…And Keep Looking Up

Quite often during high school I would come home from a party or a late night hanging out with my friends and see my brother sitting in the living room with a glass of sun tea flipping through the channels. Often my brother would come home from an evening of partying or hanging out with his friends and find me with a coke watching Teletunes.

We would usually excitedly tell each other about our evenings. And inevitably we both sit down in the living room, late in the after-curfew hours, and tune into PBS waiting for the Star Gazer to come on (It was originally designed to air on PBS stations just before sign-off). We would listen intently to what the star hustler had to teach us during his five minute lesson on the heavens. Both of us would then mosey out to the backyard and look up into the stars and see if we could find whatever it was he was talking about that week.

We would sit there silent and feel small and special. These are some of the fondest teenage memories I have with my brother (and I have a ton of fond teenage memories with my brother). And although those memories will never die, the mortal symbol of those evenings, “The Star Hustler”, passed away today. I am genuinely saddened.

Colorful to the end, “Horky” offers this amusing, self-penned epitaph in his bio: “Keep Looking Up was my life’s admonition, I can do little else in my present position.” You can watch his last episode by clicking here.

1.21 Gigawatts!

Less than two seconds in real-time, this video of a lightning strike in Rapid City, South Dakota is spectacular. The video is slowed down to 9,000 frames per second. ZT Research describes the video as a preceding downward positive ground flash that triggers upward leaders from seven towers, three of which are visible in the video. I love how hundreds of “mini strikes” flicker around the central strikes. ZT Research has more cool lightning strike videos on their site.

Billy Mays Is A Sad Robot – Part II

I’ve said it before but I think this really proves it. Billy Mays really is a sad robot. The video below was created by John Boswell, the same guy who puts together all of those great Symphony Of Science Videos that have been going around the internet lately.

[flashvideo file=/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/BillyMaysInfomercialBallad.flv height=390 width=500 /]

If you really fell in love with this, feel free to download the track here: Billy Mays-The Auto Tune Infomercial Ballad

Teecycle

Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia clothing, once said, “The most responsible way for a consumer and a good citizen to buy clothes is to buy used.” So in walks Teecycle. Teecycle sells (slightly) used vintage t-shirts for dirt cheap. Each Teecycle shirt is hand-selected from rummage sales, thrift stores or donated by friends.

I bought this t-shirt from them as a gift for my Dad and he loves it (he went to UND). By buying t-shirts from Teecycle you’re not only reducing, reusing, and recycling, you are also helping Milwalkee’s (Teecycle’s home state) Rivers. For every t-shirt sold, Teecycle donates a $1 (often almost 15% of the purchase price) to the River Revitalization Foundation. Anyways, I have exchanged a few email with Tim, the companies owner, and he’s a great guy – go but t-shirts from him.

2008: The Year in Movies

Below are the top 5 highest rated movies I saw during 2008, including a short review and my rating out of 10. Two of the movies I saw during 2008 scored a ten out of ten – Juno and This Is Spinal Tap . Last year, not a single movie I saw deserved that honor (honor?).

1. Juno
Fast and furious one liners, witty comedy, hip music references, and pregnant teenagers. What’s not to like?
10/10

2. This Is Spinal Tap
How much more awesome could this movie be? The answer is none. None more awesome.
10/10

3. Once
Simply a lovely, long, graceful, heart wrenching/warming music video.
9/10

4. Ratatouille
A delightful movie about food, family, work, life and dreams. An original story with some great laughs. Oh yeah, some pretty decent animation in there too.
9/10

5. Lars And The Real Girl
A sweet and honest story that tweks the heart strings and funny bones just right.
9/10

I figured that I might as well add the worst movie I saw all year. You know, just to make things complete.

1. The Gaurdian
Pretty much just a stereotypical bore.
1/10

Local Fun

There are a few great things happening in Denver in the next week I thought you all might be interested in. All of them free (or recommended donation).

Track Shack Race
Denver’s first track specific bike shop, Track Shack, is going to open on the 27th. In order to celebrate their grand opening they’re putting on a race. Cyclists start at Start at 15th and Tremont, race to Lawrence, then to 17th, and back down to Tremont. The last five racers in each lap are eliminated until only one is left standing. The race starts at 6:30pm. Should be a good time. The kids over at Cycle Jerks have all kinds of photos and interviews about the new shop.

Denver Community Museum
Organized and curated by fellow blogger, Jaime Kopke, the Denver Community Museum is a temporary museum located all around Denver, Colorado. Carried out in the form of a pop-up gallery, the museum will exist for less than one year (and less than one month in any single location) – an institution with an expiration date. Contents for the Museum’s monthly, rotating exhibitions are based entirely on community submissions (that means you). The Denver Community Museum is a not-for-profit project and is free and open to the public.

The contents of the Denver Community Museum are generated entirely by submissions from the local community (again, that means you). Exhibitions will change on a monthly basis. One month before an exhibition begins, an open call for participation is announced in the form of a Community Challenge, describing a particular creative project.

Artifacts for the Denver Community Museum’s first exhibit, “The Missing Map” will be accepted this Friday and Saturday, 9/26 & 9/27 at the DCM from 12- 5 PM. Bring in your globes for the show, which will open Friday, October 3rd.

Denver Pecha Kucha
I’ve mentioned this event several times before and highly recommend it. The princesses of .ppt, Jaime and Angela, have once again put together Denver’s third Pecha Kucha night scheduled for Monday, Sept. 29th, at 8:20 at Buntport, but be sure to get there early as seats go quickly. I’ll be there, you should too.