bjarvis: (Default)
If an advertisement uses a celebrity and you have absolutely no idea who that person is or why should you care, is that a failure of the ad or cluelessness on your part (or both)?

How about when the ad is over and you still don't care about the product or the celebrity?

This has been rolling around in my head for a while but listening to the radio on my way to the data center today brought it all back to the surface again. One commercial is for web design & services; the personality talks as though I'm clearly supposed to know who he is and by extension how much he values his online presence and therefore align myself with the service he's endorsing.

I confess however that when I hear the ad on the radio, I miss most of the content because I'm asking myself who the hell is this and why should I care? When the ad is finished, I'm no closer to the answer, missed the content entirely and within 15 seconds I can't even remember the name of the would-be celebrity.

And that ad has been playing for months.

Recently, there's been another advertisement on the same radio station for some satellite television service. I guess I'm supposed to know who the spokeswoman is because she tells us point-blank she's a star and from the general context of the overall ad. Once again, I can't remember her name long enough to look her up: I simply have no context in which to place this person, nor a means of recording it while I'm driving.

I'm the first to admit most of western civilization and culture has simply passed me by, but I'm not entirely out of sync with the 21st century. If I can't identify these celebrities, is it really my fault, a poor choice by the ad agency or simply a budget constraint by the client that they could only afford D-list or lower celebs?
bjarvis: (Default)
If an advertisement uses a celebrity and you have absolutely no idea who that person is or why should you care, is that a failure of the ad or cluelessness on your part (or both)?

How about when the ad is over and you still don't care about the product or the celebrity?

This has been rolling around in my head for a while but listening to the radio on my way to the data center today brought it all back to the surface again. One commercial is for web design & services; the personality talks as though I'm clearly supposed to know who he is and by extension how much he values his online presence and therefore align myself with the service he's endorsing.

I confess however that when I hear the ad on the radio, I miss most of the content because I'm asking myself who the hell is this and why should I care? When the ad is finished, I'm no closer to the answer, missed the content entirely and within 15 seconds I can't even remember the name of the would-be celebrity.

And that ad has been playing for months.

Recently, there's been another advertisement on the same radio station for some satellite television service. I guess I'm supposed to know who the spokeswoman is because she tells us point-blank she's a star and from the general context of the overall ad. Once again, I can't remember her name long enough to look her up: I simply have no context in which to place this person, nor a means of recording it while I'm driving.

I'm the first to admit most of western civilization and culture has simply passed me by, but I'm not entirely out of sync with the 21st century. If I can't identify these celebrities, is it really my fault, a poor choice by the ad agency or simply a budget constraint by the client that they could only afford D-list or lower celebs?

NPR Rant

Dec. 21st, 2010 12:25 pm
bjarvis: (Zorak)
No, not about NPR's week-long fundraising drives. I can understand those as a necessary evil to keep the system working. My complaint is about a recent trend I've noticed in NPR programs: segments on music VIPs are listening to.

Marketplace, Science and other programs have begun including five minute or longer segments where they interview a person of interest about the music they're listening to while they work, commute, think, etc.. Seriously, why would anyone care? I could understand asking people how they create a working or creative environment, but analyzing their choice of composer, performer, the cadence of the lyrics, the melody, etc.? Why?

I have a difficult time believing anyone producing the program actually thinks there's a market demand for this sort of pap. I strongly suspect this is simply an easy way to pad a half-hour program at practically no expense during an era of sharp budget cuts.

NPR Rant

Dec. 21st, 2010 12:25 pm
bjarvis: (Zorak)
No, not about NPR's week-long fundraising drives. I can understand those as a necessary evil to keep the system working. My complaint is about a recent trend I've noticed in NPR programs: segments on music VIPs are listening to.

Marketplace, Science and other programs have begun including five minute or longer segments where they interview a person of interest about the music they're listening to while they work, commute, think, etc.. Seriously, why would anyone care? I could understand asking people how they create a working or creative environment, but analyzing their choice of composer, performer, the cadence of the lyrics, the melody, etc.? Why?

I have a difficult time believing anyone producing the program actually thinks there's a market demand for this sort of pap. I strongly suspect this is simply an easy way to pad a half-hour program at practically no expense during an era of sharp budget cuts.
bjarvis: (CBC)
From the Dispatches podcast of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Kim Brunhuber opens his report on urban gardening from Uganda:

As I stare for the first time into the chimpanzee's eyes, I brace myself for the experience described so poetically in the brochure: the rapture of communing with man's closest living relative. But instead, all I can think is that the cartoonists were right after all: America's 43rd president really does look like a chimpanzee.
bjarvis: (CBC)
From the Dispatches podcast of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Kim Brunhuber opens his report on urban gardening from Uganda:

As I stare for the first time into the chimpanzee's eyes, I brace myself for the experience described so poetically in the brochure: the rapture of communing with man's closest living relative. But instead, all I can think is that the cartoonists were right after all: America's 43rd president really does look like a chimpanzee.
bjarvis: (Default)
It's been a quiet evening at home. So far tonight, I've:
  • caught up on e-mail;
  • caught up on data entry for the 2009 IAGSDC convention;
  • obtained signatures and mailed off misc papers to our financial advisor;
  • finished two work-related documentation projects;
  • caught upon my podcast news listening;
  • talked to [livejournal.com profile] cuyahogarvr's kid #3, confirming we got the wrong video interface cable for her particular MacBook ([livejournal.com profile] kent4str ordered a replacement to be delivered directly to her);
  • cycled some large files off one hard drive of my XP workstation to free some space for more timely stuff;
  • ate dinner;
  • looked over some potential square dance music at various sources & vendors --and opted to buy nothing;
  • put our mail delivery on hold for a week while we're in LA;
  • sent e-mail to misc LA-area friends & exes to see if anyone is available for lunch and/or dinner this weekend.

Just another fun evening at home.
bjarvis: (Default)
It's been a quiet evening at home. So far tonight, I've:
  • caught up on e-mail;
  • caught up on data entry for the 2009 IAGSDC convention;
  • obtained signatures and mailed off misc papers to our financial advisor;
  • finished two work-related documentation projects;
  • caught upon my podcast news listening;
  • talked to [livejournal.com profile] cuyahogarvr's kid #3, confirming we got the wrong video interface cable for her particular MacBook ([livejournal.com profile] kent4str ordered a replacement to be delivered directly to her);
  • cycled some large files off one hard drive of my XP workstation to free some space for more timely stuff;
  • ate dinner;
  • looked over some potential square dance music at various sources & vendors --and opted to buy nothing;
  • put our mail delivery on hold for a week while we're in LA;
  • sent e-mail to misc LA-area friends & exes to see if anyone is available for lunch and/or dinner this weekend.

Just another fun evening at home.
bjarvis: (CBC)
I listen to a lot of podcasts daily, probably too many.

Slate's Daily is always a good listen, especially their political gabfest. TVOntario's "Big Ideas" is a wonderful lecture series. And then there's my must-listen news bits from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation: "World at Six," "Ontario This Week," "Dispatches," "Editor's Choice," "Quirks & Quarks," "Spark," "The Best of Sounds Like Canada" and "Toronto This Week".

My favourite of late, however, has been CBC's "White Coat, Black Art" --a series of discussions & interviews among doctors, nurses & medical professionals concerning the business, ethics, practices & standards of medicine. It's been a fascinating tour of the mindset of people in medicine and how they view their industry and their patients. Check it out on iTunes here.
bjarvis: (CBC)
I listen to a lot of podcasts daily, probably too many.

Slate's Daily is always a good listen, especially their political gabfest. TVOntario's "Big Ideas" is a wonderful lecture series. And then there's my must-listen news bits from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation: "World at Six," "Ontario This Week," "Dispatches," "Editor's Choice," "Quirks & Quarks," "Spark," "The Best of Sounds Like Canada" and "Toronto This Week".

My favourite of late, however, has been CBC's "White Coat, Black Art" --a series of discussions & interviews among doctors, nurses & medical professionals concerning the business, ethics, practices & standards of medicine. It's been a fascinating tour of the mindset of people in medicine and how they view their industry and their patients. Check it out on iTunes here.

Ugh

Jan. 29th, 2008 01:45 pm
bjarvis: (CBC)
I like kids. I don't like listening to 15+ minute interviews of kids... the cute factor wears off in, oh, 10 seconds or so.

Thank god I can skip forward in podcasts.

Ugh

Jan. 29th, 2008 01:45 pm
bjarvis: (CBC)
I like kids. I don't like listening to 15+ minute interviews of kids... the cute factor wears off in, oh, 10 seconds or so.

Thank god I can skip forward in podcasts.
bjarvis: (Default)
Every morning, I copy various MP3 podcasts from iTunes on my iMac to a flash USB drive; while working on various projects at the office, I plug in the USB drive and my earphones and listen to the podcasts.

My preferred podcasts are nearly all news broadcasts or university lectures. In particular, I like:
  • Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's "World at Six," "Quirks & Quarks," "Sounds like Canada," "This Week in Toronto" and "This Week in Ontario";
  • les nouvelles de Radio Canada (French language news from Montreal);
  • BBC's DocArchive;
  • TED, but because it is video I have to watch this at home;
  • occasional programs of NPR's "Fresh Air" and "Diane Rehm Show";
  • NPR's "Marketplace";
  • Slate's daily offerings and weekly gabfest; and,
  • the Australia Broadcast Corporation's weekly "Occam's Razor," although it's also the most annoying. This program is typically 15 minutes long and while the speakers are interesting, it's very clear (to me, anyway) that everything interesting they had to say takes only five minutes: so much mental meandering is typically strewn through the storyline that I'm close to unsubscribing. Still, every couple of months, there's something worth listening to so I keep on.


Until recently, there was something about "Marketplace" which caused my office's version of Windows Media Player to die so I could only listen at home during my spare time. A recent corporate-mandated upgrade seems to have fixed that problem so I'm a slightly happier camper than I was at this time yesterday.
bjarvis: (Default)
Every morning, I copy various MP3 podcasts from iTunes on my iMac to a flash USB drive; while working on various projects at the office, I plug in the USB drive and my earphones and listen to the podcasts.

My preferred podcasts are nearly all news broadcasts or university lectures. In particular, I like:
  • Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's "World at Six," "Quirks & Quarks," "Sounds like Canada," "This Week in Toronto" and "This Week in Ontario";
  • les nouvelles de Radio Canada (French language news from Montreal);
  • BBC's DocArchive;
  • TED, but because it is video I have to watch this at home;
  • occasional programs of NPR's "Fresh Air" and "Diane Rehm Show";
  • NPR's "Marketplace";
  • Slate's daily offerings and weekly gabfest; and,
  • the Australia Broadcast Corporation's weekly "Occam's Razor," although it's also the most annoying. This program is typically 15 minutes long and while the speakers are interesting, it's very clear (to me, anyway) that everything interesting they had to say takes only five minutes: so much mental meandering is typically strewn through the storyline that I'm close to unsubscribing. Still, every couple of months, there's something worth listening to so I keep on.


Until recently, there was something about "Marketplace" which caused my office's version of Windows Media Player to die so I could only listen at home during my spare time. A recent corporate-mandated upgrade seems to have fixed that problem so I'm a slightly happier camper than I was at this time yesterday.
bjarvis: (money)
December is a month of gift-giving and power shopping for the holiday season but it's also the end of the tax year in Canada and the US for making donations to our favourite organizations and charities.

Here's where I'm primarily directing my charitable giving these days... please consider a donation of your own to any of these causes or your personal favourites. Please also consider requesting matching gifts from your employer if available.
  • DC Diamond Circulate DCDC is hosting the 26th annual IAGSDC square dance convention in Washington DC in April of 2009. I'm a corporate officer & event registrar so I'm fairly deeply involved in this event; it's no surprise then that I'm sending the bulk of my gift-giving here. Donations can be made via PayPal to registrar@dcdiamondcirculate.org.

  • All Join Hands AJH is the premier fundraising organization for promoting square/round/contra/folk dancing dancing in the LGBT community. There is a 1:1 matching challenge grant grant (up to $10k) open until the end of this month. Donate here.

  • Online Policy Group/Queernet.org My connection with OPG/Queernet has been via their hosting of the gay & lesbian chorus mailing list for the last 11 years of our 16 year history. In recognition of [livejournal.com profile] qnetter's contributions to maintaining Queernet, I've sent a donation via PayPal using the link below. I'm also planning to set up a monthly donation plan in January so I can continue supporting Queernet throughout 2008. Donate here.

  • National Public Radio NPR is damn near the last real news organization left in the United States. I'd be lost without my local NPR stations during my work commute or in podcasts I download religiously. Donate here.

I have a smattering of other organizations to which I contribute but these are largely done in honour of particular members/event participants (eg. misc AIDS rides, MS rides, hospital burn ward rides, etc.). I don't have the bandwidth to get involved directly, but I'm more than happy to support friends & family who do.

What organizations are you supporting with your volunteer time & energy and/or gift-giving dollars?
bjarvis: (money)
December is a month of gift-giving and power shopping for the holiday season but it's also the end of the tax year in Canada and the US for making donations to our favourite organizations and charities.

Here's where I'm primarily directing my charitable giving these days... please consider a donation of your own to any of these causes or your personal favourites. Please also consider requesting matching gifts from your employer if available.
  • DC Diamond Circulate DCDC is hosting the 26th annual IAGSDC square dance convention in Washington DC in April of 2009. I'm a corporate officer & event registrar so I'm fairly deeply involved in this event; it's no surprise then that I'm sending the bulk of my gift-giving here. Donations can be made via PayPal to registrar@dcdiamondcirculate.org.

  • All Join Hands AJH is the premier fundraising organization for promoting square/round/contra/folk dancing dancing in the LGBT community. There is a 1:1 matching challenge grant grant (up to $10k) open until the end of this month. Donate here.

  • Online Policy Group/Queernet.org My connection with OPG/Queernet has been via their hosting of the gay & lesbian chorus mailing list for the last 11 years of our 16 year history. In recognition of [livejournal.com profile] qnetter's contributions to maintaining Queernet, I've sent a donation via PayPal using the link below. I'm also planning to set up a monthly donation plan in January so I can continue supporting Queernet throughout 2008. Donate here.

  • National Public Radio NPR is damn near the last real news organization left in the United States. I'd be lost without my local NPR stations during my work commute or in podcasts I download religiously. Donate here.

I have a smattering of other organizations to which I contribute but these are largely done in honour of particular members/event participants (eg. misc AIDS rides, MS rides, hospital burn ward rides, etc.). I don't have the bandwidth to get involved directly, but I'm more than happy to support friends & family who do.

What organizations are you supporting with your volunteer time & energy and/or gift-giving dollars?
bjarvis: (Default)
DC has two NPR stations: WAMU and WETA. For many years, WAMU had a news & information line-up while WETA was primarily a classical music station. Back in February of 2005, WETA dropped its classical music programs in favour of news, effectively duplicating many of the programs which WAMU was offering. I was a little miffed at the time, as I suspected that the two stations would split the NPR audience sufficiently to endanger both of them.

As of today, WETA has flipped back from news to classical. Apparently, the remaining classical music commercial station has updated their playlist so their music library and even some staff are being given to WETA in a deal to ensure a classical program stays in the greater Washington DC area.

For my own selfish purposes, this is close to the ideal solution. The only thing I could ask for is that WAMU, my preferred station, had a more powerful signal and thus a greater listening range.

Click for the Washington Post article.
bjarvis: (Default)
DC has two NPR stations: WAMU and WETA. For many years, WAMU had a news & information line-up while WETA was primarily a classical music station. Back in February of 2005, WETA dropped its classical music programs in favour of news, effectively duplicating many of the programs which WAMU was offering. I was a little miffed at the time, as I suspected that the two stations would split the NPR audience sufficiently to endanger both of them.

As of today, WETA has flipped back from news to classical. Apparently, the remaining classical music commercial station has updated their playlist so their music library and even some staff are being given to WETA in a deal to ensure a classical program stays in the greater Washington DC area.

For my own selfish purposes, this is close to the ideal solution. The only thing I could ask for is that WAMU, my preferred station, had a more powerful signal and thus a greater listening range.

Click for the Washington Post article.

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