Trick kicks, breathtaking quadcopter video and more in this week’s Staff Picks

Staff Picks 4-13

bill-robersonBill Roberson: Two minutes from now you will want a quadcopter

Had a long week? Chill out to this short video clip from Robert Macintosh. Using a remote-controlled quadcopter and a small POV camera, he takes us on a relaxing – and then amazing – trip around and through an amusement park as the sun comes up in Santa Monica, California. Music is “How Does It Make you Feel” by Air. It makes us feel great.

andrew-coutsAndrew Couts: Red Bull, stop being awesome

Super-caffeinated drink maker Red Bull is one of those companies I just really want to hate. Overpriced energy drink that tastes like crushed up Sweet Tarts? Whatever – bugger off. I’ll just have some coffee. But then I take a look at all the complete badassery they sponsor, from wicked airplane races to Felix Baumgartner’s skydive from space, and I can’t help but love the company’s marketing strategy.

Red Bull sent me another wave of positive vibes this week with its Red Bull Illume project, and its LED wakeboard creations. Basically, Red Bull hooked up pro wakeboarders Mike Dowdy, Adam Errington, and Dallas Friday with photographer and “light painter” Patrick Rochon to create some of the most amazing photographs I’ve ever seen. Damnit, Red Bull — this is why I can’t quit you! 

natt-garunNatt Garun: Can you name all the memes in this poster?

Anyone who knows me knows I’m all about the Internet. The culture, the memes, the jokes, the GIFs. It’s every reason why I adore this CollegeHumor poster of “The Internet,” encapsulating past and present Web celebrities into one giant Where’s Waldo-esque screen. All your favorites are there: Overly Obsessed Girlfriend, Rage Faces, Psy, planking, various iterations of cats, advice animals, and more. It’s too bad for Bad Luck Brian though. Gets made into a meme, doesn’t make it to poster about popular memes. The cycle is complete. Someone print this out on a map-sized matte poster for me please?


ryan-flemingRyan Fleming: Not every superpower is great, but some are profitable

Norwegian Internet phenom Havard “Kicklicious” Rugland has been blessed with an oddly specific mutant super power. Rather than being able to fire optic blasts or teleport, he has been given the far less sexy – but probably more profitable – ability of kicking footballs.

Rugland, a former amateur soccer stand out, began his road to the NFL with his “Kicklicious” YouTube video (below), showing off his ability to kick trick shots. He displays his range by easily nailing 60 yarders, then casually kicks a few like he can barely control his power. Perhaps his attempt to head Stateside stems less from his desire to play in the NFL and more from his horrifying habit of accidentally kicking small, Norwegian pets into orbit. Maybe in Norwegian, “Kicklicious” actually translates to “dog punter.”

The video was filmed and circulated in September of 2012, which landed Rugland a tryout with the Jets. The Jets passed, which makes you wonder how horrible that tryout must have been for the lowly Jets to pass. Really, really bad. Just awful. Like, maybe he murdered someone. Rugland then spent the year working with a former NFL kicker and it paid off. After a successful tryout, the Detroit Lions signed him to undisclosed terms. He will still have to compete for the job against two others, including the legendary David Aker who just turned 129 years old (roughly), but the 28-year old will have his shot.

caleb-denisonCaleb Denison: Oligobble this, Comcast!

This morning, I woke up a free man. The air smells fresher, the sun is shining (hey, I’m in Oregon), and this obscene pile of biscuits and gravy I’m about to go to town on is lookin’ biscuitier and gravy-i-er than it has in years. That’s because this morning, I cut the cord. Hey, pass the Cholula, will ya?

Technically, I wielded my big machete in Comcast’s general direction last night when I called the company and canceled my TV and Internet phone service; but the change actually took place this morning, evidenced by the fact that what was once Nat Geo Wild is now just a beautiful blue screen. I still have Comcast’s Internet service because, as a self-identified cord-cutter, Internet is essential and Comcast’s is the best in town. But I can’t tell you how satisfying it is to flip my cable company the bird – they’ve been screwing me for years – now that I’m saving $110 a month.

I’m not singling out Comcast here – it isn’t any more or less evil than any other cable provider. But that’s really the problem, isn’t it? They’re all shitty. There’s a reason all cable customers complain about the same things – unnecessary channels, endless surprise fees and taxes, no custom channel packages, outrageous rates – it’s because they’re all in cahoots!

The good news is, this is all about to change. Numbers are coming in that show delivery of content via the Internet is exploding in popularity. Content providers must now hop on board the Ark of Internet TV delivery or face certain extinction, and that’s going to change the way cable companies operate. And the best way to hasten that change is to send a strong message by canceling your cable TV service – just like I did.

If you’re not sure whether cutting the cord is right for you, check out the video below produced by the Wall Street Journal which discusses the pros and cons to cord cutting. And if you are ready to pull the trigger, check out our Cord Cutting 101 page to learn how you can do it. Now excuse me while I hunker down on my couch, fire up my Roku box and watch just about any damn thing I please.

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