Creativity: Distorted Typography

Very clever typography used at the Eureka Tower Carpark. Distorted letters were painted on the walls so that as you drive by, what seems to be just colorful lines spells out signs such as UP and Down. When in the right position, the letters seem to pop out of the walls. This project won several design awards. Click the link at the bottom to see more pictures!

Creative Art Down Typography
Creative Art Down Typography
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Obama vs McCain on Media Policy

What does Obama & McCain say about Media policy? What is media policy?

The two camps have differences in opinion on how to deal with media. Considering media is the medium in which much of our worldview and opinions are formed, this is a discussion worth having. The main question that is at play is what kind of role does the government play in overseeing the companies that control the media and the type of information that is shared publicly.

To summarize in one sentence each, Obama’s camp believes that the government should have an active role in controlling the potential for abuse. McCain’s camp believes it is best to let the market regulate themselves in providing a healthy information sharing environment.

An article in Slate Magazine covers a lot of these details. Some quotes below.

“Powell [McCain’s Principle Advisor] and McCain believe it’s better to approach the media industries in basically the same way as any other industry, with the implication that media consolidation is a natural process best left alone… [they] believe that trying to prevent media consolidation and attempts to favor “good” content will tend to backfire.”

The Obama camp starts from the premise that the media and information industries are special—that like the transportation, energy, or financial industries, they are deeply entwined with the public interest. That means they warrant a level of scrutiny. Why? Control over media and communications, the argument goes, translates too readily into political power and influence over speech.”

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Selling Products or Selling Lifestyle?

One trend that is becoming more and more common practice in advertising is to appeal to the emotions rather than the features or functionalities of the product. Rather than talk about why you should buy some product and discuss some of the practical features, many ads go about painting a lifestyle that you would want to have and placing their product as part of that wonderful exciting lifestyle.

Take a look at some of the advertisements below and ask yourself, what are they selling? What did I learn about the product? Did I learn something ABOUT the product? How do I feel looking at the ad? There are so many examples out there but below are a few.

New Luxury Acura Advertisement
New Luxury Acura Advertisement
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Religion, the Greatest Source of Bloodshed, Persecution & War?

911 Cross World Trade Center

What is the True source of Bloodshed, Persecution & War?

Yesterday was Sept 11th. A date which needs no explanation as we remember the 3,000+ victims of the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers. It was a day where everyone stopped, stunned beyond belief. A day when everyone forgot about what busy work they had that day and started to dwell on what is more important in life. How could there be so much evil? What truly is important in life? What is the meaning of life? And so on.

I am still stunned by what happened. I remember waking up hearing over my roommates radio something about planes crashing into buildings. I thought I was dreaming. I couldn’t believe it, until I saw the images for myself. However throughout that time, we saw a nation come together, support one another and put our differences aside. I don’t remember the last time our nation was so united as one.

Yesterday a group called “Freedom from Religion Foundation” did just the opposite. As everyone took a moment to remember and mourn the many victims and the families they left behind, this group posted a huge full page propaganda in the New York Times blaming religion for this event. “One of the lessons of 9/11 is that there is no greater source of terrorism, strife, bloodshed, persecution, or war than religion.” It is upsetting that they would use this day to send such a dividing message. Is there some merit to what they claim? Perhaps, though I would argue it’s more to do with the brokenness of people than religion itself. It also doesn’t consider the fact that much of social progress and much good has been led by religious groups. But here is what they wrote “The history of Western civilization.. shows that most social and moral progress has been brought about by persons free from religion”.

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Children See, Children Do. Media & Parents

Below is a video depicting the influence of parents and adults on their children. It is always amazing how much children are fully aware of what goes on around them and pick up on subtle cues and actions.

Though this video does not necessarily talk about media’s impact on children or our culture, it does highlight (though the form of media) that rather than simply blaming media for everything that has gone wrong, we as a whole need to take personal ownership over how our actions and behavior impact those around us especially the children.

Watch the video and read on below!

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What are RSS Feeds? How do I get New Post Updates?

Some of you may have noticed the “get feeds here” or “subscribe to RSS” link along the right nav bar of this blog site. Also there is a RSS tab on the top left of this blog and a giant orange RSS icon right beneath the title of the site. All these links go to one page- the RSS Feeds page.

I’ve come to realize a lot of people are not familiar with what these feeds are or how they work. In fact a study shows that only 3% of adults use RSS readers. I’ve provided a video below that does a pretty good job showing what RSS feeds are and how to set it up. It’s also pretty creative and well paced. I personally use Google Reader. More interesting information is available if you just click into the link!
Rest of the Article Here!

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Casting Crown – Slow Fade: Mistakes, Regrets

Casting Crowns - The Alter and the Door Album

Casting Crown – The Altar and the Door

Casting Crowns is one of my favorite bands because their music is just stock full of content and powerful messages. Casting Crown’s new song “Slow Fade” talks about how mistakes, regrets, wrongs, sins don’t occur all at once or in a single day. It is gradual. It is based on small decisions we make day to day. We find ourselves often having done something or at some place we didn’t expect to be, not because we woke up one morning choosing to do something, but rather little by little our daily choices and decisions led us there.

Casting Crown – Slow Fade Music Video

Get the Song Here:

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China’s 2008 Beijing Olympics Media Part II : Beauty is King

As everyone has heard by now, it was later found that the cute little girl, Lin Miaoke, was lip syncing while the original girl, Yang Peiyi, was yanked from the program last minute told to sing from backstage because she wasn’t “flawless in image” according to the musical director of the olympics. The musical director said the reasons were for national interest and that the child on camera should be “flawless in image, internal feelings and expression. Lin Miaoke is excellent in these aspects”. “The reason why little Yang was not chosen to appear was because we wanted to project the right image, we were thinking about what was best for the nation,” said Chen Qigang. The interview appeared briefly on the Chinese news website Sina before it disappeared.

“What was best for the nation”. Do you believe what they did was best for the nation?

My first thought when I heard this news was thinking about what kind of message this sent to the two little girls involved as well as to the rest of the viewers. Yang Peiyi was basically told that if you aren’t pretty you can’t be on stage or in other words there is a limit to how far you can go if you don’t have the looks. Despite her incredible voice, it was her physical appearance that held her back. In an interview the General Music Designer slipped in saying she wasn’t attractive enough and had crooked teeth. This was indeed tragic as she is so young. What do you say to her when she asks why she isn’t being allowed to go stage but has to sing in a mic as another girl pretends to be singing?

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Role of Media in Promoting Smoking & Tobacco Use

A new 685 page report from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) backs the claim that smoking in movies influences children to smoke. The report is called “The role of the Media in Promoting and Reducing Tabacco Use”.

The NCI found that tabacco advertising and marketing is causally linked to increased tobacco use. It also states that smoking depicted in films and movies are causally related to smoking initiation among youth. There are very few movies out there where smoking isn’t shown as a normal part of life. Smoking is done so casually on TV and movie programs that it simply seems like something anyone would normally do. This is most likely old news for most people, but the rate in which smoking scenes are appearing in movies may catch you slightly off guard.

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China’s 2008 Beijing Olympic Deception & Lies: Impact on Culture Part I

The 2008 Beijing Olympics was the most widely watched Olympics in history. It had all you could ask for. It had high drama, incredible feats, and one of the most beautiful opening and closing ceremony ever. I was completely in awe with the beautiful creativity in displaying all of China’s history and culture. Great job China.

However… coupled with such great display of the magnificence of Chinese culture, so was the display of some not so magnificent incidences. Lot of deception was carried out by the Olympic decision makers to put forth their best face. It’s a show, so much of it is understandable, but I strongly believe that actions the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) & the Olympic organizers carried out poorly contributed to its own culture and sent the wrong message to the very people they govern.

The list of what are being called “deceptions” or “lies” continues to grow. A wonderful little girl with a wonderful voice, Yang Peiyi, was yanked from the stage and told to sing backstage because the organizers wanted to have a more prettier girl, one “flawless in image” as mentioned by the music director, to be on stage. The new girl, Lin Miaoke, ended up lip syncing while the Yang Peiyi had to sing backstage during perhaps the biggest stage she would ever get a chance to participate in. CCP also claimed to have sold out the games but admitted later to hiring volunteers to fill up the empty seats. Organizers also showed fake digital fireworks making the firework display grander than it actually was to the rest of the world. Organizers also claimed and printed on their programs that the spectacular display of China’s ethnicity groups were actual people from those provinces while later saying that they were actually nearly all from the Han ethnic group that make up 90% of their population. CCP kept emphasizing harmony with its people while sanctioning away water and resources from the countryside farms to keep Beijing well stocked and pushing out migrant workers out of their cities. CCP praised the fact that the Olympic games were protest free while quietly jailing any dissenters and sending elderly protesters to work camps. Then there is the still unresolved matter of the Chinese Gymnastic team.

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Bias of American Media – Influence of Media Money

As almost everyone would agree, media has a huge influence on our thought patterns and the way we perceive the world. With the presidential candidates starting to gain more press, the bias found in different networks and media groups starts to become more visible. The bias of the media is always influencing us daily, it just happens to be more noticed this time of year especially networks like CNN or ABC (left) versus networks like FOX (right). The way we make decisions about who we vote for to how we live our lives to what is right and wrong is built upon what we see and hear.

Back in September 2007, Gallup surveyed the American voters and found that 45% said the media is too liberal while 18% said the media is too conservative. I fall into the 45% category so there is my personal bias! The sad thing is most of it goes unnoticed because we get so used to it that our standards of what is liberal and conservative shifts over time.

One way of determining the bias of media is to look at the people who make up those companies and publishes the material and their contributions to the political parties. The following are total 2008 PAC contribution figures and where the majority of that contribution went. I’ve noted the more well known companies. [Facts provided by opensecrets.org].

Media Industries
Books, Magazines & Paper – $12 Million [78% to Democrats]
Motion Picture Industry – $8.9 Million [89% to Democrats]
Cable & Satellite TV – $6.3 Million [63% to Democrats]
Music Recording Industry – $3 Million [79% to Democrats]
Television Production / Distribution – $2.3 Million [86% to Democrats]

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