Wednesday, July 31, 2013


As a writer, I have a certain amount of sympathy for other writers because sometimes we all get a project or an assignment that isn't always in our area of expertise or even of any interest to us. Usually these fall into the more technical (e.g., boring) category--medical brochures, financial guides, appliance manuals, etc. And other times we're asked to write about subjects or products of which we lack firsthand knowledge (I'm looking at you Racist Menstrual Choir of Upper Maine). Despite these hurdles, we writers often soldier on. We research. We solicit advice from others. We write, by God. We write.

In school, we'd often hear the platitude, "There is no such thing as a bad assignment. Just bad writers." This would be followed by some example of a plucky copywriter seeing opportunity in a mere coaster--"It's sharp edge could be used to perform surgery and this piece of advertising could LITERALLY save lives"--and this would lead to some sweep of all of the categories in all of the industry awards. The point was: Opportunity is everywhere.

Which is why I find the product copy on so bizarre. I don't know if it's intentionally over-the-top or accidentally so.

For instance, this copy for a bongo cooler:
"There’s a Seattle game this Sunday. You know what that means – tailgating party! You’re known by your pals as the Seahawks “Swag Master” because you always have the latest and greatest team gear."

It's written like they're selling a jetpack! Look, I've been to a fair number of tailgates and my "pals" are more likely to call me something that rhymes with "swag" than "swag master".

Or these things:
"... dare to display the full manifestation of your love for Seattle with these zany Spirit Fingerz gloves!"

Y'know, like the players wear.

Hey, btw, did you know that people in Seattle love coffee? Then you'll love this copy:
"When you drink your next cup of coffee on game day, you’ll taste Seattle pride in every drop!"


But if I thought my team had it bad, then my buddy, a Bills fan, has it worse.

Such as this Buffalo Bills Team Portfolio Folder:
"Your young fan knows one thing for sure – the Bills are the best team in the NFL."

Lying to children? For shame. But it's better than lying to yourself
"You've always enjoyed the finer things in life. You love designer shoes, diamonds and of course, your Bills."

Yep, sounds like every football fan I know.

But the best thing I found, by far, is this Fantasy Football guide:
  • High-quality graphics
  • Great gift idea
  • Officially licensed NFL product
 Oh, did I forget to mention that it's for 2009? Not 2010, 11, 12, 13 or 14. Yeah, a little late on that one. Thanks.

Friday, July 26, 2013

In flux, ad infinitum

Here’s my problem with holding up ancient tomes as gospel: Things change. People today quote from the Bible or the Koran or the teachings of Buddha as if they were written at the peak of humanity and human understanding. The same with the Constitution of the United States of America: What did the Founding Fathers intend?

Did Jesus or Mohammed or Buddha know how to drive a car? Did George Washington? Nope, nope, nope and nope. None of them knew how to do something the average sixteen year old knows how to do today. Does that make them stupid? Of course not. But it does show just how much they didn’t know.

Change is scary. Change can be dangerous or harmful. But not changing can be harmful, too. There is a certain safety in thinking that laws are immutable, like gravity (so far, so good). But when it comes to human beings, that assurance will never be guaranteed.

We live on an ever-changing planet in an ever-changing universe. To believe that we have it all figured out is just foolish. We need to embrace the foundations of the past and build on them for the future.

Today is July 26th, 4,540,002,013.

Thursday, July 25, 2013


I find the concept of "photographic", e.g. Eidetic, memory fascinating. Mainly because its so specific. Why only the visual sense? Do people exist with perfect recall of taste or hearing or touch or smell? Is there a show in development called "The Smentalist"? I find this very odd.

What's more, I find it odd that the wikipedia entry on Eidetic Memory is so sparse. For an ability that seems to be so amazing, the entry seems rather underwhelming, possibly to the point of never having existed.

Part of me wants the ability to exist. And part of me wants the ability to manifest itself through the other senses. How awesome would it be to recall the best burger you ever had with perfect clarity? The perfect kiss? The perfect song? The perfect fart?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Path to Purchase

I went to see Pacific Rim with a buddy of mine on Sunday who reminded me that XBox Live is letting folks download games for free. So I dusted off the old game console and went online (360 online), but was unimpressed with the offering. However, when I was on the dashboard, I noticed the Vimeo app and wondered if our 48 Hour Film fest was available. It was! This reminded me that I hadn't seen a few of the finalists, so I went online (computer online) to find them, which led me to one of my favorites: -->

I liked the music and noticed it was from a band. Turns out they are local. And they let me name my price (Hello $5, pleased to meet you). And they promote literacy, presumably.

The End. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Say what now?

Let's just set aside the issue of wages across the world because that's a whole mess of messiness. 

Instead, let's look at a different kind of math. The one that looks at the top 11 richest Americans (among the top 20 in the world). 

Bill Gates is worth 67 billion dollars by himself. One billion could make 1,000 millionaires. If you divested his wealth, you could make 67,000 individual people millionaires. If those people were able to get a 5% annual return, from the interest alone, they would have an annual income of $50,000—slightly higher than the average income today (and higher than the $34,000 number in the video). The difference is that they wouldn’t have to spend all of their days working to get that income. They would be free to pursue other interests, like volunteering or tutoring or just sipping mimosas and shopping all day.

Let's add up the list:
2. Bill Gates: $67 billion
4. Warren Buffett: $53.5 billion
5. Larry Ellison: $43 billion
6./7. Charles & David Koch $34 billion (each)
11. Christy Walton $28.2 billion
13. Bloomberg $27 billion
14. Jim Walton: $26.7 billion
15. Sheldon Adelson: $26.5 billion
16. Alice Walton: $26.3 billion
17. Robson Walton: $26.1 billion
19. Jeff Bezos: $25.2 billion
20. Larry Page: $23 billion

Grand total: 406.5 billion.

That’s the equivalent of 406,500 millionaires--even more than the entire population of Anchorage, AK* (392,535). Between 11 people! Put another way: who wouldn’t want to live in Alaska?

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

New gig. Same level of respect.

Someone's a fan.

Words. Words. Everywhere words.
And some surprises.