Favorite Videos of the week

I’m up at a god-forsaken hour of the morning to teach English classes to students in China (I’m a regular diplomatic hero cough I’m avoiding getting a real job), so I figured I’d put out a little bloggity blog. I know the last few posts have been pretty heavy, and that trend will probably last because LIFE IS HEAVY or whatever, but this post is not heavy. This post is my brother.

This is why I don’t write blogs before 9am. Anyways, here’s some of my favorite videos of the week!

This lovely cover by Jon and Dodie:

 

 

This very informative and well-researched video on why the U.S. government’s de-funding of certain programs is a move that makes zero financial or common sense, much like everything else happening in U.S. government these days (with EVIDENCE and SOURCES because FACTS are REAL THINGS even if my grandmother and the POTUS don’t think so.)

 

 

This absolutely bonkers build of the Overlook Hotel Maze model from The Shining, built by ex-Mythbuster Adam Savage. I saw The Shining for the first time in January, and since then I’ve been obsessed with all things visually and existentially related. I know, I know, I’m late to The Shining party. But what can I say? I’m a lot like Jack. In that the party don’t start until I either completely imagine it or call forth the ghosts of hotels past to throw it for me. (Check out the entire Tested channel, it’s a great place for maker inspiration!)

 

 

And, as usual, I’ve been watching my fair share of arts and crafts videos. I really love watching speed painting and “watch me work”-style videos, because they allow me to trick myself into thinking that because the person on screen is being productive, it means that I too am being productive. One of my favorite crafters to watch is Jamie Jo aka BananaJamana, who does a lot of Disney/kawaii type stuff. It’s funny, because her style (super cute/Disney kitsch) is not exactly something I’m *that* into, but she is so absurdly talented (look at her realism paintings,they’re absolutely ridiculous) that I find myself drawn to her despite differences in aesthetics. Also, weird note but, as someone whose voice slips into a higher register when I’m tired or lazy, I find her quiet, high-pitched voice incredibly soothing. Double also, I love that she works in a ton of different mediums, because it means that on top of really wonderful paintings, she also does things like making a giant s’more. For reasons.

 

I’ve got a lot of favorite artist youtubers, so I think I’ll make this Favorite Videos a weekly series! (I say, knowing for a fact that when I say something is going to be a series, that is the surest way to ensure it is never mentioned again on this blog.)

W

Twitter vs. Snapchat and the Freedom of Social Media (Or: Long Post About IMPORTANT TOPICS #sortof)

I think really hard sometimes about the differences between social media outlets.* There are so many of them, and they are all so closely guarded by the social media police which are different from the selfie police, but pretty much the same as your boss and your mom, that sometimes it’s hard to tell which part of yourself is okay to express to which outlet. Instagram vs Facebook? Fairly easily distinguished, if you posted as many close-up shots of your Starbucks cup on Facebook, people would assume your About Me was a joke, your real job was a lie, and you were actually a barista at Starbucks. Either that, or that you were homeless, and using your newsfeed as a virtual change cup to prompt people to send quarters via Paypal.  Image

Twitter is a little bit better, because you can imply something without ever supplying the physical evidence to make it plausible, earning instant internet points, which can be deposited into the internet bank, and which can be traded in for likes and comments later on. I can make a pithy, 140-character observation about a party, like… “Bitches be cray. #partyhardacus” and people will just assume I’m at a party. Not just a party, a party with some secret, Spartacus-themed motto that would be repeated in status updates for days, and which non-attendees would never really understand, but would be crazy freaking jealous. And I don’t have to back up that post with any sort of proof. It’s a magical system.

But Snapchat… Snapchat is like an adult baby monitor. Anytime you send a snap, people know immediately what you’re doing and where you are. So I can’t be like, “damn, I love Remy Martin.” just because I think it’s funny. I have to be holding a Remy Martin botte. It’s so limiting. Do you know how expensive Remy Martin is? Neither do I, because I don’t love Remy Martin, I just think it would be funny to say. Do you see what I mean?

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I guess I just don’t know what to use Snapchat for. Like, I feel like, if I used it often, it would just give people too close a look at how sad my life is. Like, my friends will snapchat me awesome things like a picture of a sunny lake, “going drinking on a boat!” or a rave with a crowd of people splattered in neon paint, “afterparty is crayyyy.” And respond with a picture of my computer on top of my legs, which are covered in a blanket because it’s chilly. “Eating pepperonis!! Trying to decide between playing Minecraft on my Xbox and watching Netflix on my laptop, or watching Netflix on my Xbox and using my laptop for Tumblr. BIG DILEMMA!!”

Not only that, Snaps go away. Immediately. Forever.

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You can delete a tweet, or a Facebook post, but it’s still there, burned into people’s minds. As far as anything can be burned into a mind that spends its time reading 1 sentence reports of hundreds of lives that scroll by in less than a second.  Plus, there’s always the possibility that it could be like that time I was trying to search this guy’s name to see if he was cute-cute, or just only-guy-in-science-class cute, and instead of searching “Zack Morris” I typed “Zack Morris” into my status box and posted. (Yes, name changed because in the lifespan of social media, blog posts are forever and that shit was awkward.) Believe me, you don’t want to be like that time. No time should resemble that time.

But with Snaps, it’s no big deal. You send, they open, they have 10 seconds to show it to as many people in their vicinity as possible, and possibly but not sneakily screenshot it, and then it’s gone forever and that’s the end of it. You can easily brush it off later as “I was drunk,” “I sent it to everyone,” “I just wanted to see how my left nipple looked in this lighting but I accidentally sent it but haha #whatevs #yolo #socks,” or any number of other perfectly viable excuses and then move the fuck on. This makes it simple. Calming. Fine.

It is also what makes it terrifying. Because it transforms your phone into a portal through which you can gaze upon the human soul. Yeah. Stay with me. The 10 seconds of freedom that come with a self-destructing message are transcendent. Those seconds equip the user with the knowledge that anything that they send, anything, anything at all. And that kind of freedom makes people sort of… Crazy. Dickpics, barfpics, language-you-didn’t-know-existed Crazy. This is what people do with that kind of freedom. This, and hourly updates of how bored they are, with their head squished against their fist in their desk chair, eyes comically but attractively cast upwards.

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It’s a weird divide.

I still haven’t decided if it’s a good one.

This is the end of this post.

W

By the way, you can follow me on Twitter: @Notwaverly.

You cannot follow me on Snapchat because of previous stated downsides. Also because bluuuhhhhhhh no way.

*The difference between Twitter/Snapchat and this blog is that I can say something like this sentence, then ramble on about it for a full page and nobody ever cares if this sentence is true. Which, for posterity reasons, and possibly future legal reasons, I must admit that it is not.

Tumblr’s Terms of Service. Or: How to Run A Website That Doesn’t Suck A Bag of Dick.

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Tumblr recently released a new terms of conditions statement. At least, I think they did. A quick googling led me to nothing more recent than 2012, so I’m beginning to strongly suspect that I am very very behind on this, and have just been using Tumblr blatantly ignoring the terms of service for a year two years. I could have been doing any kind of servicing, breaking terms left and right, innocently performing services all over the site that it considered vulgar, indecent, and borderline inconceivable, always on the verge of being caught in the act and sent to Tumblr jail.*

Thankfully, I’ve just been reblogging pictures of Amy Pond, so even if they’ve been unsigned, Tumblr would only be able to arrest me on the grounds of being lonely  too creative.

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The terms of service are the usual long legal document, drier than Nefertiti’s toilet. (They used sand like cats. I know this because of The Egypt Game. This isn’t a joke so much as reaffirming how I know a very vague, tiny amount about several niche things. For posterity’s sake.)

However, to combat boredom and/or ensure anyone actually bothers reading anything while scrolling to the bottom, Tumblr has added little comments here and there, clarifying the terms. I shall go over them now. For, you know, posterity’s sake. Enjoy.

We’re just letting you know, here, that we were recently acquired by Yahoo! Inc. This section also includes an agreement where you’re agreeing to agree to the terms of this agreement.

So let’s begin with the fact that Tumblr knows it’s users. It knows that the average Tumblr user (let’s use, oh I dunno, me for example,) does not want to read miles of boring text that some Yahoo exec tweaked from every other terms of service in the history of agreeing how to use things. No thank you.

As Tumblr grows and improves, we might have to make changes to these Terms of Service. When we do, we’ll let you know. We’re also going to make it a practice to post old versions so it’s easy to see changes/additions/deletions. To see old versions, scroll down to the end of this document.

Transparency. Refreshing like a cold breeze up a see-through dress. I mean. What.

You have to be at least 13 years old to use Tumblr. We’re serious: it’s a hard rule, based on U.S. federal and state legislation. “But I’m, like, 12.9 years old!” you plead. Nope, sorry. If you’re younger than 13, don’t use Tumblr. Ask your parents for a Playstation 4, or try books.

Tumblr’s sassy and I like it. I, as a 13 year old, would have blatantly ignored this rule with a laugh and a made-up birthday (October 28, 1985. Yes, always. I liked to keep it consistent,) but little-me would have appreciated them trying, with the funny ha ha. It’s super cute that they try.

Tumblr is an ever-evolving platform. With new products, services, and features launching all the time, we need flexibility to make changes, impose limits, and occasionally suspend or terminate certain offerings (like features that flop). We can also terminate or suspend any account at any time. That sounds harsh, but we only use that power when we have a reason, as outlined in these Terms of Service, our Privacy Policy, and our Community Guidelines.

Ok, Tumblr, I see your “terminate any account at any time” and raise you the impossibility of keeping up with ever-evolving strings of usernames and followers. Nice try, old friend. Nice. Try.

Don’t do bad things to Tumblr or to other users. Some particularly egregious examples of “bad things” are listed in this section. 

Boring.

It’s really important that the email address associated with your Tumblr account is accurate and up-to-date. If you ever forget your password – or worse, fall victim to a malicious phishing attack – a working email address is often the only way for us to recover your account.

Boring.

You retain ownership you have of any intellectual property you post to Tumblr.

Wow. This is a big one. I didn’t even know you could own things anymore. I figured we had tumbled into a totalitarian communist regime known as the Internet where it owns everything and everyone has an equal ability to pretend he owns something. Yes, this post just got political! No, I’m not going any farther than that.

Something else worth noting: Countless Tumblr blogs have gone on to spawn books, films, albums, brands, and more. Any royalties or reimbursement you get for your creations are, needless to say, entirely yours. It’s your work, and we’re proud to be a part (however small) of what you accomplish.

Say what? This happens? That is rad. Also, makes me feel like the hours I spend on Tumblr aren’t wasted. Those hours are RESEARCH! They’re used for taking great leaps towards the hundreds of books, films, albums, brands, and more, oh, so much more that I’m going to produce! Thank you, pictures of pizza with sunglasses and over 9000 pictures of floral swimsuits. I always knew you would be what drives me to greatness.

An example of what it means to “make all publicly-posted Content available” to a Tumblr partner for distribution or analysis would be licensing the Tumblr “firehose,” a live feed of all public activity on Tumblr, to partners like search engines.

I don’t know why you’re using the word “firehose” and I don’t know why it’s in “quotations” but the mysterious metaphor is sexy and I like your style.

One thing you should consider before posting: When you make something publicly available on the Internet, it becomes practically impossible to take down all copies of it.

I’m looking at you, misspelled tattoo guys. Everyone else posting nudes: yo, if you want to flaunt it, you flaunt it honey child. Ain’t nothing wrong with everyone knowing you’re sexy. (Except maybe your grandma knowing you’re sexy. But let’s be honest, if she’s anything like my grandmother, she is going to be able to get past her email inbox, much less decipher the Dashboard, any. time. soon.

So flaunt that bad thang.

I need to get better at my motivational slang.

Happy Tumblin’, grumbleweeds

W

*I thought long and hard about what could be Tumblr jail. 4chan? Fanfiction.net? Kentucky? I came to no conclusion, but sincere suggestions are welcome. Insincere suggestions are double-welcome, and offered cake.