Kiss my apps: Three new releases

Red Candidator—Using digital litmus tests and money sniffing technology, this app makes finding an electable Republican presidential nominee fast and easy.
User rating: 2.5 out of 5
User comments: “Do not buy this app. It gave me Rick Santorum.” “It seems like it should work, but every time I enter my parameters it spits out Mitt Romney. That can’t be right.”

iBabySit—Just place your smartphone in a woolen sock and let iBabySit do the rest. It’s randomized patterns of soft cooing sounds and soothing vibrations will keep newborns docile for hours, so you can go out and do your thing.
User rating: 2.5 out of 5
User comments: “Not perfect, but sure beats paying $10 an hour—and I don’t have to worry about hiding illegal nanny payments to the IRS. Later, Consuela!” “The bonding period was a little buggy, but now my little guy actually prefers iBabySit to me.” “How am I supposed to ‘do my thing’ when my baby is monopolizing my phone? Like I’m supposed to buy another smartphone to use this stupid app? If an old-fashioned wind-up alarm clock in a stocking cap was good enough for me, it’s good enough for my kid.”

VoiceTextEmailVoice—Now listen to your voicemail messages on your phone, whenever it’s convenient for you. VoiceTextEmailVoice converts voice messages on your phone to text messages which it sends to the email address associated with your mobile carrier account. The text message is converted to an email, which is forwarded to your regular email account. Then, using the VoiceTextEmailVoice interface, you open that email and hear the message played back to you IN THE SENDER’S OWN VOICE! And it all happens right on your phone!
User rating: 2.5 out of 5
User comments: “Oh, my God. I have been waiting for something like this my entire life!” “Holy shit, I can’t believe how gullible I am sometimes.” “DO NOT BUY! I upgraded to version 3.4.2 and now I am incontinent.”

A movement feeds the media beast?

  “Hi, I’m Sativa Wilkins.”
  “And I’m Justin Chen”
  (Together) “And this is Occupy Wall Street Daily.”
  “The show that explains today’s popular discontent to the mainstream media.”
  “That’s right, Sativa. As you know, the mainstream media has been reluctant to cover the ongoing Occupy Wall Street protest.”
  “And understandably, Justin.”
  “Oh, absolutely. You see the mainstream media craves concepts that are easy to communicate in 5-second soundbites.”
  “So a group of discontented citizens like the Tea Party is perfect for them.”
  “Sure is, Sativa! While those folks’ demands might be unworkable, ill-reasoned and even self-defeating, at least they are codified.”
  “That’s where their blind affinity to hierarchical, top-down leadership comes in handy.”
  “But not so for us folks on the Occupy Wall Street scene.”
  “No, our aims can sometimes seem as diverse as the folks who make up the movement.”
  “And that’s just bad TV.”
  “You said it, Justin. So, how are we going to fix this?”
  “Well, Sativa, I’m glad you asked. Each day, we’ll be focusing on one general unifying goal of the movement, which we’ll express in a snappy catch phrase.”
  “These catch phrases are perfect for everything from 45-second in-depth overviews on the national nightly news shows, to discussion topics on cable network pundit panels.”
  “OK, so what’s today’s goal and catch phrase?”
  “Today’s goal and catch phrase is, ’Bring back equal for the people!’”
  “Oh, wow. I can’t wait to hear what that’s about. Right after this break…”

Must-read obituaries

Selman Humpf, 87, Smelled Like Pee for Decades

Mary Murtaugh, 78, Champion Kvetcher

Suzette Pillabon, 52, Did “That Thing” with Eyelids

Danny Elling, 91, Victim of Babe Ruth Jockstrap Prank-Gone-Wrong

Leedon Harway, 46, Stunt Pilot Some Deemed “Excessively Risky”

Mandy Davisen, 67, Peritoneal Piercing Pioneer

Thomas Selter, 53, Married a Shiksa

Mark “Faceplant” Murphy, 22, Lived Life as Star of Own Imaginary “Jackass”-style TV Show

Arman Belashevsky, 79, Wanted to Be Left the Hell Alone

Moramor Qadahfi, 73, Destitute Senior Long Taunted over Name Similarity

Francois Lemmle, 63, Legendary Parisian Parking Scofflaw Outlives €532,321 in Fines

What to Call It If "Class Warfare" Fails to Resonate

Weakening the protective private-sector money dam

Unfluffing the comfy cash cushion

Disincentivizing lassitude

Forced rebracketing

Radical fundamentalist fair-ism

Forcibly suppressing our natural greed reflex

Unfairly attacking poor, defenseless regressive taxation

Arrogantly and arbitrarily favoring selflessness over selfishness

Robbing the gilt, diamond-encrusted cookie jar

Stealing from Peter (Posspount-Weatherford III, Esq.) to pay Pablo

Dishonoring massive inherited wealth

Ignoring the sacrifices made by our robber-baron forefathers

The CEO's farewell

“‘I’ve just been fired.’ With those four words, Yahoo’s chief executive, Carol A. Bartz, did something Tuesday afternoon that dismissed managers almost never do: She told the truth.”
NYT: Blunt E-Mail Raises Issues Over Firing at Yahoo


Wait, did I say “fired?” I guess that’s not quite being fair. Technically, I resigned. But when one is presented with the option of resigning on the one hand, or “we will spread your shit in the street so deep you’ll need hip boots to wade through it,” on the other hand, it really feels more like being fired.

Sigh.

I don’t have anyone to blame buy myself, really. I knew coming in that hard work, bold, innovative ideas and extreme self-sacrifice were anathema to the corporate culture here. I naively thought I could change that culture.

Obviously, I was wrong. Did I take some risks? Sure. But show me any successful high-stakes, livin’-on-the-edge gambler and I’ll show you a risk-taker.

But I don’t want you guys to worry. I have every faith and confidence in Jerry and the Board to right the ship and return this company to its glory days, no matter what I may have said in some of my less guarded moments. (Note to self: no more razzle-tinis on an empty stomach!) In fact I happen to know that they are working on a plan—based on my ideas, of course—that will lift this company to unseen heights, once they secure that emergency bailout from those Russian investors, which may actually happen, in spite of what you may have heard.  

Believe me, as I was chauffeured home most evenings, I would think about those of you who had to get by on as little 1/250th of my annual compensation. And the fact that you were still able to get out of bed, come to work and give it your all day in and day out just blew me away. Take Reggie, my chauffeur, for instance. When I pointed this out to him, he reminded me that he’s actually one of you. Well, he was one of you, anyway.  The package I negotiated says I get to keep my limo and Reggie for another year, but the expense comes out of my golden parachute. So, we all have it rough, see?

But I will miss so many of you whom I have gotten to know so well: Nancy (or was it Nanette?) who brought my breakfast tray to the executive dining suite; Joe, the loyal and discrete bathroom attendant; Karen, my faithful and dedicated personal assistant. No, wait. I had to let Karen go last year. Well, the new one, you know the girl I mean. They, and all of you, are just terrific.  

As for my immediate plans, I expect I’ll take some paid speaking gigs on management excellence and sit on some boring old corporate boards. Hey, gotta pay those bills.

Well, I’m out. See you later. Don’t work too hard.

I know I won’t.

R. David Lemley
(former) CEO

Honest blurbs for this weekend's movie openings

“Not too bad, though I could have done without the last 15 minutes, aka the “climatcic battle scene.”
R. Lamley, Living with Sciatica

“I couldn’t get the girls’ locker room sequence out of my head, at least for those few minutes right before bedtime.”
P. Buckman, Teen Boy

“I was afraid the explosions would be much louder.”
N. Ethier, Moviegoing Moms

“Two stumps up! Way up!”
A. Mostro, Cruelty Fancier

“It’s no Inception. Thank God.”
Me, Oblogatory

“Don’t go by what I think.”
S. Yalnerga, Total Curmudgeon

This time, I will not screw up at the 10am meeting

This time I will act like I have an idea of what the meeting is about.

This time I will not speak unless I know what I am talking about AND I have finished chewing my croissandwich.

This time I will wear sunglasses so any momentary dozing will be less noticeable.

This time I will not mistake the creative director for a hostess and say, “Babe, get me a glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice, would ya?”

This time I will cry inside.

This time I will wear pants.

5 online tools I use that make me cooler than you

Smoort—Yeah, sure, your reverse SEO backfeed generator saves you hours of time. But it’s not Smoort, which uses technology developed for brain surgeons, so step off, bitch.

Winnify—As we move more and more of our lives into the game layer (you ARE moving more and more of your life into the game layer, aren’t you?), the more perceptive among us have realized something: in the game layer, there are losers (you), and there are winners (me). Because I use Winnify, and you don’t. FTW!

OrangePorange—The name is self-explanatory, fool!

Vurpid—I can’t believe you’re still using P-Stream and Shunty when Vurpid combines the best of both, plus adds code snippet emulsification. Idiot.

Lemp—Throw out PicSnicLic. Cancel your Zibbity subscription. Lemp is here. But wait, I already use it, and by the time you get your invite, I’ll have moved on to Lemp+. God, you must feel so small, and I don’t blame you. 

11 terms for what we knew as "rain"

image by prairiekittin

The “Eskimo words for snow” claim is a popular urban legend, alleging that Eskimos have an unusually large number of words for snow. The urban legend usually attributes this to the Inuit people of North America, where there is no single “Eskimo” language. In general, the Eskimo–Aleut languages have about the same number of distinct word roots referring to snow as English does. In contrast, the European Sami People, an indigenous circumpolar group, do have hundreds of words for snow.—Wikipedia, Eskimo words for snow

  • Life-giving liquid which once fell from the sky
  • Absentwater
  • H2n0t
  • Missing moistwind
  • Dried up cloud crying
  • Far-too-rare fluid
  • Nature’s cottonmouth
  • Disappeared dew
  • Long gone Godtears
  • Delinquent deliquescence 
  • Please goddammit drops

Trending now, rendering you hopelessly passé

 

TREND: Cloud-sourced social-driven bookmarklet sharing
FIRST TO MARKET:flobber.com
OTHER PLAYERS: chillibee.nz, rumpld.com
OUR TAKE: There’s bookmarklet sharing, and there’s cloud-sourced social-driven sharing, but until now, no one has figured out a way to combine the two. Too bad it’s like three days too late.

TREND: On-demand local coupon deal generation sourced by real-time social graph keyword analysis
FIRST TO MARKET: sunch.com
OTHER PLAYERS: blurbleblurblelittlestar.com, snitchn.com
OUR TAKE: Although many thought it couldn’t be done, no one dared to say it couldn’t be done, possibly because no one really knew what the hell it was. And now it’s a reality. Supposedly.

TREND: Spontaneously data-stripped infographic renderer for the secondary urban parking locator app development market
FIRST TO MARKET: happyparkpappyappy.com
OTHER PLAYERS: ohfuggit.com, xtrakrispee.com
OUR TAKE: While it remains to be seen how important the secondary urban parking locator app development market will be a week from now, it’s importance today is impossible to overstate, and the increasing prevalence of spontaneously data-stripped rendering generators in this space is only likely to make it even more so, at least through Tuesday.

TREND: Heat mapped social click tracking reverse link aggregation curation
FIRST TO MARKET: itsybitsyspider.com
OTHER PLAYERS: monkeyplaywright.com, yukko,com
OUR TAKE: Users have been crying out for some way to discern which reverse link aggregator has the most relevance for their personal heat mapped social click tracking, but until now have had to rely on crowd-sourced word-of-mouth relevance ranking engines, so the addition of robust curation algorithms into the space should make this a fecund segment through lunchtime and beyond.

Transcripts from my hacked voicemail

As one of the more celebrated freelance interactive copywriters in the 78704 ZIP code, I’m used to living life in a fishbowl and being hounded by the press. Still, I was horrified to learn that my voicemail had been hacked by reporters for the News Corporation, which explains why sensitive details of my private life have been scintillating tabloid fodder for years. In response to my legal filings, their lawyers recently forwarded the following transcripts:

05/29/08 09:33
“Hello, Mr. Malley. This is Cathy with your dentist’s office. Just calling to confirm your 1pm appointment tomorrow.”

05/29/08 15:06
“Sorry, wrong number.”

05/29/08 15:07
(no message left)

05/30/08 10:33
“This is the Home Depot. Your paint is ready.”

05/30/08 13:10
“Mr. Malley, this is Cathy from Dr. Mershner’s office. Just wondering if you were on your way for your appointment that we called to remind you about yesterday. If you aren’t going to be able to make it, please give us a call as soon as possible.”

05/30/08 13:27
“Hang on. I’m calling him right now. (unintelligible) Lame ass (unintelligible) skipped (unintelligible).”

05/30/08 15:14
“Hi, this is Brad at the Home Depot, calling about your paint. We’re open until 10pm tonight. Thanks.”

05/31/08 09:34
(recorded message) “Hello, my name is Susan. I’m calling about a great new opportunity. GlowLife Supplements are the hot new nutrition trend that everyone is talking about. You’ve been chosen to receive free training to become a regional GlowLife distributor.  Gather a list of your friends names and phone numbers, then press 1 to…” (recording time expires)

06/02/08 08:55
“Mr. Marley, this is Gary, paint manager at the Home Depot. We’ve got quite a large order of custom mixed paint waiting to be picked up and were just wondering when you might be coming in to pay for that and get your paint.”

06/02/08 09:06
“This is Cathy from Dr. Mershner’s office. We missed you the other day when you failed to show up for your appointment. We wanted you to know that per the policies you agreed to when you became a patient, we will be sending you a bill for this appointment. Call me if you have any questions. Thank you.”

06/04/08 08:13
“Mr. O’Malley, this is Gary, paint manager at the Home Depot. Please call me at 645-0808. Press three for paint.”

06/05/08 08:18
“(unintelligible) asshole stuck us with this paint. (unintelligible) won’t call me back. Asshole.”

06/13/08 17:23
“Sorry, wrong number.”

 

Side effects may include...

 

Sprotox has been known to produce certain side effects. Side effects may include an itchy, scaly, yucky bottom rash, spitting while talking, excessive flatus production and nervous priapism that is more likely to present during stressful situations, like job interviews.

In a clinical trial of Sprotox, certain people exhibited signs of excessive emotional sensitivity, but it’s not clear if this was the result of Sprotox or the fact that these subjects were having a high-drama affair at the drug testing place. At any rate, they were a real pain in the ass. You couldn’t even call them to breakfast without one or both of them bursting into tears. Whatever.

Sprotox has been associated with massive strokes, sudden death and/or spontaneous limb detachment. You may think that’s more risk than you should have to deal with for a medication whose only known benefit is getting rid of those little bumps under your eyelids (most of the time), but, hey, that’s on you. If you want to ruin your nice outfits by going out in public with little bumps under your eyelids, it’s fine with us, freakenstein.

Sprotox is not for everyone. Ask your doctor if you have a low tolerance for sarcasm. Believe us, your doctor will know. Also, tell your doctor if you are taking any powerful narcotic painkillers, where you got them, if they are the good shit, and how much he can expect to pay if he’s buying in bulk.

We should probably also mention that since we moved production of Sprotox to our contract facility in China, all kinds of other side effects are cropping up, but so far no one has died, exactly. Well, but that one lady was going to die anyway. At any rate, our lawyer says her family will never prove it in court, if for no other reason than we will wear them down with pre-trial motions and they’ll ultimately settle and leave us the hell alone. So, see? No reason for concern.

Oh, and explosive diarrhea, did we mention explosive diarrhea?

 

Sneak Peek at Upcoming Reality Shows

 

Dancing to the Orthopedic Surgeon
Join Dr. Herman Aarndt, AAOS, as he profiles former contestants of Dancing with the Stars in their epic rehabilitation struggles to live normal, pain-free lives.

Big Brothers’ Big Brother
10 reality show producers, a glass cage, a selection of blunt instruments, dozens of cameras. Each week viewers vote which corpses, if any, are removed from the cage.

Celebrity Enabler
Dr. Anthony Zipp, (M.D., University of Small Caribbean Nation), meets with troubled celebrities and helps them overcome their dependencies to prescription medications by prescribing similar, but slightly different, medications.

89 Ways to Sue a Game Show Production Company & Any or All Associated Parties Named or Unnamed
Each week a guest attorney takes on the case of a physically maimed and/or emotionally scarred former game show contestant to find material breaches in seemingly ironclad “hold-harmless” agreements in a race against a laches defense.

The Great Lowest Common Denominator Hunt
Contestants vie to conceive the most puerile, morally bankrupt reality show. Focus groups comprised of people kidnapped at random from Wal-Mart parking lots select their favorites, and viewers at home vote to choose a winner. The winning show’s creator gets a three-year contract to be TLC’s new Vice President of Programming.

 

 

Slogans That Didn't Fly and What the Client Went with Instead

Didn’t Fly: Like You Give a Shit Where You Get Your Tires
What They Went With: Protecting Your Car—and Your Family

DF: You Can Suck It Long and Hard
WTWW: It’s the Lolly that Lasts!

DF: Able to Remain Profitable in Spite of Our Crappy Service
WTWW: Distinguished by Our Service

DF: The Highest Alcohol Content for the Money
WTWW: It’s Real… Good Beer

DF: No More Cutthroat Than Any Other For-Profit Hospital
WTWW: Where Your Health Comes First

DF: Dude, You Need Tires, We Got Tires—WTF?
WTWW: Rubber, Meet Road

DF: Every Part Sourced from the Lowest Bidder
WTWW: The Quality You Expect

DF: No Ride-Related Fatalities Two Years Running
WTWW: Theme Park Family Fun

DF: They’re Just Tires, for God’s Sake
WWTW: Quality, Service and Value You Can Trust

DF: For the Love of God, People, I Have Bills to Pay!
WTWW: Copy. Creative. Ideas. And Stuff.

Some surprising Supreme Court decisions

 

With the current Supreme Court term coming to an end, it’s time to take an Oblogatory look at some of the interesting cases that somehow didn’t make the headlines.

Paper vs. Plastic—Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, arguing for the six member majority, decimates the paper industry’s claims of ecological superiority. In a separate concurring opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas mentions that his maternal great-grandfather worked in a paper mill.

Paper, et al. vs Rock & Scissors Industries, Inc.—Here the court somewhat reverses course and rules in favor of paper, but on very narrow grounds. Justice David Souter, in the majority opinion, argues that based on a strict interpretation of U.S. vs. Lagree Holdings, paper bests rock in all situations, and that accommodating scissors’s claims of paper’s prior diminishment constitutes prima facie acceptance of a prohibited rock and scissors duopoly. In his separate dissent, Justice Clarence Thomas mentions that he kept a small rock as an imaginary friend throughout law school.

Earth, Wind & Fire vs. SOS Band—While conceding that Earth, Wind & Fire had many more Top 40 and R&B chart hits, Justice David Souter, writing for the majority, said the Court found that the beguiling vocals of SOS’s lead singer, Mary Davis, coupled with the groundbreaking production of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, gave the group the edge, booty-shaking-wise. Justice Clarence Thomas, citing obvious conflicts, recused himself from the case.

Meat and Potatoes vs. Those Fancy Schmancy Foods—While the decision favoring meat and potatoes itself was not surprising given the justices’ age and their well known aversion to “New Taste Tuesdays,” a short-lived experiment in the SCOTUS cafeteria, the 8-1 majority that shattered ideological divisions was an eye-opener. In his lone dissent, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote, “I can have meat on my plate. And once I eat said meat, I can have potatoes on my plate. Conversely, I can have potatoes on my plate, and once I eat said potatoes, I can have meat on my plate. But two very different kinds of foods on my plate at the same time and possibly touching? Blech! Dude, that freaks me out.”

 

"Life" lessons from Keith Richards

Never give Junkie Lisa the address to your French chalet.

When traveling, be sure to have a phone number for a well-placed attorney at every stop on your itinerary, preferably one who has done key political favors for the judge at your arraignment.

At a certain point, children will fend for themselves, won’t they?

Don’t schedule anything heavy for cold turkey week.

Change the water in Woody’s bowl daily.

If the riff has a “C” in it, you are playing “Jumping Jack Flash;” if not, you are playing “Satisfaction.” Ultimately, it doesn’t matter.

Your productivity in a given decade is directly proportional to the purity of your heroin supply.

If Keith can stay up 9 days straight on Merck pharmaceutical cocaine, you can miss your nap.

 

Five Notable Advertising Creative Directors of the Late 20th Century

 

Al Murple, VGDK&O—Coined the term “conceptual dissonance” while selling Amalgamated Brands on the disastrous “So good you’d kill your mother” campaign for Molly Mae Cupcakes.

Frank Senk, Kentor-Senk Advertising—Crafted the unforgettable campaign that helped triple annual sales of Muldoon’s Mysterious Mucus Relief Lozenges, all based on three words he claimed came to him in a dream: “Suck on this.”

Betty Rumpin, Barfing Tree Advertising—Billed three major clients a total of 27 hours in a single 6-hour workday.

Rick Bellows, JoeLunchBucket—Introduced the bogus-but-impossible-to-refute metric “reflected awareness, a step removed” (RAASR, or “razor”), to demonstrate the success of his “Smell the Money” campaign for Big Rock Financial.

Barry Arndt, Dancing Bear & Sons—Never needed rehab.