Sunday, October 31, 2010

South Park Explains Inception

I found this little parody and funny video from South Park. If you've seen Inception, I think that you'll find this video pretty funny. If not, see Inception and then watch this video. By the way, Inception is still an awesome movie.

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

More Funny Tweets from Twitter -- Kim Kardashian

Kim Kardashian attending Maxim's 10th Annual H...Image via Wikipedia
I just thought that I would share some funny tweets from Twitter about Kim Kardashian. Warning: if you like Kim, don't read these. They're hilarious and mean spirited.

1. Kim Kardashian makes a sex video, becomes a millionaire. A poor girl makes a sex video, get $200 and an STD. Life is fair?

2. Kim Kardashian + Justin Bieber = Cougar on the prowl.

3. Some people call call Kim Kardashian "full figured". Others simply call Weight Watchers.

4. Now playing -- Kim Kardashian in "The Shallow Girl Strikes Back".

5.  Kim Kardashian has a nose for trouble. It also doubles as an umbrella.

So, what do you think: funny or over-the-top mean?

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Why Writing an Article in 7 Minutes Make Us Dumberer

Paris HiltonImage by casasroger via Flickr
In his system, "How to Write an Article in 7 Minutes (or some crap like that)", internet marketer some-bozo-that-I-don't remember-his-name-and-it's-a-pseudonym-anyway has made up a system whereby people can write a 400 word article in 7 minutes (6 if you close all the porn windows on your computer first). The method goes something like this:

1. Google something and open up the first three windows that comes up on your subject. It doesn't matter where the articles source from (news, blog, hub page, 5 year old kid, prison inmate, etc.), just that the have something written on their article that is worth stealing.

2. Skim through the first three and last paragraph of the article. Don't try to do things like understand the article or verify the sources -- those things take too much time. For example, if the article tells you things like "Mercury is an excellent source of coloring for a food additive" or "When you're baby cries, just shake him or her to sleep -- the baby actually enjoys it", you should just repeat that in your article without question. After all, doing these things takes time.

3. Put the plagiarized . . . er, rewritten content that you find on those sites into a automated computer template and crank that article as fast as your little fingers can click the mouse button. Usually, your article comes out reading something like this (where the bold terms are your keywords that you've stolen from the article and the rest is computer generated drivel):

People are concerned about internet safety, but in this article, I teach you the tips to avoid internet safety and save your email passwords. By simply reading this article, you can safely experience internet safety and save your computer from internet attack. Blah, blah, blah . . . internet safety. Blah, blah, blah, . . . email passwords  . . . phishing scams . . . lazy readers.

Isn't this just riveting to read?

4. Take this craptacular article and put it on some craptacular circus-peanuts-for-bad-writing website -- like Associated Content. Make sure to  get all of your other desperate loser . . . I mean, writer colleagues on the site to click on the article, promising them that you'll do the same (even if you outsource it to India instead). Just think - this article could be worth $1.50!!!

Is this really what the internet has come to, this McDonalds version of information that writers seem to be proliferating everywhere online. Actually, I take it back, this isn't even McDonalds grade, it's more like a Jack-in-the-Box $0.39 burger that has been dropped at the drivethrough, run over a couple of times, found, and later half-eaten by a homeless man. Think: do you really want that kind of garbage clogging your internet?

P.S. No offense intended towards homeless men that eat burgers found on the street :)
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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Funny or Die Sucks -- Update

I thought that I would post an updated example of another not funny video from "Funny or Die" -- the unfunny Youtube video series that features a whole cadre of Hollywood stars. This particular one features Adam West (of Batman and Family Guy fame).

First off, the scene where the guy get robbed and killed in his own house. I've posted videos of people getting hurt on my blog before, and I've even posted vids of insurgents getting wasted by U.S. troops. I have no problem with violence in general. However, in this particular case, it comes off as much creepier. There is just something disturbing, even to me, about seeing a guy get shot in his pajamas. Of course, a lot of the reason why they show this is because it's a white guy getting shot by another white guy, which makes it perfectly okay. If it were, say, a black man shooting/getting shot by a white guy, that would be racist.

Second, the solution shown in the video is dorky. I was really hoping for some sort of "Bazookanator" or instant death ray gun to help protect the home owner. I would have even settled for a vampire dog. But, the eye hole thing is a piece that gets way too much usage in comedy shorts. Back in the days of Looney Toons, maybe it was fresh. But, after 80 years of seeing it, not so much.

Finally, Adam West is best seen and not heard. He's cool in Family Guy because his voice is so weird. But, on screen, he looks like some sort of pedophile grandpa. I guess if someone was really drunk or stoned, it might appeal to them. But, I'm sober and not so much.

Maybe I'm just nit picking here. But, I don't find these videos funny. What do you think?

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Friday, October 22, 2010

Guy flips off cop, gets beat down

If you haven't seen this video before, this is one of the classic videos of Youtube. This guy flips off a cop on camera and gets the snot kicked out of him. It'll make you laugh because you're not him.

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Kid gets hit in the head w/shovel

I think that the title pretty much says it all with this one. By the way, couldn't this kill someone?

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

3 Videos of People Getting Pwned by Exercise Balls

I found some funny videos of people getting owned by exercise balls on Youtube that I thought I would share on my blog. The best one is the first one that I'm sharing where the kid gets hit in the head and falls back down a set of stairs. The next two are about younger kids getting pwned by an exercise ball, but they're still quite funny too. Enjoy.

1. Falling down a set of stairs after getting hit in the head by an exercise ball:

2. Kid bounces ball of wall into head (kindy of fake looking, but not too bad):

3.Little kid runs into ball held by adult and pwned:

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Guy shoots himself in the eye with a paintball gun

I think that the title to this video pretty much says it all. It's just one more example of dumb people doing dumb things -- this time by shooting himself in the eye with a paintball gun, next time with a real gun.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Mario and Princess Fight over Sex

A little video from Seth Macfarlane -- Mario and Princess (from Super Mario Brothers fight over sex, and she gets eaten by Bowser. Enjoy!

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Friday, October 15, 2010

How To Get The Best Value Out Of A Cheap Walmart Bike

Walmart sells some cheap, terrible bicycles. However, the cheapness and terribleness of Walmart bikes can be mitigated somewhat if you follow five simple steps when you buy a bike from Walmart.

1. Ride the bike around the store before you buy it: To me, if the bike doesn't even ride correctly when I'm in the store, there is no way that I'm paying money to take it out of the store. Specifically, before you buy a bike from Walmart or any of the other big box stores, check to see if a) both the front and rear brake work correctly and b) the bike shifts through all of the gears on both the front and the back. By far the easiest way to check this on a bicycle is to get on the bike and ride it down a couple of aisles. If it doesn't pass muster, look at another bike.

2. Take the bike to a shop and get everything checked and tightened: Before you ride the bike any further, I would take it to a local bike shop to get everything tightened and checked. The employees who assemble bikes for Walmart are usually the same people who assemble the patio furniture, meaning that they don't understand how a bicycle works mechanically or how tight they should tighten the bolts. The adjustments will likely only cost around 20 dollars or so, and it will save you from having dragging brakes, misaligned gears, etc. later.

3. Get the tires upgraded to road/hybrid tires: If you don't take your bike off-road at all and you want to spend about 30 or so dollars more, you can get the tires upgraded to road/hybrid tires. This will literally save you probably about 10-20% off your total trip time if you're riding on the highway or sidewalk. In fact, this is the easiest upgrade of which I am aware that you can make to a cheap bike that will make a significant, immediate impact on your commute time for a novice or average rider.

Well, I hope that this gives you some starting points for buying and making the most out of cheap bikes from a place like Walmart. Good luck riding!

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

How to Beat Super Mario Bros. 3 in 11 Minutes

I just had to share this video about Super Mario 3. I used to think that I was bad arse when I played this game. Not so! This guy makes a speed run and beats the game in 11 minutes (ending with over 99 lives) and never even gets hit by an enemy. All that I can say is -- wow!

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Video Proof: President Obama is a Muslim!

I have finally found video evidence of the fact that President Obama is a muslim. Just look at this interview he did during his presidential campaign.

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Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Emperor Gets a Job - Star Wars

Star Wars Parody: The Emperor Gets a Job. This is one of the funnier Star Wars parodies that I've seen to date.

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The Jesus Christ Sponge (Shamwow Parody)

Another parody by the same guys who did the wtf blanket parody -- this time about the Shamwow. This is also very funny.

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WTF Blanket 2 (Designer Snuggie Parody)

Another funny parody of the snuggie blanket to follow the first one. I agree: wtf?

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The WTF Blanket (Snuggie Parody)

This parody made me laugh :)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Gay Mormons, Elder Packer, and Three Myths about The Homosexual Lifestyle

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint...Image via Wikipedia
Elder Boyd K. Packer, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints created quite a stir over the weekend with a talk that he gave in that church's General Conference that, among other things, suggested that engaging in a homosexual lifestyle is ultimately a choice. Predictably, this upset a lot of members of the queer movement, many of whom felt that such a statement was offensive. To me, after reading Packer's talk, I couldn't agree more. However, I'm sure that this statement will be controversial. So, I wanted to discuss some myths surrounding the homosexual lifestyle.

Myth 1: It is not a choice to live the homosexual lifestyle.

Reality: Beyond eating, sleeping, and breathing, most things that people do in life are choices. I see no real reason why living in the homosexual lifestyle is any different. All of us have to make choices in life. For example, I choose not to take illegal drugs, sky dive, or go to the opera. All of those aspects of my life are choices, and I could have easily chosen a path where I did things differently.

Myth 2: It is not a choice to whom one is attracted.

Reality: When I was young and single and had much less experience with sex and the opposite sex, I might have bought this one. However, as I have grown older, I realize that this argument doesn't hold water either. People literally choose every day to whom they're attracted (or not). For example, this is why some guys prefer blonds and others prefer brunettes (or girls with black hair in my case). It's also why most guys, but not all, don't look at porn with fat girls in it and why some guys choose to be celibate and some choose to cheat on their wives. If you're going to claim that attraction in some of these cases is genetically based, why not in the rest of them? What is so different about a guy being attracted to another guy and a guy being attracted to a girl who is 300+ lbs? When the gay rights activists can explain that one to my satisfaction, I'll believe the arguments about attraction being an inborn thing that people can't change.

Myth 3: Homosexuals can't find a satisfying relationship with someone of the opposite sex.

Reality: Anyone whom has ever been married should realize that sexuality is a small part of the overall picture in a marriage. Sometimes the sex is good, bad, frequent, infrequent, hot, not, heavy, nonexistent, or none of the above. If you're married to someone you love, it doesn't matter much anway. Even in situations where the sex is less than ideal, married couples have many other things to focus on in life.If sexual relations were the end all be all of married or couple life, people would break up once the sex stopped.

I think that, in consideration of my personal experiences in life, Packer hit the nail on the head for this one. Lets get a discussion going here -- what do you think? Bring on the hate!

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

5 Pictures of Hot, Sexy, Beautiful Women Surrounded by Money

Since these cheezy "beautiful girl" this and "sexy girl" that seem to generate so much of my freaking traffic, I thought that I would capitulate and write another one. To the horny, porny internet goers of the world: Five Pics of Hot, Sexy, Beautiful Women laying in, surrounded by, or otherwise enjoying piles of money. I hope that you enjoy.

1. Bikini girl covered with money:

2.  Girls playing with pile of money in a hotel room:

3. Sexy girl in bra and panties staring up from a pile of money:

4.  Sexy blond girl with stack of cash in her hand:

5.  Pretty girl in dress holding fistful of bills:

Okay, there you go, you horny men. I know that this is going to generate a butt load of hits. Somehow, it still feels cheap. Oh well.
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5 Ways to Make Money from Your Twitter Account

Many people are unaware that Twitter can be a powerful source of extra income each month. Here, I tell you the top 5 ways to make money from your Twitter account, including sponsoring tweets, selling your account, and more.

Foreword: The first thing that I'd like to point out is that all of the methods I'm going to mention here work much better if you have two things: a) A large number of followers and b) Followers who are highly interactive with your tweets. Depending on how interactive and focused your followers are, the level where your following is "large" can vary from person to person. However, as a general rule of thumb, I would highly recommend that you have a minimum of 2000 followers before you try to make money from your Twitter account. Generally, I personally don't worry about making money from my Twitter accounts until I have at least 5000 followers on the account if the account is targeted to a specific group or demographic and 10000 followers if it's not targeted. Here is an article where you can read more about easy ways to gain more followers on Twitter. 

Here are 5 ways to make money from your Twitter account:

1. MyLikes:MyLikes is a site that allows advertisers to use your Twitter account to send out tweets advertising a product. Basically, once you registers an account with MyLikes, you have the opportunity to approve tweets from different advertisers that will be sent out on your Twitter account. Once you approve a tweet, the tweet will be sent out (at a time approved beforehand by you) and the you are paid for every click on the ad by one of your followers. I only recently discovered the MyLikes website a couple of weeks ago, and I am pleased with the success I've had so far. The interface for their website is clean and easy to use, and payments are made weekly to your PayPal account, as long as you have at least two dollars or more in your account. Also, the payout rate can be up to $0.42 per click -- which is very generous in the world of advertising. Finally, MyLikes even has the option to double post your approved advertisements to a Facebook account or personal blog -- meaning that you have even more ways to earn money. All in all, MyLikes is like the Rolls Royce of methods to monetize your Twitter account. Click here to set up an account at MyLikes

2. Sponsored Tweets:Sponsored Tweets is another site that allows you to send out advertisements on your Twitter account and is very similar to MyLikes. The main differences are that you can't chose among a group of advertisers (as you can with MyLikes) and instead you have "offers" sent to your account and you can decide to approve or reject these offers. If you approve the advertiser offer, an advertisement is Tweeted out on your account and you are again payed for every click that your receive on your account. I am also very happy with Sponsored Tweets; although, I still like MyLikes a little better. The main difference for me is the fact that you can send out an advertisement on MyLikes whenever you want (instead of having to wait for ads to be offered to you by a sponsor). Even so, the opportunities to send out a sponsored tweet are very frequent (probably an average of 2-4 per day on my two Twitter accounts) and the money piles up quickly enough to keep me from complaining. Click here to read more or to set up a Sponsored Tweets account. 

3. is yet another service, similar to MyLikes and Sponsored Tweets, that allows you to send out advertisements on your Twitter account. The main difference between and the previous two services that I've mentioned is that they don't have a pay-per-click program in place. Instead, after you've registered, your account will be placed in a database where advertisers can see your account name and a small profile of interests that you fill out when registering. Then, if an advertiser selects your profile, you will have the opportunity to start a "campaign" for that advertiser where you send out a specified number of tweets at regular intervals and the advertiser pays you a lump sum in return. I haven't personally tried, but I have friends who swear that it's the best way to make money online with your Twitter account.

4. Sell your tweets on Ebay / Craigslist: If you're still looking to make more money beyond what the other three services can offer you, you can always put an ad on Ebay or Craiglist where you sell some tweets to advertisers privately. I have had some limited success employing this method. My major complaint here, however, is that it's a lot of hassle; especially since I can make more money per time invested with MyLikes or Sponsored Tweets and have them do all the grunt work. Still, if you want to squeeze that last penny from your Twitter account, this might be a good second option for you.

5. Sell your Twitter account: If you're tired of using Twitter and don't want your account anymore, you could always consider selling your account to someone else. I've seen a large Twitter account (10000+ followers) on Ebay or Craigslist sell for as much as $500. Even a smaller account can sell for $20 to 50$, depending on how targeted the account followers are.
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Kick-Ass: Hit-Girl - The Little Things

Okay, the last video for the night. This is a clip of Hit Girl, from the movie kick ass, well, kicking ass. Enjoy.

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Requiem for Star Wars

This is a cool remix of two of my favorite things -- Requiem for a Dream by Clint Mansell and Star Wars. I feel bad; Episode 3 was good but it could have been so much better. Still, this remix is the bomb!

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Donald Duck Meets Glenn Beck in Right Wing Radio Duck

Usually, I try to stay away from the "viral video" movement, but this one was just too good to pass up. Enjoy Donald Duck meets Glenn Beck. Tell me what you think too.

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Monday, October 4, 2010

How to Use Silver to Purify Drinking Water

Clean drinking water...not self-evident for ev...Image via Wikipedia
First, let me start off the article by saying two things. First, I'm not a medical doctor. Use my advice at your own risk. Second, there are some risks associated with overexposure to silver, the worst of which is called argyria, which is basically a condition where the skin around your eyes, nails, and gums becomes discolored. Again, use my advice at your own risk.
Now that we have that settled, let me explain how to use silver to purify drinking water.

The process is pretty simple really. Basically, if you expose the drinking water to silver for a long enough time period, silver ions will disolve into the water. These silver ions will interact with the water to kill bacteria in the water. This process has been well known since the times of the Greeks and Phoenicians. In fact, the Phoenicians are said to have stored liquids in silver flasks to keep the liquids fresh for longer. More recently, the International Space Station also uses silver to purify drinking water.

The easiest way to purify your drinking water is simply to pour it into a silver flask, vessel, etc. and wait for a long time before drinking it. I'm not sure exactly how long you want to wait, but some of the sources that I've read suggest waiting about 3 days to make sure that the bacteria is dead.
If you want to wait a shorter period of time before drinking, you can speed up the introduction of silver ions into the water (and thus the purifying properties) by running an electrical current between two silver electrodes or by using "colloidal" silver. To use the electrolysis method, simply take two pieces of silver and use wires to hook them to the terminals of a battery. Then, place both pieces of silver close together (but not touching) in the water solution. Again, I'm unsure of the time that you have to wait until the water is safe to drink, but I would think that a few hours to a few minutes before drinking would be sufficient with this method. However, as I said, I'm not a doctor. Also, because I was unable to find the exact times that the silver should be in contact with the water before it's safe to drink, I recommend only using this method in an emergency.

If you want to use colloidal silver, you can purchase this at many health stores. Basically, colloidal silver is a mixture where microscopic silver particles are mixed in solution with a liquid. In these cases, carefully follow the recommendations of the solution maker as to how much of the colloidal solution you should mix in per liter of water.
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Sunday, October 3, 2010

How to Move from Bronze to Silver League and Beyond in Starcraft 2 Multiplayer

A Terran marine depicted in StarCraft II ' s c...Image via Wikipedia
First, I want to start with a qualifier: I am by no means the next David Kim. Admittedly, I did play Starcraft: Brood Wars and the beta version of Starcraft 2, but I am not a pro player. However, I do have experience climbing through the bronze and silver league games (1v1), and I want to share a few tips to improve your game play enough to probably climb out of these levels.

1. Learn to use keyboard shortcuts: I really can't emphasize this point enough. If you're spending time clicking on individual buildings to make units, you're wasting a lot of time that could be spent either microing or macroing up your forces. Quiz: what are the hotkeys for a marine, zergling, zealot, stalker, etc? If you don't know, you should take the time to learn these if you want to advance your game.

2. Hotkey your production buildings and units: Again, if you're spending time during a battle clicking back to your main base to make more units, you're wasting valuable screen time that could be spent microing your units. Personally, I like to put all of the production buildings of a single type on a hotkey and the same types of units on the same hotkey. Let me give an example of how this would work in a game.

Lets say that I'm playing terran and I'm into the middle stages of a game and doing a banshee / viking / marine build. Also, lets say that I have 4 barracks (with 3 reactor cores and one tech lab), 1 factory (with a tech lab) and 4 starports (3 tech labs and 1 reactor core) supporting my build. In this case, I would put all of my barracks on one hotkey (usually 9), my factory on another hotkey (8), and all of my starports on a third hotkey (7). Additionally, I would have each of my troop groups on a different hotkey: in this case, my banshees on one hotkey (1), my vikings on a second hotkey (2), and my marines on a third hotkey (3). If I have some spell casters (say a raven), I would put these on a different hotkey (4). If you do this consistently, the macro and micro parts of the game will both become much, much easier in the long run.

3. Learn to micro your units: Starcraft 2 is all about two things -- building the right units at the right time and micromanaging those units. A lot, probably most, of the players in the bronze and silver leagues consistently forget to do the latter of those two tasks. Microing your units during a fight can literally make the difference between winning and losing the battle. For example, if you're playing terran and you reaper rush and your opponent has too many marines to handle, don't just let your units run into his marines and die. If you run your units around his base for long enough (and keep building new reapers at your main via the hotkeys discussed earlier), you WILL eventually have enough reapers to take out his marines (if he keeps only building marines), especially since reapers are a hard counter to marines. Remember: four marines versus two reapers is a battle you might lose. However, eight reapers versus 12 marines is probably an easy victory for you. Wait until you have the forces to win the battle decisively.

4. Learn unit counters: In Starcraft: Broodwars, you could basically build any unit you wanted in the middle and late game and, if your macro game was good enough, you could probably overrun your opponent, even if they were building counters to your units. For example, in Broodwars, I would sometimes get lazy as protoss and build nothing but dragoons all game long. Even with this dumb strategy, unless my opponent was zerg and building tons of zerglings, I would win a much larger percentage of the time than I deserved to win. However, you can't do this in Starcraft 2. In Starcraft 2, every unit has a counter to it. In other words, even if your opponent has an army twice the size of yours, you can win a battle easily if you have the right counter units. An example of this is a recent game where I played terran and saw that my opponent was building massive amounts of zerglings. I built up a force of about 18 reapers and put them at the choke point for my base. My 18 reapers took out something like 40 zerglings in about 5 seconds when my opponent decided to attack my base. Starcraft 2 has tons of these types of counters that make it impossible to win a game using macro alone against a smart player. Learn what those counters are and use them to your advantage.

5. Learn to scout: Part of successfully using counters in your game is scouting the enemy base. In my opinion, it is very hard to overscout the enemy base -- as long as you're getting good information in exchange for the price. If you can remember to actively scout your opponent's base all game long, you should see your level of play rise dramatically.
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Rick Sanchez -- Where Does He Go from Here?

Update: Since I wrote the original article, Rick Sanchez gave an interview to The Daily Beast where he said about his future prospects, "I’m having some very promising conversations with some people in the business to create a platform for me that I could revel in it. I would cherish that. I can’t put a timetable on it because things like this go through the conceptualization stage first before they actually get to fruition, and right now we’re somewhere in between conceptualization and discussions."

What this means to me, reading between the lines, is that Rick probably has no real offers or prospects for any sort of job in the public arena at this stage. However, if he does get another job, I think that it'll be through one of the scenarios I've outlined below.

Rick Sanchez, an award winning reporter for CNN, recently was fired over controversial comments that he made about comedian Jon Stewart and Jews. Does this mean that Rick Sanchez is finished in the media industry, or does he still have a future on television? In this article, I will examine some options that might still be open to Sanchez in the future.

1. Fox News: I view this possibility as kind of a 50/50 toss up whether he gets hired here or not. On the one hand, he already came out and publicly made fun of the left's media darling Jon Stewart, which should give him an angle as an anti-liberal, anti-establishment type. On the other hand, he's Hispanic, which may or may not be a problem on Fox news. Fox already employs Geraldo Rivera as a frequent guest commentator on the Bill O'Reilly show, and this should mean that the Hispanic background of Sanchez wouldn't be a problem. However, Rivera doesn't identify with his Hispanic background as strongly as Sanchez does, and that strong identification with Hispanics might make Sanchez less appealing to conservatives that identify with the anti-immigration movement. Still, out of all the choices available, this move seems the most likely and favorable for Sanchez.

2. Spanish language news channel: This would seem, on the surface, a significant step back for Sanchez. because he would be moving from a national news channel to one with a far smaller audience. However, there is a silver lining to this. The viewership of Spanish language news channels is only going to increase as the Hispanic population of the United States continues to grow. Sanchez could use this growth and his name recognition from CNN to position himself as the preeminent anchor for Spanish language news, a position that might otherwise be open to an anchor like Inez Sainz. Even without the fame of CNN, this position could prove to be far more lucrative and lasting than a position at Fox, especially considering how untapped the Hispanic market still is in the United States. Also, Sanchez would likely enjoy much more freedom of expression on a Hispanic news channel because controversial comments are far less likely to be picked up by the major three English news networks.

3. MSNBC: I see this possibility as somewhat of a very distant third. Sanchez is far enough in the middle that he would, on the surface, make a possible addition to the MSNBC. However, there are two problems here. First, MSNBC is in love with Jon Stewart, and adding anyone as an anchor that had badmouthed him in anyway would likely tick off the stations core viewers. Second, Sanchez is Hispanic and doesn't fit at all into MSNBC's core demographic of yuppies and ultra-liberals. With those two strikes against him, I would be shocked to see him added to MSNBC.
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Saturday, October 2, 2010

2 Big Reasons Why Your Articles Should Be Display Only on Associated Content

A Protoss warrior, as displayed in StarCraft II.Image via Wikipedia
If you treat writing for Associated Content like a second job, granting AC either exclusive or non-exclusive rights to your articles may seem enticing. After all, even if you make a couple of bucks off it, you're that much richer, right? However, there are a few reasons why you might want to consider passing this opportunity up.

1. You can't change articles after publication: The first question that would come to most authors' minds when I say this is, "Why would you want to change your article after publication?" My answer would be that it depends entirely on the type of article you're writing. However, there are some notable exceptions. For example, one of the things that I like to do for my Associated Content articles is to write a series of articles about a particular topic. For example, I have been playing the new Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty game for a few weeks now, and I really like it. With over 4 million copies sold so far in 2010, I'm guessing that other people like it as well. Here is a scenario that I've had happen with other articles where not being able to change an article after publication sucks. Lets say that I write ten articles about Starcraft 2 for AC. Out of those, lets say that the first article I pulish (a general overview or something) starts receiving a huge number of hits per day. From my end, what would happen if I wanted to go back and link all of my other articles (which are under performing) to that first article? Depending on how many hits per day I'm getting on the main article, I could be losing dozens or even hundreds of hits per day for my secondary articles because AC doesn't let authors edit exclusive and non-exclusive rights articles.

Even if I'm not interested in linking other articles to my earlier articles, there might come a point when I want to update the information in the first article so that it is more relevant to readers at a future date. For example, a well established article about wireless services could continue to be relevant for years (and continue to generate hits) if I update the article every so often -- all without the time investment of writing a new article.

2. You can't remove articles: This is a subtle point that is more difficult to explain. Again, taking the example of a series of Star Craft 2 articles, lets say that I write a series of 50 articles about Starcraft 2. Lets also say that I put a lot of effort into these articles, so much so that they start generating massive hits -- maybe 5,000 per day. "Well, great," you would probably say, "that means 10 dollars per day from these article for me alone." If the only place you publish is to AC, I would say that your reasoning is correct. However, lets say that you wanted to start a Starcraft blog. 50 articles of this caliber, in a profitable niche like Starcraft 2, could potentially generate a very high click through rate for ads on a blog -- making two bucks per thousand impressions seem like peanuts in comparison (I would say as high as 20 dollars per 1000 is not unreasonable in situations like this). It's too bad you can't revoke AC's rights to the article, isn't it?

For most people, accepting upfront payments for your articles on Associated Content is probably the way to go. However, I have outlined a couple of situations where accepting upfront payments may not be in your best interest.
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Friday, October 1, 2010

How to Beat the Char Level in StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty

Kerrigan in concept art by Chris Metzen.Image via Wikipedia
How to Get Unstuck on the Hardest Level in the Game

Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty is one of the hottest new games of 2010. However, the final level on the planet Char, where Jim Raynor faces his the evil zerg Queen of Blades is a nightmare for the inexperienced player. However, with a few modification in your game play, this level is possible to beat. Here are the steps to guide you through.

1. Build lots of choke point defense: The first task when you start this level is to build up your choke point defenses as much as possible. You should build at least 2-3 bunkers at each choke with supply depots in front of each. Also, you should siege up your tanks on the tops of the cliffs overlooking each choke point. If you do this, you will probably survive the first couple of minutes.

2. Use lots of SCVS to repair the front line defenses: Once your front line defenses are set up, you're going to want to use lots of SCVs at each choke point to repair those defenses. You need to have at least 6 SCVs at all times repairing if you expect to survive the waves of zerg attacking your front door. It's also useful to have a couple of medics around to heal the SCVs as they take splash damage from your siege tanks.
At this point, your strategy will diverge, depending on whether you took out the nydus canal network or the mutalisk next on the previous mission.

If you took out the nydus network:

3a. Build TONS of vikings: You are going to have massive waves of mutalisks attacking your position and the only mobile defense you'll have will be your faithful vikings. At all times, you probably need 3 squadrons of at least 12-16 vikings, each with 3-5 attached SCVs repairing them.

3b Build a wall of missle turrets: This will help kill any mutalisks that manage to make it through your valkyries. Any extra minerals you get should go to missle turret construction.

3c Use tanks to take out the Queen of Blades: During each of her attacks, focus your tanks down on her from the cliffs.

If you destroyed the mutalisk nest: 

4a Build TONS of banshees: You're going to really need these banshees, both to help hold your front door and to take out any nydus worms that pop out of the ground. I would recommend at least 2 groups of 12 at each of your front doors, with SCVs repairing them.

4b Immediately take out any nydus worms: If you let even a couple of these worms stay up, I promise that you WILL get overrun. Every time that a nydus canal pops up, it is top priority to use your banshees to kill it.

4c Use your banshees to kill Kerrigan: When she attacks, use all available banshees to kill that weirdo as fast as possible, your banshees should make quick work of her -- probably a 20 second or so kill at the max.

5. Don't be afraid to use mercenaries: If you have available mercenaries, use all of them up. They are a lot stronger than your regular troops, and money shouldn't be a problem in this level.
Good luck!
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