New Microsoft Ad Campaign – Bill Gates & Jerry Seinfeld in Shoe Circus

5 September 2008

I have just had a chance to watch the new TV advertisement from Microsoft featuring Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld. This ad campaign debuted in the U.S. on September 4, 2008 as an attempt to reconnect Microsoft with the customers around the globe. In fact, I couldn’t make any sense out of this commercial. Anyway, according to Microsoft PressPass, there will be more commercial and advertisement coming up and this first ad is intended to spark the conversation about Windows brand. Well, it might be effective in the sense that people will talk about this ad as I did here in my blog. At least, the advertisement served its purpose. We’ll have to wait and see what is next for Microsoft and its competitors.

You may check out the ad here.

Here is the archive from Microsoft Official Press Release:

Microsoft Kicks off Windows Campaign with Star Power
Sept. 4, 2008
More than just a quirky ad about nothing, the newest Microsoft ad for Windows signals the beginning of a series of initiatives to improve consumers’ experience with Windows products – in retail, on the Web and working with manufacturers to make PCs faster and easier to use. > more

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Michael Phelps Made Olympics History

16 August 2008
Michael Phelps Time Magazine Cover

Michael Phelps on Time Magazine Cover - 2004

I always enjoy watching Olympics game as it shows achievement of human in sport. It gives an inspiration that you could win if you try hard enough and nothing is impossible. The Games of the XXIX Olympiad or the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics Game proves to be phenomenal as the records were shattered and the history has to be rewritten.

Halfway into the game, after the eye-popping grand opening on 08-08-2008 had been a talk of the town, Michael Phelps, the 23-year-old U.S. swimmer became the first man in the history to win 8 gold medals from 8 competitions that he competed in. More remarkable thing is the fact that he set up the new world records on all of his wins except one event (100 m Butterfly) which he set the Olympic record anyway. In fact, the event was exciting to watch as he won his opponents by a mere 0.01 second – the least margin possible. In whatever way we see, Michael Phelps’ achievement will be remembered and be an inspiration for the younger generation to challenge in the years to come.

It might be a coincident but number 8 is considered as a lucky number in Chinese language. Michael Phelps’ 8 attempts for 8 gold medals would definitely be a charm for the Beijing Olympics game.


Paris Hilton for U.S. President???

6 August 2008

This is a funny story that merged U.S. politics and pop-cultures together It all began when the presumptive Republican presidential candidate John McCain aired a TV campaign ad comparing his opponent, the presumptive Democrat presidential candidate Barak Obama, as a celebrity like Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. It was an attempt to devalue Obama’s status. However, the ad seems to backfire as Paris Hilton responded to the ad with her “hot” policy. CNN and BBC repeatedly played with the story. Well, at least, it is enjoyable to see the light side of this presidential campaign. Who knows? Paris Hilton and Rihanna (???) her running-mate for Vice-president might get the post at the White house (even in the next Hollywood spoof films). We may even see some souvenirs or T-shirts bearing the sign “Paris for President!” in the near future. It’s very interesting to see the dynamics of politics and pop-cultures that go hand-in-hand.

The original McCain’s ad could be viewed below:

Paris’s response (exclusively from funnyordie.com) could be viewed below:

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The X-Files: I Want to Believe

28 July 2008

I Want to Believe Poster

Six years after the TV series ended and ten years after the first feature-length film was released, the X-Files came back to the big screen with a lot of hypes and anticipations from the loyal fans. There are a couple of reasons why the series have become a successful franchise; one is the intriguing story of aliens, paranormal activities a nd government conspiracy, the other is the contrast yet balancing characteristic of the main characters of the show, Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson). The film, using the title the words on the familiar poster of the UFO featured in the series, created a hope to the fans that the story might relate to the aliens and UFO. However, there is nothing related to aliens in the film. Still, the title “I Want to Believe” was used in a meaningful way. It’s the clash of faith and science, of believing and skepticism. The story in the film took the format as a long stand-alone TV series episode with a mysterious case to be solved.

For the X-Files fans, watching this film is like reuniting with a long-lost friend. Seeing Mulder and Scully and their relationship after all these years with the mysterious story as a background is satisfying enough. However, for general viewers, the film might look like a stranger – nothing special, just a typical cliche.

4 stars out of 5 – To find the truth, you must believe.

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12 Angry Men

21 June 2008

12 Angry Men (1957)

I came across the name of 12 Angry Men several times from the list of “good” movies by various sources. However, I didn’t have a chance to watch the film until one of my professors mentioned and recommended this film during one of my graduate study class regarding communication and team-building. The film, as my professors made his point, reflected how the team dynamics would play and change in specific condition. After I watched the film, I apprecited the film’s message and understood why it was recommended by many sources. I couldn’t agree more. The film was a brilliant drama with clever script and sublime performances.

The film explores the jury system in the U.S. where 12 members of the jury have to reach unanimous verdict of a murder case. At the begining of the film, there is only one jury member who has a reasonably doubt and thinks that the defendant of the case is not guilty. During the course of the film, we see the arguments and the switch of the vote from guilty to not guilty of the rest of the jury members. The film takes place in the jury room with 12 members of the jury’s exchange of conversation and argument. It is a classic one-room and one-situation film with a fantastic message.

All in all, this 1957 black-and-white drama film is a wonderful movie. It shows that a good movie does not have to have a cool special effect or complicated plot as long as the script is carefully crafted and the performance is solid. This film is definitely one of my 5-star movies list.


Kung Fu Panda

6 June 2008

Kung Fu Panda

Po is a Giant Panda who lives in an ancient Chinese town. He is the son of a noodle maker but always dreams to be a kung fu master. Chances lead him to be selected as the legendary Dragon Warrior without even knows how to fight. He has to prove himself as a true warrior and protect the town from the evil enemy who aims to take over the secret scroll entrusted only to the Dragon Warrior.

The plot of the film is cliché and sounds familiar to every Chinese martial art fans. However, the film is extremely hilarious and enjoyable. The computer animation makes the fast-pace fighting sequences even more exciting. Jack Black delivers a great voice of Po the Panda. The rest of the cast includes Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie and Jackie Chan. The film could be considered as a tribute to the Chinese martial art movies. All in all, it is a humorous film for the summer season.

P.S. I recall that a line from the script of this film was taken from the inspirational e-mail forwarded message I got from my friend years ago. I could not traceback to the original writer but I am certain that someone would recognize this line as I did…

Yesterday is history.
Tomorrow is a mystery.
Today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.

You may check the full text of the above quote at my googlepage web site.

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Portland Rose Festival 2008

1 June 2008

Portland celebrates its 101st annual Rose Festival in 2008 from May 29 to June 8. The event was named as the Best Festival in the World by the International Festivals & Events Association in 2007. The event is organized by the non-profit Portland Rose Festival Association with the purpose of promoting the Portland region.

I went to the WaMu Fireworks Spectacular which was the kick-off event of the festival on Friday 30 May 2008. The firework is the state of Oregon’s biggest firework show and it was indeed spectacular as its name. I also visited the Funtastic traveling carnival at the Waterfront Village. It was a fantastic and enjoyable night.

Check out the official website of the festival at http://www.rosefestival.org/