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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Stop Motion T-Shirt War

Stop Motion T-Shirt War - Watch more Funny Videos
Two guys with two hundred and twenty-two custom t-shirts (and also one fire extinguisher) make a really clever and cool stop motion animation fight in just two days

How to Get Better Customer Service by Being an A**hole

We've all been subjected to the torture of terrible customer service -- hours on hold just waiting to talk to a breathing human, even if their first field of study obviously wasn't the English language.

What do people usually do about it? Nothing.

That's why we invited Chris Illuminati, Asylum contributor and co-author of "A**holeology: The Science Behind Getting Your Way and Getting Away With It," to explain how applying the a-hole principle can help you effectively deal with bad customer service.

"An a**hole knows how to take a stand, get what he wants, and walk away the winner -- all without breaking a sweat," he promises.

Keep reading for Illuminati's crash course on how to apply a few a**hole methods from the book into your next customer service experience.

No is not an option.
One of the 10 Demandments of Being an A**hole is never taking the word no for answer. Never let a customer service rep tell you that you can't do something, you can't return an item, or that it isn't possible to accomplish what you're requesting. Tell them matter-of-factly you're not leaving or hanging up until you get results.

If they do tell you no, try another person. Most companies don't spend the time to perfectly train every single person that walks through the revolving door of customer service. Keep calling until you find someone unfamiliar with protocol and willing to do whatever you ask to get you off the phone. Tell them that you spoke with someone else and they said it was possible. Lie. It's fine, we're all going to hell.

Climb the ladder until you reach the top.
The last thing any working grunt wants to deal with on a given day is crap from their boss. This is why an a**hole always asks to speak to the next person in command. If a customer service rep is giving you lip, ask to speak to the manager. If the manager is a wall of moron, ask to speak to his or her supervisor. Keep climbing up the ladder until your issue is resolved.

If you keep getting passed around from person to person, make a nuisance of yourself by calling every single person in the chain every day of the week until someone solves your problem. Leave messages with each person. Be sure to write down everyone you've called and the date and time. Use all this to build your case.

Take your problem to the masses.
Word of mouth in online social media circles is having a huge effect on the average consumer, and businesses have noticed this trend. Businesses are terrified of word leaking about just how terrible they are at helping the customer.

So if you're at the end of your rope, use social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to turn one little voice into a thousand negative voices. There might even already be a "Wal-Mart Sucks" Facebook group, or an entire anti-McDonald's Web site appropriately named McSucks. If the group doesn't exist, get one started and bother people to join. They're playing Farmville all day -- they've got nothing better to do.

Or shoot an email to consumer vigilante Web site The Consumerist, which exists to inform reader of the latest scams and rip-offs in the world of consumerism.

Abandon ship.
An a**hole never lets someone else come out on top. Many people think the customer service rep, or the company in general, is in control. As the consumer, you hold the power in every situation.

If a credit card company is constantly harassing you with daily phone calls but won't reduce your interest rate; cancel and move the balance to another card. If you can't watch "The Dog Whisperer" because your cable is constantly out, change to another provider or cancel all together. Cell phone provider pissing you off? Pay whatever it takes to get out of the contract and find another provider. If they're smart, they'll do everything in their power to keep your business.

In any case, always be prepared to walk away. Will you miss them anyway?

Chilling aerial photos of 9/11 attack released


AP – This photo taken Sept. 11, 2001 by the New York City Police Department and obtained by ABC News, which …

NEW YORK – A trove of aerial photographs of the collapsing World Trade Center was widely released this week, offering a rare and chilling view from the heavens of the burning twin towers and the apocalyptic shroud of smoke and dust that settled over the city.

The images were taken from a police helicopter — the only photographers allowed in the airspace near the skyscrapers on Sept. 11, 2001. They were obtained by ABC after it filed a Freedom of Information Act request last year with the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the federal agency that investigated the collapse.

The chief curator of the planned Sept. 11 museum pronounced the pictures "a phenomenal body of work."
The photos are "absolutely core to understanding the visual phenomena of what was happening," said Jan Ramirez of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. They are "some of the most exceptional images in the world, I think, of this event."

In some of the pictures, the tops of the nearby Woolworth Building and other skyscrapers can just be seen above the enormous cloud of debris, gray against a clear blue sky. Gray clouds billow through the streets of the financial district and shroud the 16 acres where the towers had stood just moments before.
Buildings can hardly be seen at all in one image — just dust clouds hanging over the Hudson River at the southern tip of Manhattan.

One close-up shows orange flames and black smoke pouring from the upper floors of the north tower, the first hit by a hijacked plane.

"I almost didn't realize what I was seeing that day," Greg Semendinger, the former New York Police Department detective who took the 12 pictures posted on ABC's site, told The Associated Press. "Looking at it now it's amazing I took those pictures. The images are ... stunning."

The attack and the collapse of the World Trade Center were well documented on live TV and amateur video. But more than eight years after the nation's deadliest terror attack, the images still had the power to shock and disturb. They were an instant sensation on the Internet.

"Some survivors may find these pictures too painful to look at," said Richard Zimbler, president of the WTC Survivors Network. "But they are an important part of the historical record."

ABC said NIST gave the network 2,779 pictures on nine CDs. The network posted 12 pictures on its Web site Monday. ABC initially said some of the photographs posted had never been seen before, but later backed off that assertion

Semendinger said Wednesday that he had previously e-mailed some of the pictures to friends who later posted them on the Internet. Also, nine of the images were published in a book called "Above Hallowed Ground: A Photographic Record of Sept. 11" without his consent. The book was a tribute to the officers who were killed that day.

Semendinger was first in the air in a search for survivors on the rooftop. He said he and his pilot watched the second plane hit the south tower from the helicopter.

"We didn't find one single person. It was surreal," he said. "There was no sound. No sound whatsoever, but the noise of the radio and the helicopter. I just kept taking pictures."

He took three rolls of film with his Minolta camera, plus 245 digital shots. Semendinger said that he gave the digital images to the 9/11 Commission that investigated the attack, and that the commission evidently released the pictures to NIST.

Glenn Corbett, a fire science expert who sat on an advisory committee during the NIST probe, said the photos did not yield any new information for investigators.

"I don't see anything here that's new," he said. "These are common photos. ... It just reinforces things we know, that debris spread over a large area and the resultant dispersion of toxins and human remains."
Ramirez said the museum, slated to open in 2012, saw a selection of the photos at police headquarters several years ago. They are extremely important because the NYPD helicopter had the clearance to be up in the air in lower Manhattan only moments after the first tower was hit, and stayed in the area for the remainder of the day, she said.

The museum hopes to get a complete set of the photos.

"We've had our sights set on this body of visual evidence for several years," Ramirez said.

Haiti Earthquake: A 360 Degree Interactive View watch! This is an amazing interactive drive through of Port-au-Prince.

 Click here: Haiti Earthquake: A 360 Degree Interactive View watch!

'Spider-Man' Movie Gets Release Date And 3D Treatment

The new, live-action "Spider-Man" movie will hit theaters July 3, 2012, filmed in 3-D and directed by "500 Days of Summer" filmmaker Marc Webb.

Sony made the release date official today, and added that the film will debut in 3-D when it premieres. Production on the project, which has yet to name an actor for the lead role, is expected to begin later this year. The studio announcement also indicated that the film's title hasn't been finalized yet — though we're pretty sure the name "Spider-Man" will be in there somewhere.

“Spider-Man is the ultimate summer movie-going experience, and we’re thrilled the filmmakers are presenting the next installment in 3D," said Jeff Blake, Chairman of Sony Pictures Worldwide Marketing & Distribution, in the statement. "Spider-Man is one of the most popular characters in the world, and we know audiences are eager and excited to discover Marc’s fantastic vision for Peter Parker and the franchise.”

The "Spider-Man" movie is based on a screenplay by James Vanderbilt. In an interview with MTV News, Webb hinted that Marvel's "Ultimate Spider-Man" series could provide source material for the new film.
While no one has been cast in the film thus far, "Percy Jackson" star Logan Lerman recently indicated that he was in talks for the role of Peter Parker previously held by Tobey Maguire. The studio has indicated that the new film will bring Spider-Man and his supporting cast back to high school, relaunching the franchise with a newer, younger set of actors.

Sexist Vintage Ads

My, how times have changed! Could you imagine what the reaction would be if any of these advertisements were put up today?

More Olympic Masks Leaked

By: Adam Steevens
As we draw closer to the Vancouver Olympic Games, another set of photos leaked – goaltender masks from a couple different countries were released online, and they’re pretty awesome.

Tomas Vokoun — Czech Republic

Tim Thomas — United States

Jonathan Quick — United States

Goalie masks are one of my favorite aspects of the Winter Games; it’s a unique and creative art form that athletes use to express their patriotism for their own country. Personally, I really dig Vokoun’s mask the most, the U.S designs kind of look the same to me. I’m really interested in seeing what Team Canada’s masks will look like for Vancouver – extensive googling hasn’t turned up anything yet, but I’ll post them here once they’re available. I’m sure Brodeur, Luongo and Fleury are pulling out all the stops for their homeland crowd in British Columbia.

{H/T to Olympic Hockey Blog}

Luge Team Extreme Wind Tunnel Test

In luge, 3-tenths of a second can make the difference between gold and nothing. And the right suit can help get an athlete there. Two time luge medalist and Team USA member for 2010, Mark Grimmette took part in a wind tunnel test to try out several new racing suits to be used for the upcoming Vancouver Winter Olympics.

Click here for the full gallery: Luge Team Extreme Wind Tunnel Test

Penelope Cruz eyes 'Pirates of the Caribbean' sequel

Pcruz By Borys Kit

Penelope Cruz is in negotiations to join Johnny Depp and sail the seven seas in "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides," the fourth installment of the movie series being directed by Rob Marshall.

Depp is reprising his popular role of Captain Jack Sparrow, and while plot details are buried deeper than Blackbeard's treasure, it is known the tale revolves around the Fountain of Youth.

Cruz's character details are also being kept secret, though she is to be Sparrow's foil and equal in many ways.

Terry Rossio and Ted Elliot wrote the script. Jerry Bruckheimer is producing.

For Cruz, the role reunites her with Marshall, who directed her in "Nine." Her performance garnered her an Oscar nomination in the best supporting actress category just last week. She won the Oscar for best actress in a supporting role for 2008's "Vicky Cristina Barcelona."

"Pirates" will set sail before cameras in Hawaii this summer. Disney plans for a May 20, 2011, release.

Historic Snow Storm hits Atlantic Coast

Heavy snowfall from the U.S. Midwest across the Northeast snarled traffic, forced schools to close for at least a week and has shut the federal government.

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Washington hit by historic snow storm.
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People take part in a Facebook organized snowball fight in Dupont Circle after a severe winter storm dumped 20-30 inches on the Washington metro area, in Washington on February 6, 2010. UPI/Kevin Dietsch | License Photo | Permalink

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DC Residents dig out from massive snow fall
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History Behind The Abandoned Subway In Cincinnati

Beneath the streets of Cincinnati, Ohio, a set of visibly unused tunnels and stations for a rapid transit system could be seen. It is the abandoned subway of Ohio, called the Cincinnati Subway, infamous for its incomplete construction. The subway has been termed as “one of the city’s biggest embarrassments” and “one of the Cincinnati biggest failures”.

The construction began from 1920 and continued till 1925 with finance of $6 million which relatively got exhausted before the completion of the project. The project but, highlighted the technological advancement of that period, but had to be abandoned in mid-way even before reaching the 16 mile target, after the great depression and World War II, leaving behind with only 2.1 miles of tunnels (between Walnut street and near Western Hills) and three stations (Liberty St., Race St. and Brighton’s Corner) completely built underneath the Central Parkway.

 Many of the items had really collapsed long back, and there was way made for I-75 and the Norwood Lateral in the 1950’s and 1970’s respectively. Earlier, the engineers planned out the extension from the Walnut St. south to downtown with one station at Fountain Square but it never got materialized. And moreover, several moving lines are untraceable as only three of the dozen planned stations above the ground were built.

The portions of I-75 and the Norwood Lateral somehow follow the path of the line, but a long stretch near the Dana Avenue of I-71 was considerably built where you can check out for the subway’s loop that was planned on the eastern half side of the subway.

The tunnel can still be used by public, as the government has looked into the relative maintenance of the subway in the past recent years. The “Metro Moves” sales tax in 2002 could have been a great funding for the maintenance of the tunnel, but it was never favored by the common public.

The Last Airbender Full Trailer

By Kellvin Chavez

The Last Airbender Full Trailer Paramount Pictures has released the full trailer for the highly anticipated Avatar Movie from M. Night Shyamalan "The Last Airbender" starring Noah Ringer, Dev Patel, and Cliff Curtis.

The film is due out July 2, 2010.

Based on the hugely successful Nickelodeon animated TV series, the live-action feature film is set in a world where human civilization is divided into four nations: Water, Earth, Air and Fire.

The Fire Nation is waging a ruthless, oppressive war against the other three nations. The film's hero, the reluctant young Aang (Noah Ringer), is the "Last Airbender" -- the Avatar who, according to prophecy, has the ability to manipulate all of the elements and bring all the nations together. Aided by a protective teenage Waterbender named Katara (Nicola Peltz) and her bull-headed brother Sokka, Aang proceeds on a perilous journey to restore balance to their war-torn world.

Jackson Rathbone plays Katara's brother Sokka, and Dev Patel plays Prince Zuko, prince of the Fire Nation. Mandvi is set to play the role of Commander Zhao, an ambitious and hot-tempered Fire Nation commander. Toub is cast as Uncle Iroh, the retired Fire Nation general and devoted surrogate parent to Dev Patel's character Zuko. Curtis is set to play the ruthless ruler Fire Lord Ozai. Keong Sim has been cast in the role of Earthbending Father.

Have a look at the trailer below and let us know what you think.

Source: Yahoo! Movies