Siteseeing: Quick Hits


Here we go with a good old link-blogging post for the first time in too long.

screencap from Audi commercial of Zachary Quinto and Leonard Nimoy [© 2013 Audi of America]

I know it's been making the rounds at, uh, warp speed the past few days, but Zachary Quinto and Leonard Nimoy in Audi's "The Challenge" has at least one moment too priceless not to keep sharing. Note: It is a commercial, so if you have a hard policy against watching such things there's your warning. [2:44; via lots of folks]

Wil Wheaton gave a delightful, spontaneous monologue on "why being a nerd is awesome" last month at the Calgary Comic Expo, in reply to a woman asking on behalf of her young daughter. He's using "nerd" interchangeably with "geek" as many do, although I tend to prefer the distinction of a geek as someone with an intense focus on a particular hobby or fandom (or constellation of same) and a nerd as someone who is a geek to a socially awkward extreme, that is, "nerd" as the overlap of "geek" and "dork". [4:14]

Canadian astronaut Cmdr. Chris Hadfield, who returns to Earth today, yesterday posted a music video for David Bowie's "Space Oddity" shot aboard the International Space Station. He sang and played the guitar up there; the rest of the music and production was handled terrestrially. If I'm being completely honest, I kind-of miss the harmony vocals and I'm a little torn on how he adapted the lyrics to his situation. Then again, I get not wanting to sing about being lost in space when you're due to come home. And I still find the whole thing technically impressive as well as emotionally powerful. [5:31; via Slate, by way of old friend Josh Kolchins]

Adam Blake performed his song "Retrograde" on The Late Show with David Letterman last week, not only beautifully but as the surprise answer to a question of mine. Just a few days before I'd heard a mesmerizing song on WXPN; it sounded like Aaron Neville singing with Bobby McFerrin on backing vocals over some languorously repetitive synthesizers. I totally forgot to Google it up when I got home. Some nerdy geekiness for you: The video for the song that currently plays when you click through to his website above begins with something fiery streaking through the sky. Adam Blake shares his name with the DC Comics superhero Captain Comet, born with astounding mental abilities as a comet passed overhead. [3:40]

Speaking of harmony vocals and mixed feelings, The Sing-Off Season Three champions Pentatonix have released a nifty little a cappella medley called "The Evolution of Music". It covers the last thousand years, although of course it's weighted towards the twentieth and twenty-first centuries — the former has the most songs included but I think the latter wins out on time devoted proportionally. I definitely could've done with less of an event horizon on the very recent stuff, and I'm miffed about some fumbled lyrics (in the age of the Internet, there's no excuse for not knowing that "La Bamba" starts with actual Spanish words rather than "ba-da-ba-da-da"). Half these kids are half my age, though, so I should be glad they even made the effort; plus, bass Avi Kaplan is boss. [4:29; via lots of folks]

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