Thursday, August 16, 2007

Pimp my credit

Once again the world of advertising has left me speechless. Revise the history books. It's the Credit Pimp's America, we're just visiting.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


I'm leaving on a 4 1/2 month trip to Brussels on Friday. What does the mean for the quantity and content of the postings? Anyways, you should keep reading Candyvan. Who knows! But if worse comes to worse I'll just post a bunch of pictures of the different outfits of the Manneken Pis.

More things from China that will kill us all

Things from China that will kill us all is a topic that never gets old in my book. Here's a crash test video from the Chinese auto company Chery. Apparently, the company has a deal with Chrysler to important the vehicle shown in the video--A15 (Amulet)--to the American market. The test dummy had to be removed in pieces . . .

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Why China won't destory our economy

There's been a lot of bickering going on back and forth lately regarding the prospect of China unleashing a "nuclear option" in response to American efforts to force China to revalue its currently undervalued currency. China's threat involves selling off its vast stock of American dollars ($900 billion about) on the foreign markets, causing a plunge in the value of dollar. Spooky eh? Fortunately this won't happen, at least not at anytime in the near future. Why won't this happen? Because guess which nation is the number one export market for Chinese goods? That's right, America. China's astounding growth rates are fueled by its exports. If China dumps it's US currency reserves, the Chinese yuan rises meaning, goodbye 30% yearly growth in export markets and goodbye 11% yearly GDP growth. While China's economy is currently booming, a decline in growth--such as the one that would occur by selling off all of those dollars--would bring it crashing down. Poverty is still widespread in China and infrastructure is nowhere near adequate levels. China cannot afford to destroy its growth rates since economic growth is basically the only thing holding the country together. In essence, while the American markets would certainly by hurt by China's "nuclear option," for the growing Chinese market it would be a disaster.

Daily Telegraph
CNN Money

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

4 out of 5 kids prefer it!

The vast majority of children given a choice between two identical food items are more likely to say the one in a McDonald's wrapper tastes better.

This is why I'm going into advertising. It's like selling candy to babies . . . literally.

Yo I'm outta cash, let's stop by that church right quick

"Is that an ATM in the church lobby? Credit and debit card swipe machines in churches may startle some of the pious, but such kiosks, already present in some houses of worship, might become even more commonplace now that a new IRS regulation is in effect." - Time

Monday, August 06, 2007

Midas Touch

It's was a long weekend of moving that has led into a few days of calm before it's back to DC and then out of the country. Posting may be slow(er than usual) for the next week or two as I still have no idea what my living situation in Brussels will be. Anyways, here's a Skittles commercial!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Hypothetical questions are a bad idea

A recent John Dickerson piece in Slate argues the merits of Barack Obama's willingness to answer hypothetical questions:

"Fortunately, one candidate is answering hypotheticals. For the last two weeks, the Democratic political conversation has been consumed with hypothetical questions. Last week, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton engaged in a multiday set-to over whether they would meet with nasty dictators. This week, Barack Obama doubled down on hypotheticals by raising his own hypothetical situation in his sweeping speech on foreign policy. If he found actionable intelligence about al-Qaida leaders hiding out in the mountains of Pakistan, he said he would send in troops whether the Pakistani government liked it or not. When asked the next day about using nuclear weapons in Afghanistan and Pakistan, he said he never would use them."

Contrary to Dickerson, this guy is under the impression that answering hypotheticals is pointless at best and poor political strategy at worst. The entire notion of hypothetical questions is that they are based in speculation surrounding highly incomplete information. Providing absolute answers to hypothetical questions is inherently flawed as anyone could think of countless nuanced scenarios in which lines of absolutism are blurred. Answering these questions leave candidates tied to a position that can be assailed on all sides--I can't believe they would/wouldn't do that!--as the situations posed in the questions aren't real. And guess what? This is exactly what's happening to Obama.


Mob of 100 people randomly chasing strangers

It's 8:00 am and for some reason I'm awake. This is the only reason I'm ok with that.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Sean Penn = Terrorist

"CARACAS, Venezuela - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has praised Sean Penn for his critical stance against the war in Iraq, saying the two chatted by phone and soon plan to meet in person. 'Welcome to Venezuela, Mr. Penn. What drives him is consciousness, the search for new paths,' Chavez said Wednesday in a televised speech."

Sean Penn praised by Venezuela's Chavez.

9-year old signed to Manchester United

A 9-year old British kid, living in Australia at the time, has been signed to Manchester United after his grandpa sent the club this footage showcasing his skill. Apparently around 40 kids a year are signed by the club, but this is the first to be signed based on the popularity of his YouTube video. Regardless, I wouldn't want to be the opposing coach in this kids league.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The youth of Russia

Check out Edward Lucas', British journalist covering eastern Europe for the likes of the Economist, piece "Sex for the motherland: Russian youths encouraged to procreate at camp" in The Daily Mail. The title is scandalous and is only briefly connected to the piece as a whole. However, Lucas' reporting on Russia's pro-Putin youth movements equally as distressing. The more I follow the state of Russian society, the more I find myself wary of the so-called democratic transitions that have taken place since the fall of communism. Are we moving towards new cold war? Hard to say, but the future of cooperation between Russia and the West is looking less and less bright with each passing day.