I spend more and more time these days thing about how people perceive what they see. Is the intended meaning the only meaning? Of course, if you look hard enough, anything can be seen in a different light, but it's what the masses take away that counts.
There's an interesting 'army proverb' I came across recently
There's an Estee Lauder commercial on TV at the moment with a very pretty to-be bridge all dressed up looking in the mirror. Non-descript music and very few visual cues conjure just a single word 'beautiful'. No prizes for guessing the name of the fragrance.
On the other hand, there are a set of MSN ads around at the moment with a human butterfly running about town, using his large wings to obscure unsuitable images and people. An interesting approach to the 'excellent parental controls' sale point, I don't know of very many people who are concerned about their children seeing Victoria's Secret posters on billboards. In my mind, the question remains, will the technology protect children against the real threat?
I was looking at Life in the Freezer this week. A fascinating account and picture book of an expedition to the Antarctic.
My urge to travel is getting stronger.
Having recently discovered quite a taste for gin & tonic, I've just made a visit to the Bombay Sapphire official site.
With lot's of fancy Flash and pointless things to do, I'm having to ask why the money I pay for this fine drink goes into creating an accompanying web site. I'm satisfied with this drink in a bar, I really don't think I need a trendy web site to heighten my enjoyment of the beverage.
It's still a miracle to me that Guinness can spend so much on advertising and still turn a profit. That said, I seem to be drinking a lot of the black stuff these days, perhaps because I'm seeing so many visual cues to do so. I suspect I have answered my own question.
Seattle, 1907-2002: a skyline of change.
At the peak of the hierarchy of spiritual beings stand those elemental forces of nature which have no concrete form. At their head is Kaila, the god of weather and of the sky. Kaila is the creator and thus the paramount godhead of the people. He is aloof, as the mightiest deity should be and man is no more than dust under his feet. He demands neither abasement nor worship from those he created. But Kaila is a just god, for he is all things brought about by the powers of nature, and nature, who is completely impartial, cannot be unjust.
It is permissible to appeal to Kaila, yet there is no implicit belief that Kaila will hear or respond to prayers couched in the midge-like voices of men. This quality of impersonality, of detachment, in this god of the Ihalmuit strengthens the majesty of his power. Kaila is no simple creation of mens' imaginings shackled to the whims and fancies of human minds. Kaila, to the people, is an essence. Kaila is not spoken of with fear, nor yet with love. Kaila is. That is enough. What man may do or not do is of no more direction concern to Kaila than the comings and goings of ants under the moss. Kaila is not a moral force, because the Ihalmuit have no need of a spiritual magistrate to administer moral law. Kaila is essential power. He is the wind over the plains; he is the sky and the flickering lights of the sky. Kaila is the power of running water and in the motion of falling snow.
He is nothing - he is all things.
The Industrious Clock. Fascinating.
Everyone get's spam, it's nothing special. However, I felt the following really couldn't go without mention.
I watched more television today than usual. And, as usual, I wasn't disappointed.
Perhaps one of my favorite aspects of American commercials are the subtitles. The typical 'professional driver, closed course' is OK, but perhaps stating the obvious. Despite the massive number of SUV-driving road users here, I find it unlikely any are going to be inspired to take their $30k vehicle offroad high into the mountains or through the thickest jungle. My current favorite depicts a Ford Explorer driving on top of the clouds with the important caveat 'dramatization'.
I see Mt Etna erupted in Sicily again. Amusing to hear about molten lava passing through a ski area, but thankfully no-one has been injured.
It seems everyone is desperate for their 15 minutes. On the local news tonight I heard about a 'former relative' of Muhammad claiming that his motives were revenge, citing himself and his family as the real targets, with the list of dead just incidental before the ultimate goal. I took it in bad tase, and still remain puzzled as to how one uses the title 'former relative'.
Lazy day today though, I took an uneventful drive up to Gasworks Park where I took a photo that is now the backdrop of andyoakley.com.
Without a doubt, the news I was most intrigued by today was the discovery that Tetris is hard, NP hard in fact. Still, I got 214 lines on a plane to Bangkok, so I'm sure that counts for something.
I am very impressed by the speed that the DC sniper case has been resolved. Given the apparent lack of clues and leads, the fact that the police have two people in custody must be a great relief. I still feel sorry for the two guys in the wrong place at the wrong time.
With the launch of MSN 8 today, I was pleasantly surprised to see boats sailing around Lake Washington this morning sporting MSN sails.
To say I was surprised to find that the Bill of Rights wouldn't pass a public vote today would be wrong. I am truly fascinated by the notion of a democracy; the power lies very much with the people, yet they are often those least informed to make a decision. Freedom (or lack thereof) of the press possibly has a bearing, but why are extreme views always ridiculed or ignored? There's comfort in knowing you agree with the majority, even if you're not quite sure everyone's right. Strength to stand against the flow of opinion is difficult, especially without all of the facts in hand. There must be a happy medium.