Tech Vlogger iJustine on Her Motto, Spirit Emoji + New Memoir



In the fall of 2011, Justine Ezarik traveled to Norway to take part in an event hosted by the Web browser Opera. While there, she thought it would be fun to meet a few of her international fans and decided to organize an impromptu get-together. “I tweeted about having a meet-up, and I thought if 20 people showed up that would be really cool,” she says. What she didn’t anticipate were the hundreds of screaming fans who would heed her call and come running — literally — to meet their Web idol, blocking traffic and shutting down streets in the process. “Until that moment I didn’t realize how global it is,” she says. Since then, Ezarik, who is more commonly known online as iJustine, has leveraged her international appeal, growing her audience to nearly 4 million YouTube subscribers across five channels.


What’s one motto you live by?

“Just do it” …a little something I’ve borrowed from Nike 🙂


What’s your most prized possession?

An autographed Nintendo 3DS by Shigeru Miyamoto.


What career accomplishment are you proudest of?

As soon as my book is out [Ed. note: Justine’s memoir, I, Justine: An Analog Memoir, hit shelves on 6/2], that will be on the top of the list for sure! Currently: climbing a glacier.


What’s the first thing people notice about you?
I would hope that it’s a good conversation! I love meeting new people and learning about some of their fun stories. I also usually get asked about what camera I’m using since a lot of times I’ll be out and about filming or covering various events. 
What was your favorite defunct social media platforms?
One of my favorites was DailyBooth — it was sort of a daily random photo sharing site that allowed you to reply back to peoples photos with your own photos. It was so much fun! 
What do you do when your internet goes down? 
Usually you’ll find me on the phone crying to the cable company until the issue is resolved. Or I’ll just use that as a nice excuse to not do any work — take a walk, or a nap and hope it returns soon!
What’s your favorite internet meme?
I started one a long time ago that I just remembered;  it’s called #whaleface — every Wednesday we used to take really unflattering downward angle selfies with a weird wild small smirk that would sorta look like a whale. 
If you had to describe yourself in one emoji, what would it be?
Oh, definitely the crying laughing emoji. That’s basically me every single day. 
What’s your most squee moment?
Actually this happened pretty recently while on my book tour at BookCon. I was taking photos and signing copies of my book and I turned around to see R.L. Stine signing books right next to me!! I was so excited, and he was kind enough to take a photo with me as well. I grew up reading all of his books so it was really surreal. 
Tell us a little about your memoir: How did it come to fruition? What was the hardest part to write? Did you have fun?
It has a lot of fun behind the scenes stories from things I’ve never shared online. It also follows the rise of social media into the mainstream and how I’ve used it to create an audience. That was never something I had intended to do, but I just found it so fun and fascinating how these platforms give us such immediate access to the world. A lot of the success I’ve found comes from truly just being passionate about connecting with people.
The hardest part of writing for me was really trying to get a sense of the audience I was writing for. I wanted this to be something that anyone could pick up and relate to, but also make sure there were enough engaging stories for people who have been following me for the past 10 years online to enjoy.
What do you hope people take away from your memoir? 
I hope that people will finish I, Justine and feel inspired with their journey in life. This is only one small part of mine, and I’m excited to see how each reader will be able to relate some part of my story in their own. 
What’s coming up next for you that you’re excited about? 
After the book tour, we’ll be working on a movie! We’ll have more details about that soon but look for it to be released around Halloween. Of course I’ll always be creating tons of content on my YouTube channels and tweeting about coffee in the meantime. 
Finally, what do you want to be remembered for?

Ah yeah, Justine. She was very nice.

The Most Adorable (And Moving) Argument For Vegetarianism Ever

I have to confess that I am an unrepentant carnivore. I like my burgers and my steak tartare. Whenever someone tries to convey how horrific slaughterhouses or chicken farms are, I actually get hungry. So you can imagine how I wouldn’t expect little Luiz Antonio to challenge my long-held position, but that’s just what he did.

Luiz is having a disagreement with his mother about eating dinner—not so unusual, right? Except Luiz’ reasons for not wanting to eat his meal have a bit more philosophy behind them than typical little-kid crankiness. Within minutes he has his mom weeping by asking her why the animals have to die to feed humans. He prefers when the animals don’t die and can stay “standing.”

 Be sure to turn on the English close captioning here, unless you’re fluent in Spanish:

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By The Way, The Season Premiere Of ‘The Venture Brothers’ Is On YouTube

Every now and then you run across an adult human being who, for one reason or another, tells you that they “just aren’t into cartoons.” Everyone’s entitled to an opinion, unless it’s this one, which is just flat-out wrong. From Archer to Bob’s Burgers and even some shows H. Jon Benjamin isn’t on, cartoons represent some of the best grown-up sitcoms on the air. Or would you prefer something with three cameras and a laugh track? Anyway, The Venture Brothers, arguably the best cartoon going today, is back—and Adult Swim went and uploaded the triumphant return on YouTube.

For the uninitiated, The Venture Brothers is a brilliant satire of Johnny Quest and countless other adventure shows out of the Hanna-Barbera universe. Unlike, say, Space Ghost, it doesn’t use stock clips—instead it’s an independently illustrated, twisted world of bitter mad scientists, ridiculous villains and over-exotic locales, a series that reveals the violent, seamy underbelly of all those seemingly innocent Saturday mornings.

I daren’t spoil what transpires in last night’s season five kickoff, a double-length episode that hurls us back into this darkly hilarious alternative universe where magic and superpowers are a mundane fact of life. And viewers should be cautioned that each installment tends to assume a familiarity with the densely detailed story up to that point—we’re talking the Arrested Development of animated set. Still, they’re just as often on to the next thing, so jumping right in isn’t a bad call either. You’ll get your bearings soon enough, and by then you’ll be hooked.   

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Boards Of Canada Reveal Deadly Serious New Song

We had a feeling that Tomorrow’s Harvest, the hotly anticipated new album from Scottish electronic duo Boards of Canada, would be a dark affair—they’ve released strange snippets of creepy ambiance in a secretive, puzzle-ish way—and now “Reach For The Dead,” initially broadcast in Japan, confirms it. Almost by title alone. Below, hear the band’s first new music in seven years, set to a vivid short film by Neil Krug.

The visuals, like the song, attain a weird beauty that’s in part dependent upon a crucial absence: there are no people to see in these barren landscapes, and no vocals to hear in this sun-blasted desert of sound. It would seem BoC has gone more minimal than usual this time out: for the first half of this you get the impression you’re listening to an unusually subdued John Carpenter track. When the synth arpeggios and drums drop in, it’s more like John Carpenter end credits.

In other words, yes, it’s a bit spooky. It also seems to have quickly ignited a debate about who can claim responsibility for this type of moody set piece: over on YouTube they’re arguing about whether this rips off middle-era Radiohead. For reference, BoC’s Music Has the Right to Children was 1998, and Kid A the year 2000, so we’re pretty sure Thom Yorke was influenced by them rather than vice versa. Either way, an arresting new piece that promises to be but a part of a larger and masterful suite.  

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Zach Sobiech, Whose Goodbye Song ‘Clouds’ Touched The World, Has Passed

"We’ll go up, up, up, but I’ll fly a little higher. We’ll go up in the clouds because the view’s a little nicer."

So are the lyrics written by 18-year-old Zach Sobiech in his goodbye song "Clouds." The teenager passed away Monday morning from bone cancer, a disease he fought for four years. The song, since its December debut last year, has garnered over three million views, comments-by-the-seconds, and leaves a trail of gratitude everywhere it’s heard.

But in the midst of his last years, Zach – who’s been described as having "an aura around him and always a smile" – lived fully, in a world of extremes. Some very bad days, like finding out he had a collapsed lung, and some very good days – every date with his girlfriend Amy, the time he test-drove his favorite Nissan GTR car across the snowy streets of his Minnesota town, and the day he signed to BMI Records. 

Watch his story be told by Zach, family, and friends in a stunning SoulPancake video that’ll make you sob, laugh, and feel thankful for, as Zach describes it, the "life that’s beautiful, beautiful moments, one after the other."

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So, What’s Your Hilarious April Fool’s Day Plan?

I see you there, reader. You’ve got your phone at hand, or your Tweetdeck open, preparing that brilliant Facebook status or tweet for April Fool’s Day that will knock everyone’s socks off. Maybe it’s topical, or messing with someone’s head with wrong information about what happened on Game of Thrones last night, or changing your relationship status to "engaged" when no such thing has occurred. Maybe you learned PhotoShop this year and are ready to fudge some fake Sonogram photos or ‘shop you and your significant other in front of the Chapel of Elvis in Vegas. You eloped! How could you? And not tell anyone? Anyway, this is also your annual reminder that this has probably been done, and just pack it in. Especially if what you were planning was a parody account, and especially if it was about Kevin Ware. I hope no one has done that yet.

Or, if you are representing a brand other than your personal one, chances are you’re thinking of some April Fool’s Day prank to show everyone how irreverent and hilarious you are, and that it’s not just professional social media engagement digitizing all the time, or whatever. You could just get silly with it, like Google did with "Google Nose." (If I were Google, I’d have trolled everyone by promising to restore the old Google Reader, only to have them realize what day it was, further rubbing salt in the wound. I would have also just restored the old Google Reader.) Or just bring in the all-stars—YouTube went all-out and brought back Antoine Dodson and the "Charlie Bit My Finger" kids to declare that YouTube has just been an elaborate contest this whole time, and the deadline ends today. The premise is amusing, but the commenters have way too good of grammar and not enough casual disregard for human decency to be real YouTube commenters. 

Anyway, nobody’s going to really remember your hilarious April Fool’s Day thing by the end of this week, so, you know, don’t be bummed out when everyone’s moved on. It’s the Internet, you know? 

This Harlem Shake Thing Is Getting Out of Control

I still have not seen a Harlem Shake video. I’m usually not the kind to boast about deliberately avoiding a shared cultural experience, but I have no idea and, honestly, I’m OK with it. There has never been one shred of my existence that has ever wanted to participate in any sort of viral video sensation (or flash mob, which I feel like we’re bordering on here). That is why I do not understand the thought process that would sway, say, miners in Australia to take a break from their clinkin’ and their diggin’ to dance around in a cave. The only good thing to come out of this meme is that the fifteen people involved in the video were fired. How’s that for a resume killer? ("Why did you leave your last position?" "Because I danced on the job and filmed it for some stupid, stupid joke that no one will remember in ten years.")

[via E!]

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Documentary About The Pirate Bay Streaming on YouTube

It only makes sense that a documentary about the world’s most notorious torrent site would be available to watch for free on the Internet. This week, director Simon Klose premiered his documentary, TPB AFK: The Pirate Bay Away From Keyboard, which focuses on the founders’ copyright infringement trial, in two places: at the Berlinale and on the Internet, where it already has more than a million views on YouTube. Which, when you think about how many independent documentaries (other than the gross conspiracy theory ones already on YouTube) have trouble getting that many butts into seats, is pretty impressive.

The documentary starts the day before the founders’ 2009 trial, their measures to keep the site hidden and going in absentia, and what their lives will be like after the guilty verdict, as Klose puts it, “away from keyboard.” In keeping with the conversation about the Internet and ownership of creative works, Klose licensed the film under Creative Commons and created a “Remix Version” without sound, with music on a separate track, for people to share their reinterpretations of the film with him.

Klose wrote on the eve of the film’s premiere that he regretted that the founders “gave me access to their private lives but won’t be able to share the premiere with me.” He goes on:

“Anakata is currently serving his prison sentence and Peter and Fredrik are wanted. The trial against TPB is proof that the issue around copyright has not been solved.  I hope their story will re-spark the conversation around civil rights in the digital age – beyond the so called Content industries. Let’s work together to find fair solutions to both keep the internet open while protecting everyone’s rights in the digital age.”

An important conversation indeed. If you don’t have any weekend plans at the moment, you can watch the film in its entirety below or download via torrent for $10. Even more fittingly, the film, at time of writing, has more than 13,000 seeders on The Pirate Bay.

Fat Escape Artist Corgi An Inspiration To All

This video is not in any way new. It is not especially popular about to go viral (unless this post gets ten million hits). It does not feature Beyoncé. Just thought you could use a break from the slideshows and trend pieces. Not to mention a glimmer of hope. You’re welcome.

What happens in this ordinarily extraordinary home video? An overweight Corgi—32 lbs., to be exact, though she’s down from nearly 40—makes a mockery of the measures intended to restrict her freedom. That is to say, she scales and hauls herself over the top of a baby gate, despite everything we know about physics working against her.

Will you ever complain about a personal obstacle in your life again, no matter how inconceivably daunting, after watching this? You better not. I showed you this video for a reason: once you’ve seen a fat Corgi execute a sensational jailbreak like that, you’ve no excuse not to do better in every realm of your life. Like, why not adopt a Corgi? I hear they’re not too much trouble. 

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