Things that happened today - advertising

That massive advertising billboard from Bladerunner. Yeah, it's a bit of a tenuous connection.

In which I complain about advertising, solve a long-standing problem with my media player, draft an exhaustive list of quality movie sequels, and try out a few jokes. Onward!

Enough advertising already

There is an overwhelming amount of advertising in the UK. It's particularly bad if you go to London - it seems like every square inch of space is covered in posters for the next new thing. They've even started erecting huge animated billboards as you drive in and out, as if drivers could use more things to distract their attention from the roads.

I was at a motorway services recently and not content with the billboards already in place a large screen had been erected above the door to the main building that was simply showing TV adverts for products. Who do they imagine is stopping to watch?

Not long after, aboard a train, my entrance to the toilet was greeted by the voice of the actor Will Ferrell, on behalf of his latest film. He rambled aimlessly about what should and should not be placed in the toilets for several minutes. In other circumstances it would have been amusing, but he just went on and on. I wanted to pull the speaker out of the wall.

Has it really come to this? Can't I even go to the toilet in peace, without being recommended a product or service?

It doesn't have to be this way. I went to Iceland a few years ago on holiday and was struck by the noticeable lack of advertising. In fact, there was so little of it that I was moved to take a photograph of the one billboard in Reykjavik I encountered. It was wonderful to spend time in a space where my brain wasn't constantly being bombarded with advertising imagery.

Even if you think the level of advertising in this country is acceptable, can we agree that we have enough now?

Movie sequels

Sequels are rarely as good as the original film, I thought to myself as I flicked channels the other evening. However, there are exceptions.

This list is obviously subject to increase, but as of now the only sequels that are as good or better than the original film are as follows.

  • Crocodile Dundee 2
  • Wayne's World 2

It gets confusing if a sequel is part of a trilogy, so I've omitted obvious ones from this list on that basis, such as the Empire Strikes back.


I recently had a problem with Winamp that others on the internet seemed to be struggling with and I found a solution, so I thought I'd post it here if it helps.

The problem is that Winamp doesn't play some albums in the right track order, despite metadata to the contrary. This, despite all the other things suggested, such as setting Preferences -> Playlist -> 'When loading multiple files, sort by name' to checked, and Preferences -> Titles -> Metadata to any of the other options.

Specifically, Winamp has this problem with albums by more than one artist, which is the key to the solution. What I think it's trying to do is order the files based on the artist name, so if you simply remove the name of the artist from the metadata for the files in that album (or tack it onto the end of the track title so it isn't lost), voila, problem solved.


And finally, I thought of a joke. Here it is. Apologies in advance.

  • What did Gandalf say to the kids in the swimming pool?
  • Back to the shallows!

Bonus joke

I thought of another one while I was drafting this post.

  • What do you get if you cross the X-men with a flock of sheep?
  • Woolverine



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