Archive for September, 2009|Monthly archive page

Car Cigarette Lighters


It’s one of those things that I’d label as ‘dormant trivia’ – curious questions that I didn’t know exist, even though on hindsight, the bigger question is “why didn’t I think of that question (and find out the answer)? Maybe it’s just me being particularly ignorant or slow – that this is general knowledge to everyone but me:

Why are car cigarette lighters so big (diameter) compared to the cigarettes they are supposed to light?

And today (finally?) I learnt the answer.


Painting with Burger Grease

Phil Hansen paints the Mona Greasa with burger grease.

Stop Motion Graffiti

Quite an interesting stop-motion graffiti as the graphics on the wall come to life – must have taken a lot of effort and days to set it up … though I do wish the camera was a little less blair-witch.

Sand Animation

Sand animation is often mesmerizing as you look at how graceful and smooth the narrator can craft out illustrations out of (essentially) a pile of dirt on an overhead projector surface.

Watch artist Kseniya Simonova’s mesmerizing fingers twist and turn as she unfolds a story about Germany’s invasion into Ukraine in the WWII, as her act brings her to win “Ukraine’s Got Talent”.

Microsoft Courier Tablet

It’s been making the rounds around the net  – Microsoft’s (concept? slated for production?) tablet titled Courier with some interesting UI features. The video shows pretty much a scrap/sketch-booking concept so there’s bit of quirky messy-ness within the UI (as how sketchbooks usually are); given the education-leaning demonstration I’d also wonder about the ‘Kindle-killerness’ – could Microsoft muscle their way into schools and convince boards of education that this is indeed going to be a real effective teaching aid (like how many iPod touches ended up as educational aid – IMHO probably more gadget-lust than actually effective tools for learning).

But I digress. Concept tablets have been promised for quite a long time – almost since the invention of the computer someone’s been envisioning devices like these. They have been languishing – “it’s around, but not really making that much of a real impact” sort of presence – mostly catering to a niche. I wonder if a properly tailored UI would make a tablet really work and take off this time.

Hopefully it does – that’d spice things up a little!

Loanshark Marketing

Recently I’ve taken a special interest in a rather niche segment of marketing – those done by loan sharks. Johor Bahru (or JB – city in Malaysia) has a very high density of these (theoretically?) illegal money-lending businesses, catering to anybody from gamblers seeking a quick rescue to ‘proper’ businessmen needing just that bit more cash flow.

Growing up, I had the common impression of loansharks where they are generally  underground – where you need some sort of mafia-connection to get access to it. In JB this is a lot more ‘above-the-line’, where you’d see signs and phone numbers pasted all over, on practically every surface you can find.

Recently though, I get impressed yet again with their level of  ‘marketing professionalism’ – just received this set of brochures (only showing the front/back):



Check out the amount of design and creative direction (everything from layout, typography, photography to copy-writing, consistency in theme between the 3 separate brochures) that went into promoting their services: simply impressive!

Fight for Kisses

I think… with the developments of Youtube, viral marketing and such, marketers have upped their antes in an attempt to out-weird one another – the ad above for a shaver is probably just yet another example of the absurdity (and yet hilarity and memorability) in the years to come…

How a Tower Crane Grow

We probably all have a vague idea (and have probably seen many) towering cranes in construction sites – those flamingo-legs scratching the clouds, almost unlimited in height, while hauling concretes and what-nots around the site. Above is a video that shows exactly how it is assembled and grown as required, in tandem with the building construction.

Order McDonald’s with a Song

Makes ordering fast food that much more fun, doesn’t it?

The Sound of a Car Door

We’ve (probably) all heard stories about how the sound of a car door greatly affects the perception of its value, and how engineers/marketers/car-makers would spend countless hours perfecting the perfect ‘thud’.

closing car doors
[Picture source]

Here’s a much more detailed analysis on this topic – with sound samples to explain exactly what makes a car-door sound cheap, and what may make it sound better.