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Friday, September 23, 2011

Dad Helps Kids Go Ewok-Spotting

By Ken Denmead

Spot the Ewok! (Photo by Anthony Herrera)
Anthony Herrera is a geeky dad, and handy with his camera. So, when he took his kids out in a somewhat-famous forest in Northern California, it was the chance to instill some Star Wars wonder in his children:
A year ago we took a trip to Sequoia National Park. I wanted to excite my daughter while being in such amazing surroundings. Being the Star Wars geek that I am (so is she), I told her that this is where the Ewoks live. She spent a good chunk of our time hiking keeping a lookout for any Ewoks. Coming home I can’t say that she wasn’t disappointed that we didn’t find any. I had to explain that they are extremely shy and hardly ever let anyone see them. After we got home, and after I had a little time alone with the photos, I told her I thought I saw something strange in a few pictures. We viewed them on the TV to get a larger image. You can imagine how surprised and excited she was when we discovered that we didn’t see any Ewoks, but they saw us, and had certainly taken an interest in her and her little brother. Maybe I’m a little wrong for lying to her and falsifying the pictures, but I don’t care. She’ll never forget the time she spent in the big woods with Ewoks.
Check out the rest of the “sightings” after the break, and check out his website.
Spot the Ewok! (Photo by Anthony Herrera)
Spot the Ewok! (Photo by Anthony Herrera)
Spot the Ewok! (Photo by Anthony Herrera)

Ken is a husband and father from the San Francisco Bay Area, where he works as a civil engineer. He also wrote the NYT bestselling book "Geek Dad: Awesomely Geeky Projects for Dads and Kids to Share."
Follow @fitzwillie and @wiredgeekdad on Twitter.

Handicap...What Handicap!!!!

The 50 Best "Saturday Night Live" Skits - Digg

The 50 Best "Saturday Night Live" Skits

The 50 Best "Saturday Night Live" Skits
The 50 greatest Saturday Night Live skits…where do we even begin? A TV and comedic staple for 30-plus years, SNL has been the jumping-off point for some of the greatest comedians in history; Eddie Murphy, Tina Fey, Chris Farley, and Dan Aykroyd are only a few of the show’s alums who went on to become household names.
With the newest season kicking off this Saturday, we felt compelled to take a look back at the series’ tastemaking sketches and their unforgettable stars that brought us to where we are now, setting the standard for comedy past and present. From old-school to new, we've rounded up the best of the best commercials, digital shorts, impressions, game shows, political satires, celeb appearances, and more.
So sit back, grab a handful of Schweddy Balls, and feast your eyes on The 50 Greatest Saturday Night Live Skits of all time.
Written by Lauren Otis (@LaurNado) and Alex Suskind (@ClassicSource)
The 50 Best "Saturday Night Live" Skits

Bear Grylls Paragliding Over Mt. Everest [Video] — Paragliding over Mt. Everest? Better drink my own piss.

Facebook unveils revamped ‘Timeline’ profile page, teams with Spotify and Netflix [video]

By: Todd Haselton

During the F8 conference on Thursday, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg took the stage to introduce a host of new features that are rolling out to the social network. The major change is called “Timeline” and it takes advantage of existing pictures and status updates to create a more visual experience of “who you are.” As you scroll down your personal timeline, you’ll be able to view pictures and updates throughout the years. There is a new option in the upper right-hand side of your profile to quickly skip to a year in time too, and many of the features are also available on Facebook’s mobile applications. Read on for more, including a video of Facebook’s Spotify integration in action.

“This isn’t all of the stuff that I did in 2007,” Zuckerberg explained while showing off his own profile. “It’s just the most important stuff.” Timeline automatically hides information that Facebook doesn’t think is important, but if it is, you can easily switch it to show that content. In addition, users can click the Timeline and add photos to earlier points in time before Facebook existed, such as their childhoods. Apps can also populate the timeline.

Facebook also added a new “Reports” feature in Timeline. Reports can be compiled every month or every year, and they provide a summary of your Timeline including everything you’ve ever done with a Facebook application. Apps can be added directly from a friend’s Timeline, too. Timeline provides an ability to “highlight and curate all of your stories so you express who you really are,” Zuckerberg said. That means you can customize your homepage with a large photo, dubbed the “Cover,” in addition to your profile picture. Lastly, you can restrict access to certain parts of your Timeline if you choose.

Facebook is also adding “verbs” to status updates which will allow people to “express themselves in new ways.” For example, a user can say they read a book or reviewed a restaurant. These will be added to a “lightweight stream” on the side of Facebook’s homepage as an activity and not in the news feed.

Facebook revamped its OpenGraph protocol so developers can include this functionality in their apps. “OpenGraph will enable apps that focus on two things,” Zuckerberg said, noting that the first is the Timeline and the second is discovering new things through your Facebook friends, such as music.

A “real-time serendipity” feature allows you to share content such as Spotify songs with friends easily. If someone is listening to a song on Spotify, you can hover over it and listen along with them or chat with your friend about it. “Developers are using OpenGraph to not only rethink music, but to rethink the whole music industry,” Zuckerberg said. Facebook partnered with other music companies for content as well, although it highlighted its relationship with Spotify. “You’ll now start seeing new music posts and play buttons all over your newsfeeds,” Spotify said in a blog post on Thursday. “Hit a play button and the music starts. Right there.”

Finally, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings also took the stage to discuss and upcoming social version of Netflix that will allow you to discuss what you’re watching with friends, though no additional details were given during the keynote.

Screen Shot 2011-09-22 at 11.00.09 AM

Facebook has just used their keynote at f8 to unveil a major new feature: Timeline. It’s your Profile re-imagined in a more visual way. “It’s the heart of your Facebook experience, completely re-thought from the ground up,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg noted.

The focus is on three key things:
  • all your stories
  • all your apps
  • a new way to express who you are
So what does it look like? Check it out below.
Update: And here’s a bit of backstory.

Update: Facebook now has information as well:

Magisto - Three-click Movie Making

Making a movie isn't easy -- it's not like you can just mix-n-match "Nic Cage" with "Werewolves" with "An Ancient Sword of Power" and end up with...wait, has anyone thought of this yet?! Transforming your own clips into totally watchable mini-flicks: Magisto.

Outta sunny Israel, Mag's a free "magical" video editing service that automatically analyzes your clips for their "best parts", fixes any imperfections, adds transitions, and spits out a condensed, well-edited mini-movie in less than 30mins, all stunningly accomplished with "no people involved", so there could still be a few redheads in the mix.
To get rolling, upload up to 16 video files (not exceeding 600mb total), create a title, and pick your soundtrack either from their stock of recognizable jams or your own tunes library, in case you want some Goldfinger for your Goldfinger.
Mag's top-secret proprietary tech somehow weeds out boring footage, then stabilizes frames, reduces noise pollution, and adds "smart" effects, so you can sit back and wait for an email with the finished product, which can be quickly uploaded to YouTube, and just as quickly flagged for lewdness.
If you feel like posting the vid on Facebook it'll even automatically detect the mugs of people in the vid and suggest you tag them, though if any of your friends don't want to be seen you may find yourself in an old-fashioned Face/Off.

Baby gives the evil eye!

Van Damme Friday - More stills from the filming of Six Bullets