I'm digging this update to Xbox Live. First, the avatar system is fun to play with. Yeah, they're kind of a rip of Nintendo Mii's, but I've got issues with Nintendo (and Sony), so I'll excuse it. For anyone wondering, here's what my avatar looks like:
He looks more grunged-out than I normally do, but that's okay. Overall, I find the new interface more visually appealing. There's more black (see: Xbox 360 Elite) and less white (see: first generation red rings of death) - it's pretty slick. This December I was planning on finally signing up with Netflix, seeing as how I'll have some time on my hands post-graduation, and now I have all the more reason to. The Xbox 360 is now "the only game system that lets you instantly watch movies and TV episodes streamed from Netflix." Yup, I'm pretty sure I'll be purchasing one of these early next year. I never thought I'd be this pleased with Microsoft's gaming strategy, but there it is. And here I am, if anyone wants to play Halo 3 with my roommates and me:
"You" by Atmosphere has got to be one of the catchiest hip-hop songs I've ever heard. It's off of the album When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold (pick it up), and it combines an addictive beat with Slug's aptitude for storytelling. The waitress being described has a shit job, has to deal with dickhead customers, and she's doing it to survive; it's the voice of the common woman. The video is pretty cool as well, featuring impressive mini-skateboard tricks and a party scene with Slug in control. Check out one of my favorite songs of the year below.
I'm going to go ahead and post this article on tonight's presidential debate in its entirety because of the smile it brought to my face. Knowing Yahoo!, this link will be busted in a few months, so consider this a preservation attempt.
"McCain fails, Obama is not rattled"
by Roger Simon
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. — Debates should not be confused with trips to Lourdes: Few miracles are dispensed.
John McCain needed a miracle in his final debate with Barack Obama on Wednesday night, a miracle that would wipe away McCain’s deficit in the polls and re-energize his flagging campaign.
He did not get one. The clouds did not part. Heavenly choirs were not heard. Instead, the American public heard angry attacks from McCain.
Sometimes McCain attacked directly, and sometimes he attacked sarcastically, but he never stopped attacking. And he never rattled Obama. Obama answered every attack and kept his cool.
How cool? Obama was so cool that after 90 minutes under blazing TV lights, an ice cube wouldn’t have melted on his forehead.
McCain attacked him on everything from wanting to raise the taxes of Joe the Plumber - - now the most famous plumber in America and at serious risk of becoming so wealthy his taxes will go up no matter who wins - - to not traveling enough.
“I admire so much Sen. Obama’s eloquence,” McCain sneered. “Sen. Obama, who has never traveled south of our border.” (This from a man whose running mate got her first passport last year.)
But McCain didn’t just attack, he also defended, including defending those people who attend his rallies and the rallies of Sarah Palin who have shouted nasty and threatening things when Obama’s name is mentioned.
“Let me say categorically that I am proud of the people who come to my rallies,” McCain said. “I am not going to stand for anybody saying that the people who come to our rallies are anything other than patriotic citizens.”
Obama responded to all this — what else? — coolly.
“I don’t mind being attacked for the next three weeks,” Obama said. “What the American people can’t afford is four more years of failed economic policies.”
He never got off his game plan. He never got shook up.
The biggest impact of the three presidential debates for Obama was not anything said or not said. It was impressionistic: Obama simply did not appear to be the scary “other” that McCain needs him to be. “When people suggest that I pal around with terrorists, then we are not talking about issues,” Obama said smoothly.
For McCain, the biggest impact of the debates was visual: In the first debate he refused to look at Obama, in the second debate McCain appeared to careen around the stage and in this last debate McCain would scribble furiously with his Sharpie as Obama was talking or else smirk in response to what Obama was saying.
Moderator Bob Schieffer of CBS often asked provocative questions that sometimes did not get provocative responses. When Schieffer asked each man why the country would be better off if his running mate became president rather than the other guy’s running mate, Obama said Joe Biden “shares my core values.” John McCain said Sarah Palin is a “reformer” and “she has united our party.”
And McCain’s desire to keep his party united behind him — because who else is? — was very much on his mind, dipping deep into conservative Republican talking points. McCain repeatedly accused Obama of “wanting to spread the wealth” around, which doesn’t seem like all that bad an idea to people who aren’t wealthy.
But there was one place McCain would not go: He did not bring up the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. It is a line McCain seems determined not to cross, even though some in his party are urging him to do so.
What McCain really needed is what he still needs: for Obama to make some huge gaffe, something that makes Obama look like the riskier choice between the two.
But Obama made no such gaffes Wednesday night.
“The biggest risk we could take right now is to adopt the same failed policies and same failed politics that we’ve seen for the last eight years,” Obama said.
The race is not over. It would be wrong to write McCain off. After all, there is still almost three weeks to go. And in politics, anything can happen.
ESPN's "This is SportsCenter" ads are the best 30 second spots in the history of television. When I should have been studying I recalled the genius of these commercials and looked some up on youtube. Below you'll find one that gave me a good laugh - you can expect to see more of these pop-up here in the future.
I realize this Brand New song is old news to everyone, so I'm re-posting it here mostly for my own pleasure. If it's here I won't somehow forget about it and can replay it some more. The combination of electric (not acoustic) guitar, the delivery of the lyrics, the sudden screaming - I dig it.
You're gone, so I worry about nothing else.
Your eyes destroy me every time I think.
I go as far as I can get to still stay close.
-"That's What's Wrong"
"Good Old War" - the band name alone should be enough to garner interest. Keith Goodwin (ex-Days Away), Tim Arnold (ex-Days Away), and Daniel Schwartz (ex-Unlikely Cowboy) form the band, and if you are a fan of Days Away, you should definitely be interested. I've been listening to Only Way to Be Alone for about a week, and I like what I hear. The songs are all fairly brief, so the tracks get the job done without wearing themselves thin. This is boardwalk music for a sunny day. Check out the band's music on myspace, then watch the music video for "Coney Island" below - it's my favorite song on the album (at least for now). If you like what you hear, pre-order the album for $10 plus shipping, and you should receive it soon after August 6 complete with a 16 page lyrics book. I've already pre-ordered my copy, so join in the fun.