I’ve always loved newspapers. When I was a kid, I had a paper route. I always had a couple of extra newspapers in the bundle, just to make sure that I had enough, if one got messed up, and every afternoon, I’d take one of the spares, and read it, pretty much cover to cover. Back then, reading a paper was a great way to learn about the world, the nation, and your own area. Newspapers used to have a couple of really important rules: 1) Don’t allow advertisers to influence your news coverage, and 2) Maintain a wall between hard news and opinion. Section A of the paper was always hard news – stories that provided the facts of the subject, in what we in Journalism class called the “Inverted Pyramid.” The idea was to provide all the salient details up-front, with more and more details further in. In a way, this is the opposite of how you’d write a story – in fiction, you want to create a hook at the beginning, to grab the reader and draw them deeper into the story. Well into the tale, you deliver the details and critical information to the story.[Read more…] about Lies, Damned Lies, and The Media.
I’ve held back from commenting on the SuperBowl Jeep ad for a bit, because I wanted to see if others felt about it the way I do.
Weirdly, both Leftists and Conservatives seem to feel the same way. They hate it. But for different reasons.
If you haven’t seen it, it features Bruce Springsteen as his trademarked character, the Working Man™, riding around Kansas, in a Jeep that’s gotta predate the Vietnam War. He’s drinking a cuppa Joe in a diner, driving the backroads, and (metaphorically) wrapping himself in the American flag, all the while staking a claim for unity in America.Lots to unpack on this one. So let’s get started.
I get a lot of people who ask me, “What should I buy to light myself, when I’m on a Zoom call?” Good question. Lighting is most of the battle, when it comes to looking good online. (Cleaning up the area behind you and dressing appropriately – from the waist up, at least – being the other critical factors.) There are a LOT of solutions you can find online, none of which appealed to me, because of the cost. So I set out to create my own, out of things I could find for cheap on Amazon. Here’s what I created.[Read more…] about How to light for online video (on the cheap)
My daughter recently talked me into signing up for “Tinder.” If you’re not familiar, it’s an iPhone app that’s designed to help you meet people. Apparently, it’s evolved from being something created for “hookups” (read: “meaningless sexual encounters”) into an app that facilitates meeting people for actually dating.
What makes this interesting is that it’s all based on Facebook, and the pictures you post here.
There’s a lot of different dating sites out there, each one slightly different in their approach. eHarmony makes you go through a long and laborious process before you even get to chat directly with someone in whom you might be interested. [Read more…] about Is Tinder Hot?
You know that joke about what countries would be in charge of things if this were Heaven or if it were Hell? You know the one…where in Heaven, the British are the police, and in Hell, it’s the Germans? Well, I got to thinking about how that would apply to technology. And I came up with this: [Read more…] about The nature of Heaven. And Hell.
I’m on a bunch of email lists. Comes with the job of being a marketing guy. For some time now, I’ve gotten emails from Buy.com. I don’t buy a lot from them, but it’s interesting to see how they promote specials, format their emails, etc. Recently, I’ve been receiving emails from Rakuten.com, “formerly Buy.com.” Um…wha? [Read more…] about What’s in a name?
Well, we (my 14-year-old daughter) and I just got back from Lake Charles, LA, where she competed in the Louisiana State Social Studies Fair. Well, “competed” isn’t exactly the right word. She entered. She did her best. She excelled. And she did not win. But for her to have “competed” would have required that they actually stage a competition, which, sadly, they did not. What they did do bears some explanation – and analysis. [Read more…] about Teen Teachable Moments in (Louisiana) History.
Do you love movies? I used to. Hooray for Hollywood and all that. It used to be our best export – American culture via movies was the original nation-building exercise. Even countries that hate us loved our entertainment. Today, things are different. I’m ashamed of most of the America-bashing, far-Left ideology-spewing, self-absorbed naval gazing, crapalicious dreck coming out of Hollywood nowadays. And I’m not alone. Movie attendance is way, way down in the so-called “Red States,” and the number-one with a car bomb objection raised by Islamic fundamentalist nutjobs is the “decadent” entertainment designed to break down traditional cultures – like theres. I used to enjoy watching the Oscar ceremony, pulling for my favorite movies, directors, actors and actresses. Not anymore. I haven’t watched – or cared about – the Oscars in years. Between Hollywood nominating a bunch of movies I wouldn’t see on a bet (movies that mock my values, like Brokeback Mountain) and nominating a bunch of actors and actresses with little talent, less common sense, willing to loudly bray their opinions about George Bush, the Right, and how everything wrong with the world is Halliburton’s and Chenney’s fault. After a while it gets old.
Then I realized that I had the perfect formula to predict who would win the Oscars. [Read more…] about Handicapping the Oscars.
I love typography. Always have. From a very early age, I’ve been fascinated with letterforms. When I was in elementary school, I used to rubber-band two pencils together to create a crude way to draw Blackletter (a.k.a. “Old English”) lettering on posters. While other kids decorated their textbook’s book covers with drawings of muscle cars, military tanks or alien spacecraft, I decorated mine with words in a variety of typefaces. Blackletter, calligraphy, Cooper Black, Bodoni, Futura – you name it, and I experimented with it. As I grew into a career as a freelance artist, I discovered that typefaces could provide a subtext (no pun intended) to ad copy and headlines. The face I chose to design something had the power to communicate meaning, context, and even tell people how to think about the words on the printed page, before they’d even read them.
Waaaaay cool. [Read more…] about TyperActive.
Today our country celebrates/commemorates/observes the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. Coincidentally, it’s the last day of the Bush Administration, and the Eve of the ObamaNation. (Ahem.) The Chosen One has been busy in the last two weeks, with his faithful media lapdogs casting him as a combination of the second comings of Martin Luther King, Jr., Abraham Lincoln, and Jesus Christ. Pretty big boots to step into, if you ask me, but the media assures us that he’s up to the task. We’ve been treated to breathless stories of how Obama has but four years to “fix” global warming or we’re all doomed, and how the Messiah is going to undo eight years of the “evils” of the Republicans.
I find it interesting that everything Obama has done so far, has been of a symbolic nature. [Read more…] about Got MLK?