plugola

I am the web host tech-support dude’s worst nightmare. After 3 years of paying for a webspace, I’ve recently moved on to my fourth host (that sound kind of macabre huh).
The thing is, I spend a ridiculous amount of time online, mostly just basking in my self-constructed glory ie. my website. And so, the upshot is that I always know when it’s having technical difficulties. I email tech support; “Why is my website not working? Where is my website? I can’t see my website yet. Why haven’t you fixed my website?” … and so on.

And even though I haven’t got to it yet, you might wonder why I’d plug my current webhost after just experiencing a couple of days of downtime. The truth is, everybody has technical trouble sometimes. Even IBM. The big difference was that this time, on ZainyFX, Sydney Multimedia Solutions Web Design Web Hosting Logo Design – ZainyFX ::: Multimedia Solutions, the problem was rectified and serious action was taken to make sure it never happens again.
Compare this to the last webhost i paid money to: they wouldn’t answer my emails, and then they actually started lying to me. I felt like i was trying to talk to a robot, except that they don’t lie.

That was two months ago, and i was desperately looking for a new space to transfer my website to. Enter ZainyFX. I saw a google text ad for it. I was well seasoned at being disappointed with webhosts, and had a long list of requirements sought after in a prospective host. That list was, it had to be 1) zainy, 2) have fx [or ‘effects’ if you want to be pedantic], 3) start off its spiel with the words, “Here at _____ we understand that finding ______ _____ ______ for you and your business … ”.

Bingo! I was in luck on all three counts. The truth is it was just good luck that I picked Zainy. First and foremost, the tech-support guy, Carl, is a human and communicates like one — this really helps. The prices are reasonable: stability is worth paying for. The server runs on apache, which is a bonus in anyone’s language.
It has the best control panel I’ve ever seen! and I’ve seen a few. cPanel – has everything: here is a picture of part of the control panel, and i still couldn’t fit everything in -> that’s how much there is

There’s a shopping cart thing if you want to sell stuff, mailing lists if you have thousands of fans, more stats programs than you could poke a pocket protector at, and even a hot-link protection thing that can stop people from stealing your bandwidth.

Anyway, ZainyFX is currently in merger talks with another small australian company, Bold Echidna — and I can only hope that the resulting business name will be Zainy Echidna.

hear the drummer get wicked

Some people out there might remember a sitcom called Growing Pains, that generally came on after Who’s the Boss? Anyway I heard about this website on the radio the other morning. Kirk Cameron, who was on Growing Pains became a raving mad christian, and is part of this thing, www.wayofthemaster.com — go try the quiz. I got 10/10 guilty.
Here I was thinking god was compassionate and loving but I read that it (He, they say, He) is actually angry and vengeful. Boy is my face red. I’ve been Idoling around and blaspheming when cleaning the bath tub.
To quote from 7., “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” I do that all the time! Whoops.
Apparently I’ll be holidaying at some place called Fire Lake, or the Lake of Fire, this summer. I just hope the tent site isn’t too far from the shower block. That sucks.

I don’t know… I don’t think these christians understand that it’s really, really really hard to get your head around the concept of a trinity. I get dizzy just typing it. I mean, “3 things is one thing and one of the things is a person but actually isn’t”, wuh? And what about the Holy Spirit eh? It doesn’t get any recognition hardly at all. Holy Spirit is like Terminator X in Public Enemy. The other two just yell out his name occasionally but that’s it — yet if he wasn’t there, the remainder of the trio would just be two guys yelling.

It’s like dat yor, like dat yor, like dat n’ dat n’ like dat yor

There was this really excellent Ollie Stone doco on last week, Commandante, about Fidel and Cuba. Allowing for wind-sheer both ways (Ollie seemed overly interested in the Who Magazine style questions, plus he’s from Hollywood) and (the Cuban authorities probably put a little effort into seeing that the one or two whingers didn’t show up at every outing) and I thought it gave a pretty good impression of Castro and the Cuban Communist party. [There’s a whinger or two everywhere – I bet – even in Heaven, complaining about how fluffy the clouds aren’t comfortable and God is quietly regretting letting them in.]

My personal opinion and experiences of being honest and being a liar, while watching Fidel, reminded me that it’s so much easier to talk when you can be honest about stuff and know it won’t blow up on you. He’s a brilliant public speaker, even if I don’t speak Spanish. On the other hand, perhaps it is not that Bush jr. has an IQ of 48 that hinders him, it’s that it becomes extremely complex to complete a single sentence when there’s hundreds of factors to take into account “can’t mention this because it’ll effect that, can’t mention such n’ such because they don’t know the truth about the other thing” etc. I know what it’s like because I used to lie a lot. So in the case of Bush’s brain it’s like asking a 486 computer (a really slow one) to predict the ocean currents (really difficult) — it just bogs down. Viva Fidel.

That reminds me, I’ve really got to arrange to get out bowling this week.

But the politicians here are just as much of two-bit hoods as america or UK and probably other bourgeois-democratic, non-english speaking countries too. The circus is in town and the BigTop’s errected. The challenger this time has a clever spin/speech writer who can boil policy down to tabloid headline size, such as “Cheap Drugs for Sick Ausies”, “Ease the Squeeze”. The incumbent treasurer felt he had to respond to the latter in kind; “He’s trying to Hoax the Folks”.
I’d like to see the rest of the campaign performed exclusively in a mixture of rhyming couplets, rap and snappily choreographed, large-scaled dance numbers.

space brothers and lovers and nakedness is asking for trouble

Point one – Sagan should be damn thankful he got this record out before the rise of the P.M.R.C. (http://www.philagora.org/about-the-world/pmrc1.htm). There’s no way they’d’ve let a record sleeve be published with pictures of boobs and ‘special fruit’ or specially cock n’ balls on it. They would’ve insisted, at the very least, that the guy be wearing undies. This is after all -Patriarchy- where the woman’s body is an object to be gazed at, but the schlong is taboo.
Instead of all that hydrogen and solar system jazz they should’ve just had lots of pictures of cocks, inter-continental ballistic missiles, submarines, sky scrapers, and Chiko Rolls. Although the scientific Mafia will try hard to not let it, conventional chemistry could be rendered dippy in a decade, while symbolism is ageless.

It’s great though, innit? It’s like he’s saying, “Hi, I’m nude!”
she: Me too, and I even shaved!
he: Together, we’re Whitey, and we run this planet.
she: you mean, you run the planet.
he: whatever! Also, I’m circumcised.

Point two: Who the fuck made carl sagan intergalatic ambassador anyway? All he did was write a book and talk in a funny accent. That’s some major coup if you ask me — just happen to be a space-dude born on the continent with the most weapons during a particularly boomy decade and you get to shape the first impressions of humans in the eyes/eye-storks of dozens of alien races.

They could rock up in 50 years or even tomorrow and be like, “Doo! Where’s Sagan?” and we’ll be like, “He’s dead already” and they won’t be impressed and use us for target practice.

viva east timor

20040430_ETCYCLINGTEAM

This is the East Timorese cycling team that’ll be off to the Olympics this year. If they come up against australia I think I’ll barrack for the E.T.s because of the continued bully-boy tactics this country is on with — as if the 14 years of dirty deals with Indonesia, before independence wasn’t enough.

I got the clipping from ex-girlfriend jean, who returned to town briefly for educational commitments. She showed some of the villagers this entry back (with the Cherry Guevara icecream wrapper) and they didn’t like at all. It made them angry. That’s the difference – fighting for freedom is a real thing there and not much more than an abstract concept here — we decide to stay home and make it a Blockbuster evening — every evenning, as freedom erodes.

But hey! if they didn’t like that then I sure wouldn’t want to be standing too close when they find out about the pitch I had accepted – the (banana flavoured) Xanana Split Icecream Sunday with GusmaoBerry Topping. It comes in a little plastic cup.

Speaking of the evil icecream conspiracy

20040430_ESKIMPIE

I bought an eskimo pie the other day just for the hell of it, and as you can imagine, was horribly diappointed. It’s just a whack of vanilla icecream in crappy chocolate. Where’d the damn busicuit go? Two dollars?! .. get outta here…

your hypertasking is driving me back into the ocean

I signed up for this email newsletter thing from trendwatching.com last year and fittingly it’s always pegged as junkmail and I never see it. The normal email setup is messed up, so I saw it for once. What they do is mash bits of words together, attach it to something bleeding obvious (like watching tv and reading the paper at the same time — haven’t people been doing that since 1960? Leave it to Beaver?) and attempt to convince you it’s the happening thing.

20040406_SOUPATHAND

The fact that the woman in this image has a soccer ball in her hand pushes the whole thing past embarrassing into the realm of the surreal.

the fine art of mind control

I’ve just been reading this article, Information Control For Social Manipulation, which looks at the links between the military, big business and Hollywood. There’s also an abridged version in the Feb/March edition of Nexus magazine. The online article is pretty long, but worth a look through if you’ve got the time and eye-power.

For me the gold nugget was;

<%image(20040313-bat.jpg|273|632|bats in eastern gardens)%>

“18.) On average, individuals in industrialized nations spend three hours a day watching television – roughly half their leisure time; only to work and sleep is more time devoted. At this rate, someone who lives to be seventy-five would spend more than nine years of their life just watching TV. Why do we watch so much? In studies, subjects claimed that television was a means of relaxation, to which electroencephalograph (EEG) readings confirmed via brain waves, skin resistance and heart rates of subjects while watching television. However, even though relaxation is associated with TV by the viewers, research also has shown that passivity and a lowered level of alertness also correlate. Furthermore, once the television is turned off, the sense of relaxation dissipates rather quickly, but the passivity and lowered alertness remain for a considerable time.

”Within moments of sitting or lying down and pushing the ‘power’ button, viewers report feeling more relaxed. Because the relaxation occurs quickly, people are conditioned to associate viewing with rest and lack of tension. The association is positively reinforced because viewers remain relaxed throughout viewing, and it is negatively reinforced via the stress and dysphoric rumination that occurs once the screen goes blank again. Habit forming drugs work in similar ways. A tranquilizer that leaves the body rapidly is much more likely to cause dependence than one that leaves the body slowly, precisely because the user is more aware the drug’s effects are wearing off.“ Like a drug, heavy television use has long-term negative effects. Generally, heavy viewers are more easily bored, more easily distracted, have poorer attentional control, are less likely to participate in community activities or sports, and are more likely to be obese; they’re more anxious and less happy than light viewers in unstructured situations, such as doing nothing, day-dreaming, or waiting in line. ”The difference widens even more when the viewer is alone.“

Part of the human attraction to television has to do with our biological orienting response. ”First described by Ivan Pavlov in 1927, the orienting response is our instinctive visual or auditory reaction to any sudden or novel stimulus. It is part of our evolutionary heritage, a built-in sensitivity to movement and potential predatory threats. Typical orienting reactions include dilation of the blood vessels to the brain, slowing of the heart, and constriction of blood vessels to major muscle groups. The brain focuses its attention on gathering more information while the rest of the body quiets…. In 1986 Byron Reeves of Stanford University, Esther Thorson of the University of Missouri and their colleagues began to study whether the simple formal features of television – cuts, edits, zooms, pans, sudden noises – activate the orienting response, thereby keeping attention on the screen. By watching how brain waves were affected by formal features, the researchers concluded that these stylistic tricks can indeed trigger involuntary responses and ‘derive their attentional value through the evolutionary significance of detecting movement…. It is form, not the content, of television that is unique’….

Annie Lang’s research team at Indiana University has shown that heart rate decreases for four to six seconds after an orienting stimulus. In ads, action sequences and music videos, formal features frequently come at a rate of one per second, thus activating the orienting response continuously.“ Perhaps its time we heeded the wisdom of Umberto Eco who once wrote, ”A democratic civilization will save itself only if it makes the language of the image into a stimulus for critical reflection – not an invitation for hypnosis,“ (Kubey & Csikszentmihalyi, 2002; Boihem & Emmanouilides).”

Even if I thought I could before, I won’t be able to stare at the box in blissful ignorance again.

Also, a little chunk from point 25 is kinda interesting —
“E. Despite having made changes to characters in Independence Day (1996), the Department of Defense refused help because, ”the military appears impotent and/or inept; all advances in stopping aliens are the result of actions by civilians.“
F. Other films to have received assistance from the Pentagon are: Air Force One (1997), A Few Good Men (1992), Armageddon (1998), The Hunt for Red October (1990), Pearl Harbor (2001), Patriot Games (1992), Windtalkers (2002), Hamburger Hill (1987), The American President (1995), Behind Enemy Lines (2001), Apollo 13 (1995), Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), and A Time to Kill (1996).
G. Some films that were denied: Apocalypse Now (1979), Catch-22 (1970), Dr. Strangelove (1964), Full Metal Jacket (1987), The Last Detail (1973), Lone Star (1996), Mars Attacks! (1996), Platoon (1986), and The Thin Red Line (1998) (Campbell, 2001, August 29; Weiss, 2002).”

I always had Independence Day pegged as coming straight from the bosom of the system, the indicator being that They seemed to give a copy away with everything for a while — ‘Hire two videos, get a copy of Independence Day‘, ‘buy a burger, get a copy of Independence Day‘. They did the same thing with The Last Starfighter. That kind of thing makes me wonder what it is that’s so worthy that everyone must see.
Oh, and Mars Attacks! a trouble maker? hehe.

Lastly, here’s some choice quotes short enough to memorise and pull out at functions thus guaranteeing you that attractively subversive air;
popular nazi propagandist, Joe Goebbels likened the media to, “a piano … in the hands of the government”, and that the media should be “uniform in principles” but “polyform in nuances”.
“Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one” — A.J. Liebling
“When you are the monopoly supplier, you are inclined to dictate”, Rupert Murdoch
“Three hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets”, Napoleon Boneparte.

HEY SMEGMA FEATURES!

I suppose something that’s worth thinking about is when is mixing name and object far enough apart that it works and when doesn’t it work, like here at adland — soy products called poosticks. Not so good.

But last weekend I was flicking through some lifestyle magazine and noticed an ad for a Smeg fridge (the coloured one). It still makes me grin a bit.
It wouldn’t take too much of the wrong kind of imagination to start thinking your were eating poosticks, but it’s definitely more of a leap to start imagining the milk carton you’re grabbing out of the refrigerator is full of smegma.
Besides, it’s a pretty groovy looking fridge. If I had one I’d be straight out to get some magnetic letters and put ‘HEAD’ one the next line. Viva Red Dwarf.

From the Deliciously Irreverent freezer cabinet at NQR comes:
< %image(20040124-guevara.jpg|539|297|Fidel would be rolling in his grave)%>
Pick your fave caption – ‘Magnum Ci, Yankee No!’
– ‘I scream, you scream, we all scream for Revoluci�n!’
– ‘The revolution will not be ice-creamified’
– ‘Bolshilicious!’

Anyway, on the back of the wrapper it says, “The revolutionary struggle of the cherries was squashed as they were trapped between two layers of chocolate. May their memory live on in your mouth!”
Uh — hello? Unless you’re talking about the attempted overthrow of the Bolivian govt. then you got it all wrong buddy.
*********
I vaguely heard that Havanna was one of the cities going for the next Olympics. I don’t know how that would work.

I roll

Erm, there’s a space invaders game in the bloodyvolvodriver website. Go RearView -> 70s -> classic game.

They stretch it a bit by claiming that safety was an integral part of the whole plan in the early periods — safety in the 1930s amounted to ‘now with added brakes’.

My final thought to the whole camapign is that there’s no such thing as the blody volvo driver anymore. Bad drivers have spread across many brands due to the general level of safetey in design increasing. For all intents and purposes your ‘there’s more to like about a kia’ is just as safe as a volvo, what with air-bags n’ such. When you’re out on the highway and in that short moment before coming down with a case of acute semi-trailer poisoning, it doesn’t really matter what you’re in. Despite what the TAC would like us to think.
Volvo’s heyday was the mid-late 70s when the bloodyvolvodriver was establishing and growing. The car had a distinct shape, safety was an issue and they had a genuine jump on the rest in the area.

While I’m talking ads, the Telstra bigpond broadband ads bug me. I mean the one that had ned kelly and others jumping up out of the ocean. Briefly a tv commercial – but seems to be more prevalent as a billboard.
A layer or two down, what the ad says is that web sites on Ned kelly (and other australian things relevant to a kid doing homework) are located on web-servers overseas. Why is this? Because Telstra is like the fat kid in the little wader pool and it’s keeping the water level (prices) high — and so running a web-server here stays an uncompetitve proposition.

Ah, I’m unusually tired today … thus the ridiculous analogies.

gimme gimme servicemation

Something I saw at adland: you gotta see this ad. for real estate. Now there’s some lateral thinking – red riding hood, sense of security, the wolf, owning your own home … and a long-time favourite theme here at spouting – people in furry animal suits — in this case, heavily yanged/yinned up animals if you’ll take a closer look at the anatomicals. Crikey!

comments:
Jon
url: the spork
date: 2003-12-05-20-06
Inconceivable ! (aparently not …) .. hahahah LOL… classic stuff =) “Wow”