Posts Tagged ‘Mike Thal’

I am by NO MEANS a fan of Call of Duty, but this new commercial for Modern Warfare 3 featuring Sam Worthington, Jonah Hill and Dwight Howard is really clever.  Also, isn’t it ridiculous how much weight Jonah Hill has lost?  Good for him! Check out the commercial and express what your thoughts in the comments below.

-Mike Thal

The other day, I was  studying  in my apartment when my roommate came home. We exchanged the usual “Hey, how’s it going?” and then went our separate ways. Eventually, he started playing a song from “Sherlock Holmes” while doing his work.  Little did I know, when he starting playing this song that he would have it on repeat about 30 more times.

At first I asked him, “How many times do you think you’ve played that song now?”  He shrugged, said he had no idea, and then kept on working.  While I continued to study, the song continued to play out of his speakers, and honestly I didn’t mind.  It’s a song from a movie I like and it made a great studying song (even after hearing it at least 30 times).

Now that the song has been embedded in my head, I’m passing it on to the rest of you Jerks so you can listen to it too.  Try listening to it while studying for your midterms. Trust me it helps!

-Mike Thal

October 8, 2011 marks a huge concert for fans, musicians and the music industry as a whole.   For one night only, a tribute to the late Michael Jackson will take place in Cardiff, Wales.  This potentially historic show for the “King of Pop” will feature big name artists such as Cee-Lo Green, Christina Aguilera, and Smokey Robinson.  Tickets are already running at nearly $100, and I assume that price will only rise as the day comes closer.

KISS, the makeup ridden rockers from NYC, were also set to play at the Michael Jackson tribute concert until they were recently dropped from the roster.  Apparently, KISS member Gene Simmons made a few snide comments about Michael Jackson’s molestation charges in an interview with Classic Rock magazine.  Some of the most critical comments made by Simmons include, “Where there’s smoke there’s fire,” and “There’s no question in my mind that he molested those kids.”

Whether you agree with Gene Simmons or not, it’s amazing that the quotes from this one interview were able to spread so rapidly.  I guess with the Internet, that’s just the way of the world these days.  Sadly, now we won’t get to see KISS “Rock and Roll All Nite” to “Thriller.”

-Mike Thal

Since the rise of shooters like “Halo” and “Call of Duty,” some people now see fighting video games as a dead genre.  “Street Fighter II” had an amazing run when it was released in 1991, and was even considered a game changer in the industry.  But, when’s the last time you’ve heard of someone willingly playing games like “Street Fighter,” “Marvel vs. Capcom,” or “Mortal Kombat?”  Well, if you do want to find thousands of people playing these games, look no further than the Evo Championship Series.

Founded in 1998 as a small arcade gathering, Evo has grown into an international tournament for fighting video games held annually in Las Vegas.  This year Evo took place from July 29-31 and was the most attended fighting game tournament in history.  Now I love fighting games, but there’s no way I can stand up to some of these master players at Evo.  From the replays alone, I can tell these guys are skilled far beyond my imagination.

Some of you might think the idea of video games as a competitive “sport” is outrageous.  But, on a micro level, the speed, accuracy and precise timing that these players possess is impressive.  Whether you think the Evo Championship Series is outrageous or not, one thing’s for certain: these players love fighting games, and they will do their very best to keep the genre alive on a global scale.

-Mike Thal

Have you ever wanted to DJ for an entire mass of people?  Does the idea of playing music from your library for the sheer enjoyment of a crowd excite you? Well, a new website called lets you do these things and more–at least, on a digital scale. allows users to play and share music for digital crowds, represented by other users of the website.  Even though it’s still in its beta phase, this new social music experience is already attracting attention from the likes of Kanye West and Lady Gaga.

When I first heard about, I decided to give it a shot, and I was thoroughly entertained.  There are hundreds of rooms to choose from with different genres of music.  In these rooms, you can hear plenty of new music and, of course, play your own music.  The website is also very intuitive, because it allows DJs to upload and arrange their music as they like.

If you’re a music lover looking to find some new tunes in a fun way, I would definitely recommend  A simple free sign up is all it takes before you can become a part of this new music phenomenon.

-Mike Thal

Okay, so the title above is a little misleading.  The Pittsburgh Steelers are not entering the comic book world of Batman in order to face off against Gotham City’s football team.  However, reports say that Ben Roethlisberger and the gang will be starring in The Dark Knight Rises as extras.  The Steelers will take on the persona of a football team called the Gotham Rogues.

At first glance, this may seem like a lame attempt to add a few more stars to the cast.  However, this is not the case.  Apparently, Ben Rothlisberger is friends with Thomas Tull, who runs Legendary Pictures.  And who is producing The Dark Knight Rises?  Legendary Pictures!

Personally, I think this is a really interesting networking connection and a good call by Tull.  If you want to get a football team together for a feature length movie, why train a bunch of guys last minute when you can call up your friend that plays for an NFL team?  I guess it’s like the saying goes:  It’s not just what you know, it’s who you know.

-Mike Thal

While answering “no” to the question above may seem like common sense, for a couple in Sanxiang City, China it clearly wasn’t.  In 2009, parents Li Lin and Li Juan sold their three children to pay for online games at Internet cafés.  Strangely, the parents didn’t know they were breaking any laws.  In fact, Lin and Juan said, “We don’t want to raise them, we just want to sell them for some money.”  After currency conversions, the baby girl sold for about $500 and their two boys sold for $4600 each.

I’ve heard of selling valuable items like cars to pay for online games, but this just crosses the line.  I know it can be hard to raise children, but no one should ever put a price on them, especially the ones they gave birth to.  The fact that these children were sold for entertainment purposes makes this act even more disgusting.  Whether or not Lin and Juan knew the laws on selling children is irrelevant.  What matters more is the immorality of such actions.  Let this be a lesson to all other addicted online gamers. For the sake of morality, and your own dignity, never sell your children just to play video games–or, for any other reason really.

-Mike Thal

Recently a friend of mine showed me a video called “4 Chord Song” by The Axis of Awesome, a comedy music group from Australia.  In the video, the trio plays parts of at least 20 pop songs that use the same four chords from “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey.  After watching this, I was thoroughly puzzled.  How could so many of these popular tunes use just the same four chords?  It didn’t seem possible to me. Being the curious person that I am, I decided to do some research on the “4 Chord Song.”


It’s hard to believe, but after ten long years, the “Harry Potter” film franchise has finally come to a close with the “Deathly Hallows: Part 2.”  Having shattered the midnight box office record and crossing the $1 billion mark over the weekend, the last “Harry Potter” movie has left a lightning bolt scar on all of us.  A scar of excitement, a scar of grief, but most of all, a scar containing fond memories of a magical world that captivated us all.

Call me a sinner, but I never read the “Half-Blood Prince” or the “Deathly Hallows.”  Despite that, I’ve seen all the movies and it’s sad to see them come to a close.  Harry Potter is a name that most of us have grown up with.  I distinctly remember my brother bringing home the first book of the series, the “Sorcerer’s Stone,” back when I was in kindergarten.  I asked him so many questions about the story, the characters and, of course, the number of pages.


Have you ever wondered what the music from “Super Mario Bros.” would sound like in a jazz arrangement?  Or how about some “Final Fantasy” music as techno?  These types of arrangements, and more, are exactly what you’ll find at OverClocked ReMix. Clocked ReMix was founded by David W. Lloyd (aka djpretzel) in 1999 and describes itself as “an organization dedicated to the appreciation and promotion of video game music as an art form.”

As someone who loves both video games and music, I’ve been scouring OverClocked ReMix this summer for “new music” to listen to.  I put new music in quotes because technically the music is not original, but the arrangements are.  That’s what I love about this website; I get to listen to great songs from memorable games in a variety of different ways.

If you haven’t already, I highly recommend heading over to OverClocked ReMix right away.  Go ahead and search your favorite games to see if there are any remixes.  You’ll be surprised at what you might find and possibly enjoy.  Oh, and did I mention all the music is free?

-Mike Thal