Work/Life Balance Is a Joke 

Friday, April 3rd, 2015

At one major law firm in Boston, the idea of sometimes being away from work is worthy of a truly lousy April Fools’ Day joke.

McBarge 

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

I wouldn’t have thought it was possible to make McDonald’s less appealing, but back in the ’80s, they found a way.

Temporarily Grounded 

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

Let’s ignore Internet Jackass Day, and instead read about super bad-ass Cheryl Stearns, who’s completed almost 20,000 skydives.

Mid-Performance Marketing

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

Since writing about Meh last year, I’ve been following the site. It’s offered the occasional good deal on something useful, incredibly slow shipping, and quite a bit of humor. They’ve also offered a VMP, or Very Mediocre Person, program. It provides free shipping, and other “perks”. Recently, they decided to reward all VMP members a pair of socks. I now present them to you, in all their mediocrity.

Mid-Performance Socks by Mediocre - Never settle for less than minimally adequate.
Mid-Performance

Machine wash in cold water with like colors. Store in a cool, dry place, like the desert at night. Conversion into puppets will void warranty. Do not give socks individual names. That's how you get emotionally attached.
50% Good

As a member of our VMP program, you're officially a Very Mediocre Person. That deserves a reward. But not too big of a reward. Free socks seems about right. So here. They're made by our friends at Foot Cardigan, like the ones they offer in their sock-of-the-month club for $11/month. But this gift isn't from them and they didn't pay us to say that. We paid for this. We deserve your thanks, not them. Just want to be clear about that. Anyway, socks! And thank you for being very mediocre.
It does indeed seem about right.

No two ways about it, Mediocre Laboratories’ messaging is on point. Lackluster, anhedonic point.

The Billionaire You’ve Never Heard Of 

Monday, March 30th, 2015

Norway’s Fred Olsen has designed some of Timex’s most successful watches, and been a pioneer in the oil industry. Fortune has a fascinating profile, based on the first extensive interviews he’s ever given.

At Least He Didn’t Have an Open Container 

Friday, March 27th, 2015

People violate high-occupancy vehicle rules all the time, but they don’t always do it with enough flair to get the authorities tweeting about it.

Man with cardboard cutout driving in HOV lane
The driver’s amusement is the best part.

Stopping the Stadium Wars 

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

Public financing of sports stadiums is a losing proposition, but there’s always a new city willing to make a losing bet. Thus, the rich team owners get richer, on the back of the public. Perhaps the federal government might put an end to that.

Likely Considered Weird 

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

On May 30th, the Starlight Parade will travel through downtown Portland, Oregon. Serving as grand marshal of this nighttime parade will be a rolled up piece of used carpet.

PDX Carpet as Parade Grand Marshal
Click for more fun with googly eyes.

Bad Ads: Logic? Whatever.

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

Last month, I linked to a piece describing Budweiser’s Hypocrisy. Today, I’ve got a Bud Light ad in my crosshairs. The brand has been focused on the concept of being “up for whatever”, showcasing things like life-sized Pac-Man and ping-pong against Arnold Schwarzenegger alongside their beer. These ads doesn’t make me want a Bud Light, but they aren’t terrible, which is frankly some of the highest praise I can give a commercial.

However, the 15 second version of a recent Bud Light ad for their “Whatever, USA” campaign contains these words:

  • This once-in-a-lifetime town is happening again.

I just…I mean…it’s right there. They didn’t call it “once-in-a-lifetime” and then thirty seconds later said it was “happening again”. That would be stupid enough, but here, they put it in the same breath! Is this town built for people who were alive for the first version last year, but are dead now? Or perhaps it’s for babies born since the last iteration?

Look, I think I’m a relatively carefree kind of guy. I can be up for most things, and I strive to say “Yes” to new experiences. If you want to run a marathon dressed as the Village People (did it) or take a one-day trip to Iceland (almost did it), I’m in. But I draw the line at logically invalid sentences. I am not up for that.


Footnotes:

  1. As usual, the video is archived here.

A Man of Many Talents 

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

Mathematician John Urschel just co-authored a paper entitled “A Cascadic Multigrid Algorithm for Computing the Fiedler Vector of Graph Laplacians”. In addition to being a published mathematician, Urschel also wears #64 as an offensive lineman for the Baltimore Ravens. I’m a bit envious of Urschel many talents, given that “64” is the approximate percentage of the words in his paper’s title which I comprehend.