6.28.2006

Kanji Vs. Ink

A lot of people walk around with kanji tattoos, all of them chosen from tattoo shop flash, and none of them actually meaning what they want them to mean.

Here's what I want to know: why do you need to have a tattoo in another language? Since when was that cool?

If you want to show strength and courage, why not a tattoo of a tiger and dragon?
If you want to show purity, why not a tattoo of a unicorn?

Have we really lost all sense of human symbolism? Do we really need someone else's language to convey a concept, that, because it's in a strange tongue, the general populace cannot read?

If you must have something emblazoned on your body in another language, find someone who speaks that language and ask them what the word means.

When it makes me want to shop...

There's advertising. And then there's advertising. The kind that actually makes you want to buy the product advertised. Axe and Dial made body wash for men cool, as the recent change in my husband's buying habits attest too. Advertising agencies have gotten the hint. Consumers want to be entertained.

But there is a fine line between entertainment and making Joe Average want to buy a product.

For example, my favorite commercial is a Levi's jeans one from the 90's. It involved two good looking teenagers getting into an elevator. As they look at each other, they fall into a daydream into where things get hot and heavy, and then their meeting the parents, and then there's a baby, and then the elevator dings and they both run out scared. Awesome. Exceptionally entertaining, but it didn't sell me on the jeans.

Let's look at another example, one that succeeded: Dial created a bodywash to compete with Axe. But instead of appealling to the 16 to 25 metrosexual set, Dial targetted to the manly man with commercial that involved older men of the married variety invading the house of a young, recently married man and saving him from his wife's attempts to make him less manly. It was funny, it was highly entertaining, and it was in my shopping cart on grocery day.

I honestly don't mind rampant advertising. Even if I never buy the product, the entertainment value will stick with me and a different commercial may make me run back to buy.

I do have my complaints, but the only one worth mentioning is the amount of sex in advertising. In the 80's and 90's, sex sold. Now, sex is old hat. It doesn't sell squat. All it does is titulate. What product was the half naked girl selling? Who knows? She was half naked.

Advertising has, on a good day, 30 seconds or less to sell a product. If your 30 seconds is taken up by a set of boobs, you are not going to sell your product.

I am not interested in how good the Victoria's Secret models look. I don't look that good and the cute undies aren't going to make me look that good. On the flip side, I am not interested in how good that guy looks in the briefs. My husband won't look that good in them, so the point is moot.

You have 30 seconds to tell the world about your product. If you actually tell me about your product and entertain me, I am very likely to buy it. If you flash sex in my face, I won't. Several companies have gotten this message. Now if only we could get Calvin Klein to give those girls a sandwich...

6.27.2006

Pirates 3

With the immanent release of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, news of a third release is already circulating. Including... an appearance by Capt. Jack's father Keith Richards.

No, I'm not shitting you.

The disaster of the 'I want it' button

The 'I Want It' button is a new thing in many libraries. Library adminstrators are under the impression that since it's used a lot, it must be successful. WRONG!

A little background:
Libraries big and small run on three things: allotted tax dollars, grants, and donations. Starting in the 1990's donations started to fall away. In the year 2000 and after, funds from taxes started shrinking and in Pennsylvania, many libraries have atrocious hours because they don't have the money to stay open.

As sources of money started shrinking, library administrators started scrambling for ways to bring people into libraries in the hopes that they could turn current users into future donors. The idea they cam up with was the 'I Want It' button. This button appears in the catalog next to the entry for a particular book. You click the button, sign in, specify where you want to pick the book up, and then wait for notification that the book was ready.

Suddenly, the button was used like crazy! Libraries were forced to hire computer and technical staff to keep up the demands of the button pushing fiends, but library funds kept dropping.

Why?

Simple.

In the United States, there are two types of library users: One small group, who has used the library from a young age; and a second large group, who haven't used libraries at all, are indignant at being forced into the unneccesary contact, and don't care if the books are there or not until they need them.

Libraries have a stigma: it's a place where only nerds, geeks, or the privileged go. There are college students who brag about never having checked out a book in their entire college career. And in the case of some libraries, they are seen as scary, dark places that you never want to go.

For this second set of library users, who aren't really users at all, the 'I Want It' button and its ilk have given these people away to use a library without ever actually interacting with it. They need a book, they click the button, they pick it up, they never actually see or do anything in the library. A simple button to click on a computer screen has single handedly kept a large section of the population from actually becoming real library users, and, by extension, future donors.

Libraries, instead of offering a way not to interact with the library, should work to dispel the image of a dark, foreboding place where old men with long white beards research endlessly. They need to create common areas that allow users to be loud. They need to offer designated eating areas, or relax food policies.

They need to advertise what they've got.

Does your library have videos? How about cds? Wireless access?
Does your library offer game nights?
How about non-alcoholic alternative programming for teens?
How about a movie night?
Does your library have hours that correspond to when people can use the library? Bankers hours are of no help to a floundering library.

Teens want to be seen.
They want to be alone, but not lonely.
They want a place to interact that allows them to learn while having fun.
They want edutainment.
Libraries are in a unique position to offer it.

Get crackin!

Speed Dating

Guess what, guys! You've got thirty seconds or less to impress me. That's right. 30 seconds.

The International Science Festival in Edinburgh found that women make there decisions about whether a guy is a potential partner or not in 30 seconds or less. See the test results here.

If you're gonna search for ghosts...

You gotta do it right!

Psychologist Richard Wiseman chose the International Science Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland to test for ghostly activity. Edinburgh has a long history of hauntings and Wiseman will take the ghosts to task there. Here's the scoop!

Curse! Curse! (It's funnier if you've seen ATHF)

Can a launch pad be cursed?

The people at Vandenburg Air Force Base wonder.

Attention college kids!

Need to convince your parents that you're eating well, when you're living on a diet of twinkies? Fear no more! The Twinkie Cook Book is to the rescue!

Now you can tell mom that you've been eating lasagna and other healthy foods!

Genpets!

Need something goofy, and a bit creepy, to brighten your day? Then check out Genpets!

Now you can have your own genetically engineered pet that will love you forever!

(No. The site is not real. Geez!)

6.25.2006

Too much fun with fingers

The new finger puppet.

I particularly like the one on fire.

Getting ready...

So, as I am only four days away from the Origins Expo and ready to go on vacation now, I started checking out some interesting hotels. No, the hotels have nothing to do with the con, but they're still freakin' cool. Here's what I've got:

Library Hotel
Yes, there is one and it is filled with books. Each room has a designated Dewey Decimal number and the books in the room correspond to the dewey number. As such, you can have a room with your favorite subject surrounding you: arts, literature, religion, technology, language. A fascinating and fun place to stay. Very small and very chic.

Aurora Ice Museum
Here's a place I will never go to (because I'm cold intolerant). But it is the fervent wish of a former co-worker of mine to visit the ice palace. You can stay in polar bear beds and take three day ice sculpting workshops. You can also get married in this frozen monstrosity.

Aurora Express
Here's an old fashioned B&B with a twist: you stay in railroad cars! Each car is fully restored to its particular time during the Alaska Gold Rush era. Most have chandeliers and painted ceilings, and all are breath-taking! Read up on the history here.

Ariau Amazon Towers Hotel
This hotel is a tree house! Sweet! Built at the level of the rainforest, you can enjoy the great Amazon from above the forest floor. Catwalks exstend 70 to 110 feet above the forest. The hotel boasts tour guides and 360 degree view of the Rio Negro River.

Airstream Europe
Miss the 70s? This hotel is an caravan with vintage chrome RVs. Each RV is retro inside and out. Enjoy a beer as you sit on a sun bed and watch a black and white tv. Tons of organic produce (for the true hippy) and cricket matches for guests.

Beckham Creek Cave Haven
A hotel in a cave! Cave dwelling and underground jacuzzis! Go hiking, canoeing, and fishing. Take a day trip to Eureka Springs and check out the phenomenal wildlife.


6.24.2006

He was *this* close...

Saddam gives up his hunger strike after missing one meal.

Somedays, news like this can make a bad day into a great one. ^-^

6.22.2006

Delicious and Adventurous

The scoop (literally!):

Yesterday, meaning wednesday, I was asked to stay an hour later in order to cover for a missing supervisor. No big deal, I stay late anyway. So today, to reward my 'extra' effort, the supervisor I covered for got my a ice cream certificate.

Now don't scoff. Ice cream at PSU is a big deal.

So off for ice cream I went, thunder crashing. I had predetermined that I would have Strawberry, but the Palmer Mousseum with Almonds was tempting. Strawberry won and I walked out the door to a lightning strike in the parking lot beside Ag. Engineering. The rain fell soon after. Forced under shelter, I visited the inside of a building I had walked passed, oh, a hundred or more times in the search for Creamery goodness: Patterson. Lo and behold, Patterson has a Gallery with the ART020 class projects displayed. Sweet!

I finished my ice cream, got another bedraggled walker in the building, and had a look around. The summer ART020 class is attended by people filling up electives and non-degree students looking for some fun. The class had made several sculpts, fascinating mixed media wall art, and wire dolls. The dolls were the best! One was an awesome ballerina with a leg flipped up and tutu all askew. Another was titled Art Professor and the wire armature was bent forward, hand out as if examining the empty space. Sweetness!

I still had to run back in the rain to make it back to work on time, but I found out that I'm still a good sprinter and can cover short distances pretty fast.

Ice cream and art. Can it get any better? I submit that it cannot!

The BEST Goth Accesories!

Barbie, as victim of serial killer, as jewelry.

Check out the necklace section!

Uncomfortable?

Here's a bathroom in Thailand made to make the user feel... uncomfortable.

You have to honor them...

Best headline today!

Wow. Just, wow.

6.21.2006

Cute Overload

I needs it.
I wants it.
Give me the cute!

Cute Overload

And while we're on the subject, here's more cute... and creepy.

Childrin R Skary

6.20.2006

Time Waster!

Found this thanks to that most wonderful of Firefox add ons: Stumble Upon!

Water Attractors

6.18.2006

Banning Piglet?



But I love Piglet!!! How can anyone ban Piglet?

Well, apparently, if you couldn't tell, a timid baby pig who is washed and loves his friends is somehow considered offensive to Muslims and Turkey (following the footsteps of Britain) has banned him. Poor little guy. Who's going to save Pooh Bear now?

Sounds crazy huh? More at Sand Monkey!

6.15.2006

School's Out

High school let out yesterday in my neck of the woods. How do I know? They were playing hide-and-go-seek in library.

To be perfectly fair, my place of employment is a great place for hide and seek. We've got a total of 18 different floors, miles and miles of stacks, tons of hidie-holes, and plenty of dark passages.

However, the game wasn't so innocent: whenever one kid found another, they had to make out. They were also turning of the lights for the floors, which effectively turns off the power in the central building. And they messed with the book shifts. After some corralling, they got the lectured by Wertney(aka attack supervisor), who, when angry, becomes the avenging Hand of God. He had the kids scared shitless before they were marched out of the building, and he didn't raise his voice once. That's a super power if I ever saw one.

Fogging up the pool

A bunch of guys throw liquid nitrogen into a swimming pool to make fog. Completely pointless but totally awesome!

Also, a dog on an escalator. Even though he isn't touching the floor, he still thinks he should be moving his feet. So cute!

6.12.2006

Argyle and PMS

As i was walking back from lunch at Qdoba's today, I saw an argyle sock in brown and tan drapped over the lion head on the massive urns outside the library. Crazy college students.

Oh yeah!

Saw this site: Mom's Break PMS. Totally cool.

6.11.2006

The Spirit Never Leaves

The spirit is never lost, just postponed.

6.07.2006

Catapult to Space

No, seriously! Scotland wants to attempt catapulting items into space. A project headed by the University of Glasgow is exploring the ability to catapult raw materials into space for building and mining. Check it out here.

Venison - its what's for dinner.

Living in PA, you have your fair share of stupid animal encounters. Possoms on the road, raccoons in your trash, and deer in your house. I hope they ate the bugger.

6.06.2006

Trauma Bucket

At work we were voluntold to watch a video on ergonomics. Thirty minutes of the video concentrated on wrist injury. As I currently suffer from two wrist injuries, the video was mostly intolerable. I squirmed like a worm on dry pavement.

The video, while being mostly educational introduced me to the idea that my body was a bucket. A Trauma Bucket, to be precise. You see, everybody is a trauma bucket. Apparently, our ability to heal trauma depends on our trauma bucket's ability to drain the trauma out a spicket with a very slow drip, drip. If we have more trauma than can be drained, we end up with injury.

In non-trauma bucket speak, if you do something that doesn't injure you once, such as over extending your arm to reach the top shelf, you're fine. If you do it everyday, forty times day, seven days a week, you end up with an injury.

This is very simple to understand. Why I had to be turned into a trauma bucket, I'll never know. For years down the line, everryone at work will be a trauma bucket. We'll have trauma bucket Amy, trauma bucket Jason, and trauma bucket William. We're all trauma buckets.

6.05.2006

In Laws and Visitations

My sister in-law visited over the weekend. She wanted to see the sites, so we took her to the Creamery, Lion Shrine, and the Library, where I did my best impression of Betsy.

(Yes, I know doing an impression of Betsy is disrespectful, but when you literally live with this mystery everyday, you have to learn to make light of it.)

So, we took Holly(the in-law in question) to 2000 Degrees, where she painted a ceramic cat to memorialize her recently late cat, Melody. She took her time and did a great job, using a lot of pictures she had of her cat. I painted a vase and a coffee shop mug. I can't wait to see how they turn out. Julia and I painted a tea set there when the place first opened.

Norman came to visit us again to tell us about the latest trials with Ann, and gab about X-Men 3.

Update!

I got my mug and vase and they look awesome! I am so good!