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Posts Tagged ‘entertainment’

The Power of Advertising

If I had any doubts concerning the power of advertising, they all vanished this past week as a result of something I participated in on campus last Tuesday. At our university we have a special day once every four years called Gold Rush Daze. Classes are suspended and the students and faculty enjoy fun activities the whole day.

I helped serve "breakfast in bed" in one of the men's dorms that morning, but my main participation in the day's festivities was in the program called Faculty Body that the faculty put on in the evening. Several weeks prior to Gold Rush Daze, my office mate Phil and I worked up four "Bo-Jonic" commercials, knock-offs of some Sonic ads that appear on TV. We spent an afternoon with several people from BJ HomeSat taping the ads in the parking lot of an apartment complex.

In anticipation of the evening, not having seen the finished products, Phil and I were fearful that our ads would totally bomb, making us the laughing stock of the campus. However the ads went over far better than we ever imagined they would! Here's a shot of me eating a tater-tot I'd bummed off of Phil, not knowing he had licked it before handing it to me! 😯

picture of me eating a tot

The folks at HomeSat did a fantastic job with the taping and editing, even adding the SLAP sound effect and the words in red. The ads looked so authentic! Here's a picture of the tail end of that ad.

picture of frozen frame

Several people told us that, after seeing our Bo-Jonic ads, Sonic and tater-tots were on their minds so much that they went to the Sonic closest to the campus on their way home. However when they got there, they were turned away – the folks at Sonic were so overwhelmed with people coming from BJ that they couldn't take and fill any more orders. The next-closest Sonic to campus was a little less busy, but bustling with BJ people nonetheless.

Even though our commercial spots were not for Sonic, per se, the suggestion alone was sufficient to induce people to head over to Sonic anyway. A while back I did a blog post on effective advertising. Since then, I have come across some other shopping bags that are quite creative, some advertising products and some promoting social causes.

If I saw this bag, I know that I would instantly crave some Nutella.

picture of Nutella bag

Here's a great bag advertising a pain reliever called Panadol Extra.

picture of Panadol bag

Here's another bag advertising Panadol Extra, perhaps even more effectively.

picture of Panadol bag

These two bags definitely have a touch of class.

picture of upscale bag

It appears that the side of the bag with the hands is mostly transparent, creating the illusion that a person is holding the book that's inside the bag.

picture of bookstore bag

This is a creative bag for a car dealer.

picture of steering wheel bag

Here's a bag from a Belgian animal rights organization GAIA (Global Action in the Interest of Animals) protesting the cruelty of making and eating foie gras. The bag says, "Folter deze gans. En spaar de echte: eet geen Foie Gras." = "Torture this goose. And spare the real ones: don’t eat foie gras."

picture of gooseneck bag

This bag promotes fitness in a unique way.

picture of fitness bag

This bag seeks to motivate people to help those with autism.

picture of autism bag

The Red Cross is always eager to have people donate blood. I'm afraid it would take more than this bag to move me to give blood.

picture of blood donor bag

Although it's cute, if the bag below is advertising something, it's so cryptic that I can't figure it out. Can anyone help me on this? (added Friday morning, March 20, 2009 - Since posting this, I have learned from a commenter and by e-mail that the woman on the bag below is Yulia Tymoshenko, the Prime Minister of Ukraine. She's iconic in Europe for her braids.)

picture of bag with braids

People have told Phil and me that they can't see us without thinking of Sonic or tater-tots, or they can't drive by Sonic without thinking of us – a testimonial to the effectiveness of branding in commercials. Do you think that advertising is effective on you or your family? Could you give us an example?


"The worst that this world can dish out to you is just an opportunity to serve God in a way you hadn't even thought of." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=

"I saw a subliminal advertising executive, but only for a second." - Steven Wright

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Are You A-mazed?

picture of a maze with scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz

Have you ever gone through a corn maze? I don't remember hearing much about them until the last couple of years ... and this year especially. The Pumpkin Patch we went to several weeks ago while in Cincinnati for the weekend had a 7-acre corn maze that looks like the United States from an aerial view. Though the visitors could go through it that day, we didn't since there were other activities that we thought we'd rather do.

I take it that farmers have begun to do corn mazes for some off-season tourist business in the fall. Our daughter Nora went to a huge corn maze here locally this past week with friends and said it was really fun and scary. I decided to see what I could learn about corn mazes (or "maize mazes") online and was surprised to find all kinds of pictures and sites. If you'd like to learn more about corn mazes, you can go to http://www.cornfieldmaze.com or to http://www.brownielocks.com/cornmaze.html. You can even try to locate a corn maze near you by going to http://www.cornmazedir.com

Here's a picture of a neat patriotic corn maze...

picture of a patriotic corn maze

Yesterday a student sent me a picture of a corn maze tailor made for one group of visitors....

picture of a special corn maze

On this day after the elections here in the USA, I am thankful that the Lord does not have us going though life as if we were in a maze. He knows exactly what He's doing, and He has most definitely not lost control as everything moves towards His ultimate prophesied end. I've had a song going through my head all day and was so pleased that we sang it in church this evening - not once, but twice! It's a great reminder of the Biblical perspective on things. Here are the lyrics...

There Is a Higher Throne
Words and Music by Keith & Kristyn Getty
Copyright © 2003 Thankyou Music

There is a higher throne
Than all this world has known,
Where faithful ones from ev'ry tongue
Will one day come.
Before the Son we'll stand,
Made faultless through the Lamb;
Believing hearts find promised grace -
Salvation comes.

Hear heaven's voices sing;
Their thund'rous anthem rings
Through em'rald courts and sapphire skies.
Their praises rise.
All glory, wisdom, pow'r,
Strength, thanks, and honor are
To God our King, who reigns on high

And there we'll find our home,
Our life before the throne;
We'll honor Him in perfect song
Where we belong.
He'll wipe each tear-stained eye
As thirst and hunger die.
The Lamb becomes our Shepherd King;
We'll reign with Him.

Hear heaven's voices sing;
Their thund'rous anthem rings
Through em'rald courts and sapphire skies.
Their praises rise.
All glory, wisdom, pow'r,
Strength, thanks, and honor are
To God our King, who reigns on high

You can read a great article for believers after the election by clicking here.


There were some good punchlines for the most recent blog post.

I hope that some of my readers have gone through a corn maze or maybe some have even constructed one. Please comment away about that or anything else in this post.


"Problems in society are just a symptom of the core problem - man's estrangement from God." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=

Opportunities are not lost - they just go to someone else.

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Roller Coaster Rides

One of the neat features of posting to the blog instead of sending the iv's by email is that I can include pictures or even have an almost totally pictorial iv. The way I used to have to send the iv's by email was text only, so pictures were an impossibility.

Today's iv is a series of pictures I received this weekend of one of the roller coasters at Cedar Point in Sandusky, OH. I grew up about 50 miles from Cedar Point, and going there at least once each summer was just a given in our family. The place has grown and changed immensely since the days of my youth, but it's always been known for roller coasters. I haven't been to Cedar Point in about 10 years, but when I went there last, I loved their roller coaster called the Magnum. As much as I love roller coasters, from the pictures below, I don't know if this grandpa's heart could take the kind of ride delivered by this roller coaster that debuted at Cedar Point in 2003 - the amusement park's 16th roller coaster!

Though it has since been succeeded in 2005 by Kingda Ka in New Jersey as the highest and fastest roller coaster, with an at-that-time record-breaking height of 420 feet and record-breaking speed of 120 mph, Top Thrill Dragster delivers on its promise of thrilling riders at Cedar Point. The last picture in the series below says it all.

Top Thrill Dragster - shot 1

Top Thrill Dragster - shot 2

Top Thrill Dragster - shot 3

Top Thrill Dragster - shot 4

Top Thrill Dragster - shot 5

As promised, this final picture says it all....

picture of that says it all

It's not for certain that that picture is actually of someone who had just been on Top Thrill Dragster, but I'm not sure it's not authentic either. That's what I would probably look like if I rode this roller coaster!


After the roller coaster our daughter and son-in-law have been on for the past few weeks, we are delighted that Drew was able to go home this afternoon - without even a monitor on him! Grandma and I got to hear him cry on the phone tonight. What a blessing! He goes to see his pediatrician Tuesday morning, and Megan goes to see her doctor Wednesday morning. Her 6-week check-up is already scheduled - it will be two days before her original due date! We are praising the Lord for so many direct answers to prayer! We hope that the roller coaster we've all been on for the past several weeks has finally pulled into the station.

Below is a picture of Drew without tubes!

picture of no tubes!

Below is a picture of Drew in his car seat during a trial run at the hospital the other day...

picture of Drew in his carseat


"Can you honestly look at the emptiness of our culture and say 'that's what I want for my life.'?" - Rev. Rick Cross

=^..^= =^..^=

A picture is worth a thousand words, but it uses up a thousand times the memory.

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Our Final Days in Beijing

our long weekend in Beijing

After getting settled in at our hotel and freshening up, we went exploring the area around our hotel to find a place to eat dinner. We found a Pizza Hut that looked great to us - a place where we could order for ourselves and get food we recognized! We were amused to see a phenomenon that Ruth had told us she's seen at other Pizza Huts - people stack melon neatly around the edge of their salad plate to make almost a bowl in which they can have a bigger salad than would ordinarily be possible. I pretended to be taking a picture of my wife to capture the scene below. I wonder if the woman knew I wasn't really taking a picture of Becka....

Where did you get that salad bowl?!

Saturday evening we took in an acrobatics show - Cirque du soleil. Incredible! If you ever get to Beijing, this is something you *must* include one evening! The kids looked like they ranged from maybe 9 or 10 years old through the young 20s. They did flips, mounts, juggling, balancing, and all sorts of other feats. Still pictures cannot adequately convey the marvels we saw, but that's the best I can do until you see a show yourself. Below is a picture of some boys who juggled three hats each. Each hat is a different color or design so that the audience can better see what they're actually doing as they juggle the hats off and on their heads. After doing flips as they juggled and even juggling from person to person in a line, they did a mount. Each level of boys was juggling the three hats from head to head in one direction and from one boy's hand to the next boy's hand in the opposite direction to keep the supply going.

boys juggling hats

One routine was boys climbing two poles, flipping from one pole to the other, flipping or sliding down the pole and catching themselves just before hitting the floor. Here's a shot of four boys who were holding themselves in place with their thighs.

4 boys on poles

The finale of this act was three boys hanging from wires with one or both feet, each one having around his neck a strap from which another boy was hanging and spinning around.

the pole boys finale

Not all of the acts were fast-moving athletics. One was a girl who could balance umbrellas on feet and hands. I struggled with envy as I considered how much trouble I have sometimes controlling just *one* umbrella with both hands! Below is a picture of the girl on her back, balanced on the feet of the boy on his back on the floor. If you can see the umbrellas well enough to count them, you'll see five!

five umbrellas on three appendages!

Towards the end of the whole program was an amazing group of girls on bicycles. First some girls rode in a fast circle around the stage.

girls riding fast in a circle

As their act progressed, other girls came out and jumped onto the moving bikes. Then the riders would switch positions while moving. Then the number of bikes diminished as more and more girls jumped onto one bike.

more and more riders on one bike

But we learned that that was not enough! They finally ended up with about a dozen girls on one moving bike.

a dozen cyclists on one bike!

Sunday morning after a sumptuous East-meets-West breakfast in our hotel (we decided that our breakfast would become one of our main meals of the day since it was an all you care to eat buffet included in the price of our rooms), we went back to one of our rooms to listen to an mp3 of one of our favorite speakers from back home. Afterwards we set off by taxi to visit the Temple of Heaven. We had heard that in this place where the emperors worshipped the One, True God. I have not yet studied this place sufficiently to know all the of biblical symbolism that it includes. Some of the parts of the Temple of Heaven that we would have liked to visit were closed for refurbishing, a common activity in Beijing right now with the recent influx of foreign tourists and in anticipation of the 2008 Olympics. What we could see, though, was beautiful - it had already undergone refurbishing. Below is a view of the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests.

the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests

We went inside to inspect the Hall of Prayer more closely. Here's a shot of Yvonne and Jean on the steps on the way up.

 the steop to the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests

Upon closer inspection we saw the great beauty of this temple.

the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests up close

The inside of the Hall of Prayer is equally beautiful.

inside the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests

In addition to the famous ancient cypress trees, we saw some interesting trees that we called "camouflage trees."

camouflage trees

After our visit we went to some shops to the east of the Temple of Heaven. The sign in front of one shop we passed caught my eye with its "Buddhism stuff" advertised. Seemed a bit lacking in reverence....

Buddhism stuff?

On Monday we visited a small part of the Great Wall called Badaling. It has been refurbished and was quite impressive. We learned that the Great Wall is 4,000 miles long and that some parts of it are crumbling badly. I'm sure that those parts are not readily accessible to tourists. Since it was raining, the weather was cooler and there were probably fewer visitors. But also the rain made our visit rather unpleasant and climbing the wall more difficult. Below is a picture of my wife and a "hole in the Wall."

Becka and a hole in the Wall

Because of the altitude, rain, and angle of the sidewalk, the three ladies ran out of steam in short order. I climbed a little higher and could have gone on, but from any place I could see little more than from where I'd already been. To continue on would have been selfish of me since the rest of the group would have been just standing in one place under umbrellas. Here's a picture of the ladies. You can detect the angle from the way they are standing to remain upright.

ladies on the Wall

On Tuesday we flew back to the good ol' USA. Our flight from Beijing to Chicago took us over Siberia, the Arctic Ocean, and Canada. From my window seat I saw a *lot* of uninhabited (uninhabitable?) land and the cracked ice on the Arctic Ocean. Below is a picture of the ocean below.

cracks in ice on the Arctic Ocean

The climate below our plane was a stark contrast to the tropics where we had lived and taught for three wonderful weeks!

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