Zone38 Presents...
Letters to the World

21-Jul-2003

Fudgetaboutit!

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 1:31 pm

The flavor of the day at a local ice cream shop which shall remain unnamed:

Fugde Marble

How do they not notice these things when they’re putting up the signs?

Oh-oh, another Babelfish bug

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 12:09 am

Wow. Here’s an interesting bug I discovered tonight: translate some form of the word “occasional” into Portuguese and back, and the resulting English word will start with the number zero rather than the letter O. Yes, 0ccasional!

Even more amusing, though, is this translation which is solely the result of an ambiguity in the French language: “I feel fine” translates into French as “je me sens très bien”, which in turn translates back to English as “I smell myself very well”! Yes, for those who haven’t taken French, the same reflexive verb, se sentir, can mean “to feel (an emotion)” and “to smell oneself”…

20-Jul-2003

Thoughts on Orlando

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 5:09 pm

Well, I’ve been in Orlando since this past Wednesday, finally having returned home this afternoon. Besides playing DDR in my sandals, much to the discontent of my feet (as mentioned in the previous post) and taking the trolley down International Drive to browse all the touristy shops and restaurants, yesterday I went to Disney World for the first time in my life. Yes, really, I’ve been culturally deprived for 20 years… it does seem rather strange, doesn’t it? 😉

And yes, I enjoyed the attractions with a childlike sort of wonder, even at the age of 20 (I’m still very much a child at heart!); say what you will about the company that bears his name, but the attractions of the Magic Kingdom prove that Walt Disney himself was a creative genius. Space Mountain is an unusual, though unforgettable, experience; the illusions in the Haunted Mansion, virtually unchanged for years, are still impressive even today; and of course, the animatronic attractions are amazing in their realism. If only we’d had time to see Epcot and MGM as well…eh, maybe the next time the family goes down to Orlando, we can work that in. Even then, I had quite a good time wandering through the Magic Kingdom in itself, in spite of the miserable heat and humidity.

In other news, I met up with Kat, whom I hadn’t seen in several years, earlier this morning. I’ll admit it, as she’s already done on her own blog: though we may at some point in the past have been “significant something-or-others” (a term used by both of us, incidentally), we’ve both moved on; the whole long-distance thing just wasn’t working out too well, and we both realized it. Even still, we’re really close friends (yes, even alter-egos at times), and I doubt that will ever change– and despite what my parents seem to think, even the most platonic friendship is something to be cherished when one is such an introvert and an outcast…

Anyway, I enjoyed the trip to Orlando, though I will nonetheless admit that I’m glad to be back home, finally able to get a good night’s sleep in the peace and quiet of my own bedroom and to get online with something better than advertiser-supported dialup. Yes, I know, I know, I’m a geek and I’m lazy… ::grin::

17-Jul-2003

Sandal Sandal Revulsion

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 3:47 pm

Note to self: If, at any time in the future, you’re wearing your Birkenstocks and come across a Dance Dance Revolution arcade machine, don’t try to play it…

…oww, my feet are still aching from that one, though at least they’re feeling somewhat better after several hours of rest.

15-Jul-2003

It was a dark and stormy…day?

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 7:06 pm

Well, the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest results are in; surprisingly, I didn’t find out about it until late this afternoon, and of course it was neither dark nor stormy at that. Nor was it night, for that matter, but that’s not important; granted, it’s not as if anything is all too important when it comes to purple prose, since only the truly dedicated will slog through murky mires of horrid writing in the first place. But alas, though the day isn’t dark and stormy, my mind is, and my own attempts at writing really purple prose for this weblog entry are going over like a cloud of pure silver, not just silver-plate…

(Incidentally, typographical geek that I am, I love the runner-up entry about the flock of geese. Hee.)

08-Jul-2003

More spellbinding news

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 1:39 pm

Ooooh. As if the recent screenings of Spellbound in Atlanta weren’t enough, it’s also been picked up by the Douglass Theatre in Macon! Though the date was originally listed as June 8 on the Douglass site, it now reads July 13, and official sources confirm that the Macon showing of the film is this weekend. (Edited 11-July-2003 to point out that the erroneous date on the Douglass site had been corrected. –codeman38)

From the spam files…

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 1:26 pm

And I quote, with all the sic-ness of the original intact:

Subject: What do you have to loose? yzaxgxgfmi huj j
(more…)

07-Jul-2003

More from the ‘ironic’ file…

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 1:29 am

WashingtonPost.com – Corrections – May 31, 2003:

The last name of National Spelling Bee winner Sai R. Gunturi was misspelled in a May 30 KidsPost article and on the front-page promo and caption.

Need I say more? (via a Google search that led to Bert’s Blog)

03-Jul-2003

Obscure Songs in Commercials

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 3:04 pm

Last night, months after the commercial actually began airing, I finally discovered the name of the song used in that one Saturn commercial. You know… the one that takes place on a college campus and shows a couple of frat boys; it has a quite catchy old-school alternative rock tune in the background, but nowhere could I find any identification of the song. And that discovery got me thinking about the use of relatively obscure songs by independent artists in TV commercials.

It’s been done quite frequently, especially in automobile ads from the likes of Volkswagen, Mitsubishi, and– more recently– Saturn. And it’s actually quite a neat idea: if it’s done right, you end up not only selling your own product, but also influencing the sales of albums by the musician whose music is featured in the ad.

But that’s exactly the problem: though Volkswagen and Mitsubishi did it right, Saturn managed to mess things up.

How so? Upon hearing a song that I really like in a commercial, I’ll often go to the site of the company in question to see if they have any press releases that might identify the song. In the case of Volkswagen, there was an easy-to-find link with quite a clear identification of the background music (and even a CD compilation of the tracks for sale!); in the case of Mitsubishi, the link was buried somewhat in the site, but it nonetheless exists. But whither Saturn? Nowhere on Saturn’s site could I find any identification of the music in the ads; though some of them were downloadable, nothing was to be found about the music used within. In my opinion, that’s the worst sort of sellout: featuring a little-known group’s music in a commercial but doing nothing to actually promote the group.

So, for people who are still curious as to the song IDs from the Saturn Ion commercials, here’s the track listing, as culled from various message board postings:

Prom: “Forever Young” by Alphaville
Childhood: “We’ve Been Had” by The Walkmen
Wedding: a remixed version of Pachelbel’s Canon
College: “Tiny Spark” by Brendan Benson

EDITED 8 December 2003: To make things easier to manage, and to clear up some space in this blog comment thread, I’m closing comments on this post and setting up a message forum for future questions on the topic of music in commercials. Sorry for the inconvenience, but this page has grown just a bit too large…

EDITED 18 July 2004: Some of you who got here via Google are probably wondering what the songs used in the more recent Adult Swim eyecatches are. Well, here’s a forum thread with all the info, direct from Williams Street. You’ll need to register for their forums, but it’s worth it; the thread in question is about 50 pages long now. And I actually tracked down a few of the songs on that thread, too. 🙂

More fun with Google

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 1:39 pm

The latest news from the search request files:

  • cover letter exsamples – Not only did the resulting page not refer to cover letters– only letters of the alphabet and covering steps with a ramp– the mention of “exsamples” was due to a previous search request. Admittedly, though, the searcher was Danish…
  • Address of Sai Gunturi and Samir Patel, Winner of Spelling Bee – No, I didn’t have that information on hand, but the search request nonetheless receives some points for its geekiness. ::grin::
  • “linguistic pedantry” – Now that’s my kind of search.
  • light saber theory – Granted, my page had nothing about the theory of how light sabers work, but I suppose the searcher was attracted to my site because the summary contained the hilariously Babelfished “combat of light-light-light-light-light-light-light-light-saber”.
  • Engish Classes flyer – That reminds me, I still need to scan in the flyer in question[Edit 2003-08-13: I’ve since scanned it in.]

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