Monday, April 27, 2009

Breathtaking real time Earth simulation

Watch population and greenhouse gas emissions grow on this fascinating website that provides CO2 emissions, birth and death rates by country, simulated real time. Worth checking out:

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Balls and Bottoms give way to Wangs in the Surname Game

The number of people in Britain with surnames like Cockshott, Balls, Death and Shufflebottom has declined by up to 75 percent in the last century.

A study found the number of people with the name Cock shrank to 785 last year from 3,211 in 1881, those called Balls fell to 1,299 from 2,904 and the number of Deaths were reduced to 605 from 1,133.

People named Smellie decreased by 70 percent, Dafts by 51 percent, Gotobeds by 42 percent, Shufflebottoms by 40 percent, and Cockshotts by 34 percent, said Richard Webber, visiting professor of geography at King's College, London.

"If you find the (absolute) number goes down, it's either because they changed their names or they emigrated," Webber, author of the study, told Reuters on Wednesday.

He said that in many cases, people probably changed their surnames as they came to be regarded as in bad taste. "It's because the meaning of words can change. Take the name Daft -- that as a term for a stupid is a relatively recent innovation."

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, Daft meant "mild" or "meek" in Old English, whereas it means "foolish" today.

Webber also discovered that the most popular names in Britain have not changed over the past 127 years. Last year, Smith, Jones, Williams, Brown, Taylor and Davies held the top five spots, in exactly the same order as they did a century ago.

Webber also found that between 1996 and 2008, the names Zhang, Wang, and Yang and experienced the fastest growth. Zhang rose by 4719 percent, while Wang grew by 2225 percent.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Monday, April 20, 2009

Jesus appears in Kit Kat bar

First it was images of the Virgin Mary appearing in a grilled cheese sandwich. Now Jesus Christ himself has apparently turned up in a Kit Kat bar.

Dutch website has published a picture of the Christlike confectionary submitted by a reader, saying it welcomed Jesus apparitions on Good Friday.

The reader reported: "I took a bite of a chocolate bar and then I saw a face in the bar."

While he found religious apparitions of recent years "all rather far-fetched", the reader said two work colleagues also could see the iconic image.

However another reader of suggested the face looked more like Star Wars character Darth Vader.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Joel Bauer’s American Psycho-style analysis of the intricacies of the business card left me intrigued.... and somewhat scared.

Joel Bauer, ‘Author, Mentor and Infotainer’, tells us why his business card, which took 25 years to design, is oh so much better than yours.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Ginger kid girating

This small ginger child - and another I assume to be his sister - are cutting shapes, shimmying hips and pulling dance moves which would really be more appropriate if they were ten years older. I can only wonder: where were the parents? Behind the camera?

It *is* funny as hell though...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Button injured in horrific F1 accident

Juice boxes

Enticing, eh?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Microsoft attack ad criticised by Apple Mac bloggers

Microsoft has launched another US ad attacking Apple Macs, featuring a student trying to find the best value computer for $1,500.

The TV spot shows the "technically savvy" student, Giampaolo, handed the cash with the promise that he can keep whatever he buys.

Surveying computers in a large store, he rejects a Mac because he thinks they are "more about aesthetics than computing power".


In the end, he plumps for a HP PC (poor guy).

The ads have struck a nerve on the internet, with pro-Mac bloggers outraged by the new ad.

Tom Reestman, writing on the Apple Blog, said: "The star of the new ad, Giampaolo, claims to be technically savvy, and then spends the rest of ad proving he’s not."

Prince McLean, writing on Apple Insider, said: "The strangest point of this ad is that Giampaolo didn't get the portability, battery life, and power he was looking for, he just ended up with a cheap-appearing machine that obscured its real technical limitations under a flashy layer of misleading, specification-oriented marketing, the very thing he thought he was avoiding with HP: buying a brand rather than a computer."

The ad is the second in the "laptop hunter" series by Crispin Porter & Bogusky.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Blast from the past: Levi's 'laundrette' by Bartle Bogle Hegarty

The year is 1985, and the Levi's brand is perceived as old fashioned and, at a time of much anti-American feeling, uncool.

The launderette commercial, promoting Levi’s classic 501s, was the breakthrough.

John Hegarty and the writer Barbara Nokes recreated an image of 50s Americana that presented 501s as alternative to punk’s scruffiness.

The spot wasn’t only beautifully shot but had humour and sex appeal in the form of teen idol Nick Kamen.

It was also an early example of successful integrated marketing. Marvin Gaye’s I Heard It Through The Grapevine soundtrack was re-released with the Levi’s logo on the record sleeve and shot into the charts.

As for Levi’s sales, they had soared by 800 per cent within a year of the 501s re-launch.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Cruising with Andrew Bush

By attaching a camera to the passenger side window of his car, LA photographer Andrew Bush took photos of his subjects whilst driving (often travelling at 60mph) beside them in and around LA, a city famous for it's car culture. He named the series Vector portraits and from this published a book entitiled Andrew Bush - Drive . For more of this and some of his other work visit

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Swedish ad students use Twitter and blog to 'pitch' for global Adidas brief

The Swedish ad agency Volontaire has challenged three of its interns to achieve the impossible: win the Adidas worldwide creative account within three weeks.

The agency has challenged the three students to develop ideas for a pitch presentation to Adidas and to blog progress of their ideas at

Volontaire is asking the students to adopt the Adidas approach of "impossible is nothing" in a bid to illustrate some of the agency's core beliefs, including that great ideas can come from anywhere and that companies no longer have the power to control their brands.

The students, who all attend Berghs School of Communication in Sweden, will reveal their full presentation on the website on Friday.

They have also been posting their thoughts and ideas on Twitter, Tumblr and YouTube.