Friday, December 31, 2010

Stupid/Crazy Kids

50 Cent's Half-Billion $

Washington Post's Dan Charnas gets into the myth of 50 Cent's Vitaminwater investment/partnership that was originally believed to have earned the rapper $400-500 million. Charnas concedes at the end of the article that it was more like $60-100 million, but still makes for a good story.

"It may well have been the biggest deal in hip-hop history, propelling 50 Cent's personal net worth toward a half-billion dollars."

"50 Cent would take a stake in the privately owned company, one that would graduate over time and escalate if the company hit certain numbers. The two entities - 50 Cent on one hand and Glaceau on the other - signed an agreement of mutual confidentiality. Still, word got around that Lighty had negotiated something close to, but not more than, 10 percent of the value of the company."

"In May 2007, the Coca-Cola Company purchased Glaceau for $4.1 billion."


"During these discussions, Lighty and 50 deliberated the attributes of their new product. Oza presented the pair with several flavor options for Formula 50. For Chris Lighty, the choice was simple. Despite the high-minded science of Glaceau, their product was basically a smarter, more upscale, more aspirational version of the ultimate ghetto beverage on which Lighty and 50 had grown up: the "quarter-waters" sold in every bodega, deli and convenience store from Queens to Compton.

The quarter-waters (so named because they once cost 25 cents) were just like the Kool-Aid everybody drank at home. But nobody drank wild flavors like strawberry and kiwi in the 'hood. They drank grape. Formula 50 had to be grape."

Player Defines State of Seattle/Washington

"They say Jake Locker was carved to athletic perfection between the Cascade Range and the Salish Sea. Big, strong and strikingly fast, he was a statewide myth by the time he was a teenager, a high school football force scorching through Friday nights in the farthest reaches of the Pacific Northwest.

By the time he became the quarterback for the University of Washington, he was cast here as nothing less than a savior, a rural kid summoned to the digital city from a place few of his new fans could find on a map, Ferndale, Wash., population 11,000. His father taped drywall for a living. His grandfather worked in a pulp mill for 37 years. Neither of them graduated from college, but Jake would stir the rescue fantasies of an ambitious university and what the Census Bureau has called the nation’s best-educated city.


Seattle is more than generous billionaires and precision composting. It exports airplanes and wine but also wheat and wood. It is still a crossroads, energized by friction between rural and urban, union machinist and transplant techie, immigrant and entrenched. Not far from the rows of bungalows beloved by carbon-conscious New Urbanists, Aurora Avenue, a critical city artery, features stunning views of Mount Rainier — and boarded-up motels.

Yet in the center of it all there has long been a uniting force, the home team. Before the Seahawks or the Mariners or the Sounders soccer team, before Microsoft or Boeing, before the Klondike gold rush or even statehood, there was the University of Washington, founded as the Territorial University of Washington 150 years ago next fall with a single professor and 30 students.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


National Geographic's Photograph of the Year Contest

National Geographic's $10,000 Best Photograph of the Year contest was awarded to Lim Boom Teck of Singapore for the above photo of Indonesia’s Gunung Rinjani volcano eruption.

Below are the category winners for "Places" and"People."

"Chittagong in Bangladesh is the second biggest ship breaking yard in the world, it is a graveyard where ships are taken in from all around the world for their last voyage, to be taken apart."
"Buffalo race, Indonesia"

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Building the New Silk Road

Excerpts from the New York Times - "Building Museums, and a Fresh Arab Identity"


"...leaders also see their construction sprees as part of sweeping efforts to retool their societies for a post-Sept. 11, post-oil world. Their goal is not only to build a more positive image of the Middle East at a time when anti-Islamic sentiment continues to build across Europe and the United States, but also to create a kind of latter-day Silk Road, one on which their countries are powerful cultural and economic hinges between the West and rising powers like India and China."

Planned Museums:

"Here, on a barren island on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi, workers have dug the foundations for three colossal museums: an $800 million Frank Gehry-designed branch of the Guggenheim 12 times the size of its New York flagship; a half-billion-dollar outpost of the Louvre by Jean Nouvel; and a showcase for national history by Foster & Partners, the design for which was unveiled on Thursday. And plans are moving ahead for yet another museum, about maritime history, to be designed by Tadao Ando."

The picture up top is the planned national history museum by Foster & Partners and below are renderings of Jean Nouvel (Guthrie Theatre Minneapolis, MN)'s Louvre and Frank Gehry's Guggenheim.

Water for Elephants, The Tree of Life

Above, is the trailer for the upcoming film adaptation of the best-selling novel Water for Elephants. Starring Christopher Waltz (Inlgorious Basterds), Reese Witherspoon, Robert Pattison and Hal Holbrook, the film is scheduled to be released April 11, 2011.

Below is the trailer for Terrence Malick's long-delayed film, The Tree of Life, starring Brad Pitt and Sean Penn. Scheduled to be released May 27, 2011.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Shigeru Miyamoto - Profile

The New Yorker has profiled acclaimed Japanese Nintendo video game creator Shigeru Miyamoto (Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda) in this week's World Changers Issue (right up there with virus chasers, the Peace Corps and Julian Assange).

"Miyamoto has told variations on the cave story a few times over the years, in order to emphasize the extent to which he was surrounded by nature, as a child, and also to claim his youthful explorations as a source of his aptitude and enthusiasm for inventing and designing video games. The cave has become a misty but indispensable part of his legend, to Miyamoto what the cherry tree was to George Washington, or what LSD is to Steve Jobs..... The cave, certainly, is an occasion for easy irony: the man who has perhaps done more than any other person to entice generations of children to spend their playtime indoors, in front of a video screen, happened to develop his peculiar talent while playing outdoors, at whatever amusements or mischief he could muster."

The Metrodome

28 years old. Building costs $2 million under budget ($68 milllion back in '79-'82). One of the loudest domed venues. The only venue to host an MLB All-Star Game, a Super Bowl, an NCAA Final Four and a World Series.

Just some of the many things you can learn on Wikipedia.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Inception Dream-Layers Map

Inception dream map drawn by writer/director Christopher Nolan.

Too complicated to really spoil the movie for anyone who hasn't seen it yet.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Qatar 2022 World Cup Stadiums

Look pretty awesome. A new area of the world, the Mid East, gets to host the big games. 120 degree summers will be regulated by air conditioned stadiums.

My personal favorite, Doha Port.


Inspire Me Now

The Dark Knight Rises (Batman 3)

Both of Christopher Nolan's first two Batman movies were inspired/loosely based on Batman graphic novels.

The Dark Knight = The Long Halloween

The latest rumors, as reported by Entertainment Weekly, Ain't It Cool News and Slash Film, is that Nolan's last Batman film, 'The Dark Knight Rises' (Batman 3), is inspired by Batman: Prey (1990-1991).

A full plot breakdown of the graphic novel can be found at the wikipedia page (Batman: Prey). While the original print graphic novel can be bought on for $400-600.

"This rumor, however, is one we’ve been hearing for a while. In November, we ran a story speculating that Tom Hardy (Inception) would be playing Dr. Hugo Strange, “a genius, mad scientist who becomes obsessed with Batman, learns his secret identity and ends up dressing up like him,” in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises. One of Strange’s most famous roles is in the Batman: Prey storyline, written by Doug Moench and drawn by Paul Gulacy and Terry Austin from late 1990 to early 1991. It begins with a task force, headed by Commissioner Gordon, assigned to hunt Batman and devolves into Dr. Strange dressing up as, and psychologically toying with, Batman and Bruce Wayne once he figures out his identity. Interesting. Doesn’t Batman become a fugitive to be “hunted” at the end of The Dark Knight?"
Slash Film - ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ Story Revealed? Is it ‘Prey’ with Dr. Hugo Strange?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Cowboys & Aliens - Identity Crisis

Jon Favreau (Iron Man & 2)'s upcoming 'Cowboys & Aliens' is having a tough time genre-lizing itself. The movie, starring Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig and based on a graphic novel, was intended to be “by-the-book, right-down-the-middle western” of the kind once made by Sergio Leone and John Ford, with really scary science fiction, like “Alien” or “Predator;” however, as the below New York Times story describes audiences are laughing.

Nas names "Best Hip-Hop Lyricists"

Nas wrote a playlist naming Hip-Hop's best lyricists for Rolling Stone's most recent themed issue.

"When I said 'hip-hop is dead' a few years ago, I felt we'd gotten away from the great wordplay and storytelling," says Nas. "There's a place for the party shit and a place for the gangster shit. I focus on the guys that are always pushing themselves forward."

1. "My Downfall" - Notorious B.I.G., 1997

The lyrics are about how he's acing the shadows of death, despite all of his success, and he's giving it to you in a way that makes it seem so real.

2. "If My Homie Calls" - 2pac, 1991

He's just saying to his boys that he's going to be a friend no matter how big he gets.

3. "Road To The Riches" - Kool G. Rap & DJ Polo, 1989

The way we're rhyming now? He was already doing it then .

4. "A Bird In The Hand" - Ice Cube, 1991

5. "Paid In Full" - Eric B. & Rakim, 1987

6. "I'm Single" - Lil Wayne, 2010

I'm recently divorced, so I feel what he's saying.

7. "Tears of Joy" - Rick Ross, 2010

Ross is at the pulpit here.

8 "The Moment I Feared" - Slick Rick, 1988

It's cinematic. He's at a hip-hop show and ices this girl who played him, then he's in prison getting violated by some dude. This was unheard of.

9. "Empire State of Mind" - Jay-Z, 2009

This song is huge. It sounds like Broadway. It's New York's modern anthem.

10. "Queen Bitch" - Lil' Kim, 1996

At the time, females rappers didn't appeal to the street, but Kim came with the vulgarity, sexuality and gangster shit.

Monday, November 29, 2010

"Treasure-Trove" of Picasso's discovered

"A retired electrician in southern France who once worked for painter Pablo Picasso says he has hundreds of previously unknown works by the artist — a treasure trove of 271 pieces said to be worth about $80 million."

"the art world was in shock today"

Your Highness

Starring 'Eastbound & Down''s Danny McBride, James Franco, Natalie Portman and Zooey Deschanel.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Baz Luhrmann-directed 'Great Gatsby' to star...

Baz Luhrmann (Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge) is set to direct a new adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic 'The Great Gatsby' starring....

Leonardo Dicaprio as Jay Gatsby
Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan
Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway

The picture above is from Carey Mulligan's November 2nd script reading. The movie is scheduled to film early 2011.

LA Times - Carey Mulligan lands role of Daisy in Baz Luhrmann's 'Great Gatsby'
SlashFilm - Carey Mulligan Cast in Baz Luhrmann’s ‘The Great Gatsby’

Friday, November 12, 2010

Daft Punk - "Derezzed"

First song to be released off Daft Punk's score for Tron Legacy. Album to be released December 7. Movie December 17.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Pogo (electronic musician)

Australian electronic musician Pogo's YouTube created movie/song mixes have garnered millions of page views and recognition of the big movie studios. Disney/Pixar commissioned Pogo, age 22, to make the movie/song mix above for Up.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Oregon Ducks Basketball Court

Designed by Tinker Hatfield (of Air Jordan fame).

"Like the famed blue "Smurf Turf" at Boise State's football stadium, Oregon's forest floor is meant to be an iconic design that will immediately be recognizable to TV viewers nationwide."

"In addition to the most uniform combinations and the most luxurious locker rooms of any school in the nation, Oregon will soon be able to lay claim to the country's most original basketball floor."

Friday, November 5, 2010

FreeDarko's Player Power Rankings

The bloggers responsible for The Macrophenomenal Pro Basketball Almanac and The Undisputed Guide to Pro Basketball History have come up with their list of the "Fifty Most Freedarko Players Right Now."

For reference, check out how they ranked their same list back in '06-'07.

"Don't ask about the method, or who was involved. Just know that, based on a far-reaching survey of FD associates, you have this list to guide you."

1. Kevin Durant
2. Rajon Rondo
3. John Wall
4. Russell Westbrook
5. Amar’e Stoudemire
6. Brandon Jennings
7. Anthony Randolph
8. Carmelo Anthony
9. Kobe Bryant
10. DeMarcus Cousins
11. Josh Smith
12. LeBron James
13. Monta Ellis
14. Gerald Wallace
15. Serge Ibaka
16. Rodrigue Beaubois
17. Tyreke Evans
18. Ron Artest
19. Steve Nash
20. Gilbert Arenas
21. J.R. Smith
22. Nicolas Batum
23. Chris Paul
24. Blake Griffin
25. Lamar Odom
26. Andre Iguodala
27. Stephen Jackson
28. Pau Gasol
29. Dwyane Wade
30. Derrick Rose
31. Andray Blatche
32. Terrence Williams
33. Larry Sanders
34. JaVale McGee
35. Joakim Noah
36. Brandon Roy
37. Francisco Garcia
38. Kevin Garnett
39. Stephen Curry
40. Tyrus Thomas
41. Deron Williams
42. Jrue Holiday
43. Danny Granger
44. Trevor Ariza
45. Ersan Ilyasova
46. Thaddeus Young
47. Amir Johnson
48. Hassan Whiteside
49. J.J. Hickson
50. Paul George

I'm proud to say I have the highlighted players above on my fantasy team.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Boston Celtics Halloween Party

Rajon Rondo, Jermaine O'Neal, Big Baby, Delonte West, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett
Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, ? and Kevin Garnett
Marquis Daniels
Shaquille O'Neal

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Kanye West's 34 Minute Movie

The accompanying movie (filmed in Prague) to Kanye's fifth LP, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (November 22).

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Biutiful (Oscar Hype)

Above is the trailer for Alejandro González Iñárritu‘s fourth film. (Amores Perros, 21 Grams, Babel). Starring Academy Award Winner Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men, Vicky Cristina Barcelona).

According to SlashFilm -

Biutiful is a love story between a father and his children. This is the journey of Uxbal, a conflicted man who struggles to reconcile fatherhood, love, spirituality, crime, guilt and mortality amidst the dangerous underworld of modern Barcelona. His livelihood is earned out of bounds, his sacrifices for his children know no bounds. Like life itself, this is a circular tale that ends where it begins. As fate encircles him and thresholds are crossed, a dim, redemptive road brightens, illuminating the inheritances bestowed from father to child, and the paternal guiding hand that navigates life’s corridors, whether bright, bad – or biutiful.

December 29, 2010

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The New FreeDarko book 10.26.10

FreeDarko's The Undisputed Guide to Pro Basketball History is scheduled to be released October 26th.

The sequel to the amazing - Macrophenomenal Pro Basketball Almanac

Big L & Jay-Z Freestyle 1995

From Nahright's Eskay --

"How’s this for a rare gem. We’ve all heard the legendary, 7 minute, back and forth freestyle session between L and Hov from the February 23, 1995 episode of the The Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito Show on WKCR. Shit, most of us can probably spit it word for word. But unless you were listening or recording that night, you probably haven’t heard this extended, nearly 10 minute version.

Two of the best lyricists of all time. Pay homage:"

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Blue Valentine

Starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine is poised to earn a few Oscar nominations. If the film can overcome its NC-17 rating.

The New Gangs of New York

New York Magazine ( breaks down the modern Gangs of New York City.

"The current criminal underworld is characterized not by the Mafia dons and heroin kings of yesteryear but by a chaotic universe of warring, decentralized ganglets. And the members are less likely to be battle-hardened parolees than “puppies,” adolescent gangbangers who are too young to have a driver’s license but who are committing violent crimes at alarming levels. “A few years ago, you would see kids 19, 20 years old,” says one NYPD veteran who works the gang beat in Harlem. “Now these kids are babies—15, 14—and they are vicious. They will shoot you in a heartbeat and not think twice about it.”"

Sounds like Ze from City of God ?

Banky's Simpsons Intro

An extremely bootleg clip of the Simpsons intro created by the one and only, Banksy, that aired Sunday 10/10/10.

UPDATED: high quality clip

Friday, October 8, 2010

Welcome Back #84

Monday night is the night.

Great have to Randy back.

Nick Swardson's Pretend Time

Nick Swardon's Pretend Time is premiering this coming Tuesday (October 12) 10 pm EST on Comedy Central.

SIDENOTE - Comedian Nick Swardson is a born and raised Minnesotan.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Extreme Carrots

NPR - Extreme Baby Carrots: An Experiment in Marketing

A new campaign is geared toward getting kids to think about carrots as a kind of junk food. Even the packaging is designed to look like it carries junk food.

"Greatest Golf Photo You'll Ever See" - "Tiger Woods gives us the greatest golf photo you'll ever see"

"(Aside: best part of the gallery in this picture? The smiling dude with the cigar on the right side of the frame. He's the only thing about this photo that looks fake.)"

Monday, October 4, 2010

50 Stadiums to See Before You Die - 50 Stadiums to See Before You Die

No Metrodome, Target Center or Target Field??? or Camp Nou?

I've been to 7/50 (not very good).

How about you?

50. American Airlines Arena, Miami
49. Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne
48. DY Patil Stadium, Navi Mumbai, India
47. Arthur Ashe Stadium, Queens
46. Louisville Slugger Field, Louisville
45. Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa
44. Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh
43. TD Bank North Garden, Boston
42. Durham Athletic Park, Durham
41. Estadio Latinoamericano, Havana
40. Gillette Stadium, Foxborough
39. Beaver Stadium, State College
38. Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro
37. Anfield, Liverpool
36. New Meadowlands Stadium, East Rutherford
35. Ohio Stadium, Columbus
34. Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund
33. Harvard Stadium, Boston
33. The Yale Bowl, New Haven
32. Franklin Field, Philadelphia
31. Yankee Stadium, The Bronx
30. Joe Louis Arena, Detroit
29. Hinkle Field House, Indianapolis
28. Talladega Superspeedway, Lincoln
27. Wembley Stadium, London
26. Ben Hill-Griffin Stadium, Gainesville
25. Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles
24. Heinz Field, Pittsburgh
23. San Siro, Milan
22. Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor
21. Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore
20. Madison Square Garden, New York
19. Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans
18. Churchill Downs, Louisville
17. Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, Madrid
16. Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City ("Best BBQ party in existence")
15. Croke Park, Dublin
14. Notre Dame Stadium, South Bend
13. Wrigley Field, Chicago
12. Centre Court at the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club, London
11. Estadio Azteca, Mexico City
10. AT&T Park, San Francisco
9. La Bombonera, Buenos Aires
8. Bell Centre, Montreal
7. Staples Center, Los Angeles
6. Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indianapolis
5. Cameron Indoor Stadium, Durham
4. Cowboys Stadium, Arlington
3. Old Trafford, Manchester
2. Lambeau Field, Green Bay
1. Fenway Park, Boston ("The Cathedral of Boston" - The Town)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Resurgence of Michael Vick

Sean Parker

Seeing 'The Social Network' and reading Vanity Fair's October 2010 feature will give greater significance and context to Sean Parker than the quotes below.

Sean Parker co-founded Napster and was at one time the President of Facebook Inc. (he is played by Justin Timberlake in 'The Social Network')
"I’ve told Sean he may be the long-lost grandson of Howard Hughes—a brilliant entrepreneur who is somehow transforming the United States and yet is not understood by society. Sean is one of the great serial entrepreneurs of his generation, someone who is really changing the world and turning the wheel of history.”
-Peter Thiel (billionaire PayPal c0-founder and CEO)

“Napster and Facebook are two of the most significant companies in the history of the Internet,” says
Matt Cohler, “and in both cases Parker spotted them earlier than anyone—other than the people who invented them.”

"Best Beer in the World"

Delirium Tremens

Named "Best Beer in the World" at the 1998 World Beer Championships

2011 Basketball Shoes

Nike Air Max LeBron VIII

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

True Grit


Daft Punk Tron Soundtrack 11/22/10

Daft Punk Tron Soundtrack set to be released November 22, 2010. (Movie December 17, 2010)

Recorded with "a symphony of one hundred world class musicians in London."

"this thing sounds super epic" - Pitchfork

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Social Network Coming Out Friday

The film is receiving nearly unanimous praise.

"This is the first film I've seen so far in 2010 that deserves my highest rating, 4 stars. It's better than the movie of the year. The Social Network also defines the decade"
-Peter Travers (Rolling Stone)

"Quite possibly the first truly great fact-based movie of the 21st century."
-New York Post

The Social Network's screenwriter Aaron Sorkin (A Few Good Men, The West Wing) was featured in October's W Magazine.

"When the film’s director, David Fincher, read the opening scene, he was struck by its larger resonance. “It was like Citizen Kane meets John Hughes,” Fincher told me.

New Kanye + Lil Wayne

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

U.S. Cities by race and ethnicity

New York City
Los Angeles
Washington, D.C.
Twin Cities

"I was astounded by Bill Rankin's map of Chicago's racial and ethnic divides and wanted to see what other cities looked like mapped the same way. To match his map, Red is ____, Blue is ____, Green is ____, Orange is ______, Gray is Other, and each dot is 25 people. Data from Census 2000."

Can you guess the colors?