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Lad bombs, Mario wall art, and more in this week’s Staff Picks


jeff van campJeff Van Camp: Breaking Bad, 1995 style

Today’s television has nothing on the 90s. It was the decade that brought us Nicktoons, Law & Order, ER, more Law & Orders, more ER, and some of the best sitcom theme songs ever. Remember that Charles in Charge theme? I bet you were singing it this morning. Step by Step? Full House? Saved by the Bell? Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Friends? Yeah, you know them all.

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The problem with today’s television is that it’s just too damn good. Breaking Bad is one of the most intense shows on TV today. Wonder what it would have been like in the 90s? Look no further! I got what you want, brah!

les-shuLes Shu: A mom’s crafty interpretation of Super Mario

 I don’t know about yours, but I think my mom is pretty awesome. She’s smart, fashionable, and creative, yet she knows how to stretch a dollar to the max and she makes an amazing roast chicken in the microwave. But, as cool as she is, there’s one thing I would never trust her to do when I was a kid, and that was to let her decorate my room. There was no way I was gonna let her replace my Transformers posters with her cross-stitch art. (Now that this has been etched into cyberspace eternity, I’m sure I’ll be getting a phone call any minute.)

That’s why I envy this kid’s mom, Katja Kromann, who created this kick-ass wall art of a pixelated Mario (of Super Mario Bros. fame) using scrapbooking paper. The project requires some design preplanning via Photoshop and wall measurements, but Kromann figured out that she only needed a few sheets of varied-color paper to create this piece of awesomeness. If Kromann was my mom, she can redo my room anytime. Head over to her site for the full details.

 Now, if you really want to show your kids some love, make them this Super Mario wall art with the push-pins you steal from your office.


caleb denisonCaleb Denison: Lad Bombin’

Just in case you are one of the 6.5 million people who hasn’t seen this video yet, we present to you Chris Stark interviewing Mila Kunis for BBC Radio1. In what is being billed as the best interview in the history of anything not involving Larry King, Stark nervously sits in front of the super-hot – and apparently super-sassy (what a shocker) – Mila Kunis just 10 minutes after he was told he’d be conducting the interview.

Highlights include Kunis’ reaction to what will be my new favorite drink to hate forever starting this weekend (the Lad Bomb), and all the canned answers she’s prepared for questions related to her most recent cinematic effort, Oz The Great and Powerful, effectively showing us all just how uninterested celebrities really are during promotional interviews. But perhaps the best part of this interview is the impossibly awkward demeanor of poor Chris Stark, who at one point asks Kunis to accompany him to his mate’s wedding. Good luck with that, Stark. And good on ya!

andrew coutsAndrew Couts: Where has all the creepy gone?

There was a time, not so long ago, that the Internet was a very different place. Creeps and weirdos lurked around every corner. You actually had to actively avoid landing on webpages that contained some hideous example of humanity – disfigurations, gore, violence, or worse. And a lot of times you still failed. Nowadays, you have to seek out the weird. Much of the Web has become commercially anesthetized; it’s no longer the land of the freaks. Unless, of course, you count things like these super screwy photos of adults-turned-into-children by artist Christian Girotto. It’s no goatse or LemonParty – but these pictures are still giving me the heebie jeebies. Maybe there’s life left in the dark side of the Web, after all.

Creepy girl

amir IliafarAmir Iliaifar: Desiring Desire

Recently I discovered the Showtime series Homeland, and while I realize I’m bit late to the party for this excellent drama, I simply can’t get enough of the show. It’s actually pretty embarrassing how many straight hours I spent trying to catch up, but I digress. The fact that Homeland stars one of my favorite actors, Damien Lewis (of Band of Brothers fame) as a Marine POW returning from the Iraq war doesn’t hurt either.

So you can imagine my excitement when I learned that the feisty Brit would share the spotlight with another favorite of mine, Jaguar’s stunning new 2014 F-Type, in a short film titled Desire.

The short film is being helmed by Oscar-nominated director Ridley Scott, and sees Lewis in the role of Sidney Clark, a man on a mission to deliver one stunning set of wheels, the Jaguar F-Type. Lewis plays opposite Jordi Molla (Blow, Bad Boys II) as an armed drug lord and Shannon Sossamon (A Knight’s Tale, 40 Days and 40 Nights) as mysterious woman on the run.

As the trailer states: “His job was simple: deliver a car. But in the desert, nothing is simple.”

From what we’ve pieced together from the full trailer, it looks like Lewis and Jaguar could be a winning combination, and even though the entire short film hasn’t been released yet, I’m already hoping a full-on feature isn’t out of the question.

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A human harp, terrifying sinkholes and more in this week’s Staff Picks
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Andrew Couts: Trolling Congress
Global warming is real, and is caused or exacerbated by the inconceivable amount of crap we've pumped into the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution. Don't take my word for it, take NASA's. "The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is very likely human-induced and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented in the past 1,300 years," writes the U.S. space agency on its website. Despite the overwhelming evidence in support the phenomena of global warming, a shocking number of people in Congress – the people with power to curb some of the destruction – deny that we humans have anything to do with the spike in the Earth's temperature.
Which is why the latest campaign from environmental group is so freakin' brilliant. Dubbed "The Climate Name Change," the campaign seeks to name hurricanes after "climate change deniers," like House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) or Republican Minnesota Representative Michele "Crazy Eyes" Bachmann. The video the group produced to exemplify its idea is pro-level trolling. Even if you don't "believe in" global warming, you have to admit that the new naming scheme is hilarious. So sign the petition – support it for the lulz.

Amir Iliaifar: One way to ruin a party
What you see here is not a summer sci-fi blockbuster filmed on hand-held camera. No, it’s Mechnikovo beach, near Kaliningrad on the Baltic Sea.
It appears these sunray-seeking Ruskies were busy enjoying their day out when a 500-ton Zubr-class military hovercraft landed on the beach, unloaded a cadre of Russian troops, and promptly asked people to scram- crapping in everyone’s proverbial cereal.
I mean, how would you feel if a massive hovercraft capable of carrying 400 armed troops, missile launchers, and God only knows what else, stormed the beach while you were in your speedo and asked you to split? And you know they would be the revealing kind because hey – it’s Europe!
Apparently, Russian authorities were more than a little surprised that the hovercraft incident pissed off so many people. According to the Russian authorities, Mechnikovo beach is government property and the Zubr landing was merely a tactical exercise. And, according to Russia’s Defense Ministry, people shouldn’t have been on the beach to begin with.
But you wanna know what I think, comrade? Somehow Miley Cyrus snuck aboard and couldn’t stop twerking and sticking out her tongue, forcing an emergency landing and everyone to GTFO. Yeah, that must have been it.

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Perfect coffee through science, emoji mosaics and more in this week’s Staff Picks
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Molly McHugh: Game of Hoops
Obviously you like Games of Thrones, because you are reading this and that means you're a human with an Internet connection. So again, obviously you like Games of Thrones. And if you don't we can't be friends anymore.
But since you obviously like Games of Thrones, your favorite character is obviously Tyrion Lannister. OBVIOUSLY. He is everyone's favorite character and if he's not then again, we can't be friends anymore.
Well turns out our favorite character - er, the actor Peter Dinklage who plays him - partook in some fun extracurriculars, i.e. hula hoop dancing at a gay bar. And not just any hula hoop, an electric one! I'd venture to say that if anything in your life is going wrong, one look at this and you'll feel many times better.
Dear reader, it only gets better: There's video.
In these dark times, this is what we need more of.

Caleb Denison: Please don’t judge me
Every week I’m tasked with the responsibility of finding something cool on the Internet, then writing up some sort of witty blurb introducing it for this, our Staff Picks column. It sounds like the easiest thing ever, doesn’t it? And maybe it should be. But it turns out that I’ve gotten really good at taking what should be the easiest part of my week and making it extremely difficult. I will sometimes spend an hour searching for something I really like because – and I realize this is a major hang-up – I have this crazy idea in my head that what I pick says something about me, and I just can’t have the Internet thinking I’m a dork.
Dammit, I’m too late, aren’t I?
Well, then, since I’m pretty sure the six of you who read this already think I’m a goob or just really don’t care, I’m rolling with a comedian doing Diva impressions to a tune made famous in the 1980’s (oh, he’s an old dork! Nice!) by Bonnie Tyler called “Total Eclipse of the Heart.” Yes. My middle-aged nerd status is now complete. Check out Christina Bianco doing some impressive impressions of Divas young and old, including Adelle, Cher, Christina Aguilera (my personal favorite) and, of course, Barbara Streisand. She’s pretty damn good at it.

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The perks of delinquency, 80s dashboards and more in this week’s Staff Picks
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Jeff Van Camp: Stephen Colbert confronts the ‘Gay Mafia’
I cover iPhones and Galaxy phones all day long, but when I get home from work, I usually unwind with some Daily Show or Colbert. This is one of the best segments I've seen on the show. Apparently there are parts of the south where a small town can have an openly gay mayor and pass an ordinance banning discrimination of those in the LGBT community. Colbert is, naturally, extremely disappointed in the progress of this "Gay Mafia."
Hopefully we're getting to the point where more people around the country think like this, finally.

Andrew Couts: Everything that's wrong with YouTube
It has been a long time since I last went on a YouTube binge. For whatever reason, my habit of clicking through an endless array of videos, each more odd and obscure than the next, seems to have dwindled away with my fondness for MySpace. In other words, I'm now just busy and old.
Fortunately, YouTube user JelloApocalypse, a self-described "writer and voice actor," has released a brilliant new animated video that makes me appreciate all the time I've not wasted on the world's largest video-sharing site. From the poor design to the wretched comments, the video (above) gives you a sense of all that's wrong with YouTube. The damning summation almost makes it seem as though Google, YouTube's parent company, has given up on improving one of its most popular properties, just to screw with us. Perhaps YouTube's saving grace is that this video is itself hosted on YouTube.

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