Monthly Archives: August 2015

Generation YouTube: Today’s fastest-rising stars aren’t coming out of Hollywood


Thanks to the popularity of online media sites like YouTube, mainstream entertainment soon may look more like that kid clowning around in front of a laptop camera.

Digital Media

April 23, 2015

Hanging out on a graffiti-coated movie set in Los Angeles in October, Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox laugh as they recall the first time they were recognized in public.

It was 2005, and the two were visiting a Subway shop in their hometown of Sacramento, Calif., when a customer spotted them as the “Mortal Kombat guys” from YouTube.

Calling themselves Smosh, the shaggy-haired teens had lip-synched the video game’s theme song and pretended to high kick each other in a mock fight staged in Padilla’s childhood bedroom. The sandwich buyer told them what he thought of their 3.5-minute video — his review included an expletive and the word “sucked” — and then asked: “You guys take that shit seriously?”

James Martin/CNET

They certainly do, and they’re not the only ones.

Smosh’s send-ups of video games and movies have spawned a multimillion-dollar brand for the now 27-year-olds. Their Mortal Kombat takeoff has been watched more than 27 million times, while their channels on Google’s YouTube video site have tallied more than 7 billion views. Their fan base sometimes swarms into mobs the pair calls “scary.” Today, more than 20 million people subscribe to their main YouTube channel. (more…)

Which is the world’s happiest country?

The latest World Happiness Report reveals which countries have the happiest residents – and Britain is not even in the top 20

24 Apr 2015

It may be better known for banking than bohemia, but Switzerland is the happiest place in the world to live, according to the annual study published by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN).

The World Happiness Report suggested that residents of the nation of lakes, Lindt and Roger Federer, are more content, on average, than those in any other country. Britons, by contrast, were judged to only be the 21st happiest of the 158 nations to feature.

The second happiest nation was deemed to be Iceland, followed byDenmark (a previous winner), Norway and Canada. Scandinavian countries once again dominated the top ten.

In determining what it means to be happy, the report took into account peoples’ own evaluations of their lives and considered factors including real GDP per capita, health and life expectancy, perceptions of corruption, social support and the freedom to make life decisions.

Women, on the whole, claimed to be slightly happier than men across the globe.

“Increasingly happiness is considered a proper measure of social progress and goal of public policy,” the report said.

“Many national leaders are talking about the importance of well-being as a guide for their nations,” it added, going on to list David Cameron, Angela Merkel and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates. (more…)