Evil Otto (Berserk)

It didn’t make it into Episode 6, but one of the things Reinhardt brought up in our discussion was the video game Berserkreleased in 1980 for Atari. According to Wikipedia,

“The player controls a green stick man, representing a humanoid. Using a joystick (and a firing button to activate a laser-like weapon), the player navigates a simple maze filled with many robots, who fire lasers back at the player character. A player can be killed by being shot, by running into a robot or an exploding robot, coming into contact with the electrified walls of the maze itself, or by being touched by the player’s nemesis, Evil Otto.”

Evil Otto, despite his name, or perhaps to make it even creepier, is represented by a bouncing smiley face.


Are you afraid yet? Just wait…

According to Reinhardt, Evil Otto cannot be killed in any way; your only defense is to run away to the next room. And you might be running from him for a while since there are 65,536 rooms in the game. It gets worse: Evil Otto is the only video game character in the history of the world to actually kill people. Again, from Wikipedia:

“In January 1981, 19-year-old Jeff Dailey died of a heart attack soon after posting a score of 16,660 on Berzerk.[8] In October of the following year, Peter Burkowski made the Berzerk top-ten list twice in fifteen minutes, just a few seconds before also dying of a heart attack at the age of 18.[9]

There have been arguments continuing to this day that blame violent video games for violent behavior.  Berserk looks pretty tame compared to contemporary video game graphics, but it seems like the journey for a high score is to blame here. So all you arcade gamers out there: remember to take a break once in a while, get some Vitamin D, and maybe do some meditation. Wouldn’t it be awesome if someone offered Yoga for Gamers? I found this video  (which has a yoga sequence and a background of video game-esque music) on YouTube, but I’m hoping some teachers out there will post some more!

Episode 6: Sharknado, Flowbee, The Wilhelm Scream and more!

After a week’s hiatus, What Did You Look Up on Wikipedia? is back with a guest host! Reinhardt Suarez is a writer, freelance editor and a founding member of The Pork Chop Express, the band featured at the end of this episode. This week’s drink was the whiskey sour, drunk out of coffee mugs because we’re classy like that. Stay tuned this week for outtakes, additions and corrections!

Correction: The Bling Ring

In Episode 4, we discussed The Bling Ring and Kristin said that she’d read on Wikipedia that the supposed ringleader of The Bling Ring, Rachel Lee, was so at ease during burglaries that she had used Audrina Patridge’s bathroom. Kristin returned to the Wiki page during a long journey into the rabbit hole due to a viewing of Pretty Wild, a reality show following the Neiers family aka the family Emma Watson belongs to in the movie. The bathroom Lee used was actually Rachel Bilson’s and yes, it was indeed Number Two.

Everybody poops.

Episode 5: Chicago Style

What Did You Look Up on Wikipedia? was all over the place this week. Sally is at the Anderson Center, working on her novel and Kristin was galavanting in Iowa City and Chicago. So we tried our hand with an episode on the road, with a guest host filling in for Sally.

About our guest host: Peter Jurmu is the incoming editor-in-chief at Artifice in Chicago. He was introduced to Kristin by fellow poet Carrie Lorig who said, “Peter’s always sending me stuff he looked up on Wikipedia.” Well, that was endorsement enough for us. Kristin picked up a 6 pack of Anti-Hero IPA, which she calls “Hulk Beer” because of the green fist on the can and went to Peter’s apartment in Logan Square.

Do you want to be a guest host or just a guest on our series? If you live in the Twin Cities, or might be passing through, send us an e-mail at whatdidyoulookup (at) gmail. You can also just send us awesome things you looked up, and we might talk about it in an episode! And stayed tuned this week for more info about the things in this episode!

Behind the Music: Louchie Lou & Michie One

Hi everyone, Kristin here! Ever since I learned the basics of editing video from the fine folks at Fire Escape Films, one of my favorite parts has been to add the musical soundtrack. The nature of What Did You Look Up on Wikipedia? does not really call for too much soundtrack work, but I always like to add in a little something-something at the beginning or end, preferably something that goes with a theme in the video.

Now, doing this for a YouTube series can be tricky since you don’t want your music to be muted by a copyright infringement claim. It’s been fun for me to search for the music I want (mainly covers of stuff I want to use but can’t) and download them for videos. I can give lesser known musicians a little exposure and (hopefully) not get sued.

In Episode 4  Sally and I talked a lot about Gwen Stefani and sung some bars from Rich Girl. I didn’t actually know until I started looking for a cover of the song that a British reggae duo called Louchie Lou and Michie One were the originators of this song, which itself is already a parody of If I Were a Rich Man from Fiddler on the Roof. Their version of Rich Girl was a single in 1994, ten years before Stefani’s.

I highly recommend that you listen to the song in its entirety. I have to say that I think I like it better than Stefani’s version.

Episode 4: The Bling Ring, Gwen Stefani & Neuticles

Episode 4 is kind of a shorty in terms of the number of things discussed, but we hope you enjoy this bourbon-fueled discussion:

The Bling Ring – We went to see this movie during a power outage in Minneapolis when neither of our houses had power, but the movie theater did. It’s a ridiculous movie, made more ridiculous by the fact that it’s more true than most movies based on true stories.

Harajuku Girls/Gwen Stefani – Kristin first heard about this whole thing where the Harajuku Girls were contractually obligated to speak Japanese from Minneapolis poet Bao Phi. While Wikipedia does not confirm or deny this, it does mention that much criticism has been directed towards Stefani’s use of her Harajuku Entourage.

Neuticles – Kristin first heard about Neuticles from her friend Lynsey, a professional dog trainer in St. Charles County, MO. And if you’re wondering who the hell is implanting their dogs (and cats!) with fake testicles, well the answer is the Kardashians are!

The Black Angel of Iowa City

Today I’m leaving Iowa City but before I do, I thought I’d post on one of the local legends, The Black Angel, a sculpture located in Oakland Cemetery.

According to Wikipedia, The Black Angel was erected in 1913 and was commissioned by Teresa Feldevert, a Czechoslovakian immigrant for both her son, who died at the age of 18 and her husband Nicholas, who died only a few years after their marriage. When Teresa died in 1924, her ashes were also buried there. Though her birthdate is engraved on the statue, the death date remains empty to this day. The angel is black because of oxidation, though local lore has many other theories which include infidelity and murder. And while many angel statues have their  heads looking up to heaven, this one looks down at the earth…or hell.

There’s an urban legend that says if you kiss the black angel and you’re not a virgin, you’ll die.  Many a mischievous bunch of teens or tourists’ lips have touched the bronze statue. So is the curse true? You’ll just have to come to Iowa City and find out for yourself.