Saturday, September 13, 2008

Goto 10

It's interesting how personal websites are making a comeback now. You see, 10 years ago it was hip to have a personal website; there you maintained your pictures, contact info and you tried as hell to update it frequently. It never worked. A few years later and we suddenly have Blogger for your posts, Flicker for your photos and then Facebook for....hmmm...everything? So people abandoned their personal websites.

In a true Goto 10* fashion, more and more people are now bringing back their personal websites. It's retro and all. A genius came up with some scripts to import YOUR data from the various websites back into your new pimp'in (and dont forget retro) personal website. People suddenly realized the huge potential of those scripts. Suddenly you could have all YOUR data in YOUR personal website! That's gold! Of course, you need to keep maintaining your contact info on Facebook, your posts on Blogger and your tweets on Twitter. Not to mention that you need to implement all those tricky scripts that will import everything back to *ahm* your personal website?

errrr... don't you love it when technology makes our life easier?

*For the non-nerds, early programs used to label each line of code with a number. So the first line got 10 then 20 and so forth. 'Goto 10' became the equivalent of repeating or going back to where you started. So, next time you're out for a couple of beers with your kool non-nerdy friends, casually drop a Goto 10 comment. It's bound to make you -even more- unpopular.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Where is Kim?

It's a shame when people fail to live up to their expectations. You see, Kim Jong II didn't show-up at the 60th anniversary of North Korea's foundation and he is rumored to be ill. I don't get that. So here's a true dictatorship that -might- have a secret nuclear weapons program and feeds Nazi-style propaganda to its citizens daily about how the West is conspiring against North Korea and then Kim doesn't show-up?! Rookies.

So, for you North Korean intelligence folks who regularly follow my blog, couple of tricks:
Cancel the event: Flood the newspapers and the state TV with stories about how the CIA had a plot to assassinate the 'beloved leader' during the parade. Kim would then be transported to a safe facility until the threat has been stabilized. That would buy you a week or two to figure something out.

Not in the mood for a dramatic story that can get you some heat from the USofA? (that's assuming the US is not actually trying to assinate him? ouuuuuuuu.. think about that) ....*ahm*... sorry about that, so, here's a solid one that's known to work:

The double: Let's be honest, the dude wears scuba diving glasses for sunglasses. And yes, Asians all look alike. So bring in a dude who would do nothing but wave and sit there and look pretty. That's how true dictatorships run their business. Panzis.

No time to find a double? Well, I don't know. I haven't given it much thought. But for God's sake, in a country where TV is controlled by the state, why would you video a close-up that clearly shows that Kim is missing? Oh, and please brief your diplomats on what to say. Claiming that this whole thing is a "conspiracy plot" only works if you have a credible story or a picture of Kim holding today's newspaper.... which technically you guys could Photoshop... ugh.. I'm too good for this shit.

Monday, September 01, 2008

My Interesting Friends

This vacation, I spent some time with my creative friend aku. He works for an advertising agency and I was introduced to the fascinating, and at times chaotic, world of advertising. From designing a new packaging to coming-up with a TV ad story board. The most fun experience however was seeing the steps involved in coming up with a radio ad. First, finding the right jingle. A massive hunt across a monstrous music collection for the right song. When the song is located, the copywriter comes up with a variety of scripts that rhymes with the music and conveys the message of the ad. Then, demo time! Everyone in the office joins in a fun exercise of recording a rough version of the ad to preview with the client (note to self: voice modeling is definitely not for me, not with my fabulous 'r's). Finally, the fun part, the actual recording. After a demo is selected we booked a time at a professional studio and I watched as every track was recorded separately and later mixed. It's amazing how much work is involved in those 30-second radio ads! I have a new found appreciation for them.

Visiting the construction site that another friend manages was alarmingly fun too. Seeing the plans and the amount of thinking that goes into each and every detail. Also the amount of tests conducted to ensure that everything is done according to specification is just mind-blowing. I also got to learn interesting facts, for example, the sewage grid works by gravity! This meant that they had to design the whole internal sewage network with a slight tilt so that the lowest point is actually where the compound's internal sewage grid joins the main grid. And speaking about sewage, did you know that manhole covers can fetch three thousand EGP's ($600) a piece?! How I know? Well, I almost fell through an uncovered manhole near the construction site!

I have interesting friends.