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Happy slapping [Apr. 7th, 2010|12:44 pm]

The Election ‘Slapometer’ has been designed by ad firm Albion, to allow you to “vote with the back of your hand” during the live TV debates – by virtually slapping the major party leaders in the face. The results will be fed into the slapometer in real time.

Blend of the line
The helpful folks at BlendTec couldn’t let the launch of the iPad pass without finding out whether it blends in their BlendTec “Total Blender”. Apple fans, look away now.

Secrets of success
To mark five years since the video streaming site first went live, Wired magazine has a web feature on “Five Secrets of YouTube’s Success”. As well as classic virals from the site’s half-decade, it also includes audio interviews with those clips’ creators.

Bold move
Bogart and Bacall didn’t just appear together onscreen; they also recorded a radio series, Bold Venture, named after the boat belonging to Slate Shannon, Bogart’s character, in which he and Sailor Duval (Bacall) cruise the Caribbean looking for adventure. All the episodes are available as MP3 downloads.
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Lost action heroes [Apr. 5th, 2010|03:05 pm]

It's ridiculous action blockbuster week on the web. New trailers just hit for Sylvester Stallone's The Expendables, AKA "The bad actors retirement club" (, and The A-Team, aka "The bad TV shows Hollywood revival, part 36" (

Battle lines
Just for good measure - and since he appears briefly in The Expendables - here's a comprehensive compilation of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's 160 greatest film quotes.

Booker to Twitter 
The acclaimed author Margaret Atwood has written a blog for the New York Review of Books website about her unexpected conversion to the charms of Twitter.

Could it be magic?
Mashable has posted a video gallery of 10 "amazing" magic trick clips on YouTube, including David Blaine turning coffee into money, and Cyril Takayama's "Cigarette Magic".
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Political views [Mar. 31st, 2010|01:24 pm]

Tumblr of the week goes to “Barack Obama Looking At Awesome Things”, in which a skilled Photoshopper depicts the President checking out such awesome things as the Batmobile and the bridge of the USS Enterprise.

Can it be real? Like a scene from Rushmore, a viral has surface of primary-age children performing the denouement of a school play version of Brian de Palma’s Scarface. And don’t worry, the only f-word in use is “fudge”, as in “motherfudger”.

Screen writer
Hollywood’s most academic heartthrob, James Franco, has been studying for a masters in creative writing at Columbia University. His first published short story is online at now. It’s called “Just Before the Black.” We don’t promise that it’s any good.

Balancing act
Among the litany of strange skills displayed by YouTube users, we’re fairly sure this one is new – though you can never be certain. “Booksonmyhead” is a girl who can balance 15 books on her head, while reciting Pi’s first 100 digits and completing a Rubik’s cube (courtesy of

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Design for life [Mar. 30th, 2010|12:23 pm]

First graphic designers were flooding the web with retro minimalist film posters (, now it’s retro minimalist title sequences in the style of Saul Bass. These alternative credit sequences for Lost and Tron are by Vimeo user Hexagonall.

The Wright stuff
The first trailer for the hotly anticipated Scott Pilgrim vs the World has arrived. Directed by Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) and starring Michael Cera, it’s the story of a slacker romantic who must defeat his girlfriend’s “seven evil exes” to win her heart.

The Lady flourishes
Vanessa Grigoriadis has written the most authoritative profile of Lady Gaga to date for New York magazine, explaining “The self-invented, manufactured, accidental, totally on-purpose New York creation of the world’s biggest pop star.”

Don't call us
Meanwhile, one (overly?) enthusiastic Chat Roulette user and Lady Gaga fan has made a viral splash with his transvestite webcam rendition of Gaga’s latest single, “Telephone”. It’s very funny, though not entirely safe for work.

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Top tables [Mar. 29th, 2010|03:01 pm]

Designer Bill Keaggy has created a “periodic table of periodic tables”, which links to many of the the various periodic tables (of items other than the elements) that litter the internet. It includes everything from Elephants to Xbox games.

Quentin's angle
Geraldine Brezca, Quentin Tarantino's "camera angel" and clapperboard operator, takes an interesting approach to introducing each scene. Here’s a montage of Inglourious Basterds outtakes featuring her unique style.

The National - free
One of our favourite bands, The National, has made its new single “Bloodbuzz Ohio”, available as a free download at the site for the forthcoming album, High Violet. And it’s awesome.

World cup teaser
Every day between now and the World Cup in South Africa, the Independent’s Sport website will be counting down by listing a memorable moment from world cups past.
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Here and now [Mar. 24th, 2010|11:51 am]

Spike Jonze’s latest short film, I’m Here, is now online complete with the equivalent of DVD extras at its dedicated website. The film itself is a melancholy love story about two hipster robots, with a predictably wonderful soundtrack.

Starter for Ben
When someone calling themselves “Merton” appeared on YouTube playing improvised piano songs to fellow Chat Roulette users, many suggested he was Ben Folds in disguise. Now Folds has paid tribute to Merton, by playing Chat Roulette in front of 2,000 fans at a gig in Carolina.

Flap head
Map Envelope lets you print a Google Map of your current location on the inside of an envelope, and a message too. Bear in mind, however, that you have to cut out and Pritt-Stick the envelope yourself – and it’s rather small, so fold that letter tight…

Commercial gain
Seth Stevenson of demonstrates, on the site’s video service Slate V, how he managed to get a $100 advertisement screened on the Fox News channel, courtesy of Google’s new TV AdWords service.
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Johnny takes wing [Mar. 23rd, 2010|12:36 pm]

Johnny Depp both played guitar on and directed this video for the new single by Babybird (no one-hit wonders, they), “Unloveable”. The video is based on an 1890 short story, “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” by Ambrose Bierce.

In the know
We’ve just discovered Channel 4’s “Who Knows Who” web tool, which graphically depicts the personal relationships between Britain’s biggest power brokers – it was especially useful last week for charting the links between Labour and the Unite union.

Stellar street
Adidas has yet another celebrity-filled hit advertisement. “The Street Where Originality Lives” features appearances from David Beckham, Agyness Deyn, Noel Gallagher, Snoop Dogg and more.

Beck's appeal
Not all UK viewers will be familiar with Fox News’s resident rabid “news” anchor, Glenn Beck – but those who are will appreciate Jon Stewart’s epic Daily Show takedown of Beck’s technique and opinions.
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The Treme team [Mar. 22nd, 2010|11:50 am]

The New York Times has gone on the set of Treme, David Simon's new HBO drama - co-created by the celebrated screenwriter and US producer Eric Overmyer - set in post-Katrina New Orleans and making its American debut on 11 April.

Shower of love 
It's not just Scot rockers Travis who are always being rained on. Hollywood actors playing those unlucky in love are often caught in an on-screen shower. This video montage shows John Cusack getting soaked in his fair share.

Rate to date 
Just when you thought online dating couldn't get more mercenary than, along comes, which offers users the opportunity to rank the relative attractiveness of people and their spouses; those who 'CanDoBetter' can then be propositioned.

Kith and Kindle  
Ebook, rest in peace. Amazon announces'Kindle for Mac', an application allowing Mac owners to read Kindle books on their computers. These volumes are now available on Kindle, Kindle DX, iPhone, iPod touch, BlackBerry, PC and Mac, and soon the iPad.
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Jihad joker [Mar. 18th, 2010|12:23 pm]

The first trailer for Chris Morris’s “terrorism comedy” Four Lions has landed online, and it looks to be at the far end of the satire spectrum from his friend Armando Iannucci’s In The Loop. Too close to the bone? Too funny for words? All of the above?

City crash 'casino'

The Big Money has an exclusive extract from a The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine, by Michael Lewis. Lewis, former Wall Street bond salesman and author of Liar’s Poker, has written a scathing insider account of the sub-prime “casino” and its consequences.

Bonsai beats
Diego Stocco, a creator of “dynamic and innovative music experiences” can create music from the most unexpected of instruments. Watch him turn a bonsai tree into a beatbox.

India gets poked

Facebook has announced it’s opening an office in India. Journalist Tunku Varadarajan explains his home country’s obsession with social networking for The Dail Beast.
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What's in yours? [Mar. 17th, 2010|01:35 pm]

The New York Times photography blog “Lens” has a fantastic, fascinating gallery of images featuring the contents of people’s pockets and purses, from photographer Francois Robert’s collection, Contents.

Digital improv
Wondering whether web sensation Chat Roulette is just a waste of time? Well, it is. But “Merton”, a piano player who improvises songs customised to each of his chat partners, will waste your time wonderfully. And no, he’s not Ben Folds.

Read all about it
An exhibitor at this year’s South By SouthWest (SXSW) Interactive Festival demonstrated the magazine stand of the future to If this is how we’ll be buying titles on our tablets, we’ll take it.

Trendspotting 2.0
Pete Cashmore, the dashing Scottish twentysomething who started the massive Mashable blog in his bedroom just a few short years ago, spoke to at SXSW about this year’s tech trends.
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