Here are two fantastic adverts for Alka Seltzer.
The first of them is an absolute classic. It shows what can happen when you eat “a too many spicy micey meat balls”.

Mama Mia, that’s some superb advertising. I love the laid-back American voice over, the sort of delivery that was so well used throughout the 70s and 80s in the USA. It has gravitas without hammering its message down your throat.

And then the second offering adds a little dark humour to the proceedings. “When you’ve eaten something you shouldn’t have.” Genius.

This second advert was done by Abbott Mead Vickers (visit their website here and see some more of their great work.)
These ads show that a simple idea, executed well will bring more longevity to your brand than a poor idea that you throw money at.

A great little story about a fire in a candle factory.
Which begs the question: Where do you start to investigate a fire that occurs in a warehouse full of flammable stock?
I’m sure they’ve got their work cut out for them…

I’m loving the last line:
“She said the cause of the fire is still not known.”

I might be being a bit presumptuous, but I’m guessing that it started with an unattended candle…
Read the whole story here.

A piece of genuine craziness from the land of excess, Japan.
What we have here is a man using a trampoline to attempt the world’s longest slam dunk.
He manages it from 6.3 metres away.
It’s ridiculous, mad, bad and supremely entertaining.

Here’s another amazing shot. This one owes more to sheer, blind luck as opposed to any amazing skills (and I can say that with confidence as he’s not even looking at the basket, or on the court, when he hits it). Again, enjoy.

And no basketball blog would be complete without at least a doff of the cap towards the greatest basketball player to ever grace a court. Michael ‘Air’ Jordan – a true legend of sport. If you’re not sure of just what he can do, check this clip. He’s gifted beyond belief. On his game he was unplayable. Truly men against boys when he was on court. It’s like none of the opposition on the court ever has a clue what he’s going to do. Which is surprising, as the answer was almost always “Whoop your ass.” Pay homage here.

He’s a hugely fascinating person. He played baseball to a pretty high standard too.
Learn more about just how special he was here.

I’m a subscriber to Private Eye magazine, and have been for about 15 years.
It never fails to amaze me how astute they can make the lambasting on their cover. They almost always hit their target, right between the eyes.
This week they’ve turned their attention (not for the first time) to the evil dictator, Mr. Robert Mugabe. I’ve featured his spectacular stupidity here before (see June 3rd entry).
So here’s Private Eye’s cover.

How much longer can someone so brutal cling to power? Does the international community not care? Or could it be that a lack of oil reserves and only reasonably slim mineral pickings mean that it’s not worth their time? Seems like he has impunity to do whatever he wants. Ethnic cleansing, rigging elections and ignoring everybody’s basic human rights.
All in all, not a particularly nice man. I for one won’t miss him.

I saw this fantastic old ad for Lego on YouTube again and it made me smile. A lot.
It takes a very simple idea and executes it superbly. It sees a rivalry that changes and morphs using pieces of Lego, as each side tries to outdo the other. The ad has Tommy Cooper as its voice-over, which makes it for me.
It was done by TBWA, and the creatives were Mike Cozens and Graham Watson.
It really is a thing of beauty.
So here you go. Enjoy.

I’ll bet you hit ‘Play’ again automatically when it finished. Just like that.

Enough of the pottering about with hi-tech gadgets and shaving thousandths of a second off your lap time. Back in the day when men were men, and their sideburns weighed about half of their entire body-weight, we saw some far more exciting and potentially dangerous racing.
Like this clip of Eliseo Salazar (a Chilean) and Nelson Piquet (a Brazilian). Nowadays F1 drivers are supercool, they don’t get their feathers ruffled even when they have high-speed impacts. They just trot back to the pits and check their telemetry. But not here.

Here we see what a passion for racing really means.
When you think the other driver’s at fault, don’t bother with a call to specialist accident lawyers, just deck him.
Nicely handled gents.
The Murray Walker commentary is just an added bonus.

Everyone seems to have taken leave of their senses.
On the BBC site they pose the question: “Has swearing lost its power to outrage?”
Now I reckon the answer has to be a pretty resounding “Yes”. Which is probably a shame, but when I went to school it was the place I learnt to swear. I see swear words as a legitimate part of our vocabulary, words that have a use and can be very expressive. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not making an argument for swearing being big and clever. Although it can be if you do it right.
Anyway, the article traces the history of swearing in UK broadcasting, from Bill Grundy and the Sex Pistols to John Lydon on I’m A Celebrity.
Read the article here.
It then asks several people for their views on the subject. And some of these views are absolutely priceless. The sort of thing that you think: “Does your brain even know your mouth is moving?”
One of them, Miranda Suit, of the broadcast standards campaign group Media March, is madder than a box of frogs. She’s so off the scale with her views that I can’t just ignore them. Here’s a quote from part of her reply:
“What I’m talking about is maintaining standards, thinking about children, thinking about family life and that’s where I think we have fallen far short of what the Americans do. It’s much easier to bring up a child in America and not be constantly assailed by offensive, unpleasant, downright obscene material. In this country you can’t easily bring up a child in that way.”
She actually suggests (in all seriousness) that bringing up a child in American is better than in the UK as they are subjected to nasty images in the media.
As opposed to being exposed to, say, one of the highest gun ownerships in the world.
Yeah, I’d much rather my child be blown away than learn to swear. You muppet.
What a surprise to learn that there’s religion hidden behind this nonsense. You want to seriously have a look at what’s important to you if you think that swearing and moral decency are a greater threat to the youth of this country than guns, drugs, crime and bullets.
And then you’ve got the Bishop of Fulham getting his priorities all wrong too. He seems to think that swearing against the god he believes in is the worst crime imaginable. Again, here’s what he has to say:
“But what makes me angry is blasphemy. I think it is disgraceful. I would much rather they used the f-word. It shows a total disregard for God. It was considered deeply offensive until recently.”
Worry about what’s really important. Like the victims of abuse at the hands of the church over the centuries. Or people living in fear and oppression.
Nice to see that moderates like Roger Mellie are still keeping good company.

“If Gattuso is a great player, then I’m a priest.”
Luis Aragones

What day is it?

Hello there father.
If you can’t see that Gattuso is a truly great player, you might say the heartbeat of the Italian team, then you’re an arrogant fool. Read his thoughts here.
Although we knew that already from your outrageous racist comments about Thierry Henry in 2004. Which you then refused to retract.
I’m sure your footballing brain is superb and without reproach, but you ought to get the rest of your head checked into the funny farm.
I love the way that Spain play and they have hugely exciting players, but I still find it hard to support the team of a man with openly racist views.
So, purely because of that, come on the Azzurri.

Foot note: Spain won, which is good as they’re playing some great football. It’s a strange situation as Spain are playing exciting football and have some truly gifted players.
Aragones still denies that making a racist comment makes him a racist. He even trotted out the tired excuse of “Some of my best friends are black.”
Now, whether they really are his friends, or not (and I know where my money lies on this one), the head of a country’s national football team should distance himself from these sorts of comments. He has a responsibility to lead by example, which he has consistently failed to do on this matter.
Let’s hope he finally manages to see the error of his ways.
But I wouldn’t hold your breath.

Another story that makes you wonder where it’s all gone wrong.
Clackmannanshire Council commissioned a company to find out the cause of the massive floods they experienced in January of this year. And, reporting back 5 months later, they’ve now announced that the floods were due to (drum roll, please)… exceptionally high levels of rainfall. Seriously. That’s what they reckon caused the flooding. No poo Sherlock? Here’s the headline from the BBC site:

If you need any other research undertaken, including where bears go to the toilet, the religion of the Pope, what colour grass is, or whether the Hokey Cokey really is what it’s all about, feel free to send me a huge research budget and I’ll get back to you. But don’t hold your breath. These insights of true genius take time.

Read the whole story here.

Or perhaps not, but you’ve got to aim high, haven’t you?
This is just a quick reminder for people in Edinburgh that the Degree Show is on at Edinburgh College of Art. The Art & Design show runs until Tuesday 24th June, and the Architecture show runs until the 4th July.
It’s a chance to see (and buy, if you’re brave/knowledgeable) the latest artistic talent before it enters the real world and exits the price bracket of most of us.
You’ll find all sorts of creative madness throughout the show, and if you’ve got a spare hour I’d recommend that you fill it here.
At last year’s show I really liked this alternative business card, by Josh Welensky. He had these piled up in a fish bowl and I saw most people make a beeline for these. Isn’t it a lovely alternative to a traditional business card?

I mean, come on. Which do you think people are going to keep longer? A hand-pressed coin, or a same-as-everyone-else piece of card?

It’s a great way to see the people who will think differently tomorrow, and start to change and shape the world we live in.
Find out more about this year’s degree show here.