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Steverino ex machina.

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Location: PEI, Canada

Thursday, December 15, 2005

"Say bud, can you tell me where the illiterate club is?"

So, the commercial opens in a diner, with two women looking at menus. One seems uncomforatable, since she obviously can't read, and is going to tell her companion this dark secret. Just then, sirens wail outside, and the partner interrupts the illiterate woman. She confesses she's been on edge since she got out of jail. The gist is that your secret of not being able to read may not be as bad as you think. Not too bad of a commercial idea. The ending blew it, though. It asks those who have trouble with math and reading to look under "learn" in the Yellow Pages. How cruel is that? Got a problem with reading and numbers? Sift through some pages crammed with teeny little letters and digits to get the help you need! Mwah ha ha ha haaaaa...

It's almost as bad as those fairly recent milk commercials. You know... the ones where they always pair the images of chocolate milk with black people. Then they show white people, then white milk. I can't fathom how people can let such "coincidental" links between images get run on TV.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Ever get a random email from a total stranger? Not spam, but a real message for you, that's just a bit misguided? This one, from a while back, was a gem. This person must've found the website I did on cells, made during my Education degree. The best part is the "Simpsons" link. See if you can pick it out:

Dear Stephen,

I found on the net some nice photos taken by you, such as
Paramecium and Dinoflagellate. I'd like to include them
in a textbook on microbial diversity written in
Hungarian. Please, give me permission to use them with
appropriate credit.

Look forward to receiving your affirmative reply,

Tibor Deak

Tibor Deak, PhD, DSc
Department of Microbiology & Biotechnology
Corvinus University Budapest
14-16 Somloi ut, Budapest H-1118
tel: +36 1 482 6360
fax: +36 1 482 6340

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

I was just listening to some newly acquired stuff, and thought something was postworthy. The new Our Lady Peace song, "Angels Losing Sleep" is, perhaps, their best single since the Clumsy album. I gauge this by the fact that since I bought that CD, I haven't liked anything they've done, or at least, haven't been moved by anything in any way since. Their first single from their new album was the same to me. Rather bland, formulaic, and just "the new OLP". The non-interesting one. When this song came out, the first time I saw a snippet of the video, I had the same reaction. The first time I saw the whole thing, though, I (pardon the pun) changed my tune. I quite liked it. It's an interesting song. It's got some meat to it, but it's mostly a lighter tune. It's uplifting, but it's nervous. The best parts of it ascend and drop in just the right way. The notes aren't necessarily in the "regular" sequence. It's not one you can 100% guess / think ahead during your first listen. If there's anything else on their new CD as good as this, I may reconsider getting into them again. I hope this is a sign of better tunes to come. Hopefully they can show they've regained their health in these paranoid times.

Other tunes I'm digging tonight:

Foo Fighters - DOA
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Ain't No Easy Way
Antje Duvekot - Dandelion
Dominic the Italian Christmas Donkey
Coldplay - Talk
Lou Rawls - You've Made Me So Very Happy
Little Richard - Brown Sugar
Gorillaz - Feel Good Inc.
MIA - Bucky Done Gun
Michael Hurley - I Paint a Design
My Chemical Romance - Ghost of You
Paul Nice - Soul on the Grill (snippet of an LP)

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Americans are a funny lot. Not necessarily as individuals, but on the whole, as a nation. I've always known this. I am not allowed to forget it, either. Rick Mercer did those great pieces where he'd get some uninformed Yanks to say uninformed things on camera, exposing their uninformedness. Another good example of how slack they can be is the "FoxTrax puck". Remember when Fox played hockey games, and they had to make the puck glow so Americans could see it (maybe this was to appeal to the Bible Belt)? The puck would also change its glow colour when it was shot, almost resembling a comet. As Canadians, we all knew this was stupid.

I was reminded tonight, yet again, of how dense Americans even think they are. I was watching a home improvement show (OK, it was Find & Design), and a guy from Scotland was on it. Every time he'd talk, they would put subtitles on the screen, like he wasn't speaking English. When a show thinks they have to put on subtitles for someone speaking understandable English, you know there's something wrong with your country.