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I love stuff like this.

This American Life on the Health Care System (Amazing Journalism!!)

If you are overwhelmed by all this Health Insurance talk in Washington, you need to listen to This American Life podcast. They identify the roots of the problem in this part one of two. Journalism at its very best. It doesn’t matter what you believe in, it will challenge your beliefs.

You can listen part one here. Part two will up next week.

Best Online Videos for 2008

We have posted some wonderful stuff this year, our annual best-of list gives us a chance to celebrate some of them. Dek has a great round up of his favorites. Also, our 2006, 2007 lists.

Shorts

Best Short: Glory at Sea – A 25 minute tour de force that uses a contemporary tragedy (Katrina disaster) to create a powerful myth that seems as old as the hills.

Special Mentions:

Best Stop Motion: Illuminant – To experience this on a big screen like I did at Carrboro Film Festival was incredible.

We posted quite a few innovative stop-motion video including Lucia & Adjustment

Best Short Doc: Bullet Proof Vest

Best Hidden Product Placement: The Ramp

Best Acting in Shorts: R.L. Jackson & Tori Lee in Remember When

Best Abstract film: Pencil Face

Also:

Special mentions for Animations:

Web

Best Web Video: Dr. Horrible – It is nice to see big name talent doing web content. It certainly lived up to the hype. Hopefully, this is a sign of good things to come.

Special mentions:

Music Video

Best Music video: Fleet Foxes: White Winter Hymnal – After a year full of shocking videos, especially in content, the one video that haunted me was Sean Pecknold‘s animated classic. Simple in style, resonant story and a great fuckin’ song.

Sexiest Music Video of the year: Toe Jam

Special mentions Music videos:

Commercials

Best Commercial: JC Penney: Aviator – Also the cutest video of the year. The direction is pitch perfect.

Other awards

Best Interview of the Year: Katie Couric’s interview with Sarah Palin – Unintentionally hilarious that changed the course of the presidential elections.

Best Parody: SNL’s version of Katie Couric’s interview with Sarah Palin – Saturday Night Live came back with a bang. Even more wicked than the original.

Best Online Radio: This American Life: Super

Note: Some of these videos were not released in 2008, they are included here because this is when we discovered them.

The Glue Society

Our Australian friendsThe Glue Society, a group of artists, designers and projecteers, have created these amazing series of sculptures and films commissioned by 42Below Vodka where they’ve created chair rainbows on the frozen tundra, a curb-side wrap party, gratuitous nudie pictures for airplanes passing by, a house of crates, and a blow-up doll’s vacation paradise.

- Hi-Fructose Magazine

Watch Videos

The Glue Society’s Website

Hell No! to the bailout

Amy Goodman talks about the bailout.

JUAN GONZALEZ: Bob Scheer, the issue also of this rush to pass this legislation—I’m reminded somewhat of the PATRIOT Act after 9/11: an immense tragedy occurs, and immediately they try to rush through legislation without many of the members of Congress even having a handle as to what it really contains.

ROBERT SCHEER: Oh, it’s absolutely outrageous, and we can’t let them get away with it. I mean, consider that Paulson was the head of Goldman Sachs, OK? He knew about credit swaps. He knew about hybrid instruments. He knew all of this stuff. And now he’s the guy that says Congress has to give him a blank check, it has to be a pure bill? Nonsense!

This is our money. Why isn’t this money used to help people who are going to lose their houses? You miss two, three payments, and they’re going to foreclose on you; then they say, “Well, we hope the banks will work out new agreements.” Nonsense! Do a freeze on foreclosures. Stop the bleeding. Have a year to let it settle, and force the banks to come to agreements.

Listen to or read the show transcripts – via Gruber

Ryuichi Sakamoto Trio 1996 – Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence

Beautiful, tender music. Why haven’t I heard this before?

Watch them in concertdownload the song for free (available for a short time)

This American Life – Super (Simply incredible)

This American Life - Super (Simply incredible)I have mentioned my love for NPR’s This American Life before. But a recent episode was just out of this world. Act 2 had one of the best stories I have ever heard. The theme for the episode is Super, you know, the guys that take care of the apartment buildings. I would suggest you stop reading and start listening. Don’t miss act two.

The show page – the direct link to the mp3 (this may stop working after a while).

The Story – Listening to Nazis

I am a big fan of Dick Gordon. I am always amazed how one program can find that many great stories. Anyways, in a recent episode, Gordon interviews Henry Kolm, a Austrian Jew who witnessed the Nazi invasion and had to flee to America as young kid. Incredibly, as a adult, he was recruited by the American armed forces to interrogate captured German officers.

Currently, it is impossible to get through any respectable news program and not hear how America should interrogate (torture) its captured militants . Kolm has plenty of insight into of all of this. His experiences on his life and also torture are priceless. Kolm is against torture, besides it being the wrong thing to do, he believes you can never trust information that comes from such methods. But another point, a more subtle one, is that war has changed drastically from less than a century ago. Kolm doesn’t think the Al Qaeda’s of the world should be treated as soldiers because they are fundamentally different from Nazi’s. War and how it is conducted is on the slide, after a brief show of civility, we have regressed into being…idiots.

Listening to Nazis pageDownload the show (download will start automatically) – Subscribe to the podcast

Moondance

Van Morrison blowin’ horn and jazzin’ up Moondance at Austin City Limits Sep 26, 2006.

Watch it. (Flash Video)

Missing in Action

Since I started a full-time job more than an hour from where I live, it seems impossible to post here on a regular basis. Luckily, Dek has continued to unearth those incredible video jewels to keep this site alive. Hopefully, as I get more comfortable with this life change, I should be posting with more regularity.

Last weekend, I saw Lars and the Real Girl. A thoroughly enjoyable movie that adds to the awesome credentials of Ryan Gosling. The film needed an incredible performance from the lead and he surely delivers. I have to admit I was a little disappointed with the overall film and I am not certain why. It was intelligent, well directed and a quirky story. I loved the characters, all of them, but I wished it ended a little later in the life of Lars. The romance that blossoms at the end was too much of a tease. For most of the film, there was so much lifelessness, in terms of Lars falling in love with a mannequin, that I was hoping for some action with the “real” girl. Kelli Garner as Margo is so bloody cute. I wished there was more of her in the film.

M.I.A has been popping in my radar with more regularity. Her new album is one of most daring albums I have heard recently. And it isn’t music that is meant to be talked about but listened to. To promote this album she did a little interview series with music video legend Spike Jonze. I can’t but help feel a little awed by her multi-national creative streak. Watch part one, two, three, four, five, six.

September Morn

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September morning still can make me feel that way…

Listen. (Hold on while the MP3 loads)

P.S. The text is just the Italian translation of the lyrics.

Cazal VS Lang Lang

Two very different executions of the same bit from Prokofiev‘s Piano Concerto n.3, played by two virtuosos.

Watch Lang Lang.

Watch Olivier Cazal.

P.S. Yes, I filed it under Stoned-like

This American Life – Premiere Episode

This American Life - Premiere Episode

Oh damn, I need to get Showtime. The television show rocks!! Improv Everywhere is featured in the first episode, we have covered them before. Besides the weird Ira Glass middle-of-nowhere transitions, this is as good as the radio show.

I wonder if all the episodes will be available on the web. And I am not even sure the url to this episode will stick, so check it out now.

Watch it – via Kottke

Live performance of Philip Glass’ Glassworks

This has been playing in the background the last couple of days.

Watch it

Also: A series of Metamorphosis starts here. Under related, you will find the rest of the show.

Rush Limbaugh admits he has been lying!!

I saw this a second ago. And I couldn’t leave without posting this. Limbaugh proudly states that he lied because the stakes were high. So from here on, everytime an election approaches or the stakes are high, we can expect him to lie.

Watch and listen to the admission

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