Tag Archives: youtube

YouTube Promises to Stop Promoting Misleading Videos

Believe it or not, there are people out there who believe that the Earth is flat even though it has been proven that the Earth is a sphere. But now, if you make a video on YouTube saying that the Earth is flat, your video won’t be recommended.

For years now, videos about Flat Earth theory, as well as videos about 9/11 and Sandy Hook being inside jobs, have popped up in people’s recommendations.

While this change will affect less than 1% of YouTube’s videos, that 1% is over a million videos on the platform.

Lawmakers have been increasingly worried about the spread of false propaganda that can be harmful to those who have lost loved ones in tragedies like 9/11.

You may be asking how can YouTube and its parent company, Google, do this in the United States? Well, it comes down to Google being a private company.

The 1st Amendment of the US Constitution grants us the right to freedom of speech so why are some people like Alex Jones getting censored?

It comes down to Google being a private company, which means they are allowed to control what content is released on their sites. Which means that you will have to dig deep if you want to hear about the Flat Earth theory or the US Government is Killing People for Fun theory.

While YouTube has done the steps to remove these videos from the suggestion lists, they are not removing the videos from the platform.

Twitter and Facebook are currently trying to phase out the videos from their suggestion lists on their sites as well.


YouTube to “Frustrate” Users With More Ads in Music Videos

Most people hate to deal with adverts in their videos, especially on YouTube. Well, life isn’t getting any easier for those who get their music addiction from YouTube.

According to the Youtube’s global head of music, Lyor Cohen, YouTube is planning on adding more adverts on the site. Those adverts are mainly targeted at music videos and lyrics that people listen to for free. YouTube is launching a music streaming service by the end of the month and Cohen and YouTube’s goal is to “frustrate” people enough that they purchase one.

Cohen said in an interview, “You’re not going to be happy after you are jamming Stairway to Heaven and you are going to get an ad afterwards.”

It is thought that the ads will be targeting people who listen to music on YouTube for long periods of time.

Music production companies over the years have been upset at YouTube’s lack of effort when it came to allowing free music. Last year, YouTube and Universal Music Group signed a multi-year deal that will provide musicians in the label more flexibility and pay. YouTube is also strengthening their commitment to managing music rights.

YouTube also made a deal with Warner Music Group in 2016.

Cohen has stated that YouTube trying to “frustrate” their users is too candid. YouTube’s goal is to give users a great experience and that includes making sure their users don’t come across tons of adverts.

5 chill covers to your favorite songs

Beside the usual YouTube covers which are often recorded very poorly, there are a lot of covers by professional artist who put a mellow twist to some of our favorite songs. Here are a few of your favorite songs with a bit of chill injected into them.

1. Chet Faker- No Diggity by Blackstreet

Faker’s cover to this classic song brings a sensual and mellowed out version of the song, which was featured in “Pitch Perfect.” The song by the original artist, Blackstreet, is pretty chill by itself, but Faker uses a bluesy sound to class the song up. This creates a bad-ass but relaxing feel to the listener. It’s definitely one of my favorite covers I’ve heard.

Settle down with some Beyonce. Graphic from Wikipedia

2. Ane Brun & Linnea Olsson- Halo by Beyonce

The song, originally by Beyonce, has always had a very angelic feel. However, the soft vocals of this cover truly bring that dreamy feeling to life. While Beyonce’s vocals are very strong and heavy, the vocals of the cover are very soft and accompanied by soft harp and other string music. This takes the urge to belt out the lyrics as loudly as possible away and replaces a soft, sleepy version which is great for a night by the window watching the rain fall. The song was featured in one of my favorite movies, “If I Stay.”

3. Jack Savoretti- Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash

Savoretti takes this Johnny Cash classic, which is typically very upbeat, and uses soft acoustics and hums to give a sexy, smooth feel to the song. A version similar to this was used in a scene of ABC Family’s show, “Greek” during a scene in which the main character is reunited with her former lover as they lay together.

4. Justyn Dow- Power by Kanye West

This Yeezy classic is given a bluesy and 90’s R&B twist with this cover by Justyn Dow, who uses looping to keep the sound authentic. The reason I love this song is that it gives this very bad-ass, empowering feel. The slowed down rapping also brings the lyrics to life. Dow uses beat-boxing, an electric and acoustic guitar and clapping on his looping system to create the many layers of the song. This is a great song for background noise to a chill poker night with your friends.

5. Lilly Alhberg- Roses by The Chainsmokers feat. ROZES

I’ve been jamming to this song for the past month or so as it’s gained radio popularity. While the original version of the song can never be replaced, Lilly Alhberg, a YouTuber, does an amazing job with her acoustic cover of this song. She has a very Indy feel to her voice which stays true to the original vocals, while also pairing well with her acoustic guitar. Alhberg also does a great job in recording the song, although she used her video camera.


Almost every genre can be turned into a mellowed-out version of itself. While some may think it blasphemous to warp an artists original work, there are a lot of talked artists out there who do these popular songs justice, if not simply improving and highlighting some of the details of the music.

Art and science: the world’s best couple?

Do art and science make a good couple? Graphic by Katie Gibson
Do art and science make a good couple? Graphic by Katie Gibson

Art has been one of the most efficient ways to learn about the cultures of the world. There isn’t an exact estimate on when humans began making art, but we have examples dating back to roughly 50,000 years.  From what we have gathered, prehistoric art was created to depict religious stories and rituals.. Creating statues for their gods and goddesses in hope it would provide them good fortune, fertility, food, etc.

5,500 years ago, the first known system of writing was developed by the Sumerians. This form of writing is known as cuneiform.  Somewhere in the fourth millennium BCE, the ancient Egyptians developed the world’s first writing system, which we all know today as hieroglyphs/hieroglyphics.  Each of these writing systems used little symbols and pictures to depict stories and historical events.


Which brings me to my point– art not only has been influencing the world historically, but also scientifically.

The reason we view some art and find it visually appealing, is because the artists took the time to create what they knew our brains would like biologically. When we see a cute little kitty, we think it is cute because their eyes are so much bigger in proportion to their heads. Imagine if we saw a cat with eyes the size of a rat’s eyes. They would probably be terrifying then.

When you view a work of a human who is represented as innocent, or perhaps devout, then maybe they would be represented with larger eyes to show their purity.

Art could also walk hand in hand with psychology. In art, there is this principle called line. It can be an actual, visual line that we see, or an implied line that our brain fills in. In psychology, we call what art calls implied line, closure.  Closure is where our brain will see a cut out figure, but then fill in the gaps to create a new image. There are many other examples of how the two tie together, such as how sometimes our brain recognizes one image, and then another although it is just one image made up of many other images. In art that would most likely be known as illusion. Our brain likes to play tricks on us, and artists know exactly how to create compositions to do just that.


There is a video by a youtuber under the name Vsauce, who talks and describes in a video titled  “Messages for the Future” just how we use art and science to potentially inform other lifeforms. In this video, Michael Stevens tells us about how there are these satellites launched up into space, some in orbit within our solar system, others, interstellar. Some have records with images of earth and earthlings. There is one, that has these plaques on it with images of what the typical human being looks like and messages written on them in binary code, in hopes that if someday, extra terrestrial beings were to discover them, they would be intelligent enough to decipher it. One satellite even has a record with a recordings of songs, human voices, animals and even a message from former president Jimmy Carter.

This record also contains 116 images, as well as the directions encrypted on the back. Stevens not only explains this, but also other ideas of how we could potentially reach out to other life, so be it. If interested, please check out the video, it is extremely informing and enlightening, and also shows how today, we still refer back to that ancient way of art, to document our existence.

I f–king love SCI2

Elise Andrew is the curator of the IFLS (I Fucking Love Science) Facebook page and website where a large portion of inspiration for the lovely content you find right here comes from. Later this year she will be teaming up with the Science Channel to bring you the best science videos the internet has to offer.

The collection will feature on TV through the SCI2 channel and concentrate on popular science. And, according to Andrew, she’s excited to have the opportunity to weed through a lot of junk science to provide a thoroughly proven assortment of real science. She hopes to get the name out for other bloggers and Internet do-gooders who simply really fucking love science and want to share what they know with the world.

Yeah, science! Graphic from Geeks of Doom
Yeah, science! Graphic from Geeks of Doom

Andrew’s Facebook fame is a story or surprising success, even to her. She began to compile interesting facts, images, and videos and post them on a page for her own amusement and claims she never expected it to go farther than a few dozen of her friends. However, within the first 24 hours of creating the page, Andrew had over 1,000 likes and within six months reached over 1 million. As of Oct. 26, the page has 18,689,377 likes.

Significantly less popular, but hosting similar content, is Andrew’s clean (language-wise) Facebook page Science is Awesome. While it has just as good quality content, perhaps you might recommend this to kids and stick with the original for your adult friends.

The Internet can be a fickle friend, however, as was made clear in March 2013 when Andrews created a Twitter account for the IFLS page with her face as the avatar. Fans seemed shocked to find out that Andrew’s was a woman, despite sharing that information on several occasions. The reactions were rather sexist, Andrew claims, and she was baffled by the sheer stupidity — er, lack of observation — from her supposedly science loving followers.

Andrew’s and the Science Channel’s team up isn’t the first of its kind, nor is it the first for Andrew. She has also curated videos for Discovery Communications in Aug. 2013 for their streaming site. To get caught up on this previous collection, find them and much more on IFLS’s Youtube channel.

New “Mockingjay, Pt. 1″ trailer packs a powerful punch

Fangirls and fanboys everywhere were abuzz when  the first official trailer for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Pt. 1 was released. Coming in at over 12 million views on YouTube, it’s easy to tell that the hype for this film is very real.

While the trailer doesn’t give much away as far as the plot is concerned, it presents enough to make any viewer overwhelmed with feels.

Jennifer Lawrence renews the role of Katniss in this new Hunger Games movie.

The score used behind all of the action and dialogue within the trailer only helps set the bleak mood of the film; we’re thrown into a country in the middle of a rebellion, guns blasting and buildings crumbling to dust as the rebels take on the Capitol. The gorgeous score builds in intensity right along with the trailer, which only adds to the anticipation of it all.

The color usage in this trailer is very monochromatic; lots of blacks and neutral colors versus the bright greens, oranges, and reds that were present in the previous films. This helps solidify that we’re no longer just playing in the games – we’re at war, right alongside Katniss and the rest of the rebels.

Jennifer Lawrence shines in her sections of the trailer. She has blossomed as an actor since the first film, and it shows. The way she takes command of her role as the rebellion’s Mockingjay is chilling and powerful, just as it is in the novel.

The other actors featured in the trailer are also amazing, even when they aren’t speaking. Stanley Tucci merely crossed his legs and I was amazed at his perfect capture of Caesar Flickerman. If this is the case with all of the film’s actors in the trailer, I can only imagine how they’ll be in the film itself.

Overall, I was pretty ambivalent about this film before seeing the official trailer. Having watched it multiple times now, I can honestly say that this will be the defining film for the Hunger Games franchise, as well as one of the must-see movies this fall. You definitely don’t want to miss this.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Pt. 1 hits theaters Nov. 21.


Spotify and Pandora make iTunes obsolete

Much like what iTunes did to the CD business, Spotify and Pandora radio are quickly becoming the preferred source of music for millions of listeners.

Why would you pay for music when it’s legally free on the internet? For the price of a modem and a monthly internet bill, you can have access to more music than you will ever be able to listen to. If I care about the health of my wallet then I’m more likely to look up a song on youtube than pay $1.29 on iTunes. It’s free and it’s legal; why would you spend the money?

Pandora burst on scene 14 years ago becoming a mainstay for any causal music fan. According to the 2011 United States of America Census, the U.S. found that 71.7 percent of Americans had access to the internet at home. Almost three quarters of all Americans can listen to any genre of music they want for free with Pandora radio.

Pandora and Spotify have the upper hand over iTunes. Graphic by Katie Gibson
Pandora and Spotify have the upper hand over iTunes. Graphic by Katie Gibson

Pandora’s catch is in the term ‘radio’. Pandora operates in a way that allows the user to control nearly every aspect of the music being listened to except the ability to request a specific song. Whim’s Editor in Chief, Julian Guerra prefers Pandora and so do plenty of other college students. Pandora’s platform is perfect for anyone who will be working at a computer for a few hours; we can all suffer through a few advertisements if it means we can focus on that term paper we’ve been putting off. Pulling all-nighters isn’t such a bad thing when Pandora is on your side.

What about when you’re craving some “Baba O’Reilly (Teenage Wastland)?” You can’t request that song on Pandora and frankly, YouTube is rather annoying when you have to constantly be picking the next song. This is where Spotify comes into play.

Spotify is a downloadable application that aims to merge your music with your Facebook friends. You can follow friends to see what they listen to and even follow their specific playlists. That awesome party mix you heard last Friday might just become yours the next time you throw a shindig.

Spotify is miraculous in the way it operates; as long as you have an internet connection, you can listen to nearly any song for free. It has a layout similar to iTunes, but doesn’t ask for pocket change for every song. It does have sporadic advertisements like Pandora, but once again, most of us don’t seem to mind.

It seems that (thanks to Pandora and Spotify) the slippery business of digital music has turned iTunes into an obsolete option for students and music fans alike.

Some nice friggin’ advice

Is there a problem eating away at you? Well, step right up and get a hot slice of advice pie from beauty guru and vlogger jpmetz on her YouTube channel, “theadviceannex.” Justine (AKA: jpmetz) states: “The Advice Annex answers questions from teens and young adults all over the world, using my own life experience and humor.”

Through her wildly funny big sister persona, this YouTube star seats herself in her bedroom littered with laundry and casually listens to calls and reads emails from her fans asking for her counsel. The questions range from college roommate fights and bad breakups to coping with anxiety and depression to struggles with sexuality.

Even if you have trouble sharing, you can always tune in to her videos and just listen. They provide inspiring, humorous, relatable, and genuine advice. Justine also includes a disclaimer in many of her videos, letting others know that she is in no way a professional and, on occasion, direct individuals toward counseling for more serious problems relating to addiction, self-harm, etc.

“The questions range from college roommate fights and bad breakups to coping with anxiety and depression to struggles with sexuality.”

Although, these videos are currently available on YouTube, the channel has been on a hiatus for about eleven months. Therefore, I don’t recommend sending her any questions right now, since some matters you’d like feedback on are time-sensitive. However, there are eighty-six episodes full of material to listen to and you can follow her vlogs on any one of her other three channels: kickinggeese, JPMETZhasMS, and jpmetz.

Justine is twenty or thirty-something and a native New Jersey living. Her unique YouTube personality and passion has lead her to have over 200,000 subscribers and 18 million video views. Not only does did she host the advice annex, but also makes a living off of her uploads. Her content ranges from tutorials, rants, and vlogs, which she is still constantly updating.

If you’d like some advice from your local RU students, follow this link to submit your questions and have them answered through Highlanders Anonymous.

Local music festival announces jam-packed lineup

Country and bluegrass music fans rejoiced Tuesday, April 22 when the 2014 lineup for the  in Bristol, Va. / Tenn. was announced. Brent Treash, the chair of the Music Committee for the festival, announced the lineup via a press conference, which was filmed and posted to YouTube shortly after the event. Continue reading Local music festival announces jam-packed lineup

Jimmy Kimmel vs. YouTube

For the third year in a row, Jimmy Kimmel came back into the spotlight with his annual Halloween candy prank. In the prank, parents are asked to film their kids’ reactions when they tell them they ate all of their candy the day after Halloween. Hundreds of parents submitted videos of their heartbroken kids in tears for the chance to make it big on this viral YouTube video with over 21 million views.

While a good majority of people take the joke at face value, there seems to be an overwhelming number of people who can’t understand for the life of them why someone would pull a prank on their child.

My favorite YouTube comment read something like this, “This is NOT funny. I don’t know why anyone would laugh at this. I don’t know what kind of parent would ever dream of causing a moment of distress for their sweet, innocent children!”

Boy, would I have loved to be your child.

Have none of these people ever had siblings? Have these people really never been pranked before? Have we forgotten what a joke is? More importantly, did they miss the part where all of the kids in the video were able to laugh it off as soon as they were told it wasn’t real? Congratulations, angry parents of America — the kids in the videos have thicker skin than you do. In fact, I’m pretty sure even RU res-hall toilet paper is tougher than you, and that’s really saying something.

Another common argument is that these people are bad parents and that their children will be emotionally scarred and have trust issues for the rest of their lives. While I believe every child has a different level of emotional stability, I’d be the first to argue that the only bit of bad parenting in these clips is the fact that these parents raised their children to get violently upset over something like candy. If anything, it speaks well of the kids who were told their candy was all gone and shook it off like champions.

When did it become socially acceptable for a parent to tell another parent that their method is wrong? As long as none of the kids looked like they had been beaten or otherwise mistreated, there should be no reason for a parent to say something like that based on 30 seconds of footage.

In the real world, you’re going to get pranked. You’ll meet mean people and you’re going to have hurt feelings. The only tragedy is that the children of these overprotective parents are going to have little to no experience with dealing with stressful situations or heartbreak. Playing jokes on your kids doesn’t give them lifelong trust issues. It gives them a spine, a sense of humor and it also tells them that you’re not a stick-in-the-mud parent.

We need to bid farewell to the days when people get offended on someone else’s behalf for a pointless cause. We need to stop looking for the damsel in distress in every situation and stop pretending that we can white knight our way through life and come out looking like anything but an arrogant jerk. At the end of the day, a joke will still be a joke, and the only way to truly combat hurt feelings is to make your feelings harder to hurt.

Weekly Time Wasters: Your grammar sucks and so does the government

If you’re tired of your schoolwork or happen to be a grammar Nazi, I suggest watching “Your grammar sucks” on YouTube. Under the YouTube channel Jacksfilms, “Your grammar sucks” has numerous videos that laugh at the often erroneous spelling and grammar of people who leave comments on YouTube videos.

Continue reading Weekly Time Wasters: Your grammar sucks and so does the government

Weekly Time Wasters: Kid President, Imgur and foxes

Fact: Kid President is back and it’s officially #SOCKTOBER.

Our favorite president uses his new video to ask his followers how they’re doing through the internet. To accompany his message, Kid President throws down some jaw dropping facts such as $600,000 is spent on Candy Crush every day!

Continue reading Weekly Time Wasters: Kid President, Imgur and foxes

Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: Polarization

Picture from Know Your Meme.

Remember when we were kids and all we had to fight over was which Pokémon was the coolest or which Superhero would win in a fight? As children, it was our civic duty to argue with each other and prove that your way was the only way. Then we grew up, and those quarrels were replaced with new ones. Whether it’s our hatred for Justin Bieber, One Direction, swag, PewDiePie or the dozens of other trends that preceded them, it always seems that when something becomes popular too quickly, there will never fail to be a counter-movement of people who hate that thing. Like Newton’s third law said first, with every action comes an equal and opposite reaction. Continue reading Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: Polarization

Nerdist Channel: The home for nerdy folk

Who out there is a fan of nerd culture? Well, good news because there is a place for you — the Nerdist Channel on YouTube. Run by the Nerdist himself, comedian Chris Hardwick, the channel runs multiple programs that explore different aspects of the nerd culture. It’s an ever-expanding channel, so there will be a show for any kind of nerd passion. Continue reading Nerdist Channel: The home for nerdy folk

Privacy concerns with Google

On Jan. 24, Google changed its privacy policy. It did not go unnoticed; Google account users and privacy advocates alike stated their concerns over the new changes. These changes integrated all of  Google’s services into one account. Before each account for Google+ and YouTube may have used the same username/password combination, but were seen as two separate entities; under the new policy, these accounts and their data are all recorded as a single account. Continue reading Privacy concerns with Google