Friday, July 30, 2010

Transparency (Mad Men 401)

One of the things that caught my eye about SCDP’s new office layout, as unveiled in “Public Relations,” was the new glass conference room. Unlike other work areas that are shielded from view by solid or opaque walls, the conference room is a virtual fishbowl surrounded by clear windows. Intentionally or not, this new production design element corresponds neatly with one of the narratives developed in the episode.

In the very first scene, Don doesn’t know how to answer the Advertising Age reporter’s question: “Who is Don Draper?” Ironically he stumbles because the Don the “ad man” doesn’t know how to communicate with members of the press. The shorthand employed by the reporter for his notes suggests that the interview is taking place in a language Don hasn’t mastered. But he will. And it's the Jantzens, the major client depicted in “Public Relations,” who help him.

...Full Post at Basket of Kisses
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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

And They Have a Plan...

"Twelve Cylon models. Seven are known. Four live in secret. One will be revealed."

From PopSci:

An Order of Seven Global Cyber-Guardians Now Hold Keys to the Internet turns out there are now seven individuals out there holding keys to the Internet. In the aftermath of a cataclysmic cyber attack, these members of a “chain of trust” will be responsible for rebooting the Web.

...A minimum of five of the seven keyholders – one each from Britain, the U.S., Burkina Faso, Trinidad and Tobago, Canada, China, and the Czech Republic – would have to converge at a U.S. base with their keys to restart the system and connect
eveything once again.

... The keys are actually smartcards that each contain parts of the DNSSEC root key, which could be thought of as the master key to the whole scheme.

Read more!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Projections (Mad Men 401)

In "Public Relations," (Mad Men's Season 4 opener) a Glo-Coat advertisement brings Don Draper notoriety amongst his marketing peers. He explains to an Advertising Age reporter that his approach is to hook the viewer with a movie-like narrative so that they are receptive to the product information.

However, I’d argue that whether he realizes or not, Don Draper’s inspiration for the ad are the recent events in his very own life.

...Full Post at Basket of Kisses
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Monday, July 26, 2010

Barrel O' Fun

I feel like a monkey's uncle for my sad, sad entry in The New Yorker's "Cartoon Caption" contest (#247).

My wooden submission was:
It just hasn't been the same since they went to the metric system.
The winners were a mixed bag:
  • Personally, I think Prozac is a lot easier. - er, um, no

  • The monkeys themselves should come in three to six weeks. - mine was just as good (bad)

  • They'd probably be more fun if the barrel had air holes. - we have a winner (I guess)

Read more!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Comical Con

He's "not a flag-waver." He just happens to wear a costume that looks exactly like an American flag. But, I repeat, he's "not a flag-waver." Well, the shield he waves does evoke an American flag. But he's "not a flag-waver." And yes, he calls himself "Captain AMERICA." But he's not...oh, never mind!

From the Los Angeles Times Blog:

COMIC-CON 2010: 'Captain America' director has different spin on hero: 'He's not a flag-waver'

The director of "Captain America: The First Avenger," the 2011 summer blockbuster that will coincide with the character's 70th anniversary, says the screen version of the hero will be true to his roots -- up to a certain point.

"We're sort of putting a slightly different spin on Steve Rogers," said Joe Johnston, whose past directing credits include "Jurassic Park III" and "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids." He's a guy that wants to serve his country, but he's not a flag-waver. We're reinterpreting, sort of, what the comic book version of Steve Rogers was."

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Friday, July 23, 2010

Has HE Driven a Ford Lately?

Harry Reid on the auto bailout:
Isn't it a good thing today in America that we have an automobile manufacturing sector? If it had been up to them [Republicans], General Motors would be gone. If it were up to them, Ford Motor Company would probably be gone. Chrysler definitely would be gone.
There's only one small problem with that statement: Ford Motor Company didn't get (or need) ANY bailout money.

Read more!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

People in Glass Houses

I love the smell of petard hoisting in the morning.

It turns out that Keith Olbermann and others were wrong to blame Fox News for the Sherrod fiasco. Olbermann even cut his vacation short to come in and take a cheap shot at the network that's eating his lunch.

Part of Olbermann's diatribe included:

What you see on Fox News, what you read on Right Wing websites, is the utter and complete perversion of journalism, and it can have no place in a civilized society. It is words crashed together, never to inform, only to inflame. It is a political guillotine. It is the manipulation of reality to make the racist seem benevolent, and to convict the benevolent as racist -- even if her words must be edited, filleted, stripped of all context, rearranged, fabricated, and falsified, to do so.

However, as Howard Kurtz reports in the Washington Post, it's Olbermann who needs to get HIS facts straight:

...for all the chatter -- some of it from Sherrod herself -- that she was done in by Fox News, the network didn't touch the story until her forced resignation was made public Monday evening, with the exception of brief comments by O'Reilly. After a news meeting Monday afternoon, an e-mail directive was sent to the news staff in which Fox Senior Vice President Michael Clemente said: "Let's take our time and get the facts straight on this story. Can we get confirmation and comments from Sherrod before going on-air. Let's make sure we do this right."

...Ironically, [Glenn] Beck defended Sherrod on Tuesday, saying that "context matters" and he would have objected if someone had shown a video of him at an AA meeting saying he used to pass out from drinking but omitting the part where he says he found Jesus and gave up alcohol.

Read more!

Eye of the Beholder

Here are my possible leads for the Shirley Sherrod fiasco depending upon the editorial persective of the news organization reporting it:
  • "NAACP Audience Cheers USDA Worker's Admission of Racial Bias Against White Farmer" - Fox News

  • "Brietbart/Fox News Gin Up Controversy with Selective Editing of NAACP Speech" - MSNBC

  • "Fearful of November Landslide, Obama Adminstration Acts Hastily to Get Past Sherrod Remarks" - CNN

  • "Nice Colored Lady Gets Back Plum Government Job" - Ex-Kleagle Times (Robert Byrd's Senate Newsletter)

From Reuters:

Analysis: Race issues beset Obama's "post-racial" presidency

...Division and tension between black and white Americans has cropped up repeatedly over Obama's 18 months in office, hurting his popularity and distracting from his political agenda.

The issue surfaced this week when the Agriculture Department pushed a black official to resign after allegations she discriminated against a white farmer, only to apologize a day later for acting too quickly and without the facts.

Read more!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Bored Room

I didn't get a charge out of the results of the 246th New Yorker "Cartoon Caption" contest.

My entry was:

"You'll find that our concept of a 'golden parachute' is very unique for this industry."

Here are the winners:

  • "And this is our new incentive plan." - that one is okay, but mine was better

  • "Or we go to Plan B and slip something in his coffee." - how did THAT get in the final three?

  • "Your father's last wish was for you to succeed him as chairman." - I get the joke, but it just ain't funny

Read more!

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Frank Rich offers up yet another simplistic and strained analogy written on too much caffeine.

His argument holds about as much water as suggesting that Al Gore's masseuse assault incident signals the death knell for the global warming movement.

From The New York Times:

The Good News About Mel Gibson

The reckoning has arrived for the creator of “The Passion,” whose self-destruction parallels the decline of the Christian right.

Read more!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Team Gitmo

There's gotta be something in the Geneva Convention about this.

I'm really gonna have to read one of these books someday just to figure out what all the hoopla is about.

From Fox News: (bold added)

Gitmo Detainees Serve Time By Playing Games, Talking to Family on Skype, Taking Classes

While the 181 men being held in the prison wait to learn their fates after the administration fell through on its January 2010 deadline to move them out, 90 percent now live in a communal environment that includes Skype, the online video chat service, and access to a 17,000-book library.

That's up from 40 percent of detainees a year ago.

The "Twilight" series, a hit among so-called "tweens," is also popular with detainees, the camp's "librarian" said.

Read more!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A New Direction?

I wonder if during those "two years of research" anyone involved with the decision pointed out what "the Y" is a euphemism for. It certainly is "more inviting."

From The USA Today:

YMCA shortens name, now known only as 'the Y'

The YMCA is now known officially as just "the Y."

The Chicago-based U.S. non-profit announced Monday that it is changing both its logo and name to "the Y," marking its first branding change in 43 years. The switch comes after more than two years of research indicated many people don't understand what the group does. Officials with the Y say they hope the new logo will be more inviting.

Read more!

Monday, July 12, 2010

What the Font?

Nothing says "I'm really pissed off" like a typeface used in cartoon talk bubbles.

From The Wall Street Journal:

LeBron and the Revenge of Comic Sans

Lost in the vitriol over the letter Dan Gilbert wrote to Cleveland Cavaliers fans Thursday night is the counter-vitriol from tech geeks about the type of font he used — the dreaded Comic Sans.

Gilbert, the Cavaliers’ majority owner, wrote an angry letter on the team’s website after LeBron James’s nationally televised announcement that he was leaving the team. It cited what he called James’s “cowardly betrayal” of the team and called the TV event a “narcissistic, self-promotional build-up.”

The open letter from Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert to Cleveland fans, written in Comic Sans.For whatever reason, all 421 words of the screed were written in the less-than-intimidating Comic Sans font. This fact is already on the Comic Sans Wikipedia page and it was all over Twitter shortly after Gilbert’s letter was published. A Tweet from Jsmooth995 decried Gilbert’s choice, saying “nobody who posts official statements in Comic Sans MS should be running an NBA team.”

Read more!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The OTHER Mistake by the Lake

A perfect use for this song from the boys at Tabloid T-Shirts:

Read more!

Thursday, July 08, 2010

It's a Cookbook!!

This is probably just another Illuminati trick to throw us off the scent.

From RedOrbit:

Cyber Command Logo Has A Secret

"9ec4c12949a4f31474f299058ce2b22a" is the coded message found inscribed in the logo of the Pentagon’s newly created US Cyber Command, causing a stir among bloggers and curious techies raring to crack the obscure message.

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Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Redeemed: Elmer Gantry

On the 50th anniversary of its release, many of the same issues addressed in Elmer Gantry, Richard Brooks’ 1960 adaptation of the Sinclair Lewis novel, are very much a part of the current debate between aggressive people of faith and the more secularly oriented segments of society. Front and center in the narrative is a display of Christian organization leaders engaging in shameless self-promotion, bitter turf battles, frenzied attempts to influence public policy and hypocrisy in the conduct of their personal lives which seem at odds with the person for whom their dogma is named. However, I think it’s interesting to note that unlike the works of celebrated contemporary atheists such as Richard Dawkins or Christopher Hitchens, Elmer Gantry ultimately honors the underlying religious principles that most of the characters observe only in the breach.

Full post at Edward Copeland on Film
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Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Space: The 2nd Most Important Frontier

Oh yeah, and that mission to Mars thing too...

From Fox News:

NASA Chief: Next Frontier Better Relations With Muslim World

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said in a recent interview that his "foremost" mission as the head of America's space exploration agency is to improve relations with the Muslim world.

Though international diplomacy would seem well outside NASA's orbit, Bolden said in an interview with Al Jazeera that strengthening those ties was among the top tasks President Obama assigned him. He said better interaction with the Muslim world would ultimately advance space travel.

Read more!

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Exchange Email Management: Killing The Messenger

Last week I got so many emails from companies inviting me to use their services to submit "Oil Spill Compensation" claims, that I considered submitting a claim for the time spent having to delete "Oil Spill Compensation" spam.

I don't really want or have to read EVERY piece of email that comes in. And quite frankly a lot of the messages that constantly keep filling up my inbox get to be an annoying distraction. So now I use a tool that offers dynamic exchange email management which lets me control incoming email and "automagically" redirect junk to a specified location instead of mixing it all in with the "good" messages. Through the use of filters, I can configure email rules and even send spam directly into the trash (instead of taking up time having to read and delete it).

Now if I could only do something about Flash pop-ups!
Read more!

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Can You Hear Me Now

It was funny watching 4G users attempting to follow Apple's original antenna "fix." This involved awkwardly cradling the iPhone in their hand (sorta like a tripod) while making calls. HA!

Apple's iPhone Mea Culpa: We're 'Totally Wrong'

For two weeks, Apple dismissed rumors of a faulty antenna in the new iPhone 4 as nothing more than scuttlebutt. Any phone has these problems, Apple officials said. Buy a case to fix it.

Friday, Apple came clean: The antenna works just fine. But the software that displays signal strenth doesn't. The company has been using a faulty formula to determine signal strength in its phones for years.

"Upon investigation, we were stunned to find that the formula we use to calculate how many bars of signal strength to display is totally wrong," Apple said in a letter from two executives posted on its website Friday morning.

Read more!

Life Imitates Art

"'s a beautiful day, the beaches are open and people are having a wonderful time. Amity, as you know, means 'friendship'." ~ Mayor Larry Vaughn

Boaters told to be alert for sharks off Northeast

As the summer tourist season ramps up, the Coast Guard told recreational boaters and paddlers Friday to keep an eye out for predatory sharks in the ocean waters off the Northeast, warning that the creatures could easily capsize a small boat or kayak.

The shark advisory, issued by the U.S. Coast Guard district that covers waters from Maine to New Jersey, came several days after the crew of a tuna boat caught and later released a 7-foot juvenile great white shark in the Stellwagen Bank fishing area, about 20 miles off Massachusetts.

Several great white sharks were spotted off Cape Cod last summer, and experts believe more will return this summer, attracted by the exploding local population of seals, a favorite shark food.

Read more!