In search of the new normal, the land of racist tweets, the cult of the military personality, what the election meant, and the amazing shrinking Thanksgiving.
Posted at 12:07 PM on November 12, 2012
by Bob Collins
Well that was fun! A little reminder that driving in the winter is different from driving in the summer. It's also the day when SUV owners in particular are reminded that those "go anywhere off road" commercials that helped convince them to buy their vehicle are total nonsense.
So let's review:
First, if you get stuck on the wrong side of a snowbank, resist the temptation to make a run for it. (Language warning!)
Hire competent help if you get stuck...
For the love of Pete, slow down!
You know who gets a bad rap? These guys...
They could be the answer to the security line at the airport.
At a conference on security in Tel Aviv today, a company unveiled an explosive and drug detection system using mice. An airport scanner box is used, concealing three chambers, each containing eight mice. Upon detection an explosive (or drug), they run into an "alarm chamber."
The company says the best part about using mice is they work longer shifts than dogs.
Seriously, I'm not kidding.(1 Comments)
I guess we suspected it all along.
Abbie Evans, the kid who couldn't take on more minute of the presidential campaign, is a Democrat.
We are awaiting her reaction to the news of David Petraeus' affair.
(h/t: NPR)(4 Comments)
We officially begin Christmas TV ad critic season! Welcome. Nice to see you again.
First up this year is this ad. Is this British ad sexist?
It comes from a supermarket chain and in the face of some criticism over there, the company said it didn't mean to offend anyone.
Says the Ad Freak blog:
I wasn't too shaken by the ad, which has the same ratio of multitasking-supermom to slackjawed-clueless-dad as every ad I've ever seen in my life. But I'm almost happy people were offended. This sort of thing probably is sexist, both to women who don't want to be seen as domestic workhorses forever and to men who want a little credit for competent parenting.
Our next TV ad in the "controversy" category is likely to be Macy's. Word has leaked that in its holiday ad, Donald Trump asks Edmund Gwenn (think Miracle on 38th St.) if he's really Santa Claus. Get it? Beard? Birth certificate? Well, some people are ticked off.
But it's not all nonsense. Back in the UK, a four-year-old boy with Down's Syndrome, will star in the Christmas TV commercials for a retailer. Seb White got the job after his mother posted his picture on the chain's Facebook page, noting the lack of disabled children in advertising in August.
The Brits are simply better -- way better -- at TV advertising than we Colonists are. Take the John Lewis Christmas ad. People wait for it every year from the retailer because it's fairly epic.
What do we have over here to equal it? Some guy giving his wife a new Lexus.
It's preposterous, of course, to allow one organization to determine the "word of the year," but the Oxford American Dictionaries people were first to the marketing gimmick finish line and they have selected "GIF" as the word of the year.
The dictionary people might want to look up the word "acronym," because GIF isn't a word per se at all. It stands for Graphics/Graphic Interchange Format.
The Oxford people go so far as to celebrate the fact an otherwise fine noun has been "verbed."
"GIF celebrated a lexical milestone in 2012, gaining traction as a verb, not just a noun. The GIF has evolved from a medium for pop-cultural memes into a tool with serious applications including research and journalism, and its lexical identity is transforming to keep pace."
To keep pace? To keep pace with what? This?
When the Oxford staff press released me on this, they also indicated the other words that were in the running:
1. Eurogeddon: the potential financial collapse of the Eurozone, envisaged as having catastrophic implications for the region's economic stability [from euro + (arma)geddon]
2. Super PAC: a type of independent political action committee which may raise unlimited sums of money from corporations, unions, and individuals but is not permitted to contribute to or coordinate directly with parties or candidates
3. Superstorm: an unusually large and destructive storm
4. Nomophobia: anxiety caused by being without one's mobile phone
[from no and mo(bile) + phobia]
5. Higgs boson: a subatomic particle whose existence is predicted by the theory that unified the weak and electromagnetic interactions
6. YOLO: you only live once; typically used as rationale or endorsement for impulsive or irresponsible behavior
7. MOOC: massive open online course; a university course offered free of charge via the internet
A different word was named as the UK word of the year by the same organization: omnishambles.
Last year's word of the year was "squeezed middle," as the judges showed equal disdain for the rules of language by naming two words as the word (singular) of the year.