this debate was linked to by the Jackson Community College coach in Michigan. I emailed him to chime in on the subject as he was a student assistant at Michigan State and coached HS ball in Brooklyn. He deferred because he didn't want to piss off any recruits.

...the debate rages on. I don't even really care what city has the best high school basketball, but I love the debate. These two guys love high school and college basketball as much as anyone in the world. No better place to host their opinions than Urban Eola.
Here's the response to the the response (in it's original form):

Historically it's not even close - Philly's way better - ATL being this good is more of a recent thing - not to say that there hasn't been talent in ATL before, but nothing like the last 5 years

I actually did read some of that column [AJC article] while taking a shit at work, and I don't remember Kwame Brown being mentioned (and if he was, that's stupid, because he lived 300 miles away from ATL, so ATL definitely shouldn't be taking credit for him.

First of all - NYC is the best city historically - And not just because it has the highest population - They're the best historically for how seriously the sport is taken up there - sure it's largely because the hs football up there is atrocious (NJ has been pretty good at football, but not NYC, although it has been improving a little bit in the last 4 or 5 years).

Philly is definitely the best COLLEGE basketball town (big 5 plus Drexel)

Now, I do think it's quite lame that the guy's claiming Bethlehem as a b-ball powerhouse (Packer and Kendra? - are you kidding me - This guy must think that Kwame Brown is a bigger bust at basketball then Dan Kendra at basketball - Kendra had enough problems with football - what a stupid argument)

And the Gerry McNamara thing - not a good argument either - He's from Scranton, which isn't even that close to Philadelphia - and I can't think of ANYONE else at all who could ball from there.

I think ATL is insane at basketball (and really the whole state of GA - because I'd be willing to say that the best players from metro ATL and the best players from everywhere else in GA are almost about the same.

Still, historically, Philly is definitely better. But ATL recently takes the crown I think that historically (I have no imperical evidence, this is just what I think, that they rank like this:


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

Memorable year for Stephen Colbert

According to an online survey by dictionary publisher Merriam-Webster, the word of the year is: truthiness. "Truthiness" was credited to Comedy Central satirist Stephen Colbert, who defined it as "truth that comes from the gut, not books." Other Top 10 finishers included serious words like "war," "insurgent," "sectarian" and "corruption".

This has been a an especially great year for Colbert. Last month, the minor league hockey team, Saginaw Spirit held a vote on their website to name a new secondary mascot for the 2006-07 season. The mascot was named Steagle Colbeagle the Eagle after Stephen Colbert had promoted the contest on his show, The Colbert Report. After naming the mascot after Colbert, the Spirit won seven straight games before losing October 20th.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 2:26 AM | | links to this post

The fallout of the 201 point game

Most sports fans probably know that last Saturday, Lincoln University (PA) set an N.C.A.A. record by defeating Ohio State-Marion, 201-78. The part that most people probably don't know is hilarious:

(from the New York Times article "University on Defensive for Scoring 201 points"): Ohio State-Marion's 44-year-old athletic director, Mark Sisler, is also the basketball coach - and a reserve guard because he has two years of college eligibility remaining. Sisler and five freshmen made the trip to Salem, WV for the tournament. Four Ohio State-Marion players shared a room at a motel that night while Sisler and his son, Bryant, a starter on the team, slept in the team van.

That's just not right.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 10:34 PM | | links to this post

Eco-Laptop and green gifts

Treehugger is a pretty awesome site in its design and content.

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

Response to "Is Atlanta the Best HS bball city in the US?"

In response to my recent post asking "is Atlanta the best high school basketball city in the US?", my buddy JB responded via email with this great reply. Although he's just as bias as I am, the reply deserves it's own post just for effort and originality. But the best part of this post is that he wrote it from the law school library, where we both should be studying for finals.

the atl has the best hs bball??? Im not too sure about that. Anytime you have to use the name Kwame Brown to prove how good of a basketball town you are its not a good sign.

Did "columnist" Curt Bunn of the AJC ever hear of "the city of brotherly love"? I wont get into all the details but all I have to say is Kobe, McKie and 'Sheed. Not to mention all the great hs players who end up going to Penn or Drexel and help carry on the tradition of the Big 5. Maybe Bunn should write a story on how the Emory - Valdosta St game is one of the best rivalries of all time..right behind Xavier-Cincy.

If CB decided to head north on the turnpike from Philly he would run into a little town called Bethlehem. There he will find that greats such as Billy Packer and Dan Kendra played their basketball in B-town. Go a bit farther north and you run into Gerry McNamara country.

I rest my case. Not only is Philly the best basketball city...hs and college..all of NE PA is just filled with bball talent!

posted by Michael Tavani @ 11:51 AM | | links to this post

NIke labs - one time only

I don't know what the hell's going on in this series of animations, but it's Nike - notably rare Nike - and because of that, I love it. Yep, if you ask me Nike could put a swoosh on a pile of crap and I would dig it. It's reminds me of my buddy GM back in college who loved the jam band Phish. I told him they sound like ass and he didn't care -- because they were Phish and he was all about everything they did.

The description from the Nike Lab says: The Air Max 90, Air Max 95, Air Max 97, and Woven Air Footscape shoes converge with the latest development in maxair technology - Air Max 360 - to create a series of legendary products that offer Nike's smoothes, most durable ride ever, no foam, no midsole, just NIKE AIR, occurring ONE TIME ONLY.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 11:37 PM | | links to this post

Is Atlanta the best HS basketball city in the US?

I know I'm a little bias as an ATL boy, but this Atlanta Journal-Constitution article makes a good case for Atlanta as the best high school basketball breeding ground in the U.S. - Big-time showcase for metro area.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 4:51 PM | | links to this post

For one more day with Mitch Albom

I'm a big fan of best-selling author Mitch Albom. First off, he's a sportswriter who wrote one of my favorite books of all time - no, not "Tuesdays with Morrie" although that is a great book and story - "Fab Five", which is about the University of Michigan basketball team and their Fab Five freshman starters of 1992.

His latest book, "For One More Day" is an inspirational story about a guy who gets one more day with someone that he lost. See what others would do with one more day by watching the video on the left side of Albom's site. On a more serious note, what would you do if you had one more day with someone you lost? The answer might tell you something you should be doing now.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 12:10 PM | | links to this post

Diddy 'getting off' in studio

One of my knocks on celebrities nowadays is that they act "too hard" to have a good time. Like I've said before they ain't like they used to be. They're afraid of doing anything that will be perceived as letting their guard down. Screw that. My boy Diddy, is a different story. He'll do whatever. You want proof? Watch this video of him "getting off" in the studio. It's actually his music video for his song "Get off". It's probably the most low-budget video ever (even lower budget than this one). It's one of my favorite videos on the web because it represents having a good time and acting a fool. Plus, that dance step is awesome. I'll be honest, I've thought about breaking it out next time I dance. That's fun. People would rather see that than "acting hard".

posted by Michael Tavani @ 10:14 AM | | links to this post

Ron Burgundy - ESPN Audition 8.24.1979

This is classic. Ron Burgundy in a spoof audition for ESPN's SportsCenter in 1979 when people didn't even know how to pronounce the letters "espn".

posted by Michael Tavani @ 6:06 PM | | links to this post

Best Entrepreneurs under 25

The media loves to write articles about young entrepreneurs as I've written about previously: 30 Entrepreneurs under 30 - 11.27.2006 and Being a young entrepreneur - 4.24.2006.

Check out Business Week's special report on young entrepreneurs and view the slideshow. These kids are young and raw, but you gotta love their willingness to take a chance. [via RF]

posted by Michael Tavani @ 5:05 PM | | links to this post

Peace, Love and Gap with Common

I've been digging the beat behind the Peace, Love and Gap commercial starring rapper Common. To me, he looks like R&B artist John Legend. Are they look-a-likes? Decide for yourself. Common vs. John Legend.

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

Athletic uniforms reinvented

This is crazy! An Australian research team has come up with a prototype design for electroluminescent basketball uniforms, which display statistical information (points scored, fouls committed) and tactical info (which team is winning, when the shot clock has almost run out) right on the jersey. Read the article and a quote from it:

The simple, coloured display panels are attached to each vest and connected to a small computer, about the size of an iPod, strapped to each player's body. These computers communicate wirelessly with a central control system, installed at the side of the court, which keeps track of all relevant statistics as the game goes on.

This is probably the craziest uniform innovation since the Cameroon National soccer team went with one piece and sleeveless kits. I wonder what Nike will have to say about this.

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

Whiteboard video - awesome!

This music video is pretty amazing (I bet even more amazing if you're inebriated). It was created by Kristofer Strom for the Swedish band Minilogue. The entire thing is a stop motion animation created on a whiteboard, which allowed the artist to modify a drawing, leaving entire parts of it intact. My buddy ES and I used to do these videos out of clay and pretzels when we were little tykes, but they didn't look anything like this. This is a good example of how a bunch of creativity can trump a big budget production any day of the week as this video probably cost around $14 to make (for the whiteboard and Sharpies) compared to that of some other "big budget" music videos that are garbage.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 6:06 PM | | links to this post

Earth shattering nude scenes

This is a pretty funny list of top comedic nude scenes from Maxim.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 3:57 PM | | links to this post

Sports Biz. Blog with CNBC's Darren Rovell

Darren Rovell, reporter on CNBC's "On the Money", "Squawk Box", and "Power Lunch" just emailed me that he started a new blog on the CNBC site. Sports Biz with Darren Rovell will cover the business of sports, which is a $200 billion annual industry. Rovell, with his sports biz. background as former sports business guru/ reporter at ESPN, will be covering endorsements, lawsuits, stadium deals, contracts and much more. I can guarantee that this guy's blog will have the same first-rate content that his ESPN articles did.

Let me personalize this Rovell character for a minute. As a sports business aficionado I used to dig all of Darren's articles and pieces on ESPN. When I found out he was launching a book on the rise of Gatorade (The First In Thirst: How Gatorade Turned The Science of Sweat Into A Cultural Phenomenon), I thought his interests were so similar to mine that I looked up his background and sent him an email. He was nice enough to respond (despite probably getting all kinds of mail from readers as you would expect of any ESPN or CNBC reporter) and we also briefly talked over the phone about sports business, future books that he might be writing and the NYC Marathon (which we both ran) . He even donated to my niece's fundraiser for my efforts during the Chicago Marathon. So for that, check out his blog.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 9:43 AM | | links to this post

Urban Eola by Sports Lizard

Check out this article on Sports Lizard reviewing Urban Eola.

For months now I've been reading this fellow young entrepreneur's blog, Sports Lizard. The blog is written by Adam McFarland, a 24 year-old entrepreneur from the New York area who recently left his career as an engineer to pursue his passion of running his own business (iPrioritize, Sports Lizard, Sports News Reader). I've always enjoyed the content, which usually chronicles the trials and tribulations of starting out on your own. The articles are well-written and even though I've never met Adam personally, you can feel his passion for being an entrepreneur in each blog entry. Think Mark Cuban, only younger - and with about a billion less. He's the type of person (passionate, creative, innovative and entrepreneurial) that I could see collaborating with someday.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 7:26 PM | | links to this post

Morgan Freeman's latest project

Morgan Freeman is in a movie called 10 Items or Less. It's theatrical release was December 1. And in a pretty cutting-edge experiment, it will be released for download on the internet exactly two weeks later (December 15). Freeman is an investor in Click Star, a joint project between Intel and Freeman's production company, which provides the internet version. Watch Morgan Freeman's thoughts on the project.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 9:54 PM | | links to this post

Definitions to phrases used commonly

Often times I'll hear phrases and wonder what the real dictionary definition is. Here are two I've heard recently:

posted by Michael Tavani @ 5:54 PM | | links to this post

Snap to it

I've seen Snap Preview Anywhere on Tech Crunch and another cool blog I found, Malls of America (covering vintage photos of lost shopping malls of the '50s, '60s & '70s). Snap Preview Anywhere allows a user that scrolls over any link to get a little pop-up preview window of that site without having to go there, thus eliminating time on wasted "trips" to linked sites. I've added the Snap previews to Urban Eola. It's a pretty neat tool that will definitely enhance the visitor experience.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 12:32 PM | | links to this post

Cool workplaces

This is a pretty cool blog post - 10 amazing workplaces.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 11:40 AM | | links to this post

Yuppies defined by GQ

There's more to come on this topic soon, but for now GQ discusses how the modern Yuppie differs from the 80's Chardonnay-sipping, Audi-driving young urban professional. The Return of the Yuppie.

And are these guys yuppies? // GQ Men of the Year dinner photos. TI's jacket is pimp and Will Ferrell's fro is hilarious.


posted by Michael Tavani @ 3:23 AM | | links to this post

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