Urban Eola

Update on bottled water

This is a follow-up to my two previous posts (here and here) on bottled water.

Clark Howard did a short blog on bottled water and how it is ridiculous that people pay for water that is no cleaner than water you get from your tap. Women may argue that Oprah did a show recently on a girl who did her science project on cleanliness of ice at restaurants and she found that ice had more germs than the toilet water. That was at the ice machines at fast food restaurants - this is municipal water which is tested very frequently for cleanliness (more than bottled water is) and some studies have found bottled water to just be tap water. Throw in the fact that bottles can be hurtful to the environment if they are not disposed of properly (and even if they are recycled in some cases). [via RW]

From Clark Howard's article on bottled water:
Last year, people spent $11 billion on bottled water, according to the beverage industry. That’s about $2 per bottle and people happily spend it every day, yet we complain about the cost of gas. Coke and Pepsi own the two largest bottled water companies, Dasani and Aquafina, and they are making a ton on each. People seem to think that water out of a bottle is cleaner water out of a tap. But that is not true. In fact, municipal water is tested much more often than bottled water. A number of recent studies also show that bottled water is really just tap water in a bottle. It tastes better because it’s been treated, and that makes a huge difference to some people. But bottled water isn’t any safer than tap water. That’s just a little something for you to swallow.

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 9:28 PM | | links to this post

Michael Vick. Really!?!

SNL's been average since the big 3 left - Rock, Farley and Sandler with exceptions when Ferrell was there. The Al Gore skit was hilarious as well. Check out this Michael Vick skit. Really!?!

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 11:05 PM | | links to this post

Robotic parking garages

Via loyal reader/contributing writer RW:

For those people who like the urban lifestyle, be on the lookout for robotic parking garages. This idea is not necessarily revolutionary, but NYC is opening up a robotic parking garage in Chinatown, and if it works accordingly we'll probably be seeing a lot more of these. I think I'm just going to give up my car and wait for those telepods that they had in the movie The Fly. Those were pretty boss.

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 10:08 PM | | links to this post

Thoughts on Windows Vista

From loyal reader/contributing writer RW:

This is an MSNBC article that I really enjoyed about a Mac user (in fact he used to work for Apple back in the day when Microsoft was stealing everything) who switched to Vista and then ultimately switched back to a Mac. From what I can tell, Vista seems to be pretty impressive as long as your computer has the necessary power to handle it, and Microsoft certainly seems to be making significant strides towards an integrated Home computer network. A guy I work with has been testing Vista and he says as long as your computer is over 1 gig processing you should be good.

Features I enjoyed:
1) Vista's ability to record live TV (much like TiVo) while you are working on it.
2) Compatibility with other Microsoft products such as their 360 gaming system.

Disappointment:
1) While it talked about Vista's new photo software it didn't mention anything about video editing software (possibly because Vista doesn't really have a good capability for it yet, I don't know).

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

Super Bowl spoiler

If you watch the Super Bowl for its commercials, then you'll like Britney's ex, Kevin Federline in this Nationwide spot. It's set to air during Sunday's Super Bowl. Is it good enough to cause the Super Bowl hangover, where the day after the big game, millions come to work unfocused and hungover, or simply call in sick altogether with the big loser becoming the nation’s economy.

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 8:30 AM | | links to this post

Top 14 things to do before turning 30

They say "youth is wasted on the young". Prove them wrong. Make something of yourself. Do something with yourself. This is a pretty fun topic. I found some other lists which are pretty interesting. 30 sports things to do before you turn 30, top 10 things to do before you turn 30, Travel Channel's 99 things to do before you die, 8 things to do financially before you turn 30. And here's two of my favorites from Maxim's list: go to your high school reunion dressed as a homeless guy, hold auditions for a posse, invite friends over for dinner, then mail them a bill for everything they ate.

Here's my top 14. I have about 2.5 years to get these done.

Top 14 things to do before turning 30

1) Travel the U.S. in a conversion van or RV. Make a loop covering as many states that you would never normally go to as possible. Some states I'd like to visit: New Mexico, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, all of California, Missouri, and Texas.

2) Write a book.
At least start writing something by 30. It's when your most interesting life stories most likely occurred. Start with a couple pages a month. Some ideas: non-fiction about life as a twentysomething, cook book for guys, interview book of creative minds.

3) Live in New York City.
It's not the same visiting as a tourist. You have to shop at an urban grocery store, run along the Hudson River, play hoops on the public courts, and hang out at Central Park on a sunny Sunday. In my opinion the best city in the world.

4) Travel Europe using only public transportation.
There's too much to write about on this one. Don't do the 9 cities in 7 days thing. Take the time to get to know your favorite cities.

5) Start a business.
Low risks. High rewards. No better time to do it. Pick a passion and make it happen. If you don't do it soon, slowly but surely your creativity will evaporate and your attitude jaded by the corporate life. Use the power of the internet to spread the word. Hot businesses: blogging, green companies, customized products, inspirational apparel (think LiveStrong bracelets and Project (red) apparel).

6) Conquer a physical challenge (ie. develop a six pack, marathon, triathlon, win your old-timers league).
This is more a permanent lifestyle thing than a one time goal. You are nothing without a sound mind in a sound body. Everything is better if you're in shape - you feel better, you look better in any threads, clothes fit better, you sleep better, you're more productive, and best of all you can eat more.

7)
Give back to others. Start a non-profit. Start a volunteer group. Tutor/coach/mentor kids that need help and/or support. Volunteer your time on the weekends. If you're reading this blog, you've most likely experienced a good life. Give back to those that haven't had the same luck.

8) Take a yearly road trip to a big-time sporting event.
Guaranteed best weekend of your life (at least what you can remember of it). The actual sporting event isn't important, the group you travel with is. See #10 for who to take it with.

9) Start a creative project.
I'm watching Super Size Me right now and that's a creative project. Start a flag football league. Make a documentary. Start a think tank with your creative friends.

10) Plan 2 yearly trips - 1 with family, 1 with friends.
All you need is a long weekend. People spend all this time at work and doing their own thing all the while forgetting their family. Don't take them for granted. Alternate the friends trip yearly - every other year make the trip a guys only.

11) Break a world record.
Think of something. Attempt to break it. Most likely you'll fail. You'll have fun in the process. Loyal reader RW and I attempted to break the 400 M running world record held by Michael Johnson. We failed. It was fun as hell (video coming soon).

12) Immerse yourself in a hobby.
Take one of your passions and get extremely involved in it - make a song using free programs available on the internet, religion, photography, outdoor adventures, video editing, investing, travel, web design or environmental issues.

13)
Live in a urban environment. Walk to the grocery store. Walk to work. Walk to the pizza joint. Walk to entertainment. Walk to Starbucks. Take advantage of public parks. Take public transportation. Don't use your car more than 3x a week. Buy a Vespa.

14) Hang only with people you want to hang out with.
Quit wasting time on the guy that you're not crazy about. The acquantaince that you don't have much in common with. Your 20's are too short to accommodate every guy you ever met in your life. Make it a goal to stop spreading yourself thin. You'll enjooy yourself more hanging only with your true "boys".

Oh yeah and I have one before turning 40.
1) Be able to wake up daily without the assistance of an alarm clock.

What are yours?

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 9:04 PM | | links to this post

25 years of Nike's Air Force

Nike's been running a pretty solid ad campaign around the "second coming" of their Air Force basketball line. To me, the best Nike ad campaigns are the ones that feature a look into their rich athletic history - and this does. The spots feature old timers like Jamaal Wilkes, Moses Malone and Charles Barkley and "the second coming" guys like Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul, and Rasheed Wallace. Check out the official Nike Air Force site (click on the "25 years of Force" and the "Second Coming" buttons on the bottom left). Also check out the Air Force desktop background.

My only knock on Nike is that they divide up their various brands too much in ads - making it seem to the average person that Brand Jordan's Carmelo Anthony is sponsored by a different company as Air Force's Shawn Marion even though they're both techinically Nike guys.


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posted by Michael Tavani @ 8:21 PM | | links to this post

Top 25 web celebs

From Forbes Top 25 web celebs:
The ranks of the world's celebrities used to be dominated by millionaire actors, athletes and musicians, but the Internet has leveled the playing field. A kid with a video camera has access to as large an audience as the biggest Hollywood star. A mom with a blog can attract more readers than a best-selling author. And an opinionated entrepreneur can become a guru to millions.

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 2:40 PM | | links to this post

Swimmin' the Amazon

I thought running 50 miles in 50 days in 50 states and pulling a Forrest Gump and running from New York to San Francisco was an amazing physical challenge.

Well, here's an equally amazing physical challenge. On February 1, Martin Strel, a Guinness Book world record marathon swimmer, is attempting to swim the Amazon River - 3,375 miles in 70 days. This freakin ballsy. First off, he's 52 years old - by no means a young whipper snapper. In the MSNBC article, Daredevil plans Amazon swim, Strel acknowledges [the Amazon is] "home to some of the most poisonous and dangerous and ferocious animals, fish and insects... I’m going to swim that river or die trying. But dying is not my intention.”

The best part about it is that we'll be able to watch the expedition in real-time via live video streaming on Amazonswim.com. [via JB]

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 5:07 PM | | links to this post

Update: Guilty until proven innocent

Man, it seems like every post I've written this past week has had an update since I've posted it. Having everything to do with my recent post Guilty until proven innocent, this ultra-compelling ESPN article comes out yesterday. It's the story about Genarlow Wilson, a 17-year old honor student and football star who had consensual sex with a fellow teenager. The crime is that he's been in jail for two years since.

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 5:59 PM | | links to this post

Update: Sport's life lessons

Representatives from Universal Pictures must read Urban Eola because they picked up the movie rights to the story that chronicled the struggles of the Fugees, a youth soccer club made up of international refugees who now live in Clarkston, GA (outside ATL), just two days after the story appeared in this space. Either that or they read the New York Times article on the story.

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 5:13 PM | | links to this post

The funniest clip of 2007

I've watched it 7 times. I've laughed 15 times.


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

Badass site

Check out this very cool site recommended by loyal reader RW: Basically it utilizes "Tag Clouds" (if you know what those are) to pull the most recited words from all Presidential speeches and it has a nifty "slider" bar across that you can scroll to any time period and see the most used words from that time period interactively. You can read more about it on the website. There are two things specifically I like about this site:

1) The way the creator uses Tag Clouds and the Slider bar.
2) The content is also fascinating just to scroll through history and have a basic understanding of what was going on

Anyway, check it out if you have time and read this Wall Street Journal article about it - State of the Speeches: Web site tracks a history of Presidential Buzzwords.

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 10:03 PM | | links to this post

Guilty until proven innocent

No one can imagine the feeling.

It seems like everywhere I look people who've been in jail for years are being let free due to DNA evidence proving them innocent. Can you imagine being put away for a crime you didn't commit? It's even more unfathomable being put to death for one. This is the best example of why people deserve a fair trial, despite what might seem as a slam dunk, guilty defendant. I'd rather have a guilty guy go free if it meant preventing an innocent guy from getting sentenced.

The numbers of people being let free are astonishing. And these are just the ones where DNA evidence is still available. 8 exonerated in New York state in the past 13 months. 12 exonerated in Dallas since 2001. According to the Georgia Innocence Project, 192 innocent people have been let free in the U.S.

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 7:20 PM | | links to this post

Airlines losing luggage

[sent in via loyal reader RW]: Some interesting reads from Clark Howard. Of particular interest is the write-up on the airlines losing bags. Delta is losing up to 30% of bags, one of the highest percentages of any of the main carriers. Who does the best? AirTran, Jet Blue, and Southwest. Shocker.
ASA is the worst by far, with a baggage loss increase of 30 percent from a year ago ... Of the mainline airlines, USAir, Delta and United are losing up to 30 percent more bags as well. The least likely to lose bags are AirTran, JetBlue, Southwest and Continental. So, try not to check that bag if you can help it.

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 6:21 PM | | links to this post

The nicest hotel in the world

The Burj al-Arab (in Arabic - "Tower of the Arabs") in Dubai is, in my opinion the coolest-looking hotel in the world. Type "Burj Al Arab" in Google Images to see some other amazing photos.

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 8:04 AM | | links to this post

Sport's life lessons

I've always thought that participation in sports makes you a better person in every aspect. It teaches you life lessons that you can't learn anywhere else - teamwork, the value of practice and preparation, the value of physical fitness, and that a team effort is greater than its individual parts.

This great NY Times article describes it best - Refugees find Hostility and Hope on the Soccer Field. [via FT]

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 7:51 AM | | links to this post

Nerdy millionaires

Every person in this picture is now a millionaire. That gives you, me and pretty much anyone in the world a chance. Read about Microsoft's original employees and their net worths/whereabouts. Also, that old school Microsoft logo should be brought back immediately if they want to raise their "cool" factor.

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 7:44 AM | | links to this post

Spiders on drugs

When EB sends me videos, I don't even have to watch them, I know they're going to be funny. This one showing spiders on drugs is no exception. Little superstar was another.

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 11:41 PM | | links to this post

Blacks and Jews

There's Jewish rappers i.e. Matisyahu (not many) and there's black rappers i.e. Snoop Dogg (many) and then there's this new music video called Blacks and Jews by white, Jewish rapper Eshy (MySpace page) from his debut album "Attention Deficit Disorder. He sounds like Eminem to me. Although I don't normally like Eminem's music, this video has a catchy beat, great vector graphics and solid lyrics.


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posted by Michael Tavani @ 7:30 PM | | links to this post

The Wave is 25 years old

Not many people know about this, but The Wave recently turned 25 years old. Everyone has seen The Wave at sporting events worldwide. It's become a tradition everywhere from World Cups to golf tournaments to the big leagues. Despite their popularity, I haven't actually seen a successful execution of a Wave in about 10 years. It seems like some drunk college kid always tries to unsuccessfully start one up at every sporting event, but most of them fizzle a couple sections over.

Although The Wave has gone through a quiet period in recent years, the story of how it was was first performed is an interesting one. There's a huge dispute as to who did it first. Both Krazy George and Robb Weller (University of Washington) make a claim to be founders of the wave. This article makes many claims as to who started it.

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 7:00 PM | | links to this post

Politics for a change

I rarely, if ever, post about politics but this interesting story deserves mention. Republican Congressman Jack Kingston rarely goes against GOP opinion in key votes on Capitol Hill, but when it came time for the University of Georgia graduate and Athens, GA-born politician to vote on House Resolution 39, he departed from party lines.

The reason? House Resolution 39 commended "the University of Florida Gators for their victory in the 2006 Bowl Championship Series (BCS) and for winning the national college football championship." The House bill passed by a vote of 414-1.

Normally these bills pass unanimously. For example, House Resolution 43, a bill that commended "the Boise State University Broncos football team for winning the 2007 Fiesta Bowl and completing an undefeated season," passed by a vote of 415-0 last week.

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 11:24 PM | | links to this post

Online biz & domain name post

People are starting online businesses before even having an actual company. Then once they get the visitors, they start the company. Novel idea. [via JB]

Domain names are the real estate of the 22nd century. Don't believe it? Read here and here.

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

The next power couple

If they're actually dating (as rumored) (funny scenarios by ESPN), Brazilian Victoria's secret model Giselle Bundchen and New England Patriots QB Tom Brady (aka "Brad Chen") will take over the title of hottest couple alive from Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie ("Brangelina").

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 7:46 PM | | links to this post

GPS-enabled running shoes

The Quantum Satellite Technology (QST) shoe by Isaac Daniel is a GPS-ebnabled running shoe. Pretty frickn' amazing. These kicks were announced in November, and are available now, retailing for about $350, including a charger. The shoe has a built in GPS receiver that at the press of a button, alerts people to your whereabouts. Bond, James Bond.

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 6:32 PM | | links to this post

Biodegradable utensils help environment

Fast food restaurants, office environments, and schools all use millions of plastic utensils and Styrofoam cups a week. As bad as this is for the environment, there is now hope.

From the consumer advocate show, Clark Howard: A California company Excellent Packaging and Supply creates biodegradable and compostable products such as forks, knives and spoons. The utensils are made of potato starch and soy oil and they're completely safe for the environment. EPS also makes dinner plates and coffee cups out of leftover sugar cane. This is a great idea with huge potential. The company has already sold $5 million so far. It costs a bit more to make these products and that is reflected in the cost to the consumer. But it may be worth it to you. Hopefully for the environment's sake, these products take off.

Thoughts on this topic via loyal reader RW:
The concept itself, using natural materials to make useful items so that when they are discarded they can continue to add value to the earth/environment, is not revolutionary. It is one of many topics covered in a book that I read 4 years ago titled Cradle to Cradle. Among other interesting topics covered in the book, the question: Why do more people not have grass roofs?

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 10:47 PM | | links to this post

Campaign against real beauty

If you watched the Campaign for Real Beauty video I posted in November, you'll love the spoof video Campaign Against Real Life. Hilarious. And they make a valid point.

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 10:05 PM | | links to this post

Alternative city rankings

Lists are constantly coming out ranking cities as the best to live, best for singles, best for business, and the best for guys. However, I suggest two alternatives for ranking the best cities in the U.S.

1) Uni Watch's most livable Uni cities // ranking the best cities in terms of athletic unis

2) Best towns/cities of the SEC (regarding co-eds) // this list was sent in by loyal reader RW with these comments:
It appears the SEC not only dominates other conferences in SPEED, but they also dominate them in the amount of hot bitches on campus. This man had the enviable task of going around to all campuses last season and rating them in regards to their hotties. My two favorite comments:

1) When discussing the amount of hotness at Ole Miss (a campus which should face sanctions from the UN for hoarding huge amounts of the world's hottie count in one area) he describes his wife's reaction as a "Massive eyeroll" which makes me wonder if he was hanging out with my wife that weekend UGA played Ole Miss in Oxford last year.

2) When describing fake breast the author writes: "if it's inside the skin then it isn't fake. I mean, you don't run around pointing to people with new hearts or new hips or new knees and talk about how those are fake hearts or fake knees or fake hips. They're just breasts, glorious, under-the-skin breasts."

My thoughts exactly - glorious, under-the-skin breasts.

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 4:47 PM | | links to this post

Conan's view of the iPhone

I think Conan O'Brien's one of the funniest in the world. Check here for my previous post on him. His latest humor comes via a mock iPhone commercial. It's pretty hilarious.

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

12 Meals. 2 Hours. Simple.

The Dinner A'Fare is a pretty creative concept. It's a studio kitchen where you have a two-hour session to assemble 12 family-sized entrees to take home and place in your freezer. They prepare all the food for you (slicing, dicing, shopping). You simply compile the ingredients the way you want.

I like their concept of charging a lump sum for their service. By emphasizing that 12 meals can be made, people are willing to pay the $140 price. It's similar to the monthly membership barber shops that I've seen. Both ideas are also franchise concepts.

I've heard some people suggest that Starbucks would be more profitable if it charged a monthly membership fee for regular customers. Maybe it's just wishful thinking, because it'd definitely be a great deal for those daily customers shelling out $4/ day. [via MR]

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 1:03 PM | | links to this post

Best ballparks

I'm not a big baseball fan. There's way too many games (162). It's funny how they labor through all those games and then a team can be eliminated in the playoffs in three games. Plus you have to admit, baseball is boring. Pitch ... wait ... hitter adjusts crotch ... wait ... steps up to plate ... wait ... hitter calls time ... wait ... pitcher adjusts hat ... wait ... pitcher puts dust on hand ... wait ... windup ... wait ... pitch ... wait ... umpire calls ball.

However, I do like the history and nostalgia associated with ballparks of all kinds. Check out this great breakdown of the best ballparks 1-30.

Top 5:
1. AT&T Park, San Francisco
2. Wrigley Field, Chicago
3. PNC Park, Pittsburgh
4. Fenway Park, Boston
5. Petco Park, San Diego

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 10:40 AM | | links to this post

Various thoughts on the iPhone

Loyal reader RW sent out an email today to some regular tech-savvy Joe's about this huge week in technology (part of it described here). Following is his original email and the unedited responses to it below that. This is a good example of how the average consumer is feeling about these breakthrough products.

Original email by RW:

After two days of following the big week in technology, climaxing yesterday with the MacWorld Key-Note address I have concluded the following brief opinions that I thought I would share with everyone for fun. Feel free, but not pressured, to share your thoughts with me.

Coolest product of the Year: iPhone
The iPhone is cool...very cool. This is something I have been wanting since thinking about it in 2004. However, I probably won't be able to afford it for another 3 years.

Disappointment of the Year: Apple TV
I expected so much more from this product. From what I can gather, in a nutshell, it is basically a device that just allows you to play the movies and videos you get from iTunes or from your iPod to your TV. Whoopty freaking dooo.

Surprise of the Year: Windows Home Server
This is what I expected from iTV. A device that is moving towards consolidating anything you can think of in the home. I have attached a link below that gives a brief description of it, but it leaves out plenty of details. This thing basically wants to serve as a storage unit for everything. My interpretation is that it would store all your DVD's or TV shows so if you want to watch a movie or video you just select it through the server, it will store all your music so if you want to play some music over your speakers they will be connected through there, it will have everyone's schedule so if you wanted to see where your kids are you could go to a screen in your kitchen, bring up their schedule and know, it will be able to add visual displays of anything you want on your walls, it will store all your video games for XBox, and it will be accessible from anywhere in the world via Windows Live. Powerful stuff. Just let your imagination go. Of course, it remains to be seen whether or not you will have to perform an unexplainable reboot every now and then.

Response to original email by AK:

As for the iTV, I think you're right - partly. For now, yes, it's not that great. I think the iTV is just the entry point for Apple. It will lead to much greater things, just like the iPod led us to the iPhone. Mark that down as another prediction of mine and look up this email in three years when iPhone is also a remote control for iTV and iTV controls everything in your house from the microwave (OK, slight exaggeration, but not too far off) to the TV and gives you the ability, via wireless keyboard, to use all the power of your Macintosh (which is upstairs somewhere) on your 65-inch plasma screen in the living room. Plus, of course, all the stuff I can't think of that, well, if I could think of it I'd be working for Apple, not some 63rd best company in the US to work for...

Response to original email by CH:

iPhone - Totally underwhelmed by design and functionality (and price). With all due respect to your friend for predicting the convergence that would take place back in 2004, this is exactly why I am underwhelmed. They merely took 2 years to create what everyone has been clamoring for since all these individual devices began filling our pockets. I expect Apple to wow me with things I have never dreamed of not just take a few years to deliver what I can think of on my own. As for design, it is very nice looking, but I thought many of the mock ups that people have created over the past few months guessing what the device would look like have been much better looking (and more what I would expect from Apple - nothing about the pictures I saw of the iPhone would have made me guess that this was even an Apple product). Lastly, I want to know more about this screen; what is going to keep it from being totally smudged all the time?
iTV - Completely agree with you.

I haven't read about Windows Home Server yet, but it seems really cool. Sounds like it may slow my intended full switch over to Macs. I'll be checking that out when I get a chance.

Response to CH's comments by AK:

As to CH's comments, he's also right that the iPhone isn't a new concept (except for the voicemail thing - that's cool as hell) but at the same time no one else has been able to actually DO it, and, not just do it, but do it with AMAZING elegance.

The iPod wasn't the first mp3 player, but its design and OS MADE the mp3 player.
The Macintosh wasn't the first computer, but it's OS and design MADE the PC market.
Similarly, the iPhone isn't the first all-in-one type device (they're out there - Blackberrys that play mp3s, and have cameras), but its interface and OS might MAKE (or remake) the all-in-one hand-held market.

Apple's innovation, in my opinion, has been in usability and industrial design, not in bringing entirely new, never-before-existed products to market.

Response to all comments by FT:

Knowing a little bit about Electronics and what it takes behind the scenes to manufacture and market a product, iPhone is impressive.

Time will tell how successful it will be. There is nothing novel about putting all the functions together. What is novel is actually doing it for $500, which sounds like a lot of money. But as volume rises, the price will come down and I predict it will be close to $200 in 3 years, perhaps lower.

HDTV Plasma 50" started at $10,000 and look at it now - Volume and manufacturing.

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 10:20 PM | | links to this post

The state of poker

Special contributing writer David Ash, himself a rounder, joins UE for this "insider" piece. Following are his thoughts on the game:

For the last couple years, it’s been possible to find poker on TV at any and all hours of the day, but this won’t last for long. Last year, Congress passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (with exemptions for lotteries and horse races, government hypocrisy at its finest) and most online poker sites promptly closed their doors to US customers.

After years of growth, the World Series of Poker will likely see participation drop as much as 50 percent after exponential growth in previous years. This could lead to a crash in the entire online poker industry. For all you rounders out there, the only glimmer of hope is that the new Democratic Congress might overturn the law, but with bigger problems looming that seems a distant possibility.

UE notes // The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 was rammed through Congress by the Republican leadership in the final minutes before the election period recess. According to Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-N.J.), no one on the Senate-House Conference Committee had even seen the final language of the bill.

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 9:47 PM | | links to this post

Coffee replacing Gatorade?

A cup of Joe before a workout instead of sports drinks can reduce post-workout pain by a half according to a study in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
It's not just coffee that may provide pain relief, but any drink containing caffeine. The study reinforces a 2003 syudy that found that caffeine taken an hour before 30 minutes of cycling reduced muscle pain while exercising.
Will Gatorade respond by coming out with Gatorade Java?

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 3:03 PM | | links to this post

Is Beckham U.S. bound?

Update // 1.11.07 - hate to say I called it, but I did.

Beckham's conquered practically every region of the world, but the U.S. His penchant for fashion, marriage to Posh Spice and his high profile social life make him a perfect candidate for a move to the States. Major League Soccer approved a new rule this summer called the "Beckham Rule", which allows teams to go over the salary cap and spend whatever money they want on up to 2 marquee players. L.A., is Beckham on his way to the hometown Galaxy? Here's a great article on his possible move. While you're at it watch Ali G's hilarious interview of Becks and Posh.

Notice there's no soccer pics.

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 7:48 PM | | links to this post

Wrong place, right time

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 7:27 PM | | links to this post

Green isn't just about the environment anymore

Check out this article about how doing environmenally friendly stuff can cut your taxes. Very interesting. Lower your taxes by thinking green. [via RW]

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

Apple's announcement

Every year Apple has a MacWorld Expo. Every year, founder Steve Jobs seems to announce something bad ass. Today the Expo took place. Today a bad ass Apple device was announced - the iPhone. Their stock subsequently soared. Watch Jobs' keynote address. Read this description for full details. Here's the specs:

4 GB ($499) and 8 GB ($599) models
thinner than a Motorola RAZR
3.5 inch touchscreen with a virtual keyboard
2 megapixel camera
WIFI enabled and runs OSX
Cingular service only
standard web sites can be viewed via Safari web browser
motion sensor that rotates photos when you turn the phone
release date: June 2007 in U.S.

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 9:45 PM | | links to this post

100 best companies to work for

3 great reads.

> CNN/Money Magazine's 100 best companies to work for is always interesting. Gooess who's #1?

> 10 Hot Jobs for 2007

> How to launch a career with your blog

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

The Apprentice

In protest of Donald, his wife Melania gets the UE love. How in the world did he pull thi$?

Trump's been pretty annoying recently. I used to think his self-promoting way was comical, now it's just gotten obnoxious. This is a perfect example, in my opinion, of overexposure and quitting when you're on top. Trump's Apprentice show had top ratings for 1-2 seasons, but after that they dropped considerably. He should have stopped while his stock was high. People were loving him after those first couple seasons. He'd regained his position as a pop culture icon.

This season, which started last night has a bunch of new twists including L.A. replacing N.Y as the film's locale and his daughter Ivanka replacing Carolyn in the boardroom. Also, in a cheesy twist, the losing team has to sleep outside of a L.A. mansion in tents until they win a task. Despite its shortcomings, The Apprentice is a pretty good lesson in the hustle and creativity entrepreneurs undertake. Read the full write up of last night's episode on Inc. Follow the entire season here.

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 6:45 PM | | links to this post

US ad dollars

Just catching up on old Entrepreneur magazines. I read this interesting stat from the August 2005 edition.

Where are U.S. businesses putting their ad dollars? See how ad spending increased or decreased last year. Some interesting trends.

+23.3% -- Internet
+16.9% -- Spanish language TV
+11% -- Cable TV
+ 10.1% -- Local magazines
+6.7% -- National magazines
-0.7% -- Coupons
-0.9% -- Local newspapers
-1.0% -- Network radio

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 12:14 AM | | links to this post

Dare Junkies

Dare Junkies is a new social video site that features videos of people choosing a dare and filming it. Examples of challenges are selling donuts in front of a police station, taking a shower in the middle of the street or riding public transportation with a blow-up doll and a speedo.

Here's the premise (from their site): Pick a challenge from the Challenge List. Challenge yourself or somebody else. Shoot it. Post it. Then over the next month, members will vote on it. The 10 most popular challenge videos will split a $5000 cash prize each month.

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

The fine art of calling shotgun

Anyone who has ever taken a ride, no matter the length, in someone else’s car with a third person present knows how vital “calling shotgun” can be. For those of you who have no idea what calling shotgun is (I’m sure there are at least a few of you), it quite simply stakes one’s claim in the front seat of the car. For instance, if more than two people are walking toward a car the first person to yell “shotgun” is awarded the comfort of sitting in the front seat for the trip. In fact, “calling shotgun” has become so widespread in today’s young life, that there is not a trip that I can remember where it has not been a deciding factor in the arrangement of the sitters.

Despite its prevalence, the rules of shotgun vary considerably between states and even regions of the country. And even people from the same part of town disagree on what the rules are, which invariably leads to conflict.

For this reason, numerous people have tried to decide upon the rules once and for all. Even Yahoo Answers has addressed the question. Shotgun Rules offers a reasonable set of rules and sells pocket shotgun guides for $5.95. I, however, prefer Shotgun Guide as it is more comprehensive and covers almost every possible situation. So kids (and even adults), make it a goal to print out one of these guides and put it in your car for reference. Who knows the next time that you’ll need to prove to a fellow rider that calling “blitz” is only valid if the driver verifies the call as outlined in Section 1.3 of the rules?

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posted by Michael Kramarz @ 1:55 AM | | links to this post

Nike Evolution video

This video is frickin' awesome. Like all of the best Nike commercials it was the idea of famed advertising firm, Wieden + Kennedy. Read the backstory on the ad here. Did you know Huarache is named after the Hispanic name for a sandal used in South America?


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

Boise State post Update

An update to Monday's post, I'm Jumping on the Boise State Bandwagon.

Here's the Fiesta Bowl highlights from what some are calling the best game ever.

Ian Johnson (running back) and his fiance, head cheerleader Chrissy Popadics get star treatment while doing the talk shows in NY. Here's their video from Good Morning America.

Also, here's an ESPN Gameday video about his off-the-field habits, including his pretty cool looking crochets.

Speaking of cheerleaders, this video is too funny not to post - Cheerleaders gone wild.



UE note // no cheerleaders were hurt in the making of this video.

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 2:06 PM | | links to this post

NYC subway hero

If you haven't heard this story (Man is Rescued by Stranger on Subway Tracks) - read it, it's incredible. About 99.9% of the population would not have jumped in the tracks. He's on Letterman tonight and deserves every minute of coverage and gifts he gets. Much respect, Wesley Autrey.

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

Singshot - online karaoke

Singshot is an online karaoke forum. I went to this site today after it was recommended to me by a friend and I saw that it made Time’s 50 coolest websites list. I was skeptical at first but after listening to a few member recordings and trying it out myself, it was actually quite amusing. Although it’s not the most practical way to spend time, it’s pretty fun (you’ll believe me once you try it out yourself). I spent at least an hour messing around and out came two of my greatest hits, all recorded right at the comfort of my very own computer.

All you need is a microphone and you’re ready to go. I even got a positive feedback post on my rendition of “Yesterday” by the Beatles. I, however, think my version of Brian McKnight’s “Back at One” (below) was much better. It's pretty cool because you can embed the songs onto your webpage, blog, MySpace, etc. Leave a comment here to let me know what you think.

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

Urban Eola doubles in size with new contributing writer

Up until this point, I've been the sole workhorse behind all 449 Urban Eola posts. Although I have enjoyed gearing the content around my interests and tastes, I realize that no organization can be successful without the perspectives of various people. I'll now have help as last month, a loyal reader responded to my 1 year anniversary post seeking contributing writers.

Urban Eola would like to introduce a new member to our burgeoning empire - Michael Kramarz (aka MK). Michael will offer a somewhat younger perspective on all of UE's topics. He's a freshman at Duke University in Durham, NC, and he hopes his posts will be as interesting to young readers as they are to readers who too were young once. He once ate lunch with the Duke basketball team and is not a member of the lacrosse team.

MK will begin posting weekly (or whenever he thinks of something UE worthy). Make sure to check out his posts - they'll be fresh.

Anyone else interested in joining a rising force of a blog as a contributing writer, contact us.

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 6:26 PM | | links to this post



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