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A Little More About Our TV Ads

Yesterday we shot TV spots that included a spot in our market, for the upcoming Super Bowl. The ad should run between the third and fourth quarter.

I have shot my ads at different locations over the years. This time, we were at a TV station in Richmond, Virginia.

Our social media team is putting together a “behind-the-scenes” of our ads. I liked the GoPro cameras there, but I noticed that none of the cameras seemed to help put more hair on my head. Just saying! (Is it wrong to covet a better head of hair? Yes… it probably is but that’s the excitement of Hollywood!)

Which leads me to some behind the scenes trivia from prior TV shows and movies. For instance, the bench that was used in the movie Forrest Gump where Forrest sat for most of the movie as he told his story…

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was a movie prop that had been placed in Chippewa Square in downtown Savannah, Georgia.  It has since been moved to the Savannah History Museum.

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I guess life really is like a box of chocolates…and a bench that made history!

Over 500 vehicles were destroyed during the filming of Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon. However, the producers of the movie did not have to pay anything for them. They were given to them by an insurance company because they had all already been damaged in a flood.

Here’s some craziness from TV past. NBC’s longest airing western, Bonanza, that aired from 1959-1973, has a cost-cutting curious piece of trivia.

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All the actors received one costume at the beginning of each season. This was done to keep the cost of costumes down and make it easier in case they had to reshoot any of the scenes.

For our commercials… I did change a few times but no popcorn was harmed during the shooting of the Super Bowl ad!

And now our pic o’ day… (Some Old McDonald trivia?)

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Those Crazy Laws

There are always some things that cannot always be explained. For instance, Charlie Chaplin once won third prize in a Charlie Chaplin look alike contest.

When it comes to different laws in different states, some of those seem a bit curious. I suppose that it used to be much more important to address the issue of having your horse tied up in front of the store. Now… taking your horse grocery shopping is not expected.

From Criminal Justice Career Schools comes a listing of Criminal Justice Resources: The Top 50 Strangest Laws. I have not personally researched each of these laws. However, I am fascinated to see the Virginia law that was posted. I suspect that this Virginia law (if you scroll down) had something to do with games of chance. So here we go:

Alabama: It is not permitted to playing the game of dominos on Sundays

Alaska: You cannot wake a bear up in order to take a picture with it in the state of Alaska.

Arizona: According to a law in Tucson, Arizona, women are not allowed to wear pants.

Arkansas: Men can beat their wives, but only once per month in Arkansas.

California: Mousetraps cannot be used in California without an official hunting license.

Colorado: In Pueblo, Colorado, dandelions cannot be grown within the city limits.

Connecticut: Dogs cannot get an education in Hartford, Connecticut.

Delaware: A marriage can be annulled if the marriage occurred because of a dare.

Florida: It is against the law to imitate an animal in the city of Miami.

Georgia: Barbers cannot advertise the price of a haircut or any other services in the state of Georgia.

Hawaii: Ironically, the laws of Hawaii say you cannot appear in public wearing only swimming trunks.

Idaho: If you’re giving your sweetheart a box of candy in Idaho, it must weight more than 50 pounds.

Illinois: It is very clearly stated that all cars in Illinois must be driven with a steering wheel included.

Indiana: In South Bend, Indiana, monkeys cannot smoke cigarettes.

Iowa: No one can be charged an admission cost to see a one-armed piano player in the state of Iowa.

Kansas: Cherry pie a la mode cannot be served on Sundays in Kansas.

Kentucky: Kentucky law states that people must bathe at least once per year.

Louisiana: Gargling in public is illegal in Louisiana.

Maine: You cannot win more than three dollars from gambling in the state of Maine.

Maryland: Oysters must be treated properly in Maryland by law.

Massachusetts: Tomatoes are not permitted in clam chowder in the state of Massachusetts.

Michigan: A woman’s hair is her husband’s legal property in Michigan.

Minnesota: Women impersonating Santa Claus can face up to thirty days in prison.

Mississippi: You cannot kill your “servant” in Mississippi.

Missouri: Men must have permits to shave in the state of Missouri.

Montana: Wives cannot open their husbands’ mail or else they face felony charges.

Nebraska: Soup must be made at the same time bartenders serve beer in Nebraska.

Nevada: Camels cannot be driven on the highway in Nevada.

New Hampshire: You cannot check into a hotel under a false name in New Hampshire.

New Jersey: Forget buying cabbage on Sunday in New Jersey: it’s illegal!

New Mexico: The city of Carlsbad has banned the Miriam-Webster collegiate dictionary.

New York: It is illegal in New York to throw a ball at a person’s head for fun.

North Carolina: The city of Ashland prohibits public sneezing on city streets.

North Dakota: You cannot fall asleep with your shoes still on in North Dakota.

Ohio: In the state of Ohio you cannot have a bear without a license.

Oklahoma: No ugly or funny faces shall be made at dogs in the state of Oklahoma.

Oregon: No one can bathe without wearing acceptable clothing that covers their body from the neck to their knees.

Pennsylvania: Marriages cannot be performed if either the bride or groom is drunk.

Rhode Island: It is illegal to throw pickle juice on a trolley in Rhode Island.

South Carolina: Everyone living in South Carolina must take their gun to church with them.

South Dakota: You cannot fall asleep while in a cheese factory in South Dakota.

Tennessee: You are not allowed to drive and sleep in the state of Tennessee.

Texas: In the state of Texas, no one is allowed to have a pair of pliers on them at any time.

Utah: All birds are granted the right of way on highways in Utah.

Vermont: You must not deny that God exists in Vermont.

Virginia: In Richmond, Virginia, it’s illegal to flip a coin to determine who will buy the coffee.

Washington: It’s against the law to pretend your parents are rich in Washington state.

West Virginia: No adults allowed: In the state of West Virginia, only babies are allowed to ride in baby carriages.

Wisconsin: There will be no kissing on trains in Wisconsin!

Wyoming: Women cannot stand within five feet of a bar.

       And this pic o’ day made me laugh. Is it like wearing a shirt on shirt on shirt?

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The Science of Lines

The NY Times caught my attention with an article titled How to Pick the Fastest Line at the Supermarket. It’s not so much that I want to learn about picking the right line at the grocery store, but the human behavior elements apply to all lines.

There are just some traits in life that you cannot ignore. For instance, in picking a jury, I normally avoid engineers as jurors. I don’t want to fully explain that because I don’t want to give away trial strategy… for all those defense attorneys that may be lurking on the blog!

Instead, take a look at the science of picking a line at the grocery store. These are some of the wrong mistakes and assumptions that are being made. I have pulled it right from the article. It just might give you a clue to get out the door quicker the next time you are faced with the “line choice”.

1. You trust that the express lane will move the fastest. Oftentimes getting behind a shopper with a full cart is smarter than queuing up in an express lane. That’s because greeting customers and exchanging payment information is a huge time suck, taking about 41 seconds on average per customer, according to The Times. Ringing up items takes just three seconds per item, in comparison.

“Think of it this way: One person with 100 items to be rung up will take an average of almost six minutes to process. If you get in a line with four people who each have 20 items, it will take an average of nearly seven minutes,” Times reporter Christopher Mele wrote.

2. You select checkout lanes on the right side of the store. Lines at registers to the right of a store tend to move slower because most people are right-handed and tend to gravitate in that direction as a result, Robert Samuel, the founder of a service that stands in line for people, told The Times.

3. You avoid lines that feed into multiple registers because they look longer. These lines tend to move the fastest. That’s because the mathematical odds are stacked against you when you’re trying to pick the fastest of more than two lines.

4. You select lanes with male cashiers. Women are faster at ringing up items, according to experts interviewed by The Times.

5. You get in line behind elderly people, who tend to have more difficulties checking out than younger people.

And for pic o’ day, this is probably a bit silly but it still made me smile.

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Lights Are Red, Lights Are Green

If you are a fan of the TV show The Blacklist, then you are probably a fan of James Spader. In the mid-nineties, he starred in a show called Stargate that was based  on time travel and extraterrestrials. Yes… probably not based on a true story!

In the show, the country that served as the travel portal to other planets was Egypt. Spader was able to solve the identity of the villain, because he figured out how to save the day by using his understanding of Linguistics in figuring out the ancient Egyptian writings.

According to  the Spader character, reading Egyptian is not that hard “once you know the vowels”. Since Egyptian hieroglyphs were only written using consonants, that served as a joke that only readers of Egyptian would appreciate. Can’t imagine a lot of laughter during that show.

I took you on that long metaphor ride because I was reminded of that reasoning when I saw an article in the Pilot Online. It’s titled Norfolk to adjust timing of 60 traffic lights.

Norfolk is set to receive 600K in state and federal money to “retime” 60 traffic lights in Norfolk, over the next three years. According to a 2010 National Cooperative Highway Research Program, lights that aren’t timed to move traffic efficiently, actually make traffic more congested, causes more accidents and increases pollution from vehicle emissions.

Clearly, the idea sounds like a winner. The traffic lights are not currently on a timer. They change based on the unpredictability of traffic.

Here’s where it seems like we are filling in the vowels. First, it makes me wonder why a 2010 report is the driving force. I guess the answer is turtle movement of government. Second, If I was defending traffic tickets, doesn’t this suggest an argument that the “light wasn’t really red, officer“, Just bad timing?

Yes, that was just my stream of consciousness on this article. Plus, how can you argue with a little Egyptian humor?

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And for pic o’ day, a bit of costume theme (or ideas?) for the weekend:

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Just Another Wednesday

Here’s some trivia. Who was the highest ranking Union soldier to die during the Civil War? Answer: Major General John Sedgwick. IMG_0129

Unfortunately, his death was the result of false confidence, bad planning and bad leadership. Part of the reason for his confidence was probably because he had previously been wounded in the Battle of Glendale and then shot three times during the Battle of Antietam. I’m guessing he started to believe that he was untouchable. Unfortunately, here’s how history records his death.

      Major General Sedgwick chastised his men for acting scared of nearby Confederate sharpshooters. He had directed the soldiers in placing ammunition and artillery around them in preparation for what later would be known as the Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse.  It irritated him that they were acting so squeamish.

With Confederate sharpshooters only about  1,000 yards away from them, the soldiers kept running for cover every time a bullet would be fired.

History tells us that Major General Sedgwick walked right out in the open and was quoted as saying, “What? Men dodging this way for single bullets? What will you do when they open fire along the whole line?” Apparently, his confidence did nothing to calm the soldiers, which only incensed him more.

He then hollered, “Why are you dodging like this? They couldn’t hit an elephant at this distance.” (From the book Who’s Who in the Civil War and historian Gordon Rhea)  Reports then say that he was shot moments later, under his left eye. There, he fell down dead from a sharpshooter’s bullet. Despite being on the opposing side, even General Robert E. Lee expressed sadness over losing his old friend.

And for pic o’ day, just taking it easy… or something like that:

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Noah’s Ark Lessons

While I was recently looking for obscure facts for the “Did You Know” section, I found didyouknow.org. That’s where I also found Lessons from Noah’s Ark that made me think a bit. Here are those lessons:

1. Don’t miss the boat.

2. Remember that we are all in the same boat.

3. Plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark.

4. Stay fit. When you’re 600 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big.

5. Don’t listen to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done.

6. Build you future on high ground.

7. Speed isn’t always an advantage; the snails also made it to safety.

8. For safety sake, travel in pairs.

9. When you’re stressed, float a while.

10. Remember, the ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals.

11. No matter the storm, there’s always a rainbow waiting.

See: Lessons from Noah’s Ark

And for our DID YOU KNOW, I am also combining it with our pic o’ day.

The heaviest cat on record was a tabby cat named Himmy, who weighed in at a svelte 46 pounds/ 15 ounces. That seemed applicable to our blog today because I wonder if Himmy would have counted as “two” for the ark.

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Cards and Numbers

One insurance company advertises that in 15 minutes you can save 15% or more on your car insurance. Another company named Esurance has decided to combat that kind of claim. Their ads say that getting a quote takes only 7 1/2 minutes to get a quote. Neither advertises how fast that they pay a claim. Here’s some more useless statistics that may only fascinate me:

There are 52 cards in a standard deck of cards. There are 52 weeks in a year. There are 4 different suits (hearts, diamonds, spades, clubs). There are 4 seasons in a year. If you add the values of all cards in a deck,  with the numerical assignments of jack equals 11, queen equals 12, King equals 13 etc., you get a total of 365. Yep, the same as the number of days in a year. And a picture is worth a thousand words? Or how about that the average McDonald’s Big Mac has an average of 198 sesame seeds on its buns. I think about as useful as getting a fast quote.

DID YOU KNOW that 7.5 million tooth picks can be made from one cord of wood? Now that’s not useless!

And for pic o’ day, here’s more online fast stuff!

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