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2 December 1999

The Daily Show Rundown:
11:21 Local Killing
11:23 National Murder
11:25 International Carnage
11:27 Recipes!
-- Slide from last night's Daily Show

Entertainment consumer report: Like Dan Hartung, I got my Iron Giant DVD a few days ago, and like Dan I'm disappointed in the 'animation cel' that was included by It's pretty much something you would get in a cereal box, about 4"x6" and not even in the style of the movie's animation. So, don't bother buying it from but do see the movie.

I also recently stumbled across an interview with Brad Bird, the director. Good, wide-ranging stuff, including some discussion of why the movie's publicity was botched:

  • "What if a Gun Had a Soul?" [Amazon]
    Live action can do anything now. It can make animals talk. It can make dinosaurs come alive. But that has never been the reason to do something in animation, simply because live action couldn't do it.

    The reason to do animation is caricature. It's the same reason that photography didn't render portraiture obsolete. It's because you can draw things in a way that is not trying to reproduce reality, but more the essence of reality. ... When it's done well, you are being delighted 24 times a second.

I grab lunch at the St. Louis Galleria a couple of times a week. It's a nice place.

The Galleria management was downright silly recently [ZDnet], telling its retail tenants that they couldn't promote their own e-commerce sites in their stores. Well, reason (or inevitability) has prevailed:

  • Galleria's management drops its ban on display of store Web sites [Post-Dispatch]
    "In our continued effort to make your Galleria store the most productive in your company, we went overboard!" wrote Mark H. Zorensky, president of Hycel Properties Co., owner of the Galleria, in Richmond Heights.

    "Please disregard our letter of November 16, 1999, requesting your cooperation for less emphasis on e-commerce.

    "We accept the inevitable and wish you a great holiday selling season at the Galleria."

Don't forget, the first Republican debate with Junior is tonight, 7:00pm - 8:30pm Central on the Fox News cable channel (what are non-cable-subscribers supposed to do, anh? Read it in the papers?). There will be another debate Monday in Arizona, apparently; oddly, McCain hasn't committed to it yet even though Bush has.

On CNN just now, the little corner graphic said "NEW HAMSHIRE DEBATE". Somebody was paying attention, though -- it disappeared after about 2 seconds.

Challenge for any investigative journalists out there: what the heck was this about? I'm curious.

Also copped from Backup Brain:

  • Microsoft drops Windows CE name [InfoWorld]
    Microsoft plans to abandon "Windows CE" as the name of its operating system for handheld, palm-sized, and embedded devices, and instead brand these devices as "Windows powered."

    According to Microsoft's [Brian] Shafer [int'l marketing manager] the company made the change because users do not care about the name of the operating system.

    "Whatever's under the covers, Windows CE or Windows 9x or whatever, that's less relevant to the average consumer," Shafer said.

BWAAAHAHAHAA! Honestly, Microsoft marketing folks just keep visiting the same credibility no-man's-land as tobacco spokespeople.

Using my secret Microsoft decoder book, here's the translation: "We recognize that the Windows CE name has been attached to some awful products. Calling things 'Windows-powered' instead will fool people into thinking they're getting a full PC's capabilities in a handheld. Misleading? Us? Hey, as long as it maximizes shareholder value and market share, so what?"

If the users "don't care" about the name, why is it important to change it?

Whatever. The name isn't the problem, the product is. Fix the product.

This amuses me to no end...

  • World Wrestling Federation Smacked by Coca-Cola [Motley Fool]
    Coca-Cola decided to stop advertising with the [WWF], apparently because -- the WWF said -- its programming "is not the proper environment for its ads." A Coca-Cola spokesman said his company ended a two-year advertising relationship with WWF because its new "Smackdown" program "crossed the line," although he didn't rule out an eventual reconciliation.

    Chairman Vince McMahon ... blamed the Parents' Television Council (PTC), an entertainment watchdog organization, for Coke's apparent about-face.

    "We at the World Wrestling Federation find Coca-Cola's decision to be discriminatory, hypocritical, and an affront to free speech..."

Oh, does the Wrestling Federation have a right to Coca-Cola's money? Is a private company obligated to fund entertainment it doesn't like? Duh.

  • Unofficial remarks from Coca-Cola on the WWF thing [Motley Fool]
    And as for the media watchdog organization McMahon railed on: "No way," Bertini said. "...That was not the determining factor with the decision; this is not related to any particular group. There's very little advertising that we don't hear from someone on."

    Will they be issuing an official response? Nope.

    And have they been inundated with press calls as a result of the WWF's press release? Also nope.

Really cool explorations of something humans whomp computers at:

Newscaster: More bad news on the obesity front...
Ad: Hey, kids love the Burger King Big Kids Meal because it's got more food...

For some bizarre reason Michael Jackson is made up & posed like a wax dummy of himself on the cover of this week's TV Guide. Or is that really how he looks now?

Thanks to Laurel's TV Picks for clueing me in that Action will be showing new episodes again tonight. The show might not be around that much longer; if you liked The Larry Sanders Show, this one's worth a peek.

Anyone who's thinking of doing something extensive or elaborate for April Fool's Day, now would be a good time to start planning. (I always notice April 1 approaching too late to get anything good going. Not that I have any ideas yet myself, of course.)

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