October 28th, 2006

krazy koati

When you live in Van Nuys

The campus radio station put out a bunch of new flyers for advertising, based on the theme that the haze from Indonesian fires is news and is worth getting regular updated information about. They're trying various humorous approaches, like, ``Smoke-Free Campus? Yeah Right'', or riffing on those ``message from God'' billboards (specifically ,``I Can't See Singapore -- God''). The one little problem: since the rain Wednesday and Thursday the haze has dropped considerably. According to the news the particulate count this afternoon was 23, which is the level of particulates expected to be in the air if you occasionally think of a cat. Maybe they'll get lucky and the air will rise back to unhealthy levels soon.

I stopped off for a snack (there's a place that sells garlic bread), and was approached by a surprisingly shy fellow who asked if I might fill out a survey. He estimated it would take as many as seven minutes, but he would like my opinions about advertising. I think this happened to me last year about this time too, and I'm pretty sure it was about advertising too. I'm supposing the existence of a class project. It really wasn't a seven-minute survey, even allowing for my reading speed, and the only question I thought unfair asked whether I preferred advertising that was humorous or was informative. A good advertiser provides both. The fellow giving out the survey sheets asked if I needed a pen, and then when I said no, I had one, he gave me another pen, one of those with a ballpoint pen on one end and a marker on the other. He refused to take it back when I was done, too, so this would suppose the class project has a budget for giveaway items.

And then we got that wonderful disruption in the ordinary sounds of an eating area associated with a guy dropping his tray. There was that lovely clattering, and the hushed silence moving out across the line of sight of the accident. But, showing how sociable Singaporeans are, nobody applauded. He ahd finished his meal and was returning his tray and such, so there wasn't any spray of food or drink, but he did break the dinner plate nearly down the middle. I had thought they were too plastic to fracture that cleanly. Neat.

Trivia: Lewis Walker's first four Hookless Fasteners No. 2 -- they would be renamed zippers in the 1920s -- were sold 28 October 1914. The proceeds were one dollar. Source: The Evolution of Useful Things, Henry Petroski.

Currently Reading: Metallic Love, Tanith Lee.