I wonder if this pitch for Pall Mall cigarettes worked! Check out the Truth in Advertising website for more examples from the 1940s and 1950s ... the age of innocence, they call it now ... when tobacco manufacturers didn't hesistate to haul out any line to sell ciggies.
Eli "Paperboy" Reed and the True Loves got a "band to watch" namecheck from Mojo last month, so I checked them out via YouTube; this Wilson Pickett tribute is roughly shot, but the soul is undeniably there. Their second album is out next month. Here's I Found a Love.
I have no idea if the book attached to the above cover is any good. In fact, I had never heard of it until I looked at Book Covers, a site that leaves the inside text alone, and obsesses about the covers, however briefly. I agree with their judgment of this one: it's very good.
It looks like The Birds, but it's not. It's Jodie Foster, in one of a series of incredible shots that honour Alfred Hitchcock ... particularly the iconic images he used to promote his films. The portfolio is in Vanity Fair's newest issue, the annual Hollywood edition. See the lot here.
I worked for a few years with Geoff Meeker, who blogs now about media and such on The Telegram site. Above is a beautiful image he shot years back at Motion, north of St. John's, and is part of this photo essay posted to Meeker on Media. Do click on the individual shots (larger than thumbnails, but still pretty small) to see a larger version.
BBC World came up some interesting street-based advertising to hawk its expansion into the American market. The posters are placed at corners; as you approach one corner, you see part of the ad, but not - get it - the whole story. Clever.
The nominations for this year's Pulitzer prizes will be announced in April; the companion website is large and worth exploring, with winners dating back through the decades. Only the more modern stuff (mid-1990s) is actually available to be read online.
My Fair Bayman is the name of a documentary my colleague Heather Barrett made for CBC Radio; it's about a course - yes, it really existed - that Memorial University offered in the 1950s and 1960s, to smooth out the accents of outport Newfoundlanders who were enrolled in teacher training programs. Listen to it here.
I did an English major, but as much as I got a chuckle out of this design, I've got to challenge the assumption. I was actually good at math in school, and I do all the in-the-head calculations in the household still. (I'm married, though, to another English major.)
As seen here, in the Signals catalogue. More T-shirts, etc., can be seen by clicking on the link below.
[Surf's Up, as publishedin the St. John's Telegram on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2008. Click here to read more columns.]
Fifty years ago last month, the Lego brick was patented in the United States. But Lego, as many former children of an older vintage know, is a fair bit older than that, as the company was founded in Denmark in the 1930s.
With that kind of pedigree, Lego might be expected to have a vintage sort of flair. Not at all. While the company has, commendably, held fast to its basic design - a Lego brick today still fits with a Lego brick of yore - it has also moved with the times, and may well be more appealing to the kids of today than any previous generation.
Lego, of course, still works very well in their hands, and thanks to some brilliant online advances, it works very well in their heads, too.
Lego Factory Lego’s website is remarkably rich, and delights kids of all ages. Lego Digital Designer takes a hallmark toy of the 20th century, and gives it the 21st-century upgrade it deserves. A key element of the fun for Lego fans, of course, is the design; after all, clicking bricks together can only go so far.
Lego Factory is a dream come true for Lego maniacs, as well as novices that are just getting the bug. You don’t have to sign up, but you will need to, in order to take advantage of some of what’s on offer. If you make cool stuff, you’ll want to check out the galleries, where you can upload your own pictures, and browse through the stunning designs of others.
To make some of those visions real, check out Lego Digital Designer (ldd.lego.com), which is downloadable program that helps makes some visions come true – at least virtually.
Brickworld on Flickr Like comic books, movies, gaming and other arenas of pop culture, Lego fans go nuts at conventions. Brickworld is one of them. Check out the group’s efforts on this Flickr account.
Lego City game Here’s a simple game (one of several you’ll find on Lego’s expansive site) that rewards quick thinking and direction. Poke around the site to find more games, to learn more about the City theme.
Making of a Brick Where do Lego pieces come from? Go behind the scenes at a Lego factory for an online tutorial.
Brick Artist Nathan Sawaya makes jawdropping figures out of Lego, with thousands and thousands of pieces assembled for various works that are humourous, surreal, even touching.
Star Wars Lego Lego has helped keep its brand going by making smart alliances with other companies (Disney comes to mind), but none has quite fired up the public imagination like Star Wars, with its videogames selling out and the web filled with hysterical videos. The official tie-in site has plenty of fun, including games (go to the Fun Zone) that let you pick your character for light saber duels … all with a Lego-based look.
Elsewhere this week
Damhnait Doyle Christa Borden Two St. John’s singers have freshened up their web presence lately. Damhnait Doyle is releasing Lights Down Low, a collection of covers, later this month. You can sample the tunes (including a reggae touch on Roxy Music’s More Than This, with other tunes coming from Abba, Joy Division and the Tragically Hip, among others) on her site. Christa Borden has a rebuilt and pretty funky site, to promote the forthcoming album I Rhyme With Orange. Not much content yet, but the look is dazzling.
One Sentence Everyone has a story to tell, but how many can boil it down to just one sentence? That is the mission of this public-access site, which makes for fascinating (and delightfully brief) reading.
Make a paper CD case Remember the CD? It was really popular from the late Eighties until … OK, well, CDs are obviously still plenty popular, even if the medium is waning. The catch is that with ready-to-burn home discs proliferating, protecting them (or dressing them up as a gift) can be a little difficult. Put your origami urgings to good work with this dead-easy folding instruction.
Interesting piece on Debunker, which makes an important point. A very small number of people do much of the work on Wikipedia, but that doesn't mean they do much of the writing; instead, it's the number of edits that it is handled by a small corps:
"According to researchers in Palo Alto," [Slate writer Chris] Wilson says, "1 percent of Wikipedia users are responsible for about half of the site's edits." Wikipedia creator Jimmy Wales believes the same; he told the Times, "the vast majority of work is done by this small core community." So Slate buys the party line. But these are fake statistics: The Palo Alto study counted the number of edits. If I add five hundred words to an article about fortune cookies, that counts the same as if I rename a category. All this proves is that a small set of wonks are organizing Wikipedia.
The masses are still writing it. Aaron Swartz compared the number of letters added to several articles and found that most articles are written by people with little other Wikipedia experience. That is, most of Wikipedia comes from people who dropped in and added a chunk of text. All the edits? Those are just Wikipedia diehards rearranging the other users' contributions.
All of the songs on this week's playlist came into the house through what I used to call alternate means, but which now are standard: sampler CDs, podcasts, borrowed discs. All these tunes, though, are keepers.
The Helio Sequence: Keep Your Eyes Ahead. Has a bit of an Arcade Fire vibe (what doesn't, these days?), although that may not be fair; this duo has been around for years. This tune is from a brand-new album, and is terrific. I picked it up from KEXP's daily song podcast.
Sondre Lerche & Regina Spektor: Hell No. A sultry duet, from the soundtrack to the Steve Carrell movie Dan in Real Life.
The Bird & The Bee: Because. Or as they sing it, "Because, becuase, because .." ... repeatedly. I thought it would be annoying, but it turned into a bit of a brainworm. I should break down and just buy the album, after picking up a few songs hither and thither.
British Sea Power: Waving Flags. An epic sound to this track, which bodes well for the new album.
Julian Cope: Can't Get You Out Of My Country. I liked Julian Cope a fair bit 20 years or so ago; then he disappeared into a bit of a haze, coming out of it in recent years. This is from a compilation CD called Give Peace a Chance that Uncut magazine issued with its January edition. I like this one for its cheeky swagger.
I learned something interesting about one of my colleagues this morning. So, too, did anyone who had Weekend A.M. tuned in, as host Angela Antle spoke with a local hockey blogger named "J.T." ... which turns out to be the handle of Leigh Anne Power, who cohosts CBC Radio's central Newfoundland Morning Show.
Dot Dot Dot is Morse code for the letter 'S,' the full message Guglielmo Marconi claimed to have received atop Signal Hill in St. John's in 1901. It ushered in the age of telecommunications. My maternal grandfather worked as a telegraph operator for Canadian Marconi on Signal Hill for many years.
As well, I have a habit of overusing the ellipsis when I write ... as frequent readers might notice.