Friday is always a tough day to focus on work. With the weekend near, it can be hard to focus on the pile of paperwork in front of you. And since tomorrow's Christmas Eve, most of you are probably even more distracted than usual. Which is where I come in. I deliver hand-picked video goodness from the past week in viral video, and you sit there at your desk and pretend to work. It's a win/win as far as I'm concerned: you enjoy some videos and your boss thinks you're working (unless the volume is up too loud).
Star Wars may never go out of style. It'll certainly be decades--maybe centuries--before people stop making online videos that are influenced by or paying homage to Star Wars.
Sometimes the Star Wars videos are from the Star Wars people themselves, like when there's a new Star Wars video game to promote. In such times, you might find spontaneous lightsaber flash mob in Times Square:
Sometimes all you have to do to get viral attention for a video is take two ordinary words and mash them together... particularly when those two words are "jedi" and "ninja":
The reach of Star Wars knows no end. At Algonquin College recently, Darth Vader strode onto the campus and proceeded to use his force powers to compel students to sing the Carol of the Bells--well, that or the school is doing a little online video marketing (and doing it well, I'd say):
The videos in this section of today's round up may not have much in common in subject matter, length, or style... but they do all share one important trait: cuteness.
You might call it a stretch to call a daily comic strip cute, but I don't. That's because I read Calvin & Hobbes growing up and still consider it one of the most insightful and adorable in history. And I'm not alone. One fan, Jim Frommeyer, put together this touching tribute to the strip's creator, Bill Watterson, and an ode to Calvin's twisted snowmen:
Every few months or so, another video comes along to challenge for the title of "cutest wedding proposal video ever." And we got another one this week. It's a custom animation that the groom-to-be set up to play automatically when his girlfriend opened her iPad:
I don't know who this little boy is, what he's singing, or why. But I do know this: cuteness transcends cultural boundaries:
In the online video world, cats are like... well, catnip. And so are babies. So when that rare clip comes along featuring both a cute baby and a cute cat, the cuteness level goes off the charts:
Trailers dominated the online video world this week, with two of 2012's biggest films releasing their first previews.
The Hobbit trailer came out 10 years from the anniversary of the release of The Fellowship of the Ring. With the director and many cast members returning from the trilogy, this film has a built in audience of roughly the entire world's population:
Batman's not letting Bilbo have all the spotlight, though, as The Dark Knight Rises released a trailer as well:
And Ridley Scott's anticipated Prometheus (which may or may not be part of the Alien universe) released its first trailer today. It's not viral yet, of course, but I promise you it will be:
Of all the Top Ten videos you'll watch here as we near the end of 2011, please do yourself a favor and make sure that this Top Ten Table Tennis Shots video is one of them (I'm not even remotely kidding):
Some YouTube channels exist just to explain stuff to you. We saw viral activity this week for DocMikeEvans' visual lecture called "23 1/2 hours", which talks about healthy living:
Two Corvettes drag racing on municipal streets. It's on YouTube, so can you guess what happens?
A frog playing an iPhone app... with a twist ending? Yes please:
How can you not love the Slo Mo Guys? Everything they do is slow-motion--except the outtakes at the end showing how tough a time they had actually getting the coffee mugs to break on impact:
Stupid and funny aren't always mutually exclusive, as this video is definitely a bit of both:
Here's a great little nugget of fun. It's an incredibly well made and clever video that substitutes cameras for guns in modern warfare:
Christmas-Related Grab Bag
I don't really get too into decorating my house for Christmas... at least not the outside. And I'm not into heavy metal music. And yet... I enjoy this video that appears to be the perfect combination of those two things:
Do you like Angry Birds? Do you like Christmas lights? Would you like to see a playable version of Angry Birds built entirely out of Christmas display lights? If so... I'm really glad I decided to include this strange but cool video:
It seems like maybe this is the right time of year--I don't know... I could be wrong--for a video on the history of Santa Clause:
JibJab says goodbye to 2011:
YouTube brought us the 2011 year in rewind, hosted by--who else?--Rebecca Black:
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