Monday, February 15, 2010


questions/controversies this video inspired
wait, how do you pronounce Kushan? In the Κανηϸκι video you kept saying Kush-un, and here you are saying Kush-an. Which is it?
it's pronounced phonetically. I was just saying it that way so I could make the joke, "more Kushan for the pushin." I apologize for misinforming everyone, especially since most folks prolly didn't realize I was pronouncing it incorrectly on purpose. Still though, the expansion of the Kushan Empire = "more Kushan for the pushin" is hilarious. And then this picture !!!!! I am too funny! Seriously though, my bad for the confusion

why didn't you mention anything 'bout him marrying a Xiongnu girl?
because it is completely irrelevant. Doesn't really matter how many wives or concubines or whatever anyone had. Or if they preferred dudes or lil' boys. What folks do in their bedrooms is their own business and really has nothing to do with them being awesome. Unless of course there was some funny harem-related drama or dude fathered 110 kids or something, in which case it totally adds to their awesomeness

the Huns were Mongolian?
just a rumor, but a pretty darn good one. And since no one has got anything better, it's kinda the default "no one knows who they were, but they might've been the Xiongnu." Plus everyone was intermarrying and had like 10 wives and their stories were only written by their victims who most likely embellished and imagined everything anyways

wait, what is so awesome 'bout 張騫? Isn't he basically just Christopher Columbus? The first Chinese guy to "discover" the west? If he wouldn't have, someone else would've within the next few decades/centuries
that's actually a very good question. Usually I just get stupid ones. Last week someone asked me 'bout an Orlando Bloom movie. At first I was going to answer you here, but decided to go back and incorporate my response into the final paragraph of the youtube. The final paragraph before the epilogue that is. That epilogue ending was just too cool to change


for some reason I prefer watching other people's youtubes 'bout dude after I've already published mine. Makes me feel like their peer and not someone trying to mooch ideas/pictures. I think Best Non-ADW Youtube will become a regular feature of the column

this week's winner is easy. You know the video is going to be fabulous when its description is "History of Chona goes back 5000 years"


had a lil' bit of trouble settling upon his official ADW pic. This was the one I was going to use:

he is all ugly and dumpy and cute. Too small though, and it didn't blow up well so anyone who was watching the youtube in full screen mode wouldn've just seen some pixels. Plus his silly hat didn't completely fit in the frame. There are some statues of him, but they are either generic and lacking in personality or depict him as some type of great military conqueror, whereas I want him to be more of an Indiana Jones/Cap'n Kirk type[1]. This one is kind of a cool lonely cowboy far from home shot, but is totally lacking in swagger:

and this one is just not all at awesome

went with him as a charismatic bad-ass, and decided to include the horse since the fear in its eye juxtaposed with 張騫's calm arrogance adds so much to the effect. Napoléon had the same horse, but he just comes across as effeminate

speaking of dudes who look awful in their iconic picture of them on a horse, check out Alexander the Great:

when it is really small it looks ok, but the more you zoom in the worse it gets

that is horrible. I am shocked and appalled that there ain't some better pictures of him on the google images. His ADW pic has him wearing a lion's head as a hat. Pretty damn cool:

the full statue with his horse trampling one dude and him 'bout to mash this other guy is good stuff too:

suppose I coulda used one of his shampoo commercial busts, but dude deserves a totally thugged out ADW, especially because lately his homosexuality or pedophilia or whatever has kinda overshadowed some of his awesomeness. Genghis Khan can have an unintimidating pic because his reputation precedes him. That he looks like some mild-mannered guy on a bus almost makes him even more awesome:

Μέγας Ἀλέξανδρος, however needs the emphasis to be placed upon his conquering and slaughtering and subjugating and ass-kicking. It wasn't for his sexual prowess that he is known as "the Great"

. . .

these past few ADWs I've had to completely rerecorded the audio. Nezahualcóyotl mighta come out on the first take, but seems like lately there have been lots of rewrites and changes made after the initial recording and editing. Like I'll finish and then go back and do it again. That sucks. I like doing it and having it be done. Unfortunately, now I've evolved to the point where I like it to be done well. Coupla months ago I woulda just uploaded anything to the youtube and been done with it. The fun is in learning 'bout dude and his era or field of expertise and then writing a humorous summary of his accomplishments and setting it to pictures. That is a lot of fun. Having an idea and then finding a google images picture that matches it perfectly. Me giggling as I watch my youtube is more reminding myself of how much fun I had than anything else

now, much as I still enjoy all the creativity, the end result is also important to me. Suppose earlier it was also more a matter of churning out a dude a week as well, wheres now I opt for quality over a consistent quantity. The video you see here is the good one, but I also uploaded the draft one. Put a whole bunch of notes on the description too, not that I think anyone really cares, but I reckon it doesn't hurt to document the process. Kinda like the director's commentary on the deleted scenes portion of the DVD


[1]um . . . 張騫 left on his mission when he was 57 and didn't return until he was 70. Isn't that a bit older than Indiana Jones or Cap'n Kirk?
stupid questions are supposed to go in the intro, not the footnotes. Plus Indiana Jones was 58 in that horrible Shia LaBouef meets Jar-Jar Binks nuke the fridge movie. And was played by a 66 year old Harrison Ford. Cap'n Kirk was 60 in the Generations movie played by a 63 year old William Shatner. So shut up

Monday, February 8, 2010

Barbaros Hayreddin Paşa

questions/controvercies this video inspired
how is he responsible for Columbus and Vasco Da Gama and them if he didn't even start being a pirate until years after they left on their voyages?
shut up. Europeans couldn't use the Mediteranian for trade due to piracy. He was the #1 pirate of all time. Maybe Columbus and Vasco Da Gama and them knew what was good for them and pre-emptively starting seeking alternate routes to Asia

um . . . the Knights Hospitaller provided medical care to pilgrims in the Holy Land. Hospitaller = Hospital. They weren't pirates or mercenaries
ok, and the Ku Klux Klan were merely a non-profit organization advocating the rights of a marginalized group victimized by the occupying government. You're an idiot

wasn't the Geoffrey Rush character Captain Barbossa from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies based on him?
no, shut up

um . . . those don't look like Andalusians in the thumbnail pic. You sure those are Muslims fleeing Spain?
ha ha ha, you got me. Those are Rohingya refugees who were denied entry into Thailand. The other google image results for "boat people" were Vietnamese or Hatian or (even you have your SafeSearch set to "Strict") topless ladies with unnaturally large breats. Still though, persecuted Muslims in an old-timey looking boat fleeing an oppressive government (Myanmar) is totally applicable to how dude and his brother got their nickname


looked up how to pronounce the Turkish alphabet so I could try to get his name right, but kinda surprised that of all the youtubes folks have made 'bout him no one talks. Mostly just music and pictures and text. I like this one the best

at 5:33, this is by far the longest youtube yet. It also has over 100 images, another record. Originally this one was going to be a rush job, as I had internet drama for a few days and really wanted to get in a January ADW. Coulda cranked it out and together with the year in review one woulda had me 2 blogs for the month. Instead decided to take my time and just let it get finished when it got finished. I have a lot of fun researching and writing these (not so much fun the editing) and seemed a pity to waste the joy stressing 'bout a self-imposed deadline. My stats can be skewed, I don't care

missing my deadline meant I stopped caring and it wound up taking me an entire week ere I finally got around to finishing it. Originally was too lazy to even rerecord the poor audio, but for whatever reason whenever I tried to save it (publish movie), it kept skipping the first half of sentences. So I rerecorded the entire thing. Bleah. I want an intern or somebody. Labor here in India is cheap, see if I can't get me someone to edit and do all the annoying tedious tasks for me

. . .

most everything I found relating to him read just like the wikipedia article, but apparently there is someone else out there doing what I do albeit in blog form and with an emphasis on violence. My Awesome Dudes can be scientists/inventors, religious folk/philosophers, emperors/kings, military conquerors/strategists, or whomever I deem sufficiently interesting. My colleague over at Badass of the Week has chosen a much narrower scope on which to focus

I heartily applaud him for his project and wish him all the best. Here's his Hayreddin Barbossa one

. . .

initially had him ranked better "than pretty much any pirate before or since," but figured I should do a lil' research to verify that entirely unsubstantiated claim. Turns out I was wrong. Really wrong. There is no other pirate who even comes close. His brother, the original Baba Oruç, is prolly the second best pirate of all time. All the other pirates in history combined don't have half the resume of this guy. I'd provide some links or drop some names, but no one even deserves to be considered his peer. Seriously, don't ask the google for a list of pirates. You will be disappointed. While the Puerto Rican Robin Hood and a few others certainly deserve their statues, most pirates are nothing more than breakfast cereal mascots

. . .

everyone who has ever uttered the phrase "war on terror" needs to watch Rambo III. Laurence of Arabia is a better movie, but Rambo hits a lil' closer to home since it is the Mujahideen he inspires to be awesome. Rambo III is without question the #1 Taliban recruiting video of all time

Monday, February 1, 2010

ADW 2K9 year in review

so while making this video was good times and I am quite pleased with the results, it also served to remind me how much I hate editing videos. I tend to be more of an ideas guy, some good and mostly bad, but big picture stuff is my specialty. Can rock details and be meticulous as well, but tend to get bored after a while. Which is why I still have yet to post that state quarters blog from April 2K9. Editing videos sucks. Or at least it does using Windows Movie Maker

all in all, ADW had a pretty good inaugural year. Obviously lots of mistakes and sloppiness, but reckon the youtubes've achieved an equilibrium with which I can be content. Sound quality was without a doubt the most annoying inconsistency. Some of 'em are barely even audible, others have too much static or an explosion/silence when I say a word that begins with the letter p. Most of those issues could be easily rectified if ever decide to rerecord/remix any of 'em, but that ain't gonna be happening any time soon

also glad I finally ended the long-running youtube thumbnail drama. When you embed a video, the image that appears before you push play is called the thumbnail. Youtube lets you chose the thumbnail from one of three images, supposedly capturing what appears at the 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 marks of the video. 'Cept it often messes up the timing and gives you images that are not from the 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 marks. Usually you can just re-edit the video and add a second or two to either the beginning or end and get a new set of thumbnails. Since I often have jokes and tangential references that really shouldn't be the official ADW youtube image, it is important that I get an appropriate thumbnail. Best one is for sure the official ADW pic of dude with his dates. Worst is the official ADW pic of someone else. Still from movies or jokes/tangential references without context are also completely unacceptable. Editing and uploading a video that is already finished ain't no fun at all. 'Specially when you gotta do it a whole bunch of times. Quite infuriating when it takes longer to get an appropriate thumbnail picture that it did to do the research, write the script, and make the video

(click on it for a bigger picture, the blogspot only supports tiny images)

Youtube didn't give me the option of using Raden Wijaya's official ADW pic until I added an extra 2 minutes of dead time to the original video. It kept wanting me to use Gajah Mada's future ADW teaser or Daniel Day Lewis versing Leonardo DiCaprio or a bombed out Beirut. These images all perfectly illustrated something in the video, but made no sense at all as a Rayden Wijaya thumbnail. Eventually I opted for the monsoon winds pic. Stressful and completely unproductive to versus the youtube over thumbnail images. Also uploaded 10 墨子 and 16 تیمور videos, but didn't feel the need to document my doing so for posterity

. . .

might shy away from, if not completely abolish the quota system. Realized I messed up by following Βελισάριος with Nezahualcóyotl in the 5th installment of the "other" quadrant. 'Merican following the European was precedent, but forgot I had swapped out the African for a European because couldn't find sufficient info 'bout any አክሱም dudes. 2 Europeans, 2 'Mericans, and 0 Africans in the backwards tribes and castes category. So much for quotas. Plus, aside from some Sapa Incas I gotta translate from the Spanish to the English wikipedias, don't really have that many more worthy 'Mericans. And Africa is even more hurting. Providing youtubes to under-recognized folks remains the objective, but I refuse to belittle the awesomeness by including any tokens

. . .

surprising the number of dudes whose lives straddled eras. Tried to stick the tweeners in their period of floruit (like my dates are 1979 - 20??, but my fl. clearly puts me in the 2000 - 2500 category) and that helped a bit. Stil have a coupla that achieved awesomeness over multiple 500 year spans, but whatever

obviously I have too high a percentage of medieval dudes. I'll try and increase the number of old-school brothers, but as my infatuation with golden era Islamic scholars is unlikely to diminish, doubt the graph will change all that significantly. The numbers for the most recent cohort are fine, since they should be 'bout half those of the others according to the "Gotta have at least a coupla hundred years of perspective ere you can be deemed awesome" rule I expounded upon in the first non-canonical ADW. While the difficulty of finding information is often correlated with the old-timeyness of the dude it is regarding, I'll try and get some more BC folks (and not just Chinese ones) in the MMX