Urban Eola

While we're on poltical-ish videos...

This one's hilarious. Will Ferrell as W.

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 11:08 AM | | links to this post

"Obama girl" changes the presidential election

The power of the internet is crazy, huh? I know this video is a couple months back, but I just caught wind of it last night. To set it up for those who haven's seen it: basically, a NY public relations exec had an in idea for a video talking about having a crush on presidential candidate Barack Obama. He sought some people (including the videographers and a hot lip syncer who has garnered a cult following) out on Craig's List to make it happen and voila -- a YouTube phenom that has been watchd over 3 million times. Although Obama himself has nothing to do with the video, you better believe it's made the YouTube-watching crowd think twice about Barack. That's powerful!

The key will be to see how they monetize this idea. It looks as if shirts and apparel are already in the mix.

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

How Google Gmails travel around the world

A couple weeks back on the Official Google Gmail blog a post was written inviting readers to submit videos on how the Google Gmail "M envelope" really travels around the world. 1,100 videos from 65 countries were submitted and Google edited it down to this collaborative video. What came of it was entertaining and creative - Gmail collaborative video. [via RW]

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 1:27 PM | | links to this post

Microsoft's ZunePhone ad

Excellent creativity and pretty fun play on Microsoft's inadequacies.

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 10:30 AM | | links to this post

Miss South Carolina wants more maps in South Africa

Doesn't look like she was prepared for this question. But at least A.C. Slater handled it well. [via first time submitter GM]

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

Cell phone free agency

This is good stuff -- original and witty. The last segment is by far the best sequence. Props to David Marcus.

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 10:32 AM | | links to this post

Jordan vs Jordan

It's been a while since this Michael Jordan Gatorade commercial first aired (2003), but it's worth posting. It's every sports fans fantasy: Jordan at age 23 versus Jordan at 39. Here's an ESPN article about the spot [Jordan ready for his close-up].

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 10:44 AM | | links to this post

Piss the stores off

The Consumerist, the site where 'Shoppers Bite Back', posted an interesting and informative list of tips to save shoppers money while upsetting retailers and throwing stores off their game. [via FT]
1. Buy Loss Leaders and Leave - Loss leaders are products that a company sells at or below cost to lure customers into the store. You can usually spot them in advertising circulars as products with disclaimers like "Limit 3 per customer". The last thing stores want is for you to waltz in, buy all the loss leaders (and nothing else) and leave. So that's exactly what you should do.

2. Use Credit and Pay it Off on Time - Sometimes stores will offer a "6 months, no interest, no payments" offer on big ticket items. These offers are not just to help you buy stuff; they are put in place to trick you into paying more for the item than if you had paid cash. The best thing to do is to take the cash you would have used to buy the item and put it in a high yield savings account. Then buy the item with credit and wait until 5.9 months later to pay it off. That way, you're using someone else's money for 6 months for free. One word of caution: pay the full balance off on time, or all your efforts will have been for naught.

3. Say No to the Extended Warranty - Stores play on the fact that electronics are a big investment, and try to scare you into buying an Extended Warranty. The Extended Warranty is basically just a trick to get you to pay way more for the item than you need to. If you're worried about not having an Extended Warranty, purchase your electronics with a credit card that offers Extended Warranty protection.

4. Activate Your Own Phone - Cell phone companies want you to sign a contract. It's their prime objective. To get around signing on the dotted line, buy a used phone, or an unlocked phone, and then call the cell phone company and activate it. No contract required.

5. Shop in the Store but Buy Online - Stores are just places where you can look at things you will later purchase for cheaper online. Look at your new laptop. Try it out. Ask questions. Then buy it online. Non-virtual stores hate when shoppers do that.

6. Buy 1 when the Deal is 2-for-$5 - "Two for" deals are bull. What they really mean is: "Please, for the love of G-d, buy this and get it out of the store." Buy as many as you decide you need, not as many as they tell you to.

7. Open a Store Credit Card then Cut it Up - The trick here is to strike when the iron is hot. If you need to buy a bunch of items at a department store, for instance, it may be worth it to sign up for that store's credit card just to get the members' discount on that one big bill. But once you've paid it off, cancel the card. No card means no interest and no fees (which is where those cards make their moolah).

8. Use Websites to Track 30-Day Price Guarantees - Stores have "30 day price guarantees" to make you think they have such low prices that they're not going to get any lower. That may well be true, but who knows, since after you buy something, you don't usually keep shopping for it. The answer: sign up to RSS feeds for websites that keep an eye on your desired purchase to see if the price does in fact drop during the guarantee period.

9. Buy Seasonal Items at Clearance Prices - Seasonal items are a big deal for retailers. They want you to buy their seasonal stuff at full price, when it's most profitable for them. But once the holiday is gone they need to make room for the next one. Take advantage of that, and buy now for next year.

10 Buy "Accessories" on eBay and Avoid Big Markups - Retailers will often discount a big ticket item only to charge ridiculous prices for "accessories" such as connectors, cables, controllers, leather lotion for your stupid coat you just bought, etc. They usually succeed to convince buyers to buy the little things, since if they gave you a good deal on a TV chances are they're going to give you a good deal on small ticket items, too. But it's often not the case. Buy this stuff on eBay or at least research what the little items really cost.

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 10:13 AM | | links to this post

New York City's IAC building

The IAC (InteractiveActiveCorp - ask.com, TicketMaster, and match.com) Building, a 10-story twisted glass structure, in New York City's trendy Chelsea neighborhood is one of the coolest I've seen recently. It opened in March 2007 and was designed by famed architect Frank Gehry.

As neat as the building is, the website for the building is equally as cool. It's one of the better websites I've browsed. I've spent a good 30 minutes checking out the different pictures, views, features and behind-the-scenes info on the building. And on top of that it has a pretty boss urban beat playing in the background. It's an all around pleasant and entertaining experience. [The IAC Building]

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 8:25 PM | | links to this post

50 years of Helvetica typeface

What do all the logos above have in common?

They all use the same font: Helvetica. Created by the Haas type foundry in Switzerland, the sleek typeface - an element of many a branding effort - is celebrating it's 50th anniversary with an exhibit at New York's Museum of Modern Art. "Helvetica is almost a template" fo corporate logos, says Christian Larsen, curator of the MoMA exhibit. Beacuse of its clarity, Larsen says, "consumers read the message, not the typeface." [via Reena Jana - BusinessWeek]

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 2:02 PM | | links to this post

Old TNT commercial with Carmelo

Just stumbled upon this. Funny.

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 9:42 AM | | links to this post

Are American men trying too hard to be macho?

Do Nadal's capri pants make him "soft" in the U.S., even though he's a stud on and off the court?

This is an interesting conversation and point-of-view of European men as compared to their American counterparts. It's from the Playboy Advisor section where readers write in their thoughts on various subjects (this version is slightly edited for brevity).

Reader submssion: "I'm not your typical American male. I'd rather ride around town on a Vespa than a Harley. I'm equally comfortable drinking a glass of wine or a beer. I prefer Formula One to NASCAR. I love women, but I'm usually pegged as gay or at least a wuss. In my travels to European cities, I've noticed that males don't seem to suffer from the same rigid macho syndrome that American me do. They wear more colorful clothes, they're allowed to drink wine, and they ride mopeds to work." -- B.D., St. Louis, MO

Playboy's response: "Hey at least you read Playboy. We've noticed this too and just had an interesting conversation about it with a well-traveled American writer who lived in Paris until recently. "In Europe a 'real man' is someone who dresses sharply, is well-read, and knows how to charm. The two places European men are allowed to be alpha dogs are in the football stadium (soccer) and on the road, and they take advantage of it."

So does being a real American man mean being fat, drunk (on beer only), stupid and badly dressed? If so, I relate more to the European guy. What are your thoughts on this topic?

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 11:22 AM | | links to this post

Hilarious conversation on public access TV

Watch 2 minutes of this video and you'll wonder what the hell is going on. Watch 5 minutes and you'll be laughing your arse off. The funniest part about the clip is that it's actually from Atlanta Public Access TV. Here's the background:

Alexyss Tylor hosts a show on Atlanta Public Access called "Vagina Power" with her mother in which she discusses the complexities of the male/female relationship. In what can only be described as the oddest conversation about sex, ever, here's an example of her thoughts:
"Because if we're in a lower level love and if we're hooked on the "Penis Power" and this man won't even buy you some shrimp from Long John Silver's and what...that plate what...$2.99? But he'll give you a mouth full of sperm and a rectum full of sperm."
I don't watch much public access TV, but I might start.

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 12:00 PM | | links to this post

Could Google help save the environment?

This past January, blogger Matt Ontkush claimed that if Google switched its home page background color from white to black, it could save hundreds of megawatt hours a year equaling about $75,000/day. He based his claim on the fact that certain types of monitors use less energy to display black than white screens.

In response to that blog post, many eco-conscious websites changed their background color from white to black. And Blackle, essentially Google in black, was launched. The site claims to have saved 149,845.032 Watt hours.

However, Google refuses to change their simple and famous white background for a darker one. [Google won's go dark to go green - Business Week]. They might be justified in their decision because Google claims going black only saves watts on old-style CRT monitors, not the more popular LCDs.

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 10:37 PM | | links to this post

If you want it bad enough, you'll wait

On June 29th, Apple released their iPhone to great fanfare. Many iPhone fans waited in line for hours and even days to get a piece of Apple's latest brilliance.

Well, according to BusinessWeek, these aren't the only patient consumers.

Tee time, Course No.2, Pinehurst Golf Resort, Pinehurst, NC:
6 to 9 months

Hermes Birkin bag (black or brown, gold or silver hardware, togo leather):
6 to 12 months

Dinner reservation, French Laundry restaurant, Yountville, CA:
60 days

Ferrari F430 sports car:
2 to 2.5 years

Season tickets, Green Bay Packers, Lambeau Field:
At least 35 years

Tickets, Wagner festival, Bayreuth, Germany:
7 to 10 years

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 11:30 AM | | links to this post

A ballsy little lad

This is pretty classic (with background info by first time contributor, TB via RW).

"Before professional soccer matches in England the players always walk out with local kids in matching uniforms. It’s usually pretty funny to see the kids in such sweet uni’s, but nothing was as sweet as this. This happened last year before Liverpool and Chelsea played. And the player getting punked is one of the best players in Europe. Awesome."

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 11:14 PM | | links to this post

Oakland, CA is whistlin' over Bubb Rubb and Lil' Sis

This video sent by first time submitter Nov is absolutely hilarious.

Watch the whole thing (it's only 2:21), but the hysterical scenes are at :45, :52, 1:34, and 1:48. Or pretty much any scene in which Bubb Rubb "woot, woots" or drives erratically (at 1:48 and by far the funniest part of the video).

Great work and keep 'em coming Nov.

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 11:45 PM | | links to this post

Take snapshots of yourself

Every digital camera-carrying photographer (that's pretty much everyone who owns a camera or even a cell phone camera) has this problem... taking a picture of yourself or with others without asking the sketchball walking by to take it. Here's a pretty neat solution. [via FT]

For $25, Quik Pod offers a lightweight, plastic, telescoping support for your digital camera or camcorder. It screws directly into the camera's tripod hole and adjusts to any angle. The idea is that now you can take self-portraits without having to hand the camera to that sketchball. You can also shoot over crowds, under the car, etc. by easily setting the camera's self-timer to make it take the shot.

The Quik Pod's hand grip is rubberized to make it a more comfortable grip. And the whole thing is made of polycarbonate and aluminum, so it's waterproof, for use with underwater cameras.

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 12:48 AM | | links to this post

Clearly I'm a 7

This 2-minute video is hilarious. It's narrated by little known comedian Dwayne Perkins. I bet the amount of YouTube views it'll get will boost his profile.

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 5:18 PM | | links to this post

BMW's, chickens and horses

Hilarious! Click on image to blow it up. [via MK]


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

What city is best for you?

This is a pretty interesting and short questionnaire that locates the 5 best cities for you. [via RW]

Kiplinger's top 5 cities for you

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

Note to the 'Loyals'

UE readers --

Since I started this blog 667 posts ago on December 15, 2005 I have not gone over 3-4 days without posting. Unfortunately that streak came to an end as it has been exactly 15 days since my last post.

I apologize and realize I have let some of my most loyal readers down. However, I can assure you that the worst of it is behind and I'm ready to rock n' roll back on UE. So check back like you have the last 2 years.

And I ask you to find a soft place in your heart to cut me some slack... as you can see I've been busy.

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 5:46 PM | | links to this post

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