Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Where did all the interesting websites go?

Google’s Blogger used to spotlight interesting blogs on its platform with a feature called Blogs of Note. But it quit that feature in 2012.
The Huffington Post used to have a weekly article titled “7 Sites You Should Be Wasting Time on Right Now.” But it ended that feature in June 2014.
Internet users have shifted from blogs to social media to share fun and interesting ideas and media. Lovingly curated blogs devoted to a single topic have given way to quick hit funnies and notes on Reddit, Twitter and elsewhere online.
In the seven years I’ve been writing Tech-media-tainment, I’ve spotlighted over 250 cool websites. But lately they’ve become fewer and far between.
Early on there were a lot of Blogger blogs highlighted on TMT. Then Tumblr was a popular place to create blogs (before it became a heavy-handed DMCA tool and a vast wasteland for TV show GIFs, lame quotes and cat photos).
Now it’s hard for me to find interesting websites, especially those devoted to pop culture and Internet curation.
It’s been almost a year since I last posted a collection of 25 interesting blogs.
What follows are a few interesting websites that I’ve been meaning to spotlight.

The Meta Picture

The Meta Picture is an old-fashioned photo blog with funny memes, comics and inspirational messages.
The quality is hit-and-miss, but the blog posts a lot of material. It’s worth checking out for grins every now and then.
See sample photos above.


Professional violinist Mia Matsumiya created an Instagram account, Perv_magnet, to document all the rude come-ons and misogynistic comments she gets online.
Matsumiya describes herself as a “perv magnet.”
“I’ve archived 1,000+ messages from creeps, weirdos and fetishists over the past 10 years,” she says in her bio. “I’ve decided to post them all.”
(See article by the Huffington Post.)

Couple Pictures 2015

Last fall, Nicole Larson of Alberta, Canada, made a lot of people chuckle by posting a parody engagement photo album on Facebook.
She posed with a Pizza Hut box in a series of outdoor photos for a collection called Couple Pictures 2015.
“I wanted to do a spoof of other couples pictures because I am single and in my opinion pizza never lets you down,” Larson told the Huffington Post.


Russian artist Svetlana Petrova likes to add her large ginger tabby into classic works of art. She posts the works on her website FatCatArt.
She has since branched out into FatCatArt calendars and a book.
(See article by the Daily Mail.)


Toronto-based electronic musician Brian Borcherdt took some old Chipmunks records and rerecorded them on a suitcase record player at 16 RPM.
The result, a SoundCloud account called Chipmunkson16speed, is “both brilliant and terrifying,” the A.V. Club said. The chirpy pop records now sound like dirge metal tracks. My favorite is the cover of Blondie’s “Call Me.”

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Mexico loves bikini football

Mexico has embraced American football.
Not NFL-style football, but women’s bikini and lingerie football.
While the U.S.-based Legends Football League, formerly the Lingerie Football League, has discussed expanding to Latin and South America, it has yet to do so.
Meanwhile, entrepreneurs south of the border have fielded teams of women to play tackle football in skimpy clothing.
I count at least five such women’s football leagues: Liga Iberoamericana de Bikini Football, Caribbean Football League, Bikini Football Mexico, the Pretty Girls Football League and the Women’s Football League.
Liga Iberoamericana de Bikini Football (LIBF) has 12 teams across two divisions: Diamante (diamond) and Oro (gold).
The Caribbean Football League (CFL) is based in Cancun and has six teams.
Pretty Girls Football League (PGFL) has 15 teams. Women’s Football League has 16 teams. A notice on its website says the PGFL plans to merge with the WFL this year.
The notice in Spanish says, “La posibile fusion con WFL en el 2016 es casi un hecho.” That translates to: “The possible fusion with WFL in 2016 is almost certain.”
PGFL goes on to say that the merger will “follow the footsteps” of the NFL in its “early fusion.” That refers to the merger of the AFL into the NFL in 1970.
Bikini Football Mexico has six teams.
Another league, Liga Mexicana de Football Lingerie, appears to be no longer active.

Related articles:

Here's A Whole League Of Bikini-Clad Girls Playing Football! (Latin Times; Aug. 14, 2014)

Female footballers sizzle in bikinis on-field (Mid-day)

Photos: Players from Liga Iberoamericana de Bikini Football (LIBF photos).

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Larry Flynt’s Hustler sticks it to the Republican Party with new porn parody

Smut peddler and First Amendment champion Larry Flynt has no love for the conservative wing of the Republican Party.
His Hustler porn studio frequently targets politicians in its movies, but seems to go after family values-preaching Republicans with extra vigor.
Hustler has done six Sarah Palin porn parodies vs. two Barack Obama porn parodies to date.
Last May, Flynt endorsed Hillary Clinton for president.
Less than a week before the Iowa caucuses, the first electoral event of the presidential campaign, Hustler released “Republican Candidate Wife Swap.” (The Iowa caucuses are Monday.)
The porn movie features portrayals of Republican politicians Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie and Rick Santorum, as well as Fox News talker Megyn Kelly.
The movie comes with the following disclaimer: “This is a parody movie featuring a fantasized version of certain political figures and celebrities, and should not be taken seriously.”
The actors likely don’t spend much time discussing the issues of importance in the 2016 presidential race.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Is there a porn app for that?

Ever since the launch of the first video cassette recorders, the adult entertainment industry has stayed on the cutting edge of consumer technology.
The VCR allowed consumers (ok, men) to watch porn at home instead of going to a XXX movie theater or adult bookstore. It created a boom in the porn industry and helped to spur adoption of home video more broadly.
The porn industry also gets credit for jump-starting the commercial Internet by providing a killer app for going online: dirty pictures and videos. And it pioneered in e-commerce by taking online payments.
Earlier this month in Las Vegas at the CES trade show, still known to many by its old name the Consumer Electronics Show, virtual reality was a huge topic of interest. Commercial headsets from Samsung, Oculus, Sony and HTC are just starting to hit the market.
While Hollywood tries to decide what kind of content to make for VR goggles, at least one major adult studio, Naughty America, is already making VR porn. It was at CES demonstrating its VR offerings at a hotel near the convention.
It’s a running joke in the consumer electronics industry that when a new technology emerges the porn industry will be one of the early adopters. New technology? What’s the porn app for that?
That was the case with high-definition video, 3D video and now 4K ultra high definition video. It also was true with apps and online video streaming for smartphones and tablets.
Late-night TBS talk-show “Conan” even made fun of the pornification of technology in a comedy sketch. In a parody of ABC’s “Shark Tank,” the judges are only interested in whether they can have sex with the product.
For a history of how adult entertainment has shaped the technology industry and vice versa, check out “5 Ways Porn Created the Modern World” by Cracked, “8 Ways Porn Influenced Technology” by Thrillist, and “In the tech world, porn quietly leads the way” by CNN.
Let’s look at some recent technologies and see if there are porn applications for them.

Virtual reality

Before the first true virtual-reality goggles even hit the market, adult movie studios were making VR porn for do-it-yourself Google Cardboard smartphone headsets. They ramped up their efforts after Samsung’s smartphone-based, Oculus-powered Gear VR hit the market.
Up next are high-definition virtual reality goggles from Sony, HTC and Facebook-owned Oculus.
Prominent virtual reality porn providers include Naughty America and BaDoink. (See article at Investors.com)

Google Glass

When Google Glass was seen as the next big thing, some porn makers rushed to be the first to shoot video with the smart eyewear. Google Glass provides a small eye-level display and a forward-looking camera.
In July 2013, adult film actors James Deen and Andy San Dimas filmed a point-of-view porn movie using Google Glass for MiKandi and XBiz. (See article by XBiz.)

3D printing

When consumer 3D printers arrived on the scene, people wondered what anyone would want to make with them.
Well, the sex products industry came up with an answer: 3D-printed dildos and other sex toys.
(See article by XBiz.)


When small unmanned aerial systems, aka drones, started to become popular as flying cameras, Brooklyn film studio Ghost + Cow Films shot what it said was the world’s first drone porn. The movie, called “Drone Boning,” was released in November 2014.
(See articles by The Cut and AVN.)


Wearable devices like fitness trackers (Fitbit) and smartwatches (Apple Watch) are becoming a big new category of consumer electronics.
Of course, some entrepreneurs see wearable devices as a way to track sexual activity and performance.
Spanish smartphone maker Geeksphone last year came out with a fitness tracker bracelet called GeeksMe, which includes a sex tracker. (See article by TechCrunch.)
And a firm called Lovely launched an unsuccessful crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to make a smart sex toy designed to worn at the base of the penis during sex. It tracks performance and provides additional stimulation through vibration. (See article by the Huffington Post.)


When messaging app Snapchat introduced a feature called Snapcash, porn found an application for it. Snapcash allows people to send money using payments service Square.
“Strippers and porn stars have started to use Snapchat to send videos and photos of themselves naked for a small fee,” New York Times writer Nick Bilton said in a Feb. 25, 2015, article. “Some transactions are as inexpensive as $1 to $5 for a few personalized photos. The prices can reach double digits for personalized sex shows.”
In the world of social media, porn stars also have found a home on Twitter and Tumblr.
And in terms of payments, online porn companies were early adopters of the cryptocurrency bitcoin.


Some erotic product companies want to take virtual reality to the next level by adding a physical stimulation component to the visual one.
Masturbatory aid purveyors are making robotic sleeves than that imitate the sensation of oral, vaginal and anal sex for men.
(See articles by XBiz, the Huffington Post, AVN and BuzzFeed.)
Can humanoid sex robots be far behind?

Photos: Promotional art for Naughty America’s VR videos; Conan O’Brien jokes about drone porn.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

A record 12 post-apocalyptic TV series currently airing

A record 12 post-apocalyptic themed TV series are currently airing on U.S. television networks. And it could soon be 13.
A good argument could be made that pop culture mirrors the present collective mindset of the populace. People have a pretty gloomy take on the world right now. The global economy is sputtering, the Middle East is war torn, Europe is being flooded with refugees, and the U.S. is mired in political conflict.
Since President Barack Obama took office in January 2009, 19 post-apocalyptic TV shows have premiered. (It’s 20 if you count “You, Me and the Apocalypse,” which premieres Thursday on NBC. That show begins with a pre-apocalyptic scenario that could go post-apocalyptic.)
During the two terms of his predecessor, President George W. Bush, two post-apocalyptic shows premiered in the U.S.
The popularity of such end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it type shows brings out the dime store psychiatrist in me.
Maybe it’s cathartic to watch characters surviving under the worst situations imaginable. Viewers can always tell themselves that at least they’re not THAT bad off.
Apocalyptic events in TV shows currently airing include zombie uprisings (“The Walking Dead,” “Fear the Walking Dead” and “Z Nation”), alien invasion (“Colony”), biblical rapture (“The Leftovers”), viral pandemics (“The Last Ship,” “The Last Man on Earth” and “12 Monkeys”), animal uprising (“Zoo”), and war (“The 100,” “Into the Badlands” and “The Shannara Chronicles.”)
“You, Me and the Apocalypse” will bring a seventh apocalyptic scenario. The comedy takes place in the last days of mankind as a comet is on a collision course with Earth.
Is that comet a metaphor for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton becoming the next president of the United States?

Photos: Promotional artwork for season three of “The 100,” the midseason premiere of season six of “The Walking Dead,” and the premiere of “You, Me and Apocalypse.” 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

2016 predictions: From politics to entertainment

The year 2016 has just gotten started. But one thing that’s basically finished is making year-ahead predictions.
Here’s a roundup of the 11 articles I did on the subject for Tech-media-tainment.

Ballsy tech industry predictions for 2016 (Dec. 31, 2015)

A year from now Hillary Clinton could be president-elect or in jail (Dec. 31, 2015)

Fingers crossed for Alzheimer’s breakthrough in 2016 (Dec. 31, 2015)

Hit “Star Wars” movie could lead to popular baby names (Jan. 1, 2016)

Entertainment predictions: Final season for ‘Walking Dead’ announced and more (Jan. 1, 2016)

Top 20 celebrities predicted to die in 2016 (Jan. 1, 2016)

2016: The year we drink our meals (Jan. 2, 2016)

Psychic predictions for 2016: celebrity breakups, babies and deaths (Jan. 2, 2016)

Late predictions for 2016: Obama becomes a dictator, Europe overrun with terrorists (Jan. 23, 2016)

Cuba the hot travel destination for 2016 (Jan. 24, 2016)

Marijuana legalization movement seen growing like a weed in 2016 (Jan. 25, 2016)

Photos: Mad magazine covers featuring 2016 presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Marijuana legalization movement seen growing like a weed in 2016

The marijuana legalization movement is expected to pick up steam in 2016.
Forbes contributor Debra Borchardt says 2016 will be a “big year” for legal marijuana.
“2015 was a pretty amazing year for progress in the legalization of marijuana. Four states and the District of Columbia legalized recreational marijuana, many states decriminalized it and several more states approved medical marijuana. But for all the advances made in 2015, the year was just a run up to 2016, when the presidential election is expected to be accompanied by a ramp up in legalization,” she said.
Fortune predicted last month that six more states will legalization weed in 2016.
“Initiatives to land marijuana legalization on 2016 ballots are well underway in Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Nevada, while a handful of other states could also put legalization to a vote,” Fortune.com writer Tom Huddleston Jr. wrote.
They hope to join Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington state and D.C., which have already legalized marijuana.
Leafly, an online cannabis information resource, said Nevada is almost a sure bet to legalize weed this year. It also said the odds favor legalization in California and Maine because of their strong medical marijuana programs.
Based on T-shirts and knick-knacks I saw for sale in Las Vegas earlier this month, I’d say businesses there are generally in favor of legalizing cannabis. And hotels like the Excalibur are making sure non-smoking rooms also prohibit pot smoking.

Photos from gift shop and non-smoking hotel room at the Excalibur Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas in January. (Photos by Patrick Seitz)

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