Monday, March 1, 2010

More Cultural Memes- The End of Another Term...

Meme: “a cultural unit (an idea or value or pattern of behavior) that is passed from one person to another by non-genetic means (as by imitation).”

As the Davenport campus heads to a between-terms break, herewith are a number of interesting, intriguing and just sheer fun youtube clips, of no special relation to education or anything else. I’ll be back posting on related topics on March 9, after we complete the Davenport in-service day.

1. Paul Potts sings “Nessum Dorma” on Britain’s You’ve Got Talent: Okay, he’s overweight, his shirt isn’t tucked in, and his teeth need serious work, but when he begins singing, the judges (which include American Idol’s Simon Cowell) are thunderstruck. This clip is worth it just to see Cowell take note about 4 seconds after Potts starts singing. This has been seen more than 60 million times and the crowd reaction at the end is priceless.

2. Surprised Kitty- this is a cultural phenomenon. How this entered into cultural memory isn’t well understood, but the clip has been seen more than 20 million times now. You can’t watch and not smile at it.

3. “Bear Grylls is a phony.” I love Man vs. Wild, but Bear isn’t always showing the whole picture. And maybe we can understand why, watching this clip- which slowly shows that the crevice isn’t really a crevice and he’s not maybe so out in the wild…

4. Franz Klammer, Innsbruck 1976: Over the past week we have seen wonderful races from Lindsey Vonn, Julia Mancuso and Bode Miller, but the greatest single downhill race of all time was Klammer’s race in the 1976 Olympics, when he ran the course at the very edges of sanity, nearly losing control several times, but managing to pull out an amazing gold medal run.

5. Usain Bolt breaks the world record in the 200m sprint: At the 2009 Berlin World Championships, Bolt set new records in the 100m and 200m races that will likely not be broken for a decade, unless he himself breaks them. In a sport where records improve in increments of a hundredth of a second, he knocked more than a tenth of a second off the 100m record and even more than that in the 200m. Against the fastest men in the world, look how much he wins by in over just 200m.

6. The Beatles on Ed Sullivan, 1964: If you have to ask, you weren’t there. If you were there, this is indelible in your mind. A cultural benchmark.

7. That’s all, folks!

See you soon!

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