Monday, August 30, 2010

Canoe doors and other adventures of the Hillel getaway

So, I went away with the Hillel at my college to this gorgeous campgrounds upstate. I just thought I would take the time to mention it here on the blog.

So, I had a chance to go swimming and boating. I danced with a dance club.

Oh yeah, and someone put a canoe in front of one of the two doors to the womens cabin. I figure it was the guys. I was standing at the window looking out on the first morning and someone was standing next to me looking out and they said, "canoe." I was like, "over there?" She said, "no, look down." I looked down, "oh... canoe" I wish I had a picture.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

What ISSSSS it with you people and these suggestions that I destroy my life?

Ok, not really YOU people. Yet again, the butting in and the comments that I should screw my school over. I don't care WHAT Religious Jews think. A real friend doesn't suggest that someone skip classes to travel an unnecessary distance for yontiff. UGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!!!!

Ok, so, I put up a FB status asking if anyone ***IN BROOKLYN*** can host me for any of the yontiffs that start on Wednesday. This schmuck from Queens sends me a nasty message reacting as if I asked him directly. I thought Jewish parents were big on making sure their kids were well socialized? Wouldn't a socialized person see that this was not directed at them and thus maybe they should, oh, I don't know, mind their own business.

Then he started telling me he would find me somewhere. He came back with Monsey. MONSEY. For starters, I wasn't asking him. I was trying to ask all the people I know but, barely know from Brooklyn. I mean I even stated that the statement was for Brooklyn people. I don't want to deal with people I don't know at all. Most of my experiences, as my regualar readers are aware, haven't been so positive. Somewhere in here, "we're all talking about you and worried" slipped into the conversation. Since when did the Torah permit lashon hara?

I was trying to go to Brooklyn because I have very little time to commute home after my last class erev yontiff, otherwise, there's absolutely no reason why I can't stay home. When I explained this, this is where the line was crossed. I got all these nasty comments about how I converted Orthodox and if he was in my shoes he would have missed class (all day to commute up to Monsey?) because the Jewish holiday is more important.


Now, we're not talking about yontiff itself. I intentionally didn't even consider a Tues Thursday schedule this semester because of yontiff. We're talking about me taking away from my schooling so that I can spend more travel time than I need to get to my home to go to someone who will probably be really mean to me. UGGGG!!!

Oh, yeah, and did I mention by getting involved in this, he's not minding his own business?

Finally, if one more person tells me to try that AWWWWWFUL See you on Shabbos, I'm gonna scream.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The System Is All Out Of Whack

I was just reading on the Emes V'Emunah blog about supporting the Yeshivah system and such and I weighed in the following:

Well, part of the problem is that we are putting the education of adult male Torah BUMS before that of the children. First and foremost, if families aren't able to put their children in Jewish schools then THIS should be a priority. It says in the Torah, "teach them to your children." It doesn't say to teach the adult males. When a man is learning and asks for grants for his kids for schools, the schools should be telling him to get off his BUTTTTTTON and GET TO WORK. Also, we should be raising money for schools to have money for large families to send multiple kids. Yet, I have yet to see a pushke for Yeshiva Central Queens, Bais Yaakov, Yeshiva Ketana.... etc. I would prefer to put money in there. Often all I see are pushkes for Israel and I know what that means.
Finally, these men don't learn Torah because the Torah says over and over, go to work. I asked a kollel guy what they do all day. He told me what I believe is the truth, "Daven, Torah, lunch, Daven and basketball for the rest of the day."

My response on the Aish article from the last posting

Just to bring you all up to speed: this girl said she thinks men are intimidated by her intelligence. The included women who commented in sloppy grammar that their husbands were happy so, she's lying. Also Mike stepped in and said he wants a nice submissive wife. You can read the article and comments for yourself.

For those of you who are on this girl's neck, you are WRONG! I have had men admit to me and seen posts online. Even look at Mike who reinforces this. Many men want a dum-dum or at least a smart girl who devotes herself to building a career only to walk away from it when she gets married and it's time to have kids.
As a woman, I was harassed by the Jewish community to go back to college. Now that I have, I'm being told it's a problem and I'm not devoting enough time to trying to get married. You know what? There's supposed to be a shortage of women, so if I become a "discouraged dater" to borrow from economics where a "discouraged worker" is someone who stops looking for work because they don't find it, why should anyone care? I'm not a Bais Yaakov girl. I'm not an FFB. When they talk about the shidduch crisis this is who they care about, as far as these girls not being married.

Does Every Pot Have a Lid?

I was just reading this Aish article that Emes V-Emunah blogged about. Acutally, in the comments someone has stated that, "every pot has its lid." So where's mine? Actually, my mother used to tell me that. I used to point out that she, herself was divorced so where was her lid. My mother's male friend who would call on the rarest occasions eliciting an, "ooOOooOOoo, SuuUuUulllllllly's on the phone," from my obnoxious childhood self along with my obnoxious sister. Sully was actually mom's boyfriend. She told me when I was a teen.

Anyhow, my sister was skinny and into things like hair, make up and nails. She always had guys around. So, I used to tell my mother I didn't think there was a lid out there to cover my pot. I would tease my mother that I was an oddly shaped pot and there were no lids. G-d, I wish I had been wrong but, here I am, 34 and I'll be 35 soon enough.

Does anyone know the lid to my pot? If so, send him my way.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

iGot my grade on the mid term...

They were everywhere. In the mid-2000's decade, one could not escape Apple's Ipod Silhouette ads. Besides the blackened figures that danced across the television screen, the groovin' Ipod wearin' silhouettes marked their territory inside magazines, on billboards, on the sides of buildings, subway stations and online. Who was the mastermind behind this advertising handiwork? What was the objective and was it achieved? What kinds of variations were made to the promotional campaign?

Television advertising has a huge advantage over other forms of advertising as it involves the viewer's senses of sight, sound and hearing. Television traditionally has the largest audience so it is often chosen when introducing specific products. Apple is no stranger to television advertising that stands out. In 1984, Apple introduced the Mac with a legendary super bowl commercial. Internationally recognized creative agency TBWA/Chiat/Day did not disappoint Apple when they created the silhouette campaign for them.

While various other types of advertising were used in this campaign, television commercials are the most remembered part of the ad campaign. The bouncy beats were combined with the black shadows dancing across the brightly colored backdrop. Each person in the ad has their own background color. The figures wore a white Ipod and those signature Ipod white headphones that further stood out. These ads often caused this author to jump from her exercise ball that she would be using during the commercial breaks in order to dance around the room with the shapes on screen.

This author most remembers the ad with the Black-Eyed Peas song, "Hey Mama," from the original commercial airings. The song was quite popular at the time when the ad campaign debut. The forty-five second advertisement opens on a close up of the silhouette of a black woman's (she has an afro) face as she sings, "la, la, la, la, la." This woman's background color is pink. We see later she is wearing mid-calf pants. Then it flashes to scenes where each of the dancers is shown dancing. The next to be shown is the other woman who has long hair and wears a miniskirt. Her color is green. There is a guy wearing a hat who is given yellow. The guy without a hat dances before purple. He has a really hot dance move where he squats and bounces in a circle at about 0:08. Seeing the skill of the figures dancing could make one think that the iPod would give them such ability. Perhaps, the advertising team was thinking this, too. It's interesting that the silhouettes have shadows. One might expect that the shadows wouldn't have shadows. It seems that they do. Towards the end of the commercial (0:36), the word iPod comes up, white letters, purple backdrop, more dancing, then, "Mac or PC" against a pink backdrop. There is a quick bit of some more dancing, including the young man taking his hat off and putting it back on. Then the commercial closes on the Apple logo with a green background.

Some of the other commercials that can be viewed from include: a thirty-second spot featuring the Jet song, "Are You Gonna Be My Girl," a thirty-second commercial where the silhouettes roller skate, U2's "Vertigo" which the silhouettes pop out of the shadows a little and some facial definition is shown, then there is an ad with the song "Channel Surfing" by Feature Cast-the silhouettes split themselves and dance in sync, although, it is obviously digitally created, it is very cool and finally- the author's favorite (but not remembered from 2003)-the thirty-second spot with the song, "Technologic" by Daft Punk. "Technologic" is different because the background are more pastel colored, like a nice shade of blue, and the silhouettes are not assigned their own color as they are on some of the older ads. This is obvious because there are frames where both a male and female dance.

Magazine advertisements are colorful and enjoy the most longevity of any type of ads. They are also most effective when complex information is to be conveyed (The Core, p.360). They nicely reinforce ads on other media sources. This is very important as magazine readers watch little television (Kleppner's, p. 345). Furthermore, magazine ads enjoy a reputation of being the most artistic which gives them a special distinction. They are also an excellent way to hone in on a specialized audience. Finally, research suggests that magazine readers are more likely to remember that advertising (Kleppner's, p. 348)

The Apple Ipod ads graced the pages inside Entertainment Weekly, MacWorld, Wired, Newsweek and Sports Illustrated (forums.appleinsider, There are three ads pictured on the referenced site, chaosmint. In a MacWorld ad, there was a woman with an Afro and many bracelets against a pink background. It is unclear if this is the same woman from the television commercial who was also shown against a pink background. In an ad from an unidentified magazine, a man with spiky hair is shown against a purple background. Finally, in an ad from Wired magazine, a man in a hat holds up an iPod with a burnt mustard colored background behind him. All of these ads have the Apple logo with the word iPod in white in the upper left corner of the magazine. They indicate, "Welcome to the digital music revolution. 750,000 songs in your pocket. Works with Mac or PC. Over a million sold. The new iPod." along the bottom of the ad. (

Outdoor advertising is an affordable way to advertise a product. Unlike other types of advertising, there are numerous sub-categories from which to choose, most prominently, billboards and transit advertising. Outdoor advertising most notably came on the scene in the states during the 1800's. Posters were put up to advertise the arrival of the circus in town (, Another benchmark in outdoor advertising came in 1926 when signs for Burma Shave sprouted up along roadsides. Several signs in a row progressively gave lines until the message had been transmitted to drivers along the road ( The most interesting outdoor advertising is probably when Snapple had its advertisement pressed into sand on the beach (Armstrong & Kotler).

Apple is no stranger to outdoor advertising. The Outdoor Advertising Association of America ranks Apple as the 15th top outdoor advertiser (Kleppner's, p.387). When it came to the silhouette advertising campaign, they made their presence known on billboards and through transit advertising.

When looking through search results on Flickr, the photographs of iPod outdoor advertisements about. Many are listed after the bibliography. However, there were so many, not all are listed. The photographs online indicates the many cities where this advertising was found. It seems that in San Francisco, Ca, the Apple silhouette was quite the fixture. It seems any corner of the earth, Aside from San Francisco; ads were photographed in Japan, Taiwan, Toronto, Berlin, Los Angeles, Chicago, Manchester, and London, China and throughout the author's current abode, New York City.

A key distinction that one might see with the billboard advertisements over the other types of media is the appeal that the product would make its consumers larger than life. Nothing has been encountered in the author's research for this project to support this idea. It's just a gut feeling. One of the photos that is particularly interesting is a silhouette wallscape in Toronto. The building is painted pink. The female silhouette is holding her iPod in her left hand. Her right hand is outstretched with a bracelet on. There is a paid parking lot next to this silhouette. The ad gets extra exposure to the consumers using the parking lot.

Noticeably, many of the billboards were the same as magazine ads. Granpa'pple-Bejing from the photo sheet has the picture chaosmint's magazine ads. Sometimes they are the same ads but, in different locations (leapin' NYC and Boston or golden girl two different locations in SF-not the same ad moved, either look at the pictures). How about the same location but, different iPod ads? That can be seen with photos from the SF gas station or Chinatown NYC guy and girl in heels (look at the top of the building, that's the same graffiti). Furthermore, the ad Chinatown girl in heels turns up in Chicago.

Photos of these ads have the "get up and dance" feel that TBWA/Chiat day was surely going for with these ads. However, there's something different about the mood when the photo was taken during the day, at night or sunset. You can see how birds, in front of the "girl in heels" ad from Chinatown, change the mood. It makes the ad look gloomy. In general, though, this ad seems to have a feeling of falling, whereas most of the other ads have a feeling of one should get up and dance. It seems like this might be part of the reason why bright colors were chosen for the backdrop.

Transit advertising, on the other hand, lacks that larger than life quality but, it makes up for it by often being within the customer's sightline for an extended period of time, as is true in the case of station advertisements. One of the alternative forms of transit advertising are the ads on the sides of buses, taxis and subway cars, as in the photographs from Japan, Florida or the full bus from Seattle (see transit advertising list for the links). While it seems at first that it would be a disadvantage that the ad is moving, this could easily be an advantage. People are more attracted to look at things that are moving. Plus, the ads are always moving to where new people are.

There's also a lot of transit advertising in subway stations. In particular, there are many online photos taken from the BART, San Francisco's subway system. The ads would be on the walls behind where the subway car comes through. They would be wrapped around poles in the stations and even shown on monitor screens in the station. At the Powell station, there is pictured, two ads. There is a wall mural of an Apple iPod ad behind a monitor with another ad. They both have backdrops of red melting into gray. These are newer ads. A Flickr photographer has been kind enough to post a Berlin subway station with an iPod. This is one of the newer ads, as well. The silhouette is pink and the backdrop is a mixed yellow and green. It seems they don't have lights in their subway stations, though? It's a good thing they have that lighted iPod ad to help ease the darkness.

As previously mentioned, TWBA/Chiat/Day is the artistic genius that put the silhouettes on the map. There are 258 full service agencies out there, of which they are in the top ten of the US-based groups ( They are no stranger to winning advertising awards for their work. They were behind probably the most well-known super bowl commercial ever, "1984." In the early 1990's, they repeatedly tricked this author's older sister with their pseudo-soap commercials featuring a pink bunny across the bottom of the screen (MacWorld). This silhouette campaign just fetched more awards for them. Some of the awards included a 2005 Effie (Anderson & Sampey), a 2004 Kelly Grand Prize (Magazine Publishers) and the Cannes 'Media Lion' Award (MacNN).

One of the ideas behind this campaign involved anonymity of the silhouettes, thereby making it easier for the viewer to see themselves in the advertisement. This would, of course, translate into a purchase of the iPod in order to achieve this. Blog reader "Wingate" sees this, "in a way they're de-individuated by being reduced to faceless and almost featureless moving shadows. However, reduced to unidentifiable shadows, their individuality comes out in their particular pattern of dance and their individual responses to the music.....which is playing on their iPods! Their individuality is also suggested as being expressed by their particular background color (which seems to be clearly referencing the discrete color case options for the iPod)." ( "Wingate" hit it right on the nose. Susan Alinsangan from TWBA/Chiat/Day had actually seen someone in a hoodie on the street and she was inspired by the anonymity. She went with this idea. She further developed the idea with the campaign's photographer, Mathew Welch (Bernstein & Andriulli website).

This campaign started simply with the black silhouettes on the various solid color backgrounds. Many individuals commented to the author that the background colors eventually became the exterior options for the iPod. In order to prevent the campaign from going stale, variety was added. In the later television commercials, more and more depth would be shown to the bodies. The backgrounds evolved from mere solid color backgrounds to textured backgrounds. Finally, the silhouettes weren't black. For example, many of the later ads were pink on green/yellow. While online advertising has been used, only one of a pink and orange backdrop and a blue silhouette seems to have made any sort of permanent mark ( This ad which was the sole evidence uncovered of online advertising seems to have come from this later advertising.

The target market to whom Apple was aiming their advertising is relatively apparent from the above discussions. It seems that the main group targeted would be 18 to 34 year olds, which is the category for which they received their Cannes Lion Award ( The bouncy beats and choice of networks like MTV for their television spots help confirm this. However, if you look deeper, you notice half of the magazines they chose were specialized and drew a specialized audience. Their choice of MacWorld seems to suggest that they expected their devoted Mac fans not to disappoint them. The buzz on the appleinsider forum seems to support such a hypothesis. Also with the choice of Wired magazine, they were obviously figuring those who like to stay up on technology should like to stay up on this technology. It seems they were targeting males slightly more than females when you consider the additional choice of Sports Illustrated. Perhaps, they seem to have left out women's magazines in efforts not to discourage male customers, as men would more likely feel awkward using a product they think is for females whereas, women do not have such a strong penchant to disassociate with items like music players if it is advertised more strongly towards men. Finally, the billboards do not know age boundaries in the same way as a choice of where to advertise on television or magazines may. However, the bright colors of the billboard backdrop are more apt to draw in the youth rather than the elderly.

After reviewing the many details of television, magazine, and outdoor advertising and various examples of iPod's advertising in these mediums, one can only wonder what eye popping advertisements will come from Apple next? Will there be online advertising that will make a mark? Furthermore, as TWBA/Chiat/Day works for many other major corporations, what will they next come up with to turn our heads or make us smile as they did with the Taco Bell Chihuahua ( Most importantly, will the iPod silhouette transform itself into yet something new? What options could be left for this icon that seems to have exhausted all its options?

It's Scary What the Advertisers Are Up To With Your Kids Minds

I came across this working on my short essays final exam for my advertising class.  I, of course, was very aware as a child what was going on and when advertising was targeted to me and the stupidity of buying into society's shallow set of values. However, I was not your average child. It really was an understatement to call me precocious.

Have a look-see:

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite!

That is a picture of a young bed bug feeding. I chose a young bed bug because people often talk about the adults. A friend of mine from school recently got an infestation. I got scared. She and I were studying together and I had put our bags on a chair together because the table we were at was outrageously tiny and we needed the space to work.

Since many of my readers are Jewish they either live in NYC or they may travel here. Her in NYC, we have a big problem here with this. It's no surprise to me as we are living on top of one another. There is unfortunately far too much inaccurate information out there about this which is why I chose to blog about it.

Originally uploaded by louento.pix

The most glaring myths out there is that either: A) bed bugs used to exist, but they don't any more and B) the only people who get them are poor, dirty or travelers. You can just vacuum or wash your sheets.

First off, it used to be true that bed bugs were close to eradicated, but they were not actually 100% gone. Likely with everyone traveling, they hitchhiked from another country on someone's luggage causing their reappearance in the US. They can spread very quickly and they have done so.

I was working a couple years back with this girl who told me a friend or relative of hers had a child who was waking up every morning with bites all over him or her. I told her maybe it's bed bugs. She said to me, "no, I know these people, they aren't dirty. Man, what could it be?" The myth that people get these when they are poor or dirty I think may be rooted in the idea that there are bugs for which this is true. However, consider that a bug who feeds on food would indeed be attracted to a messy place where the garbage(food for them) is not taken out. Since bed bugs feed on human blood, whether or not a place is dirty would have nothing to do with if they are attracted or not. Poor people don't get them more than rich people. It may even be the opposite since rich people stay in hotels which are huge breeding grounds for them.

Another thing I see on many websites is that you should just vacuum and that will take care of the problem. While using the hose to vacuum would probably be a productive activity, just vacuuming the floor probably would have no effect whatsoever but, I can't find this from a reliable sources. I'm just thinking that a vacuum works by the brush spinning and throwing the dirt up where then it is sucked up by suction. I think these critters can get deep enough into a rug to stay safe from your vacuum's turning brush.

Which brings me to the plethora of inaccurate information out there. If you google and read about this, make sure you are not, as my friend Bec says, "reading someone's eighth grade term paper." Furthermore, there are seemingly reliable sources out there with inaccurate information. However, several RELIABLE sources with the same information is a pretty good bet.

Some Do's"
• Inspect your mattress and the areas around your bed periodically for small black spots (bed bug $hit) or bugs. They like folds on the corners beneath plastic corner pieces, behind pictures and inside electrical sockets.
• Wash item, especially bed linens and blankets in HOT and Dry past when they are dry so that if you’ve picked something up and it’s in your clothes, you kill it.
• Wash your backpack or purse in HOT periodically
• Tell people that this is a real problem and that they can pick them up anywhere so, more people are inspecting frequently.
• Use your own blog, Facebook and Twitter to help spread the word that this is real, not a nursery rhyme from something that USED TO exist.
• Provide me with any reliable feedback based from experiences and information from actual exterminators. I will try to remember to blog this periodically.

Some Don’ts:
• Don’t fold and store clean laundry on your bed
• Don't put your backpack or other bag that’s been out and about on the bed or floor.
• Don't take “free” furniture from people’s trash.
• Don't ignore it if you get a bite. If you wake up with something check the mattress and area. You want to catch it early.
• Don't use bug bombs.
• Don't try to treat a confirmed case yourself.

*note: Dela dust (deltamethrin) seems to be illegal in NY. However, NJ is not listed, so, if you get to another state once in a while, you may want to pick some up in case you ever get them.

Finally, I leave you with some links:

Oh, and this blogger didn't find any spots or bugs on her mattress during her latest inspection/scare that she may have gotten them that day she studied with her friend.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Anyone wanna write a guest post?

I just thought I'd mention that I take guest posts....

YGB, if you want to write a guest post, you may write one and submit it to my Email address. However, I'm not approving comments that look like spam.