Month: May 2014

  • Those other headphones look like medical equipment

    This interview with Jimmy Iovine on the eve of the announcement of Beats Music goes a long way towards explaining how Beats and Apple might work together. Appreciation of sound and the ability to call bullshit on existing music recommendation engines (at 23:00), I put in the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan as my two […]

  • Native Advertising Brilliance

    The folks at Huge are to be commended on a truly brilliant native advertising campaign. Hired by the makers of President Cheese, they were stuck with a way to somehow drum up social media interest in a gooey wheel of stinky cheese. What they came up with will be talked about in hush three-martini lunches up […]

  • Engineered Experience at Starbucks

    While Taco Bell worked several years to engineer the Doritos Locos Taco, Starbucks has honed its formula for the optimal coffee delivery experience. Apparently the seats at McDonald’s are engineered to get uncomfortable to sit in for longer than 30 minutes. Can you think of any other examples of Taylorism to guide consumer behavior?

  • Engineering of the Doritos Locos Tacos

    Fast food is engineered. The product development process is no different from other things that are engineered, it has a prototype phase, followed by QA, and user testing. The central issue was that Taco Bell’s shells used a different type of corn masa than Doritos chips. But it wasn’t simply a matter of adjusting the […]

  • Barbara Lee, my representative in Congress

    Barbara Lee is my Congresswoman. She was the lone voice of reason who, in the wake of September 11th, questioned the language around the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) which was drafted in response the the terrorist attacks because there was no one we could declare war upon. Radiolab did a podcast on […]

  • The World’s Toughest Job

    Happy Mother’s Day.

  • Radio Taiso

    Radio Taiso (ラジオ体操) is as core to growing up in Japan as the Pledge of Allegiance is to an American. Before school, kids are lead through these exercises which have been a standard for years. Wikipedia says that Radio Calisthenics was something actually imported from the US where the MetLife was broadcasting a 15 minute […]

  • The Lighthouse Found Me

    The Lighthouse Found Me

    After delivering a print out of my previous post summarizing all my notes and theories (thank you everyone who chipped in their ideas) I found this on my front door step. Written on the side was the phrase et respondendum est quod which translates to, “and the answer is that” I still haven’t quite figured […]

  • Flummoxed by Alameda Lighthouse Mystery

    Flummoxed by Alameda Lighthouse Mystery

    About a month back I read with interest a strange article in our local paper. The byline was from a Hon. Admiral Banyan Azimuth, Retired and it described a mysterious society, acronyms, a puzzle, and hidden treasure. All good material for a quest. The Alameda Lighthouse Appreciation Society (ALAS) has collaborated with the North American […]

  • Commercial Sync

    It used be one of the lowest forms of selling out when a musician signed over their work to a brand campaign. Such was the stigma, Nike was sued for using The Beatles’ Revolution in one of their commercials. With declining revenues for recorded music, touring and merch remain the main sources of income for […]