Saturday, May 14, 2011

Saturday morning coffee

- Wow, Joe Queenan, who writes for the Wall Street Journal, isn't a fan of the sneaker set. And, I have to agree that the prevalence of sneakers as a fashion statement has gone a bit too far. Queenan writes, "Young people say they worry about their future. This may be because it's hard to muster much optimism about a country where so many adult males in positions of power think that stone-washed denim jeans with white sneakers is still a good look. It is not. It was not a good look when it was introduced on April 12, 1973, and it is not a good look now." Continuing, Queenan opines, "White sneakers, particularly on a tall man, make him look like a duck. A sad, clownlike, poorly shod duck."

- Researchers in Brisbane, Australia, in an attempt to better understand human altruism, went to three T-shaped intersections where motorists who stopped had to wait for an opening in traffic flow. In 959 different interactions, drivers slowed to let the other driver in about 40% of the time. In general, men and women acted equally altruistic, but men were--surprise, surprise--more altruistic than women when the waiting driver was a female. Also not surprising, drivers of high-status cars were less likely to slow down than drivers of average cars. Of all the factors measured, the one that was most important was peer pressure--drivers with at least one passenger acted altruistically 25% more often than those traveling by themselves.

- Sofia Coppola turns 40 today. Francis' little girl is quite the director but her turn in
The Godfather III as Michael Corleone's daughter is still one of the hardest acting performances ever to observe in a major film.

- People, people, people--please...there is no such word as "anyways."

- Speaking of The Godfather trilogy, is anyone else surprised that Al Pacino accepted a role in an upcoming film about John Gotti?

- The media upfronts begin in New York on Monday and today's New York Times has a story about how media executives are more and more working to appeal to the 55+ year old set. The upfronts are the annual preview of the fall television season and kicks off the time period where media planners and buyers negotiate with the network for "upfront" inventory. The focus on this boomer audience reverses what had been a trend of working hard to appeal to the 24-35 year old segment. Why the shift? For one, the 55+ audience is more likely to hold a job, and thus have disposable income, compared to younger audience demos.

- As successful as American Idol has been this season, the process of picking a winner showed its flaws again this week. James Durbin, a competitor who was different than the normal Idol contender, was booted off, following in the footsteps of another worthy singer, Pia Toscano and her premature exit. We are left now with three vanilla competitors who bring little in the way of unique styling--Lauren Alaina, Scotty McCreery, and Haley Reinhart. The show continues to deliver whopping numbers as a total of 21.6 million viewers watched Thursday night's elimination show.

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