Archive for March, 2007

How I Consume Media

Monday, March 12th, 2007

Source: Flickr.

I always get annoyed when I tell someone about something that I read, usually something along the lines of “Did you know that the AP is attempting to not cover Paris Hilton for one week?” and I’m asked how I have time to read “that stuff.” It’s always one of those “you know lots of weird stuff, you must have tons of free time” comments. This is a comment that’s both annoying and ignorant, and almost only comes from people who don’t understand how tech savvy, media-literate people my age interact with each other. Sounds pretentious, but

For the more curious and less foolish among you, I get most of my news from the feeds on my blogroll, which you can read in the sidebar on the right hand column of this page. This enables me to scan headlines on around 40 sites a day in just a few minutes. I also check the NY Times online most days and read Salon every day because, as my friends know, I am the world’s only paying subscriber to Salon.com.

For those who understand these sorts of things, I love RSS and think that the company that finds a way to make an RSS product for the masses will make a killing. The word “RSS,” of course, won’t be in any of the marketing materials in order for this to be a success. For now, I use Bloglines.

I do not read five newspapers a day.

what’s in a name, or why i shouldn’t write stream of consciousness

Friday, March 9th, 2007

Source: Drugs@FDA

When I was working in pharmaceutical marketing, I always laughed about drug names, which I still believe are generated by throwing anywhere from 5 to 14 darts on a consonant dart board and then adding vowels where it seems appropriate to form a new fake-word-slash-drug-name.

I learned today that the FDA’s website contains a searchable, sortable list of all drug name filings. Sure enough, looking through the site confirms that most drug names are terrible. They don’t describe the product, and they sound almost as arcane as the scientific names of the active ingredient from which they’re based.

For example, Novartis received approval on Monday of a drug called Tekturna which, according to the impossibly difficult-to-read label information, is some kind of renin inhibitor. The active ingredient is Aliskiren, which sounds kind of like either a girl I had a crush on in middle school, or a German lager that’s rich in hops. I have no idea what renin is or why we want to inhibit it, but it’s one syllable away from a Russian revolutionary, and clearly communism is not the answer, so let’s go ahead and block it.

I prefer the non-FDA approved names like HeadOn. Got a headache? Go for HeadOn. Simple and to the point. If I could rename Viagra, I’d call it PenisUp. Then when the revenue started to flatline, I’d add an exclamation point to the name and introduce “PenisUp! Extreme.” Also this reminds me that I think websites could have an amusing extreme spinoff division. Amazon Extreme! for example, would be like normal Amazon but obviously much more extreme. I think that just means it would get a bike rack, but I’m not sure.

things i would ask people if i had a blog community

Thursday, March 8th, 2007

MySpace is ugly. All of it. Have you ever seen a single MySpace page that isn’t hideously unattractive? I know that that’s sort of the idea, but for some reason it’s the one social networking site that I just never latched on to (as if my empty profile) wasn’t an obvious sign. Someone please point me in the direction of a well-designed MySpace page and I’ll be pleasantly surprised.

all aboard, all aboard, whooooa

Thursday, March 8th, 2007

Source: Wikipedia

Opened Wikipedia today and saw that the featured article is about The KLF, a leader in the British acid house music of the late 80’s and early 90’s. KLF is a fantastic story: a group of art student dropouts who created hit music for the sake of irony, made a bunch of money, and then burned more than $1,000,000 on a Scottish island just to make a coffee table book. As if that wasn’t enough, they had the audacity to write a book called “The Manual” on how to make your own Brit chart topping hit, which mocked not only their own music, but also virtually every major electronic dance hit in the UK for the previous ten years. I love this story.

whaaaaaaaaat?

Thursday, March 8th, 2007

Source: Art.com

As all of my friends know, I root for the NFL’s only Canadian football team. Today my beloved Bills traded Willis McGahee to the Ravens for a third round draft choice, a seventh round draft choice, a leprechaun, five horseshoes, and a baby unicorn. This just like the Herschel Walker deal and the Bills are like the Cowboys, except the complete opposite. Hey Marv - was Larry Andersen not available?

Every year the Bills find a new way to make me question why I choose to blindly and unfailingly support a team located 8 hours north of me in a part of the country that I have no desire to visit, producing nothing but frustration for me as I watch their games in quiet desperation. Ok loud desperation but desperation nonetheless. Can someone at least put Steve Tasker in the Hall of Fame immediately so that I can calm my kvetching a bit? That’d be great, thanks.

Reasons to Watch Television

Thursday, March 8th, 2007

Source: VH1

I love reality television. Hell, I support reality television. Surreal Life Fame Games is a joy. Sure, watching it makes me feel a little bit worse about myself as a person and about how I choose to spend my time with my expensive education. But I also learned that I thankfully do not have the low self esteem of CeCe Deville, the rage of Vanilla Ice, or the complete bitchiness of Verne Troyer. Surreal Life Fame Games has taught me that minor celebrities have no sense of irony, unless they get naked for a living and apparently appeared on the cover of a Girls Gone Wild music collection. I know what you’re thinking… Joe Francis has a record label? Is it better than MusicSpace.com? (Answer: No. Nothing is better than Save the 90’s except maybe the newly released Monster Ballads Platinum Edition.

Tonight I watched the Surreal Life Fame Games celebrity phone bank challenge, where the B list cast was asked to call their B list friends and get them to call them back. Among the “stars” who called back… Frank Stallone. Joey Buttafuco. And big-time star, Carrot Top. No word on whether Carrot Top’s crazy muscles called back, too. Do you think you can book Ron Jeremy just to name drop people for an hour? Because I’d pay $12 for that.

how to fix everything: pandas for peace

Saturday, March 3rd, 2007

Source: Wikipedia

I’m not a political blogger, but I have the solution to how we can get out of the war in Iraq. Instead of 20,000 more troops, 20,000 pandas. We get thousands of pandas and drop them into the heart of the Middle East. Would anyone ever shoot a panda? No. They’re adorable. Israel-Palestine? Pandas. African civil wars? Pandas. North Korea? Communist pandas. Panda politics will save the world from itself with bamboo shoots of love.

i’ve got my money on the 1 seeds

Friday, March 2nd, 2007

What a clever way to raise money…

(PRLEAP.COM) NEW YORK; March 1, 2007 – Madness Against Malaria (MAM), a unique international online fundraising and awareness-raising initiative modeled after the NCAA March Madness college basketball tournament, today entered its second phase as the top 64 teams were entered into a tournament bracket (see: madnessagainstmalaria.com).

More than 100 teams from dozens of countries around the world have been participating in MAM, which launched in September 2006 and was lauded for its creativity by First Lady Laura Bush during the December 2006 White House summit on malaria. During the first phase, $68,000 in funds were raised to purchase more than 14,000 life-saving long-lasting insecticide treated mosquito nets (LLINs) – a simple yet remarkably effective means of combating a disease, which despite being fully preventable and curable, kills 1-3 million people each year – 70% of whom are children under the age of five.

Beginning today, the 64 teams that have raised the most money will compete “knock-out style” against each other for one week. The team from each pair that raises the most money in the allotted time period will move on to the next round. Just as in the NCAA basketball tournament, MAM will feature “Sweet 16,” “Elite 8,” and “Final Four” rounds leading up to the championship. On April 16, the winning team will be determined. All participants win the satisfaction of helping to save lives, and the real winners are those in the impoverished villages plagued by malaria that will benefit from these efforts.

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