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Cybernaut

YouTube gold

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Not a day goes by when I don’t get an e-mail from a friend linking me to a video on YouTube.com, the latest Google acquisition — and a smart buy, if I say so myself. (Especially if Viacom’s billion dollar lawsuit over copyright infringement fails, which I fully expect to happen.)

With literally tens of thousands of videos on the site, it’s nice that the people I know are taking time to separate the wheat from the chaff. And I thought it only fair to share some of the best with you.

Thanks to YouTube’s insane filing system, it would be next to impossible to replicate the precise URL for any of these videos, but using the following search terms should get you there relatively easily.

Easy Laughs

For instant laughs type in “Hugh Heffner roast”, “William Shatner roast”, and “Pamela Anderson roast”. The Jeffrey Ross sections are the best, so type his name in as well to find some other funny videos of this comedian.

I’m a big fan of the Colbert Report, and one of the funniest segments of the show is the Tek Jansen, Alpha Squad Seven cartoon series. So type in Tek Jansen and start at the first episode.

Check out the strange Adult Swim show called Gemberling, which is kind of like a low-budget Tron. If you can get past the first couple of episodes you’ll be hooked.

Other good search terms are Adult Swim shows like Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Atomic Chicken, or the name of any standup comedian you find hilarious. For example “Andy Dick” has a lot of strange and funny videos on YouTube.

Simply Amazing

YouTube is all about capturing prodigies before they make it big. Type in “guitar solo” and look for a link that says “guitar” with the caption “this guy iz great!!!” For drums, check out videos of “Jacob Armen”, age 7, or type in “amazing drum solo” and look for “drum solo by a 12 year old”. For the best robot breakdancer ever, type in “robot dance” and look for a kid in an orange T-shirt. For the next Sidney Crosby, type in “13 year old Canadian hockey” and prepare to be astounded.

For Sports Fans

Miss the hit on Tomas Kaberle? Or the Buffalo/Ottawa brawl? Sidney Crosby’s overtime goal against the Senators? YouTube has it all, provided you enter the right search term. Although some sports stuff gets yanked for copyright infringement, there’s gold there just waiting to be mined. As a Leafs fan (sorry) I particularly enjoyed “Wendel Clark Tribute”, but you can also find great footage of soccer goals, slam dunk competitions, and bone-crushing tackles. Everything from NASCAR to UFC to golf highlights can be found with just a few searches.

Everything Else

One of the great things about You Tube is the way you can browse through the video collection and stumble on things. Start by clicking on the Video tab on the top of the web page to see the Most Viewed videos of the day. The number of European users is obvious, given the number of soccer clips that typically make the most-watched list, but you can find a few other good videos. For example, from the current events file there are dozens of stop-motion videos of the latest partial lunar eclipse, as well amazing footage from the fighting in Iraq.

On the left-hand side of the home page there are also links for “Top Rated”, “Most Discussed”, and “Most Linked”, which give you a pretty good of idea of what people are watching on any given day. You can also use the “Categories” tab up top to refine your mindless browsing into areas of interest.

Happy YouTubing. And always remember to wear headphones if you want to keep your job.

Website of the Week

The first day of your work week generally sucks for a lot of reasons, and while I wouldn’t say I’ve ever had a case of the Mondays, it doesn’t hurt to start my Mondays with a few laughs as the editors of Ironic Times ( www.ironictimes.com ) put out a new issue. There are no stories like The Onion, just headlines and subheads, all short and to the point. The satire is first rate, and reading a week’s edition should only take you a few minutes.

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