Yeah, we're not sure what the title of our show means today, but it's what happens when you let the chat room run the show. We think they want us to take off our clothes. Anyway, we're back to our old antics today: Bittr, Wii, Wolverine, iPhone, and pedometers.
As you can see, Slate.com already stole our idea for a skit mocking Twitter. We were going to shoot a video about a one-character status update. Some times, "F" is the only character that describes exactly how we're feeling at the moment.
On today's show, we talk a bit about how Nintendo is almost literally printing money with its Wii console. Apparently, it costs Nintendo 45 percent less to make a Wii than when it first came out. Nintendo is also trying to make more bank by releasing a pedometer, a device that measures foot steps--not an alarm for child predators. Also, we've got some info on a new iPhone app called Bad Decision Blocker that blocks your ability to make drunk phone calls. Seriously, though, if you need an iPhone app to stop you from making drunk calls, you need to 1) stop drinking 2) leave your phone at home, and 3) go see a therapist about your lingering girlfriend issues.
Finally, we get to our favorite "It came from Fox News!" segment. This time around, a Fox News commentator was fired for reviewing a pirated copy of the new "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" movie. Yeah, smart one. Fortunately, Jeff stopped selling DVDs of "Two and a Half Men" a few months ago. And a reminder, please call in with your most death-defying story to win your copy of "To the End of the Death: Our Epic Journey to the North Pole and the Legend of Peary and Henson" by our guest, Tom Avery. Yeah, long, long title.EPISODE 315 Download today's podcast | Subscribe in iTunes | Subscribe in RSS… Read more
Iffy sound quality isn't a new problem. Bad sound can't directly be blamed on digital, analog, vinyl, CD, or even MP3. Those are release formats; the quality of the recording itself is what I'm talking about.
Granted, personal taste plays a big part in defining good or bad sound. For every person who says the sound is clear and detailed, there's another who thinks it's ragged and harsh.
That said, the trend of late is toward spitty distortion, the kind that obscures the sound of the vocals and instruments, and buries them in grunge. I'm not opposed to grit that adds an edge to music, but I can't stand recordings made by people who either don't know what they're doing or are too deaf to notice the error of their ways.
Bob Dylan, of all people, agrees with me.
"You listen to these modern records--they're atrocious, they have sound all over them. There's no definition of nothing, no vocal, no nothing, just like--static," Dylan said in a Rolling Stone interview with Jonathan Lethem in September 2006.
He's not just referring to other people's records; he included his own record, "Modern Times," in his rant: "Even these songs probably sounded 10 times better in the studio when we recorded 'em." I believe Dylan. That album was a blurry wall of sound. You can hardly hear individual instruments.
The worst recording of 2009 so far--it's still early--is the Heartless Bastards' "The Mountain" CD. It's too bad because I really like the music. It rocks hard, and I love Erika Wennerstrom's strange voice, but there's severe distortion whenever she sings loud.
The distortion was so incredibly annoying that my speakers' tweeters sounded broken. If the distortion just appeared on the hard-edged, bluesier numbers, I might have thought that it was intentional, but the sound was just as ragged on "So Quiet," in which Wennerstrom is accompanied by violin. … Read more
Nothing quite says "1950s' excess" like huge tail fins. Well, except maybe for acres of bright, shiny jukebox chrome. And exaggerated bumper bullets. No comparable trick has been used in automotive styling, except perhaps the picnic table-sized wings that were in vogue on cars like the Subaru WRX and Mitsubishi Lancer Evo a few years back.
Oversize wings besotted somewhat a smaller number of cars than the fins of 50 years before, but both fashions stem from motorsports. Hey, if it looks like it won on Sunday, maybe it'll sell on Monday...
Today, most varieties of pure … Read more
I never met a bread I didn't like. From French, rye, or sourdough, all the way through to the mysterious-sounding pumpernickel, bread has been a delicious and nutritious staple in my life. Even that squishy white stuff once had a place in my heart (although I was a kid then).
With a life-long affinity towards grainy goodness, I tend to notice bread-related products when they a-rise. (Sorry). This Bread Bag from Uma is simple in nature, but elegant in execution. With four magnets along the opening, the bag can be closed to keep bread warm at the table. This … Read more
This week brings us the third episode of the Strong Bad games along with a classic title from the 16-bit era starring everyone's favorite platforming earthworm.WiiWare Strong Bad Episode 3: Baddest of the Bands (Telltale Games, 1,000 Wii points): The third episode of the series of games adapted from Homestarrunner.com puts Strong Bad in a battle of the bands competition. Guide him and The Cheat to rock victory. Art Style: ROTOHEX (Nintendo, 600 Wii points): Twist and turn triangles as they fall from the sky into hexagons. Enjoy two modes of play along with special item … Read more
This week brings us the second episode in the Homestar Runner series as well as a classic NES action-platformer!WiiWare Strong Bad Episode 2: Strong Badia the Free (Telltale Games, 1,000 Wii points): The Homestar Runner characters are back in the second episode of the WiiWare series. This time, Strong Bad is faced with an unfair e-mail tax and is placed on house arrest for his failure to comply. Potpourrii (Abstraction Games, 800 Wii points): Potpourrii is a puzzle game that revolves around the four seasons. It makes unique use of the Wii controller and even lets you use … Read more
This week brings our favorite online flash cartoon to the Wii along with two classic TurboGrafx 16 games.
WiiWareStrong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People, Episode 1: Homestar Ruiner (Telltale Games, 1,000 Wii points): After countless years as one of the Internet's most beloved flash cartoons, the Homestar Runner gang invades the Wii in an episodic game. Episode 1 is available now while the other titles will be released every month. Virtual Console Break In (1989, TurboGrafx 16, 700 Wii points): This billiard simulator lets you enjoy six different types of pool. Play with up to … Read more
For the past two years, my roommate and I have split a Netflix user account, mostly so that I don't have to deal with his trashy action-movie picks mucking up my queue of navel-gazing Wes Anderson knockoffs, and so that we can ensure a clean split in our four-at-a-time subscription. He'd totally hog it otherwise.
But starting on September 1, we're going to have to suck it up. The rental-by-mail service announced on its blog on Thursday that it would be doing away with separate user profiles on the same account.
The reason, the post explained, is … Read more