T.I.L.T. Things I've Learned Thursday II

Things I've Learned Thursday returns for a second installment! This feature collects a series of arbitrary information, mostly trivial, that's come to my attention recently.

* The Unseen Blogger reminded me that he used to run a similar feature, but it's been so long since he wrote a ”Ten Things I Learned This Weekend” that I'd almost forgotten about it. I think T.I.L.T. is an easier acronym than T.T.I.L.T.W. though, not to be confused with Janet's T.I.T.M.T., which shares some letters but is an otherwise different concept. There's a lot of overlap in blogging.

* Last week I learned that Jeff Goldblum had a role in Death Wish early in his career. After a marathon viewing of that increasingly comic bookish series, I discovered a few more actors who became well known later in their careers: Alex Winter(Bill S. Preston Esq.) in Death Wish 3(the greatest bad movie of all time; loved it), Danny Trejo and Tim Russ(Tuvok) in Death Wish 4, and Saul Rubinek in Death Wish 5.

* What fails in 2004's The Punisher is perfectly acceptable in the Death Wish series because: A) It was the ‘80s; and, I can't stress this enough, B) Charles Bronson was the MAN.

* Hillary Clinton is NOT SEXY. We already knew that, but I needed to clear up some confusion from last week.

* My favorite sunglasses keep trying to leave me, but something, perhaps God, won't let them. Moshing at a Pearl Jam concert, I nearly lost them when the contents of my shirt pockets flew into the air. I had a choice between grabbing the glasses or my ticket stub, and that stub is probably buried in the mud of Randall's Island somewhere. I almost lost them again on a road trip with my friends a few years ago, and several weeks ago they vanished for like a week after I was rushing to get to a band gig and caused a mini avalanche on my desk by pulling a tie out from under some loose change. On Wednesday I was attending a Direct Mail Conference at the Javits Center in Manhattan. I was very concientious of the glasses' presence hanging from my collar at all times. Toward the end of the day we stopped by a bank of computers so my copywriter could check her train schedule online.

Suddenly, without warning, I felt the strap on my backpack loosen as the plastic clip holding it snapped and flew forward. As I dropped to my knees to pick up the pieces, my hand went instinctively to my neck and I discovered my sunglasses were gone! I looked around the floor, assuming that the backpack going slack knocked them loose, but there was no sign of them. I checked a bag I was carrying in case they fell in there or I'd put them there. Nothing. I told my writer I'd be right back, and proceeded to retrace my steps through the entire crowded convention center. I actually found a woman's thin prescription glasses, but not my beloved cheap piece of plastic nostalgia. Dejected, I returned to my writer, who was on her cell phone. I made a “one minute” hand gesture, and backtracked once more down the aisles, checking every booth. Miraculously, in the Z-Card booth where I'd spent some time admiring their print format, I saw something small, black and plastic peeking out from a blue curtain around their table. I dodged, dipped, ducked, dove, and dodged my way across the aisle, and reclaimed my favorite sunglasses. Every time I think they're lost forever and find them again, their nostalgic value increases. I really need to just retire them, put them on display in a glass case, and get a new pair that I don't care about.

* By the way, I also discovered just now that Blogger deleted a comment Rey made, deeming that it “linked to malicious content”. As I recall, he was only accentuating his point that my glasses don't in fact resemble the glasses from The Matrix by linking to a photo of the film's core cast. I'm not sure how that qualifies as “malicious”, but it's interesting that they're scanning archives and edited something that was written two years ago. It makes me wonder if any other comments, or posts, have been censored as well...

* Marketers are now developing widgets that users can install on their PC. Instead of visiting websites and getting pop-ups, or those new annoying Flash-based pop ins that cover the content of the page you're viewing and conceal the button to close them, you might now find Disney characters popping up on your desktop, reminding you of upcoming shows, products, or events. Many include fun games, and the “prize” seems to be an annoying teenager shouting out a commercial. From a marketing standpoint, it's potentially brilliant. For a consumer, it's potentially irritating. I realize in an age of people fast-forwarding commercials(digitally or the old-fashioned way) and using pop-up blockers, it's harder than ever to reach customers. As a print designer, I'm torn sometimes, because I want people to see my work and know most of it is torn up in seconds because I do the same thing when I get advertisements in the mail. Ultimately, after discussing the topic with various vendors at the convention, I found that there's a fine line between awareness and annoyance. You want the customer to know you exist and have something good to offer, but it is possible to go too far in your efforts and drive them away.

* The Mexican Axolotl is nearly extinct, can only be found naturally in one lake near Mexico City, and has led to advances in both gene expression and neurobiology.

* Richard Dean Anderson appeared in 175 out of 214 episodes of Stargate SG-1. The other night I watched his 175th appearance and it was an amazing episode. I still have six more episodes to watch before I move on to the direct-to-DVD film sequels and the spinoff series.

* In writing, the technique of ”hanging a lantern” on something describes instances in which characters in a story will point out something unlikely, coincidental, or implausible. In doing so, the writer's goal is to show that the turn of events was intentional, and not simply bad writing. Stargate SG-1's 200th episode reminded me of this technique, which I'd actually learned of when I took a science fiction writing course a few years ago. I suspect the technique could have some social applications as well. For example, a public speaker pointing out that he or she is nervous removes the tension for all parties. Sometimes illuminating something reduces the anxiety caused by hoping people won't notice it. Once something is verbalized, it might not be as bad as your anticipation made it out to be, and you can move past it without fearing it.

* If you're a wife, daughter, girlfriend, daughter figure, or even just a friend of Paul Kersey, he'll care enough to avenge you should any horrible fate befall you. Unfortunately, if you're a wife, daughter, girlfriend, daughter figure, or even just a friend of Paul Kersey, he's guaranteed to need to avenge you after a horrible fate befalls you. Heck, it's not even safe to be the guy's housekeeper!

Tune in next Thursday for more random and meaningless insight!



Blogger Lyndon said...

Blogger can delete a comment?

I always thought that only the individual blog owner or the person who made the comment (if they have a google profile) could delete comments.

This raises some interesting issues for those of us who use the Blogger system to publish content. So does that mean google can delete an individual post, if they don't agree with the tone or the content.

Someone needs to clarify things!

6/12/2008 5:17 PM  

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