Friday, November 19, 2010

List: 'The 50 Awesomest Viral Videos Under 30 Seconds Long’

Today’s ‘List Friday’. Busy, busier, busiest. Fast, faster, fastest. That’s life these days. (Well not here in Mole Creek it isn’t. But that’s another story.) This paradigm of ever busier and ever faster has lots of flow-on effects. One is that newspaper articles are shorter. With fewer in-depth analyses. (Thank goodness for the New Yorker. But that’s another story.) When I was a lad, the only meaning of the noun ‘virus’ and its adjective ‘viral’ had to do with tiny infectious agents that replicate inside cells [1, 2]. Nowadays these words are also used in relation to the cyberworld, i.e. computer viruses, and viral videos. Viral videos [3] are a viral phenomenon [4] that become popular via internet sharing, typically through video-sharing websites and email. It says viral videos are often humorous, but humour’s not a defining characteristic of viral videos. Some are merely eyewitness accounts of events. In summary, their only defining characteristic’s popularity via internet sharing. Thus their length’s not a defining trait. So back to the busier and faster paradigm. Today’s list, from ugo.com [5] via gizmodo.com [6], is ‘The 50 Awesomest Viral Videos Under 30 Seconds Long’. (The gizmodo version’s on one webpage.) My favourite? I confess I haven’t yet watched them all – life’s too busy and fast here in Mole Creek. Oh, the photograph? It’s of Martinus Beijerinck [7] – the Dutchman who in 1898 discovered the virus, i.e. the biological version.

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