Archive | January, 2010

Toying with Jesus?

12 Jan
Jesus Action Figure

"Jesus Christ Talking Action Figure has a 4 min. audio chip allowing it to speak 26 different scriptures taken straight from the King James Bible! Figures are limited in production and include an individually numbered certificate of authenticity." (The manufacturer)

Some business ideas are really hard to fathom. Action figures are cool if you’re eight, and not cool if you’re twenty-eight (yes, I’m talking to you! Get a girlfriend!). But Jesus action figures?

Some Christian parents may be squeamish about negatively influencing their little ones with Ben 10 dolls or a Ninja Turtle or whatever. When Junior whines that all the cool kids have one, you can understand the parents’ desire to help him fit in. What you can’t understand is the thought process that leads said parents to think that a Jesus doll is going to address playground coolness issues.

Oddly enough, there seems to be a wide market for this kind of thing. It possibly appeals to hyper-conservative Christians with a blindspot for all but the most overt forms of blasphemy and a deeply stunted sense of irony. If there are enough of these people in the world to make this doll viable, I am officially afraid. Otherwise there’s a large group of people with irony in hyperdrive who have the budget to battle their modified robot-wars Jesus doll against whatever Hindu avatar they could find. Either way, the planet is in bad shape.

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Prison Break 1

11 Jan

Wentworth's grumpy face

Prison Break 1 was great, no doubt. OK, so Wentworth made excessive use of the furrowed brow, but it was compelling stuff.

I just can’t figure one thing out [I take it the show is old enough for the plot spoilers that follow]. In episodes 6 and 7, Fox River Prison breaks out in a riot, and Dr Sarah ‘Love Interest’ McReady is stuck in the infirmary in grave danger of being seriously abused by frenzied patients. So Scofield scurries his way through the air-vents above and pulls her to eventual safety.

My problem is this. Scofield’s oft-foiled plan is to get into the infirmary and to clamber over the nearby prison wall by means of a rope. His original plan to enter the infirmary is thwarted, and so he devises an impossibly complicated replacement one, which involves getting into the infirmary via the loony bin and the freshly torched guardroom, and the criminalisation of his girlfriend. Why on earth did they not just get in there the same way that he got Sarah out during the riot? It seemed to be a fairly straight-forward walk over there in the roof. Any thoughts?

Samsung Random Copy Generator

3 Jan

Samsung phone box reads 'trim off the bubbles / glitter your styleSamsung presumably make some good stuff, because people keep buying their kit. I just haven’t come across any.

I owned two profoundly faulty TV-to-DVD recorders for a while. I also owned their E330 cellphone for about a month, before realising that it was the worst phone ever made. As I am extremely forgiving and impossibly cheap, I recently bought the M620, which I discovered is the second-worst phone that I’ve seen (it was for my wife, and since it requires about 6 or 8 button-presses just to choose and confirm an sms recipient, she went back to her decade-old Nokia that has about 3 minutes of battery life, as it is still more advanced and more convenient than the Samsung).

Design stupidity is one thing, but it seems that Samsung’s knack for no-worky technology is possibly finding new applications in automatically generated copywriting. We’re all accustomed to absurd copywriting styles. There is that preposterous esoterica that sells electric shavers that will revitalise your soul. There are those meaningless promises of blenders that are more than just spinning blades, they’re a lifestyle choice. But shouldn’t the words at least have reference to something? If the copywriter is getting 400 an hour, surely mucking around with fridge-poetry magnets for 30 seconds between games of solitaire is a little dishonest?

So the best they could do is “Trim off the bubbles. Glitter your style.” I was unable to locate any bubbles, glitter or style in the package supplied.

I don’t know, perhaps it would be fun to write copy for Samsung. There really is no pressure when there’s no accountability. Your TV? “Twiddle your rheostat. Spank that participle.” Try to guess what this one would be for: “Citrus the umbrella. Circumcise your schoolbus.” It’s a ceiling fan. Obviously.

At least there’s a happy ending to this one for me. While we were away for the holidays, someone did their Christmas shopping in our bedroom. He must have been on drugs or surprised by the housesitter, because in his haste he stole the Samsung. Poor guy.

Creapy…

3 Jan

Toy coffee creamer bottle called 'Creap creap'The Chinese put out a phenomenal amount of stuff plastered with a language and character set that is not their own. Still, some attention to detail would be nice…

This is a tiny toy coffee creamer tub. Creap pouder is definitely going to bring down the tone of my daughter’s imaginary tea parties.

Kelloggs’ Coco Props

3 Jan

The Kelloggs Spoon StrawKelloggs is a smart bunch of people. They sold us Frosties for years before everyone got tired of paying double for cornflakes just because they’d already put the sugar on for you. They’re usually exploiting public stupidity, not contributing to it. However, the current gimmick helping to sell our batch of CocoPops couldn’t have even seemed clever when the CEO’s kid scrawled it on the back of his maths homework. Why daddy went through with it is anyone’s guess.

It’s a spoon-straw. The leftover coco-popped milk is so darned delicious that who could resist slurping up every last drop of it? “And what better way,” pipes our imaginary CEO, who recently took a meaty blow to the head, “than to have a straw built in to your cereal spoon?”

“But sir…” says a concerned employee, perhaps the Manager of Nominal Vitamin Enrichment.

“So that’s decided,” says the CEO, who is not a good listener. “And according to our mark-to-market accounting system, junior will have a hefty bonus.”

You see, as ingenious as it would be to have a spoon-straw with which to suck all the chocolatey goodness, there are several obvious reasons why that is an abysmally stupid idea, at least in the Kelloggs form. The first may be simply illustrated:

Spoon straw problem

Ah! you might say. But what about that clever littleĀ  U-bend in the spoon shaft? Surely that lets you get that straw nice and low if you go in sideways.

Spoon straw still gets nowhere near the milk

I may have the technique wrong, but the spoon actually seems to bend away from the bottom of the bowl.

I think that ungenious little kink in the shaft of the straw-spoon is actually a milk-collecting reservoir for all those times at the breakfast table when you feel like the rancid, flaky memories of breakfasts past to wander out of the straw and onto your spoon. On the other hand, because of its careful design, it’s highly unlikely that you will ever have got milk in that unwashable catchment area in the first place.

I’m afraid that when it comes to ingenuity, this strange offering earns Kelloggs the wooden spoon.