More Numa Numa Action!

Remember when I talked about Numa Numa guy getting his big break on tv? He’s got a name now and it’s Gary Brolsma. (Well, he always had a name, but now we know it!) Following is a CNET article I found about him and my comments following any paragraphs I feel warrant comment.

Internet fame is cruel mistress for video dancer
02/26/05 | 07:24 AM PST
Jason George

Here is the cautionary tale of a guy from New Jersey who made the grave mistake of uploading a clip of himself lip-syncing.

I guess this solves my question of how the video ended up on the internet. Personally, I think you have to know that if you upload stuff, people could mess with it. It’s a risk I take whenever I post pictures of myself. Fortunately, I’m usually not doing anything funny enough in the pictures to be worth posting all over the internet.

There was a time when embarrassing talents were a purely private matter. If you could sing “The Star Spangled Banner” in the voice of Daffy Duck, no one but your friends and family would ever have to know.
But with the Internet, humiliation–like everything else–has now gone public. Upload a video of yourself playing flute with your nose or dancing in your underwear, and people from Toledo to Turkmenistan can watch.
Here, then, is the cautionary tale of Gary Brolsma, 19, amateur videographer and guy from New Jersey, who made the grave mistake of placing on the Internet a brief clip of himself dancing along to a Romanian pop song. Even in the bathroom mirror, Brolsma’s performance could only be described as earnest but painful.
His story suggests that the quaint days when cultural trinkets, like celebrity sex tapes, were passed around like novels in Soviet Russia are over. It says a little something of the lightning speed at which fame is made these days.

To begin at the beginning:
Brolsma, a pudgy guy from Saddle Brook, made a video of himself this fall performing a lip-synced version of “Dragostea Din Tei,” a Romanian pop tune, which roughly translates to “Love From the Linden Trees.” He not only mouthed the words, he bounced along in what he called the “Numa Numa Dance”–an arm-flailing, eyebrow-cocked performance executed without ever once leaving the chair.
In December, the Web site newgrounds.com, a clearinghouse for online videos and animation, placed a link to Brolsma on its home page and, soon, there was a river of attention. “Good Morning America” came calling and he appeared. CNN and VH1 broadcast the clip. Parodists tried their own Numa Numa dances online. By Friday, the Brolsma rendition of “Love From the Linden Trees” had attracted nearly 2 million hits on the original Web site alone.

Again, this is partially his fault from going on these Tv shows, but I don’t see why he is so embarassed. I haven’t heard anyone say look at this dumb guy. People usually say, look at this crazy guy. And that’s a compliment when you’re trying to be funny, at least I think it is.

It was just as Diane Sawyer said on her television program: “Who knows where this will lead?”
Nowhere, apparently. For, in Brolsma’s case, the river became a flood.
He has now sought refuge from his fame in his family’s small house on a gritty street in Saddle Brook. He has stopped taking phone calls from the news media, including The New York Times. He canceled an appearance on NBC’s “Today.” According to his relatives, he mopes around the house.
What’s worse is that no one seems to understand.
“I said, ‘Gary this is your one chance to be famous – embrace it,'” said Corey Dzielinski, who has known Brolsma since the fifth grade. Gary Brolsma is not the first guy to rocket out of anonymity on a starship of embarrassment. There was William Hung, the Hong Kong-born “American Idol” reject, who sang and danced so poorly he became a household name. There was Ghyslain Raza, the teenage Quebecois, who taped himself in a mock light-saber duel and is now known as the Star Wars Kid.
In July 2003, Raza’s parents went so far as to sue four of his classmates, claiming they had placed the clip of him online without permission. “Ghyslain had to endure and still endures today, harassment and derision,” according to the lawsuit, first reported in The Globe and Mail of Toronto.

Of course the Star Wars Kid is a different case because other people put his stuff on the internet. That’s just mean and a violation of his privacy….even if he did forget to erase his performance off the tape, they needed to have asked his permission to publish it.

Brolsma has no plans to sue, his family said–mainly because he would have to sue himself. In fact, they wish he would bask a little in his celebrity.
“I don’t know what’s wrong with him,” his grandfather, Kalman Telkes, a Hungarian immigrant, said the other day while taking out the trash.
The question remains why two million people would want to watch a doughy guy in glasses wave his arms around online to a Romanian pop song.
“It definitely has to be something different,” said Tom Fulp, president and Webmaster of newgrounds.com. “It’s really time and place.”
“The Numa Numa dance,” he said, sounding impressed. “You see it and you kind of impulsively have to send it to your friends.”
“Make a video and become famous”
There is no way to pinpoint the fancy of the Internet, but in an effort to gauge Brolsma’s allure, the Numa Numa dance was shown to a classroom of eighth graders at Saddle Brook Middle School–the same middle school that he attended, in fact.
The students’ reactions ranged from envious to unimpressed. “That’s stupid,” one of them said. “What else does he do?” a second asked. A third was a bit more generous: “I should make a video and become famous.”
The teacher, Susan Sommer, remembered Brolsma. He was a quiet kid, she said, with a good sense of humor and a flair for technology.
“Whenever there were computer problems, Gary and Corey would fix them for the school,” she said.
His friends say Brolsma has always had a creative side. He used to make satirical Prozac commercials on cassette tapes, for instance. He used to publish a newspaper with print so small you couldn’t read it with the naked eye.
“He was always very out there–he’s always been ambitious,” said Frank Gallo, a former classmate. “And he’s a big guy, but he’s never been ashamed.”
Another friend, Randal Reiman, said: “I’ve heard a lot of people say it’s not that impressive–it doesn’t have talent. But I say, Who cares?”
These days, Brolsma shuttles between the house and his job at Staples, his family said. He is distraught, embarrassed. His grandmother, Margaret Telkes, quoted him as saying, just the other day, “I want this to end.”
And yet the work lives on. Fulp, the Webmaster, continues to receive online homages to the Numa Numa dance. The most recent showed what seemed to be a class of computer students singing in Romanian and, in unison, waving their hands.
Reiman figures the larger world has finally caught on to Gary Brolsma.
“He’s been entertaining us for years,” he said, “so it’s kind of like the rest of the world is realizing that Gary can make you smile.”

There you have it, the story of the Gary Brolsma, the Numa Numa kid.

Enough is enough!

I was trying to pay my Verizon Wireless bill a few weeks ago and it kept having problems. I checked the credit card number, the expiration date, and every other field, but it was still not working. Finally I got fed up enough to call tech support rather than risk being locked out or something. So I gave them a call and the lady says to me, “oh, you’re using Firefox aren’t you?”
“Yes I am” (because I don’t like viruses and other M$ exploits taking over my computer)
“Oh well, I’m sorry, but you can’t use that browser here to pay your bills.”
“What?”
“Oh, don’t worry, our engineers are working on it.”

I was thoroughly ticked off! WTF was this setup M$ had with vendors to purposely make the code so that it wouldn’t work with Firefox? I should be able to use whichever browser I choose to surf the internet.

Then today I tried to watch a clip online in the Windows Media Streaming format and it didn’t work. As soon as I went into my Internet Explorer browser it began to play. Microsoft can’t continue this policy or they will lose in a big way. They are counting on people saying, “I can’t use my browser to view WMVs? I’m going back to IE.” But what people will actually do is get mad at what M$ is trying to do. They are infringing upon our rights to use our computers however we want to use them.

I know they are scared if they actually play nice that people will finally see they are a good software company, but not a great one. However, enough is enough! Users need to be able to use their computers in whatever manner they wish, including using outside browsers.

Two interesting bits of knowledge

First of all, congrats to the WordPress team! In just two weeks they were able to have 50 000 downloads of the blog software this site is running. I HIGHLY recommend them if you have your own server and want to run your own blog.

Second, for those who are used to the format of my old blog where the posts are never ending to the bottom and then you click back to go to the previous posts, this blog software handles things a little differently. You will onlly see on one page (plus clicking back) posts from that month. So, this blog doesn’t only have two posts, it also has a bunch of february posts which can be access by click on “february 2005” under archives.

Yay, It’s March!

Alright, It’s 1 March so it’s time to break out the shorts and tank tops! No? Oh yeah, Ithaca is too far away to get the memo that it’s March so today I looked out and saw all this snow. In fact, it was actively snowing when I looked out the window. When I got in my car to go buy Bambi for my fiancee (it came out on DVD today) and drove to Best Buy, I was taken aback at how beautiful the snow looked. Since it was early in the morning, it hadn’t been soiled by cars driving over it or plows pushing dirty snow around. I resolved to take my camera out with me when I walked to class. It turned out that you just get a very different image from the snow on campus than you do from the snow in the mountain roads leading to the mall. I have decided to include some of the pictures I took today. Enjoy.


Poor seeds...hang on....
These poor seeds remained on the tree through
the whole winter – if they can just wait a few more weeks

Rebel Base on Ice Planet Hoth
Darth Vader, I have found the Rebel Base on
the Ice Planet Hoth. Please don’t make me an admiral…

Ho Plaza
It’s very rare to see something so beautiful and
so depressing at the same time


It’s not a mirage….it never ends

Thanks

I just wanted to say:

Thanks to my family who has been praying for me to get better and a

HUGE thanks to my fiancee who spent all weekend doing everything possible to get me better!

There are few better demonstrations of love than caring for someone when they’re ill.

He’s a dancin’ machine!

Today while talking to my dad about dancing, I realized I really don’t like booty dancing. I mean, I’ve done it before at numerous dances and I’d do it again instead of just sitting around bored, but I just don’t like it. I think it’s too repetitive and, frankly, not creative at all. I don’t know, it just bores me to dance it. Spanish music, on the other hand, I could dance all night long – or until I got tired. I guess I just feel more connected to my partner, for starters. When I’m in the groove I feel like we’re both one organism moving together. We move around seamlessly, without any verbal communication. Additionally, who knows, I may spin her or do another of the hundreds of moves from the dance. It also looks a lot more beautiful. Finally, it’s much more intimate. There aren’t too many social activities that make me feel as close to someone as when we’re dancing a bachata. I feel so connected and that’s why I love it so much.

This is one of the reasons why I don’t go to too many parties on campus. If they have any dance music it’s likely to be hip-hop and I just get bored after about 10 minutes. With Spanish music I could go forever, with a few breaks for water and to rest my feet, that is.

Mario is dead, long live Mario!

This week is National Engineering Week and we’ve been doing some pretty interesting things here at Cornell. For example, whoever could name the most digits to Pi would win a pie. We had a social contraceptive contest to see who could come up with the worst pickup line. But nothing we have done, or will do, here at Cornell, stacks up to what engineers did at this school!. They took a whole bunch of Post-It© notes and created a mural to Mario. I will post some of the pictures here in case their page goes down or is slash-dotted. By the way, if you go to their website you’ll see the reasons for the title of my post.

Mario 1

Mario 2

Mario 3

Another point of view

I have recently had yet another paradigm shift involving my use of the GNU/Linux operation system. Up until now I was treating it like a better, more stable version of Windows. At first I even tried to do everything graphically, shunning away from anyone who told me to use the command line. I figured they were just some diehards who felt that mouse users were below them and considered their advice to be one-sided.

Grugingly I moved to the command line when it was obvious I had to. Up2date, Redhat’s updater at the time of Fedora Core 1 was horrible and always caused my computer to freeze up. I had to go to the terminal and use yum. Yum usage and the little I had learned from my DOS days (how to change directories and other trivial tasks) were all that I did in the command line.

Wireless access on the laptop was the first thing to push me to the command line. Until Fedora Core 3, there wasn’t even a GUI for wireless controls that came bundled. So I was off to the terminal to type in commands to see which wireless routers were available (iwlist scanning) and which I was connected to (iwconfig). From there I began to use it more and more for deleting and moving files around. Sometimes it was just so much more efficient than using the GUI for that stuff.

Recently I neared the completion of my conversion over to the command line when I began launching files from the command line followed by &, allowing me to continue working. I used to think this was just a cool geeky thing to do – launch stuff from the command line while others pointed and clicked away. However, I quickly discovered two advantages. First of all, you don’t have to look through the menus to find the program, just type its name on the command line. If you only knew how much time I wasted sometimes looking for a program in Windows’ Start Menu. Second, by starting a program in the command line, you open up a world of debugging information. Nearly everything you do produces a prompt on the command line. For example, when I started amarok on my slow Pentium 2 machine it gave me this output: “amarok is taking a long time to load. You may want to check if there’s a problem.” If you just started the program from the icon, you’d never see that. It also has the added side effect of geekifying your desktop – if that’s your thing – by having a terminal window open with all this program information flashing by. It looks very “hacker movie.” 😀

Am I ready to completely move to the command line? No, I don’t think that’s a good thing. Too much in any direction is always a bad thing and there are definitely some advantages to doing things in GUIs, epsecially since I’m a visual person. But I have certainly learned the value of the command line and no longer scorn those who recommend it.

drop the bomb productions gets a minor face lift

The website for drop the bomb productions, my indie film studio, has received a minor face lift today. I changed the index page and added some forums for discussion.

For those of you who don’t know, I am into video editing and have created quite a bit of content. The videos currently on the server showcase just a fraction of my work over the past half decade. Of course, I have not added some of my largest productions, including Pao Bhangra, due to current space restrictions on my server. I intend to fix that when I relaunch the server at the end of 2005.

I’ve also got two scripts on the back burner waiting for me to graduate so that I can begin work on them. With luck I can have those scripts turned into my first two movies by 2008 or so. It all depends on how much free time I have and whether I can find some actors. I intend to make the movies freely available online after submitting them to some film festivals, if they come out looking better than an amatuer flick. If not, they will end up being my testbeds.

[1.0] instructions

I’ve decided that from now until I have to shut down my server, I’m going to be blogging with my server’s blog It’s A Binary World 2.0. Amongst other things, it automatically sends to some blog search engines whenever I’ve made a post and has led to 200 visits to my blog so far this month. So, from now on, go there to read my blog until I let you know that I’m going to have to shut down my server temporarily until late 2005.

I’ve made quite a few posts over the last few days so you should have plenty to read.

A few updates and notes

If you go to my main page, you can see where I have added a new section, C code from a class I’m taking this semester. We’re making a lot of really cool designs based upon the Atmel CPU, which is readily available for those who like to tinker. I’ve put up my first project, a reaction time tester. It has the user push a button, waits approximately two seconds plus a random amount to keep the user from guessing, and then displays the user’s reaction time. It also keeps the user from cheating by detecting if they are holding the button down.

I also noticed something today accidentally. In another really awesome aspect of this blogging software, if you leave your mouse hovering over a date in the calendar, it lists the posts made that day. That is really convinient, given a month-long look, for finding a post. Go ahead and try it yourself! I know it works in IE because I tried it in a computer lab and I think it works with Firefox.

Finally, I love comments so don’t be shy. If you have a comment to make, make it.

Youngest Sibling Weekend was awesome

This weekend my youngest brother and my fiancee’s youngest sister (with her best friend) came up to see us at school. It was one of the most fun times I’ve had here at Cornell. I don’t think I have as much fun with too many other people as when I’m with my brothers. We’re usually on fire, just bouncing off each other’s jokes and references.

Eric, Dan, and David
Arranged in birth order and inverse size order

We went to the suspension bridge, a bridge over one of the gorges which happens to have been designed by a Cornell Civil Engineer. I don’t know if it was purposely made to do this, but the bridge shakes as people walk on it. The more people walking or jogging on the bridge, the more resonance. However, supposedly the calulations were done correctly so that the bridge would stay up. David went jumping and galloping along, without any fears. More typical of the first-time walker, Frances was a little hesitant to continue along the bridge when it began to shake. Once we got her on, however, she was joining along in the fun.

Dan and Dave on the suspension bridge
Dave was fearless on the suspension bridge

Saturday we went bowling at the Helen Newman lanes, it was the first time we’d been in such a long time. Most of our friends are usually too busy to bowl. Danielle was impressive at the end with three strikes in a row for her last frame!

Dina bowls
Dina came in second place in bowling

We went to a chimes concert that wasn’t too bad, but was a bit of a dissapointment for Frances. Every song she requested was a duet and there was only one Chimes Master present. It was really cool to hear him play the theme to Disney’s Gummi Bears.

The whole group on the clock tower
We were on top of the world on the clock tower.

I hope we can all get together again in the future. I told Dina and Frances to come for Spring Break…but who wants snow instead of beaches?

Want to subscribe to It’s A Binary World 2.0’s RSS feeds?

What’s RSS? It is a syndication protocal allowing you to get people’s blogs and news websites’ headlines delivered to your email or web browser client so that you don’t need to surf to each and every one of them to read them. You can also save them onto your computer for future reading!

Wow, that sounds great! How do I get It’s A Binary World 2.0 Syndications?
It’s very easy, especially if you are using Mozilla’s Thunderbird. In Thunderbird, simply click on “manage subscriptions” under “news and blogs” and then click add. You want to have the url:

http://www.ericsbinaryworld.com/wp-rss2.php

Don’t forget the http:// or it won’t work, I know if you’re like me the browsers have made you lazy because they don’t require you to type that in.

By the way, if you like not getting viruses or a lot a spam, switch to Thunderbird. You can even check your hotmail accounts if you download some extra plugins.

[1.0] Quotes

“The truth is a hassle” – Mo Rocca

“This is the way I did it and it worked so I didn’t think anymore” – Prof Land

“It’s fun to program in assembler; so manly” – Prof Land

“I majored in the most unmarketable major of all: Sociology.” – Alysha Cryer

More Chrono Trigger Revealed

I wrote a long time ago in It’s A Binary World 1.0 about all of the symbolism in Chrono Trigger. That game was extremely deep for a video game, but Square (now Square-Enix) has been known to have some very intellectual aspects to their games. Before, I spoke of Massamune, the gurus of time, and how certain aspects of the game spoke to racism. This time I uncovered another metaphor in the video game by watching a movie.

Yesterday I saw Constantine. I didn’t know until yesterday that it was based upon comic books. The movie was ok, perhaps 6 out of 10, but I’m not a big fan of movies about the occult. It’s not so much that I find them evil or blasphemous, they’re just not my bag. At any rate, I learned yesterday that, according to occult teachings, Satan has a son. I’ve never heard anything like this at church or even in religous books before. Personally, I find it a bit silly because I think it takes the dichotemy too far. God is good and Satan is evil. God lives above and Satan below. God has a son, so Satan must also? I don’t know, it seems a bit weird to me; a bit too contrived. But I digress…

Apparently Satan’s son is named Mammon. Any devout player of Chrono Trigger such as my brothers and I would have felt something resonate in them upon hearing that name. When I first heard it during the movie I kept trying to remember why that name was familiar to me. At first I thought it had to do with Revalations, but then I remembered that at Gog and Magog. I remained stumped for quite some time. Then it suddenly came to me, Schala was using the Mammon machine to summon forth Lavos’ power. The effect of this on her was to make her evil and, although I haven’t played the game in ages so I can’t remember for sure, demonic. It makes sense now for the machine to be called the Mammon machine because, by summoning Lavos, she was, in effect, summoning forth the son of Satan. It was that event which began the chain of events leading to destruction in 1999, in the game’s timeline.

While I’m at it, I think I wrote about this before, but I can’t remember – it is obviously symbollic that Square chose 1999 as the time for the catastrophic events in the game. I remember even those who didn’t express concern over the year 2000 still having some thoughts in the back of their mind, wondering if 31 Dec 1999 would be their last day. Also, I know there is a creature in the game called a Golem, which I recently found out is a Hebrew mythological creature. Next time I play through the game I’ll have to take notice of what the Golem is and then see how that matches up to the Jewish creature.