Video

Phil Hartman’s SNL audition

A great sample of the genius that was Phil Hartman!

Happy Thanksgiving 2010 from Earshot Presents

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family! It’s time for the 2010 Thanksgiving slideshow from Earshot Presents. If you enjoy the video, please share it with your social media networks by using the social buttons on the bottom of the post.

The song chosen for this year’s slideshow is Simple Gifts. Simple Gifts was written by Elder Joseph Brackett in Goreham, Maine in 1848. The old Shaker hymn was popularized in 1944 when American composer Aaron Copland used it in his scoring of the ballet Appalachian Spring. It’s since been adapted and arranged by hundreds of artists and was most recently used in a John Williams string quartet arrangement (fea. Yo-yo Ma) during the inauguration of President Barack Obama.

Simple Gifts
‘Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free,
     ‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
    ‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gain’d,
    To bow and to bend we shan’t be asham’d,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
    Till by turning, turning we come round right.

Have a great holiday.

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Macy’s Balloon Fun Facts

The following interesting balloon facts come from a William & Mary College webpage.

  • In order to have a balloon in the parade, companies must pay Macy’s $190,000 the first year to cover the cost of construction. After that the yearly price of admission is about $90,000. In total, companies are paying Macy’s about $5 million a year.
  • The night before Thanksgiving is termed “Inflation Day” by Macy’s. At this time, many New Yorkers crowd around to watch the giant balloons being inflated for the morning’s parade.
  • Macy’s is the world’s second largest consumer of helium (the US government is the first).
  • Balloons can become unruly and dangerous when winds get high. If winds pick up, handlers must rein the balloon in and fly it close to the ground. Some times, conditions have become so bad that balloons are removed from the procession.
  • All balloons are constructed in an old Tootsie-roll factory that now functions as a parade studio.
  • These days roughly 15 balloons are flown each year, though in the first years there were as few as three.
  • Each balloon takes 320 to 450 pounds of nylon.
  • Each balloon is filled with 10,000 to 14,000 cubic feet of helium. The largest balloon ever, Shamu the baby whale, used over 18,000 cubic feet.
  • Baloons consist of multiple chambers, which aid in balance and allow the balloon to continue flying even if one chamber leaks. It is also easier for artists to construct the balloons piece-meal. The chambers carry different pressures to ensure that the various parts of the balloon take on the shape they are supposed to.
  • During inflation, balloons are held in place with enormous nets and 50 tons of sandbags. The nets alone cover some 10,000 square feet, and two whole city blocks are closed off for the process.
  • On average, each balloon requires 50 handling lines and 60 or 70 handlers to be flown. There are also a pilot, two copilots, a captain, and two co-captains who go through extensive training.
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    Audio

    Make Phosphorescent your Summer Jam.

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    Phosphorescent is the project of songwriter Mark Houck, formally of Athens, Georgia and now based in Brooklyn. Houck’s Phosphorescent seems to strike a amazing balance in all regards. (more…)

    Powerhouse Flowerhouse, Oakland

    Having been on my block for a full year now, it’s fun to see certain things coming back into bloom in the same places where they first impressed me last year. The giant magnolia flowers mid-block are back. And so is my favorite perennial delight–a house down the block covered with what Brad has identified as bougainvillea. The over-the-topness of this… thing… the road-hazardous distraction of it in all its glory… reminds me of the famous annual Christmas displays in the suburbs of New Jersey. If I ever own a house in a climate conducive to bougainvillea, I’m going to baste the building’s facade with the seeds of this plant like it’s a Chia Pet and set the timer for the first day of summer.

    The following is from Wikipedia:
    Bougainvillea (pronounced /ˌbuːɡɨnˈvɪliə/)[1] is a genus of flowering plants native to South America from Brazil west to Peru and south to southern Argentina (Chubut Province). Different authors accept between four and 18 species in the genus. The plant was classified by Europeans in Brazil in 1768, by Philibert Commerçon, French Botanist accompanying French Navy admiral and explorer Louis Antoine de Bougainville during his voyage of circumnavigation.

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    Hella Pizza

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    Chat Roulette Bingo

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    Best Toy Ever

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    r2d2 Building

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    Video

    Amazing Parallel Parking Job

    This is one of those videos that you’re bet you can’t watch just once and you lose that bet.

    Video

    Mike Vallely Spray Paints a Mall Security Guard

    MIke Vallely (mikevallely.com) is an amazing and accomplished professional skateboarder. He is also an amazing and accomplished total punkass. This video is preposterous (but apparently fake).

    Audio

    Benji Hughes = Magnetic Baby Cakes

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    Somewhere between the high-browness of Stephin Merritt’s Magnetic Fields and the endearing inanity of Brad Neely’s Baby Cakes, there’s a brilliant songwriter named Benji Hughes. Hughes’ 2008 album A Love Extreme is some true, cool stuff.

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