Tuesday, August 28, 2007

In Your Face

What with the inflation and collapsing economies, we increasingly find it hard to live our life without advertisements and sponsorships1. Product placements seem to have penetrated every aspect of our visible life2.

But the product placements we see in everyday life can go two ways (like songs in Indian movies) : subliminal messages blending the ads with the content seamlessly, or in your face marketing.

Recently I came across these two different approaches in two TV serials:

Scenario 1: Eureka is a township housing the best of the best scientific minds in US, working to push the boundaries of science, in a military contracts company. In one episode, the head of the company is in a video conference. When he finishes the conference, the screen shifts to the logo of the phone manufacturing company3.

Now the fact is that logo belongs to a real-world company working in telecommunication and software field, and you just watched a highest-security-clearance video conference taking place on the phone by that company (or at least, using the software by that company). Clever? Oh yes. Subtle? No doubt. Now that's what I call genius4...

Scenario 2: In every episode of CID on Sony channel, you get at least one instance when someone, mostly Fredericks5, gives you the "Coming Attractions" on Sony in as subtle manner as Peeves' practical jokes6.

I am not comparing Hindi vs English serials, or Indian vs American advertising here. I mean, perhaps the best ads I have ever seen are the Fevicol and Feviquick ads on Indian television, while I am still wondering how a caveman who parties, uses airports, has access to news channels and psychologist, and knows the words like "existential meltdown" is different from a modern man. What I am saying is, many times, in your face marketing gets opposite results than intended (telemarketing, anyone?).

I have just come across a product placement in a book. A character (maybe main, I haven't gone that far in the book) thinking that shifting to Mac from PC has changed her life for better, reducing the booting time. What do you think of that? Subtle? Jury is still out on that.

- The Great Eagle Has Spoken...

Quote of The Day:
I LIKE ads. It's not that we don't like ads, we just don't like ads when they are out of place.
- Bill Barnes, How to Blog for Money by Learning from Comics

1. In unrelated news, have you seen the Amazon search box in the right sidebar here? And the google ads?
2. I still haven't seen anybody putting company logos on the underclothes for advertisement, but I cannot be entirely sure here, can I?
3. Something like when your Dell laptop has Dell desktop image as default originally when you buy it.
4. But then, you swing a microbe and hit 10 genius in Eureka, but that's for another post.
5. The guy seems to have been added to the cast for comic relief. As if the other goings-on were not humorous enough...
6. For the ignoramuses, these include statues falling on your head and suchlike.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Knight Chronicles Chapter V

a.k.a. The History of Knight in Split Pants

When I wrote the last post about Sir Pinocchio, I told you that he came very close to being called Sir Urmila (or some such thing). Being busy in creating my new blog meant that the story of "how" had to be postponed for some time.

Those who remember the story (others click on the link above and come back) would remember that the trek was undertaken in monsoon. That meant climbing for a better part of morning in torrential rains, and we all were completely drenched by the time we reached the top.

Before trying to dehydrate our waterlogged clothes (which led us to solve a puzzle about halving the distance involving wet jeans) and roaming around in the fort, we changed out of wet clothes. Our squire found out that the only trousers he could spare was the pair which comes with your typical 2-piece rainsuit. He thought that was a wise choice given that rain hadn't stopped yet.

Now those of you who have experience with the item in question will know that whatever else the pants are made for, they are definitely not made for climbing and heavy roaming. The result was that by the time we got back to our campsite, the only thing holding the pants together on one side was the band of elastic at the top. (Did I tell you how windy it gets up there?)

To this date our squire is greatful that some unfortunate (for us) miscommunication meant that there exists no photographic record which we can show to his wife, and that the fortunate (for him) incident of mismatched pins meant he got a better name than Sir Urmila.

- The Great Eagle Has Spoken

P.S. Why Urmila? Those were the days when she was noticed for her roles in movies like "Rangeela", "Daud" and so on...

P.P.S. As part of the (possible) plan to merge my blogs sometime in future, "The Knight Chronicles" will continue on this blog from now on.
Want more exploits of the Knights? Click on the other adventures of Knights of The Round Table. (No, Blogger doesn't have an "import" function).

Quote of The Day:
Until you've lost your reputation, you never realize what a burden it was.
- Margaret Mitchell (1900 - 1949)

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Sign of 8

a.k.a. "8 Random Facts About Me" tag

I know I have been missing from this blog for quite some time now (weeks?), but you know the reason, right? I have been trying to make my new blog as good as possible (and incidently, why didn't anybody tell me some of the links were broken there?)

So, it is just now that I have been able to take up the 8 Random Facts tag from Nikichan.

The Rules of this tag:

  1. Link to your tagger and post these rules.

  2. List eight (8) random facts about yourself.

  3. Tag eight people at the end of your post and list their names (linking to them).

  4. Let them know they've been tagged by leaving them a comment on their blogs.

Now, I can tell you simple facts like I am single, or my IQ makes me “Genius” and so on and so forth... But they don't come under category “random”, do they? Also I have a nagging feeling that this tag is some version of this tag I have already done.

Still, telling you 8 more things about me is not exactly inviting stalkers to camp out on my doorstep, is it? (You're supposed to stay “no” here). So, here goes:

  1. I have been asked this many times: Fleiger, because that was my callsign when we had a squdron of simulation fighter pilots in my company. That was as close I could come to “Flying Man” in German.
    Adler came after some people started calling me “Great Eagle” based on my profile picture.

  2. The profile pictures I use are normally of the eagles found in Maharashtra, or in Sahyadri ranges.

  3. You all know how I like to read. What you might not know is that I have started writing 2 novels (a sci-fi and a thriller) and have a third in my head (it will be a sci-fi/alternate reality one), none of which has gone beyond “Prologue” stage.

  4. Our core group of friends is together almost from primary school (4th grade being the latest addition).
    And speaking of my closest friends, let me tell you that the Knights of the round table are also known as “E-Zero Group”, known earlier as “Key-Tone Group” (rhyming with, nay, sounding exactly like the the carbonyl group we all learned about in organic chemistry).
    And no, I haven't exaggerated even a word while describing the exploits of the Knights.
    And yes, there's a whole lot more to come.

  5. When you are born on the lap of Sahyadri, and in the birthplace of Marathi empire, you love the mountains and hiking. Sinhagad is a regular retreat for us. And we have visited many more forts, each hiking trip has a stomach-achingly funny story of its own.

  6. The first time I counted the number of books in my library was in 4th std or thereabouts. The number came out around 300. Since then I have gone down on the number of books I own (most were kiddy books).
    Being the poor student I am, I now try to read the books first, and then if I like them, I will buy them for myself.

  7. One of the few possessions I am proud of is complete Marathi translations Ramayan and Mahabharat (5 and 11 volumes respectively, around 400 pages per volume on average). I have read the entire Ramayan, have gone more than half through Mahabharat volumes.

  8. My favourite TV channels include Comedy Central, Disney and Sci-Fi. I wouldn't say no to a nice Discovery or NGC serial, too (though no animal shows for me).

Now comes the part where I am supposed to tag 8 people. Mwahahahaha...

  1. I think Cuckoo should continue her series of soul-bearing posts...

  2. Sid hasn't been posting for some time now, being busy in studying I guess.

  3. Neihal can have a “Jail Diary” a la Jefferey Archer or Paris Hilton, right?

  4. I would say this is something Princess Stefania should do to take her mind a bit off the grief.

  5. I am not sure, but I can't find if Keshi has taken up this tag.

  6. Priya has avoided Summer tag for a long time, so I guess I should burden her with one more as a punishment.

Have I run out of people to tag? In that case, do leave a comment and take up the tag if you want.

In any case, do leave a comment and take up the tag if you want.

- The Great Eagle Has Spoken...

Quote of The Day:

There's a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line.
- Oscar Levant (1906 - 1972)

Monday, August 06, 2007

This is it...

It has been less than a week since I conveyed my unhappiness about the current state of affairs with you. And while I am not so much happy about the response to it either, I want to tell you the result of my thinking.

So, after much ado and without further, let me present to you my new blog:

Lazy Habits of Thinking

While this blog will continue to have other random posts, along with my "Detectives" series, "Lazy Habits" will be exclusively literature-related blog. Thus, the blog has way better and easier to follow tag structure and indexing. It also allows me to have a nice F.A.Q. as an "About" page. In short, I am planning to make that blog my "flagship" from now on.

I will be updating the links on all the blogs to which I contribute. So, please head over and don't forget to update your bookmarks. And while you are reading and commenting on that blog, there are some more things which you can do.

  1. I am going to delete the posts from this blog to avoid duplicates, and also will be removing the "My Book Reviews" and similar links from sidebar. Please tell me if I should keep the posts on this blog too.

  2. This is for all the artists in you: As much as I like the layout, I am not so sure about the header image. I would like it to be something related to books, and my profile. And although I am a very good reader, I am slightly less than an average artist. So please send me your suggestions/images. The winner of course gets due credit on the blog.

So, see you there...

- The Great Eagle Has Spoken...

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Some Random Thoughts

No posts for more than a week... Did you think I shifted to my normal lazy ways? Or that I contacted a case of breakitis which is currently doing rounds in blogosphere?

Fear not, that's not the case.

As I sit here with more than 2 years of this blog behind me (well, not spatially, but temporally) I feel like something is missing. The Eagle is not going the way he should, or want to. Although the emphasis on this blog is on book and related stuff (given my interests), The Eagle's thoughts are, well... random. I don't like that.

Well, if you think you know where this is going... well, let me tell you there will be an important announcement on this blog soon. So stay tuned...

Till then, keep reading and commenting...

And anybody who spoils my surprise announcement, तेरा मुँह काला| (you will get sunburn and no tanning)

- The Great Eagle Has Spoken...