Gangnam/Klingon Style + Kim Jong Un?

Since I don’t have cable TV, I’m forever behind on pop culture. This weekend my sister Lynn tweeted me:

Hey, @agahran ! The perfect blend of Korean pop and Star Trek! http://t.co/bi4uM4EL

That link took me to a HuffPo story about a Star Trek-themed parody of a smash Korean Pop (K-pop) dance rap hit, “Gangnam Style.” I’d never heard of or seen the original by K-Pop rapper PSY, so I decided to check it out — because you can’t appreciate a parody until you see the original. Here it is:

And here it is again, in Klingon!

It struck me when I watched the original: Doesn’t PSY bear a suspicious resemblance to the new North Korean leader Kim Jong Un? Hmmmm…

…See what I mean? I sense a coup coming across the DMZ. Perhaps they’re attempting to emulate this Coup, from Oakland?

My pop-culture education for the day is now complete. I can return to unraveling the mysteries of the Box Model now….

Cheer from Christmas Past, by Terry Gilliam

Thought you were going to escape the holidays unscathed? Think again! I’m actually in the holiday mood this year, and I’m not afraid to inflict it on others…. Muahaha…

This is an early animation by Terry Gilliam, from Christmas 1968. Laughing Squid posted it to Tumblr this morning.

Every since my brother introduced me to Monty Python when I was about eight, I’ve been enamored with highly visual absurdist humor. And I especially adore Terry Gilliam’s ability to upend our assumptions of space, time, place, scale, and intention.

This was also why I loved the original Pink Panther cartoons, Ren & Stimpy, and Ralph Bakshi’s Mighty Mouse. And, of course, my all-time favorite film, Brazil (by Terry Gilliam, of course).

We live in an unpredictable world, where meaning shifts drastically as context changes. We’re forever falling into a new picture frame, and parts of other pictures intrude rudely upon ours. Laughter is the best way to stay afloat amidst chaos. And there is always, always chaos.

And with that, happy holidays, all!

 

Facebook: How to change your default news feed setting to “most recent”

UPDATE JUNE 30: Unfortunately, this fix doesn’t seem to be persisten. Today, my Facebook news feed default reverted to “Top News” — without me changing that setting. I asked Vadim Lavrusik of Facebook about it, and the bottom line is: it is not currently possible to opt to persistently see “Most Recent.” They’ll change you back to “Top News” when you’re not looking, like it or not. Seriously. Read more

I use Facebook strictly as a casual way to communicate with people I know. I’m not a heavy Facebook user because their interface sucks, and it keeps on sucking. But there’s one thing about Facebook that was really bugging me, and I finally just figured out how to fix it.

The Problem: The default setting for your Facebook news feed (list of recent updates) is “Top News” — which is somewhat misleadingly named, since it’s really only updates from the friends and pages that Facebook’s algorithm, in its infinite and inscrutable wisdom, believes you interact with the most.

In order to see in your news feed updates from ALL the people and pages you’ve chosen to connect with on Facebook, you need to select the “most recent” option. Totally unintuitive, but that’s par for the course with the Facebook interface.

BUT: In order to routinely see updates from all your Facebook friends and pages, you must change that default setting. Facebook doesn’t make this easy — again, par for the course for Facebook.

I figured out how to do it. Below is my quick video tutorial.

WATCH VIDEO TUTORIAL: Facebook News Feed settings

…You’d think that with all the money they’re making, Facebook could afford to hire some good UI designers and do some usability testing! I think I might mail them a copy of Don’t Make Me Think (old by internet standards, but the principles are timeless).

Speaking of cognitive dissonance: How LeBron James Broke the Golden Rule of Sports

Following on my earlier post, Why facts will never be enough to make people believe, a friend showed my this amazingly witty and incisive video rant by Jay Smooth, founder of the New York hip-hop radio show, WBAI’s Underground Railroad.

It’s on a similar theme, with a twist: The collective, self-reinforcing cognitive dissonance and fervent but meaningless arguments that keeps sports fandom and the pro sports industry rolling — and why the people involved in pro sports probably shouldn’t draw attention to that fact. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, and all that.

I think you might be able to search-and-replace the sports references here with references to politics, religion, smartphone platforms, or news/media brands, and it would still work.

Brilliant.


via YouTube – How LeBron James Broke the Golden Rule of Sports.

Hat tip: George Kelly

Mobile in low-income communities: My March 2011 talk at USC Annenberg

Earlier this year I spoke at several events during Mobile News Week at USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. This is the video from that event — a Director’s Forum session for USC Annenberg faculty and students.

First, my colleague Jason Da Ponte gives an excellent overview of the current and evolving mobile landscape, and the role of journalism in an increasingly mobile media environment.

My part starts around 21 minutes in. Afterward, Jason & I answered questions.

Video will dominate mobile data traffic by 2015, and why that will probably cost you more

My new CNN Tech mobile blog post is about Cisco’s prediction that video will comprise 2/3 of mobile data traffic by 2015.

See: Video will dominate mobile data traffic by 2015, forecast says

The catch: Thank to lax net neutrality rules passed by the FCC last December, wireless carriers are free to charge users extra for any kind of mobile content they choose — even if it’s available for free via wired connections.