Saturday, 28 February 2009

Chad Vader - Day Shift Manager - Season 2 Episode 2

Continuing right from where the last episode left us, Chad continues to give his tour of Empire Market to the new owners, in episode 2 of the season ("Trouble with Lasers").

As the name of the episode suggests, Chad gets to show off some of his technological advancements around the store and, more importantly, the "fully-armed and more powerful laser checkout system".

Also, as the episode title again suggests, not everything goes quite according to plan. This just leaves one question.....why did she have to pick beans?

Chad Vader - Day Shift Manager - Season 2 - Episode 2

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Gmail Server Problems - "Gfail"

Following on from my last post regarding the Google Server Error Message, it appears as if it is not just me having the problem!

The internet is alive of people experiencing the same server issues, and then talking about it on twitter and searching about it on (ironically) Google.

Dubbed "Gfail" the volume of searches around "Gmail Down" and other related terms is huge. Out of the Top 10 hottest searches on Google so far today, 7 of them are Gmail related (at the time of post):

Top 10 Google Searches 24th Feb 2009Top 10 Google Searches 24th Feb 2009

The number 1 term, "gmail down":

Gmail Down Trend"Gmail Down" Trend

Twitscoop is also highlighting how much buzz there is around the gmail problem with a strong presence of the term "Gmail" and even "Gfail" on Twitter:

Twitscoop Buzz WordsTwitscoop Buzz Words

Google have posted the following comment on their gmail support site (as reported by Pocket-Lint):

"We're aware of a problem with Gmail affecting a number of users. This problem occurred at approximately 1.30AM Pacific Time. We're working hard to resolve this problem and will post updates as we have them. We apologize for any inconvenience that this has caused".

The service has been coming and going over the last hour or so, but I expect Google should have things sorted pretty quickly.

Google Server Error Message

With the Google Logo and Favicon undergoing several minor changes over the years, it was quite interesting to see that the "Google Server Error" page still uses an old version of the Google Logo.

Today, I have been experiencing a few issues getting into Gmail and was greeted with the server error message. Perhaps it is a testament as to how rarely errors occur in Google that the message has the old logo in place? Either that or nobody felt it was really necessary to update it. Either way, it was a nice piece of nostalgia for a Tuesday morning!

The Google Server Error MessageThe Google Server Error Message

Monday, 23 February 2009

Mash Up Monday - Supermode vs Madonna

Hello everyone, and welcome to another Mash Up Monday.

Being quite late in the Monday evening, I was quite worried I wasn't going to be able to come across a good mash up to feature before the midnight deadline (since I have promised several people not to feature Mash Up Monday outside of a Monday!). Having featured quite a few mashes now, I thought I would be reaching the bottom of the barrel by now.

However, I was pleasantly surprised to come across this absolute gem of a mash featuring Supermode "Tell Me Why" vs. Madonna "Miles Away" by the brilliantly named Bastard Bob!

Mash Up Monday - Supermode vs Madonna - Tell Me Why From Miles Away

This mash up comes complete with an official cover - that is also very cool!

Supermode vs Madonna - Bastard Bob Mash
Supermode vs Madonna - Bastard Bob Mash Cover

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Chad Vader Re-enacts Best Picture Oscar Nominees

With the new Chad Vader - Day Shift Manager - episode on the way (I will likely post that tomorrow), I thought it would be nice to post some of his other work in the meantime.

In the following video, we see Chad Vader hilariously re-enact the films up for Best Film at the 81st Academy Awards tomorrow night.

These are:
The smart money would be on Slumdog Millionaire. That is the only one of the 5 I have yet to see (I am eager to see the others, however), and must admit that it was a brilliant film. I will probably be wrong, but I half-expect that Danny Boyle will get the Best Director award, but the best film go to one of the others. This is coming from a man that strongly believes the Best Actor in 2003 was Bill Murray in 'Lost in Translation' rather than Sean Penn in 'Mystic River'!

Chad Vader Re-enacts Best Picture Oscar Nominees

Friday, 20 February 2009

Becoming Batman - Episode Eleven

In Episode Eleven of "Becoming Batman" - entitled "Batman Returns" - after a long time in waiting, we finally get to see the "Bat-man" responding to the pleas for help within the village. He is also venturing out in the day-time as well in an attempt to build his bond with the community.

Another classic episode from the guys (you can now find them on Twitter), with some special one liners:

-"We could test the Bat-Brick!"

-"If there are any crimes...."
-"Haha, don't think so! It's a snow day!"

Meanwhile, in the dead of night, the Riddler is still making his presence known:

Thursday, 19 February 2009

118 118 - Sing Along Ghostbusters

Following my previous post about the 118-118 Ghostbusters Advert featuring Ray Parker Jr, the whoyougonnacall? website has now created (as promised) a sing-a-long version which allows you to upload a photo of yourself and turn yourself into a 118-118 jogger, much like the "elf yourself" videos that Nick frequently covers.

The website has also been updated to give an interesting 6.5 minute behind-the-scenes video of the making of the commercial, as well as a link to the original YouTube channel that was previously in place.

Below is a snapshot of my brief effort. You can either just feature yourself and a 118-118 jogger, replicate yourself twice, or upload 2 separate photos. A nice little touch by the 118-118 team to keep the Ghostbusters buzz going a little longer. Plus the more we can get of Ray Parker Jr the better!

The 118-118 sing-a-long with Ray Parker Jr website

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Becoming Batman - Behind The Scenes

Following the brilliant "Christian Bale Rant" parody by the makers of Family Guy, the guys over on Twitter at @becomingbatman have pointed out a great "behind-the-scenes" piece of footage on YouTube that shows one of the stars having a rant of her own.

I really doubt that this Christian Bale recording is going to die away anytime soon, and with people able to mix it, parody it and recreate it in such original ways, I don't really mind!

Great work as usual guys.

Becoming Batman - Behind The Scenes - Star Rant

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Family Guy Spoofs Christian Bale Rant

Take one of the funniest shows on TV that specialises in spoofing popular culture and add one of the biggest pop culture references in recent times and what do you get?

The answer is Family Guy's (love it or hate it) spoof on the Christian Bale rant!

With Peter Griffin replacing the background voice of Shane Hurlbut, there are some absolutely brilliant moments:

Peter Griffin - "You hit your mother with that mouth?"

Peter Griffin - "I don't get it!"
Bale - "What don't you get about it?"
Peter Griffin - "I don't get why we need another Terminator?"

The Family Guy spoof on the Christian Bale rant

Kid Nutmegs Rooney - Nike Five Tournament Ad

Nike football ads have always been great fun. The advert that takes place in an airport is still one of my all time favourites. However, this latest ad has definitely put a smile on my face.

Whilst recording the advert with Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand in Manchester for the Nike Five 5-a-side Tournament, one kid manages to nutmeg Wayne Rooney and then score a goal (much to the enjoyment of Rio Ferdinand!). This is commercial football at its best, when big multinational companies can take huge sports stars to normal everyday kids and have a kick-around. The potential of "pulling a fast one" over the major celebrities is just golden.

The rough cut for the ad combines both the main camera footage with a couple of mobile phone videos to capture this glorious moment.

Kid Nutmegs Rooney - Main Video

A quick YouTube search later gives the full piece of mobile phone footage.

Full Cell-Phone Footage

Monday, 16 February 2009

Mash Up Monday - Britney Spears vs B-52's

This week's mash up comes from two instantly classic songs, "Toxic" by Britney Spears and "Love Shack" by The B-52's (who must surely have one of the most distinctive singing voices in the Sprechgesang-style of Fred Schneider!).

The mix is great, although does end with 10-seconds of a very high-pitched beep (?!) to advertise Thriftshop XL where many of the great mash-ups you will see on TV can be found.

Mash Up Monday - Britney Spears vs B-52's - "Toxic Love Shack"

Monday, 9 February 2009

Mash Up Monday - The Ting Tings vs The Knack vs Toni Basil

Today's Mash Up Monday takes a big hit from 2008 and places it alongside some huge hits of the 70's and 80's.

The Ting Tings' "That's not my name" is another one of those songs that lends itself well to being mashed with other songs. In this case, you may recognise the following:

The Knack - My Sharona (one of my personal favourites)
Toni Basil - Mickey (probably one of Rick's favourites!)
Plastic Bertrand - Ça Plane Pour Moi
and a tiny hint of the B-52's!

Quite a nice one to end of a rather busy Monday.

Mash Up Monday - The Ting Tings vs The Knack vs Toni Basil

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Chad Vader After Dentist

Rather than the usual "Chad Vader - Day Shift Manager" post (next episode coming 21st Feb), today I have a quick video response that 'Blame Society Films' have created using Chad.

The video is in response to the 'David After Dentist' YouTube entry that has had more than 5,000,000 views (at time of writing post) in just over a week! The video is of a 7 year old boy that has just had his tooth removed at the dentist and is quite clearly "out-of-it". The response simply recreates the same situation with virtually the same dialogue, but because it's Chad Vader the whole thing becomes brilliant. It reminds me of the hilarious 'Charlie Bit My Finger' video that circulated offices a while back and is close to 80,000,000 views!

The original video - David After Dentist:

David After Dentist

The Chad Vader response video:

Chad After Dentist

Saturday, 7 February 2009

118 118 - Who You Gonna Call?

My friend over at Funkadelic Advertising is a big fan of everything 80s, and regularly features videos of some of the movie and TV highlights from that decade. This is why I think that he (and everyone else that loves cheesy ads) will love the latest commercial from the team over at 118-118.

Ever since it's creation back in August 2003, directory service 118-118 has used very cheesy advertising (in large quantities as well) in order to push itself to the top of the UK commercial directory service pile (which now has over 200 different numbers registered). The A-Team theme was modified successfully to incorporate the number "118" and is impossible to get out of your head.

However, this time 118-118 has gone one massive step further. In their latest commercial, 118-118 have modified the Ghostbusters theme tune to integrate their number. Rather than just do it themselves, they have got the original Ghostbusters' theme legendary artist, Ray Parker Junior, to sing and star in the commercial as well. This just adds a whole new level of cool to this whole concept.

I'm surprised that 118-118 haven't thought about trying this before as the line "Who You Gonna Call?" works brilliantly for the industry they are in! The corresponding website is their YouTube channel where they are inviting people to come back next week with a photo to sing along with Ray Parker Junior! Exactly how this will work isn't clear yet, but it should be a good laugh anyway. They even have a Twitter page set up.

Obviously, by removing the "Ghostbusters" word from the music, the lyrics to the verses had to be altered to eliminate the ghost theme and mention everyday occurrences that would require the need of calling directory services! This has also been completed superbly, with the addition of a few classic lines delivered by Ray Parker Junior, most notably "I ain't afraid of no goats" at 55 seconds!

In my opinion, this is the most ingenious use of the 118-118 brand to date and can't imagine to much negative feedback coming back on this. Enjoy!

118-118 Ghostbusters Commercial - Featuring Ray Parker Jr

Note - Is that "The Stig" from Top Gear in the crowd at 1:41?

Snowed Covered London

I was one of the few that managed to struggle through the network of the barely running public transport system in London last Monday.

Initially, the attempt was to head towards work, and should my quest fail, then I could go home in the knowledge that I tried and that I had some fun (and took some photos) out in the snow!

The problem was that I quite quickly made it to somewhere between work and home and was going nowhere, fast. This is what led to the struggle.

However, it was a nice highlight to come across this snowman outside Tottenham Court Road Station:

Camden Council Manager SnowmanThe Camden Council Manager Snowman

Snowmen with political agendas always seem so much better than ordinary snowmen!

Other highlights where seeing Tottenham Court Road itself virtually deserted at 9.30 on a Monday morning, and the opportunity to take some rather cool artistic photos (that I am known to take every now and then).:

Tottenham Court Road in the snowAn empty Tottenham Court Road on Monday 2nd February

Snow covered bush outside my apartmentSnow-Covered Bush on my way to work

The snow covered garden in my buildingThe view of the garden

Note: I would have posted these sooner but unfortunately my new 1GB memory card for my camera does not work within my card reader. Sorry!

Monday, 2 February 2009

Becoming Batman - Episode Ten

Once again this week, I was delighted to have received an email from the mysterious Ed Nashton (The Riddler of Chalfont St.Peter's).

The email (click the image below to make larger) simply stated that he was surprised by the "Bat"-Man's ability to solve his riddle, and that he is very keen to meet him.

The Riddler Email for Becoming BatmanThe Riddler's 2nd Email

This was followed by another YouTube link that led to the following video:

The Riddler - In search of the Batman

This is another great spin-off video surrounding the "Becoming Batman" series, and compliments the original well by using the same 'recording from within a car at night' that we have come to love.

I still had my doubts as to whether this was a completely separate series of events or whether the 2 would eventually come together in some glorious fashion.

Thankfully, the latter of these proves to be correct in the latest edition (Episode Ten) of "Becoming Batman".

Entitled "There is no Hope in Crime Alley", the true depth of our Batman's loneliness becomes truly apparent (in a hilarious Avril Lavigne montage!), the anger is building within his friend and a new woman arrives in the office.

-"Just sit on the floor. You're only little!"

The episode culminates in the red hooded man catching the Riddler on his quest to meet the Batman, claiming:

-"This is going to be my town....Wanna buy some glasses?"

Another great episode. Enjoy!

Becoming Batman - Episode Ten - "There is no Hope in Crime Alley"

Mash Up Monday - Tone Loc vs Kylie Minogue vs Yes

Welcome to another edition of Mash Up Monday. Following my marathon of Mash Up entries last week, I have seen a great deal of interest in the videos I have posted, and I hope this shall continue.

Today's mash up is by Robin Skouteris and features Tone Loc (Wild Thing) vs. Yes (Owner Of A Lonely Heart) vs. Kylie Minogue (Can't Get You Outta My Head).

It's a great use of far less commercial songs (other than Kylie) than I have typically featured in the past. I hope you will enjoy!

Mash Up Monday - Tone Loc vs. Yes vs. Kylie Minogue

Transformers : Revenge of the Fallen - Trailer

With the Superbowl Half-Time show comes some great Superbowl ads. Amongst these contains a 32 second spot for the upcoming sequel to the fantastic Michael Bay film, "Transformers".

"Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" contains much of the cast of the original and certainly looks like raising the bar in terms of robots-come-cars fighting action!

Featuring the destruction of a whole aircraft carrier, and glimpses of the largest Transformer you could imagine (at least 20 times Optimus Prime!), this summer has got a brilliant looking film on the way.

Tranformers: Revenge of the Fallen Trailer

Sunday, 1 February 2009

London Bus Advert Slogan Generator

There has been a lot of news over the last couple of months surrounding a particular piece of advertising that has been placed on the side of buses across London and the rest of the UK.

Atheist Bus Slogan AdvertisingThe "controversial" UK bus slogan

The advertising campaign is backed by the British Humanist Association and prominent atheist Professor Richard Dawkins and simply states "There's Probably No God. Now Stop Worrying and Enjoy Your Life". For obvious reasons, this has caused quite a bit of debate in religious circles. On the one hand, some religious folk have show dismay at the existence of these ads and called for them to be removed. One Christian bus driver in Southampton, Hampshire also refused to drive his usual bus because of the slogan on the side. However, some religious leaders have welcomed the posters as they are glad that it will draw people in the simulating world of religious debate.

I remain impartial to the ads myself, but do approve with the inclusion of the word "Probably", as some atheists have complained should be replaced with "Definitely". As a man of science, I am only willing to except as fact anything that can be proved or disproved by scientific method. As religion is based upon a foundation of faith (i.e. God does not allow himself to be proven to exist), it makes it impossible to scientifically prove or disprove the existence of God. To this end, I would not be happy to claim that there either is a God, or that there isn't a God! Therefore, I feel is it much better to say "Probably", as the slogan does.

However, if you were wishing that these bus advert slogans said something else, then I highly recommend visiting where they have created a lovely "Bus Slogan Generator". Using the picture of a UK bus with a blank advertising strip along the side, you can create wonderful slogans of your own using the same font styles that are used in the original advertising campaign.

For example:

There's Probably No Jack BauerThat's exactly what he wants you to think!

Leon is getting LaaarrrggggerClassic Quote!

I am sure I will keep coming up with better ideas, and maybe create a little collage from them!

YouTube Superbowl Icon

Google have always flexed their creative sides when it comes to their own logo. You will often see the Google homepage feature a themed logo that represents either something that is happening that day, or to celebrate the anniversary of an event.

Today, however, Google have extended this to their YouTube arm.
YouTube American Football LogoTaking place tonight is Superbowl XLIII (43 for the non-Romans) between the American Football Conference champions "Pittsburgh Steelers" and the National Football Conference champions "Arizona Cardinals".

To mark the day of this event, YouTube have added a lovely little American football to their logo. Nice!

Chad Vader - Day Shift Manager - Season 2 Episode 1

It has been a long time coming, but Chad Vader is finally back in his original role as the Day Shift Manager at Empire Market.

In this first episode of season 2 ("The Takeover"), the new owners of Empire Market come to finally view the shop they have taken on board. They are also interested in Chad's new "more powerful laser checkout system"!

Since the end of the last season of "Day Shift Manager", Chad has been quite busy. He appeared at YouTube Live in November with "Will it blend?" and has recorded several Rifftrax commentaries to the Star Wars films.

I, for one, am glad to see him back and delighted to have another regular feature for this blog!

Chad Vader - Day Shift Manager - Season 2 - Episode 1