27 December 2007

Tony Oh-no!

I am not a fan of [American] football, and I am most definitely not a fan of Jessica Simpson, so it's really quite amusing that I'm even spending time on this post. But I felt like addressing this whole situation currently happening in the media with Tony Romo and Jessica. Now, as I understand it Dallas Cowboy fans are up-in-arms about Jessica attending their games. They seem to think Tony Romo is an incredibly weak-minded football player who is constantly distracted by his celebrity girlfriend. (Way to have confidence in your star player!) Jessica's such a distraction--people think--that they have publicly said they wish she just wouldn't come to their games; they believe she's the cause of all of Tony's recent ''poor'' playing.

Actually, I see no problem with that. I just think the only fair thing is that all the wives, girlfriends, boyfriends, and partners of all the rest of the team don't attend the games. Actually, now that I think about it I don't really believe their families should attend either. Family is most certainly a distraction. I wonder, too, if all the screaming fans are a distraction? I know that would definitely throw my concentration. Perhaps football games should only be televised...with no audience? No, that wouldn't work. The players would get all freaked-out thinking about all the people watching through the televisions, from millions of homes and bars.

Hmmm, what is the logical compromise here? I'm thinking football should just be done away with altogether. That's a good solution. Doesn't matter to me. After all, I'm not a fan....

(Just for the record, if I were getting paid millions of dollars to throw a ball around, I can guarantee you I'd find a way to concentrate at games.)

26 December 2007

A Keen Ear

Stuart Price is the next big thing, I think. He's young, he's talented, and he's got the support of many, many hot musicians. The man who unarguably had a hand in the success of Madonna's 2005 ''comeback'' record, ''Confessions on a Dance Floor'' is most recently at the helm of Seal's new release, ''System.'' While I don't have many male artists in my library of music, you will find all of Seal's albums -- I think his voice coupled with his style of music makes for a great listening experience.

''System'' is a fantastic record, and has the Stuart Price trademark all over it. In fact, it could be a younger brother of ''Confessions.'' Believe me, this is a good thing. Seal's latest effort is, for the most park, a non-stop dance-o-rama, and well worth the purchase. Price's ability to take the "norm" and make something interesting is really keen, and certainly one of the things that keeps ''System'' interesting.

It'll be interesting to see what projects Stuart Price takes on next. Whatever artists he works with, their music is sure to be a great addition to their current catalog.

Click here to purchase Seal's ''System'' from Amazon.com.

The Most Awkward Celebrity Moments of 2007

The more I keep telling readers I'm not really into celebrity gossip, the more I find myself writing about it. Sometimes it's just too good to pass up, although please understand I don't find pleasure in the pain of these people -- I'm just constantly dumbstruck about how silly they are. I would most definitely not want to live my life under the continuous scrutiny of the American media.

Having said that, I recently saw the ''Top 10'' list for the most awkward celebrity moments of the year, and some of them are moments we won't soon forget. Thanks to site HerGossip.com and TIME magazine, here’s the list:

1.) Columbia University President Lee Bollinger invites the Iranian president to speak on campus.
2.) Paris Hilton cries for her mommy.
3.) Alec Baldwin rips his daughter a new one.
4.) David Hasselhoff drunk in the shower.
5.) Family values Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) admits his number is in the so-called D.C. Madam’s little black book.
6.) Britney Spears’ zombie dance at the MTV Video Music Awards.
7.) Rosie O’Donnell calls co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck a coward on “The View.”
8.) Fox TV censors Sally Field at the Emmy Awards.
9.) Miss Teen South Carolina says Americans don’t know about geography because they lack maps.
10.) Rudy Giuliani’s kids won’t back him for president.

Are there any you think were left off the list? Personally, I thought Kathy Griffin's Emmy acceptance speech was pretty awkward, as well as Paris Hilton's interview with Larry King. Maybe we can make these honorable mentions?

24 December 2007

Music Monday: Beautiful

Moving song by a short-lived European band, Mandalay:

11 December 2007

Political Thoughts: Part I

Politics is not something I've historically been involved--or even interested--in. Perhaps because I've never found a politician who really exemplifies my own political beliefs. Maybe it's because I'm one of those individuals who tends to believe that even if a politician begins a career in politics their good intentions are overpowered by greed. I don't know. But what I do know is I'm making a concerted effort to involve myself in the 2008 Presidential election -- I'm 32-years-old and it's time I made some sort of [political] contribution to our country. (I refuse to debate whether or not it's a privilege or a civic duty.)

Now while the influence of my contributions aren't necessarily the topic of this particular post--which is the first in a series--I do wonder about the contributions of other citizens. Specifically, celebrities who endorse political parties and/or given candidates. Of course this is brought to the forefront right now because Oprah Winfrey has publicly endorsed Barak Obama for the Democratic Presidential candidate. I've got no problem with that; however, I have my own ideas & opinions about how this impacts the political scene.

I have a friend who holds the opinion that celebrities--actors, musicians, television personalities--should not inflict their personal beliefs out into the general public...for fear that this might "mislead" some people to believe a certain way, just because said celebrity does. My own personal opinion on the matter is that celebrities have a perfect platform for getting people involved. I love the quote Madonna* gave a reporter, as featured in the documentary ''I'm Going To Tell You a Secret'': "I'm not here to cause turmoil or tell people what to think. I'm here to wake them up." (I'm paraphrasing here, so don't hold me to the quote.)

I feel that the general public should already have their own political beliefs, and they're going to vote for their ideal candidate. For those citizens who don't typically participate in politics, then what's the harm in a celebrity bringing a certain platform to light? (It's certainly some celebrites into trouble.)

So while Oprah's choice of candidate to endorse isn't particularly my personal preference, I say more power to her!

What do you think? Do you think it's OK for Oprah to publicly endorse the candidate she prefers? Or should she just keep her opinions--and her mouth--shut?!?!

*As I'm crafting this post, I just heard it announced on E!'s The Daily 10 that Madonna is about to "officially" endorse Hillary Clinton. Interesting....

10 December 2007

Music Monday: Must Be Dreaming

Today's music video comes from a fantastic group called Frou Frou. I discovered them a few years back, and purchased their debut album based solely on a magazine article I'd read about them. One half of the group--the non-singing half--is Guy Sigsworth, who's done quite a bit of production on both Madonna and Bjork albums; that was the determining factor for me. The second half of the group is Imogen Heap, who about two years ago released one of the best pop albums in recent history.

Given that, here is one of the standout tracks from Frou Frou's debut. The song is called "Must Be Dreaming."

05 December 2007

Meat Pies Get Mobile

OK, so that's a really lame attempt at punning but it's the best I've got. But it somewhat relates to the content ahead.

I've recently learned that both Papa John's and Domino's Pizza offer-up mobile ordering. In fact, Papa John's is actually promoting their services on the homepage. Ordering a pizza via your web-enabled device? Are you kidding me? That's fantastic! I love, love, love pizza! It's probably my main food weakness, besides french fries. I recall a time not too terribly long ago that I I was having a horrible day and didn't want to converse with any other human beings, so I ordered a pizza online. It's the best.

So now to make it that much easier by ordering "mobily" seems like the next logical step. While I'm not really a fan of Domino's Pizza, I will eventually try this method of ordering with Papa John's (my favorite) and will let you know how it goes.

If anyone has tried ordering from a pizza place via their mobile device please provide feedback!

03 December 2007

Music Monday

As I mentioned in a previous post not too terribly long ago, it's been quite some time since I've blogged. I think much of this has to do with my job, and the nature of our industry. To be honest, it's bothered me for a while because I started this blog, think I have something to say, and I don't like the fact that I've allowed for it to be dormant as long as it has.

The thing is, I don't want to "write just for the sake of writing." I'd like to produce content my [very few] readers enjoy and find relevance in. Of course, this is ultimately the goal of every blogger, I think. Or at least I hope. Anyway, I started thinking about the things that are important to me, and decided if I stick with that I'll always have some interesting content. At least for me....

So I've decided to interject some theming with my blog. Music is extremely important to me; I think I was a musician in a past life. Even more, I love the artistry of music videos. Quality music videos -- not the crap they show on MTV these days. Now I'm sure many people would argue about what I find "artistic" and whay they find "artistic," but that's the fantastic thing about this being my blog -- I can say what I want! So every Monday I'm going to start posting a video I think is interesting, and has a certain artistic integrity to it. Hopefully you'll enjoy the videos I post...or at least be exposed to something new.

That being said, it's only appropo that I launch Music Video Monday with Madonna. If you have any awareness of music or pop culture then I need not say more.


While certainly not one of the best Madonna songs, I feel both the video and the album it on which it appeared were severely overlooked. Perhaps that was due to the political controversy surrounding the title track and its accompanying video (I'm sure that will show up here at a future date). Regardless, this video shows Madonna at her best...in the sense that she is a chameleon and always looks good no matter what. (Of course, there are also pop culture implications that come along with the song.)


A few years ago "Hollywood" was segment of the high-grossing "Re-Invention Tour." The backdrop to the scene was incredibly cool so I thought I'd include it here. I hope you enjoy it.

16 November 2007

Some bitter OJ

I'll be honest, I don't like orange juice with pulp. I never have and chances are that will never change. Pulp is just unnecessary -- it gets stuck in your teeth, hits the back of your throat in a creepy way, and just doesn't make any sense. I kinda feel the same way about OJ Simpson. He gets stuck in strange situations (i.e., "the teeth of life"), is most definitely creepy, and certainly makes no sense. OK, maybe that's a lame analogy but hey...I try. Seriously though, what have OJ's contributions to society truly been (and don't mention playing football because that is a worthless contribution). I feel bad asking that about any human being but I look at this guy and have to wonder what his value to our community is.

So now that OJ is back in the news--with a vengeance, it seems--I haven't really been paying too much attention. I'm not really even aware of what he's battling in court. I was just trying to find some information but couldn't even anything on the homepage of CNN.com. Something to do with stolen goods? I don't know.... But it leads me to ask the question, are we seeing karma in action?

I know my answer. What's yours?

20 October 2007

All's quiet on the blogging front....

I have been quiet for a while now -- much longer than I was hoping, or care to be -- but I've been very busy with work and other things. I apologize for my hiatus. I suppose working at the kind of job I do, it's like being an OBGYN: when you're around something specific all day the last thing you want to do when you get home is look at the same exact thing.

I'm hoping to resume my regular blog statis shortly.

29 September 2007

Music: The Soul Stirrer

I'm a huge fan of music. I believe I was a superstar musician in another life. And man did I rock! Seriously, though. For as long as I can remember music has always been in my life; I often think it is the root of creativity. Sure, painting, poetry, writing, and such are all impressive forms of art and self-expression, but there's something about starting from nothing, and making a song that is awesome to me! And I love the connection music has to memories -- I can't think of another art form that has that kind of power.

I've always been attracted to all genres of music--dance, folk, pop, and more--but more often than not I'm drawn to musicians who would typically be classified as "artists." And I frequently find myself attracted to Canadian artists for some reason. Strange, huh? Musicians like Sarah McLachlan, Ashley MacIsaac, Jann Arden, and of course, Alanis Morissette.

The latest of these discoveries is a relative newcomer [to the American music scene] called Feist. I actually read an amazing review of her latest release, "The Reminder," a few months ago and was ready to head out and purchase it based on the article alone. Then a few days following that I saw the video for the song "1234" on VH1. I'm sure you're familiar with this song because it's featured in the latest commercial for the Apple iPod Nano, which is in heavy rotation.

Feist made a recent appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman where she performed "1234," and I love the energy and enthusiasm both the song and the performance exude (take note of the joyful choir accompanying Feist). This is why I love music.

Here's the performance:

26 September 2007

Excuse me, Mr. Bush!

Say No to Crack has managed to entertain me, yet again. This video was featured in the daily e-mail newsletter I receive from them, and it had me in stitches! (I friggin' love [good] parodies!)

25 September 2007

MTV: Washed Up

I find myself talking about my disdain for MTV again. Shocker! Now, I'm a fan of the reality TV series "America's Next Top Model" (I can hear your laughter!). Hey...it's my guilty pleasure, OK! So MTV has been sporadically playing old cycles of the top model show; I can't really figure out what that schedule is, but they're playing the episodes in marathons...and have been for weeks, if not months.

I'm just now realizing how much MTV realizes they're in the shitter with their programming, or else why would they be playing this show so often. Sure, it's great for their [momentary] ratings, but how can it really help them long-term? I want to know what you think:

Is MTV on the way out? Or are they simply striving to keep-up with the ratings game?

18 September 2007

Kanye Pest?

Is it just me or is Kanye West the anti-artist? I mean, in my opinion, a true artist--including "true" musicians--is on earth to share their craft -- speak their mind, speak to other...really have something to say...regardless of whether or not people like or enjoy what they have to say. Let's define things a little:

Dictionary.com defines the word "artist" as the following:

art·ist /ˈɑrtɪst/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[ahr-tist] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation

1. a person who produces works in any of the arts that are primarily subject to aesthetic criteria.
2. a person who practices one of the fine arts, esp. a painter or sculptor.
3. a person whose trade or profession requires a knowledge of design, drawing, painting, etc.: a commercial artist.
4. a person who works in one of the performing arts, as an actor, musician, or singer; a public performer: a mime artist; an artist of the dance.
5. a person whose work exhibits exceptional skill.
6. a person who is expert at trickery or deceit: He's an artist with cards.
7. Obsolete. an artisan.

I suppose to some folks Kanye might fit into one or two of these.

Now, after losing all the awards he was nominated for at the recent MTV Video Music Awards (honestly, are these the gauge by which "artists" are now being measured?) Kanye West is now boycotting MTV. Seriously? Isn't this completely vain, and negating the whole point of being an artist? Who cares if you get rewarded? Obviously being rewarded for your craft is an honor, and certainly a wonderful feeling, but ultimately if the "art" speaks for itself at the end of the day, that should be all that matters.

As for the "battle" Kanye is currently in with 50 Cent -- don't even get me started. That's just a situation of corporate music strongholding the American music industry.

15 September 2007

My 18th Birthday Song!

I was checking my MySpace.com e-mail earlier this afternoon, and saw a bulletin posted by my friend Greta. The post was to find out what the number one song was on your 18th birthday. Now, I have a pretty good memory but I could not recall something that specific. I figured it was probably someone like C and C Music Factory (oh god!) or Mariah Carey (oh dear lord, please!), but no! It ended-up being Snow with the ridiculous "Informer"! Remember that song? That represents the state of music during my senior year of high school? How depressing!

If you would like to find out what the number one song was on your 18th birthday click here. (The charts available are for the US, UK, and Austria.)

Give me what I want!

Yesterday while breezing through Delightfulblogs.com I discovered a clever-and-creative website. While the end result of the authors' intent may be a bit far-fetched, I absolutely love the concept and have to give the site owners props!

The site I'm talking about is Wants for Sale, and the gist of it is a New York City couple trying to earn money to buy things they want, by painting each item and then selling each painting for the actual pricepoint of each item. Wait, that seems a little confusing. OK, let me give you an example:

The couple wants an iPhone (actually, I bet it's probably the husband that wants it!) so they create a painting of an iPhone, and then put it up for sale for the cost of the iPhone. Fun idea, huh?

Here are some samples of the items they have available for sale:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Some of the items listed on the site are "free," which I'm a little curious about. I'll have to look into that. If they are free I want one!

08 September 2007

Anyone Cold?

Today's featured video comes from Madonna. As written in a post earlier in the week I think she--and the creative team she surrounds herself with--is one of the most visionary artists that has ever existed. Feel free to argue with me; I know the haters are out there. Regardless, the song "Frozen", which is off of 1998's brilliant "comeback" record "Ray of Light" (although I debate whether or not she ever really "left") is not only haunting and beautiful but the accompanying video is as well.

Directed by English music video director Chris Cunningham, I give you "Frozen":

07 September 2007


She's strange, sometimes uncomfortable, and almost always brilliant! A few months ago I wrote about my love for Tori Amos's music, along with how her videos are [usually] very creative. In fact, this very video was mentioned in that post. I feel that "Spark" from the 1998 album "From the Choirgirl Hotel" certainly fits into this category. Experimenting with many different electronic sounds on this release, the "Spark" video had a very defined storyline (although it's still a little confusing), which was something we'd not seen from Tori in previous videos.

Here is "Spark":

06 September 2007

What Else is There?

A couple of years ago I was stumbled across a relatively unknown [in America] group called Royksopp. Norweigen electronica artists in the same genre as Air and Mirwais, I think I may've seen the cover of their 2005 album "The Understanding" and was curiously drawn to it.

Quite honestly, at that point I recalled having read several complimentary reviews about the album so I made an impulse purchase. After one solid listen I immediately became hooked; there are some phenomenal tracks included. One of my favorite songs has a very "odd" video to accompany it. The track is titled "What Else is There?" and in true fashion of they music I'm typically attracted to, it's got a very solid beat, beautiful melodies, and an intriguing female vocal. Often when I watch the video I'm a little weirded-out, but it is certainly creative...you can't deny that.

Here's the video for "What Else is There?":

05 September 2007

Need a Room Makeover?

Do you need a room makeover? No need to fret! A couple of days ago my Techcrunch e-newsletter had a feature devoted to a new a site called Design My Room. Now, I rent the condo I live in so I haven't really done any significant decorating; however, I am borderline-obsessed with home/room makeover shows. Don't ask me why, I just am! I suppose I just love seeing the potential for anything (houses, rooms, people, etc.) to reach their greatness. Anyway, when I saw this DesignMyRoom.com site I was all over it! So...I decided to check out the site to see what it has to offer.

Firstly, I created a profile, which was extremely simple! I love sites that make registering with them easy! Here's a snapshot of the information they require:

Now one of the nicest features about the site--and perhaps it's because they're still in beta testing--is a "pop-up" window (which the user can request to never see again) that provides a synopsis, essentially, of everything that's offered on the site. From virtually redesigning one of your own rooms, to sharing your designed room with other DesignMyRoom.com users, to getting ideas from other site users. It truly is an interactive site.

While breezing through the site I also noticed a feature that's noted as "Coming Soon," and that's submitting your own photo, and having the site digitally enhance your room! So basically you upload the photo of any room you'd like to have redesigned, and the "experts" at the site will add color, wallpaper, etc. Whatever you have in mind so you can actually see what your makeover room will look like before you make any effort at all! Now I think that's really awesome! I'm going to do a little more digging around Design My Room and if I come across any more cool features I'll post them here. In the meantime I'll just imagine what it'll be like when I buy my own place, and can decorate-my-heart-out!

Take On Me

This is undeniably one of the most original music videos, particularly since it was released in the infancy years of MTV. Unarguably a groundbreaking video:

04 September 2007

Why? (Pay Attention Please...)

This post has nothing to do with "Music Video Week," although the artist performing this song is definitely a pioneer of the music video era. I ran across this video on You Tube while looking for recent content to post on my MySpace Blog.

While I didn't catch the live telecast of this Annie Lennox classic, when I saw this performane on You Tube, from this Summer's Live 8 I was overwhlemed with emotion. Forget race, forget sexual orientation, forget gender, and forget class. If this performance doesn't move you...well, you might want to take a closer look at yourself:

Today is Poetic...

Today's video comes from a controversial artist. And it's my belief you either get her or you don't. If you don't...hey, that's OK (but too bad for you). But if you do "get her" that means we'll more than likely be friends -- or at least get along! Her music is usually haunting, her videos are typically disturbing, and the combination of the two always makes her--as an artist--intriguing. In my opinion she is truly a visionary.

From the brilliant album "Vespertine," here is Bjork's "Pagan Poetry."

03 September 2007

"Music Video Week": MONDAY

Today's "Music Week Video" is Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy". I remember the first time I saw this video--which was also the first time I heard the song--I was absolutely blown away. The song was like nothing else that was out in the market at the time, and the accompanying video just enhanced the song's groove. I love it!

So when I did a You Tube search for the "Crazy" video I discovered there's also second version, which I wasn't aware of. It's the "UK" version, and it's just as amazing as the first version. The colors are splendid and I love the layers of the graphics. You decide what you think:

02 September 2007

Video Killed the Radio Star? (Part 2)

Last week I wrote a post about my infatuation with music videos. Now, mind you...I don't really watch American music video channels like MTV or VH1 because they play nothing but crap, that is essentially bought by powerhouse music companies to get promotion for their artists. (Bitter, party of one, please!) That's OK...I can live with that. (Thank you, YouTube.com.) Anyway....

I always find it interesting to see the visual interpretation of a song, so in paying homage to the artistry of music videos I'd like to kick off "Music Video Week" here on Nifty Nation. That being said, it's only right to begin with one of the most visionary music video artists of our time: Madonna. Now, "How in the world can he choose a video from such a robost catalogue of work?" Well, it's certainly not easy, and there's a possibility another one of her videos may appear in the coming week. But for the sake of recognizing a video for the "creativity" aspect, I'm going with "Nothing Really Matters" from the groundbreaking 1998 release "Ray of Light". An exceptional song lyrically, to the naked eye the video makes no sense, and is really a mish-mosh of weirdness; however, there is a story behind the video, and it was inspired by the story Memoirs of a Geisha. If you'd like to learn more about the backstory click here.

Here is the video for "Nothing Really Matters":


Say No to Crack does it again. There are truly no words for this:

30 August 2007

You got it...Dude?

You've probably figured-out that I'm a huge "Weeds" fan. I think the writing is brilliant, and I love that the writers and the actors aren't afraid to take things "over the edge". It's just a television show, after all! And in a motion of brave casting (actually, I think it's one of the most brilliant casting moves of any show recently), I think many, many "Weeds" fans are waiting for this:

P.S. Did you get the reference in the title? Isn't that what she used to say?

R2D2! I can see you!

The Star Wars franchise is unarguably one of the most famous--and popular--in existence. I do enjoy the films, although I'm not a hardcore fan. Still, I found this post today on Oh Gizmo! and thought it would be a valid tie-in with the pop culture & social media themes often found throughout my blog. (I know some folks who are probably drooling over this right now.)

Here is the post: R2D2 Is Now a Remote Control, Wireless Webcam.

29 August 2007

Miss Who?

I'd not been made aware of the "spectacle" of the Miss Teen Pageant that occurred this past week, until a friend of mine was talking about it at lunch day-before-yesterday. So I decided to do a little research. As someone who's typically up-to-date on all the "goings-on" in the media I was a bit taken aback that I'd not heard of this story of the Miss South Carolina debacle last Friday. So I decided to do a search on YouTube.com. Here's what I came up with:

While I can certainly understand the contestant must've been nervous, what with being live on National television, I can forgive that. Really, aren't we expecting a little too much from this blonde-haired beauty? However, the segment featured on the "Today Show" was--in my opinion--absolutely absurd. I really, really, really used to love Ann Curry...but lately she's become ridiculous!

What do you think, both of this story...and the "Today Show"?

P.S. In my search for these videos I ran across a parody (already?), which I found quite entertaining:

A Pop Culture Phenomenon

Regardless of whether or not you agree with the bold & frank nature of this show, you can't deny it changed the face of television. And now this:


Should be interesting to see how well it does at the box office!

26 August 2007

Video Killed the Radio Star?

Did radio kill the video star? Ummm, I don't think so. If anything it made them bigger stars! Madonna, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, and Prince? These are a few of the pop icons that come to mind when I think about videos. As I talked about in a previous post, I love watching people creative. And there is unarguably lots of creativity saturated in music videos. Of course, the level of that creativity is certainly debatable.

There's a fun discussion going on over at BlogCatalog.com where users are posting links to some old-school music videos! What a great idea! Here's the link to the discussion:


This discussion inspired me to leave one of my favorite "old-school" videos, and one of my earliest memories of MTV (back when they actually played music). It is from the aforementioned "Queen of Pop", Madonna:

Sorry...say what you want, but Madonna is da bomb. For now...and forever.


While I wouldn't necessarily say I have a reputation as being the most creative individual, I love, love, love watching other people be creative, and I think I have a pretty good eye for "innovative" creativity. This includes companies. One of my most favorite things to do is watch commercials on television. Some commercials are crap, but others are brilliant...at least in my opinion.

One of my current favorite advertising spots is Dell's "Inspiron 1420". Haven't seen it yet?

I think the creative approach, along with the sounds of The Flaming Lips, makes for a perfect match.

What are your favorite commercials right now? Send them to me....

I've Traveled the World

Well, I haven't exactly traveled the world in the exact sense you might be thinking (although someday I hope to) but I have journeyed across the planet at Travel Channel's side. I've been to Europe, Latin America, and parts of the United States I never even knew existed. I find Sunday mornings are particularly a great time to pack-up and make the trek. Sitting down with a cup of coffee and joining bubbly Samantha Brown around the world is a chilled, relaxing time for me. Whether or not you actually watch and of her shows, Samantha's global excursions are all tightly packaged at TravelChannel.com/SamanthaBrown. The site is an extensive resource for all your travel needs.

I love any website that truly takes the user on an experience, and Samantha's interactive features do just that (OK, I know Samantha doesn't actually build the website, but humor me). A few of my favorite features on the site are:

- Samantha's Travel Guides. This is the PERFECT resource for any traveler looking to maximize their trip. Samantha shares all of her experiences here, from hotels, to restaurants, to popular tourist sites. Hey...Samantha does-it-up-right when she travels, so why not take tips from her?
- Travel Journals. The journals are more extensive than the travel guides, and share with the user travel experiences through the eyes of Samantha.
- Podcasts. The video podcasts are available via iTunes so you really have no excuse not to watch!
- Fan Wiki. A "new" feature on the TravelChannel.com site, this area provides a forum for fans of the show to not only contribute content, but to also connect with other fans!

Well, that about wraps-up my plug for Samantha Brown and the Travel Channel! Perhaps by some magical chance someone from the channel will run across my post and send me around the world...and blog along the way! *OUCH, I had to pinch myself to stop dreaming!* I suppose the best chance I have is to win their current sweepstakes -- a trip for two to Jamaica.

21 August 2007


A few days ago I was driving into work, listening to my daily morning talk show (only because Central Florida radio completely stinks...and I have no options). One of the topics of conversation was over-saturated, "what does he really do?", media-whore Ryan Seacrest. Apparently he has been tapped for several upcoming hosting gigs that have many people scratching their heads. Now, it's not that I loathe Ryan Seacrest. Heck, the guy has made a gigantic name for himself for really doing nothing. Ooohhh, maybe he, Paris Hilton, Nicole Richey, Tara Reid, and Nickelback should start a club. Yawn...stretch...rub eyes...oh wait, I'm sorry, I was just having a nightmare. Anyway, I don't dislike Ryan as much as I might be letting on. I simply choose to not watch anything he's associated with.

So here are the shows he's going to be hosting later this year and next. You make up your own mind:

- Daytime Emmy Awards. This one doesn't seem so "out there" to me. He is a decent host, but I think he'll get boring REALLY fast. Apparently show producers are hoping Seacrest will be a "magnet" for a larger audience.
- Superbowl Red Carpet/Half-Time Show. Um, why don't I just host it instead.

Is Ryan Seacrest in danger of losing his career, because people are going to get so sick of him? You tell me what you think.

Season Three of 'Weeds' is Lit Up!

I don't mind admitting that I have an addiction to the Showtime Original Series "Weeds." The award-winning show premiered its third season this past week, on August 13th. Made of ticky-tacky, the compelling cable dramedy follows the life of widowed Suburban housewife Nancy Botwin. To maintain the life her family is accustomed to, Nancy--played effortlessly by Mary-Louise Parker--becomes the prime marijuana dealer to the residents of sleepy Southern Californian suburb Agrestic.

One of the primary reasons I'm drawn to the show is for the clever writing. Not only is it witty and edgy, the writers approach the subject matter in a way that--whether or not one agrees with Nancy's illegal practices--viewers arrive in a place of non-judgement. You can watch the show and almost understand why Nancy makes the decisions she does. While I'm certainly not a television writer, it would seem difficult for any writer to actually achieve this level.

The addiction to "Weeds" doesn't stop with each half-hour episode. The "Weeds" section of Sho.com is a great example of how a website can engage its users...beyond the small screen. Check-out all of the interactive features they offer:

Fairly self-explanatory, this area provides insight about what folks are talking about in blogosphere. (I'm secretly hoping this post might make its way onto the site.)

Wallpapers, IM icons, and blog photos are available for users to display their "Weeds" pride.

In addition to accessing snippets of various episodes, the video features area also provides exclusive interviews, behind-the-scenes footage and more.

For the folks who are jonesin' for more...or simply need their "Weeds" on-the-go.

For the ultimate fan:

Many sites try to create a viral campaign for whatever they're promoting, but some are not any good at it. Sho.com seems to have the right idea, by soliciting user-involvement via creating their own music video...to the tune of "Little Boxes," no less. I wanted to enlist my friend Globetrotting V to make our own video but I don't think we'll have time to get around to it. It'l definitely be interesting to see all of the submissions though.

17 August 2007

Could it be? Brenda's gone!

Did someone catch-on to the greatness that is the "Brenda Dickson" parody, and have it removed from YouTube? I was in the mood to laugh so I wanted to watch it again, and when I did it was gone! Gone, I say! Gone! I'm so upset that someone chose to remove this fantastic video from the online world!

...so wrong....

Well, fine then! Here's another snippet of Brenda...that's still available (for now):

Go, Daddy!

User-engagement on blogs is very important, in my opinion. It's a true testament of just how intersted your readers are in the content you provide, and is also a great gauge of how they respond to what you're writing. A fantastic way to encourage reader involvement is by hosting a poll or a survey.

Recently, I discovered a fantastic site that helps you create polling and survey widgets. Winner of a CNET WebWare 100 Award, the site is called Polldaddy.com, and I found it via a Google.com search. I was actually looking for a great site for poll/survey widgets for the company I work for, and ended-up using one of the Polldaddy.com widgets on our company blog, for a promotion we're running.

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I really like this site because first-and-foremost, it's user-friendly; that's the most important quality--to me--in a site like Polldaddy.com. The process of creating a poll is both easy and logical. Another feature I really like it the variety of widgets that are available -- in addition to offering "stock" skins, you can also upload a customizable widget...and use it for future polls. If they don't have a widget that suits your specific needs...that's OK -- you can create your own!

Of course, there's also a blog if you have any questions about site features, or simply want to connect with other Polldaddy.com fans. Who knows, perhaps you might see me there at some point!

So as to appropriately tie-in the site I'm blogging about, here's a survey I created:

Won't the Real Brenda Dickson Please Stand Up?

A couple of days ago a friend of mine left a video comment on my MySpace profile. I hadn't actually ever seen this before on YouTube; at first I was taken aback but then I couldn't stop laughing! I don't know how long the "parody" video has been around, but if you haven't seen it before, watch it and then forward it on to as many people as you can! I'd love to get a viral video chain going:

Honestly I thought the creators of this parody were whack-o, but the more I contemplate--and watch it over-and-over--I'm beginning to think they're brilliant! I know if I tried to make a similar video I'd be crackin' up the whole time.

14 August 2007

Running with the A-List

Over the past few days I have really been thinking about blogging. It's such an interesting concept, and all Bloggers have a different motivation for blogging. For me, I recently started blogging as a creative outlet...and an opportunity to brush-up on my writing skills (I was always told growing up that I was a "good" writer). Since launching my blog back in March I've quickly realized managing a blog is not only tricky but also time-consuming.

Authoring a blog is really two-fold, in my opinion: the author is writing for himself, as an outlet for whatever platform he's representing, yet the author must keep in mind his readers. Obviously without readers there's not much point in maintaining a blog, unless the author is completely in it for the creative aspect. I suppose you could use the analogy of an artist painting but nobody ever seeing the masterpiece. Is it really art if it's never seen? *wink wink*

Just as I was having these thoughts and contemplating a blog post, an article made its way to me. Originally found on PureBlogging.com, the aforementioned article is titled Your List Versus the A-List. Originally authored by Chris Garrett from chrisg.com, the post raises some interesting points about whether it's more valuable to link to A-list blogs/bloggers, or if you should spend more time making your blog relevant and interesting to your readers. It's really a no-brainer, I think. Besides, like Chris mentions, just because a Blogger is labeled as "A-list" doesn't necessarily mean their content is quality...it just means they are well-known and recognized. Here's a great quote from Chris, that I think should resonate with Bloggers, and be something that is constantly top-of-mind:

"Your readers are your priority, they are who you write for, don’t let them down by linking to sub-par content!" If you create interesting content, readers will find you. It might take some time, but they will come. My blog has been up nearly five months, and both my readership and comments (I often gauge a blog's quality by the number of comments it has, although I know that's not a standard practice) are somewhat low. Sure, I know my blog is being seen, but I also understand it may take a really long time to establish my audience. They are out there -- they simply must find me! And they will....

11 August 2007

Horny Preacher?

While browsing through entertainment gossip(?) site TMZ.com I read an article that made me chuckle. It was accompanied by the image below, which made me chuckle even more. Now, I don't know if this is someone's idea of being cheeky, or simply a coincidence, but it's kinda funny either way:

Hmmm, I wonder what Billy Graham and his camp think about this?

10 August 2007

Social Media Marketing

As I've written before, everyone has an opinion about social media. I think it's captivating. Perhaps I feel this way because social media & networking is such a product of my generation; perhaps it's because I love the feeling of connectedness it brings; perhaps it's because I'm completely fascinated with how quickly it allows news and information to travel. No matter the reason I'm always looking to consume as much as I can about current and future social media.

MySpace, Facebook, and YouTube are unarguably the most well-known and most mainstream of the social networks. Yesterday I stumbled across a great site, educating online marketers the value of using these three sites. Aptly titled "MySpace, Facebook, and YouTube Marketing," Nick Jag offers-up some very valuable information about playing "smartly" on these sites. I'm definitely going to have to spend some time sorting through his site, and certainly take advantage of his "Resources."

07 August 2007

Face-blah Embarrassment?

Yet again my daily TechCrunch newsletter brings about some interesting information:

Apparently Republican Presidential Candidate Rudy Giuliani's daughter, Caroline, has generated some controversy via her Facebook profille. TechCrunch reports that Caroline's profile shows that she supports Barack Obama as the 2008 Presidential hopeful. What? And this is news? Seriously...I find this story pretty ludicrous. Firstly, the girl is only 17-years-old. Granted, she'll be 18 by the time the elections roll-around, but she's still merely a teenager.

Secondly, this is America, right? Sure...it's not the most ideal situation when an individual is running for President of the United States of America and their offspring doesn't openly support them, but I don't see why it's making major news. Perhaps that's just my apathy for news & politics in our country right now.

What's most entertaining about this story--in my opinion--is that Caroline's participation in the Obama Facebook group (find out more here) was immediately removed (by herself). Go figure!

P.S. As you probably figured by this blog post title, I'm not the biggest fan of Facebook. Mainly because I hate "trendy" things (and Facebook is definitely trendy right now) but also because I don't necessarily think Facebook is the big deal people are making it out to be right now.

I'm Powncing!

Social networking site Pownce has surfaced in various online media outlets over the past few weeks, so I'm eager to keep a close eye on it! Actually, the network is still in Beta and currently invite-only but The Wired Kayaker was kind enough to extend an invitation to me. Thanks, Drew!

As I mentioned, I'm keeping a close eye on Pownce to see how it grows, and also how its covered in the media. Like Twitter, Pownce offers functions like "notes" (i.e., personal messages) and friendship capabilities that help online users keep-in-touch with one another. One of the noticeable differences between Twitter and Pownce is the latter allows the profile owner to segment out the messages they send to their friends. For example, I recently requested one of my favorite vloggers to be a friend, so once she accepts my invitation I can send messages directly to her...that only she can see!

Here's a screenshot of my profile:

I'm looking forward to connecting with friends on Pownce!

01 August 2007

It's All About Being Social

The more time I spend online--particularly in the blogosphere--the more opinions I hear about social networks and social media. Everyone has a take on what sites "work" and what sites "don't work," which ones are more reputable and such.

Honestly, I don't may too much attention to these "opinions." I'm going to be active on the sites I like and enjoy; not only that, I want to be where my friends and blog readers are. So I'm pretty active on the following social sites and directories:

- MySpace
- BlogCatalog
- MyBlogLog
- Twitter
- Wink
- more

I'm curious to know...what sites are you active on? And if you are active on various sites, why aren't we friends?!?!

How to Find Your Audience

As I've mentioned various times here, because of where I work I'm afforded the opportunity to learn about blogs, blogging, and blogging tips everyday! I love hearing about blog networks, social networking sites, unique blogs, and even more unique bloggers...and probably get way too excited when I do!

One of the things I think every blogger finds appealing about not only blogging but the Internet in general, is being provided a platform to easily connect, engage, and converse with other individuals. I just enjoy watching all the information that is exchanged...and so quickly! Given that, I was stoked to run across a blog post on a site called PureBlogging.com, with tips about expanding your blog reach. Simply titled "Expanding Your Blog Reach," I think it's a great snapshot of the "right" things to do to expand your blog's audience.

I'd love to connect with any other Bloggers using these methods, or who is familiar with PureBlogging.com.

Blog on!

31 July 2007

Funny Facebook!

I stumbled across this hilarious video for Facebook. It's actually making fun of the eHarmony spots more than anything, but in thinking about things I realized it's a great testament to the power of social networking sites like Facebook.

25 July 2007

It's Not Easy Being Green

I'm registered for gobs of e-mail newsletters. Some of them are related to my job, some have to do with my personal interest, and some are just to keep in-line with what's going on in the world. One of the newsletters I typically find interesting is from C|NetNews.com.

In today's "afternoon issue" there was a feature about...what I think...is a pretty absurd use of social media. Here are the details:

A group of NYU postgrad students have been working to develop something called the "Botanicalls" system. This lets plant owners essentially communicate with their green friends. Through technology and social media plants and convey their needs to people. "What?" you ask? "How is this possible," and "what is the point?" Well, moisture sensors can be placed in the soil of the plant, to send a signal over a wireless network to a gateway that places a call if the plant's too dry or wet.

Now I ask if this is really necessary. I suppose if the "owner" were out-of-town on business for a long period of time or on vacation, this might be worthwhile, but seriously.... Will a plant kick the bucket if it goes a few days without water?

Here's photo documentation of what the grad students came up with:

And the team that came up with this:

This is silly. Maybe if I think-it-over for a few days I might feel differently.

Role Models

This video was sent to me by a co-worker, who found it over at 1938 Media. So funny....

24 July 2007


I'm a fan of television. I'm not going to lie. I don't think I watch nearly as much as most people do but I certainly have my favorite shows. I also have my favorite networks, Bravo being one of them. True, some of their programming has gotten slightly cheesy, and their reality-show platform is just about out-of-control, but you have to admit some of their shows are captivating.

One of my favorite things about the Bravo network is their website. Albeit a bit busy, aesthetically speaking, it's an awesome example of how a television network integrates technology and social media into their mix. Just look at their site.

Here are a few reasons I love Bravotv.com:

- Video
- Blogs
- Mobile

Truly, this network engages their audience with numerous interactive features, and know how to get their viewers involved, and I think it's great!

23 July 2007

CNN * YouTube Debates

Referencing my last post, these debates are so much better than I was expecting. Sure, CNN is still very much involved...and selecting the video submissions...but for the most part I think it's an incrediby innovative way of approaching relevant topics.

My friend Kim and I keep exchanges text messages back-and-forth about who we like! Social media at its finest!

FYI...I'm NOT voting for any person who wears a hearing aid.

22 July 2007

Social Media & Politics

If you haven't already heard, politicians and major [American] news organizations are jumping on the social media bandwagon. Actually, bandwagon isn't the appropriate term to use. Typically, I think of "jumping on the bandwagon" as being associated with something trendy or fleeting, and social media is certainly here to stay. Politicians and news organization undoubtedly recognize this and are therefore taking note of how to integrate the medium with their business models. The big question right now is just how much does social media play in both of these fields? Does it dictate news stories and political platforms? Or does it merely supplement them? Personally, I don't think anyone really knows the answer (although there are definitely strong opinions about both), and we probably won't for years to come.

I bring all of this up because I just learned that CNN is hosting the first-ever Presidential video/social media debates. I'm a little surprised that I'm just hearing of this since I live much of my life online. Anyhow.... Taking place tomorrow (7/23) at 7pm EST these debates will unarguably be historic, and could determine the relevance of social media in such vital events. The concept is really quite simple: candidates will answer questions directly from the American public, via video-sharing powerhouse YouTube.com. No journalists. No panelists. No agendas. Or so we're told.

Dubbed the "CNN * YouTube Debates" the live broadcast will launch with the Democratic Presidential candidates. The Republicans will follow in mid-September. Of course, only time will tell just how much of an impact these initiatives will make, but it'll be interesting to watch.

If you're interested in taking part in this landmark event click here. The deadline for submissions is today (7/22) though, so you'll have to hurry!

20 July 2007

And I Always Thought Women Are the Smart Ones

I found another video gem on the Say No to Crack site:

Evidently the original spot is from a television show, at least that's what I'm assuming based on the audience laughter. Probably MADtv or a similar sketch comedy show.

Video-sharing sites are awesome!

16 July 2007

Funny or Stupid?

Today there was a site featured in both my TechCrunch e-mail newsletter, as well as another industry newsletter I'm signed-up for called whatsnextblog.com. Being that it was featured in two e-mails in the same day I figured I would take a moment to check-it-out.

The site I'm referring to is called News Groper, and it's a hoot! The site actually launched today, and it's a collection of over 50 "parody" blogs, all written by authors under the guises of celebrities. Tyra Banks, Britney Spears, Brad Pitt, and even Oprah Winfrey are "contributors" to the site.

If you have a few spare moments visit the site and judge for yourself.

08 July 2007

Everyone's a Celebrity

Earlier this morning I was watching CNN, when there was a very interesting segment featuring former Vanity Fair Editor-in-Chief Tina Brown. She has recently been in the media promoting her novel chronicling the life of Princess Diana, aptly titled "The Diana Chronicles."

The segment during which she was featured on the news network was primarily focused on celebrities--specifically American celebrities--and out of her interview came a quote I thought was the perfect representation of the topic:

"These days everyone is a celebrity, and nobody is intriguing."

She stated that the last real intriguing celebrity in recent American history was John F. Kennedy, Jr., and that the celebrity pop-tarts of today are famous for doing nothing...and are pretty uninteresting.

I couldn't agree more (but thank goodness they are or I wouldn't have nearly as much to write about).

07 July 2007

Video-Sharing Rocks!

In this day-and-age American celebrities have to watch their every move. If they aren't careful the end-up with something like this:

Video-sharing rocks! (Pun intended.)

06 July 2007

Let Your Voice Be Heard

As we all know (with the exception of some folks), our country is a big, fat mess right now. Unarguably, we have one of the worst Administrations in the history of the United States of America. Now, I've never really been a "political" person but as I'm getting older...strike that...as I'm maturing I've realized it is detrimental that I at least involve myself in what our politicians are doing, and how they're representing me and my country. That being said, I'm in "education mode," right now, and trying to start learning as much as I can about the Presidential candidates.

Last week I registered myself at HillaryClinton.com. Now, I'm not saying I'm voting for Hil, or that I'm even endorsing her. I'm merely exploring my options. Anyone who knows me, though, knows I'm a HUGE fan of sites that integrate various features of user involvement, and Hillary's site does just that.

I'm sure the other candidates have similar features on their websites, but here are a few reasons I like HillaryClinton.com:

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Regardless of whatever political party you are affiliated with, what Presidential candidate you support, or what your views are on the current war, I encourage you to at least be aware -- wake up and let your voice be heard.

05 July 2007

Dead Wrong!

I've always thought of myself as a priceless individual. Not that I'm full-of-myself but hey...I know how unique I am! No amount of money could buy me. Well, maybe I should reconsider that. Now as it turns out, through the beauty of the Internet and SayNotoCrack.com, I can find out what I'm worth if I were to "kick the bucket." That's right, it's the Cadaver Calculator, and I must say I'm somewhat disappointed -- turns out I may have overestimated my worth.

$3540.00The Cadaver Calculator - Find out how much your body is worth

Mingle2 - Online Dating

Of course, I do not in any way take this seriously. I just thought it would be fun to "calculate my cadaver."

29 June 2007

Sad State

I stumbled across this video earlier today. Actually, it was one of the features in my daily Say No to Crack newsletter. I found it quite amusing, and representative of the way I feel about "the situation":

26 June 2007

Say No to Crack!

Say no to the real crack, we all know that stuff is whack! But say "YES!" to saynotocrack.com. Bottom line, Say No to Crack is website about humor. Humor of all kinds. One of my favorite features of the site is its newsletter. Sent daily, the newsletter is a snapshot of some of the current features of the site, and are usually quite funny.

In yesterday's issue there was a very humorous feature, and I have to share it with you:

Boring Business Systems is an actual business located not too far from where I live. It's in Lakeland, Florida. The business is led by a man with the last name Boring, and that's what the company is named as well. What? That's just too funy! What's even funnier is that the url to their site is Boring.com.
Visit Say No to Crack today!

19 June 2007

Giving Back to the Community

Often while I'm at work I enjoy listening to music on iTunes, or sometimes I'll even listen to one of my favorite podcasts or vlogs (for my very favorite click here). I also enjoy listening to television shows while I'm plugging away at my work. One show I've recently been hooked-on is The View. Each episode is typically uploaded to their site the same day of airing--typically in the late-afternoon--and you can watch it online (sans commercials).

Believe it or not my "liking" for the show has nothing to do with the recent controversy surrounding the show, Rosie O'Donnell's leaving, or the "spat" she had with Elisabeth. Actually, I believe I was listening to "the episode" the day it occurred. But that really has nothing to do with this post.

It was while streaming a recent episode I was...well, maybe inspired...by Elisabeth Hasselbeck to take action on a particular topic. On the show she mentioned you can have amber alerts sent to your mobile device free of charge. I was immediately intrigued, not only because of the nature of the topic but also because of the integration of technology into the situation. Basically, here's what happens:

If a child happens to go missing in your local area, you can sign-up to receive an alert to your mobile device, notifying you of details. It's all customizable at WirelessAmerAlerts.org. You can select up to five (5) zip codes for which you'd like to receive alerts, should a child ever go missing there.

While I'm certainly one of the last persons you would associate with wanting to help children (heh, heh) I definitely would, if something like this were at my disposal. So I went to the site and signed-up today, and here's the text message I received post-sign-up:

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Now, never mind that my password is displayed. I'm pretty sure you can't do anything to my account without all of my information. While I'm certainly not anxious for a child to go missing, I will be interested to see what one of the mobile alerts looks like...and what sort of information it contains. When I do I will make sure and provide an update here.

If you have the chance you should sign-up for mobile amber alerts. It's free...and after all it promotes giving back to the community!

08 June 2007


In case you didn't know, THIS JUST IN:
Paris Hilton goes back to jail:

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No...wait...the United States is at [a pointless] war:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Wait, Paris is going back to jail!

Hmph...I'm so confused!

07 June 2007

New Comment Features

You might've noticed some new comment capabilities on my blog. I recently read about this fun new "tool" in my daily TechCrunch newsletter, called ClickComments. A service of Postreach, ClickComments consists of a number of buttons that are included on a blog which correlate to some common user-responses, such as "insightful," "entertaining," and "great find." It's incredibly simple to use, and that's the point. Users just click one or as many buttons that relate to their opinion of the post.

While not necessarily replacing the traditional comments feature on blogs (it's still there if a user feels compelled to leave a thorough comment), these new comment features allow users to engage with the blog author via comments without having to provide an e-mail address.

AN ADDED BONUS: All posts that have received ClickComments are then listed on the Postreach website, which is great because it means there's potential for incremental traffic, back to those sites using the service.

The Postreach site has a great tutorial video. Click here to view it.

I think it's pretty cool! I'd love to know what you think about ClickComments.


Silent but Not Gone

I am ashamed and a little disappointed that I've not been keeping up with my posts. I was on a roll there for a while, but things got thrown outta whack the past few weeks, primarily because of being so busy at work, then of course the Memorial Day holiday weekend. I'm doing my best, though, to rekindle my passion for blogging, and am going to try to post at least every-other-day.

So I'm not a fan of people who "repurpose" blogs, or more simply put taking content from one blog and posting it on another. I manage about six blogs relating to work, and even then I make an attempt to rewrite the copy--or spruce-it-up--in case some of the readers bleed over. Today, however, I'm completely guilty of doing the repurpose: I found a really cool video while doing some work on my company's YouTube page, and I was going to post it here on my blog, but I posted on the company blog first. I only hope you can fogive me.

Anyhow, the video is about Web 2.0. It's titled "The Machine is Us/ing Us" and it's been around for several months, so you may have already seen it. I hadn't, so I thought I'd share it:


18 May 2007

First Amendment Revoked

I normally believe in and support the First Amendment, but quite honestly I think Fred Phelps and his brainwashed drones should have their rights revoked, and be shipped-off to the Arctic...or some other place where there's no other human existence. The fact that this jackass is quoting the Bible, and is supporting his platform behind the mask of religion is disgusting. I would've rather kept Jerry Falwell around, if there were a choice. Hopefully Phelps's day is coming soon.

At first my heart filled with hatred for these people, but then I realized that's way too easy. Now my heart is just consumed with sadness.