Archive for June 29th, 2008

29
Jun
08

Ridiculous Cage Match

“This New Wave Nigel doll that they’ve created is just a complete Devo rip-off and the red hat is exactly the red hat that I designed, and it’s copyrighted and trademarked. “They didn’t ask us anything. Plus, we don’t like McDonald’s, and we don’t like American Idol, so we’re doubly offended.” Yep. Devo is suing McD’s and American Idol over the use of the “Energy Dome” hat. And Robert Mugabe was sworn in, hands on the Bible, afer winning the “election” in Zimbabwe.

Who wins the Most Ridiculous Award in this head-to-head? A band that railed against the de-evolution and dysfunction of American society that uses the very tools of that society to battle its corporate icons… Or a guy who steals his 184th election and swears that the results are legit? At least Devo’s move has some cunning irony. Mugabe must be drinking Viagra milkshakes every day just to keep his balls in shape.

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29
Jun
08

Advertising Intrusion

There are two primary types of vacationers: those who want to do absolutely nothing and those who want to see and do it all. If you are part of group number two, then you probably have a jam-packed agenda and have a camera ready to go with extra memory cards (film?). You absolutely must have a visual memento of seeing Trevi Fountain in Rome. Be prepared to bring home more in those photos than you thought was there.

How would you feel if, when you got back home to check out your pictures, there was a giant brand logo of Nike, Gatorade, Prada, IBM, or whatever, plastered over your perfectly composed image of the fountain? What if there was a giant package of Velveeta cheese as a backdrop on your shot of the Eiffel Tower? It wasn’t there when you snapped the picture. But every standard tourist picture that you grabbed is now a marketing vehicle. Yep, there’s technology to do this right now. And Julius von Bismarck’s ‘Image Fulgurator’ is directly to blame.

Essentially, the device waits until it senses a flash. Don’t think that a flash means that only night shots will be affected. Most of you use a flash all the time for all the wrong reasons. Just think of all the flashes going off in a football stadium… When that flash is sensed, the device fires off a flash of it’s own right back at the camera trying to take a picture. The would be Ansel Adams never sees it happen because it happens so fast.

The device is a modified camera — in this case, an old manual Minolta SLR. A flashgun fires through the camera in reverse, from the back. The flash picks up the image of a slide inside and projects it out through the lens and onto any surface.

The trick is in the triggering. The Fulgurator lies in wait until an unsuspecting photographer takes a picture using a flash. When the device’s sensor sees this flash, it fires its own unit, throwing up an image which is captured by the hapless photographer’s camera while remaining unseen by the naked eye.

Now, imagine for a moment that an ad agency gets hold of this. You couldn’t take a photograph of a tourist attraction ever again without worrying that some marketing crap would be pushed into your camera. As Julius told me, “I see it as a piece of media art. It could be a dangerous attack on media. [But] if people do shit with it, I feel bad.”

What do you mean if? Shouldn’t that be when?

29
Jun
08

Kimberly Dawn Trenor: Monster

Update (2/3/09): The filth has been convicted. My post here.

This is Kimberly Dawn Trenor, 19, of Spring, Texas (near Houston). She is awaiting trial in the slaying of her 2-year-old daughter, initially known to the public as Baby Grace. Trenor — accused with her husband, Royce Clyde Zeigler II, 25, of beating Riley Ann Sawyers to death July 25 in their Spring home. Trenor has said that she and her husband beat Riley with a belt, held her head under bath water and pushed her face into a pillow and couch and that Zeigler hurled her onto a tile floor. Riley’s body was stored in a plastic box for up to two months before being tossed into West Galveston Bay, Trenor has said in a statement to investigators. A fisherman discovered the box Oct. 29. The then-unidentified child was dubbed Baby Grace. Trenor gave birth to another child this past Thursday afternoon, while in prison custody.

Child Protective Services officials have said that Trenor would not be allowed to keep her newborn. The normal procedure is for the mother to be allowed to choose a relative to raise the child and for CPS to take the child if an adoptive parent is unavailable. The newborn was taken away from Trenor immediately after birth.

Her trial is set for November 3rd. Prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty. Why not? Our Supreme Court has ruled that the death penalty is not appropriate unless a death is involved and, one would assume, the crime is particularly heinous. Fantastic blog post and civil discussion about the issue is here. Can anyone give me a good reason to believe that this is not a prime example of a case where the perp deserves the death penalty? Perhaps the prosecutors aren’t going for it because Trenor pretty much admitted to what she did? So what? This is a ghastly person who is committing ghastly deeds and is still procreating. I’m not thrilled with the idea of taxpayers shelling out over $7,000,000 for incarceration alone to keep Trenor and her douche nozzle hubby in the can for the rest of their lives.