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Domino records, roided-out lawnmowers, and more in this week’s Staff Picks


amir-iliafarAmir Iliafar: We miss you, Uncle Jesse

Are you ready to hear one of my deepest, darkest secrets? You got it, dude!

I’m a closet Full House fan.

So when I read that actor John Stamos would be reprising his role as uncle Jesse Katsopolis and reuniting with his fictional band from the show, “Jesse and the Rippers” on Friday’s episode of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, I said to myself “have mercy” and just about lost it.

Oh you think that’s lame, do you? How rude!

As of this writing the show is scheduled to air tomorrow (Friday, July 19) so I’ve yet to experience the milestone moment Stamos’ appearance is sure to be, but a Twitter user named @Jessieandtherip recently began tweeting rare backstage shots from the band’s glory days, further fueling my excitement and giving me a sneak peek of what to expect.

While we might not agree how awesome Full House was, is, and always will be, we can at least agree that Stamos still looks good after all these years.

Still laughing at me? Oh c’mon. Cut. It. Out!

caleb-denisonCaleb Denison: Everybody out of the pool! Helicopter swim

It’s hot out there, people. Really hot. And with all that heat baking the Northern Hemisphere comes wildfires. As of now, the West Coast of the United States is seeing a lot of action, but we aren’t the only ones. Fires are raging in Western Europe, too, and firefighters are doing whatever they can to put out the flames.

So imagine you’re cooling off by the pool in Braga, Portugal when someone comes out of nowhere and tells you to clear out with a quickness … because a helicopter needs that pool more than you do. We imagine that’s what must have gone down in the video below, where a fire-fighting chopper swoops in, collects a bucket full of water, then bails out, all in a matter of seconds.

Apparently, this is not new. We found a few different instances of the same practice happening on YouTube, including this one, and this one, both from last year. Hey. It is a public pool after all.

Les ShuLes Shu: Don’t go chasing waterfalls when you have a quad-copter to do it

Back in April, we shared video of a deserted island, captured using Sony’s Action Cams on a remote helicopter rig. Without ever stepping foot on the land, the camera/helicopter operator was able to bring us ghostly images of abandoned, decaying structures.

For something less ominous and more breathtaking, a YouTube user named questpact flew his GoPro Hero 3 on a DJI Phantom quad-copter over Niagara Falls to create the video below, which questpact entered into the DJI Phantom Video Contest. As impressive as the falls already are when viewed on land, the footage from above makes them even more stunning.

ryan-fleming-6-94x94Ryan Fleming: Comic-Con

It might seem like a bit of a cheat to choose Comic-Con as a staff pick – after all Comic-Con is a massive event in itself, which will generate countless stories, events, and individual moments that resonate throughout the year – but it’s my staff pick I do wha’ I want.

By the time you read this, San Diego Comic-Con will be well underway. If you’ve already looked around, you’ve probably seen several new movie trailers and heard a lot of big film and TV announcements. One day, we’ll have to explain to our kids how Comic-Con used to be about comics, then they’ll laugh at what they think is a funny joke before adopting a more perplexed look and wonder if you are smoking your “medicinal cigarettes” again.

Comic-Con has become a marketing machine. It is CES for geek entertainment, E3 for superhero properties. That may suck a bit for people that actually go there for, ya know, comics, but it makes for a hell of a week for entertainment fans that are anywhere but San Diego.

Brandon-WidderBrandon Widder: Now that’s a lot of dominoes

Though my roommates can often be found playing dominoes in the kitchen, I never actually play the game. I find it a tad bit tedious, a little boring, lacking in the strategy department, and rather short compared to other iconic games (I’m the kind of guy who has no qualms seeing an 8-hour game of Monopoly through to the end). Consequently, I’ve always spent far more time stacking the white rectangular blocks into pyramids and lining them up to create the literal domino effect, rather than simply matching the dots on the tiles. It often seems like I never had enough, though.

Leave it to the Germans to go all out on the ultimate domino design. Twelve builders set up some 272,000 Dominoes—272,275 to be exact—over the course of eight days for impressive, 10-minute performance entitled “Enjoy Your Life.” Different sections of the piece honor topics such as travel and music, with one portion setting a new world for the most dominos toppled in single spiral design. Sure, only 272,297 of the blocks fell, but I think we can let it slide. After all, ShaneDominoez only used 30,000 Dominoes for his tribute to Nintendo. Still, can you imagine being the knucklehead to accidently start that chain reaction after days of work? I think “knucklehead” would be a nice way of putting it.

bill-robersonBill Roberson: Making yard work fun again

Ah, the sweet smells of summer: a backyard barbecue, a rosebush in bloom, the scent of freshly cut grass.

But if you’re like me, you don’t smell a lot of freshly cut grass, because doing yard work is somewhere down my priority list below sorting thumbtacks while blindfolded. That’s why my lawn looks like a wheat field and all my neighbors chipped in to get me a lawn service, lest their property values drop even more than they already have. Pshaw, I’ve got cars and bikes to work on in the garage and back yard, people.

What I really need is this sweet red riding mower the good folks at Honda have gone and tarted up with an engine from one of their top-of-the-line sport bikes, along with a host of other goodies. The result is good for about a buck 30 on the track – but only 15mph in grass-apocalypse mode. Still, that’s double what the stocker will do, which means my bi-annual lawn/hay field destruction derby should take 10 minutes instead of 20.

I’ll take it.

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