D103.com: Archive
This is an archived page of D103.com, a daily weblog by Daryl Lang.

Crunch crunch crunch

» Mmmm, Saturday morning. I challenge anyone who claims there is a better-tasting breakfast cereal than Kellogg's Raisin Bran Crunch.

- Daryl

Very hush-hush

» I was hanging out with two friends yesterday. In the interest of protecting their real identities as caped superhero secret agents, both of them have adopted undercover alter egos. Therefore, I can only tell you I was with Greta von Bismark and D4ve Heasty. Knowing that some of you reading this are in Maryland, D4ve asked me to post a special request in this space. Maybe you can help put two people together. D4ve is trying to contact a lovely lady he met at a party a few months ago named Ariel. Unknown last name. He knows she is a student at Loyola College in Baltimore, where she studies education, specifically the Montessori method. D4ve swears he is not a stalker, and I can verify that he's a nice guy. If you know Ariel, or know someone who might know her, please contact me (you can do so anonymously using the "send a comment" link below) or e-mail D4ve at davidjoe@triborodesign.com.

» Have you seen "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," Charlie Kaufman's latest film? I saw it Tuesday with some coworkers and I recommend it. I feel like I haven't fully digested this movie yet and I might need to watch it again. But I can tell you it's brilliant and beautiful.

- Daryl

How to edit ad copy

» New York seems to possess a small army of subway vandals who prowl the stations at night, packing Sharpies and White-Out, to deface advertisements. Any model who appears on a subway poster is certain to be marred by blacked-out teeth, bizarre facial hair, or freakishly oversized genitalia. When the circus came to town, ad vandals scribbled pro-animal slogans on the posters, urging the circus to set free the tigers and elephants. A Starbucks ad inviting coffee drinkers to order their lattes with an "extra shot" quickly became an invitation to request "extra snot." It's not uncommon to see subway signs that label Canal Street as Anal Street. A while ago, some guy was spraypainting over Apple iPod ads with a complaint about battery life.

Still, my favorite defaced sign I ever saw was somewhere other than New York; I can't remember where. It outside a Wendy's, where a marquee letter sign had been set up to spell "CLOSERS WANTED." Someone snatched the C, leaving "LOSERS WANTED."

- Daryl

Edwards for president

» I've always enjoyed listening to Bob Edwards, a disembodied voice of gentle authority during the pre-dawn stupor of cereal eating and tooth brushing. We learned yesterday that NPR is forcing Bob out of his job as Morning Edition host, where he's been since 1979. Instead, he'll now be a "senior correspondent" (a.k.a. reporter). No doubt some NPR fans will be totally bent out of shape by Bob's departure. NPR listeners feel a strong, personal ownership of their radio programming, in part because some of them actually pledge money to their local radio stations. If you want to see how uptight NPR listeners are, just tune in one of the segments when the hosts read from listener letters (often from people complaining about bad grammar!) or visit the ombudsman column on the NPR web site. I'm not a die-hard fan, but even I think it's a shame that Bob is leaving. His last broadcast is April 30.

» Canning Bob Edwards seems like the kind of move management makes when they're planning drastic changes and want to let employees know that nothing is sacred. Which reminds us of Bill Marimow, who has rebounded from his Baltimore Sun firing to become... NPR managing editor.

» In his Washington Post column yesterday, Peter Carlson savaged Cargo magazine, saying it might be "the worst idea for a magazine in human history." It's far easier to mock Cargo (unmanly, vacuous) than to praise it (see my entry earlier this month). Here's my point, though. This isn't the Economist. It isn't even Newsweek. It's a lightweight magazine about stuff nobody needs. Will this magazine really make men trendy, wimpy, and more apt to buy makeup or embroidered shirts? I doubt it. And yet, it satisfies some strange need for product trivia, like Consumer Reports. Compare it to Sara Dickerman's recent review of garbage cans in Slate. Important and smart? Nah. Fun and mysteriously hard to stop reading? Yes.

- Daryl

Tough cookies

» The Pepperidge Farm Milano is the best mass-produced cookie available. These cookies have a satisfying bite, a rich yet not overwhelming taste, and a shot of wholesome chocolate. There's something delightful about the way each cookie sandwich is pressed together at a slight twist, causing an off-balance ooze of chocolate filling — a perfect imperfection. I don't know what kind of farm these Pepperidge folks run, but they sure know how to make a cookie.

As Apple and BMW have taught us, you can make a product popular by building it cute and small and tagging the word "mini" onto it. Following that cue, Pepperidge Farm recently brought out a new product called the Mini Milano. Sold in the familiar white paper Milano bag, a package of minis includes about 30 small cookies, instead of 15 regular-sized ones. The minis have the same thickness as regular Milanos, but shorter and narrower. They taste the same. Yet somehow, they're not as satifsying. Eating two standard Milano cookies feels just right. But three minis isn't enough, and four is too many.

Moreover, our friends at Pepperidge have discovered the brilliance of mini marketing: Same price, less product. A bag of regular Milanos costs $2.79 for 6 ounces of cookies; the Mini Milanos cost $2.79 for 4.9 ounces. You pay the same price for 18 percent less cookie. A neat trick, eh? Well, I fell for it.

- Daryl

Awards only matter if you win one

» I had a nice visit this weekend with my friends from Pennsylvania, who are on their way back to Penn State today so they can resume putting out a newspaper. (See entries from yesterday and Friday, below.) Congratulations to The Daily Collegian staff for the awards they picked up yesterday at the College Media Convention in Manhattan, including a silver crown.

» What time is it? Check out this very cool animated clock.

- Daryl

"Float On" - Modest Mouse - 3.27.04

"Through the Wire" - Kanye West - 3.23.04