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Things I've Found 63 (We're MetroNatural! SayWA??!!)—10/26/2006

by Mark Rose

Why do marketing people get paid any money at all? Washington State decided to pay a marketer to come up with a new state slogan and somehow they invented "SayWA," perhaps the dumbest slogan ever. Er...wait. Seattle took 16 months and wasted $200,000 to have someone come up with "MetroNatural." Oooo, it just makes me feel creepy, ya know? It’s not much better than the OLD Seattle slogan: See-@-L. No, I’m not kidding. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061021/ap_on_re_us/seattle_slogan AND if you just can’t get enough: http://www.metronatural.com/.

You Need a Cowboy Hat Made Out of a Beer Box: http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-BEER-BOX-COWBOY-HAT-THE-HOTEST-ITEM-AROUND_W0QQitemZ250040935166QQihZ015QQcategoryZ52370QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem#ebayphotohosting

Indiana Jones denied tenure by McSweeney’s: http://mcsweeneys.net/2006/10/10bryan.html

This is Sophia’s favorite artist. Fine art made out of dry dog food: http://www.pawlick.org/

Silly Patents are routinely catalogued at PatentlySilly.com, one of my favorite sites. Here’s a lovely example of a patent for a huge box-like device that treats erectile dysfunction. The patent notes that ejaculation and orgasm three times a week may be considered healthful. As the site writer notes, "If three times a week is 'healthful,' I’m a river of watercress with tofu banks and tahini waterfalls." Oh yeah. http://www.patentlysilly.com/archives.php?catID=2500&subcatID=2580

What kids know when they graduate in 2010. Beloit and other schools issue a list of cultural referents every year, outlining the things that students know as the history of their world. For instance, kids who graduate in 2010 have NEVER known the Soviet Union to exist, or that smoking has always been prohibited on airplanes. There are some good ones on this list: http://www.beloit.edu/~pubaff/mindset/2010.htm

Designers Watch Out! A new website (http://www.youthoughtwewouldntnotice.com/) has become a central place for designers to see whether their work has been co-opted, or "chomped" by others. For instance, did UK graffiti artist Banksy have his "tiger out of the cage" graphic stolen by Jack Savas at Agui Designs for use on a baseball T-shirt honoring the Detroit Tigers? Take a look and see. There are LOTS of examples. This could become an important clearinghouse for information for design research. Worth a look.

Here’s what everyone needs: white chocolate maggots. Or at least maggot-shaped: http://candyaddict.com/blog/2006/07/13/white-chocolate-maggots/

Giant burrito sends school into lockdown: No, I'm being serious, this is an actual headline on MSNBC's site: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7683168/. The school goes into lockdown and all the children are assembled in the auditorium to discuss what's happening. And one lonely 8th grader actually has the quote: "Oh my gosh, they're talking about my burrito." Speechlessness is really the only response from here on out.

No, I'm not making this up. Welcome to the International Top Spinners Association! http://www.byron.com/itsa/

From Boing Boing: Can you believe there are people who have a document that prominently displays the phrase "Confidential - Do Not Distribute" then they post it on the Web so Google can search for it? http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=confidential+%22do+not+distribute%22. Unfortunately, you have to wade through a bunch of search results from other people reporting this very same behavior.

I too would buy a ream of Dunder Mifflin paper. Here's a guy who thinks it might be smart to take fictional products, produce them in real life and sell them to fans. I think he's right: http://www.ironicsans.com/2006/09/idea_dunder_mifflin_branded_pa.html

What can be made with 3 million matchsticks? http://www.matchstickmarvels.com/models.html. That’s your answer. These people make me cry with their brilliance.

A blow for those who believe in diversity: http://news.moneycentral.msn.com/printarticle.asp?Feed=FT&Date=20061008&ID=6085419. Multiculturalism may not be the panacea that everyone hoped it would be. In fact, it could be extremely dangerous. Recent research is indicating that assimilation is a much better survival and growth strategy for immigrant populations. I strongly recommend Russell A. Kazal's book BECOMING OLD STOCK in this regard. You can read the introduction for free here: http://www.pupress.princeton.edu/chapters/i7741.pdf. Just a thought.

And finally, here’s something that’ll make your butt itch. http://www.fedspending.org/. This site outlines all the federal spending based on various categories. You can search by location, search by federal program, etc. Have fun!