07 June 2009
Friday/June/12 2009 Filed in: Science / Technology
Somebody cue Ah-nold the Terminator. Apocalypzia warns you that the line between androids and us gets fuzzier all the time.
What's Your Sign?
First up, Miss Hello Kitty, who seems more animated than some humans we know. We shudder to think of the beer goggle consequences.
Eva the Head
So far, she's just a head, but still is creepy enough to freak you out. She's interactive but, at this point, pretty much at the Magic 8-Ball level.
Please dim the lights for my Power Point presentation...
Can't you imagine sitting across the conference table from her in a meeting?
Ah-nold, do you want to meet the new female robots now or do it another time?
Thursday/June/11 2009 Filed in: Philosophy / World View
Lady Godiva was a Freedom Rider...
Maude was a popular spin-off of CBS's All in the Family series. Played by the late Bea Arthur, Maude was the left-leaning feminist cousin of Archie Bunker's wife, Edith.
In the first episode of Season 3, Maude met John Wayne at a cocktail party. This was big at the time and made for good television. Wayne was the epitome of all that was conservative in the 1970s and Maude was the outspoken polar opposite. It was one of the Duke's last screen appearances. He passed away a few years later.
John Wayne was a controversial figure during the Viet Nam War. While college students protested the conflict, Wayne supported the idea of pushing the Viet Cong back where they came from. One never got the sense from him that he was the least bit apologetic about that position.
Yesterday ... and Today
It's not clear however how he would react to a war like the ones we've seen lately. Maybe he would rally the Right to hold the line against Iraqi insurgents to the bitter end. To push them back where they came from, wherever that is.
But maybe he would be uneasy if he got wind that it was possible that detainees were waterboarded to build a false case supporting an invasion. Maybe he would be appalled if it was suggested that the USA staged a pre-emptive attack for political reasons.
Maybe it would make him spit to think that his country would pick an unfair fight for an unclear purpose.
After all, it's likely that the Duke's fierce conservatism was based on his patriotic desire to actually conserve the values and hallowed institutions of his beloved nation, not to mock and defile them.
No one knows how John Wayne would react to what's going on today.
But Apocalypzia believes there's a better than even chance that he would come looking for Dick Cheney.
And not to shake his hand...
Monday/June/08 2009 Filed in: Entertainment / Media
The 3D Experience
Ever since the first Viewmaster, we've been fascinated by looking at things that weren't there that looked by-gosh like they actually were. B-movies with the cardboard red-green glasses, IMAX theatres with the bulky Atom Ant headgear, even those Magic Eye books that left you cross-eyed after twenty minutes. We've done them all.
And it may not be too long before, you don't have to go to the IMAX to get the Full Monty 3D experience. Jonathan Merril reports that 3D is coming soon to your living room.
But there is some other fascinating stuff going on out there in the virtual reality world.
GE has developed a do-it-yourself 3D generator to help raise global warming awareness. All you need is a computer, a webcam and a printer.
But Johnny Chung Lee is the Man!
Back in 2007, Johnny Chung Lee figured out a way to hotwire a Nintendo Wii -- and with a few items from Home Depot -- to enter a whole different freakin' universe. Amazing!
Now Johnny's working in the Applied Sciences Group at Microsoft and he's one of the masterminds behind Project Natal.
The question is -- what happens when 3D technology converges with the no-controller Natal experience? It could happen sooner than we expect. After all, Johnny Chung Lee has figured out both pieces of that puzzle already.
Are Johnny Chung Lee and the other programmers like him the Thomas Edisons and the Alexander Graham Bells of the 21st Century?
And more importantly, how will we, as sentient and conscious beings, come to define reality now that technology can play such an influential role in the process?
Sunday/June/07 2009 Filed in: TV Commercials
The Most Interesting Man in the World
There's a rumor that Dos Equis Beer came up empty when trying to sign up a celebrity spokesperson a few years ago for a series of TV commercials. The solution, so the rumor goes, was that the ad agency invented a celebrity and launched the Most Interesting Man in the World campaign.
True or not, the brilliance of Euro RSCG Worldwide's marketing campaign for Dos Equis is how well it lampoons celebrity endorsements, leveraging off the outlandish popularity of Chuck Norris lore. With special irony, the MIMITW doesn't exactly endorse the brand but says instead that when he drinks beer, he prefers Dos Equis. A fine example of post-apocalypse marketing.
BTW, the actor behind the beard is Jonathan Goldsmith. You 1970's TV fans will remember him as one of the bad guys Charlie's Angels tangled with.
The beauty of the MIMITW campaign is in the details. Will Lyman, the authoritative voice of PBS's hard-hitting Frontline documentary series, is the voice talent. And the Dos Equis website is, as of this writing, totally devoted to the concept.
The MIMITW campaign is further supported by a series of shorter spots where the character expounds on his life philosophy...
On Pick Up Lines:
Maybe it's the beard, but we wonder if the philosophy bits were inspired by the Phistophicles series on YouTube, or maybe vice versa.