Archive for May, 2006

“Mind The Gap”

Wednesday, 24 May 2006; 9:58

Mind the gap is a common cliché used by Londoners. A common warning heard at the London Underground Station. This Vlogumentary (83 MB; 20 minutes) is an investigation into the metaphorical London Underground: Stories, ideas and thoughts which might never surface unless we push and probe. It is an investigation of into the minds of the people of a multicultural London who face thousands of messages everyday from the media.

How immune are we to the messages that are sent out to us with hidden agendas. Do we possess the ability to filter out what is relevant to us and make our own assumptions at the end of the day? Do we see someone we meet as a person first and then their background? In short do we know when to mind the gap?

(Note: This film, by a Pakistani living in London, was created after the subway shooting of a suspected bomber who was later found to be carrying no bomb or weapons. He did not stop when ordered to do so by London police and was shot to death in the London Underground. The film can also be viewed in shorter individual segments at MindTheGap.com.)

“Poseidon” & “NASCAR 3D” (IMAX)

Wednesday, 24 May 2006; 8:58

Without Shelly Winters, can the IMAX remake of The Poseidon Adventure be any better–or worse–than the 1970s original? (At the very least, the clothing should be better.)

4.5 minutes (Windows Media) Poseidon movie trailer

Poseidon promo image

Or, might you prefer your adrenaline rushes in the form of raw high-octane horsepower? If so, then you may wish to catch IMAX’s NASCAR 3D.

IMAX NASCAR 3D promo image

Mugg Root Beer

Wednesday, 24 May 2006; 7:51

How about a comic strip to start your day? No, it’s not Spiderman or by Stan Lee, but it isn’t bad as “comic book” style advertising goes. (Actually, I’ve yet to find anything truly like it online and therefore competitive.) Follow the Adventures Of Dog, Mugg Root Beer’s central character, in the first two episodes of an ongoing comic book story [to be] continued in the fashion of a good ol’ comic book.

(Note: While initially reading the comic, you may notice only low volume ambient sounds. Crank up the volume if you wish to hear them better, but watch out for a barrage of “my dog done up and died” sorta-country-like music at the end of the strip.)

Mugg's Dog Tex - Dog's lost owner

The Nobel Prize (NobelPrize.org)

Tuesday, 23 May 2006; 10:46

One of the world’s most coveted awards is The Nobel Prize. It is awarded to those deemed most deserving in fields ranging from physics to poetry (literature) to peace. And although now an award with a very long history, it looks toward the future of humankind as it concurrently demands us to remember much of what is great about the past.

That future is recognized by the NobelPrize.org in the children of our world and unique educational games and simulations for them, such as Prisoners of War about the Red Cross and/or Red Crescent. So again, sit down at the computer with a kid and have him or her begin today thinking about winning a Nobel Prize.

M.L.K.,Jr. Nobel peace graphic

“A Europe of Tales”

Tuesday, 23 May 2006; 10:14

Do you wish to know how the thunder-god Thor recaptured his hammer? The Icelandic version of the tale can be found in The Poem of Thrym. Or, maybe you might like to know of The Maiden Stone of Bennachie, a mythic story from Scotland. And buying tangentially into all the hoopla surrounding The Da Vinci Code, maybe you would like to learn about The Black Madonna, as told in Italy.

Those stories and tales, and others from across Europe, are all found at A Europe of Tales. Sit down at the computer with your kids and broaden both your own horizons and theirs. These stories and tales have been around a very long time, often for lessons about life still applicable to the present.

J. L. Runeberg (Finnish poet)

Tuesday, 23 May 2006; 9:37

Simply enjoy the beautiful poetry and web site of J. L. Runeberg, the national poet of Finland. Personally, I find excellent poetry not unlike great music–both are universal languages and one need not know the words being spoken or sung to recognize the beauty contained within.

(This one is especially for Distillery reader, Zen Realist. Thanks for dropping me the e-mail, Zen. You are becoming a much-appreciated inspiration.)

Graphic of J. L. Runeberg

Guitar Shred Show by Mr. FastFinger

Tuesday, 23 May 2006; 9:17

The Distillery is back [again]. Those good-fer-nuthin government revenuers can’t keep us from bringing you the best online advertising moonshine for too very long. So pick up your stump hole jug or Mason jar and let’s get going…

From The Ultimate Guitar School’s Guitar Shred Show we have Mr. Fastfinger instructing students in the way of the exploding solo. Although Mr. Fastfinger is no Jimi Hendrix or Eric Clapton (or Victor Wooten, supreme master of the bass guitar and a band member of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones), he seems not a bad musician at all. After hearing his Exploding Guitar (Show Off Solo), he even has me wanting to take a few guitar lessons.

Very nifty is his keyboard-driven version of a shred guitar. Turn the speakers on your office computer down (or put on your headphones), click on The Mountain of the Tapping Dwarves (Lesson and Jam), and shred that air guitar of yours that you keep over in the corner!

Custom-made shred guitar

“Buying a New Fridge? Watch….” (NYT article)

Monday, 15 May 2006; 17:06

First, I again apologize for the dearth of postings. The real world has interfered with my online persona as of late. However, I did notice this article from the New York Times (Buying a New Fridge? Watch the Interactive Video First.), which is directly related to the content you typically see at The Distillery.

Sea Launch (Boeing)

Monday, 8 May 2006; 13:10

Who knew? Of course we know about Cape Canaveral at the Kennedy Space Center and Vandenberg Air Force Base, but Sea Launch? However, did you really think NASA’s space shuttles were wasting their time with the launching of commercial television satellites? Nah, no way with Iran, Korea, and the so-called Axis of Evil needing every watchful eye (i.e., spy satellites) this administration can muster.

Enter Sea Launch for DIRECTV, EchoStar, and other private ventures. Sea Launch is the world’s only commercial ocean-based space launch platform. With the increasing privatization of space, it may well be not so very far off that we in fact do see Google teaming up with Wicked Lasers to place its well-known words-only unobtrusive ads in the sky.

Sea Launch pic

2006 Raindance Film Festival

Monday, 8 May 2006; 12:03

Having been pointed to the Fourteenth Raindance Film Festival by Diesel, let us look at the festival’s promotional trailer for 2006.

(And is it just me, or does it also seem to others that the Japanese are beginning to take over the internet with some really wonderful content?)

Raindance Festival banner

iKarma review of SippinWhisky’s Distillery (more shameless self-promotion)

Monday, 8 May 2006; 11:30

Honesty and openness are sometimes undervalued traits – many would prefer to hide the past, rather than to allow others to freely and publicly record it for all to see. By creating an iKarma Profile, SippinWhisky’s Distillery has demonstrated a firm commitment to maintaining a responsible and sincere reputation online. Such people, both rare and precious, are a credit to both business and society.

We believe that integrity should be rewarded. The iKarma team is happy to welcome SippinWhisky’s Distillery to our service with our own five-star review.



Diesel

Monday, 8 May 2006; 11:09

We have visited Diesel previously. On our second visit, we find Diesel has not been simply sitting on its jeans, but instead has been hard at work. This time we find Camouflage Tales. The campaign’s implication is that one remains invisible unless wearing Diesel clothing. Only by spending ridiculous sums of money on designer jeans and clothing is one able to stand out from the crowd. And to make a long story short, boy gets girl.

The primary quibble I have about this site is again navigation. Macromedia Flash is clearly taking over the internet when it comes to multimedia presentations, and as I have previously noted, rightly so. However, it seems some web designers are still wrestling with, or simply do not understand, the need for ease of navigation around a Flash-powered web site. (Some web site design lessons I thought were learned years and years ago.) This Diesel site proceeds in a fairly linear progression, which makes sense considering the storyline, but it also removes too much control over navigation from the viewer (a.k.a. consumer).

Given that, I found the sight a tad boring in the sense of waiting for things to happen. That is only slightly ameliorated by the viewer’s interaction with the site via his/her mouse. Although this is a wonderful effort by Diesel, the entire message may never be seen by a viewer without plenty of time to waste.

So remember good readers, one major attribute that should be a component of online campaigns is allowing viewers greater control over what they see and when. After all, this is not your grandfather’s television set. Instead of merely switching channels if bored (and then not infrequently returning), they switch to another web site–permanently.

One more thing. While you are at the Diesel main page, click on Talent Support and then Raindance Film Festival (sponsored by Diesel). Once there, sit back and enjoy the 2005 Festival’s winning film, Right Place. It is quite excellent.

Diesel successful living logo