Avatar II

Avatar’s strongest point is not the originality of its script. The sequel may also make subtle nods to other stories.

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Published in: on 29 March, 2010 at 20:45  Leave a Comment  

All in a Name

There are some brand names that are so well known that they replace the generic name. In the UK, people use the verb Hoover to mean use a vacuum cleaner. Sell tape and Scotch Tape are used, one on each side of the Atlantic, to refer to sticky tape. In more recent years, Google has become a verb meaning to search on the internet.

It would seem that one company at least is trying to fight back against this latest lexicographic trend. Microsoft have a rival, far less used search engine called Bing. In a recent episode of Vampire Diaries, one of the characters is showing another the results of an internet search and says “I Binged this”. Since no one says that in real life, it is almost the result of sponsor’s dollars. As a side note, a person died as the direct result of this exercise in Binging; I suggest you stick with Google or Yahoo for your safety

Published in: on 28 March, 2010 at 20:41  Leave a Comment  

Taxes

People in the US are shocked by the 17.5% rate of VAT. That seems postively low having rented a car in Illinois. A four day rental was just under $170. Total including taxes was $230. There were eight lines of itemised taxes. Illinois: Land of Lincoln and High Taxes.

Published in: on 10 March, 2010 at 11:26  Comments (1)  

Chicago Fine Dining

I am at a set of business meetings close to Chicago. Tonight we walked across the street to dinner, a task made more difficult by a lack of pavements (sidewalks for any US readers) and a bank of snow piled up at the edge of the pedestrian crossing (crosswalk for those previously mentioned US readers) The restaurant was clearly upmarket as indicated by neon signs in the window; one of which read “Sanitary Bathrooms”. I do hope that this tongue in cheek and not a necessary announcement of an advantage over the other places to eat in the area.

Published in: on 8 March, 2010 at 19:31  Comments (1)  

Odd Sign

Part of my job involves working with my employer’s UK subsidiary. The UK subsidiary asked the marketing department to record a new version of a promotional video using an English speaking actress. I think they meant one without an American accent, but there are times that American English seems odd to some one from the UK. Last week, I saw a sign that said “Spray on bed lining”. I know what service was being offered here, but I had been fresh from the UK I am not so sure I would have understood. For anyone who is wondering why you would spray a lining onto a bed, let me explain. A lot of vehicles sold in the US are trucks with no covering behind the cab. A plastic lining can be sprayed onto the truck bed to cover the base metal.

Published in: on 7 March, 2010 at 10:20  Leave a Comment  

Ad Bowl

My blog is not at the cutting edge of up to the minute news coverage; which is just as well as this post is about an event that happened a month ago.

The first weekend of February saw Super Bowl XLIV. The Super Bowl is the final game of the NFL season; for a sport that Americans call football. This should not be confused with the sport that the rest of the world calls football and which the Americans call soccer, when they can be interested enough no even recognise the existence of the sport. The Super Bowl is a big TV event, millions of Americans sit down to watch it whilst eating junk food and drinking beer. I had never been to a Super Bowl party before, I had never seen a Super Bowl game, I had never seen a complete game of American football.

The event was odd to those brought up on watching football matches.  Football consists of two halves of forty five minutes, so TV coverage of a game lasts about two hours. American Football consists of four quarters each of  fifteen minutes; that is thirty minutes less than a game of football. The Super Bowl ended about three and a half hours after the game started. This is because instead of a sporting event with advert breaks, the Super Bowl is several hours of adverts with brief intervals of sport between them. Since the Super Bowl is so widely watched, the cost of advertising is high; a 30 second slot cost just over $3,000,000 during the 2010 show. The network obviously wants to get as many of these slots as possible; so the football is obviously annoying padding using up air time that could be bringing in revenue.

New adverts are shown for the first time during the Super Bowl and there are people who watch the show for the adverts, rather than the football. The adverts this year were focused on cars, junk food, and beer. I think there may be an assumption that the majority of the audience is male. If you search You Tube for Super Bowl ads 2010 you can watch the highlights of the event on your TV.

Oh, as a side note the New Orleans Saints won the sporting part of the show.

Published in: on 6 March, 2010 at 10:15  Comments (1)