Jun 12 2007

Poll: Fred Thompson & Al Gore Both Gaining

Category: 2008 Election,PoliticsTim @ 12:07 pm

A poll conducted this past weekend seems to say, if Fred Thompson joins the race, things will get very interesting for the Republican candidates:

Former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani holds first place in the survey, with support from 27% of the Republicans and independents who said they plan to vote in the party’s 2008 primaries.

But Thompson, an actor who played a prosecutor on NBC’s “Law & Order,” runs just behind, with 21%. Indications are he will join the race within the next month.

The two other major GOP contenders, Sen. John McCain of Arizona and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, fall well short of the leaders and are in a battle for third place. McCain was backed by 12% of those polled, Romney by 10%. The rest of the crowded field is mired in single digits.

Thompson is expected to announce his candidacy soon and has many conservatives using the ‘R’ word:

Thompson, 64, a former Republican senator from Tennessee, may also benefit from his fame as a film and television actor. “When I watch him on `Law and Order’ I’ve always loved him,” said Al Pepe, a 79-year-old retired electronics manager from Jacksonville, Florida.

`Reagan’

“He reminds me of Reagan,” said Pepe, a Republican who favors Thompson. “You want to listen to him.”

Lofty praise indeed. What about the Democratic side of the poll:

Clinton had 33 percent in the poll; Obama 21 percent; former Vice President Al Gore, who so far is not a candidate, 20 percent; and former Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., 12 percent.

Democratic analysts had no ready explanation why Clinton has lost support from men, especially younger men. Much of this support seems to have moved to Gore. Her chief strategist, Mark Penn, said that could change and noted that younger men do not vote with the frequency that women do.

Clinton, Gore and Obama each draw about one-quarter of Democratic men. Said Democratic pollster Mark Mellman, who is not working for a candidate: “If she can hold close in the race among men and dominate among the women, that’s the ballgame” and she will win the nomination.

Funny how candidates who are not even technically running are gaining ground. Is that a statement about public opinion of Fred Thompson and Al Gore or rather an indication of the level of disgust with the present cast of presidential characters? Seems to me the American public is getting very tired of professional politicians; unfortunately, that’s all we have to choose from at the moment.


Jun 11 2007

Coca-Cola’s MySpace, the Sprite Yard

Category: Kids & Technology,Parenting,Sci/TechTim @ 12:00 pm

It looks like Coca-Cola has stepped-up their Internet marketing campaign:

The Coca-Cola Company is redefining the relationship between consumers and their sparkling beverages with the launch of the Sprite Yard, a real-time digital “on-the-go” community that provides social connections and downloadable content via their mobile phone anytime, anywhere. This mobile marketing breakthrough launched in China on June 1st and will go live in the US later this month.

The Sprite Yard creates an entertaining social experience beyond the value of traditional online destinations by providing consumers constant mobile, social and brand connectivity through mobile devices such as cell phones and personal digital assistants (PDAs).

Coke is definitely on the right track. The marketing money being spent on Internet will boggle the mind:

Studies have predicted that mobile marketing will increase sharply in the coming years, and Google, Yahoo and Microsoft have all introduced mobile-friendly search interfaces.

Mobile advertising could account for 25% of global internet advertising spend by 2011.

But what are they really trying to accomplish?

“The brand becomes the enabler of mobile social connections,” Mark J. Greatrex, senior vice president of marketing communications and insights at Coca-Cola, told a gathering of the nation’s leading mobile marketing executives. “The Yard users literally have their friends in their pockets.”

The mobile marketing effort is part of Coca-Cola’s plan to “create, connect and customize on-the-go experiences,” according to Mr. Greatrex.

Sprite’s “usage over-indexes with mobile phone usage,” Mr. Greatrex said. “This is Generation C and they’re right at the center of the mobile target audience.”

Genius. In case you have not heard, this is how Wikipedia defines Generation C:

Generation C could be said to comprise the people who use Web 2.0, create user-generated content and participate in the co-creation of products and services.

It’s getting harder and harder for marketers to reach Generation C and this effort means users will go to the Sprite Yard to interact with their peers. What could be easier? Only one question remains, how long will it take Generation C to see through the marketing campaign and declare the Sprite Yard as lame? There is a reason why it is hard to reach Generation C, they are at least a couple of steps ahead of the marketers.


Jun 09 2007

Spelling Bee Champ Evan O’Dorney’s Press Tour

Category: Education,Humor,VideoTim @ 8:24 pm

Evan O’Dorney, 13, of Danville, California won the 2007 Scripps National Spelling Bee. For his efforts, he earned an interview on CNN and Jimmy Kimmel Live:

That was a brutal…how’d Jimmy do?

Home schooling is great, but it has been know to cause a bit of social awkwardness…


Jun 08 2007

It’s Official, Paris Hilton Heading Back to Jail

Category: EntertainmentTim @ 8:02 pm

Wow, that was fast. According to Paris Hilton was just ordered back to jail in Lynwood to serve out the remainder of her sentence! She’ll get credit for at least 5 days already served.TMZ.com, Paris Hilton is heading back to jail:

Paris Hilton was just ordered back to jail in Lynwood to serve out the remainder of her sentence! She’ll get credit for at least 5 days already served.

Hilton left the courtroom in tears, screaming, “Mom, Mom, Mom.” Hilton was also heard saying “It’s not right.”

Paris Hilton Crying

Well, maybe celebrities are not above the law after all…


Jun 08 2007

Paris Hilton’s Media Circus – The Drive to Court

Category: EntertainmentTim @ 6:02 pm

I would like to think something like this can only happen in LA.

Paris Hilton Going to Court

At 1:30 p.m. ET she [Paris Hilton] was on her way to the courthouse, which is about 11 miles away from her home.

Superior Court Judge Michael T. Sauer’s decision to have Hilton brought to court was announced by court spokesman Allan Parachini shortly before the hearing had been scheduled to start at noon ET.

“Judge Sauer has instructed the Sheriff’s Department to go to Ms. Hilton’s residence, pick her up and bring her here. That is happening now,” Parachini told reporters outside the courthouse.

Earlier, the court announced that Hilton would not physically appear in a Los Angeles courthouse as she was ordered to do, but would attend the hearing via telephone.

Apparently, she can’t phone this one in…

With cameras focusing on all aspects of her neighborhood and following every police car, one is reminded of another escorted celebrity as they made their way through LA. Perhaps this court case will end differently than that one.


Jun 08 2007

London Olympic 2012 Log Causing Fits – Literally

Category: Humor,SportsTim @ 1:26 pm

What happens when you let the marketing department run wild? You get the London 2012 Olympic logo!

Within two days of the bright, geometric design’s unveiling this week, there were 48,000 signatures on a petition to dump the logo immediately. A motion floating in Parliament called it a “childish, ridiculous and pathetic attempt to appear trendy.” And London Mayor Ken Livingstone piled on by midweek, pronouncing the new symbol a “catastrophic mistake.”

Then there was the video designed to showcase the new logo, which did make a splash, all right. It featured an animated image of a diver whose entry into the water sent out ripples of sparkling, flashing lights. The image triggered epileptic seizures in at least 23 people across Britain who watched the video on television.

London 2012 Olympic Logo

Ouch! It comes in many colors, but this was the coolest there. I mean really, it is causing epileptic seizures! Who in their right mind would put something like this out there without doing a little research, market testing, and at least provide helmets for those viewing it!

The clip’s removal follows comments by Professor Graham Harding, an expert in clinical neuro-physiology who developed a test used to measure photo-sensitivity levels in animated TV material.

“The logo should not be shown on TV at all at the moment,” Harding told the BBC. “It fails Harding FPA machine test which is the machine the television industry uses to test images.”

He said the footage did not comply with regulatory guidelines.

Wow. One class of children has taken on the task of designing a better logo:

Now, children at Sprites Primary School, in the Chantry area, jumped at the chance to create what a top design firm appears to have failed at.

The year five students had just hours to produce bright logos combining the word London, the Olympic rings, and the year 2012.

And the whole class pronounced the official version “rubbish” with some pupils adding that it was confusing, like graffiti and failed to capture the Olympic spirit.

Ten-year-old Erin Allen, of Hawthorn Drive, said: “It’s horrid. It doesn’t link to anything athletic or sporty. The games are supposed to be inspiring children into sport but it isn’t inspiring at all.

Out of the mouths of babes…Well, the London 2012 web site is proud of their logo. They are encouraging people to use their logo creatively and upload the results:

Download the design templates, do something creative with them and upload the results to our online gallery. Please note London 2012 reserves the right not to display all designs submitted. We are enjoying seeing your emblem ideas, but we will only publish designs that make creative use of the templates.

“We will only publish designs that make creative use of the templates.” Am I the only one who is terrified by that statement!

Several alternative designs have been submitted to the Telegraph.co.uk web site, but here are two of my favorites:

logo6.jpg
Submitted by Charles Pope in Beijing

logo8.gif
Submitted by Frank Donovan

I couldn’t have said it better myself.


Jun 08 2007

Paris Hilton’s Get Out of Jail Free Card May Expire

Category: EntertainmentTim @ 11:56 am

In an interesting turn of events, the judge who sent Paris Hilton to jail wants to know why she was released:

Hours after she was sent home under house arrest Thursday for an undisclosed medical condition, the judge who put her in jail for violating her reckless-driving probation ordered her into court to decide if she should go back behind bars.

Hilton was to report to court at 9 a.m. today, Superior Court spokesman Allan Parachini said.

“My understanding is she will be brought in, in a sheriff’s vehicle, from her home,” Parachini said.

The judge may have a couple of reasons to bring everyone back to court; his own curiosity as to why his sentence was overturned and the public out-cry over her release:

The move also was met with outrage from the sheriff’s deputies union, members of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, civil rights leaders, defense attorneys and others.

“What transpired here is outrageous,” county Supervisor Don Knabe told The Associated Press, adding he received more than 400 angry e-mails and hundreds more phone calls from around the country.

Hilton’s return home “gives the impression of … celebrity justice being handed out,” he said.

You think?!?! Paris feels she has learned her lesson and will be a good girl now:

Shortly before noon, Hilton issued a statement through her attorney.

“I want to thank the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and staff of the Century Regional Detention Center for treating me fairly and professionally,” she said. “I am going to serve the remaining 40 days of my sentence. I have learned a great deal from this ordeal and hope that others have learned from my mistakes.”

Don’t be surprised when the compromise is announced and we will all be tuning in to watch the new reality show Paris Hilton’s, The Prison Life. Think of that. Paris gets all the attention she so desperately craves and a share of the profits can go to the LA County Sheriff’s Department. Sounds like a match made in Hollywood!


Jun 08 2007

McCain and Giuliani to Skip Iowa Straw Poll

Category: 2008 Election,PoliticsTim @ 11:56 am

Remember last month when the Clinton campaign was flirting with the notion of skipping Iowa? Well, it seems that idea has gained some momentum:

An Iowa straw poll that traditionally has served as an early benchmark in the Republican presidential nomination race lost much of its luster Wednesday as first Rudolph W. Giuliani and then John McCain decided not to compete in it.

The straw poll, scheduled for Aug. 11, in past campaigns has drawn tens of thousands of Republicans to a state party gathering in Ames, Iowa. But candidates have had to spend large sums of money to transport supporters to cast ballots at the gathering.

Giuliani’s campaign, which has not stressed grass-roots organizing in Iowa and faced a potential setback in the straw poll, announced Wednesday morning that it would not actively participate in the vote.

Hours later, the McCain camp followed suit.

How did the Mitt Romney camp react to the news? They said, you quit so, we win!

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is declaring an early victory in the race for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination. Romney and his backers are ridiculing rivals Rudy Giuliani and John McCain for deciding to skip competing in the Iowa Republican Party’s Straw Poll in Ames this August.

How are Iowans reacting to the news?

The straw poll is expected to draw tens of thousands of Iowa GOP activists to Hilton Coliseum at Iowa State University on Aug. 11, and serve as an organizational dry run for candidates competing in the January caucuses.

Other campaigns have already made major efforts to prepare for the event, such as renting buses and lining up entertainment for the event, which is equal parts parade and politics.

Giuliani’s and McCain’s decision could dampen interest in the event as a true early test of strength in the Republican field.

No candidate in the straw poll’s nearly 30 year history has bypassed the event and won the caucuses.

Sounds like someone is not happy about the financial repercussions of this news. In a race that has already passed into the obscene realm with the amount of money raised and spent, I think it may be a good thing to “throttle back” a bit on campaign milestones.


Jun 07 2007

Paris Hilton Released!?!?

Category: EntertainmentTim @ 6:50 pm

Paris Hilton’s time behind bars came to a screeching halt today:

Hotel heiress Paris Hilton was released from jail on Thursday for medical reasons after serving just three days of a three-week term, but was confined to her home with an electronic ankle bracelet for 40 days.

Steve Whitmore of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s office declined to specify the medical issue that led to her “reassignment” or say why she could not be treated in jail.

Medical reasons? She developed allergies to the bars? Too many dust mites in the concrete pillow? Are you kidding me? What about her debt to society? Where is she going to serve time?

She returned to her 2,700-square foot mansion in the Hollywood Hills, where authorities say she’ll be confined for 40 days. The eight-bedroom, Spanish-style home, built in 1926, sits on a 6,380-acre lot above the Sunset Strip. Presumably, Hilton will have the run of the grounds as long as she doesn’t step outside the gates.

Confined to that shack, that will be a living hell. To be fair, I never actually expected she would serve any time. She’s too rich to go to jail.


Jun 06 2007

Republican Hopefuls Exchange Ideas/Jabs

Category: 2008 Election,PoliticsTim @ 12:36 pm

The Republican Tribe of the new hit reality show Presidential Terminator 2008 exchanged words and jabs on Tuesday night:

Republican Debate

President Bush drew startling criticism Tuesday night from Republican White House hopefuls unhappy with his handling of the Iraq war, his diplomatic style and his approach to immigration.

“I would certainly not send him to the United Nations” to represent the United States, former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson said midway through a spirited campaign debate.

Not surprisingly the candidates are distancing themselves from the current administration and their 33ish% approval rating. But, what issues really got things going? Giuliani and McCain both tried to establish themselves as the alpha dog:

Rudolph Giuliani scuffled with Sen. John McCain over illegal immigration for the first time last night, accusing McCain of backing a bill that doesn’t fix pre-9/11 problems and “it is quite possible … will make things worse.”

McCain, in turn, accused Giuliani of ignoring parts of the bill that fulfill Giuliani’s wish-list. “Rudy,” McCain said in exasperated tones, “you just described our legislation.”

The best line of the night goes to Giuliani:

Mr. Giuliani also injected a moment of humor into the debate when he was asked about the writings of a Catholic bishop who was critical of Mr. Giuliani’s support of abortion rights. As Mr. Giuliani began to defend himself, there were crackles of lightning outside the debate hall — prompting other candidates to step away from Mr. Giuliani, as if a bolt were about to strike him.

“For someone who went to parochial schools all of his life,” he said, “this is a very frightening thing that is happening right now.”

Careful, someone is watching!

So, what were the reactions to this first debate?

Blogs of War: Final Thoughts: Rudy distances himself from the pack, and much like Obama earlier this week, looks the most presidential. McCain almost wins me over with his no holds barred approach on terrorism but the love fades quickly as he moves on to other topics. I was most disappointed in Romney who lacked clarity and credibility in many of his answers. The rest of the field is just noise but noise that holds up better than the corresponding second and third tier folks on the Democratic side. The wildcard here is Fred Thompson. My gut feeling is that only Rudy can go toe-to-toe with him in a forum like this – but he has to show up first.

Captain’s Quarters: The third GOP debate is over, although there may be some who haven’t realized it yet. What it lacked in firepower, it more than made up in pointlessness. And while CNN may not have been anywhere near as bad as MS-NBC, they should still be embarrassed that their audience asked better questions than CNN’s journalists.

Little Green Footballs: Which Republican candidate do you think turned in the best performance in the third debate? Rudy Giuliani 47.7%

Well, who will be the first contestant to be voted off? Let’s wait until all the contestants get to the island first and then make that determination. I believe the Fred Thompson boat may be on the horizon.


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