Tag Archives: the internets

Retro-Embarassment

Check out this hilarious video from viral site Everything is Terrible! We love it for two reasons: 1) reminding us why 90’s fashion shouldn’t come back; and 2) making us cringe from embarassment…over the internet.

-MK

Contact the author at mksmogger@gmail.com.

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Tackle Traveling

While Americans may be more culturally, technologically, and politically splintered than ever, there are a couple things almost every American agrees upon – terrorists are bad, Lady Gaga is strange, and traveling sucks. The first too are probably going to be with us for a while, so we should just get used to them. But traveling? There are steps you can take to make it much less painful. Here are some of our recommendations.

Take a trip. via Flickr

airportdining.net – Although airplane food has actually improved over the past few years, $5.00 for a box with crackers and some craisins is hardly a value. Instead, picking up food in the airport is always the way to go…but’s always a gamble. Do you take the mediocre options at the beginning of the terminal (Manchu Wok, Freshens, etc.) or do you risk it and hope there will be better options closer to your gate (CPK ASAP, Wolfgang Puck Express, etc.)? Well,  you no longer have to guess. Airportdining.net maps out terminals for you, allowing you to plan out your dining before you even check in. Now, if they can just do something about having to go to the bathroom on the flight…

seatguru.com – There’s a lot of strategy to picking the best seat on a plane – maximizing leg room, ensuring proper distance to a TV, staying away from the engine, etc. Seatguru.com can help you pick the best seat from your available options by using a simple color-coded guide. However, even though you may get the best seat on the plane, you’ll still be at the whim of rogue threats that you can’t control. Crying babies and obese people are menaces that even technology hasn’t been able to stop.

bookingbuddy.com – Although it’s basically just a newer version of kayak.com, this site is a little easier to use. Search multiple airlines and hotels all at once to try to save money – even though you’ll probably still end up spending a bundle no matter what.

trekamerica.com – Remember going abroad? Well, your college days may be gone, but you can still travel like you once did. Trek America will help you put together a customizable travel package for you, based on your trip length, preferred destination, and budget. Who needs Ibiza when you have Vegas, anyway?

tripit.com – For those of us who haven’t “made it” yet – and don’t have an assistant to book their travel, this site will be your virtual subordinate for you. Simply set up an account, send your hotel, flight, and any other confirmation emails you’ve received, and TripIt will put together a full itinerary for you, including weather details, entertainment ideas, and suggestions for to make your travel simpler.

worldsbestbars.com – Once you have all the details set, it’s time to let loose. This one should be pretty self-explanatory.

-MK

Contact the author at mksmogger@gmail.com.

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Why I Want to Quit Facebook

For a long time, many of my friends and family have complained about my addiction to my Blackberry. Yes, I know it’s bad…but with email, texting, bbming, and more forms of e-communication being created each day, it’s unlikely that I’ll be able to quit it any time soon. Facebook, however, is getting dangerously close to being cut off.

1984? Try 2010. via Flickr

When I joined Facebook, the site was a small online community for wannabe-elitists from a handful of “good schools.” Since I enjoy feeling like I have friends, I’m glad its become open to everyone, but recently it’s taken a serious turn for the worse. Each day seems to bring a new frightening report about the growing lack of privacy on the site (and overwhelming sense that Facebook cares more about its profit line than what it shares about you).

With all of this news, I think it’s time to end our 6-year relationship. It’s not you, it’s me. Actually, it’s neither of us. It’s the email I got from a girl moving into my apartment complex that said the first thing that popped up on Google when she searched for the apartment was my Facebook profile. Yeah- privacy my ass.

In a related note, Mark Zuckerburg’s recent tirade makes me feel great that people are trusting him with their phone numbers, addresses, birth dates, and other personal information. He seems like a really great guy!

-MK

Contact the author at mksmogger@gmail.com.

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Find Your Niche

The internet is a crazy place. In the late 1990’s, stumbling upon strange fan-created GeoCities or Lycos pages for the Beatles or original seasons of the Power Rangers was about as weird as it got. Since then, a lot more people have come online – and the Internet has come a long, strange way. If Perez Hilton revolutionized the blog as a means to build a community (for gossip), check out what the sites below have created communities for…

He's basically the "Lindsay" of Dealbreaker. via Flickr

Inhabitat – Being green has gone from being a political statement to an accepted, elitist way of life. To keep up on all the latest eco-friendly trends (What? How didn’t you know hemp is all the rage this season for baby blankets?), check out Inhabitat – the site for eco-fashion, earth friendly design, and green living in general.

Art Observed– While it may have shrunk during the Great Recession, the art community has managed to survive and paint another day. Art Observed records the latest in artistic trends, auction results, gallery events, and other art-centric news. If you think you’ve been a little too low-brow lately, AO will give you just the boost of culture you’ll need keep your hipster cred.

Above the Law – One of my friends who goes to the University of Chicago’s law school showed me this one. She was once a crazy party girl who would go out almost every day of the week. Today, she spends her days consumed by studying in the library. To understand how this transformation took place, check out this site for fans of the law – yes, people like this exist.

Dealbreaker – Just like Above the Law, Dealbreaker serves a very niche, elite, community – the Wall Street crowd. Day traders, bankers, financial analysts, whatever – they all love two things: money and themselves – and this site gossips about both in typical greedy excess.

Going Concern – Yes, law students are nerdy. And yes, financial experts are slimy. But accountants and CFOs? Well, they’re both. And they mange to heighten both nerdiness and greed to a new level in this blog – written by them and for them. This makes me seriously miss the days of low-tech GeoCities sites…

If someone can find blogs for plumbers, electricians, or waiters, I’d love to see them. Somehow, I think they’d be more interesting than listening to accountants, lawyers, and analysts. So much for being “high brow”…

-MK

Contact the author at mksmogger@gmail.com.

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Have It Your Way

Attention: all you struggling graphic designers and artists out there- your prayers have been answered. Tons of new customizable and do-it-yourself shopping sites are popping up all over the internet. One of the most exciting trends? Allowing users to post their artwork and giving them a small cut of the profit when others buy their designs. 

Is that Charlie? via Threadless

 

Threadless – Probably our favorite of these sites is Threadless,  which allows you to pick from thousands of unique designs (most drawing from pop culture sensations like Lost, Conan, The Dark Knight, etc.). You can also sign up for their t-shirt of the month club, submit designs and win prizes, and compete with others on the site in designing competitions. 

Dreaming of a world with no fashion victims. via ThreadBanger

 

Threadbanger – You can’t technically buy things from Threadbanger, but they will teach you how to make anything you could ever want. Threadbanger is more of mini TV network, focusing on videos that tell viewers about do-it-yourself fashion. If you’re artistically inclined, this could be a great source of ideas. On the other hand, if you can’t thread a needle…this may not be the site for you. 

Take a shot at looking at this site. via DesignByHumans

Design by Humans – I’m not going to lie – I wouldn’t be caught dead in half of the items featured on this site. However, with that disclaimer, if you surf through the insane variety of designs offered (all by different artists), there are some really interesting and inspired gems. A lot of their images are way too bold for my taste, but they could make some excellent conversation starters. 

The one thing you should always keep in mind about do-it-yourself fashion? If someone tells you that you look bad, you have no one blame but yourself. 

-MK 

Contact the author at mksmogger@gmail.com

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We Only Report the News…

Like The New Yorker, NPR is one of those things that you tell people you like in order to impress them and make them think you’re smarter than you really are. While I do occasionally listen to NPR, it’s typically because I accidentally hit the wrong buttons when trying to flip between KIIS FM and AMP Radio. On top of that, I’m not going to lie to you…I only have it programmed in my car so that anyone else who rides in it will think I have more brain cells than the minimum needed to analyze the lyrics of “Ridin’ Solo” (no offense to Jason Derulo- it’s really catchy!). The main reason I have a hard time listening to NPR? It’s not the stories (which are fairly interesting), but the way they are delivered. Dull and montone – they are almost enough to put me to sleep…on a Thursday afternoon…on the 405.

So, when I first watched this video put together by NPR’s team, I was shocked. Sure, the dancing is off, and the movement is horribly, horribly uncomfortable and awkward – but it made me want to tune in and give the station a second chance. Maybe they should start playing GaGa in between stories about the secret ways to order a Big Mac and the undoubtedly-crazy history of Yoga.

-MK

Contact the author at mksmogger@gmail.com.

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Smogger’s Guide to Spotting Celebrities in LA

Inevitably, the first question most tourists ask once they arrive in Los Angeles is the way-overly-cliche “Where do I see celebrities?” Like other questions about the weather, the traffic, or the accuracy of Clueless, it’s just one of those things you have to put up with living in the City of Angels. I know, it’s a tough life. So, what’s the best answer to that age-old question about spotting a star out in the streets of LA? Well, just like spotting lions in Africa, it’s all about the hunt – and staking out your unsuspecting targets.

Buyer beware. via Flickr

Unfortunately, Southern California’s natural climate may make it hard to find rain forests or watering holes. However, lucky for you, the city does have plenty of unnatural watering holes. The natives like to call these places “bars” or “restaurants,” and some good ones for star-sighting include The Ivy (the classic pick), Mr. Chow, CUT by Wolfgang Puck, or any of the locations featured on The Hills (but don’t go the week after they’ve aired on TV – only losers do that).

She knew they'd be there. via Flickr

Ok. So now you’ve maxed out your credit card on $15 cosmos and uneaten entrees (anorexia – it’s all a part of camouflaging into the LA scenery), and you still havent’ seen a single star. Well, at this point you have to get more creative. If you happen to follow Kim Kardashian or Paris Hilton on Twitter, then you’ll easily be able to track them down since they don’t go 15 minutes without telling the world what they’re doing. So, how do you track down other celebs?

Try the Reality Star route – many can be found in their normal surroundings if you take time to seek them out. Tom Colicchio from Top Chef? Try Craft. Susan Feniger from Top Chef Masters? Try Street. Stacie “The Bartender” from The Hills? The Dime. If you want to get super crazy, set up a check-in with dermatologist Dr. Will Kirby (winner of Big Brother 2) or arrange a session at Tru Yoga in Santa Monica with Aras Baskauskas (winner of Survivor: Panama).

The only thing that can keep me away from Cafe Vida. via Zimbio

If all of those fail, there’s one last-ditch effort you can try. Grab a suit, tie, or heels and skirt, and camp out at the Coffee Bean at 2000 Avenue of the Stars in Century City. With mega-agencies CAA, ICM, and major networks all located within the surrounding area, you’ll be sure to see someone. Just make sure you shout into your cell phone at an imaginary assistant or complain loudly about getting more of the backend, and you’ll fit in great.

-MK

Contact the author at mksmogger@gmail.com.

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