Some viewbot extras…

YouTubers who enjoyed my story of the digital Bonnie & Clyde couple will be tickled pink by the screengrabs below, that I did not include in the Daily Dot article.

Because, you know, I have a soft spot for females.

(Also, would have made the story way too complicated.)

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Now this here, is a real reply girl…

I’ve been writing about “reply girls,” this YouTube phenom for those that don’t know, for the last couple of days. Which means I’ve been knee-deep in YouTube drama for that entire time.

Yeah, some of you may make fun of me for what my work has become. You snooty business reporters,  activists, gardening bloggers, social media consultants!   (I sometimes make fun of myself for not keeping up on what my alderman, or Mayor Emanuel is doing. Don’t give me more shit than I already give myself, please…)

Some part of me respects these ladies for figuring out how to game the system in such a short amount of time. It’s ingenious?  And my heart goes out to these ladies, for the amount of cyber abuse they are getting now, just because they were able to effectively highlight this flaw (not just in YouTube, but in human nature).

Nothing sadder than a reply girl in a push-up trying to choke back tears for the third day in a row.

This moment, in my research, made me laugh. (You wouldn’t get it if you didn’t know YouTube.)

Corporations, Companies, and Supporters of SOPA

If this Pastebin document, created by Anonymous members involved in Operation Hiroshima, is to be believed, the following companies lobbied Congress in support of SOPA.

I smell a boycott… and the weird thing about this list is, how are most of these companies affected by online piracy? Especially all these clothing companies…



ABRO Industries, Inc.

Acushnet Company

Adidas America 

Bose Coporation


CBS Corporation

Chanel USA


Columbia Sportswear

Dolce & Gabbana

Electronic Arts, Inc. (individuals within have voiced opposition?)

Entertainment Software Association

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Verizon/ Sprint 4G Commercial Showdown

Now that I mainly watch all my TV through the internet, I am exposed to very few commercials – but because of the way commercials are sold on the internet, I get very familiar with certain advertisements. And yeah, I actually like writing about commercials so expect more on a regular basis.  (Someone told me commercials on the internet are just old TV commercials, and if this is true I am very disappointed. I am going to pretend otherwise…you hear that, ad firms? I want you to make ads specifically for me!)

Let’s weigh in on the commercial battle between 4G smartphones not named after fruit. Verizon 4G LTE and HTC EVO Shift 4G appear to be competing for the same market; if you see one during internet programming, you are sure to see the other shortly after. The Verizon commercials are very MythBusters-y with countdowns, a sense of urgency, and the occasional explosion.

Upon watching one of these commercials, one notices a lack of hard data. How many kilobytes were downloaded? How many seconds was that? What are the sizes of these files? What are the  900, feet? I like that Verizon is trying to sell me with science, but if they’re going to do it they can’t half-ass it. Watching the video on youtube reveals white text on the bottom of the screen –  for 2 seconds –  revealing Verizon’s 4G network is nothing special. Or so say the internet commenters.

Sprint goes with a graphic approach, displaying all the wonderful things people say about the phone to upbeat (and catchy) music and cute but slowly moving robots.

The Sprint commercial would be better with less talking  –  but they can’t all be car commercials. Sprint doesn’t imply fake claims,  mislead me with science rhetoric or prey on my love of MythBusters.  After watching the Verizon commercial and becoming irritated by their blatant pandering to my consumer group, the 30 second Sprint commercial actually makes me happy. Sprint gives me bright colors, cheerful music, and friendly feelings towards our future synthetic overlords. What’s not to love!?

Sprint – 1

Verizon – 0

Chicago is a hot-bed for start-ups after all!

RedEye Sailboat Category:Images of Chicago, Il...

I want to get on the RedEye boat (Image via Wikipedia)

Tracy Swartz wrote a whole article in the RedEye I can use as  ammunition  against the New York and San Francisco tech-snobs:

These young up-and-comers said they prefer Chicago to start-up hotbeds such as San Francisco and New York City because office space and payroll are cheaper, talent is easier to find and keep, and top business schools at universities including Northwestern and the University of Chicago are nearby.

The increased recognition has brought benefits. One of the problems Chicago entrepreneurs used to face was little access to funding. West Coast investors now are recognizing that Chicago firms are worth the investment, Rudnick said, and they’re not requiring these companies to move to Silicon Valley.

via “Think Big! Young Chicagoans cashing in on tech ventures

I am also partial to this article because Tracy highlighted non- Groupon start-ups in a positive light. Hot.

Cigarettes contain Pig Blood

Pigs of the breed "Bunte Bentheimer"...

Image by AFP/Getty Images via Daylife

Dutch researchers have found pig hemoglobin in cigarettes:

The pig’s haemoglobin was found to be a fairly effective filter for cigarettes but this information was not on cigarette labels because the Tobacco industry was not required by law to disclose the ingredients of their products

via Ozcar Guide “Cigarettes Found To Contain Pig’s Blood

The pig’s hemoglobin blocks toxic chemicals from entering the lungs. That is all fine and dandy, but cigarette companies really should disclose what is in their products. The new health care bill requires all restaurants to make their calorie counts publicly accessible, so why isn’t this the case with cigs? An Aussie Professor says it best:

‘It just puts into hard relief the problem that the tobacco industry is not required to declare the ingredients of cigarettes – they say “that’s our business and a trade secret”.’

via Daily Mail “Warning to religious groups after traces of pigs blood found in cigarette filters

If you are Jewish, Muslim, or a vegetarian, you now have another reason to quit smoking!

Albany Park begins initiative to display artwork in vacant storefronts

FONTANA, CA - OCTOBER 8:  A strip mall storefr...

Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Following the success of the Pop-Up Art Loop Program and Edgewater Artists in Motion, I decided to stop by the North River Commission (an umbrella group that also includes the Albany Park Chamber of Commerce) here in Albany Park to see if they were engaging in a similar initiative. As luck would have it,  they were, and in need of volunteers.  I naturally offered to help  (public art is one of my favorite things in life),  and I spent a day walking along Montrose, the proposed site of Albany Park’s future art walk, documenting vacant storefronts.

How has Albany Park faired this recession, you might ask? There are approximately 25 vacant storefronts along Montrose (a 25 block strip), and that number does not include the burned building on Montrose and Monticello that photographers love shooting. If the NRC uses all of the vacant storefronts to display art, the Albany Park art walk will be more extensive than Edgewater’s, and would hopefully drive some much needed traffic on that avenue.  On my walk I saw two empty diners with bored employees just standing around, and one store was boxing up their inventory under a “going out of business” sign.

If you’re interested in helping out with this initiative (or are a local artist that would be interested in displaying their artwork), please contact the North River Commission. UNITE Civic Association is also helping with this project, and go here to read about other neighborhoods in Chicago using vacant storefronts to display art.