I Love Media Convergence

Emmett Milbarge. Does that name sound familiar, or am I an exceptionally perceptive fan of Chevy Chase movies? Emmett Milbarge is the name of a new sales manager making an appearance on tonight’s episode of Chuck, the spoofy espionage drama broadcast on NBC. It’s also an amalgam of the lead characters from Spies Like Us: […]

Economists: liar, liar, pants on …

It’s time for the economists to rend their garments and seek forgiveness. Econ Journal Watch is preparing a compendium of personal narratives on the subject of preference falsification: that unusual circumstance where scientists, researchers and, of course, economists, express views or attitudes in public that contradict those they hold in private. In his or her […]

Wasssuuuupppp 2008

Waaassssuuuupppp? With the economy, the war, health care, the stock market …. (I know I’m cheating by not providing you with quality blog narrative and incisive ideas, but I’m working on a couple of papers. You’ll be impressed when they’re finished)

The Worst Ska Song Ever

Did Iggy Pop eat too much candy?

Iggy Pop: “As my teeth started to fall out, they paid to replace them …” Dinah Shore: “Your teeth started to fall out? Eat too much candy?” Iggy gets interviewed on the Dinah Shore show in 1977, while David Bowie lurks in the background. And yes, he’s totally grooving on the lady. h/t to Holly

Sound in public spaces: the Strasbourg Tram

There are many positive qualities to the tram system in Strasbourg: new trams, wide windows, efficient and predictable schedules, broad green tramways and a simple fare structure. More remarkable, however, is the inspired effort to weave the network into the spirit of the community. Artists were commissioned to create static and multimedia installations that warmed […]

Thick bread for difficult times

Economic shock waves, political unrest, tightening consumer credit, retirement savings at risk, and the looming threat of unemployment. In these situations, advertisers often retreat to comfort, reassurance and tales of past victory over challenging times. The latest ad from Hovis, a storied British bread manufacturer, certainly plays upon these themes. Victory in two world wars, […]

Billy Mays – the poor man’s rich man

In the Orlando Weekly, the story of how Billy Mays ended up in a millionaire’s mansion by working his pitch, becoming a master at selling cleaning products and kitchen gimmicks. “Here’s the big myth. I can tell you this,” he says. “I spend a lot of money. My bills are outrageous. I make great money, […]

The Babel of Health Messaging

I present a non-smoking sign found in several places in the hallways of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. There are 47 different member nations in the Council, and many of them have found different ways of drawing a cigarette with a circle through it – including some squares. The guy second from the right […]

Elections and twitter

It’s been a long time since I’ve featured a quote from Scott Feschuk, humorist, former speech writer for Prime Minister Paul Martin and communications consultant. This is from his liveblog of the Canadian election results: “… 11:15 p.m. I know the Internet is resilient, but I’m not sure it has the power to survive these […]

Industrial feminine hygiene

from the Wal-Mart Canada online catalogue: (image edited for size) via rout1000 and mjkeliher

Typewriter p0rn

This funky keyboard font is from the Bar Lock 4, a typewriter developed by Charles Spiro in the late 1800s. I came across it at a display in a corner of Terminal 3 of Toronto’s Pearson Airport (and you can find a lot of pictures of the display elsewhere). Browsing through several dozen typewriters, it […]

The bourgeoisie attends the art faire

It has to be a tough day, sitting in a folding lawn chair in a public square, a dozen or your artworks displayed on easels or pedestals around you. Which is why I feel for the forty-odd artists packing the Place Broglie in Strasbourg this Sunday. Because the people walking this square have distinctly bourgeois […]

The bungaloids are taking over the suburbs

O.G.S Crawford seems to be an example of the eccentric English expert, someone who achieves relative success in an esoteric or overlooked field, but carries along with them a number of personality or character faults that often serve to distance them from the rest of conventional society. Significantly, Crawford was the first to realize that […]

On Teenagers, my Books, and Grand Unified Theories

I spent some time at the main branch of our public library* this morning. It’s one of those buildings that used to be described by terms like “civic architecture” – meaning the design is cumbersome, imposing and not in keeping with surrounding architecture. The sort of design that usually required an explanation, like “no, I […]

Vote Ferris on November 8

These are your choices (if you’re an American citizen), come November 8. Pick your Ferris Bueller character carefully. via stee via reticent magpie via soup via jessicat

The secret to vinyl is in the labelling

All this blah blah blah about the relative strength of vinyl sales (following on the heels of several month’s worth of reports about the impending collapse of independent and chain record stores) occasionally focuses on the hard – and creative – work of band members, friends, hangers-on and small label owners to promote their music. […]

2X Tide is Ripalicious

I tried to write a long and incisive post about the 2x Tide ads featuring Kelly Ripa – but it’s useless. I’m just sucked in by the crazy eyes and demonic smile. And the strangely ripped arms.

Improve your work with Primetime TV

I’ve decided to improve my life at work. Not by increasing my productivity. Not by chasing down new opportunities. Certainly not by replacing my Bob and Doug MacKenzie action figures. Instead, I’m going to begin assuming qualities and mannerisms normally seen from primetime television characters: when presented with a problem, I’ll tilt my head 45 […]

Boredom is a powerful tool

A portion of the transcript from a conversation earlier this year between Peter Campus, Turner Prize-winning artist Douglas Gordon and David A. Ross, formerly Director of the Whitney Museum of American Art, published in Tate Etc. DOUGLAS GORDON Well, I have a story to tell. When I was a student at the Slade, I was […]

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