pop culture

Fun Friday: Memes

If you’ve been on the internet for any length of time, you’ve probably experienced a meme. And if you have no idea what I’m talking about, read on!

What is a meme? 

1) An element of a culture or behavior that may be passed from one individual to another by nongenetic means, esp. imitation.
2) An image, video, etc. that is passed electronically from one Internet user to another.

Basically it is when something is taken in reused in other ways.

What are some examples of memes I might be familiar with?

An example of a popular internet meme is ‘Grumpy Cat’. She (thanks to Sarah A. for the gender correction!) is an annoyed looking cat who says grumpy things:

You wouldn't see all these images at once, you'd probably see them one at a time... but this just gives you the idea that one image can be remixed for multiple meanings.

You wouldn’t see all these images at once, you’d probably see them one at a time… but this just gives you the idea that one image can be remixed for multiple meanings.

Some memes are like Grumpy Cat: the same image with different text written on top. Other ones  like this include ‘overly attached girlfriend’ and ‘success kid’. People come up with their own fun captions using similar fonts and become part of a larger creative effort.

Sometimes, instead of the same image being used, it’s similar text being used with different images. A good example of this is ‘Call Me Maybe’. (Note we did a marketing series related to this this summer: http://breakingeveninc.com/tag/call-me-maybe/)

The refrain 'Hey I just met you, and this is crazy, but here's my number, so call me maybe.' is slightly changed and reworked with multiple images and ideas.

The refrain from the pop song ‘Hey I just met you, and this is crazy, but here’s my number, so call me maybe.’ is slightly changed and reworked with multiple images and ideas.

As you can see, memes can be simple or complex. And once you are on the lookout, you’ll start noticing them everywhere.

No matter what, a meme is kind of like being a part of an internet joke, whether you make one of your own or share one that someone else created.

Are memes just limited to images?

No, people also have fun creating animated gifs and videos related to a meme. Here’s some videos that are inspired copies of Gangnam Style:

Gangnam Style inspired videos, which likely have similar crazy dance moves.

Gangnam Style inspired videos, which likely have similar crazy dance moves.

 I think I found a meme but I’m not sure. How can I find out?

Go to Knowyourmeme.com and type in a key word. For example, I typed in ‘baby’ and found Success Kid, since I forgot what that one was called.

Memes are a fun part of the internet. And now you know how to spot them!

Which one is your favorite?

Fun Saturday: Peeps

At the end of the week, I write about whatever I want. Because I can.

I’ve been long teased about how much I like Peeps. I figured there was no way they were manufacturing them just for my benefit though!

Peeps are little marshmallow animals with a sugar-y coating on the outside. Yellow chicks are the normal color shape but now you can get all kinds of other shapes and colors. It’s a great time of year for them but you can get them in seasonal varieties for most major holidays now (green trees for example in December). No more waiting for Easter baskets!

My favorite thing to do with my stash is slit open the package and let them age 2-3 weeks so they get a little crisp on the outside. Here are some people who are far more clever:

From my friend John, it was Peeps Sushi from Serious Eats:

Peeps sushi, not quite so 'serious eats'.

All you need is Rice Krisipie squares, Fruit by the Foot, and Peeps to create. For the instructions and more photos, click here.

From my friend Kate, results from the fourth annual Washington Post Peep Diorama contest. (I think they called it that so I’d finally have to learn to spell ‘diorama’). Here’s the winner:

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I Did It For Science And Fun Friday: Chat Roulette

On Fridays I write about (almost) whatever I want. Because it’s fun.
Like everyone else on earth, I’ve been hearing lots about ‘chat roulette’. I give my friend Ogy credit for ‘breaking’ the story because right after he mentioned it, all of a sudden everyone was talking about it… to the point where Jon Stewart had to create a parody.
For those of you who also don’t spend way too much time on the internet, here’s what it is: You go to www.chatroulette.com, enter your birthday for age verification, and you get to a simple interface. You can turn your webcam and microphone on or off. Random strangers show up in the other video camera window. If you want to talk to someone else, click ‘next’. That’s it.
So you hear about all these terrible or weird things you are going to see. And I’m not telling you I didn’t see anything inappropriate but I didn’t see nearly as much bad stuff as I was expecting. A few observations.
Chatroulette is like that chatrooms of way back, except now better looking people have an advantage.
It’s oddly insulting when someone takes one look at you and clicks the ‘next’ button. That said, it’s nice when a hot girl tells you you’re ‘sexi’. By actually seeing the person, there is a bit more of feeling like you at least know a bit about who you are talking to.

Aren’t good looking are are afraid people won’t talk to you? Try to be memorable. Wear a mask, play an instrument, be a puppet listening to people’s emotional problems (all have apparently happened). Take a cue from the Chinese who are having much more zany fun with this than the average American like myself.

Eddie, one of my chat friends, and I decide to look investigatory as we both stick pencils behind our ears for my screenshot (with his permission, because I am not a jerkface).
Other people seem to also be investigating.
I won’t say I didn’t run across a few naked people but I ended up having nice conversations with an Egypian business student and a New York book publisher, two people I would have never otherwise talked to.

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What I Thought About Julie and Julia

Breaking Even blog is mostly business and money related but Fridays, I’m going to write about whatever I darn well feel like. Because aren’t Fridays supposed to be fun?

My alternative Superbowl consisting of 'Julie and Julia' and a lot of carbohydrates was splendid.

And when I think of fun lately, I keep thinking about the part of last weekend where I parked my butt on a couch. Instead of watching the Superbowl last Sunday, ie the most watched television program in recorded history, I watched ‘Jule and Julia’. It was a movie about cooking and blogging, two of my favorite things.

I actually enjoyed myself. Meryl Streep’s performance makes me wish I would have met the real Julia Child and Amy Adams makes an adorable blogger.

My first, eye-rollingly geeky first impression is that this movie makes blogging look easy. Within a few months, Julie’s blog gets over 50 comments in one day and by the end, the New York Times has featured her. I’ve been blogging going on three years. Honestly, I’m ecstatic when more than two of you reading this decide to comment.

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What Would Jesus Buy?

What Would Jesus Buy: Whether you agree with the tactics or not, this movie reminds us all the reason for the season.
I subscribe to the Daily Worth newsletter, where I was alerted today that the movie “What Would Jesus Buy” was streaming for free on Snagfilms. Being that it was Friday afternoon and I was getting much else done, I decided to watch it.
It was a pretty good tongue in cheek look at our consumerist culture, which ramps up to new levels during the holiday season. Seeing clips of crazy shopping footage, encouraging television anchors (buy now!), and pervasive holiday commericals all together made me realize just how bad it was. Sometimes I forget about these things since I don’t have cable!



In one part of the movie, a little girl is taking toys out from under her bed. She pointed out one box, asking “Daddy, what’s this?” Yikes. In another scene, you see a woman shopping for a wardrobe for who you assume to be her spoiled daughter, only do realize the Louis Vuitton bag is indeed for a dog.
Of course, these were some of the extremes. Most of the movie was spent talking to regular people like you and I, justifying overspending during the holidays with the excuses of providing for their families or being generous in a way they wish they could be all year. In short, the sentiments were good but the actions weren’t.
Whether you agree with the tactics of Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping Choir doesn’t really matter. As one of those people who is overly paranoid of having any kind of criminal record, even for trespassing or disturbing the peace, I wouldn’t have the courage to join the activist choir, but I will sing along, both internalizing the message and passing it along in my own way, like a blog for example. ;^)



Near the end of the film the question underlying it all is raised: What was Christmas before the shopping started?
As Christmas approaches and we are all bombarded with more ads, be mindful as you walk up to the checkout line. Why are you buying that item? And if you have to buy it, will this purchase positively affect others? These are always good questions, and I think watching this film now (versus, say, in the middle of July) gave me some good perspective heading into Christmas.

Why Your Friend Is Online All The Time

An Explanation From A Socially Needy Person


Every time I hear someone complaining about those people who change their Facebook status multiple times a day, I smile to myself. I smile because I have become that person.

Contrary to popular belief, I don’t do this because I am bored or have no friends. I have a full life and real life friends. Really!

I would like to shed light on those people in your life who, like me, seem to reach out an awful lot online. Yes there are actual reasons for this behavior which I will from now on call ‘socially needy’.

Sometimes a lack of loin cloth, internet access, and my dog are what keeps me sane. I bet if Castaway Tom Hanks would have had Facebook, he would have updated his status more than I do.