Did you know you can save the planet, and that it only takes a couple of minutes? OK, perhaps I’m exaggerating a bit, but if you switch your search engine to Ecosia, they’ll plant a tree for every 45 searches you do.
So your searches for the latest Kardashian news could actually be beneficial to society. (Reading up on the Kardashians will still rot your brain, but at least the planet will be healthier.)
Oh, and if you switch to Ecosia, you’ll be stickin’ it to The Man, too! The Man, in this case, is actually the 800-pound gorilla of Google. If you use Google for your search engine, they’re harvesting your data and using it to stick ads in your face… and making money off of it. By using a different search engine, you’re improving the overall health of the web.
I made the switch – it was super-easy, took less than 2 minutes, and I haven’t noticed any difference in the quality of my search results.
To be clear, there’s still money changing hands. But the money for search ads will go to Ecosia – a not-for-profit – instead of going into Google’s fat wallet. And Ecosia uses that income to plant trees. Also, Ecosia doesn’t sell your data to advertisers and doesn’t use third party trackers.
I’m late to the game on this podcast (sorry, I lead a sheltered life), but Valley Heat is the funniest thing I’ve heard in a long time.
It’s like A Confederacy of Dunces meets Arrested Development meets Fernwood 2 Night…. Doug’s deadpan delivery, a wacky cast of characters, fun music references, the bogus promo spots, and great theater-of-the-mind audio all combine to create a perfect storm of humor. Every element is note-perfect!
It’s a bit tough to explain because the folks responsible for the podcast have created a whole wacky world within a Burbank, California neighborhood. Tosthe protagonist, Doug, ostensibly is trying to crack the case of who is using his garbage can as a drug drop. But really that’s just a doorway to all sorts of shenanigans involving an accident-prone attorney, a house that’s also a nightclub/arcade/pizza parlor/car wash, a mean father-in-law (who also runs a muffler empire), a DEA agent who does stakeouts with his mom, legendary frisbee golf players, mean foosball players, Jan that Movie (listen to learn), and a weaselly optometrist. Speaking of which, here’s Doug talking about his teenage son, who was prescribed transition lenses:
Or my buddy Howard:
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to have some Jannie Cakes for breakfast…
Neil Sedaka said “Breaking up is hard to do” but I found it quite easy to break up with my newspaper. (Yes, I still read a newspaper… wasn’t the Neil Sedaka reference a huge clue?)
I enjoy cracking open a Sunday newspaper. There’s something very soothing about it. It’s a comfortable routine. (Step one: throw all the sales circulars in the recycling bin. Step two: read the comics.) I stare at a computer screen pretty much all day at my job, so it’s nice to go “old school” on the weekends. It’s tangible, tactile, decidedly not “meta.” Besides, you can “scroll” through a printed paper a lot faster than you can scroll through the articles online (thanks for nothing, slow-loading Metamucil pop-up ads targeted to my life stage).
The Cincinnati Enquirer, like most daily newspapers, has been slowly circling the drain for several years now. They’ve laid off most of their journalists. They shifted the printing to Columbus a few years ago, so any news that happens after noon won’t be in the next day’s edition. But there was still enough meat on the bones to keep me as a subscriber. Until they introduced their “special editions.” It’s an extra section in the Sunday paper for “special occasions” – recent ones have covered MLK Day and the Bengals Super Bowl appearance.
Each “special edition” means I’m charged about 50% more for that month’s subscription. And they’ve been trotting out “special editions” at a record pace… I wouldn’t be surprised if they put one out for Administrative Assistants Day.
There’s no way to opt out of these special editions. So they’re really no more than a flimsy excuse to try to extract a bit more cash out of their ever-dwindling subscriber base.
So I finally decided to send the Cincinnati Enquirer a special edition of my own – it’s called a “subscription cancellation.” Unlike their special editions, this one’s free!
[I’m keeping my print subscriptions to Cincinnati Magazine (best deal in town) and The Atlantic… for the tangible, tactile reasons mentioned above. And of course I’ll still be receiving AARP Magazine based on my life stage.. no pop-up ads in that one.]
To be fair, People Magazine isn’t the only one left holding the Betty bag. A movie called Betty White: 100 Years Young — A Birthday Celebration was slated to be shown at more than 900 theaters on January 17th (which would have been Betty’s 100th birthday). It was originally going to show live footage of Betty’s actual BD party. In true show biz fashion, the show will go on.
“We will go forward with our plans to show the film on January 17 in hopes our film will provide a way for all who loved her to celebrate her life—and experience what made her such a national treasure.”
Film producers Steve Boettcher and Mike Trinklein
You can cancel that order for a birthday cake. Especially if Sue Ann Nivens was going to bake it.
Surely you remember my good friend Dale Doyle? (OK, maybe you don’t… and I should stop calling you “Shirley.”) Dale and I worked together at an design agency for many years, and remain concert buddies. Three years ago, Dale was “downsized” by that agency — the place where he spent 23 years of his career. I wrote about that here, and a year later, I wrote about how Dale was killing the game at Holotype, the agency he co-founded. (He still is killin’ it, btw.)
Yesterday, this happened:
The album, Serpentine Prison, is from another Cincinnati kid, Matt Berninger, who also is the lead singer of The National.
I’m thrilled for Dale, not only because he’s a great guy and an amazing artist, but also because he loves music so much. A Grammy nomination is like a perfect storm of elation.
With Turkey Day just around the corner, I am thankful that I got to work alongside Dale and other super-talented artists like Keith Neltner, Tommy Sheehan and John Ham (to name but a few). A lot of their art is tied to commerce, and sometimes art snobs can look down their noses at that. But their work is as good as anything in the Louvre.
While he was still in high school, he was the lead actor on a radio show that aired in Cincinnati and later nationally on NBC. One of his high school friends was crooner Andy Williams.
In college, he was a drum major who gained renown for twirling lighted torches.
He toured the world with the Harlem Globetrotters, and was roommates with Olympic gold medalist Jesse Owens for a few days.
He made and operated puppets on a kids TV show.
He worked in advertising and directed the first TV commercial for the Easy-Bake Oven… and cast his daughter Molly in it.
He borrowed $10,000 from a college fraternity brother to make whiskey-flavored toothpaste, and wound up on “What’s My Line?”
Life magazine sent a photographer to his assembly line, but Poynter didn’t have one. He was mostly a one-man operation. So, he enlisted some friends to play-act in a warehouse with empty boxes in the background because he had nearly sold out of the toothpaste.
He invented dozens of novelty toys, including a Little Black Box – when you turned it on, gears would move inside the box and a hand would emerge to turn it off… this same mechanism was later used to make a hand that grabbed coins, marketed as “Thing” from “The Addams Family” TV show.
He dreamt up dry cleaning bags printed with dresses from Disney Characters so kids could use them as costumes. Walt Disney called it “the best promotion I have ever seen.”
He invented this:
His toys were featured on The Tonight Show and Late Night with David Letterman.
“Almost everything I’ve ever done is either making someone laugh or giving them pleasure, and if I didn’t, I’d be out of business.”