30.6.10

*** ... guerilla advertising... ***





What an awesome idea. Some advertisers really are clever...!

[For those of you who don't know it, Hubba Bubba is a brand of Bubblegum, known for its suitability for blowing very big bubbles with: Thus the use of balloons.]

I love guerilla advertising, it is so much more creative and attracts far more attention than the conventional boring day-to-day advertising...

I like...!

23.6.10

*** i really like... matchboxes ***







I love matchboxes - and matchbooks-. Im a matchbox girl... If ever there was something I should start collecting, it is matchboxes. There is something charming about a these little fire makers.

I was particularly inspired by these lovely matchbox (and matchstick) creativities.

I really like matchboxes.
x

(illustration from here; fingerlanguage by JK Keller; and the cute animal matches I found on this blog)

22.6.10

*** i like... the fun theory ***

This video is from a wonderful little site called The Fun Theory, it describes itself as:

" a site dedicated to the thought that something as simple as fun is the easiest way to change people’s behaviour for the better. Be it for yourself, for the environment, or for something entirely different, the only thing that matters is that it’s change for the better."

I love the ideas they have, this is one of my favourites. So awesome I can hardly get over it.

video

21.6.10

*** i like... journals ***





I have recently become a member of the Behance network- a network showcasing creative's work (I'm becoming digitally "sassy"). What I hate about these websites is their addictive "value" (or rather the opposite thereof).

In the first place, I keep increasing the number of pages I have: first it was myspace (which thank God I phased out) then along came facebook- the most addictive of them all... Next, of course: this blog. And now also a Behance network profile. I just can't help myself, when I see a button "become member" I need to click.

Another upsetting element of these websites, as a friend of mine once observed, is that:

"Facebook is like an empty fridge- you keep going to look inside although you know there's nothing there".

So true.

The last couple of months I have been facebooking way too obsessively- which is why I have recently removed the function of my wall, in hope to alleviate the stress that is my addiction. I tell myself "Nothing really happens anyway". But I compulsively wait and refresh the page every few minutes, hoping to see a little red icon at my inbox or notifications indicating that someting IS happening. Now, on Behance I refresh almost as frequently hoping to see the number of appreciations increase. With this blog, I refresh not quite so frequently- but still often enough; in hope for at least one follower... and apparently I do so in vain.

But that is all besides the point.

I actually wanted to share this absolutely beautiful journal work by Anna Rusakova who, low and behold, I found on the Behance network (and of course I clicked the "appreciate" button to increase her appreciation count!)

I like journals
x

17.6.10

*** ... good people ***


This made me smile... It made me think there aren't only douchebags in the world... also the odd good person.

I like good people.

16.6.10

*** ... graffiti ***



There is something that infinately fascinates me about street art / graffiti. Especially statements like this. Something about the public viewing, statements made into spectacles for anyone to see...

But at the same time it is art placed cleverly in the environment, often to say something important that we usually don't think about.

I like graffiti...

I'm also a huge Banksy fan (last three pictures). So awesome.

15.6.10

*** ... minimum wage machine


Artist Blake Fall-Conroy created the minimum wage machine as an art piece in 2008, his explanation is the following: “The minimum wage machine allows anybody to work for minimum wage. Turning the crank will yield one penny every 5.04 seconds, for $7.15 an hour (NY state minimum wage). If the participant stops turning the crank, they stop receiving money.”

Talk about a pointless job…! I like the minimum wage machine...

11.6.10

*** i like... social experiments ***


I read this on fourhourweek and was a guest post by John Hargrave, originally posted on Credit Card Chaser. It is the coolest thing I have found in a long time. Make the effort to read it, I can almost guarantee you will be at least slightly amused…

Obey Your Every Desire: The Credit Card Concierge Experiment

I recently signed up for The Visa SIGNATURE Chase Freedom card, for one reason: it has a concierge service.

A credit card concierge service is much like a hotel concierge service, except you don’t have to tip. A concierge is your own personal assistant, someone who will do anything you want them to do: make dinner reservations, book a trip to Hawaii, or shop for negligees for your grandmother.

We’re so used to being treated badly by credit card companies that it’s almost impossible to believe that they are serving you. But that’s how it works: they’re your virtual assistants, ready to help you with anything.

Anything?

I wanted to test the limits of my Visa Chase Freedom concierge service, so I spent a week making incredibly ridiculous requests, to see how they’d hold up…


TEST #1: GIANT TUB OF NACHO CHEESE

I made my first call to the Visa Chase Freedom concierge service by calling the toll-free number on the back of my card. I was connected to a concierge named David, who I pictured wearing a little bellboy hat, like a hotel concierge, though I think they just wear a telephone headset nowadays.

David spoke English, which was a nice change from my usual calls to Visa. “I’m traveling to Austin next week, and I want a big tub of nacho cheese. Make that a HUGE tub,” I told him. “Enough to fill a punch bowl.”

“Does it need to be in a tub?” he asked, taking the request with the seriousness of someone who worked for me.

“Can, jar, tub, I don’t care,” I said. “I just want liquid cheese, and a lot of it.”

“Would you like us to get back to you by phone or email?”

“Phone, please. I don’t want there to be any miscommunication about my cheese.”

“Is it okay if we have this information to you by 2:00 pm tomorrow?” he asked.

“That would be fine,” I responded, “as long as I get my cheese intel.”

“You’ll get it, sir,” he assured me. “Thank you for calling Visa Signature concierge service.”

Here’s how the service works: your request is assigned a “case number,” which goes into an enormous pool of concierge requests. These requests get outsourced to overseas workers who track down the information and enter it into their system. Then you either get e-mailed, or an English-speaking worker phones you back the next day with what they’ve found.

“I have your information,” said a young woman named Jenny who called me the following day. “There is a supermarket in downtown Austin named Fiesta that sells large cans of nacho cheese.” She gave me the address, phone number, and the price of the cheese.

I went to Austin the following week, where I went to Fiesta, and I actually found the cheese exactly as she had described.

I was floored. This service was a dream come true. Just think of the ridiculous errands I could send them on next!

When I heard that the Visa Chase Freedom card came with a concierge service that would do anything I wanted, I had to put them to the test. Don’t we all want to make our credit card company work for us for a change?


TEST #2: CROSSWORD PUZZLE

“I’m really stuck on 62 across,” I complained to Maurice, the concierge who helped me the following night. I came to learn that I would get a different concierge every time I called, but they were all quite helpful, with none of the attitude that you normally get from customer service reps.

“What crossword puzzle are you doing, sir?”

“It’s the USA Today puzzle,” I said. “The clue is BLUE GROTTO LOCALE. I have no idea what that means.”

“Blue Grotto locale,” he repeated, writing it down.

“The only Grotto I know is at the Playboy Mansion,” I told him. “But this is 11 letters, and starts with I.”

“Okay,” he said. “You want to hang on?”

“Sure,” I said. He put me on hold for about two minutes—the same amount of time it usually takes me to get through to someone at Visa—and came back with the answer.

“You ready?” he said.

“What, you already got it?”

“The answer is ISLE OF CAPRI,” he said. “11 letters, starts with I.”

“That’s incredible!” I exclaimed. “Are you like an idiot savant of puzzles?”

“You just happened to get someone who likes crosswords,” he said, modestly.

“I will call you every time I need a clue in the future!”

“Uh … okay!” he said, as brightly as he could.

How many times have you been at a restaurant, arguing with your friends about which President was the fattest, or whether Kevin Bacon has ever done a nude scene? Now you don’t need to pull out your smartphone and Google it, you can just call Visa and have them look it up for you.

Having a Visa worker do your bidding: much classier than an iPhone.


TEST #3: DAILY AFFIRMATIONS

“I suffer from low self-esteem,” I told Jamie, my new concierge. “My psychologist recommended that I give myself a daily affirmation. You know, something like, ‘I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.’”

“Okay,” said Jamie, not sure where this was heading.

“But that’s a lot of work, so I’m hoping you guys can do it for me. Just call and give me a daily affirmation.”

“You want us to call and tell you you’re a good person?”

“That’s right. I mean, if you think so. I’m not so sure myself.”

“If you can hold for one moment, I can check on this for you,” Jamie said.

I bit my lip to keep from cracking up as she went to check with a supervisor. She came back with bad news. “I’m afraid we can’t do this for you,” she said, “but we can look up services that would do this for you.”

“What?” I asked. “Why? Am I not good enough? Oh, I knew it.”

“I’m sorry, we’re just not allowed to do anything of a medical or emotional nature.”

“You can’t tell me I’m good enough because I’m not,” I moaned. “Which is exactly what I thought!”

“Sir,” she said patiently, “I’d be happy to look up other services that can send you these affirmations, and e-mail you that information.”

“Could you at least attach a little positive note to the e-mail?” I begged. “Just like, ‘Thanks for being you?’”

“Let me check with a supervisor,” she said, a little less patiently this time.

I pushed hard on the affirmation, and she asked a supervisor three times before I relented. Apparently Visa Signature couldn’t do quite anything, but I have to admit she did eventually come through on her promise, sending me this via e-mail:

Visa Signature Concierge
Dear John Hargrave,
Thank you for using Visa Signature® Concierge. The information you
requested is provided below.
Motivational Message Service
Please Note: Please find below one option for a company that
is able to provide phone, texts, and emails reminding you of “what a good
person you are.”
Company: MedVoice Inc.
Contact: Renee Dotson
Phone: 800/720-1151
Cost: $89.25 per month for unlimited messages.

I decided to let Visa have this round, since they did technically satisfy my request, which was to find someone who could send me love notes. But now it was time for a real challenge.

I had applied for a Visa Chase Freedom card, just so I could test if their concierge service would fulfill my every desire. So far they had done an amazing job, but now I was about to cross the final frontier.


TEST #4: SPACE TRAVEL

“I’d like to book a trip to space,” I said.

There was a pause. “You want us to send you to space,” said Courtney, my new concierge/slave.

“That’s right.”

“Well, I have heard there are companies who can send you to space.”

“Money is no object,” I said, “but I am on a budget.”

“So you want details on pricing?”

“Pricing, the waitlist, when I could travel, everything,” I said. “Also, medical restrictions. I have a weak spleen.”

“I guess you don’t need restaurant recommendations to go with that trip,” she cracked. Humor! I fell in love with the Visa Signature concierge service at that moment.

“That’s a great point!” I said. “What do they serve on these flights? I want to know what I’m going to get to eat in space.”

“Probably that astronaut ice cream,” she said.

“YES! Tang!”

“We’ll get this for you by 2:00 pm tomorrow,” she said.

Their time quotes vary, depending on how difficult they think the request will be, and probably how many wage slaves are available to look up your request in the Philippines. But my requests were generally answered in less than 24 hours.

The next afternoon, I got my response via e-mail, outlining not one but TWO space travel companies (Virgin Galactic and Space Adventures), with medical restrictions (none that they could find), and meal options (peanuts or pretzels).

Another test passed. There was only one more thing to find out: could the Visa Signature concierge service investigate themselves?


TEST #5: WRITING THIS ARTICLE

“I’m a writer on deadline,” I told Bruce, my new concierge/manservant, “and I need to find out a little more about this Visa Signature concierge service. Are you familiar with this service?”

“I’ve heard of it, yes,” he said.

“Here’s what I need to know: is there anything you won’t do? Like, I assume you won’t help me find a contract killer, or overthrow a government. But what else? Where do you guys draw the line?”

There was a long pause. “May I place you on hold while I check on this for you?”
“You betcha.”

He came back a few minutes later, sounding a little bit shaken. “Okay, we can get you a list like that, but we’ll need about three days to put that together.”

“Oooh. That’s not going to work. I need to deliver this article tomorrow.”

“That’s the best we can do, sir.”

“That’s weird,” I said. “You shouldn’t have to research this one at all. Can’t you just read it from your training manual or something?”

“I’m sorry, sir.”

“But my deadline really is tomorrow. I can’t finish the piece without it. I’m going to have to say Visa Signature concierge service couldn’t deliver the final thing I asked for.”

“We can deliver it,” he repeated patiently, “just not until Monday.”

“But the readers will never find out the answer,” I pressed.

“I apologize to your readers.” Bruce was polite to the end.

“All right,” I said. “They forgive you. Monday it is, then.”

All in all, I was incredibly impressed with the Visa Signature concierge service. It costs nothing beyond the annual card fee, and it’s helpful for so many occasions. There’s almost no limit to the things the concierges can do for you, except for… well, you know. Help you finish the end of your article.
Some things I guess you just have to do yourself.


Afterword from Tim: In the comments, several concierge service providers were kind enough to provide their thoughts, and one was kind enough to list some of the cannot-do’s. Here are a few:

1. We cannot get you an interview to work for a sports team.
2. We do not have special access to confidential government reports.
3. We do not have discounts for venues, restaurants, or services not included on the website http://www.visa.com/signature.
4. If a hotel is completely sold out and booked, we cannot reserve a room there; however we’d be glad to check other hotels nearby.
5. We cannot research your school paper, or do your job for you.
6. We can’t run personal errands or call your friends for you.
7. We can’t plan your wedding, but we can help you find a wedding planner.
8. As far as what’s considered unethical behavior, consider this an example: If child prostitution is legal somewhere, we won’t help you find one; however if you’re in Nevada and want to make an appointment for a rendezvous at the Bunny Ranch, we’d be glad to help you check rates and availability.
9. We don’t have access to your credit card account information or rewards program.
Please keep these not-so-unreasonable limitations in mind when you give us a call. We’ll hear from you soon.

10.6.10

*** i like... things put simply ***


The absolute truth.

i like... things put simply

*** i just like... ***


so beautiful

found here

*** i like... child's play ***



When I was a kid I also used to perform gummy bear surgeries- mainly beheadings though… I would gleefully rip one head off just to replace it with one of a different colour.

Another thing I loved to do with Gummy Bears was stick them in a glass of water for a couple of days. Those of you who have never tried it, I can only recommend it. The Gummy Bear grows to about five times its size (but tastes horrific).

Children do strange things, I have heard of children that refuse to eat anything that is not round, refuse to wear anything but vertically striped clothing, children that can’t eat unless they are wearing shoes. Most children shove objects- animate or inanimate- up their noses and they pee in the living room.

Put simply: partake in outrageous behaviour, according to some psychologist this is because children are like, here it comes: cavemen. Might be, but they still make me laugh.

Honestly though I think we could all learn a lesson from children: they can amuse themselves for hours with an empty cardboard box. They have massive imaginations and they don’t care what others think. They aren’t bothered with race or ethnicity and they aren’t judgemental. They are curious risk takers and they love themselves naked.

To lose one’s child-heart is to lose everything- Sri Chinmoy

1.6.10

*** i like... print Gocco ***


My latest heart's desire is a Gocco Print... this awesome "toy" is a mini screenprinting device from Japan (where else?). It works similarly to a silkscreen, only instead of using a squeegey to press the ink through from side to side, the Gocco works with downward pressure... so you can even print different colours at the same time! It also uses flash bulbs like those in cameras…

In the much quoted words of Douglas Adams: That is really amazing, that really is truly amazing. That is so amazingly amazing I think I’d like to steal it!

Much to my dismay I gather these awesome devices are almost extinct... hence the Save Gocco Blog (nevermind saving the Whales). Click here to view the beautiful showcased Gocco work.