Commentary, Innovation, Media

We, the People, will believe anything we see

08.29.06 | Permalink | 4 Comments

Today I stumbled across a group called The Yes Men who assume the identities of government and corporate officials to communicate specific political messages. This is an interesting phenomena because the general public, so as far as I can tell, will believe anything they read or see on television as the truth, no matter how far fetched. The Yes Men, along with every other media savvy entity in the world, are using this vulnerability to communicate their message.

The following is a video of The Yes Men impersonating a Dow Chemical executive who stated that the company was taking “full responsibility for the 1984 Bhopal disaster.” Dow Chemical lost $2 billion in market capitalization in 23 minutes after this interview was broadcast by the BBC.

In their most recent prank, The Yes Men impersonated officials from the Department of Housing and Urban Development in New Orleans and announced that HUD was reversing its policy of replacing low-income housing with mixed-income housing as part of the recovery effort. HUD termed this stunt “a cruel hoax.”

While I find it difficult to condone this activity, I can’t help but think we bring it upon ourselves by simply believing what we see. After all, people bought the February 5, 2003 weapons of mass destruction speech given by Colin Powell on behalf of the Bush Administration hook, line, and sinker. It was no less false in content than the stunts enumerated above. Watch for yourself:

Click the image to watch Powell’s speech

A Powell aide later stated that his involvement in this event was the “lowest point of my life.”

I guess we get what we deserve. Until people stop to think, to consider, to view critically what is presented to them in the media and make their own judgments, we’ll continue to be vulnerable to all sorts of propaganda peddled by all sorts of people, for good reasons and bad. It’s sad. Unfortunately, it’s true. And, the “cruel hoaxes” are only going to become more intense and effective I think.

Technorati Tags: The Yes Men | Propaganda | Media

Innovation, Media

Now that’s a TV

08.28.06 | Permalink | 2 Comments

The largest TV on the planet in Darrell K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium

They do everything big in Texas. And here’s proof:

  • $8M to build and install
  • ~685 square meters (134’x55′)
  • 40 units (5 tons each) air conditioners to cool it
  • Electric bill? Let’s hope those Texas boosters have deep pockets!
  • Nickname: Godzillatron

Technorati Tags: College Football | Football | TV

Commentary, Ohio State Football

Five reasons to love college football

08.27.06 | Permalink | 4 Comments

One of my friends asked me the other day “why college football, why not basketball, or pro football?” I thought about it and gave this answer generally (though less articulately since I have a chance to review and edit what I’m writing.)

  • 28,000 – that’s the number of people who attended a practice; not a scrimmage, not a game, a practice for Ohio State last Monday.
  • One and done – that’s what it takes to disqualify you for playing in a meaningful post season game. One loss. Effectively, the entire season is a playoff. Win against good competition and everything takes care of itself (apologies to Auburn fans, your team shouldn’t have scheduled Cupcake U in the non-conference games in 2004.)
  • Millions – the only whiny millionaires you’re likely to see are certain head coaches. The players play because they love the game. Antonio Smith, a walk-on at Ohio State majoring in mechanical engineering, won’t go to the NFL. But he’s out there practicing and helping the team every day. He was rewarded with a scholarship because of that in his senior year and might see the field during games.
  • 105,000 – that’s how many people jam into the Horseshoe for each Ohio State home game. Doesn’t matter who they’re playing, doesn’t matter if the team is good or bad, doesn’t matter if it’s raining, snowing, or sleeting, people show up garbed in Scarlet and Gray.
  • OSU/Michigan – rivalries and traditions. Script Ohio. Dotting the “i.” Army/Navy. The Old Oaken bucket. Joe Pa. There’s more to the game than the game. People can’t wait for their team to take the field and there’s always a tradition, rivalry, and/or side story to the action.

It’s only 6 days now until OSU/NIU. I can’t wait. Oh, by the way, a Google search of similar kinds of articles turned up this ESPN column from Ivan Maisel, he writes about 20 reasons College Football rules.

Technorati Tags: College Football | Football | Ohio State Football

Humor, Media

Horse play (horse videos)

08.26.06 | Permalink | Comments Off on Horse play (horse videos)

My daughter asked to see some horse videos today on my computer. Here’s a small sampling of what we found. Hope you enjoy them as much as she did.

Horse Video: Patches the wonder horse (3 minutes – worth watching the whole thing) This horse rides in a car, eats cheeseburgers, and fetches beer!

Horse Video: Age and experience over youth and beauty (30 seconds)

Horse Video: Seinfeld’s horse story taken to the next level (30 seconds)

Horse Video: Headbanging horse (1 minute)

Horse Video: Be careful where you put your head (17 seconds)

Technorati Tags: | Sensors | Horses

Technology & Science

Long arm of the law

08.25.06 | Permalink | Comments Off on Long arm of the law

Recently a Beatles fan was watching a live web cam of an area in Liverpool associated with the Beatles, the Cavern Club. While checking the scene out, he noticed some people attempting to break-in to a sporting goods store. What did he do? He called the local constabulary in Merseyside who sent officers to Mathew Street where 3 people were arrested.

Sensor platforms like cameras combined with the power and volume of interest on the Internet really does extend our reach. Let’s hope it’s used for good more often than evil.

Technorati Tags: | Sensors | Crime

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