Here's What's Awesome

Here's What's Awesome: Rio Olympics Edition

Aug 10, 2016

The Olympics inspire us, thrill us, they engage us in the pursuit of what may seem impossible, and never have to leave our comfy chair. That's where Brady Carlson, our longtime awesomator, comes in to the picture as he observes the squabbles and strategies and fixations and silliness that happens online...sifts out the superfluous and brings it all to us.

Today Brady gives us a glimpse of the 2016 games in Rio in what will be his last run through the awesome filter for this program in this studio. Because, later this month, NHPR's  reporter and Weekend Morning Edition host and all around day brightener is heading to Wisconsin Public radio.   

Here's What's Awesome! April 1st Edition

Apr 1, 2013
colinaut via flickr Creative Commons

Word of Mouth's Internet Sherpa Brady Carlson joins us for a in-depth look into the internet and all its meme-y wondrousness.

Here's What's Awesome: Papal Edition

Mar 14, 2013

In that agonizing hour between the puff of white smoke and the world's introduction to Pope Francis I, the web was buzzing with anticipation, predictions, and of course, memes. Here to talk about Twitter's countdown and reaction to the #newpope is Brady Carlson, our very own Sherpa of all things awesome online.

Here's What's Awesome: International Edition

Feb 26, 2013
Warm n'Fuzzy via flickr Creative Commons

NHPR’s All Things Considered host Brady Carlson doubles as Word of Mouth’s internet Sherpa and scanner of the latest internet memes and viral trends. We all know that the internet has made the world smaller; once something goes viral it’s not always easy to determine where exactly it came from. But we generally hear about the most Americo-centric of online oddities, however for today’s “Here’s What’s Awesome” Brady is clueing us into some viral content playing big on the international stage.

Here's What's Awesome: Election Edition!

Nov 5, 2012

Today, it’s the election edition, and we’re going to be talking about some of our favorites memes, viral videos, and online trends of this presidential election cycle…it’s been a pretty endless one...

-So, let’s go back in time and talk about some of the early memes of this election…all the way back to the GOP primary…

Here's What's Awesome! Debate Edition

Oct 17, 2012

More Specifically: We're talking debate memes, and how they are made.

Here's What's Awesome!

Sep 26, 2012
drgandy via Flickr Creative Commons

Internet Sherpa Brady Carlson brings on the awesome.

A bunch of kids in 1995 predict the entire internet - they even got cats in there! 

Twitter's API gets all corporate

Here's What's Awesome

Jun 27, 2012
(Photo by moonlightbulb via Flickr Creative Commons)

Here's What's Awesome:

Facebook's big, mean email switcheroo...

The Oatmeal v. A Lawyer...

Clay Shirky's take on the lack of innovation this election cycle...

Here's What's Awesome...

May 1, 2012
(Photo by moonlightbulb via Flickr Creative Commons)

Here's What's Awesome...

Defending "awesome."  Seriously..."awesome" is, well, awesome.

Facebook: a new place for organ donors to connect to those who need them? Or another way for Zuck to mine our personal (and internal!) data???

How French tweeters used WWII code to get around election law.

Friday Is For Memes: Hologram Tupac

Apr 20, 2012

Tupac Shakur's posthumous, holographic performance at Coachella just may vault him to the top of the pack of hardworking dead performers - sure, Elvis tours regularly even though he died in '77, and Johnny Cash has released several critically-acclaimed albums after his official final curtain in 2003, but neither of them went viral the way Hologram Tupac has.

Laser-Based Hearing?

Apr 11, 2012
<a href="" target=:blank">FastLizard4</a> via Flickr/Creative Commons

Fascinating article from Popular Science today on an effort to use lasers to build a hearing system more accurate and expansive than the cochlear implant. The infrared lasers would more accurately stimulate the nerves in the ear, meaning a fuller, clearer perception of sound. 

Word of Mouth 04.07.2012

Apr 6, 2012
(Photo by Chris in Plymouth via Flickr Creative Commons)

Part 1: The Weird World of Stock Photography

We’ve heard the story over and over again in these hyperconnected digital times…boy meets girl, they fall in love, become blissfully partnered until one day, girl finds boy’s photo on a dating web site

Friday Is For Memes: Texts From Hillary

Apr 6, 2012
<a href="" target="blank">Texts from Hillary Clinton Tumblog</a>

She's been Secretary of State, a US Senator, First Lady, the world's most admired woman... and now she's gone viral. Hillary Clinton is a meme, thanks to the Texts from Hillary Tumblog.

Here's What's Awesome

Apr 4, 2012
(Photo by Moonlightbulb via Flickr Creative Commons)

Was 2012 the lamest year ever for April fools on the web?

This pretty lame and implausible prank indicates that maybe it was...

But I did like Google's prank of Street View kangaroos, and, of course, the totally awesome idea of putting Google maps on 8-bit NES cartridges.

I cannot verify any of the circumstances here, but the video appears to be a dude who protests his arrest by singing Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody."

Spoiler alert: his plaintive, Freddie Mercury-ish cries of "Let me go" are, figuratively speaking, met with a message of "We will not let you go."

Off-Road Wheelchairs Help Everybody Get Into the Wild

Mar 22, 2012

The Here's What's Awesome mailbox is full of interesting pieces on wheelchair technology these days, starting with the Action Trackchair. It's an off-road wheelchair with treads - treads! - capable of negotiating sand, snow, and hiking trails. And, as the company's promo video points out, you can have it painted in camouflage colors for serious action.

A Fruit Label That Dissolves in Water

Mar 19, 2012
<a href="" target="blank">Bright Meadow</a> via Flickr/Creative Commons

One of my little psychological tics revolves around those little stickers on apples and oranges. For whatever reason they weird me out - I can pull them off and wash the fruit a thousand times and still I'll think of the trace amounts of invisible sticker goo I'm probably imbibing along with nature's candy.

Friday is for Memes: Defensive Nickelback Fan

Mar 16, 2012

If you think Rebecca Black of "Friday" fame has had a tough run with web users, imagine being in the band Nickelback, the rockers the web loves to hate.

Here's What's Awesome...

Mar 14, 2012
Drawing and Photo by Evan Hahn, via Flickr Creative Commons

NHPR's All Things Considered host and Word of Mouth Internet Sherpa Brady Carlson joins us for his latest round up of what's viral on the web.

Brady's awesome links:

African voices respond to the hype over the KONY2012 film.

Just one of the criticisms of the campaign.

Flying the Self-Powered Skies

Mar 13, 2012
<a href="" target="blank">Vox Efx</a> via Flickr/Creative Commons

Airplanes use a lot of energy to get from place to place, but they also create a lot of it - especially, say, when they're slowing down and landing. Engineers at the University of Lincoln are looking at how to harness that energy so airplanes can power themselves.

Ion Beams Shed Light on Forged Art

Jan 25, 2012
<a href="" target="blank">aartj</a> via Flickr/Creative Commons

Best journal article title of the week? "Accelerated ion beams for art forensics." Frankly, they had me at "accelerated ion beams" - the beams could have been for almost anything - but using it to stop art fakes is even that much cooler.

<a href="" target="blank">joelk375</a> via Flickr/Creative Commons

Most of the few routines we have in my house involve the thermostat - at night, as we all trek upstairs to bed, I turn the main floor thermostat down and turn the upstairs thermostat up. In the morning, we do the reverse. It keeps our heating bill down, but it's a little like trying to save gas by hypermiling - not everyone is going to put in that much time to save a buck here and there.

Friday is for Memes: Sad Packers Fan

Jan 20, 2012

The Green Bay Packers are not going to repeat as Super Bowl Champions this year. That you surely already know. But it's not because Eli Manning and the New York Giants managed to contain the Packers' offense or outplay the Pack's defense. It's because of some sparkly nail polish and an Aaron Rodgers jersey that sat at home, unworn, during the most important playoff game of the year.

So explains our senior sports analyst, Sad Packer Fan:

Max Zorn is a packing tape artist. No, I don't mean he's really good at taping up moving boxes, I mean he makes really intricate pieces of art by slicing up bits of brown packing tape and arranging them into people and scenes. Packing tape is translucent, of course, so Max hangs the finished pieces next to streetlights in Amsterdam.

Check out the timelapse below of Max doing his thing, set to hip hop. And resist the urge to ask him to help you move on the first of the month.

We all go to Wikipedia, which means we've all seen those banners. "Please Read: A Message from Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales." Where the "face of Wikipedia" has his face all over Wikipedia, asking for donations to keep the system running.

That alone was meme fodder, but then the late 2011 drive included new faces along with Jimmy's - programmers, server managers and other staff. All of which led to a sometimes disturbing but sometimes very funny series of revisions to the "please read" banner ads.

2012 Social Media Predictions

Jan 3, 2012
Photo by Michelle Tribe, courtesy of Flickr creative commons

NHPR’s resident web trawler and afternoon host Brady Carlson is here plays Nostradamus for our Word of Mouth Futurama Edition, making some educated guesses as to where the social media explosion that’s figured so profoundly in our public and private lives in recent years will go going next.

Friday is for Memes: The North Korean Hearse

Dec 30, 2011

Kim Jong Il's funeral was probably not intended to give birth to any memes, but when the hearse in the military procession featured a giant picture frame, the Photoshoppers' eyes got wide and the ideas started to flow.

If you're a hockey fan, you know Don Cherry, or at the very least you've seen his amazing collection of suit jackets.

Word of Mouth for 12.24.2011

Dec 23, 2011
(Photo by zizagou76 via Flickr Creative Commons)


Part 1:

Why Music Writing Matters in 2011

In his introduction to an anthology of The Best Music Writing 2011, Alex Ross shares a selection of tweets reacting to bassist and singer Esperanza Spaulding’s upset over teen star Justin Bieber for the Best New Artist Grammy.