Apple’s A-list Autocorrect
By Kevin Ong
So I’m very amused by the fact that when you type “lardass”, the word “Kardashian” appears as suggestion by default. I tried it a few days ago. But immediately after I wrote this paragraph, I tried it again just to be sure. Alas, the Kardashian suggestion has now disappeared. Seems like Kim, Khloe and Kourtney got to the Apple HQ before we did.
Star Wars a capella
By Kim Beng
The above link is to a YouTube music video of the Star Wars theme, sung a cappella by Jimmy Fallon and the cast of the latest Star Wars movie.
Why It Works: Coming from an a cappella group myself, I appreciate how difficult it is to put something like this together. All the instrumental parts have been transcribed and reproduced perfectly.
Furthermore, actors such as Harrison Ford, not exactly known for his singing, were perfectly competent. I’m not sure if auto-tune was slyly applied, or if he was lip syncing, but I still loved the overall effect.
A Cheeky L’Oreal Ad
By Alison Marshall
Why It Works: Keeping in the theme of Star Wars mania, this made me laugh. As with all brilliant campaigns it’s simple but effective. If it’s not a real L’Oréal campaign, it should be!
So clever has L’Oréal’s advertising been over the years that as soon as you see the image you can’t help whispering to yourself, “Because I’m worth it.” (Or is it just me?)
A Quote from Margaret Atwood
By Will Chin
I recently read A Writer On Writing by Margaret Atwood, an edited collection of six lectures that the Canadian author gave at the University of Cambridge. In the introduction, Atwood describes the book as being not about how to write or about her own writing, but rather the position a writer often finds himself or herself in.
This portion of the introduction, in particular, really spoke to me as a writer:
To record the world as it is. To set down the past before it is all forgotten. To excavate the past because it has been forgotten. To satisfy my desire for revenge. Because I knew I had to keep writing or else I would die. Because to write is to take risks, and it is only by taking risks that we know we are alive. To produce order out of chaos. To delight and instruct (not often found after the early twentieth century, or not in that form). To please myself. To express myself. To express myself beautifully. To create a perfect work of art. To reward the virtuous and punish the guilty; or — the Marquis de Sade defense, used by ironists — vice versa.
To hold a mirror up to Nature. To hold a mirror up to the reader. To paint a portrait of society and its ills. To express the unexpressed life of the masses. To name the hitherto unnamed. To defend the human spirit, and human integrity and honour. To thumb my nose at Death. To make money so my children could have shoes. To make money so I could sneer at those who formerly sneered at me. To show the bastards. Because to create is human. Because to create is Godlike. Because I hated the idea of having a job. To say a new word. To make a new thing. To create a national consciousness, or a national conscience. To justify my failures in school. To justify my own view of myself and my life, because I couldn’t be ‘a writer’ unless I actually did some writing. To make myself appear more interesting than I actually was. To attract the love of a beautiful woman. To attract the love of any woman at all. To attract the love of a beautiful man. To rectify the imperfections of my miserable childhood. To thwart my parents. To spin a fascinating tale. To pass the time, even though it would have passed anyway. Graphomania. Compulsive logorrhoea.
Because I was driven to it by some force outside of my control. Because I was possessed. Because an angel dictated to me. Because I fell into the embrace of the Muse. Because I got pregnant by the Muse and needed to give birth to a book (an interesting piece of cross-dressing, indulged in by male writers of the seventeenth century). Because I had books instead of children (several twentieth-century women). To serve Art. To serve the Collective Unconscious. To serve History. To justify the ways of God toward man. To act out antisocial behaviour for which I would have been punished in real life. To master a craft so I could generate texts (a recent entry). To subvert the Establishment. To demonstrate that whatever is, is right. To experiment with new forms of perception. To create a recreational boudoir so the reader could go into and have fun (translated from a Czech newspaper). Because the story took hold of me and wouldn’t let me go (the Ancient Mariner defense).
To search for understanding of the reader and myself. To cope with my depression. For my children. To make a name the would survive death. To defend a minority group or oppressed class. To speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. To expose appalling wrongs or atrocities. To record the times through which I have lived. To bear witness to horrifying events that I have survived. To speak for the dead. To celebrate life in all its complexity. To praise the universe. To allow for the possibility of hope and redemption. To give back something of what has been given to me.
Why It Works: When you write for a living, it is easy to lose track of why you are hammering words into a word processor on a daily basis — and it looks like the same applies to even the most acclaimed writers in the world. Even Atwood feels the need to remind herself, from time to time, why she’s in the business of writing in the first place.
Though we all write for different reasons, it is heartening to see that, on a deeper level, writers all seem to share a common denominator.
Fargo — Season Two (No Spoilers, I Promise!)
By Mary Weaver
I was a huge fan of the first season of the TV series Fargo, which built on the 1996 film so wonderfully, with Billy Bob Thornton particularly feted for his performance (I preferred the more subtle, but oh-so-menacing Martin Freeman though). The second season has just ended its run and it was equally fantastic. Ten perfect episodes of brilliant acting, casting, direction, scriptwriting, art direction. It is TV perfection, my friends.
Why It Works: It’s the perfect blend of unique characters, setting, situations and storytelling. Each episode was paced so well, building until its stunning conclusion. But more than the story and the quirky combination of drama and dark humour, it is the characters that will stay with me: Hanzee, Mike Milligan, Peggy Blomquist, Floyd Gerhardt and more. If those are just names to you, I suggest you plonk yourself down in front of season two post-haste. All I can ask is: how long until season three?
18 Things You Should Never Say to Ad Agency Employees
By Halima Ibrahim
From “I hope you didn’t make plans this weekend” to “Man, I wish I got paid to play on Facebook and Twitter all day,” this cheeky list will sound familiar to many a creative.
Why It Works: When I first saw this list, I was amused at how relatable some of them are. It takes me through the years I have worked in agencies and have had such phrases said to me.
Off the Record
By Andy Sim
This article in What HiFi gives hope to audiophiles everywhere. Why? Because it seems that against all odds, streaming music has not killed off physical formats.
Why It Works:
The article won’t win a Pulitzer anytime soon; it’s just interesting to know that I am part of this so-called “multi-channel listeners” demographic. In other words, people who discover music via streaming and purchase the physical format thereafter. In my case, a vinyl record.