Archive for the ‘The Unknown’ Category

Gerber 300 (revisited)

Monday, 16 October 2006; 9:45

Addendum (17 Oct 06):  Sometime and somewhere last night, “Gerber 300” was born. SippinWhisky’s Distillery offers a heartfelt congratulations to “No. 300,000,000” and her/his mom and dad.  (BTW, current U.S.A. population = 300,001,857…and counting.)

A reminder (16 Oct 06):  Sometime very soon, America’s population will reach 300,000,000 with the birth of an October 2006 newborn. Gerber 300 has something very special in store for that baby. Check in at the original posting for readers’ comments–and even a comment from a Gerber employee.

Home page:  Gerber 300

Gerber baby face graphic

Advertisements

Soapbox (MSN Video)

Tuesday, 19 September 2006; 10:59

A grown man dressed-up as a dancing mutant butterfly? That what we first see at Microsoft’s most recent “let’s play catch-up” attempt, Soapbox, and hoped-to-be slayer of the YouTube dragon. Maybe Microsoft should begin copying others’ advertising, too. Anything is better than a butterfly which cannot at all dance.

Now only in beta, you will need to add your name to the list of Soapbox wanna-be beta testers. Good luck–with it or any Microsoft beta-phase product. In case you’ve not noticed, Microsoft has once again eschewed long-established standards and has redefined “beta” to actually mean “alpha.” That takes all the fun out of beta testing, and much of the hard work involved with testing alpha releases outside of Redmond. Instead, Microsoft lets the guinea pigs–known as “customers” to firms that actually care about end users–suffer.

Home page:  Soapbox

Soapbox Sillyfly

And once again, Microsoft, I have not forgotten that one of your sales reps cheated me ten years ago. She promised an Office suite in exchange for a formal and personal introduction when you finally figured out the web wasn’t going away. I provided the introduction she needed, but Microsoft never kept its part of the bargain. Again Microsoft, you have to wonder why you rank at the bottom of corporations trusted by consumers? How more clueless can you be than not to see broken promises greatly influence such perceptions? (No, I don’t hate Microsoft. I only hate being cheated.)

The Old Negro Space Program (NASSA)

Thursday, 24 August 2006; 8:49

That last NASA posting had me recall NASSA – The Negro American Space Society of Astronauts, and the film documenting it. It is not a Ken Burns film. Although a tad old, some of you may not yet have seen it. Enjoy.

(And before anyone gets upset, I remind you that my grandfather was a member of NASSA. I will not take kindly to any off-color jokes about the film or NASSA.)

Home page: The Old Negro Space Program
Google Video: The Old Negro Space Program

NASSA SpaceBus graphic

“An Infrared Search for Origins” (NASA)

Thursday, 24 August 2006; 8:28

I grew up in a very small North Carolina town. My high school graduating class numbered approximately one hundred students. (However, I am a high school drop-out. And yes, I’m proud of that. High school was a waste of time.) What wasn’t a waste of time was looking up into the sky at night.

One of my fondest memories from childhood was looking up and seeing the Milky Way very clearly. It was as if someone had taken a paint brush and lightly painted a white streak across the sky from horizon to horizon. The Milky Way was a huge, faint white cloud visible at night, a cloud of stars.

Even before Hubble’s Deep Field photograph and Carl Sagan (…billions and billions of stars), I somewhat comprehended the immense vastness of space. Dear readers, if you have never clearly seen the Milky Way at night, you are missing something truly spectacular. Do try to get away from city lights and see it for yourself one day. You will not be disappointed.

Those memories are stirred by this presentation, An Infrared Search for Origins, made possible by NASA’s Space Infrared Telescope. I will let the universe speak for itself. I hope you enjoy the presentation as much as I.

Home page: An Infrared Search for Origins
Home page: Spitzer Space Telescope
Home page (Spanish): Spitzer Space Telescope
Home page: NASA

Spitzer Space Telescope graphic

NotForNoobs.com (unwrapped)

Wednesday, 23 August 2006; 15:08

Microsoft and Razer have taken the wraps off over at NotForNoobs.com. And what was the suspense about? And, how did The Distillery know beforehand, which is evidenced by the picture of a mouse used in the first posting?

Answer: After much deliberation, reading chicken entrails, and consulting broken crystal balls, The Distillery merely guessed at what would be one of the most boring things in the world about which Microsoft would make a big deal. (Please do not try this at home. Reading chicken entrails is not for noobs.)

Home page: NotForNoobs.com

Microsoft-Razer Habu laser mouse graphic

NotForNoobs.com (Microsoft & Razer)

Thursday, 17 August 2006; 15:42

What might Microsoft and Razer have in store for us at NotForNoobs.com? A new game? Another mousepad? It seems no one is telling. Maybe no one knows, including Microsoft. (But knowing Microsoft’s history, let’s not get too excited. After all, it’s a company well-known known for disappointing its customers and copying or suing its competitors. Also, when was the last time you saw something from Microsoft and went, “Wow!”? *)

Home page: NotForNoobs.com
Home page: Razer

* There is one kudo due Microsoft — or more specifically, the company it acquired in order to offer the product. If you have not, have a look at its free FolderShare software and service. FolderShare definitely makes life easier. (But remember, nothing truly “Wow!” has ever come from Microsoft itself. No, I’m wrong about that. Internet Explorer deserved a “Wow!” a decade or so ago. The same most definitely cannot be said for the new I.E.7 browser, however. Try as it may with its thousands of employees, Microsoft still cannot produce a respectable 21st century browser.)

Razer Krait mouse graphic

Budweiser Budvar (Czech Republic)

Tuesday, 8 August 2006; 11:52

Budweiser, again? Yes, but this time it is the real Budweiser, and the firm with which Anheuser-Busch is fighting over the legal and international rights to the Budweiser name. (Give it up, Bud. It’s theirs!) From all accounts, the Budweiser beer sold in the United States is but a mere shadow of the Budweiser Budvar brand originally (and still) produced in the Czech Republic. (Might that be something like a Louisiana Po’Boy sandwich from Iceland, or sushi from equatorial Africa?)

But what about Budweiser Budvar’s marketing? Budvar clearly does not have the marketing budget of its American nemesis. However, that does not mean its advertising is the equivalent of “Advertising Lite.” The millions and millions of US dollars may not be there, but some excellent online content is. Have a look at Budvar.TV. Once inside, click on the large animated graphic at the top of the page. Revealed will be a different sort of game. (Would someone please tell us what’s going on with that? ‘Tis very much a puzzlement to The Distillery.)

We also find a few videos from around the world, some games (registration required), and quite a number of Budweiser Budvar’s television commercials. There are jokes, but The Distillery is finding it needed to be there to understand them and/or their punchlines. And last, but not least, we find Bob & Dave and their own videos. (Help! Is anybody out there that can translate any of this?)

Home page: Budweiser Budvar
Home page: Budvar.TV
Home page: Bob & Dave

Budvar beer graphic 01 Budvar beer graphic 02

Garfield 2 (Czech Republic)

Tuesday, 8 August 2006; 10:53

Now where is that translator page? Never mind, the gist is easily ascertained in the Czech Republic release of the movie, Garfield 2. Even more, there aren’t any easily found online translators for Czech to English. So instead, we’ll just let our curiosities lead us.

Should you be planning on traveling overseas and cannot bear the thought of missing Garfield 2, you might take along the worldwide opening dates. You might even consider joining the Worldwide Whisker Web. Or, how about an online Garfield coloring book with virtual crayons?

Home page (Czech Republic): Garfield 2
Home page (Czech Republic): Garfield soccer game
Home page (Czech Republic): Garfield coloring book
Home page (U.S.A.): Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties

Garfield movie banner graphic

PirelliFilm.com – “The Call”

Thursday, 20 July 2006; 16:06

Pirelli makes superb automobile tyres. Along with Michelins, they are the only other tires I trust on my automobile. Given that, I am not completely surprised to discover Pirelli has also produced a great short film, The Call, which is found at PirelliFilm.com.

From Pirelli itself:

Pirelli Group makes its film debut with the first PirelliFilm, an innovative communication project that will take place over several years and consists in the production of superb short films to be broadcast over the Internet.

Created for the worldwide promotion of the Pirelli image, which has always been acclaimed for its innovation, quality and brand leadership, this project combines Cinema and the Internet and uses them as a new communication tool that joins the instruments traditionally used by the group.

The first short film, which can be seen at http://www.pirellifilm.com, is “The Call” starring John Malkovich and Naomi Campbell. The director is Antoine Fuqua, who directed “Training Day” and “King Arthur.” Filmed with a dark, gothic mood in a mysterious, tempting nighttime Rome, “The Call” is a breath-taking thriller of just 8 minutes and 45 seconds that depicts the eternal battle between Good and Evil.

It took five days to film on various locations – Borgo Santo Spirito, the streets of Rome , and an abandoned warehouse outside of Rome – and 4 months of post production. Nearly 120 persons worked non-stop on the set.

And we are to expect more of these? Someone pinch me, please. Now, where is Pirelli’s calendar for 2006? (You do know why I’m asking, right?)

Addendum: After viewing the film for the third time, I have two thoughts. First, it’s amazing what can be done in less than nine minutes with the right talent. Second, if the devil is Naomi Campbell, I’m going straight to hell.

Home page: Pirelli

 

Boeing Airborne Laser Missile Defense System

Thursday, 6 July 2006; 10:46

As anyone who has not been locked away without any exposure to current events knows, North Korea is right now in the middle of test-firing its newly developed missiles. We also know these events have created great consternation both in the White House and around the world. So what’s country to do?

Answer: The Boeing Airborne Laser Missile Defense System

Quite frankly, to my astonishment The Distillery has opened a few doors typically closed to the general public. This 6.5 minute video showcasing America’s Star Trek-like response to any long-range missile threats from North Korea is certainly intended to be propaganda. It simply can not be mere coincidence or happenstance that just today I received an e-mail informing me that this video was now available. Therefore, by showing it here, let it not ever be said that The Distillery hasn’t done its part to protect America’s [fast-eroding] freedoms.

But I do have one question: Just how operational is this technology? I guess is it is very operational. Might any North Korean missiles that supposedly self-destructed soon after their launches actually have met a far different fate than that reported in the mainstream media? Hmmm….

Added: Laser Turret Ball Rotation (Note the deliberate blurring of the laser’s “eye.”)

Airborne Laser Missile Defense Airplane graphic

(Addendum: I find it strangely ironic that this posting follows The John Lennon Songwriting Contest. Yes, let’s just Imagine….)

mofile tv

Wednesday, 5 July 2006; 9:27

Is this the Chinese version of YouTube? (Prepare yourself. This particular clip sure ain’t pretty, but it is “interesting.”)

mofile tv graphic

Kung Fu & Soccer (generic)

Wednesday, 5 July 2006; 9:03

Synchronicity. That is what some might call it when the first news article I read of the day is about the abbot of China’s Shaolin Temple, a Kung Fu master, being invited to attend the World Cup, and then the first web site on which I stumble is a Chinese soccer site. (Did China even field a World Cup team?)

Note: If there are controls for this game(?), I cannot seem to find them. However, action will commence if you simply wait a few seconds.

Abbot and Kung Fu Master Shi Yongxin

World Cup graphic