Last week, freaky photos appeared online of a strange person dressed in a filthy clown costume and carrying black balloons wandering the night streets of Green Bay, Wisconsin. Turns out, "Gags the Clown," as the character was known, turned out to be a hoax by indie filmmaker Adam Krause. He hoped the online freak-out would help market a new short horror film that he plans to complete in the next few months. It worked. From the Green Bay Press-Gazette:
Krause and his film crew had wanted to keep Gags' secret for a little longer and include four more Gags sightings in Green Bay to promote the film. However, according to Krause's post, some actors who did not get parts in the film "felt it was their civic duty to inform the media of what was really going on."
"Green Bay's creepy clown was marketing ploy"
Read the rest
Squatty Potty is a $28 footstool that slides away under your toilet; you use it to bring your knees up to a squatting position while you poop, which makes pooping much, much easier. Read the rest
"Such is the state of online video," reports Wired, profiling Jukin Media, a 100-employee "viral video" farm. Read the rest
1. Contrary to what you might have learned from Star Trek and Star Wars, planets do not have a single climate. So it's not really reasonable to say "Winnipeg is as cold as the surface of Mars", unless you're going to specify where on Mars you are talking about. And when in the Martian year you are talking about it. Geekquinox, the blog that first started the current trend of comparing Canada to the Red Planet, was looking at the afternoon temperature (sans wind chill) in Winnipeg on December 31st (-31 degrees Celsius) and daily temperatures collected in November and December by the Curiosity Rover, at Gale Crater, Mars (lowest afternoon high: -31 degrees Celsius). This comparison leaves out the fact that Gale Crater is in the Martian tropics. In the mid-latitudes, however, the average temperature is closer to -50 degrees Celsius. Also, Mars has huge temperature swings from day to night. On the same day that Geekquinox reported a monthly average high at Gale Crater of -31 C (Sol 486) the monthly average low was -110 C. Read the rest
," is about the last Galapagos tortoise to die, "done retro video game stylee."
Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei covers PSY's viral hit.
Dread Central has been doing a little bit of investigating into the viral campaign being run by Paranormal Activity 4. Accounts on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube apparently belong to a man named Jacob Degloshi from Henderson, Nevada. But appearing in one picture he's shared on Twitter is a young blonde woman named Alex, who happens to be a character (not an actress) in the newest installment of the found-footage franchise. And, Dread Central points out, the pool and the house in one of the videos should look very familiar... I like this expansion on the viral, Blair Witch approach to movie promotion, even though the whole "fact or fiction" element is clearly absent. But similar to The Walking Dead's web videos that go into stories about people who aren't the main characters, this is a cool way to build the mystery. (via Dread Central) Read the rest
Sean Creeley of Embed.ly writes that K-pop star PSY's "Gangnam Style" sensation "created some interesting data on the rise of one of the most viral videos of all time." He shares stats on the "growth of that video over time as it relates to API calls." Read the rest
At Dangerous Minds, our friend and former (frequent) guestblogger Richard Metzger writes about the death of Royce Reed, co-star of the “Royce and Marilyn” viral videos. She passed away last night.
"In 2009, when I was guest-blogger at Boing Boing," he writes, "I helped get the ball rolling on the Royce and Marilyn craze." Indeed he did. His post today on the sad news includes many more videos and links.
Back in 1999, the LA Weekly ran the definitive profile on Royce and her comic partner Marilyn Hoggatt. A great loss to Weird Culture. These women were basically real-life versions of Absolutely Fabulous meets Norma Desmond, shaken up with a little Englebert Humperdinck samba. More great videos here. Read the rest
(Photo: Joseph Kony, via Reuters)
On his personal blog, Marc DuBois of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF, Doctors without Borders) writes about the impact of the viral Kony 2012 campaign on the work of long-established humanitarian efforts in Africa.
"Most madmen love the idea of fame, so Joseph Kony’s wet dream just came true," writes DuBois.
Many aid workers are simultaneously offended by the project and jealous of its unprecedented reach. At the time of this blog post, the promotional video for Invisible Children's fundraising/"awareness" campaign about the fugitive African rebel leader has exceeded 70 million views, making it the fastest-growing viral video in internet history.
Snip from DuBois' blog post:
Read the rest
So why, really, are we aid insiders so bothered? It’s the big green monster. Is there another charity whose message has captivated so many so fast? About six months ago, my niece “Lisa” in Chicago excitedly asked me to contribute to Invisible Children. At the time, I’d never heard of it. I poked around. I can’t say I was taken by the cause, but I couldn’t help feeling envious of IC’s having so effectively reached Lisa, usually more interested in dance and boys. These young upstarts at IC are the next big thing. And we aren’t.
Why? Well, for one, they have a simple message that people grasp. For another, good looks. More importantly, Invisible Children has discovered what the entertainment industry figured out a decade ago. It’s not about us old timers. It’s not people who read the Philip Roth or contribute conscientiously to their pension fund.
Today's weird animal viral video is, like all great examples of the genre, equal parts funny, creepy, cute, and sad. Apparently, the cat in this video is having a fear/anxiety/aggressive reaction to the presence of a young girl (sounds like under 5 years old?), a friend of the daughter of the guy who shot the video. Or I don't know, hairball?
I've never seen this behavior before, and wonder how the owners might best deal with it. But also, I couldn't stop laughing.
And is that a Maine Coon? They're usually so mellow and sociable.
(thanks, Tara McGinley) Read the rest