Monthly Archives: August 2008

Is Wind Turbine Placement Akin to Web Advertising?

by Sally Applin

In reading today’s NYTimes’ article about corruption and wind power, I got to thinking: is wind power a physical example of web advertising?

The model seems to be that separate houses/farms/properties/entities host turbines. They are paid to host turbines. The energy goes into the grid.

The people making money are those with the turbines and those with the grid, while those who have to endure the equivalent of flashing ads get doubly screwed: They endure noise, shadows, and whatever else, losing peace and quiet, and they still have to pay for power.

This doesn’t seem right.

When I traveled to Denmark and Sweden last year, there were turbines–but not so much near occupied land. They seemed to be way out on remote crop farms–and out to sea.

Out to sea. Offshore where there is plenty of wind. 

Yes, they are visible, but they are also sculptural. Go to Copenhagen and have a look.

As long as they don’t disturb aquatic life–the ocean is the place for them. They aren’t leaky like oil rigs.

When turbines are offshore, they are silent, they are helpful and they don’t make people crazy with shadows and noise.

However, if they are going to exist on public space (like the sea) (and no I don’t think they belong in National Parks) — there should be an energy savings for everyone who has to look at them. This translates to a cost savings in energy bills. For everyone.

Once again, we don’t get it. We try for individual gain at the expense of the group–capitalism. Maybe its time to rethink that a bit for quality of life?

For once, can’t we distribute the wealth and stop barraging everyone else with the advertising?

Trend: More turbines near you. This is potentially a really good thing, but craft legislation and vote carefully or that blaring internet ad could show up as the turbine next door to your dream house.

Remember: there are no spam filters for giant turbines so they should be placed with consideration for all creatures.

©2008-2014 Sally A. Applin. All rights reserved.

Watch Out, City Boys are Goin’ Mobile

by Sally Applin 

The headline in the London news a few weeks ago was “Tube bosses angered by City Boy craze of attaching Oyster Card chips to their watches.”  It went on to say that “The new fad allows commuters to swipe their wristwatches on ticket barrier and top-up machines–without having to fumble in pockets to find their travel cards.”

I think this is a marvelous example of “innovation in context.” These City Boys aren’t doing anything illegal–they’ve bought their cards and paid the fare. What they have done, is shortened the bottleneck in their process of commuting. Instead of being angry–Tube bosses should be thrilled. They have the opportunity to create a faster commute for people. 

In fact, the Tube bosses themselves did a pilot study last year with 500 “Oyster Card” wristwatch prototypes. The flaw there, is in making someone buy something issued by them. The brilliance in what the City Boys have done, is they retain their own style, but soup up their commute.

Japan seems to be way ahead of the West again with this technology. People have been able to flash their cell phones for train fare for a long time now. It works well.  The phones in Japan do way more than they do in the West with regards to commerce, travel and communication–why is the West so…slow?

I applaud the City Boys. They have figured out a way to make their commute faster, without losing their personal style. 

If I were the Tube office, I’d collect them all and bring them in for a fully catered focus group.

Trend: its all Goin’ Mobile. With high fuel prices, mobility is the new status. Look for all things to be as mobile and tiny. We’re channeling our nomadic roots and catering for them with as much innovation as possible.


©2008-2014 Sally A. Applin. All rights reserved.

Let’s Get Small-er

by Sally Applin

As the ration world from WWII subsided, a new generation of Americans travelled overseas. Many of them visited Europe. Upon their return, they would complain about the “smaller” portions of food, the tiny cars, and tiny living spaces. They didn’t understand the value of “small.” After all, they came from America where: Bigger is Better!

WIth the gas prices and the associated issues related to them (food and consumer goods costs, etc.), I think that Steve Martin’s 1977 idea of “Let’s Get Small” might befit us as a new slogan. 

Steve said, “Let’s get small while driving.” We’re starting to do that. I haven’t seen a Hummer on the road around here in months and it seems that more and more cars on the road are mileage conscious. The waiting list for the Prius in San Francisco is over 200 people long.

How else would “Let’s Get Small-er” apply to us? Let’s live in smaller, more energy efficient homes! Let’s eat food that is local! Let’s eat less of it! Let’s make ourselves smaller!

In technology, the trend seems to be “Let’s Get Small-er” as well. Nanotechnology? Small. Web applications running on phones? Small. Micro loans? Small. Even Girl Talk, that I wrote about previously is sampled from: small clips of other music. Girl Talk? Small.

Small things add up to savings in money, resources and in general–well, bigger things.  Bigger compositions like Girl Talk, bigger savings, bigger impacts overall.

Trend: “Let’s Get Smaller!” Its Bigger!

©2008-2014 Sally A. Applin. All rights reserved.

Whoop, There it is!

by Sally Applin

Okay, so its completely full of curse words and its, as someone said, a “legal nightmare” –but Greg Gillis’s brilliant mash up of 1970’s power rock, 1980’s Cure + all else is incredible. Each song is like getting into today’s rap rocketship to visit the past. Rapping in the old style way, Gillis layers the raps, making them rock the mic with Big Country and Kraftwerk in the background. 

(That said, the lyrics are offensive and racist. He’s sampling them from other places, but they are offensive, be warned.)

Sonically, its incredible genius. This man has a great pattern ability.

Cam Lindsay on reviewed Mr. Gillis by saying ” ‘his’ music isn’t so much of a mash-up but a complete deconstruction/reconstruction of past and present pop/rock, hip-hop and dance with an upwards of 20 well- and lesser-known favourites crammed into one new composition.”


Put the needle on the record.

“Girl Talk” AKA Gregg Gillis, “Feed the Animals”

Trend: The Beastie Boys are back in one man in Philly. Old Skool. Don’t miss it. (Even though the language is beyond filthy.)

©2008-2014 Sally A. Applin. All rights reserved.