Those Pictograms…

…that theoretically make things easier to understand are refusing to relinquish their penchant for obscurity:

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I mean; if a person trying to operate a car cannot read the words, “ON” and “OFF” located immediately below a vent no matter what country they’re in; perhaps they’re operating the wrong form of transportation.




Drivers here in NB must interpret even weirder symbols that replace words.


Those Dang Antipodeans…

.. made me actually GOLF (Guffaw Out Loud Forcefully) at this one.  Here’s the pic; then I’ll slap you upside the head with the headline:

Wait for it…




(or go here I guess; but here it comes:)




Paraglider Lands, Gets Socked In The Face By A Kangaroo – And It’s All Captured On Cam





Those In-cook-petents…

… at NASA, seem to have not thought about centifugal force as a way of making proper cookies in space. “The experimental Zero G oven will be able to bake one cookie at a time, and it’s possible the treats may come out as cookie balls or cylinders.”

I will be flying down to Houston to pitch the solution:  Put two wads of cookie dough on both flat ends of a cylinder inside their oven, and spin it so the force pushes the dough against the end as it’s cooking.  The mechanics of spinning will need some thought, but perhaps something as simple as the way you get a toy gyroscope going: 

So the whole assembly, is expertly illustrated here:

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Et voila!  Space cookies!

Those Posts…

…that have nothing to do with bars OR marketing just keep on comin’

Those of You Who Have Read…

…the Good Book and the Gooder Book may appreciate this:
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Those of You Who Were…

Hum vs Dehum…”Battle of the Bands” fans, may appreciate the BATTLE OF THE APPLIANCES going on in my step-father’s basement.  He has both a dehumidifier and an humidifier operating in this (essentially airtight) house.  It’s my job to go down 3 or 4 times a day, and empty the coupla gallons or so of water out of the “de-” one, and replace filters in the other.  No big thing, but it seems kind of like being a Satanist Christian, or an Arsonist Firefighter.  And, no, “running a pipe from one to the other,” isn’t a solution, because the dehumidifier also cleans the air.  You’ve probably heard about the air quality problems we have here in southern Nova Scotia ;-}.  Anyway, he is older and (much) wiser than this reporter, so the liquid tilt will continue.  BTW, before the good folks at Frigidaire® and NOMA get their knickers twisted, I totally understand the requirement for both of their types of products, and have happily owned and used both in the past.  In Fredericton, where I grew up, the air would get so dry in the winter that you would get near-fatal electric shocks when touching anything metal, especially if you had been shuffling along the dry carpet.  Yet, when I lived in Montréal, you could almost drown by just breathing the summertime air.  Neither situation was insurmountable, but dehumidifiers were abundant in the latter town; humidifiers in the former.

Those of You who Know this Song…

…will get this:  last night, I fought the log, and the log won.  Last night, I was splitting wood and one piece was particularly reluctant to become two pieces.  I put it down to the darkness; the ax not being sharp enough; the particular species of birch; etc.  Today, we rejoined the battle, and that cylinder of wood remained unsplit for over an hour.  “Just burn it whole, you bonehead!” you say.  I considered that, but news might get back to the forest, and I would hear arboreal snickers every time I entered.  So, I finally defeated it, and now look forward to it spitting an ember out of the stove, and into my sock, this evening.

Those of You in the North and West…

…who feel left out of this Simpsons comic:

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May enjoy this:

Simpsons as Famous Figures

Won’t be Fooled Again! Ha!

Please see this article from today’s Newser:

(Newser)  That whole “subprime crisis” hasn’t scared banks away from the lucrative world of subprime lending. The nation’s top subprime lenders—like Capital One, GM Financial, HSBC, and JPMorgan Chase—are all trying to woo back less-creditworthy borrowers, who tend to rack up late fees while paying rates as high as 29%, the New York Timesreports. “It’s clear that we are returning to business as usual,” said a former Federal Reserve regulator. But that’s not entirely true; the focus hasn’t yet shifted to mortgages, it’s on auto loans.

Auto loans were left largely unaffected by new post-crisis regulations, and the market for bundled auto loan securities is expanding—so much so that Moody’s last year issued a report that it was growing “too much too fast.” In the fourth quarter of 2011, 23% of new auto loans were subprime. But lenders are also eager to roll out credit cards: In December, 1.1 million new cards were issued to people with damaged credit, the Times notes.


Now see the post I wrote in 2008:

Where Were You in ’32?

December 5, 2008 — Stephen Brooks


Are you a big-3 American automobile manufacturer?  Are you suddenly faced with a huge inventory of gas-guzzling SUVs that no-one wants to buy anymore?   Are you asking your federal government for a $24 billion to save your skins?  Here’s the answer to your woes!


I wonder if they’re doing credit checks on the people who take advantage of this offer, or if it’s another sub-prime crisis in the making.  “Sorry about losing the house, honey, but look at this great new truck I got!”  Three months later: “Sorry about losing the truck, honey, but look at this massive federal deficit our children got!”

It took about 40 years for people to forget the lessons of the Great Depression and start using credit cards and other, progressively more inventive, ways to spend more money than they had.  That’s what fueled the roaring ’80s until the crash in ’87.  Then people did the same thing, except with tech stocks in the ’90s, until the bubble burst.  And now the present sub-prime fiasco.  It has always been a case of too many people buying something which is going to decline in value — with someone else’s money.  Which is exactly what Ford is offering you now.


What the Heck is That? Part V

In my continuing series 1, 2, 3, 4,  of stabs at advertising “professionals,”  I give you this:

I’ll grant you that anyone who lives in New Brunswick probably can decipher this.  But the region of Miramichi is presumably trying to draw tourists from afar.   And NB’s First Nations place names are already hard enough.  I’m thinking of Kouchibouguac and Magaguadavic (pronounced MACK-a-DAVE-ee), for instance.  Why throw in the inscrutable font factor?

Here’s the whole ad:

Is this man taking a dump?  Is he panning for gold?  Is he “discovering what ‘WE’ know”?  No, he’s FISHING.  That’s what Miramichi is famous for.  Why go to such great lengths to hide it?

So, my righteous self has a problem with this ad on many levels:

1. I know that written-word fonts are all the rage now, but if they become so “human” that they’re unreadable, what’s the point?

2. Print ads should NEVER have URLs in them.  If you want to provide a link in your print ad, include a scannable barcode like this:










3.  “Discover what we know.” is one of the most ambiguous (almost creepy) taglines I’ve ever heard.  What if  “what we know” is how to re-animate the dead?  Or, more benignly, how to pick up things from the water?

4. And the topper is that this ad appeared in the Moncton Times & Transcript, which serves a market where EVERYONE already knows that the Miramichi has the best salmon fishing in the world.  Whom are we trying to reach, here?  Visiting business people who might come back to NB because of a photo of an old guy grabbing something out of the river?  Sheesh.