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Jonathan Coulton

  1. Entertainment

    See Neil deGrasse Tyson Bowl in Chris Hardwick’s Instagram Video

    Here's a preview of the next season of the Nerdist Channel's All Star Celebrity Bowling! In this shaky Instagram video, host Chris Hardwick shows Neil deGrasse Tyson bowling with Jimmy Fallon, Questlove, A.D. Miles, Jonathan Coulton, and a few more people we can't make out. Can't wait!

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  2. Entertainment

    John Hodgman Covers Glee’s Cover of Jonathan Coulton’s Cover of “Baby Got Back”

    You all listen to the Judge John Hodgman podcast, right? RIGHT? Good. In case you missed last week's episode, it featured one of the greatest moments in the show's history. The show is hosted by occasional Daily Show correspondent, professional PC, knower of all things, and eccentric millionaire John Hodgman with co-host "Bailiff" Jesse Thorn. Hodgman sang the cover of "Baby Got Back" featured in an episode of Glee that was stolen from Jonathan Coulton, who was in the audience. Hodgman and Coulton are friends, and unlike Glee, Hodgman at least gave Coulton implied credit.

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  3. Entertainment

    These Are Your New Creative Commons Happy Birthday Songs

    It's very likely that ASCAP and Time Warner are the only people who don't think it's stupid that the song "Happy Birthday to You" is copyrighted, and they only think that because they manage to squeeze two million dollars a year out of licensing the song. To combat this, radio station WFMU and the Free Music Archive teamed up to hold a contest for a replacement to the popular tune that we can all sing at parties, sing in public, and even sing in film and television without paying royalties as long as the artists are credited. The results are in, and here are your new go-to birthday jams.

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  4. Entertainment

    Buy Jonathan Coulton’s Cover of Glee’s Cover of His Cover of “Baby Got Back” for Charity (It’s His Original Version)

    Here's a quick recap for those who haven't been following this story: Indie musician Jonathan Coulton recorded a cover of Sir Mix-a-Lot's "Baby Got Back" back in 2005. This year, the television program Glee also did a cover of "Baby Got Back," but they didn't cover Sir Mix-a-Lot -- they covered Coulton's version of the song without crediting him. Then they aired it. Then they started selling it on iTunes, all the while refusing to acknowledge that it was Coulton's version. Now, Coulton has put his version up for sale as well, but unlike Glee, he's donating all the proceeds to charity after giving Sir Mix-a-Lot his cut.

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  5. Entertainment

    Glee Thinks They Did JoCo a Favor by Ripping Off His “Baby Got Back” Cover

    Ah, Glee. Can you get any worse? The answer to that question, for those playing along at home, is an unequivocal "yes, though not much." It came to light last week that an episode called "Sadie Hawkins" would use a version of Sir Mix-a-Lot's "Baby Got Back" song. That version, unfortunately, turned out to be Jonathan Coulton's specific arrangement and even lyrics. Well, now it's aired and, yup, it's basically JoCo's version. Even worse, Glee apparently thinks they did the man a favor by using it.

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  6. Entertainment

    Glee Rips Off Jonathan Coulton’s “Baby Got Back” Cover, Proves They’re a Pop Culture Menace

    We think it's safe to say that Glee's propensity for taking classic songs and mutating them into teenybopper renditions that stab away at both our ear drums and patience knows absolutely no bounds, but it's still -- as much as we hate to say this -- 100% legit given that the original artists willingly sign away their souls to the show's executives for their thirty pieces of silver. Today, however, it was discovered by geek culture's favorite singer/songwriter, Jonathan Coulton, that what Glee wants, Glee will most certainly take without so much as permission and proper licensing. The show has apparently given a take on Coulton's cover version of Sir Mix-a-Lot's "Baby Got Back" practically verbatim, and the singer and his army of fans are up in arms over the show's apparent audacious and ill-conceived move.

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  7. Tech

    IKEA Going Energy Independent, Will Install Cheap Solar Panels in All Stores

    Swedish furniture giant IKEA is committing to energy independence in its stores worldwide, announcing today that it would strive to produce as much energy as it consumes as a corporation by 2020. Stores and warehouses will be outfitted with solar panels, while the company will also make new investments in wind farms that it hopes will make it an energy neutral enterprise.

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  8. Entertainment

    The Humble Music Bundle Offers Up Geek-Friendly Tunes

    Due to the frequency of the various indie game bundles, as well as the recent 2012 Steam Summer Sale, you probably already own every single above average indie game on the market. Perhaps this is why Humble Bundle's new bundle doesn't contain indie games, but instead offers up a variety of geek-centric music.

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  9. Gaming

    Laser Machine Plays Portal’s “Still Alive” by Etching Metal

    Though Portal 2 released quite a while ago with a couple of its own new, catchy songs, the original Portal's "Still Alive" by Jonathan Coulton is, ahem, still alive and kickin'. We've seen it played by a quartet of floppy drives, and while that was mightily impressive, this rendition by Chris DePrisco, played by a laser etching the Aperture logo into metal, is nothing short of incredible. Check out the video below.

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  10. Gaming

    “Still Alive” Played with Minecraft Music Blocks

    Today in things that seemingly exist solely to make geek bloggers weep with joy: YouTube user Tritex989 managed to recreate "Still Alive," the Jonathan Coulton-penned Portal theme song, in its entirety using Minecraft's new music blocks.

    As i predicted it doesn't sound anywhere near perfect because i'm missing some notes because of the 2 octaves restriction. And the laggy redstone is messing some chords up! There's two parts of the song i had to lower an octave to get it to fit. But with that said i hope you can still enjoy it! :) The total Project took me about 5-6 hours to complete.
    (via @thinkgeek)

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  11. Science

    Mandelbrot’s In Heaven Now

    We will be the first to admit that we have no mathematicians on the Geekosystem payroll, but we wouldn't have our jobs if we couldn't pick up on the times when geek culture as a whole loses someone very special. What has yet to be confirmed by news sources, but what the internet already knows, is that Benoît Mandelbrot has died at age eighty-five.

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  12. Gaming

    Watch an Obnoxious Interviewer Terrorize PAX

    This is what happened when Yeshmin Blechin, parody interviewer, was unleashed on the Penny Arcade Expo crowd. The interviewees consist of geek cultural icons like Jonathan Coulton and Wil Wheaton. Check out the outtakes video below.

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  13. Entertainment

    The Norse Hollywood Dining Vikings Eat Pirates and Shit Ninjas

    The Norse Hollywood Dining Vikings (Facebook page here, natch) have made a pasttime of dressing up like vikings and carousing their way over to wherever vikings shouldn't be. Like... a laser lights show, the Red Bull Flugtag Races, a chain of gay bars, or IKEA (although Jonathan Coulton would probably disagree). The group started with professional blacksmith and prop-maker, "occasional viking," and "the reigning 'Pirate of the Year' for Pirates Magazine," Tony Swatton; who told AOL News:
    "At some point, [a friend] and I decided it would be fun to dress up like vikings and go to restaurants and do reviews," Swatton said. "The next night, we went to Griffith Park Observatory where they were doing a laser show about the northern lights. There were 15 of us and we all had our weapons -- axes, spears, everything -- and we heckled everything."

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  14. Entertainment

    Best Vacation Ever: We’re Crazy for JoCo Cruise Crazy

    What do Jonathan Coulton, John Hodgman, Wil Wheaton, Paul and Storm, Bill Corbett & Kevin Murphy from Rifftrax, Molly Lewis, and Mike Phirman have in common? Two things. First of all, they are the best and brightest in the ever-important worlds of geek music and comedy. Second of all, and I hardly even believe this myself, they are all entertaining on the same Caribbean cruise, taking place from Jan. 2 to Jan. 8, 2011. The cruise, called JoCo Cruise Crazy and organized by Johnathan Coulton, promises to be the best vacation anyone will have ever gone on in any of their lives.

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  15. Gaming

    Essay: What I Learned From My First PAX

    The inaugural Penny Arcade Expo East sold out earlier this year, but I was never worried.  I'd ordered badges for me and my friend R in October.  And so, last Thursday, I made my way to New York Penn Station to begin my first weekend at that great gaming Mecca: PAX. I learned a few things from my first PAX and my second con:

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