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This Week’s Video Treats: songs, dogs, falls, and a mystery

March 11th, 2010 | by A. Jinnie McManus |

Here’s your weekly gourmet selection of viral videos. Just like last week, we’ve picked some that really caught our interest.

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You might remember Dave Carroll — or at least his famous “United Breaks Guitars” viral videos. In 2008, he watched in horror from an airplane as United Airlines baggage handlers threw his $3500 guitar and broke it. After United refused to take responsibility, he told them he would write three songs and post them publicly about his experience. Four days after he posted the first song, United’s stock price fell 10% (US$180 million), a drop partly attributed to the sensation his video caused. Today, the first 2 videos in his trilogy have more than 9 million views on his official YouTube channel. In his third and final “United Breaks Guitars” video, he acknowledges that the airline “essentially broke [his] career”. However, he also recounts some of the emails he received while the first two videos were at the height of their popularity and reiterates that customers will no longer tolerate bad customer service.

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Country singer Brad Paisley was wrapping up his encore performance of “Alcohol” in South Carolina when he tripped while running back off the ramp and fell hard, flat on his face. He managed to get back up and wrap the show before heading to a local hospital. Paisley is well-known as a prankster with a sense of humor and he (and his wife, actress Kimberly Williams Paisley from “Father of the Bride”) kept things light-hearted, posting pics with medical staff and encouraging fans to post footage. He also promised a meet and greet to whoever posted footage first. Later, he uploaded a picture on his Twitter account to show off his bruise, saying “If ur wondering,it was the last song&last night of the tour&I was running fast on stage,tripped.really did think I broke a rib or something“. For awhile, his graceless moment was the top story on CNN.com.

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MTV is calling this “perhaps the greatest viral effort of all time.” The first video, called “Prelude 699130082.451322-5.4.21.3.1.20.9.15.14.1.12“, appeared in early January. Six other videos have followed. Each featured a woman filthy with dirt and visually stunning glimpses of nature, and ended with a black screen and a white drawing of an animal — goat, owl, whale, bee, llama and monkey. The guessing game will continue until the seventh and presumed final appears sometime this week. Right now, the only known background is that the videos were originally sent to music blogs and the videos themselves were uploaded under the ‘music’ category. Until the reveal, however, people are guessing everyone from Lady GaGa and Christina Aguilera to Nine Inch Nails and Rob Zombie as the ones being behind it. This Christina Aguilera fansite has an in-depth analysis.

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This video became very successful overnight even though it doesn’t really have a story other than a kibble of dog foes being thrown into the air and some dogs watching and one eventually catching it. The secret sauce is a camera taking 1000 images per second allow for super slow-motion that shows the dog’s movements in a way we have never seen before. Apparently we were not the only ones that were impressed with these shots.

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