Wednesday, December 02, 2020
You might not recognize all of the themes in this overture, hey, you might not recognize any of them (though you should), but you certainly know the fanfare style of the tune that opens the show. This medley was conducted and arranged by Alan Williams and performed by musicians from London's West End. (Thanks, Tim Spellman!)
The Broomway is the notorious footpath to Foulness Island in Britain. It's narrow, unmarked, surrounded by sea, sticky mud, and quicksand, and sinks under the tide twice a day. Oh yeah, and there may be explosives. So of course, Tom Scott had to walk it to show us what we are missing.
The 1983 film A Christmas Story didn't make much of a splash when it was first released, but with television repeats over the years, it became a beloved classic for Gen X. Is it because the dysfunctional family makes the viewer feel better about their miserable childhoods by comparison? Or is it because the stories of a miserable childhood become funnier the more you tell them? As Screen Junkies shows us in this Honest Trailer, it's more likely the latter, as two kinds of memories collide to make A Christmas Story a holiday classic: Jean Shepherd's recollections of his childhood that grew into the semi-fictional sequences of the movie, and the shared experience of a generation of movie fans.
We'd like to inform you that due to repeated or severe violations of our Community Guidelines your YouTube account Miss Cellania has been suspended.
After review we determined that activity in your account violated our Community Guidelines, which prohibit spam, scams or commercially deceptive content.
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Huh? I got kicked off YouTube? There were some links there, but nothing that would tell me why or what guidelines they think I am violating. I was tempted to just ignore it because I couldn't even recall what videos I had there, and I could still watch other stuff. But it was annoying because the type of videos I usually watch wouldn't come up in my recommendations on the home page, and I couldn't access my subscriptions. So I pulled up the appeal form and told them I couldn't for the life of me figure out why they suspended me, since I haven't uploaded a video in years. I didn't expect anything to happen, since I get notification of violations from AdSense occasionally, with no explanation, and no way to find out about them, and nothing ever happens. But this morning I woke to find another email.
After a review of your account, we have confirmed that your YouTube account is not in violation of our Terms of Service. As such, we have unsuspended your account. This means your account is once again active and operational.
If you forgot your password, please visit this link to reset it:
The YouTube Team
No apology, no explanation, but at least the second email had a "Hi there" and a "Sincerely." My subscriptions and recommendations are back, and I can see my own videos, which are mostly personal, although nothing special. I suppose I will never find out why someone thought I should be kicked off the platform.
It was certainly easier than the time I was kicked off Facebook for using an assumed name and had to submit proof that I am, indeed, Miss Cellania. They still made me change my name because titles aren't allowed, and "Miss" is a title, so I am one of the few Facebook users to go by a single name.
Then I thought of all the hoards of YouTube workers toiling away, checking accounts for violations, reading appeals, checking again, and I'm sure the same people aren't doing all three tasks. What a dreary job. Fighting spam and moderating comments used to be part of my job at Neatorama, and while it was annoying, it was just a small part of what I did. Doing that full time for a large platform has to be horrid. But it pales in comparison to those who fact check Facebook posts, knowing the wrath they evoke.
Jim Foley is a candidates for appellate court judge in ...oh, somewhere, it doesn't matter. What matters is that he and his bow tie have the greatest campaign ad ever. (via Warming Glow)
Update: Foley did not win the 2012 race this ad was made for, but the ad is still good for a giggle.
Tuesday, December 01, 2020
Santa Claus feels like society has progressed to the point where he's a has-been. No one wants to sit in his lap, people no longer welcome late night intruders, and they like to track their packages with apps. In this video, the jolly old elf confides his anxieties to his psychotherapist.
It's an ad for the Norwegian Postal Service, produced by the agency Matias & Mathias. (via Laughing Squid)
Once when a storm was coming into the Los Angeles area, the KTLA morning crew had to give the same weather forecast over and over, with dramatic music. After a while, it got silly. Weatherman Henry DiCarlo looks like he planned something dramatic, but the air keyboard stylings of anchor Chris Schaubel gave everyone the giggles. (via reddit)
Every once in a while, you hear that a ridiculous percentage of internet users are merely algorithms. We design tests to exclude bots from making new accounts, leaving comments, or even consuming content. The bots are taught to pass the tests. So more complicated tests are designed. It has come to the point that a human not only has be human to pass these tests, but superhuman! Comedian Stevie Martin illustrates how we all feel competing against algorithms that have more patience, faster reflexes, and better eyesight than we do. In this version, the tests are not only difficult, but judgmental as well. (via reddit)
A brief history of the ginormous novelty holiday decoration. (via Digg)
Thumb Study Reveals Why One Ancient Human Had the Upper Hand Over Another. (via Damn Interesting)
Trump’s Already Gaming Out a 2024 Run—Including an Event During Biden’s Inauguration.
'World's Loneliest Elephant' has a New Home. Cher was in Pakistan to see him off, and also in Cambodia to welcome Kavaan after his journey.
Facts About It's A Wonderful Life You Probably Didn't Know.
The Rise and Fall of Tab. (via Digg)
'Is anybody in there?' Life on the inside as a locked-in patient. (via Damn Interesting)
Man receives racist letter over Black Santa decoration -- and neighbors have his back. (via Fark)
A blast from the past (2015): 8 Unusually Large Musical Instruments.