January 31, 2008
Shut The Duck Up!
I'm not sure what's my favorite part of "Shut The Duck Up!" the mini-documentary shot by Drexel filmies and posted this week to YouTube.
It could be that Walt Sherman, the ex-Independence Park ranger whose life was nearly ruined by those drive-by quacking, tourist-movers, is wearing hunter's camouflage for most of this movie.
Or the fact you can almost see him becoming unhinged as he pinpoints his annoyance: "It's the loud obnoxious screaming, the horrible incessant quacking."
Or the scene where he's in his basement, methodically hammering the life out of those little noise-makers, as he explains his crusade to bring them off the streets and silence their plastic beaks.
The Stop The Duck! movement joins the YouTube revolution. Love the T-shirts. Zip that canard!
July 11, 2006
Flirting With Disaster
Now there's FlirtingInTraffic.com to contend with.
The idea is to help you make a pass at those you pass on the road. You know, you're looking up from the small TV you balance on your lap and see someone fine driving next to you. You just wish they had their cell phone number printed on license plate - and what a good idea that would be. Here's the next best thing.
A Conshohocken-reared IT guy named Ben Phillips cooked up the concept after noticing an attractive young woman in a Jaguar V12 parked by him.
"I wanted to meet this girl really badly, but there was no legitimate way for me to do so," the divorce father of two says in a news release. "I didn't want to follow her and let her know I was some kind of stalker. At that point I just let it go. But I knew I had to come up with a way for me and all of the other people who've been in similar situations to formally meet."
That way turned out to be little circle codes you can slap onto your back bumpers - they look like LBI or OBX travel stickers, but are really personal-identification numbers. Those interested in colliding socially with other motorists fill out little bios and send headshots into the Web site.
If their details look as good to you as they do in your rear-view mirror, you can send an email into the site, and if they're game, they'll receive your message.
The only hitch is that you have to have some way to remember the looker's PIN.
Which means you'd have to either write it down, or enter it into your cell. Which could interrupt your shaving if you're in the market, which I'm not.
A lot of people are, however. The site, which is free and started in January, claims more than 35,000 page views a day.
There are a couple Philly connections: 03 World LLC, a branding company, and Reptile LLC, a software firm worked on the site.
The newest edition to the concept is Jennifer Litz, a "flirting expert," whose blog is called "Pass Left, Flirt Right." The San Antonio, Tx., woman's goal is to offer some dating advice.
Her first post was called "Things not to wear if you're a single male in the United States." She says nothing about shaving in the car.
June 01, 2006
The New Bus Maps Are Here! The New Bus Maps Are Here!
May 04, 2006
Le Canard, Non!
Silence them! commands the Stop The Duck movement.
Ride The Ducks - their Web site calls them "Quacktacular" - are in Baltimore, Memphis and Seattle, too, having started in Branson, Mo. Why? the movement asks:
The average Duck fueled and loaded with 30+ passengers weighs well in excess of 10 tons. Powered by loud 8-cylinder gas or diesel engines, the Duck produces emissions on par with a city bus. In fact, most require a bus-type Public Service Vehicle license in addition to a passenger-use boat license. In addition to bad Motown blaring over the Duck's PA system, its engine noise level can rise to 95 dBa under maximum acceleration. Anyone working, living, walking or biking along the Duck's route can attest to this.
The piece goes on about a design flaw and drowing incident in Arkansas. It's serious for a campaign called Stop the Duck. (Bill tip, Philebrity)
The Duck trucks, which blast old Village People and late ’60s schmaltz at top volume, also commit the cardinal sin of giving duck whistles to children. Dozens of children on a bus playing YMCA, quacking on novelty duck whistles for 15 minutes as a time. Hellish, my friends.
The campaign warns of worldwide duck domination. They have T-shirts.
Starting a Landslide in My Ego - the local blog not the U2 song - has her own duck rant:
The gimmick is that they drive around the city showing people the sites, and then plop into the water for a trip up the river to see things from the other side. Now I don’t really have a problem with that. Cute idea, whatever.
It’s the quacking. You see, they give each of their passengers a little noisemaker-quacking-thingy, and encourage people to use it to quack at the passers by. They actually target you. The driver points at you, and they all lean out and quack right at you. I cannot begin to tell you how annoying this is. You’ll just have to trust me.
March 16, 2006
Lord Loves A Working Man
Having one of those Navin R. Johnson moments, now that Septa has tweaked its web site to make all stations on its map interactive.
By clicking any spot, you can find out what it will cost to get from here to there, how many parking spaces you might find, what hours its ticket office are supposed to be open.
Kate at Starting a Landslide in My Ego found it first. From the sound of her post, she's still doing that great goofy dance Martin did. SEPTA has made it so the schedules load faster - they're html pages, not pdf files. Next for Kate?
Ditch those trip planners. Who uses them anyway, she asks.
I just plugged in my address and the paper's. A short walk, one quick bus trip, a longish subway ride, and another short walk and I'm at 400 North Broad - in only 51 minutes. Takes me half that to drive, though. It would be helpful to know what it costs, too.
January 25, 2006
Gridskipper, already on record for dissing the city's effort to market itself to the world - see Worst Slogan Ever - piles it on with a post about a recent roundtable of travel editors, most of whom find Philly hot, hot hot.
It starts off blurbable enough:
[Travel Weekly EIC Arnie] Weissmann: What are the ingredients that create buzz for a destination?
Veronica Stoddart, travel editor, USA Today: Look at Philadelphia. It’s celebrating Ben Franklin’s 300th birthday, and there’s a huge marketing campaign. The campaign works because the city is really coming into its own anyway — it’s going through a renaissance. It’s right at the top of the list of domestic destinations.
Melissa Biggs Bradley, editor, Town & Country Travel: I am blown away by what’s available in that city.
Nancy Novogrod, editor in chief, Travel+Leisure: It’s definitely on the food map.
Keith Bellows, editor, National Geographic Traveler: And it’s on the art map.
Then this wag named Erik Torkells, editor of Budget Travel, starts going all negative on us.
Torkells: I’m having trouble with this. Ten years ago, we were all doing stories on Detroit. Philadelphia is the destination of the year because they’re having a birthday.
Bellows: Wait a minute. No, no, no. We did a story on Philadelphia because I think it’s the next great American city. That’s where it started. It had nothing to do with any anniversary. I felt this city was ready for prime time.
Beth Harpaz, travel editor, Associated Press: Right.
Bradley: Nancy agrees, Beth agrees, I agree. I mean, there’s a confluence of things going on in Philadelphia, between museums and dining.
Torkells: We do a thing in (Budget Travel) called Trip Coach, where people write in and we help them out. No one writes in and says they want to go to Philadelphia. They want to go to New York!
Adding insult to injury, Gridskipper's scribe sides with Torkells, saying something about wanting to have his babies. They even headline the piece "Erik Torkells Is Your Daddy." (hat tip, Philadelphia Will Do)
I think we should bring the guy to the city and give him a nice little tour. The Trestle Inn might fit his budget.
October 10, 2005
SEX in the Morning
So begins an improbable post from Albert Yee at Dragonballyee. I didn't really want to know what Albert thought about sex, but this was so un-Albert I read on.
Me, never. But that's because I never take the The Schuylkill Expressway to/fro work.
Or know that there was a new trend among traffic reporters to shorten The Schuylkill into The SEX. Until he read all about it on Michael Feagans's PhilaFile blog.
Feagans, who wonders what out-of-towners must think, reports:
Heard on Fox News, "If I were you I would avoid the SEX in South Philly this morning, that is, if you don't like tie-ups."
On WCAU, "Yes, the SEX is good in both directions this evening. No problems to report."
On WPVI, "For some unknown reason it seems that the SEX is bad every night in this part of Gladwyne."
And recently on KYW, "The SEX is quite slippery this morning especially as you enter the Conshohocken Curve. Please take it very, very slow."
This was also news to a friend of mine, who produces traffic reports for local radio and television. She was amused. "There is no way anyone would refer to it as the SEX - that is just ridiculous," she said. Must be on the down low.