Apr 30, 2007

My new name for this White House...

...is "the Alzheimer's Administration".

- Condoleezza didn't remember anything about the security briefs she read before 9/11
- Alberto Gonzales can't remember anything about the DA's scandal
- They've 'forgot' to use the official email system of the White House
- They've 'lost' thousand of emails

And because of their short memory problems, it seems that NONE of them could remember their previous excuses to go to war, so they invented a new one each week... unbelievable!


Apr 29, 2007

The USA according to its Advertising

Advertising is a pretty good way to know with what issues and behaviours you are dealing in every country (or city) in very broad and general terms, of course. I am surprised it is not used more often by sociologists to analyze cities' "psyche" and problems at a particular moment in time.

As a former advertising creative, I have always enjoyed seeing advertising from everywhere. But the reels that you can see at Cannes or in Festivals are not really representative of a place, because at festivals you are seeing "the best" ads, but not all of them. And to have a good idea of what is going on a place, you don't want to see the best ads but ALL of them, so you can work with frequency of ads, type of ad and type of product at the same time.

So each time I travel (and used to travel a lot) I would stay a couple of nights at the hotel just watching advertising. I didn't care if I couldn't understand a word (like in Russia or Greece) I still could learn some things about that place in that particular moment of time, just by watching their advertising production.

So after living in the US for a while, here is my list of issues in the USA that you can perceive through advertising:

1. Money issues: There is a big chunk of the population that is over their head in debt. (you can see or hear ads from thousands of different agencies that offer people to either "consolidate their debt, get a second mortgage to pay their debts -or get in more debt to get out of old debts-, or help file for bankruptcy") .

2. Hyper-consumism: Still, all those money problems don't seem to stop this society when it comes to consumism. At least 3 or 4 tv channels are solely dedicated to sell, and almost all cable stations dedicated to the same after 3 or 4 am. Buy this or that or this new product, and all your problems (money, health, pounds or whatever your worries may be), will dissapear. Keeping up with the Johnsons is also very important apparently, so one more reason to buy stuff even if you don't need it... (and to be in debt for!)

3. Health issues I: The labs seem to be running a good part of this country (money wise) and they seem to be able to come up every month with a new pill for some new, rare (and almost stupid) syndrome --like the restless legs syndrome. Of course, most of those meds can have very undesirable secondary effects what I am sure gets people into have some other pills for those secondary effects. (BTW as someone that in fact has restless legs syndrome, I rather move my legs that have ANY of the problems that the pill against my nervous legs can give me. Is not SUCH a big deal, believe me, you just move your legs and that is it!). On the other hand, weight issues (mostly overweight) is, no doubt another common issue.

4. Instant gratification: But no matter what your problem is, health, weight, debt, there is always an offer promising an "instant solution". Some ads are just unbelievable, as in 'too good to be true' but it seems that there is a public for them. Yeah, there is still people believing in the magic potion apparently.

5. Health issues II: Insomnia and depression seem also to be a big part of the US population problems. What makes sense, especially if you are in debt but you are still buying shit, while overweight and feeling sick because of the cocktail of pills that you are taking to take care of a syndrome that may not have been a real problem in the first place, plus the pills for your allergies, plus the ones for your weight problem and the ones for your insomnia... pills that are some extra expense that adds to your debt. Who wouldn't be depressed, uhm?

I promise I will make a similar list about what you can tell about Argentina and its problems by just seeing its advertising (and funny enough, by different reasons, insomnia is also one of them).

And then at some point I will workk on a list of the problems that you can suspect are more popular but according to another type of advertising, the one know as 'spam'. Probably those problems are going to be more 'x-rated'.

If you think I left a big problem out, pls let me know!


Tres cabezas, un mundo...

"Problema: El banco está perdiendo a muchos de sus clientes jubilados, la razón principal es el fallecimiento de los mismos. Objetivo: Recuperar a esos clientes"
(Agencia, Brief del cliente, recibido por un redactor)

Un simple ejemplo de lo que pueden encontrar en Palabras Textuales, un sitio que recopila los insolitos y cuasi imposible dialogos que pueden darse en una agencia de publicidad, donde cabezas taaan diferentes como creativos, cuentas y clientes interactuan bajo el mismo techo.

Desde la ignorancia del 'otro mundo' (Martha, ¿en qué formato enviamos el archivo al cliente, en JPG o TIF?" - "No, mejor en Diskette para que lo pueda abrir" --Agencia, conversación entre Diseñador y Ejecutiva de Cuentas), hasta los pedidos de hacer magia ( "En este gráfico favor de crecer el logotipo, el cliente está conciente de que ya no cabe pero dice que lo hagas más grande"
--Agencia, Ejecutivo de Cuentas, dándole seguimiento a la petición de su cliente), les aseguro que aunque parezcan increibles, estos dialogos simplemente suceden.

Y aunque no trabajen en publicidad, seguramente alguna vez habran escuchado alguna pavada por el estilo. Los mejores, so far, son aquellos relacionados con las nuevas teconologias... con cosas como "Necesitaría que me diseñen un ´wet-site´" (Anunciante, Gerente de Marketing) o "¿Quién será este señor ´MAILER-DAEMON´ que me escribe a cada rato?" (Agencia, Ejecutiva de Cuentas, después de enviar artes por e-mail con dirección errada a diferentes clientes).
Diviertanse un rato visitando "Palabras textuales", aunque les advierto que es adictivo, una vez que se empieza leerlo es casi imposible dejarlo!
(gracias a Vicky por el dato)


Apr 28, 2007

Best Free Icons Ever

Yesterday in my daily couple of hours 'just browsing' the internet I came across the best free icons ever. It seems that the people of Yellow Icon are trying (with success) to build a database of icons but the premise to be accepted is that 'they have to be excellent'.

The idea is that designers can send their icons that will be available for free to the general public but in exchange they have a pretty good marketing, as each group of icons are displayed have not only the name of the designer, but their website as well. What makes the site also very useful if you are searching for good designers.

The database can be found under the 'icon base' tab, and its only big drawback is that it has 40 pages and no 'next' button or 'see all' option, but a dropdown menu to choose to what page you want to go. It took me sometime to go through all of them, but believe me, its worth the time (if you don't want to see them all, there is a search box but is not really acurate, as for example the database contains much more smileys that the ones that shows as the result of a search).

Some of the icons you can find here are based on themes like: Harry Potter, Ninja Turtles, Halloween, South Park, Superman, Scary Monsters, Corpse Bride, Star Trek, Fifa World Cup, Kill Bill but there are some more serious like 'antiques' and IPod related icons. And if you have kids with their own computer there are some icons for kids that I am sure they would like.

If you ever want to 'pimp out' your computer with style, our first stop for icons should be no doubt the Icon Base.


Quotes on Design, Creativity & Advertising

“Interactive design [is] a seamless blend of graphic arts, technology, and psychology.” —Brad Wieners, 2002

“True interactivity is not about clicking on icons or downloading files, it’s about encouraging communication.” —Ed Scholssberg

"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see."
Henry David Thoreau

"Creative without strategy is called 'art'. Creative with strategy is called 'advertising'." -Jef I. Richards

"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools." -Douglas Adams

“Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity.” -Charles Mingus

"Good design is problem solving.” --Jeffery Veen

“You can't just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they'll want something new.” -Steve Jobs


Apr 27, 2007

The Revenge of the Puppy

No comments. Great ad.


Ideas for Free

The "Idea a day" site has some, uhm, not so great ideas. But they are there for free, so you may expect not to find the best ones. But there are some exceptions.

Here is one:

I think this is a GREAT idea. More so for countries like mine, Argentina, where voting is not optional but required... sooo many times I had no clue for who to vote but I was so sure about who I didn't want in power!!!

As seen in Idea a Day


Satan's Billboards

If you have been in business long enough (or in advertising) you know that any business needs advertising. I have been in both of them and I know that the only reason advertising may be an expense and not an investment is when it has been poorly planned or poorly executed.

You may agree with me or not, but to me churches (not religion, lets make a difference there) are just another business. Normally their advertising is the cheapest and more effective one, that is the word of mouth mixed with faith. But with more churches out there, competition has increased and more and more they are going into traditional advertising.

Here is a nice example. And while they will not change my mind and I will probably never visit their church, they in fact got me into visiting their site. So, at some level, their advertising worked!


Buying the War

Two days ago, by chance, I catched in PBS one of the best documentaries I have seen about the War in Iraq. It is not really about the war, but about the political propaganda used to get the country into this war. How this White House played their cards to trump the press. And how the press was half lazy and half scared to do their duty --that is to investigate the information they receive.

And with the press on their side, the road to the war was much easy for the Goverment. I hope a lot of people can see this program and learn something. I hope they see it and do not just blame the goverment for playing the media or the media for not doing their job. I hope they learn that we, as a the public, we all had the resources to check both of them before 'being for' a war. I hope the American Public can see how easy was to trump them into this mess.

It was very interesting to see journalists defending themselves, saying that they didn't doubt some information because it came from 'high sources'. Also good to see, how just two or three were in fact investigating the facts and reporting the lies, but how their stories never made it to the first page.

The program is 90 minutes long. But is worth every minute. Check it out.


About Dogs and Bitches

People that know me, know that first and foremost I love dogs. Then, in a very, very second place I like people... Well, some people... uhm, few people. Yeah, sorry, but humanity is by far in second place in my heart.

So I have always found that using 'bitch' as an insult is not fair. Not fair for the 'she-dogs' on one hand and not fair for us women on the other, because it tends to be applied loosely to any woman that has either power or strong personality.

It is very funny but sad at the same time, how people will see some characteristics in a man and would say for example that 'he is strong'. But when seeing the same qualities in a woman they would say that 'she is a bitch'. (Of course I am not talking about the gangsta rapers and the hip hop 'crowd' because it seems that for them if you are a woman you are, by definition, a bitch).

Anyway, here is the story. While taking jewelry classes I found two of those exceptions I was talking about, I mean two people that I like. One is my jewelry teacher Jane Levy (she is great, I would love to be like her if I ever grow up) and the other is Sally, that is also a dog lover. With Sally we have even share a booth on a craft fair, not only because it makes everything easier and cheaper for us and because we tend to share some good laughs together, but because what we do when it comes to jewelry is very very different, so there is no competition there.

A couple of days ago, Sally started making her first online catalog with her jewelry. I was browsing it and of course she has a series of pendants that are 'canine related'. And among those things, there it was... what an excellent idea for a pendant! I couldn't help but crack up!! Now, see why I like her? :)

So if you also believe that bitch is a misused word, and you have no problem in being called one for the wrong reasons, you may want to contact Sally for this pendant.

And if you are a dog lover as we are, you can always ask her for a custom made silver pendant with your dog's name for you to use it or for your dog as a tag. You can see more of her jewelry (the rest is very intrincated but abolutely politically correct, don't be afraid) by visiting her website, Dizzy-Dog designs.


Apr 26, 2007

A Shocking Reminder

These coasters were printed using a special invisible red ink, which spreads only when moistened. They were placed at tables and bar counters in Mumbai’s prominent bars and watering holes.

When a customer places his frosted, moist glass of alchohol on it, the red ink starts spreading; and the normal face starts bleeding. Alongside, the message reads: Just a reminder: Drunken driving kills.

As seen in AdHunt.com


Viral Marketing - Make Your Own

Lot of potential. Nice and simple idea. Make your own "instant win scratch card" and send it to your friends.

And apparently at this point, that they are promoting the product you can even win some cash for real. Check out the first one I made.

If you don't win cash (you need to scratch the card to know) at least you will for sure win the picture of the perfect nap....

Or make your own at ScratchYourself.com (not the best name when translated to Spanish)


San Pablo No Logo

Seems that San Pablo may become the first modern and crowded metropolis without outdoor advertising.

Sounds almost from another planet, but they have gone all the way, and a ban on billboards, neon signs and electronic panels have been approved.

You can see more (and bigger) pictures here, and read the whole story here.


Just Perfect

I am not really into shopping and much less into shopping for clothes.

But I believe I SHOULD buy this Pajama Tank. I mean, it would be an excellent way of communicating my usual morning mood, without saying a word. Just read my t-tank and bring me a coffee!

Check out all their products. The "Grumpy Girl Tries to Smile" is also very cute.


Apr 25, 2007

The Strangest IPod Stories

Ok, this is not an actual IPod ad, but it could be.

This is one of the images that illustrates "20 Strange or Unique iPod Stories".

I really like the skin that ranks # 20..., but I am not sure if #6 shouldn't ranked as #1. Because, c'mon, that 'OhMiBod' has to be the most, uhm, 'unusual' IPod accessory EVER!

Visit TheTrukStop site to check all the list (and let me know what you think about #6) :)


The Lying Game

In Spanish we say "el ladron cree que todos son de su condicion" (the thief believes that everyone shares his ways), to indicate that the dishonests tend to think that everyone else is like them, dishonest.

I can't help it but to think that is exactly what happens with this White House, from Bush Jr. down. They have been blatantly lying since 9/11. They never cared about anything (civil liberties, sending kids to a fabricated war, human rights, promises not kept, or acting outside the law). The only thing they cared was about politics. About how to maintain their absolute power for as long as possible. And they cared about how to infiltrate the system (think Supreme Court, think fired DA's) to have some undercover power when their time is up.

Now ('que le hace una mancha mas al tigre') it was also confirmed what we suspected already: they even lied to create the earliest 'hero's war stories' like the ones about Private Ryan or Corporal Tillman’s death.

But they do not have any shame. I am starting to believe that they do not know that feeling at all. And today, Bush Jr. had the gall to accuse Democrats of 'Playing Politics With the Iraq Bill'. Obviously, once again, "El ladron cree que todos son de su condicion".

(and as I see it, if the Dems are in fact playing politics with the Irak war, it is time for a change on who plays with it. Too many years of the White House being the only one playing politics with awful results)


No more landing pages?

Ad Tech San Francisco got their first "protest" led by the guys of "No More Landing Pages".

By reading their proposal, I personally feel that they are just playing with words: "rethinking not optimizing". Sorry guys, buy optimizing, when well done means rethinking.

Nevertheless, I found the name and the 'protest' pretty creative... another way to get attention.


Apr 24, 2007

Posting ads is not a good way of hiring hackers

This one seems unbelievable, but it is a true story, with names and all.

Apparently, the Communications Director for Montana's Congressman Denny Rehberg solicited "hackers" to break into the computer system at Texas Christian University and change his grades (so they would look better when he eventually ran for office, I presume). The hackers posted the email exchange instead.

After reading that complete and unbelievable exchange of emails, I have some (probably rethoric) questions:

1. How come someone with such a poor understanding of the basics of how systems works can be "Director of Communications"?

2. He is planning to break the law and he trust someone he doesn´t know when he tells him that email is a safe way of communication? What kind of Director of anything does not know that if you are planning to break the law you don't want to have ANYTHING in writing?

3. How does something like this exchange (that is funny but unbelievable wrong from all points of view) is not news while a bold Britney Spears makes the headlines once and again?

And last but not least, why I am not suprised that the guy is a Republican...? (sorry, but they seem to have a very estranged relationship with technology)

Thanks Mauricio for sending the lead to the original article, posted on ¨Schneier on Security¨


Ironic image

I love it when one image can deliver irony. They are not easy to find outside the web, but if you keep your eyes open you will see a good number of them online. This one is a perfect example:

Source: Searchviews.com


Seal of Satisfaction!

Do you need a seal for your website? A custom made one? Don´t waste your time with photoshop, just visit the "official seal generator" and get yourself what you want, for free.

You can make old fashioned ones (eagles included), you can generate russian type ones, you can go celtic or roman, or you can make not-so-serious ones like the one that I made for UglyDoggy:

And if you fall inlove with your seal and you want it in a magnet or as stickers, you can order them online (and you can be helping someone in the process).

Play a little and get your own custome made seal at ¨The official seal generator¨. And while you are there, check out other 'says-it' that allows you to perform miracles, like showing intelligent words coming out from George Bush' mouth or good funny jokes being told by John Kerry... :)


Apr 23, 2007

NO me toquen el asado!

This one is just for Spanish speakers...!

Este post va dedicado a Pau, no solo porque ella me mando el material de base, sino porque es la que viene empujando para que escriba también en español. Asi que aquí va!

Olmedo tenía razon. Creo que quienes apreciabamos su programa de tv nunca dudamos de cuanto entendía al argentino medio. ¨Podes matarme a la nona, violar a las nenas, prender fuego a la casa, pero... con eso nooooooooo¨. Ese ¨noooooo¨eran basicamente tres cosas:

El asado, El 'bobby', y el fulbo.

Pero si algunos escépticos necesitaran comprobar esta teoría, aquella que generó el dicho de "escupir el asado", aquella que indica que los argentinos podemos ser cualquier cosa menos vegetarianos, y que por ende te podés meter con muchas cosas pero nunca con el asado, los invito a recorrer la serie de comentarios que la new age Tamara Di Tella recibió por, justamente, agarrarselas caprichosamente con el asado.

Asi es. La señora no tuvo mejor idea que escribir que la carne no es imprescindible, que el asado es una "sinfonía de calorías y grasas".. ¿Perdón? ¿'tamos todos locos? ¿cómo se le ocurre vilipendiar al asado? ¿Como pretende que renunciemos a semejante símbolo de la soberanía nacional?

La señora Di Tella no debe haber visto nunca a Olmedo diciendo "ah, no, con el asado no". Y se la buscó. Básicamente buscó roña y la encontró. He aquí algunas de las respuestas que su post originó. Que se diviertan!

Fe de erratas: Ver comentarios.


The bright side of ideas...

It is easy to come up with 'good ideas' that are extremely expensive. But the real good ideas are generally cheap. Here is one that illustrates the point.

Simple. Easy. Direct. Cheap. I love it! (not sure in what country was shown, the agency is Aarhus)


And more from Axe Dubai...

Promotional towels for Axe, once again by their Ad Agency in Dubai. Good work! :)

If you have not seen my previous posting on Axe with their mouse pad, check it out here.

(I believe that both times the agency is Lowe Mena)


My sentiments exactly...

For those that may feel offended by this, I would like to remind them that President Bush Jr. was the first one in making a point that 'he does not read the newspapers'...

And while we are at the sentiments that Bush inspires, (and not just to me) here is a small story that illustrates some of those feelings:

One sunny day in 2008, an old man approached the White House from across Pennsylvania Avenue, where he'd been sitting on a park bench. He spoke to the Marine standing guard and said, "I would like to go in and meet with President George W. Bush."

The Marine replied, "Sir, Mr. Bush is no longer President and doesn't reside here."The old man said, "Okay," and walked away.

The following day, the same man approached the White House and said to the same Marine, "I would like to go in and meet with President George W. Bush".

The Marine again told the man, "Sir, as I said yesterday, Mr. Bush is no longer President and doesn't reside here."The man thanked him and again walked away . . .

The third day, the same man approached the White House and spoke to the very same Marine, saying "I would like to go in and meet with President George W. Bush."

The Marine, understandably agitated at this point, looked at the man and said, "Sir, this is the third day in a row you have been here asking to speak to Mr. Bush. I've told you already several times that Mr. Bush is not the President anymore and doesn't reside here. Don't you understand?"

The old man answered, "Oh, I understand you fine, I just love hearing your answer!"The Marine snapped to attention, saluted, and said, "See you tomorrow"


Apr 21, 2007

Virginia Tech II - Keywords ads and the Facebook group

Business is business and that is probably the main reason why several large news organizations like The New York Times or CNN worked with Internet search firms to boost traffic heading to their websites, by buying the same day of the shooting, keywords related to the massacre, like "Virginia shooting" or "Virginia Tech".

I have no intention to enter in the ethics debate about the fact that they used a massacre to 'advertise'. I understand why some people may not like the fact but I also understand why they did it.

But this particular piece of news kept me thinking about what seems could be an important shift in the relationship between media and advertising. While until not so many years ago, mass media will sustained itself through advertising but will not spend in advertising so often --large newspapers spent normally in just 'branding campaigns--, that is obviously changing.

If newspapers are competing on keywords on daily basis, that means that they have become advertisers at a much bigger scale. What may easily change their finances, especially online. They shall receive, yes, but they have to give too, on daily basis. :)

Now, the Dateline NBC post in Facebook that *is* tacky! (and they didn't know that ALL CAPS MEANS YELLING?)


Apr 20, 2007

Is a rat! (and maybe is better than it sounds)

I have always been curious about the animals' process of thinking. We know some of them, like dogs, do have dreams, what indicates some level of unconscious.

Recently studies with monkeys and rats made it clear the we know nothing about the potential of the animals' brains.

Case 1: The monkey business

According to Stephen Dubner, author of "Freakonomics", a study (to be featured in his next book) that used capuchin monkeys to examine the psychological effects of money on the animals, had an unexpected turn when they learn to use the money, uhm, let's say, as good as humans. It is worth reading the whole story! Not only is interesting, I bet you will laugh..

Case 2: The rats that know they don't know.

Another study, featured in Newsweek, seems to indicate that the small rodents may have the ability to think about their own thoughts, to engage in self-reflection, to introspect. And know what they don't know.

What reminds me of another study on rats, that show that when rats find 'totally new food' they do not eat it until the food pass what we can call a 'control group' test: some rats are sent to eat that new food and if those rats are alive after some days, just then the whole group would eat it.

What so far they don't know is what are the characteristics of the rats sent as control group: would it be the less 'intelligent' ones, the weakest ones and therefore the 'disposable' ones or are they sending the healthier and strongest ones, what would mean that they are willing to sacrifice the best ones to save the group and ergo, the specie?

Me, I like rats. I understand why we should keep them away from home, but each time I see one, I can't help thinking that they have survived because of their intelligence. And I respect intelligence.


What a GREAT resume!

You may think I am kidding, but I am not. I think that if his story is true (and why make up this story!) this ad is in fact a great idea.

I mean, you have been 10 years in jail, finding a job may not be easy. But you do have skills, so why don't point them out, make it clear you have a past and start with a title that you are sure it will draw a lot of attention?

The ad was published in a Canadian newspaper. Click on the image to enlarge.

Click to enlarge If you still can't read the small fonts when enlarged, here are some highlights:

"...participated in the executive level management of 120 people worldwide in a sucessfull pot smuggling venture with revenues in excess of U$ 100 million annually(...) expert in all levels of security(...) well-traveled, speak English, French and Spanish(...) references available from friends, family, US District Attorney..."

Would you interview the guy? I would...

As seen in the now dead blog HireBlog.


Apr 19, 2007

Be careful with your sticky fingers!

We all have done it, at least once. And we all felt ashamed after it. Most of the time, we can shoot a 'sorry, wasn't for you' and survive the embarassment.

I am talking about sending an email (or an IM) to the wrong person. But sometimes that simple mistake can be a big BIG BIG 'Ooooops'.

For work related reasons, I have been the the recipient of some of those 'oops' --so let me help you avoid them. The most common cases are:

1. The careless reply: If a friend sends you an article or an event that is a link to a website, when you hit 'reply' CHECK OUT what email appears in the 'to' field. It is very common that websites have a 'send to a friend' tool under their articles or events that your friend might have used to send that link to you. So, even if it is a message from a friend with a link, the sender may be an email address originated by the site she was visiting. And when you hit 'reply' to anser your friend, the email is going to that original site and NOT to your friend.

2. The rushed FWD: you've received an email and by some reason you want to send it to someone else, making fun of the original message. But in a rush or because you are more used to, you have in fact hit 'reply' instead of 'fwd' and you have sent to the wrong wrong wrong person your funny coments. Another variant of this same problem is that you have hit fwd but you start writing a name in the 'to' field and the program has filled it for you with the wrong address and you have not noticed.

3. The wide inclusive 'ALL': You meant to answer to just one of the persons that received the original email, but you hit 'reply all' and you just let everyone know that 'Bobby is really pissing me off, is he an idiot or what'. Worst part of it, Bobby was actually in the list... ooops!

4. 'Quick fingers IM': here there are 2 possibilities. You may have too many contacts starting with the same letter (or even name) and you meant a msg for Rod and it went to Rob. Or, you meant to send Vic a msg about George, but because George is in your mind, you actually send it to George and not to Vic.

Again, this is not a problem when the msg is inocous. BUT, if you are making fun of someone, being mean about someone, confessing your deep feelings to someone or bitching badly about something, believe me, you want to check twice before sending things like:

' I wish they all rot in hell, bunch of selfish and insensitives machos' or
' Yeah, she has a great ass, is a pity is her only ass-et' or
' They have no idea how bad I am planning to sue them...' or
' I don't care if he is married, gay or a monk, I will stalk him until I get him' or
' These idiots think I am interested in their product'

And if you think I am exaggerating, I am not. These examples are just free versions of actual cases I have received. So once more, be careful... or I will actually start publishing the oops I receive everyday!


Want a little puppy? :D

No, is not a PhotoShop trick. Is the kind of thing that should go to Ripley's 'believe it or not'.

Iin fact, it has gone already into the Guinness World Record as the 'Biggest Dog Ever' and, well, take a look at him:

His name, that suits him very well, is 'Hercules' and the little mamooth, of just 3 years, is an English Mastiff that weights 282 pounds.
(Thanks to Rob's mom for the data!)


I am not a sadist!

I promise. I swear. I am not a sadist. It just happened that after the post about 'The ex' (that is the name of the product), Nico sent me the picture of Fred that seemed like its perfect companion, so I published that too.

And today I find this third piece that matches those previous ones so well, and I feel like the 3 of them together can become some sort of a cute 'Tim Burton movie type' family...

The ad for the product says that is not only useful as a toothpick holder but as a stress reliever. I bet!

(Me, I can't help it but to see this little guy as one of the sweet and sad characters of "The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy: and Other Stories")


Creating forms just became easier than ever

Yesterday I received an email from FormLogix, a service I signed up for some time ago that I never used until now. They were informing us of the release of their version 2.0 and I decided to give it a try...

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful little product for non techies like me, if you want to make forms for surveys or ´contact us´or almost any other thing that needs one. And they take care of the data storage too, so not only you receive an email if you want to, but there is a place where you can go and check for all the responses. Yes, you have to take the demo and read the help when you want some especific things, but still, a really easy way to create a form. Oh, I almost forgot, is not only easy, is also free!

So I created a form, the one that you can find under ¨contact me¨ that allows you my dear reader not just to drop a line, but to submit articles, ideas, ads or products if you have something that you want published that is not just a comment to my posts.

Contact me, contact me, contact me (if you want, of course) and next time you need a form for your website, or in its own URL or to send via email, try the form designer from FormLogix!


Zude to drag and drop

Thanks Eric for the lead! It seems that a new tool is coming to town (well, sort of...).

A drag and drop, ´share it all´ that if it works as promised will help non techies to organize what they want to share in a breeze. For now, is just a nice promise (with a not so nice logo), but if you want to see the demo and sign up to be invited to try it, just click here!


Avoid a divorce over the toilet

I truly don´t know what to think about this product. Mixed ideas and emotions are crossing my brain...

On one hand sounds stupid. On the other one, it may be better than a marriage counselor.

And even if the ad is obviously a home made one, the offer is for real, the product exists and you can buy it in EBay

At almost $500 it may be cheap if it will help save your marriage! (I still prefer separate bathrooms if possible...)


HUGE 'dropped calls'

An ad that for sure takes your attention, at least the first time you see it. Of course we are talking NYC.

From Cingular, the company promising less 'dropped calls'...

Hey, guys, not sure if you know, but you have a huge dropped call... hey, can you hear me? Can you hear me now? :D

(Thanks Mau for the picture!)


Apr 18, 2007

Sex Sells

We all know that sex sells. But in some cases it sells cleverly.

This is one of those cases, and believe it or not, this merchandising promotion was conceived in Dubai. Axe is the product, a product that has the same positioning all over the world, so this sexy 'guy oriented' mouse pad makes all the sense for the product (note the "Axe effect" in the middle of the mouse pad).

I saw this one in the Argentinian newspaper LaNacion, that is featuring today among other ads the ones for Playboy and the Casino that I featured some days ago... so my friends, you can say you know about them first in Ugly Doggy! ;)


Fishing for ideas

Today I went fishing. I mean, YouTube is great, but there are other sources for videos, like GoFish.com. And there I found this ad that I was looking for since some time now.

Even when it is a funny ad with just pets, you may not found it suitable to see it with small kids, if you get uncomfortable explaining what sex is about! :)


Sugar or Nutrasweet?

Do you REALLY know the difference?

A clever Argentinian ad for Nutrasweet. Maybe is one of those ads that are a bit more funny for women than to men... but who buys the sweetener? ;)

Subtitled in English (with no sound but not really necessary anyway) it makes a point!


Virginia Tech and 'the right to bear arms'

The Virginia Tech episode is a really sad one. But already some groups are kicking and screaming that this has nothing to do with gun control.

People, one thing is the right to bear arms. Keep that right if it is soooo precious to your existence (still, it makes me wonder about the psyche of this country that holds that right so precious) but the right to bear arms does not mean that the control over buying and selling guns could be much much tighter.

How come the US is the only developed country with such bad numbers when it comes to violent deaths? (According to the CDC, "The United States is a leading country in firearm-related homicides" and in a previous study they found that "the US has by far the highest rate of gun deaths -- murders, suicides and accidents -- among the world's 36 richest nations"). Don't you think something is wrong there?

On a side note, I read that the right to bear arms was conceived as a way to 1) not let the goverment be the only 'owner' of guns and 2) allow people to revolt to that goverment if necessary... ironic, considering that people nowadays seem more inclined to 'revolt' if gas prices make it difficult to maintain their monstrous Hummers than to 'revolt' if they have the most crooked goverment in their history (yeah, I am talking about this one, the one that lied once and again to go to war, the one that commited treachery by 'selling out' a covered CIA agent and the one that conveniently 'lost' thousands of emails).

But more about that in coming postings...(sigh)


Apr 17, 2007

Lost and Found

Several websites from around the world work over found things. One example is the australian Object Not Found with an interesting home page design and very unsual stuff under "the smith gallery", but be aware this is not a very user friendly site to navigate.

On the other side of the world, Fotos Encontradas, an Argentinian bilingual site that works just with found pictures is a site to visit and where you can spend good time just looking to all its galleries --that are very well categorized. And their links list of other websites has some pearls to visit (Paul, this is where I have seen the Red Meat cartoon before you show it to me again!).

Last but not least, in the UK, someone has a site about found photos of women with dogs...


Another nice present :)

And again, thanks Nico (idolo!) for finding the perfect match for my last present to Glenn.

As those knives, this is a great present for someone you have total confidence in... if the trust is not there, you don't want a misunderstood caused by this little pen holder.

So, even if it is a great adding for an office desk, if you don't have an extreme good communication with your boss, coworkers or employees, I would not recommend this beautiful object as a gift for any of them.

On my case, I would love if Glenn gives it to me as a 'revenge' for my knife holder... I am not really sensitive (scratch that I am, but mostly with words, not with objects) so I wouldn't read between lines.

I would just make sure of killing the little man once and again with different pens... just to relieve stress... ;)


I want THIS keyboard!

Gracias Nico! I still have to find out where this is available. But I want one. My friend Nicolas send it to me (from Chile with love) but as he is in the business of weird and nice merchandising, he may have found this in China or Taiwan. As soon as the 'insider' reports more information, I will let you know.

Isn't this a beauty? A great mix between old times and new ones...

Now I am in trouble, as I have to decide between a washable keyboard or this one! Maybe they can make this one washable? Or am I asking too much?


TurboTax rap contest

More and more companies are profiting of the idea of having common people work their advertising (or even their packaging, see Pepsi). It is an interesting idea, because in cases like this one, the TaxRap contest, sponsored by TurboTax, they get incredible exposure. Not only they have tons of people participating but they also have tons seeing those "entries" (all home made ads for TurboTax) and voting. The price for that exposure was probably pretty low...

Personally, I didn't find the winner rap sooo great, but if I were an executive of TurboTax I would have voted for it too... it has great inclusions of the TurboTax logo. To see all winners, follow this link.


Apr 16, 2007

Better than mirrors

I like this idea from Polaroid Brazil. They replaced the mirrors in the bathrooms of shopping malls with Polaroid cameras, to reinforce the idea that the product is a way to get an instant image.

My only question is how they avoid the cameras to be stolen?


Apr 15, 2007

An unconvential landing...

Thanks to Rob for this story that is actually true...

A Cornell University student who slipped from a trail and fell more than 75 feet into a gorge lived to tell the story thanks to a raccoon.

Lisa Nelson was walking on the wet Cascadilla Gorge trail that separates the Ivy League school from Ithaca's Collegetown neighborhood when she slipped Monday.
Ithaca Police said the 20-year-old student plummeted more than 75 feet into the steep, rocky gorge, but suffered only a broken wrist and other minor injuries after making a relatively cushy landing atop a soft, plump raccoon.

Police said they believe the raccoon saved the co-ed's life.

Police Capt. David Barnes said rescue workers found the student and the hapless raccoon laying side by side at the bottom of the gorge.

"She was on the bottom and there was an injured raccoon next to her," he said.

Nelson was reported in satisfactory condition Tuesday afternoon at Tompkins County Hospital.

Unfortunately, the raccoon didn't fare so well in the end. After being for a while at a local animal shelter and show fairly good progress for some months, he took a turn for the worse and died of complications about six months after the incident.

What is not in the report and it seems to have been the case (our informant told us) is that the girl went 'down' when trying to use nature as the bathroom.

I'm telling you, you can trust animals, just not the 'nature' around them!

PS: if you think this is not a true story, here is the link to one of the few posts online with it.


Apr 13, 2007

Google 3rd headquarter is in Argentina

The Mountain View, Calif., search engine opened an office in Buenos Aires which will be the headquarters of its Latin American operations, company executives said Thursday.

"Argentina will be the third-largest headquarters for Google business development in the world, after those in California and Ireland," Gonzalo Alonso, Google's director general for Latin America's Spanish-speaking countries, said at a press conference in Buenos Aires.

The Buenos Aires office also will manage some clients of its operations in Spain, Alonso said.
Alonso, who will head the Buenos Aires office, said the company is making "an important bet" in the country, but declined to say how much Google is investing in Argentina and how many jobs it will create.

Highlighting the company's commitment in the region, Google Chief Executive Officer Eric Schmidt made a surprise appearance at the press conference.

Alonso said Google chose Argentina as its regional headquarters due to the Argentine people's entrepreneurial spirit, to the high number of Internet users, and the good quality of Argentine software developers.

He denied that the decision was based on Argentina's low costs resulting from the weak peso, the local currency which trades at around ARS3.10 against the U.S. dollar. "Costs-based decisions are short-term," he said.

Vamos muchachos todavia! :)


The White House ´lost´emails

How convenient! Once again, when you read about what happened, you have to decide between idiots (that can't read or understand policies) or liers (they knew exactly how to avoid storage of their non-sanctum emails).

In a normal company such a breach of policies is enough motive to be fired. But I guess this White House is run more like an Enron type company... and sadly, this Enron White House is going down taking with it the whole image of the USA.

Technorati Profile


I want a motorcycle!

...well, not really..., but if I had one it would just be to have the excuse to have a helmet like these... what a great idea!

Now, this option, I dont think is such a great idea. Not only it does not look good but also is probably less secure as a helmet. Ugly ugly, look at THAT helmet!


Lets euthanize kids (they attack, believe me!)

Today reading the New York Times I came across the story of Duke, a dog that may be euthanized because he chased and bit another dog twice.

On the other hand, everyone, including his handlers at his ´prision´where he is awaiting for the final sentence, considers Duke a nice, calm dog, not aggressive in nature.

I just can´t believe it. Normal dogs have their likes and dislikes as we have. My dog for example has some kind of alpha male syndrome that would get him in trouble (and real trouble) as he may be ok with some dogs but he would not be ok at all with some others and would start a fight even when his chances of winning are less than zero. And because he is particular jealous of any other dog approaching me in the streets he would not be friendly with them in front of me.

So it is MY responsability to make sure that nothing happens. And by nothing I mean also by his own safe (one day at the park, my skinny medium size mutt decided he didn´t like 3 very mean looking dobermans that were coming towards us and HE want to attack THEM!). But he is, believe me, a sweet mutt that is not aggressive at all. He just don't like some other especific dogs. He does not know about laws, I am the one that knows. So I am the one that needs to be sure that he would not get in trouble. But if he gets in trouble, I AM THE ONE that should pay for that in some way, not him and not with his life.

I find this situation pathetic and unfair. As with soooo many other things, this society wants to put the responsability someplace else, on the wrong subjects. The same way that they try to blame things like Columbine on video games. Video games are not to blame, PARENTS have the biggest share of responsability. Believe me I have seen 5 year old kids being really mean to each other or to smaller ones. Should we euthanized them too? They attack! And more than once!

Dogs, like kids, do not understand the law. Duke should not pay with his life for having his issues with the neighbor´s dog. Is the other way around, his owner should be punished for not taking care of Duke, knowing that the sweet guy could turn not so friendly in some especific situations (like you and me, btw...).


Apr 12, 2007

Hypocrites! All hypocrites! (or the Imus' Show part II)

In the list of things I truly hate, hypocrisy is among the ones at the top. Hypocrisy means "do what I say but not what I do" but also can be defined when someone condemns, demand punishment or verbally attack someone else for acts which they practice themselves.

So, by that same definition we can consider both reverends Mr. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton the biggest hypocrites of this story. Not the only ones, of course, as CBS and MSNBC and the advertisers and the whole society share their part.

So why I consider both reverends the biggest hypocrites? Simple. They pushed more than anyone, as 'leaders of the African American community' to get Imus fired. Not punished for an awful mistake, but fired. They condem among other things the fact that Imus makes money from 'insulting and offending'. Wow! Exactly what gangsta rappers and hip hop and other members of their so sacred community are doing. Still, I haven't see any of the reverends calling to boycott those 'musicians' that are also aired on public airwaves.

So, it seems that offensive and sexist words as the tool to make money should be punished differently when the offenders are from their same race. What at the end, make both reverends racist as well. Sad, really sad.

Again, don't get me wrong, I believe that what Imus said was reprehensive. But the reverends showed no mercy and wanted the man, not the act, to be punished. Probably because is the same act their own use every day to sell their 'music' and make tons of money in the process.

And why I am calling everyone else hypocrites? Simple. The companies and advertisers where with the show not because it was a naif and well mannered one, but a one with an apparently huge number of followers and all the ingredients to be really controversial.

And we, the public, we are also hypocrites. We let all this happen.


A letter to my pets...

Thanks Brigitte for this one, is just great!

My dear pets:

When I say to move, it means to go someplace else, not to switch positions with each other so there are still two of you in my way.

The dishes with the paw print are yours, and contain your food. All other dishes are MINE and contain my food. Please note that placing your paw print in the middle of MY plate and food does not stake a claim making it YOUR plate and food.

I cannot buy anything bigger than a king sized bed. I am very sorry about this. But do not think that I will continue sleeping on the couch to ensure your comfort!

Dogs and cats actually curl up in a ball when they sleep. It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to one another, stretched out to the fullest extent possible. I also know that sticking tails straight out and having tongues hanging out the other end to maximize space is nothing but sarcasm.

The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack. Beating me to the bottom is not the object. Tripping me doesn't help because I fall faster than you can run.

For the last time, there is NOT a secret exit from the bathroom. If by some miracle I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to meow, claw, whine, try to turn the knob, or get your paw under the edge of the door and try to pull it open. I must exit through the same door I entered. Honest.

Also, I have been using the bathroom by myself for quite some time --feline or canine attendance is not mandatory.

I can't stress this one enough -- kiss me, THEN go smell the other cat's/dog's behind.

To pacify you, my dear companions, I have posted the following notice on our front door:

Rules for Non-Pet Owners Who Visit and then Complain About Our Pets:

1. The pets live here. You don't.

2. If you don't want their hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture. (That's why it's call "fur"niture.)

3. To you, our pets are just animals. To us, they are an adopted son/daughter who happens to be hairy, walks on all fours and doesn't speak clearly.

4. Dogs and cats are better than kids because:

--- they don't ask for money all the time
--- they are easier to train
--- they usually come when called
--- they don't hang out with drug-using friends
--- they don't need a gazillion dollars for a college education, and
--- if they get pregnant, you can sell the children. :))

PS: Thanks also to Odra and Paulo that have 'donated' the cute picture of Benjamin --already using less space than the cat! I wanted to steal that picture so badly, finally I got a good motive! :)


Real estate tool

I am not planning in buying a house, nor I have one in the US to sell. But if I were selling or buying, I would be checking a new site, Zillow.com
In Beta for now, sounds like a possible interesting tool. Just enter your address and check it by yourself!


GoogleMaps can't explain how cubans arrived to FL

Try this. Go to Google maps and ask for 'Directions' between Miami, FL and Paris, France. The map will show you driving directions with just on small dip in the ocean, where the only thing you have to do is just to 'swim across the Atlantic Ocean' for around 30 days...

Now, a bit more weird, make the same search but this time ask for directions between Miami and London. Google Maps tell you to cross the ocean, land in France and from France to go to London. C'mon, I am already swimming, shouldn't I land directly in the UK? Why you make me swim more?

But here comes the weirdest part. If you ask for directions between Cuba and Miami, the answer is: 'we could not calculate driving directions between...'

Mmmmmmm... is Google Maps into some kind of conspiracy against the Cubans that want to come to Florida? Or is it a conspiracy against Americans that want to travel to Europe for free?

P.S.:Thanks to Scott that gave me the tip about Miami-Paris!


Apr 11, 2007

Gift for Dummies

Want to write your own "For Dummies" book? Well, you can start right now with the cover...

To make your own cover just visit the Dummies Cover Generator. It can also be a great gift for someone!


Good (and cheap) Ad!

She gets all she wants. Sugar daddy? Not exactly...


The Imus Show

I will try to keep this one short. Everyone has an opinon on this issue, well, here is mine.

I believe that what the guy said was truly offensive and actions should be taken. Now, I would like to see the black community equally offended when their own people (rappers, etc) are the first ones in calling their women 'bitches' and 'hos'. I would like to see the black community pushing their people to boycott those 'stars'.

Offensive is offensive, it shouldn't matter who is saying it...and rappers do not called their women bitches in a loving way. So, grilled Imus all that you want. But grilled your own people the same way when they voice the same offensive statements.

Respect starts at home. You have to respect yourself to be able to demand some level of respect. I do not see that happening.


Finding friends in blogs

Isn't it a weird thing how sometimes you start reading a blog and you think "this person could be my friend"?

And believe me, I do not make friends easily. But it happens to me today, reading Jeremy Hermanns blog. I don't know him, he is not a friend, but he could be.


Apr 10, 2007

I will survive - The Alien version

This is old, but is one of my favorites videos of all times.

As an 'alien' in this country, and sometimes feeling like an alien in this world, let this be an small hommage to a great song, a great animation for that time and also to other 'aliens' around the world.

If you want the Portuguese version, is also available in YouTube (what is NOT there?)


Be nice to 'America'

I have to thank Juan for finding this. Is not only a funny bumpersticker but kind of a sad true. When excuses like WMD (weapons of mass destruction) or alleged links between the dictator in place and Al-Qaeda failed miserably, we always have freedom and democracy as an excuse....

Now, the fact that in the process (North) Americans have to lose some of the same freedoms that they are exporting seems to bother just a few.

May be freedom is experiencing the same process that manufacturing basic goods experienced some years ago. First they were made in the US, then companies found it cheaper/better to have at least half of the production someplace else, then everything started to be made overseas..., and now try to find a piece of silverware that is not made in China!

Will it come the day where 'democracy' and 'freedom' will be produced overseas and the US will just import a cheaper version of it? Mmmmmm... now that I think about it, thanks to these last years and the brilliant ideas of 'the decider', we already have in the US a 'cheaper version' of freedom and democracy....

PS: I use 'America' always between quotes because America for a lot of people outside the US is the whole continent, not just the US.