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February 3, 2009

Looks like Pepsi is having a Coke moment

On the heels of news that Coca Cola is dropping "Classic" from the name of it's iconic drink after a stupid marketing ploy in the mid-80s, Pepsi is now on the verge of a similar monumental gaffe.

Gatorade Name Change Upsets Inventor's Family : NPR

You might not have noticed during your last trip to the grocery store, but Gatorade is now known as "G." The name change has disappointed the family of a University of Florida professor who helped invent the sports drink to give the school's athletes a way to stay hydrated.

Darren Rovell did a marvelous job in his 2005 book First in Thirst: How Gatorade Turned the Science of Sweat Into a Cultural Phenomenon, describing how Gatorade became a marketing juggernaut in the sports drink marketplace.

I understand the need to freshen up a brand, but they can't do any better than this? This is the same company who freshened up a fried chicken joint with the same strategy, hello "KFC". Pepsi marketing is looking less like advertising and more like a Wall Street ticker.

December 31, 2008

2009 List of Banished Words

Lake Superior State University :: Banished Words List :: Banished Words List for 2009

Hmmm. The word "change" isn't mentioned. We haven't heard that a bajillion times over the last 12 months, have we?

November 17, 2008

I hope Wayne Ezell reads this

Murdoch to media: You dug yourself a huge hole

To make his point, Murdoch criticized the media reaction after bloggers debunked a "60 Minutes" report by former CBS anchor, Dan Rather, that President Bush had evaded service during his days in the National Guard.

"Far from celebrating this citizen journalism, the establishment media reacted defensively. During an appearance on Fox News, a CBS executive attacked the bloggers in a statement that will go down in the annals of arrogance. '60 Minutes,' he said, was a professional organization with 'multiple layers of checks and balances.' By contrast, he dismissed the blogger as 'a guy sitting in his living room in his pajamas writing.' But eventually it was the guys sitting in their pajamas who forced Mr. Rather and his producer to resign.

"Mr. Rather and his defenders are not alone," he continued. "A recent American study reported that many editors and reporters simply do not trust their readers to make good decisions. Let's be clear about what this means. This is a polite way of saying that these editors and reporters think their readers are too stupid to think for themselves."

At a recent luncheon, I heard the Florida Times Union's former ombudsman Wayne Ezell speak about the way news reporting is changing. I also remember hearing him denigrate blogs as inferior sources of information. The real kicker was when talking to him one on one, he asked me what I thought about the recent changes. When I indicated I wasn't impressed, he essentially told me that I should get used to them. So much for reader feedback.

November 11, 2008

Bailout for Detroit?

A bailout for Detroit certainly sounds like a payback to the unions for helping elect Obama. How about tying it to union concessions? Or development of new environmentally-friendly cars?

October 1, 2008

Harry Reid is unconscionable

Candidates Leave Campaign Trail, Head to DC for Bailout Vote

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., pressed for passage, with the alarming news that one of the country's premier insurance companies was about to go bankrupt if the crisis was not quickly resolved.

"We don't have a lot of leeway on time," Reid told reporters in the Capitol. "One of the individuals in the caucus today talked about a major insurance company -- a major insurance company -- one with a name that everyone knows that's on the verge of going bankrupt. That's what this is all about."

He did not identify the insurance company, and later in the day Reid spokesman Jim Manley said the senator was speaking broadly and not referring to anything specific.

"Senator Reid is not personally aware of any particular company being on the verge of bankruptcy," Manley wrote in an e-mail to ABCNews.com. "Rather, his comments were meant to refer to the conditions in the financial sector generally. He regrets any confusion his comments may have caused."

The insurance industry continues to be one of the most tightly regulated industries in the United States. While nothing surprises me lately, I would be surprised to see an insurance company find itself in such a position without state insurance regulators immediately taking the company into receivership. For Reid to make such a glib comment and then have his spokesman essentially retract his statement is fear mongering at it's worst.

September 24, 2008

Ouch!

Biden, Obama helped keep 'Bridge to Nowhere' alive

Although Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden routinely mocks his Republican counterpart, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, for her onetime support of the infamous "Bridge to Nowhere," Biden and his running mate voted to keep the project alive twice.

Both Biden and Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama voted to kill a Senate amendment that would have diverted federal funding for the bridge to repair a Louisiana span badly damaged by Hurricane Katrina, Senate records show.

It gets worse:

"That is probably the most disturbing element of this and the campaigning on the Bridge to Nowhere," said Bill Allison of the Sunlight Foundation, a taxpayer watchdog group. "Because, yes, they had a chance to vote specifically against the Bridge to Nowhere in Alaska to redirect the money to people, to bridges and infrastructure damaged by Hurricane Katrina going in to New Orleans, and they chose not to."

I'm surprised Obama didn't vote "present" on this one.

New endurance event to be held in Jacksonville

We get our own version of the Empire State Building Run Up on Saturday, February 7, 2009 when the American Lung Association organizes Climb Jacksonville, a race up the Bank of America Tower. Only 42 floors. Or 838 steps.

Anyone want to organize a team?

PETA jumps the shark

PETA Urges Ben & Jerry's To Use Human Milk

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sent a letter to Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, cofounders of Ben & Jerry's Homemade Inc., urging them to replace cow's milk they use in their ice cream products with human breast milk, according to a statement recently released by a PETA spokeswoman.

This is wrong on so many levels. PETA continues to find new ways to make it easy for folks to find them irrelevant.

August 27, 2008

Did she say this with a straight face?

The Jacksonville Daily Record quoted Angela Corey saying:

"We ran a positive campaign," she said. "The public is ready for a change."

Based on the margin of victory, the public is ready for a change. However, her campaign was anything but positive.

June 18, 2008

Saw the Mayor today

Mayor Peyton was giving a presentation on the Jacksonville Journey and justifying why we need to raise revenue (taxes) to support the initiative. It is no secret that we enjoy the lowest millage rates in the state. Unfortunately, some folks would rather pay no taxes and live in a dump.

Most amazing statistic: he never mentioned the county courthouse, nor did anyone ever ask him about it.

January 31, 2008

This is disgusting

Only in Berkeley. Next week, the council will vote on giving economic incentives to Al Qaeda.

May 10, 2007

So you want to be a candidate?

Then the media feels they have carte blanche to ask you anything. Mike Wallace of 60 Minutes apparently subscribes to this theory:

Romney's wife, Ann, who converted to the Mormon Church before they were married, is also interviewed. When asked whether they broke the strict church rule against premarital sex, Romney says, "No, I'm sorry, we do not get into those things," but still managed to blurt out "The answer is no," before ending that line of questioning.

Disgusting.

May 1, 2007

Sensationalize!

So funny how the media seems to cheer for body counts. Today's big story is a multiple shooting here in Jacksonville. How does Channel 6 in Orlando report the story? (Emphasis added)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Six people were shot Tuesday in a neighborhood near downtown Jacksonville, police said.

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Melissa Bujeda said all have non-life threatening injuries.

It also was not known whether the gunman was at large or among the dead.

The shooting occurred in the Talleyrand area near Jacksonville Memorial Stadium.

Huh? Who said anything about anyone being killed? According to the police spokesperson, all involved have non-life threatening injuries. Darn!

Channel 4, here in Jacksonville, reported the status of the gunman this way:

There was no immediate word on whether a gunman was at large or among the victims.

That is a more accurate and less sensational way to report the story, since the folks who were shot are indeed victims.

Gotta love the media.

April 23, 2007

One square per visit

The Butler girls will be in trouble if this ever happens. We go through toilet paper at our house like crazy.

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Crow calls for limit on loo paper

Singer Sheryl Crow has said a ban on using too much toilet paper should be introduced to help the environment.

Crow has suggested using "only one square per restroom visit, except, of course, on those pesky occasions where two to three could be required".

The other question is, how will this be enforced? I imagine sophisticated toilet paper dispensers. One ticket please.

March 14, 2007

Would global warming make hell freeze over?

If so, I am now a believer. The New York Times published an article yesterday critical of Al Gore and his Inconvenient Truth.

Bjorn Lomborg, a statistician and political scientist referenced in the article, has written a book that I want to read about global warming. According to Michael Crichton:

No one should miss Bjørn Lomborg's "The Skeptical Environmentalist." The author, a Danish statistician and former Greenpeace activist, set out to disprove the views of the late Julian Simon, who claimed that environmental fears were baseless and that the world was actually improving. To Mr. Lomborg's surprise, he found that Simon was mostly right. Mr. Lomborg's text is calm and devastating to established dogma.

Personally, I don't like the scaremongering tactics either. Seems to be used solely for attention and political lucre (and financial profits by those in the EU who are gaming the carbon trade). I think the significant downgrade recently of the threat of rising ocean levels by the UN, while not frequently mentioned, deflates the Chicken Little argument. Should we be good stewards of the Earth and the environment? Sure. But let's be rationale about it.

UPDATE: Cox and Forkum weigh in on the issue.

March 30, 2006

GRIPE: Too much content

There are just too many cool ways to get content nowdays. Between RSS feeds, audiobooks, podcasts, Netflix, Tivo, and RadioTime (think Tivo for radio), there is so much cool stuff to absorb. Plus of course traditional books, magazines, newspapers, etc.

Cost isn't a major factor, but time is. I wish there was a Johnny Mnemonic way to load all of this content into my brain daily (and enjoy it, no potential for death, unlike the movie). Listening while working isn't really an option, because I'm on the phone quite a bit. I have no commute. Of the 5 hours I have exercised this week, I have trained by myself for only 2 hours. Of those 2 hours, 1.5 were in the pool and I don't have a waterproof case for the Nano yet.

I guess it comes down to priortization and being picky with content until I can get that brain implant.

UPDATE: I forgot about Pandora and XM Radio.

March 2, 2006

Pet Peeves

Two quick pet peeves:

1. Pete called me earlier tonight and reminded me of one we both share. Making a verb out of a noun. His example was Campbell Brown on NBC (?) asking former FEMA Director Michael Brown "to bottom line this for me." Huh? Another goodie: "Let's dialogue." Using nouns as verbs does not make you look smart or sound intelligent. Trust me. Speaking simply is a dying art.

2. Calling a toll-free number and getting to speak to a "Customer Care Consultant" or some other inane fancy name for a person who answers toll-free phone numbers or works in customer service. I really like it when they promise me at the beginning of the call they are going to provide me with "excellent service." Sha-right. They can't do anything their script doesn't tell them without talking to a supervisor. Fortunately, it seems to be strictly an American call center ploy. Like giving themselves a more empowering title is going to make me feel better about navigating a menu tree that required 20 key punches, entering my account number (which you know they are going to ask you for again later), a reminder that the menu has changed, and 20 minutes on hold. It almost makes talking to my Indian call center friends halfway around the globe almost palatable. In those cases, the only thing Manish calls himself is "Bob" or "Larry."