Charlie Bit My Finger Food

Is nothing sacred anymore?

One of my favorite YouTube videos has officially sold out. But then again, as far as selling out goes, this one doesn’t seem so bad.

The popular “Charlie Bit My Finger” YouTube video never fails to bring a smile to my face. Maybe it’s the two adorable children, maybe it’s the British accents, or maybe it’s the all-to-familiar exchange between an older and younger sibling. Well clearly I’m not the only adoring fan because after 366 million views, Gerber  has used the video in a campaign for their Gerber Finger Goods.

The video is the same we’ve come to know and love, with added pop-ups to inform parents on how to know when their children are ready to eat  finger foods– you know, instead of just their brother’s actual fingers.

The video has been up for a few weeks now and received a little more than 200,00 views. I’m unsure of how much the company paid for the rights to the  video (probably enough to send both Charlie and his brother to college a few times over), but the revamped short certainly hasn’t reached the same renown as the original.

In conclusion, the video is as funny as ever, but now it contains a few parenting tips. Simple…and efffective?

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Infographic: Social Media & American Users

Social Media keeps us connected. It keeps us informed and up-to-date on the latest news– be it local, national, or personal. And now, by properly studying the use of social media, Hasai social media firm has learned a bit more about American Society as a whole.

Hasai is a social media strategy firm located in California. They specialize in networking, promotions, and content creation/curating via social networking platforms. Recently they conducted an informative study that identifies some of the more common habits of American users on such platforms.

Below is featured an infographic, but I’ve also listed a couple of my favorite facts:

  • 48% of bloggers are U.S. based.
  • 65% of social media referencing the royal wedding (April, 2011) came from the U.S.  The U.K. accounted for only 20%.
  • 77% of Americans use social media to share their love for a favorite television show.
  • New Jersey and North Dakota are some of the most socially active states in the country.

via Mashable

Jersey Shore: How Wilde!

While I personally do not watch Jersey Shore, I have unfortunately been subjected to a few episodes due to my friends’ obsessive fascination with the show. During the off seasons, I am treated to ridiculous phrases and catcalls, all said in a terrible fake jersey accent. I hate to admit it, but these ridiculous little sayings become quite catchy…annoyingly so.

The other day I stumbled across the following video. Playbill has created a hilarious short series called “Jersey Shore Gone Wilde.” To promote Oscar Wilde’s great play The Importance of Being Earnest, now showing on Broadway, these professionally trained actors can be seen reciting lines from Jersey Shore episodes in the style of the great playwright. British accents? Check. Cheeky conversation? Check. Pencil Mustache? Check. Outfits that Oscar Wilde himself would covet? Double Check.

I shamefully recognized many of the references, but I have to admit that the quotes didn’t seem half so terrible when spoken in a proper British accent. In fact, some of the sounded half-way intellectual– then again, I may just be going crazy.

So what do you? What would Wilde think?

And don’t forget to check out all of the videos in the series!

Mac (People) vs. PC (People)

Finally, the age-old question has been answered!

No, not the meaning of life or anything as trivial as that, but:

What REALLY is the difference between Mac and PC people?

Hunch has compiled data from over 700,000 unique website visitors in order to create the extensive infographic featured below. From favorite sandwiches to preferred cocktails, artistic preferences to fashion favorites,  and of course the basic demographic information– Hunch seems to have covered it all.

Without making any drastic assumption, Mac users (which I, myself, am) come off a bit pretentious but at least the more intelligent of the two categories. PC users tend to drift toward an older demographic with preferences within the mainstream.

Of course, it’s important to note that a good 23% of people refused to be specified by computer preferences and referred to themselves as loyal to neither brand. Also, of those who did self-identify themselves, only 25% dubbed themselves “Mac People,” while more than double (52%) declared themselves to be “PC People.”

So take a look at your fellow Mac and PC users and see how you fit the bill.

The Media Does April Fools

I’m not great at pulling off April Fool’s Day Pranks. I’m the kind of person who starts laughing before I deliver the punch line of jokes. On the other hand, I am the sort of person who thoroughly enjoys a practical joke or two, especially when I’m not the only sucker. That being said, I’ve compiled a list of some of the best April Fools Jokes that have been pulled by the media. I mean, think about it– the power the media has over us and what we believe in incredible. Case in point: The War of the Worlds broadcast. A simple radio show sounded so real that people were running for their lives. I’m sure there’s a good media/psychology study somewhere in there, but this post is all about the fun. Enjoy!

1. YouTube is turned upside-down

  • In 2009, the whole YouTube website did an 180. The text, the videos, the everything– completely upside down. I can only imagine how trippy David Goes to the Dentist was then.

2. Nixon ’92

  • How on earth the broadcaster managed to do this without breaking into giggles is beyond me, but in 1992 NPR announced that former president Richard Nixon would be running for President…again. The radio station even had sound clips of his supposed announcement, featuring his new slogan: “I didn’t do anything wrong, and I won’t do it again.”

3. Burger King caters to Lefties

  • In 1998, Burger King dished out the money to buy a full-page color ad in USA Today, announcing their latest addition to the menu: the Left-handed whopper. So what would be different about this lefty-friendly burger? The ingredients would remain the same, the ad proclaimed, but the condiments would be rotated a complete 180 degrees. The results? The fast-food restaurant reports that they received plenty of “left-handed” orders, as well as requests for the typical “right-handed” whopper.

4. The Guardian, in 144 characters

  • In 2009, the British newspaper, The Guardian, announced that they were giving up the ink and going completely viral. Their website of choice? Twitter. The newspaper claimed that they would be tweeting all of the articles in the 144 character format that Twitter is so well-known for. I can only imagine how well that would go…Then again, maybe more people would subscribe to “newspapers.”

5. The BBC predicts a bountiful spaghetti crop for the Swiss

  • Picture this: It’s 1957 and your turning on your brand new television (or should I say telly?), when the BBC reports that the weather conditions are ideal for the Swiss spaghetti season. The report is followed by the discussion of the dreaded spaghetti weevil and accompanied by a picture of people pulling spaghetti off large trees– what else were people supposed to think? I mean, where else could spaghetti possibly come from? Several eager viewers even called in to find out how to grow spaghetti of their own. 

6. YouTube RickRoll’d the World

  • By now, all of us have heard Rick Astley’s classic “Never going to give you up.” Often, we have heard this song in a video when we were expecting something else. This phenomenon has been scientifically dubbed “RickRoll’ing.” In 2008, YouTube, as the ever clever pranksters they are, RickRoll’d the world. Each and every video on their site led to Astley’s cheesy 80s performance of his cheesy 80s song. Touche, YouTube.

 

Honestly, I could go on for hours with all the fabulous pranks that the media has pulled on us, their sometimes dimwitted audience. Instead, I’ve included some links below for you to check out and enjoy. So good luck this April Fools, either in your own pranking or in being pranked.

 

For more great media pranks, check out these links:

Posing Facts

Breit Bart

Huffington Post

No NPR? No, Thanks.

Honestly, I should be paying more attention to the campaign to defund NPR. I guess the very concept seemed ridiculous to me– Who would agree to this? And why?

As of late, after the House passed a vote to cut funding to NPR and PBS, I’ve done a bit more research.

On Tuesday, the House passed a three-week temporary spending bill with $6 billion in cuts, including $50 million from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which supports NPR and PBS.

The greatest support for the defunding came after a “sting” operation caught an NPR executive criticizing the Republican party and saying that the stations did not need the millions of dollars the government supplied them with.

Republicans have long been critical of public broadcasting and accuse it of having a liberal slant. Many felt their suspicions were confirmed when an undercover video produced by conservative activist James O’Keefe showed NPR executive Ron Schiller calling the Tea Party movement “scary” and “racist” at a meeting with a potential donor who claimed to be from a Muslim organization that supports Sharia law. Both the donor and organization were fake, part of a sting operation set up by O’Keefe.

Executive Ron Schiller has since stepped down, but the damage has been done. While I don’t condone Schiller’s name-calling, I do have admit I’m shocked by the very idea of a “sting operation” being set up to uncover NPR’s true politics. First off, there is no denying they are left-leaning. For the most part, no media source, no matter their attempts, are ever seen as neutral. A news station could have the most impartial reporting ever, but as viewers and consumers we naturally want to categorize our sources. Whether we want an enemy to be angry at, or a companion who shares our beliefs.

Media theories, such as the Uses and Gratification Theory, state that we turn to media for specific reasons. Sometimes we are looking for entertainment, but often when we turn on a news show, we are looking for further validation of our already set opinions. So if we’re liberal, we may prefer one network. If we’re conservative, we prefer a different network. We don’t necessarily want a neutral source.

But that is a tangent from the true point of this post. The bottom line is that NPR is a news source and, while aspects of it tend to be more liberal, its fundamental reporting is all-inclusive. The news on these programs is not distorted, nor are facts left out. I have heard show hosts equally criticize Republican and Democratic politicians and ideas. But, the stations are much more than just news outlets– they provide entertainment, such as my personal favorite show: Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me. They also promote cultural discussions and bring in experts from a variety of fields to share knowledge with the listeners.

Of course, nothing proves a point quite like simple facts: In a Harris poll conducted in 2005, NPR was voted the most trusted news source in the U.S.

MOST TRUSTED NEWS SOURCE? That surely counts for something.

Despite the House’s vote, the future remains somewhat bright for NPR enthusiasts like myself:

The bill, should the Senate even bring it to the floor, is almost certain to fail in that chamber. Democrats control the Senate, where members of both parties have expressed skepticism about cutting off NPR because it remains popular among many of their constituents.
In the meantime, I leave you with a very entertaining video of House Rep. Anothony Weimer mocking the efforts to defund NPR and its “un-American” programming…such as Car Talk?

Has Sheen’s Ship Sailed?

When a celebrity crashes and burns, hundreds of media outlets across the globe stand to attention. The public can’t get enough of hot messes straight out of Hollywood. Thankfully, Charlie Sheen has decided to provide us with enough fodder to last a lifetime.

I can’t help but comment on the recent ‘tomfoolery’ (his word, not mine). Personally, I’ve never been a fan of Sheen. I believe him to be the real-life embodiment of Lord Licorice from the childhood board game Candyland. Sure, he turned out a reasonably good performance in Wallstreet, but his overall acting ability is sub par. Contrary to Sheen’s own boastful claims, he really is “nothing special.” Or at least, he wasn’t special until he decided to crash and burn with a fervor that would make Lindsey Lohan jealous.

From drugs to spousal abuse to anti-Semitism– Sheen is covering all his bases, leaving no group free from offense. While his public downward spiral began with ranting radio interviews, as of yesterday Sheen has taken to the medium of television, where we get to both hear his gravely voice and look into his sunken eyes. There is no doubt that the man looks unhealthy– he’s lost weight, he face speaks of exhaustion– I found myself wondering if the whole make-up department was out sick. In one interview, Sheen chainsmokes while simultaneously boasting his impressive ability to quit narcotics and alcohol cold turkey, without the help of AA. In fact, Sheen goes on to bash AA– once again, leaving no stone unturned with his offense. Sheen comes across as egotistical, calling himself both a warlock and rock star in two interviews. His cocky gloating only helps to null and void his claim of selflessness in wanting to start back on Two and a Half men. Formerly the highest paid actor in television (2 million an episode!), Sheen insists that his eagerness to start back up at work is motivated by a need to support his family (did you know the man has 5 children? FIVE! That’s five little ones running around with his genes…).

But this post is more than my own personal rant about Charlie Sheen, it’s a recognition of a Public Relations fail.

While I don’t know much (or anything) about Sheen’s publicist or how Sheen himself has been trained to handle these situations, I’m quite sure that the wrong approach is being taken. Suddenly Sheen seems to be on every television station, giving ‘exclusive’ interview after ‘exclusive’ interview. It’s understandable that Team Sheen wants to do some major damage control, but the interviews are doing more harm than good. While his mind-blowingly offensive radio interviews didn’t seem to be enough to convince the Team that Sheen’s interaction with the media should be limited, one would have supposed his first interview would have. Instead, Sheen is being scheduled for more and more face time with television audiences. At each sitting he manages to offend a whole new target audiences while sinking himself deeper and deeper into the pits of career suicide. At this point, it almost seems like Sheen’s publicist is purposely trying to destroy him (perhaps he/she was among the many offended). And yet, do you think a good PR campaign could have saved him? Or possibly still can?

Even before his outrageous radio interviews, it was doubtful Sheen’s career could ever be salvaged. Afterall, the only star to ever reemerge from such a critical situation is the preternatural Robert Downey Jr. RDJ, however, possesses something that Sheen’s interviews prove the TV ‘star’ severely lacks–charisma. Now, for Sheen it is just a matter of a slow descent, with the public delighting in even obnoxious and toxic word he utters. Consider Sheen’s career over.

[Here’s a brilliant idea! How about Emilio Estevez (Charlie Sheen’s half-brother) returns to mainstream acting, or acting at all, and takes over the Sheen’s role on Two and a Half Men. Pull a Spin City kind of move, when Sheen took over for the always charming Michael J Fox. Just saying.]

Great Article about Sheen’s PR Flop: http://www.pamil-visions.net/charlie-sheen/223210/