Advertising Gone Wrong

In my daily travels about town, I’ve noticed a couple of advertisements that are really sending the wrong message.

First there’s this storefront in Union Square. Apparently this is the place to go when you are lucky enough to have a Nigerian general who needs to put large sums of money into your account.


I mean really, who would think to name their business Scam? Yes, I realize that the store is actually called Sc@m with that trendy @ symbol, but on first glance that name is telling me that they cannot be trusted with my money.

Meanwhile, Kelloggs has taken over Harvard Square station with an ad campaign to let us know that their product is unsatisfying.


I’m guessing their intention is to have the Special K Protein Drink (yuck!) washing away the “Un” and leaving “satisfying” but to me I just see “Unsatisfying.” Perhaps it’s a subliminal message to lower expectations so that if one in their effort to “lose up to six pounds” finds Special K products to actually be not so bad, one will be pleasantly surprised.

A Parade in Olde Cambridge

Keeping with my resolve to participate more in the cultural events of the greater Boston area, I attended the Woman of the Year Parade presented by Hasty Pudding Theatricals. Somehow I have missed this event in my previous eight years. That the easy-on-the-eyes Scarlett Johansson was the guest of honor made a motivating factor to see the parade this year.

You do have give some credit to Johansson for coming out in cold, ice and snow only to be roasted by cross-dressers who also are (eek!) Harvard undergrads. After a long wait which paid no respect to hardworking people on their lunch breaks, the parade began with the Harvard band.

Stilt walker

Students dressed as Batman and Superman braved the icey streets on these bouncy stilts.


Giant walking fruit followed. I think this banana is named Jorge.

Scarlett Johansson

With an entourage of glamorous men and many fawning onlookers, Scarlett Johansson braved the cold with no hat.

Miss Massachusetts

Another car carried Miss Massachusetts. No one was paying much attention to her so out of pity I decided to take her picture but she chose to look away from me.

And that was it. The whole parade was less than five minutes. For all the media attention it gets, it is pretty much a non-event. Now I know. In the future I’ll skip the event unless they do something like offer free foot massage for the spectators.

Local coverage of the event from the Boston Globe and Harvard University Gazette.

Update: I’m ashamed that this groaner of a pun did not even occur to me.
Another Update: The Bostonist covers the event and includes yours truly as a source!

On the way back to work I took these cool (no pun intended) photos of the Charles River iced over.

Charles River

Charles River 2

Book List Meme

A Book List Meme I saw at The Lesser of Two Weevils. I clicked through a lot of links to see where this actually originated but by the 10th level I gave up. So anonymous-book- list-maker, I salute you.

Books I’ve read
Books I want to read
Books I wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole
Books on my bookshelves
? Books I’ve never heard of
# Books I’ve seen in movie or TV form
! Books I’ve blogged about
Books I’m indifferent to

1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. # Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen) (partially, I was assigned the book in high school but fell behind and didn’t finish)
3. # To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. # Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. # The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. # The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. # The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. # Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. ? Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. # Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. # Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)
17. ? Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. # Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. # Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. # The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. # The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (George Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley) (started to read this book on two occasions and got about 1/4 way through. Probably will never finish)
36. ? The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. ? The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. ? The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. ? Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. # Bible
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. # Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. # The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. # Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. # The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. ? The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. # Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. ? Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. # Les Miserables (Hugo) (saw the musical)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. # The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. ? The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. ? The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. # The World According To Garp (John Irving)
79. ? The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. # Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
81. ? Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. # Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. # Rebbecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. ? Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. # Emma (Jane Austen)
86. # Watership Down (Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. ? The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. ? Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. ? Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. ? In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. ? A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

It appears that this list is made up of best-sellers of the past decade with a few classics thrown in. I wonder what significance they were to the list’s originator. It appears I’ve read 42 of the books (well, 40 books completely, and who knows if I’ve read every book in the Bible) with intentions of reading 5 more. I’ve not read any of these books in the three months since I started Panorama of the Mountains, otherwise I would have blogged about them. I don’t tend to buy books, because that’s what libraries are for so I only own Harry Potter books which are hard to get from the library. Susan owns a number of these books but I didn’t count those. Anyhow, I don’t know what this says about me, but it was fun to play.