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Musical Road Hits Sour Notes With Neighbors
Local officials say it was a mistake to allow a television commercial company to grind grooves into a stretch of desert roadway near Lancaster to enable car tires to play a song -- "The William Tell Overture" -- as people drive over it.

The sounds are disturbing people in a nearby subdivision, the Daily News reports. The City of Lancaster plans to pave over the musical grooves Tuesday.

Persons driving the posted 55 miles an hour west on Avenue K, in the high desert about five miles west of the Antelope Valley (14) Freeway, hear about 38 musical notes of the well-known theme, also known as the overture to "The Lone Ranger."

American Honda has paid for the promotion as part of a television ad campaign set to air this fall, but amateurs have peppered YouTube with homemade renditions of their own vehicles rolling over the grooves.

The road is tuned to a car just exactly the length, and equipped with tires the same size, as a Honda Civic, a spokesman for Honda said. But other vehicles are also successful in playing the notes, if a little off-key.

That noise is not exactly music to the ears of persons living in a nearby subdivision, who are telling the Daily News that the notes blend into a cacophony that keeps them awake at night.

"When you hear it late at night, it will wake you up from a sound sleep," said music critic Brian Robin, who lives a half mile away from the project. "It's awakened my wife three or four times a night," he told the newspaper.

But people from elsewhere are delighted. "I think it's kind of cool," said Peggy Hager of Llano. "When you are driving out on Avenue K, you're going out to the middle of nowhere. It's a nice surprise to come across this thing."

Avenue K got its groove on Sept. 5, and the sour notes from neighbors soon reached a crescendo at City Hall, said Pauline East, the Antelope Valley Film Office liaison officer. The street was volunteered to help attract filmmakers and their dollars to the High Desert, she said.

"Was it historic? Yes," she told the Daily News.

"Maybe the wrong location? Obviously. We thought it was far enough away."
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But maybe they shouldn't place the ads right on the popup you see when you mouse over an incident. Hmm?
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This was an ad on OKCupid urging me to install their Facebook app:

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Thanks to [ profile] threepunchstuff for this bit of near-perfect, uh, thing. COAL!

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go tars

Okay, I'm going to go back to bed now.
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I heard a carnival barker-style bellowing ad on the car radio yesterday while listening to the all-news AM station. It was the usual mortgage broker appeal to refinance, this time with the added warning that rates were going up. The ad concluded:

"It's the biggest no-brainer in the history of Mankind!
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I heard a Canadian Tourism Ad on the radio in my car yesterday. The ad tried to put me in a sound picture in which I was on an amazing golf course playing the game of my life while sweet birds sang etc and an elk walked on to the course. And the tag was something like "and you don't mind an interruption in your game, because an ELK IS ON THE COURSE!" Followed by the call your travel agent spiel.

I'm not sure what your reaction might be, but were I on a golf course and an elk appeared, I would run like hell. Who wants to get kicked to death? Is there a baby elk over there? Wow these things are pretty fast OH GOD THE ANTLERS

There was another ad right afterwards in which I was instructed to picture myself paddling a kayak or canoe on Lake Louise having a peak experience. That didn't sound so bad except for the Implied Insects, which are universal in traveling anyhow.

But no elk for me, please.
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"A typical line from the press materials for CK in2u goes like this: “She likes how he blogs, her texts turn him on. It’s intense. For right now.”"

Thanks, Exploding Aardvark!
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This is probably not news to anyone who watches TV but I just saw a commercial for the American Association of Retired Persons that used the Buzzcocks for its background music.
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From the job ad for the "Tech Expo Top Secret 2007" job fair for "security-cleared professionals":

Catapult your job search by meeting nearly every major employer in the defense industry over 2 days. Federal Agencies & Government Contractors are actively hiring at our TECHEXPO Job Fair held within AFCEA's WEST Conference in San Diego, CA. Even if you're just surveying the job landscape, this is an excellent place to learn about available opportunities nationwide.

I have surveyed the landscape, sir! Permission to catapult!
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A sausage company attacks vegetarianism and commits unintentional goatse, and the makers of a sleep drug appear to be selling a powerful hallucinogen. It's all behind the cut!

Read more... )
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Another visit to the doctor means more scanned-in drug ads! Hurray! First off we have the "Healthy Lifestyles" brochure from the Lilly company. It's actually not for one of their drugs but for a "stop eating so damn much" plan that is no doubt intended to go with a diet pill or something. They were attempting to show the bountiful beauteous cornucopia of joy that is a HEALTHTY LIFESTYLE! but the cultural resonance of the picture they chose is unfortunate. I cropped it to the "good part."

eden who

Next we have

The Lilly people are also advertising their antidepressant Cymbalta. Men have ADD and women have depression, so their model for this ad is the typical middle-aged middle-class woman considering her symptoms. I cropped off the top which asks which of these are symptoms of depression? and the bottom that tells you to talk to your doctor about all of your symptoms, no doubt because the list they have adds up to a prescription for Cymbalta. I like it with just the middle bit:

symptoms of buying our stuff
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  1. The Enlightenment Card is here! It's a Visa credit card that gives you points as you buy towards... enlightening things. I want to tell the Dalai Lama about it so I can get one of those long cheerful Tibetan laughs out of him.

  2. Holistic dentistry as a general concept is probably a great idea, because dentists so often are the ones who see medical problems first. However, I'd avoid the madman with the extensive psychoceramic chart (270k jpg) showing how your teeth control your lungs, liver, and everything else.

  3. Do you need an exorcist? Why no, I don't. I especially don't need one who uses Comic Sans. Considering their client base, though, they're wise to demand the $300 up front. Customer service must be a bitch there.

  4. There is an ad for a psychic clairvoyant medium named Zack Havoc. I don't want anyone who identifies with "Havoc" messing with the spirit world. That's a name for a late 1990s extreme sports/fake punk DJ guy, not a medium. His Corporate Reading services include "Product Placement." Does that mean he will put your product in his readings? Also "Employee Moral" and "Theft of Services." His political services include "demographic populace" and "legislative zeitgeist." Okay I'm done now.

  5. Energy Healing for Pets. Yes, the url is There is a kind of Pet Tarot for sale there, too. Are we really this rich? I guess we are.
The rest of the ads are mostly for unlicensed psychotherapy via loopholes like "life coaching" and "psychic counseling. There are also ads for fraudulent medicine of various kinds, including a claim for total herbal cure of diabetes; that's lethal. There are also quite a few pyramid schemes, including ones that produce more of the fake psychotherapists by using counseling to recruit more counselors. The smell of brimstone is evident.

I found one really cool thing in the entire magazine. There is an Organic macrobiotic Japanese food lunch truck roaming Los Angeles. Okay, that's just awesome, having a lunch truck pull up outside your job and getting edamame, soba noodle salad, some gyoza, and a hot cup of genmai-cha. Salut! Or whatever you say in Japanese.
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This is the most successful "viral" marketing campaign since The Blair Witch Project. You bought the "internet rumor." You bought the "they wanted to change it but Samuel L. Jackson insisted on the title." You made your own media and distributed it. You posted about it on the Internet over and over and over.

Because you'll enjoy anything with a detached sense of superiority, you made yourselves part of the strategy. Because black people saying "motherfucker" is funny, and because cheesy horror movies that scare people inferior to you are funny, and because you've been neotenized by pop culture irony into being perpetually 12 years old, you got trolled into the street team for a midnight movie and made some Chads and Brads and Thads in shiny shirts very, very, rich.

You deserve the decoder ring, the glow-in-the-dark badge, and the build-it-yourself clubhouse now. You ate all four hundred boxes of Froot Loops.

Homage to [ profile] springheel_jack for the phrase "consumer Stockholm Syndrome," which describes this phenomenon perfectly.
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Are you ready for real success? Are you ready to walk away from that job and experience total financial independence with model-quality women on yachts and personal watercraft? Because if you have the desire to quantum leapfrog into wealth, this program is for you.

Today is the day you start thinking like a millionaire. Picture yourself on the deck of your seaside or lakeside home enjoying a premium beverage. Picture yourself enjoying large portions of seafood in exotic yet comfortable locales. Picture yourself with a stacked 19-year-old girlfriend or perhaps two but in any case nearly always dressed in a bikini. Picture it all today, and have it tomorrow. You owe it to yourself to exceed your full potential.

The time is now for you to become the kind of guy who is often seen on a fishing boat that is going full speed. Men like this are no different from you. The techniques and attitudes they've used are available to turbocharge your success engine. This simple video and workbook set takes you step by step through the laws of success. In less than a year you'll take it all to the next level and beyond.

This was brought to you by two decades of infomercials, and the wonderful compare and contrast: versus brought to me by the exploding aardvark.


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May 2009

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