Thursday, November 3, 2011

Selling Movies - Wasting potential

"Potential what?" I hear you ask...well I'll type my thoughts out and let you answer that yourselves :)

Recently I noticed seems most places you go, no matter really where you are there's always someone trying to sell you a movie. What am I talking about? The advertising for the movie Bridesmaids.

It's everywhere, it's available on DVD and Blu Ray, Movies on Demand (PayTV), as well as download for rent or to own. Supermarkets are trying to sell it, department stores, internet stores, video get junk mail where the cover of it alone takes up about 1/3 of the page, it's sponsored on websites like YouTube and the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) and I bet it's been promoted on social network sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Considering the movie costs typically about $20 at most of the places selling it I believe everyone actively promoting it are running a significant risk seeing as how competitors doing exactly the same thing they are.

I doubt I'll ever buy that particular movie, if I do chances are someone will show it to me, or I'll rent it... preferably when it gets cheaper to rent seeing how I'm not running out to see it. This means all the promotions and advertising was wasted on me, buy a lot of different businesses.

The philosophy behind advertising and persuading a consumer aside...

What I don't like is the grade of film that has this financial risk associated to it. Discs, cases, covers, posters, junk mail (printed catalogs - paper, ink, graphical designers, printers, delivers), transporting and someone putting them up for display/sale...all for the price of $20. How many people do they expect to buy it for $20 before copies end up in bargain bins for $5 a pop?

I can envision that this movie also has some product placement, which I have written about previously about a somewhat similar production The 40 Year Old Virgin

The budget for the project has been estimated at $32.5 million (IMDB) and has generated $281 million worldwide as of September 4 2011 (IMDB).

I can't help but think of how that money could have been spent, and the time and effort people put into it from the beginning the the end of production, distribution and sale.

Yogurt Making

As followers may have picked up on I am a supporter of self sufficiency - I don't like being at the mercy of others, or at least I like to minimize the amount of people/products/services I need to rely on. A perfect example is my goal of installing enough solar to generate what I use...perhaps more, but that's a different matter altogether.

I have a home brew kit, a pie maker, and am awaiting a bread maker that someone has said they will give me. The funny thing is that I know I can produce the end products without the use of these devices but I will admit they do make the process easier in most cases.

What did I get the other day? Well if you paid any attention to the blog title you'll have "guessed" - A yogurt maker. I figured they were cheap (on sale for $20) and if it produced yogurt to the quality (or better) than the stuff I buy occasionally it'll be worth the purchase.

The maker is a EasiYo design, which is used along with the companies line of make your own yogurt starter cultures. What you do is mix the contents of the starter culture with water in a 1L container provided as part of the yogurt maker kit. Once mixed well the 1L container with the mix goes into what I'll call the incubator, which is an insulated (??) container that encloses the 1L container inside along with hot water to encourage the growth of the starter cultures. The 1L container sits in the humid, warm environment for between 8-12 hours (up to 24 hours) until the yogurt 'sets'.

For my first batch so far I used a Strawberry flavored starter packet. These are sold separately to the yogurt maker (you don't get a packet with the kit to start you off with) and costed depending on the variety - There is a premium range which obviously costs more. My packet cost ~$3.70, which produced 1L of fresh yogurt.

The kit comes with a booklet on how to use the yogurt maker, as well as some recipes, information on the other products available (extra containers, start cultures) as well as information on yogurt. As I said when I bought this it was because it was on sale, it is a novelty idea, and a bit of fun. One thing about it is how healthy the yogurt it makes is, with claims of billions of good bacteria in every spoonful (they state some yogurts only have millions of the same bacteria).

Like my home brew kit, this yogurt maker is a great practical unit for bringing science to life! I mean you can learn a lot about microbiology with one of these babies!

Below is a picture of the unit, minus the 1L container...which is in the fridge about 1/3 full which I forgot to take out for the picture (and I am too lazy redo :P)

The box the kit came in, the booklet that came with it, a packet of 'real base and culture' (sold separately) and what I described as the 'incubator' 

Not pictured: 
The 1L container that houses the culture + water mix and goes inside the 'incubator' to make it's journey into becoming yogurt (can be seen in the illustration on the kit box)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Kim Kardashian is a loser

Well something sure has ended my struggle with writers block - Kim Kardashian.

"News" broke recently (today?) that Kim Kardashian has filed for divorce from whoever agreed to marry her (a New Jersey NBA player?). I obviously don't see in Kim what the leagues of others seem to. The marriage that lasted the whole of what? 72 days is just another reason I dislike this horrible celebrity.

I, like many others I'm sure, had never even heard of this person until her sex tape started doing the rounds on the internet. I don't know who did the marketing of that video but attaching the name to it did wonders for her success it would seem.

She later went on to star in a flurry of bad television and movies as well as promoting perfume and, again I guess, beauty products for self conscious people.

Her Twitter account is like one tacky billboard strategically tweeting product brands, places or people. Considering she has just under 11 million followers, what she says publicly to these followers COULD be positive, but instead they seem to be shallow sales pitches for crap people don't need.

What irritates me is that her wedding was reportedly paid for with 500 guests, designer attire as well as income from the freak-show such as exclusive 'stories' and photographs.

The whole thing is ridiculous, I really hope that people stop and think for what reason they even acknowledge the existence of this parasite. Gay couples are fighting for their right to marry the person they love, all the while this person in the spotlight makes the whole institution of marriage look like a joke.

I believe it was Elizabeth Taylor that was asked to make comment on Kim Kardashian on a recent episode of 60 Minutes who sort of tip toed around the matter - I'll put my foot down and say that Kim Kardashian is trying to capitalize on mirroring herself on successful this case, sacrificing dignity for being the flavor of the month photo on the front cover of magazines and getting some publicity.

Kim is in her 30's now, she exhibits NONE of the traits of a truly successful person. She isn't a 'strong' woman, she doesn't even seem to have any self respect. If this sort of character is what anyone admires and aspires to be...I say if the end is nigh, it isn't nigh enough...