Day 9 – It was the best of times it was the blurst of times

24 Sep

The main purpose of this blog is education. “No. No. That’s not true. That’s impossible!” I can see you now, yelling at your computer screen. Yet part of you now wants to go watch Star Wars. See, what you probably don’t realize is I’ve been using this blog to subliminally plant ideas in your mind about various subjects that I think are important. For example, 14% of my blog posts have included stories about children eating bananas (20% if you include this one). I’m a firm believer that bananas are the most effective way of delivering the proper vitamins and nutrients to growing children. * But I can’t just come out and say that. No one would pay any attention. Some of you would go and do the opposite.

We've now reached 20%

“Bananas? Nutrition in children? That’s boring.” $100 says that before making it to end of this sentence at least half of you scroll to the bottom of this post to see if there are any more pictures of models (btw: there are several more pictures of models at the bottom of this post).

Now this is *exactly* why subliminal is so important. The most effective idea-delivery mechanism involves embedding the idea within another, safer idea. This way you can make the recipient think he came up with the concept himself. When this happens he is much more likely to actually accept the idea.

Now there are three levels of idea-delivery

  • subliminal (just discussed)
  • liminal (will talk about in a second) and
  • superliminal (will save for a later post)

Liminal: sometimes a topic is too complex and it needs to be presented liminally. Par example: I want you to imagine receiving the following voice mail that was left on your phone from one minute after midnight. (Did you see that right there? I’m teaching you French!)

Can you pick me up at the station in Marino? I will be on the nine o’clock train.

What does this mean? Is he talking about the train that is arriving at 09:00 in the morning in Marino? Or is it the one that is leaving the main station at 21:00? Or is it arriving at 21:00 in Marino? What if it’s leaving at 09:00 from the main station?

Man, I’m confused! So many questions. It’s important to be accurate when discussing times and dates. As you may have noticed I use the 24-hour clock almost exclusively. This is to avoid any ambiguity when I say something happened at eight o’clock – this could be morning or night.

I once had to promote an event that was happening Friday night at midnight. I made up a whole bunch of posters and hung them all around the city only to find out that I had the wrong time and date on them. FML. It was only Elvis fighting a gorilla so I don’t think it mattered too much, but still. I got confused about when midnight Saturday and midnight Friday actually happen.

If midnight is when “the clock strikes 12” then midnight Friday happens one minute after 23:59 Thursday. But to most people midnight Friday, is Friday night. To put it another way: a 24-hour clock never actually reads 24:00:00. It starts at 00:00:00 and rolls over one second after 23:59:59.

Fuck you Jack Bauer

There are many ways to exploit the confusion that can arise from all this. Some cinemas offer discounts on movies that start before 18:00 while at the same time having midnight showings at full price. See the problem here?

Most times it’s not an issue. The context around the event fills in the blanks and on top of that, the stakes are low. Going to the Scotiabank Place to watch the Senators lose? It’s probably in the evening. And if you miss the game, you can always read a book or converse with a loved one.

However there are certain instances where the penalty for making a mistake is quite high. If you’re best man at a friend’s wedding and he says, “Be there tomorrow at nine.” At first you’re going to be all like, “gotcha, see you then.” But after two beers it’s going to be all, “Was that nine in the morning or nine at night? It has to be nine in the morning – because no one gets married at nine at night. Wait a second, who gets married at nine in the morning?” The seed of doubt has been planted. Now just sit back and watch it grow into a mighty oak.

So I would like to propose a new Law – Jason’s first law of ambiguous pre-arranged meeting times.

The amount of confusion or anxiety resulting from an ambiguous date or time of a given event will be directly proportional to the level of importance of said event.

I’ve always wanted to have a law named after me. One of the ones like Murphy’s Law, not an actual law.

And now for your viewing pleasure. Models:

You really were expecting human females, weren't you?

You can go back to the top.

Move along.

Nothing to see here.

Lego and Dinosaurs. Does it get any better than this?

Almost at the end…

Man, I *have* to see this commercial

I think you were expecting this one.

You know on Thursday I actually went back to the Design Museum and they were having another party to celebrate Fashion Week. I got some really amazing pictures. But I think those will be for another post. This one is all about the driods.

* I’m NOT claiming that I invented the idea of banana-based nutrition in children – I just promote it.

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